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Author Topic: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.  (Read 4349 times)

marauder648

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(Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« on: 04 November 2017, 07:22:05 »
The Wolfhound.



Flush with the success of designing and building a NEW Battlemech that also actually included innovation and a new development the Lyrans had good reason to be pleased as punch. Whilst this innovation was basically a 3-ton lump of metal with a depleted uranium cutting edge in the form of the Hatchetman’s signature weapon, it was something new.  Perhaps the biggest success though was the cooperation with House Davion’s NAIS which helped develop the Hatchetman and helped grow the relationship between the two Houses.

With the success of the Hatchetman, Katrina Steiner then ordered her development and research teams to turn to the tricky problem of building a light mech that could take on all comers.  A rarity in the notoriously top-heavy formations of the LAF.  Opponents with lighter, faster and more agile had inflicted embarrassing defeats on the Lyran Military and the biggest threat to the realm, House Kurita fielded two potent lights in the form of the Jenner and Panther, which generally outclassed Lyran lights who had no equivalent machine they could call their own.

This situation was to be resolved and overcome at the order of the Archon and so Defiance industry put all its considerable muscle, now backed up by a writ from the Archon and the industrial strength the Lyrans had to overcome this problem.

With help and advice from Team Banzai and the Kell Hounds what went into secret testing in 3028 was a triumph of home grown technology and design, with only its full cockpit ejection system being made with outside assistance.  What would be known as the Wolfhound would go on to be the signature light Mech of the LAF and later the AFFC, standing proudly alongside older and more famous designs like House Davion’s Valkyrie and the iconic Zeus.

The Wolfhound was a common sight by the time the War of 3039 rolled around, having been the preserve of elite units like the Kell Hounds and Wolf’s Dragoons, both of whom used the Mech against a reeling Capellan military during the 4th Succession War.  Upgraded throughout its long life the Wolfhound remains in service as a hard hitting and popular Mech.

Design

The 35-ton Wolfhound was by modern standards quite simple, but it was also very efficient.  Avoiding the pitfalls and temptations of heavy ballistic weapons, the Wolfhound is a classic laser-rave on legs.  Powered by a 210-rated engine the Wolfhound could hit 97kph on flat terrain making it considerably faster than the Kuritan Panther, and not too much slower than their Jenner as well.  It could also keep away from larger threats like Medium Mech’s whilst also actually outgunning a fair few of its larger kin.

Seven and a half tons of armour are draped over the Wolfhound, giving it a thick hide for a light Mech, indeed it has the most armour it can carry and every location is well protected, with its arms, chest and legs being proof against a PPC blast.  Unfortunately, this considerable weight of protection precluded the installation of jump jets, which somewhat limit the Wolfhounds mobility and can mean it can get in trouble in rough or heavily wooded terrain.

Later variants would alter the Mech’s cooling, structure and engine, but there was not one jumping Wolfhound.

Variants

Wolfhound WLF-1 – The grand pappy of the line and the one that caused so much woe for House Liao and House Kurita, the WLF-1 is simple but effective, but don’t touch the big red ALPHA STRIKE button unless you want to turn your cockpit into a sauna.
Armed with a large laser and a trio of medium lasers, as well as somewhat strangely a 4th medium laser firing to the rear arc, the Wolfhound has a surprisingly nasty slap.  At a normal engagement range, you actually outgun a Shadow Hawk (24 damage vs 14 (or 19 if you include the LRM) and even outgun a bog-standard Wolverine.  But using all that lovely firepower WILL overheat you, fortunately you have nothing explosive stored onboard to cause any troubles. 
If facing the Panther, don’t play its game of long range fighting, charge in close, get under the minimum range for the PPC and use your speed to keep out of range of any punch or kick.  Against a Jenner, a large laser blast will carve through their centre torso in a single hit, or leave the sides open to damage, and as they pack a wallop up close, try to keep the range open.

Wolfhound WLF-1A – A very simple field refit, the 1A removes the rear-firing medium laser in favour of another heatsink.  Whilst this is a logical change, the rear laser can be useful.  A Wolfhound can’t jump and a faster opponent could zip round behind it (See Jenner) and go for its weak rear armour.  Still the extra heatsink will allow you to run and fire your medium laser battery without affecting the heat scale.

Wolfhound WLF-1B – Another field refit, the simply moves the rear firing laser to a forward firing position.  Like the 1A this leaves its 6 vulnerable but now the 1B packs a punch for a Mech its size that wouldn’t be equalled until the Clans came a-calling in 3050 and in doing so utterly outclassed the Wolfhound.

Wolfhound WLF-2 – Thanks to the discovery of the Helm Memory Core a technical renaissance swept across the Inner Sphere and with new developments, the flagship Mech’s of the AFFC were immediately scheduled in for refits, whilst factories were  switched over to produce the new versions of the Mechs.  The WLF-2 is a very good upgrade, and avoids many of the pitfalls of the new toy/OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!!! Syndrome seen in TRO3050 with the arrival of the Clans.  First of all, double heatsinks.  Can I get a halleluiah?  The heat-hog Wolfhound is gone and in its place, is a very cool running customer.  The Mech’s hitting range also goes up as the large laser is replaced by an ER large laser, allowing it to out range its traditional foe, the Panther. 
Even if you fired the lot, you’ll barely have a blip on the heat scale, and if you’re having to alpha the lot, then you’ve probably got more to worry about than a tiny bit of heat. 
This refit is definitely one of TRO 3050’s diamonds in the rough in a sea of QKD-5Ks, PNT-10Ks and ENF-5Ds. 

Wolfhound 2C ‘Grinner’ - The personal ride of Phelan Kell, this thankfully unique Mech is a monster and tour de-force of what Clan Tech can do if used right, or if you really want to batter someone to death with a whole wheel of edam cheese.  A complete refit, so much so this is basically a new Mech, the Clans changed almost everything about the Wolfhound.  The now XL engine can push Grinner along at its traditional 96kph, but the skeleton and armour are replaced with Clan compound Endo-steel and Ferro-Fibrous materials, saving a lot of weight.  Four tons of extra heatsinks are installed, double strength of course to handle the heat of its weapons.  An ER large laser is backed up by a trio of medium pulse lasers, whilst an ER medium laser covers the Mech’s 6.  A Guardian ECM was also installed to help mess with Artemis and other tracking systems, making it even harder to kill.  With a pilot like Kell at the helm, this is a lethal Mech, and even without him, its bitey to say the least!  Grinner remains a unique Mech and was destroyed/lost during by Kell who seemed to go through Mech’s like babies go through diapers.  We should be glad that the Clan’s didn’t look at this config, then look at the Puma and go “Hmmm…..it just might work.”

Wolfhound WLF-3S – A significant upgrade of the WLF-2 the 3S packs a bigger punch at the cost in being vulnerable to engine hits.  Powered by the then newly developed light engine the 3S still ticks along at 96kph at full speed.  The skeleton has also been replaced with an endo-steel one to save yet more weight whilst cooling is provided by 12 double heatsinks.  The punch and reach are a considerable improvement over the 3S as the ER large laser is removed and is replaced with an ER PPC. The laser battery also gets an upgrade, the old standard lasers are now the newly developed ER Medium lasers, allowing the 3S to engage opponents at longer ranges.  Certainly not as cool running as the WLF-2 if you press the big red button, it’s still not TOO bad if you have to press the alpha button in case of an emergency.  Just don’t do it too often or they’ll be getting the pilot out of the cockpit with a hose. 

Wolfhound WLF-4W – Appearing just before the Jihad ripped through the Inner Sphere the 4W turns the Wolfhound from a mid to short range brawler with a long-ranged slap into a long-range harasser.  Not so extensive a refit as the 3S, the 4W still requires a major workshop to create as the skeleton is altered to Endo-steel bones to save weight.  The rear firing armament is replaced whilst double heatsinks are installed for cooling.  The armament is also significantly re-worked with the large laser being replaced by a paired ER Medium and ER small laser.  The lasers on the chest are also removed and replaced with a trio of Light PPCs.  This allows the 4W to engage targets at long range with no heat risk or ammo concern, and whilst not the hardest punch, no one wants to be hit by light PPC’s repeatedly. 
Whilst it is a scenery change for the typical Wolfhound role, the 4W performs its support role quite well and allows it to cover lance mates and avoid the growing array of heavily armed lights and small mediums that were seeing more service Sphere and Clan wide.

Wolfhound WLF-4WA – A simple field refit of the 4W, the 4WA loses its arm mounted lasers but gains an ECM, allowing the Mech to spoof hostile systems as well as jam them.  As the Wolfhound isn’t much of a scout, so much a scout-hunter, the 4WA can and will quite happily disrupt a C3 link and then gun down any cheeky scout trying to spot for its bigger friends.

Wolfhound WLF-2X -  A wild Jihad appeared and it was terrifyingly effective!  Even as the Blakists skipped and danced across the Inner Sphere, lobbing nukes and bio weapons with gay abandon, a hyper-advanced version of the Wolfhound was somehow produced. And this was at a time when interstellar trade was heavily disrupted.  Still Arc Royal produced a handful of 2X’s each one packed to the gills with advanced technology. 
Using endo-steel bones and an XL engine to save weight the primary weapon was the then quite new Heavy PPC. And as if this wasn’t enough, the folks at Arc Royal then slapped a capacitor onto the cannon allowing it to act as a long-range AC-20, all be it at the cost of a massive heat burden.  But wait.  There’s more!  They even fitted an AES to the arm with the cannon to make it even more accurate and fearsome.  The other weapon are more simple, a pair of ER Mediums and an ER small, none of which fire over the rear, provide a punch at short ranges for when a capacitor charged PPC blast just isn’t enough.  Unfortunately, there’s only 10 double heatsinks installed and a full alpha strike is NOT recommended unless you’re in dire straits or you have a very juicy target’s back to you.
The engine also had a supercharge slapped onto it to increase the 2X’s speed up to a very respectable 120kph for short periods of time.  Finally, the armour was also upgraded, not with anything so pedestrian as any compound of Ferro-fibrous armour, but the brand new reflective armour.  This made the 2X very hard to kill with lasers, plasma weapons or PPCs.  I would assume that this Mech was also blisteringly rare, and as we’ll see, it was just pushing too many envelopes.

Wolfhound WLF-2H – A post Jihad version of the 2X, the 2H is the ‘production model’ version of the ultra-advanced 2X design.  As potent as the 2X was, its AES required specific knowledge, training and tools, making it difficult to maintain as well as requiring a lot of maintenance to work correctly.  The glazed armour was also a problem.  With the disruption caused by the Jihad, it was very difficult to get the limited availability reflective armour to units that needed it, and it would have been very difficult to repair that type of armour due to it being so very rare.
The 2H instead scaled back on the lunacy, but only a bit.  It retains the Heavy PPC/Capacitor combo, which gives this light Mech a massive punch.  The supercharger was also retained as part of the XL engine, allowing the 2H to reach speeds in excess of 120kph for short periods of time.  The secondary guns were also the same, with a pair of ER mediums supported by an ER Small.
The armour though was 7.5 tons of standard plate instead of the hard to get and hard to maintain glazed reflective armour.  This made maintenance in the field a lot easier and there was no incredibly finicky AES either.  Once all the bugs were (mostly, kind of) worked out the 2H became a smash hit, and it’s hard to argue with a 35 tonner that tots the equivalent of an AC-20 when the mood takes it.  Oh! And an extra heatsink was fitted, which helps mitigate some of the 2X’s heat problems. 

Wolfhound WLF-3M – A product of the states that once were House Marik, the 3M turns the Wolfhound into a dedicated support and sniper variant.  Based in the 3S that fell into their hands the 3M retains the light engine and endo-steel bones but removes everything else, even trimming a ton of armour off although this is done sensibly, and each section can still (barely in some areas) withstand a PPC blast.  With all this weight gone the folks of (former) House Marik then put one of their favourite weapons onto the 3M, a light gauss rifle.  Fed by just a ton of ammo the 3M has very limited battlefield endurance but it can engage targets at ranges that almost any other weapon can only dream of.  A dedicated support unit, the 3M would have to hang back and engage targets spotted by its lancemates, or as fast-moving gun for a heavier unit. 

Wolfhound WLF-5 – The latest iteration of the Wolfhound to see common service the WLF-5 goes away from the ball-busting punch of the 2H and returns the Wolfhound to its more skirmishing/brawling based origins.  The biggest change is the speed.  A newly installed 245 rated XL engine can push the WFL-5 up to speeds in excess of 100kph, and that’s before the Pilot engages the MASC, which kicks it up to over 140kph.  To keep everything cool, the heatsinks are double strength but only the standard 10 are installed, but this is enough to keep it cool in all but the direst situation.
Endo-steel bones also save weight and this is then put into firepower.  Unfortunately, a ton of armour was also carefully shaved off the Mech, but this is applied carefully so not to weaken it too much.
The main punch and skirmishing weapon par-excellence is a Snub-nosed PPC whilst the traditional laser battery is removed and replaced with a pair of Light PPCs.  This allows the WLF-5 to engage at short and long range whilst using its speed to dictate the range or disengage if needs be.  Considerably faster than the 2H, the 5’s less dependent on one big cannon and if it loses its Snubby, it can still provide long range support, whilst 2H without its big gun is far less flexible. 

Wolfhound WLF-1 ‘Allard’ – Whilst Grinner was a wheel of edam to the face ‘Allard’ is a dump truck full of boiling hot cheese poured onto your screaming, unprepared face.  The chosen ride of Daniel Allard, commander of the Kell Hounds the WLF-1 ‘Allard’ is a strange ride for a commander, and you’d think they would gravitate towards a heavier unit, but not Mr Allard.  This was the Mech his Clan Wolf-in-Exile buddies refitted in the early 3060s and it was the Mech he would die in at the hands of the Falcons in 3069.  But what they made was a monster.  With a Clan XL engine and 12 Clan double strength heatsinks, the tonnage saved is turned into firepower. Lots of firepower, and note that all of these weapons are of Clan quality.  The feared ER PPC, the alpha head-capper of the Clans is the Mech’s primary armament.  A trio of ER Medium lasers provide additional firepower and at short range an ER small can join in the fun. 
And now comes that cheese.  There’s a targeting computer tying them all together.  And with a pilot of Daniel Allard’s quality at the helm, he WON’T miss.  This is another one of those Mechs that we should be glad that Clan WiE didn’t look at and go “Hey..that is actually a good idea.” Before scurrying off to find a Scientist to simply go “MOAR!!!” at whilst pointing at the WLF-1 ‘Allard’.

Thoughts

The Wolfhound is one of my favourite light Mechs, whilst not overly fast, its well protected and packs a good punch in all but one variant.  What you’ve basically got is a 35 ton, non-jumping Phoenix Hawk and this makes it a mean opponent for light and medium Mechs when introduced and let it run roughshod over other light Mechs whilst also giving more than a few Mediums pause for concern due to its combination of speed, firepower and protection.  But one could say it suffers from the same problem as the Kit Fox, it’s got a lot of firepower and this means it tends to attract a lot of attention.  And, at the end of the day, it’s only a light Mech and a few good hits will mean trouble. 

Using one depends on the period you’re using them in, against intro-tech opponents, congratulations, you’ve got a light Phoenix Hawk, be the bully you are and rip other lights a new one if they try to get close and also make a Medium Mech go “Owww! Dude! What the hell!?” if they were expecting a light snack.  Against Clan opponents the 1 and 2’s are a bit trickier to use.  The Clans outrange you and generally outgun you, unless your opponent’s foolish enough to field swarms of Koshi Primes because those things are rubbish.  Against Clanners, hang back and remove any fast movers that try to blitz round the back of your bigger units.  Do NOT go running at a Puma or Cougar alone, they will rub you out of existence. 
But then the table turns.  The 2X and 2H are monsters, a Cap charged H-PPC blast will rip through ANY light Mech’s hide and can snip a limb off without issue, and with their speed, they can dart in behind a bigger opponent, scream something offensive before pulling the trigger and you WILL go through back armour on all but the biggest Mechs.  The 3S and 4W are more general-purpose units with the 3S being a direct upgrade of the 2 and the 4W being a harasser which the 5 takes to a logical conclusion. 
The only one I’m none too sure of is the 3M.  I can understand the idea behind it. After all its basically a lighter Hollander.  But the light gauss weaker punch, and its limited ammo mean that this variant HAS to support other units as it can’t really be relied upon to bring down a target on its own, at least not without emptying its ammo bin.

All in all, the Wolfhound is a capable Mech, its tough, it looks good, it’s got a good punch in each iteration (save one).  In short, he attack, he shoot back, he also keep opponent off your back.  Take a Wolfhound and you won’t be disappointed.




A Wolfhound 1 or 2 in motion.  *insert joke about box-heads and lyrans here*



A Wolfhound 2X/2H for all your big gun needs.





Grinner or 'Allard' being deployed.



What happens to other Light Mech's when facing Grinner or 'Allard'.


As always, thoughts, comments are most welcome.



« Last Edit: 04 November 2017, 16:47:13 by marauder648 »
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Wrangler

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #1 on: 04 November 2017, 08:13:09 »
Very detailed article, Marauder.  It caught all the aspects of the Mech, while pointing out the good and bad while being amusing.

Thank you for sparing us the image of the terrible MWDA redesign WLF-5 image. Ugh. Looks like a child's toy from the old Starriors toy line, namely Robot called HotShot.
 
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Fat Guy

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #2 on: 04 November 2017, 15:29:14 »
About the MWDA 'hound: it got it's hideous looks because it was based directly on the MechWarrior 4 computer model.

Other MW4 derived sculpts gave us what would eventually become the Thor II, Kodiak II, Loki mk 2, Vulture III, and Templar III.
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #3 on: 04 November 2017, 15:33:42 »
Didn't Grinner have an ECM suite in its head (specifically, its ears) after the Clan Wolf techs got done with it?

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #4 on: 04 November 2017, 15:54:02 »
It does.
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marauder648

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #5 on: 04 November 2017, 16:29:06 »
It does.

Oops, missed that! Will edit it later :)
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #6 on: 04 November 2017, 16:46:49 »
My favorite light mech, bar none...

glitterboy2098

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #7 on: 04 November 2017, 17:02:49 »
i'm surprised that the Wolves in Exile never made the Wolfhound IIC, or some variation, a standard production.. i mean, it's a nasty little thing, and they were on Ark Royal where there was a Wolfhound factory. one that the WiE helped learn how to make things like Omnimechs, and use clan tech.

even if they had to rework it to use a standard skeleton (so they can just use the existing WLF-1/WLF-2 chassis), it would have been a very nasty addition the WiE touman. (and since the WiE were building new factories, i don;t see why they couldn't just license the wolfhound line for duplication and put the khan's version in production as is)
« Last Edit: 04 November 2017, 17:04:40 by glitterboy2098 »

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #8 on: 04 November 2017, 18:37:04 »
Only really learned about the Wolfhound from MW4.
Then again, it was around that time I first caught wind of this whole thing, the internet wasn't so prevalent back when.
Splendid light mech. Durable, with a strong offense, and just enough mobility to grab flankers.
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #9 on: 04 November 2017, 19:56:13 »
So back when I was first getting into the setting (around age 10 or so), I was a huge Kell Hounds, WiE, and Lyran fan, and as a result, the Wolfhound is now one of those nastily effective Mechs that I feel REALLY guilty for liking.
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #10 on: 04 November 2017, 21:51:01 »
My introduction to BTU was the the Battletech Animated Series. While the show itself is better off forgotten, it gave me my first glimpse at the Wolfhound and I have considered it a Battletech icon since. It's a very stylish yet functional design unique to Battletech (TPTB should keep this in mind when they need another cover mech) and it's a solid performer in universe as well.

While it is still a huge 'WTH man!' that Clan Wolf-in-Exile never capitalized on the success on the WLF IIC (I guess Fasa didn't want to steal the WLF-2's thunder) the 2X the 2H are devastating enough to make many other lights look the part of paper targets.

The Wolfhound is also my current light in MWO, fun as hell to play!
   
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #11 on: 04 November 2017, 22:04:07 »
The Wolfhound is impressive in that it neatly countered two Kuritan 'Mechs at the same time: the Panther and the Jenner.  It is a superb light trooper, and caling it a light Phoenix Hawk hits the nail on the head, and also explains the later 35-ton Phoenix Hawk-L.

One other commonality with the Hatchetman: both feature whole-head ejection systems.

Also, why is the first image "Don't Awoo $350 Penalty"?
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #12 on: 04 November 2017, 22:07:33 »
My favorite use of a wolfhound (an old model 1 at that) was the duel I fought against my friend's hellbringer. The little guy stubbornly refused to die and had nearly brought down the Hellbringer before finally going down. It was the high point in what was otherwise a disastrously thorough defeat.

Though I kinda want to see a variant that trades a couple of the mediums for small pulse lasers. Mix one of those in with the standard wolfhounds for those times when your unit finds itself in a "bad neighborhood" and needs to scrape off some infantry.
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #13 on: 04 November 2017, 22:25:13 »
Also, why is the first image "Don't Awoo $350 Penalty"?

*No 'awooing' will be tolerated during the discussion of the Wolfhound*

Internet Joke. Allot of parks/wolf sanctuaries started posting those signs when annoying tourist started making howling noses whenever they saw a wolf (which apparently pisses off both the wolves and the park rangers when it became a regular thing) Someone posted the picture online and out-of-context, people made the joke the man was trying to outlaw wolves howling. Even in context, how often do you need to tell people "Don't Awoo!"
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #14 on: 05 November 2017, 04:23:11 »
Couple of minor details:
  • the Kell Hounds and the Wolf Dragoons were fighting the DCMS during the 4SW, not the Capellans
  • The WLF-1 does 23 damage not 24 (assuming forward weapons only)

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #15 on: 05 November 2017, 13:30:56 »
By itself, the Wolfhound is a good mech.

What's really fun is fielding a lance of them: make your opponent think they're at a Pink Floyd concert!

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #16 on: 06 November 2017, 21:37:34 »
Always had a soft spot for this mech.  Sure, the first few times I ran it I was thinking more about how you manage heat in the video games and not in the table top and ran into trouble, but once you figure it out it's a slick little fighter, and having max armor in that era is notable in and of itself, when you think about the mere four tons on the Jenner (yes, the F model corrects this and is quite sublime as a result). 

The upgrades?  On the one hand, adding DHS makes the mech so, dramatically much better.  On the other, in the XL engine era a hard hitting, tough 6/9 light doesn't have the edge it did in the Succession Wars.  Back then, the nastiest 6/9 mech was probably the P-Hawk (or just possibly the Scorpion, if the terrain is just right).  The next most fearsome is probably the Wolfie.  Fast forward to the modern era, the 6/9 35tonner in question has to face down mechs as large as 65 tons, on top of a much larger complement of 6/9 and even 7/11 mediums that are quite competent (unlike the Scorpion, for example).  The article is very complementary towards the Clan variants, and rightly so, but had Phelan kept his light mech, he'd find himself facing down Stormcrows and Shadow Cats and Linebackers (poorly loved, but I've seen them used well many times) in running battles, and even with amazing skill levels he'd be worn down sooner rather than later (Dan Allard as a mercenary was under less pressure to be a lead from the front commander, and his Kell Hounds were likely to be slower on average than Phelan's Wolves, so I'm a lot less critical of his pick). 

Now, to be hard on the poor Wolfhound pains me a bit, since in 3025 it's just a monster, and I'd throw it into battle with some of the lesser heavies of the era and expect it to lay down good damage and probably pick up at least an assist (if not a kill).  But, in the modern era I just can't stand "slow" lights, and the Wolfie (and the Panther it once hunted and which I tolerated in it's time) remains a light mech with a focus on toughness and power over speed.  I just don't see a meaningful place for such mechs in a modern battle, weather their upgraded old gems, or modern marvels like the Kell model or an Adder or Cougar or Battle Cobra based on it (yes, I know the Battle Cobra is a medium, and I don't actually hate it as much as the other two, but most of that is it having LPLs)
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #17 on: 06 November 2017, 22:08:31 »
The last time Phelan was described as using a Wolfhound IIC was in Operation Audacity, during the Falcon Incursion in the FedCom Civil War.  So he apparently kept using it for a long time.

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Moonsword

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #18 on: 06 November 2017, 22:25:35 »
Good article about one of my favorite lights.

The WLF-2 has a couple of hidden benefits even in the post-Helm Core era:
* First, it's cheap.  However you want to argue XLFE supply chain economics later on, in 3050, those things were rare, scarce, and expensive, and 210 is not one of the most common engine ratings.  (It's not one of the rarest, either, but it's more unusual than 270, 280, or 300.)  Better yet, most of the parts are common between the 'Mech, including most of the engine components, so it does not require a major shift in supply chain or large amounts of new storage/shipping tonnage to supply spares for units already operating Wolfhounds.
* Second, unlike a lot of refits in 3050, even under modern rules in StratOps, the WLF-2 was a D-rated refit that's quite doable for folks with nothing more sophisticated than a 'Mech bay available as long as your tech crew knows their stuff.  Compared to having to ship 'Mechs back to a factory or a theater-level depot facility for major work, Wolfhounds could be upgraded under garrison conditions and potentially even during transport if your full technical staff was available.

It's a direct, simple evolutionary upgrade, not a transformative one, and from a durability standpoint, the lack of an XLFE and thick armor for its size along with decent mobility means a well-handled Wolfhound still required a sustained effort to bring down compared to a lot of lights throwing XLFEs onto poorly-armored frames.  If you're looking for an easily-supplied light trooper, the WLF-2 is still a defensible choice, especially if you're on a budget.  For lights, where toughness only goes so far, the ability to be more flexible about engagement range offered by the WLF-3S's weapons is probably more effective and survivable, but even there, the WLF-3S is not as effective if it gets sucked into a knife fight because the WLF-2 can keep hammering away with its ERLL and at least two lasers constantly unless you set it on fire or score an engine hit.

The other non-unique advanced variants have moved into fundamentally different roles, typically longer-ranged skirmishing, pure sniper, and/or walking advertising for the proliferation of Long Tom Cannons and hatchets (yes, WLF-2X, I am talking about you).  For me, the Wolfhound is really about sheer toughness and that long-ranged holepuncher/laser array setup, so I'm not sure how I feel about the variants sometimes, but many of them are effective and fairly dangerous in their own right.  The 2H/2X are going to attract a lot of attention with that fearsome main gun, especially the 2X, and they're not necessarily prepared to survive it, but that's not unusual for "big gun" lights.

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #19 on: 09 November 2017, 13:29:15 »
The 2H/2X are going to attract a lot of attention with that fearsome main gun, especially the 2X, and they're not necessarily prepared to survive it, but that's not unusual for "big gun" lights.

But given the proliferation of "big gun" lights, I wouldn't be too worried about them attracting attention.
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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #20 on: 11 November 2017, 06:06:31 »
By chance I ended up looking at the PHawk in TRO:3025 today, and I have to wonder why design and build the Wolfhound when that's an option. The Wolfhound has a couple more forward facing lasers, but it can't really use them because of heat concern's, meanwhile the PHawk has full jump capability and it has more armor. Did they just need something in the Light category?

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #21 on: 11 November 2017, 09:00:52 »
Remember the technology of the  time. This machine was made with tech available and preHelm core. Factories were not builting anything new. Scout mechs were still the was the way to get intel of battlefield. The Lyrans need to safe guard there forces.  The Panther being deployed large numbers and threaten the usual scouts units. Commandos, Wasps, Locusts etc.  Massed PPC fire was a nasty ending for light units.

The Wolfhound was armored' massed concentration of firepower. Scout destroyer, with speed available to help to screen the bigger rarer and slower mechs.
« Last Edit: 23 July 2018, 19:51:49 by Wrangler »
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Minemech

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #22 on: 11 November 2017, 11:01:49 »
 In tech 1 gameplay, I do not view the Wolfhound as a scout hunter. It can be easily bypassed. In double blind, its ambushes can be as dangerous for it as what it is ambushing. It is dangerous, but do not underestimate its opposition.
« Last Edit: 11 November 2017, 11:03:20 by Minemech »

glitterboy2098

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #23 on: 11 November 2017, 16:45:49 »
By chance I ended up looking at the PHawk in TRO:3025 today, and I have to wonder why design and build the Wolfhound when that's an option. The Wolfhound has a couple more forward facing lasers, but it can't really use them because of heat concern's, meanwhile the PHawk has full jump capability and it has more armor. Did they just need something in the Light category?
probably because at the time, the Lyrans only had one manufacturer of the P-hawk (on coventry), and that was not a high output facility due to the tech limitations of the time. the Davions were in the same boat (Archenar), and needed them just as much, so import was not really an option either.  the Lyrans probably didn't have enough P-hawks to fill the scout hunter role and the scout leader role. which means that Thar-Hes had an opportunity to fill that gap. and designing an all new design (especially one that is slightly cheaper due to smaller size and lack of JJ's) would put more profit into their hands than license building P-hawks would. especially since the Wolfhound was a totally new design, with some 'cutting edge' features liek the whole head ejection, compared to being a design almost 500 years old. makes for better advertising (and better potential export sales to the fedsuns and mercs, since it makes the buyers more dependent on them for spare parts, since the wolfhound had only one source, and the P-hawk is built by all five successor states)

SCC

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #24 on: 11 November 2017, 22:26:18 »
Glitterboy, all good points, but: 1) As the PHawk is an existing it will be cheaper, easier, and quicker to set-up new production lines. 2) You don't want to mix jumpers and non-jumpers in Lances/Companies at the higher levels of organization as the jumper basically losses the ability to jump, your comment suggests that the LCAF was mixing. 3) Using non-jumpers means you need still jumpers to scout, or you can switch to using VTOLs, so picking a non-jumping design doesn't make sense.

glitterboy2098

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #25 on: 12 November 2017, 00:04:49 »
except that at the time "new factories" was not a possibility (just keeping the existing ones going was hard enough) so expanding a factory to include new lines was not a possibility, but retooling a line to make something else was.

and i was trying to point out that the Lyrans probably didn't have enough P-hawks to be both the leaders of scout lances and part of of scouthunter lances..
the latter is largely going to be designs like the Commando, which like the Wolfhound is ground bound and slower, focused more on firepower. so a design that can bring similar firepower as a P-hawk, but cheaper, would free up P-hawks for the scout lances.

though in the late succession wars, mixing was the norm. for all lances. as long as the designs filled a similar role, they'd excuse a lot in terms of mechs having different capabilities. and the difference between a 6/9/*, 7/11/* and 8/12 probably wasn't high enough to worry about.
(looking at the MUL, the scout lances look like it would largely be things like Locusts, stingers, and maybe a few spiders, jenners, and cicada's.. your not going to be able to build any kind of unified movement profile for a lance from those. especially when many of your pilots are using family machines you'd can trade around to optimize.)



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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #26 on: 12 November 2017, 03:31:27 »
except that at the time "new factories" was not a possibility (just keeping the existing ones going was hard enough) so expanding a factory to include new lines was not a possibility, but retooling a line to make something else was.
Then how did they manage to build at least one new factory to produce the Wolfhound?

glitterboy2098

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #27 on: 12 November 2017, 04:50:22 »
after the 2030's they'd learned how to build new factories.

before that, remember that we've never gotten details of how many production lines there are at each of the factory sites.. but we've always been told when a manufacturer has only a single or no proper line at all. so the Thar Hes site on Tharkad might well have had 6 (or more) production lines devoted to Crusaders.. and it wouldn't be hard to retool 2 or 3 of those to make wolfhounds, even if they couldn't build all the machines required to create a wholly new line. retooling would be largely a case of inputting new parameters into the computer controlled parts, and new training and templates to the people running the non-computerized systems.

SCC

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #28 on: 12 November 2017, 05:20:22 »
Except the Wolfhound entered production prior to the 4th Succession War

glitterboy2098

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Re: (Slightly late) Mech of the week - WLF-XX Wolfhound.
« Reply #29 on: 12 November 2017, 15:52:05 »
did you not read my 2nd part there? even if they could not build new factory lines, reassigning existing ones to produce something else was something they could do.

 

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