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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Awesome AWS-8Q

The AWS-8Q was the first production variant of the Awesome. It was designed for the Star League in 2665 and saw wide use until it started disappearing in favor of newer variants during the Republic Era. It was particularly popular with the Free Worlds League even during the Late Succession Wars when the FWLM otherwise had a limited supply of PPCs.

Read This First

  • Alternate between firing 2 and 3 PPCs per round until your target is destroyed
  • If you have an opportunity to fire your small laser, you’re too close to the enemy
  • Your rear armor is thick, so you don’t need to worry as much about light flankers getting behind you

Awesome AWS-8Q

  • Role: Sniper
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (2665)
  • Chassis: 80 tons
  • Movement: 3 / 5
  • Armor: 240
  • Heat Sinks: 28 (28)
  • Weapons:
    • PPC × 3
    • Small Laser
  • Design Quirks:
    • Battlefist (LA)
  • Cost: 6,598,170 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,605

Mobility

The Awesome AWS-8Q is on the slow side for an 80-ton ’Mech. It moves across the battlefield slowly and can be outmaneuvered by just about everything other than other assault ’Mechs and fortifications. Under ideal conditions it can generate a +2 target movement modifier when running, but most of the time it will only actually manage a +0 or +1 modifier from its movement. As a sniper, it can be better to find a protected hex with good line of sight, and then remain stationary while firing at targets.

Durability

The Awesome AWS-8Q is an exceptionally durable ’Mech. It carries 240 points of standard armor which is about average for an assault ’Mech. That armor is more skewed towards the rear than on many other designs which is useful since its slow speed makes it vulnerable to flanking. What gives it its durability is that it doesn’t carry any ammunition or other explosive components, so it is less likely to go down early from a critical hit.

Weaponry

The AWS-8Q’s arsenal consists of three PPCs. These give it a potential damage output of 30 at a range of 18 hexes. Its damage output is maximized in the 4-6 hex range where the PPCs are at short range but not yet at their minimum range. The AWS-8Q does carry a small laser as a secondary weapon, but any target it can shoot at is inside the minimum range of the PPCs which is a bad situation for the Awesome.

Maximum and Expected Damage

In general, aiming to engage targets at 10-12 hexes is a good tactic since it keeps the Awesome outside of reach from short range weapons while still allowing it to fire at medium range for its PPCs. Unfortunately, the Awesome is slow enough that it will rarely get to dictate the range of engagement.

The Awesome is most effective when it can keep its targets in front of it. One PPC is mounted in the right arm for an extended firing arc, but the rest of the weapons can only fire forwards.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

One of the strengths of the Awesome AWS-8Q is that it only carries energy weapons. It doesn’t need to track ammo usage or worry about holding fire to conserve shots.

Heat Management

The AWS-8Q doesn’t have quite enough cooling capacity for its weapons. The three PPCs generate 30 points of heat and then it only has 28 single heat sinks. That means that in order to avoid overheating, the Awesome’s MechWarrior will need to alternate between firing all three PPCs and only two of them. A good plan is to start by firing 2 when it first gets in range of an enemy since the next round it might get into a more accurate range bracket and be able to deliver more damage with a full salvo. Following that pattern maintains the AWS-8Q’s peak damage on turns when all 3 PPCs are fired, but drops the average per turn to about 83% of what it would be if heat wasn’t a concern.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

In the unfortunate situation that an enemy gets into melee with the AWS-8Q, it is a mediocre fighter for its weight class. It benefits from the Battlefist quirk with its left fist which can land a more accurate 8 damage punch, but the right arm lacks a fist and so its punch is less accurate. When kicking, the Awesome deals 16 points of damage which is enough to shear a leg off of the lightest designs.

Cost & Upkeep

The AWS-8Q uses introductory technology which means replacement and repair costs stay fairly low for an assault ’Mech. In addition, it requires no ammunition reloads so there are lower costs between engagements.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Awesome AWS-8Q:

ActionCost
Purchase800 SP
Armor Repair80 SP
Structure Repair160 SP
ReloadN/A

Miniature

The new plastic Awesome miniature is included in the A Game of Armored Combat boxed set.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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