Bad ‘Mechs – Kintaro

Bad 'Mechs - Kintaro

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

“Alright, Striker Lance, we’re two clicks out from the city of Harmony, but the Marshal has called for the city’s fall by the 21st,” Corporal Benson’s radio crackled as Captain Mohaney repeated exposition already discussed during this morning’s briefing.

“That’s why we’re sending you in with your new Kintaros. The hope is that you’ll be able to mark enemy fortifications with your Narc beacons so we can call in accurate long-range missile fire. Bombardment lance is locked and loaded, but expect the Taurians to be in defensive positions.” 

Benson rolled his eyes. In other words, they’d be waiting for him. 

“Your mission is to run in, tag a few tanks, and then retreat under fire,” Mohaney added. “Maintain situational awareness and look out for your lancemates.” 

Benson hated how his captain always ended his transmissions with some generic encouragement. As though he hadn’t been checking his six every five minutes since landing on New Vandenberg. If over a month of orbital bombardment hadn’t convinced the Taurians to stop fighting the SLDF, he doubted a slightly more accurate LRM barrage would do the trick. 

Still, orders were orders, and Benson pushed his Kintaro’s throttle to the stops as he rose above the final berm between his lance and the Taurian’s supposed position. Nothing popped on his sensors at first, but then a barrage of tracers revealed several machine gun and autocannon emplacements. Rounds pinged off his Kintaro’s armor as Benson charged forward, desperately searching for somewhere to place his Narc beacon.

There. A tank in between two apartment buildings. The Kintaro’s Starbeam 3000 targeting computer didn’t recognize the model, but it could lock onto a tracked vehicle without issue. Benson weaved around the incoming fire, clusters of rockets passing over his ‘Mech’s left shoulder as a lucky depression brought him just beneath the missiles’ ballistic arc. Benson stumbled, but quickly righted the Kintaro to bring his crosshairs back onto the now-reversing tank.

“Striker 4, I’m in range. Firing the payload,” announced Benson as he loosed his Narc beacon. The single rocket motor spiraled into the tank, but instead of exploding, Benson’s targeting computer buzzed with a strong missile lock.

“I’ve got tone!” Benson’s radio crackled as Bombardment lance acknowledged the Narc signal. “Package incoming!” 

Even through his cockpit’s soundproofing, the roar of hundreds of missiles was enough to drown out the cacophony of combat surrounding Benson. The tank–and much of the residential block it was hiding in–disappeared in a cloud of smoke as dozens upon dozens of missiles fell. 

“Hey, it worked!” Benson shouted on the open comms, but none of his lancemates responded. 

“Striker 4 to Striker actual, come in?” Static. Benson checked his HUD but couldn’t find the green carets of his lancemates. Only then did he see Sergeant Johansen’s Kintaro face-down in the dirt about 200 meters to his left. The boxy limbs of another Kintaro could be seen on his right, although the ‘Mech’s ape-like torso was nowhere to be found.

Before Benson could bolt in panic, the smoke cleared, revealing three more tanks rolling through the crater left by Bombardment lance. They all leveled their barrels at Benson’s Kintaro and fired.

Kintaro KTO-20 3050

The Kintaro is a good ‘Mech built around a bad idea. Designed to employ what was then the new Narc Missile Beacon, the Kintaro‘s mission was to charge enemy lines, fire the Narc at targets of opportunity, and then overwhelm opponents with its improved missile performance. Kintaros often operated in missile-heavy lances alongside companies with long-range missile launchers able to destroy from afar whatever the Kintaro‘s Narc beacon had attached to.

Unfortunately, the Kintaro‘s designers failed to foresee the difficulty of this mission profile. Although a top speed of 86 kph was fairly nimble when the Kintaro was introduced in 2587, it was insufficient to allow the Kintaro to effectively disengage after its Narc beacon was fired. Worse, the Kintaro‘s primarily short-ranged armament meant that pilots were often knife-fighting with opponents while simultaneously trying to dodge incoming long-range missile fire from friendly units. 

The original KTO-19 from General Mechanics was a fairly well-armed and armored ‘Mech. Two medium lasers, two SRM-6 batteries, and a single LRM-5 launcher constituted the Kintaro‘s offensive armament, with the ‘Mech’s signature Narc beacon placed directly in the center torso. Eleven tons of ferro-fibrous armor meant the Kintaro was well protected for a ‘Mech of its size, although this didn’t prevent Kintaro pilots from earning a reputation for recklessness, nor did it keep their ‘Mechs from returning battered and bruised due to their dangerous mission profile. 


A dangerous job wasn’t the Kintaro‘s only problem. Because the Kintaro was literally built around the Narc beacon launcher in its chest, the bulk of the ‘Mech’s missile armament was pushed to its left arm. With its ammunition bins in its chest, the Kintaro‘s ammunition linkages were extremely complex. Pilots had to lock the arm in place for a full three seconds in order to reload the launchers after firing, and any sudden movement would often cause the SRM system to jam. For some reason, the LRM launcher rarely saw similar issues despite using a nearly identical ammo feeder. 

For over 200 years, the KTO-19 (and the KTO-19b, the upgraded variant produced for the SLDF Royal Brigades) remained unchanged until the destruction of the Narc missile beacon factory in 2792 soon after the start of the First Succession War. KTO-19s remained in service for some time using stockpiled beacons, but field refits soon saw the Narc launcher removed in favor of a third SRM-6 launcher as the supply of beacons dried up. 

Kintaro KTO-20

An effective brawler, the Kintaro‘s numbers continued to dwindle over the centuries of conflict until it was nearly extinct by the Third Succession War. The Kintaro was then saved by General Dynamics, which began producing the common field refit under the designation KTO-18 on the planet Ozawa. Unable to produce the now Lostech ferro fibrous armor, the KTO-18 had eleven tons of standard armor, as well as three SRM-6 launchers, one LRM-5, and two medium lasers. With only 10 single heatsinks, the KTO-18 “ran hotter than hell’s saunas,” but was still a powerful, fast, and well-armored ‘Mech that used cheap and plentiful ammunition, making it a popular choice for cash-strapped Periphery militias. 

The KTO-19b, produced by the Kintaro‘s original manufacturer General Mechanics, upgraded the ‘Mech with an XL 275 engine, replaced the LRM-5 launcher with an LRM-15, and provided both ammunition bins with CASE alongside an additional half-ton of armor. Already a rare sight during the days of the SLDF, the Royal Brigade variant would virtually disappear with Kerensky‘s exodus from the Inner Sphere.


The KTO-18 would be the most common Kintaro variant for some time even after ComStar introduced the KTO-20. Built from the KTO-19, the ‘Mech replaced the center-torso Narc beacon launcher with a large laser and upgraded the single heat sinks to doubles. This kept the ‘Mech from overheating while simultaneously improving its firepower. The existence of the KTO-20 would remain a closely guarded secret until the War of 3039 when ComStar gifted a number of these ‘Mechs to the Draconis Combine as part of Operation Rosebud. The KTO-20’s performance proved so much greater than the KTO-18 that FedCom units made them priority targets whenever they appeared on the battlefield. 

The Draconis Combine would continue to favor the Kintaro into the 3050s with the KTO-C. Designed as a testbed for the new C3 system, the KTO-C was identical to the KTO-20 but dropped a single medium laser for the C3 slave unit. ComStar and the World of Blake would improve on the KTO-C with the KTO-21 in the mid-3060s. A C3i computer and an Improved Narc Beacon replaced the LRM-5, while the two medium lasers were upgraded to extended-range models. An endo steel chassis helped account for the bulkier equipment, although it was still necessary to remove a half-ton of armor.

Kintario KTO-20

The final variant of the Kintaro, the KTO-K, was introduced by the Draconis Combine in the late 3060s. Armed with two Streak SRM-6s and three ER medium lasers, the KTO-K also had a C3 slave unit and five jump jets for added mobility.

For a time, the Kintaro would also see service amongst the Clans, where it was particularly favored by Clan Cloud Cobra. The Naja, introduced in 2826, was armed with Clan-spec weapons, including an LRM-20, two SRM-6s, two SRM-4s, two ER medium lasers, and an ER small laser. Fourteen double heat sinks struggled to keep the Naja cool, although 12 tons of standard armor and a standard engine made it an extremely easy-to-maintain ‘Mech. Clan Cloud Cobra remained the exclusive operator of the Naja until the Cobras switched their manufacturing focus from ‘Mechs to aerospace assets. The Cobras would quietly retire the Naja with the advent of the OmniMech

The Kintaro’s fate has remained tied to the Narc beacon, and as the Narc has fallen out of favor, so too has the Kintaro. Even the Draconis Combine has relegated its remaining KTO-Ks to second-line garrisons by the late 3130s. Few examples remain today outside the Periphery, and as those fall into disrepair, the Kintaro’s future is in serious doubt.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

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About Sean

Hooked on BattleTech at an early age, Sean honestly can't remember whether it was the cartoon, the serial novels or the short-lived TCG that did him in. Whatever it was, his passion for giant shooty robots never died, so now he writes about the latest and greatest in 'Mech related news.

47 thoughts on “Bad ‘Mechs – Kintaro

  1. Golden Boy

    Ah, the KTO, my first love. I mained KTOs in MWO despite their reputation as The Walking CT. It might be a bad ‘Mech, but it’s MY bad ‘Mech.

    1. Steel Shanks

      I did the same with Hunchbacks. I have 4 Inner Sphere Hunchies, and two Clanner ones. Hunch being the target every round, and CT not being very small either doesn’t help. But… I love the Hunchback… Luckily I’ve had more good rounds than bad with them… So far…

  2. Steel Shanks

    If the FedRats Consider it a Priority Target on the field, it’s not a bad Mech lol… Proof is in that one line…

    In Hare Brained Schemes BattleTech it can be a monster. Armor close to a Hunchbacks, with lots of room for missiles. I usually drop the LRM5 for an LRM10, and just use smaller SRM launchers, it still tears things up. Or Infernos… Infernos work wonders as well. Can it run a little hot? Yeah… but everything dies around it. I also always add Jump Jets to increase mobility.

    MWO is another matter… It CAN run up and destroy everything in its path with SRM’s or MRM’s. BUT, ye have to have battlefield awareness, or yer ganked in the first 2 Minutes of the round. It’s CT is still a liability. LRM5 boats, and Large Laser Sniping are quite common with Kintaro’s in MWO.

    1. Matt Bowden

      All stock Kintaros have better armour than any Hunchback – you literally cannot fit all armour a Kintaro.has onto a Hunchback chassis.

  3. WestRider

    In my experience, which is mostly with the -18, what it’s really good at is crit-seeking. If there’s an open location on the target, 3 SRM-6s will find it. I’m still not exactly a huge fan of it, but I can’t really call it a bad Mech to the same extent as most in this series. It’s got a solid role as a finisher when teamed up with Mechs with good hole-punchers, and despite its flaws (lack of jump, heat management), it performs that role reasonably well.

    1. Anon

      Well, it has a short-range arsenal and is based on calling in bombardments of LRMs. Do you see why being near the thing you are trying to drop missiles on is a bad idea?

      1. Mr. Popo

        It’s not like it’s calling in artillery. There’s no danger close with Narc LRMs (Swarm LRMs sure, but those aren’t Narc compatible anyway).

    2. Flashfreeze

      It’s a medium brawler that lacks in knockout punch, sustain, and repositioning options (which is to say, jump jets). Most medium brawlers want at least one of the three, preferably two, and if you can get all three, you’re golden.

      Hatchetman lacks sustain, but at least has jump jets and an AC/hatchet combo.

      Hunchback lacks jets, but has a knockout punch that’ll punish even assault ‘Mechs and can keep going til the gun runs dry.

      Wolverine lacks punch, but jumps well and has immense sustain.

      The basic Kintaro lacks sustain (runs too hot to keep up a steady rate of fire), lacks knockout punch (SRMs are bad at focused damage so they can actually crit seek), and lacks jump jets (good luck if you get outmaneuvered in enclosed terrain, which you need to be in to use your SRMs effectively). Sure, it can probably do better with a partner to cover for its faults, but that’s true of many ‘Mechs.

      1. CoKien

        Did you ever use a Kintaro? The Kintaro 18 can keep firing two of its SRM6 almost infinitely, or at least untill its ammo bins are dry and it is able to fire three SRM6 and two Medium lasers to knock out damaged targets. Both is pretty good. In addition, it has one ton more armor, than a Hunchback, but it is still considerably faster. The Kintaro 18 has two flaws, the LRM5 and the two ammo bins in the left torso, but it is still a very good Mech.
        The Kintaro 19 is quite good, too. NARC can be pretty effective, since all lvl1-units with LRMs, or SRMs, can use NARC-capable missiles, including LRM and SRM Carriers, Partisan and Ontos LRM variants, Whitworths 1s, Archer 2Rs, Longbow 7Qs, and so on. If the Kintaro is left on the front lines unsupported, it is not the Mech, that sucks, but the one commanding it.

        1. Flashfreeze

          I have in fact used a Kintaro ( as salvage), and I play against them regularly because one of my friends at the table reps DCMS post-3039.

          I regularly put his Kintaros in the ground because I can harry them at my leisure with an Enforcer, or cut them to ribbons in a close-engagement game with Hunchbacks. At some point, all that ammo goes up after a torso breach. I can, have, and will continue to kill Kintaros with Phoenix Hawks, Vindicators, and even the occasional Wyvern. He has to chase my jumping jacks all over creation, while I burn him down half a ton of armor at a time. And if he has friends, hey, so do I.

          And yes, it’s true the Kintaro will fire its SRM-6s constantly, scattering 2-point hits across a half dozen frontal locations. Meanwhile, a basic Hunchback will pull the trigger once and strip any torso location bare or threaten any limb. The Kintaro requires more luck than any amount of dice have in them to cripple an opponent in nearly the same timeframe, and will lose effective functionality, including its vaunted speed, in doing so.

          My preferred Kintaro, in case you’re curious, is a refit. KTO-20 that drops the LRM launcher for jump jets and, table permitting, CASE, turning it into a vicious broken-terrain fighter that stands a good chance of opening up an armor location for those SRMs to work their magic.

          1. JustSomeGuy

            The Hunchback has a single big gun that you have to hope doesn’t miss. If you’re not facing slow targets or have good gunnery, the Hunchie 4G is more luck-reliant than a Kintaro. Other Hunchbacks (4P, 4SP, 4H) are less reliant on the single gun but then run into the same issues of spreading damage.

            They’re also a fair bit slower than a Kintaro, which may not matter so much along the front line but does pretty much everywhere else. The Kintaro is technically a skirmisher thanks to its speed, and that makes it excellent at exploiting weaknesses. The Kintaro isn’t meant to sit still and duke it out; instead it’s meant to hit over one or two rounds and then go cool off. That it has so much armour that it can sit around and continue fighting is the only reason why the heatsinks seem feeble.

            Overall it’s a pretty great mech.

          2. Jared Blando

            A Kintaro is def an opportunity brawle which can bully some mechs and must skirt others, the hunchy being one of them. Tbh, most mechs do not want to close with Hunch G. However, given the opportunity and some tactics, the Kintaro can just run behind the Hunchy and blast the back of it when you win initiative. I love Hunchbacks, but their rear armor is pitiful, as is the Enforcers. In these matchups, it would really come down to who wins initiative (and terrain) since the Kintaro will most likely close with both and its SRMs are good enough to breach both those mechs rear armor with relative ease. The Enforcer is def the more dangerous of these given its jump capability, but that’s why you have lance mates to put pressure on opponents that give you trouble, or coordinate fire on the biggest threat.

      2. Matt Bowden

        You should try the KTO-20. The addition of double heat sinks and a large laser gives you a hole puncher and solves your “sustain” issue quite nicely. There’s still the torso bomb to contend with, but aside from that it’s very solid.

  4. CoKien

    Summarized, you only play 1 on 1 duels? In that case, the Kintaro will be in trouble, if it looses the initiative, because it lacks range (not counting the LRM5). However, it will kick the Enforcers’ and Hunchbacks’ asses, if it wins the initiative, especially, since both Mechs will be in serious trouble if the Kintaro moves behind them.
    If the Kintaro is part of an team, and properly supported, that won’t be a major issue anymore, even if its team looses the initiative. Its combination of speed, armor, and firepower is a great asset to almost any line-up, and it will be able to tear down almost any Mech.

  5. bladewinder

    Kintaro is a team player. What it lacks in knockout punch it has durability (more armor than a Hunchback and fast enough for an OK TMM at least in it’s era)

    Now if everyone is trying to shoot it down, that means they are not shooting anyone else. Play that to your strength.

  6. Jeremy Ward

    This is probably the poorest article in this series. The Kintaro is a team player, and does well in its intended role of delivering a Narc Beacon to a target and then hitting with SRMs or medium lasers. The LRM-5 is there for long range harassment then anything else. The downgrade’s heat issues are well known, and easily fixed with double heat sinks. The 21 serves as an excellent spotter for LRM equipped Level IIs, and the 20/C works great as a mid range brawler/C3 lancemate. The K simply goes for maximum short range brawling ability, mobility and spotting for C3 networks and fits the Kuritan late Clan invasion/Fed Com Civil War era tactics.

    There are times I truly wonder how far “bad” gets stretched to write these…

    1. Matt Bowden

      Considering how “not great” the majority of this series of articles have been, that’s saying something.

  7. GevatterTod

    The intended Role is to deliver the beacon.
    Now it needs at least 5 launchers to be on par with Artemis IV.
    As there is a higher risk and not that easy to use i would guess at least 12.

    So you would probably need to use it at company-level at least, and definitely not send it to the front alone, that the Kintaro won’t be an easy target for the whole enemy company.

    So the Narc is bad, as it needs a fitting company and a good terrain to use it.

    The stories are nice to read, but this one sounds more like A Steiner social general uses what he has completely wrong.

    1. Owl

      IMO they would work a lot better in areas with obstructed sight lines like forests and cities where most contact would be at medium/close range. If you are playing on a wide open plain or desert, you definitely need to get a mech change but in cities or forests? They have a very good chance to give more than they get.

  8. Outlaw

    I 100% agree with this one being added to the Bad Mech list. It is too dependent on ammunition based weapons making it a logistics nightmare, its heat efficiency is atrocious, making it more dangerous to the pilot than enemy fire given the sheer amount of ammunition carried by the mech. And if it does last long enough to expend it’s ammunition stores it is on the same level as the Spider, but unlike the spider this is intended to be a front line combatant.

    I feel a lot of the negative feedback on these articles stem from this mech is great in Mechwarrior, MWO or HBS BattleTech. Yes it is great in those settings, but in table top campaigns using Campaign Operations rules regarding repairs, logistics, and maintenance all of these articles have been spot on.

    1. Dwagonzahn

      So basically, as long as you play with rules that virtually nobody uses today and haven’t received significant support for in the near quarter-century since FASA’s demise, the Kintaro is bad.

      And here I thought I was reading “Bad ‘Mechs”, not “Mechs that are bad in hyper-specific, esoteric circumstances.”

      1. Jasin Moridin

        A lot of the Bad ‘Mech articles look at the things from an in-universe perspective. If something is extremely good at what it does but is an absolute logistical nightmare to keep on the battlefield, it’s still bad. That’s why the Stone Rhino ended up getting an article in this series.

        Hell, there have been plenty of actual RL military projects for gear that’s amazing on paper that got cancelled because the logistics necessary to put them into operation would have required more resources than just keeping the stuff it was trying to replace in working order.

        And the Kintaro actually has problems trying to do what it’s supposed to.

        1. JustSomeGuy

          The Kintaro’s SRMs give it the capability to alpha strike for 5 rounds per ton of ammo (More for non-KTO-18 models). A single ton of AC20 gets you 5 shots for a single weapon. Your Archer chews through a ton of ammo in three rounds.

          SRMs are used by a lot of striker vehicles, scouts; anything light really. From an in-universe perspective the Kintaro isn’t the logistics nightmare, it’s your LRM boats and specialized brawlers. Not a lot of vehicles run AC20s compared to SRMs, same with LRMs. Even SRM6s themselves aren’t too uncommon on the battlefield, and the replacement cost is less than the other two examples.

          The ammo bombs in the torso are a problem, especially if you play with TACs. Of course if you’re playing with TACs then the Kintaro becomes capable of one-shotting a good portion of enemy mechs with a good roll. It sucks for deep strike operations, but when it comes to supporting a standard army I think it does its job well without being a burden.

        2. JustSomeGuy

          A KTO-18 uses a ton of ammo in about 5 rounds (KTO-18, other variants are 7.5). A Hunchback running an AC20 is 5 rounds per ton. Your Archer in the back burns through a ton of ammo in 3 turns. SRMs are used by loads of vehicles, infantry/battle armour, and mechs. AC20 is used by some units but is pretty specialized. LRMs, while more common, begin combat much earlier and quite often burn through their ammo by the end of combat.

          It’s not your Kintaro that’s the logistics nightmare, it’s your specialized brawlers and missile boats. Yes, it’s not a great deep strike asset because it is so ammunition-dependent, but it is a good striker or scout attached to your main army. Salvage is pretty easy to come across for its ammo and launchers, and if it’s a KTO-18 then the single heatsinks and standard armour can be ripped off of pretty much anything. Even if the SRM6 wasn’t more common salvage compared to an AC20, LRM15 or LRM20, it is both cheaper and lighter.

          Yes, if you’re playing with TACs then the Kintaro has problems with exploding, as do many iconic mechs. Then again, with it’s 3 SRM launchers the Kintaro is also capable of one-shotting many other mechs on a decent roll. Past this it has access to specialist munitions that allow it to shut down heavier mechs with infernos or vehicle hunt with Tandem charge. It can add a lot to a company without being a burden.

        3. Owl

          On the other hand, there have also been a lot of stretches and usages of Mechs that would never be used the way they are described in the articles if they were real. For example, the Blackhawk/Nova was called a Bad Mech because firing all the guns would overheat it like a SOB but shouldn’t it be common sense NOT to fire everything if your heat scale is that high? Or the Ostscout where its sensors only work at slow speeds walking around like a blind man in a “scouting” mission (if the limits were true, then the correct operational usage would be to rush it to a spot, go to ground and use the sensors passively to trawl for data).

          There are bad mechs in terms of game mechanics, sure, but articles regarding bad mechs in “lore” often try to justify it by crafting scenarios that are totally one sided.

  9. Brian

    The KTO-19 has always been a simple fix. Throw the LRM 5 in the trash where it belongs, replace it with 2 more medium lasers, add CASE, and double heatsinks. Suddenly you’ve got the knife fighter that delivers the serious threat that you always wanted, in addition to being a solid NARC beacon platform.

  10. Eric Karau

    On the other hand, wouldn’t the design be good for “shoot-n-scoot” tactics? Fire the NARC beacon at a target, get away, and let the missile boats do their thing while moving on to the next target? The design is reasonably fast enough to do this, right? I’ve used the same tactics for the F3 variant of the Hollander!

  11. Matt Bowden

    Great work, team! I’m an emotionally mature adult human with better things to do that rage against internet articles about miniatures of stompy robots!

  12. Wolfbane2004

    The Kintaro as a ‘Mech…depends on who uses it and it purpose as it isn’t all around bad. It’s like the Rifleman – it has its purpose but even it’s original purpose wasn’t that well optimized. Heck, had the Terran Hegemony had access to the Commando or made a competitor to undercut Lyran manufacturing concerns, they could have had designed a more agile design to better utilize NARC beacons…and perhaps NOT use LRMs and focus on tagging, then peppering targets to soften them up for the Archers and Bombardiers.

    The KTO-18 downgrade is a good shotgun but it can’t open up targets on its own and as Yang Virtanen himself said, “It runs hotter than Hell’s saunas.” It really needed better heat management to fully utilize the triple SRM-6 loadout. Then the KTO-20 despite being a good performer for the DCMS…the design and the access to information the Combine was Comstar trying to keep the balance of power in its hands (though given the origin of the Primus of the time, Operation Rosebud could be open to interpretation).

    In some ways, the general design was just trying to do too much; be a scout, a brawler and a sandpaper dispenser. Since this isn’t Clan-spec, the LRM is really a waste of three tonnes (the Royal variant though…is interesting and frankly am surprised the Periphery has not tried making them during the Blakist temper tantrum like they did other Royal variants) and the design needed focus on one role and do that well.

    Unless we get something like the Regent for the mercenary market that can mimic the Kintaro variants, I don’t know if there will be much development in the ilClan era (especially since some Kit Fox and Adder configurations, available to several IS factions, can basically ape the Kintaro’s mission and provide point-blank LRM volleys).

  13. Cupra

    The only real bad for the Kintaro is that there is no new design till now.
    Agreed on “bad for its design goal”, otherwise a pretty capable mech, especially in “the best mech is the mech you have” kind of scenarios.

  14. Samuel Crosbie

    The basic model sucks. Yeah it’s a team player, but it’s too short ranged, and too slow l, for it’s intended purpose. The variants go a long distance to improve it, however. The Royal, I think, is my favorite. Yes, xl engines and ammo in your torsos isn’t always a good idea, but at least it has a little more ranged oomph.

  15. John Campbell

    The Kintaro’s basic problem is just that the Narc is a bad weapons system. It’s too heavy and bulky, too short-ranged, gets too few shots, and, most importantly, requires jumping through too many hoops for too small a benefit. Especially when there are other systems that provide the same benefit without all the hoop-jumping, with which it isn’t compatible.

    You have to have an awful lot of tubes backing a Narc up for it to be better than just having the SRM 6 you could’ve had instead and getting your extra missile hits out of just throwing more missiles. And that’s assuming you can even get a Narc stuck to something in the first place, which requires getting in to knife-fighting range and succeeding on an attack roll (and you can’t just throw Narcs at any possible to-hit number, because the bins are so small; you’ll probably run out of pods before you land one unless you pick your shots carefully), and even then it doesn’t take effect until the next turn, and relies on your backup having shots at *that specific target*. And not then shooting the Narced location off it.

    Or you can just bring LRM boats with their own integrated FCS, and it’ll Just Work.

    IDF without a spotter is a neat trick, but for a lot less resource investment (be it BV or C-Bills) than a Kintaro, you can just bring a spotter. Spotting hasn’t got a range limit, and doesn’t require the spotter to have succeeded on an attack roll on that specific target in a previous turn in anticipation of you wanting to IDF it.

    If you just ignore the Narc, it’s a solid, though kind of toasty, medium brawler.

  16. KCKitsune

    NARC pods are superior to TAG in only one situation, once it hits, it stays until that location is blown to Hades.

    TAG with Semi-guided LRMS will do the same thing, but at a longer range and you can call in Arrow IV. The downside is that you have to hit with it each turn. Also TAG can’t be jammed with ECM. Paint the target with the “Red Dot of DOOOOOM!!!” and watch the Arrow IV rain down.

    When my friend and I played Battletech, we used custom mechs. He built his using Clan Tech base, and I used Inner Sphere. We had to implement a rule that only 2 Arrow IV launchers could be used per side because I used LAMs with TAG and C3 Slaves to zip up and drop the rain.

  17. Michael

    A lot of the canon mechs with Narc Launcher are LRM boats, so the Kintaro tends to be one of the better mech if you want to use it. Most variants have significant heat issues, even for the succession wars era. I’d suggest pulling the LRM and using that tonnage for heat sinks. There is a bit of an oddity with the published materials: the earlier publications put both of the MLs in the right arm, but some of the newer ones have one ML in each arm.

    Personally, I don’t consider Narc relible enough for its costs. When I want to bring a Narc Beacon, I tend to use a Javelin variant with one of the SRMs replaced with a Narc. It’s cheap, fast and I won’t be tempted to keep it in the fight like I would be with the Kintaro.

  18. Michael

    I’m a big fan of the 55-ton weight class. The class is known for solid all-around mechs that are decently armed, decently armored, and move almost as fast as a bug mech. So I really want to like the Kintaro, but I just can’t. I don’t use the Narc all that much, in large part because we typically run smaller unit engagements, so I’m never fielding enough LRM fire support mechs to really make it decisive. If you have a lance of LRM carriers, whether Archers or Dervishes or whatever, I’m sure it’s devastating, but in a smaller engagement, the bonus it gets for other mech’s LRMs to hit just hasn’t been worth it to me.

    1. John Campbell

      The thing is, it really isn’t. Having enough tubes backing the Narc up is only the first of the many hoops you have to jump through to make Narc work effectively, and if you do manage to successfully negotiate all of the hoops, your reward, *if* you’re shooting at the right target, is just the same bonus you’d get from Artemis. And Artemis is a lot more reliable and straightforward to use.

    2. Craig

      The 55-ton segment is magical.

      It’s the last 5/8/5 without XL as a 60 tonner needs 1-ton jump jets. To see what happens look at the “Quickdraw” which could be fixed reducing to 55 tons, 2.5 tons more armor with no other changes. Both 60 and 55 using 5/8 result in 17 tons weapons.

      The Kintaro I don’t see as a “bad” mech but maybe a complementary one, such as a Zeus or Crusader (for different reasons). SRMs at the start of an engagement? Not good. SRMs after some holes are opened in armor? LETHAL.

  19. ambient Light

    As a Narc delivery system the Kintaro might be considered a ‘bad mech’. It’s simply too slow and lacks the reloads for it to effectively function in that role. However, as a brawler/bodyguard to LRM boats it can be quite effective at getting between friendly LRM boats and enemy targets that want to close the range and kill said LRM boats. It’s decently armed, has decent speed and is massively armored for a medium mech. It keeps targets pinned down long enough for the LRM boats to do their job.

  20. NARCS

    Any ‘mech identity based on running NARC is bad by definition, since NARD is bad by definition.

    Notice how later variants, instead of NARCing more, NARC less. But then the design is not special at all.
    “Just switch it with medium lasers, trust me bro”


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