Feb 16, 2014

Level Select

One of Battle Century G's idiosyncrasies is that the Power Level you play it with alters the gameplay drastically. It does not change the rules of the game, but it does change the best strategies around. For the most part, you can still play pretty much anything, but if you're looking for optimization then each Power Level encourages different ways to play. Let's take a look.

A foreword: We could spend all day arguing whether a Scopedog would beat a Gundam in a fight but that is not the intent of this post. I am using well known classic Mecha as representatives of each Power Level but that is just my personal opinion of them.

Power Level 0

 
Models not to scale.

At this Power Level the Mecha are made of paper mache. Getting one or two good hits in will blow up almost anything, Extreme Terrain is a Squad-wiping hazard, and giant robots have to watch out for things like planes, helicopters or tanks that would usually be chaff.

The gameplay revolves more around positioning and trying to not get hit at all rather than overpowering your foes, because numerical advantage can and will make mincemeat of the Pilot. Beam Weapons are way too expensive to be worth it, but you do want a Shooting Weapon that you can use with Reversible Thrusters. A Support user can be invaluable because of their ultralong range strikes against Enemies with very low Threshold. Restoration Upgrades are just too slow or expensive to get much done, but Stealth Field is a godsend.

Overall it is still Battle Century G, but a superfast and more positioning-based version of it. It should make for a fun couple of games, though something like one third of the game's abilities are too expensive to be convenient, so I'm not sure it can sustain a long-term campaign.

Power Level 1

Still pretty firmly in real robot territory.

This is the recommended starting point for beginners, in which Mecha are closer to representing what we know as the giant robots of Main Characters. Level 1 Mecha stand out from their Level 0 brethren by having one or at most two special abilities going for them, and having superior performance otherwise. Combat at this Level is still pretty fast and decided by one or two super swings, but you can now take on Level 0 mooks who have the numerical advantage as a fair challenge without being terrified they might roll a 10.

You can specialize rather than generalize at this level but it will leave you with obvious weaknesses like having low Might or Speed. Energy-wise you can do anything but not everything, and can distinguish your Mecha with a special barrier or strong beam weapons. You could get both things if you feel like spending your entire Power Level's worth there, but that's as far as it'll get you.

Overall it represents basic protagonist Mecha fairly well, they are a tad similar stat and loadout wise outside that one Power Level of XP in tricks they spent, but at least you have Genre Powers so you're missing out on a lot less. Power Level 1 is meant to be an introductory Level where you still have to pay attention to things like Terrain and positioning, but it takes more than one mistake to ruin your day.

Power Level 2

World-Destroying Superweapon sold separately with Power Level 5 Expansion Pack.

Eventually you'll grow out of Power Level 1 into Power Level 2, or you'll just start there because you've got more toys to play with that way. This is the Level where the game begins to shine, where Boss-type Enemies can show up and Threshold goes higher than what one superattack can take out.

Your Mecha can now afford to cover their weaknesses or to uber specialize in something. If you are not using Beams, you should consider getting Weapon Specialization to remain competitive. Support Mecha get access to enough options they can start getting tricksy with chained Supports. Transforming or Combining Mecha don't lose out on too many points. Generally way more strategies are viable.

Overall this is probably the game's sweet spot with the least amount of weird idiosyncrasies. If your Mecha is just a fighter without many tricks up its sleeve, then this is the point of the game where growth slows down. Attributes are still cheap and you want as many as you can get, maximizing performance without diversifying. This is representative of most arcs where the main character has to learn to make the best of their giant robot and the GM starts to get creative with the challenges thrown at them.

Power Level 3

Here There Be Supers. Yes, I just called Gundam ZZ a super robot.

Power Level 3 is much like 2 but bigger, badder and better. Individual Mecha can go toe to toe with Miniboss enemies without help from their allies, are effectively playing Dynasty Warriors with all the mooks around, and have enough choice in Genre Powers to start thinking of combos.

You can effectively take on multiple roles now. Snipers can also be Support users while Duelists can put Restoration or Stealth Field to use. Beams get particularly attractive now, because you have enough XP to make the best of them with an efficient stat spread and also get Active Defenses.

This is the game's other sweet spot in my opinion, and the expected endpoint for games that start at Power Level 1. After this it is almost a different game. The late game Power Level issues that become more pronounced still haven't taken over.

Power Level 4

If you thought super robots defeating entire armies was silly, you haven't seen a Newtype push back an asteroid.

Combat is slow because of inflated Threshold values and all the defensive Upgrades running about. Expect battles at this point to be about who has more tricks up their sleeve. Weapon Specialization's barrier-negation ability is a gamewinner here since you can repeat it indefinitely. Halving Attributes is also very effective if you can do it repeatedly, as it should be a 3-4 point swing that lasts a whole Round.

Attributes are too expensive now to effectively keep buying them, but at the same time there is not much else you can do to diversify, so might as well go along with it. You might want to consider having backups for your most important abilities. For instance you could have Absorbing Armor to increase your Guard by 3 for 'free' a decent percentage of the time, or a Reactive Booster in case your Custom Defenses get disabled.

This Power Level is recommended as an endgame point for the most part, because the gameplay shifts dramatically. Beams are much more effective than their physical counterparts when there is this much XP to spare. Terrain is a non-factor because you ignore it on demand and cause its effects through Upgrades or Weapons when it would matter.

Power Level 5

 
Models very, very much not to scale.

This is Power Level 4 but taken up to eleven. You can get away with pretty much anything you can think of since you are bleeding XP. You can face multiple Bosses per Operation and they're all just as brutal as the PCs themselves. You want Beam-based Damage-per-Turn tactics to gun them down with quick focus fire or teamwork-based burst Damage based on Synchro Attacks and You can do Better than That to put them down ASAP.

It is similar to Level 0 in that it is better reserved for one-shots or short campaigns. Non-Beam Weapons just aren't competitive at this point outside of the rare megatank build that spends its energy shielding the team or healing itself. You want either ultra offensive glass cannons backed up with a single unit that can use Restoration, Support or Stealth Field. It is kind of repetitive.

It does represent Mecha fiction fairly well though. Of course they would laugh at Extreme Terrain, though that is frustrating for Support characters that were using it as a way to deal Damage. Of course they fight shooting death lasers at each other, but that makes half the weapons in the game ineffective choices.

We are on the Same Level

There's a lot to be said about balancing stuff around Power Levels, and each one of those paragraphs could easily make a full post of its own. Generally speaking the game can be divided into three categories (Levels 0-1, 2-3 and 4-5) and most of the rules were made with the intermediate Levels of 2-3 in mind.

Beam specialists have a hard time during Levels 0-1 because they are one-trick ponies beaten by a single Active Defense but dominate the game at Levels 4-5, and Fire at Will goes from ultralong range guaranteed Damage to a laughable nuisance. I don't know how much of this is a bug and how much of this is a feature, and I want to find out through real game experience rather than theorycrafting and simple playtesting.

Some things could be better though, and I will be taking steps to correct that. Experimental Reactor's bonus could be a little less aggressively priced. Likewise Chaindblade, Airstrike and Interference Bomb could all use the full Tension bonus instead of just one half of it. Electromagnetic Detonator could likewise stand to be more effective at its job, losing the area of effect and incorporating a 'burnout' effect like that of Cool your Jets. Fire at Will is a sketchier issue, but it could use a slight buff too, like incorporating Tension into the DN.

What about Weapons? It all comes down to Beam Weapons being more expensive and having an Energy cost. If they were to Cost 5 and didn't have that innate Advantage they would be more comparable throughout the course of the game. Why not make everything cost 10? Because at that point having any kind of weapon diversification really, really hurts - it basically becomes impossible to try and stat out existing Mecha of low Power Levels. We could keep some Weapons with a cost of 5 and some with a cost of 10 (spread out between Beam and non-Beam) but that would bring us back again to some of them being fundamentally weaker.

As always, let me know what you think.

Edit: I forgot to bring up Attributes. Those could also be priced differently too, but that is honestly more of a topic for a post of its own.

56 comments:

  1. "Experimental Reactor's bonus could be a little less aggressively priced."

    I have no idea how you could do this without flat-out murdering any use it might have, and the point of having Beam Weapons by extension. Right now the way they work is they provide good, reliable damage, but you cannot specialize against threats so if the two (three at most on a very high level Gear) weapons you picked aren't so good for the job, you're gonna have to grit your teeth and cope. If Experimental Reactor gets a price-up, Beam Weapons deserve a cost downgrade. Otherwise, they're just too damn inefficient to be worth it until you've capped everything out and that's just lame. Sure, you could reskin standard weapons to make do at the lower to average power levels if you want to say your stuff is a beam, but then the actual mechanical beams seem to be there just to mock you because you're not big enough to use them yet. That ain't fun at all, really.

    PS: On a different note, what was the 'serious issue' that got caught a while back, out of curiosity? It sounded like a potential game-breaker in practice, but nobody noticed what it was.

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  2. Operative word there would have to be 'little' because, as you say, a simple Absolute Barrier can outtank your DPS build for one half of your XP investment. But it would have to depend on what happens to the Beam Weapons, so might as well wait and see before committing to that.

    You can do Better than That in itself was the serious issue. When multiple PCs use it at once, you're looking at a Might bonus of at least +10 and maybe +20. Like I said, it is a pretty simple thing to fix.

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  3. Beam specialists can get reactor, weapon, +1 might and +1 guard or active defense.
    That's all they need to kick serious ass at level 0. Normal weapon guy can be beaten the same way or even easier by an active defense. Beam weapons are competitive even on level 0.

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  4. My solution to fix support would be to add half systems to them and keep scaling at half tension.

    Airstrike would deal decent damage but didn't scale up very well like weapons.
    It would make interference bomb more useful in early turns too.
    Fire at will could have DN=10+half systems too.
    It would make the abilities scale a bit into late game and have use in softening up enemies in first rounds while not replacing weapons outright.

    The 5XP abilities are still pretty bad. They need different kind of fix.

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  5. Absolute barrier can be easily abused by enemy grunts, yeah. They can get a lot of survivability if they use it every turn with 4-5 energy. They usually have numerical advantage so when the tension gets higher they can become a serious threat.

    There is no way around that outside of abilities that bypass barriers. The best players can do is to focus on single enemy every turn.

    On the other had you can have charge cannon blast with +10 bonus on turn 2 that can blow 2 or 3 thresholds from the same grunts outright crippling them without the barrier.

    This presents 2 dramatically different scenarios. Giving absolute barrier to every single grunt seems like a dick move but otherwise they just die really fast.

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  6. Beam weapons vs normal weapons are pretty balanced (except beam saber/rifle and techniques). It's the reactor that skews the balance.

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    1. I disagree with that. Without the Reactor, Beam Weapons don't really have a niche because you can always get a weapon that does their job but cheaper. I mean, what difference is there between a Powered Rifle and a Sniper Rifle + Assisted Aim with Commander Type for that crucial shot you need to get out, except that one of them is flat out better than the other because it consumes less energy? There's nothing. The Reactor is game-distorting, but that's because as it is now Beams are kind of all different flavors of 'damage weapon' and they need something to push them into excellence in that niche since nonbeams can score the first Advantage. Probably the best way to nerf Beams would be to axe the Experimental Reactor, bake the ability to overclock a beam weapon for that second advantage into each weapon at a different cost per beam weapon (but almost certainly higher than +1 EN for all weapons except the Beam Saber and Rifle), and leave them more or less unchanged. This would give beam users +10 MP to spend, but it would also give them an even greater EN dependency, making them more fragile than their beamless counterparts and giving them a greater incentive to max out EN. I think this is the best solution on pretty much every level: It's kind of dumb that beam weapons have to pay an 'upgrade tax' that nobody else faces just to compete (you can use a Blast weapon without Artillery Mode just fine, and be shooty without Weapon Specialization until very high levels), and it's also dumb that the benefit the tax gives is so cheap that any given Beam weapon will automatically outshine a nonbeam. Axing the tax and upping EN costs makes Beam/Nonbeam essentially a way to choose between a glass-cannon specialty and a 'well rounded' offensive setup, which would be neat. To use an SRW example, you could choose to play a mech that functions like the Shining or God Gundam, or a beefy mech that fights like Mazinger Z and takes hits like nobody's business while dishing it out just as hard. Seems like a good fix to me.

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  7. Powered rifle can be fired without aiming and they have THE SAME POWER with when aiming. With sniper rifle you'd need another normal weapon to cover melee and situations when you want to fire every turn. Powered rifle doesn't really need another weapon for backup. Powered rifle is like sniper rifle + assault rifle in one but better because you get more power in normal mode. You can't reliably get an advantage with normal ranged weapon. 2 energy is not a huge deal for that.

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  8. Investing 15 XP into command and aiming just so you can quicksnipe ONCE is not a good choice. Better get 1,5 points of might (or more). If you make at least 3 attacks (and you almost always will) you'll come out ahead.

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  9. Sometimes, though, you just need to peace a target out *right now* and don't care for long term efficiency. There's a reason burst damage is not something the book laughs at out of hand. Blowing up a threshold (or several if multiple bursts are chained) can be fight-winning, and it doesn't matter if 15 MP are 'wasted' afterward so long as the fight is in hand.

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  10. Lot of times you can see the enemy before he's in weapon range (especially in space) so you can have the setup turn to aim and start the combat with sniped shot anyway.
    Another case is if the enemy has absolute barrier and can just tank your snipe shot no problem. Even custom barrier that lowers damage by 5 has a good chance to protect him.

    Aiming assist gives you basically half a shot when using weapons that need aim. I don't see how it's worth 15 XP under even favorable circumstances.

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    1. Burst damage isn't even that good.
      Maiming is almost a non issue. Integrated weapons and invincible alloy are super cheap and solve the issue perfectly. Burst is only important when dealing with absolute barrier and even then you need to combine damage from everybody, not just one mech.

      If you need that burst damage you can tank an attack and aim and then make coordinated attack with everybody that wipes out enemy in single turn.

      Likewise you can pretty much expect any rival or powerful enemy to have one of those so blasting threshold off them doesn't do much.

      Only grunts can be reasonably expected to be vulnerable to crippling. And burst damage doesn't matter against them because they have advantage in numbers so one less won't matter much.

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    2. ...Which just proves my point. The more of an asshole the GM is (and rolling out Rivals who are all Maim immune is being an asshole by depriving players of any positive feedback except for 'enemy dead, -1 enemy turns per round', make no mistake), the more powerful the '100 to 0' strategy becomes, thus favoring burst damage...and thus, making the quicksnipe strategy even better than a Powered Rifle without Experimental Reactor, since *the only thing* you care for is applying a '-1 turns per round' debuff to the opposing force. If smaller shots won't stop an opponent, you have to bring out bigger ones and coordinate more, meaning burst damage is more and more useful and paying a premium for it is reasonable since it wins you the fight. It's kinda funny, but the things you'd expect would put a stop to burst damage actually encourage it.

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  11. You will NEVER be able to destroy an enemy on the first turn with quickscope. 100 to 0 strategy is just impossible. Even if you gang up on one rival with multiple players that means the enemy grunts and other rivals will be live that much longer. Especially grunts would be problematic because the longer they live the more dangerous they get because of tension.

    Anti-maiming systems being so cheap and powerful can and will be used by the players. Denying them to enemies will make them too weak and players will be able to just walk over them. When you can get shot with something like +10 shot on first turn not having those systems is suicide. How the hell is a rival supposed to be challenging if he loses half power after first threshold. If the players use those systems the rivals should too. After all they're supposed to mirror the PCs.

    Bursting against grunts:
    If you're fighting against grunts bursting two thresholds in the best from one doesn't do that much if you have 2 per player as recommended. After that you need another 4-6 shots to finish off the first grunt and kill the second. Without quickscope you would cripple the grunt on second turn not first (you'd deal more damage too because +1 tension and higher might). Best it does is save you 1 attack from that grunt (maybe). You'll still be taking at least 2 attacks from the other grunt and some more from crippled first. Over long run those 1,5 points of might will end the fight much faster than +4 damage ONCE.

    This assumes you can even cripple the grunts. Maybe they have active defenses or are maim immune. In those cases you're MUCH worse off without those 1,5 points of might.

    So the best the quicksnipe can do is prevent a single attack from the enemy grunt at the start. As I said maiming is almost a non issue with anti-maiming systems being so cheap, it's very efficient to have them even on level 1 starting mechs. Even if that initial attack lost you a threshold it doesn't change anything.

    Regarding rivals:
    The will have anti maiming systems and active defenses for sure. It will be hard to burst even one threshold from him and even if you do it barely affects it.
    Overall you'll need another 2-3 attack to kill him for a total of 3-4 attacks. Extra might to each of those will come out ahead so the fight will end faster with reliable damage not burst.

    Bosses:
    Do I even have to explain how useless initial burst damage is against them?

    Quickscoping could only be viable with weapons that need aiming so sniper rifle and charge cannon. Maybe lux cannon. And even on them it gives you negligible benefits for the high cost and is in no way worth it.

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  12. Regarding anti-maiming systems:
    Almost all allied rivals have one of those. Only 2 that don't are support and base unit.
    Most enemy rivals have those too.
    What was that about rivals not supposed having them?

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    1. A comment on how unsatisfying it makes fights. That wasn't a 'this is how things are' note. It's a 'this is how things SHOULD (or in this case, SHOULDN'T) be' aside. Combat against units that lose something from lost thresholds is fun, because you take away some options from them but they also gain new options in the form of extra GP to burn. Removing maims from the combat equation turns fights into 'can we blow a dude up so bad he doesn't get to take a turn and burn his GP y/n', because if you don't he will obliterate you with all the GP he has to throw out. It's bad unit design because it disincentivizes trying out any strategy that isn't the most boring, powerful one (ganging up on a single target and kicking him into the curb like you're gang thugs instead of heroic pilots), instead of awesome duels to the death. It makes fights end sooner (since there are less enemies to cripple PCs and focus fire is easier), decreasing the importance of tension, it rewards distinctly unheroic behavior, and from a psychological standpoint it also deprives players from an individual feeling of achievement when they manage to score that crucial cripple that keeps an enemy unit from using its killcannnon on a weak ally. It generally runs against the game's theme and genre to apply ruthless focus fire tactics, but using anti-maim stuff on enemies just encourages that. It's bad. It's really, really bad. It shouldn't be like this and the rules should not push you towards having to all-or-nothing targets to succeed.

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    2. Focus fire always was, is and will be effective tactic in virtually all games. Doesn't matter if it's RTS, FPS, TBS, STG or other TLA. Try to name a game where spreading damage around is better than focus fire.
      ...
      ...
      ...
      You have one? Yeah, that's what I though.

      And it's suddenly a "really, really bad thing" now? Why?

      How is crippling all the enemies and then killing them anyway a short while later more heroic than destroying them one by one? It's "ruthless tactics" now? Good guys wipe out the grunts before engaging the enemy boss all the time. It just makes sense. Don't pretend

      How is making maiming irrelevant making fights end quicker? It still takes you the same amount of damage to destroy an enemy. More like it makes the fight longer because you have to actually kill all enemies not just cripple them which makes the fight essentially over.

      How can you have awesome duels TO THE DEATH when losing a threshold can completely cripple you, losing you the fight immediately?

      Even if you can maim enemies focus fire still applies. It's just FOCUS ENEMY UNTIL IT"S CRIPPLED instead of FOCUS ENEMY UNTIL IT"S DEAD. The only thing it does is makes the grunts have less effective HP.

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  13. To prove your point you can build a mech that uses the quickscope gimmick and wouldn't be improved by changing it to extra might. If you say it's meant to be used on other make a pair of mechs where having one support with aim assist would be better than having 2 copies of the damage dealing one.

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  14. Speaking about burst damage tactics. Here is Level 0 grunt that uses this strategy

    M4G2T4E4S1S2
    Lux Cannon + Expansion Pack

    You can have 4 of those against each Level 1 player. They have no chance in hell. This is a the most borderline burst damage scenario. Even in this case it's better to go for extra survivability and try to get off second shot, instead of using quickscope for all out suicide blast with no defense. And even here you need anti-maiming system. That's just how important it is.

    Lesson from this: There should be a sidebar about level 0 grunts telling you not to give them threshold other than 0 and not to try and abuse them.

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  15. New improved versions:

    L0 Blader
    M5G3T4E2S0S4 / Duel Blade + Invincible Alloy
    L0 Sniper
    M4G3T4E2S3S4 / Sniper Rifle + Invincible Alloy

    Could work as funnels for a rival or a boss.
    That would be one hell of a encounter.

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  16. I would say that focus fire is a thing that all games have to deal with, but they can write around. I can write rules to encourage duels and make support options that buff your allies or converge the powers of the whole party into a single PC, but ultimately it is a problem that pretty much any multiplayer game with combat suffers.

    It also makes vast armies of Grunts extremely lethal. Combat scenarios like that are similar to those at Power Level 0: You don't want to let them take a shot at all. You want to win through positioning and well-placed blasts. Characters using Integrated Weapons instead of Invincible Alloy (which stops them from Maiming your Reversible Thrusters and lets you survive the first lethal shot) and who spend all their XP into two or three Beams without having much room left for Artillery Frame or Expert Support are going to have a much harder time against them.

    Blasts are hard to balance, because depending on how many enemies there are around they are essentially a damage multiplier that turns 10 Damage into 20, 40, 70 or what have you. But they are necessary to actually bring down those four Grunts before they out-DPS you.

    Speaking of DPS versus Burst, Bursts are much better against Bosses actually, because it lets you have a greater degree of control over whether they get to use their biggest meanest skills or not. A DPS build will have a much harder time against a Boss with It Keeps Coming Back, in particular. If you are at low health then burst capability is the difference between Eye for an Eye killing you the next time you poke them or you taking the Boss out then retreating with your last Genre Point.

    Lastly, while Beams are essentially better in most ways at Power Levels 4 and 5 (and arguably at 3, though I would not be so sure) you have to consider they will lose most 1v1 duels against users of material weapons, because there is not a lot they can do against someone who spends a ton of Energy into Absolute Barrier every Turn. Arguably they could do the same, but their opposition has at least 20 more XP to spend and can afford to spare some juice from their shields into Weapon Specialization.

    Maiming is a pretty central game mechanic, but one that is divisive whether you really like the element of tension it brings or not, so there are easy ways around it. It just so happens said ways have their flaws, so you have to choose how you are going to sideline it. Our beam specialist with Integrated Weapons can't build an entire strategy around Reversible Thrusters, Absolute Barrier, or Regenerative. Power Suit would be a better choice I think, because your stats aren't that high anyway since you're using Energy for everything. But Power Suit hurts more in the long term so that puts it at a cross with Beams' dominance of the late game.

    What I'm saying is that there are a lot of moving parts connected to each other, and it makes theorycrafting with accuracy difficult. We all could probably keep making equally valid points yet fail to come to an agreement. I -am- concerned about Beams, but I also adhere to the idea that no plan survives contact with the Enemy and the Beam DPS plan is an inflexible one.

    This is why I insist on wanting to see how the game holds up in practice over a period of time rather than just cranking out a quick update to get it over with. Mind, I'm not saying to stop discussing this out, just chiming in to say that there's a lot to consider and not to get too caught up on an analysis that might have missed out on a critical detail.

    Incidentally, I love the idea of L0 Grunts as Superfunnels. Good thinking there.

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    1. The point about the 1v1 duel between a beam specialist and a non-beam duelist or sniper stands assuming it takes place at Levels 1, 2 or 3. After that even spending 8 Energy to use Powered Rifle with Weapon Specialization and Experimental Reactor is not that much of a big deal.

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  17. 1v1 rarely happens. If you have 2v2 and the you focus fire absolute barrier becomes much worse. 3v3 or 4v4 it's even worse.

    With 2 attacks against you custom defense protects you for 2x5=10 damage for 4 energy vs 8 damage for 4 energy with barrier. Custom defense can also switch the side that chooses maiming which is important.

    weapon balance right now
    normal melee > beam melee
    beam ranged >>> normal ranged

    With beam you pay 10XP and 3 energy for +4 damage every turn. It's a great deal. You don't loose that much defensive capability because of it too. Especially when somebody gravity territory covers you.

    Dueling blade makes normal melee better. You also need energy for overboosting and defenses so there is very little left for beam weapons.

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  18. There is little difference in burst vs dps builds.
    How do you build dps build? You get beam weapon + reactor and pump might.
    How do you build burst build? You get beam weapon + reaction and aim.

    powered rifle vs lux cannon

    Powered rifle deals 2 damage less but is more versatile.
    Lux cannon is slow so mostly fired with aim but you get more damage without any additional cost.

    In the first turns aim is great because it's hard to do damage through defenses without tension. Later you just want to fire every turn because you deal lot of damage without aim. If you have dps build you can do burst damage by aiming.

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  19. There's also the fact that at every level, Absolute Barrier is kind of...garbage, really. Let's number crunch for just a second.

    (Normal Attacker of your choice with absolute barrier) vs. Standard Beamer (Standard 4 Chassis, Powered Rifle, Experimental Reactor, Integrated Weapons OR Custom Defense (Shooting) + Energy 5)

    Absolute Barrier provides about 10 points of damage absorption, at best. Powered Rifle + Experimental Reactor + Aiming provides +8 Might. This means you have a 40% chance to do damage against an enemy that invested very heavily in Might from Turn 1, increasing by 10% with each subsequent turn. Assuming he has Might equal to your Guard, your enemy has a 60% chance of hitting you. For each Threshold you lose, you can shoot back with a Try Again'd shot, which is guaranteed to overcome the Absolute Barrier. If you went with the Shooting + Custom Defense choice, your enemy has a 10% chance of even hitting you in the first place. The numbers are thus in your favor. It doesn't matter what weapon the target is using - because it's not a Beam, it WILL scale slower than your stuff. You either win this fight by outrunning a melee enemy until Tension is so high you can shoot it down before it KOs you, or you win by starting the fight with a lower chance to be hit and take damage and just trading potshots until you inevitably come out on top. The situation only gets worse if we tack on Power Levels, for what I think are obvious reasons (read: Signature Weapon is mondo nasty when combined with Beams and destroys the 'ace' of the Barrierist, and you can load an Overcharger to fuel completely obscene turns of shooting at things with Weapon Specialist). It's kind of a good thing Absolute Barrier is garbage unless put on a Gear that sacrifices everything else for Guard, really - otherwise it'd lead to some really boring fights.

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  20. To reply to the 'Normal melee>Beam, Normal ranged<Beam' bit, this isn't true. The Infinite Blade alone obsoletes more or less the entire normal melee list because it's a melee weapon that can go toe to toe with ranged weapons and in fact outranges them unless the user has Systems 10 or is Aiming PLUS uses a Long-Range weapon, allowing a meleer to attack every single turn on the approach with an absolutely minimal loss in effectiveness. Then the Grand Weapon is basically the single best way to do damage reliably, eclipsed only by the Radiant Fist, itself another Beam. Melee weapons just can't compete with the completeness of a kit that goes 'So yeah, you never ever have to lose a turn to Boost-moving again PLUS you do top tier damage'. I don't think this means Beam Melee is overpowered, but the Beam Saber is lackluster compared to its brethren and Normal Melee needs an actually functional ranged attack (i. e. not the Rocket Punch), paradoxical though such a thing is, because the Infinite Blade is just too damn amazing and reliable.

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  21. Normal melee:
    +4 attack with dueling blade (5)
    overbooster (10)
    speed (11)
    invincible alloy (10)
    reactive booster (5)

    beam melee
    +6 on infinite blade (+4 at range) (10) OR +8 on grand weapon (10)
    reactor (10)
    energy (11)
    integrated weapons (10)


    Well, fuck me again. Beam melee is good after all even if it's not really melee at all.

    Infinite Blade has the same damage at ridiculous 15 range that dueling blade has in duel. That means you don't need overbooster and speed at all.

    Normal melee is tougher because it has reaction booster. You shouldn't have any problems closing in to engage because you'll have 11 move with overbooster. While infinite blade deals the same damage on range but it can't lockdown enemies by doing that.

    Using grand weapon has +4 attack vs dueling blade but you don't have active defenses to spend on overbooster so it will be hard to close in. No active defenses too. It's a bit too unreliable and glass cannony I think.

    Radiant fist is terrible. Grand weapon is better if you want to deal damage in melee. It's only little weaker than radiant fist and you can use it every turn. Spending 10 XP for one use weapon is silly too.

    So overall
    infinite blade beam "melee" = normal melee > beam melee

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  22. Also your scenario of beam vs absolute barrier is completely wrong.

    Beam guy
    powered rifle (10)
    reactor (10)
    integrated (10)

    Normal Guy
    sniper rifle rifle (5)
    absolute barrier (10)
    invincible alloy (10)
    energy (5)

    sniper rifle with aim is at at +6
    powered rifle with aim is +8 but absolute barrier is effectively -10 so a total of -2

    (After you get to choose maim area on destroying a threshold barrier becomes -6 so you get +4)

    You both aim and fire at the same rate. You have the same HP.
    How do you expect to win when he starts at +6 and you at -2?
    Even if you assume he's maimed all the time you'd start only at +2 so still with -4 disadvantage.

    If he uses assault rifle he gets 2 shots for each one of yours so the battle will be even more one sided. If he's melee he has more speed so you won't be able to outrun him especially since you move back only every other turn. Even if you get reversible thrusters that just means he can afford overbooster and close in even faster.

    1vs1 absolute barrier is at its best and there is no way you can compete with it. It loses value quickly the more people you have ganging up on target however.

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    Replies
    1. If you do bring custom barrier into it he gets -5 attack for your 15-20 XP

      He can get 1 might, 1 guard and 1 energy for 16 XP.

      So he starts at +2 [6-5+1]
      You start at -5 [-2-1-2]

      His advantage drops from 8 points to 7. Still completely lopsided.

      Delete
    2. It's actually 10-15 XP not 15-20.

      Scratch that point of guard then. Difference drops to 6.

      Delete
  23. The Radiant Fist is really, really good. Remember that it applies a +2 bonus to Might from being a Beam and then another +2 for Experimental Reactor. Assuming you can Engage, thats +14 Might in Round 4, which is an absolutely nutty amount of damage. Make it a Signature Weapon and you're blowing up nearly two maxed out thresholds and KOing any Gear with less than Threshold 5 by yourself from full. Since we just talked about burst damage, it's important to note just how BIG the burst damage of the Radiant Fist is. It's even sillier if you get enabled through an Ensnaring Trap or Finger Net, too.It doesn't take too much for two players to coordinate and unleash paired Signature Radiant Fist strikes in Round 4 to KO an enemy no matter what. It's pretty much the easiest weapon to achieve guaranteed kill efficiency with, since the Reactor Overdrive requires some serious finagling to avoid blowing your allies up (though admittedly, two Reactor Overdrives can literally erase an encounter instantly, which is 'sort of good'. Something to keep in mind).

    As for Melee Beams, the way it works is this: First you take the Infinite Blade as your workhorse, so you can close in on people and cut them up but good while never wasting a turn on just moving faster. Once you've got it fully kitted up and have either Integrated Weapons or an ally who can protect you (through Come At Me Bro for instance), you take the Grand Weapon for extra melee punch in the situations where you end up instantly thrown into melee. Finally, once that is done and you have at least Signature Weapon, Experimental Reactor and something like Might 6, you take the Radiant Fist. At that point your kit is complete and there is very little your enemies can do against you because you're good at all ranges, no matter what the turn, and if you get to Round 5 or later and get to melee range, somebody is going to explode.

    (Also, just to clarify, when I said 'bring in a custom barrier', I meant in place of Integrated Weapons. You've got a 50% chance per maim of even caring about a lost threshold, so against a sniper all you need to do is attack with Aiming for the first few turns, play to outlast by Maneuvering until tension climbs high enough for you to pierce the absolute barrier, then shoot normally. The margin of success of this strategy is something like 30% IIRC, pretty decent considering it's the worst case scenario for beams and the best for the absolute barrier. Add a single Power Level and the barrier just becomes worthless because of Signature Weapon giving you a guaranteed crippling hit.)

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  24. Grand weapon does +12 with tension 4 for 1 more energy.
    Add 1 more might to your mech too for saving those 10 XP.

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  25. Once I have infinite blade why bother with grand weapon if I can get +1 might instead? Why bother with radiant fist after that if I can have yet another +1 might?
    (and some XP to spare).

    >At that point your kit is complete and there is very little your enemies can do against you because you're good at all ranges

    You are good at all ranges from the moment you get infinite blade. The extra weapons don't give you any more versatility at all.

    If you actually want to have 2 beam weapons take lux cannon and grand weapon. They cover all ranges too and do this better than infinite blade + grand weapon.

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  26. If you take custom barrier instead of integrated weapons you're lowering your effective HP by 1/2 because once your powered rifle is maimed it's game over for you. The extra +5 guard doesn't help that much because enemy is aiming too and breaking through it. The other dude has sniper rifle too. If you can shoot him he can shoot you too.

    Your margin of success is less than 1%.

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  27. Signature weapon is one shot. The other guy can halve the damage from that shot with genre power too. Still not enough to overcome 6+ point difference in might advantage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh. I did the rough math and it looks like signature weapon has a decent chance to cripple even after halving it. Best tactic is to counter with your own signature weapon. You get 5 HP advantage with that exchange and lower might difference to 2.

      First shot (signature weapon on both sides)
      normal +6 base +2 tension +5 signature = +13
      beam +8 base +2 tension +5 signature = +15

      Second shot
      normal +6 base +4 tension = +10
      beam +8 base +4 tension -6 absolute barrier = +6


      normal total = +23
      beam total = +21

      Slight advantage to normal guy. After that normal dude still has 2 points of advantage and will come out ahead in long term.

      I'd say it's 60%/40%.

      Still very close. The normal guy advantage will actually grow with power levels because he gets 2 defense with 1 point of energy but the beam guy gets only 1 attack for 1 might. Also as the threshold levels go up the fight will go on for longer meaning even more advantage to normal dude. At least until beam gets weapon specialization but that costs 20 xp + 26 xp for energy = 56 xp so it'd be power level 4.

      Delete
  28. If you have Signature Weapon you actually don't care for aiming - at that point, even the worst possible roll is an automatic Maim (because assuming equal Might and Guard, you's inflicting a minimum of 5 damage on a 1 in Turn 1), and the best possible result is damn near an instant kill. It's better to just preempt the sniper and go for broke if you have Signature Weapon access (the absolute best choice here is to pump your Might to the enemy's Guard +1 to force him to up Threshold in response, since otherwise you can oneshot him). If you win init, shoot and shoot again because you've actually got decent odds of winning outright and crippling your opponent even if you don't. If you lose init, you probably want to Maneuver, shoot, and then either maneuver or shoot, I'm not sure which. Turns out that the best defense may be to take an Assistant with Signature Weapon against a sniper on PL 0. Who'd have thought?

    As for the Melee Beam discussion, when I say your kit is complete with the Grand Weapon, I mean that you can instantly burst a target in your optimal scenario for an absolute heckload of damage, and on top of that perform proficiently at all ranges. Technically you already have an ideal kit with Infinite Blade, Experimental Reactor and EN 6 (the point where you can launch a psychotically powerful attack from range 15 every turn), but the Grand Weapon makes your best case scenario downright terrifying because you mow down two of a standard PL0/1 enemy's thresholds on a 5 and can instantly kill pretty much any target you can Engage and Synchro Attack with two other players regardless of what you roll. I stand corrected, though: Relative to the Grand Weapon, the Radiant Fist is absolutely terrible, because it takes too long to scale up for too little payoff. I'm not even sure about what can be done to fix it either, because it's not like the Grand Weapon is some stupidly amazing weapon - the Radiant Fist and all other single target techniques just scale very slowly.

    (You never ever want to mix range types if possible though, just saying - that means Weapon Specialization does not apply to half your arsenal, which is bad karma. It's better to specialize on either melee or shooting and commit to it than halfass and end up with kinda worthless secondary weapons.)

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  29. If you have grand weapon it;s pointless to use infinite blade in melee because grand weapon will always be better. You'd only be using it for range. And for range lux cannon is just better.

    You can't afford 5 en for weapon specialization anyway. You'd need to have energy 10. That's like power level 5.

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  30. Regardign normal vs beam duel.
    If you go in with assistant (signature weapon) at PL0 you don't have integrated weapons.

    Normal guy can snipe you for +8 too which has very high chance to maim your rifle and that basically means you're dead. Whoever shoots first has the big advantage advantage. Normal sniper still has an advantage. Especially if he puts the leftover 5 points into threshold instead of energy.

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  31. This duel shows just how important anti maiming measures are. They're the like second most important thing after weapons.

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  32. Oh. You want to use signature weapon without aiming? That's bad choice. If you don't kill him then he snipes you and you lose powered rifle.

    preemptive shot
    +4 base +1 tension +5 signature = +10

    Can't kill even on a roll of 10.

    Then he has normal snipe with +8 that maims your rifle with 75%+ chance and it's over.

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  33. Oh. One more important thing. I was forgetting invincible alloy ability all this time. It prevents you from dying once leaving you with 1 HP. This means that beam guy needs extra shot which skews the numbers heavily in normal guy favor.

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  34. I didn't. This is why I mentioned maneuvering then shooting twice. You're also forgetting that the sniper rifle *cannot be used at all without aiming*. It's why you Maneuver for your first action or second, depending on whether you went first or last. This very, very heavily increases your chances of surviving (IIRC it's makes it statistically unlikely to suffer a single maim?). The Powered Rifle has the advantage of taking two actions for every one the sniper makes, and should abuse that if he has Signature Weapon to inflict a crippling strike.

    As for the Lux Cannon and Infinite Blade, that is actually mistaken. The Cannon is only a better ranged weapon if you make the following assumptions:

    A) You don't need to make at least two attacks on the approach. Hitting twice is more or less always more important than hitting once with bonuses.

    B) You don't need to make an attack from Range 11 or further. The Lux Cannon can only hit from that range after Aiming or with Systems 6 (which you don't have room for, anyways).

    C) Your energy is only 4 or lower. If that's the case, yyyyyyyyeah you shouldn't be using Beams in the first place.

    This is why you take the Infinite Blade as your reliable 'use this every turn outside the best case scenario' weapon and not the Lux Cannon. It provides its enormous range right out of the box so long as your EN is 5 or higher, which it should be at any level if you're using this weapon, it can attack every turn, and it will turn the tables on any ranged attacker with less than 10 Systems by allowing you to outrange them instead of being outranged. Just a far better pick, really.

    As for Weapon Specialization, you actually just need EN 7 or 8, really. You're not going to use the Experimental Reactor or spend unnecessary energy when you need to use it, because bypassing the target's massive Active Defense deals enough damage to 'pay back' the cost. EN 10 is if you want to have your cake and eat it too, but waiting until then is kind of inefficient, really.

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  35. My players and I have been doing a Giant Guardian Generation 1.7 game for the last like year. There's probably about a year left in it, but the next season I'm looking at swapping over to Battle Century G. I just like a lot of the elements more, especially mechs being primarily upgrade-based instead of weapon-based.

    My party, however, dislikes it. We've been using the 1.7 rules with some serious modifications to allow for a lot of custom weapons; we broke down points values on the standard weapons, then came up with a rough price for the effects based on it.

    Unfortunately, I think we accidentally turned the game into rocket tag. Oops.

    But my players are curious if any form of customized weapon system is going to be offered as an option in Battle Century G, and I confess that I am too. While I love the standard weapons as a GM (it makes life so easy), my players like their toys, and I'm wondering if you had any ideas for alternative systems or methods of weapon creation that wouldn't wind up being ludicrously imbalanced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want more weapons in BCG you have to make them yourself as a DM without any system, just using the current weapons as balancing guidelines. Any formalized system for creating weapons is unlikely as most weapons are just giving you advantage under certain circumstances so each case is pretty much unique.

      Delete
    2. If there is a lot of demand I could write a custom weapons system, but any custom -anything- system is exploitable by definition so it'd run into a few problems.

      First off it would have to be a set of optional rules with its own series of drawbacks, kind of like how you could not have multiple Techniques or One-Shots in GGG. They would have to penalize you just for using them in some way to counterbalance the fact that you're probably going to find a way to make weapons effectively better (if not technically better) than the baseline.

      Also, with static +modifiers out of the question, it'd be really hard to write abilities you can use to customize your weapons. Balance is not just about how many points something costs, but about when and how often you can use it. For example, BCG does not have high-damage Blasts you can easily repeat without at least having to jump one or two hoops, because attacking multiple targets at once is effectively a force multiplier. Likewise, Slow doesn't really work as a drawback on a One-Shot Weapon, so many of the current abilities would need prohibitions on which ones you can and cannot combine.

      I could -probably- write around those inherent limitations. But I'd rather get the game to work well at its most basic before I start adding things on top and risk feature creep.

      Delete
  36. Lux Cannon vs Infinite Blade

    A) You approach when tension is low so 1 attack with aim is better than 2 without.

    B) Aiming gives +5 range. You almost always aim with lux cannon. You need systems 1 to reach 11 range.

    C) Infinite blade need 6 energy to have range 15. Lux needs 5. You can get extra systems for saving that energy point.

    Implying that infinite blade that only is used at range is better than other ranged beam weapons is retarded. Even if it was true that would mean that balance is seriously fucked up if secondary mode of melee weapon outperforms all ranged weapons.

    If you want range weapon that can fire every turn take powered rifle or better charge cannon.

    Enemies can move and fire and aim so you won't won't really outrange anybody.

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  37. Weapon specialization + energy 8 costs you = 20 XP +5 +6 +7 +8 = 46 XP
    That's power level 4 as I said.
    If you wand to squeeze with energy 7 you might make it on level 3 but but as a super glass cannon.

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    Replies
    1. I did the build and you can actually get it on level 2. Level 3 is still more comfortable but it works on level 2 without any major problems. It's a really murderous build. It deals pretty brutal damage.

      On level 2, +11 attack without aiming, bypasses all defenses, assuming enemy guard in 5-7 level you can blow off a threshold every turn. Guard and threshold bumped to 5, no active defenses.

      If you count bypassing defenses as +3 damage which is a little underestimate it has almost the same efficiency as pumping might to 10. And it still scales very well after that because it only has 5 might.
      It's pretty scary.

      Delete
  38. Let's run the numbers, shall we?

    Base Chassis: Standard 4

    Might 5, EN 5 = 10 MP
    Experimental Reactor = 10 MP
    Weapons = 20/30 MP
    Might 6, 7 = 13 MP
    EN 6, 7 = 13 MP
    Weapon Specialization = 20 MP

    You can hit this at PL3 and have room to spare for defenses, Integrated Weapons and upgrading either your main statistics or side ones, easily. Weapon Specialization is pretty easily accessible overall.

    And no, when Tension is low it's pretty much always better to attack if you can swing it, because any beam weapon is already punching at 'Tension 5' from Round 1 in practical terms (the Lux Cannon and Grand Weapon go to Tension 7 if you use their energy guzzling tricks). It's pure math: One attack at Tension 5, plus one attack at Tension 6 vs one attack at Tension 11, except the double whammy gets to apply dice to damage twice, Genre Power boosts twice, enemy Guard reductions twice, Might>Guard advantages twice, Aim boosts from allies twice and so on, increasing its damage overall by a bit with each factor you add. Hell, you even get to contribute to team efforts to punch through an Absolute Barrier and exhaust enemy EN stocks twice too. It's pretty much always a winner. I don't even have to address the 'outrange enemies' part because it should be obvious that there will be situations where you'll catch enemies offguard and leave them unable to attack you. It just happens and it's a really nice bonus when it does. The Infinite Blade is a superior weapon for consistent long-ranged attacking than the Lux Cannon, for what should be obvious reasons.

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  39. Aimed attacks vs attacking every turn

    As you calculated yourself it's 5+6 vs 11.

    Having two opportunities to apply all this stuff twice is a VERY minor bonus. There are opportunities to do so every single turn.

    Why do you list "wasting" damage on absolute barrier as a plus I don't really understand. Instead of going through it twice on two turns it's MUCH more efficient to just make everybody aim on the first turn and then unload everything on the second.

    Outranging capability when you ambush enemy is negated by range advantage getting nullified when the enemy is ambushing you. Ambush scenarios are mostly irrelevant in balance discusions.

    All those things are VERY minor bonuses. There is a HUGE flaw to attacking twice though. Active defenses. Even if you assume enemy has a basic defense that negates 3 points your damage becomes 2+3 vs 8. It gets much worse with stronger defenses. You can reasonably assume quite a few enemies will have those defenses so it's a significant disadvantage.

    My point is that aimed shot is pretty much always better in the first 2 turns. It has similar effectiveness on the next 2 and only after tension 4+ shooting every turn becomes better.

    The context we were duscussing it is for use with grand weapon.
    As a weapon that you use when closing in lux cannon is perfect. It also uses the same amount of energy as grand weapon making you very energy efficient.

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  40. note on two-opportunities vs one

    dice - rolling 2 dice increases variability but it goes both ways. You're as likely to deal massive damage as you are to deal almost none at all. That said the average of d10 is 5,5 so you get additional 0.5 of damage on average. You can count that if you like.

    might advantage - you're as likely to have might advantage against weak grunts as you are to have might disadvantage against tanky enemies. irrelevant

    enemy Guard reduction AKA difficult terrain - valid point, two attack become better in this situation

    aim assist - (disregarding the fact that aim assist is terrible to the point of being useless) infinite blade is a melee weapon so it gets only +2 from aim, using it on a ranged weapon (like lux cannon) will be more effective. You kind of shot yourself in the foot with that one.

    Even if you assume something like powered rifle it's not like there is shortage of allies needing aim assist every turn.

    genre powers - Maybe, but I don't think so. Can you provide example of genre power where having two weaker attack opportunities is better than one strong one?

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  41. Also please think about some of the things you're writing instead of just listing everything you can think up just to prove your point.

    Touting the ability to damage absolute barrier every turn as an advantage is ridiculous when you were using powered rifle that can fire every turn with aim action to mitigate the absolute barrier effectiveness in the previous example of beam vs absolute barrier 1v1

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  42. I wouldn't be touting it if we were arguing about a Power Rifle vs the Infinite Blade, though. The Powered Rifle fills the *exact* same niche as the Infinite Blade (consistent long range attacks round in round out) instead of being worse due to hitting only once for every two IB attacks like the Lux Cannon. The only point I'm making here is that the Lux Cannon is not a goodl weapon to use on the approach because you're taking the IB to not have to waste a single turn not attacking. But to expand on the things I said a little more, let's tackle them one by one:

    A) Aim Assist: I mentioned this because if you can have it applied to your attack even once, you actually exceed the damage of the Lux Cannon (15 'net Tension' vs 13, since we were already including Aiming into the Lux Cannon's damage and it doesn't stack). If you add it twice, which you can and the Lux Cannon cannot due to its Slowness, the number shoots up to 17. Is it inefficient? Yes, very. It's still an example of how stacking up bonuses multiple times tends to beat just a single big shot unless said big shot is calibrated to deal about 2.5 times the damage of a single hit.

    B) Dice: I did include the 0.5 bonus practically out of pedantry, but it's worth remembering it exists. Just something that you wouldn't think matters too much, but does because variance is more devastating the less dice you chuck out.

    C) Might Edge: I wasn't actually thinking about Grunts here but rather about offense heavy Gear dealing more damage to a balanced one, like how a Destroyer will hit an Eagle for a bit of extra damage at PL4 and higher. This isn't an irrelevant consideration if you're not facing superbosses. An offensively skewed Gear will deal bonus damage against enemies who aren't hyperdefensive. Statistically speaking, if you're Might-heavy you're going to either break even or beat the Guard of most enemies. In those cases, the IB beats the Lux Cannon because it gets to abuse the offensive advantage by squeezing an extra shot in.

    D) Guard Reductions: Just to point out how much of a hardcore boost this is to the IB compared to the Lux Cannon, assuming a Guard of 6 (not exactly a loony value, two of the Gear templates start with this!), the IB gains 3 damage on the Lux Cannon. It only gets worse as Guard increases, too. Even the worst case scenario (Guard 2) still gives the IB a small edge, which is all it needs to pull ahead.

    (Cont.)

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  43. E) Barrier Busting: Let's assume a theoretical 'vanilla party' of one ranged attacker, one melee attacker, one supporter and one megatank. We'll assume everybody makes optimal decisions for their role and the party has perfect cohesion, just to make this easier. We'll start the attackers with Standard Chassis stats and the supporter and megatank with 0 Might because they'll spend every turn doing something that isn't attacking, so they're nonfactors (the attackers start with MIght 5). Everybody is PL1. Now let's say this party is fighting a hellishly beefy opponent with EN 5 and Guard 5, dedicated to tanking EVERYTHING with an Absolute Barrier. If both attackers are using Reactored Beam Weapons, then any roll result is 'free damage' from Round 1 onwards, since they can't miss, but have to pierce the barrier. On average, they will do about 1 point of damage to the tanky Gear on Round 1, then 3 in Round 2. What if they Aimed? That increases their damage by 5 (2+4, minus 1 from not attacking in round 1). So on a party with just two attackers, it pays to not just attack the shield and aim. If the support can supply accuracy boosts (either through Difficult Terrain or Aim Assists on the Ranged attacker, or ideally, both), the increase in damage goes down to just 1. If there's a third attacker, barrier busting is very important, because your damage increases drastically by attacking every turn.

    F) Genre Powers: The obvious example here is Try Again. That's a free Advantage you give up by not attacking so you can use the Power twice. I'd say Signature Weapon, but that opens a whole new can of worms since it requires the introduction of secondary weapons. That said, just Try Again by itself is enough to swing things decisively in favor of hitting twice. If we want to include it, Come At Me Bro too, but that's hard to sell because of the monster energy requirements making it impractical unless you're in Range 5.

    There's lots of moving parts to think about, but barring something I missed, about the only arguable point is barrier busting - everything else clearly speaks of double taps being better even with minimal tension. The general rule seems to be that offense provides increasing returns with each point - the more you have of it, the more you want in any way you can find, be it more actions, more Might bonuses, or anything else. Interesting stuff to look at, really. Overall, pretty tightly balanced either way.

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  44. A) Obiously the guy that uses aimed slow weapon isn't good candidate for aim support, duh. There could be another guy with not slow weapon that could use the aim assist bonus so it's not like the damage is wasted. Why the hell would you even have aim assist in your team in the first place if there is nobody to use it on?

    B) Do you even understand basic statistics? 2 dice of the same type have more variability than one.

    C) You offensive power as a beam weapon user comes from advantages on beam wepaons not high might. You already count those advantages in your calculations. Your might will actually be very average.

    E) You just calculated yourself that aiming is much better in this situation. (and did it badly because the enemy mech should have 6 energy not 5) Even trying to skew it by applying difficult terrain didn't make it work. Maybe try using support with EMP next time. But it's still "arguable" . Really?

    F) Try again main utility is rerolling low die roll. The bonus advantage is just an extra bonus. You're using 2 genre points vs one. If you want to be fair try comparing 4 normal attack vs 2 aimed (2 try agains on each side)

    G) You conveniently forgot the point about other active defenses where attacking twice is MUCH weaker than aiming. This point has more weight than all your other points too since defenses are much more common.

    Include the point about active defenses. Do you seriously think two shots vs 1 aimed shot on approach is balanced?

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