Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Land of Jungle Drums
The Corazón Jungle is dense and unforgiving. The vegetation is larger and fuller than anything most explorers can imagine. Except for open fields of 1.5m tall grass or swamp, the jungle is a tangled mass of vegetation that makes travel difficult and visibility poor. But the terrain is far more menacing than mere jungle. It is among the most treacherous land on Terramatrix. If it was just jungle alone it would be difficult, but the land changes violently in a matter of a dozen kilometers.
Picture hills (some might call mountains) covered in the densest overgrowth jungle you can imagine. You can travel up 3-400m of steep hill through jungle and rain forest (which is even deeper than jungle), then you travel down 3-400m. You’re in the valley, if you’re lucky, it’s dry, so you only have to trudge through 1-2m tall grasses (hopefully not the razor-sharp “Bull Grass”), or hack through the 3m-tall bamboo forests, or only the waist-high scrub (tangled weeds and shrubs). If you’re not lucky, the valley is swamp or sucking muddy streams. You trudge through all of that to the next hill or valley pass, the terrain changes, and you go on. 8km down, the jungle is cut open by a ravine that runs 3-18kms long, is 1-600m wide, and 1-600m straight down. At the bottom, you’ll have to cross an expanse of river, swamp, muck or rock, then climb back up the other sheer wall of the ravine and continue on your way.
Even Mechs have difficulty travelling through this land, while vehicles, such as tracked tanks, find it impossible to travel through most. The forests are simply too thick (even sunlight can barely penetrate its deeper portions) and the terrain too rugged and changing. Most Mechs can travel through this difficult terrain, but movement and speed are impaired. VTOLs and helicopters are the best mode of transport through (or rather over) the jungles. Many parts of the deep jungles are accessible only in Mechs, on foot, or by air.
In addition to simple travel, radar is limited and far less reliable in the jungles, especially since it cannot discriminate shapes or movement below the tree-line. Of course, it will always register targets flying above the tree-line. Large Mechs, vehicles and other heavy movement at ground level can be detected with seismic sensors, but it will be impossible to identify other than its general size, numbers, direction and speed. (The blip could be a convoy of guerilla troops, a herd of large herbivores, or a flock of low-flying birds).
Heat sensors and motion sensors are less accurate, because of the heat, humidity, and abundance of animal life; all of which will produce false readings. They cannot, however, discriminate between animals and Mechs, but is still useful in identifying enemy targets when visual data is available.
The Corazón Jungle is an ancient part of the planet, and remains largely unknown and unexplored. There are people who dwell in the depths, usually in small, primitive villages that are invariably self-sufficient in most basic things except industrial goods, salt and fuel oils. Water purification equipment is primitive, but capable of sustaining basic agriculture and survival.
The lead village in the jungle, is Tuadann. This village is fast becoming the “Capital” of the jungle, and is the center of a small nation-state of collected villages in the heart of the Corazón.
In addition to the massive and widespread flora, there are large numbers of animal life, many of which have yet to be properly classified or studied. The primary predator of the jungle is the Nexu. There are also a breed of water rat that is known to swarm its prey, and a monkey-like creature that lives in the forest canopy.