Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
LosTech Assault Mech
HGN-732 Highlander (90 tons)
Chassis : Star League XT
Power Plant : GM 270
Cruise Speed : 32.4 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.6 kph (5)
Jump Jets : HildCo Model 10
Jump Capacity : 90m
Armor : Grumann-3 Ferro-Fibrous with CASE (Armor Factor 278) : 15.5 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 29/40
Rear – 17
Right Torso – 19/28
Rear – 10
Left Torso – 19/28
Rear – 10
Right Arm – 15/30
Left Arm – 15/30
Right Leg – 19/38
Left Leg – 19/38
One (1) M-7 Gauss Rifle (RA)
Ammo (Gauss) : 10 (RT)
One (1) Holly-20 LRM Launcher (LT)
Ammo (LRM) : 12 (LT)
One (1) Holly-6 SRM Launcher (RT)
Ammo (SRM) : 30 – (RT)
Two (2) Harmon Starclass Medium Lasers (2 RT)
Manufacturer : StarCorp Industries, Son Hoa (Lyran Commonwealth).
Communications System : Hector VII
Targeting & Tracking System : Starlight LX-1
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/1 : y : n : n : 90 : 7 : 31 : 6 : 8 : – : y : y
Overview : Designed for the Star League Defense Force in 2592, the Highlander was an instant success with both the Regular and Royal regiments, as its wide variety of weapons and jump jets could take on any situation. However, the Succession Wars devastated the factory on Son Hoa , leading to the virtual extinction of the design towards the end of the Second Succession War. Hollis Incorporated suggested a licensing proposal to StarCorps involving rebuilding destroyed chassis almost from scratch while using readily available technologies. StarCorps readily accepted the proposal – and a hefty licensing fee.
Hollis has continued to custom-build the 733 models to this day.
Capabilities : By the time the Highlander was introduced, the battlefield tactic of Death From Above was well-developed. Designers knew that if they gave a Mech jump-capability, some hotshot would attempt to use it to jump on another Mech. For this reason, the designers gave the Highlander extra-thick leg armor, while strengthening the interior skeleton to absorb the impact of landings. The jump jets were also designed to allow a pilot to redirect the force of any landing impacts. A “Highlander Burial” is one in which a light Mech is crushed and literally driven into the earth by the force of the landing.
The primary weapon of the Highlander is the Gauss Rifle. An advanced field arm, the Gauss Rifle uses a series of powered magnets to propel its shell through the barrel towards the target. Though the system requires large amounts of power to magnetize the projectile coils, it produces very little heat. The rifle must be heavily protected, however, making it quite heavy. The Gauss Rifle was perfect for larger Mechs, and was deemed the successor to the autocannon on the modern battlefield.
Supporting the Gauss Rifle are a pair of Holly missile launchers, both large- and short-range, and torso-mounted twin medium lasers. The missile launchers provide good coverage across all ranges, and the Harmon Starclass lasers permit the Highlander to engage in hand-to-hand combat with both arms. Opponents of the Highlander point out that the Mech requires almost constant ammo resupply and that in a prolonged battle, its lack of energy weapons will severely hamper its ability to remain in the fight. Nevertheless, orders for the Highlander increased over the years.
The Mech is also equipped with Grumann-3 Ferro-Fibrous Armor, and Celular Ammunition Storage Equipment, or CASE, shielding the ammunition in both the Right and Left Torso. Very reliable, the CASE has been credited with saving countless Mechs and their pilots across the Inner Sphere.
Deployment : Both the Capellan Confederation and the Lyran Commonwealth use the Highlander in small numbers, as present production lines churn-out less than a dozen Mechs each year.
The BattleMech itself was often positioned as an installation defender, and later on it joined mobile-fire lances that needed jump capability over raw firepower. However, such lances, which included Grasshoppers, Victors and Exterminators, were quite adept at smashing enemy lines when needed.
Variants : Unlike other Star League-era designs such as the Devastator and the Exterminator, the Highlander did not suffer too badly when it was retooled to carry more primitive technologies. It retained almost the same amount of armor plating, and its main weapon – the Mydron Heavy Autocannon – is still deemed sufficient as a primary gun, especially when paired with its LRM-20 for long-range exchanges. Most pilots agree the Mech is popular for its mobility and its ability to engage at range.