Training Your Pilot
As MechWarriors and Tank crews gain experience in the field, they will improve on their core skills and maybe pick up on some rare abilities. How much experience they gain is dependent on a number of factors, including one as simple as participating in the mission.
Mission Participation: 1
Mission Success: 1
Mission Kill*: 0.5
Outstanding Performance (GM decision)**: 1
Outstanding Performance (player decision)**: 1
Having an undamaged Active Probe at the end of battle: 0.5
* Especially difficult kills will make this 1 full point at the GM's discretion. Usually also counts crippling shots (Gyro hits, ammo hits that do not kill the 'Mech, etc.) or an observed "Kill Most Damage Dealt" and often splits.
** The players come to a decision as to who did the best in the mission. The GM will also award 1 point to one or two pilots, and may stack with the player decision. If no decision can be made by either the players or the GM, likely due to the result of excellent teamwork during the mission where no one stood out, the entire team is granted +1 EXP.
Pilots can spend the experience they have gained on upgrading their piloting/driving and gunnery skills. They can also purchase rare abilities that can help them become heroes and prodigies in the field.
Extra Edge: 15 (+5 per Extra Edge past the first)
Edge allows for rerolls made against your pilot, such as avoiding headshots. All player pilots start with 2 Edge per mission.
Bonus Initiative: 15 (+5 per Bonus Initiative past the first)
Bonus Initiative allows a pilot to survey the battle before him better, effectively going after others. This stacks on top of the natural weight-class based bonus and any communications/command gear bonuses.
Toughness: 15 (+5 per Toughness past the first)
Each point of toughness increases the pilot's ability to shrug off pain that lesser warriors would pass out from. In addition, each point of toughness increases the Skin of the Teeth Ejection roll by 1. A Tank Commander that takes a point of Toughness is granted a Skin of the Teeth "ejection" roll when their vehicle is destroyed, at Driving +3 modified for the type of terrain the vehicle is in.
MechWarriors that wish to drive tanks efficiently, or Tank Commanders that want to drive 'Mechs, may do so at will. Keep in mind, however, that while the Gunnery skill overlaps with both 'Mechs and Vehicles, the Driving and Piloting Skills are differentiated and must be skilled up separately. Normally, a pilot who is not in their proper unit will have their Piloting/Driving at 6, and their Gunnery at +1 their normal level.
Tank Commanders who have purchased Cross-Training may also purchase abilities that were meant for MechWarriors, below.
Special Pilot Abilities (SPAs)
Please note that SPAs below cost an additional +5 EXP for every SPA the Pilot already has.
Clan Pilot Training:** -10
(Unofficial) This MechWarrior has either been trained in a Clan trueborn facility where they were raised that melee combat was either dishonorable or just not taught, or maybe they were trained in some other place where "point and shoot" was all it took (such as a converted tanker). The pilot cannot purposely use a melee attack for any reason unless their BV is below 50% or considered Crippled by MegaMek to reflect the desperation of their situation. Such desperate attacks are at a +1 penalty.
This ability can only be "purchased" at character generation, but 10 XP can be paid to have this "skill" removed at any time after, and between scenarios.
A pilot that breaks this rule in MegaMek will have this "skill" removed and pay 15 XP, going negative if need be to cover the cost.
A pilot currently possessing this "skill", or just bought themselves out of it for one scenario, cannot purchase Melee Specialist, Zweihander, or Dodge.
Weapon Specialization: 30
Selected weapon type gains a -2 to-hit bonus when firing. Weapon groups are below in what specialization affects what. You must still select a specific weapon if you have a few different weapons within your selected type mounted on your 'Mech. Pilot may choose a different specialization for 30 XP.
Sandblaster: 25, Prerequisite: Weapon Specialization (any)
With the specialized weapon, the pilot gains a +4 at short, +3 at medium, and +2 at long to the cluster hits roll.
Maneuvering Ace:* 25
MechWarrior can laterally shift a Biped 'Mech like a Quad. If piloting a Quad, lateral shifts cost 1 less MP. In addition, -1 bonus to-hit when rolling to avoid skidding on ice or pavement.
Hopping Jack:* 15
MechWarrior only suffers a +2 to-hit penalty when Jumping instead of +3.
Jumping Jack:* 15, Prerequisite: Hopping Jack
MechWarrior's attacker movement penalty when Jumping is further reduced to +1. Purchasing this skill replaces Hopping Jack outright and does not cost extra to upgrade.
Eagle's Eyes: 15
Pilot gains the benefits of a Beagle Active Probe at 1 Range, or extends the range of their BAP by 1. In addition, +2 bonus to avoiding minefields.
(MaxTech version) The MechWarrior may forgo any melee attacks to instead attempt to dodge any incoming ones. Any Physical attacks made against a MechWarrior using this ability suffer a +2 penalty. (In MegaMek, this ability is triggered in the Weapon Attack Phase.)
Melee Specialist:* 30
Physical attacks gain a -1 bonus to-hit, and such attacks do one more point of damage. They will also gain 1 Bonus Initiative for free, which will not count towards purchasing more Bonus Initiative later.
The MechWarrior may use two hands and bring extra power into a hatchet or club attack, increasing damage by tons/10 (tons/5 with Triple-Strength Myomer), but at great risk of damaging their arms while doing so.
Some Like It Hot: 15
The initial +1 to-hit penalty due to high heat levels is ignored.
Hot Dog:* ** 10, Prerequisite: Some Like It Hot
Shutdown and Ammo explosion avoidance target rolls due to heat are reduced by 1.
Cluster Hitter: 15
Anything that rolls on the Cluster Hits table gain a +1 roll bonus to that table.
Cluster Master: 15, Prerequisite: Cluster Hitter
The Cluster Hits table bonus becomes a +2 to that table. Purchasing this skill replaces Cluster Hitter outright and does not cost extra to upgrade.
Oblique Attacker: 30
Not only does a pilot not need a spotter to fire Indirectly (such as for LRMs), they also reduce indirect fire penalties by 1.
Secondary target modifiers are reduced by 1.
Medium Range attacks are made at +1 to-hit, Long Range attacks are made at +2 to-hit, and Extreme Range attacks are made at +3 to-hit, instead of +2, +4 and +6.
The initial +1 to-hit penalty for weather conditions is ignored.
All Weather:* ** 15, Prerequisite: Weathered
The MechWarrior ignores weather-based penalties when making a Piloting Skill Roll.
Blind Fighter: 15
The initial +1 to-hit penalty for night fighting is ignored.
Forest Ranger: 30
A Forest Ranger can traverse across and take advantage of woods cover better than anyone else. Moving through woods costs 1 less MP. If the Ranger used Walking movement and finished their movement in a woods hex, they gain an additional +1 to-hit as a target.
A Frogman is more adept at maneuvering through water. The Frogman spends 1 less MP to move into Depth 2 or deeper water, and also applies a -1 to-hit on their pilot roll when entering such hexes. They also gain a -1 to-hit bonus when making physical attacks underwater.
Mountaineers can change levels for 1 less MP. Traversing Rubble, Rough, and Gravel hexes also cost 1 MP less, and if a PSR was required, they gain a -1 to-hit bonus to stay standing.
Swamp Beast: 15
The Swamp Beast can cross through mud and swamp hexes for 1 less MP and gains a -1 to-hit bonus to their PSR to avoid bogging down. If they're using Flanking or Running MP, they may also spend an extra MP per hex to throw up various terrain debris and gain a +1 to-hit against them, so long as they stay within mud or swamp hexes.
Human TRO: 20
Against a specific unit type as chosen upon purchase (BattleMech, Vehicle, DropShip, VTOL, etc), the Human TRO gains a +1 to the Determining Critical Hits roll result.
(Unofficial) A pilot with this ability helps assist the salvage teams and somehow find additional ammunition bins. Gain +5% ammuntion after missions. Multiple Scrounger bonuses stack. The Scrounger bonus will be declared in a separate section of the Salvage Report. For mercenaries, the bonus applies after salvage is claimed.
Master Scrounger: 15, Prerequisite: Scrounger
(Unofficial) This pilot can find treasure in any battlefield better than most. Gain +10% ammunition, +5% non-Standard internal structure, and +5% non-Standard armor after missions. Purchasing this skill replaces Scrounger outright and does not cost extra to upgrade.
Bounty Hawk: 10
(Unofficial) A pilot with this ability is somewhat obsessive with the local and surrounding bounty systems, finding bounties where others might not look. Certain OpFor characters who's lost their Unit may give an additional C-Bill bounty bonus to the pilot's company. If the company is a mercenary, the unit gets +10% C-Bills in normal Bounty prizes. This ability does *not* stack with multiple Bounty Hawks.
Master Tech's Apprentice:** 25, Prerequisite: Human TRO (Any) (-10 XP discount with Master Scrounger)
(Unofficial) While this ability does nothing on the battlefield, having an apprentice handy allows for the injury of a combat-capable Master Tech to have no negative effects. Currently, a combat capable Master Tech getting seriously injured (2 wounds or worse) triples the length of a repair cycle from 8 hours to 24, and doubles the time for customizations.
Warchief:** 20, Prerequisite: earned 150 XP total
(Unofficial) Once per battle, a Warchief may designate himself as a rally point, becoming a living embodiment of courage. The Warchief grants +1 initiative to all allied units on the field including themself for 3 rounds (stacking with Communication Gear/Command Console bonuses, if any). The Warchief must be near the front of the allied force, or within the middle of it if no front is discernable, at GM discretion. While multiple pilots can claim this ability, it can only be used once ever in a scenario.
Vengeful Spirit:** 15
(Unofficial) A pilot with this ability truly has a heart for their fellow lancemates. If a member of the allied Team takes four or more pilot hits before ejection, dies before or during an ejection, OR the pilot's unit is reduced to 50% or less of its BV, that pilot gains +1 Initiative for the remainder of the scenario. Allies in this case are considered anyone who has a listing on the Roster sheet.
(Unofficial) A pilot with this ability who places himself between an ally and any number of enemies becomes a living aegis against harm. Enemies who can target the ally must instead fire at the Bodyguard. This ability works in any arc. A pilot must declare they are using this ability at the start of the firing phase.
(Modified) The Demoralizer ability can be used against any single enemy unit to which the pilot has a clear LOS at a range no further than 10 hexes. In place of a weapon attack, the pilot makes a psychological attack on their victim, in the form of a PSR with a +7 target modifier minus the victim's piloting skill. If this roll succeeds, on the next turn the unit suffers a Crew Stunned effect for one turn (plus one for every MOS of 3) and may not advance on the Demoralizer.
This roll gets a +1 bonus if they're in a BattleMech or OmniMech 90 tons or heavier, has a 'Mech stock with the Distracting quirk, has any Plasma weapon (see Weapon Spec groups, below) mounted in the Head or Center Torso (firing it is necessary), or has a melee weapon that is not a Retractable Blade or improvised club. Having 3 or more of these nets a +2 bonus instead.
This ability does not seem to work against player units or GM-designated "Boss" units.
* Only MechWarriors can purchase this ability.
** This SPA is not affected by the inflation of purchasing multiple SPAs nor counts towards said inflation.
Weapon Specialization Groups:
Please note, due to MegaMek limitations, you must select one of these weapons when you specialize in one weapon "group". All weapons include their Clan variants.
Plasma = Flamer, Vehicle Flamer, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer, ER Flamer
SLas = Small Laser, Small Pulse Laser, ER Small Laser, Small X-Pulse Laser, Heavy Small Laser
MLas = Medium Laser, Medium Pulse Laser, ER Medium Laser, Medium X-Pulse Laser, Heavy Medium Laser
LLas = Large Laser, Large Pulse Laser, ER Large Laser, Large X-Pulse Laser, Heavy Large Laser, Binary Laser Cannon
PPC = PPC, ER PPC, Light PPC, Heavy PPC, Snub-Nose PPC
MGun = Machine Gun, Light Machine Gun, Heavy Machine Gun, MG Array, AP Gauss, Magshot
AC/2 = Autocannon/2, Ultra AC/2, LB-2X Autocannon, Light AC/2, Rotary AC/2
AC/5 = Autocannon/5, Ultra AC/5, LB-5X Autocannon, Light AC/5, Rotary AC/5
AC/10 = Autocannon/10, Ultra AC/10, LB-10X Autocannon
AC/20 = Autocannon/20, Ultra AC/20, LB-20X Autocannon
Gauss = Gauss Rifle, Light Gauss Rifle, Heavy Gauss Rifle, HAG/20, HAG/30, HAG/40
LRM = LRM-5, LRM-10, LRM-15, LRM-20, LRT-5, LRT-10, LRT-15, LRT-20
MRM = MRM-10, MRM-20, MRM-30, MRM-40
SRM = SRM-2, SRM-4, SRM-6, SRT-2, SRT-4, SRT-6, Streak SRM-2, Streak SRM-4, Streak SRM-6
MML = ATM-3, ATM-6, ATM-9, ATM-12, MML-3, MML-5, MML-7, MML-9
Support = TAG, Light TAG, Narc, iNarc
This is not an exhaustive list. Any further items will be appended later.