Effects of Exploding 'Mechs If ever a BattleMech suffers enough damage that it explodes, the resultant force of the explosion is sufficient to damage other 'Mechs nearby. There are two cases in which this would occur: ammunition explosion within a given 'Mech which destroys the 'Mech (by destroying all the internal structure within the 'Mech) or from other damage in which the fusion reactor engine ignites and explodes (this could also be done on purpose, but that is risky and foolhardy, and would only be done in a moment of desperation). Case #1: Ammunition Explosion. If a 'Mech suffers a critical hit (or heat induced ignition) of the ammunition carried within, the 'Mech in question will suffer damage just as in the regular BattleTech rules. However, any excess damage from the ignited ammunition could well harm a 'Mech nearby. If two 'Mechs are grappling (in hand-to-hand combat), and one of them suffers an ammunition explosion that devestates its internal structure, the other 'Mech will suffer damage points equal to half of the damage points left after marking off the internal hit boxes of the first 'Mech. The damage is divided into groups of 5 and applied randomly as per the hit location rules. This assumes the two 'Mechs are in extremely close proximity (hand-to-hand combat will do this). For situations where the 'Mech whose ammo has exploded is adjacent to another 'Mech, the remaining damage points are divided by 6, and that number of damage points is applied (in groups of five) to EACH 'Mech in an adjacent hex. 'Mechs further out than 1 hex from the exploding 'Mech are unaffected. Beyond this, an ammo explosion does not affect anything else (terrain, 'Mechs more than 1 hex away, etc), unlike a fusion explosion... Case #2: Engine destruction, fusion explosion In this case a 'Mech has suffered sufficient damage such that the fusion power plant of his 'Mech explodes. This has the effect of a small nuclear explosion (well, it IS a fusion engine!). The damage that is yielded in this explosion is EQUAL TO the engine rating of the 'Mech whose engine was destroyed. The further away other 'Mechs are to this explosion, the less damage they will take. The distance/damage ratio is as follows: Distance from exploding 'Mech Damage suffered Same hex (grappling) or adjacent hex--> 100% engine rating 2 hexes away --> 75% engine rating 3 hexes away --> 50% engine rating 4 hexes away --> 25% engine rating 5 hexes away --> 10% engine rating 6 hexes away --> 05% engine rating 7 or more hexes away --> no significant damage The damage to each 'Mech is randomly distributed in groups of five, just as above. Note that other 'Mechs in the immediate vicinity could very easily be destroyed by a 'Mech whose fusion exgine blows (example: a WASP is next to an RIFELMAN. The RIFLEMAN's engine shielding is somehow breached and the engine explodes. This would do 240 points to the WASP. The WASP dies.). I don't believe it is necessary to say much about what would happen to flying 'Mechs (or AeroSpace fighters) should they be within the blast radius (suffice it to say they take a level 4 fall, in addition to any other damage suffered in the explosion). Also a chain-reaction could insue if 'Mechs who are damaged/ destroyed by the fusion blast take sufficient critical hits to eliminate the shielding around THEIR engines.... Self-destruction: The fusion engine shielding of a 'Mech CAN be shorted out by the pilot of the 'Mech in question, resulting in an explosion identical to the above- mentioned fusion destruction. This is a tactic of desperation, and should not be allowed to be used willy-nilly, and then again, only under EXTREME circum- stances. The 'MechWarrior has a chance to escape from the destruction and live (see also EJECTION.RULES), though they are slim. If a 'MechWarrior decides to commit self-destruction he can do nothing else during that turn (no weapons fire, no hand-to-hand, no movement of any kind). He can attempt to eject just prior to the explosion (this would occur after weapons fire, but before hand- to-hand, to determine if successful). The Self-destruction will occur at the end of the turn, after the hand-to-hand combat sequence. If the 'MechWarrior is killed during the weapons fire phase, assume that he/she was able to only eliminate 1 shield level from the engine of their 'Mech (so if the 'Mech had already taken 2 engine criticals, it will still explode, but if it took only 1, it won't). The 'MechWarrior may or may not be killed during the hand-to-hand combat phase. It won't matter because by that time the shielding will have been shorted and the engine will be on it's way to giving a brilliant light & sound (and shrapnel) show. Note that the fact that a 'Mech is committing self-des- truction need not be announced at the beginning of a turn, but it MUST be written down at the beginning of a turn. Self-destruction MAY be aborted during the weapons fire phase, but the 'Mech in question will have suffered 1 critical hit to the engine (hard to immediately repair a bunch of wires after ripping them out!). Effects of Heat from a fusion explosion: All surviving 'Mechs from a fusion explosion will suffer temporary heat damage, equal to the number of damage points suffered from an explosion. This is in addition to all other heat that the 'Mech in question has generated this turn. This could very quickly shut a 'Mech down! The heat points are added to the heat scale immediately but the effects do not take place until the Heat Phase of the turn. Example: there is a RIFLEMAN and an AWESOME locked in battle, 5 hexes apart. The RIFLEMAN's fusion shielding is breached, resulting in an explosion. Being 5 hexes away, the damage suffered by the AWESOME is only 24 points. However, the AWESOME also heats up by 24 points! If the AWESOME had fired all three PPCs and was already at a heat level of 5, it will shut down at the end of the turn. Note that if the WASP were still next to the RIFLEMAN this heating up would not matter to the WASP; it would still die. Effects of terrain (to reduce damage) from a fusion explosion: Terran will help nullify an explosion, but not by much. The only terrain feature that will reduce the damage of a fusion explosion are hills. And this will only be beneficial IF the hill is intervening between the exploding 'Mech and other 'Mechs. For every level in elevation a hill is, 10 points of damage are subtracted from the explosion. For every hex 'thick' a hill is (in a direct path line between the exploding 'Mech and any 'Mechs on the other side of said hill), another 10 points may be deducted. The effect ON the hill is noticeable: for every 50 points of damage the explosion does to a hill, it is reduced 1 level (level 1 hill goes to rubble). Other effects on the terrain by a fusion explosion: All forests within 3 hexes of a fusion explosion are immediately turned to rough terrain. All forests within 6 hexes are immediately on fire. Forests up to 9 hexes out ignite on a roll of 8 or greater. Ground Zero of a fusion explosion instantly becomes a level 1 rubble crater for every 100 points of damage done by the engine. The surrounding ground is similarly reduced (100 points damage reduces by 1 level) but by 1 level less than the hex the explosion occurred in ('Ground Zero'). Only ground up to 4 hexes out can be affected (and then, only by a 400 LTV engine). The only exception are hills. Hills will reduce cratering by 1 level for each level of elevation a hill has at that point from the explosion. Example: a MARAUDER decided to self-destruct (for whatever reason). The engine is a 300 VLAR, which means that it would do 300 points damage. Ground Zero immediately becomes a level 3 crater (rough/rubble), but the adjacent hexes become only level 2 craters. 2 hexes out the ground becomes level 1 crater, and ground further out are unaffected as such.