Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
* Castle Corazón
Secret Asset of the Iron Dingoes
Castle Corazón was designed as a secret supply point for operations in the Rimward regions of the Taurian Concordat, following the fall of that regime in the Reunification Wars. The facility is effectively a hidden Mini-Castle, capable of holding a combined-arms Regiment, along with base personnel to maintain its facilities.
Castle Corazón as seen from afar.
Located in the Corazón Jungle, the base’s exterior is an inactive eroded strato-volcano, consisting primarily of unmodified nickel-iron, covered in the usual ash and overgrowth of an isolated jungle mountain. Exhaust fans leading to the air circulation systems are sunk into the surface of the mountain, and camouflaged with rock-like artificial coverings. Bunker and landing bay openings are also set into the surface of the rock, and disguised by similar coverings. All “pop-turrets” are below the surface in retractable housings.
Base defenses have since been stripped by unknown powers, but once consisted of twenty (20) Reinforced Weapon’s Bunkers, located on the lower edges of the mountain’s slopes, forming a hard iron ring around the entire base. Several smaller Gun Emplacements lie about 1/2 km further out from each Bunker, providing a screening position against infantry and lighter elements. Along the very rim of the crater, are several smaller Gun Emplacements and a ring of twelve (12) Anti-Aircraft Emplacements that cover all approaches to the crater’s interior by air. There is an effort to replace these systems for future defense of the facility.
Waterfall Entrance to the Maze
Along the perimeter is a series of “hallways” roughly 20m wide, that allow BattleMechs and vehicles to move through the outer defenses. Effectively a maze, this series of tunnels once provided defenders blind-alleys, pop-up defensive points and other features to limit outside forces to enter the base. Although once having five separate (hidden) entrances, only one to the far west, located behind a waterfall leading out to the Rio Tashent, is accessible. The others have been forcibly collapsed in the distant past. Repair of this level is a long-term effort, and not considered a priority.
Located about 5kms south-east from the base, though connected to it by underground tunnels, is Corazón Airfield, surrounded by a handful (6 total) of smaller Gun Emplacements to deter casual intrusion. It is not, however, intended for long-term defensive purposes, and can quickly be evacuated through the tunnel trains, in case of a determined attack or siege. A small rise on this site is also intended to be used for temporary artillery emplacements.
Within the crater itself, are a ring of landing bays along the inner slopes, six in total, and each is capable of landing and launching two individual Aeros, for a total of twelve (12) units. Provision is given for the storage and maintenance of AeroFighters, though none are present. The center of the base is a large docking bay for DropShips, a massive open area that can hold up to 30,000 tons of vessels, with space for up to five (5) individual DropShips; AeroDynes cannot use these facilities, only spheroids. This docking bay can be sealed over by a rock-like ceramic shield that appears to be the center of the interior of the crater itself.
Castle Corazón itself is a compact complex of twelve (12) levels, dug about 3kms deep into the planet’s crust. Access between levels is provided by a central main lift, with four auxiliary lifts (for cargo) and eight personnel lifts located along the outer edges of the base. Most elevators are locked-down for security purposes, but presently one cargo and two personnel elevators are used by security and technical personnel assigned to the base.
Castle Corazón Upper Crater, w/ “Cover Shield” in place
Level One : Upper Engineering : A series of repair shops, “ram-scoop” wind generators, as well as air intakes for air circulation, are located in the upper lip of the outer ridge of the crater itself.
Level Two : Upper Admin : Clerical and administrative offices are found on this level, mostly dealing with the logistics of cargoes being moved into the facility and trash being moved out. It uses the same elevators as the rest of the complex. Landing operations are overseen from this level, looking down into the bays, with a single central station and five (5) small operational outposts attached to each landing bay. Spare parts and stocks of various sorts are also kept on this level in small cargo areas above each of the five (5) landing bays.
Level Three : Landing Bays : Off-loading equipment, refueling tanks and ship-repair bays are located here, as well as the primary landing docks and their outposts for the DropShips.
Castle Corazón Hydroponics Bays
Level Four : Farming : Basically assigned for internal air-circulation and long-term sieges, this level also produces food stocks in hydroponics facilities. The complete agricultural facilities include; a large facility for live meat animals, and four separate hydroponics facilities for leafy and root vegetables; a large fish tank and a large cultivating tank for edible algae; and a large portion of the level has open soil-based fruit trees, many of which have been replaced with new seedlings. Most of the facility has been cleaned-out, but is not in operation.
Level Five : Vehicle Bays : Space for a battalion of armor (36 Heavy Vehicles) and its crews and technical personnel are kept on this level. Galleys, washrooms and laundries are also available for personnel.
Level Six : Mech Bays : Space for a battalion of Mechs (36 BattleMechs) and their technical personnel are present. Galleys, washrooms and laundries are also available.
Level Seven : Infantry Bays : Space for a battalion of infantry (roughly 300 troops) and its support personnel are present. Galleys, washrooms, and laundries are also present. At present, the 2nd Ghost Battalion “The Bronze Ghosts” are assigned to these barracks, serving the nearby region as scout and garrison personnel.
Castle Corazón Medical Labs
Level Eight : Science Labs : Medical, science and some barracks for base support personnel are present on this level. Galleys, washrooms, and laundries are also present. There are three (3) medical labs dedicated solely to general wards, one as a surgical theater, and a fifth as an isolation ward. Each can deal with up to twelve (12) patients at a time.
All medical facilities have the appropriate tools, primary sensory equipment, and other basic supplies required to provide service at need, but lacks the permanent personnel to operate at this time. The surgery suite has also been equipped for up to four (4) patients to be treated in a MASH setting, with appropriate salvaged equipment.
In addition, a bio-medical lab and a tissue culture lab is present. The first is a typical (bio-medical) research facility, while the latter is an advanced medical research facility for artificial organ development and preservation. A pair of rooms located in a secure area near the labs once contained extensive equipment requiring massive power and water access, but that equipment is now missing, and the area is used for storage, though both could be activated in the future as another pair of science labs if supplied with equipment.
10 tons of older, but serviceable medical kits (4000 units) have been stored here for future use. Also, one-hundred (100) MPC-1700 Scanalyzers are present for general use. Lastly, one-hundred-and-fifty (150) Defiance Industries Heavy Environment Suits are stored here as well.
Level Nine : Security and Ordnance : Primary fire control stations for the exterior gun emplacements, the brig, the castle armories and barracks for base security personnel are found on this level. The barracks facilities here include galleys, laundries and washrooms, all of which have been cleaned, repaired and are available to allow a company of security personnel (100 troops) to take over guarding the facility should troops be assigned. The fire control stations for the exterior emplacements have been repaired as well, though they are not yet equipped with weapons systems.
As of December 1st, 3025, the 1st Ghost Battalion “The Shadow Ghosts” were assigned to serve as the security company for the local facility, and occupy the barracks on this level. They also take charge of the tunnels connecting the complex with Corazón Airfield.
Level Ten : Recreation : A mock-up of the surface is found on this level, along with the remnants of numerous hobby shops, coffee shops, gymnasiums, taverns, dance clubs and general business offices. Plants and other “wildlife” are presently dormant or dead, though being actively worked and plants are being replaced since the power has been made active. The task has been assigned Senior Tech Arnold “Whistler” Swiger to repopulate the plants on this level, and he is well on his way, with local power and even plumbing active, and new local seedlings replacing many long-dormant trees and shrubs.
Level Eleven : Computers & Communications : All data collection and processing was performed on this level, with the computer systems activated and ready for operation, though kept on monitoring status levels. Computer techs and sensor personnel had barracks on this level with integral washrooms, laundries and galley. Internal and external communications were also maintained on this level. The base’s main power source, a large fusion reactor, sits here, providing basic trickles of power sufficient to keep the air circulation going, the elevators available, and power most interior lights and the base’s monitoring systems active, but it is kept at this low level due to its lack of personnel for full operational power levels.
Castle Corazón Command Center
Level Twelve : Command & Control : Main bridge and some personnel quarters for higher-ranking officers are located in this deepest level, and has been cleaned and repaired for basic operational readiness. The level also contains housing for the bulk of the base’s bureaucracy (100 administrative personnel and technicians). A portion of this level has an extensive auxiliary fire control station for the former defenses surrounding the complex, including the emplacements near the airfield, allowing remote control of these facilities, though no emplacements are presently armed.
Named after Director-General Brian Cameron, Castles Brian were originally constructed during the time of the Terran Hegemony as a buffer between it and the Draconis Combine, with the first Castle built on Telos IV. Within thirty years over a hundred more were built, all along the Hegemony’s borders and on important internal worlds. While a tremendously expensive endeavor no one questioned the Director-General’s decision to build them, and events during the Age of War would prove this effort to be prudent.
In the wake of the Reunification War, with the formation of the Star League, the Star League Defense Force (SLDF) took control over these structures and more were built in the Periphery as a means of controlling the rebellious population. Unfortunately when First Lord Richard Cameron withdrew the SLDF from the Rim Worlds Republic in 2755, he gave control over these Outpost Castles to his good friend Stefan Amaris. Amaris’ troops occupied these fortifications and studied them so that, with the onset of the Amaris Civil War, Republican forces had a thorough understanding of the structures and how to defeat them.
The total number of Castles Brian constructed has never been found, in part thanks to the skill of the Hegemony in building them right under the noses of friends and allies, and as a result many became lost after the end of the war as Aleksandr Kerensky took the surviving SLDF with him on his Exodus. Soon even the method of their construction became Lostech, as did many other wondrous technologies like stasis chambers and weather control satellites. The over twenty Castles located on Terra were eventually taken over and used extensively by ComStar.
Castle Corazón Landing Bays, Level 3 (As initially discovered by the Iron Dingoes)
Castle Corazón was built by SLDF engineers in the years following the Reunification War, around 2600 AD. The facility was stripped and abandoned at some point around the Great Exodus (roughly 2784). Although forces may have visited the site sometime over the last decade, looting the facility of anything of value that remained, it is not being employed by any force at this time, though the Iron Dingoes have chosen to place the facility as a priority in their future occupation of The District of Garcia.
Work on Level One started under the aegis of Operation : “Eagle Eye” on April 26th, 3021, seen as the starting point for any future endeavors in reactivating the base. As of November 1st, 3021, the main fusion power plant of the Castle on Level Eleven had come on-line (operating at low levels, but capable of slow and steady improvement over time), and its back-up ram-scoops are operating at full power. The Castle was officially declared explored on January 15th, 3022.
In mid-3025, a large supply of medical and science equipment was installed and stored at the base under orders from Doctor (Captain) Delphine Young, in preparation for potential occupation of the facility. Its medical facilities were also refurbished and improved at this time.
In late-3025, the 1st Ghost Battalion “The Shadow Ghosts” and 2nd Ghost Battalion “The Bronze Ghosts” were assigned to garrison the facility, and officially deployed to the site on December 1st. These units took command of the security of the fortress and its related assets at this time.