Your Five Favorite ‘Mechs from 3025

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It is the best TRO?

Every time I take a look back at the original 3025 Technical Readout, I am reminded of the high quality of the BattleMechs that were created.  They are fleshed out, have great stories, and are a lot of fun to read.  I love going back to the first printing of it, before the unseen were pulled, and just rereading all of these powerful designs.

Yes, it’s been a few years since it saw print.  Back in 1986, I was 9 when it came out – too young to play the game.  But I grabbed a copy when I started playing at 15, and it quickly became one of my favorite Technical Readouts (TRO).  There are tons of great ‘Mechs to love here, and I quickly discovered that everyone seemed to have a different set of units that they loved.  We all have our own preferences.

So I thought I would give you my own five favorite ‘Mechs from that great TRO, and then ask what were your five favorite ‘Mechs from it.  I made sure I included at least one ‘Mech from each weight class.  So let’s takes a walk down memory lane and see what we can uncover.

Still a Master…

BattleMaster – I love a ‘Mech that can wade in and dole out the damage.  With high armor and a massive payload of weaponry, the BattleMaster is arguably the best close-up ‘Mech in the report.  It can use the PPC at range while it closes, or to help carve a hole into an opponent’s armor, and then exploit that with its many other weapons.  The BattleMaster is one ‘Mech that lives up to its name!

Fastest ‘Mech in the West

Spider To my mind, the Spider is a perfect light ‘Mech because it does everything I want lights to do.  It can outflank my opponent’s position, (or help to keep my flank safe against others with the same idea).  It can skirmish with other light units, tanks and infantry as needed.  It can use its extraordinary speed to get near a ‘Mech and distract it with a huge penalty to hit, and it can get in the occasional rear attack, all while keeping its arms free for physical attacks.  The two medium lasers are enough to hurt a lot of units in its weight class or rear armor, and suits the Spider perfectly.

I make missiles!

Whitworth – The lightest fire support ‘Mech that still works is the Whitworth.  With double LRM 10 racks, it can easily out-range and out-damage a light ‘Mech while being a serious threat to other mediums.  It adds to that solid armor, and the triple medium lasers, to ward off units that might otherwise want to close with a medium missile boat.  The heat sinks help to get it into position or leap away from danger, and turn it into a bit of a jumpy-scouting ‘Mech if the ammo runs out, keeping it around the battlefield.  I love ’em!

Big Guns Win

Hunchback The Hunchback feels like a tank.  It’s got one big gun, slow movement, loads of armor, and a handful of backup weapons.  Heavier units fear it and will keep away, so it gives a nice Zone of Control around key places, and it’s strong in battles where it can close and use the most devastating weapon in the 3025 era.  It’s one of my favorite ‘Mechs to pull out of an ambush!

Still a hunter

Orion – Like Kerensky, I just can’t get past my man-crush on the Orion.  I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s how cool the heavy looks.  It has an awesome profile.  Plus, you can play two roles with it.  First, you can keep it back in fire support and use that AC10 and LRM15.  They work together as the hole-maker and the hole-finder in opposing armor.  Or you can just chuck it up and move in and start using the AC10 with the close range weapons.  It has the armor for both roles, and I enjoy using it as a fire support watchdog, staying back to help protect my fire support ‘Mechs, and joining them with long range weaponry while giving pause to ‘Mechs that are fast enough to flank me.

Which of these do you agree with?  What are your five favorite BattleMechs from the original 3025 Technical Readout?

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About Abe Sargent

When his first attack roll with an LRM15 from that Crusader destroyed a Ryoken deep in the jungle, Abe grew hooked on the game that brought heavy metal to a smart sci-fi universe that realistically portrays humanity in the future with all of the foibles of today.

28 thoughts on “Your Five Favorite ‘Mechs from 3025

  1. Scott Anderson

    The Battlemaster is my all time favorite mech. Either in standard configuration or some of the variants.

    The Thunderbolt is a good match for the Orion in the multi role department, Able to provide long range support and close with the enemy.

    The Atlas was definitely fun to play with providing the classic “I am Large and In Charge.” focal point of an assault.

    In the light mechs I had a preference for the Firestarter as it could ruin the plans of any assault through woodlands and was murder on vehicles or infantry.

    For fire support I always liked the Catapult as it could rapidly redeploy thanks to the Jumpjets.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      I like Fire Support mechs with jump jets because they can help you maneuver into the right spot on top of elevation, under trees, etc. So I agree with that assessment quite a bit.

      Reply
  2. JPArbiter

    1) Centurion- it only does everything, the CN9 is still to this day a mainstay of my lances
    2) Griffin- some mechs are extremely competent at a single job, for the Griffin it is keeping the enemy over there
    3) Javelin- Mobility + Firepower + Tonnage Economy. while it lacks the endurance of the Jenner it makes up for it in relative toughness and firepower
    4) Zeus- Lyran Engineering at it’s finest and it does better work then the Marauder and Warhammer despite the less focused weapon mix.
    5) Archer- Missiles. Missiles for everyone.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      If I were to allow in variants, the Javelin 10F is my single favorite “Mech of this era by a lot. I adore it.

      Reply
  3. Andy in Indy

    My Favorite Five:

    1) Panther – The medium ‘mech in the light weight class. Able to hold on against any medium from the time and that PPC would savage the lights.
    2) The Pheonix Hawk is my favorite medium because it was a good all-around ‘Mech for field and city play.
    3) The Marauder – I don’t even know why I like this one so much but it just clicks as “right” for the way it looks.
    4) Locust – I liked the whole “speed is armor” paradigm for a while.
    5) Banshee – Just for the fun of actually getting close and connecting with a punch.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      My only issue with the Panther, is the low speed. It needs playmates. It’s a great mech in a unit that can harness its ability. So I don;t use them as much in playing.

      Reply
  4. Floyd N.

    1) Shadow Hawk has a good mix of speed and weapons at different ranges.
    2) Warhammer for it weapons and stand off role.
    3) Marauder stand off role and a command mech.
    4) Rifleman the lighter brother of the Warhammer.
    5) Locust because of speed and it was the first model I ever built.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      I know others who love the Rifleman, but i never seem to get them to work to my satisfaction. Played with it lots, but never got enough out of it. Like teh Grasshopper or the Commando, which have their adherents, I just can;t get it to really work well.

      Reply
  5. Brian P

    1) The Awesome. What more can you say then it’s name? 3 PPC’s to the face and enough slug it out with the best of them. Given a choice I would take and Awesome over a Battlemaster any day.

    2) The Warhammer. I came to Battletech by way of Robotech and this was the mech that fascinated me in both games. Double PPC’s for long range and a good mix of close in scrapper weapons. It’s only big flaw was lack of heat sinks, though usually I modded out the machine guns to add in some more.

    3) The Jenner. It was fast, could jump and packed a punch. Sure it overheated if you so much as sneezed, but all those extra lasers came in handy when one of you arms inevitably got blown off by a anything more powerful than a stiff breeze.

    4) The Hatchetman. Sure it wasn’t the most practical mech, but my 16 year old self just couldn’t resist the hatchet. And watching your opponent freak every time you got in melee range was priceless. 1 in 6 chance for a fatal headshot was just too good to pass up.

    5) The Archer. Another Robotech crossover. I just loved the look of the Mech, and Jaime Wolf piloted one! I loved long range missile bombardments…if only it had enough ammo to stay in the fight!

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      Brian P, would you believe that I hadn’t even seen RoboTech until last year? Crazy huh? Good stuff, and approve of your choices too.

      Reply
      1. Mario Lara

        Gotta agree with the Awesome and Archer, I’ve had great successes with those designs. The Panther is another fave, even if speed is lacking.

        Reply
        1. Abe Sargent Post author

          Sometimes, a mech’s name makes literally no sense. Or it’s just a fun random part about how it looks or somesuch. But the Awesome is literally its name!

          Reply
  6. Mike

    The Whammy and the Marauder are my two go to from 3025. They just look so right for a rampaging engine of destruction. I had a blood red Battlemaster that I ran in 5 battles that got head shot at range every–single–time. May all those associated with HG burn in hades, though I did enjoy Robotech.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      Warhammer is certainly the iconic mech from the era. I still remember the classic Solaris VII art advertising a battle between an Atlas and a Warhammer. Great stuff! Lots of mechs from 3025 are solid, there are not as many weak designs.

      Reply
  7. Citizen

    In my mind, in order for a ‘Mech to be considered great, it must be capable of engaging more than just other ‘Mechs. Combined arms are a serious threat on the modern battlefiel… er, gaming table, and selecting ‘Mechs that ignore that dynamic is potentially disasterous. Another metric I am taking into account is how relevant the machine remained with the time – if a ‘Mech can remain well-regarded despite operating in an advanced-tech environment, it’s probably a winner.

    #1: Warhammer. Overall classic. Not without its weaknesses, but with a great array of ‘deal with anything’ weapons. Has enough heat sinks to remain relevant well past its prime.

    #2: Wolverine. Protection, mobility, firepower. Loses some marks for being only okay combating combined arms formations, but that requires looking hard for negatives. 6M variant especially deadly.

    #3: Battlemaster. Has the armament to deal with anything that it comes across(much like the Warhammer), but does it with even more armor.

    #4: Phoenix Hawk. A supremely capable backstabber, and a classic profile. It tends to fall flat when sent against tanks, but the MGs are plenty capable of keeping infantry suppressed.

    #5: Vulcan. Whoa! What is this doing here? Well, I certainly don’t mean the base variant – the AC/2 solidly secures it’s place far down the totem pole. No, it’s the superlative 5T variant that makes this chassis shine. Excellent backstabber, excellent tank-killer, and keeps all of the excellent anti-infantry capability of its source chassis. This variant delivers a suprise to anyone who views Vulcans with disdain.

    An even better question to ask would be “What is the 5 most overrated ‘Mechs of 3025?” Spoiler: People will disagree with each other.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      I appreciate the sentiment, and asking what roles do you want them to play. Everyone has their own standard and such.

      Reply
  8. Matthew Lee

    I like:

    * Battlemaster
    * Stalker
    * Thunderbolt
    * Phoenix Hawk
    * Warhammer

    All were fun to play, all had fantastic descriptions . . . I still think TR3025 is one of the best things FASA published.

    Reply
  9. Frabby

    I agree with the nostalgia – TRO 3025 is *the* Technical Readout. It’s the archetype of the most successful BattleTech product line.
    That said, it’s got some issues. FASA factchecking consistency could have been better, and the book was reprinted numerous times with small changes that nobody could be bothered to announce (the famous image swapping among the Ost-Mechs springs to mind).

    And of course the ‘Mechs were… well, ‘beautiful’ in a sense. I like the unseen art a great deal better than most of what came later. But again, let’s be honest. These are “the ‘Mechs” because they were the first. I can pretty much tell the standard configurations and major variants of all TRO 3025 ‘Mechs because there were few enough to memorize. With most 3055+ designs I’m hard pressed to remember their weight class. And most 3025 ‘Mechs weren’t good in a tabletop game sense. In fact, a number of them (especially the Crusader and the Marauder) were nerfed in the rule changes from Battledroids to BattleTech 2nd Edition that removed many heat sinks from the damage diagram. Other standard designs are outright lemons (Rifleman…).

    As for my favourite ‘Mechs, two of them are BT 2nd Ed. ‘Mechs more than TRO3025 ‘Mechs: The Archer (my first ‘Mech ever, and a solid design that weathered the tech creep much better than most others) and the Griffin (a rock solid design that can outrun most units it can’t outgun).
    From TRO3025, the ‘Mechs that somehow stuck out to me are the freaky designs – the Charger, the Ostscout, and the UrbanMech.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      I think you have crafted a lovely, well-thought-out response, so thanks. I like seeing different perspectives that you, as well as others, bring.

      Reply
  10. Daniel Huhman

    Good post :)

    I can’t remember if its in the original 3025 TRO, but I know its production year is earlier- But the Grasshopper is my all time favorite. Great speed for a heavy, JJ, and a mess of lasers with the heat sinks to back it up. Couldn’t ask for more.

    Also like others have mentioned, the Centurion is a just a beast of a medium mech, a good jack of all trades.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      The Grasshopper seems to have a lot of fans! I have to admit, it’s grown on me after using it the last two or three years. Still not a fan of the whole payload, and such, but it’s not nearly as weak as I used to think. So yeah, it has some good stuff going for it.

      Glad you liked the post!

      Reply
  11. pedro

    Robotech was my intro to mecha and battle tech was the game that brought it life for me via the tabletop. TRO3025 had tons of Robotech mecha designs and I was in love! I brought home a lot of lead that year (the minis were made of lead then). And many a man and machine met their fate on my tabletop that year. My top 5 were : ALTAS, Battlemaster, Marauder, Warhammer, and Catapult. Oh, yes we played combined arms; and lighter mechs had their place, but when your heavy / assault lances were marching across the table toward their objectives you couldn’t help but hear the crunching sound of their feet as they moved and feel the ground shake as so many mobile tons walked/ran toward the enemy! Attack, attack, attack!!! I specialized in min/maxing heavy / assault mechs for maximize armor and mobility while minimizing heat issues. Man the hours I would spend designing variants. Good Times. Great Game.

    Reply
    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      It was great – and you know what, it still is! I love playing in the 3025 era on MegaMek’s MekWar’s server. It’s always fun over there, with the Mechs of old. I’ve gaiend a new respect for some designs (like the aforementioned Grasshopper) and I see some people use certain units (UrbanMech) better than others. Better than I can use at any rate! Glad you came to the game as you did, and we are richer for it!

      Reply
      1. Tobias

        Oh, you play on MMNet? Ping me next time you’re there. I’m the Cappie with the @ sign.
        As a frequent user of UrbanMechs: I think that name is a fallacy. The Urbie actually quite sucks in cities because it doesn’t have enough JJs to jump over most buildings and is either slow or takes too many PSRs because he’s always running if he wants to get anywhere. They’re better in rough terrain or even the desert. They’re quite good in numbers with a long range support unit that does not rely on ammo. I used to play 2-3 Urbs with a Schrek and a fast flanker, but currently I’ve coupled them with a Hoplite and two Pikes. Basically the Pikes plink away at units that would otherwise run in a circle around the urbs, while the urbs cover the Pikes. 3 Urbs and a Panther work nicely as well.
        The beauty of the Urbanmech is actually how much thinking you have to do to get the most out of those 2-3 MP you’ve got. You need to have an idea where you want to be in X turns, unlike with units like a Locust or Hermes I where you just run a full circle if you want to. (We play with the TacOps standing still -1 modifier, so TurretTech is not a great idea for urbs).

        As to the topic of the thread:

        Number 1:

        The Warhammer for the reasons all other people have stated. The K version is the best one, though. 2 extra heat sinks and one bomb less. What’s not to love.

        Number 2:
        The Urbanmech because see above.

        Number 3:

        Panther. It’s got armor, it’s got firepower, it’s not fast, but mobile.

        Number 4:

        The Vindicator. It’s one of those Swiss Army Knife mechs that I like so much because they can fill any role in a pinch. Also, as a fan of the Capellan Confederation, how can I not include one of their signature units?

        Number 5:

        I was really tempted to say Charger. Never mind. I’ll say it. Charger. It looks good, it’s cheap as chips bv-wise and it actually deals quite a lot of damage up close. 5 small lasers are still 15 points after all, and a 16 point kick…nice. Many players use these in light mech battles. That can work if you otherwise have great shooting and can use the CGR as a deterrent or finisher, but I prefer going up against heavy mechs with it that cannot outrun it and thus are likely to either get kicked a lot or use a lot of firepower on that 80 ton zombie to keep it from kicking it while the rest of my army can do its job.
        (the variants are also pretty awesome, particularly the 1A5, but the 1A1 does what I want it to do well).

        Other than that, I’m a big fan of the Dervish because it’s so flexible.
        Griffins I don’t enjoy that much. Yes, they usually win the game if they make it to the endgame, but they tend to be on the unfun side because they work best when they avoid engaging. That’s just not very interesting for the other guy to play against. The same could be said for the Ostmechs.

        Reply
  12. Ron

    I like the Swayback too. Before I found pre-generated sheets for the Hunchback J that places the 2 LRM 10s stacked up on one side as if it was the AC-10 I made one up that kept the armor but placed the LRMs on either shoulder, with an array of medium lasers in the arms and torsos. I called it the “Pocket Mauler”. I’m also a Panther fan but the Spider (especially with the advanced rules) seems to be the perfect special operations platform. I have 2 attached to a DEST unit in my collection.

    Reply
  13. Medio

    Humm as i´ve played several tournaments (usually a 220 TMs lance) with them and always had an edge over other Mechs, including those played by great Batttletech players, this is my list of 3025 favourite Mechs.
    1- Grasshopper. By far the best one playing in non-flat battle maps (so most of them). JJ, 208 armor, and a big payload of the best weapons there (the medium laser)… only drawback was the LRM 5. I remember dumped ammo on the first turn of a finale… i won due doing this: without ammo, the Grasshopper is really durable: high armour, 22 heatsinks meaning he will be doing his thing every turn, it´s mobile enough to get distances out the long range Mechs and then destroy them in close combat. The Hunchback protecting such Mechs was a nuissance but usually i took the Hunback´s back and kick it to death as my first moves. It gave me many tournaments over all the years we played Battletech.

    2- Wolverine 6M Marik version. Unbeliable good version of this Mech. It ended being a 5/8/5 with 168 armor, 1 LL, 3 MLs and 1 SRM 6, and 14 heatsinks … for just 55 tons? Sign me up! . We usually banned it for most tournaments, we didn´t let versions in… mostly for it. Wrecked even heavies at short range with high to-hit modifiers due good jumping.

    3- Banshee 3S Steiner version. Ok, this eats Atlas everyday. 2 PPCs, 1 AC-10, 4 MLs, 2 SL and a SRM-6… Just 21 heatsinks which were fine, but not excellent at least when in short range, and not maximied armor but still outgunning anything that walks in 3025. Another reason not to play with 3025 variants.

    4- Griffin. Perfect harrasing Mech. It´s mobile, has long range fire and some of it – the PPC – doesn´t need ammo so it was very hard to get destroyed. Good armor too, 152 if my memory serves me well.

    5- Panther. Sure, it was slow but… great armor for a 35 tons, 104, and a PPC… great value for its weight. Maybe the Wolfhound, the Fire Javelin and the Jenner F were better but coupled with a Vindicator and a couple of Grasshoppers, this Mech gave me many victories in Lance Arenas.

    I guess i could add some others here, as there are many other interesting toys. The Spider can be funny in rocky or urban scenaries where i can make it basically inmortal in a 1-on-1 duel. If i lose iniciative, i disengage. When i win it, i get close, go to blindspot of my enemy and try to hit him with my MLs. It can be eternal, true… :D

    Reply

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