MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite Mecha

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MechaStellar - Free Wargame Rules to Battle it out with your Favorite 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), Getter Robo, Evangelion (TV), Big O and Pacific Rim.

The rules for combat, versus mode, coop campaigns and mission packs can be download here.

Since Gundam is our favorite real robot series most of the mecha unit profiles are from Gundam. Currently there are profiles for 160 Mobile Suits, 7 Mobile Armors, and 2 Warships.

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!

-General rules questions & clarifications needed

-Any Battle Reports you'd like to share

-Versus Mode
-What unit was your MVP?
-Which units didn't pull their weight?
-Big Zam, pushover or unkillable tyrant?
-Which secondary objectives did you find hard to achieve?
-Which types of Tactical Advantage did you find easiest and hardest to achieve?
-Which deployment type did you prefer?

-Coop Campaign Mode
-Which mission(s) did you have the hardest time on?
-What Gundam series would you like to see in future mission packs?
-Do you prefer Sandbox mission packs (acquire any unit you want) or Narrative mission packs (Mechs are pre-determined each mission)?

-From the Gundam series which MS would you like to see next?

-What are your top 3 Mecha Series and which would you like to see included?

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


Here are some key features of the game
:
-Two Classes of Mecha.
A Mobile Skeleton (MS) that is humanoid and a Titan that runs the gamut of humanoid, bipedal tank, or bizarrely shaped mobile armor. MS focus on Evasion, Titans focus on durability.

A MS can be used to represent units from Gundam, Macross, Aura Battler Dunbine, Tekkaman Blade, or Zone of the Enders.
A Titan can be used used to represent Mobile Armors from Gundam, Pacific Rim Jaegers, Guymelef's from Escaflowne, Mecha from Big O, and classic super robot shows like Mazinger, Getter Robo or the Braves series.

-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 1-2 is your grunt suits, Frame 3+ is your high end suits. Aside from weapons there are three options for equipment slots, Reinforce (+HP), Speed (+Move) & Low Cost. Don't read too far into these, these are just levers to pull in order to adjust a suits stats and make them distinct from their peers. For instance a Zaku II R2 with Speed 2 just means that it is faster compared to others at its performance level. Suits are designed and balanced based on how they're described vice the official specs. (Otherwise the Gelgoog Jaeger would be unstoppable :lol:)

The low cost stat is there for suits who focus on cost efficiency, like the Barzam. It's also used as design space for Suits who will occasionally deploy with extra weapons. The Gundam for instance uses a beam rifle normally but we also see Amuro deploy with two hyper bazookas at the end of the series so for the base unit we need 2 EQ Slots in Low Cost to keep those open for weapons later.

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 Zeon typically has higher performance while the Federation has either multiple cheaper units or expensive high end units.

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. Pilot level reduces the cost of Pilot Skills. An Ace even in a grunt suit can still be quite lethal.

-Miniatures
We use 1/400 or 1/350 scale miniatures that are between 2-3" in height which makes it perfect for reusing 28mm scale terrain. Here's an example of what we use. If you have a 3d printer we've found small sculpts of neighborhoods to make great terrain. You can also use larger scale models like 1/144 scale or 6-12" action figures like Revoltech you just need tall terrain to go with it.

-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.

-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, each success from the defense blocks 1 success from the attacker, any unblocked hits get through and deal damage. 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.

-Optional Rules for Battle Damage

This way you can simulate losing an arm or a weapon. Recommended for Mechs with high HP and small games of no more than 5 on 5, otherwise it becomes too much to track.

-Momentum System

Each Momentum Point is a get out of jail free card to Block 1 Ranged or Melee hit after the roll. You start with a small amount so you need to be careful with how you use them. 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.

-Future Developments.
Right now development is focused on creating new units and adding new Mecha series. We're also refining rules for Space Battleships. Planned future updates can be found at this link.
Last edited by Underrated GM Custom on Wed Aug 31, 2022 3:39 pm, edited 6 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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