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Battle Century G $9.95
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Battle Century G
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Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Daniel O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2020 09:50:46

Battle Century G is essentially the 2nd edition of Giant Guardian Generation, a homebrew title meant to capture the spirit of Super Robot Wars, a popular video game franchise of tactical RPGs featuring mecha from just about every mecha IP owned by Bandai. If you've touched even a single SRW game, you'll feel very familiar with BCG, and many design decision will become very clear.

What the game offers is a satisfying tactical RPG that handles things like transformable mecha or combiners with ease. Everything his heavily flavored for mecha action, but with just a little bit of reskinning the system can be used for anything from Super Sentai to action anime.

There are plenty of ways to customize your mecha, but the general system is very streamlined - so much so that you get to name the mecha's areas aka hit locations, which is also a very clever way to ensure you can use the same system for just about any vehicle or monster. Some might get put off by the fact you can create your own weapons, but the weapons are yet again very streamlined (usually falling into broad categories like "better in specific situations" or "better in general, but with downsides") and just begging to be reskinned.

The game also comes with a simplified combat system for out-of-mecha fights, but there's really nothing stopping you from using the main combat rules for more depth and customization.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Seth P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2018 00:09:21

I am going to first say that my opinion of this game might be more than just a tad biased as I have spoken with the creator of this game on numerous occasions via the game's dedicated Discord server. That said I will try to decouple any personal feelings and look at this game in as straight forward a fashion as I can. Also this will be a review for both Battle Century G as well as Battle Century Z.

Some background - I am a huge mecha nerd. Gundam, Escaflowne, Robotech, Evangelion and more (those are just the more well known ones I can think of at the moment). I have tried several systems and homebrew material for those systems including a clearly well-intentioned but sorely disappointing attempt to overhaul the third edition of the "World's Most Popular Roleplaying Game" some years ago. None of those ever worked. I've even looked at several systems that were dedicated to the mecha subgenre of science fiction and three "universal" systems. Either they proved far too skimpy on the rules or one would need multiple spreadsheets to handle just the base game.

None of that is needed with Battle Century G. The system is not rules heavy nor is it rules light. The overall system, rather, is effects based. See a really cool power in the book but don't like the default description? Take it anyway and refluff it as you see fit. Do you want a soldier in power armor taking down giant bioweapon monsters from the planet Xerixyxow 3? Do you want slow, lumbering behemoth mecha that attack just as readily with a rail cannon as try to hack the enemy mecha to shut them down before a single shot is fired? Do you want magical girls fighting arcane-infused demons from the shadow plane? Do you want to pierce the heavens with a drill while shouting manly phrases? All that and more is possible here.

The Books: Battle Century G and Z are clearly works of passion. While they are lovingly created and have tons of optional rules, guidelines and hints, I do find a few minor issues with the books. BCG's index at the back I found rather thin and, when coupled with the fact that most of the powers, weapons, etc. in the book are place in their respective sections they are rarely (if ever) in alphabetical order, something I find can (and does) slow down gameplay. Z is just as bad with failing to align things alphabetically. With a PDF I am sure there is little issue so long as you can have a search funtion for the PDF but with printed copies it can slow things down unless the game master or the players have written out the relevant information before hand. That said, each power is unique, each weapon fun and the character/mecha sheets straightforward and easy to read and use. One oddity I do find is that BCZ does not have a spine title and BCG does but it is upside down, reading from bottom up rather than the universal top down. Minor issue but one that I felt needed to be stated.

The Art: I'm not one to complain about art being a terrible artist in the real world so I will simply comment on a few key pieces I particularly like. The cover and back art splashes are evocative and commanding with BCG's clearly being influenced by the so-called "Real Robot" mecha subgenre; BCZ's cover is influenced by the "Super Robot" mecha subgenra with it's back cover that of a power armor wearing humanoid with a sword reminds me of certain anime/video game characters. The art within the books tend to be varied with some being of what I would consider really good quality and others not so much. One issue I found with my copy of BCG is that several of the images (particularly for enemies near the back of the book) are extremely faded. While that may be a printing issue, I will bring it to light that it is a thing.

The Actual Game System: Thanks to the extremely open-ended nature of the system, any form of mecha or high-fantasy/radical sci-fi game is possible. You won't be bogged down with multiple pages detailing how to make a robot leg, for instance, but will get instead multiple pages of easily refluffable Powers, Upgrades, Weapons and guidelines and tips on how to use them. Each of these are purchased with a resource called "Mecha Points" and as you play the game you earn more through combat and roleplaying. Each mecha starts with 100 MP and as one gains "Power Levels" they unlock more MP, 30 MP per Power Level. One does need to spend said MP right away it seems though it should be noted not doing to could leave you at a particular disadvantage against enemies. However, if you would rather have a "midseason upgrade" like we see in many mecha anime, I say more power to you (if you survive!). With the inclusion of BCZ, the list of options for Powers, Upgrades and Weapons expand all the more and by golly there are possibly millions of possible combinations by that point! I will say that while you may not need any spreadsheets one should probably have the book sticky-noted to key pages or have a couple of pages of notes to the side with all of the effects and such that the enemies and players can pull off to speed things up.

As for out-of-mecha goodness, it's there but not as well supported as I have seen in other games. That may or may not be to everyone's liking but I'm perfectly happy with it. After years and years of having characters with several pages of equipments and special abilites, spells/tech and more to handle, this is rather fresh change of pace for me.

Influences: It wears them on it's sleeve. Drawing from such disparate mecha series as Mazinger Z, Mobile Suit Gundam, Patlabor, Escaflowne, Big O, Macross and others, it wears it's lineage proudly, even calling out a number of these in text and with plenty of easter eggs for any fan of mecha anime and games to find (such as "Windmill with Arms and Legs" found on page 75 of BCG being a clear reference to the Nether Gundam from G Gundam, the "AIE-05 Angelus" on page 181 of BCG being a clear homage to the "Ramiel Angel" from Evangelion and the "Who the Hell do you Think I am?" power on page 15 of BCZ being something stated by Kamina in the series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, just to name a few!).

Final Verdict: I never know whether I should go with a #/5 or #/10 system for these reviews. I think I'll stick with the latter but alas! This site uses a 5 star system. Oh well... Final Verdict for Battle Century G and Z is a high 9/10 or 5/5 stars for this site.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Andrea M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2018 01:27:14

I funded this game through Kickstarter, because I was impressed by what I saw. Then I got it in my hands, and I wasn't disappointed! Sure, it isn't as technical as some others - but I don't care! I've been playing RPGs for years on end, and I've been a fan of robot anime for even longer, and let me tell you - THIS is the only game that manages to accurately reproduce the classic super robots of the eighties, building them easily and in an enjoyable way. Why, while I was reading the rules I tried to - and managed to - recreate most of my favorites from all the shows, whether they were the Getter Robo (original, G and Shin), Mazinger Z, Gundam, the White Base, Raideen, a Valkyrie... if I could think it, I could make it. I was ASTOUNDED. Then I tried a game with my friends, and sure enough they were into it all the time, whether their unit was a titanic, lumbering Super or a swift, diminutive power armor. Ditto the pilots: rogue alien princess? A snap. Brash high school student? No problem. Uptight military pilot? Good to go. It was an awesome gaming night. Then I gave it another shot with my online team - just as successful. Sure, not all the pictures are top grade, but that's just nitpicking... Let me state it for short: if you're looking for something that lets you recreate the awesomeness of old anime - and you've grown bored of systems that offer ONLY "tank on legs" units - GET. THIS. GAME. NOW.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Dylan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/11/2018 13:20:53

Battle Century G is a flexible, creative, and narratively brilliant tactical roleplaying game perfect for campaigns ranging from Gundam Wing all the way up to Combattler V. The basic brilliance of the system lies in what it humbly refers to as 'effects-based gameplay' - in other words, the concept that the effects of a given ability are in no way bound up with the appearance of that ability. Once freed from that narrative link, the myriad of options available in BCG (and even more in the expansion book, Battle Century Z) make it possible to portray any sort of mecha genre character you can imagine. Brawling mecha running on fighting spirit? Spry power armor that zips across the battlefield? Titanic battleships with external weapon systems? Alien beasts that warp space and time? All of that and more is achieveable with minimal effort. What's more, the gameplay associated with these various groupings of effects is diverse and enjoyable, with something to bring to the table for every style of gamer. Fully supportive builds that focus on healing and buffing allies are completely viable, while even being able to dish out occasional blows of their own, for example, and the players can even opt for Super Combinations of their mechs with one another, or installing Frames and Transformations to enable myriad forms for each mecha!

Above and beyond the flexible base system, though, are the two truly genius systems: Genre Powers and Tension.

Genre Powers are, in short, what differentiate PCs (and their Rivals) from mooks. They are moments of narrative hype, game-changing super moves that reflect just about every iconic trope in the greater genre. Every character has access to a handful of universal powers, like Try Again, a basic rerolling power, and Synchro Attack, the classic "everyone together" joint assault. Each character then selects one Genre Power from various other lists for each Power Level they achieve -- usually around 6 sessions per PL -- which add a ton of spice. My favorites are I Cannot Be Defeated!, which does exactly what it sounds like, completely preventing a character from being taken out no matter how powerful the opponent's attack; Trump Card, which grants the mech two extra weapons from to use for the Operation, letting them adapt perfectly to all combats; and This is My Battlefield, a perfect execution of the "just as planned" archetype that allows a character to activate a trap that had always already set up ahead of time, detonating mountains or frying electrical systems. The best part about Genre Powers, though? They use a resource, Genre Points, that is primarily attained through roleplaying and -- because this game is forged from raw elemental mecha anime -- having your mecha take significant damage!

Tension, on the other hand, is a short and sweet but equally cunning implementation of genre standards. Tension is simple -- it's a static value, starting at 1 and increasing by 1 each turn, that is added to all offensive actions. This straightforward escalation mechanic makes sure that fights never drag on too long and that game-stifling, purely defensive strategies will inevitably fail. Tension is then used in other places in the system to great effect. Extreme Terrain like electrical storms or flowing lava becomes more dangerous, with its damage potential scaling up with Tension. The most noteable implementation of Tension is with Techniques, the Super Moves of Battle Century G, which receive a double benefit from Tension -- but only the first time they're used each Operation. The Tension system works tirelessly in the background, rarely becoming all too prominent, but always nudging your game towards cinematic and dramatic confrontation rather than mind-numbing caution.

All the glory doesn't go to the Player Characters, though; the system also includes excellent rules for Bosses, who get access to their own overpowered Upgrades, Weapons, and Boss Powers, all designed to make a 5-on-1 fight far more achieveable than in many other tabletop games. These Boss options often give additional out-of-turn power, terrain control, and other such influential powers that allow a single Big Bad to tangle with the whole PC group competently. This is a feature that few combat-heavy games offer and should not be underestimated!

Alongside the system, BCG includes a few sample settings: a Super Robots style setting for those who love over-the-top, insane action; a Gundam-style setting for fans of miltary melodrama and more Real Robots; and an Evangelion-inspired setting for those seeking a darker, more psychological experience. None of these settings are phenomenal or intimately detailed, but they act as perfect jumping off points for three totally unique approaches to a Battle Century G campaign, so they're worth reading.

In short, Battle Century G is the ultimate tool for narratively-oriented giant mecha tabletop games that still retain a degree of engaging tactical gameplay. In many ways, it achieves a flawless balance between the two through the astute approach of intertwining the two; cause trouble for your character by playing up your Themes and gain more Genre Points to kick ass later in the session. While this approach isn't necessarily novel, the Genre Power and Theme system is a remarkable implementation of that strategy, and its benefits infuse the whole of Battle Century G with a delicate balance between two normally clashing worlds. Give Battle Century G a read if you consider yourself even a passing fan of the mecha genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Alexander N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2017 15:21:02

A strong entry into the mecha genre the clearly states its goals: Make an exciting robot battle drama that errs on the side of style over mechanical crunch. I think the inspiration from modern rpgs is great, though I wouldn't call it a story game. I felt the built-in setting wasn't as tight and interesting as the system itself, but it is meant to port, so that's fine.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Ross E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2016 22:23:12

Could not recommend this more highly. If you're a mecha fan, buy this game.

This is really an excellent system. Strikes the perfect balance between crunchy, detailed rules and light narrative gameplay. The combat is great fun; it's a great tactical experience while still managing to flow very fast, keeping the action going with minimal page flipping and math. Unless you REALLY like complicated, simulationist gameplay, this is probably the mecha system for you.

Character and mecha design is a breeze, and makes GMing require much less prep time than you'd be used to from other systems.

The art and graphic design elements are somewhat lacking, but for a 3000 dollar Kickstarter project, it's perfectly adequate, especially considering that money is also funding an upcoming expansion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Century G
Publisher: Gimmick Man
by Mega A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2015 12:46:02

Really great book.

Well designed rules and mechanics are intuitive but the tactical combat has real depth. Perfect balance between crunch and simplicity. Character and enemy creation system is quick and efficient. The system is very well balanced too.

You can see the system was written with mechs in mind. There are fun fluff descriptions for everything and it just oozes style. It's really fun to read. Genre powers are super fun to use and emulate the awesome moments from the shows extremely well.

The system was written with mechs in mind but it works very well for other superpower anime settings too. Just a bit of reskinning and you can run a magical girl, persona or accel world game or many others. Rules are flexible and easy to adapt to many settings.

Apart from the rules the book has a big section with description of not one but 3 different settings and lots of advice on how to run games in different styles. And of course you have stats and descriptions for a bunch of enemies and allies.

Only flaw is not so high production values but it's a indie release so you can't expect a super big budget for art. The content is really exceptional though.

By far the best mecha system I've ever seen. (and I've seen a lot)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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