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Developed during the Age of War,  Primitive Armor was introduced on the Mackie, the original BattleMech. This armor was less capable than the armor used in Star League and Succession War designs, and is mostly seen today on so-called RetroTech designs like the Rook. Even modern Heavy Industrial Armor provided better protection than Primitive Armor.
A little more than improved tank armor, Primitive Armor had several drawbacks when compared to its modern replacements:
- Not as structurally sound.
- Only provided approximately two thirds of the protection for a given weight of armor.
One advantage of the Primitive Armor was that advanced production facilities weren't needed. Therefore, many smaller manufacturers, or even repair facilities, could produce Primitive Armor. It was also half as expensive as Standard Armor.
Primitive Armor is available in full or half ton lots. It has a BAR rating of 10. The number of armor points is calculated by using the standard armor point value calculation (armor tonnage * 16) and then multiplying the resulting number by 67%, rounding fractions down. So ten tons of Primitive Armor provides (10 * 16 = 160 * 0.67 = ) 107 points of armor.
Primitive Armor costs 5000 C-Bills per ton.
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 144, "New Construction Option: RetroTech"
- TechManual, p. 205, "Armor"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 151, "Rules Annex"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 147, "Primitive Unit Coast And Battle Values"
- TechManual, p. 278, "BattleMech And IndustrialMech Structural Costs And Availability"