Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
“Relentless” – Dictator-Class Dropship (Command Variant)
Type : Spheroid (Military)
Tonnage : 9000 tons
Length : 85.0m
Height : 121.5m
WIdth : 85.0m
Crew : 39 (5e, 3p, 31se – 4 Gunners) 196 Bay Personnel.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+1se; Engine 1e+2se.
Cargo Complement : .
Bay 1 : Mechs (12) – 1 Door :
Bay 2 : Mechs (4), Infantry Platoons (8), “Grey Iron Processing Facility” – 1 Door
Bay 3 : Vehicles (18 Heavy) – 1 Door
Bay 4 : Cargo (580 tons) – 1 Door :
Life Boats : 4
Escape Pods : 9
Armament : 11xAC/10s, 6xLRM-20s, 4xSRM-6s, 2xLLs, 12xMLs
Ammunition : 5 tons of SRM ammo, 22 tons of AC/10 ammo, 20 tons LRM ammo.
Drive System : :
Heat Sinks 27 + 63 :
Thrust : 3
Overthrust : 5
Structural Integrity : 12
Fuel : 6 Thrust-Points (2.82 tons per Burn-Day) : 150 tons
First Introduced : 2600
Hull Laid Down : -
Armor Factor (16 points per ton) : 42 tons
Nose – : 3xAC/10s, 2xLRM-20s, 2xMLs
Right Side – 140 : 2xAC/10s, 2xLRM-20s, LL, 2 MLs
Left Side – 140 : 2xAC/10s, 2xLRM-20s, LL, 2 MLs
Fuselage – 160 : 2xAC/10s, 2 MLs
The Reunification War outlined the short-comings of SLDF Mech transports. With few exceptions (such as the Leopard ), most were converted vehicle and infantry transports, or worse, modified cargo hulls. Time and again, the inability to rapidly deploy large Mech forces hindered operations. The need for an effective, high-capacity Mech carrier prompted Di Tron Heavy Industriesto embark on a research and development project in 2582. They were stymied, however, when the Dictator, their leading design capable of carrying three full BattleMech companies, was dogged with bureaucratic and technical delays. The war was long over by the time the design became operational in 2600.
The spheroid hull is built around three separate company-sized Mech bays, stacked one atop the other. Each bay is isolated from the other and has a dedicated drop mechanism, access ramp, and door. While this arrangement helps protect individual companies should one bay receive damage, moving Mechs and heavy equipment between bays is virtually impossible unless the ship is grounded. Envisaged as operating as part of a taskforce, the DropShip has no provision for Fighter bays. Independent actions were to remain the domain of the smaller Leopard and the Confederate. The Dictator proved itself reliable and effective, serving with distinction long after production ceased in 2725. Operation Smother, the SLDF campaign to end hostilities between the Federated Suns and the Draconis Combine in 2729, depended heavily on the design.
The Amaris Civil War proved to be the Dictator’s last campaign. As one of the primary Mech transports in the drive to liberate the Terran Hegemony, many were destroyed by automated SDS Caspar Drones. When the SLDF departed the Inner Sphere, they preferred the new Overlord design and abandoned most of the aging Dictator’s. Three Succession Wars have taken their toll on the Dictator, and the handful that survive are in a very poor state of repair.
Introduced in 2620, the Command Variant was used to deploy a Regimental Command Company and its Battalion Lances. The ship’s third ’Mech bay is converted to carry 18 heavy vehicles, which would be part of the logistic and support elements of the Regiment. This change increased the number of people aboard a Command-variant Dictator from the original 39 crew and 73 bay personnel by adding a further 120 bay personnel. One out of ten Dictators that were produced was a Command variant.
The Relentless is a “Command” variant of a Dictator-Class DropShip, once owned by the mercenary company, “The Alpha Dogs”. In early February of 3023, the Relentless fell into the hands of the Iron Dingoes, after storming the ship with marines while still grounded and awaiting the return of its Mechs and tanks.
The vessel was then drastically altered in its interior bay (Bay 2), and then designated its lead DropShip element, a process which took several months to complete. Among the changes, were pulling most of that levels Mech bays, installing more vehicle and infantry bays to support the increasing personnel and equipment needs, and refitting the remaining space as cargo and for the unit’s unique “Grey Iron Processing Facility”.
The Grey Iron Processing Facility is a relatively new concept to the unit, using an old, salvaged “Tool & Die” manufacturing line as its base, which is effectively a specialized machinist’s shop that allows technicians assigned to it to produce a wide variety of components, tools and other objects of importance to technicians. Although of relatively low technical capability (Tech Level C), the facility still allows techs to manufacture missing tools, parts and components for their work, though at triple the cost and time of production. The use of this facility requires a large number of technicians (70 total) in addition to an equal number of general laborers.
The defensive component of * “The Cerberus Command” remains on-board these bays, providing security to its technicians and other important support personnel when grounded, which is known to the unit as * “The Dingo Pack”.
This second Mech bay also has storage for a dozen orbital probes to be deployed off the original Mech drop tubes, once meant to survey planetary surfaces for interesting species before landing, and salvaged from “Brush Wolf”. These bays have been modified to deploy orbital satellites, and can still be used for their original purpose to drop Mechs. At present, this storage area is used to store and deploy the unit’s Intelsat “Predator’s Eye”. The level’s repair bay has a small independent workshop present, with arc-welders, compressors and a Mobile Repair Platform – “Mule” has been parked here for use by the ship’s tech squads. There are twenty civilian engineer’s vaccsuits scattered around the ship in conveniently located storage trunks near airlocks and the escape pod bays.
The most drastic changes have been to the vessel’s central lounge area. Since converted by the Dingoes, this area has had its communal facilities rebuilt, and barracks space similar to those found on a Seeker have been installed. Each of the five infantry bays is appointed with four triple-tiered bunks, while personal gear is kept in a bank of lockers. Each bay contains a single shared washroom. These simple quarters allow a pair of infantry platoons to reside aboard the ship, and are typically assigned to a pair of defensive marine squads, the lead technicians for the unit’s Line Mechs, the unit’s “3rd Medical Squad”, and several groups of AsTechs and other dependents. It pleasantly bears the distinctive “patchwork” atmosphere of a typical Iron Dingoes DropShip.
The Iron Dingoes have installed four (4) TL-Model “Tranquility Lounger” VR Pods along one wall of the main lounge. Although making the area somewhat cramped, it has allowed the lead pilots the opportunity to practice their skills and maintain the Line Mech pilots abilities during lengthy travel between contracts. Since several of the members are also ardent gamblers, the outcomes of these “games” can often lead to C-Bills quickly changing hands back-and-forth. When not in use by the Line pilots, crew and dependents are encouraged to practice and use them as a diversion.
The Line Mech units from * “The Iron Dingoes” are based from the upper Mech bay of this ship. A small portion of the cargo area has been given over to a handful of Iron Dingoes transport assets (namely its “Football”) and a MASH for its assigned “3rd Medical Squad”, and its lead Doctor Carolyn Lamb. Doctor Lamb has converted a storage container bolted-down next to her assigned MASH, into an impromptu medical bay for emergency cases. With only a trio of steel gurneys bolted into place, a collection of small lockers and ship’s desk, it does not have space for extended care, buts help supplement triage cases. Ample medical supplies, and a porta-comp to assist in diagnosis, fills-out the limited medical facilities on the Brush Wolf.
Commander Kristina Schmidt is the vessel’s lead pilot. She commands a handful of hired mercenary and internally promoted of engineers and pilots from across the Dingoes DropShip fleet. As the result Relentless is a lightly crewed vessel, and acquiring a full crew is a priority for the new commander.