Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
"The Den Mother"
The “Den Mother” – Invader-Class Jumpship
Mass : 152,000 tons
Length : 505 m
Sail Diameter : 1024 m
Crew : 32 : 4 Officers, 19 Enlisted, 1 Gunner, 2 Small Craft Pilots, 8 Bay Personnel
Base Crew : 12 – 2p, 3e, 7se (Bridge – 1p,1se : Engine – 1e,1se)
Dropship Capacity : 3
Small Craft Complement : 2
Drive System : SelaSys KF Mark VIIa
Introduced : 2631
Hull Laid Down : Unknown
Structural Integrity : 1
KF Drive Integrity : 4 : 145,000 tons
Energy Collector Sail Integrity : 4 : 65 tons
Station-Keeping Thrust : 0.1 Gs : 1836 tons
Fuel : Tons/Burn-Day : 19.76 : 50 tons
Docking Hard Points : 3
Small Craft Cubicles : 2
Small Craft Bay Doors : 2
Grav Decks : 1 (65m Diameter) : 100 tons
Bridge : 383 tons
Heat Sinks : 0 + 116
Escape Pods : 6
Life Boats : -
Bay 1 : Cargo (1 Door) : 286 tons
Bay 2 : 2 Small Craft (2 Doors) : 300 tons
Bay 3 : Cargo (1 Door) : 286 tons
Weapons Factor (2xPPC) : 14 tons
Armor Factor (6 points per ton) : 360 : 63 tons
Command Section :
Nose : 50 : -
Right Side : 45 : PPC
Left Side : 45 : PPC
Cargo Section :
Right Side : 60 : -
Left Side : 60 : -
Engine Section :
Right Side : 35 : -
Left Side : 35 : -
Station-Keeping Drive :30 : -
The Invader is the most common JumpShip operating in the Successor States. Designed to transport up to three DropShips, the cargo capacity of close to 1000 tons. Its availability and efficient design make it well-suited for both commercial operations and for large mercenary units. The Invader is also the JumpShip most commonly used by the regular armies of the Successor States.
An Invader masses roughly 152,000 tons and is 505 meters long. When fully deployed, the ship’s jump sail is just over a kilometer wide. Its appearance is similar to the familiar needle-like shape of many other JumpShips. Measuring 65 meters in diameter and 6 meters wide, is the centrifugal grav deck providing artificial gravity for off-duty and visiting personnel.
The Invader’s most notable feature is the pair of large domes mounted on either side of the command section. These large structures contain hydroponic gardens that provide fresh food and oxygen for the ship’s crew and yield surplus large enough to supply its DropShips and provide for storage and future use. Plant care is fully automated in about 70% of the remaining Invaders, while the remaining 30% require crew members attend to daily maintenance.
Though the hydroponics take up most of the space for these domed constructions, a portion is reserved for a meteor defense system. Originally employing a special set of long-range lasers that required extensive maintenance protocols, most now carry either a pair of PPCs or a pair of standard Large Lasers, identical to those used by BattleMechs in the field. Although the radar systems on many Invaders can no longer easily identify objects as small as a meteor, the PPCs or lasers are still useful in repelling boarding efforts.
Another feature of these domes, is their decks are oriented differently from the rest of the ship’s decks. To alleviate problems that might occur when the ship is under acceleration, the domes are mounted on large traversing arms. Before the ship’s station-keeping drives are fired-up, these arms swivel outwards, aligning the domes so that the decks run perpendicular to the line of acceleration.
Deep within the Invader’s command section is a large bridge filled with communication consoles, electronic plotting boards, and video display panels. The bridge makes the Invader a good choice for coordinating major merchant ship operations and task force missions.
Though designed to be operated by a staff of twelve, the bridge has stations for up to twenty people. A person could operate many of the automated systems alone, though many of its capabilities would be greatly reduced. At full capabilities, the bridge can maintain simultaneous communications with up to ten transmitting stations, monitor up to four planet-based battles, unit movements or combat fronts, and monitor a full-scale space battle.
Because of the heavy mechanics involved in positioning the Invader’s domes, the systems regularly break-down. This can be a problem if the booms are extended, because the hyperspace field generated by the K-F drive cannot enclose these structures when extended. In such cases, there is a good chance (30%+) that the drive will fail to activate, and in addition, jumping with the domes extended might sheer them in half. To resolve these problems, most crews simply leave the domes in their retracted position.
When the domes are retracted, the meteor defense systems only cover the ship’s rear-side arcs. Also, while the energy collector sail is deployed, the ship cannot fire them without hitting the sail from this position.
Though no Succession State has any notable concentration of Invader-Class JumpShips, reliable estimates indicate that approximately 46% of all JumpShips within the Inner Sphere are Invaders. Of these, Successor State armies operate nearly 51%, merchants own 32%, and mercenary companies operating within the Inner Sphere own 17%.
The “Den Mother” is an older vessel, but its exact date of construction is unknown. Its origins remain shrouded in the past, although one fact remains to potentially identify its state of inception; the PPCs she uses in her meteor-defense system are both ancient “Lord’s Light” models, common in the Draconis Combine, and the ship’s engineers swear it’s seals remain untouched since their original installation.
Of whatever origins, the “Den Mother” was originally known as the “Unforgiving Fury” and was first seen in use by the pirate band “Battle Lords”, a strong force of marauders whose Union-Class and Leopard CV-Class DropShips reigned terror across the border regions between Kurita and Davion space, from a hidden base somewhere in the Outworld’s Alliance. Originally appearing as a threat suddenly around the turn of the century in 3002, the bandits used a number of battered “old Tech” Aero and Mech designs from a variety of sources,and were brutally efficient in their attacks. Consisting of a full company of Mechs and a wing of six AeroFighters, the group met an unusual end to their careers on the planet Tortuga Prime. During a particularly over-active celebration, over half the unit died in a station-wide brawl, and the unit broke-up to take whatever resources each rival ship group had to make their own way.
The Captain of the “Unforgiving Fury” and his crew took their JumpShip and tried trading from Tortuga for a few years, but eventually fell in with the local pirate lord, _*Dame Paula Trevaline*, serving for a number of years among her transports. The last lead pirate of the ship took the JumpShip and his DropShips into the Outback regions of Davion space to make a run on the backwater planets of the region. At an undisclosed Shadowport, the captain of the “Unforgiving Fury” was offered a very lucrative price to help the fledgling pirate lord “White Death”. Paying in JumpShip parts, gold bullion and weapons, the crew took service with him and have been among his personal fleet in the years since; well-paid and kept safe and secure. Until now.
The “Unforgiving Fury” fell to TF29 during a daring assault on their hidden jump-point by Sarne’s mobile mercenary force. The Iron Dingoes personally led the assault on the “Fury”, and used their Stargaards marines to assault and seize the ship and its crews intact. As a part of their “Strategic Assets” clause in their contract with TF29, the Dingoes won the “Unforgiving Fury” as part of their salvage rights, and renamed her “The Den Mother”.
The ship’s junior bridge crew and engineers were kept aboard, but the entire senior staff was taken from the ship and are assumed to have been sent to the Concordat for “crimes against humanity”. The lead pilot of the ship is presently Captain Yvette Deladrier, a former TDF naval officer, who sought to pilot a JumpShip once more. She has taken a handful of her fellow naval officers from retirement, and placed them in key positions as the command crew, and works hard to merge her formerly pirate junior crew with the Taurian command staff. Training is a key factor of daily life aboard the ship, as a result.
The Den Mother is considered the lead JumpShip in the Iron Dingoes fleet, and typically carries her “Line” forces aboard the “Brush Wolf”, the “Pandora’s Box”, and the “Dingoes’ Den”. The JumpShip has been assigned a single KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle for its use in the small craft bay.