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Author Topic: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana  (Read 8688 times)

GreekFire

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‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« on: 27 February 2016, 00:40:12 »


Today’s ‘Mechs are slightly more obscure than those I usually cover. Their appearance in Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions might have been missed by a few BattleTech fans, to which I can only say one thing: this is one product you’re gonna want to buy. Seriously. ISP3 is one of my favorite products out there, offering a huge amount of detail on a wide variety of Deep Periphery worlds and kingdoms. One of the most interesting of these would forcibly be the Escorpión Imperio - a nation born of a forced three-way merger between three sworn enemies: the Umayyad Caliphate, the Castilian Principality, and Clan Goliath Scorpion.

I won’t go into too much detail - if you’re interesting in learning more about the Escorpión Imperio I would suggest reading The Wars of Reaving and Interstellar Expeditions. Only a few details matter to us today; by the mid-3080's the Scorpion military was in shambles, their eugenics programs heavily disrupted, and their economic base almost nonexistent. Rebuilding would not only be difficult, but be the greatest challenge the Clan had ever faced.

The Escorpión’s troubled formation lead to the creation of two new castes: Support and Garrison. The Garrison (or Grunt) caste would be filled by ex-Castilian and Umayyad soldiers, men and women too untrained to be uplifted into the true Warrior caste but still able to fill basic security, policing and garrison needs. Although most of these soldiers would be part of an armored vehicle or infantry core, a lucky few would be allotted lower-quality but homegrown MilitiaMechs. We know of two: the Reptar and the Araña.

~ ~ ~

To explain things as simply as possible: the Reptar is the Clan equivalent to the Arbiter, Quasit, or Sarissa. Built on an industrial chassis, the 35-ton frame and fuel cell engine would hardly make the Reptar a viable threat even before acknowledging its weaponry. Only able to move 5/8 and with Heavy Industrial armor used for a layout of 12/3(CT), 9/2(ST), 8(Arms), 9(Legs), 9(Head), the Reptar can hardly stand up against even the lightest opposition. Its armaments, consisting of an arm-mounted ProtoMech AC/8 (with two tons of ammo) and two torso-mounted Light Machine Guns (fed by a half-ton of ammo), are barely enough to deal with a marauding Light ‘Mech. Two heat sinks handle all of the weapon heat - remember, fuel cell industrials build no movement heat.

The Reptar isn't a tough customer - it even has trouble dealing with basic IntroTech bugs. Stingers, Wasps, Locusts...they can all take a Reptar out in a one-on-one engagement. Two Medium Laser hits breach any location save the Reptar's CT, and a single shot will pierce straight through any of the rear locations. This is a much bigger deal than it might sound - the industrial chassis ensures that an average roll of 7 will result in a critical hit. With each side torso holding only one non-explosive crit, that’s one hell of a dangerous weakness. Hitting fuel cell crits is barely better; anything that starts going internal on any of the Reptar’s torsos is nearly guaranteed to completely destroy the ‘Mech in a massive explosion. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Reptar does *not* have an ejection seat. Expect dead pilots.

On the armament side of things, the Reptar is fair...but certainly not fantastic. The twin Light Machine Guns are a good choice for dealing with the more infantry-intensive militaries of the Deep Periphery. The ProtoMech AC/8 (apparently taken from ProtoMechs...sounds like an intelligence mix-up to me) is alright as an anti-‘Mech weapon. It has slightly better brackets than two of the most common Deep Periphery weapons: the Medium Laser and the SRM. When bugs do attack - and they will - the Reptar should be able to retaliate. That 8-point hit is pretty hefty, too. It’ll rip right through a bug’s arm, smash through their side or legs armor, and even headcap a Stinger or a Wasp. It’s a big hit for those 20-ton ‘Mechs to deal with, and it makes the Reptar worthy of some respect, at least. Things get really interesting if the Militia formations somehow get their hands on some special munitions; a ton of Precision can dramatically tilt things in the Reptar’s favor, while a ton of Flechette can make it a real menace versus infantry. Just make sure you have something covering your rear.

If there's one final thing to remember, it's that you only have two heat sinks - Flamers will take up your full dissipation ability, while Infernos can take you out of the fight with a single volley. Stay away from fire, and since you don’t have environmental sealing, stay away from water as well. Use it defensively, as a cheap anti-light/anti-infantry bodyguard for larger and more important units. If used en masse, cover each other's backsides and use combined firepower to down opposing Light ‘Mechs or tanks fast than they can burn through your minimal armor.




Our second Imperio MilitiaMech is much more imposing. The Araña gains five tons, bringing it to 40, while also using a quad chassis to give it more stability. While it still uses an Industrial Chassis and Heavy Industrial Armor, it gains much more armor - this time having 18/5(CT), 15/5(ST), 20(Legs), 9(Head). The biggest changes, though, are the use of a Fusion Engine and the inclusion of an ejection seat. The Araña is clearly for more seasoned Grunts, pilots the Imperio deems worth a sharper knife and a later grave.

The weapons mounted on the Araña are considerably more powerful as well. Three ClanTech ER Medium Lasers are mounted on a turret in the left torso, with a total of fifteen Single Heat Sinks dissipating everything but movement heat. The same 5/8 movement profile appears again, making the Araña a surprisingly tough customer for most Periphery forces. Bugs can't face an Araña alone, period - it positively disintegrates them. This MilitiaMech can instead take on medium ‘Mechs, outgunning both the common Shadow Hawk -2H and Wolverine -6R. I believe it's no coincidence that the Araña has the same total armor and similar speed as both of those Periphery staples - it is definitely a cheaper, more easily mass-produced version of them.

That's not to say it's flawless, though. The big issue is, once again, crits. Anything that starts hitting internal structure will dismantle the Araña in moments. The Left Torso only has a single Heat Sink padding it, while the Right Torso carries all of its firepower and nothing else. The legs and center torso have extra Heat Sink padding, but even those won’t last long against the type of crits the Araña will invariably suffer from. This is where being a Quad really comes in handy - the Limb Blown Off crit, more common on industrials, is less hazardous on a Quad than it could be on a Biped. It can always use Partial Cover or Hull-Down to improve its survivability, where it can continue to maintain a near-constant barrage of firepower thanks to its turret. The Araña really isn’t all that bad.

~ ~ ~

The speed of both ‘Mechs makes them decent partners for your typical Medium Troopers. The Shadow Hawk, Trebuchet, Wolverine, and even Quickdraw can all stand in formation with both of these MilitiaMechs. On top of that, their speed makes them useful in semi-support roles for more static tank or infantry positions. They can quickly move forward and bring a good amount of quick firepower against most typical Periphery junk, "stiffening" up more fragile conventional lines. They work best against softer targets, of course; larger ‘Mechs always have the option of bringing physicals to the party, something that no industrial likes under any condition.

If there’s something the Araña and Reptar can’t stand against, it’s other Clan units. Don't expect these to survive against any Coyote raids. They’re sluggish and have roughly no firepower when compared to their Homeworld-made peers. The best they can hope for is to temporarily slow any invaders down. Battle Armor are even more dangerous, if possible; Elementals will have an advantage when performing Swarm or Leg Attacks against these industrials, and their auto-crit from those attacks will down the MilitiaMechs in a heartbeat. Even the Araña’s three ER Medium Lasers aren’t enough to warrant caution from Elemental Points, so your best bet as a defender would be to keep the MilitiaMechs as far away from any battle armor as humanly possible.

Will we see more of these MilitiaMechs? Only time will tell. The fate of the Imperio is still unknown, and their close proximity to the Homeworld Clans and Hanseatic League doesn’t bode well for them. You never know, though, and no matter what happens...they’re worth playing. There’s no other faction out there that lets you field a mixed-tech MilitiaMech alongside a Blakist Initiate, a second-line Commando IIC, a primitive Shadow Hawk -1R and a point of Triton ProtoMechs - with a platoon of Horse-Mounted Infantry scouting for the lot. The pure variety of tech available to you is amazing and incredibly fun to bring to the table. I’d suggest anyone and absolutely everyone give it a try at least once.
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Maelwys

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #1 on: 27 February 2016, 02:22:51 »
I think these two designs were a big surprise in ISP3. One, we actually got some information on the Imperio, even if it was somewhat bad for them, and two, that the first 'Mechs we saw out of them were seemingly rather lowtech, except for their weapons. Perhaps the perfect example of a former Clan trying to do all they can to bulk their forces up. It could be interesting to see some fights were we see opponents trying to concentrate on the Imperio's actual Clan 'Mechs, only to get hit by a group of these when they least expect it.

And while this doesn't quite apply to the Reptar and Araña directly, as GreekFire says, the faction is somewhat interesting, so I figured I'd mention this little tidbit. With the release of IO, we see that the Escorpión Imperio has put the various "Improved" weapons back into production in the 3080's. For those confused by the terms, the "Improved" weapons had the same range, heat and damage as the Inner Sphere weapon, but usually weighed less and took up fewer criticals. A stopgap measure between IS and Clantech.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #2 on: 27 February 2016, 03:59:12 »
IIRC the Ummayids and Castellians had the ability to build IS level tech (or at least succession wars level versions), they were just limited to ICE engines and had only figured out how to build Industrialmechs instead of full battletechs.

this would make the "improved" weapons a logical next step, since with clan technical advice they don't have to develop the star league tech versions first.

as far as the Proto-AC goes, i'm not sure that they actually pulled AC's off proto's for this. more likely, the Scorpions had the specs for protomech AC's, and they just had an autocannon factory that already existed within the borders of the imperio refit to build them. after all, a proto-AC isn't going to be much different than an introtech standard AC in terms of what is needed to build them.. it isn't like the weapon has a lot of extra fancy mechanical or electrical engineering the way a UAC, LBX, or RAC would.

that said, i'm surprised the Imperio hasn't made use of Chemical lasers. these would be a way to give the less advanced units of the imperio some effective energy weapon armaments. and tech level wise chemical lasers are actually simpler than the improved/earlyclantech stuff. heck, chemical lasers are simpler than the IS introtech.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #3 on: 27 February 2016, 08:14:06 »
that said, i'm surprised the Imperio hasn't made use of Chemical lasers. these would be a way to give the less advanced units of the imperio some effective energy weapon armaments. and tech level wise chemical lasers are actually simpler than the improved/earlyclantech stuff. heck, chemical lasers are simpler than the IS introtech.
Imagine an Ontos with chemical lasers.  ;)
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GreekFire

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #4 on: 27 February 2016, 08:34:41 »
as far as the Proto-AC goes, i'm not sure that they actually pulled AC's off proto's for this. more likely, the Scorpions had the specs for protomech AC's, and they just had an autocannon factory that already existed within the borders of the imperio refit to build them. after all, a proto-AC isn't going to be much different than an introtech standard AC in terms of what is needed to build them.. it isn't like the weapon has a lot of extra fancy mechanical or electrical engineering the way a UAC, LBX, or RAC would.

Yeah, definitely an intelligence gaff. The write-up says: "The Scorpions apparently have a surplus of their 8-series autocannon, indicating a lack of new ProtoMech construction..." which could have been true had the thing ever been used on a Proto design. That is, unless the Scorpions were refitting Sprites or something.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #5 on: 27 February 2016, 10:21:57 »
Imagine an Ontos with chemical lasers.  ;)
They're quite FUN with a capital FU.  Did a small mercenary unit once that specialized in dropzone security.  Their vehicle force was half Partisans and half Ontos with the Things getting chemical laser refits at one point in the campaign.  It made for quite an interesting change.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #6 on: 28 February 2016, 03:47:33 »
to be honest.. i think that while these mechs are awesome in how they illustrate what the Imperio is doing, and how you can create some decent very-low tech designs.

yet at the same time, the lack of any information on what the Castellans were using before the Scorpions arrived makes it harder to tell.. is this an improvement? for the Clan pilots it would be a massive downgrade. but the clan warriors aren't driving this, it's the non-clan Castellan and ummayid troops that have been put into those garrison units. we know the Ummayids had some real mechs from the early succession wars, but the Castellans were using ICE powered battlemechs. but we don't know what their designs were.

GreekFire

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #7 on: 28 February 2016, 13:46:12 »
yet at the same time, the lack of any information on what the Castellans were using before the Scorpions arrived makes it harder to tell.. is this an improvement?

Objectives: Periphery tells us that the Nueva Castile worlds were producing the:
- - - Domestic 'Mechs - - -
>Shadow Hawk -1R
>Rifleman -1N
>Wasp (presumably -1A)
>Stinger (presumably -3R)
>Vulcan Refit (unknown variant)

- - - Domestic Vehicles - - -
>SRM Carrier
>LRM Carrier
>Korvin Retrograde Refit (presumably KRV-2)

Then they had access to the 'Mechs imported from the Hanseatic League before things escalated between those two regions of space, along with the mishmash of Succession Wars and downgraded Star League designs found on their RATs.

With that in mind, the Reptar can't really take on any of these 'Mechs except for maybe the Stingers/Wasps (if they somehow have precision ammo available to them). A bit of a downgrade there, but FR:Periphery says the Umayyad/Castilian forces were starved for 'Mechs anyway, so it's at least something.

The Arana, though, would be a solid upgrade. Definitely better than a bug or the Primitive Rifleman/Shadow Hawk, and it'd be decent competition for the Hansa Phoenix Hawk and Primitive Wolverines. It's a keeper.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #8 on: 28 February 2016, 21:20:29 »
Any one be surprised if some a certain piece of wobbie tech shows up on the two seemly made to work together mechs?

GreekFire

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #9 on: 28 February 2016, 21:42:42 »
Any one be surprised if some a certain piece of wobbie tech shows up on the two seemly made to work together mechs?

Hell, I'd expect it. The Scorps aren't really caring about what is or isn't "Clan" right now.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #10 on: 28 February 2016, 21:49:00 »
The lack of information on how the Imperio's military operates these days makes thing difficult, especially with regards to the distribution and operation of Blakist swag. Are the Scorpion warriors keeping that stuff for themselves so their Clantech lasts longer, are they eschewing it as inferior and giving it to the locals they trust the most, or somewhere in between? Is C3i banned entirely, do the Clanners unplug it in their 'mechs, or have they accepted they are no longer Clan and use it willy-nilly?
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #11 on: 28 February 2016, 23:44:53 »
Personally, i like them.  The art for the Reptar is pretty nice looking.

I have more faith in the Proto-AC/8, given it can use optional ammunition.  That gives wide spread of possibilities for militia force dealing with pirates using intro-tech Mechs. 

However, the Scorpions could end up being raided by their former Clan cousins.  Highly likely, Star Adders, and their large space going forces patroling the deep dark for anyone trying to get to the Homeworlds.

I think it depends on if the Arana and the Reptar can be used in large formations.  What you lack in ability, you can make up in numbers until frontline reinforcements arrive. Arana's Quad BattleMech Turret makes big difference for it, should anyone try get around to it's weak side. Which it happily doesn't have.

Thanks again for the write up, Greekfire.

I do wish ISP:IE was more canon thou, it's being a ISP book makes it's information canon-rumor and not reliable. :( Thankfully, the mechs and other units are canon.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #12 on: 29 February 2016, 10:17:00 »
Bugs can't face an Araña alone, period - it positively disintegrates them.

Strangely appropriate considering Araña means "spider" in Spanish.

And Objectives:Periphery shows that the Umayyad Caliphate and Hanseatic League were able to produce Stingers, Wasps, Locust, Phoenix Hawks, and RetroTech Riflemen, Wolverines, and Shadow Hawks (pages 31-33). So maybe we'll see some Goliath Scorpion-updated variants of those models as well. Already said by GreekFire, above.
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GreekFire

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #13 on: 29 February 2016, 11:05:13 »
Personally, i like them.  The art for the Reptar is pretty nice looking.

The art for the both of them is fantastic. Really love 'em.

Strangely appropriate considering Araña means "spider" in Spanish.

Wow...that's actually a really good point. Wouldn't be surprised if that name choice was intentional.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #14 on: 29 February 2016, 15:53:08 »
Objectives: Periphery tells us that the Nueva Castile worlds were producing the:
- - - Domestic 'Mechs - - -
>Shadow Hawk -1R
>Rifleman -1N
They were also producing the Wolverine, and all three were RetroTech models. Either of these Mechs would be able to give them a run for their money, especially considering that they were probably being built in large numbers.

Although I wonder if the Imperio would refit one or more of the RetroTech designs with Clan spec weaponry. A Primitive Rifleman IIC would be interesting.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #15 on: 29 February 2016, 16:10:26 »
I always enjoy these sort of hybrid creatures.  Clan weaponry is of course the go to choice when advancing a lower tech base unit.  Clan weapons, short of Clan XLEs are arguably the most advantaged expression of Clan technological superiority.  Plus, I imagine that that Clans would have stockpiles of weapons left over from now deceased omni mech configurations.  The Scorpions and Hellions suffered heavy losses, and all those spare omni weapons could be put to task.

Plus, low tech and militia units are just plain fun.  Ugly, inefficient fun.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #16 on: 14 March 2016, 23:32:41 »

Wow...that's actually a really good point. Wouldn't be surprised if that name choice was intentional.

It was.  ^-^
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #17 on: 22 March 2016, 08:32:50 »
Since PACs can use alternate ammo like standard autocannons what ones would be the best for the Reptar?

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #18 on: 22 March 2016, 08:36:15 »
They mentioned Precision and Fletchette munitions in the article, but AP Ammo might be okay for harder targets - if you somehow end up having a good pilot in the Reptar.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #19 on: 22 March 2016, 09:55:22 »
I like the idea of precision rounds here. Sure, Reptar pilots are unlikely to be extremely skilled, but even attackers from the Homeworlds have to be wary of sending light mechs or Protos against a flank held by a swarm of throwaway units packing 8-point pulse ACs. Use them to secure your flanks, with a seasoning of Aranas(and maybe even some Protos thrown in as minders) to stiffen them up, and you can focus your actual heavy firepower at the front.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #20 on: 22 March 2016, 11:44:36 »
Do the clans or deep periphery realms even use specialty ammo?

GreekFire

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #21 on: 22 March 2016, 11:53:35 »
Do the clans or deep periphery realms even use specialty ammo?

It's...nebulous. The Deep Periphery nations almost certainly don't manufacture them, but the Imperio and other Clans *might*.

PACs were errata'd to be able to use special munitions, but specialty ammo types like Precision and Armor Piercing have never gotten their own to change their tech base from IS to both. So...who knows.

That said, maybe the Scorps recovered some specialty ammo rounds from the Blakist cache they recovered, eventually allowing them reverse engineer the stuff.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #22 on: 23 March 2016, 07:08:05 »
It's...nebulous. The Deep Periphery nations almost certainly don't manufacture them, but the Imperio and other Clans *might*.

PACs were errata'd to be able to use special munitions, but specialty ammo types like Precision and Armor Piercing have never gotten their own to change their tech base from IS to both. So...who knows.

That said, maybe the Scorps recovered some specialty ammo rounds from the Blakist cache they recovered, eventually allowing them reverse engineer the stuff.
Or the Scorp Imperio scientist caste gets a report of specialty ammo and is told to duplicate it. They're not stupid and could come up with a solution.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #23 on: 23 March 2016, 20:12:20 »
Or the Scorp Imperio scientist caste gets a report of specialty ammo and is told to duplicate it. They're not stupid and could come up with a solution.

The ELH might have had some.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #24 on: 23 November 2020, 20:52:45 »
so do we need another MoTW topic to talk about their battlemech versions Cazador and Tolva?

or do they count as variants?

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #25 on: 23 November 2020, 23:19:30 »
Hell, I am having my doubts the Reptar and Arana ever existed...

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #26 on: 24 November 2020, 19:05:40 »
They won't have been deployed as part of the invasion force, their industrial / militia mechs. The League was using real BattleMechs, old ones but they would done a number for them had they been deployed.
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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #27 on: 24 November 2020, 19:37:23 »
yeah, the Arana and Reptar are garrison designs, part of the "garrison caste". the Scorpions would never bring them on an offensive, they'd be stationed back in the main worlds to protect them while the main Touman forces are away in the Hansiatic League.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #28 on: 24 November 2020, 23:13:37 »
What I am saying is... I am having my doubts as to the validity of the entirety of the Interstellar Expeditions section on them. The existence of a garrison caste, the described status, etc etc.

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Re: ‘Mechs of the Week: EPT-C-1 Reptar and ARA-S-1 Arana
« Reply #29 on: 25 November 2020, 00:30:35 »
What I am saying is... I am having my doubts as to the validity of the entirety of the Interstellar Expeditions section on them. The existence of a garrison caste, the described status, etc etc.

As far as I can tell, the new Turning Point on the Scorpion Crusades confirms all that stuff.

 

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