When the Clans arrived, they brought some seriously dangerous heavy metal to the Inner Sphere. To this day, it’s arguably the most significant event in recent Inner Sphere history. They came to fight, with OmniMechs that had flexible designs the pod space to fix them to your taste, terrain, and mission profile.
At first I thought it would be fun to have us all look at our favorite Clan OmniMech designs from Technical Readout: 3050. But there’s such a small number of their designs, and without using any payloads, Omnis tend to be a bit generic. So instead I figured we could just look at our top Clan OmniMechs from any era. That way we can include stuff like the Crossbow, Naga, or Blood Asp.
Let’s begin by looking at my own Top 5 Clan Omnis, and then ask what yours are!
5. Dragonfly/Viper – I never liked the Dragonfly at first. It didn’t hit any of my buttons for a good, quality BattleMech. After a couple of opponents had some success with it hopping all over the map, I just chalked that up to the luck of the dice. Then I played it once, and then again, and duplicated their efforts. After about a year of ignoring this 40 ton horse, I eventually embraced it in my playgroup and began to add it to the stable of ‘Mechs I would dip into regularly. It’s always played better for me than it looks. It has virtually maxed armor with ferro-fibrous combined with that strong 8/12/8 speed. It’s hard to hit, and when you do, it has the armor to protect critical components. Plus it almost has 9 tons of pod space available for stuff. It’s good combination of weapon space and survivability.
4. Black Hawk/Nova – Unlike the Dragonfly, I always adored the Nova. I was brought to it by the huge payload of its primary configuration, but I stayed because of how flexible the ‘Mech can be. With 10 tons of armor on its 50 ton frame, it’s got all of the armor you could want. It already has some extra heat sinks into the unit, so you don’t need to account for a bunch of extra heat in your configuration. It’s got a strong 16.25 tons of pod space available. Then add in adequate 5/8/5 movement and you’ve got a solid entry into ‘Mech-dom. With that much pod space you can give the Black Hawk a lot of different configurations. It can have close up damage doling, and be confidant in its speed and armor to get it in close and keep it safe. Or you can give it some great long- or medium-range weaponry and leap/run into position each turn to keep your foe at an ideal range. From a brawler to a fire support roler, it has a lot of potential.
3. Nova Cat – As a general rule, I like the designs for Clan Omnis in the 3060 Technical Readout better than many others. One of my favorite designs from the book is the Nova Cat, a 70 ton brawler of an OmniMech. It’s five tons lighter than the Mad Cat, but rocks 10 more tons of pod space, and roughly the same armor. It sacrifices speed for weapons, and rolls a humble 4/6 movement. What it lacks in speed it doles out in pain. It’s my favorite of the Clan Omnis that is more about wading in and dishing out damage than in getting overly complex with the design. Just load it out with a lethal amount of weapons and sit back.
2. Shadow Cat – I enjoy a quality medium unit that combines speed, utility, and high-quality protection. The Shadow Cat is both a strong jumper (with 6/9/6) movement and a powerful runner with MASC. Whatever the map, it can leap/dash to the perfect spot and keep people from hitting it. Meanwhile, we’ve got a solid amount of armor. (In fact, this 45 ton unit has more armor than the 65 ton Loki). Now it doesn’t have any extra heat sinks, so if you are going heat heavy, you’ll have to compensate by including additional freezers. That’s alright, because you have an incredible 17 tons of pod space rocking your world. That gives plenty of space for this pacey ‘Mech to pack the ideal payload for your mission. I lean on the design quite a bit when I get ready for some dice chucking.
1. Mad Cat /Timber Wolf – No one who has ever played against me fails to see my sheer adoration for the Mad Cat. I know, it’s not a very interesting answer to the question. But it’s a simple question – the best Omni design, to my mind, is also arguably the most iconic. I’m okay with that. There’s little I can say here that’ll be news to anyone reading, so I’ll keep it short. 28 tons of pod space is solid, but lighter ‘Mechs have similar (such as the Vulture or Loki). What make the Mad Cat work is the strong armor, speed and heat capacity that’s built into the unit already. It has roughly 50% more armor than the Vulture and almost double the Loki. Meanwhile you have a respectable 5/8 movement backed by strong weapons, heat reduction, and you have the added damage of kicks from a heavier ‘Mech. It’s an iconic design because it works so well.
Of course, this list has to be without consideration of any specific configuration. What are your favorite naked Omnis?