Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
* Deep Ice One
Self-Sufficient Sub-Zero Manufacturing Plant
Deep Ice One (Underwater Manufacturing Facility)
Mass : 150,000 tons
Length :345 m
Width : 345 m
Fuel Reserve : 2000 tons
Heat Sinks : 1000 + 0
Structural Integrity : 1
Armor : Insulated BurrowPlate
Cargo : 8000 tons.
Bay 1 : Small Craft (6) – 1 Door
Bay 2 : Small Craft (6) – 1 Door
Bay 3 : Large Craft (2) – 1 Door
Bay 4 : Cargo : (8000 tons) – 3 Doors
Bay 5 : Factory Unit Facility ( TLS-1B Talos Manufacturing Line) : (17,000 tons) – 2 Doors
Bay 6 : Ore Processing Equipment : (6000 tons) – 1 Door
Bay 7 : Algae Hydroponics Bays : (2500 tons) – 1 Door
Escape Pods : 20
Life Boats : 20
Crew 60, Marines 30, Passengers 180.
Cost : -
Defensive forces permanently assigned to the site include;
Often simply referred to as the “Whiteknights”, the marines assigned to this valuable production site are a former ad-hoc force of marines who spent two years as a training cadre on Islas Brasilera, formerly known as The Whiteshield Training Cadre. As a defensive force for an Iron Dingoes landhold, the unit technically falls under the aegis of * “The Cerberus Command”, but due to the relatively secret nature of the plant, they operate fairly independently with little over-sight.
Led by the relatively young Lt JG Silas Albuquerque, the unit numbers a complete platoon of troopers trained as Marines, raised through the aegis of * “The Dingo Cub Scouts” and are incredibly loyal to the unit. Most are relatively young, but they are disciplined and eager to prove themselves and their loyalty is without question.
The unit is equipped with EVA Suits – “Prometheus Class”, and L2 “Maser” Laser Assault Rifles to continue training as marines, in addition to their traditional Iron Dingoes Infantry Field Kit (3023)s. The unit does not have any integral technical or support services, nor any other special equipment beyond their integral Wheeled APCs, though they have all been issued a set of RC-SH01 “Bulwark” Ballistic Riot Shields and Stun Batons. Their tracked vehicles are seen as a benefit when operating on the ice shield of the surface, to investigate defenses and escort technicians.
In addition to their normal training efforts, the platoon spends a portion of each week attempting to gain a specialty in arctic combat, using the ice fields on the surface as their “playground”.
A seahorse cargo submarine on docking approach to Deep Ice One
Deep Ice One is a semi-automated BattleMech production site, built in the years prior to the Amaris Civil War, in 2762. Both a hardened “fortress” as well as possessing substantial environmental seals, the underwater facility was intended to operate for long periods of time with little outside contact, and so most of its facilities are heavily automated and produce a large portion of the necessary materials for the Mechs chassis and other important support needs. In addition to a small automated bauxite mining and refining plant, the facility boasts a large algae hydroponics facility to feed the workers, with an extensive residence wing to house the technicians and security troops needed to keep the entire complex running.
The ice shelf above is typical for the region, but secretly reinforced by numerous stone pillars jutting off the underground stone rise that contains both the mines and the facility itself. Essentially a massive cave, the area under the ice formations on the shelf can be accessed directly by heavy vehicles to drop into the underground sections of the cargo and assembly bay. The surrounding terrain is broken and worn by the pressures and heat vents from below, making a direct assault a nightmare, only increased by the presence of a dozen autocannon-armed pop-turrets and concealed Mech-traps. Although highly automated, they are not designed to repel small units of infantry, though many, once activated, do sport machineguns. Careful and concealed approach by small units, however, will not trip the sensors, as that is what the camera surveillance was for.
Cargo and Assembly Bays
The heart of the facility is its production line, but in the center of the facility lies its massive assembly area, where the components produced are assembled in four large gantries, and then stored for shipment out of the facility. Access to this massive area is through two Mech-sized elevator shafts leading to the upper area above the facility on the ice shelf above. An additional small craft-sized elevator is also located here, and rises up into the underground caves that riddle the surface, eventually exiting on the icy surface to match a small armored drop station, capable of receiving a small- or medium-sized DropShip on a landing pad. It would be typical, however, to use a K-1 Class Dropshuttle instead of trying to land something as large as a DropShip on the ice shelf, however well-insulated.
In addition to substantial fuel reserves accessible to this section of the facility, are its large submarine bay on the lowest level. On either side of this bay lie two smaller submarine pens, each capable of holding a wing of submersible small craft, such as the Aquarius Research Submarine or more common Neptune Submarine. The central submarine pen can hold or dock a pair of larger vessels, such as the 250-ton Seahorse cargo submarine, but can, in need, allow a pair of typical 2500-ton combat submarines to use the facility.
Deep under the central cargo and assembly bay, lies the 1500-ton fusion reactor required to power the extensive automated equipment of the facility, in addition to its auxiliary control and other important engineering facilities. Access is traditionally limited to the technical personnel assigned to engineering alone, usually three complete tech teams.
Deep Ice Residential Corridor
The residential wing of the facility sprawls across the outer ring of the facility, beneath the thick insulated armor of the facility. Covering three levels in height, and given the semi-isolated nature of the facility, includes substantial residential apartments that can house both the technical personnel, as well their spouse and any children. While holo-tapes and books are a common means of recreation, there are also several other opportunities to find entertainment in the facility.
A small holo-theater can be found near a recreation room/gymnasium. There is also a small library present, though its books and computers have been stripped. The galley is still well-stocked with refrigerators and storage cupboards and ovens, and its attached mess/ dining hall can seat up to thirty at a single sitting. A cold storage facility is also located nearby, as are ample food storage facilities. A laundry facility is also present.
A simple medical facility is present, though stripped of key equipment and gear. Access to fresh water is assured through a two-thousand liter storage tank with a substantial desalinization plant built to provide cooling for the facility reactor and production equipment. The main administration facility is small, intended to house only a single chief administrator, two support personnel, and a pair of advisers for technical services in the line production, who are typically trained Mech pilots. These administrative and medical staff have since been assigned (as of early-3028), and are busy preparing the site to begin operations in Late-February, 3028.
Security is housed in the same residence as the rest of the facility, but has a small security office and numerous monitoring systems still in place, both for the interior of the facility and its exterior. A complete armory and briefing room is also present, as is a small brig for a couple of prisoners for interrogation. The facility was meant to house a platoon of security troopers, along with their own chief of security and an assistant for logistics, and is occupied by the “White Knights” towards this effort.
Deep Ice Gardens Dome
Hydroponics Production Facility
An extensive series of algae tanks have been built in one wing of the facility, producing everything from basic protein paste to laboratory-designed beef and chicken-flavored meats. Waste products are typically either reprocessed, or (if in large enough quantities) packaged as “animal feed” and could be shipped as a cover for its parts shipments. The facility can easily produce enough to feed the facility at full production, as well as its security detachment and even more than the hundred personnel that could be stationed in need. The facility is highly automated, and requires only a single crew of six (6) bio-techs led by a skilled biologist line engineer. It has been declared fully operational as of January-3028, in preparation towards making the facility operational.
A central dome area in the hydroponics wing houses a large 45m domed area containing numerous ultraviolet lights, and a central collection of flowers, shrubs and grassy paths, along with a large heated pool for use by residents. Direct access to the area can be found in two tunnels leading back around into the residential areas. While the plants had since been allowed to go dormant, and the pool left unfilled, this facility is operational once more in late-Feruary, 3028. A fair amount of space exists in this area, to allow for long-term storage and processing of bio-waste.
Deep Ice Mining Facility
Burrowed into the rock pillar that supports the Deep ice One facility, is a small automated mining and refining facility. Exploiting a large bauxite deposit, the facility also accepts important heavy metals, such as titanium and iron, to manufacture the components required by its production lines. Given the straight-forward demands of simple smelting and mining operations, no special requirements for any technical personnel are required to operate this facility. Crew requirements include six (6) machinists and a single line engineer to oversee the facility.
Close to the main cargo bay, lies a number of small workshops. Including a carpentry, a metal shop, and geology, metallurgy and hydrogen laboratories. The metal shop and carpentry shop included many important tools and small scale production equipment, and remain missing at this time. The geology lab was used to examine core samples for the mining operation, but has also been stripped. The hydrogen lab was meant to process hydrogen fuel on a small scale, for use by the facility, though a large quantity of hydrogen fuel was kept on-hand for general use by the central fusion plant. This facility is once more active, providing small-scale fuel processing from local seawater to keep the facility powered. A metallurgy lab also once housed tools and equipment here for testing the quality of ore and production metals, but has been stripped. Ample space for metals and wood (still empty) is located nearby.
Mech Production Lines
Exploiting the large bauxite deposit, the bare bones of the TLS-1B Talos is produced at Deep Ice One. The chassis consists of a foamed aluminum core covered with composite materials, wrapped in silicon-carbide fibers and then sheathed in titanium-alloyed steel. The unit’s actuators are installed at this time, also made of much the same materials.
The fusion engine is built next, using various heavy metals and ceramics for its shielding, as are the heat sinks and its powerful gyro. This is then moved for later installation in the assembly chamber. Lastly, the unit’s electronics, life support and general cockpit are built on a third and fourth line, which are sent to the assembly area as well. These components require high-tech materials, and are often difficult to assemble outside a similar production line.
The facility does not produce any weapons systems, nor does the basic design call for jump jets. There is, however, space to expand the line production, given proper manufacturing equipment and personnel.
Technical demands for this point in the production chain, are quite demanding, though the semi-automated nature of the facility and its production lines means there is no need for the typical common laborers associated with typical factory production, only the highly skilled line engineers and machinists are required. The machinists conduct the day-to-day regular maintenance of systems, while the line engineers oversee efficient production levels on the overall line. The factory requires at least twenty-four (24) machinist techs, with four line engineers to oversee the four production lines. In addition, a single line engineers oversee design production and general operations for the facility.
As of late-February, 3028, the facility is considered staffed and operational, and once orders and supplies of the rare materials are shipped to the lines, it can produce a limited series of production runs, as required.
Vandenburg Technologies Medium-III : Chassis (50 tons) : Talos
Nissan 200 : Fusion Engine : Talos
Kensu-Mocom Angelia-II : Communications System : Talos
Rushpoint TT2B5 : Targeting and Tracking System : Talos
Designed in the late stages of the Rim World Republic’s private build-up of resources, just prior to the Amaris Civil War, many of his initial resources went towards militarizing the various other Periphery states, to lure away the bulk of the Star League’s forces for him to begin his coup. Deep Ice One was built solely for the purpose of quietly shipping the Mechs into his own army gathering all around the Terran Hegemony borders. It employed the abandoned TLS-1B Talos production line “liberated” from New Vandenberg almost two centuries after its mothballing in 2598.
Deep Ice One was completed in 2762, and began churning out its product, the raw chassis, engines and control systems for the Talos, almost immediately. Given the semi-automated nature of its equipment, it was able to build the parts for roughly twelve of the Mechs each year, as well as assorted key spare parts. There was also a semi-automated deep mine and integral refinery exploiting an extensive bauxite deposit under the site, for the basis of its chassis, and thus relieved much of the need for resupply, but limited the factory’s ability to manufacture weapons systems, armor and other heavy components for the war machines to be operational. While the electronics and life support systems were also manufactured here, they needed many key imports, such as silicon and plastics to begin the process, but luckily were not required in large amounts.
By the time of the New Vandenburg Uprising in 2765, the factory had produced a battalion of Mechs, and tons of spare parts for the military of the Rim World’s Republic, and the facility was kept running right until the ability of the Republic’s forces to maintain contact with the distant system became untenable with the start of the Star League’s “Operation : Chieftain” in 2577. The facility and its equipment were mothballed, and the production lines shut down, while its technical staff abandoned the site.
During the following conflicts, the near two-hundred Mechs built by the production line proved helpful to the armies of the Rim World’s Republic, and the TLS-1B Talos was a common site on the battlefields for the next decade of war. When the RWR military collapsed, and even Terra itself fell back into the hands of the Star League, no mention was ever found telling of the site or its potential. Quietly, Deep Ice One remained untouched and seemingly forgotten by all, and sat abandoned for more than two centuries.
In approximately 3014, the site was again visited, and the facility was activated to churn out a handful of Mechs and spare parts, before being shut down once more. In the years since, the site has been visited on occasion by a small force of techs from an unknown agency, who ensure the facility is in good order, harvest the local algae tanks and otherwise see about maintenance of the factory’s many facilities. It is believed they leave a small force to deal with these matters, and return in a few weeks or days, to load the food stocks and personnel, before leaving the site for another long period.
The site again came under scrutiny in late-3025, when * “The Iron Dingoes” discovered the connection between the algae found among the supplies landed at Islas Brasilera during the 3024 Small War, and their probable origins in the southern sections of the Atlantis Ocean. Senior Tech (Research) Sarah “Sharkey” Richmond and her science crew discovered a cargo submarine passing through the region, and based on its underwater operational range, discovered the site. A few days later, a force of the Iron Dingoes line infantry and their special operations group * “The Werewolves”, infiltrated the site and secured it for the Dingoes own purposes. Several platoons from the 2nd Ghost Battalion “The Bronze Ghosts” occupied the site, and assisted by several line technical squads, began exploring and securing the site for future operations. It was kept at a low operating level for nearly two years, so as to ambush the returning force whenever they appear, but this plan was abandoned after some months, and it was slowly searched and mapped for future activity.
In January, 3028, The Whiteshield Training Cadre were assigned to permanently protect the site, and relieve the other forces present. They were soon accompanied by various line engineers and machinists (with their families) recruited from both System – Promise, and the local colleges of The New Republic of Sangria. The facility once more began operations in late-February of 3028, and can produce roughly one machine each month (12 per year), if supplies are provided and the facility given the materials it cannot make on-site. Over time, this number might improve, with familiarity of the equipment, or if the design is changed from its factory specs.