|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Chassis||Star League XT|
|Armor||Grumman-3 Ferro-Fibrous with CASE|
|Communications System||Hector VII|
|Targeting Tracking System||Starlight LX-1|
|Jump Jets||HildCo Model 10|
The Highlander is one of the most well-known Star League Defense Force assault 'Mechs, serving with distinction for almost two centuries since first entering service in 2592. Initially designed as a dedicated city and installation defender, the original model featured a variety of weaponry along with fifteen and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, but perhaps its most useful asset were the three Hildco jump jets giving it a jumping range of 90 meters. The heaviest 'Mech design to feature jump jets at the time, their original task was to allow the Highlander the ability to jump over inconvenient obstacles such as buildings and outpace other 'Mechs with a faster ground speed, but because of this increased mobility and its versatile weaponry the Highlander proved to be a capable fighter on any battlefield and within decades nearly every BattleMech regiment of the Regular and Royal Armies featured them. However it was during the design's initial trial runs that pilots began using these 'Mechs in what would infamously become known as the "Highlander Burial". Leaping into the air and landing directly on their enemy, a Highlander could literally drive a light 'Mech into the ground. So successful was this maneuver that the design team re-engineered the legs to withstand repeated death-from-above attacks and turned what had been a desperation move into an art form, giving Highlander pilots an additional psychological edge.
As with other Star League era designs the Highlander would suffer the loss of technology brought about by the Succession Wars, and when StarCorps' factory on Son Hoa was devastated towards the end of the Second Succession War the original HGN-732 became virtually extinct. An agreement between StarCorps and Hollis Incorporated to rebuild destroyed chassis from scratch using readily-available technology kept the line going until the mid-3030s when limited production was restarted by StarCorps on Son Hoa and Corey, producing barely a dozen new 'Mechs per year. These HGN-733 Highlanders were used in small numbers by the Capellan Confederation and Lyran Commonwealth, commonly as part of lances containing Exterminators, Victors, Grasshoppers and Catapults.
Unbeknownst to many ComStar also maintained a large stock of Highlanders left over from the Star League, which they gifted to the Draconis Combine during the War of 3039. The appearance of so many seemingly rare 733s, along with a few 732s whose advanced technology managed to slip through ComStar screening, had an large impact on Lyran morale during that conflict. ComStar would also use the design in their own military forces, the Com Guard, and even during the Clan Invasion a few original 732s would take to the field as part of the Clans' fighting forces. By 3057 StarCorps' Son Hoa line was at full production, producing brand-new original-spec Highlanders for Lyran units of the Federated Commonwealth, just in time to take part in the FedCom Civil War. Highlanders would continue to be produced all the way through to the Jihad, where advanced variants fought both for and against the Word of Blake.
Weapons and Equipment
The Highlander carries a weapons mix that is more at home when fighting a ranged battle, but when the ranges close the Highlander has the right equipment for the job. The primary weapon is a M-7 Gauss Rifle that is capable of stripping armor off of an enemy a ton at a time. The Gauss is backed up at long ranges by a Holly-20 LRM-20 launcher. For close range work, it carries two Harmon Starclass Medium Lasers and a Holly-6 SRM-6 launcher. Two tons of ammo for the gauss rifle, LRM and SRM launchers each provide good endurance while the use of CASE grants added protection. Low heat buildup from the weapons allows for a nearly continuous barrage without taxing the twelve heat sinks, though pilots must still exhibit caution.
- The 732b model is a upgrade of the classic 732 built exclusively for SLDF Royal units. This variant drops two heat sinks and a ton of SRM ammo. Artemis IV FCS is added to the LRM and SRM launcher, while the heat sinks are upgraded to doubles. Additional short-range firepower comes in the form of a medium laser added to the right torso. BV (2.0) = 2,335
- The 733 model is a downgrade of the Highlander, although it weathered the use of more primitive technology better than other SLDF designs. In place of the Gauss Rifle the 'Mech now carries an Mydron Class B Autocannon/10 while the rest of the Highlander's weapons have remained the same. The armor has also been upgraded by two tons, providing even more protection than the original 732 model. The speed profile of the Highlander maintains the original model's maximum speed of 54.0 km/h. The communications system is a Hartford Com/A-7 BV (1.0) = 1,424, BV (2.0) = 1,801
- The 734 Highlander emphasizes its role as an urban combat 'Mech, produced by the Lyran Alliance in the wake of the civil war. The Gauss Rifle has been replaced with a massive LB-X Autocannon/20, the medium lasers have been upgraded to ER Medium Lasers, the SRM-6 was upgraded to a streak version with another Streak SRM-6 launcher added, as well as an ER Large Laser. Upgrading the standard fusion engine to a new Light Engine and removing the LRM-20 launcher allowed these changes. BV (1.0) = 1,889 (1,793), BV (2.0) = 2,214
- This ComStar version of the Highlander introduced in the late 3050s has been upgraded to carry the improved C3 computer, as well as upgrading the LRM-20 with an Artemis IV fire control system and replacing the SRM-6 to a Streak SRM-4. This was accomplished by replacing the twelve single heat sinks of the 732 model with ten double heat sinks and by only using one ton of ammunition for the upgraded SRM launcher. BV (1.0) = 2,118, BV (2.0) = 2,255
- Another upgrade by the Lyran Alliance following the civil war, the 738's largest weapon is its Heavy Gauss Rifle. The long-range missile launcher is replaced with an LRM-15, though it is guided by an Artemis IV FCS, with an ER Large Laser providing additional long range firepower. Should an enemy unit close, the 738 can bring a pair of ER Medium Lasers and a Streak SRM-4 to bear. Though the 'Mech utilizes a standard fusion engine, the concentration of ammunition in one torso and the Gauss in the other make it extremely vulnerable to critical damage, even with the inclusion of CASE for the ammunition bins. BV (2.0) = 2,413
- This ComStar developed variant is equipped with a pair of Artemis IV-equipped MML-7 launchers with four tons of ammo. It keeps the Gauss Rifle of the standard Highlander and mounts a pair of ER Medium Lasers. CASE II systems protect the Gauss Rifle and missile ammunition from explosions. A C3 Slave unit allows the Highlander to share targeting data. Light Ferro-Fibrous armor and a Reinforced Structure provide protection from weapons fire. To make room for all the equipment, this Highlander uses an XL Engine and XL Gyro.
- HGN-732 Jorgensson
- Used by Clan Widowmaker Khan Cal Jorgensson, this Highlander uses two Clan spec ER Large Lasers and a Clan spec Gauss Rifle for its armament. It also has an Artemis IV enhanced LRM-20 and thirteen double heat sinks. The SRM is removed. Its protection is identical to the standard HGN-732 Highlander. BV (2.0) = 2,682
- Highlander IIC - The Highlander was one of the 'Mechs carried on the Exodus with General Kerensky and the remnants of the SLDF. The Clans have created their own variant of the Highlander called the Highlander IIC which is similar to an original 732 model upgraded with Clan technology. It is armed with a Clan Gauss Rifle, an LRM-20, three Medium Pulse Lasers, and two Streak SRM-6 launchers. BV (1.0) = 2,827, BV (2.0) = 2,979
- Rhonda Snord, who commanded Snord's Irregulars after her father Cranston Snord retired, piloted a Highlander. The words "Heavy Metal" were painted on the barrel of the Gauss rifle, and several external speakers were mounted, which she would use to flood the battlefield with 20th-century rock and roll. Despite her fondness for Elvis Presley, she is well aware of the disruptive value provided by heavy metal music.
- Davis McCall of the Gray Death Legion found the plans for the Highlander in the Helm Memory Core and put every cent he could find into building a Highlander for himself to replace his Rifleman that had been destroyed in the fighting on Helm.
A Highlander firing on a Cataphract
Rhonda Snord's custom Highlander
MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries version of the Highlander
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, pp. 114-115, "HGN-733 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
- MUL online date for the Highlander
- Combat Operations, p. 123, 132
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, pp. 220-221, "Highlander 'Mech Profile"
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 306
- Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 52-53, "HGN-732 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
- Technical Readout: 3039, pp. 276-277, "HGN-733 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised, pp. 174-175, "HGN-732 Highlander Profile"
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 305
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 185
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 35
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 187
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 435
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 434
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 435
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 145
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 307
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 146
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 308
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 309
- Experimental Technical Readout: ComStar, p. 7
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 52
- Operational Turning Points: Widowmaker Absorption, p. 30
- Combat Operations, p. 108
- Technical Readout: 3060, pp. 184-185, "Highlander IIC 'Mech Profile"
- Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 17
- Combat Operations
- Experimental Technical Readout: ComStar
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- Operational Turning Points: Widowmaker Absorption
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League)
- Record Sheets: 3060
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Rhonda's Irregulars (scenario pack)
- Technical Readout: 2750
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3060