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Author Topic: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow  (Read 1066 times)

GreekFire

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'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« on: 08 April 2021, 20:41:41 »
Carrion Crow, from ilClan Recognition Guide: Volume 9

A small while back I did a write-up on the War Crow, the newest heavy OmniMech to enter the Raven touman and to be deployed by the Alliance Military Corps. I noted how the ground-based Raven military doctrine typically revolved around powerful and nimble light and medium designs supported by a strong selection of slower assault BattleMechs. The War Crow was a tremendous industrial endeavor that filled the Ravens' need for a heavy design; an OmniMech that could act as a resilient all-purpose unit.

The Carrion Crow, on the other hand, completely plays to what traditionally is the Ravens' greatest strength. Developed alongside its larger sibling, the lighter unit is noted to be produced in numbers far surpassing initial estimates presented to the AMC and, more importantly, as being jealously horded by Raven Galaxies. It's telling that this design, one that is a full 30 tons lighter than the War Crow, is one that the Ravens value more for their military needs.

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Carrion Crow
INTRO: 3145
MANUFACTURER: RAVEN ALLIANCE
--- Speed: 7/11 (280 cXL) --------------------------------
--- Armor: 133/137 (Ferro-Lamellor) ----------------------
--- Base Heat Sinks: 10 Double [20 heat dissipation] -----

         FRONT                REAR                INTERNAL
         ( 9)                 (**)                  ( 3)
      /16|19|16\           / 5| 5| 4\            /10|12|10\
     (11/ || \11)         (   |  |   )          ( 6/ || \ 6)
       /  /\  \               /  \                /  /\  \
      (19/  \19)             /    \              (10/  \10)


The Carrion Crow is a 40-ton OmniMech built from proven technologies to create and effective and efficient whole. No corners were cut in its development; from its Endo Steel structure, to its Clan XL Engine, to its Ferro-Lamellor armor, the Carrion Crow is formed from some of the best technologies the Ravens have at their disposal. Its components—if the art wasn't enough of a tip-off—are mainly the same as used on the War Crow, simplifying both the Ravens' production and logistical networks. Even the quirks reflect this, with both designs gaining Improved Targeting (Short) and suffering from Unbalanced. We can even see some similarities with...

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Primary Configuration

ER PPC w/Capacitor         (LA)
2x Imp. Heavy Medium Laser (LT,RT)
ER Small Laser             (H)
Supercharger               (CT)
4xDouble Heat Sink         (LT,RT,LL,RL)

...the Primes. Both Prime configurations use a Capacitor-enhanced ER PPC for their main punch. This is where the similarities end, though. Whereas the War Crow in all of its configurations has a heavy reliance on ER and Pulse lasers, the Carrion Crow forfeits some resilience by instead using a large number of potentially-explosive Improved Heavy Lasers for its configurations. This isn't a bad choice. A 40-ton 'Mech isn't there to soak damage; one has to get the most damage possible out of the few turns where the quick slasher will be in its best position. And if damage starts to go internal, well, the unit likely won't have very long to live anyway.

This configuration is vicious. A full alpha strike to the rear is enough to threaten a full coring of a Dire Wolf's center torso. Even more impressive, this configuration is extremely cool-running, only building up heat whenever its capacitor is in use. Unlike a slugger like the War Crow, the Carrion Crow should have a decent number of turns where it's repositioning for another slashing attack, so the Capacitor should see some heavy use here.

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A Configuration

HAG/20                     (LA)
--Ammo (HAG) 18            (LA)
Imp. Heavy Medium Laser    (CT)
ER Small Laser             (H)

The A, in comparison, is much less intimidating. Very reminiscent of the Heirofalcon Prime (itself a facsimile of many older Clan OmniMech configurations), it's slower, hits weaker, and on the surface doesn't present many advantages. This is a configuration that comes into its own if playing in a BV-balanced game. There aren't a lot of fast HAG-carrying units out there, making the Carrion Crow A a bit of a welcoem anomaly.

This is where I'm very happy to see that it has a full three tons of ammunition for its HAG. Using it with more finesse, sitting at the edges of its short or medium range bracket for its HAG, can make the Carrion Crow A a constant and annoying target to deal with. It's especially useful against any sort of vehicle or aerospace asset, so it definitely has a niche of its own when compared with the Prime.

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B Configuration

ER Large Laser             (LA)
ATM/9                      (LT)
--Ammo (ATM) 14            (RT)
Imp. Heavy Medium Laser    (RA)
Supercharger               (RT)
Watchdog CEWS              (CT)

This configuration, simply put, is an all-purpose "trooper". It can snipe rather effectively at range using its ERLL alongside extended-range ATM rounds, while also packing an impressive punch (with higher peak damage than the Prime) if in close quarters. The Watchdog gives it more flexibility in this multi-faceted role, making the B a rather safe choice if you're unsure what units your opponent might bring to the table. It runs slightly hot if backstabbing or slashing with one, but the nature of the Carrion Crow makes this little more than a secondary concern.

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C Configuration

2x ER Medium Pulse Laser   (LA,RA)
2x Streak SRM/6            (LT,RT)
--Ammo (SSRM) 15           (CT)
--CASE II                  (CT)
6x Jump Jets               (2xLL,2xRL,LT,RT)

An infighter, the C is best used in tandem with designs that pack more of a punch. It can be a nasty finisher when used in a one-two formation with other Carrion Crows, crit-seeking holes that were punched through armor by configurations like the Prime or B. The jump jets give it some more options here; you can gamble on some riskier moves that you might not make with a configuration like the A, which helps when dealing with retreating or disengaging units that have already suffered a backstab from another Carrion Crow.

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D Configuration

ER Large Laser             (RA)
Streak SRM/6               (RT)
Imp. Heavy Medium Laser    (LT)
2x AP Gauss Rifle          (LA)
--Ammo (APGR) 40           (LA)
7x Jump Jets               (2xLL,2xRL,LT,CT,RT)

Combining elements from both the B and the C, the D is a pure generalist. Specializing at no one range but able to fill nearly all roles, it's a very nice configuration to play with. It is incredibly hard to put down, and any players familiar with the Grendel Prime should immediately feel at home with the Carrion Crow D.

~ ~ ~

The Carrion Crow, when taken at face value, can inarguably be presented as being a modern take on the Coyotl. Sharing the same tonnage, the newer 'Mech only loses a ton of podspace in order to gain a tremendous amount of protection. This even extends to the configurations themselves; the B and the D both follow the standard Coyotl formula of big energy + missile + smaller energy, while the C could be argued to be the Coyotl A redux.

Something interesting to consider as well, though, is the design that the Carrion Crow is also likely to replace. The Ravens are one of only two Clans to still have examples of the Crimson Langur in any notable numbers, and though the design is a full 10 tons heavier than its potential replacement, armor protection between the two is near-identical due to the use of the more advanced Ferro-Lamellor armor on the Crow. This can also be seen with the Carrion Crow Prime, which shares more than a few similarities with the Crimson Langur own Prime configuration.

How do you use one? If you're unfamiliar with fast unit tactics, 7/11 is generally a speed that's fast enough for slashing attacks, but slow enough to make things a bit more dicey. Plan your moves, have a clear path that you'll take to engage and disengage from combat. The Ferro-Lamellor will protect you from a mistakes or two, but don't take that as an invitation to walk straight up to your opponent's biggest bruiser.

How do you stop one? Protect your flanks, don't leave any units hanging on their own, and don't be afraid to abandon any semblance of mobile warfare in order to put one down for good. They are remarkably tough, mounting the effective protection of a BattleMech 10 tons heavier. I'd say don't bother with Re-Lasers against this machine—at least, not at the moment. Units that currently use Re-Lasers are either too slow to impose themselves onto the Carrion Crow, or are too fragile to be able to stand against one. Stay posted, though, as this might eventually change.

All in all, if you're a fan of faster medium 'Mechs like I am, you'll love the Carrion Crow. It has a nice array of configurations covering a nice range of Battle Values, so it's not too difficult to bring one to a BV-balanced game. Just be aware that with some of these, like the Prime, you'll be investing a hefty amount of BV into something that remains, at its core, a medium 'Mech with medium 'Mech protection. Play it safe, though, and you'll have a blast.
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Scotty

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #1 on: 08 April 2021, 20:50:21 »
The Carrion Crow fills a roll I'd probably describe as "light cavalry".  Most configs are excellent harassers with long range energy weapons that can spar at range indefinitely, and all of the configs can do disproportionate damage to their size up close.  It looks and feels, almost, like a Cougar that finally learned that speed is armor as armor is.

Naturally, I love it.
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SteelRaven

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #2 on: 08 April 2021, 21:41:08 »
Speed is not bad, has just enough armor to shrug off a gauss round, enough range to retaliate safely and a decent punch, not bad.

Ravens are making some good mechs.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #3 on: 08 April 2021, 22:10:33 »

The improved laser in the CT on the A config is an unforgivable, explosive sin.  So is the SRM ammo in the CT on the C config, only more so because it necessitates a half-ton of CASE II that could have gone to a seventh jump jet.  These are such obvious design liabilities that it makes one wonder if the Society did not hitch a ride with the Ravens to the Outworlds...

Those glaring engineering flaws aside, the Carrion Crow is an otherwise superior design in a weight class that is usually not.  It’s nice to have an alternative to purchasing Grendels from the Shark Foxes to fill 7/11 holes in frontline striker stars, at least in the Raven touman.

(I’d also switch the lasers on the C to regular pulse to exactly match the range on the Streaks SRMs and get a better targeting bonus to offset the jumping.  And I’d trade the ER large in the B for two ER mediums, another heavy medium, and TAG to leverage standard and HE, not ER, ATM ammo.  But these are nits.)
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #4 on: 08 April 2021, 23:04:05 »
I really think I like the D variant quite a bit. the 7/11/7 movement profile is one of my favorite.
i havent gotten to play with it yet, but it fits my play style. like a beefier Grendel

Kojak

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #5 on: 09 April 2021, 23:47:10 »
I used a trio of these, a Prime and two Ds, in a game against Greekfire a little while after the relevant RecGuide originally dropped, paired with two War Crows (a Prime and a B). They proved extremely effective, able to corral Greek's two lances of FedSuns 'Mechs to a degree which surprised even me. The two units definitely work very well together, and I highly recommend to anyone trying out Carrion Crow: try out the full 2-3 split Star, you won't regret it.

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #6 on: 14 April 2021, 14:13:46 »
It's nice OmniMech in the mix for the Raven's touman. They never had their own designs, which nice change of pace.  It certainly can out jump many of a machine with surprising firepower.
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #7 on: 15 April 2021, 21:23:17 »
I have to say I was largely underwhelmed by most of the configurations of the Carrion Crow when I read bought the recognition guide.  Not because there wasn't a decent configuration, but I just didn't see much out the mech (other than the armor) that I haven't seen on another mech.  However the C caught my eye and I'm going have to toss that into a game whenever I next hit the table.  It's easily something I think could be overlooked and a good back stabber.

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #8 on: 16 April 2021, 12:10:46 »
(I’d also switch the lasers on the C to regular pulse to exactly match the range on the Streaks SRMs and get a better targeting bonus to offset the jumping.  And I’d trade the ER large in the B for two ER mediums, another heavy medium, and TAG to leverage standard and HE, not ER, ATM ammo.  But these are nits.)

It is a 40t fast mech . . . getting close is not a good idea even if it has better armor, which is why most versions use the more ranged weapons.  The whole point of the B's set up is to keep the range open and plink away with the option of getting in close if it is safe enough (IE, going to finish off a cripple) to use iHML and anything but ER ATMs.  The B 'trooper' actually gets pretty close to matching the 'trooper' Centurion, just with superior attributes- 10 point direct fire hit (but does not run out of ammo), bit less than the 10 missiles though with more ammo (+2) & accuracy to make up for it (ATM9 will hit with more missiles b/c Artemis IV), mid range laser (though hits for twice the damage) . . . while faster than the CN9 series even before SC and electronics support.

I will gladly take the Carrion Crow B all day long.
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Nibs

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #9 on: 20 April 2021, 23:33:01 »
Has anyone tried it and a War Crow in the same force?

Overall, the Carrion Crow has a perfect speed/weapon load-out for my preferences. Can't wait to try it at some point.

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #10 on: 21 April 2021, 00:10:48 »
Has anyone tried it and a War Crow in the same force?

Overall, the Carrion Crow has a perfect speed/weapon load-out for my preferences. Can't wait to try it at some point.

Kojaks post uses 3cc and 2wc

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: Carrion Crow
« Reply #11 on: 21 April 2021, 10:31:58 »
Kojaks post uses 3cc and 2wc

My bad. Somehow missed reading that one.  :P