Mechanic #146 - Layered Class Change|
Change a unit's class through a stack, pushing and popping additional classes.
This entry actually began as part of [#145 - Linear Card World 5 - Ship-To-Ship Combat] and it involves the more tactical possibilities of the crew members. However, due to the fact that the entry was already too complex as it was, I pushed these details out. However, I liked them enough that I decided to give them their own entry, which I will describe largely in terms of the ship-to-ship combat detailed earlier.
The short summary is that you have two spaceships fighting in space. Rather than controlling the spaceships directly, you control the crew members who operate it. The crew comes in three base classes: science, command, and engineering. They not only operate the ship, but also the systems within it, as well as potentially boarding the enemy ship to engage in interpersonal combat.
This entry is a way in which to transform the crew into new temporary classes, giving them new abilities and stats, in a layered approach.
Fig 146.1 - Stack of classes.
Each crew member has a stack of cards which represents their class stack. Only the card on top is active, so they lose their previous class features as they take on new classes. At any time, the crew member may pop the top class card off the stack, instantly returning to the previous class. He can do this as much as he wants, but he can not remove the base card. So a crew member with an Engineer base class can never remove that card, nor replace it with a different one. Think of it like clothing. You can put on clothing or remove it, but you can never lose your skin.
Through the game, you are able to build new rooms on your ship. In the original description, these rooms were either manned cannons or generic rooms. Here, I want to add rooms that allow crew members to push new class cards on the stack. For instance, a crew member in the armory may push a Soldier class, which increases their combat abilities at the cost of losing their base classes' abilities. Here's a brief description of some of my ideas for class change rooms:
- Armory - All crew members can push a Soldier class, which increases defense and attack, but has no special abilities. It can be removed at any time. Think of it as a mindset after picking up a powerful laser rifle.
- Airlock - Can push a SpaceSuit class which increases defense, reduces movement to one square, and allows the crew member to walk into space squares. This class change is like wearing a suit that hamper movement.
- Sickbay - Science officers can push a Field Medic class which allows them to heal fellow crew members who aren't in the sickbay. This class change represents picking up a first aid kit and other medical supplies.
- Shuttle Bay - Command crew members can pilot shuttles by default, but other crew members can adopt a Shuttle Pilot class that allows them to pilot one too. After popping this class, they'll need to find another shuttle bay before they can return to piloting shuttles.
- Warmachine Hangar - Command Crew or Soldiers (through an Armory class change) can push a Mechanized War Suit class, which basically replaces the crew member with a warrior in a robotic exoskeleton that allows them to move and fight in space (but it is too large to maneuver inside the ship). In this case, the class stack is used as a way to emulate piloting vehicles.
As you can see, the class change doesn't just represent a change in mindset and abilities, but it also can be used to emulate piloting a craft or wearing a suit. To this end, classes are similar to clothing in that that you can put a jacket on top of a shirt, but not a shirt on top of a jacket.
Each class has a layer value, with the base classes having a value of 1. A class can be pushed onto the class stack only when the layer value is greater than the top card in the stack. If a space suit is a layer 3 class, then you can push it on your base class (layer 1) or even onto a Soldier or Field Medic class (layer 2).
This means that you can stock up on multiple class layers, shedding them when they are no longer needed. For instance, an engineer can grab a Soldier class, a space suit class, and then pop into a Giant Robot. If the robot is destroyed in space, the crew member will survive due to the space suit. He can float over to the enemy ship, drop the suit, and use his heightened soldier class to eliminate enemies on the way to the engine room. Once there, he can drop back to engineer, where he can sabotage the ship's engine.
Building an appropriate stack of classes, and popping them off as needed, can create a good mix of abilities. But popping a class off makes you lose those abilities. Once the engineer has successfully sabotaged the ship, he no longer has the ability to fight his way out, to float in space, or engage in Mobile Suit combat. His escape will require either stealing classes from the opponent's rooms, or finding his way to a transporter room to get back.