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Author Topic: Mech Equipment: V-Armor  (Read 730 times)

VanVelding

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Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« on: 12 November 2022, 13:23:33 »
The armored plating of Battlemech is superior to that of vehicles in every way but two: allowing heat to freely dissipate from non-energy weapons and being able to pile it on like an armor buffet. V-Armor allows those things.

V-Armor grants 16 points of protection per ton.

Benefit: Unlimited Armor - There's no limit on the amount of V-Armor that can be placed on a location.

Penalty: Stress - Overloading a 'mech's frame produces stress on it. For each multiple of a location's structure above one, V-Armor creates 1 stress. The 'mech's overall stress from V-Armor is the greatest stress among all of its locations. 

Penalty: Critical Space Requirements - V-Armor takes up 1 critical slot + 1 critical slot per stress. Like with critical spaces taken up by most other armors, it can be placed anywhere. The 'mech's stress should be noted on its V-Armor critical slots.

Penalty: Critical Hits to V-Armor - Hits to V-Armor critical spaces deal damage equal to the 'mechs overall V-Armor stress to that location’s structure. This damage does not cause another Determining Critical Hits roll. That V-Armor crit is considered destroyed and may not be hit again. V-Armor crits are repaired when the armor on that location is replaced.


Benefit: Heat Dissipation - Locations with V-Armor locations on the front and back generate no heat buildup from non-energy weapons, in the same way as vehicles. They do need to have heat sinks installed for energy weapons, movement, and other heat effects; they dissipate heat normally.

Penalty: Non-Mech Plating - Because the looser armor plates don't protect the moving joints of a battlemech, hits against V-Armored locations have the chance to destroy internal equipment. When a location protected by V-Armor takes damage from an attack which had an attack roll of 11 or 12, that location takes a critical hit (there is no determining critical hits roll). If the roll to select a crit selects a critical space which would require a player to re-roll, instead treat that as a V-Armor crit (see above).

Penalty: Environmental Sealing - 'Mechs using V-Armor do not have environmental sealing. Environmental sealing can be added for 10% of the unit's weight.

Because V-Armor is integrated with a ‘mech’s structure, it continues to provide benefits and penalties when the armor on a location is depleted.

Example: A crafty ‘mechwarrior knows that V-Armor can be applied in almost limitless layers. They equip their 'mech with V-Armor, adding 18 points of armor to their 'mech's head and more-or-less regular amounts of armor to their other locations.

That gives them 5 V-Armor stress and requires 6 V-Armor crits. They put 1 of those crits in their head, 3 in their Left Torso, and 2 in their Left Leg. Any hits to those critical spaces will deal 5 damage to the structure of those locations. If they are hit with an attack that rolls an 11 or 12, they will take a critical hit and if that critical hit rolls a blank space, something like an Endo-Steel Critical slot, or equipment that has already been critted, they'll take 5 damage to that location's structure.

Despite the fact that it can take an AC/20 to the head, it's vulnerable to chemical weapons, can't enter water or vacuum more than once, and has armor like a sieve.
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DevianID

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #1 on: 12 November 2022, 21:22:59 »
V-armor makes the pilot vulnerable to gas attacks/infernos like vees I take it?

VanVelding

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #2 on: 12 November 2022, 22:37:07 »
Vulnerable to gas attacks, yes.

I'll be honest, I never use vehicles and I rarely use infernos, so I didn't know about the critical hit effects for infernos on vehicles. It seems reasonable for that to apply in addition to the usual heat effects for a battlemech.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #3 on: 13 November 2022, 03:43:40 »
Vulnerable to gas attacks, yes.

I'll be honest, I never use vehicles and I rarely use infernos, so I didn't know about the critical hit effects for infernos on vehicles. It seems reasonable for that to apply in addition to the usual heat effects for a battlemech.

next time you sit down to play, take ONLY vehicles and infantry against 'mechs-get familiar with the standard stack of anti-vehicle tactics from the 'painful recipient's end'.

Infernoes under TW aren't as nasty to vehicles as they were under BMR(r) rules, but they're still something you want to know and experience before deciding that you want those traits on your battlemechs.
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VanVelding

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #4 on: 13 November 2022, 10:15:39 »
If you think V-Armor is that accurate of a translation of vee mechanics to 'mechs, I'll just keep testing it on 'mechs to get that feel. With a note to check vehicle effects of some weapons.
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #5 on: 13 November 2022, 11:23:32 »
I like the idea of this.  With regards to no armor cap, vehicles do have a hard armor cap, but not per facing.  I like how you included the stress mechanic in lieu of such a limit.
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Retry

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #6 on: 13 November 2022, 15:02:46 »
That's a dizzying array of rules to keep track of if you were doing it digitally, let alone on tabletop.

Other than that, the main niches to me appear to be:

-Used in a Patchwork format on larger 'Mechs to make them resistant to 15-point and possibly 20-point Headcaps
-Enhanced durability Light/small Medium 'Mechs, where you up-armor each location by about a half ton to 1 ton more than usual so they survive a bit longer than normal (in which case the increased crit chance is moot as hits to non-V-Armor mechs would have obliterated them anyways).  Would likely use light energy weapons + DHS as the weapon system to cope with higher weight.
-Missile Boats (LRMs especially): Already one of the more weight-efficient weapons, not having to account for their heat can be utilized to throw an inglorious amount of ordnance onto a chassis that would make a LRM Carrier blush.  (Oh, and you can still fit 3-5 tons of light Laser type weapons as backup because of your free heat sinks)

Not a big fan overall.  You could do interesting things with it, but it's really rules heavy, and feels like it exists solely so 'Mechs can take advantage of one of few advantages vees have over 'mechs.

VanVelding

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #7 on: 13 November 2022, 17:37:22 »
It is complicated. If I don't want to cut complexity out entirely, I try to split complexity between construction complexity and battlefield complexity.

In construction, (1) it can mount 3 times, 4 times, or N+1 times the 'mech's structure in armor on a location. (2) It takes up N+1 crits, labeled "V-Armor N".

In the field, (1) critical hits to V-Armor N crits deal N structure damage, (2) hit rolls of 11 or 12 against the unit deal an automatic critical hit or N structure damage, and (3) the 'mech isn't environmentally sealed.

The ability to shake off non-energy weapon heat is ****** potent. It's worth a few tons of heat sinks, so I wanted to make sure it was balanced. It's hard to dial in one one drawback for that would keep it between OP and unplayable. The environmental sealing was probably a bit much. The Critical Hits to V-Armor dealing damage might not be that relevant, especially considering they're only a few crits. Even piling armor on the head only requires 5 or 6 V-Armor crits.

Is the Non-Mech Plating enough to balance it on its own?
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Cannonshop

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #8 on: 15 November 2022, 22:43:37 »
It is complicated. If I don't want to cut complexity out entirely, I try to split complexity between construction complexity and battlefield complexity.

In construction, (1) it can mount 3 times, 4 times, or N+1 times the 'mech's structure in armor on a location. (2) It takes up N+1 crits, labeled "V-Armor N".

In the field, (1) critical hits to V-Armor N crits deal N structure damage, (2) hit rolls of 11 or 12 against the unit deal an automatic critical hit or N structure damage, and (3) the 'mech isn't environmentally sealed.

The ability to shake off non-energy weapon heat is ****** potent. It's worth a few tons of heat sinks, so I wanted to make sure it was balanced. It's hard to dial in one one drawback for that would keep it between OP and unplayable. The environmental sealing was probably a bit much. The Critical Hits to V-Armor dealing damage might not be that relevant, especially considering they're only a few crits. Even piling armor on the head only requires 5 or 6 V-Armor crits.

Is the Non-Mech Plating enough to balance it on its own?

Nope.  It isn't.  You've granted pretty much ALL of the benefits of vehicle construction, while enhancing the benefits of 'mech construction, but you didn't keep the downsides in line with it, and you ADDED an upside.

One of the main reasons vehicles have more armor per ton per location, is that they have fewer locations to armor per ton.  IOW it's the same material slathered over fewer surfaces.

The benefits with ballistics comes from the difference between an internal-outwards frame with few hollow spaces, versus wrapping armor around a hollow container.

the tradeoff, is that you need more people in a tank (aside from the VERY light single seaters) than you can even FIT in a 'mech, and the weapons are in largely fixed mounts that don't have to flex like a body flexes. ('mech torsoes are articulated, just like their limbs. a vehicle is a box with an engine and drivetrain,and maybe a turret. One of these can have rigid ventilation and plumbing for the working bits, the other has to be almost completely flexible...)

When you compare other alternate armors in the game (Hardened, Ferro, Light Ferro, Reflec, etc. etc.) they have specific drawbacks that impact build AND play to counter their advantages.  Hardened reduces MP-why? because it's more rigid and heavier, also bulkier.  Ferro and Light Ferro (and Heavy ferro) eat up critical slot spaces-why? because you still need to be able to move, which means it's got to fit into the moment arm of your various joints and articulations, Ferro-Lam has it's own price for installation, Stealth sends your heat curve through the roof, etc. etc.

It becomes possible ot build a truly BAD 'mech by choosing the wrong armor for the weapons fit and planned movement curve relative to heat sinking.

even from the most potent material that should give the MOST advantages.

this is called 'balance'.

Tanks don't use a different Starslab (standard armor) from 'mechs.  You don't get REAL differences in materials until you get down to Battlesuit level composites (Which work because square-cubed law applies-the composites are rigid and strong enough in small surface patches to provide protection, where they'd likely bend and shatter in large sheets from the same impact.)

and, as I said, you should master vehicles before grabbing for their advantages.  Vehicle play is NOT like 'mech play, there are things 'mechs do by default you can't do in a tank, and things a tank can do that a 'mech just can't.  grabbing for the benefits without knowing what they're paying for it is a pretty poor way to play...besides, do you REALLY want your 'mech to die on the second hit from an Inferno SRM strike? or to be critted out in turn one because the other guy got lucky with an LBX-10?

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ActionButler

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Re: Mech Equipment: V-Armor
« Reply #9 on: 17 November 2022, 13:10:03 »
**MOD NOTICE**

Everyone please take a breath before they add anything else to this thread. Discussing differing opinions is what these forums are for, but only if everyone manages to be respectful of each other.
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