Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
System - Claybrooke
Frontier of the League
Claybrooke – Frontier of the League
Star : F2IV
Position : 6
Days to Jump Point : 19
Recharging Station : Nadir
Ruler : Lieutenant Colonel Carla Chestine
ComStar Facility Class : B
ComStar Representative : Precentor Davis Adderly
Population : 3,592,000,000
Percentage of Native Life : 10%, Amphibian
Length of Day : 28 hours
Length of Year : 405 days
Claybrooke lies on the edge of the Periphery between the Magistracy of Canopus and the Duchy of Andurien. Dame Catherine Humphreys is known to covet Claybrooke for its ranch and dairy products, as well as natural gas and fossil fuels. She appears to be using the proximity of the Magistracy to put pressure on the leaders of Claybrooke to join the Duchy, offering favorable tariffs and other economic incentives.
The military dictator of Claybrooke, Lieutenant Colonel Carla Chestine, is having none of it, however. She has political problems of her own, including arguments over mineral development of Claybrooke’s two moons that have begun to resemble the arguments between the Liberals and Expansionists of old Terra. In fact, Chestine is using the threat of Andurien takeover to hold her dictatorship together, as it is the one issue on which everyone on Claybrooke agrees.
A modest stopping-point on transports bound for either the Periphery (Thurrock) or the Confederation (Pilpala). The world has a high degree of axial tilt, resulting in extreme climate changes with the turn of the seasons; the frigid winters last for up to five months in the northern latitudes, and the summers bake the equatorial plains for just as long.
The primary population centers on-planet are built into the hills edging the great mountain chains of the northern hemisphere, each usually hosting a small harvesting plant for the extensive herds that dot the central, equatorial plains. About a dozen of these communities exist, each a true city with over a million inhabitants sprawled about factory complexes. The bulk of the planet’s heavy industry is centered on hover transport manufacturing, a valuable planetary industry, with such vast, open plains. The main plants are located in the capital city of New Denver; Shebba Transport and Candle Motorworks both manufacture their own brands, the former a rugged transport that comes in cargo or passenger versions, and the latter specializing in small, fast models suited to civilians and racing enthusiasts. Both supply basic parts that can be used fairly interchangeably between models, in addition to specific parts for their own products. Connecting the various cities and industrial complexes, are a series of heavy rail lines, which provide the main source of transit for goods and passengers across the continent.
The equatorial portions of the planet are sparsely populated, with agricultural complexes dotting the lowland plains. The northern mountain regions are virtually untouched, save near the factory complexes. The prime industry of the economy is beef ranching, whose meat and hides fetch good money in the northern markets for export. The Duchy of Andurien is a major buyer of Claybrooke Beef. Vegetable and fruit farming is limited to local consumption.
The on-going martial law has resulted in a restless population, frightened yet angry and eager for revolutionary ideas. Extensive police actions and a widely-feared information network keeps revolution difficult, however, particularly in the urban centers. If the present regime should fall, a euphoria will sweep the planet as rival factions strive for prominence, breaking apart the planetary militia, each force roughly surrounding one or two city centers, and begin a detente which may only be resolved by yet another faction funding a force to seize planetary control.
Exports : Beef, dairy products, hides, petrochemicals, hover transports, some heavy metals (iron and copper). Imports : Processing equipment, computers, and medicines. Literacy : 35%. 1 Horn = 0.4 C-Bills.
Military Forces :
Army : 8 Mechanized Infantry Regiments, 4 Hover Armor Companies, 1 Mech Battalion.
Navy : 10 Sea-skimmers, 2 Monitors.
Air Force : 15 Air Fighters, 28 Combat Helicopters, 2 Aerofighters.
Paramilitary : 17 Guardia Civil Regiments (Broken into Company-sized units, scattered across the planet).
Mercenaries : “The Outback Irregulars” : One mixed-arms company, with a Lance (4) of Light Mechs. This unit maintains both a company of twelve (12) Galleon Light Tanks and twelve (12) Squads of Rifle Infantry, used to secure their position on-planet and provide fire support in assaults. They have a Seeker-Class Dropship : “The Velvet Glove” at their disposal, but no Jumpship. They also keep a pair of Skycrane Helicopters (16.5 tons) for utility salvage and supply runs in the field, along with numerous light ground transports.
History: Originally discovered and colonized in 2502, it remained a colony of Andurien until its revolution in 2831. Membership in the FWL parliament was followed by a tumultuous attempt to found an independent state. Border disputes with Andurien remain unsettled, as that state often funds rebel forces to foment unrest.
The depression of 2941 led to political and social unrest which prompted the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force to be called in and establish stability for the next 30 years. The election of a popular president, whose policy of land reforms and the nationalization of its various industries and the holdings of Consolidated Foods, again brought Marik involvement through a SAFE-backed coup to overthrow the duly-elected leader.
For the last 40+ years the transition of power has been through a series of military coups which established various military juntas and dictatorships. Each has remained in power by oppressive use of the army and its secret police. Needless to say, this has not endeared either the Anduriens nor the Mariks to the local population.
A former border world between the Houses Liao and Marik, the system was also the site of a fair-sized fortress housing the 51st Light Horse Regiment of the SLDF. The primary facility was looted and razed soon after the Exodus, and has since become the planetary government’s main palace for the junta in the capital. Small forts are sometimes encountered in isolated portions of the planet, sometimes still in use, but usually abandoned.
The Black Hills
Independence from Andurien 2831
The Depression 2941
The Election and Coup 2972
Constant Juntas 2972-3016
After the public discovery of gold in the 2870s, off-worlders increasingly encroached on unexplored territory. The conflict over control of the region sparked the Black Hills War, the last major civil conflict on the planet. Although rumors of gold in the Black Hills had circulated for decades, it was not until an exploratory expedition into the Black Hills in 2874 that gold was discovered in Marik Creek.
During the 2875–2878 gold rush, thousands of miners went to the Black Hills; in 2880, the area was the most densely populated part of the northern territories. There were three large towns in the Black Hills: Deadwood, Central City, and Lead. Around these were groups of smaller gold camps, towns, and villages. New Denver, Hill City and Echo City sprang up south of the Black Hills, where access to easy rail-links combined with starport access and the growing beef trade. From 2880 on, the gold mines yielded about 4,000,000 Cs annually, and the silver mines about 3,000,000 Cs
The George S. Mickelson Trail is a recently opened roadway through the Black Hills. It follows the ancient track of the historic railroad route from Edgemont to Deadwood. The trains remain the only economical way to bring supplies to the miners in the Hills, and their ore back out. The main line is about 180 kms in length, and has a trail often popular among hoverbikers. The region is also host to the Sturgis Hovercycle Rally each August. Started in 2940, the 65th Rally in 3005 saw more than 550,000 bikers visit the Black Hills; the rally is a key part of the regional economy. Hovercycle riders are also attracted to the Black Hills simply for the many miles of awe-inspiring scenery. The focus of the hovercycle rally was originally racing and stunts. In 2961, the rally was expanded to include the Hillclimb and Motocross races.
Today, the major city in the Black Hills is Deadwood, with an incorporated population of over 7000 and a metropolitan population of 12,500. It serves a market area covering much of the northern region. In addition to tourism and mining (including coal, specialty minerals, and the now declining gold mining), the Black Hills economy includes ranching (sheep and cattle, primarily, with buffalo and ratites becoming more common), timber (lumber), Starwolf Military Base, and some manufacturing, including jewelry, cement, electronics, cabinetry, guns and ammunition. In many ways, the Black Hills functions as a very spread-out urban area with a population (not counting tourists) of 2,500,000.
The Settlements: The regions north of the city are practically all large farms, small homesteads and villages. The large farms are plantation-like affairs worked by employees of the large corporate food production complexes found in the main cities. The homesteads are small subsistence holdings , usually worked by the owner and their family, with one or two hired laborers. The villages tend to be home to the workers of the large plantations, and the many storekeepers and tradesmen who provide services to the agricultural areas around them. In addition, are a number of small mining camps that make their living exploiting the resources of the northern wilds. The starport and several moderate-sized manufacturing communities, local transit lines and terminals, and all other important facilities are located south of this area.
The Black Hills : The Black Hills are a rough region punctuated by narrow valleys. Among the steep hills, small streams and rivers cut a path south to the Parana River, the main life-blood of the region. Fords over these streams exist, and the paths and trails in the area tend to rely on the fords, since most ancient bridges have since ceased to exist.
Farming is difficult, but not impossible to a hard-working family. The people in this area are fairly receptive to strangers. The local “pickings” are slim enough, that any bandit groups in the region tends to raid far afield. As one nears the Parana River, the hills turn to bluffs and ridges. Throughout the region, it is impossible to see in a straight line. Visibility is further troubled by heavy woodlands, a legacy SL terra-forming at its finest, making them impenetrable swaths of hickory, oak and pine, more so the latter in the northern-most stretches.
The Parana River : Known to locals as THE RIVER or The Big River, the Parana forms a mighty barrier to the west. The river runs across flatlands of varying width, sometimes a few miles to either side, sometimes only a few meters. On both sides of the river, bluffs channel its flow. These flatlands are very fertile, but subject to flooding in the Spring.
The river averages at least 300m across, though up to 500m in places during flood season. Neither ferries nor fords can cross it; only bridges, and even then, there are few and far between.
The Borderlands: Typically viewed as plains, the region south of the Black Hills is more truely a series of gently rolling hills. In some areas, the roll is not gentle. Fairly rugged near the Black Hills, the northern region is frequently cut by small rivers. These rivers have cut gorges in the land, making the rivers very difficult to cross. These “river canyons” are narrow and thickly studded with woodlands. This terrain is typical for around 250 kms south of the Black Hills.