Battletech: Mech Overview: Wolverine

Howdy fellow large robot enjoyers. This week we are looking at the second mech in what is generally called the “55 ton trio”, the Wolverine. The 55 ton trio consists of the Griffin, Shadow Hawk, and Wolverine. They are all 55 tons, are some of the earliest mechs added to the game back in the 80s, and all fill a “Trooper” role, meaning they ideally can fit in in any situation but rarely excel due to a lack of specialization. The title of worse mech in the trio pretty convincingly goes to the Shadow Hawk, a somewhat miserable and undergunned mech that isn’t meaningfully better armed than a 40 ton Clint, can barely jump, and has such a confused gameplay identity that the majority of its variants are also bad due to the core design of the mech being bad. As for best mech in the trio though, that is a matter of some debate.

We have already covered the Griffin in an article before, in which I state that it is probably the best of the trio. My opinion has shifted slightly since then though, as my love affair with the autocannon was kicked off around that time by my discovery of precision autocannon ammunition and how massively BV efficient that makes autocannons. I have slowly found myself gravitating towards ballistic weapons and autocannons in general, which goes a long way towards redeeming the Wolverine. The Griffin is probably a bit better still, but the Wolverine puts up a much better showing than I gave it credit for.

Battletech Wolverine. Credit: 40khamslam.

The Wolverine Chassis

The overall traits of the Wolverine are a bit harder to pin down than the Griffin. The Griffin was defined by higher than average speed, PPCs, and LRMs. The Wolverine seems like it could go that way, but with Autocannons and SRMs, but in actuality its variants are all over the place when it comes to weaponry and speed. Most do still have an SRM-6, but just about every main gun class in the game makes an appearance on a Wolverine variant. Most Wolverines are 5/8/5, but there is a bit of variation in speed here between variants. It is a wider range of roles that the mech fills, with a wider range of equipment. Unlike the Griffin, which ends up pidgeonholed as a mobile sniper mech, the Wolverine on the whole really does feel like a do everything mech, with variants for any situation.



The base variant of the Wolverine, the 6R is perfectly fine for 3025 but is generally inadequate in any other era. It carries mediocre armor, an AC-5, an SRM-6, and a single, lonely and forlorn medium laser. It also has decent mobility at a 5/8/5 profile, but its not really worth it. This is not a particularly great combination of traits for 1101 BV, being undergunned for the price, underarmored for the price, though its movement is actually pretty decent. 5/8/5 is a common movement profile for a reason, it is very good at generating TMM. I give it a C-, there are better Wolverines in this game.


The first “Primitive” Wolverine, this mech comes in at a dirt cheap 885 BV, which is reaching a price where most mechs are actually good from sheer low price, but this one has a few issues. It only moves 4/6/4, and loses out on the SRM-6 of the base variant, only still carrying the autocannon and medium laser. Its armor layout is different but not really any better, thicker on the CT and legs but thinner everywhere else. It also has a variety of strange rules attached to it for being a primitive mech, so if you want a mech at this price in a similar role, I would go for a Clint or a Panther. D-, there are some genuinely cool primitive tech mechs, but this isn’t one of them.


Costing slightly less than the 1R at 867 BV, the WVR is identical aside from thinner armor and adding an SRM-6. The thin armor, slow speed, and mostly short range is not a good combination, this is for the most part a waste of BV, you are better off with most light mechs at this price. F.


Showing once again that the godless FedRats are occasionally spot on with mech design, the 6D is identical to the 6R, save for the fact that it trades the AC/5 and SRM-6 for an AC/10 with two tons of ammo. It is only 14 BV more expensive than the 6R at 1115. This gives it a bigger single damage grouping, which is usually better than multiple smaller groupings. It strips armor off of a single location faster, and starts critting sooner, though it is worse at hunting for those crits in general and it has lost a pretty decent amount of its short range damage. This mech is better suited to skirmishing around at mid range than the 6R, but is worse at jumping on top of something and opening up point blank. That said, the 6R is still not very good at close range, just slightly better than this. In my opinion this is just a variant that is better suited to the way the Wolverine is set up. I may be slightly obsessed with AC/10s and this is a pretty damn cheap one, comparing well to the Hunchback 4H, my usual go to cheap AC/10 caddy, trading about 40 BV, some armor and 3 medium lasers for a big boost to mobility. Jump Jets are a big deal, and a mech with them will very often win a fight with a mech that doesn’t. Precision ammo in this thing will give it a decent option for swatting light mechs, and that is probably where it will serve you best. I give it a B-, there are better mechs for what it does at a similar price, but it is still a decently durable light mech hunter, able to mostly keep up and smack them around with big 10 damage groupings, which on most light mechs of its era will go straight to internals on most of the mech. I will probably start fitting this into forces where I would have taken a 4H Hunchback from now on, just because of how much of an upgrade the jump jets are.


For years my favorite variant, I have sort of changed my mind about the 6K now that I have been playing the game more seriously. It trades the Jump Jets and AC/5 for a large laser, an extra medium laser, a small laser, a bit more armor, and a few heat sinks. I used to think this was an awesome trade, but the maps I played on didn’t have much elevation, which skewed my opinion on Jump Jets. It does a lot more damage than the 6R, but the lack of jump jets makes the difference more or less a wash. It is also more expensive at 1248, which is putting it dangerously close to some incredible light mechs and a lot of medium mechs that just do the exact same thing better. I give this a D+, but at the higher end of that grade, it really isn’t much worse than a 6R but the lack of hops really hurts it.

Legion of Vega Wolverine. Credit: SRM


The 6M is an improvement on the 6K. It carries slightly less armor, though still more than the 6R, and drops the small laser, but keeps the jump jets. This mech runs pretty damn hot, and is more expensive at 1291, but is generally a better mech if you want a laser focused Wolverine. C-.


The 7D is the first advanced tech variant. It uses an XL engine, which together with a MASC system allows it to run 10 hexes, which is pretty great. It carries slightly more armor than the 6R, and upgrades the weapons to an Ultra AC/5, a medium pulse laser, and an SRM-6. For 1314 there are better mechs out there in this role, but this is not terrible. C.


Nearly identical to the 7D, the 7H drops the XL engine, MASC, and some armor to add Artemis IV to the SRM-6. This is a nice upgrade but at 1301 this is barely a discount over the 7D, which in my opinion is a better mech, even with an XL engine. C-.


Our first massive power spike, the 7K is a damn scary medium mech. Using an XL engine, the weapons have been exchanged for a large pulse laser, a medium pulse laser, a small pulse laser, and two SRM-6s. This is a massive increase in firepower and consistency, though it is encouraged into knife-fighting range with no real way to defend itself past 6 hexes or so. That said it is maneuverable at 5/8/5, better armored than the 6R, backstabs and crit seeks pretty well, and as it has two tons of SRM ammunition, you get some flexibility from special ammo, with my personal recommendation being one ton of Inferno ammo and one ton of standard ammo. At 1331 this is really not any more expensive than the other advanced Wolverines, and it will do really good work for you if you can get it into close range. B+.


A deeply weird mech, the 7M has about the same armor as the 6R, two ER large lasers, two medium pulse lasers, and an SRM/6. It has the same movement profile as the 7D with MASC, which is decent. These are all perfectly fine traits, but the big issue is the price. It costs 1671 BV, which is frankly highway robbery. This mech is not worth 1671 BV, you can get heavy mechs with Gauss Rifles for that price. D-.


Mostly identical to the 7M, the 7M2 just changes out the ER large lasers for a single heavy PPC. The heavy PPC is a decent, if BV inefficient gun, being capable of taking the head off of a mech. The issue is still the price though. Fast headchoppers are nice, but at 1752 this is just such an inefficient way to get one. D-.


The 8C is an interesting one. In terms of equipment it is basically an upgraded 7K, upgrading the SRM-6s to Streak SRM-6s, trading the flexibility of multiple ammo types for much greater damage output, ammo efficiency, and heat efficiency. It also adds a C3 slave to the mech, which makes this a pretty excellent mech to include in a C3 force. At 1447 it is starting to edge into heavy mech price ranges, but in my opinion it is well, well worth the price, and may be worth considering even outside of a C3 force due to the sheer power of its weaponry and movement, Streak SRMs are much, much better for raw damage than normal SRMs. A-.


The 8D is a bit less exciting. It has the same higher speed as the 7D, and for weapons it carries a Rotary AC/2, an ER medium laser, and a Streak SRM-6. The RAC/2 and ER laser both benefit from a targeting computer. The mech comes in at 1547 BV, which is highway robbery. The RAC/2 is a very BV efficient weapon, a trait which this mech wastes by mating it to a targeting computer, driving the price up while providing minimum benefit. There are worse RAC mechs out there, because the mech designers seem allergic to making a good one most of the time, but this is still not a great use of BV. I give it a C-, its still very fast and has ok DPS, but RACs are really swingy and inconsistent at the best of times and its still not as high as something like the 8C, which is cheaper than it.


The 8K feels a lot like a Griffin. It carries an ER PPC, an ER medium laser, a medium pulse laser, and a Streak SRM-6. Its armor is thick, it carries decent weapons with decent speed, but it is pretty expensive at 1576 BV. I am not a huge fan of this mech, it just costs a bit more than it should. I am also not a fan of mechs that mix pulse lasers and normal lasers, in my opinion it is better to just stick with one type. I give it a C+, its still got decent weapons and won’t let you down, but there are just better and more interesting Wolverines.


This is basically an 8D that drops the jump jets and targeting computer for better backup weapons and a TAG to spot for indirect fire. Meh. C-


Carrying a wide array of anti infantry weapons, the main armament of the 9K is a Snub Nosed PPC and an SRM-4. It also carries a sword and Triple Strength Myomer which it hilariously can’t even activate without turning off some of it’s heat sinks, which is apparently a thing you can do. It’s an OK melee mech at 1397 BV, but there are better uses of BV. C-.

Wolf’s Dragoons Wolverine. Credit: Jack Hunter


This is basically a slightly cheaper, slightly slower version of the 7M2. It has a heavy PPC and is still overpriced. D-.


This is an upgrade of the basic 6R, using some weight saving tech to carry thicker armor, a UAC/10, an ER medium laser, and a Streak SRM-6. Its a pretty good upgrade for 1481 BV, though I am not super fond of Ultra Autocannons due to their lack of ability to fire precision ammo. C.


This is an oddball variant, costing 1404 and coming with a few interesting pieces of equipment. It carries two light PPCs, an ER medium laser, and an MML 5 for weapons, which is a pretty decent mix, if clearly built as a mid-long range skirmish/poke mech. It also carries enough improved jump jets to let it jump 7 hexes, for an overall movement profile of 5/8/7, which hits a good breakpoint and makes this mech extremely hard to hit. It also carries an improved C3 suite, and it fits in pretty well to a C3i list as a spotter/skirmisher. This is a pretty solid mech, probably a B, it chips in decently at all ranges and is annoying to kill.


Very similar to the above mech, this costs 1480 and adds an ER small laser and an ECM suite, and exchanges the C3i for a standard C3 slave unit. This is basically a net neutral, take whichever one fits with the rest of your C3 mechs. B.


The 10D is similar to the other RAC variants of the Wolverine, moving 5/8(10)/5, but it has a few differences. For one, it uses a supercharger instead of MASC to reach its 10 hex run speed, and it carries a RAC/5, a medium X-Pulse laser, and a streak SRM-6. This basically is just a flat upgrade in terms of raw effectiveness, the weapons are much better. However, what kills it is the price. It is 1935 BV, a price at which you could get a pretty great assault mech or a lot of good Clan mediums or ok Clan heavies. It is not a terrible mech but 1935 is way too much for it, D-.


The 10R is a mix of a variety of the mechs we have looked at so far. It costs 1791 BV, and has a different movement profile, that being 6/9(12)/6, making it the fastest by far. It carries a snub PPC, an ER medium laser, and a Streak SRM-6. The energy weapons are mated to a targeting computer for extra accuracy. Like, its fine? It is a decently fast mech, but for that price it feels really strongly undergunned compared to a lot of Clan light mechs that it is competing with at that price. C.


The 10V2 is pretty pricy at 1747 BV. For that price, you get a 6/9/6 movement profile, a gauss rifle, and an ER medium laser. It’s fine. It is a decently fast headchopper, if a bit expensive and underwhelming. I have no super strong opinions on it, it is a decent way to get gauss for a low cost, but in my opinion there are other mechs that can do it better. It is pretty fast for a Gauss mech though, which is definitely good, though I don’t think it is 1747 BV good.


This is nearly identical to the 7M2, making it the third variant that is either the 7M2 or basically the 7M2. It trades the two medium pulse lasers for one medium X-Pulse laser, and gets a bit of extra armor. This is a marginal improvement at 1778 BV. D.

Federated Commonwealth RCT Wolverine. Credit: Jack Hunter


Ok there are a lot more overpriced and mediocre Wolverine variants than I remember. The chassis on the whole is decent, if somewhat underwhelming. The 8C and 6D are probably your best options when it comes to running the mech in your own games, but very few of the Wolverine variants are genuinely bad, so you should be able to take any one of them that has the equipment you are looking for. I have much less to say than I thought I would. The Wolverine is the epitome of a boring, middle of the pack mech. It is never really offensively bad or oppressively powerful, it is basically always just some level of decent to mediocre.