Wednesday 5 June 2024

DIRTY MACS the Grand Forge Doesn't Want You to See

Tired of getting crushed by your enemies' finely balanced MACs? Tired of living by the book? Want to bring something special for your next clash?

We hacked Foreman Postello's personal design terminal at the Grand Forge and stole a folder named "DIRTY DESIGNS DO NOT LOOK IN HERE."

These schematics are so filthy, so sordid, that even the Arch-Rector's circuits would blush. 

Use them without shame.
Without mercy.
Because your enemy would do the same to you. 

The Funfhander (12pts)
Class 1 MAC
1: LP4-V GaussCannon
2: Lock (-1TN when firing main gun)
3: Lock (-1TN when firing main gun)
4: Insulant (-1 Heat when firing main gun)
5: Insulant (-1 Heat when firing main gun)
6: Insulant (-1 Heat when firing main gun)

The "five-hander", named because modules 2-6 are all in service of that main gun.
This thing moves into position, lines up the shot, and then fires the biggest MAC-portable cannon in the galaxy with -2 to the target number, cascading hits from its Piercing type, bonus hits on 6s from the Volatile mod, and all snugly insulated to generate just a single point of Heat. 

On a perfect shot this little MAC can land 16 hits on a target. Now probabilities aren't my strong point, but I think that means even a Class 3 MAC is mathematically annihilated. 

Right, that 16 hit shot is kind of unlikely, but you can easily get up to 7 or 8 hits if you manage to roll a few 6s. Just make sure you do that. 

Sure the Heat starts to pile up after a few shots, but at that point are there any enemy left to worry about?

Is this design broken? As in "unfair"? Big threats attract big attention, and if the enemy can disable the main cannon then this MAC isn't doing much of anything for the rest of the battle. 

The Triceratops (20pts)
Class 3 MAC
1: LB3 MacCannon
2: LB3 MacCannon
3: LB3 MacCannon
4: Plas-Cell (weapons generate 1 less Heat. Take 1 Internal Damage when this module is destroyed)
5: Plas-Cell (weapons generate 1 less Heat. Take 1 Internal Damage when this module is destroyed)
6: Plas-Cell (weapons generate 1 less Heat. Take 1 Internal Damage when this module is destroyed)

Okay, so what if instead of putting a huge gun on a tiny MAC we put three huge guns on a huge MAC and loaded it up with Plas-Cells to let it fire them at 0 Heat?

Without needing to worry about weapon heat this big guy can even Rush around the battlefield without running hot. 

It's not as wild as the Funfhander but as a gun platform it's about as efficient as you can get.

Just don't let  any of those Plas-Cells get hit... which can be an issue when they make up 50% of your modules. Good luck!

The Weatherman (20pts)
Class 3 MAC
1: AG4-X MissileRack
2: AG3-X MissilePod
3: AG3-X MissilePod
4: AG3-X MissilePod
5: AG3-X MissilePod
6: AG3-X MissilePod

We put as many missiles as we can onto a big MAC designed to stand back and blast them off at whoever your spotter points at. Just stand still and let these the guidance technology do the aiming for you. 

It's more expensive than just having a formation of mobile batteries or howitzer teams, but you get so much more total firepower compared to those piddly little pods that vehicles and infantry are restricted to. Fire off a single battery each turn and when you're down to your last two just hold down the trigger and pray. 

Yeah you could take off a pod or two and install some actual heat-management modules but that would result in fewer total missiles, which seems to miss the entire point. 

The Junglegym (7pts)
Class 1 MAC
1: LB2-V Autocannon
2: Frame (reduce cost by 1pt)
3: Frame (reduce cost by 1pt)
4: Frame (reduce cost by 1pt)
5: Frame (reduce cost by 1pt)
6: Frame (reduce cost by 1pt)

Behold, the cheapest MAC design that's still technically legal. 

What does it do? It's a MAC! It has a gun and everything. Don't fire it too often, though, it can get hot. 

Wait, are you suggesting you could use this very cheap MAC to exploit the 3 MAC Minimum for building a Force? Then use all those points you saved to surprise your opponent with a horde of over-equipped Auxiliary Units and Remote Assets?


The Rhino (20pts)
Class 3 MAC
1: P2 Club
2: P2 Club
3: Plate (Roll 4+ to ignore each hit to this module)
4: Plate (Roll 4+ to ignore each hit to this module)
5: Plate (Roll 4+ to ignore each hit to this module)
6: Plate (Roll 4+ to ignore each hit to this module)

No guns? All the less Heat to worry about! You can run around all day, crashing into your enemies and pummelling them with your club-fists, all in relative comfort. 

A beautifully elegant statement on the balance of offence-defence wrapped in a big, dumb shell. 

I call it the first masterpiece of MAC design. 

The Cockroach (12pts)
Class 1 MAC
1: G2 Spike
2: Jet (Allows 9” of Jumping)
3: Jet (Allows 9” of Jumping)
4: Jet (Allows 9” of Jumping)
5: Jet (Allows 9” of Jumping)
6: Coolant (Cool 2 Heat, gain 2 Heat if destroyed)

Yeah, running into your target and punching them is fine, but what if they try to stay away from you? Jump 36" across the board and slash them to pieces, cooling down enough for another jump next turn.

You might think this isn't all that effective, as jumping makes it difficult to actually land a hit on your target, but sometimes you just really need to put a MAC in the right place, and that 36" move really comes into its own. 

Seizing an objective? Landing directly on that artillery vehicle? Hiding like a coward to sneak a technical victory?

Now you're thinking like a Cockroach. 

Check out MAC Attack here and make your own broken designs.


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  1. That hacker image looks *VERY* AI generated.

    1. What? Are you saying you DON'T have a screen on the *back* of your laptop lid?

    2. I grabbed it from a stock image site. Thought I had AI filtered out but perhaps not.

  2. Back in the late '90s, me and some friends used to play Battletech. I remember one of my friends designing a mech armed with as many machine-guns as he could fit on the frame, and nothing else. His theory was that any opponent would eventually get bored of waiting for him to roll dozens of pointless attacks each turn and give up.
    We talked him out of actually trying this.

  3. I am a backer of Mythic Bastionland, but for some reason could not post a comment. Based on where the project is at this point, I know my comment will have little effect, but I want you to know that I am not a fan of the new art (I liked the AI art much better). The new art is so different in style to what was proposed that it is really disappointing. Just wanted you to know that there are some of us out here withthis opinion. Thanks for listening.

    1. I suppose any art choice is going to please some people and not others. Hope you still enjoy the game!

    2. I expect I will. Thanks for the response.

  4. Loving all of the MAC Attack content lately! I'm really hoping to get a chance to actually try to play sometime.

    1. Glad you're enjoying it! I'm having a lot of fun testing it.

  5. I recently played a game of solo MAC Attack on a 2D Battletech map (using a VTT). Had a lot of fun, especially with a Class-3 MAC loaded to the gills with AG3-X missiles. It's obvious now that I didn't go far enough—next time I'll forgo the cowardly heat-management modules.

    1. Just find a nice lake to stand in and you'll be fine.

  6. The Funfhander gives me strong "Hollander" vibes, which I know from the MechCommander PC game:

    And the weatherman is a thing I built in MechCommander and BattleTech as well.

    Very cool to see that the MAC system is so flexible to feasibly create Mechs/MACS of such wildly different archetypes!

    1. Yeah between the Hollander, Pack Hunter, and Hunchback I was aiming for those designs that are "put the biggest gun on the smallest mech that can carry it"