Doneve/BattleMech Construction Steps
- 1 This! Is a step by step introduction, to design various BattleMech models and variants.
- 1.1 Step 1: Design the Chassis
- 1.1.1 Choose Technology Base
- 1.1.2 Choose Weight (Tonnage)
- 1.1.3 Allocate Tonnage for Internal Structure
- 1.2 Step 2: Install Engines And Control Systems
- 1.2.1 Install Engine
- 1.2.2 Add Gyroscope
- 1.2.3 Determine Jump Capability
- 1.2.4 Add Cockpit
- 1.2.5 Special Physical Enhancements (MASC/TSM)
- 1.3 Step 3: Add Additional Heat Sinks
- 1.4 Step 4: Add Armor
- 1.5 Step 5: Add Weapons, Ammunition and other Equipment
- 1.6 Step 6: Complete the Record Sheet
- 1.1 Step 1: Design the Chassis
This! Is a step by step introduction, to design various BattleMech models and variants.
Step 1: Design the Chassis
Choose Technology Base
[Andrew] - is designing a BattleMech that he has dubbed a Mongoose. Because he plans to create this design for an old Star League-era game, before the time of the Clans, he chooses an Inner Sphere technology base, and notes that the design will not be an OmniMech.
[Brent] - is designing a BattleMech, which he has named the Gladiator (Clan name: Executioner). He has chosen the Clan technology base for this design, and has elected to make it an OmniMech.
[Chas] - is designing a four-legged Barghest 'Mech. As this will be a modern Lyran-made design, he has chosen an Inner Sphere technology base, and has opted not to make it an Omni.
Choose Weight (Tonnage)
[Andrew] - decides his Mongoose will be a lightweight scout. Light BattleMechs weigh between 20 and 35 tons, so he chooses to set his Mongoose at 25 tons.
[Brent's] - Gladiator is to be a mass of devastating fi repower few can withstand. Choosing the assault weight class, Brent decides this 'Mech will weigh in at 95 tons—nearly the heaviest mass possible.
[Chas] - chooses a heavy weight class for his Barghest, giving him a range of 60 to 75 tons to choose from. He selects a total mass of 70 tons for his machine.
Allocate Tonnage for Internal Structure
[Andrew's] - Mongoose, weight is at a premium, so he chooses to install endo-steel internal structure on his BattleMech. At 25 tons in total weight, the Mongoose's endo-steel internal structure weighs 1.5 tons, leaving 23.5 tons to play with [25 – 1.5 = 23.5]. This endo-steel construction will require 14 slots on the Critical Hits Table, but Andrew opts to wait until later to distribute them. In the meantime, Andrew blacks out all extraneous circles from the Internal Structure Diagram on his Mongoose's Record Sheet, leaving only 8 open circles in the center torso, 6 circles each in the left and right torsos, 6 circles in each leg and 4 in each arm. (As all heads receive 3 points of structure automatically, Andrew leaves the head's internal structure alone.)
[Brent] - To devote as much internal space as possible, Brent opts for standard internal structure on his Gladiator, confident that the more efficient weight of Clan weaponry will allow him to arm the OmniMech to the teeth without undue expense. Standard internal structure for a 95-ton 'Mech weighs in at 9.5 tons, leaving 85.5 tons for other systems. No slots need be filled in on the Critical Hits Table for standard structure, and Brent need only black out a few circles on the Internal Structure Diagram, leaving 30 in the center torso, 20 in each side torso, 20 in each leg and 16 in each arm.
[Chas] - also decides on standard internal structure for his Barghest, knowing that the big guns he plans to install down the road will be bulky in the extreme. He finds that at 70 tons, the Barghest's internal structure will weigh 7 tons, and provides 22 points of internal structure in the center torso, 15 each in the left and right torsos, and 15 in each of the 'Mech's four legs. On the record sheet's Internal Structure Diagram, Chas blacks out all the excess circles in those locations.
Step 2: Install Engines And Control Systems
[Andrew] - Because his Mongoose is intended primarily as a scout, high speed is Andrew's goal here. He decides to give the 'Mech a Walking MP of 8 (thus attaining a Running MP of 12; 8 MP x 1.5 = 12 MP). This means that the Mongoose's Engine Rating will be 200 (25 tons x 8 MP = 200). Looking at the Master Engine Table, a standard 200 -rated engine weighs 8.5 tons. Though an XL engine is tempting, Andrew goes with the standard engine mass and subtracts 8.5 tons from his 23.5 tons of unspent weight (for a remainder of 15 tons). Because it carries a standard engine, the Mongoose uses the standard engine slots on the Critical Hits Table, neither adding more nor reducing the number shown.
[Brent] - wants his Gladiator to have decent mobility for its size, and so chooses a Walking MP of 4, yielding an Engine Rating of 380 (95 tons x 4 MP = 380). To save tonnage for weapons, he opts for an XL engine to lighten the load. The Master Engine Table shows that a 380-rated XL engine weighs 20.5 tons, leaving the Gladiator with 65 tons remaining (85.5 tons – 20.5 tons = 65 tons). The Running MP for the Gladiator is 6 (4 Walking MP x 1.5 = 6 MP). The Gladiator must also assign two engine critical slots to each side torso location on the 'Mech's Critical Hits Table, to refl ect the larger physical size of the Clan XL engine.
[Chas] - intends to give his Barghest excellent speed for a heavy 'Mech, and decides upon a Walking MP of 5. This requires an Engine Rating of 350 (70 tons x 5 MP = 350). As the Master Engine Table shows that this would take up an incredible 29.5 tons if he selected a standard fusion engine for the job, Chas also chooses an XL engine at a cost of 15 tons (leaving 48 tons leftover; 63 – 15 = 48). The use of an Inner Sphere XL engine—which is even bulkier than its Clan equivalent—requires Chas to assign 3 critical slots each to the left and right torso locations on the Barghest's Critical Hits Table. The Running MP for the Barghest is 8 (5 Walk- ing MP x 1.5 = 7.5, which rounds up to 8 MP).
[Andrew] - has chosen a standard gyro for his Mongoose. With an Engine Rating of 200, the Mongoose would need a 2-ton gyroscope (200 ÷ 100 = 2). This leaves him with 13 tons (15 – 2 = 13).
[Brent] - Because his OmniMech uses a Clan tech base, Brent may only select a standard gyro. With an Engine Rating of 380, his Gladiator needs a 4-ton gyroscope (380 ÷ 100 = 3.8, rounded up to 4). This leaves Brent with 61 tons left over (65 – 4 = 61).
[Chas'] - Barghest, with its Engine Rating of 350, would also have a base 4-ton standard gyroscope weight (350 ÷ 100 = 3.5, rounded up to 4). Because Chas also selects a standard gyro, this leaves him with 44 tons (48 – 4 = 44).
Determine Jump Capability
[Andrew] - As it is already capable of swift land speed and meant for open areas where it can use its mobility best, Andrew decides that his Mongoose will not require jump jets at this point.
[Brent] - Though his 'Mech is fast for its size, Brent anticipates it will need some help getting through difficult terrain or out of sticky situations. He thus opts to install jump jets on the Gladiator, and decides upon a Jump MP of 4—the maximum attainable using standard jets. Because of the Gladiator's weight, Brent finds that the jump jets will weigh 2 tons each and occupy 1 critical slot each. He opts to install all four jets in the legs, with 2 in each leg for a total of 8 tons spent. Because Brent is building the base model of an OmniMech, he may not move or remove these jets when making alternate configurations for the machine later on. The Gladiator now has a Jumping MP of 4, and has 53 remaining unspent tons (61 – 8 = 53).
[Chas] - decides that his Barghest is mobile enough for his tastes, and decides not to install jump jets at this time.
[Andrew] - decides to give his Mongoose a Standard cockpit, spending 3 tons on it, and thus retains the default slot arrangement for the cockpit's systems. He has 10 tons remaining (13 – 3 = 10).
[Brent] - With no access to Small cockpits, Brent installs a Standard cockpit in his Gladiator, using the default slots on the Record Sheet Critical Hits Table as well. His OmniMech now has 50 unspent tons remaining (53 – 3 = 50).
[Chas] - Though a +1 Piloting modifier would hardly impair his quad Barghest, Chas too opts to use a Standard cockpit, leaving him with 41 unspent tons (44 – 3 = 41). He too retains the default slot arrangement on the Critical Hits Table.
Special Physical Enhancements (MASC/TSM)
[Andrew] - Though MASC technology existed in the era in which Andrew plans to base his Mongoose, he decides not to use that technology for added speed bursts, as the 'Mech already boasts a respectable movement rate. He likewise considers Triple Strength Myomer inappropriate, though that has more to do with the technology not existing in the old Star League era than the fact that the lightweight Mongoose would make a lousy close-in brawler.
[Brent] - To provide his 95-ton Gladiator with amazing bursts of speed that can catch lighter enemies off-guard, Brent chooses to add MASC to the base design. Clan- made MASC weighs 4 percent of the BattleMech's total weight, so MASC on the Gladiator will weigh 4 tons (95 tons x 0.04 = 3.8 tons, rounded up to 4). As this formula also determines the equipment's size in terms of critical slots, the same value (4) applies to the number of slots needed. The Gladiator now has 46 unspent tons remaining (50 – 4 = 46). Brent decides to assign the 4 MASC slots to the Omni's left torso location.
[Chas] - resists the urge to install MASC or TSM on his Barghest, opting to save weight and space for ranged weapons.
Step 3: Add Additional Heat Sinks
[Andrew] - does not foresee placing a lot of firepower on his lightweight Mongoose, so he decides to stick with the 10 free heat sinks that come with the 'Mech's engine (which he decides will be single heat sinks, to cut costs). In computing how many sinks will not require critical slots, he finds that the Mongoose's 200-rated engine will only integrate 8 of these 10 sinks (200 ÷ 25 = 8). The remaining 2 heat sinks—which occupy 1 slot apiece—must be allocated to the Mongoose's Critical Hits Table someplace. Andrew decides to settle this now, rather than wait until later, and assigns one sink to each of the Mongoose's leg locations. Because the 10 sinks were provided free with the engine, Andrew still has 10 tons remaining. On the Heat Data Block of the Record Sheet, Andrew notes the Mongoose has 10 sinks by blacking out all but 10 Heat Sink circles, checking off the box marked "Single" and writing a value of 10 in the line marked Heat Sinks, and between the parentheses on the same line.
[Brent] - Anticipating some awesome firepower options on his Gladiator, Brent decides to provide the OmniMech's base chassis with a total of 16 double-strength heat sinks. Because 10 of these come free with the engine, this decision costs 6 tons in weight, leaving the Gladiator with 40 tons left over (46 – 6 = 40). In addition, the OmniMech's 380-rated engine integrates all but 1 of these heat sinks (380 ÷ 25 = 15.2, rounded down to 15; 16 sinks – 15 integrated = 1), leaving that heat sink to be allocated on the 'Mech's Critical Hits Table. Brent assigns this remaining sink to the right torso location, where the Clan double heat sink takes up 2 critical slots. On the Heat Data Block of the Record Sheet he is using to record his OmniMech's base configuration, Brent notes the Gladiator has 16 double heat sinks by blacking out all but 16 Heat Sink circles, checking off the box marked "Double" and writing a value of 16 in the line marked Heat Sinks, anda value of 32 (16 x 2 = 32) between the parentheses on the same line.
[Chas] - does not feel he has much weight to spare for heat sinks, considering his plans for firepower and armor on his Barghest. He thus sticks with the 10 free sinks that come with the BattleMech's engine, but chooses to make them double heat sinks rather than singles. In computing how many are integrated into the engine "critical-free", Chas finds he won't need to worry about assigning any of these 3-slot Inner Sphere double heat sinks to the 'Mech's Critical Hits Table, as the 350-rated engine is large enough to easily take in all 10 (350 ÷ 25 = 14). Because the 10 sinks came with the engine, Chas still has 41 unspent tons. On the Heat Data Block of the Record Sheet, Chas notes the Barghest has 10 double heat sinks by blacking out all but 10 Heat Sink circles, checking off the box marked "Double" and writing a value of 10 in the line marked Heat Sinks, and a value of 20 (10 x 2 = 20) between the parentheses on the same line.
Step 4: Add Armor
[Andrew's] - Mongoose is light and fast, but he still wants to protect it as best he can while giving it some bite. He there fore chooses to use standard ferro fibrous armor. As shown on the BattleMech Internal Structure Table, the maximum armor potential for a 25-ton humanoid BattleMech is 89 points. With that in mind, Andrew finds that attaining 89 points using Inner Sphere ferro-fibrous armor will cost his design another 5 tons (89 points ÷ [16 Base Points per Ton x 1.12 Inner Sphere Ferro-Fibrous Multiplier] = 4.967, rounded up to 5 tons). Because it is the maximum possible armor, Andrew applies 9 points to the head, 12 to each leg and 8 to each arm without a second thought; the maximum for any BattleMech's head is 9 and the maximum for all other locations is double the internal structure value. For the torsos, he assigns most of the armor protection up front, with 12 points to the front-center and 10 points to each front-side. The rear torso locations receive 4 to the center and 2 to each side. Verifying that all points are accounted for, Andrew adds all the armor values together: 9 [Head] + (12 + 4 [Center Torso, Front + Rear]) + (10 + 2 [Left Torso, Front + Rear]) + (10 + 2 [Right Torso, Front + Rear]) + (12 + 12 [Legs, Left + Right]) + (8 + 8 [Arms, Left + Right]) = 89. In the appropriate locations of the Armor Diagram for his Mongoose's Record Sheet, Andrew blacks out all extra circles, leaving only the assigned amount for each location. With 5 tons spent on armor now, the Mongoose has only 5 tons remaining for weapons and other equipment (10 – 5 = 5). Andrew notes he has 14 critical slots to assign for his ferro-fi brous armor, which may be placed anywhere in the 'Mech's body and need not be contiguous. He holds off assigning these slots until the final stages of design.
[Brent] - At 95 tons, Brent's Gladiator could be massively armored (the BattleMech Internal Structure Table indicates a potential 293 points on a humanoid 'Mech), but Brent hopes to maintain enough weight for a large array of weaponry. Even with Clan ferro-fibrous armor, he decides that the weight of the maximum armor level is extreme at 15.5 tons (293 Points ÷ [16 Base Points per Ton x 1.2 Clan Ferro-Fibrous Multiplier] = 15.26, rounded up to 15.5 tons). Brent decides to shave a couple tons off the armor weight. Installing 13.5 tons of Clan ferro-fibrous armor, Brent determines that his Gladiator will have a final armor factor (total armor value) of 259 points (13.5 tons x [16 Base Points per Ton x 1.2 Clan Ferro-Fibrous Multiplier] = 259.2, rounded down to 259). In distributing this armor, Brent maximizes the protection on his OmniMech's head and limbs, placing 9 points on the head, 40 on each leg and 32 on each arm. On the center torso, he assigns 37 points to the front and 9 to the rear (Clan Omnis rarely present their backs in combat, he reasons), while the left and right side torsos receive 20 points to the front and 10 to the rear. Verifying that all points are accounted for, Brent adds all the armor values together: 9 [Head] + (37 + 9 [Center Torso, Front + Rear]) + (20 + 10 [Left Torso, Front + Rear]) + (20 + 10 [Right Torso, Front + Rear]) + (40 + 40 [Legs, Left + Right]) + (32 + 32 [Arms, Left + Right]) = 259. In the appropriate locations of the Armor Diagram for his Gladiator's Record Sheet, Brent blacks out all extra circles, leaving only the assigned amount for each location. Like Andrew's Mongoose, Brent’s Gladiator must assign slots to its ferro-fibrous armor, but because of its Clan design, this armor only requires 7 critical slots in total. Because it is an OmniMech's base chassis, however, Brent realizes he should assign these slots as soon as possible. He thus places 2 ferro-fibrous slots in the center torso, 1 in the head, 1 each in the arms and the last 2 in the right torso. With 13.5 tons of armor, the Gladiator has 26.5 tons of unused weight remaining.
[Chas] - With internal space already at a premium—partly for the XL engine and partly for a quad body shape—Chas' Barghest can't afford to use ferro-fibrous armor (even the light version seems dodgy to him). Instead, he selects standard armor. Like Andrew and Brent, Chas checks the BattleMech Internal Structure Table to find that the maximum potential armor for a 70-ton quad 'Mech is 233 points. But because that level of protection would come in at 15 tons using standard armor (233 points ÷ [16 Base Points per ton x 1.0 Standard Armor Multiplier] = 14.56, rounded up to 15 tons), Chas decides to mount a couple of tons less to leave more room for weapons. After installing 13 tons of standard armor, Chas determines that his Barghest will have a final total armor value of 208 points (13 tons x [16 Base Points per ton x 1.0 Standard Armor Multiplier] = 208 points). Chas distributes his armor points as evenly as possible on the Barghest, maximizing only the head's protection with 9 points. Focusing more armor forward, Chas assigns 30 points to the front-center torso, 21 points each to the front left and front-right torsos, and 27 points each to the front left and front right legs. The rear-center torso receives 9 points of armor, while the rear-side torsos receive 6 each, and the rear legs receive 26 each. To verify that all points are accounted for, Chas adds all the armor values together: 9 [Head] + (30 + 9 [Center Torso, Front + Rear]) + (21 + 6 [Left Torso, Front + Rear]) + (21+ 6 [Right Torso, Front + Rear]) + (27 + 27 [Front Legs, Left + Right]) + (26 + 26 [Rear Legs, Left + Right]) = 208. In the appropriate locations of the Armor Diagram for his Barghest's Record Sheet, Chas blacks out all extra circles, leaving only the assigned amount for each location. With 13 tons spent on armor, the Barghest now has 28 tons remaining (41 – 13 = 28).
Step 5: Add Weapons, Ammunition and other Equipment
Weapons, Ammunition and Equipment
[Andrew] - With only 5 tons left to spare, Andrew thinks hard about the weapons and equipment his Mongoose will use. As the 'Mech is designed primarily to scout, the first choice is obvious: a Beagle Active Probe (which, he learns from the Weapons and Equipment Table, weighs 1.5 tons for Inner Sphere units and occupies 2 critical slots in Inner Sphere 'Mechs). Deciding the Mongoose could then use some bite, Andrew decides to devote the remaining 3.5 tons to lasers, with 3 1-ton medium lasers and a single 0.5-ton small laser providing the 'Mech with respectable ammo-free, close-in hitting power. Each of these weapons occupies a single critical slot. With all tonnage used up, Andrew finds that he has to allocate not only the lasers and Active Probe to his Critical Hits Table, but also 14 slots each of endo-steel and ferro-fibrous armor. Deciding to mount the weapons fi rst, Andrew places one medium laser in each of the Mongoose's arms, retaining their lower arm and hand actuators as well (in case the 'Mech should need to punch or carry cargo). Because these lasers occupy 1 slot each, and the actuators (shoulder to hand) take up 4, there are 7 open slots left in each arm. Andrew fills these remaining slots with the ferro fibrous armor, taking care of all 14 unallocated armor slots. Andrew then places the remaining medium laser in the Mongoose's center torso, and the small laser in the head. At one slot apiece, this leaves 1 open slot in the center torso and none in the head. The Beagle probe, which takes up 2 slots by itself, is placed in the 'Mech's left torso, its slots in consecutive positions for clarity. Because the side torsos are otherwise unoccupied and there remain the 14 endo-steel slots to consider, Andrew distributes these slots—7 apiece—to these locations.
[Brent] - Because he has been building the base chassis of an OmniMech, Brent's Gladiator is technically a completed base configuration already, as long as all its critical slots have been assigned. The 26.5 tons left over becomes classified as "pod space" that can be filled with various weapons systems and other equipment available to 'Mechs with a Clan technology base. With its base chassis equipment already assigned, the Gladiator leaves 7 slots open per arm (though 2 of the "occupied" slots per arm are actually lower arm and hand actuators that can be removed for later confi gurations), and 6 slots in each side torso. These slots are considered "fixed" and should always be grouped contiguously by location to maximize their usefulness to later confi gurations. Retaining a copy of the base chassis' Record Sheet, Brent decides to create at least one complete confi guration—the so-called Gladiator Prime—based on the chassis he has just designed. This version mounts a Gauss rifle in the left arm (necessitating the removal of a lower arm and hand actuator), at a cost of 12 tons and the use of 6 critical slots; 2 ER large lasers in the right arm (at 4 tons and 1 slot apiece), and 2 machine guns in the right torso (at 0.25 tons and 1 critical slot each). Ammunition for the Gauss—2 tons' worth—occupies 2 critical slots (1 per ton) in the left torso, while the machine guns carry 1 ton of ammunition between them, taking up a single critical slot in the right torso. Because it is a Clan-made design, CASE—used to protect all explosive components, such as the machine gun ammo and the Gauss rifle—comes free both in tonnage and in critical space, and so need not be marked on the record sheet. (Simply noting that a design has a Clan tech base is generally sufficient to know that all explosive components are CASE-protected.) Tallying up the tonnage and space used, Brent finds his Gladiator Prime has used up 23.5 tons of weapons, leaving 3 tons to spare, with 2 slots left open in the left arm (thanks to the removal of the lower arm and hand for the Gauss rifle), 4 in the right arm, 5 in the left torso and 4 in the right torso. Brent decides to devote the last 3 tons to more double heat sinks, and places one in the left arm (which occupies the remaining 2 slots) and 2 in the right arm (where they take up 2 slots each). The completed OmniMech configuration is now ready for battle.
[Chas] - Compared with the other two, Chas' Barghest has a simplified weapons load. With 28 tons remaining, he chooses to allocate 10 tons to a pair of ER large lasers (5 tons per laser x 2 lasers), which are mounted in the left torso (each Inner Sphere ER large laser occupies 2 critical slots). On the right torso, he tries to mount a mammoth 14-ton LB 20-X auto- cannon, but as the weapon takes up 11 critical slots and the right torso includes 3 critical slots from the XL engine already, Chas must split the weapons slots between the right side torso and the adjacent center torso (thus, 9 of the autocannon's slots fill up the right torso and the remaining 2 fill up the unoccupied center torso slots). The remaining 4 tons available to the Barghest are devoted to ammunition for the LB 20-X, at a rate of 1 critical slot per ton. Chas decides to place these slots in the rear legs, filling the slots in both the rear left and rear right legs. (As each slot represents 5 shots of LB 20-X ammunition, Chas obviously hopes that—with any luck—the well-armored legs will either be blown off before the bins explode, or the bins will be well-depleted by the time the armor breaches in battle.)
Step 6: Complete the Record Sheet
[Andrew] - verifies that all of the valid data blocks are completed, including the Mongoose's full name "MON-66 Mongoose" in the spot for the BattleMech's Type, checking off that its tech base is Inner Sphere, noting its Walking MP as 8, its Running MP as 12 and its Jumping MP as 0. He also lists the weapons properly on the 'Mech, noting the quantity per location, heat per weapon, and statistics as shown on the appropriate Weapons and Equipment Tables (for example, the Mongoose's center torso-mounted medium laser would be listed as "1" under QTY, "CT" under Location, "Medium Laser" under Type, "5" under Damage, "3" under Heat, "0-3" under Short Range, "4-6" under Medium Range and "7-9" under Long Range). After making sure that no extraneous circles for internal structure, armor and heat sinks are present, that the heat sink values are correct and all critical slots are assigned for all the BattleMech's weapons, Andrew is ready to compute the Battle Value and cost for his Mongoose and bring it to play.
[Brent] - Repeating similar steps, Brent must also be sure to save a copy of his Gladiator's Base Chassis Record Sheet with no added weapons or heat sinks beyond those determined before Step 5, to serve as a template for future configurations.
[Chas] - Likewise repeating the same steps as Andrew, Chas completes his Barghest's Record Sheet.