Yerisia has long been divorced from Terra, isolated from her wars and dissemination of her ideas and such. In this vaccum the Yerisian Dictatorship rose to power and prominence. One one hand, gentility and manners are considered extraordinarily important. Culture and civilization are considered of utmost importance. On the other hand, the regime is almost brutal in its execution of the law, and the force it is willing to use to maintain its power and position. The mines and the products produced around the planet are claimed by the government. Taxes are massive, and much of the population subsists through state welfare, or through subsistence farming.
The Yerisian Regime prefers to keep the large populace of Yerisia unarmed. This is usually not a problem, but Yerisia is still on occasion visited by pirate raids. A disarmed public cannot resist these invaders any better than it can resist the regime. It only took a few such raids to demonstrate the inability of the Regime to defend its planet against an outside foe. Riots were commonplace after these raids became more frequent, and the Regime was forced to become more active in defenses.
The turning point came when several pirate war machines were damaged and captured by the regime. This brought a long lull in pirate activity, as it seemed that it was the same group that was returning to Yerisia over and over again. The captured pirates were interrogated, tortured, interrogated again, and then executed. Their walking war machines were torn apart, reverse engineered and studied by the best minds of the Regime.
It would take a decade before the first fruits of this research were harvested. The prototype Penegak Besar would go through another decade of testing and redesign, while the basic Penegak went ahead into production. During this period there were more pirate raids, but the Penegak's proved capable of repelling the raiding war machines, driving them back to their space craft. More salvage would be taken, which further aided research and developement of the Penegak Besar.
The Grand Enforcer
The Grand Enforcer is a reverse engineered battlemech produced by a culture that has not before experienced mech warfare. The technology was reverse engineered from battered pirate mechs that were in questionable condition before being damaged beyond functioning. Having a more primitive technological base, this engineering feat required a great deal of innovation on the part of the Yerisian scientific and military communities. These sectors had long been content to work with traditional combat vehicles, with light tanks and infantry being the most common. Airships with spotlights, machine guns, and gas grenade launchers were among the largest vehicles deployed by the Regime.
The main problem faced by the Yerisians was that the basic materials the mech was constructed from they could not reproduce. Titanium coated foamed aluminum was drastically beyond their industrial capacity, and the toroidal fusion engine was also an enigma. The poor condition of the salvaged engines did little to help in the problem. Rather than try to replicate these technologies from such a poor standpoint, the Yerisians substituted their own power sources and started using their own capabilites.
The titanium wrapped foamed aluminum used in traditional endoskeletons was not available. The Yerisians turned to thier own resources. The first endoskeletons were made of high strength steel alloys, with the joint mechanisms being more expensive titanium alloys. While being of similar function, the Yerisian matieral was easily twice the weight. As the weights involve rose, a general consensus was reached, to keep a similar profile, a much larger machine was going to be needed. As the design process drew on, the Penegak Besar kept getting bigger and bigger until it reached its final production weight of 100 tons.
Unable to replicate the fusion engine used by the pirate mechs, the Yerisians investigated two options, using power umbilicals and fission reactors. The power umbilicals proved to be problematic, the cables were easily snagged and a multi-ton monster stomping around with a foot and a half thick cable behind it caused an excessive amount of collateral damage. This was made most obvious when the cable slipped over a barrier and was pulled through a parking lot, damaging or destroying 34 automobiles belonging to ranking regime officials and design executives. The fission reactor program was pushed ahead, while the umbilical program was dropped. The Fission reactor proved to be its own nest of problems. The reactor had to be self stabilizing, and there had to be layers of special protection and controls for the unit. The cockpit of the Penegak was extended to house a second crewman, a dedicated reactor control engineer. This engineer would monitor the power output of the reactor as well as operate the position of the fuel rods, or the control rods as needed. This officer also had access to the kill switch, a big button that would shut down the reactor and pump it full of boron silicate and dump all of the coolant into it. The final production reactor reached a weight of 33.5 tons. Much larger than the 19 tons of the fusion reactor, but still the smallest fissile reactor built by the Yerisians.
The layered ablative diamond based armor of the pirate mech was also irreplacable. Considering the challenges thus far faced and overcome, the replacement of the armor was considered easy. Armor plating was already in use, with a variety of vehicles, mostly tanks, using a cold rolled hardened steel. 18 tons of this high grade armor were wrapped around the endoskeleton and components of the Penegak Besar. When the new mech was fielded and faced off against other mechs, the shortcomings of this armor were made apparent. While suitable against the light and middle weight weapons deployed by raiders, the larger weapon systems used could wreak havoc inside the mech, penetrating the armor with ease. Most of the Yerisian mechs lost were not to cumulative damage, but rather this sort of surprise critical hit. Reactors were the most common victim, the crews forced to SCRAM their reactors or let them reach critical temperatures and explode. Later models used different armor alloys, but none were able to overcome this basic shortfall of traditional all metallic armors.
The weapons of the pirate machines were in poor condition, and one example of a single weapon is less useful than three or four samples. Thus, few of the weapons used by the pirates were successfully reverse engineered. The Penegak Besar copied the weapons layout of one of the destroyed pirate machines. Each arm ended with a locally produced 90mm cannon. While less powerful and effective than the pirate automatic cannons, the weapons were able to damage just about anything they were pointed at. The smaller Penegak mounted a single 66mm medium cannon, dual machine guns, and a spotlight. The arm cannons were backed up by four machine guns, one each mounted co-axially with the cannons, the other two set in a twin linked mount in the torso. A few modified Penegak Besars would drop two machines guns and add shoulder mounted rocket launcher pods, each firing a salvo of ten rockets. While destructive, these weapons were never close to being as accurate as the missiles fired by the pirates.
The principle enemy of the Besar series was heat build up, the cooling system employed by the machine was never up to par with its power output and weapons payload. The traditional method of combat involved either staggered fire of the cannons with limited movement or coming to a full stop before deploying firepower. in civil control operations, none of these actions presented a problem. Rather, they created an illusion of deliberat firepower. In the field, this slowed the speed of the machine, and limited it in its capabilities. The Yerisians learned to exploit water holes, and in areas where pirate raids were expected, coolant ponds were dug, lined with concrete, and set up to serve as firing/cooling stations for Penegak Besar operations. The Yerisians also would later develop coolant tanks that would deploy with the Besars. Some would use a remnant of the umbilical program to flush the coolant system of the mech, while others deployed pressure hoses to keep the cooling fins of the mech flushed with water. In these situations, the Besar was able to deliver its full weapons payload without concern of reactor shutdown or meltdown.
In Classic Battletech, as a mech's heat increases, it loses speed and accuracy as the temperatures inside the machine soar. At 30 heat, the reactor shuts down regardless of pilot desires. The reaction stops and the temperatures start dropping. In a fissile engine, if the heat reaches 30, rather than shutting down, a run away reaction has started and the reactor wil go critical in a rather nasty explosion. In Battletech fiction, fusion reactors have been exploded, this is much more a pressure explosion and not a nuclear reaction. A fission reactor going critical is, however, an atomic explosion.
The Penegak Besar remains in service for decades, with the reactor controls become more and more refined, and with gradual improvements to the machine in general. The final crew compliment becomes 3. One pilot is dedicated to the movement of the machine and general command of the mech. A dedicated gunner controls the arms and weapon systems and is generally the lowest ranked crew member. The Reactor Engineer sits in the rear most position, and monitors the reactor. As years progress, most reactor engineers double as Regime Political officers, monitoring the crew as well as the reactor.
Pirate raids become much more common for several years, as rumor spreads of a weapons cache on Yerisia. There is simply no way that they can accept the fact that the 100 monsters the Yerisians deploy against them are homegrown machines. This rush of pirates eventually fades as it is learned that rather than LosTech, the Yerisians are simply deploying massive primitive mechs. In the face of mounting losses with little gain the pirate raids slack of dramatically. While destroying quite a few Yerisian mechs, these raids also grant the Regime tons upon tons of more research material, spurring a Yerisian laser weapons program, particle weapons program, an so on.
Like the smaller Penegak mech, the Penegak Besar sees plenty of action in population control, its quad machine guns taking a heavy toll in protestor and rioter lives. Few home armored trucks and cars survive a single shot from its large cannons, and fewer survive being stepped on by the mech. Production of the mech remains solid, despite long construction times, high costs, and reactor accidents. The Besar, with its starkly angled armor, and menacing arm cannons becomes a symbol of the Yerisian Regime.
The Penegak Besar is a primitive mech, designed with sub-standard materials, a primitive engine, and primitive weapons. I was compelled to design this beast after finding these new rules online, and as I drew up the machine, I started getting a feel for the people who would have put their financial and scientific powers behind it. Thus was created the Yerisian Regime.