Description[edit | edit source]
The Blackjack was designed by General Motors in the decades before the fall of the Star League, as seditious revolutionaries began popping up while the League's authority was eroding, mainly in the Periphery. In 2757, to combat the increasing threats of the separatists, the League contracted for a medium BattleMech to be built with anti-insurgency and fire-support capabilities. General Motors' original prototype was equipped with a large fusion engine supplying increased speed and endurance and flamer weapons, but these were eventually replaced with more reliable autocannons and a smaller engine supported by jump jets. The final production model met all of the production requirements and by all accounts was destined to be regarded as a good, reliable 'Mech.
General Motors was blindsided by the bad press the Blackjack received upon its introduction. Chief among its critics was the charge that the StarGuard II armor was brittle and tended to fall off, and that its footpads were too narrow and made it susceptible to falling. None of these claims were ever substantiated, but the damage was already done. The Blackjack quickly fell out of favor and only spent a few years in service to the Star League. It wasn't long before production was halted altogether and those still in service were either given to Terran Hegemony militia units or sold off to the Member States. When the Star League was eventually dissolved and the Succession Wars began, few shed a tear as the Blackjack production line on Kathil was destroyed in 2796.
While all the Successor States had Blackjacks the majority ended up with the Capellan Confederation and Federated Suns, and all but the Suns largely abandoned the design based on its reputation. Tinkering with the 'Mech, Davion techs soon discovered that the reputed claims about the Blackjack's flaws were without foundation, although it was still largely relegated to the March Militias. It wouldn't be until 3022 that the myth received its first mortal wound on Xhosa VII. In battle for control of the planet the infamous Tai-i Mercer Ravannion attempted to test his "Horde" tactic against the local Davion garrison. Led by New Avalon Institute of Science cadet Michael Ubodo, the garrison's Blackjacks took the brunt of the Kuritan attack, destroying wave after wave of light 'Mechs attempting to overwhelm their position, and earned great honor for their successful defense.
In the aftermath of the battle other Davion units began to take renewed notice of the Blackjack, and even Hanse Davion was sufficiently impressed with their performance on Xhosa VII to commission new variants be built. For their part the Confederation continued to treat the design with utter contempt, although the breakaway nation of St. Ives Compact couldn't afford to be as discerning and adopted the Blackjack, experimenting with new variants of their own. These efforts culminated with the introduction of the BJ-2, built by Davion techs using newly-recovered lostech, which was first a refit kit before limited production restarted at General Motor's Kathil plant in 3054. Further variants would continue to be produced by both St. Ives and the Federated Suns, and eventually a new OmniMech version of the Blackjack was completed in 3058.
Variants[edit | edit source]
|Name||Signature||FACTIONS (3039+)||Weight||Class||Hardpoints||Current Quirks|
||45||MEDIUM||2B 6E 0M 1S 8JJ||Primitive Design
||45||MEDIUM||2B 6E 0M 1S 8JJ||.|
||45||MEDIUM||0B 4E 0M 0S 8JJ||.|
||45||MEDIUM||2B 6E 0M 2S 8JJ||.|
||45||MEDIUM||0B 8E 0M 2S 8JJ||.|
|BJ-2||45||MEDIUM||2B 6E 0M 1S 8JJ|
||45||MEDIUM||6B 4E 0M 2S 8JJ||.|
||55||MEDIUM||4B 4E 2M 2S 7JJ||"Fire Support Platform"
|BJ-A (ARROW)||45||MEDIUM||6B 3E 0M 3S 8JJ||Arrow
- Upgraded Machine Guns.
||45||MEDIUM||2B 6E 0M 1S 8JJ||.|