Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Needle Laser : "The Hatpin"
Prototype "Armor-Piercing" Laser
Needle Laser : “The Hatpin”
Medium Laser/Large Laser
Short : 1-2 / 1-4
Medium : 3-4 / 5-7
Long : 5 / 8-9
Heat : 5 / 10
Damage : 3 / 5
Internal : 1 / 2
Penetration Value : 15 / 20
Weight : 2 / 6
Critical Slots : 2 / 3
Example : A Large Laser used at short range against a CHP-2N Champion with 22 points of armor on its Center Torso. The blast would ignore 20 of them, blast through the remaining 2, and do two points of internal damage (the maximum allowed). The remaining point goes to the Champion’s remaining armor, reducing it to 19 points.
The Needle Laser (AKA “The Hatpin”) is a standard combat laser modified to generate a beam less then 1/10th of an inch wide, with a total duration of around .02 seconds. This compression grants the laser an excellent armor-piercing quality at shorter range, but the beam spreads quickly and at longer ranges loses much of its cohesion.
The strength of the Needle Laser, is it ignores part of its target’s armor within short range. The amount so bypassed is the laser’s “Penetration Value”, as listed on the chart above. Due to the beam’s narrowness, it can only do a limited amount of internal damage at close range, the amount listed under “Internal”. Any additional damage is taken by the targets armor (or lost if insufficient armor remains). Used at medium or long range the beam is too dispersed to act this way and so acts normally.
One critical slot on each needle laser must be devoted to its bulky surge capacitors; a hit on them causes a modest (5 point) “ammo” explosion. If the laser itself is destroyed the capacitors can be discharged to safe levels by the end of the next turn.
Originally recovered from Colonel White’s secret laboratory (the “Shadow Station”), “The Hatpin” data refers to it as a design pulled from “The Vault” in an un-named system. It refers to numerous other technological items having been recovered from “The Vault” as well, and assigned to Colonel White’s personal Mech Lance, including advanced composite armor, and a variety of advanced energy weapons systems.
In the footnotes of the retro-engineered blueprints recovered with the weapon, is a reference to “Project Jumpstart”, as well as the unknown unit designation “689th Quartermasters Corp, SLDF”.