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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor  (Read 2872 times)


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Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« on: 27 June 2012, 13:54:41 »
Djinn Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3075 page 17

     The Djinn is the first and lightest of the Demon series of suits, and also the one with the fewest variants. An incredibly striking looking design, which looks as if it's ready to leap into the air, the Djinn is an effective light skirmisher and special operations suit.

     First seen in 3070, although initially only in low numbers, the Djinn was published alongside its fellow Demon series designs in Technical Readout 3075, although alone among the Demon series it also appears in Jihad Hot Spots 3072 as well. While only speculation, it's possible that the light weight and relatively simple design of the Djinn contributed to it being the first to be fully developed to production status, although it's equally possible that it's just the whim of the author of the Readout entry.

     The sleek appearance and blade-like wings of the artwork for the Djinn matches the mobility of the Standard variant, which uses its Partial Wings to produce an above average jump mobility, allowing the suit to clear 120 meters with every leap. Sadly, the ground movement is just the standard single hex per Turn, no different from mere foot infantry, but it would really cost to much to add more to this and given that it is the defacto standard for jumping suits, the Djinn shouldn't be faulted. Adding to the image of dangerous speed that the appearance presents, the hands and feet are tipped with formidable claws, with the former being paired Battle Claws.

     Given that the Djinn is a Light Battle Armor design, it's not unexpected that it has equally light armor, using Advanced materials to minimize the amount of mass it needs to allocate to the protection it possesses. Having what is arguably the optimum armor for a Light suit, enabling it to survive a strike from an Inner Sphere Medium Laser, the Djinn frees up as much remaining mass as possible for weaponry. Personally, I can't help but feel more comfortable if the suit had an additional point of armor, which would allow it to withstand a pair of strikes from an AP Gauss Rifle, a likely threat if the Blakists were fighting the Clans, who had been intended as their main opponent prior to the end of the second Star League, plus it would have allowed the suit to survive a Clan medium laser hit when the Manei Domini trooper is equipped with Dermal Myomer Armor.

     For armament, the Djinn mounts a standard Machine Gun on its right arm for self-defense, but perhaps more importantly it also has a Light TAG on its right shoulder. The use of a TAG allows a Level I of Djinns to be far more dangerous than their size would imply, marking targets for friendly units to inflict a barrage of various guided weapons, such as Arrow IVs and Semi-Guided LRMs. Providing the Djinns receive this support, a TAG can be of far greater importance than just about any other weapon system that Battle Armor can equip, and certainly greater than any of even remotely the same mass. Just as I would have preferred heavier armor, I would have also preferred to have seen the Machine Gun replaced by a Light version. Yes, the damage would have been halved, but the extra range combined with the enhanced speed of the suit would have better suited a light skirmisher in my opinion, especially since keeping the enemy at a greater distance helps keep such a fragile suit alive.

     The combination of the Machine Gun and dual Battle Claws make the Djinn (Standard) a good choice for marine boarding actions, providing 4 Marine points per suit, more than the heavier IS Standard when the latter is also armed with a Machine Gun, for example. Unfortunately, despite the wicked looking claws on both hands and feet, the Djinn gets no extra benefit with melee attacks in the BattleTEch tactical game, unless the trooper happens to have Triple-Strength Myomer implants. The arm mounted weapon does at least allow it to inflict damage while performing Swarm attacks, suiting the almost insect-like appearance, but given that Leg Attacks are usually the prefered Anti-'Mech tactic, that's perhaps of little use to many players.

     How to use the Djinn (Standard) is mainly going to depend upon what you also have available to exploit the TAG, although the implants possessed by the troopers will also have a big impact. Ideally, you'll want the sensor, communication and VDNI combination that provides both the effects of an Active Probe and a C3I node, plus an Initiative bonus, although that does require at least a Tau rated Manei Domini. Less enhanced Omega troopers are perhaps best served by pairing VDNI with a sensor implant so they can at least enjoy the Initiative bonus and Active Probe capability, making them viable scouts.

     Without strong support, the Djinn (Standard) isn't really going to achieve that much, and will at most be a relatively fragile distraction. With good C3I or TAG-capable support, then your best option is going to be keeping the Djinns moving to reduce the chances of them being hit, while looking for exposed foes to mark for destruction by friendly forces.

     A year after the Djinn first appeared, a new variant began to be encountered. First seen alongside units equipped with Purifier Battle Armor, the Djinn (Stealth) exchanges its Partial Wing for a Camo System, thereby providing a similar stealthy effect to the Purifier's more advanced Mimetic armor. The bulkier Camo System did require the loss of one of the weapon systems, with the TAG chosen as the sacrifice, although the Machine Gun was also exchanged for a David Light Gauss Rifle. While perhaps not the most powerful weapon, the David does at least possess a good range for such lightweight Battle Armor armament.

     With a modest amount of mass left over after these changes, the Stealth variant also improves its armor to the maximum allowable on a Light chassis. This does mean that the suit is now armored enough that it could survive a Clan ER or Pulse Medium Laser hit when the trooper has a Dermal Myomer Armor implant. The design otherwise remains unchanged, even retaining non-functioning wings, including the pair of Battle Claws, although the lack of a Burst-Fire weapon means that the Djinn (Stealth) isn't as effective as the Standard variant when used for marine boarding actions.

     Although occasionally useful, I'm not convinced by the installation of the Camo System on what is a mobile Battle Armor design. Like Mimetic Armor, the Camo System is best suited to slower, heavier designs, providing no defensive bonus to suits moving at high speed. Whether sitting still to maximize the effectiveness of the Camo System or jumping around to avoid enemy fire, the Djinn (Stealth) is effectively wasting at least part of its mass. Given that the jump capability has other uses outside of simply dodging being hit, arguably the Camo System is the problem and ideally the Partial Wing should have been swapped for something else.

     Just like the Purifier which it operates alongside, the Djinn (Stealth) can be used as an ambush unit that can quickly reposition after disengaging or destroying its target. The Camo System also has an interesting exploit that increases the odds of the Djinn surviving if it it’s deployed by an APC or Omni unit while under fire. In the Turn that infantry are offloaded, they're treated as having not moved, which gives the Djinn (Stealth) its maximum Camo bonus of a +2 hit modifier to all attacks against it. While it's better to avoid having an enemy able to shoot at you, if this isn't possible, having Camo or Mimetic is a strong second best option.

     Personally, I still think the Djinn (Stealth) would have been better served by actually using Stealth armor instead of the Advanced, making up the increased mass by not installing the Camo System. This would have also confirmed the David Light Gauss Rifle as the right choice, given that Stealth armors work better with greater range. Of course, we have to work with what is, rather than what might have been, and overall I don't consider the Stealth variant as effective as the Djinn (Standard).

     Lacking the ability to TAG targets for attacks by friendly forces, the Djinn (Stealth) doesn't really have much to contribute to the fight unless the Manei Domini trooper's implants provide him or her with the C3I node capability. The Camo System does at least allow the Stealth version to have a greater chance of survival if it needs to stay put in an advantageous position, but it must be remembered that even the stealthiest of Battle Armor can easily be defeated if the enemy fights smart and dirty by dropping a few Area Effect attacks on your hex.

     Maelwys: I'd have to agree. I want to like the design, I'm just not quite sure what exactly its purpose is with out the cybernetics. Of course, since this is designed for the MD, the cybernetics (and their abilities) may be the point. I also can't help but think that the standard version can probably do almost everything this version can do (the Camo being the only thing it can't, obviously)     

     Just like all Manei Domini Battle Armor units, both Djinn variants do get one useful advantage from the unit organization used by the Word of Blake. With each Level I possessing six suits this not only means the unit produces more firepower than a standard Inner Sphere squad, but they can also absorb more damage before the entire unit is destroyed. The larger unit size also prolongs the lifespan of individual suits: assuming that a squad of Kages and a Level I of Djinn are both struck by a pair of Medium Lasers, there's a one in four chance that the Kage squad will lose a suit, whereas there's only a one in six chance that a Djinn will be lost, and it gets worse for the smaller unit as losses occur.

     From an appearance point of view, I can't fault the Djinn, it really is an evil looking critter that looks like it can slice and dice you in a blink of an eye, which no doubt is exactly the sort of psychological impact that Doctor Cortland was looking for. Unfortunately, appearances are deceiving, but to be fair to the Djinn it cannot overcome its main limitation, which is that it's based upon a Light chassis. For a Light Battle Armor design it does at least do a commendable job without any fatal flaw, however I must admit that if I was a Manei Domini assigned to a Djinn, then I'd be looking to commandeer an Achileus instead.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #1 on: 28 June 2012, 11:43:07 »
As always, cool write-up.
IMHO they messed less up with the Djinn than with a lot of other Demon BA.
 Sadly, I never used due to lack of opportunity, but combined with units using arrows, laser guided bombs or semi-guided missiles it should be great.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #2 on: 28 June 2012, 12:25:08 »
I love the look of this design one of the most striking BA designs

Alex Keller

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #3 on: 29 June 2012, 00:57:15 »
I like to imagine squads of these things flittering about rooftops and over streets.  A very scary thing to have chasing you if you're just an infantryman.


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #4 on: 30 June 2012, 04:01:40 »

We pretty much run the standard variant most of the time, with the stealth model being rare in our games. It mostly serves as a scout/spotter for artillery battalions and independent fire brigades. And even then, only the very best units have access to the Djinn. It has a lot to do with the fact that augmented troops are the operators of the Djinn 99.9% of the time in my group's campaigns. Advanced combat cybernetics is a restricted technology under our house rules, reserved only for the hyper-elite "cream of the crop". The average line shock trooper isn't going to be pimped out like a Tau Zombie, even if their formation is rated "elite" or "veteran".

In the past, the base Djinn has played it's role well, able to make itself a pain in the ass despite the lack of stealth. Especially if it's operators make frequent trips to the "chop shop" for a tune-up, and most of their bodies are under warranty. However, it's still a light weight on a battlefield where a lot can kill it. Play it within it's niche and limitations, and you will have a top-flight recon suit to bring down the hurt from several mapsheets over.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #5 on: 05 July 2012, 18:27:14 »
True story, the rough lines under the foot of the Kopis were intended to be a crushed head and chest of a Djinn Battle Armor. We ran out of time to complete that juicy piece of art.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Djinn Battle Armor
« Reply #6 on: 05 July 2012, 18:31:46 »
Huh.  Interestingly, I think the Djinn is one of those few BA visual designs you could scale up to 'Mech size without needing to do too much to the art.  It'd make a nice partial wing light.  Or maybe that's just me.