Battletech: Mech Overview: Commando

Howdy and welcome to another Mech Overview. The Commando is the other, less iconic light mech in the A Game of Armored Combat box. It has a special place in my heart due to Mechwarrior Online, where it acted as an excellent bootleg Javelin before they added the Javelin. The Commando is a 25 ton goober with a cool appearance, some strange design choices, and a price that is, as it turns out, surprisingly easy to beat.

Lyran Commonwealth Commando. Credit: SRM
Lyran Commonwealth Commando. Credit: SRM

In universe the Commando is an iconically Lyran mech, pretty strongly associated with them in a similar vein to the Awesome being a mostly Marik mech. All factions use all mechs in some numbers, but it can be fun to theme a force every once in a while, and as a huge fan of Lyran equipment and mech designs in general, I really need to get a few more Commandos to do some Lyran Guard with. Anyway, enough fluff, lets talk about the variants.

The Commando is less consistent in its variants than something like the Locust. While the Locust was pretty hard focused on being a fast, short ranged loser, the Commando has a couple of themes running through it. There are two main subtypes of Commando, those being the SRM Commandos, and the large laser Commandos. It is consistently pretty overgunned, slow, and dirt cheap. The base variant is the 2D, so let’s start there.

Table of Contents



The first thing that jumps out to you when you look at the 2D is it’s sheer lack of armor. With thinner armor than a Locust, it is brittle to an extreme and tends to evaporate when anything bigger than it looks in it’s direction. It comes in at 541 BV and moves 6/9/0, pretty slow and un-maneuverable for it’s 25 ton weight. In terms of weaponry it is fairly well armed, with an SRM-4, an SRM-6, and a medium laser. This is fairly heavy damage for a mech this light and cheap, but in my opinion the short range of these weapons combined with the slow movement and fragility of the Commando kind of kill it. The 2D Commando is in a small and exclusive club of mechs that have less than 9 head armor points, only having 6. This means that it can be one hit killed by a PPC or AC-10. It isn’t great. I still personally like it better than the basic, stock Locust 1V, but only just. Still a D+.


The 1A Commando is a primitive technology mech. It is deeply not worth using and costs far too much for it’s terrible, terrible stats. F. I wish they would just cut the price on all primitive tech mechs by like 30%, they are deeply unusable at the price they ask for and no matter what era you are playing you do not want to have them.


The 1AK is another primitive tech version. It is essentially a worse, slower, less consistent 2D. It does have 9 points of head armor though, which is cool? F+.


The 1B is the first variant of the Commando that is really worth talking about. Coming in at 616 BV, the 1B has identical armor and speed to the 2D. Where it differs is in it’s weapons. It carries a large laser, an SRM-2, and a medium laser. I am generally not a fan of these sorts of fast sniper mechs, and this is no exception. The Commando 2D is made of glass and is too slow for it’s own good, and giving it a mid-ranged weapon really doesn’t help it very much, particularly not for a price hike on what is already a fairly overcosted light mech. Not a fan. D.


I have the extreme urge to just fill this text box with the word “Lmao” in the largest text possible to me. The Commando 1C might in fact be the single greatest way to waste 458 BV in the entire game. It manages to turn a somewhat overcosted and mediocre base mech into one of the absolute worse piles of trash in the entire game. So, it is identical in every way to the 2D, which is already not great, but it trades both SRM racks for the mighty, powerful, all consuming AC/2. The AC/2 is in the running for the worse weapon in the game, and by a lot. 2 damage is just not enough to make a difference on it’s own, and the weight of the weapon means that any mech that mounts AC/2s only has 1-4 of them, which is just bluntly not enough damage. The one advantage of the AC/2 is it’s long range, but, well, see the above for my feelings on fast snipers. I cannot stress enough how pathetic the damage on this mech is. It has a lower alpha strike than a 1V Locust, with less armor and less speed. Don’t use this mech. F-, complete waste of BV.


The 2Dr is an interesting mech. Costing 563 BV, it is slightly more expensive. It has the same movement and armor as the 2D, but trades the missile launchers for an MML-7 with 2 tons of ammo. MMLs are pretty decent if you have both ammo types, being able to fire both LRMs and SRMs. The ideal is to fire the LRMs at long range, swapping to SRMs once you are within about 6 hexes to optimize your damage. This is effectively a Commando that trades a moderate amount of short ranged damage for some long range striking capabilities. I think that the trade off here is worth it, and I like this a bit more than the 2D. The extra striking capabilities at long range help it pitch in, but unlike your standard light sniper it is still 100% intended as a short ranged mech, as it does much more damage once you get there. I love MMLs in general due to the flexibility they give you, and this is an alright caddy for one. C.


The 3A is a weird sidegrade. It trades a single ton of the 2D’s already extremely limited armor to upgrade the SRM-4 to an SRM-6 and add a single Flamer. It costs around the same amount at 540, and is bad. Trading even more armor for more damage 100% does not fix the problem with the Commando, which is it’s terminal lack of survivability. D.


Commando 4H my beloved. The 4H is the result of someone looking at the basic 2D and deciding that it wasn’t suicidal enough. Identical to the 2D in movement and armor, the 4H trades all SRMs for 6 RL-15s. RLs, or Rocket Launchers, are single use missile packs that deal 1 point of damage per missile. That is 90 damage. For 691 BV it isn’t a fantastic use of BV, but 90 potential damage is 90 potential damage. It will probably average around 50 ish damage, after cluster hits, but still. Lots of damage for a small mech. I love this thing and take it regularly. It usually gets to shoot exactly one time, and if you manage to get a good shot with it and get behind something, it can do horrifying things to any other mech in the game. It isn’t really that good, but it is a ton of fun and having the option to burn 700 BV to instantly core out the rear torso of an assault mech is sometimes very valuable. C-, sort of the same as any other Commando in practical use but very fun.

Battletech Commando. Credit: 40khamslam.


The Commando 5S is a high tech alleged upgrade to the 2D. It costs 557 BV, and has worse armor. It trades the SRM-4 for a streak SRM-2 and upgrades the SRM-6 to have Artemis IV, a nice upgrade but a bit of a net neutral in terms of DPS. The most confusing part of this mech is that the SRM-6 ammo has been doubled to 30 fucking shots, and if a Commando manages to live to shoot even 10 times in a combat it’s pilot deserves a fucking Medal of Honor. It is insanely fragile and borderline suicidal to drive, and having this much ammo is completely baffling. It isn’t any better than the 2D. D+.


The Commando 7S is a high tech actual upgrade on the 2D. Carrying about the same amount of armor, though weirdly shifted around, it updates the weaponry to 2 ER medium lasers, 2 streak SRM-2s, and an SRM-4 with Artemis IV. This is a pretty good upgrade, actually doing more potential damage than the 2D and being much, much more consistent. It does have one major sin, which is that it has one fewer point of head armor. This opens it up to being headchopped by a large laser, which is an annoying breakpoint. For 658 BV I kinda like this compared to the other Commandos, but considering it on a scale of all light mechs it isn’t really great. C-.


The Commando 7B seems like an ok upgrade, but actually kinda sucks. It finally goes up to 9 points of head armor, being like a normal mech in that respect. That is the last positive thing I have to say about it. It moves 6/9/4 for some reason, which is a really awful amount to jump. Some jump jets is better than no jump jets, but 4 is just an awkward number as you are not fast enough to get a +3 TMM while jumping with it. It trades the decent weapon loadout of the 7S for a single ER medium laser, 2 basic SRM-4s, and 2 flamers. This is a downgrade from the 7S, but it does at least have a fluff reason for being worse. The 7B was designed by the Word of Blake as a terror/counter insurgency weapon, using it’s flamers to roast infantry and soft targets and the swap away from Artemis IV allowing the SRMs to load inferno ammo. This is a war crimes wagon for roasting people who can’t fight back, and that is pretty fucking grim. It also has a small cockpit, because fuck you. The small cockpit basically gives you a couple of extra tons, but gives you a 1 point penalty to all piloting checks. I hate this. A lot. Small Cockpits are equivalent to downgrading your pilot to a 4/6, but you don’t get the BV discount. For 602 BV I can’t recommend this unless you are using it to roast infantry, in which case I would recommend a Javelin as a better inferno ammunition caddy. D.


This variant exists according to the Master Unit List, but has no record sheet. According to Sarna it is likely the same as the Commando 7X from Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries. If it had a record sheet, it would trade the SRM-4 on the 2D for 2 extra medium lasers, which is a sort of ok trade. But it has no canonical record sheet. So, uh, N/A for it’s rating.


The 8S has similar armor to the 7S, and is pretty interesting. It is the first Commando variant to move faster than 6/9, with a move speed of 7/11(14)/0. That 14 hex sprint using a Supercharger is pretty rad, and lets it get where it needs to be pretty quickly. I am not a huge fan of fast light mechs with no jump jets, but this isn’t terrible movement. It carries 2 ER medium lasers and 2 streak SRM-2s, which is a sort of ok mix of weapons. Where the 8S has a niche is in it’s C3 slave system. It acts as a decent spotter for a C3 force, though at 775 it is still really expensive and somewhat fragile for it’s price. I like it for the C3 systems, but there are other mechs I would pick as a spotter before this one. C.


The 9S is very similar to the 8S, maintaining the boosted movement speed and better armor. It carries 2 MML-3s, a light PPC, and two one-shot SRM-2s. One-shot SRMs are fucking terrible and a bit of a waste of BV and tonnage, the MML-3s are sort of ok but just not great when firing LRMs due to their extremely small clusters, and as for the light PPC, I have made my distaste for fast sniper mechs abundantly clear in this article and in other articles in this series. It is a bad design philosophy for most games of Battletech you will ever play and it is incredibly wasteful of BV. I give this a D, it is not completely terrible but for 775 you could just have better mechs in this role, like most Panthers or Clints.

Federated Commonwealth RCT Commando. Credit: Jack Hunter

7S2 (Freyr)

Hell yeah. The Freyr is incredibly expensive at 1155, the same price as a low end clan mech, and it is that for a reason. It upgrades almost all components to clan grade, and upgrades to hardened armor. Hardened armor halves the damage you take, meaning that the 7S2 has effectively twice the armor of a standard Commando. The weapons it carries are two clan grade ER medium lasers and 2 clan grade Streak SRM-4s. This is quite a lot of damage to be coming out of such a small mech. In addition, it has a movement profile of 6/8/6, having full jump jets which is a hell of a rare thing for a Commando to have. 1155 is way too much to be paying for this mech, but it is pretty damn cool and I think there are worse things to spend the BV on. There are much better things though. Lots of them. C-.


Yeah so the Commando mostly sucks. I am not a huge fan of the majority of light mechs, and the Commando just kind of fails at being a light mech. It is slow, underarmored, and not really well enough armed to make up for either of those failings. I am kind of heartbroken by this, as I have always loved the Commando to pieces for it’s cool appearance and general vibes, but every variant is 100-200 BV too expensive for what you are really getting. If you want an SRM-focused light mech that does the exact same thing much better, get a Javelin. You can never go wrong with a Javelin.