Somebody on the forums asked which Battlemasters he should buy and I replied with the post below. I thought some of you might find this info useful:
There are two types of Battlemasters, the ones with 10 hardpoints but with limited torso twist(80°) and the ones with 8 hardpoints with normal torso twist(60°). 8 hardpoints Battlemasters also lack 6 shoulder lasers(I call them the six pack). You're trading mobility for extreme firepower with the 10 hardpoints variants, so you have to consider your playstyle to see which ones you like the most. That being said I can give you some tips:
10 hardpoints bracket
- BLR-1G: This is the iconic BLR. It has 6 shoulder energy, 1 shoulder missile, 1 arm energy and 2 arm ballistic hardpoints. It is more suitable for mid to long range combat because of its extremely limited torso twist. This variant(or the 3M) is a must if you're going for Battlemasters.
- BLR-3M: 1G with different arm hardpoints. One energy hardpoint is taken from the right arm and a ballistic hardpoint is added to the other. Other than that it is exactly the same 'Mech.
- Hellslinger: A mix between the 1S and 1G. It has 3xM in its left torso which makes it a good choice for brawling(better SRM convergence) or an LRM boat with better defenses than a 1S. This variant sits between the 10 and 8 hardpoint variants with 9 hardpoints and 75° torso twist.
8 hardpoints bracket
- BLR-1D: 3xB hardpoints in LA is the selling point of this 'Mech. Though, the arms of the BLR are so low and on top of that ballistic weapons are underslung on those arms. So you're essentially shooting your ballistics at knee-level which is VERY annoying. If you decide for 3xAC2's or other quirky stuff, you'll notice that you shoot rocks for the most of the time. Still, this variant is an awesome damage pumper with 4xLL and 3xMG. This would be my second choice.
- BLR-1S: This is one of the best LRM boats in the game. If LRMs are your thing, load this up with 4xALRM10's, a TAG and a couple of lasers for defense. It can take a lot of punishment AND has the speed(with XLs) to keep up with the team. Something the Stalkers lack.
- BLR-3S: The only 8 hardpoint BLR with 6 chest energy hardpoints and two missile hardpoints. 6xML combined with 2xASRM6'es plus a huge STD engine(STD350 or bigger) and you have a nice and fast mean brawler. Buy this if brawling us your thing.
I personally kept 1G, 1D and 1S. I'll buy a 3S when I have the chance though.