Wednesday, May 11, 2016

TRO: 3087 - Mat Cat Mk V

I'm back in business after an impromptu visit to New York City last week. Sorry for the interruption in service.

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.

Mad Cat Mark V
Clan Diamond Shark was readying their departure from Clan space early in the ilClan war. The brutal fighting left their small, but valuable holdings in the Clan homeworlds devastated and greater opportunities were available in the Inner Sphere at large. Shortly after the war was over, the Diamond Sharks, like the Snow Ravens, declared their departure and precipitated the collapse of the Grand Council.

The Sharks had a plan: trade advanced technology and parts for holdings throughout the Inner Sphere. This required a stable of ‘Mechs which would appeal to buyers in the Inner Sphere. Time-tested Clan designs had an appeal to potential buyers, but their capabilities--and true worth--were generally known quantities. The Mad Cat Mark V was designed to eliminate that knowledge and establish the Clan’s upper hand in business dealings.

There are, of course, no Mad Cat Mark III's or Mark IV's. The Mark V is purely marketing meant to appeal to the periphery powers, especially the Marian Hegemony. Such powers were the first stops of the Diamond Sharks’ early trade fleet and were the primary targets for the Mad Cat’s marketing.

The Rim Commonality and Marian Hegemony were open to negotiations, but there were no regular buyers until the Sharks’ stop in the Niops Association. It was there that their new model of trade and conquest took hold.

The Mad Cat Mk V is faster and more agile than its predecessor, the Timberwolf OmniMech. It sacrifices the omni-capabilities in order to make it easier for Inner Sphere powers to field.

It still retains a similar long-range punch thanks to the improved Advanced Tactical Missile launchers and the extended range lasers. That speed also makes it something of an odd duck for deployment. It’s faster than anything else its size but it’s armor and armament are too robust to waste by attaching it to lighter elements.

That speed and flash have appealed to military planners in the Free Worlds League Militia, the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces, and other periphery powers. Most of those are unaware of the critical heat problems it faces as a result of the lasers, jump jets, and advanced extralight engine. A good MechWarrior can balance the heat load well and use it to leverage the triple strength myomer to its greatest effect. However the heat load is more commonly another hurdle for a ‘Mech that’s generally under-gunned for its size. At least one member of the Niops Association Militia has triggered an ammunition explosion during a training exercise.

Battle History
A few months after the Diamond Shark enclave was established on Niops V, the Circinus Federation arrived in force. The NAM’s new Mad Cats fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Diamond Sharks' 47th Predator Binary to repel the invaders. After the Federation force regrouped and attacked in larger numbers, the new Mad Cats were vital in the campaign that encircled and annihilated them on the Narendra plains. The performance of the Mad Cat Mk V exceeded that of other Clan ‘Mechs of similar speed, but we suspect it’s because the expense and rarity of the ‘Mech means that only the best NAM MechWarriors are assigned to it.

It’s possible that the Diamond Sharks planned on this kind of self-fulfilling prophecy to buoy the demand for the units they sell. Already, demand from local powers and individuals have poured in, though most prefer the Mars IIC for its more affordable price point and more relatable role as a mid-weight brawler.

Eric Trent Garrett is a private citizen of the Niops Association who has purchased a Mark V for his own purposes. An undisclosed agreement with the Sharks included alterations including removing a heat sink and jump jets to upgrade the weapons to ultra autocannons, a pair of heavy lasers, and an anti-missile system. Garrett has already intercepted a pirate raid force on Niops VII, leading analysts to believe he will use Crosby and his personal fortune to form his own mercenary force in the Mercenaries’ Alliance.

Mad Cat Mark V

Type/Model:    Mad Cat Mark V
Tech:          Mixed / 3077
Config:        Biped BattleMech
Manufactured:  Diamond Sharks
Niops Association (Rare)
Mercenaries Alliance (Singular)

Mass:          70 tons
Equipment:              Crits     Mass
Int. Struct.:   Endo (C)    7     3.50
(Loc: 1 LT, 3 LA, 3 RA) 107 points
Engine:420    Fusion XXL(C)12    24.50
 Walking MP:   6 (7)
 Running MP:   9 (11)
 Jumping MP:   6
Jump Jets:                  6     6.00
(Loc: 1 LT, 1 RT, 2 LL, 2 RL)
Heat Sinks: 12 Double       0     2.00
Gyro:                       4     5.00
Cockpit:         Small      4     2.00
Actuators:                 16     0.00
Armor Factor:    Ferro (C)  7    11.00
 211 pts
(Loc: 1 LT, 3 LA, 3 RA)

      Internal Structure  Armor Value
Head:                  3      9      
Center Torso:         22     33     
Center Torso (Rear):          9
L/R Side Torso:       15    22/22
L/R Side Torso (Rear):       8/8
L/R Arm:              11    22/22
L/R Leg:              15    28/28

Weapons and Equipment Loc Crits Tons --------------------------------------- Case II RT 1 0.50 iATM-3 HD 2 1.50 iATM-3 RT 2 1.50 iATM-3 LT 2 1.50 Small Pulse Laser (C) LT 1 1.00 ER Large Laser (C) RA 1 4.00 ER Large Laser (C) LA 1 4.00 @iATM-3 (ER) (20) RT 1 1.00 @iATM-3 (HE) (20) RT 1 1.00 Triple-Strength Myo... RT 2 0.00 Triple-Strength Myo... LT 2 0.00 Triple-Strength Myo... RA 1 0.00 Triple-Strength Myo... LA 1 0.00 Crits & Tons Left: 0 0.0

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