Your Favorite Clan Omni-Mechs of All Time

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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!

Jumping Over You Since 1990.

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.

So many lasers…

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.

Clan Nova Cat, Unite!

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.

Another Way to Skin a Cat…

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.

There’s Just Way Too Many Cats Out There

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?

27 thoughts on “Your Favorite Clan Omni-Mechs of All Time

  1. M. Rupp

    Two of the later Clan OmniMechs I really liked were the Grendel and the Ebon Jaguar (aka the Cauldron-Born).

    The Grendel is almost as maneuverable as the Dragonfly/Viper at 7/11/7, but had the firepower and armor protection to make it count. I liked the idea of packing it with energy weapons, then sending it to cause trouble behind enemy lines.

    I liked the Ebon Jaguar because it fixed everything that was wrong on the Loki/Hellbringer. The armor protection is there, and the ‘Mech’s appearance is sleek. (Dare i say, Jaguar-like?)

    Reply
  2. Pat Rich

    My favorite Clan Onmimech is the Summoner. It has everything you could possibly want in a heavy mech: Mobility, decent armor, and hard-hitting weapons. I also like the Cauldron-Born, due to how it lived up to it’s reputation as tough to kill in MW4. The Stormcrow is another favorite, fast for it’s size and hard hitting.

    Reply
    1. M. Rupp

      I really like the Summoner in concept, but it was under-armored for my tastes. Its just as easy to put jump jets on a Timber Wolf or an Ebon Jaguar.

      Reply
  3. Boomer8

    While I really like the timber wolf, my favorite is the dire wolf, because it has so much pod space. Yes it is slow, but having the space for multiple gauss rifles makes that less important.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      Plus everyone has their favorite Daishi/Dire Wolf variant which they swear is the most lethal one possible! It creates some fun conversations.

      Reply
      1. M. Rupp

        Well, now we have the Tomahawk II. It will never be as iconic as the Dire Wolf, but pound-for-pound, its the most powerful ‘Mech ever built.

        Reply
  4. Roko

    Mine would be:

    – 5: Hellion

    It looks so cool, it’s fast, it has decent armour for its size, and most of the canon configs are solid. Quite expensive when you could get an Incubus for the same BV, but considering the Incubus is the god of 30 tonners, that’s not a condemnation of the Hellion.

    – 4: Fire Moth

    A number of its configs make for good BA taxi duty, but I like the H as a cruise missile backstabber. Aletha Kabrinski’s version makes for an annoying harasser too (though you have to wonder how she survived duels against Elite level Ghost Bears in mechs with large pulse lasers).

    – 3: Savage Coyote

    I love its clusterfuck looks and it has quite a nice spread of variants. While the official variants could maybe have done with a wider spread of weapon types – at heart they’re basically a variation on the same theme of big energy weapons and ATMs – what they do offer is a good BV spread, from the cheap-and-cheerful B config (a bargain at 2284 BV) to brutes like the C and W.

    – 2: Nova

    People are usually all over the pulsey S config but I think there are few mechs more entertaining than the Prime. That mid range firepower, that temptation to alpha strike and damn the consequences… When this mech first appeared, from the perspective of IS players it was effectively a Griffin with 12 large lasers.

    – 1: Stooping Hawk

    Mobile and with several really nice configs, and it rivals 2nd line designs for toughness and efficiency. This is a dependable Medium trooper that can stand up to low-end Heavies.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      There was a guy in my playgroup that ran a Dasher/Fire Moth variant with 10 ER Small Lasers and a targeting computer. He’d MASC behind the back of someone, target a rear torso, and even if you managed to hit Mr. Speedy with something and knock it down, you’d still likely lose a bigger mech in the exchange. We called it the Dasher K (for Kamikaze).

      Reply
  5. Chris McFadden

    Never been big on Clans but my favorite two omnis have always been the Stormcrow for its great speed and payload capacity for its size, and the Nova Cat for being a sturdy brute with a savage bite.

    Reply
      1. Kango

        Oops, my bad, I read OmniMechs as just plain ‘Mechs. Kodiak, then. I like it better than the Dire Wolf, maybe because it looks like a giant freaking bear XD

        Reply
  6. Gant

    Not being a major fan of the dark age version of the game, while I will have to admit the Tomahawk II is simply a very bad ass ‘mech for the weapons alone. However since I am more old school the ‘mech after that would be the Dire Wolf, Timber Wolf, The Nova is interesting a friend of mine who still plays the classic version updated a Nova with ER medium pulse lasers the out come was to say interesting. While the Mad Cat II isn’t an Omni when MechWarrior 4 Vengeance was around I Personally had a field day with the mech, two gauss rifles, and LRM launchers, its a same that the Streak versions were not available back then.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      Gant, I’m a bit encouraged by all of the love our good Tomahawk is getting from folks, since I thought it might be a role call of the earliest of the mechs. But at the same time, the newest mechs tend to not have the same cache with me, you know? So get your Mad Cat/Timber Wolf on!

      Reply
  7. Ethan

    I’m a big fan of the Crossbow. Sure it only has the pod space in the arms and it’s only 16 tons worth, but it’s a nasty customer in the B configuration. The darn thing should be sold to mercs since it’s as cheap as a heavy omni can get.

    Reply
    1. Ethan

      Meant to say that even with inner sphere weapons it’s a killer. Ten medium lasers and 16 double heat sinks? Yes please :)

      Reply
  8. acefalcon

    5. Karhu. A tough and stylish bastard with a big punch. Not the top Clan Omni, but A, B and D are worth all the resources Bears invested into the Dominion industry.
    4. Kingfisher. Still not the best, but it’s a great tournament ‘Mech for a relatively low BV.
    3. Nova. It is not the best medium ‘Mech ever built, but it’s a progenitor of Black Hawk-KU. And I do love BHKUs )))
    2. Night Gyr. A better Nova Cat, that shines bright in the night!
    1. Tomahawk. Because of one battle when Tomahawk C singlehandly destroyed Dire Wolf Prometheus, Sphinx 4 and Glass Spider 2 in 3 turns. By 3 headshots. Yeah, I’m still afraid of that monster)))

    Reply
  9. Gant

    Thanks, however I don’t play battletech that much anymore, the last time I got into it was back in 2011 then interests changed, I did the online version while I am not a giant fan of PVP its ok every now and then. I think one of the issues when playing the PC’s of MechWarrior some weapons are just more effective then others. While this isn’t a well used Clan ‘mech any more the Highlander IIC takes my fancy more, but as time went on since the 3060 book to Dark Age the mech fell out of favor

    Reply
  10. marcw52

    Timber Wolf is number one of course. My usual config was two ER PPCs LRM15s and medium pulse lasers in the torso.
    #2) Stormcrow- two ER Large Lasers and four ER mediums
    #3) Warhawk- Classic quad ER PPCs
    #4) Supernova- Do you really need anything besides 6 ER Large Lasers
    #5) Executioner- Guass rifle ER large and mediums

    Reply

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