Battletech Tactics: Must Have Vehicles

Following up on an incoming blog email and some comments…

…Fritz, what is your vote for “best” vehicles on BATTLETECH- what are the must have units?

I’ll share mine, and you share your opinions so I can add those suggested vehicles to my lists and lances.

First up would be the Karnov transport (above), which giving credit to where it is due, goes to my friend DAVE, who has used these to brutal effect in our games, so totally stolen idea.

A cheap battlevalue transport that can hold two full infantry stands and zip them around the table. No armor, no gunz on the base variant- it’s OK, just fly at a high elevation and drop down. Good for getting BIG infantry blobs into key battlefield positions, dropping infantry behind enemy lines, or even for the bold, hot dropping the infantry on mechs as you pass over. If you pick up and add anything to your BT collection- a Karnov and two stands of infantry will add tactical value in any game. Other variants such as the AC/20 gun boat also add in the lolz to be taken for fun from time to time.

Up next is the Demolisher tank- and running two is SOP. Heavy armor and TWO Ac/20 guns in each tank- you can’t argue with that. Used for area denial and adding punch to your lance, just be mindful NOT to let the tank get that far ahead. Also great in cityfight settings where you need to blow up and demolish buildings holding infantry or light mechs- bring it down!

LRM missile carriers are next. 20 X 3 LRM packs rain down a lot of pain, and with the Karnov dropping off your infantry as spotters for indirect fire they become especially deadly if you can keep them hidden. Drawbacks: Not cheap for the points, slow, and nil-armor. BUT bring two and that is 120 LRM missiles a turn.

VERY situational, but a must have- two SRM carriers. Slow moving, no armor, and around 800 BV each, but each one packs 10 SRM 6 packs. The ultimate in your face crit seeking spread.

Last must have is the Warrior VTOL. Great for spotting, plinking away with the long range auto cannon- great for side armor motive seeking shots on armor and vehicles. Speed to get behind and rear armor fish for shots, and cost nothing in BV.

Honorable mentions: light to medium hover craft.

Your BEST OF picks?

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One Reply to “Battletech Tactics: Must Have Vehicles”

  1. Great choices overall there, with an important caveat on the Karnov for standard hex map games: The standard rules slows it down significantly as you must land before disembark (besides Jump infantry) and you can only unload only one platoon at a time due to hex stacking limitations. This slows down deployment significantly.

    Pre 3050, hovercraft are in my “must have” on less cluttered terrain. With the Saladin as my favorite hovercraft in this era. Having it move at flank speed, fail a driving skill roll and sideslip into the gun arc of it’s AC/20 is just beautiful. I think they added errata that you can no longer intentionally fail the Driving Skill roll though. The ubiquitous Pegasus is a very close second and they work well together having similar identical movement profiles. The Saladin punches a big hole and then follow up with twin SRM-6s to score multiple internal structure hits. On a hex board, you can stack them together on the same hex which is a plus.

    The other vehicle I would highlight is the Manticore tank. A nice unit with weapons for all ranges and decent mobility, especially if you are a few BV short of a fire support ‘Mech. It isn’t as agile as a Griffin for sniping, but it has more armor and can keep firing every turn and still hide out in Light Woods.

    My honorable mentions goes to the Myrmidon tank which sadly doesn’t get built until 3060 despite being Introtech, and then the Hetzer, when you want a Demolisher but can’t afford one in defensive battles.

    P.S If you enjoy the Saladin and want to replicate it for ‘Mechs in the later eras, look for the BTZ-3F Blitzkrieg (TRO:3060). A 50 tonner moving at 7/11 with an Ultra AC/20 will make your opponent sweat when it is near.

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