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Monday, February 1, 2010

X-Plorers Mecha and Vehicle Rules Part 2 of 3

As promised its time for those Mecha and Vehicle rules.  (Though I may not do Psionics now that the game's creators have made their own official ones.  Or it may be in an "Anime" style X Plorers house ruleset from me at a later date.


The foundations of both Vehicles and Mecha is this:  There are 5 sizes of each that roughly correspond with each other, using the vehicles in parenthesis as a rough guide to size.
Super Light (Motorcycles)
Light (Automobiles)
Medium (Armored Personnel Carriers)
Heavy (Light Tanks)
Super Heavy (Main Battle Tanks)

It is my thoughts that if there ever are actual combat mecha they won't be of the massive size we see in cartoons and most current mecha hobby games.  They will largely be closer to powered armor, capable of going where tanks can't go, and being more agile.  If your campaign wants BIG ROBOTS, just change the scale of what each is.

Both Vehicles and Mecha have a number of attributes, their own Physique and Agility scores which in Mecha's case are ADDED to that of the pilot's, their Hit (or Hull) Points, their Armor Class which is modified by their Agility score, their Speed which is how fast they move in their Vehicle scale movement phase, their System Points for special equipment, and Weapon Points for how many weapons they can carry.

Look at the chart and meet me at the bottom of it in 5:
(The 2 numbers correspond to Vehicle then Mecha)
(For Physique and Agility scores mentioned for Mecha, a Cybernetic Port increases PHY by 1 and reduces AGI penalties by 1.)
(Mecha Weapon Points list anywhere and arm mounted ones which are either held or replace a normal manipulator arm.)
Unit Size            Physique    Agility     HP      AC     Speed   System Points   Weapon Points
Super Light           12/+3         18/-2      10/5    12/16     20/8                2                    2/0 2 Arm
Light                     14/+5         16/-3      15/9    14/18     18/7                3                    3/1 2 Arm
Medium                15/+7         14/-4     20/13   16/20     16/6                4                    4/2 2 Arm
Heavy                   16/+9         12/-5     25/17   18/22     14/5                5                    5/3 2 Arm
Super Heavy         17/+11       10/-6    30/21    20/24     13/4               6                    6/4  2 Arm

Optional: If a unit wants more System Points or Weapon Points it may DOWNGRADE to a lower level PHY, HP, AC, System, or Weapon Points.   Per level dropped the unit gains 1 additional System/Weapon Point.  No more than 3 downgrades may be done, and a unit can reduce its ratings in these categories down to Super Light if they wish.  Speed may be lowered to the next level as well but only upwards. (Like a Medium tank may wish to be just a really big infantry carrier.  Its already using 3 of its System Points but wants to carry a 9 man squad.  So its designer drops its Physique by 2, and its Weapon Points by 1, making it a Super Light for Physique, and a Light for Weapon Points.  This gives it the 3 System Points it needs to take a 4 point Passenger Compartment.)  (For speed a Super Light may want more WP so it could give itself Medium Vehicle speed (16 instead of 20 for a Super Light) and gain 2 Weapon or System Points.

Explaining the categories:

Physique:  This does not affect the unit's HP in any way, but is used for purposes of close combat damage, usually by ramming in a Vehicle's case.  For Mecha, it is added to the pilot's for the same purposes, but its total PHY score determines its Vehicle scale damage in close combat.  (A burly guy is more manly and thus his awesomeness affects how he can punch through a tank.)

Agility:  This does not affect the unit's AC in any way, but is a rough indicator of its maneuverability and such.  However for Mecha it DOES affect the overall AC.

HP:  The unit's Hit (or Hull) points needed to wreck the vehicle.  For Mecha the machine is still active, but the pilot is then exposed and can be killed.  (Pilot HP is still considered Personal Scale.)  A Vehicle or Mecha may be repaired unless it takes double its total HP when it is then destroyed with no chance of repair.

AC: The unit's armor class.  This takes in account the size and construction of the machine, though remember a Mecha may be penalized if its pilot's effective AGI is low enough.

Option: The AC for the sides of a Vehicle may be considered to be 2 lower, and 4 lower on the rear, and
Mecha may deal with whatever facing AC penalties the group uses in normal X Plorers combat.

Speed: The unit's normal movement rate during a Vehicle scale movement action.  Vehicles and Mecha CAN go flat out and move double speed like a Personal scale "run" type double move.

System Points:  As previously mentioned, System Points let you equip a unit with various upgrades to
improve its performance.

Weapon Points:  Similar to System Points, but is the number of weapon systems a unit can carry. 1 WP is equal to a 1D6 Super Light Weapon System (More detail in the final part!) or 2 Twin Linked Personal Scale weapons.  For Mecha, you may have Arm Mounted weapons that are either carried or replace a normal humanoid hand arm.  Hand carried weapons must have their own ammunition source unless they are a close combat weapon.

Other than this, Vehicles and Mecha fight out just like a normal X Plorers unit, though in this case they are in the Vehicle Scale as opposed to X Plorers' Personal.

Some readers may wonder why the HP is so low for the machines, yet a Super Heavy Tank can carry a 5d6 gun.  Well, have you read many war reports, or watched many Sci Fi shows?  Most of the time machines are killed with 1 or 2 hits from an equivalent sized gun.  Even the M1 Abrams could be taken out by a man carried LAW with a little luck from the firing team.  If a game group wants more Battletech or Palladium styled units double or triple the HP (and remember to do so to any System Point upgrades too!) and you will have more durable drawn out fights with machines.

I also am considering most Vehicles to only require 1 or 2 crew to control, and all mecha to be single pilot controlled.  GMs and their game groups may choose to put more detail in.

Well, all we have left to do is a nice weapons construction chart and my Mecha and Vehicle ruleset is done!

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