A self-defense/distracting beam weapon carried usually by Dom-series Mobile Suits, a Beam Point is nothing more than a rather inefficient, one-shot Small Pulse Laser. Weighing in at .5 tons and taking up one critical location, the Beam Point may be fired with a -2 to hit (due to its disperse beam) at any mobile suit within 3 hexes of the defender. (Small Pulse laser ranges apply.) Once used, the Beam Point's energy pack is expended and must be replaced off of the battlefield.
The Beam Point does have one additional effect that lends to its usefulness in defending large slow mobile suits against close-in fighting attackers: When sucessfully fired at a target mobile suit, all beam weapons (including rifles and melee weapons) are temporarily rendered inoperative by the ionizing effects of the Beam Point. This effect, though lasting only for one round, provides valuable time for the defending mobile suit to escape.
Beam Points fire before the attacker makes his attack. If successful, the attacker's beam weapons are deactivated before he may attack.
When the engine of any mobile suit is penetrated by any energy weapon (including Beam Sabres but not Heat Hawks, for example) the result is a special kind of catastrophic explosion generated by the mixture of superheated plasma with high energy charged particles. An explosion of force equal to the engine rating of the compromised engine results. For example, a mobile suit with an Engine Rating of 250 would, when its engine is hit by say, a large laser, explode with 250pts damage in its hex (treated as an ammo explosion in the center torso, regardless of engine type). Damage in adjacent hexes is reduced by a factor of two in concentric rings centered around the target hex, dropping off until it reaches 10pts. Damage is taken to mobile suits in the surrounding hexes in groups of 5pts.
On the first engine hit by a beam weapon on a standard engine, the target mobile suit must roll over a 6 on 2d6 to prevent an engine explosion. The second engine hit requires a roll over an 8 on 2d6 to avoid explosion. A third hit by an energy weapon (even if the prior two hits were with projectile weapons) always generates a catastrophic engine explosion. (Note: if the final hit was with a projectile weapon, the engine shuts down per normal Btech rules.)
Extralight (XL) engines, due to their inherent fragility, require a roll over an 8 on the first hit by a beam weapon to avoid explosion, and will automatically explode on the next beam weapon hit. The damage produced by an XL engine hit is (due to the more unstable design of the reactor) 1.5 * the engine rating.
A most unusual weapon carried only by assault mobile suits, dropships, and large aircraft, a Plasma Leader is a large pod-shaped, autonomously controlled entrapment device capable of ensnaring and heavily damaging an enemy mobile suit.
A Plasma Leader is basically a 10 ton Aerospace fighter with a movement of 6-9, 15pts of fuel, 10pts of armor (cockpit), 3 plasma beam 'entanglers' (size and weight of MLs, mounted in the nose), a beagle probe for targeting, and a C-3 slave for control. Never launched alone, Plasma Leaders are able to 'entangle' and burn-out the electronics of enemy mobile suits by projecting intense, highly charged, laser-stabilized plasma beams from different angles onto the target. The target is then immobilized until the Plasma Leaders have been destroyed, or disengaged by the launching unit. In addition, all Psychommu/frame, C3, Slave, TAG and INCOM control systems are automatically rendered inoperative, ECM, GECM, TC, MASC, TSM and Beagle systems are permanently burned out and must be replaced. No movements (including torso twists) are possible for the target mobile suit, and all energy-based weapons are offline until the Plasma Leader is disengaged. Ballistic and missile weapons may be fired at any target in their arc, though the to-hit numbers should be calculated as if the attacking mobile suit has suffered a sensor hit. 5pts of heat per Plasma Leader attacking the mobile suit, per round, are produced by the mobile suit as a byproduct of the attack. Finally, 1pt of pilot damage is taken each round due to the powerful electric currents generated by the Plasma Leaders.
For Plasma Leaders to successfully entangle an enemy mobile suit they must end their movement phase on opposite sides of their target (i.e., they must be in each other's forward arc with the target between them.) They must be within ML range of the target. At the start of the firing phase, the Plasma Leader pods open, revealing triple plasma emitters and a specialized Beagle system for targetting. Each Plasma Leader must roll to hit the target mobile suit normally, as if it were firing a single ML. If both Plasma Streams hit the target, the Plasma Leader has been activated and the target is subject to the effects listed above. If neither, or only one stream hits the target, the Plasma Leader system is not activated, and the target is unaffected.
Plasma Leaders are large (10tons, 10crits) weapons, and are therefore not usually carried by fighter/mobile suit units. They are usually 'dropped' onto a planetary surface by aerospace units to entangle and immobilize ground units so that the AS unit may strafe/bomb it from the air. When in flight, the Plasma Leader is protected by 10tons of cockpit armor, which also protects the nose mounted plasma emitters. When active, however, the forward pod armor opens to reveal the emmitters, and therefore they are treated as if unarmored (only when attacked from their forward arc). The Beagle Probe and C3 slave (for control) units are considered carried inside the cockpit section of the Plasma Leader. Destruction of any of the Plasma Leader's equipment results in the deactivation of the Plasma Leader unit. Plasma leaders may be 'dropped' onto a planetary surface without any special landing procedures or VTOL jets needed. However, they must be recovered manually and cannot move after the drop.
A unit using a Plasma Leader must be carrying a dedicated C3 platform to control it. Plasma Leaders from different units may be used against a single target. Destruction of a Plasma Leader does not deactivate its effects unless there are less than 2 Plasma Leaders left to maintain the 'web'. Destruction of a Plasma Leader results in an explosion equal to the number of fuel points remaining, engine explosion rules may be used as well.
A variant of the classic Plasma Leader was the Assault Leader, which substitutes the plasma emitter setup for 2MLs and one more ton of fuel. Ineffective, slow, and hindered by a +2 to hit modifier due to the poor Beagle Probe-based targeting system, it was never used widely.
A primitive, hand-held entangling weapon conceptually identical to the plasma leader, a Sea Serpent is a large handgun-shaped weapon containing an explosively-launched grappling unit, a spool of conductive wire, and a dedicated 30pt battery pack identical to the ones used by the Beam Shield. The Sea Serpent is treated for firing purposes as a small laser (max range of 3). Much smaller than the plasma leader unit, (4 tons, 3 crits) a Sea Serpent produces identical effects when used in conjunction with one or more other Sea Serpent entanglers.
To activate the Sea Serpent Entangling system, two or more mobile suits must successfully launch their grapples at the target mobile suit. If one or both of the mobile suits fail (less that two grapples actually hit the target), the attack has failed. If the attack is successful, the mobile suit is attacked with the exact same effects as are described for the Plasma Leader.
For every round that an attacking mobile suit uses the Sea Serpent, it expends 1d6 power points from its battery. When the battery runs out of power, the grapple detatches, possibly ending the Sea Serpent effect (if there is no more than one other mobile suit still grappled to the target.)
The target mobile suit may not utilize any energy weapons or make any physical movements while ensnared by the Sea Serpents. The target may respond with any manner of ballistic weapons, however. Due to the nature of the Sea Serpent, its wire coil and battery are vulnerable while in use, a hit by a mobile suit on the arm wielding the Sea Serpent while it is active (and latched to an enemy unit) automatically detonates the Sea Serpent, doing as many points of damage to the carrier mobile suit as were points of energy left in the weapon's battery (as for a Beam Shield Battery). A mobile suit ensnared by the Sea Serpent that fires back with ballistic weapons and makes a to hit roll of 2 has hit the Sea Serpent's conduction wire, severing it and breaking the web with no other ill effects to either unit.
A Sea Serpent hand-weapon takes up three critical locations in the carrier mobile suit, designated as: Grapple, Spool, and Battery. A critical hit to the battery creates an ammo-type explosion equal to the number of energy points left in the battery. Hits to the Grapple or Spool merely render the unit inoperative.
The Sea Serpent generates 5pts of heat every round activated.