APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 1 February, 2001


NT-07-HJ Desert Rat

Dennis Kirkpatrick

NT-07-HJ Desert Rat

The Desert Rat is a light hunter/killer vehicle built on a reinforced Antelope Chassis. The current standard for the chassis includes a turreted Hammerstrike II guided missile system with a built-in sniper system. Along with its formidable Dimaen MK IV grenade launcher, the vehicle has stayed a cheap solution for an anti-gear vehicle over the last 100 years.

Originally, Davenger Industries was the first to roll the Desert Rat off its assembly lines in the late 1800s, one in a whole series of modified utility vehicles. At that time, the vehicle was armed with the Ankerson RP-209 rocket pack and the 44mm Dimean MK IV Grenade Launcher. In addition, the Desert Rat mounted only light steel alloy armor.

In 1913, with the advent of the CEF invasion, the Desert Rat became a mainstay supply line raider, used extensively in the maneuver tactics against CEF supply lines. Though many vehicles were lost when overrun by the hovertank garrisons; the Desert Rat proved an effective "hit and run" vehicle for the field.

The vehicle gained popularity among both Northern and Southern militaries, which were won over by the price and performance of the vehicle. As a result, other manufacturers, under the direction of the various polar armies proceeded to clone the Davenger model.

In the last months of conflict, Davenger Industries introduced an upgrade for the vehicle; the turreted Hammerstrike II guided missile system with a built-in sniper system that replaced the Ankerson RP-209 rocket pack. Keeping it's handy Dimaen MK IV; the vehicle now became a cheap anti-armor vehicle. In addition, later models were fitted with newer and lighter, ceramic duraplast armor.

Vehicle Specifications

  Production Type: Mass Production
             Cost: 269,500 credits
     Manufacturer: Davenger Industries
              Use: Wheeled Light Hunter/Killer Vehicle
     Default Size: 3
      Actual Size: 4
           Height: 1.2m
           Length: 3.7m
             Mass: 2210 kg
 Deployment Range: 500km

             Crew: 2
    Bonus Actions: 1
         Movement: Combat 8 (48.0km/hr)
         Movement: Top 15 (92.0km/hr)
         Maneuver: -1
            Armor: 8

          Sensors: -2 2km
     Fire Control: -2
   Communications: -1 10km

       Lemon Dice: 3
     Threat Value: 281                
              OTV: 469.21
              DTV: 42.72
              MTV: 332.01

Weapon Summary

Name                         Arc     Ammunition Payload

1 x AGM                       T       2
1 x APGL                      FF      6


Hostile Environment Protection: Desert
Passenger Seating (1)
Sniper System (AGM)
Ammo Storage (4 AGM)
Improved Off Road
Reinforced Chassis


Partially Exposed Crew Compartment (Gunner)


"Electronic Warfare"           add ECM (rating +2)
                               TV: +45

"Smoke"                        add smoke launcher (10 shots)
                               TV: +11


Many variants of the Desert Rat have appeared over the years, proving the design a sturdy platform for fulfilling many specific roles. Despite the usefulness and mainstay of gears, the Desert Rat can still provide a platform of formidable firepower in an inexpensive package.

Thundering Rat

Vehicle Specifications

"Thundering Rat"               Remove: AGM, Sniper System
                               Add: VLFG (Turret, ammo 3), Stabilizer
                               Change: Ammo Storage (6)
                               TV: -74

The Thundering Rat is the most common variant in use in the Northern Guard. Despite the smaller chassis, the use of retractable, hydraulic stabilizers provide the necessary footing for mounting the formidable Rucker Group LAU-28 Field Gun. Able to hide out of range from the battle, the Northern Thundering Rat can provide a general-purpose, gear squad with the winning combination of artillery fire without the use of a more expensive Tybur or Mammoth.

Infernal Rat and Fire Fighter Variantions

Vehicle Specifications

"Infernal Rat"                 Remove: AGM, Sniper System, 
                                       Ammo Storage, Partially
                                       Exposed Crew (Gunner)
                               Add: HFL (Turret, ammo 20), Fire
                                       Resistant, Urban Friendly
                               Change: None
                               TV: -61

"Fire Fighter"                 (Infernal Variant)
                               Remove: None
                               Add: None
                               Change: all ammo to Fire/Fighting Foam
                               TV +1 to Infernal Variant TV

Used almost exclusively by the Southern Republic's Army, the Infernal variant is an effective urban combat unit. Wielding the powerful BURN-9p Heavy Flamer, the Infernal Rat can burn out most partisan forces and reduce a rebel firebase or urban hideout to ashes. The Inferno has thus served as a symbol of Republican strength and terror in the face of increasing BRF tactics within many Southern Savannah towns, patrolling those locales regularly.

Another use for the Infernal Rat variant is for fire fighting by supplying the flamer and grenade launcher with fire fighting foam ammunition. The high availability of these vehicles has made it a logical choice for such use in poorer districts where urban fire-fighting gears are just too costly.

Pre-War of the Alliance and Rover Variants

Vehicle Specifications

"Pre-War of the Alliance"      Remove: AGM, Sniper System
                               Add: MRP/9 (turret, ammo 9)
                               Change: Armor (6), Ammo Storage (9)
                               TV: -112

"Typical Rover"                Remove: AGM, Sniper System
                               Add: LRF (turret, ammo 10)
                               Change: Armor (6), Ammo Storage (20)
                               TV: -171

Despite that the War of the Alliance has been long over, many of the Desert Rats haven't undergone the Hammerstrike II upgrades. Used for providing covering and saturation fire, many city-states maintain large numbers of Desert Rats still using the reliable Ankerson RP-209 rocket pack.

In addition, many rover gangs find the older Desert Rats to be the perfect machines for their operations. Most are left with buying weapon stripped models. The rovers then retrofit whatever heavy weapons they can obtain, most often 20mm to 30mm cannons.

Author's Note

This vehicle design was inspired by US Army M966 and M1045 HMMWV TOW Missile Carrier family of vehicles. I have used these vehicle variants many times for backing up a general-purpose squad or in Badlands Rover tactical campaigns.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 1 February, 2001