Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TRO: 3087 - Zeus

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.

ZEU-10S Zeus
The ZEU-10S is the latest in the venerable Lyran mech’s long line. In the testing phases during the First Jade Falcon Incursion, prototypes were rushed to the field via mercenary units in an effort to stem the rising tide of Clanners.
The prototypes’ performance gave Defiance Industries exceptional data and the Jade Falcon halt just short of Coventry gave the Commonwealth ample motivation for producing the perfected final version.
This new, more powerful version was initially circulated to politically influential units and individuals. Few were on the front-lines for the resumed Falcon operations in ‘79 and units who received Zeuses from their crash redeployment showed marked improvement in repelling the Falcons. Sadly, that improvement was not enough rapid enough to save Coventry, the line the ‘Mech was created to hold.
Despite ever-shorter resources, the Lyran Commonwealth has gone to great pains to keep it in production. This has included incentivizing the relocation of facilities which produce its gauss rifle and advanced structure. These efforts have been kept quiet out of concerns that they would undermine the defiant messages flowing out of Tharkad about the Commonwealth’s inevitable victory over the Falcons.

The Zeus has admirably filled sniping, brawling, and fire support roles, adding versatility and power to any lance it’s assigned to.
Early models carried only the two left arm ammunition bins for the gauss rifle. The third bin, positioned above the gauss rifle, always jammed on the second shot during testing. Frustrated with the unit’s poor ammunition load, soldiers in the field found the bin, reopened it, rediscovered the flaw, and routed the ammunition through the arm feeds. Subsequent models have aped the fix and carry all three tons of ammunition.
The Zeus is a symbol of strength and defiance for the troubled commonwealth. Most medium scale formations boast at least one and the Lyran reluctance to sell them to other parties (especially mercenaries) means they are rare outside of the Commonwealth. The Mercenaries Alliance has taken several as salvage, but remains unable to easily replace the rare heavy gauss rifle. Jade Falcons usually pass the chassis on to second-line or garrison units (to repair or use for parts however they see fit).

Battle History
After a scattered response to the Domestic Mercenary Zone that would become the Mercenaries Alliance, the Star League organized Operation Blue Belt. Elements of the 36th Lyran Guard were assigned to secure the barely-defended Mariefred while others moved further into rebel territory.
With their typically prescient knowledge of SDLF deployments, the mercenaries surrendered the world then countered in force. What should have been an easy mercenary win was bungled by the Gepanzerte Welle. Their only achievement was killing the Lyran commander and leaving Major JiƩ Bridges and his Zeus in command of the brigade.
Bridges bottled the remnants of the Gepanzerte Welle into a power plant in the Old Fool River Valley and positioned the 36th’s new Zeuses on the highway atop the river’s embankment dam.
For three days, the Welle forces alternated between sneaking and charging past different points of the defenders’ lines, only to be rebuffed by support and direct fire from their heavy gauss rifles. The brigade then overran the camp and prevented the mercenaries from sabotaging the plant.
The quick work of Bridges and the power of the Zeuses secured Mariefred and enabled the brigade to rejoin the rest of the 36th on Hollabrunn. Their actions thwarted the Mercenaries Alliance counterattack and saved Blue Belt from becoming a debacle.

The second-line version used in Jade Falcon forces carries a standard clan gauss rifle and over thirty long range missiles. It has become a respected command ‘Mech for freebirth and solahma commanders.
The Mercenaries Alliance doesn’t often field gauss rifles so those Zeuses they’ve salvaged carry a standard class 10 autocannon and over a dozen multi-missile launchers. They lack the stand-off punch of the line model and are often relegated to brawling roles. The addition of an improved C3 system lets them serve as a forward unit of a network while closing with enemies.

ZEU-10S Zeus
Type/Model:    Zeus ZEU-10S
Tech:          Inner Sphere / 3078
Config:        Biped BattleMech
Manufactured:  Lyran Commonwealth
 Lyran Commonwealth (Common)
 Jade Falcons (Rare)
 Mercenaries Alliance (Rare)

Mass:          80 tons
Equipment:              Crits     Mass
Int. Struct.: Endo-Steel   14     4.00
 (Loc: 1 HD, 1 CT, 3 RT, 3 LA, 2 RA, 
  2 LL, 2 RL)     122 points
Engine:320    Fusion        6    22.50
  Walking MP:   4
  Running MP:   6
  Jumping MP:   0
Heat Sinks: 10 Double       0     0.00
Gyro:                       4     4.00
Cockpit:                    5     3.00
Actuators:                 14     0.00
 L: Sh+UA+LA    R: Sh+UA+LA
Armor Factor:               0    12.00
  192 pts

       Internal Structure  Armor Value
 Head:                  3      9      
 Center Torso:         25     25     
 Center Torso (Rear):          8
 L/R Side Torso:       17    25/25
 L/R Side Torso (Rear):       6/6
 L/R Arm:              13    21/21
 L/R Leg:              17    23/23

Weapons and Equipment Loc  Crits  Tons
Medium Pulse Laser     CT    1     2.00
Heavy Gauss Rifle      LT   11    18.00
LRM-10                 RA    2     5.00
ER Large Laser         LA    2     5.00
@Heavy Gauss Rifle (4) LT    1     1.00
@LRM-10 (12)           RA    1     1.00
@Heavy Gauss Rifle (8) LA    2     2.00
CASE                   RT    1     0.50
 Crits & Tons Left:         12     0.0


SkilTao said...

Is the callback to the Gepanzerte Welle wholly new fiction, an account of their fate in your campaign, or a meta-commentary on the fate of your campaign?

VanVelding said...

It's a new thing. The GW "should" have been destroyed 20 years earlier. I needed a merc unit to bungle things and get chewed up and I couldn't find my list of units (I may not have it any more). It'll probably change if I do an editing run. OTOH, I think I brought back the Grey Death Legion, so maybe they'll stay.

Or maybe the mercenary industry of 3087 can be in the same creative drought as Hollywood; just dredging up popular names of bygone units for the branding power.