’Mech Manual: Shadow Hawk SHD-2H

The Shadow Hawk SHD-2H is a multi-role medium ’Mech that was introduced as a replacement for the Terran Hegemony’s earlier SHD-1R model. Its mix of weaponry gives it tools to use at any range, but it lacks focus to really excel against targets at any distance.

The SHD-2H is a widely used design throughout history. It proliferated throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery. It remained in wide use until the Republic Era when it was gradually phased out everywhere other than in the Periphery and amongst ill-equipped mercenaries.

Read This First

  • Pick your engagement range based on your enemies
  • Use your jump jets to bypass obstacles, but not for evasion
  • Consider Inferno SRMs if you expect to face off against infantry or conventional vehicles

Shadow Hawk SHD-2H

  • Role: Skirmisher
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (2550)
  • Chassis: 55 tons
  • Movement: 5 / 8
    • Jumping: 3
  • Armor: 152
  • Heat Sinks: 12 (12)
  • Weapons:
    • AC/5 (ammo: 20)
    • Medium Laser
    • LRM 5 (ammo: 24)
    • SRM 2 (ammo: 50)
  • Design Quirks:
    • Battlefists
    • Improved Life Support
    • Rugged (1)
    • Ubiquitous
  • Cost: 4,539,382 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,064


The Shadow Hawk SHD-2H has fairly average mobility for a medium ’Mech. On the ground, it has a walk speed of 5 and a run speed of 8. The design is a bit unusual in that it only carries 3 jump jets. Having such a limited jump capability compared to its running speed means that a Shadow Hawk’s MechWarrior generally won’t use the jump jets except for maneuvering in rough terrain. On the ground, it can achieve a +3 target movement modifier, but when jumping the maximum is only a +2.


The SHD-2H is a decently durable design. It carries 152 points of standard armor which is 82% of the maximum for its chassis. That is above average for a medium ’Mech even if it is a little below average protection for its tonnage. Its legs are relatively under armored compared to its upper body. A vulnerability of the design is that it carries explosive ammunition in all of its torso locations. The center torso has 8% of its critical slots explode, the right torso 25%, and the left torso 17%. That means that taking internal damage to any torso location can quickly prove lethal.


The Shadow Hawk SHD-2H has a mixed set of weapons. The LRM 5 and AC/5 can both engage targets at long range. Then at 9 hexes, it is able to add a medium laser and SRM 2 to nearly double its potential damage output to 19 points. The mixed weapon loadout means that it has its highest damage output within 6 hexes. Inside that point, the LRM’s minimum range reduces its effectiveness, but then at 3 hexes, the SRM and laser get into short range and become more accurate.

Maximum and Expected Damage

The Shadow Hawk can take advantage of its mobility to stay at long-range against targets that would prefer a shorter-range engagement or close in quickly to bring its laser and SRMs to bear against targets with more long-range firepower. For more general usage, replacing the SRM ammo with Inferno missiles can give the SHD-2H more tools to deal with infantry and conventional vehicles. When making that change, the Shadow Hawk sacrifices a small amount of damage output against ’Mechs, but will be able to effectively take on a wider range of targets.

Other than the medium laser, all of the SHD-2H’s weapons are mounted on its torso or head for a restricted firing arc. Being able to bring the laser to bear in most directions is helpful against fast-moving flankers, but it isn’t able to cover about 60° to its rear left. The torso-mounted weapons though are less likely than arm-mounted equipment to be lost to damage during the course of a battle.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

Most of the Shadow Hawk SHD-2H’s weapons are dependent on ammunition, but its ammo bins carry a sufficient number of shots for them to last through multiple engagements.

Heat Management

The SHD-2H runs cool and overheating will only ever be a problem in hot environments or if it loses heat sinks. It carries 12 single heat sinks. It can generate 8 heat firing its weapons and up to 3 heat from jumping. That means that it will almost never need to hold back on firing weapons in order to cool off. The Improved Life Support quirk means that even in the unlikely event that overheating happens and the life support system takes damage, the MechWarrior should avoid the worst impact of the heat.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage


The Shadow Hawk is fairly effective in a melee. It has the Battlefists quirk for more accurate punches and each one deals 6 damage. Punching with its right arm means not firing its medium laser, but that tradeoff should be worth it thanks to the slightly higher damage and more focused hit location table. When kicking, the SHD-2H can deal 11 damage.

Cost & Upkeep

The SHD-2H is built with introductory tech level components, so it is an affordable option. It does require reloads of ammunition, but the bins are large enough that they don’t necessarily need to be refilled after every engagement. The AC/5 and LRM ammo can potentially last 2 battles between reloads while the SRM bin could go as many as 4 or 5 battles before running out. During a campaign, it can go longer without maintenance and is easier to get replacement parts for thanks to the Rugged and Ubiquitous quirks.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Shadow Hawk SHD-2H:

Purchase550 SP
Armor Repair55 SP
Structure Repair110 SP
Reload5-15 SP


The new plastic miniature is only available in the A Game of Armored Combat box set. A metal version is available from Iron Wind Metals.


More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

2 replies on “’Mech Manual: Shadow Hawk SHD-2H”

Again a good write up 🙂 The Shad’s always been a weird one for me, its a jack of all trades but really is master at none. If you could replace the AC-5 with a large laser and some heat sinks you’d have a mini-Thunderbolt. But that AC-5’s okay I guess, lot of weight for little damage, but i’m generally not a fan of the small caliber AC’s. The Shadow Hawk works well as a team player.

Yeah, the AC/5 shines as a weapon to use against lighter targets. It lets you out-range a lot of light mechs while still dealing enough damage to threaten them. Against heavier targets it just doesn’t feel like it has enough damage output by itself.

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