Giant Robots With Guns Mk.2


Welcome to the second edition of Giant Robots With Guns, everyone’s favourite slow-paced play-by-email Mecha combat game.
This game was written by Philip Baxter, insert standard legal mumbo-jumbo here.

As a player of Giant Robots With Guns, you represent a company who’ve raised enough money to create a Mecha to join a Lightweight tournament. As you work your way through these matches, making money and deals, you’ll be able to work your way up these tournaments – potentially even all the way to the top, for a chance at winning the heralded Manny Cup.

During a Tournament, your Mecha will take part in a single battle a week (generally a Sunday), clashing against another player’s Mecha, with the aim of forcing them to retreat before you do. The rest of the week can be spent talking with other companies, brokering deals and issuing challenges. Periodically, Tournaments will be announced, where you can fight for Prizes and recognition. Alternately, shy away from these big fights, and spend your time fighting Friendlies against other players.

It should be noted that the rules herein are only set in stone for standard Tournaments run by myself – Tournaments run by other people may use variants – changing the maths in Combat or the amount of time between fights, or how challenges should be handled. Unless they state otherwise, they will use the rules as written, so Tournament Information should be checked when signing up.

You’ll notice we’re inconsistent with the term we use to describe these things – Robots, Mechas and Power Armour are entirely separate things. However, system-wise all three of them work (the cost of micro technology means that smaller doesn’t mean cheaper). As a general rule we use the term “Mecha” and refer to parts as their Mecha style, simply to be consistent. It should be noted that all types are Piloted in some way – in the case of Robots it’s assumed that the pilot is controlling it remotely (neural feedback will result in the pilot’s death, as with cockpit destruction for any other type). In the case of Robots, we also assume a humanoid build, although this is of course, up to you.

You begin the game with money – 750B, with which to build a starting Mecha (although you do not need to spend it all). This Mecha will be powerful enough to enter a Lightweight tournament. (Alternately, if you let your interest be known, you may find another player willing to Purchase your company – giving you extra B in exchange for a share of future winnings).
Mechas are built from 4 Essential Parts and 6 Non-Essential Parts. Following is a list of parts, and examples of what each part could (or tends to) represent – if you would prefer a part to represent something else, simply mention it during character generation.
The equipment itself should be listed on an attached Sheet, along with the Mecha sheet, or available online.


Mechas: The Nerve-Centre of your Mecha, and the location of your pilot
Robots: The location of the equipment that connects the pilot to the machine, generally the head
Power Armour: The Helmet, containing the pilot’s head

Mechas: The Frame of the Mecha, the Chassis is the ‘body’ of the Mecha
Robots: The parts of the Robot that holds everything else together, generally torso and arms
Power Armour: The armour that covers the torso and arms of the pilot

Mechas and Robots: The main propulsion system of the Mecha, generally based at the bottom, normally a pair of legs, although treads, wheels, jets or four legs aren’t unknown
Power Armour: The armour that protects the legs, occasionally modified to produce jet-legs or similar.

The power-source of the Mecha, its location, shape and size vary as much between individual Mechas as it does between Mechas, Armours and Robots.

Each Mecha, Armour or Robot has 6 Non-Essential Part slots, and several different options on what to do with them. You may have any combination of parts – using no parts, different parts of multiple copies of the same part.

WEAPON: This represents either an additional Weapon your Mecha wields (rifles, rocket packs, chain-axes etc), or added bonuses to them (damage enhancers, extra energy cells, etc)
ARMOUR: This represents extra protection for your Mecha, in the form of extra layers (or simply thicker, or denser) armour, or some form of energy shield
GENERATOR: This represents additional power-sources for your Mecha, or improvements to the current ones.
LASERS: These represent Aiming enhancements – laser-pinpoints or targets for homing rockets or scopes, or simply highly accurate weapons.
OVERLAP: These represent either part of your Mecha being built inside other parts (a completely internalised cockpit, damage deflecting shields etc).
SPECIAL: There are also 9 parts which each have and a special and unusual effect.

B - Mechas are expensive - horrifically so. Because large companies were are fond of making huge purchases like this , standard currency isn't used (as the figures would be huge). However, when a stable and balanced (and expertly manipulated) economy left little difference in exchange rates, the B was formed - worth approximately 1 Billion of other currencies.
Naturally, since then, the rates have changed and this is much less accurate

There are currently 7 Companies who produce Mecha parts, each one offer a different style of Mecha, which (thanks to the wonders of USB technology) may be mixed and matched at will. It is not unusual for two Mekam Companies to compete against each other, and all companies will reward skilled Mechas for their loyalty through Sponsorship. These companies are working around the clock to produce new parts for the Tournament. Every 2 weeks they will release a single new part, plus an additional one for every 1,000 that is spent on them.

Castle specialise in high HP Mecha parts, building parts that are notably hard to damage, unfortunately this is often to the detriment of everything else.
Dawn specialise in building incredibly fast Mechas, based on the strategy that if you can hit something first, and quickly, it shouldn’t get chance to strike back. Unfortunately this is reflected in the fragility of their parts.
Goliath specialise in relatively tough, evasive Mechas, while they lack the resilience of Caste Mechas, they make up for this in the decreased chance of being hit, this has left them with Mechas will little in the way of firepower, however.
Hawk specialise in causing as much damage to the opponent’s Mechas as possible, masters of the one-hit-kill, they struggle in protracted fights due to their weight and poor defence.
Talon specialise in low-priced Mechas, while they often undercut their opposition, they do this by providing mildly inferior parts. However their tendency towards offensive Mechas means they can still pack more punch than the weaker Mechas of other companies.
Tank specialise in Highly Defensive, Resistant parts. Sacrificing Offence to a degree not seen in other companies, Tank Mechas can shrug off even the most powerful attacks, but struggle to make much of a dint on their opponents.
Wraith don’t specialise. The Jack-of-All Trades, they offer equal resistance to all energy types and balanced stats. While they have no major strengths, they also have no major weaknesses.

Mechas have 13 main stats – Damage, Resilience, Attack, Defence, HP, Withdraw, Output, Weight, Speed, Sponsor, Range, Cost and Size.

DAMAGE: Damage is split between the three types and this represents how much raw power a Mechas attacks have.
Damage is found by adding the Damage from all Essential parts and any valid Non-Essential parts.

RESILIENCE: Resilience is also split between three types, it represents how tough the Mecha is, and how much damage it can take before becoming injured.
Resilience is found by adding the Resilience from all Essential parts and any valid Non-Essential parts.

ATTACK: Attack represents how well the Mecha can aim and it’s likelihood of hitting a target.
Attack is found by adding the Attack from the Chassis and Cockpit parts and any valid Non-Essential parts.

DEFENCE: Defence represents how hard the Mecha is to hit, due to being highly evasive, or simply hard to see
Defence is found by adding the Defence from the Chassis and Cockpit parts and any valid Non-Essential parts.

HP: Hit Points represent how much Damage your Mecha can take before it’s a smouldering pile of rubble. While losing All your HP will knock you from the tournament, all HP loss is repaired between battles.
HP is found by adding the HP from all Essential Parts.

WITHDRAW: Withdraw is the level of Damage your Mecha takes before it leaves the field of battle. The more damage it takes, the more likely it is the opponent will flee first, but also increases the chance of losing parts of your Mecha.
Withdraw is chosen by the company. Those playing Safe choose a number that is less than the HP of their weakest part, others tend to lean towards half their total HP.

OUTPUT: Output is the amount of Energy your Mecha produces.
Output is found by adding the Output of your Engine to that of any Generators you may have.

WEIGHT: Weight is how much your Mecha weights. It should be stressed that this is more like Energy Consumption than actual physical weight – a Mecha and a Armour with Weight 15 do not weight the same amount
Weight is found by adding the Weight of all parts except Generators and Engines.

SPEED: Speed is how fast your Mecha moves. Your Mecha will get 1 attack per round for every 10 Speed they have. A Mecha must have a minimum of Speed 1. Speed Negates RANGE on a 10 per range step basis.
Speed is found by reducing Output by Weight.

SPONSOR: This represents a sponsorship from one of the Mekam companies which produces Mecha parts.
To become eligible for this, your Mecha must be made from at least 50% parts from that company, and you must win a match. If someone is already sponsored by this company, the match you win must be against them.

COST: Cost is the total cost of all parts currently attached to your Mecha (after Range is applied). Tournaments will have different Maximum and Minimum costs.

SIZE: Size represents how large your Mecha is. There are 3 sizes: SMALL (01-15 foot), MEDIUM (16-40 foot) and LARGE (41+). For each size smaller than your opponent your Mecha is, reduce your Attack by ¼ and increase your defence by ¼

One variety of Mecha mentioned are ‘Lite Mechas’, these are cheap, affordable Mechas, often used for civilian activities – Pit work, or basic repetitive tasks (that are handled through basic AI. They tend to be either under 4 feet or shoddily made.
Lite Mechas are very rarely seen in the Arenas – they’re generally seen as proof of poor organisation skills (not leaving enough money to buy a Proper part), or poor skill (needing to replace parts and not being able to afford Proper ones).
Occasionally ‘Lite’ Tournaments are run; these only allow the use of Mechas build from Lite parts, supplemented by additional (often oversized and highly destructive) parts in To-The-Death matches. These are often fan favourites and tend to be used to pick up people’s spirits.

There are 3 main types of Damage in Giant Robot With Guns – Energy (E) Kinetic (K) and Explosive (X), each part that has a Damage or a Resilience stat will have different stats for each of these, representing types of Damage the Mecha is better with than others.

Energy Damage represents energy weapons – from Laser-Rifles to Rail Guns to Flamethrowers. Hawk and Talon are the leading experts in Energy Weapons, while Goliath and Castle are especially vulnerable to them.

Kinetic Damage represents physical weapons – from standard bullets to shuriken to chainsaws. Dawn and Goliath are the leading experts in Kinetic Weapons, while Talon and Tank are especially vulnerable to them.

Explosive Damage represents explosions – from missiles to tactical-nukes to grenades. Castle and Tank are the leading experts in Explosive Weapons, while Hawk and Dawn are especially vulnerable to them.

Wraith show no particular preference to any form of Damage, and balance themselves equally between them, with a minor preference towards Kinetic.

The one thing all Mechas, Robots and Armours have in common is that ultimately there is someone controlling them. This person is your Pilot. (should you so desire, you may own multiple pilots, although there is little point in this until you start fighting in multiple or varied arenas).
Pilots gain Experience by causing damage on other Mechas, learning from their time spent fighting. For every 100 points of damage they do, you may choose for your Pilot to learn a skill.
However, a pilot will demand money equal 10 times their number of skills for every battle they take part in – incredibly talented Pilots can cost a company more than their Mecha does. Pilots may be sold to other players.
Skills are split into 4 types, should you wish for a pilot to lean a skill, the Type is randomly selected, you may then chose a skill from the list. If you choose the same skill twice, its effects stack, but each rank after the first costs 10 more than the previous rank in upkeep.
It should be remembered that Tournament price limits Include pilots.

ENVIROMENTAL SKILLS: Environmental skills all add 30 to Attack, depending on the location of the fight taking place
VOID VETERAN: +30 if in Space
GLADIATOR: +30 if in The Fightatorium
AQUALUNG: +30 if in Atlantic Ocean
SUN-KISSED: +30 if in Amazon Desert
NEO-MOUNTIE: +30 if in Greenland
URBAN WARRIOR: +30 if in Tokyo
BONUS SKILLS: Bonus skills add points to Mecha Stats and are always in effect
CRACK SHOT : +20 Attack
OVERWATCH: +20 K Damage
DRIVEN: +20 Resistance
REFLEXES: +20 Defence
SPECIALIST SKILLS: Specialist skills all add bonuses, depending on the type of Mecha being used.
CASTLE: +30 to Health if over 50% Castle
DAWN: +30 to Health if over 50% Dawn
GOLIATH: +30 to Health if over 50% Goliath
HAWK: +30 to Health if over 50% Hawk
TALON: +30 to Health if over 50% Talon
TANK: +30 to Health if over 50% Tank
WRAITH: +30 to Health if over 50% Wraith
SMALL-FRY: +30 Resistance in Small Mechas
BIG-DADDY: +30 Resistance in Large Mechas
ELITE SKILLS: Elite Skills add special bonuses or advantages to Mechas.__
TWITCHER: 10% Chance to fire twice
VETERAN: +10% Chance of Special Parts working
MECHANIC: 10% Chance of healing 1-10 HP
ESCAPE POD: +10% Chance Pilot survives a destroyed cockpit
PROUD: +5 to all Stats if Pilot lost previous battle

It is possible to Challenge other players. A Challenge must be issued on the website at any point between battles, as Challenges may not be refused and mean that the two Mechas involved (the Challenger and the target of the Challenge) will battle each other in the next tournament battle.
Naturally, some types of battle (Leagues, for example) do not allow Challenges. You may not challenge someone who is in a Tournament if you are not, and may not challenge someone who is not in a tournament if you are, but two people who are not in tournaments may challenge each other.

Combat is something you may not see much of at present I’m running combat, and should that change, it’ll just be because it’s become automated. However, it’s useful to know how it works for when you’re building your Mecha.

First, We’ll assume our two fighting Mechas are Medium Size, so we go straight to comparing Speed. Mechas get an action for every 10 Speed they have - a Mecha with 27 speed would get 3 actions a turn. We’ll assume our other Mecha has a speed of 19
Speed is split into sets of 10, so our first Mecha (A) has 10, 10 and 7, while our second (B) has 10 and 9.
Each battle is split into rounds, which are split into 10 turns, numbered 10 to 1, Mechas go on a turn equal to their speeds, if they have 2 speeds the same, one is bumped down one.
With the above Mechas, A would act on turns 10, 9 and 7, while B would act on turns 10 and 9. Because A is faster, it fires before B does when they both act on the same round.

Using the above combat, we would next take A’s attack (40) and compare it to B’s defence (30). If they were both equal, the difficulty would be 50, but we reduce the difficulty by 5 for every 10 points different – reducing it by 10 in this case – A Hits on a 40 or less.

The die is rolled, and it comes up a 30 – that’s a hit! Mecha A is using their Energy weapons (declared pre-fight), so we compare their Energy Damage (90) against B’s energy Resilience (20). We compare them as with Attacking and can work out that A causes 85 points of Damage on B.

As B’s Withdraw is 50, this is enough Damage for it to flee the battle. A is declared the winner.
Post Battle, a part of B’s equipment is randomly selected and compared to the damage taken. B’s Engine is selected, and with HP of 40 it’s destroyed. If B had any Parts with HP of 30 (85 Damage – 40 HP), another random selection would be made.

After the battle, you may have lost important parts of Mechas, or made a large amount of money and want to know what to do with it.
Equipment can be bought and sold between battles, equipment sells at half it’s original price, damaged equipment can only exchanged for Credit with the Mekam Company who made it (Essential parts go for full price in credit for damaged or undamaged equipment, if you’ve gotten a sponsorship), any Essential Equipment that is destroyed Must be replaced before the next battle, or your Mecha will not function, and will automatically lose (You win nothing from the battle, your opponent wins the base amount). If you spend 2 consecutive battles unable to fight due to damaged essential parts, your Mecha is withdrawn from the tournament.
If you cannot afford to purchase a part, it may be worth looking into selling your Company. Posting an advertisement on the website explaining how much you need, and another company may offer you the money, in exchange for you becoming a Subsidy. (If no-one else will, the New Power Corporation or Pre-Emptive Force are almost always willing).

It’s possibly to buy-out other players companies, by offering to supplement their funds in exchange for a ten percent of their future winnings. This can be done to help someone to enter a tournament they couldn’t afford to otherwise, or to replace parts they can’t afford to.
Once this is done, you may freely attempt to Bribe this company (through another Lump Sum of B, a hiatus on repayments or the lending of a Pilot), to target people of their choice in their tournaments (targeting a company who’re a subsidy of a rival of yours, reducing the amount of income they make, for example). A company may buy themselves back for an amount equal to what was originally paid.

There’s a Metaplot to Giant Robots with Guns that runs separately from the Tournament play. While some of the Metaplot will be purely background information, there will be times when you’ll be able to take part in Missions that can alter how the world plays out, generally for B or equipment.
Missions will be announced in two ways: Either several days in advance on the forum (for missions open to anyone), or delivered via e-mail (for missions specifically for You – to gain Special Mekam Company items, or similar), and can be run at varying levels of depth - from standard tournament style (sending your Mecha out and hoping it comes back), to a more detailed, in-depth style (actually commanding your Mecha on the field – adapting it’s active weapons as per enemies, etc), depending on time and interest.

There are currently 6 active Arenas for Giant Robots With Guns.

A popular choice amongst the richer audiences (mainly as only they can afford to travel to it), one of Giant Robots With Gun’s most unique areas is built in the cold, dark womb of space itself, truly 3 dimensional combat is sure to follow, as Mecha attack each other from all sides, embracing Zero-G Combat.
In the Space Arena, pilots add their Speed to their Attack and Defence.

Giant Robots With Guns original stadium, and still a strong fan-favourite. Built on the edge of Mekam City, many new combatants are fooled by the simple appearance of the arena – little more than a large, blast-marked, square mile of concrete. But they quickly learn what makes this arena special – fire-pits, hidden cannons and electric fences have all been known to burst from the floor beneath unassuming Mechas.
In The Fightatorium, Energy Damage is increased by 20

Known for it’s vast cave network and hilly terrain, the Atlantic Ocean arena is built into a vast under-sea dome, while a poor arena for live viewing (much of the combat takes place underground, and the arena’s been evacuated more than once after a rogue shell pierced the hull), it’s well known for a level of suspense rarely seen anywhere else.
In the Atlantic Ocean, Kinetic Damage is increased by 20

A Straight-forward Arena, Pilots in the Amazon Desert must battle the heat as much as their opponents, pushing them towards overkill. A popular live arena, after the Mekam Tourist Complex was developed the Amazon always promises to be a loud and enthusiastic match
In the Amazon, Mechas cannot act faster than every other turn.

As Mecha energy cores actually produce Cold Air, a Greenland Arena was the only logical next step – a favourite amongst Environmentalists, Arena Battles in Greenland actually Stop Global Warning (scientists suggest that they are in fact the only thing stopping the world from flooding), A battle on three fronts, clever pilots are known to attack from underwater – breaking through the ice directly beneath their enemies!
In Greenland, there are no modifiers.

Once Giant Robots With Gun’s success was assured, HorizonTV made what has been heralded as “The Greatest Purchase Ever” by buying the entire of Toyko city.
“If you’re going to fight with giants” they were quoted as saying “It’s got to be on the streets of Tokyo). While battles are not on, teams of engineers work to rebuild the city, assuring that this complex, urban battleground never loses its charm.
In Tokyo, Explosive Damage is increased by 20

(see the original rules page here )

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