BattleTech: Mech Overview: Conjurer/Hellhound

Howdy everyone and welcome back to Mech Overview. This week we are continuing our look at the Striker Star with the Conjurer and/or Hellhound! The Conjurer is more or less the Wolverine IIC, it just isn’t called that because everyone in Clan space goes completely feral if you mention Wolverines or the state of Minnesota around them. I love Wolverines, my favorite of the 55 ton trio, and the Clan Wolverine, not to be confused with the Wolverine Clan, is one that I use a lot.

Clan Sea Fox ilKhanate Conjurer. Credit: Jack Hunter


The Wolverine IIC is one of the first wave of IIC mechs from the early days of BattleTech, a contemporary of the Mad Cat and Goshawk. It isn’t an Omni-Mech so variants can be wildly different than the base model. The Conjurer weighs 50 tons and has a general identity as a flexible trooper mech with a bit of a bias towards short ranged firepower. Writing this before taking a look at every variant in depth, I use the base variant Conjurer quite a lot but haven’t ever really bothered with the variants. It has been disappointing me a bit lately compared to the other members of the Striker Star though, so hopefully I can find a variant that can keep up with the rest of the box a little bit better.


These mechs have all been reviewed based on a standard F through S scale, which you can find described on our landing page here (along with all of our other ‘mech reviews, the name of the box you can buy to get any of the mechs we have covered, and our general methodology).

Conjurer Standard

The base model Conjurer costs 1813 BV and is basically the -1 version of the Goshawk. It moves 6/9/6 and carries decent armor, it isn’t winning an award for either but it is generally enough movement and enough armor to get by. For weaponry it has the almighty clan large pulse laser, 2 ER medium lasers, and 2 streak SRM-2s. It manages heat alright but it does build movement heat and in my experience using it it heats up more than you would expect it to in practice. An important note is that the Conjurer doesn’t have an XL engine, it has a standard engine. It tends to last longer than most mechs this speed due to that, and I haven’t ever personally seen one die to engine crits. This is the Conjurer that I typically use, more out of inertia and experience with it than anything else. It is a bit pricy for what you are getting but it fits in well with other 6/9 mechs. Easily the most mediocre base variant out of the entire Striker Star, but on its own it can usually outgun anything faster than it and outrun anything with more guns.

RATING: The very definition of a C. Completely fine but unexciting.

Hellhound 2

Immediately diverging wildly into a very different kind of mech, the Hellhound 2 takes an XL engine and uses that extra tonnage to upgrade almost everything else on the mech. At a steep 2097 BV you get a 7/11/7 medium with more armor than the standard model and a very good set of weapons. It carries 2 medium pulse lasers with targeting computer and an ATM-9. ATMs are great weapons and those pulse lasers are very consistent with their -3 to hit bonus. It is a slightly mediocre amount of damage for almost 2100 BV, but 7/11/7 is an incredible level of mobility, consistently building a +4 TMM. Combine that high TMM with the pretty good armor for a medium mech, a pair of very consistent weapons and the occasional insane damage spikes from ATMs and you have a mech that can easily make its BV back.

I am actually shocked that I have never used this thing before, it has a lot of traits that I really like. It is also heat neutral at a run, which is a nice change of pace from the annoyingly slightly off heat management of the standard model. I am going to start using this one. 300 BV is a lot to find in a lot of forces but the Hellhound 2 is fast enough to pick all of its fights and get away from anything that can threaten it. It is hard to overstate just how powerful being 7/11/7 with this level of armor and gun is, these are speeds usually reserved for light mechs with maybe a pair of medium lasers or a single SRM-6.


Conjurer 3

Costing 1764 BV, the Conjurer 3 has identical structural components and speed to the standard model. It trades the weaponry out for 2 medium heavy lasers and an ER large laser. It also carries a targeting computer for accuracy and only builds movement heat with a running alpha strike, meaning it is ice cold at long range when you are skirmishing with the ER large. I think this is a bit of a wash with the standard model, you save some BV and get a few more 10 damage hits, but lose a bit of accuracy and the missiles. The mech is fine and 30 damage is fine for the BV, but I just can’t get excited about a 1750 BV mech with 3 mediocre lasers.


Hellhound 4

A slight variation on what we have seen so far, the 4 costs 2164 BV and makes a lot of very interesting changes. We once again have an XL engine, trading durability for extra space, and the same armor and speed as the Standard. That extra space goes into a lot of guns, with the most intense weapon load that we have seen on a Hellhound so far. It carries 4 medium heavy lasers, a medium pulse laser, 2 streak SRM-6s, 2 light machine guns, and a targeting computer. It has enough heat sinks to only build movement heat when blasting with the heavy lasers, or to be heat neutral dropping 2 of them for the rest of the weapons. You are getting a decent BV rebate from heat here, and 40 points of damage in 10 point groups is about average on rate at 2200 BV.

You have good hole punchers with the heavy lasers, good crit seeking with the streaks and LMGs, and a decent, high accuracy fallback weapon you can swap in against fast moving targets. If this gets behind an enemy mech it will do horrible things to it. It is a bit slow for a flanker, but against the 4/6 heavies and assaults that consistently fill tables, at least locally, it shouldn’t have too many issues finding something it can backstab. This is another high quality variant, functioning as a more focused and higher damage remix of the 3. I do like the 2 a bit more, 7/11/7 speed is a huge deal, but if you want higher damage and think you can play around the lower TMMs this is a good option.


Conjurer 5

Costing 1722 BV, the Conjurer 5 is a remix of the Standard model. It only changes out the guns, swapping out for 2 ER medium lasers and 2 ATM-6s. ATMs are fantastic weapons and this is a cheap, reasonably fast caddy for a couple of them. It only has 2 tons of ammo, one in each arm, though, which really hurts it. I would load standard and HE, though I could see an argument for ER and HE instead. The 2 is significantly better, but at 1700 BV the 5 is a lot easier to squeeze into forces. If you have the BV, take the 2, but if you need to cut back for other mechs, the 5 can fill the same role, even if it is quite a bit worst at it.


Conjurer of Clan Smoke Jaguar (Photo courtesy of Musterkrux)

Hellhound 6

The Hellhound 6 is a weird one. Costing an upsetting 2223 BV, it has the same armor as the standard model but loses the jump jets and has an XL engine for more space. For weaponry the 6 carries an ER PPC, 3 ER medium lasers, an ER medium pulse laser for some fucking reason, and an LRM-10. The mech is also nearly heat neutral with a frankly excessive 19 double heat sinks, sinking 38 fucking heat. It is heat neutral at a run firing everything but the ER MPL, and it just doesn’t have enough gun for the price. At 2223 BV you can usually get a pair of ER PPCs, or a whole hell of a lot of close range weapons.

Taking a bit of both and then building the mech to fire all of them at the same time is confusing, deeply suboptimal, and creates a mech that wants to be an all purpose trooper but costs so much that the traditional advantage of troopers, low price compared to having a mech for each role, just isn’t the case here. For 2223 BV you can easily get a headchopper and good close ranged weapons on a couple of medium mechs, giving you all of the initiative and durability advantages of having more mechs. Something like a Hollander II and a Wraith would only cost slightly more but would have way more utility, the ability to project threat on more parts of the board, and would be less vulnerable to losing 2200 BV to a single unlucky crit. If it traded off the ER MPL and some heat sinks for jump jets it would be a lot better, but as is it is just not worth the price tag.


Conjurer 7

The 7 is literally just the Standard but instead of 2 Streak SRM-2s it has 2 LRM-5s. In my opinion this is slightly worse, but it is really a matter of personal preference.


Hellhound 8

Oh boy howdy do I love the Wolf Empire. I love Alaric Ward, our perfect and glorious leader. I love our powerful and in no way horrible BattleMechs. I love the design philosophy that more advanced technology is always better. I love 5/8/x mechs with MASC so that they hit the +4 TMM breakpoint and cost a metric fuckload without earning that BV through actual practical utility. Keresnky bless the Wolf Empire and nowhere else!

Much like the Wolf’s Dragoons, nearly every single fucking Wolf Empire BattleMech is terrible. They are all fucking appallingly bad and they hurt every part of my soul every time I have to look at one. For 2197 BV, so 2200, the Hellhound 8 moves 5/8[10]/5, one of the single worst movement profiles in the entire game only rivaled by 4/5[7]/0 and 3/4[5]/0 (Hardened Armor is a hell of a drug). To explain why, let’s have a brief refresher on BV breakpoints.

For every point of TMM that a mech can generate, you pay extra BV. The practical movement distances where you get an extra point of TMM are 3 hexes, 5 hexes, 7 hexes, and 10 hexes. Technically you can get more, but the overwhelming majority of mechs cap out with that 10 hex breakpoint. So if you are 2/3/0, you can build 1 TMM and pay for that 1 TMM with a percentage increase to the cost of all components. At 3/5/0, you can build a 2, and pay for 2. A few interesting and important notes here. If you have a maximum speed the same as one of those TMM breakpoints, so a max speed of 3, 5, 7, or 10, you can only get that TMM if you move in a straight line across open ground for your entire movement phase. Despite that, you still pay the full amount for that TMM, even though it is very hard to build. Being 4/6/0 is way better than being 3/5/0 because it lets you turn, enter woods, or change elevations once before you lose that +2 TMM. 6/9/0 is a good movement speed because you have 2 extra MP after you reach your +3 TMM, and you pay the same TMM cost increase as a 5/8/0 mech that only has 1 hex extra.

MASC can’t be used every turn. It boosts your speed, but every turn it is on you have an increasing chance to explode your own knees. If you push it, it will take your knees and you will only have yourself to blame. Even though it can’t be used every turn, it still triggers BV breakpoints for maximum TMM. The max TMM only cares about the theoretical maximum, not how easy it is to achieve. So a 5/8[10]/0 mech pays the same BV increase as a 7/11/0 or 8/12/0 mech, but both has to run in a perfectly straight line on flat ground to build that +4 and has to risk its knees exploding every turn that it wants to use that speed. This is incredibly bad and I hate it with a violent passion. Every time I see 5/8[10]/0 or 5/8[10]/5 on a sheet it puts me into a frothing madness because the mech would be considerably better if it would just cut the fucking MASC system off. TMM that requires MASC or a Supercharged to attain shouldn’t cost remotely as much as TMM you can reach with actual movement.

Onto the actual stats of this piece of glorious, unstoppable, protagonist energy garbage. For 2197 BV you get that godawful movement profile and every other terrible decision you can think of. It has an Inner Sphere XL engine, so it dies if it loses a side torso. I mean, far be it from me to question our glorious and indefatigable leader Alaric Ward, but why the sam-fuck does this not have a Clan XL engine? I know it’s probably surplus crap from IS production lines in the lore, and that IS XL engines aren’t nearly as bad as people make them out to be, but I am already not feeling merciful to this piece of garbage. For guns they are, for some unspeakable fucking reason, also not all Clan grade. The primary weapon is an Inner Sphere RAC/5, a good weapon but the Clans do have an upgraded version of it available. For secondaries it carries a pair of Clan medium pulse lasers and a Clan streak SRM-6. This is an ok set of backup weapons, though spending BV on these nice Clan weapons and wasting them while you take a turn off to unjam your RAC is going to sting. This is a mediocre set of weapons on a mediocre chassis that costs way too much because of bad BV breakpoints. If BV didn’t exist this would be a really mediocre but usable mech, and it makes sense in universe as a cobbled together stopgap made of surplus parts from the production lines of other, better mechs, but BV absolutely kills this mech. It isn’t completely unusable but this is a game with the Phoenix Hawk 99 in it, it is hard to be as unusable as that.



My general views on the Conjurer really haven’t changed. It is probably the most middling mech out of the Striker Star, and is overall just an adequate but unexciting Clan medium mech. I like the 2 and the 4 quite a bit having looked at variants, and will probably start using the 2 when I run the whole Star. 7/11/7 is such an awesome movement profile. The Conjurer 2 would also fit into a wolf-pack made up of Black Lanners and other 7/11/7 Clan dorks. The Standard variant was kind of just a worse Goshawk, but the 2 is a meaningfully distinct mech from the rest of the Striker Star, carrying a good amount of ATMs and having a really good jump distance compared to the rest of the box. Good little mech but probably the easiest to cut.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at Want articles like this linked in your inbox every Monday morning? Sign up for our newsletter. And don’t forget that you can support us on Patreon for backer rewards like early video content, Administratum access, an ad-free experience on our website and more.