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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Zeus ZEU-6T

The Zeus ZEU-6T became the primary model of Zeus being manufactured for the Lyran Commonwealth in the years leading up to the Fourth Succession War. It upgraded the earlier ZEU-6S by replacing its autocannon with a PPC and some additional heat sinks. That upgrade brought the Zeus closer to its original ZEU-5T but still fell short due to its advanced armor and weapons still being LosTech in the 3020s.

The ZEU-6T is primarily fielded by the Lyran Commonwealth. It saw use from the Fourth Succession War until it disappeared from active use during the Early Republic era. During the Clan Invasion, the ZEU-9S replaced the ZEU-6T as the primary model being manufactured by Defiance Industries. Due to the alliance between the two nations, the ZEU-6T was also shared with the Federated Suns. The Federated Suns, and breakaway Filtvelt Coalition, fielded this variant through the end of the Jihad.

Read This First

  • Use your speed to help maintain range, but defensively it isn’t much better than a hex of trees or partial cover
  • Your armor isn’t as thick as most other assault ’Mechs
  • Pick two of your main weapons to fire to stay cool, or alternate fire with the PPC if you’re okay overheating your myomer a bit

Zeus ZEU-6T

  • Role: Sniper
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3026)
  • Chassis: 80 tons
  • Movement: 4 / 6
  • Armor: 184
  • Heat Sinks: 19 (19)
  • Weapons:
    • PPC
    • LRM 15 (ammo: 8)
    • Large Laser
    • Medium Laser × 2
  • Design Quirks:
    • Easy to Maintain
    • Barrel Fist (Right Arm)
  • Cost: 7,752,000 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,436

Mobility

Overall, the ZEU-6T has an average speed for an 80-ton ’Mech. It can walk with 4 MP and run with 6 MP which puts it on the fast side for assault ’Mechs as a whole and able to keep pace with many heavies. It is not equipped with any jump jets, so it can slow down considerably in rough terrain. At best when running the Zeus can generate a +2 target movement modifier, and at a walk it will only ever reach a +1 modifier. Those low modifiers mean that it can easily be as protected by standing still in defensive terrain as moving evasively.

Durability

With less than 12 tons of standard armor, the Zeus ZEU-6T is not as durable as most other assault ’Mechs. That amount of armor is only 75% of the maximum for its chassis and is comparable to designs that are nearly 20 tons lighter than it. Beneath the armor, the ZEU-6T only has one critical slot of explosive ammunition. The missiles mean that a third of critical hits to its right torso will explode and most likely destroy the ’Mech.

Weaponry

The ZEU-6T has a mixed armament with a trio of primary weapons. Its LRM 15 gives it a maximum range of 21 hexes. Then its PPC comes into play at 18 hexes and its large laser at 15. For shorter ranges, it mounts two medium lasers in its torso with one facing forward and the other covering its rear arc.

The minimum ranges on its missiles and PPC mean that its damage potential drops off at short ranges. Its weapons are likely to deal the most damage at 5 hexes where all three main weapons are in short range and the LRMs are only taking a relatively small +2 penalty to target numbers for their minimum range.

Maximum and Expected Damage

Due to its relatively long-range weapons and thin armor, a MechWarrior should be mindful of their opponent’s armament. Against opponents with shorter range weapons, it can be better to stay mobile and attempt to maintain a range of about 10-12 hexes. That can give the Zeus relatively accurate medium range shots while avoiding return fire from SRMs, medium lasers, or AC/20s.

The ZEU-6T can fire weapons in all directions. Its LRMs and PPC are arm-mounted so they have wide firing arcs. Then a rear-facing medium laser can be used to engage light flankers while most of its weapons remain trained on primary targets.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

The ZEU-6T suffers from a limited supply of ammunition. It only carries one ton of reloads for its LRM 15, which means it can only fire 8 times. That can last through some battles, but there’s a chance that it will run out of shots before destroying its targets if the MechWarrior takes too many riskier long-range shots.

Heat Management

Despite adding heat sinks compared to the ZEU-6S, swapping out the autocannon for a PPC still causes heat issues for the ZEU-6T. It can generate 26 points of heat with just its forward-facing weapons, but it can only dissipate 19 points of heat per turn.

In order to avoid overheating, a MechWarrior can only fire two of its three primary weapons. For maximizing potential damage, the best pairing is most often the PPC and LRM 15. In order to conserve limited ammunition, the PPC and large laser can be a better option at longer ranges though. A MechWarrior willing to push their heat levels a little more can instead fire the missiles and laser every turn and the PPC every other turn. That pattern will cause the Zeus to lose some speed every other turn, but lets a MechWarrior make use of all three big guns.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

In most situations, a MechWarrior in a Zeus ZEU-6T should try to stay at range, but it still can throw its weight around in a melee. Both of its arm-mounted weapons suffer from minimum ranges, so punches are generally more accurate than firing them even if the 8 damage is lower than what the weapons could deal. The right arm’s Barrel Fist quirk counteracts the lack of a hand actuator, but the left arm suffers a +1 target number modifier due to its lack of a hand. The Zeus can also kick for 16 damage.

Cost & Upkeep

Despite being an upgrade to the ZEU-6S, the ZEU-6T is still built with systems that were widely available throughout the Succession Wars. It will require a ton of ammunition to be replace after each engagement.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Zeus ZEU-6T:

ActionCost
Purchase800 SP
Armor Repair80 SP
Structure Repair160 SP
Reload5 SP

Miniature

The plastic Zeus miniature in the Inner Sphere Fire Lance force pack is a close match for the Zeus ZEU-6T variant.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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