Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Mega-Corporate Entity of the Reaver's Rift
Excalibur Corporation is a large mega-corporation, based in the System – Tarsus, but spread with interests across the local sector and beyond. Excalibur Corp is engaged in the production and sale of a wide variety of resources and finished products, and is best known for their aggressive marketing style, and ready use of force when all else fails. They are the local equivalent to a “Yankee Trader”.
Crest of Tarsus
Trade Symbol : ExCo
Home Office : System – Tarsus
President/CEO : Gerald Simosa
Founding Date : June 7th, 2700.
Excalibur Corporation has developed itself into a unique, widespread culture, found among its “corporate citizens” and characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle unwary customers into unfair deals. Its citizens are also known for their business acumen and for rampant misogyny, though this is often developed through their dealings with marginal Periphery worlds, where society has become somewhat stagnant and brute strength is the key to survival.
There is one aspect of Excalibur culture often over-looked by outsiders; the “Excalibur Code”, a complex internal operations code that is effectively law among their own citizens. While loyal ties to the corporation are an all-important aspect of its culture, rivalries between corporate leaders can be extremely competitive and aggressive, often displayed through secret schemes and complex political wranglings. While actual assassination is discouraged, and fairly unforgivable, it does happen. Non-Excalibur underlings are ignored by these traditions, however, and are often manipulated to deal with “upstarts” to one’s own position and power, or used to drive home a point which does not harm the actual corporation or its holdings.
Ultimately, Excalibur citizens are the ultimate “middlemen”, and experts at connecting consumers with suppliers. They know how to game the system, whether through local politics, planetary trade laws, or manipulation of the local criminal underworld. Despite their reputation as free traders virtually without equal, they also maintain many legitimate corporate interests as cover for their more profitable and illegal operations.
In addition to the legitimate operations below, smuggling, gunrunning, gambling, slavery, piracy, and the drug trade are important revenue streams for the company. All of these endeavors are operations managed by local syndicates and often developed by local corporate leaders for their own personal profit, and have no legitimate sponsorship by the company as a whole, though its senior managers are often well-aware of these operations, and take their own cut through “corporate taxes”.
Excalibur Corporate Structure
Corporate Organization : The CEO of Excalibur is in charge of all activities in the factories and other facilities across the local constellations. This manager is assisted by Head Executive Officers (HEOs) over each of the separate companies under its aegis, but also has five department heads to assist the overall activities of the corporation as a whole.
VP, Operations : Johnson Gardner
VP, Public Relations : Carlos Pavel
VP, Marketing : Cynthia Brunner
VP, Security : Milani Dubeau-Slovenski
VP, Administration : Edmund Carleton
Operations : This department is in charge of day-to-day functions of all manufacturing facilities in its home system.
Public Relations : This department is responsible for maintaining a good image in the public eye. In addition to being a known manufacturer of hover vehicles, Excalibur has an undeservedly poor reputation for manufacturing safety. The company spends a large amount each year counteracting this reputation, mainly through advertising, charity work and disaster relief.
Marketing : This department is responsible for the sale of all Excalibur products and services. Excalibur has a virtual regional monopoly on the sale of Industrial Exoskeletons, WorkMechs, hover vehicles and even DropShips, but also tries to control the food and resource trade, as well as the rental of its security mercenaries to needy organizations. Since the regional population and media demands are small, however, this department remains small.
Security : This department is responsible for the protection of all Excalibur facilities, information, property, and employees. Because of the extremely valuable nature of its products and facilities, it is often subject to espionage, burglary, and out-right raiding. Because of this, along with a good amount of corporate paranoia, Excalibur maintains a substantial paramilitary force in its security forces, including nearly a battalion of Mechs, scattered across its facilities and interests.
Administration : This department is responsible for all record-keeping and accounting duties. In addition, this department oversees payroll and purchasing, monitors the operation of all other divisions, hires and fires personnel, and coordinates the implementation of corporate policy.
The story of Excalibur Corporation is tied to its fortunes on Tarsus. Originally a small firm founded on a lanthanum strike by a handful of independent miners some three hundred years ago. The lanthanum vein discovered was one of the richest ever found in the Systems Constellation – “The Outrim Void”, and the miners founded a company that has grown to dominate trade and industry in the region.
Excalibur Corporation is as close to a mega-corporation as one will find in the Rift, operating both in the Rift and along the Davion Outback. Primarily a mining and production company, it also engages in several other related aspects, such as exploration, trade and brokerage. It is the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the Rift, and is known to base brokerage firms offering its goods outside the region. It recognizes the export of military-grade vehicles could attract undue attention from the Federated Suns, and is careful not to antagonize them.
The company is headquartered on System – Tarsus, which is for all practical purposes owned by the corporation. Several divisions have since formed – Excalibur Minerals, which runs the planet’s lanthanum mines and seeks to exploit other mineral wealth in the local Constellation; Excalibur Trading, which operates a small fleet of JumpShips and DropShips in trade and commercial ventures; and Excalibur Brokers, a widespread firm with offices on most worlds of import in the constellation, which matches buyers and sellers of everything from cargoes to JumpShips.
Corporate Assets :
The primary factory on Tarsus was sold-off nearly 30 years ago, and built anew on Rond, one of the planet’s two moons. From here, the facility processes raw materials shipped in from out-system, as well as from Tarsus’ own mines, producing the company’s famous hovercraft and civilian WorkMechs in virtual seclusion. The company also builds its licensed Danais-Class DropShips in one wing of the base.
The corporation’s HQ is an office complex in Newland’s Starport, which houses its administrative and public relations personnel. The office is in constant contact with the factory complex on Rond. Several docking bays and refueling facilities are built here, reserved for company use, as well as a Company (12) of security BattleMechs. In addition, numerous shuttles ferry personnel and cargo between HQ and the Rond facilities daily, as well as some of its corporate DropShips bound out- and in-system. The lion’s share of traffic, however, is from trade ships of other organizations and private tradesmen, who take advantage of Excalibur’s presence to make their own profits. In recent months, there have been numerous sightings of Excalibur’s WILDCAT strike personnel accompanying various vessels, hinting that something very important is being traded.
Tarsus itself remains its single largest asset, but the conglomerate’s other interests are collectively much greater in terms of fame, profits and attention. Though by no means as powerful as an Inner Sphere megacorp might be, the company thinks big and does all it can to dominate trade and production across the local constellations. This includes any number of unethical, immoral, or even outright illegal actions. Their unofficial motto might well be, “If we don’t get caught, it’s worth a try!”.
Corporate/Planetary Relations : The taxes Excalibur pays to the planetary government for its operations in Tarsus and for its lease on Rond, represent a significant portion of the government’s income. For this reason, as well as its interests in the mines and military of the planet, the corporation holds considerable clout with the governing council. Excalibur ships are normally given cursory customs inspections when they land, and Excalibur employees are seldom bothered by militia or other government officials. For appearances sake, however, the company never blatantly violates local laws or customs.
Excalibur’s PR department has been very successful of late, and public opinion regarding the corporation is rather high at the moment.
The company also controls numerous lesser corporations across the planet, producing such goods as cement, steel, automotive parts, light utility vehicles, consumer goods and electronics, fuel oil, and food and beverage products; all the typical goods needed to run an independent world far from the center of most interstellar production. Little of these goods, however, have more than passing interest to traders off the Candle Route, and do not see much export off-world. Nonetheless, they form the backbone of the planet’s economy, and provide the planet’s ability to support Excalibur interests elsewhere.
SpaceTek “Vasarahai” AeroFighter
SpaceTek : The Tarsus manufacturing complex on Rond is operated openly under the corporate name of SpaceTek. It is constructed on one of teh two moons in orbit of Tarsus, with refueling facilities and a small drop-port for transports as well as its small security wing of AeroFighters, but is not a public facility. As such, they deem it necessary to respond to emergency situations, by offering vessels in distress repair or refueling, but otherwise will warn off approaching vessels.
The Rond SpaceTek manufacturing facility employs 6500 workers, plus security personnel. Employees at the plant do a 48-day tour of duty at the plant, followed by an 8-day R&R back on Tarsus, before returning to Rond. This follows a staggered schedule that allows the plant to be operated 24-hours (or 73 Tarsan hours) a day, and gives employees ample time-off.
SpaceTek “Explorer” Hover Truck
In addition to its civilian “Explorer” hover trucks and line of civilian air cars in production, Excalibur also builds its transport VTOL craft, the P-5000 CAT Heavy Industrial Exoskeletons, and DVM-3 MiningMechs at the site. The TAAF-54 Vasarahai are a new line only established in 3010, and all of its initial production was for internal consumption, though the planetary government ordered a dozen (12) for itself, and some nearby planetary governments have purchased small numbers, as well. Lastly, the all-important Danais-Class DropShip are built here, though in small quantities; only 2-3 a year, and only if there is a listed order for a new vessel, of which there typically is.
The factory has three (3) armed K-1 Class Dropshuttles assigned for regular runs between Rond and Tarsus, and also has six (6) standard ST-46 Class Shuttle for daily runs of personnel and minor equipment. The base also has a wing of six (6) TAAF-54 Vasarahais assigned as protection for the facility, stationed at the starport in sealed hangars. Only a single platoon of WildCATs are assigned to the Rond base, though a company of BattleMechs (12) and local security troops are garrisoned in a separate wing next to the starport as security against raiders.
Star Forge Yards : The latest addition to the Excalibur crown, Star Forge Yards is a starship construction company built on the ruins of an ancient repair depot in System – Outpost. The only independent JumpShip production site in the entire Hyades Rim, it represents a great opportunity for the company, despite the primitive technology of its signature product, the Leviathan-Class JumpShip.
Star Forge Yards is a wholly-owned company under the Excalibur banner, but also owns the system, its facilities, and all citizens are technically employees of the company. Having (at a minimum) the entire resources and income of a Periphery system under its control is required to maintain such a production facility.
Excalibur Minerals :
HEO : Colline Fell
Director, Procurement : Barbara Edwards
Director, Rift Mining Operations : Jarl Genuvia
Director, Tarsan Mining Operations : Oscar Palmerson
Excalibur Minerals : The major mining firm in the Rift, Excalibur Minerals has major operations on more than four worlds in the local constellation. Over the years since its original founding, Excalibur Minerals has forced numerous corporate mergers, that have absorbed many smaller organizations and often allow it to under-bid rival companies in the Rift for contracts to extract planetary ores.
They specialize in the extraction of heavy metals and despite a poor safety record, have an amazing output per operation. It has traditionally been unable to procure truly modern mining equipment, though it has shown it to have access to a few dozen Tunnel Rat Mining Exoskeletons in the past few months, so should improve its production even more.
The Red Banders : In 2843, when the corporation began to diversify, the development of resources in the Cilician Ranges encountered the problem of a small workforce. It contracted numerous free miners from the surrounding Constellation, and over a forty year period, strip-mined several valleys of their petrochemicals and returned a healthy profit to both Excalibur and the planetary government through royalties.
By 2883, the majority of these easily accessible resources were exploited, and some of the miners remained to work the failing fields as independents. As a whole, they are known as the “Red Banders”, using a crimson sash to differentiate themselves from main-line Excalibur employees. In the years since, the miners have developed many mountain valleys into settlements, isolated physically by their terrain, but able to maintain contact through the satellite system and Excalibur Trade Airships. They have created a nearly autonomous voting block, sometimes referred to as the “Red Faction”, and are culturally distinct from other Tarsan citizens in Newland and Evander.
Excalibur Trading :
HEO : Michael Michaud
Director, Air Transport : Carla Demarque
Director, Interstellar Shipping : Lee Thieu
Director, Taurian Operations : Ikusuma Katamoto
Excalibur Trading : Operates a small fleet of starships engaged in trade and commercial ventures. The transport arm of the mighty Excalibur Corporation, which holds the monopoly of most of the regional trade, as well as other interests as developed by her sister branches; Excalibur Minerals, Excalibur Brokers, and Excalibur Surveys.
Originally an independent shipping firm, that provided transport to the miners in the Cilician Ranges, it was one of the first “acquisitions” by the Excalibur Corporation, and has remained an important part of its shipping services. It provides not only services on Tarsus, but often sells its transports to other planetary governments in the Rift, where it has ties. The common consensus, is that Excalibur Trading will haul any cargo anywhere at any time for a reasonable fee.
The Parker Complex : An old complex of stone and glass offices, built several hundred years ago, surrounded by a sprawl of modern buildings and communication facilities in the center of the city. The Trade offices of Excalibur Corp once housed all of Excalibur’s operations. The antique buildings are a gloomy island of dark stone, wrought iron and carved hardwoods amidst the cream-colored maxicrete of more modern office modules. The planet’s legendary fogs cloud everything. The symbolic center of Excalibur’s shipping concerns, it remains the nerve center for all trade operations. Any information regarding its operations or its personnel can be found here.
The facility has a series of electronic motion, IR and EM detection grids, backed by a squad of WildCAT security squads. Most execs also have personal bodyguards in their retinue at all times. Akari Heavy Industries, a recent new partner in the constellation and concerned over its holdings and goods in transit, has also stationed a platoon of laser-armed security at the facility. Facility personnel also have housing and rec facilities on-base, allowing improved security for all staff, as well as any corporate ambassadors (such as Petrochem Interstellar, Interstellar Electronics, and Raven Mass Inc. ) considered allied with Excalibur’s trade organization.
Air Transport Fleet :
Of less value, but still an integral part of the company’s trade, the Air Transport Division owns and maintains a number of rapid transport jets and slow cargo dirigibles in operation on Tarsus. The two transports operate daily trips to each of the main cities on-planet; Evander, Newland, and Kochstadt, though there is always room for quick transport and tickets are relatively cheap. The three cargo planes run high-value cargo between each city, while the airships concentrate on hauling ore from the Excalibur Minerals mines in the Cicilian Ranges, and supplies from Newland.
Shipping & Interface Fleet :
Excalibur Shipping maintains a fleet of seven (7) JumpShips (including two Starlord-Class, three Invader-Class, and a pair of Merchant-Class) and over seventeen (17) Dropships, mainly corporate-built Danais-Class Dropships (12 such vessels in operation), but including a rare Fortress-Class Dropship Marquessa for “Security Operations” off-world. The remaining four (4) are Mule-Class Dropships, used mostly in hauling bulk ores and foodstuffs on regularly scheduled runs across the region. The company dedicates two of its JumpShips (both Invaders) to facilitate the needs of its sister-company, Excalibur Minerals, and five (5) other vessels (the two Starlords and three Invaders) run regularly scheduled routes across the Rift. The remaining four, all Merchants, are available as paid contract vessels, through corporate contact centers on two of the Rift worlds, and two of its system-states; System – Drellesarr, System – Cassandra, System-State – “The Unity of Promise”, and System-State – “The Carthaginian Assembly”.
The captains and crews of these vessels often engage in speculative trading runs when cargo space is available, especially when calling on regular planets where they have contacts, and know the needs of their destination worlds. The JumpShips always give priority transport to corporate ships or cargo in need of passage.
The corporate fleet has begun to base itself out of System – Outpost, where they have relocated many key technical personnel. The facility is well-protected by a wing of TAAF-54 Vasarahai AeroFighters, and usually has one or two JumpShips from its fleet, and their attendant DropShips and crews in the station under-going repairs. There are also a large contingent of star marines based from the facility.
Excalibur Brokers :
HEO : Martin Alcazar
Director, Rift Operations : Margaret Verliek
Director, Starwide Merchants Operations : Mortimer Trellenstone
Excalibur Brokers, is a widespread firm with offices on most worlds of importance in the constellation, which matches buyers and sellers of everything from cargoes to JumpShips. Based on a reputation for its acquisitions, the organization has accumulated a sizable asset base, and this capital allows it to sponsor expeditions for more salvage and other opportunities.
Starwide Merchants is the corporation that acts as the front for all “illicit” trading in the corporation through its brokerage division. This fact is an open secret, ever since the company gained control of the questionable organization in a bitter and very hostile take-over about five years ago. Based on System – Drexillthar, the company maintains its own organization and interstellar transports (mostly Danais-Class and a couple of battered Invader and Merchant JumpShips), but also has a couple ancient Lion-Class and Seeker-Class DropShips at its disposal with a small force of working, if old, BattleMechs, tanks and infantry to defend its holdings on Drexillthar and elsewhere, at need.
Excalibur Surveys :
HEO : Unknown
Director : Unknown
The facility on Rond has a separate wing dedicated to a scout base, which represents another new division of the company – Excalibur Surveys – which maintains a private organization for research and survey work. It operates a pair of battered Tramp-Class JumpShips and another pair of Seeker-Class Dropships for exploitation of new resources and systems. They attach corporate Danais-Class Dropships in need for hauling cargo when required, but generally operate alone. Very little is known about this newest division of the corporation.
MACO (Military Assault Command Operations)
It should be noted, that recent operations have forced the corporation to expand its own security arm. While its forces on Tarsus are above attack, its growing fleet of ships and control of interests across the local constellations has led to the formal development of the company’s “MACO” division.
Military Assault Command Operations (commonly abbreviated as MACO) is a united force of troopers from culled from various mercenary and other military commnads under the corporate logo. Many are actually from System – Tarsus own armed forces, but you can usually find others from distant worlds serving in MACO.
Most ships serving in the corporation have a small detachment of these troops assigned, and every off-world facility counts several squads or platoons among its base personnel. The formations of these units are not particularly large, and they are not meant to be used as an army, rather as a counter-intelligence and security division aimed at protecting company assets and personnel. The corporate WILDCATs, or special ops division, is believed to presently fall under this organization’s command and control.
As of 3025, MACO tactics and technology are considerably more advanced than those of its planetary defense forces, but their combat expertise is limited to simulations conducted on Tarsus, and a handful of officers who have been serving in recent conflicts, such as in System – Cassandra. The units are traditionally armed with corporate-designed pulse laser rifles and a light pulse laser pistol for “hold-out” purposes or close-quarters fights. They are also equipped with a stun stick, light-weight manacles, two extra clips for the pistol and a military-grade battery for the rifle in a backpack satchel.
The corporation has a history of aggressive behavior, and under-handed activities; whatever it takes to expand its holdings and bottom-line. A result of this, has been the steady economic expansion of its presence into the systems around System – Tarsus, and occasional “hot spot” conflicts over territory and resources.
The company does not have a good history, however, of its outright wars. The recurring conflicts in System – Cassandra are a constant source of proof the company does not do well in outright war, though the acquisition of the planet’s primary starport, many key resources and several JumpShips from the national navies of System – Dumassas in the wake of the 3024-5 Small War, have proven they do well in economic and trade wars, provided they have others bear the brunt of the fighting.
Today, the company has settled down into a fairly quiet situation of conducting trade, greatly assisted by the interstellar assets of System – Dumassas and System – Outpost, which have ensured the profitability of the Candle Route reaching across the Hyades Frontier, from the Federated Suns to the Unity of Promise. Its various resource colonies continue to provide the cheap resources it needs to promote its production facilities on Tarsus, and the company has developed several new production lines of common goods for its own colonies, including various consumer electronics and simple colonial assets, like modular components for habitats and establishing remote workstations.
The company continues to present itself as the mega-corporation of the constellation, and appears to many as the leading trade and production organization of the region.
In late-3030, the company created the splinter company Star Forge Yards, which included the entire system of System – Outpost in its resource base. This concluded a decades-long effort of the organization to establish, and displayed the long-range thinking that some members of the corporation have, and the patience they can display, when required.