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0.11 Changelog: Energy economy

February 12, 2018 ・ The last mech

Photo of a paper prototype of The Last Mech in play.
A playtest, yesterday

I guess a couple of things have been niggling me for a while with The Last Mech, but they hadn’t been coming into focus. But after last night’s playtest with Tom, they kinda did. The big change I’m making - or at least testing for - is a simple one, but it could be huge and mess everything up. Or it could make for a more dynamic game.

The first niggle has been that many players just aren’t using their Shields. They instead put most of their energy into attacking. I completely understand because I do this too! It feels better to be attacking than passively soaking up damage because it helps you reach your goal. But the Shield should be useful and should be providing more interesting decisions than it appears to be at present.

The second niggle is that players usually spend all their Energy cards each turn. And usually on Weapons and moving. But I want them to be making some plans, stockpiling, feeling they can put cards into their Shield. There are also a few weapons that trade on having a hand filled with cards, from Fist’s extra damage to Taser doing extra damage to a defender who’s carrying a lot of cards. But at the moment they’re not proving very useful.

So. Here’s the plan: I’m putting the number of energy cards you pick up per turn from two to three.

My hope is that the extra Energy players will have will make using the Shield more attractive, while also helping them to have more cards in their hand when they want to.

I want to maintain the current speed at which HP is lost, and I think it largely will stay the same because you can only fire Weapons once per turn and they’re managed by range restrictions. Plus, if players have more Energy, they’ll be putting it into Shield to mitigate more damage, right? Let’s see!

If this change is a bit of a sledgehammer to the game’s delicate sensibilities, I’m going to see if allowing players to fit an extra Augment works. Perhaps let them be stacked on Components, too. But first things first.

One other very minor change: I’m making the Sniper’s Charge cost one extra Energy (five), cos getting two free Energy cards for spending one extra Energy was far too cheap.