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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Stalker STK-3F

The Stalker STK-3F is a workhorse assault ’Mech that was introduced early in the Star League’s history. During the nearly two centuries between its introduction and the fall of the Star League, the design spread throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery. Its original manufacturer was destroyed during the Succession Wars, but Irian BattleMechs Unlimited in the Free Worlds League and Trellshire Heavy Industries in the Lyran Commonwealth picked up production to ensure the Stalker survived. The design has remained in wide use since then with several Successor States, nations of the Periphery, and mercenaries still fielding it in the Dark Age.

Read This First

  • Do not fire all of your weapons unless you’re trying to cook some rations in your cockpit
  • By default, fire your LRMs and large lasers, then swap from LRMs to SRMs at 6 hexes, and from the large to medium lasers at 3 hexes
  • Depending on the scenario, you can fulfill different combat roles: indirect fire support, sniper, or juggernaut
  • Try to stay out of arm’s reach, you don’t have any arms to hit back with

Stalker STK-3F

  • Role: Juggernaut
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (2594)
  • Chassis: 85 tons
  • Movement: 3 / 5
  • Armor: 216
  • Heat Sinks: 20 (20)
  • Weapons:
    • Large Laser × 2
    • LRM 10 × 2 (ammo: 24)
    • SRM 6 × 2 (ammo: 30)
    • Medium Laser × 4
  • Design Quirks:
    • Combat Computer
    • No/Minimal Arms
    • Ubiquitous
  • Cost: 7,463,825 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,559

Mobility

The Stalker STK-3F is a slow-moving assault ’Mech. It walks with 3 MP and runs with 5 MP. In clear terrain, that allows it at most a +2 target movement modifier, but most turns it will manage a +1 modifier or less. From a defensive point-of-view, it is as well off standing in a forest or behind partial cover as relying on evasive movement.

The No/Minimal Arms quirk hinders the Stalker’s ability to stand up after a fall, so MechWarriors should be more cautious about taking any actions that trigger a Piloting Skill roll.

Durability

The Stalker STK-3F has below average durability for its weight class, but that still leaves it more durable than most heavy ’Mechs. It carries only 82% of the maximum armor for an 85-ton chassis. That armor is concentrated in its torso locations leaving the legs even further below their maximum armor rating. The other durability issue is that it carries a lot of explosive ammunition. Both side torsos have 17% of their critical slots filled with explosive ammo, and both arms have ammo in 13% of their slots. That means the STK-3F is in relatively high danger of destruction once any of those four locations lose their armor protection.

Weaponry

The STK-3F carries a lot of weapons. Two LRM launchers provide it with the ability to start firing at 21 hexes and make indirect fire attacks. Two large lasers offer the ability to melt holes in targets starting at 15 hexes. Then two SRM launchers and four medium lasers offer a devastating amount of short-range firepower. That combination means that the maximum expected damage when firing everything is at a range of 3 hexes, but due to heat issues, a MechWarrior will rarely actually want to fire all of those weapons at once.

Maximum and Expected Damage

The mix of weapons on the Stalker STK-3F gives a MechWarrior the ability to fill multiple roles on the battlefield. The 20 LRM tubes are enough to act as fire support. When direct line of sight is available, the large lasers can be added to the LRMs to act as a sniper. Then the mix of medium lasers and SRMs allow the Stalker to be a deadly juggernaut once it has advanced to short range.

With so many weapons, the Stalker can fire both long and short-range weapons in any direction. The LRMs and medium lasers are both arm-mounted with the ability to flip the arms to cover the Stalker’s rear arc too. The large lasers and SRMs are torso-mounted with a more constrained firing arc.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

With four missile launchers, the Stalker STK-3F can go through a lot of ammunition. Each launcher has its own dedicated ton of ammo though, so a MechWarrior should have enough for all but the longest engagements especially since they are unlikely to be firing both types of launchers continuously. With two tons of ammunition for each launcher type, a MechWarrior can take advantage of special munitions for more flexibility while still carrying a decent amount of standard missiles.

Heat Management

Due to its large arsenal, the STK-3F can run very hot. Even with the heat-managing abilities of its Combat Computer quirk, it can overheat by 20 points in a single turn of shooting. In order to avoid dangerous heat levels, a MechWarrior will need to focus on firing only the most effective weapons for a given range bracket. At longer ranges, the best option is generally to fire the LRMs and large lasers which leaves the Stalker building up only movement heat each turn. After a few rounds of that firing pattern, dropping to only firing one of the large lasers for a round is enough to cool back off.

As ranges drop, a MechWarrior should start swapping in their short-range weapons. At under 6 hexes, the SRMs are more efficient than the LRMs. Then at 3 hexes and closer, the medium lasers are a better choice than the large lasers. Beyond that basic firing plan, a MechWarrior should also keep an eye out for opportunities to fire more and overheat a little when easier shots present themselves.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

The Stalker is poorly suited to brawling. It lacks the ability to punch due to its No/Minimal Arms quirk. It can kick for 17 damage, but that comes with the risk of falling over and then struggling to stand back up without arms to help.

Cost & Upkeep

The STK-3F does not use any advanced technology so it is relatively affordable for an assault ’Mech. After most battles, it will need to replace at least 2 tons of missiles and sometimes all 4 of its bins will need refilling. It benefits from the Ubiquitous quirk which means that in a full campaign, replacement parts are easier to find.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Stalker STK-3F:

ActionCost
Purchase850 SP
Armor Repair85 SP
Structure Repair170 SP
Reload10-20 SP

Miniature

The Inner Sphere Fire Lance force pack contains a plastic Stalker STK-3F miniature.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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