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NAU Grizzly assault walker by Jepray NAU Grizzly assault walker by Jepray
After the miserable failures of the Arbalest battlewalker in the Freeman Rebellion, the North American Union was determined to update its ground forces’ equipment along with their naval upgrades. Due to the extremely high number of casualties inflicted by the heavily-armed, more agile and super-heavily-armoured Freemen, the NAU military engineers were tasked with developing a support walker capable of carrying substantial firepower and balancing mobility against defense effectively. The AW-23 Grizzly was the result.
If any one lesson was learned in the Freeman Rebellion- other than “do not orbitally bombard civilian population centers, it pisses your enemy off into a psychotic berserk rage and loses you popular support with other nations”- it was the effectiveness of a balance between agility and armour in prolonged engagements. When it came down to it the Freemen won seven out of every ten battles on the ground simply by being able to avoid more hits and endure more of a pounding than the much slower NAU units, who focused on armor at the expense of maneuverability. Tactical data gathered during the war gave the engineers at Kirkland-Drummond Military Robotics new insight into layering armour that pretty much everyone else had already figured out years prior.
Let it never be said that the Americans do things the easy way.
Prior to the development of the Grizzly, NAU walkers- especially the Arbalest- had a thick shell of armour over a relatively light superstructure. This was to allow for maximum lightness, ammunition bins, reactor cores, etc. However, once the outer shell was breached, the walkers were easily lit up by well-placed shots into the resulting holes. Freeman walkers, on the other hand, used Ahrugan design principles of a honeycomb superstructure, multiple layers of armour, and a decentralized infrastructure of a higher number of much smaller reactors spread throughout the walker rather than one monolithic one. They also integrated move-by-thought systems and a lighter, more agile frame to literally leap and dance around the slower, ponderous walkers of the NAU.
Unwilling or unable to attempt to duplicate the agility of the Freeman walkers, KDMR focused on their armour designs. Even when the outer shell of armour on a Freeman walker was breached, no vulnerable insta-kill shots presented themselves as the exposed area just led to more armour and a dense, honeycombed superstructure. The Americans literally had to beat down and tunnel their way through the walker at multiple points to disable them, and took considerable losses trying to do so.
KDMR used reverse-engineered battlefield wreckage of one of these Freeman walkers as the inspiration for their “new, advanced layered armour synthesis”, which is a fancy way of saying they copied the Freeman design and slapped their own patent on it. However, the overall design of the walker is most definitely NAU. Weapon systems are pretty standard- PPC arms and point-defense cannon under the cockpit, AP lancers for anti-missile defense, and LRM/SRM missile loadouts. One new weapon system, however, was first fielded on the Grizzly when it hit the fields in 2317- the HVMAC, or "Hive-Mack", High Volume Mass Accelerator Cannon.
Unlike conventional MACs- and, frankly, just about every Gauss weapon out there- the HVMAC does not attempt to use a gravitic pulse to through a huge, super-dense projectile at a target at half the speed of light. Instead, it throws a metric ass-tonne of smaller ones in a sheet of turine death at a rate of 200 rounds per second. The HVMAC mounted on the Grizzly is a double-barrel 30mm hypervelocity hose of death, according to anyone who gets in its way. Firing in bursts, the HVMAC can sweep an area, creating the projectile equivalent of the cutting sweep of a particle beam or AP lancer. It also completely buggers the flicker rate on most shields, bypassing them with a much higher percentage of rounds than conventional Gauss systems. The biggest drawback is obvious- it is an ammo-dependent weapon, and with its rate of fire it depletes its ammunition bins relatively quickly.
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:iconironcross13:
Ironcross13 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Love the design. It looks well balance as a support unit, (from my point of view) but what really caught my attention was the accelerator cannon. The only thing that made me tilt my head was the "toes". They're not "small", but I think they should be thicker. Now I'm aware that the lower chassis is solid metal, this is more or less a porportion comment then anything. Though in hindsight, I guess the small profile of the feet would force the enemy to fire at the upper half... Guh!!! its the toes!!
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
lol, I knew the toes were kinda thin... but it looks soo cool.. lol it can wiggle its toes at the enemy after it flattens it... lol
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:iconironcross13:
Ironcross13 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Fear the toe!
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
lol
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:iconone-village-idiot:
One-village-idiot Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
I was playing Armored Core recently, and this design reminds me of that series. Well, the more armored and bulky designs, at least.

And I love the new weapon. It sounds like a variation on the real life Metal Storm technology. Awesome.
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:iconbreandan-ociarrai:
Breandan-OCiarrai Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Professional Writer
yeah, I had the idea pop into my head after thinking about what the Metalstorm system would evolve into :D
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:iconlewalou:
LeWalou Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
fffuuuuck yes.
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
you should see the Arbalest that this thing is replacing... [link] [link] and the illegal pirate version [link]
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:iconlewalou:
LeWalou Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
sick bro. moar.
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:iconasurite:
Asurite Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
I never really got the use of land units in sci-fi stuff. I mean maybe in certain battles they could be useful, but if you have spaceships around the planet that can bombard enemy positions why would you send your guys down to get shot up. Now I understand that ground units in things like snatch and grab, but not so much the wide scale ground battles. If the enemy has ground to orbit based weapons then get your ships to blast the hell out of them before they do the same to you. If the enemy is hiding in civilian centers then use pin point laser weapons to take em out. Basically, long story short, I asking why Dark Nova has large ground battles in a story sense not game sense? Still, nice mech looks like it could do some damage. I like the no step
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:iconbreandan-ociarrai:
Breandan-OCiarrai Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Writer
You're an Air Force fan, aren't you? ;)

Jep pretty much covered this. Space-borne firepower can obliterate entire star systems with the right ordnance, but why would you? Think of it in contemporary terms- we have the ability to level cities with our ordnance today from the air, yet people like me get sent in on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Yemen, Georgia, etc. Why? We could just flatten the cities from the air, even precision bomb the bad guys with drones, yes, but air power- and in the case of Dark Nova, space power- cannot hold ground, merely clear it. Warfare in the real world, and DN is a very realistic setting despite being centuries in the future, is never clean, never easy, never push-button, and cannot be simply handled by blowing things up. It is a complex, ugly affair that requires you to get in the face of an enemy for a variety of reasons, be that to secure a planet you wish to capture, or merely to infiltrate and take down the planetary shield generators of one you wish to blow up.
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:iconevandril:
Evandril Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Heh, the AF has it's place...that's to light things up from a distance, soften up the targets, and keep control of the skies, let the grunts do the cleaning up ;) As long as there is ground to be taken, there will be a need for the grunts to do just that... Most of us flyboys DO know this ;)

That a missile pod on the back, I'm guessing? How much mobility does it have, and how much of a weak point is that joint? Not seeing the actuating mechanism to even keep it in place, assuming that is a rotating point there on the shoulder.
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:iconbreandan-ociarrai:
Breandan-OCiarrai Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Writer
Indirect fire LRMs. Assault walkers are battlefield long-range artillery support, whereas support walkers get right in there with the infantry :)
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:iconasurite:
Asurite Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
I see, yeah that makes sense. I was just thinking that maybe in the future targeting computer would be so advanced and laser system accurate enough to target out small groups of units without damaging the surroundings to much, but that would probably be ineffective once the ground forces dig in. Also thanks for the info. I've been having this whole argument with like three other people and by know it would be nice just ending it whether I win or not.
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
you can certainly flatten ground based installations from orbit. but then what? some one will have to hit the ground and root them out. hold the ground. unless you want a hopelessly irradiated rock...makes for a hollow victory if your objective was to keep it or pacify them... be sure most battles will end up in city's as they are strategic in nature... drooping a rock from orbit is a bad way of pacifying but its great if you just want to kill them all. hit them from orbit and they will just dig in deeper. that's when ground units ccome into play...
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:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
Looks great.
Kudos on the background story.

Wonder if I can fit a HVMAC on a pony?
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
im sure it can fit into a wagon your pony can pull... unless its a mech you call Pony.. then sure, just weld it on:D
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:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011
In the FIM(Firepower is magic) universe, there are ponies capable of using HMACs to clear the battlefield.
Would be real useful against the ones that herd bunnies.

Wonder if I modeled up a HMAC carrying mech that looked like
a pony, will it get accepted in this club?

Anyway, kudos on your ship designs.
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
lol, Thanks 7of11:D Yeah watch those bunnies they evil...
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:iconandared:
Andared Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
I'm impressed with the detailed design history for this work. Was this work for an existing RPG or video game or sci-fi novel?

The artwork itself is also very good. The design is well thought out and details are stellar.
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Its for a new Pen and Paper RPG game, Dark Nova, Also a novel is in the works. If you look at my signature, theres a link to our kickstarter page which has more info on this project.

Thanks:D
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:iconscreenscan:
screenscan Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011   Interface Designer
if you look at it, theres pretty much weight on the rather thin legs..
but the design north of the legs i like a LOT!
as for coloring/inking i think a little more contrast might be worth a try

great work
AKA
same as it ever was

cheers mate
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Most of those legs is nothing but solid armor, and its in a sitting position. its about the right height for entering or exiting the mech...
you want me to punch up the contrast more? it is a 30% to 50% warm gray...maybe with the next one...
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:iconscreenscan:
screenscan Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011   Interface Designer
i didnt think about increasing the contrast digitally , but analoguelly [??] by inking it or anything, just had the feeling that your other pics were not as pale as this (no, its not pale, just so you know what i mean)

cheers
:)
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:iconjepray:
Jepray Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
its the warm gray...maybe if the went 10% light side it would contrast more, but I just couldn't find that marker...
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:iconscreenscan:
screenscan Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011   Interface Designer
hehe i see

cheers :)
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