Combat Frame Data: CF-014

CF-014 Ein Dolph

Technical Data

Model number: CF-014
Code name: Ein Dolph
Nickname: Dolph
Classification: mass production, energy weapon optimized combat frame
Manufacturer: Seed Corporation
Operator: Systems Overterrestrial Coalition
First deployment: CY 1
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19.2 meters
Weight: 35 metric tons
Armor type: titanium alloy/aeorgraphene/ceramic composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 940 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 2x 40,000 kg, 2x 23,500 kg; top speed 1225 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 10, 180° turn time 1.0 seconds; legs: top ground speed 185 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: none
Hand armaments: Dolph plasma rifle, power rated at 1.25 MW, with mounted grenade launcher, holds 6 grenades.

General Notes

Fresh off his success with the CF-06 Grenzmark II, Seed Corp head combat frame engineer Tesla Browning found himself painted into a technological corner. The breakthrough he needed to advance CF technology beyond the dead end it had evolved to came in the unlikely form of Zane Dellister's custom Dead Drop combat frame.

Upon Dellister's arrest, Dead Drop was confiscated by the Coalition Security Corps and transferred to Seed Corp for study. Dellister refused to cooperate with the CSC, forcing Browning and his team to reverse-engineer Dead Drop on their own. Their analysis yielded advancements in directed energy weapon technology sufficient to mass produce CF-scale plasma weapons. Presented with these findings, CSC Director Sanzen Kaimora ordered Browning to design a mass production combat frame optimized for energy weapon use.

Browning and his team quickly determined that developing a mass-produced version of Dead Drop would be faster and more cost-effective than designing a new combat frame from the ground up. To that end, the Seed Corp team greatly simplified Dellister's design. They devised a handheld plasma rifle to replace Dead Drop's popup plasma cannon/sword and augmented its already considerable firepower by mounting a grenade launcher under the barrel.

In terms of defense, titanium was substituted for costly and difficult to manufacture palladium glass, while a thin layer of aerographene was retained between the armor's ceramic layers to insulate against EM and thermal blowback. The resulting composite material gave better protection than Grenzmark II armor at a substantial reduction in weight.

Two prototypes were constructed before the third iteration was approved for combat use. Dubbed the CF-014 Ein Dolph, the first mass production CF to carry plasma weapons boasted a 1.25 MW rifle approaching the power of a capital ship gun. Though no match for Dead Drop's speed, the Ein Dolph captured the record for fastest mass-produced CF with a top speed of Mach 1. The Dolph's total lack of fixed weapons and relatively modest ground speed let it get by with a much smaller and less expensive generator than Dead Drop's massively powerful reactor.

Though undeniably superior to any other mass-produced CF of the time, the Ein Dolph possessed one serious drawback. Its rifle's integrated capacitor gave the weapon only eight shots before needing to be recharged, forcing the pilot to rely on the underslung grenade launcher. Though the launcher could be reloaded, its standard six-grenade magazine limited the weapon's utility. When all plasma charges and grenades were spent, the Dolph was effectively disarmed.

Browning set out to correct the design flaws caused by the Ein Dolph's rushed production. His efforts would come to fruition in the CF-015 Zwei Dolph.

For more mecha action, support The Star Knight Saga: Reavers of the Void by author Bradford Walker!


  1. This is whetting my appetite for more. I love the description of one-off/unique vs mass production, and the various limitations that show what way new technology is going to go. The Zwei Dolph should be even better.

    But none of these are the XSeed itself.

    I want to see it, even though I know it will be the last one shown, but part of me wants to wait until I encounter it in the book.

    Question: Does 'Dolph' mean anything in this context? Given the German 'One' and 'Two', I'm leaning towards being a derivative of 'Adolph', which is 'Noble Wolf'.

    1. Same root in IRL etymology. Dolph is ancient Teutonic for wolf. Means "noble wolf" in modern Swedish naming conventions. Became Adolph in modern German.

    2. You guys figured it out. This CF is the Wolf. We see the 1 Wolf and 2 Wolf variants in the first book. The Grand Wolf appears in book 2.

      Re: the XSeed itself, I don't want to show my hand too early. I can tell you it is terrifying--a bigger leap over the Dolphs than they are over the Grenzmarks, and not just in degree, but in kind.

    3. I'd prefer to wait until the XSeed itself has appeared in print before releasing its actual stats. I want the full impact in the book where I don't know what's coming.

      If you do the line drawing/design notes, perhaps have a bunch of the info redacted?

    4. Brian,

      Cool is dolph a proto Germanic word for wulf?
      I'm very curious if Zane breaks out and takes back his Dead drop. Or even better gets his hands on an X seed.
      I like the idea of a heavily redacted to secret document. That would be really neat


    5. "If you do the line drawing/design notes, perhaps have a bunch of the info redacted?"

      That's the approach I'm currently leaning toward.

  2. How efficient are these energy weapons? That is, how much of the energy is translated into the actual beam? Because 1.25 MW seems... impressive, and I had to wonder how much of that translates into energy-on-target.

    1. It depends on the distance, but about 1/3 of the energy is lost to atmospheric blooming or cooling in space.

      Yes, the amount of energy these plasma weapons throw around is impressive. In fact, it's game-changing. There is no armor that can repel a plasma bolt. Pilots going up against enemies packing energy weapons soon learn that the way to win is to not be there when the enemy pulls the trigger.

  3. Must... destroy... all... Dolphs...