Open main menu

BattleTechWiki β



A Searchlight is a piece of equipment for illumination which comes in a broad range of sizes. Smaller hand-held devices can pump out a few hundred watts to produce illumination up to 270 meters and are light enough to be mounted on Battle Armor and Exoskeletons.[1] Heavier and larger searchlights mounted on vehicles and Mechs can light up targets as far away as five kilometers with thousands of watts of illumination.[2]


Game RulesEdit

Normal Game PlayEdit

In normal Total Warfare rules, the Searchlight does not have any effect in game play.[2]

Advanced Game PlayEdit

When using Advanced Rules found in Tactical Operations, searchlights illuminate all units in the target hex and in the intervening hexes, as well as illuminating the searchlight unit itself. Hand-held searchlights have a range of 10 hexes while mounted searchlights have a range of 30. In scenarios which have the nighttime conditions Moonless Night, Full Moon Night or Pitch Black, units with either hand-held or mounted searchlights either eliminate or lessen the to-hit modifiers. Searchlights may also be turned on or off during either the Movement or End Phase.

If all players agree, or the scenario designates it, 'Mechs and vehicles normally not equipped with a mounted searchlight may carry one for the duration of the scenario. Whenever said 'Mech takes a hit to the front or rear of its torso, or vehicle takes a hit in the front and sides, the player must roll a 2d6 to determine if the searchlight is destroyed.[3]

Construction RulesEdit

Except for Combat Vehicles & BattleMechs all other vehicles are assumed to have three hand-held-type searchlights - two in front, one in back - representing running lights, headlights and taillights or, if so designated, as strobes for emergency/police vehicles and warning strobes. In addition, combat vehicles and 'Mechs may have a larger mounted searchlight at no cost in weight, slots or C-Bills. Additional mounted searchlights adhere to standard core construction rules, and for both vehicles and 'Mechs weigh .5 tons and take up one critical slot in 'Mechs, combat and support vehicles.[2]

Battle Armor and exoskeletons may mount multiple hand-held searchlights, which weigh 5kg and take up one space slot.[4]


  1. TechManual, p. 269, "Searchlight"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 TechManual p. 237, "Searchlight"
  3. Tactical Operations p. 57, "Weather Conditions" - Searchlight
  4. TechManual, p. 348, "Clan Battle Armor Equipment Table"