Mobile Frame Zero: Intercept Orbit.

Any question on the rules for MFZ: Intercept Orbit should be asked here.
Forum rules
This is a game - This is fun - All of your posts should reflect this

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Mantisking » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:36 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:A question for the MoFØs!
I'm thinking about representing aces with a full-size frame instead of a stand of stickfigs. We assume there's a company behind it, but when we look at that spot on the table, we're zooming in.

It disrupts scale, but that happens all the time in fiction: we zoom in and out with our interest. That doesn't happen much with wargames for reasons that I don't want to replicate.

So, I know it's weird, but it opens up the design space for space frames, of which we've so far only seen the ST-10 Osprey. Plus, more robots is more good.

Thoughts?

It might be a bit weird to have a frame on the table with starships that's the same size if not bigger than those ships.
User avatar
Mantisking
Mod Team
 
Posts: 5784
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Framingham, MA, U.S.A.

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby David Artman » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:52 pm

I think that, if I wanted a 'zoom in' sort of play, I'd just have two tables: one in microscale for the ships, the other in 7P scale for the frames. If the fiction has ships being ponderous and slow (including firing; or if firing is abstracted as 'firing multiple, full salvos' in a single-turn action) then one could possibly have a whole skirmish between frames play out between ship activations.

Of course, this all begs the question of why frames would deploy in space when there's the equivalent of aircraft carriers and frigates all around. How often do tanks get deployed in a sea battle? ;)

BUT, if you're going all Robotech, then 'frames' are tantamount to 'fighter planes' and they'd have to be at something like 2P scale, for a 16P ship size (ain't that why teams deploy a max of 8 frames? Because ships can't hold more and still get through jumpgates?).

[Aside: There's going to be some Voltron wannabes, so I'd suggest going ahead and making rules for 'ships that break up into multiple, independent, frame-like fighting vehicles'. After all, wouldn't at least one or two factions realize that, if we're gonna transport frames, why not put them on the outside, to leverage their systems, and just have an all-engine 'ship'? And the 'carrier/engine' left behind makes a VERY high-value target, similar to a station!]
User avatar
David Artman
Talkative
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:17 pm
Location: Durham, NC, USA

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby gusindor » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:30 pm

David Artman wrote:I think that, if I wanted a 'zoom in' sort of play, I'd just have two tables: one in microscale for the ships, the other in 7P scale for the frames. If the fiction has ships being ponderous and slow (including firing; or if firing is abstracted as 'firing multiple, full salvos' in a single-turn action) then one could possibly have a whole skirmish between frames play out between ship activations.

That does sound like the best way to handle it. But it could make the ship battles so loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.

[Aside: There's going to be some Voltron wannabes, so I'd suggest going ahead and making rules for 'ships that break up into multiple, independent, frame-like fighting vehicles'. After all, wouldn't at least one or two factions realize that, if we're gonna transport frames, why not put them on the outside, to leverage their systems, and just have an all-engine 'ship'? And the 'carrier/engine' left behind makes a VERY high-value target, similar to a station!]

To do that effectively, we'd need two rules that we've already tried and mostly failed to make; transforming (for shifting from separate to combined forms) and extra-strong frames (for giving a reason to combine). Once there are good mechanics for those, combining might be doable. My advice would be to design loadouts that work well when they're close together, and then fluff that as combination.
Last edited by gusindor on Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Always bring a speech to a gunfight.
User avatar
gusindor
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby David Artman » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:57 am

I'm just brainstorming to answer Joshua's question. But for a quick riposte:
1. Doomsday clock could be much shorter for a frame-to-frame side skirmish - don't want those ships (presumably orders of magnitude faster than a frame) getting too far away to make it back!
2. I completely concur (see my 'tanks in naval battle' metaphor and my 2P-scale suggestion).
3. I never consider "it's hard" or "we failed the first time" as valid reasons to give up on design effort. I get a bellyfull of that thinking at work, thankyouverymuch! :)

Besides, if I'm frank, I think it's a generally bad idea for a couple of reasons:
* Too many units in what was a 'simple' minis game. We're gonna have, what, 4-5 ships spewing 4-8 frames? Potentially 45 units to a team?!
* It's hard to jibe in fiction. What's a frame's munitions going to do to starship armor designed to handle PPC hits? What's a PPC hit going to do to a frame? Knowing the obvious answers to those two questions, what frame pilot in his right mind would fling himself or herself into vacuum in a pitched battle? TO lay spots on ships the size of buildings?! ;)

But I didn't want to answer with "unask the question" so I gave my 2¢.
User avatar
David Artman
Talkative
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:17 pm
Location: Durham, NC, USA

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby MittenNinja » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:37 pm

Ive got mixed feelings about a full sized frame. But I also agree that having 7 units on table is a bit much. I think having a single model at a smaller scale to represent the company would be ideal.
The Transit Gate: A MFZ Podcast
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
User avatar
MittenNinja
Old Guard
 
Posts: 1360
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:38 pm
Location: St Paul, MN

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby gusindor » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:21 pm

David Artman wrote:I never consider "it's hard" or "we failed the first time" as valid reasons to give up on design effort. I get a bellyfull of that thinking at work, thankyouverymuch! :)

To clarify, I don't consider those valid reasons to give up either. I'm just saying that before we have combining frames, there are other things we'll need to figure out first.
Always bring a speech to a gunfight.
User avatar
gusindor
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Intercept Orbit

Postby Thaddeus » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:53 pm

I'm honestly not really a fan of the large frame idea. (Imagine explaining that at cons?) I'm also curious how one would attach a company to a ship if the large frame is used.
Last edited by Thaddeus on Thu May 01, 2014 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Thaddeus
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 907
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby XGundam05 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:45 am

Maybe a half-scale frame? I think we could get some pretty decent designs at ~3p. I know I've seen some good ones floating around here from time to time.
XG5 Systems Blog - "I will not die here / I still have too much to do / And too much ammo" ~ Zer0
User avatar
XGundam05
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 6:17 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Red_Robot » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:00 am

David Artman wrote:Besides, if I'm frank, I think it's a generally bad idea for a couple of reasons:
* Too many units in what was a 'simple' minis game. We're gonna have, what, 4-5 ships spewing 4-8 frames? Potentially 45 units to a team?!


Except at the scale of Alpha Bandit, a company of 4-8 mobile frames is represented as a single unit. To use a modern equivalent, they are a fighter squadron in formation handled as a single military asset. Your mobile frames will likely be all stuck to the same baseplate or flightstand once scale finally gets hammereed out. So 4-5 ships will probably only spawn 4-5 other units, not magnitudes of 8.

* It's hard to jibe in fiction. What's a frame's munitions going to do to starship armor designed to handle PPC hits? What's a PPC hit going to do to a frame? Knowing the obvious answers to those two questions, what frame pilot in his right mind would fling himself or herself into vacuum in a pitched battle? TO lay spots on ships the size of buildings?! ;)


To use another modern equivalent, we launch fighter planes which despite their size compared to naval capital ships are quite capable of carrying munitions able to damage much better armored carriers, battleships and destroyers. And even though a single salvo from capital ship weapons would reduce a fighter to wreckage, a squadron of fighters is still considered a serious threat to a naval fleet.

Though it might seem silly to have a frame spotting a 100 foot long gun platform, a frame can laser paint a specific point such as a weapon turret, or sensor node, or field generator, or exhaust port which can make friendly fire more effective. And the main reason to launch brave frame squadrons into the vacuum of hostile space lies in the grand sci-fi tradition of space combat as allegory for ancient maritime warfare. Frames are boarding parties.

To address the question of the Ace Company using a 7p scale frame instead of the more abstract company representation, I think the use of a full size robot would be a bit jarring. Especially if ships end up being 8-16 dots in length. However, I think using a "miniframe" that's closer to 3p scale would be a good solution. It would be immediately recognizable without being freakishly out of scale.
When the Weepers first came through the gate, we didn't know why. We only knew that they were angry.
User avatar
Red_Robot
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:20 pm
Location: I stand -ON- Twankus!

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby gusindor » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:09 pm

Edit: Never mind.
Last edited by gusindor on Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Always bring a speech to a gunfight.
User avatar
gusindor
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby DRevD » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:31 pm

Edit: nevermind
Last edited by DRevD on Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
DRevD
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:41 am
Location: Seattle-ish, Washington

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby XGundam05 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:03 pm

DRevD wrote:Just keep in mind how big the ships will be when going with certain frame scales.

The frames aren't going to be at the same scale as the ships, the thought is to use a single frame to represent a company, instead of plates or pegs for individual frames.
XG5 Systems Blog - "I will not die here / I still have too much to do / And too much ammo" ~ Zer0
User avatar
XGundam05
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 6:17 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Mantisking » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:33 pm

DRevD wrote:Just keep in mind how big the ships will be when going with certain frame scales. With frames at 7p scale, 16 studs long is about only 100 feet. At 3p, it only jumps to about 240 feet. To put it in perspective, pre-WWII battleships were about 450 feet long. Largest WWII battleships got to be about 900 feet long.

At 7P scale, 16 studs is 34 feet. At 3P scale, 16 studs is 80 feet.
User avatar
Mantisking
Mod Team
 
Posts: 5784
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Framingham, MA, U.S.A.

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby DRevD » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:41 pm

Edit: nothing to see
Last edited by DRevD on Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
DRevD
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:41 am
Location: Seattle-ish, Washington

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:51 pm

Some o' you guys gotta read these rules before you comment. You're just making noise in a focused thread.

  • There is boarding. That's why you use frames.
  • "Fighters" in space make even less sense than humanoid robots. Our logic has to be consistent, not true-to-life. Verisimilitude, not realism.
  • Frames come on plates of six. The only individual frame you'd build is if you want to build an ace.
User avatar
Joshua A.C. Newman
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby DRevD » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:39 pm

Sorry about that. I have read the rules, but got confused on the scaling of frames. I'll clean up other posts.

Frames as "fighters" sits perfectly well with me.
User avatar
DRevD
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:41 am
Location: Seattle-ish, Washington

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Looks like 0.3 is it! No obvious bugs.

Some questions that arose, and have answers that are only obvious to me:
  • You can't ram anything with an HVA. You also can't ram an HVA.
  • While we're talking about ramming, if your ship can't get past mine, but neither of us are trying to collide, your ship stops right beside mine, where we would have collided.
  • Any company attached to an HVA takes hits from ships and companies as though in cover, unless the attacking frame is attached to the same HVA.
  • You're required to take at least one company. I think I'll reserve as an alternate rule that, OK, you don't HAVE to take a company, but I can't imagine how it would be better than having at least one, particularly since it has an ace.

Some temptations that might make sense sometimes, but I think are worse moves than they might first appear:
  • Attacking the ship you're trying to board. Your opponent isn't going to get rid of the parts you want them to get rid of. They're going to get rid of the parts that you want for yourself.
  • Five ships is pretty mighty, but you'd better be really smart. Not sure how to win with a fleet like this unless you come out relentlessly hard and strong. Take HVAs when you can, but the route to victory lies in destruction. It's super-risky.
User avatar
Joshua A.C. Newman
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby gusindor » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:51 pm

Having read the 0.3 rules, I have one question; How do you allocate frame catapults to ships? Are they attachments alongside weapons, movement, defenses and spotting? Do you have a set number per fleet, like 1-shot rockets?

Also, if aces work well in AB could that be a gateway to using them in RA? I like the "one ace per player" as it seems easier than trying to attach a points value. I wonder if the free d8 would translate well to RA?

Also I like that the frame companies are all the same, I think it will keep the focus on the ships. The question is, how do we build frame companies that look decent with the ships?
Always bring a speech to a gunfight.
User avatar
gusindor
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:05 am

Catapults are a regular system. They're represented by a black die, so a dedicated carrier might have something like 2W 2Ra 1B 2K (K being the printing shorthand for "black" to keep it from being confused with "blue").

So that's 2 whites (of course), 2 reds at Antiframe range, 1 blue so you don't just lose the thing, and two blacks to launch the frames.

It could be that this is how aces work in :RA. The blue ace might be a crappy investment, except for its ability to survive, since there's usually cover. The red ace would probably get an extra range of the designer's choice (plus, if you gave them a 2R weapon, they'd be rolling d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d8Rd holy crap). The yellow ace would be a monster in precisely the way they are in :AB. Green wouldn't make any sense, though; its power is tightly tied to the ship paradigm. It's that last one that's been the big stumper for me, conceptually.

Building companies to look good alongside ships is a big challenge, but I'm pretty sure Soren's up to it. No pressuring him, though.
User avatar
Joshua A.C. Newman
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Soren » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:49 am

I have some ideas, yeah. It's mostly a matter of cost-efficiency; I want to maximize the use of parts we've already got you guys buying. Even so, the prospect of fielding three of four companies in a task force is daunting (your poor fingertips). We may settle on intermediate solutions like building a squadron leader and markers to indicate the rest; that would make it slightly easier to have variable numbers of frames per company.
I worked on the setting and mecha design, but my opinions are personal. I am not the fun police.
See more stuff I've made: The Mobile Frame Errata|Flickr Gallery
"People need societies, but they don't necessarily need nations."
User avatar
Soren
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:22 am
Location: Low Earth Orbit

PreviousNext

Return to Intercept Orbit

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron