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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Articles => Topic started by: marauder648 on 11 December 2015, 03:24:48

Title: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 11 December 2015, 03:24:48
Black Knight.  Tis only a laser wound...

The Black Knight is a positively ancient design, first produced for the SDLF as a Company or Battalion level command Mech it was outfitted with an extensive and advanced com’s and imaging system that would allow a Company or Battalion commander to observe and communicate with his or her forces during a deployment as well as interfacing with orbital assets to get up to the date maps and locations of friendly and hostile units, in essence a walking JSTARS.  Produced in two models for the SLDF with the more advanced and better armed 6b going to the Royal Regiments the 6 and 6b were popular choices for commanders and the designs served well with the SLDF in the Amaris Civil War.  Whilst it seems that the 6b’s all left with Kerensky there was enough 6N’s to remain in service and they were still being produced on many worlds across the Inner Sphere.

By the Second Succession Wars these plants had been reduced to radioactive rubble or were affected by the destruction of orbital factories that produced endo-steel that the 6-KNT relied on.  Denied this resource an alteration was needed if the machine was to remain in production but fortunately the changes were not too drastic.  These ‘new’ variants were produced in small numbers and still served when the Helm Memory Core was discovered and its data spread across the Inner Sphere.  This lead to a reintroduction of the original 6-KNT alongside a steadily growing series of variants that continues to the current period of 3145 with Black Knights still marching off the production lines and into battle even though the design is five hundred and sixty seven years old!

Design

Due to the sheer number of variants I am going to break this up into three groups, early, middle, and late.  All vary between periods but can be broken down into this, SLDF for the Early Period, Succession Wars to 3050, Middle, Battle of Tukkayid to present for the late period.

The early period Mech’s all benefit from having modern technology although little weight saving goes into the Black Knights when first produced save to have them built on an endo-steel skeleton.  They are powered by 300 rated standard engines and their protection is of standard plate quality.  This gives the design a HUGE amount of internal space to play with even if you take the endo-steel into account.
 
During the Succession Wars the redesign to make up for the lack of Endo-steel and the Beagle Probe were simple, the skeleton was of standard composites and with their standard engines and lack of ammo on-board they were very hard to kill.

With the discovery of the Helm Memory Core the original 6 came back into production and with later variants, the engines were also altered with some designs getting Light or XL engines and one got fitted with a larger engine for increased speed whilst others were slowed down, it’s a real smorgasbord of changes really!  The internal structure also varies between endo-steel and endo-composite types.

Due to the differences in the variants I will put the armour details down for each one individually and any changes to engines or internal structure will of course be mentioned.

Variants

BL-6-KNT

The grand pappy of the Black Knight family and the one issued to regular SLDF units the BL-6 set the standards for the design that would last centuries, good speed, protection, cooling and an energy heavy weapons load with nothing explosive on-board.  Built around an endo-steel skeleton and powered by a 300 rated standard engine for a 4/6 movement curve and it is shielded by 13 tonnes of standard armour the BL-6’s protection is laid out as follows;

9/24/29/24 (8/10/8 rear) over the head and chest region
24/24/24/24 on the arms and legs.

The BL-6’s all energy armament also gives it formidable endurance in the field although slapping the big red Alpha button is NOT recommended as you will overwhelm its 20 single heatsinks very rapidly.  Four medium lasers are spread between the arms and left and right torso whilst the Mech’s main punch comes from a pair of large lasers, also spread between the side torso’s and a PPC in the right arm.  For point blank firepower and tied into the Beagle Active Probe in its chest there is also a small laser in the Mech’s head.  Simple and effective firepower that covers all ranges the BL-6 is a solid trooper or command Mech at any level.


BL-6b-KNT

The Royal Black Knight the main changes are to the Mech’s cooling and weapon systems and the armour remains the same as the BL-6.

As before the 6b is built upon an endo-steel but features 16 double heatsinks for added cooling.  The weight saved in then put into weapons with the PPC being upgraded to an ER model whilst the large lasers are both upgraded to Large Pulse Lasers whilst the medium lasers and small are retained as is the Beagle.  It initially seemed that all these variants left with General Kerensky’s forces or were retained by Comstar although they did retain a large amount of BL-6’s.  Sacrificing some ranged firepower for a close in punch the 6b would not be something you’d want to run into at close quarters.  Like the BL-6 the 6b features a 300 rated engine which lets it get to 64kph (4/6 in game terms).

Whilst this is an OLD variant the 6b was put back into production by House Marik during the Clan Invasion era.  How they got their hands on the specs is unknown but I’m assuming it was a helping hand from some cowl wearing psycho’s as thanks for granting them sanctuary in FWL space.

BL-7-KNT

With the onset of the Succession Wars the Black Knight was not too badly affected by the loss of technology as it only used endo-steel in its construction and the Active Probe being the most advanced items in its production it was fairly easy to keep the Black Knight in production, of course something had to be sacrificed and in this case it’s armour which drops to 11 tonnes of protection to be almost on the same level as a Warhammer.  Still the Black Knights firepower is unchanged from the original 6 KNT with a quartet of medium lasers, a PPC, and a pair of large lasers and a small laser to round it off, all well-padded out with 20 heatsinks and moving at 4/6 with armour laid out as follows.

9/20/25/20 (8/10/8 rear) On the head and chest
20/20/20/20 on the arms and legs

The thing is this is still a formidable machine, the energy weapons load makes it ideal for a Mercenary force whilst the coms and tracking systems were downgraded it can still be a potent command and control machine as well as a front line fighter.

BK-7-KNT-L

More a creation of necessity, identical to the BL-7 in every way the 7L is a minor weapons swap that came about due to House Marik not having access to many PPC’s.  Damaged PPC’s on their Black Knights were simply replaced with another large laser whilst another two heatsinks make up the weight difference producing a slower Flashman with similar protection and decent cooling.  Like the BL-7 the 7L is a capable combatant that would serve well in any role.

BL-9-KNT Clanbuster.

The first major upgrade we get, whilst the 3050’s saw the reintroduction of the original BL-6 thanks to endo-steel slowly being produced once more the Black Knight didn’t change until Comstar subjected it to a significant upgrade as part of their Clanbuster Programme that would hopefully give them Mech’s capable of fighting the Clan’s on a more even footing.

The BL-9 is a significant and expensive overhaul of the Black Knights that Comstar had in storage.  The engine is upgraded to a 300 rated XL version (4/6) whilst the endo-steel skeleton now supports 13.5 tonnes of armour distributed as follows

9/24/35/24 on the head and chest. (8/10/8 rear)
24,24, 25,25 On the arms and legs.

The cooling system was also revamped as well with 15 double heatsinks being fitted.  The weight saved was put into weapons and protection.  The big changes being the upgrade of the PPC to an ER model whilst a large pulse laser was fitted in the chest.  The standard medium lasers were also then upgraded to pulse lasers whilst the small laser was removed and the standard large lasers are retained.  As if this wasn’t enough a hatchet is also fitted in the left arm!  The bevy of pulse lasers and hatchet do emphasise this machine is meant to get in close and start swinging, firing the large lasers and PPC as it closes.  And whilst not a match for something like a Timberwolf in a stand up fight it’s still a very formidable machine by any standards and despite its XL engine the BL-9 is padded with crits making it hard to disable.

BL-6-RR

Seemingly a creation of Operation Bulldog the 6-RR is a mixtech machine based on the older BL-6 and its armour layout is identical to the other design and with its 300 rated engine it has the same movement profile.

Retaining the endo-steel skeleton the weapons are all upgraded but the cooling system is not with 21 standard heatsinks screaming in fear and panic at the weapons that it’s fitted with.  A quartet of Clan level ER Mediums replace the standard medium lasers whilst the two standard large lasers are retained.  A Clan level ER PPC forms the main punch whilst a standard small laser and Active probe round out the weapons fit.  Whilst well-armed the heatsinks struggle under the strain placed upon them by this formidable weapons load and it makes one of the worst Bulldog refits.

BL-12-KNT

The most advanced and up to date model in service prior to the FedCom Civil War and the Jihad the BL-12 is more like a sensible RR version and is definitely a front line trooper rather than a command mech.  With an identical armour scheme to the RR the BL-12 is mainly about its weapons and cooling system.

A total of 16 double heatsinks help keep heat under control and they are needed.  A quartet of ER Medium lasers, a pair of standard Large Lasers and an ER PPC form the armament letting it hit at all ranges.  But wait..there’s more.  This fearsome array of energy weapons are all tied into a targeting computer for added accuracy.  The BL-12 would survive into the modern era where its firepower and accuracy make it stand out even for the time.  As with the other variants the BL-12 has a 300 rated engine for a 4/6 movement curve.

BLK-NT-2Y

Possibly a tech demonstrator or an attempt at a dedicated command Mech the 2Y is a mix of new and old technology.  The biggest change being the engine which is now a 300 rated XL whilst the skeleton is built of new lightweight Endo-Composite compounds.  Fifteen double heatsinks help keep the machine cool and 13.5 tonnes of armour give it a profile like this.

9/24/35/24 (8/10/8 rear)
24/24/25/25

THIS ARMOUR SCHEME IS THE SAME FOR ALL BLACK KNIGHTS HERE ON IN!

Featuring weapons that would not look out of place on the BL-6 the 2Y is armed with a quartet of medium lasers, a PPC and a pair of large lasers, all standard types.  It all seems pedestrian until you notice the Medium shield in the right arm or the massively reworked electronics suite.  A targeting computer, ECM, C3 slave and Active probe round out the electronics making this a potent force multiplier and with its shield a tough cookie to kill.  The 2Y also sets the standards in armour layout for the remaining variants all of which seem based on the prototype 2Y.  One thing should be noted, the weight of the shield drops this Mech down to 56kph, or 3/5 in game terms.

BLK-NT-3A

Featuring a 375 rated XL engine, an endo-composite skeleton and 19 double heatsinks the 3A is very much a brother of the 2Y.  With an identical armour layout but less extensive electronics suite the 3A seems more designed as a general purpose combatant and with a focus on battle armour destruction.  The weapons fit is based around ER lasers with a pair of ER Large forming the main punch whilst a trio of ER Mediums cover the mid ranges. For short ranges there’s also a pair of ER Smalls and finally a flamer whilst a Medium Shield rounds out the weapons and defensive outfit of the 3A.  The more potent engine still suffers from having the added weight of the shield and drops the speed down to 4/6 in game terms

BLK-NT-3B

Seemingly a side grade or different take on the 3A with an identical engine (375 rated XL) and an endo-composite skeleton the 3B has only 17 double strength heatsinks which can struggle with a full alpha but then again.. that’s what you want.

Weapons are somewhat different with a pair of ER PPCs, one in each arm joined by paired ER Small lasers, again one in each arm.  The traditional medium lasers and large lasers on the chest are gone as well and in their place are a pair of small lasers and small pulse lasers.  The now standard shield is carried in the right arm and most interestingly this variant features TSM for added movement speed as well as giving it one hell of a kick, punch or slap with it’s shield.  Despite the enlarged engine the weight of the shield drops this Mech down to 64kph or 4/6 in game terms although this is countered when the TSM engages.

BLK-NT-4D

A more modern and mix tech monster, the 4D can only plod along at 56 kph despite its 300 rated XL engine thanks to the weight of its Medium Shield, whilst 18 double heatsinks are fitted in its endo-composite skeleton. 

The weapons though are this Mech’s main eye catcher.  Built with the latest Clan purchases off Clan Seafox the 4D packs the throw weight of an assault mech.  A Clan ER PPC is joined by two ER Mediums, a pair of ER Small lasers and two small pulse lasers all of Clan quality. And is there more? Oh yes…a pair of Plasma Rifles sharing three tonnes between them round out the armament whilst the Medium Shield adds extra protection and an Angel ECM messes with hostile EW assets.  This variant is best used against a foe using combined arms. The Plasma’s do horrific things to infantry and tanks and there’s enough ammo to let you be a bit liberal with them

BLK-NT-5H

Seemingly a kissing cousin to the 4D the 5H is the most recent variant to walk off the assembly lines into the service of House Davion.  Unlike the 4D it is armed purely with Clan equipment, either built or bought by House Davion whilst its 300 rated Light engine makes it a bit harder to disable.  Seventeen double heatsinks are needed to fight the weapons load’s heat whilst an Endo-composite skeleton saves weight and bulk.  Like the 4D the 5H can only hit 56kph due to the weight of its shield.

Like the 4D the 5H packs a brutal punch, and it should be reminded that ALL these weapons are of Clan quality.  An ER PPC and a pair of ER Large lasers provide real punch at long ranges whilst two ER Mediums, two ER Smalls and a small pulse laser cover all other ranges and provide anti-infantry punch.  As usual there is a Medium shield in the Right arm and for added points (and BV) the entire weapons load is tied into a targeting computer buried in the right torso.

This Mech’s biggest drawback apart from its plodding speed is its massive BV, you could easily buy an assault Mech for the price of a 5H. It’s assault Mech speed is also a liability as it could be left behind in a fast moving engagement.
One interesting point about the NT series of refits is their owners. 

The NT’s were designed and built by House Davion for the Federated Suns Armed Forces but with the Blackout and the battles that have gravely threatened the realm they lost their main production facility on Robinson to the Draconis Combine who are now producing the NT series for their own forces.  The reformed Free Worlds League also has the capacity to produce ALL the variants of the Black Knight save the 4D on the world of Connaught.

Custom design

BL-X-KNT ‘Red Reaper’

The Red Reaper is a unique creation driven by the ex-Solaris MechWarrior Reginald VanJaster.  He fought alongside the resistance during the Blakist occupation of the world but appears to have suffered a mental breakdown after learning of the death of his wife and child.  Refusing to stand down and calling everyone Blakists patsy’s or agents of a fake government he kept on fighting against anyone and everyone who got in his path, travelling from world to world to attack ‘Blakist’ convoys, medical centers and anything else he felt like attacking, making him the worst combination of a gun nut and conspiracy theorist who also happens to have a 75 tonne war machine and the skill to use it to fearsome effect.

The BL-X was designed for the arenas of Solaris the BL-X is built for close quarters engagements and it shows.  Powered by a 300 rated XL engine and protected by 13 tonnes of light Ferro-fibrous armour laid out as follows

9/24/35/24 (8/10/8 rear)
24/24/27/27

The Red Reaper is cooled by 15 double strength heatsinks although this is barely enough considering its weapons load.  A Heavy PPC with a Capacitor give the BL-X a massive punch at the cost of high heat whilst at medium to short range a battery of five Medium X-Pulse Lasers clustered together in the left torso provide accurate short ranged firepower.  When things get up close and personal the BL-X can use its large vibroblade whilst a massive Large Shield provides protection from hostile fire at the cost of being slowed down to 56kph.

At medium to short ranges the BL-X is simply devastating and whilst it’s pilot is quite quite crazy, he’s skilled having learned his trade first in Solaris and then in the insurgency against the Word of Blake so he knows his machine and what it can do intimately so prepare for one hell of a fight against the BL-X

Thoughts

The Black Knight finds its formula from inception and sticks with it through every successive iteration and this formula is that it’s a solid Mech with decent firepower, protection, speed and cooling.  It does not try to be super-fast or a massive gunboat, instead it strikes a nice middle ground for protection, firepower and speed.  In the usual Protection, Firepower and Speed, choose two choice of Mech design, the Black Knight somehow manages to take all three without being overly spectacular in those areas.

‘Solid’ is a term I’ll use to describe this machine, it’s what it is, whilst the variants are generally not that exciting as they all stick to ALL THE LASERS! ALL THE TIME!!! With a dash of PPC’s thrown in for extra fizz it’s a successful weapons choice that was replicated on the later Gallowglass centuries after the introduction of the Black Knight.  The ones with standard engines are also irritatingly difficult to kill thanks to them having their weapons spread across their arms and chest and being well bulked out with lots of heatsinks to soak up crits.  The Black Knight isn’t fast but at 6/4 for most variants it’s the average speed of heavies of its time. This does drop with the shield carrying variants but something must be sacrificed for the protection the shields offer even if it means that your heavy Mech is now as ‘fast’ as a 3025 Atlas IE not very.

For me my favorite variants are the BL-6, the 6b and BL-12 and finally the BL-X.  The Clanbuster upgrade is formidable but the short range of IS pulse lasers is a big turn off for me.

Fighting one is all dependent on what variant you’re facing, whilst those with XL engines can be disabled with a few lucky hits you’re still going to have to pour fire into the as the Black Knight universally lacks anything that can explode and damage it.  Most of them tend to be padded with heatsinks or weapons so hitting something vital can be a bit chancy as well.  The other option is to use heat raising weapons, with their energy heavy weapons outfit if you heat a Black Knight up it limits what it can shoot back at you with, buying more time to rip it apart with normal weapons.


(http://camospecs.com/images/schemes/66_wackKlonWBK.JPG)

(http://camospecs.com/images/schemes/30_jalphoenix_1stTikonov_BlKnt_1.jpg)

(http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/9/9d/BLK_NT_5H_Black_Knight.jpg)

A BLK-NT-5H


(http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/b/b8/BL-X-KNT_Black_Knight_Red_Reaper.jpg)

The fearsome BL-X Red Reaper.



As always comments, thoughts and thrown fruit are most welcome!
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Deadborder on 11 December 2015, 07:08:31
One small (admittedly pedantic) note on an otherwise excellent write-up; the 6RR isn't from Bulldog. It's a possibly unique variant used by a mysterious pirate group from the old MW2 adventure Royalty and Rogues. The origin of the 'Mech, where it got its Clantech from and the identity of its users was an open mystery for the GM to explore
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 11 December 2015, 07:15:09
One small (admittedly pedantic) note on an otherwise excellent write-up; the 6RR isn't from Bulldog. It's a possibly unique variant used by a mysterious pirate group from the old MW2 adventure Royalty and Rogues. The origin of the 'Mech, where it got its Clantech from and the identity of its users was an open mystery for the GM to explore

Ahh yes, I had issues finding this thing too, looking at the stats I assumed it was a Bulldog machine, all be it a horrid one :p  But thank ye for clearing it up :)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 11 December 2015, 07:39:12
Quite the Long article.
Also a very solid mech.
Are there any other mechs that have basically incorporated shields into their base design?

The introduction sentence to the 6b looks a bit lacking in punctuation.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Deadborder on 11 December 2015, 08:08:41
Ahh yes, I had issues finding this thing too, looking at the stats I assumed it was a Bulldog machine, all be it a horrid one :p  But thank ye for clearing it up :)

It's pretty obscure. Probably helps that I'm one of the three or so people who actually bought said adventure
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Kidd on 11 December 2015, 08:37:25
The BL-12-KNT will form the heavy brawlers for a unit I'm building, its a tough close range combatant. The new shield-equipped ones are good anchors for the 3145 AFFS, the electronics heavy models will come in handy supporting Assault lances against C3'd opponents though I wish they had a TAG-equipped model.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Arkansas Warrior on 11 December 2015, 08:57:25
Ah, the prototypical zombie.  Well, almost; armor was a little lackluster on the early ones.  One of my favorite mechs, though I'd typically choose a BattleMaster or Cyclops over it for command.  I must say I'm terribly fond of the shields on the more recent ones.  Seems like quite a lot of tonnage invested for marginal return.  Perhaps regular shield-users can correct me on that point, but I just don't like the idea of paying for a 4/6 engine and then not being able to outpace a Hammerhands, or having to pay for a 5/8 engine to get typical heavy mech speeds.  Other than that, the 5H is a thing of beauty.  The -12- is quite nice as well, though I'd prefer ERLLs and standard MLs instead of the reverse.  Alas.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Ghostbear_Gurdel on 11 December 2015, 09:29:22
I just saw a shield equipmed black knight absorb significant amounts of damage the other day. Especially small caliber hits, like LRM groups just get absorbed, leaving the knight free to keep killing. the shield also does well agianst  Arrow IV rounds....
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Weirdo on 11 December 2015, 10:56:07
My experience with shield mechs is that they are mmo-style tanks. Use them to capture the other guy's attention, and absorb the firepower meant for the rest of your force. Like the Black Knight, my other favorite shield mechs put the shield on one side, and their heaviest long-range firepower on the other. Sasquatch, Atlas III, Black Knight...the tactics are the same. Slowly advance on the enemy, always keeping some MP in reserve so that at the end of your movement, you turn to one side so that the majority of incoming fire will hopefully be rolled on the side chart corresponding to your shield arm. At the same time, torso twist so that you can bring the ranged guns on the opposite side to bear. By the time you get close, you'll likely find that your actual armor has taken remarkably little damage, while the other guy should have some decent-sized holes poked in him.

The quickest way to deal with a shield mech is with large cluster weapons, like LB-X cannons, large missile racks, and so forth. Because a shield can only absorb a finite number of individual weapon hits, hitting him with as many individual damage clusters as possible(even tiny ones) will rapidly shred the shield. One of the nastiest fights I ever had was when I took a Sasquatch into a Solaris arena match, and found myself squaring off against one of those Akumas with an LB-20 and a 40-pack. I didn't last long once he managed to close. #P
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Dragon Cat on 11 December 2015, 13:06:05
You missed the OmniMech version from the Black Knight Expansion of MechWarrior... Joking I know not a real design

Nice article otherwise for a Mech that really has been around forever
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 11 December 2015, 14:36:44
My experience with shield mechs is that they are mmo-style tanks. Use them to capture the other guy's attention, and absorb the firepower meant for the rest of your force. Like the Black Knight, my other favorite shield mechs put the shield on one side, and their heaviest long-range firepower on the other. Sasquatch, Atlas III, Black Knight...the tactics are the same. Slowly advance on the enemy, always keeping some MP in reserve so that at the end of your movement, you turn to one side so that the majority of incoming fire will hopefully be rolled on the side chart corresponding to your shield arm. At the same time, torso twist so that you can bring the ranged guns on the opposite side to bear. By the time you get close, you'll likely find that your actual armor has taken remarkably little damage, while the other guy should have some decent-sized holes poked in him.

The quickest way to deal with a shield mech is with large cluster weapons, like LB-X cannons, large missile racks, and so forth. Because a shield can only absorb a finite number of individual weapon hits, hitting him with as many individual damage clusters as possible(even tiny ones) will rapidly shred the shield. One of the nastiest fights I ever had was when I took a Sasquatch into a Solaris arena match, and found myself squaring off against one of those Akumas with an LB-20 and a 40-pack. I didn't last long once he managed to close. #P

Shields are really interesting in their usage.  Against an opponent wielding cluster weapons, I find that the thing to do is keep the shield up when you're at a range where the big clusters won't be likely to connect, and then switch to inactive defense when you get up close and personal.  You can't shield bash, but you'll also only take shield damage when the arm is hit.  Once you take enough damage that holes become a serious problem, put the shield back in active and save yourself a half dozen crits!
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: DarkISI on 11 December 2015, 16:01:05
Custom design

BL-X-KNT ‘Red Reaper’

The Red Reaper is a unique creation driven by the ex-Solaris MechWarrior Reginald VanJaster.  He fought alongside the resistance during the Blakist occupation of the world but appears to have suffered a mental breakdown after learning of the death of his wife and child.  Refusing to stand down and calling everyone Blakists patsy’s or agents of a fake government he kept on fighting against anyone and everyone who got in his path, travelling from world to world to attack ‘Blakist’ convoys, medical centers and anything else he felt like attacking, making him the worst combination of a gun nut and conspiracy theorist who also happens to have a 75 tonne war machine and the skill to use it to fearsome effect.

The BL-X was designed for the arenas of Solaris the BL-X is built for close quarters engagements and it shows.  Powered by a 300 rated XL engine and protected by 13 tonnes of light Ferro-fibrous armour laid out as follows

9/24/35/24 (8/10/8 rear)
24/24/27/27

The Red Reaper is cooled by 15 double strength heatsinks although this is barely enough considering its weapons load.  A Heavy PPC with a Capacitor give the BL-X a massive punch at the cost of high heat whilst at medium to short range a battery of five Medium X-Pulse Lasers clustered together in the left torso provide accurate short ranged firepower.  When things get up close and personal the BL-X can use its large vibroblade whilst a massive Large Shield provides protection from hostile fire at the cost of being slowed down to 56kph.

At medium to short ranges the BL-X is simply devastating and whilst it’s pilot is quite quite crazy, he’s skilled having learned his trade first in Solaris and then in the insurgency against the Word of Blake so he knows his machine and what it can do intimately so prepare for one hell of a fight against the BL-X


I have to admit, I don't think you have fully grasped just how crazy VanJaster is. "Quite quite crazy" is not enough. You have to add at least five more "quite"s ;)
Seriously, I'm not joking here.  :idiot2:


For me my favorite variants are the BL-6, the 6b and BL-12 and finally the BL-X.

:)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 11 December 2015, 16:22:59
I have to admit, I don't think you have fully grasped just how crazy VanJaster is. "Quite quite crazy" is not enough. You have to add at least five more "quite"s ;)
Seriously, I'm not joking here.  :idiot2:
:)

I did love the Most Wanted book with him in it, are there any novels with that lunatic in it?
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: DarkISI on 11 December 2015, 17:24:24
I did love the Most Wanted book with him in it, are there any novels with that lunatic in it?

Nope, sorry.
He was a creation for Most Wanted. If I had the chance, I would love to go into more detail for most of these characters (there is a lot of crazy in that book that wants it's place in the sun), but I doubt that will ever happen.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Colt Ward on 11 December 2015, 19:52:06
I always wished the Goliath Scorpions had made a Black Knight IIC since it is a mech with history for them and its weapons load would fit their preference.

With that said, I love the Black Knights more than I probably should.  I will often gladly include one in a Clan secondline force and that was before we got the -6b.  Heck, I used one as a Warden Wolf with protos and BA in a MO city battle.

I wanted one for my mercs, which they eventually got the Clanbuster in the Chaos March but I prefer the SFE versions.  The -12 is actually about my ideal . . . unfortunately that Black Knight has not taken enough damage to warrant a rebuild that might get back to a more traditional engine.  Heck, I still have not got rid of the hatchet on the Clanbuster.

For looks . . . yeah, the old one is nice enough but the MW4 and its TW art appeal . . . except it lacks hands, though I heard some handwaving mumbo jumbo.

I honestly would like to see one with a Plasma Rifle . . . sure its a ammo weapon.  But nothing explodes still.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: LastChanceCav on 11 December 2015, 21:43:24
I honestly would like to see one with a Plasma Rifle . . . sure its a ammo weapon.  But nothing explodes still.

You may want to take a second look at the BLK-NT-4D, unless you only want the single rifle  O0

Cheers,
LCC
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Weirdo on 11 December 2015, 21:55:39
Oh, and I love using the original in its intended role as a command mech for SLDF companies. It's more than tough enough to keep the commander alive while dishing out the firepower you expect of a heavy mech.

Even better, in Alpha Strike the Beagle Probe means it's great at spotting for arty, always good for getting a command lance out of trouble. :)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Colt Ward on 11 December 2015, 22:53:06
You may want to take a second look at the BLK-NT-4D, unless you only want the single rifle  O0

Cheers,
LCC

Honestly, just one . . . I have not looked too closely at the 3145 models because I have been paying more attention to the League and have a proto-Merc unit from 3132 in the Republic.  They started with some weird stuff (hanger queens) and a stock pile of parts.  Not likely to see a new FedSuns high tech Black Knight unless its shooting at me.  So for me its the -6, maybe -6r (CS & WOB), -9 and -12 I would see across the battlefield while secretly hoping my -9 gets wrecked enough to rebuild it into something closer to a -12.  Hmm, a -9 would actually be a good place to replace the LPL for a Plasma Rifle while also dropping the hatchet . . .
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Dragon Cat on 12 December 2015, 03:06:01
Nope, sorry.
He was a creation for Most Wanted. If I had the chance, I would love to go into more detail for most of these characters (there is a lot of crazy in that book that wants it's place in the sun), but I doubt that will ever happen.

Yes please or a most wanted II really fun product
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 12 December 2015, 03:32:32
Yes please or a most wanted II really fun product

Same here! Most Wanted was a fun product with some very interesting characters in it who i'd love to know more about :)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Arkansas Warrior on 12 December 2015, 04:08:22
It'd make for a good series of Battlecorps stories.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: cavingjan on 12 December 2015, 10:19:39
No love for Ian or Ross's black knight?
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 12 December 2015, 10:24:25
No love for Ian or Ross's black knight?

I don't have the books with them in it, know nothing about them save what Sarna could say so I know little about the personalities. 

its why I tend to avoid custom mech's as I don't have all the books and can't really do them justice.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Rayneth on 12 December 2015, 17:00:26
Thank you for the article, marauder! I quite enjoyed reading through it, though I hope the urge to make a Monty Python joke wasn't too terrible.

Available in some way or form in any era, the Black Knight shall always be my favourite mech and ride of choice in RPG level campaigns. Even after you've blown off both its side torsos, it will keep on kicking (in both sense), while shooting its small laser of death!
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: marauder648 on 13 December 2015, 09:02:37
It was a risk but I was able to resist.  I was tempted to ask for various shrubberies or herrings...but that would just Ni do!

And I'm glad I could do the write up, there was a fair few more variants of this grand old warrior than I first realised but i'm glad folks liked the article :)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Lord greystroke on 13 December 2015, 12:20:03
I love the black knight it is used by me regularly as a company command mech or as a personal ride in my groups RPG games
I would love to see a bulldog refit of the clan buster that would be truly a scary machine
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: GreekFire on 13 December 2015, 13:28:38
I've been fiddling around with the -5H of late; I always assumed it was overpriced and way too expensive for what it brought to the table, but...now I'm not so sure.

The first thing I did was play it against other 'Mechs that combined Targeting Computers and Gauss Rifles/cERPPCs/Heavy PPCs. And frankly, it did great. It did fantastically against all of them; the Tenshi-O, Hauptmann-D and Banshee -9S. The shield really did its work, usually blocking around 50 points of damage per game and keeping the right side/center of the 'Mech largely immaculate. In the few games that the left arm got torn off, being able to drop the shield and keep up a full alpha of 35 damage proved invaluable.

Being able to block a single headcap comes in real handy as well, believe me.
All in all, a fun 'Mech and a good write-up on it!
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 13 December 2015, 16:29:35
The Black Knight is interesting in that it's managed to stay fundamentally the same in every era despite doing a good job staying up with technology.  Unless you've got a mech with reflective armor, a clash with a Knight is going to hurt.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: AJC46 on 13 December 2015, 21:06:07
The Black Knight is interesting in that it's managed to stay fundamentally the same in every era despite doing a good job staying up with technology.  Unless you've got a mech with reflective armor, a clash with a Knight is going to hurt.

and even then it has the weight to do some damage in melee to take advantage of the added damage reflect armor takes from melee and the clanbuster Knight has a hatchet for even more fun.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 13 December 2015, 21:24:51
There aren't too many mechs with reflective armor that are slow enough that a Black Knight would have an easy time getting in melee range.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 13 December 2015, 21:35:41
There aren't many battlefields where a Black Knight and a 'Mech with reflective armor will be the only units fighting, so I think we can probably label that a convenient bonus on a crowded battlefield.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Weirdo on 13 December 2015, 21:39:40
The Black Knight is interesting in that it's managed to stay fundamentally the same in every era despite doing a good job staying up with technology.  Unless you've got a mech with reflective armor, a clash with a Knight is going to hurt.

What's fun about the Knight is that if you run across a reflective opponent, the sheer number of guns you carry means that you can make a credible go at laser-spamming anyway, and hoping for Golden-BB hits.

On another tack, what about a Black Knight-5H/Shiro-1V fight? They're both signature heavy mechs for their nations at this time, and seem well-suited to fight each other. The Shiro is loaded with the cluster weapons needed to bring down the Black Knight's shield, while the Knight has the heavy weapons needed to eventually punch through the Shiro's heavy shell. I think the Black Knight has the edge, but think it would be a close and brutal fight.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: SteelRaven on 13 December 2015, 21:55:55
What I love about the Black Knight is it's simplicity. 

The Red Reaper is a scary machine, perfect for someone who's is the Jason Vorhees of the BTU.   
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 13 December 2015, 21:58:13
What's fun about the Knight is that if you run across a reflective opponent, the sheer number of guns you carry means that you can make a credible go at laser-spamming anyway, and hoping for Golden-BB hits.

On another tack, what about a Black Knight-5H/Shiro-1V fight? They're both signature heavy mechs for their nations at this time, and seem well-suited to fight each other. The Shiro is loaded with the cluster weapons needed to bring down the Black Knight's shield, while the Knight has the heavy weapons needed to eventually punch through the Shiro's heavy shell. I think the Black Knight has the edge, but think it would be a close and brutal fight.

See my comments about shields against cluster weapons earlier in the thread.  Shields in that situation aren't for face-tanking damage at the start of a fight, they're for deploying once the holes are starting to open up, and eating eight or nine or ten crits that you could otherwise take.  Mediums are especially useful for that, since they've got enough DA to handle a few hits, and a high enough DC to stop LRM clusters cold regardless of size.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Tai Dai Cultist on 13 December 2015, 22:04:38
What's fun about the Knight is that if you run across a reflective opponent, the sheer number of guns you carry means that you can make a credible go at laser-spamming anyway, and hoping for Golden-BB hits.

On another tack, what about a Black Knight-5H/Shiro-1V fight? They're both signature heavy mechs for their nations at this time, and seem well-suited to fight each other. The Shiro is loaded with the cluster weapons needed to bring down the Black Knight's shield, while the Knight has the heavy weapons needed to eventually punch through the Shiro's heavy shell. I think the Black Knight has the edge, but think it would be a close and brutal fight.

I don't think the Shiro has the firepower to think about glorious one on one combat against something of the new Black Knight's caliber.  It's designed to simply be a zombie... which it does almost TOO well.  I've had a couple megamek games where my Shiro had the pilot die before the mech was knocked out.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: GreekFire on 13 December 2015, 22:07:20
See my comments about shields against cluster weapons earlier in the thread.  Shields in that situation aren't for face-tanking damage at the start of a fight, they're for deploying once the holes are starting to open up, and eating eight or nine or ten crits that you could otherwise take.  Mediums are especially useful for that, since they've got enough DA to handle a few hits, and a high enough DC to stop LRM clusters cold regardless of size.

Or for the Black Knight vs Shiro match-up, the Knight could simply wade in without ever using the Shield and still expect to come out on top.
The Shiro's damage output and ammo endurance are both way too low for it to be able to compete in a straight-up one on one fight.

I'd give the fight to the Knight 10/10 times.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 13 December 2015, 22:11:20
I'd give it 9/10, if only because the Shiro is occasionally able to get in a couple heat hits or a lucky TAC. :P
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 14 December 2015, 10:10:35
Well, it's faster.
That sword will eventually hit the head or something else vital.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Fallen_Raven on 14 December 2015, 11:00:32
Well, it's faster.
That sword will eventually hit the head or something else vital.

Yeah, but the PPC has just as much chance of getting a head hit. I'm pretty sure that the head capping weapon favors the Black Knight on the long odds hits.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 14 December 2015, 11:09:36
Oh, that's certainly true.
The key is having multiple, as the Shiro will survive the first one.
And possibly the second one, too.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 14 December 2015, 11:46:27
The Black Knight will probably survive the first one, too.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Maelwys on 14 December 2015, 12:56:40
First I have to ask. Did I miss some errata someplace? TacOps states the DA for a medium shield is 5, and its DC is 18, but the RS for the 5H shows 4 and 17.

Barring that..if its 5, then the medium shield is going to be surprisingly effective against the Shiro's LRMs. It will absorb all of the damage from impacts against the protected hit locations, and while each one will reduce the DC, you're still having to chew through the shield without doing any damage. The good news is that each LRM10 can possibly do 2 hits, so you don't have to chew through half your ammo to get rid of the shield.

You can try to dance at range with the LB2-X as well. You've got the ammo the speed to do so, but since its an IS LB-2X (Why they didn't go with a Clantech LB-2X, I don't know. What, would it have been too munchy?), you only have 2 hexes before the Black Knight starts replying with its Clantech ERLLs. Those Clantech ERLLs that are tied to a targeting computer (true, one of them will take a penalty for being on an arm with a shield, but that can be partially negated).

I think it will be an interesting fight, but I think the Shiro is 400 BV under the Black Knight for a reason.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: nckestrel on 14 December 2015, 12:59:52
The missing hand actuator reduces the DC and DA by 1.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Fragger on 14 December 2015, 16:31:35
The missing hand actuator reduces the DC and DA by 1.

Which is sad because you are still paying the full bv for it.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Deadborder on 14 December 2015, 19:42:14
Time to comment after making the pedantic notes near the start...

The Black Knight is one of my top favorite 'Mechs full stop. It's pretty amazing how over it's long life, it's remained conceptually the same thing; a heavy zombie based entirely on laser spam. Though personally I like the looks of the MW4/MWDA/TRO3145 version infinitely more then the orignal.

Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: gyedid on 15 December 2015, 00:33:59
Was there never a canon C3i-equipped variant for ComStar/WoBbie use?  I made such a custom for my own games years ago, but I didn't see a canon version listed in the OP.

Mine went something like:
ER PPC in right arm
large lasers in chest remain same
all medium lasers and small laser upgraded to ERs
C3i in CT
18 DHS
don't recall exact armour layout but I think it was 216 points...


cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: gyedid on 16 December 2015, 11:33:39
I seem to remember a variant called the "White Knight" from many years back.  Similar to the Royal version, but had a 5/8 movement profile, would've needed a 375XL engine to manage that.  Where did this originate?  Battletechnology?  Mechforce UK?  Some other source?

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: GreekFire on 16 December 2015, 12:08:20
I seem to remember a variant called the "White Knight" from many years back.  Similar to the Royal version, but had a 5/8 movement profile, would've needed a 375XL engine to manage that.  Where did this originate?  Battletechnology?  Mechforce UK?  Some other source?

cheers,

Gabe

Don't quote me on this, but I *think* it was from the 3063 fanTRO.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Wrangler on 19 December 2015, 08:59:49
I've used the Black Knight in both in late Succession Wars era (a lemon mech since thing not really suppose to exist at all, but retrocon..) and regular campaigns.   It's powerful and reliable unit, giving misery to anyone who it encounters.   I do have sore point that balance things out, that it wasn't to show up again until the Clan era.  It took it and other 2750 mechs mystique of being rare and powerful units away from them.

The MechWarrior 4 handless model which became the new 5H version and it's sister related variants) are pretty ubber machines, their shield reflecting some of the in coming fire.  I have slight person distaste for them due to a force variant with no hands because of limitation of the video game.  Its still but what can i say?

The Red Reaper one is much nicer take on the 5H version visually, and it's nasty one-off.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: gyedid on 19 December 2015, 09:57:00
Don't quote me on this, but I *think* it was from the 3063 fanTRO.

How long ago was that?  I'm remembering this thing from the late '90s/early 2000s.

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: DarkISI on 20 December 2015, 05:27:39
The Red Reaper one is much nicer take on the 5H version visually, and it's nasty one-off.

Interesting tidbit there: Most Wanted was written before 3145. They artwork was commissioned with the old Black Knight in mind and the words
Quote
<<<Insert Black Knight Art from TRO3050U. Remove all arm weapons, add a big colorful sword to the left arm and a big colorful shield to the right. Add 3 more weapon holes to the right torso, remove the ones on the left and add a big PPC nozzle with something around it that looks a capacitor. Remove head weapon.>>>
Then Most Wanted was delayed and the artwork for TRO 3145 came in. The new artwork fit the bill a lot better than the old one and Matt Plog decided to base it on that one.
Which leads to the strange situation where the Red Reaper in universe is older than the 5H version which means the looks of the 5H version are, in universe, based on the Red Reaper. Out of universe, it is the other way around ;)
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: SteelRaven on 20 December 2015, 15:42:08
Interesting tidbit there: Most Wanted was written before 3145. They artwork was commissioned with the old Black Knight in mind and the words Then Most Wanted was delayed and the artwork for TRO 3145 came in. The new artwork fit the bill a lot better than the old one and Matt Plog decided to base it on that one.
Which leads to the strange situation where the Red Reaper in universe is older than the 5H version which means the looks of the 5H version are, in universe, based on the Red Reaper. Out of universe, it is the other way around ;)
It actually looks like a bridge between the classic trooper and the dark age heavy-assault. 
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 22 December 2015, 15:17:37
I wondered why the shield was placed on the right arm, aesthetically and actual item, on the Black Knight?
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: DarkISI on 22 December 2015, 17:21:34
For the Red Reaper mostly because I didn't care and that was the way they went in. Didn't put any thought into it. As it stands, you can assume that Reginald VanJaster is left handed.
For the 5H version of the 'Mech ... no idea. I didn't design it.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 23 December 2015, 03:10:43
For the Red Reaper mostly because I didn't care and that was the way they went in. Didn't put any thought into it. As it stands, you can assume that Reginald VanJaster is left handed.
For the 5H version of the 'Mech ... no idea. I didn't design it.
I meant in that this shield placement is more or less present in all artworks of black knight and her variants.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: DarkISI on 23 December 2015, 07:23:00
I really can't see any shield in the old artwork. Only the two new ones have very distinct (albeit very different) shields. And to be honest, it is pure coincidence that they are on the same arm. We didn't talk to each other when we designed them and they were designed with about a year between them.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 23 December 2015, 12:57:37
I really can't see any shield in the old artwork. Only the two new ones have very distinct (albeit very different) shields. And to be honest, it is pure coincidence that they are on the same arm. We didn't talk to each other when we designed them and they were designed with about a year between them.
Ah my bad, I'm looking at the old art, it look like it's an extended mounting for the weapon than a faux shield.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Sjhernan3060 on 05 November 2017, 14:26:26
I always wished the Goliath Scorpions had made a Black Knight IIC since it is a mech with history for them and its weapons load would fit their preference.

With that said, I love the Black Knights more than I probably should.  I will often gladly include one in a Clan secondline force and that was before we got the -6b.  Heck, I used one as a Warden Wolf with protos and BA in a MO city battle.

I wanted one for my mercs, which they eventually got the Clanbuster in the Chaos March but I prefer the SFE versions.  The -12 is actually about my ideal . . . unfortunately that Black Knight has not taken enough damage to warrant a rebuild that might get back to a more traditional engine.  Heck, I still have not got rid of the hatchet

on the Clanbuster.

For looks . . . yeah, the old one is nice enough but the MW4 and its TW art appeal . . . except it lacks hands, though I heard some handwaving mumbo jumbo.

I honestly would like to see one with a Plasma Rifle . . . sure its a ammo weapon.  But nothing explodes still.

I have always loved this mech but hated the look. Using the new DA inspired one for my blood guard keshik
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 05 November 2017, 16:49:42
Missed this when first posted, probably since I was on my honeymoon, I think.

Always been a big fan of the original Black Knight, as well as the SW downgrades. Amusingly, prior to the Nuking of Niops, this was one of only two designs expressly named as being produced by the Niops Association.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Deadborder on 05 November 2017, 18:08:30
Missed this when first posted, probably since I was on my honeymoon, I think.

Always been a big fan of the original Black Knight, as well as the SW downgrades. Amusingly, prior to the Nuking of Niops, this was one of only two designs expressly named as being produced by the Niops Association.

Do you have a source for that? Not doubting you, more of surprised and all. I didn't think Niops produced any 'Mechs
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 November 2017, 19:17:39
Built at something like 3 to 5 times the cost because it was not a lot of mass produced components.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 05 November 2017, 23:30:15
Do you have a source for that? Not doubting you, more of surprised and all. I didn't think Niops produced any 'Mechs

Field Manual Periphery.  Three designs are expressly sorted out as being hand-produced by the Niops Project Workshops: the Black Knight, the Highlander, and the Burke.  Technical Readout 3075, IIRC, has the entry on the Nighthawk which mentions it as another Niopian production.  The Workshops are destroyed in the Jihad, mentioned across multiple sourcebooks, and by Field Manual 3145, have not been rebuilt, meaning they no longer build Black Knights post-Jihad.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Maelwys on 06 November 2017, 05:40:32
Do you have a source for that? Not doubting you, more of surprised and all. I didn't think Niops produced any 'Mechs

Its in FM:Periphery, but not the main section. Its detailed more on page 120 where Niops' military forces are described.

Field Manual Periphery.  Three designs are expressly sorted out as being hand-produced by the Niops Project Workshops: the Black Knight, the Highlander, and the Burke.  Technical Readout 3075, IIRC, has the entry on the Nighthawk which mentions it as another Niopian production.  The Workshops are destroyed in the Jihad, mentioned across multiple sourcebooks, and by Field Manual 3145, have not been rebuilt, meaning they no longer build Black Knights post-Jihad.

The Nighthawk always seemed relatively silly to me. Okay, sure. With enough scientific knowledge and examples to copy, I can see them being able to make copies of what they already have. But the cutting edge, rumor only, major breakthrough, super secret elite unit only PA(L) suits (and their not-yet-in-production combat version? Sure, I can see them hand cranking them out in 3075. But why they heck would they have the information to build them? "Oh hey, right there next to the data on local gas giants. Super Secret Ultra-Beyond-Top-Secret Star League Advanced Weaponry R&D. How did I never notice this folder before?"
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 06 November 2017, 06:12:37
Its in FM:Periphery, but not the main section. Its detailed more on page 120 where Niops' military forces are described.

The Nighthawk always seemed relatively silly to me. Okay, sure. With enough scientific knowledge and examples to copy, I can see them being able to make copies of what they already have. But the cutting edge, rumor only, major breakthrough, super secret elite unit only PA(L) suits (and their not-yet-in-production combat version? Sure, I can see them hand cranking them out in 3075. But why they heck would they have the information to build them? "Oh hey, right there next to the data on local gas giants. Super Secret Ultra-Beyond-Top-Secret Star League Advanced Weaponry R&D. How did I never notice this folder before?"

The Nighthawk was somewhat silly. Best I can figure is Niops was either meant as to have some kind of Star League data core, or in the immediate wake of the Amaris Coup managed to inherita lot more military and industrial knowhow from people looking to get away from the Hegemony's core.

Honestly, the Black Knight was weird too.  It was originally meant as a command 'Mech. What's it doing in a podunk militia?  My first thought was its all energy armament must have been appealing, but then why build an ammo- intensive Highlander?
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Kidd on 06 November 2017, 07:10:56
"Oh hey, right there next to the data on local gas giants. Super Secret Ultra-Beyond-Top-Secret Star League Advanced Weaponry R&D. How did I never notice this folder before?"
(puts on special pleading hat) those Mech designs were the only viable ones successfully recovered from the encrypted or incomplete data files... you takes what you can gets
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Maelwys on 06 November 2017, 08:21:45
Honestly, the Black Knight was weird too.  It was originally meant as a command 'Mech. What's it doing in a podunk militia?  My first thought was its all energy armament must have been appealing, but then why build an ammo- intensive Highlander?

The Black Knight makes sense to me. At the time that Niops is established, its been around for over 150 years, so its not like its cutting edge or anything. I mean, if it was a Royal design or something, I could see the issue, but other than that...
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Wrangler on 06 November 2017, 08:45:09
Too bad Niops didn't stay around as they were or recovered. They would been interesting faction to have around with ability to make Star League tech and possibily to advance further. Now there just minor Periphery power that isn't much special to them but their past.

Seeing Companies filled with Black Knights would been scary fun.  >:D
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Sjhernan3060 on 06 December 2017, 21:50:09
The dark age black knight which is a great mini from IWM and is written up as having all clan weapons would be a great IIC version if the targeting computer and shield were dropped
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Greatclub on 06 November 2019, 20:41:35
OK, since I can't see it upthread, I'm going to try and cover the Ian and Ross variants. Like all of the mechs in the two Sword and Dragon Mech packs, the two variants are the same mech 15-20 years apart. In the case of the Black Knight, it gets taken from the standard flashbulb to an even hotter-running flashbulb with TSM and a hatchet, then an efficient-running version of the same thing.

The Black Knight Ian, the mech that Foxes Teeth Independent raiding company commander Ian McKinnon pilots between losing his Marauder and retirement in 3051, starts by losing five heat sinks in favor of a hatchet, exchanging the three sinks not in the engine to prototype doubles, installing TSM, and increasing the armor a bit  by losing the small laser and upgrading to prototype ferro-fiber. As evidenced by the word 'prototype,' it's an experimental level mech.

How to use it? Get in range, light off enough firepower to get your heat to 9, (2 L laser + 3 M laser, + run will get you to the sweet spot, 2 L laser + run or 1 L Laser + 3 M laser + walk will keep you there, among other patterns.) Then rush in close and deliver a 30-point hit (Yes, 30) with the hatchet. Usually a hatchet is more bark than bite, but not here. Ian has G2, P3, so it can hit with the beatstick fairly reliably, and his +2 to initiative means that he can position himself to use it as often as not.

Drawbacks, the mech has far more firepower than it can use without turning into an oven. As a close-combat mech, it really wants to move last. As with most mechs that use TSM, it's very vulnerable to external heat messing with it. The armour on the legs are a bit thin for a close-combat mech.

In universe, this is probably what the clanbuster black knight was trying to imitate. I don't think they do close combat as well, even if they have an obvious edge at range with their DHS.


I'll cover the Ross, what Ian's son turns it into, later; hopefully tonight.


Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Greatclub on 07 November 2019, 06:36:32
And now the Black Knight (Ross).

We start by ripping things out. All the ranged weapons, the single and prototype heat sinks, and the crap grade ferro armor. Only the large lasers will be missed.

Fifteen DHS give us some real ability to use the vast array of energy weapons Black Knights are armed with. Armor is real ferro-fiberous and more of it, the most the frame can carry. A targeting computer means that what Ross shoots at is likely to be hit.

So where does the weight for the previous two improvements come from? The large lasers are downgraded to ER mediums. This actually isn't as big a downgrade as the initial flinch reaction feels like, but it isn't small. The four medium lasers become three medium pulses, the PPC on the right arm becomes ERed, and there is an ER small on the left arm (exactly the wrong spot for that last, you can't use it if you want to use the hatchet) On first inspection this feels kinda anemic for a 75 ton mech, and that isn't wrong. But again, the package makes it work.

You play the same way the Ian does. Move up, firing the ER-PPC and maybe ER mediums until you think you might be able to get in close combat next turn. Then run and fire everything except the small laser. Next turn you'll move like your standard engine was an XL, and the 30 point wack from the hatchet is still there. The pulse lasers might be less efficient than standard mediums, but since you want to be moving as fast as possible toward the enemy it it tends to work decently. Consider turning off heat sinks to keep heat in the sweet spot; if you turn off three, you can fire all five mediums and run. Otherwise it's the ER-PPC and three mediums.

Using one is fun. The advice I wrote for the Ian above all applies to the Ross; It doesn't have much range, but people respect the heck out of the hatchet. Watching Clan heavies try to keep away from a lowly inner sphere mech can be amusing (and useful.) The canon pilot, Ross McKinnon, is every bit the pilot his father is; He might not have the same head for tactics, but makes up for it with a habit of turning up where the other side doesn't want him to be. But where the Ian could expect to fight 3039 introtech most of the time before the clan invasion, Black Knight Ross is fighting technological peers, mechs every bit as scary as it is.

As an aside, I pity the Lyttons. They have to try to keep up with and play bodyguard to the pilot of these hot-rods. I know commanders in battletech are expected to lead from the front, but this is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: SteelRaven on 07 November 2019, 16:34:44
Thanks for the additional right ups, Greatclub! The McKinnon Black Knights are two of my favorite melee mechs.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 November 2019, 17:34:22
IMO, they are all around bad ideas . . . first, they are COMMANDER's rides- even a company commander should be staying back to command the company though b/c it is that level they do not get the ding of battalion & regimental commanders leading from the front.  Second, even for 3025 they are too slow before the TSM to get in range quickly though at least the first has a decent ranged punch before it starts to melee.  I disliked the hatchet on the Clanbuster (novice ComStar tech/engineer mistake), and IMO a 4/6 75t bracket fighter is better off using the pew-pew . . . though I do like the T'si Tsang because it has the speed and JJ to bail out if it gets its heat thrown off.  Third, the Ross loses its ranged hitting power- just a ERPPC out past 12 hexes and relies on a trio of pulses.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Caedis Animus on 07 November 2019, 17:37:48
IMO, they are all around bad ideas . . . first, they are COMMANDER's rides- even a company commander should be staying back to command the company though b/c it is that level they do not get the ding of battalion & regimental commanders leading from the front.  Second, even for 3025 they are too slow before the TSM to get in range quickly though at least the first has a decent ranged punch before it starts to melee.  I disliked the hatchet on the Clanbuster (novice ComStar tech/engineer mistake), and IMO a 4/6 75t bracket fighter is better off using the pew-pew . . . though I do like the T'si Tsang because it has the speed and JJ to bail out if it gets its heat thrown off.  Third, the Ross loses its ranged hitting power- just a ERPPC out past 12 hexes and relies on a trio of pulses.
Which is why you play with a certain Cataphract and pilot combo to defend you from further ranged attacks until the range is closed.

If memory served me right, I used that bodyguard to disgusting effect.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Weirdo on 07 November 2019, 17:40:26
Or you stay behind a hill and do some actual commanding. No shooting at all until someone comes around said hill, at which point they're already in your face, so let rip.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Greatclub on 07 November 2019, 17:53:31
Or you stay behind a hill and do some actual commanding. No shooting at all until someone comes around said hill, at which point they're already in your face, so let rip.

Given that one pilot gives you +2 init and the other off board movement, the calculus of a straight fight is thrown off a bit. Ian in particular is game-shifting in smaller battles, though less so as games get bigger.

But since the starter-books are mostly lance on lance...



but I mostly agree, the Ross is too slow in era for its short range. Ian makes sense for S&D (3039), and is brutality there.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Arkansas Warrior on 07 November 2019, 19:46:31
IMO, they are all around bad ideas . . . first, they are COMMANDER's rides- even a company commander should be staying back to command the company though b/c it is that level they do not get the ding of battalion & regimental commanders leading from the front.  Second, even for 3025 they are too slow before the TSM to get in range quickly though at least the first has a decent ranged punch before it starts to melee.  I disliked the hatchet on the Clanbuster (novice ComStar tech/engineer mistake), and IMO a 4/6 75t bracket fighter is better off using the pew-pew . . . though I do like the T'si Tsang because it has the speed and JJ to bail out if it gets its heat thrown off.  Third, the Ross loses its ranged hitting power- just a ERPPC out past 12 hexes and relies on a trio of pulses.
I’m not sure how 4/6 can be “too slow” for a 75 tonner in 3025.  This is an era when many mainstay mediums only went 4/6 (Enforcer, Centurion, Vindicator, Hunchback, Whitworth, Hachetman, Blackjack, Wyvern...).  For a 75 tonner, 4/6 is basically as fast as it can viably go.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Colt Ward on 08 November 2019, 02:13:33
Sure, but for a physically oriented mech IMO it is because you want to rush across the point you can get shot to get in their face.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Scotty on 08 November 2019, 02:56:01
Not every game is a DPS race, and lots of maps have plenty of terrain to make getting across them without taking significant fire from massed enemies a matter of "when" and not "if".
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: God and Davion on 08 November 2019, 16:35:10
Thanks Greatclub for the review.  :thumbsup: I played with the Ian variant a few years ago. It is a monster against introductory tech. The 30 points hatchet is nice until you realize how easy is to blown off a leg of a slightly damaged Warhammer. Well played and with all the pilot bonus it can destroy almost everything in its wake. Almost as good as the clanbuster version or even better.

Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Greatclub on 08 November 2019, 20:49:35
Better at range 1, easier to get there.

Worse at range. Proper dhs are the **"*"
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 08 November 2019, 21:02:35
Or you stay behind a hill and do some actual commanding. No shooting at all until someone comes around said hill, at which point they're already in your face, so let rip.

Just imagine what that mech can do to the common headhunter mechs from 3025.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: Wrangler on 08 November 2019, 22:43:29
Problem is that we don't know what is common anymore.  Catalyst very cagey about it.  They don't like saying things are uncommon or common so not deny player chance play their mech. I kinda thing hurts setting.

Black Knight should have been extinct, but that was retrocon. Now it's common. Why? Because there no rule or measurement stick to say the Black Knight isn't per era other than was is available.  Which is a bruiser of a machine in it's dumb down version against the original line up of Mechs during the Succession Wars.
Title: Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 08 November 2019, 23:18:12
It was using first-generation prototypes of Star League tech.  The majority of what it would have potentially been facing would still have been 3025 machines like Phoenix Hawks or Ostsols. It wasn't going to be going up against Falconers or Exterminators.