During the invasion of the Inner Sphere, it became clear to Khan Ulric Kerensky that Clan Wolf would need superior mobility in order to succeed against the more numerous MechWarriors of the Great Houses. Towards that end, he ordered the production of the Pouncer.
The Pouncer is essentially an upgrade to the Adder that adds 5 tons to its total weight in order to incorporate jump jets in its chassis. Its design is close enough that it can fill the same combat roles as the older Adder while enjoying far better mobility in rough terrain.
Clans Wolf and Wolf-in-Exile have been the primary manufacturers and users of the Pouncer since its introduction. The design was picked up by several of the Homeworld Clans and Clan Nova Cat leading up the Blakist Jihad. During the Republic era, it has spread to all of the Inner Sphere Clans as well as mercenaries and the Scorpion Empire.
Read This First
- Act as a long range sniper and try to stick to a range of about 12-14 hexes
- Use your jump jets to easily get in to and out of good firing positions
- After firing both ER PPCs you will need to either fire just one or use your jump jets to get out-of-sight so that you can cool back off
- Role: Sniper
- Tech Base: Clan (3050)
- Chassis: 40 tons (Endo Steel)
- Movement: 6 / 9, XL
- Jumping: 5
- Armor: 115 (Ferro Fibrous)
- Heat Sinks: 12 (24)
- ER PPC × 2
- ER Small Laser
- Targeting Computer
- Design Quirks:
- Weak Head Armor (2)
- Cost: 8,755,688 C-Bills
- Battle Value: 2,557
The Pouncer OmniMech matches the ground movement profile of the Adder and then enhances its mobility with jump jets. The 9 running MP allow a Pouncer to achieve a +3 target movement modifier in clear terrain, and the 5 jump jets can do the same in any terrain. A MechWarrior can make good use of the jump jets to reach good firing positions and then to get out-of-sight when the Pouncer needs to avoid incoming fire or cool back down.
When its designers scaled up the Adder, they did not increase its armor. The Pouncer carries the same tonnage of armor as the 35-ton Adder, so its protection is slightly below average for a 40-ton ’Mech. Making matters worse, the Pouncer suffers from the Weak Head Armor quirk meaning that an unlucky 10 damage hit is enough to completely destroy its head. Its armor distribution is also more weighted towards its rear which could be useful on close-range brawling configurations, but that is likely not worth the reduced front arc protection on the Pouncer Prime.
The Pouncer Prime matches the main weapon systems of the Adder Prime. It has two ER PPCs paired to a targeting computer that allow it to deal 30 damage with improved accuracy out to ranges of 23 hexes. That is enough firepower that even the heaviest of enemy units are forced to take notice.
The Prime configuration has an ER small laser as its secondary weapon in place of the Adder Prime’s flamer. While the laser offers improved range and damage, it lacks the efficiency against conventional infantry. It also still lacks the range to be used at the Pouncer’s preferred engagement range of roughly 14 hexes.
The ER PPCs of the Pouncer Prime are arm-mounted and capable of being flipped. That gives the ’Mech the ability to fire both of them in any direction. The laser is torso-mounted, so its arc is more restricted.
None of the Pouncer’s weapons require any ammunition.
Just like the Adder Prime, the Pouncer Prime lacks the heat sinks to make full use of its energy weapons. Firing both of its primary weapons generates 30 points of heat, and it can only dissipate 24 of that in a turn. A useful firing pattern is alternating between firing one and two of the weapons. When walking, that will cause the Pouncer to spike to 7 heat and then cool off fully the next turn, but when running or jumping, the Pouncer will gradually grow hotter and hotter. In rougher terrain or urban environments, the Pouncer can instead use its jump jets to move into and out of sight. Jumping and firing will cause it to overheat by 11 points, but if all it does is jump into hiding the next turn, then it can still cool completely off.
With its weapons geared towards acting as a sniper, the Pouncer Prime should be kept out of melee range. It does not have lower arms, so its punches are at reduced accuracy and only deal 2 points of damage. A point-blank ER PPC shot will almost always be a better choice. It can also kick for 8 damage.
As an OmniMech, the Pouncer can have its pod-mounted equipment swapped between engagements. Its payload of 15.5 tons is just below an Adder’s capacity, but it has two more built-in heat sinks than the Adder. It also has a slightly more restricted number of open slots than the Adder due to the hard-mounted jump jets and heat sinks.
|Right Torso||3 slots|
|Left Torso||5 slots|
|Right Arm||5-7 slots|
|Left Arm||5-7 slots|
The Pouncer can carry a unit of battle armor into a fight. While the Pouncer is unlikely to want to get close to enemy units to deliver them offensively, it can make use of a unit as bodyguards by dropping them near its firing perch. With its PPCs in its arms, its firepower is not impacted in any meaningful way while the battle armor is mounted.
Cost & Upkeep
The Pouncer is a Clan front-line OmniMech, so it comes with a relatively high price tag. Its increased tonnage and larger engine mean that it costs about 25% more than an Adder Prime. Its all-energy payload does mean that it can operate away from ammunition supplies and will not incur the same level of ongoing costs as missile and ballistic configurations.
When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Pouncer Prime:
|Action||Clan Cost||Inner Sphere Cost|
|Purchase||800 SP||1,600 SP|
|Armor Repair||40 SP||80 SP|
|Structure Repair||80 SP||160 SP|
|Reconfigure||10 SP||20 SP|
The new plastic Pouncer Prime miniature is included in the Alpha Strike box set.
One reply on “’Mech Manual: Pouncer Prime”
I just don’t understand the appeal of Clan ‘Mechs… The Pouncer Prime is 2,557 BV. I could get a Marauder MAD-2R for 1,630 BV.
That gives me the same dual ER-PPC primary weapons, better secondary weapons, and far more armor. Sure, no jump jets or targeting computer. But with the nearly 900 BV in savings, I could either get another whole ‘Mech or just upgrade the heck out of the pilot.