Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Assassin

BattleTechWiki talk:Project BattleMechs

This article is within the scope of the BattleMechs WikiProject, a collaborative effort to improve BattleTechWiki's coverage of BattleMechs. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.


A long discussion about Notable pilots can be found on the Notable Pilots discussion page.

Consensus : Notable Pilot Sections[edit]

To save space, this has been moved to the Famous Pilots discussion page. Note that discussion is still ongoing.--Mbear 16:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Random Battlemech?[edit]

In the side bar there is the random page option that navigates you to any page in the entire wiki (as far as I'm aware). Now i have no idea how, but would it be possible to add a similar function to the BattleMech Portal to randomly select a battlemech entry? Although it may not be entirely relevant nor required, I think it could make the Portal potentially more useful.

Mop no more 10:17, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I second that idea... BobTheZombie (talk) 13:31, 19 June 2013 (PDT)

Variant Formatting[edit]

I've seen several different formatting types for the Variants section of the Mech pages. So far I've seen boldfaced entries, italicized entries, and plain entries. I've also seen the name of the unit repeated for each variant, and see it left out. Is there a standard for this yet?


  • BLR-1G BattleMaster - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G BattleMaster - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G BattleMaster - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G BattleMaster - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G BattleMaster - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G - Text about variant.
  • BLR-1G - Text about variant.

Which of the above is the preferred format?--Mbear 19:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Hy, ok Scaltail talk to me no bold variants, but i think we can bold, example: BLR-1G BattleMaster, is ok, this is my opinion for a eye catch, when users searche vor variants on the page, it jumps in the eye ;), hmm hmm my english.--Doneve 20:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
But doesn't the bullet at the start of the line catch the eye?--Mbear 20:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, my failure, but i am a little bit tired, i talk to you on next day, (i work in my old job, yeah, after over 1 year injurnes), see you tomorrow.Greetings --Doneve 20:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Hello guys, sorry about mix variant listings i've been doing from RS: Unique 'Mechs. I had limited time to enter them, so i just listed them way the other variants were listed in particular articcle. -- Wrangler 20:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
The format is posted on this very project (the last item at BattleTechWiki:Project_BattleMechs#Guidelines). I see no reason why there would be ambiguity. --Scaletail 23:46, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
My confusion resulted from the fact that I didn't know where to look for the guidelines. Once you listed the location, all was well.--Mbear 16:46, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

OmniMech Policy[edit]

I would like to propose that all OmniMech entries have a standard "Pod Space" entry either under "Technical Specification" or some other designated, consisted area. I realize this would be a lot of work, but I wanted to see what people thought. ClanWolverine101 20:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good to me.Onisuzume 20:59, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree to.--Doneve 21:45, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Excellent! Question for those more clever than I : How hard would it be to create a separate template for the Omnis? ClanWolverine101 20:02, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
It's a fair-to-middling amount of work to create the template, but the real workload would be converting every existing Omni over to use the new template.
As a counter to your proposal, couldn't you simply put the amount of Pod Space in the existing template under Armaments? For example on the Timber Wolf you might have

{{ |armament= (27.5 tons pod space)
Primary Configuration


Just a thought.--Mbear 20:20, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion:Transclusion of Variants[edit]

Comming under the heading of "ohh lord, not another sub-page" i finally executed my first transclusion. First you create the sections that would appear on every article in a template as i did for Template:Man-Portable_Plasma_Rifle with <onlyinclude> at the top of the section and </onlyinclude> at the bottom. The Current Variants Section (in the Template) would serve to point to the subpages. Then the stats table Section of the BattleMech template would be copied to the Main page Man-Portable Plasma Rifle with the name of the "template" for the description as follows {{Man-Portable Plasma Rifle}}.

Categories that apply to all the variants would be on the main page and not part of the template. When you create a variant sub-page you would then copy all of the main page (not the template) to the sub-page as i did with Man-Portable Plasma Rifle/RPG3E. Categories should be Left out the the Sub Pages unless it is specifically relevant to that variant (like C3 Slave, C3i or C3 Master, or Artillery... etc). Personally it felt like "you're telling me i was afraid of... this?" but YMMV--Cameron 01:09, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Faction Categories pt3[edit]

I read through past Faction discussions recently, as while they may be cluttered and confused, everyone still wants to know what their favorite faction uses and produces. There in which the problem lies, Scaletail touched on it in the redux discussion, editors have added categories based on three seperate criteria, manufacturer, access, and usage. Manufacturers are the ones who produce it, doesn't matter who they sell it too (like imported cars, an American may buy a Ferrari, but it doesn't change the fact its an Italian car) only who made it. Usage is based on who uses the design in decent numbers, whether through buying from an ally or salvage or a period of time, doesn't matter how it got there, just how many. Access is the problem maker in previous discussions, because its a combination of both, as it counts factions who either field it in decent numbers or produce it, which as seen from the current status of the faction portal.

Access has been the cause of the divide among what to do with the Faction portal and it shows with the fact under Clan General is says that these mechs are used by the clans, where as specific clans say manufactured (which is currently wrong for most units, like CGS which I dont think have ever produced Spirits, Piranhas, or Pinions; ironically they do produce the Phantom which is produced only by them and Wolf). So my proposal is to restrict it to manufactured by certain units, whether past or present. For example, the Warhawk, initially only produced by Smoke Jaguar, which then spread to the Diamond Sharks, Fire Mandrills (which I'm guessing due to the War of Reaving their specific factory ended up in Jade Falcon hands somehow), and the Goliath Scorpions; as such all these said units should be included in the categorization, and at least mentioned when it passed on to other clans (which the article currently does a good job of). General mechs should classified only if they started to have a certain number of faction specific variants designed for it (from 4-5 faction specific variants, like the Rifleman IIC or plenty of PU designs), or widespread like the Mad Dog (Mad Dog is said to to have widespread production among the clans, I think that is a perfect general mech), so basically, any mech that has Various in its manufacturer area, should definitely be categorized as General.

Why categorize by manufacturers over Usage though, while I do agree Usage is more valuable to players and enthusiasts alike, it is harder to define considering the mass of amount of mechs, their variants, and the changing timeline. Thus would create a massive list of mechs that were once used by units, to mechs that are currently used (which would honestly be unwieldy). Just my 2 cents on a very late discussion (which I may or may not have missed the actual resolution on). Also sorry if there are any grammatical problems or sentences that dont make sense, kinda wrote this late at night.--Quicksilver Kalasa 12:19, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Variant format[edit]

A couple of BattleMech articles, such as Vindicator and Toyama, have had their "Variants" section modified. The sections have been changed from the list format that is currently a guideline of this project to a table. While the tables are visually appealing, I prefer the list format because I do not think that the table adds anything to the article. Even the Manual of Style states that "Often a list is best left as a list." Thoughts? --Scaletail 14:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

My opinions is about the topic a list is fine but the version before the change was difficult to read. No clear structure all text was so close together that it was difficult for me to see the ending and beginning of the variant. I#'m open to your opinion--— The preceding unsigned comment was provided by Neuling (talkcontribs) 09:06, 27 February 2011.
I'm opposed to the tables here. The variants are presented in list form, with the data provided in paragraph form. That matches well with the remainder of the article. These tables are a benefit to some of the simpler lists (such as components produced by a company or on a planet), but I think they add unnecessary complexity to data that is not formatted to fit easily in a table.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:30, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I will restore the former versions of the variants section. I find it easier to read and to find the specific variants with the first saw. Can we draw a line to see the different variant easier, I think variant after variant is for me a mess to read.Neuling 17:41, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I think I still prefer the original version, but understand at least some find it difficult to read that way. I think I can compromise with the lines. Opinions from other members?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:05, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I too prefer the original version, but more for a philosophical/design reason: tables should be used for actual tabular data. The variant section has too much descriptive text for that to work (the tables at Capellan Confederation Armed Forces are in my opion the measuring stick: any more descriptive, and you shouldn't use a table).
Since the issue is readability (and I don't like too many lines either), I suggest a relatively simple fix I've added to Shadow Hawk: just make the variant names bold and italic. I think it helps a lot. Dirk Bastion 19:36, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Hy Dirk, please take a look on this BattleTechWiki:Project_BattleMechs#Guidelines), please don't bold 'Mech varinat, thanks.--Doneve 19:40, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see, but it's not really clear without the discussion page. In any case, it's a display in a discussion where the other options are replacing a list with a table or adding a line after each item. I think bolding is a valid trial option. Dirk Bastion 19:44, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Doneve, limited example trials for this discussion are fine, as long as they are reverted if not meeting consensus. Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:01, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm opposed to the tables. If the width on them is too great, and my browser window isn't wide enough, it skews the format of the entire page. Also, black text on dark grey fields makes my eyeballs sad. Citizen Erased 02:02, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to echo Citizen's comments about the non-standard colors for the tables. I personally would prefer we only use colors other than very slight shading only to highlight the out-of-character nature of an article's section, such as Rules within unit articles.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 02:20, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I kinda like the tables. If it adds something without taking something away, why not? Of course, we should keep the color scheme appropriate. ClanWolverine101 02:33, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Im with ClanWolverine101 on this, I kinda like the tables.--Quicksilver Kalasa 05:25, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
IMO the tables draw the eye too much from the primary variant info above.Cyc 08:25, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of the tables, but if we're going to use them, can we make the "description" section of the table left-justified instead of centered? There's no reason for a whole paragraph of text to be centered. [[Mighty Schoop!!]] 09:52, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of the tables. I think the list was fine. I just saw that Neuling had trouble distinguishing where one line ended and the other begain, and I'm willing to look into expanding the spacing between the lines. IMHO the borders just provide more visual clutter that I have to sort through.--Mbear 18:37, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I think in the Manufacturing Centers and Planets sections, the tables make sense, but when i take a second look to the BattleMech section, i don't like it in 'mech arcticles.--Doneve 18:42, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I will redone the table changes. What do you think about a line for seperation? I will change only the look and not the entire text. Neuling 18:47, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really in favor of adding a line; I'd rather just add more whitespace between each line. Alternatively we could convert the variants to a definition list. This would create the bold text that Dirk Bastion suggested above and provide a clear split between each variant as Neuling suggests.--Mbear
Oh, a really good idea, can you show us a example.--Doneve 19:09, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Let me try this instead....Neuling, could you paste this into your custom CSS file? (Go to My Preferences at the top of the page, press the Skin option, then click the Custom CSS link. Copy and paste the following code into the text box, save it, and reload a Mech page. You should see each variant separated by a line and additional white space.)--Mbear 19:16, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

div#bodyContent ul li { border-top:1px solid black; margin-bottom:1em; }

Doneve, here's the sample with variants formatted as a definition list.--Mbear 19:18, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

The 1AA version, also known as Avenging Angel, is designed to give the 'Mech better maneuverability making it more easily capable of competing with 'Mechs like the Phoenix Hawk. In order to do this, the armor protection was reduced from nine tons to four and a half tons. The engine was then upgraded to bring the maximum speed up to 86.4 km/h, and the Avenging Angel's jumping distance has been increased by 30 meters. The weapons payload remains the same as the 1R version. BV (1.0) = 835, BV (2.0) = 966
The 3L variant is a basic upgrade using recovered Star League technology. The PPC was upgraded to a Ceres Arms Warrior ER PPC and the Medium and Small Lasers have been removed in favor of a single Ceres Arms Model W Medium Pulse Laser. To handle the extra heat from the new ER PPC, the heat sinks have been upgraded to double heat sinks. BV (1.0) = 1,069, BV (2.0) = 1,105
Extending the 3L variant even more, this version drops all the existing weaponry and replaces it with a Snub-Nose PPC, MML-5, and ER Medium Laser.[1] BV (2.0) = ????
VND-3LD Dao 
This custom-designed model is piloted by a Capellan bounty hunter. It has been rebuilt using Clan-technology heat sinks, Ferro-Fibrous Armor, and Endo Steel. A Clan ER PPC is the primary weapon, and the 'Mech also carries a BattleMech Taser to aid in capturing targets alive. A supercharger and an actuator enhancement system add to the Vindicator's speed and accuracy.[2] BV (2.0) = 1,814)
The 4L Vindicator is a major upgrade to the design. The engine has been replaced with an extralight engine and the 'Mech's top speed is 86.4 km/h with a jumping distance of 150 meters. The 'Mech uses double heat sinks for its advanced weapons load, which includes an ER PPC and LRM-5 for striking power at long range and an ER Medium Laser and Medium Pulse Laser for short range work. Finally, the 'Mech carries a Guardian ECM Suite and is protected with nine tons of Stealth Armor, making it harder to target at range. BV (1.0) = 1,177, BV (2.0) = 1,493
The 5L variant is a more basic upgrade than the 4L. The 'Mech uses a standard engine, armor, and structure. The changes and advancements come in the weapons and a different system for augmenting its movement abilities, Triple Strength Myomer. The 'Mech's new weapons include an ER PPC, two ER Medium Lasers, two Medium Pulse Lasers, a single Small Pulse Laser, and a Small Laser. This varied mix of energy weapons allows the MechWarrior piloting the 'Mech to balance their heat load to keep the Triple Strength Myomer working at its optimum efficiency. In so doing, the Vindicator can deal a fair amount of damage with its Sword. BV (1.0) = 1,104, BV (2.0) = 1,404
This variant is simultaneously a cross between the 4L, 5L, and something completely new. Instead of the PPC, the 6L has a Plasma Rifle that is effective at medium range. Two ER Medium Lasers help and all three weapons are aided by a Targeting Computer. A Guardian ECM Suite is necessitated by the inclusion of Stealth Armor. Two Rocket Launcher 10s provide limited firepower, while a Sword is useful in melee combat and is made even more deadly by the Triple Strength Myomers. BV (2.0) = ???
  1. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
  2. Experimental Technical Readout: Liao, p. 4
That seems like a pretty good idea. Dirk Bastion 19:21, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep, a good compromis.--Doneve 19:23, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

(Unintending) As another suggestion, I'll add the full 'Mech or Variant name right after the number.

VND-1AA Avenging Angel
The 1AA version is designed to give the 'Mech better maneuverability making it more easily capable of competing with 'Mechs like the Phoenix Hawk. In order to do this, the armor protection was reduced from nine tons to four and a half tons. The engine was then upgraded to bring the maximum speed up to 86.4 km/h, and the Avenging Angel's jumping distance has been increased by 30 meters. The weapons payload remains the same as the 1R version. BV (1.0) = 835, BV (2.0) = 966
VND-3L Vindicator 
The 3L variant is a basic upgrade using recovered Star League technology. The PPC was upgraded to a Ceres Arms Warrior ER PPC and the Medium and Small Lasers have been removed in favor of a single Ceres Arms Model W Medium Pulse Laser. To handle the extra heat from the new ER PPC, the heat sinks have been upgraded to double heat sinks. BV (1.0) = 1,069, BV (2.0) = 1,105
VND-3TH Royal Vindicator 
Not actually an existing variant, but just used to display the Royal variant name.
VND-3LD "Dao" 
This custom-designed model is piloted by a Capellan bounty hunter. It has been rebuilt using Clan-technology heat sinks, Ferro-Fibrous Armor, and Endo Steel. A Clan ER PPC is the primary weapon, and the 'Mech also carries a BattleMech Taser to aid in capturing targets alive. A supercharger and an actuator enhancement system add to the Vindicator's speed and accuracy.> BV (2.0) = 1,814)

How about it? Dirk Bastion 14:09, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I think the variant name placement is an interesting idea, but I don't think it'll be an issue on most pages. Most 'Mechs don't have the "Avenging Angel" or "Dao" after them. (And the custom/unique variants like the Dao should be listed under the Custom Variants heading.) So you'd basically be typing the Mech name over and over again which seems redundant.--Mbear 17:06, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
It's an aesthetic issue, mostly; for me, it just looks better to have a longer, more complete heading. For everything else, we have copy & paste. ;) Dirk Bastion 17:20, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's fine. I'm not really thrilled with the way it looks now, and your suggestion looks good. --Scaletail 02:24, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I know Im incredibly late to this party, but is there a way to create a tabular setup for units with variants; from what I gather with the manufacturer discussion involving including what factories create what variants and when they started being added to variants, I would assume this would make pages cluttered, like the example given in the discussion below or like the Marauder. Making it so the original design contains the general overview for the mech and its variants, with the variants each having their own tab to include all information about the variant in a more organized fashion as well give a better view of the variant; as some variant descriptions have me a little confused on what equipment it has, confused enough I can't create an accurate representation in a design program like SSW (which I should at least get fairly close from the descriptions).--Quicksilver Kalasa 19:05, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Quicksilver, we might not be able to add the variants as subpages, but if we get the SemanticMediaWiki Seth worked on to work, you could probably see some of the data. See his sample work at BattleMech Timetable.--Mbear(talk) 07:40, 11 March 2013 (PDT)

Variant & Factions[edit]

I will begin a discussion about to mark every variant with a little icon to see which variant is common to the CCAF or other factions. I think it is helpful. I know it is a hugh project but I think it is worth o do it. Your opinions are welcome.Neuling 14:18, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Hy Mbear and Neuling, i know, but it was a little goal to kick up this new idea, i would to weight in, and the Consensus can started, it is a very good idead, but hmm, how we can bring up this issu to acceptance to others, i want to go to bed, and give you a new goal to next day.--Doneve 01:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's unnecessary. This is already described in the text. --Scaletail 23:53, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
In all text's, i think not?--Doneve 23:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Where such information is available, it should be included in the body of the text. If you know of 'Mech articles that are incomplete, please add the information you have. --Scaletail 00:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, and a another note comes to my to do list, thanks, but, ähm i think for a little icon image is every a place and it is a good idea to bring up the pages up to flow and it looks not so steril, this is my opinion, any thoughts.--Doneve 00:11, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm with Scaletail on this one. The icons do look neat, but the more images we have on the page the slower it loads.--Mbear 10:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Another fan for expansion of fluff for each variants to list details such as faction/manufacturer/weapon models, look for variant sections of the Wasp for my own efforts in this regard. Cyc 21:26, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
With the latest MULB the sources is provide to include the factions and manufacturer to the different varriant. The icons are not necessary but we can add like the readout for example FWL = Keystone (Irian). Neuling 05:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Neuling - I agree with others that the faction icons are not a good fit. I am more intrigued by breaking down which manufacturer produced which variant. Could you give an example of this? ClanWolverine101 14:38, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


Where can I start the issues of my thoughts. I had the problem to find at production centers of the induvidual variants for example the Stinger design. I gather all available informations about the case and think this is an good solution:


  • STG-3G - 2581
    Earthwerks Inc. - Keystone + Calloway VI
    Pinard Protectorates - MacLeod's Land
    Coventry Metal Works - Coventry
    Vandenberg Mechanized Industries - New Vandenberg + Illiushin
    Majesty Metals and Manufacturing - Canopus IV
    Alliance Defenders Limited - Alpheratz [1]
  • STG-3P - 3068
    Field Refit [2]
  • STG-3R - 2479
    Earthwerks Inc. - Calloway VI, Grand Base, Keystone
    Coventry Metal Works - Coventry [3]
  • STG-5M - 3052
    Earthwerks Inc. - Keystone + Calloway VI
  • STG-5R - 3067
    Vandenberg Mechanized Industries - Macleod's Land
    Pinard Protectorates Limited - New Vandenberg
    Detroit Consolidated Mech Works - Detroit [4]
  • STG-5T - 3068
    Majesty Metals and Manufacturing - Canopus IV [5]
  • STG-6L - 3067
    Hellespont Industrials - Sian [6]
    Majesty Metals and Manufacturing - Canopus IV [7]
  • STG-6S - 3068
    Coventry Metal Works - Coventry [8]

Known manufacturing sites without further specification for variants

  • Bergan Industries
    Ares [9]
  • Earthwerks Limited
    Tikonov [10]
    Grand Base [11]
  • Hellespont Industrials
    Sian [12]
  • Earthwerks -FWL, Inc
    Keystone [13]

Scaletail removed my work and mention that the information I provide aren't correct, that is the reason for my discussion with you other users. The introducion years are taken from the master unit list (version 0.66) which is for me canon material, because they is provide by members of the catalystlab staff. Scaletail explained also that the information at the STG-6G are not correct, but the Handbook House Steiner show clearly that only Coventry Metal Works produce the design in the Lyran Alliance. The Objective Raids Sourcebook includes also that information. I'm aware that some suggestions are not reasonable for all of you, I will discuss that with you.Neuling 16:26, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I like the concept in principle - I've long wanted to see a similar rundown of known manufacturing sites for each 'Mech. Of course, each and every bit of information here needs to be referenced, so that it can be checked and cross-checked (no idea whether you or Scaletail are correct, but that doesn't belong here anyways).
Regarding the data, I suggest sorting it by planet first, then by model (if known), and mention the manufacturing enterprise on the sidelines in brackets. Frabby 18:41, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
The first time I saw this, I wasn't wild about it. The more I look at it and the more I think about my alternative (adding the information to the variant text), the more I see the utility in this. I'm indecisive at the moment and I'd like to read what other editors think. [Neuling, I left a message for you on your talk page.] --Scaletail 00:10, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Here is my test page for better understanding of my work: Variants + Manufacturer

Enjoy it...Neuling 20:12, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I think some of this could probably be done by using the SemanticMediaWiki stuff that Seth was working on, but I don't know how to do it.--Mbear(talk) 07:37, 11 March 2013 (PDT) See his BattleMech Timetable for an example.--Mbear(talk) 07:38, 11 March 2013 (PDT)

Era Categories for 'Mechs?[edit]

Howdy, I have proposal. Is there any though of adding era based categories to the 'mech categories? I know we have allot of them, but since Record Sheets are more Era specific now, would be good way for folks who are in hurry to look up something to have era category. example Category: Jihad Era BattleMechs. I realize this would add alot categories to the articles. I was hoping perhaps new way to quickly have someone look up in the search bar era to see what was availabe for that era. I know the event of the MUL has changed things, but its not complete yet. Why not add something here? -- Wrangler 19:21, 2 January 2012 (PST)

Not convinved. I hate era-specific data on principle, plus what you're suggesting is to make a better MUL than the MUL - but we don't have the inside data for that. I can't see anyone going to Sarna over going to the MUL, especially considering that Sarna is a derivative source and the MUL is fully canonical/official. To sum it up, I think it wouldn't be worth the effort even if we could pull it off, which I doubt. Frabby 00:31, 3 January 2012 (PST)
I agree with Frabby, A lot of work for very little enhancement. --Dmon 03:30, 3 January 2012 (PST)
I agree, but I have a related question (see below).--S.gage 21:06, 4 January 2012 (PST)

Date of Introduction[edit]

Hello, I was thrilled to see Doneve begin adding the Date of Introduction for some of the classes of BattleMechs on BTW in the BattleMech InfoBox. As one of my own projects before the MUL was released, I did this for classes of BattleMech and OmniMechs through TRO:3085 excluding Solaris designs (I think I got most - I have 321 separate entries). This information was useful for some of my edits on BTW (for instance, the Emperor BattleMech) and my Golden Century Clan campaign - I did not have Mechwarriors in Turkinas squaring off against Gnome battle armor-equipped elementals. As an added benefit, there are some entries in which the MUL date and the date given in the TRO entry differ. Whether these discrepancies are due to retcon or error is unclear, but it might be nice to include introductory dates on BTW, source them, and let the reader come to their own conclusions.
However, there are drawbacks to adding introduction dates. Should the original productional model's date of introduction be provided, or the introduction date of every variant? From my own experience, I restricted my database to the original model. Adding all of the variant information is a huge headache. Also, some BattleMechs lack a date of introduction or only provide an approximate date. How would this be presented in the BTW entry? Again from my experience, I always provided the approximate date (c. 2500, for example) or a range of dates (2863-2950, for example) between which the production must have begun (based on the description in the text).
Despite this, I think adding introduction dates, as opposed to era-specific categories, would be very useful! Also, I do not advocate adding extinction dates (you never know what you might find in a forgotten cache somewhere...). Thoughts?--S.gage 21:06, 4 January 2012 (PST)

OK, I added, then removed an entry in the InfoBox for date of introduction on the Emperor page. I had second thoughts because, as the introduction read, it looked like the EMP-6A, and not the Emperor BattleMech classes, was introduced in 2502. Though I still argue this information is great to have at a glance, the format of the InfoBox would have to be changed radically to accommodate this additional information. Thoughts?--S.gage 11:16, 10 January 2012 (PST)
Hy S.gage, i favor a introduction line in the infobox, but i know some variants etc. started stopped started etc. their productions of one and the same model, i think in the Aerospace Fighter take a look on Samurai and Combat Vehicle sections it works very well, but by some BattleMech models i become some headaches.--Doneve 11:32, 10 January 2012 (PST)
I noticed the problem immediately when I edited the Emperor BattleMech entry. The only TRO entry we have for the Emperor is for an upgraded model. Production of the upgraded EMP-6A (the model detailed in the below under "Technical Specifications") appears to have started in 2612. Listing 2502 as the date of introduction (whether for the EMP-5A or something earlier) seems misleading to me. If the InfoBox did not highlight a particular variant, I would feel a lot more comfortable about listing a date of introduction. Ideally, readers would know no BattleMech walking on the battlefield was 90 tons and looked like an Emperor before 2502.--S.gage 18:29, 10 January 2012 (PST)
I look in all my source books, and you are right, I think we talk to Ask the writers on the CBT Forum, i hope this guys can help us or give us a statement about this problem.--Doneve 18:43, 10 January 2012 (PST)


  1. TRO 3050 p.58
  2. TRO 3085 p.228
  3. TRO 3039 p.282
  4. TRO Phoenix p.16
  5. TRO 3085 p.228
  6. Handbook Liao p.134
  7. TRO Phoenix p.16
  8. TRO 3085 p.228
  9. Handbook Liao p.133
  10. Handbook Liao p.134
  11. Handbook Liao p.134
  12. Handbook Liao p.134
  13. Handbook Marik p.128

Article formatting (2013)[edit]

I find Sarna is hard to read for a number of reasons, some of which are related to the formatting of the BattleMech articles. I'd like to propose overhauling and formalizing a Manual of Style for BattleMech articles. Currently there is very little guidance about formatting in the project page, and the description of how to format variants isn't even followed at the example page given (Hatchetman).

I've started playing around with new formatting at User:Some Guy/Sandbox; notable changes are bolding section headers (this should be done as a change to the wiki settings if implemented), bolding the subject of most of the list items (endless lists at 9pt font with no bolding are hard on the eyes), putting loadout for variants/configurations in the infobox (I would consider this a necessity, as reading a weapon list out of prose is tiring and makes comparing variants a huge chore).

I've also tried three different styles of formatting for the variants list in prose, all of which I feel are easier to read than the current standard. They aren't mean to all be used at once, but I find it easier to compare them when all three are presented at once.

Of course these are just ideas - I invite anyone to comment and discuss. We might want to make another sandbox page nested under this project for group editing; alternately if you want to tweak what I've come up with so far you could make a sandbox page under your userspace with the changes.

Some changes would be difficult to manually implement, but we could write a bot or program to perform the work. I have no experience writing bots for MediaWiki, but if we had no better options I have enough experience writing software to parse and reformat text that I could probably make a program in C# or Java to apply changes to a single page. Some Guy (talk) 19:03, 8 March 2013 (PST)

The best way is you talk to Nic, he can create bots, and can help you.--Doneve (talk) 05:05, 9 March 2013 (PST)
I don't love extending the InfoBox with all of the weapons in the variants. 1) I feel it greatly extends the InfoBox and makes it less useful as a quick-reference tool and 2) unless it's an OmniMech, there are differences to the variants beyond just the weapons that are not encapsulated in the InfoBox and I worry it might be misleading if somebody fails to read the entry for the variant. Those are relatively minor quibbles that are probably trumped in my mind by the ease of seeing the weapon loadouts for each variant/alternate configuration presented in that format.
The reason that the variant formatting is not universally followed in BattleMech articles is that the style change was made well after all the 'Mech articles were created and no editor has decided to take the time to go through and change them all. I do agree that having the variant designation in bold greatly enhances the presentation of the article, whatever the form that actually takes. --Scaletail (talk) 05:18, 9 March 2013 (PST)
My feeling is that since the variants/configs are underneath all of the other information in the InfoBox (except BV which probably should be moved to the variant) it doesn't hamper the InfoBox's utility as a quick reference. On the other hand, it is a massive benefit to those looking for a quick referene to compare weapon loadouts - again, it's not easy to compare 'Mechs when reading the weapons out of prose.
My proposal would keep the prose regarding each variant, just moving the weapons to the InfoBox. Any other differences could still be covered in the prose of the variant section. Do you have a preference between any of the three styles I tried there?
Lastly, any idea how many other editors will likely get involved in this discussion? Some Guy (talk) 14:59, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
Hy Some Guy, i follow the discussion since the stard, i disagree to put all weapon load outs from the variants ect. in the infobox, the table you use in your sandbox for variants is to mutch, for all 'Mech pages, i agree to bold variants like you do this on the sandbox, but this was only a quick review, i look to thinks and discussions there come, and hope to help to make the BattleMech pages better.--Doneve (talk) 15:40, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
I like the idea of the boldfaced variant names. In fact I suggested this as an alternative to something Neuling wanted to do which was add tables to format the variants. In fact we can do that relatively simply by making the current * in the variant lists into a ;. This converts the variants to a definition list, which in turn makes the variant name boldfaced and on its own line.
Adding variants as headers might be overkill. I don't need to see each individual variant in the Table of Contents box, but I'm willing to go along with the community if consensus is built.
I do not agree with reformatting everything to be a table. It increases page sizes, it's a more involved syntax, and using tables for formatting is generally frowned on in the web design community.
People have suggested adding things to the infobox before, but your idea of including every variant's weapon load there is a bit much for me. I understand you have difficulty parsing the prose but if we start adding that level of detail to the infobox, why do we need the article? Moreover, what's to stop us from taking the next step and putting in the armor values (something I'm against in general, even on the WarShip articles). I think it might disturb the delicate balance we have with CGL. Parsing the prose may be more annoying for you, but because we're not duplicating CGL's efforts (or plagarizing the content) we're in the clear. If that changes I don't know how they'll react.
However, I think I can help you with the default font size problem. If you want to know how to apply a custom CSS rule just drop me a note on my Talk page. It is possible for you to either 1) update your browser to use a different default font size via a userContent.css file or 2) modify your personal Sarna Preferences so that Sarna uses a different color scheme. I'll be happy to help you do either.--Mbear(talk) 06:05, 11 March 2013 (PDT)
It's been a few days with no comments, so I hope it's safe to sum this discussion up.
  1. BattleMech articles should go through a revamp and have their variants brought into line with the current format listed on the page of this project. Are they any editors would be willing to volunteer to undertake this task?
  2. Leave the InfoBox as is with regards to not including variant weapon loadouts.
Is this summation correct? Any other thoughts to be added? --Scaletail (talk) 16:21, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
I agree full with you Scaltail, i wait what SomeGuy talk to this, then i stard bolding the variants when its ok.--Doneve (talk) 16:24, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
I actually feel the formatting you used for the alt configs - with their own boxes - has potential. However, it squeezes the BV info in a very unsavory way. Tweak it, then ask me again. I must agree with others about the main infobox. Extending them too far really loses their utility.ClanWolverine101 (talk) 19:59, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Do you really like a wiki table on the alt configs CW! Or i miss understand you?--Doneve (talk) 20:29, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
I poke around a little bit on Some Guy's sandbox, and don't find a format that the BV was correct showed in the table for the page, but this is my opinion, if any have another idea or code, i open my mind.--Doneve (talk) 20:41, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
I apologize for not responding sooner, I've been caught up with school as the quarter draws to a close. Mbear, there is no need to be condescending. I am perfectly capable of parsing prose. That doesn't change the fact that prose is not a good way to present or compare variants that differ mostly by their equipment loadouts. If there is a consensus that extending the infobox is inappropriate, I feel we should explore an alternate approach. I know how to adjust my font size and the Sarna skin. Keep in mind the wiki is for the use of the general public, not just regular editors with accounts and their personal wiki appearance customized. I would say it is a bad move to cater to existing editors and leave the general public with a less-than-ideal visual style - I think the same web design community you mentioned would frown upon walls of 11px Verdana.
As far as headers for variants, MediaWiki generally has a way to reduce the depth of the TOC, although the syntax I'm familiar with for doing so does't appear to work on Sarna. ClanWolverine101, I'll try tweaking the table presentation of the variants as you suggested, although I'm not sure there's much support for it (incedentally, Mbear, when you said the table increases page sizes, did you mean dimensions or bytes? I assume bytes, but might as well not assume). Some Guy (talk) 22:03, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Edit: ClanWolverine101, I modified the table to label the Battle Values column and make it wider, take a look. I also experimented with putting the bullet-list of weapons into the table here, but IMO with three columns the markup for the table gets pretty unweildy, and it clashes with the infobox. Some Guy (talk) 22:42, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
I wasn't trying to be condescending. I was trying to solve your problem. Sorry it didn't come across that way. (And you're right about the 11px font size. When I tried to change it though, things on the site... went awry.)--Mbear(talk) 03:50, 15 March 2013 (PDT)
The more I look at the variant weapon listings in the InfoBox, the more I like it. I still think it's problematic, but I can see how it would be useful. How about adding a new line in the InfoBox for variant weapon data and kicking it below the BV lines so that information does get pushed so far down the page? --Scaletail (talk) 08:31, 16 March 2013 (PDT)
Its growing on me...
Question - Can you add a place in the infobox for Pod Space? That would really improve the OmniMech articles. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 21:33, 17 March 2013 (PDT)
If we go with this format, I wonder if we should make Armament an infobox heading row (like Technical Specifications) and put the alternate config information along the left side. So each configuration gets its own row. Would that make it easier to parse?--Mbear(talk) 12:47, 18 March 2013 (PDT)
Oh, and moving BV lines so they're closer to the cost line might be useful too.--Mbear(talk) 12:48, 18 March 2013 (PDT)
One question I just thought of: Are we going to want to make these changes to the other unit types as well? Tanks, AeroSpace Fighters, etc.?--Mbear(talk) 13:30, 18 March 2013 (PDT)
SomeGuy - Aesthetically, I'm not feeling the alt config box in the main body from your third example, but feel free to continue to experiment. If you're planning on doing this with all 'Mechs, as opposed to just Omnis, we're gonna have to plan carefully. Mechs like the Thunderbolt and Battlemaster have over 20 alts, so the aesthetics are a concern. Thanks. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 15:12, 18 March 2013 (PDT)
If you mean the three-column format, I agree, that was a failed experiment. How do you feel about the revised two-column format with wider BV box? Some Guy (talk) 15:31, 18 March 2013 (PDT)

Infobox multicolumn format[edit]

(arbitrary section break for readability

I made an experimental new Infobox for BattleMechs with the alt. configs in the infobox formatted in two columns as suggested by Mbear, you can take a look here. I definitely prefer how this looks to the previous way I'd done it. I think there are a few minor technical issues with it (the first bullet not rendering, and the white gap below the "Armament" header) but I need to get to studying. If anyone knows how to fix the bullet thing, please do so. Some Guy (talk) 15:31, 18 March 2013 (PDT)

SomeGuy, I fixed the white space problem. It was actually an easy one to overlook: You had an extra pipe-dash combo in there which was creating a new blank table row. The other problem you're having I've seen before. I can't remember how I fixed it permanently but the short term fix is to put some HTML tags in there. For some reason it works. (See primary variants and alt config A on your sandbox page. I just threw a couple SPAN tags in there.)--Mbear(talk) 11:41, 19 March 2013 (PDT)
Great, thanks. How do you feel about that format? Some Guy (talk) 12:34, 19 March 2013 (PDT)
I don't hate it (which I thought I would) so that's a good thing. Wink.gif I would like to request that you create a sandbox page with the BattleMaster, Thunderbolt, or Warhammer though so we can see how it looks with conventional 'Mechs. (Those three have a lot of variants, so if it looks good with them it'll look good with any 'Mech.)--Mbear(talk) 05:10, 21 March 2013 (PDT)
Agreed, Mbear! :D
These are positive steps on the template... question, though - Could we say what would happen if you did away with the columns on the configuration box? You could move the BV down a row. So you'd have the box for Alt Config A, then the box for the BV of A, then the box for Alt Config B, and so on. Could we see that? ClanWolverine101 (talk) 05:35, 21 March 2013 (PDT)
Just moved the BV to the production info as suggested several times, sorry for not addressing that sooner. I'm about to put together one of the requested Mechs. ClanWolverine, I'll try to get to the pod space bit, if I don't have time today anyone feel free to add it. Also, did you mean do away with the columns in the infobox, or in the article body?
EDIT: BattleTechWiki:Project BattleMechs/Sandbox I did the Thunderbolt. The Infobox gets pretty long... at least it doesn't exceed the length of the entire page? Maybe we could make the armament collapsible... However... Mbear, I think increasing the font size used in article bodies is absolutely critical regardless of everything else. If you can increase the article body font size without increasing the size of the font in the infobox (which is fine) the infobox might not look as awkward. EDIT2: I tried a very hacky way of making the font size bigger. It worked, and I think it mostly makes the article look a lot better (though it's more obvious that the line spacing in the variants section is all screwy). Some Guy (talk) 18:36, 21 March 2013 (PDT)
SG, first, thanks for building that T-Bolt sample page. Second, I'll see what I can do about increasing the font size. It's a delicate balance because things have a habit of breaking, but I understand your point completely.
Third, I made a change to the variants section of your Thunderbolt sample page. The first three variants have been reformatted to use a definition list. This automatically adds the boldface to the variant name, and it also separates out the text a little more. (I think this was one of your concerns.) It was suggested earlier, but I don't know that we got around to it.
Fourth, I've added a Pod Space line to your experimental Infobox. You can see it at User:Some Guy/Sandbox3.--Mbear(talk) 06:02, 22 March 2013 (PDT)
Hmm, i hope i don't step on many tooths (sorry for my specialy writing), ok we update the infobox in new format in every time etc, but what we do with the variant sections, i know there is some fluff added and the BV's, but when we added all configurations to the infobox, we shut down or remove the variant sections, i don't like the change to the format or sections of some 'Mech, vehicles etc. pages, this give me a lot to think, oh and the page looks very overload by the sandbox infoboxe examples.--Doneve (talk) 18:49, 21 March 2013 (PDT)
My thinking was to trim the weapons out of the variants section without removing it entirely. Some Guy (talk) 20:35, 21 March 2013 (PDT)
Wow, it's... a lot. I think the Thunderbolt article needs some work to reduce the wall-of-textyness of it (such as including some photos in-line), but this format seems to amplify it. Maybe it's just the increased font size, I'm not sure. I don't know how I feel about it yet. --Scaletail (talk) 17:23, 22 March 2013 (PDT)
Iam with you Scaletail, i don't know if i like or not like the font size, but i feel the way is to not like.--Doneve (talk) 17:35, 22 March 2013 (PDT)
First - Mbear - THANK YOU for the pod space box. I'm proposing making that standard.
Second - SG - Yeah... not loving the font. I think you need to decide whether you want to put all alt configs in the infobox, or in the main body. Its an either-or thing in my mind, and the infobox solution doesn't seem to do it for me. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 23:08, 22 March 2013 (PDT)
Hy guys, i de bold the section headlines, i feel there to many bolds on the BattleTechWiki:Project BattleMechs/Sandbox page, the variants section is ok to bold the various models, and i remove one font size in the variants section to see how others like the font size or don't like it.--Doneve (talk) 16:33, 23 March 2013 (PDT)
Do you guys all really want the standard font size? If you look at any other wiki, they have larger default fonts than we have here. I tried not making the font quite as big as I did but the font size tag is behaving oddly in the article. Setting it to 1 makes it the default size, and setting it to 2 makes it the size you see in the sandbox. The default size is 11px Verdana and the text in the sandbox is now 13px Verdana so maybe 12px Verdana is a good middle-ground. Some Guy (talk) 09:09, 27 March 2013 (PDT)

Add pod space row to TemplateInfoboxBattleMech?[edit]

Independent of the previous discussion, ClanWolverine101 proposed adding a "Pod Space Row" to the current InfoboxBattlemech (not the one proposed by SomeGuy). I have no problem with that. I can put it in as an optional row so it doesn't appear for standard BattleMechs. Does anyone else want to weigh in?--Mbear(talk) 05:14, 25 March 2013 (PDT)

Its just a thought I had regarding the OmniMechs, an easy way to compare those 'Mechs to each other. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 13:39, 26 March 2013 (PDT)
I'm not crazy about it, the infobox can get cluster up the article abit. If there images in the article, they get displaced by the info box. What exactly are you talking about "Pod Space Row" How much tonnage OmniMech carries? If its only that, its okay by me. Only if its just pod capacity. -- Wrangler (talk) 18:52, 26 March 2013 (PDT)
It would just be a row that reads Pod Space Available pod space in tons. --Mbear(talk) 05:04, 27 March 2013 (PDT)

Anyone else want to weigh in on this?--Mbear(talk) 05:25, 29 March 2013 (PDT)

Like. (Not enough time to do anything really... but expect me to join this whole discussion at some point.) Frabby (talk) 05:58, 29 March 2013 (PDT)
I like it.--S.gage (talk) 11:21, 29 March 2013 (PDT)
I would like the single line (it should disappear if there no nuthing enter into it.) just saying "Pod space Available: 27.5 tons" for example. Keep it simple. -- Wrangler (talk) 05:46, 30 March 2013 (PDT)
Wrangler - I think that's all anyone is saying? Personally, I'm in favor of a separate infobox for Omnis altogether. But if someone has a better way, I'm all for it. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 06:38, 30 March 2013 (PDT)
CW - I oppose separate infoboxes, but now that you mention it: What's stopping us from putting pod space into the weapons & armament section, effectively treating it like a weapon? Frabby (talk) 07:37, 30 March 2013 (PDT)

Redundant Weapon Links[edit]

I noticed that there are redundant links on every 'Mech page, because both the weapons in the chart on the right are linked and so are the weapons in the "Armament" / "Variants" sections. It makes me wonder which takes precedence: the chart links or the article links? -BobTheZombie (talk) 23:21, 15 July 2013 (PDT)

Neither. They're both relevant. Since variants don't always have the same weapons load, having the links in the variants section is a good thing. The links in the right infobox are there to show the weapons load of one particular variant (usually the main one listed in the TRO). Does that help?--Mbear(talk) 03:33, 16 July 2013 (PDT)
Makes sense; I was just wondering because some pages have very high amounts of links as a result. -BobTheZombie (talk) 06:34, 16 July 2013 (PDT)

InfoBox cleanup?[edit]

Hi guys, I fear the Template:InfoBoxBattleMech is in need of cleanup. It has two distinct data fields ("production year" and "introduced") that are both displayed as "Introduced" in the infobox, causing confusion (this was highlighted by user Mordynak on the talk page for the Firebee). Beyond that, personally, a lot of redundant information could be trimmed. Is any group or project currently concerned with overhauling this infobox? Frabby (talk) 01:45, 13 August 2013 (PDT)

I've changed one of the "Introduction" dates to read "Production Year". What information do you think is redundant?--Mbear(talk) 05:29, 13 August 2013 (PDT)
(And to answer your original question, no I don't think anyone is talking about overhauling the infobox.)--Mbear(talk) 05:30, 13 August 2013 (PDT)

Weapon list question[edit]

I noticed that weapon lists in Mechs' infoboxes, and all units in general, are inconsistent. It can range from #xWeapon to #x Weapon to # x Weapon to # X Weapon. I want to know what standard should be used, because this has been bugging me for a while. -BobTheZombie (talk) 14:59, 6 November 2013 (PST)

It should be #x Weapon. --Scaletail (talk) 18:44, 6 November 2013 (PST)
Okay, I'll be sure to go through all units sometime and update that. I had been changing them to # x Weapon, but was simply ignorant. Thanks for the answer! -BobTheZombie (talk) 18:59, 6 November 2013 (PST)

Main Picture[edit]

I thought that the main Mech picture on an article (the one in the infobox) was supposed to be the oldest available one, but in the case of the Commando, it was swapped for another. What exactly is the protocol for choosing which image goes in the infobox? -BobTheZombie (talk) 11:52, 9 November 2013 (PST)

Must have overlooked this query, hence the late answer. I'm not aware of an actual policy spelled out regarding this subject, but what we seem to be doing is indeed use the first canonical TRO-style image of a given 'Mech for the infobox. In this sense you're right that the infobox image for the Commando should in fact be the TRO3025 picture (which is shown in the gallery section). Frabby (talk) 07:22, 7 December 2013 (PST)

Armament and Capabilities verses Armaments[edit]

Hi, I want to discuss this and get final say on this. I've written articles that have Arament and Capacities in place of straight up araments. I would like poll why this has to remain this way. Generally You have description section, then you talk about what this BattleMech is designed with. Actual modern TROs have sections called Capacities. For a long time I've written these articles, trying include both capacities in one section since seem make sense in engineering prespective. Why must these sections and edits be reversed??? Is it policy that araments must be just that? Just because this way been and should always be? Real Technical Readouts aren't written like that. What do you editors think? I'd like see solid option and not one man campaign fix things way they see fit. -- Wrangler (talk) 19:40, 5 December 2013 (PST)

I was unaware of those reverts happening, but now that I think back, I did notice this discrepancy and forgot to bring it up. I think that it would make the most sense to keep true to the TROs and include "Capacities" as units may have jump jets, ECM, etc., and it is best to keep consistent, so they should all have it or none have it. Some downsides though are that it may seem redundant or cumbersome as a heading to include the extra word. In the end, my vote would go with having Armament and Capacities headings (with "and" written out). -BobTheZombie (talk) 20:22, 5 December 2013 (PST)
I agree with Bob.--Doneve (talk) 20:24, 5 December 2013 (PST)
Yes, "Armaments" is listed as a section in the "Guidelines" section of the project. That means that every 'Mech article written should include it. Now, if you're suggesting we change the guideline, that's a different thing. --Scaletail (talk) 20:29, 5 December 2013 (PST)
I also agree with Bob. As a user of this site I want to know what a Mech is equipped with. Too often useful information seems to be omitted. Although why have "Armament and Capacities" when "Capacities" or "Equipment" is sufficient as a heading for such items. --Dark Jaguar (talk) 06:55, 6 December 2013 (PST)
Well, my (old) TROs all list 'Mechs' equipment - jump jets, ECM, C3 Computers, etc., - as "Weapons and Ammo", lumped in with the guns! "Armament and Capacities" just looks better to me, so I'm putting my 2 C-bills' worth on that. Nuclear-Fridge (talk) 08:05, 6 December 2013 (PST)
It seems like there is consensus to change the section title. I would prefer "Equipment" or "Armament and Equipment". I feel that "capacities" could encompass a lot, but the section really is about what gear is mounted on it. --Scaletail (talk) 18:17, 6 December 2013 (PST)
I had that same thought about "Equipment". -BobTheZombie (talk) 22:05, 6 December 2013 (PST)
How do we administer this as offical changes? Armament and Capacities makes sense when its a combat orient vehicles. Some of the non-combatants i've written as Equipment and Capacities so to reflect the abilities of the non-combatant type units. Does this discussion need to move? Who changes the "Guidelines" section? -- Wrangler (talk) 06:08, 7 December 2013 (PST)
I understand why we'd want to change this. Virtually every 'Mech now has variants that make their original armament somewhat redundant. Personally, I don't like the "Capacities" word as it makes me think of pod space and so forth. Just my two cents. Having said all that, it should be consistent one way or another. ClanWolverine101 (talk) 07:17, 7 December 2013 (PST)
Perhaps it should all be changed to "Equipment" for mechs, vehicles, etc., as it does not denote specifically weapons or electronics, but allows for both. -BobTheZombie (talk) 08:55, 7 December 2013 (PST)
I agree, in principle, that any change should be applied to articles that fall under the purview of Project Ground Units as well as BattleMechs. I will reiterate my support for changing "Armaments" to "Equipment" across all BattleMech articles. Wrangler, the changes will be made once consensus is achieved. I can make the changes to the guidelines, I suppose. --Scaletail (talk) 09:07, 7 December 2013 (PST)
Only problem I having exclusively Equipment, is does makes it sound like infantry related items and non-weaponry types. That's why I had been opting for retaining Armament and adding Capacities since it would be less confusing for people looking up stuff online. Capacities is where BattleMech and other vehicles includes qualities of the profile in the standard publications. The "Armament and Capacities" sounds better asthenic wise -- Wrangler (talk) 11:06, 7 December 2013 (PST)
Could you provide an example of a published TRO that uses "capacities" as a section header? All the ones I have use "capabilities". --Scaletail (talk) 08:21, 8 December 2013 (PST)
Sorry, I meant Capabilitiesm Scaletail. Example from TRO:3050:Upgraded look at Gladiator (p.142) - Overview, Capabilities, Deployment, Notable Pilots. Standard non-Omnis get Variant sections (if they have them). They've been in most TROs up to now. TRO:3039 has same setups, as well. They still use them as of 3145. If you look at the original TRO:3025, it says Capabilities well. -- 16:03, 8 December 2013 (PST)
Actually, I think that "Capabilities" sounds even better! -BobTheZombie (talk) 09:07, 8 December 2013 (PST)
Invited here by The Wrangler: I'm absolutely fine with updating aticles to make them 'better', especially 'Mechs (from what I've seen, they are BTW's primary draw). That said, I much prefer 'Equipment' over 'Capabilities' or 'Capacities'.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:39, 8 December 2013 (PST)
Sorry to cause so trouble, but i've felt that Capabilities should be in there instead of using Equipment. Its not what the TROs list their articles with. I'm happy to have Armaments & Capabilities. -- Wrangler (talk) 16:03, 8 December 2013 (PST)
I think changing "armaments" to "capabilities" is fine, though I am a bit concerned that it is the identical language used in TROs. Not enough to object, though. --Scaletail (talk) 16:44, 9 December 2013 (PST)
I prefer Armaments and Equipment more than capabilities because that section should (IMHO) deal with the equipment and weapons. If we call it Armament and Capabilities or Armament and Capacities, I'm worried that we'll get stuff like ground speed, engine info, etc. which currently goes into the overview part. So the section should be titled so that it reflects a discussion of the unit's war load. (Whatever we do, we shouldn't allow an ampersand in there. Spell out "and".)--Mbear(talk) 09:14, 10 December 2013 (PST)
That's somewhat my rationale, too. I also feel it's like mixing tenses, but in this case it's mixing an 'object' (ex: laser) and a 'talent' (ex: 95 kph).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 16:33, 11 December 2013 (PST)
Inclined to agree with you, too, Mbear. For sure about the ampersand. --Scaletail (talk) 17:40, 11 December 2013 (PST)
Capabilities certainly has connotations for me, because of the environment I work in - I'd prefer if it were "armament and equipment" or something similar, because I'm used to the term capabilities in what looks to be the same context as Rev. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 00:03, 12 December 2013 (PST)
Only problem adding Equipment in place of Capabilities is the fact word "Equipment" has never been used to discribed anything in battlemechs, 'Mechs, combat vehicles, etc. Thats my problem with usage of the heading. Sorry sound picky. Were suppose to be writing up article reflecting actual article. Equipment sounds weird given its lack use in the offical TROS anyways. However, it sounds like i'm a miniority in this affair. -- Wrangler (talk) 19:04, 12 December 2013 (PST)
The word "equipment" is used on the second page of a 'Mech TRO. Engines, heat sinks, and armor are all considered equipment. Since the other category is "Weapons and Ammo", we could use "Weapons and Equipment" to describe that section. With all that said, I don't feel that we should or should not use a word or phrase as a section heading because it does or does not appear in an official publication. --Scaletail (talk) 16:09, 13 December 2013 (PST)
I'm fine with Weapons and Equipment. -- Wrangler (talk) 16:20, 13 December 2013 (PST)
Yeah, Weapons and Equipment sounds much better.--Doneve (talk) 16:37, 13 December 2013 (PST)
Seems like we're decided on "Weapons and Equipment" as the new guideline for this particular section heading. If there's no further dissent, I'll go ahead and change it. --Scaletail (talk) 17:23, 15 December 2013 (PST)
Are you going to be editing the template for everything include the BattleMechs? -- Wrangler (talk) 17:49, 15 December 2013 (PST)
I changed the help article for creating a 'Mech article. Is that what you're referring to? --Scaletail (talk) 18:39, 17 December 2013 (PST)
Does this "Weapons and Equipment" header also carry over to other categories besides 'Mechs? What about transport/civilian vehicles and things without weapons? -BobTheZombie (talk) 23:07, 13 June 2014 (PDT)

Alpha Strike Stats in Infobox[edit]

Hello, everyone. I have question / request, with the rise of the new Alpha Strike rule set/game system. Would it be possible to add a single line to the current infoboxes that could include the PV? The PV is the Point Value (aka Battle Value in regular TotalWarfare rules) in the game system. Even though our wiki mainly focus on TotalWarfare game/main game rules, i think it be good compliment to add a "PV=" line below the BV lines in the info box. - Wrangler (talk) 19:09, 14 January 2014 (PST)

This seems like a sensible idea to me - I'm guesing the values would all have to be taken from the MUL, though? BrokenMnemonic (talk) 01:58, 15 January 2014 (PST)
I don't see the added value in trying to be more MUL than the MUL. Especially since the MUL is an official source. Personally, I even think BV is a superflous information for our BattleMech articles. Finally, even if PV was to be included in the articles, it doesn't make sense to put it into the Infobox because each and every variant could have a different (again, same as BV). Frabby (talk) 07:16, 15 January 2014 (PST)
I like the idea, but I worry about the implementation. Aside from just adding a line to the InfoBox, how would you represent this for each variant? --Scaletail (talk) 16:17, 15 January 2014 (PST)
Currently, each regular variants are given a BV value at the end of its entry in article's variant section. I would simply do the following. BattleTrax - Does alot stuff, and has big laser gun. BV(2.0)=14, PV=10. Just trying keep it simple, while being informative. Alpha Strike information would be just kept (for the time being) kept to PV remarks unless wiki really starts showcasing it. MUL has everything anyone needs for AS right now, I just proposing listing PV value in variats and in the infox box of the featured unit if there a PV for it. Lately, i've been including links to variant profiles on MUL as added reference to BV and canon value of a unit. Since PV is included, it doubles as PV reference as well. -- Wrangler (talk) 18:25, 15 January 2014 (PST)

Main Picture Caption[edit]

What title should be under, well, any unit's main picture? I've seen that vary widely to include the page title, the official name, or the name plus its variant designation. This isn't as common with mechs but is prevalent in vehicles. -BobTheZombie (talk) 15:46, 10 March 2014 (PDT)

MUL Cost[edit]

I noticed that the vast majority of MUL costs for Mechs are different than the ones in the infoboxes. I changed Balius to Blackjack (OmniMech), but didn't know if I should keep going with that. -BobTheZombie (talk) 08:46, 3 August 2014 (PDT)

You're looking at an elephant task. As it stands, the cost in the infobox should be that quoted in the published canon source referenced against that cost. Every time the construction rules change, costs change. Either you need to leave the field alone, so that it's accurate against the source listed, or someone needs to go through and convert the cost field to suck the cost out of the MUL so that it updates automagically. Trying to update the articles manually isn't a good way to do it - you'll be painting the Forth Bridge. The costs will only be accurate for short increments of time, and there's no way to guarantee consistency. If there's no way to suck the cost out automatically, and if leaving an outdated (but correctly cited and verifiable) cost is an unpalatable option, then my preference would be to delete the cost field completely and instead refer people directly to the MUL.
The same reasoning applies or should apply to other fields that change when rules change - the main one I'm looking at/thinking of being the BV. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 04:09, 23 October 2014 (PDT)
Okay, I think I'll just leave it; that looks like a bit too much work. Thanks for explaining it! -BobTheZombie (talk) 15:34, 23 October 2014 (PDT)

Italic Names in Infoboxes?[edit]

I've seen an inconsistency with some 'Mechs having italicized names in the infobox (under the picture), while the majority don't have it italicized. Which way should it be? -BobTheZombie (talk) 18:14, 11 August 2014 (PDT)

I was under the impression that in line with the style guide, the names should always be italicized. If they aren't, I'm not aware of a reason why they wouldn't be, but I suspect someone who's been here longer than me would need to comment for clarification. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 04:12, 23 October 2014 (PDT)

Apocryphal Variant Placement[edit]

Where on the page should the apocryphal variants go? On the Commando page they have a separate "Apocryphal Variants" section, on the Awesome page there is an "Other Media" section, and for the Jenner page it is simply put in with the other variants and is marked off as apocryphal. I'm personally for the Jenner way. If no one chimes in I'll change it to that one, as I think it flows much better than the others. -BobTheZombie (talk) 15:40, 22 October 2014 (PDT)

If there's nothing that establishes the precedent and policy clearly in the help pages, then I'd argue in favour of the latter option, listing it amongst the other variants and marking it off as apocryphal. I'd prefer to see the apocryphal variants grouped together within the variants section though, simply to keep the article as clean as possible - I wouldn't want to see more than one apocryphal sub-section within a sub-section, for example, so I'd expect the order of precedence for listing variants to remain alphanumerical, but for it to be canon variants alphabetically and then apocryphal variants alphabetically. That's just my tuppence-worth though - others might disagree. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 04:20, 23 October 2014 (PDT)
I completely agree. I'll get to work on that soon. Thanks! -BobTheZombie (talk) 15:34, 23 October 2014 (PDT)

Production Year Field[edit]

Mattiator has highlighted a problem being seen here with some of the BattleMech pages that I think has arisen from a disconnect between how the pages are written and what they're being used for in other areas of Sarna.

As explained by Frabby elsewhere, the current practise/policy for the BattleMech article pages is to fill the infobox on each with the details of the first 'Mech variant to have been published in canon, based on the release dates of the sourcebooks. So, as an example, if you look at the 'Mechs from Technical Readout: 3025, the variants published within that TRO are the ones that are listed in the infobox in each of the articles because TRO: 3025 was released first. Although TRO: 3025 might include within the entry details of earlier variants - an example would be the references to an older version of the Commando, the COM-1B variant, than that for which stats were directly provided in the TRO (the COM-2D) it is the COM-2D variant that's in the infobox because that was the first published iteration.

The BattleMech timetable article on Sarna is a semantically-generated table intended to show the chronological introduction of each 'Mech archetype. As such, it is apparently intended to show the earliest date at which each 'Mech entered service. It's generated by drawing on the Production Year field within the infobox in each 'Mech article and compiles those dates into a manipulatable table. However, the table requirement is to show the earliest introduction date for each archetype - the date the first ever variant or model entered production. That information isn't represented consistently in the 'Mech article infoboxes because the production year quoted in the infobox is that of the variant listed in the infobox. This isn't a problem when the introduced variant is the first model to have been manufactured, but with CGL actively statting out earlier variants of 'Mechs - including Primitive designs - there's now a disconnect between how the timetable is trying to use information and how the article presents the information because of how the articles are written. In some cases, this can lead to 'Mechs appearing centuries later than their original introduction because (most commonly) Succession Wars-era designs described in TRO:3025 are in the article infoboxes whereas Age of War or earlier designs now exist in canon.

This poses a problem. As currently presented, the articles will never meet the requirements of the timetable consistently. So, should we do something about this at a policy level, and if we should, what do we do?

If the articles are left unchanged, the timetable will be incorrect by default. Mattiator's been attempting to remove some of the more glaring errors within the timetable by removing the production year line from the 'Mech articles involved, but that then causes some Mech designs to drop out of the timetable, and it makes the 'Mech articles inconsistent with each other.

If the articles are left unchanged and the production year remains in the infobox, reporting the production year of the matching variant, then the data in the 'Mech introduction table will be wrong. I know nothing about Semantic wiki or whatever it's called (including what it's called) but I don't think there's a way of plugging in exceptions when it's sucking data out of other articles.

Is the premise of the timetable flawed, in that is it attempting to generate something that we simply can't or don't want to be able to generate on Sarna? Alternatively, should we change how the BattleMech articles are written, and default to making the focus of the article the first produced design of 'Mech? That would involve rewriting the descriptions and infoboxes in each article.

I can see one workaround that might work, which would be to generate redirect pages for every 'Mech variant that point to the main 'Mech article, but which include in the redirect page the BattleMech infobox. The timetable would then pick up the production year of every single BattleMech variant, rather than the first of each archetype, which would be far more data than originally looked for - does that in turn defeat the intent of the timetable, assuming that there are enough willing hands to go through generating the hundreds/thousands of redirect pages and infoboxes?

Thoughts, anyone? Whatever we do, I think we need to be consistent, and I think it needs to be articulated in the help files for writing BattleMech articles (and, presumably, other types of equipment with the same problem). BrokenMnemonic (talk) 04:04, 23 October 2014 (PDT)

I personally believe that the info box should cover the earliest in universe production model we have information on and the variants are just that.. --Dmon (talk) 13:25, 23 October 2014 (PDT)
I'm with Dmon here. I think it's illogical to the person who comes here for info to be confused by two introduction dates and a different image than the original. I'll help with the infoboxes/first paragraphs if we decide to do this. -BobTheZombie (talk) 15:34, 23 October 2014 (PDT)
I'm not so sure that's the best approach. When a user first navigates to a BattleMech article, they are greeted with a nice familiar image from the game's early history, along with stats for what tends to be the most well-known variant among players. Changing this to the first canonical variant would demand the use of a much newer and less recognizable image, with a variant mounting often much different weapons than it's later, better known incarnations, in some cases having entirely different names (see: Flea) from their famous later variants. My thought would be specifically adding a "Variant Introduced" to the info box that is not drawn on by the Production Year tag, and using a Production Year tag in the article body to interface with the timetable and other articles using the Production year table. I think keeping articles more focused on the most famous instances of a 'Mech and thus more accessible is more important than the potential confusion of two dates that can be alleviated with good writing. Mattiator (talk) 21:31, 23 October 2014 (PDT)
I'm with Dmon and Bob. I always wrote Production Year tags pointing towards the earliest variant for the type of BattleMech or OmniMech (for an example, ; mine are frequently those that try to avoid referencing the MUL and adding multiple footnotes to sources {if available}). I argued before for a much easier fix for this, subtly changing the order of the fields in the Infobox. It was clear that this was considered by someone before, since there is a subtitle within the infobox, "Technical Specifications". As it stands now, the infobox contains both general and variant-specific information for each 'Mech. The current order (bold for general, italics for variant-specific, CAPS LOCK FOR HEADERS) is:
Name, Manufacturer, Production Year, Model, Class*, cost, "TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS", Mass*, Chassis, Armor, Engine, Communications, Targeting and Tracking, Heat Sinks, Speed, Armament, BV (2.0)
By simply re-ordering the Infobox (which can be done centrally in the wiki's code), and binning the categories together, all this is solved:
Name, Manufacturer, Production Year, Class*, Mass*,"TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS", Model, Chassis, Armor, Engine, Communications, Targeting and Tracking, Heat Sinks, Speed, Armament, BV (2.0), cost
*Note, special cases of the Rifleman, Flea, (others?) have masses that change over time. I would recommend a separate page in these cases, since changing a 'Mech from a medium to heavy or light to ultra-light significantly changes it.

With a simple change like this, ambiguity can be avoided. Adding in another header, like "GENERAL INFORMATION", may also be helpful. Additionally, subtly reordering the infobox allows us to consider adding more variant-specific or general lines to the Infobox (not my recommendation, I like its content now; just a thought). Thoughts?--S.gage (talk) 07:05, 25 October 2014 (PDT)
I think that the 'Mechs from TRO:3025 are perhaps the most iconic in BattleTech history, so I'd prefer to see them remain the predominant variant within the articles. If we can get around that by changing the order of the fields in the infobox or by renaming the fields to be more explicit as to what they refer to, so that it's clear the production year field refers to the date that the 'Mech archetype entered service, rather than the listed variant, then that would suit me down to the ground. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 11:10, 25 October 2014 (PDT)
I wholeheartedly agree with S.gage's idea; the current ordering is probably causing all the confusion. I believe that it would greatly help if we reordered the infobox. Also, perhaps changing "Introduction" to something like "Chassis Introduction" so anyone can understand that the basic, original model of the Mech was introduced at this time as opposed to the vagueness of the current way; in addition, I think "production year" should also be changed to help explain what it is describing (Possibly "Variant Introduction"?), but it might be answered already if we change the order in the infobox. -BobTheZombie (talk) 11:32, 25 October 2014 (PDT)
I'm on fence on this. Only reason, when I write article on a 'Mech, I try write up the featured design that appeared in the TRO. Take the Warhammer for example, it was featured in TRO:3025. It about the 6R model, since its written up extensively in book while variants for era given only slight mentioning's else where. I don't know why we need two separate fields for production. Mechs sometimes fall out of production, like the Ostroc. Their a completely new revamp model comes in. My point is the article should focus on the featured design. Yes, Rifleman will soon have a primitive version. Should production date be changed because the 50 tonner is no longer made? Thunderbolt has a primitive version as well, older than 5S version. Should article be change to talk about primitive one? I think it should be first come, first serve. The only date that should be up in the info box is when it was first introduced, I mention when I write up article when Variants are introduced. MUL is the official canon site says when what came in and when. It can be wrong, but its what we got go by unless told other wise. Sorry I this sound confusing, I do think the production year link in the info box should go to Year article and not some crazy list that I've yet see is useful for a casual user.-- Wrangler (talk) 12:06, 25 October 2014 (PDT)
Can we just put an invisible production year call in the variant section? For example on the Commando page could we place a hidden production year value that shows it's the COM-1A (or whatever). That way the most popular variant from the TRO is shown in the infobox, but the variant is as well.--Mbear(talk) 10:25, 27 October 2014 (PDT)
At least for me, the solution that works would be to have the Production Year in the info box not be drawn on for the Timetable (and other sources), and letting that "Production Year" field refer only to the variant in question, with the variant list having the earliest year being drawn on with a different tag ("Chassis Introduced" sounds good). Mattiator (talk) 03:50, 24 March 2015 (PDT)
Has there been any further word on what we're doing with this? I haven't had a whole lot to do given that the timetable was my little pet project, and the discussion seems to have stalled out completely on what we're doing with Production years and whatnot. I would like to be able to move forward regarding it soon. Mattiator (talk) 15:19, 29 July 2015 (PDT)
All what i can say Be Bold.--Doneve (talk) 15:24, 29 July 2015 (PDT)
Hmmm. I'll see what I can do after work, then. Basically, my plan change the field read by the Timetable to "Introduction Year", which is then used as a tag in the body of the article, so it doesn't conflict with the info boxes using "Introduced" or "Production Year", similar to how Production Ceased, Extinction Era, and Reintroduction Year work. It'll require me to comb through every single article and make the changes, buuuuut given how much effort I've already put into the timeline it's a drop in the bucket. Mattiator (talk) 15:33, 29 July 2015 (PDT)

New Infobox[edit]

I decided to be bold and update Template:InfoBoxBattleMech. It now automatically populates mechs into Category:BattleMechs, their respective categories for specific weight (eg Category: 35 ton BattleMechs) and weight class (eg Category:Assault BattleMechs), as well as a new set of categories sorting mechs by tech base (Clan, IS, and mixed), by omni/industrial/standard, and by subcats combining the two (eg Category:Inner Sphere Standard BattleMechs).

90% of the work is done. Unfortunately, the other 10% is a bunch of boring data entry, or possibly a job for a bot.

The new template depreciates the old "class" parameter - it can figure out the class based on the weight. However, the template has a new parameter and puts new emphasis on two old ones.

  • The Tech Base parameter should be one of "Primitive", "Inner Sphere", "Clan", or "Mixed". This isn't new (and it can accept a whole ton of synonyms), but it is more important now and many old articles don't have this parameter.
  • The mech type parameter should be one of "BattleMech", "OmniMech", or "IndustrialMech".
  • The weight parameter needs to be a number. A lot of random articles "helpfully" have ref tags for the specific weight, which isn't useful and messes up the template.

Articles that don't have one of these three parameters filled out correctly are in Category:Empty or nonstandard InfoBoxBattleMech tech base parameter. I will be going through that category to clean up articles, but it's literally hundreds of pages that need simple, repetitive edits.

If you can help by filling in or correcting those three parameters, I'd appreciate it. If you can make and operate a bot to edit those parameters in automatically, I'd really appreciate it. Doing the latter is beyond my ability, however. Cease to Hope (talk) 22:34, 3 September 2017 (EDT)

By the way, I plan to - but have not yet - implement a "feet" parameter. It will note what sort of legs/movement system the mech has. It will accept 2, 3, 4, LAM, quadvee, or Scorpion LAM (along with a bunch of synonyms) as acceptable parameters, and automatically populate the article into the corresponding categories. Cease to Hope (talk) 20:16, 8 September 2017 (EDT)
On the note of "feet" I would feet a bit better with "Motive system" but truthfully, most 'Mechs have art at the top of the info box and a fairly detailed description if they are anything out of the ordinary so you might be adding information simply for the sake of adding it rather than it being of use.--Dmon (talk) 00:05, 9 September 2017 (EDT)
It would link to the explanation of what quad/quadvee/LAM mechs are. Bipeds, tripods, and quads probably don't need any explanation, but LAMs and quadvees do. I also intend to export this functionality to the other infoboxes, such as Template:InfoBoxCombatVehicle, where motive systems are usually already in the infobox, jammed haphazardly in other fields. Plus, it will automatically populate the categories (eg Category:Quad BattleMechs) and add the possibility of autopopulating crosscats (eg Category:Clan Quad BattleMechs) later. Cease to Hope (talk) 15:16, 9 September 2017 (EDT)
Really recommend you reach out to Nic regarding running a script. He doesn't check here on a daily basis, but he's the man to go to discuss what you're requesting. Hope that helps. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 09:38, 9 September 2017 (EDT)
I'll do that if nobody else does, thanks. Cease to Hope (talk) 15:16, 9 September 2017 (EDT)

I redirected Template:InfoBoxIndMech to Template:InfoBoxBattleMech, since it now covers all of the same functionality and more. Cease to Hope (talk) 20:23, 12 September 2017 (EDT)