Saturday, January 3, 2009

What the hell was Clan Wolf thinking?

So we all know that Clan Wolf was the most successful of the 4 Invasion Clans in 3049-52. Yes yes, they were the only ones to capture their two objective cities on Tukayyid. This is all because of writer fiat IMO, but let's just go with the facts here. What was the secret to their phenomenal success? Some might say it was their Warden leanings, but Ghost Bear also had strong Wardens in their ranks, which didn't seem to help their initial invasion performance.

One thing I believe is clear: the reliance on the Gargoyle OmniMech was surely not the source of their success. Seriously, look at the specs on this piece of shit:

Assault Class: 80 tons
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Pod space: 21.75 tons

Primary Configuration:
2 SRM-6s
2 LBX-5s
ER Small Laser

How in God's name does this work out to being a good Assault Mech? I mean yes, the speed is nice, but speed alone will not win battles. "Oh god yes, this amazing speed for my Assault Mech is gonna allow me to flank the enemy and hit his rear with... LBX-5s? What the fuck is a pair of LBX-5s even doing on an assault mech? Coupled with the SRM-6s, the Gargoyle seems like it'd be awesome for dealing criticals once armor is exposed, but the problem is there aren't any armaments to expose that armor in the first place. A large lumbering mech with peashooters... sounds like a Clan version of the infamous Banshee. While the A variant is at least somewhat competent with a pair of ER PPCs to deal heavy dmg, one would assume it was not as common as the Primary. And the other variants besides the A are similarly underwhelming. Simply put, Clan Wolf should not have had anywhere near the level of success they had if they were truly using the Gargoyle in large numbers. In fact, one finds it hard to believe that a Gargoyle in 3049 could even stand toe to toe with a 3025-tech Awesome or Atlas. In those situations, with zellbrigen in place, the Gargoyle should be ripped apart quite easily, as it does not seem to have much armor either. Ironically, the Smoke Jaguars that used mostly Dire Wolves were depicted as being less successful, even though the Dire Wolf is 20 tons heavier and packs about twice as much firepower in its chassis.

Because of the obvious incompetence of the Gargoyle design and weapons loadout, it seems the only reasonable theory would be that Clan Wolf instead relied mostly on its excellent Timber Wolves for assault-based actions, only using Gargoyles as backup support. With the good armor allocation and weapons configurations of the Timber Wolf design, there was hardly a reason to use Assault Mechs against the 3025 armies of the Inner Sphere. The Timber Wolf was unquestionably the best Heavy OmniMech design the Clans had and would not be challenged for that status until the arrival of the Nova Cat in 3059.

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