Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Board and Card Games > Car Wars > Car Wars Old Editions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-24-2023, 03:44 PM   #1
Vulcan Stev
 
Vulcan Stev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Missouri
Default The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Released on first draft. Looking for feedback

The M.U.T.A.N.T.

An AT-AT for your game.

https://vulcanstev.wordpress.com/202...e-m-u-t-a-n-t/
__________________
Vulcan Stev
aka Steve Nibbelink
D.R.I.V.E.
Vulcan Stev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2023, 02:02 AM   #2
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Firstly your stated dimensions don't align with the diagrammatic representation. I think 30ft wide is fine and thematically maybe as tall as long is fine, but the body alone needs to be about twice as long and the head probably adding another 50% to that. This your counter should be 2" wide and 6" long.

For the gait, ordinarily when walking a quadruped moves the back leg first, then front leg on the same side and then back leg other side and finally the other front leg.

I think that as the rear leg will be better able to push the animal forward, the balance will shift at that point slightly and it can also put in a twist into the body when the front leg is lifted so the front leg can be planted off-line and allow it to turn.

On that basis I wouldn't permit the MUTANT to Drift. Drifting only really makes sense in terms of all wheel steering if all wheels are angled slightly off to one side you will move forward and laterally without changing the direction of the vehicle. If you don't have all wheel steer you need to execute a slight turn and then execute a second slight turn to correct. If the MUTANT can only turn when moving at low speed by pivoting it shouldn't be able to move laterally at all.

If you make the movement rate too high you will tend to scuttle as the gait you have described will mean each leg is moving 6 times at 60 mph. I think what would really happen is that the legs would move at most once per second (But even that feels too fast - but I am thinking of a ponderous but implacable walker).

I'd consider making the foot template 1" across. You say the vehicle is almost 30ft across and the feet occupy at least half the width of the counter, it is also easy to align with the rest of the game where 1/4" divisions get fiddly - this is not a fiddly vehicle :)

I like the fact that it has points of contact, but as written each foot will only move an inch per phase and, as there isn't any interphase movement in CW, the intermediate position of the feet is irrelevant. Thus in each phase of movement the MUTANT will stomp out it's 2" x 2" body counter area. This is much simpler to understand and play.

However you go for the larger counter and go for a stride based movement then the intermediate position of the legs is relevant. Movement will be on fixed phases (1 to 4 for 5 phase movement and 1,3,5,7 for 10 phase movement). Each phase 1 foot will move, the full movement allowance of the turn. the body and head will move when in the phases the back legs move (half the full movement for each back leg phase).

At speed 10 this all works fine, at speed 20 one front and back foot will occupy the same space, this is OK as in reality when quadrupeds walk at speed the front foot often lifts slightly before the back foot arrives as the forward momentum stops them toppling sideways (this is technically a different gait though). Speeds of greater than 20 with your vehicle as stated are not possible without changing the gait. Speed 20 seems fine for a ponderous beast, but if you wat to move father than that you either need to come up with new gaits (the trot canter and gallop), or abandon the idea of specifying the gait entirely (which would seem a shame). Of course if you made the vehicle longer and taller you could have longer strides (prey animals often have longer legs, predators often have long slim bodies).

You haven't put up the stats for the MUTANT in normal CW format so I can't see the weight, spaces etc. More importantly perhaps is there is no HC so notes like D4 Hazards for the MUTANT are hard to assess.

I'd suggest HC 0 as probably as good as it gets. I would say a bus would be able to outmanoeuvre it. I'd leave out all the special collision examples and allow the basic CW game engine to deal with it. Once you have a weight etc. everything else falls out and there is less to remember.

I'd also consider ditching conventional acceleration. Like pedestrians you could have a fixed walking speed and simply choose whether you exercise it or not. If you went for alternate gaits they would be tied to a specific speed (like changing gears) and you would probably wish to require that you could only change up or down a gait each turn. If you wanted to move a little slower but still within the range band of your current gait you could step slightly shorter on every leg movement.

I'll have more of a think on this but walkers in CW deserve some love and if they are LAAARGE then the footfalls are important (I am looking at you Godzilla!!)

Last edited by swordtart; 01-25-2023 at 02:15 AM.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2023, 12:45 PM   #3
Vulcan Stev
 
Vulcan Stev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Missouri
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Swordtart,

Thank you for the input. Good points all around. I'll be working those into the rules.

Now I just wish I had my boys back at home so I could play test it.
__________________
Vulcan Stev
aka Steve Nibbelink
D.R.I.V.E.
Vulcan Stev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2023, 12:49 PM   #4
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

In retrospect I think the body movement happens when the opposite leg pushes the vehicle forward. The other rear leg becomes the pivot. In an animal the body will flex and probably twist diagonally somewhat but the rigid nature of the box on top will prevent too much flexing with the MUTANT. You could resolve this with the body making a 15 degree turn with each movement rotating about the non stationary foot, but equally you could just say that hydraulic linkages between the cab and the chassis takes care of all that.

Your example gait is not so much a walk as a shuffle. It is the machine moving forward and then coming to a rest position in stable equilibrium. A walk is a constant fall forward arrested by moving the supporting limb underneath the new centre of gravity and whilst it ends in a stable position when you stop, while moving it is unstable.

This first movement turn shown has each leg effectively moving forward from the centre point, but as the quadruped body moves forward the point of suspension moves ahead of the feet in contact with the ground and so each step is actually a move front a point behind the point of suspension to a point in front. So once you are actually moving if the body moves further then so will the foot, this is how stride is increased which is how quadrupeds move faster.

You can go at 20 without changing the foot placement, just changing the rhythm a little into the Amble. There the front feet move as the rear foot arrives allowing it to step into the front foots place. In this case you move the body 1" forward with each leg movement instead of the 1/2" with the walk.

The trot is where only two legs are in contact at any one point and as this involves a degree of bouncing, I am not sure it really works for the MUTANT, the body would move 30 mph and so each leg must move 3". It is in this bounding that the front legs move to a position in front of the body. In elephants the gait is especially adapted as they can't really jump. Instead the rear legs walk and the front legs trot. This results in the centre of mass remaining around the same height as it moves rather than moving up and down like a trotting horse. This may be more appropriate for the MUTANT. How this happens is probably irrelevant (I think it like the Tolt of Icelandic Horses) as we are only concerned where the feet land each phase. In the first cycle move one of the front legs an extra inch. In the following cycle move the back leg on that side an extra inch into the created gap and this time move the other front leg the extra inch, the next cycle that back leg can be moved into the extra space etc.

It is hard to see how you could go faster without bumping into your own limbs unless you change the gait again to the Canter. Here a rear leg moves first. You move the body 1" as usual. The next movement is both the other rear leg and the opposite front leg. The Body moves another 1" forward. The final step is the remaining front leg and this time the body moves forward again on the lone front leg step . The sequence is then reflected for all three movements to complete the cycle. As the body is moving 3 times each turn each leg can extend 1" beyond that new suspension point making extra space for the leg moving into the gap (I think this works). These 3 movements would go in phase 1,3 and 5 of a 5 phase turn and equate to 30 mph

You can change the gait to the Gallop where only one leg is in contact with the ground at a time. You will move the Body forward after each leg moves and thus get 4" of body movement per turn. This equates to 40 mph of movement.

If you step longer (longer legs and body) you could double all these movements.

If this is more complicated than you would like (and it is pretty complicated I agree), you could hand wave it all away and just move the feet further each phase (by half the total movement in inches) and move the body by the same amount each time a back foot is moved. It is a machine after all, perhaps it doesn't matter about energy efficiency. This achieves the same range of movement but avoids having your MUTANT tap dancing :)

Last edited by swordtart; 01-26-2023 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Simplified
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2023, 04:23 AM   #5
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Last one - promise.

I found an animation of what the walker would look like at various speeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhJ5sc2a_U

As you can see 60 KMPH (the stated maximum speed of the "donor vehicle") looks pretty silly. This is less than 40 MPH.

Whether a vehicle that has a top speed of less than 40 MPH is going to be any use in a CW scenario is open to question as it could be so easily avoided, it might as well be a static bunker (and then how it gets to the battle is irrelevant)
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2023, 01:09 PM   #6
juris
 
juris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Walkers are a terrible idea - a vehicle that can trip, which apparently causes them to explode lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Last one - promise.

I found an animation of what the walker would look like at various speeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhJ5sc2a_U

As you can see 60 KMPH (the stated maximum speed of the "donor vehicle") looks pretty silly. This is less than 40 MPH.

Whether a vehicle that has a top speed of less than 40 MPH is going to be any use in a CW scenario is open to question as it could be so easily avoided, it might as well be a static bunker (and then how it gets to the battle is irrelevant)
juris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2023, 02:30 PM   #7
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Walkers are a terrible idea - a vehicle that can trip, which apparently causes them to explode lol
Never played _Battletech_, have you? .:)

['Mech fails Piloting roll; falls; takes internal damage to ammo bay; KABOOM!]

If I can ever find my "walker" rules for _CW_ again....
__________________
"Dale *who*?"

The Jeremy Clarkson Debate Course:
1) I'm Right. 2) You're Wrong. 3) The End.
43Supporter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2023, 02:37 AM   #8
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

To be fair, the classic Star Wars vision of the quad walker is a function of plot.

"So guys, we need something that is terrifying and looks menacing so it's big and ponderous but unstoppable.

George, makes great sense, it's sufficiently slow that the Rebels have time to evacuate as long as they abandon all that valuable war materiel and so powerful the rebels have no way of stopping it and it ultimately devastates the rebel base? Cool we can work with that - Robot War Elephants Yay!

OK George we're ready.

Great guys. Now how do the rebels destroy them?

Eh?

Yeah, I need Luke to lead out a sortie in obviously inferior craft, kill most of them and preferably destroy at least one of them in single combat to establish his heroic chops!

WHAT!!!! - right I am off to the pub!

Wait guys, I also have a great idea for a goofball alien bunny rabbit."

Anything capable of moving legs that large isn't going to be stopped with what is equivalent to dental floss. Also unless it is self constricting at no point are all the legs so close together that you would lose the freedom of movement.

Why did the rebels even decide to fit harpoons to snow speeders anyway? If we had a quick cut scene where they discussed the tactic and fitted the harpoons after they spotted the walkers (or beforehand as it was an obvious Imperial tactic - the guy with the electrobinoculars didn't seem that surprised, more resigned) it would be one thing, but it seems the harpoons are fitted by default and it's only a last minute brain wave that leads to the rebels trying the tactic.

The grapnel ascent and cutting open a hatch isn't so bad as troops inside might use those hatches to rappel down when assaulting and we know light sabres are better than most things at cutting. Sneak up to a bunker toss in a grenade, yep that has precedence.

They don't have force fields and the armour has to be thinner in some places than others and at the joints makes sense, but clearly the under body armour would be resilient enough to defeat the infantry weapons the Empire has to face. The upper armour would be able to resist small aircraft weaponry. That articulated neck section might need thinner armour, but than you would ensure there was nothing vulnerable in there, not a power generator (or whatever the heck it was that blew up). So even if they tripped (and you would expect there to be safety lock-outs if a leg was impeded from moving) they should be able to kneel back up at least.

As they were already in effective range of the base they could have just stopped, it's not like they needed to move to dodge the speeders, they could have just operated as self-propelled guns. They would have moved into range, deployed their infantry as a force protection and just bombarded the base. Then those speeders could have flown round them all day long being ineffective. Heck if they had gone hull down once the troops had disembarked they could have protected all that vulnerable under armour at the price of loosing a little range.

None of these are design constraints, they were written in to achieve a plot goal. MUTANT doesn't need to pander to those :)

Last edited by swordtart; 01-27-2023 at 02:46 AM.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2023, 12:40 PM   #9
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

The Battle of Hoth is basically Ogre with a coat of white paint on everything anyways. :p

[Check the dates they were made.]
HeatDeath is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2023, 12:45 PM   #10
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: The M.U.T.A.N.T.

Have your kid try binding your ankles with 4-5 turns of dental floss. [Most families will contain at least one child who will enthusiastically undertake this project, I suspect.]

Breaking it'll be harder than you expect, and will require explosive motion available to mammalian leg muscles but not to the actuators the Empire used in those leg mechanisms.
HeatDeath is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.