Friday, October 4, 2013

Updating Design Methodology

As you regular readers know (that's a joke, this blog is not updated enough to reward any regularity), ahem, as you passersby may have noticed, I'm going through an update frenzy.  As I've said before, I really get the hankering for CarWars at this time of year.  It's freaky but true.  That may change because my oldest is 9 years old and I was 10-11 when I started playing (any of you grey-beard nerds  out there want to chip in as to how it feels to play RPGs with your kids?)

I'm starting this years' post-apolous with Vans.  But the following methodology works for any of the cars I "update."

What I do first with any update is add the main modern components:
  1. Dischargers x 10 (1 front,  1 back, 2 Right, 2 left, 2 under, 2 top)  My standard is oil/smoke because they cost the same.  Since all dischargers weigh the same, customizers can easily update based on arena conditions.  Usually I put them in this configuration: any side that can be rammed gets oil (so all four sides = 6), the rest are smoke and hooked to the laser reactive webs (the tops & under)
  2. Laser reactive webs.  For $100, this is a great tool for stopping laser-lock-on.
  3. Sloped armor = the is especially so for Vans, but sloping is such a great tool (as it is in real life).  To foist an unchangeable -1 to hit to all enemies is a big boost.  It weighs nothing, and since vans have too much space vis-a-vis weight capacity, they really help. 
  4. Component armor = Good for all, but super especially for vans for the same reasons as sloped.  I also make this LRFP because you only lose 1 pt armor (and at the point when you're breached, that 1 is probably not so needed), but the LR can help save your bacon.  In general I have a tough time seeing the pro-con of LR armor.  Maybe when I get to playing more, I'll see if I should do it. 
  5. Depending on the division wealth, I'll add the big ticket, "grand each" items, e.g. HTM, overdrive, antilock brakes, HD brakes, no-paint windshields, and FP armor.  If I have a money crunch, I think FP tires are more important than armor, but that's only what I've read... when I finally get to have "live" playtesting all these rules could fly to flinders.
  6. Vans will get a DSP (see here for why)
  7. Often I need to add Wheelguards/hubs (I use that designation in my designs because different drivers like to arrange in different ways and it all weighs the same).
  8. If possible, especially for vans, I will add a gunner.  That's a key addition, especially if there's more than 1 weapon system.  Gunners generally get to distribute the 30 skill points to add a +1 to hit, and at the very worst, they will act as internal 3 DP.  Heh.  This is also why I don't give them CA.  Because by the time the outside armor is breached, all I care about is no mobility kill and gunners are expendable.
  9. I used to give the crew personal equipment.  I stopped because that is something customizers can decide on (esp. if playing with alternative encumbrance). 
  10. I will contemplate the use of IC engines and metal armor.  The former saves weight (at the expense of price), while the latter can save a bunch of money in the low divisions
After the modern components, I will seek to:
  1. reduce weapon variety in order to maximize smart-linking, or use of SWC
  2. in general reduce weapons in order to fit the above modern adds
  3. depending on cost issues, I'll put the rockets on LGL    
  4. I've grown wary of C/A frames
I still have trouble with some of the modern adds:
  1. I still don't have a handle on how to use trailers, jump jets, and rocket boosters
  2. Ramplate rules have changed so much that I can't see using them again (esp. with the rocket booster problem)
  3. I still refuse to use stickyfoam
  4. I keep forgetting how cool FCE is!  
  5. I haven't seen a use for GSS and such
  6. Much of the missile technology is taken away from AADA tournaments
I'll update this more if I recall more issues.


Pat G said...

Ah designing and redesigning - I did that more than playing back in the day.

As for greybeards - My eldest daughter was off last night DM'ing Pathfinder.

Side note: I use a reader so I see everything you put up - if I don't always click through or comment. Does that make me a regular? :)

JC said...

Hi Pat,
Yep, cool, and yes