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Author Topic: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf  (Read 4009 times)

Grey

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Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« on: 21 July 2015, 13:54:06 »
Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
Who: Jamie Wolf
   Aka Jamie of Clan Wolf (presumed)
What: MechWarrior, Choyer Garrison Cluster, Clan Wolf
   MechWarrior, 328th Assault Cluster, Clan Wolf
Colonel, Commander, Wolf’s Dragoons Mercenary Brigade
Commanding General, Wolf’s Dragoons Mercenary Brigade (actual rank nebulous, authority absolute)
When: 2980 – 18 October 3067
Weapon of Choice: Archer BattleMech, 2R, 2W or possibly modified further with Clan technology

Jamie Wolf. One of the most storied characters in the Battletech setting. If you know nothing of his history you have missed a sizable chunk of the early setting.

From a setting point of view his history starts when he turns up with five pristine BattleMech Regiments plus several regiments’ worth of supporting units, along with enough dropships, jumpships and a portable space station in Davion space asking for work.

At the time there was absolutely nothing about that which was not utterly fantastic. In an era where understrength, jury rigged, damaged ‘Mech companies decided the fate of planets the Dragoons were a game changer for any faction that hired them, regardless of ability. The fact that they redefined what ‘elite’ was in terms of skills just made everyone all the more terrified. And curious, naturally.

Of course what we know now it all makes sense, Clan origins and standards, resources from what was essentially a bottomless pit since it was all ridiculously outmoded by Clan standards and a degree of planning and preparation no other mercenary could have.

From within the Battletech universe Jamie’s life begins in the Kerensky cluster, as the son of a bloodnamed MechWarrior and a merchant, and he managed to earn entry into the Warrior Caste, first in a secondline cluster, working his way up to a frontline unit under Natasha Kerensky and then into command of the Dragoons.

Little is known of his time among the Clans, he was certainly extremely talented, after all he was a freeborn who made it into frontline service, even among the egalitarian Clan Wolf this is an accomplishment, and to be selected as leader of the expeditionary force known as Wolf’s Dragoons.

His history within the Inner Sphere proves that as he led his forces, from the front in true Clan style, against a myriad of foes, adapting tactics, strategy of just plain outwitting them at every turn.

This makes him one of the overwhelming, overpowering characters that heavily populated the early years of Battletech, when the fiction was bent more towards pulp sci-fi rather than pulp military. The former usually has a greater allowance for fantastical, do anything and everything characters, and given his phenomenally diverse skill set that is exactly what Jamie Wolf is.

This is not to say he is infallible, the vendetta with Takashi was a major blinder to other issues, it’s these little things that help keep him human. Just.

In keeping with this he is a faction leader, and a faction is exactly what the Dragoons are. At five regiments, growing to, considering the amount of space they receive in the Mercenary Field Manuals, five Galaxies plus another Galaxy or two in specialist units, home guard and miscellanea and more warships than some factions, Clan, Periphery or Inner Sphere, and undisputed ownership of a planet this is a force that could have carved out a sizable nation.

Instead, betraying a degree of Clan thinking, Jamie lives the Clan and merc utopia of being a self-sufficient fighting force picking and choosing contracts, and thus conflicts, all without the messy need to administer a world or populous any more than absolutely necessary. So in some respects he did carve out an empire, just not one in the traditional sense.

Come to think of it, given the sway the Dragoons had, the MRBC was arguably an empire.

Naturally this means that Jamie is also a living legend, somewhat rarer within the setting, though during his lifetime there were a number, Natasha Kerensky and Kai Allard-Liao, they are legendary primarily for being MechWarriors of phenomenal skill. Jamie, again with his diverse skill set, manages to set the bar high on multiple fronts.

He is far from a slouch as a MechWarrior, but he has been undone in the past, left vulnerable or nearly killed.

Of course he remained an active MechWarrior, or at least retained his capacity, well into old age. While this leads to his death it still shows that somewhat unrealistic streak written into the character, as well as quite a few in universe traits shared with other aging Clan characters, such as an inability to simply stay out of a fight, not all that unrealistic considering his origins.

So he dies in the cockpit in a violent and glorious manner, taking down multiple foes. Going down swinging, Clan style, well, there was no other way for such a character, it is in keeping with his background, life and even the nature of his pulp literary origins.

That it happens in the distinctive blue and gold Archer is little more than branding. While it has never been stated outright that he piloted a 2R, 2W or other Star League tech or Clan tech augmented design it doesn’t really matter. An Archer is a support design, and can serve very well as a command ‘Mech given that it has heavy long range firepower that discourages closing and getting distracted by things like battle fists heading towards your cockpit.

Personally, because of the Dragoons variants on the Archer, I can imagine Jamie back in the Clans piloting a Summoner B, but that’s pure speculation.

Equally important is the colour scheme. Blue and gold. Not the Dragoons’ black and red. A nod to some part of his history, disinformation, or something else? A small detail that could have been a hook in waiting but never was. Regardless it became his coffin, and if he was any bit still a Clansman at heart he would have had it no other way.

It is a death that is dramatic, in terms of emotional content from within and without of the setting, and as an event. This is the death that inspires the Dragoons to assault the Sol system and is one of the three major actions that guts them militarily. Jamie Wolf’s legacy was almost the destruction of his beloved unit.

It is tempting to say that the Dragoons could not survive without him. Keep in mind that Jamie Wolf did more than just lead them militarily, he also rebuilt the Dragoons several times over, reinvigorating them each time, making improvements, innovations, even reorganising the Dragoons along Clan lines, all while tapping into new sources of resupply once the Clan homeworlds and their own cache were no longer available.

Again this is that heavily stacked deck of talents coming into play, more out of the necessity of plot than anything, the Dragoons keep getting knocked down but someone has to pick them back up, and that has to be the leader of the group.

Could someone else have rebuilt the Dragoons just as big and bad as before?

Sure, like I said, necessity of plot, Maeve was in the process of doing just that before getting killed. And necessity of plot means that the Dragoons, no longer in a pulp sci-fi setting, and in fact in a setting that was downsizing considerably, could not fantastically pull themselves back together to the same degree, regardless of who was in charge.

This, in an odd way, defines Jamie’s impact upon the setting. He defines leadership, organisational capability, tactical ability, strategic skill, pretty much everything military, as befits the game, through continued success against overwhelming odds while leading the largest single storied unit in the setting.

Just as importantly he does so purely as a warrior, never a politician.

Don’t get me wrong, Jamie is far from politically naïve and as a mercenary leader is forced to remain aware of the dreaded politics, but he never operates in that world. Dips his toes in when he has to, with quite a bit of skill, but honestly no one walks away from the experience the same, just look at the conference on Outreach for proof of that.

Jamie is through and through a military character, even his death is the result of a military action. Caused by political considerations, certainly, however in the Battletech universe politics are the root cause of all combat.

But this devastating impact, utter, consummate skill, is precisely why he has to die. He’s just too damn good, and his like will never be seen again.

The same holds true for the Dragoons for the same reasons. From a fiction point of view a faction that always wins is boring. The Dragoons have been laid low in the past, but their first irreversible defeat starts with Jamie’s death.

And within the setting, well, the Dragoons, and most likely no one, will be able to live up to such an intimidating legend. In either case the only place to go from the top is down.

What am I trying to say about Jamie? He’s a character from another time, from two perspectives. He was generated at a time when an amazing character like this was a hook into the setting, not as an individual warrior like Natasha, but as a leader, trying to inspire the player to be this person or put themselves into their hands.

Jamie also comes from a period of Clan history we know little or nothing about, lived through one and a quarter (roughly) Succession Wars and a host of more modern conflicts. He went from the apex of technology to its depths (the highest quality of those depths but nonetheless a significant downgrade) and saw it come back up again.

We may never see his like again but he can still inspire us with what our characters may be, if the rolls are ever within our favour.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #1 on: 21 July 2015, 14:15:32 »
The most impressive thing, in my mind, about Jaime Wolf was actually the speed and skill with which he built WolfNet.  Think about it.  He comes from the Clans, a society so open that the very idea of a military intelligence agency is almost anathema to them.  He shows up in the Inner Sphere and within a few decades has built a multinational web of informers and analysts that are able to keep even ComStar ROM, the single most ruthless and effective intelligence agency in Known Space, largely at bay.  They even have their own in-character publications, as the old Intelligence Operations Handbook is, if memory serves, written from the perspective of WolfNet.

He's also without a doubt one of the single most effective battlefield commanders in BattleTech's history.  Natasha Kerensky might have been an ace MechWarrior able to think out of the box, but Jaime could literally work miracles on the battlefield.  One of the first examples that springs to mind is during the Battle of Vanra during Anton's Revolt.  Taken in the rear by the duplicitous 5th Regulan Hussars, Jaime was able to disengage Alpha Regiment from two regiments of Marik Militia, conduct an about-face under fire, and scatter the Hussars with enough speed that he then able to turn completely back around a second time and smash the Marik Militia commands that had come out of their defensive works to "pursue."  Three regiments broken in just a few hours of fighting, all because of Jaime.  He really seemed to have the same fingerspitzengefuhl as Erwin Rommel when it came to knowing exactly where, when, and how to maneuver on the battlefield.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #2 on: 21 July 2015, 14:23:21 »
This Jamie Wolf sounds a lot like Jaime Wolf...

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #3 on: 21 July 2015, 16:17:32 »
Wolf net is an interesting issue when you consider that it's first members were probably the dragoon's intel group... who almost had to have been trained by the clan Watch's pre-invasion form... given how badly the watch seems to operate after the invasion, either the dragoons got all the competent people, or the clan watch really went downhill..

That said, some of wolf nets early successes probably were the result of access to star league level spy gear in a time of lost technology.. and the dragoon's not sharing the inner spheres blind spots when it came to espionage (many of which would have been blind spots encouraged  covertly by ROM)

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #4 on: 21 July 2015, 16:34:06 »
Wolf net is an interesting issue when you consider that it's first members were probably the dragoon's intel group... who almost had to have been trained by the clan Watch's pre-invasion form... given how badly the watch seems to operate after the invasion, either the dragoons got all the competent people, or the clan watch really went downhill..

There was no Watch before the invasion.  That's why WolfNet is so impressive; Jaime quite literally built it up from nothing.
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YingJanshi

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #5 on: 21 July 2015, 17:48:46 »
Now I wan't to go read "Wolves on the Border" again....

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #6 on: 21 July 2015, 20:24:09 »
For what it is worth, Archer Wolf appears in RS: 3085, Project Phoenix. Essentially an Archer-2K taken to Clantech levels.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #7 on: 21 July 2015, 21:44:39 »
Jaime was the Big Bad of the Dragoons (Figuratively speaking) and Natasha was his Dragon.

Contary to so many characters, we have a lot on Jaime to draw a fully fleshed out personna.  the oddest thing about him was that for the most part, Jaime Wolf was a moral character.  yes he was a killer of men and made no bones about it, but he was also a man who seemed to loathe unessicary death and destruction.  this reaches some extreme points, such as hearing out Fadre Singh when he turned on the Dragoons, and the incredulity he displayed at Kerensky executing him.  what is more, he cares deeply about his people,. viewing the Dragoons as his extended family.  Wolves on the Border and Wolf Pack outlines this very well, and it is this character that rallies the Dragoons to him always.  I don't think Condition Feral could have existed with any other character, even Natasha.
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Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #8 on: 21 July 2015, 22:23:05 »
Oookay, I may never live that spelling mistake down. But at least it's consistent. :P

But yes, oddly enough Jaime is fully fleshed out, despite, to the best of my recollection, little or nothing being written from his perspective. He's just turned up in so many places at so many times, from the perspective of so many people that the multidimensionality is added through different characters interacting with him.

And it's always struck me as odd, given the Clan origins of the Dragoons, that they were so good at subterfuge, spying, counter intelligence and special operations.

Simply saying nothing about their origins isn't much of a stretch but the rest of it, especially since realistically it is what the Dragoons' success is built upon, is a bit of a leap. Part of this could be considered the lack of development of the Clans early on, even as the invasion began they were as much a conventional military as they were a warrior culture, from a fiction point of view. Of course it could also be considered a smack of in universe hypocrisy that this 'ultimate', 'honourable' warrior culture could in fact be so sneaky.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #9 on: 21 July 2015, 23:33:02 »
The funny thing about the Dragoons is that they feel like they are descendants of the old SLDF...and not the Clans...


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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #10 on: 22 July 2015, 01:07:41 »
Think it was stated somewhere that Jaime's earliest victory was while piloting a Archer, which makes sense considering freebirths are not often seen piloting Omni's (I believe Horse originally piloted a Marauder)
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #11 on: 22 July 2015, 01:34:52 »
For what it is worth, Archer Wolf appears in RS: 3085, Project Phoenix. Essentially an Archer-2K taken to Clantech levels.

This, and considering his skill level and how ridiculous his personal ride is, his taking out so many mechs in his last stand is completely believeable. That's one hell of a ride.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #12 on: 22 July 2015, 05:47:03 »
The funny thing about the Dragoons is that they feel like they are descendants of the old SLDF...and not the Clans...

That may have been the intent originally. Or at least not descendants of any Clans we would recognize. While it's my understanding that the idea of the clans existed in some form or other since the early years of the game, I doubt that the form they would take was completely set in stone. Heck, even the clans of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy had some notable differences from the clans we know now. For example, the hard and fast honor rules we take for granted weren't nearly so set in stone, with the early portrayals being significantly more pragmatic than honorable about combat outside of formally defined trials.

The particularly unclanlike strengths of the dragoons could easily be a legacy of earlier ideas of how the clans would look.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #13 on: 22 July 2015, 10:09:56 »

The most impressive thing, in my mind, about Jaime Wolf was actually the speed and skill with which he built WolfNet.  Think about it.  He comes from the Clans, a society so open that the very idea of a military intelligence agency is almost anathema to them.  He shows up in the Inner Sphere and within a few decades has built a multinational web of informers and analysts that are able to keep even ComStar ROM, the single most ruthless and effective intelligence agency in Known Space, largely at bay.  They even have their own in-character publications, as the old Intelligence Operations Handbook is, if memory serves, written from the perspective of WolfNet.


This is probably wrong, but if the Clans secretly maintained some sort of Intelligence Network in the Inner Sphere (the same one that Kerensky Sr. used to keep tabs on the Inner Sphere in the early years in the Pentagon), I wonder if Dragoons co-opted that network in creating Wolfnet.

The biggest argument against that (that I can see) would be the intelligence failure they suffered when they showed up in the Inner Sphere with 5+ Pristine Battlemech Regiments and a Space Station to boot...
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #14 on: 22 July 2015, 10:27:09 »
Best write up yet, Grey. 

To me, Jamie was one of the major icons of early Battletech universe.  I don't honestly think from the novels, he got fair shake, since most of his real career defining moments was during the Succession Wars, which he was in backdrop in source books and novels had really not sunk in yet until they Warriors Trilogy where saw moments of Jamie, Heir to the Dragon he in there little bit more. The Wolf of the Border is where he really featured well, and Wolfpack focus more on regiment as whole evolving into and passing on to the next generation of Dragoons.  Heck Natasha Kerensky didn't really get alot time in a novel until the Blood of Kerensky trilogy, but it wasn't focus on her.

Wolf's Dragoons lives on in the Dark Age, with new blood running it going for gustso once more.  That's legacy of Jamie Wolf, he built something that still kicks ass.   Hopefully, when new novels comes out, one can be focus on them see what makes Dark Age Dragoons tick and possibly a book with Jamie himself it during his prime.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #15 on: 22 July 2015, 11:35:30 »
Jaime piloted an antiquated Archer in his Trial of Position. But when he tested up for frontline combat, he won against a Summoner which he kept as isorla when he went to serve in the 328th Assault Cluster under Star Captain Natasha Kerensky.
Funny tidbit: Look at the Summoner Alternate Configuartion C. Does a pair of LRM-20 plus a pair of SRM-4 sound familiar? Ayup, that's the same loadout as the ARC-2W Archer, the Dragoons' signature variant...

Btw, although his bio has nothing but praise for his combat prowess, he wound up in lethal danger in two separate instances in the novel Wolves on the Border alone - and I have to say in both cases he pretty much put himself into that situation which he then only survived by lucky chance (being spared by Tetsuhara in one and saved by Tetsuhara in the other instance). His combat record isn't quite as sterling in this regard.
« Last Edit: 22 July 2015, 11:38:09 by Frabby »
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #16 on: 22 July 2015, 12:59:20 »
Yes those situations in wolves on the border really made him look stupid and I could never get round source book him and novel him they didn't gel anyone else have the same issue

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #17 on: 29 July 2015, 22:29:33 »
Best thing about him is when he gets killed by Wayne Waco.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #18 on: 30 July 2015, 00:22:31 »
Yes those situations in wolves on the border really made him look stupid and I could never get round source book him and novel him they didn't gel anyone else have the same issue

The telling scene in Wolves on the Border is when he falls asleep from exhaustion mid operation, but the Dragoons continue operating without disruption. Like a lot of beloved leaders, his genius was surrounding himself with skilled people.

His nearly getting killed twice in the same book betrays his heritage. It may have even been a subtle nod to the invasion to come. Both times he was a terribly formidable opponent, and yet both times he got in trouble chasing personal glory. In fact, every misstep he made seemed to come from placing his own honor above his responsibilities. What invading army from beyond the periphery does that sound like?
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #19 on: 30 July 2015, 19:47:48 »
Best thing about him is when he gets killed by Wayne Waco.

Buuuuuuuuuuurn!!!!! :D

Actually I really wanna see that fight in fiction....I bet it'd be pretty epic...

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #20 on: 30 July 2015, 21:09:52 »
Best thing about him is when he gets killed by Wayne Waco.
Other way around, Jamie Wolf bleed out from his wounds after killing a number of rangers. It has yet to be confirmed that Waco was the one who inflicted those wounds.

In fact, both Wayne Waco and Jamie Wolf could have been killed by a couple of nobody's who never lived to tell the tale.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #21 on: 30 July 2015, 21:29:11 »
Buuuuuuuuuuurn!!!!! :D

Actually I really wanna see that fight in fiction....I bet it'd be pretty epic...
Your going get your wish i think,  Shadows of Faith is the book it happens in.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #22 on: 30 July 2015, 22:27:01 »
Your going get your wish i think,  Shadows of Faith is the book it happens in.

Sweet!!

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #23 on: 31 July 2015, 02:54:34 »
Your going get your wish i think,  Shadows of Faith is the book it happens in.
Yeah, but no. That chapter of the novel is already published not only through BattleCorps but also as the opening fiction of Dawn of the Jihad / Blake Ascending, and we only get to see the aftermath of the fight with both men dead and their 'Mechs still locked in combat position after killing each other.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #24 on: 31 July 2015, 07:34:15 »
Yeah, but no. That chapter of the novel is already published not only through BattleCorps but also as the opening fiction of Dawn of the Jihad / Blake Ascending, and we only get to see the aftermath of the fight with both men dead and their 'Mechs still locked in combat position after killing each other.
I realized that when I posted it, but it's IS the closes we've come to it that fight.  If Coleman choose to add to the scene since everyone read about it early one, more power to him and us.  Right now we know that the book's sections were showned when it was thought it was canceled, now actually coming out.  It could been entirely re written ro enhanced.  I don't like second guessing things anymore than the next guy when there some parts published, but this maybe exception.

I also said, " i think" when i spoke to YingJanshi.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #25 on: 31 July 2015, 22:55:30 »
Buuuuuuuuuuurn!!!!! :D

Actually I really wanna see that fight in fiction....I bet it'd be pretty epic...
I almost disagree.  It's almost like Babylon 5 when Kosh was killed by the Shadows.  On the question of of whether or not Kosh went down swinging or if had an Obiwan Moment, JMS has very quiet as to the specifics because he felt that the viewers imaginations would be more powerful than anything he could put on the screen.
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Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #26 on: 01 August 2015, 00:38:09 »
It's an interesting dilemma from a writing perspective, and a true example of how less can be more. Though motivated by technical limitations Jaws was powerful precisely because you saw so little of the actual shark, similarly seeing more of the Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back robbed it of a lot of menace for viewers.

Considering the death of legends we have seen in battle; Natasha Kerensky being taken out by a desperation move by an old woman or Kai simply being overwhelmed, there is a strong argument for not showing Jamie's death, the implied epicness is powerful in and of itself.

YingJanshi

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #27 on: 01 August 2015, 13:31:40 »
It's an interesting dilemma from a writing perspective, and a true example of how less can be more. Though motivated by technical limitations Jaws was powerful precisely because you saw so little of the actual shark, similarly seeing more of the Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back robbed it of a lot of menace for viewers.

Considering the death of legends we have seen in battle; Natasha Kerensky being taken out by a desperation move by an old woman or Kai simply being overwhelmed, there is a strong argument for not showing Jamie's death, the implied epicness is powerful in and of itself.

Yeah...Natasha K deserved to go out better than that. Though Kai...who else could he have gone down? The only way he could have become a better 'MechWarrior was if he suddenly got the "Phantom 'Mech" ability.

Initiate of the Order of Valhalla

...oh gods, I just tried to imagine herding mimetic cats.
The Lyrans aren't losers.  They're...winning impaired.

solmanian

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #28 on: 01 August 2015, 13:55:54 »
There was no Watch before the invasion.  That's why WolfNet is so impressive; Jaime quite literally built it up from nothing.
I don't think that true...

The watch are the clans law enforcement agencies. It's a dirty job, but it needed to be done practically from day one.
Making the dark age a little brighter, one explosion at a time.
Have you met the clans? Words like "Naïve" and "misguided" are not enough to describe the notion that a conquest of the IS by the clans would result in a Utopian pacifistic society.

Frabby

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Jamie Wolf
« Reply #29 on: 01 August 2015, 14:41:47 »
The formation of a secret Clan service dubbed The Watch was described in Betrayal of Ideals, where it was set up as a secret police to spy on the Wolverines first and soon enough on all Clans.
It may or may not be the Clan Invasion era service.
Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins
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