Are there BattleMechs out there that are ugly as sin but you still get real joy from playing them? Is there a go-to ‘Mech for you that your friends taunt you about, but you just know how to get it to work? What BattleMechs out there play better than they look for you?
Jenner – I don’t know why, but for some reason, I always get Jenners to work well. They look ugly, I don’t like the design that much from an aesthetic standpoint, and you might wonder at how I can get an overheated low-armor unit to work so well. I wonder it about it too! But I do. Sometimes I just get them to play like a musical instrument. I get a devastating impact from them at times, and in my most recent run on MegaMekNet, I had a couple that had a lot of surprising kills they had ratcheted up. From Hunchbacks to an Archer, the Jenner can sometimes be a master of taking out things on the battlefield way above its tonnage. At least for me.
UrbanMech – I once hated the UrbanMech with a passion. It’s 2/3/2 and stupid, since you are always at a disadvantage firing with it. If you walk, they get +0 to hit you, run at most it’s +1, and jump +1. That’s while you get +1/+2/+3 respectively to hit with it. It’s a small ‘Mech, with just one big weapon. And it looks like a giant trashcan. It’s just not a good design, right? Okay, fair. But in mixed forces, with a lighter unit on unit battle, this thing shines a lot more than I thought it would. You can camp it on top of a great long range vehicle (such as Hunter Light Tank) and it gives you a powerful zone of control of the battlefield. Very few similar units want to move in. It’s incredibly low Battle Value gives you the ability to toss one into your force easily in a game where you choose forces by BV. In the last five years, I have totally reversed my views on the thing. It’s not the best ‘Mech in the world, but it doesn’t suck.
Watchman – The Watchman might be designed for a cheap role to fill up spots on local militias, but I’ve found it to be a revelation. You don’t see them much in forces online or against folks in real life. They don’t have much of a reputation. But I have always gotten yeoman’s work from them. Since they don’t have an XL engine, they are cheap and durable. They have maximum armor, a solid 5/8/5 movement, a good weapons payload with a large laser, two mediums and two machine guns, and the requisite CASE. The solitary note of disagreement with the design that I have is that is that I’d like double heat sinks rather than 12 singles. Other than that solitary issue, it’s a virtually perfect design, and I love playing with them.
Flashman – First of all, let’s just get this out of the way now – I think the Flashman is one of the worst looking BattleMechs ever designed. It looks like the designer took a pencil, cut off the eraser bit, and then used that as the inspiration for it. Ugh. And the weapon design is nothing special right? Just some large and medium lasers. But then it happens. My peach-colored Flashman miniature takes the field and suddenly it starts to push folks aside. Its laser payload is no joke, and the larges give it range, and sometimes it feels like it has medium lasers that go on forever. And in long battles, I don’t have to worry about ammunition or worry about an explosion – nope. It just works better than you’d think.
What are some BattleMechs that may look bad and feel foul, but which play really strongly for you?