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Author Topic: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?  (Read 915 times)

Drewbacca

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FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« on: 25 March 2020, 09:44:34 »
The earlies days of Battletech have made reference to FrankenMechs. But you never actually see any. Why is that?

calendraug

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #1 on: 25 March 2020, 09:51:22 »
I used some for operation Klondike. We kept stats as they were but used kitbashed models. Say a Warhammer with a thugs ppc arm instead of the original or a Shadowhawk with Griffin legs etc.

Sartris

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #2 on: 25 March 2020, 09:52:36 »
they're usually one-off custom jobs, but they do exist in small numbers. occasionally you see them appear in fiction like elements of the the unit that faced off against the wolverines during klondike in Betrayal of Ideals

a few pop up in xtros:
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Schwerer_Gustav
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Temax_Cat_Ninjabolt

Kovax

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #3 on: 25 March 2020, 10:01:26 »
Each "FrankenMech" is going to be unique, so having a TRO entry for a one-of-a-kind item seems like a waste of space.  I'm pretty sure that such a piece of equipment is going to have quirks, technical issues, possible balance or targeting issues, and other reasons why it's generally avoided except in odd circumstances when nothing else functional is available, but you've got half of "this" and the other half of "that" on hand, and someone willing to suffer through the process or pay to have it done, regardless of the outcome.

They're clearly not "tournament legal", and I typically don't use them (except in one weird campaign where the players faced such a Medium machine with only a couple of beat-up Light 'Mechs and vehicles - as a way of providing them with some badly-needed salvage, since any decent Medium would have torn them apart at that point).  Any such design should be intentionally riddled with bugs and design flaws, penalties to various odd actions, and other things to clearly indicate that it's a cobbled-together mess, not a properly designed machine.

Drewbacca

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #4 on: 25 March 2020, 10:01:51 »
How would you make one? The internal structure seems to be a problem.

calendraug

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #5 on: 25 March 2020, 10:10:15 »
That's why we used shadowhawk and griffin both standard structure 55 tonners.

Sartris

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #6 on: 25 March 2020, 10:11:19 »
How would you make one? The internal structure seems to be a problem.

"We've got a rule for that!" -Strategic Operations pg 189

Drewbacca

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #7 on: 25 March 2020, 10:13:48 »
"We've got a rule for that!" -Strategic Operations pg 189

REALLY?!?!?
I must have overlooked that.

Frabby

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #8 on: 25 March 2020, 11:42:39 »
Each "FrankenMech" is going to be unique
I challenge that assertion. There is no reason to assume this, and it's not spelled out anywhere in canon.
The Wolfman from BattleTechnology is something of a standard refit and BattleTechnology used to be canon (but is now apocryphal); similarly, the MWO Corsair is not a single FrankenMech but a whole series of similar refits, with even several regular subtypes. The Corsair, too, is not canonical for mainline boardgame BattleTech though.

The Merlin and the Cataphract could arguably be classed as "FrankenMech" designs that were put in regular production - they both consist of components from other 'Mechs that were combined into a new 'Mech, unlike the Raven, Wolfhound or Hatchetman which were newly designed from the ground up.
« Last Edit: 25 March 2020, 11:45:24 by Frabby »
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RifleMech

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #9 on: 25 March 2020, 12:52:14 »
As has been mentioned FrankenMechs have been around a while. We also have rules for them in Strategic Operations. Although it needs some updating. The example gives a legal version of Shorty Sneed's FrankenMech.

While some FrankenMechs are last ditch efforts to keep machines in the fight, and keep from being dispossessed, others seem more easily adaptable. Some of the early TROs and Fluff entries talk about how some extinct mech's limbs still turn up on other mechs. Those mechs seemed to be natural donor mechs if they can be used so commonly. Also The Osts series seems to be very compatible with each other. A picture of a Ostroc/Ostwar FrankenMech appears in TRO:3025.

https://cfw.sarna.net/wiki/images/1/1d/OSR-Ostroc.png?timestamp=20110718101437

https://cfw.sarna.net/wiki/images/4/45/Ostwar-03.gif?timestamp=20100606112230

https://cfw.sarna.net/wiki/images/2/23/Ostroc.jpg?timestamp=20130421095151

We also had the Prometheus in Unbound.
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Prometheus_(Unbound)

So I would think that depending on the era and location that the use of FrankenMechs, and lowtech Mechs would be more common. I would also expect their use to always appear in some places like on gaming planets such as Solaris VII, in the Periphery, and on outback worlds.

Unfortunately, we don't get to see them much as they're not Tournament Legal. Which I get but it does kind of narrow the universe a bit. :(

elf25s

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #10 on: 25 March 2020, 14:54:47 »
related to franken mechs....i recall at least one instance of a franken mech becoming a product but i cannot recall where i saw it. but my guess is in battletech mag in the late 80s or something
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Empyrus

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #11 on: 25 March 2020, 15:02:11 »
FrankenMechs seem to be of use only for the very hardcore campaign players who make use of all repair and customization rules and extensively track available supplies. At least that's the way it looks to me, otherwise there's no point whatsoever in FrankenMechs.

EDIT Incidentally, Frankenstein military vehicles do have basis in reality. Fighter planes have been occasionally repaired by using different nose sections. Eg here in Finland we got a case where a Hornet crashed, and was repaired with a Canadian Hornet nose section, leading to a hybrid. (It did crash again but for other reasons on its first flight...) Also read about similar things being done elsewhere.
« Last Edit: 25 March 2020, 15:05:09 by Empyrus »
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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #12 on: 25 March 2020, 16:01:31 »
There was an entire fan-made TRO that followed these rules, IIRC.  Rise of the Scavengers, I think it was.  I want to say it was a private project from one of the mods but I'm busy right now and can't go looking.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #13 on: 25 March 2020, 16:14:03 »
There was an entire fan-made TRO that followed these rules, IIRC.  Rise of the Scavengers, I think it was.  I want to say it was a private project from one of the mods but I'm busy right now and can't go looking.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=48828.0

Archer/Warhammer hybrids split down the middle are also a common Frankenmech:

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=58116.msg1345835#msg1345835
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RifleMech

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #14 on: 25 March 2020, 17:15:56 »
FrankenMechs seem to be of use only for the very hardcore campaign players who make use of all repair and customization rules and extensively track available supplies. At least that's the way it looks to me, otherwise there's no point whatsoever in FrankenMechs.

Not really. Or at least not as far as the BT universe goes. The Cataphract was built by the Capellans and saw mass production. It even got a Davion copy, the Caesar, after they captured the factory. There's many mechs that start off as one design and become something else. Some are well thought out and made in a factory. Others are born out of desperation and cobbled together in a MechBay. A few a mass produced. Some are one of a kind. Others are pretty common but still built one at a time.

As far as gaming goes, I think it depends on how close one follows the rules.
I tend to skip over the rolling for success part because I suck as rolling and  I think the story is more important. 



Quote
EDIT Incidentally, Frankenstein military vehicles do have basis in reality. Fighter planes have been occasionally repaired by using different nose sections. Eg here in Finland we got a case where a Hornet crashed, and was repaired with a Canadian Hornet nose section, leading to a hybrid. (It did crash again but for other reasons on its first flight...) Also read about similar things being done elsewhere.

Yeah. All kinds of  weird vehicles, especially aircraft, came out of WWII. I wish there were rules for making FrankenMech Vehicles.

Empyrus

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #15 on: 25 March 2020, 17:32:51 »
Not really. Or at least not as far as the BT universe goes. The Cataphract was built by the Capellans and saw mass production.
The Cataphract is not a FrankenMech as far as rules go. And not really one in-universe. It got nicknamed FrankenMech on the account of its looks, but this has no basis on reality.
As per TRO3039, it is based largely on the Marauder, with components from other 'Mechs, more so in the prototypes rather than the final product. Based doesn't mean "made with parts of". Quoting the book: "But unlike the familiar jury-rigged mechanical nightmares [presumably meaning actual FrankenMechs], the Cataphract had been carefully designed and the parts en-gineered for their role on the machine.".
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Luciora

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #16 on: 25 March 2020, 17:41:11 »
There are 4 examples I can think of, off the top of my head. Shorty Sneed's Rifleman frankemech, Hallis' Shadow Griffin, Scherer Gustav and Temax Cat Ninjabolt.  1 has the support of a independent merc unit, we know nothing of the Wolverine's circumstances for Hallis, the Gustav was built on a bet, and was carefully constructed and probably maintained well, and the last is a Solarian gladiator mech.  All of them, save the only mentioned by name Shadow Griffin have a proper support base to keep them functioning and maintained. 

It's very much a player and GM thing to me, so long as the GM and rolls agree, it shouldn't matter.

RifleMech

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #17 on: 25 March 2020, 18:26:41 »
The Cataphract is not a FrankenMech as far as rules go. And not really one in-universe. It got nicknamed FrankenMech on the account of its looks, but this has no basis on reality.
As per TRO3039, it is based largely on the Marauder, with components from other 'Mechs, more so in the prototypes rather than the final product. Based doesn't mean "made with parts of". Quoting the book: "But unlike the familiar jury-rigged mechanical nightmares [presumably meaning actual FrankenMechs], the Cataphract had been carefully designed and the parts en-gineered for their role on the machine.".

That fact that the Cataphract used the right arm from a Shadow Hawk makes it a FrankenMech. How they managed to use a Right Arm as a Left Arm, I don't know. But it's still a FrankenMech. That it was carefully designed with full factory support instead of being a rush job in some barn doesn't change that. It just means that the Cataphract is one of the rare FrankenMechs that became Production Mechs.


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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #18 on: 25 March 2020, 18:36:41 »
I'm kinda disappointed the Cataphract in XTRO: SW wasn't a revision of the original Frankenmeck art (well, kinda is. same weapon placement and a more beak like torso) but CGL was still fighting with the Unseen issue when it was produced. Kinda hope they revisit it, even as a April Fools joke now we have the new Classic designs. 

« Last Edit: 25 March 2020, 18:39:17 by SteelRaven »
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RifleMech

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #19 on: 25 March 2020, 19:10:21 »
I'm kinda disappointed the Cataphract in XTRO: SW wasn't a revision of the original Frankenmeck art (well, kinda is. same weapon placement and a more beak like torso) but CGL was still fighting with the Unseen issue when it was produced. Kinda hope they revisit it, even as a April Fools joke now we have the new Classic designs. 



Thanks!  :thumbsup:  That sure does look more FrankenMechy than the later Production version from 3050.

I hope we get a revised version too.

SteelRaven

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #20 on: 25 March 2020, 22:08:45 »
The Frankenmech was obviously a pre-production model, proof that they could make a new design out of existing components but the idea/fluff has it's charms for the SW era.

I am a fan of the Warhammer Lich, similar idea.
   
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Sabelkatten

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #21 on: 27 March 2020, 08:22:13 »
Years ago I started out in a campaign with a Mirage (Firestarter variant). In the end it consisted of Stinger RA, Javelin RT, Jenner LT/LA/LL, and Mirage Head/CT/RL. :)

Luciora

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #22 on: 27 March 2020, 09:01:31 »
There should be a rule about contiguous torsos.  My brain is rebelling at the mental picture of adding the whole left Jenner side without a matching torso and waist.   :D

Years ago I started out in a campaign with a Mirage (Firestarter variant). In the end it consisted of Stinger RA, Javelin RT, Jenner LT/LA/LL, and Mirage Head/CT/RL. :)

Sabelkatten

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #23 on: 31 March 2020, 10:08:31 »
There should be a rule about contiguous torsos.  My brain is rebelling at the mental picture of adding the whole left Jenner side without a matching torso and waist.   :D
IIRC I did a quick sketch and it did actually work out (sort of). Thought The logic was that the Jenner leg was actually attached to the Mirage hip structure, not out on the side torso as on the Jenner.

Luciora

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #24 on: 31 March 2020, 10:26:26 »
Of course!  If I had to kitbash it, I'd probably do it the same way I shortcut my Temax by replacing the leg under the knee.

IIRC I did a quick sketch and it did actually work out (sort of). Thought The logic was that the Jenner leg was actually attached to the Mirage hip structure, not out on the side torso as on the Jenner.

DOC_Agren

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #25 on: 31 March 2020, 17:27:06 »
Isn't there one in Snord Forces?  And we had stats for it, but no formal sheet that I know of.
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Frabby

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #26 on: 31 March 2020, 18:01:37 »
Isn't there one in Snord Forces?  And we had stats for it, but no formal sheet that I know of.
Shorty Sneede's ride, as mentioned above. Described in the book as a heavily modified Archer iirc.
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SteelRaven

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #27 on: 31 March 2020, 19:33:11 »
Shorty Sneede's ride, as mentioned above. Described in the book as a heavily modified Archer iirc.

Rifleman with parts from a Warhammer, Archer and a cockpit from a P-Hawk.
« Last Edit: 31 March 2020, 19:35:08 by SteelRaven »
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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #28 on: 01 April 2020, 09:31:22 »
If we want to forget the "stats trump art" rule, all the original 16 Clan omnis could be considered Frankenmechs to a degree  :D
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RifleMech

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Re: FrankenMechs: are they legal and do you use them?
« Reply #29 on: 01 April 2020, 09:54:37 »
If we want to forget the "stats trump art" rule, all the original 16 Clan omnis could be considered Frankenmechs to a degree  :D

They actually did that. There's pictures of OMNIs where they swapped the legs around. Maybe the arms too. They're in the back of a book but I don't remember which one. :(