A guide designed to explain the types of mech classification, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and examples of chassis that fall within their bounds.
Other BATTLETECH Guides:
Scouts are typically a classification of mech reserved only for lights, though a fast medium can take this role as well if needed.
- Very high movement range.
- Smaller size, and thus harder to hit.
- Spotting cababilities.
- Lack armor.
- Lack firepower.
Scouts are typically used to get visual identification of targets, whether this be done with sensor lock or manually running in range. If a scout mech makes it into combat, it is inadvisable to use them in a combatative role, unless all other enemies have already moved.
A common strategy used with scouts is to move them infront of the lance, and to run just close enough to visually identify two or more mechs. From here the pilot should brace. The high evasion built up, combined with 50% damage reduction should keep the mech relatively safe from harm against modest sized forces, but some judgement is needed. Extra armor should thus be afforded to the scout in place of firepower, when applicable.
The greatest strength of scouts is that they can drastically increase the firing range of long range support units, as firing ranges often extend past individual sight ranges. This is especially true for LRM’s, and lower end autocannons like the AC-2 and AC-5. So while scouts may not deal much or any damage on their own, they can allow glass cannons such as Jaegermechs and Trebuchets to safely attack targets without fear of retribution.
Common Scout / Pseudo Scout Mechs
- Locusts – Extreme mobility allows the locust to see what it means to. It’s advised to scrap most weapons to uparmor it however.
- Spiders – Can pratically jump further than most mechs can run in the game. Spiders are probably the best scouts in the current game, as they can easily bound off to safety in nearly any situation.
- Jenners – While typically not considered a scout, Jenners can function as such when needed.
- Griffins – Lacks the speed of a light, but still maintains a surprising amount of agility. In addition, these mechs have an entire shield torso which they can use to absord damage from the enemy while spotting. If you don’t have a light, a Griffin can make a great backup scout.
- Cicada – Arguably a poor mech, the Cicada is essentially a fatter Locust. It has more internal structure going for it, but thats about it. Scrap its weapons, and improve its armor. Use it in a similar fashion to its lighter cousin.
Strikers are typically fast moving mechs that favor high alpha strike load outs and hit and run tactics. To this end, they toss practically everything but the kitchen sink out in favor of more damage.
- High alpha strike damage.
- Punch far above their weight.
- Above average mobility.
- Typically glass cannons.
- Mounts primarily close range weaponary, requiring precise timing to use.
- Usually heat inefficient.
Strikers are ambushers by nature. They favor letting other allies move first, and taking the brunt of enemy aggression. At the end of the turn, these mechs will then pop out of cover, alpha strike an enemy, and on their following turn retreat back into cover. Thus it is advisable to use light chassis for these roles, or a pilot with a high enough initiative that reserving can be made use of to avoid reprisal.
Common Striker Mechs
- Commando – Commandos are the quintessential striker mech, the poster child as it were. While they lack the mobility of scouts, Commandos hit significantly above their weight, and when used properly can terrorize even medium to heavy mechs.
- Jenner – Essentially an upgraded commando, the Jenner does everything the Commando does but better. Higher mobility and jump jets make this mech a valuable addition when C-bills are not a concern.
- FireStarter – A side grade when compared to the Jenner, the Fire Starter offers more armor, and a load out specializing in overheating + shutting down targets. While their ability to do armor damage is low, they can slowly liquadize the enemy chassis from within, and allow allies to make use of called shots.
Cavalry are well rounded mechs that specialize in their jumping capabilities and high speeds. Mounting modest amounts of armor and firepower, they are also able to engage from most ranges to some degree. Due to this fact, these mechs typically exploit the battlefield to a higher degree than other chassis in the game.
- Good amount of speed.
- Jump Capable.
- Can easily flank targets.
- Lack staying power.
- Can’t hold up in combat when in a range that a target favors.
Cavalry mechs are highly mobile units capable of exploting weaknesses in the enemy formation. As a battle begins, these mechs should attempt to move to the left and right most flanks of the opposition, while more heavily armored mechs push up from the center. This will force the opfor to choose a direction in order to engage a target, and leave at least one mech capable of firing at the rear arc of the enemy.
In more isolated cases, if facing brawlers or strikers, Cavalry distance themselves and pepper the target from afar. If facing artillary or fire support, they quickly close in and get under their firing arcs. In essence they modify their strategy as the battle develops.
Seeking advantageous terrain is also extremely important with Cavalry mechs, as their high mobility allows them to both flank a target and position themselves for protection. While flexible however, these mechs will usually run hot due to excessive use of jump jets. Their lack of armor and fire power when compared to other dedicated units also makes them wilt when in combat for too long. It is thus advisable to use Cavalry to dispatch of enemies as quickly as possible, or to fall back if this cannot be made to happen.
Common Cavalry Mechs
- Griffin – Commonly mounting long range weapons, Griffins are highly mobile units that can cleave holes in targets flanks and crit seek when provided the opportunity. They can dance around most targets with ease, but run hot if in combat for too long.
- Wolverine – A tougher unit, capable of fighting at most ranges effectively. A good loadout, and if left to its own devices can wreck havoc when closing in.
- Shadow Hawk – A mix between the Griffins long range potential, and Wolverines in fighting power. The Shadow Hawk has a diverse load out that allows it to handle nearly any situation. It is also very heat efficient, and can take a beating when necessary. Suffers the jack of all trades trait the most of the Cavalry mechs however, in that it is average at every role.
- Quickdraw – A light end heavy mech, the Quickdraw lives up to its name. It has decent enough alpha strike potential when maintaining medium range, but lacks armor and heat sinking efficiency to last long in combat.
Brawlers / Juggernaught / Close Assault / Defenders
Brawlers et al. are designed solely around their outstanding armor and close range fire power. You’ll find fewer mechs that can take a better hit.
- Great Armor.
- A powerful close to mid range arsenal.
- Can stand toe to toe with mechs far above its weight for a limited time.
- Slow, often has to choose between cover and closing in with the target.
- Can’t really handle targets at long range effectively.
- Unable to retreat effectively when a situation turns sour.
Brawlers are powerful infighters which are unmatched at close range. Their speed and lack of long range weaponary is a problem however, and a smart pilot can stay out of their range of influence. It is thus advisable to pair them with cavalry, or other units who can pin a target down. When approaching a target, they should make use of brace to avoid as much damage as possible, as their evasion will typically not be very high.
Common Brawler Mechs
- Urbanmech – While mounting a moderate ranged weapon system, the Urbanmech’s unbearable speed regulate it to a Brawler. Position it well, and make use of its powerful autocannon is obliterate lighter mechs.
- Hunchback – Makes use of an extremely potent AC-20, or large battery of medium lasers. It won’t do much until it closes it, but when it does you’ll be guaranteed to see fireworks. Has nearly unmatched armor for its weight, even when compared against some heavy mechs.
- Kintaro – Very similar to the Hunchback, but mounts a series of SRMs. It runs extremely hot, but its armor and alpha strike potential won’t leave you wanting.
- King Crab – The king of brawlers on the battlefield. Mounting a pair of AC/20’s, this mech can literally cleave other chassis apart with a one two punch. Thanks to its topped out tonnage, it is also able to mount long range weapons to support its advance.
Troopers / Skirmishers / General Assault
Troopers et al. are known for their reliability. They don’t have many weaknesses, and are typically designed to function even after taking absurd amounts of damage. It is for this reason that Troopers are used to hold the battlefield.
- Well balanced arsenal suited to take on any task.
- Heavily armored.
- Good heat effiency.
- Average speed holds it back from securing advanced positions.
- Can take on Brawlers, but will either end up losing, or coming out near totaled.
- Can fight back against fire support units, but will eventually crumble without support.
Troopers are typically average in speed, and thus are ineffective at leading charges. However, they are much better armored and equipped than those at the tip of your formation, and thus excel at supporting the rest of your lance. They can cover the flanks of Brawlers, setup a forward position to intercept enemies approaching your fire support units, or move in to assist cavalry and strikers engaging targets at medium to close range.
Common Trooper Mechs
- Vindicator – The Vindicator is well armored, and mounts weapons to handle any engagement. It can additionally jump, and runs relatively cool, even when firing more of its weapons.
- Enforcer – Mounts a large laser and AC/10, allowing it to punch two fairly large holes in targets at once. Its jump capable, and mounts a decent amount of armor. Relatively heat neutral.
- Centurion – Though slightly under armored, the Centurion mounts an AC/10, LRM-10, and a pair of medium lasers, allowing it to deal with targets however it sees fit. A good addition to any lance, and can fill multiple roles.
- Thunderbolt – While it lacks the jump jets and heat capacity of others in its class, the Thunderbolt is extremely well armored, and has an excellent loadout in regards to weaponary. It can engage targets effectively from any distance.
- Zues – Fast for an assault, the Zues mounts a well balanced loadout utilizing an AC/5, LRM-15, and large laser for its primary weapon systems. It runs practically heat neutral as well, allowing the user readily make use of its arsenal whenever and where necessary.
Fire Support / Sniper
Fire support mechs et al. typically throw most of their tonnage into long range weaponary, allowing them to decimate targets from afar. Their speed, amount of armor, and backup weaponary often vary.
- Excellent firepower, allowing them to shred any target from outside of sight range.
- Typically mounts a suite of weapons, allowing multiple targets to be engaged.
- Needs a spotter to be made use of effectively and safely.
- Often suffers against targets that can get in close.
- Typically little armor, but varies.
During the initial setup of a battle, these types of mechs should attempt to find a position in which to anchor themselves to, whether it be on a ridge, or behind some form of cover. Once the battle begins and scouts locate targets, the fire support mech will focus on a particular target deemed the most critical to destroy, or barring that one that is exposed and fragile. If an enemy attemps to get close, the fire support mech should immediately attempt to retreat.
Common Fire Support Mech Examples
- Panther – For a light mech, the Panther mounts a good amount of armor and firepower. It’s PPC can punch holes in most targets, and its SRM-4 provides a solid backup against anything that gets close. It’s incredibly slow for a light mech however, so positioning is key.
- Trebuchet – A pair of LRM-15 launchers makes the Trebuchet a credible threat against even assault mechs due to both damage and stability. An array of three medium lasers also allows it to take on light mechs that get in close. Its armor is severely lacking however.
- Catapult – Arguably the most well rounded fire support mech, the Catapult is fairly mobile in regards to its engine size and jump jets. Its well armored, and mounts an excellent amount of firepower for backup in case anything gets in close.
- Jagermech – Mounting four autocannons, the Jagermech is a nightmare for targets on the battlefield. It has unprecedented reach, and thus when used effectively, will never even be seen by the opfor. Its armoring is atrocious however, so anything that can get in close will devastate it.
- Awesome – Typically mounting three PPCs, Awesomes are capable of drilling multiple holes into targets at once. Its extremely well armored and heat efficient, and while it lacks backup weaponary, it can use its fists to good effect in tearing targets apart.