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Author Topic: Triggering A-pods  (Read 687 times)

A. Lurker

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Triggering A-pods
« on: 30 May 2013, 15:37:52 »
A-pods, also more formally known as anti-personnel pods. We know them; they're these half-ton explosive packages 'Mechs can attach to their legs to discourage infantry from violating their personal space too much, and Total Warfare page 130 explains how to use them against anti-'Mech attacks and point-blank shots from hidden conventional infantry. So far so good.

On TechManual page 205 we then find out that, in addition to the rules for them in Total Warfare, A-pods are among the pieces of equipment that can be used even when the unit mounting them is shut down, but do require that the pilot or crew be conscious and otherwise able to act in combat.

This second point would seem to suggest that, rather than somehow detecting an attack all by themselves and automatically going off on cue, A-pods are actually triggered manually, to the point that there must be some dedicated mechanism separate from the standard controls that allows them to be set off from inside the cockpit even if a 'Mech is currently powered down. Which then leads to the conclusion that a MechWarrior should in principle be able to set them off on purpose without first having to explicitly wait for a suitable attack to provide him or her with an excuse for doing so -- be that as an alternative to trying to kick hostile infantry in the same hex or perhaps even merely to expend them. (There would be no immediate tabletop game-related reason to do the latter, but it could come up in a roleplaying context.)

Only, according to this thread on the rules board, it seems that isn't actually the case. A unit is by all appearances not allowed to simply trigger its A-pods at will (in contrast to any anti-battle armor pods it might be carrying), and so an A-pod-equipped 'Mech has in fact no better defense against infantry camping out by its feet and taking simple pot-shots at it (in preference to the specialized attacks that would allow the pods to "legally" trigger) than a 'Mech with no such pods at all. This despite the fact that the pods' blast radius, once they were to be set off somehow, would handily cover the entire hex and hit that selfsame infantry just fine.

Try as I might, I just can't seem to make that rules call make sense to me, and I'm now hoping somebody here can help me out by explaining the reasoning behind it. (The rules board itself, it seems, isn't quite the right forum for that question.)