The StahlMech Armoroid M163
The M163 was the most successful heavy power armor suit manufactured and distributed by StahlMech Heavy Industries. The market for power armor was saturated when StahlMech stepped into the crowded arena. There were many power armors available, but they were all hindered by a common series of weaknesses and problems. The biggest flaw was that all the machines on the market were expensive, ranging from brutally to prohibitively. Other flaws included weak armor, short combat duration, and overall lack of firepower. The M163 was designed to overcome these flaws and produce a profitable combat platform.
To this end, the armor protection had to be good, the firepower had to be heavy, and the cost needed to be low. The M163 accomplished all of these objectives.
The M163 was an oversized power armor suit. This large size allowed the suit to be made on a larger scale, carry more weight, and use fewer micro-scale components. Using small componenets, and borrowing commonly available systems platform shared from construction hardsuits and non-combatant mecha. This made the armoroid superstructure strong, robust, easy to repair, and most importantly, cheap. The suit mounted large slabs of mecha grade armor, and borrowed electronics from similar sources. Field test M163s proved able to withstand vehicle and mecha grade weapons long enough to be considered successful. The test suits were able to survive taking hits from even large bore military weaponry and remain to some level operational. The weakness was deemed to be the pilot, and the suit could survive more things that it's pilot could, most commonly showing weakness to thermal based and energy weapons.
The powerplant for the suit was a regenerative bioreactor, a chemical reactor and battery that can power the suit for hours at a time without being refueled. While easily an obsolete technology, it is robust, cheap, and fuel is easy to create for it. This worked because the myomers, hydraulics, and servos the suit used were not power hungry, and M163s are not configured to mount any sort of energy weaponry. This helps keep them cheap, but still combat capable.
The primary weapons configuration for the M163 is an arm mounted Gatling gun, gas powered, and fed from a backpack style ammo bin. The weapon is the suit's go to for combat action, and in infantry combat it has proven devastating, delivering massive firepower, suppressing fire, and even damaging light vehicles and other power armor suits. The suit's anti-armor and anti-suit firepower comes from a single over the shoulder wire guided missile. The missile is dated tech, but carries a heavy warhead and is highly capable in knocking out power armor and light and even medium vehicles. The wire guidance system is dated, but is immune to hacking and cyberwarefare. The suit also has the option of mounting one shot rocket pods, the same sort formerly mounted on helicopters for conflicts like Vietnam. The dumb weapons are spoof-proof, and deal a large amount of damage, and can be loaded with specialty munitions. Like all power armors, the M163 can pick up and use any rifle and weapons designed for power armor use.
Creation and Production
The M163 was considered a low tech venture for the New Hanseatic StahlMech corporation, its design was given a low priority, and little was asked of it compared to other power armor suits. It doesn't have more than a basic HUD, no flight capability, nothing more than a basic comm system, no fancy predictive software. As such, it was easily compiled, production files quickly and easily prototyped, and general production in less than a year.
The largest hurdle the M163 faced was being accepted as a New Hanse product, and it was poorly received. Most expected cutting edge, not retrotech and solid state goods from the NHL, and the M163 was considered primitive and brutalist, and found no customers in the Cosmic Era first world.
The armoroid found it's market overseas in the deserts and jungles of Africa, South America, and across the Pacific rim. Large numbers of the low tech armoroid were built.
The M163 has a number of drawbacks, different from those it was designed to overcome. It was large and slow, making it easy to flank. Enemy combatants could close in and attempt anti-robots warfare with ease if the suits were isolated, or separated from their infantry support. The large size also made them easy prey for mecha designed to hunt power armor.
The armoroid also developed a reputation problem. The suit became one of the symbols of 3rd world technological dominance, and oppression of indigenous peoples, counter-insurgencies, and a butcher in urban uprisings.
The M163-2 Trainer
Seats two, unarmed.
The M163-0 Beam Platform
replaces all of the weapons system with an arm mounted laser cannon and capacitors.
The M163-X Melee
is equipped with a nine foot long hyperedge blade
The M163-M Medic
all weapons removed, can mount 2 emergency med pods, allowing it to carry and stabilize two patients
The M163-H Heavy
replaces all weapons with a anti-material linear gun
The M163 proved itself to be easily made, easily supported, and easily repaired in the field. Aside from its low mobility, the only other complaints most operators had was the amount of ammo the machine used when it in service.
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