Quan Roberts, the lead engineer of the Kallon engineering incubation team, stormed into the room with a rigid frown creasing his forehead. Roberts had a reputation for being a demanding manager, and most under his command knew to stay quiet when he was in one of his moods. Most, but not all.
“Alright team, we have our orders. The top brass wants us to take another look at the Rifleman. Thoughts?”
“Um, sir?” Asked one fresh-faced tech. “Why might management be considering a replacement for the Rifleman?”
Everyone else in the conference room immediately looked away as though trying to avert their eyes from witnessing a gruesome hoverbike crash. It had been just four years since the introduction of the RFL-3N, and it had since gone on to become one of Kallon’s most successful products. To even think about replacing it so soon sounded more like an insult than a challenge.
Roberts stared the question down for a few tense moments, then responded. “This stays between us, but Kallon management has been discussing potential sales with House Davion following the cessation of internal hostilities.”
“You mean after the SLDF invades Terra and kills Amaris?”
Another few moments of tense silence, then Roberts nodded. “So far, Amaris Empire forces haven’t been able to stop Kerensk’s drive coreward. Management believes it’s just a matter of time before the civil war is over, and what comes next could be a very lucrative opportunity for Kallon.”
“So this request for a Rifleman replacement is really just an excuse to arm the Davions, right?”
“Not officially,” Roberts pressed both palms on the table. “And I will remind all of you that any wild presumptions will be strenuously denied by Kallon should any FORMER employees express them outside this room.”
There were a few furtive glances, but Roberts judged the message to have been universally received. “Now, let’s think of this as an opportunity for a do-over. How could we make a better Rifleman?”
“Um,” the same fresh-faced tech started. “Well, the pilots s-say that the Rifleman is too hot, doesn’t have enough ammo, and its armor protection is in-insufficient.”
“Alright, then here’s what we’re going to do.” Roberts took a datapad and started furiously typing up a preliminary design document. “We’re going to make a bigger, better Rifleman based on those criteria. It’ll be heavier, we’re going to replace the lasers with more autocannons, and make sure to keep the same targeting capabilities that everyone loves from the Rifleman.”
“But sir–even with five more tons, the chassis won’t be able to–“
“You!” Roberts pointed at the tech. “You’re fired! Clean out your desk and remember the terms of your NDA.”
The rest of the team was silent save for the sound of footsteps as the now jobless tech shuffled quietly out of the conference room.
Roberts made a few more grand gestures on his datapad and then threw it on the table. “The rest of you have three weeks to get a functional design out of this. Get to work.”
It wasn’t until five minutes after Roberts left the room that another engineer actually picked up the datapad. He then handed it over to the woman on his left, who handed it to the woman on her left.
Finally, it reached someone who said what everyone had been thinking. “The only way this thing moves with that many autocannons is if we remove more armor from the Rifleman. And with the added ammo bins, it’ll be even more vulnerable to sympathetic cookoffs.”
Another engineer just shrugged. “Well, orders are orders I guess. Hope those Davions have life insurance.”
It’s truly amazing that a proposed replacement for one of the most popular failures of all time could itself become a key pillar of an entire Great House’s armed forces. And yet, the JagerMech is a story of improbable beginnings leading to even less probable financial success for one extremely successful interstellar arms manufacturer.
In 2774, Kallon Industries, makers of the wildly popular Rifleman BattleMech, introduced its replacement: the JM6-S JagerMech. It was merely four years since the introduction of the RFL-3N, a variant that was supposed to have finally perfected the Rifleman, but MechWarriors reported a number of shortcomings with the older machine. Specifically, the RFL-3N ran far too hot, had insufficient ammunition for its arm-mounted autocannons, and it had insufficient protection for front-line combat.
Kallon’s solution was to create a ‘Mech that did indeed solve the Rifleman‘s heat issues but increased its overreliance on ammunition-based weaponry, added more ammunition bays, and stripped away what little armor the Rifleman had. The result was a ‘Mech that was more vulnerable than the Rifleman in every measurable way.
Had the JagerMech been introduced during peacetime, perhaps Kallon would have been rightly ridiculed for making a worse Rifleman and calling it an improvement. But because the JagerMech was introduced at the very height of the Amaris Civil War, media outlets had larger headlines to fill their nightly news broadcasts, and the JagerMech‘s shortcomings were explained away to military procurement officials as all part of the design.
When the civil war ended and the Succession Wars began, House militaries had a sudden and desperate need for any and all war material they could get their ironfisted hands on. Kallon sold the JagerMech to both the Federated Suns and Capellan militaries, but it was the Suns’ love of autocannons that gave the JagerMech a permanent home.
Armed with twin Mydron Model C AC/5s and twin Model D AC/2s, the JagerMech could put down a withering hail of light cannon fire, provided its ammunition bays remained topped up. Kallon marketed the JagerMech as a second-line fire support and anti-aircraft ‘Mech so that customers understood the importance of keeping the JagerMech near its munitions.
Despite this, the Fed Suns often placed JagerMechs in striker lances as on-demand fire support similar to how infantry doctrine demanded at least one heavy gunner be assigned to each squad. Rather than replace the Rifleman, the JagerMech found itself serving alongside the Rifleman in a role it had never been designed to fulfill.
Over the course of the Succession Wars, the JagerMech would receive a stellar reputation from MechWarriors who used it in its intended role as second-line fire support. Those MechWarriors who used it in its non-intended role as first-line fire support didn’t get the chance to complain about the JM6-S’s paltry six tons of armor (two less than the Rifleman) because they never survived combat.
Word of mouth has a way of favoring the survivors, and the JagerMech would go on to become a central pillar of the Federated Suns armed forces.
Even from the outset, however, Davion officials identified the JagerMech‘s faults and proposed a solution. The JM6-A, introduced in 2778, replaced the Mydron Model Cs with twin LRM-15 launchers and an additional two tons of armor. This brought the JagerMech back to being at least as armored as the Rifleman, but the variant remained rare within the AFFS as Kallon only made two production runs of the JM6-A.
It wasn’t until the rediscovery of Star League technology from the Helm Memory Core that the JagerMech received its first real upgrade. The JM6-DD replaced the AC/5s with quick-firing Ultra versions, upgraded the Medium Lasers to Pulse variants, added cellular ammunition storage for greater pilot survivability, and added Ferro-Fibrous armor for greater overall protection. This variant would see heavy fighting with both the FedCom armed forces and the DCMS as it was introduced just months before the Clan Invasion. The JM6-DD would become a rare symbol of cooperation between the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns.
In the late 3050s, Kallon thought to redesign the JagerMech to make it far more like the ‘Mech it ostensibly replaced. The JM7-D mounts twin AC/5s and twin ER Large Lasers in the arms along with a pair of Medium Lasers in the torso for up-close defense. The JM7 chassis is also five tons heavier, although that weight is mostly taken up by three additional double heatsinks that keep the ‘Mech cool if not well-protected. The JM7-F mimics the RFL-8D with twin Mydron Rotary Autocannon/5s and two Medium Lasers but justifies its existence with ECM and a Targeting Computer.
Still not satisfied with the JM7 line, Kallon was ordered by the AFFS to produce yet another redesign as part of First Prince Victor Steiner-Davion‘s plan to rebuild national pride in its armed forces following the thrashing it received during the Clan Invasion. In 3058, Kallon introduced the JM6-D3 JagerMech III, armed with twin Ultra Autocannons, twin PPCs, and twin Medium Lasers. A VOX 325 XL propels the JagerMech III up to 86.4 kph–faster than any previous JagerMech–and 12 double heat sinks keep the ‘Mech relatively cool. Notably, the JagerMech III has nine and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, although a lack of CASE still leaves it vulnerable to ammunition explosions.
The prevalence of the JagerMech in the former Federated Commonwealth meant there were many machines to upgrade during the Word of Blake Jihad. The JM6-DDa brings the DD’s Ultra Autocannons back down to their standard versions and replaces the smaller autocannons with Light AC/2s. This allows for specialized munitions in CASE-protected ammo bays. A Targeting Computer ensures those rounds find their mark.
The JM7-C3BS, introduced in 3075, mounts four Light AC/2s (two in each arm) and twin Snub-Nose PPCs. A single ER Medium Laser in the center torso provides defense should the JagerMech‘s arms become disabled, while an experimental C3 boosted slave shares targeting data with lancemates.
In the modern age, the JM7-DD finally achieves adequacy through the use of Clan tech, CASE II, and more Ferro-Fibrous armor than any JagerMech has ever been protected by. It seems the JagerMech, much like the Rifleman, may have finally grown into the role of frontline fire support it had historically been thrust into against its designers’ will.
And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.
a long old saw of mine is “you will never fear the Jagermech. but you WILL respect it.” I lost count of how many games I have played where keeping this in the back field and pinking away resulted in it being a “problem for later” and then suddenly asking where all the armor went.
don’t get me wrong, in modern context, I will take the DG model, but even it’s base succession wars configuration is handy when used properly.
in Alpha Strike this thing is a beast, even with sub par armor. the range game rules all there.
The JaegerMech (among many others) in a nutshell:
*uses Browning Automatic Rifle as a club*
“This rifle sucks!”
*uses Browning Automatic Rifle as a gun*
“Superb! Five stars.”
This is so true so many times its hilarious. I love many situational mechs that are “bad” and occasionally they die, but if I can place them in their intended roles I then relish the look of despair as a “bad” mech just did something they deem absurd.
Considering that a BAR weighs *twenty pounds* unloaded, it might not be the *best* club, but when it hits- it’s a *very effective* club…
very much this.
Use a tool as intended, and shockingly they will work, more often than not. Might not be ideal, and certainly the Jager has issues when asked to step outside that role, but I think folk protest too much.
Screen it, and it’s highly effective from the backfield, causing consistent sandpapering that adds up. And it has more than enough firepower/armor to defend itself against a push from pretty much any Light Mech.
They also are GREAT additions to Medium Lances and Companies, especially the Alpha.
It’s an okay Mech for the time period. What is the saying about making a better Rifleman with the JagerMech in the technical readouts? “Two out of three isn’t bad.”
Now this one I have to call out.
Small maps and bad tactics.
If you use the Jager as a frontline mech, it is indeed bad. And even in it’s role, it has issues, all based around it armor.
Kindly take a look at ANY IRL AA Tank and measure their armor. Few are proof against anything more than Small Arms and shrapnel. Why? Because you don’t use your Flakpanzer to take on an M1A2 Abrams. Which is what battletech players seem to expect of every mech.. to win in a 1v1 Solaris Duel.
Use a Jagermech on an appropriately large map (4 sheet minimum) and actually screen it? It’s effective as all get out. Because it has such great long range, low heat reach. Park it on a hill 18 hexes back and blaze away with your Thunderbolt, Hunchback, etc up in your opfor’s grill. Your opponent will be focusing on the mechs up close, easy to hit (and more an immediate danger to them), not you Jager way back that is near impossible to hit anyhow.
“But Bishop, I’ll jsut send a Jenner to flank it”. And that Jenner will be shredded by the Jagermech before you ever get in range of those Medium Lasers. Try again?
Ammo dependancy? That makes the assumption that the LLs on the Rifleman are an upgrade. Since it only has the heatsinks to fire ONE of them, they aren’t. And the Jager has twice the ammo reserves of a Rifleman, meaning it actually can sustain a battle, where a Rifleman is winchester by turn 10, and having to rely soely on it’s LL/MLs. So no, that’s not a flaw. Yes the weak armor does run some risk of ammo explosion, though in practice, sine rolling a crit is hard at the bestt of times? I find I just tend to lose big chunks of my mech far more often than I see ammo explosions.
And if one includes the JM6-A? That is a vicious fire support machine.
While there are indeed bad mechs (Hello Charger), more often than not, there are bad commanders and pilots who try to turn every tool into a hammer. Maybe if players tried tactics beside “:run to the middle and start kicking” more often, there would be a lot less perceived “bad mechs”?
This here is a man that knows what he’s talking about.
You want to murder light mechs and Vtols? Precision ammo.
I used to hate these things. Then I played on big enough maps with enough support to let them work.
Jagermech III is stupid ugly though.
Jagermech III is.. just trash.
Don’t insult trash, but like you eluded to it all boils down to using the mech as it is intended. Any mech is a bad mech if not used properly or supported properly.
Unless just designed to be a joke yes you Charger.
You don’t use a flakpanzer for anything, it’s a bad tank with a bad concept (No matter how many times Company of Heroes pushes it). AA tanks were always super flawed as an idea even when they weren’t entirely obsoleted by SAMs
Depends on which time period you are talking about. Flakpanzers made sense in 2 time periods, the first was in WWII where there were no SAMs in existence and fighters had to close in to strafe. The 2nd time period when flakpanzers made sense was ironically due to SAMs. When long ranged SAMs started being introduced, aircraft switched their tactics from high altitude attacks to nape of earth and below tree top level flight and attacks. This was the time period where helicopters started to shine and something was needed to counter their sudden, short reaction time attacks, which was why there was a push towards fast reacting gun solutions like the M42, the Flakpanzer Gerpard and the famous failure of the Sgt York. The Soviets had their equivalent in their 23-4 type units.
Of course these days, with the development of micro-electronics, the pendulum has swung back in favour of the SAM or to be precise its low altitude cousin of the MANPAD since electronics have developed enough to acquire targets quickly now without the need for prior cooling like in the past, but that does not mean that there was not a time period where ground based flak was not valuable. There was, just that these times of supremacy tend to be fleeting in the race between attack and defence.
I see Jagermech as am excellent single purpose tool that was supposed to be an improvement over another excellent single purpose tool. It’s really simple – if you use a HIMARS like a tank it will suck, if you’ll try to lob artillery with a tank it will also do bad but that’s the command failure, not a testament to the quality of a weapon system.
It is simple awesome and I love it, even it failed as an improvement and became the alternative instead – it’s basically a question of whether you’re good at managing heat or dodging shots to avoid exploding.
Ah the JagerMech. A great air defense platform, pressed into entirely the wrong combat role by desperate parties.
It has its place even in pure ground battles though. A JagerMech will easily fish for motive crits on vehicles and either crash them or detrack them by sheer volume of fire, and it’s worth noting how many more vehicles there are supposed to be in SW era battles.
I got a lot of mileage out of them in HBS Battletech and MW5, but I do admit…they are fun to watch explode.
In HBStech it benefits massively from the upgraded autocannon damage, as long as you find space for more armor somewhere.
Easiest way to make this a more desirable mech is to give it more armor.
If you swap out the twin AC2’s on the S for another pair of medium lasers, you have all the tonnage in the world to turn this machine into a dedicated trooper. Max the armor and throw the spare tonnage into heat sinks. It basically becomes an oversized super Blackjack without the jump jets.
2 AC 5’s with a ton of ammo each and 4 medium lasers marching in behind 13 tons of armor and 14 heat sinks makes for a very reliable and respectable machine.
But who would want to play with that?
Issue is that’s a bit underwhelming as far as firepower goes for a 65-tonner. If you’re gonna do that I would rather just take out the autocannons completely and stick on a couple of PPCs with more heat sinks.
Exactly how i turn out my 3025 JagerMechs:
Scrap ALL the ACs and Ammo, replace with a PPC and MedLaser in each arm. Add 10 heat sinks, and 5 tons of armour. You basically have a slightly lighter Warhammer with more armour, more heat sinks, and about the same firepower.
You know, turning every mech into a PPC boat is neither big nor clever. Why don’t you try to work within the limitations of the existing variants instead of pulling them apart and turning them into unimaginative, min-maxed munchkin builds?
After all, the Warhammer 6D already exists and reinventing it (but slightly worse) doesn’t make you good at Battletech.
The embodiment of “Use any machine wrong enough and it’s a Smoke machine.” Lol… But really now, six tons of armor!?!
The JagerMech is quite bad, considering it weights 65 tons and its heavy Mech, in fact. However, it is pretty good for 901 BV2.0.
This is the first Mech I am truly on the Edge with… I want to say it’s bad, due to armor, reliance on AC’s, etc. BUT like Bishop, I’ve had tremendous luck with the ol’ Jager, especially the JM6-A, which is great with either it’s stock LRM’s, or switched out for SRM’s… And I have seen many a MechWarrior clean house with the Jager as well, on Table Top, and in Video Game form…
Look, all I’ll say is… If yer in the Seat of yer Favorite Mech, and You turn the corner into the sights of a Jager with RAC’s, or Ultra’s, yer day is going to be ruined in any Weight Class yer using… That says something right there.
A little new here, only have experience with MW5 on xbox, so no mods, don’t like LRMs due to most of my time being solo play so the Jagermech-A is out for me and that leaves me with the heroic, DD and S. I usually ignore heroics because they usually don’t work out for me.
With the S and DD being the same mech but with weight saving stuff my way of using them are almost the same, Rifles, rate of fire sucks but they save so much weight they let you exchange reload time for armor. the S is a bit more of a stretch but on the DD I max out the armor and use a pair of Medium and Light Rifles. You measure out the ammo tonnage to bring as close to an equal amount of ammo for each rifle size and set both to chain fire so you can measure your shots better. I wouldn’t recommend brawling more then an assault or two at a time but if you stay at medium range and aim well its a strong platform. Un-modified I would recommend only for team play where your allies can draw the flack and you can bat clean up for the lance by sweeping and VTOL’s and ground units on the flanks or get rid of lights. So effectively what the Jagermech was built for, look at that.
I like running heavy and light rifles, although for longer missions medium rifles are probably a better choice because you can carry more ammo. Also, the JagerMech makes for a better Rifleman -3C. An LB 10-X in each arm, four and a half tons of ammo, two medium pulse lasers, and three heat sinks with near maximum armor. Scary for a 65-ton ‘Mech. If you don’t have the LB 10-Xs, AC/10s will do if you downgrade the medium pulses to standard or short burst versions.
I still don’t really like the JagerMech, it has too much firepower concentrated in the arms. Any ‘Mech that carries 80% of its weapons in the arms is a design mistake. At least in the video games, on the tabletop it’s a slightly different story, but especially in MechWarrior 5 it’s like asking to go negative in C-bills when you have to replace several expensive weapon systems. It’s cockpit is center mass too, which feels like a bad idea.
The JagerMech basically takes the Rifleman and cranks EVERYTHING to 11, good and bad (well, except the heat issues). Is it a bad ‘mech? Yes. In the 65 tons range, you have better support ‘mechs like the Catapult and better troopers like the Thunderbolt. Even in it’s price range you have better ‘mechs. It has some good points and can be great as an AA platform or as a fire support unit when needed, but sadly, battlemechs are not supposed to be good in 1 area, they are supposed to excel in many. The various variants all attempt to make the Jagermech better by changing what its weaknesses are, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt.
The good news in all of this is that in the ilClan era, the 70-tons version of the JagerMech has been perfected, fitting Ultra AC/10s, LAC/5 and all the nice gizmos you might want on a modern ‘mech. At that point, it is a successful all-rounder.
I’ll be honest, I really hate the argument of “there are better options out there”.
For one, both of the mechs you mentioned are a different role with Jagermech being an anti-air platfiorm with support fire options, for other part both Thunderbolt and Catapult run LRMs for long-range so anybody running AMS hard-counters those.
And finally – who said battlemechs are meant to excel in multuple areas? Jagermech was designed as a great house design meaning less open market trade and more personal military procurement meaning you can afford to have a platform good at one thing as you will habe other meachines fill other roles.
All-rounders are more of a domain of mercenaries and not armies and by that logic if you get a Jagermech as battle salvage you just swap AC-2s to medium lasers and up-armor it creating a machine with 4 medium lasers, 2 AC5s, 13 tons of armor and 14 heat sinks allow you to cheaply modify it into basically another thunderbolt except runnign AC5 over LRM15 and having easier job managing the heat.
If you want a thing that excel in 1 role, you take a tank and you load it up. The Pike and the Partisan will do what you want the Jagermech to do, but better, for 1/5th of the price, with easier logistics and easier to train crew. BattleMechs are the kings of the battlefield for a reason, and that reason is that they are meant to dominate any other military asset in terms of sheer power, which is proven by a large number of ACTUALLY GOOD ‘mechs out there. Bad ones that are specialized in 1 role end up on the trash heap of history because, as I said, specialized units are better served with standard military assets. Want to know why there is only 1 “firemech”? It’s because the Firestarter does what it’s supposed to do (commit war crimes) exceptionnaly well, but can also be used as a scout, a light trooper, an anti-infantry platform or even a harrasser unit. There is no need for another “firemech” because the one that exists is great at its speciality role, as well as fitting well in a large variety of other roles.
Another example of this would be our old friend the Warhammer. It’s a heavy, front-line trooper ‘mech. But it also can be effectively used as a fire-support unit. It does good against infantry. When you get in brawling range, it can hold its own well. Every single other 70 ton ‘mech is held to the standard of “Can it beat a Warhammer?” or “What can it do that a Warhammer can’t do?”.
Also, stop with the “well, you can field refit them after you capture them”. That’s a video game thing, not an actual “in-universe” thing. The only ‘mechs you can easily refit are omnimechs because they are built that way using Clan-Space-Magic. Modifying an actual battlemech requires crazy resources most mercenary units don’t have and even the Great Houses are not sure about. There’s a reason why there are “fixed” configurations and variants, and that’s because those are the ones that actually worked. Outside of Snord’s, “field refits” which change things wildly shouldn’t exist.
To be fair, the Warhammer, the 3025 version, ain’t that hot either, it went very heavy on the weaponry and ended up with very thin armour.
House Davion could easily have built this version in the 3060’s. Drop all AC’s and replace them with 4xLAF5’s, each with a ton of ammo, whilst retaining the ML’s. The armour can now be increased to 12.0 tons, with CASE in each torso. BV: 1292. Cost:-5,842,925 C-Bills.
Ferro-fibrous armor or not? If you put Endo-steel, you could increase protection even more, or add some EWAR tools to it. (You can only put one or the other in the world of Inner Sphere tech).
I am perfectly okay with this build, you could even make the ML into ER Mediums with double heat sinks, with how ubiquitous they were getting at the time.
While the Clans have a Rifleman IIC, they don’t have a JagerMech IIC! They know something we don’t know….
You could argue the Rifleman IIC 2 is basically a Jagermech IIC with its 4 UAC/2s, 6 tons of ammo, same tonnage, and slightly reduced armor.
Well, Jagermech was put into production, AFAIK, after Amaris Civil War with no units assigned to SLDF meaning exodus fleet had no access to Jagermech designs they could upgrade…
Okay, this one I completely agree with. The issue with most mechs made to replace the Rifleman is that they fix one problem, make others worse, and often somehow create new problems. As far as Introtech goes I much prefer an Orion or a Longbow for AA use (or even a Rifleman, though only specific variants, usually either the 3C or Janos Marik’s custom loadout). It gets better in later eras but there aren’t many variants of the Jagermech that I like.
Ah, the dumbest mech in existence until the Mauler takes a bow. Anything that mounts an AC/2 is suspect. Anything that mounts two is trolling. The worst part is the A drops the bad-but-defensible AC/5’s instead of the 2’s to become a half-ass Catapult instead of something unique.
Honestly, the JagerMech is so bad that it might actually be better if one swaped the AC5s for more AC2s. You get 4 tonnes back from just the guns and it would be safe to only have 2 tonnes of ammo instead of 3, for a total of 5 tonnes to play with. 3 tonnes for armour at least and maybe a couple more medium lasers, but that is some kind of bizarre double Blackjack. It’s still objectively bad, but 4 MLs is a decent for close range firepower, 4 AC2s give it a slight range advantage over LRMs and it can still shred aircraft and it has enough armour to actually stay in the battle.
But I’d actually rather take a Blackjack over a stock JM6-D
The japanese battletech version of the Rifleman is much cooler than the western version; if you look hard enough, you’ll find the japanese version of the JagerMech, which is essentially a souped-up version of the japanese Rifleman: both versions doing the same story of improving on the Rifleman with the JagerMech!
A ‘Mech design I think is better is the Clan version of the Galahad, the Glass Python, which you can find in the 3055 technical readout!
UGA BUGA, AC2 BAD.
Suddenly long range VTOLS with AMS enter the scene ripping you apart due to no AC2s.
Anti-air baby, those sweet little guns clear the skies before any fliers can even properly enter the scene,
EDIT 0 That was meant as reply to guy two comments up.
AMS means advanced tech. Advanced tech means ERPPC.
ERPPC means last reason for AC2 existence is gone.
Without advanced tech the 3 hex difference between AC2 and LRM5 requires the same white-room thinking that Bishop decries in his OP to make the least bit of difference.
Isn’t it Ooga Booga? Lol… I agree though, AC2’s are there for a reason…
Welp, I’m polish , at least in slavic languages we have no “oo” using just “u” instead and I was kinda tired after saturday shift at work. My bad.
A thousand ‘mechs, two-thousand opinions. I love these articles and the predictable comments on them. It shows dedicated love for a fictional universe.
Yes, the JagerMech is bad, because there are other ‘mechs that fit its role better. But do we love the JagerMech? Yes, we do.
It actually netted me a bottle of Jagermeister once. During a campaign game, I needed to get my force across a map and would win if I got more than 50% of my ‘mechs escaping. My opponent was talking sheit on the JagerMech, and I challenged him to a dare. If I could get the JagerMech off the map too, he’d buy me a bottle. Tasted great.
I’ll make sure to blow it up first the next time around ;)
Once had an enemy Jägermech shoot down 2 Guardians, one Sholagar and one VTOL of mine in one fight Had to divert a Phoenixhawk to make it stop shooting. Man I hated that thing. :-D:-D Just shows you what a Jägermech can do when its used in the proper way.
It also has one of the best names (Jägermech with an umlaut)
and one of he ugliest designs (that cockpit … those shoulders)
The Battletech lore is so great that it includes committee thinking and missteps in weapon design, just like real life. It’s a design concept with a bad starting point – cram as many AC’s as you can onto a frame. It’s a Clint or Hermes II or Shadow Hawk taken to the extreme – the absurdity of the AC weight and low damage cranked to 11. ACs are best used as backup weapons when you’re running hot – which also raises the possibility of replacing them with heat sinks.
With the improved / lightened ACs as mentioned by previous posters it can become “ok.” If those improvements don’t include an armor upgrade, then this mech will get busted by Jenners or Wolfhounds or anything else faster with more firepower. Light ACs still have the minimum range problem and medium lasers will eat this thing for breakfast.
Ideally, this mech needs to be replaced by vehicles. Put 4 ACs on a 65 ton tracked vehicle, use an ICE engine, include some MGs for point defence if you want. Save some C-bills.
I find it passing odd that both designs touted as “Rifleman replacements” are basically junk. Quickdraws and Jagermechs? Filler for poorly equipped units in a large campaign with some variety for target practice.
Any time the mech is described, “ok as long as you replace all the weapons with…”, you have to ask – Why?
It’s actually ok, even with the old weapons. Very often, people end up comparing the 3025 version with Jihad era mechs and obviously it will show up badly in comparison. That and “every fight is a mech vs mech face to face slugfest” type campaigns will often show these non-front line mechs in the worst possible light. If used in a campaign with variety, they show their value as vehicle/VTOL/fighter killers and 2nd line fire support mechs.
Another day, another “Bad Mech” that suffers from two recurring problems of Succession War era mechs:
1) Stupid commanders treating it like yet-another-trooper/brawler.
2) Lower caliber Autocannons being woefully under-powered for their weight
Just like the Rifleman and Mauler before it (I mean in the ‘Bad Mechs’ series, not BT chronology) these two factors force the Jaegermech into a second-line role because it has to compromise so heavily on its armor in order to carry its heavy weapons loadout.
Before I get into the bad, I will say that for the Succession Wars, in combined-arms engagements (and NOT Solaris matches or Clan Batchalls), 14 points of dakka per turn at no heat and lots of crit-opportunities is a HORRIFYING prospect for most enemy vehicles and mechs under 45 tons to contend with. This assumes of course, that commander has positioned their Jaegermech for long range direct fire, preferably with cover and screening/spotter units and NOT sending it to the front line like it’s a Hunchback or Dragon.
In short, the Jaegermech excels at attrition-based combat at range; popping vehicle tracks/turrets like zits and sandpapering everything heavier that it doesn’t disable, all without even taking a smoking break.
Given how commonly this scenario plays out during the Succession Wars, it’s hard to say that it’s a genuinely bad mech, especially when far worse mechs have been fielded to more tragic (or comedic) effect.
Now for the bad news: When the Jaegermech comes under pressure from LRM and PPC attacks its liabilities become far more evident. PPCs absolutely wreck this thing at its own preferred range for less weight and explosion liability. (PPCs go boom when crit-out, yes, but heat sinks are ‘padding’ vs such dangerous crits while ammo bins only expand the danger zone so PPCs TEND to be safer to run in addition to just being better weapons than AC5s in most circumstances).
Any mech modified to carry PPCs over ACs is going to be using that spare tonnage for armor and heatsinks…unless piloted by an utter madman anyway.
Because the Jaegermech is a direct-fire support platform in most of its standard configurations, it’s a great target for LRM barrages, as it must expose itself in order to do its job (even if at range). Fine in theory, but because of its thin armor even the unreliable dispersion of LRMs will force a Jaegermech into difficult positions as its bulkwark against ammo-bin crits runs out all that much quicker compared to similar sized mechs.
And it’s not like LRMs are uncommon during the Succession Wars.
The best news for the Jaegermech, is that LosTech makes it IMMENSELY safer to run, even if the canonical fits rarely reflect this priority. (I suspect FASA developers loved watching mechs go up as fireballs in nihilistic glee more than stated given the comical lack of armor a lot of mech configs have)
Double Heatsinks ALONE give it the option of safely swapping the AC2s for PPCs, while ANY weight saving tech lets it increase its armor so it can hang in fights for longer. Anti-missile systems and ECM help keep it and its back-row friends safe from LRM return-fire; helping immensely with one of its biggest weaknesses.
CASE is obvious: Carry lots of ammo? Get CASE and don’t go boom. Simple as.
The fancier AC shell selection gives it plenty of flexibility once those go back into production too, and Light Autocannons are an absolute blessing (albeit, one that arrives quite late) for those looking to retain most of its original fire-support role while freeing up tonnage for new toys and armor without relying on Clan Space Magic.
I rather like the Jaegermech in the video games far more than the tabletop too; it’s great fun running around with twin RAC-2s and four Thunderbolt-5s like a heavily upgunned, walking ZSU-23-4. (via YAML mods) Or running C-UAC/5s firing a seemingly unending stream of explosive soccerballs. Being able to tack on Jumpjets so you can reach the juicy vantage points helps immensely, to the point where it begs the question as to why the canonical Jaegermech never considered this when the Blackjack did. (probably tonnage limitations)
I mean, a lot of these bad mechs end up getting treated like troopers or brawlers because the battlefield conditions don’t match the single scenario it was designed to perform under. If you don’t have long range sight lines and a lot of opfor vehicles, the Jagermech is just inferior compared to most contemporary heavy mech designs.
If you want to shoot down VTOLs with an autocannon boat, keep a Partisan or Pike handy. No need to ruin a perfectly good mech with that kind of loadout. Leave the one-trick-pony designs to combat vehicles and design mechs around the versatility that being able to ride the heat curve affords.
The Rifleman came under scrutiny for replacement because it was being forced into frontline situations, so rather than considering that “hey, this mech keeps getting pushed to frontline duty because that’s what mechs really excel at, maybe we should design with that in mind”, they doubled down on the “this is a single-role machine” line of thinking.
To be fair, all mechs can be replaced more economically with properly designed tanks, even the brawlers lol.
When this mech debuted in TRO3025 1st ed it really was a shocker. There were no special/alternate munitions. It could be taken down with very little effort. Does it have its uses? I suppose it does. But when it was introduced those uses were very limited. Back in those days I was only about 13 and the rules meant you tended to end up in close range slug fests. Even if we were able to start battle on 4 maps. Out of all the 65 ton and lighter mechs in that TRO the JM6 was one of the worse.
We used to have battles where we were only allowed mechs from that TRO and I don’t think anyone ever picked a JM6. Eventually I took over GMing games and people got stuck with JM6’s for a laugh. It needs some liberal house rules to make it effective considering the rules at the time (no BV, no spc munitions).
The Jagermech is just an Urbanmech that grew too ambitious.
It is a mystery to me why there isn’t a Jagermech with 2x AC/10 and 2x Medium Lasers. It would have enough remaining tons for 9 or 10 tons of armor (and 20 or 15 shots per gun), which is decent for a sluggy mech. It wouldn’t even be expensive!
The 60-ton Rifleman does dual AC/10s in the RFL-3C, but it doesn’t have the armor for it at a meager 8.5 tons and only 10 shots each. The 65-ton Jagermech as a Urbanhuntermech would be an excellent ambusher.
The JagerMech is truly an amazing machine. Start with the already marginal Rifleman, add 5 tons, and yet it still manages to come out worse. Sure, it doesn’t overheat anymore, but it doesn’t do anything else either.
To all those saying, “Oh you’re using it wrong,” I pose the question, “How do you use it right?” Close combat is clearly right out because of the armor, or lack thereof, but fire support requires, you know, firepower, and the Jag doesn’t have that either. 14 damage barely outperforms fire support mediums like the Griffin, Whitworth, or Vindicator. Heck, the HOP-4B, the PPC variant, does way better damage than the Jag at comparable ranges. When you’re getting schooled in your core competency by a ‘Mech 10 tons lighter, but moving the same speed while having over 50% better armor, you have failed.
And yes, I know the AC/2s have three hexes of range over LRMs. So what? The AC/5s, over 2/3rds of the ‘Mech’s firepower, don’t, so using that range advantage cuts your anemic firepower down to nothing. The JagerMech doesn’t have the mobility to use that advantage to kite the enemy, and if the other guy wants to use a heavy ‘Mech to inaccurately plink away with with a pair of peashooters, he’s welcome to.
I’ve been trashing the JM6-S, but I’d be remiss not to give a shout out to the JM6-DD, which uses LosTech to double down on the JagerMech’s most egregious flaws-awful weapons and terrible survivability. 3050 has a lot of dubious “upgrades”, but the JM6-DD is one of the few that managed to come out with a lower BV (in 1.0, at least). So it’s so bad even the game admits you’re better off with the original. And I remind you the original is the friggin’ JM6-S, which is a failed upgrade of the RFL-3N, which makes the JM6-DD failure squared.
Using it right is to gang up 2 on 1 vs an enemy mech as they break cover and of course keep to standoff range. Parked in a central position, it can support any contact in a screening lance advance due to its range. They are also killer against light mechs trying to flank you, especially since most light mechs run with only medium lasers or LRM5s and they do wonders against VTOL and vehicle plinking since you can get crits on them without punching through the armour.
I once hammered an Orion to death with JM6-S AC2 in the HBS remake of Battletech for the PC, it was all the way across the map when a scouting unit picked it up. The scout ran for it and survived long enough to spot for the JM6 to smash it to bits all without coming under fire. So basically, the unit in contact keeps evading while the fire support unit smashes the target from far while it is concentrating on the closer scout/line mech. It’s also good for crit seeking once the front line mech opens big holes in the enemy’s armour.
That being said, I won’t mind changing it out for a Highlander or an Atlas when I could lol.
I mean, sure, I guess most things will work OK if you engage with a 100% numerical superiority. But everything you describe is the definition of fire support, and it’s probably faster to list the LRM boats that won’t eat the JagerMech’s lunch in the FS role. Off the top of my head, I can only come up with the Valkryie and the LCT-1M, both of which are light ‘Mechs. And the Valk still has better armor than the JagerMech. because the the Jag just can’t catch a break.
The usual argument for direct fire fire support is those units can operate in the 6-hex minimum range where LRMs become increasingly ineffective if need be, but the JagerMech is so poorly armored it spontaneously combusts the instant it gets within 200 meters of an enemy unit.
Fire support isn’t really a role the JagerMech is *good* at, it’s just the one where it sucks the least.
I too can snipe the HBS AI. I suppose another trick that’ll make literally anything effective is to put it up against a moron, but again that’s not really a ringing endorsement of the JagerMech when you can replace it with literally anything with a PPC, large laser, or LRM rack and get the same result.
Gotta love how the mech that set out to “fix” the Rifleman was to take it’s three big complaints (cardboard armor, terrible overheating, poor ammo reserves) and fix one of them while making the other two even worse.
Oh sure it has it’s uses, but for the uses it does have I’d prefer either a conventional vehicle (raw AC boating), a blackjack (cheaper mech that still has the reach of those AC/2s for countering non-mech targets), or a Rifleman (the more stylish anti-air specialist).
Worse than any practical issue it the inexcusable fact that it has a davion pilot in it lol.
Modern BT era fix of the Rifleman as follows:
Replace AC5’s with light AC5’s: save 6 tons (+6)
Endo steel: save 3 tons (+9)
Replace 240 engine 11.5 tons with 300 engine 19 tons, -7.5 tons (+1.5)
Add one ton ammo (-1), Add case (-0.5).
Add double heat sinks. Syncs up the ACs with the LLs for range, and allows full blast plus run with no heat buildup (without of course using the point defence MLs).
Does not fix the Rifleman’s armor. Does allow it to move more freely on the battlefield. Fire support / sniper mechs such as the Griffin depend on mobility. 4-6 movement profile for fire support? Can’t even outrun a Banshee. I’m not a fan of XL engines but the Jagermech could use a speed and armor upgrade to simply not be in a place to get shot at all.
I wanted to weigh in on a common statement I see cropping up in these articles a lot: “If you use is right/as intended”
See, among other hobbies I have a long history in arcade fighting games and it often seems to come up in tier list discussion that player skill trumps tiers and if you use low tier characters right, you can beat high tier characters. This kind of mentality ignores the concept that you’re evaluating the characters basically as toolboxes to achieve a purpose. All tools clearly work best when use as intended but there’s also the fact that some tools are just flat out better than others. In that regard, I don’t think a lot of “Bad mechs” these articles are tend to be about are being judged in a vacuum. I could be mistaken but I get the distinct impression they got their reputation because even when used as intended, the results are underwhelming. Even if you’re not technically bad, if you come in near last place it’s not surprising you might get the moniker.
For my money, the Jagermech is the maybe the first “Bad Mech” where I think the moniker is earned without reservation. It’s a piece of crap in my mind. Literally the only thing it improves over the Rifleman it’s supposed to replace is the range it can snipe from with the AC2s. Its armor is worse and its lack of ranged energy weapons makes it arguably MORE ammo dependent than the Rifleman is. Even without the supposed heat issues, a Jagermech firing all its long-range weapons every turn is STILL out-damaged by a Rifleman bracket firing to remain heat neutral. The only thing the Jagermech actually has going for it is its cheap BV. If I wanted direct fire support with Anti-air capabilities, I’d much sooner spring for a Rifleman or a Blackjack.
I agree with the idea that ignoring a Jagermech for too long can be a costly mistake. Like other lightly-armored mechs (such as the Rifleman or Hellbringer), these should be among the first things you try to take down. Removing it from play takes a lot of enemy guns off the field, which not only helps you in the long haul, but can tilt the numbers early. A combination of LRM fire to soften it up and direct engagement by your fast flankers to put it down early can pay massive dividends in the long run.
If the other commander pulls it back to try to protect it, it also ends up helping you, by ensuring that the long range sandpaper machine isn’t going to have good sight-lines to your mechs.
It makes the urbie look good.
I excpect to see the grouch in the cockpit.
When seen by aerojocks, they loose control and crash from disgust.
Light mechs flanking, keep flanking off the board, incase they get cooties from it.
If behind freindlies, they will charge they enemy, so as not to be ascosiated with this brute.
Meh no mech is as bad as the monstrosities I cook up in MW5 YAML mechlab a Marauder 2 cracked out with Clantech sporting 4 RAC/2s in the arms, with an EER PPC and a ER L Laser(C) in the torso position is immense amounts of fun and has the dps and armor to take on a lance of Atlases, how it would work on the table top is an entirely different question.
Ok, why don’t we start to talk about a REALLY bad mech, the 3025 version of the Warhammer?
Paper thin armour (the lowest in its weight class IIRC, 10 tons), secondary weapons put on just for the sake of variety (which is a flaw the Battlemaster also shares but the BM had max armour going for it) and unlike a lot of the other Bad Mech examples, it isn’t a specialized mech forced into a role it was not intended for but was designed as a front line combatant from the start.
Sure, the twin medium lasers and the SRM-6 makes sense as crit seekers for the holes the Donal’s blast into the enemy, but what’s with the twin MG and small lasers? Their range is so low that they can’t exploit the damage done by their larger cousins unless you charge into range and the Warhammer’s armour can’t take it.
If it was a light mech hunter, I’d understand since light mechs tend to go very light on the heavy weapons, so the Warhammer can survive but it was “designed” to go head to head against similar weight combatants…. which would wipe the floor with it.
I suspect the mess of a loadout was to make the “design” compliant with the original Unseen graphics where the original was festooned with weapons, but in Battletech, it just made the mech paper mache.
Tell that to the Flakpanzer Gepard and ZSU-23-4 Shilka – both of which have been doing well in Ukraine despite being relics of the 1970s.
So long as it has a good radar guided fire control system, the flakpanzer concept works just fine – and even the succession wars didn’t reduce the Jagermech to laying it’s guns manually like a WW2 flak tank.
I think you were supposed to reply to EBA, not have this as a standalone comment.
And just a few years back, the Russians started fielding the successor to the Shilka, the Tunguska anti-aircraft tank! It’s even more lethal than the Shilka!