Combat Frame Data: CF-015

CF-015 Zwei Dolph

Technical Data

Model number: CF-015
Code name: Zwei 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: Dry weight 40 metric tons, full weight 50 metric tons
Armor type: titanium alloy/aeorgraphene/ceramic composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 1342 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 2x 40,000 kg, 2x 31,750 kg, 2x 23,500 kg; top speed 1728 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 15, 180° turn time 0.95 seconds; legs: top ground speed 185 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: Plasma sword, power rated at 0.40 MW, stored in recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use.
Hand armaments: Dolph 2 plasma rifle, power rated at 1.5 MW, 10 shots per magazine; shield, attaches to left forearm

General Notes

Ordered to roll out an energy weapon-compatible combat frame ASAP, Seed Corp head engineer Tesla Browning rushed the CF-014 Ein Dolph into production. Though the Ein Dolph far outclassed all contemporary CFs, Browning was acutely aware of the unit's flaws. He continued his research into further refining technology copied from Zane Dellister's XCF-08D-1 Dead Drop during the Ein Dolph design process. As a result, plans for the CF-014's successor were finalized before the first Dolph rolled off the assembly line. Browning considered the resulting CF-015 Zwei Dolph his true mass-produced version of the XCF-08D-1.

Despite the Ein Dolph's impressive field trial scores, Browning considered the CF-014 something of a glass cannon. The first Dolph plasma rifle, though powerful, suffered from a dearth of ammunition. The grenade launcher affixed to the rifle as a stopgap measure proved less effective than the standard 115mm Grento machine gun. Simulations also revealed critical gaps in the Ein Dolph's defenses.

Browning adopted a two-pronged approach to address these shortcomings. First, he addressed the Ein Dolph's offensive limitations by equipping the Zwei Dolph with a dedicated version of Dellister's plasma sword. Thanks to refinements in capacitor technology, Browning was also able to produce a second-generation Dolph rifle whose output equaled Dead Drop's plasma cannon while boasting greater ammo capacity. These improvements obviated the rather awkward grenade launcher.

Second, Browning enhanced the Zwei Dolph's defenses with thicker armor supplemented by a versatile, hand-carried shield. The shield featured improved insulation against energy attacks and could double as bashing weapon in close combat. Since the best way to survive a shot from a plasma weapon was to not be there when it fired, Browning gave the Zwei Dolph additional drive and maneuvering thrusters fed by a more powerful reactor.

The Zwei Dolph's first deployment came late in the CY 1 conflict. A handful of elite Coalition pilots received Zwei Dolph prototypes before the official rollout, and their outright spectacular combat victories served as chilling hints of what might have been had Sanzen heeded Browning's advice to pass over the Ein Dolph and fast-track Zwei Dolph development.

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


  1. Question from a lefty: How difficult would it be to mirror-image a mech?

    Design would be trivial. Production non-trivial but straightforward. I don't think there's enough formation fighting that right-handed is required to match the rest of the phalanx (could be wrong). I don't know how much in the way of melee fighting there is at all.

    In fencing, if one hasn't trained to fight a left-handed person, it can be very disconcerting, leading to a lesser-skilled leftie winning a bout against a more-skilled right-hander (which advantage disappears with more experience against lefties, and more experience in general). Note: inexperienced lefties fare much more poorly against other lefties than against right-handed as well. We are used to training against mirror-images, and so fighting someone who isn't is difficult.

    1. Glad you asked. The weapons configuration in the header image is actually atypical and is meant to showcase the CF's design features more clearly.

      One key advantage of combat frames is the pilot's ability to customize his CF's loadout to his preferences. Most Zwei Dolph pilots preferred strapping the shield to the mech's left arm and holding the rifle in the same hand while leaving the right hand free to draw and wield the plasma sword.

      Mirroring a Zwei Dolph for southpaw use was a quick and simple procedure facilitated by modular parts and plug-'n'-play controls. All you'd have to do would be to move the sword recharge rack to the left side and switch and re-map the cockpit control sticks. An experienced tech team could refit a CF-015 for left hand drive in less than ten minutes.

    2. This is neat to see. I thought it would be more difficult. Probably inconsequential, but a nice detail to fill in.

  2. About when do you think the book will ready to publish? I’m not a mecha Guy, but I’m interested in reading this.

    1. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. I can now announce with a high degree of confidence that the first Combat Frame XSeed novel will launch in early January 2019. The current plan is for book two - Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 - to launch in March of 2019. I hope to release the two final books in the series in May and July.

      Much depends on the success of my upcoming Indiegogo campaign, launching soon! Keep an eye out for details.

    2. Please have the campaign run through the 15th at least. My entertainment budget is tapped out from Star Knight until then.

    3. No problem. I think a month is the minimum duration.

    4. Going for another Quartet series?

    5. That's the current plan. I've got an idea for a fifth book, but let's see how the first four do.

  3. Brian,

    I look forward to a Jane's guide to Xseed in full colour with images from a battle scene. That would hook the Gundum/Battle tech modelers as well as videxogames player. An Osprey type guide for pilots and soldiers would also be welcomed