The 29th century boasted tremendously advanced technology, and the battlefield adapted to an exotic mix of advanced armor, force shields, and weaponry.

The unique anthropomotive movement of a Herc depended on "flexor" technology. A flexor consisted of a ceramic alloy cylinder containing a superdense nano-engineered crystalline lattice that would expand almost instantly under an electrical charge. Conversely, cutting the charge caused near-instant contraction as the lattice returned to its dense state. A phased series of charges expanded and contracted the flexors in a pattern that drove the Herc's legs. Herc engines channelled power to the flexor arrays.

"Cool Fusion"
Leaps in materials science and superconductor technology made an intermediate fusion reaction possible in the late 25th century. "Cool" fusion provided huge amounts of energy quickly, while reducing the hazard of a hot fusion reactor breach on the battlefield. A reactor explosion still endangered nearby vehicles, but stopped far short of a thermonuclear level.

A variety of exotic armors protected 29th century combat vehicles. Metaplas, a light, durable synthetic with seemingly limitless application, made up the primary component of most armor systems. Anti-kinetic gels and ceramic-carbide alloys in honeycomb or laminate designs added immensely to armor's capacity to absorb damage. Stealth materials deadened radar, and nanotech-animate metals permitted limited reconfiguration of armor in the middle of combat.

Computers were a necessary evil from the standpoint of humanity, and never more so than on the battlefields of the Starsiege. Without targeting assistance and interpretation of sensor data, no human pilot would ever have been able to match a Cybrid counterpart. The NEXT, however treated computers almost as a human would a smart dog, and many warforms seemed to develop a relationship with their pilotforms.

Weapons & Shields
Before the advent of the Martian cache technology, armored warfare was a ballet of energy and ballistic weapons versus shields and armor. Energy weapons were generally less effective against armor, but could weaken shields, whereas ballistic weapons penetrated armor far more readily than they did shields. Adept pilots would therefore seek to drop shields with a fusillade of laser of plasma fire a heartbeat before striking with missiles or armor-piercing autocannon rounds.

Pilot Interfaces
Pilots controlled their vehicles via a complex mix of virtual and solid controls. Although direct neural interface (DNI) was possible, it carried serious medical risks. Instead, pilots used gauntlets incorporating force-feedback mechanisms that permitted customization of a virtual control panel and operation of vehicles via macros and hologram switches. Manual controls were also standard, but were considered less responsive than the virtual configurations.


Prometheus intends for the <Adjudicator> to terrorize humanity, and the design incorporates architecture and weaponry toward precisely that purpose. It is chiefly deployed against human civilian populations, but its heavy armament also serves it well on the battlefield.


A mainstay of the human forces during The Fire, the venerable and beloved "Apoc" is an outstanding design that the Empire has continued to upgrade for over two centuries. It serves as the TDF's main attack platform for ground operations.


A Terran Defense Force Basilisk sees action at Luna's Mare Imbrium. A heavier medium-weight Herc, the standard Basilisk offers above-average armor protection but is not noted for its agility. It serves best in the roles of fire support or escort duty.


<Choosers-of-Tactics> often mount radiation guns and tangler weapons on <Bolos> . In a style similar to the ancient Roman retarius, a <Bolo> will immobilize an enemy Herc and then kill the pilot with radiation bursts.


Perhaps the most distinctive product of the Martian rebels' "patchwork" armory, the Dreadlock is retrofitted from a sturdy bulldozer design. The thick dozer blade provides excellent frontal protection and ramming capability. The Dreadlock can also take a combat engineering role, moving soil and rock to assist in fortification or to clear a site of debris.


A favorite of rebel pilots, the "Emanc" is descended from a cargo loader. It has earned a reputation as a reliable, tough machine, though not an agile one. It uses the cache weaponry to deadly effect, and forms the mainstay of the Martian force. Harabec is said to have a soft spot for the stubby Herc.


An <Executioner> engages the human\\animals on <Thrid-Planet's> moon. This Herc is a big, slow, and typically carried hideous firepower. It serves as a defensive unit or in occasional heavy assault missions where subtlety is not required. Human foes call it the "Potato Bug."


One of the most feared Cybrid Hercs, the <Goad> is one of the fastest ground vehicle on the battlefield. Here, a <Goad> assaults a communication relay settlement on Luna. <Goads> on the moon have learned to kick up dust to hide their movements. They seem to attract the most innovative Cybrid pilots.


An Imperial Knight Gorgon takes a stand at a subarcology on Venus. The Gorgon is designed as a heavy assault platform, and carries more firepower than almost anything on the battlefield. At close range, it demolishes its opposition. Lack of speed is its major weakness.


The mainstay of the TDF tank forces, the Myrmidon boasts impressive firepower and armor at a cost of speed and maneuverability. Typically considered a long-range weapons platform, it fills a fire support role extremely well.


In the last months of planning the Yoke Offensive, Martian strategists became aware that they needed a heavy Herc to support the smaller Emancipator. They designed the looming Olympian from a masssive cargo-loading Herc. Large enough to face the Gorgon, the Olympian boasts rugged construction that allows it to soak incredible punishment and keep functioning.


Originally conceived as a missle platform, the Paladin serves a variety of roles in the TDF. Here a Paladin on training exercises in the Pacific Rim displays the traditional configuration.


Harabec modified this vehicle directly from the alien cache. The anti-grav propulsion system makes it quite maneuverable over any terrain, and the combination of regenerative equipment and heavy offensive capability gives it resiliency and kick on the battlefield. It is Harabec's favorite "hunting" platform.


The swiftest of Cybrid Hercs, the <Seeker> serves Prometheus as a Cybrid scout and light attack Herc. The <Choosers-of-Tactics> often employ them in packs to bring down heavier enemy units. They provide excellent skirmishing units, and the bulk of their missions involves some combination of reconnaissance and raiding.


<Shepherds> earned their designation from their original role, wherein they provided convoy protection and executed defensive patrols. The <Shepherd> has respectable firepower and speed for its size, but is limited by a relatively low top speed.