Howdy. CGL recently released a set of new record sheet packs for the Jihad, Dark Age, 3145, and 3150. Included in there are a few new and exciting variants of various older mechs. I have been tasked by the great and unknowable entity growing beneath Goonhammer HQ like a hideous fungus to go over these new variants and see how they stack up. So, let’s do that. This week we will be covering all of the sheets from Record Sheets: Jihad and Record Sheets: Dark Age. Next week we’ll be taking a look at 3150 – all the new sheets in 3145 are also in the Dark Age pack.
Record Sheets: Jihad
There are only 2 new variants in this record sheet release that I am aware of, the Deimos H and Shadow Hawk SHD-11CS2.
The Deimos on the whole is one of my favorite mechs, due to it starting as a fan mech in the Mek Tek mech pack mod/unofficial expansions/official expansion/rerelease of Mechwarrior 4 (This franchise’s rights and licensing never stop being this complicated). The H variant is interesting, being an 85 ton assault mech with 2 gauss rifles and a scattering of various laser weapons. I personally am not a huge fan of this variant however. It has MASC, which boosts its run speed from 5 to 6, which, on a mech with primarily long range guns, is not terribly useful, mostly just a waste of BV and tonnage. It also doesn’t carry any pulse lasers, and at 3344 BV, it falls behind on what I am calling the “Thunder Hawk-Hellstar standard of headchopper efficiency”. 3344 BV is a lot to pay for 2 headchoppers and some lasers, with the Thunder Hawk 7S having 3 gauss rifles for 2440 BV, and the Hellstar having 4 heat neutral Clan ER PPCs for 3084. Both of those mechs are, in my opinion, the best bang for your buck when it comes to sniper type mechs, and this Deimos variant comes up very, very short compared to either of them. Too expensive for what it is, I would give it a C, its still a clan assault mech, even if it is a bad clan assault mech.
This variant is, to my eye, identical to the 11CS in almost every way, just swapping the C3i suite out for a C3 slave and ECM. This in practice means that you just take whichever one is compatible with your C3 network. Its a reasonable little spotter with ok armor and ok weapons, nothing incredible, and a little too expensive at 1779. Gets a C from me, its ok.
Record Sheets: Dark Age
Many more new variants in this one compared to the Jihad one. Hopefully better ones too, but we shall see.
Dola DOL-1A2 ‘Yoh Ti Ts’ang’
An odd little mech. Compared to the base variant it upgrades the sword to a small Vibroblade, gains a small amount of armor, and changes the ECM out for a TAG. This is a good little 30 ton spotter mech with a 7 damage close combat attack, which is hilarious if not particularly good. I love Vibroblades on small mechs, but I am a much bigger fan of the large vibroblade, as that deals enough damage to head chop. At 826 BV this is not the biggest waste of BV, and it can TAG things pretty well with its 8/12/8 movement. B-, but very fun.
The Raider is a mech that I am pretty fond of from the dark age, its a funky looking little guy with weird equipment and melee weapons. This variant is simple, it trades the twin circular saws on the original mech for a retractable blade, and spends the saved tonnage on Armor. With its TSM active, it can shiv someone for 10 damage with it’s little knife. The Raider is particularly fun to me because it uses an Internal Combustion Engine instead of a Fusion Engine, meaning it is a gas powered giant robot, which rocks. This makes it very cheap in universe. This variant carries 2 MRM-10s as its main guns, which are not particularly good, but are pretty low BV cost and spammable. It costs 988 BV, which is probably just a touch high for it, but when it comes to being a big old slab of armor with a decent melee attack, its not bad. Probably a C.
Mostly the same as the JL-3A, it trades the MRMs out for a Light PPC, 2 Medium Lasers, an ER Small Laser, and a Small Laser. This one has a much, much easier time activating its TSM, and will therefore be consistently moving 5/8 and shanking/kicking pretty damn hard. It is more expensive at 1126 BV, and compared to other medium mechs of that price it’s damage is kinda low, but, hey, 10 damage shanks and 20 damage kicks. B-.
Raider MK II JL-3C
This is another odd one. The Raider MK II is basically built around a RAC-2, which it can barely fire unless I am missing something due to very poor heat sinking. The JL-3C variant fixes this by upgrading it’s 2 single heat sinks to 2 double heat sinks, letting the mech fire at full rate of fire until it activates it’s TSM, and then fire 4 times per turn after that. The RAC-2 is a surprisingly efficient gun, if unfocused, better for crit-seeking after something has opened a big hole in it’s target. The JL-3C also changes the saw out for a retractable blade, which frees up enough tonnage to increase its speed from 3/5 to 4/6, which is a nice upgrade. It starts moving 5/8 once it has TSM active, and is only 1007 BV. That much BV for a RAC-2 and a 10 damage shank is honestly not terrible, and this mech could have a place in a force, even though it is massively janky. Solid B.
Mad Cat MK III 2
The Mad Cat MK III is an oddball mech, being built as a 55 ton version of the Mad Cat (Timber Wolf for those furry honor cultists among us). It is pretty fast at 6/9 and carries a good amount of guns, and the 2 variant is honestly kind of a good little mech. It carries 2 medium pulse lasers, 6 micro pulse lasers, and 4 SRM-6s with Artemis V. Artemis V is the cooler cousin of Artemis IV, as it provides a -1 to hit bonus as well as +3 on the cluster table, as opposed to Artemis IV, which only gives the cluster hit buff. This is a pretty scary set of weapons for such a zippy little mech, and at 1697 BV it is actually quite cheap for a Clan medium mech. Much like the Raider 2 above, this mech really wants an operating partner with Gauss or CERPPCs, so that it can crit seek and hit internal structure after the armor has been opened up. This mech would also have a great niche as a light mech/fast medium mech hunter, as it moves decently fast and has a lot of accuracy bonuses to strip away TMM. Solid A from me, huge fan of every weapon here and the chassis itself is pretty good.
Thor II E
The Thor II E is an abomination. It is a decently tough 70 ton clan heavy mech, and mounts 2 Clan ER PPCs and a single ER small laser. At 2638 BV, that would be pathetic and fall behind the Thunder Hawk-Hellstar Headchopper Efficiency Metric, or THHHEM, but it costs that much due to its abuse of one of the most overpowered pieces of equipment in the game. It mounts 8 improved jump jets, giving it a 8 hex jump. Mechs that can jump at least 7 hexes are absolute monsters to hit, as they are building a +4 Target Movement Multiplier, while only take a +3 accuracy penalty from jumping. I have played against a similar clan mech recently with 2 ER PPCs and iJJs, and they are massively, massively scary with a skill increase and good movement, if also being very expensive. This one has enough heat sinks that at a full jump, firing both PPCs, it would only build 2 heat per turn, and due to how Jump Jet MP is calculated, it wouldn’t experience any meaningful heat penalty until 8 heat, so it can fire for 4 straight turns before either jumping behind terrain to cool off or dropping a PPC for a turn to cool off. This is a monster of a mech and, even though I normally don’t recommend anything this expensive and (for it’s price) fragile, this is such a difficult to hit mech that it is worth the price. Solid A, and it will feel like the main character and main driving force of any game it is in.
Its ok. Its a big inner sphere tech base assault mech with ER large lasers for long range, SRM-6s for short range, and a slight shortage of enough heat sinks to fire things well. I really don’t have a ton to say about it, its kind of boring but not even in a dependable sort of way. At 1937 BV its fine I guess but there are more exciting and powerful things to spend your BV on. C, super skippable assault mech.
Ok this is much better. This is exactly the same as the above mech, but the medium lasers are now medium pulse lasers, the SRMs are now Streak SRMs, and every gun on the thing has been upgraded to Clan grade. This is a vastly scarier mech, 3 Clan ER large lasers is the same long range firepower as an Awesome, and up close 4 Streak 6s and 3 Clan MPLs is a pretty decent “Get the fuck away from me” set of weapons. For 2473, this is much more powerful than the 5B, and gets an easy recommend. The upgrade in firepower here is easily worth the 500 BV, and it can hold it’s own against most of the other mid-2000 BV range assault mechs in this game, even if I would rather have a Kingfisher personally.
Shrike “Black Rose”
To start off with, this mech has a cool name. Second, the Shrike on the whole has suffered from being a cool looking mech that should by all rights be good and cool but in practice frequently kinda sucks. The Black Rose is a weirdo variant of the Shrike 3. This means that it is a 4/6/5 assault mech with 2 ER PPCs and a targeting computer. The Black Rose also carries 2 ER Medium Lasers and an LRM-10. What makes this the weirdo version though is that it uses Laser heat sinks. Laser heat sinks are basically the same as Clan double heat sinks, but they don’t take any penalties from operating in a vacuum or insanely hot conditions on a planet, but they make it impossible to hide the mech because it is converting its heat into light (somehow) and shooting it off the mech. This means that the Black Rose fucking glows while it fights, which would look kickass. It also has a pretty grossly overkill amount of heat sinks, being pretty close to heat neutral while jumping. It costs 3487 BV, but out of all of the Shrike variants we have this is probably my favorite of them, the excellent heat management and T-Comp help it make good use of it’s weapons, it is somewhat hard to hit due to jumping 5 hexes, and it is a mech that already looks badass, but now it fucking glows as it heats up. Practically this is probably a B-, ok but really expensive, but in terms of sheer coolness factor its an A+. Its a giant glowing bird monster mech that shoots lightning, I am not nearly mentally mature enough for that not to be the coolest thing ever.
This is a pretty good mix of variants for mechs that direly needed new ones. I am particularly fond of the Thor II E and the Raider variants. The Raider has always been one of my favorite dark ages mechs, so seeing it have some variants that can actually get shot more than once without exploding is super fun. And the Thor II E is like, a super hardcore tournament threat type mech, a lot of lists would hit a brick wall trying to deal with a mech like that. Load Precision ammo and bring pulse lasers if you think your opponent is evil enough to bring one. We will be covering the new record sheets from Record Sheets: TRO-3150 next week, as there are more new mechs in that pack on its own than there were in both of these ones.