|Manufacturer||Irian BattleMechs Unlimited|
|Chassis||Irian Chassis Class 40|
|Communications System||Irian E.A.R.|
|Targeting Tracking System||Wasat Aggressor|
The Hermes II was first produced in 2798, based on the original Hermes BattleMech that had been used by the Star League. A heavy scout, the Hermes II boasted respectable weaponry, armoring, and speed, allowing it to easily brawl with lighter 'Mechs or survive an encounter with heavier 'Mechs and retreat. Out of all medium-weight 'Mechs at the time the Hermes II was the easiest to perform field maintenance on, leading to its nickname "old reliable."
As combination scout/light strike platforms Hermes II 'Mechs often operated alone, employed for missions for which lighter 'Mechs were too fragile and heavier 'Mechs too clumsy. The Hermes II was in its element when operating in a restrictive environment like a forest or city, where it could employ a most unusual tactic of setting its surroundings on fire to escape pursuit. Since most 'Mech pilots would naturally avoid a fire to prevent overheating and the flames interfered with most thermal scanners, setting a blaze allowed the Hermes II to more easily slip away. When operating as part of a team the Hermes II was usually paired with 'Mechs sharing similar performance statistics, such as the Vulcan or Phoenix Hawk, but it was also paired with heavier 'Mechs like the Hunchback or Centurion where it served as bait to draw the enemy in to its compatriot's heavier guns.
When first produced the Hermes II had its autocannon mounted in the center of the torso, although this proved to be disastrous since even a minor hit to the chest rendered the weapon inoperable. A replacement model armed with lasers was temporarily deployed while Irian BattleMechs reworked the design and shifted the weapon to its current placement. The Hermes II stayed in production throughout the Succession Wars (with minor stoppages every time Irian's 'Mech factories were destroyed) and served almost exclusively with the Free Worlds League. A few could be found in the arsenals of the other Great Houses as a result of battlefield salvage and IBMU was willing to sell the design to mercenary units; the company preferred to sell the 'Mech in large lots but was willing to make small custom orders for a premium.
With the slow recovery of lostech Irian was not only able to begin producing the original Hermes again but also upgrade the Hermes II, building upon the original Star League-era schematics they had saved to create the HER-5S model in 3050. As a result of the Clan Invasion and the accords reached by the Great Houses on Outreach, Irian began selling these upgraded models to the rest of the Inner Sphere. The HER-5S was also used to replace older variants within the Free Worlds League Military as part of a massive upgrade program, with the first models going to elite units such as the Free Worlds Guards and slowly trickling down to other units. This also meant a large number fell into the hands of the Word of Blake and were used on both sides of the Jihad.
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
The primary weapon on the Hermes II is an Oriente Autocannon/5 in the right torso, a reliable weapon which gives it a respectable reach on the battlefield. A single ton of ammo in the left torso only supplies twenty rounds for the weapon, limiting its utility for true front-line combat. As secondary weapons, the Hermes II carries an Irian Weapons Works Medium Laser in the right arm for anti-'Mech combat as well as an Olympian Flamer in the left for anti-infantry combat. Unlike most 'Mech flamers the Olympian is a liquid-fuel flamer, although it is far safer that other models in that it uses a flammable gel which is prevaporized before ignition by the heating element. This gel is also harder to manufacture and takes up more space than equivalent fuels.
Seven and a half tons of armor provides the Hermes II with good protection, superior to that of the lighter scouting elements it's likely to encounter. Its Hermes 240 engine gives it a respectable cruising speed of 64.8 km/h, enough to scout ahead of the main force, although the heart of this reconnaissance 'Mech is its Irian E.A.R. Communications System. Powerful enough to communicate with orbiting satellites, drawbacks to system include its bulk and the required surface area it takes up on the 'Mech in order to function.
Ten heat sinks provide the Hermes II with adequate cooling, and were originally what gave the 'Mech its moniker. The prototype model mounted two of the heat sinks on its heels in the form of distinctive "wings" which could swing away when the 'Mech lay prone on its back. Engineers eventually decided to forgo this layout and removed both from the legs, putting one back with the engine and the other in the left torso. The latter's placement has provided some relief to Hermes II pilots over the years as the heat sink acts as "armor" for the vulnerable ammo bin. While no longer serving their intended function, the wings remain in place on the production model.
- Also known as the Mercury, this variant of the Hermes II was introduced in 2802 and used primarily by SAFE's Dark Shadows units. A larger VOX 280 engine was installed to bring the 'Mech's top speed up to 118.8 km/h, although this necessitated the removal of the autocannon, eliminating the 'Mech's long-range firepower. To make up for this, short-range firepower was increased with two additional medium lasers and two Machine Guns mounted in the right torso. Half a ton of machine gun ammo was stored in the left torso while an additional heat sink was added. BV (1.0) = 740, BV (2.0) = 910 (Earlier publications stated one full ton of machine gun ammunition, which resulted in an overweight design and was later officially corrected to the aforementioned stats.)
- Also sometimes referred to as the Hermes III, this variant of the Hermes II was introduced in 3025. Based on the prototype Hermes II which used lostech technology, it is a modification of the design built to remove its dependence on ammunition by replacing all of the weapons with two Tronel III Large Lasers and an additional heat sink. In at least one instance, this was done as a field refit on a salvaged HER-2S by Ostmann Industries with help from Kong Interstellar; the refit 'Mech had its Wasat Aggressor Communications System replaced by an Ostmann SatNav system and the Targeting-Tracking System was exchanged for a TRSS.2L3 system.
The Hermes III appeared only in the Draconis Combine; the Master Unit List canonically confirms its exclusive availability to the Draconis Combine and Free Rasalhague Republic, but notably not to the Free Worlds League. The Combine bought Hermes II 'Mechs from Irian BattleMechs Unlimited in the Free Worlds League under the auspices of the Concord of Kapteyn since around 3025, so the Hermes III was apparently a joint Marik/Kurita version for which the Free Worlds League only provided the chassis.
(The HER-4K Hermes III should not be confused with the HER-4K variant of the Hermes, which was an export version for the Draconis Combine of the Hermes II's predecessor.) BV (1.0) = 749, BV (2.0) = 976
- Used by Word of Blake, the 5C variant of the Hermes II was introduced in 3062 and takes aspects of the 2M and 4K variants. The chassis has been upgraded to Endo Steel and the 'Mech is powered by an extralight engine. The primary weapon is an ER Large Laser in place of the autocannon, backed up with three ER Medium Lasers. Finally, the 5C carries an Improved Narc Missile Beacon and an Improved C3 Computer to allow it to assist other friendly units in targeting enemy units. BV (1.0) = 887, BV (2.0) = 1,119
- An upgrade of the "Mercury" model used by Dark Shadows units, the "Mercury Elite" is armed with only a Light Gauss Rifle, albeit with two tons of ammo, turning the Hermes II into a sniper. This comes at the cost of two tons of armor. BV (2.0)= 886 [Note that the Technical Readout states that this variant makes use of Ferro-Fibrous armor. Despite having the room, the Record Sheet does not incorporate this.]
- The 5S variant of the Hermes II was an upgrade of the design incorporating the recovery of lostech. Its standard chassis has been replaced with an Endo Steel one, freeing up mass for a number of changes. The original autocannon was replaced with an Imperator Ultra Autocannon/5, although it still only carries one ton of ammo, and the medium laser with an Intek Medium Pulse Laser. The original Olympian flamer was kept, while the the heat sinks were replaced with double heat sinks. Although this change was met with some criticism since the original design was not know to cause heat management problems in the first place, the double heat sinks allow pilots to redline their machines even after significant engine damage. BV (1.0) = 740, BV (2.0) = 857
- The 5SA was a training variant commissioned by the Legionary Training Academy in 3068. It incorporated an XL Engine to upgrade the medium laser to a Large Pulse Laser while the remaining half-ton was used as additional armor on the legs. An extravagant upgrade for what was ostensibly a training 'Mech, the 5SA added more fuel to the political fire regarding the Academy's political connection to Captain-General Thomas Marik. BV (2.0)= 924
- This variant introduced in 3062 was used by the Davion Light Guards. It exchanges the laser for an ER Medium Laser and the autocannon for a Rotary Autocannon/5. It still has only one ton of ammo for the autocannon, however, forcing MechWarriors to use their ammunition wisely. BV (2.0)= 1106
- An experimental 'Mech "ahead of its time", the HER-7S is the brainchild of Baron Roderick Axel of Lopez, who was long on belief he knew better than the military industrial complex how to develop an advanced upgrade of the Hermes II. Unfortunately, he was short on practical understanding of the true costs involved. Built on a composite skeleton, powered by a massive 320 rated XXL Engine and clad in relatively low seven an half tons of armor, the HER-7S had a top speed of over 120 kph and a 240-meter jump distance. Mounting ten Double Heat Sinks, an ER Flamer, a Clan-spec Large Pulse Laser and a Light PPC linked to a Clan-grade Targeting Computer, the 'Mech is a deadly combatant. However, due to the absurd expense and extreme fragility of the design, only three prototypes were manufactured, and in fact the whole proceedings seem to have been just a way for IBMU to use the Baron's money to gain more hands-on experience with the technologies involved. BV (2.0) = 1,578 
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 38-39
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 122-123
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 40-41
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 185
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 47; Sorenson's Sabres, p. 26
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 133
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 65
- Master Unit List, p. 108
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Old is the New New, p. 68
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 109
- Experimental Technical Readout: Marik, p. 4
- Experimental Technical Readout: Marik
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Old is the New New
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Sorenson's Sabres (scenario pack)
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3085