Filling my lance with the WASP as of late in Battletech…
Playing light mechs is interesting considering that I usually roll with heavies and assaults, filling out the traditional roles of a light mech with vehicles or VTOL craft. Stats first.
A 20 ton mech- light on the light mech scale with jump jets, somewhat lackluster speed for a light mech and a medium laser and SRM-2 pack. With a buy in of 335 battle value- which is the KEY to the Wasp. Like many light mechs the Wasp can’t afford to get hit by anything from a medium laser or higher without losing a limb or taking crippling damage. The Wasp is not there to engage mechs- perhaps skirmish with a light mech, but only if running and moving about.
Speed and distance is what is used to keep it safe from medium mechs and higher. Weapons aren’t actually that bad for the battle value- a medium laser, best weapon class in the game for damage, heat, and range. And an SRM two pack for a bit of secondary punch. But these are close range weapons, which means to use effectively, the Wasp needs to get close. Leaving only speed to protect you, and the Wasp isn’t overly fast. So we make sure we are always jumping around.
Well for the battle value you get a cheap unit that you can burn an initiative move on if needed, assuming you don’t want to take infantry to do that. You have a mech with hands that has some speed and jump capability- good for scouting and literally grabbing mission objectives.
Could also work as a unit to spot for indirect fire. Wasp can hunt down and skirmish with other light mechs- not necessarily destroying them, but keeping them off rear armor of your medium and heavy mechs- keeping your heavier mechs from having to break off or burn a turn or two to deal with any light mechs.
And finally, the Wasp as a backstabber. Flanking around the table, and when your heavy mechs engage and hit, the Wasp comes flying out to attack rear armor on the mechs. Key to this is the timing- come out to soon and you’ll get blasted.
Don’t expect any real rear armor damage from the Wasp, it’s more of a distraction and pressure unit.