Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Battle Armor - Shadowhound
Based in part upon captured technology in the form of a handful of Battle Armor – Tornado PAs, and in part from salvaged blueprints of the Battle Armor – BH-18 “Waddle” Combat Walker, the Shadowhound is the product of some rather inspired work on the part of * “The Iron Dingoes Skunkwerks”. While much of the technology to develop these units has existed for some time among the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere, tactical thinkers have never appreciated the possibility of deploying such complicated devices on the battlefield.
Tech Base : Inner Sphere
Chassis Type : Humanoid
Weight Class : Power Armor (Light)
Maximum Weight : 750 kg
Swarm/Leg Attack/Mechanized/AP : No/No/Yes/No
Notes : Shadowhounds lack integral weapons, but typically deploy with standard infantry weapons used by all members of the Iron Dingoes, namely
Chassis : ( GloryHound Exoskeleton : 120 kg)
Motive System (30 kg) :
Ground MP – 2
Jump MP – 0
Left Arm (Basic Manipulator)
Right Arm (Basic Manipulator)
Armor : Prototype Stealth Armor (4 Slots) (300 kg)
Armor Value : 3+1 (Trooper)
Camo System (Body : 200 kg) – (2 Slots)
Heat Sensors (Body : 20 kg) – (1 Slot)
Laser Microphone (Body : 5 kg) – (1 Slot)
Modular Weapons Mount (Body : 10 kg) – (1/2 Slot)
Notes : Cost = 300,000 Cs. Military Comm (10 kms), IR Scanner, Night Vision, Rangefinder, Ultrasonic Detector (5 kms range). Requires HC Micro Power Pack (3 PPH). +1 to Perception, AV 8 vs Flash.
Camo System : The Camo System is a form of visual concealment that uses mimetic technology to make the surface of the unit match its surroundings, incorporating sensors mounted on the suit and a central computer. This is more effective when the unit is moving slowly as the system takes time to adjust to new settings. The Camo System grants a unit mounting it to receive a to-hit modifier based on the number of hexes moved by the target unit in the same turn as the attack: (+2) for 0 hexes moved, (+1) for 1 hex moved and no modifier for 2+ hexes. It also reduces the range a unit can be visually spotted by half.
Heat Sensors : Heat Sensors are infrared sensors installed as a means of improving the standard sensor package of battle armor. Heat Sensors are commonly used in the industrial sector and mounted on Exoskeletons. Heat Sensors weigh 20 kg and are limited to one per battle armor.
Improved Sensors : Improved Sensors are a broad-spectrum sensor installed to increase detection accuracy, weigh 65 kg and are limited to one per Battle Armor. A unit equipped with Improved Sensors provides a -1 bonus to any Search and Rescue success rolls.
Laser Microphone : Laser Microphones fire a focused infrared beam, which is capable measuring the vibrations from within an enclosed space when fired at a reflective surface, such as plate glass windows. These vibrations are then analyzed and translated by a special computer. The microphone has a range of one (1) kilometer, though weather conditions may reduce this greatly. A Laser Microphone weighs 5 kg and take up one space slot.
Modular Weapons Mount : The Modular Weapon Mount is a piece of battle armor equipment that allows the operator to swap weapons based on mission parameters. Weighing 10 kg each, the Modular Weapon Mount has harnesses, weapon status lines, and targeting interfaces for a variety of infantry support systems, which on the Shadowhound amounts to a system of up to 65 kg, mounted on the body (right shoulder).
Prototype Stealth Armor : Prototype Stealth Armor weighs 100 kg per point of protection. It imposes a (-1) to hit penalty at medium range and a (-2) to hit penalty at long range. It also renders the battle armor invisible to every active probe except the Bloodhound.
There are no production variants, however, the Lightning Claws are a popular equipment add-on by select members of the Iron Dingoes special forces when wearing this suit. Replacing the right manipulator, the device’s use precludes heavy support weapons, but is extremely useful in close-quarters combat against standard infantry.
The production of these suits remains heavily dependent on several unique production machines, namely an Industrial Sheet Duralloy Fabricator, an Industrial Laser Jigsaw, and an Industrial Magnetic Shape-Former, all of which are deployed to the * Husky Heavy Industries plant in “The Factory”. Their use actually allows reproduction of variant models, such as the Battle Armor – Warhound to be produced with relative ease.
The centerpiece of the Infiltrator are its stealth and sensor systems. Clad in 300 kg of Prototype Stealth Armor, which relies almost exclusively on radiation-suppression systems (resisting radar, infrared, and even acoustic sensors) to achieve its goal of blending in with overall ground clutter. Used in combination with conventional stealth techniques, the Shadowhound operator is able to sneak into enemy-controlled areas, where it begins gathering and recording data via passive heat sensor, magnetic-anomaly detectors, a laser microphone and other mission equipment. The ability to position such sophisticated intelligence-gathering equipment deep within enemy-occupied territory is deemed sufficient to justify the staggering cost of such a unit.
Compared to its parent units, Shadowhounds possess relatively weak armor meant only to resist small arms fire, through its inclusion of a prototype modular weapons mount gives it the ability to provide a degree of combative punch. Some infantry support weapons can be adapted for deployment by their operators, namely grenade launchers such as the Milkor MGL, but these weapons have limited utility in actual combat, due to ammunition supplies and are meant to be solely defensive in nature.
The Shadowhound’s slow speed of roughly 21.6 kph is snail-like in comparison with other vehicles, but remains quite capable for an infantry unit.
Beyond cutting-edge when first conceived, the Shadowhound was a project developed before its time. Armor protection is substandard when faced with anti-armor weapons systems, and its mobility is limited considering the sorts of missions its operators are sent on (though admittedly, many commanders first over-estimate the ability of the suits to counter any threats they might face). Still in its development stage, the Shadowhound is seen by most members of * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” as little more than an “expensive toy robot”, and still deployed as a prototype to small scout units. Its first prototype is scheduled for release in mid-3026.
That said, despite what some might call a sub-standard deployment profile, the unit shows great promise. Most importantly, the Shadowhound can be used in missions by the unit’s covert and special operations forces. Deployed by those who are well-informed of the suit’s capabilities and limitations, the Shadowhound is a force to be reckoned with. It can prove to be an outstanding scout unit that can infiltrate enemy lines and gather intelligence that almost no other suit in the Periphery can accomplish.
By the end of 3028, the use of the Shadowhound had begun to see formal deployment among the forces of the Iron Dingoes. Production profits from the regular Gloryhound production line were funneled back into production of a handful of these suits, as they were established as the exclusive equipment for use by * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” special operations branch, * “The Werewolves”. The suits, while quite valuable, also deploy a heavy cost; both in their development and production, but also through their maintenance by dedicated technical personnel, and the intensive training required for their deployment.