“Jager” is a German word meaning “huntsman.” It is also a type of overgrown sea gull that feeds by beating up smaller gulls and forcing them to throw up their food (yech!). A bully bird with really bad table manners. Given that the Jagermech is a redesign of the Rifleman, my money is on the German word being the inspiration. Still, one can make a convincing argument that a hooligan sea gull inspired the Jagermech‘s name. It works either way.
The Rifleman, while being a classic mech that fulfilled its role as a fire support mech well, was subject to certain glaring limitations. One, it tended to overheat fast, especially the versions which are only configured with laser weapons. Two, it could not carry sufficient quantities of ammunition in versions fitted with autocannons. Three, its armor was relatively weak for a mech of its size (60 tons, which puts it in the heavy mech class). Its successor, the Jagermech was designed to address two of these known weaknesses, heating and ammo loadout. The armor problem didn’t get fixed. Despite this, the redesign was nonetheless a success because the Jagermech was able to carry out all the traditional roles of the Rifleman with distinction. This includes anti-aircraft duty, something the Rifleman excelled at due to its superior target tracking system.
As a fire support mech, the Jagermech’s long range autocannons were perfect for the job. And, it carried sufficient quantities of ammo for each of its four guns for a decent length campaign. In this role, the Jagermech keeps enemy mechs pinned with well placed fire while its lance mates close in for the kill, a classic fire-and-maneuver tactic. It would be foolish, however, to use the Jagermech for close quarter combat because it is no brawler. Its armor is too weak to stand up to other mechs of its weight class, and its secondary weapons are useless against anything but light mechs and infantry. Jagermechs are supposed to be in the rear lines where they would be well protected, and not in the thick of battle. In this sense, it fulfills a specialized role well, but would not do well outside this role.
The Jagermech Lego Model
Primus designed the model of the Jagermech. At the beginning of the build, I didn’t have any high expectations. However, by the time I was finished, it turned out to be one of my favorite models to date. It was stable as a rock, so stable that I can spin the torso like a top without it falling down. It does bear a family resemblance to the Rifleman, but looks much sturdier. The guns and the shoulders were my favorite parts, as well as its centered cockpit. There’s something about building the models with physical LEGO bricks which gives it a sense of realness. It’s hard to describe, but I have gotten this sense a few times with other builds. I’m glad to have taken on this project even though I didn’t think much of it as first, because the model turned out very cool looking.
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