Certain vehicles in BATTLETECH have the potential to be as or more powerful vs. a mech of the same counterpoint. Given that mechs “dominate” the battlefield in the fluff, when compared to the tabletop some of these vehicles when used correctly are quite a deadly surprise.
Enter the Schrek PPC carrier and compare it to my all time FAVORITE mech the Awesome.
1605 battle value for the Awesome- three PPC’s vs. the Schrek for 935 battle value and and 3 PPC’s.
For the points I’d argue that the Schrek is better vs. the Awesome in many situations- and if you can get it into an optimal situation it is every more deadly.
The main difference in mechs vs. vehicles is that mech are more mobile- they can move through terrain with less penalties and are not subject to motive hits- damage to the treads, wheels, track which slows mobility or immobilizes a vehicle with a blown tread.
Mechs also have more armor in general and can perform physical attacks- the trade off/balance is that vehicles cost less for less tactical ability.
But in some instances this formula doesn’t hold true.
The Awesome can take a tremendous amount of damage and still be a threat- as an all energy mech it does not have to worry about ammo explosions either through heat management, or when damages goes into internals.
No worry about ammo, and what makes it so durable in that outside of the head, the arms are the weakest part of a mech- blowing off both arms still leaves the Awesome with two PPC’s- one in each L/R torso slot.
The drawback? You can only fire 1-2 PPC’s a turn and push maybe 3 every other turn. This fire ratio goes down even more if you take engine damage.
Now compare it to the Schrek that has 3 similar PPC’s but can fire all three each and every turn not worrying about heat- that is three shots every turn of the game for each carrier. Given that they are mounted on a turret, motive hits become less of an issue, especially if you get the carrier into a good tabletop position and park it.
935 points for 3 PPC dice a turn vs. 1605 1-2 PPC dice a turn, maybe 3 every other.
So how do we identify these hidden sleeper vehicles vs. mechs?
They mount energy or missile weapons equal or above similar mechs so they can fire them each and every turn.
They are mounted on a turret so they can push the range and rate of fire out on a 360 degree arc.
They are around 1/2 the points of a similar weapon mounted mech.
Of course this is just a starting point- the tabletop/map situation in the moment and being able to control the flow as a mech commander is KEY.
Get close to the Schrek with no screening unit and it is in trouble.
Get close to an Awesome and it can still kick and punch away even if you are under the range of the PPC’s.