Idea Guild > Cosmic Pluralism

ScrasTech (New Battletech mechanic)

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Goal: Turning 3025 tech mechs into god awesome machines of war instead of overheating prone buckets of bolts.

The central ideas are making combat more exciting, and the weapon systems more diverse, interesting, and effective. Less potshots and pointless missile swarms, more first shot first kills and massive explosions.

Area one: Autocannons
Autocannons are rapid fire self reloading cannons, like really big brutal machine guns. In ScrasTech, the autocannon can be set to two firing positions, the standard single round (only mode in Btech) and burst fire, where it bangs off three shots in quick succession. This uses a good deal of ammunition, which should offset the increased potential damage of the weapon. Gun ranges are also being changed to better represent actual gun ranges, so the AC-20 is a long range gun, and the AC-2 is at best a medium range gun. There isnt going to be game balance in terms of damage curves compared to range. A mech with 20 machine guns is going to be useless against an assault mech, once a slab of armor gets so large and thick, it can ignore little bullets. The notion of a machine gun 'shredding' heavy armor seems kinda retarded.

LBX Autocannons: Out of the system, you dont have to have a special gun to shoot a special bullet unless there is something mutant about the round. A shotgun can fire a slug or a pellet round, and an artillery piece can shoot a HE round, or a flechette round, so to me the basic concept is s**t (sorry, watching Kitchen Nightmares)

Ultra Autocannons: heavier than basic, the Ultra can fire fully automatic like a machine gun. The player can choose to fire as much as a ton of ammo in a spray, engaging a single target, or attack multiple targets with the same weapon.

Like the Brushmaster, a 20mm to 40mm rapid fire cannon. It is effective against light armored targets. Regardless of calibre, damage and range are the same

Default to a semi-automatic 75mm cannon. Sounds absurd? Wiki the BK 7,5. It was an automatic 75mm cannon the Germans made in WWII to shoot down American bombers. I am sure that in 400 to 500 years we can facilitate an effective and reliable 3in autocannon. This is a common weapon for medium mechs, its bursts are capable of damaging medium mechs, and causing hell for tanks and even aircraft if using flak rounds.

90 to 120mm rapid fire cannon, a devastating weapon capable of penetrating conventional armor with ease. Medium mechs with this kind of gun are mech and tank destroyers.

Ranges from 125 to 185mm, this is the sort of weapon that is the king of the battlefield. Mechs with rapid fire 6in guns are mech destroyers and bunker busters.

Each weapon is going to have an armor penetrating value. This is a mix of muzzle velocity, mass, or special munitions. A gauss rifle is going to have an impressive amount of armor penetration due to simple speed and mass. An AC-10 firing AP rounds is also going to have an impressive armor piercing value. A laser on the other hand isnt going to have a AP value, its damage is done by heat transfer. High explosives are good against soft targets and light armor, which I would put at the basic 0/0 level penetration.

AC-2  -1
AC-5  0
AC-10 +2
AC-20 +3 or +4
Gauss Rifle +5
Heavy Gauss Rifle +6
If it hits, it is going to cause a critical hit, unless you are a dropship or fortress

Armor is going to have a variety

Standard Roll-hardened Steel
Basic armor

Ablative Armor
Less resistance to explosive and impact, but reduced damaged from energy weapons

Composite Armor
way more expensive, but equally effective against energy and projectile weapons

More armors to be developed:
Carbon Fiber, Fiber Composite, Phase Shift or Polarized Plating (energized armor ala ST:E or Gundam SEED)

In one of my oldest attempts at a home-brew RPG (back in the 80's!), I had non-random damage that consisted of two numbers - Penetration and Cross Section.  Damage came as a product of the two numbers.  This was roughly analogous to muzzle energy.

Armor typically reduced Penetration without changing cross section.

So, AP rounds would have high penetration, low cross section (e.g tungsten discarding sabot round) while a 'hollow-point' type round would have the reverse. 

I had also incorporated over-penetration as a rule, so at most n points of penetration could apply to a human target - after that it passed through the target.

It helped handle the situation where a pistol and rifle could have the same nominal caliber - the pistol had a much smaller penetration then the rifle. 

I don't think I had worked out high explosive - I think those were low penetration, super-high cross section.

This also assumed that hits that did not pass completely through the armor layer accomplished anything of interest.

To account for bashing away at armor and not just shooting for criticals, I'd incorporate a 'threshold' rating to the armor, where weapons below a certain level of penetration did 0 damage. 

Eg.  High Velocity 30mm   (AC-10) (e.g. Warhog primary armament).  10/1
Eg.  Standard 30mm (AC-2)     3/1

Assume that most heavy mechs armor will defeat 10 points of  penetration and have a 3 point threshold.
The high velocity round will cause 10 points of armor damage to the mech. 
The standard one will fail to penetrate and cause no damage.

Of course, now do you bother with a mechanism that decreases the penetration resistance of damaged armor, or does it retain its 10/3 resistance until completely destroyed.

I really like that. I think that works pretty d**ned well.

How would a laser or PPC look in this set-up?

Depends on your tolerance for complication.

I'd say such weapons ignored thresholds. If it was worth putting on a vehical, it would melt armor even if it had to melt it all to penetrate it. (eg. plasma projector  1/10  1 penetration, 10 damage).

You could say that unless armor was specifically Abalative or reflective, there was no threshold.  Even low power military grade weapons would melt some armor.  Abalatives, being brittle, could have less penetration resistance or armor points/ton, but count as double vs energy.

Reflective coatings would have a high threshold against energy that was ruined if it took any damage.

I would not really want to add too many 'types' of armor as that would overly complicate things.

Speaking of complication, my old system reduced penetration for KE weapons over range.  So lasers may not attenuate over the same range an AC-20 might drop off.

WeaponRange SizeShort Medium Long30mm High Velocity710/1 8/16/1Hawkeye Medium Laser33/1 3/13/1Lockheed ER PPC73/53/42/4
So the PPC has bad penetration, but as a PPC ignores thresholds and will melt its way through armor, delivering 8 points at long range, and 15 at short, basically functioning like standard Battletech with the varied damage at range.

Armor damaging weapons with just enough damage to beat an armor's threshold, combined with high rate of fire become lethal - e.g the 30mm cannon.   Its got enough points to damage most armor on each shot, and when fired in high speed bursts can chew armor away quickly.  It should be able to chop tanks in half :P

Still not quite sure how HE should be handled.  HE rounds deliver the same damage at most ranges, since they rely on their explosive charge to damage the target.  I would think they would be low penetration, high cross section and be pretty much useless against heavy armor.

Shaped Charge warheads would act very similar to energy weapons I believe - they burn through armor with the jet and could be reduced by ablative armor as well.

HESH warheads do not bother to punch through armor, instead attempt to cause criticals/internal damage directly.  They would have a special rating perhaps - a 'virtual' penetration value that if it was enough to breach the threshold, would cause a fixed amount of internal damage.

Just thoughts on a subject I've actually though about before :)


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