Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
BL6-KNT Black Knight
LosTech Asset of the Iron Dingoes
BL6-KNT Black Knight (75 tons)
Chassis : Technicron 1L
Power Plant : Vlar 300
Cruise Speed : 43.5 kph (4)
Flank Speed : 65.8 kph (6)
Jump Jets : None
Jump Capacity : None
Armor : Numall Durabond (Armor Factor 208) : 13.0 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 23/29
Rear – 10
Right Torso – 16/24
Rear – 8
Left Torso – 16/24
Rear – 8
Right Arm – 12/24
Left Arm – 12/24
Right Leg – 1624
Left Leg – 16/24
One (1) Magna Hellstar II PPC (RA)
Two (2) McCorkel Large Lasers (Rt, LT)
Four (4) Maxell DT Medium Lasers (RT, LT, RA, LL)
One (1) Magna Small Laser (H)
One (1) Beagle Active Probe (CT)
Manufacturers : Kong Interstellar, Connaught (Free World’s League, Discontinued 2820 ); Loxley (Lyran Commonwealth, Destroyed 2802 ).
Communications System : TransComm Alpha
Targeting & Tracking System : Beagle Active Probe
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : y : n : n : 360 : 7 : 31 : 6 : 8 : – : y : n
Overview : Introduced during the Reunification War, the Black Knight proved incredibly successful as both a main line heavy Mech, and also as a command unit. The near-destruction of Kong Interstellar’s Connaught factories in 2802 forced KIC to modify their BL-6-KNT to create a variant they could manufacture using available materials. Production restarted in 2809 and continued until the line was finally destroyed in 2820 by Liao raiders.
Capabilites : The First Succession War was incredibly destructive for the Inner Sphere’s industrial and technological base. Now unable to manufacture an endo-steel internal structure, Kong’s engineers reverted to a more primitive (and heavier) frame. Some of the extra three-and-a-half tons this required came from the removal of the sophisticated sensors that made the Black Knight such a good command platform. Like the endo-steel, the active probe was no longer available , but the remaining balance was made up through the removal of two tons of armor.
The original Black Knight debuted with the Star League’s Third Heavy Regiment (the Pythons), where it earned a reputation among the League’s enemies as a Mech that had to be dismembered to be stopped. Even after being “downgraded”, the Black Knight is a dangerous opponent for contemporary designs. In a one-on-one battle with another heavy BattleMech – assuming equally skilled MechWarriors – conventional wisdom is that the Black Knight will always triumph.
If the Black Knight has one weakness, it is a tendency to overheat, an issue that even the Star League failed to correct. Armed exclusively with energy weapons, a MechWarrior must exercise strict fire discipline, employing weapon groups appropriate to the range while resisting the urge to “alpha strike”.
Deployment : With KIC unable to build new Black Knights, the design has become increasingly rare. A handful can still be found in the ranks of the Oriente Hussars, but age and a lack of spare parts has compromised their combat readiness.
During the First Succession War, the Successor States refitted many of the BL-6-KNTs that fell into their hands after the fall of the Star League. With modifications performed on an ad-hoc basis, the end result typically resembled Kong’s redesign. However, MechWarriors should pay attention when facing a Black Knight, for other modifications such as jump jets or non-standard weaponry can catch the unwary. Few of these Succession War veterans have survived to the present day – the majority are concentrated in the Federated Suns, while the Capellan Confederation currently possesses none.
Variants : Due to a scarcity of PPCs in the Free World’s League, one common field modification replaces a damaged PPC with a third Large Laser and a pair of heat sinks.