Bad ‘Mechs – Stone Rhino

Eldon Stone Rhino

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

“We require reinforcement, Star Captain! The Falcons are about to breach our perimeter!”

Star Captain Jolin Demos considered her options. Her Jade Falcon opponent in this trial had come at her swiftly, as expected, but she hadn’t expected her Elementals to be completely overrun. Now without infantry support, her lighter elements were being picked apart by highly accurate fire from quick-moving but well-armed Falcon heavy ‘Mechs.

Even in her dire situation, the choice was obvious. “Hold your ground, Star Commander.”

There was a moment of static, then: “Neg, Star Captain, we are in danger of being routed. I respectfully request reinforcement.” The transmission was nearly cut off by the sound of an explosion near Star Commander Jonathan’s Fire Scorpion.

“You have your orders, Star Commander,” Demos repeated with a voice like cold steel. “Hold.”

For a moment, Star Captain Demos felt uneasy about ordering her MechWarriors to hold without support. Her heaviest elements still remained in Alpha Star, including her own prized Stone Rhino. Its awesome firepower was the stuff of legend amongst the Clans and would surely have made short work of the invading Falcons.

But to put such a historic treasure in harm’s way… Such recklessness would certainly draw the ire of the Great Father’s spirit. And besides, her necrosia-fueled vision from several nights before assured her that victory could only come through patience.

A Falcon Kit Fox briefly appeared on her Stone Rhino‘s targeting computer–a quirk of her oddly perceptive and ancient machine to read such a small ‘Mech from such a great distance. Almost as though it were begging to be unleashed. Her Gauss Rifles could theoretically hit the 30-ton ‘Mech even at such a great distance, but Demos continue to hold her fire.

Another burst of static preceded a broadcast on her trinary’s comm line. “This is MechWarrior Colm. Star Commander Jonathan is down. We have but three operational ‘Mechs remaining. Requesting assistance.”

The Kit Fox blinked off Demos’s heads-up display, and she felt her Stone Rhino’s shoulders slump without her ever issuing such a command. Almost as though the machine itself was disappointed in her inaction.

“MechWarrior Colm, you will hold.”

Colm’s response was only static.

Jade Falcon Stone RhinoThe Stone Rhino, better known as the Behemoth to Inner Sphere forces, comes from strange beginnings. Originally modeled after the Matar, itself colloquially referred to as “Amaris’ Folly,” the Stone Rhino represents the epitome of Clan hubris. It’s also a ‘Mech that has historically been highly prized among the Clans, both for its historical significance and for its exceptional firepower, two properties that often made commanders reluctant to utilize the Stone Rhino‘s awesome power.

Originally a super-heavy design, the Matar was created in 2775 during the waning years of the short-lived Amaris Empire. Besieged by SLDF forces, growing desperation led Stefan Amaris to demand ever more expensive and elaborate wonder weapons, resulting in a 110-ton ‘Mech that was too heavy to move without shattering its leg actuators. Possessing a theoretical top speed of 32 kph, the Matar did have incredible firepower for the era, with two Large Pulse Lasers, two Gauss Rifles, one ER Large Laser, two Medium Pulse Lasers, and two Flamers.

When Terra fell, Aleksandr Kerensky captured the Matar’s project lead, Rifkin Amaris, a cousin of the usurper Stefan Amaris. This led to the SLDF obtaining the Matar’s blueprints which they brought with them during Operation Exodus. Over 70 years later, Clan engineers would take those blueprints and attempt to perfect the design, creating a formidable assault ‘Mech.

The Stone Rhino was introduced in 2847 by Clan Smoke Jaguar scientists eager to prove their superiority of the Clan way to anything even remotely related to the Inner Sphere. Named after an equally formidable beast on the planet Eden, the Stone Rhino came armed with the same twin Gauss Rifle and Large Pulse Laser combo as the Matar but removed the remaining weaponry in favor of a single Small Pulse Laser. Despite removing numerous weapon systems, advanced Clan tech meant that the Stone Rhino still offered similar firepower. Better yet, the machine weighed 100 tons and was capable of actually moving at 54 kph. Three jump jets enhanced the Stone Rhino‘s mobility, while unique shock-absorbing cowls on each arm allowed them to be used as battering rams in keeping with the Stone Rhino‘s namesake.

Due to its size and expense, the cost-averse Clans only ever produced the Stone Rhino in very small numbers–most of them initially in the Smoke Jaguar Touman, but the Stone Rhino‘s popularity soon saw scattered examples in most Clans. With so few examples of these ancient, battle-worn machines, each Stone Rhino is unique, offering curious eccentricities both to their pilots and to the technicians that service them.

The Stone Rhino‘s notoriety has in practice led to problems utilizing the ‘Mech’s power. Once spotted on the battlefield, opposing forces would often challenge Stone Rhino MechWarriors to Trials of Possession for their ‘Mechs. Even if the Stone Rhino pilot evaded such trials, the ‘Mech was still a high-value target that smart tacticians would eliminate quickly lest their forces are picked apart by the Stone Rhino’s twin Gauss Rifles. Not wanting to sacrifice these limited and valuable machines, allied commanders could be hesitant to commit Stone Rhinos to the crucible of combat–a psychological phenomenon that dates back to the Battle of Jutland on ancient Terra. Even during the heaviest fighting of the Clan Invasion, Stone Rhinos were a rare sight and often relegated to secondary garrison clusters.

Stone Rhino Jade Falcom sourcebook

Stone Rhinos would remain rarely seen until Clan Goliath Scorpion took former Smoke Jaguar holdings and developed a visually distinct new version of the ‘Mech. The Stone Rhino 2 upgraded the engine to a 300 XL, which allowed it to mount twin Gauss Rifles, twin Heavy Large Lasers, four Heavy Medium Lasers (two of which pointed rearward), one Heavy Small Laser, anti-personnel pods, and an AMS for defense from missiles. It also carried an impressive 19 tons of armor and pathetically inadequate 16 double heat sinks.

Soon after the Stone Rhino 2‘s initial production run, Clan Hell’s Horses captured the Scorpion’s holdings on Tokasha and began making their own variants of the Stone Rhino. The Stone Rhino 3 finally ditched the ‘Mech’s signature Gauss Rifles in favor of twin ATM-9s and enough heat sinks and ammo to use them until its ammo bins ran dry. Production was briefly interrupted when the Hell’s Horses were ejected from the Clan Homeworlds in the early 3070s, the Horses set up a new production line on Csesztreg that produced several more Stone Rhino variants, culminating in the Stone Rhino 8 which drops the original’s jump jets for an Actuator Enhancement System in each arm.

Stone Rhino IlClan

Although still powerful in the modern era, the venerable design would eventually be overshadowed by the Clan Wolf Crucible, which mounts a whopping four Gauss Rifles capable of eliminating smaller ‘Mechs in a single salvo. Perhaps taking the Matar too far, the Word of Blake Omega also surpassed the Stone Rhino. At 150 tons and mounting three Gauss Rifles and twin LB 10-X Autocannons, the Omega was a far more effective superheavy design that saw the heaviest fighting in the final hours of the World of Blake Jihad–just as the Matar did in another battle for Terra so many centuries earlier.

Today’s Stone Rhinos have been outclassed by more modern 100-ton designs and ‘Mech commanders have since learned to commit these fearsome machines to the desperate fighting of the IlClan era. Still, certain Clans revere the Stone Rhino enough to only use them in the direst of circumstances–even to their Clan’s detriment.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

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About Sean

Hooked on BattleTech at an early age, Sean honestly can't remember whether it was the cartoon, the serial novels or the short-lived TCG that did him in. Whatever it was, his passion for giant shooty robots never died, so now he writes about the latest and greatest in 'Mech related news.

52 thoughts on “Bad ‘Mechs – Stone Rhino

    1. David

      The only thing that I recall ever being “bad” about it, was simply that it was too valuable to lose, so even though Commanders had it in their units, they would never actually use the thing.

      1. Woundwort

        This is the thing that drives me up the wall about the stone rhinos fluff. They call it too valuable to lose. But it has a standard engine, basic weapons for a clan mech, and basic components. No fancy stuff, and as such it costs less than half of what a dire wolf costs, and we see those things being deployed *everywhere*! If anything, the stone rhino should be extremely popular.

        Easy to maintain, simple, efficient weapon payload with trivial heat management, and jump jets to help your 100 tonner get out of a bad spot. Gauss for heads. Large pulses for reliable damage. Small pulse for infantry killing. It’s all there. Meanwhile the Dire Wolf is melting itself into a puddle, the Executioner has torn its own legs off with MASC, and the Clan industrial base is weeping while the merchant caste sells their own Jumpships to get more XL engines.

        tl;dr, the stone rhino really gets a raw deal in the fluff that is not at all accurate to how effective *and* economical it is for a clan 100 tonner.

        1. alecxei_drakkenveld

          It *is* too valuable to lose. You do understand that this weapon is a blessing from Kerensky Himself, quiaff? Leave the squabbles about “CBills” to the merchant caste! That sort of gormless worry is what causes a bean counter to reduce a beautiful tool of our forbearers to just the sum of the damage it can produce during an “alpha strike” attack. A proud member of our society ought to to have more respect for a modern military marvel such as the Dire Wolf. A TRUE clan warrior considers themselfs lucky to have the chance to navigate the heat curve of such a fearsome weapon, which strikes fear into the hearts of all. A merchant Surat should be greatful that they do not control the production schedules and manufacturing coding. Far superior minds are engaged with creating warrior tools that keep the last shining remnant of the Star League’s dream alive and thriving.

          1. Rotwang2000

            Doesn’t prove it’s a bad mech, but it proves that the Clans have stupidity hammered into their psychological profile from birth.

            It’s big, it looks badass and doesn’t carry that much firepower, but it does have the kind that skews the BV up.

        2. Nigel DeBruin

          I feel that it was only considered too expensive back before OmniMechs. Then OmniMechs came around and we’re worth the 2x price tag. So too expensive in a relative fashion.

      2. Joshua Bressel

        That’s the whole point of the article. It’s a fantastic mech, but it’s so expensive and rare, that commanders won’t use it, because they are terrified of losing it.

    2. Argus

      So basically not the Stone Rhino is bad, but the Clan commanders are to bad to use it effectively?

    3. Os

      The only bad thing is they focussed on the wrong bad variant. The first time we ever saw a Behemoth, it didn’t have dual-Gauss, it was Wolf’s Dragoons custom IS-tech Behemoth that had a downgraded engine and dual PPCs and AC10s with not nearly enough heat sinks. Another hilariously bad Behemoth is the Stone Rhino 4 (the one I actually expected this article to be about), quad LRM10s, dual UAC10s, quad ER Mediums and only enough heat sinks to fire one set of them without overheating (if it doesn’t move).

  1. Z3r0_

    This article makes no sense. The entire argument seems to boil down to “it’s bad because its reputation leads to it getting focused down”. By that logic, the Atlas is a bad mech. The Atlas even has the “Distracting” quirk, encouraging you to focus fire on it!

    1/10 guys, try harder next time

    1. Benjamin

      I think this article tries to bring across the point (although perhaps not as well as it could) that the Stone Rhino suffers from “Maginot Line Syndrome”, i.e. the mech having a reputation that has so outstripped the practical reality of its use on the battlefield, that it makes people do illogical things because they have tied themselves to its unrealistic reputation. In the case of the Maginot Line, this was French high command holding on to reserves to protect the flank of the fortresses, rather than use them to plug the breach the Germans were actually exploiting to conquer Northern France. For fear of losing the vaunted Maginot Line, the future of France was gambled… and ultimately lost. That also kind of outlines the difference in perception between the Atlas and the Stone Rhino. The Atlas might be distracting, but the Inner Sphere would use this principle to make it the frontal punch of an assault, freeing up other mechs to conduct flanking manoeuvres or do something that is of operational use. The Clans will focus on the Stone Rhino, or refrain from using it, because it has become a totem of their achievement; an object of veneration that thereby becomes both overestimated and underutilized as compared to its actual battlefield capabilities.

  2. Andy

    Think of all the criticisms Tex has leveled against the Clans. One of the greatest and most damning of those arguments is the horrendous logistical problems the Clan wunderwaffe OmniMechs impose on the Clan military machine. The Timber Wolf being an excellent example, which yes, it does everything, but it also costs 24 million Cbills! You could have two and a third Stone Rhinos for that price. And I’d hate to be the Mechwarrior who challenges two or three Stone Rhinos to a duel in a Timber Wolf, for anything other than a straight up foot race.

    It doesn’t even need to be an OmniMech, since Elementals move close to the same speed anyhow, they just jump right alongside the Rhino. You don’t get bogged down in rough terrain, you can slap a Vlar 300 from a Succession Wars Marauder or Atlas or a Dragon into the Rhino when it’s totaled and get it moving again, and while the Gauss Rifles can explode, it’s nowhere near as bad as a regular ammo explosion would be, so the design is very safe even if you do manage to overheat it. Somehow.

    And on a less practical level, just look at the thing. It’s beautifully sculpted both in the old and the new art, and that’s quite an achievement considering how janky some of the old art could be at times. Can we really call that a bad mech?

    1. Richard

      C-Bills are great and all, but here is where some of the things Tex says really fall apart. C-Bill cost doesn’t matter to the Clans, the Clans run a command economy, they aren’t paying for these mechs (with some exceptions) they are manufacturing them. C-Bills aren’t a limiting factor, an accurate measure of value, or a way to project the actual difficulty of production. Which makes the argument of “har har Mad Cat 23 Million” pointless. The limiting factors on the Clans production of these machines are 1. The # of factory lines they have, and 2. The amount of minerals they need to mine and refine. Which while it still doesn’t paint a great picture does render the idea of using monetary cost pretty pointless, because even if they wanted to, no IS power till the 3150s could dream of making a Timber Wolf for anything close to 24 Million Cbills. Overall the Clanners could not care less about how many “C-Bills” the mech is worth and are far more interested in how many the factories are producing. Which in the case of the Stone Rihno is “a couple” or “none” depending on your time period at best.

      On another note though, I do agree, this article is totally off the rocker. I would take a Stone Rihno vs pretty much any 2-4 IS mechs in 3050 and expect the Stone Rihno to come out ready to do it again. The thing is a terrifying monstrosity and needs to be treated as such.

      1. CynicalCyanide

        You do understand of course, the concept of money, and ‘cost’ in general being actually related to real, physical factors of production, yes?

        ‘Cost’ in this case is not merely an abstract concept, but rather a reflection of the much greater difficulty of manufacturing far more advanced components and requiring far more advanced materials. 23M C-Bills might mean nothing in a command economy, but the reason why they’re 23M C-Bills in a market economy are the same reasons why the clans could have instead chosen to build 2 and a third Stone Rhinos instead.

        If a manufacturing process has to spend 5x more time manufacturing an advanced component (e.g. it requires multiple operations on different equipment, etc), then you need 5x the equipment, 5x the manpower, 5x the space, 5x the maintenance, etc – just to produce it at the same rate. That’s ignoring the question of whether the raw input materials are more rare or require expensive production processes in turn. Raw resources seem very unlikely to be the bottleneck – But, rather, the facilities to turn those raw resources into modern materials, and then those modern materials into advanced components, and then those advanced components into highly complex assemblies totaling dozens of tonnes.

        1. Nemo

          You do not understand that there are factors other than “cost” in “CBills”. For example, Clans didn’t even have CBills, so this cost only reflects the cost of the Timberwolf as the “Mad Cat” inside an Inner Sphere context.

          The problem with the Clan production is not a lack of advanced techniques. Rather, those advanced techniques came about because they have a lack of raw materials and population base. So yes, maybe the “expertise” and “advanced techniques” drives the cost of the Timberwolf up, but that does *NOT* mean you could have three Stone Rhinos instead.

          And why not? Well, three Stone Rhinos have four times the metals and raw materials (300 tons vs 75 tons), this also means more costs to transport, the need for more starships and transport ships, larger and more robust production chains, etc. etc.

          Remember also, the point of Clans arming was re-invading the inner sphere, not have non-mobile defense platforms.

          And thus, why a single “expensive mech” may be better than many “cheap” ones, and why you can’t even have many cheap ones intead (production bottlenecks) in the first place. Surely, ten T-72s are better than an Abrams tank in the battlefield, but consider you then have to transport, maintain and man them and the equation stops looking so nice.

      2. Patrick Rich

        The problem with command economies is that they require a government that actually understands economics well enough to properly plan one. (Good luck finding one as they are an even bigger unicorn than the Stone Rhino.) Furthermore, there are problems with corruption, a lack of innovation, shortages due to an unbalanced number of goods, and a lack of coordination.

        It doesn’t matter how many 100 ton mechs you command your laborers to build, they won’t get built if they lack the ores and other materials needed to do so. The Jaguars seemed prone to abuse and mistreat their lower castes, and kept them living in spartan conditions in the name of strict control. If that included keeping their supporting infrastructure underdeveloped to prevent possible uprising, then it’s not surprising they had massive shortages in resources, especially towards their end. Considering they fielded more Stone Rhinos than other clans, I think that might be the reason the mech is considered too valuable an asset to risk.

        1. Dwagonzahn

          That is an excellent breakdown of Command Economies, and I will chime in only to add one other detail that greatly exacerbates Clan production and procurement woes: Limiting production for any given mech for the sake of honor and pride.

          The Timberwolf is the perfect example of this. It had one factory ANYWHERE in the setting for the longest time: Strahna Mechty. It wasn’t until after the Clans lost the war that they decided this was foolish and greatly expanded production, but it was far too late to matter. By that point the Inner Sphere was mass-producing Lostech-based war machines and even innovating new tech at a rate unseen since the original Star League from the Jihad era onward.

          The clans’ hubris in shorting their own military engine in this way is monumentally foolish to the point of being anti-thetical to their entire social structure and purpose as military might is the one thing every Clan uses to resolve internal disputes. (this was true of Warden or Crusader clans even before the Invasion).

          It’s an act of self-sabotage that even historical examples of nations with centralized economies don’t follow on the very rare occasion they luck into a winning formula. Quite the opposite, they tended to over-produce anything that worked and stuck with them. (the Soviet AK-47 was so cost-effective that they kept production going long after their own government had determined it was obsolete and its replacement entering service. And that’s all while ignoring the many places that built the AK-47 outside of the USSR)

          The Clans absolutely could have built more facilities for specific military machines to eventually lower the effective cost of production and maintenance by a tremendous degree, even with highly sophisticated machines as the more you build something, the better you tend to get at it over time. Perhaps the greatest irony of the Clans is that they’re peerless at evolutionary refinement of existing tech, but hamstrung themselves in the one place where it counted the most.

          They were too busy infighting and trying to one-up each other over mere pride that a unified military procurement doctrine (let alone one for full cooperation) never amounted to anything more than an angry blitz towards Terra.

          Things like the Stone Rhino and a LOT of other “second line” mechs ended up being waylaid or issued to second-rate troops when wartime came despite being far, far, FAR more cost-effective solely because of how obsessed the clans were with pride and their fancy new Omnimechs.

          Imagine a Clan military where the Stone Rhino was given priority for procurement and refinement based on military feedback. Imagine what the clans could do if they standardized interchangeable parts for their best troops and built those first across all Clans before going to the invasion corridor. That is a nightmare scenario where Omnitech could actually present an existential threat to the Inner Sphere, because now each member of the invasion corridor can reflexively move supply for their best troops around where it’s needed instead of seven different military forces all kinda doing their own things as they bulldoze toward Terra.

          Suddenly, the prospects of a successful defense looks a lot more bleak for the Inner Sphere, because while numerical superiority is a powerful asset the nature of warfare has increasingly favored qualitative superiority over quantity the more technology has advanced.

          I will close out this bit of armchair analysis on my part with the following:
          Tex is fond of saying “good enough is perfect” and on the battlefield that is very true. But he always fails to acknowledge the other half of that equation: That “good enough” is an ever-changing target. History has plenty of examples where what had been “good enough” just a decade prior became a recipe for disaster.

          The Stone Rhino is not a bad mech on paper as it does nothing uniquely wrong and frankly, quite a lot terrifyingly right. (at least in its prime configuration; the others are pretty suspect to say the least)
          But it’s a bad mech in practice solely because it’s just one of many victims of the Clan’s horrific procurement doctrine.

      3. C.j.

        This is really the point, gust because it has a lower monetary value disnt mean the clans actually have the means to biuld them, ther probably only one factory in all of clan space that builds these things while there are dozens that produce the much more common mech designs.

        the c-bill cost for mechs never made much sense to begin with.

    2. Brian

      Tex misses a point in criticizing the clans use of omnimechs as well because he looks at it like a beancounter with a spreadsheet.

      Omnimechs are a “cheat” for the clan Batchell system. In a Batchell who detirmines where the battle is fought? The answer? The defender. and picking that right terrain is often seen as a big part of how a battle is won. Being able to reconfigure your mechs on the fly GREATLY reduces the advantage this can have for a defender. and THAT is why clan frontline forces use omnimechs. It’s also why the Inner Sphere didn’t widely adopt omnimechs and we saw as time went by less emphisis on Omnimechs in the inner sphere.

      1. Cyke

        That’s a very good observation about the value of OmniMechs.

        Its deeply ingrained into the Clans’ cultural view of warfare and the rituals around the battles they fight.
        The flexibility offered by the rapid configurability of Omni technology is still an advantage in the Inner Sphere, of course, but not as much as when you try to bid down to a minimum-sized force to take an objective (and leave the rest of your military units idling in orbit). That small force you end up sending has to be highly optimized for the task.

  3. Samuel Crosbie

    The only reason the Stone Rhino is a bad mech, is because of illogical fluff. Also, do remember, the Stone Rhino is NOT an Omnimech. Clan resources went specifically towards Omni designs. So even an inexpensive, hyper efficient, absolutely brutal design like this one, ends up related to second line, garrison, or solahma units. This is why the Clans will fail.

  4. pokefan548

    Aside from what others have said, really? Using contractions on Clanner signs in the art? Surat.

  5. Steel Shanks

    Stone Rhino is terrible lol… How is this not seen? It’s a giant barn on legs… The biggest 54kmh monster on the field, easily targeted by everything in sight, and barely enough heat sinks to contain the dual large pulse lasers… Come on… It’s rumored to show up in MechWarrior Online, and I hope it does. I can’t wait to kill dozens of these things lol. The gauss rifles cannot save it up close, nor the small laser, and like I said, keep shooting those Large Pulses, overheat city. A Hunchie doing 86.4 kmh with an AC10 or 20 kills it easily… Nuff said…

  6. Matt

    ‘Bad ‘mech??’ ‘BAD??
    These are fighting words, sir. ‘Tis the most beautiful ‘mech ever designed.

  7. Mattiator

    Should note the Matar only has one rear-mounted med-pulse laser, not two. I really dug the old-school tank logic of “well, smaller units won’t be able to attack it if we put machine guns poking out in every direction” except the MGs are pulse lasers because the mech’s gigantic. The weird mishmash of Gauss rifles, flamers, and lasers (both pulse and ER) of varying sizes perfectly sells the whole “let’s build a mech to do literally everything except go anywhere fast” concept. Then again, I’m not entirely sure a single med-pulse (plus possibly one of the LPLs) would be enough to deter much more than a Wasp from getting into your rear arc but points for trying I guess.

  8. Vermonster

    No asset is too powerful to risk. If you won’t risk it in a fight, you never should have been in it. If your command tells you its valuable, the not only should have never deployed it they never should have bought it.

    The real problem isnt that it’s a bad mech, but has been turned into a ritual fetish item by inbred jackasses.

    If the Star Colonel won’t let you take you mech on the field, tell him he has no honor, Kerensky does not see his cowardly self, and open fire as you scream that this a Trial of Cleansing over every freq.

  9. SilverCyanide

    The only bit about the Stone Rhino being bad comes from the Clan warriors not understanding that their merchant and tech caste should be listened to more often. The fact the Rhino is built from off the shelf parts, including it’s armor when ferro-fibrous is cheap and plentiful, explains why the Clans have always had trouble maintaining an offensive or fighting a prolonged defensive war. When the closest comparable is the Nightstar which costs twice as much, you can see why the Stone Rhino should have been a workhorse of the Clan “second-line” war machine and not a unicorn.

  10. Eric Karau

    WHY oh WHY would the Clans field a design based on a Mech that was created by the empire of Amaris himself? He’s HATED by the Clans, not surprisingly! Besides, the thing’s a HUGE target just saying to it’s enemies “Please Shoot!”

    1. SilverCyanide

      Can you tell me of one 100 ton assault ‘mech that is not a huge target? As for why they created the Rhino, the Clan basically wanted to prove that “they could do better” then whatever the Matar was, which is a good enough reason.

  11. Marowi

    Pretty funny that the background fluff for this ‘mech is “too expensive/prestigious to risk” when you blow so many of them away in Ghost Bear’s Legacy.

  12. CoKien

    In fact, the Behemoth has three negative quirks, including the Bad Performance and Oversized quirks, i. e. a Behemoth is easier to hit, and it literally won’t move unless you jump. It has also a weaker head armor.

    I still wonder, why only the incompetent Clanner was mentioned above …

  13. Flashfreeze

    Can I just point out that the chassis is “Star League Monster”? Cheeky.

    That said, I think the other half of the problem is that the BV is so utterly bloated that this thing manages to break the 3K mark for a single instance of the ‘Mech. It’s not a bad ‘Mech, but at that price you just can’t bid too much else into a force without surrendering a lot to your opposition.

  14. Eric Karau

    It MAY be a bad Mech, but would ANY MechWarrior, Clan, IS or otherwise, WANT to be on the receiving end
    of this thing’s weapons? The Stone Rhino/Behemoth gets off even ONE salvo at you and you’re no longer anything, including alive!

  15. Louis Levesque

    Everyone has brought up great comments here about the Stone Rhino’s awful fluff. What I got out of this article is that the design is not inherently bad, just the people using it. Assault ‘mechs of any kind always ought to be supported. In the hands of a commander with a solid grasp of tactics and mutual support, there is little reason from a design perspective that this ‘mech couldn’t wreck other units. I think the fluff was written in like that for “game balance” reasons e.g. hype this thing up so much, and as so valuable, so that it doesn’t break the game. I remember when this TRO originally came out, and that was the vibe I got from this, reinforced by my friends wouldn’t even let me play it on the table for similar reasons back then.

  16. Andre

    I just have to nit pick this. At the Battle of Jutland all capital units of the grand fleet and the high seas fleets were involved. Except for a few in dock for refit/maintenance.

    Jellico had orders to not loose ships. But just like Hipper he set sail with his entire fleet. Including the best ships in both navies. In the case of the Royal Navy those best ships were the Queen Elizabeth I class. Of the five built four were at Jutland and all heavily engaged. Warspite, which went on to become the most decorated ship in RN history during WWII, almost foundered due to the pummelling she got from the German Dreadnoughts after her steering gear stuck and made her an easy target.

    So I’m not sure it’s a very good example of commanders holding back their best units.

    1. Andre

      Edit: Hipper was commander of German Battlecruiser squadron, not overall commander as I mistakenly put above. Scheer was overall commander of the German High Seas Fleet.

  17. Snewsom

    Not a bad mech at all. Honest this is literally the best bad mech you’ve done, gonna do the thunderbolt next I guess. Rare yes, bid down cause it’s not an Omni, yes, bad, definitely not. Std Engine, Gyro, excellent weapons, jump jets, max armor. How many things get produced for centuries.

  18. CF

    _Stone Rhino_ is a “put it in a particular location, and leave it there until it dies or the enemy breaks” unit, much like an _Awesome_ or other semi-mobile Brick.

    _Behemoth_ (the IS version) is easily “fixed” with an XL engine, and an additional half-ton armor.

    The real problem with it is: Look at its BV — *that* is where the “too expensive to use” aspect arises (and where the Jutland parallel comes from; like the BBs and BCs, it takes too much in time and resources to replace one if lost).

  19. Jeremy M Ward

    Much like the Whitworth article, this is a another example of where the fluff is straight out wrong, and takes no account of the design’s true battlefield performance or the design. FASA’s lore team often did a great job, but when they fail, they fail badly. Let’s look at why.

    The Stone Rhino is a horrifying design that has the firepower of many a Clan Assault mech, is easy to build in comparison to its XL and other structurally expensive brethren, and has jump jets to boot. This would make it appealing to resource poor Clans like the Blood Spirits, the Snow Ravens, and the Fire Mandrills. Other Clans would put them in second line Clusters or use them as front line units when Omnis became more scarce, such as during Tukkayid, the Wars of Reaving, or the Dark Age. I’ve never seen such a bad fluff comparison to this day as the one they wrote for the Stone Rhino.

    Also, Sean, for your Charger article, there were Charger 3Krs and 5SAs being produced by Kurita and Liao even into the ilClan era. The Outworld/Raven Alliance were producing the 1A9 War of 3039 variant for over 100 years until the new ilClan variant came out. They’re popular enough everyone in the Inner Sphere has access to them from the Early Republic to the ilClan era.

  20. ShoSha Redbeard

    At BV: 3001 before clan pilot, which will only balloon that cost, and you’ll want that 3/4 pilot.

    That is a lot of BV that several mechs can do better, even with the price point of better pilots. There is no doubt that the Stone Rhino can do the job, but umm… have you considered, maybe… the Cyclops with Two Gauss rifles? Because it’s cheaper, has better movement, and gives you that Init Bonus. It’s not as terrible as one would first think, but it’s a mech that you better have a good position in your deployment because the Stone Rhino is going nowhere fast.

    The Stone Rhino is a solid “Meh” with its price point, but I wouldn’t say bad though.

  21. Nabo

    This article demonstrates one of my biggest problems with Battletech: it’s lore about the mechs themselves is bonkers and often doesn’t make sense.

    Because of the extensive overall lore of the setting people tend to forget the descriptions of the mechs from the tech readouts were literally just something thrown together by a person to create a history for a fictional object. Sometimes, quite frankly, the descriptions written in the tech readouts are not based on numbers or even actual gameplay, they’re based on a frustrated writer trying to think of something clever and interesting to say about the 9021st mech the setting has introduced.

    A great example of this is the Glass Spider (Galahad).

    In the tech readout, and the page for it on this site, it says this:

    “Only ten and a half tons of ferro-fibrous armor gives it far less protection than another ‘Mech of comparable weight, but considering its mission profile the Glass Spider is ideally positioned outside of direct combat anyways. This combination of lightweight armor and an Endo Steel chassis also allows the Glass Spider to mount a 240-rated fusion engine, giving it a higher top speed than the original Galahad. The use of ten double heat sinks is enough to keep the ‘Mech cool during combat operations.”

    This mech is not under-armored or lightly armored. 10.5 tons is the maximum amount of Clan Ferro Fibrous armor that can be mounted on a 60 ton mech. This mech HAS MORE ARMOR THAN A CHARGER, but according the the nutbars who wrote the tech readouts the Charger is heavily armored. Here is what they say about the Charger’s armor:

    “With a top speed which allowed it to outrun most other ‘Mechs the Charger was then given ten tons of Durallex Heavy armor, enough to survive repeated hits from a Class 20 Autocannon. ”

    Here is the math:

    10 tons standard armor is 160 armor points
    10.5 tons of Clan Ferro Fibrous armor is 201 armor points

    So which is it??? Is the Glass Spider “lightly armored” for a 60 ton mech? Is the Charger “heavily armored” in any meaningful sense of the term?

    The answer to both is NO. Quirks had to be invented AFTER THE MECHS WERE DESIGNED and the game had existed for a long time to justify the horribly inconsistent writing in the mech descriptions. The fact no one thought to pull out a tech readout and JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, then maybe add some meaningful commentary to Sarna about each mech variant on it’s page when what the official description says is complete gibberish is incredibly disappointing.

    Instead they take whatever half-baked commentary a (likely) coked-out writer dreamed up in the middle of the night to meet a publishing deadline as gospel. Meanwhile anyone who has actually put minis on the table knows this article is nonsense.

  22. Mainbrace

    I cannot agree less with the Stone Rhino being considered a bad mech. Lore contrivances aside a Stone Rhino costs slightly more than an Atlas, but less than a Fafnir, out maneuvers and out ranges both with only slightly less armor. The Fafnir has more firepower but needs to get close in order to use it.

    If I had to choose between the three, give me the Stone Rhino

  23. Outlaw

    Honestly the Behemoth suffers from the same issue that mechs like the Thunderhawk and Fafnir have. They are powerful and intimidating, but the second one makes it’s presence known every ounce of firepower in range is going to be focused on the damn thing until it stops moving. This one really is a more abstract example of a ‘bad mech’ which focuses more on it being a rare item no one wants to lose, and the fact that it draws a ton of unwanted attention making it a ‘bad’ weapon system.

  24. Eric Karau

    I’ve been thinking about all the lore of all Mech (and more) designs in Battletech/MechWarrior, etc: Even in the future,
    NO machine made by Humans is perfect; even the Clans make mistakes with designs: the Hunchback IIC, anyone? This lore about each Mech’s design quirks, strengths, weaknesses and flaws, adds character to the machines themselves! Just like the characters that pilot them!
    Otherwise, it would make the game boring if everything was perfect, right?

  25. Sam van Ratt

    Hello all
    I’d like to go conform to Seans article but could hardly: too much a bad (read mean) opponent.
    To clarify the mismatch, here are the datas from HMP:

    BATTLE VALUE 2 CALCULATION FOR Stone Rhino (Behemoth)
    VALIDATED Design

    Total Armor Factor (Standard) 288 x 2.5 = 720
    Total Internal Structure Points x 1.5 x 1 152 x 1,5 = 228
    Gyro BV = ‘Mech Tons x 0.5 100 x 0.5 = 50
    Total BV of all Defensive Equipment 0

    At a full Run of 5, Movement Modifier is + 2 998
    Multiply by Defensive Movement Factor of 1,2 x 1,2

    ‘Mech Heat Efficiency = 6 + Heat Sink Capy – Movement Heat
    = 6 + 20 – 3 = 23
    Total Corrected Offensive weapon heat = 24
    24 Offensive weapon heat > 23 ‘Mech heat efficiency,
    so halve BV of weapons fully exceeding the ‘Mech Heat Efficiency:

    Offensive Weapons: Heat: Running Heat Total:
    Weapons at Full BV due to heat efficiency:
    1 Gauss Rifle 1 1 320
    1 Gauss Rifle 1 2 320
    1 Large Pulse Laser 10 12 265
    1 Large Pulse Laser 10 22 265
    1 Small Pulse Laser 2 24 24
    4 tons Gauss Rifle Ammo: 4 x 40 = 160
    Base Weapon Battle Rating 24 Offensive Weapon Heat 1354
    Add Total ‘Mech Tonnage + 100
    Adjusted Offensive Battle Rating 1454

    Calculate Speed Factor
    Add Running MP + Jumping MP / 2 (round up) 5 + 3 / 2 = 7

    Speed Factor (based on table or calculation) = 1,24
    Final Offensive Battle Rating = Adjusted Battle Rating x Speed Factor
    1454 x 1,24 = 1802,96


    Total BV = Defensive BV + Offensive BV: 1197,6 + 1802,96 = 3000,56


    Type/Model: Stone Rhino (Behemoth)
    Mass: 100 tons

    Equipment: Crits Mass
    Int. Struct.: 152 pts Standard 0 10,00
    Engine: 300 Fusion 6 19,00
    Walking MP: 3
    Running MP: 5
    Jumping MP: 3
    Heat Sinks: 10 Double [20] 0 ,00
    Gyro: 4 3,00
    Cockpit, Life Supt., Sensors: 5 3,00
    Actuators: L: Sh+UA+LA R: Sh+UA+LA 14 ,00
    Armor Factor: 288 pts Standard 0 18,00

    Internal Armor
    Structure Value
    Head: 3 9
    Center Torso: 31 46
    Center Torso (Rear): 15
    L/R Side Torso: 21 27/27
    L/R Side Torso (Rear): 14/14
    L/R Arm: 17 32/32
    L/R Leg: 21 36/36

    Weapons and Equipment Loc Heat Ammo Crits Mass
    1 Large Pulse Laser LA 10 2 6,00
    1 Large Pulse Laser RA 10 2 6,00
    1 Gauss Rifle LT 1 6 12,00
    1 Gauss Rifle RT 1 32 10 16,00
    (Ammo Locations: 2 LT, 2 RT)
    1 Small Pulse Laser HD 2 1 1,00
    3 Standard Jump Jets: 3 6,00
    (Jump Jet Loc: 1 CT, 1 LL, 1 RL)
    TOTALS: 24 53 100,00
    Crits & Tons Left: 25 ,00

    Calculated Factors:
    Total Cost: 10.512.000 C-Bills
    Battle Value 2: 3.001 (old BV = 2.657)
    Cost per BV2: 3.502,83
    Weapon Value: 3.907 / 3.907 (Ratio = 1,30 / 1,30)
    Damage Factors: SRDmg = 42; MRDmg = 36; LRDmg = 24
    BattleForce2: MP: 3J, Armor/Structure: 7/8
    Damage PB/M/L: 6/5/5, Overheat: 1
    Class: MA; Point Value: 30

    By all means this is not an expensive mech (maybe rare, but for production reasons only), not even for non-Omni mechs. Slow, well a 300 Engine is not a 400, but thankfully much cheaper/lighter (=2mio C-Bills vs. 19tons). I think a very good, mean and straight design.



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