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  The Mekton Technical System
Abuse Catalogue (MTSAC) V0.3.0
 


 



The Mekton Technical System ABUSE Catalogue (MTSAC) v0.3.0
Maintained by Albert Liu
(sogetsu2@yahoo.com)

Contents:
  1-1
1-2
1-3
1-4
1-5
2-0
2-1
2-2
2-3
2-4
2-5
2-6
2-7
2-8
2-9
3-1
4-1
5-1



1-1 Introduction

Welcome to the Mekton Technical System Abuse Catalogue. This idea got cooked up during the construction process of mecha for the Virtual Mekton online campaign setting. Naturally, in a friendly rivalry to outdo each other, some gaping loopholes in the the rules became apparent. This list attempts to point out some of the more excessive rules loopholes in the Mekton Technical System. It is by no means a complete list, and updates will be posted as new material is available. Please feel free to email me if your favorite loop- hole isn't present. -- Albert Liu



1-2 Special Thanks to

LITTLE LOCUS (leader@worldconquer.org)
Tsuneo Tateno (tsuneo@gol.com)
Brian Gilmore (gilmorian@yahoo.com)
Shain Edge (eklypse@acmecity.com)
Kencyr (Kencyr@yahoo.com)
Paul Fields (johnny_raiden@hotmail.com)
Dataweaver ()
The Virtual-Mekton mailing list (virtual-mekton@egroups.com)
The Mekton Zeta mailing list (mektonz@mecha.com)
and any others I forgot to mention....




 



1-3 What's New

v0.3.0 Updated "Tokyo City" rules section, removed "Smoking" abuse,
updated various other abuses, Updated Special Thanks.
v0.2.0 E-Pool Clarifications, Updated "Poor Man's Reactive Shield"
Added various new abuses. Added section: Official Rulings
v0.1.0 The MTS Abuse Catalogue is created!



1-4 Scope of this Document:

This document hopes to identify the major exploits possible in the core ruleset as well as a few well known unofficial extensions. Each entry will have a description of the exploit, a rank of its severity, and an entry describing how to counteract or minimize the effects of the exploit. As always, the best way to deal with outrageous rules manipulation is firm referee control. This document assumes basic familiarity with all MZ and MZ+ systems.

Each Entry will have the following form:

Name: (a short name for the exploit)
Contributor: (if available)
Munchkin Meter: (A meter ranking how abusive an exploit is. The more abusive, the more stars)
Description: (A more informative description of the exploit.)
Remedy: (Possible solutions to avoid this exploit)



1-5 Common Abbreviations

MZ: Mekton Zeta
MZ+: Mekton Zeta Plus
MTS: Mekton Technical System
WA: Weapon Accuracy
MA: Movement Allowance
MZML: Mekton Zeta Mailing List
VM: Virtual Mekton
K: Kills
CP: Construction Points
SP: Stopping Power
DC: Damage Coefficient
AF: Attack Factor
WU: Warm Up
BV: Burst Value
E-Pool: Energy Pool
IA: Internal Automation
SEW: Special Effects Weapon
  SL: Superlight
LW: Lightweight
STR: Striker
MS: Medium Striker
HS: Heavy Striker
MW: Mediumweight
LH: Light Heavy
MH: Medium Heavy
AH: Armored Heavy
SH: Super Heavy
MgH: Mega Heavy
TIU: Turns in Use
AP: Armor Piercing
AMS: Anti-Missile System
MV: Maneuver Value
OOS: Out of Scale
BR: Blast Radius

 




 



2-0 Core Rules

This set of rules consists of the Mekton Zeta rulebook and the Mekton Zeta Plus sourcebook. As of 6-8-00, both books are officially out of print, although copies can be found online or by digging around local hobby shops. Atomic Rocket Games has received the rights to MZ and MZ+, and are working on republishing both books.



2-1 Rule Ambiguities

This section covers inadequacies in the wording of MZ/MZ+ rules. The Munchkin Meter will reflect rulings most favorable to the exploit. Since this section depends on referee judgement, no remedy section will be included.



Name: Entangled?
Munchkin Meter: ******----

Description: MZ and MZ+ call entangling weapons "grappling attacks." However, there is no further clarification. A loose interpretation would include no motion and no dodge rolls. A 10K projectile weapon firing entangling rounds would result in a difficulty roll of 30. The rules also specify the ludicrous Max difficulty of 60 for a 20K Entangling attack (K * 3 difficulty). In addition, there is no time limit on this effect.



Name: Dismembering!
Munchkin Meter: *****-----


Description: MZ describes Dismember attacks as "ignore armor completely." This leads to debate over what exactly is "armor", especially in the case of Reactive shields. Potentially, dismember attacks could ignore shields.
(VM Mailing List mecha "Black Wind" is a good example)



Name: Special Effect Weapons
Munchkin Meter: **********

Description: MZ+ allows ANY weapons effect to be created by adding a x1.33 modifier to the weapon. Theoretically, this could be used to create insta-death rays ("Roll vs. 30 or die")

 




 



2-2 General

This covers general construction abuses in MTS



Name: (Nearly) Weightless Mecha
Munchkin Meter: *********-


Description: Using large amounts of weight efficiency, the design drops its MV, raises its ground MA, and decreases the cost of flight MA, all at the same time. Also, the points spent on weight efficiency are not subject to cost multipliers.
(Adition: nowhere in the rules is said that you can't weight efficience your mek down to zero tons. This would allow infinite MA for a cost of zero points of thrust. Fixed by ARG's official "no you WON'T" ruling against zero weight mecha)
(Tsuneo's mecha "Zephyr(Nightmare)" is a good example)

Remedy: In-game, weapons with high knockback will incapacitate light mecha, as will physical attacks based on tonnage (e.g. Drop and Ram)



Name: Super Space Efficiency
Munchkin Meter: ***-------


Description: Using large amounts of space efficiency, the design attempts to fit high-CP/low-Kill (e.g. Reactive Shields) into small frames.

Remedy: Not as bad as weight efficiency, since the CP spent here count towards multipliers. In extreme cases, limit the amount of CP usable for space efficiency.



Name: Lucky You
Munchkin Meter: ********--


Description: Player saves up all of his luck for one roll, generally offensive, and hopes he gets a Mega-critical. This is easily achieved, especially with high luck characters.

Remedy: Set a cap on max. luck per roll.



Name: Beyond the Limit
Munchkin Meter: ********--

Contributor: Shain Edge

Description: MZ+ describes the general formula for constructing weapons. Thus large weapons such as 30K 1x scale guns can be constructed. This breaks down rapidly after the 20K limit is passed. For example, a 1x scale 40K beam gun costs 60cp. A comparable 10x scale gun costs 150 cp.

Remedy: Don't allow weapon formula extrapolation.



 



2-3 Weapons

This covers all abuses created by weapons construction.



Name: One Shot Wonder
Munchkin Meter: **---------


Description: Large beam weapons can achieve a substantial savings in cost by specifying the 1 shot and clip-fed options.

Remedy: Not too severe. However, try using a 1K mega-beam to destroy the clips or disarming/destroying the weapon.



Name: Poor Man's Reactive Shield#Updated#
Munchkin Meter: **********


Description: Coupling an AF of 2 with a -2 WA Beam Shield results in Reactive Shield like protection for 1.8cp/K instead of 3cp/K normally required by reactive shields. This gets even better if the design has room for 2 shields, which can then alternate between uses and add the TIU and Rechargeable modifiers for even more savings.

(The Munchkin Meter has been increased due to some calculations I did. A 20K, 1 TIU, Rechargeable, -2 WA, AF 4 beam shield costs only 17.82 cp. Buying two of them only costs 35.64 cp. This is even cheaper than a 15K reactive shield! It is effective against all types of attack, has 5 more SP, is basically unlimited, and by default has a Reset of 1)

Remedy: Exploit the fact that Beam Shields can't have Reset: 0. Also, exploit the fact that there are two facings unprotected on a mech with Beam Shields instead of Reactive Shields.



Name: How Shocking!
Munchkin Meter: *****-----


Description: High Kill Shock weapons can be used to totally incapacitate a mecha due to losing actions.
(Tsuneo's mecha "Redstorm" is a good example)

Remedy: Use energy shields (reactive, beam) or gamma armor.



Name: Kinetics
Munchkin Meter: *******---

Contributor: Paul Fields

Description: Medium to High Kill kinetic weapons can be used to totally incapacitate a mecha due to losing actions.

Remedy: None



Name: Smarter than thou
Munchkin Meter: ********--


Description: Use of Smart missiles with 20+ skill almost guarantees a hit, and even makes AMS largely ineffective.

Remedy: Missile ECM, use AMS on first round, when AMS rolls against pilot instead of missile. Maybe drop a low kill blast radius device to clear missiles?



Name: Missile-Away
Munchkin Meter: ****------

Description
: Projectile weapons have the cheapest AMS possible. This is because their AMS multiplier is 0.5 instead of the 1.0 used by all other weapon types. Also, their effectiveness is not based on their damage ratings.

Remedy: None, really.



Name: Look Ma, Can't miss!
Munchkin Meter: *****-----
Contributor
: Tsuneo Tateno

Description: MZ rules say that indirect fire can't miss by more than 4 hexes. Buying a weapon with BR of 5 or more guarantees at least area damage. This also means that a low WA can be used to reduce cost. Fortunately, area damage is limited to a 5K maximum.

Remedy: Buy 5sp of gamma armor, get a 6K reactive shield, get a 5K, DA 0 beam shield.



Name: Energy PoolsSee Official Ruling
Munchkin Meter: ******----

Description:
Design uses an E-Pool with high available power and a large portfolio. It pays for one slightly larger weapon in exchange for many free smaller weapons. This is especially dangerous with multiple reactive shields.
(Little Locus' mecha "Cora" is a good example)

Addendum: (Contributed by Little Locus)
When buying reactive shields inside E-Pools, always take the Enclosing modifier. It allows you to get 50% more shield, and the rules pretty much specify you have to drop the shield anyway to fire a weapon.

Remedy: Try to target the weapon itself.



Name: Energy Pools, Part 2
Munchkin Meter: ********--
Contributor:
Albert Liu

Description: Design uses an E-Pool which contains a weapon with Rechargeable or Clip-Fed modifier. All other weapons can now use very low TIU / # of shots, because it can use the modifiers to recharge or reload power.

Remedy: This makes the weapons system very slow. 1 round to charge up, 1 round to fire. So you might need to get 2 pools.



Name: SUUUUURRRRRGGGGEEEE!!!
Munchkin Meter: **********
Contributor:
Albert Liu

Description: Ablative Reactive Shields grant Kills * 5 SP. Surge shields do SP kills in damage. Combine the two for five times the pain. As an added plus, take Reset: X and any other modifiers you feel like (this thing isn't supposed to absorb damage anyway) (ie. 15K, Reset: X, Matter Only, Surge for 21.1cp)

Remedy: Use the pre-ablative kill rating for calculating damage.



 



2-4 Additive Systens:

This includes Sensors, ECM, and Remotes.



Name: Jamming Cloak
Munchkin Meter: ****------

Description:
Design uses a high-power Sensor ECM suite and active cloaking to reduce chance of discovery.
(Tsuneo's mecha "Tobikage" is a good example)

Remedy: Bigger Sensors, ECCM, Paintball Blast Radius ammo, logic processors.



Name: Remote Control
Munchkin Meter:***-------

Description:
using small, light remotes to provide MV based defense. Common uses are: AMS, Reflectors, and Beam Shields.

Remedy: Sensor ECM, destroy the remotes.



2-5 Special Systems

This covers Boosterpacks, Flight, and Command Armor



Name: Gimme a Boost
Munchkin Meter: ***-------

Description:
Since boosterpacks add their full MA each turn, mecha can use boosterpacks to attain previously unreachable speeds. This could also be used on remotes to create kinetic energy weapons.

Remedy: Invoke the High Speed attack penalty.



Name: Perks of Command
Munchkin Meter: ****------
Contributor:
Albert Liu

Description: Command armor is not subject to normal weight rules for calculating MV and MA. A design can place a very heavy object inside a command armor location and save lots of weight. Melee weapons are good candidates for this due to their 1:2 cp/kill ratio.

Remedy: None



Name: Weightless Hardpoints
Munchkin Meter: *****-----
Contributor:
Albert Liu

Description: Mekton Bastion (http://pages.mville.edu/~rob) describes an official rule on the creation of hardpoints on mecha. These rules are quite similar to the rules governing command armor. Thus, they also use B-Mod instead of adding weight for MV calculation. A design can get an extra 9K worth of stuff for free by taking advantage of the fact that an 9K hardpoint only generates a B-Mod of -0.45 (rounds down).

Remedy: None



 



2-6 Cost Multipliers

This covers all non-transformation cost multipliers. Transformations will be covered in the next section.



Name: Powering Up
Munchkin Meter: *****-----

Description:
In tournament style games, a significant savings can be achieved by using a Power Cell or Combustion power plant, since these engines have no actual game effect.

Remedy: Force the use of Fusion engines.



Name: Autopilot
Munchkin Meter: ********--

Description:
Design buys IA system that rolls 20+ for a small set of skills (Piloting or Mecha Gunnery usually). Makes hitting and avoiding fire almost guaranteed.

Remedy: Restrict IA



Name: Supercloak
Munchkin Meter: *****-----

Description:
Design buys every single possible Cloaking multiplier. This makes detecting and getting a shot off very annoying.
(VM Mailing List mecha "Fast Taker" is a good example)

Remedy: Paintball, Flares, Logic Processors



Name: Turbocharged
Munchkin Meter: *****-----
Contributor:
Paul Fields

Description: Design buys two turbochargers. Using one turbocharger incurs no penalties, and in a tight situation, can double turbo output.

Remedy: Use scatter missiles to minimize damage from beam weapons. Use shock, entangling, or kinetic weapons to waste actions of turbocharging mecha.



 



2-7 Transformations

This covers all stock MZ/MZ+ transformations



Name: Efficient Transformation
Munchkin Meter: ****------

Description:
Use of Efficient transformations allows the benefits of two different forms for an additional 0.1 multiplier. (IE. Switching to Fighter Mode for 2x movement and back to Humanoid to avoid the 4MA stall speed and -2 MV)

Remedy: None, but it costs a lot.



2-8 Final Touches

This covers Stupid Mekton Tricks, mostly.



Name: Dimensional Storage (Hammerspace Tm)
Munchkin Meter: ***-------

Description:
Dimensional Storage allows equipment to be stored without spending an action. This can be used to cycle several large rechargeable beam swords without spending the time to put them away to recharge.

Remedy: None



Name: Insta-healing
Munchkin Meter: *******---
Contributor:
Kencyr

Description: Design buys Dimensional Storage, Portfolio 2 Morphing Mecha, and Material Absorption. Design specifies both forms as identical. Design then absorbs excess material through absorption and uses it to repair the mech (by switching to the identical form). Absorption MV penalties are avoided by storing excess material in Dimensional Storage.

Remedy: Enforce the "1 Action per 5cp absorbed" Matter Absorption rule, and make sure damage taken is applied to BOTH forms, per Morphing Mecha rules. If these rules are strictly enforced, players will probably find themselves spending all of their time absorbing matter to "heal".



Name: Rabid Kangaroo Syndrome (Ninja Leaping)
Munchkin Meter: *******---

Description:
Design uses a huge amount of ninja leaping. Since ninja leap is achieveable once per action, a +10 ninja leap results in an effective MA of +20 (or more, if using Let's Active) (ex. GMA of 7, normal leap = 2 hexes. +10 ninja leap. move 4 hexes for free [walking 1/2 MA is free], spend 2 actions for +24 MA. Total MA = 28)

Remedy: None



Name: Special Effect Weapons
See General section.



Name: Big Gun Syndrome
Munchkin Meter: **********
Contributor:
Tsuneo Tateno, LITTLE LOCUS

Description: Design buys a 20K weapon, either 1/5x scale or 1x scale. The design then buys the Transformation: Gun with "same shots, self-mobile" On the 1x scale version, or "same shots, weapon" for the 1/5x scale version. This is a very cheap way to get a 20K gun for the 1/5x scale version, or a 200K (!) weapon for the 1x scale version. On top of that, weapon accuracy is increased. Similarly, a design could specify a surge reactive shield or other weapons system with similar results.
(Tsuneo's "Zephyr(Nightmare)" is a good example)

Remedy: Do not scale up damage on Gun transforms.



 



2-9 Scaling

This covers Scaling in MZ+. Overall, this is one of the weakest parts of the MTS system, with many abuses possible, especially on the boundaries of scales.



Name: Tiny Reflectors
Munchkin Meter: *****-----

Description:
Design buys a 1/5 or 1/10 scale reflector system. According to MTS, reflector quality does not scale.

Remedy: None



Name: Super EMWs
Munchkin Meter: *********-

Description:
Design buys a low kill 10x scale EMW. The EMW's "hot knife through butter" effect scales to ignore 40K of armor instead of 4K.
(VM Mailing List mecha "Black Ghost" is a good example)

Remedy: Disallow OOS EMWs



Name: Nuke War
Munchkin Meter: **********

Description:
Design buys a low kill 10x scale blast radius missile. The missile's blast radius damage scales to 10x, instead of a maximum of 5K for 1x scale missiles. This allows indirect fire to negate AMS. (Tsuneo's mecha "Zephyr(Nightmare)" is a good example)

Remedy: Disallow OOS Missiles



3-1 Dataweaver's Custom Forms

This is a well designed set of modifiers that make the stock MZ/MZ+ transformations obsolete. However, this is a highly creative system, and easily abused. The system can be found at: http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/dataweaver/play/forms.txt



Name: Hyper-Beast mode
Munchkin Meter: *********-

Description:
Design uses a custom form as native form. It then proceeds to take every disadvantage that is not used by the design, and then uses the negative multiplier to offset the cost of desired systems. These systems are usually Movement related (ie. insane ground MA, 2x flight MA for free) or increased melee damage.
(VM Mailing List mecha "Black Wind" is a good example)

Remedy: Disallow disadvantages that have no effect



Name: Protected Sensors
Munchkin Meter: ***-------

Description:
Humanoid mecha must place sensors in the head or suffer -2 to Awareness rolls. However, humanoids "lose their heads" with surprising frequency. Buying the Unlimited Sensors option allows sensors to be placed in the torso, allowing increased survivability.

Remedy: None



 



4-1 Tsuneo's "Tokyo City" Rules

This is an optional set of house rules by Tsuneo Tateno written for the VM campaign setting. In it, he addresses many of the more blatant rules weaknesses mentioned in the Core rules. However, he also introduces a few more loopholes. These rules can be found at: http://www2.gol.com/users/tsuneo/MZML/VM-Tokyo1-4.txt



Name: Disruptor Missile
Munchkin Meter: ******----

Description:
Large amounts of low kill missiles with the disruptor property allow rapid depletion of reactive shields. This is contrary to the design intentions of the MZ+ writers, who wanted reactive shields to act as a counter to large amounts of small attacks.

Remedy: AMS, Missile ECM, buy Refined armor and turn off the reactive shield.



Name: Discount MV bonuses
Munchkin Meter: ******----

Description:
"Tokyo City" v1.4 rules allow 3 kinds of Targeting Computer, one of which increases piloting. Assuming that the pilot doesn't have a 10 in Mecha Pilot already (reasonable, since VM starts everyone out with a 1 in mecha skills), The Pilot TComp can be used as cheap verniers. Consider, verniers cost x0.1 per +1, take up 5 spaces per +1, and can be destroyed. TComp costs x0.05 per +1, doesn't take up any spaces(?), and can't be destroyed(?). OR... buy Pilot and Gunnery TComps for the standard x1.0 modifier and save 5 spaces.

Remedy: Reminder that the TComp doesn't affect shooting or melee. However, this is usually partly offset by the WA of the weapon.



Name: Obliteration
Munchkin Meter: ********--

Description:
Construction of a 20K, -2 WA, AF 1, mega-beam, 1 TIU, rechargeable EMW costs 59.4cp under Tokyo City rules. This is by far the cheapest reuseable 20K mega-beam weapon ever, with a guaranteed hit on the first thing to close within melee range.

Remedy: Don't allow mega-beams on Melee weapons.



Name: Discount Infinite BV ***OBSOLETE***
Munchkin Meter: ****------

Description:
"Tokyo City" rules allow the hyper modifer to be used on any weapon without spending x1.33 for SEW. When applied to beam weapons this allows a discount from the normal infinite BV cost of 10x. This modification also allows all Projectile weapons to access an infinite BV. As a side effect, all bursts will hit in the same place, and bursts may be called shots.

Remedy: Restrict Hyper to melee weapons. This was fixed in v1.4 of the Tokyo City Rules



Name: Saddle Up***OBSOLETE***
Munchkin Meter: ****------

Description:
Saddle cockpits give 2x REP points in the VM setting. A design with a strong Reactive/Beam shield could quickly gain REP with minimal risk to the pilot.

Remedy: Fixed in v1.4 of the Tokyo City Rules



Name: Poor Man's Reactive Shield, Take 2***OBSOLETE***
Munchkin Meter: **********

Description:
Beam Shields are not subject to the reactive shield forced Ablative rule. Thus, It is quite possible to construct a 20K Rechargeable Beam Shield with -2 WA and a high AF.

Remedy: Fixed in v1.4 of the Tokyo City Rules


 


5-1 Official Rulings

These are official rulings issued by Atomic Rocket Games.

Energy Pools:
Brian Gilmore writes:

The points in the pool are a limited resource, a single block. Like a champions multipower, you only have so much to play with at any given time. While each item in the pool can cost up to the available (or even the max) power of the pool, only that one system can be active, because it's using all of the power. So, in a pool with a power available of 30, one could have 2 systems each costing 15CP on at the same time, or one system costing 30CP on. Period.

Additionally, one can extrapolate from the sidebar on limited shot weapons in pools that if a device runs out of shots or is burned out, it takes the pool down with it. So if a reset X shield is taken down, the entire pool becomes non-operational. Similarly, if a reset 2 shield were taken down, the entire pool becomes non-operational for 2 turns. And yes, if a weapon needs to charge up to fire, it must have the resources of the pool allocated to it for the duration of its warm up time.

Brian Gilmore
ARG




The Mekton Technical System ABUSE Catalogue v0.3.0 END

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