In the war torn battlefields of of the Battletech universe, the battlemech is 'king' (unless someone fields a Demolisher II, then its debatable as it will draw ALL of the enemy's fire till its DEAD). However as a mechwarrior, if you find that at any point you're assigned to an Urbanmech....well, either you've really pissed somebody off, or they just plain hate you to begin with. No worries though, your time in an Urbie (their most common nickname) will be short. Or rather i should phrase that as your life will be short...
|It even comes with a 'We regret to inform you...' letter!|
The Urbie is (ironically) one of Battletech's iconic mechs, and mainly for two reasons:
(1) It sucks. Mud slow, thin armor, notta whole lot of ammo for the main gun (which, considering the thin armor protection, might not be so bad), crappy small laser for a back up weapon, a medium ranged gun on a chassis designed for point blank combat (which creates minimum range issues), an extra heat sink which wastes valuable space, variants with an even bigger gun coupled with even less armor... Seriously, it was the worst mech bar none til they invented semi-combat capable industrial mechs which are civilian use mechs with added weaponry.
(2) It looks kinda like R2-D2 with big legs...or in other words, its ugly as hell. Now, there are countless mechs vying for the title of 'ugliest ever' and to be honest, I don't think the Urbie leads that pack. At the very minimum, the Blitzkrieg and Shootist are well ahead of it. Indeed, I saw a mech that was even worse than those on ebay last night! It was so vile I didn't even want to know the name of it! Regardless, people love the urbie, due almost entirely to its shortcomings. Indeed, there are even petitions to get it added into the new Mechwarrior online MMO (and while he'll never publicly admit it, we all know Screech's name is all over those petitions).
The Curious thing about the Urbie, is that while the canon variants all suck (barring perhaps the MRM30 version), if you put it into Skunkwerks (Battletech's create your own mech software), strip out the stupid autocannon and replace it with a large pulse laser (which makes complete sense for urban warfare), and its actually kindova decent mech. There's enough left over tonnage to max out the armor (which for a light mech will always be of questionable value) and a bigger engine to increase its speed by 50%! Yank its jump jets, swap to a standard large laser, put an even bigger engine in and at that point, its a decent all-rounder. Even for recon which is the generic light mech specialty.
The only thing I can't figure out is why the creators of battletech never did that. It seems like their intent was not only to make it suck, but to keep it that way. Cheap, podunk defense unit fluff, yada, yada, still don't see why the large laser wouldn't work as it works better at short range and the podunks won't need to buy ammo.
Like most people who have them, I got it precisely because its so bad. That and its painted to go with my Capellans who have a fondness for cheaper crap as for most of their history they were on the defensive. You'll note its camo is anything but 'urban'. The 3rd Confederation Reserve Cavalry, while currently posted to a world of mostly wide open plains (which makes the Urbie suck even more), was previously posted to a jungle environment, where it would have been a decent machine...sorta. Regardless, they haven't gotten around to repainting their machines yet (according to Camospecs).