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The Pilot Quandry
For a long while now, I've considered the quandary represented by the pilot cards and game balance. I have tried to make the pilots as competitive as possible.
During the early play tests, we found that players actively picked the best pilots for their Mechs - this natural as the best pilots offered the greatest chance of victory (making it easier to hit the enemy Mech and place their shots is critical in Techniconica.com!).
But then this left us with another quandary - people would only use their best pilot(s) for games, meaning that the less experienced pilots were never being used, except in massive battles involving more Mechs.
To this end, we have introduced a few measures in the rules to help combat this issue in an attempt to stop players from buying multiple copies of the best top- tier pilots and ignoring the others.
The One Pilot Rule
We've introduced a new rule that means that you can't include two pilots cards with the same name in your other Mechs. This immediately means that there won't be any benefit of owning multiple copies of the same pilot card aside from offering for trades (which we want to encourage!).
This means that you can only have 1 Kyraio Quinne, 1 Laxcore Cull in your team of Mech pilots when you battle, which also assists in game balance.
During the play testing, we've also tried to vary the pilots somewhat by introducing special rules for them, although we found that this made judging the pilot cards a little more difficult for first time players, but it did introduce one nice side effect - it gave the players a choice between which pilots to field without resorting to the de- facto answer of "use the pilot(s) with the highest accuracy" as they have to factor in special rules as well.
In the future, we want to introduce pilots that gain additional benefits if you fight a certain way, or use a certain Mech, or use a specific weaponry. For example, we have plans to introduce a laser specialist that inflicts additional damage if your using laser weaponry. Another idea having a pilot that specialises in using the Sniper Wolf Mech - so if put him a Sniper Wolf, then you'll gain a small raft of bonuses and additional perks.
We've also introduced a re-roll mechanic that also allows us to offer an additional way to differentiate between pilots.
Certain pilots may be exceedingly lucky individuals, or may have a grim determination, and the re-rolls mechanic gives us a way to represent that!