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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Catapult CPLT-K3

The Catapult CPLT-K3 is an upgrade to the CPLT-K2 that was introduced by the Draconis Combine in 3047 to make use of Star League technology recovered from the Helm Memory Core. Unlike most Catapult variants, the K2 and K3 both have PPCs as their primary weapons rather than missiles.

The CPLT-K3 remained exclusive to the Draconis Combine during its service history. It began to be phased out with the introduction of the CPLT-K2K in 3058 but was still present in the Combine’s forces until the Jihad era.

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  • Aim to engage enemies with your PPCs at about 14 hexes.
  • Standing in woods or partial cover gives you as good of defense as walking in open terrain.
  • Be careful about getting trapped in rough terrain, you lack jump jets and standing back up after a fall is tough without arms.

Catapult CPLT-K3

  • Role: Sniper
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3047)
  • Chassis: 65 tons
  • Movement: 4 / 6
  • Armor: 176
  • Heat Sinks: 20 (40)
  • Weapons:
    • ER PPC × 2
    • Medium Laser × 2
    • Machine Gun × 2 (ammo: 200)
  • Design Quirks:
    • No/Minimal Arms
    • Weak Head Armor (1)
  • Cost: 5,844,575 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,437

Mobility

The Catapult CPLT-K3 is not particularly maneuverable. It has a slightly below average ground speed for a heavy ’Mech with 4 walking MP and 6 running MP. Unlike many Catapult variants, it lacks jump jets, so it can struggle to deal with rough terrain. When running in open terrain, it can achieve a +2 target movement modifier.

The No/Minimal Arms quirk makes it harder for the Catapult to stand up if it falls. That means that a MechWarrior should be especially careful about moving through terrain that would require a Piloting Skill Roll like rubble or water.

Durability

The CPLT-K3 is light on armor for a 65-ton ’Mech with only 83% of the maximum for its chassis. The legs have lower armor relative to the maximum than the upper body locations. The Weak Head Armor quirk also reduces the effective head protection by a point. The ton of ammo for the machine gun is unfortunately stored in the center torso. That gives the location only a 9% chance that a critical slot will explode, but it is in the part of the ’Mech most likely to be hit.

Weaponry

Two ER PPCs are the primary weapons of the CPLT-K3. They give it two 10-damage shots out to 23 hexes making the design an effective sniper. At 9 hexes, it can add two medium lasers. Then for very short ranges, it has a pair of machine guns that can quickly take out enemy infantry.

Maximum and Expected Damage

Ideally a MechWarrior in a CPLT-K3 can find a defensive position that will allow them to stand still and fire at a range of about 14 hexes. Firing from partial cover can help to protect its lightly armored legs and either that or woods provides as good of a defensive modifier was its walking speed. Its relatively slow speed and lack of jump jets mean that repositioning if an enemy gets close can be difficult though.

The arm-mounted ER PPCs give the CPLT-K3 the ability to fire in any direction. With a torso twist or arm flip, both can be fired no matter where an enemy has managed to move. The medium lasers and machine guns have a more restricted forward arc.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

The only weapons on the CPLT-K3 that consume ammo are the machine guns. Given their limited range and 100 shots each, a MechWarrior should feel free to fire with them whenever possible without risking running out of ammo.

Heat Management

The CPLT-K3 runs cool so that a MechWarrior will not need to keep an eye on heat levels in most battles. It carries 20 double heat sinks for a cooling capacity of 40 and can generate only 38 heat points when running and firing all of its weapons.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

With its focus on longer ranges and minimal arms, the Catapult is not well suited to physical attacks. The No/Minimal Arms quirks means that it cannot punch. It can kick for 13 damage, but it risks falling if it misses and then the lack of arms will make standing back up more difficult.

Cost & Upkeep

The CPLT-K3 is primarily built using introductory technology, but it contains a few components that were cutting edge when it was introduced. It carries ammunition, but that should last an entire campaign without needing a reload.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Catapult CPLT-K3:

ActionCost
Purchase1,300 SP
Armor Repair65 SP
Structure Repair130 SP
Reload0-5 SP

Miniature

The plastic Catapult in the A Game of Armored combat box works to represent the CPLT-K3 or any other variant, but the metal CPLT-K2 from Iron Wind Metals is a better match since it depicts the paired PPCs rather than the LRM launchers.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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