Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Lead Dropship of the Iron Dingoes
“The Dingoes’ Den” : Seeker-Class Dropship
Type : Spheroid (Military)
Tonnage : 3700 tons
Length : 90.5 m
Height : 88.7 m
Width : 90.2 m
Crew : 20 : 4e, 2p, 11se, 3 gunners. 186 bay personnel.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+1se; Engine 1e+1se
Cargo Complement: 160 tons; 16 light vehicles, 8 BattleMechs, 2 Small Craft, 144 troops (4 infantry platoons).
Bay 1 : Cargo (160 tons)
Bay 2 : Vehicles (16 Light)
Bay 3 : Infantry (4 Foot Platoons)
Bay 4 : “Grey Iron Processing” Tool & Die Shop
Bay 5 : Battlemechs (4)
Bay 6 : Small Craft (2)
Life Boats : 0
Escape Pods : 8
Armament : 2 PPCs, 2 LRM-10, 3 LLs, 6 MLs.
Ammunition : 3 tons LRM Ammo
Drive System : Quad RanTech 720
Heat Sinks 88 + 38
Thrust : 5
Overthrust : 8
Structural Integrity : 10
Fuel : 6 Thrust-Points (1.84 tons per Burn-Day) : 389 tons
First Introduced : 2815
Armor Factor(16 points per ton) : 30 tons
Nose – 140 : 2xPPC
Right Side – 120 : LRM-10, LL, 2xML
Left Side – 120 : LRM-10, LL, 2xML
Fuselage – 120 : None
Engine – 110 : LL, 2xML
The Seeker-Class DropShip is designed as an independently operating transport for a scout Battalion and was originally designed to operate independently of other vessels. At its mass of 3700 tons, its powerful Quad RanTech 720 Fusion Drives, make it one of the fastest and most maneuverable vessels in existence.
The Dingoes Den’s interior is divided into three major sections. Running down the core of the ship and occupying a third of its mass, is the heavily shielded fusion power plant and engine core.
The lowermost section contains the ship’s enormous vehicle/cargo bay. Alongside both of the ship’s two loading ramps is a tall area that holds a pair of BattleMech cubicles, each taking up 150 tons of the ship’s vehicle capacity, and rigged with repair gantries. Under normal conditions, the ship can carry up to 40 light vehicles here, with a mass capacity of 1600 tons, however the previous owners have configured the hold to facilitate BattleMech operations, reducing the hold to 16 light vehicles for an additional four BattleMech cubicles now crammed along the wall spaces. These Mech cubicles have since been stripped by the Iron Dingoes, dropping its bays to carry only four (4) Mechs once more, but the space has been converted over to hold the unit’s Grey Iron Processing facility. This deck also contains all landing gear machinery and a pair of small weapon’s bays facing rear. The bays here hold the salvaged and “under repair” Mechs from the unit’s reserves, as well as the salvage crews DVM-3 MiningMechs, modified as salvage units. The remainder of its space is traditionally occupied by several cargo transports, numerous VTOLs and other support vehicles.The Grey Iron Processing Facility is a relatively new concept, using an old general manufacturing factory line as its base, which is a specialized machinist’s shop that allows technicians assigned to it to produce a wide variety of components, tools and other objects of importance to technicians. Although of relatively low technical capability (Tech Level C), the facility still allows techs to manufacture missing tools, parts and components for their work, though at triple the cost and time of production. The use of this facility requires a large number of technicians (70 total) in addition to an equal number of general labourers. This has forced the unit to examine its military component assigned quarters to the DropShip, and has shifted all but the defensive component of * “The Cerberus Command” into expanded quarters on board the “Star Talon”.
The Dingoes Den’s middle section also houses an unusually tall cargo hold that normally could hold an extra company of light vehicles, supplies and other equipment for the transported unit. The Dingoes’ Den has been rigged with a pair of Aerospace storage cubicles, that allows Aeros to be both launched and recovered, though with difficulty, from this bay. At present, they are used to hold a spare KR-61 Shuttle, and numerous VTOL transports packed together in long-term storage. Also located off this section, lies the main fuel tankage, extra heat sinks, and a pair of aft-directed weapons turrets and ammo storage for the vessel’s LRMs.
The topmost section is divided into four separate decks. The bottom deck contains the ship’s engineering control center, batteries, heat pumps, back-up generators, coolant reserves, machine shops, and spare parts storage. The next deck up contains the waste recycling plant, the laundry, life-support systems, and storage for fresh water, ammo, food, and repair parts. The next deck contains the infantry troop bay, the crew quarters, separate crew mess and equipment storage, the bridge and the combat operations center. The topmost deck contains the docking collar, avionics, forward weapons bay, communications gear, and more storage batteries.
The Dingoes Den’s engine core is equipped with four small fusion reactors, which makes it easy to repair and maintain in the field. Because each of the reactors is independently operated and shielded, engineers can safely work on one reactor while the other three are still operating. This system also conserves fuel, as three can be shut-down while the fourth operates at low power. When needed, the other three can be emergency started in less than 5 minutes.
The Dingoes Den carries its passengers in four bays, each of which is further divided into three small sub-bays. Each sub-bay houses a pair of squads of scouts or infantry and all their unit’s gear. There are normally four triple-tiered bunks in each sub-bay, with personal gear storage lockers at the end of each room. Each bay contains a single washroom that is shared by all three sub-bays. A set of small double-occupancy quarters are set aside to accommodate additional personnel, such as mission specialists. The large portion of these quarters have been occupied by various Techs and AsTechs from the * “The Dingo Pack”, and the infantry, armor, and artillery crews from * “The Cerberus Command”. These areas are crammed with personnel and equipment, making for close quarters. Since small family groups have begun to form among the unit and its dependents, it can have something of a “carnival” atmosphere at times, and does not seem like a military ship.
The Dingoes Den is equipped with a fairly extensive med bay for handling most emergencies. This gives the ship a strong support role for its passengers, and allows independent operation. The Dingoes “1st Medical Squad”, led by Lieutenant SG Jenna Seedar is based from this bay, including several well-trained medics, and a large stock of medical supplies. The crew of the DropShip is housed in tiny, four-person rooms with a single washroom for the entire crew. Each room has a pair of double-bunks, a fold-down table and four large personal-storage lockers.
The Dingoes Den was designed to operate as a forward reconnaissance ship to scout a planet, and reflects the need for independent operations. The ship has large storage facilities for spare parts, extended food supplies and water tankage, and large ammunition storage bays. The ship was also equipped primarily with energy weapons making it less dependent upon ammunition supplies. It can operate for up to four months without resupply, assuming a full crew.
The DropShip’s lack of integral AeroFighter bays is probably its greatest weakness. In absence of a fighter escort, it must rely on its meager firepower to ward-off enemy attacks from Aeros or other Dropships. Seeker captains dread fighter encounters as a result. Lacking proper equipment for recovery, requires relative velocity between the DropShip and its fighters, extending recovery times by a factor of four or five over standard fighter-equipped ships.
The “Dingoes Den” is painted in a fading grey urban-shatter camouflage pattern, well-maintained and appearing in good condition. It bears the scars of recent hard landing operations, however, and might do with another coat or two of primary reflec paint.
The Dingoes Den is very much the heart of the Iron Dingoes operations. The oldest ship in the Interface Fleet, it is also the center of the unit’s merc trade, holding its offices and administrative operations. In addition to housing nearly two hundred personnel, including a large number support dependents, the vessel is home to most of its technical teams and stores most of its salvage and base security forces. For everyone in the Iron Dingoes, “The Den” is home.
Due to the Dingoes’ acquisition of a number of TL-Model “Tranquility Lounger” VR Pods, four have been installed in one of the storage bays, allowing dependents, techs and various other crew to employ the pods as a diversion, and has become a popular attraction aboard ship. Indeed, the younger children of the unit are encouraged to use the machines, as they are seen as the potential future of the unit.
The ship’s crew is led by Commander Darryn Thane, and a fairly capable crew of pilots, navigators and engineers who have served aboard the ship for a few years. While the ship has developed something of a “homey” atmosphere over that time, the bridge, engineering and gunnery areas remain off-limits to all but ship’s personnel and its designated gunners, and are well-maintained and efficiently operated.