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Author Topic: Looking for Input on Rules for Mechwarriors in Battle Armor (No Mechs in Combat)  (Read 702 times)


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This is a bit long.  I'm looking for suggestions on how to make what I'm proposing work better, or if there's already a good system in place, to be pointed towards that system.

I played MW2, and our group, before we stopped playing had about 4months of tinkering with MW3.  I haven't played in about 13years though and now I'm looking to start my own group.  The plan was to have 1-3sessions of mech combat followed by 1-2 sessions of out of mech game play (rpg, or non-mech combat).  I was also planning to let the players have access to the lighter end of battle armor suits (like gray death light; achileus at the heaviest).  When they're in these suits they'd be fighting other battle suit wearers, automated defense systems, and un-powered infantry with the occasional vehicle thrown in.

But this is a mechwarrior campaign, so unless one of them actually takes Battle Mech Pilot, or Exo-skeleton fields, they aren't necessarily going to start the game with anything ore than perhaps +0 or +1 in battle armor piloting... they are MECH warriors!

MW3rd edition was a little clumsy with the implementation of Battle armor.  The field required 6str and 5bod as attribute minimums.  Then it said that 6/6 was needed to pilot such mechs, but this looked more like flavor text than a rule.  Then it said if the pilot didn't have sufficient piloting skill and/or strength and body attributes, they'd fatigue or take grazing wounds depending on what they were doing.  The Lostech book added like 18more suits to the mix, but didn't bother expanding upon the rules for using the suits or being able to pilot them.

AToW has done away with grazing wounds it looks like.  It also doesn't provide any stat requirements for piloting a battle suit at all.  It seems to me that if you take the "6/6 and/or appropriate piloting skill" as the rule and extrapolate, while also noting that picking up the field only requires you to have 6str and 5bod, you could say that your combined Str/Bod/Piloting skill needs to be 12 or greater...or else.  Since there's no longer grazing wounds, the "or else" seems like it should maybe be just lots of stacking fatigue, or in the worst case, "standard" damage.  So here's what I propose, keeping in mind that this is for combat that takes place without figs in the mix, and is intended to allow the players to play individually in battle armor (seems like the Total War rules only apply to full points of battle armor)

1.  Battle Armor Piloting Checks are used to do 'stunts' with battle armor (climbing walls, breaking things, etc).  They will also be made when any pilot who isn't strictly speaking, qualified to pilot a battle suit, is piloting a battle suit.  A check must also be made any time the pilot fires 'support' weapons (the cool shoulder mounted stuff that infantry squads have to work together to use, like SRM launchers)

2.  A prospective character is qualified to pilot a battle suit so long as the combined total of their STR, BOD, and Piloting Skills = 12 or more.
2a.  An untrained pilot (not even +0 piloting) is not "qualified" to pilot.

3.  Anyone not qualified to pilot must make a skill check sa/tn7, or untrained check [str+bod] for every 15min they are in the suit, for every tactical round they are in the suit, and any time even a qualified pilot must make a check.  Failure results in 1fatigue damage.  Fatigue works as normal (every point above WIL imposes a -1modifier to your TN check rolls; you fall unconscious at 2xWIL; you can recover BOD Fatigue damage by doing NOTHING for 1 round[you still have to make a piloting check that round])

4. The TN or Untrained check number for piloting checks (default 7 and 12 respectively) will be modified as follows:  +1 if 'under fire'.  +1 for every point above 6 the average armor value of the suit is (M/B/E/X, achileus would be 7, so +1).
4a.  The roll result will be modified as follows:  Any modification + or - from the associated stat applies (a person with 7Bod adds 1 to their result, a person with 3str subtracts 1), whether skilled or not.  Piloting skill of course applies.

So, a mechwarrior with 2battle armor piloting skill and 5str/5bod is technically qualified to pilot a suit.  He only has to make a piloting check when firing the heavy guns or doing something crazy like scaling the outside wall of a cliff side military base.  In an achileus, while not under fire, his TN would be 8.  He would roll 2d6 and add 2 for his piloting skill.  Thus, any result on the dice 6 or greater succeeds, else he takes 1point of fatigue damage.

This mechwarrior has 2 friends.  The first is an actual battle armor pilot in the same battle suit.  He has 7str and 6bod with +4piloting.  He decides to assault the fortress from the front; he's under fire and wants to fire his his support weapons.  His TN is 9 (+1armor weight, +1under fire).  He rolls 2d6+5 and so anything 4 or greater succeeds and he avoids fatigue damage.  The second friend is a relatively frail but totes bad-ass Mech pilot who was the only one crazyenough to come along on this mission.  He's got 3str/4bod and embarassingly this is the 3rd time he's ever been in a battle suit [unskilled].  He comes along with just some heavy duty infantry weapons and is assaulting the front with the first friend.  In the first tactical round, they had surprise so they weren't "under fire" but since he's not qualified to pilot [3+4+NIL<12] he makes a roll just for being there, TN13 (+1for armor weight).  He rolls 3d6-1 and takes 1 fatigue for any result on the dice less than 14.  If that wimpy pilot had instead been climbing the cliff with the first mechwarrior, he'd be making 2rolls each turn; 1 for climbing, and 1 for just being in the suit.

My thought was that this reflects both the difficulty of using battle armor and the degree of training required to do so safely and productively; as well as the idea that with age may come the deterioration of the body, but skill to compensate.  It allows people with insufficient training to use the suits (which may be fun for players) while at the same time, allowing for the possibility that even unarmored masses of troops could take down a small force of battle armor wearers just by virtue of wearing them down until they're so tired they can't focus enough to even shoot straight.  This might not be a huge threat to qualified pilots, but underqualified pilots could be captured or killed this way.

For those of you who read all this, thanks a bunch!  I appreciate your input.

edit//I forgot to say; I'm capping starting skill bonus at +5 for combat skills gained in a field and +3 for combat skills not gained in a field if you've got a decent story/excuse.  Otherwise, +1. 
« Last Edit: 02 October 2014, 20:11:52 by cloudedknife »