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##### General BattleTech Discussion / Re: How often do your zombie mechs actually, uh, zombie?

« Last post by**Demiurge**on

*»*

**Today**at 23:32:08Huh? Reinforced structure is competitive with both those armors- some designs even use both (Osteon w/FLA). If you think Reinforced is not useful, run out the latest Mongoose.

Reinforced internal structure is simply not competitive with hardened armor and ferro-lamellor armor as a mech survivability technology. You can argue that the rules for it are more intrinsically interesting, or that they allow for more flavorful designs, but the math says it's straight worse.

Standard internal structure is 10% of the weight of a mech. Maximum armor with standard armor is usually around 20%, slightly higher as a percent for the lightest chasses and slightly lower for the largest due to the discrepancy in how maximum head armor is calculated relative to everything else.

So, with standard armor and standard internals, armor and internals give roughly the same number of hit points per ton. However, the the quality of these hit points is not equivalent. A hit against armor normally has a 2.78% chance of inflicting a critical at all, while against exposed internal structure a critical hit roll is automatic.

Reinforced internal structure doubles the weight and doubles the hitpoints of the internal structure, so the hit points per ton of the internal structure stays exactly the same; about the same as standard armor. The -1 modifier to critical hit checks is actually a big deal, since it brings down the chance of something bad happening to 27.78% from 41.67%, so a one third reduction in the chances of something bad happening, and a complete elimination of the possibility of the catastrophic events in the "12" column of the table occurring at all.

Hardened armor doubles the number of hits each point of armor can take and it has half the number of points per ton. Under Tacops rules there isn't any rounding for odd-numbered amounts of damage, so hardened armor is strictly weight-neutral in terms of armor points per ton relative to standard armor. It also grants immunity to special rules from AP autocannon rounds, tandem charge missiles, and tasers. It also

*greatly*reduces the threat posed by through-armor-criticals of any sort, that -2 modifier reducing the chances of the critical doing anything whatsoever to a mere 16.67%.

So, both reinforced internal structure and hardened armor add the same number of hitpoints per ton to a mech as standard armor and standard internals, and they have very close to the same number of additional hitpoints per ton as each other (as we have already established that internal structure and armor have about the same hitpoints per ton). However, as before, the quality of the hitpoints differs. Reinforced internal structure is still rolling a critical hit check for each hit it takes, and even with the modifier the odds of things going badly for the mech are still worse than with armor being hit. To put it another way, if a mech has about half its maximum armor points and standard armor, you are always better off maxing out its armor rather than switching to reinforced internal structure, even though both options weigh about the same amount and add about the same number of hit points. Reinforced internal structure is only advantageous after the armor points are maxed out, because for the same weight armor is providing better quality hitpoints. This comparison tilts

*even further*in favor of armor if the armor in question is ferro-fibrous.

Hardened armor, on the other hand, allows an increase in the total number of armor hitpoints while being weight-neutral with standard armor. Not only that, it provides a much higher increase in hitpoints in absolute terms than reinforced internal structure does. On slower units the hit in run MP is quite bad, and with low piloting skill the PSR modifier can be annoying.

Outside of situations where these problems are prohibitive though, you're simply getting better survivability increases for the tonnage with hardened armor.

The standout star is ferro-lamellar armor though. In an absolutely

*worst-case*scenario where the enemy only uses weapons that inflict even multiples of five points of damage, each ton of ferro-lamellar armor provides 14 points of protection, but only takes 80% damage which means it has an effective 17.5 points of armor per ton,

*while also allowing a 25% increase in effective armor points.*Take that in; for two less crits than IS ferro-fibrous, it's within spitting distance of having the same improvement in protection per ton while also using two less crits, the same negation of exotic armor-piercing effects as hardened armor and...

there was one other things, I forget...

OH YEAH IT MEANS YOU'RE TOTALLY IMMUNE TO LBX CLUSTER MUNITIONS

The number of armor points on a given location is double the number of internal structure points. Therefore, ferro-lamellor armor taking the most conservative possible estimate of a 25% increase in the effective number of armor points is increasing total location hitpoints by 16%, vice the 33% of reinforced structure, but again, armor points are better than structure points if they're actually getting hit. It's also adding that survivability at a ~14% increase to the mass of the armor rather than a 100% increase in the mass of the structure, which is much, much lighter. Again, in terms of marginal utility it is far superior and the only reason to take reinforced internal structure is if the armor is already maxed out and you still need more toughness.