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[#] Technical Read Out 3015: The Collective
01:10am EST - 11/13/2008

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.

A Warning

Some of these designs were made a long time ago. There may be errors in notation or calculation within the datasheets. The term “Hardpoint” is equivalent to what the rulebook calls “Space,” and “Structure” is the same as “Kills.” The number of inches of armour equates the number of “Kills” of armour the unit has (so 3” Armour - 3 points of Armour) Feel free to either correct them, or use them “as-is,” because I am fairly certain any miscalculations end up overcosting the mech or lessening its capabilities.

The Data

The Northwood V “Archer” Fire support Mech

Here’s a little tip for all the boys and girls reading this safe within their training academies. Don’t mess with mines. Seriously, just don’t. My XO did, and his mech got a new paint job real fast. No matter how good you think you are with a soldering iron, it‘s not good enough.
~Attributed to Ema Armana, 6th Lance, 1st Mobile Army 5th Regiment 7th Company.

The Northwood Model Five uses Northwood Heavy Industries’ Phase Two hull to create a light fire support mech, designed for anti-infantry and light vehicle roles and combined arms operations against enemy mechs. Its main armaments are a 60mm light infantry support gun loaded with HE shells, and a 85mm mortar loaded with ADAM cluster mine munitions. In addition, it is equipped with a pair of one-shot ATGM tubes carrying shaped charge missiles. The Northwood Five utilises the InMD786+ tactical computer package with no modifications, increasing its reliance on spotters and active target acquisition. This differentiates it from other artillery units like NTI’s LMT-1 or Gereon’s BXV2-A.

The Northwood VI “Hurricane” Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Mech

I will NOT go near that thing. I know there’s only one of them, sir. The thing is, it says right here in the report they work in PAIRS. And I can’t see one of them.

What’s that? It’s an order?

You first, then.
~Mal Dunean, 134th Special Air Wing, Alfa Flight.

The first mass-produced Second Generation mech (it was first used on the front lines in large numbers in June 3009, eighteen months before a full lance of Northwood Vs was fielded) of the Collective War, the “Hurricane” is an iconic mech. More lightly armoured than the Northwood V, it is used for many different roles despite being designed for point air defence. Its armaments are a Hydra-70 Missile Pod, loaded with heatseeking missiles, and a pair of 50mm Bofors guns. Both weapons have been proven effective against mechs as well as aircraft, making the Northwood VI a commonly found unit in lances even to this day, only being superceded by G3 units like the COAE Redcoat and Gereon BLV3-S.

The Northwood VII “Linebacker” Multipurpose Mech

Goddamn, charge faster! This autocannon is a piece of junk!
~Last words of Oliver Weissmann, Northwood VII pilot.

While the Northwood V and VI are reliable and commonly-used units, the Northwood VII is less frequently deployed due to it’s asymmetrical weapon arrangement and the belief that it is undergunned. Early prototypes used Particle Cannons and heavy laser weaponry, but problems with cooling meant that the VII-Beta had to be scrapped. The mass-production VII was designed after the Special Projects Inquiry, and was one of the first mechs to use Lycs Reclamation Project weapons. It is armed with a PT-2 Carrier Wave Rifle and a 30mm repeating cannon, and it is here its flaw lies. The PT-2 has a lethal range of 650 metres, while the repeating cannon is only accurate at 400m. In addition, the CWR requires a charging period of nearly a minute between shots, so if the shot misses the Northwood VII’s capabilities are temporarily reduced. A 30mm cannon, therefore, can be argued an inadequate stopgap weapon and there are reports of many engineers jury-rigging damaged “Linebackers” with parts from the “Archer” and creating a long-range sniper unit.

The NTI BLK-0 “Blackguard” Infantry support Mech

You have got to be joking.
~Anonymous

The BLK-0 is considered a unit of only limited usefulness in the 31st century battlefield. When the Revised Hague Conventions were initially passed, and mech development ground to a near-halt, NTI Inc. were the first onto the scene with the BLK-0 and now-obsolete BLK-1. In this environment, the Blackguard shone. As an infantry support unit, it could carry large amounts of supplies in external bins and mounts, and provide heavy fire support provided AT fire was kept off it.

However, when Northwood Heavy Industries rolled out the V-Series, the venerable BLK-0 was suddenly outclassed. Some companies keep BLK-0s around, but they are not usually seen except as a sort of sick joke on the part of lance commanders who want someone removed. Armed with twin Light Lasers and a single Bofors gun, the BLK-0 is capable of engaging only light vehicles and infantry tanks with any success when working alone.

The NTI BLK-2 “Blocker” Siege Mech

Smash, crush, burn. Oh, and occasionally fill ‘em with lead. A sapper’s life is easy.
~Ric Amuro, Engineering Lance 1M0204-09E

While the BLK-0 and the ill-fated BLK-1 “Blackstone” have been largely phased out, the BLK-2 is still widely used by engineering lances. Armed with a Metal Storm Array and Breaching Tool, the BLK-2 is the perfect mech for urban warfare. Common doctrine when using the BLK-2 is to field it in conjunction with the Gereon HIU-2G and Northwood Model X, and systematically demolish ruined buildings while using fire and directed energy weapons to flush concealed infantry out. BLK-2s also carry a single Fuel-Air Grenade, which can be used at short ranges to inflict heavy damage on enemy mechs.

The NTI TTN-2 “Titan” Line support Mech

It’s a bloody skip on legs with guns attached. You can’t say it’s anything else, and it doesn’t add character. It adds a huge target profile. What are you, STUPID?
~Sgt. Lily Langley-Sparrow, Armania Planetary Defence Force

The Titan is an ungainly mech, but one which is greatly feared. Its armament is simple - a pair of FCS-Linked field guns and a head-mounted 40mm FFSLR (Folding-Fin Surface Launched Rocket) system. This is combined with a low-powered ECM/ECCM suite and surprisingly resilient armour to create a cheap and mobile fire support platform designed with form over function. Teams of TTN-2s working together with heavier support in the form of Gereon QLV and BLV series mechs, or Northwood V-series hulls, can lock down an area quickly and hold it until heavy support arrives.

The TTN-2, however, has a large target profile and this, combined with its reputation, means that Titans draw a lot of fire from enemy anti-mech units. However, with active target acquisition and continually updated telemetry, the TTN-2 can remain in cover and fire its cannons indirectly, increasing its lifespan dramatically.

What Next?

Those were the six mechs that I was planning to include in TRO:3015 1. Expect, in the future, two more volumes of TRO:3015, and then TRO:3022. 3022 will introduce Third Generation mechs, with fearsome hitherto-unseen weapons like the Lightning Ball Cannon, the Light Point Energy Cannon and the truly lethal Gauss Storm Flak!

TRO:30152 will contain:

TRO:3015 3 will contain:

Where To Get the Datasheets:

Here:

~Bob Smith

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Comments

1 Issyl
12:36pm UTC - 2/07/2009 [X]
Cool, you're good at coming up with concepts for mechs.


 

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