Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / BattleTech

Go To

The Tabletop game & wider universe:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Aleksandr Kerensky: Definitive (and only) Big Good of the BattleTech universe, whose every decision came out of superlative wisdom? Flawed man who made a few mistakes, some of them glaring? Or ultimately a coward who fled the problems of the Inner Sphere he himself was partly responsible for, only to bring those problems with him, resulting in the near-destruction of everyone who followed him and the formation of the Clans? While almost every single person in the BT universe regards Aleksandr Kerensky as a near saint who could do no wrong, there's a segment of the fanbase who considers the Exodus, and to a lesser extent his refusal to sieze the throne of the Star League when it was apparent no one else would be able to without massive bloody warfare, extremely stupid decisions that only created more death and destruction in the long run.
    • Advertisement:
    • Nicholas Kerensky was either a driven visionary or a figure of evil, and there's plenty of evidence for both. Did he genuinely have a vison of a better society in which civilians and infrastructure were spared the horror and suffering of endless warfare, and the sacrifices which brought it about were a fair price (or, at worst, absolutely necessary)? Or was he a megalomanical sociopath who wanted to reshape humanity in his own image so he would be revered like unto a god by all who lived in his utopia? Again, there's plenty of evidence to support both interpretations.
      • For that matter, the people who followed Nicholas and became the Clans. Were they really buying his grand vision because they felt it was a better way, were they won over by his charisma and impassioned words? Or were they just so sick and tired of fighting and conflict and total war that any option at all to end it seemed like pure genius?
    • Advertisement:
    • The same can also be said for Sara McEvedy and Clan Wolverine. Innocent victims of Nicholas' manipulations, a powder-keg waiting to go off or power-hungry monsters who merely were caught out before they could act? Betrayal of Ideals puts them somewhere in between powder-keg and innocent victim.
    • In-universe, this applies to Hanse Davion and Katrina Steiner: they're awesome leaders if you lived in the states that became the Federated Commonwealth. Not so much if you were in one of the three neighboring states that got curbstomped in the process of them carving out a territorial bridge between their realms. (And then later generations of the FedCom/FedSuns and Lyran Alliance can have an argument: were they well-meaning, competent rulers whose children/grandchildren then tore apart the realm they worked so hard to build with their own petty failings, or did Hanse & Katrina unintentionally set Victor & Katherine up to fail from the start due to decisions made before Kath, in particular, was ever even born? And does this, in a way, make them ultimately responsible for the Jihad?)
    • Advertisement:
    • Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
    • In the Inner Sphere, House Cameron and the Star League are held up as the pinnacle of human achievement, having presided over an unprecedented era of unity, peace, prosperity, and technological advancement that has never been matched since; they are the shining beacon that every Successor State aspires to reach. The Periphery states, which were at best considered second-class members and at worst suffered from outright genocide at the hands of the SLDF, have a rather less rosy opinion.
  • Arc Fatigue: When the BattleTech license transferred to FanPro a significant number of new material focused on the year 3067, during the end of FedCom Civil War and the start of Jihad. Another arc that has run too long is the Dark Age era, not helped when its development outside of the novels was put on hold until the Jihad arc was finished.
    • Handbook House Kurita, the last sourcebook set in 3067, was finally released in April 2015 meaning that single game year has lasted over 15 years of real time.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Catalyst Game Labs treatment of the Dark Age era, which in early 00' managed to piss off many Battletech fans for various reasons.
  • Awesome Music: From the Animated Adaptation. While there is indeed much about the show worthy of critique, the intro song is epic. Youtuber SidAlpha even used a metal remix of it as his own outro song.
  • Broken Base: The Double Heat Sinks. Either you think that they unbalanced the game in favor of energy weapons or you think that they made the energy weapons viable. And whatever group you belong to, it is almost universally agreed that trying to fix Double Heat Sinks would cause more problems than it solves.
    • The Jihad and Dark Age both tend to cause this as well.
    • The Clans and their techbase, either they are the symbol of everything that is wrong with BattleTech outside of the 3025/Succession Wars era (with at most a dash of Technical Readout 2750 thrown in for "the crazy Lostech"), or their arrival was the point when BattleTech grew the beard.
    • Averted in the case of the ongoing redesigns for the Unseen spearheaded by Mechwarrior Online. While there have been minor constructive criticisms from the fanbase, the reception for the new designs has been almost universally positive. This after a long period of Broken Base between fans who wanted the Unseens back (though they were realistic enough to know that was unlikely) and those who wanted the Phoenix redesigns of the early 2000s to replace them across the board.
    • As mentioned, the Unseen. Should they stay that way, keeping the iconic look the fans love even if it can't be shown anymore? Should they be redesigned to match the series' overall Art Evolution? Are the Phoenix Redesigns a good start, good enough to be the new designs of all Unseen, or just plain bad? Averted again when the decision was finally made to officially redesign and Retcon the Unseen, and the new designs met with near-unanimous approval, though a large chunk of that is likely relief that franchise's longstanding legal difficulties are finally over.
  • Complete Monster: In a franchise that runs on Grey-and-Gray Morality, a few characters are pure evil:
    • Star League Defense Force Major General Amos "Baby-Killer" Forlough is the reason the Periphery nations, especially the Taurian Concordat, nurse a grudge against the Star League up to the present. A pedantic perfectionist, Forlough favored quick, decisive victories, and grew enraged when his enemies—and even his own forces—prevented this. Deciding the best way to achieve quick, decisive victories was to attack civilian populations instead of military targets, Forlough enacted literal decimation, executing ten percent of the population of any planet that resisted him. Low morale among his own troops was treated by killing said troops. His campaigns saw rampant use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons—one of the latter mutated into a super-virus that killed millions—as well as orbital bombardment. Even when warfare got remotely conventional, Amos ordered his troops to indiscriminately destroy anything of value.
    • Stefan Amaris is responsible for the setting's Forever War for the next 300 years and counting. Worming his way into the confidence of young Richard Cameron, Amaris encouraged the young man's ambition. Richard soon stoked the Periphery nations into revolt with punishing taxes, and Amaris secretly funded the Periphery in order to tie down the bulk of the Star League Defense Force in police actions, offering his own Rim Worlds Republic troops to man empty SLDF garrisons. Amaris brought Richard an exquisite laser pistol as a gift, which Amaris used to shoot Richard in the head, then kill the entire Cameron family, leaving their bodies locked in the throne room to rot, and soon declared the Terran Hegemony was now the Amaris Empire. Amaris squeezed his population mercilessly, and his troops committed atrocities unmatched to the present. He turned his back on the Periphery allies who had set up his victory, with even his own Rim Worlds Republic left at the mercy of Aleksandr Kerensky and the SLDF with whatever troops and commanders Amaris hadn't brought to the Hegemony with him. When Aleksandr Kerensky led the Star League Defense Force in retaking the Hegemony planet by planet, Amaris pulled his forces back to focus defense on Terra, nuking the planets behind him just to stall the SLDF by forcing them to tend to the nuked populations. After he was defeated, Kerensky and the SLDF destroyed the Rim Worlds Republic and the entirety of House Amaris as punishment for his actions.
    • Khan Jason Karrige of Clan Widowmaker holds an unspecified grudge against Khan Sarah McEvedy and by extension Clan Wolverine. Helped by the fact that Clan Wolverine is making themselves "the nail that sticks up farthest," Karrige formed an anti-Wolverine cabal in the Grand Council, slipped spies into Clan Wolverine, and "manipulated" Nicholas Kerensky into forming the Clan Watch, something Nicholas had wanted to do anyway. Karrige had two of his warriors steal a nuclear warhead from a cache and smuggle it into the Wolverine city of Great Hope. Nicholas decreed a Trial of Absorption on Clan Wolverine, and as Karrige and his Widowmakers marched on Great Hope, supervised by Nicholas himself, Karrige detonated the nuke, killing hundreds of thousands of Wolverine civilians and the two Widowmakers who'd smuggled it in to make it look as though the Wolverines had been desperately trying to kill the ilKhan.
    • Katherine "Katrina" Steiner-Davion is a sociopathic, Manipulative Bitch who gets what she wants through a combination of blinding charm and ruthless assassination. She has her own mother killed via a bomb that maims and kills several others, and deftly yet subtly frames Victor for it, taking advantage of Victor's lack of political savvy to become his regent over the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth, then outright secedes over the Chaos March debacle. When Victor goes off to fight the Clans with Operation BULLDOG, Katherine manipulates opinion polls to crush the confidence of Yvonne Steiner-Davion, her little sister and Victor's regent. When her youngest brother, Arthur Steiner-Davion, speaks out against her, she assassinates him, sparking the FedCom Civil War. She assassinates Omi Kurita, daughter of the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, just because she was Victor's lover and Katherine wanted to hurt Victor to buy some breathing room. Katherine was eventually dethroned and sentenced to life imprisonment until Vlad Ward of Clan Wolf demanded her release to him. She made a son using Clan breeding technology and her and Victor's genetic material, intended to be the instrument of her vengeance on the Inner Sphere. This son killed her himself when he learned how vile she really was.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Looking at the long-term prospects of the setting may plausibly cause this. To be sure, in the short run there are always plenty of sympathetic characters to care about; however, both the game and its fictional universe are, in the long run, built essentially (if mostly implicitly) around the concept of eternal largely meaningless conflict between arbitrary factions because humanity is apparently forever unable to learn from its past mistakes and thus doomed to repeat them, and it becomes increasingly hard to empathize with successive generations of characters (a point the setting has well hit by now) all going through pretty much the same motions over and over again.
  • Designated Hero: When you think about it, Hanse Davion got a few hundred million people killed to impress his hot eighteen year-old Nordic wife. And to get payback from the man who tried to kidnap him and put a doppelganger on his throne.
    • The closer you look at Natasha Kerensky, the less you see a Fiery Redhead who is good at what she does and much more someone who is at best a Blood Knight, and at worst a Sociopathic Soldier (though to be fair, she would have been a type 4 after her lover was killed in cold blood) — the accounts are legion of epic (and lethal) bar fights that The Black Widow and her Black Widow Company engaged in out of sheer boredom and for the fun of it. Another account concerns a member of Wolf's Dragoons admitting that he had leaked information that made its way to House Kurita, information that contributed to the Pyrrhic Victory that the Dragoons endured on Misery. Natasha cold-bloodedly killed him, just as Jamie Wolf was about to slap the man. When Wolf called her on her murder, her response was to quote words used by Nicholas Kerensky to justify the complete annihilation of an entire Clan.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Oddly enough, the UrbanMech seems to be both this and the Butt-Monkey at the same time. Even more ironically, it has a Clan variant too!
    Tex Talks BattleTech: You see, the UrbanMech is like a pug. Derpy, small, and full of character.
    • The UrbanMech actually reached the point of becoming a high-level stretch goal for the Kickstarter, and included having a plush, stuffed UrbanMech made as an add-on! The best part of this is that it was a joke by fans that Catalyst ran with!
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of Battletech's style of mecha vs fans of anime-style mecha (ironic considering some of BattleTech's original designs were from Fang of the Sun Dougram and Super Dimension Fortress Macross). The rivalry really has two levels:
    • The BattleTech fans who prefer its Real Robot approach over the Super Robot approach of most anime, which tends to be fairly mild and depend on which kind of visual aesthetic you prefer, though there may be severe annoyance at people who don't even realize "western" mecha exist in the form of the BattleMech.
    • The deeper, utter hate for things like Robotech (Harmony Gold's frankestein anime made with Macross, Southern Cross and MOSPEADA), not due to any failures or shortcomings of the series itself, but because of the extensive legal troubles between BattleTech and the copyright holder of the series Robotech is made of and former holder of the Macross franchise outside Japan, Harmony Gold. Many BattleTech fans simply can't stomach the idea of lining the pockets of the company that has caused them such woe for decades now (though with the legal issues largely being settled, that attitude may be slowly changing).
  • Fridge Brilliance: in the animated series, the majority of the Jade Falcon forces become more and more erratic as the series proceeds. One could blame it on their frequent defeats by ‘inferior’ Inner Sphere warriors, but this would be compounded far more by the fact that Enhanced Imaging implants have deleterious long term effects on the implantee’s minds.
  • Game-Breaker: There are some 'Mech designs that rather tedious to fight against. A most notorious example was the Clan pulse laser/targeting computer combo that practically guaranteed hitting your target. Land-Air-mechs in hybrid mode were practically unhittable. Under Solaris rules (extreme close combat for arena battles), multiple machine guns could reduce a 'Mech into scrap metal in short order, without generating any heat points. In most gaming groups, those things were countered by house rules forbidding the use of such designs.
    • Before the new rules removed the bonus for them, Rotary Autocannons found themselves mated to Targeting Computers quite a bit. The ability to put up to 30 points of damage on a targeted location, or even at a hit bonus, proved to be overwhelming, and as of the Total Warfare rules, rotary and Ultra autocannons at anything beyond single fire mode can no longer make an aimed shot, nor can pulse lasers. They still get the standard fire targeting bonus, though.
    • The Light Gauss Rifle, as its name implies, is a smaller version of the original model that has greater range and more ammo but deals less damage. While most heavy and assault Mechs and the heavier vehicles would rather carry bigger weaponry, put this weapon on a lighter Mech or vehicle chassis such as mediums or a few lights and with the right configurations, they can turn into extremely annoying adversaries that can easily utilize hit-and run and/or pop-and-snipe tactics, giving those who pilot the heavier models a major headache when encountering them.
    • Most Clantech counts, but four of their weapons stand out in particular:
      • Clan ER PPC's not only have the extended range of their Inner Sphere counterparts but also deal an additional five points of damage, meaning they can take an enemy mech's head off in one shot. This effectively makes them a much lighter and smaller Gauss Rifle that doesn't require ammo or explode when shot. Certain Mechs like the Marauder IIC and the Warhawk both in their default configuration are equipped with multitudes of the ER PPC, which can easily ravage other opposing units from afar, with the latter equipped with a Targeting Computer to make it even more frighteningly accurate.
      • Clan LRM's weigh half as much as their Inner Sphere variants and unlike the latter also have no minimum range, making them deadly in any situation and only get meaner with alternate ammo.
      • Clan ER Medium Lasers are basically Inner Sphere Large Lasers that fit in the space of a conventional medium laser and cause 2/3rds of the heat.
      • Clan Large Pulse Lasers have double the range of those fielded by the Inner Sphere and, yet again, also deal more damagenote . Combined with the enhanced accuracy of Pulse Lasers this turns mechs that mount more than one into long-distance murder machines like the Rifleman IIC. They are also the same size and mass of a clan ER PPC, allowing even non-OmniMechs mounting either to be easily customized for either game-breaker gun.
  • Genre Turning Point: In the mid-1980s, the game popularised science fiction in Wargaming, which had until then been dominated by historical games, and along with Warhammer, which did the same for fantasy, brought a new generation into the hobby.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Germans love BattleTech. It's the primary overseas market, to the point where several novels were published first (or exclusively) in German.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Also straddling alongside Harsher in Hindsight, the Tesla Pod mechwarrior Simulator/Training Pods, over the last couple decades, have slowly become Lostech themselves, as plenty of core components have become obsolete and fallen out of production. Admittedly there have been attempts to refurbish/modernize them, but they still have been cannibalized for parts, and some of the oldest pods have developed "quirks" just like real Ancestral BattleMechs would. The attempts to refurbish them also follows an amusing inverse of BattleMechs in the Inner Sphere. As Star League technology got harder and harder to come by, 'Mechs utilizing advanced tech where refitted to use older, more robust systems that were still in production — Gauss Rifles for Autocannons, Double Heat Sinks for regular heat sinks, etc. With the Tesla Pods, since their old parts aren't being made anymore, they're being refitted with new, modern, higher-tech parts that are being made — CRT monitors for LED screens and such.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Owing to the setting running on Grey-and-Grey Morality and the prevalence of chessmasters in the highest ranks of military and government, most anyone in the setting who is magnificent is also a bastard (at least, to the people they've demonstrated their magnificence against). Some of the standouts are:
    • Sarah McEvedy served under Aleksander Kerensky in the Star League Defense Force before following his son Nicholas on the Second Exodus, proving her skills to become Khan of Clan Wolverine. She led her Wolverines exceptionally in both war and peacetime, though she had to bend several of Nicholas' ideals to do so. As the other Clans, threatened by Wolverine's success, arrayed against her, Sarah learned Nicholas would allow events to unfold, sacrificing her Clan to cement his new society. Sarah concocted a plan to evacuate the bulk of Clan Wolverine from Clan space, though she opted to leave behind many who were insufficiently loyal. After her presumed death, her saKhan followed her plan, jumping the Wolverine flotilla out of Clan space, but not directly back along the Exodus Road. Instead, they waited for Nicholas' pursuit force to launch, and traveled behind their pursuers in a mostly-successful attempt to evade them.
    • Hanse Davion started the Fourth Succession War at his wedding reception by offering his bride the Capellan Confederation as a wedding present, and delivered on half that with a blitzkrieg attack and having moles as two of the top three men in the Maskirovka. Hanse bartered the life of Joshua Marik, son of Free Worlds League leader Thomas Marik, offering to have Joshua transported to the New Avalon Institute of Science to treat his leukemia in exchange for the League producing badly-needed upgrade kits for forces fighting the Clans. Hanse also made a non-aggression pact with Theodore Kurita, promising not to send his troops into Combine space while the Clans remained a threat, and when Luthien itself came under attack, sent the Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons mercenary units not to attack Luthien, but to defend it. Because he promised he wouldn't send his troops.
    • Ulric Kerensky is a staunch Warden, and takes every opportunity to sabotage the Crusader agenda, while being exceptionally good at making it not look like he's doing that. Forced to join the Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere, Ulric advances his Clan Wolf harder and faster than any other, forcing the Crusader Clans to lag behind or overextend themselves trying to keep up. He is promoted to ilKhan in a bid to both swing the leadership of Clan Wolf towards Crusader and nullify his ability to push his Warden agenda, and blunts both thrusts. First, he short-circuits his Crusader rival's attempt to become Khan of Clan Wolf, promoting fellow Warden Natasha Kerensky instead. Second, he "accidentally" lets slip to ComStar that the true goal of the invasion is Terra, resulting in the Battle and Truce of Tukayyid. After six more years, his Crusader rivals finally oust him as ilKhan, only for Ulric to turn the Trial of Refusal into the Refusal War, pitting the Crusaders of Clan Wolf against Clan Jade Falcon and mauling both so badly the Clans are forced to stall their invasion plans for a few more years.
    • Sun-Tzu Liao paints himself an insane fool, both to survive his actually insane mother and encourage others to underestimate him. He drops the act upon ascending to the Celestial Throne of the Capellan Confederation, arranging a marriage to Thomas Marik's daughter Isis to apply political pressure to the Federated Commonwealth. He indirectly sparks the Chaos March debacle by thinking it would be a good idea to accuse Victor Steiner-Davion of having replaced Joshua Marik with a body double, only for the plot to reveal Victor had actually done it. Ruthlessly leveraging every advantage available to him, whether from his own plots or attempts by rivals to leverage him against their rivals, Sun-Tzu Liao goes down in history as one of the most famous and beloved Chancellors, restoring power and pride to a people Hanse Davion had all but broken.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Urbanmechs, and mechwarriors who pilot them effectively in battle, are considered to be incredibly dangerous to the point where the MWO side of the fandom loves to think of it fondly as the "30-ton Assault Mech". It helps that the Urbie is one of the few light mechs that can wield the heavier Autocannons, and has one of the thickest coats of armor that a light mech could physically mount. And yes, there is a special and canon build of the Urbie that was refitted to mount a nuclear capable missile launcher.
      Tex: The UM-AIV replaces all weaponry with an Arrow IV and an ER Medium Laser. It also squeezes the pilot into a modified smaller trashcan cockpit something-or-other and can barely carry ten rounds of ammunition. But hey, it's now walking artillery for city fighting, because why not?
    • Kai Allard-Liao is generally considered by the fandom to be one of the most skilled mechwarriors in all eras of the series, even capable of schooling the finest Trueborn Clanner mechwarriors and earning their respect.
  • Memetic Mutation: There are some memes that have endured in the fandom.
    • Battletech Armor is made of vampires and the autocannon shells contain holy water. Explanation 
    • MAGIC BUSHIDO HANDS Explanation 
    • Steiner Scout Lance Explanation 
    • Similarly, referring to some of the solid light 'Mechs in the Steiner lineup, like the 25-ton Commando, as "Lyran Battle Armor." Explanation 
    • As seen in Ensemble Dark Horse, Memetic Badass, and Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, the UrbanMech is severely meme-worthy. In part because it looks like R2-D2 or a trashcan, in part because it's a light 'Mech that can be outrun by assault 'Mechs, in part because it's a light 'Mech that has a thick coat of armor and weilds a BFG, and in part because all these factors contribute to it being the most Difficult, but Awesome 'Mech one can choose to pilot.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Given the type of setting Battletech is it should come as no surprise that it's been crossed by a fair few people.
    • Stefan Amaris not only killed off the entire Cameron family - even the children! - but also held a member of the Kurita family hostage before eventually murdering them too and lying about them being alive and still a hostage to keep the Draconis Combine from helping Aleksandr Kerensky and his forces retake the Star League. This resulted in the SLDF taking longer to remove the Usurper, who routinely ordered atrocities such as the massacre of entire cities as well as the murder of senior religious figures and desecration of holy sites such as the Vatican, the Wailing Wall, and Mecca. Furthermore, he was content to order the more fanatical loyalists of his Rim World Army to commit war crimes and break out nuclear and chemical weapons, rendering many worlds uninhabitable as a consequence; centuries later, the Clans that descended from the Exodus Fleet still abhor him to the point that a Clanner who was able to present the head of one of the few surviving Amaris descendants to the Khans was lauded for their kill.
    • Jinjiro Kurita crossed this line almost as soon as he inherited the title of Coordinator with three words: "Kill them all." Meaning slaughter the entire populace of Kentares IV. When one of the generals present asked for clarification, Jinjiro had him killed. Ninety percent of the planet's population, Fifty-two million people, were murdered by Draconis Combine soldiers with their swords over the next five months, which Jinjiro had recorded so he could watch the massacres whenever he pleased. ComStar members on the planet were so horrified they broke their neutrality and smuggled video of the atrocity out to the rest of the Inner Sphere, and the previously-losing Federated Suns were galvanized by what went down in history as the single largest war crime in Human history.
    • Comstar's Word of Blake operatives, in particular the ones who carried out Operation HOLY SHROUD, are universally hated for making the crapsack state of the Inner Sphere even worse by killing brilliant scientists and engineers who tried to improve the standards of living for the rest of human space, not just the ones who were trying to make better weapons of war. These "Wobbies" are considered to be acceptable targets for random violence and death by most fans.
    • During the Reunification Wars, General Amos Forlough pole-vaulted over the Horizon by ordering his soldiers to murder 1/10 the population of any planet that resisted, made gratuitous use of nuclear and biochemical weapons alongside conventional orbital bombardment to bring worlds to heel, and on several occasions committed genocide when faced with particularly stiff resistance. His actions were enough to spur the Federated Suns into preemptively annexing several Periphary territories around the Outback in an effort to keep them from experiencing his brutality, although the Taurians were not pleased to have the Suns take over several of their worlds in this fashion even for such a reason; in addition, the repercussions of his actions forever soured the Periphery States to the Star League, and eventually led to several of them secretly cooperating with Stephan Amaris to lure the SLDF away from Terra as part of his coup.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap / Lethal Joke Character: The faster-playing adaptation Alpha Strike has had this effect on a lot of units that were thought of as useless in normal BattleTech, as their usefulness grows exponentially in the faster-paced play environment.
    • The UM-R60 UrbanMech is the very definition of a Lethal Joke Character. It's a light mech that looks like a trash can and is constantly derided by those not in the know as a slow, useless piece of scrap. In fact it is the slowest mech every made, tied for that honor with an Assault mech. But the UrbanMech by default mounts an AC-10, which can kill light and medium mechs with one lucky shot, and while it's not fast, it excels in urban fighting (imagine that), where it can use it's jump jets to gain a height advantage, launch a surprise attack, and scamper off before anyone can retaliate. It's also very hard to hit because it's so damn small. And it's incredibly modifiable: you can strip the AC-10 and put on an AC-20 (the UM-R60(L)), allowing the UrbanMech to core out an Assault mech with a lucky shot, or just get a quick headshot to end things right there. You can put an MRM-40 (the UM-R68) on it, giving it the ability to absolutely wreck face if it gets in range, and destroy some of the less armored Heavy mechs in an ambush (Clan Ghost Bear did not like being hit by these). You can even strip some armor and downgrade to a more cramped cockpit if you want to replace the primary weapon with an Arrow IV Artillery Missile Launcher, which can also carry missiles fitted with a fusion warhead. It's an incredibly slow, heavily armored, highly modifiable light mech that looks like it should be a joke. And it is. Until it destroys you. MWO players with more advanced battlemech technology take the Urbie even further. Fancy rebuilding the superstructure with a Star League-grade Endo Steel frame to free up some tonnage? Swapping the engine with a bulkier XL Fusion Engine to get more performance and movement speed, complete with Double Heat Sinks for even better heat management? Replacing the armor plating with Star League-grade Ferro-Fibrous? Upgunning from regular Autocannons to LB-X, Rapid, or Ultra variants? Taking a subtle tack instead, swapping out for Capellan Stealth Armor with an ECM package to match? A fully-modernized Urbie can free up a deceptively large amount of tonnage and run deceptively fast, easily achieving 80-ish KM/H speeds that let it actually keep up in a running battle, yet sport the absolute maximum armor possible and still bristle with guns. To take it even further, the Urbie in MWO even sports all of its unique positive quirks, like having a full 360-degree torso twist and being small enough to be tricky to hit in a pitched battle.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: In MechWarrior 3rd Edition (still available but rebranded "Classic BattleTech RPG") the Life Paths system. Picking packages for various stages of a character's life was cool, but then there's a random event table to roll on. 2d6, the higher the better. Several events at the lower end of the table cause a character to suffer disadvantages, usually giving them negative traits, and especially for the Clan Warrior paths straight-up making progression towards being a warrior impossible (the first three or four events on the Clan tables are variations on "wash out of warrior training" barring the character from adding warrior-related Life Paths). One can reroll an event in a Life Path by increasing the cost to purchase Edge. Even if you don't get bad rolls, some character concepts require good rolls in specific Life Paths to achieve (officer training in the Inner Sphere is only available via 10+ events on a few military-related Paths). Events can saddle the character not just with negative Traits, but positive ones and skills that don't fit with the character concept. The system has been described as "set out to make a Clan MechWarrior, end up with a one-eyed pirate fry cook with a substance abuse problem and a love of 23rd century Korean opera." The next edition of the RPG (A Time Of War) did away with the randomness entirely, making everything a Point Buy System.
  • Status Quo Is God: The reason the Federated Commonwealth broke up among other things. When peace starts to settle in the Battletech universe, the writers simply come up with a new war. In-universe, but not common knowledge, is the fact that ComStar really wants to maintain the status quo, and has the resources and ability to keep forcing the Successor States into war. Up until the Clan Invasion, at any rate; after the Invasion, during which ComStar was forced to flex its military might in front of everyone, the Clan Invasion itself and its aftermath and knock-on effects served to prevent widespread peace from breaking out. Tellingly, ComStar negotiated a fifteen-year truce with the Clans in 3052, the Inner Sphere themselves would break the truce with Operation BULLDOG and Task Force Serpent in an attempt to permanently deal with the Clans in 3059, using only seven of the promised fifteen years of truce to try and reach battlefield parity with the Clans. (And those seven years were far from uneventful, seeing such events as the Refusal War and Chaos March.)
  • Tainted by the Preview: Jihad era in the early Dark Age materials.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many players reactions to the Dark Age period, especially the releated CMG. The reaction was far from universal, however, with the CMG not only bringing in new players, but many older players enjoying it and the changes to the setting. And, in all fairness, this has been a reaction to just about any change to the universe or game.
    • The extreme negativity of the reaction (from some quarters) to the Dark Age came about for a number of reasons.

      The release of the DA wasn't very well planned or presented, from the perspective of long-time BattleTech players. The initial DA synopsis made it feel rather like the rest of the Inner Sphere powers disappeared or fell into obscurity. The various Republic sub-factions seemed to be merely remnants of a by-gone age.

      Because of the seemingly sudden death of FASA and other things, the curators of Classic BattleTech took a long time before they could actually explain the Jihad and therefore justify what seemingly happened to the universe that lead to 3132. The pace of book releases, even for the 3067 period, slowed in the initial years of FASA's demise.

      Compounding this, the main tool for moving the fiction forward, novels, stopped happening for non-Dark Age settings. While a substitute was created on-line, those were primarily short-stories that filled in the gaps, rather than novels that pushed the storyline forward.

      These all combined to give the sense that BattleTech was dead. And therefore, MWDA was blamed for killing it.
  • Ugly Cute: The UrbanMech. Imagine R2-D2... if R2-D2 was thirty feet tall and equipped with a 12-ton autocannon.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Clan society is a strong in-universe example. If you're not badass enough to essentially bite and claw your way to the top and hold your place there against would-be challengers, eventually your fellow Clanners will start to consider you a liability to the Clan and start looking for your replacement. Clan society by and large puts little value on human life as such — it's how much somebody contributes to the Clan that counts, and with the warriors on top and naturally seeing themselves as the ones doing the most important work, it's no surprise that Clan civilians are usually considered second-class citizens and can be deployed, expended, or claimed as spoils of war as the warriors see fit.

The Video Game:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Victoria and her lance in the final mission. While three of the four mechs in her lance are assault-class (the only non-assault Mech in her group is the JagerMech, the weakest of the four), the mission has a Good Bad Bug in that her lance will not move forward to engage at your lance while you are outside their sensor range. If you've brought long-range weaponry like PPCs, Large Lasers, and LRMs for your mechs, you can happily plug away at Victoria's lance while they'll just stand by and do nothing. You can simply manage your heat levels by bracing and repeating the process for several more rounds until Victoria and her lance are eliminated. Then you can sit back and watch the epilogue and credits roll.
  • Breather Level: "Liberate: Itrom" is significantly easier than the other priority missions before and after. Your objective is the capture of three mineral silos in an area where sensors don't work properly, allowing you to sneak up on the silos' garrison forces until you're in the perfect position to spring your ambush. The silos can't communicate with each other, so it's always just a 4v4 battle instead of the usual 8v4 or 12v4 simultaneously. You do have a turn limit of 5 to prevent each garrison from blowing up their silo, but since speed and maneuverability aren't necessary you can just steamroll everything with a 400-ton assault lance. Last but not least, only a single silo needs to be captured intact for a mission success (the others "merely" give a considerable cash bonus), so you basically have three attempts at completing your objective in case something goes wrong.
  • Broken Base: There's some base-breaking over the way the game implements a few of the classic TT BattleTech/MechWarrior systems. The biggest one tends to be the way salvage works: you don't completely salvage a 'Mech chassis bit by bit, but gain "parts" as a kind of amalgamated whole, and once you have three parts, your 'Tech crew slaps together a functioning, fully armed 'Mech out of all the bits you've salvaged. Some players, particularly veteran players, think this is absurd, both from a lore perspective, as lore-wise it is very hard to maintain and build a 'Mech, and a gameplay perspective, as the player will quickly accumulate a large arsenal of 'Mechs. Proponents of the system, however, contend that a more complicated salvage and repair system would just bog the game down with micromanaging mech salvage and that having some 'Mechs in reserve is what makes sure that the player isn't put into an essential game over state just from losing one mission.
    • The developers took note of this and eventually amended the system by allowing players to fine-tune the salvage system every time they start a new game: The necessary components needed for a full mech can be increased to any number up to eight parts (one for each of the eight sections), and there are options to remove the free weapons from a newly assembled mech (forcing you to salvage or purchase any weapons you want to put in it as well) or to make newly assembled mechs need a final round of repair (they start out with no armour and 1 HP in every location) for a significant C-cred investment to finish it.
    • The Vent Coolant ability introduced with the skill rebalance became something of this. Fans praised its gameplay utility, replacing a useless ability in return for Power at a Price useful for energy weapon builds (letting you sink all your heat in reduced heat sinking for 3 turns), detractors pointed out just how incredibly lore-inappropriate this ability is for the setting and its inherent Fridge Logic.
    • The initiative system, while based of that of the tabletop, receives some flack. The limited number of mechs the player can field (capped at 4) generally encourages using heavier mechs, as most missions will have the player severely outnumbered. However the initiative system being tied to mech weight, leads to long stretch where the player will not get a turn, while enemy after enemy can freely gang up on a single mech, without the player getting a chance to intervene, as the AI with its lack of unit cap is much more free to mix up compositions. This leads to frustration as the player can't help but watch their units get gunned down with no ability to intervene. Furthermore it leads to abilities that modify initiative to be more situational than they appear. The game will try to alternate factions within the same weight class. So this leads to situation where, for example a player with 1 light mech and 3 medium mechs putting a -1 initiative debuff on an enemy light mech using their own light mech will still end up with that light mech going before medium mech, as since the last mech to go was the player's mech, the computer will default to picking the time delayed mech as the first "medium" mech to go. Similarly initiative penalties do not cross between rounds, so there's no benefit to giving initiative penalties to assault mechs.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Because of the Fog of War and the way dodging and accuracy works as opposed to in the tabletop game (in tabletop Battletech, 'mechs gain dodge bonuses but suffer aiming penalties for moving; in the video game they only gain dodge bonuses), the Small Laser (support), Medium Laser (energy), SRM-6 or LRM-5/LRM-20 (missile) and AC/5 (ballistic) are, when calculating for damage/weight at 0 heat generation, the best weapons of their class in the game and the game heavily rewards "boating" (i.e. stuffing all available weapon slots with them in that order) all your 'mechs with them whenever possible instead of sticking to stock 'mechs. Similarly, some 'mechs are blatantly preferred because of their ability to "boat" the above efficiently, such as the Orion, Grasshopper and Stalker. Since all 'mechs can install jump jets (even chassis who canonically have no variants capable of such, like the King Crab), expect any recommendation on 'mech building to involve a full complement of jump jets as well.
  • Cry for the Devil: Both individuals mentioned under Alas, Poor Villain on the main page get this treatment.
    • Samuel Ostergaard's last moments in the game show him surrounded by flames as the Locura virus tears his ship's systems apart, a framed photograph of him posing with his son while sporting a proud grin, the glass cracking from the heat just before the dropship impacts on Coromodir.
    • And verbally, Victoria Espinosa tears into her father for feeding her nothing but lies about his motives and how she'd used those lies to justify murdering eleven thousand people as part of a False Flag Operation. Her final battle is at the tournament grounds where she and Kamea would have fought on the day of the latter's coronation, had the Espinosa's not initiated their coup. Even Kamea admits pity at this point.
  • Demonic Spiders: Heavy vehicles, notably Manticore, Demolisher, Schrek, and Missile Carriers. Why?
    • Manticore: A 60-ton Heavy-class Tank armed with a PPC, a Medium Laser, an SRM6, and an LRM10. Manticores are well-armoured and are deadly at all ranges.
    • Demolisher: An 80-ton Assault-class Tank armed with not one but two AC/20s. Capable of dishing out 200 damage if both shots hit, Demolishers live up to their name. They can instantly kill, 'headchop', 'kneecap', or 'core' many mechs.
    • Schreks are 80-ton Assault Tank/'Mech Destroyers mounting three PPCs and, in tabletop, enough heatsinks to fire them constantly. Thankfully this isn't true in Battletech, but Schreks are still capable of dishing out some painful long-range fire; 150 damage per volley, with no ammo limits. Anything they hit will take a minor accuracy penalty until the next turn too.
    • Finally, Missile Carriers. Formerly the laughing stock of the 'Warrior and 'Commander games, they're back with a Vengeance. Both varities are 60 tons, and dish out 60 missiles per volley (using three LRM20s or ten SRM6s), whilst having enough ammo reserved for multiple volleys (LRM carriers have a potential Alpha Strike of 240 damage and SRM carriers have one of 480 damage. For comparison, the Kintaro medium 'Mech, a highly missile-specialized 'Mech can mount half as many SRM-6 launchers and thus has half the alpha strike potential of the SRM carrier). Anything that one of these monsters decides to aim at will drown in a Macross Missile Massacre, almost certainly losing most of its armour and getting knocked on its ass in the process. The worst part? LRM Carriers don't even need to be able to see you to do it, as they are capable of indirect fire.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Glitch, one of the starter pilots, is quickly becoming popular on account of having a perky, almost kid-like voice and personality, and a borderline-unhealthy zeal for her work. Read her bio and you know she is the closest thing to a Token Evil Teammate, a contrast to Medusa, the guy you have in reserve.
    [On a polar map]: "After the mission, let's make snowmen!"
    [On a Martian/desert map]: "Hey, look! [beat] Rocks!"
    [When using the Multishot skill]: "You get a headshot and YOU get a headshot!"
    [After delivering heavy damage]: "When I shoot you, you'll take and LIKE it!" or "Did you see that? DID YOU SEE IT?"
    [When a retreat order is given]: "WHAT? We're running away?"
    • Shugo Reynald Yamaguchi, aka "Bob Kurita", your company's liaison in the Draconis Combine. In complete opposite to how House Kurita is normally presented in the lore, Yamaguchi is a snarky, alcoholic hedonist who is treated as the resident Butt-Monkey amongst the Great House liaisons. As a result he comes off as possibly the most likable of all the liaisons, even more so than Force Commander Singh.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Most Arc Villains of either gender that don't hide their face behind their neurohelmet are quite easy on the eyes, and their varied looks mean there's usually someone for any taste.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Flamers being limited in ammo may seem like a game balance choice until you realize these are Vehicle Flamers. Reactor-powered Flamers were introduced in 3025 which is after the Time Skip to the third mission. It's doubtful they've made it to the Periphery so you're stuck using fuel-based Vehicle Flamers.
  • Gamebreaker: Thanks to the ballistic/missile weapon damage buffs in terms of damage scaling, Auto-Cannons and SRM and LRM launchers are amazingly effective. AC/2 guns, despite being the smallest calibre of Auto-Cannon, hits as hard as a Medium Laser, and AC/5 is just 5 points shy of PPC damage, and both of them are very nearly just as accurate (barring recoil penalties) and do incredible damage per shot (AC/10 does 60 damage, and AC/20 does 100 damage but is short-ranged and has only 8 shots per ton). SRM missiles hit for 8 damage each, while LRM missiles hit for 4 each, and their launchers fire multiple warheads per volley, so SRM-6 launchers do up to 48 damage total (just 2 damage shy of matching a PPC shot if all missiles connected with a single body part) and LRM-20 launchers do up to 80 damage total per volley (Hitting harder than AC/10 shots on average), and all of them produce less heat than Large Lasers (40 damage for 30 heat) and PPCs (50 damage for 40 heat). A LRM boat-style mech configuration throwing dozens of missiles in a single volley can easily sandblast enemies and stack so much stability damage that knockdown-based pilot kills are highly viable, and the sheer volume of hits makes them likely to score crits once you sandblast off the target's armor.
    • Where they get really crazy is in the rare upgraded variants; high-end SRM models gain +4 damage, a 50% increase. Any mech with 3-4 missile hardpoints can put out upwards of 200-250 damage (plus 90-120 stability damage; 'Mechs fall over at 100 instability) in a full volley with such launchers. Only the heaviest Assaults like Victoria's King Crab or Kamea's vintage SLDF-era Atlas II can really hope to withstand that kind of firepower more than once or twice. For raw power, a Kintaro can mount five SRM-6++ launchers and hit an Alpha Strike potential of 360, while a Stalker has the tonnage to carry 4 LRM-20++ launchers for a truly impressive alpha strike potential of 480.
    • The whole shebang was turned Up to Eleven when the Heavy Metal DLC introduced LB-X autocannons, Ultra Autocannons and the 100-ton Annihilator 'Mech with its five ballistic hardpoints and copious spare tonnage. LB-X ACs deal even more stability damage than LRMs with much better ammo and heat efficiency. Ultra ACs are basically two normal autocannons of the same caliber for the price of one weapon hardpoint. An LB-5X++note  Annihilator can keep entire enemy lances unsteady or knocked down almost continuously from up to 540 meters away, while a UAC/5++-wielding Annihilator can one-shot anything up to Atlas 'Mechs over the same distancenote . Both designs can be built to be heat-neutral and carrying near maximum armor plus a targeting computer and even an ECM suite. Sure, they're as slow as a glacier, but with such withering long-range firepower, who needs to move quickly?
    • Speaking of the Urban Warfare-exclusive ECM suite: this humble little system makes anything friendly in a decent radius immune to indirect fire and impossible to target with any weapon unless they attack/sensor lock an enemy, an enemy uses Sensor Lock on them, the enemy launches an Active Probe (which AI 'Mechs never carry) or enters the stealth field. That alone is incredibly powerful when used right, but it's the upgrade's A.I. Breaker effect that breaks the difficulty in half. Due to the targeting restrictions mentioned above, the AI either wastes its turns sensor-locking your ECM carrier 'Mech to no effect, or it charges its 'Mechs full throttle into your ECM radius. All you have to do is field two to three long-range assaults that keep pounding the approaching enemy to dust, and a close-range assaults that mops up anything that makes it this far. If you field a lance of three Annihilators and a UAC/20-wielding King Crab and equip any one of them with an ECM suite, you basically got an "I win" card on your hand for any mission that doesn't require mobility.
    • Called Shot Mastery, the level 9 tactics ability, immensely boosts your ability to take called shots. Hitting the center torso from the front goes from 33% to around 82%, legs go from around 14% to 68%, and headshots go from 2% to 18%, letting your crew reliably kneecap or One-Hit Kill enemy 'mechs with a single alpha strike. The nerfs to the morale system and stability damage reduced how often you could take advantage of it, but it is still an extremely powerful ability for certain Alpha Strike builds.
    • The 1.8 patch made Called Shot Mastery more ridiculous by introducing the Marauder heavy 'mech, which grants a bonus to Called Shots. A Marauder pilot with Called Shot Mastery has a 35% chance of a headshot, and as a 75-ton heavy 'mech the Marauder can wield several headchoppers at the same time (AC/20, PPC++ or AC/10++). Even in a stock build, a Marauder pilot with Called Shot Mastery can set up a merc commander with salvage for life.
    • Stability damage isn't a Gamebreaker on its own. But 'Mechs that designed to take advantage of it can be. Any time a 'Mech is knocked down, the pilot takes damage, and if the pilot takes enough damage, they die and you can get full salvage of their 'Mech (pilots also take damage from head shots, left and right torso explosions, and ammo explosions). Any 'Mech that specializes in throwing a ton of missiles at an enemy will inflict a lot of stability damage, making the Trebuchet one of the most valuable early 'Mechs, and the Catapult (especially the C4 variant, which is actually anachronistic) one of the most sought after. Mounting them with LRM racks that inflict extra stability damage without increasing actual damage makes them 'Mech Scavengers: just pick the enemy mech that you want and pummel it with missiles (and maybe a punch or two) to knock it down and get full salvage. There's still some luck involved (you can still core out a 'Mech by accident, and ammo explosions can rip through a 'Mech's core without warning, especially since missiles have the second highest crit rating in the game), but for the most part, LRM boat 'Mechs are the best way to build up your arsenal.
    • The Highlander Mech acquired roughly halfway through the story is considered Purposefully Overpowered and with good reason. In addition to + and ++ weaponry by default, it comes equipped with a Gauss Rifle. With a good enough called shot, the Highlander can potentially one shot other assault mechs (and with the Gauss Rifle being an Armor-Piercing Attack, can destroy enemy Thunderbolts in one shot to the torso, as they store ammunition there). It also has good armour and mounts jump jets by default. The game's difficulty decreases significantly once this mech is acquired. The only real downsides are that, in the base game at least, a destroyed Gauss Rifle is LosTech and, thus, next to impossible to replace, and that like all Highlander variants, it has rather low movement range.
    • With the release of the Heavy Metal DLC, the standard game difficulty in the campaign has been shattered by the Black Market. Provided you don't offend the pirates too much and can scrape up some C-Bills by farming quests, you can rack up enormous amounts of high-end Mechs and very powerful weapons and equipment that were nearly impossible to find in the base game very quickly. Bringing SLDF mechs and lostech weapons to early campaign missions makes it staggeringly easy to win.
  • Goddamned Bats: SRM and LRM Missile Carriers- they don't necessarily do a lot of damage on their own, but they can quickly stagger a 'mech through a Macross Missile Massacre to the point of knockdown, which renders them sitting ducks for further attacks. Plus the damage from each missile is randomly applied across the entire 'Mech, so if even one missile hits the 'Mech's head, your pilot will suffer an injury.
    • Some light mechs, most notably the Panther and Jenner with PPC, LRM variants of Locust, and of course the Firestarter. The Jenner JR7-D is practically designed to be this, with its high speed, high initiative, cardboard armor, minimal heat sinking, and powerful alpha strike that does as much damage as an AC/20.
    • The Armoured HQ and Swift Wind Scout vehicles both carry ECM systems and are either well-armoured (the former) or incredibly fast-moving (the latter). While their offensive abilities are nonexistent, they show up as convoy targets you have to destroy during 'Ambush Convoy' missions. Due to their ECM they require you to either Sensor Lock/Active Probe them (wasting one of your precious activations) or get into melee range (putting your 'mech at risk), and catching up to the latter is nigh-impossible for any 'mech slower than a Jenner.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Amusingly, if you have sufficiently strong Leg Servos that decrease the self-damaging recoil of Death From Above attacks, it actually repairs your mech's legs if the self damage is reduced to a negative sum.
    • Occasionally enemy units spawn outside the map. When this happens the enemy AI becomes completely confused and will refuse to move those units anywhere leaving them sitting ducks.
    • Assassination missions will sometimes spawn a Demolisher tank for the target instead of a 'Mech, due to a programming oversight that selects the target based on tonnage without regard to the actual vehicle type (see Memetic Mutation). No question, Demolishers are mean, but can still be easily killed if one of your 'Mechs can get close enough to Goomba Stomp it.
    • It has since been removed as of patch 1.9, but turning on Mech Destruction in the pre-game options and deliberately getting your own Mechs cored and your pilots killed allowed you to salvage the hard-wired unique bonus equipment in certain mechs. This allowed you to place them in other mechs, leading to some utter Game-Breaker builds, such as an Assault mech that can't be hit after being equipped with the evasion-boosting gear from a Flea, an Awesome with the bonus to energy weapon damage of a Warhammer and the called shot bonus of a Marauder, or a Royal Crab with the Phoenix Hawk's enhanced jump jets.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The Heavy Metal Flashpoint chain that begins with "Of Unknown Origin" is a long and grueling experience that turns out completely different from what anyone expected. That includes Shugo Yamaguchi, your hedonistic Kurita merc liaison and one of the few decent people in the game. Once the dust has settled, the whole affair leaves him so shaken that he invites your command crew over to his ship for some drinks and relaxation because, as he puts it, they're the closest thing to friends that he has this far out in the Periphery. Given the vast social gap between him and your company, that's really touching.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Dekker, the pilot who seems to get killed the most often either due to coring or getting headchopped. This is partially due to him tending to end up the Light Mech pilot in your lance, meaning that he is more vunerable to combat damage, and it certainly doesn't help that In-Universe he was once nearly killed while piloting a Locust and only Mastiff's intervention saved him from a pirate about to curbstomp his cockpit. He also seems to have a disproportionally high chance to trigger negative outcomes in most events he stars in, leading to players just firing him out of frustration or annoyance if they can afford to. Either way he'll probably leave your employ rather sooner than later. This was noticed by Harebrained Schemes, who added a secret achievement in 1.3 for finishing the campaign with him still alive and in your employ.
    • There's also jokes about Darius and his incompetence at intelligence gathering, usually because of how the skull rating of missions fails to take into account how certain map and/or 'Mech compositions can make even low tonnage opponents in lower skull ratings incredibly frustrating to fight against. Then there are the missions where the twist is fully intended. Darius also Tempting Fate by expressing how the Commander should have little difficulty before the start of certain missions and only warning your lance about him spotting enemies after they have already fired on you don't help his case. Some fans have concluded that he's trying to get you killed, as nobody could be that incompetent by accident. The Battletech Advanced: 3062 fan mod pack even goes so far as to add a hirable Darius pilot as a joke Easter Egg (with 1 on all skills) so you can send Darius out himself to pay the price for his poor intel gathering.note 
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • An ever-growing pool of jokes about Assassination missions describing a heavily-armed and decorated mech as the target, only for it to actually be a Demolisher tank, are making the rounds. This is due to an oversight in the target definition files, which use a tag system; it states the target must be a mech and of a certain weight class but it doesn't specifically exclude anything with the tracked, wheeled, or vehicle tags. Computers are only as smart as you tell them to be, unfortunately.
    • "Dekker's dead." For reference, Dekker is the pilot of you starting Spider 'Mech, a Fragile Speedster that, because new players aren't great at using light 'Mechs very well, frequently gets shot and wounded early on. Since the AI focuses on damaged 'Mechs, that means that once Dekker's Spider gets damaged, everyone dogpiles on it and often kills him.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Espinosa family not only committed atrocities during their creation of the Aurigan Directorate, including the murder of Mastiff and countless dissidents in the Icebox, but by orchestrating the Perdition Massacre they quickly make themselves into utter pariahs on a combined Periphery and Inner Sphere-wide scale when the truth is revealed.
    • Samuel Ostergaard crosses the line when he shows that he will quite cheerfully commit war crimes and massacre civilians in order to sate his desire for vengeance on Kamea for authorizing the death of his son; even Calderon agrees that should they manage to arrest him, he would be executed for his deeds, and it is clear during the liberation of Coromodir itself that at some point off-screen the crew of his Dropship clearly had a mutiny against him due to his actions.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Although it probably uses the same sound file as any other 'Mech component destruction, the resounding crack of an enemy 'Mech's cockpit exploding is always a very satisfying thing to hear for any number of reasons, but especially when it's the only section to go up in flames.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Hits on a mech's head, whether damaging to the cockpit or not, will cause an injury to the mechwarrior inside, and each shot that hits has a small chance of hitting the head. The problem is that the chance applies to each individual hit: While an Obvious Rule Patch prevented LRM racks from doing this (limiting it to one chance for a head hit per rack), every other multi-shot weapon (like machine guns and SRM racks) still get multiple chances to hit. The result is that any time you face an opponent lots of SRM racks like the SRM carrier, you can expect at least one of your pilots receiving a wound, regardless of actual damage your mechs receive. This can be mitigated later in the game by using a part that allows pilots to ignore 1-3 such wounds.
    • The reinforcement system in multi-lance battles. Reinforcements are triggered by an enemy lance taking sufficient damage or by the player's lance advancing to a certain point in the battle map. When reinforcements arrive, they are immediately given a full round worth of actions, provided their initiative pass hasn't happened yet, and share line-of-sight with existing units on the map. Since movement or damaging an enemy 'mech usually happens at the end of a 'mech's turn, this means said 'mech can arbitrarily and suddenly trigger an entire extra lance's worth of LRM or PPC fire coming in from an area of the map you have no vision of yourself, which is especially bad in the lategame where practically all 'mechs are assaults and your last activation suddenly doubles the enemy lance size. Also, Darius will usually only chime in with "I've got eyes on enemy reinforcements" after the first barrage has hit home.
    • The entire alliance mechanic swung into this. Most players won't bother to ally with any particular faction as it locks in many if not most other factions as enemies, which severely cuts down on the available contracts. The faction stores are underwhelming compared to the Black Market, making it hardly worth the effort to officially ally with any faction beyond unlocking the respective achievement.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Some players opt to 'forgo' the ease of instantly readying salvaged mechs by immediately storing them so that it would take time to refit them properly. Others completely ignore the store in favor of making do with battlefield salvage only.
    • Can also be done more "officially" by adjusting numerous setting during campaign setup. Only two options (Ironman Mode and the number of 'Mech parts required for puzzling together a new 'Mech) are necessary to unlock achievements. Anything else falls under this trope.
  • Shrug of God: A lot of things in the story are deliberately left ambiguous.
    • Was the player character ever loyal to the Arano cause? Or were they simply desperate for cashflow?
    • Was Karosas' intel correct and Newgrange actually a gun runner, or a refugee transport like the captain claimed? You only have the word of a marginally trustworthy character to back up either. Having a member of the Taurian military commanding it indicates it was used for arming the Directorate, but no definitive answer is given either way.
    • The Espinosas. WellIntentioned Extremists or Complete Monsters? It all depends on how much you buy into their rhetoric.
  • That One Achievement: Two, actually - one for single-player, one for multiplayer - and bonus points to both for being secret achievements.
    • Single-player: "You Can't Kill Me", for depending entirely on dumb luck. One of your 'Mechs must survive being headshotted, knocked down and overheated in the same mission. Unless you're extremely lucky in campaign or career mode, prepare to grind a lot of rigged skirmish matches to facilitate this situation.
    • Multiplayer: "Eck's Gon' Give It to Ya" can only be gained by battling another player who already has this achievement. Viral achievements are always a dumb idea and this one is no different.
  • That One Level: Liberation: Smithon. You face off against two full mech lances (ranging from light to heavy mechs) and 4 turrets backing them up, all of which will be within range of your mechs by about round 3 or 4 of combat. Essentially, the enemy will get three rounds of combat to your one until you start picking them off, so be prepared for long, long periods of just hearing your mechwarriors complain that they're getting shot. Oh, and the enemy has *tons* of missile and autocannon units, so be ready for casualties. You can blow up ammo crates to heavily damage enemies around them, but lighting off more than two decreases the reward you get at the end of the mission. And on top of that there is another secondary objective to destroy two fleeing trucks, one of them activating very soon after the start of mission which forces the player either to field fast light mechs that are already too fragile at this point of the game, or rush at least one heavier mech to it, also bringing the mech at the line of sight of the enemy much sooner.
    • You will learn to hate that planet, especially during the second mission there; Defense: Smithon. The above scenario? Reverse it - except you're still outnumbered. You have to fight ten enemies ranging from light to assault mechs, and they are attacking dropships evacuating the planet's civilian population — unless you let them wail on you instead.
      Enemy Commander: I take no pleasure in this, Lady Arano, but we're under orders. You can end this by surrendering to Commodore Ostergaard. Until you do, your people will suffer for you.
  • That One Sidequest: Two, actually, as far as the randomly generated contracts are concerned - the always unpopular Escort Mission, and the Target Acquisition missions. The former sucks because enemies always go straight for the convoy you must protect, and although the vehicles can shoot back, their resilience is absolutely no match for the level of firepower arrayed against them. It's depressingly common to lose half the convoy or more in a single turn if you didn't manage to aggro all hostile mechs on your lance immediately. Target Acquisition is a pain in the behind because it's a Timed Mission against overwhelming opposition, leaving you the choice between going in with fast 'Mechs and get hammered, or going in with assault 'Mechs that can take the beating but have a hard time even reaching the target zones before the timer runs out. You can often call in a supporting lance from your employer in these missions, but even they don't help that much when the hostile 'Mechs stubbornly ignore them to stomp your lance flat instead.
    • It's possible that you can get an early Ambush Convoy mission with four factors working against you: first, the convoy starts on one corner of the map and is trying to get to the closest other corner of the map, and it's all on the far side of the map from you; second, the convoy is all equipped with LRM attacks, which means once you engage the escorts, the convoy will continue running to their destination, while also pelting you with missiles that you can't do anything about; third, the enemy 'Mechs all have +1 initiative bonus, and since it's early in the game and they're all light 'Mechs, they're all moving before any of your 'Mechs, and they will pummel you; and fourth, one of the convoy vehicles has an ECM, forcing you to put one of your 'mechs on Sensor Locking duty or to run down the Convoy. Even if you manage to take out the escorts, chances are the convoy will be too far away to catch before they manage to escape. And given the way that missions are created, this type of mission is almost guaranteed to show up within the first few days of a new Career mode playthrough, looking like an innocent Ambush Convoy mission with a 1 skull rating and a below-average payout.
    • Base Defence Missions, especially once you pass a certain weight, become almost unwinnable on certain maps. The heavy number of LRM weaponry combined with having to battle three lances that scale in offensive firepower much faster than the buildings you're defending scale in hit points means it's all but inevitable you'll lose your buildings before you're able to respond to the reinforcement lances. Note that this is heavily map dependent, as the different defense maps have different layouts and time the reinforcements differently (some drop lance 2 and 3 simultaneously and on on opposite sides of the base in full view of it, others drop them sequentually and lance 3 so far away they're unable to start attacking for several rounds).
    • Convoy Escort missions have a good chance of one of the convoy vehicles going off-course, getting stuck and permanently flagged as 'non-escorted', meaning it will refuse to move for the rest of the mission. At that point your only option is to restart the game, Withdraw, or pray the AI decides to destroy the vehicle without touching the rest of the convoy or your lance.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It has been mentioned before that a Deep Periphery background for your Player Character could well mean they're of Clan origin. Then the Heavy Metal-exclusive "Of Unknown Origin" Flashpoint dropped and revolved solely around a mysterious LosTech spaceship that basically has "Clans!" written all over it, which could've elicited some interesting reactions from your Deep Periphery character, however vague they might've been. Sadly, this opportunity went entirely unused.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: You won't find many players who are crazy about light 'mechs in single player. All their advantages of high speed and initiative are made irrelevant beyond early game as they die too quickly to any decently armed enemy mech, and the Evade mechanic that was supposed to favor light mechs is not enough to compensate for the eventuality that they WILL get hit by something, often leaving them half dead.
    • This is slowly being reversed as the game is updated: new, more versatile light mechs are constantly being added, such as the well-armed and armored Javelin JVN-10Fnote , and the introduction of the Raven RVN-3L electronic warfare 'Mech, which makes stealth, sensor scrambling and probing actual tactics instead of passive effects.
    • Light 'mechs more or less fell out of this following Heavy Metal and the 1.8 update, thanks to the introduction of COIL weapons and a re-do of the skills. With the new capstone ability of Piloting (+3 hit defence, a -15% chance to hit, which is doubled against melee attacks) and the wide access to evasion-boosting Gyrosnote , light 'mechs can stack hit defence to the degree that even the Urbanmech becomes nigh unhittable even when it's standing stock still. The Heavy Metal-exclusive Flea takes this to extremes: With maximum evasive pips, anyone attacking it takes a -85% hit penalty before range, obstruction and indirect fire penalties are addednote , rendering it pretty much immune to enemy fire since most AI MechWarriors lack the Gunnery needed to overcome the massive penalties. With a medium or Large COIL (25 or 35 damage per evasion pip when attacking), a light 'mech can now sally behind almost any enemy and One-Hit Kill them through Coring. Worse, because of the additional melee hit defence the primary Achilles' Heel of dodgy light 'mechs (being punched) is now far less of a weakness.
    • The Juggernaut ability (requiring guts 8) was generally considered this. It came too late in the game to be much of use, assault 'mechs were immune to its effect since there is no initiative count below 1, and it had anti-synergy with the level 4 guts ability Bulwark because Bulwark required you to stand still while melee attacks require you to move. It was eventually replaced with Vent Coolant for this reason.
    • Speaking of Bulwark, it was considered this at launch for the opposite reason: Its effects (gain 50% damage resistance if you stand still) was generally considered too powerful for how little investment it needed and made the entire mobility tree somewhat obsolete. This was especially in the late-game where the benefits of moving (evasive pips) were generally useless anyway because assault 'mechs are slow and all pilots have high gunnery, leading to a gameplay meta of immobile gunnery platforms standing still and trading shots with each other. It also made the level 8 gunnery ability, Breaching Shot, near mandatory in order to counter it. The skill was eventually re-designed for this reason, and now gives a flat 20% bonus to defense if you brace (for 40% damage reduction total) and lets you combine cover, brace and Bulwark for a maximum damage reduction of 60% (which is where Breaching Shot starts to become incredibly useful), while also activating even if you move, discouraging stop-and-shoot tactics.
    • Due to the game both being set pre-Fourth Succession War (locking out important modernization options found later in the timeline) and how it handles combat mechanics, certain mechs that were already considered subpar for their weight class due to a focus on speed and melee combat are laughably bad, with the stupidly expensive Banshee taking top billing due to its speed and armor being near useless thanks to a combination of enemies usually outnumbering you 2:1 or more late game and stability damage - in conjunction, it lets nearly every enemy on the map knock it to the ground and kick it before you get to stand it back up, unless you play it like a 95 ton scout mech, which requires using up even more of its precious little available tonnage on jump jets.
  • Ugly Cute: The always-popular UrbanMech lost nothing of its strangely endearing ugliness in its transition from the tabletop, despite looking more than ever before like the "walking trashcan" Yang describes. The folks at HBS seem to agree and added a bunch of achievements plus an entire Flashpoint that revolve solely around Urbies.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: