Friday, 31 March 2017

Bad Dog Rules 3

The other night, while lying in bed about to fall asleep I couldn't help thinking about a simple combat system for my Heavy Gear inspired mecha games. And I came up with the following way to construct Gears for the game.


Light: Gears like the Cheetah and Iguana etc.

Agility: four dice used for defence.

Two armour boxes.

Medium: Hunters, Jagers, Jaguars and Mambas etc.

Agility: three dice used for defence.

Three armour boxes, unless up armoured.

Heavy: Grizzlys, Cobras, Kodiaks and King Cobras etc.

Agility: two dice used for defence.

Six armour boxes, unless up armoured.


Light: pack guns, small missile pods, and anti-infantry weapons–one attack die per weapon.

Medium: light and medium autocannons, light bazooka, and medium missile pods–two attack die per weapon.

Heavy: heavy autocannons, rifles, medium bazookas–three attack die per weapon.

Special: heavy bazookas, rotary cannons, large missile pods, and others will get perks. Large missile pods will have three attack die and have a burst radius of four inches. Heavy bazookas will get four attack dice.Rotary cannons will get three attack die and more than one attack per turn.

At this point, movement is looking to be around four inches. There will be modifiers depending on size and the loadout chosen, which will have an affect on how fast a Gear can move. Ranges will be short, medium and long, which will subtract or add to the defence–long range will be line-of-sight.

Concealment will reduce the chance of being hit, but cover will also reduce the effect of being hit. Being hit will always add a suppression modifier to the the model, which will cost an action to remove.

On top of that I will have action point options to allow players to sacrifice firing for moving again, remove one suppression marker, choose to split fire, or choosing to emphasize attack or defence (simulating ECM and ECCM), or designate a target lock.

Veteran pilots will get perks for defence, attacks or other options to be decided (think Luke Skywalker's or Wedge Antilles ability in X-Wing).

Examples might be, Gear optimized for distance and pilot gets to re-roll blank dice when shooting at long range, marksman will reduce defenders defence roll by one dice, squad leader can remove a suppress marker from any friendly Gear in their squad etc..

So, for example, my RAFM Hunter Commando moves four inches, has three dice for defence, probably four armour boxes, and five attack dice (three for the bazooka and two for the medium missile pod).

Standard actions would be to choose one of the following, ECM (add one dice to defence), ECCM (add one dice to one attack), split fire (fire the bazooka at one target and the missiles at another) or place a target lock on one enemy unit.

Obviously, this is a work in progress.


  1. You should have a look at Savage Worlds. The Sc-Fi Companion has some stuff on mechs. It's a starting point to my mind at least, rather than a finished system. Still I have been working on the ideas for it for a few years now and still not got it right.

  2. Mekton was my goto rules for stompies

    1. Happy memeories. Loved Mekton, but never got around to playing it. Still have my copies of the rules though.

  3. Mekton is good but about a year ago I've discovered Samurai Robot Battle Royal. Really good system, cleaner mech building mechanic than Mekton and plays relatively quick

  4. My goal here is transferability: dice, rule concepts and the such like for people who don't play games, but will play X-Wing.

  5. I'm curious to see how it'll work out for you. One recommendation I'd make is to include right away categories for larger vehicle like MBT and giant robots as applicable instead of adding them piecemeal later. It's markedly easier to distinguish between them gameplay wise initially than trying to shoehorn them in later (a mistake I've made personally in houserules).

    1. Good catch, make sure they're integrated rather than bolt ons.

  6. I believe I have in my hand exactly what you need:

    Mobile Frame Zero (

    1. I've downloaded those for a look at. I shall have to see what the core mechanics look like once I've gotten through all the background fluff, which quite frankly I don't need because I'll either use the Terra Nova setting or my own.

  7. Do all the light/medium/heavy stats move in synchrony, or can they drift apart? The latter is more complex but I find it more interesting.

    (E.g. an Osa-style light agile unit with a powerful punch, but limited shots with it.)

    1. It's model based, so in Heavy Gear you're limited to their universe.

      In Bad Dog I have similar, but different limitations in that I don't have light, medium and heavy per se. Instead the weapon loadout choice makes the mech light medium and heavy and the armour depends on the whether it's a Marine, Army or Air Force mecha.

      However, in your own universe or BattleTech analog you could have a light mecha with a special weapon.

  8. Frankly, the biggest impediment for me against HG has been the rules. I hope you find or write some decent rules; it might get me to finish painting my gears finally!