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War stomper

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War stompers

War stompers outside Mechanicsburg (Jägers included for scale)

A war stomper is a large (up to very large) armored vehicle which uses ambulation instead of wheels or treads to move across terrain. This provides not just substantial intimidation factor, but the ability to have stomper personnel be out of range of smaller weapons or personal assaults.


War stompers have a variety of assault options - the most obvious is actually stepping on opponents and their structures or gear. Larger units which can handle the recoil may be fitted with various sorts of artillery, and depending on insulation and heat sinks, energy weapons as well. As with most fine machinery, each unit is hand-made and therefore there are no two identical war stompers — but they do follow some general design similarities.

The largest units, such as those commissioned by the Knights of Jove and destroyed by Gilgamesh Wulfenbach outside of Mechanicsburg, are quadrupedal with digitigrade-style leg construction. This leg construction allows for greater stability on uneven terrain and smooth lowering of the hull to nearly ground level if required, or greater height if the legs are fully extended.

The lower hull has a heat sink which also provides low-level (i.e., not night-sight-destroying) illumination at night. The legs attach through the lower hull to the engineworks. This hull also provides a main deck with a railing suitable for protecting deployed riflemen who are, in turn, protecting the stomper from artillery positions and possible leg assaults. There may be additional rifle positions at the first joint of the legs as well, to provide for more complete angles of fire. These are only assigned to the best and most adaptable sharpshooters who never suffer motion sickness.

The superstructure includes the chimney or chimneys (or funnels), gun mounts (fixed or turreted), usually another sharpshooter position, an observation deck for use in extreme weather, and whatever other features the commissioner had decided are necessary.

A force of eight war stompers was considered sufficient (for a rushed value of "sufficient" ) to take and hold Mechanicsburg ... except it was all staged, anyway.

Walking gunboat

Walking gunboat, Duke D'Omas commissioning

The principles in construction scale down to such other units as the walking gunboat, which may have differing number of legs depending on issues such as speed, stability and anticipated theatre of combat. Of course, the artillery will be reconsidered using similar parameters.

Although these units all use some of the same engineering and construction principles as clanks, they could not be considered clanks themselves as not even rudimentary intelligences are installed in these vehicles. One might imagine that the average soldier would not want to risk his or her life on a clank's imperfect grasp of a situation if independent thought and action were enabled.

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