I'm trying to build an updated version of the Quickdraw QKD-8X- the one that carries handheld weapons and a head turret- to improve it's cheap cousin, the -8P. I've been staring at the rules in Total Warfare and Tactical Operations, and while I think I understand them I want to get another opinion (HACK COUGH Thunder CHOUGH) on this.
- Lift Hoists allow a 'mech to carry half it's weight in something externally, and suffer no movement penalty up to half their tonnage. So this Quickdraw can carry a second handheld "gun" on it's back per pg.137 in Total Warfare.
Here's the problem:
- The Cargo Carrier rules on pg.261 are poorly written (this is a 2006 edition, meaning there's been some updates since) and imply that the gun is considered "cargo" no matter what, meaning that the Quickdraw can either drop the cargo or unload the cargo if this is the case.
- The "Carrying vs. Loading or Unloading Cargo" rules on pg. 137 implies that cargo can be picked up AND put down in a single turn: "if a unit simply carries cargo in the lift hoists, as opposed to loading or unloading it into cargo bays, the unit can lift or set down it's cargo in a single turn, though all the rules for cargo carries still apply".
- However, those rules on Pg.261 state that Dropping cargo is all the unit can do- it costs 1MP and has a 1/2 chance of destroying the cargo being ditched.
- If Loading, it has to spend a full turn without firing in it's hex for each 20 tons of item (gun) weight to unload/load a different one.
- There are no specific rules for picking up Handhelds. Tac Ops says nothing but "Handheld weapons can be picked up or dropped during the End Phase of any turn." on pg. 316.
So for the 'mech, here's the question and issue. The lift hoist allows it to carry something up to 30 tons in weight, and here would allow the Quickdraw to carry a spare gun on it's back. If it wants to swap to it's other gun, it must first:
1. Decide whether it will Drop it's handheld, which will cost all of 1MP but has a 1 in 2 chance of destroying it irregardless of armor, OR Unload it's handheld, which will force it to expend a turn not firing whilst placing it gently on the ground. We will assume this takes a full turn.
2. Next turn, it moves to another hex and still has 1MP to expend. It can either Drop the gun on it's back- again a 1 in 2 chance of destroying it but would allow it to shoot- OR Unload the gun, which takes the rest of the Movement Phase.
The picking up of handhelds is considered to be in the end phase for Tactical Operations, so as far as I can tell in the second turn the Battlemech picks up the handheld and is ready to use it by turn 3. Am I reading this properly? And since this is using Tac Ops rules by its very nature, wouldn't dropping the handheld also risk damaging it instead of destroying it on the standard 1/10th the weight rules?