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BattleTech Game Systems => General BattleTech Discussion => Topic started by: wildkadabra on 07 January 2022, 11:22:33

Title: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: wildkadabra on 07 January 2022, 11:22:33
The universe of Battletech is likely one of the most interesting ones when it comes to discussing morality. Most chararacters can be described as some shade of morally gray and are just people trying to do the best with the hand they have been dealt. House Lords try to do (though often not always) what they at least PERCEIVE to be best for their faction even if that means killing millions. Clanners even with their... unique... take on honor, try to be decent and avoid senseless killing. Some characters may lean much more heavily towards evil or heroism but for the most part most are presented as good intentioned but flawed individuals.

Then you have these apples.... Individuals so deranged they cannot be categorized as anything but evil. Individuals who only sought to gain for themselves, those who would gladly have killed everybody in the galaxy if they were unable to get their way, it was either them or nobody. Who do you believe to be the most vile?!

Do you think it is somebody not on the list? Let us know!
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 07 January 2022, 11:46:15
Kalvin Liao rates, I’d say.

Sure, all these people did horrible things and killed millions.

But none of them took as much joy in doing so as Kalvin.  He invited the poor and crippled to a feast, then locked them inside and had the feast hall burned down while he watched, laughing and clapping.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 07 January 2022, 11:48:50
Paging Jinjiro Kurita, Jinjiro, you have a phone call at the front desk.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: TheoLehman on 07 January 2022, 11:53:47
All these people did some pretty nasty stuff, but I got to give it up for the Stefan Amaris Parade of War Crimes.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 07 January 2022, 11:56:13
There are more than a few across the board, I voted Katherine only because there are far too many who defend her just to be snarky nerds so the extent of the damage she had done seems to be curtailed in many discussions.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: CJC070 on 07 January 2022, 12:02:14
There are more than a few across the board, I voted Katherine only because there are far too many who defend her just to be snarky nerds so the extent of the damage she had done seems to be curtailed in many discussions.

Same here.  Most of them have understandable reasons for why they started on their path.  All of them committed unforgivable atrocities getting and staying in their positions of power.  Katherine did it because she thought she was the smartest person in the room.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Alex Keller on 07 January 2022, 12:03:46
Katherine was just an ambitious narcissist and was likely a psychopath. That's not evil.  Evil is doing something that you know is wrong, because you enjoy seeing other people hurt. There are plenty of characters like that in the BT universe,  but the OP seems not to have made them available as a choice. I see someone named Kalvin Liao. Yes, that's evil.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: TigerShark on 07 January 2022, 12:04:40
There are no villains or heroes in BattleTech, IMO.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 January 2022, 13:51:19
No Nic Kerensky?  He committed several genocides during his time.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: nova_dew on 07 January 2022, 13:58:11
The Comstar person(s) who actively killed off scientists in order to keep the tech level down so Comstar could play survivor is pretty damn evil
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 07 January 2022, 14:05:06
Several "worthy candidates" being absent from the poll options aside, it's impossible to answer a question like this. How do you measure evil? Which do we weigh more heavily, intentions or outcomes? One individual might have started out with somewhat defensible goals but committed acts that led to calamity on a massive scale, whereas another might have been an irredeemable reprobate in their motivations but had the damage they did limited by circumstances.

As an example... Kalvin Liao has been mentioned a couple of times. In addition to the outrages already described, he started a war because the woman he lusted after wasn't interested in him, when he already had twenty-some wives (who he later killed). For sheer personal depravity, I think you can make a strong case for him. On the other hand, if we judge by the amount of long-term galactic-wide suffering caused, he's probably not even in the top five.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Adacas on 07 January 2022, 14:33:50
No Nic Kerensky?  He committed several genocides during his time.

I second the motion
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Starfury on 07 January 2022, 15:36:34
Brett Andrews Ilkhan during the first half of the War of Reavings, both horribly mentally ill and caused more damage to the Clans then the IS ever could.

Jinjiro Kurita, for obvious reasons.

Kenyon Marik, who solidified House Marik's hold on what was ostensibly a parliamentary democracy, responded to House Steiner's limited use of nukes during the Bolan campaign by upping the ante, and leading House Marik into the Succession Wars with no clear sign of Victory.

The SLDF generals who led the campaign against the Taurians during the Reunification War, and to a great extent, House Cameron.  The Terran Hegemony has much to answer for those campaigns, since the Taurians have never recovered and their paranoia over House Davion led to them splitting up, losing most of their territory, and enduring bad to evil leadership since the 3060s.

Maximilian Liao, who engineered yet another Marik Civil War, tried to replaced Hanse Davion with a duplicate, and lead to the near destruction and loss of his realm all because he wanted the throne.

Devlin Stone, whose pointed manipulations of the IS led to the downfall of his own state, the radiation poisoning of Kwamshu, the theft of many planets from the various IS powers in return for guarantees of dubious to little value, and turned his own dream in a boggled nightmare held by Clan Wolf. 

All these attempts to rebuild a unified humanity, and all from one 150 year long period of a supposed golden age of humanity. 

The merchants of the Hanseatic Leauge

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 January 2022, 15:38:44
Yeah, I can also support nominating the Cameron that wanted to unify humanity.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: BrianDavion on 07 January 2022, 16:35:01
Katherine was just an ambitious narcissist and was likely a psychopath. That's not evil.  Evil is doing something that you know is wrong, because you enjoy seeing other people hurt. There are plenty of characters like that in the BT universe,  but the OP seems not to have made them available as a choice. I see someone named Kalvin Liao. Yes, that's evil.

yuo're confusing evil with sadism. Many of the most evil actions in history have been done by people who thought they where doing the right thing.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 07 January 2022, 16:36:48
yuo're confusing evil with sadism. Many of the most evil actions in history have been done by people who thought they where doing the right thing.

I would tend to agree. Pretty much nobody in real life self-identifies as evil like some old-school D&D character.

You can make an argument about diminished responsibility because of mental illness of course.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Dr. Banzai on 07 January 2022, 16:45:28
I second the motion
I third the motion
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Jaim Magnus on 07 January 2022, 16:48:35
Other.

Conrad Toyama.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 07 January 2022, 16:51:00
@Starfury

Field Marshall Amos Furlough.  He was a bastard for sure, but he never outright ordered the massacre of a planet's entire population like Jinjiro Kurita did.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: MarauderCH IIC on 07 January 2022, 16:55:31
Ulric Kerenksy
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Niopsian on 07 January 2022, 16:56:35
Malvina, for Apostica.

Amaris nuked his enemies because he was fighting the largest army ever created and needed to level the playing field as cheaply as possible. The Successor Lords at least had the fig leaf of "denying critical war industries to the enemy". Hell, even the Word of Blake tried to justify things like Alarion or Galax as being for The Greater Good. Malvina killed an entire planet because they weren't surrendering fast enough. 
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Fallen_Raven on 07 January 2022, 17:29:20
Takayoshi Fuchida sold out his partner despite knowing he was right and agreeing with him.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha82 on 07 January 2022, 17:58:00
Malvina for being cartoonishly evil.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 07 January 2022, 18:24:11
It's hard to quantify "evil" for a lot of reasons. First it's hard to objectify evil. Second, successful but less objectively abhorrent people might get the limelight over more objectively abhorrent people who simply didn't have the exposure. A successful warlord who's slaughtered millions for the sake of some code or expanding his realm is going to get more exposure than a serial killer who's only managed to kill a few people but really just does it for the sake of fulfilling his own twisted desires. The Warlord might have a code he lives by, a stable home life, a sense of right and wrong, but almost nobody's ever heard of the other guy.

So my picks aren't for the most objectively abhorrent, but the ones whose villainy most pervaded their character, made them a threat, and contributed most heavily to their downfall.

So it's a tie between Stephen Amaris and Malvina Hazen.  Both made themselves an existential threat to everybody they saw, self sabotaged through their own selfish desires, ambitions, or violent mental disorders, and thus ensured their own downfall by seeking out something they never had any chance of holding on to.

Romano I ruled out because at the height of her power she was never more of an annoyance. Devlin Stone also because by the time he'd fallen into the hole of being a cartoon villain to be overcome, he was in no way a threat to anybody. Only something for Alaric to squash on his path to the top

Alaric got ruled out because he hasn't made the slide into total villainous boob. Yet.

The Master is tricky, because while you could argue that the word of blake as a whole fits the criteria, the word of blake wasn't a single unified entity and its constituent elements often acted at odds with each other. We don't actually know how much of this was entirely according to the Master's Keikaku, or how much of it was him trying to keep things up in the air while his nutcase minions kept throwing more shit into it.

Cameron St Jaimas might however make the list, he was already established as an overreaching threat to everybody with a serious case of self defeating villainy (it seems that before he met the master his plan was to kill every leader in the inner sphere just to see what might happen. The master friggin calmed him down).

My personal greatest villain though is actually Chu-Sa Orion St Jaimas of the DCMS. Just because he existed and the authors never got back to me if his name meant anything.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: GRUD on 08 January 2022, 02:05:53
I voted for Malvina, but my #2 would be Primus Myndo Waterly, with Amaris a firm #3.

Mydno's BLIND devotion to her Warped Book of Blake set the Inner Sphere back HUNDREDS of years, and she is directly responsible for the deaths of Thousands, if not more.  We know she ran at least one "False Flag" Operation trying to discredit the GDL, that resulted in many deaths.  Then she turned around and did it AGAIN with her attack on the NAIS.  No telling how many scientists she had killed either, by HER direct orders.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: phoenixalpha on 08 January 2022, 07:05:14
I would say that no one is "evil". No one ever sees themselves as a villain. Everyone has a reason - even its the most flimsy and insane of reasons for their actions. They justify their actions to themselves.
Evil as a concept is flexible at best. What is evil for one group of people is a laudable moral act by others. Evil is what we label "other" people when we do not agree with their actions.

Everyone of those characters have reasons for doing what they did. Sometimes valid (to the majority of people) reasons but still not "good". Even Malvina had her reasons for her acts - insane & extreme but in her mind - valid reasons.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: gunner on 08 January 2022, 08:24:21
Comstar, they killed  millions in an attempt to discredit grey death legion on the off chance he could find a Star league outpost on Helm.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: wildkadabra on 08 January 2022, 10:27:15
There are a lot of good points here and I knew there were some villains that I would likely forget to ask. Brett Andrews and Myndo Waterly should have definitely made the cut. I will likely made a round 2 poll down the road with more refined options from the "Others" category.

To clarify in "evil" since I know it is a broad term that could be applied or misused the type of evil I mean here is not that of a leader who has to make a horrible decision and does so anyway like nuking thousands or imprisoning people if he believes thay is the most efficient way to end a war or what is best for his faction. Assuming the leader generally believes this is the best coirse of action (even if it is debatable there was a better way) and if he had genuinely believed there was a better way he would have persued that route.

The type of evil I'm talking about is pure selfish evil. Characters whose actions are focused on helping nobody but themselves and their hold on power. Those who would kill thousands as a first option even being certain there is a better way. Those who would rather see the entire galaxy dead before giving up power.

I'm sure there are a few other characters that fit the bill tham the ones listed which is why I added the Others category and do feel free to makes a case for anyone fhat you feel should have been included for round 2.

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 08 January 2022, 11:09:09
I'm still with Jinjiro Kurita.  About a half a billion citizens on Kentares were methodically hunted down and murdered by his command.  He was a special piece of evil work.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: klarg1 on 08 January 2022, 11:54:26
There are more than a few across the board, I voted Katherine only because there are far too many who defend her just to be snarky nerds so the extent of the damage she had done seems to be curtailed in many discussions.

Honestly? A lot of the characters who did more damage at least seem to have a veneer of "it's for the greater good" or at least "my people will benefit".

We get a lot of omniscient insight into Katherine's internal monologue and she seems perfectly  happy to do awful things for nobody's benefit but her own. Stefan Amaris might have her beaten there, but I don't think we have the same level of insight into his motivations.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Luciora on 08 January 2022, 12:05:14
Katherine wasn't commissioning vanity wonder weapon designs like Amaris, thankfully.  And while Kerensky had a hand designing the Atlas, It wasn't expressly meant as a MurderDeathKillAllInMyName like the Matar, Dragoon or the Flamer versions of the Whitworth.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 08 January 2022, 12:06:44
Honestly? A lot of the characters who did the most damage at least seem to have a veneer of "it's for the greater good" or at least "my people will benefit".

We get a lot of omniscient insight into Katherine's internal monologue and she seems perfectly  happy to do awful things for nobody's benefit but her own. Stefan Amaris might have her beaten there, but I don't think we have the same level of insight into his motivations.

It's true that we don't see Amaris's thought process (well, I guess there's a little at the beginning of Star Lord but we all try to forget that book entirely). There's a passage in the old Davion SB from an in-universe historian saying they sort of hoped to find some redeeming feature in Amaris in their research and found none, that in fact he may have been even worse than generally believed.

Katrina did seem to genuinely care about Galen Cox so she wasn't totally without human feelings, at least in her earlier portrayals.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 08 January 2022, 12:10:20
But a big part of Kathrine's wickedness was that she could care very deeply for someone, then in one message, turn on them utterly and without a word, knowing that the death of her "love" was at hand.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: MDFification on 08 January 2022, 12:31:05
Other - Ian Cameron

His megalomania in trying to unite humanity by any means necessary (and I'd argue systematically oppressing most of it - the treatment of the territorial states was awful, while member states were allowed to do basically whatever to their citizens without consequences) essentially serves as the inspiration for every would-be conqueror and despot in the setting since.

It wasn't enough that he engaged in wars of aggression (with nuclear weapons, and such colorful tactics such as 'kill 10 percent of this planet's population because their military didn't immediately surrender when we demanded it') against people who just wanted to be left alone. His legacy was escalating warfare from the old Age of War standard (seize a few planets through limited means) to "I'm going to conquer everything that exists, and my opponents have no rights". Centuries later, people are still trying to replicate his feats, and the human toll is literally astronomical.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Templar87 on 08 January 2022, 13:29:27
Honestly? A lot of the characters who did more damage at least seem to have a veneer of "it's for the greater good" or at least "my people will benefit".

We get a lot of omniscient insight into Katherine's internal monologue and she seems perfectly  happy to do awful things for nobody's benefit but her own. Stefan Amaris might have her beaten there, but I don't think we have the same level of insight into his motivations.


Not even for her own benefit, just because they hurt people she's taken a dislike to - hell, doing that even if it makes getting what she wants harder (see: her ditching the FedCom's mutual defence treaty with the St. ives Compact as her first act on usurping the throne of New Avalon. It's a bad idea, from every perspective, but Katherine doesn't care because it hurts people she dislikes (even at the cost of aiding someone who she claims to loath)).
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Nibs on 08 January 2022, 13:46:02
The name of Stefan Amaris is synonymous within the BT universe for evil. That alone is a fairly strong argument, though I believe that any character named here may well be a better candidate according to different definitions.

What amuses me is the trend of the poll results so far. Malvina Hazen and The Master are solidly outpacing Stefan Amaris. Is a recency bias is occurring from a fictional universe?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 08 January 2022, 13:53:51
i went with Stefan Amaris mainly because in addition to his crimes, the histories we have suggest that he seemed to go out of his way to commit them, took sadistic glee in their doing, and often said crimes come across as almost cartoonishly villainous for the sake of villainy. though one might argue that we are just getting biased sources in regards to the last point.

Malvina Hazen comes a close second.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: General308 on 08 January 2022, 14:18:05
I voted for Malvina, but my #2 would be Primus Myndo Waterly, with Amaris a firm #3.

Mydno's BLIND devotion to her Warped Book of Blake set the Inner Sphere back HUNDREDS of years, and she is directly responsible for the deaths of Thousands, if not more.  We know she ran at least one "False Flag" Operation trying to discredit the GDL, that resulted in many deaths.  Then she turned around and did it AGAIN with her attack on the NAIS.  No telling how many scientists she had killed either, by HER direct orders.

I don't even know that Waterly or Amaris were evil.  Power hungry yes for sure.   But Malvina on the Other hand fits evil she would kill you for looking at her wrong
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: General308 on 08 January 2022, 14:18:49
Comstar, they killed  millions in an attempt to discredit grey death legion on the off chance he could find a Star league outpost on Helm.

And every house Killed Billions.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: General308 on 08 January 2022, 14:21:41
The name of Stefan Amaris is synonymous within the BT universe for evil. That alone is a fairly strong argument, though I believe that any character named here may well be a better candidate according to different definitions.

What amuses me is the trend of the poll results so far. Malvina Hazen and The Master are solidly outpacing Stefan Amaris. Is a recency bias is occurring from a fictional universe?

Amaris gets that title but we see no real reasoning behind it and who he was as a person.  To me he is a run of the mill Noble who happened to be more successful with his overthrow plans than others.   Malvina on the other hand you get to see just how evil she really and truely was.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 08 January 2022, 14:29:01
Is a recency bias is occurring from a fictional universe?

That, and most of Amaris's crimes have never gotten more than a summary treatment in the source material.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: General308 on 08 January 2022, 14:42:42
That, and most of Amaris's crimes have never gotten more than a summary treatment in the source material.

Yea but every house committed warcrimes at some point. 
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 08 January 2022, 14:45:27
Yea but every house committed warcrimes at some point.

Not sure what point you're trying to make. The question was whether Malvina and The Master were beating Amaris in the poll because their misdeeds are more "recent", and I'm saying it's not just that, but the fact that the stuff Amaris did has largely only been given a "historical" treatment rather than fiction/sourcebook coverage where it's happening in the "present," making it "less real" to us.

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Chris24601 on 08 January 2022, 14:57:52
Other - Ian Cameron

His megalomania in trying to unite humanity by any means necessary (and I'd argue systematically oppressing most of it - the treatment of the territorial states was awful, while member states were allowed to do basically whatever to their citizens without consequences) essentially serves as the inspiration for every would-be conqueror and despot in the setting since.

It wasn't enough that he engaged in wars of aggression (with nuclear weapons, and such colorful tactics such as 'kill 10 percent of this planet's population because their military didn't immediately surrender when we demanded it') against people who just wanted to be left alone. His legacy was escalating warfare from the old Age of War standard (seize a few planets through limited means) to "I'm going to conquer everything that exists, and my opponents have no rights". Centuries later, people are still trying to replicate his feats, and the human toll is literally astronomical.

Ninja’d. I voted the same.

Colonists: “I’m sick of this bloated centralized Government enough to abandon everything on Earth to go set up a place where I can live as we wish.”

Ian Cameron: “I know better how to run everyone’s lives so let’s conquer all those colonies and force them to live under my bloated centralized Government.”

Runner up goes to every House Lord, Khan and would-be First Lord who put conquest in an attempt to match the feats of that megalomaniac ahead of making life better for their own people. The only difference between them and the Pirates and Slavers is that they have enough power to protect themselves from the people they rob and control for their own aggrandizement.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 08 January 2022, 16:16:10
I'm still with Jinjiro Kurita.  About a half a billion citizens on Kentares were methodically hunted down and murdered by his command.  He was a special piece of evil work.
Fifty million, not five hundred million.  Still a gigantic amount for a war crime, though.

That, and most of Amaris's crimes have never gotten more than a summary treatment in the source material.
And I think this is why Malvina's leading, because we saw up close and personal all the stuff she'd done in the fiction instead of sourcebook snippets.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Nibs on 08 January 2022, 16:16:32
Not sure what point you're trying to make. The question was whether Malvina and The Master were beating Amaris in the poll because their misdeeds are more "recent", and I'm saying it's not just that, but the fact that the stuff Amaris did has largely only been given a "historical" treatment rather than fiction/sourcebook coverage where it's happening in the "present," making it "less real" to us.

Precisely. I read Hour of the Wolf and I 'observed' the violence espoused by Malvina. I remember the 'recent' atrocities of the Jihad at the hands of the Master.

It is much like a modern person would espouse more recent sports stars as the greatest to play the game rather than historical legends. Not necessarily wrong, but recency does play a part. In this case, discussing a fictional universe, it is completely one of zero-stakes and therefore makes it more interesting than one of which to argue.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: TigerShark on 08 January 2022, 17:18:16
EDIT: Deleting this one.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: phoenixalpha on 09 January 2022, 04:21:02
When your ultimate aim is to unite humanity under one banner (your banner of course because everyone is always right in their own mind) and bring about stability, peace, prosperity and order to the universe - there probably isnt much that you wouldn't do to bring this about.

You (a leader of your nation) want to bring about a unification of all humanity under your benevolent (because everyone is that in their own mind).
You have opposing forces stopping you from bringing peace to all humanity. THEY are the ones stopping everyone from having a quiet and ordered life. THEY are bringing war to your people. THEY are the ones killing innocents and committing war crimes against your people.

What would you stop at to secure peace and stability for your people? What would you do to stop the murder and destruction of entire planets at the hands of your enemies who want to enslave and kill your people (whom you are sworn to protect)?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: StCptMara on 09 January 2022, 06:09:47
I see Hanse Davion was left off the list. I mean, look at what he did:
He launched a sneak attack on a peaceful power as wedding gift to his new wife.
He secretly placed an infiltrator in his future target years in advance, and removed the heir to that nation into a separate state, leaving it in the hands of a man who his agent destroyed the sanity of, AND then into the hands the monster, Romano.
To gain military supplies he needed, he used a fake of a supposed ally's son to keep the ally placated until he could not hide that the child had died any longer.
He sowed seeds of ambition into his eldest daughter, and left his youngest daughter unprepared for the evils of political manipulation, and his eldest son unprepared for the political aspects of leadership, resulting in a civil war that tore his realm apart and cost millions of lives.

The Fox is clearly the most evil man in BattleTech because, except for the Clan Invasion, every conflict in the original eras can be place firmly at his feet, through his intentional actions and their consequences.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 09 January 2022, 06:27:50
Mr. Wilbur H. Gruberman of Kooken’s Pleasure Pit.

He knows what he did.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 09 January 2022, 10:25:10
I see Hanse Davion was left off the list. I mean, look at what he did:
He launched a sneak attack on a peaceful power...

I'm going to have to stop you right there as Max fired the first shot with the whole body double bit. Hanse was no innocent but to power in the IS was 'peaceful' by any means.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: MDFification on 09 January 2022, 11:24:30
When your ultimate aim is to unite humanity under one banner (your banner of course because everyone is always right in their own mind) and bring about stability, peace, prosperity and order to the universe - there probably isnt much that you wouldn't do to bring this about.

You (a leader of your nation) want to bring about a unification of all humanity under your benevolent (because everyone is that in their own mind).
You have opposing forces stopping you from bringing peace to all humanity. THEY are the ones stopping everyone from having a quiet and ordered life. THEY are bringing war to your people. THEY are the ones killing innocents and committing war crimes against your people.

What would you stop at to secure peace and stability for your people? What would you do to stop the murder and destruction of entire planets at the hands of your enemies who want to enslave and kill your people (whom you are sworn to protect)?

This is precisely why I blame Ian Cameron for the majority of the human suffering in the setting. Before him, people could recognize that the dream of unity (aka the dream of "nobody is allowed to disagree with me, I know what's best for them") was impossible, and settle for the next best thing - trying to maintain cordial relations and avoid war. But he showed people that unifying humanity was actually possible, and (though he didn't really achieve peace, justice or freedom for humanity, since there were still civil/hidden wars, the territorial states were a mess and totalitarian member states weren't prevented from oppressing their own) that this could massive accelerate economic/technological development. Star League, for all of the violence and tyranny it required, was still a golden age beyond anything achieved since.

The overwhelming majority of heads of state since have aimed at "conquering the Sphere, unite humanity" instead of "create a status quo in which we won't have to engage in constant warfare" ever since. Which notably hasn't united the Sphere, and has instead resulted in stagnation, ceaseless bloodshed and the destruction of anything good Ian Cameron actually achieved. His beliefs and his deeds were ultimately the most destructive things in human history.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Syzyx on 09 January 2022, 12:14:15
The most evil character in BattleTech is clearly Jordan Weisman. His evil schemes have resulted in the suffering and deaths of TRILLIONS of people over a span in EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND YEARS! Oh, and for those of you who think this is just fourth-wall breaking, understand that he just changed his name to cover up things in the 3060's. Jordan Weis is such a clever disguise.

https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Jordan_Weis

And on top of all of this, he's a Capellan!

(Please accept all of the above as humor.)
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Alex Keller on 09 January 2022, 12:18:38
yuo're confusing evil with sadism. Many of the most evil actions in history have been done by people who thought they where doing the right thing.

Sadism is one of the most profoundly immoral and wicked behaviors a person can exhibit, yes? That's the definition of evil.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Baldur Mekorig on 09 January 2022, 13:11:53
Other - Ian Cameron

His megalomania in trying to unite humanity by any means necessary (and I'd argue systematically oppressing most of it - the treatment of the territorial states was awful, while member states were allowed to do basically whatever to their citizens without consequences) essentially serves as the inspiration for every would-be conqueror and despot in the setting since.

It wasn't enough that he engaged in wars of aggression (with nuclear weapons, and such colorful tactics such as 'kill 10 percent of this planet's population because their military didn't immediately surrender when we demanded it') against people who just wanted to be left alone. His legacy was escalating warfare from the old Age of War standard (seize a few planets through limited means) to "I'm going to conquer everything that exists, and my opponents have no rights". Centuries later, people are still trying to replicate his feats, and the human toll is literally astronomical.


A thousand times this. Here you have the culprit of most, if not all, of the horrible succesion of massacres and suffering that frame the whole BT universe.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 09 January 2022, 14:45:36
Sadism is one of the most profoundly immoral and wicked behaviors a person can exhibit, yes? That's the definition of evil.

Yes, but it's not the only form evil takes.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: nova_dew on 09 January 2022, 15:21:38
No James McKenna?, he did pretty much start the BTech setting, without him there'd be no TH to become the Star league ect ect
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: DEZOAT on 09 January 2022, 16:40:25
 :D I voted for Malvina, but my #2 would be Amaris, with Primus Myndo Waterly  a  #3.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Pinetree on 09 January 2022, 20:10:25
Claudius Steiner must be right up there, he would drag people into the palace and play with them using old Star League medical equipment.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: BrianDavion on 09 January 2022, 21:49:20
Sadism is one of the most profoundly immoral and wicked behaviors a person can exhibit, yes? That's the definition of evil.

sadism is evil, but it does not follow that "evil is sadism" it can take other forms.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 09 January 2022, 22:05:21
It is much like a modern person would espouse more recent sports stars as the greatest to play the game rather than historical legends. Not necessarily wrong, but recency does play a part. In this case, discussing a fictional universe, it is completely one of zero-stakes and therefore makes it more interesting than one of which to argue.

No, never liked Jordan when he played or really watched NBA, but Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Doctor J were all better than Lebron.  But I do admire the hell out of Michael Jordan for his business empire- he either got (and importantly listened) great advice or has one hell of a head for business.  His branding model is what all athletes since have tried to copy.

Claudius Steiner must be right up there, he would drag people into the palace and play with them using old Star League medical equipment.

Come on, he was named Claudius . . . how else was he going to turn out?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 09 January 2022, 22:22:20
Come on, he was named Claudius . . . how else was he going to turn out?

Claudius, not Caligula. Anybody ever read the novel by Robert Grave
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Xan on 10 January 2022, 19:19:08
The following comes to mind reading this:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C. S. Lewis

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Orwell84 on 10 January 2022, 21:23:15
The following comes to mind reading this:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C. S. Lewis

One of my all-time favourites :thumbsup:

Sums up the darker side of the Star League, the CC and the Clans quite nicely - the "it's all for your own good" kind of tyranny that tramples on personal freedom and genuine unity in diversity. Also why I'd rank Ian Cameron in some respects as being on par with Amaris, at least in terms of lives destroyed if not their differing motives.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 10 January 2022, 22:47:28
For Ian Cameron's ultimate example of tyranny, see the Pollux Proclamation.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 10 January 2022, 23:09:19
One of my all-time favourites :thumbsup:

Sums up the darker side of the Star League, the CC and the Clans quite nicely - the "it's all for your own good" kind of tyranny that tramples on personal freedom and genuine unity in diversity. Also why I'd rank Ian Cameron in some respects as being on par with Amaris, at least in terms of lives destroyed if not their differing motives.

I don't think any of these power where interested in policing morality as much as peace through power, power through conquest (might as well be the tag line for the BTU) I'll also put Amaris in his own category as he wasn't even pretending it was about peace or some warp sense of justice. The Cameron family being bastards may have been his justifications to the troops but he's goals seem to begin and end with becoming the Star Lord, why all of his efforts quickly evaporated after his 3 step plan. Step 1: Star a war, Step 2: Shoot Cameron in the head. Step 3: kill anyone who disagrees with step 2 (that ended up being allot of people) 
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: GRUD on 10 January 2022, 23:21:39
I don't even know that Waterly or Amaris were evil.  Power hungry yes for sure.   But Malvina on the Other hand fits evil she would kill you for looking at her wrong
Malvina would kill you for looking at her, Period, Right OR Wrong.   ;D


Consider How Many of her scientists she had killed simply because they couldn't get her through the Fortress Wall.   xp  She lost her #1, so her #2 got promoted.  Maybe the #1 guy was #1 because he was the Best that she had?  Maybe #2 wasn't as good.  So now, #2 is in a spot ABOVE his Abilities, and Mad Malvina thinks this will work?  But then #2 couldn't do it, "BLAM!" (or "PEW!" if she used a laser), so #3 is now #1.  And #3 wasn't As Good As #2!  I think she went through 3 in one book, but it had been mentioned she'd killed OTHERS that had "Failed" her before them?


Do you REALLY want to get down to the "Photocopier Repair Technician" being the only person with experience with Technology working on the Fortress Wall Solution?  ::)  Apparently, that was "Winning Strategy!" as far as Mad Malvina was concerned.   xp
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 10 January 2022, 23:25:57
The problem you have here is that the word 'evil' is somewhat opaque.

If the question is something like, "Whose actions had the worst consequences?", then my pick is probably Nicholas Kerensky, with Stefan Amaris as runner-up. I pick Nicholas for being the most significant person in not only creating the Clans but shaping them into what they would become. Amaris, for all that he was horrifically awful, was at his core a tinpot dictator with no vision beyond his own power and ego. Nicholas has that, but also had a horrific vision that centuries later everyone else is still paying for.

Remove Amaris from history and it's possible the Star League falls some other way: it had plenty of failure points, and we could see the systemic issues starting to tear it apart from before Amaris ever got involved. Remove Nicholas from history and the Clans look very different. Without him there's probably no return to the Pentagon (or at least not a victorious one), likely no eugenics programme or caste system, and probably no Clan society as we know it at all. Remove Nicholas and you probably get a bunch of separate military juntas in the Pentagon and in the Kerensky Cluster, they fight each other a lot, and the final result is another Deep Periphery state where feuding warlords fight over scraps of tech, which seems undoubtedly far better for everyone else in the setting.

However, that may not be the best way to judge evil. We could judge it as, "Who had the worst personal character; who was the least virtuous?" If so, it could be any random person in the whole setting, and is very unlikely to be one of the most famous ones. Of the most famous people, Amaris, Katherine, and Malvina stand out as particularly unpleasant, but in all likelihood there's been some sort of sadistic serial killer in the back of alleys of some minor planet I've never heard of who puts them all to shame.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 January 2022, 23:44:52
Malvina would kill you for looking at her, Period, Right OR Wrong.   ;D


Consider How Many of her scientists she had killed simply because they couldn't get her through the Fortress Wall.   xp  She lost her #1, so her #2 got promoted.  Maybe the #1 guy was #1 because he was the Best that she had?  Maybe #2 wasn't as good.  So now, #2 is in a spot ABOVE his Abilities, and Mad Malvina thinks this will work?  But then #2 couldn't do it, "BLAM!" (or "PEW!" if she used a laser), so #3 is now #1.  And #3 wasn't As Good As #2!  I think she went through 3 in one book, but it had been mentioned she'd killed OTHERS that had "Failed" her before them?


Do you REALLY want to get down to the "Photocopier Repair Technician" being the only person with experience with Technology working on the Fortress Wall Solution?  ::)  Apparently, that was "Winning Strategy!" as far as Mad Malvina was concerned.   xp

I kind of theorized once that Malvina's madness was a direct side-effect of Etienne's sabotage, because of how many truly BAD strategic decisions she wasn't jsut making, but having the support to MAKE.

among them, of course, being what you just outlined with completely failing to understand that specialist skills don't just pop into someone's head.

Terrorized people don't think particularly well, if the job requires thinking...
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Col Toda on 11 January 2022, 02:47:09
Kerensky by not staying and cleaning up the mess he left behind.  It permitted Blake to pursue the destruction of Mankind's technical base.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: StCptMara on 11 January 2022, 06:16:18
Kerensky by not staying and cleaning up the mess he left behind.  It permitted Blake to pursue the destruction of Mankind's technical base.

You mean Conrad Toyama...Blake was just a bureaucrat, it was Toyama who came up with the religious trappings, and the Holy Shroud thing...
I don't think Blake said a thing that the people who worshipped him think he said, and that it was Toyama who created it all out of his depraved imagination.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Elmoth on 11 January 2022, 06:52:30
I will go for a usual suspect, but a much smaller fry.

Redjack Ryan.

He is a sociopath that likes to torture people for a hobby. Official publications on that. He is a bad guy and he knows it. He tortures for fun, not for grand objectives. Malvina still had an objective even if her methods were quite bad for achieving it.  Redjack just wanted to cause as much pain as he could.

He didn't have the means to do this on a grand scale, but on individual evilness ranking he was quite high.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 11 January 2022, 07:05:05
Eh - Redjack was a piker compared to Gunthar "Vampire" Von Strang.

Example - buried thousands of people alive in extensive underground vaults with no light and no food, and threw a few hundred violent psychopaths in for good measure.   Let them murder and eat each other in the dark.

Some survived for years, but were barely human when SLDF forces finally found and freed them.

I've always been disappointed that the Star League SB and the Liberation of Terra SBs missed the Jade Falcon profile on him, and entirely skipped over the battle for New York, which featured Gunthar's desperate battle to reach his evacuation ships at LaGuardia.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Elmoth on 11 January 2022, 07:15:53
I concede my position to Gunthar Von Srang. I did not remember him, true.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 11 January 2022, 08:22:02
You mean Conrad Toyama...Blake was just a bureaucrat, it was Toyama who came up with the religious trappings, and the Holy Shroud thing...
I don't think Blake said a thing that the people who worshipped him think he said, and that it was Toyama who created it all out of his depraved imagination.

The opening fiction in Historical: Second Succession War suggests that Toyama turned ComStar into a mystery cult on Blake's explicit orders:

Quote from: Historical 2SW p. 6-7
“It happened naturally, Conrad. In hindsight, I realized that we’d already been moving towards it even before Silver Shield. Even your little quip about ‘excommunication’ adds to the pile. But we have the beginnings of a religion, and we’ve had them for a long time. More often than not, our recruits feel a genuine calling. Only at the higher levels does the mongering and sycophancy kick in. We’re a proto-religion right now. But soon, you can turn it in to a full religion.

“All you need is a saint.”

Conrad jumped to his feet, and the flimsy chair fell back, clattering across the floor.

“NO! I refuse! That’s…horrifying! I’ll not turn you in to some figurehead, some idol, some false god just to further this ridiculous agenda!”

“Oh, stop it, Conrad. I’ve been a symbol for years now. But I haven’t been myself for most of my life. Always in the service of others, for the greater good. Meeting someone else’s expectations. I was a little genius, and my parents made sure I went to school. I graduated at sixteen, but I’ve had no life, and no love. All I’ve ever had was a career and a crisis.” Suddenly, Jerome’s face twisted in to an angry scowl. “Why should I care how I’m remembered, when I’ve barely lived at all?!”

Now it's up to you how seriously you take that, and I try to take all published sourcebooks as polite suggestions rather than ironclad law, but if it makes a difference to you... there is a canonical source suggesting that Toyama only played the religious tyrant because Blake ordered him to.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: jasonf on 11 January 2022, 08:58:55
In terms of dark-horse candidates, I'm gonna go with Titus Cameron-Jones.

You might be able to make a justification for completely wiping out Gibson and Circinus as hornet's nests full of Wobbies that have their own dangerous stashes of WMDs, but the obliteration of Diamantina, Paradise (Pop. 144 mil.), and Poulsbo (Pop. 2.4 bn.) were essentially three worlds full of innocent people wiped out "just to be safe" ...or something.

That's 5 nuked planets. Completely off the maps. Three of which had no actual Wobbies at the time. At least 4 of which well-populated. 
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Geg on 11 January 2022, 09:36:22
The problem you have here is that the word 'evil' is somewhat opaque.

If the question is something like, "Whose actions had the worst consequences?", then my pick is probably Nicholas Kerensky, with Stefan Amaris as runner-up. I pick Nicholas for being the most significant person in not only creating the Clans but shaping them into what they would become. Amaris, for all that he was horrifically awful, was at his core a tinpot dictator with no vision beyond his own power and ego. Nicholas has that, but also had a horrific vision that centuries later everyone else is still paying for.

Remove Amaris from history and it's possible the Star League falls some other way: it had plenty of failure points, and we could see the systemic issues starting to tear it apart from before Amaris ever got involved. Remove Nicholas from history and the Clans look very different. Without him there's probably no return to the Pentagon (or at least not a victorious one), likely no eugenics programme or caste system, and probably no Clan society as we know it at all. Remove Nicholas and you probably get a bunch of separate military juntas in the Pentagon and in the Kerensky Cluster, they fight each other a lot, and the final result is another Deep Periphery state where feuding warlords fight over scraps of tech, which seems undoubtedly far better for everyone else in the setting.

However, that may not be the best way to judge evil. We could judge it as, "Who had the worst personal character; who was the least virtuous?" If so, it could be any random person in the whole setting, and is very unlikely to be one of the most famous ones. Of the most famous people, Amaris, Katherine, and Malvina stand out as particularly unpleasant, but in all likelihood there's been some sort of sadistic serial killer in the back of alleys of some minor planet I've never heard of who puts them all to shame.

It's not just the "what" Clan society became, but also how Nicholas Kerensky Built clan society and what he did with its dissidents.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: BrianDavion on 11 January 2022, 12:19:51
I kind of theorized once that Malvina's madness was a direct side-effect of Etienne's sabotage, because of how many truly BAD strategic decisions she wasn't jsut making, but having the support to MAKE.

among them, of course, being what you just outlined with completely failing to understand that specialist skills don't just pop into someone's head.

Terrorized people don't think particularly well, if the job requires thinking...

IIRC Beckett Malthus outright accused Malvina of having tainted genes. I'd not be suprised if her blood linniage gets reaved and that becomes the "offical jade falcon party line"
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: carlisimo on 11 January 2022, 18:40:07
I voted for Malvina Hazen; she feels like the most one-dimensionally evil character we've seen. 

Those who want to conquer humanity because they're telling themselves they can make it better are evil too, but they have more understandable or relatable type of evil than Malvina's.  I'd say that includes Stefan Amaris.  A lot of previous House Lords were similar in mentality to Malvina, but they weren't successful enough to have the opportunity to show us how depraved they were. 

I also with nova_dew; ComStar deserves a place of honor here because they were actively trying to hold humanity back.  I haven't read enough about them to know if I can blame it on somebody specific.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: I am Belch II on 11 January 2022, 19:32:05
Which one had the highest death toll??? That would be a good start. Don't know my Battletech history as good as I should.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: klarg1 on 11 January 2022, 20:53:18
I voted for Malvina Hazen; she feels like the most one-dimensionally evil character we've seen. 

Those who want to conquer humanity because they're telling themselves they can make it better are evil too, but they have more understandable or relatable type of evil than Malvina's.  I'd say that includes Stefan Amaris.  A lot of previous House Lords were similar in mentality to Malvina, but they weren't successful enough to have the opportunity to show us how depraved they were. 

I also with nova_dew; ComStar deserves a place of honor here because they were actively trying to hold humanity back.  I haven't read enough about them to know if I can blame it on somebody specific.

As an organization, I'd vote Comstar/WoB. Dedicating three centuries to the explicit project of systematically making things worse for (essentially) all of humanity is hard to beat.

Most evil individual is a harder call.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 11 January 2022, 22:35:34
As an organization, I'd vote Comstar/WoB. Dedicating three centuries to the explicit project of systematically making things worse for (essentially) all of humanity is hard to beat.

Eh, their mission was explicitly to save and uplift humanity through preserving technology. They got cultish about it eventually and gave birth to the Word of Blake, but there are enough good motives alloyed with the bad that I feel hesitant.

I'm not sure how you can sensible say that ComStar as a whole is worse than the Clans, or even Houses Liao or Kurita.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 11 January 2022, 22:59:00
But House Liao only wants to provide free medical care and education while keeping the warp beacon lit from the celestial throne...

(https://cfw.sarna.net/wiki/images/4/4f/Celestial_Presence_Sun-Tzu_Liao.jpg?timestamp=20110613144723)

Go ahead and try to convince me that Celestial Wisdom <> God Emperor and that this isn't BattleTech's Golden Throne.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 11 January 2022, 23:42:31
I'm not sure how you can sensible say that ComStar as a whole is worse than the Clans, or even Houses Liao or Kurita.

From a quick run down of ComStars history.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: StCptMara on 12 January 2022, 03:15:57
The opening fiction in Historical: Second Succession War suggests that Toyama turned ComStar into a mystery cult on Blake's explicit orders:

Now it's up to you how seriously you take that, and I try to take all published sourcebooks as polite suggestions rather than ironclad law, but if it makes a difference to you... there is a canonical source suggesting that Toyama only played the religious tyrant because Blake ordered him to.

See, I do not have that book, so did not know about that. That is actually rather interesting. Previously, it was all kinda vague, and the impression I had always gotten was that Toyama did it to assert greater control over  the organization. So, this is really cool to finally get something that is actually not vague.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: klarg1 on 12 January 2022, 07:31:43
Eh, their mission was explicitly to save and uplift humanity through preserving technology. They got cultish about it eventually and gave birth to the Word of Blake, but there are enough good motives alloyed with the bad that I feel hesitant.

I'm not sure how you can sensible say that ComStar as a whole is worse than the Clans, or even Houses Liao or Kurita.

While the recruiting pamphlet definitely says "Savior of Mankind", every policy and action we know about from Kerensky's exodus until the battle of Tukayyid was aimed at the specific goal of perpetuating war, strife, and technological decline across all of humanity (with the possible exception of Earth).

The loss of medical technology alone had to have resulted in a death toll in the tens or hundreds of billions across 268 years. The promise of stepping in to rebuild was always "some day soon" but never "now".
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: klarg1 on 12 January 2022, 07:35:47
to convince me that Celestial Wisdom <> God Emperor and that this isn't BattleTech's Golden Throne.

If I ruled over billions of people across dozens of worlds, I'd probably build a chair like that for myself too.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 12 January 2022, 10:15:15
While the recruiting pamphlet definitely says "Savior of Mankind", every policy and action we know about from Kerensky's exodus until the battle of Tukayyid was aimed at the specific goal of perpetuating war, strife, and technological decline across all of humanity (with the possible exception of Earth).

There are two arguments ComStar would traditionally make, right?

The first is that by depriving the great houses of advanced technology they're lowering the tempo of war and reducing the odds of a catastrophic self-annihilation through advanced technology. The Star League had a lot of advanced tech, and the more they remove or monopolise that, the more the houses need to rely on less advanced technology and thus are less likely to inadvertently depopulate entire planets or wipe out the human race.

The second is the accelerationist argument: the great houses are the cause of all of this misery, and the quicker their infrastructure collapses the quicker they too will collapse, and there will be the hope of building something new from the remains.

My take is that the latter argument is specious and I have very little sympathy for it, but I can understand the idea of wanting to keep advanced weapons of mass destruction out of the houses' hands, or at least, minimise their use.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 January 2022, 11:18:12
Mecha-Anchovy, the problem with that is the way to end a war is to get a decisive resolution.  ComStar's action did not accelerate the decline or anything like that, their meddling kept it dragging out.  Considering they wanted perpetual war a la Oceania/Eastasia/Eurasia and they kept it balanced to maintain that war- see ramming through the CapCon, League & Drac alliance- so that one side could not decisively win and thus start them on the road to recovery.  Heck, they lashed out several times because someone might lead the IS into a new age; and it was not them, how dare they!

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: MarauderD on 12 January 2022, 11:36:43
Generally speaking, BattleTech has plenty of 'win-at-all' costs types like Malvina Hazen.  I'm not sure one is any more evil than the other.

Then again, I could never pay enough attention in philosophy classes, so perhaps I'm the wrong man to comment on such things. 
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 January 2022, 11:47:39
The problem is not Malvina is not 'win at all costs' . . . it is that she has poor impulse control, spiteful, and thinks fear is the best motivator.

Win at all costs is a guy who drops artillery on a section of the frontline where his own troops are mixed in because it will break that section of the front so he can drive a thrust through the line and roll up one side to win the battle.  Malvina dropped Ortillery on her own allies (KH vs HH) because they were taking too long to win the battle and thought it would be pretty lights in the sky.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: TigerShark on 12 January 2022, 11:52:15
The problem is not Malvina is not 'win at all costs' . . . it is that she has poor impulse control, spiteful, and thinks fear is the best motivator.

Win at all costs is a guy who drops artillery on a section of the frontline where his own troops are mixed in because it will break that section of the front so he can drive a thrust through the line and roll up one side to win the battle.  Malvina dropped Ortillery on her own allies (KH vs HH) because they were taking too long to win the battle and thought it would be pretty lights in the sky.
She did send the Emerald Talon crashing into a planet with Jade Falcon warriors aboard.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 January 2022, 12:01:34
Talon had been abandoned though I will not say everyone was off- it had been her supporters who returned in it IIRC.  She sent the battleship crashing down where the Falcon Clan Council had gathered to oppose her . . .

 . . . lots of Bloodname trials a few months later.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: bobthecoward on 12 January 2022, 12:03:32
The answer is, "me."

Look, whenever I roleplay. I'm often a person who owns their own mech (so I'm rich) and am either a mercenary or in service to a house army. I'm not staying on my home planet defending the locals....I'm taking jumpships places, meeting interesting people, killing them.

I'm just not in a position to judge.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 12 January 2022, 12:06:50
The answer is, "me."

"What's wrong with the world today?"

"Dear sir,
I am."

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: bobthecoward on 12 January 2022, 12:16:53
"What's wrong with the world today?"

"Dear sir,
I am."

The other day I shot 3 AP gauss rifles on my mech into an infantry platoon out of cover. That is not very nice.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 12 January 2022, 12:36:14
The answer is, "me."


... Ok *pulls trigger"

...what?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: klarg1 on 12 January 2022, 12:37:03
The other day I shot 3 AP gauss rifles on my mech into an infantry platoon out of cover. That is not very nice.

That’s not so bad.

I know I have turned inferno munitions on unarmored infantry during a game of Battletech. That has to be a worse way to go.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 January 2022, 12:42:59
I used a Plasma Rifle on a armor crew that bailed from their medium vehicle . . . so in the open.

And as a pirate, laughed a lot when a Savage Coyote pilot was ejected from their assault mech . . . to safely land in a hex I had use a LRM20 to put Thunders in to bottle that mech in.  Oh, that guy was angry I salvaged his Savage Coyote . . . he had left auto-eject on.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: bobthecoward on 12 January 2022, 12:54:12
I used a Plasma Rifle on a armor crew that bailed from their medium vehicle . . . so in the open.

And as a pirate, laughed a lot when a Savage Coyote pilot was ejected from their assault mech . . . to safely land in a hex I had use a LRM20 to put Thunders in to bottle that mech in.  Oh, that guy was angry I salvaged his Savage Coyote . . . he had left auto-eject on.

Fellow MechWarriors, are we the baddies?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 January 2022, 13:49:49
No, actions taken in combat IMO do not in and of themselves constitute literal evil.  Killing that vehicle crew was not evil b/c they had not surrendered and could still pose a threat to my side even if not to the IFV directly.  Nor does laughing b/c a mechwarrior lands in a minefield.  War is a primal, uncivilized endeavor that unleashes the basest nature . . . and yet because the body's responses can make it a rush.

Trying to remember the Age of War pilot from the RecGuides who was a walking war crime.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: bobthecoward on 12 January 2022, 14:41:28
No, actions taken in combat IMO do not in and of themselves constitute literal evil.  Killing that vehicle crew was not evil b/c they had not surrendered and could still pose a threat to my side even if not to the IFV directly.

I'm not sure about our side, though.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 12 January 2022, 17:21:07
* suddenly notices how many units have skull motifs*

...hmmmm
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: wildkadabra on 12 January 2022, 23:58:56
* suddenly notices how many units have skull motifs*

...hmmmm

Atlas and all its family, Ursus, Karhu mmmhh what else, probably lots of other stuff that I'm missing
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 13 January 2022, 00:00:10
All secretly filling out the touman of Clan Punisher.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Nibs on 13 January 2022, 00:19:39
Since their leaders have appeared in this thread, I'd like to applaud the baddie-ness of the Word of Blake and the Society. TPTB did a fantastic job making them the bad guys on the tabletop and fiction. Nuclear arms, genetic attacks, nasty new technology, mutated or cybernetic pilots, etc.

Etienne Balzac is an underrated evil character. I love that his machinations were forming in the earlier novels well before his revolt actually occurred.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: BrianDavion on 13 January 2022, 12:47:52
Since their leaders have appeared in this thread, I'd like to applaud the baddie-ness of the Word of Blake and the Society. TPTB did a fantastic job making them the bad guys on the tabletop and fiction. Nuclear arms, genetic attacks, nasty new technology, mutated or cybernetic pilots, etc.

Etienne Balzac is an underrated evil character. I love that his machinations were forming in the earlier novels well before his revolt actually occurred.

TBH the Jihad represented the cumulation of an issue I've long had with battletech.


Battletech writers: "Battletech is a grey world, there are no good and evil factions... now behold the latest happening in the Inner Sphere where House Rainbow Sunshine goes to war with Clan Baby Eater.... it's a grey conflcit really!"
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Nibs on 13 January 2022, 12:58:02
TBH the Jihad represented the cumulation of an issue I've long had with battletech.


Battletech writers: "Battletech is a grey world, there are no good and evil factions... now behold the latest happening in the Inner Sphere where House Rainbow Sunshine goes to war with Clan Baby Eater.... it's a grey conflcit really!"

ComStar/Word of Blake had always been 'evil' since BattleTech was created (compared to the general 'greyness'). The Jihad was the culmination of the 'shadowy techno-cult' story that had been in place from the very beginning.

I would also say that a policy of 'always grey, never stray' is not a good thing. It keeps the story stagnant. Let different stories be told.

Furthermore, I would argue that the Word of Blake represented more 'grey' than one might expect. An in-universe person might be firmly opposed to the tyranny of the Successor States and seek a different path. While there were significant war crimes by the Word, their governing of the Protectorate was more 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: BrianDavion on 13 January 2022, 13:04:01
ComStar/Word of Blake had always been 'evil' since BattleTech was created (compared to the general 'greyness'). The Jihad was the culmination of the 'shadowy techno-cult' story that had been in place from the very beginning.

I would also say that a policy of 'always grey, never stray' is not a good thing. It keeps the story stagnant. Let different stories be told.

Furthermore, I would argue that the Word of Blake represented more 'grey' than one might expect. An in-universe person might be firmly opposed to the tyranny of the Successor States and seek a different path. While there were significant war crimes by the Word, their governing of the Protectorate was more 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.

I don't mind some grey, and I don't mind some black and white, but don't do "mecha hitler vs mother theresa" and try to tell me that's a grey conflict.

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 13 January 2022, 13:14:02
I don't mind some grey, and I don't mind some black and white, but don't do "mecha hitler vs mother theresa" and try to tell me that's a grey conflict.

Well, they made a stab at it with a number of "clean Wermacht"-ish BattleCorps stories and such showing the POV of decent-seeming WoB military personnel.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Nibs on 13 January 2022, 13:16:50
I don't mind some grey, and I don't mind some black and white, but don't do "mecha hitler vs mother theresa" and try to tell me that's a grey conflict.

I believe that is an exaggeration and mischaracterization.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Geg on 13 January 2022, 14:17:15
TBH the Jihad represented the cumulation of an issue I've long had with battletech.


Battletech writers: "Battletech is a grey world, there are no good and evil factions... now behold the latest happening in the Inner Sphere where House Rainbow Sunshine goes to war with Clan Baby Eater.... it's a grey conflcit really!"

I don't really understand this argument.

The Jihad is missing the spine fiction that would have helped frame the conflict and stakes in human terms that would make the individual WOB fighters more sympathetic.   It's not too difficult to cast the WOB as Hegemony Freedom Fightings, along with the Democratic FWL, attempting to restore liberty from IS Autocrats
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 13 January 2022, 14:26:16
I don't really understand this argument.

I do insofar as "BT is grey, there are no good guys or bad guys" is definitely a thing people say. It's even been said in this very thread.

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: MDFification on 13 January 2022, 14:30:53
ComStar/Word of Blake had always been 'evil' since BattleTech was created (compared to the general 'greyness'). The Jihad was the culmination of the 'shadowy techno-cult' story that had been in place from the very beginning.

I would like to point out that the Jihad was the second time Comstar/The Word had successfully unleashed an apocalyptic Sphere-wide conflict in an attempt to destroy the Great Houses and prevent the technological base from recovering. The only difference is that this time, they used their own WMDs instead of using covert means to get the Great Houses to use theirs.

These of course are only the two times they succeeded in doing so. They tried at least five times by my count, but it didn't always work because those pesky laypeople kept failing to nuke each other in sufficient amounts. It's not surprising that they eventually concluded that if they want a societal collapse, they had to do it themselves.

Toyama was a monster. If he really was following Blake's plan, Blake was a monster too. Really, who starts a religion based on the concept that the salvation of humanity won't be delivered until after everyone but the faithful has been bombed into the stone age? What were they expecting their faithful to do with a guiding principle like that?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Geg on 13 January 2022, 18:50:52
I do insofar as "BT is grey, there are no good guys or bad guys" is definitely a thing people say. It's even been said in this very thread.

I get that people say this.  I just don't understand why they say it.  Grayson and VSD both don't feel very grey.  On the faction level, until very recently, there were good (Davion / Wolf) and bad (CapCon) factions.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 13 January 2022, 19:09:54
I think a common misconception about a morally grey setting is that everything and everyone in it is supposed to be morally grey.

They aren't. You can have good people, bad people, complex people, obvious villains, all that stuff. The point of a morally grey setting isn't that good and bad don't exist, it's that good and bad don't drive the universe, and even a good, moral, upstanding person may be willing to place achieving their goals above sticking to those morals. Like launching a massive invasion targeting your weakest opponent in the name of liberty and justice and also because they really pissed you off that one time and you hold a grudge so well that you put a deep cover agent in their ranks specifically to explain to them why you decided to take half their nation.

(seriously, what did Justin Xiang really do in his role as a deep cover agent except get a batallion of mechs wrecked with gag myomers and leave a note on the celestial throne? He wasn't even supposed to seduce Candace, he came up with that on his own).

Early battletech didn't have designated good guys and bad guys, it had designated winners and losers, which is an entirely different problem from a writing standpoint.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Middcore on 13 January 2022, 20:29:39
(seriously, what did Justin Xiang really do in his role as a deep cover agent except get a batallion of mechs wrecked with gag myomers and leave a note on the celestial throne? He wasn't even supposed to seduce Candace, he came up with that on his own).

I mean, what's the point of even being a deep cover agent if you don't seduce anyone?

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 13 January 2022, 22:14:13
I mean, what's the point of even being a deep cover agent if you don't seduce anyone?

Indeed.  The love story of Justin and Candace made it a lot more interesting.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: SteelRaven on 13 January 2022, 22:22:11
... also: there is morally grey and then there is mass murder. Case in point, even the other hardcore Crusaders went 'WTH!' when CSJ thought a nuke was the best way to handle Turtle Bay.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Orwell84 on 14 January 2022, 02:42:57
... also: there is morally grey and then there is mass murder.

Quite. Whatever else one can accuse Hanse Davion or Devlin Stone of, murdering/sterilizing people for sharing a 'tainted' bloodline or obliterating whole worlds to get one guy aren't on the list.

Case in point, even the other hardcore Crusaders went 'WTH!' when CSJ thought a nuke was the best way to handle Turtle Bay.

And even other Smoke Jaguars thought the Galaxy Commander responsible had gone too far. His own subordinate deposed him, garrison clusters were brought in to better manage the restive population in an attempt to avoid that kind of dezgra behaviour, and afterwards the Jaguar Khans went along with Ulric Kerensky's suggestion of not bidding WarShips.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Elmoth on 14 January 2022, 09:08:24
I would say that warly BT had bad DC and CC and good davion. The lyrans and fwl were not a real factor in the background.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: JadeHellbringer on 14 January 2022, 09:31:50
*quietly taking off Clan fanboy hat*

Aleksandr Kerensky.

OK, ok, I know that's maybe a bit strong, compared to the raving lunacy of people like Malvina Hazen or Cameron St. Jamais. And it begs the question, as many have discussed already, of what constitutes 'evil'. It also requires one to look at Kerensky's Exodus in the light of whether or not it was legal, morally if not in the eyes of his duty to his nation (fractured as it was).

For the sake of discussion here, I'll submit that Kerensky's SLDF, weakened as it was by years of war against Amaris, was still the preeminent force in the Inner Sphere- had the General declared the Hegemony borders to be his protectorate and dug in with his troops, there would have been little the soon-to-be Succession Lords could have done about it. It wouldn't have prevented the First Succession War- the Houses were all looking for an excuse to start shooting at each other- but it would have at least kept the Hegemony worlds from being scraps to fight over- and ruin with WMDs- and in doing so, would have saved billions. (Kerensky of course didn't want to set himself up as a house lord, and admirably so, but there are still ways to handle things that don't leave him in charge politically- a subject for another thread, of course)

Instead of doing any of that, instead of digging in to defend the people he'd fought so hard to liberate and protect, instead of looking past the political machinations of those in power and looking to help the huddled masses of the Inner Sphere- or at least the Hegemony- against the obvious war to come, he... took his toys and left. The power vacuum left behind was exactly the excuse the Houses needed to start shooting, and on worlds throughout the Inner Sphere- again, mostly in the ex-Hegemony- billions of lives were lost, centuries of warfare were initiated, and humanity has never truly recovered.

Kerensky may have meant well. He may truly have believed his own dogma about removing the SLDF's firepower from the equation to save people- if he did, he was at least ignorant but well-meaning. I find that hard to believe though- I've always viewed it as him being tired, of being offended by the removal from his position by the House lords, and I've always felt that under all that was fear- and rather than do the right thing, he decided to get as far away from his problems as he could- literally. (Leaving aside that his people were woefully unprepared for life post-Exodus- for all he knew, the SLDF personnel that followed him would be gone within a generation or two.)

I'm getting long-winded here, and again we may differ on the definition of 'evil', but in terms of the amount of death and destruction on their heads, despite the ability to avert it, Kerensky fled from the battlefields, taking his enormous army and navy with him, and leaving a power vacuum that created centuries of war and heartache. I'll make a case, then for Kerensky to be the most 'evil' character our universe has seen- the effects of his awful decision-making still being felt over three centuries later.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mendrugo on 14 January 2022, 09:34:16
Well, let's see.  Warrior: En Garde showed that the Lyran Commonwealth was willing to abduct one of their citizens, fake her death, and make her into a meat-shield double for Melissa.  They constructed a vast and far reaching surveillance state and sold the data to anyone willing to pay for it.  While it was used to enhance Melissa's experience on the cruise, it was also used to target her for a kidnapping attempt.  Presumably, anyone with stalker-ish tendencies would love life in the Lyran Commonwealth. 

Likewise, the Lyrans operated a state-sponsored terror unit that had (until recently) been freely deployed against perceived enemies both foreign and domestic (to the point that Heimdall was formed to combat its excesses against Lyran citizens), and operated an anti-terror unit made up exclusively of orphans.  (Orphans trained to be brutal killers from an early age.)

So...are the Lyrans "good guys," or are they just rich friends of the main POV protagonists - the Kells?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Colt Ward on 14 January 2022, 09:59:34
*quietly taking off Clan fanboy hat*

Aleksandr Kerensky.
*snip*

So deChavilier was right and we should  have gotten Empires Aflame?
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 January 2022, 10:24:47
So deChavilier was right and we should  have gotten Empires Aflame?

That's a matter for an entertaining round of "Let's argue until the mods lock the thread", because unlike a LOT of the debates around here, that one really does have points on both sides and really doesn't have a solid conclusion that can be tested or shown.

Mind you, it's fun to bag on Kerensky on monday, and defend him on tuesday, but his action was only possible as a direct result of Narrative Requirement trumping the Rule of Natural Consequences.

Literally nobody in history has done  a similar thing on an even vaguely similar scale, armies don't do that when they're winning, and never have.  Winning armies don't fragment as soon as the enemy has been defeated (which wsa the consequence being used to justify the action).

So right there, it's basically a violation of human nature from day one, and only possible because the Narrator needed it to happen, which makes every intention and consequence something that will only result in trolling and flame wars.  (hence why it's a great way to get a thread locked as people's tempers heat up to 'stupid outburst mode', forcing the Mods to then step in and issue tickets-because their job is to keep the peace, and this debate does the exact opposite).

But...

in the context of the question, Kerensky doesn't fit the bill for "most Evil character".  This doesn't make him a good (Morally) character either.  Good people don't squash uprisings, because squashing uprisings requires objectively evil acts (On a MORAL scale).

Kerensky certainly ordered an evil action prior to Exodus-the extermination of a family line right down to infants and children is explicitly evil, unquestionably evil, by even the standards of realpolitik, it's evil.

This doesn't make it wrong, only that it's not something that can be objectively termed 'good' by anyone who isn't also a psychopath (or really, really, really disconnected from relatively common standards of morality and/or the events by distance.)

But it's not more evil than his peers of the time, or successors.  (witness the Clan obsession with hunting anyone with even a pre-exodus bit of Wolverine relation.  Even the worst historical despots stopped after the third generation.)

He's not objectively evil, either.  He can be termed weak, he can be termed traumatized, even insane, but not evil.

Evil requires calm rationality, it isn't the result of emotional upset or weariness or trauma.  An example of outright evil would be the systematic and totally organized, rational, deliberate extermination of a population (see: Pol Pot's "Year Zero", The Ukrainian starvation policy in the 1930s,  Japan's use of chinese civilians as guinea pigs for biological and chemical weapons during their occupation of Manchuria, and everyone who eagerly cooperated and participated in the Holocaust without being forced-because they wanted to.)

There aren't a lot of canon characters who fit the bill for actual, honest, real evil.  Lots of them committed actions that were, as actions, completely evil, unnecessary, atrocities.

but to define someone as 'evil' requires that they know what they're doing, and what it is, (an atrocity) and they're okay with doing it, even happy to do it, even EAGER to do it.

In that sense, Malvina Hazen qualifies. Her objective goal was total destruction and death.  That was what she was after, it was what she wanted.  (as seen in her own inner monologues).

She was, Objectively evil, outright evil, intentionally evil, not merely 'win at all costs' but 'destroy it all for personal gratification' evil.

Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: phoenixalpha on 14 January 2022, 11:36:17
I wonder if people would define evil the way I do. Which is not to say that Malvina or the Blakists weren't heinous people who did terrible things - but they believed that the ends justify the means. Whether it is to kill their opponents and make over the universe in their image - there is a rational for such.

Evil is my book is when you can do something to help someone and you choose not to. If it costs you zero to help someone and they need assistance and you refuse help or through inaction do not help another. An example of this would be watching someone is on a cliff edge & you can help them up with no issue or or risk and you do nothing and watch them fall to their death when you could've easily helped them up. That is evil. There is no reason for such actions (or inactions) - no reason at all. Now if that person was a competitor or opponent - then there is a justification (however skewed & twisted) for doing so. Not helping your fellow human being or animal when they are in need when it costs you nothing to help - is beyond being human in my opinion.

Back to the BT universe - Kerensky had enough. He had been deceived by the House Lords many many times, he knew that the SLDF could save billions, but at the cost of billions of lives themselves and they would have to stand by and watch the IS burn and billions die whilst they stood aside and did nothing. He knew that either the SLDF stood by and watch everything but the Hegemony destroy itself or he knew that if the SLDF stayed they would be dragged into it one way or another. So he chose to GTF out of the IS. Yes he condemned billions to die and hundreds of years of warfare but he knew that was coming anyway. Short of the SLDF kerb stomping 2 if not more of the IS houses and conquering known human space would it ever know peace (ironically). So he was in a no win situation. Not evil as there was justification for every choice of action he had available and no matter what happened - billions would die and they would blame him irrespective of how he acted or didnt act.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: rebs on 14 January 2022, 15:08:31
Not going to quote anyone, but there are always special cases.

Jinjiro Kurita was said to have basically been "imbalanced" all of his life.  Yet he was competent enough to be his father's Warlord.  And when his father was killed on Kentares and he was told the news, he was said to have calmly told his generals "Kill them all."  Which left his generals to carry out his bidding, either in a sense of duty, or fear of their new Coordinator. 

They in turn ordered their troops to massacre men, women and children for a month straight, until their soldiers were numb and demoralized from the killings. 

Jinjiro's mental health was said to have progressively gotten worse as he aged, until he was literally batshit crazy, and the only thing he could do was plot out new wars.

Does Jinjiro's mental state excuse or mitigate heinous evil?  Absolutely not.  He is as evil as Amaris, Malvina, or The Master.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Charistoph on 14 January 2022, 16:49:02
My vote was for Katherine Steiner.  While patricide and fratricide is quite common among royals, she just represents all the bad sides of royalty by doing all this, and just because she wanted to be Scar.

Anyways, assassinating mom (and maybe brother) just puts her on the level of most evil for me.  Ripping apart the FedCom also didn't help, and pretty much did what Amaris did as well.  She took leaps in politics that sent the Inner Sphere back to those days.  Not good.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 16 January 2022, 03:59:53
I do insofar as "BT is grey, there are no good guys or bad guys" is definitely a thing people say. It's even been said in this very thread.

It is demonstrably something that people say - it just isn't true, and never has been.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Karasu on 16 January 2022, 05:42:13
I would modify that slightly.  "BT is grey, there are no constantly good factions and no constantly bad factions."  There is a long enough history to the setting which is vast in physical scope that every faction has had good and evil members, good and evil leaders and even good and evil phases.  You can't pick a point in history randomly and know who the good and bad guys are without knowing when it is.  This dates back to the House Books as far as portraying the way you get bad apples everywhere, and the Combine gets to be a protagonist from very early on.  I'm tempted to say that Wolves on the Border has heroic Combine characters, but will definitely say that Theodore becomes a  heroic protagonist in Heir to the Dragon. On the other hand, re-reading the Warrior trilogy when no longer a teenager made me realise how much death and destruction to lay at Hanse's feet.

I appear to have strayed slightly, my apologies.
Title: Re: Who is the Most Evil Battletech Character?
Post by: Mecha-Anchovy on 16 January 2022, 06:25:38
I think that particular BattleTech stories usually have clearly identifiable heroes and villains - goodies and baddies. The SLDF were good and Amaris was bad. Hanse Davion is good and Maximillian Liao is bad. Victor is good and Katherine is bad. Kai Allard-Liao is good and Clan Jade Falcon are bad. Anastasius Focht is good and Myndo Waterly is bad. When the Great Refusal happened, the Star League were the good guys and the Clans were the bad guys. In the Refusal War, the Wolves were the good guys and the Falcons were the bad guys. The Coalition were good and the Word of Blake were bad. And so on.

The Dark Age sort of muddies it, albeit by making almost everyone awful, but even then there are still some clear good guys (e.g. Julian Davion, Stephanie Chistu, etc.) and some clear villains (e.g. Malvina Hazen). There are places where I think authors get horribly confused and stories aren't very good (ask me about Hour of the Wolf one day, and in general there's been a trend towards pro-Clan stories that I am deeply uncomfortable with), but even then I think this is in part a genuine attempt at grey-on-grey or black-on-black stories and in part just confused storytelling. However, looking at the overall picture of the setting, I think BattleTech is a colourful universe and its stories do tend to have clear heroes fighting clear villains.

That doesn't mean that the heroes are always perfect and morally unimpeachable, nor that the villains never have any sympathetic or redeeming traits whatsoever - just that BattleTech definitely has good guys and bad guys. Yes, it's fun to be subversive and say that Aleksandr Kerensky was terrible, but I think if you're reading the sourcebooks more-or-less along the grain, there's no room for disputing that Kerensky is a sympathetic protagonist character and Amaris is an evil villain.