The Technical Readout: 3060 shipped and like always I headed to my local gaming store to purchase my copy very soon after. I still remember looking over those units for the first time, and finding some that really stuck with me. Today I want to look at my four favorite BattleMechs from 3060, and then hear from you about your own.
What do you like in a BattleMech? What makes it work? Everyone’s playgroup will be different. I get that. If you run into a lot of missile boats, then an Anti-Missile System has an enhanced value to you. I’m not a fan of it normally. If you run into a lot of ECM warfare, then electrical enhancements, like Artemis IV are just dead weight in a lot of situations. So what do I like in a BattleMech? Let’s take a look and see!
Viking – Let’s go ahead and start with my favorite BattleMech from the Technical Readout, shall we? My friend, the 90 ton assault class Viking, a combination ComStar and Free Rasalhague Republic force. This is a great missile boat for your army – it sports two LRM20s, and two LRM15s as well – launching a full 70 missiles down field each round. With Artemis IV fire support, it can really blow out an enemy unit. It has a largely redundant quartet of machine guns and a pair of small lasers as close range stuff in case someone gets a little too big for their britches and tries to close. Avoiding the problems that can come with an XL engine, particularly in a unit with so many ammo critical slots (threatening an explosion that would shut down the ‘Mech), the Viking even has a strong amount of armor for those that want to return fire – a full 15.5 tons. It’s one of the best missile boats ever made, and it will not just exploit open areas on units, but it peppers armor itself!
Eagle – When playing I’ve found the Eagle to be a strong and reliable design in a few major roles. 5/8/5 movement is very respectable for a light ‘Mech, because you can always jump to get +3 to be hit if you need it, or else you can just walk +2 or run +3, so you have options to make it harder to hit you than it is to hit others. That’s what you want. In addition to that, we have an ER Large Laser to give the unit a long range bite, and an ER Medium to back it up. You can leap around, finding the right spot to fire off a few lasers. And then don’t forget that is has max armor as well. I like to use it as anything from a traditional scouting role to a flanking force that pushes heavier units or even a supplement to a long-range position where it can head out quickly to deal with anybody who comes close. That’s a good BattleMech, right? And then it has TAG as well, so you can paint stuff for future damage from other units in the right lance. I often don’t even bother. It has enough weaponry, range, armor, and movement to suffice for a 25 ton guy, and when you need it, TAG comes a-calling!
Shugenja – I’ve never a super big fan of XL engines. They work in the right circumstances and for the perfect unit, but otherwise, I prefer a unit with survivability. Particularly when it’s low on armor or tends to explode. That’s why the Shugenja is a strong choice. It’s a larger unit that uses the XL engine to give it enough room for a solid allotment of long range of weaponry – that ER PPC plus the pair of Large Lasers – all energy weapons that don’t rely on ammo – and a strong MRM 30 launcher to fill in a medium range role and to ward off any smaller units from getting too comfortable. Meanwhile the heavy BattleMech sports 13 tons of ferro armor, so it has pretty good protection. It addition, it has the valuable C3 Master unit, so it provides two roles. It’s a good long-range ‘Mech that can sit back and snipe at folks, while also providing the Master for a C3 equipped lance. That combination, along with the strong armor it affords, is a powerful combination for your unit. I use them a lot, and have gotten great results.
Buccaneer – I don’t generally like an XL Engine on a unit that wants to close. It’s prone to getting hit overly much. And the Buccaneer definitely wants to close, so it can connect with its medium and short range weaponry. Other than the ER Large Laser, it doesn’t include any long range weapons. Now you can rock a quartet of Medium Lasers, a random Medium Pulse Laser, and an SRM 6 (with Artemis) for short range fun, and that’s in addition to the hatchet that forces you to close, and gives you a good reason to do so! Don’t forget that unit has great armor – 10 tons of ferro on a 55 ton ‘Mech is virtually maxed out. And the weapons load doesn’t require more heat sinks. Your base 10  can deal with the heat from all five lasers, and your SRM 6 (You make just over 20 heat with your movement as well). So the unit works from all of those angles. But what XL engine gives you is an unusual way to use it. You have a crazy 6/9 movement. That lets you stab in there quickly from way outside of its normal range to hit quickly and powerfully. You can run 8 or 9 hexes, close with a BattleMech, and then carve into it with your weapons. You have the potential for a strong hit and fade tactic if you want, or you can stay and fight for a few turns, with the flexibility that battle requires. I’ve found myself using it in a variety of roles. But my favorite is to snipe with the XL Laser and position my ‘Mech to make a running and basing attack on the flank or rear of a unit and then just devastate it. This thing puts the fear of Blake into you.
So there are my four favorite Inner Sphere BattleMechs from 3060. What are yours?