Heavy Mech




Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: Mingh z33/7
Power Plant: VOX 280
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: Leviathon Lifters
Jump Capacity: 120 meters
Armor: Durallex Heavy
1 Diplan HD Large Laser
4 Diplan M3 Medium Lasers
1 Conan/S LRM 5
Manufacturer: Lantren Corporation
Primary Factory: Bryant (destroyed 2843)
Communications System: Allet-C308
Targeting and Tracking System: Allet-T11
A rushed design intended to fight in the various pentup
areas on Terra in both overt and covert operations, the
Grasshopper would miss the climatic end of the Amaris
Coup due to difficulties integrating several stealth systems
with the chassis. With the campaign over before testing
could begin, many of the new technological features were
stripped out before production started in 2780, and distribution
of the untested design occurred throughout the
Regular army instead of the more prestigious Royal divisions.
As defections occurred before the Exodus, Houses
found themselves inheriting this unorthodox design.
Worsening global storms and battle-damaged biodomes
led to the evacuation of the Bryant plant during
the Second Succession War, ending the Grasshopper’s
production. But due to its capabilities, many units
prioritized repair and rebuilding of the heavy design over
other damaged units, sometimes even the commander’s
own machines, leading to a very high percentage of
the original production runs still in fighting condition
centuries later.
While under-armed when compared to designs of similar
weight, in all other aspects the Grasshopper is consistently
equal or better than other heavy designs. Nearly two
dozen heat sinks keep the machine cool in all but the most
intense situations. This is a stark contrast to other popular
designs such as the Warhammer and the Marauder. Jump
jets assist in keeping the BattleMech out of harm’s way, and
thirteen tons of armor keep its internals protected in case
damage becomes unavoidable.
Mounting an array of medium lasers spread out
between torsos and arms, this design can return fi re from
just about any angle with a mere torso twist. The most
favored design feature, however, is the reliable Diplan HD
large laser placed in the center of the torso. Even if the
BattleMech loses both its arms and incurs damage to both
sides of the torso, the pilot can fi re its main weapon as long
as the machine is upright. This has led many to classify the
Grasshopper as a “zombie” design in the league of machines
such as the Awesome, which can take unheard of damage
before finally being destroyed.
For longer-range exchanges, an LRM 5 is the unit’s sole
ammo-using weapon. Too small to have any real effect, pilots
often fi re the missiles continually, softening up targets
until they could get in range to bring the lasers to bear. In
an extended campaign, many pilots will often not bother
reloading it, instead allowing less self-reliant designs to
draw from the LRM stockpiles, which also has the side effect
of making the Grasshopper immune to any possibility
of an ammo explosion.
An uncommon but popular design, the Grasshopper
and its capabilities remained unknown to many units until
ComStar published Technical Readout: 3025 shortly before
the outbreak of the Fourth Succession War. This led to
many units treating the ’Mech as a typical heavy design
until it got close, where it would leap into the middle of
the attackers’ formation and disrupt any plan the enemy’s
commander might have.
Commanders have used Grasshoppers in many light
and medium companies as a back-up brawler. As lighter
units draw the enemy away from support, many are surprised
to see such a heavy and yet so mobile BattleMech
anchoring the force.
Many pilots have tinkered with their Grasshoppers
over the centuries, but no common variants have surfaced.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Even now, decades into the technological
renaissance, the original 5H model is still so popular it
outnumbers the upgraded 5J version by a ratio of three to
one. Only the Draconis Combine, with its recent C3 variants,
employs more upgraded models than originals.]
Notable MechWarriors
Överste-Löjtnant Tor Miraborg: In charge of many of
the small unit operations ordered to hunt down the ronin
resistance groups fighting throughout the Free Rasalhague
Republic, Tor and his Grasshopper not only led the attacks,
but also served as the rear guard when retreating. Tor
has been injured twice in combat, suffering light wounds
when witnesses thought he should have been killed. The
Överste-Löjtnant credits his well-designed Grasshopper for
his survival.
Force Commander Thomas Henten: Henten was the
officer in charge of the Marik raiding force that attacked
Bryant’s Lantren Corporation in 2843 and damaged the
factory’s protective domes, which had been constructed
after the planet’s Star League-era Storm Inhibitors were
destroyed. Force Commander Henten filled several cargo
transports with Grasshopper spare parts for his personal
machine, the “Red by Night.” Now piloted by a distant
descendant, the Red by Night still draws from this cache of
spare parts and is in pristine condition.


At the edge of formality nerdknow