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Taurus Territorial Industries
|Chassis||Chariot Type II|
|Communications System||TharHes Thalia HM-22|
|Targeting Tracking System||TharHes Ares-8a|
|Jump Jets||Luxor 2/Q|
|BV (2.0)||854 |
Introduced in 3023 during the Succession Wars, the Hatchetman is a very distinctive BattleMech because, as its name suggests, it carries a 'Mech-sized Hatchet. As well as being the first design to carry one, the Hatchetman itself was the first totally new 'Mech produced in the Inner Sphere in over a century, and was also the first production 'Mech to use a Full-Head Ejection System. Despite being first manufactured in the Lyran Commonwealth the Hatchetman was actually designed by the enigmatic Dr. B. Banzai of Team Banzai, a mercenary unit associated with the Federated Suns' New Avalon Institute of Science. Thus the 'Mech was also a signal of the growing cooperation between these newly-allied Successor States.
At its heart, the Hatchetman is an urban combat 'Mech. Once it has safely escorted friendly forces out of a city, the 'Mech assumes the role of guerrilla fighter, ambushing from hiding places to blast an enemy apart at point-blank ranges with its impressive weaponry or cleave them in two with its hatchet. This was illustrated in the design's first combat test, when elements of the 4th Proserpina Hussars raided Sevren and were literally cut to pieces by a mostly Hatchetman-equipped battalion of the 26th Lyran Guards which lured the enemy into an industrial park. Where the Hatchetman is at a disadvantage is on open terrain, as its relatively slow speed, light armoring and general frailty leaves it vulnerable to other 'Mechs.
Initially the Hatchetman's first production run was limited to garrisoning large Lyran cities, but its early successes inspired further deployments and the 'Mech soon began appearing in the arsenal of the Federated Suns, particularly among the Crucis Lancers and 1st Kathil Uhlans. In the wake of the Fourth Succession War and the formal creation of the Federated Commonwealth, the Hatchetman was selected to become one of the standard designs for the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. Demand for the 'Mech soon began to outstrip Defiance Industries' ability to supply it, even after tripling output from their Hesperus II factory, and so it contracted Johnston Industries to set up a Hatchetman line on Johnston. The recovery of lost Star League technology eventually allowed for the creation of the HCT-5S in 3049, with additional variants created in years hence.
Among the other realms, the Draconis Combine managed to capture a few examples of the Hatchetman and successfully copy most of the design to produce their own following the War of 3039, however the 'Mech proved to be unpopular and the program was canceled. Hoping to salvage the project, Independence Weaponry experimented with the design and eventually created a variant more palatable to Kuritan pilots. Out in the Periphery, the introduction of the Hatchetman caused quite a stir within the Taurian Concordat when a group of mercenaries brought along their old HCT-3Fs upon integrating with the Taurian Defense Forces. Protector of the Realm Thomas Calderon ordered Taurus Territorial Industries to reverse-engineer the design, which they finally succeeded in accomplishing after much delay by 3054, only for production to be halted in 3066 when the Fighting Urukhai destroyed the Taurus Territorial Industries facility.
Weapons and Equipment
Aside from its Hatchet, the 11-meter tall Hatchetman carries a Defiance Killer Autocannon/10 embedded within its right torso. As its primary ranged weapon the autocannon allows the 'Mech to be effective in both stand up fights in front line combat and in the concrete jungle of a city. It is supplied with two tons of ammunition located in the center torso, organized into two ten-round clips just like those used in the Enforcer. As secondary weapons, the Hatchetman carries two Defiance B3M Medium Lasers, one in each arm. Eleven heat sinks are enough to keep the 'Mech cool while firing its weapons.
The weaponry is aimed by a versatile Ares-8 battle computer which is particularly adept at targeting Aerospace Fighters. Using data gathered through the armored sensor globe attached to the head, it is able to effectively advise the pilot where to aim in order to score a direct hit. Four jump jets split between the two legs gives the Hatchetman a jumping distance of 120 meters, allowing for impressive mobility in an urban environment and making up for its pedestrian top speed. Only six and a half tons of armor protect the 'Mech, and its thin legs are particularly susceptible to well-placed shots.
Among the Hatchetman's various components, the Full-Head Ejection System remains the most unusual. Rather than the pilot ejecting from the 'Mech on their own, rocket motors mounted beneath the head force the entire assembly to disengage from the rest of the chassis. Total flight time is only thirty seconds, and although it can be manually controlled by the pilot most allow the battle computer to direct the flight path of the head; typically the computer will use the Thalia HM-22 communications system to locate friendly forces and direct the head towards a safe landing spot. One of the few downsides of the system is that the 'Mech must be in some form of upright position in order for it to work.
- The Hatchetman 5D is a rugged and deadly variant of the 'Mech introduced in 3062. The 5D uses an extralight engine for power and is armed with an Ultra Autocannon/10 as its primary weapon with a single ER Medium Laser as a back-up weapon. This destructive power is harnessed by adding a Targeting Computer to allow the 'Mech to use its weapons with deadly accuracy. BV (1.0) = 1,075, BV (2.0) = 1,012
- The Draconis Combine captured many HCT-3Fs, but could not convince their samurai to pilot a 'Mech that wielded a "barbaric" axe. It would be many years before the Combine engineers developed a more elegant weapon and even more until they modified their Hatchetmen to utilize it. Developed by Independence Weaponry in 3075, the 5K is protected by nine tons of armor and swaps out the signature Hatchet for a more graceful and accurate Sword. Like the 5S, the 5K utilizes an extralight engine and upgrades the arm-mounted medium lasers to pulse models, though it swaps out the torso laser for an extended-range version. The autocannon is replaced with a cheap and deadly MRM-30. The 5K also carries a C3 Slave Unit to feed targeting data back to lancemates and makes use of double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,070
- The 5S is an upgrade of the 3F model introduced in 3049. The 5S replaces the GM 180 fusion engine with an extralight model, the Edasich Motors 180 XL, while the weapons have also been stripped from the chassis and upgraded. The normal autocannon was replaced with a Defiance Disintegrator LB-X Autocannon/10 while the medium lasers were replaced with three Defiance P5M Medium Pulse Lasers, one in each arm and the third in the left torso. Finally, the Hatchetman has been re-armored with eight and a half tons of Durallex Super Medium Ferro-Fibrous armor and also includes CASE to protect the LB-X Autocannon's single ton of reloads in the event of an ammunition explosion. The reduction in magazine size and use of only ten standard heat sinks was met with some criticism, but otherwise the 5S was greeted as a vastly improved city-fighter. BV (1.0) = 826, BV (2.0) = 1,039
- The 6D Hatchetman is a variant with a decidedly Davion flair. Created by Johnston Industries in 3062 the 6D is powered by a VOX 225 extralight engine that propels the 'Mech up to speeds of up to 86.4 km/h and can jump up to one hundred and fifty meters thanks to an extra jump jet. The 'Mech is armed with a Mydron Tornado Rotary Autocannon/5 as its primary weapon backed up by a trio of Diverse Optics ER Medium Lasers and, for protection against electronic warfare systems, it has a Guardian ECM Suite. Finally the 6D is protected by nine tons of armor and mounts ten double heat sinks. BV (1.0) = 1,424, BV (2.0) = 1,611
- Created during the FedCom Civil War in 3064 by Defiance Industries, the 6S replaces the XL Engine of the 5S with a Light Engine. The pulse lasers are replaced with ER models and the heat sink are upgraded to double-strength versions. In addition, the magazine for the autocannon is doubled. BV (2.0) = 1,174
- Produced from ex-Lyran trophies by the FWLM after early stages of the Jihad, this version of the 5S variant has medium pulse lasers and the trademark hatchet and adds a Beagle Active Probe. The main firepower for this variant comes from a Heavy PPC housed in the right torso. The 5S' CASE system has been omitted. BV (2.0) = 1,274
- Developed during the Jihad in 3084, this Hatchetman variant has an expanded role beyond urban combat. By using a larger Light Engine, designers increased the 'Mech's cruising speed by 25% and added another jump jet to increase the jump range by 25%. The biggest change is in the 'Mech's armament. The traditional autocannon is replaced by a single MML-9 and three tons of ammunition. A Guardian ECM Suite disrupts enemy electronics while ferro-fibrous armor and CASE protect the 'Mech from weapons fire and an ammunition explosion. BV (2.0) = 1,243
- Developed for The Republic of the Sphere after the Capellan Crusades, this Hatchetman uses a Light Engine to develop a maximum ground speed of 85 km/h. It also has a jump range of 150 meters and is protected by eight and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous Armor. Twelve double heat sinks are also installed, which dissipates the extreme heat from the single Medium X-Pulse Laser and six standard Medium Lasers mounted in the right arm. The left arm has the trademark hatchet. What makes this version so deadly is the fact that each arm has an Actuator Enhancement System, which improves targeting. BV (2.0) = 1,521
- HCT-3F Hatchetman Austin
- Originally assigned to the NAIS Training Cadres, it was selected as a NAIS technology test bed before being assigned to Fox's Teeth member Austin Vorster in the lead-up to the War of 3039. Mounting a NAIS Mk. 1 LB 10-X Autocannon prototype saved enough weight to add a third medium laser, moving all three to the left arm to avoid inhibiting use of the 'Mechs hatchet. 
- HCT-5S Hatchetman Austin
- Receiving a 3050s era 5S model after the Fox's Teeth faced Clan Jade Falcon on Wotan in 3051, Austin Vorster had it refitted in the lead-up to the FedCom Civil War. Almost identical to the 6S created by the Lyran Alliance in the conflict, the only significant difference is the placement of all ER Medium Lasers in the 'Mech's left arm. 
- Kai Allard-Liao was piloting a Hatchetman during his stunning victory over the Falcon Guard at the Great Gash on Twycross in 3050. 
- Tara Campbell's signature 'Mech is a Hatchetman which she pilots regularly during the MechWarrior: Dark Age books.
- General Jessica Quarles of the Davion Light Guards RCT piloted the 6D variant during the FedCom Civil War.
Hatchetman art from Harebrained Schemes' Battletech
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 48
- Technical Readout: 3039, p . 228-229 "HCT-3F Hatchetman"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p . 48 "HCT-5S Hatchetman"
- Blood of Kerensky Omnibus Epub, pp. 289-299 "Lethal Heritage - Chapter Thirty-Six"
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 51
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 106
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 49
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 52
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 75
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 114
- Technical Readout: 3150, p. 223
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 77
- Experimental Technical Readout: Republic, Volume 1, p. "HCT-7R Hatchetman
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 22, 94
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 108
- Experimental Technical Readout: Republic, Volume 1
- Lethal Heritage (Novel)
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- MWDA Bannson's Raiders' dossier of Dianna "Dagger Di" Jones
- MWDA Dragoon's Fury's dossier of Tomoko Nagasawa
- Record Sheets: 3025 & 3026
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3085
- Technical Readout: 3150