Weapons are the bread-and-butter of the war-torn world of Battletech. There are four basic categories, each with its own, distinct traits and features.
The simplest weapons are the energy weapons. Energy weapons don’t require any ammunition, but generate a lot of heat. The basic energy weapons are the medium lasers and large lasers, but the real king of this type is the Particle Projector Cannon (PPC): huge damage and long range, but also massive heat.
- Medium and large lasers get a bonus to accuracy over other weapons.
- The PPC is able to deal a moderate amount of stability damage upon impact.
The ballistic weapons are familiar; they’re similar to modern guns. There are four different classes of autocannon: the AC/2, the AC/5, the AC/10 and the AC/20. The numbers indicate how powerful the weapon is; the AC/2 does comparatively light damage, but has enormous range, while the AC/20 does absolutely crushing damage (it’s the most damaging weapon in the game!) but has very short range.
- Ballistic weapons generate less heat, but use ammunition.
- That ammo can run out or even be damaged by enemy fire and explode, causing additional internal damage to that location on your ‘Mech.
- All ballistic weapons deal some stability damage relative to their class as well.
- Ballistic weapons incur a small “Refire Penalty” to their to-hit % when fired multiple turns
in a row.
Missile weapons come in two flavors, long-range missiles (LRM) and short-range missiles (SRM). Missile batteries have a number next to them; this tells you how many missiles will fire when you use that weapon. The LRM-10 weapon fires ten long-range missiles; the SRM-2 fires just two short-range missiles. It’s best to think of SRMs as shotguns: a lot of damage delivered up close. LRMs do less damage per-missile, but come in bigger launchers and can fire extremely far.
- LRMs also can fire at targets that you don’t have a direct line-of-sight (LOS) to, which
you’ll recognize by the curved arc shape of the red line of fire.
- Missiles deal more Stability Damage than the other weapon types do.
- The larger the size number of a launcher, the faster it chews through ammo.
The final category of weapons comprises anti-personnel or small weapons. This includes, the machine gun, the small laser, and the flamer. They have extremely short range and low damage, but they also have a special feature: unlike larger weapons, they can be fired when you melee attack an enemy. If you’re close enough, they can also be fired as normal ranged weaponry.
- Machine guns are excellent at dealing critical hits to exposed structure.
- Small lasers deal good raw damage relative to their heat generation.
- Flamers can decrease the performance of opponents by raising their heat levels.