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Tactical Operations: Advanced Units & Equipment (p. 112)
Created by the first Star League, the so-called Chameleon light polarization shield uses a primitive mimetic system to help mask the ’Mech on which it is installed from visual observation at long and extreme range. While it does not render the unit truly invisible, the effect does blur its outline, making the ’Mech harder to identify or attack. Seen historically as the crown jewel in the design of the Exterminator BattleMech, it is commonly misbelieved that all Exterminator models sported the LPS system, when in fact only a fraction of those units were so equipped—virtually all of which were lost to the Succession Wars.
A player may turn the light polarization shield on or off during the End Phase of any turn (or start the game with the system already engaged). While the shield is active, the ’Mech is more difficult to attack at long distance. Medium-range attacks receive an additional +1 to-hit modifier, and Long- or Extreme-range attacks receive an additional +2 to-hit modifier. Unlike most other stealth systems, these modifiers apply even if the attacking unit is infantry. A hit to any of the shield’s critical slots (or the destruction of any hit location containing one) destroys the entire system.
While active, the light polarization shield generates 6 points of heat. If used in conjunction with an active Null-Signature System, all modifiers are cumulative. Like all Stealth systems, if a unit is part of a C3 network and activates the LPS, the unit is disconnected from the C3 network until the LPS is turned off; the unit is automatically connected again at the start of the turn following the End Phase when the LPS is turned off.
An LPS still generates its heat but provides no to-hit modifiers in any turn that infantry are carried using the mechanized battle armor rules.
May be mounted on any available unit type with adherence to the following construction rules:
Not allowed if Land-Air (Bimodal), or Land-Air (Standard) is selected for the unit’s Chassis May not be pod-mounted when used on an OmniMech Not allowed if Fission, Fuel Cell, Internal Combustion, Primitive Fission, Primitive Fuel Cell, or Primitive Internal Combustion is selected for the unit’s Engine Type Not allowed if Stealth is selected for the unit’s Armor Type Not allowed in conjunction with Void-Signature System May mount up to one per unit
Inner Sphere Data
WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT COMBAT AND CONSTRUCTION TABLE
* See rules for this equipment Additional Construction Rules
The following construction rules extend the ones previously listed and are applicable for this technology base:
Requires one critical slot to be allocated in each of the Arms, Legs, and Side Torsos
RULES LEVEL PROGRESSION TABLE
ALPHA STRIKE WEAPON CONVERSION TABLE
Special Unit Abilities
The special unit abilities described here are intended for use with the Alpha Strike rule system:
MTF Output → Critical Slot:
Though various stealth systems exist in the BattleTech universe, the majority are similar enough in function that Alpha Strike does not distinguish between them. These systems make a target more difficult to hit with weapon attacks (but not physical attacks), based on the range and unit type being targeted.
For attacks made against non-infantry targets with the STL special, apply an additional +1 Target Number modifier to attacks at Medium range, and an additional +2 modifier at Long range (or greater).
For attacks made against battle armor targets with the STL special, apply an additional +1 Target Number modifier at Short and Medium range, and an additional +2 modifier at Long range (or greater).
A non-infantry unit with STL is (intentionally) blocking its own emissions with its ECM. Any non-infantry Stealth unit is affected as if in an enemy ECM field, and cannot affect other units with its own ECM. However, if using the ECM/ECCM optional rules, a unit with AECM may still generate a single field (ECCM only) while the Stealth is on.
Toggling Stealth: To avoid being affected by its own ECM, a non-infantry unit with STL may toggle off its Stealth special ability in the End Phase. Place a mark above or through the Stealth special ability to note that it is off. It may be toggled back on in any subsequent End Phase.
Chameleon Light Polarization Shield
PDF Output → Critical Slot: