CF-06 "Cannon Fodder"
A cheap, easy to build and maintain mecha designed to be deployed in large numbers. Once the dominant force on the battlefield, it is now at the lower end of the superiority index. Individually they are capable of taking down any conventional army (i.e. planes, tanks, infantry, etc.), and can stand firm against other mecha of equal power, but against stronger, cutting-edge designs, they find themselves horribly outpaced unless they have a numerical advantage. Developed and created by the Corporate Union Industries.
Titanium Composite Armor
In addition to its basic armour, most common frontline units are equipped with "Trenchcoats" (so named due to the appearance they give the mech), which consists of an up-armored skirt and shoulder-mounted shields which may flip down in combat to fully cover the vulnerable sides of the mech, and retract when moving to decrease drag. Given the fragile nature of the CF-06, paranoid pilots also tend to weld, bolt, stick, strap, and fuse any sort of "armor" they can get their hands on to their mechs for additional protection.
Weapons and Equipment Edit
- PS-44 Sub-Machine Gun: A standard, upscaled sub-machine gun. Has a medium range and can fire in 3/5-round bursts or in full-auto. Clips hold 35 shots. Firing bullets the size of a steel barrels, it pulps infantry into bloody mists, and punches right through light vehicle and aircraft armour. Even heavy vehicles like tanks will fall under a continuous barage. Against other mass-produced mecha, the PS-44 starts to lose some of its effectiveness, but is still more than capable of disabling or destroying the enemy suit. Against mecha more powerful tan the CF-06, however, it will take either a very lucky shot or a hell of a lot of CF-06s' firing at once to penetrate.
- PS-60 Flechette Gun: A standard, upscaled shotgun-like weapon. Has a short range and fires single shots. Clips hold 8 shots. Designed for use in cramped quarters (specifically urban and jungle areas), the PS-60 fires thousands upon thousands of super-sharp titanium shurikens. This massive burst of scattershot will puree' anyone unfortunate enough to get hit with it, and can turn a city block into swiss cheese. Even at long ranges, its VERY effective against infantry and light vehicles. Against something with thicker armor, however, the CF-06 will have to get in close (within 20 feet) to expect any kind of effective penetration. Even against powerful prototype mechs, this weapon can be a terror, breaking external cameras, weakening armor integrity, clogging mobility joints, etc. but only if the pilot is insane or REALLY good.
- PS-100 Rifle: A standard, upscaled rifle. Has a long range and fires single shots. Clips hold 8 shots. Its "scope" is actually a high-magnification camera which can feed its video stream right into the cockpit if the pilot desires. Designed originally for tank-hunting, it carries over well into the mech-hunting arena as well. Can turn a tank inside out and gouge massive holes in low-grade mecha armor. Against more powerful mecha, a skilled wielder can take out even a highly advanced prototype in one shot. Given the typical stock of CF-06 pilots, however, most shots are little more than a minor irritation.
- PS-101 Burst Rifle: A newer weapon that is given exclusively to CF-07bAM Aerial models. It has a long range and fires either single shots or in three-round bursts. Clips hold 12 shots. Its "scope" is actually a high-magnification camera which can feed its video stream right into the cockpit if the pilot desires. Designed as a support weapon, it has slightly less range than the PS-100, but its recoil surpressors ensure that all three shots fired in a burst will all hit in roughly the same area (usually the difference is measure in fractions of inches). Absolutely tears conventional weapons apart, and even some of the more powerful new mecha can be threatened by the PS-101's deadly burst.
- PS-01 Heat Edge: "Heat Edge" is the name for any upscaled weapon equipped with a battery for the generation of massive levels of heat. The heat eminates from the blade of the weapon, causing armour to soften and melt just before it is sliced/bashed/cut into by the weapon. Batteries hold enough power for an average lifetime of 48 seconds of continuous use. A Heat Edge can be anything from axes to swords to maces to blades to spears. The type of heat edge a CF-06 is equiped with depends on the location of the factory and the tastes of the individual foremen working there. The original heat edge was thought to be an axe, but it is not uncommon nowadays to see such exotic weapons as shamshirs, whips, or even baseball bats be upscaled and turned into heat edges.
- PS-02 Beam Sabre: A weapon which projects a shaft of pure photonic energy, contained within a magnetic field. More than capable of cutting right through even the most advanced of mecha armours, the beam sabre is standard equipment on more powerful, limited production mecha. The CF-06, however, is seen as unworthy of these weapons, mostly due to the massive cost one would incur outfitting them all. Typically, cheaper, lower-powered versions of these weapons are given to CF-06 commander variants. Due to FAP's inferior battery technology, it's continuous operation time limit is thirty-three seconds.
- PS-250 Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launcher: A standard, upscaled bazooka. Has medium range and fires single rockets. Clips hold five rockets plus one in the tube. Can fire either Explosive or White Phosphor rounds. Made later in the CF-06's career as an answer to rapidly improving mecha armour technologies, and to give CF-06 squads a weapon with enough punch to engage larger units. Absolutely lethal against the last generation or so of mecha, and conventional weapons are no match at all. Even against newer mechs, the PS-250 can cause enough hurt to make any hotshot pilot think twice about underestimating the CF-06.
The CF-06 "Cannon Fodder" was designed to be the dominant force on the battlefield, a weapon capable of adapting to any situation and defeating any enemy. The 06 series fulfilled this role perfectly, at least, for a time. It was a weapon any soldier would die to get his hands on. Enemies rightly feared this machine for its speed, firepower, and adaptability. They became the decisive factor on any battlefield. Eventually, thanks to espionage, double-dealing, and the rare battlefield salvage, armies across the globe were fielding their own CF-06 units to combat one another. Once everyone had these capable weapons, however, the race to develop newer, more powerful machines was on. The CF-06 was quickly left in the dust of these fantastic, overbearing new machines.
Even despite several attempts to upgrade the 06, it was quickly becoming an outmoded unit. However, the one advantage the 06 had over other, more powerful units was its cost: it was dirt cheap. Not only cheap, it was very simple to maintain too, given the large supply of spare parts. This led to a new wave of CF-06 development, not as a battle-decider, but as a massed attack force, capable of easily outnumbering and surrounding more powerful but less numerous units. Given the large number of CF-06s in service at any one time, they are also used extensively as testbeds for new mecha technologies. Its an uncommon, but fearsome sight to see a skilled test pilot operationg a CF-06 equipped with some amazing new weapon or piece of kit that harkens back to its glory days as an unchallenged warmachine.
Typically, it is given to young, green rookie pilots as a standard weapon before they "prove" themselves worthy of more powerful models. Given the average survivability rate of CF-06 pilots, this ensures that only the very best (or the very lucky) are piloting more powerful units.
The "Cannon Fodder" designation was originally an injoke made by nostalgic engineers bellyaching about the constant maintenance the CF-06 series required (due to the seemingly endless lines of them that seemed to form after any sort of offensive). Eventually (and unexpectedly) this injoke become accepted even among the 06's designers, and eventually became its official designation. No one even remembers what the actual designation is, or what "CF" really stands for.
Given its widespread use and its ease of production, the CF-06, lends itself well to adaption. If so desired, a military may draw up plans for a new, specialized variant of the CF-06 and have a working test model within two or three weeks (along with a template for future mass-production, if the design is acceptd). There are literally hundreds of different, "unofficial" variants made for all kinds of different theatres and situations. The most common of these are listed below. built by the Corporate Union Mechanic Industries.
The CF-05, the very first production prototype by Corporate Union Mechanics industries. More of a proof of concept than an actual weapon, it served as the basic stepping stone and framework for the CF series. It wasn't built for combat purposes and was never saw an actual battlefield (save for simulated tests) due to it being built for research and testing purposes. Its design, advanced as it was, was glitchy and full of mis-steps. It overheated constantly if it weapons were fired for too long. Its motion stablization would toggle on and off at random. It lacked an ejection seat (mostly due to the designers believing it would never need one). It had highly complex controls that baffled even veterans.
Even despite these glaring flaws, however, it still proved itself as the new dominator of the battlefield, when, during its public showcase test, a single, five-unit squad of CF-05's managed to hold off several hundred tanks and fighters in a simulated trial. The CF-05, glitches and all, completed its primary objective of proving tha mecha were a viable weapon, and a force to be reckoned with as well.
The CF-06. The first and still the best example of mass-produced mecha. After further refining the design and ironing out the kinks in the CF-05, the 06 was given the go ahead for full mass-production. From there, a new era of warfare began. The CF-06 dominated any battlefield it was deployed on. Commanders often simply retreated or surrendered if the chance for either was open. Such was the fear these units commanded. While outdated now, they still remain a vital part of the FAP's military arm.
- CF-06 Commander Variant: Given to squad or battalion CF-06 commanders, these are given an upgraded sensors and communications suite (the "command spike" on the top of the head) and higher-output thrusters to allow commanders to better analyze a situation, give orders, and assist his men. Commander variants are typicaly outfitted with weapons normal grunt suits don't get, such as beam sabres, beam rifles, railguns, etc. They are also usually painted in a bold, striking paint scheme (traditionally solid red, but other wilder, more exotic paint schemes occur, depending on the tastes of the pilot) in order to help men identify their commander in the battlefield.
- CF-06G Ground Variant: A variant designed specifically for the purpose of fighting on and in planetary surfaces. This design loses its apogee motors and vernier thrusters (necessary for aerial and space combat, but useless for a ground-combat oriented mech) in order to make room for additional armor and internal ballast tanks (which allow it to operate at shallow depths underwater (up to 35 feet)). The CF-06G has greater survivability and improved performance over a regular CF-06, but is limited in theatres of operation.
- CF-07bHM /CF-07bAM Aerial Variant: Designed for aerial recon and quick fire-support, the CF-07bHM and CF-07bAM were limited-production CF models designed to replace Federation aerial strike craft. In this, they failed. However, so many new technologies and parts went into the internal design of the new models, that they are superior performance-wise to their sibling models, and so they are often used by ace pilots.
The CF-07bHM is a high-mobility prototype that is notoriously difficult to use. The G-forces it places on the pilot and the great thrust it produces from it four high-powered thrusters means that only the very best can handle it. In battle, however, it is a monster, capable of dancing right through enemy formations, evading all fire and leaving only burned-out husks of machinery in its wake. The data gathered from its handling and construction were used in the production of the CF-07bAM and the design of the MB-02.
The CF-07bAM was a limited-production model based on the bHM. Though popular with skilled pilots, production problems and horrendously inefficient thrusters put a stop to its production in favor of the development of a purpose-built aerial mecha.