In mid 114PA Wa-Daisho began to realize the inadequacies of the armored vehicles they had selected for Wa-Daisho's armored units. An attempt to remedy the problem by purchasing heavier, tracked vehicles did not alleviate the situation either - but only complicated matters for all involved. It was realized then that a medium to heavy armored vehicle with hover capabilities, and at least twice the armor strength of the Battlewagon would be needed for Wa-Daisho's armored units to function at peak capacity. Although desperate to relieve these matters - it was let alone ... for the time being.
In September of 116PA, the Coalition States forced New Kenkora to submit to their decree or face annihilation. This presented a new problem, it showed that the CS war machine was on the move, and was beginning it's war of expansion. This meant potential danger, for one of the Alliance's key members - Lazlo. Thus, the question was again brought up; how would Wa-Daisho be able to help them, if the military was incapable of being of any assistance. The resolution was simple, an upgrade had to be made in all branches of Wa-Daisho's military, not the least of which being the Armored Units. The proposal for a new hover vehicle was again made - but this time, it was different. Almost as soon as New Kenkora was taken by the CS States, S-Mart presented to the world the new S-Mart Stonewall. It was a heavy hover tank, as fast as the Zipper, more heavily armed and armored than the Linebacker. It was perfect for Wa-Daisho's requisites - except for the troop transport capabilities, but that could be worked with. An order for 60 Stonewalls went into S-Mart on behalf of Wa-Daisho, only to be rejected. S-Mart flatly refused to sell the Stonewall to Wa-Daisho, by decree of King Ripley they were not permitted to sell the Stonewall outside of the A.N.F. and the NOMAD Armored Units. This infuriated the Republican Council, but they had to respect this. Desert Star had been the manufacturing power behind Wa-Daisho's military for a very long time - this was only the second time they'd refused to sell something to Wa-Daisho.
With the refusal to sell, the Council began to consider other sources. The Supreme Commander of the armed forces, and the Counciler of Trade actually suggested the Naruni Heavy Hover Tank as an option before being argued down by the remainder of the Council. Finally, an option was presented by Councilman of Industry, Jesse Schmitt - "Why don't we look off world, and knock something off?" He already had a vehicle in mind, having been suggested to him by Ambassador Arlianna Seesponika of Lazlo, it was the UWW's Great Axe IFV.
This presented problems of it's own however - but ones that could be worked around. Wa-Daisho, although high tech, did not have the expertise needed to maintain a large group of anti-gravity powered vehicles. Interdimensional trade is also slow so it would oftentimes be unwieldy to acquire spares to the alien technology this sort of propulsion system would require. Thus a complete redesign of the propulsion system was brought about, by using S-Mart Eagle Air Superiority Fighter, electromagnetic turbines with vectored thrust ducting. The propulsion system typically used in a Mach 4+ Air Superiority fighter was far more powerful (Though a bit more bulky.) than the original anti-gravity system in the Great Axes, thus more armor was able to be added. A radical redesign of the armaments was necessary as well. Bottled Demon missiles, and cannon shells for smooth-bore 100 mm cannons were not readily available on Earth. The 200 mm Cannon typically installed on a Harvey, has been maintained in Wa-Daisho ever since the Harveys entered Wa-Daisho service back in 114PA as the Gauntlet, so the new vehicle was equipped with a license production version of this weapon. A new version of the Type 13 RFFC Rapid Fire Field Cannon, the Type 13/15 RFFC, was coaxially mounted next to the 200 mm Cannon. The Plasma cannon in the hull was replaced by a pair of Type 7 VSPLR Variable Spectrum Pulse Laser Rifles mounted side by side in a swivel mount, and finally a pair of medium range missile or torpedo pylons was added under the belly, in a pair of depressions. In addition to all of these changes an assortment of other systems Wa-Daisho tankers were used to working with in operations, were added.
By June of 117PA, the first of the new armored vehicles were rolling off of the line - their name, Masakari.
By July of 117PA the Masakari was already serving in the Black Armored Company, transporting elements of the Tamya Infantry Division, in test maneuvers. In November of 117PA it fully replaced the Harvey and Atlas in service with the Red Armored Company. The last Red Devil Army unit to receive the Masakari was the Green Armored Company who finally handed in their Battlewagons in exchange for the faster and heavier machine. By May of 118PA, the Tenzan Elite Armored Corps will be using the Masakari as well - provided that no Masakari are destroyed prior to this date. Once refitting and training on the new type is complete, the factory will produce another 30 examples of the Masakari and will retain these as spares. Full war production sees 15 examples of this vehicle constructed a month.
Class: Vectored Thrust Heavy Hover Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Type: Type 17.
Crew: 3, a driver, a gunner, and either a tank commander, or additional gunner. Can carry up to 8 men in the aft portion of the vehicle when serving as a troop transport.
M.D.C. by Location:
Turret - 250.
200 mm Cannon - 150.
*Coaxial Type 13/15 RFFC - 75.
*Swivel Mounted Pulse Lasers - 20.
Side Mini-Missile Launchers (2) - 50 each.
Reinforced Pilots Compartment - 150.
**Main Body - 550.
* These are small and difficult targets to strike, thus they may be struck with a penalty of -3.
** Depleting the MDC of the main body means that the Masakari's hull is in tatters, and subsequent shells/rounds have a 01-20% chance of striking the ammunition magazine detonating all remaining rounds. 21-75% will strike the
Reinforced Pilots Compartment, and 76-00% simply punches holes in the already "shattered" hull.
Maximum Speed: 230 mph.
Maximum Underwater Speed: 60 mph.
Maximum Depth Tolerance: 1 mile.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. These turbines were originally intended to be used for a high powered Mach 4+ Air Superiority Fighter, thus use in a slow speed, hover vehicle means that very little effort is taken from the turbines. Yet, like all vehicles, the Masakari does need to be maintained from time to time, thus it is safe practice to run a check on the turbines for debris or damage at least once every 48 hours.
Maximum Altitude: Typically hovers 3'-4' off of the ground, but can increase power and hover as high as 30' off of the ground.
Weight: 37 tons.
Cargo: Can carry up to 8 soldiers, fully equipped, plus the equipment of the three man crew. Alternately a load of up to 2 tons can be stowed internally or on the exterior of the hull.
Power System: Nuclear; Average Energy Life of 20 years.
Market Cost: Not Available!
1. 200 mm Cannon: This is the primary weapon of the Masakari, but was made notorious in it's service on S-Mart Harvey MBTs. It's heavy hitting ability makes it a deadly weapon to face on the battlefield - even if you are in another tank! This weapon has an exceptional range that can destroy most vehicles, and armor before it ever gets within range of using their own weapons! It is mounted on a stabilized mount, designed to maintain it's aim at it's intended target. Regardless of it's maneuvers, the turret, and gun will maneuver to maintain it's position on the enemy. The turret can rotate a full 360 degrees, and the gun can raise up to sixty degrees. Two different types of cannon shells are produced in Wa-Daisho, High Explosive, High Explosive Anti Tank, as such normally a Masakari is outfitted with a 50/50 mix.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor/Anti-Warship.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Fortification.
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. (H.E.) or 3D6x10 M.D. (H.E.A.T.).
Blast radius: 30' for the H.E., and 12' for the H.E.A.T..
Rate of Fire: The Auto-Loader allows 5 shots per melee.
Maximum Effective Range: 18,000'.
Payload: 60 rounds; 30 of each.
Weapon Bonus: +2 to strike targets due to weapon stabilization.
2. Coaxial Type 13/15 Rapid Fire Field Cannon: This is the Masakari's secondary weapon, mounted slightly to the left of the main cannon. It uses the same stabilization system as the larger main weapon, and is used to destroy smaller vehicles and armor, when use of the main gun doesn't seem appropriate - or when the main gun is out of commission, out of ammo, etc. It's only draw back, is the much shorter range than the main weapon. Note that BOTH cannons can fire simultaneously at a target if it is within range of both weapons.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D. per dual shell burst.
Blast Radius: A combined 6' blast radius.
Rate of Fire: Dual shell bursts only.
Maximum Effective Range: 5,000'.
Payload: 100 shells or 50 dual shell bursts.
Weapon Bonus: +2 to strike targets due to weapon stabilization.
3. Swivel Mount Type 7 Variable Spectrum Pulse Lasers: On the front of the hull of the Masakari is a small ball mounting, with two gun barrels protruding, that is operated by the driver. This Swivel mount can rotate 120 degrees in all directions. It is provided as a means of defending the tank against any ground personnel who may try to slip under the tank to plant a charge.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: 1D6x10+12 M.D. for both pulse lasers firing three round bursts, on the standard setting. Switching to the Blue Green setting means that range is unimpeded in water, and inflicts 1D6x10 M.D. for both pulse lasers firing three round bursts.
Rate of Fire: Bursts only - Equal to the driver's Hand to Hand attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: 1,600'.
Payload: Effectively unlimited, thanks to the nuclear power supply.
4. Side Mounted Mini-Missile Launchers (2 Side Mounted): These missile launchers are exact duplicates of those used on the original Great Axe tanks. They are operated by the gunner typically.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Fortification.
Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type. Typically uses Plasma or Armor Piercing.
Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, or 8.
Maximum Effective Range: 1 mile.
Payload: 32 total; 16 per launcher.
5. Medium Range Torpedo/Missile Pylons (2; under belly depressions.): These pylon positions were added to permit a certain amount of versatility in the design. Since the Masakari will likely spend a good portion of it's action, over water - it was thought that adding these torpedoes would assist them in their fights over water. The fact that it can carry Medium Range Missiles, was only an afterthought - so that the space would not be wasted in overland missions.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Warship.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Mega-Damage: Varies with torpedo and missile type. Typically uses High Explosive Torpedoes, and Plasma missiles.
Rate of Fire: One or both can fire at once.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile & torpedo type.
Payload: 2; 1 per pylon.
9. Additional Systems of Note: This vehicle incorporates all the usual environmental features found in robot vehicles including environmental protection, environmental control, air filtration, an independant 20 hour supply of air, heat and radiation shielding.
1. Telescopic Optics: These are exactly as they sound, telescopic optics that enhance the image of far away objects. At a range of 6,000' an object appears only 100' away, as an example. The range of this system is 6,000' effectively - but it can enhance the image of objects further away yet still, they just are not quite so well detailed.
2. Thermal Imaging Optics: This is very similar to Infrared Optics in the sense that it detects heat, but unlike the imprecise nature of infrared optics, this measures the heat signature precisely displaying them in colorful shades of reds, yellows, greens and blues with various degrees of heat. The thermal imaging optics are also far more sensitive than the infrared optics, actually allowing them to see heat through walls of structures at certain distances. The range of this system is 2,000', but it can only see heat through an obstacle such as a brick wall from 100'.
3. Military Radio & Scrambler: This is the same radio equipment, bolt for bolt, microchip for microchip, as the system found on the USA-G10 Glitterboy. The broadcast range is a modest 50 miles. By resetting the radio transmitter inside the vehicle to an elevated position, however, the same transmitter can achieve a fairly consistent 500 mile range using atmospheric bounce. Atmospheric anomalys can extend this range still further or can completely disable the radio system within a set radius, it just depends on the circumstances. The scrambler system allows the radio signals to be scrambled to all those not equipped with the correct scrambling codes.
4. I.F.F. Transponder System: This system transmits data such as alpha-numeric designation code, course, mission, base of operations, and unit, via radio signal, to other similarly equipped military stations, vehicles, and power armor suits that have been programmed with the correct access codes. This allows a friendly Wa-Daisho troop in a Type 18 Eagle, overflying an armored collumn, to quickly determine who these individuals are. This also allows field commanders to keep far better track of their military assets. A further feature of this system is that it functions well as a distress beacon. A note towards the safety of I.F.F. - is that the codes are very difficult to break. Since the Red Devils periodically changes their I.F.F. safety codes - attempts to crack the codes that have taken weeks of supercomputer analysis - are for naught.
5. Laser Communication System: This is a specialized laser and receiver that transmits and receives data to another laser communications device, whether power armor or otherwise mounted. It is exclusively a line of sight communications method. Range is approximately 6,000'.
6. Radar & Visual Rangefinders: This is a combination of a special form of radar and a complex targeting sight that aids gunners in ranged combat, providing a bonus of +2 to strike at all ranges exceeding 1,000'.
7. Military Radar & Tracking Computer: This is a powerful radar transmitter and receiver system set in a small radome on top of the turret, that can rotate three hundred and sixty degrees or focus on a solitary location, for a maximum range of 50 miles. Ground clutter is filtered by the advanced tracking computer linked to the radar system, allowing it to track even ground vehicles with little impediment. The only thing that will shorten the range of the radar is if the landscape itself somehow obscures targets within it's range. The tracking computer linked to this radar set can identify and track up to a 100 separate targets both in the air and on the ground.
8. Inertial Navigation Computer: This system assists the vehicle in navigation through the use of three ring laser gyros by indicating exactly how far, in what direction, at what altitude, and at what speed the vehicle has traveled - down to an accuracy of 1/1000 of a mile. If available, coupled with a map of the region loaded into this nav comp, this system becomes nearly fail safe - provided that the crew using the system can read a map. This provides crews with a Navigation skill a +20% to all skill rolls. Every few hundred thousand miles of travel this system requires recalibration, which is easily done by a push of a button inside of the vehicle. S-Mart has maps available of the entire surrounding region (250 mile radius) of each Desert Star, Wa-Daisho, Lazlo, the Coalition States, Northern Gun/Manistique Imperium, and the Colorado Baronies available at a cost of 200 credits per programming package.
9. Laser Detector: This system is composed of a handful of sensitive light sensors spread out over the surface of the vehicle, specifically calibrated to detect the light from a laser beam. It's purpose is to detect any and all laser targeting systems currently trained on the vehicle. This system may be set only to emit a high pitched bell sound or it may be set to automatically activate the Anti-Laser Aerosol System.
10. Military Radar Detector: This system detects radar waves as they pass over the vehicle, indicating to the crew that they have been picked up on radar. It is at least a fairly sensitive system though, that can tell the difference between a low power radar system like those found on most power armor that cannot see through ground clutter, and a true military grade radar that can. The only failing of this system is that if the vehicle is ever attacked by a microwave type weapon it will fry this sensor automatically.
11. Painting Laser: This specialized targeting device is used to aid laser guided munitions into their target. This can be handily used to aid air dropped laser guided munitions by guiding them into the target. In either case this provides the laser guided munitions with a +3 to strike.
12. Damage Control Computer: This is a specialized computer that records all damage inflicted to the vehicle, and reports it to the tank commander. This computer will also reroute electronics to alternate circuits in the event that a significant hit knocks out some piece of vital electronics.
13. Fire Control Computer: This is a system that accesses the tracking computer data, the range finders, and the targeting systems of the on board weaponry and compiles the data into a comprehensive fire control system for the gunner. This system, combining the elements of the previous systems described, provides a +3 bonus to strike with the weapons of the Masakari - essentially doing all of the grunt work for the gunner. The tank commander merely points, clicks, and then when given the go ahead, the gunner initiates the attack. Experienced tankers find this system troublesome, however, as oftentimes an experienced tanker can outshoot a fire control computer by manual control. Thus this system can be switched off in favour of the gunner's own skills with heavy weapons.
14. Chaff & Flare Dispensers: Mounted in the sides of the Masakari's turret are these dispensers that are designed to spoof radar, radar guided munitions and missiles, thermal imaging optics, nightvision optics, and infrared optics. As modern missile types are both optic & radar guided, these dispensers work in tandem to release a white hot flare and a shower of metallic bits simultaniously. The optics guideance is knocked out 90% of the time, but the radar guideance is only fooled 70% of the time. Payload for both types of dispensers is 40. Up to two chaff/flare bundles may be jettisoned at once.
15. Anti-Laser Aerosol Unit: This is a small vent that releases a blast of a grayish glittering cloud of highly reflective metal fragments at a high rate of speed, to protect the Masakari from laser targeting devices, as well as laser weapons! The cloud only lasts for about 1D4 melees, a single melee in high winds, or a single round of attacks if the Masakari is in motion. The aerosol cannister has a payload of 30 gas blasts.
10. Physical Attacks: Although not recommended, it CAN be used to ram or run over the enemy.
Ramming Vehicles & Buildings more than 2 tons: 2D6 M.D. per 10 mph.
Ramming Vehicles & Buildings less than 2 tons: 1D4+1 M.D. per 10 mph, and will typically run it over. Running something over does no additional damage - unless unarmored, then 2D4x10 S.D.C. is inflicted, from the force of the thrusters exhaust. IF someone opts to land on an enemy, however, it inflicts an additional 5D6 M.D. from it's weight alone!