The Comstar Command level II is a set of six battlemechs from Catalyst Game Labs. Which gives you two more than the standard lance pack/game size. It represents the mechs mostly used by Comstar who act as a sort of mysterious peace keeping force/kingmakers within the setting. They also have access to some of the best mechs. So, whether you want to create a Comstar themed lance or want to add some premium golden age tech to your existing lances the Comstar Command pack may just have what you are looking for.
You receive the following mechs in the pack. The Black Knight, Exterminator, Highlander, King Crab, Mercury, and Sentinel. This gives you a fair amount of variety and versatility in what you receive. Though perhaps leaning on the heavier side of things. Now for a quick rundown of the base loadouts of the included mechs.
The Black Knight
The Black Knight is a heavy mech with an array of energy weapons and solid armour. Making is an ideal mid-range mech. It can take a lot of damage then as long as you can manage the heat output then it can fire some truly devastating volleys. It has a look that is closer to an Eastern mecha design than the usual Battletech style and the sculpt captures this well as it looks every part the bulky knight of its namesake. Which also allows for some fantastic paintjobs as you have clearly defined panels and elements.
The exterminator is another heavy mech. Sporting a strong collection of energy weapons but backed up with an LRM 10(Long range missiles). It is also considerably faster than the black knight with the addition of jumpjets making it a fair bit more maneuverable. The main drawbacks being no PPC and less armour when compared to the aforementioned. It also has half the heat sinks meaning it is also prone to overheating. It is still able to play the heavy role but is close to a medium in terms of its capabilities and is an ideal headhunter that is also capable to taking some punishment.
An assault mech. The Highlander is perhaps the most common of the Comstar mechs. It is a very well armoured mech with fewer weapon systems. It does however compensate by bringing a Gauss rifle and a LRM 20 to the fight which make it particularly dangerous as long range. It is lacking somewhat at close range but given its snail like speed it is one that you do not want to get up close and personal with. The main defence for it up close being the ‘Highlander burial’ where you jump on another mech and use the extreme weight to crush the foe beneath you. So it does have a nasty melee option for an unsuspecting light mech that wanders too close.
A staple of the battletech designs. The King crab is a larger, meaner and heavier version of the regular Crab. An assault mech that lacks jump jets and has a staggering run speed of 5…It makes up for this by having two Autocannon 20’s, an LRM15, and a Large laser. It also has similar armour level to the Highlander. The autocannons make it a deadly threat at short to medium range and easily able to one-shot light mechs. Even medium mechs are at risk of a single landed torso hit instantly decimating them. It is also an endearing design with its wide stance and giant pincers. Painting it orange is not required, but it is recommended.
Moving to the light mechs we have the mercury. Which from an armour point of view is wafer thin. It has a decent array of energy weapons for short to medium range and speed that you would expect from a light mech. It is a reasonably cost-efficient raider and has some useful design quirks if you are playing with those optional rules. The MASC system in the torso also allows it some very high speed running moves at the risk of leg damage. It does however feel a bit lackluster compared to the other battlemechs in the set in both gameplay and design as it does lack the rounded charm of the old design in favour of a blockier redesign that makes it a little hard to tell what it is at a glance.
The final mech is the Sentinel. A medium class battlemech with an interesting weapon set. It features an Ultra AC/5, small laser, and a Streak SRM 2. This gives it an interesting role as a sort of all range mech. It also matches the Mercury and the Exterminator for regular movement speed. It can fill a sniper role as well as a mid-range harasser. It also has very good heat management with the weapon systems clocking in under the heat sink limit when fired at full capacity. This makes it a very easy to play mech. The design also has a blockier design than the original and it loses a lot of the curvature that would have been fun to paint.
The models are well-designed and crisp. They also take well to primer and paint. You also do not risk breaking a toe when one falls off the table as with the older models. They are at a slightly premium price point but it is still a lot cheaper than the older lead models which were of very mixed quality(Look up the old urbanmech if you don’t believe me). When painted they look great and you can still see the panel lines/details underneath. You also receive cards for use in the Alpha Strike game variant. Catalyst games continue to impress with their model production and work through the hundreds(if not thousands) of battlemech variants. It is somewhat annoying that they bundle the figures together in themed sets so if you want a single Black Knight then you have to risk buying random salvage boxes via a blindbag system or splash out on the larger lance packs such as this one. It makes running a force with duplicate battlemechs considerably more expensive.
Especially if running popular mechs such as the Atlas. In terms of quality though you are getting nice figures that will hold up. The Comstar boxes represent a good selection of balanced mechs and some of the core mechs that you will want to bring to the tabletop. It is good that you get several iconic designs in one box and for either a beginner or an experience mechwarrior this set is worth adding to the collection.