Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The First BattleMech
MSK-9H Mackie (100 tons)
Chassis : Ford Super H QWAS
Power Plant : Vlar 300
Cruise Speed : 32.5 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.6 kph (5)
Jump Jets : none
Jump Capacity : None
Heat Sinks – 20
Armor : StarShield with CASE (Armor Factor 304) : 19.0 tons
Head – 3/9
Center Torso – 31/50
Rear – 11
Right Torso – 21/32
Rear – 10
Left Torso – 21/32
Rear – 10
Right Arm – 17/34
Left Arm – 17/34
Right Leg – 21/41
Left Leg – 21/41
Two (2) Donal PPCs (2xLA)
One (1) Beagle Active Probe (LT)
One (1) Imperator Zeta AC/20 (RA)
Ammo (AC) : 20 (RT)
Two (2) Starflash Medium Lasers (2xCT)
Communications System : Dalban Comline
Targeting & Tracking System : FOI ScanSys VII, w/ Beagle Active Probe
Notes : Cost = 8,750,000 Cs.
BattleTech Tracking Stats : – : 1/3 : y : n : y : 90 : 6 : 19 : 5 : 9 : +10 : n : n
Overview : The MSK-5S Mackie thundered onto battlefields and into history books in the mid-twenty-fifth century, forever changing warfare. It took over twenty years of Terra’s best weapons firms to convert IndustrialMech technology, then a century old, into the revolutionary armored vehicle. And the Mackie was not just revolutionary – it proved to be a workhorse. By the dawn of the twenty-sixth century, the theft of the Mackie’s blueprints had spread the design to every Inner Sphere nation, and made it the staple of every frontline BattleMech unit.
But while other nations sought to quickly shed their Mackies for domestically designed BattleMechs, the Hegemony remained respectful of the original design. Hegemony militias continued to generate surprising successes with later models of the Mech, defeating endless attempts to completely phase the Mackie from service.
Capabilities : When the Lyrans successfully acquired the plans for the Mackie, the Terran Hegemony strove to maintain their technological advantage. Interim solutions included upgrades for existing equipment. The prolific Mackie was, of course, a beneficiary of these upgrades, which were also slated for the forthcoming crop of late twenty-fifth century BattleMechs. These advances kept the Mackie on the battlefield for decade longer than anticipated.
he boxy chassis readily accepted more compact engines and gyroscopes, while it was easy to string the frame with more efficient myomers and replace the experimental armor with refined composites. The late-twenty-fifth century myomers even allowed a lighter engine to maintain the same speed. The resulting MSK-7 series was a very credible assault machine before the concept even existed in military service. The MSK-8 “series” was a catchall Hegemony designation for many MSK-6S chasses customized with improved technologies by multitudinous Hegemony contractors.
What became of the standard Hegemony militia model, the MSK-9H, was an outgrowth of the MSK-7 series and included numerous trivial reliability improvements. It paired a massive autocannon (the Mech-killing Imperator Zeta ) with twin PPCs, though updated to Donals. The already-impressive sensors were upgraded even further to make it an excellent anti-insurgency unit, while CASE protected the Zeta’s sizable ammo bay.
Those militia customers were also on the front lines of defense against Amaris’ forces in 2766, meaning few Mackies survived to 2768. Amaris detested the Mackie for numerous reasons (its production lines could be better used for more advanced assault Mechs and “primitive” Mackies handed his forces constant galling defeats during the Coup). Kerensky barely found one hundred intact to take on the Exodus, half of which were counted as scrap.
Deployment : Built in an era when obsolete military vehicles were scrapped when their replacements arrived, the Mackie’s endurance is surprising. However, the Hegemony’s pride in the first BattleMech and the Mackie’s continued battlefield successes kept it in service with Hegemony militias for centuries. It was well known, it used simple and widely available components, and benefited from extensive aftermarket support that always kept a few hundred in service, until the twenty-eighth century. Additionally, Skobel MechWorks periodically manufactured small quantities on secondary production lines for its remaining Hegemony customers.
The MSK-9H was the common militia model, and most Hegemony militias refitted their Mackies to this standard in the twenty-seventh century, though with components from varying manufacturers.
With the only surviving Mackie factories on Terra and virtually no operable Mackies in House service, the Mackie did not remain in production through the Succession Wars like its twenty-fifth century contemporaries, the Archer, the Wasp, Thunderbolt and others.
Variants : The battelfield prototype, the MSK-5S, and the production model MSK-6S included primitive equipment, such as an over-sized engine and archaic cockpit.
The MSK-7S series covered new factory models from the late-twenty-fifth century, mostly built around a powerful autocannon and a number of heavy energy particle cannons.
The MSK-8 “series” was a grab bag of MSK-6S retrofits in numerous forms. The typical MSK-8B is virtually identical to the MSK-9H except for slightly heavier armor, an additional heat sink, and its origins as a retrofit rather than a new build.
The MSK-9H only constitutes a rough standard for Hegemony militia units. With the huge wealth of the Hegemony, militias had access to very advanced technology, and the Mackie’s Ford Super H chassis proved very easy to customize.