Techniconica - The Mech Combat Card Game

The Mech Combat Card Game

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Rulebook Sections

The Game

Techniconica is a combat card game where two or more Players pit their armoured fighting machines, known as Mechs, against each other, in a contest of planning and tactics. The aim of the game is to disable your opponents or make them run.

Each game lasts between 3 to 15 minutes (or more), depending on the tactics and Mechs involved. The more Mechs involved in the battle, the longer the game will take.

Requirements For Play

To play Techniconica, you will need the following:

  • Enough Part Cards to construct an agreed number of Mechs
  • 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!)
  • Access to a copy of these rules

Game Overview

Each Techniconica game is split into two main game Phases, which are broken down further below:

The Build Phase

Each Player assembles their Mechs according to the Build Rules.

The Action Phase

The Action Phase is where all the fighting happens and is broken down into the following sub-phases:

  • Mech Selection
  • Resolve Actions for one of your Mechs
  • Check Pilot Morale (if necessary)
  • Swap Players

Setting Up A Game

You and your opponent will need to agree on the number of Mechs on a per Player basis. The minimum is 1 Mech, but you can have as many Mechs as you want - provided you have enough Techniconica Cards to build them all, of course.

Battles involving more Mechs take longer to play out, so bear that in mind.

You then proceed to construct your Mechs on the table (or floor) in front of you using the rules presented shortly to construct as many Mechs as required.

Once all your Mechs have been constructed, you can then begin play. See the Action Phase rules.

The Cards Explained

Each Card represents one specific Mech Part or Pilot in the game. Every Card shares the same basic format and layout.

Each Part 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)
  • Card Artwork

Rulebook image

The Build Phase

Building your Mech(s) from the Part Cards you have available is an exercise in experience, planning and cunning. Once you've grasped the basics, you'll be building Mechs in no time!

Each Card represents 1 Part or Pilot.

Minimum Parts

Each Mech you build must consist of the following Card Types 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)
  • 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 systems won't work)

Mech Construction

Mechs are 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 "slot" is always the Cockpit & Pilot (the Pilot Card is said to be Attached to the Cockpit Card - see the rules for Card Attachment later on for more details on Attaching Cards).

The Card directly below the Cockpit Card is always a Locomotor Card.

The other 7+ slots available are auxiliary "slots" and can hold any of the following Card types:

  • Power Plants
  • Weapons

All other Card Types (such as Armour) are attached to the Base Parts.


Weight Allowance

Mechs are constrained primarily by how much Weight their Locomotors can physically carry. If they get "Overloaded" with too much weight, they will cease to be able to move and the Locomotor will start taking damage which could make it buckle entirely!

Each Locomotor Card has 2 Locomotor-only Part stats, Maximum Weight (MW) & Speed (SP).

One of the important considerations to bear in mind is the Locomotor's Maximum Weight (MW) stat. This number indicates the total Weight (WE) of all other Parts that the Locomotor can support before it is considered Overloaded.

As an example, a Locomotor with a Maximum Weight (MW) of 12 can carry a total Weight of 12. If it has a Weight of 13 or more, then it is Overloaded. In other words, all the other Cards on the Mech must have a combined total Weight of 12 or less to be considered legal.

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 Maximum Weight (MW). A faster Mech is harder to hit and thus speed forms part of your Mech's defence.

Power Consumption

The last consideration to take into account when building your Mech is the Power Consumption (PC) of all the Parts that make up that Mech.

Power Plants Parts create power for your Mech. If your Mech has a lot of power hungry Parts, such as laser weapons, 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 Power Consumption of 0 (which are considered 'free' from a Power Consumption (PC) 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. Then, add up the Power Output (PO) of all of your Mechs Power Plants. The Power Output total must be higher than, or equal to, your total Power Consumption to be considered a legal and valid Mech.


Attaching Cards

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 are ignored when selecting a target Card to fire at; you must fire at a specific Base Part (this will either be a Weapon, Power Plant, Cockpit or Locomotor Type Part Card).

Only certain Types of Cards can be Attached. These Card Types are:

  • Armour
  • Modifications
  • Pilot
  • Shields
  • Support

To Attach a Card, place the Attached Card on top of the Base Part you want to Attach it to, but slightly off to the bottom right - see the example below.

As you can see from the example, the Base Part's stats, name, type and special rules are not 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 card, Armour etc. These will be layered on top of each other with the Base Part being the Card in the upper-left most corner.

Base Parts & Attachments

Certain rules (and Special Rules) use the term Base Part. These are always Cards that have other Cards Attached to them and will always either be a Weapon, Power Plant, Locomotor or Cockpit Card.

If a Base Part is removed from play, then any Attached Cards are also destroyed (and any benefits they may have been providing also stop immediately).

An Example of Card Attachment

Rulebook image

Attached Card Types

Armour & Shields

Armour and Shields provide protection to the Base Part they are Attached to. Armour & Shield Cards always take damage before the Base Part they are Attached to. They always take damage in the following order:

Shields --> Armour --> Base Part

Only when all the Shields and Armour Cards are removed will a Base Part start taking damage from incoming fire.

Pilot Cards

Pilots are unique in that they are always Attached to Cockpits Part Cards. They can't be Attached to any other Cards types!

Modification Cards

These Cards always modify the Base Part they are Attached to, usually by increasing or decreasing the stats on that Part. Once applied, Modifications cannot be removed from that Base Part under any circumstances. They will never modify other Attached Cards.

Support Cards

Support Cards either benefit the Base Part they are Attached to or may benefit the Mech itself in some way with the Special Rules printed on the Support Card.

Named Individuals

Certain Pilots are renowned across Techniconica. These are known as Named Pilots in the game.

They are generally better than "unnamed" Pilots in some way.

You can only ever have 1 of each Named Pilot on a per Player basis.

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 such as Armour, Shields or Support Cards.

Example Mech - Sniper Wolf

Rulebook image

Weight

Total: 17

Maximum: 18

Power

Consumption: 7

Power Output: 7

The Action Phase

Techniconica is played in Rounds where every player takes it in turn (known as a Turn) to act with their Mechs, one at a time. Once all Mechs have acted or been removed from play, then the Round Ends and another Round starts.

Who Goes First?

To determine which Player goes first, every player rolls a D10 and add the Speed (SP) of your slowest Mech. The Player who rolls highest goes first. In the event of a tie, simply roll again until you get a winner.

Player Turn Structure

During your Turn, you can Activate one of your Mechs that hasn't already been Activated this Round. Once Activated, that Mech is said to be the Active Mech.

The Active Mech gets 2 Actions per Turn. Mechs are allowed to do the following Actions in their Turn:

  • Aim
  • Charge (counts as 2 Actions)
  • Evade
  • Hold Action
  • Shoot
  • Unjam Weapon

Mechs can only be Activated once per Round. You don't need to Activate all your Mechs in any given Round; you can skip any Mech, if you desire. If you don't have any Mechs left to Activate, then your Turn is skipped and the next player has their Turn.

Aim Action

Mech Pilots may wish to spend more time lining up their shots for more accurate and concentrated fire.

To gain any benefit at all from using an Aim Action, their first Action must be an Aim Action followed by a Shoot Action in the same Turn. If they Evade or do any other Action, they lose the Aiming bonus and the Aim Action is wasted.

When a Pilot Aims and then does a Shoot Action, they gain a +4 to their Pilot's Accuracy (AC) for that Shoot Action.

Evade Action

Mech Pilots may elect to Evade incoming enemy fire by engaging in evasive manoeuvring, using terrain or cover.

To use the Evade action, simply declare that you are using an Evade Action with the Active Mech. The Mech gains a +4 bonus to their Speed (SP) until the start of the next Round.

Charge Action

Certain Weapons are short-ranged and are intended for close-range combat. Thusly the only Weapons allowed to be used in a Charge Action are Weapons with the Melee Subtype.

Resolve the Charge

To resolve the Charge Action, resolve it as a regular Shooting Attack Roll (using the rules for Shoot Action), but instead of using the Active Mechs Pilots Accuracy (AC), use the Active Mechs Locomotors Speed (SP) instead. In effect, you are testing your Mech's Speed verses the enemy Mech's Speed.

Neither Mech gains any bonus from performing an Evade action when resolving a Charge Action.

All the other Shooting rules apply, including rolling for Evasion, applying damage, etc.

You can only ever use a single Melee Weapon when doing a Charge Action. A Charge Action also counts as 2 Actions.

Counter-Attack

A Mech being attacked in a Charge Action may Counter-Attack with any Melee Weapons that it has. Mechs may only Counter-Attack one enemy Mech per Round. The Counter-Attack is considered a free bonus Action. You do not have to Counter-Attack at all if you do not want to.

A Counter-Attack is resolved exactly like a normal Charge Action (with all the limitations of a Charge Action including only using a Melee weapon) and the Counter-Attack must be made against the Mech that just Charged you.

Hold Action

It may be prudent to hold off acting until you have an opportune moment to act. Other times, you just want to see what the enemy is up to before acting.

Any Active Mech may choose to do a Hold Action as one or both of their Actions. The Active Mech gains 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).
  • +1 Speed (SP) when they next get targeted by a Shoot Action (up to a maximum of +2 Speed bonus).

The bonus above can only be stacked twice - you can only gain +2 Speed (SP) and +2 Accuracy (AC). These bonuses apply until the end of the Mech's next Activation.

'Low Power' Mode

Mechs may lose one or more of their Power Plants during combat, reducing their capabilities.

If the total Power Consumption (PC) is higher than the Power Output (PO) at any time (check when a Power Plant is removed from play), then that Mech is said to be in "Low Power" mode.

A Mech in Low Power mode does not gain any benefit from their Locomotor, there simply isn't enough power to move! The Mech loses their Speed (SP) bonus when being attacked. The Mech also cannot perform a Evade or Charge Action.

In addition, the Pilot also halves their Accuracy (AC) stat (rounding any fractions up) to take into account that aiming is much more difficult with an unresponsive Mech.

Furthermore, any Support Cards with a Power Consumption (PC) stat of 1 or more also cease to function and any bonuses granted by them are lost too.

Triggers

Certain Cards (notably Support Cards) have to be Triggered before their effects come into play. You can activate a Card with the Trigger rule at any time during the game (including during your enemies Turn) - when this happens, the rules on the Card take effect immediately.

Once Triggered, the Triggered Card(s) are removed at the end of that Players Turn and their effects also stop.

If the Triggered ability was on a Weapon, Cockpit or Power Plant Card, when it is removed from play, you will need to check the Victory Conditions to see if that Mech is still in play (i.e. it still has 1+ Weapons, 1 Cockpit and 1+ Power Plant). You do not have to take a Bottle Test for Base Parts removed in this way.

Shoot Action

To perform a Shooting Action, follow these steps:-

  • Select Weapon
  • Select Enemy Mech and Target Part
  • Roll for Attack & Evasion
  • Resolve Damage (if applicable)

Select Weapon

The Active Player chooses one (or more) of their Weapons on the Active Mech to attack with and declares this to their opponent by saying something along the lines of, "I'm going to fire my Vulcan Cannon."

Select Enemy Mech & Declare Target Part

The Active Player then chooses an enemy Mech to fire at - as well as a particular Base Part on that Mech. For example, "I am shooting at that Mech and I am aiming at the Cockpit."

Remember that you cannot target Attached Cards; you have to target a Base Part.

Roll Attack & Evasion Rolls

The Attacking and Defending Players roll a ten sided die (D10) each.

The Attacking Player adds the Accuracy (AC) of the Active Mech's Pilot and the Penetration (PE) of their chosen Weapon to their roll. This is known as an Attack Roll. They may also gain a bonus if they have used an Aim action previously.

The Defending Player adds the Locomotor's Speed (SP) of the targeted Mech and the Armour Rating (AR) of the Part being targeted to their roll. This is known as the Evasion Roll.

Once you have added all the applicable modifiers (Speed/Accuracy or Penetration/Armour), you should have your respective 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 given the Apply Damage rules below.
  • If the Attackers Combat Score is less than the Defender's Combat Score, then the shot was a miss and nothing more happens.

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 per additional Weapon fired.

The Active Player makes one Attack Roll per Weapon being fired (you need to declare which Weapon you are rolling for before rolling the dice), using the same Accuracy Rating for all Attack Rolls (even if it is a negative Accuracy score). This is done one roll after another to avoid confusion.

The Defending Player only makes 1 Evasion Roll per Shooting Action regardless of the number of Weapons being fired at them.

For each weapon fired, compare the Attackers roll with the Defenders single Evasion Roll to see if that particular weapon has hit. Resolve damage for that Weapon's attack if it hits as normal.

Apply Damage

If you scored a hit, you need to figure out how much damage you have actually done now.

To calculate how much Damage you've caused, subtract the Defender's Combat Score from the Attacker's Combat Score. This should yield a result of 0 or greater. The higher this score, the better!

Then take the difference between the Combat Scores and add the attacking Weapons Damage Output (DO) to that score. This will give you the amount of Damage Points caused in this attack.

If the Part has already been damaged previously, then it will have existing Damage Point counters 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. 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 Base Part has (if any) and the process repeats until all damage has been applied.

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 Damage Pool is greater (or equal to) than the Damage Threshold (DT) of the currently affected Part, remove Damage Points from the Damage Pool equal to the Damage Threshold (DT) of the affect Part 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 Base 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 removed.

Weapon Jams

If you roll a natural '1' on your Attack roll, your Weapon has Jammed and becomes unusable. The Attack is wasted unless the Weapon has the Reliable Special Rule.

Before you can attack again with the Jammed Weapon, you must do a special Unjam action (which simply removes one Jam Counter per Unjam Action performed).

Pilot Morale

Mech combat is a dangerous affair, with bullets, missiles and laser beams being fired across the battlefield. Even when behind inches of armoured plating and protective Shields, it can be a terrifying experience to pilot a Mech.

When to take Bottle Tests

You will need to check to see if a Pilot is going to continue to fight in the battle when certain events happen.

This check is known as a Bottle Test. You need to take a Bottle Test when the following occurs:

  • The Mech sustains more Damage Points from a single Attack or Charge Action than the Pilot's Bottle Threshold (BT) stat.
  • The Mech loses a Base Part (removing Shields and/or Armour doesn't count).
  • Your Mech gets attacked by Weapons with the Frightening Special Rule.

Please note that a Mech only ever takes a single Bottle Test for each Attack Action, 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 add that number given in brackets to the roll 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 your Pilots 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 the fight and disengages from combat immediately. That Mech no longer takes any further Part in the battle and is removed from play.

Insanely Courageous

If the roll for the Bottle Test is a natural '1', then the Pilot continues to fight on regardless of the dangers - even if the associated penalties would normally mean they couldn't pass. A natural roll of a '1' trumps all the penalties!

Pilot Re-Rolls

Most Pilots rely on a certain amount of luck to survive on the battlefield. Other Pilots are simply skilful and don't need the attentions of lady luck as much.

Most Pilots grant the Player 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 "remove" one Re-Roll from that Pilot (a counter will do, or a coloured dice).

You can only Re-Roll a dice if it directly affects that particular Pilot, for instance, you can re-roll the die when an Attack or Evasion Roll or Bottle Test for that Mech. When you use a Re-Roll, you have to keep the second result, even if it is worse than the first!

Victory Conditions & Round End

How To Check Victory Conditions

Once a Base Part has been removed from any Mech, you should check if any of the following conditions have been met:

  • The Mechs Cockpit was destroyed
  • The Mech doesn't have any Power Plants
  • The Mech doesn't have any Weapons

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).

Any Player that doesn't have any more Mechs left in play are out of the game completely and has lost.

If you are the only Player with one or more Mechs left in play, then you have won! It is as simple as that!

Swap Players

Once you have resolved all the Actions for the current Active Mech, play passes to the Player to your left who then becomes the Active Player. The new Active Player then takes their Turn and can now act with one of their Mechs that hasn't already been Activated this Round.

Round End

After all the Mechs have resolved all of their Actions (or have been removed from play), then you need to resolve any events or Special Rules that take place in the Round End. If you don't have any events or Special Rules taking place (which will be the case for most games), then nothing else needs to be done.

Once the Round End events have been resolved (if any), a new Round starts and all Mechs that are left in play get a chance to act again. They are essentially "reset" and may be Activated again in the new Round.

Game Variants

Normal games are over when there is only 1 Player left. In the case of 2 Player games, the game is over when one Player loses all of their Mechs. In multiplayer games, the winning Player is the one who has at least one Mech left that is 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 out of the game and all their Mechs are also removed from play. 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 to the objective first.

Before starting the game, pick a "distance" you want the Mechs to travel. A good distance is 25 to 35 - but feel free to increase or decrease this with your gaming group.

You'll need at least a few dice for each Mech on the table to "total up" the distance travelled by that particular Mech thus far.

At the end of each Player's Turn, increase the running total distance covered by their Active Mech by adding the Speed (SP) of the Locomotor on the Mech to that Mech's current total.

Mechs in 'Low Power' mode or with destroyed Locomotors do not add their Speed to the counter. They have stopped dead (but may still open fire on other Mechs if they are still in play).

If any Mechs reach or exceed the agreed upon Distance, then that Player is the winner. If no Player is able to move, then the game falls back to a regular multiplayer game (i.e. the last player with a functioning Mech wins).

Diceless Games

Techniconica can be played without dice, if necessary. The following rules apply if you don't have dice available or want to play Techniconica in a subtly different way.

When these rules call for a roll of a dice (such as Attack or Evasion rolls), simply assume that you rolled a '5' in all cases and apply any modifiers as normal.

Pilot Re-Rolls

You can spend your Pilot's Re-Rolls to increase your rolls by 1 for each Re-Roll used. You can spend as many Re-Rolls on roll as you want (up to the remaining amount of Re-Rolls left, of course).

If, after all Pilots have spent their Re-Rolls and there is no winner, then all Pilots "refresh" their Re-Rolls during the next Round End. This only happens once all Pilots still in play have spent all their Re-Rolls.

Overloaded Mechs

If, for any reason, the total Weight (WE) of the Mech exceeds the Mech's Locomotor's Maximum Weight (MW) stat , then the Mech is said to be Overloaded and the following rules apply. This could happen, if the Mech gets hit by a Weapon with the Gravity Field Special Rule.

As an example, if a Mech gets hit by a Weapon with the Gravity (1) Special Rule and the enemy Mech becomes 1 point over their Locomotor's Maximum Weight stat (after totaling up the Weight (WE) of all current Parts), then apply 1 point of Weight Damage to the Mechs Locomotor. This is a "one-time" penalty per point of excess Weight. Armour and/or Shields on your Locomotor are ignored for the purposes of Weight Damage - it gets applied directly to the Locomotor only.

If you get hit by Weapon with Gravity (2) and you are now 2 points of Locomotor's Maximum Weight, then you would apply a second point of Weight Damage to the Locomotor only (the 1st point was already previously applied). 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 that may be on the Locomotor.

In addition to the Weight Damage, the Speed of Locomotor is also reduced by 1 point 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 Evade or Charge Action.