MEKTONS AREN'T EVERYTHING IN WAR
After the Deon incident (2180.08.30), the Star Blade Battalion soldiers came to two conclusions. First, the theory that Midnight Sun has only one Harbinger is somewhat erroneous, and the probability of SBB's foot soldiers meeting one of them again were high. Second, the conventional heavy armor-buster rifles, although having (for a comparable firer's and pilot's skill) a 40% kill ratio against canopy-piloted Meks, were almost usseless against armored cockpits, and the conventional infantry missiles were ineffective against it's MgHvy armor (yelding only a 10% kill ratio, best estimation).
So, at the request (more exactly, vigorous demand) of the SBB Commandos of Angel Blade, the Nebula Works Team took a pause on Mek design and spent a week thinking about "Mek un-design". Finally they came to some, er, "very interesting" answers to the question of "how we can take on a Mek so big?". These are the fruits of their work.
First, after considering the impractical plan of issuing large numbers of huge, portable, one-shot missiles to every infantryman, the Nebula team switched from SAC-style bash-and-smashers to small (2 Kg, beer-can sized) satchel charges. These were much more portable (not to mention more economic). And not explosive ones, but ones with special effects:
- The Hellsender (or To-Hell-Sender) Fusion Mine, a fusion-powered plasma generator designed to be attached to the armour of a Mek. Once fixed and "detonated", it starts to burn itself apart. While it lasts for only 40 seconds for that entire time it is melting into the target's armor, and in the process into the target. (MTS: a 1-Kill, Quick, 4 Turns in use, Automated EMW with the Special Effect of including the Fuse advantage and Range 0; 1-Kill automatic atacks twice per turn to the same location until it burns itself out or the target removes it. 3.1 CP, 3100 credits). All the soldier has to do is to launch it (with a better chance of not being fired on in return than if a missile was fired!), then hide about, detonate it and watch his target chosing between burning or stopping all actions in order to remove it! Of course, a well-planted grenade can be dificult to deattach... (game note; normally one action, but as it's a RPG, figuring out where the Mek just can't reach it can be fun... lets roleplay!)
- The Homing Beacon, a.k.a. "Kick Me", is only a powerful homing signal attachable to the target, so future missile hits are easier and more destructive (MTS: just plain ECCM level1, scaled to 1:10. Gives a 1 bonus to hit a targer w/out ECM, per standar rules. 0.1 CP, 100 credits.)
- The SkyWay Ignitor, a combination of electric-pulse sender and heat ignitor, whose specific purpose is to activate, on a leg impact, the Indigo Nova solid-fuel boosters of a Harbinger, with any luck sending it skyward out of control and making it a pretty target, or, best of best, causing it to crash or explode colorfully (if his pilot is incompetent enough). (MTS: "6 K", 0 range, fused missile with a limited Piracy System and of course no means of control over the pirated Mek... 12 + 1d10 vs MR + Piloting + 1d10 to ignite the boosters, made it function at top speed and out of control for one turn, then takes one Action to regain control. 0.1 CP, 100 credits.) "Deranged but effective", as Dr. Akira Ryuzaki pointed.
- The Quicksilver satchel, only a canister full of Tess' new lubricant, can REALLY goof a Mek pilot who choses to walk after tasting the above-mentioned one. (MTS: Efficienced Striker-scale Slick Spray. Nuff said. 2 CP, 2000 credits.)
- Also, the old-fashioned High Explosive Satchel was reworked to a more compact design (MTS: Efecience to the rulebook's satchel, double price and half weight), although it's still too heavy to be launched.
To deal with the problem of placing the satchels onto a moving Mek, Dr. Ryuzaki resurrected an almost-extinct weapon; the under-barrel grenade launcher (made obsolete by the introduction of girojet weapons). These satchels can be planted manually, or fired from a special under-barrle launcher or the mouth of a girojet rifle (by means of a special blank round), to a range of some 20 m (Game note: the 20 m range is about half an hex, similar to range zero, and is compensated by the need to actually hit the target, instead of automaticaly hitting. Fired as 1:10 weapons for hit-or-miss purposes, as 1:1 ones for criticals).
Finally, noting that "the best tricks are the old tricks, or they woudn't have grown to be old ones", as Commander Jesse Ryuzaki pointed, the SBB DID design a bash-and-smasher; a souped-up missile with lesser size but hollow shaped charged warhead, able to penetrate the Harbinger's armour (MTS: 7K, range 7, -2 WA, Special Effect: AP, mated and linked with a laser targeter of 0 damage, +3 WA; 4.4 CP, 4400 credits.) The launcher is equiped with a laser guide (not just laser sight) which allows high accuracy; if the laser hits, the missile is guaranted to hit, too (Game notes: just that. If the +3 WA laser, unafected by missile ECM, hits, the missile also does. Follows a house rule posted on rec.games.mecha).
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