Oct 12, 2014

Battle Century G Gundam: Round 3.

Let's wrap up this three-part series about G Gundam by talking about Operations Gundam Fights in a tournament game. In theory tournament arcs present a series of matches in which both sides have a fair shot at victory and the best side will win. In practice one or more participants have an advantage over the others. A close combat Mecha is at a disadvantage against a flying sniper type and an aquatic Mecha will have an easier time in a battle at sea, though these are arguably still "fair" advantages for one side to have. But sometimes there are external factors interfering in the battle, someone's Mecha runs could be running out of parts for maintenance and thus start in worse condition, or perhaps someone is playing dirty and taking hostages demanding that victory be theirs.

Chapman's heinous plan: Bringing a gun to a Gundam fight. THE HONORLESS CUR.

Point is that there should always be something to make each battle both unique and challenging without making them gimmicky or frustrating. I'm going to write down some ideas below for inspiration, but first there's something else to address: Solo matches or Team matches?

I previously said that Team matches are easier to work with and I stand by that. As written, BCG gives you a lot more to work with if you work with if there are multiple robots on each side. But if you can handle having to homebrew in more upgrades and weapons to make up for the ones that no longer work properly, you also stand to win something from the shonen-esque gameplay.

During 1v1 matches whoever has the most tricks and counters up their sleeve has the better shot at victory. If I have I Cannot be Defeated and you don't have a Technique or a way to do more than one instance of damage per round, I can easily outlast you. If you have Electronic Cloaking System and I don't have a single area weapon (why would I do that in a 1v1 tournament?) then I'm boned unless I built around The Beast or a multitude of Signature Weapons. It is a big change in gameplay.

These changes are not unintentional, though, they are meant to evoke shonen-style battles where the antagonists have the upper hand until the protagonists figure out the trick to beating them. It is a more strategic kind of gameplay where the humble Knowledge is Power rings true to its name. It is also a lot easier for PCs to get totally chumped by accident because they didn't figure it out until it was too late and they had no Genre Points left to even Mid-Scene Upgrade a counter. If that sounds awesome to you, then by all means go for it.

The ideas below were written with both solo and team matches in mind. Some will work much better in a solo match tournament, others would be employed better in team matches. Remember that what matters when coming up with enemy teams is their combined Power Rating, because they can have individually different power levels.

And they Fight, and they Fight, and they Keep on Fighting!

Death from Above
This operation takes the idea of kiting to its most extreme form. It consists of enemies with Antigravity that run away upwards, thus making it impossible for anyone without Antigravity to pursue, while bombarding the PCs with Airstrikes, Surprise Minefields or long range weapons using Reversible Thrusters. Victory will ask for a combination of flight and very long range weapons. A well-timed Ensnaring Trap will also ruin their day, possibly causing one of them to die immediately from the fall damage. Works best as a solo match or at low power levels to ensure at least one or more PCs are caught off guard.

The Colossus and his Shadows
There is only one enemy who matters in this team: The Colossus superboss who carries the others to victory. Really, you can have them as L0 Grunts or just don't even stat them up and have them destroyed as a free action. What matters is that, in place of what would be a normal team match, you have a huge single target like a Mobile Armor. Bullet Hell and Tentacle Lash are a good combo to let it cover even more of the battlefield at once.

I mean, just look at that. Those things are huge. The Devil Gundam itself is just 23m!

The Dark Devil Rangers
Obvious, but still worth mentioning. You should have an enemy team that mimics the PCs, either as actual copies with a dark twist to them, or just as enemies with an uncanny likeness in their equipment and strategies. This is a good excuse to have either a mirror match or to have the PCs pretend to beat up each other.

This is not a Game, it is War
The enemies for this operation play dirty. Individually, each member is weak, but before a match they hide various remote-controlled drones around the battlefield. This is represented by having tactically placed Level 0 Grunts around the edges of the combat area equipped with long range weapons like the Sniper and Powered Rifles. For flavor reasons, the Grunts should be disabled once the real baddies are all defeated, but you can compensate for that by building them defensively - just remember that every 2 Grunts is one less Power Level for them. If you've seen Build Fighters, the Bloodhounds episode is a great example of how to pull off something like this without having to tip off your hand (thus ruining the surprise of the encounter) first.

Seriously. Bloodhounds is a study on how to write rival-of-the-week episodes.

The Flesh is Weak
This one is even nastier than the above. The enemies use modified weaponry to attack pilots directly, possibly through some kind of psychic assault. An Invasive enemy with very high offensive power (8 Might and Duelist Model/Sniper Model/Experimental Reactor is fine) and Invincible Alloy plus I Cannot be Defeated and every other defensive Genre Power they can get. The idea is simple: Deal as much damage as possible ASAP to defeat the pilot through a failed Systems Tests before the activations of I Cannot be Defeated run out. Multiple enemies using area weapons this way will defeat anyone who dumped Systems.

By our Powers Combined
The enemies are technically five but they their hearts beat as one! Truly they are the ultimate manifestation of love and courage. Except that they are on the wrong side of the battlefield, and will thus get their butts thoroughly kicked. The lead focuses on Energy and Threshold, keeping all other Attributes at 0, while each of the other Elements Components takes one of the other stats and also some Upgrades/Weapons. The lead attacks, one subpilot Maneuvers, another uses Jury-Rig or Resupply, the fourth uses Supports, and the final member can help keep positioning superiority them with Boosts, Disengages, and the like.  

 It may be a joke boss but it is still the best scene in the game. 

Flying in the Sky is the Limit

These are just using the rules of the game, some in more creative interpretations than others, to throw PCs for a loop during a tournament series. You can do more than this of course, like in the aforementioned scenario where the protagonists must fight with damaged Mecha, you could have them start the battle with one or more Threshold levels down instead of throwing supernasty baddies at them. Those things are just harder to eyeball and might end up being too strong or too weak as far as difficulty adjustments go.

And that's the end of this G Gundam series. Coming up next... We finally we get to Gurren Lagann.

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