Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
GHR-5H Grasshopper (70 tons)
Chassis : Mingh z33/7
Power Plant : VOX 280
Cruise Speed : 43.4 kph (4)
Flank Speed : 64.8 kph (6)
Jump Jets : Leviathon Lifters
Jump Capacity : 120 m
Armor : Durallex Heavy (Armor Factor 208) : 13.0 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 22/30
Rear – 13
Right Torso – 15/20
Rear – 10
Left Torso – 15/20
Rear – 10
Right Arm – 11/22
Left Arm – 11/22
Right Leg – 15/26
Left Leg – 15/26
One (1)Diplan HD Large Laser (CT)
Four (4) Diplan M3 Medium Lasers (RA, LA, RT, LT)
One (1) Conan/S LRM-5 (H)
Ammo (LRM) : 24 (RT)
Jump Jets (RLx2, LLx2)
Communications System : Allet-C308
Targeting & Tracking System : Allet-T11
BattleTech Tracking Stats : -
Notes : -
Overview : A rushed design intended to fight in the various pent-up areas on Terra in both overt and covert operations, the Grasshopper would miss the climactic end of the Amaris Coup due to difficulties integrating several stealth systems with the chassis. With the campaign over before testing could begin, many of the new technological features were stripped out before its production started in 2780, and distribution of the untested design occurred throughout the regular army to replace losses, rather than to the more prestigious Royal divisions. As defections occurred before the Exodus, Houses began finding themselves fielding this unconventional design.
Worsening global storms and battle-damaged bio-domes led to the evacuation of the Bryant plant during the 2nd Succession War, ending the Grasshopper’s production. Due to its capabilities, however, many units have continued to prioritize repair and refurbishment of the design over other damaged units, sometimes even the commander’s own machines, leading to a high number of original-run production units still in fighting condition today.
Capabilities : While under-armed when compared to designs of similar weight, in all other aspects, the Grasshopper is consistently equal or better than other heavy designs. Nearly two dozen heat sinks keep the machine cool in all but the most intense situations. This is a stark contrast to other popular designs such as the Warhammer or the Marauder. Jump jets assist in keeping the BattelMech out of harm’s way, and thirteen tons of armor keep its internals protected in case damage becomes unavoidable.
Mounting an array of medium lasers spread out between torsos and arms, this design can return fire from just about any angle with a mere torso twist. The most favored design feature, however, is the reliable Diplan HD large laser placed in the center torso. Even if the BattelMech loses both its arms and incurs damage to both sides of the torso, the pilot can fire its main weapon as long as the machine is upright. This has led many to classify the Grasshopper as a “zombie” design in the league of machines such as the Awesome, which can take unbelievable punishment before being destroyed.
For longer-ranged encounters, an LRM-5 is the unit’s sole ammo-using weapon, Too small to have any real effect, pilots often fire missiles continually to soften up their opponents, before getting in range to bring their lasers to bear. In an extended campaign, many pilots do not bother to reload the weapon, allowing other more missile-reliant units to draw on unit stocks. This also has the added bonus if reducing its destruction through ammo explosions.
Deployment : An uncommon but popular design, the Grasshopper and its capabilities remain something of a secret among most MechWarriors. This has led most military organizations treating it like any other heavy unit until it gets too close, when it leaps into the middle of an attacker’s formation to disrupt any plan the enemy’s commander might have.
Commanders have used Grasshoppers in many light and medium companies as a back-brawler. As lighter units draw the enemy away from support, many are surprised to see such a heavy, yet nimble BattleMech anchoring the force.
Variants : Many pilots have tinkered with their Grasshoppers over the centuries, but no common variants have surfaced. The typical 5H model remains highly popular.