Tag Archives: hobby

Year of Battle Armor: Unit 1 – Corona Heavy Battle Armor

Late in 2017, I took a good look through the unassembled and unpainted BattleTech models in my collection, and I came to a decision about something I really wanted to see in 2018.

One of my favorite parts of the BattleTech universe and game is Battle Armor, and I have collected a ton of it. But I have relatively little of it put together, and even less of that painted. Long story short, I spent some time evaluating what I wanted to do about it, and decided that 2018 would be known as the “Year of Battle Armor”.

Fast forward to half way through February, and I realized that I had not yet started into my plans for the year. January got swallowed up by so many other things that I almost completely forgot about my ambitious goal.

Developed by Clan Star Adder, the Corona Heavy Battle Armor was one of the first non-standard Battle Armors produced during the Clan Invasion.

So, I did something about it. And here we are, in the first article of the Year of Battle Armor series. This year (2018), I plan to complete 2-3 Battle Armor centric projects per month and write here about the progress of each project and the year as a whole. I also hope that many of the units I complete during the YoBA will in turn show up in my BattleTech battle reports, so we should get to see follow ups on how the units are being used after they are completed here.

So, introduction of mission completed, how about I introduce the first unit for the Year of Battle Armor, the Corona Heavy Battle Armor!

Rather than give an overview of the history of the Corona, you can click on the link just above to visit the Sarna article, which says most of what I would repeat here anyway.


Step 1 – Line ‘Em Up

25 Corona suits, ready to form up.

I chose the Corona as the first unit for YoBA for a couple of reasons. I believe that it is a great suit of battle armor that I think gets overlooked, even when compared to others of the underused specialty Clan battle armors. I think this is in part due to the when the Corona was released in the game, in TRO: 3075. During that era of the game, while the Wars of Reaving were reshaping the landscape of the Clan Homeworlds, the majority of people, both in-universe and players, was focused on the Jihad. This may have led to the Corona going a bit unnoticed, especially compared to other battle armors in that TRO, like the Clan Medium Battle Armor and Golem Assault Armor, which got to participate directly in the Jihad. While the Corona did migrate into the IS Clan General list during this time, most Clans just did not incorporate it in any meaningful way.

And since my primary faction is Clan Ghost Bear, of course this unit is joining my favorite Clan.

Step 2 – Getting Them on the Bases

Corona Heavy Battle Armor is easily distinguished by its shoulder-mounted Medium Pulse Laser.

I was pleased that I could fit five models on a standard sized hex base. The bases I’m using were 3D printed and are the same size and dimensions as the hex bases available from Iron Wind Metals.

Some modeling putty provided the perfect soft ground to sink the models’ bases into and saved me the trouble of having to cut off the bases. This won’t always be possible with all battle armors, In fact, fitting five models to a base will not be possible in all cases.

Step 3 – Primer and Colors

You want blue? We got blue!

I use Army Painter paints for my hobby projects. I quick spray and touching up with a basecoat of matching Ultramarine Blue, and the Corona is ready for colors.

Battle Armor is tough to paint!

Keeping the paint scheme rather simple, I went with my standard 2nd Bear Regulars scheme. Blue torso and head, grey limbs, and some metal for the metal bits. Also, not shown in this picture, I added some dull yellow to the view plates on the heads.

Step 4 – Shading, Basing, and Varnish

Almost there.

I washed the models with Army Painter Soft Tone, thinking that I could darken it up if I needed to. When it was done, I decided that I liked the shading and moved on to the next part.

Ready for action!

This was my first time using the Army Painter Snow basing material, and I really like it. I’ve worked with other snow basing materials before, and this stuff was my favorite to work with. I think the coverage was better than what I’d used before, and it seemed to stick better to the glue.

Once the glue dried, it was outside for a quick round of varnish, and there we have it!

Why Use Corona Heavy Battle Armor?

So it made sense to me to wrap up each YoBA article with some pros and cons and a little bit about why you might want to use the Battle Armor I’ve just discussed.

I won’t take the time to break down all of the BattleTech vs Alpha Strike differences, but instead focus on what makes the Corona an interesting choice.


  • Longer Range in BattleTech than most other Battle Armors.
  • Mechanized capabilities for OmniMech transport
  • Solid damage profile-to-PV balance in Alpha Strike
  • Opponents unlikely to anticipate the pick, for element of surprise.
  • IS Clan General beginning in Civil War time period.


  • Less armor than standard Elemental Battle Armor
  • No Jump Jet capability, leaving the Corona on the ground.
  • Only one variant apart from the standard version, listed as Star Adder available only.

If you would like to learn more about Corona Heavy Battle Armor, you can check out the products listed below.

BattleTech Technical Readout: 3075

BattleTech Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged – The Cutting Edge

Parting Shot

And finally, I’ll leave you all with this teaser of the next Battle Armor, currently on the table. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the Year of Battle Armor!

What is this Battle Armor? Share your guesses in the comments!

A Year of Alpha Strike – The 2016 Leader Board, Week 1

This year, my local BattleTech group is trying out something new. Instead of just simply getting together for games once in a while, we decided that we wanted to make our games count for something.

The collaborative effort that came out of our many emails on the topic birthed the 2016 Leader Board Season.

We decided that the group would be able to meet 1-2 times a month between two locations, and that each player who wants to participate in the Leader Board should concentrate on a specific faction for the whole of the season. In this way, it feels a bit like a relaxed league that tracks a few more stats than just wins and losses.

Ghost Bear forces advance on the mercenary position.

Ghost Bear forces advance on the mercenary position.

The Stats

And speaking of those stats, let’s go over what all we’re tracking and why.

Games Played, Wins, and Losses – The basic stats, from which most of the other stats will be derived. Beyond being a rough estimate of who wins most often, it pretty much just shows which of us show up most often.

Win % – One of the four primary stats we are tracking. It’s not about how often you play, it’s about how often you win when you do play. This is one of the stats that will award a trophy to the highest scorer at the end of the 2016 season, also granting to the recipient the title, “The Victor.”

Scenario Victory % – This stat is important for any group that wants to get beyond the “line up and kill each other” style of game play. Each time we meet for a Leader Board round of games, a scenario that includes alternate win conditions to just killing the enemy will be selected ahead of time. While it will always be possible to win through the Forced Withdrawal rule and by wiping your opponent’s forces off the board, adding in scenario objectives adds a tactical level to the games that we all decided would be a good thing and add to the depth of play. The winner of this trophy also gets the title, “The Tactician.”

Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Snow Raven forces clash.

Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Snow Raven forces clash.

Kill Score – Using the Basic Kill Scoring Table, found on page 159 of Alpha Strike: Companion, we will also be tracking how much sheer damage and destruction is caused over the course of the season. The winner of this trophy will earn the title, “The Destroyer.”

Units Painted – The hobby side of the aspect is an important facet to the game, and we wanted the Leader Board to reflect that. As the only non-game dependent stat, we felt it was important to track and honor the hobby efforts of the group as we grow our armies and progress throughout the year. The winner of this trophy will earn the title, “The Maker.”

We still have to have a little discussion about the requirements for winning some of the awards in order to set a minimum number of games that have to be played in order to qualify. This ensures that we are all kept honest and don’t sit on a good stat halfway through the year, mitigating the risk of falling in the rankings.

Truthfully, I do not fear that anyone in the group would do this, but it’s still a good idea to have rules like that in place.

Week 1 Report

Week 1 took place on Saturday, January 16. Four of us were able to make it, and a total of three games were played due to one of us having to leave early. I remembered to snap a few pictures of the games, something at which I need to get better. Our Week 1 scenario was a basic scenario that was outlined in the Alpha Strike book that included two objective markers on each side of the board, with each side attempting to capture the objectives on the opposite side.

For now, all games are at 250 PV. The only restriction we have placed on force rosters is that each force can only have a maximum of two (2) units at Skill: 2 and a maximum of one (1) unit at Skill: 1, with the total maximum number of units at either Skill: 1 or Skill: 2 capped at two (2) units.

The Lists –

I don’t have the rosters for all four of us, something I might fix in future Leader Board reports, but I’ll briefly explain the lists used below.

Mercenaries – The Merc player went with a “quantity over quality” approach and fielded two full Lances of BattleMechs all at Skill: 4. The force overall stressed maneuverability, with half or more of the units sporting jump jets.

Clan Snow Raven – This force was the only one of the day with an Aerospace presence, in the form of one heavy fighter. The ground force was a full Star of Medium weight OmniMechs, all of at least Striker speed. All units were Skill: 3.

Clan Jade Falcon – The Jade Falcon force was a full Star of BattleMechs, featuring several Omni designs, that ranged from Medium to Assault. The force overall was sturdy, packing a huge heavy hitter in its Turkina Assault OmniMech, and had several jump capable units. The force featured mixed Skill: 3 and Skill: 2 units.

Clan Ghost Bear – The Ghost Bears fielded a speedy, combined arms list that featured 5 Fire Moth OmniMechs all carrying Gnome Battle Armor, supported by a lone Solitaire BattleMech. Speed and rapid redeployment, as well as swift objective capture were the main tactics of this force. The force featured mixed Skill: 3 and Skill: 2 units.

End of Day Results –

In the first two games, Clan Ghost Bear won a Scenario Victory by running circles around the Mercenaries, only losing a total of one `Mech and one Battle Armor squad all game while reducing the mercenary force to two BattleMechs. Clan Jade Falcon achieved a board wipe against Clan Snow Raven, even eliminating the Snow Raven Aerospace support when it came onto the board for a run.

The mercenaries move on an objective as Clan Ghost Bear rapidly redeploys to counter.

The mercenaries move on an objective as Clan Ghost Bear rapidly redeploys to counter.

The Snow Raven player had to leave early, so the Ghost Bear player only got one game in. In their second game, the Jade Falcon and Mercenary players slugged it out with both sides taking losses. In the end, the Mercenaries won out by numbers and achieved a Scenario Victory.

Below is the 2016 Leader Board as it now stands, heading into Week 2, which is scheduled to take place this Thursday, January 21. The errors currently displaying on the spreadsheet are due to lack of data for the formulas to compute. Two of our group could not make it to Week 1, so as they get in games, the spreadsheet will begin to look more complete.

FactionGames PlayedWinsLossesTies*Win %Scenario Victories*Scenario Victory %*Kill Score*Units Painted
Clan Snow Raven10100.00%0#DIV/0!150
House Davion0000#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!00
Clan Jade Falcon211050.00%00.00%500
Clan Ghost Bear1100100.00%1100.00%300
Wolf’s Dragoons0000#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!00


So what is your group doing for BattleTech and/or Alpha Strike this year? Perhaps you would like to take the 2016 Leader Board idea and adapt it to suit your own local group. Feel free to do so, and do let me know how it goes if you do!

Stay tuned for more 2016 Leader Board Weekly Reports as we dive into the year.

BattleTech Hobby Project: XII Hastati Sentinels Lance

Earlier this week I found myself staring at my BattleTech shelf, and the four lonely BattleMechs that I had spray painted with primer and base coated black six months ago once more caught my attention.

I picked up the models back in November on a business trip to Fort Worth, TX, and I was now very annoyed with myself for forgetting how excited about the project I had been back then. I had big plans to paint up the four models, a Doloire, a Lament, an Eisenfaust, and a Prefect, as members of the XII Hastati Sentinels and to get on that right away. Six months later, I decided that “right away” had waited long enough. So, earlier this week, I started the process.

I like this Lance composition for a number of reasons. It is a very energy weapon heavy Lance, with only the Doloire and Eisenfaust sporting ammo dependent weapons. Even then, both ‘Mechs with ammo do not depend solely, or even primarily, on those weapons. I like this fact because it makes the Lance a bit of an oddball, being an Inner Sphere unit that is armed kind of like a Clan unit.

Much like my earlier hobby article, A Hobby Project: Clan Coyote Star, I have included several pictures at different stages of the project and share a few thoughts about my process and what I learned along the way.

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