Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Anti-Infantry Support Mech
FS9-H Firestarter (35 tons)
Chassis : Argile H/09
Power Plant : Omni 210
Cruise Speed : 64.6 kph (6)
Flank Speed : 97.3 kph (9)
Jump Jets : Luxor Load Lifters
Jump Capacity : 180 m (6)
Armor : Livingston Ceramics (Armor Factor 88) : 5.5 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 11/13
Rear – 6
Right Torso – 8/11
Rear – 5
Left Torso – 8/11
Rear – 5
Right Arm – 6/6
Left Arm – 6/10
Right Leg – 8/8
Left Leg – 8/8
Armament : 4 Purity L-Series Flamers (RA, LA, CT, CT)
2 Magna II Medium Lasers (RA, LA)
2 Deprus RF Machine Guns (RT, LT)
Ammo (MG) : 200 (RT)
Jump Jets (3 RT, 3 LT)
Communicationms System : Cyclops 14
Targeting & Tracking System : Tansech C30-97
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : y : n : n : 45 : 6 : 19 : 5 : 8 : – : y : n
Overview : Conceived primarily as an indirect assault unit, the Firestarter was originally constructed by Argile Technologies of Skye from 2550 through early 2776. It was successfully marketed as a highly mobile incendiary Mech, and the Firestarter was constructed in great numbers before the Succession Wars began. Most Mech regiments contained a number of FS9s, and spare parts could be found at all repair depots. Over half of the original production run survived in good condition. Because the FS9 is a popular Mech among militia and House units, Argile continued to produce spare parts and new Firestarters until the catastrophic destruction of the Argile manufacturing plant and its HQ during the Third Succession War. Coventry Metal Works picked up production when Argile indicated it would not rebuild their shattered factory.
Capabilities : The Firestarter was rarely attached to a front-line lance and is usually assigned to a company or regiment. It would then be deployed to support an attack group or to scout wooded terrain.
While a capable threat against other light Mechs, the Firestarter’s specified loadout can do little against heavier opponents. However, the ability to set fires made it an invaluable supporting Mech. Skillfully placed blazes could rout an enemy force, break lines, and corner Mechs – not to mention, threaten even the largest tanks with the one thing armor crews fear most; a fiery demise trapped in their hull compartment. An entire series of tactics was developed around creating and spreading wildfires. Firestarter pilots are particularly fond of setting dense woods fires while enemy forces advance through them, or igniting buildings that shelter enemy units. If an engagement goes sour, a Firestarter can create smoke and fire to cover a retreat, and hamper pursuit.
Firestarters also work well as scouts, especially when combined with Vulcans. The Mech’s speed armor, and maneuverability give it decent protection in teh field. Not only can it map terrain as it travels, it can also clear wooded terrain that might be used as a defensive position.
Firestarters are also primarily responsible for the “scorched-earth” missions carried-out in the early days of the Succession Wars. On today’s modern battlefield, however, that tactic remains extremely rare. It is used only when long-term victory is impossible or when a target is too valuable to allow to fall into enemy hands.
Deployment : Because the Firestarter was common in all Mech forces before and during the Succession Wars, there was no real shortage of these Mechs before and during the Succession Wars. In many cases the Firestarter is incorporated into light or recon lances to replace more costly units lost to attrition.
Variants : A number of variants of the Firestarter were built during the period Argile still operated on Skye, though the FS9-H remained the most popular and widely used. One “variant” that has ceased production, was the original Firestarter design, which mounted small lasers instead of machineguns and had one more ton of armor. A companion model, the FS9-K, mounted two flamers, a large laser (typically a Magna Mark III), and two small lasers. However, the FS9-H proved too popular, and remained Argile’s dominant production line after 2703. Argile began testing a scout variant in the early 2890s that replaced all the flamers with a pair of small lasers and three tons of extra armor. Tagged as the FS9-M (and nicknamed the “Mirage”), the design saw only a year of production before the catastrophic battle that laid waste to the Argile plant and Skye’s capital. The Skye Rangers usually field a lance of FS9-Ms that are painted with one black arm to commemorate the immense destruction and tragedy of that loss.