Mobile Infantry Grav Packs

Previous discussion in this thread

[EDIT: Whoops! Crossposted with you there, sorry]

I’m also thinking about the “jump pack” – as a device, not a vehicle – but it’s tricky. Sure, “Tech Stat: Atmospheric Speed,” with some Categorical Limitations. But the raw speed isn’t the only thing it gives you – and in fact raw speed is not that useful in Firefight anyway, at least after it potentially gives you the potential +2 disposition for higher mobility, if I read the rules right: Being faster than your enemy doesn’t make it easier to Advance, Withdraw, or Flank, for example, which is a bit counterintuitive.

What’s really cool about Jump Pack-equipped troops is that they can outmaneuver their enemies by jumping over and up onto things – “Hey, asshole, up here! BZZAAAP BZZAAAAP.” What’s really crappy is that you’re a big fat freakin’ target while you’re doing that jump – “La di da, look at me, sailing through the air, no cover at all, la di da di da di URGH.” And all this jumping about should be markedly easier in urban areas, with lots of roofs and upper stories to jump to and lots of obstacles to cover you while you jump, and it should be much harder in open terrain, where you sail slowly through the air getting shot at only to land on a slightly higher bit of ground than you started on.

But how to model this? They should get a big fat bonus to Close Combat actions, and probably to Flank as well, because they can outflank vertically if there are buildings to jump up on – but their adversaries should get a bonus to hitting them at the same time. It’s not a matter of the two effects cancelling out: These guys should be more lethal and more fragile.

Anyone who really groks the Firefight rules want to help figure out the mechanics of this?

True… I’m looking through those rules now. I’m thinking… a helping die on advance, direct fire, flank, observe, take cover, and withdraw actions. And on all close combat actions and individual fire opertunities. Unfortunately, if the other side succeeds in their action, they get a free attack opportunity. That way, the bouncing troops cover more ground, can take cover more easily, and pwn in hand to hand combat, but if they mess up, they are exposed to direct fire.

I really don’t see why they would be terribly effective in close combat. Leaping about has never proved the effective mainstay of close combat. Leaping about seems like a great way to either exposure yourself or get leveraged right out of the combat.

If anything, at most, the advantages of a jump-grav-pack might balance out the disadvantages. But my gut tells me otherwise.


No, jumping isn’t about combat, it’s about maneuvering into the good ground, then digging in before the other guy arrives. Once the lasers start blasting, forget about hopping around. It’s purely a way to get the jump (badump-bump) on the foot-sloggers. And you don’t have to worry about getting stranded when your GIFV brews up, with a tank company bearing down on you…


Well, part of the reason leaping about is terrible in combat is because you get so tired =P The ability to dive for cover that’s 20 meters away, or leap totally away from an enemy who’s trying to hit you or drop on someone from 10 meters in the air wearing Iron, or cover vast amounts of ground in low, ground skimming skips is quite useful, I should think, tactically as well as grand-tactically. Helps you clear buildings and debris on the ground. How many charges have bogged down due to poor terrain and obsticals? It could reduce the effect of mines, since you aren’t touching down very often. Now, it also makes you horribly vulnerable to enemy fire, but…

That was just my idea for burning it. Any suggestions?

Let’s see. I’d stat up MI grav packs as follows:

Tech Traits
Grav Mobile Infantry – A grav pack gives the iron trooper a Speed unattainable by unmounted infantry. Not as fast as a dedicated ground vehicle, but better than being on foot. Surface Speed 4 (13 pts)

Versatile and Agile – in cluttered, cover- or obstacle-heavy battle spaces, grav mobile iron gains a +1D to the Advance maneuver. (3 pts)

Increase Iron Profile to 1 – the grav distortion makes the GM iron more lively on the ol’ sensor arrays. (-3 pts)

Requires Fusion Pack – the grav packs eat up a huge amount of power and require a dedicated fusion power system like the one built into iron. (trait limitation, -3 pts)

Big Floating Hunk of Metal – If the opponent wins a Suppressive Fire or Direct Fire action against Advancing GM iron, the firing unit gets one free additional shot opportunity. For example, if one successs is rolled on a Suppressive Fire, the firing team can cause a Steel test and take a shot opportunity. (Categorical Screwage, -1 pts)

Total cost: 6 pts.
Low Index Cost: 2 rps
High Index Cost: 1 rps

Only available to Lords-Pilot Anvil who have purchased iron.

That’s just one way to do it. (I kept it deliberately simple.)

Luke, that’s a beauty. And I stand convinced by your and Chris’s arguments about the limits of jackrabbiting around in Close Combat.

All I’d add mechanically would be to extend the “Versatile and Agile” +1D bonus to Flank, not just Advance – to represent the “up here, asshole!” effect – which adds +3 pts, and likewise to extend the “Big Floating Hunk of Metal” effect to Flank maneuvers, which should count as at least another Categorical Screwage, for another -1 point.

So that’d make it an 8 point device, for a tidy two rp (AIR tech) at Low Index. (No, I didn’t set out to minmax this time). Perhaps the High Index version is more agile and capable of long, low-altitude strides as well as big hops, so it doesn’t suffer the “Big Floating Hunk of Metal” problem – buying back 2 pts and making it, again, two rp at High Index.

Sydney, I deleted the grav bikes here since you crossposted to the grav bike thread.

just a quick comment…

Presumably, you could still have -color- flitting about.

I might describe an advance and lunge with my kerrn sword (with a suitable Ahnvel err… Anvil… version of the pack) as a horizontal dive through the air crossing 20 meters (superman-style… with a sword).

In terms of dice etc, however, I’m not at an advantage or disadvantage over someone who crossed that distance on foot. Except that (I think) it is cool.

My real world experience dictates that jumping around wildly is the perfect defense in a firefight. Why, just the other week I was playing Unreal Tournament 2004 and an enemy started hopping all over the damn place at point blank range, my computer got all laggy and he killed me. The proof is in the pudding.

Thanks, Luke. Posting sleep-deprived in the belated realization that your daughter is awake, your wife’s friend is at the door, preschool starts in 60 minutes, and you’re still in your pajamas is not conducive to proper thread management.

I made some changes and put up a version of this on the wiki:

Grav Jump Pack