Shadow Hawk SHD-2D is a Medium-class 'Mech in Battletech.
In an effort to upgrade the Shadow Hawk's close range damage output, the 2D model sacrifices a lot of armor. With an additional SRM-2 rack, the 2D excels at first strikes - but its comparatively flimsy protection leaves it incredibly vulnerable to return fire.
- Optimized Stock Configuration - The 2D variant has incredibly low armor when using the stock configuration, so refitting this mech would start with raising armor to comfortable levels. Sacrifice either the SRM's or the LRM's and their respective ammo bins to free up tonnage for additional armor
- Brawler - 2 x SRM6 + 1 SRM4 is the loadout of choice for this role, with the remaining tonnage going to Medium Lasers, max-ing armor, Jump Jets, or additional Heatsinks.
The Shadow Hawk 2D is an interesting model. Its default payload sacrifices a lot of armor to mount a bit more firepower, though some argue the tradeoff isn't worth it. Its Alpha Strikes are better, though, so I guess you can be the judge.
- The ridiculously low armour makes salvaging this mech on the battlefield easier, but once you've got it in the bay you'll wonder how the Davion mechtechs could have got it so wrong. The biggest problem - by a mile! - is the missile setup. The idea of a medium mech with 4.5 tons of armour lasting long enough to fire off 50 puny SRM salvos is comical. 24 shots for your LRM5 is only slightly less egregious for the pitiful damage each barrage is capable of. A good first step is removing either missile system and configuring the other more sensically. Losing the LRM5 to mount an SRM6 or a pair of SRM4s with one ton of ammunition works well, as does going the other way with a second LRM5 in place of the whole SRM setup. Which is better depends on how your lancemates are equipped, but either way you've saved two tons.
- The second problem is the cooling system. This mech can engage enemies at close and long range, and doesn't need the heatsinking to fire off alpha strikes every turn. It also has excellent melee damage for its class, and smacking around enemies if your heat gets too high is a viable tactic. Losing some or all of the heatsinks is a justifiable change. If you smarten up the heatsinks and fix the missile system as above, putting the saved space into armour, you'll have a far more survivable 'hawk that keeps to the spirit of the original.
- When it comes to refitting weapons, the 2D model's most significant difference is trading the 2H's 3 Ballistic, 1 Energy hardpoint layout for 1 Ballistic, 3 Energy. This is generally a good trade, as you'll be hard-pressed to make use of more than one Ballistic weapon in a practical build for the Shadow Hawk (and for a mech in this weight class in general). Medium and Large Lasers are generally much easier to fit, and the 2D can use more of them and all of them are arm-mounted to boot. Be aware that a large lasers kicks off enough heat that you may have to sacrifice other systems to carry adequate cooling.
- The Shadow Hawk 2D is a very quick way to lose a mech if you don't have a plan for using it. If you can build your lance around it, however, the 2D becomes an effective light and medium mech hunter. Just try to keep it away from anything that can eat its initial volleys without suffering an armor breach, because the 2D is not a brawler with its stock configuration, and its initiative of 3 makes it a relatively ineffective hit-and-run specialist.