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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator  (Read 4994 times)

sillybrit

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Gray Death Infiltrator Suit - Technical Readout 3145 Lyran Commonwealth page 5


     One of my favorite suits in the 3145 series, the Grey Death Infiltrator finally frees the long suffering LCAF from having to rely upon the Infiltrator Mk I and Grey Death Scout. Grey Death Technologies might be all but gone, their remnant now absorbed into the corporate monster that is Defiance Industries, but the Infiltrator is just the latest of their progeny that ensures the name shines on.

     A variety of design hooks came together when I was developing the GD Infiltrator. First, I wanted the new suit to be more combat capable than either the Scout or the Waddle, which pushed the design towards being a medium rather than a light. I also had in mind an old concept of an airborne assault suit, intended to be dropped behind enemy lines ala the pre-helicopter massed parachute drops. That suggested the addition of a parafoil, which in turn brought to mind the Infiltrator Mk II, yet again pushing towards a medium chassis. One thing the Waddle, Scout and Puma all lacked was flexibility, so a Modular Weapon Mount was the next addition, but I also wanted some form of fixed armament to allow the GD Infiltrator to carry non-weapon equipment on its mount while still being able to fight back. Another feature shared by the older suits was relatively weak armor, so I also wanted to make the new design tougher. Mobility, stealth and the exact payload were all attributes that I was willing to juggle to achieve a workable design that could be seen as a reasonable improvment on what the LCAF already had.

     jymset: From my side of the project this truly was a filler suit at first. In the end, the movement, armour thickness (7 being my own minimum threshold) and inclusion of the Parafoil were all that was important to me. It was the wonderful fluff and Plog's amazing art that really made this unit pop.

     Looking at the armament first, I did tinker for a short time with fitting a Light Machine Gun as the fixed weaponry. For a battle armor gun, it has decent range, gets bonus damage vs infantry and is lightweight. In the end I opted for the David Light Gauss Rifle, in part because I liked the greater reach, but also because I wanted to strengthen the ties to the Infiltrator Mk II, which also mounts a gauss weapon on its right arm. Although the FedCom is now long sundered, the Suns and Lyrans did start down the battle armor path together and I wanted to acknowledge that, even if in a small somewhat obscure way. If the fluff for the Technical Readout 3145 series was more orientated towards design and technology issues as per prior post-3025 Readouts, then I would have also included the idea that the GD Infiltrator's gauss rifle could be dialled back in velocity for stealthy subsonic shots to assist it in sneaky spec ops missions.

     With the main gun out of the way, we move on to the left-arm modular mount. Originally possessing a higher payload which would have even allowed a Light Machine Gun, the mass demanded by the final mobility and armor levels forced me to reduce the mount's capacity. When intended for combat, I went for that most Lyran of battle armor weapons, the Firedrake. A superb option for any battlesuit, yet again this hooked back into the FedCom/Infiltrator Mk II: the Suns suit gets the signature Magshot and the GD Infiltrator gets the Lyran's signature weapon. Although only inflicting a single point of damage against armored targets, with a range of just three hexes, the Firedrake matches the much heavier flamer when used against conventional infantry, potentially allowing a squad to destroy an entire platoon with just a single average attack.

     For the other configurations, the Light TAG - also seen on the Grey Death Strike - and Improved Sensors were obvious choices given the payload available. The latter isn't quite as capable as the full-sized Active Probe mounted on the Grey Death Scout, but at least the Infiltrator has a chance of surviving discovering the enemy, something the Scout often struggles to achieve. The Remote Sensor Dispenser was another obvious configuration given its use on the Infiltrator Mk I Special Ops variant. Requiring the use of optional rules, these sensors can provide a massive advantage in double blind games, especially in ones where the terrain limits line-of-sight, such as cities and heavy woods. The last configuration, the Mine Dispenser, was a logical follow-on to the remote sensors: if you're using the suit to deploy electronics, why not add the option to deploy things that go boom.

     Capellan players will already be comfortable with the use of minefields, with their Fa Shih giving them the original battle armor-deployed mines, but for Lyran players this will perhaps be something new. Able to deploy a variety of types, the dispenser can be loaded with two 10-point minefields, which might not sound much but, just like real life, players dislike the idea of the ground suddenly blowing up beneath them and so many tend to be overly cautious once they're aware mines are in play. This caution is something that a wilely player can exploit, nevermind the simpler option of just luring the foe into a mine ambush.

     Sadly, there wasn't enough mass available to add an Anti-Personnel Weapon Mount, and with the fitting of twin Basic Manipulators the GD Infiltrator is also incapable of wielding an infantry weapon. The manipulators are another feature shared with the Infiltrator Mk II, albeit a coincidence rather than a deliberate selection; they were picked due to the lack of mass requirement, but that was about it. I did consider fitting one or more armored gloves instead, thereby enhancing the special operations capability and also allowing an AP attack, but the loss of the Anti-Mech attack in particular was considered too high a cost.

     That leads us to the issue of mobility and armor. Other than wanting the GD Infiltrator to be more heavily protected than the Waddle, Scout and Puma, as well as obviously needing some form of stealth, the only other preference was a unique, or at least uncommon movement profile. Jump capability was a given for a suit that was intended for airborne insertion and might then be operating independently, which all but dictates the superior rough terrain capability. That then left a higher than standard ground speed to differentiate the GD Infiltrator from its forebears and competitors. I did consider just two ground Movement Points, which would have allowed a 100kg Modular Weapon Mount payload and an AP Weapon Mount as well, but in the end we opted for the full three Movement Points that a medium bipedal chassis is capable of moving without any enhancements. This allows a +1 Target Movement Modifier with both movement modes, although jumping is still the prefered option given that it adds an extra +1.

     The armor had already been fixed in my mind at seven points, making it superior to the Infiltrator Mk II, with any tougher considered too high an impact on the mass available elsewhere. With the other design characteristics gingerly slotting into place, that left Basic Stealth as the only viable choice for the armor material. This keeps the same level of stealth as the Waddle, but is not as good as either the Scout or the Infiltrator Mk II. In game terms the inferiority is only a matter of a +1 hit modifier at short range, where stealth armor is already at its least effective, so this was considered an acceptable choice. To have installed better stealth armor would have required the mobility to be reduced, as the armament payload was already close to the bone for my preferences.

     In truth, I wouldn't have minded an alternative design with just two ground movement and either Improved Stealth or a 100kg Modular Weapon Mount capacity, perhaps combined with switching one manipulator to an armored glove. It would have left the GD Infiltrator unique and could be viewed as a design trying to compromise between the requirements of a special operations suit and a battlefield scout/skirmisher. Likewise, the Light Machine Gun version was very tempting. Clantech would have been an obvious cure all, and I like to think that Loki have a few custom variants that would be suitable for Experimental Technical Readout Arrgh! Get It Off Me, Get It Off Me! All of the outcomes would have been usable and trying to decide which way to go made the whole design process a lot of fun for me, as I always enjoy tinkering with battle armor concepts.

     The GD Infiltrator's fluff was another satisfying result for me. I'd been drawn to the write up for the Knox/Bailey Armored Cars in the Vehicle Annex, which mentioned the use of Grey Death suits by criminals. I'd also happened to have read a short story about the Kelly Gang using a steam-powered "battlesuit" for their robberies, and with Australia being a Lyran world the fluff was almost writing itself. What really sealed the deal was jymset mentioning that he'd wanted to name a unit the Quokka, a little Australian critter. Tying all that together resulted in the GD Infiltrator's first mission being a corporate marketing stunt. This tied in to the popular image of the Lyrans being the corporate/industrial state, together with a hint of a nascent Social General in the form of Hauptmann Johann Sadleir - John Sadleir being one of those who took down the Kelly Gang in real world history. To give the GD Infiltrator some proper combat experience in its fluff, having them sent to fight the Falcons on Glengarry was a nod to its roots, as Glengarry was the former homeworld of Grey Death Technologies and the Legion.

     Within RPG play, using any medium or heavier suit is almost overkill, but A Time Of War is really the closest you're going to get to using the GD Infiltrator in its special operations role. At least the manipulators are flexible enough that a player can use them to open doors rather than simply knocking them down, even if they lack the finesse of armored gloves. As an aside, hopefully it should go without saying that the need to fill the special operations role, together with the jump capability, is the reason why the GD Infiltrator isn't a quad like most of the LCAF battle armor corps. Plus quads are ugly, unlike the awesome artwork of the GD Infiltrator.

     In standard BattleTech play, the GD Infiltrator is equally at home in urban combat and out in the wilds. Yes, it'll appreciate a lift from a friendly Omni or APC when it has to move long distances or at high speed, but it's perfectly capable of traversing most environments by itself. The David Light Gauss Rifle provides a good stand-off range even if the damage is best described as pitiful. This isn't a weapon that downs larger targets by damage alone, instead relying upon critical hits, and if you're against conventional infantry you'd better hope you configured the suit with the Firedrake. Other battle armor can be problematic, except for the older types that lack the combination of range and mobility enjoyed by the GD Infiltrator.

     In common with other suits that mount it, the Light TAG is perhaps the most dangerous GD Infiltrator configuration for opponents to encounter. It allows battle armor squads to be the point of the spear by guiding in ordnanance launched or dropped by heavier friendlies, such that the integral armament becomes almost an afterthought. The Improved Sensors and Remote Sensor Dispenser then provide a couple of ways to locate the foe in the first place, something that is especially important in double blind games. The minelaying configuration does add a potentially useful tool for Lyran players, but it's not that groundbreaking to you won't lose out that much if you chose to stick with something more familiar.

     Against heavier opponents, you ideally want to use the GD Infiltrator in a supporting role. Of course the same is true for all battle armor in all but limited circumstances, but without heavy firepower of its own, the Quokka will struggle to down bigger foes. If up against ’Mechs in close quarters, then leg attacks will be a profitably avenue to explore, with swarming being too clumsy for my tastes. Vehicles might thus be considered a tougher enemy to deal with due to swarming being the only option against them, but thanks to the crit rules I'd consider excusing melee attacks entirely, instead opting for mobility kills via motive crits if possible.

     As for the suits the GD Infiltrator replaces, the old Scout does potentially have a small operational niche remaining thanks to its superior sensor capability and even the longer jump range may sometimes be important. Arguably the Waddle also still has a role if you really had to have a stealthy light suit with a Grenade Launcher or a Remote Sensor and Improved Sensors combo in a single suit. Both suits do give up a lot for their slim advantages over the Quokka and the Waddle at least can easily be matched with a reasonable field customization, so if you don't mind non-canon units there's really no need for the Infiltrator Mk I at all. Thanks to a higher than typical ground speed for a bipedal design, the GD Infiltrator will find it easier to coordinate with the LCAF's plethora of quad suits. It is slower on its feet than all bar the new Fenrir II, but the jump jets may occasionally allow it to catch up any lost ground, as well as offering maneuver options unavailable to the four-footed suits.

     The GD Infiltrator gives the LCAF a stealthy scout and skirmisher to rival anything fielded by other factions. Its payload and mobility enhances its flexibility, making it a useful go to choice when commanders are unsure what to take. No doubt the suit will be a regular sight in Lyran ranks for many years, and hopefully the same will be true of the gaming table.

« Last Edit: 25 June 2014, 23:50:11 by sillybrit »

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #1 on: 12 December 2013, 14:11:53 »
Very nice writeup, though it could be considered just a little long.

The Greay death infiltrator in a normal game of BT was described by someone as "extra armor" for omnimechs, due to the very low damage it puts out.  It's kinda like the fedsuns new PA(L) stealthsuit; more of an RPG/fluff weapon than a tabletop one, which is why it is so great.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #2 on: 12 December 2013, 14:20:38 »
I disagree.  The GD Infiltrator is a perfect special tasks unit on the battlefield.  The stock DLGR gives it a little range, it can leg attack, swarm, mechanize, move 3 jump or 3 ground, and has a variety of weapon options.  I like the TAG and Firedrake, personally.  But, I can see the use of a minelayer moving through the city undetected and laying down mines on a vital roadway.

This suit is really excellent.  I've been a long time fan of Lyran BA having strong ground movement while also acknowledging they needed something domestically produced that jumped outside of the GD Scout and IS Standard.  I never thought i'd see both qualities stacked on the same suit.  When I read 3/3 movement I was sold, full stop, no need to read any further.  And yet, the weapon choices and armor make it even more flexible.  And the option to mount improved sensors pays homage to the Lyran tradition of probes and sensors on the GD line and Rottweilers.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #3 on: 12 December 2013, 14:49:02 »
Love this armor.  I've only gotten a chance to use the lTAG variant but it worked great in conjunction with the Arrow IV Yellow Jackets I took.  I had two GDI lTAG's with a Fenrir II LRM point providing muscle and scary-ness.  They did great directing Arrow IV traffic, though the enemy eventually died or ran off.

Really enjoy this suit's versatility and while the actual damage threshold isn't that high, it deliver in that jack of all trades roll.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #4 on: 12 December 2013, 14:55:36 »
...though the enemy eventually died or ran off.

Y'know, in most cultures they refer to this situation as 'victory' and is celebrated... ;)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #5 on: 12 December 2013, 15:42:16 »
SB,

How would you compare the Quokka, Puma and Angerona to one another?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #6 on: 12 December 2013, 15:44:47 »
The Quo-whatta? ???
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #7 on: 12 December 2013, 15:50:26 »
The Quo-whatta? ???
Quokka is the GDI's nickname.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #8 on: 12 December 2013, 15:51:09 »
The Quo-whatta? ???

Knickname for this suite ;)

I also ran out of homing rounds that game, and splashing your buddies isn't a nice thing to do.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #9 on: 12 December 2013, 15:53:01 »
Quokka is the GDI's nickname.

Oh, good. I was worried there was some kind of Blakist LAM-suit, and they'd gotten the same guy to name it.

I also ran out of homing rounds that game, and splashing your buddies isn't a nice thing to do.

Have you SEEN our group? :D
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #10 on: 12 December 2013, 16:09:56 »
Have you SEEN our group? :D

Uh, since I play with you guys…  :D

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #11 on: 12 December 2013, 16:16:35 »
Uhh...I'm really, really sorry to be that guy, but it's Gray, not Grey.

I really enjoy the flexibility of this BA. You can bring it to nearly any occasion and it'll still have a role to play.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #13 on: 12 December 2013, 16:57:21 »
I like it, but I think it could have gone even father down the jack-of-all-trades road: two MWMs, so you could mount a Firedrake and LTAG, or remote sensors and improved sensors, etc.  The David just doesn't seem good enough in any situation to be worth having above something that's more valuable in specific situations.  You could even still pack the David, with any of the existing combinations but the improved sensors.  It just seems like that would help push it even further down the "configurations for all situations" road, opening up options like an MG, ECM suite, various missile systems, etc.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #14 on: 12 December 2013, 18:29:34 »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quokka

The Lyran Suit is named after the Kangaroo Rat.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #15 on: 12 December 2013, 19:51:35 »
SB,

How would you compare the Quokka, Puma and Angerona to one another?

In each case I'm comparing with the original version of the suit for simplicity.

Quokka vs Puma
The Puma is obviously stealthier, but Basic vs Standard Stealth only translates as a +1 modifier at Short range that the Quokka lacks. That sometimes might result in a Puma being missed when a Quokka in the same situation would be hit, but it's a very slim advantage. The possibility of Ghost Targeting by the Puma, even in light of the nerfing which that ECM mode received, does give the Suns suit another slight advantage when it comes to avoiding enemy fire. Altogether I don't think it's enough of an advantage for the Puma to be clearly superior in avoiding getting shot. Equally, although obviously making the Quokka immune to being one-shot by Clan Medium Lasers, I don't think it's slightly heavier armor is enough to give it a comfortable lead in toughness. Combine the two, I think they come out equal defensively, with individual circumstances going to be the most telling.

Offensively, it's again horses for courses. The Puma's Magshot is clearly superior to the Quokka's Light David, but at close range the latter's Firedrake can match the firepower and even draw ahead vs infantry. The Puma does have an AP option that the Quokka lacks, but it's again one of those advantages that provides only a small benefit. The Quokka obviously has the advantage of greater flexibility with its various configurations, but it lacks an ECM option, so it's not going to be your first choice when you need to jam enemy electronics, such as C3. Although the Puma will be superior in certain situations, I think that overall the Quokka edges ahead, primarily due to its modularity that allows you to tailor its loadout to the battle you need to fight, especially if you need it to be a scout.

Mobility is a clear win for the Quokka, no discussion required. So I'd argue that with all factors combined that puts the Quokka ahead of the Puma.

Quokka vs Angerona
Defensively I'm going to have to favor the Angerona in most situations. The Camo system combined with the Improved Stealth makes hitting a stationary Angerona a real chore, with even short range attacks suffering a +3 modifier, plus the Camo means that it can effect PBIs. The ability of the Quokka to generate an extra +1 movement modifer by jumping does allow it to match the Angerona if both are moving at top speed where the Camo isn't a factor. Again, the Quokka's armor isn't high enough to be a telling advantage. Overall, I think the Angerona has an edge defensively thanks to the Camo/Stealth combo.

Offensively, I again favor the Quokka for its modularity. Again, it has the ability to mount sensors, something that the Angerona Scout Suit conspicuously lacks. The Quokka now enjoys a range advantage, although the Angerona has a longer reach for anti-infantry fire; the Firedrake inflicts more casualties but at half the range I would generally prefer the LRR. So, there will be circumstances where the Angerona will have an advantage, but the flexibility of the Quokka is such a useful feature as to give it the nod in my opinion.

Mobility again favors the Quokka, even moreso than the Quokka vs Puma comparison thanks to the Quokka's ability to jump over minor obstacles such as rivers, streams of lava and minefields. For me, that makes the Quokka again the better suit.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #16 on: 12 December 2013, 20:17:43 »
Quokka is the GDI's nickname.
In that case I hereby dub the primary configuration (David/Firedrake) the "Quokka Dakka Flame."

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #17 on: 12 December 2013, 21:40:32 »
Nice in depht write up, sillybrit & Jymset.   I hadn't realize so much richness in the background this suit had along with its thoughtout capacities.  Well done, sirs!
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #18 on: 12 December 2013, 23:09:29 »
Hey guys, its just hit me that I don't know where to find the anti infantry damage for the firedrake.  Am I overlooking something obvious or is it tucked away in some obscure place?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #19 on: 12 December 2013, 23:35:46 »
The table on p 305/306 TW has the following note for the Firedrake:

‡‡Treat as Flamer on Burst-Fire Weapon Damage Vs. Conventional Infantry Table, see either p. 217 or p. 310.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #20 on: 13 December 2013, 00:25:17 »
Ok, I was looking for an entry for the Firedrake on the burst-fire chart.  That explains it.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #21 on: 14 December 2013, 17:18:56 »
Should this be Gray Death or Grey Death?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Grey Death Infiltrator
« Reply #22 on: 15 December 2013, 13:26:58 »
Should this be Gray Death or Grey Death?

Gray Death. 

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