They came from the reaches of space, the depths of the Earth or across the inter-dimensional barriers of time itself. Monsters, terrifying in their size and ferocity. Relentless in their rampage across the planet, devouring, destroying and bringing death with every mighty step of their advance.
Following is a brief set of ideas and random thoughts about how to introduce giant monsters into your games of GunFrame. These are all half-baked and in need of a great deal of testing. It was always my intention to add rules so you can play monster vs monster or gun frame vs monster battles, but I wanted the giant beasts to feel distinctly different from the giant robots. These rules are a first step towards that, but there is still a long way to go.
Any gunframe can be designated a monster. Unless otherwise stated, monster units operate exactly like any other gunframe.
- Pilot upgrades are renamed instincts. A monster may have any number of instinct upgrades, chosen from the instinct list.
- Monsters may purchase two upgrades for their Close and Short weapon systems.
- All monsters have the Terrifying upgrade for free.
You might want to rename the gun frames so they sound more giant-monster-y. Here are my suggestions:
- Scout becomes Beast
- Light becomes Fiend
- Medium becomes King
- Heavy becomes Mega
- Super-heavy becomes Giga
A giant monster force can have conventional forces, too. These are probably all kinds of small, squishy monsters that are swarms (infantry), armoured (tanks) or flying (flyers).
New rule – animosity
Monstrous creatures don’t like to be challenged – the veritable “kings” of the monster kingdom are proud and arrogant and command respect from everything else around them.
When fielding a force of monsters, one must be a larger size than all the rest. It doesn’t matter whether it is a giga, mega, king or even fiend – you must have exactly one monster bigger than all others in your force.
If two forces of monsters face off, the largest on each side are treated as nemesis. Treat the situation as if each monster had the nemesis upgrade and picked the other as their chosen enemy.
New rule – collateral damage
When gunframe / monster units (not conventional units) are knocked into buildings the building takes 1 damage. If a Heavy/Mega or Super Heavy/Giga unit is knocked into a building, it suffers d3 damage.
New Movement – Burrow
A unit with the burrow upgrade has the ability to tunnel through the earth.
When a unit declares it is burrowing, turn it to face any direction and mark a point anywhere in a straight line up to the unit’s Speed value. This is the intended arrival point. Make a Pilot Skill roll – on a success the unit appears at the indicated location. If the roll fails, the enemy moves the arrival point marker D6” in any direction – indicate a direction and then roll the die. The marker cannot be moved into impassable terrain or buildings, but could be placed on top of hills, in dangerous terrain or even in water features! A burrowing unit can move into base contact with an enemy.
A burrowing unit ignores any terrain features or mecha that it moves under.
Death spasm: when this unit is destroyed it may immediately make a single Close attack.
Devour: take a special action to destroy any number of friendly conventional units in base contact. Regain lost armour equal to the number of units devoured.
Hive master (N)*: this unit may use a special action to allow N friendly, unactivated units within 8” to immediately make a free move or attack action.
Mutate*: build this unit like a transformer, but the second form must have a smaller frame and fewer armour. When the first form is destroyed, leave the unit on the table. When it next activates it can take a special action to mutate into the second form (replace the figure with another to represent the new form).
Wild: when this unit is distracted the controlling player immediately turns it to face any direction and moves it D3”.
Burrow (Speed): this unit may use the burrow special movement.
Energy absorption (Armour / Defense): the monster never dodges. When successfully blocking damage, each 6 heals a point of of lost armour.
Infestation (Armour / Defense): conventional units that enter from reserve can be placed in base contact with this monster.
Toxic (Armour / Defense): the monster’s blood or flesh is highly poisonous, acidic or otherwise dangerous. When this unit is destroyed, place a token on the table. A 2″ radius around the token becomes dangerous terrain for all units without the toxic upgrade.
Mighty blow (Short and Close only): knock back and thrown power attacks move a target 2” for every point of damage caused.
Scenario – Smash the city!
Kaiju are rampaging through the city, making their way directly towards an important building. The gunframe force must do everything in their power to minimise the damage caused to the city.
The kaiju are the attackers, trying to destroy as many buildings as possible. Cover the battlefield with as many buildings as you can. Most should be typical civilian buildings (Defense 2, Armour 5).
The defender nominates one building in their deployment zone as their mission objective – the location they must defend at all cost. This could be a military bunker, hospital or national monument. It counts as a hard military building (Defense 3, Armour 12).
The defender scores 5VP if the HQ is not destroyed at the end of the game. The attacker scores 1VP for every building destroyed. Attrition points are applied as normal.
As I said at the start of the article, these are pretty rough ideas and I would appreciate your feedback. The combination of the free terrifying upgrade and two close / short load out upgrades makes monsters very formidable up close. This will probably mean gun frame forces will concentrate on longer range attacks and will hopefully promote a fair amount of movement from both sides.
Let me know if you use these rules, and how they go!