With the loss of advanced technology during the Succession Wars, StarCorps lost the ability to manufacture the Highlander HGN-732 that had served in the Star League Defense Force. A licensing agreement with Hollis Incorporated allowed for new Highlanders to be manufactured, but these were a downgraded HGN-733 model that lost the original’s gauss rifle in exchange for a shorter-range autocannon. The HGN-733P is a refit of that downgraded model that recovers some of the gauss rifle’s range by replacing the autocannon with a PPC.
The HGN-733P saw use by both the Capellan Confederation and Lyran Commonwealth from its introduction in 2866 until the Jihad. After the end of that era, the variant was no longer in use, but the HGN-740 that was introduced in 3115 could be seen as a high-tech successor since it also has a PPC as its primary weapon.
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- Get into position and act as a sniper at a range of about 12 hexes
- Move closer once you have put some holes in your target’s armor
- Switch from your LRMs to shorter range weapons once targets are close to avoid overheating
- Try to avoid enemies being directly in front of you to benefit from your cowl
- Consider swapping in 1 ton of special munitions for your missiles to give yourself flexibility
- You should worry about ammo explosions when your side torso armor starts to fail
- Role: Sniper
- Tech Base: Inner Sphere (2866)
- Chassis: 90 tons
- Movement: 3 / 5
- Jumping: 3
- Armor: 279
- Heat Sinks: 20 (20)
- LRM 20 (ammo: 18)
- SRM 6 (ammo: 30)
- Medium Laser × 2
- Design Quirks:
- Command ’Mech
- Difficult Ejection
- Reinforced Legs
- Cost: 8,310,980 C-Bills
- Battle Value: 1,865
On the ground, the HGN-733P has average mobility for an assault ’Mech, but it has a big mobility advantage thanks to its jump jets. In open terrain, it can walk 3 hexes or run 5 hexes. That ground movement can give it up to a +2 target movement modifier. The 3 jump jets become important in rough terrain and urban battlefields when they allow the Highlander to bypass hills and leap from street to street.
The Highlander HGN-733P has thick armor, but it is also vulnerable to critical hits. It carries the maximum armor for its tonnage and then benefits from the Cowl quirk that adds 3 extra points of armor to its head as long as enemies aren’t directly in front of it. Once that protective shell fails, its side torso locations have fairly high risk of suffering a catastrophic ammo explosion. The right torso has 17% of its critical slots occupied by ammo and the left torso has 33% of them as ammo. Once one of those side torsos is low on armor, it is a good idea for a MechWarrior to try to avoid taking any internal damage by backing off from the fight. Another downside of the design is that the head’s design causes it to suffer from the Difficult Ejection quirk meaning that a MechWarrior is less likely to survive ejection.
The HGN-733P’s armament is built around a pair of powerful long-range weapons. The LRM 20 and PPC give it the ability to deal a good amount of damage at long ranges. Then it can add its SRM 6 and two medium lasers once targets are within 9 hexes of range. The minimum ranges on the long-range weapons mean that the design’s expected damage output peaks at a range of 6 hexes.
In order to get the most out of the HGN-733P’s primary weapons, a MechWarrior ideally wants to engage targets at just under 12 hexes of range. That puts the targets inside of medium range for both the PPC and LRMs while still taking advantage of their long ranges. After those weapons have put some holes in their enemy’s armor, the MechWarrior can close in to use their SRMs and medium lasers to try to deal internal damage and cause critical hits.
The Highlander HGN-733P’s weapons are spread between its arms and torso. The arm mounted PPC and SRMs give it the ability to engage a target in any direction, and then the LRMs and medium lasers are torso-mounted that mean they’re less likely to be lost during a battle but also that they have a more restricted firing arc.
Both missile launchers on the HGN-733P have more than a ton of ammunition. The LRM 20 has 3 tons of ammo for 18 shots and the SRM 6 has 2 tons of ammo for 30 shots. That is enough to last through almost any battle without worrying about conserving ammunition. A MechWarrior also has the option to devote a ton for each launcher to special munitions while still carrying at least a dozen rounds worth of standard warheads. That can add a good amount of flexibility for a MechWarrior to tailor their loadout to the mission.
Heat can be a problem for the HGN-733P. It carries 20 single heat sinks, but its weapons can generate 26 points of heat and its jump jets can add another 3 points. At long range, it can fire both of its primary weapons without overheating, but once its other weapons come into range, a MechWarrior needs to be careful about what they fire. At 9 hexes, one of the lasers or the SRM launcher can be added and only build up about 1 point of overheating. Then as the minimum range hinders the LRMs, they can be dropped in favor of firing all of the short-range weapons alongside the PPC. Depending on movement, that will leave the HGN-733P overheating by 1-2 points each turn, so a MechWarrior will need to occasionally hold back with one weapon to cool off.
The HGN-733P is dangerous in a brawl. Its punches can deal 9 damage each which is enough to make it a tempting option. The right punch requires not shooting the PPC and is not as accurate as it could be because the arm does not have a hand actuator, but the PPC at that range will usually be less accurate. The left punch is more accurate, but it prevents the SRM 6 from being fired. While the HGN-733P is better suited to being at least a few hexes away, if it does find itself at point-blank range, those punches are a good option. The Highlander can also kick for 18 damage without needing to hold back with any weapons.
The Highlander is also known for the Death from Above attack. Its jump jets allow it to attempt to land on top of and crush a target. This is a difficult attack, but if successful allows the HGN-733P to deal 27 damage focused on the upper body of the target. The Highlander’s Reinforced Legs quirk means that it only suffers 9 damage to its own legs when performing the Death from Above.
The Highlander benefits from the Command ’Mech quirk, so it makes its entire side of the battle more effective through a bonus to initiative.
Cost & Upkeep
The downgrade to less advanced technology means that the HGN-733P is fairly affordable for an assault ’Mech. Its missile systems will consume a good amount of ammunition with about 2-3 tons needing to be replaced after most engagements.
When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Highlander HGN-733P:
|Armor Repair||90 SP|
|Structure Repair||180 SP|
The plastic Highlander miniature in the ComStar Command Level II force pack works well for representing the HGN-733P variant.