2300ad: Hard Suits, Combat Walkers and Battlesuits
This review originally appeared on rpg-resource.org.uk in March 2016 and was reprinted in the November/December 2017 issue.
Hard Suits, Combat Walkers and Battlesuits. Colin Dunn.
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Opening with a short fiction piece from a battle scene, the Introduction gives definitions: a battlesuit is clam-shell-style unpowered armour (perhaps with an assistive exoskeleton), a hardsuit is a humanoid suit of powered combat armour with enhanced capabilities, and a combat walker is a lightweight non-humanoid walking vehicle. OK, now we’ve got that straight, on to the meat of the book. As to be expected, this is no mere catalogue of what’s available, it is packed with design information to allow you to create your own ‘mechs’.
With admirable consistency with the rest of the Traveller ruleset, walker and suit design follows a straightforward process beginning with choosing a chassis type and the Tech Level at which you are building, then adding in armour, modifications, weapons and utility packs. You’ll end up knowing how much your creation costs and even how much space it takes up should you need to ship it as cargo.
At every step there is a range of options—different chassis types, modifications that can be made, and equipment that can be added… although even in the future, the problem of waste collection has not be solved and it is highly advisable to go before suiting up for a mission! Naturally, there’s an extensive list of weapons that can be attached to your system.
If you need a suit in a hurry (or feel daunted by the process to create a custom one) there is a selection of ‘standard’ models from which you can choose. As you become more confident, or see the need, you can adapt your suit or walker or create a new one to meet your requirements.
Perhaps a bit of a niche market, but if you will be engaging in lots of combat on the ground, this is an elegant addition to the game that is well worth a look.