BattleMech Shield.JPG
Production information
Type Equipment
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Year Availability 3065
Year Introduced 3067
Technology Rating D
Availability Rating ?
Availability Ratings X/X/F
Legality Rating ?
Technical specifications
Heat 0
Tons See Type
  • Shield (Small) = 2
  • Shield (Medium) = 4
  • Shield (Large) = 6
Critical Slots See Type
  • Shield (Small) = 3
  • Shield (Medium) = 5
  • Shield (Large) = 7
BV (1.0) See Type
  • Shield (Small) =
  • Shield (Medium) =
  • Shield (Large) =
BV (2.0) See Type
  • Shield (Small) = 50 (Def)[1]
  • Shield (Medium) = 135 (Def)[2]
  • Shield (Large) = 263 (Def)[3]


Introduced in the late 31st Century on Solaris VII, the BattleMech Shield (abbreviated as simply as the Shield) is a movable piece of armor that can be mounted on BattleMech and IndustrialMech arm actuators. The shield was first introduced as a method to add protection for a MechWarrior fighting in the arenas of Solaris. Shields are primary defensive equipment used to protect a 'Mech from being hit by weapons and some forms of physical attacks.

Initial development started in 3065 in the Lyran Alliance. The shield did not go beyond the experimental stage of development until after the Jihad due to the Word of Blake's destructive occupation of Solaris VII. Once the Jihad had ended, Solaris weapons developers would move ahead with Shield Equipment in 3079 and produced it in limited numbers as a new form of advanced equipment as an option for BattleMech manufacturers.[4]

The shield allows a MechWarrior to redirect damage from certain parts of the 'Mech to their shield. A 'Mech's computer can be adjusted to have the shield provide various degrees of active defensive protection. While fully active, the shield will prevent any sections it protects from firing its arm- or torso-mounted weapons. This leaves only the head, legs and rear sections to fire any mounted weapons.[5]

Shield Sizes[edit]

BattleMech Shield List
Name/Size Damage Absorbance (DA) Damage Capacity (DC) Shield Bash to-hit modifier Mobility Modifier
Small 3 11 -2 None
Medium 5 18 -3 -1 MP
Large 7 25 -4 -1 MP, No jumping


Shields are available in small, medium and large size. They all have a Damage Absorbance and Damage Capacity value.

  • Construction
    All shield sizes can only be mounted in arm actuator locations for IndustrialMechs and BattleMechs. Missing Hand Actuators and arms will reduce the DA and DV of the shield by 1. Shields are hard mounted at construction of a 'Mech, and Medium and Large Shields reduce a unit's MP by 1, and Large Shields prevent the usage of Jump Jets.[5]

Game Rules[edit]

  • Basic Usage
    Shields absorb damage from weapon and most physical attacks equal to their DA value. For example a medium laser hitting an arm mounting a small shield with DA value of 3 would result in 2 points damaging the arm section. Then 1 point is subtracted from the DC every time the shield is hit, regardless of whether any damage went through.

For cluster attack, reduce the DC by one for each area that is damaged, not 1 per salvo that hits. Shields are not effective against Charges, Death-from-Above attacks, falling damage, damage from buildings, heat-effect related damage and minefields.[5]

  • Critical Hits
    A successful critical hit to a Shield will reduce the DA by 1 and DC by 5. Hits to the actuators of the arm mounting a shield subtract 1 from DA and DC (double for the shoulder).[5]
    Shield destruction
    If a Shield is reduced to 0 DA or 0 DC, it will still remain part of the 'Mech's arm and will continue to inflict movement modifiers until the arm or shield is destroyed.[5]

Shield Modes[edit]

Shields have three modes of operations in gameplay:

  • Active Defense Mode (ADM)
    The shield will be effective against attack against the shield arm, the corresponding side torso, center torso and the head. These protected sections cannot conduct any Weapons or Physical attack.[5]
  • Passive Defense Mode (PDM)
    Only the mounting arm and side torso are protected. However, the 'Mech can use mounted weapons and equipment from the protected sections, albeit at a +2 penalty on its attack rolls. Shield Bash attacks (see below) may only be used while in Passive Mode.[5]
  • Inactive Defense Mode (IDM) 
    Only the shield-bearing arm is protected. Weapons attacks from this arm suffer a +1 to-hit modifier.[5]

Special Attack[edit]

  • Shield Bash
    While in Passive Mode, the Shield can be used in a physical attack as a weapon. Shield Bash to-hit modifier uses the shield bash modifier (per size of shield). Use the Hatchet Hit Location Tables. Shield Bash damage is equal to the current DA. This attack does not benefit from equipment such as AES or TSM.[5]


The BattleMech Shield originally was published in the Mappack: Solaris VII sourcebook. It was republished in Tactical Operations book, which it was originally listed as Experimental Technology between 3065 until 3079. Per the Dark Age Technology Advancement, the equipment was rerated as Advanced Technology from 3079 onward.


  1. Tactical Operations, p. 383: Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Small Shield - "BV2 for Small Shield for only Defense BV
  2. Tactical Operations, p. 383: Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Medium Shield - "BV2 for Medium Shield for only Defense BV
  3. Tactical Operations, p. 383: Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Small Shield - "BV2 for Large Shield for only Defense BV
  4. Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 10: Dark Age Technology Advancement Table - Shields were reclassified from Experimental to Advanced Equipment in 3079
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Tactical Operations, pp. 288, 290–291: "Shield" - Description and Construction Info