Welcome to NexusNine.Net -- Click the image to go to the main page.


War Machine Profiles

War Machine Profile #10: Triax X-2500 Black Knight

By Brian Hardwick

Overview: This WMP takes us across the ocean to the New German Republic, where we review one of Triax Industries best war machines: the X-2500 Black Knight. The Black Knight has long been a fan favorite, and it’s easy to see why. To start with its got some of the best artwork for any of the robot vehicles, starting with Kevin Longs original picture in World Book 5 (p.74) to Scott Johnson’s beautiful color picture on the cover of Rifter #17 (and I’ll be honest, I bought that particular Rifter just because of the cover). The design just looks intimidating and should give it’s enemies the same sinking feeling if it was a modern day M1A2 Abrams MBT charging after them. More than great artwork, the design is a all around winner; in many respects, it’s the NGR’s version of the Coalition UAR-1 Enforcer. Both designs should still command respect on the battlefield despite their age. So let’s take a closer look at its capabilities.

Firepower: The Black Knight is designed as a close range fighter. Its primary gun is a powerful ion cannon in the left shoulder that has range and firepower equal to any rail gun, only no ammunition is needed. Backing up the ion cannon are a pair of mini-missile launchers, one in each leg. The ‘Knight carries enough ammo for 14 volleys of four minis each, and with the new Rifts Ultimate Edition rules of Armor Piercing missiles doing double or triple damage, these two weapon systems combined should provide a serious hurting on the target.

Backing up the ion cannon and mini-missiles are several systems. First are forearm mounted lasers--one in each arm. While the damage for these is sub par alone, the gunner or pilot can use both arms against a single target. Primarily these would be used by the pilot to swat aside infantry or attempt to shoot down a incoming missile volley. It’s also important to note that the range of the laser’s matches that of the ion cannon. Secondly are multiple grenade launchers. The ‘Knight carries a total of 32 grenades and can be loaded with a large variety of types depending on the mission.

For targets that are really close in, the Black Knight has something for them too. First: retractable eight foot long vibro-swords in each arm. These deal excellent damage, and the ‘Knight is particularly well suited for combat with them. Another system used is a giant mace/gauntlet combo that the ‘Knight can carry into battle. It completely covers up one hand and arm. The only problem is that it very likely does not allow the use of the integrated sword and laser in that arm (the write-up in WB 5 doesn’t say one way or the other). The mace however is designed to be sheathed in electrical energy, adding more damage to each of its attacks. A special bonus is that it can also fire a charge several times a melee against opponents. Finally, the Black Knight has a robotic strength score of 50, giving it a good range of hand to hand attack damages.

Armor Protection: The Black Knight is designed to lead the charge against enemy positions. As such it is well armored across its Main Body, arms and legs. It can take a pounding before going down.

Speed: At 70 MPH, the Black Knight isn’t going to win a lot of robot races, but it is adequate enough to get the big machine into position quickly.

Deployment: The Black Knight, like the CS Enforcer, is at home with either infantry, tanks or other robots. Ideally it should be matched with units that have a longer range punch. NGR Hunter robots with either the TX-884I or TX-871MM would be great choices. A unique feature of the Black Knight is its ability to carry up to four passengers. A company of Black Knights each suddenly releasing a fire team of heavy cyborgs can definitely change the tide of battle in the NGR’s favor.

Upgrades: The Black Knight, like any other design, isn’t perfect, but it does its job. That said, there are still options that can be implemented to improve its performance and make it an even more fearsome war machine. First thing to do would be to take a cue from the Coalition States and add a sensor tower to serve as a back-up. If the Black Knights head is destroyed, it loses all its sensors and associated bonuses. A second system is a must have on the Rifts battlefield. Another option would be to trade in the tired forearm lasers for pulse weapons. Using pulse lasers will add greatly to the pilots ability to quickly take out light annoying targets. For the grenade launchers, the New German Republic should get hold of some Coalition micro-fusion grenades. This will add even more to the ‘Knights ability to deal out heavy damage. Triax engineer’s are also the proud owners of force field technology, and it’s only natural to add this great defensive system to a already well armored machine.

This page was last updated on (none).
© 2004-2009 all authors as specified. Duplication of contents with permission only! This means you can't sell it, but feel free to print, modify, or use in anyway for your personal campaign use.
All incidents, situations, institutions, governments and people are fictional and any similarity to characters or persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.