2019/03/14

Combat Frame Data: XCD-103

XCD-103 Eisenpferd
  
XCD-103

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-103
Code name: Eisenpferd
Nickname: Iron Horse
Classification: heavy assault combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19 meters
Weight: dry weight 105 metric tons, full weight 165 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 44,730 kg, 4x 23,970 kg; top speed 850 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 36, 180° turn time 0.98 seconds; legs: top ground speed 155 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: x2 80mm Vulcan cannon, mounted on shoulders; x2 3-tube missile launcher, carry graphene cap warheads, pop up from backpack in use
Optional ranged armaments: x2 3-tube missile pod, attach to pauldrons, can load high explosive, anti-armor, and other specialized ordnance; x2 3-tube micro missile pod, attach to legs, carry spray missiles, anti-beam cloud missiles, and ECM “chaff” missiles
Optional hand armaments: heat greataxe, stored in charging rack on backpack, carried two-handed in use; carbyne shield, attaches to left arm
Special Equipment: A.I. operating system

General Notes

"Father of the Combat Frame" Tesla Browning maintained his reputation in more ways than one when he produced the first 1-Series XSeed for use in the co-opted Project S. In keeping with his design philosophy of adding more weapons to existing technology, Browning started with the original XCD-001-1 Prometheus. He proceeded to add as many weapons and layers of armor as the frame could hold without critically compromising mobility. Always intended as an essay in the craft, the resulting XSeed was rejected as a targeting module for the Roter März and given model number XCD-103.

When members of the Human Liberation Organization assisted BEC in creating a soft A.I. operating system for the XSeeds, HLO mechanic Faust Hayden christened the XCD-103's A.I. iteration Eisenpferd or "Iron Horse" in homage to the heavy XSeed's ability to roll over anything in its path.

Like the XCD-104 Eschaton, the Eisenpferd distinguished itself by carrying no energy weapons. In contrast to the close attack XSeed, the XCD-103's loadout featured a dizzying array of ranged armaments. Its primary weapons were a pair of fire-linked Vulcan cannons mounted on its shoulders capable of firing 80mm rounds at blisteringly high rates of fire. These rotary cannons proved more than adequate for dispatching the Coalition's woefully overmatched Guardian combat frames.

To deal with harder targets, the Eisenpferd could be equipped with up to four missile pods bearing three tubes each. The two larger pods attached to the XSeed's pauldrons and carried heavy ordnance for taking out enemy armor and artillery. Two smaller pods mounted on the legs could load cluster bomb-style spray missiles to handle small vehicles and personnel. Various utility missiles, including rockets mounted with chaff and anti-beam gas-dispersing warheads, could also be fired from the leg pods.

In the event that an enemy made it through Eisenpferd's defenses, the XSeed carried an enormous two-handed heat axe capable of bisecting a combat frame in one swing. It also mounted a carbyne-reinforced shield on its left arm for close quarters defense.

The XCD-103's devastating firepower exacted a cost in speed and mobility. It was the only 1-Series XSeed limited to subsonic flight, and its ground speed was relatively ponderous. These drawbacks left Eisenpferd vulnerable to fast-moving attackers. Browning compensated for the XCD-103's lack of mobility by giving it the thickest armor of any CF to date. Not only could the Eisenpferd withstand a direct hit from practically any conventional weapon, its superconducting carbyne armor could channel one-third of an energy weapon strike into an onboard capacitor of the type carried by every XSeed. This system made the Eisenpferd highly resistant to energy attacks and invisible to radar as long as its capacitor wasn't full.

Since the XCD-103 lacked energy weapons of its own, Browning solved the problem of discharging its capacitor in a novel manner. He installed a pair of retractable 3-tube missile launchers in Eisenpferd's backpack. Each tube stored a warhead containing a miniature version of the XSeed's graphene capacitor. The warheads could be charged from the main capacitor to make more room for absorbing attacks. When fired, a primer charge in each warhead unfurled its mini capacitor and released its stored energy on impact. A fully charged graphene cap warhead could rival low-yield nuclear detonations. Eisenpferd could also bleed off its capacitor charge via less spectacular tunable IR laser.

Despite its unequaled offensive and defensive capabilities, the Eisenpferd's pilot had to keep a close eye on his ammunition. If the XSeed ran out of missiles and bullets, which could easily happen in the heat of battle, it risked being left to face faster enemies with only its axe and shield. This factor made teamwork with the other XSeeds a must.


Update: Thanks to my valued readers, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunder was a rousing success! I'm making excellent progress on the book, and perk fulfillment should begin soon.

Did you miss out on the campaign? No problem! Pick up the original martial mecha thriller Combat Frame XSeed, and have it read in time for the sequel's launch.

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19 comments:

  1. Brian,

    Golly that's one bitchin bad boy.
    The weapons load out is an hommage to the Battletech beasts

    xavier

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  2. In other words, it's inspired by Gundam Wing's Heavyarms.

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  3. Despite reservations, I'm really enjoying Combat Frame XSEED.

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  4. I like it. Easily my favorite of the -10X series.

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    Replies
    1. It's the heat axe, isn't it? :)

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    2. Certainly part of it.

      Also, it's big and beefy, huge weapon and shield (charging shield bash would be fun), and I like the missile pods as well.

      Deliberately overloading a capacitor as a weapon? Love it!

      I certainly see it as a worthy successor to the Kurfürst, though I don't know if they do in-universe. I guess I'll find out when the book arrives.

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    3. Thanks for the feedback!

      Full disclosure: the overloaded capacitor as weapon idea was reader-suggested.

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    4. I can authoritatively state that Eisenpferd's heat axe is the result of a game of engineering one-upmanship between Zeklov and Browning. First came the Type One's zweihander, then Kurfürst's heat chain sword, then Eisenpferd's heat axe.

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    5. That and the heavy armor makes it fill the same general ecological niche that the Kurfürst did, in an era when it is infeasible to not have ranged weaponry.

      So far, this is my second favorite mech, with the Eschaton and Veillantif tied for 3rd/4th place.

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  5. Congrats on the kickin' IGG win, Brian!

    Todd rocks the house with the Fourth of the XCD Horsemen!

    I can see the Zeklov/Browning competition advance with a six-armed Kali armed Rocket Maces in each four fists and tungsten flechette rifles in the remaining two!

    DJ wants to see the development chain!

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    Replies
    1. D.J. wants to have left a lasting impact on mech development in CFXS.

      Apparently, succeeded.

      I am also interested to see the two new reader-designed mechs when they come out.

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    2. "Congrats on the kickin' IGG win, Brian!"

      Thank you. It is readers like you who deserve a round of applause. This campaign raised over 80% as much as the first, exceeding my expectations. The only reason we didn't surpass the first campaign's total was because three prospective platinum tier backers were forced to withhold their contributions due to sudden financial and medical hardships.

      Finishing slightly behind the previous campaign was due solely to dumb luck, and in my book dumb luck--good or bad--doesn't count, so I'm calling this a win.

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    3. "I am also interested to see the two new reader-designed mechs when they come out."

      The first CY40 Build-a-Mech, code name Harvester, will be the subject of the next CF Data post.

      ArtAnon and the backer really went wild with this one. I guarantee it's unlike anything you've seen from this series before!

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