Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Partisan Heavy Tank
Air Defense Tank
Partisan Heavy (Air-Defense) Tank (80 tons)
Power Plant : GM SuperLoad 240 ICE
Cruise Speed : 32.5 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.3 kph (5)
Armor : Star Slab/7 (Armor Factor 96) : 6.0 tons
Front – 22
Right Side – 18
Left Side – 18
Rear – 16
Turret – 22
Armament : 4 Flak Autocannon/5s (4 Turret)
2 Auto Gun Machine Guns (2 Front)
Manufacturer : Kallon Industries; Loyalty, Kirklin and Nanking, Federated Suns.
Communications System : JoLex Systems
Targeting and Tracking System : AntiAir Flak Systems-1
Notes : A platoon of Partisans can be slaved together into a poor man’s C3 Network. One of the four tanks must be designated as the master node, and if that node is destroyed, the network collapses. While active, the network provides all active tanks the ability to fire at the same target as though using a C3 System (TW pp. 131-3). All tanks share the Gunnery Skill of the master crew, but all slave nodes suffer a +1 penalty to-hit.
Also, the Partisan has a -2 bonus on all “to-hit” numbers against aircraft. The targeting computer can also be used from a remote location, and this allows the crew to avoid “Crew hits” if it is established in a static, fortified position.
Overview : In some ways, the Partisan has been in design since the age of the airplane. As aircraft have gotten more powerful, corresponding weapons to shoot them down keep pace. Kallon Industries was famous for its BattleMech designs that let ground forces have a fighting chance against aircraft, but with the destruction of the Succession Wars, Kallon was unable to maintain their Mech output to match demand. The Partisan was their solution to the problem.
Capabilities : The shining jewel of the Partisan is not the armor, speed or guns but rather the targeting system. The Anti-Air Flak Systems-1 is as capable as any other system against ground-based targets, but has no equal when firing against airborne targets. Capable of tracking up to two-hundred separate targets simultaneously, it nearly instantaneously evaluates which targets are optimal for the gunner, who can fire on the computer’s selection, or override it and choose one of their own. The input for the system is even removable from the tank, and can be employed through remote cables up to 20m away. Another unique feature of the Partisan, is the ability of its computers to be linked to one another in a master-slave format. This network can prove more powerful than any other individual computer, and can find either the single most vulnerable target, or the greatest threat.
Of course, the quad-mounted Flak Autocannons are fearsome at long range, while the dual MGs provide an anti-infantry defense. Facing short-range targets, the Partisan is advised to withdraw, having only six (6) tons of armor to protect it from enemy fire. With a maximum speed of 54.3 kph, the Partisan is strictly a defensive unit. The common complaint is the vehicle’s lack of ammunition, which can be expended within minutes during an intense combat. For this reason, Partisans are usually deployed near ammo resupply facilities or vehicles.
During an attack on Dobson, the Partisan was showcased against Kurita fighters. A lack of Davion aerospace assets allowed the Combine forces to land unopposed nearly ten kilometers away from Dobbiville where _FedSuns_forces established defensive fortifications. With their supply lines in jeopardy if they went around Dobbiville, Kurita troops were forced to assault the defenders. Nearly a wing of AeroFighters, mostly consisting of Sholagars, attacked first to pin down and isolate the defenders. A company of Partisans was spread around the edges of the city and engaged the fighters, killing three on the initial engagement. Kuritan forces changed tactics to remove the anti-air threat and engaged the Partisans rather than the other targets. The smaller fighters used their speed to strafe, taxing the Partisan’s targeting abilities, but they kept the air forces occupied. When the Combine forces finally moved in, they were stopped and repulsed within a day. By the time they had left Dobson, half their fighters were lost, most to a single company of Partisans.
Deployment : While concentrated mostly in the FWL and Federated Suns where they are manufactured, the Partisan is by no means rare in any other major military outfit. The only exception is the Outworld’s Alliance, where t hey hold aerospace superiority in most conflicts, and have little use for the Partisan. Sales to the Capellan Confederation and Draconis Combine fluctuate based on levels of hostility between the various forces.
Variants : Many different attempts to modify the Partisan have taken plce over the last few decades of its existence, however none have really improved its design. The autocannons have been swapped for lighter models, but the weight savings have done little to off-set the decreased firepower. Using missiles as a primary weapon have also been attempted, but the targeting computers often have problems tracking every missile in a volley.