Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Line Raider Mech
CRB-27 Crab (50 tons)
Chassis : Hollis Mark 1A
Power Plant : Magna 250
Cruise Speed : 54.1 kph (5)
Flank Speed : 86.3 kph (8)
Jump Jets : None
Jump Capacity : None
Heat Sinks : 16
Armor : Paulina Heavy Ferro-Fibrous (Armor Factor 161) : 9.0 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 16/20
Rear – 8
Right Torso – 12/16
Rear – 6
Left Torso – 12/16
Rear – 6
Right Arm – 8/16
Left Arm – 8/16
Right Leg – 12/24
Left Leg – 12/24
2 RAMTech 1200 Large Lasers (RA/LA)
1 Ceres Arms Medium Laser (CT)
1 Exostar Small Laser (H)
Communicationms System : Dalban Series K
Targeting & Tracking System : 650 RND
Overview : The Crab was originally designed as a medium raider and guerilla fighter, the Mech was so popular among technicians and pilots, that it was believed to eventually become the Star League’s new standard-issue frontline medium BattleMech.Unfortunately, only around 1000 were built and shipped to units before the Amaris Civil War, Kerensky’s Exodus, and the subsequent destruction of its production line on Northwind, resulted in the Mech withering away and dwindling in numbers to be replaced by other, more common models.
Capabilities : Designed to operate behind enemy lines almost indefinitely, the Crab was built with little new technology available to the Star League; nearly every component was a proven design from several other BattleMechs, and proved easily replaced from other sources. Maintenance of this Mech proved extremely easy, and the term “Crabwalk” came to be synonymous with easy duty. Only the advanced communications equipment proved any difficulty for modern techs to repair.
The Crab’s armaments are fairly uninspired, though functional. The large lasers are a matched set, housed in the claws of the forearms on both right and left. Providing an excellent arc of fire, they are prone to damage in hand-to-hand combat, and are protected by the signature “claws” of the Crab. As a secondary line of fire, a medium laser and small laser have been installed as point defensive weapons, intended to be used against infantry or armor units that get too close to the Mech. Insulation for these weapons extended to the cockpit as well, granting great comfort to its pilot.
The Dalban K Series communications system was designed to be a self-contained module, that was built with numerous redundancies and an integral GPS system able to identify both the MEch’s and its lance-mates locations on a planet’s surface. The system automatically monitored local communications bands and was able to detect enemy formations and troop movements with some degree of accuracy. Though cetainly not foolproof, it aided the pilot in its role as a raider and scout. Unfortunately, the loss of technology has forced most of the communications equipment to be replaced with lower-tech models, since its advanced chip-sets are not able to be produced any longer, and damage (in or out of combat) means the entire module must be replaced.
The Crab’s armor protection was unusually good, with its arms and legs seeing better protection, along with its rear torsos. The ability to manufacture the ferro-fibrous armor was lost quickly in the Succession Wars, and standard high-grade industrial armor has replaced it, resulting in a slight loss of protection. Even so, at nine tons of armor, it remains fairly adequate for a 50-ton Mech.
One remaining variation from the standard design, was the unit’s cockpit ejection seat. The first is during an ammo explosion, a top hatch is removed through explosive bolts that allows the ejection seat to jettison and descend 200m away behind the Mech. The second, allows the seat to rotate and jettison out the back of the machine following a shorter and less dangerous ride to the ground. This latter means can be triggered by the pilot at any time.
Deployment : While the Crab assembly line suffered heavy damage during the opening salvos of the First Succession Wars (in 2786), technicians on Northwind were able to keep the line active as a refit and repair facility, using parts manufactured by the damaged line to rebuild many of the crippled machines. Though most Crabs were unable to make it back to Northwind for a refit, enough parts were manufactured for export, that the machine remains viable today in many armories in House Kutrita and House Davion. Few other Houses have the Mech in sufficient numbers to be noticed.
Variants : There are few variants of this machine, though most replace the advanced Dalban and 650 RND series of electronics suites with the inferior Garret line of communications and targeting systems. These changes are minor enough to not rate a designation change.
With the loss of ferro-fibrous armor production, some are designated the CRB-20 Crab, when they employ standard armor (typically Bulldog Standard). In all other aspects the vehicle remains typically equipped.
In Iron Dingoes hands, the Crab is perfect for their line requirements, though the small laser is often identified as its weakness and replaced with a flamer. In all other aspects it fulfills their needs.