Code Name: BF2-25
Manufacturer: Colonial Expeditionary Force
Height: 5.4 meters
Weight: 6,200 kg
Baconradar’s Summary: Overcosted recon/sniper frame with potential in elite strike role
- At W:6 H:10 with airdrop and jet pack 6 it has truly superb mobility
- AR:6 with agile and stealth is pretty robust for a recon unit
- Advanced weapons and ANN allow for a GU:2+ rating relatively often
- Airdrop and jetpack allow it to get flank or elevated and really benefit from GU skill
- Variants and upgrade do a good job of improving and specialising the frame
- Very limited arsenal, lacking AE, AP, or AI entirely
- Clearly inferior to the HC-3A Hovercar in a recon or EWAR role
- Expensive as either a sniper or forward observer
- 12″ sensor range is poor for a recon unit, especially in a CEF force
- A bad choice at close range and woeful in melee
- Recon: I’m going to talk about this role first because it’s the professed purpose of the model in the setting, but I want to be clear from the start that I just can’t recommend the BF2-25 as a recon frame in any real sense. Let’s take a look at why. Firstly the stock model doesn’t have a target designator, which is absolutely disastrous for any CEF forward observation because 99% of the time what you want to forward observe for is a guided weapon. Secondly it only has the standard 12″ sensors, which is bad enough compared with recon units generally, but even moreso when you remember that the hovertanks all feature 18″ sensor range. Next nail in the coffin is that the BF2-25 costs a hefty 13TV, which is twice as much as the cheapest recon gears and half again as much as common options, including one of the very best recon and EWAR models in the entire game: the CEF’s HC-3A Hovercar. For 9TV you can have a recon unit with nearly the same mobility and firepower, double the sensor range, a target designator, ECM:3 (!!!), and Comms:2. The stock BF2-25 simply costs too much and gives you too little as a recon unit.
- Sniper: I strongly suggest that you read my thoughts on the BF2-21 in this role because the BF2-25 is similarly capable of picking targets from long range with visual lock (line of sight) and staying out of harm’s way. Actually it’s even better at this than its cousin, sporting an extra point of walker movement and of hover movement, making it extremely difficult to catch as it circles the battlefield. Unlike the BF2-21 the BF2-25 also comes with airdrop and jetpack as standard which are both pretty good for a sniper because they give you easy access to the elevated bonus, however it’s clearly better of have the option of not taking these features when you don’t need them and so keeping your budget down. Defensively the BF2-25 is also superior, boasting both the stealth and agile traits, which can have a pretty dramatic effect, especially when you’re in cover. Take this example: An enemy Cuirassier opens fire on you from suboptimal range with his MAC, while you benefit from light cover. Without agile and stealth you would take an average of 1.09 damage, being hit about half the time, but with these traits you’re half as likely to be hit (only 24%) and so the average damage is down to a more comfortable 0.71. The question is do you want to pay 2TV (or 3TV if you leave off the mobility upgrade) over the price of the BF2-21 for these benefits? The extra defence, in an ideal world, doesn’t even matter, while the extra movement doesn’t really feel necessary either when both models are so fast. Much as I have my doubts that the BF2-21 is a cost-effective upgrade over the F6-16, I’m really not sure I’d take the BF2-25 over the BF2-21, at least as a sniper.
- Strike Trooper: As with the Sniper role, please start out by reading my spotlight on the BF2-21. Like that frame the BF2-25 gives you the mobility, airdrop, and ability to slaughter most gears in a package that is relatively robust. The BF2-25’s stealth and agile put it ahead of the BF2-21 in terms of survivability, but it’s worth considering that even with these two traits it’s still slightly less durable than a Jaguar and considerably less so than a Black Mamba, while costing more than either. In actuality while it’s got a defensive advantage over the BF2-21 I’d consider it a more fragile TV investment simply because it costs more. In the end my criticisms of the BF2-21 in this role are even more relevant to the BF2-25 because at the increased cost you are going to feel the lack of flexibility even more. All in all this isn’t such a bad choice as trying to use the BF2-25 as a recon frame, but I still think it’s fairly far from optimal and you’d be better off using one of your many other excellent airdrop units, such as the hovertanks, which offer significantly better flexibility, survival, and even firepower. If I had to pick a best use for the BF2-25 it would probably be this – sort of a less flexible analogue to the Terra Novan specops strike gears like the Snakeye Mamba, Panther, and Dark Series Black Talons.
Anti-Tank Pack: For +2TV you gain a LATM with 2 shots. Unlike the Anti-Tank Pack on the BF2-21 you don’t switch over to a particle accelerator here, so you’re very much a dedicated long range unit. The big change here is that you now have a way to hurt models with AR:10+, something you simply cannot do with the stock model or any other variant. As I noted in the BF2-21 spotlight the CEF have to pay a little bit of a premium on anti-armour weapons and in this capacity the BF2-25 is pretty much identical to its cousin, with its additional mobility not really mattering when ideally you want to be chaining your LATM to a target designation (and note that ANN does nothing to helped with shots chained to FO). Simply by virtue of being more expensive this is a worse bet than the BF2-21 Anti-Tank Pack and that model itself is worse than the F6-16 Anti-Tank Pack, or simply looking for anti-armour capabilities outside of your frames. In conclusion, this simply isn’t good value when you can save a whopping 5TV by doing much the same thing with the F6-16 version.
Assault Pack: For +1TV you gain Shield:1. Shields are great and tend to be undercosted generally. Gaining Shield:1 is definitely worth a threat point, especially on a model with decent piloting (and stealth) which is relatively expensive and doesn’t have amazing AR. So out of context I would say this is a vey attractive variant. The issue really is that you still have all the problems of the stock model and all you’ve done is made it more expensive and quite a bit harder to kill, when survivability wasn’t really the major point of weakness for the BF2-25 anyway. I think if you’re trying to use the frame as a Strike Trooper which is a little more likely to actually get shot at than if you’re using it in the Sniper role it’s not unreasonable at all to take this pack. This is especially true if you combo it with the Rotary Laser Upgrade, discussed below. It’s not terribly cost efficient but you do end up with a really surprisingly hard to kill model that is very mobile and hits pretty hard. If you’re married to the idea of using BF2-25s as sort of black ops elites then it’s a good choice.
Recon Pack: For +1TV you increase Comms by 1 and gain Sensor Boom, ECM:1, and TD:1. Wow, that’s quite a set of changes for just 1TV. It’s safe to say that if you have chosen to use the BF2-25 in the recon role you’ll definitely be taking this variant. The question is does it actually do enough to make the frame a reasonable choice to guide in your missiles, perform detailed scans etc? Well the short answer is no, because you just don’t want to use the action from a 14TV unit to perform a TD:1, even if it’s one of the best models in the game at actually getting into position and surviving to make that designation. Similarly actively using ECM:1 isn’t worthwhile at all for the cost, particularly when for 5TV less you can get the frankly terrifying ECM:3 which is a real feature of the CEF force. It’s also worth noting that this variant still only has the basic 12″ sensors, which is even more disappointing in combination with these new traits. By taking this variant what you end up with is more options, but none of them are particularly attractive because you have other models which can do all of them as well as or better than the BF2-25 at considerably lower price points. That said I think if you really want to field an elite strike group of BF2-25s you should consider taking this variant for those which you don’t equip with the MRL Upgrade to hang back and make full use of their sensor boom to fire from cover, potentially provide passive ECM to restrict enemy comms, and if it’s ever worth it, potentially actually perform a recon task. You’re already taking quite expensive units for what they are and 1TV won’t hurt to have the options if you’re committed to a plan I can’t strictly recommend.
Rotary Laser Upgrade: For +0TV you may swap your LLC for a MRL. Really the best thing to do here is read the spotlight on the BF2-21 and refer to the section on the Assault Pack, where I make a pretty in depth comparison of the LLC and MRL. Having the MRL as an option is very welcome indeed, especially if you’re using the BF2-25 in a strike role, and even more so if you have taken the Assault Pack variant, which is able to take more risks to get in optimal range and deliver that vicious 3/4d6 2+ attack. Although the BF2-21 is sturdier the stealth and agile traits on the BF2-25 make it better suited to being aggressive (though remember your stealth boost to piloting only works if you have cover) and getting the full mileage out of the MRL. Obviously don’t take this if you’re trying to act as a sniper, but otherwise I’d say it’s a no-brainer for the most part.