Loc: Melbourne, Australia
WoB's new Mech.
#91017 - 05/04/04 07:25 PM (18.104.22.168)
Here’s the first review of the new WoB HNT-151 or HNT-WoB depending upon its offical designation.
I’ve been anticipating this day for quite some time, I received a holovid from Word of Blake some two weeks ago with information on the upcoming mech and I was asked by the Primus himself if I would be happy to undertake an exclusive road test of their latest mech.
I had just over 3 days at the WoB centre of excellence in technology, and tested the mech extensively, and id like to thank all those down at WoB for their hospitality.
First off we will start with the mechs looks.
Like most WoB engineered things, it’s a very functional unit, well assembled with almost a religious like sense of pride in it.
Its finishing is first rate, The Mech’s cockpit is a stand out compared to some of the other Mech’s available today:
The MechWarriors seat is made of a terran Bavarian cow’s hide, providing a very comfortable ride for the pilot, with a walnut trim dashboard. Although the Velour Mechwarrior suit which comes with it is of questionable taste. (something was mentioned about the primus liking the feel of velour against himself?)
All of the Mech’s status monitors and gauges are clearly visible and within easy reach. A fantastic sound system rounds off a well though out and designed cockpit.
All tolled the cockpit section is a joy for MechWarriors,
The external appeal of the mech however is a different story, whilst certainly functional its not a true beauty to behold, whilst lacking the streamlining of a locust, nor the humanoid shape of a stinger or wasp, this mech is somewhat unique in its looks, perhaps the team from “Queer eye for the straight guy” could do something with its looks. Certainly the sticker on the back of the Mech “honk if you are horny” didn’t appeal to me.
8 out of 10
This mech is one of the rare light mechs which has a weapon for all ranges:
LRM5: This weapon provides the mech with some long range weaponry which allows some harassing fire from a distance.
The LRM 5 unit which was installed is also manufactured by WoB, and spare parts and ammunition for it are in plentiful supply.
Medium laser: This is the mainstay of most light Mech’s it provides good firepower at close range and is considered the Mech’s primary weapon.
Small laser: This weapon is designed only to be used when its opponent closes within 90 meters, and as such can only be described as a backup weapon.
Some points to note: why does this mech have a Small laser? Or alternatively why does it have a LRM 5? When I asked the lead technician what was their thinking behind this configuration, his response was “were trying to make this mech as versatile as possible, we want it to be able to “swing both ways” in both short and long range combat”.
I personally think this hampers the mech. Its neither adept at long range nor short range and suffers from both accordingly.
Also lacking anti infantry weaponry certainly keeps this mech at a disadvantage in close quarter fighting.
On a side note, do not even think of purchasing this mech unless you have a repair bay, as its primary weapon will be rendered useless in a prolonged series of battles without being able to reload.
Whilst coming in at the lighter end of the mech weight scale this mech provides considerable firepower, and its firepower to weight ratio is quiet good.
7 out of 10.
Handling and performance:
With a top speed of just over 72 kilometres per hour, this mech is hardly speedy, but certainly more than capable of keeping up with the majority of medium mechs.
However in flat open terrain this support unit will be left behind by its light mech lancemates.
The mech is capable of jumping some 150 meters with a single burst of its jump jets, which is perhaps its saving grace as part of a recon lance.
This units however is not designed to be a recon unit, but more a light lance support mate, this adds greater weight to the theory above whereby why include short range weaponry when its not going to be used.
The mech itself rides very well it has an excellent Gyro system, with the cockpit hardly moving whilst running at top speed. The engine also conforms to the Neveron emissions standard e2351.2
6 out of 10.
Whilst this mech is outclassed by many in its varying roles, it does provide a cheap economical alternative for those that want some LRM support within their light lances. It is however competing in a crowded market. Particularly against 1st Nev Com whose latest mech designs are similar. Which theoretically will mean greater choice and lower prices for the consumer. When I asked WoB about their pricing policy it was still being discussed at board level, hence I have some scepticism as to wether or not we as consumers will have anything to celebrate as far as competition goes towards driving the price down further.
As usual Nasi has released a statement today clarifying the rumour that they will cease importing this mech as soon as it hits the streets.
Where I do think this mech excels is for training, it is clearly a great mech for those newer empires out there that need to be able to cheaply train MechWarriors and provide basic empire defence. It is capable of working well against pirate raiders, although some fellow journalists have suggested to me that surely a lance of 2 scorpions and 2 strikers would provide better performance for the same price, of course is just a matter of opinion.
As an overall rating I give this mech a 7 out of 10. if it were to come in around the 30-35 mil price range, then I would rate it higher.
I look forward to seeing some actual live field tests form fellow Neveronians to see how this Mech performs in combat.
For all your Neveron ammo needs.
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: WoB's new Mech.
#91018 - 05/04/04 08:06 PM (22.214.171.124)
We thank you for your review. And we are hopeing after details are realised about expense ratios to be able to offer this fine mech at the suggested retail price of 35 million per. Thank you all- chetter