Battletech: Mech Overview: Awesome

Howdy, and welcome back. The Awesome was for a very long time the mech that I considered the ultimate ideal of the assault mech, perfect and resplendent in its glory. It is a hideous slab of metal with all of the grace and refinement of a cement mixer and half of one’s charisma. It is an iconic mech of the Free Worlds League, and is the second greatest mech that House Marik gave the rest of us. It is a blunt instrument and is very beginner friendly. It’s simplicity is probably why it is in the A Game of Armored Combat box, and I love it very much. So, lets talk about it.

Battletech Awesome. Credit: 40khamslam.

This is pretty Awesome, but it burns when I PPC

A quick note before we carry on, and absolutely not just an excuse to use that ancient, ancient Battletech joke as a section header, the Awesome is one of those mechs that has a few running trends/sub categories throughout it’s variants. It is mostly an Inner Sphere tech mech, and generally it can be divided between PPC variants and LRM variants. The mech’s identity is primarily as a fire support mech, and I am adding this section mostly just to say that the Awesome commits harder to having one single identity across all variants than most mechs bother to.

No matter which Awesome you pick, they all share a few common traits and tactics. They all are completely addicted to hills and dense woods. The Awesome is fairly slow, even at its fastest, as a fire support mech should be. Therefore, your main goal when using an Awesome should be to find a good hill, preferably with some nice, thick woods for it to sit in, and camp it there the whole game. Movement is for other, lesser mechs, The Awesome is basically a rolling, semi-mobile turret and should be treated as such. It can’t really reposition or get new angles, lacking jump jets or significant speed, so it needs to find a commanding position with good line of sight, or it will be outmaneuvered and shot in the back until it dies.

Awesome’s are also big on the buddy system, and really enjoy having some sort of light mech hunter or quick response type mech lurking behind them, ready to swat anything that tries to get too close to them. In 3025 I love using a Javelin for this, but in later periods most light mechs with pulse lasers make good buddies for the Awesome.

Overall the Awesome is a bit of a one note mech, but as we will see with the variants, that one note is usually a really, really good one.



The 8Q is pretty awesome, and dead simple. It is 1605 BV, kinda high, but you get good armor and 3 PPCs, with enough heat sinks to fall into a very comfortable firing pattern while standing still, firing 3 PPCs the first turn, 3 on the second turn, and then 2 on the third turn, repeating the cycle to keep heat under control. The use case is dead simple, just sit in a woodline and DPS from medium-long range. It also has no ammo or anything that would explode, making it quite a lot tougher than you might think. I give it a solid B, it is a pretty reasonable price for it’s firepower, and is mostly let down because of the existence of better Awesomes.


The 8R is less awesome, being the first of the LRM variants, a category mostly let down by Inner Sphere LRM’s being mostly bad weapons. That said, at 1470 it comes cheap for an assault mech, carrying the same armor as the 8Q and replacing all weapons with 2 LRM-15s and a single large laser. This is a pretty reasonable amount of missile, but there are two major problems with the 8R. The first is that it is massively over-sinked, generating only 18 heat while bunkered up and standing still, but being capable of sinking 28. This means that it is wasting quite a lot of tonnage on extraneous heat sinks. It also carries all of it’s LRM ammo in the center torso, which is really, deeply unfortunate and tends to cause explosions. I give it a C, it comes cheap at about 100 more than a C1 Catapult, trading mobility for armor, but there are simply better LRM boats out there. Like the C1 Catapult.

Legion of Vega Awesome. Credit: SRM


For an example of a better LRM mech, look no further than the 8T. The 8T is slightly more awesome than the 8R, being identical save for trading 5 of the extra, useless heatsinks for an additional large laser. It still has the same missile punch, and the same ammo bomb, but defends itself better up close with that extra large laser. It is pricier at 1593, which is a shitload to pay for 2 LRM-15s with only 2 tons of ammo total. A 5N Trebuchet has the same missile punch with 2 LRM-15s, marginally worse short range defense, less armor, more speed, and is significantly cheaper at 1191. I value this slightly higher than the 8R with a C+, but it is still just a ton to pay for this many LRMs.


The 8V is a weird bastard child of an 8Q and an 8R, having one LRM-15, one PPC, and one large laser. At 1510 BV this is kind of bad, as it doesn’t really commit to any one of it’s weapons and ends up just spending a ton of money to sorta be a less awesome version of both of those mechs. If you are looking for something flexible in this vein, the 1K Orion, also know as House Marik’s greatest gift to the Inner Sphere, will do this better. D+.


The 9M is an awkward and somewhat disappointing upgrade. Costing a pretty high 1810, it is not really awesome for it’s price, carrying 3 ER PPCs (a weapon that I generally find far too expensive of an upgrade over the standard PPC), a medium pulse laser, a small pulse laser, and 2 streak SRM-2s. It does basically the exact same thing as the 8Q out to a longer range, which is valuable, but I don’t really find this to be as significant an upgrade as some. It mostly gains secondary weapons, which are somewhat irrelevant to the intended use of the Awesome, and it has to use an XL engine to fit all of this, which makes the mech far more brittle and easy to kill. I personally don’t really mind XL engines….. except on assault mechs, because assault mechs are a significant BV investment and anything that makes them easier to kill is in my opinion a downside. Another downside is that despite being a heat heavy and energy focused mech the Streak SRM ammo can still explode and kill it, giving it all of the downsides of an ammo using mech while also having the price of an energy focused mech. C, its still a pretty decent high tech assault mech, just less awesome than other choices.


This is another drone mech from the same narrative pack, Necromo Nightmare, as the Vindicator drone mech. Go play Necromo Nightmare, it’s a really awesome narrative scenario if you have the right GM for it.


The 9Q is incredibly awesome. It is another advanced tech upgrade of the Awesome, but rather than adding expensive high tech weapons, explosive ammo, and useless backup weapons, the 9Q costs 1875 and carries 4 basic PPCs, enough heat sinks to do a 4/4/3 firing pattern with them, and an ECM suite if you feel like using those rules. It is the most blunt instrument-y of the blunt instruments, and it is well worth the extra price over an 8Q Awesome. 40 damage at long range is no joke, and this is up there with the Thunder Hawk for being my favorite fire support mech. I give it a solid A-, it will rarely disappoint and can often be found hanging out at the back of my forces, DPSing all day.


The 10KM is an odd beast, though many would argue it is more awesome than the 9Q. It carries a bunch of space saving equipment to let it jam in two heavy PPCs, a snub nosed PPC, and a decent amount of heat sinks. Also the ECM suite is still there if you are into that. This gives it the same range and total damage on an alpha strike as an 8Q, but gives it two chances per turn to head chop, or take a mech’s head off with one shot, killing them instantly. Heavy PPCs are heinously destructive weapons. In addition, the Snub PPC can chip in every other turn, adding some damage that ramps up as the enemy gets closer to you. I quite like this mech, at 1961 it is pretty expensive, but it does OK on the Thunder Hawk-Hellstar scale of headchopper efficiency. I give it a B+, it is massively destructive but a bit harder to use than a 9Q.


The 11H is an IlClan mech, and you can tell because it is fucking awesome. The mech variants from the IlClan rec-guide books are some of the best mechs in the game, as they are competently designed and frequently horrifying. The 11H is 2036 BV and is an absolute fucking steal for that price. It is laid out very similarly to the 8Q Awesome in terms of armor and components, but replaces the PPCs with three heavy PPCs, and uses Clan grade Double Heat Sinks to allow it to be completely and totally heat neutral while firing them. That is 3 headchoppers, as as it carries 3 headchoppers and as it is cheaper than the Thunder Hawk, my previous favorite way to carry 3 headchoppers into a game, I give this the title of “Overly Efficient Hell-Mech”. It will wreck face and never disappoint you. I give it an A+, genuinely fantastic mech that makes good use of it’s BV as long as you can keep it safe from light mechs that try to eat it alive up close.

Wolf’s Dragoons Awesome. Credit: Jack Hunter


The 11M is a bit of a meme mech, but it is pretty awesome at it. Rather than carrying 4 normal PPCs, it instead carries 8 light PPCs with Capacitors. This sounds really cool, the problem is Heat. This mech requires you to do a ton of work to not cook the pilot alive, and I generally hate PPC capacitors with a passion and this is no exception. It is funny as hell to see 8 identical weapons on a mech’s record sheet, but I genuinely think this is a pure meme-mech and shouldn’t be used. D.


The 11R is a piece of shit. It is not very awesome and I hate it. It costs 1878 BV, and has many, many, many sins. It has stealth armor, which is cool and all but it doesn’t have enough heat sinks to make good use of it. It has an Extended LRM-15, which is a piece of shit weapon, a normal LRM-15, a light gauss rifle, which is a piece of shit weapon, and an ER medium laser. It costs too much, does underwhelming amount of damage, and just is a disappointing and complicated mess of a mech. It is very similar to the 11V, which is the next mech, and is bad for the same reasons. I hate it. F.


I am not going to rupture a Blood Vessel talking about the 11V again. Here is a link to where we talked about it in a recent article. Suffice to say that the mech is bad and it made me want to die talking about it. F.


The C variant is one of those clan-grade rebuilds of Inner Sphere mechs that I am usually pretty high on. The C carries the same armor as any other Awesome, but replaces the weapons with 4 Clan grade ER PPCs and enough heat-sinks to get a pretty reasonable firing pattern going, firing all 4 the first turn and then alternating between 3 and 4 shots. For 2707 BV it is expensive, but it is a more efficient 4 ER PPCs than a Masakari, and comes 300 BV cheaper than the Hellstar, which carries the same load of ER PPC, though the Hellstar has a few other things going for it, like perfect heat efficiency, more armor, and more speed. This is pretty good, but I like the 11H better personally. B+.


The Buck is a special character variant with the same weapons as a normal 8Q Awesome, but substantially more speed, moving 5/8 instead of the standard 3/5. It costs 1787 and is a pretty funny variant, but I am not super fond of it because it costs more without really doing the fire support thing much better. It has a place in a faster formation though. C.


I cannot for the life of me find a record sheet for this thing, but according to Sarna it is identical to an 8Q with a weapon swap to 2 Clan ER PPCs and a Clan ultra AC/5. It costs 2166 and seems fine, assuming there isn’t anything else hiding in the record sheet. C+.


Confusingly a special character version instead of a normal variant, the 9Ma is basically a 9M with some command equipment. Cool for campaigns but it doesn’t make much of a difference without advanced rules. C.


The Klatt costs 1805 BV and is exactly the same as the 9Q, just carrying a C3 Slave unit. This is pretty good, C3 mechs with PPCs are almost always good and I love the 9Q a lot. For a C3 lance this is a great payoff, A there, B+ otherwise.


Also a weirdly hard mech to find a record sheet for, the Cameron seems decent. It replaces the heavy PPCs with clan ER PPCs and adds a bunch of armored components, a C3i computer, and a Targeting computer. For 2466 BV there is a lot of power here. I think in most forces this would be a B+ to A- depending on taste, but in a C3i force this is one of the better mechs that carries one, probably an A+ and capable of doing heinous things with the right C3i setup.

Federated Commonwealth RCT Awesome. Credit: Jack Hunter


The Awesome is pretty fucking awesome. I love it to pieces and the majority of variants (other than the dogshit extended LRM ones) are at worse solid and at best they are pretty phenomenal. The Awesome does a ton of damage out to a good range for a reasonable price, and it is the pinnacle of boring, solid assault mech design. I love it and will hear no slander. I am a massive Banshee simp in the modern day but the Awesome is another barn door shaped friend. I feel bad every time I start setting up for a game and leave mine in the case, and I don’t consider a new force ready or done until it has at least one Awesome in it. You can never go wrong using it, and it is probably tied for “Best mech in the starter box” with the Thunderbolt and Catapult. Anyway, mech good, run mech, cheers.