compiled overview of the 65ton Bombardier 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

Developed as part of a trend toward specialized 'Mechs, the Bombardier was intended to replace mechanized vehicles as rear artillery support. Such vehicles often fell behind their side's advancing BattleMechs, making them inviting targets for enemy 'Mechs that managed to penetrate the front lines. The Bombardier's designers hoped it might solve that problem.

Despite years of tests and war games, the Bombardier ran into trouble in extended combat. Prolonged fighting expended the 'Mech's specialized missiles so quickly that stores of Bombardier ammunition dried up on many planets after only three days of battle. With the Succession Wars disrupting space traffic and armies destroying munitions factories daily throughout the Successor States, resupply was haphazard at best. Ultimately, the Succession Wars destroyed so much of the Inner Sphere's industrial base that the Bombardier's complex guided missiles became impossible to manufacture.

As the First Succession War dragged on, more and more Bombardiers were ordered into front-line lances to act as close support. Not designed for slugging matches, the Bombardier quickly became a favorite target on the battlefield. As spare parts and replacements dried up, a number of damaged Bombardiers were cannibalized to keep other support 'Mechs running. Bombardier parts and equipment appear on patched-together 'Mechs to this day.

By the beginning of the Second Succession War, only a handful of Bombardiers remained in operation, most of them guarding the last few munitions factories that could make the Bombardier's specialized missiles. Since the destruction of those factories, Bombardiers have been equipped with less effective conventional missiles.

Originally capable of traveling at 80 kph, the Bombardier is now constrained to speeds under 64 kph because the Inner Sphere no longer has the ability to maintain and build complex, ultralight engines. Unlike some Star League-era 'Mechs, however, the Bombardier has managed to retain all the advantages of its original armor and most of its weapons.

Technological back sliding during and after the Succession Wars forced the 'Mech to drop several important defensive features. Without the engineering techniques used to make certain materials, the Bombardier's special ammunition storage bins could no longer be replaced. When the components that combined sensors, guidance computers, and fire control could no longer be made to function reliably, the small automated machine guns that shot down incoming missiles were replaced by a standard machine gun.

Despite these drawbacks, the Bombardier is a solid 'Mech design for as long as its ammunition lasts. The Bombardier can adequately serve as a battlefield support 'Mech as long as it finds a safe position from which it can easily withdraw and the pilot watches his 'Mech's heat levels. However, with only six reloads in the torso for each shoulder-mounted LRM-20 rack, the Bombardier cannot linger on the battlefield for long.

Even with an SRM-4 mounted in the right arm and a machine gun in the center torso, the Bombardier is not most MechWarriors' preferred ride. The 'Mech has been relegated to rear-guard duty and other defensive roles in support of other 'Mechs, while other missile carrying BattleMechs such as the Archer and the Catapult perform front-line duty.

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