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Modular Armor was created as a stopgap measure by ComStar engineers in 3070. While researching Hardened Armor the engineers stumbled across an ancient idea: By mounting a special frame on the unit, it could support additional armor protection beyond what the internal frame would normally allow. This Modular Armor provided additional protection over vulnerable areas, but came with several drawbacks.
First, each Modular Armor kit weighed a single ton, but didn't provide as much protection as a ton of standard armor. Second, the Modular Armor was so bulky that it threw off the unit's balance, making piloting more difficult. Third, the Modular Armor and its effect on the unit's balance also forced the unit to move more slowly to prevent falls. Fourth, though Modular Armor can be mounted over any armor type, it ruins the stealth capabilities of Stealth Armor.
Despite these drawbacks, Modular Armor has proved to be very popular with some warriors who appreciate the additional protection it offers.
Modular Armor is Experimental Technology. Modular Armor adds ten points of standard armor protection to a unit in a particular location. Only one Modular Armor pack may be installed in a location. When mounted on a BattleMech torso the Modular Armor can only protect the front or back, and must be labeled as such on the record sheet. It is useless against attacks occurring from the other direction. It weighs one ton and takes up one critical slot in that location. If hit by weapons fire, the location protected by Modular Armor counts the damage against the Modular Armor first. If hit by a critical hit roll, the Modular Armor in that location is totally destroyed.
Modular Armor throws the unit carrying it off balance. This results in a -1 reduction of the unit's walking/cruising/safe thrust, with the run/flank/overthrust speed recalculated normally. All units equipped with Modular Armor receive a +1 penalty on all Piloting rolls. Jump capable units also lose 1 MP. If a unit is equipped with more than one Modular Armor pack, these penalties do not stack, but they do remain in effect until such time as all Modular Armor units are destroyed. A unit carrying Modular Armor cannot jettison it. As soon as all the Modular Armor points are destroyed, these penalties are removed.
Modular Armor prevents Stealth Armor from functioning. As soon as all Modular Armor units are destroyed, the Stealth Armor functions normally.
- Tactical Operations, p. 281, "Modular Armor"
- Tactical Operations Errata 3.02, p. 26
- Tactical Operations Errata 3.02, p. 63