S P A C E B A L L - MFZ: Racket Attack

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S P A C E B A L L - MFZ: Racket Attack

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:23 pm

Inspired by this thread and subsequent builds, I took up the challenge of developing rules for this splendid concept. These rules are a Work in Progress, and I appreciate all constructive feedback to shape its future iterations, especially since it is such a .... word dense set of rules. Read at your leisure.
Released under the same conditions and licenses as MFZ:RA, I present SPACEBALL v0.1

Welcome to S P A C E B A L L; the sport that pits two brave Frame pilots against each other for control of a small, fast-moving object in micro-gravity! Watch out! A SPACEBALL arena rarely belongs to the players alone! Debris will complicate movement and striking, requiring a strong tactical sense and nimbleness alike to succeed! Do you have what it takes to become a SPACEBALL Legend?!

The Game:
After both competitors take up position around the Ball, the game begins with the Spike! Both players roll a Blue die each, the player with the higher result will take the first Active Turn, while their opponent will use the lower Spike result as their frame's Stability die for the turn. In the event of a tie, continue rolling until the result is not a tie.
Each Turn consists of an Active Phase in which that player will roll dice, Move their frame, Stabilize their frame, Strike the Ball, and avoid or cause collisions. After that is the Bounce Phase, where objects set in motion stay in motion, for the most part, and scoring is checked.
A player will score a point if they: a) own the Ball when it touches a wall in their opponent's Bounce Phase; or b) don't own the ball and it fails to touch a wall during their opponent's Active and Bounce Phase. We'll define these terms in detail later on.
The first player to score 4 or more points while 2 or more points ahead of their opponent wins the game!

The Field should be approximately one Standard 8-segment click ruler in Length and Width. Every boundary to this area is considered a wall, and is impassible. While the third dimension is abstracted in this game with neither floor nor ceiling being a wall by definition, the play area is considered a perfect cube, and cinematically any play made off of a wall could theoretically be made from either floor or ceiling.

Frames are standard fare with RA rules, with a presumed standard of 7p scale (always agree beforehand). Flight bases are allowed and encouraged, with a maximum flight-stand base size of 4x4 round. Range is always measured from the nearest part of the frame, not the base; base size constraints are to keep the field uncluttered. There is a typical 4-system limit, no more than two per type, excluding White Dice, but unlike weapons in RA, Striking Systems are 1d6 per system. Each Player brings 1 frame to the Field each. Setting up for the Spike, the Ball may be placed anywhere on Field to the players' satisfaction, with each player's frame 1 segment from the Ball.

The Ball is the second most important feature in SPACEBALL, right behind the frames. A Ball is any small object that can be mounted on a 2x2 round plate with no part protruding excessively beyond those bounds. While the entire assembly is referred to as the Ball, any amount of measurement involving the Ball should be made to or from the edge of the 2x2 round.

Debris pieces should occupy no more volume than a standard frame, but no hard and fast rules exist about how many pieces of debris are legal. Give the Frames enough room to do their job, but bring enough debris to make it interesting, I suppose. Take turns placing debris until both players are satisfied.

Dice are required for play. At least two of each color (white, red, green, blue, and yellow) for each frame should be enough for the core mechanics, but also a pool of five or so of any one color per player will help keep track of Impulse, one of the new concepts that keeps Spaceball moving both literally and figuratively.

New Concepts, Impulse:
Impulse is an abstraction of the many physical forces in play in micro-gravity, chief among them being momentum. When a frame Strikes the Ball, or any object collides with another, Impulse is either generated, transferred, or negated, and the player that most recently affected the Impulse "owns" it, as indicated by using their colored Impulse dice next to the object. The object will travel in the direction of its Impulse die as many ruler segments as that die's value.

A frame will create impulse when it Strikes the Ball, giving it a new Impulse value equal to the amount the frame's Striking System exceeded the Ball's previous Impulse value. Place that player's Impulse die on the side of the Ball opposite the Striking frame, and move the Ball it's value in ruler segments in that direction.
During their Active Turn, a frame may transfer any amount of unused movement into any non-Ball object as Impulse. Attach an Impulse die and move it as detailed above. If a frame without a Mobility System touches an object during the active turn, it is treated as a collision, transferring half of its unspent Movement rounded up to the new object as Impulse before completing its remaining movement.
Collisions normally occur when objects with Impulse collide with other objects. The moving object transfers half of its Impulse rounded up to the new object, then deflects away to complete any remaining movement. The object that received the Impulse then moves, et cetera. No two objects may collide with each other more than once per Turn, excluding walls.
If two objects with Impulse values collide, they equalize and divide the total Impulse between them as evenly as possible, with the currently-moving object receiving less if an odd number. Each object receives their new Impulse die before removing their old one, with the half-way point between the dice becoming the new direction of movement. Adjust Impulse placement to mark this. If the objects involved in a collision over-lap with the others' Impulse dice, subtract the lower Impulse from the higher and divide the difference between the two, rounding up for the slower-moving object. Resolve any resulting movement away from each other.
The Ball will only transfer 1 of its Impulse to any object it collides with, if it is the faster moving object, due to its low mass. Likewise, a faster moving object that collides with the Ball will only lose 1 Impulse, and the Ball will duplicate that object's new Impulse.
Objects that strike a wall transfer or lose no Impulse, but deflect at an angle matching their approach. If desired, I will include a protractor method for determining deflection angle using the click ruler, but I will need to make an illustrative aide.

New Concepts, Phases:
A Bounce phase happens after each player's Active phase, and is considered a part of that player's Turn. During this phase, the Active Player chooses in which order to resolve the movement of each object with an Impulse value. After each object is moved, reduce its Impulse value by 1, to a minimum of 0. Check Scoring Conditions and reset if necessary.

If a point is scored at the end of the Bounce Phase, all objects Impulse are removed, the Ball is reset to a neutral location, and play begins with another Spike. Alternate rules may follow when I know how to handle service and receiving instead of this Basket-Hockey nonsense.

At the beginning of the Active Turn, the active player's Frame loses its Impulse value, then rolls all of its dice, keeping the highest value of each color, except White. Whites are distributed, then play continues. In any order, a frame may Move, Stabilize, and Strike the Ball.

Systems and Dice:
A frame may have up to four Systems, and no more than two of a type. Each system (including Striking Systems) affords 1d6 of its color to the dice pool in the Active Phase. Each frame also has two White Dice automatically, which do not count towards System limitations, and of which no more than two may be equipped.

d6W d6W
White Dice are "Frame Systems". These dice represent the utilitarian nature of frames and the skill of their pilots. They may be used to substitute systems that aren't equipped to the frame or replace system dice of lower value.

Red Dice are "Striking Systems". After rolling your dice for an Active Turn and while the frame is within 1 ruler segment of the Ball, you may compare this value against the current Impulse of the Ball. If the difference is a positive number, move the ball that many ruler segments away from the striking frame, in a direction of the active player's choice, and that value becomes the Ball's new Impulse. If the difference is a negative value, the Strike misses and the Ball's position and Impulse are unchanged.
d6Rh d6Rh Double Red: During the Active Turn and before Striking, the frame may spend up to its Striking value to move that many ruler segments directly towards the Ball, ignoring collision with all objects and frames for this movement, and then must immediately Strike.
A frame without any Red Dice must use White Dice to Strike or forfeit Striking that turn.

Green Dice are "Mobility Systems". During the Active Turn, the frame may move up to its highest Green value in ruler segments in any direction along a straight or curved path, avoiding collisions if it so desires. The frame is still vulnerable to collisions during the Bounce and other player's Active Turn.
d6G d6G Double Green: During either player's Active Turn or Bounce, this frame chooses whether it collides with any object unless an Active frame with double Green chooses to collide with it.
A frame without any Green Dice must use White Dice to move, or forfeit moving that turn. Furthermore, this frame will collide with any object it touches.

Blue Dice are "Stability Systems". After the Spike, a Frame will use this value to "defend" against Impulse that other objects or frames attempt to tranfer onto it, losing a Stability point for each point of Impulse it negates.
d6B d6B Double Blue: Whenever this frame is involved in a collision, it has complete authority of how Impulse is transferred between objects. It can not generate Impulse with this value, and must spend Stability to negate any amount, as usual.
A frame without any Blue Dice must use White Dice to Stabilize, or forfeit any Stability that turn.

Yellow Dice are "Logistic Systems". During the Active Turn, after Striking and while determining the Ball's destination, you may click the hinges of the ruler any number of times up to the highest Yellow value.
d6Y d6Y Double Yellow: During their Bounce, the active player may adjust the travel rulers of any object with Impulse you own up to an over-all total of clicks equal to their highest Yellow Value.
A frame without any Yellow Dice must use White Dice for Logistics or forfeit manipulating the Ball's trajectory that turn. Furthermore, it may only click each joint of the ruler up to once when determining the path the Ball will take after Striking.

Optional Rules:
Signature Move Modules (SMMs) are single-use mods that give the frame a competitive edge against their opponent. Choose a system that module will augment before the game begin then activate it once per game, before rolling dice on an Active Turn, to add a D8 to that system's dice pool. SMMs are not Systems.
High-G Stress is a real threat to frame and pilot alike when maneuvering in micro-gravity. When receiving Impulse that exceeds your remaining Stability, you may permanently remove a System from your frame for each point of Impulse you wish to negate. SMMs are not Systems, and White Dice may only be sacrificed last. A frame without White Dice is destroyed.


Question: If using SMMs, how do you represent values of 7 or 8 on Impulse?
Answer: In this iteration of the rules, you don't. While you may be able to shove an object or Strike the Ball for greater values than 6, 6 is terminal velocity for Impulse, and after Striking movement is resolved, Impulse would be set to 6 at the highest.

Question: When do objects move; in the Active Phase or the Bounce?
Answer: Both! If an object is influenced in the Active Phase, it will move immediately and receive Impulse as per normal. Then, during the Bounce, its Impulse will be resolved, and then reduced as needed.

Question: How many players can this game accommodate?
Answer: I'm unsure! I could safely presume up to 4, though. Same with Balls, though service rules would need to change as a result.
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Re: S P A C E B A L L - MFZ: Racket Attack

Postby Vitoria » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:27 pm


The systems conversions are really clever! Great use of all four colors.
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Re: S P A C E B A L L - MFZ: Racket Attack

Postby Starflower » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:05 pm

This looks like a lot of fun!
I just need a re-reading of all the impulse rules to really get my head around it. I'll be sure to post pictures if I get a match going!
Have you (or anyone else?) played? Experiences?
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