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BattleTech

’Mech Manual: Raven RVN-3L

The original Raven RVN-1X was an attempt by the Capellan Confederation to develop an electronic warfare platform that could serve as a force multiplier. It saw battle during the Fourth Succession War where it performed well enough that House Liao continued to allocate resources to the project. By the time of the Clan Invasion, the prototype electronic warfare equipment had been replaced with more capable recovered Star League technology in the RVN-3L.

While the Raven was developed for the Capellan Confederation, its value on modern battlefields was recognized throughout the Inner Sphere and it began to propagate to other militaries. As part of the alliance between the Capellan Confederation and Free Worlds League, the League was the first other nation to field the updated RVN-3L. During the Fed Com Civil War, the Federated Suns, Magistracy of Canopus, and Taurian Concordat also began to field the variant. The design was eventually supplanted by more advanced variants and by the HPG Blackout in the 3130s, the RVN-3L had disappeared from the Inner Sphere.

Read This First

  • Your armor is thin and you’re not exceptionally mobile, so be careful about getting into a bad position
  • While your armament is okay for a light ’Mech, your main focus should be acting as an electronic warfare delivery platform to hinder enemies and aid allies
  • Consider replacing one ton of Narc ammo with explosive pods rather than homing beacons
  • You’re most useful when you can work with fire support units carrying either Narc-equipped LRMs or Arrow IV missiles

Raven RVN-3L

  • Role: Scout
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3048)
  • Chassis: 35 tons
  • Movement: 6 / 9, XL
  • Armor: 80 (Ferro Fibrous)
  • Heat Sinks: 11 (11)
  • Weapons:
    • SRM 6 (ammo: 15)
    • Medium Laser × 2
    • Narc (ammo: 12)
  • Equipment:
    • Guardian ECM Suite
    • Beagle Active Probe
    • CASE
    • TAG
  • Design Quirks:
    • No/Minimal Arms
  • Cost: 5,688,225 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 708

Mobility

The Raven RVN-3L has good, but not great, maneuverability. Its walk speed of 6 and run speed of 9 are competitive with most light ’Mechs, but not fast enough to outrun scouts or scout hunters. It then lacks jump jets which limit its ability to quickly traverse rough terrain. Its speed gives the RVN-3L the ability to generate a +2 target movement modifier walking or a +3 when running.

Durability

Despite being upgraded to Ferro-Fibrous armor, the RVN-3L is under armored for its tonnage. It carries only two-thirds of its potential armor. That gives it protection that is more fitting for a ’Mech that is 10 tons lighter than the Raven. Under the armor, its Inner Sphere XL engine is a weakness since the loss of either side torso will disable the ’Mech. Its left torso additionally is stocked with three tons of explosive munitions that mean a critical hit there has a 38% chance of exploding and taking out the ’Mech due to engine damage even if CASE prevents the resulting explosion from completely destroying it.

Weaponry

Firepower isn’t the focus of the RVN-3L’s design, but it still carries an acceptable set of weapons for a light ’Mech with two medium lasers and an SRM 6. Those weapons give it a limited range of only 9 hexes, but can put out enough damage to deter attacks by other light ’Mechs.

Maximum and Expected Damage

In addition to its damage-dealing weapons, the RVN-3L carries a Narc launcher that can attach a homing beacon to an enemy unit. It matches the range of the Raven’s other weapons and by default the Raven’s SRM ammo bin should be filled with Narc-capable missiles. Other missile-equipped ’Mechs in the Raven’s force should also be set up to take advantage of the homing beacons. If a mission instead calls for the Raven to focus on damage output while operating without support, the Narc launcher can make use of explosive pods.

The Raven’s limited arms allow it to enjoy wide firing arcs. While its missile launcher can only fire forward, the medium lasers are mounted in the right arm. The Narc launcher is in the left arm, so it too has a flexible arc. The Raven’s MechWarrior can also flip its arms to fire both the medium lasers and Narc beacon into its rear arc.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

The Raven has a decent balance between energy weapons and missiles. The SRM launcher’s single ton of ammunition gives it 15 turns worth of shooting which is more than enough for most engagements. The Narc launcher has two tons of ammo for a total of 12 shots. That allows it to either pack an abundance of homing pods or a 50/50 split of homing and explosive pods.

Heat Management

The RVN-3L lacks double heat sinks, but the designers managed to give it a sufficient cooling capacity despite using older technology. Its weapons generate 10 points of heat, so the 11 single heat sinks allow it to stay heat neutral as long as it doesn’t run. Even when running, it takes five turns to accrue enough heat to cause problems, so a MechWarrior can easily manage that by holding fire with just one weapon every few turns of battle.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage

Brawling

The Raven RVN-3L is not designed for brawling. It has the No/Minimal Arms quirk, so it is incapable of punching. It can kick for 7 damage, but in general a MechWarrior should try to avoid being in a situation where kicking is even an option.

Other Capabilities

Where the RVN-3L shines is its assortment of electronic warfare equipment. It is equipped with an ECM suite, an active probe, and TAG that together allow it to fulfill multiple specialized roles.

The ECM disrupts enemy electronics. This can help to protect against Artemis- or Narc-equipped missiles, jam enemy active probes, or disrupt C3 networks. Those are all fairly situational effects, but they can be critical to victory in the right scenarios.

The Active Probe makes the RVN-3L an especially useful member of a force when fighting against hidden units since it can prevent itself or an ally walking into a point-blank range ambush.

Finally, the TAG system allows for the Raven to designate targets for homing missiles from Arrow IV launchers. When that artillery is available, homing missiles offer a devastating option. This makes the RVN-3L a good companion for a Catapult CPLT-C3 or CPLT-C5. The TAG system can also be paired with semi-guided LRMs, but that option is somewhat redundant with the RVN-3L’s Narc beacon.

Cost & Upkeep

The RVN-3L’s upgrades to Star League technology mean that it costs more than most Succession Wars era light ’Mechs. In particular, its XL engine pushes up the initial purchase price and then its higher tech ammunition for the SRM and Narc launchers means that its logistical costs remain elevated while in use.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Raven RVN-3L:

ActionCost
Purchase700 SP
Armor Repair35 SP
Structure Repair70 SP
Reload20-30 SP

Miniature

The new plastic Raven RVN-3L miniature is included in the Inner Sphere Urban Lance force pack.

Sources

More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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