In it’s Primary OmniMech configuration, the Nova (or Black Hawk to all you ‘Spheroid Commanders) is infamously one of BattleTech’s most recognizable ‘Alpha Baby’ designs, able to generate an eye-watering SIXTY-FIVE heat in a single turn of fire and movement.
Sporting a brace of a dozen Clan Extended Range Medium Lasers (which remain one of the most damage efficient weapons in the game), each of the Nova’s lasers sports almost comparable throw-weight to Inner Sphere Large lasers at a fraction of the tonnage. Though the Nova barely packs the heat sinks to safely use half of them at once, an Alpha Strike with all twelve of its guns remains a high-risk-high-reward tactic that is more than enough to obliterate many lighter Inner Sphere machines in a single apocalyptic volley of fire (at the risk of leaving the Nova sluggish and non-responsive from overheating and vulnerable to follow up attack).
As part of ‘Mech March, we’re featuring the original Alpha-Baby – which dubiously remains one of the first canon designs introduced to be able to push itself into near full auto-shutdown in a single round of fire. If you’d like to know more, book a demo session and swing by the store to learn to play, if you don’t already know how.
Debuting in 2870 with Clan Hell’s Horses, the Nova entered service as the Horses’ first homegrown OmniMech design. Based on a streamlined and cut down version of the already successful Supernova Assault ‘Mech (itself no slouch in the overheating department), the Horses’ opted to stick with rugged and proven technology when designing the Nova. While the avoidance of bells-and-whistles like Endo-Steel internal structure and Ferro-Fibrous Armor left the design somewhat dated compared to later Clan designs, few can fault the workman-like simplicity of the Nova and it remains a common workhorse machine.
As was fitting for the Hell’s Horses’ combined arms doctrine, the Nova was designed to work in tandem with the Clan’s conventional forces and was the first design to feature an innovative hardpoint system which allowed Clan Elemental battle armor to rapidly mount up and operate as ‘Mechanised Infantry. This feature in essence allowed the Nova to provide it’s own infantry support in running engagements and subsequently proved so successful that it was adopted as standard on all OmniMech designs.
Ironically, it’s simplicity of design may ultimately be the Nova’s downfall. While competent at it’s role, the Nova lacks much of the advanced technology of its peers, and when Clan Ghost Bear ultimately seized the Nova’s original factory at Tokasha from the Hell’s Horses in 2921, they ultimately ceased construction of the aging design in favor of the more modern and advanced Stormcrow. Since then, although the Nova was by then widespread among the Clans (due to trade and battlefield isorla) and limited production of spare parts continued, decades of age and rough service have steadily winnowed down the number of Novas still in service.
Ironically the Nova’s rugged and simple design has seen it serve as the inspiration for a fair number of knockoff designs in the Inner Sphere, including the Draconic Combine’s Komodo and Black Hawk-KU and the Federated Commonwealth’s Penetrator.
Well… that and the Diamond Shark’s Black Hawk, but that’s a hilarious tale for another time. Ask us about it on Facebook or something if you want the details.
Take command of the Invading Clans with the BattleTech Clan Invasion box set, and claim world after world in the name of the descents of Kerensky, or face the sheet terror of facing the barbarians at the gate with the desperate Inner Sphere defenders.
As a companion box to the BattleTech A Game of Armored Combat box, the Clan Invasion box provides everything you need to field a force of five Clan OmniMechs with Elemental infantry support. On top of that, you will also receive new record sheets for the BattleMechs in the A Game of Armored Combat box, representing the stopgap tech upgrades the Inner Sphere powers rushed to units in the field in a vain attempt to slow the seemingly unstoppable Clan advance.
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