Home Forums Nordic Weasel Games Sci-fi / Fantasy Mechs in 5-core

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    Avatar photoLogain

    Hey Ivan,

    My brother and I had played a lot of Battletech when we where kids growing up in Detroit.  Recently we’ve been talking about playing it again, but are totally turned off by the rule set complexity (even the quick play versions). Seems like there are lots of complaints about needing a more modern Battletech style rule set out there.

    We’ve been playing 5 Core since it first came out for sci-fi skirmish, and have played a lot of Into the Breach lately, both are really great in how they are both simple, but elegant. But 5-core mecha are sort of tacked on, how would it look if the rules were centered around mechs? I have been mulling over how to take some of the design concepts from Battletech, 5-Core, and Into the Breach and make them into a mech combat game.  Have you ever thought about a mech centric game? If you were going to make a fast play, low bookkeeping mecha game what would you incorporate?

    Just curious what your thoughts are!

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    Funny you mention Into the Breach, I’ve played it and found myself wondering the same thing!

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Cheers gang.

    That’s funny we were just talking about the very thing, though based off Squad-Hammer.

    I’ve kicked around thoughts of mech games in the past, but always felt the market was basically brand-loyal to specific ranges of miniatures and not super interested in indie stuff. That may be 100% wrong though!

    As you say, i think it’d have to be designed from the ground up.
    I’d be tempted to treat each mech as a single soldier, not a vehicle, more like Gundam than Battletech if that makes sense?

    Change the combat dice to allow some systems hit type of affairs. Mech pilots probably dont run away but maybe they get pinned down or locked into a firefight ?
    Alternatively have “firing dice” for regular fire (1s do damage points, 6s also trigger a critical die) and a
    “critical die” (1’s is immobile, 6’s knock out a weapons system).

    Change movement rules to be a bit more rigid and use a “slot” system for weapons and upgrades.

    This is all just thinking out loud, I’d be curious to hear any thoughts.

    Avatar photoLogain

    Mr. Average – your 3mm forces, along with some great 3mm scale mechs being available now is part of our inspiration. Battletech is just too slow paced and expensive!

    I totally agree on the mech as a single soldier, and maybe having only two status levels i.e. full strength or damaged? Or maybe just operational vs. out of action.

    Well I think one of the great things about a lot of your games and Into the Breach (ITB) is that weapons are more than just shoot-to-kill. For example ITB relies a lot on moving opponent’s units through weapon fire/systems, and creating synergies between units. Maybe instead of running away units could be knocked backwards with direct fire weapons? Random directions with indirect fire?

    I feel destructive terrain is important too for the over-the-top feel.


    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Knock backs, more mobile suits evading (rocket-dodge?) and such would definitely make the game more “kinetic”.
    It probably does have to be weapon dependent. A heavy shell-based weapon might knock down, while a laser does not?

    And yeah, I agree, whether its bashing walls down, blowing up cover or throwing enemy mechs into buildings, destructible terrain would be something to consider.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    My ideal Mech game would be something like a sophisticated version of Ogre: big Mechs, like BIG, with lots of cool weapons with neat cinematic effects, and a whole mess of small, “conventional” forces darting around at ground level in support, which have a chance to fight well if used skillfully.

    Avatar photoTony S

    There are some indie mech rules Ivan.  Horizon Wars from Osprey springs to mind, as well as Wardogs from MJ12.  I have HW, and it is quite mech friendly, but plays OK without giant stompy robots.  Wardogs – which I do not own – seems from the description to almost be a clone of Battletech, but with a more streamlined modern feel.  With the caveat that giant stompy robots have never made much sense to me, I suspect that if NWG were to do a mech ruleset, it would be super clean and fast!

    http://www.mj12games.com/wardogs/   I’m almost tempted to buy these rules, based solely on the cover art – even if walking battlesuits are illogical, what’s not to love about the big mech with a mace!  


    (As an odd aside, I’m listening to my Spotify “Discover new music” playlist, and it must sense Ivan’s presence.  It just played Saturnus and Crowbar).





    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Yeah that cover is hard to resist!

    I think I tend to forget about HZ, because I don’t know anyone here who plays it. That’s totally my bad though!

    I always kind of feel like you’d be better off aiming at medium sized games with giant robots (8-10 each) and taking infantry skirmish games as a model, rather than the 2-4 robots (ala Battletech) that tends to take naval battles as a model in terms of complexity.
    People will always fit more robots on the table and …I love Battletech but I refuse to play anything over a lance each.
    Even then, its a long evening’s battle.

    And nice, I’ve been cheesing out to some Hammerfall today. Yesterday was Bolt Thrower. Totally unrelated to me working on some Renegade Scout stuff no doubt.

    Avatar photocmnash

    As we’re listing mecha games, don’t forget Ganesha Games’ Samurai Robots Battle Royale


    I’ve not played it though, so can’t comment on its complexity, although the above page does say it’s based on Song of Blades, so it can’t be too complex …


    edited for spelling mistook …


    Avatar photoLogain

    There are a lot of mech games out there that do exactly what Ivan said- model game play on naval rules. I’m talking about something different here, adapting 5-core to be a mech centric game. Kinetic? Yes! Cinematic? Yes! Destructive Terrain? Yes! Mechs the size of buildings? Yes! Puny Conventional Units? Yes!

    I also like the 8-12 units on a side. It seems like 5-core is already set up for infantry/conventional units – just make them threatening (i.e. no kill dice against mechs?). Going with the idea of the rocket dodge, so something like Ballistic Cannon: KD 1= Knock Down, 6 = Damage.  SD 1 = Dodge 1″ to the side 6= Knock backed 2″. Collisions with any terrain or other units would be a KD against both. Objectives could center on destroying/protecting buildings?

    What else would there be? Rockets, Lasers, AutoCannons, Ion Cannon, Tractor Beams? Non Weapons systems could be Shields/Extra Armor, Jump Jets, Smoke screens, Chafe?

    Avatar photoRetroboom

    While not my go to genre, I’d purchase this as well.

    Richmond, VA. Let's play!

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Hmm. Lots to think about, though I’m a couple projects behind.

    Stay tuned!

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