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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy  (Read 5094 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« on: 07 November 2012, 21:36:52 »
Gray Death Heavy - Record Sheets - TRO 3085 Unabridged - Old is the New New page 22



     The Gray Death Heavy was something of a surprise when it first came out, and unique among Battle Armor designs we know it only from its record sheet, with no Technical Readout entry to provide any further details.

     Appearing out of the blue in Record Sheets 3085 Unabridged - Old is the New New, the Gray Death Heavy is actually intended to answer an old question: just what was the Battle Armor design in the picture on page 98 of the MechWarrior Companion? Originally intended to be imagery for what was at the time labeled the Standard Inner Sphere Battle Armor, the Inner Sphere Standard got a makeover and its current name with the publication of Lostech. That left an unused picture available for use for another design, giving the eventual raison d'ĂȘtre for the Gray Death Heavy.

     From that old picture, it was apparent that the suit had some form of energy weapon on the left arm, with a manipulator and a smaller forearm-mounted weapon on the right arm, plus a pair of four-tube launchers for some sort of missile mounted on the shoulders. This level of armament would have just been possible to squeeze into a slow-moving Medium chassis if the missiles were merely Rocket Launchers, but luckily The Powers That Be decided to make the mystery design a Heavy, allowing the use of SRMs.

     With a pair of one-shot SRM-4s, the Gray Death Heavy has a serious alpha strike, allowing a four-suit squad to inflict an average of twenty points of damage per launcher. With an Anti-Personnel Weapon Mount the natural choice for the right arm, continuing the Grey Death use of the mount on all but their Scout Suit design, plus a Basic Manipulator to match the small size of the manipulator on the right hand, that quickly filled in some of the blanks. Rounding out the armament, a Support PPC is perhaps the best of the light-to-mid-sized energy weapons available to the Inner Sphere prior to the recent changes introduced in Tactical Operations 2nd Edition.

     Following the pattern set by the Gray Death Standard, the GD Heavy isn't jump-capable, and although it moves at the maximum ground speed possible for Heavy suits without the use of advanced technology, that isn't enough to generate a Target Movement Modifier. Even so, the two Movement Points per Turn can still be a useful edge in urban combat, but like most heavier Battle Armor designs, don't be expecting much from the GD Heavy in a drag race.

     Perhaps in recognition of the increased vulnerability due to the lower mobility, the armor received a modest boost over the GD Standard. Ten points of armor is one of the key damage thresholds for Battle Armor, and although the maximum possible of fourteen points would have allowed the suit to absorb a pair of Clantech Medium Laser hits, the extra mass required would have eaten too heavily into the payload available, requiring the armament and equipment to be downgraded.

     All this left 65 kilograms remaining, which neatly fits the mass required by Improved Sensors, giving the GD Heavy yet another feature in common with the Standard. This ties in with the urban role suggested by the enhanced ground movement, allowing the GD Heavy to seek out ambushes. Outside of the city, the suit should ideally work with APCs or Omni units, with its single Basic Manipulator enough to provide Mechanized Battle Armor capability, although like other Heavy designs it's incapable of Anti-'Mech attacks.

     As a heavy trooper design, the Gray Death Heavy is a decent suit, with a formidable spike damage of up to 46 points on average for a single Turn, or 26 points for two Turns if the SRM salvos are staggered. The use of two separate launchers also allows the use of two different warhead types for a shake and bake mix, if desired. Once the missiles are gone, the average of six points per Turn is less than impressive, but that's not uncommon for designs that rely upon missiles for most of their firepower, and at least the Support PPC is longer ranged than the traditional trio of Small Laser, Flamer and Machine Gun, and even newer favorites such as the Light and Medium Recoilless Rifle.

     As pointed out by jymset, the GD Heavy makes for an interesting comparison with the Phalanx, his favorite Inner Sphere Heavy suit. The GD Heavy has a superior missile system, able to either match the Phalanx with a pair of four-tube salvos or to launch all eight missiles in an alpha strike. Mobility is the same, but whereas the Phalanx goes high tech and moderate armor, the GD Heavy keeps it simple and just layers on extra protection to keep the trooper alive. Which suit is the most survivable will depend upon circumstances; for example, the GD Heavy will do better against conventional infantry, while the Phalanx will typically perform better against other Battle Armor. Of course, the Phalanx's King David gives it another big advantage in the latter scenario, and also can in some other situations where the extra range is important, but generally the extra punch of the GD Heavy's PPC will be more valuable. Both have anti-personnel weaponry capability, with the Phalanx marginally superior thanks to its Armored Glove, and the GD Heavy obviously wins the multi-role comparison thanks to its sensor suite.

     Thanks to the Master Unit List, we know that the Gray Death Heavy was introduced in 3083, expanding upon the Jihad introduction era listed on the record sheet. The MUL also reveals that the suit is being sold outside the Lyran Commonwealth, unlike the smaller GD Strike. Found in the ranks of the LCAF and Republic Armed Forces, as well as mercenary units such as the Kell Hounds and the remnants of the Wolf's Dragoons, the Gray Death Heavy is apparently a popular design and fills a sparsely populated niche in the Inner Sphere militaries.

     Hopefully one day the Gray Death Heavy will get a Technical Readout entry of its own, but even if it doesn't, it's not that far a departure from the Strike and the Standard that we can't see it as a logical development of the same design family. More importantly, with all the stats we need to be able to field the GD Heavy in scenarios, we actually get to enjoy using it, instead of looking at its old picture and merely wondering about what it might be.

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Deadborder

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #1 on: 08 November 2012, 08:15:58 »
Minor nitpick:

The first illustrations of the IS Standard BA were in Clantroops, c1991. Mechwarrior companion was published in 1995, and by that point, there'd been several depictions of the IS Standard... which makes the illustration that became the GD Heavy even more inexplicable.

With that being said, it's a nice design and one that I'd like to see more flavour for.
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LastChanceCav

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #2 on: 08 November 2012, 09:39:41 »
I was really happy to see this guy in 3085. Finally a more generally available heavy BA capable of mechanized operations.

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Dragon Cat

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #3 on: 08 November 2012, 10:18:58 »
Cool that's a gem!!

I'd have loved to see a TRO write up of it

worktroll

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #4 on: 09 November 2012, 16:58:20 »
With the GD Heavy in production, why did they bother with the strike suit?

This is what the Strike wants to be - a significant sucker-punch, and a useful backup weapon. Yes, the Strike is 1MP faster, but (despite the potential for TMM) it's not that much of an advantage. And once the HEavy has shot off its missiles, it's still effective. The 10th point of armour just makes it.

I've kitbashed some using DA parts - Infiltrator torso on IS Std legs. The Waddle's grenade launcher is trimmed down for the support PPC, and the arm shortened; the SRM launchers (tiny compared to those of the Phalanx, or Grenadier) from scrap.

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Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #5 on: 09 November 2012, 17:35:48 »
So, who has used it in play?

Moonsword

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #6 on: 09 November 2012, 18:51:43 »
So, who has used it in play?

Does futzing around with it against the bot count?

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #7 on: 09 November 2012, 19:29:07 »
With the GD Heavy in production, why did they bother with the strike suit?

Easier to transport?  Easier to integrate with GDL Standard suits?  Both tactically and logistically?

Dragon Cat

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #8 on: 09 November 2012, 19:47:57 »
I'd take heavy over strike every day of week it looks cooler for a start

Moonsword

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #9 on: 10 November 2012, 08:41:14 »
Actually, at this scale instead of the thumbnail sketch on the sheet, it's better than I thought, but I'd still call them basically a dead heat for me in the looks department.  The design of the APWM isn't winning any points with me, either.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #10 on: 10 November 2012, 16:14:45 »
while the stats of the Heavy are better than the strike, i prefer the art for the strike.. the heavy's art looks too organic to feel like a real BA. even the Undine looks more mechanical IMO.

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #11 on: 10 November 2012, 17:29:47 »
Plenty of organic looking units got sharpened up with line drawings over the years. Plenty have gone the other way too. Invading Clans vs TRO3058 for example. The Strike is too much of a Hauberk wannabe for me.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Gray Death Heavy
« Reply #12 on: 10 November 2012, 22:59:11 »
I actually like the look of this one, short of the right arm.
For once I'm not suggesting making it a Quad.  8)
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