Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Type : Spheroid (Civilian)
Tonnage : 3200 tons
Length : 81.5m
Height : 81.5m
WIdth : 78m
Crew : 18 (3e, 1p – 4 Gunners, 10 Cargo Bay Personnel)
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+1e; Engine 1e+1e
Bridge : 23 tons
Cargo Complement : 1550 tons, 6 passengers.
Bay 1 : Cargo (1550 tons) – 2 Doors
Bay 2 : Small Craft (2) – 2 Doors
Life Boats : 0
Escape Pods : 4
Armament : 4xLRM-20, 2xLL, 12xML
Ammunition : 15 tons LRM Ammo
Drive System : Cluster 320 : 630 tons
Heat Sinks 0 + 84
Thrust : 3
Overthrust : 5
Structural Integrity : 7
Fuel : 5 Thrust-Points (88.65 tons per Burn-Day) : 250 tons
First Introduced : 2720
Armor Factor (16 points per ton) : 23 tons
Nose – 105 : 2xLRM-20, 4xML
Right Side – 105 : LRM-20, LL, 2xML
Left Side – 105 : LRM-20, LL, 2xML
Fuselage – 105 : 4xML
Engine – 81 : None
Based loosely on the highly successful Union-Class ’Mecha transport, the Danais was a lighter civilian vessel that entered production in the 2720s. Often manufactured alongside its military cousin, the unarmed Danais was also among the few vessel types the Star League allowed the subjugated Periphery States to manufacture. As a result, this Dropship class soon became a favorite of small shipping lines and independent traders.
The Taurian Concordat produced the first of the so-called “Blockade Runner” Danais’. With the imposition of unfair and crippling taxation, Periphery unrest grew rapidly, and the Taurian merchant marine became actively involved in smuggling weapons and equipment. The so-called “Trojan” configuration was the perfect choice for this kind of mission, and soon most of the ubiquitous Danais were being retrofitted with weapons (often concealed beneath blow-away panels and EM screens). This added firepower and the additional heat sinks installed to accommodate their use only slightly reduced the Dropship’s original 1700 tons cargo capacity, while four of the craft’s ten second-class passenger cabins were given over to gunners.
With the outbreak of the Succession Wars, space became a very dangerous place for an independent merchant. With no SLDF navy on anti-piracy patrols, it became a common practice for captains and manufacturers to scrounge up enough weapons to convert every Danais into a Trojan blockade-runner. Many pilots took to adding false weapons ports and even false colors to mimic the tougher Union-Class Dropships, though this could back-fire.
Today, Trojan variants continue to be a familiar sight in civilian space-lanes. Equally at home with small shipping firms like Christifori Express as it is among the Excalibur Corporation Trade Fleet, this dependable and flexible Dropship has become a vital link in interstellar trade networks in Periphery space. Independent Trojan Dropships running their scheduled routes may be the only contact a distant world has with the rest of the Inner Sphere. Meanwhile, daring crews in blockade runners might employ the Trojans carrying information and lucrative cargo in and out of pirate infested territories.