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|Manufacturer||Maltex Corporation, Earthwerks Incorporated|
|Chassis||Earthwerks VOL Endo Steel|
|Communications System||Colmax 90|
The Thug was designed by Maltex Corporation as a direct competitor to the popular Warhammer BattleMech. First seeing production in 2572, the Thug sought to directly address some of the challenges which faced the Warhammer, chief of which was to increase armor protection without sacrificing firepower. When compared side-by-side, the Thug has a great many advantages over the Warhammer, yet it never wholly replaced the venerable 'Mech. Still the Thug proved popular enough that Maltex Corporation was forced to contract Earthwerks Incorporated to produce the Thug on Keystone in order to meet demand. Although it has had its detractors, the Thug has proven itself for over five hundred years to be the quintessential "zombie 'Mech."
Production of the Thug from Maltex's original factory on Errai ceased when it was destroyed in 2835, one of many causalities of the Succession Wars, leaving only Earthwerks to continue building new Thugs at a rate of twelve per year. Unfortunately the same terrible conflict resulted in the loss of much advanced knowledge and technology, threatening their ability to keep even this meager production rate up. In a twist of fate it was the Warhammer which helped keep the Thug production line alive: with the loss of their original PPC weaponry, Earthwerks instead reworked the design to make use of the extensive stockpile of Donal PPCs used by the Warhammer, allowing new Thugs to be built and repairs to be made more easily.
Beyond the few still in service to the Great Houses the largest user of Thugs was ComStar, a fact confirmed upon the reveal of their Com Guards. Eventually the recovery of lostech would allow both Earthwerks and Maltex to restart production of original-model Thugs during the 3050s. These were supplanted by new variants which, following the formation of the Second Star League, were supplied to ComStar, the SLDF, the Draconis Combine and Federated Suns. New Thugs were also built for the Word of Blake and those forces of the Free Worlds League aligned with them during the Jihad.
Weapons and Equipment
The armament on the Thug is a very simple, yet effective, combination. For striking power, it carries two Tiegart Particle Projector Cannons in either arm, similar in performance to those found on the Warhammer yet ten percent smaller and more redundant. Backing up the PPCs are two Bical-6 SRM-6 launchers mounted in either side torso with one ton of CASE-protected reloads. These allow the 'Mech to fight off enemies which get within the minimum range of its PPCs and use special dilating covers when not in use.
Eighteen double heat sinks gives the Thug a far superior heat dissipation compared to the Warhammer while a ten-ton heavier Endo Steel frame allows it to carry fifteen and a half tons of armor, more than half again as much carried by the Warhammer. The Thug also benefits from the fact that it has hand actuators, making it a mean close-quarters combatant and a good raider able to carry away the spoils of its labor.
- The 10E is a downgraded version of the 11E produced by Earthwerks Incorporated following the destruction of Maltex's facilities in 2835. The primary changes come from the loss of the double heat sinks, CASE, and the Endo Steel structure. To compensate for the weight needed for a standard structure, the SRMs have been downgraded from six tube launchers to Holly SRM-4s. In addition, the Thug lost one ton of ammunition. While this version can still compete with the Warhammer and boast superior armor protection, the replacement of its double heat sinks with single heat sinks takes away its greatest advantage. Its communications and targeting-tracking systems were also replaced with a Colmax-025 and Instatrack Mark XV. BV (1.0) = 1,203, BV (2.0) = 1,501
- Take an extremely powerful long range 'Mech, extend its range and accuracy, and put it in the hands of the Inner Sphere's two most secretive organizations, and you have the 12E Thug. Built for both ComStar and the Word of Blake in 3067 the PPCs have been upgraded to ER PPCs and an improved C3 computer has been added. To make the change to a C3i computer, a double heat sink, one ton of ammunition, and the corresponding CASE were removed. BV (1.0) = 1,476 (C3: 202), BV (2.0) = 1,751
- The 13K is a variant of the 12E (Introduced in 3068) that removes many of the traditional strengths of the Thug to increase its damage potential. Introduced in 3068 the missiles have been removed and the 'Mech is now powered by an XL Engine. This, combined with the loss of a half-ton of armor and one of the heat sinks, reduces the much-vaunted survivability of the Thug to make room for three Heavy PPCs. Though this gives the 13K great damage potential, it can quickly overwhelm its heat dissipation system. Two Medium Pulse Lasers provide close range defense in case an enemy gets within the minimum range of the PPCs and an Improved C3 CPU enables it to share targeting telemetry with other units equipped with the same. BV (2.0) = 2,086
- Thug Marita
- The custom variant piloted by ex-Com Guard and Broadsword Legion CO Kari Marita, the standard PPCs have been swapped for Clantech ER PPCs, helping to free up weight for a C3i unit. 
- THG-11E Reich
- The personal 'Mech of Wild Geese member Major Sandy Reich, the ex-Com Guard's Thug has been retrofitted with Clan-spec replacement weaponry, with Clan ER PPCs and Streak SRM-6s fitting neatly into the old locations. Four jump jets are included to increase mobility.  BV (2.0) = 2,612 
- THG-11ECX Thug Jose
- Piloted by mercenary Jose Magellan during the fall of the Star League, this Thug variant replaces the standard engine with an extralight model. The PPCs are replaced by ER Large Lasers. In the space freed by the XL Engine, Magellan installed three more SRM-6 launchers, for a total of five. The cockpit adds a Command Console to allow a Rim Worlds commander to see the entire battlefield. Four jump jets allow the Thug Jose to cover 120 meters at a time. Finally, a Null Signature System interfered with SLDF targeting systems. BV (2.0) = 1,668
- Hatamoto-Chi - The armament of the Thug inspired the Draconis Combine's redesign of the Charger, the Hatamoto.
- MUL online date for the Thug
- Combat Operations, pc. 107
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 217
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 48-49
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 102-103
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 274-275
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 216-217
- Record Sheets: 3039, pg. 173
- Combat Operations, p. 130
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabriged, p.180
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 31
- Record Sheets: 3050 (Clan & Star League), p. 226
- Combat Operations, p. 124
- Record Sheets: 3050 (Clan & Star League), p. 227
- [http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Details/3208/thug-thg-12k MUL Profile for the THG-12K Thug - Battle Value and Introduction Year.
- Record Sheets: 3050 (Clan & Star League), p. 228
- MUL Profile of the THG-13K Thug - BV2 and Introduction Year.
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 49 "Broadsword Legion: Warriors of Steel"
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 64 "The Wild Geese: Swords and Spurs"
- Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 297
- Experimental Technical Readout: Gunslingers, p. 7
- Experimental Technical Readout: Gunslingers, p. 20
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 216
- Combat Operations
- Experimental Technical Readout: Gunslingers
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised
- Mercenaries Supplemental II
- Record Sheets: 3025/3026
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League)
- Record Sheets: 3067
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War
- Technical Readout: 2750
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3075