Talk:Wolverine (BattleMech)

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Special Case rule[edit]

A friend who's been at this a lot longer told me that early versions of the game had a special case rule for the Wolverine where a player would have to make a piloting skill roll to determine if center torso laser turret spun around and whacked the mech in the head. Can anyone confirm, or deny? --Grimlock (talk) 08:15, 7 December 2012 (PST)

I've been playing BattleTech a long time, and I own almost all of the sourcebooks produced by FASA, FanPro and Catalyst Game Labs, plus all the rule sets other than BattleDroids, and I've never heard of that rule. It's not even a rule that makes sense - lasers by their very nature have no recoil. I've dug out the Dragon magazines I have that have optional rules for individual BattleMechs, and none of them have anything even close to the rule you've mentioned above.
That doesn't necessarily mean that it didn't exist in some form - it may have been published in one of the trade magazines like BattleTechnology, Challenge or StarDate, but even if it did, that would mean that it basically wasn't a canonical rule.
You could try asking on the Catalyst Game Lab forums here: - perhaps one of the other players there will remember, as there are people who've been playing even longer than I have and who have access to magazines I don't have. Given that you can't easily prove the absence of something, it'll be difficult to give you an absolutely certain response, but as far as I'm concerned, I think your friend is winding you up, or is remembering a house rule invented by somebody, not an official rule. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 08:34, 7 December 2012 (PST)
If you look at some of the older books for a specific unit, like the scenario packs for the Fox's Teeth or the Black Widow, there are many examples of "This particular mech piloted by [X] has something wrong with it - these heat sinks don't work/the PPC only fires every other day/etc." Its very plausible to me that this could be from one of those. However, it applied only to that specific 'Mech, not to all Mechs of the chassis. It was all optional rules for flavor to make it feel like the "post-Apocalyptic" setting of the original game. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 09:05, 7 December 2012 (PST)
I can confirm such a rule doesn't come from Battledroids, simply because the Wolverine wasn't included in that game yet. It made its appearance only in the 2nd Edition. I also have the Battledroids box sitting on the shelf right in front of my nose. In summary, I never heard of that rule before. Of course I can't positively rule out that it existed somewhere, but the chances that this was an official ruling are pretty slim. Frabby (talk) 12:00, 7 December 2012 (PST)
It's not in the Second Edition box set, either. I have that edition--the first with the Wolverine, according to Frabby--and I don't see it in any of the material I have for that edition. GOLFisNOTaSPORT (talk) 17:08, 7 December 2012 (PST)
I've got most or all of those unit specific sourcebooks, early and late (I refuse to purchase the Somerset Strikers book), and while I remember the rules for individual damaged 'Mechs in books like the Fox's Teeth, I don't ever remember seeing one that said "each time you shoot a particular weapon, make a piloting skill check to avoid taking damage to the head of your own 'Mech" - it sounds entirely fantastical to me. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 12:59, 7 December 2012 (PST)
It may have been something about multiple targets, I don't recall that detail. The idea wasn't recoil but the turret would be traversing to track a target and it could potentially crash against the cockpit. A few I do remember were the Orions starting battles with 19 rounds of AC-10 rather than nominal 20, Guillotines engaging multiple targets needed a PSR to avoid tearing the power cable going to the laser in the left arm, and the Javelin needed to make a PSR because it had a high center of mass. The case of the Javelin doesn't mean has to do it all the time, but it would come up once or twice a game. The idea was to give the fluff text more substance.
However based on the response here, I think I need to go back to my buddy and call bovine scat.
--Grimlock (talk) 11:13, 12 December 2012 (PST)
Point of clarification, these rules would be listed in the TROs or other entries about the mechs, not the rules at at large. For example, the pages here on make reference to issues in the Guillotine and Javelin.
--Grimlock (talk) 11:16, 12 December 2012 (PST)
Well, there are a few things going on here.
Firstly, the early TROs - by which I mean 3025 and 3026 - had descriptions that implied faults in 'Mechs and vehicles, like the jarring ride of the Scorpion, the weak torso joint on Marauders, and so on. Those were just for fluff - there were no in-game effects.
Except, now these sorts of things are reflected in game, through Quirks, which Catalyst Game Labs started adding in the most recent TROs, although I don't think they've ever backdated anything to the early TROs.
However... and this is where a spotter like me shows his age - I have a copy of Dragon Magazine issue 166. It's one of half a dozen published by TSR with articles in about BattleTech, including a campaign generation system. What makes Issue 166 interesting is that it included rules to make 'Mechs more "unique", and in some cases, to make them match the fluff.
So, for example, reading my copy now, the optional rules in Dragon for the Javelin state that it needs to make a PSR with a -1 bonus when running through rough terrain, rubble, or woods. It also has rules specifically for hitting the Marauder torso, and optional armor MechWarriors can put on there to prevent that kind of damage; rules for the ease with which Orions can be repaired, but suffer from having to check for the LRMs shutting down seperately in addition to other systems, and that the UrbanMech cannot punch but attackers get a +1 penalty to hit rolls if the UrbanMech has at least partial cover.
A lot of the Dragon Magazine rules predict future rules - like 'Mechs with no arm actuators being unable to punch, some 'Mechs being able to swivel arms, and the like. But, these rules were not FASA endorsed. They were written up by Mike Spica and published "Courtesy of FASA Corporation" in 1991, and Mike Spica's foreword indicates that he came up with the rules in response to the descriptions in the TROs having no tangible effect on the abilities of the units as presented.
The Wolverine has no special rules in that article, and the Orion doesn't have the rule you mentioned, but the Javelin looks as if it matches. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 11:36, 12 December 2012 (PST)