Register Register

Author Topic: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor  (Read 940 times)

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« on: 24 May 2019, 10:57:22 »
Page 163 of the AToW Companion has a table outlining various equipment quality ratings.  Weapons and armor are covered on the previous pages, but only for improved gear, not "Discount" quality.  So I was thinking... the bog standard Auto-Rifle jams on a fumble, and is incredibly cheap.  What if that means it's a "Discount" weapon?  It seems adding (or worsening) the "jam on fumble" characteristic might be a reasonable way to create "Discount" weapons.  This would make a jam-free generic Auto-Rifle cost 160 C-Bills vice 80, which is in line with the "brand name" rifles that don't jam.  A "jam" for an energy weapon could be either overheating or tripped overloads that have to be reset.

As for armor, "Standard" quality armor can be repaired if it degrades due to damage.  As armor patches are relatively cheap, this makes it much less expensive to repair than replace damaged armor.  What if "Discount" armor has been so abused (or poorly made) it can no longer be repaired when it takes damage?  This essentially means it has to be replaced once its barrier ratings fall too far to be of use (i.e., less than 5 total BAR on the torso, the minimum required to provide a 1 Damage Divisor at the TW level; anything less counts as "unarmored", and means units take double damage).  I think that easily balances a 50% price reduction.

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4197
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #1 on: 24 May 2019, 13:53:58 »
Interesting.  So, higher chances of fumbling and jamming for cheeper stuff?  That actually fits reality pretty handily. 

And, having to outright replace armor locations for body armor instead of mere patch repair? That fits pretty well, too.

What I'm intrigued by is the notion that you can have personal armor that can withstand a medium laser.  Oh, wait, that's at a different damage scale, isn't it?

 xp
It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #2 on: 24 May 2019, 14:42:32 »
Yes, the conversion from AToW armor to TW scale is to add up all the BAR ratings on the torso and divide by 10, rounding normally to the nearest whole number.  A result of 0 means a unit takes double damage (a Damage Divisor of 0.5), but otherwise the result is the Damage Divisor.  15 is the magic number for a Damage Divisor of 2, and most of the faction armor kits get there (some are even unencumbering, as is the Ballistic Plate Vest).  Anything between 5 and 14 gets you "normal" damage on the battlefield, and reinforces that bog standard modern infantry are wearing SOMETHING besides fatigues.

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4197
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #3 on: 29 May 2019, 10:38:15 »
Adding it all together? That does not compute. I'd believe in averaging, but not additive. When it comes to weapons as large caliber as BT standard ground combat, your armor is only as good as its weakest location. 

Weird. But, whatever.

It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #4 on: 29 May 2019, 21:27:34 »
Personally, I think 15 is reasonably heavy armor to give a trooper a second chance.

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4197
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #5 on: 30 May 2019, 17:22:34 »
Not what I was saying. (Am I not typing good 'nuff 'Merican?)

A Medium Laser hits your chest.  What does it do?

A Medium Laser hits your arm or leg. What does it do? 

A Medium Laser hits your helmet. What does it do?

How much armor is on any one given location?

Why should the total of your armor stand up to that unless the Medium Laser's 5 points of damage is treated as splash damage that is diluted to Total Warfare Levels. Same goes for a Small Laser, or flamer, or Machine gun.

So, sure.  If your weakest armor location happens to be 15, with that divisor of 10, then sure. What's the highest armor actually possible for any single given body location?

It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #6 on: 30 May 2019, 17:32:18 »
Specific hit locations are an optional rule in AToW, and separate from the conversion rules to TW from the Companion.  Mixing specific hit locations and TW scale weaponry is a recipe for a migraine.

Seriously... if a Medium Laser hits the "left arm" of a single infantry trooper, what's it doing to the rest of the squad/platoon?

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2388
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #7 on: 30 May 2019, 22:55:12 »
Specific hit locations are an optional rule in AToW, and separate from the conversion rules to TW from the Companion.  Mixing specific hit locations and TW scale weaponry is a recipe for a migraine.

Seriously... if a Medium Laser hits the "left arm" of a single infantry trooper, what's it doing to the rest of the squad/platoon?

Showering them with vaporized blood and bits of flesh from the medium laser dumping so much energy into and through the person's arm to make it explode.  Should I quote the Only War critical hit section referring to energy damage to the arm to give a better idea?

In Only War, only the highest armor for a location is used (so if you have an armored chest plate providing 5 pts, a Jacket providing 3 pts to everything but the head, and a helmet providing 2 pts of armor, you get 3 pts protection to the arms and legs, 5 pts to the torso, and 2 pts of protection to the head.  In Only War, armor and ROUNDDOWN(Toughness/10) is subtracted from the damage rolled.  There is subdermal armor that adds 2 pts of armor to every location, but that requires lots of surgery and has its own penalties.

Daemion's idea about using the weakest armor rating for the trooper might make more sense since we are dealing with anti-vehicle weaponry being used against infantry (so that infantryman above would only have 2 pts of protection).  For infantry vs infantry, using an average of the highest value of each location would work better.

So when designing an infantry unit, you record the highest armor rating on each of the locations, and averaging it by number of locations.  So if your infantry unit protected its troopers with multiple layers on the torso (armor ratings 5, 8, 13, and 14), that means the troopers only have armor 14 at that location.  If there are 5 other locations with no armor, that 14 is divided by 6, meaning the average protecting is 2.333 armor rating for vs infantry weaponry.  For anti-vehicle weaponry (i.e. anything Mech-mounted), you would use the lowest armor value.  So if the troopers still had their torsos protected by the 14-rated armor, had also purchased 12-pt armor on the arms and legs, yet nothing protecting their heads, the lowest armor rating is 0, and that is what determines their protection vs Mech weaponry.

Infantry should not have a lot of detail for Battletech tabletop combat.  If your main concern is the 20-100 ton Mechs, then don't add extra details to the infantry unit that hve to be kept track of during combat.  You set up the specifics when creating the infantry unit, then just put the basic information on their combat data line (5-6 of which fit on a single A4 sized sheet of paper).


Back to the idea of discount weapons/armor, how about if a unit using discount weaponry loses 1 pt of infantry protection each time it is attacked by a Mech or Mech-scale weaponry?  So the infantry unit starts with 2 pts of armor.  It gets hit by a medium laser, which kills off a trooper or two, but the rest of the unit has its armor marked down by 1 pt.  A couple turns later the infantry platoon gets hit again, losing another couple troopers, but the infantry unit's armor is reduced to zero.  Hopefully the owning player is pulling that infantry unit out of line of sight, otherwise the next hit is going to do a lot more damage.  So Discount armor can provide a little bit of protection initially, but sustained hits mean the unit will soon be a liability in combat.  But this is Battletech, where life is cheap.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #8 on: 31 May 2019, 04:40:08 »
I was thinking the discount effect would really only apply after a battle (when making repairs) than during it.

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4197
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #9 on: 31 May 2019, 12:12:54 »
Oh, yeah. I have nothing wrong with the discount armor idea you got. Looks good. You could probably add other drawbacks to make it cheeper if need be.

I was just side-tracked by the To-Total Warfare calculations, which don't make a lick of sense to me.

It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Sartris

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 12192
  • CR 21 Bullshit Elemental
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #10 on: 31 May 2019, 14:06:51 »
so in a periphery au campaign where i was a petty warlord, i actually did this. since most of my infantry units were conscripts and penal battalions, there was a lot of dissent. i provided them with crappy weapons manufactured in-house in case they ever rebelled - i didn't want them to have an advantage over my more loyal troops.

this had funny repercussions in the RP aspects of the campaign where it became a regular GM gag that you would end up needing a weapon and finding a crate of that shit at the worst possible moment. there were some house rules for how much more ineffectual they were but i don't remember them off the top of my head. lots of jamming and cursing.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16629
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thoughts on "Discount" Weapons and Armor
« Reply #11 on: 31 May 2019, 16:16:51 »
That's a perfect use for discount equipment!  :thumbsup: