User:Amaroq Starwind/Construction and Tactical Advice
Welcome to Construction and Tactical Advice, or CaTA for short. In this article, I will provide various bits of information regarding different units or pieces of technology in the BattleTech universe, along with some advice on how you can get the most out of them while staying within the confines of the rules.
In today's (or rather, tonight's) posting, I will discuss some flaws with the Sprite, and provide some insight as to how you can fix these.
What is the Sprite?
The Sprite is an UltraHeavy ProtoMech constructed by the Society, and to date it is the only ProtoMech with a mass of 15 Megagrams (aka Metric Tons). First, let's give it a quick run down: It has five Extended Jump Jets, a Fusion Engine that enables it to run at 54 km/h, and it carries four LRM-5 launchers, each with 12 Reloads. The rest of that mass is dedicated to armor.
So what's wrong with it?
Seems powerful for only a 15 ton mech (or in this case, a ProtoMech), but there's a few things wrong with it. Can you guess?
That's right. Mobility. This thing is pretty slow for a ProtoMech, especially considering that it doesn't even have a magnetic clamp to carry it around. What's more, it has long range weapons, but they are extremely dependent on what little ammunition they have, and there is a very high likelihood that some of those LRMs will miss their mark... And when the ProtoMech has to defend itself in close range, things aren't looking much better for it. Maybe we can help it out...
Time for some changes
Right off the bat, the first change I would suggest making is to reduce the number of the Extended Jump Jets to 3. Because each Extended Jump Jet is 300 kilograms, this alone saves us 600 kilograms. Now considering that a lack of mobility is the Sprite's greatest flaw, this might seen counterintuitive, but bear with me here.
Because the remaining Extended Jump Jets no longer need to push the mech beyond its Walk MP, they can be downgraded from Extended Jump Jets to Standard Jump Jets, thereby halving their mass from 900 kilograms to 450. In total. This gives us 1050 kilograms to work with. As a consequence of this, we are able to install a Partial Wing, which increases the Jump MP by 2 (in standard gravity/atmosphere) and thus makes up for the loss of the two Extended Jump Jets, for only 750 kilograms! This gives us 300 kilograms to work with (unless we are forced to round up in halftone increments with ProtoMechs like we are with BattleMechs, in which case we still saved 50 kilograms).
If you don't round up, then this 300 kilograms can be devoted to a ProtoMech Myomer Booster, raising the mech's running speed by a full Hex and... Uh-oh. It would seem we are now 75 kilograms overweight. Don't worry, we can fix this!
If we exchange both of the LRM-5's in the arms for Micro Pulse Lasers, this saves us a full 1000 kilograms (the ammunition is inherited by the remaining LRM launchers in the torso)... Until we remember that we need to devote 500 kilograms to heat sinks for those Micro Pulse Lasers. This still gives us 500 kilograms to work with, reduced to 425 kilograms because of our Partial Wing.
The remaining Tonnage can go to a Magnetic Clamp system and some additional ammunition for the remaining two LRM-5 launchers, extending the mech's survivability because of its increased ammunition supply, it's back-up weapons for close range, and now, it's ability to hitch a ride on friendly OmniMechs. Additionally, the slightly increased movement speed provided by the ProtoMech Myomer Booster enables it to get from place to place just a tad bit faster.
For a first run, I think we did a good job. Have fun with your new and improved Sprite. If you have any questions or want to point out flaws in my design (like construction rules I unknowingly violated), please let me know on this article's talk page.