Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Skulker Wheeled Scout Tank
Skulker Wheeled Scout Tank (20 tons)
Power Plant : GM 120 Classic ICE
Cruise Speed : 75.1 kph (7)
Flank Speed : 118.4 kph (11)
Armor : ProtecTech Light (Armor Factor 72) : 4.5 tons
Front – 18
Right Side – 18
Left Side – 18
Rear – 18
Turret – N/A
One (1) Standard Systems Medium Laser (Front)
Cargo – 0.4 tons (Body)
Manufacturer : Joint Equipment Systems, Alshain (Draconis Combine); Panpour (Federated Suns).
Communications System : Communique Equipment,
Targeting and Tracking System : Targeting System 2.3
Notes : 183,700 Cs. This vehicle has a 500-km radio range. It can also deploy fifteen (15) remote sensors and monitor them from within the tank at a range of 7kms.
Overview : While there are many different scout units manufactured, most are typically small, quick vehicles. Joint Equipment Systems decided to go a different route by making a larger and roomier vehicle. While somewhat slower than standard, the Skulker does its job well enough and crews actually request assignment to a Skulker, unlike most other scouting units. While the Skulker only requires a crew of two, it has crew quarters for four. This often allows extended hours of operation as the crew rotates through the mission, vital for scouting missions that can often involve a lot of hurry up and wait.
Capabilities : With a cruise speed of 75 kph, the Skulker can outpace most military formations and in combat situations can accelerate to nearly 120 kph, allowing it to elude pursuit. If that wasn’t enough, four-and-a-half tons of armor is more than many combat vehicles its size. For offence, the Skulker mounts a medium laser, ideal for long-range missions with minimal resupply. To accomplish its main mission, an advanced sensor suit has been tied into both the targeting and communications systems. Software allows the driver to navigate using the sensor system.
Very hot environments often wreak havoc on advanced electronics like those the Skulker mounts, but by allowing the heat sinks to cool its sensors when the laser is not in use, the Skulker can operate on even the hottest planets without worrying about damage to the electronics. Since the Skulker’s missions tend to last a week at a time, designers equipped the Skulker with a very roomy crew area complete with an entertainment system. Alarms tied to the sensor system trigger if deployed sensors detect threats, allowing the crew to relax without being taken completely off-guard.
Deployment : The primary scouting vehicle for the Draconis Combine, almost all Combine conventional units possess at least one Skulker. The roomy, comfortable interior makes the Skulker popular among scouting crews who can get them in other Houses. The secondhand market for Skulkers is very lively, as are JES’s sales when the Combine allows export of the light tank. Sales to the Cappellan Confederation and Free World’s League have recently increased with the signing of the Concord of Kapteyn.
Variants : Most variants are mainly cosmetic in design, altering the Skulker for specific environments. A few Skulkers attached to planetary militia units swap out the laser, heat sinks and booster for a missile system or machine guns for anti-infantry defense. The crew quarters were designed for easy modification, so crews frequently optimize their Skulker for their own needs and habits.