NEW ARMOR UNITS
Combine M34D LMTT Hanover / "Little Mutt" Light Multi-Turreted Tank- By the first quarter of the 21st century, suspension technology on armored fighting vehicles had made huge leaps in advancement over previous generations. The ability to maneuver and fire at high speeds was seen as a beneficial addition to any battlefield design. The advent of computers and powerful fire control systems allowed vehicles to carry and (employ at the same time) multiple weapon systems. The only draw back was the concept of weapon facing. If a weapon were built into a vehicle hull, it had limited traverse and elevation / deflection. Mount that same weapon in a turret, and you solved the traverse problem but were still somewhat limited by deflection and elevation. While a turret solved many problems, a single turret could not engage more than one threat target at a time. Mounting weapons around the perimeter of the turret had mixed results, and created complicated fire arcs where one weapon system might be available at a time when another was required. The solution seemed to be to add multiple turrets to a vehicle, but one turret was usually almost too large for a given hull. Two turrets (or more) would provide a design problem that was unique in that larger hulls would be required.
Multi-segmented hulls had been on the designers minds for generations, but never fully implemented successfully until almost a third of the way through the 21st century. The effort to spread components throughout a combat hull, with multiple redundant backup systems, provided one method of insuring that damage could be taken and not instantly wreck a vehicle. Designers tried as best as they could to avoid inadvertently putting an "Achilles' Heel" into any design. CADD and Artifint supervision as well as incredible amounts of virtual material testing provided a wide range of safety and tactical operational margins for new vehicle designs. Multi-segmented hulls not only allowed compartmentalized construction, but also modular construction techniques to be employed. A heavily armored pivot section would connect the two fighting hulls, as well as allow access via electronics and other measures for data sharing and real time integration of all vehicle components.
The CLAWS or cybertanks ("Ogres") were the first large vehicles to incorporate a segmented hull from the start for better cross country maneuverability, but not the last. The advantages of a segmented hull were too well understood for the Combine to not try to implement the design procedure into other vehicles and so it was that in 2045, the Combine merged two ideas into one successful production series; a segmented hull with the dream of multiple turrets on a crewed vehicle. Combine designers, believing that the incredibly expensive brainbox of the Ogre Mark I could be (at that time) outperformed by a highly trained crew operating in a multi-weapon, multi-hull, fully integrated and coordinated vehicle, set about to produce a test bed for just such a experiment. The XLMTT-01 was the result, the first of the small, segmented, multi-turreted vehicle designs that would be introduced by the Combine during the 21st century.
In late 2045, the XLMTT-01, produced under negotiated contract with FEO-GM, arrived at the Southern Proving and Testing Grounds for review. There, over a period of six months, the XLMTT-01 proved itself a capable vehicle both on the field and in the mechanics bays. The original concept design had been to merge two standard light tank chassis with a modular omni-strut that not only allowed both hulls to connect, but also allowed both hulls to share a dedicated data trunk, and other electronics in real time integration. Early in the concept series, this approach was abandoned and a fresh hull was drawn up to meet the needs of the project. The hull was, with the central omni-strut pivot segment in place, a little longer than two light tanks parked back to back. The overall design was also slightly taller, but the whole vehicle rode upon a active suspension that was controlled by six independent BD6 microprocessors operating at 45Ghz. The XLMTT-01 proved quite fast on the open road, and across lightly dimpled terrain, but it really performed in the rough terrain where its active suspension allowed it to keep a high base rate of speed over most obstacles. In 2046, the Combine Military Appropriations Committee gave the final approval to the design and the Combine's first multi-turreted tank entered production.
Combine M48C3 "Kaufman" SPAD (Self Propelled Area Defense) "Laser" Tank- The M48C3 was somewhat of a pariah and not well received initially with armed forces appropriations committees and other associated bean counters who had the almost terminal lack of foresight to chuckle away any notion of fielding a 'Buck Rogers Ray Gun' style tank. High energy lasers (HELs) had proven their worth as static defensive systems and indeed, the borders of most nations housed dedicated power grids and laser array systems that made intercontinental ballistic missile warfare a gamble at best. Laser turrets and laser towers were expensive to both build and maintain, and their mechanisms were fragile. The problem with lasers as a battlefield direct fire anti-armor weapon was that they required a tremendous amount of power to initialize and pulse over. Projectile weapons store their energy in their propellants and cartridges, so that a caseless repeater is as effective, once, with a single round, as it is fifteen hundred times over with a fifteen hundred round cassette. It took a lot of juice from a nuclear plant to power a tank killing laser and that left little power for other essential elements of operation such as the drive train and powering the sophisticated electronics that would work to protect the vehicle from being fodder for the smallest armor hunting units that the enemy could field. Even with advances in technology and design, the laser was relegated to air defense and anti-missile interception roles almost exclusively.
But there were proponents of a energy weapon based mobile armored unit and as history shows, sometimes the favor of power swings in odd ways when it comes to those in charge of appropriations for such items. Such was the case of the M48C3 "Kaufman" HEADLT, which had sat on both the drawing boards and as a trio of functional test prototypes until such time as the threat of massed Paneuropean missile warfare made the way clear for such projects to emerge from the testing phase into the limited production stage. Tactical high energy laser designs capable of intercepting fast moving projectiles had been around since 2001*, adapting a version to a mobile combat chassis wasn't very hard.
The "Kaufman", named after General George S. Kaufman, was never intended as an anti-armor weapons systems platform, one of the strong points for the design being accepted in the end. The logistics of fielding a THEDOT unit capable of defeating armor would have required a powerplant the size of a CLAWS to field. However, the power required to knock missiles and artillery rounds out of the sky or to kill infantry was much less, and could be fitted into a combat chassis the size of a super heavy tank. Avoiding the anti-armor opponents directly by skirting the issue entirely, the Kaufman SPAD instead was designed strictly to accompany large groups of armor into the field and to protect convoys of units from 'over the horizon' and cluster fired TAC missile and indirect fire artillery style attacks. The M48C3 incorporated a unique elevating turret that mounted a pair of 200,000 kiloJoule very rapid alternating pulse deuterium fluoride-chemical lasers* to defeat all known PGM Precision Guided Munitions in operation at that time. Updates to the laser design and to the electronics and software would allow the M48C3 to remain in service throughout out Last War and even beyond.
The modular turret was mounted on a fully stabilized elevating assembly which itself was housed in a wide tracked crawler hull. Heavy use of component armor was made to keep the weight of the vehicle down while bringing some tradeoff in overall protection. A pair of compact General Westinghouse (GW) nuclear plants were installed, one fore, one aft of the chassis. Each was slaved into a series of high density crystal batteries from which the pulse lasers drew their power. In operation, speed of the vehicle was often reduced as one of the plants was brought online to recharge the battery arrays that the hungry pulse lasers drew from, leaving only one nuclear plant to drive the heavy vehicle. During tactical operations, the M48C3 would elevate its turret and engage targets at speed. Static prepared positions for the unit could also be utilized and many instances exist on record of forward bases which were unable to erect laser towers being protected by M48C3s in revetments.
The suspension was heavily reinforced in order to prevent any excess shock from traveling through the combat frame to the delicate laser weapon system, but maintenance records still exist that show constant problems with crystal alignment and lens fracture due to poorly trained crews or circumstances beyond the design of the unit being encountered. The turret and the actual laser weapons systems were also component armored and cushioned in comfortable memory foam matrixes and ballistic gelatin beds. The actual weapon cradle was magnetically stabilized and free floating within the turret. Modular power leads with redundant linkages supplied the high amperages required to power the pulse lasers array.
The M48C3 was larger than a standard MBT and wider but less armored and slower while being considerably more expensive. While the onboard computers were used to fight the vehicle, the four crew members were still among the most technical savvy and well trained in the Combine. The M48C3 employed a full NBC suite with redundant systems and full life support for 4 adults for 72 hours at a time. Supplies for up to a week of operation were stored internally along with a selection of small arms for the crew in addition to their personally carried sidearms. Four NBC suits were also standard equipment in case the vehicle had to be abandoned or combat lossed. The driver sat forward in an fully automated component armored bay. A panoramic visual tank provided 360 degree visual acuity as well as an integrated HUD linked to all other stations within the vehicle. Smart tracking was available at all stations and interfaced evenly throughout the operating environment. A single armored hatch located to the side of the driver allowed access to that station. The other three crew stations were located further back in the hull of the M48C3, one forward slightly behind the driver, and the final two to the rear near the second power plant.
The center of the vehicle was heavily braced and reinforced structure-wise to handle the increased weight of the high energy laser weapons system and their accompanying electronics and control systems as well as the sheer volume taken up with the stabilization gear, power transference systems, and the dampening housing for shock absorption. The WIO Weapons Interception Officer sat at a fully automated station behind the driver compartment, separated by an armored bulkhead from both the driver and the rest of the crew. A single armored hatch above the WIO's compartment allowed quick access to and from that compartment. A pair of armored hatches led to a maintenance crawlway for access to the turret lift components and to the rear fighting compartment.
The rear fighting compartment housed the bulkhead partitioned control stations for the vehicle commander and the vehicle engineer. WIO station functions were duplicated at the commander's station while driver control station functions were duplicated at the engineer's station. The engineering station was responsible for precision control of the two onboard nuclear power plants as well as battery power management and allocation. The commander's station held direct control function links to each of the other three stations allowing, at least in practice, for one person to fight the whole vehicle though actual field conditions and situation proved this was usually beyond reasonable expectations. A single armored door on the rear of the hull allowed the commander and engineer access to their component armored control bay. A armored hatch led from the aft fighting compartment to the WIO compartment. Storage compartments for vehicular and crew equipment were located in overhead as well as modular storage areas. Every inch of space within the vehicle was utilized to some capacity or another, making resupply a logistical chore during regular depot maintenance.
The main mission of the M48C3 SPAD was not direct combat, but rather area support of other units. While being fragile, the 'infinite' ammunition offered from the inclusion of a HEL system was too tempting for some designers and the M48C3 proved to be more than capable of carrying its armament to deployable range and of surviving the encounter. While somewhat slower than lighter armor, the difference in speed was not enough to prevent the M48C3 from keeping pace with its charges. While powerful, the twin General Electric Teledyne Rand (GETR) Type III-D pulse lasers lacked the effective punch to penetrate the armor of most MBTs in field use and were at a disadvantage against lighter armor. When used in their intended role of PGM interception, the Type III-D models proved exceptionally well suited to their task. While the high energy laser weapons system of the M48C3 was not very effective against hard skinned targets, it was very effective against lightly armored or unarmored targets such as trucks and infantry. For close in defense, the M48C3 mounted twin Fergers 5mm cone bore repeaters in direct remote electric drive mounts located on the front of the main weapons turret pod. A 5000 round cassette was located adjacent to the main power infusers within the turret. A third 5mm Fergers cone bore repeater was located on the front of the vehicle, under direct control of the driver with duplicate weapon controls at the other three stations as well. A 2500 round cassette fed the forward Fergers and was located adjacent to the driver's compartment.
The WydeSCAN 4.5 series Doppler pulse sensor array, easily recognized by the blister on the turret, was produced by Wyde Teledyne. The WydeSCAN 4.5 series of sensors could track up to 200 individual hyper velocity targets to the edge of the horizon (EOTH) while terminally tracking 100 objects within line of sight (LOS) distances. Both voice and manual override of target priority could be directed from direct chain of command. Incoming targets could be sorted by priority, by warhead, by type, velocity, shape, and range depending on crew discretion or simply left to the automated routines of the onboard processors. Counterbattery acquisition of targets was subroutined into the operating system on multiple levels. The initial disadvantage of a line of sight high energy weapon was that the M48C3 did not have the elevation and thus the range deflection of the much more powerful tower mounted HEL systems. As such, terrain became a tactical nightmare when trying to deploy the M48C3 in any long range capacity for support. Up close near its charges, the M48C3 was very effective in its intended role, but farther away, and intervening terrain tended to mask the ability of the lasers to engage targets. Even the elevating turret design was not enough to overcome the simple lay of the land and the limitations of the weapon operational design. Crews of the M48C3s learned to stay close to their charges.
The rear deck of the M48C3 contained a compact storage and maintenance dock for three standard drones. Two spare drones were carried internally.
Special rules for the M48C3
The M48C3 is a modified point defense system that is based around a high energy laser. It observes all laser rules except where noted below:
The SPAD is a "standard" laser unit, equipped with a lower powered weapon system. As such, it has a range of 15 hexes and an attack strength of 1. Its line of fire is blocked by any raised terrain- i.e., forest, swamp, towns, or rubble (including the rubble lines in OGRE). The light laser cannot attack any unit in such terrain or any missile over or beyond such terrain.
Each SPAD may fire once at any cruise missile that comes within its range. The SPAD is treated as a "standard laser" in regards to rule 4.033. A successful laser hit destroys the cruise missile.
A SPAD may attempt to intercept OGRE missiles as per rule 6.05. It is treated normally under this rule.
A SPAD (only) may attempt to intercept missiles fired from missile tanks or any other TAC missile launching / using unit. To intercept a missile attack fired from a missile tank, the SPAD must roll the range of the attack or less on one die- i.e., if a missile tank were firing on a heavy tank that was being escorted by a SPAD and the range of the attack was 3 hexes away, then the SPAD would need to roll a '3' or less on one die to intercept the attack. If the range had been one hex away, then the SPAD would need to roll a '1' exactly to intercept the attack.
A SPAD does not affect other units in spillover fire.
A SPAD cannot intercept missiles fired in an overrun situation (the missiles have too short a flight duration for the SPAD to track and engage).
In an overrun situation, the M48C3 laser fires at normal strength, not double strength, against armored units. The laser fires at double strength against infantry. This is a change to rule 6.09.
If the M48C3 ever receives a "D" result from an attack, then immediately roll a 1:1 attack against the laser system itself. A "NE" result means that the laser is undamaged. A "D" result takes the laser offline for 1d6 turns after which the laser becomes operational again at the beginning of the next turn after the disabled time has passed (the laser recovers in the normal disabled units recovery phase). An "X" result destroys the laser system completely, rendering it non-operational for the rest of the game. The crawler may recover from the disabled result but if the laser is destroyed, then the crawler assumes an attack value of 1 in an overrun situation only (due to a few dedicated close in support AP weapons).
Even if the laser system is destroyed, the enemy only receives victory points if the M48C3 itself is actually destroyed.
For victory purposes, size class, and cost, a SPAD counts as a SHVY Tank.
The laser may engage any number of missiles or cruise missiles per turn so long as no more than one 'shot' at each missile or attack is ever taken.
If used in a direct attack mode, the laser has an attack strength of 1 and a range of 15 hexes.
Game Specs: M48C3 "Kaufman" SPAD tank (1/15)*, D2, M3
The SPAD has one DAPS system (see optional rules)
The M48C3 costs 3 armor points to purchase.
* An article on the United States' use of deuterium fluoride-chemical laser weapons to destroy incoming artillery rounds and rockets is explained in the July 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine, page 15. NASA and the USAF intend to mount such a HEL onto the aging shuttle Columbia to be used as an orbital ASAT weapon. The laser has the designation of THEL or Tactical High Energy Laser and is built by TRW, Inc. The system was originally developed to protect Israeli settlements against Katyusha rockets fired from Southern Lebanon by Hezbollah guerillas. It passed its operational tests at White Sands, downing two rockets at once. The system was never shipped to Israel despite its success, or probably due to its amazing success... The USAF and NASA may have a space based tactical laser system in a matter of months, not years.
Combine M12J6 "Perry" Super Heavy Missile Tank- The M12J6 was a logical advancement of the tried and true "Grizzly" super heavy main battle tank. The smaller M32D7 "Lincoln" missile support tanks were well established in both field use and the table of deployment logistics. The only flaw with the original design of the M32D7 was the lack of adequate armor. Indeed, the M32D7 possessed little more defensive armor and countermeasures than a front-line hovercraft or even a light tank, yet it was deployed to the front line and expected to go toe-to-toe with heavier armor. The one saving grace of the M32D7 was the range of its weapon systems, twice the range of heavier armor but not quite as powerful. A Combine missile tank engaging a Paneuropean heavy tank could do so at a 4 mile standoff range where the enemy tank had to close to half this distance in order to engage the missile tank. However, the nature of the attack meant that the odds of successfully engaging and destroying the enemy armor was only about 50/50 in open terrain. If the enemy tank managed to cloak itself in better terrain, the odds grew worse. In reverse, the enemy tank had a two to one advantage with its superior weapons against the comparatively weak armor of the M32D7. This type of design in weapons and defense created situations where M32D7 crews chose to spar with heavier armor far from the range of the enemy, firing and running to obtain a better position and fire again. The problem with deploying units like the M32D7 was that the missile tank depended on TAC missiles alone for its attack, and while TAC missiles were precision guided munitions, they could be defeated by the increasing technology of anti-missile defense systems (see SPAD above) that were both dedicated vehicles and integral part of existing vehicle designs.
Additional types of TAC missiles and modular construction of such missiles extended the range and striking capacity of all missile tanks, but the sheer volume of fire was still dictated by the tried and true Garret IV modular rotary launchers employed in the design. Larger, higher capacity launchers proved cumbersome to field while smaller launchers were of far lesser tactical value in combat. The solution was to create a larger weapons platform, mounting two Garret IV launchers, a full synchronized FiConSys, better armor, and more electronics that would increase the survival capacity of the unit over the standard design.
Doubling the mass and size of the compact M32D7 had its share of opponents on the Combine Armed Forces Appropriations Council, but the design was sound, verified by several of the Combine's larger strategic artifints. A heavy crawler chassis was selected, and the Grizzly frame was used as a test bed, a highly successful one. The initial prototype was quick to be designed and deployed, since the technology was quite familiar, using two tried and true hulls with the aid of computer generated design. The first prototype super heavy missile tank, designated the M12JX completed tests at White Sands National Testing Grounds amid an awe struck audience of politicians, VIPs, and military staff. Performing in the field with two of its smaller cousins, the M12JX proved that it could outfight and outlast two of the smaller units in heavily simulated trials. After the success of the White Sands trials, the appropriations were granted to start full scale production of the prototype which would be redesignated the M12J6. The official name was chosen for General Raymond T. Perry, one of the Combines most decorated (posthumously) heroes of Operation Seven Seize.
The initial Grizzly chassis was modified to accommodate the twin Garret IV modular rotary launchers, twin armored ammunition bays, modified RAILS loading mechanisms, advanced electronics, a larger power plant, and accommodations for the four crew required to operate the vehicle. The heavy chassis was slightly modified to handle increased equipment load rather than the heavy armor. Since lighter armor was used (as compared to the Grizzly), this freed up a great amount of internal space from structural bracing and solid armor filler. The chassis was upgraded to the new Type II-C drive train modifications that the Grizzly was scheduled to be refitted with. The chassis and track assembly was then transferred via magrail to a nearby manufactory where the components would be installed to create the M12J6.
At the Detroit Allison manufactory, a new deck and modular interior was added to the chassis, different bulkheads were routed around the twin launcher hardpoints, the modified RAILS system, and the central magazine storage. Heavy component armor was reinforced around the sides and bottom of the magazine storage well, while the top armor was thinner by a factor. This prevented any possible ammunition explosion from wrecking the vehicle, instead, the blast would be channeled by the thicker walls toward the thinner upper plate which would explosively blow out, venting any ammunition explosion upwards and away from the vehicle, thus saving the vehicle and the crew (but losing any stored ammunition). The standard though large Cummins N53A-6 nuclear plant of the Grizzly's design was deleted from the design of the M12J6 in favor of a pair of smaller CAT military grade reactors which supplied more power together than the single larger plant. These new CAT-5T reactors were located fore and aft in the hull, each linked directly to the drive train. A large array of high density crystal storage batteries was also implemented in the design.
Electronics for the M12J6 included the McPaul Dupre FiConSys, extensive ECM and ECCM, and a modified version of the Thomas Carter "Horizon" communications system. The new Five Jackson control stations with modular interface and full surround holographic HUD with operator tailored interface were standard. The driver sat forward in the hull in a component armored bay mounted in the forward 'conning' tower. A hull top mounted hatch allowed access to the driver's station. The two WSCO Weapon Systems Control Officers sat behind the driver, separated by a armored bulkhead and hatch, in their own modular control stations. The WSCOs stations were duplicated between each one, so that in the event that one WSCO was incapacitated, the other could fight the vehicle. Extensive onboard semi-artifint meshing with the FiConSys allowed superior target acquisition. Advanced macros could also be custom tailored to individual mission parameters and preprogrammed as needed. An armored hatch was located in the upper hull, directly over the WSCO station, allowing quick access or exit from the vehicle. The vehicle commander's armored bay was located far aft, joined to the second WSCO's bay by a short crawlway and an armored bulkhead and hatch assembly. All stations were duplicated here with direct override. Most communications and tactical updates were handled through the command station where orders were given to the other three crew via a easy to use graphical interface and a comprehensive internal hardlined communications system.
The twin Garret Type IV launchers were mounted on the new REDET Remote Electric Drive Elevating Turrets which gave the vehicle the ability to fight from a completely hull down position. A modified RAILS system was used to draw munitions and warheads from a large onboard storage bay. The RAILS system was modified for the on-the-fly (OTF) selection of modular warheads to meet target engagement criteria. Warhead loads ranged from anti-personnel to kinetic energy overhead attack armor busters and even TACtical nuclear charges. Each launcher held a ready supply of six TAC missiles in a rotary magazine, targets were engaged and the proper munition was either selected by simply rotating or dialing the magazine to the correct munition or by retracting munitions from the magazine, reconfiguring an existing booster with a new warhead (returning the previous warhead to storage again) and reinserting the newly configured TAC missile back into the launcher's magazine. Practical ROF was twelve missiles per minute. The M12J6 had storage for sixty boosters and 120 standardized warheads. Reloading of the vehicle was done by replacing a cassette of boosters stored in lots of 10 boosters each and then by stacking in modular cassettes of warheads in lots of 10 warheads per cassette. Most of this was done via powered equipment at a field depot, but in an emergency could be done by all four of the vehicle crew using simple hand tools.
A 5mm Fergers CBR was installed in a powered pintel mount on the front hull, designed for close in AP work, and was controlled by a autonomous / manual FiConSys in the driver's compartment. A second 5mm Fergers CBR was installed on the rear hull, and controlled by a autonomous / manual FiConSys in the VCO's station. Each fed from a dedicated 5000 round cassette. A Glenn Gerrick Advanced Design close in defense system Model 414 was also installed for point defense work against incoming rounds. It was controlled by its own dedicated autonomous FiConSys and had redundant controls in each station for switchover. A 10,000 round cassette fed the system and the new proprietary electronics provided OTH Over The Horizon detection capacity as well, a feature that was a first for the M12J6 "Perry" but would rapidly become incorporated into all other Combine main armor vehicle designs.
Standard sidearms were carried by the crew and a small arms locker was provided onboard with a standard loadout and extra ammunition. Each station had an emergency medical kit, a fire extinguisher, emergency life support system, storage for a standard NBC suit, and access to other basic supplies such as ration tubes and fluid pouches.
The M12J6 "Perry" Super Heavy Missile Tank saw action at the Fall of Sheffield and later during the Combine retreat from Neurope. As always, the crews preferred to snipe well out of the range of other armored units and keep heavier units at a good distance.
Combine M12J6 "Perry" Super Heavy Missile Tank- (3/4)x2, M3, D3
The SHMT is treated in all respects as a SHVY Superheavy Tank for terrain and movement purposes or any other purpose where the size and weight of the vehicle may come into play as a consideration.
The SHMT costs two armor points to purchase.
The SHMT has two standard missile tank launchers which operate under normal rules for all standard missile tanks. The SHMT may use one or both launchers to attack either one target or two different targets per turn, similar to the way that a SHVY tank may use its twin guns.
The SHMT has two AP batteries which operate similar to the OGRE AP batteries or the AP batteries found on the SHVYTank.
Combine M3A5 "Roland / Walker" Medium Battle Tank- The M3A5 was designed to fill the gaps between the low end which was the light tank, and the high end which was the heavy tank. A armored unit that was heavier armed and armored than the light tank, but not quite as heavily armed as the heavy tank was called for. The result was the medium battle tank (MBT) which would become the main tank vehicle for the Combine during the Last War.
The concept of a 'medium' tank began during the 20th century with the second World War. Units such as the Chaffee and others were fast but lightly armored and armed. Never intended for direct line skirmishing, rather they were created for scouting purposes, to find the enemy and then lead the big guns to them. While it looked good on paper, the true fact of war is that no design profile survives long in the heat of battle. If you build a tank, someone soldier somewhere will use it for a purpose you never thought it would be used for (tractor, bulldozer, mine sweeper, lemonade stand, etc.) and when it doesn't work well in that role, the bitching will start
Such was the fact after the initial appearance of the medium tank in the second World War. Intended for light skirmishes, infantry support against other infantry, and fast scouting, designers of the various medium tanks were rapidly onset with tales of their new creation going head to head with King Tigers, Panzers, and a host of other Allied and Axis heavy armor. Going head to head and dying as quick as they could drive into the engagement. And the bitching started... Though the outcome of the engagement was never at question, even on paper, the fact was that soldiers tend to use any equipment assigned to them in the exact opposite way that such equipment was ever intended; a entrenching tool as a hand to hand weapon, a block of C4 as a cooking element, a M16 as a club, etc. Such was the fate of the medium tank, since its introduction.
But the medium tank advanced through the decades that followed. Many tacticians thought highly of the concept of 'light' armor, especially those proponents of 'speed rather than firepower'. It has been noted that all armor units are inherently trade off designs. Increase the armor on one type of unit and you must either decrease speed or firepower to keep the cost the same. Increase one component, decrease another. Increase all components, build fewer units. The medium tank was a enigma. Too light to be a tank, too heavy to be a scout, it seemed to fail at both roles to those who didn't know how to use it. But, as tenacious as the design was, as much of an enigma as it was, it survived. Decades, generations, the concept of a medium tank was appealing to those with limited funds (smaller nations) and those who desired rapid deployment (the various RDF type forces around the world). Although much lamented, the medium tank design was found, in one form or another, in nearly every army around the world, especially at the beginning of the conflict that would become known as the Last War.
Speed over firepower and armor. Scouting over main skirmishing. If it is your size or smaller, shoot it. If it is bigger than you, keep away from it or run for cover! Those were the operational doctrines of the medium tank crew for decades. The problem with the medium tank was not in the inherent design, but in the inherent use of the light tank. Once its use and niche in the table of operations was firmly understood (and established), the medium tank became a valuable asset to the field commander. The medium tank was fast, cheap, readily deployable, and enjoyed a large degree of success with the crews for which it was assigned. Of these, the most successful of all designs in the Western nations was the M3A5 "Roland", named after General Catherine Llyn Roland who lead "Operation: Open Hand" in 2021 AD.
The M3A5 was a very low profile design. Initial parameters called for a light, fast, lightly armored, lightly armed track layer with sophisticated electronics and the ability to act as a cavalry scout as well as recon for heavier elements of main armor. It was to have three crew (driver, commander, and ELINT officer), a wide track assembly for maximum all terrain mobility, and a reduced turret with a hyper velocity cone bore repeater capable of defeating main line armor units of all Opposing Forces at that time. Three companies vied for the contract and three individual designs were submitted to the military review boards for trial and evaluation. Only one survived with all criteria exceeding the required stats; the T3XLT as produced by Canadamerican Gage out of Seattle. The T3XLT was adopted in 2030 and moved to production. Redesignated the M3A5, and named the "Roland" after the untimely death of General Roland, the M3A5 was first issued to her old unit, the 5th RDF where it was met with wide acceptance.
The M3A5 features a sophisticated electronics suite adapted specifically to its role as a forward observer and recon scout. Command channels, full uplinks, and a variety of 'over the hill' style observation arrays allow the M3A5 to scout on the move, to observe from cover and a hull down position, and to direct in artillery or heavier elements when required. The M3A5 is powered by a compact Lyca Magnatap III nuclear reactor and each tread assembly has its own dedicated array of independent motors. Side panels of laminate plasticeramic and BPC provide armor for the treads and the suspension assembly. The driver rode forward in the hull, protected in a BPC 'bathtub' layered in plasticeramic molded armor. Controls for the driver and commander station were duplicated at each station, allowing either member of the crew to 'fight' the vehicle should one or the other become incapacitated. The turret was completely automated, housing a fully stabilized 75mm automatic Olin CBR cone bore repeater, dedicated RAILS system, and access to a 250 round cassette. The 75mm Olin CBR was linked to a Gen II FATS system and mounted coaxial with a 5mm Fergers cone bore repeater for close in defense and anti-personnel work. A integral 1500 round cassette was dedicated to the use of the 5mm. A second 5mm Fergers CBR was mounted in a remote ball mount on the front hull, with FiConSys for this mount located in the driver's 'tub'. Four 12 shot multi-munition dischargers were located around the hull and on the turret, allowing a variety of countermeasures to be deployed, from HCS smoke and 'hot' smoke to Black Window. The commander's turret also mounted a 5mm Fergers CBR with an integral 1500 round cassette. Control of this weapon was either manual or by remote control from within the commander's station. A standard Type III point defense system was included on top of the turret, fed from a dedicated 2500 round cassette located within the turret itself. A standard Type III four shot box launcher for standard TAC missiles was located on the rear and side of the turret. Four additional reloads for the TAC missile launcher were carried internally but required either the driver or the ELINT officer to leave the vehicle to reload the launcher. The launcher could be reloaded by hand by one crew member, but in practice, both the commander and the ELINT officer worked as a team to shorten the time required and thus the exposure of either to harm outside the armor of the vehicle. A standard close in defense strip (CIDS) was installed on both the hull and the turret circumference.
The rear of the main hull housed the docking, charging, and launch stations for five standard tactical drones. Drones were reloaded individually, each with their own dedicated bay. Three spares were carried internally, and could be brought out of storage and online in about five minutes each.
Small arms were carried by the crew as standard practice, mostly individual sidearms, three snubmachineguns or assault carbines, 500 rounds each for the long arms, and a 4cm grenade launcher with 30 rounds. Ammunition varied.
Game Specs: M3A5 "Roland / Walker" medium battle tank (3/2), D2, M3
The M3A5 costs 0.75 points (3/4 of an armor point) to purchase.
Combine M34A TLATG Towed Light Anti-Tank Gun
Combine M35C TATG Towed Anti-Tank Gun
Combine M38D THATG Towed Heavy Anti-Tank Gun
Combine Towed Artillery - (incomplete) Artillery has always followed the Army on the move since the ability to bombard the enemy safely from long distances was first introduced to the battlefield. Self propelled artillery was both costly and highly specialized, often organized into groups and batteries, independent sub units unto themselves, but the ability to carry artillery along with a unit of soldiers was a need that had been born with the invention of artillery. The Combine used two major types of portable artillery designed to be assigned at levels as low as squad. Towed artillery was cheaper and easier to produce than self propelled artillery, though it did not enjoy the same levels of protection. Towed artillery often fired the same variety of multi-purpose self guided modular shells, even the 'clever' and 'brilliant' versions, but it had no motive power of its own and relied on other vehicles to move it from firing site to firing site. Defense was limited to, at most, a thin gunshield designed sometimes more out of tradition than any real effectiveness. This was often designed to be able to be removed for maintenance of the weapon itself and most crews simply left the shield off entirely.
Towed artillery could be rapidly set up and then moved again with the advent of so called 'smart' mounts. The new self powered, self deploying mounts utilized an armored cab type design for the operator and the FiConSys components. A high density crystal battery powered the hydraulic pumps for the rapid entrenchment systems and any elevation, deflection, or traverse movement required to lay the weapon on target. Recharging of the battery array was done either from a monocable link to the towing vehicle's powerplant or while the unit was being towed. While it was not as fast as self propelled artillery which could 'shoot and scoot', it was still light enough to be assigned as needed, powerful enough to be requested often, and cheap enough to be included in most asset designation tables. The Combine kept the tradition of towed artillery pieces and guncrews alive throughout the Last War, as did the other major armed forces. Towed artillery set up in revetments proved to be a sound strategy. Among the most easily recognized forms of Combine towed artillery during the Last War were the M24D TLATG "Black Jack" Towed Light Anti-Tank Gun, the M31D TATG "Cudgel" Towed Anti-Tank Gun, the M35A4 THATG "Long Hammer", the "M39A-TLH "Short Pipe" Towed Light Howitzer and the M41A-TH "Long Flute" Towed Howitzer. The first three were classic examples of direct fire hypervelocity large caliber automatic cone bore repeaters designed to crack armor and armor units. The last two were examples of towed indirect fire capable support artillery used to provide fire to units operating far in advance.
The Combine M24D "Black Jack" was the lightest version of a anti-tank gun fielded by the Combine. The M24D was based around the Detroit General Mark IV 70mm cone bore repeater, the same main gun as found on the light tank design, mounted on a REDT turret with a slew rate of 60 degrees per second. It was fed by a 300 round disposable cassette with a practical firing rate of 300 RPM. (incomplete)
The Combine M39A-TLH "Short Pipe" was indicative of most light indirect fire artillery pieces as presented in operation during the Last War. At just eight meters in length from tip of barrel to the trailer hitch assembly, its light weight and tremendous range were only complimentary to the fact that it could be set up very quickly and moved even more quickly by a well trained crew. Several individual M39A howitzers could be organized into an effective battery, their electronics plugged into both TACNet and SquadNet for integration into the C3 structure. Ammunition for the M39A-TLH was provided in disposable 5 round cassettes, a number of which were usually stacked near the weapon for quick access. The towing arms of the M39A-TLH chassis acted as a recoil dissipating brace when they were deployed. Pins could be driven down into the ground to anchor the M39A-TLH even further. A powered assembly allowed the gun crew to adjust the elevation and deflection of the weapon, but traverse was handled the old fashioned way of physically moving the gun from side to side. A simple electrical battery system allowed a limited duration electric motor in each wheel to 'aid' the gun crew in moving the weapon in traverse.
Providing more range and harder striking power was the much heavier M41A-TH "Long Flute" Towed Howitzer. At nearly 15 meters in total length, and easily two and a half times the weight and mass of the smaller M39A, the M41A was mounted on a powered carriage capable of handling elevation and deflection as well as limited traverse and had a powered wheeled assembly similar to that of the M39A but much more heavy duty. The chassis of the M41A rested on four all terrain wheels and solid rubber tires. A powered loader system usually was linked to a automated cassette system which held two, 5-shot cassettes in ready. The M41A fed from each cassette, one at a time, allowing for a trained gun crew to keep up a good rate of fire by simply replacing one empty cassette with a fresh one while the weapon drew from the remaining cassette.
M39A-TLH "Short Pipe" Towed Light Howitzer / M41A-TH "Long Flute" Towed Howitzer
Game Specs: Combine M39A-TLH "Short Pipe" Towed Light Howitzer 5/5, D1, M0
Combine M41A-TH "Long Flute" Towed Heavy Howitzer 6/6, D1, M0
Towed artillery must be towed to a location and set up in order to operate. It takes one turn to hook up a piece of artillery during which the artillery piece may not fire at all and the towing vehicle may not move at all (but may attack / defend normally). It takes one turn to unhook a piece of artillery and set it up for operations. During this turn the artillery piece may not fire at all and the towing vehicle may not move at all (but may attack / defend normally). The towed artillery piece is ready to move or fire on the first of the next turn.
Vehicles capable of towing a light howitzer are: Light Tank or heavier. A heavy towed howitzer requires a HVY Tank or Super Heavy Tank. Later in the Last War, a special 'harness' was developed by both sides to allow MI to 'pull' a piece of towed artillery. One squad is required to tow a light howitzer and two squads to tow a heavy howitzer. Engineer squads are treated as regular infantry squads for this purpose.
OGREs larger than Mark III may not tow any type of towed artillery pieces. A Mark I or Mark II OGRE may tow either size of towed artillery piece. A Mark III or Fencer may pull a towed heavy howitzer only. Larger Marks may not tow artillery.
A Truck or Hover Truck may tow either type of artillery piece (they were designed for this type of towing to begin with).
A GEV or GEV-PC may tow a light howitzer but not a heavy howitzer subject to the movement limit below. A GEV towing a piece of artillery moves only in the second GEV movement phase and then subject to the movement limit imposed by towing a piece of equipment as listed below. A LGEV may not tow either type of towed artillery.
A OGRE, GEV or hovertruck towing a piece of artillery cannot enter a water hex. Doing so automatically disables the GEV or hovertruck (subject to normal rules for disabling of vehicles and recovery) and destroys the accompanying artillery piece. There is no effect on the OGRE other than the fact that the artillery piece is destroyed.
The maximum speed for a vehicle towing a artillery piece is limited to two movement points per turn or two hexes including any road bonuses. If a vehicle moves faster than three on a road (or two off road), the artillery piece is considered destroyed. The towing vehicle immediately becomes disabled (subject to normal rules for disabling of vehicles and recovery).
Units towing artillery through swamp must roll to see if the artillery gets stuck. Treat either towed artillery piece as a HVY tank for this purpose.
Both types of howitzers may use any type of optional or new ammunition found under the OPTIONAL RULES section of DATAPULSE.
Howitzers have low defense values and these assume that the weapon has been set up properly in a revetment created by the gun crew and some engineers. If no revetment is available, defense value drops to zero. If a howitzer is destroyed, the gun crew is considered destroyed as well. No separate counters are provided for the gun crew, they are assumed to be with their weapon or traveling with it at all times.
OGRE AP batteries have full effect on both types of Towed Howitzers (only), despite the D1 rating. Odds are 1:1 on the CRT.
OGREs which ram a Towed Howitzer suffer no damage. The Towed Howitzer is destroyed and the crew lost (probably under the crushing treads or the thundering AP batteries...)
Towed howitzers have an attack strength of 0 in an overrun situation (only). It cannot be fired at point blank or zero range and the light sidearms of the crew are pretty ineffective against any other type of unit. It has a attack strength of 1 in an overrun situation (only) when the unit initiating the overrun is a unit of (non-MI) militia.
A towed light howitzer costs 1/2 armor point each.
A towed heavy howitzer costs 1 armor point each.
Combine M12CB-RDBU- "Plank"- Mobile Rapid Deployment Bridge Unit- The M12CB was an integral part of any construction or engineer unit. The Combine M12CB utilized the same tracked chassis as the Regan class of mobile howitzer but added a rapid deployment folding BPC bridge assembly on top. With the main howitzer and its accompanying ammo storage capacity, electronics and turret system removed, the M12CB was actually quicker though it didn't have a prayer if any enemy unit found it unescorted.
The MRDBU carried no weapons other than a integrated DAPS Dedicated Anti-Personnel System mounted in a full traverse automatic turret. FiConSys was automatic with manual override by the crew. Two crew were present; driver and commander, sitting one in front and the other slightly behind, to the left, and higher within the main hull. Most MRDBUs were escorted by squads of MI engineers or MI troopers and sometimes screened by light tanks. Valuable tactical locations for the M12CB were often protected by other armor screens and even mobile artillery.
Engineering squads used the MRDBU or "Plank" to create artificial bridges across streams, dry creek beds, and other hazards to high speed cross country travel. The MRDBU provided this service without reservation. Its heavy duty tracked chassis had good cross country speed, all terrain capacity, and a skin thicker than any other construction vehicle. M12CBs were sometimes modified by their crews to include additional DAPS anti-infantry systems as well as a wide variety of supplies and construction gear either stowed on the outside or lashed there with heavy duty monocable.
It took about four minutes to deploy the powered bridge assembly and then for the vehicle to disengage from the bridge assembly and move away to allow other units to use the deployed bridge. The bridge could be explosively deployed in about 30 seconds but could not be reattached without considerable effort (4 turns with two engineer squads working on it). Multiple bridge segments could be placed together and modular supports or flotation devices added to increase support among the spans. Engineering teams which escorted the M12CB were often tasked with the felling of local trees or materials to help secure the deployed bridge or to help fortify the position as rapidly as possible.
Standard protocol required that once the bridge was deployed, that the engineering teams build a revetment for the M12CB and then to dig in with the attached infantry squads to guard the chokepoint. Standard design features were explosive charge packs built into the bridge itself. These charges could be manually or remotely detonated to prevent the bridge from falling into enemy hands.
At least three M12CBs were converted to other duty during the Last War. One version was converted as a engineering squad carrier to accompany another M12CB. This version carried a designation of M12CBEV and could carry two squads of MI engineers. While not as fast as a GEV-PC and no where near as armed, it was, however, a popular model with the various construction battalions. A second variety mounted a pair of anti-personnel batteries and was used in urban assaults or to protect engineer units from enemy infantry overruns while critical mission tasks were being carried out.
Game Specs: Combine M12CB-RDBU- "Plank"- Mobile Rapid Deployment Bridge Unit (1/1*), D2, M2
*Against infantry or D0 targets only. No effect otherwise.
The M12CB-RDBU has one AP battery (1/1 against infantry or D0 targets only).
It takes one turn to deploy the attached bridge module and one turn to retrieve it. During this time, the RDBU may not move. It may attack and defend normally subject to regular rules. At the beginning of the next turn, the RDBU is free to move but the bridge assembly stays in the hex in which it was deployed.
The bridge module may be deployed and the tracked chassis may move freely during one turn. This represents the explosive launching of the bridge from the carrier vehicle. It will take two engineer MI teams 5 complete turns to reattach the bridge if it is deployed in this manner.
The bridge module, deployed separately, has a defense value of 2. It is only affected by a result of "X" which destroys the bridge. If any armor units are on the bridge when it is destroyed, they are destroyed as well. Infantry on the bridge undergo an immediate 1:1 attack. Any result other than an "X" places the infantry counter in the same hex as the destroyed bridge. On the next turn, the infantry may move normally.
One bridge module is large enough to accommodate vehicles up to HVY tank class.
Two bridge modules, deployed from two separate M12 RBDU units, is sufficient to provide Super Heavy Tank and similar large and heavy vehicles to use the bridge for crossing.
OGREs larger than Mark II may not use a RBDU deployed bridge. They are just too huge (and most can ford a large body of water on their own without the use of a bridge)! A Mark I OGRE requires only one bridge but a Mark II requires two bridges, as examined above. If an OGRE larger than a Mark II tries to cross the bridge module, treat the bridge module as being destroyed and the OGRE is attacked as if it rammed a Hvy Tank.
RBDUs may only be deployed on streams or creeks. They are too small to cross great expanses such as rivers and lakes.
A RBDU may set up and 'replace' a single hex of destroyed bridge. This assumes that the bridge has simply been 'cut' somewhere along the design and not actually 'destroyed'. Placing the bridge module over the damaged section restores the bridge to functionality and allows vehicles full access again to the bridge.
The RDBU costs 1 point to purchase (same as a HVY). For victory purposes, due to its unique mission and design, it counts as two HVY tanks if destroyed.
Any amount of armored units, subject to size restrictions, may use a RBDU bridge module in a single turn to cross from either direction.
At any time during the owning player's turn, the bridge may be voluntarily destroyed with the integral explosive charges. The statement to do so is made and the bridge is removed. These explosive charges can be employed while the RBDU is attached to the carrier vehicle, but this destroys the carrier vehicle as well (combat loss with victory points going to the other side).
An MI Infantry squad in the same hex as the bridge may try to prevent the owning player from destroying the bridge. Roll one die. If the squad is composed of regular infantry, then on a 1-2 the bridge is secured and the demolition charges are neutralized. If the squad is an engineering squad, then the charges are neutralized on a roll of 1-4. Any other roll results in the bridge being destroyed successfully (and the squad trying to neutralize the charges undergoing an immediate 1:1 attack along with it).
Due to its design and mission operation, no infantry of any kind may 'ride' on a RDBU or the carrier vehicle once the RBDU has been deployed.
Combine M41A3 "Greyhound" (AKA "Camel-back") GEV-HAP- Continuing along the lines of 'more is better' thinking, Combine engineers grabbed a 'flatbed' GEV-PC and removed the infantry racks from it. In place of the infantry racks, power chargers, and drone / equipment storage bays, the technicians mounted a pair of anti-personnel AP batteries in a characteristic 'double hump' which quickly earned the unit the nickname of 'Camel back'. The LGEV-AP and GEV-AP were rapidly helping to cancel out the numerical tidal wave of Pan regular and mobile infantry which were often used in shock attacks but Combine MI officers were asking for something even heavier. It is said that 'great minds think alike' and about the time that the requests started coming in for a heavy anti-personnel hover vehicle (HAP), the Combine GEV-PC was being retrofitted into just such a design.
The M41A3 "Greyhound" (AKA "Camel-back") GEV-HAP was a 'upgunned' GEV-AP with the heavy anti-vehicular armament removed and a variety of anti-personnel weapons and systems installed. The original FiConSys was kept but augmented by the now standard Harris Type 35tR (and later the Baldwin-Micah 25Zx series) coprocessor array for superior target discrimination and acquisition. Armament consisted of four REDT batteries mounting standard Class Two, Series Four rapid fatigue anti-personnel weapon systems. Four standard REDT turrets were mounted to the chassis, one mounted fore, two above the hull (giving rise to the nickname 'Camel-back' and 'double hump'), and one aft between the driving fans and the main control surfaces. This setup allowed a GEV-AP to bring its weapons to bear on the attack and on the dodge as well as on a side slew or while circling the enemy units from a distance. "Broadsides" from a group of GEV-HAPs were very effective against massed groupings of Pan infantry or soft targets.
While not as cheap as the GEV-AP, the GEV-HAP was just as fast, more reliable, and about as easy to work on. Later, the two REDT turrets were exchanged for a more compact elevating turret design and the GEV-HAP saw duty in the battle for Sheffield and the urban street fighting that marked that conflict. The M41A3 performed very well in the infantry intensive conflicts that marked typical Paneuropean and Combine engagements and groups of GEV-HAPs were often used to 'break up' the incoming infantry waves, smashing them before they could achieve cohesive form against the heavier vehicle oriented Combine defenses. The Combine 'AP' family of GEVs left the battlefields of the Sahara littered with broken Pan infantry and Pan MI troopers. The introduction of the 'AP' family of countermeasures forced the Pans to change their whole military tactics and halted their initial advances into the theater.
Where the Pans threw massed infantry assaults at the Combine, the Combine, lacking the equal numbers, was forced to make up the difference in various ways. The M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP was just yet another unit in a long line of a anti-personnel 'family' of countermeasures that included the M29D5, the M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP, the M41A3 "Gray Hound" GEV-HAP, and the various AP intensive OGRE models (the most infamous of which was the OGREAPER).
The GEV-HAP proved to be a valuable urban pacification tool in the intense street warfare and civil unrest that marked the closing phases of the Last War and served with some notoriety when the forces of occupation with the collapse of the Combine, especially in South America and Canada. The GEV-HAP was also popular with mercenary units and was used in the many brush fire wars that marked the spiraling down of the Last War. When the feudal warlords started to appear in the war ravaged previous 3rd world countries and in the rebellion following the Factory States era, the GEV-HAP was a key player among the 'weakened' national armies who lacked larger, heavier vehicles and whose 'armies' were mostly conscripts and aging veterans pressed back into service on a ad-hoc basis.
Game Specs: M41A3 "Greyhound" (AKA "Camel-back") GEV-HAP (Specialized Heavy Anti-Personnel GEV) 3x (1/1*), D2, M 4/3
*Against infantry or D0 targets only. No effect otherwise.
The GEV-HAP operates identically to a normal GEV / GEV-PC except that it has no anti-vehicular armament. Instead, it mounts three AP style batteries for use against soft targets. These AP batteries operate in all respects like the AP batteries of an OGRE or SHTank.
The GEV-HAP may make one attack at three different targets or three attacks on the same target each turn or any combination desired totaling three single attacks.
The GEV-HAP costs 1 point to purchase.
Due to its design and mission operation, no infantry of any kind may 'ride' on a GEV-HAP.
M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP (anti-personnel GEV)- The Combine M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP was a 'upgunned' LGEV-AP with the heavy anti-vehicular armament removed and a variety of anti-personnel weapons and systems installed to allow it to be used in an infantry hunting mode. The fast attack capacity of the M32A2 proved its worth in the Paneuropean theater where small groups of M32A2s were used to hunt down squads and sometimes platoons of Pan mobile infantry. The original FiConSys was kept but augmented by the now standard Harris Type 35tR (and later the Baldwin-Micah 25Zx series) coprocessor array for superior target discrimination and acquisition. Two standard AP equipped automatic turrets were mounted to the chassis, one mounted fore and one above the hull between the driving fans and the main control surfaces. This setup allowed a GEV-AP to bring its weapons to bear on the attack and on the dodge as well as on a side slew or while circling the enemy units from a distance.
While not as cheap as the LGEV-AP, the GEV-AP was just as fast, more reliable, and just as easy to work on. Later, the two REDT turrets were exchanged for a more compact elevating turret design and the M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP saw duty in the battle for Sheffield and the urban street fighting that marked that conflict. The M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP performed very well in the infantry intensive conflicts that marked typical Paneuropean and Combine engagements and groups of GEV-HAPs were often used to 'break up' the incoming infantry waves, smashing them before they could achieve cohesive form against the heavier vehicle oriented Combine defenses and limited MI support that Combine commanders could draw upon early in the opening stages of the Neuropean conflict. The Combine 'AP' family of GEVs left the battlefields of the Sahara littered with broken Pan infantry and Pan MI troopers. The introduction of the 'AP' family of countermeasures forced the Pans to change their whole military tactics and halted their initial advances into the theater. The Combine matched each new tactic apparently with a new, heavier version of the AP series up to and eventually including highly specialized anti-infantry OGRE models.
Where the Pans threw massed infantry assaults at the Combine, the Combine, lacking the equal numbers, was forced to make up the difference in various ways. The M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP was just yet another unit in a long line of a anti-personnel 'family' of countermeasures that included the M29D5, the M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP, the M41A3 "Gray Hound" GEV-HAP, and the various AP intensive OGRE models (the most infamous of which was the OGREAPER).
The M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP also proved to be a invaluable urban pacification tool in the intense street warfare and civil unrest that marked the closing phases of the Last War and served with much notoriety when the forces of occupation with the collapse of the Combine, especially in South America, Canada, and even in a limited invasion of Cuba. The GEV-HAP was also popular with mercenary units and was used in the many brush fire wars that marked the spiraling down of the Last War and with the feudal warlords that started to appear in the war ravaged previous 3rd world countries. During the large scale social rebellion following the Factory States era, the GEV-AP was a key player among the 'weakened' national armies who lacked larger, heavier vehicles and whose 'armies' were mostly conscripts and aging veterans pressed back into service on a ad-hoc basis. Cheaper than a GEV-HAP, but more 'durable' than a LGEV-AP, the GEV-AP became the premier urban assault vehicle in the Post Factory States Era (PFSE).
Game Specs: Combine M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP (Specialized Anti-Personnel GEV) 2x (1/1*), D2, M 4/3
*Against infantry or D0 targets only. No effect otherwise.
The GEV-AP operates identically to a normal GEV except that it has no anti-vehicular armament. Instead, it mounts two AP style batteries for use against soft targets. These AP batteries operate in all respects like the AP batteries of an OGRE or SHTank.
The GEV-AP may make one attack at two different targets or two attacks on the same target each turn or any combination desired totaling two single attacks.
The GEV-AP costs 1/2 point to purchase.
Due to its design and mission operation, no infantry of any kind may 'ride' on a GEV-AP.
Combine M29D5 "Piranha" LGEV-AP- Another interesting modification of the light ground effect vehicle, the LGEV-AP, originally a rear echelon model of ground effect vehicle, was pushed into front line service to meet the increasing use of both regular infantry and mobile infantry by the Pans. The Combine's M29D5 "Piranha" LGEV-AP was again a design born out of necessity. Serving with military police and military border patrol agencies in wilderness areas, both within the Combine and in Neurope, the LGEV-AP was a 'degunned' LGEV with the heavy anti-vehicular armament removed and a smaller variety of anti-personnel weapons and systems installed. The original FiConSys was kept but augmented by a Harris Type 30R coprocessor array. Armament consisted of mostly 4cm AGLs and caseless very rapid fire cone bore repeaters in the 6mm to 15mm bore range. A pair of REDT turrets were mounted to the chassis, one mounted fore and one aft between the driving fans and the main control surfaces. This setup allowed a LGEV-AP to bring its weapons to bear on the attack and on the dodge. A good LGEV-AP pilot could also 'slew' their craft around in order to slide on the cushion of air and bring the rear battery to bear as they were setting up for another run.
Cheap, fast, reliable, and easy to work on, the M29D5 performed well in the infantry intensive conflicts that marked typical Paneuropean and Combine engagements. Where the Pans threw massed infantry assaults at the Combine, the Combine, lacking the equal numbers, was forced to make up the difference in various ways. The M29D5 LGEV-AP was part of a 'family' of countermeasures that included the M29D5, the M32A2 "Dingo" GEV-AP, the M41A3 "Gray Hound" GEV-HAP, and the various AP intensive OGRE models (the most infamous of which was the OGREAPER).
Advances in anti-personnel weapons, hardware, and sophisticated electronics were rapidly incorporated into the LGEV-AP design which continued to evolve. "Hunt Packs" of LGEV-APs would prowl the battlefields during and after looking for enemy deserters and stragglers or would roam wide and deep into rear enemy echelons in order to create havoc at lightly defended depots and bases. A raid by LGEV-APs on poorly defended areas became the nightmare of low priority Pan troops. The LGEV-AP proved to be a valuable tool also in urban warfare and served with some notoriety when the forces of occupation with the collapse of the Combine. Mercenary units also put the LGEV-AP to use in the many brush fire wars that marked the spiraling down of the Last War, when the feudal warlords started to appear in the war ravaged previous 3rd world countries. The LGEV-AP saw much action as a 'pacification tool' against lightly armed insurgents or unarmed civilian population bases. It was a brutal enforcement tool for those who yielded it with impunity. The M29D5 "Piranha" LGEV-AP became a symbol of fear among repressed people and those who were forced to bow under military dictatorship. Used in terror raids on civilian population centers, against massed infantry assaults on bases, and later in the pacification of both Neurope and Neomerica during the collapse of the Paneuropean and Combine powers, the LGEV-AP proved to be a brutal weapon and one that became feared among both civilian and military personnel when operated in formerly non-combat metropolitan areas.
Game Specs: Combine M29D5 "Piranha" LGEV-AP (Specialized Anti-Personnel LGEV) (1/1*), D1, M 4/3
*Against infantry or D0 targets only. No effect otherwise.
The LGEV-AP operates identically to a normal LGEV except that it has no anti-vehicular armament. Instead, it mounts an AP style battery for use against soft targets (infantry or D0). This AP battery operates in all respects like the AP batteries of an OGRE or SHTank.
The LGEV-AP costs 1/3 point to purchase.
Due to its design and mission operation, no infantry of any kind may 'ride' on a LGEV-AP.
Combine LGEV-PC- An interesting unit, the LGEV-PC was first introduced by necessity and necessity is the mother of all invention, as the saying goes. During Operation 7 Seize, the 45th Special Forces (mobile infantry) company was down logistics wise on their GEV-PC carriers. The speed and support required by the 45th SFMI was simply not capable of being supplied by using regular cargo trucks or hover trucks. The 21st Fast Armor Scout Group, itself on the mend from long running battles, volunteered to aid the 45th SF Co in getting to their target area, which would be in support of a push against a rapidly deteriorating Paneuropean front. But the quandary was how could 12 LGEVs carry 12 squads of mobile infantry into battle? The answer was provided by the highly inventive mechs and techs of Firebase Delta Nine Charlie. In one short day, the otherwise smooth lines of the fighter-like LGEVs of the 21st FAS Group were horribly ruined by adding on makeshift handles, grab bars, non-armored charge ports for drones and battledress, and increasing the lift output slightly to handle the load of nearly two extra tons of weight. Despite a very crude beginning, the 21st FAS Group managed not only to carry the 45th SFMI Co into their designated area of operations, but also to support them during the operation. The lighter GEVs proved more than adequate in screening and flanking the heavier enemy light armor and uncoordinated retreating Pan MI forces. A fact noted not only by the commanders of the 45th SFMI and the 21st FAS group, but also by those who were monitoring the action. Word quickly spread of a new light GEV-PC that the Combine had produced and fielded. Combine and Paneuropean officers were quite interested in the design and headquarters on both sides were at first confused about the requests for more information since no 'official' unit existed in the Theater of Ops or the Table of Organization that either side could determine.
The first crude LGEV had been constructed out of bare necessity, but problems in the design were soon apparent. The extra weight and load was not anticipated in the original design of the LGEV and as such, in a short time (hours, sometimes days), several of the LGEV-PCs were in the depot getting repaired for blower overload, power feedback (from the unshielded access ports), and a host of other mechanical and electrical woes which grounded the lighter combat hovercraft. However, when the reports of the success of such a crude design reached Combine stateside, the obvious need for a small, light GEV based personnel carrier that could carry a single squad of MI troops rapidly into battle and support them was obvious and templates were quickly drawn up.
The completely redesigned M23-D4 "Coyote" LGEV-PC was an instant success with both field armor commanders and armored battledress equipped personnel. The ease of embarking and disembarking the M23-D4 was ideal for a typical 5 soldier squad. Slight modifications to the hull and lift skirt of the LGEV allowed the five soldiers to be carried around the edge of the main hull, in special 'coffins' which were component armored. Two 'coffin' racks faced port, two faced to starboard, and one faced to the rear. Each rack held special power couplings to keep the suit power cells and internal batteries topped off. A central rack held storage space for the squad's drones and any heavy / tactical weapons. The LGEV-PC retained its full 'regular' armament which allowed it to function normally while not being a 'battlefield taxi'. The Coyote served in the Combine Table of Organization for decades, and even after the Last War, served heavily during the pacification of both Neurope and Neomerica during the collapse of both the Paneuropean and Combine powers.
Game Specs: Combine M23-D4 "Coyote" LGEV-PC- (modified light ground effect vehicle personnel carrier)
The M23-D4 functions exactly like a LGEV except that it can also carry a single squad of MI subject to normal 'infantry riding tanks' rules.
The weapon systems of the LGEV have been reduced to handle the extra weight of the carried squad, the power requirements of the battlesuits and drones recharging and to offset the mass difference in the load handling of the lift performance. As such, each LGEV has an attack strength of 1/1.
The M23-D4 costs 1/2 armor point to purchase.
Any attack against the LGEV-PC also affects equally any MI carried aboard. If a LGEV-PC comes under an attack on the CRT, the MI riding on the LGEV-PC also are attacked using that same strength. MI defend at their normal defense strength anytime that they are riding on the LGEV-PC. It is possible that a LGEV-PC may survive an attack while losing its carried squad in the same attack.
A LGEV-PC may carry one, and only one squad of MI. It may not carry regular (non-MI) infantry (there is no 'place' for them to hold on to. The MI suits 'plug in' and are secured via special couplings to the LGEV-PC). In an emergency, the LGEV-PC *can* carry regular infantry, but it may not exceed a speed of 2 per turn and it loses its second movement phase entirely. Any faster than 2 per turn or if the LGEV-PC engages in its second movement phase, the regular (non-MI) infantry aboard are 'thrown off' and considered KIA. Remove them from the available units immediately and award victory points to the other player. Regular infantry (non-MI) riding a LGEV-PC which comes under attack are automatically eliminated regardless of the outcome of the attack on the LGEV-PC.
Any carried MI infantry may freely attack using their own weapons, the LGEV-PC is a 'stable' platform (at least compared to what they are used to). In an overrun situation, any embarked MI may attack and defend normally.
If the LGEV-PC is disabled, the MI may disembark and continue operations subject to normal rules.
ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER-WHEELED- (APC-W)- The Combine M45A3 "Breland" APC-W was an older model designed for use in heavy urban environments. Named after Colonel Ronald L. Breland, the APC-W was designed to transport and support a single non-battlesuit equipped infantry squad or up to 8 other personnel. The onboard computer was of standard design with a redundant array. The traditional 'cavity' style crew compartment was a carryover due to the design of the independent computer controlled active suspension and the compact heavy duty drive motor for each of the 8 armored wheels. The wheels were wrapped in a heavy duty polymer gripping surface that provided excellent traction on smooth surfaces and more than adequate performance off-road or in areas of light debris.
The two crew consisted of a driver/commander and weapons officer / communications officer. The integrated electronics allowed each crew to multi process their positions and to even share or swap tasks as required. The rear troop compartment carried six individuals and was equipped with its own life support system and component armor system. The individual drive motors are powered by a redundant array of fuel / power cells juiced in turn by a compact nuclear plant. The same plant as used by the Combine heavy tank and a lighter weight allows for faster speeds and ease of maintenance as well as parts interchangeability.
Weaponry for the APC-T was limited to a remote electric drive upper turret mounting a single 25mm cone bore repeater and a box launcher for TAC missiles of which 12 are carried onboard, four of which occupy the launcher at any one time. The turret design was shared with the M49 APC-T for purposes of interchangeability. A variety of turret designs were also employed during the war, allowing the modular design and the integration of the onboard software to 'create' new models with a simple turret reconfiguration.
Unloading and loading of infantry is very fast using a side door and a rear loading hatch. The interior passenger compartment is protected by a double belt of component armor, heavily padded for rough terrain, and has more than adequate storage space to allow a single squad to use the APC-W as a command post and to operate from it for long periods of time. The interior has harness attachment points for each soldier and each soldier has access to supplies and storage racks for gear, sidearm, etc. A rear hatch also holds the charging points and hook up for two squad dedicated TAC drones.
The APC-W operates as a light tank in all respects for movement, etc. It may carry one non-MI infantry squad which is subject to normal embarkation / debarkation rules. While the infantry squad is being carried, it has the movement / defense of the APCW and none individually. The infantry squad may attack only in an overrun situation while it is riding inside the APCW. If the APCW is destroyed, the infantry squad inside is destroyed as well.
In 2070, the Combine introduced a heavier, larger version of the APCW for use with mobile infantry. The unit was termed the MAPC-W or Mobile Armored Personnel Carrier - Wheeled and carried the designation of M48A3 "Harris" MAPC-W, named after Combine Special Forces Major Jillian H. Harris . One squad of mobile infantry can be carried by the MAPCW. The MAPC-W included individual hook up points for the battlesuits which drew from individual power feeds and dedicated power cells which recharged from the onboard powerplant. A storage rack on the top of the MAPC-W was used to moor and secure the squad's TAC drones or the drones could be integrated into the operation of the MAPCW and its drones. Recharge ports for the squad drones were also standard.
Game Specs: Combine M45A3 "Breland" APC-W / M48A3 "Harris" MAPC-W M3, 2/1, D2
The M48 / M49 has a wheeled movement rate where that is applicable.
The M48 / M49 series has a movement rate of 3, def of 2, and attack of 2/2.
The M48 / M49 has the same movement capacity and restrictions on terrain as a light tank.
The M48 / M49 series costs 1/2 armor point to purchase.
For ramming purposes, a M48 / M49 series is treated as a light tank for ramming purposes.
The MAPC-W may not carry regular infantry and vice versa due to the design.
While an infantry squad or mobile infantry is riding *inside* the APC-W or MAPC-W, the squad may attack normally in an OVERRUN situation only. The squad's attack strength (and any special rules) are added to the attack strength of the APC-W or MAPC-W.
Infantry squads or MI squads riding inside APC-W and MAPC-W units may embark or disembark per the infantry riding tanks rule.
If the APC-W or MAPC-W is disabled, the MI may disembark and continue operations subject to normal rules.
ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER-TRACKED- (APC-T)- The M49A9 "Montana" APC-T and the M50A4 "Wyoming" MAPC-T series of tracked armored personnel carriers was a new design at the beginning of the Last War. It was a modular design incorporating many features that were considered cutting edge at the time and in line with current perceived tactics. The APC-T and MAPC-T series however, was designed to transport and support both non-battlesuit equipped and battlesuit equipped infantry. The onboard computer was of a more advanced yet compact design, and the modular crew compartment was both more comfortable and lower in profile than the previous model of Combine APC-T. The streamlining of the design allowed a squad of soldiers to 'ride' for longer periods of time. The two crew consist of a driver/commander and weapons officer / communications officer. The integrated electronics allow each crew to multi-process their positions and to even share or swap tasks as required.
Two independent sets of tracks are powered by a compact nuclear plant. The same plant as used by the Combine heavy tank and a lighter weight allows for faster speeds and ease of maintenance as well as parts interchangeability. Weaponry for the APC-T is limited to a upper turret mounting a single 25mm cone bore repeater and a box launcher for TAC missiles of which 12 are carried onboard, four of which occupy the launcher at any one time. A standard DAPS is also included in the design.
Unloading and loading of infantry is very fast. Each soldier has their own armored hatch with which to use to scramble out. Each individual soldier is protected by a component armor shell, extensive padding, harness attachment points, access to supplies and storage racks for gear, sidearm, etc. A rear hatch also holds the charging points and hook up for two squad dedicated TAC drones.
The APC-T operates as a light tank in all respects for movement, etc. It may carry one regular non-MI infantry squad which is subject to normal embarkation / debarkation rules per the 'infantry riding tanks' rule. While the infantry squad is being carried it has the defense of the APC-T and none individually. The infantry squad may not attack while it is riding inside the APC-T unless the APC-T enters into or defends against an overrun situation. If the APC-T is destroyed, the infantry squad is destroyed as well.
In 2074, the Combine introduced a heavier, larger version of the APC-T for use with mobile infantry. The unit was termed the MAPC-T or Mobile Armored Personnel Carrier Tracked and carried the designation of M50A4 "Wyoming" MAPC-T . One squad of mobile infantry can be carried by the MAPC-T. The MAPC-T included individual hook up points for the battlesuits which drew from individual power feeds and dedicated power cells which recharged from the onboard powerplant. A storage rack on the top of the MAPC-T was used to moor and secure the squad's TAC drones or the drones could be integrated into the operation of the MAPC-T and its drones. Recharge ports for the squad drones were also standard.
Game Specs: Combine M49A9 "Montana" APC-T / M50A4 "Wyoming" MAPC-T M3, 2/1, D2
The M49 / M50 has a tracked movement rate where that is applicable for rules.
The M49 / M50 series has a movement rate of 3, def of 2, and attack of 2/1.
The M49 / M50 series also mounts one PDS point defense system and one DAPS system (see optional rules)..
The M49 / M50 has the same movement capacity and restrictions on terrain as a light tank.
The M49 / M50 series costs 1/2 armor point to purchase.
For ramming purposes, a M49 / M50 series is treated as a light tank.
While a infantry squad or mobile infantry is riding *inside* the APC-T or MAPC-T, the squad may attack normally in an OVERRUN situation only. The squad's attack strength (and any special rules) are added to the attack strength of the APC-T or MAPC-T.
Infantry squads or MI squads riding inside APC-T and MAPC-T units may embark or disembark per the infantry riding tanks rule.
If the APC-T or MAPC-T is disabled, the MI may disembark and continue operations subject to normal rules.
ARMORED HEAVY COMBAT CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE and ARMORED LIGHT COMBAT CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE- (see picture at top of page)- The AHCCV and the ALCCV were typical of front line combat construction units used by all sides during the Last War. The rapid construction of earthen berms and fixed emplacements was critical to any army, even more so during the Last War and on the 21CB. The felling of trees,clearing of land, removal of wreckage, dozing of debris, and other assorted combat engineering and construction tasks were handled by a wide variety of armored combat construction vehicles (ACCV). Each side employed various types and models, all had full protection for the crew from NBC and small arms fire. Some were armed with a basic DAPS Dedicated Anti-Personnel System but the vast majority were not (the only weapons onboard being the light sidearms of the operators). Slow, heavy, but fully capable of getting the largest jobs done, the various models of ACCV were an invaluable addition to any firebase or depot, and could be found anywhere other logistical support vehicles were operating.
The AHCCV is a unit which costs one armor point (1/2 point for the ALCCV). The AHCCV has a move of 3 and a defense of 2, while the ALCCV has a move of 3 and a defense of 1. Either has an attack strength of 1 with a range of 0 in overrun situations only and is otherwise treated in all respects as being tracked for movement, etc. Infantry may ride a ACCV in a similar manner as a heavy tank, following all rules for a infantry riding tanks. Infantry riding on a ACCV are assumed to be riding 'outside' for all purposes.
ACCVs can also cut roads, bridges, and rails. If a ACCV spends one turn in either a road, highway, bridge, or rail hex, then the ACCV owning player may declare that the road, highway, bridge, or rail has been cut in that hex, and that all movement bonuses, etc. are lost for units passing through that hex. Heavy river bridges require two turns to cut. This requires some form of bookkeeping but can be used to good advantage. Cut rail hexes can be disastrous to the speeding train...
ACCVs can also clear heavy woods and turn the rubble to clear. It takes 4 turns for a ACCV to do either.
The ACCV may reduce a town, city, or bridge hex to rubble. For this purpose ONLY, the AHCCV is assumed to have an 'attack factor' of 3 per turn representing its ability to bull doze down artificial structures, light buildings, etc.
The ALCCV generates 2 construction points per turn, a AHCCV generates 4 construction points per turn for purposes of building defensive positions.
The ALCCV mounts one standard AP battery (1/1 against infantry or D0 units only).
For ramming purposes, the AHCCV is treated as a Super Heavy Tank and the ALCCV as a heavy tank for loss of OGRE treads.
ACCVs operating in a hex may be protected by their own defensive positions (subject to stacking rules).