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Author Topic: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight  (Read 22476 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #60 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.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #61 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.
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Maelwys

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #62 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?"

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #63 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?
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #64 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

Maelwys

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #65 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...

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #66 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
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Sjhernan3060

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #67 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

Greatclub

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #68 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.


« Last Edit: 15 November 2019, 00:23:26 by Greatclub »

Greatclub

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #69 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.
« Last Edit: 12 November 2019, 22:27:05 by Greatclub »

SteelRaven

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #70 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.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #71 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.
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #72 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.

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #73 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.
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Greatclub

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #74 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.
« Last Edit: 07 November 2019, 20:11:34 by Greatclub »

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #75 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.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #76 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.
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #77 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".
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #78 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.

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Greatclub

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #79 on: 08 November 2019, 20:49:35 »
Better at range 1, easier to get there.

Worse at range. Proper dhs are the **"*"

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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #80 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.
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #81 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.
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Re: Mech of the Week - The Black Knight
« Reply #82 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.
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