’Mech Manual: Black Lanner Prime

The design process for the Black Lanner was started by Clan Jade Falcon in the lead up to the invasion of the Inner Sphere, but it did not reach the battlefields until after the year of peace caused by the death of ilKhan Leo Showers. It is a fast medium OmniMech that can outpace many light ’Mechs while still carrying a respectable amount of firepower and armor.

The Black Lanner chassis has remained primarily in the hands of Clan Jade Falcon since its introduction. Clans Steel Viper, Ice Hellion, Coyote, and Hell’s Horses have made limited use of it over the years after winning some in trials, but as the ilClan era dawns, only Clan Jade Falcon continues to field the Black Lanner.

Read This First

  • Use your speed advantage to maintain a high target movement modifier, but watch out for rough terrain
  • You don’t have enough heat sinks for all of your weapons, so you generally want to fire either your large laser or your medium lasers, not both
  • Against enemies with shorter range weapons, skirmish at long range to wear them down before moving in for the kill
  • Use MASC sparingly when it can allow you to hit 10 hexes moved or get out of range of a dangerous opponent

Black Lanner Prime

  • Role: Skirmisher
  • Tech Base: Clan (3052)
  • Chassis: 55 tons (Endo Steel)
  • Movement: 7 / 11 (14), XL
  • Armor: 153 (Ferro Fibrous)
  • Heat Sinks: 10 (20)
  • Weapons:
    • ER Large Laser
    • LRM 10 (ammo: 12)
    • ER Medium Laser × 2
    • SRM 6 (ammo: 15)
  • Equipment:
    • ECM Suite
    • MASC
    • CASE
  • Design Quirks:
    • Stable
  • Cost: 18,098,510 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 2,268


The Black Lanner chassis is much faster than most other medium ’Mechs. It has a base running speed of 11 MP and then a MASC system that allows it to be boosted up to 14 MP. That lets it outrun most light ’Mechs. That speed can offer it a +4 target movement modifier when running, and the MASC can make that easier to maintain on rounds when the Black Lanner needs to lose a few MP to terrain or facing changes.

The Prime configuration lacks jump jets though, so its mobility can easily be lost due to rough terrain. A MechWarrior should try to stick to clearer battlefields in order to get the most out of their speed.


A tradeoff made with the Black Lanner chassis is that it carries below average armor for a 55-ton ’Mech. Its 153 armor points are only 83% of what its chassis could accommodate. That amount of protection is still above average for a medium ’Mech though.

Both of the Prime configuration’s side torsos are vulnerable to ammo explosions. They each have 25% of their critical slots occupied by missiles. CASE will prevent the explosion from spreading, but the blast will remove about half of the ’Mech’s firepower and inflict two hits on its XL engine.


The Prime configuration has a diverse mix of weapons. At long ranges, it can skirmish with its large laser and LRMs. At 15 hexes, it can add in its medium lasers, and then at 9 hexes, it can utilize its SRM 6. None of its weapons suffer from a minimum range, so its expected damage is at its maximum at ranges of 1-3 hexes.

Maximum and Expected Damage

The Black Lanner Prime’s weapons are well distributed. Its lasers are split between its arms giving them wide firing arcs, while the missiles are torso mounted. The arms lack lower arm actuators, so they can be flipped in order to fire all of its lasers into its rear arc.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

The Prime only carries one ton of ammo for each of its missile weapons. That gives it 15 shots with the SRM 6 and 12 with the LRM 10. That should be enough to last through most engagements without a MechWarrior needing to work to preserve their ammunition supplies.

Heat Management

Heat is a problem for the Black Lanner Prime. It is equipped with 10 double heat sinks, but its weapon systems can generate 30 heat in a single turn. In practice, that means that a MechWarrior will need to choose between their large laser and the medium lasers when they are both in range. At ranges where the large laser has an accuracy advantage, it should usually be used, but when both it and the medium lasers are in the same range bracket, then the two medium lasers should be fired instead to avoid overheating.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage


The Black Lanner Prime is not built for melee. Its lack of lower arms means that its punches are inaccurate and only deal 3 damage each. Firing the arm-mounted lasers will almost always be a better choice. When it is at point-blank range, it should instead kick for 11 damage. Defensively, the Stable quirk means that the Black Lanner is less likely to fall over as a result of taking a kick or other physical attack, but that really isn’t enough to encourage a MechWarrior to try to get it into a brawl.

OmniMech Chassis

As an OmniMech, the Black Lanner can be reconfigured between missions. While the MASC system cannot be pod-mounted, none of its other equipment is built into the chassis, so it offers MechWarriors a good amount of flexibility. Its capacity is substantially better than other fast medium OmniMechs like the Ice Ferret and Viper, but it doesn’t quite match the Shadow Cat’s available tonnage.

Capacity13 tons
Head1 slot
Center Torsonone
Right Torso7 slots
Left Torso7 slots
Right Arm6-8 slots
Left Arm6-8 slots
Right Legnone
Left Legnone

The high speed of the Black Lanner makes it a fairly good transport for battle armor. It can quickly run to where they want to be delivered. It does lose access to both of its missile launchers when carrying a unit, but its lasers leave it with a good amount of available firepower, and it cannot fire everything without overheating anyways.

Other Capabilities

The Prime configuration includes a pod-mounted ECM. This allows the Black Lanner Prime to disrupt enemy electronics and can be key when up against forces using C3.

Cost & Upkeep

The Black Lanner is a Clan frontline OmniMech that makes use of a powerful XL fusion engine, so it has a high purchase price. Its missile systems also mean that it can require a couple of tons of replacement ammunition after each outing.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Black Lanner Prime:

ActionClan CostInner Sphere Cost
Purchase1,100 SP2,200 SP
Armor Repair55 SP110 SP
Structure Repair110 SP220 SP
Reload20 SP40 SP
Reconfigure14 SP28 SP


The plastic miniature for the Black Lanner Prime is included in the Clan Support Star force pack.


More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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