Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Battletech Heaps: Mass Fire Missiles

Whether it's for nostalgia or novelty, Wednesdays are the days that I put up old Battletech house rules I created nigh on 10 years ago. For those of you who aren't familiar with the (in)famous, addictive board game of armored combat, I'll add some context, but know that you should abandon all non-courier fonts, ye who enter here.

Mass Fire Missiles
To: Khan, Clan Ghost Bear/Nova Cat
From: Xxxx, Ghost Bear/Nova Cat Scientist Caste
Our first approaches to creating a medium-range, mass-fire weapon resulted in an upgrade of Inner Sphere, dead-fire intermediate range missiles which held--in the prototype stages--similar performance characteristics, with approximately half the weight, with only a few efficiency losses we were confident would be ironed out in time. However, the more compact size with the greater rate of missile load caused ammunition feed problems (especially when we tried guided munitions models). This was the focus of our research, but ultimately found that further work would require too much time and too many resources.
We then turned to a new loading system, one which loads one volley of unarmed missiles while the other is ready to fire. The safety systems which protect these 'sitting' missiles, in addition to the dual-rack ammo-feed system, boosts the weapons size to one comparable to the Inner Sphere system it was built off of. Still unguided, these missiles differ from the original Draconis Combine production lines only slightly.
The major benefit of this system is an decrease of 25% in the weapon's cycling time. However, field-tests with experimental control circuits have allowed a much faster cycle, up to twice as fast, causing a virtually constant stream of missiles to issue forth from the launcher. This allows a 'mech to saturate an area in a mass of unguided missiles, even if most of them actually collide with one another or prematurely detonate in flight.

While there were initial concerns that this 'saturation mode' would risk feed jamming, the new feed system is in fact so effective that it is virtually impossible to jam. Analysis and further testing have shown that before constant higher rate of fire causes a short in the control system circuits long before jamming occurs. When this happens, a constant, unstoppable stream of missiles pours forth until the on-board ammunition supply is exhausted. Only a complete shutdown of the affected unit can stop this, and any subsequent use of the weapon will automatically cause it to resume.
Standard Fire:
MFMs act like MRMs, down to the ranges and the +1 to hit modifier.

However, MFMs have another mode of fire:

Saturation Fire
Saturation Fire can either target a unit or a hex. When using Saturation Fire, the MFM uses twice as much ammunition and generates twice as much heat. In addition, it gains a -1 to hit, negating the +1 penalty it usually gains.

When rolling a '2' on a to-hit roll, the MFM remains in Saturation Fire mode as the control circuits are burned out. It will fire every turn, expending two points of ammunition and generating twice the normal heat. If there's not a unit target, the pilot must target hexes. The uncontrollable fire results in a loss of the -1 to-hit. When the 'mech is shutdown, the weapon stops firing.

After startup, the weapon may be only be fired in Saturation Mode and will  automatically become uncontrollable afterwards. The first time it's fired after shutdown, it gains the -1 bonus, but not afterwards.

Targeting Units
: When making a successful attack on a unit, the attacking player rolls 3D6 on a column of the Cluster Hits Table, taking the two lowest die to determine the resultant damage, which is then doubled. The die roll result is reduced normally by AMS, and applied in 5-point clusters.

Targeting Hexes: Hexes are targeted with MFMs like Thunder LRM Munitions, and scatter as artillery does. When making a successful attack on a hex, the attacking player rolls 3D6 on the cluster hits table, taking the two lowest die as the result. Each unit in a hex targeted by MFMs takes damage in 5-point clusters from the MFM.

Mass Fire Missiles
Name       Heat Damage    Short  Medium  Long    Tons    Crits     Shots/Ton
MFM 10      4   1/Missile  1-3    4-8    9-15     3.0     2         24 
MFM 20      6   1/Missile  1-3    4-8    9-15     6.0     3         12
MFM 30     10   1/Missile  1-3    4-8    9-15     9.0     5          8
MFM 40     12   1/Missile  1-3    4-8    9-15    12.0     6          6

No comments: