Fine, fine, that's all beside the point (or completely in agreement with my point.)
My comment was a rebuttal to Trashman's bizarre assertion that something should immediately explode when it falls over. He apparently subscribes to the same school of thought that makes cars explode during movie chase scenes.
Explode? No, I didn't say that. I said that classic mech (bird legs, guns for arms) with it's legs blown off WILL fall down (no way in hell it can retain balance) and will get even more damage from the fall itself. It becomes a crippled, practicly unmoving target.
Do I have to explain it in details? Fine. See this image:http://www.mektek.net/forums/uploads/post-29-1114206378.jpg
Let's take the MadCat/Timberwolf, since it's the poster child for the whole Battletech series. What happens when it's leg gets blown off by a missile or something? It topples over to it's side. which means all the lovely 70 tons end up crashing right on that flimsy little arm. It would be a miracle if the arm doesn't snap from that. Assuming it doesn't snap, Do you think it can lift that weight? Getting a mech in a sitting position is not easy in a situation like this (and that's an understatement). Not that you need to move it a sitting position. As long as the front of the mech is roughly facing the enemy, you should be able to train a functioning weapon towards him (more or less).
Mechs with real arms would be better at this than HERCs, but it's still a slow and ponderous process.
You're a big, damaged, trashing target - leaving the mech/HERC is a smarter move than continuing to fight in that case.
Fluff, manual and game performance matter little.
I could make a mech game and be lazy in coding, and make it so that damaged parts just become invisible instead of blowing off, and thus if you blow both legs off my mech, it will "float/hover" (since it's legs are still there, just invisible...destroyed). Does that mean that my mech design is super-awesome and loosing both legs doesn't hinder it's performance at all? Of course not.