Stealth in the Post Reaving Era

While pirating the BattleTech forums some time ago, I ran across a post where a person asked, paraphrasing “in light of the success that was the Cephalus during the Wars of Reaving, why wouldn’t the home world Clans start using CLPS and Null Signature systems again?”

What ensured was a volley of “not the clan way” generic posts, with the author insisting that culture is not a logical reason to give up a clear tactical advantage.  With as much deference to the original author, I will have to disagree.

Before I get into that I do have to give a little in the sake of fairness.  The home world clans, what remains of them, are still in a state of flux.  They went through a whole sale war that was as brutal but much more concentrated then the whole of the jihad.  In Business culture this catalyst acts as what is called an “unfreezing event” whereby procedures and acceptable behavior is in fact open to scrutiny and change.

Exterminator BattleMech - BattleTech
The granddaddy of all stealth BattleMechs, the SLDF’s Exterminator.

The problem with the clans is that the condition that the collective body came to is not what we, as players would come to.  The player base who has read the Wars of Reaving sees what is clearly the failure of clan culture.  On an individual clan level we see that as fact as well.  The Wolves, Falcons, Scorpions, Coyotes, Sharks, Ravens, Horses, and Bears all saw this, and made moves to try and change their philosophy.  Look what happened to them though, 6 abjured, one torn asunder, and one subject to repeated Reavings when they attempted to stand up and fight for what they believed in.  American political observers would look on this with a ton of mirth right now.

The danger of unfreezing and reforming a culture has been and will always be a rise of an orthodoxy movement, and said movement snuffing out attempts to reform.  Given how the Clans were always about the status quo being maintained as much as possible, it should come as no surprise those rather then moving forward and trying new things, they reverted back to an era between the Wolverine Annihilation and the Outbound Light.

So what does this have to do with Clans Star Adder, Cloud Cobra, Stone Lion, and Coyote not adapting CLPS and Null Sig?  Everything really.  If I may draw on a real life religious example, Islam and Judaism both have religious prohibitions on the consumption of pork based products.  Back in the olden times, this was in place because of a combination of how pigs were raised and the lack of knowledge about proper cooking meant it was an honest gamble to consume pork.  In the 21st century the care of farm animals is light-years ahead of anything available to the 12 tribes, and we know so much more about proper food preparation that eating pork even at the equivalent of a “medium” temperature is no risk at all.

Raptor II BattleMech - BattleTech
The Word of Blake’s stealth offering came in the form of the Raptor II. Armed with Tasers, this was a potent head hunter unit.

If you explain this to a Jew or a Muslim, they will acknowledge these as scientifically provable facts.  They will then answer “So why won’t you eat this lovely BLT I made you?” with a sigh and say a phrase like “you just do not understand.”

The home world clans, by and large are not ignorant of the benefits of any stealth related technology developed during the days of the Star League and beyond.  Their manufacture, use and benefits are a known factor.  The problem will always lie in that their use is such an anathema to their established culture, even before the Reaving, that they will not even consider it.

Now the question is will the home world clans stay this way?  That is hard to tell.  There is the Bastion Movement rising in Clan Star Adder, born out of internal frustration of being so overtly powerful that other clans are irrelevant.  Clan Stone Lion is already sneaking Nova CEWS onto their vehicle stars, with a vow of honor that the systems will not be active in trials against other clans (GOOD LUCK PROVING THAT EITHER WAY), and Clan Coyote, ever the entrepreneurs will probably be unable to keep away from the tech for long.  But until we see what happens to the Home Worlds in the future, and how they will look fully rebuilt, I do honestly believe questions like this are premature at best.


  1. Great little article here. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Just because the Clans have a thing, doesn’t mean they’ll use a thing. Adherence to cultural values is a strong pull. Especially when the tech in question comes from a vile source.

  2. Thanks for the compliment,

    Believe me I am in no shortage of opinions on a lot of these esoteric topics for our beloved game. look forward to more.

  3. excellent article and I completely agree, the idea of the Clans invading a second time this time with a bunch of invisible Mechs is a scary one. Just think if they get their hands on a Raptor II and it’s void Tech then all bets really are off

    just a shame there’s so few Clans in the Homeworlds

  4. Nice little article. Sums up the situation nicely.

  5. Wonderful article, JP. I loved the pork references.

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