Nobody likes ammo explosions when it’s your ‘Mechs going up in smoke. But what can you do about it? Besides loading up on energy weapons or upgrading to CASE there isn’t much that can be done.
But can’t you protect your ammo by carefully placing it within your ‘Mech chassis? For instance I’ve heard that by placing seven items in a side torso you get some measure of protection against critical hits.
This BattleTech myth has strong roots and even some experienced players fall prey to this misguided logic.
Why Doesn’t This Make Sense?
In order to dis-spell this troublesome myth, you have to first follow the letter of the rules when it comes to critical hits. For each critical hit, you roll two dice, one for the section (upper or lower) and another for the slot. Whenever you roll an empty slot you must re-roll BOTH dice. The process starts from scratch.
But if there are six filled slots in the upper section and only one slot of ammo in the lower, a section roll of 1-3 is guaranteed to hit something other than your ammo. A section roll of 4-6 by contrast has a 5 in 6 chance of requiring a re-roll.
Is your ammo protected? Yes and no. The only thing protecting that slot of ammunition is the fact that there are six other things to hit.
By following the rules as they were intended you guarantee that each slot has a 1 in 7 chance of being hit. To believe otherwise is a classic case of outcome bias.
I wanted to demonstrate this phenomenon to convince even the most skeptical that ammo protection is a busted myth. I whipped up a small Java application that simulated critical hit rolls where seven items in a torso or arm are available targets. The program simulates the exact dice rolling protocol as described in Total Warfare. The ammunition is placed in the last slot and gratuitous virtual dice rolling ensues. Here are my results.
|# Rolls||Slot 1||Slot 2||Slot 3||Slot 4||Slot 5||Slot 6||The Ammo!|
The numbers speak for themselves. Using a very large sample, it is obvious that there is no favoritism in the way critical hits are determined. Every slot every time has an equal chance of being hit as any other.
In fact the only way to protect ammo is to load the section up with heatsinks or other crit soaking equipment. More targets to hit means a lower probability that the ammo (and thus your ‘Mech) will be the one going up in smoke.Posted under Articles