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Encyclopedia > BattleMech
BattleMechs from cover of the book The Legend of the Jade Phoenix by Robert Thurston
BattleMechs from cover of the book The Legend of the Jade Phoenix by Robert Thurston

BattleMechs (often abbreviated 'Mechs) are large walking war machines that feature prominently in the fictional universe of BattleTech. 'Mechs, which are generally either bipedal or quadrupedal in configuration, are controlled by human pilots and can thus be classified as mecha. book cover This image is a book cover. ... book cover This image is a book cover. ... Robert Thurston is a Science-Fiction author well known for his works in popular shared world settings, most notably his Jade Falcon Clan novels of the BattleTech universe and the novelisations of the original Battlestar Galactica television series. ... A fictional universe is a cohesive imaginary world that serves as the setting or backdrop for one or (more commonly) multiple works of fiction. ... BattleTech is a wargaming and science fiction franchise, launched by FASA Corporation and currently owned by WizKids. ... For the fictional robot, see Mecha. ...

Contents

Origins

BattleMechs debuted in FASA Corporation's BattleTech, a board game of futuristic armored combat played with dice, counters and paper record sheets on a map of hexagonal territories. The game's first edition in 1984 was titled BattleDroids and featured mecha based closely on those in the Japanese animated television series Macross, but legal impediments forced both the name of the game and the design of the 'Mechs to change in the second edition. FASA Corporation was a American publisher of role-playing games, wargames and boardgames from 1981 till 2001. ... Classic BattleTech is the fourth edition of FASAs BattleTech miniatures game, published by FanPro under license from WizKids. ... Two standard six-sided pipped dice with rounded corners. ... A Hex map, or hexagonal map is often used in tactical board games. ... The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (Japanese: 超時空要塞マクロス, Chou Jikuu Yousai Macross) is an anime television series. ...


'Mechs in BattleTech vary from one another in many ways, including mass, speed, chassis configuration, armor and armament, resulting in a practically limitless array of legal 'Mech designs. FASA and successors WizKids and FanPro created hundreds of official BattleMechs to complement the game, the majority published in a long-running series of "technical readouts". The game's detailed construction rules, which allow players to create legal custom units of their own, has also resulted in untold thousands of additional designs, some published in magazines, on websites, and in various other fan media. WizKids, Inc. ... Fantasy Productions (aka FanPro) is a German game company producing the German-language versions of Shadowrun, and BattleTech, and previously German-only Das Schwarze Auge fantasy Role-Playing Games. ...


As the BattleTech franchise has grown, BattleMechs have increasingly appeared beyond the confines of the board game. A line of figurines, a collectible card game and numerous computer simulation titles feature the machines; 'Mechs also feature centrally in a prolific series of novels set in the fictional BattleTech universe, as well as an animated spin-off television series.


Backstory

In the BattleTech universe, the first BattleMech ever developed was the Mackie, described as a 100 ton box with legs. It was developed in 2439 by the Terran Hegemony, first deployed in 2443, and produced throughout the rest of the Inner Sphere after its construction plans were stolen in 2455. Significant development and refinement of the technology followed through subsequent centuries. The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Inner Sphere is a region of interstellar space, ruled by the five Great Houses (each of which dominates one of the Successor States.) After the fall of the Star League, the Inner Sphere fractured as each of these Houses attempted to secure rulership during...


'Mech advancement in the Inner Sphere crested during the reign of the Star League, but slowly degraded during the protracted conflicts of the Succession Wars. Much of the infrastructure and expertise necessary to produce the most advanced models was lost, with the result that, by the early 31st century, most Great Houses were fielding models decades or even centuries old. In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Inner Sphere is a region of interstellar space, ruled by the five Great Houses (each of which dominates one of the Successor States.) After the fall of the Star League, the Inner Sphere fractured as each of these Houses attempted to secure rulership during... Star League The Star Legue was an orginization that united the the various states of the Inner Sphere. ... Succession Wars is the general title of several European wars which arose in the 18th century consequent on a failure of issue in certain royal lines, most important of which are War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713) War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) Two others in this category... The 31st century of the anno Domini (common) era will span the years 3001–3100 of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Star League-era BattleMech technology was preserved during this period of decline by a military faction later known as the Clans. Absent from the Inner Sphere for centuries, they returned in 3050 fielding 'Mechs of considerable sophistication and power. The first confirmed sighting of a Clan 'Mech by an Inner Sphere observer was that of a Timber Wolf (aka Mad Cat) by the legendary Phelan Kell of the Kell Hounds. Many Clan 'Mechs go by two official names -- one given by the Clans and one assigned by Inner Sphere observers. The fictional Clans of BattleTech were originally the self-exiled remnants of the Star League army, after Amaris the Usurper brought about the downfall of the Star League. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Kell Hounds are a fictional mercenary unitfrom the BattleTech Universe. ...


The Clan invasion triggered a resurgence of BattleMech-related research and development, both in the Inner Sphere and among the Clans, leading to many new models being introduced during the 3050s and '60s. However, the collapse of the hyperpulse generator network in the early 32nd century disrupted 'Mech advancement. Note: This article has been partially cleaned up with suggestions for further improvements added to the talk page This article covers technology and equipment from within the BattleTech (BT) fictional universe. ... The 32nd century (Gregorian Calendar) comprises the years 3101-3200. ...

BattleMechs from cover of the book Patriots and Tyrants by Loren L. Coleman
BattleMechs from cover of the book Patriots and Tyrants by Loren L. Coleman

book cover This image is a book cover. ... book cover This image is a book cover. ... Loren L. Coleman is a science-fiction writer, known for having written many books for series such as Star Trek, Battletech/Mechwarrior, Age of Conan, Crimson Skies, Magic: The Gathering and others. ...

Naming Conventions

Clan 'Mechs often have dual names associated with them - their 'proper name' as designated by the Clans, and their 'nicknames' given by Inner Sphere Mechwarriors who have encountered them in battle. For instance, the Timber Wolf is a 75 ton Clan omnimech, but it is known as the Mad Cat among Inner Sphere circles. This is much like the Official and NATO code names for Russian aircraft during the Cold War.


Configuration

BattleMechs range in height from 7 to 17 meters (23 to 56 feet) and mass from 20 to 100 tonnes (22 to 110 short tons), with some capable of ground speeds in excess of 150 km/h (90 mph). Their power is drawn from fusion reactors and are best suited for ground combat, although they are also capable of limited performance underwater and in outer space. A tonne (also called metric ton) is a non-SI unit of mass, accepted for use with SI, defined as: 1 tonne = 103 kg (= 106 g). ... The short ton is a unit of mass equal to 907. ... Kilometre per hour (American spelling: kilometer per hour) is a unit of both speed (scalar) and velocity (vector). ... Miles per hour is a unit of speed, expressing the number of international miles covered per hour. ... Also try: fusion power This article is about a fictional warship in the game Halo. ... An underwater scene just beneath the surface. ... Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1] Outer space, also simply called space, refers to the relatively empty regions of the universe outside the atmospheres of celestial bodies. ...


Bipedal

This category includes the majority of the types of BattleMechs. Bipedal 'Mechs come in two types: humanoid and reverse-joint (chicken walker). Humanoid-type BattleMechs are the most commonly encountered model of BattleMech. Iconic 'Mechs of this class include the Atlas and Summoner (Thor). Reverse Joint 'Mechs are slightly less common on the field of battle, but comprise such famous 'Mechs as the Marauder, Catapult and Timber Wolf (Mad Cat).


Land-Air 'Mech (LAM)

The LAM had the ability to transform into a conventional aircraft and revert to BattleMech mode, enabling it to quickly traverse great distances in a short time. However its weight limit, and real life legal conflicts with Harmony Gold (The LAMs, as well as several other 'Mechs, were based heavily off of 'Mecha designs from The Super Dimension Fortress Macross and other anime series) would end its official existence within the universe. The Wasp, Stinger and Phoenix Hawk were famous LAMs. These Land Air 'Mechs can be found in the original edition of Technical Readout: 3025, along with the other "lost" or "unseen" BattleMechs such as the Marauder, Crusader, Warhammer, and the non-LAM versions of the Stinger, Wasp, and Phoenix Hawk. The rules for the LAM system are excluded from the recently published Total Warfare core rulebook, prohibiting it from Tournament play; however, they are still referred to as optional rules in several supplements. One such reference is the Maximum Tech: Revised Edition. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross ) is an anime television series. ... The main cast of the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998) (L to R: Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Ed Tivrusky, Faye Valentine, and Ein the dog) For the oleo-resin, see Animé (oleo-resin). ...


Quad

The quad 'Mech, though much maligned, has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the years after 3060. With the rediscovery of more efficient weapons, internal structure, and armor, the quad 'Mech's stability and ability to carry heavy weapons has much improved. However, the stigma associated with the general design still lingers, leaving the normal dual-legged BattleMech the vastly more common 'Mech. Notable quad designs include the 55 ton Scorpion, 80 ton Goliath, 70 ton Barghest, 95 ton Sirocco, and 85 ton Thunder Stallion.

BattleMechs from cover of the book Storms of Fate by Loren L. Coleman
BattleMechs from cover of the book Storms of Fate by Loren L. Coleman

book cover This image is a book cover. ... book cover This image is a book cover. ...

Classifications

Light

Light 'Mechs are those that weigh between 20 and 35 tons. These 'Mechs are generally used as scout 'Mechs, fire-support 'Mechs, and anti-personnel units. These units are generally quite fast, and mount light weapon payloads. They also can mount significant amounts of electronics to help them as scout 'Mechs. One such design is the Raven. It comes with an ECM suite that both reduces enemy units' sensor range (ECM, or electronic counter-measures) and advanced sensors (the Beagle-Active Probe, or BAP), but due to these electronics, it has a lighter weapons payload.


Not all light 'Mechs are lightly armed, though. Some, such as the Puma, Cougar, and Solitaire, can be strong enough to crack the armor of many larger units. The Puma's dual PPCs (and targeting computer) are a sizeable threat to 'Mechs of any size.


Iconic Light 'Mechs include the Raven, Cougar, Commando, Wolfhound, and Panther.


Medium

Medium 'Mechs weigh between 40 and 55 tons, and are very versatile. Some, such as the Hellspawn, have significant electronics payloads and are used as scout 'Mechs. As they are medium mechs they still can carry heavy weapons like the Hunchback, which carries a powerful Heavy Autocannon on the right part of its torso. In the BattleTech universe, the medium 'Mech is the workhorse 'Mech of most armies.


Other medium 'Mechs are used as fire-support units. One that fills this role well is the Rabid-Coyote. It has a pair of ATM (Advance Tactical Missile) racks, which allows it to change missiles during a battle from Extended, Normal, or High Explosive(HE).


Still, other medium 'Mechs have heavy weapon payloads and can be used as front-line units. Some are the Uziel, which mounts a pair of PPCs that have significant range and damage output. Among the Clans, medium 'Mechs such as the Stormcrow (Ryoken) and Shadow Cat designs also make use of weapons that can deal serious damage to lighter units.


Some notable medium 'Mechs include the Centurion, Wolverine, Shadow Cat, Hunchback, and Griffin.


Heavy

Heavy 'Mechs weigh in between 60 and 75 tons. They are versatile like medium 'Mechs, but generally have much heavier weapon payloads. These 'Mechs are large enough to mount weapons like Gauss Rifles and AC/20 Heavy Autocannons, but are still light enough to have good maneuverability and attainable speeds of up to 90 km/h. A coilgun (or Gauss gun) is a type of cannon that uses a series of electromagnets to accelerate a magnetic shell to very high velocities. ...


Many famous and popular designs are heavy 'Mechs, the most well-known of which is the Timber Wolf (Mad Cat). It has a very heavy damage output, mounting a pair of LRM-20s, a pair of ER Large Lasers, and an assortment of smaller weapons including medium pulse lasers and machine guns.


Other heavy 'Mechs are well known for their maneuverability. One such 'Mech is the Thanatos, which has both a significant weapon payload while retaining high mobility and ECM capabilities.


Some of the best pilots in the armies of the Successor States and Clans pilot heavy mechs. One notable MechWarrior is Morgan Kell founder of the Kell Hounds, who piloted an Archer fire-support 'Mech during the Battle of Luthien. Another well-known MechWarrior is Natasha Kerensky, leader of the Black Widow Company of Wolf's Dragoons, who pilots a 70-ton Warhammer. The Kell Hounds are a fictional mercenary unitfrom the BattleTech Universe. ... Wolfs Dragoons is a fictional mercenary force that exists in the fictional Battletech universe. ...


Assault

Assault 'Mechs are the heaviest class of BattleMechs, weighing in between 80 and 100 tons. Some of these huge 'Mechs can mount weapons and armor of a greater tonnage than some entire medium 'Mechs. The trade-off is in speed and maneuverability, as assault 'Mechs are generally very slow.


These 'Mechs are often used as command units, heavy assault platforms, and heavy fire-support roles. Some common Inner Sphere command 'Mechs are the BattleMaster and Cyclops, which both have above average electronics while maintaining heavy weapon payloads. Clan heavy 'Mechs are the most fearsome weapons in the entire BattleTech universe, and include the Warhawk (Masakari) and Dire Wolf (Daishi).


Iconic Assault 'Mechs include the Dire Wolf (Daishi), Atlas, Marauder II, Kodiak, BattleMaster and the Blood Asp/Star Adder.


Colossal

The Colossal class battlemechs are new and experimental. There are only four "Ares" Colossal mechs in existence, varying in primary weapons. Manned by a crew of three, Pilot, Gunner, and Engineer, these mechs top the scales at 135 tons. The variants are "Hades", "Hera", "Zeus", and "Poseidon".(This class only exists in MW: Dark Age, though it also appears once in the last mission of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf.)


WorkMechs

WorkMechs, also known as Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Mechs, though far less glamorous than their war-faring counterparts, are very important in the everyday life of the BattleTech universe. There are ForestryMechs, MiningMechs, AgroMechs and many other types for many different industries. Many of these mechs use an internal combustion engine, usually diesel, due to the high cost of fusion reactors. WorkMechs have been modified for war when normal 'mechs are out of reach, most often in the Mechwarrior: Dark Age saga; the general consensus is that a modified WorkMech is less capable than a BattleMech of the same tonnage, though some field-modified WorkMechs using ballistic weaponry can compare favorably with older melee-weapon-equipped battlemechs such as the Hatchetman.


BattleMech Construction

BattleMechs are initially made up of a series of internal structure "bones" which are connected together to form a skeleton of the 'Mech. An Electroactive polymer called myomer - which contracts in the presence of an electrical current - is then wrapped around these bones. This powerful myomer transmission system is what gives BattleMechs their speed and agility in even the roughest terrain. Electroactive Polymers or EAPs are polymers whose shape is modified when a voltage is applied to them. ...



The necessary electrical current for the myomers is provided by a fusion reactor mounted in the torso. This artificial skeleton and musculature, combined with a powerful gyroscope provide stability for the BattleMech. The entire system is controlled by a pilot wearing a neurohelmet that effectively links the 'Mech's central computer to the pilot's sense of balance and nervous system. The movement of a 'Mech is controlled by a combination throttle, joystick, and dual pedal system. A gyroscope is a device which demonstrates the principle of conservation of angular momentum, in physics. ... In the fictional Battle Tech universe, a neurohelmet is a helmet-like device which the pilot of a battlemech wears in order to provide fine control of balance, as well as containing a display. ... The Human Nervous System The nervous system of an animal coordinates the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and also stops input from the senses, and initiates actions. ... Joystick elements: 1. ...


Each of the bones features a series of different size and capacity rated hardpoints for the attachment of critical systems such as life support and cooling equipment. In addition, weapons and armor plating is also attached to these points to give the 'Mech its offensive and defensive capability.


Custom Designs

Primary characters in BattleTech stories often use customized 'Mechs. For example, Kai Allard-Liao and other members of his family have piloted a unique Centurion called "Yen-Lo-Wang" (highly modified in later books) which features a different weapon configuration from a standard Centurion. This 'Mech was originally modified in 3027 by his father, Justin Xiang Allard, for use on the gladiatorial gaming world of Solaris VII, then again refitted with much more advanced technology in 3051 to fight the clans. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Lyran world of Solaris VII has become known as the gaming world, due to the gladiatorial battles held in the arenas of this planet, between MechWarriors in their BattleMechs. ...


Prince Victor Steiner-Davion uses a custom Dire Wolf/Daishi assault 'Mech named "Prometheus" with a large array of high-caliber weapons, in a more effective configuration than the standard Dire Wolf.


Jade Falcon hero Aidan Pryde piloted a custom jump-capable Timber Wolf as his temporary 'Mech during the Battle of Tukayyid. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Archer Christifori pilots a modified Penetrator that wields 2 Clan Extended Range Large Lasers instead of the 2 normal large lasers. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Gray Noton piloted a customized Rifleman (normally a fire support and anti-aircraft 'Mech) dubbed "Legend Killer". The normally outclassed design was used by Noton during his reign as Champion of the Solaris VII Games.


Natasha "The Black Widow" Kerensky piloted a modified Warhammer design that was painted to resemble a black widow, and later a customized Dire Wolf. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Species L. mactans Fabricius, 1775 L. hesperus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1935 L. variolus Walckenaer, 1837 Wikispecies has information related to: Latrodectus mactans The black widow spider () is a spider notorious for its neurotoxic venom. ...


In the newer Dark Age setting, Anastasia Kerensky pilots a modified Ryoken II featuring twin SRM-6 missile packs, 2 Medium lasers, and 2 PPCs. For alternative meanings see laser (disambiguation). ... PPC can be: prospective parliamentary candidate 4-phenyl-4-(1-piperidinyl)cyclohexanol PowerPC, a microcomputer implementation and architecture Pocket PC, Microsofts specification for handheld devices production possibilities curve (in economics) Pay per click, a method of charging for advertising on the Internet Peripheral pin controller, a feature present in...

BattleTech
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BattleTech Universe CharactersHistoryTechnologyMilitary Organization• Battletech/Planets
The Inner Sphere Capellan ConfederationChaos MarchComStarDraconis CombineFederated SunsFree Rasalhague RepublicFree Worlds LeagueLyran CommonwealthMercenariesRepublic of the SphereSt. Ives CompactStar LeagueTerran HegemonyWord of Blake
The Clans Blood SpiritBurrockCloud CobraCoyoteDiamond SharkFire MandrillGhost Bear • Goliath Scorpion • Hell's Horses • Ice Hellion • Jade Falcon • Mongoose • Nova CatSmoke JaguarSnow Raven • Star Adder • Steel Viper • Widowmaker • Wolf • Wolverine
The Periphery Bandit Kingdoms • Calderon Protectorate • Circinus Federation • Elysian Fields • Fiefdom of Randis • Filtvelt Coalition • Fronc Reaches • Greater Valkyrate • Hanseatic League • Lothian League • Magistracy of Canopus • Marian Hegemony • Mica Majority • New Belt Pirates • Niops Association • Nueva Castille • Oberon Confederation • Outworlds Alliance • Rim Worlds Republic • Taurian Concordat • Tortuga Dominions
Tabletop Games Classic BattleTechAeroTechBattleForce • Battlespace • BattleTech CCGBattleTroops • MechWarrior • MechWarrior: Dark Age • The Succession Wars

  Results from FactBites:
 
BattleMech Designer 9.7 (774 words)
I call it BattleMech Designer (or BMD for short.) The overall layout and entry of data has evolved over the years from a text based DOS interface to a Win95 GUI interface.
Due to its time-tested origins and the tremendous amount of input from my friends it should be a very simple program to pick up and quickly design 'Mechs with.
Included in BattleMech Designer 9.71 is all of the new Level 2 tech from the Field Manuals and Maximum Tech.
BattleMech - BattletechMUX (635 words)
A BattleMech (Mech), in the science fiction of BattleTech, is a war machine about 10-12 meters in height, and 20 to 100 tonnes in weight.
BattleMechs use a muscle-like artificial fibre called myomer to allow the 'Mech to walk and move.
Rarely used configurations of BattleMechs are the Quad (four-legged 'Mech) and LAM (Land Air 'Mech).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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