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Catalyst Game Labs => BattleTech Game Rules Questions => Total Warfare => Topic started by: Bleh! on 15 June 2018, 20:44:09

Title: (Answered UPDATED) BMM: Water and partial cover for physical attacks
Post by: Bleh! on 15 June 2018, 20:44:09
I'm trying to put together a reference book for my friends, its going well, but I did notice something very odd in the battlemech manual about the water partial cover modifier and physical attacks.

On pg 26 of the battlemech Manual, Partial Cover modifier; Water:
“A standing ’Mech in Depth 1 water receives partial cover, even versus attackers at a higher level or that are making physical attacks.  However, if an attack could not hit the legs in the first place (for example, if the attack uses the Punch Location Table), partial cover is not applied.”

Then on page 35 under Physical Attacks and Water; Partial Cover:
“Depth 1 water provides partial cover to a standing ’Mech against physical attacks other than kicks. Such an attack made against a ’Mech in Depth 1 water by an attacker that is itself not fully submerged adds the +1 Target Number modifier for partial cover. If the attack resolves to the legs, it is ignored.”

The explanation of the modifier on Page 35 has left out a key bit of information and makes it sound like most attacks including punch attacks have the +1 partial cover modifier applied except for kicks. But because of the information on page 26 isn't a punch attack also exempt from the +1 water partial cover modifier? What about the physical attacks in the Tactical operations rule book that don't do damage such as Grabbing, Grappling, Tripping,  are they also exempt from the +1 partial cover modifier from water? Sorry if this seems super obvious, but I feel like I've been fighting with this for hours and still can't seem to get a solid handle on it, maybe I've missed a rule clarifying this issue.

I've put this statement below in my reference book as I'm trying to cut down word count as obviously its a reference book I'm not trying to recreate the entire rule book. But I've been flip flopping back and forth on this bit of my reference book and I really think I just need a fresh pair of eyes to tell me if the statement I've made below is correct or not.

“Only apply the water partial cover modifier if a physical attack is able to cross the waterline to damage the target. Punch and Kick attacks are exempt from this modifier due to the attacks using the kick or punch location tables to distribute damage which means those attacks can never cross the waterline. Underwater attacks always halve an attacks damage.”

Sorry just realised I threw this in the wrong thread and it should of gone into the "Supplementary Rules" thread.
Title: Re: BMM: Water and partial cover for physical attacks
Post by: Xotl on 15 June 2018, 22:33:15
The thread is good here: a little TO content in your post aside, this forum covers base rules such as this, which are included in the BMM.

All terrain modifiers apply to physical attacks, including the partial cover modifier when appropriate.  Partial cover also eliminates leg hits in this case, as per usual.  However, any physical attack against a mech in Depth 1 water that rolls on the punch table does not receive this modifier, because that attack cannot hit the legs.  So page 26 is accurate.  The partial cover mod would still be relevant vs things like standard hatchet or sword attacks, club attacks, and charges, all of which roll on the standard Hit Location Table.

Page 35: The first para is the issue.  For (literal) kicks, consider a target mech in Depth 1 water.
If you're in Depth 2+ water, you can't kick the target.
If you're in Depth 1 water, then it's a standard kick, though the partial cover modifier applies.
If you're in level 0, then you use the punch table, and so no partial cover.

And yes, the para implies that punches receive the penalty, and they don't.  The section needs to be rewritten; thanks for bringing it to my attention.  Corrected p. 35 Partial Cover text (replace both paras):

Partial Cover: For a standing biped ’Mech, Depth 1 water provides partial cover against any physical attack that does not roll on the Punch Location Table (bearing in mind that the attacker and target being at different levels can change what location table an attack uses; see the Different Levels Table on p. 34). For a standing quad ’Mech, Depth 1 water always provides partial cover.
     If partial cover applies and the attacker is at the same LOS level (see p. 22) as the target, a hit that does not use the Kick Location Table and resolves to the legs is ignored; charges ignore this rule.

Does that clarify things?  If not, please let me know what part still confuses you, so that I can refine it further.

As for Tactical Operations, the BMM is written so that it ignores other books, because it was designed to be self-contained.  But the partial cover bonus would apply against grappling and grabbing attacks, while tripping attacks would be impossible (because the legs are protected) unless the attacker itself is in Depth 1 water.
Title: Re: (Answered) BMM: Water providing or not providing cover to physical attacks
Post by: Bleh! on 16 June 2018, 00:37:49
Thanks for the quick reply Xotl, that clears the rule up for me and as usual you are awesome.
Title: Re: (Answered UPDATED) BMM: Water and partial cover for physical attacks
Post by: Xotl on 19 October 2021, 12:55:47
This answer has been updated to take into account various rulings made since then.