Firestarter (BattleMech)

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This article is about the 35-ton BattleMech. For the 45-ton OmniMech, see Firestarter (OmniMech).
Firestarter (BattleMech)
Production information
Manufacturer Argile Technologies of Skye

Coventry Metal Works

Diplass BattleMechs[1]

Production Year 2550[2][3][4]
Model FS9-H
Class Light
Cost 3,046,950 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 35 tons
Chassis Argile H/09
Armor Livingston Ceramics
Engine GM 210
Communications System Cyclops 14
Targeting Tracking System Tansech C30-97
Heat Sinks 10
Speed 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets Luxor Load Lifters
BV (1.0) 500
BV (2.0) 694[5]


The Firestarter was designed by Argile Technologies of Skye in 2550 to perform as an incendiary 'Mech. The most popular and widely-used version of the Firestarter, the FS9-H, would debut in 2703 and become the standard to which all other incendiary 'Mechs were compared. The FS9-H was produced almost exclusively from its introduction up to the beginning of the Amaris Civil War in early 2776, with nearly 3,000 Firestarters in total seeing active duty.[2] Because of the 'Mech's popularity with all of the Great Houses, Argile Industries continued to produce spare parts and new 'Mechs prior to and during the Succession Wars, until their Argile plant and headquarters were destroyed in the Third Succession War. When the company indicated that they would not rebuild their plant, Coventry Metal Works eventually picked up production.[3]

Though most regiments contained a number of Firestarter 'Mechs, they were traditionally assigned at the company or regimental level rather than be attached to a lance, with the commander then deploying them to support an attack group or scout wooded areas. The reason for this was that the 'Mech had such a specialized role that it was deemed useless to assign it to lances. Though protected by five and a half tons of armor and capable of jumping distances of 180 meters with its six jump jets, the Firestarter could do little against medium or heavyweight opponents. Instead a whole series of tactics were developed around its ability to start wildfires, with skillfully-placed blazes routing an enemy or covering a retreat and hampering any pursuit. Firestarter MechWarriors were fond of setting on fire a heavily wooded area as enemy 'Mechs advanced through it or any buildings within which the enemy were sheltering. Other uses for the 'Mech included performing scorched earth tactics (though this lessened in later years as it became more imperative to capture the dwindling number of valuable resources rather than destroy them) or lead units of Wasps and Stingers in deep penetration scouting and light raiding missions.[2][3]

This policy changed in the later Succession Wars as it was found that the Firestarter performed well as a scout, able to not only start fires to prevent an enemy from attempting to follow it but also clear ambush areas for the advancement of friendly forces. In the wake of the Fourth Succession War Firestarters also found themselves being assigned to lances as replacements for the losses of other light and medium 'Mechs, forcing the 'Mech to perform in a frontline role. This evolution would continue when the Federated Commonwealth unveiled a new version in 3049, the FS9-S, which featured a host of recovered lostech to enhance its scouting abilities.[2][3][6]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Firestarter carries four Purity L-series Flamers for incendiary work, one in each arm, one forward-facing in the center torso, and one rear-facing in the center torso. The flamers can set fire to anything flammable very quickly. For additional anti-personnel work, the Firestarter has two Deprus RF Machine Guns mounted in either side of its torso which, combined with the flamers, can make short work of infantry units. The Firestarter carries one Magna Mk II Medium Laser in either arm for when it is forced to engage hard targets like vehicles and other BattleMechs. One ton of ammo located in its torso supplies the machine guns while ten heat sinks help keep it cool.[2][3]


  • FS9-A 
    The original Firestarter, production on it ceased with the introduction of the FS9-H. It carried Small Lasers instead of machine guns and mounted an additional ton of armor.[3][7] BV (2.0) = 773[8]
  • FS9-B 
    Following the capture of Coventry, the Word of Blake converted the Firestarter line to produce a new variant in 3070 that could be better integrated into their units. An additional ton of armor is added when compared to the S and it is upgraded to Light Ferro-Fibrous. The chassis has been replaced with an Endo Steel model, and a Light Fusion Engine provides power. Three Flamers are devastating to conventional units, while an ER Medium Laser provides firepower against hardened targets. A C3i Computer allows it to share targeting data from other units. The use of single heat sinks is confusing in such a unit, and it means that the -B can build heat quickly. It uses eight Improved Jump Jets to cover 240 meters in a jump. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 677[9]
  • FS9-K 
    The K variant began production at the same time as the original model and mounted two flamers, a Large laser and two small lasers. While it was designed to be a companion model, the H variant proved more popular and dominated production after it was introduced.[3] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 763[11]
  • FS9-M 
    Nicknamed the Mirage, this variant of the Firestarter debuted in 2893 and converts it from an incendiary 'Mech to a frontline 'Mech by removing the flamers and adding in their place two small lasers and three tons of armor. The variant was in production for only one year before the catastrophic battle which transformed the Argile plant, and the capital of Skye, into a desert wasteland. The Skye Rangers maintained several Mirages, including a lance with one arm painted black in commemoration.[2][3] BV (1.0) = 671, BV (2.0) = 798[12]
  • FS9-M3 
    The -M3 is a modification of the -M2 Firestarter introduced in 3104 that has been optimized for artillery spotting. The 'Mech has removed the three Flamers mounted in the left arm, replacing them in the arm with a single ER Small Laser, and added a TAG laser designator to the right torso, allowing it to spot for artillery, and MASC, which allows it to move at up to 129.6 km/h. The -M3 also dropped a single double heat sink but added another half ton of armor, giving it a total of seven and a half tons of standard armor.[16] BV (1.0) = 699,[17] BV (2.0) = 866.[16][18]
  • FS9-M4 
    Another reworking of the -M2 variant debuting in 3109, the M4 strips out a double heat sink, the ER Medium Laser and the three Flamers mounted in the left arm. The -M4 upgrades the engine to 210 XL and mounts a single Rotary AC/2 in the left arm, supplied with a single ton of ammunition stored in the left torso. The -M4 also adds another half ton of standard armor. BV (2.0) = 798.[19][20]
  • FS9-P 
    Manufactured by the Circinus Federation in 3064, the -P is similar to the -S, but it uses ten double heat sinks. It removes the defensive and scouting equipment, as well as a half-ton of armor to add and additional Small Laser and a pair of SRM-2s. The missile launchers are commonly loaded with Inferno rounds. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 775[9]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • FS9-81X 
    This is an Experimental prototype of the Firestarter that was created by Defiance Industries of Kwangjong-ni. Only three prototypes were produced as of 3074, and suffered from developmental problems with their components. Using the FS9-H as its base, the 'Mech is fitted with an XXL Engine and a pair of Medium X-Pulse Lasers, both mounted in the right arm. Its principle weapon is a Plasma Rifle with 10 shots of ammunition. The 'Mech retains the original base model's Flamers and jump capabilities. BV (2.0) = 1,093[24]

Apocryphal Variants[edit]

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

These variants were introduced in various apocryphal sources, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.

From MechCommander:

  • FS9-W 
    This variant has only four tons of armor, while boasting a larger armament. It is armed with one Laser, two SR Missile Packs and a PPC.
  • FS9-J 
    The FS9-J has the same armament as the FS9-A and four tons of armor. Its jump jets allow it to jump up to one hundred meters.

From MechWarrior: Dark Age:

  • Firestarter Pyro Peterson 
    Mostly likely an FS9-M2, this Firestarter appeared in MechWarrior: Dark Age/Age of Destruction board game as a variant piloted by William "Pyro" Peterson of Banson's Raiders. Whether this 'Mech exists canonically is unknown.

From MechWarrior Online:

  • FS9-E Ember 
    The Firestarter Hero 'Mech, the Ember mounts a pair of flamers in each arm supported by two machine guns in each side torso. Mounting only five jump jets, the Ember is powered by a 210 rated standard engine and built on an Endo Steel frame, the weight saved allowing it carry a ton's worth of machine gun rounds in each CASE protected side torso, eleven double heat sinks and near 75% of the maximum armor its chassis can carry.[1]
  • FS9-FS Firestorm 
    Themed as the Firestarter utilized by an unnamed member of Philip Capet's Capellan Mafia during Capet's final duel against Justin Allard on Solaris VII, the Firestorm features twin machine guns in its arms, mounting a medium laser in each side torso while retaining the center torso mounted twin flamers. The Firestorm carries two tons of machine gun ammunition.[25]

Apocryphal Content Ends

Design Quirks[edit]

The Firestarter has the following Design Quirks:[26]

Related OmniMechs[edit]


In German products the unit's proper name was perfectly translated to Brandstifter. The model code was changed accordingly to BD9-R.



  1. Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 11, "Infrastructural Integrity"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Technical Readout: 3025, pp. 24-25
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Technical Readout: 3039, pp. 110-111
  4. Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
  5. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 81
  6. 6.0 6.1 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 25
  7. Record Sheets: 3039, Unabridged, p. 166
  8. MUL Profile for FS9-A includes BV2.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 95
  10. 10.0 10.1 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 96
  11. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 82
  12. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 83
  13. 13.0 13.1 Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 26-27, "FS9-M2 Firestarter"
  14. Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 47
  15. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 294
  16. 16.0 16.1 Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 81, "FS9-M3 Firestarter"
  17. Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 48
  18. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 295
  19. Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 82, "FS9-M4 Firestarter"
  20. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 296
  21. 21.0 21.1 Combat Operations, p. 131
  22. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.47
  23. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.48
  24. Experimental Technical Readout: Corporations p. 3 - Experimental tech Firestarter.
  25. MechWarrior Online Solaris-7 Sale Page
  26. BattleMech Manual, p. 90 Design Quirk Table - Firestarter Entry.
  27. Technical Readout: 3058, p. 86