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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Invid in Battletech: Making Canon Nerds Cry!

Yes.  I want to make Invid mecha from Robotech in Battletech.
Now I have Palladium's Robotech: Shadow Chronicles RPG, Battletech Total Warfare, and the amazing program Solaris Skunk Werks.

I am going to give you all some rough conversion guides from Palladium to Battletech and some examples.

Tech Level:  To do Invid close enough to their show counterparts, the first thing we need to do is choose a tech level.  For Invid and the way I may use them in my own games, we shall choose Dark Ages Clantech level.  This way we get access to some of the close combat weapons regular BT era Clanners would never touch, while still getting all the fly perks of Clan technology.

Let us start with rough conversions.  To follow along, open your hardback version of Shadow Chronicles to page 14.

Weight:  Robotech has mecha MUCH lighter than Battletech uses.  We can get a rough approximation based on the venerable VF1 series Veritech/Valkyrie.  Or as we know it in Battletech, the LAM Wasp or Stinger.  In Battletech they are 30 tons.  In Robotech they are 15 tons.  Ok our baseline is double all Robotech weights (rounding up) to get to a decent Battletech one.

(Sadly our wee Invid Scout is 4.5 tons.  So doubling it is 9.  Or 10 to make an even 5.  Its not a mech.  However.. Protomechs ARE lighter.  Sweet!  Maximum size of a Protomech is 9 tons.  We can make this work. Given that I don't have the Tech Manual I cannot properly make the Scouts as Protomechs.)

So for alternate takes we can say anything 8 tons or lighter gets quadrupled if you don't want to mess with Protomech tech.

Speed: Another easy one.  Just convert the running speed as close as you can over, with every 11 kph being roughly 1 Running movement factor in Battletech.

(The Invid Scout is said to run in the 60 kph range.  So its a 4/6 movement.)

Given how Robotech mecha are properly supposed to die really fast but hit hard we are gonna assume they all use XL engines.  All Robotech mechs get XLs.

For Jump speed if the mecha can fly or leap just give it maximum Jump Jets to match the engine.  Its not perfect but it will do well enough for our purposes.  Since in Robotech the Invid fly and we are using Dark Age era Clan Tech we will use Improved Jump Jets so they can jump further.

Heat Sinks: This being Robotech mecha are capable of firing generally without worry.  Give em Double Heat Sinks and make sure to try to cover most of the heat costs every turn.

(As some of our Invid mecha don't even have guns they do not need extra Heat Sinks.)

Weaponry:  You kind of have to eyeball these.  Mini Missiles or Short Ranged Missiles are easily SRMs, probably Streaks in most Robotech cases.  LRMs will be your longer ranged missiles unless they are big ones ala Reflex Missiles or similar which would be Arrow 4s.  All our Invid generally have claws so they are integrated Close Combat stuff.

(Our Invid Scout gets Retractable Blades.)

Armor and Structure:  In general Robotech Mecha should have both Endo Steel and Ferro Fibrous but having both of them plus Double Heat Sinks AND XL Engines will generally be impossible.  Try to give all Robotech mecha Endo Steel when possible.

(For our Invid Scout it will have 6 slots left after giving it Endo Steel so no more space is gonna allow for Ferro Fibrous.)

For normal armor points the best bet is to use up all remaining tonnage on armor.  If you want a good rough conversion from Palladium assume 2/3rd the total armor points as the Main Body "Big" Damage in the Robotech rules for bad guy grunt units.  For "Hero" mecha cut the armor points from the first edition Robotech RPG to a third if you have it, or quarter the points from the Shadow Chronicles edition.

(Our Invid Scout has 100 Main Body "Big" Damage in Robotech.  2/3rds of that is 66.  We have 4.5 tons left for armor or 72 armor points.  A 20 ton mech can only carry 69 points of armor so we are wasting 3 points.  Close enough for government work.  Looking at the Veritech, 1st ed RT gave it 250 and 2nd 350.  In Battletech the LAM Wasp and Stinger have 80 Armor.  So roughly 83 points from a 1st ed conversion, or 88 from Shadow Chronicles.  PRETTY CLOSE.)

For amounts just use Solaris Skunk Werks and let it auto allocate most stuff outside of where weapons go based on the information from the Palladium RPG as best you can.  Extra unallocated armor points should probably just go to the main body.

And there you have it!  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezie conversions based on our pal the Veritech.  Or Valkyrie, or Stinger.  Whatever name you like.  You can probably convert everything close based on my formula, or at least close enough for fun purposes.

And if you are using it for RPGs and the like such as I am you can even have special rules.  Like for Invid Eye hits.  Just call that any head hit causes D3 pilot wounds, and if the internal structure of the head is penetrated it is D6 wounds.  On either result even if the pilot makes their check to stay awake they may either walk or fire next turn but not both.  (Also as a GM this would allow for MUCH faster NPC casualties, moving the game along.)

For Gunnery and Piloting just eyeball how good you want your pilots to be.  Since I am using the X-Plorers rules light Sci Fi RPG for my RPG rules we can also generally say the average Invid pilot would be 1st level or a 5/6 with 10-13s in its stats and a Soldier (So a +1 with their chosen weapons, probably the blades for the CC Invid Scouts and Troopers, and their main guns for the Armored Scout and Shock Trooper.) as its class.  The levels should go up for the other 3 Invid Mecha.  3rd level for the Enforcer with all 13-15 stats, probably a 4/5, the Commanders as 5th to 7th levels (Corg and Sera would be the latter) with at least 2 17-19 stats and a 3/4 or 3/3, and Overlords being probably 4-5th levels and somewhere in between Enforcer and Commander pilots.  (So probably 4/4s or 3/4s.)

So let's see our little Invid Scout:

Invid Scout

Mass: 20 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: X/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 1,952,240 C-Bills
Battle Value: 326

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 80 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
    2  Retractable Blades
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    33 points                1.00
    Internal Locations: 1 HD, 2 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine              80                       1.50
    Walking MP: 4
    Running MP: 6
    Jumping MP: 6 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 1 CT, 2 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                       6.00
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             10(20)                    0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 2 LT, 2 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
Gyro:               Standard                                               1.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV -  69                  4.50

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     6            9      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  3      
                                           L/R Torso     5            8      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  2      
                                             L/R Arm     3            6      
                                             L/R Leg     4            8      

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
Retractable Blade                            RA        -         2         1.50
Retractable Blade                            LA        -         2         1.50
                                            Free Critical Slots: 6

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      2    Points: 3
4/6j       0       0       0       0      1     0   Structure:  1
Special Abilities: MEL, SAW, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

Join me in the next post where I stat out the rest of the main Invid mecha!

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