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Mech Troopers?

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Okay, for my roboticist, I'm looking to flesh out her background a little bit but I could use your help. Are there any planets, or military forces, that make regular use of ground troops in mechanised exosuits? They could be less advanced than the standard fare Nanotrasen can field, but I'm looking for more than power armor and less than Durands. Even if it's just Ripleys, or equivalents, with mounted guns and ammo packs.

I'm trying to avoid her being a grizzled NT special ops/ERT mechanised forces trooper, but still experienced in combat mech piloting and standard military training

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If I may nick this one from the lore-folk.

The offensive arm of the Eridani Federal Military, armed forces of the Eridani Corporate Federation, is built around power projection and amplification through the usage of assault mechs and similar platforms. The two fleets of the Eridani Federal Navy have assault carriers as the main element, which are fitted not for carrying fighters to wage a spess-ship war, but instead boast large mechbays and hangars for dropships required to actually deploy the beasts.

The mech themselves are similar in concept to what the Mechwarrior universe has: large, bipedal beasts, equipped with miniature reactors.

As far as someone with the qualifications you seem to be looking for, there are a few opportunities:

  • RO - Recovery Operator - A member of the Eridani Federal Navy who is deployed as a field technician. Their primary duties include rapid response to damaged mechs, with intent to repair, salvage or scuttle, depending on situation. These are most usually enlistedmen, who pass through the Oran Naval Academy and combat training on SEN Apex. Deployed in squads, usually with an armed escort of members from the Marine Combat Group, or the FedNavy itself.
  • CRO - Chief Recovery Operator - A member of the Eridani Federal Navy who is deployed as a field technician, in charge of multiple teams of ROs. Basically, this would be a platoon level senior enlisted. And while normal ROs would only know the basics of mech operation (such as walking, depowering, weapon/core jettison), Chiefs would be higher trained in that field. They would run through advanced leadership training and more specific speciality training on SEN Apex.
  • MM - Mechatronicist's Mate - Unlike the Recovery Operators, these dudes never leave the mechbays. They have the basic naval combat training one would acquire on the main planet, without the requirement for training programs provided on SEN Apex. However, like the ROs and CROs, they do spend a minimum of 3, most usually 5 (akin to a master's degree) years in the Oran Naval Academy, if they lack prior degrees in engineering.
  • Army Technician - Mechs are primarily a thing for the FedNavy, the army does not field large beasts like their brothers in the sky do. However, the Army has a collection of smaller powered suits. Think something slightly more advanced and capable than a standard hardsuit. However, these are mansized and not deployed in vast numbers. As such, a technician would be rather specialized.


I actually have a shitload more lore written up abut the FedMil, to include ship names, ranks, etcetera. So any questions you have, I can most certainly answer!

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The Recovery Operator or Army Technician both sound suitable. Just to get an idea of scale and appropriateness, this is what a APLU Ripley is based off, as I'm sure you know;


Now, in-game, the Ripley takes up one square just the same as a person, so we can assume it's not too much bigger, as per the picture. The main difference between SS13's Ripley and the Aliens Power Loader is that a Ripley is fully enclosed with armor plating, but seems to be about the same size. Unless I'm mistaken, the higher-tier mechs also take up only one square, so it's reasonable to assume they're also not much larger than human by more than a few/several feet, and resemble large suits of enclosed power armor as opposed to the gigantic mechs of MechWarrior. But as far as I know, there's no official guesstimations of their size and weight, etc.

So, from your input, I would conclude that an Army Technician would have the training most compatible with the operation of a Ripley/Odysseus/Gygax/Durand. If you can pull up a picture to better represent the sort of gear they'd be equipped with, that'd help greatly.

That said, what sort of operations would Army Technicians be deployed on, and against what kind of foe? What rank would an Army Technician have to hold to be comfortably versed in the use of their suits, and about how long do you envisage their training to have been, so I can better approximate an appropriate age for the character.

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Okay, let's see.

As far as your reckoning on scale goes, you would be correct. However, looking at the way a RIPLEY and related mechsuits are constructued, both sides of the house would be partially familiar with these, let's call'em middle class, suits. Basically, the FedArmy uses exoskeleton-like suits, that very tightly hug the human body and resemble powerarmour from Section 8/Fallout/CoD:AW. So, both sides would have new things to learn, when applied onto NT's suits.

On the note of operation. I am not exactly sure how the NT suits are operated. If there is a closed cockpit where the pilot sits/stands, then the ROs/CROs would be most familiar with the interface. If they're like the Powerloaders from Alien, then the Army Techs. Honestly, we can just call it that both would know how to basically move an NT suit, with minor training.

And the note is that they are not pilots, still. The best either a CRO or an Army Tech could do is safely manouver the thing into another place, safety/release weapons, and so on. Advanced usage, such as scaling buildings in powersuits or actually engaging hostiles in a mech, they would most likely fumble and fail through.



Focusing on the Army Techs now. The Eridani Federal Army is purely a defencive force. They rarely leave the planetary holdings of the ECF. However, because the Fed operates on the premise of having a very thin state presence, so to speak, the army finds itself lending a helping hand to the civil law enforcement whenever necessary (usually when dealing with the more 'exclusive' brand of opposition: bank robbers, hostage takers, terrorists). Not only does it keep up the trust between the civil government and the FedMil, but also helps the soldiers of the army gain experience in real confrontations.

What would this mean for an army technician? Simple: they would lack proper combat experience or an operational history, at least one comparable to what a normal member of the Federal Navy would have. However, it is likely that they have been called to a field base set up in proximity of a more overt operation aimed at enforcing the peace. Plus, field training exercises help keep knowledge of conventional warfare fresh.

Now, onto age, rank, schooling. If they follow the three tiered system of the Eridani Corporate Federation, and went straight into an Army contract, then they'd end up in an army academy for mechanical engineering at the age of 18, and have the appropriate degree by the age of 21. Following this would be actual enlistment and basic training. If they went to another civil school for the third tier, then they'd enlist and go through basic training at a time of their choosing, and run through refresher/adjustment courses in an army academy to learn the specifics of what they need (this is assuming that they have at least a 3 year degree in some form of mechanical engineering). This would take maybe a year, and they'd be on active duty after that.

Bottomline: in active duty, at a rank of Apprentice Soldier, at the age of 22.

Now, let's look beyond that. If your character is content with just staying as a follower, then he wouldn't be seen past the paygrade of N0-4, Soldier Second Class. If they wish to become involved in administrative and leadership duties, however, it is possible to enter a junior leader's course at about the age of 26. If done, by the age of 27 they'd have a rank of Soldier First Class, with a paygrade of N0-5. One can also enter the Sergeant's course, which would take more time. At that point, the contract would also be lengthened, because losing a freshly gained senior leader is bad. Paygrade of N0-6, Sergeant, would be applicable in the last case, until about the age of 30. Commissioning is also an option, but generally speaking, for techs, would take a lot more time/hoops to jump through.

Hopefully I managed to be as clear as possible. If not, keep asking! Also, I can help you set up a full background for the character, to include schools, a place of origin, etcetera. And give you a rundown on how life would be in the ECF, depending on the character's history.

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