In this week’s Mech Overview we’re looking at the Warhawk (or Masakari, depending on whether you’re a normal person or a maladjusted honor-obsessed weirdo). An 85 ton Clan mech, the Masakari is pretty much always Perigrin’s least favorite thing – expensive.
As an omnimech, all the configurations share a couple base features – a large XL engine that pushes it up to 4/6 movement, good armor, and a targeting computer. The clan XL engine isn’t as big a penalty as it would be on an inner sphere mech, as you can survive a side torso loss, plus all the configurations have substantial crit padding to protect from TACs. Most of the variants are designed around providing ranged firesupport, though a few are shorter ranged brawlers.
My ratings assume that you’re playing an ilClan era game, and are not using TacOps. If you’re playing an earlier era some of the less impressive variants will pull ahead by virtue of nearly all their competition also topping out at “just ok”, and TacOps saves some of the command variants by making command consoles do anything.
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 the other ‘mech reviews).
The prime variant has a lot of gun. Probably too much gun. Four ER PPCs is a ton of potential damage, especially with the targeting computer, but there simply aren’t enough heat sinks to run it. Generating 60 heat and sinking 40 heat is not a great recipe, especially as it also carries a LRM-10 and is thus at risk of ammo explosions. With three PPCs you can alternate firing the third and the LRM rack to remain roughly neutral. Dropping one PPC and making no other changes to the mech (so having 7 empty tons) would save 288 BV, making a much better mech. 3194 BV is just too much to pay for a mech you can’t make full use of in any reasonable situation. My rating: C
By dropping PPCs entirely shifts into a much more mid-range oriented role. While not a brawler, a pair of ER large lasers and a LB-X AC/10 give it pretty solid punch, backed up by a LRM 15 and streak SRM 6. As it has as many heat sinks as the Prime variant, it’s completely heat neutral. While low damage compared to the Prime, it’s still solid damage, especially given the mobility and armor, and it’s dropped down to 2399 BV. My rating: B
This variant doesn’t really have a dedicated role. It has a gauss rifle for long range, and a combination of medium lasers, small lasers, and SRM 6s for short range. It’s vastly over-sinked (generating 28 at a run, sinking 40), and is wasting part of the targeting computer with reliance on SRMs for short range damage. I wouldn’t call it a bad mech, but at 2320 BV it costs about the same as the A variant, which I like more. My rating: C+
Back to ranged fire support, one arm carries a pair of ER PPCs and the other a pair of large pulse lasers. Clan large pulses are one of the best weapons in the game, particularly coupled with a targeting computer, and this variant has enough heat sinks to make effective use of everything. Shoot both pulses and one PPC every turn, alternate shooting the second. 2998 BV is still expensive, but is cheaper than the Prime and this ends up being a very reliable source of damage. My rating: A
Very similar to the A variant, this trades the LB/X 10 for an ultra AC/10, and the LRM and SRM launchers combine to an ATM-9. It functions about the same, with most of the difference being whether you prefer the ultra AC or LB/X. I like being able to shoot cluster ammo and find ultra ACs unreliable, so would give the nod to the A, especially given the slightly higher BV at 2474. My rating: B
This one gets weird. ER PPC, large pulse, SRM 6, and a trio of plasma cannons. It’ll reliably max out the outside heat sources of anything it shoots at, or tear up infantry and vehicles, but has relatively low damage against other mechs. It’s also still very expensive at 2895 BV. My rating: D
Another of the ranged fire support variants, this has a pair of ER PPCs, an LRM 10 and 20, and an ultra AC/2. It has adequate heat sinking, a ton of ammo in the center torso, and feels like you lose quite a bit of direct damage over the C to only drop down to 2775 BV. My rating: C-
A true brawler, this brings in an LBX/20, paired improved heavy large lasers, and a streak SRM-6. Not much in the way of range, but with a supercharger it has the speed to get in and use those weapons, and the targeting computer helps with the accuracy. It’ll run a little hot, but this is one of the few mechs with enough heat sinks that the heavy large lasers don’t turn it into a bonfire instantly. Downside: explosive components in the left arm, center torso, and right torso. All those guns plus the supercharger make this an expensive mech at 2909 BV, but on a map where it can effectively get to close range it has a ton of damage. My rating: B+
Another brawler, this version has paired large pulses and heavy large lasers, as well as a LRM 10. Despite sinking 50 heat, it doesn’t have enough to fire everything without gaining 10 points of heat, and it doesn’t have the additional speed of the G to get into heavy laser range. It is cheaper at 2601 BV, but I’d rather take an A or D to fill a similar role at a similar cost, or a C/G if I could afford it. My rating: C
Back to sniping, this is a worse C for more BV. Two ER PPCs, two ER large lasers, an LRM 5, and a SRM 6. Not quite enough heat sinks to fire them, as the ER larges are a little hotter than large pulses, but hey you get a few missiles as well. At 3026 BV, take the C instead, though if that wasn’t there staring me in the face I’d say this isn’t terrible. My rating: C+
Another weird variant, this one has a pair of capacitor equipped ER PPCs, ER flamers, and an ATM-12. While this does give it a ton of damage, and the capacitors forcing it to only shoot the PPCs every other turn giving it a chance to cool off, I prefer the solid consistent damage of other variants – especially because this comes in at an eye watering 3687 BV. My rating: D
Similar to the E variant, this runs a pair of ER PPCs, but instead of the plasma cannons it carries a pair of plasma rifles. While it does shoot a bit less heat at things, it has more raw damage. At 2938 BV it costs about the same, though broadly I don’t think either variant is worth it – if you want to do heat damage, bring some inferno commandos. My rating: D+
I appreciate this mech for having many many fewer variants than the Battlemaster, which was the last one I wrote. What variants it does have span a pretty wide range of effectiveness, but if you want a direct fire support mech you can’t really go wrong bringing a C along, and the G is a very cool brawler.