'MechWarriors Profession in White Reach | World Anvil


"So, you might think this is the most glamorous thing you could be doing. You're part right. What you don't see is the sweat and blood you put into your craft, learning how to make sure you shoot straight and on target. Or the tears you shed for dead comrades, for friends you couldn't save. You see the Solaris gladiator trivids of Gray Noton or Justin Allard, or you see the likes of Jaime Wolf and his Dragoons, and you think how glorious it would be. Well I can't deny there's a definitely awe-inspiring sensation. But getting there, that's half the . . . fun."
— Valia Delune, "Darkmoon Brigade" Commander
BattleMechs are the primary weapon of war in the Inner Sphere, and the people who have trained to operate them are known as 'MechWarriors. It takes something special to want to strap yourself into something which is going to draw fire, and for some 'Mechs it could be seen as a suicide mission. But 'MechWarriors are a necessary component to military units and mercenary outfits, not to mention popular attractions at the gladiator arenas on Solaris VII, so there are never a shortage of those who want to pursue fortune and glory no matter the risk.
This article is going to be a fairly high-level perspective of what it means to be a 'MechWarrior, eschewing the differences between serving in an established miltary unit, in a mercenary outfit, or as a Solaris gladiator. To summarize all the myriad paths one could take to becoming a 'MechWarrior would take a very long time.



At its heart, the general populace considers anyone who owns a 'Mech and pilots it to be a 'MechWarrior. However, this is far from enough to really consider it a career.

Physical Qualifications

Due to the often-cramped nature of 'Mech cockpits, those who have large physical frames (either due to obesity or in height) are going to find it difficult to operate the 'Mech with adequate reaction speed. Furthermore, those prone to motion sickness or epileptic seizures are likely to be unable to properly interface with the neurohelmet and thus control the BattleMech. Lastly, the high levels of temperature which may be present in the cockpit can be stressful to the body, so those who show extreme sensitivity to heat would be better served avoiding specific models or styles of combat. For those going into work as a Solaris gladiator, one might consider an appealing or striking appearance to also be a qualification.


There exist a broad offering of formal academies to seek training as a 'MechWarrior, scattered through the Successor States and larger nations in the Periphery. Most of these require some form of patronage before being accepted, and very few of them expect students who graduate to do anything other than serve the militaries who help fund the academies. The most prestigious academies will send their graduates to become officers in formal military units, making it a good way to jump-start a military career. A few academies exist solely to train those who would seek out mercenary life, and they tend to train with an eye towards flexibility rather than adherence to regulations. Despite the existence of these academies, there are many 'MechWarriors who have had no formal education in the process, but they have still had to learn how to operate a BattleMech the hard way.
At the very least, it is necessary to understand basic algebraic skills and be able to identify the basic mechanisms which are crucial to the operation of a 'Mech and its weapons systems. Literacy is considered a given, though there are rumors of those who can't read who still manage to do well.

Career Progression

For 'MechWarriors, tracking their career largely is dependent on what the individual sees as their purpose. Mercenaries tend to favor tales of their exploits or the size of their liquid assets as a measure of how successful or talented they are. There are many mercenary 'MechWarriors who turn their noses up at what they consider 'being underpaid'. (Most veteran mercenaries tend to consider this "quite stupid", as there is always a need for money to keep a 'Mech operational and always something you could use the money to fix.) Nevertheless, there are prestigious and storied mercenary groups who command a great deal of respect due to their symbols alone; belonging to one of these outfits is a good way to consider yourself as having "made it" for the young and brash. Seasoned veterans tend to consider staying alive as being proof enough of their skill, when they can claim decades of active duty and still be fighting.
By comparison, professional 'MechWarriors with militaries tend to see either their rank or their associated unit as a measure of their advancement. There are, much like with mercenaries, more prestigious units in each of the Great House forces to which one could be assigned; there is a marked difference in the Draconis Combine between being a member of the Legion of Vega versus belonging to the Sword of Light.
For Solaris gladiators, the count of championships and the weight classes associated with those championships tend to be the source of pride. However there is also the Order of Valhalla, which is a somewhat secretive club on Solaris VII with a limited number of positions. Prestigious gladiators and duelists are chosen to be inducted, but the specific requirements are left mostly vague to outsiders; it may be possible to afford to buy a seat in the club, but it is always clear who earned their right to be there.

Payment & Reimbursement

'MechWarriors who are in militaries are paid and reimbursed according to the armed forces they serve, while skilled mercenaries are often able to command rather large fees for a contract. Those fees, after all, must be able to pay for any repairs which are done or ammunition expended during the length of the contract. While knowledge of what a mercenary has been paid is possible to find out, what is often not spoken of is how much of that fee was needed for repairs, rearming, or medical bills. Thus while someone might command several hundred thousand C-Bills for a contract, they may only see a small fraction of that as profit.
Similarly, Solaris gladiators must be always have their 'Mechs operating at the peak of their performance or risk a loss of a match. Let alone critical damage to the machines themselves. While the arena bouts are always for show, at the higher tiers of gladiator combat the show is often done with live weapons and occasionally the contestants play for keeps.



Most of the Inner Sphere is currently organized so 'Mechs are the heart of their armed forces, and as such there is always a demand for more 'MechWarriors so long as new 'Mechs are being built. While infantry units and combat vehicles may be instrumental to holding territory, it is a widely accepted part of 31st century warfare that BattleMechs are the kings of the battlefield and no combat action should be considered without their involvement. For your average mercenary 'MechWarrior, this means there is always a demand for their services; for skilled veterans, there is almost always competition for their services.
With this in mind, there are a number of purposes to which 'Mechs and their pilots are put to. Garrison duty is an ever-popular choice, as are armed escorts for planetside operations. One of the more notable purposes are to use single Lances as somewhat of a representative for the rest of a military force, and fight slightly-formalized combat actions where the outcome is agreed to have a specific consequence for the loser. This is considered a more civilized way of fighting for those who have access to these war machines and skilled combatants, during periods when open warfare has not been declared.

Social Status

For most of the populace outside of the most secure systems in the Successor States, 'MechWarriors (and by extension BattleMechs) are regarded as a symbol of war. As their purpose is to fight battles which nothing else would be capable of standing up to; this often means fighting other 'Mechs on the battlefield, which in turn means a colossal amount of collateral damage may be following. Due to this perception of their duties, there is a different reaction to simply seeing a soldier from an infantry unit. When someone sees 'Mechs and 'MechWarriors, they know something serious is about to happen.
Even with this in mind, many governments also use 'MechWarriors and their 'Mechs for publicity stunts such as parades or mock-battle re-enactments. To some, there is nothing more inspiring for the sense of security than to demonstrate having access to the considerable power represented by a Lance of functional 'Mechs.



As befits the nature of the profession, a 'Mech is required. In many forces, however, those 'Mechs are not owned by the individual but by the unit; the fact most of these machines cost six-figures in C-Bills or more tends to mean there are comparatively not many private owners. However, through noble birth or battlefield fortune, it is quite possible for someone to have a 'Mech to call their own and have it be accurate.
As well, there is some fashion of cooling gear needed to be comfortable in the cockpit of a 'Mech. In the past, this used to take the form of a full-body coolant suit or a vest through which coolant would circulate to keep the body from getting too hot. Since the production of these has been largely lost in the Succession Wars, most 'MechWarriors tend to find alternative ways to avoid getting hot in the cockpit. (And as such, pinups of 'MechWarriors in their gear are always popular among young folks.)
Lastly, most 'MechWarriors will have a neurohelmet which is specifically calibrated for their use. Without a helmet, the 'Mech cannot be operated; therefore an outfit might keep a couple spares, though there is no guarantee of this at all. Over the years, losses in technological sophistication have forced the helmets to adapt and become heavier and more bulky; the basic functions remain the same, even so.

Dangers & Hazards

"With the job comes risk. Do you know how many 'MechWarriors out there had to retire due to losing limbs? Eyes? Maybe some of them took damage to the systems so severe the helmet fried part of their brains out. And those are the ones who didn't die. There's an old saying which is used, gentlemen. 'Meat is cheap, save the metal.'. I hope you understand the implications."
— Ezra Markham, commander "Markham's Marauders"
  As with any profession where someone spends time on a battlefield, there is the ever-present risk of death, dismemberment, or disfigurement. Most medical teams with an outfit can save the pilot's life even if they lose a limb, but even with the choice of prosthetic limbs in the 31st century there are few which are precise enough to allow a 'MechWarrior to continue operating at the same level of skill shown before. There is also potential damage from the feedback which happens through the neurohelmet's connections after specific forms of damage inflicted on the 'Mech, sometimes with enough severity to render the 'MechWarrior unconscious. This damage may take weeks to properly recover from, if at all.

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