Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Petrópolis was once the capital of the Dumassas Empire, a multi-generational realm that united the planet under one charismatic and ruthless family of tyrants (dating roughly from July 18th, 2830, until its destruction by BattleMech raiders in 2860.
Petrópolis Main Market Commons
The town has remained more of a protected park in the years since the fall of the Selich Empire, and has never been industrialized or otherwise developed, beyond its location as a resort and vacation spot. It has a reputation for a wild nightlife, and is known best for exclusive bars where anything goes. The best receive military patronage, electrical access and locally brewed liquors.
The commons market has gained a reputation for black market goods, and is home to many open booths and market stalls where anything can be bought for the right amount of hard currency. Gold is the real currency in the town, though C-Bills might also be accepted by the more established traders and merchants. Barter is common among the locals; everyone ignores the national currency. Leather goods, clothing, alcohol bio-fuels and simple tools (shovels, bicycles and carts) are common. An effort has recently been made to convert a local niter factory into a munitions factory, and it churns out a few small arms munitions from recovered brass casings. The site is known as the “Bullet Farm”, as it is located in a cleared field south-east of town, and is prone to minor explosions.
Petrópolis Castle as seen from the nearby river
Petrópolis Castle : The old imperial palace of the Selich family, the site was converted into a museum, the “Museu Imperial” (The Imperial Museum of Terramatrix), and its original ferrocrete walls and many ancient furnishings and other treasures were preserved.
Today, the ancient castle has been occupied by elements of the 7th (Motorized) Infantry Battalion, and serves as headquarters for the junta under the command of Genral Jorge Rafael Videla. The site has been reinforced by an exterior rubble wall that encloses the center of town, bearing numerous anti-vehicle obstacles and concrete bunkers bearing light autocannons and machine guns. The castle itself has been turned once more into a military fortress, filled with vehicles, equipment and serving as both barracks and munitions storage for the 7th Battalion. One wing has been converted into a hospital, while another has become the defacto government facilities for the town and the lands around it.
The catholic cathedral within its walls has been largely untouched by the occupiers, mostly because of the intense emotions of the locals regarding its sanctity, though it is still occupied by military troops, and many see it as a means to project the new government’s power, as this was also the site for the crowning of Selich the Third, the first of the great imperial monarchs of Terramatrix. The remaining treasures of that empire have been taken under the guns of the junta for “safe-keeping”, a source of some friction between the military junta and the former civilian government.
The Hospital : Most of the region’s medical personnel and supplies have been gathered into one of the former residential wings of the castle. Along with the surviving medical and biochemical staff and instructors from the national University, these form a valuable hospital that helped the community (and the 7th Battalion garrison) survive the worst of the 3025 Pandemic. While not terribly impressive by Inner Sphere standards, it is one of the greatest treasures in the castle. Its experts have been making primitive, but valuable antibiotics and antitoxins. The families of the staff are kept under close observation to ensure loyalty among the science staff.
Electricity : Perhaps the most important weakness of the town, is that electricity is a luxury in the region. The large power-generating coal plants have ceased functioning in the recent riots and pandemic, and are in no immediate condition to be repaired. Oil was scarce even before the riots, and remains inaccessible to most locals. The small local electrical plant manages to pump out a few hundred kilowatts of power, but is steam-powered that burns mostly bio-waste from the city’s nearby farms and limited industry. Essential to the operation of any industry in the town and local region, electricity is strictly rationed towards important industries and the fortress (and its hospital), though wealthy clubs and individuals are granted an exception to the rationing for possession of “proper licenses”. The site is heavily guarded by local militia forces.
The primary military force for Petrópolis, is the 7th (Motorized) Rifle Infantry Battalion of The Federative Republic of San Marcos. Equipped with traditional Dumassas Militia Field Kits, they include several new companies of conscripted novice civilian troopers, led by the veteran troops of the 7th Battalion. Well-fed and regularly given luxuries from their occupation of the region, the troops under the 7th are in very good morale and hard to bribe.
The commanding officer is General Jorge Rafael Videla. His senior staff includes very loyal officers from the 7th, and his force counts roughly 1600 infantry, though only 400 are under arms at any given time. The remaining companies are kept as reserves, and rotate back into the standing forces on a regular basis. He also maintains another few platoons of logistical and technical support troops, and another two-hundred civilian “contractors”, who perform manual labor and spend most of their time improving the fortifications of the castle and nearby town.
The Infantry companies include few heavy weapons beyond those typical of their standard equipment, though check-points and key positions are reinforced with armored bunkers bearing anti-armor weapons, such as MP-75mm Anti-Tank Guns and Infantry Support MGs. In addition, several platoons of Wheeled APCs and at least two lances of Scorpion Light Tanks are available to his forces.
The 7th Support Company includes a small engineering section equipped with various conscripted civilian machines and vehicles to perform construction duties, as well as a cadre of skilled engineers to lead the largely civilian workforce. Its transport division has Light Utility Transports to move supplies to forces that need them, and its maintenance division has access to a substantial machine shop and tools to provide support for the unit’s extensive military apparatus. There is also a small signals division, busy laying wires to connect communications to all the bunkers with the fortress.
The DropShip : The unknown factor in all this, is the recent appearance of a DropShip at the castle. Only days ago, a Union-Class DropShip, known only as the “Aviso” (Portuguese for “The Advisor”) landed at the fortress site, and troops began supplying its forces with food and officers have been seen coming and going at all hours. While its exact force composition remains unknown at this time, it is assumed its houses at least a company of BattleMechs under the local government’s command.