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Author Topic: Dark Age-era MilitiaMech: AGR-04 Ashigaru  (Read 235 times)

Der Kommissar

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Dark Age-era MilitiaMech: AGR-04 Ashigaru
« on: 13 August 2022, 17:34:34 »
I got myself in a mood to make something set post-Jihad, a feeling which almost never strikes me. ;)  The Ashigaru here is my best attempt to make a MilitiaMech that is a credible military threat without needing a fusion pile like the Quasit, a way to keep the numbers of trained Mechwarriors up and true Battlemechs rotated to the 'pointy end' in the context of post-Jihad war fatigue and the Republic's political strongarming.  At the lest, I hope it'll make for a good 'mook' which dies just easily enough to be satisfying. ;D  I hope you'll forgive me any lapses in fluff - this era is not exactly my wheelhouse.  As always, let me know what you think.  :thumbsup:

Ashigaru AGR-04

Mass: 50 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped IndustrialMech
Rules Level: Experimental Tech
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-F-D
Production Year: 3086
Dry Cost: 4,442,813 C-Bills
Total Cost: 4,444,063 C-Bills
Battle Value: 847

Chassis: Alshain Warbuster Industrial
Power Plant: Nissan 200 Fuel Cell Engine
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h (86.4 km/h)
Jump Jets: None
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: New Formula Plus Standard Armor w/ CASE
    1 Alshain Eradicator Light PPC
    2 Hornet's Nest Rocket Launcher 10s
    2 Thunderclap Magshots
    2 Series 2c Light Machine Guns
Manufacturer: Alshain Weapons
    Primary Factory: Tok Do
Communications System: ClearSky 505
Targeting and Tracking System: AccuTrak II

    With the rise of the Republic of the Sphere and the tremendous political
pressure upon the great lords of the tattered Successor States, the military
leaders of each state were faced with a difficult quandry: how to best
guarantee their security (and exploit opportunities) without invoking the wrath
of an unprecedentedly war-weary public and an ascendant, militant, and
diplomatically aggressive Republic?  One of the answers the Draconis Combine
offered was the AGR-04 Ashigaru, a 50-ton MilitiaMech that could be used to
concentrate remaining BattleMech forces where they mattered most, skirt treaty
obligations, and keep a trained culture of Mechwarriors ready for the day when
the trade of war returned in all of its fury.

    Like all of the Successor States, the Draconis Combine was obligated by
agreements with the Republic of the Sphere and its neighbors to massively
curtail its BattleMech forces, though the restrictions on armed IndustrialMechs
were far less egregious.  Alshain Weapons, the manufacturer of the popular and
successful Pacifier SecurityMech, easily won the contract to produce a new
MilitiaMech on the basis of experience, and began work in 3084.

    It quickly became clear to Alshain's engineers that their existing Pacifier
was no basis for a new 'mech, not without installing a fusion reactor at the
least.  With an extremely strict development schedule, they chose to license
the venerable Buster HaulerMech from the Bluth Corporation.  Bluth's service to
the Word of Blake during the Jihad had left them in turbulent legal and
financial waters, and Alshain won the rights for a surprisingly low price,
giving them a tested frame upon which to build their machine.

    A fuel cell engine was the obvious choice for the Ashigaru's power plant;
cheaper than a fusion pile and more efficient than a combustion engine, this
choice would give Alshain Weapons the tonnage they needed to build a
MilitiaMech armed and armored enough to credibly serve second-echelon forces. 
Though a 250-rated engine was considered, this left over little tonnage for
weapons.  Instead, the AGR-04 has been fitted with a supercharger.  Though its
nominal top speed is a mere 64 km/h, this decision allowed it to reach speeds
of 86 or 87 km/h in short sprints.  Test pilots frequently damaged or even
destroyed the engine abusing this feature during later testing, resulting in
the deaths of no less than 3 Alshain subcontractors.  Resultantly, the 'mech's
computer has been programmed to loudly warn its pilot of engine stress whenever
the supercharger is activated, regardless of whether or not sensors detect
damage.  This fools new pilots, but more experienced ones learn to ignore the
computer, leading to damage, failure, and irate Mechwarriors.

    The 'mech's fuel cell engine presented a unique challenge when it came to
cooling the design.  Fuel cell engines lack the robust cooling equipment of a
fusion reactor upon which 'mech weapons parasitically depend to be used safely
and efficiently.  Alshain's engineers, unsatisfied with market offerings,
designed their own light PPC to be fitted to the chassis.  Though tedious to
maintain, it is an exceptionally cool-running, if bulky and balky example of
the technology.  Twin Thunderclap light gauss cannons sit in the 'mech's right
arm, chosen for heat efficiency over firepower.  A pair of light machine guns
make short and efficient work of conventional infantry, while a pair of
chest-mounted rocket pods provide emergency close range firepower at
considerable overheating risk.  These latter weapons are mounted where the
Buster's "shoulder" cargo bays once were; indeed, as far as any auditors are
concerned, both shoulders feature half-ton cargo bays, with quick hookups for
the rocket pods tastefully concealed.

    Despite being surprisingly well-armed, mobile, and protected for a
MilitiaMech - let alone one without a fusion pile - the Ashigaru is popular
with commanders and politicians, not Mechwarriors.  Many proud and experienced
DCMS Mechwarriors saw assignment to the AGR-04 as a deliberate insult, an
implicit denial of their warrior credentials.  Attitudes were not improved by
the AGR-04's lack of any ejection system, nor Battlemech-grade environmental
sealing.  This has led to reactionary pilots riding their assigned 'mechs with
exceptional aggression, further harming the Ashigaru's reputation - perhaps
unfairly - due to supercharger failures or savage beatings in close combat,
where the AGR-04's MilitiaMech construction serves it poorly.     

Battle History:
    During the Second Combine-Dominion War, the AGR-04 was tested on Itabaiana
and found wanting.  While not intended for first-line deployment, a large
number of Ashigaru were sent to shore up defenses at the planet's valuable
LAW-8i facility.  Tai-sa Nanami Ueno, who had command of the Third Pesht
Regulars on the planet as well as auxilliary forces, wisely ordered the
MilitiaMechs to remain behind the facility's heaviest defenses and provide fire
support.  When Clan Ghost Bear Galaxy Commander Vigo Hall simply ordered his
forces to wade through overlapping minefields and turrets, the remaining two
lances of Ashigaru ignored orders to withdraw into the facility proper and
instead charged the Clan forces directly in a delaying action.  All eight
MilitiaMechs were destroyed and all eight Mechwarriors killed in what proved to
be a heroic but futile gesture of defiance.

    The Ashigaru is principally assigned to rear-eschelon and militia forces
who can expect to encounter light combat against pirate forces or exploratory
raids, though fair numbers can be found concentrated in corporate security
forces or the paramilitary services of more heavily-industrialized and
populated planets.  Assignment to an AGR-04 is considered a serious career
setback, and many units making use of this 'mech suffer from discipline and
morale problems.

    The AGR-05 discards its rocket packs and magshots in order to mount an
MRM-10 launcher and a single ton of reloads, good enough for 24 volleys of
dumbfire rockets.  This variant is prone to overheating when firing its primary
weapons, and lacks even a single hand actuator.

Quirks:  Improved Cooling Jacket (Light PPC), Bad Reputation, No Ejection

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
Internal Structure: Industrial                    83 points               10.00
Engine:             Fuel-Cell Engine             200                      10.50
    Walking MP: 4
    Running MP: 6 ( 8 )
    Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             7                         6.00
Gyro:               Standard                                               2.00
Cockpit:            Industrial w/ Adv. Fire Control                        3.00
Power Amplifiers:                                                          0.50
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV - 136                  8.50
    CASE Locations: 1 LT                                                   0.50

                                                      Internal       Armor     
                                                      Structure      Factor     
                                                Head     3            9         
                                        Center Torso     16           20       
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  5         
                                           L/R Torso     12           18       
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  5         
                                             L/R Arm     8            13       
                                             L/R Leg     12           15       

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
2 Magshots                                   RA        2         4         1.00
Light PPC                                    LA        5         2         3.00
Light Machine Gun                            RT        0         1         0.50
Rocket Launcher 10                           RT        3         1         0.50
Light Machine Gun                            LT        0         1         0.50
Rocket Launcher 10                           LT        3         1         0.50
Supercharger                                 CT        -         1         1.50
@Magshot Gauss Rifle (50)                    RA        -         1         1.00
@LMG (1/2) (100)                             LT        -         1         0.50
                                            Free Critical Slots: 35

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 8
5          2       2       1       0      2     0   Structure:  4
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, EE