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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 BattleMechs and IndustrialMech's 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 a option for BattleMech manufacturers.
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.
|Name/Size||Damage Absorbance (DA)||Damage Capacity (DC)||Shield Bashing to-hit modifier||Mobility Modifier|
|Shield, Medium||5||18||-3||-1 Movement|
|Shield, Large||7||25||-4||-1 Movement, No Jumping|
- All shield sizes can only be mounted in arm actuator locations for only IndustrialMechs and BattleMechs. Missing Hand Actuators and arms will reduce Damage Absorbance and Damage Capacity of the any size shield by 1. Shields are hardmounted at construction of a 'mech, any speed reduction will be applied per size of the shield and should be calculated in speed the effected unit. Small Shields do not cause a unit to go slow, however only large sizes do. Both Medium and Large Shields reduces a constructed unit by 1 Movement Point, while Large Shields prevents the usage of Jump Jets.
- Basic Usage
- Shields absorb and reflect damage from general attacks from weapons and some physical attacks. Successful attack against area protected by a shield, attack damage value is subtracted against the shield's DA value. (Example: Medium Laser with damage value of 5 hits arm mounting a small shield with DA value of 3. 3 points absorbed by the shield while 2 points damages the section that was intended by the attack.) 1 point is subtracted from the DC. If damage value is greater than DA, then remaining damage record as normal. After regular damage is recorded, 1 is subtracted from the shield's DC. Once the DC or DA is reduced to zero, the shield no longer functional. When weapons using a cluster table, is recorded per damage to area it was protecting. They are not tally together, but per successful hit. Shields can not protect from Charges, Death-from-Above attacks, falling damage, damage from buildings, heat-effect related damage and damage from types of minefields.
- Critical Hits
- A successful critical hits to a Shield will reduce the it's DA by 1 and it's DC by 5. While crits to arm and shoulder 1 is reduced from DA and 1 from DC (double for the shoulder).
- Destruction of Shield
- If a Shield is reduced to zero DA/DC, the shield will still remain part of the Mech's arm. It will continue inflict movement modifiers until the arm or should be destroyed.
Shields have three modes of operations while in game play;
- Active Defense Mode (ADM)
- With this mode, the shield arm(s) will actively protecting shield arm itself, side-torso shield is attached, center torso, and the Head. Rear, Legs and the opposing arm are not protected. These protected sections can not conduct any Weapons and Physical attacks while shield is in Shield is in Active Defense Mode.
- Passive Defense Mode (PDM)
- This mode partially protect the 'Mech, limiting to the shield's mounted arm and the side-torso the arm it attached to. Unlike Active, protected section may use mounted weapon and equipment at a +2 for it's to-attacks rolls. Shield Bash attack ability maybe used while in Passive Mode.
- Inactive Defense Mode (IDM)
- Inactive Mode only protects the arm that the shield is mounted on. Weapons attacks from weapon using this arm suffer a +1 to-hit modifier.
- 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) with piloting skill of the MechWarrior. On a Successful hit with a Shield Bash attack, player will use the Hatchet Hit Location Tables to determine where the damage will be subtracted from. Shield Bash damage uses the Shield's current Damage Absorbance (See Shield Sizes). The Shield Bash attack does not benefit from a Mech mounting enhancing equipment such as AES or TSM.
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 re-rated as Advanced Technology from 3079 onward.
- Tactical Operations, p. 383 Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Small Shield - "BV2 for Small Shield for only Defense BV.
- Tactical Operations, p. 383 Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Medium Shield - "BV2 for Medium Shield for only Defense BV.
- Tactical Operations, p. 383 Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table [Addendum] Small Shield - "BV2 for Large Shield for only Defense BV.
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 10 Dark Age Technology Advancement Table - Shields were reclassified from Experimental to Advanced Equipment in 3079.
- Tactical Operations, pp. 288, 290-291, "Shield" - Description and Construction Info