Mechwarrior/Generic Sci-Fi Strategic Rules

30 Apr 2020

These rules were originally proposed to a group of friends who played a lot of Mechwarrior - we wanted a way to add a strategic element to the game - to make the battles "mean something" - to give it some context. The idea was that we could use these rules to take turns in the strategic game via email, and then meet to resolve the tactical battles as needed. Unfortunately for various reasons we never go thie one going.

I think that these rules had some potential, and don't necessarily need to be used with Mechwarrior - they're generic enough that they could really be used to add a strategic dimension to any sci-fi wargame. I hope someone can get some use out of them - if you do, let me know!


Mechwarrior Campaign Rules

The Strategic Map is 100 x 100 grid, so each position has coordinate, i.e. (39,12). Use coordinates when giving move orders to fleets, etc.

Systems generate are rated based on the RPs that they produce: i.e. a 280 system produces 280 RPs per turn. Average should be about 200. System size and position is determined randomly.

Resource Points (RPs) are generated by planetary systems, based on how many planets, and how large the planets are in the system. Most systems have 1 planet. RPs are spent on armies (100 RPs buys 100 points worth of MW troops), navies (see below) and research (useful for navies).

Fleets move at the rate of their slowest member. Ships without special engines still can move 1 sector per turn.

The idea is that most gameplay occurs via email, so we can avoid all the scheduling problems of trying to get all the players together, and people can play by sending email when it's convenient. When land battles occur, they're resolved by a MW battle, ideally between the two (or more) players involved - or their substitutes (so if you can't make it you can have someone play for you.)

I will keep track of everyones locations, etc. and resolve naval combats. I'll send out reports to people after each turn. I'll post the map for everyone's reference on the website.

  • Each player starts with one system, that produces 300 RPs per phase
  • Each phase the player sends me his build orders (where he spends the RPs) and his orders to any military units
  • Units must be moved via fleets to occupy and garrison systems
  • Battles occur when two armies or fleets occupy the same system (unless the players are allied - and both players tell they are not engaging)
  • Naval battles will be resolved by myself, according to the orders you send me - be sure to tell me targeting order (small to large), and withrdrawal orders (i.e. run when you lose 50% of hits, 3 ships, etc).
  • You don't need to specify what units are being built (other than navies) - just how many points - i.e. you're garrisoning planet X with 400 points of troops. When a battle occurs, that's how many points you have to build your MW army.
  • In ground battles, the defender gets to set up the terrain.
  • You will not know what systems the other players occupy until you encounter them (unless they tell you).
  • You will not know how many RPs a given system produces until you send a ship/fleet there.
  • You will get an email after each turn with any news for that turn, which will be pretty general unless you took part.

Navies are built using RPs to purchase and equip ships, as below:

RP Cost Name Hull Spaces Hit Poins
40 Patrol Boat 1 50
200 Destroyer 3 150
400 Cruiser 5 250
800 Dreadnaught 8 450

Each Hull Space can contain one of the following:

RP Cost Item Effect
0 Cargo Space Transports 100 pts worth of MW units
80 Guns Inflict 1d6/level against enemy ship
80 Missiles As guns
80 Armor Absorbs 1d6/level of incoming damage
80 Shields As armor, +100% against enemy guns
80 Def. Guns As armor, +100% against enemy missiles
60 Engines Allow the ship to move lvl+1 spaces per turn on the strategic map.

So, a cruiser with 2 level 2 gun batteries and 1 level 3 missile battery would be rolling (4d6 + 3d6) against an enemy ship. If the enemy ship had 3 spaces of level 3 armor, its armor would absorb 9d6, anything geting through damages hit points. When hit points are 0, go boom.

Engines have no effect in combat, only in movement on the strategic map. A ship can only have 1 space of engines.

Theoretically, this system allows you to build scout craft (i.e. a patrol boat hull with just engines), big tough slow combat ships, transports (lots of empty space), etc.

Naval combat will usually be resolved by me, without the combatants having to be there, unless it's a particularly important battle.

Research Levels are seperate for reach type of naval equipment: guns, missiles, armor, shields, defensive guns, engines. Level 1 is free.

RP Cost Level
0 1
200 2
300 3
500 4
800 5
1300 6