For the past few weeks, I have been revisiting and looking a number of old animes, particularly Gundam and Robotech. I have always been a big fan of big mecha fighting, the first ever show I really loved the Goldorak/ Grendizer. The animation may have been terrible, but it was still great.
A half-formed idea for an adventure quickly formed in my head. Thoughts and ideas of revisiting some of my old settings for Robotech and/or Macross II. Hopefully get the gang back together for one more hurrah. Going through my books, I reviewed the my Palladium material but found it heavy and very old. I remember even in those days, the rules were complex. With mech battles being ridiculously long (especially with mecha with auto-dodge). Then I imagined trying to explain how the game worked to the kids. So Palladium was out.
Or was it? I looked at their Robotech Tactics miniatures game. I sought to buy a few sets to see if that system could be used. However, I failed to want to drop the money to buy it. The reviews of if I
Then I did a quick check at Savage Worlds. Savage Worlds was good. But I could not find a Savage Mecha game I could quickly adapt.
I looked at the old '80s Battletech but I really hated that game... It was so slow and every game I played ended up with mechs being partially damaged all over but never a killing blow. However, I liked the simplicity of the "character sheet" with the little boxes.
Privateer Press Horde/Warmachine has a very simple and cool system to keep track of damage.
I looked at an online Gundam Battle product but found it overly complicated. Very detailed but it did not please me, I wanted something simple and quick and that was definitely not it. I wanted something that would not be specifically tied to a product (I doubt Bandai would allow me to create a Gundam Battles).
As I was looking at these, I began to wonder quite simply. Do I really want to make this a role-playing game, or a miniature game with some role-playing elements ? And the latter idea made more and more sense.
I spent time thinking about how I could make a game that would:
- Mimic the battles in Gundam and/or Robotech
- Focus on mecha vs mecha combat.
- Be quick
- Be explainable to a 7-10 year old, so simplicity.
- Although not an initial goal, the game should be expandable through the addition of pilot-specific rules.
Using a small text file, I put notes down. Added random things. In the end, I ended with something that could best be described as a proto-set of rules. Not enough to be a serious game, but enough to do a few simple game play tests.
After dinner, I called the kids to see if they wanted to play something new with my Gundam 1/400 miniatures.
They wanted to play, being very excited about this. Here is a first picture of the play test... Here, Kitty using her Command GM charges my Zaku forces. It seems dire, but she would go on and destroy two of my mobile suits and greatly damaging the next one.