Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Petrópolis was once the capital of the Dumassas Empire, a multi-generational realm that united the planet under the charismatic and ruthless Selich family of tyrants (dating roughly from July 18th, 2830, until its destruction by BattleMech raiders in 2860.
After decades as a semi-autonomous state within the bulwark of San Marcos, it is the latest in conquests by Buntar from that collapsed nation, but is largely seen as the catalyst for a new terrorist movement, the Bloody Hand of Marcosa. it is controlled and led by the former Mech pilot Karishal Monitor, who has declared himself the “Prince of Petrópolis”.
Petrópolis Main Market Commons
The town has remained more of a protected park in the years since the fall of the Selich Empire, and has never been industrialized or otherwise developed, beyond its location as a resort and vacation spot. It has a reputation for a wild nightlife, and is known best for exclusive bars where anything goes. The best receive military patronage, electrical access and locally brewed liquors.
The commons market gained a reputation for black market goods, and is home to many open booths and market stalls where anything can be bought for the right amount of hard currency. Gold bullion is the real currency in the town, though C-Bills might also be accepted by the more established traders and merchants. Barter is common among the locals, often using the ’Brass tax" of bullets; everyone ignores the national currency. Leather goods, clothing, alcohol bio-fuels and simple tools (shovels, bicycles and carts) are common workshop goods.
Grupo Petrópolis : A large conglomerate opened for operation in late-3029, the company has connected six (6) small independent breweries among the city into a single conglomerate. The company brews a series of vodka, beers and purified water, that is widely exported across the local region under the unified “Crystal Nova” brand. The company quickly expanded its production, and is making great sales, mostly promoting its products to national sports events in Buntar.
In mid-3030, the company folded the local munitions plant under its wings, and continues to churn out munitions from recovered brass casings. Known as the “Bullet Farm”, it is located south-east of town, and is prone to minor explosions. Grupo Petrópolis converted this site into a minor manufacturing site in late-3030, adding various armored facilities for its munitions manufacturing, as well as the Taurus GTA Carbine taken from San Marcos early in their invasion and raid of the San Marcos military complex. it produces the weapon for the new territorial militia and other private interests, and security is controlled by the Company of the Rose.
Petrópolis Castle as seen from the nearby river
Petrópolis Castle : The old imperial palace of the Selich family, the site was converted into a museum, the “Museu Imperial” (The Imperial Museum of Terramatrix), and its original ferrocrete walls and many ancient furnishings and other treasures were preserved.
The ancient castle was occupied by elements of the 7th (Motorized) Infantry Battalion, and served as headquarters for the junta under the command of General Jorge Rafael Videla’s replacement, General Aécio Neves, until the city’s capture by the forces of Buntar. The site has been reinforced by an exterior rubble wall that encloses the center of town, bearing numerous anti-vehicle obstacles and concrete bunkers with light autocannon and machine gun turrets. The castle remains a military fortress, filled with vehicles, equipment and serving as both barracks and munitions storage for the present incarnation of the 7th Battalion. One wing is converted into a hospital, while another is the headquarters of district government over the town and the lands around it.
The catholic cathedral within its walls had been largely untouched by the occupiers, mostly because of the intense emotions of the locals regarding its sanctity, though it is still occupied by military troops, and many see it as a means to project the new government’s power, as this was also the site for the crowning of Selich the Third, the first of the great imperial monarchs of Terramatrix. The remaining treasures of that empire were taken under the guns of the junta for “safe-keeping”, a source of some friction between the military junta and the former civilian government, but following the 3026 Iron DIngoes raid on the facility, they were turned-over to the The New Republic of Sangria government for safe-keeping. They are a focal display at the new national government buildings in Ciudad Garcia.
The Hospital : Most of the region’s medical personnel and supplies are gathered into one of the former residential wings of the castle. Along with the surviving medical and biochemical staff and instructors from the national University, these formed a valuable hospital that helped the community (and the 7th Battalion garrison) survive the worst of the 3025 Pandemic. While not terribly impressive by Inner Sphere standards, it was one of the greatest treasures in the castle. Its experts had been making primitive, but valuable antibiotics and antitoxins. The families of the staff were kept under close observation to ensure loyalty among the science staff, but most were also relocated to Sangria following the Iron Dingoes raid, and today this facility is both under-staffed and lacking much key equipment.
Electricity : Perhaps the most important weakness of the town, is that electricity remains a luxury in the region. The large power-generating coal plants have ceased functioning in the 3025 civil disorder and pandemic, and were in no immediate condition to be repaired. Oil was scarce even before the riots, and today remains inaccessible to most locals. The small local electrical plant manages to pump out a few hundred kilowatts of power, but is steam-powered that burns mostly bio-waste from the city’s nearby farms and limited industry. Essential to the operation of the limited industry in the town and local region, electricity is strictly rationed towards important industries and the fortress (and its hospital), though wealthy clubs and individuals are granted an exception to the rationing for possession of “proper licenses”. The site is heavily guarded by local militia forces.
7th Cavalry Infantry
The primary military force for Petrópolis, was the 7th (Motorized) Rifle Infantry Battalion of The Federative Republic of San Marcos. Equipped with traditional Dumassas Militia Field Kits, they include several new companies of conscripted novice civilian troopers, led by the veteran troops of the 7th Battalion. Well-fed and regularly given luxuries from their occupation of the region, the troops under the 7th are in very good morale and hard to bribe.
The commanding officer was General Aécio Neves. His senior staff included very loyal officers from the 7th, and his force counted roughly 1200 infantry, though only 400 were under arms at any given time. The remaining companies were kept as reserves, and rotate back into the standing forces on a regular basis. He also maintained another few platoons of logistical and technical support troops, and another two-hundred civilian “contractors”, who performed manual labor and spend most of their time improving the fortifications of the castle and nearby town.
The Infantry companies included few heavy weapons beyond those typical of their standard equipment, though check-points and key positions are reinforced with armored bunkers bearing anti-armor weapons, such as MP-75mm Anti-Tank Guns and Infantry Support MGs. In addition, several platoons of Wheeled APCs and at least two lances of Scorpion Light Tanks were available to his forces, often patrolling the borders of the community.
The 7th Support Company included a small engineering section equipped with various conscripted civilian machines and vehicles to perform construction duties, as well as a cadre of skilled engineers to lead the largely civilian workforce. Its transport division deployed Light Utility Transports to move supplies to forces that needed them, and its maintenance division has access to a substantial machine shop and tools to provide support for the unit’s extensive military apparatus. There was also a small signals division, busy laying wires to connect communications to all the bunkers with the fortress.
In late-3028, the military of Petrópolis was once more attacked and beaten by a superior force. The Inferno rounds deployed against them decimated their infantry formations, and made the final assault on the central castle easy. The leadership of the military was executed, and its civilian militia released from duty, leaving a large company of regular infantry captured. These troops were quickly put to work repairing the citadel and city’s defenses, while its large engineering force was formally inducted into the Buntar military and occupied with the same task. Its other logistics forces were also subsumed into the Buntar military.
Until 3031 the military of the former nation-state was the 7th (Foot) Infantry Battalion “Chacabuco”, bolstered by surviving members of the former San Marcos 7th Battalion that once defended the castle and its surrounding territory. While other regular arms forces from Buntar called on the munitions factories and agricultural surpluses of the newest district of Buntar, the 7th Chacabuco had set their headquarters in the town, and occupied the castle. In addition to its regular forces, the 7th sported a company of HIMART, its two captured LT-MOB-25 Mobile Long Tom Artillery pieces, and a handful of captured Scorpion Light Tanks.
Today, the city and its agricultural environs are held by a mixed militia battalion of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa, supported well by the mercenary 7th Cavalry – “The Iron Ponies”. That latter troop, a combined-arms force of two battalions of BattleMechs and infantry with massed artillery support, hold the central fortress, the nearby artillery hill position with its two captured LT-MOB-25 Mobile Long Tom Artillery pieces, and conduct patrols along the borders of their new homeland.
On March 8th, 3031, the mercenary unit the Company of the Rose arrived in-system, and upon arriving at Petrópolis, took over security services for the Petrópolis Group corporate complex, apparently having been hired off-world for the purpose.
Following the rebuilding efforts in mid-3025, the local junta was contacted by an off-world force that supplied military supplies, BattleMech and armor support troops and even small tactical nuclear devices in the form of several ancient Star League HAVOK Tactical Nuclear Warheads. After the military of the city used them to thwart recent advances by The Republic of Buntar, the combined military’s of Sangria and San Isabel hired the Iron Dingoes to drop on the fortress to end their control, on January 6th, 3026.
Capturing most of the citadel’s relics, as well as their advising group aboard the “Cadejo”, they departed, leaving the military to pick-up the pieces and rebuild after choosing a new leader from among their surviving officers. Their ad-hoc hospital was also largely looted and its personnel taken from the site, along with their dependents.
For a short while, the town was considered a valuable industrial town on the border with Buntar, but its forces continually came under raids by a resurgent Buntar military in the region. Most felt that an invasion was soon to occur, pulling the town and its valuable agricultural lands under the shadow of a resurgent Republic of Buntar.
In late-3028, the nascent nation-state was finally invaded and conquered by its rivals in Buntar, using their newest arms in the form of HIMARTs equipped with Inferno rounds. The entire state fell in weeks, and was quickly occupied by Buntar’s military forces. The occupation and assimilation of the nation’s small industrial and agricultural strength was likely to take months, and even a small insurgent force in the nation-state made it a difficult occupation.
After a series of student protests in the city, a massive riot broke out, ending with widespread violence and even fire-bombing of government and military facilities, by the rise of a new organization, the Bloody Hand of Marcosa. On February 12th, 3029, the movement, led by a former MechWarrior Karishal Monitor, developed during an increasingly violent series of protests in the city, leading to numerous fire-bombs and the death of many local government and military targets. They remain a force to be reckoned with in the region.
On January 19th, 3031, the city and its environs were invaded by the 7th Cavalry – “The Iron Ponies”, and within days the local resistance cells of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa rose up and declared themselves in control of the nation. Today, both the military might of the 7th Cavalry, and the militia forces of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa control and protect the region, with that latter force being an indifferently armed band of fairly standard planetary, having equipped themselves from the local armory and taken control of many of their former protectors vehicles and munitions.