AP-Unit . An Armored Personnel Unit based off the Matrix APU's. . For the longest time engineers searched for a way to build the mech, the walking machine of science fiction. All their efforts failed, the mechanics necessary to make such thing possible were far too expensive and delicate for a combat machine. Instead they created the Armored Personnel Unit, a much cheaper and more reliable weapons platform.
Yes this design is freely stolen from The Matrix. I don't like the mecha that are so popular right now, I think they are stupid and impractical. I won't argue this with anyone, I have a very practical mind which tries to make everything as utilitarian and realistic as possible. Colorful walking machines that run around with almost human like agility don't fit into that. However the rugged industrial look of the APU's from The Matrix appealed to me, and I knew my armies had to have one. Note that my AP-Unit has armor to protect the pilot.
The unique feature of the AP Unit is its arms, they are controlled by the arms of the pilot himself (or herself in this case). A robotic arm with grips at the end runs along each arm of the pilot. Thus shooting is as simple as pointing your arm and pulling the trigger. The only drawback is that the hydraulic APU arms can't always keep up with fast human motions and thus lag behind a bit. Each of the AP-Unit's arms can carry several different types of weapons, but the most common are .75 caliber machineguns. Firing a light artillery round, the guns have enormous recoil which even after being softened by the hydraulics can jar the arms of the pilot a fair bit, throwing his aim off.
I tried to imitate the greebley look of the Matrix APU's somewhat, It took a few tries to get arm and leg designs that looked good, and in the end I had to sacrifice strength. If I'm not careful the AP-Unit comes apart very easily. The legs are also not completely poseable, but sufficiant.
The AP-Unit suffers from two problems which limit its use as an offensive weapon. Firstly it has a slow and clumsy walk, and it can't handle rough terrain. On smooth ground it can still only move slighly faster than a walking human. Secondly it can only carry 200 rounds off ammunition for either gun, so it must be resupplied with ammo belts from speedy jeeps or ammo carts which run through the line of fire to deliver them.
I love this pose...
The unique arm control mechanism allows a skilled pilot to fire at two different targets at one time, and the big guns can evey punch holes in armored vehicles and aircraft. This makes it an ideal defensive weapons platform that can not only act as an anti aircraft and tank weapon, but also move around to combat the threat. AP-Units are nearly impervoius to infantry fire, but are vulnerable to tank guns, artillery, and anti armor rockets. The concussion from explosive weapons has been known to topple a Unit, rendering it useless as they weigh over two tons. Because of their poor mobility, but excellent firepower APU's are most often used to defend crucial areas.
Occassionaly AP-Units are used for offense, usually following up a heavy artillery or aircraft bombardment to clear out any tanks or artillery. They then move in squads of four or five covering each other as they move to offset their slowness. AP-Units make a great mopping up tool as they can shred any surviving infantry with very little threat to themselves, unless the survivors have a few anti tank rocket launchers lying around.
Here we see AP-Unit in its element, anti infantry. The fire from the enormous 75 caliber machineguns quickly cuts up infantry, litterally. Any attempt at mass attack to get near enough to pick off the pilot would result in a slaughter. Men are often cut in half or completely obliterated. The mere sight of a squad of AP-Units moving up is enough to send most infantry scrambling for the rear.
I also built three much simpler AP-Unit designs for the sake of brikwars, just one would be no fun. However they suffer from the multicolered problem and are pretty lame overall. They are merely to add extra Units to battles.
Feel free to comment. :)