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BattleMech


BattleMech


A BattleMech (often abbreviated 'Mech, although that could technically also refer to Industrial Mechs) is an armored combat vehicle of roughly humanoid shape, standing 8 to 14 meters tall and typically massing from 20 to 100 tons. 'Mechs are best suited for ground combat, although they are also capable of operations underwater, in hazardous environments and in space.

In general, BattleMechs are considered superior to conventional combat vehicles, being faster, better armed and better protected, creating a firepower-to-manpower ratio which also gives them a logistical advantage. 'Mechs replicate many of the movements humans are capable of performing, including acrobatic feats such as shoulder rolls, which allow them to avoid, deflect or otherwise lessen the impact of weapons fire. Their downside is the incredible expense associated with producing and maintaining 'Mechs, even the cheapest 'Mech can cost millions of C-Bills, ensuring cheaper combat vehicles a continued role in warfare. Still, the best way to fight a 'Mech is with another 'Mech, preferably one larger and more powerful: duels between evenly-matched 'Mechs have been known to last for hours.

Classifications

  • Light - All 'Mechs weighing from 20 up to 35 tons are classified as "light". Their skeleton can only carry limited armor, but the higher efficiency of smaller fusion reactors means that light 'Mechs benefit from superior mobility. They are typically fast but lightly armed and armored. These 'Mechs are generally used as scout 'Mechs and anti-personnel units instead of frontline combat duty, but some are designated combat 'Mechs with relatively heavy armament. Their low production cost, high proliferation, and relatively good supply of spare parts meant that they saw widespread use throughout history in virtually any role.
  • Medium - Medium 'Mechs are the workhorse 'Mechs of most armies. Weighing between 40 and 55 tons they naturally fall somewhere in between the agile light 'Mechs and the powerfully armed heavy 'Mechs. While matching neither in their respective niche, medium 'Mechs tend to have the best combination between speed, armor, and payload which gives them unmatched versatility. The fastest medium 'Mechs often serve as command units among light 'Mechs with similar speed. Better armed than light 'Mechs, medium 'Mechs can often outmaneuver heavier opponents in combat and bring their weapons to bear with better effect to the point of being superior combatants in single combat, given time and suitable terrain.
  • Heavy - Heavy 'Mechs are those designed for frontline combat duty, and weigh in between 60 and 75 tons. They are slightly less versatile and generally slower than medium 'Mechs, but tend to have much heavier armor and weapon payloads. Capable of delivering sustained heavy fire over long ranges while retaining adequate mobility, they are formidable and powerful foes. Some designs are adapted to special roles in combat which greatly improves the combat performance of their unit but makes them a poor choice in single combat situations.
  • AssaultAssault 'Mechs are the heaviest regular class of BattleMechs, weighing in between 80 and 100 tons. Some of these huge 'Mechs can mount up to 50 tons of weapons as well as very thick armor protection. They can project tremendous firepower, and perform best as the spearhead of frontal assaults or in defending entrenched positions. The trade-off is in speed and maneuverability, as assault 'Mechs are generally very slow. As such, they often require friendly units to protect them from being outmaneuvered. Assault 'Mechs are typically used as command units, heavy assault platforms, and in fire-support roles, but due to their prohibitive costs and limited production, they actually make up only a small fraction of all BattleMechs.

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