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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Commando COM-9S

The Commando COM-9S was introduced in 3146. It shares many traits with the earlier COM-8S, but Coventry Metal Works replaced the weapon systems to allow it to engage targets at much longer ranges than most Commando designs. The COM-9S has only been deployed by the Lyran Commonwealth since its introduction.

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  • Stay at longer range and whittle away at targets
  • You only get one shot with the right arm SRMs, make it count
  • Use the supercharger sparingly to avoid engine damage

Commando COM-9S

  • Role: Striker
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3146)
  • Chassis: 25 tons (Endo Steel)
  • Movement: 7 / 11 (14), XL
  • Armor: 72
  • Heat Sinks: 10 (20)
  • Weapons:
    • Light PPC
    • MML 3 × 2 (ammo: 40 LRM, 33 SRM)
    • SRM 2 (Improved One-Shot) × 2
  • Equipment:
    • CASE II
    • Supercharger
  • Design Quirks:
    • Exposed Actuators
    • Narrow/Low Profile
  • Cost: 5,728,333 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 719

Mobility

Like the COM-8S, the COM-9S is faster than most Commando variants. Its walking speed is now average for a light ’Mech at 7 MP. When running, a MechWarrior can engage the supercharger in order to have 14 MP available. As with many Commandos, the design does not have any jump jets so rough terrain can still be a problem. When running, the COM-9S can reach a +4 target movement modifier. The risks of using the supercharger means that a MechWarrior should aim to use it sparingly with ideally only single round bursts of speed when needed.

Durability

The COM-9S has about average durability for its tonnage. It carries 80% of its maximum armor with it fairly evenly distributed between its locations. The Narrow/Low Profile quirk can stretch that armor a bit further by halving the damage on some hits. The XL engine means that it cannot survive losing any torso location. The right torso also contains 2 tons of ammunition which means that 20% of its critical locations explode, but the CASE II system means that explosion won’t usually destroy the ’Mech. Against infantry, the Commando is more vulnerable to anti-’Mech attacks due to the Exposed Actuators quirk.

Weaponry

The mixed armament on the Commando COM-9S gives it the ability to act as a long-range skirmisher or a short-range striker. It can engage at long-range by firing long-range missiles from its MMLs out to a maximum range of 21 hexes. Then it can add its light PPC at 18 hexes. As a target comes closer, the MMLs can switch to short-range missiles for more damage and the ’Mech carries a pair one one-shot SRM launchers. Because of the PPC’s minimum range, the peak expected damage output is at 3 hexes.

Maximum and Expected Damage

With the two SRM launchers limited to only one-shot each, the sustained damage output is below what the COM-9S can manage in an alpha strike.

Maximum and Expected Damage
Excluding One-Shot Weapons

In order to make good use of the Commando COM-9S’s range, a MechWarrior should engage most targets at about 12 hexes. That puts both the PPC and LRMs into medium range while it can use its speed and that distance to be a more difficult target. If a priority target presents itself or an enemy unit has holes opened in its armor, then the Commando can close in to an ideally 3 hex range in order to unleash its full SRM payload with maximum accuracy.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs
(Values with asterisks can be increased by using one-shot weapons)

The ammo situation for the Commando COM-9S is unfortunate. On one hand, the SRM launchers in the right arm have only a single shot each. On the other, the MML launches have an abundance of shots with room for a ton of LRMs and a ton of SRMs. That gives 20 shots of LRMs per launcher and 16 shots of SRMs per launcher. That means that a MechWarrior shouldn’t need to worry about preserving ammo for the MMLs at all, but they will need to be very careful about when they use the one-shot launchers to make sure they have an impact.

Heat Management

The Commando COM-9S runs cool enough that a MechWarrior only needs to watch the heat gauge under extreme circumstances. It carries 10 double heat sinks and can only generate 17 heat points if it fires all of its weapons and runs. Not counting the one-shot launchers, that number drops even more to only 13 heat.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage
Excluding One-Shot Weapons

Brawling

The COM-9S is not a good design for brawling. It has two hands, but punches only deal 3 damage each. It has weapons in each arm that cannot be combined with punching, but in a punch will be more accurate than the left arm’s PPC at point-blank range and the right arm’s missile launchers can only be fired once.

Cost & Upkeep

The COM-9S is fairly expensive for its tonnage primarily due to its XL engine. In a battle, it will generally use shots from both of its tons of MML ammo due to switching missile types, but those bins should only need to be replaced after a few engagements.

When using the Warchest Points system, these are the expected costs for the Commando COM-9S:

ActionCost
Purchase500 SP
Armor Repair25 SP
Structure Repair50 SP
Reload0-10 SP

Note: As far as I can find, the Warchest Point system does not specify a Supply Point cost for reloading a one-shot weapon system. If there is a cost for that, then it would need to be paid after most battles.

Miniature

A plastic Commando miniature is included in the A Game of Armored Combat box set and a metal version of the same sculpt is available from Iron Wind Metals. Because the COM-9S weapon arrangement matches the COM-2D, the miniature is an exact match for it.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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