Author Topic: MOTW Assassin  (Read 19167 times)

ItsTehPope

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MOTW Assassin
« on: 26 August 2012, 00:38:47 »
Originally the article was supposed to be about the Eyleuka, which per the spellchecker in Google Docs, is actually correct despite the fact that the spelling was done by letting my dog roll his face upon the keyboard.  Also, the edit check for this week was right before I hit post.  Something about post con plague combined with an ear infection made giggles a very fun person to be around this week.

I write better when the ‘Mech is total crap, which the aforementioned is not, so I decided to write something that is more amusing than factual.

Awesome.  Catapult.  Trebuchet.  Dragon.  Archer.  Atlas.  These are powerful, evocing names for ‘Mechs, with good references to what the design does, or the visual aesthetic it goes for.  The Assassin was named for the power socket that someone on the design team someone decided to test with a fork.

Per the fluff of 3025, Maltex, had pitched the design as a replacement for the Wasp and Stinger (Reasonable goals that) It managed to accomplish this through many classic military sales pitches throughout history.  Overinflated performance stats, fuzzy math that would make Quikscell standards compliant and a arseload of bribery.  After production was approved (Mostly I suspect as a method to make Maltex go away) a few hundred were produced before the two factories were pretty much given a work stoppage due to poor quality control.  Somehow, it proved popular with the SLDF Militia and FWLM forces as a reconnaissance ‘Mech, which is fair, and a light ‘Mech hunter-killer, which I presume means “Killing bugs”, because with an armor spread pretty close to that of a Commando and a very anemic firepower loadout.  Of note, if you’re a larger Mechwarrior, this is the ride to hate.  The whole corner cutting process noted above means that the cockpit is made like crap.  Apparently even after 400 years they still can’t lumbar support in the drivers seat, as the entry makes pains to mention bad backs.  It also mentions that the SRM2 feed suffers from issues with failure under high heat situations that will require a complete mechanical rebuild of the launcher assembly.  Due to this, Maltex strongly suggests not swimming in magma for extended periods of time.

Speed wise, this thing is quite swift, with a VOX280 hustling this thing along with a 7/11/7 spread, and the jets located in the torsos.  This engine is guaranteed through Vox, and Maltex should not be contacted in regards to any odd radiation issues.

Looking at the armor load, we have something that will make a Hussar pilot comfortable in his skin.  4.5 tons, spread across with 8 on the head, 12/4 split on the center torso, sides with 10/2 arms with 6 and legs with 10, so a little over 60% if my napkin math is correct.  I realize you’re generally fast enough to avoid being hit in the back, but if you do, torso hits are probably almost certainly going internal.  If you fall and get that 4 on the direction chart, locations 6 and 8 are going internal no matter what.  Also, that's where the ammo is stored as well.  Maltex strongly suggests not falling on sharp rocks for safety reasons.

Moving onto the primary version featured in the holy tome/telephone book of 3039, the weapons loadout.  If you’re accustomed to driving a 1A Wasp, you’ll feel right at home!   The right arm features everyone’s favorite weapon, the medium laster while a SRM2 is in the left torso.  Wasp pilots are reminded that it can be fired when you plan on kicking someone!  In the right torso you have an LRM5, which I presume is there so you have something to do/make yourself feel better when you’re inexorably closing with someone.  The weapons loadout is generally pretty schizo, but your best bet is to try to get behind someone with your SRM and ML and poke people in the rear and hope they aren’t too terribly offended and bring the firepower they have to bear on you, as you will probably be down a limb or two after this.

Also mentioned in 3039 is the -101 model, which shaves off an already low half ton of armor, and two jump jets, one mounted in the head and one in each leg.  Maltex would like to say that this is not a factory legal configuration and they are not liable for anything that happens to these machines.

Moving along to the 3050’s upgrades, where the design becomes from a combat perspective, even more baffling.  Hellspont produces this one, where they remove the cranky SRM2 rack and its associated ammo, and replace it with adding an Artemis pod for the LRM5 and swapping the medium laser for its pulse cousin.  The best way to use this ‘I think Hellspont was bucking for some capital money to start designing on the Sha Yu and Men Shen myself, but that’s a different story.  Hellespont Industries would like to remind the citizenry that the -23 is a superior machine to the trash that was manufactured by House Davion and you would do well to remember it.

Moving on to the model 30 produced by Defiance of Hesperus swaps out the VOX 280 for a Light engine of the same rating.  The structure has also been changed out, now being an Endo-Steel composite, advertised as same strength, half the calories!  Two more toms of armor were added to bring it to a very respectable 6.5 tons, and the heatsinks were changed out to doubles.  The medium laser from the 21 is now a ER Medium.  The eclectic mix of missile weaponry is now even more bizarre, an LBX-5, being fed by a single ton of ammo, presumably cluster rounds.  Using this against a ‘mech isn't a great idea...smart users will either go crit out some tanks at distance, or use that birdgun to swat down things flying overhead.  BattleMechs should generally be ignored unless you need to critseek them.  Defiance Corporation is not responsible for your ego when you fail to annoy anything more heavily armored than a Hussar in one shot.

Model 99 is probably the best of the bunch, but we’re setting a low bar here.  Manufactured by Hellespont out of Sian, it uses an XL engine to free up scads of tonnage, the armor is brought up to about 95% overall.  It’ll pass the smartplacement test for what its worth.  The armor, of note is Stealth, and has the requisite Guardian ECM unit.  The laser in the right arm has been replaced with a Light PPC, thus giving it some long range punch at a reasonable tonnage cost.  An SRM2 is mounted in each side torso with the ammo (UnCASED though) in the left torso, but it is well crit-packed at least.  In the left arm, giving those of us with feelings of what can be described as “Stabbity” something to do in dark alleys and 7-11’s.  Its only a 5 point sword, but its the thought that counts.  Using this one is easy.  LPPC until you can safely get in range, add SRM’s to suit, stab when you can.  Hellespont is not responsible for your ego being deflated when someone reminds you a 3025 Shadow Hawk still puts out more damage than you do using tech from 3067.

Servitor was driven by some random mad butler in the FCCW based on the name.  It is a unique variant that served as the base for the 99.  The twin SRM’s are still there, but the light PPC is now a Medium X-Pulse laser, with a pair of Small X-Pulses in the leg.  The sword is replaced by a small Vibroblade.  It plays very similar to the 99, but even more in close and backstabby

So there you have it.  The Assassin.  A ‘Mech that isn’t very assassinney.  Unless its to your ego...

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« Last Edit: 26 August 2012, 00:54:12 by ItsTehPope »
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #1 on: 26 August 2012, 01:52:47 »
the Assassin is an invaluable design. it's a perfectly armed and highly design to supplement any lyran force in need of battlearmor and a perfect design to substitute for salvage that mercs may wish to claim so long as you can ensure said salvage is offworld by the time they figure it out.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #2 on: 26 August 2012, 02:16:13 »
It is a shame that they haven't done an MML version yet, because that might actually be, you know... good.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #3 on: 26 August 2012, 03:27:22 »
Poor Assassin. Its not a very lovable Mech.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #4 on: 26 August 2012, 03:41:28 »
In a 3025 setting, the Assassin is a durned good 'Mech and a strong contender for the "most undervalued ever" award.

Consider the Spider. Everyone seems to like that, as it's one of only 3 'Mechs in the setting able to jump for a +4 movement modifier. It only has 2 ML and 3.5 tons armour, but who cares, it's a light. The Ostscout is 5 tons heavier, but has identical loadout, swapping 1 ML for another ton of armour.

Is it by virtue of it being a low-end medium that the Assassin is forgotten in that match-up? Or because it's only 7/11/7 rather than 8/12/8, despite that being the much more economical choice in the absence of XL engines?

The Assassin has better armour than the Spider, similar close-range weaponry, and an added LRM-5. In my books, it is the best ultra-mobile harrasser anyone could choose in the 3025 setting.

(The 101 is an incredible dud on account of undoing the very things that made the Assassin respectable to me. Sadly, if you look closely, it is this very version that is the intro box cast...)
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #5 on: 26 August 2012, 03:55:44 »
It helps me to say one phrase before debating certain Star League 'mechs and that is "Sovietski Soyuz"

The Star League didn't need to worry so much about cost and we shouldn't think in metagame terms about Battle Value or efficiency when judging the Star League Quarter Master's Command.

Take the recently discussed Cicada for example. Unless you can find a way to hold the 40 ton weight against it in universe, then 'mechs like the  Cicada and Assassin are no brainers for the Star League. 

With the Assassin, I see a 'mech that can draw against the massive 280 rating engine stores built up by the League and the sub states that is a pretty good light hunter, as Jymset pointed out. Plop them into Infantry Support Mech Battalions and ask if there are goodies given for every regiment bought.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #6 on: 26 August 2012, 04:19:39 »
Actually I find the Assassin to be a very useful 'Mech. Usually after being rebuilt a bit. I will note that there may be one more Assassin variant out there, but I'm not completely sure about the canonicity of the Unique Mech compilation from 2006...

Oh, and don't bad mouth the -101 too much. My friend has killed Dire Wolves with them. Without losing his 'Mech.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #7 on: 26 August 2012, 04:51:54 »
One of my problems with the Assassinis that it doesn't live up to it's name. There is no one-shot/one-kill like the name infers. The ASN-30 was a step in the right direction. However they shold have put an ER PPC on it instead of the LB 5-X. Use the saved weight to add DHS or Armor and you are golden.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #8 on: 26 August 2012, 09:32:58 »
The stock ASN-21 is nicely mobile in general, but underarmored at only 53% of the theoretical maximum (most notably, its leg protection rather sucks for a design that relies so much on being able to bounce around the battlefield at will), and then it wastes precious tonnage on carrying mixed launchers in a misguided attempt to be an all-range generalist. It could be improved almost immediately by simply picking the range it wants to fight at -- either long or short --, equipping itself accordingly, and then sticking to its guns...

The 101 doesn't really merit much in the way of discussion. If the Assassin has one saving grace it's its mobility, and reducing that by cutting out jump jets in order to install of all things small lasers (which don't even help you until you get into knife-fighting range, a goal which the two missing jets just so happen to make that much harder to achieve) is just blatantly shooting yourself in the foot.

The 23 is...well, basically a 21 that fell into the hands of some foundtech enthusiasts, and as such things go got off reasonably lightly. It's not really an improvement, but at the same time I also wouldn't call it significantly worse than the original. Just a bit different in the details.

The 30 finally gets a much overdue armor upgrade and longer-ranged medium laser. However, I'm scratching my head as much as the next guy at the autocannon; what's this model trying to be, a mobile quick-response light AA 'Mech? That's about the only explanation that makes even a bit sense to me right now...

The 99 so far looks like the best of the bunch, although I'll admit to not having used it yet. Mostly because the current MegaMek stats for the design seem to be in error in several places at once...excuse me while I file a bug report.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #9 on: 26 August 2012, 09:41:46 »
Perhaps the best Assassin is the one from Unique Mechs.  The ride of Alice Humpterderby  ::) of the 26th Lyran Guards, it is a variation on the ASN-30.  The LB-5X is gone, replaced by 3 more ER Medium Lasers (the article notes both they and the original ERML were all from the same Free Worlds League factory (Yes, it's a running gag  :)) )), a Beagle Active Probe, a Guardian ECM, a C3 Slave, a 1 ton Targeting Computer salvaged from a destroyed 4th Davion Guards Javelin, and more armor.  The result is one heck of a scout: It can find hidden units, disrupt advanced electronics, and carries a decent, accurate punch.  It would work especially well as a C3 spotter, since its high speed and jump capability make it very hard to bring down.  In keeping with Pope's closing remarks for each variant, Ms. Humpterderby asks that readers remember that wisecracks about her name are subject to the Lyran state's strict anti-slander laws.  She goes on to note that wisecracks against her mech will be dealt with on the battlefield.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #10 on: 26 August 2012, 11:13:01 »
I agree that the Assassin's real problem is being misleadingly named.  When interpreted as a replacement for Wasps and Stingers, as originally pitched, the Assassin can run faster, jump further, shoot farther, and has better armor.  It's also the only 3025 'Mech that moves 7/11 or faster that has a weapon with a longer than 9 hex range (discounting the downgraded Hussar.)  Not that an LRM-5 is going to win any wars, but at least it's something.

Interestingly, this same sort of "attack, not recon" mentality seems to have infected designers in-universe; the -99 only has an ECM for its Stealth armor, and only the aforementioned Assassin Alice carries a full recon loadout. 

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #11 on: 26 August 2012, 11:49:54 »
I love the Assassin, I really do, and I will continue to love it. But that article was awesome. I will have to pay more attention to these in the future.  :D

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #12 on: 26 August 2012, 12:25:33 »
One of my problems with the Assassinis that it doesn't live up to it's name. There is no one-shot/one-kill like the name infers. The ASN-30 was a step in the right direction. However they shold have put an ER PPC on it instead of the LB 5-X. Use the saved weight to add DHS or Armor and you are golden.

While I agree with you that it would be an improvement, it also makes it a fast-moving ER PPC carrier, just like so many others out there (Stealth, Legionnaire, Jackal, Pack Hunter, Dragonfly B, etc). But an LB-5X? No one else really does that (for good reason, mind you).

Not every Mech is supposed to be good. And the Assassin has a long and proud history of proving that in every configuration. Why start being decent now?
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #13 on: 26 August 2012, 12:33:16 »
A fan solely for its looks.  I'll try out the stealth Assassin with the sword sometime, but not in a rush for it, either.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #14 on: 26 August 2012, 12:53:10 »
 I use Assassins in my rear area raiding party lances in campaigns where their superior mobility and mix of firepower enables them to throw defenders off balance. As a general rule, anything that can keep up with its mobility will lose in a straight up fight against it in the 3025 era. Sure they do not have stunning firepower, but they are quite annoying to convoy, artillery and command vehicle defenders. They are very frustrating to deal with once they reach your rear areas.
« Last Edit: 26 August 2012, 12:56:48 by Minemech »

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #15 on: 26 August 2012, 13:24:47 »
One thing to point out is that the Assassin -99 does also mount a TAG system.  Suddenly you have a 7/11/7 Stealth unit spotting for all that freaking Arrow IV the Cappies love so muc.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #16 on: 26 August 2012, 13:29:45 »
It's also the only 3025 'Mech that moves 7/11 or faster that has a weapon with a longer than 9 hex range (discounting the downgraded Hussar.)
Did you miss Cicada article? It has got variant with PPC. Good ride that.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #17 on: 26 August 2012, 14:10:04 »
To be honest, anyone who uses a stock Assassin to backstab an enemy mech is using it wrong - it shouldn't be there in the first place!

Now in the standard "a few map sheets shoot-em-up" game I agree it's not much of a mech, it would serve far better as a fast backstabber dropping all the missiles for more MLs and armor. But load the SRM with infernos and go rampaging through the backfield (way backfield!) instead - as noted the only mechs guaranteed to catch it are the Spider and Ostscout, neither of which will really appreciate a close encounter! The LRM5 is great for putting some holes in a convoy, even if the convoy has some real escorts.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #18 on: 26 August 2012, 14:14:59 »
Did you miss Cicada article? It has got variant with PPC. Good ride that.

Whoops, you're right, I forgot the -3C.  I guess there's also the JR7-A, with the large laser, though both are variants, rather than standard models, and the -3C is described as "very limited" in number while the 7-A is entirely gone by 3025.  Nonetheless, I stand corrected.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #19 on: 26 August 2012, 14:18:25 »
If only people wouldn't try to make the Assassin a battlefield generalist, it could be astoundingly good.  A revamp with a suitable EW suite, even at the expense of most of the weaponry, would do an excellent job leading light scout lances.  The Alice is the best Assassin out there for just this reason.  MMLs would be an interesting addition though.


Here's a link to a refit long those lines.  Comments, questions, and bomb threats welcome.  http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,22416.0.html
« Last Edit: 26 August 2012, 14:37:57 by Arkansas Warrior »
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #20 on: 26 August 2012, 15:48:59 »
Whoops, you're right, I forgot the -3C.  I guess there's also the JR7-A, with the large laser, though both are variants, rather than standard models, and the -3C is described as "very limited" in number while the 7-A is entirely gone by 3025.  Nonetheless, I stand corrected.

And the thickly armored Locust 1M.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #21 on: 26 August 2012, 16:50:45 »
And the thickly armored Locust 1M.
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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #22 on: 26 August 2012, 17:31:12 »
Also mentioned in 3039 is the -101 model, which shaves off an already low half ton of armor, and two jump jets, one mounted in the head and one in each leg.  Maltex would like to say that this is not a factory legal configuration and they are not liable for anything that happens to these machines.


I think you're missing the "For three small lasers", although I am curious about this head-mounted jumpjet idea of yours. Have they applied to Clan Jade Falcon for the right to use Joanna's likeness in their adcopy?

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #23 on: 26 August 2012, 17:31:41 »
Honestly, I am a big fan of the Assassin.  The original -21 and modern -30 are both great 'Mechs so long as you remember what they are and do not try to make them do things they were never intended to do in the first place.  The -21 is devastating against the few things that can match its speed in 3025, and can wreak an incredible amount of chaos behind enemy lines between Inferno SRMs and poking relatively well guarded assets with its LRMs.  The -30 is a fast anti-aircraft platform which can actually move fast enough and shoot far enough to cover a large force on its own, and that alone can make it more valuable than larger and more powerful anti-aircraft platforms even before you factor in its ability to range out ahead of your forces and immobilize vehicles without exposing itself to too much return fire.


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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #24 on: 26 August 2012, 21:02:13 »
During a 3025-era Mechwarrior campaign I played in... a long time ago, we had a custom Assassin with a ML and SRM-6. That thing was lethal.
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Diablo48

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #25 on: 26 August 2012, 21:14:54 »
During a 3025-era Mechwarrior campaign I played in... a long time ago, we had a custom Assassin with a ML and SRM-6. That thing was lethal.

I bet, although I am wondering what you did with the last ton.  Another ton of ammo would be nice for Infernos, but on the other hand you can never go wrong with more armor.  Of course, it is also possible you meant you added another Medium Laser which would just be cruel so long as you had a buddy to torch soft targets for you.


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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #26 on: 26 August 2012, 22:07:44 »
Its a skirmisher rather than a front line unit, if that is remembered than its a great design if not its dead meat. But use a lance worth of them and watch as heavys begin to die. Remember the Star League loved to group designs together, so it probably wasn't uncommon for the Star League to have Companys of Assassin's hunting down opposing Light mechs.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #27 on: 27 August 2012, 00:40:09 »
WRT the armor, the Assassin's is thicker, compared to most light mechs in 3025.  Most lights have only four tons of armor or less, and most did not have weapons capable or reaching 300 meters.  The only contemporary ones heavier are the Firestarter (a rare specialist), the Panther (a heavy mech in a light mech's body) and the Urbanmech (a common, but also specialist design).  The Valkyrie and Wolfhound came later.  So two of the three mechs able to out armor it and fight it at range, and the ASN-30 can literally run rings around both of them.

Really it might have worked better with the name Jackal.  Use the LRM to harass and soften up a light beyond it's range, use the speed to keep the range open till you have weakened it, then swoop in to finish it off with your armor fresh, and his shot full of holes.

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #28 on: 27 August 2012, 02:09:50 »
I have worked out a way to use the Assassin as a literal assassin, but it does require the use of a dismounted Davy Crockett warhead and the necessary modifications to allow for manual detonation.

...What?  ???

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Re: MOTW Assassin
« Reply #29 on: 27 August 2012, 02:55:54 »
I have worked out a way to use the Assassin as a literal assassin, but it does require the use of a dismounted Davy Crockett warhead and the necessary modifications to allow for manual detonation.

...What?  ???

No, the easy way to assassinate commanders use an assassin is using Inferno SRMs and/or Incendiary LRMs against command bunkers.  Draw off the defenders and circle around to torch the structure, or just light it up from a safe distance with the LRMs.


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