Mecha tactics and Team players

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Mecha tactics and Team players

Post by Heretic » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:18 am

It’s a discussion thread started by Heretic! Run for your lives!

So here’s a hypothetical situation. You have been conscripted into a mecha fighting force, or maybe you volunteered, either way you’re there whether you like it or not. And before anyone rags on me for starting a “What it mecha were real?” thread, Shut up. I said it was Hypothetical. Lets just pretend there’s some magical new technology that somehow makes giant robots practical despite all common military logic and rational thought say that they shouldn’t.

But I digress, there you are, provided with a choice of four basic mecha frames, Small Medium, Large and Super-sized. Each basic frame type can be tuned to the pilots’ preference and you have a choice of weapons.

The question is, what role would you play in a team, what tactics would you utilize, and how would you outfit your machine to do your part? And as a rule, I don’t want to hear one line answers in my thread. None of this “I would be the sniper because I like to pown n00bs” I want you to pull from anything you can to explain to me just what you’d bring to a team and how you would bring it.

For an example, I’ll go first.

I am not the type to be taking command, through my experiences in many games ranging from sims like the MechWorrior series to Real Time Strategies, I know that my awareness of a larger tactical situation is profoundly lacking. I would have, in fighter pilot terms, Target Fixation. And admittedly, I’m not the quickest decision maker under pressure; I choke up and get indecisive if all the responsibility is on me. I need someone telling me what to do, the good thing is, with someone who knows what they are doing giving the orders, I can be very quick to act and very competent.

As such, in a team I’m best suited for a role like Wingman, supporting a leader or group leader and taking orders.

My tactics lean closest to in-fighting and Mêlée. In one on one combat, I like to get in to extreme close range and press my attacks savagely and relentlessly. I like to hit fast and repeatedly with less consideration given to my own defence than to attacking the vulnerable spots on my opponent.

To maximise my effectiveness in this tactic, I would pilot a machine tuned for higher speed and mobility than average. Probably Medium sized, tuned and modified to take a beating. My weapons would be lighter than most, sacrificing range and damage for mobility and faster recycle time, allowing me to move fast and keep shooting. And hard mounted mêlée weapons such as blades on the wrists and reinforced spiked shoulders-- because I have no problem with shoulder checking my enemy.

I suppose I might work well with a partner tuned for mid to long range combat. They could provide covering fire as I move into close range to make my attack or I could watch their back as they engage targets at long range and guard them against closer threats.

Oh, and given my slightly insane mind, I have no problem with running out into battle as a decoy. “I have a plan. All I need is a party mask and a pair of running shoes…” Readers of the Marsh Rocket Web Comic should get that.
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Post by Sabersonic » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:53 am

Interesting topic. Might as well take a whack at it.

Well I'm probably not that skilled a commander type, motivation and split-second decision making not one of my stronger points and my marksmanship skill is definitely nowhere near that required for a scout-sniper. I envision myself as in the support role, either in Infantry Marksmanship or SAW gunnery.

The suit would probably depend upon my role in the overall team. In standard Infantry, I'd probably go with Medium with slightly stronger armor since my reaction would not be up to par, armed with a modular Assault Rifle that can be optionally equipped with a Grenade Launcher, Shot Gun, and Bayonet that is also attached on the suit for mid-battle conversion to meet the need. In addition the suit would probably use some traditional grenade rounds if the launcher isn't appropriate a job, mainly fragmentation and Flash -Bang for suits and Prosperous for infantry. Perhaps even vulcans or even CIWS for softer targets and incoming missiles. In addition I would probably add in another blade other than the Bayonet since ammo is finite, physical melee blades not so much unless the technology exists where the Beam Saber is directly powered by the onboard reactor or whatever power core with an emergency energy capacitor for whatever reason comes up. Reinforced Manipulators for last resort melee would probably be a good choice. A shield would probably be useful if it has some useful application as a makeshift barrier in which some of said weapons could be stored.

For SAW use, I'd take a Large to help tote the mobile suit sized SAW along with withstanding the recoil it'll probably give. It'll probably have strong enough armor to withstand incoming fire for an extended length of time yet light enough so that when I need to move, I can without worry. Probably add in some verniers to be on the safe side. Perhaps even a reinforced frame to support additional weight from other equipment. The SAW would probably be a heavy, rapid fire weapon that has a bipod mount for secure firing but light enough so that one can run and gun along with the ability to move when one needs to, perhaps even a single-shot reload able heavy weapon launcher if a Bazooka or other type of rocket launcher is ill advised or not available. I would probably have some anti-infantry and other weapon systems against soft targets, but not so much in that I'll probably need support from my fellow team mates. A back up Assault Weapon as described before and an emergency melee weapon system would also round it up the package to insure that I can hold my own, but not for very long.

As stated beforehand, I would probably be in the support role to aid my fellow team mates in basic flanking maneuvers utilizing saturation and suppression fire. I would probably work better with a team then on the lone wolf path, especially when going with the saying that "There is strenght in numbers".
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Post by Mark064 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:16 am

Wow so much freedom and no restrictions makes this easy for me. I'd go for super sized or large and well basically make a super robot. So my tactics are your traditional hot blooded super robot tactics rush in and destroy all. Any allies I ditch cause they just get in my way. Need something destroyed I am your man, a one man army.

So it'd be either a large or super-sized frame, no combining or transforming crap and of course fast like a super robot and those ever fancy super robot alloys and power sources. Really I'm thinking of something around the lines of Mazinkaiser with various changes but it's the closest I can think of at the moment. Something with at least that much power, don't need to go to a planetary destruction scale as I'll assume there are no alien invasions or what not. No rifles, guns or anything like that.

Oh and in true super robot standard I'd hire people to create a theme song and some insert songs so at the right times in battle I'd have them play while destroying the enemy in true super robot fashion.
Last edited by Mark064 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by quasadra » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:19 am

well here goes, if something is not right please point it out.

i am not a great tactican to boast. so there will be someone else calling the shot. from my gaming experience, i say im not the one who should charge head first into combat as i dont have a particulaly good reflex.

i am more comfortable staying at range, and put my good shooting accuracy to use, and to serve as a observation post to relay enemy and target position to my team mate while staying undeteced. but when situation calls, i will be able to do some covert works as well.

my mech will have a long rifle as main weapon and have a small short range pistol or a short knife to act as back up. mounted on a light frame while having minimum armor to save weight for powerful radar and optical sensor. speed is also a concerned as i need to be able to relocate quickly when the enemy start shooting at me.

generally i am a sharpshooter that provide pin point accuracy fire support and enemy intel to the assault team.

(as far as i like to slug it out up close and personal, unfortunately i am more suited to this role instead)
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Post by Recon 5 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:48 am

Most of my experience with mech designs and my opinions about mech design tend more towards mechs being bipedal weapon platforms instead of giant infantry, so that should give you an idea of where my loadout will slant.

For me personally I'd go with a large frame- they're the most versatile as far as I can tell.

I'm not much of a commander myself, and I like being able to get myself into a 'circle- strafe dance' with my enemies (players of the Mechwarrior series will know what I'm talking about). At the same time, I like being able to take out targets of opportunity before my foes close in, so I'll have at least one long range weapon in my arsenal.

Melee weapons are an absolute no- no. If my enemy gets close enough to take a swing at my cockpit he would have had plenty of time to waste me with longer- ranged stuff. When you're in a large, your mech's hands make excellent blunt instruments- if you get my point. An autocannon is also so much more effective at point- blank range...

So, with all this in mind, my mech of choice would have to be a large, with the following:

1. Missile pods, of the long range variety. Although my preference would be for radar guidance or laser guidance, HARM (missiles which home in on radar) or heat seekers would be just as good.

2. At least one energy weapon- nothing like an armor melter to fall back on when your ammo runs out. If possible they would make up the bulk of my armament, with a mix of long and medium range varieties.


Autocannons or machine- cannons, in case fancy beams are not available. Rapid- fire HE rounds can make a mess of almost anything, and they serve as pretty good AA/ anti- missile guns as well. The ability to mount a secondary case of fragmentation shells would be a plus, just in case someone attempts to hit me with a long volley of missiles.

3. Heat sinks (or other heat management systems) and armor would make up the rest of my loadout, with just enough heat sinks to keep my missiles from cooking off and the remaining space stuffed with as much armor as possible. No heat sinks? Good. Pile on more armor.

You might note that this is really similar to a Mechwarrior loadout. Well, thats because I've always viewed the MW hulks as being the most probable mechs. For those who'd like a MW summary of my chosen mech (MW 4: Vengeance):

Chassis: Catapult (70 tons)
Weapons: Group 1: - Large/ ER Large Laser x 1
- ER Medium Laser x 2
Group 2: - LRM 20 x 2

Equipment: Jump Jets
Heat sinks x 8
Armor (FF) :D

As for my role in a team, I've always viewed myself as being either a shock trooper- breaking through defenses and creating opportunities for my pals to storm in- or as an incredibly dangerous distraction for enemy defenders :P. I could also be a shield in the event of a retreat- hence my penchant for heavy armor.

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Post by Antares » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:21 am

Whoa, this is funny. Lots of ideas from everyone. Lessee here...

I suppose there are a few things I would do with a mecha. Like many here, I would not boast on military leadership. I can play on a strategic map, but tactically I couldn't handle the pressure of losing my troops. That, or I would become a WWI -style leader who whips his men into tireless waves in the hopes that the enemy runs out of bullets. But my personal mecha... yeeees indeed. I have a liking for two things: large machine guns and big guns. Either I would be a heavy support mecha with heavy-duty machine guns shredding everything, most preferably targets that shred in a very satisfactory way (cf. the latest Rambo). Big shelling guns have a similar effect, but with the benefit of being close to see what happens (I'm not much for being stashed away as artillery support). And I like fire, so a flamethrower would be a nice bonus. Or napalm. (As an illustrative sidenote, I have to mention that in D&D my epic assassin's favorite trick is to lure in a horde of enemies and then hellball the lot of them at poking range, while my elemental resistance ring works overtime).

Maybe I would be something you would characterize as a shock trooper? Heavy firepower to cause mayhem, sufficiently armored to take the smaller weapons, functioning in a somewhat autonomous way. Not very honorable, I know, but it would be undoubtedly the most satisfying role. Did I just make myself out to be the only antagonist mecha in this thread? :D
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Post by Scorchijs » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:38 am

Okay, my turn.

Just like everyone else I'm not the leader type. With that I mean the big leader who leads the entire operation. However, leading a small team would be okay with me.

As for the mecha itself, it would be a Jack-of-all-trades machine capable of fulfilling any role to some extent.
Therefore I'd go with a Middle weight machine which is capable of high mobility, but still able to take a fair amount of beating. For extra speed in an emergency my machine would be equipped with something similar to an Overboost function (like Armored Core).
The weapons would be: A machine gun as a main weapon, for middle and close combat fighting. A forearm mounted laser blade for close combat. A grenade launcher or laser cannon for long range and fortified targets. (Ships, large enemy mechas, bunkers etc.) Also a medium-long range missiles (ones with a vertical launch trajectory, so that I can fire them from behind cover) And lastly, a pair of anti-infantry macineguns, so that I don't have to waste ammo for something meaningless.
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Post by ScornMandark » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:56 am

Well, I enjoy strategizing and planning, so I guess I would fall into the Command kind of role. (Added to this I'm not too great at mech piloting in video games, so I think we're all better off with me not piloting one :P) Tactics and strategy are interesting and fun for me, so I enjoy coordination and command. I don't throw away troops needlessly, but victory sometimes comes with a price.

If forced to have a mech type, I would have a Large mech with powerful short range weapons and a very advanced communications suite. This way I could coordinate teams from further back while protecting artillery. Also, I would need a large physical/beam blade for similar purposes. High boost power is a plus, but not at the cost of mobility/agility.

Tactics-wise I like to have a somewhat spread out force. By this, my preference is several small (2-3) man teams sweeping through. Not too close so that they are likely to get grouped together and focused on, but close enough to run cover for each other if need be. I keep a reserve force by command (3-4 teams) that can be sent to hammer in specific spots as needed. I'm a big fan of artillery, so fast recon with target-painting is crucial. I recon extensively before making most any aggressive move, I don't like being unpleasantly surprised.

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Post by His Divine Shadow » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:30 am

If I couldn't wheedle myself into a suit with enough gadgets and tricks to offer options for any role, I'd probably stick to heavy fire support. Let the hot-doggers make the finales while I make the scum take cover. :twisted:
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Post by Aulon » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:44 am

My turn now.
I'm a Lone Wolf most of the time, but people choose me as a leader (they say that I have it in genes or something like that :wink: )

I would choose a large frame, eqiped with a lot of boosters.
My weapons of choice:
1. medium-short range quickly firing weapon ( smth like SMG) hmm maybe 2 of this :)
2. a lot of medium-long range missiles with some multi-targreting system
3. quickly accesable close combat weapon (like laser blade from AC) but it have to be powerfull

How would I use it? First fire a salvo of missiles, then before they hit their targrets close to the enemy making a good use of SMGs. If there still is someone left, anhilate him with blade. After all that run and hide before more targrets arrive.

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Post by Scorchijs » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:55 pm

Hell, we're putting together quite a team already.
As for now we have:
3 Assault/Close combat mechs
3 General purpose mechs (2 of them possible team leaders)
2 Heavy fire support mechs
1 Recon unit
1 Commander

All we need now are some long range fighters, snipers or something similar...
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Post by Kuruni » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:09 pm

Hmm...from my experience from various mech games, both strategy and action. It's clear that I'm not good at tactical nor great when it come to dodging. Only role I should be fine is in heavy armored mech like Monster, Randgrith or Giganscudo and work as either shield in front line or fire support unit. It would be great if the mech doesn't need much of micro-management (like super beam weapon that hungrily feed from mech's powersource). Actually, I don't mind much about lack of maneuver, as long as I have some reliable teammate (most likely consist of typical medium size mech) and I actually want my mech to be a mobile HQ, capable to carries my teammate's mech inside.

The bad thing is, such mech may be more worthy in hand of person with better strategist thinking.
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Post by Seraphic » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:35 pm

I hope I'm not being redundant, but I think I may fit well in several areas.

Ordinarily, I use a medium frame with overhauled speed and mobility to the point where I'm literally dancing circles around people. No shield, thank you. As for equipment, I prefer to dual wield medium or short range firearms like assault rifles, machineguns, pistols or pulse guns. I don't fare well with regular rifles or snipers (in the way they are normally used) because that's not really the style of my frame. There probably wouldn't be a need for a saber, but hell, throw it in there. I also need head vulcans and shoulder machine cannons. My tactics are high mobility engagement while laying high volumes of fire on a single target. This goes very very well for one-on-one engagements or when we encounter a lot of stupid targets. I might end up using both machineguns, vulcans, shoulder cannons all at once on a single guy. I'm excellent at circle-strafing and dodging. Of course, I'd probably need someone to watch my back in tighter situations, since I imagine my armor wouldn't be fantastic. Heretic and I may make a good assault team.

If there's enough space, put a light pair of chainguns or micro-missiles on the back. I could always just go in with a pair of sabers, but I tend to lose my head and take a lot of stupid hits when I do that. Let's rely on the team instead of having me do that.

This next part may seem strange or hyperviolent, and I don't know why, but I'm very good at using cannons or high powered beam cannons at close and point blank range. My timing and understanding of enemy movements lets me do unusually well with this tactic. And it's always fun watching my targets fly backwards after being hit, or being engulfed in a giant stream of energy while at the tip of my muzzle.

I don't have much experience in the strategic setting, but I'd make a fairly good tactician or field commander. I can coordinate a team very well, have extensive knowledge of military weapons, and have a good understanding of combat tactics. I can see an enemy unit and know instantly how to take it out. I'd probably be most useful as a 2nd in command or something. I'm not too sure on how to outfit a mech if I were to assume this role, however.

How does the resume look? =p
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Post by ned_2007 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:45 pm

does it have to be strictly MS only?

for my 2 cents worth, i like doing strategy. if its in space, i would prefer to have a mobile armor, like the Exus but customized for 3 people. one pilot, the commander or strategist and electronic warfare (EW) officer. it would be modular in design, in which it is easy make equipment changes on the fly.

my custom Exus will be equipped with c4 (command, control, communications and computers) capabilities. it will be able of directing a single squad during battle and under fire or also coordinate forces in the larger theater of operations in cooperation with friendly and allied forces. my custom Exus is also capable of conducting electronic warfare such as radio jamming and intrusion, radar jamming (if tactical use of radar in space is ever feasible), computer hacking and much more. it also has enhanced sensors in which could provide a bigger picture of the battlefield, more than what a pilot sees in his MS and provide that information to them. last is that it is capable of stealth detection.

i'm going with this train of thought because i want the pilots focus more on combat and a little less on strategy. it doesn't mean i don't want their input neither the pilots execute better strategy. of course i'll leave tactics to the squad commander and i will just give him real-time information constantly as the battle unfolds and advise him of the best action to take.

for my MS squad, this is my lineup:

-general purpose MS (bulk of my squad), high mobility MS equipped with beam rifles, beam sabers, beam shields and if possible planet defensors

-heavy weapons MS

-scout MS, equipped with stealth and cloaking technology

-long-range sniper MS

if i need my personal MS, it would be a fast and agile unit equipped w/:

-beam sabers
-beam shields
-gunblade (beam rifle + beam sabers + metal blade (sonic or whatever is the best))

for my strategy and battle doctrine, i don't stick to one school of thought. i'll just go with what the battlefield dictates. my squad composition is made as a general-purpose squad capable of handling any threat. just train on different types of scenarios and drill your squad constantly.

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Post by Folken Fanel » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:41 pm

I'm always the Hammer of God in team-based games, so for my mech I'd go with a large frame piled with extreme-long range firepower. I'd stick two missile launchers of at least eight tubes on the shoulders, some cruise missiles on the legs a la one of the F90II variants, and either a sniper rifle or some sort of cannon. Stick me a few kilometers away from the main battle and let me do my thing. If, by some ungodly strock of bad luck, I'm engaged at close combat, I'd use either some SMGs or, if the technology exists, beam sabers.

My preferred tactic, be it for mechs or not, has always been a highly coordinated four-man manuever. Two team members, armed with light, automatic weapons like assault rifles or SMGs, would preform a flanking maneuver against the enemy squad and spray the enemy with fire. Meanwhile, one team member, who has situated themselves far away under cover with a sniper rifle, will pick off first the enemy squadmates that aren't already dead and then proceed to cap anyone trying to attack the first two teammates as they advance. The final teammate would grab a heavy weapon, like a rocket launcher, and follow the first two members. If they come under attack by enemy vehicles or more infantry than the sniper can take out, it is the fourth member's job to support the front two members.
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Post by Wingnut » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:36 pm

For me, I would likely be in a support role. On Earth, I'd likely be in something similar to a BABI, flight capable and packing a lot of firepower.
In space, it would be the same only with a mech closer resembling the Leopard or if things would look like close combat would be inevitable before I went out, I would use something like the R-GUN Powered that can still bring the long range hurt, but has good close combat abilities as well.
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Post by Blade of the Red Comet » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:46 pm

I'm a big fan of sniper weaponry but at the same time I thoroughly enjoy the "finger of God" type weapon, so my preferred MS would need to employ a weapon that could best be described as a Twin Buster Sniper or a suped up VSBR. Such a weapon would require a HUUUGE amount of power and a larger MS to carry the required generator...I can already imagine a MS like Big Red in my avatar with an over the shoulder mounted sniper cannon... :twisted: ...ahhh, the carnage. Keeping the bits as a point defense weapon wouldn't be a bad idea either as I would undoubtedly avoid melee combat like the plague in a MS like that. Assuming I'm a non-newtype the bits would probably be wired and only used as a defensive weapon against speedier close-range opponents. Speed would be a necessity as well...a good sniper never stays in the same place for too long, and being able to rapidly relocate to a new tactical postion to cover my squadmates is a key advantage.

(Damn...this's got me thinking of finally dropping the bomb instead of waiting for a 2.0 and buying the Saz to make a custom sniper variant...)

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Post by Haros_Pet_Kat » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:39 pm

One possibility for me is a sniper type unit... One that isn't sniping just to be cool, but an actual skilled sniper that actually aims for targets that would hinder teammates. Using Team Fortress 2 as an example, most people play the Sniper wrong, but I was actually good enough for a short period of time (I am not as good now) where I could actually take down key targets (other than other snipers) and help my team have more leeway to go on the offensive.

Being able to snipe down an enemy mecha in order to help keep the friendly base destroyers should be a great thing, right?

Frame size would likely be whatever is appropriate for the weapon it carries. Even a beam-type weapon would likely need the generator to power it, so I imagine the kind of mecha this kind of support unit needs would be among a larger size.


For an assault type unit, it needs to be a faster mecha that can dogfight well. Any tactic that allows me to shoot first would be welcome, because shooting first and landing the shot is an automatic advantage right off the bat. The speed would be used to mind game, and dodge the aim of the enemy rather than try to dodge the shots. Granted, dodging aim is not always possible, especially if it's a spread weapon, but it is still important to consider.
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Post by Lans » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:29 pm

Recon 5 wrote:You might note that this is really similar to a Mechwarrior loadout. Well, thats because I've always viewed the MW hulks as being the most probable mechs. For those who'd like a MW summary of my chosen mech (MW 4: Vengeance):

Chassis: Catapult (70 tons)
Weapons: Group 1: - Large/ ER Large Laser x 1
- ER Medium Laser x 2
Group 2: - LRM 20 x 2

Equipment: Jump Jets
Heat sinks x 8
Armor (FF) :D
Does catapult has 70? I thought it's only 60 tons. or it's my memory that a little shabby at the moment.

Well, for my role. Seeing you bunch of guys already taking the heat of battle close-up and personal. I'll do the AWACS part. I'm quite a tactician myself, although never seen combat nor taking part in the military. I studied art of war as part of my hobby although only at amateurish level.

I'll take the Medium frame of average speed and acceleration ability. Loaded with a line of radar and detection devices. It would be a two seat mecha, I'm in charge of piloting and decision making while the other would do the detection and co-piloting. My primary weapon would be a SMG capable of high speed bursting, just enough to self defend if trouble came.

The mecha would be loaded with another self-defend mechanism like the flare, ECM, flash and smoke grenade also a point-defend-purpose gatling (mini phalanx). The armor itself would not be a reactive, something like a ferro fibrous from the "Mech Warr". Light and durable but offer only a degree of protection from a direct hit.

I imagine the build would be a humanoid with the backpack part rather large to the back in half circle shape, that's the main radar. The mini phalanx is built in head section, while maintaining the original standard shape and "look", only a bit bulkier on the side "ear" section because of the ammo and longer barrels. While the head would also houses the main camera, the torso section just below the neck would be equipped with sensory equipment, FLIR (forward looking infra red) and ECM. The smoke and flash-grenade would be stored in the skirt compartment.

The idea is to put him in the middle of the army to relay and advice the troops of it's deployment while maintaining communication, giving situation report to the top commander. His position should ensure him some protection from the enemy, although long range missile and artillery threat would be imminent.

To put is simple, I'm the one who would advice you where to go and how good/bad is our position and the objective condition, in a chess board like vision. I'm also the one in charge to bring the much needed air or artillery support to the battlefield.

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Post by Recon 5 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:08 am

lans* wrote: Does catapult has 70? I thought it's only 60 tons. or it's my memory that a little shabby at the moment.
65. Sorry, I was mistaken. I forgot to include my beloved Beagle Active Probe, too... (reduces missile lock time).

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