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War Machine Profiles

War Machine Profile #4: IAR-3 Skull Smasher

CS Heavy Assault Robot
By Brian Hardwick

Overview: The IAR-3 Skull Smasher is the Coalition’s premier robot combat vehicle. As such the CS High Command only assigns their most elite crews to pilot it. The Skull Smasher is destined to become the next great icon of the CS military. It’s combination of speed, armor and firepower set it apart from any other design built in North America.

Firepower: The Skull Smasher provides good firepower, though not quite overwhelming, unless the crew uses the “alpha strike“ tactic. However in the hands of the CS elite crews it becomes a bit deadlier, regardless. The ’Smasher’s back mounted laser cannon provides reasonable ranged hitting power to harass a enemy while it closes the distance. As the unit moves in closer the mini-missiles and particle beams come into play. In a somewhat unorthodox arrangement, the arm mounted lasers are mounted in ball turrets, providing some unique combat possibilities to the crew. The arm lasers have good range and hitting power. Pilot’s will often fire salvo’s from these when advancing rapidly in addition to the gunner’s back mounted laser cannon. When all the energy weapons are within range, a popular tactic is for a “alpha strike” where the back laser, forearm lasers and particle beams are all fired at the same opponent. This is another reason why the elite crews are assigned, as this requires a well drilled team to take full advantage of this. For air-defense, the design carries six medium range missiles. Usually these will be the multi-warhead smart bomb variety. Finally when in close combat, the Smasher is, of course, a most deadly adversary.

Armor Protection: The Smasher provides the crew with excellent protection, better than any other design on North America, barring the most recent Naruni robot vehicles.

Speed: This 80 ton monster can reach a top speed of 90 MPH. The speed of this unit, along with the other newer CS designs, the military’s blitzkrieg tactics are all the more effective.

Deployment: Not quite as numerous as other designs, the CS uses the Skull Smasher as their spear point to break enemy lines. With flanking support from the Hellraiser, aerial support from SAMAS and sky cycles, the ‘Smasher and their elite crews will generally achieve their objective.

Upgrades: The Skull Smasher would benefit from a few modifications. First would be to replace the top mounted laser arm with a turret to provide a better range of fire. In addition, a change to the higher intensity lasers as used by the CS combat jets such as the Nightwing would also be a big plus. Secondly would be to add leg mounted grenade launcher system’s such as that used on the NGR X-2500 Black Knight. A last modification would be to increase the number of missiles.

If the CS were to ever get hold of the pre-Rifts technology used by the Native Americans, especially in terms of particle beam weaponry, then the CS would likely re-fit all their Skull Smasher units with the more advanced designs and adjust their assembly lines accordingly as well.

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