Catapult Heavy Mech Background
The catapult from ancient warfare is a specialized fire support weapon. Its primary purpose is to hurl boulders, cauldrons of flaming oil, diseased bodies, and anything that could cause death and mayhem over long distances. Because of its long range, it can pound defenses and enemy units into dust without ever being in any danger. Its mere mention can strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. When faced with a catapult barrage, the only thing one can really do is hunker down and pray. A lot. Its weakness is that it could not easily defend itself. Its crew must operate in the safety of the rear lines. Once an enemy is able to close in on the catapult, it becomes useless, because its weapons are only designed to strike at long range. Its greatest strength is also its worst weakness. The same can be said for the Catapult mech from the Battletech universe.
Instead of giant rocks, the Catapult mech rains volleys of flaming missiles against its enemies. If positioned correctly, it will remain immune from harm because its twin racks of Holly LRM-15 missiles will out-range most other mechs. Thus, the Catapult mech can pick off enemy mechs from extreme distances without ever becoming vulnerable to enemy fire. Any mech that can survive its ranged assault and is able to close in on a Catapult mech will most likely have been so severely damaged that it will be easy pickings for the Catapult mech or its support mechs. The Catapult mech carries four medium lasers for this purpose, so unlike its ancient namesake, it can still be dangerous up close. Even with these defensive weapons, however, the wise field commander should never deploy a Catapult mech on its own. It is slow and poorly armored for a mech of its weight class. It operates best as a close support weapon platform for other more robust mechs. The defensive trick that it does have in case the situation gets too hairy is its jump jets. It can jump out of the range of most weapons and into the safety of the rear where it belongs.
Here’s a video of a Catapult mech in action, using its advantages.
The Catapult Mech Lego Model
The Catapult mech model featured here was designed by Primus, and is fielded by the Inner Sphere armies. The build was straightforward, with no unexpected challenges. I didn’t care for the cockpit that much, but the missile racks and the legs more than carried the day for me. The design of the legs, especially the actuators in the lower rear portion, looked good. The original design called for Technic shock absorbers which connected the upper legs to the pelvis. However, I substituted the shock absorbers with Technic connectors and worm gears because using the shock absorbers caused the cockpit assembly to lurch forward too much. While it could still stand, this made the model look like a chicken pecking for grubs. Not the desired effect. The missile launchers of the Catapult mech Lego model, with their hinged doors and checkerboard pattern, had all the hallmarks of great planning. I built this Lego model for the simple reason that the Catapult is an important mech in the Battletech universe. This site would be incomplete without it.
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