Description[edit | edit source]
The Thunderbolt started production in 2491 as a planetary-assault 'Mech, and in fact was one of the heaviest 'Mechs capable of being produced at that time. Since then the 'Mech, known affectionately as the T-Bolt, may have had its classification changed as larger 'Mechs were built but thanks to periodic updates it is still feared and respected by many. With its varied arsenal, the Thunderbolt remains one of the best-armed 'Mechs, making it capable of serving in many roles. It is also an incredibly well-armored 'Mech, rivaling or exceeding the amount of armor carried by some assault 'Mechs. One downside to the Thunderbolt though is poor heat management. The Thunderbolt is also noted for featuring an exceptionally roomy cockpit, compared to that of the Atlas or BattleMaster.
The original TDR-1C Thunderbolt was the first BattleMech of Earthwerks Incorporated, produced from their new plant on Tikonov. Despite the Confederation's relative inexperience with BattleMech technology, Earthwerks' Thunderbolt was impressive. The T-bolt set records in time between prototype and production, despite starting from scratch. The Thunderbolt's formidable performance caught the attention of the Confederation's neighbors and made Earthwerks a tremendous success.Within 15 years, Earthwerks expanded anti-spinward into the Free Worlds League, choosing Keystone as the location to produce their upgraded TDR-5S. Olivetti Weaponry on Sudeten also picked up the design following their formation. During the Succession Wars this made House Steiner and House Marik the largest users of Thunderbolts, although they were eager to sell the design to the other Successor States. Thus Thunderbolts remained a traditionally Capellan 'Mech too, at least until the Fourth Succession War and Andurien Wars. The Taurian Concordat was one of the largest users of the Thunderbolt in the Periphery thanks to both Vandenberg Mechanized Industries and Taurus Territorial Industries acquiring and producing the 'Mech from their factories on Pinard and Taurus respectively, with many being sold to mercenary bands.
Both Earthwerks and Olivetti introduced new Thunderbolt variants utilizing lostech just before the Clan Invasion while the Taurian factories continued to churn out older models. When Sudeten was conquered by Clan Jade Falcon the Olivetti factory was lost to the Inner Sphere, and though using outdated technology by Clanstandards it was still producing Thunderbolts into 3054. Several years later Earthwerks created an update to the aging Thunderbolt in the TDR-9M variant but ran into trouble with Irian BattleMechs Unlimited. Irian had just recently introduced the Tempest as their replacement for the ancient 'Mech and lobbied the League Central Coordination and Command to put a stop to any new Thunderbolts. A legal fight was brewing up when the Word of Blake stepped in and negotiated a compromise: the two designs would fight each other in a combat trial, with the winning design used to supply the Blakist military. The TDR-9M won and starting in April 3067 the Word of Blake began receiving their shipments of new Thunderbolts, followed shortly thereafter by the Free Worlds League Military
Variants[edit | edit source]
|Name||Signature||FACTIONS (3039+)||Weight||Class||Hardpoints||Current Quirks|
||65||HEAVY||2B 4E 2M 3S 6JJ||Primitive Design -
||65||HEAVY||2B 4E 2M 3S 6JJ||.|
||65||HEAVY||0B 6E 2M 2S 6JJ||SLDF Royal -
-5% heat generated
-6 heat per turn
||65||HEAVY||0B 5E 2M 5S 6JJ||.|
||65||HEAVY||0B 7E 1M 4S 6JJ||.|
||65||HEAVY||0B 10E 0M 2S 6JJ||"Mary's Thunderbolt"
+20% Laser Range
|TDR-5P||65||HEAVY||2B 4E 2M 3S 6JJ|
|TDR-F4X||65||HEAVY||2B 3E 3M 3S 6JJ|
||70||HEAVY||11B 14E 12M 11S 5JJ||"War Goddess"
Improved Weapon Ranges
+10% Weapon Damage
Can only equip Lower Arm Actuators
|TDR-ER (MORALLTACH)||70||HEAVY||11B 14E 12M 11S 5JJ|
|TDR-IIC||70||HEAVY||11B 14E 12M 11S 5JJ||"Clan Mech"
125% Spotter distance
125% Sensor distance
+1 Accuracy with ranged weapons
-2 Accuracy with melee.
-2 Accuracy with DFA
Not able to equip melee weapons.