Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mecha Design & Tactical Doctrine

When I had lunch with Joshua a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned that there are close to - or maybe more than -- 100 different combinations for setting up your mecha with each combination having a role and possibly a name.  He mentioned one or two names that I have since forgotten.  Luckily over on Mechatonic, in their Strategy Guide, they name three; the Brawler,the Stalker, and the Spotter.

As detailed on Mechatonic:
The Brawler: Two Close Combat attachments, one or two armour attachments. This mech has the speed to get to enemy stations, the power to force defenders off them, and the toughness to stay on them until the job is done. For my money, this is the best station-grabbing mech in the game.
The Stalker: One or two Artillery, Movement. This mech stays on the outskirts of the battlefield, shelling vulnerable targets or ganging up with everyone else. Meanwhile, you’re using that movement die to threaten undefended stations, and to keep out of range of enemy units. In the end stages of the game, don’t be afraid to let them under your guns if it means grabbing a station.
The Spotter: Two spotting attachments. A risky design, and possibly not very good. It’s got speed to stay out of too much trouble, and two spot dice makes a good result much more likely. It’s got great initiative too, to make sure you get the best chance to use its spotting. Whether it’s worth a whole mech worth of not shooting, I’m not sure.

I have a few more to add to the mix.

The Tank: Two Direct Fire attachments, two Defensive attachments.  (2Rd+d8/2B/2W)  He's not particularly fast but, he takes a beating and dishes one out.  He fills the role of a line trooper, neither the specialist nor a leader.  This guy holds the middle of the field, slowly moving forward while preventing any of your opponent's troops from getting closer to your Station.

The Closer: One Direct Fire attachment, two Hand-to-Hand attachments, and one Defensive attachment.  (2Rd/2Rh+d8/1B/2W)  This is the first mech you place if you're the Primary Attacker.  He starts outside the Defender's perimeter and rushes in to take an Objective.  He has enough armor to survive for a little while and the DF Weapon can be ditched to soak damage as well.  After the DF Weapon is ditched he gains a Green d8 for movement which allows him to close at high speed and use the two HtH Weapons.

The Missile Monkey: As detailed here, having Single Shot Rockets on an otherwise un-armed frame doesn't negate the free Green d8 for having no ranged weapons.  So upgrade the Spotter with one Defensive attachment and a handful of SSRs then go to town!  Keep this guy in cover and use a SSR if an opponent gets too close.  Otherwise, use the double Yellows to light up targets for your heavy hitters.

I know the rules haven't been released yet.  But, I know there are people out there with copies of Mechaton.  I'd like to hear from my readers other ideas they might have had.  Let's get a discussion going!


  1. This is awesome. I'm planning on doing a whole tactic/strategy column once the rules are released and such. I'm thinking there's going to be a very large list of loadouts.

    1. Oh yeah. I've barely scratched the surface here.

  2. Knowing that SSR's do not impede movement opens a world of possibilities and allows for threats where they would not surfaced otherwise.

    These "class" descriptions are very informative.

    1. Yes, but, it also means that if your opponent sees a mech loaded with a handful of SSRs they'll probably target that mech first.

      Thanks for the comment!

    2. True, it could be an obvious target, but that might be a tactical decision in itself. Make it, for instance, a frame with only 2 blue attachments. For a turn, maybe two, all of your other heavy hitters aren't in the crosshairs. Granted, the role of missile monkey will change depending on whether you are playing attacker or defender, but in some cases, maybe a distraction would be worth it.