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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor  (Read 3997 times)

sillybrit

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Sea Fox Amphibious Armor - Technical Readout 3145 Federated Suns page 7







     The Sea Fox Amphibious Armor is a highly specialized battlesuit intended for aquatic operations, if the name wasn't enough of a clue for you to guess that already. Appearing in Technical Readout 3145 Federated Suns, the Sea Fox continues the Suns love for both advanced technology and battle armor, giving them a suit that fulfils a role unique among the Inner Sphere Houses and only contested by Clan forces.

     The first light battlesuit to enter AFFS service since the original Infiltrator Mk I AKA Waddle AKA That Hideous Pile, the Sea Fox is very much a niche design in game terms. Although it'd no doubt have great utility within the game universe, given that humans do have a tendancy to live near water, you're obviously only going to be able to get some use out of the suit in scenarios that have a significant amount of water hexes, and not just the occasional one- or two-hex puddles.

    Like most AFFS battle armor, the Sea Fox is a stealthy design, in this case mounting the lowest standard, with five points of Basic Stealth plating. That puts it at the minimum armor level for a full-sized battlesuit in my opinion, allowing it to take a Medium Laser or Autocannon/5 hit and to still keep rocking. The stealthiness will hopefully help the Sea Fox avoid some hits, but don't expect much unless the enemy is at long range, or is suffering some other serious targeting penalties.

     The mobility is unique within the battle armor world, and can provide a small amount of those aforementioned targeting penalties. First up is the ground movement mode, which allows the suit to shift along at a respectible three Movement Points. This is enought to inflict a +1 Target Movement Modifier on enemy attacks and also makes the Sea Fox a decent urban fighter. As has been mentioned in many articles before this one, the inability to use jump jets inside buildings means that a high ground speed is vital for good mobility in and around buildings, or indeed any other enclosed space.

     Next up is the aquatic capability provided by the Underwater Maneuvering Unit. This is a piece of Clan technology that the Suns originally obtained back in 3069 when Clan Diamond Sharks sold them a number of Undine Battle Armor. The Undine helped form the basis of what became the Hauberk, but the heart of the Clan suit, the UMU, remained unused and forgotten. Indeed, the suit's name was in part intended to be an acknowledgement of its Clan origin, as well as a nod towards the Fox, Hanse Davion. Later, it occured to me that the name also mimicks that of the Rabid Foxes, the premier black ops unit of the Department of Military Intelligence. (As HUMINT specialists, the Stealthy Foxes are unlikely to need battle armor directly.)

     Also able to propel the Sea Fox at three Movement Points, the UMU allows the suit to freely move around underwater like a submarine, unlike the majority of battle armor designs which would be stuck on the bottom. This superb underwater mobility allows Sea Foxes to dance around most enemy ’Mechs, that are limited to walking very slowly and carefully on the sea/river/lakebed. As any of you who have suffered through an underwater scenario will know, many ’Mechs will end up killing or crippling themselves without even seeing an enemy. The number of piloting roles required to move across the bottom of a body of water will almost always result in multiple failures, and with damaged compartments at risk of flooding it's not impossible to have both sides die without firing a shot.

    Unique among battle armor, the Sea Fox has a third movement mode, in this case a token jump capability provided by the installation of Mechanized Jump Boosters. Observant players may even recall me clarifiying with The Powers That Be some months ago that a suit could mount both the Boosters and the UMU: that was when I was first tinkering with various design options for an amphibious battlesuit. One feature of the Boosters is that unlike normal jump jets they can be used while underwater, allowing a Sea Fox to spring from the depths and onto dry land. This image of a riverine ambush formed a lot of my early concept, plus the synergy between the two movement systems was appealing. Although the jump distance isn't enough to provide a Target Movement Modifer, all jump movement provides an extra modifier, which means that the Sea Fox can generate one when using any of its movement modes.

    Sadly, the payload restrictions of a light chassis means that the Sea Fox isn't capable of doing much to an enemy unit underwater. A solitary one-shot SRM launcher can be loaded with a torpedo round and represents the only ranged underwater attack available to the suit. Of course, with the possibility of flooding an enemy compartment this might be enough, but in truth Sea Foxes are really at their most dangerous against enemy ’Mechs, being able to inflict Leg Attacks thanks to their twin armored gloves. This isn't without risk, as many ’Mechs are armed with energy weapons that will allow at least some ranged capability, albeit at greatly reduced reach. Against boats, submarines and amphibious vehicles Sea Foxes don't even have the option of melee combat, although larger, slower vessels could be at risk of boarding actions.

     With the proliferation of Clan technology, perhaps one day the Sea Fox could be adapted to fit a multi-shot Clan launcher, but perhaps even more useful would be access to Clan Multi-Purpose Missiles, which can be fired as either torpedoes or missiles. Not only would this grant greater operational flexibility, but it also allows for the ability to attack surface and land targets while still underwater, without any risk of return fire.

     The main weapon of the Sea Fox is only usable out of the water. The shoulder-mounted Light Machine Gun allows the suit to snipe from beyond the range of the old fashioned Small Laser, Flamer and Machine Gun that armed the early generations of battle armor, and the small bonus against conventional infantry is also a boon, but the damage output isn't that great. One benefit the Light Machine Gun does provide is when using the marine boarding rules, where any burst-fire capable weapon gives a +1 modifier, with a further modifier gained from the installation of the Cutting Torch on the right arm. Altogether, this gives the Sea Fox a total of 3.25 Marine Boarding Points, making it marginally superior to the heavier IS Standard with a Machine Gun or Flamer configuration.

     Thanks to the armored gloves, the Sea Fox can also wield a variety of infantry weapons. If using the optional rules, I'd select a Man-Portable Plasma Rifle for extra punch, or perhaps a M42B for superior anti-infantry firepower, but even under the default rules an attack equivilant to Ballistic Rifle Infantry is still usable at close range, if only just.

     Mounting the Light Machine Gun on the torso was a deliberate choice: suits equipped with UMUs cannot Swarm, so there's no need to mount direct-fire weapons on the arms for that, plus my original image was of a Sea Fox rising up out of the water with just the gun and head exposed to blast an unfortunate foe. This was directly drawn from various media that I've seen of SBS, SEALs and other such real world sneaky types coming up out of the water in similar poses.

     This image, and the focus on boarding operations, reveals the intended in-universe role for the Sea Fox. It's not meant as an aquatic combat unit as such, but instead it's a special operations suit that just happens to be capable of moving in water. My original concept emphasized this further, being based upon the Infiltrator Mk II with only a single UMU Movement Point, matching the speed of unaugmented frogmen. Jymset persuaded me to switch to the current size and speed, although this did sadly cost the design a lot of combat performance in the form of a sixth point of armor, three extra shots for the SRM launcher, plus an AP Weapon Mount to replace the capability lost by switching to twin Battle Claws.

     Rounding out the suit's equipment is a flavor piece typical of many canon designs, in this case Extended Life Support. Such equipment typically has little to no use in BattleTech scenarions, but would within the game universe. The suit does have 5kg of unspent mass, but with no more slots available this is sadly wasted. A searchlight would have been ideal here, evoking images of minisubs deep underwater.

     While on the subject of deep water, it's worth mentioning an obscure feature of UMU-equipped battle armor, which are actually able to go deeper than ’Mechs and Protos. The latter have to start making crush checks for every hex entered at Depth 15 or below, while battle armor only need to start checking at twice that depth. Submarines are still the masters in this environment, but it does give UMU-equipped battlesuits a role that cannot be matched by ’Mechs and could be used to escape heavier foes.

     The Sea Fox is best used as a scout and raider, ideally limiting the latter to soft targets. The ability to pop up in unexpected locations and just as quickly escape enemy retaliation is a key strength to help mask the suit's limitations. These guidelines should help you decide how to use the Sea Fox in scenarios, although you could at a pinch just ignore the aquatic capability and deploy it as a light urban combat unit, with Infernos or standard SRMs replacing the torpedoes.

     This suit is very much a flavor piece, with only limited utility for the typical game, especially in its current form. It makes sense within the game universe, particularly for a House so invested in battle armor and with access to technology no other House has available. There will be some who will no doubt delight in finding ways and means to use the Sea Fox to confound their opponents at the table top, but I do fully expect the suit to mostly remain a foot note in players' memories.








SCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #1 on: 03 September 2013, 23:27:33 »
Attacks can't normally cross the water line, in fact unless the unit is a Navel vessel on the surface or a 'Mech in level 1 water it can't see units on the other side of the water line

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #2 on: 04 September 2013, 00:07:32 »
Total War p229, Multi-Purpose Missiles section:

"Multi-Purpose Missiles can either be fired as a torpedo (see Torpedoes, below), or it can also be launched as a standard attack by a battle armor unit that occupies a Depth 1 water hex against non-submerged unit. Determine LOS to the target as though the battle armor unit rose 1 level above the surface of the water hex it occupies; apply all standard modifiers. Enemy
units cannot make attacks against a battle armor making such an attack unless the attacker is submerged and has a clear LOS to the battle armor unit.
"

This is only available in LRM form, but that wouldn't be that bad a change as the extra range is really useful underwater, allowing the suit to stay well outside energy weapon range.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #3 on: 04 September 2013, 00:48:40 »
    Sadly, the payload restrictions of a light chassis means that the Sea Fox isn't capable of doing much to an enemy unit underwater. A solitary one-shot SRM launcher can be loaded with a torpedo round and represents the only ranged underwater attack available to the suit.

-snip-

although you could at a pinch just ignore the aquatic capability and deploy it as a light urban combat unit, with Infernos or standard SRMs replacing the torpedoes.

point of order.. Torpedoes are not a special ammo type, they are a dedicated launcher type. you can't 'swap' an SRM for an SRT, you'd have to modify the suit to mount a torpedo launcher. the two launcher types are the same size and mass, but separate systems.


sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #4 on: 04 September 2013, 01:00:09 »
Tech Manual p262, Torpedoes section:

"Torpedoes: Rather than taking the BattleMech and vehicular-scale approach to torpedo technology, torpedoes used by battle armor are more missile-based, requiring simply that the missiles themselves—which use a specialized alternative chemical propellant and aquatic thrust system—be modified, rather than the munitions and their launcher."

So for battle armor, torpedoes are just a special munition, hence why they appear in the Special Missiles Munitions section in Total War (p229), which is preceded with the following quote:

"Battle armor units mounting standard SRM or LRM launchers may make use of the following missile munitions."

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #5 on: 04 September 2013, 04:51:50 »
So you made this yourself?
Well, that sure gives you all the right to brag about it.  :))
Indeed a flavour piece, with decent looks to boot.
Given it's already named like a clan, why not sell them the specifications?
They would surely upgrade it.
While we're at it, does it have harjel?
Because if not even this design needs it, I question the clans decision to keep at it.
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #6 on: 04 September 2013, 11:39:13 »
It doesn't have Harjel, that would require a Clan chassis, which is heavier than an IS chassis and would reduce the already poor payload even more.

Dragon Cat

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #7 on: 04 September 2013, 11:43:55 »
When I first saw this suit I just though "thank you" I really really like it looks awesome and the fluff around it is really cool.

I like the idea of a unit sneaking in behind an enemy via the water to infiltrate into a city.  Or raising above the water behind a Mech or vehicle unit to smash them with Inferno Missiles.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #8 on: 04 September 2013, 11:55:49 »
The shark motif isn't one I'd even thought of when I was first imagining this design, but when I saw the artwork I had a "Doh, obvious!" moment LOL. I like how David White streamlined the gunpod compared to the one on the Fusilier, while still keeping the idea that they share the basic mount and weapon. I'm going to assume that those are optics at the front of the pod, just above where the barrel sticks out, allowing the suit to peak just a fraction above the surface and be able to lock onto a target and BLAM! Not within the BattleTech rules of course, but for RPG play it might be more acceptable.

If I could change just one thing about the art, I would have prefered the missile pod to be slung under the forearm, it's just a visual image for a launcher that I've always wanted to see in a suit and I forgot to add it to the developers notes.

Fallen_Raven

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #9 on: 04 September 2013, 15:45:52 »
I'm thinking this suit would be wonderful for police work. Sneak up on private yachts that suspects are hiding on, busting smugglers who move cargo offshore, and scaring the crap out of everyone on private beaches!
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #10 on: 04 September 2013, 19:58:32 »
Tech Manual p262, Torpedoes section:

"Torpedoes: Rather than taking the BattleMech and vehicular-scale approach to torpedo technology, torpedoes used by battle armor are more missile-based, requiring simply that the missiles themselves—which use a specialized alternative chemical propellant and aquatic thrust system—be modified, rather than the munitions and their launcher."

So for battle armor, torpedoes are just a special munition, hence why they appear in the Special Missiles Munitions section in Total War (p229), which is preceded with the following quote:

"Battle armor units mounting standard SRM or LRM launchers may make use of the following missile munitions."
ok, hadn't known that BA missiles were an exception. honestly didn't read the BA construction rules closely when i got techmanual, don't usually mess around with BA construction.

Diablo48

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2013, 20:37:32 »
I like this suit a lot, and I can see a lot of possibilities for raiding a port from a submarine transport.  You leave the sub hanging well back from the target, move in quietly on the UMUs, then hop out of the water and dash into the target structure before the enemy knows what is going on.  This could either be part of the first wave of an assault or a small spec ops team on a surgical strike mission.


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Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #12 on: 04 September 2013, 23:51:54 »
Wonder how well the Sea Fox can pair with a Neptune H-K or a White Tip... ^-^
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CranstonSnord

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #13 on: 05 September 2013, 00:06:01 »
Theoretically, if someone designed an omnivehicle submarine, could it transport this battle armor for free ? :-P

SCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #14 on: 05 September 2013, 05:40:53 »
Theoretically, if someone designed an omnivehicle submarine, could it transport this battle armor for free ? :-P
As the rules stand being in water DOESN'T effect a unit's ability to provide Mechanized BA operations, the U configs on many OmniMechs should provide it

Dragon Cat

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #15 on: 05 September 2013, 08:02:36 »
Theoretically, if someone designed an omnivehicle submarine, could it transport this battle armor for free ? :-P

Didn't the the Goliath Scorpions build a sub that we've never seen stats for?

Cryhavok101

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #16 on: 25 August 2016, 11:43:47 »
Sorry for the necro, recently new to this forum and I have been enjoying reading up all these battle armor descriptions.

When you talked about special ops units rising from the water to attack a surprised unit, it occurred to me that this could be taken much further than just shoreline attacks and anti sub warfare. Special ops are generally rising out of the water not to attack but because they are making a stealthy entry behind enemy lines. You could drop this battle armor from anywhere over the oceans of a planet, and let it make it's way ashore on it's own to cause havoc from impossible attack vectors. There are not very many guns or detection systems guarding oceans so such an entry point is virtually unguarded by most forces, and with the unit's high ground speed, and anti infantry weapons, I can see it being a major disrupting force to a defending army, one that would be difficult to react to.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #17 on: 25 August 2016, 12:04:05 »
Theoretically, if someone designed an omnivehicle submarine, could it transport this battle armor for free ? :-P

I imagine an amphibious omni tank would get the job done, too.


These are fun suits to me.  I can see them in actual warfare.  Land war is often fought with bridges as strategic objectives.  Having even light BA able to cross water and engage provides a measure of strategic freedom would be tempting, especially in urban settings where BA can thrive.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #18 on: 25 August 2016, 15:20:25 »
It occurs to me that we did see a unit of rabid foxes using battle armor. A unit was sent along with op:serpent, which got used to watch over the falcon outpost on huntress. They got airdropped during the infiltration phase, and we saw them using iirc Infiltrators and grey death scouts to covertly observe, and at one point have to engage a group of falcon elementals.

mbear

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #19 on: 26 August 2016, 13:08:45 »
With the Draconis Combine controlling so many Federated Suns systems in the Dark Age, it might be possible to see a Hatamoto-Kaeru supported by a squad (or three) of Sea Fox armor.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #20 on: 26 August 2016, 16:58:14 »
I like this suit . . . and thanks for the necro as I must have missed it before.  With its urban utility, a LMG and hands I think its great for the garrison of a urban environment.  I would have loved to see a Clan upgrade version from the Sea Foxes in TRO3150- Clan spec the weapons and use the Undine-based missiles.

Does the UMU detach?  I really do wonder how well it work for a light urban combatant, maybe a version where it does not have a UMU or the Torp, rather it has a plain SRM in the tube.  I think it could stand up to some of the weaker light suits- GDL Scout, Kage, and Spectre but definitely is weaker than the Achileus and Kobold.  Could it beat the Kishi in a city?  I want to say yes . . .

Which IMO raises the question . . . as the only two afaik that are designed for underwater work, how does it fair fighting the Undine?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #21 on: 26 August 2016, 20:07:58 »
As noted above, under water the Sea Fox's only ranged weapon is a single shot of SRT.

It will take a long time for the Undine's Micro Laser to overcome the 5 points of stealth armour but if the Sea Fox wants to keep playing it will happen.

OTOH on the land I have to favour the Sea Fox.

Cryhavok101

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Sea Fox Amphibious Armor
« Reply #22 on: 26 August 2016, 20:34:00 »
Also the art for the sea fox is fantastic, and makes the suit clearly superior to the clan monstrosity  ;D

 

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