What ‘Mech Would You Survive The Coronavirus Outbreak In?


Gas Attack

I dunno about you, but this ongoing coronavirus pandemic is starting to get to me. Not only have I been cooped up inside without being able to see friends or family for a month (a situation unlikely to change in the near future), but I’m also terrified that each time I go to the grocery store it might be my last. There’s also that whole specter of a global economic collapse the likes of which we haven’t seen since The Great Depression, which sounds like a gay old time.

I’m sure some of you are feeling the same way. What we need to do is redirect that coronavirus anxiety into something that’s more productive. And what could be more productive than mindlessly speculating about which fictional giant robot could best survive a very real pandemic?

Time for us to go on a journey, my friends.

Coronavirus Criteria

For this intellectual exercise, we’re going to pick a ‘Mech from each class that is A) has a cockpit that is atmospherically sealed, B) is non-ammo dependant so as to avoid having to re-arm itself and risk breaking social distancing with ‘Mech techs, and C) has a relatively spacious cockpit with decent air recycling.

A) should be pretty much every ‘Mech in existence that has been properly maintained, so we’re really focusing on B) and C). There are plenty of energy-only designs, so criteria C) is the real sticking point. Luckily, I know of a few that had some decent space for spending months at a time trapped in a ‘Mech’s cockpit. Note that these are all Inner Sphere designs as Clan cockpits were universally cramped and spartan as they were designed for quick fights and not extended battles against an unseen enemy.

Light ‘Mech – Wolfhound

There are actually a few benefits to the Wolfhound for surviving a pandemic. First, it’s all energy all the time in all its various forms, so you never have to worry about bringing people into close contact in order to reload (except for the mutant Free Worlds League model, the WLF-3M, which features a Light Gauss Rifle).

Second, it’s got a rumble seat, so we know that it’s got a spacious enough cockpit to have a passenger. You might even be able to stretch your legs out and have a horizontal nap. I haven’t seen the inside of a Wolfhound (besides the view offered in MechWarrior 4 and MechWarrior Online, of course), but Sarna’s cockpit page points out that most IS ‘Mechs also had enough space for a small toilet and a meal-prep area.

Third, and most importantly, it’s got a Full-Head Ejection System, so even if you do get taken out and are forced to eject you still don’t have to inhale possibly virus-tainted air. Everything is always enclosed.

Medium ‘Mech – Blackjack

This one’s tough since most medium ‘Mechs aren’t designed for creature comforts. They’re designed for maximum combat efficacy for the minimum of cost, and where these two concepts intersect doesn’t leave a lot of room for something as inefficient as headspace.

That said, we can still take consideration for Inner Sphere designs that were created for extended operations. One of those ‘Mechs just so happens to be the BJ-3 Blackjack. I’ve always liked the look of the Blackjack, and the BJ-3 takes out those piddly AC/2’s for a pair of PPCs and enough Double Heat Sinks to actually use ‘em on occasion.

Being a St. Ives Compact design, you just know their engineers will pay special attention to atmospheric sealing, given how the Capellans are wont to experiment with bio and chemical weapons (and occasionally on their own citizens). It doesn’t have a Full-Head Ejection System like the Wolfhound, but that bulging head looks like it’ll have some extra space to kick your feet up.

Heavy ‘Mech – Thunderbolt

Of all the ‘Mechs ever designed, the Thunderbolt holds a special place in BattleTech canon. According to the BattleTech story A Guy Walks Into A Bar On Solaris VII, published in BattleCorps in 2006 by Jeff Kautz, the Thunderbolt has “an exceptionally roomy cockpit,” even when compared to an Atlas or a BattleMaster. And considering that a BattleMaster is often retrofitted to have a Command Console and two seats, that makes the Thunderbolt a bachelor apartment on legs.

Why the Thunderbolt was given such a roomy cockpit we may never know. But if I had to live out my days in isolation, I want the most space I can get, and that means the Thunderbolt.

Unfortunately, all variants of the Thunderbolt have some ammunition dependency, but even the TDR-5S has a fair number of energy weapons that will keep it in the fight long after it’s missile and machine gun bins are exhausted.

Assault ‘Mech – Grand Titan

Inner Sphere assault ‘Mechs tend to have spacious cockpits. Is this because Inner Sphere assaults are often piloted by nobles, generals, and high-ranking officials? Or is it simply because they’re larger and have more space to leave to creature comforts like a storage bin and an espresso machine?

These are questions left unanswered in BattleTech lore. But the Grand Titan has enough space for a goddamn back room and that’s good enough for me. You could play poker with your MechWarrior pals in this thing if it weren’t for social distancing.

According to the 3rd Edition MechWarrior RPG, this is what lays behind the command seat of the Grand Titan:

Is that a big enough to place a bed and breakfast? You damn right it is. I can’t tell if whatever is labeled “2” or “5” is where you go to the bathroom or where you recharge your cell phone, but either way it looks spacious and comfy.

Besides that, the Grand Titan is delightfully fast for an assault ‘Mech, has plenty of pulse lasers for when the ammo bins run dry, and the T-IT-N14R has an Improved Life Support system, an armored cockpit, and a Full-Head Ejection System.

As great as my suggestions are, I must admit to not having quite the encyclopedic knowledge of BattleMech amenities as perhaps some of Sarna’s illustrious readers. To that end, I ask you all to discuss which BattleMechs have the most luxurious amenities for their lucky pilots in the comment section below.

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.

27 thoughts on “What ‘Mech Would You Survive The Coronavirus Outbreak In?

  1. Poxinabox

    The Spider. Fast, jumpy, all-energy, and equipped with all the digital entertainment I could ask for during extended deployments.

    Reply
  2. Dan

    Wilikers….. Mmmmm, guess I’ll go with a Black Knight. All energy weapons, looks like a spacious cockpit and just plain cool. If it was good enough for Hazen, it’ll be good enough for to wait out this GOD DAMN VIRUS!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Pht

    Flashman, preferably one post-jihad with the upgraded cabin air intake filters rated to filter out the uber nasties the WOB used for bio-warfare.

    Flashie, because he was built for long term behind enemy lines combat by people who know what a toilet is :D

    I bet you they even have microwaves and fridges in them!

    Reply
  4. Frabby

    The Shadow Hawk is the only ‘Mech explicitly noted for its comfortable cockpit that keeps a MechWarrior combat-ready longer. The laid-back CO of our RPG group of old chose a Shadow Hawk solely on grounds of that description, configuration be damned.

    Reply
  5. CF

    Not any old _Shadow Hawk_ — the Kurita model. Nothing says “keep your distance” like a PPC and LRM5.

    Reply
  6. Bogus

    The top part of the great and glorious Urbanmech looks a bit like you could walk around in it, and some of the variants are energy-based.

    As much as I love my urbies though, I’d probably go with a Marauder II here. It’s a king sized version of one of the Spheroids’ top command mechs, so it ought to be luxurious enough for a 31st century aristocrat, and the reworked version looks quite spacious. Like the regular Marauder it throws a lot of PPC fire so no need to get close, and it should be possible for a competent tech crew to downgrade or remove the autocannon and convert some of the open torso slots into extra cabin space.

    Reply
  7. Flashfreeze

    So hear me out here: The BRZ-C3 Berserker is an ideal long-term survival ‘Mech.

    – Assault-class ‘Mech with large cockpit according to canon art, and so probably has enough room to set up a sleeping bag.
    – Energy-weapon-based loadout reduces need to resupply.
    – Substantial armor allows the ‘Mech to survive a few hits and dings without worry.
    – Uses a sturdier, cheaper Light engine vs. the bulky, expensive XL of the original BRZ-A3.
    – Integrated flamer makes setting up bonfires easy.
    – Integrated hatchet makes getting firewood easy and allows for easy collection of shelter materials.
    – Articulated right hand allows for more precise movement and carriage of materials
    – Six ER medium lasers can force a piloting skill check and knock down opponents.
    – ER-PPC provides ranged fire/limited headcapping potential, but will also bring down most animals at ranges they cannot conceive of. Eating from the un-scorched half a deer still means you’ve got venison.
    – AMS is not strictly necessary as part of its loadout and once exhausted can be removed and replaced with more equipment/storage.
    – Hatchet discourages people from being in touch range. Flamer discourages people from being in speaking range. Six ER medium lasers discourage people from being in shouting range. ER-PPC discourages people from being in visual range.
    – Triple Strength Myomer means that if anyone is foolish enough to approach you, you can probably pick them up and throw them back to a more respectful distance. Or bisect them at the waist, which often teaches important lessons about maintaining one’s distance.
    – An Electronic Counter-Measures package keeps your emissions signature down, discouraging people from trying to find you in the first place. Can be fairly easily switched for a Beagle Active Probe if you need to find someone or want to pirate video signals.
    – Lack of jump jets means you can store all of your necessary belongings in a large backpack arrangement without fear of scorching anything.
    – Surprisingly fast for a 100-ton ‘Mech yet is still within the legal speed limits of most major cities.
    – No MASC to risk overtaxing such that you blow out valuable leg actuators, yet still fairly mobile.
    – C3 Slave unit encourages coordination with a single Lance or Company unit (no man is an island).
    – Extremely distinctive appearance means no one will mistake your remotely ordered supplies for those going to someone else; that guy in the JagerMech can learn to buy his own ravioli.

    If I had to survive in a ‘Mech, the Berserker-C3 would definitely be my pick. It isn’t perfect strictly speaking, but it’s a wicked machine that does a lot of things right, both in the tabletop and in a prospective scenario such as this.

    Reply
  8. Gunes

    Tripod mechs. Three people cockpit is well enough for comfort.
    If it doesn’t have to be Battletech, then Imperator Titan from 40K. All titans are impenetrable by biological, chemical attacks or even nuclear radiation, Imperator Titan needs at least 15 crew to operate. That means pretty wide empty room.

    Reply
  9. FistofFire

    Heavy: Marauder. 10X variant (personal). ER Large Laser, 2x Medium Lasers, 2x PPC, TSM, no pesky XL anything and lots of heat sinks. (enough to run and fire the long-range weapons indefinitely!) Plus jumpy jets! Limited only by trips to the convenience store…

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      Sarna does not condone the use of high-speed ‘Mechs to violate government mandated lockdowns. Please follow appropriate physical distancing rules and stay home as much as possible.

      Reply
  10. Thomas

    My choice:
    The Imp. Take a look at the head section. Bar, swimming pool everything can be installed there.
    It has also a quasi all energy armament.

    Reply
  11. William Beetge

    Light: Deffo the Wolfhound
    Medium: Hatchetman. HCT-6M would work great.
    Heavy: Also T-Bolt – I love that thing – though the Black knight is a close second
    Assault: Marauder II

    Reply
  12. Trevor

    Light: I agree with you on the Wolfhound
    Medium: Nightsky, the energy weapons with the hatchet, and the cockpit looks like it would have enough room for extended deployments
    Heavy: Catapult, preferably the -K series with the PPCs. A combination of armor, mobility, and ability to defend itself reliably
    Assault: Atlas, I mean come on there is a satellite dish built into the head. That would be great for communication and I’m sure there is some way to pick up a video signal via satellite. Also, you don’t mess with an Atlas

    Reply
    1. MP

      Add the Awesome to the list for dish TV reasons and Energy weapons…and cheaper than the Atlas…though I like the idea of trying to use Atlas battle hands to pick things up on a shopping trip [Insert picture of Atlas fingers grabbing bag of McDonalds drive thru]

      Reply
  13. Boomer8

    For the light side: either the Flea 16 or the Jenner 7-F. All energy, and fast enough to stay away from others.
    For medium, the Shadow Hawk IIC 7. Mostly energy, with improved life support.
    For heavy, the Ostsol 6D. All energy, and hard to damage.
    And for assault, the Xanthos 4O. All energy, improved life support, and stealth armor.

    Reply
  14. Joseph

    I played lots of mechwarrior 4 Vengeance, so I would stay in an Osiris, for it’s 5 medium lasers, or a Mad cat Mk II, for the insane weapons, jump jets, and large cockpit(it doesn’t look big in the game though.

    Reply
  15. Mick

    Kuritan Dueling Master Amanda Kazutoyo stayed in her cockpit for ten days in a Battlemaster, waiting for somebody to come out of the SLDF fort to answer her challenge. She was probably sipping water and crapping in an MRE bag, but still, that has to be some kind of record.

    Reply
  16. Gary

    Light: Raven, Im gonna go with the Raven here. Coronavirus is a smart weapon but it can’t infect you if it can’t find you and I’m betting on the ECM suite here.

    Medium: Shadow Hawk, definitely. Greyson Death Carlylse has spent many a night inside this cockpit WITH the tall blonde Lori Kalmar, and she looks up to him. So that has to have some sort of space in the cockpit. Yes it has some ammunition requirements, but do you know how many times you have to shoot an SRM 2 to get through a ton of ammunition? It’s not really a problem.

    Heavy: Marauder-3D, the 3D replacced the autocannon with a large laser, no ammunition problems at all and Im going to assume that it has a spacious cockpit, because if not, it would not have reached its level of popularity

    Assault: Victor – Now I know it has a big ole autocannon, but how can you consider that a negative? I mean come on… It has a big ole autocannon. If it’s good enough for Ardan Sortek to drop on enemy worlds knowing he may have to spend some time in the field, and that there may be alien viruses out there, then its good enough for me.

    Reply
  17. Kent O Williams

    Phoenix Hawk. Endosteel chassis, full standard armor, Clan ER large laser, 2 small pulse lasers, Angel ECM, Bloodound probe and cargo space or a laser AMS.

    See ya’ll at WalMart.

    Reply
  18. Mark Skarr

    Eh, I’m a 3025 MechWarrior–I’ve caught worse bugs in Canopus and weathered that fine. Now, I’ll be takin’ my CN9-AL Centurion to Walmart, because that place is crazy.

    Reply
  19. Luke

    Masakari Warhawk Prime. Don’t even care about the cockpit space because I can create my own space up to 900m away.

    Reply
  20. Joseph Willis

    I’d want to live in a cylocops, reasonable room but most importantly it’s battle computer would keep me entertained without having to resort to its good selection of weapons to keep myself reasonably sain

    Reply
  21. Figing

    For a light I would choose Firemoth D just because you won’t catch me. Also 5xER Med+TComp will be enough to scare away Steiner scouts.

    For a medium one – Nova H. Nothing will help social distancing like 10 Heavy Meds pointing towards you.

    Heavy – hard choice there. Maybe CPLT-K3. Cozy cabin and some BBQ.

    Assault one – hard choice.
    Warhawk Prime for big cockpit and fact that it is 33% more awesome than Awesome (well, it has LRM-10 but who need it anyway?)

    Reply
  22. Hotaru Lind

    MR-8C Marco, a light industrial mech with environmental sealing and a 2 person tent on the back and although it’s only got a small laser I’ve always got my
    BLR-2D Warlord which is the upsized Battlemaster but the second cockpit is just empty space as it was left out so plenty of space in the cockpit.

    Reply

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