Further Notes on Miniatures in Destiny
Further to last week’s article on using miniatures in your games of Mechwarrior: Destiny, or as a tabletop game in it’s own right; this week I shall be expanding on those notes to discuss Infantry Platoons, Battle Armour and Personal Scale Combat.
Though often ignored by players, regular infantry platoons are a staple of the Battletech universe. Mechwarrior: Destiny abstracts their use in Mech Scale Combat using the Battlefield Support rules. This is perfectly appropriate for a role-playing game that focuses on the actions of Mechwarriors, but you might want rules in line with those for other units when running it as a miniatures game; or perhaps you’d like your character to act as the Captain of your company’s supporting infantry contingent.
Rules for infantry are fairly simple to extrapolate. The full Battletech rules have a number of different types of infantry with multiple weapon, transport and organisation choices. Destiny doesn’t have the same level of granularity however, so we will have to simplify them into just two different types; Small Arms Infantry (which includes Ballistic and Energy Rifles, SRMs, Flamers and Machine Guns) or Missile Infantry (which represents LRMs).
Infantry Platoons have 9 health. When attacked by Mech Scale weapons, each weapon can inflict a maximum of 1 damage, +1 for each M in the damage code. The exception is Machine Guns and Flamers, which inflict their full damage plus an extra point of damage for each such weapon. Infantry inflict their full hits on other infantry. They use Small Arms for attacks and RFL+RFL for defense in Mech Scale Combat, and all tests must be made using their profile rather than the character’s.
Infantry Platoons have a Move of 1, have no facing and can see all around them.
Infantry weapons have the following profiles:
A Mechwarrior: Destiny character can become an Infantry Captain for 1 Hardware Point, which puts 3 Infantry Platoons of their choice under their command. When using these rules for tabletop games, a player can select 3 Infantry platoons for the cost of 1 Hardware Point. They use the Grunt NPC character sheet, which gives them a Small Arms skill of 3 and a RFL of 3. Platoons can be ‘Repaired’ and ‘Rebuilt’ like any other hardware by spending XP. You can also spend your XP to improve their attributes and skills as if they were all one player character.
When creating platoons, you should give them appropriate tags for both their weaponry and their mode of transport:
- Small Arms (Ballistic, Missile, Energy)
- Motorised (Bike, Jeep, Truck)
- Mechanised (Wheeled, Hover, Tracked)
Mechwarrior: Destiny treats Battle Armour as individuals. Battle Armour miniatures are usually based in multiples however, and will want to be treated as a unit when played as a tabletop game. Fortunately this is quite simple.
Inner Sphere Battle Armour is fielded in Lances of four and costs 1 Hardware Point.
Clan Battle Armour is fielded in Points of five and costs 2 Hardware Points.
Heavy or Assault Battle Armour (1001kg-2000kg) costs an additional Hardware Point.
Just like with regular infantry, a Mechwarrior Destiny character can take command of a Lance or Point by spending the appropriate Hardware Points.
Use the appropriate NPC stats for all appropriate tests instead of the commanding character.
When a unit of Battle Armour receives damage, it is all assigned to one individual Battle Armour until it is destroyed. Any excess is lost, but further attacks will attack the next Battle Armour individual in line.
When a unit of Battle Armour attacks, every surviving member attacks the same target with the same weapon and one attack roll. Add all the damage for each individual’s weapon together.
Personal Scale Combat
Just like Mech Scale Combat, Personal Scale Combat can also be resolved using miniature figures on a battle mat or terrain board using the same method of extrapolating ranges from the Mechwarrior: Destiny rulebook. Personally, I doubt that I will very often use miniatures for Personal Scale Combat; but it is always nice to have the option and might make an interesting set of rules for sci-fi skirmishes in it’s own right.
Official 28mm scale Battle Troopers miniatures are available from Iron Wind Metals and can be found here:
Unfortunately that is only really practical if you’re in the US. If, like us, you’re located in the UK there are some great 15mm sci-fi options available from a number of sources but two of the best are:
There are also numerous 28mm options available should you prefer the larger scale.
With a little imagination, standard Battletech paper or neoprene mats can be used.
Numbers are given in hexes, but just like the article last week inches or centimetres can be used on a terrain board if preferred.
When using miniatures, Personal Scale Combat narrations should take on a more regimented form. Use the turn structure the game provides for Mech Scale Combat, with the Initiative rules discussed last week.
I also recommend using the rules for making the game More Lethal on page 35 of the Mechwarrior: Destiny rulebook. Every time a figure receives damage on their Physical Condition Monitor they should also take a Consciousness check as per the Mechwarrior Damage rules on page 47.
When a character moves, they have 3 Movement Points to spend. Just like with Mechs, these can be used in any direction and you can end facing any way you like. Terrain costs remain the same. Characters with Jump Packs may use the Jumping rules.
Ranges for Personal Scale Combat are as follows:
Weapons that allow you to attack multiple targets can only attack targets that are within 3 hexes of each other.
Just like Mech Scale Combat, Personal Scale Combat can also be run as a pure tabletop game. Either create your own interesting little scenarios, or allow each player to pick any 6 NPC characters and use the same Deployment, Objective rules etc as outlined for Mech Scale Combat last week.