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Firestarter FS-90M
BattleMech Technical Readout

Type/Model: Firestarter FS-90M
Tech: Inner Sphere / 3025
Config: Biped BattleMech
Rules: Level 1, Standard design
Mass: 35 tons
Chassis: Argile H/09 Standard
Power Plant: 210 GM Fusion
Walking Speed: 64.8 km/h
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets: 6 Firestone Radial 6s Standard Jump Jets
   Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor Type: Livingston Ceramics Standard
2 Magna Mk II Medium Lasers
2 Ompec-J Small Lasers
2 Deprus RF Machine Guns
Manufacturer:    Argile Technologies of Skye
   Location:    Skye
Communications System:    Tansech Omni-7
Targeting & Tracking System: Tansech C30-97


       The Firestarter was conceived primarily as an indirect assault unit.   Constructed by Argile Technologies of Skye from 2550 to the beginning of the Civil War in early 2776, it was successfully marketed as a highly mobile incendiary 'Mech.   Nearly 3,000 Firestarters saw active service.   Most 'Mech regiments contained a number of FS9s, and spare parts were usually stocked at all repair depots.   Though many Firstarters have been gutted beyond repair, those that survive are usually in good condition.   Because the FS9-H was a popular 'Mech, a good supply of spare parts is still available.


       The Firestarter was rarely attached to a lance, but rather was assigned to a company or regiment.   The commander would deploy the 'Mech to support an attack group or to scout wooded terrain.
       Though a real threat to light 'Mechs, a Firestarter can do little against the formidable armor and weaponry of medium and heavy opponents.   It was the ability to set fires that made the FS9 so valuable.   Skillfully placed blazes could rout enemy forces, break lines, and corner 'Mechs.   A whole series of tactics was developed around creating and spreading wildfires.   Firestarter pilots are particularly fond of setting dense woods afire while enemy 'Mechs are advancing through them and of igniting buildings that are sheltering enemy units.   If an engagement is lost, a Firstarter could create fire and smoke to cover a retreat and to hamper pursuit.
       The Firestarter also works well as a scout.   Its speed and armor give it good protection in the field.   Not only could it map terrain as it traveled, but it could also clear away wooded areas that the enemy might use as defensive positions or for an ambush.
       The Firestarter also carried out scorched earth missions in the early days of the Succession Wars.   In recent decades, as armies attempt to capture and hold targets intact, scorched earth has become an extremely rare policy.   It is only used when even long-term victory is impossible or when the target is too valuable to fall into enemy hands.

Battle History:

       Since Firestarters were common in all 'Mech forces before the Succession Wars, none of the five Successor States has a shortage of these 'Mechs.   However, more and more Firestarters are being assigned to lances to replace light and medium 'Mechs lost in action.
       In the earliest days of the First Succession War, the Second Lyran Guard was assigned to garrison the planet of Port Moseby.   In addition to the regular units of her regiment, Colonel Alexandra Waters was also assigned three Firestarters.   Port Moseby was a vitally important trade center, and Waters was ordered to hold it at all costs.
       In August 2789, House Kurita attacked.   Elements of McGavin's and Johiro's Regiments landed near the capital city, despite the best efforts of Walker's AeroSpace Fighter wing.   To escape the constant fighter attacks, the invaders advanced on the capital through heavily wooded country.   Seeing her chance, Colonel Waters sent her Firestarters into action.
       An intense drought had left the forests tinder-dry, and the Firestarters quickly ringed the Kurita forces in flames.   While the enemy 'Mechs struggled through the burning forests, moving slowly to avoid overheating, Waters brought her forces to the edge of the fire, engaging the enemy as it stumbled from the inferno.   After only a few hours of combat, fewer than half of the attackers escaped.
       This was the first major battle in which incendiary 'Mechs were used.   Their importance was emphasized when Kurita forces again assaulted Port Moseby later that year.   Because the forests had been completely destroyed in the first battle, Colonel Waters could not repeat her fire-starting tactics.   The superior Kurita forces obliterated the Second Lyran Guard.
       The first battle for Moseby enhanced the prestige of the Firestarter, and commanders began experimenting with various methods of deploying the FS9.   One popular idea concerned grouping the Firestarters into igniter lances, which allowed better coordination of incendiary activities.   While this concept worked well in during major assault operations, the members of these lances were usually reassigned once the campaign was over.
       Firestarters were often placed in command of Wasps or Stingers.   These fast, light raiding groups usually attacked lightly defended targets or worked as deep penetration scouts.


       Although a number of variants were built, the FS9-H series was the most widely used.   This type was produced almost exclusively from 2703 on, and it became the de facto standard for incendiary 'Mechs.   One successful scout variant replaced the flamers with two Ompec-J small lasers and three additional tons of armor.   Designated the FS9-M, it was renamed the Mirage.   Only a few were built before the catastrophic Night of Rage transformed Argile Technologies and most of Skye's capitol city into desert waste.   Some FS9-M variants are still in service with the Skye Rangers.

Notable 'Mechs & MechWarriors:

       Many light raiding parties have distinguished themselves throughout the Succession Wars.   Some of the most famous are Hecate's Light Lance and Sanderson's Raider Lance.

MechWarrior Jenny Umbra
       This MechWarrior is called Hecate by those who know her.   She captured her Firestarter while fighting with Hendrik's Twelfth Red Claw infantry.   She scorns her past as a foot soldier, and hates everything about infantry.   She is aggressive, insubordinate, and spiteful, but a talented pilot.   Her superiors are satisfied with sending her on the deep-penetration scouting missions for which she is famous.
       Her grey and black 'Mech took a direct hit from a PPC during a raid on Imbros.   Since then, the actuators on the 'Mech's left arm have been erratic, making aiming difficult.   Despite this, Hecate continues her career as the mistress of flames in the service of Hendrik III of Oberon.

Lieutenant William Sanderson
       Sanderson made his name as an expert city fighter with Hansen's Roughriders.   When his beloved Warhammer was destroyed, his regimental commander offered him a captured Firestarter.   Grateful that he did not join the ranks of the Dispossessed, but determined to capture a heavy 'Mech, Sanderson is a very aggressive fighter.   His Firestarter bears the scars of several near-disastrous encounters.

Type/Model: Firestarter FS-90M
Mass: 35 tons
Equipment:   Crits Mass
Internal Structure: 58 pts Standard 0 3.50
Engine: 210 6 9.00
   Walking MP: 6    
   Running MP: 9    
   Jumping MP: 6    
Heat Sinks: 11 Single 3 1.00
   (Heat Sink Loc: 2 LT, 1 RT)
Gyro:   4 3.00
Cockpit, Life Support, Sensors: 5 3.00
Actuators: L: Sh+UA+LA, R: Sh+UA+LA 14 .00
Armor Factor: 119 pts Standard 0 7.50

    Internal Armor
    Structure Value
  Head: 3 9
  Center Torso: 11 16
  Center Torso (Rear):   6
  L/R Side Torso: 8 12/12
  L/R Side Torso (Rear):   4/4
  L/R Arm: 6 12/12
  L/R Leg: 8 16/16

Weapons & Equipment: Loc Heat Ammo Crits Mass
1 Medium Laser RA 3   1 1.00
1 Medium Laser LA 3   1 1.00
1 Small Laser LA 1   1 .50
1 Small Laser RA 1   1 .50
1 Machine Gun LT 0   1 .50
1 Machine Gun RT 0 200 2 1.50
   (Ammo Loc: 1 RT)
6 Standard Jump Jets:     6 3.00
   (Jump Jet Loc: 1 LT, 1 RT, 2 LL, 2 RL)
TOTALS:   8   45 35.00
Crits & Tons Left:       33 .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost: 3,066,525 C-Bills
Battle Value: 671
Cost per BV: 4,570.08
Weapon Value: 367 / 367 (Ratio = .55 / .55)
Damage Factors:    SRDmg = 11; MRDmg = 1; LRDmg = 0
BattleForce2: MP: 6J,   Armor/Structure: 3/3
    Damage PB/M/L: 3/1/-,   Overheat: 0
    Class: ML,   Point Value: 7

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