A downloadable game
Heat Warning is a hack of Mobile Frame Zero (more specifically, its earlier iteration Mechaton). As much as I appreciate that game, it was always frustrating to me that their solution to “a unit’s defense value is only determined at the start of their turn” was to interrupt the active player’s turn to start the target unit’s turn, only to finish it later. While the instructions explain it clearly enough, it just never feels intuitive or smooth.
I began reworking those rules, and wound up with a solution where hits are accumulated during a turn, and then shrugging off or applying damage is resolved at the end of the round, making for a “simultaneous action” type of combat model. Plus, as health is tied to power, this also means that activation order is no longer a two point swing in terms or army power (as before a unit that acts later in the round may have already taken damage, therefore being weakened before it had a chance to act).
In addition, I found that MFZ neglected one of the mechanics that I have always found essential to the feeling of mech games - overheat mechanics. Essential to the theme of mecha is the disconnect between the pilot and the body. One of the effects of this is that there is nothing stopping the pilot from pushing the body past it’s limits, save for the pilot’s own considerations. Pushing the limits can lead to juicing additional power out of the body, but at the likely chance of damaging the body in the process. This is an inherent risk-reward mechanism that I have always found iconic to mecha games, and it was simply absent from MFZ.
After reworking the rules to incorporate these changes, what we are left with is a fairly simplistic, simple and quick to play skirmish-style wargame where the depth comes from the mid-game risk-reward choices rather than in-depth army construction. A more casual experience with exciting big mid game swings brought about by deciding to push your luck.Please patronize the original game. It's still a thing I admire quite a bit.
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