Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Light Scout Unit
FLE-4 Flea (20 tons)
Chassis : Earthwerk Trooper
Power Plant : GM 120
Cruise Speed : 64.5 kph (6)
Flank Speed : 97.2 kph (9)
Jump Jets : None
Jump Capacity : -
Heat Sinks : 10
Armor : Livingston Ceramics (Armor Factor 32) : 2 tons
Head – 3/5
Center Torso – 6/5
Rear – 2
Right Torso – 5/3
Rear – 1
Left Torso – 5/3
Rear – 1
Right Arm – 3/3
Left Arm – 3/3
Right Leg – 4/3
Left Leg – 4/3
One (1) Martell Large Laser (RA)
One (1) Olympian Flamer (CT-R)
Two (2) Martell Small Lasers (2xLA)
Manufacturer : Earthwerks Incorporated, Ascunsion (Free World’s League – Production Halted); Bernardo (Capellan Confederation – Production Halted); Terramatrix Industrial Salvage, System – Dumassas (Periphery).
Communications System : Neil 2000
Targeting & Tracking System : Dalban HiRez-B
Notes : Easy to Maintain, Low/Narrow Profile, No Arms.
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/2 : y : n : y : 360 : 7 : 28 : 7 : 9 : +1 : y : y
Overview : The Free Worlds League wanted a light unit to scout for its new BattleMech forces. The prototype of the Trooper hit the test fields in 2475. The designwas filled with so many flaws, however, that it didn’t pass a field combat test until the twenty-sixth century. Rather than assign soldiers to a design with over twenty-five years of bad press associated with its name, the FWL renamed it the Flea. During the early Succession Wars, the inexpensive Flea was easy to mass-produce, but losses were too great for the Great Houses to tolerate and the line was switched to produce heavier designs until the arrival of Wolf’s Dragoons.
Capabilities : The Flea design is focused on speed and firepower. At just under 100 kph, it could keep up with most scouts of the Late Succession Wars, and its Martell Large LAser could outrange most of their weapons. For close combat, the Flea also has a pair of small lasers, and a rear-mounted flamer that is useful in setting fires. Its placement, however, has led to more than one derisive comment.
If the weaponry of the Flea isn’t enough to scare the opposition, the Flea’s pilot can use its speed to avoid being hit. With a meager two tons of armor (half that of the Locust), there is little room for error. A mere medium laser can punch through most of its armor, and a large laser will easily sheer off a limb.
Deployment : Outside of the Free Worlds League, the Flea virtually vanished until the Dragoons appeared with a half-dozen of the design. Earthwerks reopened the Flea line to provide parts and occaisionally new Mechs for the Dragoons under an exclusive contract. They continue to supply parts and Mechs to this day.
A demonstration of the Flea’s abilities occurred slightly before the birth of teh Star League in the waning days of the Age of War. In the late twenty-sixth century, a pair of Third Marik Militia Fleas were covering a pair of Huchbacks. A trio of Commandos managed to maneuver behind the Hunchbacks, and so intent were they on getting a shot at the large Mechs’ vulnerable rears, the Steiner pilots ignored the lighter Fleas. While one Hunchback exploded after the first salvo from the Commandos, one of their own went down with a missing leg from the combined fire of the Fleas. The two remaining Commandos couldn’t outrun the Fleas, but their mobility was adequete to avoid the Hunchback’s cannon. By using the Hunchback to herd the Commandos, the Fleas predicted the Lyran Mechs’ moves and eventually cut them down.
Variants : The only significant variant of the Flea is the FLE-15 “Trooper”. This version drops the large laser for a ton of more armor and increases its close-range weaponry. The arm lasers are moved to cover its rear, while the flamer is moved to face forward. The arms carry a machine gun and a medium laser each, and a full ton of ammo is added to provide plenty of endurance for its field operations. This variant is best employed by garrison forces or in riot duty.