Register Register

Author Topic: Who tinkered most...  (Read 618 times)

Empyrus

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4826
Who tinkered most...
« on: 02 July 2019, 14:36:46 »
Out of curiosity, i went through variants of various TRO3025 'Mechs and counted who made most variants.
I only counted up to 3030 or so, since Star League era.
I excluded advanced tech variants such as the TDR-5Sd (Davion upgrade during the Star League) or the TDR-5L and -5LS (Capellan SW-era downgrades from -5Sb), Royals, and the oddball LCT-3L (TSM testbed).
Nation exclusive or near-exclusive 'Mechs were ignored (such as the Dragon), and Inner Sphere-wide variants (eg Atlas RS) aren't counted either.

Liao:
8 variants

Kurita:
12 variants (one imported), 13 if the Whitworth 1S is counted since only Dracs retained it during the Succession Wars

Davion:
16 variants

Steiner:
8 variants

Marik:
8 variants

Mercs:
3 variants

The Federated Suns tinkered far more than any other faction, having twice as many custom variants as most. Many variants are pretty late though, like the Blackjack and Rifleman variants (4 total), i presume these derive from Hanse Davion's initiative to preserve research and expand upon it.

Interestingly the Draconis Combine tinkered almost as much with their 'Mechs as the FedSuns did. Their variants have tendency to be more aggressive. The Trebuchet and Catapult variants shy away from indirect fire, and many others either increase firepower directly or increase cooling and thus increase firepower. Suits their Samurai tendencies i suppose.

Others are pretty modest.
The FWL variants tend to make use of large lasers or otherwise replace PPCs.
Most of the Capellan variants seem to be experimental, trying to make better use of a 'Mech chassis (Charger, Cicada).
The Lyrans did a bit more than my list indicates, since the Commando and Zeus both have several variants but then again the 'Mechs are essentially exclusive to them so they don't really count. Otherwise, they don't really have any particular theme.

Of the 'Mechs i looked at, only 3 had merc-specific variants, the Thunderbolt SE from the Eridani Light Horse, and the Wasp and Archer W variants from the Wolf's Dragoons.
Presumably mercs don't really have chances to create their own standardized variants. The ELH's T-bolt variant is unusual because of this. The Wolf's Dragoons having variants isn't odd considering their capabilities, but i have to wonder if the variants originate from the Clans in some way?

Though i don't list it, the ComStar made one variant, the Battlemaster 2C, dating from 2925. What happened during that year?

One interesting thing is that contrary to popular perception, there are few more variants whose designation doesn't match the fielding nation rather than just the LCT-1M. I've noted those in the list below. But i suppose it is not a surprise people don't recall these, they're either kind of bad or obscure or of limited use otherwise. Like the Trebuchet is best remembered as LRM 'Mech, who recalls it has a SRM variant?

Variant list, Great House mentioned where designation doesn't match expected nation, also other notes:
Code: [Select]
Wasp 1A
-1L
-1K
-1D
-1W

Locust 1v
-1S
-1M (Davion)
-1E (originally Capellan, spread everywhere)

Phoenix Hawk 1
-1K
-1D

Shadow Hawk 2H
-2D
-2K

Wolverine 6R
-6K
-6M
-6D

Griffin 1N
-1S

Rifleman 3N
-4D (Davion)
-3C (Davion)

Crusader 3R
-3L
-3D
-3K

Thunderbolt 5S
-5D
-5SS (Steiner)
-5SE (Eridani Light Horse)

Archer 2R
-2K
-2S
-2W

Warhammer 6R
-6L
-6D
-6K

Marauder 3R
-3D
-3M
-3L

Battlemaster 1G
-1D
-1S

Banshee 3E
-3S
-3M (Marik)
-3Q (Marik)

Awesome 8Q
-8R (Marik)

JagerMech S
-A (Davion, possibly Star League/FedSuns factory variant)

Catapult C1
-K2 (Kurita)

Trebuchet 5N
-5J (Marik)
-5S (Marik, spread elsewhere)
-7K (Kurita)

Hermes II 2S
-4K (Kurita, export model from FWL)

Cicada 2A
-2B (Liao)
-3C (Liao)

Assassin 23
-101 (Davion)

Spider 5V
-5D (Davion)
-5K (Kurita)

Charger 1A1
-1L
-1A5 (Liao)
-SB (Steiner)
-1A9 (Kurita)

UrbanMech R60
-R60L

Blackjack 1
-1DB (Davion)
-1DC (Davion)

Ostroc 2C
-2M

Ostol 4D
-4F (Davion)

Victor 9B
-9S

IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

glitterboy2098

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8149
    • The Temple Grounds - My Roleplaying and History website
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #1 on: 02 July 2019, 15:27:43 »
would be interesting to compare this to the data from the older books about production sites. which chassis were produced by which nation? did they mostly modify ones they produced, or ones that were made elsewhere? do the modifications match up to missing roles in the TO&E based off what they could build, etc.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 9569
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #2 on: 02 July 2019, 19:19:23 »
Thank you for explaining your assumptions in such detail... I think that alone makes this thread awesome!  :thumbsup:

mbear

  • Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3828
    • Tower of Jade
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #3 on: 03 July 2019, 09:29:46 »
The Federated Suns tinkered far more than any other faction, having twice as many custom variants as most. Many variants are pretty late though, like the Blackjack and Rifleman variants (4 total), i presume these derive from Hanse Davion's initiative to preserve research and expand upon it.

For the Blackjack I'd also say it was due to the need to have BattleMechs of any sort available and the research would help counteract the bad reputation of the unit.

Others are pretty modest.
The FWL variants tend to make use of large lasers or otherwise replace PPCs.

This fits with the fact that the LCCC was saving PPCs for 'Mechs like the Awesome because during the 3SW the FWL had trouble making PPCs.

Most of the Capellan variants seem to be experimental, trying to make better use of a 'Mech chassis (Charger, Cicada).

This makes perfect sense to me as they were the smallest Successor State with the fewest number of production plants. They had to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the equipment they did have. As a FedSuns player, this made them a monumental pain in the ***. ;)

Of the 'Mechs i looked at, only 3 had merc-specific variants, the Thunderbolt SE from the Eridani Light Horse, and the Wasp and Archer W variants from the Wolf's Dragoons.
Presumably mercs don't really have chances to create their own standardized variants. The ELH's T-bolt variant is unusual because of this.

My guess is that the ELH was allowed to talk to Defiance or StarCorps as a thank you for years of service to the LCAF/AFFS/Whoever. Their reputation was such that allowing them to get their own custom variant would be a hell of a bonus on the contract. Plus the design made them more effective in the field, so the hiring military wouldn't oppose the design change. The ELH wins because it gets a unit more suited to their combat style and the employer wins because the ELH does better. (And maybe gets access to a new design that's good.)

The Wolf's Dragoons having variants isn't odd considering their capabilities, but i have to wonder if the variants originate from the Clans in some way?

Well, the Archer-W's armament reminds me of the Bombardier which the Clans may have found in Brian Caches.

JadeHellbringer

  • Твоя мать была хомяком ...
  • Administrator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 19306
  • TurquoiseKitFox!
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #4 on: 03 July 2019, 09:44:49 »
Wait, who DOESN'T remember the SRMbuchet? One of my favorite mediums in the old era- powerful, heat-friendly, just a gerat machine if you have enemy vehicles to worry about. I wouldn't use one on its own, but as part of a lance it's a winner.
"There's a difference between the soldier and his fight,
But the warrior knows the true meaning of his life."
+Larry and his Flask, 'Blood Drunk'+

"You know, basically war is just, like, a bunch of people playing pranks on each other, but at the end they all die."

+Crow T. Robot+

wolfspider

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 580
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #5 on: 03 July 2019, 10:39:51 »
I always thought the archer W was based on the Thor B
I may have a low amount of posts but I have a PHD in Battletech and mechs older then most people on this board!

Empyrus

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4826
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #6 on: 03 July 2019, 11:59:01 »
Wait, who DOESN'T remember the SRMbuchet? One of my favorite mediums in the old era- powerful, heat-friendly, just a gerat machine if you have enemy vehicles to worry about. I wouldn't use one on its own, but as part of a lance it's a winner.
Damnit, i need another example.
Maybe that Ost-something that has F designation but is Davion 'Mech?
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

deathfrombeyond

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1260
  • The fuel that powers the Successor States
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #7 on: 04 July 2019, 01:59:57 »
I like the hunchback-J that has no jump jets.
If House Kurita is a punching bag, at least it's the weeble-wobble type that punches back. House Liao's like a speed bag that just hangs there and takes it. - Neko Bijin

Frabby

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3326
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #8 on: 04 July 2019, 04:14:31 »
Though i don't list it, the ComStar made one variant, the Battlemaster 2C, dating from 2925. What happened during that year?
Given that the alphanumerical demonstrably doesn't indicate origin, at least not realiably, what makes you think this is a ComStar variant? It could mean Capellan, or Canopian, or Circinian, or - my guess - Command. If it even refers to anything specific.

I always thought the archer W was based on the Thor B
I seem to recall this is spelled out somewhere, with the fact that Jaime Wolf used to pilot a Thor B in his Clan days.
Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins
Sarna.net BattleTechWiki Admin

VhenRa

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1840
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #9 on: 04 July 2019, 06:17:28 »
Given that the alphanumerical demonstrably doesn't indicate origin, at least not realiably, what makes you think this is a ComStar variant? It could mean Capellan, or Canopian, or Circinian, or - my guess - Command. If it even refers to anything specific.

Because its a 2920s mech with BAP, ERPPC and AMS? Because the only group with access to it from the MUL until the Clan Invasion are the Robes? Gee, I wonder who made said variant?

Empyrus

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4826
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #10 on: 04 July 2019, 11:13:53 »
By the time the 2C is around, only SL tech available to the Great Houses are basically ER and pulse lasers. Plus as noted, MUL lists it as ComStar-only design.

Canopian designs tend to use MC designation. Don't think there's Circinus-made variants of any 'Mechs, so they don't have their own designation letter.

EDIT AMS, Beagle extinction date is 2835, ERPPC's 2860.
« Last Edit: 04 July 2019, 11:15:33 by Empyrus »
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

skiltao

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
    • SkilTao's Gaming Blog
Re: Who tinkered most...
« Reply #11 on: 05 July 2019, 15:29:25 »
TR:3050 names the BLR-2C as one of the 'Mechs that ComStar accidentally shipped to Theodore. The -2C designation is also seen on FASA's old Locust blueprint poster, which (from the way it's drawn) may likewise have two seats.

My guess is that the ELH was allowed to talk to Defiance or StarCorps as a thank you for years of service to the LCAF/AFFS/Whoever.

The ELH is known for having a particularly good technical arm. I forget which source (the original Merc Handbook, maybe) talks about them insisting on access to their employer's R&D, and I believe that some of their personnel taught at the NAIS (though I don't recall if that was military studies, science, or both).
Blog: currently working on BattleMech manufacturing rates. (Faction Intros project will resume eventually.)
History of BattleTech: Handy chart for returning players. (last updated end of 2012)