Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Sultan Mobile Command Post
Mobile HQ of the Iron Dingoes
“Sultan” Mobile Command Post (25 tons)
Power Plant : Omni 130 Fusion
Cruise Speed : 64.0 kph (5)
Flank Speed : 97.6 kph (8)
Armor : StarSlab/4 (Armor Factor 80) : 5 tons
Front – 16
Right Side – 19
Left Side – 19
Rear – 16
Turret – 10
One (1) Defiance B3M Medium Laser (Turret)
Communications Equipment : 7 tons (Body)
Cargo : 0.5 tons (Body)
Manufacturer : Star League Defense Industries, Mars
Communications System : TharHes HQ CommSet
Targetting and Tracking System : Diplan-IX SideSweeper
Notes : The use of this vehicle grants various bonuses to the allied force:
Possessing massive communications capabilities, the MHQ provides a +1 initiative bonus for possessing 3-6 tons of equipment, and +2 initiative bonus for possessing a full 7 tons of communications equipment (TO p194).
A MHQ has the ability to try and identify if a generic satellite is available for establishing communications. Use of this ability removes the bonus to initiative for the round in question. (TO p194).
The unit’s force may employ an ECM/ECCM field equal to 1/2x for 3-6 tons, or 1x for 7 full tons of equipment available. Use of this ability precludes any communications or other ability in a given round. (TM p212, TO p195-6, SO p314).
In a Battleforce scenario, an allied command gains up to 7 additional Command Points as long as the unit remains in play (SO p265, p351).
Overview : Mobile HQs have been the nerve-center of large-scale planetary operations since man stepped into space. They gather information from the various participants and then use sophisticated command-and-control systems to present data to the unit commander for analysis.
The standard Mobile HQ has changed little since its introduction into the SLDF; while its cosmetic appearance may vary from House to House, the core systems remain the same, although some minor upgrades in technology may have been applies – or in the case of the Succession Wars, the failure of technology and spare parts might have degraded its systems.
Capabilities : A typical Mobile HQ is divided into two parts – the communications room and the control cab. The main communications room can seat an entire technical squad. Dominating the center of the floor is a TriHolo projection table, capable of showing the surrounding terrain and individual troop members, including known enemy positions. The sophisticated battle computer can also display various projections of the battle’s future, and possible avenues to follow based on whatever variables the commander enters into the system.
Three separate communications stations allow a commander and his staff of comm-techs to maintain constant contact with their forces. The powerful transmitters are capable of piercing most modern jamming systems and can even connect with distant JumpShips at traditional jump-points using the collapsible main array on the roof. The interior of the communications room is kept stable through a complex and dynamic suspension system that allows normal activity within despite the speed of the truck.
Deployment : Once a common sight among most House forces, the Mobile HQ has slowly vanished from general use due to two factors; the highly technical electronics and battle computers are beyond the present know-how of most repair technicians today, and the HQs have become a legitimate target of headhunters ever since the Succession Wars. Those few Mobile HQs still in operation tend to be assigned to larger, prestigious units such as the Sword of Light regiments of the Draconis Combine, or the Lyran Guard in the Commonwealth. While still in service, however, these units tend to be only partially functional – some no longer have working computers or TriHolo tables, others have lost the use of their multi-functional communications suites. Still, many commanders make do and have used the trucks to some success.
Variants : Variants remain minor, consisting mainly of different turret weapons. Combine and Confederation forces typically mount a long-range system, such as an LRM-10 Rack or a Large Laser, usually among trucks facing a failed number of systems, allowing the added weight to replace lost equipment. Most military commands leave the Medium Laser originally added to the design.
Finding a Mobile HQ in a mercenary unit is a rare thing indeed; if one is present, a House will consider its presence a strong mark in favor of hiring the unit. Such mercenary units tend to have the fusion engine replaced with an ICE model, usually having been stripped and sold for weapons, parts or even a light BattleMech. These radical salvage operations require extensive power amplifiers for the vehicle’s communications array and extensive computer systems. By the early 31st century, only Wolf’s Dragoons is known to operate the fusion models in any great numbers.