A Mech is a catch all, abbreviated term for Mechanised Vehicle, or a vehicle which primary form of movement uses a form of artificial limb, specifically legs. Mechs are used across human space and are prised for their ability to move well over rough terrain and adjusts their position and even self right themselves. They see widespread use across human space due to their adaptability and the abundance of natural resources in space. Military Mechs were a key defining weapon during the Charon War, as the rapid change of terrain and planets saw the vehicles to be reinvented multiple times and saw Mechs come to the forefront as a military weapon.
- Civilian Mech's have been a common site for hundreds of years from the earliest days of space travel. Most were construction vehicles and on occasion exploration or transport vehicles used for rough terrain or on especially muddy or high gravity planets.
- Civilian mechs were in fact the original mechanised vehicles, with most mech technology up until the Charon war descending from the original designs. While their was never a standardised design very few Civilian mechs ever had what could be considered humanoid arms, and instead like Mechanised tanks or scouts had movable actuators to alter the position of necessary tools built into them.
- During the Charon war man resistance groups or hard up military groups adapted civilian mechs for combat as troop transports, and for more rugged or advanced designs military combat. These new mechs were largely meant to supplement a lack of armoured vehicles, however some redesigns were worked into the existing armies, the most famous being the Goliath Landship After the Charon war newer Mech technology were worked back into the civilian spheres and helped with reconstruction efforts.
Mech technology in the military is widespread and over the centuries has undergone numerous revisions to the exact doctrine and deployment of mech technology as newer and more unfamiliar worlds are uncovered by mankind.
- Mechanised Walkers (MW)
- The first ever 'Mechs' to be developed, the Mechanised walker variants were constructed in the 2200's during the Dark Century. Generally standing overfour stories tall these mechs were typically two to three seaters and were operated as heavy infantry support and urban combat vehicles. Typically they were based around a pod like cockpit on two chicken like legs, with heavy weapons mounted inside the body. As a result many of these Mechs were quite ugly and slow and were not built for speed. They were more of a show piece to demonstrate the power of the Mega corporation's mercenary armies and were mainly built for intimidation rather than combat.
- Originally slated to be able to travel over rough terrain and go where tanks could not reach these early designs saw massive flaws in their self balance capability, however due to the fact that they could reach where most heavy vehicles could not reach they were still deployed.
- They saw moderate action during the Return Wars and were almost exclusively fielded by Mega Corporations. However colony forces were known to capture, customise and retrofit them: these colonial pilots eventually went onto establish the next generation of Mechs.
- Mechanised Scouts
- Mechanised Scouts were a redesigned of the traditionally huge Mechanised Walkers of the Dark Century, and were widely deployed as a scout and light infantry support vehicles during the next few centuries. Using scaled down technology they became a very small and agile craft, typically piloted by one man, and could move rapidly over rough terrain. Added with the addition of jump jets that used super heated air the light mechs were incredibly useful for scouting on hash and rugged alien worlds.
- However as the post Return War's political relations deteriorated the Scout mechs began to see heavier and heavier action, and due to this grew to be larger and more heavily armed and armoured. As such a need for a heavier vehicle that could be deployed on rough terrain was ordered: the Mechanised Tanks.
- By the time of the Charon War Mechanised scouts had largely evolved into the Mechanised Tank design, even though some very light variations of still adopted Mechanised scout technology.
- Mechanised Tanks (MT)
- Mechanised Tanks were the corner stone of most Mech technology prior to the Charon war. The natural evolution of mechs, these vehicles were designed to operate as the vanguard of heavy assults, support tanks across varied terrain, traverse urban areas and even act as an intimidation tactic.
- While initially considered impractical, construction methods for mechs at the turn of the 24th century saw the Mechanised tanks become a realised design and while smaller than their mechanised walker ancestors they were heavily armed and armoured, but sacrificed the speed of a mechanised scout.
- Relying on multiple and alterable inbuilt and on-board weapon systems, these mech variants became recognisable as actual military vehicles during the formation of most modern human interstellar nations. However their pension for speed over firepower led to the development of the Mechanised turret design.
- Mechanised Turret (MTr)
- Due to the heavy armoured combat that took place during the formation years of many of the inner colony nations, many factions placed armour over firepower to protect their pilots and to increase their survivability in combat. As a result specialised weapons were developed o 'punch though' the armour of these new mechs.
- Essentially mech hunters, Mechanised Turrets favour firepower over all other forms of combat, often appearing as a giant canon placed on top of mechanical leg. The size and design of their weapons give them unparalleled firepower, however their steep recoil and low speed often leads to them having to be standing still, on entrenched to open fire with any degree of accuracy. At the most extreme degrees they act more as specialised artillery pieces of heavy armour snipers than actual mechs.
- Prior to the Charon war due to the success of many of these types of mechs in smaller military engagements the Democratic Federation based many of its mech designs off of Mechanised turrets, believing in high firepower and a strong firing line would take down any opponent. However when the war ignited the Mechanised turrets proved ineffective against the sheer numbers of the Mechanised Armours, and despite being able to take down an Armour in a single shot they were easily outflanked by the I.U designs.
- While Mechanised turrets continued to see action until the end of the war, they were reallocated to largely their specialised position of snipers and earned a reputation for being obsolete.
- Mechanised Armour (MA)
- A major innovation of Mechanised Vehicle technology, the Mechanised Armour unlike previous generations, which were hunched back and relied on inbuilt weapon systems, was humanoid in appearance and used interchangeable and external weapon systems. In a sense it was a gigantic humanoid robot which could perform all the tasks of a regular infantry soldier but on a vehicular scale.
- These suits were developed by the Imperial Union in preparation for conflict with the Democratic Federation and prioritised ease of manufacture, low heat build up, good armour and rapid movement. Earlier mech designs were limited by the heat that their weapon systems could build up often leading to them overheating after firing heavier weapons or stressing their vehicle at high speed. By making most if not all weapon systems external the I.U engineers solved many of the heat issues as allowing weapons to have their own micro generators and be air cooled, while also preventing heat build up within the suits. While this often led to a reduction of overall firepower, it also cut down on costs by cutting out costly weapon mountings, as well as adding a degree of tactical flexibility by allowing pilots to reload their own weapons or change them to suit the combat scenario via supply drops.
- Due to their sheer numbers, speed and armour these units completely negated the advantages of Mechanised turrets as they could take a single hit from most sniper units and by then had already gotten around their opponents. True they lacked the excessive firepower of earlier mech models but their ability to carry weapons into battle made them more flexible and also encouraged designers to strengthen existing weapon systems without heat issues limiting them to what they could design. In fact the Armours were so successful during and following the war they went onto be the dominate mech type, replacing mechanised tanks, who were relegated to a heavy armour role.
- Mechanised Fortress (MF)
- A unique and incredibly unusual mech type developed by the Democratic Federation prior to the war. A mechanised fortress is a mech that uses a atypical movement form of movement that does not involve the conventional bipedal leg system, but still retains the use of arms, and frequently possess a more vehicle orientated appearance. Probably the most famous mech to fall into this category is the Goliath Landship which was a huge tracked vehicle (although did possess a four legged design), which still possessed an opposable cockpit and arms to mount weapons and remove debride in their way.
- Super Mechs
- A super mech is a general classification not used as in universe terminology, no character actively refers to a mech as 'super' in any officaly capacity. The term is applied to any mech that is beyond the capabilities of a regular production mech. They can be of any type or classification, size shape or weight but have to have the capability of being extremely capable units.
- But do not mistake a high performance to equal a super mech, as a good pilot can turn the most basic of mech into a death machine with just skill, timing and luck. Super mechs are usually experimental or expensive and rare mechs that perform well beyond what mechs of their generations are capable of, a goo example of this would by the Shogun or (place holder), which are very powerful mechs.