Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
BC-XV "Buster" HaulerMech
Cargo Hauling IndustrialMech
BC-XV “Buster” HaulerMech (50 tons)
Chassis : Bluth-50S
Power Plant : GM 150 ICE
Cruise Speed : 32.4 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.0 kph (5)
Jump Jets : None
Jump Capacity : None
Heat Sinks : 10
Armor : Hughes CommerWeave II (Armor Factor 48: BAR 5) : 2.0 tons
Head – 3/5
Center Torso – 16/5
Rear – 4
Right Torso – 12/5
Rear – 2
Left Torso – 12/5
Rear – 2
Right Arm – 8/5
Left Arm -8/5
Right Leg – 12/5
Left Leg – 12/5
Two (2) Bluth KargoKlamp-1107 Lift Hoists (RA, LA)
Two (2) Cargo Bays (5 tons each) : (RT, LT)
One (1) Cargo Bay (1 ton) : (CT)
Manufacturer : Bluth Corporation, Terra.
Communications System : Doering Hi-Def Mk II
Targeting & Tracking System : None (LOS)
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : n : n : n : 45 : – : As Weapon : 0 : 25 : -3 : n : n.
Notes : Cost = 2,000,000 Cs. Easy to Pilot : Typically training units, designed to be used by the Greenest pilots and crews, when the Buster is piloted by someone with a Piloting Skill lower than Elite level, the operator gains a bonus to the target number modifier for most Piloting Skill Rolls; Gas Hog : The Buster has an inefficient engine system, represented by the unit consuming fuel at twice the normal rate whenever it moves above the Safe Thrust or Cruising speed; Non-Standard Parts : Most modern combat units use standardized, widely-available parts, connections, and measurements, making ad-hoc repairs easier. But not this one.. Buster’s suffer a penalty to rolls to obtain or locate replacement parts because of their relative scarcity.
Overview : Formed by disgruntled Richard Sitwell after he was released in a series of massive cutbacks in 2795, Sitwell Corporation’s internal mission statement was solely focused on burying their former employers in Bluth Corporation. Having stolen the blueprints through a series of events – along with convincing one of Bluth’s executives to jump ship – Sitwell sank every personal dollar into building a prototype LoaderMech that could compete with Bluth’s venerable, but ungainly Buster-class LoaderMechs.
The Buster dominated the marketplace at the time, with several factories across the Terran Hegemony producing hundreds of the fifty-ton machines every month. Used on many worlds that had a heavy mining industry, the Buster could lift over twice its rival’s weight, and internally haul over fifteen (15) tons of raw ore. With the fine movement control of a Mech, the Buster could easily perform the small maneuvers needed to properly align ore containers onto massive railcars or even large cargo craft, such as Walrus-class cargo planes.
Because of the relatively inexpensive nature of the Buster, many DropPorts across the Inner Sphere used the clunky HaulerMech to load and unload cargo. Bluth was able to undercut many other industrial design costs due to their subsidiary position with ComStar, (thanks to their CON-7 “Carbine” ConstructionMech design). Holding an iron grip on the manufacturing of spare parts for the Buster, Bluth Corporation ruthlessly gouged their customers in service contracts.
Sitwell’s Powerman-class of LoaderMechs changed everything. Utilizing a smaller and lighter frame that gave the Powerman a broader stable stance, the more agile Mech could unload a fully-loaded Mule-class DropShip in a quarter of the time of the plodding Buster. Built with more reliable parts, the Powerman cam e in near the same cost as the Buster, but with fewer repairs and down-time required to maintain it. It quickly became the preferred utility Mech of most freight companies.
Understandably, Bluth Corporation was furious, igniting a massive legal battle that spanned over thirteen systems and clogged the courts until well after the First Succession War was officially over., Sitwell finally emerged triumphant after evidence of George Bluth’s complicity in several corporate sandals came to the public eye. Charged with treason, embezzlement, conspiracy, and over a thousand safety violations, Bluth Corporation dissolved, with only the company’s Carbine plant on Terra surviving the ensuing bankruptcy proceedings.
Capabilities : The Buster has a Bluth KargoKlamp-1107 Lift Hoist in each arm, and a five (5) ton cargo bay in both the left and right torso. The center torso has a one (1) ton internal cargo bay, allowing the Buster to carry eleven (11) tons of cargo internally. As an IndustrialMech, the Buster has no armament.
The key to the Powerman’s dethroning the Buster was the durable nickel-steel alloy used in t he frame. Coupled with the more efficient Skobel 140 ICE power plant and the newly released GripperTech lift hoists, the Powerman can easily transport seven tons of cargo at over forty kph. While the Powerman couldn’t match the Buster in raw power, the fuel savings, higher speed, and more compact frame made the Powerman an instant hit with the main cargo handling companies and starports on Saiph, Caph, Capolla, New Earth and Thorin.
Deployment : Though only produced today on Terra, the Buster saw widespread production across the Inner Sphere for centuries. As its rival the Powerman eclipsed it in sales and continued to find widespread export, the demand for the venerable Mech decreased, until the law-suits against the corporation after the First Succession War gutted the company, and forced closure of all but the Terra plant.
Today, the Buster sees limited production on Terra, mostly keeping the line open for spare parts production, but it does see sales in heavy industry and mining operations on Terra and in nearby systems. Due to its formerly widespread nature, the Buster can be found in Periphery and fringe systems, typically in use at the planet’s starport, where they are often ancient, barely operational machines, but they are all the equally venerable starport has to offer.
Variants : There are no production variants for the Buster.
Some desperate forces have armed their Busters to oppose BattleMechs. These “Buster XV-M” versions are all equipped with Advanced Fire Control and double the armor protection of the standard Buster, but it retains its Commercial Armor, so this increased protection is negligible. This variant carries an Autocannon/5 in the Right Torso and an LRM-10 in the Left Torso, and each weapon is allocated a single ton of ammunition. The weapons completely replace both the Lift Hoists and Cargo Bays, and five (5) heat sinks are added, to account for weapons-fire.