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Author Topic: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.  (Read 7984 times)

Vonshroom

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The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« on: 10 September 2017, 12:54:03 »
Well here is a thread about the ShadowHawk in 3025, cue the Grayson Carlyle jokes, and the boundless comments regarding the words, "underwhelming", "oversinked", and "jack-of-all-trades". Truth be told the ShadowHawk is something of all three and more.

The inspiration for this thread comes with a fairly recent mercenary company that I have made for pick up games, and a bit of fluff writing. The commander pilots (at least for now a modified SHD-2H)

This version drops the SRM2, its accompanying ton of explody uselessness, and a single heat sink. For this three medium lasers get added. With an LRM5 and AC to poke at long range, and 4Mlasers up close this mech is more ammo independant, and well effective. All without losing the flavor of the Shadow Hawk.

After thinking about it it seems like a fairly straightforward weapons swap that would probably be done by mercenaries in this era. There are no new or completely refitted weapons, just adding some that the Shad already carries. Seems this would make it easier for targeting computers and techs to get right. Also, its a mech that just might allow an elite pilot to shine like the aforementioned Grayson Carlyle and actually become a mega hero.

So what's your opinion of this variant of the Shadow Hawk? Also what are some custom variants of the mech that you have ran in this era, or feel would have been ran (in universe).
« Last Edit: 10 September 2017, 12:59:41 by Vonshroom »
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Vonshroom

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2017, 13:00:29 »
Original Post modified because somehow it posted mid way through the write-up.  :P
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Daryk

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #2 on: 10 September 2017, 13:03:48 »
If you want actual variants, you may want to ask the mods to move this down to the Fan Designs area.

I've always liked the Kurita variant personally, and not just because it makes a decent base for a Blazer Cannon version.

Vonshroom

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #3 on: 10 September 2017, 13:20:23 »
If you want actual variants, you may want to ask the mods to move this down to the Fan Designs area.

I've always liked the Kurita variant personally, and not just because it makes a decent base for a Blazer Cannon version.

I thought about posting it there, but felt it was more suited to ground combat as I was looking more towards a discussion of the Shadow Hawk's capabilities in different configurations than more of a here is my modification thread.

Also I am looking for input on how widespread different Shadow Hawk variants may be during this time, and going forward.
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Daryk

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #4 on: 10 September 2017, 13:29:26 »
In 3025, I think the Kurita variant is probably the most widespread after the stock version (and Sarna seems to agree).  The Davion variant just doesn't last in combat.

Ruger

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #5 on: 10 September 2017, 14:09:10 »
In 3025, I think the Kurita variant is probably the most widespread after the stock version (and Sarna seems to agree).  The Davion variant just doesn't last in combat.

The thing about the Davion variant is that it removes armor for no good reason. Instead of removing 4 tons of armor to add an extra medium laser, SRM-2 and 2 heat sinks, the designers should have removed two heat sinks to add the weapons (or my preference, which I should probably keep out of this thread, as it would put it close to a fan design thread topic)...Regardless, with either mod, you can fire your meds and SRM's (and AC), and still only really heat up by whatever your movement would increase it (unless you get an engine hit)...

The Kurita variant is also well oversinked, but the PPC tends to make one think it needs those extra heat sinks...

Of course, the fluff about the Shadow Hawk is fluffed as being a cool running 'Mech, so there's a potential reason for all the extra heat sinks...

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« Last Edit: 10 September 2017, 14:16:23 by Ruger »
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #6 on: 10 September 2017, 14:44:45 »
If you want actual variants, you may want to ask the mods to move this down to the Fan Designs area.

I've always liked the Kurita variant personally, and not just because it makes a decent base for a Blazer Cannon version.

I had not even considered that.  O0

Also, I don't know if I would describe the SRM-2 as useless.  Everything about the SHD-2H is about bring multipurpose. The AC/5 could carry regular or flak ammo, alternate munitions for the LRMs and SRMs allow for a wide variety of roles, and the medium laser is about as general purpose as it gets.
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JadedFalcon

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #7 on: 10 September 2017, 16:25:56 »
The Blazer Hawk idea does sound interesting...

With how underwhelming the SHD-2H is, I've come to the conclusion that it is best used as a support mech for combined arms, being used primarily against vehicles and infantry. The 2D seems to fit in a similar role, and can be a great value for the BV if your opponent is more worried about your other mechs than the craptastic under-armored Shad.

I had not even considered that.  O0

Also, I don't know if I would describe the SRM-2 as useless.  Everything about the SHD-2H is about bring multipurpose. The AC/5 could carry regular or flak ammo, alternate munitions for the LRMs and SRMs allow for a wide variety of roles, and the medium laser is about as general purpose as it gets.


I can get behind the notion that the SHD-2H is a support unit that should be carrying Infernos, flak shells, and smoke LRMs.

Daryk

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #8 on: 10 September 2017, 16:37:03 »
Word of caution: I consider ANY design with a Blazer Cannon interesting...  ;D

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #9 on: 10 September 2017, 17:46:21 »
one of the important things to remember is that the Shadow Hawk originated in a time with a different military dynamic.. one where mass combat was much more common, and lances and even companies of the same mech design were the norm. it was also a time when infantry and vehicles played a bigger role in combat as well.

this led to designs that were specialized for unconventional roles, like infantry and armor support. which is what the Primitive Shadow Hawk (slower, with just the AC5 and ML) was designed for. the common -2H model was the common-SLDF replacement for that primative model. odds are they fit the LRm5 and SRM2 on because of special ammo options.. though IMO probably not all at once. but if you have a company of Shadow hawks supporting a couple companies of tanks or infantry, you could load one lance with inferno's, one lance with Smoke LRm's, and a lance with Flak, and get a fairly rounded set of capabilities. and since they could do a little bit of anything, you wouldn't need to be as careful with what you attached the company too.. a company of Shadow hawks could support an AA unit just as well as they could an MBT unit or a mechanized infantry unit.. you'd just load different ammo mixes.

you did see a more straight combat model, in the SHD-2Hb royal variant (which mounted Endo, ferro, DHS, LB10X, 2 Streak2's, and 2 ML's) but that one was exclusive to the hegemony's Royal units, and thus largely unknown to the inner sphere at large. and after the fall of the star league, most of these went with kerensky.

after the start of the succession wars, the basic -2H, being a jack of all trades support unit, would have been a useful addition to any mech lance.
most of the succession wars variants were attempts to make it more of a straight combat unit..
the Kurita -2K variant basically makes it a less effective Griffon clone, the -2D tries to add extra SRm and Ml firepower (almost like the royal model's layout) but lacking weight saver tech, sacrifices too much armor.

the post-3050 versions start with trying to make the succession wars versions "themselves, but better", before veering off into some eclectic mixes. but they all generally remain support units, meant to help other mechs, rather than carry the day themselves.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #10 on: 11 September 2017, 10:06:00 »
The -2H Shadow Hawk becomes a pretty effective support fighter once alternate munitions become more widely available. Load the LRM bin with smoke rounds, the SRM bin with Inferno rounds to keep infantry/vehicles away, and the autocannon with either Precision ammo for the fast movers, or flak ammo to tell enemy air units to go away, and you'll make your lancemates much more effective in a fight.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #11 on: 11 September 2017, 10:13:01 »
I quite like the 4 medium laser idea. Works well enough for the Catapult in the same era.

Personally I like to remove the AC5 and replace it with a PPC and medium laser (I like to 'fix' the jump jets at the same time but that is highly optional). I find the same modification dramatically improves the Wolverine 6R and Clint as well...actually more or less any medium/light mech with an AC, I really don't like that weapon.

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Simon Landmine

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #12 on: 11 September 2017, 10:27:57 »
With the advent of alternate ammo types, I'd be tempted to pop out a heat sink or two, and replace them with an extra ammo bin for the AC, to enable ammo selection. And maybe a second medium laser, or another bin for the LRM, to give that more flexibility, too. Though I admit that would make it a fireworks display-in-waiting, but, hey, this is war - and it's already one of those anyway.

I think the summary of it as a generalist is spot-on - maybe also from when one 'mech might have to be able to face off against any kind of opponent? And it can give some close-in support to its brother the Griffin, while adding some more long-range throw to brother Wolverine.

(Been a Shadow Hawk fan since it was on the cover of the rules in the old box set.)
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #13 on: 11 September 2017, 15:35:33 »
Back in the day, before there were record sheets for it, we thought the Kurita version of the ShadowHawk swapped the AC/5 and LRM-5 for a PPC and heatsinks. It runs pretty good for a generalist.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #14 on: 11 September 2017, 20:09:44 »
I remember thinking the same thing, and, yeah, that turns out to be a pretty handy version.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #15 on: 12 September 2017, 16:32:42 »

I don't subscribe to the infantry support mech theory.  A support unit should complement its infantry, i.e., do things that the infantry cannot do for themselves.  90-meter jumps, piddling 5-LRM volleys and 2-SRM salvos, and AC/5 support are all things that infantry can do for themselves.  Sure, the S-Hawk can move at cavalry speeds, but that just means it's going to rapidly outpace the infantry unit it's supposed to be supporting (or waste its cavalry potential).

I always thought the old S-Hawk should have had the Chameleon's fluff as a trainer mech.  The S-Hawk has a little of every weapon type to train on, some modest jumping, and a newb/trainee can't easily roast themselves alive in it unlike most pre-freezer designs.  Trainer flavor better fits the S-Hawk's actual capabilities.  And it would help explain why so many of this rather sucky design exist but were pressed into service during the Succession Wars.

Even with special ammo in play, I personally avoid the old S-Hawk.  With three deep ammo bins and a very slow rate of fire consuming each, the old S-Hawk is a large, triply redundant bomb -- it will go off.

Peepers and medium laser banks and bigger missile packs and RACs/LB-X when they come online can obviously turn the design around.  But then the design becomes more a Griffin or a Swayback or a Dervish or a Centurion/Enforcer than an S-Hawk

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« Last Edit: 12 September 2017, 16:39:22 by Natasha Kerensky »
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #16 on: 12 September 2017, 17:32:11 »
The Shadowhawk doesn't actually suck.  People don't care for it because you can't give an opponent a 20+ roll, even if you roll perfectly.  But everyone likes the Griffin and the Wolverine.  The chance of a 10 point hit, and some decent short range weapons will make you popular, I guess.

I played around with the Shadowhawk in megamek, and the best thing about it is its versatility.  You can beat a Griffin up close, and wear down a Wolverine at range (kinda).  It's a decent support mech as well.  Find yourself some woods to sit in, and just shoot weapons at whoever gives you the lowest target number.  You can take the secondary target penalty, and shoot your long range weapons at one guy, and your short range at another guy.

Alternate ammo really gives you a boost as well, because it lets you take on a specialized role without having to take a specialized mech.  It's like a really primitive Omni.  An entire force of Shadowhawks can actually be very deadly if they have the right stuff.  Imagine a company where every mech had taken flak ammo for their AC-5s.  Would you want to do a strafing run on them?  Sounds like suicide.  Now... how do you know they have flak ammo until you try it?  You wouldn't.  So once you know that's a tactic that people use, you have to act as though they're always carrying it (at least until proven otherwise).

The Shadowhawk is the ultimate 3025 jack of all trades, master of none.  And with quirks and special pilot abilities, it is actually really good in hand to hand.  It's got battle fists, and a medium laser in the arm (fist fire, I think it's called).  Not bad at all.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #17 on: 12 September 2017, 20:34:53 »
I won't go so far as to say the Shadow Hawk is genuinely good, but I do think it's going to far to call it bad.  Being able to reach out to 18 hexes and do 8-9 damage for no heat is nothing to sneeze at in 3005, when just having a functional mech was an accomplishment.  It's armor has never been criticized in any era, and when nearly no other mech is mounting full armor and monstrosities like the Rifleman and Jaggermech (and Shadow Hawk 2D) are allowed to run free, just being able to go out and soak up damage in exchange for the AC5 and LRM5, oh and by the way whatever that Longbow 0W is doing, is something of a neat party trick (if you have a spare Longbow, at least).

But, really, in 3005, just having a medium mech was a win from the get go, when the three most common mechs in existence were the Locust, Wasp and Stinger.  So it depends what your battles look like.  If one tends to run with companies and battalions of fully functional high end mediums and heavies and assaults, then the Shadow Hawk will look pretty crummy, and rightly so.  But, if I sat down across from such a person, would I scratch my head, and think that it looks more like 3065 than 3025?
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #18 on: 12 September 2017, 20:48:40 »
Believe it or not, I actually got some good use out of a shadowhawk 2D over the course of several engagements (it was the ride of the commanding officer of a mercenary unit I made. The perils of inheriting your battlemech!).

The key, I found, was using it as a supporting player hiding behind something bigger and scarier that was actively in the enemy's face. Though "bigger and scarier" was frequently metaphorical. Her lancemates were a wolverine, shadowhawk 2H, and commando.

Of course, in the fifth engagement, the enemy actually noticed her and reduced her mech to scrap... So it's not a perfect strategy.  :P

Consider "pretty good if you don't notice it" my best possible endorsement of the Shadow hawk 2D.
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Vonshroom

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #19 on: 13 September 2017, 00:59:14 »
Interesting discussion so far guys. I think everyone brings up some good points, and I would kind of like to touch on some of them.
one of the important things to remember is that the Shadow Hawk originated in a time with a different military dynamic.. one where mass combat was much more common, and lances and even companies of the same mech design were the norm. it was also a time when infantry and vehicles played a bigger role in combat as well.

Glitterboy, I agree with this, and I don't. As one of the original mechs, the Shadow Hawk actually originated in 3025 (even though it was fluffed to be an ancient design) so it actually was designed to be one of the original 3025 era mechs. This means that it was pretty much designed to be a mech fighter, even if the in universe fluff, and what not has been changed since.

It does however fill the role of a Jack pretty well. In the succession wars, particularly the early 3000's as some others have pointed out, you are lucky to have a mech. You are even luckier if it something other than a bug mech or at the best a light. Against these mechs, the stock 2H equips itself very well. Further during this time huge mech formations were very uncommon, lance sized was pretty large, and company was enough to take multiple planets and hold them. Much as Mongoose says.

But, really, in 3005, just having a medium mech was a win from the get go, when the three most common mechs in existence were the Locust, Wasp and Stinger.  So it depends what your battles look like.  If one tends to run with companies and battalions of fully functional high end mediums and heavies and assaults, then the Shadow Hawk will look pretty crummy, and rightly so.  But, if I sat down across from such a person, would I scratch my head, and think that it looks more like 3065 than 3025?
With this in mind, it means that the Shadow Hawk is if not designed as an infantry / conventional support mech, used as one. If for no other reason than the fact that mechs are rare, so most of the time, the forces on both sides of the conflict are going to be conventional forces. In this role, as you stated, it equips itself fairly well. Especially with the availability of specialty ammo, i.e. flak, infernos etc.

 

I always thought the old S-Hawk should have had the Chameleon's fluff as a trainer mech.  The S-Hawk has a little of every weapon type to train on, some modest jumping, and a newb/trainee can't easily roast themselves alive in it unlike most pre-freezer designs.  Trainer flavor better fits the S-Hawk's actual capabilities.  And it would help explain why so many of this rather sucky design exist but were pressed into service during the Succession Wars.

Even with special ammo in play, I personally avoid the old S-Hawk.  With three deep ammo bins and a very slow rate of fire consuming each, the old S-Hawk is a large, triply redundant bomb -- it will go off.

Peepers and medium laser banks and bigger missile packs and RACs/LB-X when they come online can obviously turn the design around.  But then the design becomes more a Griffin or a Swayback or a Dervish or a Centurion/Enforcer than an S-Hawk

My 2 C-bills... YMMV.

Natasha, I agree about the trainer mech, makes much more sense to me than the Chameleon does as a trainer mech, with the only drawback being teaching the rookies heat management. ;)

As far as modifying it goes, I feel that my original post Shadow Hawk redesign keeps the feel of the machine while making it much more viable in combat. Further its a fairly straightforward refit, or at least I think. Swapping the SRM-2 and a heat sink for 3 more mediums.

I quite like the 4 medium laser idea. Works well enough for the Catapult in the same era.

Personally I like to remove the AC5 and replace it with a PPC and medium laser (I like to 'fix' the jump jets at the same time but that is highly optional). I find the same modification dramatically improves the Wolverine 6R and Clint as well...actually more or less any medium/light mech with an AC, I really don't like that weapon.

Challenger

All true Challenger, but keeping the feel of the stock machine and the low heat output are kind of what I was looking for. Definitely more effective upgrades though.


One area I see the Shadow Hawk excelling is in extremely hot or volcanic environments, think of somewhere that adds a +5 heat or more per turn. This is a great playground for the Shadow Hawk where it can run and slap someone with most of its weapons and still manage its heat, whereas a more damaging design would overheat too fast. For this niche too, I see the stock Shadow Hawk as an excellent option.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #20 on: 13 September 2017, 11:58:09 »
In my opinion, the worst issue with the SHD design is the attempt to make it sort-of jump, without going the full 9 yards.  It's paying tonnage for something that's only marginally useful.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #21 on: 13 September 2017, 12:07:52 »
I tend to think of the SHD's jump as more of a hop - it enables it to hop over a river without wading through it, leap small buildings in a single bound, scale low cliffs, and skip gleefully through heavy woods (with a picnic basket?). It's definitely not a primary movement type like on the 'real' jumpers, but it stops it being completely bogged down by terrain that would slow a walk/run-only mech, or force it to take a more severe detour.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #22 on: 13 September 2017, 12:20:50 »
In my opinion, the worst issue with the SHD design is the attempt to make it sort-of jump, without going the full 9 yards.  It's paying tonnage for something that's only marginally useful.

Agreed the SHD should be able to jump 5 hexes.  The 2D is horribly under armored.  I want to like the SHD, but it falls short. 

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #23 on: 13 September 2017, 12:25:16 »
In my opinion, the worst issue with the SHD design is the attempt to make it sort-of jump, without going the full 9 yards.  It's paying tonnage for something that's only marginally useful.

Ironically this does not bother me. Some others I have seen are almost OCD level when it comes to jump jet distance matching the walking speed of a mech. To me I don't care.

I see the jumpjets as a useful inclusion for the tonnage, with the Extra 1.5 tons you would gain, what would you add to the weapons? Thats where the S-Hawk needs improving, I mean the armor is good, the heat sink load is good, etc. I don't like the increase in raw firepower that that extra 1.5 tons gives to the design vs. the trade in maneuverability.

The fact that the Shadow Hawk can now "hop" onto decent size buildings, over rivers, minefields, rough hexes, trees, whatever makes it infinitely more valuable to me. Additionally it can DFA other mechs, which is nothing to sneeze at. I can't tell you how many objects I have sailed over with a Shadow Hawk and used it to my advantage.

In a lot of my personally designed units, they only have a few jump jets. I find that for a fraction of the tonnage of a full compliment you can get excellent mobility options opened up.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #24 on: 13 September 2017, 12:37:32 »
Wrong era, same topic. The Shad-5D is the first Shad that really shines for me. Better armor, 5/8/5 movement profile, modest but useful short range weapons. It still uses a standard engine but stuffs all the slots with Endo and FF. I find all of the Shads before this one make too many compromises for me.

The old manta: speed, armor, firepower--you can pick two of them. I feel like the Succession War Shads said, "naw, I don't want two, I'll just take like 1/2 of all three categories, without being "solidly" in any of them, thank you!"

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #25 on: 13 September 2017, 18:31:02 »
But, really, in 3005, just having a medium mech was a win from the get go, when the three most common mechs in existence were the Locust, Wasp and Stinger. 

Actually, the game in the 3025 era or so said that medium 'Mechs made up about 48-50% of all 'Mech forces, lights were about 35% of the total, heavies about 15%, and assaults were about 1-2% of the total 'Mech forces, IIRC...

The Bug 'Mechs were the most produced individual designs, but overall, there are more medium 'Mechs around than lights...but taken as individual designs, you are probably more likely to pilot a bug 'Mech than any other individual design...

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #26 on: 13 September 2017, 18:50:38 »
Wrong era, same topic. The Shad-5D is the first Shad that really shines for me. Better armor, 5/8/5 movement profile, modest but useful short range weapons. It still uses a standard engine but stuffs all the slots with Endo and FF. I find all of the Shads before this one make too many compromises for me.

I love the 5D, it is no generalist, but it is an awesome mech.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #27 on: 13 September 2017, 20:10:45 »
Really, if you wanna go whole-hog on making a -2H into a support machine in the Jihad era, just rip out the missile launchers and two heat sinks, then install an MML-5, consolidate the missile bins, and expand both ammo bins by another ton each. That would give you three tons of missiles, and two tons of AC/5 ammo, allowing you to carry every type of Support ammo (Thunder LRMs, Smoke LRMs, Inferno SRMs, Flak AC/5, and Precision AC/5). The whole thing would still be heat-neutral on a jumping Alpha, which means you can provide support all day long.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #28 on: 14 September 2017, 02:55:04 »
Really, if you wanna go whole-hog on making a -2H into a support machine in the Jihad era, just rip out the missile launchers and two heat sinks, then install an MML-5, consolidate the missile bins, and expand both ammo bins by another ton each. That would give you three tons of missiles, and two tons of AC/5 ammo, allowing you to carry every type of Support ammo (Thunder LRMs, Smoke LRMs, Inferno SRMs, Flak AC/5, and Precision AC/5). The whole thing would still be heat-neutral on a jumping Alpha, which means you can provide support all day long.

The SHD-9D is missing that extra ton of ammo to diversify the light AC.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #29 on: 14 September 2017, 11:47:18 »
Super-efficient designs are rather boring for gameplay.  I like the Shadowhawk because it gives you a lot of options, even if it isn't pound for pound the most effective design.

The board game rules should probably be seen as an abstraction, and not perfectly representative of the "reality" of combat.  From Alpha Strike, to Battletroops, to Solaris Dueling combat, there have been different rules sets to represent how mechs interact with the world.  I think there's enough variation in these different games for us to say that none of them probably get it exactly right.  In universe, the Shadowhawk seems to be seen as a very effective and versatile medium weight mech.

And plus, it looks really cool.  Easily my favorite mech, appearance-wise.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #30 on: 15 September 2017, 11:07:35 »
I see the jumpjets as a useful inclusion for the tonnage, with the Extra 1.5 tons you would gain, what would you add to the weapons?
There are two routes to take:

One possibility, reduce the heatsinking ability slightly and add another pair of jump jets, giving it full 5/8/5 movement, with no significant reduction in firepower.

The other route would be to yank the jump jets completely, add another medium laser or ton of AC/5 ammo (for alternate ammo types), and tack on 8 more points of armor.  Incidentally, I thought that it was 1 ton per Jump Jet at that tonnage, which would allow BOTH another medium laser and alternate AC ammo bin, plus another ton for whatever else floats your boat (like boosting the SRM rack up to 4 tubes), or else you could bump up the LRM rack size to give it some decent fire support capability.

I just see the existing jump range as inadequate.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #31 on: 15 September 2017, 19:49:39 »
Here's a thread from years ago of Shadow Hawk variants.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #32 on: 17 September 2017, 16:24:30 »
Back in the day, before there were record sheets for it, we thought the Kurita version of the ShadowHawk swapped the AC/5 and LRM-5 for a PPC and heatsinks. It runs pretty good for a generalist.

I think that is because the original TRO:3025 fluff didn't say it removed all the weapons, just swapped the PPC for AC5.
I recall when I finally saw the RS for it thinking that it didn't look like what I'd assumed it should.

Much like how we just assumed the Locust-1E would have 2 ML in the CT instead of moving them out to the Arms.
It was very odd to see that one for the 1st time too.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #33 on: 17 September 2017, 16:27:52 »
Thanks to this thread I've been having some fun playing some 3025-era MegaMek with the original Shadow Hawk. Fun with battlefists swatting Wasps that get too close ...

Much like how we just assumed the Locust-1E would have 2 ML in the CT instead of moving them out to the Arms.

I often run that as the LCT-1E2. The lack of twisting is a pain, but it's a lot harder to disarm.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #34 on: 17 September 2017, 16:33:07 »
I don't subscribe to the infantry support mech theory.  A support unit should complement its infantry, i.e., do things that the infantry cannot do for themselves.  90-meter jumps, piddling 5-LRM volleys and 2-SRM salvos, and AC/5 support are all things that infantry can do for themselves.  Sure, the S-Hawk can move at cavalry speeds, but that just means it's going to rapidly outpace the infantry unit it's supposed to be supporting (or waste its cavalry potential). 

Technically LRM Infantry didn't exist till the 3050-60 time range.
IIRC given the Sentinel, Vulcan, & Scorpion were also fluffed as "Infantry Support", I'd say it fits right in as a less than stellar mech, which is what those all are.
It does do things the infantry can't do in that it can see over a 1 level tall Ridge,  Kick a Tank,  Take a hit from a Machine Gun, etc etc.


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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #35 on: 17 September 2017, 16:37:56 »
Consider "pretty good if you don't notice it" my best possible endorsement of the Shadow hawk 2D.
It would have shined in a roll that Carlyles Command's used their S-Hawk-2H.
A ranged fire support unit for a Light Lance.
I picture them as Light Mech hunters like an oversized Valkyrie, commanding Davion Pursuit Lances.

Not a great mech, but basically use it to pick on Bugs & it works pretty well.


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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #36 on: 17 September 2017, 16:43:49 »
My personal favorite customization was to drop the SRM/AC for PPC/ML thus keeping the same ranges & weapon count.

Extra 3 tons went to Armor, HS, JJ

Now you had a solid brawler along the lines of the Griffin-1S & Wolverine-1M
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #37 on: 17 September 2017, 16:45:59 »
Technically LRM Infantry didn't exist till the 3050-60 time range.
IIRC given the Sentinel, Vulcan, & Scorpion were also fluffed as "Infantry Support", I'd say it fits right in as a less than stellar mech, which is what those all are.
It does do things the infantry can't do in that it can see over a 1 level tall Ridge,  Kick a Tank,  Take a hit from a Machine Gun, etc etc.

not to mention it can provide AA fire for a unit without said unit having to tow around field guns (or devote field guns to AA use), can provide Inferno's to a non-SRM unit, can fire on the move (without having to stop and deploy towed guns), etc.

Infantry units are fairly specialized, and there is no such thing as a viable "jack of all trades infantry battalion", but sticking even a lance of Shadow Hawks or similar mechs will give said battalion a few options that it otherwise would lack due to its specialization.. on platform that is more mobile and durable than a tank.

and the Shadow Hawk is a fairly decent tank killer.. longer range AC for plinking, SRm's for inferno's, mobile.. against the lighter tanks it is a real killer. mostly via crits than sheer damage though.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #38 on: 17 September 2017, 17:02:23 »
Actually, the game in the 3025 era or so said that medium 'Mechs made up about 48-50% of all 'Mech forces, lights were about 35% of the total, heavies about 15%, and assaults were about 1-2% of the total 'Mech forces, IIRC...

The Bug 'Mechs were the most produced individual designs, but overall, there are more medium 'Mechs around than lights...but taken as individual designs, you are probably more likely to pilot a bug 'Mech than any other individual design...

Your close, Original 3025 Sources have the split as a nice even Light-30, Medium-40, Heavy-20, Assault-10

That figure however was because so many Heavy/Assault mechs were destroyed in the 1st & 2nd SW to the point Lights/Mediums because a bigger % of the population & were pushed into more direct combat rolls

I think the original SLDF had larger #s of Heavy/Assault designs, probably something more like 20-30-30-20 or even 15-35-35-15
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #39 on: 23 September 2017, 16:49:01 »
I have much love for the Shadowhawk. My favorite 3025 version was a custom "2HK". Swapped the AC5 for a PPC & two heat sinks. PPC gave it a good pop, while keeping the spirit of the SHD. Was my recon lance commander for a while. 5D is a current fav.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #40 on: 23 September 2017, 20:42:34 »
-AC5
+PPC
-SRM2
+SRM4
+1SHS

But I think that was also pretty close to griffen variant.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #41 on: 23 September 2017, 22:59:45 »
-SRM2
+SRM4

Hmmm

See that got me thinking of something that keeps it really simple & gives it a bit of an Archer-S/Crusader feel.

Completely drop the shoulder cannon concept for LRM15+2 Ammo.
Drop 2 smaller missile launchers for twin SRM4's w/ 1 Ammo.

Now you have something that can provide more serious indirect fire support while being fairly nasty at close range.

Side benefit of being completely field grade refit not even needing a repair bay to pull it off.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #42 on: 23 September 2017, 23:21:50 »
LRM 15 and SRM4s would be better than a dervish!

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #43 on: 24 September 2017, 09:48:11 »
I like the 2K for the late Succession Wars and the 3K later on.

I have done pretty well with a custom config for 3025 play.

Drop the AC 5  for a Large Laser, 1 Heat sink ,2 jump jets and add a second LRM 5. She's still a skirmisher, but you get better mid to short range fire power. Don't be afraid to ride the heat curve however.  :)
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #44 on: 24 September 2017, 14:33:16 »

Completely drop the shoulder cannon concept for LRM15+2 Ammo.
Drop 2 smaller missile launchers for twin SRM4's w/ 1 Ammo.

Now you have something that can provide more serious indirect fire support while being fairly nasty at close range.

Side benefit of being completely field grade refit not even needing a repair bay to pull it off.

Hellraiser, I really like this idea. I definitely see it being implemented in practicality as well. Now it would also fit in as a member of a medium fire support lance, accompanying Trebuchets, Valkyries, and the like.

I like the 2K for the late Succession Wars and the 3K later on.

I have done pretty well with a custom config for 3025 play.

Drop the AC 5  for a Large Laser, 1 Heat sink ,2 jump jets and add a second LRM 5. She's still a skirmisher, but you get better mid to short range fire power. Don't be afraid to ride the heat curve however.  :)

I've made a similar custom variant to this as the command mech for a small mercenary outfit I ran. In my case I dropped the AC and Ammo for a Large Laser, and added an extra heat sink and 3 additional medium lasers. It's plain nasty against most other 3025 era mediums and heavies as well. The further modification of this mech in later stages lead to me removing the SRM and ammo for another heat sink and a ton of armor.

Ironically this mech replaced my CO's Grasshopper, and it plays like a mini Grasshopper on the field.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #45 on: 25 September 2017, 10:50:27 »
A different direction I've played with on MM is to replace the AC 5 with an AC 2.

Stop looking at me like that.  Put the extra two tons in a ton of armor and another ML on the other arm.  Now it can annoy at range, but is more formidable close up.  And it has deeper ammo reserves.

Plus it encourages flak.  I mean who cares if your 2 point annoyance becomes a 1 point annoyance.  Well except for the Helios who find it more than an annoyance ;-)
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #46 on: 25 September 2017, 11:39:29 »
A different direction I've played with on MM is to replace the AC 5 with an AC 2.

Stop looking at me like that.
Not a terrible idea at all.  The AC/5 generally won't "kill" vehicles, but it will "crit" them into immobility out to 18 hexes.  The AC/2 will be worse at killing, but better still at immobilizing.  As a support unit primarily intended to operate with an infantry or vehicle company against more of the same, it's very viable, although I'd probably consider how to tack on a couple of MGs.

Personally, I'd consider either:
(A) Fixing the "well, it sort-of jumps" issue before adding more weapons.
(B) Abandon the Jump Jet idea entirely, and install additional weapons and armor with the freed tonnage.

If you're fielding a SHD primarily to fight other medium or heavier Battlemechs, you're doing something wrong to begin with.  Unfortunately, that AC change puts it into the same battlefield role as a Vulcan, and the Vulcan is both faster and cheaper.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #47 on: 25 September 2017, 12:12:00 »
My favorite alternate Shadow Hawk has a Binary Laser and either keeps the LRM5 or replaces it with a SRM4, if I jump and fire it I will get really hot but man you cannot beat that punch.  It still won't provoke a PSR (unless all 4 SRMs hit but that's pipe-dream territory), it only gets better when Ferro and DHS get reintroduced.  Nasty little bugger and fits with the cool shoulder cannon

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #48 on: 25 September 2017, 12:17:00 »
Blazer Cannon FTW!

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #49 on: 01 October 2017, 16:22:41 »
So not an ideal load out to be sure, but, I came up with this one when I was trying to find a use for "lesser" weapons.

Situation, its 3049 & your employer has been "gracious" enough to "gift" you with an Ultra-AC5 & several pallets of ammo.

What mech do you equip it on?

My top 2 choices for field refits of a single gun like that were Shadow Hawk & Zeus, and this is what I did with the Hawk.

The size of the UAC means it has to be C-Grade, so as long as I had to use a repair bay, I also tweaked the HS/Armor as well.
Remove AC5 - Add UAC5
Remove SRM2 - Add ML
Remove 1 HS - Add 16 points of Standard Armor.

The 11 remaining SHS is still enough to do a full Jump & Alpha the 3 close range guns which is more than you can ask for.
The extra armor, removal of SRM ammo, & increased rate of AC ammo usage means the "ticking timebomb" aspect of the mech isn't quite so bad.

Downside is, it looses the specialty ammo aspect for all but the LRMs

I call it the Shadowhawk-2U

Note:  This refit also works well if its a UAC5-prototype in the 3039 timeframe.

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3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #50 on: 30 October 2017, 19:28:41 »
Now here's a question: what if you have an SHD-1R, not an SHD-2H?
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #51 on: 31 October 2017, 10:34:10 »
I'd drop the AC and jump jets for a Large Laser , LRM 5 or SRM 4 with 1 ton of ammo, 2 HS, and a half ton of armor.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #52 on: 31 October 2017, 19:00:34 »
ah yes, the good old chickenhawk  :P Good for bullying conventional units and looking impressive in front of the rubes. Here's the variant my group used way back in the day, good for harassing slower units:

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=59270.msg1362079#msg1362079
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #53 on: 01 November 2017, 10:04:09 »
Nice one lucho, but the question now is if you had a primitive tech Shadowhawk what would you do. :)
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #54 on: 02 November 2017, 12:14:30 »
Nice one lucho, but the question now is if you had a primitive tech Shadowhawk what would you do. :)

Thanks. I've never worked with primitive tech, so I'll have to take a looksee  :)
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #55 on: 04 January 2018, 20:00:17 »

This version drops the SRM2, its accompanying ton of explody uselessness, and a single heat sink. For this three medium lasers get added. With an LRM5 and AC to poke at long range, and 4Mlasers up close this mech is more ammo independant, and well effective. All without losing the flavor of the Shadow Hawk.


Replacing weaponry with medium lasers is the go-to crutch of 3025.  You can improve and sterilise most designs that way. It would be a yawner though.  Shadowhawks had character and could fit in anywhere without issues.

Learn to love your Ac5, laser and assorted missiles for the classic epicness they are.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #56 on: 19 January 2018, 18:03:23 »
So not an ideal load out to be sure, but, I came up with this one when I was trying to find a use for "lesser" weapons.

Situation, its 3049 & your employer has been "gracious" enough to "gift" you with an Ultra-AC5 & several pallets of ammo.

What mech do you equip it on?

My top 2 choices for field refits of a single gun like that were Shadow Hawk & Zeus, and this is what I did with the Hawk.

The size of the UAC means it has to be C-Grade, so as long as I had to use a repair bay, I also tweaked the HS/Armor as well.
Remove AC5 - Add UAC5
Remove SRM2 - Add ML
Remove 1 HS - Add 16 points of Standard Armor.

The 11 remaining SHS is still enough to do a full Jump & Alpha the 3 close range guns which is more than you can ask for.
The extra armor, removal of SRM ammo, & increased rate of AC ammo usage means the "ticking timebomb" aspect of the mech isn't quite so bad.

Downside is, it looses the specialty ammo aspect for all but the LRMs

I call it the Shadowhawk-2U

Note:  This refit also works well if its a UAC5-prototype in the 3039 timeframe.

see, I'd SELL the Jammin' Cannon, or see about trading it for something that's reliable.

But then, my fave SHD-2H version swaps the AC/5 for an LBX and adds CASE.

*if the LBX-5 isn't available, well...you can still buy better ammo.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #57 on: 26 January 2018, 04:13:20 »
I was reading Decision at Thunder and even though its a good book, right up there with Heir to the Dragon, its description of the Shadow Hawk 2H is too impressive for its actual stats.  I started to tinker with the design and decided on this refit.  And the in character reason its still considered a 2H......it's totally unofficial and invisible.  But this is the feared 2H.

Reduce Armor by 1 ton, remove 2 heat sinks.  Add SRM-2 and LRM-5.  Now, when in the book, it describes a "hail of missiles",  14 of them coming down range might actually threaten its 55ton brethren or even some of the lighter heavies.
Their is no problem Jump Jets and an assault class auto-cannon can't handle.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #58 on: 27 January 2018, 17:00:04 »
Did you call it a thinking man’s SHD-2D? Cause it is pretty close!

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #59 on: 28 January 2018, 02:41:05 »
Did you call it a thinking man’s SHD-2D? Cause it is pretty close!

Yeah, I notice that as well.  It might be what the SHD-D would be modded to.  Instead of the extra LRM, drop in an SRM2 and Md Lsr.  Its running a lot hotter, but having 2 Meds and 6 SRM would definitely be a surprise!!!
« Last Edit: 30 January 2018, 22:31:33 by imperator »
Their is no problem Jump Jets and an assault class auto-cannon can't handle.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #60 on: 30 January 2018, 19:12:38 »
The Shadowhawk is over sinked by 1.  If you drop the SRM 2 and ammo and add 2 ML's you can jump and fire all 3 ML's, run and add the AC 5, or sit still and alpha by adding the LRM 5.  I always used it as the Magistracy of Canopus mod.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #61 on: 01 February 2018, 16:44:11 »
The Shadowhawk is over sinked by 1.  If you drop the SRM 2 and ammo and add 2 ML's you can jump and fire all 3 ML's, run and add the AC 5, or sit still and alpha by adding the LRM 5.  I always used it as the Magistracy of Canopus mod.

That's a brilliant idea, but you can take it even a step further:  drop the AC/5 and ammo for a PPC and two more heat sinks.  A medium in thr head and CT is a straight tonnage/crit swap, as are a PPC and two heat sinks in the RT.  That makes for an easy field refit, and you can fire the PPC and LRM together while running and stay heat neutral.
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #62 on: 01 February 2018, 22:23:30 »
Well switching out AC for PPC and SRM2 for more MLs.  Well that just makes it a bigger and faster Vindicator.  And who hasn't done this refit at some point?

massey

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #63 on: 02 February 2018, 11:23:17 »
Any mech can be made more efficient by making it a bracket firer and adding medium lasers.  But that gets boring.

I head-canon it so that the Shadow Hawk was intended to be a jack-of-all-trades trooper mech.  Anything that reduces that versatility would be a loss.  Think of it as an Omni before they invented Omnis.  Does your force need some anti-air defense, and you don't have any Riflemen or Jaegermechs?  Give your Shadow Hawks flak ammo for their ACs.  Need to kill some vehicles?  Inferno ammo for their SRMs.  Get reports that there are several regiments of infantry protecting that city?  Fragmentation and flechette rounds for your ACs and LRMs.  It can fulfill a lot of different roles, all in the time it takes to load ammunition.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #64 on: 03 February 2018, 02:42:37 »
No matter what the role is, the Shadowhawk can do it badly.

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #65 on: 04 February 2018, 02:16:59 »
No matter what the role is, the Shadowhawk can do it badly.

The ShadowFail!  I have never run the Shadow Hawk in MWO for that reason it just sucks!

Nahuris

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #66 on: 18 February 2018, 16:02:19 »
Personally, I am fond of the 2H, and have had great success with the 2D..... although it requires players that actually think and play like the succession wars, rather than checkers with guns ..... where they only take the "optimal" units and play to the last small laser, in classic Pyrrhic Victory fashion.

Now, about 20 years ago, I was asked to mod one --- AC for PPC added 2 jump jets, and SRM 2 up to SRM4 ... still had the 4 guns, but  a better damage profile ... and no more heat woes than most other 3025 designs.......  but over the years, I have come back to using the standard designs, and making them work for me......

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #67 on: 19 February 2018, 10:16:47 »
Personally, I am fond of the 2H, and have had great success with the 2D..... although it requires players that actually think and play like the succession wars, rather than checkers with guns ..... where they only take the "optimal" units and play to the last small laser, in classic Pyrrhic Victory fashion.

Now, about 20 years ago, I was asked to mod one --- AC for PPC added 2 jump jets, and SRM 2 up to SRM4 ... still had the 4 guns, but  a better damage profile ... and no more heat woes than most other 3025 designs.......  but over the years, I have come back to using the standard designs, and making them work for me......

Nahuris

The standard designs are my favorite.  I figure there are good reasons for a lot of the design choices that don't necessarily get reflected in the game rules.  For instance, the Phoenix Hawk doesn't have max head armor, but it's supposed to carry some kind of advanced communication equipment.  Maybe armoring it up would interfere with the signal for some reason?

It's easy to click a button marked "maximize armor" when making a mech on paper, but I doubt it's that easy in the "real world" of mech design. 

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #68 on: 21 February 2018, 23:42:58 »
I believe the Shadowhawk was well noted for its battlefists, which would be a consideration beyond its otherwise lackluster (if flexible) armament.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #69 on: 22 February 2018, 10:39:48 »
Actually I think it had hand actuators with the best control and could pick up fragile objects other 'mechs would crush.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #70 on: 22 February 2018, 11:58:28 »
Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in to the conversation late.  The Davions did try fix the problem with the 2D with the 2D2, which wasn't much improvement. Adding Streak-2 launcher, adding 2nd Laser to the Left armor and bring up the armor slightly. this is a 3049 machine. 

Maybe IF it ever comes out, there a third Davion variant of the Shadow Hawk they tried to get in production in XTRO: Succession Wars II.  Maybe...doubt it...usually most of those are failures or experimentals (for era).  Blazer would been cool see mounted on the Shadow Hawk for that time period, but i don't know if it would have heatsinks to handle it unless their using a 2K model Shadow Hawk as basis.

So far, modern Shadow Hawks go, i like 3K and 12C models.
I'm not so much into the 12C because i don't think it's as common as the Kurita one and it has big XL engine in it. 
Both packing Heavy PPCs and single ER Medium Laser.
A missile goes, the 12C has MML7, while the 3K has MML5.

Armor goes 3K has Heavy Ferro-Fibrous (w/case), which is nice. 12C has  Light FF armor, but it's much faster, going 90 kph.

I still like utilitarian-ish 3K better for Merc campaigns since (aside from the armor) it has easier chance of getting parts and being fixed.   
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #71 on: 22 February 2018, 12:22:57 »
The third Davion ShadowHawk came with a RAC/5. Then they moved on to a LAC for the fourth and made it more of a jack-of-all-trades again.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #72 on: 22 February 2018, 16:59:33 »
The third Davion ShadowHawk came with a RAC/5. Then they moved on to a LAC for the fourth and made it more of a jack-of-all-trades again.
Sorry, I meant another version of the 2D.
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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #73 on: 13 March 2018, 01:32:05 »
Also what are some custom variants of the mech that you have ran in this era, or feel would have been ran (in universe).
In our 3025 games that allowed customs I ran 2 Shadow Hawk variants .
Both had the same armor as the 2H but lost all of the extra heat sinks .

#1. 2 medium lasers , AC/10 with 20 rounds , and add 2 more jump jets
to make it 5/8/5 .

#2 . 1 medium laser  and an AC/20 with 10 rounds .

#1 . Was an all around excellent trooper mech . Having a full 20 rounds for the
A/C 10 lets you shoot all the time . The AC/10 combined with it's mobility made
it a serious backstab threat for the heavies of the era .

#2. A no frills way to get an AC/20 on the board that might actually
survive to get to the enemy . Other AC/20 mechs just weren't as fast .
Lacks the overall utility of version #1  but adds a shock and awe element .

The #1 variant was a fun way to play a Shadow Hawk without being overly
munchy about it . Wish variant #1 was the canon Davion variant as
it can pair up with the Rifleman RFL-3C and share ammo .

As is the actual Davion variant-just doesn't make any sense .   :o

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Re: The ShadowHawk and Alternate Loadouts.
« Reply #74 on: 26 March 2018, 16:47:11 »
Late to this but a variant we have used to try and keep the flavor while giving the Shadow Hawk a bit more oompf is to swap the AC/5 for a medium rifle and use that 3 tons for an extra ton of rifle ammo, another medium laser and either 2 more JJs or an extra ton of armor.