Bad ‘Mechs – Whitworth

Whitworth Hop Hop

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

I was just following orders! 

Long-range missiles rained all around ensign Cora’s Whitworth. She’d been dodging fire from the First Arkab Legion for the better part of an hour, pushing her 40-ton ‘Mech to its very limits. Actuator warnings had already sounded on at least three separate occasions, but she ignored the blinking lights and blaring sirens. She had to keep moving. 

A Locust danced out of the shadows in front of her, the low flats of the suburban area of Greene hiding it from her sensors. Without thinking, Cora loosed a full flight of 12 SRMs from her WTH-0’s paired launchers. Two struck home, blowing off the scout ‘Mechs right arm-mounted machine gun. 

The light ‘Mech quickly receded to lick its wounds. Cora thought to give chase, to end the scout ‘Mech quickly to better aid her escape, but she didn’t have the time. Even then, proximity sensors alerted her to another volley of incoming missiles. The Locust was just a spotter. 

Dammit! Cora cursed and swapped her SRM-6s to fire inferno loads. Firing at the structures behind her, she hoped the conflagration would obscure her ‘Mech just enough to make an escape. She’d last used those rounds to roast an Arkab Centurion alive, but that was before the Seventh Amaris Dragoons had been shattered in the fighting on Timbuktu. She was the only one left of her lance–possibly even her entire regiment. And the Arkab Legion wasn’t about to let her go. 

She pivoted down a side straight, her Whitworth’s actuator alarms once again protesting at the sudden move. She knew she was overtaxing her ‘Mechs systems–it had been weeks since she’d seen a ‘Mech bay. Her ride wasn’t going to last much longer. The poor thing just needed to hold on a little bit more.

More alarms. Explosions rocked her as several LRMs slammed into her right shoulder, fortuitously knocking her sideways just enough to take her out of the path of a PPC bolt that followed soon after. She turned, fired more SRMs at the buildings and ignited a copse of trees with her flamer. Fires were building all around her as the sleepy suburb turned into a massive bonfire. 

And still the Arkab Legion kept coming.

Ensign Cora knew she was finished. Her Whitworth was too slow to escape. She could eject, but she’d seen what the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery did to her lancemates. What they’d done to any Rimworlds Republic soldier they got their hands on. She didn’t want to go out like that. She’d rather burn this whole city down first. 

So she kept running. She caught her breath, one step in front of the other, dodging tracer rounds and using buildings to block missiles and lasers from tearing away yet more of her precious rear armor. In the end, it wasn’t her dwindling armor coverage that did her in.

Her actuator alarms suddenly blared, followed by the screeching of overtaxed metal and torn cables. She’d pushed her Whitworth too hard on that last turn. Her damage schematics showed a clear break at the left hip, her former leg still standing several meters behind her–like it was begging to be reattached if Cora were to just hop backward a few steps.

Ensign Cora was a good ‘MechWarrior, but she wasn’t good enough to keep a one-legged Whitworth standing for very long. She toppled forward, her ‘Mech falling face-first into the pavement. The impact was harsh enough for Cora to see stars, then blackness, all of her Whitworth’s alarms suddenly falling silent. 

She couldn’t tell how long she was out. It might have been a few minutes or a few hours, but when she came to, everything around her was on fire. The flames were hot enough for her to feel even through the Whitworth’s armor plating. She thought again about ejecting and then sighed. If she was going to go out, she might as well suffer the same fate as so many SLDF soldiers had suffered at her hands.

She never got the chance. Cora’s proximity sensors blared and her rearview camera showed the barrel of the Locust’s medium laser pointing directly at the back of her Whitworth’s head. Then there was a blast of light, a wave of heat, and then nothing at all.

Whitworth 3025

Like many of the Inner Sphere’s worst ‘Mechs, the Whitworth was first dreamt up as a solution to a problem that never really existed. Meant to support scout lances of Wasps and Phoenix Hawks, the original production model Whitworth was equipped with far greater firepower than either machine but was also far slower. This, combined with a faulty actuator system that saw its legs tear clean off as Whitworth pilots attempted to keep up with their speedier lancemates, eventually saw the Whitworth redesigned as a light fire support ‘Mech.

Introduced in 2610, the WTH-1S Whitworth was armed with two SRM-6s, three medium lasers, and sufficient heat sinks, armor, and ammunition to stay in the fight far longer than the Wasp. Although a capable brawler and dangerous to any ‘Mech in its weight range, the Whitworth‘s Achilles heel would be its lack of speed. Whitworth Company engineers failed to consider the real-world combat environment faced by a 40-ton ‘Mech, which often required a hasty retreat when heavier units arrived. Without the option to flee, WTH-1S MechWarriors were often forced to either surrender or fight to the last.

Saddled with a poor reputation, Whitworth Company went back to the drawing board. The WTH-1 model, introduced in 2689, eschewed the original variant’s short-range missiles in favor of paired LRM-10s. This gave the 40-ton ‘Mech significant long-range punch and made it far better suited for light and mobile fire support. Whitworths of this variant became common in the SLDF, serving alongside Wolverines and Phoenix Hawks in medium striker lances or otherwise providing long-range fire support to lances of Warhammers and Riflemen

Whitworth 3050

A particularly noteworthy variant of the Whitworth is the WTH-0. Made exclusively for the Amaris Dragoons regiments of the Rim Worlds Republic, the WTH-0 was based on the WTH-1S, only its paired SRM-6s were filled with inferno rounds and one of its medium lasers was replaced with a flamer. The few WTH-0 built were notorious for their use as terror weapons, being used to flush out dug-in urban positions without a care for the collateral damage the inferno rounds caused. WTH-0 Whitworths became a special target for vengeful SLDF MechWarriors during the Amaris Coup such that no examples survived the civil war.

In fact, relatively few Whitworths survived the Succession Wars. With the destruction of Whitworth Company’s Dieron factories in 2776 and the near-constant fighting over the proceeding years of the Amaris Civil War, Whitworth attrition was such that only around 300 examples remained by the start of the Succession Wars. Many more Whitworths were lost in the centuries of warfare that followed as machines were cannibalized for parts. 

The Whitworth may have even gone extinct were it not for the introduction of Whitworth Specialty Manufacturing, which began producing replacement components exclusively for the Kuritan military. This gave the DCMS the largest active complement of Whitworths by the start of the Fourth Succession War. It was rumored that the corporation’s semi-revival was part of a deal between then-Gunji-no-Kanrei Theodore Kurita and ComStar to also supply replacement Whitworth components to the secretive communications company.

WTH-5S Whitworth

Although an adequate ‘Mech in 3025, the Whitworth was hopelessly outmatched by the time of the Clan Invasion. An upgrade package dubbed the WTH-2 was introduced in 3050 that used Star League-era technology in hopes of meeting the Clanners on fair terms. Adding Artemis Fire Control in place of two medium lasers, MechWarriors were divided on whether the enhanced accuracy of their missiles was worth the trade of most of their energy-based weapons. By 3060, most WTH-2s had been decommissioned, sold to mercenary companies and periphery nations, or scrapped.

A far better upgrade of the venerable WTH-1 came in 3068 with the introduction of the WTH-2A. Using an Endo Steel chassis to save weight, the WTH-2A swapped its LRM-10s for four Streak SRM-4s and a C3 slave unit, dropping the head-mounted medium laser for a small laser, and adding CASE to keep the Whitworth’s ammunition bins from catastrophically exploding in the event of armor penetration. An additional four double heat sinks kept the ‘Mech remarkably cool, although the Whitworth’s original problem–an anemic engine that provided insufficient running speed–remained an issue. 

Whitworth 3050U

By the Jihad era, all remaining WTH-1s remaining in storage with House Kurita were upgraded to WTH-K standard. The LRM-10s were replaced by two MML-7s, allowing pilots to choose between SRM or LRM ammo bins, depending on the situation. A C3 slave unit linked the Whitworth’s targeting computer to its lancemates, and five improved jump jets gave the WTH-K the ability to disengage in certain scenarios.

The World of Blake Jihad would ultimately prove fatal to the Whitworth. With the fighting on Benjamin damaging Whitworth Specialty Manufacturing, and with very few Whitworths left to refit, the ‘Mech was replaced in the DCMS by newer, more effective units. Whitworths can still be seen in the outer periphery amongst pirate bands and mercenaries, but no new Whitworths have been produced in well over a century.

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.

49 thoughts on “Bad ‘Mechs – Whitworth

  1. Mattiator

    Oh boy, the Whitworth. I have a special fondness for this one since it was the mount of my first BT character in a campaign setting. He was a Davion vet who’d received a medical discharge after losing a leg in battle, and decided the best course of option was to take what was left of his money, buy the mech that was closest to working he could afford, and go mercenary. His Whit was a WTH-1, but the long-since stripped left missile launcher had been replaced with a one-shot SRM-4 launcher and a pair of machine guns fed by a halfton of ammo. It was a downgrade for sure, which I figured fit the trash-tier mercenary vibe I was going for.

  2. Ruludos

    Since when was the Whitworth a bad machine? Cheap fire support can find a place in any force and the Whitworth’s flaws are pretty much exclusively lore-based. Surely there are better mechs for these articles?

    1. Thomas Gebhardt

      The biggest flaw is the lack of speed and that is not lore-based. The first version of the Whitworth is basically a striker. You know the whole hit and fade thing. Unfortunately, if your victim survives the first strike and you try to fade, you are not fast enough. The Commando or the Javelin offers a better ability to strike and fade in a lighter chassis.

      The second version of the Withworth is a very light fire support unit. A Trebuchet is better at that, with a better chance to disengage when necessary.

      If you do not have anything better, then a Withworth will do, but do not expect to get it back. That also means that experienced Pilots for Withworth are hard to come by because they need to get out of the various messes that are required to get experienced.

      1. Matt Bowden

        Rubbish, the Whitworth is basically two thirds of a catapult. If you find that ineffective in the succession wars, the fault is on you – not the mech.

        As to the Trebuchet – you get more missiles, but at the cost of reduced endurance, inferior heat management and an ammo bomb in the left torso. The Trebby might be faster, but the Whitworth’s jump gets mean more in close terrain and the Whitworth has more armour. The Trebby has it’s place, but it is an equivalent machine to the Whitworth, it’s not really superior

    2. Think Harder

      The articles are based on mechs which have poor performance or reputation in the game’s setting and lore, not the table top. I don’t understand how that concept is too difficult for some of you to follow.

      1. Kage

        Not entirely accurate, the Hellbringer’s complaints are almost entirely based on its tabletop performance while not even mentioning the primary reason why it fell out of use with the HW Clans, that being its association with the IS Clans.

      2. Simon Rediger

        Lore is Lore. And game is game. We often played the Whitworth as a cheap and good Fire support Mech. Sure it is not a perfect machine, but show me a Mech of the Classics thats perfect.

      3. CoKien

        Well, let’s quote the TRO 3025: ‘Today, Whitworths are found mostly in House Davion and House Kurita forces, where the `Mechs are well-respected and their pilots are invariably skilled veterans.’

        That doesn’t sound that bad.

    3. Logan

      Pretty much only the WTH-1 is good, cheap in both C-Bills in BV. Its going to perform similarly to a trebuchet a bit more durability, a little slower, not quite has much fire power but it doesn’t overheat and its ammo usuage is better. (5 less damage at close range, 4 less avg damage at long range but it gets 4 more shots so in prolonged engagements it actually puts out the same amount of damage.)

      BV it’s great being 20% cheaper and Cbills wise it’s 25% cheaper. So you can bring 5 whitworths for the cost of 4 trebuchets.
      Honestly it gets even better compared to things like catapults and Crusaders.
      Which it is 30-40% cheaper BV wise and half the price in C-Bills

    4. Arcangleous

      The WTH-1 is a solid fire support mech, but the WTH-2 is a bloody sin. Artemis is often is a marginal upgrade and this is case where it’s not worth 2 tonnes. I’d much rather have the 2 medium lasers. Really, The -1 is still a solid mech into the 3050s, and DHS would have been a much better upgrade even though it wouldn’t have improved the design much. It’s arguably the best of the 3025 40 tonnes mechs, and still one of the better of what the weight class could do.

  3. Flashfreeze

    So I have a hot take: In both TRO 3025 and 3025 Revised, the Whitworth is the only 40-tonner that serves its purpose adequately when stock. Not amazingly, just adequately, but at least it does the job without being crippled by questionable design choices.

    Assassin and Cicada are over-engined for their size. Clint and Hermes II meanwhile are under-gunned. Sentinel and Vulcan have bad range overlaps (and are also probably under-gunned).

    Sure, the Whitworth is slow as dirt, but it has the capability to act as light artillery and enough armor to expect to survive counter-battery fire long enough to empty its ammo bins and go home. Or, swap one of the bins for Thunder LRMs and suddenly you have an inexpensive area-denial and anti-vehicle unit.

    1. CoKien

      Really? The Assassin is a very good harrasser and the nightmare of most tanks and bug-Mechs, the Vulcan is superb against infantry and tanks, and both the Cicada and the Hermes II are decent recon Mechs. The Clint might be underarmoured, but it has both mobility and range. Even the Sentinel is not really bad as a guard-Mech, even if it might be quite undergunned. None of them is a stand-up-Fighter, though, and that’s most likely their problem, since most BT-fights are Mech-vs-Mech battles.
      Some variants like the VL-5T Vulcan, the HER-2M Hermes II, and the SNT- 3KA/3KB Sentinels are easily among of the best (lvl1-) Mechs in the game and quite capable of engaging any other Mech almost at will.

      1. Flashfreeze

        Speaking as someone who regularly brings combined arms to the table in 3025 and wins, I can’t really agree with that assessment.

        Assassin lacks teeth for harassment and can easily be crippled or left vulnerable by a single PPC or even large laser hit. Because a stock Assassin is about 750 BV I have reliably chased them off with contemporary tanks of lesser value such the Partisan or Bulldog.

        Same with the Vulcan; Partisan or Bulldog takes home that W easily. Infantry will suffer against it if not protected, but if you’re deploying infantry in open ground, you’re wasting them–and Vulcans have to get to within SRM range to make their anti-infantry loadout work.

        For the price and the weight, a Cicada’s job can be done for the same price but more nimbly by a Spider or for cheaper with a Locust.

        While Hermes II has the armor the best it can do is 5 damage at long or 2 x 5 at mid. Again, for the price, Bulldogs and Partisans can make it a very sad Leaguer.

        As with the Assassin and Vulcan, the Clint is easily gun-shied by a large laser or PPC hit (or equivalent). It’s mobile but unless it really wants to try its luck at mid/close, it has to stay at range and plink… and just like the Assassin and the Vulcan, those vehicles can plink back.

        Sentinel can be a guard but it’s got the wrong teeth for it; damage in groups of 5, 2×2, and 3 where you can’t get the 5 and 3 to overlap nicely means it’s just not hitting hard enough to deter anything but very light units–a job that can be done more efficiently than by deploying a medium ‘Mech.

        Compared to all that, standing off at 15 to 21 hexes and going light artillery is still not glamorous, but is what the Whitworth was designed for and can accomplish within that scope. If anything the fact that it out-BVs its 40-ton peers by about 200-ish points says a lot IMO.

        Now if we start talking variants as opposed to stock, then we get to start talking about higher buying prices in BV. Which always makes me happy because then for the price you get to start fielding the really fun stuff with the power to make any 3025 OpFor sweat bullets, like Schreks and PPC Demons… and even then, they’re still not as BV-priced on the field as much as a stock Whitworth. Considering this is L1 and there’s no fancy electronics in play, the Whitworth must be bringing something of value to the field for that kind of asking price.

        1. Thomas Gebhardt

          Light mechs (up to 35 tons) or light medium mechs (40 tons) are a terrible matchup against heavy tanks (Bulldog weights 60 tons) or Assault tanks (Partisan weights 80 tons). Frankly, the only thing you can do in such an engagement is to disengage.

          The long-range version of the Whitworth can do indirect fire, which both vehicles you mentioned can not unless they have an LRM variant of the Bulldog around. The problem is that the Withworth has only 2 tons of missiles. 240 points of damage if all of them hit, which they most likely don’t because it will be a fight at long range that degenerates into a moving battle because the Bulldog is as fast as the Whitworth.

          1. Flashfreeze

            You’re right, the weight values don’t line up fairly at all. However, the BV values do, which is why you’ll note that I constantly bring them up instead.

            That said, the crux of my argument remains that the Whitworth is still the most functional 40-tonner in 3025. Even taking into account the likely opponents it can be BV-matched against, it is statistically able to contribute and survive even with just two tons of LRMs. I again point to Thunder LRMs as a surprise ‘gotcha’ that can hobble and restrict opponents enough for the rest of the Whitworth’s team to clean up.

          2. Argus

            True, the Whitworth has only 12 rounds for each missile launcher – but everyone´s favorite LRM-Mech, the Archer, also has. And the typical Catapult has even less. So this ammo seems average.

        2. CoKien

          If you are using a an Assassin and/or a Vulcan in a stand-off-fight against a tank, they`ll might loose, of course (at least, if you`re loosing the initiative at an alarming rate, otherwise, you`ll either shoot, or simply stomp the Bulldog or the Partisan to death). They`re harrassers, after all. An Assassin or a Vulcan can easily cripple an entire lance of medium to heavy tanks like the Bulldog, however, because they outrange them, and a few hits can seriously damage the tanks (especially their motive-systems).

          I agree that neither the Assassin 21, the Vulcan 2T, the Hermes II 2S, the Clint 2-3-T, the Sentinel, or the Cicada 2A are among the best Mechs of their weight class, and that even some light Mechs are superior. They are pretty decent nethertheless (especially if you use BV2.0), and some of their variants (the Vulcan 5T, the Hermes II 2M, the Sentinel 3KA+3KB) are -in fact- among top of their class.

          1. William

            I’ll take a Jenner – F against any 40 ton mech any day. It suffers from 20/40/60/80ton curse that they have all the drawbacks of a higher tonnage mech, but have the movement/armor of a lower ton one. Usually from being over engined.

      2. Argus

        Just the speed isn´t a reason to call the Whitwoth a bad Mech. The Panther and Hatchetman have the same speed, the UrbanMech is even slower – and nobody calls them bad. In cities or heavy terrain (hills & woods), all these Mechs profit from their jump jets and their speed isn´t a problem. The Whitworth is a good addition to such Mechs, because he can deliver indirect fire.
        In fact, a speed of 4 / 6 is an _average_ speed for Tanks and Mechs, and as such an _average_ speed by which an army moves on the ground.
        As Firebreeze mentioned above: “Assassin and Cicada are over-engined for their size.”
        In fact, this is only true for the Cicada. The Cicada is so overengined that even a Locust can carry more equipment. And the Assassin, despite not being over-engined, can´t compete with the firepower and armor of the Whitworth.
        The Clint, Hermes II and Vulcan mainly suffer from – what i call – “the curse of the autocannon”: A heavy but harmless autocannon that takes away much weapon tonnage an gives not much in reply. Thes Mechs need an PPC!
        I would only trade a Whitworth for one of these Mechs if they are a variant with PPC.
        Place the Whitworth in heavy terrain along Hatchetmans, Panthers and UrbanMechs and he is a good addition to them.
        The only things i criticize on a Whitworth is the missing hands (at least on the pictures) despite the fact that he carries just medium Lasers in the arms (the lighter Panther even carries a PPC without trading of a hand). And i don`t like all this many medium Lasers, but this is personal, as i feel they are just a boring weapon.

        1. Argus

          Just to add why the Clint, Hermes II and Vulcan need a PPC: Each Mech has 10 free heat sinks and light or medium Mechs (at least 40 tons) don´t carry that much weaponry around, so they can typically afford a weapon like a PPC. That´s a weapon that really can hurt. A AC/2 or AC/5 with the same weight or more (consider the ammo), can´t punch like that. Honestly we talk about legally exploiting the construction rules here (the “PPC-exploit”): You have 10 heat sinks and not much heat producing equipment – so use them for a PPC (or maybe a Large Laser). With these autocannons in a light or medium Mech you just get “the curse of the autocannon”.

        2. John Campbell

          The Hatchetman is absolutely a bad ‘Mech. It’s too slow for a ‘Mech as fragile as it is, too slow for a ‘Mech that’s intended to close into melee, too fragile for a ‘Mech that’s intended to close into melee, under current rules the hatchet is basically just three tons of dead weight, and a quarter of its firepower is on the arm with the hatchet.

          You can fix most of its problems pretty easily by pulling out the autocannon that it’s really too small to be toting around and replacing it with a PPC or Large Laser, but stock? Yeah, bad ‘Mech.

          The Whitworth isn’t, though. The Whitworth is slow, but you don’t need to be fast to find some nice woods on a hilltop (or behind a hilltop, if you’ve got a spotter) and lob LRMs into the fight. It’s got pretty decent armor for its size, and enough laser to make light flankers think twice about going to gank the fire support.

          1. Charon

            Agreed, especially in those days and weight, the triple lasers matched or exceeded the firepower of a Hermes, Clint, Vulcan, Assassin or Cicada, even before adding in the LRMs. The original Hatchetman though, didn’t have as much of weight waste with it’s hatchet. The main issue there was the location of the weapons, making it lose to much firepower to engage in physical attacks. Of course, a rules change was needed to keep every mech after from being designed to carry a hatchet…

          2. John Campbell

            The problem with the hatchet is the switch to the full-body chart for it. When it was doing kick damage to the punch table, it was worth spending tonnage on (though even then you really wanted a 60-tonner to get best effect from it). On the full-body chart… eh, just kick ’em. It’s more accurate, forces a falldown check, and lets you focus damage on the legs (or even one specific leg, if you work the damage arcs right), which can soft-kill ‘Mechs. And you can still use your right-arm laser.

          3. CoKien

            The Hatchetman 3F’s BV2.0 is 854. A Panther 9R’s BV2.0 is 769. The Hatchetman has more firepower, and a better heat-management. Both Mechs have 104 points of armor, and a similar range bracket. That’s pretty okay, I guess.

            If you the replace the Hatchetman’s AC with a PPC, 15 SHS and more armor, it will cost you 1,059 BV2.0. It might be possible to speed it up to 5/8/5, with 11 SHS and 144 points of armor, it be at 1,178 BV2.0.

            Consequently, if you’re using BV2.0, a stock Hatchetman will still be worse than the both modified variants mentioned above, of course, but it will still be a cost-effective alternative to both of them.

        3. William

          Plenty of people call the Hatchetman and Urbie objectively bad. They are, according to the Battle Value, and experience on tabletop.

  4. Samuel Crosbie

    Imagine the fun of replacing the lrms with large lasers, adding more heatsinks? Still a heat pig, but … Kinda fun

    1. Thomas Gebhardt

      In that case, I would stripe all weapons and ammunition. that gives you 15 tons to work with. 2 Large Lasers cost 10 tons plus 5 single heatsinks would make a better mech, but a different one.

    2. Flashfreeze

      This is actually doable in Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries and results in what I can only describe as a fun-size Flashman.

      It’s a genuinely viable way to play through the first act of missions. It’s also dirt-cheap to run too, which is nice when you’re running on a tight early game budget.

  5. Vermonster

    The 40 ton bracket is doomed. You can get firepower, armour or speed, pick one. Almost anything you can do there you can do at 35 or 30 as well for less money. And you do it can pick a second for not a lot more at 45 tons.

    In the case of the Whitworth, it it can’t kill right away it can’t outrun. The Tin Woodsman is a coffin. I’d take a Javelin every day of the week over the SRM version, or a Valkyrie over the LRM. I’d almost rather take an Assassin.

    Like cannon Vulcan configurations, it has one use. A meme lance. A Whitworth, a Vulcan, a Panther, and blue gingham painted Assassin deploying from a yellow Leopard with the ASF bays configured for jump troops. Welcome to Oz.

    1. Argus

      Nope. At 35 or 30 tons a Mech of the same speed would have less equipment. A 45 ton Mech would have more equipment, but also one drawback: It can´t land on medium buildings or use medium bridges. You could say with jump jets you don´t need bridges, but what if the obstacle is 5 hexes wide your Mech is already damage (and could flood in water) or the obstacle itself causes damage (like lava) or you have other hazards lurking inside (Submarines with Torpedos, Sea Mines). I think the 40-ton bracket isn´t doomed, but very useful instead. It only suffers from many badly constructed Mechs at that weight.

      1. Will

        If your Jenner can’t ford an obstacle, then the Whitworth certainly cant. Neither can the opfor.
        If they can, you are better served with a Jenner or another well armed short range mech. If they can’t you want actual long range mechs that can end the opfor before it gets out of range, or there’s no point in engaging.

      1. Will

        Primilarily, DONT. Same as 60 Tonners, and 80 Tonners. Or 20 tonners. They are all materialistically bad. The Ideal mech, with 3050 IS or Clanner tech is a 65 ton mech with endosteel and no xl Engine. A statistically ideal mech in 3025 is the Thunderbolt 5-S, but without machineguns/ammo, and heat sinks instead. Best cost/weight ratio.

  6. Charon

    Ok, I will preface this by saying I totally understand these are based “in universe” and thus frequently on flaws in the design that don’t necessarily apply to game stats (mechanical issues, reputations etc)
    That said, the Whitworth was normally my favorite, not just of the 40s, but of lighter mechs in general. As far as ton per ton power/toughness they exceed just about any other design. Of course, that’s the same with most small engine designs, so that should be expected. When we used to roll random weights and random designs, or need to exceed a target number to pick, it was always a lucky draw due to it’s rarity, certainly not a lemon.
    Certainly it falls under the category of “not using all light(ish) media as scouts”, but for a cost effective (in c-bill or BV) it thrives. Matching up with, and complimenting Panthers and Hatchetmen as previously said, it also compliments the original 50 ton thug squad (Enforcer, Centurion and Hunchback) extremely well, making for powerful medium lances that think they are heavy attack or fire lances at a budget price.
    So, aside from some fluff issues, and being well, yes, slow; it has better multipurpose usage then most, with as heavy armor possible.
    The jump jets help it in getting to fire positions in urban, mountain or forests; it’s heatsinks (while basic) are just enough to fire both LRM10s while running, or all 3 Mediums walking without overheating. It has more or as much armor as many heavy mechs that are well regarded and will go toe-to-toe with things far outside it’s weight class.
    In actual gameplay, on hex maps or otherwise, especially defensively. In the ‘real world’? Well, it can’t fight what it can’t get within combat range of, and would get crushed by a mech twice it’s size that it can’t outrun, this is true. But it should have lance mates, and it doesn’t COST as much as a mech twice it’s size. Besides, it will still outfight that Charger at twice the size, and possibly grind down the Victor there as well. Certainly not an Awesome, and likely not a Zues, but it has a good chance at taking down a Rifleman, Quickdraw and certainly a Jagermech (that coming up in an article anytime soon?) that outweigh it by 50 percent, and can even stay outside PPC range with jump jet help to wear down Warhammers, Marauders and Battlemasters with it’s LRMs until the ammo runs dry.
    Final thought – Whitworths, aside from the fun you can have with an Assassin, likely the best stock 40 tonner. Not a ton of simple upgrade potential, aside from maybe mixing in one or two with paired Large Lasers, especially with double heatsinks to give an ammo free direct fire supporter, but don’t fix what ain’t broken (aside from it’s actuators) Wondering if it’s almost time to take a break to the bright side, with Best Mechs? Stay awesome, or Awesome even.

  7. SilverCyanide

    The Whitworth is not a good BattleMech by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because it falls into that weight range where it’s not small enough to be a light or big enough to be a medium, but unlike most “stock” 40 tonners of the Succession War era, it does what it is supposed to do “well-enough” that a commander would not use them as sacrificial decoys. Light fire support was, at the time, not as common as it became in the Clan Invasion or Civil War era, with light ‘mechs generally suffering from not being able to carry enough LRMs to make a difference and those who could, became “too big” for the standard budget of mercenary and garrison commanders. All the other “standard” configurations of the era were not worth it as THOSE versions could not fill the tasks the Whitworth needed to be, unless you love setting civilians on fire.

    The Whitworth then fits the bill of a “small-medium” providing cover fire for any “budget-minded” lance out there. Of course, there’s the slight issues with the legs falling off, which means you need a full complement of techs on hand at all time, but in the end? Techs are cheapers then battlemechs, just hire a couple extra hands that know their ways around leg actuators and you’ll be peachy.

  8. Reverend Boondoggle

    Whitworths and Blackjacks work so well together in cover/over situations in defense or support. Plinking has its benefits. I enjoy those benefits. I did once field a lance of Whitworth, Panther, Blackjack, Vindicator and despite some questionable rolls (dice fault) and a few tactical derps (idiot holding dice = me), it was absolutely the lance of the three in the engagement that drove everyone into psychotic episodes. It certainly minced the Victor, Hunchback, Locust, Locust lance.

    Every engagement will define the perfect tools to surmount it, but there are no perfect tools if we’re honest. In 3025, especially, you do with what you have. Whether you’re soloing a Victor with a Vindicator (a pants-shittingly scary and funny situation simultaneously), or you’re nuking two Locusts with indirect luck-shots with a Whitworth, it is what it is. No bad ‘mechs in reality. Just bad decisions.

  9. Steel Shanks

    I was waiting for the Whitworth to show up… Here it is. To those that would take this over a Trebuchet… Seriously?? Lol… No friggin’ way… Trebuchet hands down. Everyone’s talkin’ 3025… 3025… Whitworth is done at 3025 lol! Of the two best Treb models even in 3025 both win against a Whitworth. Two LRM15’s and 3 Med Lasers, or a PPC-AC5-SRM2 load out… That’s a dead Whitworth… It’s a terrible Mech… I think the Assassin would even take it out…

    1. Flashfreeze

      Whitworths can reliably 1v1 Assassins due to the latter’s poor striking options; to bring any sort of reasonable firepower to bear, it has to engage at 9 or shorter, which puts it in an ideal range bracket for the Whitworth to either hit it with short range for LRMs or engage with medium lasers for effectively double the firepower of the Assassin at short range.

      If the Assassin wants to attack at long range, it will be doing an average of 3 damage in exchange for receiving an average of 12 damage in return. It will take far longer to the Assassin to get through the Whitworth’s 7.5 tons of armor than for the Whitworth to breach the Assassin’s paltry 4.5 tons.

      The Assassin’s poor armor coverage–on the legs especially–also means that it is much more susceptible to taking motive hits, taking away its major advantage over the Whitworth. At that point, the Whitworth can cut the Assassin apart at its leisure.

      The stock Trebuchet is 200 BV more than the Whitworth, and is therefore hardly in the same price bracket (and thus, not in the same performance expectation). That said, the Whitworth can and will outmaneuver the Trebuchet in broken terrain types: cities, canyons, and heavy forests in particular. A capable Whitworth player can constantly be in a Trebuchet’s rear arc with at least two medium lasers ready to go. This includes both the 5N and the 7K models.

      Any person who underestimates a Whitworth, especially in 3025, deserves whatever it will do to them.

  10. CF

    The -1S does wonders in Urban environments. Three MLs and two SRM-6s at typical Urban combat ranges is nothing to sneeze at, even if it does result in overheating; it has enough armor to survive against its own kind; and the jump capability allows it to pogo into and out of range. Just don’t try engaging Heavies and Assaults head-on, and the _Whitworth_ earns its keep.

  11. SturmKrahe

    Always had a soft spot for the Whitworth. When used in conjunction with heavier units or other pure combat mediums that have a similar speed profile it could really shine as it takes a lot of heat off the mech, and allows it to have adaquet support.

    But yeah that idea doesn’t take into account the fluff related flaws.

  12. Evan

    Ahhhh, I knew it was coming eventually! My favorite mech of all time, I love this thing so much. It was the first mech model I ever painted and fits such a great role in my first lance.

    The Whitworth definitely feels very battletech to me. Its speed is such a bummer, but the jump jets, while limited, offer a lot of survivability. I’ve grown very fond of the periphery and so I often run the -1H, loading inferno rounds for the SRM. Whitworth don’t usually live very long, so it’s nice to have a little payoff/payback with 8 RL 10’s to fire off the turn it finally goes down.

  13. Craig

    The 40-ton bracket and its curses are overblown in the community due to the extremes of possibility unavailable to other brackets. 50 tonners can’t move 7-11-7 without XL engines, yet it’s a mobility plateau that allows _just_ enough incoming fire to reliably miss at long and medium ranges with a small amount of cover. And 30 tonners can’t mount 8 tons of armor, minimum required for brawling as it allows 12~15 points on the seven critical hit locations – or just enough to take a hit from a piercing weapon without a breach.

    The Assassin doesn’t mount enough armor to brawl. However when you switch it to two LRM-5s OR two SRM-4s drawing from the same 1-ton ammo bin, it suddenly can hit reasonably compared to other 7-11-7 mechs. This is what the Valkyrie _tries_ to do. Justin Xiang would have given Gray Noton a run for his money in an Assassin w/ 2 x LRM-5 – one solid hit on the rear armor turns the tables fast. At 12 hexes that Rifleman is shooting the air for 8 heat points plus movement every round.

    At 5-8-5, the next lowest plateau, 40 tons allows for 12 tons of equipment. Mini-crusader: 2 x LRM-5 in each arm, 2 x SRM-4 in each leg, one ton ammo each in the CT, two medium lasers. Mini-Phoenix Hawk (same mobility to-hit plateaus): one LL, two ML, two SL, 4 heat sinks. Can shoot short range OR long range lasers plus jump and still reduce heat.

    40 tons is the BEST bracket, it allows 2 ton gyro and 250 or lower rated engines (below the big curve), cockpit lower than 10% total. Largest percentage going to weapons at 5-8-5, more even than 55 tons? (got to be close)

    Add in limited tech like double heat sinks and endo steel, now you can build a mini Grasshopper with 1xLL, 5xML, 4xDHS. 28 heat used and diffused.

    As for 7-11-7, stick with 30 tons. 20% armor leaves 3.5 tons weapons (2xML 2xMG), endo steel / double heat sinks brings 5 tons: 3xML, 1xMPL, 20 heat built and used. Companion for a Wolfhound (Wolfpup?)

    1. Krulla_Chief

      I think the thing you might be missing with the 40 tonner curse is that it exists in a state of pre XL engines. Because post XL engines 40 tonners cover a niche far, far better. But pre? You’re definitely gonna be sacrificing something mission critical to exist in that role, whether it be armor, speed, mobility, or weaponry.

  14. Krulla_Chief

    Oh man the Whitworth. Or the Whitworthless. It’s one of those mechs that’s both very bad yet very good. Mostly because while yes it’s slow, low armored, has a weird fucking niche, and otherwise is just kinda weird at best and awful at worst mechs to use, it’s just got uch character. Like, a 40 tonner before XL engines that has any kind of actual use and niche is already rare enough, but now it’s got actual cahracter by being able to provide decent fire support on top of being able to kinda defend itself when its LRMs aren’t useful? Now that’s where it gets interesting. And yes, I do like the ‘mech, but that’s just as much from being very lucky when I use it as it is from it having a good niche in low tonnage lances. I won’t deny, however, that the mech is either outclassed by later ‘mechs or just better if player optimized but a lot of those optimizations remoe the soul of the ‘mech. Minus anyone that include MMLs. Those are just ideal for the ‘mech, they’re just logical to include at some point.

    As for another bad mech, how about the Wasp? Yeah it’s one of the most common, but like, it’s a personal thin for me. Compared to the Stinger or Locust, it’s just not good.

  15. Monte

    How is the base Wasp with its SRM2 launcher bad compared to the stingers Machine Gun? Better range if you’re going to harass heavier units with your recon lance having a couple of wasps bouncing around with infernos compared to the machine guns nasty. Not saying the inferno’s are as effective against infantry as the MG’s but it’s pretty close and they can fire out beyond the range of most infantry weapons. I’m definitely a wasp over stinger guy.


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