A BattleMech needs to have both upper-arm and lowers arm actuators to make effective use of a shield. Lacking either or having them damaged, will penalize ANY Piloting Mech skill roll by 1 unless the shield is dropped. No more than one shield may be mounted on each arm. Shields may not be mounted on torsos, head, or legs. Quads cannot mount shields.
Total shield(s) weight should not exceed one tenth (1/ 10) of the BattleMech's weight. For every successive 1/ 10 or fraction thereof, Piloting Mech rolls are penalized by 1. In addition, past 1/10, the 'Mech will suffer from loss of MPs: -3 MPs or half its walking speed, whichever is less.
Shield Use When a BattleMech is equipped with a shield, the following rules apply in all combat situations.
A shield can be used either in a passive or active way. Passive shield parry assumes that the pilot still concentrates on fighting. Active shield parry allows for more defense, at the cost of all offensive actions.
The player receives a number of parries per turn equal to his Piloting Mech quality. The table below summarizes.
The first number is for passive parry, the second for active.
Piloting Skill of 6 or more: 1/2 Parries | Piloting Skill of 4-5: 1/3 Parries | Piloting Skill of 3: 2/3 Parries | Piloting Skill of 2 or less: 2/4 Parries |
Notes: - Passive shield parry allows the pilot to fire weapons and engage in physical combat. Active shield parry DOES NOT.
-The number of shields present DOES NOT increase the number of parries available to the pilot.
- When parrying, the pilot can decide which shield he's using if the 'Mech has two of them.
To use the shield against an incoming attack, the player must declare his intention after he hears of the particular attack(s) in the Declaration Phase. If the player wishes to withhold a parry for the Physical Phase, he must declare it after all attacks have been declared in the Declaration Phase.
The player rolls a Piloting Mech skill roll to "parry" the incoming attack. All Piloting rolls modifiers are effective. Shields can be used to parry attacks from the front, left and right arcs. Torso twisting will modify these arcs as per the rules. Shields can also be used against attacks from the top even if they enter through the rear arc. (See strafing rules below.)
The 'Mech's shield-carrying arm is automatically protected at all times, except for attacks from the opposite side arc. Any damage that would go to the arms is first taken off the shield. Excess damage to the shield transfers to the shield carrying arm.
If the shield armor is breached and the shield internal structure is hit, there is a chance for criticals. Roll for number of criticals, Roll another 1D6; if the value is under or equal to the number of criticals the shield connection is broken. A roll of 12 is assumed to be a shield destroyed AND a transfer of a single critical on the arm
The weapons of a shield carrying arm cannot be fired if the shield is to be used
If the shield is used as a weapon, treat the attack as a normal punch but divide the damage in two even groups to represent the greater contact area. Because of the additional mass involved in the punch, the target Mech must make a Piloting Roll to remain standing if hit by the shield
If the BattleMech suffers shoulder damage or if the adjacent torso is destroyed, the shield becomes unusable.
Shields can be used against both direct and indirect artillery and strafing runs. Direct artillery attacks are resolved the same way as any regular weapon attack. When the incoming attack is indirect, the pilot suffers a +2 penalty to his roll. Against strafing runs, the pilot can declare that he is shielding himself INSTEAD of firing back. The shield will absorb as much of the incoming damage as possible. All these attacks reduce the pilot’s shield use to a single action.
Inferno attacks and conflagration [napalm] artillery rounds that are intercepted have their effects reduced by half, rounded down
When the shield intercepts fire by a Gauss Rifle or Gauss artillery, there is a chance that the damage will crystallize the metal structure and the shield will buckle. On a roll of 1 on 1D6, the shield cracks, losing half of its damage absorption on top of the damage done by the Gauss weapon.
When the shield intercepts fire from advanced warhead missiles, artillery and advanced ammunition not covered by these rules, the players should agree on a plausible outcome and stick to the agreement for the rest of the game. The standadrd approach is to assume that the shield’s armor and internal structure suffer the same fate as the Mech would.
Shield Availability The Federated Suns side of the Federated Commonwealth is the sole user of the shield as of 3055. Team Banzai freely distributes the specifications for the Mech shield coupler and they sell specifications and blue prints for shields. The price for mercenaries is 5 M C-Bills per blueprint. As of 3055, the Wolf’s Dragoons are the only known group to have bought a copy.
Shield cost 5,000 C-bills for shield coupler 10,000 C-bills Base shield cost 1,600 C-bills per 0.5 ton of endo steel internal structure 20,000 C-bills per ton of Ferro-Aluminum Armor
Designing a Shield
The shield technology presented herein was first proposed during the years of Star League. The Arthurian design style in full swing, swords and shields received some attention. The bane of all this research was the Marauder BattleMech and its progeny. The purely humanoid shapes were forever banished from research and development. The insectoid designs were in ascendance.
Shields are built exclusively with Endo Steel base covered with Ferro-Aluminum armor. [Ferro Aluminum is the Ferro-Fibrous armor used on fighters - ed.1]
The production resembles that of advanced Aerospace fighters. Originally, the general shape of the shield was to be rectangular, with smoothed corners. While in re-design, Team Banzai chose the stretched hexagon shape instead. The shields shape doesn’t really affect its effectiveness, but Team Banzai has a reputation to maintain.
The shield’s weight, minus five percent (5%) of the BattleMechs weight, is added to the total ‘Mech weight like a weapon. The five percent weight reduction comes from the fact that a Battle Mech can lift and carry up to that amount in one hand without penalties. This is a freebie, so enjoy! (of course this means that you can’t pick up anything unless you drop the shield.)
The shield’s internal structure is designed in increments of 0.5 tons. Each increment gives 8 points of internal structure.
Ferro-aluminum armor can be bought in increments of 05tons, much Iike for a ‘Mech, but the maximum armor is up to three (x3) times that of the internal structure, much like the head of a ‘Mech.
The shield takes a single critical in the shield carrying arm. If the critical is damaged, the connection will break off, leaving the shield behind. All shields are detachable and are equipped with a Universal Coupler, enabling their use on all shield-carrying BattleMechs.
Reference: 'Mecha Press Magazine', Issue 10, pgs 32-33