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BATTLETECH – An Introduction to Hit Locations & Crits

1 May 2018, Tuesday, 10:19:17

An Introduction to Hit Locations & Crits

Targeting ‘Mech components, crits and you

Battletech has a “hit location” system. Every target consists of several discrete components which can be hit independently.


A ‘Mech consists of a head, left arm, right arm, left torso, centre torso, right torso, right leg and left leg. Just like the weapons, these are referred to by initials: H, RA/LA, RT/CT/LT, RL/LL. Left Leg (LL) is not to be confused with Large Laser (LL).


Each component has a structure with a certain amount of capacity to absorb damage. It is also protected by ablative armour which has a separate protective value. The head, arms and legs have a single armour value regardless of facing – the torso locations have armour on the front and armour on the rear – and generally the rear is weaker.


Each location is also home to one or more of the guns, heat sinks, ammunition magazines or other pieces of equipment mounted on the ‘Mech. Each component has its own capacity to absorb damage (known as a critical). Most equipment only has a single critical location, but others can take up two, three, four or more slots. When enough of its critical locations are damaged, the equipment is destroyed and can no longer be used. Some pieces of equipment, when hit, causes additional effects. Specifically ammunition, when it takes damage, destroying the location is it in. A good reason not to store ammunition in the ‘Mech’s head or centre torso.


If a location’s structure is destroyed, all equipment in that location and any attached to it, are lost. The right arm and left arm are attached to the right and left torso respectively, The legs are attached to the centre torso, as is the head.


You can kill a ‘Mech in one of four ways:

-Destroy the Centre Torso (“Coring”)
-Remove both legs (“Legging”)
-Decapitation (taking the head off)
-Incapacitate the pilot



Coring the target is simply a matter of doing sufficient damage to the centre torso (CT) structure. As damage is transferred after bits are blown off the target from the outside in, eventually you will destroy the centre torso, just by attrition – and so this is the most common way for beginners and general builds to defeat an enemy ‘Mech. However if you face the enemy front on, or better from direct behind, and can use Precise Strike on the Centre Torso, you may be able to consistently (75%+) one-shot light ‘Mechs with a single shot from a big gun. CT destruction give you the least amount of salvage from the target.


Legging is popular in Mechwarrior Online because pilots often lightly armour legs, store ammunition in legs, and if you aim low at even a fast-moving ‘Mech, you only have two possible hit location areas, rather than six above the waist. In Battletech is is harder to consistently leg ‘Mechs (except for those that have just performed a DFA). Legs tend to carry a lot of armour and are a bit trickier to focus on than torsos and contain fewer pieces of equipment to destroy.


Even with Precision Strike, the chances of hitting the target’s armoured cockpit are small – perhaps under 5%. As such, decapitation is not necessarily something you can plan for. Perhaps it is best left to RNG deities. When you’re under pressure, though, there’s nothing quite like getting a headshot with a Gauss Rifle and keeping the whole ‘Mech as salvage.


In Battletech, pilots can take damage from a number of different circumstances – head hits, loss of side torsos, falling over, ammunition explosions, heat criticals as well I think. Pilots can only take three or four of these injuries before they are incapacitated. Head hits are hard to plan for, but taking the torsos off a mech and aiming at locations containing ammunition, and causing stability damage through autocannon, missile or melee are easily doable. It might be possible to create a build around causing stability damage and continually knocking ‘Mechs over to shake the enemy pilot to incapacitation before stealing their ride for spare parts and C-Bills.


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