Designing a Sarath

Technical Readout 3145 has had some interesting changes from previous TRs.  One of those was the handing off of the collecting/determining stats/construction to a team specficially for that purpose.  They put a lot of  work into collecting all the various Mechwarrior Dark Age references (and the variants), figuring out how they fit in to “classic” BattleTech (who made what, when, etc). I had very little to do with that team :).

But after they had been chugging away at their work for quite a while, jymset asked me if I was interested in designing some units.  I said probably not, but what did they need and jymset sent me over a list.  I immediately picked out a reference to a “FWL 50 ton ‘mech” with no other information.  “Really, that’s all you got?  The Regulans could use a medium ‘mech.   What about an omni?  Or a quad?  Or even a quad omni?”   What all the answers got affirmative replies, I was hooked.

My first thought was Voltron’s lions.  Then I went looking at art online, and realized my youth idolized some things more than they really deserve.  But I still wanted that wanted to pounce on people.  But there are several recent awesome looking quads.  Though my favorite (glancing over the Master Unit List), was the Shedu.  Yes, it’s a Battle Armor.  But it was that look of ready to pounce that I was looking for.  (The Procyon is another good one that I didn’t remember till later).  But the Shedu was important to making me really want all the weapons in a turret.  For their first omni, having the majority of the swapping being a entire turret swap seemed like a good idea.

For pouncing, I wanted talons.   So it was back to jymset time.   “Talons are clan only?  So, um, how about mixed tech too?”  And I’m still getting an affirmative.  Rock on!  But I balked at making it the prime (or fixed).  The Regulans would put Talons only would could.  They couldn’t count on enough to make the primary configuration on something that would hopefully be a medium and thus fairly standard ‘mech in their forces.  (Hopefully).

Somebody commented online about the “issue” of not filling the leg slots with TSM.  This wasn’t even possible form the beginning due to the talons.  I needed those leg slots.

Base chassis was pretty simple.  5/8 as a general purpose medium speed.  XL engine because, as an omni, I wanted lots of options in the configurations.  Triple strength myomer was necessary for the mauling I wanted it to do in close combat.  It needed a large turret on one torso.  Standard armor because quads don’t have lots of space and the TSM/XL were taking up a lot. And, unusual for me, no endo steel for the same reason.  10 double heat sinks.

So then we needed some configurations.

The first thing I put in the turret was a gauss rifle.  Some ER medium lasers as backup in the center tors,  ER small in the head.  That was my prime.

The A was spikes.  A Clan LB10X and a pair of IS medium lasers in the turret.  Two more medium lasers in opposite torso.  Two ER small lasers (one each in head and CT).  Ammo in rear legs.

B would be a Trebuchet.  Regulans love Trebuchets, so the B config was made to appeal to that element.  Twin clan lrm15s and two MML3s in turret.  Ammo in legs.  Jump jets in legs and CT.  ER small laser in the head again.  This is the only config that survived as I originally designed it.  Why two MML3s and not another clan LRM15?  Because they are backup weapons.  Spending whatever it costs for clan LRMs to the Regulans wasn’t worth it for “backup” weapons.  The MML3s allow them to say it has better long-range damage than the Trebuchets.  I picture this config as being given to commanders of Trebuchet lances. And after the author wrote the entry, as one of the reasons why the Sarath got a bad early rep.  Switching to a quad (piloting switch nightmare) and an omni (technical nightmare as first regulan omni), so that you can be slower (TBT-3Cs were now standard with 6/9 movement) or use it’s TSM to keep up and have a harder time hitting anything…  They are ways it is better (jump jets not on 3C, the extra MML3s, more armor), but there’s enough for anybody that didn’t want to switch to have ammo for “whining”.  If these were the first given out, it could start an ugly first impression despite being “better”.

C was designed around improved jump jets.  Seven of them.  Snub-nose PPC in the turret, a medium pulse laser and medium laser as backup weapons.  ECM and Probe for recon.

The D would finally have the talons.  Four light PPCs in the turret, twin ER small lasers, twin medium lasers.

And then jymset came back and said “you only get 3 configurations”.  So I started trying to combine configurations.  Again the talons were too “experimental” to be on the prime, but I “needed” a talon config.  I wanted at least one jumping config, and wanted to keep the “trebuchet” config, so that whole config stayed as is and just got bumped up a letter.

The improved jump jets had to go, but I wanted to keep some sort of recon option.  The gauss on the prime got switched to a heavy ppc and a light ppc and the single er medium laser was kept.  The Beagle got added for recon.  And the spikes were brought from the A config.  So the prime ended up combining elements from the old prime, A and B, trying to keep the important part of each.

The talon config changed completely.  With the light ppc being part of the prime, I didn’t want two of the three variants to feature it.  (I only got three configs!)  And I didn’t want to go with more clan tech (LB10X). So I went with a plasma rifle.  That lead to adding more heat weapons (er flamers) and only kept the two medium lasers from it’s old weaponry.

So that’s how the configs ended up as they are now.

Other little tidbits.

I tried to have it made on Gibson.  Sorry, it’s a wasteland.  Perhaps something uncovered from Gibson helped the Regulans engineer their first omni, but it’s not being built there.

Every config ended up with an ER small laser in the head.  So it became fixed.  No other reason, but since they all had one there, it seemed simpler (fluff wise for the engineers) to just mount it fixed.

I was really worried about the art.  After submitting the final stats, I kept picturing the 3055 Solaris ‘mechs spikes and thinking “oh god, what have I done?”  The artist was amazing though.  He described the overall look as “gangly hyena” and I think that works perfectly.

Compact ‘mech quirk.  I selected this for the Sarath thinking it would crouch, with it’s legs folding up minimize it’s profile in the bay.  They would stack on top of each other in the bay.   The turret would rotate to the side.  When the dropships land, the top Sarath would leap out followed by the second.

Introductory League

My BattleTech group has recently started a BattleTech Introductory League. 220 tons, exactly 4 battlemechs and nothing else, only Introductory rules level, all Veteran mechwarriors. I’m not competing as I’m “hosting”, but will play if there’s an odd player out that needs someone to play against. I did up some default lance lists for those that are new and/or don’t want to make their own force, but I wanted to think about what I wanted to use.

Hunchback HBK-4G (x3)
Archer ARC-2R

The Hunchbacks are the whole idea. Most people seem to be going 45-55 tonners with 5/8/5, 6/9/6 or 5/8 with maybe one slower heavy (Thunderbolt, Grasshopper or Guillotine for example.) And getting anything to die is tough. there’s a four hour limit on games, and our two games so far were both one with one kill.

Hopefully AC/20s can speed that up. The extra tonnage is used for a long-range tough mech that would get the honor of moving first so the Hunchbacks can react to the enemy’s moves.