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Author Topic: Mech of the Week: Lupus  (Read 4364 times)


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Mech of the Week: Lupus
« on: 10 June 2011, 11:31:26 »
'Mech of the Week: Lupus

The successor to the Coyotl, the Lupus is another of the early OmniMechs that had manifested in a few scattered references over the years.  It had a somewhat higher profile than the Coyotl, known as the baseline design of the Jaguars' Mad Dog OmniMech and the Star Adders' Hellfire.  There's relatively scant information available about the history of the 'Mech aside from the fact that it was built on Babylon and was about as disruptive as the Coyotl was when first encountered but eventually superseded by the greater podspace on the Mad Dog and other XLFE heavy OmniMechs.  While it's not mentioned, I doubt the Stormcrow's appearance in 2930 was really something Lupus jocks enjoyed, either.  Because of that, it was eventually relegated to second-line status and the Adders evidently had whole scores of them around to convert to Hellfires.  I'll leave the question of why the Adders basically wrapped somewhat differently arranged armor around new internals, including a new engine and new (and different) skeleton, for someone else, but the artist created a design that's a bit different but very clearly the same design lineage.  The Mad Dog is further removed in some ways visually but the cockpit design and placement is certainly similar.

As the successor designs probably clued you in, this is a 60 ton 'Mech, just taking the plunge to become a heavy OmniMech.  It's the same speed as the Mad Dog but uses the classic Vlar 300 standard fusion engine, a widespread design that's been seen on designs from the Dragon to the Atlas.  The internal skeleton is endo-steel, unlike the two designs identified as successors, and the armor is the same 9 tons of ferro-fibrous on the Hellfire but laid out a bit differently.  The armor layout itself isn't great for doing more than slowing down the follow up to a Gauss strike because of the emphasis on giving the legs 24 points while 25 protect the center torso; the arms are 17 and the side torsos 18, fractionally higher than a Mad Dog's protection levels. High points are the high availability of crits in the side torsos and arms, with 10 available in the torsos and 8 to the arms once you get the actuators out of the way.  Probably wisely, the same decision was made that would later be made on the Stormcrow to not fix double heat sinks, leaving a total of 23 tons of podspace.  That's low by the standards of low-end heavy OmniMechs or even the slightly smaller Pariah but the SFE will make it a bit more durable under fire.

Unlike the Woodsman Prime, which has an armament a fair number of 'Mech heads know the high points of from long memory of the Timber Wolf, the Lupus's primary configuration bears more overall resemblance to a Trebuchet.  Five jump jets were attached to give it some additional mobility.  At the same time, each arm carries an ERML and the side torsos house an LRM 20 mated to an Artemis IV module with three tons of ammo shared between both launchers to make room for ECM.  Personally, during the Lupus's heyday, I have to wonder if replacing the ECM with more LRM ammo might not be a bad idea but not having Artemis IV or Narc enhancing fire against the armor isn't a bad thing by itself.  Those of you willing to flood the battlefield with ghost targets, I suggest you do it.  Overall, run this one like that same Treb - keep moving, pick your shots, and when you get a good one, pour on the fire.

The Lupus A opts for a direct battle configuration that has significantly more endurance at the cost of lacking some of the throw weight.  The main weapons are an Ultra/10 and a large pulse laser mounted in the right and left arms, respectively, backed up by a pair of ERMLs.  Three tons of ammunition was provided to support them along with two extra heat sinks.  As a result, heat gain on a running alpha is only +4 on a double-tap.  Leave an ERML out and cut the Ultra back down to single shots and that gets sinked quickly.  Ride your heat gauge aggressively when you've got a good shot but otherwise, a bit of conservatism to preserve opportunities will pay dividends.  Since this isn't a RAC, you really need to avoid riding the rapid-fire features too heavily on bad numbers.

In contrast to these two units, which are mid- to long-range combatants, the Lupus B is an unabashed close-in beater, looking to the Hunchback but attaching more teeth.  The reason I say that is the LB 20-X in the right torso with three tons of ammunition.  Each arm has an ERML over the hands, each side torso mounts an MPL, and the center and left torsos each have an ERSL.  An extra double heat sink was folded into the left torso along with the ammo to pad the crits and manage the heat load.  This the one with the least finnicky heat curve under a lot of circumstances and in conditions that favor its loadout is going to tear into lighter 'Mechs like a coyote on a haunch of meat while giving heavier 'Mechs a fight they'll remember.  The passage of time is going to slowly tear down its impact on the battlefield - the loadout can very nearly be duplicated on a Stormcrow, loading it onto a faster, tougher chassis - but even today it's going to give a good account of itself.  Unlike the other two configurations, which are inclined to dance around a bit and play with their prey, a Lupus B needs to go straight for the kill under most circumstances.  Get into short range and beat someone down with a combination of those powerful lasers and the nastiness that is the class 20 autocannon.  You're simply not large enough to play games with other heavies and some of the mediums running around are dangerous customers in and of themselves.  Given the fact that these are Clan lasers we're talking about, I'd be inclined to bring two tons of cluster rather than the default single ton but it's hard to argue with the power of a 20 point hit to the gut.

I've outlined the general uses of a Lupus based on configuration, so there's really not much to add other than watching your armor and keeping mobile.  The armor's not great, especially not with Clantech on the board, so you need to be avoiding the shots you can.  Against more modern Clan designs, the Lupus is going to be in for a severe beating but it's not harmless and it's not a pushover.  The Prime and A can hold their own at range; against a Prime, if you can bait one into firing its missiles at range, do it, but arguably being at range is safer - Clan LRMs lack minimums, so getting close just gets you buried in an avalanche of LRMs with some laser fire for giggles. Against a B, stay out of short range and try to avoid getting into the 9-12 area if you can and for damn sure stay out of knife-fights.

References: The Master Unit List's new database includes pictures.  You can also check the BVs and availability there; no joy on the latter since the design is extinct.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #1 on: 10 June 2011, 20:04:27 »
Thanks, Moonsword!  Can't wait until this mini comes out.  I rather like the old Coyote designs (and no, I'm not biased) despite their quirks.


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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #2 on: 10 June 2011, 20:08:52 »
the launchers in the torso and meds in the arms screams archer to me, all other elements aside
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #3 on: 12 June 2011, 04:52:11 »
Wouldn't surprise me. The Mad Dog is pretty much the offspring of an archer and a lancelot. And working back from there...
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #4 on: 13 June 2011, 22:27:25 »
Throw in some props to Jymset for helping me clean up some hanging threads with this 'Mech. It was originally going to be called the Lupis by parallel evolution, but he called the mention of the Lupus in the Hellfire write-up to my attention.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #5 on: 24 June 2011, 13:52:17 »

I'm a big fan of the Lupus. The Lupus Primary, in particular. As a high-mobility, durable missile boat, it's beginning to rival the DV-7D Dervish for my appreciation. The Lupus runs slightly light in the missile bays/magazines. But being an Omni, that's easy to correct. 

The Alpha makes for a decent autocannon armed, low-end heavy "trooper" unit. However, other than a couple of narrow niche roles, we don't play the Bravo often.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #6 on: 25 November 2020, 11:14:58 »
While all the sculpts of this old dog ( ha!) that I have seen are hideous it got a nice write up in TRO golden era and is apparently in production again!


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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #7 on: 25 November 2020, 17:21:26 »
Yup, now we've all got Lupus.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #8 on: 25 November 2020, 22:01:46 »
it's NEVER Lupus.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #9 on: 23 December 2020, 17:05:18 »
it's NEVER Lupus.
Except that one time!
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Re: Mech of the Week: Lupus
« Reply #10 on: 30 December 2020, 05:25:47 »
Looking at the Lupus's appearance, I can't help but wonder if there's a little Champion in its lineage.
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