A Dual Cockpit, also called Dual Cockpit Combat (DCC) System, is a non-standard cockpit layout for BattleMechs that splits 'Mech operation between two operators, usually a pilot and a gunner. It should not be confused with the Command Console, which provides two complete, independent sets of controls.
The MechWarriors forming a team in a Dual Cockpit must synchronize their neurohelmets, a complex process which requires both team members to be in the cockpit. If one team member is taken out, the other can assume control of the entire 'Mech, but loses all advantages of the Dual Cockpit and operates less effectively than he would in a regular cockpit.
The Dual Cockpit is a very rare piece of equipment. It weighs 4 tons (i.e. 1 ton more than a regular cockpit) and upgrading a 'Mech in this fashion costs approximately 200,000 C-bills.
Dual Cockpit 'Mechs
'Mechs known to mount a Dual Cockpit include the RVN-1XL DC Raven and the DRG-1GKDC Grand Dragon (neither of which meets the criteria for Canon, however, as they were never published in an English language source); there are no (other) regular 'Mech models known to feature a Dual Cockpit. Instead, it is usually installed as a refit.
- BLR-1G or BLR-3M BattleMaster (removing one heat sink)
- The AFFC uses these modification to bring the officer to the front. The assault 'Mech provides enough protection and mobility for the CO during larger engagements.
- DRG-5K Grand Dragon (removing one medium laser)
- WHM-6R Warhammer (removing two small lasers)
- WHM-7M Warhammer (removing one medium laser)
- The DCMS has a strange relation to these modification, because the warriors fight for their own honor and with the support task it is difficult to find some place for their usefulness.
- ZEU-6S Zeus (removing one medium laser)
- ZEU-9S Zeus (removing one heat sink)
- AS7-D or AS7-K Atlas (removing one ton of LRM ammunition)
- The LCAF prefer heavy machinery above all. With the manufacturing capabilities of this state it is easy to modify a machine for the 'Social General'.
- ON-1V or ON-1M Orion (removing one ton of SRM ammunition)
- MAD-3M or MAD-5D Marauder (removing one heat sink)
- Having lost many battles because they lost their leader in combat, the FWLM uses the dual cockpit to give protection to the CO.
- CP10-Z Cyclops (removing one ton of autocannon ammunition)
- CP11-A Cyclops (removing one ton of gauss rifle ammunition)
- WHM-6L Hot Hammer (removing one flamer)
- WHM-7M Warhammer (removing one medium laser)
- The CCAF demands from their officer corps to lead by example, and commanders thus frequently find themselves in the thick of battle, where a Dual Cockpit may prove helpful.
- The Clans do not use the Dual Cockpit.
- The Battlemaster operated by the Red Corsair featured a Command Console, not a Dual Cockpit.
- The canonicity status of the Dual Cockpit as a technology is somewhat unclear following a possibly misleading remark from the Line Developer that he considers it "effectively merged into the Command Console" system rules-wise.
- Even after the introduction of Tactical Operations, which omits the Dual Cockpit and is said to overrule earlier rulebooks, the Dual Cockpit was mentioned in the Technical Readout: 3075 discussing BattleMaster variants. However, said variants use command consoles according to Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged.
OLD: According to MechWarrior Companion, Dual Cockpit rules are Level Three rules, and thereby not legal for standard tournament play. This was superseded by the aforementioned publications which neither mention nor denounce the Dual Cockpit.
In game terms, the Dual Cockpit occupies two critical hit slots: Besides the standard cockpit slot (slot #3 in the head hit location), which houses the pilot, it also occupies slot #4 there to house the gunner. They must be marked as pilot or gunner cockpit, respectively.
When used by a team of MechWarriors, the Dual Cockpit significantly increases combat performance:
- A Piloting Skill roll to avoid falling is required only after suffering 30 points of damage in a round (instead of 20);
- Improved evasion capability grants better movement modifiers to hit a unit equipped with Dual Cockpit;
- Similarly, modifiers to own fire from own movement are less severe and a secondary target may be fired at with no penalty.
A separate skill from the usual 'Mech pilot/Gunnery skills must be learned to operate a 'Mech from a Dual Cockpit in conjunction with another pilot. A MechWarrior team without the Dual Cockpit Operation skill at high enough level loses effectiveness. And the skill only applies to a single pilot/gunner team, to change teams requires relearning the skill over again and training it back up to a level that the pilot/gunner gains the Dual Cockpit advantage again.
- found in the record sheet included with Arena-Planet Solaris VII (the German edition of Solaris VII: The Game World)
- MechWarrior Companion, p. 53, "Running The Game"
- MechWarrior Companion, pp. 51-52, "House Conversions"
- as per her BattleMech's stat sheet in Operational Turning Points: The Red Corsair, p. 29
- in this thread on the CBT forums
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169, "SLDF Royal Units"
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, pp. 183-184
- MechWarrior Companion pp. 50-51, "Combat - Rules"
- Tech Manual