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Author Topic: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart  (Read 4081 times)

GreekFire

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ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« on: 17 April 2015, 17:55:03 »
From The Wars of Reaving

Here we are, ladies and gents, with the last Society ProtoMech known to-date: The Boggart. We’ve already taken a look at two different "firsts"; there was the Basilisk Quad, which was the first Quad ProtoMech, and there was the Hobgoblin, the first Ultraheavy. And while they both were able to fit into two anti-Clan roles within the Society arsenal, the Boggart filled a third. And trust me, the Boggart is a piece of art. It comes in at a solid 13 tons - a powerful contender in the Ultraheavy category. The quad chassis also lets it use an 80-rated engine at higher levels of efficiency; your standard biped would use it to move at 4/6, while the Boggart manages a more nimble 5/8 ground speed. The five jump jets give it even more mobility, and you end up with a unit that already has 750 kg more kilograms to play around with than a 4/6/5 biped (or 1000 kg more than a 5/8/5 one).

Code: [Select]
BOGGART
INTRO: 3072
FACTIONS: Coyotes, The Society
WEAPONS: Plasma Cannon (10 shots)

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (6)                    (3)     
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 56 pts
         / 16 \                 / 13 \    Torso -> Cored: 29 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 27 pts
        (  14  )               (  13  )
         MG: 3                  MG: 2


The concentration of the armor is important enough to warrant discussion. You’ve got a 16/36 chance of hitting the Torso on the Boggart, along with a 14/36 chance of hitting the Legs and a 1/36 chance of hitting the Head or Main Gun. That means that your two key locations *have* to be well armored - they’re going to be hit a lot. The Boggart accomplishes this fairly well, for the armor it has. It’s undeniably light for its weight, but more than respectable when contextualized with the armor of all of the pre-Reaving ProtoMechs out there. And frankly, I think that this concentration of armor makes the Boggart more survivable, not less. The lack of fragile arms reduces the chance of getting an unlucky knock-out, while the Main Gun will keep its accuracy in many more scenarios.

But there’s one real thing that makes the Boggart as unique as it is: its Plasma Cannon. Plasma Cannons are interesting weapons for ProtoMechs - not only do you have to pay for their fairly hefty weight (3000 kg on a ProtoMech is nothing to sneeze at), but you *also* have to invest in their heavy ammo (100 kg per shot) *AND* enough heat sinks to dispel the weapon heat (or an additional 1750 kg). Thus, the Boggart put a total of 5750 kg towards a single weapon system...an insane amount, but there’s no getting around it.

You see, your options for causing heat build-up are limited as a ProtoMech. You really have three viable options; the first (and lightest) is to use a inferno-heavy payload. The second, and much less efficient option, is to go the route of (vehicular) flamers. These have huge heat sink or ammo demands, and so typically won’t be worth their weight. That leaves us with the Plasma Cannon, a weapon system that has a distinct and powerful range advantage over what infernos can ever hope to reach. So there’s a reason to take the Plasma Cannon, a niche of sorts. But is it worth it?

My answer: definitely. Inexperienced ‘Mechwarriors will consider Boggarts to be low-priority targets, ignoring them to shoot at whatever has the big guns. But a single Un of Boggarts can be a disproportionate threat towards entire Stars of enemy ‘Mechs - especially when those ‘Mechs start holding back on their firepower for fear of shutting down and dying to quick headcaps. There are a few unfortunate downsides to the weapon, though. You lose the insta-gib ability that Infernos can use to intimidate Battle Armor and ProtoMechs; the Plasma Cannon's 3d6 damage is still a hefty punch, but when spread around 5-point clusters it really isn’t all that special for its 5750 kg entry fee (to put things in perspective, the Sprite puts a total of 6000 kg towards its four LRM-5s and ammo…giving it a somewhat similar damage output at better ranges). With this in mind, I’d reserve the Boggart for anti-mech use.

BV is expensive, so make sure you get the most out of its specialization. Throwing it to die as a line trooper is the worst way you can hope to use the Boggart; in fact, I would say that ideal usage should see it burn through its entire ammo reserves before pulling back and fighting another day. It is a force multiplier; cheap for what it can do, but good at it.

Code: [Select]
BOGGART
INTRO: 3072
FACTIONS: Coyotes, The Society
WEAPONS: Medium Pulse Laser

         ARMOR                 INTERNAL   
          (5)                    (3)     
          / \                    / \      Legs -> Cored: 74 pts
         / 25 \                 / 13 \    Torso -> Cored: 38 pts
         | | |                  | | |     Legs -> Destroyed: 36 pts
        (  23  )               (  13  )
         MG: 5                  MG: 2


The only variant we have is the Boggart 2. It’s quite easy to sum up: it’s the best ProtoTrooper we’ve had in the game so far. The Roc, Delphyne, Gorgon 2…they all yield to what is possibly the most terrifying combination of speed, firepower and armor to ever be put together on a single ProtoMech chassis. If you read my first ProtoMech Force Selection article, you would have noticed that the Boggart 2 is the only ProtoMech that fell into the “high armor, high speed” category - its armor is only surpassed by the Svartalfa and Sprite Protos, while its jumping speed can only be touched by the considerably weaker Satyr 2. The fact the Boggart 2 is a holepuncher, well, it's just the icing on the cake.

You obviously have to pay a good amount of BV for the unit, but it’s honestly not that bad. 497 BV, for a unit that can hit a +4 movement modifier every turn, has a 1/9 chance of dodging any shots that do hit, can tank 3 ER Medium hits to *both* its Torso and Legs, and has a Medium Pulse Laser…is worth it. Boggarts can dismantle any other ProtoMech in the game, not to mention what full Uns of them can do to enemy Light ‘Mechs. If you have a bit of patience, they can wipe out Elemental Points. And three of the things that usually counter ProtoMechs fairly well (infernos, mines and concentrated artillery) will be much less effective against it. It seriously is *that* good a Trooper, and neatly fills the role of a front-line combatant in Society forces. Using them alongside your standard Boggart is a powerful combo. The standard Boggarts force ‘Mech targets to overheat and (potentially) shut down, while the Boggart 2s use their impressive speed to move into close range and get a easy aimed shots (made easier via the pulse) on their foe.


There Boggart meshes well with other Society ProtoMechs. The Wars of Reaving sourcebook gives us the canon example of using them alongside Sprites (which I’m less than enthusiastic about, to be honest), but the rest of the Society arsenal works just as well. Don’t worry - next week I'll be taking a break from my PotW series to look at ProtoMechs and The Society. I'll be taking a more in-depth look at partners for the Boggart at that time, but for now, I’m sure you can see the potential - push a target up the heat scale, then send in units that can take advantage of the slowed/less-accurate/shutdown 'Mech. We’re incredibly lucky to have an miniature of the Boggart - and it’s one heck of a piece of work. I’d consider it a necessity to have at least three for any Society force; using them as your heat-dealers will allow you to dedicate your remaining forces towards other roles. So really, you have no excuse to *not* try the Boggart. It's even in Megamek, for crying out loud! Go give it a shot.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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MUL: http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=boggart
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« Last Edit: 18 April 2015, 09:47:36 by GreekFire »
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Kojak

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #1 on: 17 April 2015, 19:02:27 »
I've only used the Boggart 2, but it is truly the most evil ProtoMech out there. The game I used it in was a grinder where you could select a Point of any Clan unit, and they brought down four 'Mechs (including a couple of heavies) and crippled a fifth before they were destroyed themselves.
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Nightsong

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #2 on: 18 April 2015, 00:49:20 »
I would think the Bogey-1 would be quite the effective tank killer, particularly for hunting down the heavier models. Considering how much damage a plascannon does to vehicles, it could wreck a Demolisher or an SRM carrier fairly well with minimal chance of reprisal.

ijewett

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #3 on: 18 April 2015, 04:37:52 »
Quote
I would think the Bogey-1 would be quite the effective tank killer, particularly for hunting down the heavier models. Considering how much damage a plascannon does to vehicles, it could wreck a Demolisher or an SRM carrier fairly well with minimal chance of reprisal.

Possibly, but why would Homeworld Clans use either of those ancient low tech tanks. If they did and they were not ambushing then someone is doing it wrong anyway. On the other hand against the tanks they should see you are quite correct. Clan tanks are mostly armored like damp cardboard boxes and a Plasma Cannon will rip them up good.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #4 on: 18 April 2015, 09:17:10 »
That's an insult to upstanding cardboard boxes everywhere!  :D
Damn what a monster. Wish it had a melee version, as well, but then again, that wouldn't be fair.
As for the article:
You write
Quote
The concentration of this armor is important
without ever having mentioned the armour before, which I found a tad bit confusing. Maybe remoce the 'this'?
Otherwise another great article.
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GreekFire

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #5 on: 18 April 2015, 10:03:55 »
I've only used the Boggart 2, but it is truly the most evil ProtoMech out there. The game I used it in was a grinder where you could select a Point of any Clan unit, and they brought down four 'Mechs (including a couple of heavies) and crippled a fifth before they were destroyed themselves.

Yeesh, that sounds just plain painful for everyone else involved.

I would think the Bogey-1 would be quite the effective tank killer, particularly for hunting down the heavier models. Considering how much damage a plascannon does to vehicles, it could wreck a Demolisher or an SRM carrier fairly well with minimal chance of reprisal.

The Plasma Cannon deals 3d6 damage to tanks, averaging out to 10.5 (I'll round to 11) damage per shot. That means you've got three damage clusters, two of 5 and one of 1. You've got a 21/36 chance of hitting the key location of your angle of attack, so chances are the damage will stack a bit.

At that point, you have to ask yourself whether the speed and longer range of the Boggart are worth it against the notoriously poor tank pilots of the Clans. Don't forget that you're paying 500 BV for the unit, which means you have a lot of cheaper alternative options. No need for the speed? Why not take a vanilla Minotaur. No need for range? The Delphyne 2 is devastating. Then there are a few Gorgon and Hydra variants, and heck, you can even take an entire point of Siren/Siren 2s for more mobility crit chances and an overall peak damage of 10-20.

So yeah, the Boggart is good at the job - it's just that ProtoMechs are already excellent at tearing vehicles apart. And that's why I'd suggest reserving the Boggart for the one thing it's truly specialized at: overheating 'Mechs.

You write  without ever having mentioned the armour before, which I found a tad bit confusing. Maybe remoce the 'this'?
Otherwise another great article.

Err, yeah...fixed that. Thanks!
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anime ninja

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #6 on: 18 April 2015, 14:03:52 »
As the Boggart2 is 450 underweight

(do not have the book with me just doing math from the stats)
- add 1 jump jet (300kg)
- 3 armor (150kg)
+ 1 head
+ 1 MG
+ Main Body

More evil?

cold1

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #7 on: 19 April 2015, 09:51:22 »
All (most) of the Society 2 and 3 variants are underweight.  It's was discussed in the Hobgoblin article (I think).

I've played against the Bogey 2 some.  It seems undergunned at first glance.  Then you start shooting at it and miss it, then you hit it.  It's still there.  Then you shoot at it again and you hit it, still there.  After a couple turns you realize a group of these little monsters are indeed a little undergunned for their size, but only because they are mobile and ARMORED!!!! 

I like the assesment.  They are essential a super-Roc.  Same movement, similar weapon, lots more armor.


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wantec

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #8 on: 20 April 2015, 07:58:30 »
At first I was kind of underwhelmed by the Boggart. I personally haven't gotten comfortable with the Plasma Cannon, just requires a little more finesse than I've figured out how to use yet. So seeing that it only had the PC was a bit of a disappointment to me for table-top play. In universe, seeing it jump around shooting out flaming projectiles would have been a scary sight. This is one of those designs that seems to fit the storytelling/roleplaying aspect better than the table-top play.

And then there's the Boggart 2. It moves 5/8 on the ground. It's got a Medium Pulse Laser. It can take a Heavy Large Laser to the torso or a pair of Medium Pulse Lasers to the legs without taking internal damage. All of that makes for a very nice ProtoMech package, and then you look again and see that on top of all that it jumps 7. And it's underweight. Just think how much more of a pain it could have been if the Society (and Paul by extension) hadn't been so rushed to get it into production. It could have added more armor, or an SRM1 to the mix.

EDIT: And it's got such a cool mini.
« Last Edit: 20 April 2015, 08:00:26 by wantec »
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #9 on: 20 April 2015, 12:39:57 »
Just think how much more of a pain it could have been if the Society (and Paul by extension) hadn't been so rushed to get it into production. It could have added more armor, or an SRM1 to the mix.

You know, that SRM1 comment threw me a little bit for utility, but then I remembered that you only need 3 inferno missiles to auto-kill one battlesuit trooper in a squad- a SRM tube (250kg) and 20 rounds of missiles would be easy and give an insane number of options, or for 325KG you could do a protomech moymer booster and still have some left over for even more armor.
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #10 on: 20 April 2015, 13:10:49 »
Plasma Cannons also have a chilling effect.  Within the range of a Plasma Cannon is the potential for any target to be subjected to heat damage.  Enemy mechs and ASFs will be more cautious with their heat generation to compensate for the anticipated heat damage.  Or not, and suffer the consequences.  This is true of inferno SRMs, but the 2x range of Plasma Cannon and 2D6 heat damage make it very unpredictable.  This is an excellent weapon choice for combating the superior skills of the Warrior Caste.  Every gun they don't fire in anticipation of heat damage is one that keeps you alive longer.

To me the real use of the Boggart 1 is suppressing mechs.  Not attacking Elementals.  Not attacking armor.  The most dangerous thing in the Warrior Caste's arsenals are mechs.  Their most skilled operators are Mechwarriors.  It is fine when you can double back and eliminate armor and battle armor.  But, the 10 shot bin of the Boggart 1 is not deep enough IMO to go around trying to eliminate a unit with 55 collective armor/pilot points with a +3 to hit modifier.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #11 on: 20 April 2015, 14:47:57 »

It's too bad the Boggart's unique ranged incendiary capabilities didn't make their way to the Inner Sphere or survive among the post-Reaving Homeworld Clans.  There's really no other protomech like it.

The Boggart 2 is very solid, but the unused mass is still a shame.  I'd probably add an SRM-1 and an LMG for an all-around offense, but myomer booster is hard to ignore, too.
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #12 on: 20 April 2015, 21:57:05 »
I'm looking forward to giving the Boggart a whirl in Alpha Strike. In TW play, there's always a chance that a plasma hit will get soaked up by a cautious mechwarrior, or one in a cool-running 'mech. But in AS, you hit someone with plasma, they will gain noticeable heat, and they will be slowed down(and thus easier to hit) next turn. I'm considering grouping a Boggart or two with some Ares (Plasma) tanks. They'd hang out at long range and pepper promising targets with plasma, and if even one or two hit, the target will be easier prey for the rest of the tanks' Un, composed of big SL-era fire support tanks like Rhinos or Pumas.
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #13 on: 20 April 2015, 23:29:22 »
If there's one thing that got even more useful in Alpha Strike, it's Plasma Cannons.  HT1/1/1 is freaking nice.  Against 'Mechs it's -2" movement and +1 to hit, against everything else it's a straight up point of damage.  It reaches to long range, and considering that it's only three tons it's head and shoulders more efficient than a medium laser.  That should tell you something.
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #14 on: 21 April 2015, 05:57:08 »
4 tons.  You need to factor the ammo.  :)

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #15 on: 05 July 2019, 15:30:45 »
Another fix for the missing mass of the Boggart 2 would be giving in an ER Medium Pulse and drop 1 point of armor. While some might quibble about the use of an ER Medium Pulse, the Boggart has the mobility to maneuver into the areas where this weapon can shine over, say, a plain Medium Pulse Laser. And plus, it's adds a little more flavor. ERML/MPL protos have been done to death, to be honest. The Scientist Caste would have had a small stockpile of ER pulse lasers laying around since the Clan Wolf civil war, so might as well put them to use, right?
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #16 on: 05 July 2019, 17:55:42 »
I would think the Bogey-1 would be quite the effective tank killer, particularly for hunting down the heavier models. Considering how much damage a plascannon does to vehicles, it could wreck a Demolisher or an SRM carrier fairly well with minimal chance of reprisal.
Possibly, but why would Homeworld Clans use either of those ancient low tech tanks. If they did and they were not ambushing then someone is doing it wrong anyway. On the other hand against the tanks they should see you are quite correct. Clan tanks are mostly armored like damp cardboard boxes and a Plasma Cannon will rip them up good.

the Boggart 1 isn't a vehicle killer, though that is a bonus when facing the Hell's Horses. its main role would have been as a protomech and battlearmor killer. which take damage rather than heat, the same as vehicles, and are much more common in the Homeworld's forces. especially Battlearmor.

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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #17 on: 12 July 2019, 06:13:50 »
Aff. The Boggart 1 does decent damage to conventional forces (3D6 works out to something like 10 damage on average as I recall) but with only 10 shots and 500BV, you're probably better off using some inferno boat like the Orc or Gorgon 3, which are much, much cheaper and more disposable. Or just use ATM infernos.

tl;dr, Boggart 1 is better used to maneuver around the battlefield and threaten shut down of any elite warriors piloting a Warhawk prime or Blood Asp A, etc and stupid enough to run really hot on the heat curve. This is where the use of the Boggart 1 really shines, because you're basically negating a C ERPPC + elite 1/1 BV on the battlefield.
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Re: ProtoMech of the Week: Boggart
« Reply #18 on: 12 July 2019, 10:59:56 »
its main role would have been as a protomech and battlearmor killer.

Strongly disagree. It's been a while since I've done this series, so the raw math is a bit more rusty in my mind, but the Plasma Cannon is a very inefficient way to hunt BA or ProtoMechs when mounted on a ProtoMech itself. In my experience, you're better off combining the heat from a Plasma Cannon shot with the debilitating effects of a IMP missile volley and a EDP armor strike to quickly reduce the effectiveness of one of the opponent's key 'Mechs at an essential time.

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