Author Topic: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II  (Read 11341 times)

Kotetsu

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’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« on: 09 May 2014, 14:19:57 »
’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II

Atlas II. The Royal Atlas. Kerensky’s next stage to the iconic design. Prized find of the Clans. Mounting a visage reminiscent of Lord Vader sans his helmet. (Though after playing lots of The Old Republic, the visage looks more like Darth Malgus to me…)

When the AS7-D Atlas entered service in 2755, it was but step one in General Kerensky’s goal of reasserting the dominance of the SLDF over the House militaries. Ten years later, as the New Vandenburg revolt broke out, the AS7-D-H Atlas II started to roll out. Facing formidable odds they performed admirably, one of them even being driven by Kerensky himself in his breakout.

First produced at the Weapons Division of the Hegemony Research and Development Department on New Earth, the Atlas II uses the same skeleton and 300-rated Vlar engine of its progenitor. Seventeen tons of ferro-fibrous armor was used to give the same amount of protection as its forebear’s nineteen tons of standard plate. Said protection is laid out in a 9, 47/14, 32/10, 34, 41 pattern (head, center front/rear, side front/rear, arms legs). While still using a 20-rack LRM and 6-pack SRM launcher like its father design, the launchers themselves have been redesigned (so no 5-tube quick-firing LRM-20). In addition the design totes a Class-10 LB-X autocannon in the right arm (looking like a minigun), two extended-model large lasers in the left arm, and two medium pulses in the left torso. Two tons of LRM, two of LB-X, and one of SRM ammunition are stored in the CASEd side torsos. Fourteen heat sinks struggle mightily with the heat stresses.

That factory was destroyed in the early days of the Amaris Coup (since the date listed in the TRO is likely a typo, 2766 or 2767 seem about right). In the aftermath, General Kerensky led his forces to take the Rim Worlds Republic, where the design was put into mass production. During the breakdown of relations following the Liberation, the AS7-D-H2 model entered service in 2780. This variant swaps the large lasers for an extended-model Particle Cannon, and the LB-X for a Gauss Rifle. One heat sink was also removed.

When the Exodus came every Atlas II went on the Journey Into the Unknown. So did most of the plans apparently, save a copy or two held by the nascent ComStar. The Clans highly prized these machines, whenever one was found in a Brian Cache. This was no doubt assisted by the fact that one was the Founder’s ’Mech of choice. The version he died in (technically dragging the Widowmakers with him) had been upgraded to Clantech.

With that switch, the ferro-fibrous armor drops to sixteen tons, but adds the last three points of armor, one to the center rear, and one to each leg. The weaponry of the AS7-D-H was upgraded, with the missile launchers gaining Artemis IV fire-control. An ECM suite and active probe were added. Finally, the chassis carries nineteen double-strength heat sinks.

One Atlas II survived long enough to be used by the Jade Falcons on Tukayyid.

That isn’t to say that ComStar didn’t make a few. And when the Word of Blake inherited their storage spaces on Terra, the Blakists also took a liking to it (even though they must have realized that Nicky used one). During the Jihad, the Atlas II was put into production on Hesperus II where it continued to be produced by the Lyrans afterwards. I will also note that some escapee on Kittery grabbed one, repainted it as a skeleton, and used it to become leader of the Coalition and later, the Republic of the Sphere.

He even made a cameo on the cover of Strategic Operations.

Using one is like using an Atlas. You are a presence on the battlefield, expect a lot of attention. You have some heat issues, so try and avoid the Big Red Button (aka Alpha Striking). You can choose to wade into your foes, bringing the fear of Death to them. Or, as you are a lot better armed than your forebear in long-range firepower, shoot from a distance.

Fighting one is the same as facing its parent design, and starts with getting your heavy hitters ready. Give him as much attention as you think he deserves. Gauss Rifles, Particle Cannons, and other means of removing his head should always be used. Heat-inducing weapons are also nice if he gets close enough. And if you have the gunnery skill and the equipment to do so, targeting one of his side torsos (the right has more stored ammunition) works too. CASEd or not, ammo explosions suck. And if you manage to take out both side torsos… he’s the Black Knight from Monty Python, and can only kick you.

Now I cannot be sure if the Atlas II is still being produced. It is a nice design, rugged and all that. But Hesperus II has had a few battles since then, and the general chaos of the post-Blackout period has made things hazy. That said, it is likely we will still get to see it soldering on. At least until Devin Stone dies (probably from decapitation in his Atlas II).
« Last Edit: 12 March 2015, 16:04:42 by Kotetsu »

glitterboy2098

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2014, 14:31:57 »
i find it interesting the clans never did an Atlas IIC, or even an Atlas II-C.. given the way the Clans revered it as the mech of their founder. after all, they did an Orion IIC due to the importance of the Orion to their founder's father.

i also wonder if tales of star league Atlas II's, heavily mutated over the centuries, weren't the origin of the Combine's AS7-K 3050 upgrade.. the switch to paired ERlarges and a guass rifle would seem to mirror some of the best of both the Atlas II versions.

and i think it is clear the Atlas III was based heavily on the Atlas II, not the original. :)

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #2 on: 09 May 2014, 14:39:46 »
The really mystifying thing is of course the designation-the Atlas is 10 years old, and you comission a new mech with the same tonnage and engine but a different profile and designation?   :D  Well, okay I guess, you are the boss.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #3 on: 09 May 2014, 14:47:39 »
i don't know.. the F-106 Delta Dart was an upgraded F-102 and it was introduced only 3 years after the F-102. which means work on the plane intended to replace the F-102 actually started right as the F-102 was deployed. so weirder thins have happened..

and i suspect that the reason for the Atlas II lies in the units that received it. the Royal Divisions. where the regular Atlas was used by the star league forces, including those recruited from the great houses, the Atlas II was Terran Hegemony Only. unlike the hiding in plain sight Royal variants, but like the Devestator and other obviously advanced units, it was a showpeice to demonstrate the hegemony's technological might.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2014, 14:49:22 by glitterboy2098 »

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #4 on: 09 May 2014, 14:57:44 »
Well the 50s and 60s were a strange time when aircraft development was jumping ahead by leaps and bounds every single year!  I mean, we went from sub-sonic jets to the Blackbird and B-70 in what, a single decade?  If other Mech designs 'advanced' this fast, we'd have gone from the Mackie to the Atlas in ten years.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #5 on: 09 May 2014, 15:30:34 »
I could see a couple of reasons that in combination might explain why there never really was an Atlas IIC. One, these things are pretty darn slow where Clan warfare overall seems to have shifted a bit more towards the use of smaller, more mobile forces even as their founder faded into myth, and hulking 100-ton beast bristling with guns and armor isn't really something a warrior can properly show off in either -- with that sort of edge, who needs skill? Yes, obviously somebody did happen to design the Dire Wolf along the way, but I honestly don't see all that much call for ponderous walking siege engines among the pre-Revival Clan warrior caste at least.

And two...hey, let's say you're a Clan tech. You have this totally nifty idea on how to improve on the original Atlas/Atlas II. All you have to do is convince your superiors, both in your own department and among the warrior caste proper, that you're exactly the right person to be entrusted with the Kerenskys' own 'Mech design so you, genius that you are, can do them one better...

...hey, what could possibly go wrong?  ^-^

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #6 on: 09 May 2014, 16:43:04 »
The really mystifying thing is of course the designation-the Atlas is 10 years old, and you comission a new mech with the same tonnage and engine but a different profile and designation?   :D  Well, okay I guess, you are the boss.

Seeing them use the Vlar 300 isn't really notable.  The SLDF used that engine in a variety of heavy and assault designs, including the Champion, Orion, Marauder, Black Knight, Ostroc, and Ostsol.  It was their 300-rated fusion plant.

As far as the Atlas II, the original Atlas was a deliberately unsophisticated design probably intended as a garrison unit or to be used in besieging fixed defenses at a time when the Houses were getting increasingly fractious.  The Atlas II is aimed at introducing a design doing a different job - it's more of a midrange beatstick and makes a good crit-seeker complement to the existing Pillager - on top of a proven chassis that was already in mass production and still shares a number of key components with its parent.  Take a close look at the design.  The underlying chassis and engine are identical aside from the modifications to support a better cooling system and the CASE.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #7 on: 09 May 2014, 17:29:12 »
  The Atlas II is not a very powerful mech. It is odd to have it as one of the best assault units in the SLDF. The Pillager was almost 100 years old, and there were prototypes of the Thunder Hawk and Devastator. Even the Nightstar (a prototype, too) would have eaten it alive.

  It has 4 long range weapons but only one that can deal 10 points of damage. The weapons are somewhat lackluster, the twin ER Large are good weapons but not the most efficient. Compare it with the Awesome 8Q, a common unit 20 tons lighter, and you can see that something is amiss. It is better than the original Atlas (which was clearly not the best assault mech, even the non-royal Highlander was better) but it is not the "king of the Battlefield".

 
Seeing them use the Vlar 300 isn't really notable.  The SLDF used that engine in a variety of heavy and assault designs, including the Champion, Orion, Marauder, Black Knight, Ostroc, and Ostsol.  It was their 300-rated fusion plant.

As far as the Atlas II, the original Atlas was a deliberately unsophisticated design probably intended as a garrison unit or to be used in besieging fixed defenses at a time when the Houses were getting increasingly fractious.  The Atlas II is aimed at introducing a design doing a different job - it's more of a midrange beatstick and makes a good crit-seeker complement to the existing Pillager - on top of a proven chassis that was already in mass production and still shares a number of key components with its parent.  Take a close look at the design.  The underlying chassis and engine are identical aside from the modifications to support a better cooling system and the CASE.

  Oddly enough is a good complement to the Pillager. Moonsword is right about it. However, the doctrine behind SLDF was against mixing units and I don't think that mixed Atlas II/Pillager units were what the designer was thinking about. The Highlander would have been a better complement due to its jump jets, armor and weapons.

  Finally, the mini is horrid and it needs a lot of loving from a jeweller's saw in order to make it look better.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #8 on: 09 May 2014, 17:37:58 »
I am not a fan of its looks as well. It lacks the foreboding appearance of the original. It just looks kinda goofy.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #9 on: 09 May 2014, 18:47:48 »
To me, the Atlas II's greatest strength is flexibility. Between the clustercannon, missiles, and pulse lasers, this thing is equipped to take down anything...
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #10 on: 09 May 2014, 22:25:18 »
I have had mixed feelings on the Atlas II.  I wasn't in love with it, since it looked like mix of Vadar and Soundwave from the Transformers.   

It has reasonable weapons, however you do run into the problem of better designs being used in the same time period.  Pillager, being only production Gauss packing Assault Mech that could scare pants off other enemy pilots. (Wait, Mechwarriors don't wear pants...scary.)   Emperor was around with two LB-X 10s and large Lasers as well.

Oh about that vadar appearance.  As seen earlier on Battletech the forums...
EDIT:  The Cool Picture of a Atlas II dressed up as a Darth Vadar without his helmet is from old Forums, which is LOST.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #11 on: 10 May 2014, 02:15:28 »
It even looks like him without the helmet.  :o

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #12 on: 10 May 2014, 03:27:19 »
The Atlas II is basically a Royal Atlas (as there was seemingly never a Royal version of the standard Atlas).  Its a nice mech and the review was great but the machine is nothing AMG amazing, i'd rather have a Pillager.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #13 on: 10 May 2014, 04:44:59 »
i find it interesting the clans never did an Atlas IIC, or even an Atlas II-C.. given the way the Clans revered it as the mech of their founder. after all, they did an Orion IIC due to the importance of the Orion to their founder's father.

Which is part of why Alaric made a bit of an attempt at Hesperus.

It is funny to hear this dogged when people play the Cerberus, one of which has a ERPPC and Gauss Rifle with some MPLs for close in . . . While I agree lance make up mixing this with Devastators, Thunderhawks and Pillagers to open holes for those crits is a good idea I could also see the SLDF putting the H & H2 into the same lances as they get ground down.
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misterpants

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #14 on: 10 May 2014, 15:21:10 »
This makes me think of Marvel's Apocalypse

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #15 on: 10 May 2014, 19:48:13 »
The Atlas II addresses the number one complaint about the original Atlas (range) and turned the brawler into a trooper. The SLDF had other assaults with BFGs (King Crab, Devastator, Pillager) Think it was smart to make the Atlas II more well rounded mech weapon wise.     
i find it interesting the clans never did an Atlas IIC,
They did, it was called the Kodiak :D

Actually, someone made a Atlas IIC bash. Could be wrong but I believe it was based on a Mechforce UK artistically 

  The Atlas II is not a very powerful mech. It is odd to have it as one of the best assault units in the SLDF. The Pillager was almost 100 years old, and there were prototypes of the Thunder Hawk and Devastator. Even the Nightstar (a prototype, too) would have eaten it alive.

  It has 4 long range weapons but only one that can deal 10 points of damage. The weapons are somewhat lackluster, the twin ER Large are good weapons but not the most efficient.


... am I the only one that plays the AS7-D-H2? You know, the one with a ER PPC and a Gauss Rifle?  ???

But I do agree that the Devastator and Pillager more or less did the job as 'we need a better assault mech." I even refereed to the Pillager as a Atlas+Victor baby with that skull motif.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #16 on: 11 May 2014, 08:43:05 »
Unfortunately, no Atlas has ever lived up to Kerensky's charge to build "a 'Mech as powerful as possible, as impenetrable as possible, and as ugly and foreboding as conceivable, so that fear itself will be our ally."  With ranged firepower that a Star League-era Rifleman could approximate (especially when heat constraints are considered), no killer AC/20 or Gauss or PPC boomstick(s), and no augmentation (ECM, CLPS, etc.) to the standard 19 tons of armor that comes with most 100-tonners, the Atlas II continues to disappoint.  Modestly effective, but hardly the ultimate mech or command unit.

Maybe someday there will be an "Atlas III" with dual Gauss, an ER PPC (or snubbie), an LRM-20, ECM, and maybe a command console variant someday.  That's somewhat duplicative of the Devastator/Pillager/T-Hawk trio, but it would come close to living up to the Atlas's original billing.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #17 on: 11 May 2014, 09:26:50 »
Unfortunately, no Atlas has ever lived up to Kerensky's charge to build "a 'Mech as powerful as possible, as impenetrable as possible, and as ugly and foreboding as conceivable, so that fear itself will be our ally."  With ranged firepower that a Star League-era Rifleman could approximate (especially when heat constraints are considered), no killer AC/20 or Gauss or PPC boomstick(s), and no augmentation (ECM, CLPS, etc.) to the standard 19 tons of armor that comes with most 100-tonners, the Atlas II continues to disappoint.  Modestly effective, but hardly the ultimate mech or command unit.

Maybe someday there will be an "Atlas III" with dual Gauss, an ER PPC (or snubbie), an LRM-20, ECM, and maybe a command console variant someday.  That's somewhat duplicative of the Devastator/Pillager/T-Hawk trio, but it would come close to living up to the Atlas's original billing.

Well, given the tech limitations of the time, the Atlas and Atlas II certainly fulfill two of the design requirements. Nineteen tons of Standard armor (and seventeen tons of FF) is certainly just short of the maximum possible armor you could apply to a Battlemech, and apparently set the gold standard for all subsequent 100-tonners since.

Also, they're both ugly as sin, and most Mechwarriors are gonna crap their pants if they find themselves at point blank range with one of these beasts, which makes them excellent city fighters. That "bubble of death" isn't looking so laughable when the terrain itself is preventing you from getting outside that range, eh? >:D

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #18 on: 11 May 2014, 10:33:46 »
Well, given the tech limitations of the time, the Atlas and Atlas II certainly fulfill two of the design requirements. Nineteen tons of Standard armor (and seventeen tons of FF) is certainly just short of the maximum possible armor you could apply to a Battlemech, and apparently set the gold standard for all subsequent 100-tonners since.

The Atlas may have met the "impenetrable as possible" goal for its time, but the Atlas II did not.  To earn that moniker in its time, I think the Atlas II would have to add ECM or CLPS or some other protective measure on top of its 19 tons of armor.

Quote
Also, they're both ugly as sin

Ugly, yes.  Foreboding, I dunno.  It's in the eye of the beholder, but I find the Atlas II more comical-looking than threatening.  But I agree that the original Atlas has some of the most foreboding artwork of any design.

Quote
and most Mechwarriors are gonna crap their pants if they find themselves at point blank range with one of these beasts, which makes them excellent city fighters. That "bubble of death" isn't looking so laughable when the terrain itself is preventing you from getting outside that range, eh? >:D

The Atlas II's short-range firepower isn't that impressive, IMO.  I do agree that anytime an AC/20 is on the board, it's a worry.  But given its speed, the Atlas has a hard time bringing that boomstick into range, even more so in the city.  It's relatively easy to outplay one with, say, a 3025 P-Hawk's 6/9/6 movement and large laser.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #19 on: 11 May 2014, 11:45:33 »
Well, given the tech limitations of the time, the Atlas and Atlas II certainly fulfill two of the design requirements. Nineteen tons of Standard armor (and seventeen tons of FF) is certainly just short of the maximum possible armor you could apply to a Battlemech, and apparently set the gold standard for all subsequent 100-tonners since.

Since the Atlas II was built as a royals-only machine, adding Null Sig or CLPS is easy, and XTRO: Gunslingers showed how common the systems apparently were. And setting the gold standard? After 12 turns of LRM firing, the original's got the range of a Hunchback with an SRM added, and tho this guy can use nearly everything point blank he doesn't have the heat for it. Nothing 'terrifying' there.

Sad, too- CLPS would have fit this 'machine and would have really made it stand out in TRO: 3075. Even then I felt underwhelmed by it.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #20 on: 11 May 2014, 12:41:36 »
Ah the Atlas II- 100 tons of proof trying to compromise to get everything done is a sure way to end up falling short of a lot of things.....

looks-wise, you'd think it would be easy to make it as daunting as the Atlas i mean they're both huge, covered in armor and hey, this one's waving a big gun around! should've been easy, right? so how'd they drop the ball?

simple, they were trying too hard. it's big and heavy and screams "i'm coming to shoot you!" so loudly it's hard to take it seriously as a result. the torso, while bristling with weapons, is too boxy. it comes off looking like an oversize windup toy robot. that's wearing a girdle. the choice of trying to mount all the weapons as high in the torso as possible (while probably doing wonders for it's firing lines) makes it looks too cluttered and turns the launchers into visual noise, keeping it from looking quite as heavily armored as it is.

and then there's the head. man, this thing needs special adressing because SOMEONE must have been on the verge of getting fired when they were working on this. no expense or detail is spared trying to drive home the "death's head" design. none. it feels vaugely like a 12-year old trying to tell a really scary ghost story and getting caught up in itself and forgetting the point. the end result is a 100-ton battlemech is wearing a 99-cent fright mask. oh, and the tallest collar possible. vampires are a classic and all, but you probably shouldn't try to dress your war machines up like them, it looks tacky.

the end result of these refinements is that it cheapens the appearance of the 'mech....which it can afford to do, being that it's still one of the biggest kids in the playground.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #21 on: 11 May 2014, 12:53:20 »
I have had mixed feelings on the Atlas II.  I wasn't in love with it, since it looked like mix of Vadar and Soundwave from the Transformers.   

It has reasonable weapons, however you do run into the problem of better designs being used in the same time period.  Pillager, being only production Gauss packing Assault Mech that could scare pants off other enemy pilots. (Wait, Mechwarriors don't wear pants...scary.)   Emperor was around with two LB-X 10s and large Lasers as well.

Oh about that vadar appearance.  As seen earlier on Battletech the forums...


seems like it should be in a lance with a white and blue urbanmech, and a gold Wyrven, 

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #22 on: 11 May 2014, 14:36:38 »
Everyone seems to hates the Atlas... and loves the Charger...  #P
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #23 on: 11 May 2014, 16:14:12 »
people love the underdog, and the Atlas is as far from an underdog as can be.
« Last Edit: 11 May 2014, 18:34:18 by Orin J. »
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Auren

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #24 on: 11 May 2014, 18:21:51 »
Everyone seems to hates the Atlas... and loves the Charger...  #P

That's because the Charger is just plain wierd and goofy, Atlas, not so much.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #25 on: 12 May 2014, 09:34:25 »
simple, they were trying too hard. it's big and heavy and screams "i'm coming to shoot you!" so loudly it's hard to take it seriously as a result.
Maybe that was the point. While everyone is looking at the Atlas they're not looking at the lance of medium 'Mechs about to appear in their rear arc.

Orin J.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #26 on: 12 May 2014, 10:15:44 »
Maybe that was the point. While everyone is looking at the Atlas they're not looking at the lance of medium 'Mechs about to appear in their rear arc.

and the original does that better too, what with the bubble-o-doomtm it has. the II has reach on it, but is kinda lacking in sheer strike weight (and the ability to fire its heavy guns while punching you which is effective enough when it happens that virtually anyone's going to try to avoid that at all costs). the Atlas II trades that singleminded focus for being more versatile, but that's something most people use lighter, faster 'mechs for. still a good 'mech, but doesn't live up to expectations.
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jklantern

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #27 on: 12 May 2014, 22:14:31 »
Everyone seems to hates the Atlas... and loves the Charger...  #P

That's because the Charger is the greatest Mech ever.

Seriously though, I love me some Atlas as well.  I don't care if it's outranged by the Pillager, Awesome, or Devastator.  The first TRO I got (and the TROs were my first major exposure to the universe after the card game) was the TRO 3025 Revised, and the Atlas on the front cover was the Mech that made me go, "HOLY ____!"  (Yes, even as an eight year old I knew that word).  And the TRO description of it picking up and tossing light Mechs made it all the more impressive.  Are there Mechs I like better?  Yes.  Are there Assault Mechs I like better?  You betcha.  But that doesn't make the Atlas not cool, and definitely a symbol of prestige.  Hell, it seems like the Atlas is pretty much comes with the rank insignia as soon as you become some kind of General equivalent.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #28 on: 13 May 2014, 00:16:44 »
The torso... it comes off looking like an oversize windup toy robot. that's wearing a girdle.

My goodness, that's darn near quote worthy.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: AS7-D-H* Atlas II
« Reply #29 on: 13 May 2014, 22:39:51 »
Seriously though, I love me some Atlas as well.  I don't care if it's outranged by the Pillager, Awesome, or Devastator.  The first TRO I got (and the TROs were my first major exposure to the universe after the card game) was the TRO 3025 Revised, and the Atlas on the front cover was the Mech that made me go, "HOLY ____!"  (Yes, even as an eight year old I knew that word).  And the TRO description of it picking up and tossing light Mechs made it all the more impressive.  Are there Mechs I like better?  Yes.  Are there Assault Mechs I like better?  You betcha.  But that doesn't make the Atlas not cool, and definitely a symbol of prestige.  Hell, it seems like the Atlas is pretty much comes with the rank insignia as soon as you become some kind of General equivalent.

Points taken, but are you talking about the AS7-D, or the Atlas II?

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