Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Heavy Fire Support Mech
CPLT-C1 Catapult (65 tons)
Chassis : Hollis Mark II
Power Plant : Magna 260
Cruise Speed : 43.5 kph (4)
Flank Speed : 65.8 kph (6)
Jump Jets : Anderson Model 21
Jump Capacity : 120 meters
Armor : DUrallex Heavy (Armor Factor 160) : 10.0 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 21/24
Rear – 11
Right Torso – 15/19
Rear – 8
Left Torso – 15/19
Rear – 8
Right Arm – 10/13
Left Arm – 10/13
Right Leg – 15/18
Left Leg – 15/18
Two (2) Holly Long Range Missile Packs (15) (RA, LA)
Ammo (LRM) : 8/8 (RT, LT)
Four (4) Martell Medium Lasers (RT, LT, 2xCT)
Jump Jets (2xRT, 2xLT)
Communicationms System : O/P Com-211
Targeting & Tracking System : O/P 1078
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : n : n : n : 45 : 7 : 31 : 5 : 8 : – : y : y
Overview : Hollis Incorporated did things big. When they wanted to test the waters of the BattleMech industry, they did so in grand fashion with a completely new design and a state-of-the-art factory. They shipped out record numbers of Catapults for the three year contract they held with the Terran Hegemony. When it came time to renew the contract in 2563, however, the Hegemony said that while the Catapult performed adequately, it was not exactly what they were looking for. Hollis had to rapidly find new applications for the facility, which eventually found fame with the BattleMaster seventy years later. With the success of the BattleMaster, the Catapult was completely ignored and its numbers began to dwindle. Rumors persist the DCMS is trying to rebuild replacements for the Mech, with one or more defunct factories slated to resume production once parts can be acquired to refit an abandoned factory.
Capabilities : The Catapult is mainly a fire-support platform built to bring a pair of Holly LRM packs to bear. Its thirty tubes can start punishing an enemy at well over 600 meters, before most other Mechs can respond. When opponents close, its four lasers can exploit the punishment its missiles have dealt. To help deliver this firepower, the Catapult has ten tons of armor and fifteen heat sinks. The greatest weakness in weapons load, is its number of reloads available for the missiles, which at eight per launcher only borders on the edge of acceptable. It’s lack of anti-infantry armaments and arms reinforces the need to keep the Catapult behind a good battle line when possible.
While its speed is adequate, four (4) Anderson jump jets let the Catapult pace faster than similar units over broken terrain. The Catapult was initially produced with Anderson Model 21s, but these jump jets are prone to breakdowns that result in the jump jets venting directly into the interior of the Mech, which can cause catastrophic heat build-up. The League issued a recall and many were replaced with better quality Model 25s, but some Catapults were missed in the recall. Also different, is the cockpit’s sideways ejection system. Regarded as safe, it is a surprise to warriors who have never seen it in action before.
Deployment : The Star League used the Catapult both in second-line and specialist units, such as mountaineering regiments. Many Catapults accompanied Kerensky in his Exodus, leaving relatively few behind in second-line units. Of those, most Catapults ended u in the Capellan Confederation where Hollis had managed to build spare parts depots. The Draconis Combine also obtained a sizable group of Catapults when they seized Dieron. During the Succession Wars, Catapults occasionally caused invasions, with House Davion invading Liao several times solely to secure some of the rare machines.
Variants : For such a rare Mech, the Catapult has consistently undergone a lot of tinkering. The CPTL-C4 mounts larger LRM-racks at the expense of the lasers and heat sinks. The CPTL-A1 doubles the LRM ammo, and adds two tons of armor. House Kurita revamped theirs entirely with the CPTL-K2 version, which replaces the launchers with PPCs, and two of the side torso lasers with machine guns. The jump jets are removed in favour of heat sinks, making it more of a direct-fire support machine. Hollis issued a refit for its units in Royal units in 2688. The heat sinks were upgraded, while more ferro-fibrous armor and ammo were added. Future improvements for the durable machines were planned in a new series of Catapults, but the chaos of the fall of the Star League, and the destruction of the Hollis plant ended those dreams.