This week was the last normal game before the Battle to Seattle finale. Initially I had planned for the players to choose between Mount St. Helen’s or Lewis Military Base, but eventually decided the setup for Lewis Military Base was too fun to be ignored. So I somewhat railroaded all the players to Lewis Military Base by having Mount St Helen’s erupt again. Why did I want everyone to go to the base? Because…ROBOTS. I imagined the base as having a bunch of old world autonomous war machines rambling around. They would start quite impressive, but eventually their weapons would degrade more and more. What this meant was some more custom rules for the robots, including some Shield rules.
As for the robots themselves, this gave me a perfect opportunity to bust out my old Battletech Mech collection, painted in what I call my “Triad of the Sun” scheme. Nice and bright, just like most of the paint schemes I like.
Each robot would have a weight class (Light/Medium/Heavy), and a command Mech (um, robot) that was slightly better. Destroying the command Mech would shutdown the Shields of the subordinate robots. The weapons carried by the robots were rethemed top tier weapons, with a slight boost. For example the PPC was 6A-4D, much like the Lawstar Repeater (6A-3D). The UAC was like an Auto Shotgun, and so on. These weapons would degrade as the battle went on, so each turn the re-roll value would go up by 1. So on Turn 2 any rolls of 1 OR 2 would count for a reload. Up to a max of 4, which meant by the end the robot weapons were really shorting out.
In terms of the Shields they basically acted like “saving rolls”, with a set target number on a set number of dice. For example 3D12, 8+ (noted as 3D8+…confusing I know). In this case when the robot was hit they would roll 3D12. Any roll of 8+ would cancel out one of the incoming attack dice. This meant low Attack weapons were less useful (such as 1A-6D, since a single save would cancel the whole attack). In practice this made the robots super tough to kill.
In addition the robots were able to allocate activations a bit differently than normal. Instead of a traditional 1 activation per entity, the robots had a “pool” of activations (represented by the green D6s seen in the pictures). Up to 2 activations could be given to a single robot, although that meant another robot wouldn’t get to activate that turn.
You can see the skeleton of these rules here: Robots Rules. Anyone familiar with Battletech should recognize some classic names and weapons, as well as many of the Mechs from the pictures.
Of course with this many rules involved the objective was simple: kill everything, don’t die. The three posses teamed up in a co-op style game. Overall the focus was just to have a wild and different Dinosaur Cowboys game before the big finale. Also no long term penalties were given to the players, instead they were all boosted to 300 IP and $3,000 at the end of the battle (to finally be on level footing for the final game).
For the terrain setup we used a great fortress piece my friend made (and was actually used in the finale for our last non-DC campaign). This was perfect to represent the entrance to the military base.
Posse rosters at the start of the game:
Unfortunately for humanity (and the posses involved) they couldn’t stop the tide of machines and were defeated. They deployed well, using a denied flank to force half the robots to shuffle slowly across the board. Then they fought the half in range, and did quite well against them. But by the time the remaining flank had caught up the humans were on the ropes and didn’t have the Hitpoints or weaponry left to stop the heavier robots.