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Author Topic: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech  (Read 3099 times)

Moonsword

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Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« on: 10 February 2012, 19:42:33 »
'Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech

Yes, that's right, an IndustrialMech.  I've done it before, I'll probably do it again, and this time it's at the suggestion of my fellow moderator Weirdo.  Originally designed alongside the first Marik-designed BattleMech, the Icarus, the Patron debuted in 2550 and is recorded in Technical Readout 3075.  The design impetus was to address the requirement of reloading a twelve-meter tall titan instead of something lower to the ground, like a tank.  Originally designed by Atrean Robotics of (where else?) Atreus, the first Patrons were heavily specialized to support the Icarus, but later models replaced them as other 'Mechs like the Hector began to enter service and resigning the originals to the status of museum relics.  Prior to the Succession Wars, Patrons accompanied nearly ever FWLM 'Mech force, with a handful surviving.  The design has reentered production (presumably with Graham-Davis Enterprises on Tamarind) and at least one has been seen in the Abbey District once again servicing the revived Icarus II even as the Eagle's wings tattered as the heat of politics melted the ancient state's unity.  The design has even given rise to a couple of armed variants, intended as either infantry support units or security guards.

The original Patron LoaderMechs were just as primitive as the 'Mechs they were intended to reload.  At 15 tons, this is a very small unit.  The speed provided by the 30-rated primitive fuel cell engine hasn't changed in any of its variants - as TRO3075 sagely observes, someone carrying explosives really shouldn't be in a hurry - but at 32.4 kph, you're only barely keeping up with an UrbanMech and certain suits of battle armor can actually outrun you.  The engine comes with a free heat sink, offering you the theoretical possibility of surviving someone using Infernos on you.  One ton of commercial armor provides minimal (very minimal) protection at 24 points.  Ordinarily, I'd say something arch, sarcastic, snarky, or possibly even snide here about it being BAR 5 (meaning a six point shot can generate a critical hit even against intact plates), but given that a five point hit will actually take any given limb off and a six pointer will blow out any location but the center torso, I'll save it for another time.  There's two points everywhere but the head and the forward center torso, just enough to protect against accidents but not enough to actually deal with anything but infantry fire. To be honest, I've seen infantry platoons that won't have any issues here, either.  Yeah, it's not supposed to get shot at, so it's decent enough for the designed purpose, but in theory, you're not supposed to accidentally crack open ancient bioweapons stocks, use nuclear weapons on people, glass entire worlds, or conquer a large swathe of the Capellan Confederation, either.  The lift hoist in the right torso is good for seven and a half tons, which is enough ammunition to supply most 'Mechs in a single load (or several of certain models).  And that's it.  No weapons, nada.

The “modern” variant is more versatile but not any tougher.  A ton of cargo storage was added in the center torso to supply a sprayer in the same location, while a searchlight went onto the left shoulder.

Graham-Davis Enterprises put together a new model called the PTN-2 Patron MilitiaMech beginning in 3076, an armed variant this time.  Remember that armor I spent a bit of time up above describing in such loving terms?  The stuff that was okay for a LoaderMech, sort of, but an absolute joke against any serious opponent?  It's baaaaaaaack!  The actual changes, though, are mostly more encouraging.  All of the equipment but the searchlight was removed in favor of a rockets-and-machine guns style of load, five RL 10s in the right torso with two LMGs on each wrist and fed by a half-ton of ammunition, all tied into advanced fire control.  There's no more heat sinks, though, making the idea of a massed ripple of those rockets a little concerning - you're going to eat a shutdown roll and then be unable to move for four turns whether you shut down or not.  In a desperate situation, it can be the one thing that gets you out alive (or at least takes the other guy with you) but I really don't recommend it otherwise.  They're cheap, they have that cachet of being 'Mechs with a pretty hefty Sunday punch, and they're surprising to someone expecting the LoaderMechs I described up above.  If that's what you're looking for, the MilitiaMech in XTRO: RetroTech or the following PatrolMech might be just the ticket, and they're being sold pretty widely now that the Jihad is over.

The debut of the design, punctuated by the successful delay of raiders, led Graham-Davis to invest in a further modification called the PTN-2M and now designated a PatrolMech, trading two of the rocket launchers to upgrade to two tons heavy industrial armor.  As TRO: Prototypes notes, a medium laser can still take a limb off, but you'll need six points to blow away the head, and four points on the sides and five on the centerline is a serious upgrade to the forward armor.  Overall, a little bit more survivable but the lack of the ability to pump quite so many rockets might not be worth it in some people's opinion.

I have one suggestion for using one of the LoaderMech variants in combat: Don't.  If you find yourself there, find hard cover and get behind it unless you've got ammunition that just has to be delivered under fire.  Otherwise, run like a coward as fast as you can and let the BattleMechs (or even the Arbiters and Scorpions) handle the fighting.  The armed models are still encouraged not to get too courageous - even on the PTN-2M, your armor is worse than most Locusts for points - but as security forces for an unimportant target or designated infantry support, I can see it doing passably well.

Decent amounts of firepower (and “decent” is a very small amount in this case) will find dealing with one of these laughably easy.  I really wouldn't be surprised to see a squad of medium battle armor take one apart in a handful of turns assuming they survived the possible rocket spam, and most light BattleMechs can shred a Patron if they're smart about it.  Pay attention to the armed models, though - that many rockets can hurt like blazes if they connect and Graham-Davis may not have done much with the armor but they didn't stint on the fire control.  Just because it's thinly armored doesn't mean it's harmless.

References: The Master Unit List, dividing things on the basis of names the way it does, splits this between LoaderMechs, MilitiaMech, and PatrolMech.  I am unaware of any miniatures for this design.

Diablo48

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #1 on: 11 February 2012, 03:01:08 »
I always like seeing flavor units like the Patron getting some attention because I think they add a lot to the universe that you do not get with pure combat units.  Sure it has no place on the battlefield, but it makes a perfect addition to a resupply base in a scenario and the new armed variants make good targets for a small merc or pirate force.  You could conceivably use it for its intended purpose in a large scenario/battle by keeping it in the back with other fragile things like artillery and sending other units back to it for reloads (or just having it lug extra shells for the long guns), but I am in full agreement that it has no place in combat.

That said, I do have a small disagreement with this line in your assessment of how to use the rocket variants.

...There's no more heat sinks, though, making the idea of a massed ripple of those rockets a little concerning - you're going to eat a shutdown roll and then be unable to move for four turns whether you shut down or not....

If I had other combat units in the area and the enemy was not relying on conventional infantry, I would seriously consider unloading the full rocket volley at the first good opportunity because emptying the tubes pushes the Patron far enough down on the threat scale that it will probably be ignored which is really the only way this thing is going to make it off the battlefield in one piece.


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Moonsword

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #2 on: 11 February 2012, 07:07:13 »
That sentence, taken in isolation (and especially framed the way it was), doesn't quite paint the full picture of what I was saying, and I suspect this is partially because the whole thing was written, hastily looked over, and posted in the course of a few short hours.

My point there in talking about the PTN-2 was rather more along the lines of "I recommend doing this only when it's necessary because it has serious consequences you need to be aware of".  Yes, you may get ignored... or you may not.  If you're not and the enemy is still alive, that sort of vulnerability is very, very dangerous.  A lot of people tend to take a vindictive interest in people who shoot at them, even if the target is relatively harmless afterward.  If I was that thoroughly opposed to the entire notion, I wouldn't speak in such complimentary terms of the Sunday punch, nor would I note that it was in fact a serious trade off in favor of the additional armor on the PTN-2M.  And you might want to consider that for a Patron, it doesn't take a lot in the way of what most players consider light, fairly harmless units to be a very desperate situation indeed.

Diablo48

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #3 on: 11 February 2012, 07:42:30 »
Looking back at it I can see what you mean, but I think it could have been clearer with a break to go back and read it over the next day which was simply not possible here as you said.

As for retribution, I can see what you are saying, however I personally tend to stay cool and logical in combat so I would discount it unless I had some conventional infantry I wanted it to leave alone or nothing better to do with my weapons/heat dissipation.


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Martius

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #4 on: 11 February 2012, 09:27:59 »
In game even a Patron without RLs is still an easy to take out initiative sink. Also even with just its MGs it still can shoot and what can shoot is a threat. TACs happen, headhits as well.

That said I like this Mech and it saw some action in our games, used by Lothian seperatists and rebels.

 


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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #5 on: 11 February 2012, 10:02:46 »
How effective is the Patrol and Militia variants for the Patron against its intended targets?   If it was Succession War era equipt foot platoon (without SRMs...), i would wonder if Patron could actually threaten them enough to make them flee.  SRM armed platoons and other heavier duty infantry could roll over lance worth of Patron backing up their own infantry if they had enough numbers I would think. 
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Moonsword

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #6 on: 11 February 2012, 10:29:43 »
It depends on the infantry and the situation, although they aren't really dedicated anti-infantry 'Mechs.  Patrons are slow enough that they don't have that much of a maneuvering edge.  Their armor is low enough that a platoon has a reasonable chance to threaten it significantly.  Two or more focusing fire are a serious problem.  PTN-2Ms are significantly less vulnerable because of the heavier torso armor.  The BV (listed in a second) is not that much higher than a foot platoon's.  BA is just plain mean.  The IS Standard - the generic grunt of suits - has a BV of 255 when armed with the LRR vs. 143 (PTN-2) or 147 (PTN-2M).  Looking at that, I think it's about right.

Martius

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #7 on: 11 February 2012, 12:52:12 »
Their armor is low enough that a platoon has a reasonable chance to threaten it significantly. 

Exactly.

They work best in ambush situations. Their speed means that they have troubles chasing down some types of infantry in certain situations yet the LMGs give them some reach. Yet even the 2M is stripped of armour fast and as soon the legs or arms are naked (it takes only 2pt of damage) it starts to take crits. Which is always bad news for Industrial Mechs. Both arms house juicy (yet well padded) 100 round magazines for the MG and leg crits slow the 'Mech down even more.

IMO they are a good fluff unit (which is why I like them- they work great in scenarios) but not much more.

Isanova

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #8 on: 11 February 2012, 16:31:57 »
The only time I can see firing the rockets is in the confines of a much larger battle. Say you're providing support for your lance of Archers, and an enemy mech gets in and starts threatening them. If you can get a close up backshot full of rockets, go for it... but the mechs you're protecting better be able to take care of things quick. No ejection seat in industrialmechs.

OTOH, given that it's rockets are in the chest... does that mean it can reload itself? ???
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Nebfer

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #9 on: 11 February 2012, 17:01:14 »
Their little more than cheap riot units, more useful for fluff than serious combat. Their more than good enough to guard a critical location when theirs civil unrest, or a light insurgency. But their light armor hampers their value in a more hot environment. But when faced with a mob they can work well enough, as the mob (unit) only can do 1 or 2 damage (and only out to hexes adjacent to them). Meanwhile their LMGs will do an average of 9 or 12 damage per MG (sans modifiers for being in the open -due to mobs having a 3x multiplier for damage).

Marveryn

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #10 on: 12 February 2012, 02:36:04 »
the militia one is something you post to guard none critical area or for a lord to have guard the gate of his penthouse to keep the press at bay, but nothing that should be taking serious against a real mech.  I suspect it would be use for small scale conflict like keeping protester from rioting.  a presence of any battlemech even one such as this hover at the edge of a rally may keep some folks from misbehaving.  The none original versions is clearly one design for background purposes and it most likely there to confuse your sensor.  your approaching an enemy base and you decited 36 mech, but unable to get a good reading cause of ecm you don't know that  more then have are industrial mechs.  could make a difference in some battlefield

Kit deSummersville

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #11 on: 13 February 2012, 21:31:32 »
I remember designing this years ago so Jason had an IndustrialMech to write about in TRO 3075. I threw it in RetroTech and I was surprised that Herb used it in Prototypes. The design sure does get around for a 15 ton IndyMech.
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Weirdo

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #12 on: 14 February 2012, 12:35:07 »
It's a shame RLs can't be loaded with Tear Gas ammo, otherwise this would make an excellent crowd-control unit. As-is, I'll probably use it in an infantry support role, using the rockets to quickly tear down fortifications from a distance, and the LMGs to deter light infantry, letting my troops focus on heavier foes.

You think this might pair well with the Arbiter?
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Moonsword

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #13 on: 14 February 2012, 13:04:58 »
You think this might pair well with the Arbiter?

I don't think so.  The speed difference is too big in my eyes - it'd be like pairing an UrbanMech and a Garm.  I could be wrong, though.

mbear

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #14 on: 06 April 2018, 10:35:46 »
If a BattleMech is a walking tank, the Patron is a walking forklift. Sure the patroller variants are interesting, but this thing really has no place on the battlefield. Unless you're using them in a city or at a dropport or something, keep them far away from enemy fire.

Fallen_Raven

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #15 on: 28 June 2018, 23:31:36 »
When facing an infantry heavy attack like a planetary uprising or an occupation by pirates, the armed Patrons can buy time and maneuvering space for the real combat units. The battle plan goes something like this:

1)Use the Rocket Launchers on APCs, which stalls a coordinated attack. The enemy either rushes in with holes in their lines, or they slow down enough to maintain formation.

2)Move they Patrons safely behind your battle line, or more likely advance your battleline in front of the Patrons.

3)Apply LMGs to the squishies in support of your line, but only after confirming they don't have SRMs or Lasers.

4)Take a victory stroll, proud of your small contribution to the safety of your homeland. Its more than anyone should ask of a 15 ton Industrialmech.

5)Stub your toe on a rock, fall on your arm, and crit your ammo.

You didn't think taking a Patron into combat was going to end well did you?
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idea weenie

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #16 on: 29 June 2018, 22:16:15 »
It's a shame RLs can't be loaded with Tear Gas ammo, otherwise this would make an excellent crowd-control unit. As-is, I'll probably use it in an infantry support role, using the rockets to quickly tear down fortifications from a distance, and the LMGs to deter light infantry, letting my troops focus on heavier foes.

Can you remove the Rocket Launchers and replace them with Vehicle Grenade launchers or similar?  Then launch tear gas grenades

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Re: Mech of the Week: Patron IndustrialMech
« Reply #17 on: 30 June 2018, 02:13:38 »
That post is six years old, and the end result would be a custom. You all know where customs go.
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