Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
* Landhold : Hellas
Isolated Jungle Community
Hellas (Pop 650 – Coffee) : The village of Hellas is an isolated Achuar agricultural village located in the south-east corner of the Corazón Jungle. The village lies 24 kilometers north of the San Isabel border, in the Magdalena River Valley, with an urban population of around 650, with roughly another 650 farmers raising corn, pork and coffee. Self-sufficient in most situations, the region has developed a rich tradition in its coffee plantations, and this remains its dominant export. Dairy farming and flowers have also become popular agricultural pursuits.
The community is isolated, and has never developed as quickly as other communities south of the border, remaining a fairly quiet little town. In addition to a run-down three-story hotel, two bars, a large concrete general store (selling everything from candy to farm tools), a small chapel and numerous small coffee shops, the town has long hosted a large technical support base for the nearby Oro Negro Oil Refinery, maintained by The Fuel Rats. This facility offers support services to the local community, as well as a filling and repair station, under its own brand.
Power is received through the UTE electrical network from San Isabel, and OSE provides fresh water through a small plant located on the northern bank of the Cuchilla Grande, and then pumped north to both the village and refinery. It also operates as the source of the water used in maintaining the pumpjacks in the distant oil fields.
Education to the town has been through an independently-funded school, previously operated by El Gas, and slanted towards sciences and arms training for supporting their operations in the nearby jungles. Today, it has become an arm of * “The Dingo Cub Scouts”, and while integration remains an issue, the facility has retained its former teachers, who still maintain their mandate of technical instruction.
The Fuel Rats operate the only noteworthy industry in the region, the Oro Negro Oil Refinery, that employs roughly a hundred personnel from the local community in janitorial, technical and administrative matters. Practically the entire staff are locally raised and educated Achuar natives, with only personnel hired from San Isabel to fill important key administrative and technical positions.
Oro Negro Oil Refinery
Oro Negro Oil Refinery : The center of local industrial efforts is the Oro Negro Oil Refinery, and its support services. Located in the remote north-west corner of the Magdalena River Valley, the refinery plant is cobbled together from spare parts taken from various sources, and quietly assembled in this remote location by private contractors. In late-3024, the refinery underwent a series of repairs and equipment replacements, repairing the troublesome power plant and the waste water exchange system into full operation. The systems are shut-down on a regular basis for routine maintenance, but given its ability to produce more than the resources it receives, the refinery does not suffer from the production shut-downs. While the age of the plant and local heavy rains are a concern, not to mention the general haphazard nature of its equipment, the plant is operating at peak efficiency.
The refinery is capable of refining upwards of 460 barrels of oil a day (roughly 46 tons) which is small as these sorts of facilities go, but it is still gasoline and diesel and still valuable. Its refined fuels are kept in a series of underground tanks, while the crude sludge is piped in from the nearby oil fields and kept in eight large above-ground tanks. Production takes roughly five days from sludge to fuel, and a barrel of crude oil can yield 80 liters of refined fuel; resulting in a roughly 1/3 production ratio. Assuming this, the facility produces roughly 75,000 Cs to 150,000 Cs worth of refined fuel per day at peak efficiency, and recent improvements to the wastewater recycling and the power station have allowed for a far more regular production capability.
The refinery receives less crude than it is capable of refining in any given day, which allows for regular downtime and repairs, keeping the recent improvements in top-notch condition. The facility refines every bit of crude it can receive. It produces both diesel and gasoline, with the gasoline sold to commercial markets and the diesel used internally and for its military contacts in the San Isabel government that cover the fuel’s shipment and sales, as well as being shipped in small quantities to the facilities in * Landhold : Garrison for unit consumption.
Ventura Pumping Station
Ventura Pumping Station : A small facility integral to the entire production complex, the Ventura Pumping Facility is the point at which the crude oil is pulled from the two fields and moved on towards the refinery itself. Relatively new and under good repair, it provides the staging area from which techs visit the isolated oil fields to the north and west.
The facility has four above ground storage tanks, and a small generator that burns waste oil pumped back from the refinery. In addition to the pumping station itself, there is a small barracks for technicians to spend the night, and patrolling squads to rest between trips through the jungles. All pipes in the area are underground, and this assists in keeping the exact nature and location of the facilities disguised.
The nearby oil fields produce roughly 340 barrels (34 tons) of crude oil each day. Recent repairs and equipment improvements have improved production, and opened a couple of older wells.
Los Guererros Oil Field : The smaller of the two oil fields associated with the El Gas refinery, it is located about 120 kms north of the refinery, and has twelve (12) pumpjacks, two pipelines collecting oil from the local pumpjacks. There are also two (2) storage tanks.
Los Hidalgos Oil Field : Located about 160 kms west of the refinery, there are twenty (20) pumpjacks and two pumping lines to collect oil from this field. There are also three (3) storage tanks and a small open-sided building to shelter vehicles, but little else.
Puentecillo Border Crossing
Although a small VTOL landing field exists in the local Fuel Rats support base, most transport into and out of the community is via the improved access road, known as the Calle Real. This road travels from the Oro Negro Oil Refinery to the north, along the Magdalena River Valley and through the village of Hellas, and then south 25kms to cross the Cuchilla Grande at Puentecillo Crossing. Although technically a border crossing, this site has no border controls, and its drawbridge system is accessible on either side to whomever wishes.
Sometimes border patrols from San Isabel will establish a command post on the southern side, but this has largely proven to be a waste of time, since traffic from the Hellas is very, very limited (and traditionally been in the favor of the northern military faction), and with the defeat of the local bandit forces, has left the site largely abandoned beyond an occasional tech squad from Hellas to maintain the bridge facilities. There is talk about establishing a formal (though small) military checkpoint by Sangrian Army Command, that will be matched by a small force from San Isabel, as the two nations begin formal joint military efforts.
The local community also hosts a large security and technical support base for the nearby Oro Negro Oil Refinery, which is maintained as a fortified strong-point that includes a command post, observation tower with an attached microwave communications center, cookhouse, storage building, personnel bunkers, and three defensive concrete bunkers. There is also a VTOL landing pad and a vehicle parking area (with a small maintenance shed) for The Fuel Rats personnel operations. The entire facility is surrounded by a concrete wall, 250m in diameter, to better provide security. The facility is now considered a supply depot for the 3rd Border Guards Battalion “The Jungle Cats”, and where the bulk of their support assets (logistics company) are based.
The local military garrison, is The Unforgiven, a mercenary jump infantry company, that maintains a local “guards” SRM-infantry platoon, and always keeps at least one jump platoon on-site at the refinery. They also have various personal support assets based from this facility, and reside within its bounds. The garrison is under a “House” Leash contract, and has had Major (Brevet) Abelinda Rivera placed as their direct commanding officer.
In late-3024, a full platoon of green infantry had been assigned to the site, and to perform patrols of the border road north of the border bridge and “Calle Watchpoint”.
Forward Observation Base “Tramp Station”, Puentecillo Border Crossing
In early-3025, the Iron Dingoes increased this force, officially creating the 3rd Border Guards Battalion “The Jungle Cats” and established a forward military base at the Puentecillo Border Crossing. While simple, the facility has sufficient pre-fab facilities to house the entire unit, was tied to the electrical net coming out of San Isabel, and has access to civilian services and an airport through Hellas village. Led by the “Coldhearts” (7th Platoon), it amounted to roughly a battalion of green, but well-equipped soldiers, with some fortifications and defenses, but no armor or other support weapons.
This unit was named the “Jungle Cats”, and its base, “Tramp Station”. Their primary responsibility was to look over the border, and keep an eye on their potentially rapacious southern neighbors. They worked closely with Major (Brevet) Abelinda Rivera and her other resources in this remote community for a year, before officially coming under her command.
In an amazing turn of events, the local techs, traditionally civilians, found themselves given basic rudimentary military training with a crash three week course in military discipline and Iron Dingoes technical procedures. They were also issued tools and equipment that a traditional civilian tech squad would not have access to. Almost immediately, several of the units found themselves capable of more tasks and actually respecting their new task masters. The raise in pay and improved infrastructure had also helped raise the ability of several of the units.
The effects of the 3025 Outworld Flu was very limited among the citizens of the Hellas community. Its isolation and the virulence of the plague, meant that it mostly had run its course and died-out before the town even heard about it. nonetheless, many of the population noticed a larger number of minor cases than normal, but local medical care was sufficient to resolve the issue.
In early-3026, the Jungle Cats and their base Tramp Station were swiftly evacuated to Corazón Airfield, where they and their portable base were loaded aboard the “Spearhead”, and within days left the system on an unknown operation. The defenses of the community then largely fell to the mercenary Unforgiven, but with peace reigning on the southern borders and the defeat of the region’s large bandit forces, the act seemed prudent.