I have a personal love affair with the 3055 Technical Readout. Sure, it may have been the 4th readout in my hands (3025, 3050 and 2750 beat it to my bookshelves) but it was always number one in my heart. Some of my favorite Inner Sphere BattleMech designs are inside these covers.
By the time that the 3055 designs are rolling off factory lines around the Inner Sphere, it’s clear that the engineers who designed them had learned from the experiments in 3050. Gone are refits that don’t really push the recently rediscovered technology. Instead we have a lot of gleaming new BattleMechs that really embrace the impact the various roles that these new ways of building could be harnessed. Because we want the best killing machines we can get.
I think that’s why I have so many beloved death-dealing dangers here. Because someone figured out how to use (and often how to refuse) the latest technology. So which designs are your favorite? Let’s take a look at my Top Five rocks and then let’s see what yours are!
5. Salamander – Man there’s just something about firing 60 long-range missiles that makes me happy. Sure, I’m not a super big fan of XL engines in general, but on fire support units that are hopefully staying far away from the front lines, it’s fine. Then you’ve got the requisite CASE and solid enough armor for the guy plus a pair of relatively superfluous medium lasers. You don’t heat issues at all. So your ‘Mech dodges a lot of the normal issues with heavy XL-toting ‘Mechs (space and heat, just as an example). The only issues I have are a lack of Artemis and a desire for another round of reloads for the launchers (it’s sitting at three tons each for 18 shots a piece). But still, 60 missiles baby!
4. Daimyo – Because of how well it serves as a pseudo Panther Mk 2 (as well as being another Combine ‘Mech), I always think of it as an honorary light ‘Mech that’s been vastly improved. It’s got a good 5/8 speed, that battle-tested ER PPC combination with 2 medium lasers and your SRM6 with 30 shots (so no ammo concerns). Now, it rocks 7.5 tons of ferro-fibrous armor – as good as you are going to get on a 40 ton body. Plus, it has no XL weakness, so that’s nice. I’d add CASE to protect the SRM shots by pulling off a ton of ammo and then added a half ton in a small laser or something. But the ‘Mech works, plus it has enough heat sinks to deal with the ER PPC and some other stuff at long or medium range. You don’t even go overheat that much on an alpha strike. PPCs, SRMs, and Medium Lasers have worked well for eons blasting a hole, piercing it, and then penetrating it. From a BattleMaster to a Panther, it’s a solid combination, and the Daimyo is one of the best ways of those weapons I’ve ever encountered, and I love it!
3. Anvil – Most of the designs in 3055 that I really like that didn’t hit this list (Daikyu, Gunslinger, Jackal) tend to have really long range weapons sort of relegate them to a fire support role on the battlefield. That’s not true with this bad buy, who wants to close and get personal. Now, I don’t like the Hammer at all. Yuck. Let’s instead focus on the Anvil, which is a great up and personal design. With some jump jets, it can help to get into position, although not as well as other jumpers with more range. I love pulse lasers on a jumping ‘Mech, because the accuracy bonus makes up for the movement. The double Larges are strong mid-range weapons for a jumping 60 ton machine. Double Medium Lasers add some more gas, and then add in a Guardian ECM for countering all sorts of goodies. The laser payload keeps it in battles for some time, and the lack of an XL engine pushes that. It can punch without weapons on its arms, backing up the closing aspect of the guy considerably. The only issue I have is that I’d like a bit more armor. 9.5 tons of normal armor just isn’t enough for me. I still find these to be a very durable design and they can put up the pressure for a long time if not answered, hopping all over and causing havoc. I like a good Anvil.
2. Apollo – It’s no question that I love the Apollo. When it comes to missile boats, the Apollo is often my unit of choice, especially among medium ‘Mechs. Two LRM 15s, plus Artemis (which adds damage without needing an extra to hit roll and without using any heat or additional ammo), makes me a very happy Abe. 16 shots of ammo is adequate for most battles, and you’ve got small pulses when someone wants to get in a bit too close for comfort. The armor is downright incredible for a fire support guy and you can trade shots with opposing ‘Mechs that are heavier and come out on top. Again, you have a lack of an XL to keep things moving. The only changes I would make are to pull the Small Pulses for Mediums to give more range, and then, umm, wish that I had CASE but I don’t. (Alternatively, I also like the idea of downgrading the Small Pulses to normals, and then including in CASE for both torsos). But it’s usually an Apollo Night when we push some metal around the table.
1. Penetrator – If I use Apollos that frequently, then only something truly special can beat them out. Meet one of my favorite ‘Mechs of all time, from any era. It would easily make my Top Ten List, and maybe higher. The Penetrator is a perfect design. I would not make a single change to it except maybe, sometimes, I think about the Anti-Missile System. I find it does some good stuff though. This 75 ton heavy ‘Mech brings an A Game that just can’t be beat, for my tastes. Sure, 4/6/4 movement might not be the paciest I’ve ever seen, but it works for this dork. Then add in a pair of ER Large Lasers for sniping at range, right at heat. (The only extra heat you’ll generate is movement.) That’s nice. Fire those guys as you close. They are in the arms – normally something I don’t like for my weapons, but in this design is perfect, because of the extending arc you get when firing. You can still punch and stuff at close range, because you’ll be firing those six Medium Pulse Lasers. Again, they dissipate heat perfectly barring movement. You can combine the accuracy of pulse technology with jumping, for better changes at rear or flank attacks. You have perfect set up of payload to alternate either long range or close range stuff. Meanwhile, your very serviceable and flexible design has no ammo (save for the AMS), no XL engine, and 13 tons of tough armor. The result is a unit that I just adore. It speaks to me. It works. The only question with it is against guys of equal weight in the 3055 era that rock more weapons due to weight reducers such as endo steel or extra light engines. But with the armor, jumping, pulse tech, and long game antics of the Penetrator, I don’t have any issues on the battlefield. It’s the better design.
Honorable mention to the Gallowglas and Watchman, who were on my short list but just missed on on making the cut.
There are a ton of great units that use the new technology well running around this supplement. What are your favorite Inner Sphere ‘Mechs from the 3055 Technical Readout?