Base idea from rec.games.mecha, courtesy of Derrick Reeves, though I've had similar ideas in the past.
Go straight to the Tables.
While Free Worlds League researchers were busy working on improving their Long Range Missile launchers and ammunition, on the other side of the Inner Sphere a similar endeavor was being pursued. Theodore Kurita's "Phoenix Programs" was an effort to rebuild the DCMS after the horrifying losses of the Clan Invasion. While the bulk of the program was to replace lost units, some of the program's efforts were involved in bridging the technological gap between the Combine and the Clans, and resulted in such successful weapons as MRMs and the larger Streak SRM systems. Next on the researchers list was a way to improve LRM systems.
Aware that Kali Yama Weapon Industries was also working on an improved LRM system, and in light of Theodore Kurita's "opening up" of the Combine economy, the researchers at Shigunga Weapon Systems pushed themselves hard in order to beat their competitor's to the market. Fortunately for Shigunga, their R&D department had the advantage of being able to draw upon tons of Clan salvage for engineering tests, much more so than the Clantech that the Free Worlds League had received in return for weapons production. This larger technological advantage enabled Shigunga to "one-up" the Marik system by improving on the targeting systems of their prototype LRMs, which in turn reduced the minimum ranges as compared to standard LRMs.
Even with the benefit of Clan salvage, Shigunga could not avoid either the heat increase or jamming problems that Kali Yama came upon, though. The lightweight materials used to reduce weight did not conduct heat efficiently, nor was the limited heat insulation and venting enough to prevent heat from seeping back into the mech from the launcher. It was felt that the ligher materials, and minimal insulation/venting were necessary in order to reduce the size of the launchers, although some Mechwarriors saw it as a flaw. Nonetheless, the materials were approved for final production, but the end result is that the C-LRMs run roughly 60% hotter than standard LRM launchers.
Along with the heat issue came the jamming issue. Instead of having the
ammo-feed jams that Kali Yama experienced, however, it was found during field
trials that the prototype Shigunga systems would occasionally jam in the
launcher itself. A few innovative Mechwarriors discovered a way to
manually clear the jam, but the problem still resulted in the loss of two units
whose launchers were hit while jammed, causing the launchers to explode.
Two redesigns of the launch system failed to solve the problem, which was found
to be the result of the small size and lightweight construction of the
launcher. It was decided by Theodore Kurita himself that the benefits of
reduced size and minimum range outweighed the jamming drawback. The
Coordinator pointed out that the jamming chance was small (estimated at less
than 3 percent), and that increasing the size and construction of the launcher
would result in an unacceptable increase in both cost and mass.
Jamming and heat problems aside, many Mechwarriors are looking forward to replacing their old LRM launchers with the smaller C-LRMs. Shigunga released their first batch of Compact LRMs in mid-3060, too late for the war against the Smoke Jaguars, although it is rumored that some of the prototypes followed Victor Steiner-Davion's task force into Clan space.
Compact LRM systems follow all standard rules for Long Range Missile systems except for the following:
Because of the launcher tendency to jam, on an unmodified to-hit roll of 2, the C-LRM will jam. The C-LRM is then inoperable until unjammed. The pilot may attempt to clear the jam by using the same rules for unjamming Rotary AC's. A successful jam clearing results in the loss of 1 salvo of ammo (i.e. the ammo fell to the ground).
If a jammed C-LRM takes a critical hit, the missiles jammed in the launcher
will explode, which causes an amount of damage equal to the size of the launcher
(i.e. a jammed C-LRM 10 that is hit will cause 10 points of damage). This
damage is applied to the armor on the location, and transfers to the internal
structure or the next inward location as applicable (per Damage Transfer rules).
C-LRM systems use the same ammunition as standard LRM systems, and may use any special ammunition type available to standard LRM launchers, including Artemis systems.
Compact LRM Table:
Cost/Battle Value Table:
Availability: Draconis Combine
Free Rasalhague Republic
New Star League
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Page last modified 31 December, 2003