Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The Missing ‘Mechs Revised: The Rifleman

While checking out a cool mini of the Exterminator over on the Lost Level, I was reminded of how it always bothered me that the design systems of the original Battletech game did not match up with the drawings of the original 12 Battle ‘Mechs.  It’s almost as if the game was designed well before the pictures of the various ‘Mechs were selected and drawn up:  The Marauder’s PPC’s are clearly a different size than the Warhammer’s.  The skinny lasers on the Rifleman are clearly different from the fat elephant gun carried by the Thunderbolt.  (And those things are lasers on the Rifleman.  There’s no way that each arm sports a Large Laser and an Autocannon.) 

The game would be a lot more interesting if there was more variation between the designs… but my attempts to “fix” the design system and combat rules have not been pretty.  Instead of adding unnecessary house rules to a game that seems to possess a great deal more vitality than even my beloved Car Wars, let’s just see if we can juice things up a bit by taking advantage of the Level II equipment that came along in later iterations of the system.

Type/Model:    Rifleman RFL-3J
Tech:          Inner Sphere / 2750
Config:        Biped BattleMech
Rules:         Level 2, Standard design
Mass:          60 tons
Chassis:       Endo Steel
Power Plant:   240 Pitban Fusion
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets:     None
Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor Type:    Standard
  4 Large Lasers
Manufacturer:  J&D Motors
  Location:    Tera
Communications System:  1200 baud
Targeting & Tracking System:  Ectobliks

Type/Model:    Rifleman RFL-3J
Mass:          60 tons
Equipment:                                 Crits    Mass
Int. Struct.:  99 pts Endo Steel            14      3.00
 (Endo Steel Loc: 1 LA, 1 RA, 3 LT, 3 RT, 2 CT, 2 LL, 2 RL)
Engine:        240                  6     11.50
   Walking MP:   4
   Running MP:   6
   Jumping MP:   0
Heat Sinks:     17 Double [34]              24      7.00
 (Heat Sink Loc: 1 LA, 1 RA, 3 LT, 3 RT)
Gyro:                                        4      3.00
Cockpit, Life Supt., Sensors:                5      3.00
Actuators: L: Sh+UA+LA    R: Sh+UA+LA       14       .00
Armor Factor:  200 pts Standard              0     12.50

                          Internal    Armor
                          Structure   Value
   Head:                      3          9     
   Center Torso:             20         29     
   Center Torso (Rear):                 10     
   L/R Side Torso:           14      21/21     
   L/R Side Torso (Rear):              7/7     
   L/R Arm:                  10      20/20     
   L/R Leg:                  14      28/28     

Weapons and Equipment    Loc  Heat  Ammo   Crits    Mass
2 Large Lasers           RA     16           4     10.00
2 Large Lasers           LA     16           4     10.00

TOTALS:                         32          75     60.00
Crits & Tons Left:                           3       .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        5,012,800 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,286
Cost per BV:       3,897.98
Weapon Value:      1,956 / 1,956 (Ratio = 1.52 / 1.52)
Damage Factors:    SRDmg = 28;  MRDmg = 18;  LRDmg = 2
BattleForce2:      MP: 4,  Armor/Structure: 5/5
                   Damage PB/M/L: 4/3/-,  Overheat: 0
                   Class: MH;  Point Value: 13


[This design was built with the fantastic Heavy Metal software.  I failed to account for the really cool targeting system that this ‘mech had in the Robotech system– that’s what the fins on its head are supposed to be.  I think you can add one in for 5 tons… but you’d have to drop 3 double heat sinks and 2 tons of armor.  I just don’t have the heart to make that kind of change.  You can do that if you’re content to take on a nice heat problem while walking into a firefight without “protection.”] 


3 responses to “The Missing ‘Mechs Revised: The Rifleman

  1. Andy February 3, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I like it! Have you seen the “Project Phoenix” Technical Readout published a few years ago? It was basically an effort similar to what you’ve undertaken here–take the original mechs, refit them with newer technology, and re-illustrate them to match. For the most part the new illustrations match the mechs’ listed weaponry much better than the original TRO.

    I really need to buy that Heavy Metal program. It looks great–I can’t believe I’ve been designing and filling out mech sheets by hand all these years…

  2. jeffro February 3, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the feedback! Notice that the software calculates both Battle Value and point values for Battle Force. Because this design maxes out armor, is completely heat free, and also avoids any equipment choices that weaken it from a critical hit standpoint, this version of the Rifleman rates extremely high. I’ve always thought of the Rifleman as a sucky design… but he will probably be above average even after the others are revised….

    Ah, so that’s what the Project Phoenix was…. The only shortcoming I can see in that is the lack of artwork by Loose. His images are burned into my subconscious along with work by Winchel Chung, Speed, and Loubet. My next Battletech game will *have* to use designs in the spirit of that first 3025 technical readout. (That book’s gotta be in the top 5 game supplements of all time… none of the later ones could hold a candle to it, bless their hearts.) I’m too sentimental to play it any other way! :)

    Note that Heavy Metal can print out record sheets, too, which is really where it begins to pay for itself. I don’t think it allows you to print to PDF, but I’ll scan them in if I have to so that I can post those here. They plan to release a new version for the Total Warfare revisions; I’d wait for that to come out before buying if I were you….

  3. Pingback: Missing ‘Mechs Revised: Warhammer and Marauder « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

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