Gundam SideStory Melee Weapons
Beam sabres are special modifications of MLs that allow them to project a powerful, short cutting beam. However, a beam sabre is treated as a hatchet-type melee weapon, doing damage equal to the mobile suit's engine rating divided by 10. All beam sabres weigh 1 ton, and take up 1 crit, substantial savings for mobile suits heavier than 15tons. Due to their copious energy consumption, beam sabres produce 15pts heat for every round activated. beam sabres may not parry any melee weapon other than another beam sabre. Beam sabres must be used in a hand actuator, though they may be carried in another location. A roll of '2' on the to-hit number for a beam sabre attack burns out its sensitive electronics and renders it non-functional for the rest of the game. A beam sabre is 'drawn' from the stowed position at the beginning of fire-phase (therefore the arm wielding it may not fire any of its weapons), and is 'stowed' in the beginning of movement-phase.
An early beam-melee weapon that was superseded by the standard beam sabre, the Beam Javelin is nothing more than a sort of Beam 'spear', i.e., a Beam Sabre with a moderately elongated handle for throwing. Slightly heavier than the conventional beam sabre and requiring two critical locations, the Beam Javelin functions like a standard sabre except that it has the ability to remain active while thrown.
The Beam Javelin, when used in this manner, is treated as a 1/2/3 hex weapon for ranging purposes, with 3 hexes being its maximum range. Heat generated is equal to 15 points (for the Javelin) + 2 points (physical attack). Due to the full- bodied nature of the javelin throw, only leg weapons may fire during the turn in which the javelin is launched. If hit, the target mobile suit takes standard beam sabre damage in the location rolled for on the full hit location table. Once thrown, the Beam Javelin will deactivate after either hitting its target, or falling to the ground (after a miss). The launching mobile suit may then recover the spent Beam Javelin after spending a round in the target hex picking it up. (Free hand actuator is necessary, no attacks are permitted.)
When used as a conventional beam sabre, the Beam Javelin incurs a +1 to hit due to its cumbersome legnth. This +1 to hit is alleviated if the Javelin is used as a two-handed weapon (i.e., no torso weapons may fire).
The Beam Javelin uses the same recharging rules as the conventional beam sabre, with the exception that it stays active for twice as long (larger capacitor) and requires, consequently, twice as long to recharge.
A Beam Javelin may be stored in a Binder Shield.
A heavier (1.5tons 1crit) version of the standard Beam Sabre, the Heavy Beam Sabre has the added ability to fire as a standard medium laser when in its stowed mode. The Heavy Beam sabre then functions normally once drawn. A Heavy Beam Sabre is subject to the same optional recharging rules as is a standard Beam Sabre. A recharging Heavy Beam Sabre may not fire as a medium laser until the requisite one round has past. The laser will then fire into the arc of the location it is stowed within.
These weapons are most commonly used by Gundam LAMs, where even
slight weight savings are a great advantage to the mobile suit.
mobile suits utilizing rifles may mount a Beam Sabre on their rifle. This sabre takes up the same amount of space and tonnage as a standard sabre, and functions exactly the same except that the hand actuator carrying the rifle does not need to remove the rifle before engaging the sabre. Instead, the sabre takes up space and weight in the rifle itself, and may thereby be activated while attached to the rifle. The rifle may not fire while the beam bayonet is active. The beam bayonet functions in all other respects as a beam sabre, though recharging a bayonet is not necessary (since the requisite power couplings for the gun are already in place).
All use of the Beam Bayonet (attack or parrying) incurrs a +1 to hit modifier due to the difficulty of swinging around an entire rifle effectively.
Later era mobile suits (in game terms, mobile suits carrying energy weapons more powerful than medium pulse lasers) may mount a .5 ton, 0 crit Beam Modulator internally in their Beam Rifles that performs identically to the Beam Bayonet. To activate and properly control the energy stream emitted from the rifle (which produces a beam 'blade'), the pilot must make an unmodified firing roll. An unsuccessful roll merely renders the rifle inoperative for that firing phase.
These weapons are basic variations on the original Beam Sabre theme, using exotic field generators to produce unusual 'shapes' for the sabre. For all intents and purposes, these weapons function identically to the standard Beam Sabre.
If BTech's THB rules are in effect, some game-variations of these weapons are possible. There is now a -2 to-hit added to the standard beam sabre. A Beam Axe now does double the damage as for a standard beam sabre, but lacks the -2 to hit. (Therefore a Beam-Axe equipped mobile suit with a 200-class engine could conceivably do 40pts of damage with its Beam-Axe.) A Beam Pike does the same amount of damage as a standard beam sabre, lacks the -2 to hit advantage, but requires a critical hit effect roll by the target mobile suit on the location hit, in addition to any standard critical that may occur, due to its more 'penetrating' point. All standard recharge rules apply. These beam weapons all generate 15pts of heat when active.
A highly expensive beam weapon variant, called a Beam Sod, allows the attacker to alternate between beam sword, axe, and pike. This weapon weighs in at 2 tons, 1 crit, and requires the pilot to declare the beam weapon's form at the beginning of his firing phase.
A cheaper and more durable alternative to the technologically advanced Beam Sabre, a Heat Hawk is merely a standard hatchet outfitted with special heating coils along its cutting edge. When activated during firing phase, the heating coils produce 3pts heat, and superheat the Axe's blade well beyond the melting point of standard armors. A hatchet attack using a Heat Hawk does the standard amount of damage for a hatchet of its weight to the armor of the target location. In addition, due to the specially enhanced cutting edge of the hatchet, a critical roll (to determine if a critical has been taken) is also taken to the target location due to the enhanced likelihood of internal damage from armor penetration.
A heat hawk weighs as much a a standard hatchet for the mass of the mobile suit, plus .5ton, 1crit (for every 2 tons of hatchet, rounding up) for the heating equipment which must be contained in the same location as the hatchet. Damage to the Heat Hawk disables it per normal Hatchet rules, though damage to the heating unit critical location will only render the Heat Hawk a normal Hatchet for the rest of the battle.
A player may elect not to heat up the Heat Hawk before attacking, to avoid the 3pts of heat. The Heat Hawk will then perform as a standard hatchet.
A longer and more accurate version of a Heat Hawk, a Heat Lance is a long, rod-shaped heated bar of metal wielded basically like an over-long sword. This weapon functions identically to a Heat Hawk if BTech's THB rules are not in effect. If the THB rules are in effect, treat the Heat Lance as a sword that has the Heat Hawk's automatic-critical rolling ability. The Heat Lance is mobile suitanically identical to the Heat Hawk in terms of tonnage and critical locations. Therefore, the Heat Lance requires .5tons, 1crit of heating equipment per 2tons of Heat Lance. A hit on the heating unit merely renders the Heat Lance a normal sword for the rest of the battle.
A much simpler weapon than even the Heat Hawk, a heat knife functions almost identically to it with a few minor exeptions. A Heat Knife does 1/2 standard punch damage to the target mobile suit when used as a melee weapon, but when heated, has the benefit of causing a mandatory critical roll on the hit location (same as a Heat Hawk). An active heat Knife may be thrown in a manner identical to that of the Beam Javelin, with the same restrictions and stipulations. A thrown Heat Knife that has missed its target may be recovered from the target hex, though a thrown Heat Knife that has hit its target is considered 'fused' to the target for the duration of the game.
A Heat Knife weighs .5 ton (.25 for the blade, .25 for the heating equipment) and takes up one critical slot. A hit on this slot automatically destroys the Knife. Heating the blade produces 1pt of heat, though the knife may be used 'cold' (losing its critical hitting ability,) to avoid this heat. A heat knife may only be wielded in a functioning hand actuator.
A Heat Knife may be 'fixed' to a beam-sabre mounting, thereby allowing the mounting (hilt) and blade to act as a heat knife when the sabre is deactivated. This takes up .25tons only and no critical locations.
Used almost exclusively by amphibious units and space-combat mobile suits with wire-guided arms, Claws function for most intents and purposes as standard in Btech. However, when used underwater or in space, a successful hit by a claw automatically breaches the environmental seal of the hit location, rendering it inoperative as in normal Btech rules.
A claw cannot be
used in conjunction with any kind of rifle based weapon. It is
common, though, for claw-equipped mobile suits to carry a single
palm-mounted beam weapon inside the claw arm. This weapon, melee
or ranged, may be fired at point blank range in the case of a
successful grappling attack.