MechaStellar - Wargame Rules for Tabletop Mecha

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MechaStellar - Wargame Rules for Tabletop Mecha

Good afternoon everyone,

With the release of Hathaway's Flash today on Netflix I wanted to share a free wargaming rules set we have been working on the last few years. MAHQ & MechaTalk has been my #1 resource for everything Gundam & Mecha related since the early 2000s so I wanted to share with the community here for anyone who enjoys playing tabletop games.

The game is called MechaStellar and it's meant to be a lightweight d10 rules system to let you battle it out with your favorite Mecha. We've also updated it to include Kaiju and Stellar Warships as well. It can be played in a Vs mode or in a Solo / Cooperative mode (1-6 players)where you play against Missions where the enemy's actions are governed by a behavior table.

Mechastellar is setting-neutral, so it can be used with giant robots from your favorite series. Our goal with these rules was to let you use the rules to recreate iconic battles from your favorite series, create new or hypothetical ones, or mash several series together for a Super Robot Wars-esque game if you like. Currently we have units from Gundam (UC: OYW+0083, AU: Wing, G & X), Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, Evangelion, Big O and Pacific Rim.

The rules for combat, versus mode, coop campaigns and mission packs can be download here: https://mechastellar.wordpress.com/game-downloads/

Since Gundam is our favorite real robot series most of the mecha unit profiles are from Gundam's Universal Century. Currently there are profiles for 176 Mobile Suits, 9 Mobile Armors, and 20 Warships for UC and 63 for AU. There are 112 units from other Mecha series.

If you get the chance to try out the game would love to hear your general impressions from playing. We're also looking for specific feedback in the below categories. Thanks for reading. Cheers!

======================BREAK======================

Edit: Trimmed down opening post.

Here are some key features of the game:
-Two Classes of Mecha.
Units are split into three types. The MS type has the best Evasion but lowest HP, the Super Titan has a good mix of HP & Evade while the Super Heavy has the best HP but lowest Evade. Typically Real Robots (Gundam, Macross, Dunbine, etc.) are classified as MS and Super Robots (Mazinger, Getter, Brave series) are classified as Super Titans with Big O and Kaiju classified as a Super Heavy.

-Mecha are defined by only three stats, Frame, Performance & Pilot.
We're shooting for a lightweight rules system so it relies on abstraction and generalized weapon profiles rather than a lot of mechanical granularity. Combat stats are dependent on Frame & Performance.

Frame sets your starting durability and equipment slots, Frame 3+ units also receive a passive Performance boost.

Performance is a catch-all stat that affects combat stats, movement & sensors. Generally we treat suits that show up later in a series are higher performance than those at the start. For game balance in the OYW we gave early Zeon units higher performance and early Federation units higher Frame levels.

Pilot comes in two tiers, Level 1 is Skilled Pilots these can be test pilots, veterans, or someone with impressive natural talent. Level 2 is intended for your best aces like Amuro, Char or Norris Packard. An Ace even in a grunt suit can still be quite lethal.

-Two Gameplay Modes - Versus Mode & Cooperative Mode.

-Versus Mode
If you're familiar with other War Games then this should feel familiar. Assemble an army and battle it out with your opponent. Simple Battle is simply to destroy the enemy. Secure the Objective is your standard capture area objectives for victory points. Confrontation is for doing several short skirmishes back to back with repairs in between, you earn victory points for units surviving the conflict. We have Secondary Objective to be used in either format to give alternate ways of gaining victory points. You can play one on one or team battles.

-Solo / Cooperative Mode
We developed this during lockdown as a fun way to pass the time. You and your fellow player pilot a team of Mechs on various missions and grow your pilots as you progress. There's a simple behavior table you can roll on to determine what they do. Each mission pack will tell you what enemies you'll be facing and guidelines for how to set up the battle. You and your group have final say of course.

-Scalability
The ruleset can be used for small scale battles like three GM Customs vs several Gelgoog Marines. It can also represent much larger forces if you want to reenact famous battles near Solomon, Granada, or Odessa. Our largest battle so far had 20+ Federation suits and 30+ Zeon suits.

-Game Length
Cooperative mode missions usually run 20-40 minutes. Versus mode is usually 30-60min for a small game and 1-2 hours for a large game.

-Alternating Activations
Each round player's alternate taking turns activating one unit at a time. The round concludes once all units have activated. There's a Return Fire rule where you must activate a unit who was just attacked if able. This is for immersion so you see conflicts play out locally in large games, instead of trying to min-max the action/turn economy.

-Dynamic Mechs
Movement and Melee do not require an action. You can also move, then shoot, then move again.

-Ranged Combat
Only two die rolls are required to resolve a Shooting attack. One to see if the target Evades any shots and an optional Armor Save. Penetrating weapons like a Beam Rifle force an Armor Save and cause catastrophic damage if the target fails the save.

-Melee Clash
Updated in Version 8 to be more interactive. Melee allows both units to attack and defend against one another. Both sides roll their dice and count successes, to see if the attacker dealt damage or if the defender successfully defends; then they switch roles as the defender counterattacks. Weapons like a Beam Saber have a high penetration value so even if a single hit gets through it has a chance of being lethal.

-Momentum System
Momentum ebbs and flows during battle and is primarily used to protect your units, it can also be used to deliver critical hits to the enemy. You can increase your Momentum by destroying units, attacking in melee and surviving each round.

-Production Values.
This is a small operation so nothing fancy. No artwork in the core rules. We wanted to focus on clear, concise and readable rules so we used bullet points extensively in the rules document.
Last edited by Underrated GM Custom on Wed Aug 30, 2023 10:44 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

This weeks update adds Dom variants and GM Sniper Custom variants to the roster. The new roster is available at the link at the top of the original post.

Zeon (6)
-Rick Dom Royal Guard, Rick Dom II, Dom Tropen, Dom Cannon, Dom Barrage, Dom High Speed Test Type

EFF (4)
-GM Sniper Custom, GSC Shimoda Team, GM Guard Custom, GM Intercept Custom
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

This weeks update adds Gouf & Efreet variants as well as the Blue Destiny Units 2 & 3, Gundam Pixie, GM Night Seeker, GM Sniper II and Lydo Wolf variants.

Zeon Roster Additions (+6)
-Gouf Custom White Rose, Gouf Flight Type, Gouf Flight Test Type
-Efreet, Efreet (Doug Schneid), Blue Destiny Unit 2

Federation (+9)
-Lydo Wolf's Guncannon MP
-Blue Destiny Unit 3, Gundam Pixy
-GM Nightseeker I & II, GM Sniper II & Variants
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

I'm moving and unpacking this week so I'm currently neck deep in boxes. Small update this week. I plan on releasing additional missions for Solo / Co-Op play early August.

Unit Roster
-Added Dozle's Zaku II, and R1A variants for Gato and Shin Matsunaga.

Orders
-Update to the Order's System. You choose 2 orders per game, the first time using it will be free, any additional uses will have a Momentum Cost. Updates shown in Red Text on the core rules document.

Co-Op Mode
-Added five additional Pilot Traits.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

I'm still in the process of unpacking and organizing my household this week so just a small update with a few Zaku variants.

Zeon Roster Additions (+4)
-Zaku Desert Type Variants
-Zaku II FZ (Zaku II Kai)
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

This weeks update adds the Gyan and the Gyan EOS as well as some tweaks and clarifications to the core rules.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

This weeks update adds the Gelgoog series, Kampfer and RX78NT-1 Alex. Next week will be Aquatic suits, the Act Zaku, Rx78-4 and Rx78-5.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

This week's update adds the Z'Gok series, Hy-gogg, Act Zaku, RX78-5 and 78-5 Gundams as well as the Bigro MA.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

August to November Update Roundup

-New Game Mode added: Defend the City / Rampage
-Next 5 Solo / Coop missions released for Federation & Zeon Campaigns

Unit Rosters
Federation (50 MS)
-Added: GM Cannon, GM Land Combat Type (RGM-79F), Powered GM, GM Custom, GM Cannon II,
Zeon (58 MS and 3 MA)
-Added: AC Guy, Agg Guy, Gogg, Zock
Getter Robo (3 Units)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (9 Units)
Pacific Rim (12 Units)
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

December to February Roundup

Version 8 Released
-Updates to the Melee system to make it more interactive
-Updates to the Pilot system to make it feel more powerful for your Aces
-Points rebalance

New Campaigns added
-Getter Robo (Solo)
-0080 War in the Pocket (1-4 players)

Unit Rosters Additions
-Getter Robo - 5x Mechasaurus
-Big O - 5x Megadeus
-Mobile Suit Gundam - 10x MS added for Zeon, 15x MS & 1x MA added for the Federation
(Federation: Full Armor Gundam & Type B, Heavy Gundam, Gunner Gundam, Mudrock, 7th Gundam, FA 7th, HFA 7th, G-Line Standard, Assault & Light Armor)
(Zeon: Zudah, Recon Zaku, Zaku Flipper, Efreet Nacht, Gelgoog Gunthar (Desert), Gelgoog Ground)
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

March to May Roundup

Unit Roster Additions
-New Mobile Report Gundam Wing 12 Units
(Wing, Deathscythe, Heavy Arms, Sandrock, Shenlong, Leo, Aries, Tragos, Tallgeese)
-Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory 14 Units
(GP01, GP01-Fb, GP02, GP02-MLRS, GP02-BB, GP04, AGX-04, RGM-79N-Fb, Dra-C, Xamel, Gelgoog Marines)
-Vision of Escaflowne 4 units
(Escaflowne, Scherazade, Alseides)

Core Rules Update
-Updated Victory Points for Secondary Objectives in Versus Mode
-Updated Victory Points for Defend the City / Rampage

Core Rules and Roster can be found on the downloads page here.

Short Battle Reports for our FLGS games can be found here for March and April.

Thanks to Arsarcana, AGF-Antoine, PowerdGNFlag for help with the Gundam Wing weapon loadouts.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

June to August Roundup

Unit Roster Additions
-Gundam 0079 - 8 Units
-Salamis and Musai class cruisers
-6 Federation Mobile Suits variants
-Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory - 4 Units
-GP03 Dendrobium and Stamen, Neue Ziel, Val Varo,
-Various units rebalanced

Core Rules Update
Split the rules into Core Combat Rules and Wargaming (Vs / Coop) rules.
Core Rules updated to include Stellar Warfare and Stellar Warships.
Added Gritty MS Battles optional module
Updated Pilot Level impacts

Core Rules and Roster can be found on the downloads page here.

VER 8 change log can be found here.

Thanks to Mythsearcher for the help with the Neue Ziel beam weaponry.
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Re: MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

September to November Update roundup

Roster & Mission Pack Update
-Mazinger Z +33 Units & Narrative Campaign Missions 1-4
-Getter Robo +9 Units & Narrative Campaign Missions 1-6
-Rebalanced Movement and Evade stats across all unit profiles
-Cost decrease for Skilled and Ace Pilots as well as Stellar Warships

We've put together a turn by turn gameplay example for version 8, here is the link to Round 1.

We've also updated our Gundam Miniatures post with additional images and options for small scale figures.

For next month's release we have a poll up on the downloads page: https://mechastellar.com/game-downloads/ to determine which series gets added to the roster next. Currently G Gundam and GaoGaiGar have the lion's share of votes.
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Re: MechaStellar - Wargame Rules for Tabletop Mecha

December to February roundup

Core Rules updated to Version 8.8.
-Design focus on cutting down on mental math
-Streamlined movement rules for Stellar Warfare
-Pilot Traits & Weapons rebalance
-UI adjustments to make Mecha Unit Profiles easier to read
-Added in a SRW module for small games of 2v2, 3v3 or 5v5 focusing on several powerful units rather than a conventional army.


Roster Additions

Mobile Fighter G Gundam - 6 Units
Gundam Federation Vs Zeon - By player request added in units from Gihren's Greed (Gyancannon, Gyan Krieger) as well the Black Tri-Stars Zakus and several Zeon Aces (Brennis Ox, Gerald Sakai, Thomas Kurtz, Roy Greenwood.)

Based on the results of the poll on the downloads page (https://mechastellar.com/game-downloads/) G Gundam is our next Gundam series and The King of Braves GaoGaiGar will be our next Super Robot release. I've updated the poll for future roster additions.

Thanks for the help from Kuruni, Seto Kaiba & Mythsearcher on information for the 7th and 13th Gundam Fights from G Gundam.
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Re: MechaStellar - Wargame Rules for Tabletop Mecha

MechaStellar March to August update roundup.

Core Rules updated to VER9
This is primarily a quality of life improvement for players who enjoy Super Robot and Kaiju, gameplay remained unchanged for Mobile Suits.
This update was focused around turning the Power stat into a force multiplier for these units instead of a limiter on how much they could do each turn. Overall it made playing these units a lot simpler and a lot easier to field more than 1 for players who wanted to do a tabletop SRW matchup.

Roster Additions
The King of Braves GaoGaiGar +25 mecha unit profiles
Mobile Fighter G Gundam +24 mecha unit profiles
Endless Waltz & G-Unit +17 mecha unit profiles
MSG Stellar Warships - +17 mecha unit profiles

You can find the new profiles, core rules and a poll for the next mecha series we'll add to the roster on the game-downloads page here: https://mechastellar.com/game-downloads/

Based on the previous poll After War Gundam X, Combattler V and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann will be the next series added to the roster.
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Re: MechaStellar - Wargame Rules for Tabletop Mecha

Happy New Year everyone!

MechaStellar September - December update roundup.

Core Rules Updated to VER 9.3
-Updated several sections of the rules to make it more scale neutral so you can use whatever size figures you want
-Updated Target Lock to increase Critical Hit range
-Updated Push/Pull and Stun weapons to work off of Armor Saves
-Updated the Make it Count Skill to give the option for a follow-on attack
-Streamlined the SRW Module and the Stellar Warfare module
-Updated various pilot and commander traits
-Various clarifications to rules questions

Solo / Coop Mission Pack
-Federation vs Zeon campaign added Missions 11-15
-Updated Federation vs Zeon and the Getter / Mazinger campaigns to use a slower more granular 20 level pilot advancement

Roster Additions
Great Mazinger - 12 Units
Combattler V & Voltes V - 10 Units
Gurren Lagann - 31 Units
After War Gundam X - 24 Units
Gundam OYW - 9 Units
Gundam Warships - 6 Units

Next Roster Addition Poll
The winners of the last poll were Turn A Gundam, Captain Harlock, and more units from the Braves / Yuusha franchise. Captain Harlock is will be next with a January release. The new poll can be found on the downloads page here: https://mechastellar.com/game-downloads

Battle Reports
Amuro and Casval's Gundam vs Mazinger, Getter and Combattler V
Gundam Federation vs Zeon Aces
Gundam Fight - Maxter and Dragon vs Zeus and Royal Gundam
Gurren Brigade and GX vs The Spiral King and Gundam Virsago
Wing, Shining Gundam and GX Divider vs EVA-01, Gurren Lagann and Getter Robo
Odessa battle featuring the Blue DestinyGaoGaiGar vs the Zonderized Federation Forces
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