Firestarter (BattleMech)

3025 Firestarter1.jpg
Firestarter
Production information
Manufacturer Argile Technologies of Skye, Coventry Metal Works
Production Year 2550[1][2][3]
Model FS9-H
Class Light
Cost 3,046,950 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mass 35 tons
Chassis Argile H/09
Armor Livingston Ceramics
Engine GM 210
Communications System Cyclops 14
Targeting Tracking System Tansech C30-97
Heat Sinks 10
Speed 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets Luxor Load Lifters
Armament
BV (1.0) 500
BV (2.0) 694[4]
This article is about the 35-ton BattleMech. For the 45-ton OmniMech, see Firestarter (OmniMech).


Description[edit]

The Firestarter was designed by Argile Technologies of Skye in 2550 to perform as an incendiary 'Mech. The most popular and widely-used version of the Firestarter, the FS9-H, would debut in 2703 and become the standard to which all other incendiary 'Mechs were compared. The FS9-H was produced almost exclusively from its introduction up to the beginning of the Amaris Civil War in early 2776, with nearly 3,000 Firestarters in total seeing active duty.[1] Because of the 'Mech's popularity with all of the Great Houses, Argile Industries continued to produce spare parts and new 'Mechs prior to and during the Succession Wars, until their Argile plant and headquarters were destroyed in the Third Succession War. When the company indicated that they would not rebuild their plant, Coventry Metal Works eventually picked up production.[2]

Though most regiments contained a number of Firestarter 'Mechs, they were traditionally assigned at the company or regimental level rather than be attached to a lance, with the commander then deploying them to support an attack group or scout wooded areas. The reason for this was that the 'Mech had such a specialized role that it was deemed useless to assign it to lances. Though protected by five and a half tons of armor and capable of jumping distances of 180 meters with its six jump jets, the Firestarter could do little against medium or heavyweight opponents. Instead a whole series of tactics were developed around its ability to start wildfires, with skillfully-placed blazes routing an enemy or covering a retreat and hampering any pursuit. Firestarter MechWarriors were fond of setting on fire a heavily wooded area as enemy 'Mechs advanced through it or any buildings within which the enemy were sheltering. Other uses for the 'Mech included performing scorched earth tactics (though this lessened in later years as it became more imperative to capture the dwindling number of valuable resources rather than destroy them) or lead units of Wasps and Stingers in deep penetration scouting and light raiding missions.[1][2]

This policy changed in the later Succession Wars as it was found that the Firestarter performed well as a scout, able to not only start fires to prevent an enemy from attempting to follow it but also clear ambush areas for the advancement of friendly forces. In the wake of the Fourth Succession War Firestarters also found themselves being assigned to lances as replacements for the losses of other light and medium 'Mechs, forcing the 'Mech to perform in a frontline role. This evolution would continue when the Federated Commonwealth unveiled a new version in 3049, the FS9-S, which featured a host of recovered lostech to enhance its scouting abilities.[1][2][5]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Firestarter carries four Purity L-series Flamers for incendiary work, one in each arm and either side of its torso. The flamers can set fire to anything flammable very quickly. For additional anti-personnel work, the Firestarter has two Deprus RF Machine Guns mounted in either side of its torso which, combined with the flamers, can make short work of infantry units. The Firestarter carries two Magna Mk II Medium Lasers in either arm for when it is forced to engage hard targets like vehicles and other BattleMechs. Two tons of ammo located in its torso supply the machine guns while ten heat sinks help keep it cool.[1][2]

Variants[edit]

  • FS9-A 
    The original Firestarter, production on it ceased with the introduction of the FS9-H. It carried Small Lasers instead of machine guns and mounted an additional ton of armor.[2] [6]
  • FS9-B 
    Following the capture of Coventry, the Word of Blake converted the Firestarter line to produce a new variant in 3070 that could be better integrated into their units. An additional ton of armor is added when compared to the S and it is upgraded to Light Ferro-Fibrous. Five Flamers are devastating to conventional units, while an ER Medium Laser provides firepower against hardened targets. A C3i Computer allows it to share targeting data from other units. The use of single heat sinks is confusing in such a unit, and it means that the -B can build heat quickly. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 677[7]
  • FS9-C 
    Manufactured by the Circinus Federation in 3064, the -C is similar to the -S, but it uses ten double heat sinks. It removes the defensive and scouting equipment, as well as a half-ton of armor to add and additional Small Laser and a pair of SRM-2s. The missile launchers are commonly loaded with Inferno rounds. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 775[7]
  • FS9-K 
    The K variant began production at the same time as the original model and mounted two flamers, a Large laser and two small lasers. While it was designed to be a companion model, the H variant proved more popular and dominated production after it was introduced.[2] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 763[8]
  • FS9-M 
    Nicknamed the Mirage, this variant of the Firestarter debuted in 2893 and converts it from an incendiary 'Mech to a frontline 'Mech by removing the flamers and adding in their place two small lasers and three tons of armor. The variant was in production for only one year before the catastrophic battle which transformed the Argile plant, and the capital of Skye, into a desert wasteland. The Skye Rangers maintained several Mirages, including a lance with one arm painted black in commemoration.[1][2] BV (1.0) = 671, BV (2.0) = 798[9]
  • FS9-M2 
    Manufactured on Coventry for the mercenary market in 3101, possibly a descendant of the -B and almost the polar opposite of the -M variant, the -M2 variant of the Firestarter is an upgrade that is built on a Foundation Ultralight Endo Steel chassis and is armored with seven tons of Durallex Nova standard armor. Eleven Double Heat Sinks attempt to keep the -M2 cool, while a single ER Medium Laser mounted in the head and three Flamers in each arm work to tax those same heat sinks. The life support system was substantially redesigned to be more rugged in support of the -M2's primary mission, and as a result the -M2 has the Improved Life Support Design Quirk.[10] BV (1.0) = 602[11], BV (2.0) = 751[10][12]
  • FS9-M3 
    The -M3 is a modification of the -M2 Firestarter introduced in 3104 that has been optimized for artillery spotting. The 'Mech has removed the three Flamers mounted in the left arm, replacing them in the arm with a single ER Small Laser, and added a TAG laser designator to the right torso, allowing it to spot for artillery, and MASC, which allows it to move at up to 129.6 km/h. The -M3 also dropped a single double heat sink but added another half ton of armor, giving it a total of seven and a half tons of standard armor.[13] BV (1.0) = 699[14], BV (2.0) = 866.[13][15]
  • FS9-M4 
    Another reworking of the -M2 variant debuting in 3109, the M4 strips out a double heat sink, the ER Medium Laser and the three Flamers mounted in the left arm. The -M4 upgrades the engine to 210 XL and mounts a single Rotary AC/2 in the left arm, supplied with a single ton of ammunition stored in the left torso. The -M4 also adds another half ton of standard armor. BV (2.0) = 798.[16][17]
  • FS9-P 
    The FS9-P is an upgrade of the Firestarter manufactured by Coventry Metal Works for the Periphery starting in 3064. The armor has been upgraded to Ferro-Fibrous and the 'Mech carries two Flamers, two Medium Lasers, two Rocket Launcher 15s, and four Rocket Launcher 10s, giving it an incredible one-shot kill capability against heavier 'Mechs. The already overwhelming number of Firestarters in the near Periphery led to the failure of this variant. BV (1.0) = 846, BV (2.0) = 940[18]
  • FS9-S 
    The FS9-S is an overhaul of the FS9-H introduced in 3049. The structure has been upgraded to use an Endo Steel chassis. The weapons carried are four flamers, two medium lasers, and a single small laser. An Anti-Missile System with one ton of ammo has been added to protect against missile attacks, and a Beagle Active Probe has been installed to enhance the Firestarter's scouting role. BV (1.0) = 551[19], BV (2.0) = 760[5]
  • FS9-S1 
    The FS9-S1 is identical to the FS9-S except that it carries a Guardian ECM Suite instead of the Beagle Active Probe. BV (1.0) = 613[19], BV (2.0) = 820[18]
  • FS9-S2 
    Introduced in 3075 this variant is a direct copy of the FS9-S except ER medium lasers replace the standard medium laser. BV (2.0) = 842[20]
  • FS9-S3 
    Also introduced in 3075 this variant is a direct copy of the FS9-S1 except ER medium lasers replace the standard medium laser. BV (2.0) = 908[21]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • FS9-81X 
    This is a Experimental prototype of the Firestarter that was created by Defiance Industries of Kwangjong-ni. Only three prototypes were produced as of 3074, and suffered from developmental problems with their components. Using the FS9-H as its base, the 'Mech is fitted with an XXL Engine and a pair of Medium X-Pulse Lasers, both mounted in the right arm. Its principle weapon is a Plasma Rifle with 10 shots of ammunition. The 'Mech retains the original base model's Flamers and jump capabilities. BV (2.0) = 1,093[22]

Related OmniMechs[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Technical Readout: 3025, pp. 24-25
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Technical Readout: 3039, pp. 110-111
  3. Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
  4. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 81
  5. 5.0 5.1 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 25
  6. Record Sheets: 3039, Unabridged, p. 166
  7. 7.0 7.1 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 95
  8. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 82
  9. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 83
  10. 10.0 10.1 Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 26-27, "FS9-M2 Firestarter"
  11. Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 47
  12. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 294
  13. 13.0 13.1 Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 81, "FS9-M3 Firestarter"
  14. Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 48
  15. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 295
  16. Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 82, "FS9-M4 Firestarter"
  17. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 296
  18. 18.0 18.1 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 96
  19. 19.0 19.1 Combat Operations, p. 131
  20. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.47
  21. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.48
  22. Experimental Technical Readout: Corporations p. 3 - Experimental tech Firestarter.
  23. Technical Readout: 3058, p. 86

Bibliography[edit]