If one could point to an individual successor to the nuclear tank of the late 20th century, it would be the combat walker of the late human era.

title:Goodbye, traditional armor: Combat walkers eventually replaced the role of armored vehicles.

Like so many neuromorphic machines that replaced their older counterparts across the rest of society, it wasn’t any particular design advantage that gave combat walkers the upper hand over existing armor.

Really, it was the mere fact that it was equipped with the neuromorphic mind. When combined with an agile chassis with hundreds of control points, this cybernetic brain had access to far more potential strategies than that of a traditional vehicle. The system could control its own movements to such a fine degree and formulate such unusual tactics that no traditional tank could ever come close.

To put it a different way, the limited capabilities of a traditional vehicle (that is, moving forwards, backwards, sideways…) was perfectly suited to what a human crew was capable of controlling under most circumstances. A neuromorph, given full control over a vehicle and its every pivot and joint, was capable of competently controlling something much more complex.

Even so, armored vehicles never completely left the battlefield. Their automated branch continued to exist, but usually in a support or logistical role rather than directly involved in pitched battle. Human-crewed vehicles slowly migrated towards the rear as battlefields became more chaotic and destructive, taking on a more strategic role far removed from the dangers of automated conflict.

Types of combat walkers

The automated military force of the late 21st century usually consisted of several types of robots.

  • Agile platforms, typically bipeds such as the Dynatek FREDI or the Kasawi Warmaster 750, would sprint across the battlefield to deliver critical strikes at opportune moments.

  • Stable platforms, quadrupeds or hexapeds such as the quadruped Kasawi TUK 240 or Maxwell Stonewall, provided heavy firepower and armor in strategic choke positions.

These would be escorted by a large number of armed drones and interfacers, and supported by occasional artillery and air strikes.

Advertising? Why?

Unlike robots designed primarily for corporate or government security, combat walkers were typically more complex and esoteric machines. There’s an expensive difference between being a terrifying deterrent at a high-security facility, and being an effective warfighter. That didn’t stop corporations from pawning their battle robots off in other markets as well, but the pricey devices were a tough sell. Most organizations simply wouldn’t make use of the triple-redundant, feature-packed machines.

So why did Dynatek field these ads for their FREDI combat walker? Some have speculated that the ad was targeted towards a subtle market, the paramilitary groups and industrial expeditionaries that ventured out into the wilds in search of new business. Most likely, it was meant to impress policymakers and generals within Heavenbreaker so that the Coalition would spend more of their budget on building more of these machines instead of the Maxwell competition.

In the wake of the formation of the Consensus of Order, many war machines have become friendly with one another regardless of their manufacturer or country of origin, though this is not a universal truth. Dynatek’s rivalry with Maxwell robots continues mostly in the form of light jabs at each other’s capabilities.

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