Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Faded safari ship of a Taurian hunter/nobleman.
“The Brush Wolf” – Union-Class Dropship
Type : Spheroid (Military)
Tonnage : 3500 tons
Length : 81.5m
Height : 78.0m
WIdth : 81.5m
Crew : 14 (7e, 3p – 4 Gunners) Passnegers – 12 Mech Pilots, 2 AeroFighter Pilots, 2 Platoons Infantry.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+1e; Engine 1e+1e
Bridge : 27 tons
Cargo Complement : .
Bay 1 : Mech Cubicles (12 Mechs) – 4 Doors : 600 tons
Bay 2 : Small Craft (2) – 2 Doors : 300 tons
Life Boats : 0
Escape Pods : 4
Armament : 3 PPCs, 6 LRM-20s, 6 AC/5s, 5 LLs, 12 MLs.
Ammunition : 9 tons of LRM ammo, 12 tons of AC/5 ammo.
Drive System : Star League V250 : 630 tons
Heat Sinks 27 + 63 : 27 tons
Thrust : 3
Overthrust : 5
Structural Integrity : 11
Fuel : 6 Thrust-Points (2.82 tons per Burn-Day) : 209 tons
First Introduced : 2708
Hull Laid Down : 2832
Armor Factor (16 points per ton) : 40 tons
Nose – 140 : PPC, 2 AC/5, 2 LRM-20, 2 ML
Right Side – 140 : PPC, 2 AC/5, 2 LRM-20, LL, 2 ML
Left Side – 140 : PPC, 2 AC/5, 2 LRM-20, LL, 2 ML
Fuselage – 160 : LL, 2 ML
Engine – 60 : LL, 2 ML
The Union-Class DropShip may be the most famous vessel in the Inner Sphere. Well-armed and armored, the Union is an extremely versatile ship. Though small enough for use in raids, it is powerful enough to be taken seriously in full-scale operations. The vessel is designed to transport a company of Mechs and their pilots to a planet, where they are either dropped into low orbit or are delivered directly to the surface.
The Union’s interior consists of three main sections. The lowermost section contains the DropShip’s V250 Interplanetary fusion drive, fuel tankage, weapons bays, loading door, Mech drop doors, and the ship’s enormous landing gear. Leading up from the loading door is a heavily reinforced ramp that spirals up around the outside of the engine core and leads into the lower Mech bay.
The middle section of the DropShip consists of two Mech bays. The lower Mech bay is cavernous, with walls lined with four Mech cubicles, doors leading to the two AeroFighter bays, entrances to the four drop-chutes, and storage for repair parts and ammunition. A set of plates cover the ramp entrance in the floor, making an airtight seal between the bay and the ramp area when closed. In the center of the ceiling is a large circular opening to the upper Mech bay.
Though a skilled pilot could use this opening to get his Mech into the upper bay, its real purpose is to provide access to the heavy lifting and repair equipment located in the upper bay. Normal passage between bays is by a heavy elevator located in the drop chute.
The upper Mech bay is also quite large. Ringing the walls are the remaining eight BattleMech cubicles and entrances to the four drop chutes. In the ceiling above the hole in the floor is a set of large general-purpose cranes. The hole in the floor of the upper Mech bay can be sealed by a pair of large steel doors sturdy enough to support the mass of the heaviest Mechs.
The Union’s flight control systems and the crew decks occupy the ship’s upper portions. The original design of the ship included a number of corridors ringing the double-coccupancy quarters, a comfortable lounge, roomy mess facilities, and ample storage space for personal equipment. Electrical and hydraulic problems eventually led to a complete remodelling of the DropShip’s interior on over half of the original vessels. Though the wealthiest operators were able to completely restore the original layout, most ships were re-equipped with more spartan quarters; a single bunkroom for both crew and MechWarriors, minimal lounge /mess hall, increased air circulation space, and strengthened containment bulkheads around the weapons bays and ammunition storage. For some reason, the life support systems added to these “upgrades” created a stale odor to the air within the ship. Because this would add to the expense of yet another refit to the ships, this characteristic smell remains on many of them. The Overlord-Class DropShip, designed and constructed using very similiar engineering plans and parts, shares these same characteristics.
“The Brush Wolf” is a modified Union-Class DropShip, redesigned as a Safari ship by Dharma Lentz, a wealthy naturalist who constantly sought to expand her private zoo. Once modified into a luxurious hunting ship based on the hull and drives of a Union-Class DropShip, beyond that the similiarity ends.
Originally launched as “Her Serene Majesty”, serving with Taurian military forces, she gained the title “The Nugget” after a 20 minute-long duel with another Union during the Late Periphery Wars. When the wars ended, it was sold as surplus, and sat in an orbital scrapyard for decades, until purchased by Lentz for her own use. After her death, her estate was divided among her relatives, one of whom tried to turn his inheritance of the ship into a profitable cargo hauler. His company folded a decade later, and the ship was impounded on Heroditus, pending payment of docking fees. It was quickly stripped of many of its easily scavenged parts, and sat in the starport scrapyard for decades, awaiting someone to take an interest in it.
The lower section of the DropShip has remained unchanged, retaining the drives, fuel tankage and other aspects needed for day-to-day operation of the ship. The weapons bays have been modified slightly, allowing for a second seat at each station, and manual operational controls.
In the lower Mech bay, the original AeroSpace bays have been retained, once providing space for Lentz to park her luxury landing craft. The four Mech cubicles in the lower bay were once converted into light vehicle bays, but have been converted back to their original purpose. In addition, the lower Mech bay has storage for a dozen orbital probes to be deployed off the original Mech drop tubes, meant to survey planetary surfaces for interesting species before landing. These bays have been modified to deploy orbital satellites, and can still be used for their original purpose to drop Mechs. At present, they are used to store and deploy the Intelsat “Predator’s Eye”. Storage for repair parts and ammunition have been “hardened”, and a small section for storing small arms and survival equipment has been built along one wall. The repair bay has a small 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 upper Mech bay was once modified to hold the many live specimens captured by Lentz, but has since been rebuilt to provide its original eight Mech cubicles and access to the DropShip’s four drop chutes. Its series of large cranes to assist in drop operations remains intact, as well.
The one-time grandeur of the vessel remains apparent in the many unusual features of the living and crew quarters. The ship’s bridge and crew quarters have retained their functional atmosphere, and double-occupancy quarters exist for the ship’s Aero and Mech pilots. A larger suite is available for the unit’s CO, allowing a space for an office in addition to the standard double-occupancy chamber. A roomy mess facility and ample storage for personal items exists, but the most drastic changes have been to the vessel’s 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 assigned to a pair of 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. Although not as cramped as the Dingoes’ Den, it nonetheless bears the distinctive “patchwork” atmosphere of an Iron Dingo DropShip.
Recent activities have netted the Iron Dingoes several TL-Model “Tranquility Lounger” VR Pods, and four of these have been installed 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.
Because of the increased life support demands from the safari modifications, the upper section has an improved life support system, and water storage has been increased to 40 tons, as well as an integral water purification and reclamation plant has been added that operates off the main fusion engine. The vessel retains the original stale smell common to its air supply despite these improvements, something that would require an extensive refit of the system to include new filtration components and added air scrubbers : at a cost of 250,000 Cs.
The Line Mech units from * “The Iron Dingoes” are based from the ship, as well as its pair of active EGL-R6 Eagle AeroFighters operating from its two Aero bays. A small portion of the cargo area has been given over to a handful of 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. Ample medical supplies, and a porta-comp to assist in diagnosis, fills-out the limited medical facilities on the Brush Wolf.
The “Brush Wolf” is commanded by its lead pilot Commander Daniel Schmidt, who is assisted by his former wife Lieutenant Commander Kristina Schmidt and a fairly skilled crew of fellow DropShip tradesmen, most of whom were recruited as a result of the Dingoes’ “Scrope Incident”.