|I apologise for the lateness of this critical document. The Robotech conversion has been scattered over four seperate issues of the Great Machine, including with the necessary rules. Some rules as well were still yet to be published, or even drawn up, such as those for the SDF-1s Daedelus attack. Hopefully this webpage will provide a valuable aid for those interested in the conversion. In future, I will try to add rules as they become necessary, rather than four months later.|
|Author's Notes on Converting the Units:
|With so many different sources of information for Robotech, its hard to
use any set approach to the conversion. For one thing, there is conflicting information which is
based on Robotech and other information which is based on a specific series such as Macross, or
Mospeada. Actually, to digress, for those unfamiliar with Robotech: Robotech is an american
'saga' which uses translated, and somewhat re-written, animated televisions series from Japan. There
are three main story arcs to Robotech, and likewise Robotech is made of three seperate series:
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, Super Dimensional Calavry: Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber
Mospeada (for those purists out there, forgive me if I've named one or all of them wrongly). The first
and second series may be related, but the third one is definately completely independant. What all three
series have in common is that they are a part of the 'transformable' mecha craze which swept Japanese
animation. Anyways, as I was saying, there is varying information, some of which is based in the Robotech
universe and some from the other series, primarily Macross which involves several spinoffs and movies.
For the core of my conversions, the Robotech units, I am primarily using a mix of the Palladium RPG and a website called the Unofficial Robotech: Reference Guide, which btw is an excellent site and should be definately checked out. The palladium books are nice, but are widey inconsistent. As an RPG they are built for the players to have fun, and as most players will be playing humans, the odds are stacked in their favour. There are some very obvious problems, for instance the RDF Europa Destroyer (aka AMES, Ophelia, Oberth) was put in the RPG as a fighter, the Lancer I, when it is clearly a ship in the series. Another glaring inconsistence is in comparing Mospeada with the Macross series, where Palladium gives the helmet of some motorcycle/combat armour a damage rating of 50 (how much damage it can take before the player gets a headache). As it would happen, 50 is also the armour rating for the Zentraedi battlepod's main body. So basically a 50ft mecha can take no more punishment than a motorcycle helmet. Yeah, I don't think so. Anyway, in short I'm using a lot of different sources and I'm ultimately trying to just get the feel of the units rather than going by what one source or the other specifically says. Here are some more specific notes:
Ship Structure: I've gone with another formulaic approach, similar to what I did with the Freespace conversions. One change is that instead of comparing damage to a base of 10 armour, I used 12, for more flexibility. Also, I have tried to keep the structure values more inline with Babylon 5 Wars units. So there's no outrageous structures like in Freespace, except of course for the larger units. Conversely, some ships may have gotten a bit of a boost like the weaker Earth vessels, and likely the future Earth vessels. One thing which I have NEVER understood, is that in later series, and even in later Macross series, the new ships being fielded by the humans are just as small as their original ships. I mean, they just defeated the Zentraedi who use massive vessels and yet they all still have dinky little skiffs and the like, in Macross 2: Lover's again, the Earth flagship the "Gloria" is tiny compared to even a Zentraedi scout ship (Tou Redir) for crying out loud.
Number of Weapons: A lot of the ships in Robotech/Macross/Whatever mount hundreds of small laser or missile batteries. No one wants to roll that many dice, so groups of weapons have been abstracted into one unit. For the Zentraedi, one Mossil 918 is equal to about 8 standard turrets, some missiles have a 6 to 1 ratio and so forth. The larger guns and turrets have remained on a 1 to 1. You'll notice that a lot of the weapons are called "Batteries" (no, not Duracell either). I also realise that I'm creating a lot of new weapons, and there's probably enough weapons in B5Wars and all its conversions already but the way I see it I'm starting from a blank slate. I am also a stickler for aesthetics, so in the case of the Zentraedi for instance you'll notice all of their weapon icons look more or less like they're from the same family.
Weapon Power: Some weapons, particularly the Reflex Cannons and fighter missiles have been somewhat toned down in power. While it would be cool to have a Reflex Cannon smoke 12 Zentraedi ships in a single blast, I'm not sure how much it'd be to play. As it is the SDF-1s cannon will do a boatload of damage, and will kill most vessels. But larger badboys like Breetai's Flagship can probably take a hit and keep on trucking.
|When a ship has the Redundant Sensors it means that the multiple sensor arrays in use are performing the same function, rather than complimenting one another. In such a case, the player of the ship in question should not add the sensor array values together but rather only use the highest value. If two or more sensor arrays are tied for the highest value, the net value is increased by one for each additional sensor. This rule is found mainly in ships which can split into multiple vessels, such as Khyron's Command Cruiser, the Queadol Magdomilla.|
|Some units, notably the Invid, may have a generic comment in their
special rules such as Uncommon Invid Fighter, or for inconsistencies' sake, Rare Invid
Unit. What this basically refers to is the general ratio of mecha with Invid forces. Using
existing rules, such as Restricted Deployment doesn't really cut it in this case. The ratio of
deployment is exactly the same as for fighter variants, the only thing is that they are not
variants (in most cases), but rather simply different fighters. So to make things simple:
|Skin Dancing (Modification):
|Skin dancing is a fun, though probably seldom used rule. I think that
in a lot of ways it's very restrictive. For my purpose, I feel that I need to make some changes
to the rule in order to grasp the kind of flavour I'm going for. One major problem is that Skin
Dancing only works against Enormous Units, and many of my ships which aren't Enormous are skin-danced
in the series, so for the purpose of the Robotech Conversion, the following skin dancing rules
will apply (take them or modify them as you see fit):
Speed is relative. Two ships moving the same direction at speed 14 could also be thought of as moving speed zero or any other speed, as long as it was equal. But the rule stating a target's movement is five or less is too restrictive. Rather for my purposes, there is no limit to what the target's speed can be. Instead, there are only modifiers for the difference between the speed of the dancer and the target. Furthermore, if a dancer and a target are moving in opposite directions, it is not as easy as coming at the target from the rear. In such cases, the difference in speed is equal to the combined speeds of both dancer and target. So a dancer going speed 6 direction D against a target going speed 5 direction A, will treat the speed difference as 11. Furthermore, a dancer may try to dance upon a target from any direction, but if approaches from the side, the speed modifier is much greater. Here are the modifiers for Skin Dancing:
|In Robotech, it is commonplace for small combatants to walk upon the
hull of larger vessels and engage enemy units either on or around the ship, or to engage the
ship itself. Such practices are called Hull Walking. Any flight of fighters with the walker
trait, or a squad of Walkers may start the game on the hull of a ship. During the course of
a battle, a flight of fighters may also land upon the hull of the ship during the hangar
operations segment. In order to do so, a flight must first successfully skin dance the target.
They then must have sufficient thrust remaining in order to match the speed and facing of
the target. So a flight moving 7 in direction B, dancing a ship moving 5 direction A must
have 2 (decel) + 2 3 (turning) = 4 5 thrust in order to land upon the target. Once it's been
determined that the fighter may land, they must then make a 1d20 roll, adding the amount of
thrust used to land to the total while ignoring all other skin dancing modifiers except
inherent bonuses / penalties. If this roll is successful, the fighter flight will land on
any one of the outer sections of the hull during the power adjust segment of the next turn.
If a fighter, such as a Veritech, has the walker trait in for example Battloid and Guardian
mode, but they are currently in Fighter, they will change into one of the two modes before
they land. A flight which has just landed will have a -4 initiative modifier for the next turn.
Rules While On the Hull:
Hull walking comes with its own inherent bonuses and penalties to the walker units. All things considered, it is an act more geared towards defending the ship, rather than attacking it. For all walking units, the following applies:
|Walkers are a new class of unit. Essentially they are humanoid war
machines which are incapable of space flight. Most are not intended for combat in space,
but rather on the ground. But they have been modified for zero-g and vacuum conditions.
Some fighters also have the walker trait, these in general represent more-flexible walkers
which are better classed as fighters. Transformable fighters in Guardian, and Battloid mode
are considered walkers.
The Ship Control Sheet: The record sheet is largely the same as a fighter's, with a few noticeable differences. All walkers have only one profile, which applies to all directions, they also have an evade ability and their physical attack capability. Each record sheet will show applicable arcs of fire depending upon where the squad is situated on a given class of ship, and the movement rate for moving from one section to another. The default rate is one per turn, though most Destroids (featured herein) tend to be slower.
Evade Ability:The Evade ability is for all intents and purposes exactly the same as fighter's ability to jink. It represents the walker performing erratic manoeuvres in order to dodge enemy fire. In general, the Evade Limits will be roughly equal to one-third the standard for a fighter's. When landed on hulls, all fighters use the appropriate level for their class.
Receiving Fire:Because walkers are physically touching their host vessel, the hull will provide some protection for the unit. Thus, only fire that could strike its current structure block can target the unit directly. Since the unit is facing that direction, this means that virtually all fire will strike against the walker's forward armour (which tends to be the most heavily armoured). In fact, walking units are rarely shot at from any other angle. Only when enemy units are skin dancing or walking upon the hull, or the walking unit is adrift from a ship, do shots fall into the side or rear arcs of the walking unit.
|Hand to hand combat is almost unthinkable in the vastness of space,
but in the Robotech universe where mecha are considered soldiers and are built in bipedal form,
it is relatively common place. Hand to hand combat occurs in two different situations and varieties:
Open Space Combat: In order to make a physical attack, a flight of fighters must end up in the same hex as a target and must have beaten that target in initiative by at least 5 points. The flight may then make one physical attack against the profile of the target, accounting for offensive bonus, jinking and an added penalty for the difference in speed between the two flights (ie, a target of speed 5 with an attacker of speed 8 would yield a -3 penalty). The attack takes place in the fighter vs fighter combat phase of the turn.
On Hull Combat: If two opposing flights are hull walking on the same section of a ship there's a good chance they'll engage in close combat. In such a scenario, standard weapons fire does not benefit from the offensive bonus due to the close quarters, however physical attacks will retain this bonus. Make an attack roll against the profile, taking into account the bonus and any levels of evading. All combat takes place in the fighter vs fighter phase.
Physical Attack Damage: The basic walker unit will get one attack per turn, with a base damage value of 1d6 + X points. Where X points is equal to the class bonus for that unit (see table):
|This characteristic is found in the Special Notes box of a ship.
It denotes ships that are crewed by personnel which would be considered 'giant' to the
average human, in the order of 40 feet tall. The main example of this from Robotech
is the Zentraedi, a race of genetically-engineered warriors. For the most part, Giant Crew
will have little effect on combat. The main interaction will come from marine boarding actions
when the giants meet the not-so-giants. For these situations, Giant Crew entails several
new or modified rules, as found below:
Ships with Giant Crews may only board other ships with Giant Crews, and may never board ships without Giant Crews because of course the hallways will be too small for them. In such situations, normal marine boarding applies with standard scenario and racial bonuses. A ship without Giant Crew can always board such vessels, but they are subject to the following changes to the marine missions:
Giant Crew Capable: This denotes ships which are spacious enough to accomodate Giant Crew, but are not crewed by giants themselves. One good example is the Invid Space Hives. Basically, Giant Crew may board these vessels and fight on any part of the ship. The trait has no other effect. (ie the ship which is Giant Crew Capable does not calculate ramming factor at 1 per 10, nor does it gain any other benefits or disadvantages)
|Transformable Space Craft:
|Along with the primary combat unit, the hero ship in the Macross Saga
of Robotech could also transform into a second mode called Attack or Battle Mode. The original
explanation behind this change was that without the Fold Drives, the power link to Reflex Cannon
was broken and in order to power the gun the ship would need to undergo a transformation and thus
connect another pathway. It was a silly, and shallow premise but cool none the less. Except
of course for the civilians onboard the ship who had their homes trashed or were sucked out
an airlock every time the ship transformed, which was quite frequent. Below are the rules which
are to be used with the transformation:
Transforming:A transformable ship can begin the game in either ship or battle mode (or other modes as stated on the SCS). In order to transform in-game, the player must declare his intentions during the power allocation phase. And then for the next two full turns, the ship may not expend thrust or fire any weapons (though walkers on the hull may still fire at a -4 penalty). On the third turn, it is fully transformed and subject to the following changes:
|The game statistics used for the Reflex Cannons are far below their
onscreen capabilities. Reflex Cannons are generally said to destroy any ship in one blast, and
usually have enough power on the edge of the beam to destroy any ships therein as well.
In addition, such power came with long recharge times of several minutes. Which meant that any
B5Wars application would be a once per scenario shot with unlimited power, hardly a balanced weapon.
In order to make them more playable, the power of the Reflex Cannon has been reduced to a more manageable level (though some would argue that it is still unbalanced). In addition, the recharge time is also similar reduced to make it playable. Though seemingly against the flavour of the weapon, the damage and recharge is plausible as most weapons are said to be able to fire at different energy levels (with reflective damage values). The statistics within the Reflex Cannon would simply be a low level, high rate of fire damage level that could be plausible in target rich environments. And though its power has been decreased, it can still easily destroy many smaller ships in one salvo.
Reflex Cannons must be deployed before firing. This represents that prior to firing, the hull of the ship, or more accurately the two booms of the weapon, must separate. Deployment takes one turn and the cannon may be left in deployed mode for the rest of the scenario. Reflex Cannons can generally fire in two separate modes of damage:
|The SDF-1 includes a unique shielding system that has two modes of
operation. The shielding system comes into effect after the loss of the Fold Drives and thus
the icon replaces it, though on the latter SDF-2 both systems exist.
Pinpoint System:The first system is the use of three movable discs that are used to block individual attacks. The shield has a number of these small shields equal to the number found within the icon. Each shield is strength eight and may be used to block up to two attacks per turn, and furthermore the shields may combine their potential against one attack though each attack can only be affected by any shield one time. The shields subtract from the total damage of each attack and do not affect the chance to hit. The shields are allocated as hits are scored, but before damage is rolled.
Encompassing Barrier:The Encompassing Barrier is a spherical force field that instead of neutralising, absorbs all incoming attacks in the same way that a Shadow Energy diffuser would. When activated, all fire that hits is automatically place into the shield that has a set maximum. The shield may be declared up or down from turn to turn in the power allocation segment, and in either state will drain off a set amount of stored-damage each turn. While activated, the ship may not fire nor may any walkers on the hull fire except at one another, furthermore the ship may not launch or land any fighters/shuttles.
When the shield is full, the capacitators will overload and the shield will explode outwards in a deadly wave of destructive force. Once the shield reaches its maximum, it will automatically explode outwards. The destructive force will be equal to the maximum potential of the shield (300) plus any excess fire for the turn. All units (save the shielded ship) in the same hex will receive that same value in flash damage. Units one hex away will receive one half the damage, while two hexes away one quarter and so on until the damage given is under 20 at which point the destructive sphere has reached its breadth.
While not destroyed due to its position at the centre of the explosion, the shielded ship will not escape damage altogether. The massive electrical overload will cause ship-wide electrical damage. First mark the shield generator as destroyed, and then roll two criticals each with a +2 modifier on the reactor, sensors and C & C systems representing the massive electrical feedback and electromagnetic effects of the blast. Obviously while explosion can be quite effective tactically, it is not necessarily the best idea to undertake for the ship's operator.
|The Daedelus Attack:
|Coming REAL Soon!|
|Invid Plasmatic Drives:
|Unlike most space craft, Invid Hives, apart from their inherent mecha
compliment, do not mount what most would consider weaponry. But this does not mean that they are
entirely without defences. As many unfortunate opponents have found out, the plasma-based drives
of the Hives can prove a very effective defence against unwary opponents.
The core of these defences is the Plasma Capacitor. Similar to the Vorlon device, the Capacitor stores Plasma energy provided by the engine. This energy is then directed through the thrusters in various ways to inflict damage upon the enemy. This form of attack is also dependant upon the shielding of the vessel. Similar to how a laser has both an emitter and a focusing lens, the gravitional forces of the shields focus the directed plasma into more coherent attacks.
The Capacitor starts any scenario with a full charge, one point of energy for every box. Each turn, the ship may draw energy from the capacitor and make attacks from one or more thrusters. A thruster may be used for both manoeuvring and attacking on the same turn as permitted by its thrust rating. Both the manoeuvring of the ship, the weapon attacks or both can contribute to over thrusting checks, and both are subject to any critical hits upon the thruster.
The Capacitor is completely reliant upon the engine for its stored plasma. At the start of each turn in the power allocation segment, thrust from the engine can be moved to the Capacitor. For simplicity's sake, only plasma energy from the Capacitor can be used to attack, and only Engine energy can be used to manoeuvre. Energy cannot be transferred from the Capacitor to the Engine, but power can be used to buy additional thrust to increase the potential gain in the Capactor's reserves.
Each ship will have weapon data outlying the various attacks possible, and the power necessary to carry them out. Each thruster may perform any number of differing attacks, up to its thrust limit, unless otherwise noted. Some attacks may have additional effects such as velocity or position changes.
Despite its use as a weapon, the thruster remains a thruster in nature and these rules do not entail a second critical roll on the weapon chart. Weapon criticals are never rolled. Instead, because of each attack's dependency upon the shielding for coherency and accuracy, when there is no shielding in the arc being fired through (either because the shield, or the emitters themselves have been destroyed), any attacks are subject to both weapon criticals.
Because of their reliance on the Engine for power, ships without additional weaponry tend to have trouble in prolonged engagements.
Example: A small Hive Ship moving speed 4 with a Capacitor charge of 10 wants to make an attack through its badly damaged aft section. The aft thruster has taken an efficiency critical, and the aft shields are down. The ship decides to fire a Wide Stream attack with a power requirement of 4. Because of the efficiency critical, the ship will need to direct 8 points of energy through the rating-6 thruster (resulting in an overthrust roll), the Capacitor will have 2 points of energy remaining. Also because the aft shields are down, the weapon is reduced in range to -2 per hex (from -1 per hex), and suffers a -2 penalty to all damage rolls.
And just to re-iterate, so as there is no confusion, the engine of a plasmatic drive has two purposes, movement and weapons fire. For movement, thrust from the engine is directed towards the thrusters to perform typical movement options such as acceleration and turning, or in other words, there is nothing new here. For weapons fire, thrust from the engine is moved and stored in the plasma capacitor. Thrust from the capacitor is sent to one or more thrusters to provide the 'power' requirement of a given attack. So if a type of attack has a power requirement of six, it would require six points of thrust from the Capacitor and would be fired' from the thruster, with all thrust counting towards thrust limits and overthrusting. I hope that's clear.
|Gravitic Deflector Shields:
|Other than a more specific name as to their nature, the Deflector Shields
found on Invid vessels functions exactly to those of Tyrel's Star Trek conversions. Also take
special note that fighters cannot fly under these shields.
You can find the rules for Tyrel's Star Trek Conversions Here: http://planetside.firenebula.com/startrek/rules.php
|New Troop Types:
The label inorganics applies to a range of killing machines in use with the Regent's forces. Rather than mecha piloted by even stage 1 invid, the Inorganics are completely robotic and are controlled by an Invid brain onboard an allied vessel. Typically the Inorganics are used only in ground warfare to exterminate enemy troops and civilians, but they can play a role in space combat as well, being used to board enemy vessels.
Inorganics are extremely robust and lethal killing machines, equipped with heavily armoured bodies and a variety of weapons. Once they engage the enemy, they are extremely hard to stop. A contingent of Inorganics counts as a normal marine contingent, except that they always get a straight -2 bonus to all combat rolls including the initial boarding and any subsequent missions, this bonus is not cumulative with other modifiers (ie, attacker allowed to ram). In addition, if after a roll is made, the result is a "marines killed", the Inorganic contingent is not destroyed. Because they are so durable, each contingent has two hitpoints. After the first death result, mark one hitpoint as gone. Once they have suffered their first hitpoint, they are less effective and lose the -2 bonus. If at this point in time, the contingent had one or more +1 modifiers accumulated from failed mission results, these modifiers will still apply. Once the contingent suffers its second hitpoint, it is removed from play. Note that it is extremely unlikely to see Inorganics used in a defensive role, defending Invid ships should be left to hive guards. If a ship carrying Inorganics happens to be boarded, the machines will probably be in storage and it is doubtful if the Invid would unleash them on their own ship. Some Inorganics use weapons such like Nerve Gas that would indiscriminately kill Invid as well.
Inorganics are special troops and cost 20 points per contingent.
Invid Enforcers:Enforcers or Hive Guards act as the internal security forces on Invid ships and landed Invid Hives. They are stage four Invid encased in powered armour and equipped with high-powered energy weapons. In combat, they are treated as normal marine contingents with the bonuses given to Gaim troops.
The number of Hive Guards onboard any one Invid vessel is about one in every three contingents. So if a ship has nine contingents (calculated from ramming factor), three of them will be power armoured Guards. Invid outside of these suits do not warrant any bonuses or penalties. When attaching a breaching Pod or wreaking havoc, randomly determine if the opposing forces met are Hive Guards or normal Invid. When sabotaging a system, any primary system will be guarded by Enfocers while any non-primary system will not be. Any captives (in a Rescuing a Captive mission) will likewise be guarded by Enforcers. And when capturing a ship, every third contingent will be Enforcers (Invid casualties should be determined randomly).
Though Enforcers are treated as Gaim troops, the Invid ships as a whole are not and therefore marine contingents should be calculated at one per 20 ramming factor, not one per 15 as per the Gaim.
Should a player wish to board an enemy ship with Enforcers, or simply purchase more to defend an important ship, Enforcer contingents cost 15 points each.