Friday, 25 May 2018

Titanomachina: Weapon System Traits

In Titanomachina, weapons are different from other systems and have additional scores beyond effect, charge, armour,and cost. Weapon have scores for range, armour-piercing, high-explosive, hard-rounds, shield-breaker, and shock.

Range is universal, since all attacks and targets share the same board. Only laser and fusion weapons have armour-piercing, reducing the armour of the affected system. Since extra damage dice are produced by multiples of the armour score, reducing 3 to 2 makes and Effect 2 weapon rolls 2D6^1B or roll 2D6 and pick the highest. Going from a 1/6 chance to an 11/36 chance doubles the chance of something exploding. Even a Laser Battery is going to clear extra Armour and cut buildings down to size.

Cannons and the Rocket Pod share the hard-rounds trait. The Macro Cannon and the Rocket Pod also have the high-explosive trait. This means that like Lasers, they have an advantage against both Titans and Terrain. A straight +1D6 damage dice against buildings, and better chance of hitting the right system on the target, are high-explosive and hard-rounds. Cannon Batteries and Mega Guns instead trade off with low Charge scores and hard-rounds making them specific to a high rate of fire. Good for sawing away at an opponent bit by bit.

Certain close-range weapons have the shield-breaker trait, meaning they remove shields equal to the shield-breaker score in the same system diagram square as the affected system. and then start subtracting shields from damage dice results. Not only can a slap from a Claw break two shields, but it has Charge 1. It is also a shock weapon.

A shock weapon will increase the charging number of a system that turn, so any systems activating that turn on the target will go to higher charge piles. The enemy will recover those systems that much slower. It's a defensive purpose for a weapon, and effective in combination with Charge 1 if you can get them while they're trying to move away or close in.

By constrast the Buzzsaw is most reminiscent of the Cannons, possessing far more effect against buildings as a result of the high-explosive trait. It also has shield-breaker, meaning it can lead a close assault, being akin to a close-combat cannon sawing away. By contrast the Laserblade is both an efficient way to shank someone, possessing armour-piercing and shield-breaker. It's another slow, hard-firing laser weapon. You can waste shots with this.

The Plasma Shotgun, and Plasma Howitzer, are both shock weapons too. The shock effect in this case can slow an opponent down to ensure a second shot, because with Charge 4 is going to be slow, even with a Capacitor system to push charging systems along the chain of charge piles. Two Titans fighting with Plasma weapons would involve a lot of kneeing, elbowing, kicking, and punching, because limbs would come up much faster than that big boom-gun.

Which brings me to the point, that a crew member can combo with a limb so the limb can be used as a weapon with a range of it moves. With no traits, limbs also benefit strongly from Sensor systems, with well-aimed Plasma Howitzer-sized Effect possible with a Plantigrade Leg. Arms are much weaker, but have a much lower Charge, and while they can punch, they're almost handier for leveling a weapon to track a target.

One optional rule is for both players to arrange their decks, and to order the cards in the sequence they are drawn. With five cards in hand every turn, the question becomes determining the optimum number of attacks, depending on the mix of weapon loadouts and other systems, as you can plan ahead.

Not too far ahead though, as an attack can be voided entirely by enough shields to cancel out the attack's total Effect. A Titan may come about, taking the intended square in the enemy system diagram out of contention. Plasma Jets may fire evasive manoeuvres, and crew may brace the square for impact.

Against systems unprotected by shields the worst an attack can do is light damage, adding to existing light damage as heavy damage, and adding to heavy damage as destroyed. At first a cracked Extra Armour won't be significant, but once the underlying Sensors, Weapons, and Legs are exposed, Titans will start to suffer some serious impairment. A lucky destroyed system early in the game can see certain rope-a-dope strategies as pretty risky. Likewise a frontal assault requires standing square on your opponent so that all three weapons can fire at once, in addition to any flailing arms, legs, and scorpion-like turrets.

Accessorize wisely.

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