Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Harasser Missile Platform
Harasser Missile Platform (25 tons)
Power Plant : GM 120 Classic II ICE
Cruise Speed : 108.8 kph (10)
Flank Speed : 162.1 kph (15)
Armor : Star Slab/2 (Armor Factor 24) : 1.5 tons
Front – 5
Right Side – 5
Left Side – 5
Rear – 4
Turret – 5
Armament : 2 SureShot Mk VI SRM 6s (Turret)
Ammo (SRM) : 30 (Body)
Manufacturer : Brooks Incorporated, Suzano, Irian, Andurien
Communications System : Maxell 500
Targeting and Tracking System : Maxell TA 55
Notes : -
Overview : Looking to complement the sizable force of Galleon Light Tanks acquired during the fall of the Star League, the Free World’s League commissioned Brooks Incorporated to create a companion vehicle for their tracked vehicle. Deciding against doing a more traditional companion, a similar motive system with longer-ranged capabilities for support, designers instead opted for a swifter hover tank with equally short-ranged firepower.
Capabilities : The Harasser’s speed combined with its formidable pair of SRM-6 Racks have garnered Harasser unit’s the nickname “Poor Man’s Artillery”, as the lightweight hovercraft could deliver concentrated firepower quickly across a raging battlefield.
The speed and firepower come at a price. Only a ton and a half of armor protects the entire machine, allowing even single shots to hit and penetrate most locations on the hover tank. This often led to many quickly destroyed Harassers, as the first heavy weapons hit would push through to the engine or its large ammunition bins, leading to spectacular explosions. Many Harasser commanders force their vehicles to spread out and move at top speed, artillery and bottlenecks will often lead to the graveyard for the light craft.
Brooks Incorporated attempted to install a back-up fire control for the commander, allowing them to re-align and fire the turret-mounted weapons, but a string of accidents and mis-firings by commanders simply trying to realign the turret forced them to do a recall, disabling and removing the back-up control system from the Harassers. Only a few hundred outside the Free-Worlds League borders still have this feature.
Deployment : Though developed to be teamed with the Galleon, the massive casualties suffered during the outbreak of the Second Succession War forced the League military to employ the Harasser throughout many local militias, as the regular military units were spread too thin to conduct effective defensive operations. This propagation would continue until the Inner Sphere nearly exhausted itself militarily and ended the Third Succession War, giving the Free World’s League enough breathing room to finally employ the Harasser as intended.
Originally, the theory was that the Harassers would surge ahead of the main formations, softening up an enemy force and drawing them to the incoming Galleons, who would do a swift pass and encircle their target enemies However, the few times this was attempted, the enemy force would refuse to take the bait, forcing increasing casualties among the light tanks as the efforts were reattempted.
Instead, commanders began switching roles between the two vehicles, leaving the Harassers behind hidden, while the Galleons engaged the enemy. With their focus entirely on the better-armored tanks, the Harassers would spring from hiding and flank the enemy force, using their devastating firepower to end the fight.
Variants : The constant tinkering of the Harasser//Galleon combination has led to a number of variants for the small hover tank. One version uses a long-range missile rack to provide swift fire support, while another uses lasers from scrapped Galleons too further streamline logistics and extend the Harasser’s endurance time. Some others use Flamers, or advanced sensors (nick-named “Mini-Peggies” ), but those tend to be rare and used only in special operations.