[MS] Design Goals: Grenades

Grenades represent an interesting problem when it comes to equipment slots and hard points. Grenades can be very deadly and very small but unlike missiles and rockets tend to lack accuracy and target saturation that you see in their explosive peers.

While many Mecha simulate a human’s movement and weaponry, it’s not uncommon for them to use grenades but they are usually eclipsed by guided missiles, rockets and cluster bombs. Looking at Gundam for instance hand-held grenades appear often during the One Year War (OYW) with the infamous cracker grenade used by Zaku models as well as more traditional simple objects you see used by a GM and even the Guncannon during the final arc on A Baoa Qu.

In OYW sidestories and later series we begin to see grenade launchers and even rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) called Sturmfausts. A cost effective weapon that stays in use for many years fielded by Kampfer, Zakus, Doms and their derivatives and still sees effective use in 0093 by the Geara Doga from Char’s Counterattack (CCA). These rocket propelled grenades pack a significant punch while taking up very little room, it’s like a single shot from a giant bazooka without requiring the heavy investment of a large weapon.

With Zeta and CCA grenade launchers & RPGs move from being a novelty present in sidestories to taking center stage by the time of CCA. The Zeta and it’s transforming peers like the Messala and Bawoo have built in grenade launchers in their arms, effective weapons when you’re in a pinch and the enemy is in close range. Too far and the accuracy plummets. In CCA the Geara Doga can launch 4 RPGs at once, quite an improvement, while the Jegan it’s Londo Bell counterpart has missile launchers fired behind the shield as well as hip mounted grenade racks that allow them to launch all three at once. A useful strategy for area denial in space as see the numerous explosion clouds during CCA.

When it comes to game terms grenades, RPGs, and grenade launchers present an interesting problem. Many of them don’t take up a lot of room since they are small, they may have grenade launchers on both arms/hips or all the ammo stored on one side, they may have single use RPGs or it may be an optional equipment only fielded by certain units. The last one in particular makes it a challenge designing since every equipment slot has its value, it also becomes difficult where if any unit can use this then which unit should have it reflected on its data sheet.

In the past we choose a solution similar to how we handle Vulcans. Since most units have vulcans we allow for spending 1 Momentum (1 Skill in the past) to fire the vulcans. They don’t require an equipment slot so if your unit canonically has vulcans you can spend 1 Skill to fire away. We did the same with grenades in the past giving them all a single profile.

For the next update we’ll be adding a small bit of variation. Here’s what we are using for three ways to represent grenades.

  1. We are going to keep “Grenades” as a 1 Momentum option but that will represent a single-use option. Could be an underslung grenade launcher on a rifle, an RPG, or a thrown grenade like the Guncannon or Zaku. one-use grenade option. Low number of shots but considerable damage, enough to wipe out a grunt.
  2. Units like the Geara Doga who are able to launch several RPGs at once will use the existing “Rocket Barrage” profile, something you see on the Zaku Cannon, Dom Barrage or GM Sniper Customer (Shimoda Team).
  3. The list of Gundam units with built in grenade launchers is relatively small. For those units they will have a new grenade launcher profile that has the same number of shots as Twin Linked (TL) Micromissiles or a TL Missile Pod but with the damage of rocket barrage. High damage and rate of fire in exchange for poor accuracy (short max effective range).

We’ll need to tweak the profile for the Efreet Custom and add on a Grenade Launcher option.

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