Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Garrison Striker Mech
ASN-21 Assassin (40 tons)
Chassis : Maltex 40
Power Plant : VOX 280
Cruise Speed : 75.8 kph (7)
Flank Speed : 118.5 kph (11)
Jump Jets : Lox Lift Series 1
Jump Capacity : 210 m
Armor : 100 AFVTA (Armor Factor 72) : 4.5 tons
Head – 3/8
Center Torso – 12/12
Rear – 4
Right Torso – 10/10
Rear – 2
Left Torso – 10/10
Rear – 2
Right Arm – 6/6
Left Arm – 6/6
Right Leg – 10/10
Left Leg – 10/10
1 Martell Medium Laser (RA)
1 Holly-5 LRM Launcher (RT)
Ammo (LRM) : 24 (RT)
1 Holly-2 SRM Launcher (LT)
Ammo (SRM) : 50 (LT)
Jump Jets (CT, 3xRT, 3xLT)
Communications System : Garret T15 B
Targeting & Tracking System : Garret 500S
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : y : n : n : 90 : 5 : 31 : 5 : 8 : +1 : y : n
Notes : Any time the ASN-21 falls on its left side, or suffers a hit in the LT, there is a chance (12 on 2d6) that the SRM launcher will jam and be unavailable for use until repaired at a depot.
Overview : Considered by many military financial experts outside the Star League as more of a political pork project than a potent fighting machine, the Assassin nonetheless turned out to be a solid Mech in combat against its targeted light lances. In order to secure lucrative Star League contracts, however, the Assassin was over-hyped in several corporate circles, with exaggerated performance statistics and fudged budget approximations. Greasing a few palms, Maltex financially managed to secure the soought-after SLDF contracts. During production, the company cut corners on several design specifications, and after two of Maltex’s Assassin plants came under investigation for numerous quality control violations, the Mech’s production rate slowed to a crawl. With lackluster firepower for its tonnage, the Assassin quietly fell into disuse or was shuffled to Periphery and militia markets.
Capabilities : The Assassin was originally marketed as a heavier competitor against the numerous Wasps and Stingers in use as a reconnaissance and raider Mechs. The Assassin was able to defeat these lighter Mechs thanks to its decent speed profile, excellent armor coverage (compared to its target MEchs), and solid firepower. However, an over-reliance on consumable ammunition gave the Assassin limited long-term capability in extended campaigns. Nonetheless, it became a popular design for garrison and defense forces throughout the SLDF and Marik Militia.
The Mechs weaponry consists primarily of three systems; the long-range missile rack, the short-range rack, and the arm-mounted medium laser. Because it can only carry a total of seventy-four salvos for both launchers, the design is limited in endurance unless assigned supply units for support. However, the biggest drawback isn’t the light ammo loads, its the extremely tight cockpit – the smallest cockpit design in the Inner Sphere. During the Assassin’s four hundred years of service history, Maltex has redesigned the cockpit cooling systems over a dozen times to create more elbow room, but none have ever been successful. The net result is a tight, uncomfortable ride for most pilots that limits in-cockpit time to half of most other designs; many ex-Assassin_ pilots complain of continual back problems that have plagued them their entire lives.
The only other problem with the Assassin – mainly those produced until 2815 – was the ammo-feed system for the unit’s short-range missile launcher. Due to chronic jamming, it tends to fail in high-heat situations and could not be corrected except through complete disassembly in a mechanical bay. Holly finally introduced a new feed system under severe corporate pressure in 2815 and even funded to recall key parts and repairs; however, there are still many privately owned Assassins that mount the defective systems.
Deployment : From its introduction, only several hundred of the ASN-21s were produced by Maltex. Those Assassins in service were used sparingly due to a shortage of spare parts, though House Marik enthusiastically used the Mech late in the Third Succession War. The Assassin is being neatly phased out of service among most other Houses. Remaining units tend to be family heirlooms with some degree of modification.
Variants : Only one true variant of the Assassin exists in the present era, though the desing is not supported by Maltex. House Davion has experimented with swapping a few of the jump jets and some armor weight for three small lasers. Considered unsuccessful, only three remain in operation in the Capellan MArch Militia. Unofficially, however, rumors persist that Hanse Davion maintains a secret production facility near Panpour where work on the ASN-101 design continues. CMM wargames persist in desplaying numerous copies of these MEchs, but official TO&Es do not register the MEchs. Detractors claim the whole thing is another shell game initiated by House Davion , using standard ASN-21 models with fake weapons mounts, to keep MAskirovka from House Liao busy.