As you may have guessed, I love mechs, and Mekton is my system of choice for robot fightan. What you may not know, though, is that I greatly prefer “harder” scifi to Newtype hax and experimental mind-powered units that are actually the demons. I have created a setting to accommodate this, and in so doing, I feel, have curbed the worst excesses and exploits of Mekton. These mechs are powerful, sure. But they rely on a good pilot, accurate shooting and tactics rather than flying, beamspam and the Itano Circus (although I would argue the Bane-3, YMN-6Y or LGB-12C could probably outshoot any Valkyrie when you’re talking missiles, but a Battletech versus Macross debate should probably stay in /m/.)
This article will take the form of a series of flavour texts for 6 “medium” mechs, followed by a link to where a collected set of datasheets can be downloaded. They make good enemy units or NPCs in a semi-realistic, “3025-era Battletech” style campaign - the weapons are not hax powerful and there aren’t any really odd things.
I'm a big fan of under-represented games, as nearly 2500 points of Battlefleet Gothic, Inquisitor rulebooks and Mordheim warband suggest. It's only by virtue of my FLGS not stocking them that I don't have a horde of Battlemechs and Heavy Gear figures in my cupboard. So when I was given the chance to try Urban Mammoth's small-scale sci-fi game Urban War, I leapt at the chance.
And I found a real gem there. Long story short, it's a very fast paced skirmish game with a healthy variety of factions to try out and some nice minis. While nothing is going to topple GW's domination of the market for light, fantastical wargames, UW is a nice alternative. The aesthetic is a bit more video-game or anime themed than 40k, but I don't feel you lose too much from the lack of Grimdark. I'll begin with a rundown of the faction aesthetics and play style (the fluff is interesting, but I personally wouldn't say it sells the system) to whet your appetites, then move into a discussion of the rules.
"It's like Robotech plus Gundam, only not."
Barely anyone I've spoken to has even heard of this system, which is a shame. People may be more familiar with Talsorian Games' other flagship product, Cyberpunk 2020, but in my opinion it's Mekton, the game of supposed strategy and giant robots, that wins.
It's well known you can never have too much Dakka, and even though MZ+ allows you to get a lot of firepower from a single weapon, I don't feel that there are enough options to create "any" weapon. For starters, I can think of a number of iconic weapons from sci-fi the system would require the "Special Mekton Trick" generic upgrade to handle, which can be severely undercosted for what it can offer. For example, Tesla Coils would clearly be an Energy weapon, but there's no Shock upgrade for Energy weapons. Likewise, what if you want a laser that sweeps from side to side rather than "lol Itano Circus?"
So here are a few semi-tested upgrades, and then later there will be some highly experimental ones which may well be utterly broken. Remember, all weapon upgrades can be "stacked," so you can certainly have an Arcing Area Infinite Burst weapon, but yes you do have to resolve every single one of those individual lightning bolts individually.