BATTLETECH – Pilot Types & Battlefield Roles

Pilot Types & Battlefield Roles

Pilot type and ‘Mech type synergies


Primary skills: Gunnery, Piloting
Abilities: Evasive Movement, Multi-Target, Breaching Shot

This pilot role is ideal for general ‘Mech combat. They are likely to close with the enemy to optimum range and shoot at them. Each skirmisher moves as far as it can each turn (build up evasive charges and use positioning to influence hit location) whilst maintaining its ideal range and focusing on taking down the highest threat target. It tries to maintain facing to present armour and empty locations to the majority of enemy fire, but can be cycled out if chunks are being knocked out of it.

Examples: Any ‘Mech too light to be able to tank damage effectively and so reliant on mobility for defence, but too slow for it to be reliable. Most medium ‘Mechs. General combat role.




Flanker / Recon

Primary skills: Piloting and either (Gunnery or Tactics)
Evasive Movement, Ace Pilot and either (Sensor Lock or Multi-Target)

These pilots are best in ‘Mechs that are highly mobile and flank enemy forces using routes that are out of sight or provide maximum cover; to strike from behind, or disable targets with sudden attacks at the right time.

Examples: Often more suitable for lighter ‘Mechs – Commandos, Firestarters with a melee/disabling build, or Centurions with an AC20, Kintaro with bunches of SRMs. Jump jets and high speed movement are often essential combined with a big-hitting weapon or punishing melee capability.



Lancer / Vanguard

Primary skills: Guts and either (Tactics or Gunnery)
Bulwark and either (Multi Target and Breaching Shot) or (Sensor Lock and Master Tactician)

These pilots provide an anchor for any lance formation, being the focus for enemy fire, but dishing out as much targeted damage as possible. Their job is to get their ‘Mech to a high ground position with good sight lines and then dig in, staying still for as long as possible, focusing fire on the highest threat target. Ideally armed with medium and long range weapons, able to engage in at a variety of ranges. Its job is to soak up enemy fire for as long as possible. Master Tactician can help with avoiding being knocked down by weapons fire causing stability damage, but loses the offensive power of multi-target and breaching shot instead – so Vanguards are a more passive, defensive and secondary role for me. I prefer Lancers in this role.

Examples: Most slow-moving direct fire support ‘Mechs and indirect fire support ‘Mechs and sniper builds can fit into this category – the more heavily armoured the better. Jump jets can be advantageous in finding good high ground. ‘Mechs fitting this mould might be the Urbanmech, Blackjack, Jagermech, Catapult, Griffin, Orion and the like.



Scout / Recon

Primary skills: Piloting, Tactics
Evasive Movement, Sensor lock, and either (Ace Pilot or Master Tactician)

These pilots excel in ’Mechs that range ahead of the lance. They are the first to spot enemy contacts (and usually the first to get shot at as a consequence). They ideally find a spot behind LoS blocking cover, or better, moving at maximum speed to get behind different LoS blocking cover, and use sensor lock to improve hit chances against targets with high evasion. They are likely to come under indirect missile fire and soak up enemy sensor locks, rather than contributing greatly to lance offence. A brave commander may sprint them into LoS of multiple enemies to draw fire, relying on maximum evasion for survival. Their weight/build often precludes anything other than the most limited offensive actions as they are most vulnerable to being hit in melee by something bigger than them. Potentially good at chasing down escaping light vehicles.

Examples: Anything with speed and not much else; Spiders, Locusts and the like. Please don’t store ammo in the centre torso or legs.



Brawler / Gladiator / Sentinel

Primary skills: Piloting and either (Guts or Tactics)
Bulwark, Juggernaut and either (Evasive Movement or Sensor Lock)

There is clearly space in Battletech for ‘Mechs designed around maximised melee capability and these are the pilots that fit the role. You need a chassis with weight (for damage), speed (to close range quickly), arms/hands/fists (for damage), and plenty of support weapon slots (Small lasers, machine guns and/or flamers). Good platforms for focused melee at different weight categories are:

-Shadowhawk (2D) [only 2 support weapons, but quick, heavy and robust]
-Banshee (3M)


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