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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Timber Wolf Prime

The Timber Wolf was designed as a replacement for Clan Wolf’s earlier Woodsman OmniMech. It was introduced in 2945 and was one of the most potent ’Mechs during the Clan Invasion. The Prime configuration carries a potent mix of lasers and LRMs that is similar to the Woodsman Prime. When it was first encountered by residents of the Inner Sphere, it was nicknamed the Mad Cat due to resembling a blend of the Marauder and Catapult.

Clan Wolf has fiercely protected the rights to manufacture the Timber Wolf, but other clans have been eager to gain them through trade or salvage. As a result, the Timber Wolf Prime can be found in nearly every Clan’s touman from shortly after its introduction through the Dark Age. A small number of non-Clan factions have also fielded the Timber Wolf during later eras.

Read This First

  • You do not have many LRM shots, so decide if you want to use them to soften targets at range or as a potent finishing weapon
  • Firing both large lasers and two mediums keeps you heat neutral and conserves ammunition
  • Try to stay mobile and maintain a distance of 10-14 hexes from your opponents

Timber Wolf Prime

  • Role: Brawler
  • Tech Base: Clan (2945)
  • Chassis: 75 tons (Endo Steel)
  • Movement: 5 / 8, XL
  • Armor: 230 (Ferro Fibrous)
  • Heat Sinks: 17 (34)
  • Weapons:
    • ER Large Laser × 2
    • LRM 20 × 2 (ammo: 12)
    • Medium Pulse Laser
    • ER Medium Laser × 2
    • Machine Gun × 2 (ammo: 200)
  • Equipment:
    • CASE
  • Design Quirks:
    • Improved Targeting (Medium)
    • Weak Head Armor (1)
  • Cost: 24,233,125 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 2,737

Mobility

Thanks to its large XL engine, the Timber Wolf is faster than average for a heavy ’Mech. It walks up to 5 hexes and can run as fast as 8. That movement allows it to reach a +3 target movement modifier when running. It lacks jump jets which can be a drawback in rough terrain or urban combat.

Durability

The Timber Wolf is heavily armored. It carries 230 points of ferro fibrous armor which is just a couple of points below the maximum for a 75-ton chassis. It does have an XL engine that makes it more vulnerable to side torso damage and it suffers from a loss of 1 point of head armor due to its Weak Head Armor quirk. Both side torsos carry explosive ammunition with the right having 22% of its critical hits explode and the left having 13%. Both of those locations do have CASE protection, but an explosion will still cause 2 engine hits and the loss of half of the Timber Wolf’s firepower.

Weaponry

The Timber Wolf Prime carries an effective mixed arsenal. Two ER large lasers give it a maximum range of 25 hexes, and then the paired LRM 20s bring in another potential 40 damage at 21 hexes. At medium ranges, it adds two ER medium lasers and a medium pulse laser. Finally, it carries a pair of machine guns that make it more than capable of taking out conventional infantry. None of its weapons have minimum ranges, so it consistently is able to increase its expected damage output as it gets closer to its targets.

Maximum and Expected Damage

The Improved Targeting quirk for medium range means that the Timber Wolf has target numbers only 1 higher for the that range bracket than for short range. Combined with its long weapon ranges, that means it can fire its biggest weapons out to 14 hexes with great accuracy. Against most targets, it is a good strategy for a MechWarrior to use the Timber Wolf’s mobility and range advantage to soften up targets from that 12-14 hex range before closing in to finish them off.

The Prime configuration has a wide firing arc thanks to its arm-mounted lasers, but it is most effective if it can keep targets in its forward firing arc. With a torso twist, it can fire at least one large laser and medium laser in any direction, but that is a big drop off compared to what it can unleash if all of its weapons can fire.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

A flaw in the Timber Wolf Prime configuration is that the LRM 20 racks have a very constrained ammunition supply. The ’Mech only carries a total of 12 shots, so it can only fire both racks 6 times during a battle. That is limited enough that they can’t be counted on to be used during an entire engagement. Depending on personal preference, a MechWarrior can opt to use the missiles either to soften up targets at range and then finishing a fight with lasers, or they can focus on using their lasers early in the fight and then unleashing the missiles as a finishing move once holes have been opened in the target’s armor. The machine guns on the other hand have more than enough ammunition to last an entire campaign.

Heat Management

The Prime configuration does not have enough cooling capacity to repeatedly fire all of its weapons. If it fires everything, then it generates 50 points of heat plus 1-2 more for movement. Its 17 double heat sinks can only dissipate 34 of those heat points leaving a potential excess of 18 heat. That alpha strike is enough to leave the Timber Wolf suffering from +3 on attack target numbers, reduced to 2 / 3 movement, and with a 28% chance to shut down.

To balance heat, a MechWarrior will need to fire only with some of the ’Mechs weapons. At long range, firing both large lasers and the LRMs will result in slight but manageable overheating. As they close to 12 hexes or less, the medium lasers start to become more efficient for expected damage versus heat than the large lasers. If a MechWarrior is aiming to conserve ammunition, they can fire the large lasers and two of the medium lasers and stay roughly heat neutral. Generally, the mix of mediums should be the pulse laser and one of the ER medium lasers because the improved accuracy of the pulse laser increases its expected damage output while it results in 1 less point of heat buildup.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

As with many Clan ’Mechs, the Timber Wolf is not designed for engaging in a melee. It lacks hand actuators and would need to trade away 17 points of potential laser damage in order to make a punch that will be less accurate and only deal 8 points of damage. If it does need to brawl, it is generally better off with a kick for 15 points of damage.

OmniMech Chassis

The Timber Wolf is an OmniMech and can be re-configured with different equipment between missions. It has 27.5 tons of pod space and a good number of critical slots available in its side torsos and arms. Two of the Timber Wolf Prime’s heat sinks are mounted in pods.

Capacity27.5 tons
Headnone
Center Torso1 slot
Right Torso7 slots
Left Torso7 slots
Right Arm7-9 slots
Left Arm7-9 slots
Right Legnone
Left Legnone

As an OmniMech, the Timber Wolf Prime can carry a unit of mechanized battle armor. It is able to make use of its arm-mounted large and medium lasers and one machine gun when carrying five troopers, but it loses the ability to fire the rest of its weapons.

Cost & Upkeep

The Timber Wolf is an expensive frontline OmniMech. It uses an XL engine, endo steel, and ferro fibrous to maximize the tonnage available for weapons, but that also pushes up its cost. The two tons of LRM ammunition will need to be replaced after most battles. Inner Sphere commanders face even higher costs because of its Clan origin.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Timber Wolf Prime:

ActionClan CostInner Sphere Cost
Purchase1,500 SP3,000 SP
Armor Repair75 SP150 SP
Structure Repair150 SP300 SP
Reload10 SP20 SP
Reconfigure19 SP38 SP

Miniature

The new plastic Timber Wolf miniature is included in both the Clan Invasion box set and the Wolf’s Dragoons Assault Star force pack.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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