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Author Topic: Recognition Guide: ilClan Discussion Part 5 - Comes With Everything You See Here  (Read 67608 times)

bobthecoward

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This makes me wonder. Pilots mostly use sensors for operating their mech. But what mech has the worst view from the cockpit?

Stalker looks like a strong contender.

Cache

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This makes me wonder. Pilots mostly use sensors for operating their mech. But what mech has the worst view from the cockpit?

Stalker looks like a strong contender.
The Vulture isn't far off. They're like some WWII-era planes where the pilot can't see anything forward and down because the engine is in the way.

five_corparty

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The Black Hawk T is possibly the most hilarious mech in the entire Rec Guide series.

Right?? Everyone was laughing when I brought the thing to the table with a solid gunner, but when I fired EVERYTHING and was like, "heat, schmeat" they weren't laughing anymore... :-) ha ha ha

Sartris

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ugh I hate extinct designs, bring back the whitworth! bring back the shogun!

oh buddy you are not going to love the work i'm doing on the ilclan extinction list

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Part of the fanbase: I have very fringe interests
Same part of the fanbase: Why are my interests not specifically catered to and legitimized by canon?

VensersRevenge

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There is a difference between extinct designs (not ideal, especially if the 'Mechs in question are in box sets) and extinct variants (really should have happened faster).
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Kingston Ontario
Message if you want to organize a game

Luciora

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But but my Von Rohrs!

Maingunnery

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oh buddy you are not going to love the work i'm doing on the ilclan extinction list
But I will (I like extinction because it makes each era more unique).
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

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Sartris

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There is a difference between extinct designs (not ideal, especially if the 'Mechs in question are in box sets) and

box set mechs will continue to have availability into the future as the rec guides give them stable production. the MUL follows the writers - if they introduce a new whitworth, it's there. chassis death can and will happen if, say, it's been out of production for a long time and there were several savage periods of war in between ::looks exhaustedly at the whitworth::

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extinct variants (really should have happened faster).

you, on the other hand, will like what we're doing.

But but my Von Rohrs!

i put $500 into that fan funding and will not return it to the land of the living without being forced

But I will (I like extinction because it makes each era more unique).

definitely the intent. though i respect the intent of the recguides as a bridge between the boxes and current era


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Part of the fanbase: I have very fringe interests
Same part of the fanbase: Why are my interests not specifically catered to and legitimized by canon?

Agathos

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This makes me wonder. Pilots mostly use sensors for operating their mech. But what mech has the worst view from the cockpit?



Hunchback IIC. Looking left or right would only be a distraction from your solahma death charge.

GuyIncognito

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Does the Daboku have the worst or best view from the cockpit?

Liam's Ghost

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Does the Daboku have the worst or best view from the cockpit?

Depends if you hit him in his weak point or not.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Sartris

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if you do, the view is spectacular

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Part of the fanbase: I have very fringe interests
Same part of the fanbase: Why are my interests not specifically catered to and legitimized by canon?

Scotty

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I have an early weekend shift at work tomorrow and RG 15 covers multiple designs I want to actually look at in something approaching depth, so no ratings today.
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Greatclub

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As the guy who did the thud motw update, I'm curious what you come up with. Although the only really innovative variant having some issues isn't a good thing imho

Scotty

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I tend to give issues a lot more leeway when there's not an easy way to optimize around them, or if they're involved in a clever way to min-max around a non-obvious capability (See: Exterminator, which burns approximately as hot as the surface of the sun but does it for good reason).  "Is slow" tends to be a lot harder to optimize around without compromising something else, or has some actual decisions put into it.  A slow 'Mech with Reflective is going to get a bit of that leeway especially considering staying slow really keeps the defensive modifier down that the Reflective is subjected to.  It's not like using an Inner Sphere RAC/5 on a Clan 'Mech where the way to make it better isn't 'obvious' so much as there was almost deliberate effort put in to make it worse.  There's a place for that kind of 'Mech, don't get me wrong, it's just not on my table.
Catalyst Demo Agent #679

Kansas City players, or people who are just passing through the area, come join us at the Geekery just off Shawnee Mission Parkway for BattleTech!  Current days are Tuesdays in the afternoon and evening.  I can't make every single week, but odds are pretty good that somebody will be there.

GuyIncognito

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I rather like the 8M in terms of function, it's just not any sort of new direction for the T-bolt.

Scotty

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Recognition Guide: IlClan Volume 15:

Fire Falcon T: The Fire Falcon is one of my favorite Lights.  It's 25 tons and reasonably well armored for its size.  There are a few things missing, namely that a 10 point hit removes an arm, but you can't have everything at that size.  The base speed is 8/12.  This config includes a Supercharger to bump it up to 8/12[16], which is a move I'm generally in favor of.  The guns are... impressive for its size.  We have a Medium Pulse Laser, two Improved Heavy Medium Lasers, two Improved Heavy Small Lasers, a Streak SRM 4, and a Targeting Computer.  There's also a i-OS SRM 4 but I don't really think it's worth considering for most purposes.  Load with Infernos and forget it exists.  Only the base 10 doubles are here, but at 9 hexes we have a heat netural run if the Streaks don't lock and +3 if they do.  Up closer at 3 hexes we have +6 with the iHSLs and +9 if the Streaks lock.  With the Supercharger this heat is entirely reasonbale, as even the maximum heat achieved takes you down to just 7/11[14].  If you can avoid using the Supercharger while getting into the back arc, use it to keep up the TMM as you disengage.  Normally I'm pretty harsh on relatively fragile Lights that cost as much as this (1661 BV), but here you're putting out enough damage to rival - or surpass - a good chunk of Mediums, and forcing a PSR is fairly trivial for something this accurate and hard-hitting.  It's not my favorite Fire Falcon, but it's a good one.  B+

Fire Falcon F: I almost thought this one was bad just looking at the tiny guns in large numbers, (two ER Small, two ER Micro, eight Machine Guns in two Arrays), then I saw the ER Large.  Heat is exactly neutral at a run, and with the ER Large plus two ER Smalls you can force a PSR reliably.  The small shorter range guns are good for peppering in more hits, and there's an Active Probe here too.  The thing that made me reconsider this config's usefulness is that it's only 1135 BV for a 'Mech that's still fast ("only" 8/12) and can force a PSR with three of its thirteen guns.  Lots of damage to be had here.  The biggest downside is the MG ammo in the center torso, which is bad but arguably less catastrophic here than it could be.  You have something like 25 turns of MG ammo; probably best to start off with a bit less than the full ton.  B-

Fire Falcon G: The Supercharger is back, and this time with it is an Improved Heavy Large Laser and a Protomech AC/4.  I hate PACs, but this is one of very few places that their use is acceptable.  Four damage is exactly enough to make both weapons combine for a PSR, and the range bands are identical.  The PAC ammo should be in the arm, being in the torso is a minor flaw that didn't have to happen.  A running alpha is +1 heat, well within acceptable.  BV here is 1269, so higher than the F with a reduced maximum, but more reliably concentrated.  Congratulations on building a PAC config I don't instantly hate.  C

Fire Falcon I: Remember that conversation about the Firestorm?  This is what that conversation ends up looking like if you shrink it in the wash.  We have a Plasma Cannon with a ton of ammo and five ER Medium Lasers.   We have 11 doubles, so we can fire all the ER Mediums for +5 heat at a run, but there are at least good reasons to drop two to fire the Plasma Cannon at some targets.  For one, you'll still trigger a PSR if you hit with three ER Mediums, which is a fantastic, and you'll generate +2 at a run with that arrangement.  The Plasma Cannon is very obviously not a primary weapon here, which is fine, because you're still putting out approximately 50% of a Nova Prime's firepower on a platform significantly faster and half the size.  The BV is about as high as expected at 1678 for that many painful lasers, but this is a decent striker and damage dealer on the go.  B

Fire Falcon L: An ER PPC and four ER Small Lasers, attached to a Targeting Computer.  Firing all guns at a run is +5 heat, but you'll do a lot of damage and if you're up close you will be extremely accurate with it.  It's slower than a Pack Hunter 5, but it's just as accurate and it has significantly better backup guns (by virtue of having any; them being good is pure upside), plus it's less fragile somehow with the Clan XL.  The BV is extremely similar to the Pack Hunter 5 at 1665, which is why I brought up the comparison in the first place.  I'd rather have this.  B

Fire Falcon R: We're into the "please god, let me die" portion of Fire Falcon configs, because there are a lot of them in here.  This one is very different.  We have a pair of Micro Pulse Lasers, a pair of ATM 3s with two tons of ammo, a Medium Re-engineered Laser, and a Small Re-engineered Laser.  The RE-lasers are an interesting inclusion, and they feel like they're intended for a particular purpose, defeating reflective/hardened/ferro-lamellor armor while maintaining accuracy.  The ATMs provide extra damage, and though I'd personally prefer an ATM 6 in basically all instances, I can't complain about it here.  Very much capable of triggering a PSR at 9 hexes, and getting more capable the closer the range gets, the downside here is that your overall damage is lower than many Fire Falcons, but you're also ice cold even when running on the base heat sinks.  This is made-up for with correspondingly lower BV, at 846 it's by far the cheapest config in the book.  That's enough for me to consider taking it all by itself.  It won't win a stand up fight against, say, a Fire Falcon L, but you're also getting two of them instead.  B

Black Lanner T: This is my favorite 'Mech, period.  The D config is my favorite config and for my opinion one of the single best 'Mechs in the entire game  Were it appearing in this book, it would be an easy S+.  The Black Lanner T is not one of my favorite configs, but it does its job well enough.  We have a pair of Improved Heavy Medium Lasers, an LRM 10 with a ton of ammo, an SRM 6 with a ton of ammo, and a Plasma Cannon with two tons of ammo.  This config just has the base 10 doubles, so unning and firing all non-Plasma guns is +4.  This to me indicates that the Plasma is a comfortably secondary weapon, or to be used in the lead-up where it's one of the only weapons in range.  Two iHMLs is enough to force a PSR by itself (and is quite honestly one of my favorite "main" gun arrangements on anything lighter than about 50 tons), and the missiles seek those holes well enough.  The BV at 2040 is probably about as much as I'd pay while including the Plasma.  It's worth remembering before we get too deep that every Black Lanner is at least 7/11[14], and not only can it handle heat penalties very easily they also maintain +4 TMM even without MASC (or with MASC and heat penalties).  That's a lot of what goes into the cost of these configs.  Even as a not-favorite, this is still comfortably A Good 'Mech.  B

Black Lanner F: Aw yeah, here we go.  Same basic Black Lanner chassis, this time we have five Medium Pulse Lasers in the right arm and six Light Machine Guns in two arrays in the left.  There's also a Light Active Probe here.  That's a lot of MPLs, and with the ten base doubles you're cruising to a +2 at a run.  The arms are flippable, making this effectively immune to being flanked, and it will absolutely eviscerate anything small that tries to backstab it.  The only downside is range compared to cost, but the fast nature of the base chassis means that's a temporary downside at best.  Even at 2154 BV this is one of the most dangerous things on two legs.  S-

Black Lanner G: This one is less good.  We have an ER Large Pulse Laser, which I like, and four LRM 5s, which I'm ambivalent toward.  Two tons of ammo for the missiles is enough, and there are enough heat sinks (11 doubles) that all guns at a run is +1 heat.  I think this is arguably oversinked, and I'd rather have paired LRM 10s instead if it meant losing the extra heat sink.  Something about multiple 5 racks I just don't like.  The BV is acceptable at 1929, and it's eminently capable of forcing PSRs on average cluster rolls.  Overall not bad even if I wish it were a bit different.  B-

Black Lanner I: This is a Mixed Tech config, and I think it is one of the most effective configs of its type in the game.  First, the Clan guns: two ER Medium Lasers, a Streak SRM 4 (there's our PSR trigger), three Heavy Machine Guns (I could take it or leave it), and a Targeting Computer.  Then, the Inner Sphere gun: A Medium Variable Speed Pulse Laser.  Nothing quite says "I love you" like a 9 point hit rolling with a -4 to hit that just sprinted 14 hexes to be right behind you.  Ten doubles puts you at just movement heat with all guns, and one of those guns is a Streak SRM so you're more often than not going to be maintaining good heat indefinitely.  The cost is a steal for that level of precision and damage at 1803 BV.  This is how you do Mixed Tech right.  The capability a VSPL provides doesn't exist in the Clan sphere, and this is a genuine innovation in design that I love to see.  A+

Black Lanner J: Alright, whoever did the designs for this book.  You got me.  There are multiple configs with PACs that I don't hate.  An impressive feat.  This config features three ER Medium Lasers and a PAC/8.  Normally I would poo poo the PAC for its bad range brackets, but this time there's absolutely no room for that, because this Black Lanner has a movement profile of 7/11[18] to come very close to taking the crown of "Fastest Medium 'Mech in the game" (I think the Dasher II 2 still wins that particular competition, but not by much).  This makes the range on the PAC/8 as close to a non-issue as anything ever can.  It's also fully capable of triggering a PSR without the assistance.  Heat is a chilly -1 on the run, and there's enough ammo for the PAC that running out isn't a serious concern for an average game.  BV is just north of 2000 (2022) and what you get for that is capable if it's less outright damage than most of its peers on the chassis.  The extra speed can make a difference, but it's not my first pick.  B

Black Lanner X: Two Improved Heavy Medium Lasers and a Clan RAC/2.  I almost like this config.  Almost.  The CASE II on all explosive crits is very nice, but at the end of the day I just can't get over a Clan RAC/2.  The BV is the lowest of any Black Lanner config at 1672 and for that reason alone it's not bad, but it's my least favorite by a fair margin.  C

Rawhide RWD-R1: I was down on this 'Mech at its current cost until I noticed it has Reflective armor.  We'll get back to that in a minute, but what we have here is a 5/8/5 55 tonner with an IS XL Engine.  The main guns are an ER PPC and a Medium X-Pulse Laser in the right arm with AES.  Shades of the Sojourner there, but I like the base chassis a lot more here compared to the relatively unexciting Sojourner construction decisions.  There's also an MML 9 in the left torso with two tons of ammo, the correct size of MML and ammo payload.  There are 12 doubles, which is good for +4 at a run, and dropping any single weapon puts you down into heat sinking territory again.  This is reasonably good design, and is intuitive heat management without having to get into complex patterns.  The armor as mentioned is Reflective, and there's a good amount of it, exactly one point shy of maximum coverage.  There are two downsides here.  One is the Reflective itself, which is more vulnerable to physicals and fall damage.  The second is the XL Engine.  The MML ammo is in the side torso, and though it's protected by CASE that means absolutely nothing as far as this 'Mech being a functional unit if it goes up.  The BV is reasonable if a bit higher than ideal at 1939, but the Reflective makes it closer to worth it (and also brings it up that high in the first place).  Overall it's a solid 'Mech with few controversial design decisions and an effective use of the AES to save tonnage that would otherwise have gone to a Targeting Computer for the same effect.  B-

Thunderbolt TDR-7M: Ah, here's where the guide starts to slowly grind me under tread.  This isn't a new sheet, and we have an ER Large, LRM 15, three Medium Lasers, a Streak SRM 2, and two Machine Guns.  We have two tons of LRM, one ton of Streak, and one full ton of MG ammo, making this full of Too Much Ammo.  There is a reprieve here in the form of a standard engine and CASE protecting all ammo, so it could definitely be worse.  All guns at a run is heat neutral with 15 doubles, which is arguably oversinked but could definitely be worse.  Armor is good for its size and nearly maximum.  The durability here is enough for me to call it a Good 'Mech, and the price of 1495 is just a little bit more expensive than ideal for putting just absurd amounts of hit points on the board and forcing your opponent to deal with it or lose.  Still in a good place, though.  B+

Thunderbolt TDR-7S: Here marks the first use of a Heavy Duty Gyro I think we've seen in the RecGuide series.  These have recently gotten a bit better than they were, and the first hit no longer triggers a PSR.  That makes it a genuinely good take as opposed to just being worse in every way than a Compact or Armored Gyro, and I approve.  The armament here is a pair of Small X-Pulse Lasers, an ER Large Laser, three ER Medium Lasers, an LRM 15, and an SRM 2, and a total of three tons of ammo.  The ammo is protected by CASE II and the 'Mech has a Standard Engine, which makes it very durable.  With 14 doubles we are no more oversinked, and this can get pretty hot pretty quick.  Firing all ER Lasers at a run is +1 heat, and the LRM 15 can be swapped out as range bands dictate for better damage.  At close range the full complement of guns will hardly ever be used, though you can drop the ER Large Laser and fire everything else for +2 heat.  The LRM is arguably not going to be as useful there, but the heat brackets are much better.  There are enough guns here you can mix and match as you like to sink heat as necessary.  Armor is still good, if not a tiny bit better.  The BV at 1582 is still good, but it's competing directly with the 7M to see use.  I think this one comes out incrementally on top due to the improved durability.  B+

Thunderbolt TDR-8M: The weapons and equipment inventory is mercifully shorter on this variant.  We have an ER Large Laser, three ER Medium Lasers, and an LRM 15 with two tons of ammo.  No frills.  The ammo is protected by CASE, and it's a standard engine.  Armor is still excellent.  Sixteen doubles means firing all guns only generates movement heat, but we have jump jets so that can be up to +4.  BV at 1644 is worth it for the maneuvering advantage of the jump jets, though I'd honestly rather have seen a heat sink dropped to get CASE II or something similar.  That's as minor as gripes can get, though, and this is a solid 'Mech to just put on a table and expect to occupy your opponent while still doing damage.  A-

Thunderbolt TDR-9S: Welp, we're back to the long list of guns again.  An ER PPC, three Medium Lasers, two Machine Guns, two Flamers, an SRM 6, and an AMS.  We have a full ton of MG ammo for a total of three, though all three are protected by CASE with a Standard Engine.  All non-Flamer guns is heat neutral, or +1 when the AMS kicks off thanks to 15 doubles.  This is arguably oversinked slightly, but the inclusion of the Flamers is puzzling except as anti-infantry guns - which we already have in the form of the MGs.  I'd rather have seen one or the other than both like this.  The rest of the 'Mech is fine.  I don't think there's a Thud off-hand that has insufficient amounts of armor.  At 1494 BV this is directly comparable to the 7M, trading a reduced throw weight at range for greater range, and an improved throw weight at close range.  It's a reasonable trade-off, and one I can see going either way.  The inclusion of the difficult to use Flamers is the only thing that keeps this from matching the 7M in rating.  B

Thunderbolt TDR-9SE: Back to jump jets!  This time we have a Large Pulse Laser, three Medium Lasers, and an LRM 10 with a ton of ammo.  The ammo is protected by CASE and we still have a standard engine.  A jumping alpha is -3 heat, so this variant is ridiculously oversinked, which is absolutely going to count against it.  I'd like to have seen what could happen with another three tons of guns instead.  The armor is Thunderbolt Standard (excellent), but the extremely truncated ranged punch here is concerning.  At 1439 BV you're definitely paying less to get less, even if it's still useful.  B-

Thunderbolt TDR-9W: Looking at this sheet it's obvious to see why the 9SE made the choices it did.  This variant instead has Clan guns, and it mounts a Large Pulse Laser, three Medium Pulse Lasers, and an LRM 10 with Artemis IV and two tons of ammo.  Everything else, heat sinks included, is identical.  This version is exactly heat neutral on a jumping alpha, which is still arguably oversinked, but this time you actually can handle jumping all the time and still contribute effectively.  The guns on this variant are excellent, and the durability just as much.  The BV is 1985 and it's worth basically every point.  A

Thunderbolt TDR-11S: I guess someone heard me griping about MGs and Flamers on the same 'Mech for the 9S, because this is basically identical except it has four Machine Guns instead of two Flamers.  We still have fifteen doubles, so the heat curve of the 9S applies here exactly.  The other addition is that we now have a Heavy Duty Gyro, making this one significantly harder to knock down.  This is a good thing, obviously.  The BV is higher, but for the most part it's deservedly higher at 1570, and I'd tend to consider it over the 9S, but not by much.  Not having the Flamers gets it back to a B+

Thunderbolt TDR-12R: And now we have the Thunderbolt that actually goes for some innovation.  We have a 3/5 Standard Engine and Reflective armor.  Slow and Reflective can be a pretty bad combination, but here I think it actually works reasonably well.  It takes more skill to use, because getting into a position where you are going to take physical attacks or fail PSRs is something to be avoided at all costs.  Fortunately, Reflective makes taking many of those PSRs less likely.  Still, this is a 'Mech I'd consider springing for a piloting skill upgrade sooner than later.  For guns we have a Plasma Rifle, two Medium Lasers, three Small Variable Speed Pulse Lasers, two Thunderbolt 5s, and a Clan LRM 15.  I could take or leave the Thunderbolts, but the rest of it is good stuff.  The Small VSPLs are very heat efficient and accurate deterrence from getting to short range, the only downside is they're in the left torso.  Ideally they'd be in an arm to threaten the rear arc, but having to match the art is unfortunate in this case.  At range we have the LRM 15, Plasma Rifle, and Thunderbolt 5 coming in at -1 heat on a run, which is cool but not bad.  Up close we have the SVSPLs, Medium Lasers, and alternately Clan LRMs or Plasma Rifle for heat.  The Plasma Rifle option is +3 heat on a run, the LRM option is -2 heat on a run, alternate as you see fit.  This is a reasonable set of weapons, with options and no circumstance under which one weapon is useless at all ranges.  There are four tons of explosive ammo in the right torso protected by CASE II, and like all Thunderbolts we've seen there's a standard fusion engine here, making it very durable.  Don't let an opponent stay standing within melee range.  Fortunately, with the VSPLs you'll do a lot of damage once they get that close.  The BV here is relatively high for such a slow 'Mech with Reflective at 1975, and it's honestly up to you whether you prefer to effectively warp your whole gameplan around supporting this 'Mech.  There are definitely arguments to be made to do so.  The weaknesses here are obvious, but they're still considered by the completed design.  I appreciate taking the risk here, it gives us something genuinely new.  B

Thunderbolt C: Ah, yes, just when I thought I was done with Thunderbolt variants.  Here we have (all Clan guns) an ER Large Laser, a Large Pulse Laser, two ER Small Lasers, and an ER Medium Laser.  That's a lot of Clan energy guns, and somewhat amusingly this is exactly the kind of 'Mech the Thunderbolt 12R is designed to crush into paste.  Twenty four single heat sinks means you can fire both long range guns without overheating, which is a damn feat with single heat sinks, but one that could still be trivially corrected.  I... have no idea what makes this Mixed tech, for those of you for whom this matters.  Might as well call it fully Clantech, I don't think there's a single difference if you do.  The rest of the guns are too hot to use with the long range guns, but you can fairly trivially swap the ER Large out for the smaller ER lasers and come out ahead on damage.  Overall not bad, especially for a C variant, but one that could be improved.  BV of 1671 is probably a bit high but it will play exactly like a brick with Clan guns on it, and that's something.  B-

Thunderbolt C 2: Another_one.wav.  This time we have a fully Clan tech base, which includes an ER PPC, four ER Medium Lasers, a Streak SRM 6, two ER Small Lasers, two Small Pulse Lasers, and an AMS.  Both ammo bins are protected by CASE, and it's still a standard engine.  There are 17 doubles, and they start to fail to meet demand as soon as 15 hexes, where we have an ER PPC and four ER Mediums that add up to +3 at a run.  That's pretty effective for your heat cap, and you can drop an ER Medium and add the Streak SRM 6 once some holes open up to either sink heat, or come very close to guaranteeing you've triggered a PSR.  Up very close the ER PPC can drop out for all other guns, which is a hefty chunk of damage.  The BV is the highest of any Thunderbolt that we've seen so far at 2170, but it also puts out by far the most damage and should be respected for it.  B+

Phoenix Hawk IIC: I love this 'Mech.  Ultra AC/10s are my bread and butter, second only to Ultra AC/5s, and this thing has two of them with six tons of ammo.  We also have a pair of Machine Guns with a half ton of ammo but that's not why any of us are here.  This is an Assault 'Mech that moves 5/8/5 and will absolutely blindside someone when they least expect it for 40 damage.  With 10 doubles we're well undersinked here at -3 for a full jumping alpha.  Armor is good not great for its size, but the BV at 2057 is deceptively low for a large flying brick that's dangerous in all phases.  A-

Phoenix Hawk IIC 2: This is a variant where the improvements are a bit much.  It's inarguably much better on an individual performance level than the Standard, but it's so much more expensive, and there are a couple odd choices that make it harder to want to use.  The LRMs pack the torsos tight, which means all ammo is in the arms, eight tons of it.  That's enough ammo to be here for a good long while, and it also means that you can be completely defanged without ever losing a single weapon.  That's a bad thing in my book.  There's also a mild overheating concern, running and firing all LRMs will get you to +6, jumping to +9.  It's trivial to get back to terrain with the jump jets, but much like the Battlemaster 6G, we have a series of guns here that we can't efficiently use with identical range brackets, and that just bugs me a bit.  The price I mentioned before is almost 2900 BV (2892) and that's much too high for my tastes.  It doesn't suck, it's just also fully out of my preferred 'Mechs stable.  C+

Phoenix Hawk IIC 9: It's exactly half of each previous variant.  This makes it a reasonably all-comers kind of 'Mech.  It experiences no significant heat issues (neutral at a run, +3 at a jump), has enough ammo for both guns, and its offensive output is much higher.  The BV splits the difference almost exactly at 2469, and my rating will too.  B

Phoenix Hawk IIC 10: The Sea Foxes saw the Gargoyle K and said "hold my beer".  Here we have six Clan ER Medium Lasers, two Clan ER Large Lasers, and a Hatchet.  All of the guns are appropriately in the torsos or head, and the Hatchet is by its lonesome in the right arm, perfectly positioned.  This is a lot of gun, and the expectation is to use the ER Larges at range, and switch entirely to the ER Mediums once they get into range for a heat neutral run.  The BV is high at 2762, but you're also swinging a 16 point Hatchet around, which is pretty intimidating, and you sacrificed exactly zero offense to do it.  Good stuff.  It's not my personal cup of tea, but it competes fairly and favorably with the Gargoyle, so the rating will be similar. A-

'Mechs by rating:

F: none
D: none (nothing in this book sucked)
C: 3 (barely anything was even just "okay")
B: 18 (make a bad Thunderbolt, you won't)
A: 5
S: 1

Cumulative 'Mechs by rating (series):

F: 22
D: 57
C: 102
B: 105 (an upset!)
A: 64
S: 8
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Starfury

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All of the Thuds in Rec Guide 15, both old and new are excellent.  They really fit the bill for a workhorse design, and add nicely to the Project Phoenix mods.  Many of the Unseen ended up with great refits, and Marik especially gained a lot with this series.

GuyIncognito

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The 8M has an introdate of 3058, so I don't think CASE II would have been an option?

Scotty

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The 8M has an introdate of 3058, so I don't think CASE II would have been an option?

I have not been considering intro date, because it is irrelevant in any games I play.
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Liam's Ghost

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Thunderbolt TDR-9SE: Back to jump jets!  This time we have a Large Pulse Laser, three Medium Lasers, and an LRM 10 with a ton of ammo.  The ammo is protected by CASE and we still have a standard engine.  A jumping alpha is -3 heat, so this variant is ridiculously oversinked, which is absolutely going to count against it.  I'd like to have seen what could happen with another three tons of guns instead.  The armor is Thunderbolt Standard (excellent), but the extremely truncated ranged punch here is concerning.  At 1439 BV you're definitely paying less to get less, even if it's still useful.  B-

Thunderbolt TDR-9W: Looking at this sheet it's obvious to see why the 9SE made the choices it did.  This variant instead has Clan guns, and it mounts a Large Pulse Laser, three Medium Pulse Lasers, and an LRM 10 with Artemis IV and two tons of ammo.  Everything else, heat sinks included, is identical.  This version is exactly heat neutral on a jumping alpha, which is still arguably oversinked, but this time you actually can handle jumping all the time and still contribute effectively.  The guns on this variant are excellent, and the durability just as much.  The BV is 1985 and it's worth basically every point.  A

Based on the introductory dates, it looks like Wolf's Dragoons felt inspired by the Eridani Light Horse

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Thunderbolt C: Ah, yes, just when I thought I was done with Thunderbolt variants.  Here we have (all Clan guns) an ER Large Laser, a Large Pulse Laser, two ER Small Lasers, and an ER Medium Laser.  That's a lot of Clan energy guns, and somewhat amusingly this is exactly the kind of 'Mech the Thunderbolt 12R is designed to crush into paste.  Twenty four single heat sinks means you can fire both long range guns without overheating, which is a damn feat with single heat sinks, but one that could still be trivially corrected.  I... have no idea what makes this Mixed tech, for those of you for whom this matters.  Might as well call it fully Clantech, I don't think there's a single difference if you do.  The rest of the guns are too hot to use with the long range guns, but you can fairly trivially swap the ER Large out for the smaller ER lasers and come out ahead on damage.  Overall not bad, especially for a C variant, but one that could be improved.  BV of 1671 is probably a bit high but it will play exactly like a brick with Clan guns on it, and that's something.  B-

It's mixed tech because it's technically clan weapons on an Inner Sphere frame, since they started out as refits of captured inner sphere Thunderbolts. This is just one of the few cases where there's no discernable difference (as in no ammo to explode so you don't notice the lack of CASE).
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Scotty

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It's mixed tech because it's technically clan weapons on an Inner Sphere frame, since they started out as refits of captured inner sphere Thunderbolts. This is just one of the few cases where there's no discernable difference (as in no ammo to explode so you don't notice the lack of CASE).

There being no discernable difference is why I called it out.  The only thing this matters for, as far as I can tell, is campaign refits which are going to be a separate record sheet anyway.  It feels like an artifact of the system that can (and arguably should if it's doing literally nothing) be done away with for a pickup game.  This variant is not TL until the 3090s, unless I miss my guess, for absolutely no reason.

tl;dr this distinction shouldn't affect a unit's legality and I'm irritated that it does
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SteelRaven

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The Thud has become a major contender for my favorite Heavy with even more S variants.
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Liam's Ghost

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There being no discernable difference is why I called it out.  The only thing this matters for, as far as I can tell, is campaign refits which are going to be a separate record sheet anyway.  It feels like an artifact of the system that can (and arguably should if it's doing literally nothing) be done away with for a pickup game.  This variant is not TL until the 3090s, unless I miss my guess, for absolutely no reason.

tl;dr this distinction shouldn't affect a unit's legality and I'm irritated that it does

I agree, particularly since these variants appeared right out the gate, both in and out of universe. I personally don't worry about what is and isn't tournament legal, but I feel like mixed tech would have been a given, especially how canonically common it was for inner sphere units to incorporate clan salvage.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

BrianDavion

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I have not been considering intro date, because it is irrelevant in any games I play.

it's not irrelevant for the folks who design the mechs though.

Scotty

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it's not irrelevant for the folks who design the mechs though.

I'm trying to figure out how to say this without seeming really condescending, but (and I really, seriously do mean this with no disrespect to you or the designer, there just isn't a better way to say this) I don't care.  The constraints of the sheet at the time it was published are completely irrelevant to its performance now, the same way that if I were hypothetically reviewing a 'Mech with one Streak SRM 2 and two tons of ammo for (I know this 'Mech exists, but I can't think of the name) I would criticize it harshly even knowing that at the time it was published Inferno ammo was legal for Streak SRM 2s.  That is the nature of viewing these sheets in as close to a vacuum as I'm capable of doing.
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Sartris

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grades are contextual. in an era-agnostic format where any unit can be used, it loses points because you could just as easily select something that does have CASE II. whether the designer could or couldn't use the tech, it still must be judged against those that do in this specific context.

any of these units might receive a different grade where era tech restrictions preclude the use of advanced equipment

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Scotty

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That's a better way to put it, yeah.
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bobthecoward

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That's a better way to put it, yeah.

Scotty, instead of basing it on what matters to you, I think you should base it on what matters to me, but still put in all the work.

klarg1

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I'm trying to figure out how to say this without seeming really condescending, but (and I really, seriously do mean this with no disrespect to you or the designer, there just isn't a better way to say this) I don't care.  The constraints of the sheet at the time it was published are completely irrelevant to its performance now, the same way that if I were hypothetically reviewing a 'Mech with one Streak SRM 2 and two tons of ammo for (I know this 'Mech exists, but I can't think of the name) I would criticize it harshly even knowing that at the time it was published Inferno ammo was legal for Streak SRM 2s.  That is the nature of viewing these sheets in as close to a vacuum as I'm capable of doing.

I know it's based purely on your preferred style of play, but rating each design purely based on game play is probably about as even-handed choice you could make. There might be other good metrics, but I have trouble finding fault with this one.