Your Favorite IS ‘Mechs from 3058

From the Star League With Love

3058 is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to Technical Readouts (TRO), and that always made it harder for me to suss out.  It introduces Inner Sphere omni technology in BattleMech form in the TRO series.  It also features a large number of older designs, such as the Chameleon, Mackie, and Merlin and Striker that had been around for a long time.  As a player I was never sure why they did that, and our playgroup had a lot of questions.  But the TRO gave us some fun new ‘Mechs rolling off the lines with the latest tech as well.

So after all of these years, which of these are your favorite Inner Sphere units?

Here are my top five:

Lynx? Or Cougar?

5.  Lynx – The Lynx is a pretty sexy medium unit.  It had range similar to a lot of good jumping medium ‘Mechs of the era, and also adds two long range weapons that don’t require any ammo to use.  Meanwhile we had a strong medium laser suite as close range fun.  For a 55 ton frame, the armor is as good as you can get.  So we have jumping, speed, two long range weapons, and multiple short ranges ones, and a strong heat dispersion.  The result is a long-lasting unit that can keep up the pressure throughout an engagement without having to worry about ammo, explosions, or anything else.  This sort of unit brings a quality among of game to the battlefield.

Devastating You All Day Long

4.  Devastator – Do you like to have four major long range hole-breaking weapons in one ‘Mech?  I do!  You can fire two gauss rifles and two normal, average, everyday PPCs at folks all day long, just sheering off armor and making plenty of holes for those missile boats to exploit.  There was a time when I preferred the Thunder Hawk to the Devastator for that third gauss, but I’ve since seen the error of my ways.  That time is long since passed.  What’s not to love? Good armor?  4 tons of ammo for gauss’ing your foes?  The quartet of backup medium lasers – standard fare in just about any long range unit?  I recently became enamored with it after salvaging one for my unit and then doling out death across the battlefield in later battles.  The Devastator is the real deal!


Speed Away!

3.  Talon – One of my favorite light ‘Mechs of the era is the Wolfhound.  It has solid movement, an ER Large Laser, extra lasers, and heat sinks, good armor, and no issue with an XL Engine.  I like to look at the Talon as basically a Wolfhound with an XL engine.  Because of that, it can be faster, and have better weapons to boot.  Now we have that ER PPC and the extra speed to put in on par with other 8/12 dorks like the Locust, Cicada and Spider.  The combination of a super-fast body and super nice weapon give it a strong zone of operation that enables it to strike exceedingly quickly.  I like using it as a recon adjunct to my long range units that can range, close, flank, or get in rear attacks as needed.

Word Up.

2.  Grand Crusader – I’m not a super -big fan of Inner Sphere XL engines.  In play, I find that they make ‘Mechs too easy to shut down and usually don’t give enough punch back to make the risk worth it.  There are situations (such as quad ‘Mechs or long-range units) where the XL is worth the price of admission. While 3058 is just chock full of XL designs I would love to tinker with, I do enjoy the Word of Blake’s Grand Crusader.  Want a long-range missile boat on the level of an Archer?  Well, you’ve got it!  We even have Artemis IV for that role.  Want a heavier ‘Mech that can wade in and block stuff out with its accurate weapons fire?  We can do that too – pulse lasers get ready.  You can play either role with it, and with its large armor, you aren’t disappointed.  I like using it as a missile boat alongside ‘Mechs that open up holes in armor, and then waiting for that invariable push with the big, heavy, armored stuff at you – like Hunchbacks, Thunders, BattleMasters, Thunderbolts and Atlases.  As that stuff comes in, the Grand Crusader switches roles from long range warrior to guardian of the longbowmen.  I enjoy that sort of diversity in my units.

Not Luke…

1.  Starslayer – I don’t know if I could ever put my finger on exactly why, but I’ve always adored the Starslayer.  I like a recon, hopping medium dork with enough weaponry to make things serious.  The twinned long range large lasers certainly suffice.  It rocks virtually maxed out armor, solid backup weapons, and my favorite – no XL engine to shut the thing down when weapons fire invariably comes its way.  It’s the full package, and I’ve played them in tons of games, loved them in MechCommander 2 and still can’t get enough of the guy.

So there are my five favorite IS ‘Mechs from 3058!  What are yours?

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17 thoughts on “Your Favorite IS ‘Mechs from 3058

  1. Clan Wolverine

    Among Inner Sphere 3058 designs, definitely the Devastator. It addresses all this issues I had with the 3055 assault ‘Mechs.

    On the Clan side, I love the Grendel. Perfect combination of mobility, firepower and protection. It can jump seven, kill something, then jump away. I like the Spector for the same reason.

  2. JPArbiter

    3058 was the TRO full of “Meh” for me. I have a soft spot for the Black Hawk KU Omnimech and Bushwhacker, but everything else was either an Omni I did not quite understand, or a mech where an older designed seemed to do it better. the Talon and Spectre were criminally overlooked by me in my youth, but I have since learned the error of my ways

    on the clan side, the Nobori Nin and Shadow Cat will always have soft spots in my heart.

    1. Abe Sargent Post author

      It’s a little uneven sure, but it also rocks some solid stuff in between the pages, you know?

    2. Clan Wolverine

      For the most part, I agree with JPArbiter. Most of the IS ‘Mechs didn’t inspire me. There are a couple of light gems like the Spector and Talon. The Omnis have potential, but most of the configurations are weak. Overall, there’s way too much 3025 tech for my tastes. That stuff’s not gonna compete with the Clans.

      BUT – The assault ‘mechs were everything we could ask for. The Pillager, Nightstar, Devastor and Thunder Hawk are all bad ass. Yeah, i know people don’t like XL engines. But the amount of firepower these boys can bring to the board can’t be denied.

  3. Pat Rich

    My faves from the TRO:

    Sunder – This was pretty much my assault mech of choice in MW3. It’s reasonably fast, well armored Swap in some clan weapons, and it’s a very capable machine. Along with the Templar, it’s among my favorite IS Omnimechs.

    Nightstar – It’s pretty much a 95 ton Marauder, with Gauss rifles. ’nuff said.

    Spector – The knowledge that there is a variant of the Spector with Null signature and Chameleon LPS,
    put this mech on my list. (I love Stealth designs)

    O-Bakemono – It carries a pair of Arrow IV launchers, and three tons of ammo for each. This mech can outright kill or cripple anything from several maps away. the large amount of ammo means it can last a long time, and can still carry some specialized munitions.

    Owens – I need a spotter for the artillery mech, and the Owens seems to fit that role quite nicely. It can be set up as a light missile boat, or a direct-fire scout

    As far as Clan mechs are concerned, I like the Cauldron Born, Shadow Cat, Night Gyr, Fire Falcon, and Supernova.

    Finally, The Challenger X MBT and Tokugawa Heavy tank are my favorite vehicles from the TRO.

  4. Abe Sargent Post author

    Thanks for letting us know! I have never gotten a lot of milage from Nightstars though, they always seem to go down way too fast. Maybe just unlucky?

  5. Jeremy Ward

    This was the TRO that FASA finally took the kid gloves off with. They well whole hog on design after design, redeeming themselves from the rather idiotic upgrades of 3050 and the half-hearted designs of 3055 like the Huron Warrior and the 3050 Panther. Each of those TROs has some stellar designs, but the majority are pretty crappy, even with putting back in the 2750 Mechs. 3058 shines pretty well. Here are my 5 favorites.

    5. The Sunder. Big, ugly, and built to scare all enemies of the Dragon, this is an awesome Inner Sphere Omni. The dual C3 configuration is a great staet for adding into the multilayered company that you can build out of all of the IS Omnis. The destruction of Luthien Armor Works at the start of the Jihad took it out of production for a long time, but the Dragon came roaring back and kicked their Omnis into high gear again. The XL engine hurts, it was the common solution to weight issues at the time. As the design trudge on, the additional Jihad and Dark Age upgrades make this one of top 4 assault Mechs in the Kurita Inventory.

    4. The Enfield. Given that this is the third iteration of the Enforcer with a bit more tonnage, it stands up quite well in any timeline. The battery of lasers combined with 5/8 movement and an LB-10X makes it a solid choice to pair with the Enforcer or the 3050 Shadow Hawk, or later 5/8 50 to 55 ton designs.

    3. The Black Hawk KU- This is the best 60 toner the Kurita have that is a non-clan design.
    It out guns and out armors the Grand Dragon, has exceedingly nasty short range confgiurations, can jump, and you can mount almost any weapon on it. Win win all around.

    2. The Kingfisher. This is probably my favorite assault Omni. Lots of pod space, a standard engine, and a dual big gun philosophy followed up by a 2 to 4 weapon battery. Glad to see the Mechforce designs made it it in before they went belly up.

    1. The Pillager. I love the Devastator, and the Thunder Hawk, but the Pillage is the hidden diamond in the assault category. A jump capable 100 toner with dual Gauss and a secondary battery that builds no heat even when jumping and Alpha Striking? SIGN ME UP! The stealth variants are nice, even with the +10 heat, but the Star League version still remains my favorite mech. Even in these tikes of Ferro Lamellar Hardened Reactive Elven Ninja Stealth Armor, it can hold its own.

  6. Timbal

    For myself, out of the IS machine designs:

    Nightstar – This sucker has always worked well for me. Soaks up tons of damage and can dish it out from range. It’s a bit ammo dependant (Watch that supply chain if you’re a merc unit!), but in a role to punch a hole in the enemy line OR as a slow headhunter, it works REALLY well. In fact, thinking about dropping two of my Templars in my unit to swap for this design.

    Shootist – I only have one of these, and in an assault role it actually tends to take damage a LOT because the OPFOR seems to always concentrate firepower on it, but in the bodyguard role it does really well. Something to be said about that giant AC20 and decent mobility.

    Raptor – I have two of these in my unit. I have to be careful with them, since they’re really thin skinned, but they work well as mobile indirect LRM shooters or LRM mine layers. I tend to put my less experienced pilots in these, as hitting the ground is far easier than hitting a moving target. ;)

    Owens – I have two of these in the unit as well. One is set up as a lance leader in the F variant, and the other in its’ standard config. They work really well for designating artillery fire, but they tend to take a lot of fire.

    Bushwacker – I have one in my unit, but I tend to have bad luck with it, usually suffering engine hits early on. Still, I keep it for nostalgic reasons from my time playing MW3.

    Avatar – I have only one, and it’s a bit thin skinned, but in a secondary support role it actually works well.

    Devastator – I had one in my unit, but I hated the look of the mini and on the battlefield it kept falling to headshots. Finally got tired of the design and sold it off.

  7. Tallin

    Interesting thread. I think that everyone’s top 5 depends a little on how you structure your game (1 v 1, lance v lance, co v star etc) as some mechs excel in teams more so than one v one. My top 5 would certainly have the Devestator and the Star Slayer but I prefer the Spector over the Talon for my harasser (JJ FTW + ECM), I like the Excalibur for a back marker / fire support (5/8 + AMS + Long range = HTK) and the Emperor with its twin LBX (and 4 tons of ammo thanks very much) and max armour makes a great medium / close range finisher and front man (read ‘tank’).

    Put your Emperor / Devestator combo up front on a slow march towards the enemy, jump your Spector in and out jamming and sniping. Star Slayer is your reaction / reserve mech, hold him mid formation ready to fall back to clear up enemy lights or come forward to add fire to a good target while your Excalibur takes hard angle runs and torso turns in the back field and pours fire in from long range.

  8. marcw52

    #1 has got to be the Pillager. The perfect combo of offense, armor and mobility.
    #2 the Cestus- Long range with plenty of speed, ammo and armor to make that Gauss Rifle that much deadlier
    #3 Tie between the Spector and Nexus. Both have great speed and incredible armament for their tonnage
    #4 Nightstar. Do I really need to explain this one??

  9. Wrangler

    It’s really hard to pin down, i started playing actual tabletop campaign starting year of 3058.
    5 – Avatar – Maybe a poser Omni, but its configurations make it pretty darn good Mech.
    4 – Nightstar – Looks like a Marauder, kills like assault mech. nice
    3 – Pillager – Twin Gauss Rifles, Larger Laser, plenty arm and brute survivability.11
    2 – Sentimental Reasons, Thunderhawk. Awesome of Gauss Rifles, XL kinda makes not as good, but still love it
    1 – Devastator – Mean machine, which i had fun driving this thing. Twin Gauss, twin PPCs, no waiting. Tough as nut, when you can fire and not worry about heat. Sure it’s easy, but its still fun to me.

  10. acefalcon

    It’s really hard to choose only five best IS ‘Mechs from those ugly drawn but brillantly designed machines. I do love nearly all of them. Except of Owens. He’s silly.
    1. Black Hawk KU. Deadly heavy cavalery with a mobllity and firepower of a good Clan omni. Most variants aren’t very good, but “prime’ is worth every ryu invested into this project
    2. Lynx. One of the best 55-t ‘Mechs ever
    3-4. Devastator. An ultimate IS assault
    3-4. Thunder Hawk. Same thing
    5. Cestus. One of best IS frontline heavy ‘Mechs

    1. Clan Wolverine

      I didn’t appreciate the Owens either, at first. Ultimately, it became my favorite of the original IS Omnis. You need to take full advantage of the electronics suite. Use it the same way you may have previously used the Raven or Hitman, but with better long-range capability.

  11. Eye

    My top 5 IS mechs from 3058 would be:
    5. Devastator – Yeah, can’t really add anything on top of what you’ve mentioned above. Haven’t been a huge fan of assault mechs over the years (I prefer mediums/lights), but this mech is one of the few exceptions.
    4. Raptor – despite the weak armour, I like this little guy, especially the A variant. Something about a 25 ton IS mech with 2 large lasers appeals to me. The C variant likewise has a disgusting amount of firepower for a light IS mech and enough heat sinks to keep using it. It can be a scary little mech.
    3. Spector – Max armour, good speed, jump jets, ECM and a decent energy weapons loadout. Mech was already a keeper. Later variant with Null and Chameleon systems just added a whole new level of awesome.
    2. Starslayer. Agree with all the comments you made above. Very balanced mech that is durable, maneuovreable and has a good spread of weapons. Solid performer. Can’t really ask for more.
    1. Bushwacker. Mostly sentimeltal reasons. I liked this mech even before MW3, but that game (plus Mech Commander 1+2 and MW4) really left a lasting impression on me and it has stuck. Not the most powerful or even best performing mech around, but I’ve had good fun with it, whether going sniping with the X1 or brawling with the S2 and L1 variants.


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