Monday, October 31, 2011

Modelling & Rules Update

My camera had died on me before I could finish posting pictures to my last entry so here's a few shots showing the clean up work I have to do to each of the Regults before I can get on with the painting. There's six seperate screw holes that need patching and a good portion of them also have either a dented head or a large gap under the top laser dome.

For the filler I used Epoxy Sculpt. Once cured it has a nice ceramic like feel and takes to scraping and sanding incredibly well. It also can hold a razor like edge which is great for making sharp edged details like the filled in area on the side of the hips.

Here's a shot of the upgraded base size, the left base is the older 50mm Privateer Press Base, the right one is the new 60mm Base from Proxie Models. The size differance isn't all that noticable head on but when viewed from the side it's more prominant as you can see the wider more dramatic stance in the legs.

I started roughing out some graphic concepts for the rules PDF. I'm trying to get something together that looks sleek and isn't too busy. The first two are ideas for unit sheets, the later pages would be page layouts for the rules. These are still in the very rough stage, once I am happy with the layout I'll do a more finalized design.The stats are not accurate yet, they are just there as a placeholder for playtesting, final stats and points will be corrected on the final cards.

The rules themself are fairly simple. I've further revised the MSIA rules that Greg was using for his game he posted on the TMP forum. Basically it was an opposed dice system deveolped for Mobile Suit Gundam battles, which was refitted for Robotech. The combat system share some base simularity with Monsterpocalypse and according to one of my friends there are simular elements in the Spartan Game systems for Dystopian Wars and  Firestorm Armada. I've never personally played those games so I don't know for certain.

The most basic version plays out a bit like this: On a D6 Dice roll a result of 1-3 is a failure. 4-6 being a sucess, a natural 6 counts as two sucesses instead of just one. So if you are shooting at your opponent you use the weapon rating plus your pilots skill vs the enemies armor plus pilot skill. For each sucess you have beyond the defenders total you apply one point of damage to that mech. If the defender gets as many or more sucesses then they take no damage.

For example a Veritech is shooting at a Zentraedi pod. The Veritech's gun is 3D6 plus 1D6 for the pilot, he rolls 4 dice. The Zentraedi pod has 1D6 of armor and 1D6 for the pilot the defender rolls 2D6. The attacker gets lucky and rolls 3 sucesses, the defender rolls one sucess. The Zentraedi pod takes two points of damage. Hit locations are determined by another roll and that player marks off two damage boxes.

Overall I thought the adapted MSIA system is pretty solid. A couple areas that jumped out at me were the potential to just spam missles into auto kills even against the best ace pilots. The missile fractracide rules help but don't entirely balance it out, particuarly when dealing with the female power armor. I'm altering how missile salvos work so that a cluster is fired rather than individual missile or massive 100+ missile swarms. Rarely in the series do you ever see them fire a single missile, most times they drop a pylon from each wing in a salvo.

I tweaked the damage and critcal damage systems a bit. Damage now mark off from the right to the left side. Internal systems occupy the left most boxes. From normal hits empty boxes representing armor and protected structure have to be chewed through first.

When making a to hit roll a 6 still counts as two hits, but it's not considered a critical. If a six is rolled when determining the damage location that is considered to be a critical hit and allows you one of two options, that player may choose what location gets hit or they may apply damage starting with the left most armor boxes.

The inner workings of Veritech/Valkyries are much more complex than other mechs due to their transformation systems. The transformation system is represented by the T mark within the damage boxes. It's very easy for them to recieve damage that doesn't cripple the mech but would prevent them from transforming.

Other damaged systems remain functioning (but at reduced capactity) until all of their boxes are removed. For example Each mech has a M box in their legs representing their movement system for that leg. If the box is removed than the Mech's movement is halved as a result of internal damage.

The ability to jump or hover is handled in a simular fashion, if the veritech loses a J box in one of it's legs all of it's jumping, hover and flight stats are reduced in half. If both boxes are destroyed the Mech is no longer able to make use of those forms of movement. Additionally if they are actively hovering or flying the loss of both jet thrusters will cause it to crash.

Weapons systems in each location occupy a single box marked with a W. All weapons in that location are considered to occupy the same damage box. For example the VF-1J has two light lasers in it's head if the W box is removed both of those lasers are considered destroyed. The Regult has a total of 4 lasers in it's Torso, if that box is removed then all 4 lasers are considered destroyed.

Standard ammunition has been removed completely, there was too much book-keeping with having to track shots. Additionally most Mechs have energy weapons so it's a bit redudant. The only ammunition that is now tracked are volleys of missiles. Missiles are now always fired in salvos, for Valkyries a wing pylon holds three missiles and is considered to be one salvo. Below the weapon listing is a box representing the wing pylon, which is checked off as the salvo is fired. Zentraedi Mech's have lauchers that fire multiple missles at once, a given salvo can represent anywhere from as few as 2 up to 15 or more missiles.

The Quedluun used to be able to fire a whopping 128 missiles in a single salvo, that is no longer the case. Additionally I felt that the strength of those missiles were mis-represented. They are considered swarm mini-missiles not proper guided missiles so under the old rules they did far too much damage on an individual basis. Make no mistake it is still a very deadly missile carrier under the modified rules, it's just been tweaked to bring it better into balance with the capacties of other Mechs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

N-Scale Robotech

It's been a while since my last update, in the meantime I've been scouring ebay and modelling forums like mad to fill out my growing Robotech armada. In truth I should be pulling the plug on any more buying as I now have mor ethan enoough models to cover just about any range of games I want, the exception of course being Zentraedi pods.

For the Macross forces I have destroids to field a 5 man uint sof each mech type, and 2 monsters.

As valkyries are readily available I have enough to field 2 6man squads and plenty of extra battroids and gerwalks, probably close to another two squads worth. The fighters are on the more pricey side for models so I aquired enough to do two flights of 6, it may be more than I needed but I wanted to make sure I had enough as I wasn't sure I'd be able to locate more later on.

I've put several battroids to the chop and modified their poses to keep them from looking so static, Skull Squadron is almost filled out.

I also picked up enough super valkyries and armored valkyries to fill out a 5 man squad of each. I doubt they will see use anytime soon as they are rather powerful units and I'd need a considerably larger Zentraedi force to offset them.

For the Zentraedi I've collected three officers pods, two of which are built the last I'm saving in case I decide to cast it. I'm just above 20 assorted pods, 12 soldier pods, 3 heavy missile, 3 light missile, & 3 scout pods. I also picked up a Quaedluun-Rae female power armor in 1/200 scale. They didn't have it available as a standard kit, but bandai mission 3 has a really nice gashapon toy that'll fit in perfectly.

I've been working on preparing one of the soldier pods for casting, it's a rather time consuming task as it needs to have all of the interior space filled in so that it's able to be molded under pressure without caving in. That requires ample amounts of epoxy sculpt and time. Since each part of the unassembled model is basically a half shell I fill in as much of the piece as possible then once that has set up I assemble it, going back to close up any gaps at the joints.

Several of the parts use a rotator joint or rotating pins on the original model which have required that I re-engineer a few minor areas on the model so they now feature a peg type assembly. I've easily sunk the better part of 10 hours into the void filling and clean up, but just about everything should be ready for molding and I'm very happy with the progress i've made on it.

I have also completed the final clean up on 7 of the zentreaedi pods, removing mold lines and lots of gap filling. All of the nichimo models feature a combination of snap fit and a screw assembly to hold them together. Given the age of most of these kits and the early 80's mold tech not every fits 100%, there was lots of minor warping on the parts so I went in and removed all the guiding pegs and then glued the models together so the parts would line up as best as possible. I still made use of the screws as they help hold the legs and torso together more tightly, while retaining the models poseability.

After scraping down mold lines I went in and filled all the screw holes with epoxy sculpt and also resculpted some of the leg detail on the hip pieces. Not incredibly difficult just time consuming. The squad is ready for paint, assuming that I can dig out the proper colors I should be starting the base layer of paint on them this week.

I picked up a bunch of 60mm bases from Proxie models, I had previously mounted the models on a 50mm privateer press style base but they felt a bit too cramped. Not so bad for the macross mecha but the Zentraedi looked crammed into place. The slightly larger base allows for a wider foot palcement which I think helps them avoid looking so static.

On top of that I've bashed together a basic rules set to use, nothing overly complex as I want the game to move smoothly. My only concern is that it may have too much dice rolling at current. I'm working on getting it all into a nice pdf with some graphics.