Author Topic: (Slightly belated) Mech of the week - Blood Kite - Redux! (and filler!)  (Read 1944 times)

marauder648

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Blood Kite – redux!

I realised my previous article didn’t do this brutally ugly, but brutally effective Mech the justice it deserved so here’s take two.

Background

Clan Blood Spirit was never blessed with an abundance of resources, this limited their Tourman to older IIC designs and the number of Omni’s they could produce, preferring instead to go with easier to produce and cheaper designs.  They also developed a love affair with the LRM-15 and ER Large laser during their lean years.

Indeed with the introduction of the Omni-Mech and the Trials of Possession for the designs and Technology escalating to such size the Blood Spirits with their tiny Tourman were all but shoved out of the prospect of taking place in any Trial for the technology.  Faced with this challenge, the Spirits Khan Ceana Boques, ordered her Scientists to produce future designs based around four simple principles.

1.  Be as cheap as reasonable.
2.  Have a good chance of surviving an engagement.
3.  Be capable of sustaining a heavy barrage of fire.
4.  Be as efficient as possible.

With this in mind the Scientists went to work and what they produced did fall into all four of Khan Boques’ criteria being simple to build, heavily armed, tough and brutally efficient.

Design

At 85 tons the Blood Kite is quite a rare bean for Clan Mech’s as only the Wakazashi, Marauder IIC, Warhawk and much later Savage Coyote and Deimos fall into this weight category.  With a 255-rated standard engine the Blood Kite isn’t going to win any foot races and can top out at a rather lumbering 56kph.  But this isn’t too bad a draw back as the Mech is in essence a defensive one, built to engage anyone foolish enough to land on York.

The Scientists did however include fixed jump jets allowing for 90 meter leaps, giving the slow Mech a useful degree of tactical and strategic mobility.
The only ‘advanced’ and more resource intensive material that went into the Blood Kite was its endo-steel skeleton, but everything else was simple, at least by Clan standards.

A meaty 15-tons of standard plate give the Blood Kite the full level of protection the 85 ton chassis can carry and gives it the following layout.

9/27/39/27 (9/12/9)
24/24/30/30

With a lot of internal space to work with the Blood Spirit Scientists then crammed an additional 11 heatsinks into the hull allowing it to vent a fearsome amount of heat whilst still having room for weapons and ammunition and here they didn’t disappoint either. 
The Mech’s design also makes it an utterly deadly Zombie-Mech.  With a standard engine and Clan CASE and well placed weapons, the only way to take a Blood Kite down is to core it or rip its legs off and hope it lands chest down. 

Unfortunately, one thing had to be sacrificed in the design and that was any attempt to make the Blood Kite look sleek or stylized.  It is perhaps one of the most visually….unique Clan Mechs ever made, and by any standards is either brutally ugly or kind of ‘looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp kind of ‘cute’.  You all know how the Celestial series was made to look Alien, the Blood Kite looks at them and goes “Guuuuuuuuurl! PLEASE!” before putting them to shame.

Variants

Blood Kite – The marriage of Khan Boques design principles with the Blood Spirits near fetishizing love affair with the ER Large laser and LRM-15 the Blood Kite is as effective as it is ugly.  With three ER Large lasers, one in the left arm, the others in the chest and head, the Blood Kite can start engaging at extreme ranges, and thanks to its 21 heatsinks it can volley its lasers all day long.  A trio of LRM-15s, one in the right arm, and the others in the left and right torso add to the wall of firepower, letting this Mech lob 45 missiles down range. 

Firing both main batteries will cause a significant heatspike but you could bracket fire by going 6-5-6-5, dropping an ER large each time and repeat until dead.  The Blood Kite also carries 6 tons of ammo, two tons per launcher, giving it considerable battlefield endurance for a Clan Mech (see 3050 Omni’s where it seems that 1 ton of ammo could often be deemed excessive).
Finally if you manage to survive the wall of fire heading your way, you have a trio of SRM-4’s to contend with, although these are more defensive in nature and all three launchers share a single ton of ammo between them. 

The Blood Kite is a brutally effective weapon, and with its head and chest mounted ER large lasers, it will still be shooting at you with both arms ripped off and its side torso’s gutted ruins. 

Blood Kite 2 – To say that Clan Blood Spirit wasn’t very good at making friends is a bit of an understatement (up there with 'Clan Smoke Jaguar are a bit aggressive').  But during Khan Ceana Boques leadership they did make one friend who helped them in more ways than one.  Kindraa Smythe-Jewel of Clan Fire Mandrill contacted the Spirits and offered an exchange.  They would give the Blood Spirits Omni Technology in exchange for territory on the newly colonised world of Foster and some Genetic legacies. 

Eventually the Spirits realised the Mandrill’s were serious in their offer and a Trial took place where honour was satisfied and both sides got what they wanted.  With their friendship with Smythe-Jewel there also came a glut of higher tech equipment offered to the Blood Spirits by their Mandrill allies and this in turn was used on the Blood Kite 2.

Removing one LRM-15 and all three ER large lasers, the Blood Kite 2 gained Artemis IV fire control systems for the remaining LRM launchers and most impressively, a trio of ER PPCs.  Unfortunately, no extra heatsinks were added so the Blood Kite 2 will start to overheat from just using the ER PPC’s and firing them and the LRM’s will result in a dangerous heat spike, but again, this can be somewhat countered by adopting a 5-3-5 firing pattern dropping an ER PPC and LRM every other time.

Thoughts

The Blood Kite is a very potent beatstick that’s bloody hard to put down.  Although slow the Mech’s built for defensive work on a single world and it has the firepower to reach out and touch you at very long range.  Really the Blood Kite’s a pain to fight, and due to its zombie nature, you MUST keep shooting the damn thing until its CT gives out, you rip its head off, or remove both legs. 
I personally prefer the standard version over the 2, it’s just that classic Spirit combo of LRMs and ER larges that works so very well together. 
Using one is simple. 

Is the enemy in range?  If yes. Fire.
Is the enemy dead?  If no, keep firing until they are.

Even the most advanced Omni or biggest 100 tonner would hate to be on the receiving end of a trio of ER large lasers and LRM-15’s.  Whilst the ER PPC’s on the II do more damage, the machine loses its efficiency that makes it so utterly lethal. 
We all know how brutal something with 4 clan large pulsers and a TC is, this is the ‘cheap’ and ‘low tech’ version of that level of brutality. 

Fighting one is a case of being prepared to take a hammering doing so, and having to utterly destroy the bloody thing.  Ammo crits are your friend but it’s so padded out with heatsinks and weapons that even finding them is a bit iffy.  Basically. Good luck, and prepare to take losses, and if you face a Star of Blood Kites (and you probably would as the Spirits mass produced the damn thing) then pray to the Great Father. Or use orbital bombardment. 









As always, thoughts and comments are most welcome.

« Last Edit: 13 August 2017, 13:32:35 by marauder648 »
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Takiro

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Nice article!

Headcapping and a lack thereof is my only comment. The Blood Kite is a cheap long range barrager that will rack up damage but quick and easy victories aint its thing. Rare yes i know but without a AC/20, Gauss, or ER PPC (except the 2 which I hadn't seen) it can never behead ya instantly so I am not total intimidated. Still she is a real solid defender and when not following clan rules would probably just try to avoid her.

The Spirits isolationism also means no other Clan really uses this Kite either.

marauder648

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I wouldn't say she's completely devoid of head capping, an ER large laser to the face can still kill you as it will punch through the armour and either caress the structure and make the pilot fill his or her undies or score a crit and cause shenanigans.  And to make things worse, if you ever faced these in a proper campaign where you was attacking York, then Zells out the window and you could have 2 or more of these things focus firing you :p 

I do agree that it lacks the raw knock down punch of some Mechs, but its got that one thing that many Clan Assaults lack, endurance.  Only the Kingfisher even comes close and that thing is a Mech that just refuses to die, much like the Kite.
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Empyrus

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I kinda find the Blood Spirits interesting. I don't like them, they fail at being a Clan so hard (The Wars of Reaving demonstrates), but they're interesting for that reason.
But... why is every single one of their own 'Mechs so terrible looking? Hodgepodge of weapons, proportions all over the place, generally weird and ungraceful looking.

Guess being named for an idea rather than actual thing lead their design to be rather... abstract. In the wrong way, but this should not be a surprise given that they lost their way as well.

marauder648

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But... why is every single one of their own 'Mechs so terrible looking? Hodgepodge of weapons, proportions all over the place, generally weird and ungraceful looking.

I guess its to save resources.  Why bother putting a nice neat sheathe over the weapon, or working in some intricate cowling thats purely for asthetics.  It all costs metal and time, both of which the Spirits lacked.
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Empyrus

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They're using excess material as it is. Doesn't really make sense.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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I want to point out that your claiming that 85 tons is a rarely used tonnage isn't exactly accurate: of assault mechs, only the 100 ton slot gets significantly more than 6 mechs, and mostly because of the number of designs that were originally IS tech levels that were upgraded to Clantech (specifically the Marauder II, Imp, and Annihilator).

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UnLimiTeD

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I think it's a thing of beauty.
Not like a rose garden, but it brings it's point across.
It's a bunch of heavy weapons tacked together seemingly at random, it looks stout and durable and that's exactly what it is. Yes, it could do with less frills, but the general form?
That's fine with me.
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Maelwys

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Solid design for the Blood Spirits, and its always been effective for me, just tanking other units when needed. The biggest issue I've had is that sometimes the 7 tons of ammo can cause issues, but unlike some designs, the ammo is split up (2 tons in the RA, 3 in the RT, 2 in the LT) enough that you don't have the same cascading risk that other designs have.

I will note one thing about the writeup. Its the Blood Kite "2" not II. Its pedantic, but 2 usually denotes a variant of the same mech, while II usually denotes a completely different design that's only based on the original (Mongoose II, Marauder II).

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This was pretty stubborn unit to run into.  Deadly, and properly why alot of those Clan mechs ended up with pairs of AMS on them.  ;)

The appearance is bit of different take on things.  I keep looking at it, seeing one those tropical fishes with long nose.

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Nice article!

Headcapping and a lack thereof is my only comment. The Blood Kite is a cheap long range barrager that will rack up damage but quick and easy victories aint its thing. Rare yes i know but without a AC/20, Gauss, or ER PPC (except the 2 which I hadn't seen) it can never behead ya instantly so I am not total intimidated. Still she is a real solid defender and when not following clan rules would probably just try to avoid her.

The Spirits isolationism also means no other Clan really uses this Kite either.

I've always loved the Blood Kite, and how ugly the damn thing is.  It is a wall of weapon, which, in its own way, is JUST as terrifying as the Atlas death-head.

I think in WoR Supplemental in mentions that the Stone Lions are manufacturing these bad boys now, because, hey, cheap.
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Maelwys

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I've always loved the Blood Kite, and how ugly the damn thing is.  It is a wall of weapon, which, in its own way, is JUST as terrifying as the Atlas death-head.

I think in WoR Supplemental in mentions that the Stone Lions are manufacturing these bad boys now, because, hey, cheap.

Yeah, it mentions that the Stone Lions "sought out and captured facilities capable of producing Kingfishers, Stooping Hawks and Blood Kites."

Kind of makes you wonder if more Blood Kite facilities, other than the one on York, popped up.

Decoy

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The Blood Spirits had facilities on several planets before they pulled back after the Great Refusal.

Sjhernan3060

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As a blood spirit collector this is def a fave of mine. What pairs well with it combat wise?

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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It's a fairly generic long-range assault mech, so getting some lighter, more maneuverable teammates can be useful. I like the Stooping Hawk.

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YingJanshi

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I know it goes against the design paradigm, but would it be possible to fit in an Interface Cockpit without too much trouble?

And, is it just me, or is that mini completely out of proportion to every piece of art? Took a very squat & stout shape and made it all anemic and gangly... :/

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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Yeah, when I first got the mini I thought it was broken due to how different it looked from the art.

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Sjhernan3060

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I am going to Frankenstein up some mechs to try and make my own

glitterboy2098

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I know it goes against the design paradigm, but would it be possible to fit in an Interface Cockpit without too much trouble?

And, is it just me, or is that mini completely out of proportion to every piece of art? Took a very squat & stout shape and made it all anemic and gangly... :/
it looks closer to the original art, which was at a much more severe angle

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I would probably like it more if it didn't have that Large-Laser-for-a-beak head and wing-like jump jets makes me think Mega Mecha Woody Woodpecker  ;D

It's far from a bad mech stat wise and that's what counts.
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UnLimiTeD

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It's actually darn good statswise.
If going for "simple", and probably easy to source, there's not too much choice, and I can't really find things I'd improve or do differently. Only thing I could think of it maybe dropping an SRM for more armour. It's weird, the longer I look at it, the closer it gets too perfection. Probably won't ever reach it, though.
I suspect the small drum on it's right arm is the magazine?
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sadlerbw

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As an 85-ton defensive specialist, it really isn't a bad mech. I think I would have liked a little different array of close-range weaponry, as it isn't fast enough to control range, but since all of its weapons actually still work at short-range it isn't a huge problem. Honestly, if I had to choose between this thing and an Omen (the Raven's second-line mech that is also 3/5/3 and meant as a defensive unit), I'm not sure which one I'd take. The Omen is, in my opinion, more frightening if you are forced to close with it, but if the mission parameters give you the luxury of playing sniping games, the Kite would be superior.

I have to say, I am NOT a fan of the art or the mini on this mech though. It just doesn't look like BattleTech to me. More like some super-deformed version of an anime missile-storm-producing mecha. I'm willing to give pretty wide latitude to the rule of cool, but for me BT has always been just that slight bit more grounded in reality in a way the Blood Kite isn't. Honestly, I'm not sure this thing could torso twist without ripping it's own arms off. Sure there are other mechs that are equally unlikely to work in the physical world (I'm looking at you Falconer!), but if the Kite fell over, I'm pretty sure it would need a crane to get back up. To me it is like the Project Phoenix IIC mech art. It's cool mecha, but it just doesn't feel like BT. As for the mini...well, it had to exist in 3D space and they managed to accomplish that. That's the only nice thing I have to say about it. The Stooping Hawk and Blood Asp are great, and the Crimson Langur is at least tolerable (although it's legs bother me), but the Blood Kite? Nope, I just don't like it.

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Appearance isn't quite right, but does this feel like a Stalker IIC to anyone else?
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Nightsong

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Appearance isn't quite right, but does this feel like a Stalker IIC to anyone else?
Now that you mention it, it does have a sort of Stalker vibe.

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remind me of the fan-made stalker mods in MWO.. they always boat large numbers of ERLL's, LRM racks, or both.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Appearance isn't quite right, but does this feel like a Stalker IIC to anyone else?

Wouldn't surprise me if we ever got something saying that the Stalker influenced its design.

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THUD

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As a blood spirit collector this is def a fave of mine. What pairs well with it combat wise?

I like to run Ebon Jaguar Hs and Rabid Coyotes with mine. It's a brutal pack of long lasting killers.

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I guess its to save resources.  Why bother putting a nice neat sheathe over the weapon, or working in some intricate cowling thats purely for asthetics.  It all costs metal and time, both of which the Spirits lacked.

There's another possibility, raised by General Alexandr Kerensky of all people. Describing the Atlas he said:

Quote
“a ’Mech as powerful as imaginable, as impenetrable as possible, and as foreboding as conceivable, so that fear itself will be our ally.”

So when I see all those giant laser tubes and missile racks, I can't help but feel for the poor slob who has to face them in combat. That could play also at a strategic level, where the Spirits are saying "Hey we're not as hard up for parts as you think we are. Here they are, all on display."

But one thing that bothers me is if this is a defensive unit, how does it deal with battle armor? I could be (and probably am) mistaken, but it doesn't seem to have any kind of anti-infantry weapons. I guess a Starmate would have to take out those units.

misterpants

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But one thing that bothers me is if this is a defensive unit, how does it deal with battle armor? I could be (and probably am) mistaken, but it doesn't seem to have any kind of anti-infantry weapons. I guess a Starmate would have to take out those units.

Pre-Salamanders, Infernos for the SRM-4s maybe?
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Maelwys

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It doesn't even really need that. The ERLLs are going to knock all but one box off of the Elementals, and they can be finished by spreads of the SRMs. Heck, firing the LRMs and the SRMs, you probably have enough clusters to take severely damage any Elemental point. It doesn't really need much anti-BA weaponry other than "Lots of damage."