Autocannon fire large caliber rounds that do most of their damage through sheer force of impact. Standard Autocannon (or simply ACs) are the most common type of autocannon. They are reliable and do good damage with low heat build-up, but they weigh more than other weapons and must carry several tons of ammunition (15-20 shots minimum) to be effective. Larger autocannon make good primary weapons for Combat and Assault 'Mechs. Most ACs are too heavy to mount on Recon / Strike or Hunter Killer 'Mechs.
LB-X (Lighter Ballistics) autocannon can fire two types of shells: a standard autocannon round and a cluster round. The cluster round has a bonus to hit, and it fragments in flight, peppering the target with submunitions. LB-Xs are able to punch through an opponent's armor with standard rounds, and then fire cluster rounds to increase the chance of getting a critical hit. Because a separate hit location is rolled for each submunition, the chance of hitting a certain location at least once with an LB-X 10 or -20 is pretty good. LB-Xs weigh as much as other autocannon but receive less ammo per ton. Be sure to carry at least two tons of ammunition for each LB-X autocannon so you can use both standard and cluster rounds.
The Ultra AC 20 is the most devastating weapon a 'Mech can carry and is the primary armament of many Assault 'Mechs. Ultra autocannon weigh slightly more than standard ACs, but they have greater range and they can fire two shells at once, inflicting heavy damage with only moderate heat build-up. Unfortunately, they are unreliable, hitting with both shots slightly less than half of the time, and they go through ammunition quickly. Still, they are good primary weapons if you can devote 3 or 4 tons to ammo (20-30 shots minimum).
Caseless autocannon have the same weight and range as standard ACs, but use lighter ammunition. Each time they are fired there is a small chance that the shell propellant will explode, destroying the autocannon. Of the new autocannon, the Caseless is the closest to the standard AC and may replace it in many designs. Although it lacks the special features of other ACs, its extra ammo makes it a practical weapon and a good option if you can live with the risk of propellant explosion.
The Hyper-Velocity (HV) autocannon is a neat concept, but the rules fail to follow through with it; they neither have significantly longer range, nor do they inflict more damage than other autocannon. Also, they weigh more than standard ACs and, like Caseless autocannon, there is a chance that their shell propellant will explode, destroying the HV-AC. Unless your group adopts alternate rules for the HV-AC, I wouldn't recommend using them. I suggest allowing all HV-ACs to do 1.5 times normal damage and giving the HV-AC 10 a maximum range of 24 hexes. These alternate rules make the HV-AC a viable battlefield weapon and a good primary system for Hunter Killers, Combat, and even Support 'Mechs.
The Gauss Rifle uses a magnetic field to accelerate a water melon shaped metal projectile. It is the best long-range, heavy-damage weapon available in the Inner Sphere, and it has negligible heat build-up. Also, because it doesn't use powder or propellant, its ammunition doesn't explode like missiles or autocannon shells if the ammo bin is hit. The Gauss rifle itself will explode, however, if it receives a critical hit. Because of its great size, the Gauss rifle is most often carried by Support and Combat 'Mechs.
Machine guns have only meager range and damage potential. They are useful for fighting infantry, however. The biggest problem with machine guns is that they carry enough ammunition for 100 firings. You will never use this much ammo so it presents a greater than normal risk of explosion due to heat build-up or a critical hit. If you carry machine guns, carry several so you can go through ammo faster and reduce the risk of an explosion.
Long-Range Missiles (LRMs) are the most popular support weapons in the Inner Sphere. Like artillery, they can even be fired indirectly at a target that is hidden from the 'Mech launching the missiles. Their minimum range make them a poor choice as a primary weapon for anything but Support 'Mechs. Generally, only half of the usual number of missiles will hit the target. Thus, while LRM 'Mechs are not completely helpless at short range, they still need other weapons to defend themselves. Small LRM systems make okay secondary weapons on Combat or Assault 'Mechs, but they really lack enough punch to be effective. It's wise to use an Artimis IV FCS or a NARC missile beacon with LRM 15s and -20s because it gives them one more damage group and 3-4 more points of damage per hit on average.
Short Range Missiles (SRMs) are excellent secondary weapons because they are light, versatile, and deadly against damaged opponents. Each SRM that hits rolls a separate hit location so there is always a good chance of getting a critical hit, especially if your opponent is already damaged. The large variety of special SRM warheads makes them the most versatile weapon in use. Be sure to carry several tons of ammo for your SRM launchers so you can use some of these "special" missiles. It is not necessary to use Artimis IV or NARC systems with SRM 2s and -4s; on average most of the missiles hit anyway and almost all "special" warheads are incompatible with Artimis and NARC systems. Still, if you can spare the tonnage, an Artimis greatly improves the SRM 6, giving it one more missile hit on average.
The advantage of Streak SRMs is that they don't automatically fire when used. Instead, you roll to lock-on. If the roll succeeds, the Streak SRM fires and automatically hits with all missiles. If the lock-on fails, the Streak doesn't fire and builds up no heat that round. The targeting systems of Streak launchers can be interlocked so that several launchers fire at once, requiring only one lock-on roll. If you have a high probability of hitting, this is a good idea. For harder shots, however, it is better to fire the Streaks individually. Because they conserve ammunition, you never need to allocate more than one ton of ammo to a Streak launcher. Also, they do not need Artimis or NARC systems. Streaks are the most reliable missile systems and should be used if you don't plan to use any "special" missiles; they are incompatible with all "special" warheads. Note that if you are using Artimis systems, you must carry an Artimis for each missile launcher except Streaks. Therefore, it is a good idea to use Streak SRMs instead of other SRMs on 'Mechs that use Artimis (for LRMs perhaps) to avoid having to carry additional Artimis systems.
Dead-Fire Missiles (DFMs) do more damage than conventional missiles, but they have less range and they are extremely inaccurate; you are lucky to hit with even half of a salvo. Carrying DFMs is risky. They are deadly if they hit, but they are more likely to miss. The average damage done, however, turns out to be about the same: half of the usual number of missiles hit, but each hit does more damage. If you use DFMs, try to tip the odds in your favor; close to short range and take advantage of every good shot you have. Long-Range DFMs are not support weapons. DFMs are appropriate for Combat and Assault 'Mechs.
Extended LRMs (ELRMs) are just that; they have the best range of any battlefield weapon. Unfortunately, they are almost twice as heavy as standard LRMs, and they have a large minimum range. If you use ELRMs, carry several short-range weapons to use when the enemy gets too close for the ELRMs to arm. Unless you are playing on a large, open field, it is unlikely you will have more than a couple of good shots before the enemy gets within their minimum range. ELRMs should only be used on Support 'Mechs.
Mech Mortars are envisioned as a replacement for LRMs. They have comparable weight and range but are much less accurate. Due to their arcing trajectory, 'Mech Mortars cannot be shot down by anti-missile systems and are not penalized for firing over forests or smoke-filled hexes. Like LRMs, 'Mech Mortars can be fired indirectly. In some cases, 'Mech Mortars are advantageous, in others, they are a burden. If you will be fighting against 'Mechs with good long-range capabilities or in a hilly or forested region, 'Mech Mortars are a good choice. On an open field, however, conventional LRMs are better.
Thunderbolt missiles are the ultimate Hunter Killer weapon. They are light, have good range, and do enough damage to kill or disable a light 'Mech with one or two shots. Also, they don't need Artimis or NARC systems like other big missile launchers to ensure reasonable damage with each hit. They have only several shots per ton of ammunition, however, so make sure you include enough ammo to give each Thunderbolt launcher 10 to 12 shots.
If you use Artemis IV FCS, you must carry an Artemis system for each missile launcher you carry except for Streaks and DFMs. This does not become a burden unless you have more than 4 missile systems, however. Because the Artemis is not restricted by range like the NARC, it is better for use with LRMs.
NARC Missile Beacon
The NARC system requires that you first hit the target with a homing beacon before your missiles gain the NARC bonus. Because of the NARC beacon launcher's limited range, it is not a good guidance system to use with LRMs. The advantage of the NARC system is that NARC guided missiles launched by any friendly 'Mech receive the NARC bonus. Therefore, a 'Mech can "mark" a target with a NARC beacon, and its allies can destroy the target with missile fire.
The standard Anti-Missile System (AMS) destroys 1 to 6 missiles, but expends 2-12 shots in the process. Since it only has 12 shots per ton of ammunition, it can go through a ton or two of ammo very quickly. It shoots down enough missiles to destroy an entire SRM flight, but not enough to disrupt an LRM salvo. To be a worthwhile investment, the AMS needs at least 2 tons of ammunition; that makes it a 2.5 ton system. Unless your 'Mech already has maximum armor, it would be better to devote this tonnage to additional armor. The AMS is a good defensive weapon, but it is not good enough to warrant wide-spread use.
Laser Anti-Missile System
The Laser AMS shoots down twice as many missiles as the standard AMS and doesn't require ammunition. It does, however, build up 3 to 18 point of heat each time it fires, making it very hard to control heat build-up. The Laser AMS is effective against both SRMs and LRMs and is a good defensive system for Support or Assault 'Mechs. If you use it, make sure you have enough heat sinks to deal with the 11-13 points of heat it will build up on average. Carrying a Coolant System would eliminate much of the risk of sudden heat build-up.
Small, medium, large, and Extended Range (ER) large lasers are among the most common weapons used in the Inner Sphere. The small laser is a good secondary, point-defense weapon for lighter 'Mechs. Its range is too limited for it to be useful on larger 'Mechs. The medium laser is an excellent all around weapon. It has good range and damage potential, and it builds up only a little heat. Medium lasers are the perfect secondary weapons. Because they are so light, 'Mechs can easily carry three or four. Large and ER large lasers have enough range to be considered primary weapons, but they do only moderate damage for their weight. They are okay for Combat and Strike 'Mechs, but Thunderbolt launchers and PPCs are better. As secondary weapons, they offer good range for their weight and do not need ammo. Thus, they are appropriate for Assault 'Mechs and even Support 'Mechs.
Pulse lasers have less range than standard lasers; they also weigh more. They are much more accurate, however, and they do slightly more damage. The small pulse laser is not a good weapon for its weight. The medium laser, which has greater range and damage potential, is much better. Medium pulse lasers, on the other hand, are excellent weapons. Although they don't have quite the range of medium lasers, they are more accurate at 1-2 and 4 hexes and are just as accurate at other ranges. They are the best short-range weapons available for Recon / Strike and Combat 'Mechs. The large pulse laser has such short range for its weight that it is not an effective primary weapon; several medium or medium pulse lasers would be better. It is an excellent secondary weapon for Assault 'Mechs, however, offering heavy damage and high accuracy at short range.
Particle Projection Cannons
Standard and Extended Range (ER) Particle Cannons (PPCs) have been a favorite main weapon since the age of the Star League. They are common in the Inner Sphere, often used in symmetric arm mounts on 'Mechs such as the Warhammer and Marauder. The Clan Masakari carries four ER PPCs. PPCs make excellent primary weapons for Strike, Combat, Hunter Killer and Support 'Mechs. They are light enough that Assault 'Mechs can carry them for long-range fire. The ER PPC has only slightly greater range, but it builds up much more heat. Still, double heat sinks make it an affordable weapon. Its lack of a minimum range is also a great advantage. The standard PPC is still in use on 'Mechs that can't deal with the heat build-up of the ER version. By disengaging the PPC field inhibitors you can ignore the minimum range penalties for firing a standard PPC at a nearby target. This is risky, however, as particle feedback can destroy your PPC and damage your 'Mech if you are unlucky.
Flamers are more useful for setting fires than for damaging opponents. They are light enough that most 'Mechs can carry them with little modification. Recon / Strike 'Mechs can make good use of flamers to disrupt an enemy's rear area or to block pursuit.
The hatchet is the "standard" club weapon. It does twice the damage of a punch to the upper torso, arms, and head of an enemy 'Mech. Hatchets are best when used by 'Mechs that weigh at least 60 tons because they can decapitate a foe with one swing. A hatchet-wielding 'Mech needs to be fast so it can close in and make physical attacks. Triple Strength Myomer doubles hatchet damage and should be used if the 'Mech has enough room. The 'Mech should also carry some long-range weaponry to use if enemies stay out of range of physical attacks.
The claw is identical to the hatchet in many ways: it weighs the same and does the same damage. A successful claw attack locks the attacker and defender together and gives them bonuses to hit each other until the claw's grip is broken. Because of this, it is a good idea to mount a claw on a heavier 'Mech with plenty of short-range weaponry to use while locked up with its foe. Heavy armor is also a must as both 'Mechs will have easy shots. Triple Strength Myomer greatly enhances a claw-wielding 'Mech.
Maces are similar to claws and hatchets, having the same weight but doing twice the damage. Because it does double normal clubbing damage, a 30 ton 'Mech with a mace can decapitate any foe with one swing. Triple Strength Myomer makes a mace-carrying 'Mech the deadliest 'Mech on the battlefield. A 50 ton 'Mech with Triple Strength Myomer can do massive damage with a mace attack. Mace-wielding 'Mechs will be among the enemy's first targets so make sure they are fast enough to close with the enemy or to hide until they have a better opportunity.
Ferro-Fibrous armor is the most common "special" armor, and is the best in many respects. It provides 12% more protection than standard armor and does not have any major weaknesses like Blazer and Glazed armor. Ax warheads do extra damage to it, however. Because it is so bulky, Ferro-Fibrous is typically used only on light, fast 'Mechs or those that have few weapons or other equipment to mount. A quick glance at the armor table shows that it is always better to use Endo Steel II internal structure and devote more tonnage to standard armor than to use Ferro- Fibrous armor. Therefore, you should only use Ferro- Fibrous if you have room left over after mounting Endo Steel II and other desired components on your 'Mech.
Blazer armor is even bulkier than Ferro- Fibrous, taking up 16 critical spaces. Thus, it is even more likely to fit only on light 'Mechs. The main advantage of using Blazer armor is that it reduces damage by missiles, mortars, and artillery by half. It also protects the 'Mech from internal damage due to Tandem Charge (TC) warheads. Unfortunately, if a 'Mech suffers a critical hit that does not damage a component (i.e., an empty critical space or a space occupied by Endo Steel II, CASE, or Blazer armor), half of the 'Mech's armor in that location is destroyed. This is not likely to happen, however. Mech's usually take critical hits only after their armor in a location has been destroyed. Lucky critical hits can only occur in the torso, and they are extremely rare. Also, the torso is usually filled with equipment: the engine, gyro, and some weapons. Thus, the chance that Blazer armor will malfunction is slim, and it is a good deal if your 'Mech has enough room.
Like Blazer armor, Glazed armor takes up extra critical spaces (17) and negates some of the damage from certain weapons, in this case lasers. It's weakness, extra damage from PPCs, is much more likely to come up in play, however. With the sheer number of PPC carrying Warhammers, Marauders, Battlemasters, and Masakaris in service throughout the Inner Sphere, it is hard to justify a risk as large as Glazed armor. In some cases, Glazed armor will work brilliantly, in others, it will fail miserably. If your 'Mech is fast enough to hide from PPC carrying 'Mechs, or if you will be facing a known enemy unit, Glazed armor might be okay. Otherwise, you're better off with something else.
Beagle Active Probe are excellent reconnaissance tools. Their main use is to reveal hidden units before they can initiate a surprise attack. They cannot detect infantry or mines, or penetrate ECM suites, however. All Recon 'Mechs should carry a Beagle Active Probe. It is also a good idea to mount a Beagle Probe on Combat and Assault 'Mechs in case they lead an advance into enemy territory.
The C3 Computer allows a lance of 4 'Mechs to fight as one, using the range modifiers of the 'Mech closest to the target. C3 lances are deadly in almost any situation. The C3 slave system is light enough to be carried by any 'Mech with little modification. The master system, however, is quite heavy and should be placed in a larger Combat, Support, or Assault 'Mech. The variation possible within a C3 lance is unlimited, but there are a few general concepts that should be considered.
Speed: The C3 works better with at least two fast 'Mechs that can close or retreat at will in the C3 lance.
Weaponry: A mix of weaponry is best. Some 'Mechs need to be effective at close range, others need to be able to inflict damage from afar. Versatility is highly desirable.
Armor: Because C3 equipment is so valuable, good armor is essential, especially for the command 'Mech; if it is destroyed, the whole C3 network is lost.
Guardian ECM Suite
The Guardian ECM Suite nullifies any Artimis IV, Beagle, NARC, or C3 system used within or passing through its 6 hex area of effect. It is an extremely valuable defensive system and should be carried on all Recon 'Mechs. It is also suitable for all other 'Mech types as it protects them from Artimis and NARC directed missiles and detection by Beagle Probes. It provides no protection, however, against Bloodhound or Clan Watchdog probes or Clan targeting computers.
Target Acquisition Gear
Target Acquisition Gear (TAG) allows a 'Mech to "mark" an enemy for a devastatingly accurate attack by friendly Arrow IV missile artillery. The TAG is lightweight and has good range. It is an excellent system for any 'Mech to carry because it allows a 'Mech to direct artillery fire where it is needed most. Something that is otherwise very difficult to do.
New optics augment a ’Mech’s zoom reticle by increasing the size of the zoom window.
Angel ECM Suite
The Angel ECM Suite weighs as much as the Guardian but also counters Streak missiles, Bloodhound and Watchdog probes, and Clan targeting computers. If your group uses Level III rules, use the Angel ECM Suite in place of the Guardian on all of your designs.
A defensive unit added to a ’Mech’s sensor system that creates confusion in enemy systems for the identification of friend or foe (IFF). The IFF Jammer causes enemy heads-up displays (HUD) to display the ’Mech as a neutral entity.
Bloodhound Active Probe
The Bloodhound Active Probe has a longer range and greater detection capabilities than the Beagle. It can even defeat the Guardian ECM suite. The Bloodhound weighs much more than the Beagle, however, and may be too heavy to mount on some light 'Mechs. Therefore, the Bloodhound should only be used on 'Mechs designed with a strong emphasis on reconnaissance. Use the Beagle Probe on other 'Mechs that won't be doing as much recon duty.
Infernos can only be used with SRM 2s and Streak SRM 2s. Judicious use of Infernos can cause an enemy 'Mech to build up additional heat for an entire battle, unless it is able to immerse itself in water. The heat build up is not great enough to severely hamper most 'Mechs, however, it is significant against traditionally hot-running 'Mechs like the Marauder, Rifleman, and Awesome. Infernos have other uses as well. They can easily start a fire in any wooded hex or building, forcing out infantry and vehicles caught in the blaze. They are also deadly against vehicles; a vehicle hit by an Inferno must roll above an 8 in each of the next three turns or it is destroyed. The chance of the vehicle surviving is pretty slim.
Swarm missiles are best when used against tightly packed enemy units. The chance of enemy units being close enough to each other for a successful Swarm missile attack is greater if you are playing in rough terrain or on a small map or if you are attacking an entrenched foe. They are also effective against fixed emplacements. The faster and more spread out the enemy is, however, the less effective Swarm LRMs are. If you carry Swarms, only carry a ton or two; the opportunities to use them are limited and you will need to have normal missiles to use when your allies are too close to the enemy for a Swarm attack.
Thunder (FASCAM) LRMs
Laying minefields with Thunder LRMs has two major advantages over conventional mining. First, you can lay mines directly in the path of approaching enemy units to disrupt their advance instead of having to guess which approach to mine beforehand. Second, you can mine the enemy's rear area, making it difficult for him to resupply his troops or withdraw from battle. Also, minefields last throughout the game, doing damage again and again. As all mine damage is done to a 'Mech's legs, you can cripple or destroy enemy 'Mechs but still leave much salvageable materiel intact. If you use Thunders, you should carry a good supply of standard missiles as well.
Ax (Acid) Warheads
Ax warheads can only be fitted on SRMs. They do more damage against Ferro Fibrous armor than standard missiles, but are less effective against other types of armor. Ax missiles are a good choice when fighting against Clan units or elite Inner Sphere units where Ferro Fibrous armor might be more prevalent. You should also carry plenty of standard missiles in case no enemy 'Mechs have Ferro Fibrous armor.
Anti-Personnel (AP) warheads can decimate an unarmored infantry unit in a matter of seconds. They are ineffective against other units however. Although they are not as deadly as machine guns, AP warheads have greater range and you are not forced to carry around 100 rounds of ammo for a system you will use a dozen times at most. Carry AP warheads only if you anticipate encountering many enemy infantry units; enemy infantry are common when you are storming a fortification or fighting in a city.
Heat-Seeking Guidance Systems
Heat-Seeking Guidance Systems can be mounted on Long- or Short-Range missiles. If your 'Mech carries several tons of ammo, it is a good idea to carry a ton of Heat-Seeking missiles into a major engagement. There is a good chance that at least one enemy 'Mech will run hot enough to make a good target for the missiles. Always wait until after your opponent has fired so you can see if he has built up enough heat to make a Heat-Seeker attack possible. When used in conjunction with MPWs, Heat-Seekers are particularly deadly. One 'Mech attacks with MPWs, causing the target's heat to spike to dangerous levels, then another 'Mech follows up with a Heat Seeker attack.
Magnetic-Pulse Warheads (MPWs) can be used with either Short- or Long- range missiles. Instead of doing damage, they cause the target's heat to rise dramatically, and they scramble its targeting systems, penalizing its attacks in the next turn. As well as setting up an enemy for a Heat-Seeker attack, MPWs can effectively neutralize it for the next round: it must cool down, and it won't have a good shot. Thus, it is a good tactic to hit an opponent with MPWs and then rush in to deliver a devastating short-range attack. This makes MPWs a good choice for Strike, Combat, Assault, and Hunter Killer 'Mechs. Carrying a ton of MPW ammunition is a good idea regardless of the missile launcher your 'Mech has.
The most common use for Smoke warheads is to disrupt an enemy's fire support. Thus, they are best when fitted on LRMs. Saturating the area between enemy Support 'Mechs and the main part of the battle with smoke forces the Support 'Mechs to move in closer, making them easier targets for your Combat and Assault ÔMechs. Smoke can also be used to cover a retreat or to hide the advance of friendly units. LRM Support 'Mechs should carry a ton or two of Smoke warheads since there is nearly always a need for them.
Tandem-Charge (TC) warheads can only be used on SRMs. They damage both the target's armor and internal structure with each hit. They can only get critical hits after all the armor is gone in a location, however. TC warheads are best when used en masse against heavily armored 'Mechs or vehicles. If an enemy 'Mech has maximum armor, it will only take 2/3 the normal number of missile hits to destroy a location. Used in conjunction with other weapons, they are less efficient because the damage you inflict is spread more thinly over the target's armor and internal structure. Also, hits with other weapons do not affect the number of TC missile hits you need to destroy a location unless they damage the internal structure. If you have several SRM systems, TC warheads are a good choice. Otherwise, they are not very useful.
Cellular Ammuntion Storage Equipment (CASE) protects a 'Mech from damage due to an ammo explosion. It can only be mounted in the 'Mech's torso. If the explosion was severe enough to destroy the location that the ammo was stored in, that location is still destroyed. The CASE prevents excess damage from transferring to another location, however. Therefore, a CASE equipped 'Mech with an XL engine will still be disabled by a side torso ammo explosion because the engine shielding in the torso will be destroyed. CASE is more useful on 'Mechs with standard engines as it allows them to continue to fight after an ammo explosion. Still, it is good practice to mount CASE on other 'Mechs because it will greatly increase the pilot's chance of survival, and make repairing the 'Mech much easier. Note that carrying ammunition in the center torso is foolish even if the 'Mech is equipped with CASE; an ammo explosion will still destroy the 'Mech's fusion reactor, and the resulting secondary explosion will probably kill the pilot.
Endo Steel II Internal Structure
Using Endo Steel II internal structure and standard armor is always better than using just Ferro- Fibrous armor. It is impractical, however, on 'Mechs weighing 90 tons or more or those that carry many small weapons. Endo Steel II should be used on any 'Mech that has enough critical spaces.
Jump Jets enable 'Mechs to traverse bad terrain such as forests and hills quickly. They also allow 'Mechs to execute devastating Death From Above attacks. Mounting Jump Jets is always almost always a good idea. Only on extremely light and extremely heavy 'Mechs (lighter than 30 or heavier then 80 tons) are Jump Jets inefficient. A new rule in the Tactical Handbook allow 'Mechs with Jump Jets to fire weapons while in flight. The attacking 'Mech has only standard modifiers to fire; attacks against it receive a slight bonus. Jumping fire is a good tactic when you want to fire at a target you could not otherwise get line of sight to (i.e., you are in deep woods or the middle of a valley). Be careful, however, to expose yourself to as little return fire as possible.
Myomer Accelerated Signal Circuitry (MASC) systems give 'Mechs a quick burst of speed. They are unreliable, though, the more often you use them, the more likely they will fail. If you give the MASC enough time to recharge between uses, however, the chances of it failing are almost nil. MASC systems are better with 'Mechs that are already fast.
Triple Strength Myomer
Triple Strength Myomer weighs nothing but takes up 6 critical spaces. It gives a 'Mech several bonuses. Before it activates, however, the 'Mech must build up 9 points of heat. As long as the 'Mech runs hot, it receives one extra walking movement point and does double damage with physical attacks. Triple Strength Myomer is best when used with fast 'Mechs that carry melee weapons such as clubs, claws, and hatchets. Good heat control is also essential. The 'Mech needs to build up nine points of heat and stay there for as long as necessary.
Extra-Light (XL) engines weigh only half as much as standard engines. They free up anywhere from 5-25% of the 'Mech's tonnage for other equipment. Unfortunately, 'Mechs that carry XL engines are vulnerable to side torso damage; critical hits to the side torso can destroy engine shielding, and if the side torso is destroyed, the engine shuts down. This is only a minor drawback, however, and should not discourage you from using XL engines on most designs. The amount of extra armor and equipment the 'Mech can carry more than makes up for its extra weakness. New defensive systems like ECM suites and AMSs can also give the 'Mech extra protection. If your 'Mech is really slow, however, it is a good idea to use a standard engine. Slow 'Mechs are easier targets, and because small engines are so light, the tonnage saved by using an XL engine is not great.
The Command Console can only be mounted in 'Mechs that weigh more than 60 tons. Having a commander on the field to coordinate actions can greatly increase the performance of any unit. This is reflected in the initiative bonus the commander gives the unit. A Command Console works best in a well rounded 'Mech with good long-range capabilities. The Battlemaster is the archetypal command 'Mech. The command 'Mech needs to be well armored and have the weaponry to deal with foes at any range. A powerful primary weapon and several secondary weapons are a must. Other electronics such as an ECM suite or even a C3 system can also enhance the command 'Mech.
Each Coolant System weighs one ton and can be used once in a game. It allows each heat sink to dissipate an extra point of heat, cooling down even the hottest running 'Mech quickly. The Coolant System can prevent massive over-heating from MPW or inferno attacks, or negate a sudden heat spike caused by engine criticals or a Laser AMS. Although no 'Mech should rely on Coolant Systems to control its heat, it is a good idea to carry a couple of Coolant Systems in any heavy 'Mech that can spare the tonnage and critical spaces.
This component dampens the concussive effects of enemy weapons.