Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
"Kiss of Death"
“Kiss of Death” : Fortress-Class Dropship
Type : Spheroid (Military/Assault)
Tonnage : 6000 tons
Height : 94.0 m
Width : 112.0 m
Crew : 42 : 5e, 3p, 30se, 6 gunners. 130 bay personnel.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+1se; Engine 1e+2se
First Introduced : 2613
Cargo Complement: 175 tons; 12 BattleMechs, 12 Heavy Tanks, 90 Troops.
Bay 1 : BattleMechs (12) – 1 Door
Bay 2 : Vehicles (12 Heavy) – 2 Doors
Bay 3 : Cargo/Infantry (175 tons/3 Foot Platoons) – 2 Doors
Life Boats : 2
Escape Pods : 10
Armament : 6 PPCs, 2 AC/20s, 5 AC/5s, 4 LRM-20s, 4 LRM-10s, 6 SRM-6s, 8 LLs, 16 MLs, 1 Long Tom III Cannon.
Ammunition : 5 tons AC/5 Ammo, 5 tons AC/20 Ammo, 16 tons LRM Ammo, 4 tons SRM Ammo, 25 tons Long Tom Ammo.
Drive System : Anacon B500
Heat Sinks 45 + 86
Thrust : 3
Overthrust : 5
Fuel : 6 Thrust-Points (1.84 tons per Burn-Day) : 400 tons
Structural Integrity : 13
Armor Factor(16 points per ton) : 80 tons
Nose – 250 : 2xPPC, 2xAC/5, 2xLL, 2xML, Long Tom III Cannon
Right Side – 280 : PPC, 2xLRM-20, 2xLL, 3xML
Left Side – 280 : PPC, 2xLRM-20, 2xLL, 3xML
Fuselage – 280 : 2xPPC, 2xAC/20, 2xAC/5, 4xLRM-10, 4xSRM-6, 4xML
Engine – 190 : AC/5, 2xLL, 2xML
The Fortress-Class DropShip is the best-armed and best-armored DropShip still in operation in the Inner Sphere and the Periphery. The vessel is also one of the rarest of the assault DropShips, and so it is used only during large-scale operations where other ships and AeroSpace Fighters can provide support.
Massing 6000 tons, the Fortress is smaller and lighter than the Overlord, but it devotes more space to weapons and armor. The ship is designed to field a combined arms battalion consisting of a single Mech company, an armor company, and an infantry company. Originally designed for heavy troop transport, the ship’s tremendous firepower makes it among the deadliest of the assault DropShips.
Because of its heavily armored hull and thick, permanently fixed landing legs, the ship deserves the nickname, “The Turtle”. This name also derives from the age of its systems, which tend to break-down, leading to a sluggish performance.
The Fortress mounts a wide assortment of weapons systems, most of which are mounted on its rear sides. This location is perfect for providing heavy covering fire against ground targets. The ship’s two side-mounted AC/20s, four SRM-6s, six large lasers, and ten medium lasers can rip apart any single target at close range. At longer ranges, the Fortress uses its four PPCs, four LRM-20s, four LRM-10s, and two AC/5s. This enormous weapons array drives off most enemy raiders, and destroys any that refuse to retreat.
Even units that pull away from the DropShip’s awesome main weaponry are not safe from the firepower of its far-reaching Long Tom III artillery cannon, located in a retractable mount in the ship’s nose. From its extended position, the Long Tom III has a 360 degree field of fire that has proven extremely accurate at long ranges. On the rare occasion when Long Tom ammunition is in good supply, the ship carries 125 rounds for the cannon. Because the ammunition has proven so scarce, however, the Fortress usually carries only 20-40 rounds. Any remaining storage space is often used to carry ammunition for the other weapons systems.
The biggest problems facing the Fortress, are its age and the scarcity of spare parts for its complicated systems. Even when first introduced during the early years of the Star League, it was criticized for being over-gunned and over-complicated. The vessel’s high rate of computer and fire-control systems breakdowns caused Engineers to replace the systems with less powerful, but more robust and durable systems. Also, the fusion drives became so rare that many Fortresses use engines scavenged from various other vessels, resulting in many variants.
In one famous case, replacing the original Fortress engines with a much smaller design resulted in a ship that “runs hot”, and consumes a great deal of fuel, restricting its deployment. This variant is popular among House Steiner forces, but is relegated to short-range travel. When needed for longer runs, the vessel is forced to be accompanied by a fuel tanker.
The Fortress’s large amount of weaponry and heavy armor makes it perfect for establishing and clearing landing zones for other troops and cargo DropShips. Unfortunately, because of the scarcity of this vessel in most inventories, the ship tends to follow other assault DropShips and then helps hold the landing zone once established. To defend itself and the surrounding area, the Fortress carries a combined arms battalion that includes Mechs, armor and infantry.
Once an area has been secured, the Fortress usually takes on fuel and supplies from supporting transports and remains as a base of operations for numerous combat units. The ship excels in this role, because only a very large enemy force can budge a Fortress from its resting place. Instead of attempting to destroy the ship, enemy units often try to prevent support ships and units from getting to it. Eventually, the DropShip will run low on supplies and either become an easy target, or be forced to leave its dug-in position.
The Kiss of Death is something of an enigma. Owned by the “Bloody Corsairs”, a pirate band operating in the Deep Periphery, it is accounted as the final third of three Fortress-Class DropShips they deployed. All three were rumored to have been pulled from a Periphery junkyard, but their good maintenance belies that fact somewhat. Whatever it’s origins, the ship was a prize worthy of hard effort to seize and capture.
The vessel was captured on September 12th, 3025, thirty miles from the primary starport on System – Tashrakaar, following a fierce resistance from the handful of technical squads assigned to maintaining the mothballed vessel. It had been virtually abandoned, due to the intensive crew requirements of the vessel, and is now assigned to * “The Fold Fiends” as their primary interface transport. The ship is presently operating under minimal crew status, but was assigned Commander Kasidy Yates as its lead pilot; as the ship will be planet-bound in System – Dumassas for at least a year, finding crew is a major priority.