When first encountered by the Inner Sphere in 3049, the agile and deadly Timber Wolf Clan OmniMech (or Mad Cat) challenged the prevailing notions of what could be accomplished within the heavy 'Mech weight category. By combining the arms and armor of an assault 'Mech with the speed of a smaller chassis, it quickly became one of the most coveted second generation Clan OmniMechs in the years after its initial 2945 debut. Designed by Clan Wolf, its availability was tightly controlled by its creators, who immediately recognized the appeal of the Timber Wolf and anticipated the subsequent demand for it. Its signature profile includes two shoulder-mounted missile racks, an egg-shaped forward cockpit area, and a pair of reverse-jointed "chicken walker" legs. The Timber Wolf was a resounding success, vastly overshadowing the Gargoyle and Naga OmniMechs that were released alongside it, leading to two successors to the Mad Cat name, one in the assault 'Mech category, the Mad Cat Mk II, and another in the medium category, the Mad Cat Mk III. Unlike the original model, the Timber Wolf's descendants, which were designed by Clan Diamond Shark, were freely traded throughout the Clans and the Inner Sphere.
Though originally christened the Timber Wolf by its creators, it is more commonly known outside the Clans as the Mad Cat, a name which came about after Inner Sphere targeting computers had trouble properly classifying the unknown 'Mech, in turn labeling it a Marauder (MAD) or a Catapult (CAT) in its abortive attempts to identify it. It was in fact the first Clan 'Mech encountered by the Inner Sphere, and at the time the notion that a 75-ton 'Mech could be as swift and as lethal as the Timber Wolf was unheard of. Eventually, the Inner Sphere would come to learn it secrets through reverse-engineering, and thus it has lost some of its mystique, though it still stands as one of the toughest and most versatile heavy 'Mechs around. Furthermore, its design spawned a number of imitators, such as the Rakshasa, whose form and function is clearly meant to emulate the Timber Wolf, leading to the Rakshasa's unfortunate reputation as an underpowered Mad Cat knock-off.
When preparing a Timber Wolf for combat operations, the 'Mech pilot has a wide variety of options in front of them. In its normal configuration, the Mad Cat's weapon array includes twin LRM-20 racks, both Medium and Large Extended Range Lasers (two of each), as well as a pair of Machine Guns and a Medium Pulse Laser; this loadout allows the Timber Wolf to engage enemies comfortably at almost any range and in almost any situation, while its quick footspeed allows it to reposition itself at the desired range when need be. As an OmniMech, the Timber Wolf is also quite modular, and can therefore be outfitted rather easily to fit a number of more specialized roles. Common variants have seen the 'Mech equipped with Particle Projection Cannons, Gauss Rifles, and Autocannons, among other things, as well as other non-standard equipment such as Anti-Missile Systems and Target Acquisition Gear. By default, the Mad Cat is not outfitted with jump jets, but they can be added, provided the pilot doesn't mind sacrificing other components.
Over the years, the Mad Cat has become one of the most recognizable icons of the BattleTech universe, and by extension the MechWarrior franchise. It has appeared prominently on the cover of numerous games, including MechWarrior 3050, MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, and MechWarrior 3, and has appeared in-game in nearly every title set within the BattleTech universe. Its form was incorporated into the logo for MechWarrior 3 and its expansion, Pirate's Moon, and is also the central image framed within BattleTech's 20th Anniversary logo. In many ways, it is a metonymic symbol that has come to stand for the series itself.
|Schematic||Production Information||Technical Specifications||Default Weapon Loadout|
- Creation Date: 2945
- Designation: OmniMech
- Designer/Manufacturer: Clan Wolf
- Production Planet: Strana Mechty
- Production Sites: Wolf Clan Sites #1 & #2
- Production Cost: 24,233,124 C-Bills
- Class: Heavy 'Mech
- Weight: 75 tons
- Armor: 12 tons Ferro-Fibrous
- Cruising Speed: 54 kph
- Top Speed: 86.4 kph
- Jump Jets: None
- 2 LRM-20s
- 2 ER Large Lasers
- 2 ER Medium Lasers
- 1 Medium Pulse Laser
- 1 ER Small Laser
- 2 Machine Guns