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Old 09-02-2017, 03:51 PM   #10
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

Originally Posted by sjard View Post
I probably wouldn't go more than decade scale for the mechs, but the last time I really played, it was stated that a regular infantry rifle could damage a mech. Something like a 1 in 6 chance that each shot would do 1 damage to a mech.

After all, a rifle infantry platoon is an actual threat to mechs, especially light mechs.
That was a very old rule that was dropped decades ago (MechWarrior 1st Edition, it was dropped in 2nd Edition and all later editions. Even in 1st Edition, it was a PC-only, lucky-shot rule). If you are firing personal weapons at a 'Mech, you're going to die. A full platoon of rifle infantry maxes out at 15 points of damage for 28 guys, bu-ut that's a cluster-attack, so it's not quite that clear-cut. You'd roll on the cluster table for 28, and an average roll would be 7-8, which means that 17 guys are going to hit the 'Mech, and that only inflicts 9 points of cluster damage, which, for infantry, is broken down into 2-point units.

While 9 points of damage is a threat to a light 'Mech, the weapons the 'Mech carries are probably a bigger threat to the infantry. Most lights pack some sort of anti-infantry deterrent, and, as we'll see below, those can be much more terrifying to the infantry then the infantry is to the 'Mech.

Using D-Scale means that the Puma, an 95-ton, main-battle tank, from the height of human technology in the Star League (circa 2750), would only have a frontal DR of 520. Which is less than half the DR of a T-72's frontal DR. And it's main weapon, a PPC, would only inflict 100 points of damage in a hit, meaning this vehicle would stand zero chance against a tank that is 800 years older than it.

In High Tech, the M4A1(76) has a DR of 210/105 and 158 HP.
In TRO 1945, the M4 has BAR 5 armor of 14 to the front with an IS of 3.

An successful hit from an AC/20 would obliterate the M4. In GURPS that works out to 1,158 points of damage. (That's 210 to get past DR + 948 to take it to -5xHP.) This isn't that the vehicle might be disabled, this is destroyed. This vehicle cannot be repaired, at best, you can scavenge some armor and bits from it.

Heck, a Medium Laser has a 50% chance of getting a critical hit on an undamaged M4 (due to the BAR 5 armor).

Taking 'Mech damage as D-Scale instead of C-Scale means that the AC/20 wouldn't, actually, damage the M4A1. A Medium Laser would only be slightly more powerful than a .50 cal, with an appallingly short range and no ability to auto-fire. An RPG would be more effective weapon than a 'Mech SRM launcher. And normal people would survive being hit by an LRM.

Also, a 'Mech-mounted machine gun does 2 points of anti-'Mech damage. That would equate to only a single hit of 20 points of personal-scale damage at D-Scale, and, really, that's only about 6d. That doesn't mesh with the description from Technical Manual:

Originally Posted by BattleTech Technical Manual, pg 228
Heavier and capable of a far greater volume of fire than the weapons carried by conventional infantry or battle-suited troopers, these vehicular and íMech-mounted machine guns can flatten entire platoons of regular troops in just one or two passes.
While it is a bit of hyperbole, a normal machine gun takes out 2d6 infantry per shot in BattleTech (Cthulhu only gets d6 investigators per round . . .). So, with a couple of good rolls, it would only take three bursts for a machine gun to eliminate a rifle platoon. With average, it would only take four bursts. Not really possible for something that can only put out 20 points of personal-scale damage.

(Flamers take out 4d6 . . ..)

Now, the argument could be made that 20 points of damage is enough to eliminate a normal person in one hit (taking them to -HP, if they started with 10 HP). But, soldiers, especially in the Inner Sphere in the 28th through 32nd century, aren't normal people, and they all wear combat armor. This isn't Toad armor, or other powered armor, but, unless you're guerrilla fighters or from some backwaterless minor noble's personal army, you've got flak armor which will provide some protection against ballistic attacks.
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