Eager to steal some of that sweet sweet encounter suit money, DitKorp Klidergruppen engineered a cuirass based suit if light body armor, largely based on the composite coalition suit.
The Coalition Suit was the natural progression of the encounter suit, as the suit offered mainly incidental and impact protection, but was little use against energy and kinetic weaponry. The Coalition suit took a basic encounter suit and enhanced with with a breastplate, pauldrons, armored greaves and leggings, armored gauntlets and sabotons. This approach tends to be problematic, as such suits are usually pieced together, and inferior to articulated armor suits that blend an articulated armor shell with a protective encounter suit 'sleeve' inside. Encounter suits are also beneficial in that they are low profile, and even stylish, while even the most basic coalition suit is bulky and bulgy.
DitKorp Kleidergruppen is the leading clothing and textiles producer in the New Hanseatic League, and the group has be appalled by their inability to match or beat the AmeroZone manufacturers producing encounter suits. The group started it's own internal design team with the intention of matching and surpassing the production model encounter suits. They in some ways succeeded, but by far and large, they failed horribly.
The Cuirassier Suit
The Cuirassier is technically a 'heavy' encounter suit, made largely of reflexokinetic material. This material, when struck near instantaneously assumed a rigid form, spreading the impact across the entire garment. Thus, punches do no damage, non-powered melee weapons are nigh useless, and even conventional firearms can be stopped by the garment. The Cuirassier makes a major change by having an integral armor 'cuirass' wrapped around the torso of the wearer. Much thicker, and made of a different blend of reflexokinetic materials, these impregnated with ferroceramics and thermoplastics, the cuirass offers drastically more protection to the vital torso.
The Cuirassier Helmet is larger than the traditional 'motorcycle' style full face helmet used by Encounter suits. The DitKorp helmet has a reflexokinetic 'gorget' that protects the neck and locks into the top of the cuirass. The helmet itself is thicker, and has a more military style appearance. This is in strong contrast to the 'sentai' or motorcycle helmets more commonly used. The mobility of the head is hindered by the helmet, but the integrated HUD and SmartLink system included offsets this disadvantage. The lessened mobility also limits the number of neck injuries that can be sustained in the suit.
Rather than mounting large and robust pauldrons as power armor and conventional armor suits do, the DitKorp Cuirassier mounts smaller spaulders. While offering less protection than pauldrons, the smaller size and greater mobility offered by the shoulder pieces allows cuirassiers to better wield melee weapons, and to more naturally handle rifles and long arms. It is fairly easy to upgrade the spaulders to pauldrons, along with the according decrease in upper body mobility.
Vambraces and Greaves
Made from plates of armor woven into the lower arm and lower leg sections of the cuirassier armor, these protected the arms and legs of wearers. Encounter suits never included this sort of protection, so that wearers could rather easily lose limbs, or have their limbs broken as the suit offered no structural strength in situations.
The faulder is something akin to superhero underpants, and offers protection for the groin and hips. The original cuirassier suit had a skirt like fauld and tasset set up, but this was met with a strong negative reaction because the Amero encounter suits had recently added skirts for their pro-female series of encounter suits, and it was decided that the additional protection offered by the traditional faulds and tasset were not worth the stylistic compromise. The male specific faulder has an integral armor codpiece.
Style and Accessories
The DitKorp Cuirassier was designed with an eye to the Hanseatic League's Germanic and Norse origins, and reviews were mixed. The protection offered by the suit was very good, but it was bulkier than the encounter suit, and was not as versatile. One of the things that sold the Encounter suit was it's ability to be easily worn under almost anything. In contrast, the Cuirassier couldn't be. While the designers had the notion of their suit's wearers not having to wear anything else, they overlooked that many did this deliberately. The second issue was that secondary accessories were easily acquired for encounter suits, and while the cuirassier could likewise be modified, it was much more difficult to mod it into a coalition suit, or the hone it to specific purpose, such as the suits that mech jocks, extreme athletes, and martial artists favored.
To counter the weak interest in the Cuirassier suit, DitKorp started the style angle hard, throwing more impressive helmets, adding capes, armored girdle like belts, and big beefy pauldrons. The variety of colors offered strongly veered away from the general primary colors favored by encounter suits. Where those suits favored red, blue, green, yellow, pink, green, white, and black, the cuirassier was brought out in military colors like olive drab, sandstone, sea green, and military camo colors and patterns. A popular trend did emerge in people buying cuirassier suits in black, purple, dark red, dark green, and other similar colors.
The Super Villain Special
The Cuirassier suit did indeed find a niche market, second and third world strongmen, junta members, and underground bosses. This caused ripples through DitKorp because they created a perfect rival to the Encounter suit. The men and rare women who invested in cuirassier suits were frequently fighting people wearing regular encounter suits.
The DitKorp Klidergruppen PR department was tasked with how to handle the issue, as enough money had been sunk into the Cuirassier project that is was simply not feasible to write it completely off. The ultimate answer was to relocate the production of the gear to facilities outside the Hanseatic League, and to market it through smaller shell companies, rather than to present it as the continued work of the Kleidergruppen. This shift would coincide with DitKorp introducing a knock off line of encounter suits that were basically better quality and more expensive versions of the already in production models.
The Magenta Mauler - an almost by the books purple and magenta suit of cuirassier armor, the Mauler was equipped with a reflexokinetic cape, and a anti-psionic helmet. The Mauler was a brainiac who fought with a renegade Reflex Team and had carved out a pocket kingdom along the coast of the Red Sea. While a keen strategic mastermind, and one of the stabilizing influences in the region, he is more commonly known for his magnetokinesis, and his xenophobic hatred of non-parapsychics, non-cyborgs, and non-augmented humanity.
The Victorix - the Victorix Cuirass is a vivid green suit with a reflexokinetic cowl, mantle, and secondary over-tunic. This actually rather impressive protection was layered over the cybernetic body of the Victorix. He had a Cromwell chassis, a cybernetic skull, and his arms and legs replaced with mechanical prosthetics. While seemingly crude looking, they were surprisingly elegant, robust, and capable of fine motor control as well as smashing things. The Victorix spent a great deal of time exploring stable Dimensional Fatigue events in the Wastelands, where he was contaminated and is slowly undergoing a strange mechamorphosis, where his flesh is slowly turning into living metal, and he has gained electrokinetic powers.
The Galaxy Crusher - made of black and purple overlay, the Galaxy Crusher cuirass was made for a gene-modded Titan, and came with a custom helmet designed for intimidation power. The Galaxy Crusher was a parapsychic who specialized in dimensional distortion coupled with a bad case of pika. As such, he would alter the size of things in his steady diet of increasingly strange things. He is locked in a state of parapsychic burn and his own size and mass continually shift as his power ebbs and flows.
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I want one of these.