Heavy Gear Spotlight – Klemm

About Heavy Gear Spotlight

HGB-spotlight-Klemm

Code Name: Klemm

Faction: The North

Manufacturer: Norlight Industries

Height: 2.5 meters

Weight: 25,650 kg


Baconradar’s Summary: A super tough little support tank with two great variants

Strengths

  • At AR:10, 4/4 it’s virtually immune to non-AP weapons

  • A 1” silhouette and smoke launchers make it easy to get cover and avoid lock

  • An affordable way to get the very powerful MATM, with no ammo limit

  • Versatile weapons loadout including anti-infantry

  • Specialised variants with clear roles

Weaknesses

  • With only G:6 movement it’s fairly slow and hard to re-position

  • A 1” silhouette contributes to the difficulty of getting lock on a target

  • Restrictive UA code, especially on the artillery variants

  • Tyburr and Stormhammer variants can’t make best use of 2 actions

  • Vulnerable to melee specialists

Best Uses

  1. Close Fire Support: In this role the Klemm is mainly a platform for the devastating MATM and as such competes directly with the Crossbow Grizzly, while sharing the same central issue – what do you do with that second action to justify the cost? Unlike the Crossbow Grizzly the Klemm doesn’t need to go on standby to get that second action, which means you can chain your MATM to a FO early in the turn, but leave the Klemm’s activation until later, provided you are willing to give up the opportunity to go standby (braced). This added flexibility works well with the variety of options open to the second action – firing the LAC, the MMG, or popping some smoke. Chaining the MATM to FO negates some of the inherent drawbacks of being a tank with a low silhouette that can struggle to get lock on targets, but you still get all the advantages of being extremely tough. This toughness basically means you can rely on the Klemm to put out that MATM shot every single turn without worrying too much about needing to reposition it. It also makes the Klemm a little more threatening to enemy heavy armour, simply because it’s unlikely the heavy armour itself will be able to eliminate the threat in any sort of cost effective manner. Fundamentally you do need to justify the cost, because simply providing one MATM shot per turn isn’t worth the hefty 18 TV you pay, and that means being close enough to make use of the LAC or MMG to at the very least pick at some lighter enemy units. For this reason I suggest using the Klemm for close fire support rather than dedicated fire support, a role in which its very heavy armour (for the cost) is of reasonable benefit.
  2. Central Anchor: Being very tough indeed, not costing the world, and having varied weapon systems, the Klemm is a great choice to anchor a line of battle. The crucial thing here is the conflux of relatively low cost, high offensive threat (MATMs), and high survivability. There are two drawbacks to using the Klemm in this role, however. The first is that it is defenceless in melee, which means you’ll either have to move away when enemy melee specialists get close (and they will almost certainly be able to catch you), or accept that you’re going to take a pretty nasty beating. It should be noted that a regular gear with a LVB isn’t a big problem for you though – assuming they get 2d6 against your 1d6 they’ll do 0.73 damage on average. The second drawback is that as a ground movement vehicle the Klemm can have trouble positioning to get clear shots on targets across a broad range. Since you’re in the centre of the battle line you benefit from having nearby friendlies to cover your six, which is pretty important for a vehicle with the extra modifier on any flanking attacks. There’s a big overlap between this role and Close Fire Support, the main difference being that here the Klemm is expected to make do without necessarily having FO (though it is very welcome) and to be more reactive to a variety of enemy threats, potentially even moving forward to hold an objective.

Variants

Bandit Hunter Klemm: For -2TV you swap your LAC for a HRF and your MATM for a MRP, plus improving from 4/4 to 5/3. The change in weapons here is absolutely massive, removing any threat to enemy heavy armour and the desire to have TD enabled FO. Instead you get two really brutal anti-gear weapons that can wreck anything with AR less than 8 – exactly the sort of thing you’d expect rovers and raiders to be using, which is a big flavour win in my opinion. With the Bandit Hunter your ideal sequence is to catch a squad of gears in the MRP AoE with your first action and follow that up by blasting any crippled or high priority target with the HRF, though occasionally you may want to do that the other way around, or forego using one of your primary weapons to make tactical use of the smoke launchers or anti infantry weapons. It helps that you have an AE weapon for use against ECM, and a precise weapon for use against agile. It’s very much worth noting that unlike the stock Klemm the Bandit Hunter is incapable of snap fire, which given the potential difficulty of manoeuvring to get Lock on your target is more of an issue than it usually would be. It’s especially annoying when you can’t snap fire in response to a melee attack. Overall I’m a big fan of the Bandit Hunter – against gear centric forces it will be a nightmare for the enemy – ridiculously hard for them to fight cost effectively with Strike or Trooper gears. Conclusion: A very cost effective gear destroyer.

Tyburr: For -1 TV you swap your LAC and MATM for a LTG and improve from 4/4 to 5/3. On paper this does not look good, primarily because you’re moving from one great and one mediocre primary weapon system to a single good one on a 2 action model. Comparing the LTG with the HRF on the Bandit Hunter variant, you swap precise for AP:2 and get a sizeable increase in range, particularly optimal range (an extra 50%), which is definitely good news. Having AP:2 makes you a decent threat to armour, though the Tyburr is generally not going to have particularly good MoS because it’s harder to get in position for flank attacks or make sure the target is in optimal range than it would be with a traditional tank hunter. Actually I’m not sure it makes sense to classify the Tyburr in the tank hunter role – it’s really more of a line of sight based sniper unit which can deal AP damage, but ideally would rather be shooting a target with lower AR where the PEN:9 on the LTG can cripple or destroy with your single shot a turn. Of course if you aren’t using the AP or the range then the Bandit Hunter is flat out better, and this makes the Tyburr quite hard to recommend. Like the Bandit Hunter the Tyburr is also unable to snap fire, and additionally suffers from the LTG being at suboptimal range under 18”. In other words, don’t plan on using this at close range. Problem is if you aren’t at close range then what’s the point of that second action or heavy armour? I can only assume the Tyburr is supposed to duel with enemy heavy armour and so needs armour and smoke to minimise the damage it takes in return fire, but my feeling is there are much better choices out there for the role of tank hunter. Conclusion: An overly expensive sniper.

Jaxon: For -2 TV you swap your LAC and MATM for 2x HAR, degrade your GU from 4+ to 5+, drop from 10 to 9 AR, and move from 4/4 to 3/5. Unlike the Tyburr we don’t have the problem of only having a single primary weapon and the Jaxon benefits from being very specialised – it will almost certainly be firing both HARs every turn. I’m quite a big fan of the HAR as a weapon because it hits the holy grail of 9 PEN which means legitimate damage and a good chance of crippling the very common AR 6 or 7 targets. Specifically, assuming a 1d6 attack against a typical trooper gear in light cover the HAR will do 3+ damage 25% of the time, which with a huge AE of 5” is really quite good. I think it’s worth noting that the GU rating on the Jaxon is irrelevant since you will realistically always be rolling 1d6 against your targets. The objective is simply to get as many things with AR 4-7 under that big pie plate as possible, prioritising those with the least cover. One good idea is actually to get a FO unit in place so the targets are in the open from its point of view and then chain your attack to that, negating cover entirely, because this can change your chance of hitting the target from 16% (4d6 def) to 38% (2d6 def). This suggests the Jaxon should be used as long distance fire support and that’s true to an extent, but AR: 9 at 3/5 is tough enough that it isn’t a soft target and it’s just as effective without FO provided it can get lock/sensor lock to some decent targets, so I’d actually position it in the middle of the battle line just behind your central offensive units where it can get some firing opportunities in case FO isn’t available. Remember that there is very rarely any reason to go braced, so the Jaxon can actually be relatively mobile, and it doesn’t care about optimal range – the important thing is just making sure you keep firing those HAR on clusters of good targets turn after turn. Conclusion: Cost effective anti-gear fire support.

Stormhammer: For -2 TV you swap your LAC and MATM for a HFM, degrade your GU from 4+ to 5+, drop from 10 to 9 AR, and move from 4/4 to 3/5. This is the second Klemm variant that has only a single primary weapon, though it is at least more impressive than the LTG. The HFM’s combination of blast, AE:4”, and PEN:10 makes it one of the best gear killing weapons in the game. My advice for using the Stormhammer is very similar to using the Jaxon, the big difference being that blast puts both agile gears and gears in cover firmly back on the menu. You’re still realistically only ever rolling 1d6 on attack, but you can often ensure that your targets only get 2d6 to defend and against a nice juicy undamaged Strike gear like the Jaguar that translates to crippling it 23% of the time, killing it outright 12% of the time. Moving from the Jaxon’s PEN:9 to PEN:10 is also a big deal because it makes you much better at hurting AR:8 or 9 targets – this can be surprisingly useful if you can get a comms unit in position to forward observe a group of Fire Support units, for instance. As with the Jaxon the best place to deploy the Stormhammer is somewhere it might be able to fire without FO if necessary, remembering that you don’t care about optimal range at all, only about whether you have lock/sensor lock/FO on your target. However it’s also worth considering, in terms of positioning the unit, that if you don’t make use of your second action by popping useful smoke cover or hosing something with the MMG, you’re missing out every turn. It’s hard to recommend this over the Jaxon unless you know you’re up against agile enemies or desperately need that extra point of PEN. It’s also worth remembering that while the HFM is nice you have access to both the MGM and MFM through your fire support gears like the Grizzly. Conclusion: Powerful fire support but rather too expensive.

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