The more I play MechWarrior 5, the more I realize it’s missing something. Something that made my MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries playthroughs so magical. And I’ve had time to masticate on what that thing is since I had to restart my campaign as the preview-version of MW5 I’d been playing ceased getting updates and became incompatible with the regular version.
Anyway, I’ve figured out what the thing is that I’m missing. It’s the Whitworth.
Let me back up a second–the Whitworth was a ‘Mech I became introduced to way back in the heady days of MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries. It was basically the largest, most heavily-armed ‘Mech you could purchase fresh out of the game’s training sequences. You’d trade-in your old Commando for something with a little more oomph, and that oomph for me was always a 40-ton missile ‘Mech.
On the surface, the Whitworth wasn’t really all that impressive: it was slow, kinda generic, and had a goofy name that made absolutely no sense (who or WHAT is a Whitworth?!). But what it did have was 3 Medium Lasers, 2 LRM-10s, and armor enough to take a hell of a beating for its size.
That armament meant that the Whitworth was ideal for taking out enemy light ‘Mechs (albeit due to MechWarrior 2 LRMs being more like Streak LRMs than regular ones), and the armor meant that you could wade through some intense fire without fear of losing your arms. It was also long-range, so engagements could be started and sometimes finished at a distance where your opponents couldn’t return fire.
For much of the early missions in MW2:Mercs, the Whitworth was my jam. And then, when it finally came time to upgrade to a beefier machine, my lancemate would often inherit my beat-up Whitworth. The same things that made it great for the player also made it great for friendly AI: lock-on missiles so it could never miss, lasers so it could never run out of ammo, and armor enough to take a beating without losing components.
There’s nothing like the Whitworth in MechWarrior 5. I know you get the Centurion pretty early on and it’s a strictly better machine, but it just doesn’t feel the same. There’s nothing in the same weight class that lets you boat up on lasers and missiles in the same way as the Whitworth (barring the Trebuchet, but I haven’t seen any of those yet), and while I love the Assassin conceptually, it’s really only suitable for raid attacks on soft targets.
So here’s what I want for Christmas: the Whitworth in MechWarrior 5.
What are the odds of this happening? Not good. As anyone who’s played MechWarrior Online knows, all the ‘Mechs in MW5 use the same models as MWO, and since the Whitworth was never in MWO, it would have to be made from scratch. That’s a tall order when there are plenty of other MWO designs that could be ported over to MW5, including the Vulcan, Dervish, and the Champion.
That leaves modders to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, MechWarrior 5 did not ship with modding tools, and while PGI says that will be coming in early 2020, that’s still too late for anyone to give me a Christmas Whitworth.
And I also must admit, there are far more important mods for those with the skills to make first, such as replacing the ‘Mech voice with the original Bitching Betty voice lines from MW2, as well as mods to replace the music with bitching tunes of Timothy Seals (seriously, go listen, and then imagine those songs in MW5—chef’s kiss).
You might think the Whitworth to be beneath the notice of an actual company trying to make a buck off of BattleTech. You might agree that the Whitworth is boring and silly, one of the many Inner Sphere ‘Mech designs that seemed to be cobbled together and then given a random name without much thought and done to just to flesh out the overall BattleTech universe.
To you, I say: humbug! No Santa Whitworth for you!
And as always MechWarriors: Merry Christmas.
Sorry, I tried, but it became entirely redundant for MWO after the hellspawn.
That’s another fair point. Oh well, I’ll accept a Dervish in recompense.
Trebuchets are reasonably commonly available in markets after you hit rank 6 or so. I have two right now. First thing I did was strip the lasers and replace the LRMs with LRM+Artemis IV. You have to hang back and F1+F3 your buddies ahead of you the whole time, but it’s worth it when you nuke an enemy ‘Mech with maybe four salvos.
Whitworth was the name of an American Civil War artillery piece, one of the few breech-loaders in the war with long range and high accuracy.
The Whitworth was probably named after the American Civil War artillery piece. Highly accurate, with long range but finicky in the field.
I agree with you on the Whitworth. I took one of Alex’s old sketches of it and did my best to clean it up and refine it. I wish he would take a few min to properly finish it up but until then, I too love the Whitworth.
I love the shout-out to Timothy Seals and his fantastic Mechwarrior music!
Nik asked me to do a wiki article about MechForce about one year go, which I did (as best as I’d get). I asked about a retro report about it (as telling the how it works is easier than cascading it into seperate wiki subsections. He told me that you plan to do a report Mechforce. I’d like to help here or do a follow up about MechCombat (the successor of MF) which I know better than Ralph himself does ;-)
I was unable to write you a normal email so I try it this way.
Great reports from you so far
P.S.: I’m not sure where FASA taken the name “Whitworth”, but I tend to put it down to “Joseph Whitworth”, who invented the very sturdy BSW screw thread (=British Standard Whitworth), which is still used in heavy duty enviroments (e.g. pipe couplings, trains).
Maybe someone of FASA came from mechanical engineering?
As for the name, my guess is that someone on the FASA staff got caught up in the widespread popularity of the American Civil War in the late 80’s and early 90’s and took a trip to Gettysburg. There’s an example of the 2.75 inch Whitworth rifle on display at the battlefield, and many of the books and self guided tours of the era made a big deal out of this odd-looking breach loading artillery piece, as if it were some kind of amazing super-weapon. The reality of course is that while accurate, it was highly prone to jamming and fouling, and it’s highly specialized ammo was a problem for the already logistically challenged Army of Northern Virginia. It was also something of an oddity, when you consider that the ANV fielded something on the order of 280 field artillery pieces at Gettysburg, a whopping TWO of which were Whitworth guns.
Not a fan of the “stock” WTH-1; not nearly enough LRM ammo, or heat sinks. I prefer the WTH-1S, esp. in urban environments — JJ in at 2-3 hexes; let the target have it; JJ out; repeat.
I don’t understand all these “not enough ammo” people these days. Do you even play the game? Ive played my share of mechforce games and it does not happen that often that a mech survives long enough to expend all its ammunition.
Not enough heat sinks? If you are overheating in a Withworth then you are doing something wrong.
I can dig it, first Mech I really fell in love with on the tabletop was the Ostsol, and that leggy egg is never gonna get into a game unless I learn how to make mods. To like bad mechs is to suffer.
Battletech has a lot of historical references in its vehicles and ‘mechs. The Whitworth is named after the rifle and artillery piece designed by Joseph Whitworth and supplied to the Confederate military by Great Britain. Other examples are the Hetzer (an early WWII German tank hunter) and the Ontos, named after an American light tank hunter used by the US Marines in Vietnam. There are a few Aerospace fighters named after historical arms or vehicles, as well – for instance, the Seydlitz was a WWI-era German warship.
…come to it, Kurita and Steiner are both WWII references – the former an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and the latter a German general.