Up until recently London and I were playing Pacific Rim BattleTech with standard or only lightly edited BT mechs, mostly from the CityTech 2E box because that’s what I had ready sheets for on the evening we invented the game. But the other night we finally got around to properly statting up a couple of the jaegers from the movie.
What we came up with represents a blend of several influences. The jaegers in the movie don’t have a lot of ranged weaponry, so essentially all of the fights go down at point-blank range, with plenty of physical combat. That’s cool–BattleTech has rules for physical combat and all of our games of PRBT have had brutal kaiju-on-jaeger action. But. We gave the kaiju very powerful short-range and physical attacks, in part to balance the ranged weaponry of the mechs that we started playing with, and we like the kaiju the way they are. So we have to give the jaegers some long-range weapons so they have a chance to start wearing down the kaiju before the kaiju can tear them to bits.
That’s how the games have gone down in practice–by the time the kaiju come up out of the water, you have about one turn to shoot at them, if you’re lucky, and then they are on you. And in our game, a jaeger that grapples with a kaiju is usually torn to hell in just a couple of rounds. But you have to go for the grapple or the kaiju get past and into the city and start knocking down buildings. So it’s nice and tense: movie-consistent kaiju behavior forces the jaegers into close combat where the kaiju excel, again like in the movie.
All that was just a long-winded way of saying that our jaegers haz gunz. But not many, just as the jaegers in the movie tend to have just one or two very powerful weapons. So compared to most BT mechs, ours are over-engined and under-gunned. (NB: our jaegers were statted, and this post was written, before I discovered the Pacific Rim Wiki, which lists the actual weapons for each jaeger. They have more guns than I thought.)
We have jump jets. This partly out of practicality–even with big engines and lots of movement points, heavy mechs in complex terrain need jump jets to deal with the fast and maneuverable kaiju–and partly because jump jets are cool. If that breaks the game for you, well, it’s a big universe. May a thousand gardens grow.
The jaegers in the movie represent several generations of giant robot technology, from the Mark 1 Cherno Alpha and Coyote Tango to Mark 3 Gipsy Danger, Mark 4 Crimson Typhoon, and Mark 5 Striker Eureka. To simulate this in BattleTech, we build Gipsy Danger with 3050 Clan tech and Coyote Tango with 3050 Inner Sphere tech. I suppose we should have made the Mark 1 Coyote Tango with 3025 IS tech, but I’m kinda saving that back for the hulking and brutal Cherno Alpha (probably start with a 3025 Atlas chassis for that one).
Oh, and obviously jaegers at about 250 feet and 2000 tons are way out of scale with Battlemechs, which are allegedly 30-40 feet tall and 20-100 tons. We solved this the way we always have: by completely ignoring whatever the fictional scale is supposed to be. Real mechwarriors measure everything in hexes anyway. To get the size and speed we wanted using the BT rules we made Gipsy Danger a 75 ton mech and Coyote Tango an 80-tonner.
I used to have a Windows program for making up legal mech designs and printing record sheets, but the last time I made up a mech was in the 90s and that program is long gone. I know there are newer ones that will do it for you, but London and I got out the CityTech 2E rulebook and worked it out by hand. Took about half an hour per jaeger, which IIRC is about how much time I used to spend dithering over that last half ton when I used the program anyway.
Our Coyote Tango has two LB 10-X autocannons and one sword, movement of 4/6/4 and 200 pts of armor; with the bulkier IS weapons and endo steel there was simply no room for the ferro-fibrous armor boost.
How will these things fare in combat? Stay tuned!