Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TRO: 3087 - Red Howler

3087 is a Battletech alternate universe where The Jihad never happened. Instead, political fracturing continues in the wake of the technological and military upheavals of the 3050's. Its history is told through the pages and designs of TRO: 3087. With any luck this series will be the last anyone hears about 3087. 

HLF-01 Red Howler
    In a pattern familiar to military historians, the Jade Falcons were enjoying a successful campaign against the Lyran Commonwealth until the Wolves struck them in the back in March of 3073. The self-styled ilClan took a string of Falcon factory worlds from their original invasion corridor and dug in. The Falcons had been eager to crush the Lyrans and ignore the Wolves’ pointless war over a worthless title, but now true battle called.
    The Falcons’ efforts to convert native factories had been in progress for some time, but the loss of many of their core worlds was still a serious blow. Crash efforts were undertaken to convert many BattleMechs into more effective and versatile OmniMechs.
    Designs like the Red Howler, Nemesis, and Sparrowhawk were successful enough through the end of the ilClan War that they were produced as proper OmniMechs after the war’s conclusion.

    The Red Howler, like the Howler, is an excellent reconnaissance ‘Mech that can double as a fire-support unit. It maintains the same low profile that allows it to perform covert missions.
    Most if its configurations support these roles, with a single long-range weapon system backed up by a smaller weapon.
    Many ‘Mechwarriors have responded positively to the design, praising its speed, stability, and versatility. Some, however complain about its smaller ammunition capacity. The Red Howler does not benefit from the advanced structural and armor components of its predecessor and has made some trade-offs to maintain its survivability and speed.

Battle History
    The Lyran counterthrust at the peak of the ilClan War put Jade Falcon garrison forces to the test. On Tapihue, the deaths of the garrison’s small trueborn command staff shattered the freeborn defenders’ morale and command structure. Independent Binaries and Trinaries scattered to fight, run, or defect.
    Amidst the collapse, trueborn washouts in the technical staff rallied. Taking a star each of freshly converted Red Howlers and battle armor, they began a guerrilla campaign to harass the Lyran invaders and rally the cluster.
    After two months, they hijacked a Union-C dropship and made their way back behind Falcon lines. The Tapihue Garrison Cluster returned and retook the world six years later. Their unit insignia is that of an elemental riding a Red Howler.

    The Red Howler Prime carries a unitary, 15-shot long range missile pack and a single ton of ammunition. This reduces maintenance problems and heat concerns. Many warriors also feel that the single system better hones and demonstrates their skills.
    The A Configuration, however, uses a spread of independently-targeted, smaller racks for the same amount of firepower. The two variants are hard to distinguish from one another, which can be dangerous for pilots expecting one or the other. This configuration carries a small laser secreted away between the cockpit and the prominent left-side shoulder assembly. It’s both a give-away as to the design’s abilities and a useful backup weapon after the ‘Mech’s ammunition is expended.
    The Configuration C uses a pair of advanced tactical missile racks to deliver accurate firepower at exceptional range or devastating firepower up close. It also carries a small laser as a back-up weapon.
    The final configuration is geared towards combat. An extended range large laser cuts off slabs of armor with every shot while maintaining the Red Howler’s role as a stand-off fighter. Close-in firepower against infantry units is provided by a support flamer in the left arm.
    The original field-modified Howlers which are still in service are classified as Red Howlers. Despite some technical glitches, MechWarriors prefer the additional ammunition afforded by their ferro-fibrous armor and endosteel structural components.

HLF-01 Red Howler
Type/Model:    Red Howler HLF-01
Tech:          Inner Sphere / 3081
Config:        Biped OmniMech
Manufactured:  Jade Falcons
  Jade Falcons (Common)
  Clan Wolf (Uncommon)
  Lyran Commonwealth (Rare)

Mass:          20 tons
Equipment:              Crits     Mass
Int. Struct.:               0     2.00
  33 points
Engine:140    Fusion        6     5.00
   Walking MP:   7
   Running MP:  11
   Jumping MP:   0
Heat Sinks: 10 Double      10     0.00
  (Loc: 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL)
Gyro:                       4     2.00
Cockpit, Life Sup., Sensors:5     3.00
Actuators:                 12     0.00
Armor Factor:               0     3.50
    56 pts

        Internal Structure  Armor Value
  Head:                  3      7     
  Center Torso:          6      9     
  Center Torso (Rear):          2
  L/R Side Torso:        5     7/7
  L/R Side Torso (Rear):       2/2
  L/R Arm:               3     5/5
  L/R Leg:               4     5/5

Weapons and Equipment Loc  Crits  Tons

Primary Weapons Configuration
LRM-15                 RT    2     3.50
Ammunition (LRM-15) 8  RT    1     1.00
  Crits & Tons Left:        34     0.0

Alternate Configuration A
3 LRM 5s               RT    3     3.00
ER Small Laser         LA    1     0.50
Ammunition (LRM-5) 24  RT    1     1.00
  Crits & Tons Left:        32     0.0

Alternate Configuration B
2 ATM 3s               RT    4     3.00
ER Small Laser         LA    1     0.50
Ammunition (ATM-3) 20  RT    1     1.00
  Crits & Tons Left:        31     0.0

Alternate Configuration C
ER Large Laser         RT    1     4.00
Flamer                 LA    1     0.50
  Crits & Tons Left:        35     0.0

Note: While canon Clan ‘Mechs have not had the same model numbers as their Inner Sphere counterparts, it’s reasonable that Clans which co-opt Inner Sphere infrastructure would build on some of those structures instead of reinventing the wheel.
An out-of-universe reason is much the same: Inner Sphere model numbers allow for telling a more nuanced story of a ‘Mech than slapping a number behind its name.

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