Battletech Mech Tactics: Locust

It is the 31st century, and mankind is once again at war... 

...and on the tabletop I aspire to become the most feared Locust pilot in the inner sphere. 

Continuing our light mech tactica discussion with the Locust- the good, the bad, and the opportunity of playing this mech on the table. ~400 battle value gets you a fast light mech, with a medium laser and two machine guns stock model. 

As a light mech it naturally doesn't have the armor to engage opposing mechs and you are going to want to be moving EVERY turn to stack that movement modifier which makes hitting things with the medium laser challenging, plus it's one one shot. 

We are going to take the shot since we have the weapon and don't have to worry about heat management, but it's more of a bonus and not something to count on when making tactical decisions. I find the machine guns even worse- one has to get danger close to use them, which is fine if an opposing mech is running by, but then you are not stacking range modifiers to protect you when your opponent shoots at you. As tempted as one might be to use it against infantry, two stands of infantry will just chew the mech up in a turn or two. 

So I never plan on using the machine guns. And the mech doesn't have hands so no punching or grab and run type missions. Limitations aside, there are some hidden tactica gems with this fun machine... In most of my lists given it's speed I use as a spotter for my Longbow and Archer spam build. 8 X LRM 20 coming at single target a turn is some good saturation even with the indirect modifiers. Locust makes a good spotter.  

Two or more make fun hunter-killer mechs where you have to hunt down that lone LRM carrier or artillery piece but don't want to pull of one of your main lance mechs. The speed of the Locust means you get there quick, eliminate it, and get out with game turn to spare- in this case the machine guns do come in handy.  

Another use is that moment just before CONTACT. When you opponent's lance is tight and compact, advancing together with overlapping support and fields of fire. your lance is also advancing but who the hell wan't to advance into that wall of firepower? 

Right before total contact I run in a Locust- any shot or physical attack going against it is a shot or attack not going against the rest of my lance, the Locust breaks up their movement especially if I can move first, and if they shoot and miss and the mech lives it get's even better. 400 battle value of created opportunity.  

Final tactica is that awesome moment in every game of BATTLETECH where your lances have clashed and now it weapons HOT. There is no turning back and it's a slug fest- run in a Locust and nobody shoots at it as there are more important and pressing targets. Crazy stuff happens like rear armor shots or climbing up hills to upper torso and head kick opposing mech. 

The speed of the Locust makes those dreams of glory happen. For the more competitive minded the 1S variant which replaces the machine guns with two SRM 2 packs makes an interesting rear armor hunter given the speed of the mech and taking two or three of them.

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