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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Awesome AWS-9M

The Awesome AWS-9M was introduced by the Free Worlds League in 3049 to make use of recovered Star League technology. The weight savings of the XL engine and double heat sinks allowed for a variant that was more mobile while carrying an assortment of secondary weapons. The new technology also came with some drawbacks causing the new model to lose some of the famed durability of the older AWS-8Q.

With the advent of the Clan Invasion, the AWS-9M was sold throughout the Inner Sphere. The design has remained popular since its introduction and even in the Dark Age can be found in the militaries of the Free Worlds League, Capellan Confederation, Lyran Commonwealth, Periphery states, and mercenaries.

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  • Act as a sniper with an ideal range of about 14 hexes
  • Alternate between firing 2 and 3 ER PPCs to manage your heat
  • Use your shorter-range weapons to discourage enemies from getting close
  • Be careful about taking damage to your left leg, it explodes

Awesome AWS-9M

  • Role: Brawler
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3049)
  • Chassis: 80 tons
  • Movement: 4 / 6, XL
  • Armor: 247
  • Heat Sinks: 20 (40)
  • Weapons:
    • ER PPC × 3
    • Medium Pulse Laser
    • Streak SRM 2 × 2 (ammo: 50)
    • Small Pulse Laser
  • Design Quirks:
    • Battlefist (LA)
  • Cost: 18,090,120 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,812

Mobility

The AWS-9M is relatively fast for an assault ’Mech. It can walk 4 hexes and run 6 hexes in open terrain. That gives it the ability to achieve a +2 target movement modifier. It is not equipped with any jump jets so rough terrain can force it to slow down.

Durability

The Awesome AWS-9M has slightly more armor coverage than the older AWS-8Q, but due to other changes has less ability to survive damage. The increased armor puts it at 100% of what its 80-ton chassis can accommodate. The decreased survivability comes from two things. First, the bulky XL engine means that losing either side torso will take the ’Mech out of the fight. The second is that its left leg contains a ton of SRM ammunition that means a critical hit on it has a 20% chance of triggering an explosion that will tear through the Awesome’s internals and destroy it.

Weaponry

The primary weapons of the Awesome AWS-9M are three ER PPCs. That gives it a potential to deal 30 damage out to 23 hexes. Rather than only the small laser of the AWS-8Q, the AWS-9M carries a medium pulse laser, 2 Streak SRM 2s, and a small pulse laser as secondary weapons. That mix is more versatile with the ability to help the Awesome hit internal systems after it punches holes in a targets armor or deal more efficiently with lighter targets like conventional infantry.

Maximum and Expected Damage

The upgraded ER PPCs do not have a minimum range, so the AWS-9M’s expected damage output continues to increase as it gets closer to its targets. A MechWarrior should generally aim to work as a sniper using the ER PPCs at a range of about 14 hexes, but if the enemy gets closer than that, they don’t need to worry as much about falling back to maintain range as if they were dealing with standard PPCs.

The majority of the Awesome’s firepower is constrained to its forward firing arc. One ER PPC on the right arm and a Streak launcher on the left benefit from wider arcs.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

Only the Streak launchers require ammunition. Thanks to their ability to only use ammo when a lock is achieved, a MechWarrior shouldn’t have to worry about going through their 25 shots per launcher in a single battle.

Heat Management

Despite its upgrade to double heat sinks, the AWS-9M runs hot. Its cooling system can dissipate 40 points of heat per round, but just the three ER PPCs generate 45 heat when firing. The rest of the weapons can add another 10 heat, and movement can result in 1-2 more. That gives a potential overheat of 17 in a single round which is enough to greatly hinder the Awesome’s performance in subsequent rounds.

When acting as a sniper, a MechWarrior can alternate between firing 2 and 3 of their PPCs per round. Depending on movement, that will result in alternating between 0 and 5-7 heat which means that the Awesome will be slowed by heat every other round, but otherwise maintain good performance. At ranges of 6 hexes or less, it can be more efficient to drop a PPC entirely in order to fire the medium pulse laser and SRMs instead.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

The Awesome AWS-9M can hold its own in a close-quarters brawl. Its right arm can deal more damage firing an ER PPC, but a MechWarrior should consider punching if their ’Mech is running hot since it allows for a chance at 8 damage without any generating any heat. The left arm is even better suited for punching since it has a full actuator set, benefits from the Battlefist quirk, and only requires giving up on the damage for a single Streak SRM 2. The Awesome can also kick for 16 points of damage.

Cost & Upkeep

The upgraded technology of the AWS-9M, especially the XL engine, make it a far more expensive ’Mech than its predecessors. In addition to the higher initial price tag, it also requires a supply of Streak SRM 2 ammo, but it should only need to replace that ton of ammo after a few engagements.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Awesome AWS-9M:

ActionCost
Purchase1,600 SP
Armor Repair80 SP
Structure Repair160 SP
Reload0-10 SP

Miniature

The plastic Awesome that is included in A Game of Armored Combat can be used to represent the AWS-9M or any other Awesome variant.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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