Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Mechanoids, Robots and Drones for Flying Lead

Mechanoids, Dr Who version  (  not the Khurasan late-comers. Mechanoids were sent out by Earth as an early colonisation effort. Their MOO can be summed up as Exploit, Adapt, Construct. Piles of mined material and partially finished colonies can be found throughout a broad area of space, needing only the correct code to access. Mere robots at the start, smart programming led some hives to become self aware particularly after contact with other intelligent species. Hives adapted, absorbing or even enslaving less involved hives. The twin focus for change was the spread of UN backed human colonisation coupled with conflict with Daleks. Rather than attempt to control the Mechanoids, the Daleks responded with (even for them) extreme xenophopia.

I made some from blank D20's and some beads. Not as good as the not-mechanoid available from Ansty but these cost about 20p each and get used once a year or so. They do what we call a proper job.  Want more information?  Goto Area 51.

Each Mechanoid is equipped with either a flame thrower or mining laser, depending on their environment. Basic programming allowed for an effective anti Dalek (or other intruder) is to use tool to frighten off, if that fails grapple with its pincers, hold the intruder and use tool at point blank until it is ordered to release or falls apart. This may be the reason for Dalek's reaction as the grapple is usually fatal for both parties. Although the Dalek weapon can penetrate, the effect will not remove the grapples and often result in the Mechanoid brewing up. The Mechanoids weapon cannot damage a Dalek's casing but it will cause rapid overheating that leads to a particularly slow and unpleasant death.

Suggested play.

Each hive has a number of Controllers. These can be considered focal points in a hive mind rather than a self aware entity. Each can be considered a Hero. It can use each activation to change the orders of any number of drones. EW success can negate an activation.

Drones carry out SOP when faced with an intruder. When faced with a human it will request an authorisation code. If none is forthcoming it will grapple until a Controller is available. If met with force it will carry out SOP.

Mechanoid Q3 C1, Medium, Flamethrower  For effect, see AREA 51

Any successful close assault results in a grapple.

Robots. Most are effectively normal infantry who will MIRROR (SOP) the activation or reaction of its parent unit. Loss has the same morale effect due to loss of asset.

A hit that has a non penetrating hit represents an impact that causes loss of unit integrity, a bit like losing your wifi on the move.

Exception 1) in the case of a withdraw, a robot unit will always take the rear position.

Exception 2) a robot can be ordered to seek and destroy (i.e. against a sniper) without regard to own safety.

Exception 3) a robot vehicle benefits from end-of-move free movement like any other unit. Unmirrored robot infantry do not.

Exception 4) only one activation is required to go on overwatch.

Exception 5) no test needed to close assault, can be programmed to close assault as a reaction.

Drones. Scout and/or electronic warfare (EW) asset, from shell delivered to grav AI's. EW can be built into any vehicle or robot. Here is a use for those plastic covers on CD's as its area of influence. Use as seems logical. For instance in a built up area a drones effectiveness is greatly reduced.

Drones are replaceable small targets. Any wheeled or tracked counts as in soft cover, any flying as hard to represent random evasion movement and small size. Q will represent tech level and sophistication. Most drones are unarmed. Any armed drone loses cover advantage above. Armament could be a tazer on a police model, shotgun on a bomb disposal or light MG on a recce by fire model.

Here's my suggestions:


EW attack, 2dice Q test. If passed any unit in area cannot make aimed shot due to disrupted electronics.

Or command radius reduced to Short.

Or target vehicle(s) (including robots or Mechanoids) lose 1 activation, which counts towards switch-over.

Target has revealed itself and is painted, if successful 2dice Q test any shot against will count as +1. This lasts until drone is destroyed or end of turn.

We will try these out soon as our schedule will allow.