Courtesy of Mike Miller, from rec.games.mecha.
After the debut of the extra PPC Capcitor by some military research firms (specifically the NAIS), a few firms took the results of the initial testing and went back to the drawing boards to refine their ideas. Johnston Industries, of New Syrtis, saw how the additional capacitors allowed for a more continuous beam and slightly improved accuracy, and went ahead with research into creating a PPC that had a more continuous beam of charged particles. The fruits of their labor resulted in the Continous Beam PPC, or CB-PPC.
Johnston Industries created the CB-PPC by, in effect, fusing an additional PPC Capacitor to a standard PPC. Initial tests resulted in an extended discharge that improved accuracy, but had power problems and burned out the emitter, which forced Johnston Industries to increase the size of the CB-PPC in order to accomodate a beefier power supply and stronger emitter. The second round of tests, with the improved systems, were more successful.
The CB-PPC was intended to be used as a slightly more accurate PPC, delivering most of its damage to one hit location. However, in testing with a refitted Warhammer, an innovative test pilot modified the emission rate of the CB-PPC, which "scribbled" the beam all over the general area of the target, allowing hits much more easily at the expense of damage to any one location. Once testing was completed and the weapon began production, this particular aspect of the CB-PPC was well-advertised, and sales skyrocketed.
Fusigon Heavy Weaponry in the Free Worlds League also performed research into this area, and created an item almost identical to Johnston Indusries' product, but were 6 months behind in their research and introduction. As a result, the CB-PPC has been slow to spread beyond the Federated Commonwealth.
In its normal firing mode, the CB-PPC gains a -1 to the target number to-hit, making it more accurate than a standard PPC, but somewhat less accurate than Pulse Lasers. This mode does 10 points of damage and is compatible with all manner of targeting computers, called shot rules, and other rulse for beam weapons.
The CB-PPC also has a "scribble" firing mode, in which the beam duration is extended further and waved or "scribbled" over the target. In this mode, the CB-PPC gains a -3 to the target number to-hit, and does up to 12 points of damage in 3-point clusters. Roll in the SRM-4 column in the Missile Hits Table to determine how many 3-point clusters hit. Roll a separate hit location for each cluster. Note that in "scribble" mode, the CB-PPC is considered a missile weapon for targeting purposes, and as such cannot be used in called/aimed shots, as well as losing the benefits of any installed targeting computer.
In Battletech, the mode of fire is declared when declaring weapons fire. In MechWarrior, firing in "scribble" mode is considered a Simple Action.
Heat Damage Min Short
Med. Long Tons Crit Ammo
* - See game rules for this equipment.
Battle Value: 229
Availability: Federated Commonwealth (Fed. Suns)
Free Worlds League
Word of Blake
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Page last modified 31 December, 2003