Heavy Gear Spotlight – Razorback

About Heavy Gear Spotlight

HGB-spotlight-razorback

Code Name: Razorback

Faction: The North

Manufacturer: Northco

Height: 4.7 meters

Weight: 8,134 kg


Baconradar’s Summary: A tough, flexible ground pounder, badly overshadowed by better choices

Strengths

  • At 4/2 with AR:7 and PI:4+ this is a sturdy gear, especially at 1.5”

  • A varied arsenal effective against armour, infantry, and gears

  • The Chaingun variant is one of the cheapest ways to field the excellent HRC

  • The Pack Gun is a nice melee option, often preferable to a LVB

Weaknesses

  • In every role the Razorback is outclassed by competitors like the Bear, Dingo, or Lion

  • The stock LSC is an underwhelming primary weapon

  • Varied arsenal comes at a cost and the Razorback suffers from not specialising

  • At 4”/5” W/G it’s one of the slowest units in the game

Best Uses

  1. Assault: This appears to be the role the Razorback is intended to fill. It ticks quite a few of the required boxes by being tough, having a decent anti-gear AE weapon (MRP), close range weapons, the ability to fight armour and infantry, and reasonable melee (via PG). That said, the Razorback doesn’t exactly shine in any of these categories. It isn’t that tough, it’s barely better than a trooper gear in melee, it doesn’t have a blast weapon, and its anti-infantry and anti-armour weapons are pretty underwhelming. It could make up for this by being fast or having a special deployment option, but it doesn’t have that going for it. Essentially the best things about it are its decent survivability and the MRP. For a much better Assault gear see the Bear, which is faster, tougher, and has a better assault loadout at 1TV cheaper.
  2. Heavy Trooper: Troopers have to be cheap, flexible, tough, and able to take out other gears. The Razorback fits several of these criteria well – the main drawback is the cost, with the Razorback being nearly twice as much as a Hunter. That said it has much better weaponry than the Hunter and is quite a bit harder to kill, especially for typical strike or trooper gear level weaponry. For reference a GU:3+ MAC in optimal range against a target in light cover does an average 1.19 damage against the Razorback, 1.77 against a Hunter, and the difference is even more pronounced with a LAC (0.7 vs 1.19). The MRP is a genuinely savage weapon against troopers and the real primary weapon of the stock model over the LSC – being an AE weapon it also helps the Razorback travel at top speed more often without a loss of accuracy, which can be helpful for getting in range to use the hugely underrated pack gun against trooper or light gears. The truth is that the Razorback is a touch too expensive in this role and it is again not the best choice when compared with the cheaper Bear, or even Tiger.
  3. Tank Hunter: The fact the Razorback’s apparent primary weapon is the LSC suggests this role, so I wanted to discuss it. I think my feelings on Snubs are pretty well known by now, but to re-iterate: I really don’t like them. The LSC has a nice PEN of 8, but it needs to be in optimal range to have much chance of hitting and that means getting within 9” of your target – a taller order than usual since we’re talking about one of the slowest gears in the game. Of course as a Tank Hunter the Razorback doesn’t need to just hit, it has to be able to get MoS:2, and it’s there that it really falls down. It simply doesn’t have a good chance of getting the extra d6 from elevation, flanking, or braced, and optimal range is still necessary even if it did. In the favourable but not entirely unrealistic scenario of attacking a PI:6+ tank 2d6 vs 2d6 you still only get MoS:2+ 28% of the time and against AR:10. This is not good for an 11 TV model. Consider that you get the same anti-tank firepower from an Assault Hunter (itself not a great model) for 4 TV less, while being 20-25% faster and packing an AP melee weapon.

Variants

Chaingun Razorback: For +1TV you swap your LSC for a HRC and your MRP for a LAR. That has a pretty big impact. Firstly, the HRC is much, much better than a LSC – it has the same PEN but much better range, burst:2, and split:2, while only losing AP:2 (I ignore AS because it’s useless). Because you don’t have a VB this deprives you of any AP at all, but it makes you hugely more threatening to enemy gears, to the point that the Razorback might even be considered a dedicated gear killer. Swapping out the MRP for the LAR I would generally consider a bad thing, especially given that since you need sensor lock or FO to fire the LAR you could well be restricting yourself to a max weapon range of 24” rather than 36”. The extra inch of AE is nice, but it’s inferior to that extra point of PEN, especially when it takes you from 7 to 8. Overall I prefer this variant over the stock, partly because it specialises a little more, partly because the HRC is just a much better weapon than the LSC, but you have to consider that you’re entirely losing the ability to hurt armour which disqualifies you from the tank hunter role and makes you quite a bit less flexible as a trooper too. The real nail in the coffin, here as with the stock version, comes when you compare the Chaingun Razorback with the Chaingun Dingo (cheaper, much better melee, better mobility, better AE weapon, only slightly less tough) and the Lion Initiate (same cost, much better melee, better mobility, better AE weapon, just as tough). Why would you take the Chaingun Razorback over either? The only real advantage this gear has is a very slighter better armament against infantry due to the lmg. Not good.

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