Category Archives: Reviews

HEXTECH Review – Wave 3 Brings More Urban Options To Your Battlefield

HEXTECH Megablock Building

Gale Force 9 and Thunderhead Studios, makers of HEXTECH, have once again expanded their offerings with a third wave of products. This wave is yet more Trinity City buildings, including the Trinity City Megablock, the Trinity City Tri-Towers, and the Trinity City Binary Towers.

HEXTECH Binary Towers

HEXTECH Tri-Towers

For those who missed my last review, HEXTECH is a series of terrain products for BattleTech and Alpha Strike that come fully painted and ready to play straight out of the box, hence the tagline “a battlefield in a box.” The Trinity City products—as the name might suggest—are a full range of urban terrain options. That is to say, they’re ‘Mech-scale buildings that you can scatter over your playmat to offer realistic obstacles for your opponents. The whole idea came from Christopher Wailes who got tired of being destroyed by snipers and artillery on more open hex maps. Rather than complain, he decided to do something about it.

Flash forward a few years and HEXTECH is creating urban environments for your forces to face off at ranges where your MechWarriors can practically spit on each other. The last batch of buildings already provided phenomenal variety and roads that could be arranged to create any urban environment you pleased, from a suburban township to a dense metropolis. And now, Wave 3 brings three more buildings to add yet more options.

Hextech Megablock 1

First up is the Trinity City Megablock. This is a chonker of a building measuring five hexes long (if you count the two half-hexes at the ends as a full hex). This structure could be your downtown shopping mall or a massive electronics factory with several floors and multiple air conditioning units on the roof. As with all HEXTECH’s products, it’s well-painted in three colors with no noticeable issues like drops or smudges. 

One of the things I appreciated most about Wave 3 is how the felt bases are better notched to match the actual base of the building. I had no trouble fitting the building between the grooves so there was no wobbling or precarious tilts. Not that there were many issues in previous waves, but I do recall one of the older wave’s buildings that didn’t quite fit the grooves as well as I would’ve liked. The hexes also perfectly match up with official BattleTech playmats and HEXTECH’s own branded roads.

Hextech Binary Towers 2

Next, we have the Trinity City Binary Towers. These are two towers that are connected by a sky bridge which is held by magnets. You’ll need to glue the two rare earth magnets into their cutouts, but make sure you don’t have the incorrect polarities before you do, otherwise getting the bridge to stick gets way harder—don’t ask me how I know that. There are also two options for the bridge: one long boy that’s the same three-hex width as HEXTECH’s roads, and a smaller bridge that lets you place these buildings right next to each other.

Skybridges are a pretty common sight in the downtown cores of most cities I’ve been to, so the Binary Towers bring a sense of realism to these futuristic cityscapes. It’s also pretty cool watching your ‘Mechs stomp underneath these bridges. Most ‘Mechs will fit underneath, but once you get into the colossal 100-ton assault ‘Mechs, you’ll find their heads might tear the bridge off. 

Hextech Tri-Towers

And finally, we have the Trinity City Tri-Towers. Despite the name, there are only two of these somewhat smaller towers. They get the “tri” from their three-sided nature. They’re a little smaller than the individual Binary Towers, and they have neat little cutouts that don’t make any architectural sense but sure do look cool. Each is painted with a slightly different color scheme, and both occupy three hexagons on a playmat.

These buildings are similar to the offerings in HEXTECH’s previous waves, but variety is the spice of urban planning. Very few cities have two buildings that look exactly the same given the enormous cost of erecting these edifices, so the more variety you have in buildings, the better. These buildings also offer a lovely debate with your opponents as to whether those gaps represent partial cover for shooting through. 

Hextech Wave 3 Buildings

You may be wondering just where you can get these fantastic new buildings. For that, I direct you to the Gale Force 9 website or your local Gale Force 9 distributor. Prices are extremely reasonable, given the quality of the product, and are comparable to the previously released buildings.

  • Trinity City Megablock – $30 USD
  • Trinity City Tri-Tower – $35 USD
  • Trinity City Binary Towers $35 USD

Huge thanks to Gale Force 9 and Thunderhead Studios, who were kind enough to send me samples of the Wave 3 buildings for this review. 

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Cross Electric Designs Terrain Review – For A More Militarized Battlefield

Cross Electric Designs Cover

A few weeks back, I spoke with Matthew “Stinger” Cross of Cross Electric Designs. While it was fun debating the merits of the Thor and Thor II, Matt was also looking to showcase his line of ready-to-paint BattleTech terrain pieces. We got to see a few of those in the interview, but Matt was kind enough to send a few more of those pieces my way for a more in-depth review.

First, let’s talk about the physical terrain. You might have noticed that Cross tends to focus more on industrial and military-style buildings rather than HEXTECH’s urban set. You can certainly mix and match these pieces with HEXTECH for a city garrison, but on their own, most of the Cross Electric Designs structures will complement an industrial complex, aerodrome, or armed garrison setting.

Cross Electric Designs Double Mech Bay

Case in point are the ‘Mech Repair Bay and the Double ‘Mech Bay. Most ‘Mechs require frequent maintenance, and the ‘Mech Bay is the typical home of a ‘Mech that’s not on maneuvers. If you want your home base to really feel like it services ‘Mechs, then these structures are essential. 

Although the terrain I was supplied with doesn’t have hex bases, both the ‘Mech Repair Bay and the Double ‘Mech Bay have hex base indentations that precisely fit the base of any standard CGL model (and there are now ‘Mech Bays that do have hex bases–more on that later on). Not only that, but the bays are large enough to accommodate almost any size ‘Mech, from the tiny Locust to a massive hulking Atlas. Only the thickest of assault ‘Mechs–such as the Stone Rhino, Kodiak, and Turkina–manage to exceed the ‘Mech Bay’s volume constraints. The Turkina is a special case, however, as it would likely have fit had its custom arms been lowered in a typical “shut down” position.

Cross Electric Designs Mech Repair Bay

One notable feature about the ‘Mech Bays is that they come with channels for LED lights and a slot to fit a 2032-size battery. This makes these bays perfect as display pieces or if you just want to add an element of realism with interior lighting. 

The models themselves are plastic prints that arrive unpainted, letting you customize them to your heart’s content. I did mine to match the HEXTECH colors, but you certainly don’t have to! The models also come with plenty of intricate detail, allowing you to get as creative as you like with your paint scheme.

Following the military theme are the Control Tower and Vehicle Ops Center. Just like the ‘Mech Bays, both models have plenty of fine details perfect for painters to exploit. There are minimal 3D-print lines and flat panels to add your own decals, but some might find it difficult to get those flat sides to really pop. My painter reported having to go with a dry brush to highlight some of the flatter surfaces. He also reported some challenges painting the windows, suggesting that sharper edges would have made it easier to get clean glass panes (although as you can see, he still managed just fine). 

Cross Electric Designs Vehicle Ops Center

Finally, we arrive at the more generic pieces from the Building Pack and Office Tower Delta. Even industrial zones and military installations will have boxy towers to house administrators and civilian contractors, so these buildings still very much fit the overall theme of Cross Electric Designs’ other pieces. They’re on the smaller side compared to HEXTECH, but they’re certainly no less detailed. 

I’ve mentioned HEXTECH a few times, and I’m struck by how well these buildings complement my previous urban terrain by adding variety to the structures. Every city is a wild amalgam of differently-shaped buildings, and one of the problems I had with HEXTECH was how similar a lot of the structures appeared. Cross Electric’s buildings provide a variety of smaller structures that add a realistic quantity to an urban setting. 

Cross Electric Designs Small Buildings Office Tower Delta

Although I didn’t receive every piece offered by Cross Electric Designs, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point out the Aerospace Hanger available to anyone who wants to create an aerodrome, the various Factory Facility pieces, and Fuel Pods for anyone who wants to fight in a truly industrial setting, and numerous turrets available to enhance the defenses of any military facility.

Speaking of turrets, I did receive two Muse Missile Turrets, which are modeled after the Calliope turrets from MechWarrior 4. These don’t come with hex bases, but their overall size neatly fits into a standard BattleTech hex. There’s an excellent amount of detailing on these turrets, and my painter offered gratitude for how easily the detail lines held washes. 

Cross Electric Designs Muse Turrets

Similar praise was heaped on the Belisarius Hover Tanks and the Olympia Command Vehicle. These are excellent models that were reportedly a joy to paint. Although not necessarily modeled after official BattleTech designs, the Belisarius has a certain Bellona look about it, and the Olympia Command Vehicle (modeled after the mobile turret control vehicle from MechWarrior 4)  is easily used for any Mobile HQ units you might require as part of your campaign. 

Not pictured are two Troop Transport units that weren’t painted in time for publication, but just like the Belisarius, it easily holds washes thanks to its numerous panel lines. 

Cross Electric Designs also has a Military Hover Barge in case you’re fighting in an aquatic scenario, wheeled and hover troop transports, as well as the Beluga DropShip in both map and full ‘Mech scale (the larger one is obviously more expensive, and although big enough to contain a ‘Mech, doesn’t actually have working doors to stick your ‘Mechs inside). 

Cross Electric Designs Olympia Command Belisarius Tanks

Overall, I’m quite pleased with everything Cross Electric Designs had to offer, and I’d certainly look at purchasing the factory terrain pieces for a future campaign in an industrial world. I especially like the turrets and ‘Mech bays, which can turn even a papertech ‘Mech base into a realistic military installation perfect for a MechWarrior RPG

For those looking to purchase these pieces for themselves, head over to Cross Electric Designs’ side of Aries Games & Minis for Fortress Minis. I’ll list each of the pieces below for your convenience.

Muse Missile TurretMuse Turret$6.00
Track Troop Transport 2-PackTracked Troop Transport 2-Pack$9.00
Belisarius Hover Tank 2-PackBelisarius Hover Tank 2-Pack$14.00
Olympia Command VehicleOlympia Command Vehicle$12.00
Double ‘Mech BayDouble Mech Bay$24.00
‘Mech Repair BayMech Repair Bay$15.00
Control TowerControl Tower$15.00
Building Pack: SmallBuilding Pack Small$18.00
Office Tower DeltaOffice Tower Delta$15.00
Vehicle Ops CenterVehicle Ops Center$15.00

My one complaint with the Cross Electric terrain pieces is that they didn’t come with hex bases, making them a little tricky to situate on a hex board (my preferred playstyle for tabletop). But I’ve got some great news! Cross has recently finished creating new designs for the ‘Mech Repair Bay and Double ‘Mech Bay that now include hex-shaped bases. They also appear to be a little wider than the standard models, so they may have a slightly easier time accommodating the biggest ‘Mechs. The Mastodon gives a pretty good impression of overall size, although I haven’t tested them personally to see if they’ll fit a Stone Rhino. And just like the standard ‘Mech bays, these Hex Bays have channels and slots for LED lights.

Hex Bay and Double Hex Bay

Head over to Aries Games or Fortress Minis for the new Hex Bays. For those with the hardware, Cross Electric Designs is also available to DIY on Hardware

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

HEXTECH Review – An Urban Battlefield In A Box

Timber Wolf In HEXTECH City

Painting models is already a time-consuming process. You know what’s equally time-consuming? Making terrain. That’s why I’ve always preferred BattleTech’s hex maps so you don’t have to do anything: just buy the map and you’re ready to go. But dedicated tabletop wargamers just aren’t satisfied with hexagons on a piece of paper (or neoprene if you get those fancy BattleMats). They want the real, miniaturized terrain. A few trees and hills aren’t too big of a task, but a full-fledged urban combat setting takes as much time to make as a whole regiment of ‘Mechs.

You could take the time to create a whole city’s worth of buildings and roads, or you could just buy the HEXTECH Battlefield in a Box: Trinity City set from Thunderhead Studios and Gale Force 9 Games.

HEXTECH Trinity City Box Wave 1 and toes

You can see my toes!

According to Thunderhead, the Trinity City buildings all come courtesy of Christopher Wailes. He got the idea a few years ago after his ‘Mech force was “devastated by cheap shots” (ie. long-range firepower) “when the flat hex map provided woefully inadequate buildings for protection.” Sounds like a tactical problem to me. But rather than change those tactics, Wailes vowed to create a dense urban jungle of pre-painted buildings that anyone could readily add to their tabletop games and hex maps. A few years later, Wailes and Thunderhead Studios have given us HEXTECH and these painted models.

HEXTECH Trinity City Box Wave 1 All Buildings

Gale Force 9, the makers of HEXTECH, was kind enough to send me an example of Wailes’s work. The Wave 1 box for Trinity City includes two condos, two corporate offices, two Trinity City Police Department precincts, two university buildings, two Trinity Estates, and a single Justice Tower that dwarves the rest of them. Prices range from $30 USD to $40 USD, and each building comes fully painted with a removable felt base that makes these buildings easy to slot onto a hex map or a flat tabletop.

As you can see from the photos, what you see on the box is pretty much exactly what you get in real life. The boxes even have helpful photos that show either a 100% or 90% image of what’s contained inside. There was a ton of bubble wrap that had to be removed, but this just ensured that each building arrived without any knicks or scratches. Be careful with your exacto knife as you extract these buildings from their bubbly prisons.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 1

Each building is made of flex resin and seems extremely sturdy, so I wouldn’t be worried about accidentally breaking one. That said, they’re also pretty heavy, so try not to knock one onto your minis unless you want some realistic battle damage.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have an urban combat map handy to showcase how these buildings ought to be used, but I did have a BattleMat to showcase how these hex bases fit. As you can see, the bases have been carefully measured to exactly match the dimensions of BattleTech‘s hexagons. The bases are removable, so you can play without them if you prefer to measure your shots by hand.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 2

I did notice that a few of the bases for these buildings didn’t exactly line up with the shape of the building itself. This certainly didn’t affect gameplay at all, but it did make a few buildings seem a bit wobbly. The handy among you could easily carve out the bases to better match the buildings to solve that particular issue.

The buildings themselves are perfect. They’re all highly detailed with roofs that have little air conditioning boxes and tiny fans for recirculating air inside. The precincts have large hatches for where tiny police hovercars would park, and you can see tiny little steps leading to the Justice Tower’s helipads. There are a few extremely minor painting errors, but nothing that detracts from the overall presentation. (Note: The fans don’t actually move and the hatches don’t actually open. They’re just painted details modeled into the building.)

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 3

There’s enough space for pretty much every ‘Mech to jump onto every building, except possibly the Trinity University buildings. If you’re hopping around with a particularly large ‘Mech–like say, the Marauder II–you might not have trouble fitting your 100-ton keister up there. Then again, I’m not sure any building would hold up under an extra 100 tons on the roof.

Overall, the Trinity City box seems like a great addition to any tabletop game that’s looking to add an urban combat setting with absolutely zero painting or assembly required. All you gotta do is get these buildings out of their protective coverings and you’re ready to fight.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 4

You can head over to the HEXTECH site here (courtesy of Gale Force 9 Games) to order your “battlefield in a box.” Most of the buildings come in pairs, except for the Justice Tower which comes alone (it’s the biggest of the bunch). I’ve listed the prices (in USD) and links below for your convenience.

And if you were looking for more, Gale Force 9 offers a whole range of HEXTECH buildings and constructs, although they’re not fully painted like the Trinity City boxes. There’s the Trinity City Community Center, luxury condos, office towers, “affordable” apartments (3000 C-bills a month for 200 square feet is a steal!), a corporate plaza, turrets, city streets and highways, and more. There are even city walls and turrets if you fancy your urban environment to be more of a fortress. Keep in mind that these would need to be painted like any other miniature. Head on over to Thunderhead’s site for more.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 5

Initially, I’d just been given HEXTECH’s first wave to review, which is why it might’ve sounded like I was wrapping things up in the earlier paragraph. But it turns out there’s actually more to this HEXTECH thing! After the buildings arrived in the mail, Thunderhead Studios sent me a bunch of terrain pieces called the Trinity City Wave 2, including the Atlean Stepps and Highways. The Steppes are perfect for placing ‘Mechs atop so they can shoot with the high-ground advantage. The tiles are outlined on the flat bits, although the bases are not, so you’ll have to do some eye-balling if you plan to use these Steppes on a hex map. Using these on non-hex maps is easier since the base is designed to look more like terrain than a hexagonally-shaped hill.

The Highways come in a variety of pieces that make creating your own designs easy. You can place several tiles next to each other to create a four-lane highway, or you can have them branch off to create an intricate downtown core. Each piece is textured with bumps so you could theoretically use these on inclined surfaces and still place your units without fear of having them slide around. Because the Highways use the same hex grid base as the Trinity City buildings, it’s easy to slot those buildings right next to the highway pieces to create some really cool urban combat zones.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 6

While the Steppes seemed pretty solid, the Highways are likely a tad more fragile. They do bend a bit, but I’m certain if you bend them too much they’ll break along the convenient hex grid pattern they all come with. Treat these highways with care and be sure to store them where they won’t suffer any torsional forces.

Be careful with the Steppes too! Although they may look solid, they’re actually resin-coated foam. I managed to crack one of them through my own negligence and then tried to repair the cracked resin using superglue. Turns out that superglue actually melts the foam, so now my slight repair job has turned into a somewhat more major repair job. Good thing I’ve got some crafty friends up for a challenge.

'Mechs in HEXTECH City 6

As with the Trinity City pieces, head over to HEXTECH’s site for the Wave 2 terrain pieces. The Trinity City Highways comes with ten fully-painted highway pieces that are largely straight, while the Trinity City Highway Intersections comes with ten fully-painted pieces that curve or have intersections in various orientations. The Atlean Steppes box comes with four fully-painted hills of varying sizes.

Once again, I’ll list these new boxes below for your convenience.

Trinity City Highways – $40
Trinity City Highway Intersections – $40
Atlean Steppes – $40

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy


MechCombat from Ralph H. Reed

Today we have a guest post from Sam van Ratt, who will be sharing a retrospective on two BattleTech video games from nearly 30 years ago, called MechForce and MechCombat!

Take it away Sam!

A hello to all BT fans out there!  Today I would like to introduce you to my favourite BattleTech Game: MechCombat from Ralph H. Reed.

Startup Screen

A bit of my history:
In about 1990 I was introduced by a friend to MechForce. The first battle was disastrous and I was not very happy, how complex this simple game was, so the learning curve was (in my case) quite shallow until I read the BattleTech rules and found out how to use a ‘Mech proper and therefore being able to pilot it according to its best abilities. In 1991 I bought my first own copy of the game (must be about V3.70) which came with a big archive of different ‘Mechs which expanded the possibilities tremendously due to more complex NPC scenarios. While studying in NYC I arranged “mass-orders to Germany” (well from 1-3 pieces each time) to limit sending costs and was able to get always the newest version :-).

About the beginning of 1993 I received (my last “quantity-orders”) an additional disk with MechCombat on it, which looked very similar to MechForce, but was already V4.00. At first it appeared quite ordinary and very disappointing as my custom ‘Mech creations could not be used, nor the warrior/techs/companies I nourished with my own ‘sweat & blood’ (…and crumbles of my cookies). My look into it was therefore very limited. I asked for a conversion program or help files but didn’t get one, not even a reply. I read in a Amiga/Games news group, that there is no conversion kit available (or possible?) and you have to start anew from scratch, which was a killer-criteria for me.

After about 10 years in playing MechForce it grew somehow boring as I rarely lost, the ‘Mechs were far outdated, as all the BT books talked about newer ‘Mechs and not stuff of 2750. At that point I already had arranged a lot of nice add-On tools like HQ or MechForceHQ and alike which made gaming and gaining much easier compared to how I started ten years earlier. I had created about 60 different ‘Mech designs and have been very proud about all of them.

In 2007 I started digitizing all my media to disk/online storage. At 2010 I came about the additional disk from Ralph. I reinstalled my Amiga and installed the disk to my best knowledge. It worked instantly (no wonder due to the close similarity to MechForce) and I failed in the first 10 fights about 8 times. I switched back to MechForce and succeeded in 10 from 10 times. I failed because in my version all my opponents were CLAN, while I [as Playing Character starter (rookie=green level)] had only Inner Sphere types and just what I could afford. I switched to easy in combat and got my first successes and Yes: the Level 2 Rules allowed complete new designs and ‘Mech types and the map was much bigger.

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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Has Arrived – Here’s What You Can Expect

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has arrived! I’ve actually been playing it for a week now and I have some thoughts. It’s a solid return to classic MechWarrior gameplay and one that I think most of us here at Sarna will be happy with. I haven’t finished the campaign as I’m in no rush to run through all the story missions, but I’ve certainly played enough to get a general impression of the game.  

Before I begin, I have a confession to make. I was honestly not all that excited about MechWarrior 5 when it was announced some time ago. MechWarrior Online had left a very bad taste in my mouth after years of being a loyal fan. There were many reasons why I came to hate MechWarrior Online, but I’ll boil it down to the fact that it was just a bad deal. It asked for way more of my time and money than it gave back in terms of enjoyment, and no amount of me being a BattleTech fan was enough to even the scales.

I quit MechWarrior Online about 2 years ago and haven’t looked back–even after PGI started practically giving away ‘Mechs in sales. So when I heard they were making MechWarrior 5, I had pretty low expectations. When I went to Mech_Con 2018 and got to play a very early pre-alpha build, I still wasn’t very excited. 

Flash forward to December of 2019 and I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised.

It’s not bad. In fact, MechWarrior 5 is actually pretty good. I haven’t experienced any of the technical glitches that always marred my MechWarrior Online experience, and the overall gameplay is a delightful return to simple, solitary, giant stompy robot action.

A Return To Form


For those of you who haven’t played a MechWarrior game since MechWarrior 4, this game is exactly what you’ve wanted for 15 years. Perhaps moreso; MechWarrior 5 improves on the Mercenaries model that began in MechWarrior 2: Mercs with procedurally generated maps and enemies, available co-op play, and a whole freakin’ Inner Sphere to explore. That’s right–it’s all there. Every major House and most of its planets, just a JumpShip hop away. That’s pretty incredible all on its own.

The core gameplay of performing missions in ‘Mechs is pretty much the same as you remember from MechWarrior 4, only everything is improved. Graphics quality is good, although hardly on the bleeding edge of possibility with modern hardware. I don’t begrudge PGI this–they’re still an indie studio with a small team, and with that attitude in mind, what they accomplished in MW5 is even more noteworthy.

What you’ll really find to be vastly improved over previous games are the destruction effects. For the first time, you can take your 50-ton Centurion and walk that fucker straight through a building. It’s just how you always imagined it after reading all those novels. 

Building On Success


If you’ve played (or are still playing) Hairbrained’s BATTLETECH, you’ll find MechWarrior 5’s ‘MechLab has a lot in common. It’s the same general layout that bears resemblance to the classic paper schematics, but with fixed hardpoints. It also has a different view mode that drastically simplifies customization by just showing the weapons systems. That’s a great option for new or younger players that might not have the BattleTech background and just want to tip their toes into ‘Mech customization without feeling too overwhelmed. 

You can’t mess with the engine, but I think that just improves the authenticity of the overall experience. It means that you can’t turn a Panther into a Jenner and vice versa. It means that each design will always feel unique and there will always be a reason to want a Shadow Hawk over a Centurion if you value speed. Also, overhauling a ‘Mech’s engine was always supposed to be an incredibly complicated (and costly) procedure that put it out of reach of your average merc company.

Much like in BATTLETECH, MechWarrior 5 uses a similar tiered equipment system with four pips being the best and zero pips being the worst. This is also represented in the weapon’s stats, which you’ll be able to view in both the ‘MechLab and the open market. You’ll find the usual assortment of weapons from the year 3015, but you’ll also occasionally see some Lostech stuff like ER PPCs, Pulse Lasers, and Gauss Rifles.

Catapult K2

I’m of a mixed opinion here. On the one hand, that ER PPC was EXTREMELY expensive–prohibitively so at the point in the game where I saw it on the market, so this does a good job of making it clear this stuff is supposed to be extremely rare. On the other hand, the lore makes Lostech out to be something of legend and myth at this point in BattleTech’s history and not something you just see on the open market with a huge sticker price. 

Overall, I think MechWarrior 5 walks a fine line between appealing to BattleTech lore buffs and appealing to MechWarrior fans that might not care too much about why their Marauder has a pair of ER PPC’s long before the Clan Invasion.

One thing I really like is the new variants of Autocannons and LRMs. You can get burst-fire or single-shot Autocannons, depending on whether you want to feel like you’re firing a machine gun or a tank cannon. You can also get regular LRMs or stream-fire LRMs, depending on whether you want all your missiles to come out at once or to be sent out a bit staggered. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and it allows a little bit more customization than MechWarrior games have otherwise allowed. It’s a nice touch.

That’s Great, But What About The ‘Mechs?


My early-release version of MechWarrior has a fairly limited number of ‘Mechs to purchase in the early part of the campaign, but I’ve been told that will change by the time MechWarrior 5 releases. From what I’ve seen, the ‘Mechs you fight are generally appropriate to whoever it is you’re fighting: Davion units will send in Javelins and the occasional Commando, while Kurita units send in Panthers and Jenners. Mercs will have Locusts and UrbanMechs, and everyone gets a ton of J. Edgar hovertanks and SRM Carriers.

And while we’re on the topic of units, here’s the full list of ‘Mechs in MechWarrior 5. Because I know that’s all anyone really wanted to know anyhow. Note that there are multiple variants for each ‘Mech, so consider this list expanded to be roughly three times as large when you include all the lesser-known models.

A few notable designs: the Nightstar was supposed to be extremely rare even during the old Star League era, so finding it on a list of ‘Mechs in 3015 is a surprise. Ditto the Raven, which didn’t even exist until 3024, as well as the Wolfhound, which didn’t exist until 3028. I suspect players won’t see these designs much during the campaign. I certainly haven’t.

Everything else looks pretty standard fare, but with the extremely welcome addition of Unseen designs. Welcome back, you beautiful bastards.

Light On Story, Unless You Look For It

King Crab

In terms of plot, the game itself tells a relatively simple story: mysterious bandits kill your dad, you take over his mercenary company to build it into a fighting force that can track down those bandits and exact revenge. If you want more than that, Randall N. Bills has written up a prelude novella that really fleshes out the characters and their motivations. For those of you that look for that sort of thing in your single-player games, I highly recommend reading them. Otherwise you’ll find the characters in the game act a little… stiff. And I don’t say that just because they don’t really move during the first-person ‘MechBay scenes.

Okay, that’s not true. I say that because the folks living in your Leopard-class dropship literally don’t move the entire time you play the game. It’s a small thing, but my gosh, it would go a long way to making those first-person dropship scenes feel a little more like you’re in a real space ship and not just some room with a bunch of robot-shaped statues and a few marionettes.

But that’s my biggest complaint, honestly. MechWarrior 5 is an action game meant to appeal to action game fans–it’s not going to bog a player down with complicated plots or characters with a lot of expository dialog.

I haven’t encountered any in-universe events in the game so far, but I think that was by design. They chose the year 3015 so that there’d be plenty of time between when the game starts and the next big event, which would be the Fourth Succession War of 3028. 

But Overall, The Best MechWarrior Game Yet


I’ve mentioned BATTLETECH a few times and I think it’s important to address the fact that I don’t think there’s much point in comparing it to MechWarrior 5. They’re both completely different games that are providing a completely different experience. BATTLETECH is more narratively driven with character development and lore, whereas MechWarrior 5 is a more visceral action experience. I would even go so far as to describe the player character as a “dude-bro” just based on his in-game dialog.

BATTLETECH has also been out for over a year with several DLC expansions under its belt, and while MechWarrior 5 is definitely a complete game, it’s still not fair to compare technical aspects of these games either. MechWarrior 5 will almost certainly improve after its release in the same way that BATTLETECH did, and although I haven’t heard much discussion surrounding DLC, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something announced in 2020.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the surprising sequel to MechWarrior Online that surprises not just for being a quality game, but also for recapturing the single-player MechWarrior experience. It doesn’t get everything perfect and I’m sure there will be loads of complaints from other players over time, but I can safely provide my seal of approval. If you were a fan of MechWarrior 4 and wish someone would make a new one, then MechWarrior 5 is exactly that.

Actually, it’s not just that. MechWarrior 5 also has all the improvements in gameplay that have accumulated over the past 15 years, so it’s actually better. I haven’t even done the co-op campaign yet, which I’m really looking forward to.

I know some of you are still kinda upset about the whole Epic exclusive thing. If that’s the case, then you can wait for it to release on Steam in 12 months. By then, whatever bugs were present (and my experience thus far has been bug-free) will have been ironed out and there might even be some additional content. But if you don’t mind another launcher, then you can pick up MechWarrior 5 now for $49.99. 

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy. 

stay syrupy


The Succession Wars and so much more…

Way back in August 2013 we featured an article on Scrapyard Armory’s Succession Wars online game. With the surge in popularity of BattleTech both in virtual and physical formats we thought now was a good time to revisit this great game.

Based on the 1987 table top board game by FASA, Scrapyard Armory’s Succession Wars recreates the struggles of the five Great Houses in an online multiplayer environment. Players take control of the Great Houses and fight, negotiate and backstab their way to domination over the entire Inner Sphere. The board game featured two scenarios: the primary one is set in 3025, around the time of the 4th Succession War, with an alternate set at the outbreak of the 1st Succession War in 2786. Both of these scenarios have been lovingly recreated.

Since our last article the community at Scrapyard Armory has grown considerably and a team of content creators have expanded the free, playable scenarios (also called Orders of Battle) to phenomenal levels. Now you can play games ranging through the BattleTech timeline from 2550 to 3145. Custom maps for many of these games let you recreate The Age of War, the rise and the fall of the Star League, The Clans: Operation Klondike (a 2 player scenario), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Succession Wars, the Clan Invasion, the rise of the Word of Blake, and on to the Renaissance of 3145.

One of SYA’s content creators and a six-year veteran of the site, ‘Jimmy the Tulip’, spoke to us about creating Succession Wars scenarios. “What I love about what Scrapyard Armory has developed here is the flexibility to really get in and create something in incredible detail. The ability to create new maps, adding units and leaders and coming up with new ways of using the game mechanics to make something truly unique keeps me coming up with new ideas.”

Jimmy went on to talk about playing the games. “The tension can really be palpable at times, especially when you have a group all online simultaneously. Even when you’re waiting for actions to be taken you can study the map, think about strategies for taking out your opponents and really delve into what makes grand scale strategic games great. I’ve made some great friends while playing this game too. The community is fantastic.”

With a total of 19 different scenarios currently live (and more in development) Scrapyard Armory’s Succession Wars offers an immersion into the BattleTech universe in unprecedented fashion. There is a small amount of variation in the rules from the original board game in order to better facilitate the online nature of the game but, aside from that, the games play true to the nature and feel of its originator. The Development Team continues to work on ironing out the occasional bug and has provided a wide array of Orders of Battle and game options, including custom cards, the ability to play with Battle Armor units and over-size JumpShips, to provide nearly limitless replayability. A small team of Admins are also active to assist new players and veterans alike.

If you haven’t already signed up, run on over and check them out at Succession Wars. Join in one of the many games on offer or, if you’re bold, create a game of your own and take on the community there. Remember…. No guts, no galaxy!

BattleTech Early Review – It’s Real Good!

Umbra Shadow Hawk

courtesy of Harebrained Schemes

BattleTech is here, and it is much better than any of us could have hoped.

It’s not perfect, mind you, but it is a fantastic success financially, so whatever is wrong we can expect to eventually be fixed. And since what is right is so very, very right, then any true BattleTech fan owes it to themselves to get their hands on this game.

I won’t lie to you: I’m nowhere near done this game. Unfortunately, the life of a writer doesn’t provide nearly as much free time as my cavalier attitude and love of giant stompy robots would have you believe. And what few hours I have throughout the week to devote to this game I do so lovingly, without any desire to rush through the campaign just so I can give you, my dear reader, a complete opinion on all aspects of BattleTech.

I want to savor this.

So consider this an early review. I’ve finished the first main story quest and fetched the Argo from its moonlit prison, but I’m doing quite a few randomly generated contracts to level up my pilots and amass as much riches as possible. As I said before, I’m in no rush to get through the story campaign. And besides, rushing would vastly increase the difficulty of the game, and I am far from a pro-BattleTech player, if such a thing exists.

Let’s get the bad out of the way right off the bat. Soon after this game’s release, there was a bug that caused the save file to seem to disappear when the player loaded the game. It wasn’t actually gone, and simply reloading the game would make it appear again, but it was a shock for me after I’d accumulated a few hours only to find I couldn’t click “continue” after sitting down for some good ol’ ‘Mech action.

A quick perusal of the BattleTech subreddit notified me of the solution, but it was a few minutes of ire I’d rather not have suffered. Incidentally, the game doesn’t seem to have that issue currently, so they may have cleared that up altogether by the time you read this.

This game immerses the player in the BattleTech universe more than any other game before.

The loading times are also a little bit long. My rig is by no means a beast, but she does have a solid state drive and a decent processor, so waiting 30 seconds for a level to load is a little much. It harkens back to the days of waiting up to minutes at a time for Skyrim to load, and I have no desire to return to such dark times.

There’s also a bit of slowdown after running through a few missions. Another Reddit post said this is largely an issue with the Unity engine the game is built on, and deleting old save files seems to help. I’ve done so and it has helped a bit, but further optimization from the developers seems necessary here.

Finally, the voice actors are a tad on the cheezy side. I think comparing this game to MechCommander is a little unfair since BattleTech is vastly different and also vastly better, but MechCommander had a few more memorable voice lines, in my opinion.

Of course, I may have just not unlocked the pilot with the best lines yet.

Those are my only gripes. One has already been corrected, and the others are likely to be corrected in the coming weeks.

Now for the good, which I will also say right off the bat, does far more than just mitigate the bad. This game immerses the player in the BattleTech universe more than any other game before, except possibly MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries.

The game starts with a perfunctory tutorial and then immediately douses the player with a hefty dose of political intrigue. That’s all following the opening cinematic that summarizes the last 1,000 years of human development. And unlike most other BattleTech games, this one actually shows the transition from DropShip to JumpShip to planet.

There’s nothing better than watching your Shadow Hawk charge into an enemy Panther at full speed and take off it’s PPC arm at the shoulder.

To make things even more immersive, those transits between planets and contracts occasionally have random events that can have real consequences on your company’s performance, either costing cash or possibly providing your pilots a buff.

But the best part, by far, is the actual ‘Mech combat itself. There’s nothing better than watching your Shadow Hawk charge into an enemy Panther at full speed and take off it’s PPC arm at the shoulder. The camera seems to know the best angles to show the carnage. Even just stomping through a forest is made interesting just by having the camera provide a low-slung angle that makes your ‘Mechs appear exactly as large and intimidating as they should be.

The game mostly follows the BattleTech lore when it comes to ‘Mech construction but for a few differences. There’s a few extra critical slots on the center torso and legs, and armor and damage values don’t precisely line up. This is a good thing, frankly, as it means that AC/2s are actually worth using, but it can be a little confusing to not have the same damage values we all remember.

In general, though, a Locust will still die from a few solid hits of virtually anything, while an Atlas will take all day to bring down.

As expected from the same developers that made the Shadowrun series, the music and sound effects are all top notch. The music reminds me of the same sort that was presented in Shadowrun: Hong Kong, all orchestral and momentous during combat but gentle and soothing during downtime. Those of you lucky enough to be Kickstarter Backers will have the whole BattleTech album to download and listen to at your leisure.

One last thing that surprised me was the character building stage, which not only provides for a surprisingly in-depth selection of skin tones, facial expressions, and even camera angles for your portrait but also starts on the pronoun “they” in case you don’t want to conform to the whole gender binary thing.

I could go on about all there is to love about this game but I’d be heading into spoiler territory pretty quick. Let it be known that this game is everything we hoped it would be and more. It’s also been a huge success for Harebrained, so we can likely expect to see some paid DLC coming out real soon.

Did someone say Clans?

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Retrospective Review of “The Battle at Dorking”

Battle Indeed

Michael Moorcock is one of my favorite writers of all time.  I have a huge library of most of his work.  I don’t think he ever wrote anything in the military science fiction genre, but he certainly appreciated it.  I recently picked up a anthology he edited of short stories and novellas written prior to WWI (Before Armageddon), and that’s where I found arguably the first military science fiction story – “The Battle of Dorking” published in 1871 and written by George Chesney.

Continue reading

Review of David Drake’s “Redliners”

Recently I had decided to pick up and read David Drake’s collection of military science fiction short stories called “Hammer’s Slammers.”  I was a bit surprised by just how evocative it was of many of the central concepts of BattleTech universe writ large.  We aren’t any better in the future than we are now.  We still have unethical wars.  We hold onto our religious and ethnic identities and use those to exclude and attack others.  We still have these “us versus them,” mentalities.   Technology has not led to morality.

Beleaguered Soldiers on a Far-Flung Colony

Beleaguered Soldiers on a Far-Flung Colony

There are a bunch of other similar things, like similar weapons, similar concepts of mercenaries, and more — and I was so taken aback by this pre-BattleTech story, that I wrote a review on it here.  Having read that, I decided to eventually take on another military science fiction book as well and review it for you.  Two weeks ago I was shopping at a Books-a-Million superstore when I came across “Redliners.”  It was recently re-released in this prestige format as part of the 20 year anniversary of the novel.  On the cover is David Drake talking about how this is his best work, to his mind, and the one that changed him the most after writing it.

Well that sounded compelling.  So I picked it up and started reading.

Now as I have mentioned before, I’m very comfortable with David Drake.  I’ve read a few short stories, and this is my 6th book by him.  He’s not an author I follow religiously, but he’s good at what he does and I respect him for it.  He was at a major school for studying Law when he was drafted in the 60s, and sent to work with tanks in Cambodia for two years, and then returned.  He always found it difficult to re-assimilate into life.  And this novel follows a similar track.

In a future war by a star-spanning human empire, a high reputation striker force does some bad stuff and loses a lot of people on the front line of a war against some aliens.  They have crossed the red line.  But instead of them being sent home to keep them quiet, the leader of the Empire decides to try something new.  They are sent to escort a group of colonists to a hostile but potentially wealthy colony world.  And they are pushed together and forged by fire.  (I’m trying to keep this relatively spoiler-free).

Now the book itself has a lot of the typical military science-fiction accoutrements.  Death.  Weapons.  Battles.  And the style of Drake is compelling.  It’s powerful and evocative.  And while it’s not my favorite book in the genre by any means, I get where Drake is coming from.  The book is worth the reading.

I’ve always wondered what would happen if David Drake wrote a BattleTech story.  Would it feel like a conventional one?  Would it be different?  Would he continue down that path or hew something else?  He has written in shared worlds before.  He is a big fan of the Cthulhu Mythos and has written stuff there.  So you never know.

Are you familiar with “Redliners?”  Have you read it?  What did you think?

Pack Hunter vs. Solitaire – Strength in Numbers, Army of One

In my previous “vs.” article, I compared two second line BattleMechs, the Rabid Coyote and the Ursus. You can find that article here if you would like to read my analysis on the match-up.

In this installment, we again take a look at a pair of second line Clan BattleMechs, but these two are very different from our previous subjects.

When thinking about Light `Mechs, two images usually come to mind, at least for me. The first is of the stealth loner type scout, bravely attempting to get as close to the enemy as possible, even going behind enemy lines, in order to secure precious intel about troop movements, supply lines, and personnel locations. This lone ranger scout seeks out the weaknesses of the enemy and exploits them with brutal efficiency.

The other type of scout that comes to mind is the kind that searches and destroys vulnerable enemy targets in a small group. These scouts rely on gang-up tactics and misdirection to get the job done, working in highly coordinated teams to secure strategic kills, usually performing specific hit & run style strikes meant to pinpoint a specific target.

When juxtaposing these two types of BattleMech scouts, it is not hard to literally find the names of two `Mechs that not only resemble the concepts, they are named for them. The two BattleMechs we will look at in the context of these roles are the Pack Hunter and the Solitaire.

Perhaps not as well known or loved as other Clan favorites like the Dasher (Fire Moth) or Koshi (Mist Lynx), these second line designs come from an era when the Clans were still learning how to co-exist their Inner Sphere neighbors, adapting their toumans to be able to handle the myriad tactics that the Inner Sphere employs to get the job done no matter what.

But before we compare and contrast these Light hunting machines, let’s get to know each machine a little better.

Pack Hunter

Just out for a morning patrol and…holy crap, what’s that thing?!

The Pack Hunter would likely be considered an impressive effort regardless of the circumstances of its design and production. The first collaboration between Clan Wolf-in-Exile and their Arc Royal hosts, the Kell Hounds, the Pack Hunter was meant to be a test best for production capabilities, enabling the Wolves-in-Exile to work out any major problems with Clan technology before moving on to an OmniMech design. The project was a success, with the first production units rolling off the lines in 3059.

Matching superior speed and mobility with a single, hard-hitting weapon system, the Pack Hunter exists on a simple design philosophy. That being that light, fast, hard to hit BattleMechs can succeed in engagements with both Inner Sphere and Clan forces.

The design faced very few notable production problems and hit the field very quickly after its development period. During testing, it was found that as little as two Pack Hunters could demonstrate a clear danger to even a massive Dire Wolf, and the BattleMech is usually found deployed in teams of two or more.

Even under the Clans’ ritual rules of zellbrigen, the Pack Hunter is able to team up with its mate to take on a heavier opponent without the dishonor of breaking the traditional one-on-one combat doctrine. Working “around the rules” in this fashion had led to many Clan opponents wishing they had not agreed to the terms of the engagement.

A simple, efficient, and long-lasting design, the Pack Hunter has seen at least three variants put into production as well as receiving a second incarnation, the Pack Hunter II, during the Jihad and into the Republic era.

Armaments and Capabilities

The Pack Hunter exemplifies simplicity in its design and equipment, all packed into a tidy 30 ton chassis. Armed with only a single Clan Extended-Range Particle Projection Cannon, mounted in its right torso, the `Mech is built on an Endo Steel chassis and protected by four tons of standard armor. Its standard engine allows the Pack Hunter to move at a stop speed of 119 kph and adds to the BattleMech’s durability and affordability. Rounding out its equipment are enough jump jets to jump 210 meters.

Even without a complication array of weapons and equipment, the Pack Hunter‘s extreme efficiency has been proven on the battlefield since day one. Its frequent deployment in pairs is one of the most interesting developments with this BattleMech, as it heralded a slight shift in the Clans’ usually strict adherence to single combat.


Hey, is that a new Pack Hunter? Thor and Odin! No blast that large comes from a Pack Hunter!

That this BattleMech exists might be a bit of a small marvel in itself. The characteristically austere Clan Diamond Shark is not known for creating a BattleMech that literally takes every opportunity possible to make itself more expensive to produce. Yet, the Solitaire still rolled off the production lines and to roaring success to boot.

This blazing fast light BattleMech has few equals in terms of mobility, despite its lack of jump jets. Light Mech pilots in both Clan Diamond Shark and Clan Ghost Bear scrambled and competed to get a hold of any <em>Solitaire</em> that became available as soon as theMech was released.

Tactically, the Solitaire is deployed as a solo killer, stalking ahead of its unit to pick off any opponent that has strayed just a bit out of formation. With the firepower to threaten even most assault BattleMechs, especially when attacking from behind the larger machines, the Solitaire is highly effective when used as a backstabber and an assassin.

When the Solitaire entered production in 3064, the vast majority of units went to Clan Diamond Shark’s Spina Galaxies. Shortly after that, large numbers of Solitaires began to appear in second line units in the Ghost Bear Dominion. Apparently part of a large trade deal, linked either to the Diamond Shark’s help of the Ghost Bear’s earlier relocation to the Inner Sphere or for some unknown future consideration. Clans Cloud Cobra and Ice Hellion also showed interest in the BattleMech, but after the Wars of Reaving it is doubtful that the design would be found in the Clan Homeworlds in any significant numbers.

Armaments and Capabilities

Coming in at 25 tons, the spry Solitaire would not have been near as impressive of a machine if Clan Diamond Shark had cut any expense in its production. Based on an Endo Steel chassis and protected by four and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, the Solitaire is just about as sturdy and as protected as a Mech of its size can be. The real defensive piece is its Model SF-25 XL engine that allows a top speed of 162 kph. However, it is the chosen armaments for this BattleMech that make it stand out. Boasting one Heavy Large Laser, two Heavy Medium Lasers, and one Heavy Small Laser, the <em>Solitaire</em> is nearly unmatched in its weight class in terms of pure damage potential. The limiting factor for thisMech lies in its ten double heat sinks, making an Alpha Strike attack quite a toasty proposition.

Able to hit hard and fade away quickly enough to cool down, the Solitaire is one dangerous machine in the right hands. To date, the Solitaire has only one variant, which drops one of the Heavy Medium Lasers to add a MASC system. If the Solitaire is not fast enough for you, the Solitaire 2 might be the `Mech for you.

Head to Head

As with the previous contest, these two BattleMechs represent different takes on fulfilling the same battlefield role. The idea of these two `Mechs meeting on the field is one that makes me scratch my head a little.

Strictly speaking, I would imagine that Pack Hunter and Solitaire pilots would do their best to avoid one another on the battlefield. Each chassis is better designed to hunt down heavier BattleMechs than to hunt one another.

Click the picture to visit Iron Wind Metals’ Pack Hunter page.

But for argument sake, let’s take a stab at figuring out some possibilities should the two meet on the field and have no choice but to engage one another. For the purposes of this comparison, we will explore a 1v1 scenario and dismiss that Pack Hunters usually show up in pairs (though I will devote a few sentences to that scenario a little later).

Terrain may or may not be a factor in this match up. While the Pack Hunter‘s jump jets give it a slight edge in being able to ignore certain terrain types, the sheer speed of the Solitaire helps the lighter `Mech keep its own advantage, as long as the terrain is not wide open.

So the first part of the engagement will be advantage Pack Hunter simply because it will be able to open fire probably one turn earlier than the Solitaire, thanks to its ERPPC. Any ERPPC hit to the Solitaire‘s arms will rip it off clean and even lend some splash damage to the corresponding torso. A leg hit will not take out the Solitaire by itself, but it could help to cripple the lighter `Mech if a critical hit is scored.

Assuming the Solitaire can survive long enough to get into long range with its Heavy Large Laser, the battle gets a bit more interesting. Any hit from the Solitaire‘s main weapon will outright destroy any of the Pack Hunter‘s locations, save the Center Torso. Also, because the Pack Hunter only has a single weapon, if that happens to be to the Right Torso (or even the Right Arm in some cases), then the Pack Hunter might as well call it a day.

Click the picture to visit Iron Wind Metals’ Solitaire page.

From there it gets to be a worse proposition for the Pack Hunter, as the Solitaire can use its superior speed to further close the distance to bring its Heavy Medium Lasers to bear. At that point, the multiple hit capability of the Solitaire begins to exact a heavy toll on the Pack Hunter‘s chanced for survival.

One thing to point out here is that the Pack Hunter will benefit from better To-Hit numbers in almost every case, down to a range of 3 hexes. This is a good advantage and should not be overlooked. While it should also not be counted upon to make a huge difference, the advantage exists nonetheless.

So in most 1v1 situations, barring a lucky hit, I think I’m going to have to give the contest to the Solitaire. The speed advantage of the lighter `Mech does a lot to mitigate the range disparity between the two, and the Solitaire also boasts slightly more armor protection, which can make the difference when taking leg hits, thus keeping mobile and in the fight. While the Pack Hunter is more durable thanks to its standard Engine, losing its one weapon system is in most cases just as devastating as being destroyed.

Side Note: I promised I would address this, so here it is. I’ll have to give the engagement to the Pack Hunter if there are two of them. It’s simple a reorganization of the tactical situation. In a 1v1, the Pack Hunter is playing the Solitaire‘s game. Conversely, the 1v2 situation is more than just being simply outnumbered. It is a changing of the scope of the battlefield in a way that brings the Solitaire in the Pack Hunters‘ arena. A clever Solitaire pilot might still come out on top of a 1v2 scenario, but the value of two `Mechs working together is most often greater than the simple sum of the whole.

Final Thoughts

Both of these BattleMechs are amazing at what they do. They’re not completely dissimilar, but they’re also not really the same. Side by side, I would personally take the Solitaire, but I will caveat myself by reminding you that I’m a Ghost Bear player primarily. I have nothing against the Pack Hunter, however, and would not feel cheated or under strength if I had one or two in a Star. Raw BV aside, either situation can easily win back double or more its points.

As far as deployability, the Pack Hunter and its variants, including the Pack Hunter II, has found its way not only into the forces of Clan Wolf-in-Exile and the Kell Hounds, but also into pretty much every other Clan, Mercenary forces, the Republic, and several Houses. Widespread and valued for its capabilities, the Pack Hunter will continue to be a familiar sight on the battlefield for a long time to come.

Conversely, the Solitaire has experienced a rather limited breadth of varied deployment, seen only in the toumans of Clans Ghost Bear and Diamond Shark/Sea Fox even into the 3140s. I do not believe that this means that other military organizations have found fault in the design. Instead, I believe it is reflective of Clan Sea Fox’s continued efforts to keep the design as exclusive as possible, sharing the expensive BattleMech only with its Ghost Bear allies.

Want to Know More?

If you want to know more about either the Pack Hunter or the Solitaire, check out the reference materials listed below:

BattleTech Technical Readout: 3060 on BattleCorps, DriveThruRPG, or Amazon
BattleTech Technical Readout: 3067 on BattleCorpsDriveThruRPG, or Amazon
Pack Hunter on the Master Unit List
Solitaire on the Master Unit List

Want to see me continue to compare BattleMechs? Suggest a new pairing in the comments, and if strikes my fancy I just might write it!