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Author Topic: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection  (Read 9104 times)

GreekFire

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ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide
Part 1: Force Selection

PART 2: TACTICS MAY BE FOUND HERE: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-articles/protomechs-a-comprehensive-guide-part-2-tactics/

I've decided to do something a bit special for my 1000th post. Since we haven’t had a proper ProtoMech guide since the last iteration of this forum crashed and burned, I decided to put my experience with them to good use and create an extensive guide to help out players who are confused at how they work. This is the first part in a multi-part series where I’ll be examining their roles and uses on the battlefield.

I won’t be going into much detail concerning their basic in-game rules. These are easily found in Total Warfare. However, I will be working under certain assumptions during this series. Firstly, I’ll be following the typical Clan doctrine of fielding groups of five-ProtoMech Points in all of my examples. Secondly, I will not be examining the actual stats of any ProtoMechs. These can be found in one of four general places:
  • Record Sheets: 3060u (for the original batch)
  • Record Sheets: 3075 - The Cutting Edge (for the second generation Protos)
  • The Wars of Reaving Supplimental (for Society ProtoMechs)
  • XTRO: The Clans, Record Sheets: Prototypes and TRO3145: Mercenaries (for the third generation, IS Clan ProtoMechs)


Sprite ProtoMech, from The Wars of Reaving

Although the current number of existing ProtoMechs pales when compared to the staggering horde of ‘Mechs that have appeared over the years, there are still roughly 80 Protos that a player can choose from. Cutting down on that number by choosing a specific Clan and the ProtoMechs available to them can bring it down to reasonable levels, but it can still be hard to realize what each Clan has at its disposal as many variants of the same ProtoMech can veer off to cover completely different roles. Few people can rattle off the specific roles of each Gorgon variant, or remember which Hydra does what.

I’ll be tackling this in two ways; first off, I’ll be categorizing ProtoMechs into nine general categories based upon their speed and armor profiles, then expand on that by looking at their weapon loadouts. Then I’ll be using these categories to show the specialties of each Clan, and how a player for that given Clan should approach their ProtoMech force in order to gain the largest bang for their buck.


PRIMARY ROLES

I’ve come to call the combined speed and armor profiles of a ProtoMech their “Primary Role”. These are, more than their weaponry, the defining features of any ProtoMech that will most dictate their usage. I’ve given each Primary Role a name to make them more memorable, but these roles remain purely subjective and largely unimportant. The standards used to define "high speed" or "low armor" are also subjective, the result of my own games that I've played over the years. Additionally, a unit can straddle the boundary between two categories, or get cut off from one and shunted into another by lacking a single point of armor. So keep in mind that my thoughts here, more than anything else, are simply a guide to direct players towards creating a force that best suits their needs. There are not definitive nor final. Unless otherwise noted, all examples given will refer to the Standard ProtoMech model.

STRIKER
  • High Speed, High Armor
  • EG: Boggart 2
  • These ProtoMechs are the cream of the crop in any ProtoMech force. Their firepower might suffer slightly to achieve their impressive survivability, but as of now only one unit truly falls into this category for me: the Boggart 2.
SKIRMISHER
  • High Speed, Standard Armor
  • EG: Hippogriff, Centaur 4
  • Another category with few contenders, the Myomer Booster on the Centaur 4 places it in this category alongside the 3/5/7 moving Hippogriff. They work best in slashing attacks or as close support, where they can keep their high mods while contributing to combat in meaningful ways.
SCOUT
  • High Speed, Low Armor
  • EG: Cecerops, Satyr, Satyr XP, Siren
  • Scouts are as close to Light Mechs in function and role as ProtoMechs get. Keep them away from enemy weapons or strike from the angles most favourable to you.
BRAWLER
  • Standard Speed, High Armor
  • EG: Boggart, Delphyne, Sprite, Svartalfa, Triton
  • Brawlers live in the thick of combat. Their lowered speed means that they rely more on their armor, but they can still usually engage on their terms and wield firepower reminiscent of Succession War lights.
TROOPER
  • Standard Speed, Standard Armor
  • EG: Chrysaor, Procyon (Quad), Roc
  • Aiming for the ideal blend of speed, armor and firepower, Troopers offer great flexibility and can flesh out many different types of Points.
AMBUSHER
  • Standard Speed, Low Armor
  • EG: Centaur, Orc, Procyon, Erinyes
  • Ambushers live through hit-and-fade attacks. Their armor is too light to survive sustained attention, but their ability to quickly engage or disengage can usually give them an advantage.
TANK
  • Low Speed, High Armor
  • EG: Basilisk, Minotaur, Minotaur P2, Hobgoblin
  • Too slow to easily move with typically nimble Clan forces, Tanks work best when assaulting or defending static objectives or trapped defenders.
LINEHOLDER
  • Low Speed, Standard Armor
  • EG: Gorgon, Hydra
  • Less survivable than tanks, a Lineholder with smart weapons choices will still pose a significant threat to enemy forces.
GRUNT
  • Low Speed, Low Armor
  • EG: Harpy
  • Grunts can serve one of two purposes: die quickly as canon-fodder, or die gloriously as a glass cannon. Either way, life expectancy is short.

Centaur ProtoMech, from TRO:3060
Lightly armored but nimble, it falls under the "Ambusher" Primary Role.


COMBAT ROLES

What I call “Combat roles” are general modifiers that can be added to the Primary Roles I listed above. These are entirely based on the weapons that each ProtoMech uses, and are terms that most BattleTech players should already be familiar with. Combat Roles are the specialty of each ProtoMech - they help determine the target the ProtoMech is best against and the ranges at which it should ideally engage. Once again, I used my own subjective opinions for each role; certain players mind find the Heavy Small Lasers to be perfectly fine holepunchers for their ProtoMechs, or may have fewer requirements for their critseekers.
 
  • HOLEPUNCHER - Has at least one weapon that deals 7 point of damage in a hit, such as the ER Medium Laser.
  • CRITSEEKER - Can land at least four different hits on a target in any given turn, such as with an SRM-4.
  • LONG-RANGED SUPPORT - Their main weapon can shoot out to at least 20 hexes, such as an LRM-3.
  • ANTI-INFANTRY - The ProtoMech has most of its weaponry dedicated towards killing infantry, such as a Machine Gun.
  • SPECIALIST - They carry advanced electronics or a specialist weapon system, such as Light TAG or a Plasma Cannon.
  • GENERALIST - Can reliably accomplish more than one of the roles listed above, such as a ProtoMech able to both Holepunch and Critseek.
  • STANDARD - Accomplishes none of the roles listed above, such as a Protomech with two ER Micro Lasers.

Your selection of Combat Roles heavily depends on the rest of your force. Are you planning on having your ‘Mechs do the holepunching? Do you want your ProtoMechs to be your dedicated scouts? Will you be relying on Zellbrigen, and do you expect a Point of Protos to be able to take on a ‘Mech alone? A few questions you can ask yourself are:
  • “If my ProtoMech point was a ‘Mech, what would I want it to have?”
  • "What is the rest of my force missing right now?"
  • "If I have to stick to zell/am not planning on following zell, how will my ProtoMech Point fare?"

Table showing the combined Primary and Combat Roles of each ProtoMech.
Trooper designs are the most common, supported by (if Society designs are ignored) Ambushers and Scouts.
As for Combat Roles, Standard and Holepuncher ProtoMechs lead the pack.

Certain combinations of the two roles create better ProtoMechs than others. Long-Ranged Lineholders work well since they have the range to compensate for their low speed and armor is not a priority. At the same time, Holepunching Ambushers are harder to use since they cannot reliably punch through armor. Ultimately, a player should think about what they want to accomplish with their ProtoMechs and how to accomplish it. Sticking with the same Primary Role - or at least the same speed AND/OR armor profiles - within a Point is usually a good idea. This ensures that the entire Point will usually be able to engage in combat at the same time, against the same target. Conversely, only having one Combat Role within a Point is usually a bad idea unless your ProtoMechs have a very defined role in your force. As of always, there are exceptions. I will cover these in the second part of my guide, so for now, stick with what I've mentioned unless you're confident in your abilities.

Now that we’ve organized the ProtoMechs by their roles we can take a general look at the forces that each Clan uses.

   (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)        (scrolls ->)
Each Clan and the ProtoMechs they use. Clan Smoke Jaguar was not included since their only use of ProtoMechs occurred within weeks of their final destruction. Clans Diamond Shark, Ghost Bear and Wolf were omitted due to a lack of information on their quickly-terminated ProtoMech use. Take note that Clan Wolf-in-Exile terminated their program between the years of the Jihad and FM:3085.
Source Guide
                                     (up):FM:Updates RATs, lack of any 2nd-generation ProtoMechs leads me to believe these RATs are valid up until 3063-4 for most Clans.
                                      (ce):Combat Equipment RATs, good from between roughly 3063-4 up to 3067ish.
                                      (re):Wars of Reaving Supplimental RATs, dated at 3072.
                                      (85):FM:3085, dated at 3085.
                                      (MUL):Master Unit List, used for certain ProtoMechs/Clans if no other sources are found.
                                      (fluff):Design in mentioned as being used in numbers by the faction.


Based on this, and comparing it with the Primary/Combat Role table, we discover how many Clans use their ProtoMechs in different ways. This can help a player choosing to field a force from a specific Clan choose the best selection of Protomechs to support his/her force.

CLAN BLOOD SPIRIT
  • While they have no Generalists, and each ProtoMech is rather specialized in its role. They vastly prefer direct combat Protos, with very little in terms of specialists or support units.
  • Most of their ProtoMech selection is relatively tough, with only their quickest movers falling behind in terms of armor.
  • Their homegrown designs, the Chrysaor, Cecerops and Delphyne, promote quicker slashing attacks and maneuver warfare.
CLAN CLOUD COBRA
  • Their ProtoMech selection is made for close combat, with heavier, slower Protos there to punch holes while secondary faster Protos act in supporting roles.
  • The Basilisk is the prime ProtoMech of the Cobras, able to cover a good number of heavy close-combat roles with its variants.
CLAN COYOTE
  • A very heavy focus on holepunching, with even units classified as “Standard” using weapons such as the ER Small Laser.
  • They have a mobile core force, with no slower units appearing before the Society uprising. They also have very few quicker units as well, with those they do have acting in specialized supporting roles.
  • The Procyon forms their backbone, and covers nearly all of the Combat Roles with its variants. They encourage quick strikes, their low armor preventing sustained combat.
CLAN FIRE MANDRILL
  • They have a small focus on holepunchers, but ultimately have a large diversity of different ProtoMechs.
  • Although their only Anti-Infantry ProtoMech is the lackluster Harpy, they have many units with Medium Pulse Lasers that work well against quicker/lighter targets.
  • They don’t have a single quicker unit to support their mediumweight core, which leaves them with mainly direct combat units.
  • Their single homemade ProtoMech design, the Delphyne, is the peak of their general doctrine.
CLAN GOLIATH SCORPION
  • Although they don’t have much of a Combat Role focus, they overwhelmingly field ProtoMechs with large amounts of armor.
  • The majority of their ProtoMechs use Jump Jets except for their quickest designs, which makes them specialists in broken terrain.
  • The Triton is the foundation of Scorpion ProtoMech Points, featuring jump jets and heavy armor on all of their variants.
CLAN HELL’S HORSES
  • They have a decidedly slow ProtoMech roster, with their quickest units being their Orcs and Centaurs.
  • Many of them are lightly armored and fragile, best used in ambushes and hit and run attacks. The Wars of Reaving marked the beginning of a general trend towards solidifying their ProtoMech designs.
  • The Hell’s Horses have a lack of holepunching compared to other Clans. More standards, generalists and critseekers than usual make them effective against combined arms formations.
  • Harpies and Orcs, with their variants, are the key Horse units; they both promote mass ProtoMech swarms. The Minotaur P2, Procyon (Quad) and Svartalfa will later give the Horses a solid, flexible anvil.
CLAN ICE HELLION
  • True to their preferred doctrine, the Ice Hellions have a huge focus on very fast, lightly armored ProtoMechs.
  • The few heavier designs they field are designed to punch holes for other forces to exploit.
  • Their adopted designs, the Satyr and the Siren, have a wide number of variants that gives the Hellions some tactical flexibility in deciding their - albeit still limited - role.
CLAN SNOW RAVEN
  • The Ravens favor quicker, more nimble ProtoMechs with many of them specialized in one way or another.
  • This makes them good support units for larger forces, although these ProtoMechs can suffer somewhat if forced to follow Zellbrigen.
  • The Roc and all of its iterations are popular with the Ravens, giving them a solid combat foundation that can be built upon using other support ProtoMechs.
CLAN STAR ADDER
  • They have a large concentration of heavier, tougher holepunchers with lighter, more fragile Protos covering the anti-infantry role.
  • The Adders depend on Blood Spirit designs for diversity; without them, their selection becomes even slower and heavier.
  • The Gorgon has been adopted by the Adders, and can cover many different movement profiles and combat roles. Sirens are their only quick unit, offering rapid support.
CLAN STEEL VIPER
  • Extreme focus on holepunching and direct combat, with no long-ranged support, critseekers, generalists, and barely any anti-infantry capabilities.
  • Their faster units support in mostly non-combat ways.
  • Roc/Roc rip-offs form the basis of a Viper force. Even different designs are turned into approximations of the Roc if possible.

Cecerops ProtoMechs in action, 2011 CSO Diorama.

The last major part of force selection revolves around BV. If you don't plan on using BV to balance your force, then this section is easily skippable. For those of us who do use it, creating even a Point of five ProtoMechs can be a hassle of compromises, point counting, and corner cutting. Since ProtoMechs are usually the cheapest components of any force I build, this makes it very important to keep an eye on their BV in order to fit into the final confines of my maximum allowed limit. Here are some basic pointers for saving on ProtoMech BV.

  • Avoid ProtoMechs with both a main gun and weapons in their arms if possible. Remember, a ProtoMech cannot fire both its arm-mounted weapons and its main gun in the same turn, but there is no BV discount for this (sometimes major) drawback. This can make certain designs that appear good at a first glance - such as the Minotaur P2 - much less desirable.
  • Improved Jump Jets come out cheap if you’re always planning on jumping. Compare the BVs of Basilisk 3 and the Roc, which are near-identical except for the Basilisk 3’s 4/6/5 movement and the Roc’s 5/8/5.
  • Make sure you aren’t paying for a gun with no ammo, or for too much ammo on a gun. The standard Basilisk has an LRM-3 with only 2 shots, charging BV on a gun that will barely be used. On the other side of the spectrum, the Hydra 2 has a total of 10 expensive shots for its Streak SRM-5 when it is nearly guaranteed not to survive long enough to use them.
  • Try to avoid “dump” ProtoMechs like the Harpy and Erinyes as much as possible. Their cheap BV might look like an easy way to finish up a Point, but swapping around a few units can typically allow you to upgrade that Harpy to something much more useful such as a Cecerops or a Siren.
  • Medium Lasers are expensive, light Clan weapons are not. Only using ProtoMechs with ER Medium Lasers might seem like a good idea, but they are BV intensive and putting them on fragile ProtoMechs can be a risky way to spend those points. It can sometimes be better to switch to other cheaper weapons to fill the roles that you’re looking at.
  • Make sure you will be using the best of your Generalists. Are you paying BV for weapons you don’t need? Take the Triton 2; if you’re engaging at knife-fighting range, then the LRM-3 seems like a waste of BV. Likewise if you’re engaging at range, the two ER Micros (and maybe the ER Small) are wasted BV.

With this, you should be able to whip up a decent ProtoMech Point or two and bedazzle your opponent with this underused and underrated unit type. In the second part of this guide I'll be going into the different tactics you can use with your ProtoMechs, using their unique nature to take control of the battlefield and shift it to your advantage.

~ ~ ~

The Wars of Reaving 2011 Diorama photos can be found here: http://camospecs.com/Unit.asp?ID=1004
A list of all of the current ProtoMechs can be found on the MUL here (take note that one, the Svartalfa 2, is currently without a record sheet): http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=&HasBV=false&MinTons=&MaxTons=&MinBV=&MaxBV=&MinIntro=&MaxIntro=&MinCost=&MaxCost=&HasRole=&HasBFAbility=&BookAuto=&FactionAuto=&SubTypes=46
IWM has ProtoMechs for sale here: http://ironwindmetals.com/store/index.php?cPath=16_44_22
And in the archive over here: http://ironwindmetals.com/store/index.php?cPath=16_44_335_331
« Last Edit: 18 March 2015, 21:49:57 by GreekFire »
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
Want to know which 'Mechs haven't been covered? Take a look at this: http://pastebin.com/9LNAMhFC
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Kojak

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Re: ProtoMechs: An Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #1 on: 18 November 2014, 04:03:45 »
Oh man, what a great article! Very useful stuff in here. I can't wait to see the rest of the series.
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agen2

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #2 on: 18 November 2014, 05:01:21 »
Wow,thank you. O0

Fat Guy

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #3 on: 18 November 2014, 09:46:02 »
 [applause]
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StCptMara

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #4 on: 18 November 2014, 10:33:26 »
Greekfire: thank you! I look forward to seeing the rest of this series! (Especially as I have not gotten
much chance to play with the newer Protomechs and the new dynamic they give to unit type).

And your article is already starting off way better formatted then my old article before the previous Forums
going like a lone Erinyes getting hit by an Alpha Strike from a Dire Wolf Widowmaker.
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marauder648

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #5 on: 18 November 2014, 14:33:00 »
Wow! What an article, well written and darn clear :) Can't wait to see more :)
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Col.Hengist

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #6 on: 18 November 2014, 15:17:55 »
Can not wait for the next installment! Well written and easy to follow. Thank you! [watch]
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #7 on: 18 November 2014, 15:36:13 »
Thank you all for the encouraging words, everyone! In all honesty I was pretty nervous about posting this because I know that there are some great ProtoMech users on these boards.

Part two is on its way, I've got most of the graphics done and the text is largely written. Just gotta give it the finishing touches and it'll be ready to post.

And your article is already starting off way better formatted then my old article before the previous Forums
going like a lone Erinyes getting hit by an Alpha Strike from a Dire Wolf Widowmaker.

I remember reading your article way back when! It was one of the things that inspired me to work on this! The old ProtoMech of the Week series convinced me to use them in the first place, so this is my way of giving back to the community.
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
Want to know which 'Mechs haven't been covered? Take a look at this: http://pastebin.com/9LNAMhFC
Interested in requesting or writing a 'Mech of the Week article? Come join us over here: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=55619.0

cold1

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #8 on: 18 November 2014, 18:39:07 »
Dude...
This is AWESOME!

This is some fine work.  Guess I've been doing it wrong since my Adder protos are always Roc 1's and Minotaur 3's.  Both are tough and at 5/8/5 support my heavy cav mechs well.


Greekfire this is truly stellar work.  The people on this forum I listen to about protos (who, in an odd twist of fate, all seem to be Spirit fans) are applauding it, that's a big deal!


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Kojak

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #9 on: 18 November 2014, 21:30:28 »
Yeah, I'm bookmarking this as a major reference article, like Trace's old Dicta Coburn.
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StCptMara

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #10 on: 18 November 2014, 21:51:39 »
I remember reading your article way back when! It was one of the things that inspired me to work on this! The old ProtoMech of the Week series convinced me to use them in the first place, so this is my way of giving back to the community.

I never re-wrote it because, well, it was a lot of work, and I wrote it at a time when I was using Protomechs regularly. I,
actually, have not played any BattleTech in over a year now, and have not had a chance to try with all the awesome new
stuff to explain how best to use them, as I have not figured that out yet.
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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #11 on: 18 November 2014, 22:45:37 »
What a fantastic article!  Thank you for such detail efforts, Greekfire!
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marauder648

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #12 on: 19 November 2014, 04:20:36 »
A possible suggestion, putting the Minotaur Z in the striker category, 5 IJJ's and a Imp heavy medium combined makes it pritty darn lethal.
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #13 on: 19 November 2014, 11:23:01 »
A possible suggestion, putting the Minotaur Z in the striker category, 5 IJJ's and a Imp heavy medium combined makes it pritty darn lethal.

It is an extremely effective ProtoMech, but as I said, the names of the categories themselves are pretty unimportant. They just make mental categorization easier.

For me, a Striker is a unit that not only has a massive slab or armor, but can also reach a +4 movement modifier. This isn't all that easy to accomplish on a ProtoMech chassis (at least, it was harder before superheavies and quad Protos), which is why there's only one design in the category. The Brawler role is probably the absolute deadliest in direct combat, though, since they can mount more weaponry compared to Strikers while still having a minimum of maneuverability.
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
Want to know which 'Mechs haven't been covered? Take a look at this: http://pastebin.com/9LNAMhFC
Interested in requesting or writing a 'Mech of the Week article? Come join us over here: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=55619.0

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #14 on: 19 November 2014, 15:22:05 »
Great article, Greek Fire. The older protomechs were so ugly that they were almost forbidden in my gaming table. For a lot of time there have not been any interest to playing them. I'm sure that they are a powerful tool that we don't know how to use properly. The new ultraheavy protomechs are a new, powerful incentive to play with them.
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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #15 on: 19 November 2014, 20:59:07 »
Very interesting and informative article! I've had no experience using Protomechs thus far, but have been wanting to pick some up to round out a small Scoorpion Seeker force I've been assembling. A solid compilation like this  where I can compare what I can use is just what I need!
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Fletch

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #16 on: 23 November 2014, 01:50:13 »
Aww ... no love for the Stone Lions, will have to make my own table.

Horses definitely have the advantage of combined arms when vehicles can be used to fulfil the fast/hole punching role.  Eponas, Enyos, Ares and Hephaestus used in conjunction with protos makes for all sorts of fun.  ^-^

Great articles  O0


Jellico

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #17 on: 23 November 2014, 03:10:05 »
I am just glad someone finally acknowledged the existence of the Hippogriff. A lot of people don't get it.

glitterboy2098

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #18 on: 23 November 2014, 03:44:07 »
I am just glad someone finally acknowledged the existence of the Hippogriff. A lot of people don't get it.

i feel sorry for it's pilots.. the stubby-LRM-arms have to be odd for them when jacked in..

StCptMara

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #19 on: 23 November 2014, 06:55:42 »
i feel sorry for it's pilots.. the stubby-LRM-arms have to be odd for them when jacked in..

It is a strange beast. It has some down sides, as well..but it makes for a good mobile support platform.
That said, it is still a strange beast, and requires some out of the box thinking to use it effectively. Then
again, for most ProtoMechs, to make them work effectively requires out of the box thinking. That is, I believe,
why ProtoMechs are less well loved by players then they could be: Clan Players like to think in their boxes,
and so do not use ProtoMechs to the best of their capabilities, and Inner Sphere and Periphery players are
used to thinking outside the box, and are scared of when the Clan players figure out what they are doing, since
the IS players cannot use these, to them, new terror weapons.. (Understand: the character I made to learn
how to use Protomechs effectively is ALSO psychotic...)
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #20 on: 23 November 2014, 11:36:51 »
Aww ... no love for the Stone Lions, will have to make my own table.

I did leave out 3085 ProtoMech selection, which I probably should go back and do. Hmm. Now to find the time...

I am just glad someone finally acknowledged the existence of the Hippogriff. A lot of people don't get it.

I think a lot of players look at its 4 LRM tubes, think "Hmm, a Point of these gives me an LRM 20!" and then try to use it that way...where it really won't excel. Two LRM-2s is basically two LB 2-Xs, where you've got a roughly 50% chance of hitting with just a single missile - and you still have to hit with the launcher in the first place.

I don't have much experience with it, but I'd use them for two purposes only:
-Ranged plinking for light critseeking or cheap motive hits.
-Specialty ammo support platforms.
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Fallen_Raven

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #21 on: 23 November 2014, 16:35:10 »
I don't have much experience with it, but I'd use them for two purposes only:
-Ranged plinking for light critseeking or cheap motive hits.
-Specialty ammo support platforms.

I find them useful for engaging enemy support units. You can get a lot of mileage from forcing a combined arms unit into a more typical 'mech battle.
Subtlety is for those who lack a bigger gun.

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Jellico

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #22 on: 23 November 2014, 18:25:12 »
I did leave out 3085 ProtoMech selection, which I probably should go back and do. Hmm. Now to find the time...

I think a lot of players look at its 4 LRM tubes, think "Hmm, a Point of these gives me an LRM 20!" and then try to use it that way...where it really won't excel. Two LRM-2s is basically two LB 2-Xs, where you've got a roughly 50% chance of hitting with just a single missile - and you still have to hit with the launcher in the first place.

I don't have much experience with it, but I'd use them for two purposes only:
-Ranged plinking for light critseeking or cheap motive hits.
-Specialty ammo support platforms.
I would have said the reverse. Most players saw 4 points (or less) of damage as anaemic for an 8 tonner, saw the 3/5/5 movement, thought it slow and missed the partial wing 3/5/5(7).

But that is one for a Proto of the Week. We are getting Protos of the week right?

GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #23 on: 23 November 2014, 18:53:03 »
I would have said the reverse. Most players saw 4 points (or less) of damage as anaemic for an 8 tonner, saw the 3/5/5 movement, thought it slow and missed the partial wing 3/5/5(7).

The interesting thing about ProtoMech construction is that they don't scale up in the same way 'Mechs or vehicles do. Take the Siren: it moves 10/15, something that costs it a total of 1000 kg and with the 300 kg of structure and 500 kg cockpit, leaves it a grand total of 1200 kg to spend on weapons, armor, etc.

However, a 9-ton Proto could easily move 10/15 by installing a 135-rated engine for 4500 kg; add the 900 kg structure and 500 kg cockpit and it would still have 3100 kg left for its remaining stuff.

That's pretty much why I don't really look at whether a Proto has "heavy"  or "light" weaponry for its size, or moves "slowly" or "quickly" for its tonnage. Any weight class can potentially fill most of the rolls out there, with the heavier Protos simply performing those roles better at the cost of higher BV.

Quote
But that is one for a Proto of the Week. We are getting Protos of the week right?

It's something that I would absolutely love to do, but I moved that project to the side to work on this and some other MotW stuff. If there's some interest, though...gives me an itchin' to look at starting those again.
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMechs: A Comprehensive Guide - Part 1: Force Selection
« Reply #24 on: 18 March 2015, 21:51:05 »
Corrected a few mistakes with the homegrown ProtoMech Master Unit List, added sources for quick referencing.
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
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