Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Type : Aerodyne (Military)
Tonnage : 4500 tons
Length : 125.0m
Height : 37.4m
Width : 23.0m
Crew : 30 : 5 Officers, 18 Enlisted/Non-Rated, 7 Gunners, 42 Bay Personnel (30 Marines, 4 Pilots, 8 Techs) – (5e, 6p, 20se)
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 2p; Engine 1e+4se.
Bridge : -
Drive System : Xevex-12s
Heat Sinks : 124
Thrust : 8
Overthrust : 12
Structural Integrity : 16
Fuel : 300 tons : 9000 Thrust-Points (1.84 tons per Burn-Day).
First Introduced : 2531
Cargo Complement : 250 tons, 30 Marines.
Bay 1 : Small Craft (2) – 2 Doors
Bay 2 : AeroFighters (2) – 2 Doors
Bay 3 : Cargo (160.5 tons) – 1 Door
Bay 4 : Marines (1 Foot Platoon) – 1 Door
Life Boats : 1
Escape Pods : 4
Armament : 6xPPCs, 3xAC/20s, 2xAC/10s, 4xAC/5s, LRM-10, 6xLRM-20s, 4xLLs, 12xMLs.
Ammunition : 80 Rounds AC/5 Ammo (4 tons), 40 Rounds AC/10 Ammo (4 tons), 40 Rounds AC/20 Ammo (8 tons), 12 Rounds LRM-10 Ammo (1 ton), 96 Rounds LRM-20 Ammo (16 tons).
Armor Factor (16 points per ton) : 960 : 60 tons
Nose : 290 : 2xPPCs, 2xLRM-20s, 2xLLs, 2xMLs
Forward Right Wing : 260 : PPC, AC/20, 2xAC/5s, 2xLRM-20s, 2xMLs
Forward Left Wing : 260 : PPC, AC/20, 2xAC/5s, 2xLRM-20s, 2xMLs
Aft Right Wing : 260 : PPC, AC/10, LL, 2xMLs
Aft Left Wing : 260 : PPC, AC/10, LL, 2xMLs
Engine : 170 : AC/20, LRM-10, 2xMLs
Achilles “Quick Silver” Variant
Overview : The Achilles-Class DropShip was designed specifically to engage targets in space and is capable of outmaneuvering most heavy fighters and DropShips. Unlike other aerodynes, however, the Achilles does not have wings or other lifting surfaces, limiting its operating capability to space-borne operations alone. The craft are fairly rare, because few construction facilities have been able to build or maintain them since the early Succession Wars.
Capabilities : The design of the Achilles is very simple. The ship masses 4500 tons with over half the ship taken up by its extremely powerful Xerex-12s interplanetary drive system. The ship has been described as a well-armed fusion engine, but this high-powered drive system has its problems. When the drives are operating at full thrust, the engine is known to shudder and vibrate intensely. These vibrations can prove unbearable after prolonged use, and often causes ammunition-based weapons systems to misfeed, requiring the system to be manually cleared and reset.
The interior of the Achilles is different than for most DropShips. Instead of having a few large decks, the vessel is constructed with many long, narrow decks. The three decks at the front of the ship are almost exclusively filled with long-range tracking and navigational systems and the forward weapons bay. Except for narrow access ways, there is little room to walk on these decks.
Just behind this section, are the crew decks, which contain the quarters for the ship’s 60 personnel. Also located here are the recreation rooms, mess hall, med bay, laundry, and waste processing facilities. Behind the crew section is a large area for the ship’s ample fuel tankage, the port and starboard weapons bays and ammunition storage.
Beyond this is the control deck, where are located the ship’s bridge, the engineering control room, the main computer system and communications gear. The ship’s massive fusion drive makes up the bulk of the est of the ship. Located on either side of the engine core is a small craft bay with a pair of small craft cubicles in each. The normal small craft compartment is two AeroSpace Fighters and two marine-bearing ship’s boats for use in boarding operations.
The Achilles is typically used to lead planetary assault forces and space defense forces into combat. The ship’s high maneuverability makes it an excellent anti-fighter ship. in defensive operations, a common tactic is to lead an AeroFighter group straight into an enemy fleet, headed toward the weakest ships. The enemy Fighters usually attempt to stop the attacking Achilles, only to be engaged from behind by its FIghters following and flanking the DropShip. In an offensive role, the ship usually follows the assaulting Fighter group and hits enemy vessels engaged with friendly fighters. With its tremendous firepower, the Achilles can take out enemy fighters one at a time or engage in a firefight with an enemy DropShip.
Deployment : The Achilles is a rare DropShip that dates back to the early days of the Star League. It is the only surviving relative of the Leagues massive battle cruisers, which did not survive teh early fighting during the Succession Wars. Because the First Succession War knocked out most of the facilities for constructing the the Achilles, the remaining ships have been maintained only by those with access to enormous League stockpiles. Attempts have been made to fit the ships with existing equipment and spare parts, but so far, results have not been promising.
At present, House Kurita seems to possess the largest quantity of these assault DropShips , wiht the rest spread thinly, but evenly, among the other four Successor States.
Variants : The only attempt to alter the basic Achilles has been in ancient Star League models that were known as the “Quick Silver”. This model tried to make the vessels atmospheric-capable, but due to the design philosophy of the ship having decks stacked one atop another, like a WarShip, it made the vessels almost impossible to operate from in atmosphere, as gravity pulled crew “sideways”. It does, however, allow the ships to enter atmosphere and engage in low-orbital maneuvers with ease. This model is distinctive, due to the addition of hull wings to its port and starboard, but the model was only produced in a handful each year from the abandoned Star League facility on Capella.
The Azrael’s Dagger is an ancient model of a traditional Achilles-Class DropShip, typically armed and equipped. It has origins lost to the early Succession Wars, but was noted in modern times as being held by pirates in and around the Pleiades Star Cluster.
In late 3022, the vessel fell into the hands of the Iron Dingoes, following their investigation of piracy rumors in the Kigamboni system in the Federated Suns. Once repaired back at “The Factory”, the vessel was assigned as the flagship of the unit’s “System Interdiction Fleet”, based from The Factory. It presently has been assigned the following assets:
10th (Foot) Marines Platoon “The Beltstrikers”
4 Squads Laser Infantry Marines (Vet, 3 Reg)
The vessel and its assigned units have been placed under the command of Commander Warrick “Mister” Christie and his loyal, though somewhat questionable (mostly former pirate) crew of pilots and engineers. While the ship’s crew might be questionable, the marines and support Aero pilots are undeniably loyal to the Iron Dingoes.
During the opening salvos of the Small War of 3024-5, the Interceptor and Interdiction lances were employed to secure airspace above The District of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, and took some losses, including one of their Tigress Escorts, and both light AeroSpace Fighters. They received a replacement of Corsairs salvaged from the firefight, as both pilots managed to eject safely before the loss of their rides. The young gunship crew was lost.
Throughout late-3025, the paired Tigress and Seeker were used to great effect as “customs vessels”. Under the requirements of boarding and search of questionable vessels, the two operate together quite well, with the guns of Tigress ensuring docking of the smaller “Seeker” proceed without disruption. To best engage in these operations, the shuttle has been retrofit with a fast-dock collar on its rear ATV hatch, and the upper cargo bay has been equipped with a turret MG (as has the lower hard-point, beneath the shuttle), and a small infantry bay to facilitate an entire platoon of marines in need for transit between station and ship, or longer at need.