|APAGear II Archives||Volume 2, Number 11||December, 2000|
[Originally appeared in Coral Range Geographical Quarterly, Pentates, LC 276. Copyright 276, CENN, Inc.]
The large-scale social groupings of Liberati, such as the Van Daar, the Roy, the So-Doura, and the Gionni nations, lack the rigid, formal structure of traditional nations. Their member clans -- "component" is perhaps a better word -- band together for economic and defensive purposes, but are otherwise not as constrained by centralized government mechanisms as their analogs on Earth, Terra Nova, and (presumably) the other colony worlds of the Interstellar Gate Web. A Liberati nation is, indeed, a very informal organization. Getting a Liberati to explain why one particular clan is part of a given nation and another is not -- regardless of geographical similarities -- is often likened to getting a Morgana GREL to take up quilting.
Nevertheless, with their minimal economic and social ties, member clans in a given nation do, in fact, share many characteristics. Witness the large, bell-bottom pants with oversized seats and cavernous pockets favored by the elders of the Gionni nation's clans. Witness the Van Daar nation's nearly universal fondness for fennel bread. It should come as no surprise, then, that even vehicle preference develops into a certain amount of "national character" for the Liberati. In this issue of the Coral Range Geographical Quarterly, we take a look at some of the mining vehicles used by the clans of the So-Doura nation.
These two Mounts -- the Neft, a giant Work Mount developed for mining, and the Type 64 "Hunchback" general purpose Urban Work Mount -- are seen in nearly every clan of the So-Doura nation that makes its living in mining and industry. They are found in the other nations, of course, but are clearly the vehicles of choice amongst the So-Doura. Both of these models are older than many of their competitors, but to the Liberati, who recycle everything, the age of a vehicle is hardly ever an issue.
The Hunchback is an unspecialized Work Mount similar in basic design to the Type 27 "Big Guy" found fighting fires in Gomorrah, though its shoulders are not nearly so wide. The Hunchback is suited to just about any task requiring a humanoid vehicle's adaptability. Its arms can be fitted with construction or excavation tools with relative ease, but the real attractiveness to those who purchase or lease the Hunchback is the massive power train that gives the Mount its nickname. Rising up a half meter behind the machine's left shoulder (and aesthetically balanced by the searchlight mounted over its right), the engine and drive shaft of the Hunchback enable it to carry or pull 13 tons of cargo, making it extremely useful in mining and construction operations.
In production now for over forty years, the Hunchback has seen its fair share of variations and modifications. Over the years, most modifications have been superficial structural changes, altering the machine's look slightly to keep it in style. Just prior to arrival of the CEF fleets on Caprice, improvements in engine and battery efficiency allowed its designers to incorporate the more powerful drive system that it now sports; prior to that point, the Hunchback could only tow approximately eight tons.
The most common general modification to the Hunchback replaces its left manipulator arm with a scoop shovel, enabling it to excavate earth in mining operations. In fact, the unusual placement of the Mount's engine is directly due to the placement of the shovel. To keep the complexity of the system as minimal as possible, the path connecting the shovel to the motor is conveniently shortened and requires fewer universal joints. The Mount's legs readily adapt in order to balance the system out while the shovel is in operation. In its mining configuration, the Mount also adds dedicated seismic sensors to aid in its new duty.
Code Name: Hunchback Production Code: Type 64 Production Type: Mass Production Cost: 126,000 Pounds Manufacturer: Various Corporations Use: General Purpose Urban Work Mount Height: 4.5 m Width: 3.7 m Avg. Armor Thickness: 12 mm Armor Material: Composite Standard Op. Weight: 4350 kg Primary Move Mode: Walk (35 kph) Secondary Move Mode: N/A Deployment Range: 250 km Sensor Range: 2 km Communication Range: 10 km Powerplant: Electric/Gas Turbine
Threat Value: 210 Offensive Value: 6 Defensive Value: 42 Miscellaneous Value: 580 Size: 5 Original Default Size: 6 Indv. Lemon Dice: 3 Crew: 1 Bonus Actions: 0
Primary Move Mode: Walk Combat Speed: 4 Top Speed: 6 Secondary Movement Mode: N/A Combat Speed: N/A Top Speed: N/A Maneuver: -2
Sensors: +0 Communications: +0 Fire Control: -1
Light Damage: 9 Heavy Damage: 18 Overkill: 27
Name Arc Ammunition Payload None - -
Name Rating Game Effects High Towing Capacity - Triple towing HEP: Desert - Protection from the elements HEP: Extreme Cold - Protection from the elements Improved Off-Road - -1 MP for terrain with 2+ MP cost Life Support - Limited Manipulator Arm x2 5 Can punch Searchlight - 50 m, fixed forward Urban Friendly - -
Name Rating Game Effects Large Sensor Profile 1 Subtract rating from Concealment Sensor Dependent - Must rely on sensors in combat
Name Rating Game Effects None - -
Dedicated Mining Version: Remove 1 Manipulator Arm, add Light Duty Mining Equipment and Geological Sensors (TV 324, OTV 3, DTV 42, MTV 324, Cost 227,000 Pounds)
One of the classic four-legged Work Mounts common before two-legged designs became popular for heavy Mounts, the Neft is a giant, two-person Mount used exclusively for mining operations. In its standard configuration, the Neft features seismic and geochemical sensors, a mining shovel scoop, a small, dedicated petrochemical analysis lab, a cargo bay for supplies and samples (the manipulator arms can access this bay), and a small vehicle bay for remote-controlled drones. The Neft typically operates with a pair of DemBot demolitions drones serviced from its drone bay. In addition, the Neft features an armored compartment for storing its demolitions charges; a specialized internal loading arm transfers the charges into and out of the vault. The loading arm can pass the charges either to the Neft's own manipulators or the drones' demolitions charge arm.
The two crewmembers sit side-by-side in the cab, with the pilot on the left and the systems engineer on the right. During normal operations, the pilot operates the mining equipment and manipulator arms in addition to the motive system. The systems engineer takes care of the rest, including sensor and communications equipment, lab analysis of samples, and drone operations.
The Neft is the principal mining Mount used throughout the So-Doura nation. Not quite as old as the venerable Pithom Work Mount, the Neft is nevertheless an old design, dating back to shortly after the Concordat withdrew from its colonies. Unlike the Pithom, few Nefts have been converted into Combat Mounts by the Liberati rebels. It is somewhat difficult to find an old, unwanted Neft, and the pricetag on new models is much too great to adapt it as a weapons platform.
A popular variation on the Neft's basic design features a much more sophisticated and powerful set of mining tools, including an ore conveyer to pass ore back to waiting transports. In order to accommodate the larger equipment, the heavy-duty mining Neft does not have either the cargo bay or the vehicle bay. In addition, the armored vault used to store demolitions charges is nearly 1/3 the size of the original, and it can contain roughly only 1/3 the charges of the original as well. However, the heavy mining Neft rarely has need for demolitions operations, so this lack is not much of a problem.
Code Name: Neft Production Code: - Production Type: Mass Production Cost: 586,000 Pounds Manufacturer: Various Corporations Use: Mining Work Mount Height: 5.2 m Width: 4.1 m Length: 4.5 m Avg. Armor Thickness: 48 mm Armor Material: Composites Standard Op. Weight: 21,000 kg Primary Move Mode: Walk (34 kph) Secondary Move Mode: Ground (68 kph) Deployment Range: 450 km Sensor Range: 2 km Communication Range: 20 km Powerplant: Electric/Gas Turbines
Threat Value: 1050 Offensive Value: 224 Defensive Value: 188 Miscellaneous Value: 2750 Size: 9 Original Default Size: 10 Indv. Lemon Dice: 3 Crew: 2 Bonus Actions: 1
Primary Move Mode: Walk Combat Speed: 3 Top Speed: 6 Secondary Movement Mode: Ground Combat Speed: 6 Top Speed: 11 Maneuver: -2
Sensors: +1 Communications: +0 Fire Control: -1
Light Damage: 18 Heavy Damage: 36 Overkill: 54
Name Arc Ammunition Payload Self Destruct Grenade x4 F - Heavy Hand Grenade x8 F -
Name Rating Game Effects Ammo Storage - Can store up to 420 points of ammunition Cargo Bay - 10 m^3 Geological Sensors - Dedicated geological sensor suite HEP: Desert - Protection from the elements HEP: Extreme Cold - Protection from the elements Improved Off-Road - -1 MP in terrain with 2+ MP cost Life Support - Limited Microlab - Petrochemical Analysis Mining Equipment - Light Duty; cannot punch Searchlight - 100 m, swivel mounted Tool Arm x2 9 Pincers; can punch Tool Arm 3 Ammunition loader; cannot punch Vehicle Bay - Can carry 3 Size points of vehicles
Name Rating Game Effects Large Sensor Profile 2 Subtract rating from Concealment Sensor Dependent - Must rely on sensors during combat
Name Rating Game Effects None - -
Heavy Mining Version: Remove Cargo Bay, Vehicle Bay, 3x SDG, 5x HHG, Light Mining Equipment; Add Heavy Duty Mining Equipment; Change Ammo Storage capacity to 140 points (TV 868, OTV 82, DTV 188, MTV 2335, Cost 482,000 Pounds)
A spidery, walking drone weighing in at just over 100 kg, the DemBot is used primarily to scout cramped areas where a mining crew might not be able to reach, such as narrow chasms and small caves. Although primarily radio-controlled, most DemBots come factory-equipped with adaptors to allow for wire-guided operations when needed.
The drone features two small manipulator arms to assist in clearing away small quantities of rubble or to pick up samples of interesting ores while exploring. It also features a third arm, mounted on its back, that carries the drone's demolition charge payload when employed to blast through layers of rock.
In order to keep the drone as small and lightweight as possible -- as well as to afford it improved maneuverability -- the designers took no special care in protecting the robot's leg mechanisms. While at first this design feature seems risky for drone, the manufacturers are quick to point out that any kind of action that will endanger the vehicle's motive system is likely to endanger the whole robot, and no amount of protection on the legs will save it.
The DemBot has served its purpose for years, clearing rubble and scouting ahead for mining teams. It saw limited use during Operation: Feint, when the Coalition "freedom fighters" led CEF forces into abandoned mining camps. More than one CEF unit was devastated when what looked like wrecked and discarded drones turned out to be operational enough to detonate their concealed demolitions charges.
Amongst the Liberati nomads, the DemBot sometimes serves a strange secondary purpose: that of swine farming drone. Many Liberati clans keep their long-haired and vicious swine in pits or underground warrens. They use their DemBots to explore these warrens and monitor the swine. They sometimes even use gas bombs to knock out the swine and make it safer for humans to enter their lairs.
Code Name: DemBot Production Code: - Production Type: Mass Production Cost: 47,000 Pounds Manufacturer: Various Corporations Use: Demolitions Drone Height: 1.2 m Width: 1.0 m Avg. Armor Thickness: 2.4 mm Armor Material: Composite Standard Op. Weight: 105 kg Primary Move Mode: Walk (19 kph) Secondary Move Mode: N/A Deployment Range: 50 km Sensor Range: 1 km Communication Range: 10 km Powerplant: Superconducting Battery
Threat Value: 47 Offensive Value: 11 Defensive Value: 16 Miscellaneous Value: 116 Size: 2 Original Default Size: 4 Indv. Lemon Dice: 3 Crew: 0 (Drone) Bonus Actions: 0
Primary Move Mode: Walk Combat Speed: 2 Top Speed: 3 Secondary Movement Mode: N/A Combat Speed: N/A Top Speed: N/A Maneuver: +0
Sensors: +1 Communications: +0 Fire Control: +0
Light Damage: 4 Heavy Damage: 8 Overkill: 12
Name Arc Ammunition Payload Heavy Hand Grenade F -
Name Rating Game Effects Automation 1 Gives the drone 1 action Autopilot - Drone controls HEP: Desert - Protection from the elements HEP: Extreme Cold - Protection from the elements Manipulator Arm x2 2 Cannot punch Tool Arm 2 HHG arm; cannot punch
Name Rating Game Effects Exposed Movement Sys. - "Movement" hits are one step worse Sensor Dependent - Must rely on sensors during combat
Name Rating Game Effects None - -
|APAGear II Archives||Volume 2, Number 11||December, 2000|
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