Oct 2, 2016

BCG Retrospective XXIII: Mobility Upgrades.

Mobility Upgrades are thematically but not mechanically related to each other, they're linked by having similar flavor but their mechanics are independent. They could have been internal upgrades, but they make more sense as external upgrades. Plus, making them external let me lower their MP/Energy costs, to counterbalance that they can be maimed.

This used to cost 1 energy and 5 MP. Suffice to say, it was an autoinclude on waaaay too many builds for my liking then. Now? Perhaps it is a bit on the costly side, but every time you dodge extreme terrain with it is worth the cost. One thing I like about Antigravity is that it doesn't say "You can fly." then tells you to flip to a different page explaining how flight works. Rather, it (and all the other flight-granting mecha abilities) tell you what flight means. In this system, flight means ignoring cover and ignoring terrain under you. Very simple! In saving 3d movement for a sidebar, it keeps things rather compact. There is still one problem though: It doesn't say it can't fly over Impassable Terrain! It does say it ignores Terrain under you, but you can't move into a Zone of Impassable Terrain first to ignore it, so it is kind of confusing. It probably should have added "Can't fly over Impassable Terrain" in reminder text at the end. The underwater/space part of the text is there to remind GMs that they can make their own terrain properties and treat them however they want, and that sometimes saying "This terrain doesn't like this upgrade/weapon" is okay.

This used to be a 2/4 Zones boost, now it uses the same numbers Custom Defense does but for movement instead of defense. It wasn't a particularly necessary buff, but I liked the parallel and doing it didn't break anything. Also, the odd number makes Boosted Lance users want to take Gotta Go Fast to move a total of 10 Zones + Speed and get a juicy damage bonus. I like that this is a viable alternative to base speed bonuses for builds with a ton of energy.

Reversible Thrusters
When I made Slippery Chassis into an internal upgrade, I also considered doing the same with Reversible Thrusters. I ended up keeping it external just to make kiting less of an autowin for the higher speed builds that can pull it off - doing some damage to them should at least present the risk of forcing them to fight head on. As a maimable 10-point upgrade, this is useful for its intended builds, but often in playtesting it wasn't quite worth the cost for anybody but the most dedicated of snipers. There were some variants, but this turned out to be the least abusive of them all while still being playable. Considering kiting as a strategy is kind of abusive by purpose, I suppose that means this turned out well enough.

So this is a bit of a short post, because these don't have much of a story to them and they're pretty clear-cut. I do have a lot more to say about next week's subject though!

Next: Support Upgrades.

Gimmick Out.


  1. One happy thing about mobility upgrades being external is that I can choose them for superior morphing and secret areas! This came about when I was trying out a mech that had both of them lolz... For the first time, I was in a position where I had a bunch of excess MP and couldn't think of what to do with it lolz.

    Was looking at the Blaster Grunt, and boosted magneburst in general, and realized that it's not so bad when they're spread out, but when they're clustered together, stacked up Interference Terrain can just be idiotically overpowered/ frustrating.

    Question to add to next week's subject: How does "Support Fire" interact with Stun Rod and Superheavy machinegun, does the free crippling count to give them the extra disadvantage from suppression?

  2. One cute thing about Antigravity being relatively expensive is that a lot of level 1 mechs won't get it, but it's quite likely to be purchased later on... probably leading to many mid-scene upgrade moments where the PCs go: "No, how will I fight this enemy? If only Maginger G could fly!" "Goji Gabuto, we've been waiting for this moment... the moment to unveil your new partner... the Gaiser Grander!!!" DOCKING!!! ;)

  3. OOH! Just remembered... Do Overbooster and "gotta go fast" work on Lightspeed Assault? Cause LSA says move equal to your speed, but OB and GFG says +3/+5 to your next action, which I assume includes LSA which "is a utility action".

    haha... really makes high Speed builds viable... just run around manuevering until tension gets high (or use a Limit Engine and let yourself get a few maims), and then LSA... how's the math work anyway? If you pass thru someone 5 times at 4 tension, do you do 4+2+2+2+2 or 4+2+1+0+0? Mechanicswise, I'm guessing it's the 2nd option? ... otherwise, it wouldn't be too hard to pass thru someone 9 times (8 speed +5 +5) at 4 tension (higher with limit engine!) for 20 damage which cuts thru oldtype and internal fortification. :)

  4. Surprise, it is the former! In your example, it would do 4+2+2+2+2 = 12 damage. OB and GgF work with LSA, yes, so you could make LSA get a whole bunch of hits in.

    It is super good against single targets but going all-out like that costs multiple genre powers and you're very vulnerable to debuffs, so you need a ton of XP to make it a reliable means of attack - antigravity to avoid difficult terrain and expansion pack to keep all your externals safe.

    It's a cool as hell build tho.

    1. Good enough with just Overbooster and Limit Engine. ;) ... LSA ignores terrain anyhow. ... actually, that'd be the king of troll builds, a mecha that uses it's speed to run far far away and manuevers to waste time every round, until tension gets high enough, then it one shots things with LSA. hahaha...

      My current mecha uses Limit Engine + Secret Equipment combo, it's weakness is that if it doesn't get maimed several times, it's really weak until Round 5 rolls along...