+ + + C L A S S I F I E D R E S T R I C T E D + + +
SUBJECT: Cybertank Modifications
SCOPE: Pan Pacific Alliance
Cybertanks of the Pan Pacific Alliance
by Warner Airey and Paul O'Grady
The PanPac Second Cybertank Brigade is a deep level maintenance and support unit that includes, among other things, a Research and Development Wing and an Operational Evaluation Test Group. These units were formed with the original PanPac OGRE formations and while their depth of their duties has altered somewhat over the years, their focus has not - to improve the performance and design of the Pan Pacific Alliance OGREs.
Numerous field trials, combat experience and innovations have produced some minor variants to "standard production models" over the years. Earlier units are sometimes retrofitted as they become available for long term maintenance, although in some cases this is not achievable due to the military situation or logistic circumstances. This has produced a wide variety of models in the PanPac inventory.
This intelligence briefing details specific alterations the PanPac tech teams have made over the years. Some have been a great success and been adopted into the standard designs. Others have not been so successful and been dropped after field testing.
Note on Nomenclature: that the Suffix 'AU' is predominantly utilised to designate PanPac designed variants because the production plant is located near Melbourne, Australia and AU is the standard county designator for Australia.
1 Main, 3 Secondary, 3 External Missiles, 6AP(MARINE capability).
M3, 45 Treads.
A PanPac variant of the Combine Mark III. The AP are normal in land combat, but treat water as clear terrain, same as Marine Infantry. Attack/Range 1/1, and still doubled in underwater overruns. The relative cost of Ogre MARINE Antipersonnel is exactly double that of standard AP. They have not, therefore, been fitted to all units. They are deployed in a modular kit to replace the standard AP guns when required. This is a relatively easy maintenance task that a field repair team can complete within three hours.
Cost: 120 VP.
1 Main, 4 Secondary, 6 External Missiles, 6AP (MARINE Version).
M3, 45 Treads.
The PanPac modification to the standard Mark III-B OGRE.
2 Main, 4 Secondary, 2 Missile Racks, 10 Internal Missile, 9AP (MARINE Version).
M3, 60 Treads.
The Melbourne production facility came up with their own unique technological fixes regarding early missile rack glitches. They applied the result to the original Mark V templates and were very proud of the end result. While based almost entirely on the Seattle-Vancouver model, the PanPac production team liked to think this was particularly clever and the result of ‘superior’ Australian know-how and ingenuity. If you talked to locals in Melbourne, you would be given the impression that the Combine developed the Mark V by copying them, rather than the other way around! Whether justified or not, the PanPac Mark V did gain a reputation as one of the best Mark V cybertanks ever built. The problem was producing sufficient numbers of them...
1 Main, 2 Sec, 2 Missile Racks, 16 Internal Missile, 8AP (MARINE Version).
M4, 60 Treads.
PanPac modification of the Combine Mark IV. Ogre-to-Ogre combat was not as common in some areas of the Pacific theatre as it was in the European or African continents. The PanPac Mark IV was predominantly used for fast amphibious strike missions. The favourite tactic of certain Mark IVs was to attack at night in the middle of a tropical storm- preferably a 'category five tropical depression' (commonly known as a full blown cyclone to their human counterparts). Humans were still at their most miserable in the middle of the night, lashed by torrential rain, and howling winds with sensors half blind, (despite manufacturers ‘weatherproof’ claims). And just when it couldn’t get any worse, a lightning flash illuminates a hostile Ogre coming out of the surf, up onto your atoll.
1 Main, 2 Secondary, 3 Racks, 18 Internals, 6AP (MARINE).
M3, 45 Treads.
PanPac response to the Paneuropean Fencer. Development finished before the Mark IV.
'Bunyip' Stealth Tank
Special: Hard to Hit, as per Ninja.
1 Main, 2 Secondary, 1 Rack, 5 Internal Missile, 8AP (MARINE).
M4, 40 Treads.
The use or even existence of the Bunyip Stealth Cybertank can still not be confirmed. Like their mythical namesakes, they have proved to be quite elusive to both Military intelligence and espionage efforts. No wreckage has ever been salvaged sufficient to prove their existence.
Stealth Cybertank Specific Rules. Subtract 1 from the die roll of any attack made against it except infantry in overruns. Note: In terrain such as town, a roll of 6 still destroys treads.
Some stealth tanks could jam incoming cruise missiles. This ability is only available as detailed in a pre-designed scenario. Prior to any other interception attempts, one jamscreen roll can be made against a cruise missile within 5 hexes. Must roll 9+ on two dice. Modify for distance from launch: 14 to 21 hexes: +1, 22 to 29 hexes +2, 30 hexes or more (including off map) +3. So the Ogre has a 72% chance of jamming an off-map launched missile by rolling 6+. The jamscreen still works underwater. A jammed cruise missile goes out of control and travels in a random direction. A die roll gives a semi-random result which corresponds nicely to the hexsides, but if you want a really random result, spin an object. Roll 2 dice and subtract two, for a result of 0 to 10, for how it moves out of control. Then 50% chance of exploding, otherwise it just crashes.
1 Main, 2 Secondary, 3AP (MARINE). M3, 30 Treads.
Unlike the field kits produced for later designs, the Mark II units had to be permanently fitted with the AP guns. This limited the redeployment options of these now rather expensive but smaller units. Only a handful were made and the modification was ceased shortly after.
RAPID STRIKE MARK II
1 Main (Attack/Range only 3/3, not the standard 4/3, D4), 1 Missile Rack (D4), 8 Internal Missiles, 6AP (Standard 1/1, D1 Antipersonnel, not Marine version).
M4, 32 Treads.
Half a Mark IV. It is interesting to choose two of these instead of one Mark IV. Slightly less combined firepower, but they can be in two places at once.
This was an option particularly attractive to PanPac strategic planners as each unit represents less of an investment and the firepower can be dispersed more easily in a fluid battlefield.
The Pan Pacific Alliance produced its own variations of Combine cybertanks. Most PanPac Ogres had modified Anti-Personnel weaponry which enabled them to be used underwater. There was also a major tactical difference in the way Ogres were used. Unlike their Combine allies, PanPac routinely used human and robot forces in relatively close proximity. Through extremely sophisticated manipulation of the media, the Australian public was successfully persuaded to see their home grown Ogres as heroic guardians, rather like giant faithful BPC pet dogs.
This public relations coup was achieved, in part, due to the relatively small number of PanPac Ogres. Most were given names. Friendly nicknames that were virtually household names in Melbourne and other Australian cities. Skilful editing of news reports portrayed Ogres such as, "Bluey", "Digger" & "Johnno", in the most favourable light. Inflicting damage on military targets while liberating grateful civilians. And even doing it in an ecologically friendly way. The population as a whole was able to believe such stories, because most of the fighting was kept off the Australian mainland. Easy to believe what you want to believe when the horrific evidence is not directly in-your-face.
Hyper-nationalism elevated individual cybertanks to heroic status. Corporations sponsored tanks, and school children did assignments about what "their" cybertank was up to. The information controllers were very careful as to which tanks had celebrity status. While families had the impression that well known tanks were in the thick of it, and virtually winning the war, the reality was somewhat different. Staged combat footage, choice easy targets, and impressive photo-opportunities were all exploited. In much the same way that the good guys in movies only ever seem to get shot in the arm or shoulder, "heroic" Ogres got battered, but still carried on and won the day. Information was successfully controlled, while at the same time giving the impression that the flow of information was free, unrestricted, impartial and accurate.
In effect, there were two wars going on. The military/government controlled image of the war. And the real war. The general public never saw the big defeats. If it was known that a mission was going to be one way, a popular Ogre wasn’t chosen. There were plenty of ‘extra’ unknown Ogres to choose from. The general public never saw the aftermath of Nuclear Bacteria Chemical warfare. The myth of surgical strikes, popular in the late 20th century, was successfully resurrected. The majority of PanPac citizens supported the war. It was portrayed as a "good war".
This popularity translated into direct benefits, in terms of a society conducting total war. High morale meant steady supplies of recruits for the military. The workforce was motivated and distracted from issues such as dropping living standards, or the threat of nuclear attack. The unemployed were happy to watch the entertaining war, rather than protest about or question it.
Some of this enthusiasm couldn’t help but rub off onto soldiers actually at the sharp end. Successful reinforcement of the "friendly Ogre" concept meant that Australian troops were able to cope psychologically with being near the inhuman killing machines. Through a combination of training, professionalism, and/or indoctrination, conventional soldiers, were integrated with Ogres tactically to a degree rarely seen elsewhere. Also, due to low probability of surviving repeated combat, few soldiers survived long enough to become disillusioned. Yes, there were cynical veterans, but they tended to be the best soldiers and usually ended up perpetuating the myths, or at least accepting them. After all, the system was working.