When I first started looking into BattleTech art commissions, I dug around for information about the “official” artists–people who did covers or interior art for Catalyst books or novels. One of the people I have had my eye on was Eldon Cowgur (go buy his stuff), his art shows up everywhere (especially if you read Sarna.net like other people read Wikipedia). Eldon was very accommodating and quick to respond and I cannot deny this loveable quality to his art–even when dealing with destruction and stompy robots. I just realize about 10 minutes ago that he also does work on Heavy Gear! Eldon will have the following image available for prints on his website in the future, so you can order and support him if you like what you see.
While I would like to think I am getting my Wolf’s Dragoons knowledge up to par, I have to admit I had not read much about Natasha Kerensky except on the previously touted Sarna.net. At the time of this article, I am only about halfway through Wolves on the Border (which probably means I will be done by the time this article goes up), but even there I am not getting the full Black Widow experience? Regardless, Kerensky is an iconic character and I felt that Eldon’s previous illustration needed a counterpoint to the later half of her life where she was Khan of Clan Wolf.
I have made comments in previous articles about both the Warhammer and the Dire Wolf, so I am just going to leave a picture of both miniatures (painted by Les Mandeville) here instead.
One of the most prolific and sought out ‘Mech painter in my local area is Les Mandeville. So when I finally got my Clan Invasion boxes sorted and figured out, I sought out Les to throw some paint on Wolf’s DragoonsGamma Regiment.
When I asked Les to paint these, I basically selected them because I knew enough about the Dragoons to be dangerous, but also I like the color scheme–though it does not clearly state what “midnight blue” actually looks like. There are some differing examples on Unit Color Compendium and Camo Specs, but I eventually settled on a color. The color looks very different under different light sources.
I have over half a Battalion worth of Gamma Regiment ‘Mechs at this point, but I may have planted my flag on color schemes too soon. I have no complaints about the quality, but I am having some second thoughts about the color when plastic hits the table…
Robotech comments aside, I chose the Wasp as part of my initial Wolf’s Dragoons paints because of its low BV point cost–I could fit it in as a scout ‘Mech when penny pinching points to build Lances. A single Medium Laser and an SRM 2 are not impressive or dangerous, nor is 3 tons of armor. The usefulness for this ‘Mech comes in with its 6/9/6 movement, which is not all that great compared to a Spider or even the Medium Phoenix Hawk. After a few runs in 3025, I stopped using it altogether. If you can get it to transform into a Veritech Fighter however…
Equal Battle Value (BV) does not mean equal forces.
My favorite ‘Mech, the Nightstar, does not have an Introductory rules version. However, I got to use it in a small skirmish between Nightstar and Centurion vs. Conjurer and Kit Fox. On paper, the BV are pretty close, but as you know, BV does not tell the whole story. It was a decidedly one-sided fight–for the Inner Sphere for once! I do want to thank my friend for letting be bring out the big guns. Our group is still learning the game so we do not use anything but Introductory rules ‘Mechs for the time being.
I cannot explain why, but I do not particularly like the Centurion. On paper, it has a great combination of weapons: AC/10, LRM 10, and a couple of lasers. It has good armor for a Medium ‘Mech (8 tons for the CN9-A model). The CN9-AL model replaces the AC/10 with a Large Laser, adds more heat sinks and armor, making it quite a brawler. However, I find the ‘Mech too slow. Without jump jets, it has to plod around at 4/6 movement and in the multiple times I have used it, it just gets pummeled (crippled or destroyed every time). However, that might just be me putting it out as bait…