A BJ-1 of the mech commander in House Arano colors.
Blackjack BJ-1 is a Medium-class 'Mech in Battletech.
The Blackjack 1 is equipped for both long and close range engagements. A pair of AC/2s are backed up by four Medium Lasers, lending the 'Mech a powerful alpha strike, while Jump Jets enable the Blackjack to move to high ground at a moment's notice.
- Optimized Stock Loadout A very versatile and useful mech. The AC/2 conflicts with the medium lasers a bit, so you might want to swap that one out for a single AC/5 for better performance, and reduce equipment to maximize its armor.
- Using an AC/5 instead of 2 AC/2 is much more tonnage efficient as damage would be similar but weight would be 8 instead of 12. freeing more tonnage for armor and heat sinks.
- Energy Version For additional lethality, replace the AC/2s and 2 medium lasers with a pair of large lasers and six heat sinks. Although you lose 20 points of damage output, and your maximum range drops, your long-ranged firepower actually increases by 30, and your ability to dissipate heat improves drastically. Between the jump jets and respectable armor, this build remains viable all the way until you start facing exclusively heavy lances.
- The 2 Large, 2 Medium laser equipped Blackjack's performance is so impressive that the Federated Suns voluntarily swapped out its beloved autocannons to use this build. In BattleTech canon, this variant is referred to as the BJ-1DB (which has now been added as its own variant, with slightly different hardpoints).
- Long Range Fire-Support/Sniper Try this for a more significant sniper mech: Drop two medium lasers to upgrade one AC/2 to an AC/5, then drop the other AC/2 in favor of a PPC. One ton of ammo should suffice for your AC/5 in most scenarios. If you find it being too 'hot', dump the other two ML's in favor of either armor or heat sinks. The combination of AC/5 and PPC in your starter mech will carry you until you start consistently running into heavy mechs.
- Fire Support Another, sustained fire version can be achieved if you sacrifice the jump jets. The BJ-1 can fit two AC/5s, 2 ton of ammo and two medium lasers while keeping a solid amount of armor. This setup deals less damage per ton, however generates little heat which allows to keep firing for an extended period.
- Fire Support / Sniper Changing the PPC to Large Laser free up 2 tonnage for heat sinks. The cost is 10 less in dmg but can keep on putting out max damage far longer. Especially if you want to position yourself with the jump jets. Dropping the medium lasers for more armour is a good option as well.
- Other Notes It's really tempting to change the loadout since dual ACs are heavy, AC/2s have a history of being terrible and medium lasers have a history of being... well medium at best. But since the surprising late game standouts like the Grasshopper and Battlemaster are most frequently changed to 7 medium laser boats and AC/2s got a bump to be on par with med lasers, the default loadout is very nearly on par with late game brawlers.
- The AC/2s and med laser combo will also prompt your main character down the Tactics path to eliminate the min range penalty. Tactics is nearly a must for late game assault lances.
- It will be lacking in punch and stability damage, but it's also good to not waste time and money on the BJ-1 early on when it's something you'll likely replace ASAP.
- Blackjack 1s are solid, well-rounded 'Mechs for their tonnage. They typically mount Jump Jets, which give them an extra edge by repositioning quickly to keep a direct line of fire for their Autocannons. The Blackjack is your starting mech, an ancestral vehicle of the family.