Battletech Mech Overview: Wolfhound

At the heavy end of light mechs, the Wolfhound is in some ways just an underarmored medium mech. At 35 tons and mostly moving at 6/9, the Wolfhound relies a lot on armor to provide protection as it can’t build enough TMM to really avoid fire, particularly in later eras, but it’s still limited in how much armor you can pack on to a 35 ton chassis.

As a slower light mech, it’s generally best used to defend against smaller faster mechs, rather than pushing out to try to flank your opponent. The 6/9 mobility, especially without jump jets, will take a couple turns to make it around terrain and get into side/rear arcs, but it is plenty to stay near your main force and respond to anything that comes at you.

Clan Wolf Beta Galaxy Wolfhound. Credit: Jack Hunter


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).


A single large laser and four medium lasers (one of which faces the rear) is a solid amount of weaponry for a light mech, especially as this variant is usable in the succession wars. With only 10 heat sinks you only want to fire everything if you’ve got great shots, but the large laser or three mediums can all be fired together reasonably. Mostly, just pretend the rear laser doesn’t exist. This doesn’t really do anything fancy, but its a decent bundle of lasers with okay mobility for only 949 BV.

My rating: B


Trade the rear mounted laser for a heat sink. Go up to 967 BV. It’s the same mech, but slightly better, for a hair more BV.

My rating: B


Instead of adding a heat sink, this flips the rear mounted laser to point forward. At the same 967 BV, this adds a little more firepower but isn’t going to use it every turn – four lasers at a run is 14 heat, leaving you just barely avoiding any heat penalties. You then need to spend two turns firing only two lasers before you drop down to 0 heat again (firing the large laser at a run is exactly neutral). Overall, higher alpha strike, lower sustained damage than the 1A.

My rating: B-


The actual main variant, this has double heat sinks, but upgrades to an ER large laser. While the additional range is welcome, and the extra heat isn’t a problem if you’re just firing the large, firing all three forward lasers will heat you up. A regular large laser would’ve been heat neutral. That said, it’s not a lot of heat, so I don’t have tremendously strong feelings about it. 1,061 BV is a jump over the sub-1,000 costs of the 1 variants, but the extra damage is definitely worth it.

My rating: B

Wolfhound 2X Variant
Wolfhound 2X Variant. Credit: Porble


At 1,511 BV we’re starting to spend a lot for a slow light mech. This is really just a caddy for a heavy PPC with a capacitor – so it can do 20 damage every other turn, or 15 damage every turn. Given that 15 is enough to knock someone’s head off, I know which I’d prefer. This variant also has a supercharger (which is why it costs so much). It pushes you up to being able to run 12, which lets you get that heavy PPC into good position, but overall I think this is just too expensive for something that will die if it takes 20 points of damage to either side torso.

My rating: C-


A fancy version of the 2H, this adds an actuator enhancement system to the heavy PPC and switches to laser reflective armor. As a light mech, the reflective armor is generally nice as usually the accurate weapons that do the most damage to it are lasers, but it is a big risk if you get close to something. The doubled damage from physical attacks means a 50 ton mech will go internal on a single kick. The AES makes the ppc more accurate, but the cost of this mech is pushing up to 1,812 BV. If I’m spending that much I want more durability and more damage.

My rating: D


This just has a light gauss rifle. That’s it. Why? It’s only 786 BV, but it’s also only doing 8 damage.

My rating: D


Much like the WLF-2, this variant has a weapons loadout that’s going to be split into weird groups. There’s no combination of an ER PPC and three ER medium lasers that works nicely with sinking 24 heat – either you fire all three lasers and the ER PPC and build a ton of heat (8 at a run, so you’re taking both a movement and shooting penalty next turn), or you fire the PPC with one or two lasers to build minimal heat. There’s never a good situation to just be firing all three medium lasers. While 1,176 BV isn’t crazy like some of the previous variants, it’s still a lot for a 6/9 light mech, particularly in late eras where pulse lasers are common.

My rating: C

Kell Hounds Wolfhound. Credit: Jack Hunter


With three light PPCs, an ER medium laser, and an ER small laser this is clearly a mid-short range mech that wants to sit around 6 hexes. It’s fairly effective at that, but at least personally I don’t think that strategy is great. It’s effective against other mechs that primarily run IS ER medium lasers (or not-extended-range versions), but an extended engagement where you can whittle someone down by having your light mech sit at a couple hex longer range isn’t something I run into regularly (and is something that can end poorly quickly as soon as anything with either better range or better speed appears). 1,090 BV is about the same as the WLF-2, and I’d prefer to run that variant.

My rating: C+


This drops the ER medium and small laser off the 4W for an ECM suite. Light PPC short range is exactly the same as your ECM bubble – 6 hexes – so against someone running c3 you can keep them just inside the bubble while still hitting them at full efficiency. That said, if you lose initiative someone’s going to try to sit at 7 hexes where your accuracy falls off and ECM goes away, and with the light PPC minimum range you don’t want to dive in all the way to the point you can more easily keep them in your bubble. 1,050 BV is OK to bring a 6/9 ECM bubble, but I’d only want this mech if I know 100% I’m playing against c3.

My rating: C- (B against c3)


Pushing speed up to 7/11, and throwing MASC on top for a potential 14 hex run makes for quite a shift from previous variants. It’s now fast enough that the heavy (for a light mech) armor becomes a lot more reliable. Main armament being a snub PPC coupled with a pair of light PPCs makes this do everything the 4W does only better – 9 hex short range on the snub is amazing, as a lot of weapons will be into at least their medium if not long range brackets, and the 7/11 speed is enough to keep you there with good TMM. 1,290 BV is still a lot for something that’ll generally only build +3 TMM unless you get a lucky straight line and doesn’t have the armor to really get hit.

My rating: B-


Back in the land of a bunch of lasers with one stupid rear facing gun, the 6S carries a large re-engineered laser (with actuator enhancement) in the arm, three ER medium lasers in the torsos, and a small x-pulse laser out the back. Like the 5 variant it’s upgraded to moving 7/11, though this time it lacks the MASC. Firing everything forward will put you at 4 heat, so it can just alternate one of the ER mediums to keep the heat penalties away. With AES the re-engineered laser is as accurate as a pulse laser with less heat, so it’s already a decent way of turning heat to damage, and ignoring damage reduction from reflective, hardened, or ferro-lamellar armor is a nice bonus. Sadly it continues the trend of being fairly expensive for the durability at 1,266 BV.

My rating: B-

WLF-1 (Allard)

The only unique variant of the Wolfhound, this is a full clan-tech rebuild. An ER PPC and three ER medium lasers face forward, an ER small laser shoots out the back for some fucking reason, and it’s all tied into a targeting computer. Most helpfully, it switches to a clan XL engine, so a single side torso loss doesn’t completely kill the mech. Heat concerns are exactly the same as the 3S. All that clan tech and the targeting computer spikes the price of this up to 1,941 BV. It’s still a 6/9 light mech with limited armor.

My rating: C-

Wolfhound IIC

Not technically the same mech, but also kinda the same mech, the Wolfhound IIC is another fully clan rebuild of the wolfhound. It retains the 6/9 speed, and weapon layout of the Wolfhound WLF-2, with an ER large laser, three medium pulse lasers, and a rear facing ER medium laser. It also packs an ECM suite into the head, which even when not being used to shut down c3 provides an extra bit of crit padding up there. 28 heat sinking is a little too much, as it only generates 26 at a run firing everything forward, so you’ll want to try to make use of the rear facing laser on occasion even if it has a very low hit chance. At 1,579 BV this is probably the best balance of being upgunned while not costing too much – the medium pulses play nicely into its job as a light mech hunter, and the ECM shuts down a c3 spotter that tries to get too close to your mechs.

My rating: B+


All the variants of the wolfhound run into the same problem – it’s well armed (and thus expensive), but is still a 6/9 light mech. If it had jump jets, that speed could be overcome, but without them it’ll get bogged down in any sort of terrain and is an incredibly tempting target. The earliest variants are the best as they’re the cheapest without any huge difference in damage capability to the later variants, particularly if you’re playing in an earlier era where 6/9 is actually fast and pulse lasers don’t exist.

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