Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Titanomachia: Yet Another Revision

So I figured out how to actuate the Round Sequence, and in particular how to play events, and target systems. Which is nice. Also, some notes about why one might play Titanomachia, or the benefits thereof.

Round Sequence:

The round starts with players bidding for the Initiative. After spending cards getting the winning bid on the initiative, with the higher bid getting the initiative and ties retaining the Initiative, the players may play an event.

Events are played by players placing an action card face-down. Once all cards to be played are down, the players reveal their card, and using the type of cards involved, determine the base cost of success.

Given the event, the combination of action and action, players alternate playing battlefield conditions cards starting with the player with the initiative. These battlefield conditions may adjust the base cost of success of either player's action.

The players either pay the adjusted cost for success, or do not and discard the action card. Players pay for success by playing more cards face down out of their hand. Once the adjusted cost of success is paid or refused, the event is resolved. The player with the initiative resolves their action first, then the player without the initiative.

Once the event is resolved, and presumably the Titans survive, then the players each collect cards from their Strategy deck. Exactly how many cards I'm not sure, but possibly a number governed by the Crew system.

So a player should need to weigh the value of successfully going first, successfully going second, unsuccessfully going first, and unsuccessfully going second. Unsuccessfully going second may be worth it if the current direct, speed, shield configuration, target selection works, and particularly if you're winding up for a decapitating blow or shot. There's something to be said for laying up a shot. Movement is a Newtonian moving until otherwise acted upon model, so players need to manage momentum. Ditto for the Acquire Target and Arm Weapon actions, setting states that will change as targets are obscured due to battlefield conditions, and weapons discharged.

Targeting Systems:

Each shot fired by a weapon at a target hits if the Fire Weapon action is successful, although some may hit and some may not according to battlefield conditions making the adjusted cost of success higher for one target than another. Once a target is hit, the players determine which shields or systems of the target are hit.

Systems may be affected by being 'exposed', being those systems with orientations including the attacker. A Shield with an orientation including the attacker and outermost in that orientation will be hit. If no active, non-destroyed, shield exists between the attacker and its target, then the target's player shuffles up his exposed system cards, and the attacker draws a system card for each hit. Battlefield conditions including terrain will be treated like systems.

Compare the Power (P) of the weapon in question to the Armour (A) of the affected system or shield, and if P is equal to A, then no damage; P is equal or greater A, then light damage; P is equal or greater than twice A, then heavy damage; and P is equal or greater than three times A, then overkill. Otherwise, no damage occurs. This isn't a dead end though, as it's an outcome in favour of one's opponent.

The damage effect of each hit is noted on the system cards (maybe with an erasable marker or something), and where overkill is scored the card is discarded from the Titan cards in play, and another system is randomly drawn for light damage. When all cards in the Titan's exposed systems are drawn, they are shuffled back up, and the attacker continues drawing cards until all hits are resolved, or all the enemy Titan's cards have been discarded. Damage is cumulative: two light damage results are heavy damage, two heavy damage results are overkill. Light damage and heavy damage, or three light damage results, will still destroy a system - discard the card without the overkill effect of additional light damage to another randomly drawn system card.

So yes, larger Titans with more systems will be better able to soak light or heavy damage, yet have less battlefield conditions to protect themselves by increasing the cost of success beyond means.Players can rotate shields, extend undamaged shields around damage shields, repair damaged shields, and generate new shields. Shield Generator systems can generate Shields, although not in better repair than themselves.

Which brings me to Punches and Kicks, or ATTACK and MOVE type actions respectively. Punches nominate a system to deliver the attack, the attack resolved like a shot except the system's armour is compared to the target's system armour after the target system is selected. Shields are ignored. A kick is resolved somewhere along the line of the Titan's movement without needing a target acquired. The propulsion/mobility system Armour is compared to that of an exposed system by card draw. Shields are ignored, but damage is scored as for a Punch. Weapon systems like the Power Fist are going to be heavily armoured by design. Note that a system's armour may be reduced because it is operating on its light damage profile or heavy damage profile, and so punching or kicking with a weakened system may incur damage if successful but the target's system armour is higher.

Features:

Overkilled Shield and Systems blowback to affect a random element, decided by shuffling and drawing a card. Unless there are shields between the overkilled and the Titan, in which case that shield will be damaged. So players have at least one reason to shoot powerful weapons at shields.

The ability to play cards asymmetrically means that there are incentives such as retaining initiative for a later turn, retaining cards for a later turn, either to spend, to act with, or to seize the initiative. Crew would be one way to put a limit on the number of cards retainable (Princeps: 3; Magos, Moderati: 2; Enginseer, Steersman, etc: 1), so a space to represent crew. Crew could even be a system of their own, armoured, sustaining damage, and ready to be destroyed.

Cards feature dramatic "Vaguely Nautical Order!" headings as well as text indicating the type of action card (move, attack, defend, command), the base cost of success given opponent's card, and any costs for bonuses to adjust the cost in addition to adjustments for battlefield conditions. Battlefield conditions cards name the battlefield condition, its scope - the board or a model, and either the generic adjustment to the cost of success, or the model's profile. Titan system cards have the profiles of a Titan's systems, and are used to track their states through undamaged, light damage, and heavy damage. Objectives will include things like a successful Acquire Target action, moving the Titan on a board edge, destroying an Enemy Titan, lasting a number of rounds, and so on. Objectives and Battlefield Conditions are part of the Strategy deck with Action cards. Titan cards compose the Titan, along with its model.

Command Cards include things like "Pompous Oratory," to generally screw with the enemy by adjusting the base cost for success of their action versus a Command action, and "Tactical Insight," to immediately draw more Strategy cards from the deck, and "Strategic Insight" to immediately add discarded Strategy cards back to the deck.  

It seems that an ambush strategy could work so long as you could use battlefield conditions to prevent an Acquire Target action until you've collected enough cards for a successful alpha strike with all weapons. Likewise battlefield conditions would require players to keep slogging, creating obstacles, cover, and likewise preventing an enemy from capitalizing on material advantage too easily.

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