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Hasaku
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the only kind of power armor you're going to find in my games is an anthroform drone you can ride in. And don't expect to own one (for long), though if you're lucky you might get to take a joyride. Experience autocannons from the other end for a few glorious minutes.
PBTHHHHT
QUOTE (emo samurai)
Dude... I just got an idea... I'll use the first Battlemech developed in Earth history as a plot point!!! The runners will have to fight it, or pilot it, if they're stealthy and awesome enough.

battlemech and stealthy... sure... indifferent.gif
emo samurai
No, I mean stealthy enough to take it before it's mobilized.
PBTHHHHT
Gotcha, I misunderstood. Though, the problem for the first part. Fighting it? You better make sure there's something on hand for the runners to use to take down a multi-ton armored assault vehicle. I feel sorry for them if they do end up fighting it. Though it would be a cool imagery as they are running through buildings playing hide and seek against the mech, taking pop shots with whatever heavy weapons they have on hand or blasting away with a spell, or throwing elementals/spirits at it. Anyway, have fun planning this out.
Darkness
Metal Gear anyone?

But we all know what the fate of unprepared Infantry is, if they suddenly come face-to-face to a 'Mech (or face to foot ...).

*squish*
PBTHHHHT
I feel sorry for the poor maintenance workers, they have to hose off all the gunk from the mech's exterior. Ewwww. biggrin.gif
Azralon
The following three scenarios are examples of why you'll never see a battlemech in one of my games:

1) Corporate mech shows up with intention of vaporizing the PCs. It's remote-piloted by the best rigger ever.
2) PCs use signal scramblers to render the monstrous drone ineffective.
3) PCs yank the antenna array off of their new toy.

1) Corporate mech shows up with intention of vaporizing the PCs. This time it's piloted by people inside.
2) Conjurer sends a spirit inside the mech's cockpit, which promptly eats the pilots.
3) PCs hose out the inside of their new toy.

1) Corporate mech shows up with intention of vaporizing the PCs. This time the corp has a mage & spirit complement on board to provide mojo-based defense and offense.
2) PCs run away and/or die.
3) Players want to go play something else.

... Basically, it's a game balance thing. I absolutely will not disagree that technology has progressed in 2070 to the point where these things could be feasible. I'm saying that once they show up, you're playing a completely different game.

Now, you could say that there's a fundamental engineering problem of structural integrity and a 30-foot tall anthroform chassis couldn't stand up and move around due to its own weight. This would rule out the possibility of mechs on Earth, but not so much on Mars....
Hasaku
There'd still be the question of inertia. That's a lot of mass to be throwing around.
Birdy
First a note on the "Punk with rocket can kill it" argument: Three guys with a 15.000 ATGM can kill any tank currently employed. And guess what - they still build tanks! Same for one guy with a SAM and any helicopter (and using StarStreak quite a few jets).

There is no such thing as a "single tank" or an "undestructible unit". The question always is: Can it do things that can't be done without it. The rest is tactics

Possible Powered Armors:

The K-Series units used by the AD-Police in Bubblegum Crisis

+ They are high-maintenance units
+ Support/Hv. weapons systems
+ Used in teams

HeavyGears.

+ Relatively large/heavy (up to 5m / 10to)
+ No batteries involved
+ Most technology is here today, exception ist the Optical Neural Net
+ Armor like a small APC/IFV

2300AD style "Combat Walker"

+ Resonably heavy armor
+ Support weapons platform
+ Can crawl

Appleseed style Landmates



Birdy (Who want's a DenMother Mk. II)
emo samurai
OOH!!! OOH!!!!!! They'll get to pilot a Battlemech temporarily; it'll be the newest prototype against the older models that the corp mobilizes against them. Delivering the battlemech will be the purpose of their run!!!
PBTHHHHT
Oh man, do we have to link up all the threads regarding mecha again? We've had lots and lots of discussions about this, what missles, rpg rounds, etc... will do, in relation to tanks, mecha, etc... and other aspects. I can't help but think... not again. lol. maybe we should just sticky some mecha thread so everyone can just jump to that thread, even for new folks.
emo samurai
How do we add sticky threads?
Cray74
QUOTE (nick012000)
Military-grade hardened armor is powered

Sure, milgrade armor has batteries for its radio and data display unit. But that probably doesn't constitute "powered armor" by this thread's standards.
Hasaku
I love power armor, but it occupies the same role in my world as a light tank. Expensive, and not really meant for the shadows. It's the rare run indeed that would bring my runners in contact with one, since they have to be in a place that not only warrants military vehicle support, but experimental military vehicle support at that. Still, rumors of its existence give the rigger something to drool over.
PlatonicPimp
If I were to include this in my games, I would do so by having several corps developing the technology required at the same time. They are all working on it, no one has a prototype yet, as there are various hurdles that have to be overcome first. The runners get involved on the ground level of the development with various runs between said corps. Corp A has runners steal prototype widget from corp B, it is not immediately apparent that the widget is intended for mecha. Corp B has runners extract technician from corp C, the runners don't know what the technician was working on and he is smart enough not to tell. From the runner's perspective this is standard shadowrun work, they have no reason to suspect anything. Work like this for about a year or so of game time, until the players are prime runner material, and the orps have had reasonable development time.

Then hit them with the "Steal the prototype Mecha" run. Ideally, they will be able to peice together the fact that they have been playing an instrumental role in bringing this technology into fruition. Over the next few runs they will steal blueprints, test pilot mecha, be hunted by prototype mecha, participate in combat trials of mecha, and witness or participate in hot mecha on Mecha action. When they witness or pilot the mecha, they will feel a certain amount of pride that they helped these happen. When they are hunted by mecha, they will feel stupid for creating the technology that will kill them.

If you want mecha in shadowrun, don't just drop them in. Having the players do runs involving the development of the technology is SOOO much more shadowrun.
stevebugge
QUOTE (Cray74)
QUOTE (nick012000 @ Dec 11 2005, 04:05 AM)
Military-grade hardened armor is powered

Sure, milgrade armor has batteries for its radio and data display unit. But that probably doesn't constitute "powered armor" by this thread's standards.

It has a bit more than that, there is enough power to mitigate (but probably not completely eliminate) it's own additional encumbrance, but it certainly doesn't make you Faster or Stronger than you already are. Without that sort of assistance the armor would be worthless to infantry.
TheScrivener
I think the sort of power armor shadowrunners would be looking for would be something like thisconcept which the Army's been working on a while. Add hardened armor to the outside of that thing and you get a big, clumsy, obvious looking guy who's difficult to kill and can carry damn near anything. A utility device more than a combat monster, a powersuit would let a shadowrunner break into cars, deconstruct plasteel blast doors, and carry pallets full of explosives. Combat-wise, he could jump out of (but not into) helicopters, climb onto cars, and chase people down to squish them. Could a monokatana still cut him in half? Probably. Could a direct Panther shot still be hella fatal? Yeah. Personally, though, giving my players nifty new utility abilities which they can use in inventive ways is way more interesting than 'aw god i got seven weapons and roll 14 dice vs damage.'
Oh wait... the Street Sammy already does that...
stupid Bone Density augs.
PlatonicPimp
Only 14 dice? man, he'd better get some good upgrades soon.
=Spectre=
Actually stevebugge, the whole concept of realistic power armor is to create a suit of armor that doesn't impact the mobility or endurance of the wearer. The single biggest obstacle to any armor is weight. You can make a person impervious to all but explosives. They'd weight just slightly less than a Ford cargo truck, and have the manueverability of a brick in mud, but they'd be safe.

Power armor that just negates it's own weight would be five times as valuable then, as Kevlar is today. Because it could be all encompassing. It could cover the entire body from head to toe, as opposed to segmented kevlar padding and helmets we use today that leave gaps, still hinder movement, and weigh the wearer down. The average soldier today carries a nominal load of 88 pounds into combat. Of that, 20 pounds is taken up by kevlar armor and the helmet. So, for 1/4 of the soldier's total carrying capacity, they're reasonably protected against most fatal shots in combat.

Here's the weakness though. Only the chest and head are protected, The arms, legs, and feet, all of which gunshots can impair enough to remove a soldier from combat, are unprotected.

Any kind of Power Armor, that can completely protect the wearer, while leaving their namueverability and encumberance alone, benefits the wearer twice over. Without the load of armor, a soldier can pack in more ammo, food, medical supplies, what have you, into their carrying capacity. And the obvious benefit of full body protection against gunfire is pretty much self explanatory
Cray74
QUOTE (stevebugge)
It has a bit more than that, there is enough power to mitigate (but probably not completely eliminate) it's own additional encumbrance, but it certainly doesn't make you Faster or Stronger than you already are. 

Unless something's changed in SR4, the older versions of milgrade armor DID often encumber wearers. There were combat pool penalties unless you had a very high quickness. What's the rule, -1 combat pool per two ballistic points in excess of your quickness?

QUOTE
Without that sort of assistance the armor would be worthless to infantry.


If you note, milgrade armor is pretty lightweight stuff for its protection. It's only about 25kg, much less than the standard load expected of infantry. Considering the full body coverage, that's nicely on par with today's Interceptor Body Armor (~8kg for torso protection). I really don't think any power augmentation is necessary.

Which is convenient, since no SR2-SR3 book describes milgrade armor as being "powered."
Liper
haha, don't forget the mil grade armour in I think 1st or 2nd edition looked like the mark1 armour from warhammer 40k =p
emo samurai
What would chainsword stats be like? Would they be that much better than a monofilament sword?
Cray74
QUOTE (Liper)
haha, don't forget the mil grade armour in I think 1st or 2nd edition looked like the mark1 armour from warhammer 40k =p

I never saw a resemblance between SR milgrade armor and the few WH40K armors that I was familiar with (basically the Space Marine power armor). But then I'm not familiar with many of the WH40K armor styles. Do you have a link to the picture of the "mark one armor"?
Shrike30
QUOTE (emo samurai @ Dec 15 2005, 11:45 AM)
What would chainsword stats be like? Would they be that much better than a monofilament sword?

We've got a monofilament chainsaw in the rules... just get rid of the "-2 penalty for using a weird weapon" (since you've now got it in sword form) and go to town.

I *think* that this is Mk1 Armor (obviously with a power fist equipped).
Cray74
QUOTE (Shrike30)
I *think* that this is Mk1 Armor (obviously with a power fist equipped).

Okay, I see some resemblance (minus the power fist), but I can also see Star Wars stormtrooper in there, plus plenty of other fictional hard armors.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Dec 15 2005, 05:05 PM)
I *think* that this is Mk1 Armor (obviously with a power fist equipped).

Nope. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a Mark 5 Heresy suit. The studded shoulder pad and exposed chest cabling is a halmark of the Mark 5. Could be a Mark 4 Imperial Maximus Suit though, since it looks more like the Mk. 4 helmet style.

I'm sure that it's not Mk.1, though. Mk.1 had much less subsantial leg armor than that.

Anyway, I don't recall seeing any armor in any SR product that resemled 40K Space Marine Power Armor of any type, and this is keeping in mind the fact that FASA was notorious for ripping off images (just ask Harmony Gold). Closest anything comes to it is the kneeling Tir Paladin on p.40 of the Tir Tairngire book, and that's not very close. I suppose it could pass for Space Marine Scout Armor, if I close one eye and squint with the other, but the SM Scout armors are non-powered.
kigmatzomat
Anybody here read John Ringo? The man wanted to write power armor military sci fi and had to come up with an alien race that justified it. Go check out baen.com or google posleen, aldenata, & john ringo.

I guarantee if it is technically feasible in the Sr4 universe then some general or CEO has made it happen. Power armor won't replace tanks but would be used in role-specific places.

Why won't it replace tanks?
  • Power armor cannot carry weapons of the same power nor quantity of ammunition.
  • Power armor dies when shot by anti-tank weapons (like those used by tanks)
  • Power armor cannot operate the same duration as a tank due to crew needs (in non-combat situations 1/4 of a tank crew can nap)
  • Power armor cannot travel cross country as fast as a tank (the operator's legs or hips will be damaged by moving that quickly)
  • Power armor isn't as scary as a tank. (Never understimate psychological weaponry)

When do you use power armor instead of a tank?
  • When you need a modicum of stealth (tanks are 8-14' tall, weigh 50+ tons, with ~2000hp engines. Sonar, groundphones, radar, IR, magnetic anomaly detectors, and eyeball mk1 will find a tank before they see four ~0.5 ton humanoid forms. Against a foe with satellite access tanks and their tread marks are orders of magnitude easier to find.)
  • When a tank is psychological overkill
  • In mountainous terrain. (Charlie don't surf and tanks don't climb walls.)
  • As infantry shock troops. (Operation "hide behind the battlesuit.")
  • As autonomous scouts and recon. (Faster than a normal person, stealthier than a humvee, more weapons and sensors than either)
  • Hazmat duty. (Just don't stand outside when the bomb goes off and you'll be fine)
  • Expedite field repairs/demolition. (You guys lift the tank, I'll swap the tread.)

Cost is a big factor here but realize that a quick google search says an Abrams runs about $7 million. You could give each member of the four man crew a $1.7 million suit of power armor without really changing the cost/risk equation.
emo samurai
How powerful would a 1.7 million dollar power suit be? Would it have antitank weaponry? If so, it would absolutely destroy a tank in an urban combat situation. It would probably be much easier to get a bead on an enemy in a power suit.
Cray74
QUOTE (emo samurai)
How powerful would a 1.7 million dollar power suit be? Would it have antitank weaponry? If so, it would absolutely destroy a tank in an urban combat situation. It would probably be much easier to get a bead on an enemy in a power suit.

(Why 1.7 million dollars?)

Humans can carry anti-tank weaponry now (and have been carrying various incarnations of AT weapons since the dawn of the tank). Their record for destroying tanks is hit or miss. Sometimes manportable (MP) AT weapons get a little ahead of tanks (the Israeli's surprise introduction to MP guided AT missiles in the Yom Kippur War), sometimes they fall behind (obsolescence of anti-tank rifles between WWI and WWII).

Power armor can certainly carry bigger AT weapons than humans, but power armors of scales typically depicted in sci-fi (under 1-2 tons) will be unlikely to match those carried by tanks or other large armored vehicles.

That means, IMO, the power armors will have an advantage over infantry, but they won't be the perfect urban killers.

Besides, even now it's recognized it's suicidal to send tanks unescorted into urban areas. Infantry with AT weapons eat unsupported tanks alive. If power armor becomes a factor, I'm sure it'll become standard practice to support tanks with power armor.
=Spectre=
Paraphrased Quote from another game in which Power armor is well used smile.gif

QUOTE

One might wonder why make an expensive Power Armor when a tank or lightly armored vehicle could be used for similar purposes. The answer is simple, concealment and mobility. A tank or artillery cannon is easy for the enemy to recognize and target. Such a "vehicle" is comparatively large and has a distinctive shape among infantry troops and is especially easy to spot and target from the air. However, a suit of Power Armor among a group fellow infantrymen, even with groups as small as a company or a platoon, the Power Armor is much more difficult to pick out, even with its larger mass.

Furthermore, as with most Power Armor, it is a comparatively small, mobile all-terrain suit that can handle most environments, from city streets and woodlands to mountains and optionally even underwater. It's easy to transport, maintain and camouflage, as it is a system not wholly dependent on a power plant for all actions and operations. It also offers greater versatility than a tank because it moves at the speed and pacing of the infantry. Where a Tank might cover 120 miles in a day, it must also stop for maintenance, repairs and refueling, much of which must be done in the open. The Power Armor however, moves at the behest of the person riding it, and can fit into the same camoflague situations as any other infantry weapon could.
Liper
I was thinking I think the fields of fire catalog picture of mil spec armour.
Cray74
QUOTE (Liper)
I was thinking I think the fields of fire catalog picture of mil spec armour.

So was I. I don't think the resemblence to WH40K armor is particularly strong. FoF's milgrade armor is just another scifi hard armor suit. They all tend to have some common features.
kigmatzomat
QUOTE (Cray74)

QUOTE (emo samurai)
How powerful would a 1.7 million dollar power suit be? Would it have antitank weaponry? If so, it would absolutely destroy a tank in an urban combat situation. It would probably be much easier to get a bead on an enemy in a power suit.


(Why 1.7 million dollars?)


Because I pointed out an Abrams "retails" for about $7M with a crew of 4 so divide the money up between the 4 guys and you get $1.7M each, give or take.

QUOTE (Cray74)

Power armor can certainly carry bigger AT weapons than humans, but power armors of scales typically depicted in sci-fi (under 1-2 tons) will be unlikely to match those carried by tanks or other large armored vehicles.


Agreed. The sheer scale alone means a tank can carry armor 10-20x as thick. Plus, with mass comes inertia to resist impact; even a hit that doesn't penetrate power armor might kill the wearer.


QUOTE (Cray74)

That means, IMO, the power armors will have an advantage over infantry, but they won't be the perfect urban killers.

Besides, even now it's recognized it's suicidal to send tanks unescorted into urban areas. Infantry with AT weapons eat unsupported tanks alive. If power armor becomes a factor, I'm sure it'll become standard practice to support tanks with power armor.


Agreed. But IIRC, the old SR tech level did not have any man-portable weaponry that could take out a full tank; APCs or scouts but not tanks. Something about armor tech far outstripping explosives. Power armor could make crew-served weapons man portable but the bulk would still limit them to magazines of less than a dozen rounds.

I think power armor fulfills a role similar to self-propelled guns; lightly armored, relatively short-ranged weapons useful against light fortifications or heavily dug in infantry with anti-air defenses.

The main advantage power armor has over tanks is the ability to distribute them over a wide area. In some situations a hundred tanks and five thousand infantry are the right thing to use but sometimes five thousand infantry with two suits of armor per platoon is a better choice (~400 suits).
Darkness
QUOTE (kigmatzomat)
Agreed. But IIRC, the old SR tech level did not have any man-portable weaponry that could take out a full tank; APCs or scouts but not tanks. Something about armor tech far outstripping explosives. Power armor could make crew-served weapons man portable but the bulk would still limit them to magazines of less than a dozen rounds.

Well, nearly.

The strongest full blown tank i found in an official book is the Ruhrmetall KMA7-C Leopard III Heavy Tank (found on p. 77 SOTA '63) which had a Body of 12 and a stunning Armor-Rating of 40.

The strongest man portable Anti-Vehicular weapon i could find is the Great Dragon ATGM Launcher (found on p. 28, CC), wich had a Damage Code of 20D(AV).

Depending on house rules concerning armor degradation on vehicles, it surely would take more than one shot to stop a tank. But even then it would be feasible to destroy the tracks of the Leopard with the Great Dragon with the first shot, leaving him being a sitting duck for your air support.
maeel
don't get started on man portable anti tank missiles and tanks in SR3 (you know, who wrote these rules, don't you?) todays man portable anti tank missiles can blow a full sized battle tank into tiny pieces, however they have a very limited range....
So, the SR3 rules were simply nonsense, but lets not talk about weapon realism in SR.

My character in SR3 had a combat suit (power armor), which was designed using SR3 Rigger. We never had real problems using it, however we only used in the wilderness or warzones. The GM made clear that using such a vehicle in a city like seattle would definitely trigger an appropriate response by local authorities.

nonetheless, IMO power armor would definitely be used in combat, especially in urban enviroments, where it can easily evade direct confrontation with tanks due to its better maneuverability (it can simply make its way through ruins and buildings like infantry) and where it is a true horror for infantry.
Darkness
QUOTE (maeel @ Dec 17 2005, 09:40 PM)
[...]
So, the SR3 rules were simply nonsense, but lets not talk about weapon realism in SR. 
[...]
nonetheless, IMO power armor would definitely be used in combat, especially in urban enviroments, where it can easily evade direct confrontation with tanks due to its better maneuverability (it can simply make its way through ruins and buildings like infantry) and where it is a true horror for infantry.

I agree on not to start stuff like that and on the use of combat armors in urban environments wink.gif

BTW, anyone seen this movie?
Appleseed (2004)

It has some Landmate Action, which shows some way's a power armor "can" be used.
emo samurai
How about a depleted uranium shell? One of those at almost any size could punch a hole in a Battlemech.
maeel
i personally consider battlemech like powerarmor to be useless, they wouldn't have much of an advantage over tanks, and could be easily destroyed by airborne tank killers...

but power armor of the size of a troll...? why not? i have made my points about these, c above.....

AFAIK there was an alternate weapon and combat rule system for shadowrun that also included power armor...
kigmatzomat
QUOTE (emo samurai)
How about a depleted uranium shell? One of those at almost any size could punch a hole in a Battlemech.

DU is just hard, dense metal thrown at something really hard. The question is: how hard is hard enough? Modern DU rounds are fired at around Mach 3. This will take out most any older tank and it might take out an Abrams from the side or rear. I say might because the Abrams can reputedly take a shot from another Abrams head-on and they pack depleted uranium "silver bullets" in their arsenal. Since there's been no Abrams-Abrams combat, or even Abrams-current generation tank combats, I've got no data.

To fire something faster means more propellant and a longer barrel and at a certain point it gets bigger than you can afford to use. Naval ships carry guns that can crush a tank; we're talking about projectiles weighing well over a ton with ~500lbs of propellant. The caveat is the gun itself weighs as much as an Abrams so it can survive that much recoil and provide enough volume for the propellant to expand.

The fact of the matter is that armor tech could quite easily exceed chemical propellant tech; there's only so fast you can get a solid/liquid to expand, while the theoretical limit on material hardness is an order of magnitude beyond what it is now.
A carbon nanotube armor would be more resilient than diamonds.

The predicted next generation round will be a railgun firing a smaller projectile at Mach5+. Recoil, however, will be even harsher (kinetic energy = 0.5 x Mass x Velocity^2 so a 66% increase in velocity results in a 275% increase in kinetic energy) especially since the acceleration will be so much more. Using newton's laws, throwing a 1lb round that way at Mach 5 will send a 1ton suit of power armor the other way at 17mph, 220lb Bubba would get up to 25mph. (I think I did all the unit conversions right) So anything vaguely mansized will be firing rounds weighing under an ounce, or basically a big shotgun slug.

With the volume of a tank or a mecha that isn't guaranteed to do that much damage. It's like firing a .22 at Arnold Scwarzenegger. Sure, you'll hit and do some damage but if you don't hit something vital it just makes him angry.

Once tanks are redesigned to deal with railguns, you can guarantee the amount of redundancy will be increased and the layout of the crew compartment adjusted to limit the total damage that a round could cause. Tank-sized railguns will still be lobbing big rounds at each other thanks to all that mass/inertia which will keep the primary role of tank-killer to other tanks, smart artillery, or aircraft.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Cray74)
QUOTE (Liper @ Dec 17 2005, 09:46 AM)
I was thinking I think the fields of fire catalog picture of mil spec armour.

So was I. I don't think the resemblence to WH40K armor is particularly strong.

I second that emotion. 40K's space marines are, for lack of a better word, a bit rotund. the Fields of Fire illustration shares more in common with Master Chief's Mjolnir suit from the HALOverse than the "hardshell spacesuit" that 40K's space marines wear.
Liper
Probably, it's just something a friend I admired said alot so I kind of adapted it for myself without really knowing why.

although there are definatly similarities.
kigmatzomat
Speaking of nano-armor and advances in material science:

Isreali Nano Armor
Liper
hasn't that been posted already?
kigmatzomat
Don't know; my omniscience kit has been lost in the mail. The article is dated December 9th so maybe on another thread.
Bullet Raven
Yes, another thread.
Cray74
QUOTE (kigmatzomat)
Speaking of nano-armor and advances in material science:

Isreali Nano Armor

Yep, that's been posted:

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=11091

And like I pointed out in that other thread, it's not armor yet.
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