’Mech Manual: Nova A

The A configuration of the Nova was introduced by Clan Hell’s Horses alongside the OmniMech chassis in 2870. It trades the overwhelming medium-range firepower of the Prime configuration for the long-range punch of particle cannons.

The Nova A was used by all Clans during the Clan Invasion era even though the chassis itself was not being produced at the time. During the Jihad era, production was restarted in the Inner Sphere by Clan Jade Falcon, and the design and its A configuration continues to be used into the Dark Ages by multiple factions.

During the Clan Invasion, the Inner Sphere codenamed it the Black Hawk, so this ’Mech is sometimes referred to as the Black Hawk A even a century after the Clans first returned from exile.

Read This First

  • Use your mobility to stay at about 13-14 hexes from targets
  • When you jump, hold back with one PPC to cool back down
  • Flip your arms to take care of anyone who tries to take advantage of your limited ability to torso twist

Nova A

  • Role: Sniper
  • Tech Base: Clan (2870)
  • Chassis: 50 tons
  • Movement: 5 / 8, XL
    • Jumping: 5
  • Armor: 160
  • Heat Sinks: 14 (28)
  • Weapons:
    • ER PPC × 2
    • Medium Pulse Laser
  • Equipment:
    • Anti-Missile System × 2 (ammo: 24)
    • CASE
  • Design Quirks:
    • Combat Computer
    • Narrow/Low Profile
    • No Torso Twist
  • Cost: 11,426,875 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 2,422


The Nova A has fairly average mobility on the ground with a walking speed of 5 and a running speed of 8. Its 5 jump jets keep it maneuverable in rough terrain and allow it to get to good firing positions. With either running or jumping it can get up to a +3 target movement modifier.


The Nova chassis has good durability for a medium ’Mech. Its 160 armor points are 95% of the maximum for a 50-ton design. The XL engine means that it has an increased risk of being disabled due to engine damage. The Narrow/Low Profile quirk adds to the design’s durability by reducing the damage taken from some weapon hits.

Two torso-mounted anti-missile systems give the A configuration a good defense against enemy forces that make heavy use of missiles. Since LRMs are one of the few weapons that can rival the range of its own weapons that can be a meaningful durability boost. The downside is that the systems require a ton of ammunition that gives its right torso a 13% chance of having a critical hit cause an explosion. CASE prevents such an explosion from destroying the entire ’Mech, but it still results in 2 engine hits and halves the Nova’s firepower.


The Nova A’s primary weapons are a pair of arm-mounted ER PPCs. These give it two attacks that can punch through armor at ranges out to 23 hexes. A medium pulse laser comes into play at 12 hexes as a secondary weapon. None of the weapons on the A configuration suffer from a minimum range, so it maintains its maximum expected damage output at a range of 4 hexes or less.

Minimum and Expected Damage

The long range and high damage of the ER PPCs make the Nova A an excellent sniper. It cannot match the damage output of the Prime configuration up close, but out ranges it by 8 hexes and can delivers its damage in more focused 15 point hits giving it more ability to punch through armor. With that focus, a MechWarrior in a Nova A should aim to use their mobility to stay at ranges of around 13-14 hexes.

The A configuration’s placement or the PPCs and lack of lower arm actuators allows it to counteract the drawbacks of the No Torso Twist quirk. One particle cannon can fire into each side arc and the arms can be flipped to fire both into the rear arc. The pulse laser is more limited in firing arc due to its position in the torso.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

The Nova A’s offensive armament is entirely energy weapons, so MechWarriors do not need to worry about watching ammunition levels during battle.

Heat Management

The Nova A has a much more manageable heat load than the Prime configuration. The Combat Computer quirk and its 14 double heat sinks mean that it can stay cool while firing both ER PPCs and running. Using the jump jets or pulse laser can cause overheating by a few points, and the anti-missile systems can add another 2 points of heat if they both fire.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage


The Nova A should avoid brawls. It lacks lower arm actuators, so its punches suffer on accuracy and only deal 3 points of damage. It can kick for 10 damage.

OmniMech Chassis

The Nova is an OmniMech, so it can be easily re-configured with different sets of weapons and equipment between missions. It has 16 tons of pod space with a large number of available critical slots thanks to not needing to allocate any to its internal structure or armor. The fixed jump jets in its legs and center torso do limit its flexibility a bit. The A configuration does not include any pod-mounted heat sinks.

Capacity16.0 tons
Head1 slot
Center Torso1 slot
Right Torso6 slots
Left Torso6 slots
Right Arm8-10 slots
Left Arm8-10 slots
Right Legnone
Left Legnone

As an OmniMech, the Nova A can carry a unit of mechanized battle armor. The anti-missile systems and pulse laser are impacted and cannot be fired when serving as a transport.

Cost & Upkeep

As a Clan OmniMech, the Nova is expensive even though it doesn’t make use of endo steel or ferro-fibrous armor. Inner Sphere forces must also pay even more in order to acquire and maintain it. The ton of anti-missile ammunition will need to be replaced following any engagements with enemy forces that are equipped with missiles.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Nova A:

ActionClan CostInner Sphere Cost
Purchase1,000 SP2,000 SP
Armor Repair50 SP100 SP
Structure Repair100 SP200 SP
Reload10 SP20 SP
Reconfigure13 SP25 SP


The new plastic Nova miniature is included in the Clan Invasion box set. It is modelled as the Prime configuration, but works to represent any Nova.


More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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