Thursday, June 18, 2015

Max, Rick, and Ben... ATTACK!


Part 1: Introduction (below)

Part 1: Introduction

After discussing Robotech a bit more on various online forums, my interest in assembling some of the models that I received with my Kickstarter Wave 1 shipment was rekindled.  While planning out how I would build my models, my old ideas about expanding on the skirmish scale rules for Palladium's new Robotech RPG Tactics game were reignited as well.  For the TL;DR version, check out the paragraph below :)  If I'm feeling particularly verbose, I write the important part of house rule blog entries in italics prefaced by bold titles and the rest of the rather long paragraphs in the blog articles are the reasons for the rules that I came up with.  For example:

TL;DR: My goal with this house rule project is to come up with a set of variant house rules that provide a relatively complete and more granular gameplay experience at point values of 50-150pts (two to 24 models) building upon Palladium's Robotech RPG Tactics (RRPGT) rules.  I want brand new players to get a proper feel for the full game after buying any retail box of RRPGT models and for existing players (both tabletop and RPG) who have yet to complete modelling their full collections to get a more detailed game yet finish in a reasonable time (<1 hour) using what they have already built.

Initially, my interest in making the skirmish rules was two fold.  The first is that I could not via the normal rules ever play the iconic Vermilion Squadron (Rick, Max, and Ben) from the TV show and I found that to be both odd and unacceptable.  The second is that I backed the kickstarter at the "sweet spot" pledge level and would therefore have trouble fielding a full army of 300pts or more without using all of my figs, leading to little variety at the normal level of play for we with my anticipated wave 1 shipment.   Once I got the core box and read the rules, I was moderately disappointed that the previously advertised skirmish rules had apparently been left on the cutting room floor sometime over the past year and replaced with very simple introductory scenarios with premade forces instead.  While those scenarios accomplish their goal of introducing new players to the full rules and army sizes of the standard 300pt and up games, they leave alot to be desired for smaller "skirmish" level games.

With my Heavy Gear Flash! skirmish house rules (link on the right), I was attempting to "fix" the issue of Dream Pod 9 trying to force a square peg (detailed RPG derived rules) into a round hole (mass battle game) in order to get games that flowed well and were finished in a reasonable time with a reasonable model count.  With Robotoch RPG Tactics, that isn't an issue.  The rules are both streamlined and easy to learn and work well (with some notable exceptions) with the mass battle game that they're to be used for.  Instead, I'm the one trying to force the square peg (streamlined mass battle rules) into the round hole (more detailed skirmish rules)!  For instance, there are lots of all or nothing tests/rolls in the full game like dodging (you either dodge all the incoming missiles or none of them with your single roll) that I intend to "complicate" by making the results more nuanced instead of binary.  These types of changes would NOT be appropriate in full sized games as they'd slow down the action too much but I believe they will improve the feel of games at the models counts that I intend them to be used with.

I plan to post one main section of the Vermilion Squadron house rules (starting with the above Introduction) each day for the next three days.  If anyone is interested in trying them, feel free to post feedback from any games or thoughts from reading in the comment sections below posts.  In the meantime, thanks for reading!

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