Description[edit | edit source]
The Wolverine was developed as a fast strike BattleMech, one which could take part in missions requiring speed and firepower but too hazardous for lighter recon 'Mechs. Although meeting all the requirements for just such a machine, the Wolverine has since become known for its versatility and is considered a jack of all trades throughout the Inner Sphere. With the same electronics package as the Phoenix Hawk and mobility that allows it to keep up with most medium 'Mechs, the Wolverine is often used for command purposes when working with medium units, in spite of the terrible visibility and cramped cockpit due to the placement of the head-mounted weaponry.
During the Pre-Star League Era, the early history of the Wolverine was born as a direct result of the Federated Suns need for a front-line unit that could keep up with a forward advance and outmaneuver enemy BattleMechs. At the time, while they fielded their own versions of the Mackie and Battleaxe - they were too massive, slow, and lacked maneuverability. When the Terran Hegemony debuted their Shadow Hawk and Griffin - the Davions suddenly had their answer in which they could model a design that fit their requirements for an ideal cavalry 'Mech. Fierce competition followed suit by companies within Richard Varnay's Capellan March with Norse BattleMech Works ultimately winning a contract with the AFFS. The designers, led by Supervising Engineer Russell Bell, while using the aforementioned inspirations opted for maneuverability, followed by a balanced weapons loadout with both offensive reach and close-in firepower without taxing heat exchange systems. Initially this was accomplished with the inclusion of a prototype Autocannon and medium-class laser, but Norse BattleMech Works felt this made the design too lightly armed compared to the competitors it was influenced by. The design team then made arrangements to allow the initial prototype to mount a PPC and additional heatsinks in place of the Autocannon, but the first PPC they were able to secure was completely unsuitable for the test frame, due to significant overheating and EM interference making for a wholly inaccurate weapon.
This initial failure did not go unnoticed by the AFFS High Command and they urged the company to stick with the initial proposed design. Instead of rushing to create and test alternative weapon loadouts, the Norse engineers opted instead to stick with the original prototype for the Wolverine while electing for heavier levels of armor protection. Most of the armor was focused on the legs and arms, while extra plating was specially placed around the main joints to protect from shrapnel and debris. The end result was a 'Mech that was more stable, cooler running, and could endure severe punishment while out-jumping Shadow Hawks and Griffins. Prince Varnay himself would receive the very first 4 production-grade WVR-1R Wolverines in 2471. It would go on to become the standard AFFS BattleMech for centuries, ironically serving as a template for the Hegemony's upgrades of the 'Mechs it was based on to in turn match the Wolverine. To counter this, Norse BattleMech's introduced yet another more influential variant in 2490 known as the WVR-3R and would not be fully upgraded to modern standards for another 85 years.
Purchasing the primary production rights to the design from Norse, Kallon Industries introduced the definitive WVR-6R Wolverine in 2575 for the newly-formed Star League Defense Force in the lead-up to the Reunification War, where it served with distinction. Afterwards it was approved for use by the Great Houses and became quite common on the battlefields of the Succession Wars after the fall of the Star League. Besides being produced by Kallon's factories on Nanking and Thermopolis, Free Worlds Defense Industries and Victory Industries later acquired the right to build Wolverines from their plants on Gibson and Marduk respectively. The Free Worlds League was thus the largest user of Wolverines followed thereafter by the Federated Sun-turned-Federated Commonwealth. The Fourth Succession War brought about minor changes when the House Davion captured Nanking from the Capellan Confederation but lost Marduk to the Draconis Combine. In the end the exchange was a net gain for Federated Suns thanks to the larger Nanking factory with the Confederation the clear loser. Houses Davion, Marik and Kurita all introduced new variants of the Wolverine which exploited the recent recovery of lostech just prior to the Clan Invasion.
During the Combine-Ghost Bear War House Kurita found itself running short of equipment when they lost Marduk and Al Na'ir to Duke James Sandoval's surprise attack, although DCMS forces managed to recapture Marduk in mid-3064. Inspired by Vicore Industries' "Project Phoenix" initiative Victory Industries went about scouring the entire Combine for any old Wolverine chassis in order to perform a complete strip, disassembling those in the worst shape for their parts and apply a modernizing factory refit to the rest. By 3067 this effort had virtually picked the Draconis Combine clean of older Wolverine machines but the new WVR-8K was so well-received it inspired the production of brand-new models. The Federated Suns was similarly inspired by the success of the WVR-8K to perform their own updates on the aging design although the League, themselves still prolific Wolverine users, had yet to institute what turned out in the end to be a long and costly program.
Variations[edit | edit source]
|WVR-1R (VARNAY-1R)||55||MEDIUM||2B 2E 2M 2S 7JJ|
|WVR-6K||55||MEDIUM||0B 5E 1M 3S 7JJ|
|WVR-7K||55||MEDIUM||2B 4E 4M 3S 7JJ|
|WVR-7D||55||MEDIUM||2B 1E 3M 3S 7JJ|
|WVR-7H||55||MEDIUM||2B 1E 3M 1S 7JJ|
|WVR-7M||55||MEDIUM||0B 5E 2M 1S 7JJ|
|WVR-6M||55||MEDIUM||0B 3E 2M 4S 7JJ|
|WVR-6T||55||MEDIUM||4B 2E 2M 1S 7JJ|
|WVR-6K||55||MEDIUM||0B 5E 1M 3S 7JJ|
|WVR-Q (QUARANTINE)||55||MEDIUM||1B 3E 2M 4S 7JJ|
|WVR-6R||55||MEDIUM||2B 1E 3M 3S 7JJ|
|WVR-C||55||MEDIUM||3B 3E 3M 5S 7JJ|
|WVR-DS||55||MEDIUM||2B 4E 4M 7S 7JJ|
|WVR-X||55||MEDIUM||2B 2E 0M 5S 7JJ|