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Interesting things I want to share from StarOps

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Capital and sub-capital lasers are normally optimized for targeting Large Craft. They can, however, be placed in an AAA firing mode that uses the laser’s main targeting mirrors to rapidly adjust their aim, allowing for easier hits against small


During the End Phase of any turn, a player may announce that he is switching any capital and sub-capital lasers into or out of the AAA targeting mode; they remain in the selected mode until changed in a subsequent End Phase. While in AAA

mode, the to-hit modifi er for capital lasers is +3 (in place of the standard +5) against any non-Large Craft (this includes fi ghter squadrons); against the same targets, the to-hit modifier for sub-capital lasers is +1 (in place of the standard +3).

However, targeting Large Craft becomes more difficult and allshots against such targets apply a +1 to-hit modifi er, while in AAA mode.

Bracketing Fire Mode and Called Shots Mode: A weapon bay using Anti-Aerospace Capital Laser Targeting Mode in a turn cannot use Bracketing Fire Mode (see below) or Called Shots Mode.


A skill lost during the Star League (along with the top-secret algorithms that made it practical to employ) and only recently rediscovered, bracketing fi re is the art of dispersing fi re in a carefully selected pattern to increase the chance of a hit. Only capital and sub-capital weapons can use Bracketing Fire Mode (mass drivers, capital missiles and non-capital weapons cannot use Bracketing Fire Mode).

When using Bracketing Fire Mode, a player may lower the Damage Value of a weapon bay in order to increase the chance of a hit. Before a player rolls to see if a weapon bay strikes the target, he may announce he is using Bracketing Fire Mode. At the time the player announces he is using Bracketing Fire Mode, he also announces which to-hit modifi er he is choosing from the Bracketing Fire Mode Table (see p. 100); as noted under the Minimum Number of Weapons in Firing Bay column, the to-hit modifi er selected for a weapon bay can only be selected if that bay contains the appropriate number of weapons. If the attack strikes the target, the player adjusts the damage as shown on the table.

If the players agree to the use of Bracketing Fire Mode, they’re encouraged to figure out the Damage Value for various to-hit modifier reductions for each Weapon Bay under their control prior to game play to minimize disruptions during the game. Minimum Range: Bracketing Fire Mode cannot be used against non-Large Craft (including fi ghter squadrons) at short range.

Anti-Aerospace Capital Laser Targeting Mode and Called Shots Mode: A weapon bay using Bracketing Fire Mode in a turn cannot use Anti-Aerospace Capital Laser Targeting Mode or Called Shots Mode. Capital Weapons Fire in Atmosphere: Bracketing Fire Mode cannot be used with capital weapons fi rein atmosphere


Weapon Bay Damage Value Reduction*

To-Hit Modifier

Minimum Number of Weapons in Firing Bay










  • Round all fractions down


Standard aerospace combat assumes that electronic combat measures between the participants—sensor probes, jamming and the like—cancel each other out. Players may wish, however, to incorporate this invisible warfare into their games to enhance the detail, albeit at the expense of complexity and speed of play. These additions only apply to space combat on a space map, not to atmospheric engagements or landed aerospace units.

Construction: Military Small Craft and Large Craft ECM gear is an integral part of the structure of military aerospace units, not a design component. Civilian craft do not possess significant ECM gear.

Anti-Ship Electronic Warfare Missiles: If an ASEW missile (see p. 358, TO) successfully strikes an aerospace target, the unit loses its Electronic Warfare capability until the End Phase of the turn following the attack (multiple hits are not cumulative in any fashion).

Note: These ECM rules do not have any of the effects of any ground-based ECM system, and so do not aff ect any weapons and/or equipment in the same way as ground-based ECM systems.

Electronic Countermeasures (ECM)

All military aerospace units larger than a fi ghter have some form of electronic countermeasures to foil enemy targeting systems, though the ECM of larger units extend their influence over a greater volume of space and are less likely to be countered. For every valid ECM hex (including that of the target and the attacker, if close enough) through which an enemy traces LOS in an attack, add a +1 to-hit modifi er (to a maximum +4 modifier).

Fighters and Small Craft: Fighters only have an ECM fi eld when they actually mount an ECM suite. If a fighter mounts an ECM suite, it extends its ECM field over the fighter’s own hex only. Like Large Craft, a military Small Craft automatically generates an ECM fi eld, but it only extends to the craft’s own hex; a civilian Small Craft that mounts an ECM as described above for a fi ghter will generate an ECM field that covers its own hex. If a military Small Craft mounts an ECM suite as described above for a fi ghter, that equipment meshes with its automatically generated ECM fi eld and will extend it to adjacent hexes. Fighter/Small Craft ECM (regardless of whether or not the Small Craft mounts an ECM suite) only applies to other fi ghters and Small Craft, and is ignored by Large Craft. When using the Fighter Squadron rules (see p. 27), if a single fi ghter within a squadron mounts an ECM suite, the entire squadron has an ECM field.

Large Craft: Military JumpShips and DropShips have an ECM fi eld that extends into adjacent hexes, while WarShips and military Space Stations have an ECM fi eld that extends 2 hexes from their location. A Large Craft’s ECM fi eld aff ects Large Craft as well as fi ghters and Small Craft. Civilian units cannot generate an ECM fi eld. Mounting an ECM suite, as described above for a fi ghter, on a Large Craft has no eff ect. Unlike a Small Craft, whose systems are compatible, the far more powerful Large Craft integral ECM systems are incompatible with any type of ECM suite; the Large Craft ECM is fl at-out superior to that of smaller units and so supersedes the eff ects of an individual ECM suite.

Stacking and Maximum ECM Effects: No matter how many enemy ECM fi elds are active on the playing area, there is an upper limit to the interference they can impose. The maximum to-hit modifi er generated by stacked ECM fi elds (regardless of Fighter/Small Craft/Large Craft ECM type, or the number of hexes) is +4. Any modifi ers above +4, regardless of how many hexes of additional ECM modifi ers that lie between the attacker and target, are ignored. If fi ring out of a hex aff ected by an enemy ECM fi eld, count that hex in your to-hit modifi er. Multiple ECM fi elds of the same class (generated by the same type of unit) in the same hex do not stack. For example, three Large Craft in a single hex only generate a +1 ECM to-hit modifi er. However, a hex can have an active Fighter/Small Craft ECM and Large Craft ECM field at the same time. For example, a hex can have a +1 Fighter/Small Craft ECM fi eld and a +1 Large Craft ECM fi eld, both aff ecting fi ghters and Small Craft. If a fi ghter is attempting to shoot at a Small Craft or a Large Craft in this fi eld, the fi ghter applies a +2 to-hit modifi er, up to the maximum cumulative +4 to-hit modifier.

Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM) The following rules below explain how Electronic countercountermeasures are used in space combat.

Active Probes: Any fi ghter, fi ghter squadron or Small Craft equipped with an Active Probe or Electronic Warfare Equipment, at the start of a scenario should designate whether the Active Probe is going to operate in the standard-scale Short Range band or Medium Range band (see Aerospace Weapon Range Table, p. 235, TW). If the Active Probe is operating in the Short Range band (6 hexes), the probe’s eff ects cover all arcs out to the maximum standard-scale Short Range (6 hexes). If the Active Probe is operating in the Medium Range band, the probe’s eff ects only cover the Nose arc of the carrying unit. During the End Phase of any turn, the play may announce a switch between the two range bands. For any hex aff ected by the Active Probe, all friendly units ignore enemy ECM eff ects from fi ghters, fi ghter squadrons and Small Craft in those hexes. Additionally, such units can reduce the eff ect of Large Craft ECM by –2 (to a minimum of 0), per hex in the area of eff ect.

Fighters/Small Craft: A fi ghter with an ECM suite (as well as a military Small Craft, whether it mounts an ECM suite or not) can tune it to act as electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM) in order to negate enemy ECM. The ECM loses its normal function when used in this way. The player must announce the switch to ECCM in the End Phase of any turn, or may set the suite for ECCM at the start of the scenario. In either case, note the change on the record sheet of the unit in question. Such an ECCM fi eld can only counteract the eff ect of enemy ECM in the same hex as the fi ghter or Small Craft, but may negateall ECM bonuses for fi ghter/Small Craft in that hex (regardlessof how many overlapping fi elds are present) and reduce Large Craft ECM fi eld eff ects in the hex by –1. Note that a Small Craft’s ECCM fi eld extends out as far as its ECM fi elds, so a military Small Craft mounting an ECM suite would extend its ECCM fi eld into adjacent hexes. Fighter/Small Craft ECM-generated ECCM can only counteract the eff ects of a single Large Craft’s ECM. As a result, if more than one Large Craft’s fi eld is present in a hex, the fi ghter/Small Craft ECCM will still be aff ected by other Large Craft ECM in the same hex.

Large Craft: Large Craft make an ECCM Control Roll at the start of each Weapon Attack Phase, reducing the eff ect of ECM on its attacks in that phase by –1 for every point of Margin of Success (MoS), to a minimum of 0. This is a straight roll, with no additional modifi ers from the Control Roll Table (see p. 93,TW). A Large Craft does not lose its ECM eff ect when making an ECCM Control Roll; it can employ both eff ects every turn (unless the systems are damaged; see Damaging ECM/ECCM, below).

Effects of Naval C3: Each unit in a Naval C3 network (see p. 332, TO) may make an ECCM Control Roll. The highest bonus is shared among all the units in the network.

Damaging ECM/ECCM

A fighter’s ability to generate an ECM/ECCM field is tied to the actual ECM suite or Active Probe. If a fi ghter’s weapons take a critical hit in the location where the ECM or Probe is mounted, the ECM or Probe may be destroyed in place of the weapon (see Weapon, p. 240, TW).

Small Craft and DropShips reduce their ECM fi eld size by one hex for each Sensor or FCS critical hit; if this drops below 0 hexes, the unit no longer generates an ECM fi eld. For DropShips only, for every +1 to-hit modifi er generated by a Sensor or FCS critical hit, add a +1 modifi er to all ECCM Control Rolls.

WarShips, JumpShips and Space Stations reduce their ECM fi eld size by one hex for each Sensor or CIC critical hit; if this drops below 0 hexes the unit no longer generates an ECM fi eld. For every +1 to-hit modifi er generated by a Sensor or FCS critical, add +1 modifi er to all ECCM Control Rolls.

ECM and Bearings Only Launched Missiles

Bearings-only launched missiles (see p. 100) only count the ECM between the missile and the target unit. The eff ects of ECM on the fi ring unit do not aff ect the bearings-only missile. ECM and Tele-Operated Launched Missiles Tele-operated missiles are handled diff erently from standard weapon fi re. A tele-operated missile can partially ignore the effects of ECM on the map. The link between the fi ring unit and the tele-operated missile can be maintained through a maximum of three hostile enemy ECM hexes without aff ecting targeting. However, if four or more ECM hexes (Large Craft and/or Small Craft) exist between the fi ring unit and the missile at any point during the missile’s movement, control of the missile is lost.

Accurate Weapon (Variable Points)

Being of exceptional design, a weapon or bay is more accurate than normal, and so all to-hit target numbers for that weapon or bay receive a –1 modifi er. The cost is 1 point per 5 points (or fraction thereof) of maximum damage the weapon or bay can infl ict in a single Damage Value grouping. More than one weapon or bay on a unit can receive this positive quirk, but the cost for each must be paid.

Atmospheric Flyer (3 Points)

This aerospace unit is exceptionally stable and maneuverable when operating in atmosphere. All control rolls receive a

Battle Computer (5 Points)

The unit is an advanced command unit equipped with a powerful tactical battle computer that allows for more eff ective command of a battle force; the Cyclops is a prime example. Each turn the unit is on the battlefi eld and the MechWarrior or crew is conscious, their battle force receives a +2 modifi er to all Initiative rolls. This modifi er is not cumulative with that of a Command BattleMech.

Combat Computer (3 Points)

The unit possesses an advanced combat computer like that installed in the Stalker. The computer can aid the MechWarrior or pilot in managing heat levels, and each turn the unit will generate four points of heat less than normal (but never less than zero).

Command BattleMech (2 Points)

Some BattleMechs, such as the Atlas, BattleMaster, Black Knight, King Crab, Mongoose, Marauder and Wolverine, are designed as command units. During each turn that one or more Command BattleMechs are present on the battlefi eld, a battle force receives a +1 modifi er to all Initiative rolls. This modifier is not cumulative with a Battle Computer.

Easy to Maintain (1 Point)

Some units, such as the Thorn, are easier to maintain and repair. All repair or replacement rolls made for a unit with this quirk receive a –1 target number modifi er.

Easy to Pilot (2 Points)

Training units such as the Chameleon and Crockett are designed to be easier for a rookie MechWarrior or pilot to operate. A MechWarrior or pilot with a Piloting Skill of more than 3 will receive a –1 target number modifi er for Piloting Skill rolls that they have to make as a result of damage or underlying terrain. More skilled MechWarriors receive no benefit.

Extended Torso Twist (3 Points)

Unlike most ’Mechs, one with this quirk can turn its torso much further. When torso twisting, the ’Mech can change its facing by one or two hexsides.

Fast Reload (1 Point)

BattleMechs like the Hatchetman and Enforcer use large removable ammunition magazines that allow them to reload much faster than normal. Units with this quirk can reload in half the normal time.

Improved Cooling Jacket (1 Point)

One weapon’s design incorporates a highly eff ective cooling jacket. When fi red, this weapon generates 1 point less heat (never less than 1 point). More than one weapon or bay can have this positive quirk, but the cost for each must be paid.

Improved Communications (2 Points)

The unit has a powerful communications suite that can burn through standard electronic countermeasures. Hostile Guardian ECM or Clan ECM systems do not interfere with this unit, but Angel ECM (see p. 279, TO) still has its normal eff ect.

Improved Life Support (1 Point)

When determining damage to the MechWarrior or pilot as a result of heat following a life support critical hit, treat the unit’s heat level as being 5 points lower (an example of this is the Shadow Hawk).

Improved Sensors (3 Points)

A unit with this quirk is treated as if it has an active probe. If it is equipped with an active probe, add 2 to the Active Probe’s eff ective range.

Improved Targeting (3, 4 or 5 Points)

The unit has advanced targeting capabilities in one range bracket. The quirk can be applied up to three times, but can be taken only once per range bracket (the cost of the quirk equals how many range brackets it has been applied to; i.e. 1 range bracket equals 2 points, 2 range brackets equals 3 points and if applied to all 3 range brackets then 4 points). All ranged attack to-hit target numbers at the selected range bracket receive a – for the Extreme range bracket, nor can this quirk be combined with Variable Range Targeting.

Modular Weapons (1 Point)

Though lacking the fl exibility of an OmniMech, a unit with modular weapons like the O-Bakemono can be repaired or customized more easily. A weapon can be replaced in half the normal time (though repairs in-place take the usual amount of time). When using the Customization Rules (see p. 188), half the time is required.

Multi-Trac (2 Points)

A ’Mech with this quirk can track multiple targets and may attack any number of targets in its front and arm fi ring arcs in the same turn without adding the secondary-target modifi er. Secondary targets in the rear arc are treated as normal.

Narrow/Low Profi le (3 Points)

Designs such as the UrbanMech, Vulcan and Lancelot have a narrow or low profi le that makes them harder to hit. Ranged attacks against a unit with a Narrow/Low Profi le receive a +1 to-hit modifi er.

Protected Actuators (1 Point)

Armor protection around the actuators is more eff ective, making a ’Mech with this quirk more resistant to Leg and Swarm attacks by conventional infantry and battle armor. The target number for such attacks receives a +1 modifi er.

Reinforced Legs (1 Point)

Designed for executing the dreaded “Death From Above” attack, some ’Mechs (the Highlander, for example) suff er half the normal damage to the legs when performing Death From Above successfully.

Stable (2 Points)

receiving a –1 target number modifi er when forced to make a Piloting Skill roll as a result of a physical attack.

Variable Range Targeting (Variable Points)

A BattleMech with this quirk has an advanced targeting system that allows it to launch more accurate attacks at either long or short range, at the expense of reduced accuracy at other ranges. During a turn’s End Phase, the controlling player must designate whether this improved targeting feature will be active at long or short range the next turn. All weapon attacks at the designated range receive a –1 target number modifi er, but all weapon attacks at the alternative range receive a +1 target number modifi er (medium range remains unmodifi ed). The cost is 1 point per 5 points (or fraction thereof) maximum damage that all the weapons mounted on the ’Mech can infl ict (excluding physical attack weapons). This quirk cannot be combined with Improved Targeting.

VTOL Rotor Arrangement (1 Point)

All VTOLs in BattleTech have two rotors that rotate in opposite directions to counter each other’s torque. In most cases, they consist of a single main rotor and a smaller, tail-mounted rotor called a stabilizing rotor. However, VTOLs can also be built with dual or co-axial rotors. Players should only take this quirk if they are also using the advanced vehicle movement rules (see Vehicles, p. 24, TO). Regardless of their actual arrangement, all rotors are treated the same way for purposes of armor and damage; the rotors’ hit location represents both rotors on a VTOL. A VTOL with dual rotors mounts two rotors of equal size, both on top of the craft, either side-by-side or one in front of the other. The Karnov UR transport is an example of this arrangement, which aff ords greater stability at the cost of maneuverability. VTOLs with dual rotors cannot perform sideslip or bootlegger maneuvers (see Advanced Maneuvers, p. 25, TO). Additionally, dual rotors increase all of a VTOL’s turn modes by 1 (see p. 25, TO), but also apply a –1 target number modifi er to all Piloting Skill Rolls. A VTOL with co-axial rotors mounts two rotors of equal size together on the same mast. The Warrior H7 attack helicopter is an example of such an arrangement, which grants greater maneuverability at the cost of reduced overall stability. The usual +2 modifi er for VTOLs no longer applies to rolls on the Failed Maneuver Table (see p. 26, TO). However, each critical hit to the rotors (see Rotor Damage, p. 197, TW) adds a +1 modifi er to all Piloting Skill Rolls in addition to the standard eff ects.

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