Register Register

Author Topic: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar  (Read 2011 times)

VensersRevenge

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Is this the real life...
'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« on: 10 December 2019, 11:37:34 »
‘Mech of the Week: Nightstar
Inner Sphere
TRO 3058

One nice thing about the old year Technical Readouts was seeing the evolution in ‘Mech design in response to the changes in the Inner Sphere. 3039 showed armies at their lowest tech degradation and the beginnings of their recovery. 3050 showed this tech recovery and the onslaught of the Clans, while 3055 saw the Inner Spheres desperate and often overspecialized attempts to counter the Clans massive technological advantages. Technical Readout 3058 saw the Inner Sphere begin to really design ‘Mechs to  counter the Clans, with Omnimechs taking the field and, more controversially, no less than 4 assault ‘Mechs with multiple Gauss Rifles. In his article on the Pillager, Moonsword compared Gauss Rifles to Brownings in their ability to equalize the unequal and these Gauss platforms did just this for the Inner Sphere fighting superior Clans. With a Gauss it doesn’t matter if they’re stronger or quicker, a Timber Wolf or Daishi dies to a Gauss rifle just the same. Ironically, despite the clear logic behind giving the Inner Sphere Gauss platforms, in canon, none of them were developed to fight the Clans, but were developed to fight for the Star League that would create the Clans. Three of the four Gauss platforms have ‘Mech of the Week articles, but to celebrate Mechwarrior V which features it, and to prepare people getting it from the Heavy Battle Lance in the Kickstarter, I am writing an article on the Nightstar.

History: As mentioned above, the Nightstar was designed during the Star League. In particular, it was developed in 2767, as Aleksandr Kerensky led the SLDF to break the Rim Worlds Republic and Stefan Amaris solidified his control over the Terran Hegemony. This does help explain why the Nightstar was created along with multiple other chasses that did basically the same thing. The SLDF was desperate and could not simply buy hundreds or thousands of the same ‘Mech like they would prefer to do. The Nightstarwas built as SLDF officers noticed that Marauders, often piloted by officers, were being disproportionately targeted by Amaris forces. The Nightstar was built to give the SLDF officers a tougher and stronger ‘Mech to fight their way out of these headhunting attacks. The combination of visual similarity to the Marauder and the assault class makes me think that the Nightstar may be an attempt to replace the beloved Marauder II after the Unseen debacle. This comparison is going to be even stronger in Mechwarrior V, where the Marauder II was left out but theNightstar included. Let’s see how the Nightstar does to make a space for itself in Mechwarrior history.

Chassis: The Nightstar is built on a 95 ton standard chassis. Every variant mounts 18.5 tons of standard armour, which the TRO oddly describes as “respectable” not the maximum the ‘Mech can carry. Despite comments that the 9SS drops half a ton, it seems to still have max armour on MegaMekLab. The 9J, it’s two personal variants, and the 9SS all mount a 285XL to move 54km/h, while the 9FC goes 64km/h with a 380XL. Max armour and traditional speed for an assault is a good start to me, but I know that a lot of people hate IS XLs on assaults. So let’s look at the variants weapons and equipment to see what the Nightstarcan do.
Nightstar 9J: The ‘Mech built by the Star League and reintroduced by the Federated Commonwealth in 3057, the 9J mounts the weapons load most commonly associated with the chassis. Two Gauss Rifles and an ERPPC make up the primary armament, with two medium pulse lasers and a small laser providing backup. Now, this is probably the least impressive of the Gauss boats. The Devastatorhas two PPCs to back up the Gauss Rifles, the Pillager gets its Stealth variant that arguably gives the Capellans the best Gauss boat despite the FedCom getting three in 3058 alone.  Then of course, theirs the Thunder Hawk with three Gauss Rifles that looms large over every other Gauss boat. So why use the Nightstar if it seems that every other Gauss platform performs better? The fact that it can keep fighting until the end of time.The ERPPC is the longest ranged energy weapon on any of the boats, allowing it to win long battles as ammo runs out. And the ammo won’t run out, it has SEVENtons of it. This is frankly ludicrous, near War Dog levels of excess. So how do you use the Nightstar 9J? You stay at long range at all times. You can keep firing longer than any other ballistic-based ‘Mech, so keep those TMMs up. You can afford to take much lower probability shots than they can. I don’t think that the Nightstar is the best pickup game ‘Mech, it spends too much tonnage on ammo it will never use in a lance on lance engagement, but in large battles or long campaigns, it can certainly outlast the more popular Gauss boats. It also has two mixed-tech custom variants.

Nightstar Brubaker: The custom ‘Mech of Wolf Dragoons Delta Regiment commander Shelly Brubaker, the Nightstar Brubaker uses Clantech Gauss Rifles and three Clan Large Pulse Lasers. A head mounted ER Small finishes the armament. The ‘Mech can fire two Gauss Rifles and two Pulse Lasers without heating up, and while it is clearly not a ‘Mech I would want to headhunt, I don’t think it does enough to justify being a Clan Tech refit. While it is certainly more deadly, and the ability to cut down light ‘Mechs probably makes it better for a commander like Brubaker, so she can eliminate anyone trying to headhunt her, I don’t see the Nightstar as just a command ‘Mech. I think it works best as a sniper, and the Brubaker is worse than the 9J for sniping. The Large Pulse loses range compared to the ERPPC, which its accuracy does compensate for in normal combat, but not for sniping at the end of the long-range band. The Gauss Rifles also lose a ton of ammo, which means you cannot take quite as many low-probability shots. It’s probably better than I am giving it credit for, but I don’t think the Brubaker is a strong use of Clan Tech for the Nightstar.

Nightstar Holt: The personal ‘Mech of Holt’s Hilltoppers CO George Holt, he also upgrades his Gauss Rifles to Clan spec, but then adds a Large Pulse Laser and a Clan ERPPC. It also has an Angel ECM suite and adds TSM. I like this variant a lot more. ECM is always great, and obviously a Clantech ERPPC makes my preferred method of fighting from the longest range possible even better. Unfortunately, it drops Gauss ammo to a normal two tons per Rifle. Personally, I think this is a mistake. I don’t have the record sheet for the Holt, but from attempting to match what Sarna.net says the ‘Mech is equipped with leaves it underweight and oversinked to easily utilize its TSM. Jump jets would fit, but if someone could tell me what it has to fill up the weight, that would help considerably. Either way, I think the Holt could be better served with fewer heat sinks and more Gauss ammo. Either way, two Gauss rifles and a Clantech ERPPC is a great loadout for sniping, and I would definitely recommend using the Holt if you have a chance.

Nightstar 9FC: While the Nightstar an effective ‘Mech, the Federated Suns more mobile doctrine meant that AFFC/AFFS commanders decided a new variant was required. As mentioned before, the 9FC moves 64km/h, allowing it to fit into heavy lances instead of just slow assault ones, but it has to make a lot of compromises to get this speed. It keeps the ERPPC for long range fire, but the Gauss Rifles become LB10-X’s with two tons of ammo each. The lasers are consolidated into three regular mediums. This is no longer a sniper ‘Mech, it is a brawler. Three ten point hits is still nothing to sneeze at in 4/6 units, and two LB-10X’s gives the Nightstar a lot of crit-seeking and anti-vehicle ability. Now the Bandersnatch can do much the same thing, but I am assuming the AFFS does not have the ability to get large amounts of them for their lances. I don’t think this is a bad ‘Mech, but it is very different than the 9J, and I think that the Nightstar’s reputation as a Gauss platform is going to get this ‘Mech focused on even when you are running this variant. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, a max armour 95 tonner can take a lot of hits giving your other units a better chance to move into positions with less opposition.

Nightstar 9SS: The last variant, the 9SS seems to be built by the Steiner’s for urban combat. The speed goes back to 54km/h, but jump jets are added to give it 3/5/3 movement. The 9SS mounts three medium pulse lasers and a small for its energy component, but that is not why you are using the ‘Mech. You are using it for the autocannons, one LB-20X and one UAC-20 gives the 9SS a massive knockout punch with the ability to critseek. The ammo is quite low, with only 15 shots for both autocannons nowhere near enough for taking high-risk shots. This is even more of a problem because the autocannons are your only weapons that reach past 6 hexes, and they only reach 12 for the LBX and 10 for the Ultra. The Nightstar 9SS can be devastating in urban combat, but it is not going to serve you in open combat. So take this only if you know you are fighting in close quarters the entire time, and take care with your shots.

The Nightstars production variants are all very different from each other; the 9J is a sniper, the 9FC a brawler, and the 9SS a close combat mauler. Which ones have you used? Do you have any tips to make the 9SS work outside of extreme urban environments? Do you think the 9J has too little ammo? Discuss in the comments below and enjoy Mechwarrior V.

MUL: http://www.masterunitlist.info/Unit/Details/2286/nightstar-nsr-9j
Camospecs: http://camospecs.com/IWM/Details/315/nightstar-nsr-9j
« Last Edit: 11 December 2019, 19:14:02 by VensersRevenge »
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Message if you want to organize a game

Nightsong

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 487
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #1 on: 10 December 2019, 12:18:58 »
Been a fan of the NSR since I got TRO3058 way back when. 9J is a given, but I’ve grown to like the FC, as the LB10-X is a good solid gun, and the faster speed lets you get them into play faster. Not a fan of the Steiner mod though, gives up way too much range and staying power to get the big guns into play. I do like the Two unique mods though. Yes the LPL gives up a little range, but it’s hitting effective mediums while the ppcs would be hitting at long.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #2 on: 10 December 2019, 12:45:38 »
I was in a game back in September where I was using a lance to defend artillery assets.  The two heavy hitters in the lance were a Nightstar 9J and an Imp 1B.  Parked both of them on a hill overlooking most of the battlefield and the moment something poked its head out it generally got obliterated: I killed a Legacy the first round via headshot, and the opponent was so hesitant after that that I had a pretty easy time keeping him at bay while my artillery units changed his base from convex to concave.

The main problem I have with the 9J is that it's so natural to stick it up on a hill somewhere that it almost always happens but if you're in a scenario where you start to get overrun you're humped because getting off the hill is going to be near impossible.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33617
  • Divided States of SMASH
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #3 on: 10 December 2019, 13:12:26 »
I'm torn on this mech. On the one hand it's an absolutely magnificent sniper, bruiser, and all around mech killer. Absolutely horrible thing to see in your opponent's line of battle.

On the other hand, this is an utterly crap command mech. It's got way too much range direct firepower and corresponding cost for you to keep it behind cover - this thing's gonna be in view and pounding away at the enemy, which means no commander should ever set foot in that machine.

Quirks do not help. Command 'Mech means that it will indeed provide the initiative bonus that is the whole point of a command unit, but it also possesses Variable Range Targeting, making it an even deadlier direct combatant.

The end result is that either you keep it back where command units belong and all the points sink into that firepower and armor is solely in case of headhunters, or you bring it out to shoot, in which case it represents such a concentration of force AND force multiplication that every shot taken against it is justified and there's a good chance your mech and commander are not long for this world.

In the end, I'd advise one of two roles for the Nightstar. The first is to ignore all thoughts of command and use it as your run of the mill ginormous assault mech. It's easily got all the guns and armor to do very well in that role. The second is to use it as an actual command mech, but only in very specific circumstances: It needs to be a regimental commander, so the unit is big enough that keeping this machine out of the main battle line isn't a noticeably large sunk cost of your force. It needs to be a mobile regiment, not Amphigean or Davion Light Guards fast, but a force that stays on the move enough that fixed command posts just aren't feasible. This is the machine you strap your Patton into, and rely on the guns and armor to keep him alive when things go south, but not before.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Starfury

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #4 on: 10 December 2019, 13:46:28 »
Did they change the fluff in the 3058 update?  The original 3058 fluff states the Nightstar was built by the Star League to act as a bodyguard unit for command Marauders during the Amaris War.  It would be great in that role, especially with the double Gauss and ER PPC combo to take care of heavier threats and the medium pulse lasers to tag faster units that close in.  The 4/6 variant is a great anti-vehicle/anti air unit, while the 9SS I can see being a terror to fight in dense or urban terrain where long range isn't an option.  Kind of like WW II era assault guns.

VensersRevenge

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Is this the real life...
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #5 on: 10 December 2019, 13:52:24 »
Did they change the fluff in the 3058 update?  The original 3058 fluff states the Nightstar was built by the Star League to act as a bodyguard unit for command Marauders during the Amaris War.  It would be great in that role, especially with the double Gauss and ER PPC combo to take care of heavier threats and the medium pulse lasers to tag faster units that close in.  The 4/6 variant is a great anti-vehicle/anti air unit, while the 9SS I can see being a terror to fight in dense or urban terrain where long range isn't an option.  Kind of like WW II era assault guns.
It's definitely possible that I misread the Readout and assumed it was meant to replace Marauders, not bodyguards them.
I completely agree Weirdo, this Mech is really not what a commander should be in. It's not that tough to kill, and your enemies will try to kill it. It might work for a company commander, but not higher level ones.
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Message if you want to organize a game

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7960
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #6 on: 10 December 2019, 14:25:22 »
The 9SS definitely has a half-ton less armor.  2 points less on each arm, one point less on the CT.  Go with the record sheet, not MegaMek.


I think you’re reading the 9J wrong.  The Hollander is a sniper.  It needs to stay hidden, or shoot-and-scoot. The Nightstar is just a regular Battlemech with long-range guns.  It stands in the backfield where God and everybody can see it and says “Come at me, bro.  I dare you.”  Like the Awesome has done for half a millennium (give or take).


As a command mech, well it depends.  Real-world, sensible tactics?  It’s not a great one.  But this is Battletech, where there’s a grand history of COs leading from the front, and sometimes dying in the saddle.  Kerensky drove his Orion on Terra.  Ian Davion died in his Atlas protecting his troops.  Victor drove Prometheus all the way to New Avalon.  Hanse’s first reaction to New Avalon being attacked by “Death Commandos” was to saddle up.  In that tradition, it’s a perfectly serviceable command mech.  It’s got all the armor it can, no heat worries, ammo for days, and the range to stand off where enemy backstabbers and AC20 platforms are going to have to approach under fire.  Now if they get in close you’re not going to like it, but that’s why you put a Victor or a Sagittaire or a King Crab, or even a good, old-fashioned Atlas in your command lance to bodyguard.  Could it die to long range fire from another Gauss boat?  Sure.  Just like everything else.  Is it likely to be targeted as a command mech?  Sure, but so is any other CO’s mech.  It’s certainly a safer pick than Kerensky’s Orion.  Or Tara Campbell’s Hachetman.  Or Phelan Kell’s Wolfhound.  Or Jaime Wolf’s Archer.


In that vein, the Brubaker is a perfectly good command mech.  This is Wolf’s Dragoons.  They’re basically diet clanners.  Of course the COs lead from the front.  Every Zeta Battalion commander ever died in his or her cockpit.  So did Jaime Wolf.  The Dragoons took a lot of anti-Clan missions, and clanners are likely to want to challenge enemy COs to duels.  If you’re going to agree to that (and they’re Dragoons, they often will), then you need to be able to match them.  It’s better than a Stalker, like Sim Pollock or J. Elliot Jamison drove.  It’s better than Jaime’s Archer.  You’ve got to consider the context of who’s driving it, where, and when.  For Sun Tzu Liao?  Awful choice (though he probably needs the pulse bonus).  For Shelly Brubaker?  I mean, I’d just go with a custom Dire Wolf loadout (we know the Dragoons have that option), but a customized Nightstar is a good second choice.
Sunrise is Coming.

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

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #7 on: 10 December 2019, 14:27:07 »
Sun Tzu drove an Emperor, not a Nightstar.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7960
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #8 on: 10 December 2019, 14:35:41 »
Right.  I’m saying it would’ve been a bad choice for him, not that he actually used one.
Sunrise is Coming.

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

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #9 on: 10 December 2019, 14:43:24 »
Gotcha.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33617
  • Divided States of SMASH
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #10 on: 10 December 2019, 14:49:26 »
As a command mech, well it depends.  Real-world, sensible tactics?  It’s not a great one.  But this is Battletech, where there’s a grand history of COs leading from the front, and sometimes dying in the saddle.  Kerensky drove his Orion on Terra.  Ian Davion died in his Atlas protecting his troops.  Victor drove Prometheus all the way to New Avalon.  Hanse’s first reaction to New Avalon being attacked by “Death Commandos” was to saddle up.

Battletech also includes things like the Clans, SAFE, and ASFs designed to strafe. We can all agree that the setting is full of criminally stupid occurrences, but that doesn't mean that players need to repeat those mistakes.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7960
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #11 on: 10 December 2019, 14:59:18 »
The Nightstar Brubaker is a much better mech to take against the clans than a lot of others, assuming your commander is a skilled Mechwarrior.  If the enemy is going to use SAFE or ASF to attack your commander, it doesn’t really matter what mech they’re in, or if they’re in one at all.  Being buried deep in a hardened HQ bunker didn’t do Sharon Bryan any good.  I mean, if ASF are the worry, does it matter whether your CO is in a Rifleman, or if they just have one in the command lance with them?


But I think we’re coming at this from different angles.  I’m thinking in-character, where you seem to mean the tabletop.
Sunrise is Coming.

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

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33617
  • Divided States of SMASH
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #12 on: 10 December 2019, 15:12:50 »
I wasn't referring to SAFE or strafing fighters as threats to commanders. I was referring to them as examples of things within the Battletech universe that, much like the act of putting a major commander in the line of fire, exists but are indescribably ill-advised.

Someone somewhere believed a SAFE report. Someone somewhere strafed with an aerospace fighter. Someone somewhere formed the Clans over childhood trauma. Someone somewhere intentionally put a field commander on a battlefield. Just because someone somewhere did these things without getting imprisoned for the crime doesn't mean that players should repeat the mistake.

But I think we’re coming at this from different angles.  I’m thinking in-character, where you seem to mean the tabletop.

Correct. You can safely assume that about 100% of posts I make outside of the roleplaying forum.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

BATTLEMASTER

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 605
  • Lego Hellbringers are tougher than the real thing!
    • MegaMek Project
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #13 on: 10 December 2019, 16:01:38 »
I love the Nightstar.  This battlemech is a beefier Marauder in the truest sense, even more so than the Dragoons' Marauder II.  Makes me wonder why the Dragoons went out of their way to make a Marauder II instead of just bringing some low tech Nightstars.
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33617
  • Divided States of SMASH
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #14 on: 10 December 2019, 16:23:07 »
Did they\the Clans have any? I don't think we've ever seen any in Clan service, it's possible none survived to go on the Exodus.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

VensersRevenge

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Is this the real life...
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #15 on: 10 December 2019, 16:35:22 »

I think you’re reading the 9J wrong.  The Hollander is a sniper.  It needs to stay hidden, or shoot-and-scoot. The Nightstar is just a regular Battlemech with long-range guns.  It stands in the backfield where God and everybody can see it and says “Come at me, bro.  I dare you.”  Like the Awesome has done for half a millennium (give or take).


As a command mech, well it depends.  Real-world, sensible tactics?  It’s not a great one.  But this is Battletech, where there’s a grand history of COs leading from the front, and sometimes dying in the saddle.  Kerensky drove his Orion on Terra.  Ian Davion died in his Atlas protecting his troops.  Victor drove Prometheus all the way to New Avalon.  Hanse’s first reaction to New Avalon being attacked by “Death Commandos” was to saddle up.  In that tradition, it’s a perfectly serviceable command mech.  It’s got all the armor it can, no heat worries, ammo for days, and the range to stand off where enemy backstabbers and AC20 platforms are going to have to approach under fire.  Now if they get in close you’re not going to like it, but that’s why you put a Victor or a Sagittaire or a King Crab, or even a good, old-fashioned Atlas in your command lance to bodyguard.  Could it die to long range fire from another Gauss boat?  Sure.  Just like everything else.  Is it likely to be targeted as a command mech?  Sure, but so is any other CO’s mech.  It’s certainly a safer pick than Kerensky’s Orion.  Or Tara Campbell’s Hachetman.  Or Phelan Kell’s Wolfhound.  Or Jaime Wolf’s Archer.


In that vein, the Brubaker is a perfectly good command mech.  This is Wolf’s Dragoons.  They’re basically diet clanners.  Of course the COs lead from the front.  Every Zeta Battalion commander ever died in his or her cockpit.  So did Jaime Wolf.  The Dragoons took a lot of anti-Clan missions, and clanners are likely to want to challenge enemy COs to duels.  If you’re going to agree to that (and they’re Dragoons, they often will), then you need to be able to match them.  It’s better than a Stalker, like Sim Pollock or J. Elliot Jamison drove.  It’s better than Jaime’s Archer.  You’ve got to consider the context of who’s driving it, where, and when.  For Sun Tzu Liao?  Awful choice (though he probably needs the pulse bonus).  For Shelly Brubaker?  I mean, I’d just go with a custom Dire Wolf loadout (we know the Dragoons have that option), but a customized Nightstar is a good second choice.
I'm not saying you can't fight with the Nighstar at shorter ranges, I'm saying that compared to the Thunder Hawk or Devestator staying at the longest range possible gives it an advantage because of its ERPPC and massive ammo reserves. I also don't disagree that the Brubaker works as a Command Mech. I think it's a worse sniper than the 9J, despite using Clan Tech. I like the COs fighting on the front lines. But I don't think a 3/5 mover is where you should put a higher level commander who needs to rally troops across the battlefield.
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Message if you want to organize a game

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #16 on: 10 December 2019, 16:48:41 »
Did they\the Clans have any? I don't think we've ever seen any in Clan service, it's possible none survived to go on the Exodus.

I seem to recall a line in the Coventry sourcebook about a Falcon warrior mistaking the Nightstar for an Inner Sphere attempt to copy the Turkina, so it's likely they didn't.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7960
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #17 on: 10 December 2019, 17:03:36 »
Correct. You can safely assume that about 100% of posts I make outside of the roleplaying forum.
Fair enough.






I'm not saying you can't fight with the Nighstar at shorter ranges, I'm saying that compared to the Thunder Hawk or Devestator staying at the longest range possible gives it an advantage because of its ERPPC and massive ammo reserves. I also don't disagree that the Brubaker works as a Command Mech. I think it's a worse sniper than the 9J, despite using Clan Tech. I like the COs fighting on the front lines. But I don't think a 3/5 mover is where you should put a higher level commander who needs to rally troops across the battlefield.
I don't see a meaningful difference in ranges between the ERPPC and CLPL.  I mean, the ERPPC outranges the CLPL by 3 hexes (23 vs 20), but gauss rifles only reach out to 22, so you weren't using the very end of that anyway.  That 2 hex range band is negligible compared to the added throw weight and increased accuracy of the LPLs over ERPPCs.  IMHO, anyway.


As far as the speed, I'm not sure the one extra hex is going to matter.  Having a QRF to shore up holes in the line is fine, but I probably wouldn't have the CO in that role.  I want the CO standing off a bit and watching the whole battle, not dashing pell-mell around the battlefield plugging holes.  Having to shoot while watching the big picture is enough trouble.  But now we're arguing styles of command, not the merits of the mech.  I think we'd agree that it fits some sort of commander better than others.  Neither of us would put the CO of the Davion Light Guards in a Nightstar, after all.   ;D
Sunrise is Coming.

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

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #18 on: 10 December 2019, 19:07:51 »
Those extra three hexes really don't make much of a difference unless you're dueling a lighter mech on a map that's mostly a featureless grassland with nothing to break LoS.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

VensersRevenge

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Is this the real life...
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #19 on: 10 December 2019, 19:22:28 »
Yeah, but Pulse Lasers don't feel like sniper weapons to me. The Brubaker feels more like a Devastator to me, and the two 'Mechs are similar enough as it is. I will acknowledge it's an effective variant, I did say that in the article, I just don't think it feels enough like a Nightstar.
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Message if you want to organize a game

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7960
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #20 on: 10 December 2019, 20:29:29 »
I mean, neither one is really a sniper, per se.  They’re big and obvious and not hiding from anyone.  You know they’re there, and they’re going to kill you.  From 600 meters away.  The Nightstar just has a slight range advantage. If any assault mech is a sniper, it’s probably the Stealth Pillager.  And even there it’s less “Where is he?” And more “I *see* him, he’s right over *there*, but my targeting computer won’t lock on.”
Sunrise is Coming.

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

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 33617
  • Divided States of SMASH
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #21 on: 10 December 2019, 20:33:07 »
The best sniper is a Soyal with a slide rule, two AU away. 8)
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Orin J.

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2688
  • I am to feared! Aw, come on guys...
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #22 on: 11 December 2019, 01:56:15 »
If the Marauder is the father to the Marauder II, then the Nightstar is the son of that nice Awesome that's friends with the Marauder family and always seems to be around with the missus is at work. It's about as direct as direct fire support gets- it's going to shoot at you as soon at you're in range, and its bins let it gamble on shots most assault 'mechs cannot. i guess it works as a command 'mech, in the sense it can oversee the battlefield and throw pokes at absurd longshots to keep the enemy honest but the main weapon of a command vehicle is the radio really so this is really only for when your general is preoccupied with being a part of "glorious conquest" really.

and i might have been joking but the Nightstar really does look like it's got a lot of Maraduer in it.
The Grey Death Legion? Dead? Gotcha, wake me when it's back.....
--------------------------
Every once in a while things make sense.


Don't let these moments alarm you. They pass.

Hellraiser

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8152
  • Cry Havoc and Unleash the Gods of Fiat.
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #23 on: 11 December 2019, 03:08:58 »
Its a shame we don't have a SW Downgrade of this mech.

I picture SFE, Paired AC10's, & PPC w/ ML's.

It would work fairly well I think.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17013
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #24 on: 11 December 2019, 03:28:43 »
Well, there were already downgraded versions of the Devastator, Emperor (though I guess the Emperor wasn't really a downgrade, just a version produced before the advanced tech was available), and Pillager.  A downgraded Nightstar wouldn't have really added anything, would it have?
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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

SteelRaven

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6885
  • Fight for something or Die for nothing
    • The Steel-Raven at DeviantArt
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #25 on: 11 December 2019, 03:42:46 »
Some fan art of the Nightstar that looks beautiful, the mini it self needs some TLC but we have seen worse mechs.
Battletech Art and Commissions
http://steel-raven.deviantart.com

Luciora

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2453
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #26 on: 11 December 2019, 04:26:11 »
There was enough Marauder in the Nightstar that it was the basis for my Black Marauder custom.

Crimson Dawn

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 484
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #27 on: 11 December 2019, 05:19:43 »
Well, there were already downgraded versions of the Devastator, Emperor (though I guess the Emperor wasn't really a downgrade, just a version produced before the advanced tech was available), and Pillager.  A downgraded Nightstar wouldn't have really added anything, would it have?

Well we could say that about a lot of mechs whether it be stats or even looks so why not?  Besides all of those mechs have slightly different weapon configs (devastator has large lasers and AC 10s, emperor has large lasers and AC5s, and the pillager has AC20s and other closer range weaponry while this theoretical nightstar would have twin AC10s and a PPC) so I would think it would be much like how the 55 ton intro tech mechs are fairly similar.  Also I think the 95 ton mech is rather sparsely populated in general so having more variants would be fun too I think.

I would be among the first to say that we at times have way too mechs that do not really add anything to the game but I do not know if I have the same reservation about having more primitive and introtech versions of some cool designs.  I rather like things like the flashman 7k so this could have been cool.

« Last Edit: 11 December 2019, 05:38:49 by Crimson Dawn »

mbear

  • Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3947
    • Tower of Jade
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #28 on: 11 December 2019, 09:07:52 »
Nice article. I never really paid attention to the Nightstar because it fell into the 3058 book and I tend to forget about it. Are there any other 'Mechs that are designed from the ground up to be commander bodyguards? I know the Shootist fell into that role, and there are obviously the individual refits of other designs, but it sounds like someone went to GM and said "Give me a giant shield that shoots that I can put next to my unit commanders." and the Nightstar was the result.

The Succession Wars downgrade sounds like it'd be interesting as well. I may have to do that, but like someone said the Devastator 1 and Emperor pretty much have that covered.

One comment about the formatting of the article: Could you put an extra return/line feed after each paragraph? It'd make the text a lot easier for me to read. I get lost quickly on blocks of text that have no tabs/indents in them. (There's no landmarks for my eyes.) Thanks!

VensersRevenge

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Is this the real life...
Re: 'Mech of the Week: Nightstar
« Reply #29 on: 11 December 2019, 13:11:33 »
I did that in the doc, and forgot to redo it when I transferred it to posting here. Thanks for reminding me to check for that sort of thing!
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Message if you want to organize a game