Chris Daranouvong again. Since I'm still busy with the day job, a few long-standing requests from friends,
The Draconis Suns was the result of a plot twist in PoptartNinja's BT campaign and it makes a lot of sense in context, honest! The Ryuken `Mechs were designed as part of a thread contest on SomethingAwful while our Solaris scenario was playing out post-by-post. Goons, both BT vets and newbies introduced to Battletech by the campaign, were given the chance to design `Mechs to be put in action. Either completely new designs--which every BT player in the course of his giant-robot-dicegames career gets the urge to make, no exceptions--or variants of existing designs, including "new" designs clearly built around a pre-existing chassis. The latter is clearly the more canon-friendly route and you can tell most of the people who submitted new variants of other `Mechs were the veterans of the group, but I digress!
The same goes for the Capellan `Mechs, and those were vetted by Justin Xiang himself. Who, in PTN's campaign, is most certainly not a spy sent in by Hanse Davion in a convoluted soap-operaesque Warrior Trilogy ploy to screw over the underdoggiest Successor State. We think. I mean, sure, he arranged the assassination of Max Liao but that was to put Romano Liao in charge. And she's actually not (that) crazy in this timeline. We think. And besides, Max went and designed a really stupid `Mech with an MRM launcher the size of its torso on its shoulder. Which I had the privilege to draw for the thread!
Not all of the Goon-submitted contest entries wound up on my `Mechsheet, I pretty much just drew first-come-first-served. They're not as detailed as my fan-TRO:3063 stuff because I was in a rush and more interested in getting defined shapes out as opposed to high-quality illustrations, but they're something worth looking at.
Clan Hell's Horses is one of the Invader Clans right off the bat, and yeah they took Luthien in 3033. I'm rather fond of the Kingfisher design I did for the Goonstar playing that scenario, though that's partly because PTN requested it personally.
And the New Rim Worlds Republic? Uh. That's a long story. The timeline diverged pretty dramatically from canon starting from the Star League and going outwards. Remember how, canonically, Stefan Amaris was a Pol Pot-esque anti-intellectual who mass-executed large numbers of scientists, researchers, and engineers? In this timeline, he's just the opposite of that. By all rights, the Usurper was a flawed, ambitious, but ultimately pragmatic ruler in the background of the campaign. While the canon Stefan Amaris was literally worse than any Earth-born dictator you could name, the story behind this one isn't as cut and dry. His descendant wound up re-establishing the RWR on the other side of the Periphery, and it's implied he did so with support from the locals.
(There's one way the campaign doesn't diverge from canon: the Periphery still remembers how brutal the Star League's oppression was and don't have nearly as much hate for Amaris as the Successor States do.)
The Goon Contest `Mechs: Capellan Experimentals and Draconis Suns Ryuken Prototypes
In order from top to bottom, left to right:
Baba Yaga, by Felime: When Clan Steel Viper, Clan Widowmaker, Clan Hell's Horses, and Clan Goliath Scorpion launched their sudden attack in 3032, the entire Inner Sphere was shaken to the core. Even as far away as the Capellan Confederation, the Chancellor and his strategoi were scrambling to make sense of this new threat. However, unlike the Federated Suns or the Free Worlds League, the Capellans had been enjoying a quiet technological renaissance thanks to reclaimed Star League lostech. They were in what they believed to be the perfect position to try to recreate a Clan Assault `Mech, despite lacking any knowledge of the true extent of the Clan's technicological advantage, much less the versatility of their OmniMechs. On Tikonov, Earthwerks Incorporated attempted to duplicate none other than Khan Natasha Kerensky's own Dire Wolf (IS Reporting Name: "Varangian"), the most fearsome Omni in the entire Widowmaker touman. Using top-of-the-line Capellan Gauss Rifles, MRMs, and Improved Heat Sinks, and a torso much too large for its legs, and thanks to an elaborate and hilariously convoluted game of Espionage Telephone across the entire Inner Sphere, Earthwerks somehow managed to successfully build a `Mech that resembled an oversized house on stilts. Had this design ever made it into combat with the Clans, they probably would've thought it looked like an puffed-up Adder.
Max Liao loved it. Romano canned the entire thing as a costly fiasco. It's not like the Capellan statewide industrial base is made of Assault `Mech production lines, you know?
Cataphract (Alternate Universe), by Taerkar: A hilarious frankenMech made from the head of a Crusader, the right arm and legs of a Marauder, the left arm and shoulder of an Orion, and the torso of what I think might be a Crockett, this was to be the lynchpin of the Capellan Confederation push to retake Andurien and decapitate the LCCC command element in the Capellan theatre of operations.
In tests, though, it didn't quite match up to the simplicity of the Gauss Urbie already in mass production, either in cost efficiency or performance given the operational tactics used by the Confederation. (Read: Being sneaky jerks.)
Red River, by Captain Foo: A solid mid-range brawler built with a certain degree of utility in mind, the Red River could be described as an iMRM-40 with legs and a Large Laser attached. MRMs were an interesting compromise invented a few years ago in the Capellan Confederation (with ComStar's exclusive help, presumably, and you'll note the Draconis Combine didn't invent the MRMs in this campaign for this reason) The iMRM system removes the pesky targeting penalties earlier Medium Range Missile systems had to deal with and is now one of the most fearsome weapons in the CCAF's arsenal. Early tests proved promising, but the developers of the Red River project were redirected by Justin Xiang to a slightly related, but much more terrifying project. You see, the first thing Citizen Xiang noticed is that the Red River was designed to fulfill a heavy cavalry role it was underarmed for, but with some extra tonnage and some more complementary weapons, the Red River would be a juggernaut to be reckoned with.
So he persuaded them to apply their experiences in the Red River project to design a new Atlas variant exclusively for the Chancellor's Own: the Death Commandos. This became the alternate universe AS7-DC. The Large Laser was replaced by a Gauss Rifle, making this Atlas variant the heaviest IS `Mech in full production to mount the Gauss Rifle in this timeline (seeing as how Clanbuster King Crabs were not invented yet). And the best part is, the Gauss Rifle isn't the scariest weapon in its arsenal. Sadly, this meant the Red River itself never went into full production. (Which is a shame, since I think it looks like a good classic-style IS `Mech.)
Gongji, by Leperflesh: The Jagermech is possibly the most stereotypically Davion `Mech in history. So it's a bit ironic that more Jagermechs are constructed on Tikonov than in any of the FedSuns' own industrial centers. As part of Chancellor Romano's push to emphasize the Chinese national character of the historically Eurasian-creole Capellan peoples, the techies at Kallon Industries had a go at designing a new, distinctly Sinophile twist on their classic Jagermech. They removed the anti-air AC arms and replaced them with fully-articulated limbs housing Medium Lasers. The bulk of the upper torso was refit to hold three iMRM-10s and the bulk of the Jagermech's cylindrical "face" was shortened to make room for a NARC launcher in the right torso. The engine was upscaled and its legs changed to a digigrade form to better handle the speeds this heavy `Mech would be expected to reach.
However, compared to its nearest modern-tech heavy cavalry equivalent, the Combine's Grand Dragon, the Gongji had a shorter operational range thanks to its NARC launcher and subsequently proved more vulnerable to focused fire in preliminary testing. Too fast to be a hard-hitting brawler given the technology available to the CapCon at the time but too slow to be a truly elusive NARC-spotter, the Gongji was quietly set aside pending a review of the capabilities of the recently recovered Star League Extralight Fusion Engine.
Illuminati, by Hob_Gadling: Before his death, Chancellor Maximilian Liao funded a number of increasingly eccentric projects utilizing the advanced technologies within the Confederation's reach. Some of these were military projects. This was one of them. Built from a hacked-apart Shadow Hawk and refitted with an absurd amount of iMRMs and iLK LRMs, the Illuminati exists as a testament to a madman's curious sense of aesthetics and little else.
Max Liao died before Earthwerks' engineers could figure out how to recalibrate the Gyro to deal with the ludicrously oversized MRM launcher perched precariously on its shoulder. Justin Xiang had the project shut down and the last existing Illuminati prototype shipped over to Sian as part of the "memorial" built to the late Chancellor--who he had killed, I'll remind you. The thing is currently standing in a museum within the Forbidden City, though not without the assistance of a sturdy buttress to lean against.
Mackie, by KnoxZone: To celebrate the personal union of First Coordinator-Prince Hanse Kurita-Davion and his young bride, Jannike Kurita-Davion (she's seriously half his age, that old cradle-robber! Though his previous girlfriend, Melissa Steiner, was just as young compared to him), the NAIS revived an ancient Terran design to combine the two signature experimental technologies pioneered by the Suns and the Combine before the Clan Invasion. Updating the primitive Mackie's basic systems to modern standards and replacing its weapons with a Kuritan Heavy PPC and a Davion High-Velocity Variable-Ammo Autocannon, the new Mackie was designed as the lynchpin for direct assaults against the hated Clan Hell's Horses.
However, unbeknownst to the commanders on New Avalon and those battered survivors of the fall of Luthien, the Horses have ceased their advance in order to consolidate their gains. In their place, they have allowed two Clans from the Homeworlds to continue the invasion. Most worryingly, though, is that Clan Jade Falcon makes use of a tactical doctrine very different from what the surviving DCMS veterans are familiar with. As the 100-ton symbol of the new Ryuken heavy assault "Clanbreaker" regiments, the Fox has put his faith in this old dog's new tricks.
(Yes, it's basically a derped-up take on FD's own Mackie sketch. ACS's missile Mackie is the most faithful to the original `Mech compared to mine or even Alex's. Though we both had the same idea for the Mackie's bubbleface cockpit details!)
Liquidator, by jng2058: Like the Mackie, this Assault-scale Dorwinion chassis `Mech--the same chassis series as the Enforcer and Axman alike--was meant to carry both experimental heavy weapons. The main reason the Mackie was chosen over the Liquidator was largely symbolic, though Liquidator prototypes are still in use as testing platforms for future expansions on the Dorwinion line of `Mechs. Achernar Battlemechs haven't quite given up on their intentions to scale up the Dorwinion to the Assault class, and is considering future proposals based on the experimental Gauss Rifles fielded by the DCMS before Luthien fell. Though, sadly, most of the technical expertise was lost with the heart of Luthien Armor Works. And with the secession of New Syrtis, salvaged Capellan Gauss Rifles are also in short supply.
Battlemaster, by dis astranagant: Taking a distinctly different bent from the other Assault-class proposals, the 1KD Battlemaster removes the stock variant's SRM launcher, Machine Guns, and one of its total six Medium Lasers--moving two from the torso to the left arm. The PPC was replaced by a Kuritan experimental Heavy PPC and the spare weight was allocated to enough Jump Jets to give the Battlemaster mobility comparable to a Highlander. And unlike the Highlander, the BLR-1KD was designed to operate independently from major supply lines. The "jump-mobile" Battlemaster design is still in consideration pending further developments from the NAIS. At the moment, though, the tonnage allocated to maintaining heat levels limits the current 1KD's combat potential.
"Yabai Yatsu" Thug, by raverrn: The first of two `Mechs meant to memorialize the fallen heroes of Luthien, this was dedicated to Akira Kurita, Princess Jannike Kurita-Davion's brother. While built from the same variant of Thug piloted by Akira before his death, the Yabai Yatsu was given a new name and designation largely to emphasize its Kuritan origins--a quiet act of defiance by its pro-Kurita creators from what remains of Luthien Armor Works. Its PPCs were replaced with two experimental HPPCs, giving it firepower at least somewhat comparable to the infamous Warhammer IIC. However, given the limits of the Draconis Suns' heat sink technology, the Yabai Yatsu's fatal weaknesses (and subtle rejection of the Davion-Kurita union) led it to be passed over for the Ryuken project completely.
(Yes, it's basically a reskin of the Thug I posted here.)
Sunfire, by Captain Foo: While similar in some ways to the Yabai Yatsu and the Yorinaga, the Sunfire sits on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Built from the remains of the Shugenja project, the Sunfire was rebranded to emphasize their support for Coordinator-Prince Hanse Kurita-Davion, endorsed by the late (?) Theodore Kurita to defend the remains of the Combine. By Independence Weaponry, the Sunfire is another twin-HPPC heavy sniper meant to face Clan machines at standoff ranges. Unfortunately, like the Yabai Yatsu and Yorinaga, it runs as hot as an oven.
"Bardiche" Hammerhands, by Wind Tempest: Another archaic design rebranded as part of its modernization, the Bardiche is a Hammerhands straddling two worlds. That is, to say, it's equipped with an HPPC in one arm and an XHVAC/10 in the other. Meant as a potential replacement for the relatively thin-armored Warhammer and as a potential indirect fire support `Mech, thanks to the XHVAC/10's ability to load Guided Rounds, the Bardiche was unfortunately passed over in favor of the similarly equipped -10D Mackie.
(Personally, it was one of two experiments of my own, design wise. It's one of my potential takes on a Re-Reseen Warhammer that retroactively draws upon design elements from the Hammerhands, known in canon to be a kind of clunky, clumsy retconned-in older brother to that venerable Unseen Destroid.)
Wildebeest, by jng2058: One of the few dedicated indirect-fire support `Mech proposals for the Ryuken project, this was an intermediate step between the Axman-sized Dorwinion and the Liquidator. Armed with two XHVAC/10s, the Wildebeest counters the Clans' range advantage through the simple expedient of firing from outside their line of sight. And unlike LRM-armed fire support platforms, the XHVAC/10 is not vulnerable to faster `Mechs closing in for the kill. The experimental HVAC can load standard rounds, Guided Rounds (essentially LRM10s), and Acid Rounds to deal extra damage to Ferro-Fibrous Armor--which, incidentally, is found on nearly every single light and medium frontline Clan `Mech. While the Mackie was chosen as the main face of the Ryuken, the Wildebeest appears to be a promising complement to the Ryuken's heavy assault specialization.
"Yorinaga" Warhammer, by TildeATH: The second LAW proposal designed in protest of Jannike Kurita-Davion's marriage to the Fox, this was a rebranded, redesigned Warhammer dedicated to her father, the legendary Yorinaga Kurita--Hero of Luthien and possible survivor of the Clan attack. The cockpit of the Warhammer was dramatically redesigned to be sharper and more predatory, while its PPCs were replaced by HPPCs in the current Kuritan fashion. Its SRMs and most of its close-range direct-fire weapons were replaced by a box of Small Lasers taking the place of where its SRM launcher would be. The tell-tale searchlight was moved from the shoulder and placed at the waist, where a second searchlight was added. For symmetry. To support the weight of its massive HPPCs, the Yorinaga adds support struts to its arms, much like those seen on the Star League-era Galahad Battlemechs. However, as was the case with all twin-HPPC proposals, heat management proved a crippling flaw.
Lancer, by Taerkar: It's a quad.
CLAN HELL'S HORSES: The GoonStar that Killed Takashi Kurita
(by legging him and letting whiplash and a busted neurohelmet coupling do the rest)
Kingfisher (IS Reporting Name: Ragnarok): Have you seen the canon Kingfisher? It's like Humpty-Dumpty wearing swimming paddles on its feet. This AU variant, armed with twin UAC/20s, would make a King Crab blush. One of PoptartNinja's personal favorite Clan Assaults, he requested this sketch to gussy up that dumpy design and I was glad to provide. Though it's an older one, yes, and I was still a bit inexperienced with Photoshop at the time. This, and the other Clan Omni sketches, aren't as cleaned up and sharp-looking as some of my other drawings. The name "Ragnarok" came about as a dour acknowledgement by the survivors of the Combine's Rasalhague districts. This was the `Mech that, to them, heralded the end of an age.
Gargoyle (IS Reporting Name: "Sohei"): Where the canon Gargoyle was a slightly mismatched heavy cavalry Assault whose prime configuration was relatively underarmed in comparison to lighter, more optimized Clan heavies, the AU Gargoyle wastes no tons on small-caliber ballistic weapons. This particular variant is equally comfortable at all range brackets with enough firepower, speed, and aerial mobility to quickly and efficiently hunt down IS `Mechs half its size and confound much larger Spheroid Assaults. The Gargoyle was dubbed the "Sohei" by the DCMS due to its peculiar monk-like appearance and uncanny agility. The name refers to warrior monks from Terran Japanese history famed in folklore for their superb fighting skills and rumored to possess mystical abilities. Appropriate.
(The head is a bit small, though.)
Hellbringer (IS Reporting Name: "Lucerne"): As in, "Lucerne hammer," a form of poleaxe and long war-hammer, clearly stating the Hellbringer's obvious resemblence to a classic `Mech. This particular configuration is an obvious killer. Armed to the teeth with Streak SRM-6s and sporting a single CERLL to punch holes from a distance, this is a distinctly specialized loadoat. And like all specialized `Mechs, the AU Hellbringer C excels in its chosen role.
(Head is also far too small. I should've made it rounder, too. Looks too much like an Omen when it was supposed to be a mini-Zeus head. Welp. Also, check out the legs. Everyone knows "Don't cross the streams" actually means "go ahead and cross the streams when you gotta.")
Stormcrow (IS Reporting Name: "Swordbreaker"): This is actually a canon Stormcrow loadout. Let's be fair, just about all of the canon Stormcrow configurations are pretty good, unlike those of a number of other Omnis. Literally taking the arm of a Nova and a UAC/20, this is a citybrawler par excellence. In the GoonStar, the Stormcrow was the personal ride of then-ilKhan Lair Siedman, memorably played by none other than B. Ken, though he goes by another name on the SA forums. Also another guy who didn't fare as well as TBK, I'll say that much. The DCMS dubbed it "Jitte," naming it after a medieval law-enforcement weapon designed to catch katana and break them at the hilt with a twist of the wrist--so named by Theodore Kurita in stern chastisement of the staunchly traditionalist Sword of Light regiments, who repeatedly suffered defeats at the hands of these quick, hard-hitting Clan Mediums. A loose translation of the Japanese term soon became popular throughout the rest of the Sphere, hence the currently-accepted reporting name.
Curiously, Theodore's own "disreputable" `Mech formations proved much more successful in dealing with Clan Mediums, including the Stormcrow. His quiet and subtle assertion behind the name was that where tradition failed, adaptation and innovation will succeed.
(I'm a bit ashamed of how janky the proportions on the Stormcrow turned out. It's an old sketch, yeah.)
(As an aside, the fifth Clan Omni in the Star was another Gargoyle, and that one fell into a pond and died thanks to Dice That Hates Players.)
THE NEW RIM WORLDS REPUBLIC: "MOJAVE" BATTLEMECHS
(That's actually my nickname for them, not a campaign-endorsed one)
Bobcat: Requested by PTN along the lines of "a Jackrabbit designed to look like a Celestial," this was the result of a slight misunderstanding. (It's supposed to be reverse-jointed! Whoops.) The lightest and most agile of the Mojave series, the Bobcat was purpose-built as a Clanhunter. Equipped with top-of-the-line equipment designed secretly by ComStar and built to Stefan Amaris VII's exacting specifications, the Bobcat is a ferocious jumper brandishing one of the few IS weapons capable of challenging Clan technology, albeit in a very thin range band: the Snub-Nose PPC. The laser 'head' is not the actual Head of the `Mech. Look closely at the tip of its center torso. That's the actual head and cockpit.
Coyote: Originally a Rampage redesigned to look, again, like a Celestial-series `Mech. Not to be confused with the `Mechs fielded by Clan Coyote. Also supposed to be a reverse-joint design, which I screwed up on, and the tip of the torso is also the real HD of the `Mech. This one's a heavy cavalry dedicated brawler, less capable of dancing at the edges of its SNPPC's extended Short Range bracket but still a fearsome combatant. Also armed with an IS Streak SRM-6 launcher, two IS ERMLs, and a Retractable Blade, this `Mech's specialty is obvious. Amusingly, one got cored right in the Gyro in its first battle against the FWL. Breached the rear armor and fell right into a lake.
(Or, "That doesn't look like an Orion at all! Also your Ostroc looks like a [sic] Exterminator")
This is another of my earlier paintings, one I posted a long time ago under the MWOmercs pilot name Duckeye. I forgot my login info for that name, so I'm reposting this under the name that's the same as the one I've been using. From left to right: Ostroc, Gladiator, Orion, Awesome. One of these is my avatar on SomethingAwful. This commemorated the Goonlance victory that Rolling Thunder company won over the Capellan Confederation's push towards Atreus. Chuggernaut was the pilot of the Orion, playing Captain Paul Masters. He was unfortunately taken out by Ion Rush of Warrior House Lu Sann. (Hey, alternate universe.) You'll note that Rolling Thunder is part of the 1st Regulan Hussars. The same regiment that Alex Iglesias' concept art Awesome is from, in fact!
(Yo yo yo yo YO, FD! Pop! Pop!)
I got rid of the canon meltyface Rolling Thunder banshee insignia and replaced it with an AU custom. I'm not posting it here, you'll have to find it on SomethingAwful, buried deep in the Rolling Thunder section of the campaign thread.
EDITED IN BONUSES: TRO:3063 STUFF
These are two sketches I posted in another thread, but I was encouraged to consolidate my art and make this into something of a "Megathread" for my work since not everyone's willing to dig through the archives to find my stuff. I know a lot of you fellas have already seen this, but some of you haven't. While these variants were not made by Goons, the art sure was! These are commissions I did for the fine fellas who've been working on TRO:3063 for a very long time.
This one's me take on the Guillotine, and it's specifically NOT a canon variant, as is obvious by looking at the loadout. Sorry the torso's a bit janky.
A dramatic redesign of the Thug for the TRO's very not-canon variant that swaps out the PPCs for ERLLs and replaces its two SRM-6s with four SSRM-4s. I took this one pretty far from canon and Bishop Steiner and I agree to disagree about it.
BONUS: 1st MARATHON IRREGULARS
Another repost from the bin in this very subforum. This was for another mini-contest in the BT LP thread, and I wrote a gigantic fluff post about it starring a blatant parody Mary Sue and a much more down-to-earth, if uncannily skilled Guillotine pilot. From the left, a Falcon Hawk, a Wraith, and another Marik Guillotine--this one a canon GLT-3N. PTN campaign-endorsed the unit not by the names I gave them, but by something much more devious: The Knights of the Inner Sphere, but established not as a sincere appeal to chivalry, but rather as flypaper to catch Capellan spies after the new Star League tech discovered on Helm. (Which, unlike in canon, is staying home in the FWL for the most part.)
Obviously, I wear my purple colors with pride.
INSIDE JOKES NOBODY WILL GET EXCEPT OTHER GOONS
(Also known as, Clan Viper Watch -- Mission: Highly Unlikely)
This one's pretty self-explanatory and not at all weird, no sir. Also, meet AtlasCop.
Anyways, if anybody's interested or intrigued by what they've seen here, feel free to lurk PTN's thread. Maybe even join for the Let's Plays and have a chance to enjoy PTN's work without having to deal with weird ads and the quirky profanity filter (gently caress that nonsense!). That's really the only reason I can think of to join SA, honestly.
Let's Play: We play games so you don't have to!
*I refuse to apologize for this specific choice of words.
Edited by TG Xarbala, 22 August 2012 - 06:23 PM.