Rags to Riches or To the Stars or Bust
The UrbanMech was designed for just what its name suggests, urban combat and defense. This was achieved by starting with a cheap, easily-produced chassis, giving it six tons Durallex armor to rival the protection found on many medium-weight BattleMechs, and mounting a pair of Pitban 6000 jump jets for a jumping distance of 60 meters. The trade-off was that it could only mount the miserable Leenix 60 engine, making the UrbanMech the slowest light ‘Mech in existence with a cruising speed of 21 km/h and top speed of only 32.4 km/h. This was a severe disadvantage if the ’Mech attempted to fight in open country – something for only the foolish or desperate – but off-set by the fact that fighting in the close confines of a Star League city left little room to maneuver anyways and the UrbanMech’s low profile made it difficult to target. Thus the ’Mech was primarily used for fighting guerrillas and other light ’Mechs in an urban environment, an arena where it also achieved some success fighting medium and even heavy-weight ’Mechs. Standard tactics for an UrbanMech lance was to split up into its constituent parts and occupy various buildings in order to snipe the enemy before falling back to the next defensive line.
Large numbers of UrbanMechs were produced by Orguss Industries from 2675 until the destruction of their assembly lines and could be found in all of the armies of the Successor States. However most military leaders saw the slow little ‘Mech as a liability, confining their stockpiles to garrison duty or stripping them of parts. This dismissive attitude towards the UrbanMech saved it from the ravages of the Succession Wars and ensured its continued use into the thirty-first century. The Capellan Confederation remained the largest and only user of UrbanMechs to actually deploy them for front-line duty, a result of the devastation of the Fourth Succession War and their desperation for any ’Mech to replenish their losses. The Confederation Reserve Cavalry and Capellan Defense Force had the lion’s share of UrbanMechs, followed by the Tikonov Republican Guard and St. Ives Armored Cavalry; outside the Confederation the Federated Suns’ Capellan March Militia fielded the largest number of UrbanMechs thanks to the fact it was mostly composed of captured Capellan equipment. It’s prominence within the Confederation meant the UrbanMech was among those ‘Mechs within the CCAF to receive upgrades following the recovery of lostech; the other States followed suit with much less priority over improving other ’Mechs. Despite this the sheer costs necessary to replace the UrbanMech’s engine and increase its top speed meant even the Confederation limited their refit packages to improving the weapons and armor only.
Weapons and Equipment
The UrbanMech packs a powerful punch for its size. The standard version carries an Imperator-B Autocannon/10 in its right arm and as a back up weapon it carries a Harmon Light Small Laser in the left arm for suppressing infantry. With these two weapons the UrbanMech can constantly harass, or if piloted by an experienced enough MechWarrior, down ’Mechs up to twice its own size. A single ton of ammo for the autocannon, located in the right torso, leaves little endurance for a prolonged fight, though it fits in perfectly with the hit-and-run nature of the ’Mech; one way or another most observers agree the UrbanMech is good for about two minutes of combat.