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Battletech Variant: The Crunchy Rules, ver. 4.

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Battletech is an extremely long-lived and entertaining game, but it makes concessions to realism in
order to foster ease of play, game balance, and background considerations. This set of house rules is
an expansion and mutation of the 3025 rules set. It aims to produce a feel more like modern armored
combat without too drastically altering the balance and flavor of the game. There are new rules
introduced and old rules modified. The most drastic changes take place in the interpretation and
modeling of the game weaponry.
General Rules Changes
Extreme and Maximum Range Brackets: All weapons are capable of firing at targets much much further away than the
listed rules would permit, which was one of the original common disagreements with the canon Battletech rules. We will
be using a simplified version of the rule variant listed in Battletechnology, Issue 0201, pp44-49. Essentially the rules create
new "Extreme" and "Maximum" range. Needless to say, all weapons have their damage ratings drastically reduced in
effect at these long distances.

"Extreme" Range Bracket: x5 the listed Long range (depending on the weapon class), with a Base To-Hit of
10+. At Extreme Range, all energy and projectile weapons do 1/2 damage, and all missile weapons only hit with
1/2 the listed number from the chart.
"Maximum" Range Bracket: x1.5 the Extreme range for projectile weaponry, out to the horizon or line-of-sight
for beam weapons, or identical to Extreme range for missiles, with a Base To-Hit of 12+. At Maximum Range, all
beam and projectile weapons do 1/4 damage (rounded down, less than 1pt is ineffective), and LRM and SRM
systems only hit with 1/2 the listed number from the chart due to scattering.

Ammo Explosions: In standard Battletech, an ammo explosion instantly ignites the entire ammunition supply in a
location, usually resulting in the destruction of the vehicle. Treat all battlemechs and most modern armored fighting
vehicles as though equipped with CASE (Cellular Ammunition Storage Equipment) at no additional mass or weight, as is
standard for Clan battlemechs. CASE reflects sound engineering rather than some mysterious advanced technology, and
has been available on main battle tanks since the late 1970's. Poorly designed, obsolete, or cheaply manufactured
vehicles may not have this design feature. An ammunition explosion is still a serious issue, but should not automatically
completely annihilate a battlemech.

Infantry
Infantry are a bit less delicate in the Crunchy Rules than in standard Battletech, where they are routinely wiped out by
the dozens. There are a couple of special rules that can be realistically applied to an infantry platoon to make them a more
valuable asset on the battlefield. These include advanced body armor, and man-portable light antitank weapons (LAW).
Heavy Body Armor: It is safe to assume that all standard Battletech infantry are equipped at least with a durable helmet
and a bullet or shrapnel-resistant vest. It is possible, however, to equip infantry with comprehensive body armor similar to
GURPS "Combat Infantry Dress" or Star Wars "Stormtrooper" armor. This armor is generally made of advanced alloys and
synthetics, and encases the soldier's entire body. This is generally only done with elite troops, as the armor is quite
expensive to produce and requires training to maintain and use properly. Heavy Infantry will routinely be carried by APCs,
then dismount to fight while the APCs assist with fire support.

Infantry in "Heavy Body Armor" only takes 1/2 damage from all attacks, in addition to the usual modifiers for cover
or lack thereof.

Infantry in "Heavy Body Armor" moves more slowly than other units, 1/2MP for foot, -1MP for all other types.

Light Antitank Weapons: On a battlefield with monstrous war-machines like battlemechs in common use, it is absurd to
believe that infantry would be sent to battle without being issued some means to fight back. Modern armies routinely equip
their infantry with disposable rocket launchers such as the M72 LAW. These are cheap and easily manufactured at a
1960s level of technology. There is a simple method of modeling this. In most conceivable encounters, the platoon will
probably fire all of its rockets at once, hoping to kill or drive off the attacking battlemech before it can slaughter the entire
group.

Any properly equipped infantry unit can make a single attack as a SRM Platoon of the appropriate strength using
disposable launchers.

Projectile Weaponry
Gauss Cannons: Though not part of the 3025 core setting, the Gauss Rifle is appropriate to this level of technology. It will
work as written, being a somewhat more expensive but more effective weapon than the cannons listed below. Beyond
that, it requires no special rule modifications or comments.
Cannon: Substitute the table below for the standard rules autocannons. Under the Crunchy Rules, this class of weapons
represents cannon of the sort used on main battle tanks today. These cannon are probably smoothbore, electrothermal
weapons firing kinetic-kill ordnance (i.e. "DU Penetrator") rather than shaped charged warheads, which are ineffectual
against advanced armor of the sort found in Battletech. Because of their striking power, these will be the most common
main weapon on the battlefield. To more accurately reflect "reality", ranges have been normalized on the AC/10, and
damages have been scaled more gradually than the standard AC/2 to AC/20 auto cannons. The following types of special
ammunition are available for use in cannon:

Armor Piercing: This is the standard depleted uranium or tungsten round, doing normal damage to armored
units, but 1/2 damage to infantry.
HEDP: High Explosive Dual Purpose ammunition incorporates both antitank and antipersonnel capabilities. It
does full damage to infantry, but only 1/2 damage to armored units.

Type

Heat Dmg Min SHT MED LNG EXT MAX Tonnage Crit Ammo
1

1-5

6-10 11-15 16-75 75-112

45

90mm Cannon (was


AC/5)

10

1-5

6-10 11-15 16-75 75-112

20

120mm Cannon
(was AC/10)

15

1-5

6-10 11-15 16-75 75-112

12

10

150mm Cannon
(was AC/20)

20

1-5

6-10 11-15 16-75 75-112

14

10

60mm Cannon (was


AC/2)

Gatling Cannon: The "Gatling cannon" represents a large, direct fire multibarrel auto cannon, probably in the 20mm45mm range, which fires a hail of explosive or armor-piercing shells at it's target. Such a weapon would be functionally
similar to the immense "GAU-8" autocannon carried on the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft of the late 20th Century.
They have an immense rate of fire, making them very effective for area attacks, and devastating against infantry. To keep
things very simple, the weapon is normalized on the LRM-5. There are a few rules differences, but most of it is simply
cosmetic, a different way to envision a very similar game effect. The Gatling Cannon uses the same rules for damage
calculation and scattering as standard LRM's, and can be used as a replacement on any mech which carries a LRM
system of the same size. The standard missile table is used to determine the number of "hits" (actually many small
rounds). There are three main differences:

Gatling cannons have no minimum range, cannot be used for indirect fire, and are not affected by point-defense
fire.
Gatling cannon do 1d6 per "hit" against unarmored infantry, much like giant machine guns.
Gatling Cannon can divide their fire between two targets in adjacent hexes, at +1 penalty for both to-hit rolls. Each
target receives an attack equal to 1/2 the total, e.g. a GAT-10 can attack two adjacent mechs with a GAT-5
equivalent attack, at +1 for both.

Heat Dmg Min SHT MED LNG EXT MAX Tonnage Crit Ammo*

Type
GAT-5
(was LRM5)

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

106158

24

GAT-10
(was LRM10)

10

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

106158

12

GAT-15
(was LRM15)

15

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

106158

GAT-20
(was LRM20)

20

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

106158

10

Missile Weaponry
Short Range Missiles: The SRM is a short-ranged unguided rocket which has more space devoted to warhead than to
propellant . It is most often used as a secondary weapon, useful for laying down smoke, special fragmenting rounds, or
incendiaries. The Crunchy rules create a different balance between weapon systems than standard Battletech has, so a
few other things need to be tweaked. SRM's in particular are extremely lacking in range and impact compared to other
major weapons. To give them a place in the Crunchy rules, the SRM range has been increased by 25%, but it retains
other stats and rules of standard Battletech. The following warheads are available for use with SRM's:

HEDP: "High Explosive Dual Purpose" is the standard SRM round, which does 2pts per hit.
Incendiary: Treat this as a standard "Inferno" round, as described in Battletech rules.
CHEM/Smoke: Creates a thick cloud of smoke in a hex, +1 BTN penalty per pair of SRM's, +3 BTN per hex
maximum penalty
Antipersonnel: 1d6 damage per SRM that hits infantry units, only 1pt to armored vehicles.

Type

Heat Dmg Min SHT MED LNG

EXT

MAX Tonnage

Crit Ammo

SRM-2

1-4

5-8

9-12

13-60

n/a

50

SRM-4

1-4

5-8

9-12

13-60

n/a

25

SRM-6

1-4

5-8

9-12

13-60

n/a

15

Long Range Missiles: Each LRM is a high velocity unguided rocket with a relatively small warhead, but with a long
effective range. This makes them useful for long-range area bombardment, as well as being effective against armored
targets. In a campaign, these have the benefit of being cheap to manufacture and easily transported in bulk. The Crunchy
rules create a different balance between weapon systems than standard Battletech has, but the LRM remains an effective

weapon system with little modification besides the extra range bracket. No specialty warheads are available for the LRM,
which is assumed to be an APEX (Armor Piercing Explosive) round.

Heat

Dmg

Min

SHT

MED

LNG

LRM-5

1 per

1-7

8-14

LRM-10

1 per

1-7

LRM-15

1 per

LRM-20

1 per

Type

EXT

MAX

Ton

Crit

Ammo*

15-21 22-105

n/a

24

8-14

15-21 22-105

n/a

24

1-7

8-14

15-21 22-105

n/a

24

1-7

8-14

15-21 22-105

n/a

10

24

Guided Missiles: Since effective guided antitank missiles have been a part of modern warfare since the 1960's, it is
implausible that they would not still be usable in the Battletech era. Guided missiles are similar to the "Hellfire" or
"Javelin", ATGM's of the 21st century, being IR/optical homing or laser-guided antitank rockets of either hypervelocity
kinetic-kill, or multi-staged explosive warheads. As a result, they do a great deal more damage per impact than LRM's or
SRM's do. In a campaign, guided missiles will cost x5 what normal LRM's cost per ton, and will require special training
and equipment to load. The weapon stats have been normalized on the LRM-5 through LRM-20 for ease of conversion,
with roughly one launch tube per LRM-5... essentially, they do all damage to one location, do not scatter, and can be shot
down more easily by point defense systems. In the case of multiple barrel launchers, a separate target can be engaged
with each missile, at a cumulative +1 penalty for each target after the first (a multibarrel launcher could engage 1 target at
no penalty, 2 targets at +1 each, 3 targets at +2, or 4 at +3 total) due to the difficulty of aiming and acquiring multiple
targets with one fire-control package. Guided missiles can be fired in salvos of as few as desired, regardless of how many
barrels there are in a launcher. The player should keep track of the number of missiles expended, rather than "salvos".
"Ammo" refers to the number of individual missiles per ton, rather than salvos per ton as is the case with LRM's. It should
be noted that Guided Missiles are easily countered by point defense systems and ECM, so they are not as common as
they might otherwise be.

Type

Heat Dmg Min SHT MED LNG EXT MAX Tonnage Crit Ammo*

GM-Single
(was LRM5)

10 per

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

n/a

12

GM-Dual
(was LRM10)

10 per

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

n/a

12

GM-Triple
(was LRM15)

10 per

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

n/a

12

GM-Quad
(was LRM20)

10 per

1-7

8-14 15-21

22105

n/a

10

12

Energy Weaponry
The primary advantage to a typical energy weapon is accuracy, rather than striking power. The Battletech rules listed for
lasers and PPC's are adequate, but the rules need to reflect the fact that beams travel at the speed of light, in a straight

line. This gives them a battlefield niche... no beam weapons strike as hard as the large-bore cannon do, but they strike
true. To that end, apply the following modifications to the existing game rules.
Accuracy at Normal Ranges: Energy weapons suffer only 1/2 the listed penalties for target and firer movement, due to
superior accuracy and ease of aiming. Total them up and divide by two, rounded up.
Extreme and Maximum Ranges: As noted above, the Maximum range of beam weapons extends out to the horizon, or
at least to Line-of-Sight. This makes them capable of inflicting damage upon a target many kilometers away, and may
change the complexion of a battle. Unfortunately, at these extended ranges beam weapons suffer from "attenuation". In
inclement weather, beam weapons suffer an additional +1 to +4 penalty to hit, as the beam is scattered and dissipated.
Point Defense Lasers: Any laser can in theory be used to shoot down an incoming missile. In practice, only the Small
Laser is nimble enough and can be moved quickly enough to strike an inbound target. To engage an incoming missile or
volley, the small laser must be facing the direction of the missiles, and it must not have been used to attack another target
that round. Roll 8+ on 2d6; on a hit, 1d6/2 rockets or a single larger missile has been shot down. While not as effective as
the "Anti-Missile System", it can still be a lifesaver.

Other Equipment
Battlefield Systems: In the Crunchy Rules 3025, the following systems are available for use by the militaries of the Inner
Sphere, though none of them will be common. Some hardware may have slightly different rules for use in the "Crunchy
Rules". If equipment is not listed below, it is not available for use, or is superseded by something above.

Anti-Missile System: This is a dedicated machine gun of smaller caliber than the standard Machine Gun, with
radar guidance and a much higher rate-of-fire. As written in the standard rules, this system is stupidly ineffective.
Instead, simply subtract 1 shot per use, which destroys 1d6 incoming missiles. This make the Anti-Missile System
effective enough to be worth installing. The Anti-Missile System does 1d6 damage against infantry if used as a
machine gun, but this is wasteful. Please note that on any battlefield where Guided Missiles are in use, most
heavy and assault mecha will have an AMS installed.
Antipersonnel Pods: No changes are needed.
Arrow IV Missiles: Any laser can be used to designate for the homing version.
Beagle Active Probe: This system is extremely short ranged, and should probably extend it's effects out to 10
hexes instead of the listed four.
C3 Computer: No changes are needed.
Guardian ECM: This is fine as written, though it is worth noting that the Guardian ECM system will effectively
spoof Guided Missiles, adding an additional +4 to hit any defended target within the 6 hex radius.
Swarm LRM's: No changes are needed. In fact, a case could be made for these being the standard LRM
munition in a technologically advanced military unit.
Thunder LRM's: No changes are needed.