Author Topic: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc  (Read 1640 times)

GreekFire

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ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« on: 17 March 2015, 17:16:57 »
From TRO:3075

I doubt anyone will be surprised when I tell them that the Horses adopted the ProtoMech into their widely combined-arms Touman. Fielding nearly every type of unit out there is their schtick, and this cheap and disposable new unit type offered a nimble alternative to their vehicle-heavy formations. The ProtoMech would be able to navigate through terrain forbidden to most vehicles, increasing their value in urban, heavily wooded and watery battlefields.

The Orc itself is a rare ProtoMech that remains relatively unchanged throughout all of its variants. It is undoubtedly an ambusher at its core, with every variant fielding low amounts of ammo suited best to hit-and-fade attacks. The constant 6/9 movement profile also gives it some agility - but certainly not staggering amounts for its size. Combined with its relatively light weight, the Orc is not made for tanking more hits than necessary. Keeping them in the line of fire is asking for higher casualties than needed.

Code: [Select]
ORC
INTRO: 3066
FACTIONS: Coyotes, Goliath Scorpions, and Hell's Horses
WEAPONS: SRM-1(x4) (20 shots)

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (4)                    (1)      Arms -> Cored: 14 pts
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 19 pts
      (2 / 7 \ 2)            (1 / 4 \ 1)  Torso -> Cored: 11 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 8 pts
        (  5  )                (  3  )

The Horses were one of the last Clans to field their own unique ProtoMech; the original Orc entered production in 3066. Each Orc brings the same number of SRMs to the table as a full Elemental point, with an Orc’s alpha equaling the output of two Elementals firing off their missiles. This makes things intriguing - a full point of Orcs can shoot the same number of missiles per turn as two standard Elemental points while remaining a credible threat for an additional three turns. Combine this with greater speed and equivalent or superior protection (the Orc also dies to 11 points of damage to its torso) and you can begin to understand how they might be used.

Now, the fluff here is extremely interesting. Orcs are stated to commonly carry full loads of inferno rounds rather than standard SRM munitions. This would make them staggeringly lethal against conventional units for a ProtoMech of its size. It does give them an obvious use versus BattleMechs as well, but if you’re playing with inferno-only Orcs you’ll reach heat saturation well before the entire point fires their missiles. I’m not sure how I feel about this - I think going with a 50/50 split (10 inferno missiles, 10 standard missiles) would be a much smarter and more flexible choice.

Of course, sprinkling Orcs into a point is a much more attractive option. Putting two into a ProtoPoint will give it very good critseeking/inferno capabilities, while the remainder of the point can specialize in another task such as holepunching or ranged combat. Bathing one or more targets with infernos during an ambush gives other friendly Protos (such as Minotaurs) more time to fully bring their firepower to bear. At 182 BV, it’s not too expensive - but remember that you have a 5-turn limit that forces you to play with either hit-and-run or superaggressive “in your face” tactics.

Code: [Select]
ORC 2
INTRO: 3067
FACTIONS: Coyotes, Goliath Scorpions, and Hell's Horses
WEAPONS: Machine Gun (10 shots), LRM-2(x2) (6 shots)

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (4)                    (1)      Arms -> Cored: 14 pts
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 19 pts
      (2 / 7 \ 2)            (1 / 4 \ 1)  Torso -> Cored: 11 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 8 pts
        (  5  )                (  3  )

This first spin-off is your typical LRM version, and in my own typical manner I’m not going to be too generous towards it. The Orc 2 keeps some anti-infantry power (albeit with much reduced range and punching power) while focusing much more on ranged combat. The horrendous ammo endurance of the Orc 2 makes me to want to suggest using the LRMs as a slightly longer-ranged ambush weapon, allowing the Orc 2 to strike out at greater (and safer) distances than earlier before fading into the surrounding wilderness.

The machine gun does give it some long-term options if forced into direct combat, but I would consider this to be a last-ditch resort rather than a necessity. 170 BV for three turns of LRMs isn’t a good deal, and there are better AI options out there for those who are truly interested. That it has the same armor as the standard, instead of the reduced armor of the 3 or 4, seems like a bit of a shame. That armor could have easily gone towards making the Orc 2 a more credible threat on the battlefield. Now, this assessment isn’t exactly fair on my behalf - more on this later.

Code: [Select]
ORC 3
INTRO: 3071
FACTIONS: Hell's Horses
WEAPONS: SRM-3 (3 shots), SRM-1(x2) (6 shots)

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (3)                    (1)      Arms -> Cored: 12 pts
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 16 pts
      (2 / 5 \ 2)            (1 / 4 \ 1)  Torso -> Cored: 9 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 7 pts
        (  4  )                (  3  )

The next variant goes even further down the rabbit hole that the original Orc first dug up. The addition of one SRM tube does come into conflict with the ProtoMech construction rules - three of the SRM tubes are forced to be consolidated in order to fit into the limited number of slots available. While offering more firepower for less BV, the Orc 3 takes the ambush mentality and positively runs it past the touchdown line. It’s very much an all-or-nothing machine - either you’ll accomplish exactly what you set out to do with them, or else you’ll be annoyed that your sole three SRM-3 shots all missed their target.

This division of ammo also complicates ammo selection a tad. It isn’t as easy to fit inferno rounds into its loadout; with three inferno missiles being the golden number for taking out Battle Armor suits, the Orc 3 either has to hope to roll high with its SRM-3 or work alongside a few other teammates in order to reach that golden number. The drop in armor (and replacement of three SRM-1s with an SRM-3) brings BV down to 168, making it a good alternative to the vanilla Orc…even if it does now fail certain important armor thresholds.

Code: [Select]
ORC 4
INTRO: 3072
FACTIONS: Hell's Horses
WEAPONS: SRM-3 (3 shots), Machine Gun(x2) (12 shots)

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (3)                    (1)      Arms -> Cored: 12 pts
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 16 pts
      (2 / 5 \ 2)            (1 / 4 \ 1)  Torso -> Cored: 9 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 7 pts
        (  4  )                (  3  )

The Orc 4 is the last and cheapest of the bunch. This variant is very gung-ho about taking out infantry, which does allow you to load standard rounds into the SRM tubes for some flexibility or infernos if you want some true carnage. Having a total of six shots per machine gun does give it some additional endurance, but forces users to close in order to get the utmost from it. This is not a great thing; you’ll notice that the Orc 4's armor is the same as the Orc 3 that preceded it.

It does make the Orc 4 the best hyperaggressive ProtoMech of the lot, however. It has the highest damage-dealing alpha strike, and the machine guns encourage closing in and getting  in the face of their targets. BV is the lowest yet, and 138 BV is more than easy to fit into most forces. If you’re planning on using your Orcs as disposable critseekers, this one might be your guy.


It is by looking at the Orc that we can truly understand the role of the ProtoMech in the Horse Touman. Each model is quite good at two things: taking out lighter infantry/battle armor clusters, and critseeking. This plants the Orc into a pure and highly focused support role - the Orc excels at supporting heavy tank and ‘Mech formations. This suggests using them as quicker replacements for traditional infantry or lighter Battle Armor (such as the ubiquitous Elemental suit).

Another tactical option would be to field them alongside infantry and BA, but not as holepunchers. This scenario works against enemy vehicles, where the Orc can quickly cripple them through motive hits before groups of infantry swarm the now-pinned target. This obviously works best against Clans using combined-arms tactics (or secondline clusters), but is an effective strategy that frees up larger assets to focus on tougher targets. The Orc, in this case, can also use inferno rounds to demolish enemy (armored) infantry positions that could threaten BA or infantry friendlies.

These tactics promote using the Orc as part of faster mobile warfare tactics (if paired with heavier units), or hammer-and-anvil encirclements (if paired with slower/infantry units). These doctrinal shifts plays well into the Horse’s general style of combat by the mid-32nd century, even if the Orc does drop in usage. While still very present in secondline clusters by 3145, the Reavings were noted to have severely depleted Horse ProtoMech forces. This is understandable; while Orcs have infernos at their disposal, their lack of staying power combined with the difficulty in hitting Proto targets in the first place would eventually lead to a break in the front lines versus many Society designs.

As for good teammates, the Orc works well with other similar ProtoMechs (Centaurs, Procyon-Qs, Satyrs) but also with itself. A mix of Orc 2s, 3s and 4s will all have roughly the same endurance on the battlefield but at different range bands. This gives you multiple firing lines, each filled with a different Orc variant able to engage at increasingly longer ranges. Fall under no illusions, though - you have three turns before you’re forced to pull back and reload, so make sure it counts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MASTERUNITLIST: http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=orc
CAMOSPECS: http://camospecs.com/MiniList.asp?Action=Detail&ID=806
IRON WIND METALS: http://ironwindmetals.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=16_44_22&products_id=3449
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Fallen_Raven

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #1 on: 17 March 2015, 17:41:35 »
I've always found Orcs to be best in a scavenger role. Let someone else do the hole punching, then have these guys sweep in to finish the job. They tend to die too quickly for more direct approaches, what with the short range and light armor. This isn't a bug though, as the same short range and small cluster size means there are more serious threats to worry about on the turns before you're in range.

As a side note, I like the four tubes of the standard model because I can conserve ammo. More accurately, I can lose an arm and gain a few turns of fire. That's been surprisingly relevant on a few occasions where I need to out last a tank.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #2 on: 17 March 2015, 19:18:36 »

Outside of artificial BV limits, the Procyon Quad has arguably overtaken the Orc and made all its variants outdated.  The Procyon Quad provides better armor, slightly higher damage potential, deeper ammo bins, and longer ranged anti-infantry weapons with the same movement and critting as the Orc and with the inferno option retained.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Orc disappears from MUL in the Early Republic Period.
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #3 on: 17 March 2015, 20:01:04 »
As a side note, I like the four tubes of the standard model because I can conserve ammo. More accurately, I can lose an arm and gain a few turns of fire. That's been surprisingly relevant on a few occasions where I need to out last a tank.

That's an extremely good point, I completely agree. It also helps keep the Orc relevant no matter what gets critted/blasted off, especially when compared to certain other Protos.

Outside of artificial BV limits, the Procyon Quad has arguably overtaken the Orc and made all its variants outdated.  The Procyon Quad provides better armor, slightly higher damage potential, deeper ammo bins, and longer ranged anti-infantry weapons with the same movement and critting as the Orc and with the inferno option retained.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Orc disappears from MUL in the Early Republic Period.

Oh for sure, the Procyon(Quad) basically rendered both the Centaur and Orc obsolete. It's a great little machine.
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
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Fletch

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #4 on: 17 March 2015, 22:22:28 »
I don't know why but for some reason I now want to paint a point of Orcs as Minions.  On the battlefield have them hide behind a hill and each turn have them look at Gru going, "Now?" (Not sure what mech could be painted to look like Gru).

Finally Gru gives the go ahead and the Minions whip around the corner going "Bee-Do, Bee-Do, Bee-Boom, Bee-Boom...."

Yes, it is a painfully slow day at work.

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #5 on: 17 March 2015, 23:31:21 »
It's a good thing the Witch-King didn't have any of these Orcs at the Pelennor Fields.  Minas Tirith would've been in flames and the Rohirrim charred horsemeat by the time Aragorn arrived with his ghost army.
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cold1

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #6 on: 18 March 2015, 19:43:38 »
I don't know why but for some reason I now want to paint a point of Orcs as Minions.  On the battlefield have them hide behind a hill and each turn have them look at Gru going, "Now?" (Not sure what mech could be painted to look like Gru).

Finally Gru gives the go ahead and the Minions whip around the corner going "Bee-Do, Bee-Do, Bee-Boom, Bee-Boom...."

Yes, it is a painfully slow day at work.

The Executioner has a surprisingly Gru-ish appearance!

As for the Orc... nope.  Look I'm a proto snob.  I find proto's either effective or not.  I find the Orc in the not column, pretty squarely.  In the old JadeHellbringer pick two of the three test they pick, well, compromise and mess up all 3.  It's like the Horses saw the proto and went "how do we use that to kill tanks cuz we are the tank clan."  And then they had to fight other clans and their mechs.   The one trick the Orc has is fine if a Dire Wolf or something lumbers in but those cavalry mechs are not going to get caught in the trap.  They can simply maneuver too well.

I have the same issue with most of the smaller protos though.


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Sjhernan3060

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #7 on: 18 September 2017, 13:37:28 »
So just going by the rule of cool - how does this mini look? I am going to be ordering a bunch of protos soon

Firesprocket

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #8 on: 19 September 2017, 01:11:58 »
There isn't a mini produced for it so far as I can tell from IWM web site.

wantec

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #9 on: 19 September 2017, 07:24:55 »
Yeah there is: http://ironwindmetals.com/store/index.php?cPath=16_44_22

A lot of the Protos are under the "Online Exclusives" side of the Ironwind site.
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Firesprocket

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #10 on: 19 September 2017, 11:33:22 »
I stand corrected.  Sad part is I tried to use their search engine rather than navigate to that page and it did not pick up on it.

Sjhernan3060

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YingJanshi

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Orc
« Reply #12 on: 21 September 2017, 00:34:51 »
Yeah there is: http://ironwindmetals.com/store/index.php?cPath=16_44_22

A lot of the Protos are under the "Online Exclusives" side of the Ironwind site.

Huh. Not anything to do with the Orc...but I see from that link that a mini for the Svartalfa 2 is available. I wonder if we'll ever get a record sheet for it. :(

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