In response to Cosara Weaponries being unable to meet the SLDF’s demand for Crab CRB-27 BattleMechs, the Star League sent out requests for a replacement. Blue Shot Weapons responded with the design for the Starslayer STY-2C and won a contract in 2765. Unfortunately, technical issues delayed production and then the Amaris Civil War, Exodus, and Succession Wars prevented manufacturing of the STY-2C from reaching its original goals.
Centuries later, after the recovery of the Helm Memory Core and the Clan Invasion, Blue Shot put the Starslayer back into production in 3056. When doing so, they upgraded to the new STY-3C variant that made use of endo steel internal structure to improve the Starslayer’s armor. The reintroduced Starslayer proved popular and quickly spread to forces throughout the Inner Sphere where it has remained in use for nearly a century.
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- Use your large lasers to put holes in enemy armor and then your medium lasers and short-range missiles can try to score critical hits
- Stay mobile to be a difficult target
- You’ll gradually build up heat firing everything, but your jump jets can allow for getting to a safer spot for spending a turn cooling off
- Don’t be afraid of getting up close and personal – your left arm is free for punching
- Role: Skirmisher
- Tech Base: Inner Sphere (3056)
- Chassis: 50 tons (Endo Steel)
- Movement: 5 / 8
- Jumping: 5
- Armor: 169 (Ferro Fibrous)
- Heat Sinks: 11 (22)
- Large Laser × 2
- Medium Laser × 2
- SRM 4 (ammo: 25)
- Small Laser
- Design Quirks:
- Cost: 4,873,625 C-Bills
- Battle Value: 1,508
When designing the Starslayer, Blue Shot decided to match the Crab’s ground speed and then add jump jets to push its mobility even further. That gave the STY-2C and the later STY-3C the same movement profile as widespread medium cavalry ’Mechs like the Griffin GRF-1N and Wolverine WVR-6R. With 8 running MP and 5 jumping MP, it is able to hit a +3 target movement modifier using either movement mode. When able, a MechWarrior should use this mobility to be a difficult target while closing on its chosen targets.
The STY-3C packs the maximum armor for its 50-ton chassis. Under the armor, its one weakness compared to the Crab CRB-27 is that it carries a ton of SRM ammo in its left torso. It is protected by CASE, but that still means that a critical hit there has a 17% chance of resulting in the loss of its entire left side.
The Starslayer has two large lasers as its primary weapons. At shorter ranges, it can add two medium lasers and an SRM 4. Finally, a small laser covers its rear arc as a minimal deterrent against flankers. That mix gives the STY-3C a good ability to do damage out to 15 hexes, and then doubles its damage output once it moves into shorter ranges. The missiles also give it a good chance to score critical hits through any holes in the enemy’s armor that its lasers have opened.
The Starslayer’s weapon arrangement is not symmetrical. Its large lasers are in its right arm and torso while its shorter range weapons are all located in its left torso. With most weapons its its torso, it has a narrower firing arc with everything other than the one large laser.
Unlike the CRB-27 it was designed to compete with, the STY-2C and STY-3C require ammunition. The ton of missiles it carries should last it through two or three engagements though, so it can still operate well as a raider far from supply lines. Even with its ammo bin empty, it still exceeds the firepower of the CRB-27.
The STY-3C can run hot. Its forward-facing weapons generate 25 points of heat, and its 11 double heat sinks only dissipate 22 points. That means that an alpha strike overheats it by 3 without even accounting for heat from movement. In order to get the most out of their Starslayer, a MechWarrior will need to hold fire with some of the medium lasers when at ranges of 6 hexes or more and then with one of the large lasers at shorter ranges in order to avoid punishing heat levels. They can push a bit higher though especially if terrain gives them a good place to jump away to relative safety after building up into the range of 8-13 excess heat for a round of cooling back off.
The Starslayer can fare well in a brawl. The weapons it has do not suffer from any minimum range penalties, so it can get close without giving up any accuracy. Its left arm has no weapons and features a full set of actuators, so it can punch for 5 damage after firing all of its weapons. Its right arm lacks a lower arm and has a large laser, so it will generally not be a good option for punching since its accuracy is limited and it can only deal 3 damage. The Starslayer can also kick for 10 damage.
A new plastic miniature for the Starslayer will be included in the upcoming Mercenaries box set.
One reply on “’Mech Manual: Starslayer STY-3C”
The Starslayer was one of a number of designs (like the previously featured Devastator) that never materialized on the battlefield, due to the machinations and mayhem that led up to the collapse of the Star League, and the chaos and carnage that followed. Not until the end of the Succession Wars was its potential able to be explored.
However, not all designs have unfulfilled potential, and I would point to this as an example. Capable, but hardly revolutionary, its armament and mobility are equalled or surpassed by the Phoenix Hawk, and likewise its battlefield staying power by the Wolverine. (I think a set of engagements, either solo duels or lance confrontations, against either of these two ‘Mechs could be interesting; I’m not inclined to try it in MegaMek since Princess vs. Human results are not particularly meaningful.)
The main problem with the Starslayer is heat. Once in medium range, maneuvering in running or jumping mode while repeatedly alpha-striking, can ramp up heat levels quickly to dangerous levels. This not only limits the tactical usefulness of the ‘Mech, but also precludes some otherwise easy upgrades such as ER laser weapons, which would exacerbate the problem, or trading jump jets for additional heat sinks, which would take away a key advantage of most medium ‘Mechs to increase firepower and/or endurance.
However the tactical abilities of the ‘Mech may not need enhancement, because it has a hidden strategic value for campaigns. Lacking most advanced components such as uprated weapons, powerplant, or electronics, means that it can be readily repaired and returned to service without lengthy or incomplete repairs, or repairs that require scarce or expensive components. It is not particularly flashy or sturdy (though it does have the Rugged quirk), but it can take punishment and return to the front lines again, and again, and again. The Phoenix Hawk and Wolverine – which actually use the same Star-League-era Comm and T&T systems, and many newer variants have advanced power, weapon, and electronics systems – may be flashy in individual engagments, but can’t generally boast such long-haul durability. The Starslayer is a ‘lieutenant’ unit, a placeholder that can take moderate-to-serious damage, be repaired easily and quickly without taxing supplies and personnel, and be returned to the battlefield in a number of capacities. For campaign operations, this is an asset that offsets its tactical lackluster.