Techniconica is a card game where two or more players pit their armoured fighting machines, known as Mechs, against each other, in a contest of tactics and planning. Each player may field one or more Mechs in a bid to win the game.
Each game lasts between 5 to 15 minutes (or more), depending on the tactics and Mechs involved. The more Mechs involved in the battle, the longer the game will be.
Requirements For Play
To play Techniconica, you will need the following:
- Enough Cards to construct 1, 2 or 3 (or more) Mechs per player
- One 10 sided die per player – referred to as a D10 in these rules.
- Damage counters (we recommend dice, but coins will do in a pinch!)
- A copy of these rules
- A willing (or unwilling) opponent
Setting Up A Game
Before you can play, you need to find an opponent to play against.
Once you have an opponent, you need to agree on how many Mechs you want to field per player. The minimum is 1 Mech per player although you can have as many Mechs as you have enough Techniconica Cards to build. Battles involving more Mechs take longer to play out, so bear that in mind.
You and your opponent proceed to construct your Mechs on the table (or floor) in front of you using the rules presented in the following pages to construct as many valid, legal Mechs as agreed upon with your opponent.
Once all your Mechs have been constructed, you can then begin play (see Action Phase rules later).
Basics of Game Play
The game is split into two main Phases, which are broken down further below:
The Build Phase
Each player assembles their Mechs according to the Build Rules found later.
The Action Phase
The Action Phase is broken down into the following sub-phases:
- Mech Selection
- Resolve Actions for the Active Mech
- Check Pilot Morale (if necessary)
- Swap Players
Once all the Mechs have done their respective actions, the following End Phase events occur:
- Trigger End Turn Events (if any)
- Reset the Mechs
- Swap Players
The Cards Explained
Each Card has a Type (weapon, etc.), 4 main Stats (AR, DT, WE & PC) and 3 additional Card Stats based on the Card Type.
Each Card shares the same basic format and layout.
Each Card has:
- Card Name
- Special Rules
- Card Type (& Sub-Type)
- Armour Rating (AR)
- Damage Threshold (DT)
- Weight (WE)
- Power Consumption (PC)
- Card Type Specific Stats (DO, MW, SP, etc)
- Part Artwork
The Build Phase
Building your Mech(s) from the parts you have available is an exercise in experience, planning and cunning, although once you've grasped the basics, you'll be building Mechs in no time!
To build a Mech, you need enough parts to build it - each Card in your set of Cards is 1 "part" or "pilot" with which to build your Mech(s).
Each Mech you build must consist of the following parts to be considered complete and legal in the game:
- 1 Locomotor (to enable the Mech to move)
- 1 Cockpit (to house and protect the pilot and provide them with a means of control)
- 1 Pilot (who guides the Mech and aims the guns)
- At least 1 Weapon (a defenceless Mech is a useless Mech!)
- At least 1 Power Plant (without power, your Mech's guns won't work)
Each Mech is built on an imaginary "grid" system, usually 3 "slots" high by 3 "slots" wide (although larger grids can be used if you have a lot of parts).
The central (or near central) is always the cockpit & Pilot (the pilot Card is said to be "Attached" to the Cockpit Card — see the rules for attachment later on for more details) and the Card directly below the Cockpit Card is always a Locomotor Card.
The other 7+ "spaces" available are referred to "Auxiliary" slots and can hold any of the following Card types:
- Power Plants
- Any attached Modifications, Support, Armour or Shield Cards
Mechs are constrained primarily by how much weight their Locomotors can carry. If they get overloaded with too much weight, they will cease to be able to move or the Locomotor may buckle entirely!
Each Locomotor Card comes with 2 additional stats, Maximum Weight (MW) & Speed (SP).
One of the important considerations to bear in mind is the Maximum Weight (MW) stat of the Locomotor. This number indicates the total Weight (W) of other parts that the Locomotor can support before it is "overloaded."
As a general rule of thumb, the faster a Locomotor can move (the higher the Speed (SP) stat), the less it can carry in terms of weight (Maximum Weight (MW)).
The Speed (SP) is a consideration to bear in mind as it is an important part of your defence from enemy fire because a faster Mech is simply harder to hit.
Note that the Locomotors themselves don't have a Weight (W) stat – after all, they don't need to support themselves.
As an example, a Locomotor with a Maximum Weight (MW) of 12 can carry a total Weight of 12 before it is "overloaded." In other words, all the other Cards on the Mech build must have a combined total Weight of 12 or less to be considered legal.
The last consideration to take into account when building your Mech is the Power Consumption (PC) of the Parts.
Power plants create power for your Mech. If your Mech has a lot of power hungry parts, such as laser or energy weaponry, then you will need more power plants (or fewer bigger, better and heavier power plants).
Most Parts have a Power Consumption (PC) stat, usually ranging from 1 to 5, although a few have a PC of 0 (which are considered "free" from a Power Consumption perspective).
To work out the power needs of your Mech, add up the Power Consumption (PC) of all the parts on the Mech, to get the total Power Consumption (PC). Then adding up the total Power Output (PO) of all of your Mechs power plants, you can see if you have enough power by comparing it to your total Power Consumption (PC). The Power Output total must be higher than your Power Consumption to be considered legal in game terms.
Certain types of Card must be "attached" to other Cards. These attached Cards will directly or indirectly benefit the Card they are attached to or benefit the Mech as a whole in some way.
Attached Cards can't be individually targeted by the enemy; you must fire at the part they are directly attached to (it will either be a weapon, a power plant, cockpit or locomotor). If that particular base part is destroyed, then any attached Cards are also destroyed automatically (and any benefits they may have been providing also stop).
Only certain types of Cards can be attached, such as:
To attach a Card, place the attached Card on top of the one you want to attach it to but place the Card slightly off to the bottom left - see the example in the box above.
As you can see, the base part's stats, name, type and special rules aren't hidden and you can see the stats on the other attached Card as well.
You may have multiple Cards attached to the same part, such as a modification, a support system and armour. These will be layered on top of each other with the "base" part being the Card in the upper-left most corner.
Base Cards & Attached Cards
Certain parts of these rules (and Special Rules) use the term Base Cards. These are always Cards that have other Cards Attached to them and will always either be a Weapon, Power Plant, Locomotor or Cockpit Card. All other Card types are considered "Attachment Cards."
If, for any reason, the total Weight (W) of the Mech exceeds the Locomotor's Maximum Weight (MW) stat - like if a Mech gets hit by a weapon with the Gravity Field special rule, then the Mech is said to be "Overweight" and the following rules apply.
For each point of excess Weight that the Mech is above the Maximum Weight limit, apply 1 point of "Weight Damage" to the Mechs Locomotor. This is a "one-time" penalty per point of excess Weight (see below for an example).
Note that you only add points of "Weight Damage" once per point for the entire game – if you're only 1 point of Weight above the MW, then you sustain 1 point of Weight Damage. If the Gravity effect "wears off," then the Mech is hit later in the game and is only 1 point of Weight above the MW again, then no damage is applied in the second instance. The single point of damage caused by being overweight has already been applied!
However, if you get hit again by a Gravity weapon and you are now 2 points of Weight above the Maximum Weight, then you would apply a second point of Weight Damage to the Locomotor. Likewise, if the Mech is 3 points of Weight above Maximum Weight, then you should have a maximum of 3 points of "Weight Damage" on the Locomotor.
These additional points of Weight Damage may result in the Locomotor being destroyed and do stack with "normal" damage.
In addition, the Speed of Locomotor is also reduced by 1 point of Speed for each point of Weight Damage (which may mean that the Locomotor is effectively Speed 0 if it sustains enough Weight Damage). This cannot reduce its Speed to be below '0′.
If a Mech has Speed '0', then it cannot do a Move or Charge! action.
Attached Card Types
Armour & Shields
Armour and Shields provide protection to the "Base" Card they are attached to. Armour & Shield Cards are always damaged before the part they are attached to and take damage in the following order:
Shields --> Armour --> Base Part
Base Cards can't be damaged directly until all Armour and Shields Cards have been destroyed or removed.
Pilots are unique in that they are always "attached" to Cockpits parts. They can't be attached to any other Cards types!
These always modify the "base" Card they are attached to in some way, usually by increasing or decreasing the stats on the Part they are attached to. They directly "modify" the base part they are attached to and once applied, cannot be removed from that part under any circumstances when applied. They cannot be used to modify other attached Cards.
Support systems either benefit the Card they are attached to or may benefit the Mech itself in some way. They always have some effect such as providing additional special rules to the base Card, or offsetting a drawback (or, more rarely, apply a Special Rule to the Mech as a whole).
Certain pilots are renowned and are known as Named Pilots.
They are generally better than "unnamed" pilots.
You can only ever have 1 of each Named Pilot on your side. For example, you can only ever have 1 Carl Xanon!
One Mod Per Card
A Base Part can only ever have 1 Modification Card applied to it, but it can have other types of Cards attached to it.
The Action Phase
During your turn, you can "activate" each of your Mechs in turn. Once activated, that Mech is said to be the "Active Mech."
The Active Mech gets 2 actions per turn. Mechs are allowed to do any 2 of the following actions in their turn:
- Charge! (counts as 2 actions)
- Unjam Weapon (see Weapon Jams below)
- Hold Action
Mechs can only be activated once per turn. You don't need not activate all your Mechs in any given turn; you can skip any Mech if so desired (just say you are skipping that Mech when you do).
Mech pilots may wish to spend more time lining up their shots for more accurate fire on the target.
Mech pilots may choose to Aim as their first Action of the turn.
To gain any benefit at all for Aiming, their first action must be an Aim action followed by a Shoot action. If they Evade or do any other action, they lose any bonus at all and the Aim action is wasted.
When a Pilot Aims and the next action is a Shoot action, they may gain a +4 to their Pilot's Accuracy (AC) rating for that shot.
Mechs may choose to evade by creating a larger gap, making use of any available cover, or uing the lay of the land to provide some protection.
To use the Evade action, simply declare that you are using an Evade action with this Mech.
Evading Mechs gain a bonus equal to half their Locomotor's Speed per Evade action taken this turn. Therefore, if your Mech Evades twice, you gain a bonus equal to your full Speed value.
This bonus is in addition to the normal bonus you get from your Mech's Speed. This represents the Mech's Pilot gunning it as fast as they possibly can, carefully using cover or simply finding a better spot to fire from. It goes without saying that a Mech without a Locomotor, or one that is in "Low Power" mode, cannot do an Evade action.
Mechs may be equipped with Melee weapons that, due to their nature, are intended for close-range attacks and ripping other Mechs apart in combat. The only weapons allowed to be used in a Charge! action are melee weapons.
Mechs may wish to move to within extremely close range of the enemy to engage them with close combat weaponry. To do so is an extremely risky endeavour as the enemy may counter attack.
Resolve the Charge
To resolve the Charge! action, simply make a normal attack roll (using the rules for Shooting), but instead of using the attacking Mech Pilot's Accuracy (AC), use the attacking Mech's Locomotor Speed (SP) instead. In effect, you are testing your Mech's Speed verses the enemy Mech's Speed.
Also note that neither Mech gains any bonus from performing an Evade action when resolving a Charge action.
All the other rules apply, including rolling for Evasion, applying damage, etc.
Please note that you can only ever use a single Melee weapon when doing a Charge! Attack and cannot use a ranged weapon what-so-ever.
If the Mech being attacked in a Charge! action has yet to perform an action this turn, then you may choose to counter attack.
A Counter attack is resolved exactly like a normal Charge! action (with all the limitations required to do a Charge! action including a Melee action), although it uses up a single Action (i.e., so when that Mech acts, it can only do a single action this turn) and it must attack the Mech that charged it. You cannot Charge! a different Mech.
It may be prudent to hold off acting until you have an opportune moment to intervene. Sometimes, you just want to see what the enemy is up to before acting.
Any Mech may choose to do a Hold Action as one or both of their Actions. The Mech doesn't act this turn and instead gains one of the following bonuses per Hold action performed:
- +1 Accuracy (AC) when they next do a Shoot action (up to a maximum of +2 Accuracy bonus). This does NOT stack with Aim action bonus.
- +1 Speed (SP) when they next get fired at (up to a maximum of +2 Speed bonus). This does NOT stack with the Evade action bonus.
'Low Power' Mode
Sometimes, during battle, Mechs experience times when they don't have enough power to sustain all their systems. If the total Power Consumption (PC) is higher than the Power Output (PO) for any reason, then that Mech is said to be in 'Low Power' mode. This may happen when a Mech loses a Power Plant to enemy fire, for example.
A Mech in "Low Power" mode cannot gain any benefit from their Locomotor. There simply isn't enough power to move! In effect, the Mech loses their Speed bonus when being shot at. The Mech also cannot perform a Move or Charge! action.
In addition, the Pilot also halves their Accuracy (AC) rating (rounding any fractions up) to take into account that aiming effectively is much more difficult with an unresponsive Mech.
Furthermore, any support systems with a Power Consumption (PC) stat of 1 or more also cease to function and any bonuses granted by them are lost too.
Most Mechs mount a fearsome array of long range weaponry with which to destroy the enemy. Mech pilots are adept at laying down fearsome firepower using their weapons and for good reason.
The attacking player selects one (or more) of their weapons on the Active Mech to fire with and declares this to their opponent by saying something along the lines of, "I'm going to fire my Vulcan Cannon at you."
Select Enemy Mech & Declare Target Part
The attacking player then selects an enemy Mech to fire at as well as a particular Base Part on that Mech. For example, "I am shooting at your Mech on the right and I am aiming at the cockpit."
Remember that you cannot target Cards Attached to another Card; you have to target the "base Card."
Roll Attack & Evasion Rolls
Both players roll a ten sided die (D10) each.
The Attacking Player adds the Accuracy (AC) of their Pilot and the Penetration (PE) of their chosen Weapon to their roll. This is known as their "Attack Roll." They may also gain a bonus if they have used an Aim action previously.
The Defending Player adds to their roll the Locomotor's Speed (SP) and the Armour (AR) of the part being attacked. This is known as the "Evasion Roll."
Once you have added all the applicable modifiers (Speed/Accuracy or Penetration/Armour), you should have your Mechs "Combat Score."
- If the Attackers Combat Score is greater than or equal to the Defender's Combat Score, then the shot was a solid hit and you can go onto resolving damage.
- If the Attackers Combat Score is less than the Defender's Combat Score, then the shot was a miss and nothing more happens. You've now used up this action and missed.
If you've hit the enemy Mech, you need to determine how much damage was dealt by your attack.
To calculate that, subtract the Attacker's Combat Score from the Defender's Combat Score. This should yield a result of '0' or greater. The higher this score, the better!
Firing Multiple Weapons
It is possible to fire multiple weapons in one go at an enemy Mech, but your accuracy drops drastically if you do so.
For each additional weapon after the first that you wish to fire, your Pilot's Accuracy Rating drops by 2 points. This may take your Accuracy Rating to below 0 (and this is intended).
The Active player rolls once per weapon being fired (you need to declare which weapon you are rolling for before rolling the dice), using the same overall Accuracy Rating (even if it is a negative Accuracy score) for all shots made by that Mech.
The Defending Player only makes 1 "Evasion roll" per turn regardless of the number of weapons being fired at them from the Mech!
For each shot, compare the Attackers roll with the Defenders single "Evasion roll" to see if that particular shot has hit. Resolve damage for that weapon's attack if it hits as normal.
If you scored a hit, you need to figure out how much damage you have actually done now.
Then take the difference between the Combat Scores and add the firing weapon's Damage Output (DO) to that score. This will give you the amount of "Damage Points" to apply to the enemy Mech part.
If the Part has already been damaged previously, then it will have existing Damage Points on it. Count up the total Damage Points applied to that part up until now (if any) and add the number of Damage Points you have caused with your most recent attack. This is known as the "Damage Pool."
Damage is always applied in a set order, going from the outermost "layer" inwards. Apply damage to the part in the order given below:
Any attached Shields > Any attached Armour > Base Part
In the case of a part having multiple Shields and/or Armour, the defending player may select which order the damage is applied to first amongst that particular type of parts attached to the targeted base part. For example, he can select which of his Shields will be hit first if he as more than one shield, and once all the shields are destroyed, he can select which of the pieces of Armour the part has (if any) and the process repeats.
Once you know where the damage will be applied (to a particular shield, armour or to the base part itself), then compare the total Damage Pool to the affected Card's Damage Threshold (DT). If the total damage inflicted in the Damage Pool is greater than the Damage Threshold (DT), remove as many Damage Points from the Damage Pool as the Card has points of Damage Threshold (DT) and then remove that particular Card from the Mech.
Continue comparing the Damage Pool to the Damage Threshold (DT) in this way until one of the following happens:
- The Damage Pool is insufficient to destroy the current Shield, Armour or Part. In this case, simply leave as many damage point markers on that part as you have points of damage left in the Damage Pool. If you have 3 Damage Points left, leave 3 markers (or leave a die with a '3' on it).
- The Base part is destroyed. Check victory conditions and move onto the next action (damage cannot wrap-around to other parts on the same Mech).
Please note that Support, Pilot & Modification Cards are simply ignored in terms of applying damage, although they will be removed when the base part (such as a cockpit, weapon, locomotor or power plant) is destroyed.
If you roll a natural '1' on your Attack roll, your weapon has "jammed" and becomes unusable whilst the weapons internal system's work to clear the jam.
If your weapon jams during firing, your attack automatically misses. Place a "Jam counter" (a coin will do) on top of the weapon.
Before you can attack with the jammed weapon, you must do an "Unjam" action (which removes one Jam Counter per Unjam action performed).
Certain Support systems and Cards have to be "triggered" before their effects are come into play.
You can trigger a Card with the Trigger rule at any time during the game (including during your enemies turn) - the rules on them take effect immediately.
Once triggered, the triggered Card(s) are removed in the current Player's End Phase and their effects no cease to continue to apply.
If the Triggered ability was on a Weapon, Cockpit or Power Plant Card and it is removed from play, you may need to check the Victory Conditions to see if the Mech is still in play (i.e. still has 1+ weapons, 1 Cockpit and 1+ Power Plant).
Rules On The Cards
Certain Cards, notably Support Systems and Pilots may have rules written on the Cards themselves. Where these contradict the rules presented here, the rules on the Cards always take precedent over these rules.
In the case of the rules on multiple Cards conflicting, the Card(s) owned by the Active player always wins out over any the opponent may have if it is between two or more Cards equipped by different Mechs.
If two Cards contradict each other on the same Mech, then discuss your interpretation with your opponent and try to come to a consensus. If you can't, then roll a die each and the player with the highest score "wins" the "debate."
Mech combat is a dangerous affair, with bullets, missiles and laser beams being fired across the battlefield at break neck speeds. Even when behind inches of armoured plating and protective shields, accidents happen and pilot deaths are common.
When to Take Bottle Tests
You will need to test to see if a Pilot is going to continue to fight in the battle when certain events happen.
Testing to see if the pilot sticks around is known as a "Bottle Test" and you will need to test when the following occurs:
- The Mech sustains more Damage Points from a single attack than the Pilot's Bottle Threshold (BT) stat.
- The Mech loses a Base Card (removing Shields and/or Armour doesn't count unless it triggers the condition above)
- Gets attacked by certain weapons with the Frightening Special Rule.
Please note that a Mech only ever takes a single Bottle Test for each attack, even if the attack can tick off two or more of the conditions above. It is entirely possible for a Mech to have to take multiple Bottle Tests per turn from different attacks.
How to Take Bottle Tests
When a Bottle Test is required, roll a D10.
If the weapon being used is a Frightening weapon, it may have a number given in brackets (for example, Frightening (2)). If it has a number in brackets, then apply that number given in brackets as a penalty to your roll. If it doesn't have a number in brackets, then it has no associated penalty.
If you roll lower or equal to the affected Pilot's Fortitude (FO) stat, then you have passed the Bottle Test. The pilot continues to fight as normal.
If you roll over your Fortitude (FO) stat, then the pilot has lost the will to continue to fight and disengages from combat immediately. That Mech no longer takes any further part in the battle and is removed from play.
If the roll on the D10 is a natural '1,' then the Pilot continues to fight on regardless of the dangers - even if the associated penalties would normally mean it couldn't pass. A natural roll of a '1' trumps all the penalties.
Most pilots grant the user a number of re-rolls equal to their Re-Roll (RR) stat. To use a re-roll, simply declare that you are using a re-roll and "mark" one off one re-roll for that pilot.
You can only re-roll the die if it directly affects that particular pilot – you can use the re-rolls to re-roll the die when rolling To Hit another Mech or for the evasion roll or any other dice roll that affects the Mech in some way (you can't use the re-rolls of one pilot to benefit/affect another). When you use a re-roll, you have to use the second result, even if it is worse than the first.
You must declare you are using a re-roll for an Evasion/To Hit roll before you start adding the Accuracy/Speed of your pilot (and the opponent may use one of their re-rolls to affect their rolls during the same turn).
If any base part is removed (i.e. any part that wasn't "attached"), you need to check the victory conditions given below.
How To Check Victory Conditions
Once a part has been removed from any player's Mech, you should check that none of the following conditions have been met:
- The Mech has no Cockpit
- The Mech doesn't have any Power plants
- The Mech doesn't have any Weapons left
If any of these conditions are met, than that Mech is removed from play. The Pilot is either dead (Cockpit destroyed), or takes no further part in the game (either from total power loss or doesn't have any weapons left to fight with).
Also note that a Mech is also considered out of the game if it doesn't have any ranged weapons left, and its Locomotor is also destroyed.
Any player that doesn't have any more Mechs left on the battlefield are out of the game completely and have lost.
If you are the only player with a Mech in play, then you have won! It is as simple as that!
Once you have resolved all the actions for your currently Active Mech, play passes to the player to your left who then becomes the Active Player. The new Active Player then take their turn to act with one of their Mechs that has not yet acted this turn.
Players End Phase
Once the Mechs have resolved all of their Actions (or have been removed from play), then you need to resolve any events or rules that take place in the "Players End Phase." If you don't have any rules or special events taking place (which will be the case for most games), then nothing further needs to be done.
Once you have resolved any rules or events (if any), a new turn starts and all Mechs that are left in play get a chance to act again.
Play continues to swap between all the players with Mechs still in play until there is only a single player left to continue (who naturally becomes the winner).
The game is over when there is only 1 player left who can continue playing. In the case of 2 player games, the game is over when one player loses all of their Mechs. In multi-player games, the winning player is the one who has at least one Mech left able to continue fighting.
Techniconica can be played and enjoyed in a variety in different game types (some of which are given below):
Standard Team Game: Each team consists of between 1 or more players and the teams take it in turns to open fire on their enemies. To keep it balanced, ensure both sides have the same number of Mechs (unless you want to fight an up hill battle).
Lone Wolves: Each player enters a single Mech and the players take it in turns to open fire on each other. The last Mech alive is the winner. Each player is effectively their own team and may fire at any other Mech in the game.
Quick Death: Each player has 2 or 3 Mechs (or more). They each nominate one Mech as the "Hero" Mech. If the "Hero" Mech is taken out of action, that player is also taken out of action! Good for quick games.
Race to the Finish: The players are in a race to a specific point and must drive off the enemy or get the objective the fastest.
Before starting the game, pick a "distance" you want the Mechs to travel. A good distance is around 25 to 35 distance units – but feel free to increase or decrease this with your gaming group.
You'll need at least a couple of dice for each Mech on the table to "count up" the distance travelled by that particular Mech.
At the end of each Mech's End Phase, increase the running total distance covered by that Mech by adding the Speed of the Locomotor on the Mech to the current total.
Mechs in 'Low Power' mode or with destroyed Locomotors do not add their Speed to the counter. They have stopped dead!
If any Mechs reach or exceed the agreed upon Distance, then that player is the winner. Likewise, if a player no longer has any Mechs left that are able to move, they are removed from play as well.