At the end of the Suppression Wars the solar system was a battered ruin. The mega-corporations that once dominated the system retreated to Earth and the colonies were left to their hard-won freedom. An uneasy peace fell across the stars for a time, but war is a restless beast that is always hungry. Soon the colonies began to war amongst themselves. Colonial defence forces were mobilised, their ancient gunframes pieced back together ready for battle once more. Wealthy mercenary companies rose to prominence, fighting for colonial powers or to settle personal grudges. And on Earth, the corporations watched and waited for the time to take their vengeance…

What follows are play-test rules for GunFrame, the anime met battle game. Please play with them and share your thoughts and experiences.

If you like your giant fighting robot battles to be a little less anime and a little more like giant weapon platforms duking it out, the following rules will give you just that feel.

Unless otherwise stated, all rules from the GunFrame core rules apply in your games of Battle’Frame.

GunFrames

Gunframes in Battle’Frame are enormous, heavy warmachines more akin to walking tanks than the agile mecha depicted in the core rules. To simulate this, the following rules changes apply:

Dodge: Gunframes do not dodge on a successful defense roll. Conventional units may still dodge.

Fly: Gunframes cannot have the Fly upgrade or use the fly special movement. Conventional units may still fly.

Split Fire: All gunframe weapon systems automatically have the Split Fire upgrade for free. This upgrade is innate and does not count towards the maximum upgrades each weapon system may have. Conventional units do not get this bonus.

Stompy: If a gunframe finishes a move (voluntary or involuntary) in base contact with any conventional unit (friend or enemy), that unit immediately suffers 1 hit.

Overload: Gunframes must carefully manage the power-output of their engines. Use the Overload rules, as described below.

Overload

Battle’Frame gunframes are powered by advanced but temperamental micro-nuclear power plants. While powerful, they are prone to overloading systems and causing feedback damage.

Place an overload counter on a gunframe whenever any of the following occurs:

  • The unit enters play from HALO deployment
  • The unit makes a fast move
  • The unit makes a jump move
  • The unit suffers a power attack
  • The unit makes two attack actions in the same activation

Overloaded

At the end of an activation, if a gunframe’s overload total exceeds its Defense value, it immediately suffers 1 damage. When this happens, remove all overload counters.

Stabilise

Remove one overload counter from every mecha during the End phase of a turn. Remove all overload counters from any gunframe that is shut down in the End phase. A pilot can also actively stabilise their gunframe, too.

Override: the pilot diverts power and shuts down malfunctioning systems. Take a special action to remove D3 overload counters.

Pushing

Mecha can push their fusion reactors in order to perform one of the following actions. Each time they do so, add an overload counter to the mecha.

Alpha strike: the mecha attacks, all guns blazing. Add +2D to their firepower pool. This is in addition to any other bonus they may already have.

Full throttle: the pilot opens up the engine and increases their speed. Add +2 to the gunframe’s Speed value for a single move action.

Upgrades

The following upgrades can be purchased for gunframes in Battle’Frame. All standard rules for upgrades apply. Upgrades marked with an asterix (*) replace the standard upgrade of the same name.

Frame upgrades

Agile (speed)*: when making a Defense roll, each “6” cancels two of an attacker’s hits.

Automatic Override (defense): remove 2 overload counters in the End phase, instead of 1.

Cooling systems (defense): making a fast move or jump move does not generate overload.

Faraday shield (armour / defense): this unit is immune to the Disruptor and Scrambler weapon upgrade. The unit takes damage as normal.

Repair systems (armour / defense)*: take a special action and roll a die to activate repair systems. On a 4+ the mecha regains a single point of armour that had been damaged. On a 6, regain 2 points. Remove one overload counter, even if the repair action is unsuccessful.

Loadout upgrades

Burn (close or short only)*: this weapon system can use the burn special power attack. If you do, both the attacker and target must take an additional overload counter.

Chain attack*: this weapon system can use the chain attack special power attack. When it does, add one overload counter.

Disruptor: power attacks can be spent to add overload counters to a target, one-for-one.

Long Range Missiles (Long only): this weapon system has a maximum range of 32” and can use the blast special power attack. Add one overload counter whenever this weapon system is used.

Scrambler: if an attack from this weapon system causes any damage, the target also takes 1 overload counter.  

Environments

Players may agree to play their games of Battle’Frame in one of the following environments.

Desert / Inner planet:The battlefield is intensely hot. Mecha remove one less overload counter during the End phase. Shutdown mecha remove D6 counters during the End phase.

Frozen: The battlefield is intensely cold. Mecha remove one additional overload counter during the End phase.

Volcanic: The battlefield is primordial in nature, covered in lava flows, hot springs and geysers. Place several areas of dangerous terrain on the battlefield. A mecha that moves through dangerous terrain automatically gains one overload counter, in addition to the terrain’s normal effects.

Have you incorporated any of these ideas into your games of GunFrame? Leave a comment below!