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War Machine Profiles

War Machine Profile #12: The Chipwell Assault Suit

By Brian Hardwick

Overview: While it may often be overlooked with the number of other higher quality power armor suits available to North American inhabitants, the CAS-30 Chipwell Assault Suit (CAS) provides its user with very passable combat abilities at a low cost. Users of the CAS must use their suits wisely, not pushing them too hard and using sound tactics to make the most of the suit's limited capabilities.

Firepower: The CAS has only two standard weapons, a 14.5mm Machine Gun and a converted Wilk's 457 Laser Pulse Rifle.

The Machine Gun provides the user with the ability to take on those mage's that like to use the Impervious to Energy spell. As noted in the description this is a poor substitute for a true rail gun toting power armor unit. However it does offer some of the versatility. For example, the use of silver coated bullets allows the suit user to take on vampires or other supernatural creatures vulnerable to silver. Also, it is easier (and cheaper) to replace and service than a rail gun. Finally, note that while the description states that it shoots explosive bullets, the damage listed actually matches that of the WI-20 Heavy Ramjet Rounds.

The Wilk's 457 offer the user an excellent weapon. It provides good stopping power and range when facing enemy infantry, and thanks to the suits nuclear power plant, unlimited duration. Sadly, the integration of the weapon into the suit and the lack of sophisticated targeting systems do not maintain the 457's usual fire bonus.

Armor Protection: Overall the CAS does provide decent protection when facing infantry small arms. Taking the suit up against anything heavier will see your suit destroyed quickly, and you with it. Remember to use good tactics at all times.

Speed: Moving at a top speed of 40 MPH, the suit again offers a advantage when facing only infantry, but suffers when facing anything more potent.

Deployment: With its low cost, the CAS could easily become one of the more prolific units on the Rifts battlefield. I would hazard a guess that one of the things holding it back is a lack of additional production facilities.

Military units making use of the CAS would do well to keep it out the way of its more sophisticated counter-parts, heavy combat borgs and robot vehicles. I'd suggest using it as a reserve unit, but if you are forced to use it as part of your battle plan then hide the unit and strike from a ambush, withdrawing it before it sustains too much damage.

Upgrades: As one might expect there are a lot of possibilities for upgrades.

Starting with the Machine Gun, it may very well be possible to replace it with the WI-MG15 Viper Anti-Infantry Machine Gun. This weapon has double the range of the old machine gun, and offer's even more tactical flexibility in its ammunition choices.

The Wilk's 457 is always a solid choice of a weapon, but other energy weapons could be mounted, especially if they offer increased range. Operators may be able to install a water system for use against vampire's in place of a energy weapon.

To provide a anti-armor capability, a two shot mini-missile launcher could be mounted to the arm opposite the laser rifle.

An always popular choice is too add some grenade launchers. Placing these on the legs and using a combination of smoke and tear gas grenade's the CAS pilot could cover his retreat or be effective in a riot control situation as well.

Increasing the CAS's armor protection (see the Operator OCC, pg 92 RUE) will go a long way to increase the suit's endurance on the battlefield.

Finally, a Techno-Wizard can add all kinds of enchantments to the CAS, and that in it self could greatly increase the combat potential of the suit.

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