Negative Design Quirks
Ammunition Feed Problem: This Quirk may only be taken by a unit that also possesses artillery, ballistic, or missile weaponry—as indicated by the following special abilities: ARTX-#, AC#/#/#, FLK#/#/#, IF#, LRM#/#/#, MSL#/#/#/#, SRM#/#, TOR#/#/#, and so forth. When a unit with this Quirk delivers a weapon attack that either uses its specific artillery, ballistic or missile special ability, or even executes a normal (non-special) weapon attack, its controlling player must roll 2D6. If this roll is 4 or less, the weapon misfeeds, and the unit’s damage value is reduced by half of its largest artillery, ballistic, of missile special damage value (rounding up). A unit with this Quirk can only suffer one misfeed per scenario. This damage reduction is applied to the unit’s appropriate special as well as its full damage in a normal attack, for all range brackets where the misfed weapon applies. For example, if a unit with the LRM1/1/2 special, and a normal attack value of 2/2/2 rolls a misfeed, its damage is reduced by 1/1/1 (half of the LRM damage values, rounded up). In addition to now having a modified special of LRM0/0/1, this unit’s normal attack values are now 1/1/1.
Atmospheric Flight Instability: This aerospace unit is poorly designed for atmospheric operations. As a result, it increases the normal +2 Control Roll target modifier applied for operating within an atmosphere to +3.
Cooling System Flaws: This unit has weak points in its heat management systems that can be compromised by combat. Any time this unit is struck by a physical attack, or suffers more than 2 points of damage from a single weapon attack, the attacker rolls 2D6. On a result of 10+, the unit automatically increases its Heat scale by 1 point. After this, and for the remainder of the scenario, the unit may cool down normally, but will always generate 1 extra point of Heat every time it moves and executes a weapon attack in the same turn. This Heat point applies in addition to any Heat generated by heat-causing weapons (HT#/#/# special) or by using Overheat damage.
Cramped Cockpit: Because of confined space and a corresponding lack of ergonomics, operators of a unit with this Quirk suffer a +1 target modifier for all Control Rolls. This impairment also extends to physical attacks of all types, applying a +1 to-hit modifier for those actions as well.
Difficult Ejection: If the Ejection/Abandoning Units rules are in play (see p. 91, AS), a unit with a Difficult Ejection Quirk must make a 2D6 roll against a target number equal to the unit’s Skill Rating when its pilot ejects. A failure on this roll means the pilot or crew fails to eject, and remains trapped inside the unit. If the unit is destroyed, a pilot who fails to eject is destroyed along with it.
Difficult to Maintain: If the repair rules are in play (see pp. 168-179), all repairs and salvage rolls for a unit with this Quirk receive a +1 target number modifier.
EM Interference: In any turn where this unit attempts an attack that is not exclusively delivered by artillery, ballistic, or missile weaponry (indicated by the following special abilities: ARTX-#, AC#/#/#, FLK#/#/#, IF#, LRM#/#/#, MSL#/#/#/#, SRM#/#, TOR#/#/#), the unit suffers the effects of being inside a hostile ECM field for that turn. This disruption applies only to the unit with this Quirk when it fires such non-specialized attacks; it does not count as an ECM field to any other units.
Exposed Actuators: If this unit is targeted by an anti-’Mech attack (see p. 43, AS), the attacking infantry unit receives an additional –1 to-hit modifier to the attack. This Quirk provides no modifier to ranged weapon attacks.
Exposed Weapon Linkage: Any time a unit with this Quirk suffers damage, its attacker must make a special 2D6 roll result against a target number of 10. If successful, the unit suffers the effects of a Weapon Hit critical (see p. 41, AS). This effect occurs in addition to any other effects of the original attack (such as normal Critical Hits, hull breach checks, and motive damage checks).
Fragile Fuel Tank: If an attack against a unit with this Quirk requires a Critical Hit roll, the attacker must make a second 2D6 roll against a target number of 10, regardless of any other Critical Hit effects. If this second 2D6 roll succeeds, the unit suffers a catastrophic fuel tank rupture and is destroyed.
Gas Hog: Although this Quirk can be applied to any of the unit types listed here, it only applies to aerospace fighters in Alpha Strike games when they operate under the rules for Capital-Scale Aerospace Movement (see pp. 72-76). When using the Fuel Endurance rules found in that section, aerospace fighters with this Quirk burn 1 additional point of fuel per turn of operation in the Inner and Middle Zones. In the Outer and Peripheral Zones, this extra fuel consumption increases to 2 points per turn.
Hard to Pilot: This unit is saddled with a combination of confusing or outdated controls and poor responsiveness to its operator’s commands, resulting in awkward and sloppy combat maneuvering. Units with this Quirk suffer a +1 target number modifier for all physical attacks and any Control Rolls required of them.
Illegal Design: Something in this unit’s construction so violates the normal rules of engineering that it is a miracle it even made it to the field to begin with, and it’s bound to only get worse for the user from there! At the start of every sixth turn of standard-scale play (or every turn of capital-scale play), the controlling player must roll 2D6. If the result of this roll is 8 or less, the player must roll on the unit’s Critical Hit Table, applying a +2 modifier to that roll’s result (even if the unit is undamaged). All critical hits rolled in this manner apply immediately; if the modified Critical Hit roll is 12 or higher, the unit is destroyed. Furthermore, if the repair and salvage rules are in play, a unit with this Quirk applies a +4 target modifier to all repair and replacement rolls, and the unit is automatically considered destroyed on any unmodified repair roll of 2. Because their development is so radical and tenuous to maintain, units that have an Illegal Design quirk are always one-off machines; if destroyed, they cannot be replaced by an identical unit.
Inaccurate Weapon: One or more of this unit’s weapons is less accurate than the rest. To reflect this, any time the unit succeeds in delivering a ranged attack by a MoS of 1 or less, it must reduce the damage delivered by an amount equal to the value of this Quirk (to a minimum of 0).
Inaccurate Weapons and Glancing Blows: If the Direct Hits and Glancing Blows rule is in play (see Variable Damage, p. 21), the damage from a glancing blow is half of the unit’s damage after being modified for this Quirk. Unit Type: All Cost: –1 point per point of “inaccurate” damage
Large DropShip: This Quirk reflects a DropShip that is so physically large or ungainly that it requires 2 docking ports to dock, rather than the normal 1.
Low-Mounted Arms: The arms of this ’Mech unit are effectively located at hip-level, which causes some rather obvious targeting problems. Any time this unit delivers a weapon attack that passes over blocking cover—such as a building or hill—taller half its own height, the attack will deliver only half its normal damage value at that range (rounded down, to a minimum of 1 point).
No/Minimal Arms: A ’Mech unit with this Quirk cannot use the advanced Climbing movement rules (see p. 62, AS), nor may it make use of any of the External Cargo rules presented earlier in this chapter (see pp. 29-32).
No Ejection System: If the Ejection/Abandoning Units rules are in play (see p. 91, AS), the pilot or crew of a unit with this Quirk cannot eject in combat. The unit may still be shut down and the pilot can abandon it properly afterward, but automatic ejection to escape imminent unit destruction is impossible.
No Torso Twist: A ’Mech or ProtoMech with this Quirk is unable to rotate its torso as far as most others due to a mechanical limitation of some kind. As a result, the unit’s field of fire is more restricted. While its rear arc remains the same for the purposes of determining an attack against the unit, the unit can only execute its own attacks using the Fore firing arc shown for a Large Support Vehicle (effectively covering a forward-facing, 90-degree field of fire; see p. 35, AS).
Obsolete: If the repair rules are in play (see pp. 168-179), all repairs and salvage rolls for a unit with this Quirk receive a +2 target number modifier. In addition, if a unit with this Quirk is destroyed, it may not be replaced by an identical unit.
Oversized: This unit is so large, it’s easier to hit, has difficulty effectively finding effective cover on the battlefield, tends to cause more collateral damage when passing through buildings, and poses problems for transports. This ability cannot be combined with the Compact ’Mech or Low/Narrow Profile Quirks, nor can it be taken by units with a Size class of 2 or less. Attacks against units with this Quirk apply the same –1 to-hit modifier used when attacking any unit that has a LG, VLG, or SLG special. In addition to this, when using the Buildings rules (see pp. 83-86, AS), an oversized unit will suffer 1 point of damage to itself for every 2 inches of buildings it passes through, while inflicting 2 points of damage for every inch of travel through such structures. Finally, when using the Dropping Troops rules (see pp. 90-91, AS), increase the target number for a successful drop landing from 5 to 6.
Poor Life Support: Any time a unit with this Quirk ends a turn with a heat level other than 0, roll 2D6 and add the current heat level to the result (if the unit is shutdown from overheating, treat it as a heat level of 4). If this modified roll result is 11 or higher, its pilot or crew becomes stunned and the unit is treated as a vehicle with the Crew Stunned effect (see p. 41, AS) until the following turn’s End Phase. If the stunned unit is airborne unit operating above the ground map, it is treated as though it has shutdown (see p. 61, AS).
Poor Performance: This unit has difficulty getting up to its top speeds in combat. For ground-based units, this makes the unit slightly easier to hit, reducing its target movement modifier by 1 (to a minimum of 0). For example, a BattleMech with this Quirk and a Move of 10” would produce a target movement modifier of +1, rather than +2. For aerospace units, treat the unit as if it has 1 Thrust Point less than shown on its stats when calculating movement on all Radar Maps. A fighter with a Thrust of 10 would thus only be able to move 1 zone per turn on the standard Radar Map, rather than 2.
Poor Sealing: A unit with this Quirk is not well protected against hostile environments such as vacuum atmospheres or underwater. If this unit does enter such environments for any reason, any hull breach checks required (such as those for Vacuum and Trace atmospheres; see p. 39, AS) receive a +2 modifier to the dice roll (see p. 92, AS. The same applies to any Critical Hit rolls made due to underwater damage, with any modified result of 12 or higher indicating that the unit has been destroyed by a catastrophic breach.
Poor Targeting (Short): This unit suffers a +1 to-hit modifier for weapon attacks made at Short range. This modifier does not apply to physical attacks of any kind. This ability cannot be combined with the Variable-Range Targeting quirk or any of the Improved Targeting quirks.
Poor Targeting (Medium): This unit suffers an additional +1 to-hit modifier for weapon attacks made at Medium range (for a Medium range modifier of +3). This ability cannot be combined with the Variable Range Targeting quirk or any of the Improved Targeting quirks.
Poor Targeting (Long): This unit suffers an additional +1 to-hit modifier for weapon attacks made at Long range (for a Long range modifier of +5). This ability cannot be combined with the Variable-Range Targeting quirk or any of the Improved Targeting quirks.
Poor Workmanship:* When rolling for a Critical Hit on a unit with this quirk, reroll any No Critical Hit results. The unit will avoid suffering the critical hit effect only if second roll also yields a No Critical Hit result.
Prototype: Lacking the redundancy and resilience found in production models, prototype units tend to fail much more easily in combat conditions. Any time a unit with this quirk suffers a Critical Hit, roll one additional Critical Hit against the unit, applying both effects.
Sensor Ghosts: The unit’s sensors are constantly generating false images and misleading data. As a result, all weapon attacks by this unit suffer an additional +1 to-hit modifier. This modifier does not apply to physical attacks.
Static Ammo Feed: A unit with this Quirk cannot switch between alternative ammunition types. As a result, even if the Alternate Munitions rules are in play (see pp. 76-82, AS), the unit cannot switch between standard and non-standard munitions types. If a player controlling a unit with this Quirk wishes to use an alternative munitions type, the unit must always use that same ammo type throughout the scenario, and must modify its standard attack values accordingly. For example, if a ’Mech with this Quirk possessed standard damage values of 3/3/3, but possessed an LRM1/1/1 special, its player must either settle for standard munitions to deliver 3/3/3 damage throughout the scenario, or pick an alternate LRM munition the unit will use all scenario long. If the player chose to load the ’Mech with smoke missiles instead of standard LRMs, the unit’s LRM attack would deliver no damage, and thus a standard attack would deliver only 2/2/2 damage, while the smoke ammo does nothing.
Unstreamlined: An aerospace unit with this Quirk is unable to manage stable flight within an atmosphere. If forced to enter a planetary atmo-sphere for any reason, this unit will be immediately destroyed.
Weak Legs: If this unit performs a Death from Above physical attack (see p. 43, AS), its controlling player must roll 2D6 after resolving the attack—regardless of the attack’s success. If this 2D6 roll result is 8 or more, the unit will suffer the effects of an MP Hit critical result (see p. 41, AS).
Weak Undercarriage: An aerospace unit with this quirk does not handle hard landings very well. If this unit attempts a landing (see pp. 72-73, AS), but only succeeds in doing so by a margin of 0, it will suffer damage equal to its Size value as the landing gear collapses beneath it. An aerospace unit with collapsed landing gear cannot lift off again until it is repaired.