Alpha Strike (tactic)

This article is about the attack maneuver. For other uses, see Alpha Strike (disambiguation).
A depiction of an "alpha strike"

An "alpha strike" is when a BattleMech (or other unit) attacks with all of its weapons at the same time.

While powerful, it has drawbacks depending on the circumstances (and ruleset used). As such, using an "alpha strike" is often considered risky, reckless, or an action of last resort.


Under regular BattleTech board game rules, firing all weapons is often inefficient because the individual weapons may have different, even mutually exclusive range brackets; it may also dramatically raise the internal heat level, to the point of enforcing a shutdown from overheating.

In the BattleTech Trading Card Game, an Alpha Strike was referred to in the manual as an attack where the unit completely exhausted all its autocannon ammo. This increased the unit's attack, but caused it to be depleted afterward.

In MechWarrior: Dark Age and Age of Destruction the effect is far greater: while increasing the damage value of its attack by the number of clicks the 'Mech has left until shutdown, the 'Mech shutdown is automatic, exposing it to powerful counterattacks.