RogerBW's Blog

Five Favourite 'Mechs from Technical Readout 3025 24 January 2014

I saw this at The Battletech State forwarded from a blog post, and thought I'd join in. "What are your five favourite 'Mechs from the original 3025 Technical Readout?"

For me:

The Panther as a light 'Mech hunter. It's slow and lacking in armour, therefore unforgiving when you're on the defence, but judicious use of the jump jets can let it get into position to nail enemy scouts with a single shot. Don't mix it up with the big boys; better a live coward than a dead hero. Also stick with your mates: use range and firepower to herd the enemy in for the kill rather than trying to chase them down single-handed. (I'm also fond of the Locust, though it could do with some more firepower; the 1M, with LRM racks, is probably my preferred model.)

The Swayback is the only variant design I'm picking here. I quite like the classic Hunchback, but the Sway takes that fairly decent package and doubles the damage output, all without deafening the pilot in his right ear. The medium laser's the best all-round weapon in the game, and you've got eight of them. The only thing that would improve this 'Mech would be jump jets. Well, all right, more armour and heat sinks.

The Wolverine is a medium-weight zombie. Takes a lickin' and keeps on killin'. The weapons fit isn't perfect since I've never been much of an AC/5 fan, but it has the endurance to out-last most opposition. (I have a soft spot for the Blizzar... I mean, Scorpion, because of its weapons fit and because quads have always made more sense to me, but thanks to rule changes between design and publication it ends up with the only thing in one location being the SRM-6 ammunition. Apart from that it's great.)

The Thunderbolt is my favourite heavy all-rounder; shame about the machine guns, which could be another medium laser and another heat sink, but that's more a bug in the game system than a problem with the design. Decent armour, well-rounded weapons mix with plenty of medium lasers, SRM-2 for special purpose loads if you're into that. It can play a part in the battle at any range from initial sniping to last-ditch fistfighting.

That's a distinct contrast to the Awesome, though for my money it's still the best 'Mech in the book. Yes, it's slow, but it's well-armoured and can reach out and ruin someone's day half a map away. When I'm putting together an assault lance I need a compelling reason not to include one of these. Short-range combat can be left to others, if anyone lives to get that close.

If I had six picks, the Stalker would be the last one. It's what an assault 'Mech should be: slow, tough, flexible.

Also posted at USENET is not dead!

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