Register Register

Author Topic: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight  (Read 27173 times)

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« 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.








A BLK-NT-5H




The fearsome BL-X Red Reaper.



As always comments, thoughts and thrown fruit are most welcome!
« Last Edit: 11 December 2015, 08:18:51 by marauder648 »
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Deadborder

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7041
  • Technical Victory!
    • Elmer Studios Blog
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #1 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
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



Whenever you use terms like 'fiat' or 'stupid pills', you render your argument invalid

How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #2 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 :)
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

UnLimiTeD

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #3 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.
Savannah Masters are the Pringles of Battletech.
Ooo! OOOOOOO! That was a bad one!...and I liked it.

Deadborder

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7041
  • Technical Victory!
    • Elmer Studios Blog
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #4 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
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



Whenever you use terms like 'fiat' or 'stupid pills', you render your argument invalid

How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way

Kidd

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3535
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #5 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.

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8036
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #6 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.
Sunrise is Coming.

All Hail First Prince Melissa Davion, cowerer of Dainmar Liao, Creator of the Model Army, Rescuer of Robinson, Patron Saint of the Regimental Combat Team!  May her light ever guide the sons of the Suns, May our daughters ever endeavour to emulate her!

Ghostbear_Gurdel

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1563
  • Live by the Sword...
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #7 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....
"The real question is, just how badly do you want to pound your opponent?  You can do things to your opponent with an ASF that are illegal in 39 states and 14 countries, and that's without even trying hard." - Paladin1
Member No. 3 of the JM6 haters club

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33915
  • Divided States of SMASH
    • Christina Dickinson Writes
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #8 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
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Dragon Cat

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6198
  • Not Dead Until I Say So
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #9 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

Scotty

  • Alpha Strike Guru by appointment to the FWLM
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10489
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #10 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!
Catalyst Demo Agent #679

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

DarkISI

  • Praedonum Dominus
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5836
    • My Author Website
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #11 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.

:)
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.



"if they didn't want to be stomped to death by a psychotic gang of battlemechs, they shouldn't have fallen down" - Liam's Ghost

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #12 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?
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

DarkISI

  • Praedonum Dominus
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5836
    • My Author Website
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #13 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.
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.



"if they didn't want to be stomped to death by a psychotic gang of battlemechs, they shouldn't have fallen down" - Liam's Ghost

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 18372
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #14 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.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

LastChanceCav

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2284
  • Repossessing the dispossessed ...
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #15 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
Last Chance Engineering - Bespoke Battlemechs for the refined gentleman.

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33915
  • Divided States of SMASH
    • Christina Dickinson Writes
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #16 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. :)
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 18372
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #17 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 . . .
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Dragon Cat

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6198
  • Not Dead Until I Say So
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #18 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

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #19 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 :)
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8036
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #20 on: 12 December 2015, 04:08:22 »
It'd make for a good series of Battlecorps stories.
Sunrise is Coming.

All Hail First Prince Melissa Davion, cowerer of Dainmar Liao, Creator of the Model Army, Rescuer of Robinson, Patron Saint of the Regimental Combat Team!  May her light ever guide the sons of the Suns, May our daughters ever endeavour to emulate her!

cavingjan

  • Sang-Wei MUL
  • Battletech Volunteer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4380
  • grumpy ESOB
    • warrenborn
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #21 on: 12 December 2015, 10:19:39 »
No love for Ian or Ross's black knight?

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #22 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.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Rayneth

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Conflicted Member of the Purple People
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #23 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!

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6598
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #24 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 :)
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Lord greystroke

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 183
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #25 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

GreekFire

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2181
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #26 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!
Looking for a write-up on your favorite 'Mech? Check this out: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0
Want to know which 'Mechs haven't been covered? Take a look at this: http://pastebin.com/9LNAMhFC
Interested in requesting or writing a 'Mech of the Week article? Come join us over here: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=55619.0

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17471
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #27 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.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

AJC46

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 275
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #28 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.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17471
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #29 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.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic