Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
CHM-3 Chameleon "Training Scout"
CHM-3 Chameleon “Training Scout” (50 tons)
Power Plant : Vlar 300
Cruise Speed : 64.0 kph
Flank Speed : 97.2 kph
Jump Jets : Mcleod Specials
Jump Capacity : 180 m
Armor : SimplePlate Manufacturers Type M (Armor Factor 112) : 7 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 16/18
Rear – 5
Right Torso – 12/12
Rear – 4
Left Torso – 12/12
Rear – 4
Right Arm – 8/12
Left Arm – 8/12
Right Leg – 12/12
Left Leg – 12/12
Armament : 1 Cyclops Eye Large Laser (RA)
2 Intek Medium Lasers (RA/LA)
3 Defiance BS3 Small Lasers (RT/RT/LT)
2 Scattergun Light Machineguns (CT)
Ammo (MG) : 50 (LT)
JJ (RT, LT, 2RL, 2LL)
Dual Cockpit Command Console (H)
Communicationms System : Jolex Systems
Targeting & Tracking System : Optisight-12
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/2 : n : n : n : 90 : 6 : 31 : 7 : 8 : +1 : y : y
Overview : Just about every MechWarrior worth his or her salt remembers the Chameleon. The popular training Mech has been manufactured since the 2500s, with a total produsction run reaching somewhere in the tens of thousands. Since the production line was within the massive fortifications of the Hesperus II facilities, the line never faced extinction similiar to hundreds of other venerable designs destroyed through the Succession Wars.
Capabilities : Designed with training in mind, Defiance Industries figured acadamies would want pilots to learn the importance of mobility and heat management. Mediocre armor armor and an uncomfortably high weapons-to-heat-sink ratio were deliberately included in the design to force greenhorn pilots to think beyond the tactics of slow advance and alpha-strikes.
By giving the Chameleon the ability to jump 180 meters and hold a maximum flank speed of 97.2 kph, the designers hoped pilots would realize how beneficial it would be to maintain constant movement during combat to preserve what little armor integrity the unit possessed. Its weapons remained somewhat substandard; a large laser, and a pair of mediums for most circumstances, and a battery of machineguns and small lasers to deal with lighter targets. When fired all at once and moving at full speed, the heat generated is enormous, risking immediate shut-down.
To teach pilots heat management, special software was installed in the Mech. Beginning at start-up, the program monitors current heat levels and automatically shut down weapons that would risk raising the ambient temperature beyond a certain level, leaving the pilot with less of a choice. Good pilots found that trying to stay mobile and hard to hit, being able to use terrain to its best advantage, rather than jumping tended to be beneficial. Though helpful as a training Mech, these matters made the unit difficult to employ as a front-line combat vehicle.
Deployment : Every acadamy in the Inner SPhere and the Periphery has at least one Chameleon in its ranks. Though not seeing combat often, the Chameleon is often trotted out for actual combat when invaders attempt to overrun an academy.
Two variants, however, have seen extensive use since its introduction.
Used in various training units sent directly to the field, Lyran and Federated Suns units tend to deploy the TRC-4B Chameleon (also known as the CHM-3 Chameleon Training Scout), is a fairly common version, armed with one Large Laser, two Medium Lasers, four Small LAsers, and two MGs. With only 10 normal heat sinks, this version is prone to over-heating. This version is the most common to deploy a dual cockpit command console, allowing personal training for each recruit.
The CLN-4V Chameleon variant originally used by the Star League only carries six tons of armor. Heat management was even more of a chore, however, as it typically carried an additional Small Laser, but did not increase its heat sinks.