Armor in Aliens & Asteroids has been the source of a few questions at the game table, so it was time to lay out a few things.
1. Armor Mechanics, Broken Down
The armor mechanic in A&A is broken into two parts: Armor Resistance (AR) and Armor Points (AP). Each creature with armor, whether natural or artificial, will at least have an AR rating and will likely have an AP rating.
- Armor Resistance (AR) is the number of points the armor resists before the creature inside it actually takes damage. Some creatures have AR2, meaning that it will resist two points of damage before applying the rest to either AP or HP, depending on what’s available.
- Armor Points (AP) acts as a buffer between the AR and the HP inside the armor, almost like the armor has its own Hit Points (HP). If there are AP to expend, damage goes to those first. When no more AP are available, any damage beyond the AR rating goes directly to HP.
2. What’s this “Standard Combat Armor”?
Standard Combat Armor for Dominion forces has a rating of AR4/AP20. It is environmentally safe in a vacuum as long as it has at least 1 AP remaining. If it is damaged to the point where no AP are left, its wearer can apply a standard Enviro-Suit Repair Kit to temporarily patch it back to 1 point of AP so it once again can hold pressure. All suits are repairable between missions or if a character with the Armorer trait is in the party.
3. What happens when an “Environmentally safe” suit has no more AP?
Environmentally protective suits, such as Standard Combat Armor (AR4/AP20) or an Environment Suit (AR1/AP5), it can no longer sustain its wearer in unsafe environmental conditions such as full vacuum, corrosive atmosphere, or overwhelming heat or cold. Armor with AP0 is venting breathable atmosphere and allowing those unsafe conditions outside to leak into the suit. Each turn of combat in such a state drains 1 HP until the suit is patched or the wearer expires. DSF protocols suggest always having a few Repair Kits on hand in just such an emergency.
4. Can armor repair itself?
There are reports that other alien species have developed regenerating armor that is self-repairing. Dominion scientists are working on replicating such technologies but have had little success.
The Dominion’s Standard Combat Armor can be recharged between missions, once at a base or on board a Dominion spacecraft. “Plugging it in” for an hour allows a special armor restorative process to kick in, returning it to full AP. A character with the Armorer trait may be able to conduct field repairs, but they will at best offer d6 AP with a few minutes of work, but this is up to the Referee to decide.
5. Beyond saving my skin, what is armor good for?
Standard Combat Armor includes many mount points for your use. Such points can be used to mount portable lights, stash handheld weapons or tools for ready access, or even provide extra pockets for use. Use mount points to add holsters, bandoliers, or other such useful holding slots for weapons and other items. Exo-suits and Mechanized Armor can provide additional benefits such as mount points for heavy weapons, with Referee approval.
6. Can I “beef up” my armor?
Yes! Armor may be customized with additional plating in key areas (chest, thighs, shoulders, etc.) to provide additional protection during combat. A character with the Armorer
skill trait can beef up the plating for armor with a day’s worth of work (Standard Combat Armor becomes AR5/AP20) or players may use Purchase Rolls (PRs) to requisition upgraded armor.
Other enhancements might include a personal drone with additional surveillance capabilities or for use as a sniper spotter that connects to displays on the interior of the helmet or a weapon scope. Run any such enhancements past your Referee for approval.
7. How do I “dress up” my armor?
Stylistic enhancements to armor issued by the DSF are not encouraged, but some units do not seem to take that under advisement. Though DSF command has repeatedly issued guidelines for unit-specific patches or insignias, reports of wild colors and patterns beyond those in DSF protocol manuals have flourished. Any DSF personnel found diverging from established protocols will be issued a warning in their files, though there are entire squads which view such warnings as a badge of honor.