Sunday, February 26, 2017

6mm Science Fiction

There was a post fairly recently on Delta Vector about his desire to develop rules to play Battletech in 6mm. That post has been percolating around in my brain for the last two months. I'm intrigued.

Old school metal mechs. Painted when I was 14.

One of the key pieces from the article is heat. This is one of the key factors of the old Battletech game. I used to love that game. I dove into the detail in the way that only a teenage boy can. I routinely fought company on company battles solo. That's record keeping for 24 mechs. I once played a game with two battalions fighting. That was 72 separate mechs worth of paperwork.

The very thought of that makes my brain blue screen now. It sounds like a night mare.  Still, I loved the game and I have the source books. On top of that, I need a game I can play with Rhys with mechs. There's no way I'm going back to the real rules, and even Alpha Strike is more record keeping than I want.

What to do? I could wait for Delta Vector to come up with his rules. I'm sure they'll be good since he's well versed in game design. On the other hand they won't be what I'm looking for, exactly.

I wrote my own. Two pages. Simple. No record keeping. They incorporate heat. I'll need to playtest with Rhys to see if he can understand them. They include rules for mechs, vehicles, infantry and flyers.

They use d20 to hit, a 20 is a crit and kills your target (head shot). Different classes use different size dice in an opposed roll against armor. Lights use d6 while Assaults use d12.

I think they will be pretty fast play and allow for the flavor of Battletech without the record keeping. There is a high level of abstraction since it's 6mm. I also have the old Battletech board game so we could easily use that for a campaign system.

As for 6mm, it has its attractions; not least of which is that it is cheap. I've picked up a bunch of Epic 40k Space Marine stuff on eBay for very little. There are some good manufacturers out there. The low cost also has the advantage of not meaning an arm and a leg in new terrain since that is just as cheap.

I'll get in a game with Rhys soon and see how the rules work. I'm sure some changes will be necessary.


  1. Developing a game in a genre the boy will enjoy is good thing!

    1. I agree. We got a game in a few minutes ago and he loves it. Definitely found some tweaks to make but it looks like a winner.


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