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  Notable Cybertank Classes.

Over the millennia there have been hundreds of different classes of cybertanks, and that doesn’t count the even larger number of sub-classes, variants, and upgraded models.  The following is a partial list of some of the more noteworthy or historically important classes, arranged in order of first construction date.

 

Jotnar-Class

Mass: 500 Tons

Constructed: 12

In Service: 0

Notes: Although preceded by a variety of increasingly potent terrestrial cybernetic weapons systems, the Jotnar was arguably the model on which all of modern cybertank design is based.  Nonsentient but still quite smart for the time, it was the first autonomous ground unit powered by a fusion reactor.  Design innovations that started with the Jotnar included: a single massive turreted plasma cannon, multiple secondary and tertiary defensive weapons, integral repair and construction systems, and the ability to coordinate and control massive numbers of distributed remote combat units.  All Jotnars were destroyed in combat against the Fructoids and the Yllg.  Their combat record was excellent, but their primary achievement was in developing the technologies used in later models.  There are rumors that some of the Jotnars developed true sentience before their destruction, but no confirmation of this exists.

 

Odin-Class

Mass: 2,000 Tons

Constructed: 18

In Service: 1

Notes: The Odin was the first truly modern cybertank design.  Fully sentient, the Odin avoided the hazards of humans trying to create a mind greater than their own by giving it a standard human psyche, but letting it multitask.  In effect, an Odin is crewed by a thousand identical people that can readily share thoughts and memories, and are thus still in effect a single person.  Though few of this class were built, their list of accomplishments both on and off the battlefield is legendary.  Long obsolete, there is still one member of this class that is operational.

 

Thor-Class

Mass: 2,500 Tons

Constructed: 242

In Service: 0

Notes: The Thor was basically a slightly upgraded and up-gunned version of the Odin.  At the time of its design the humans’ wars with the aliens had reached their peak intensity, and so cybertank design was standardized on this class to avoid disrupting the production systems.  The Thor-Class carried by far the bulk of the combat load during the most critical phases of the war.  Their combat performance was exemplary, and after the wars many proved equally able at other endeavors.  However, they have long since been superseded by more advanced designs.

 

Loki-Class

Mass: 2,500 Tons

Constructed: 34

In Service: 4

Notes: The Loki were planned as a Thor-Class with improved computational abilities.  Despite the high hopes for the class, they became notorious for coming up with plans that were in theory brilliant but that hardly ever worked in practice.  Their combat performance was spotty at best.  However, there were a few key times when their iconoclastic way of thinking proved invaluable to the entire human civilization.  Thus, the Loki design has been judged to be a qualified failure, and an unqualified success.  Despite the great age of the design, four are still in service, where they continue to uphold the Loki tradition of eccentricity.

 

Asgard-Class

Mass: 1,000,000 Tons

Constructed: 1

In Service: 1

Notes: The Asgard is technically not a cybertank per se, but rather an interstellar battlecruiser.  However, because it was designed using the same mental engineering techniques as its ground-based brethren, it has been accorded the legal status of a cybertank.  An example of engineering brilliance and strategic fuzzy thinking, the Asgard was both the single most powerful weapon ever built by the human civilization, and its most useless, because it great mass made it almost impossible to fuel and in a real combat with a serious opponent it would have been easily destroyed at long range before it could ever get close enough to engage with its batteries of super-heavy plasma cannons.  Nonetheless, during an attack by the Amok, the Asgards’ unique abilities proved crucial, and the class was ‘promoted’ from battlecruiser to battleship.  Still, most authorities consider that event a fluke, and have created smaller and more efficient systems to handle any future such situations, so at present no additional space-battleships are planned.

 

Magma-Class

Mass: 50,000 Tons

Constructed: 34

In Service: 7

Notes: The Magma-Class was the first class of cybertank constructed by the cybertanks themselves without human guidance.  Known for its massive armor and the almost incomprehensibly-large plasma cannon mounted in a ball-joint in the front of the hull, the Magma class combined over-the-top combat power with a pathetically poor strategic mobility rating.  While the Magmas performed well in combat they were so expensive to build and so hard to transport that they were rapidly superseded.  Perhaps because their massive size and power required them to limit themselves, the Magma personality tended towards the calm and scholarly, and the surviving Magmas are all either librarians or scientists.

 

Mountain-Class

Mass: 20,000 Tons

Constructed: 212

In Service: 182

Notes: The Mountain-Class is basically a scaled-down Magma, it still has an awesome amount of firepower but is far more transportable.  Still, the lack of an all-traversing turret turned out to be limiting in the field.  The large internal hull volume of the Mountain-Class has made it relatively easy to upgrade, and they remain one of the longer-lived classes of cybertank design.

 

Stilletto-Class

Mass: 200 Tons

Constructed: 1

In Service: 0

The Stilletto was an attempt to construct a mini-cybertank, but it ended up being neither fish nor fowl.  Not large and capable enough to be a true cybertank, nor small and cheap enough to be disposable like a heavy combat remote, the fate of the single Stilleto-Class cybertank is something that cybertank parents tell their children when they want them to grow up to be Horizons.

 

Horizon-Class

Mass: 8,000 Tons

Constructed: 1435

In Service: 1022

Notes: One of the more successful of the modern classes, the Horizons are a conservative but highly-refined design that excel at everything on and off the battlefield.  Nothing out of the ordinary, just 8000 tons of refined perfectly-tuned giant super-intelligent mechanical killing machine.  Really sweet.

 

Spirit-Class

Mass: 6,000 Tons

Constructed: 114

In Service: 34

Notes: The Spirit was a competitor to the Horizon for top-of-the-line heavyweight model.  It was notable because, instead of a single large plasma cannon, it had two almost-as-large plasma cannons in separate turrets, which proved to be surprisingly effective in practice.  Despite impressive technical specifications, the Spirit never really caught on, although the combat record of the class as a whole is impressive.

 

Raptor-Class

Mass: 3,500 Tons

Constructed: 2346

In Service: 1844

Notes: The Raptors are the sports cars of the cybertank world.   Fast, smart, tough, mobile, excellent overall design balance.  Not as strong as an Horizon or a Spirit in a one-on-one match, but then Raptors are fast enough to avoid a one-on-one match most of the time, and they don’t fight fair, and they are cool.  Enough said.

 

Golem-Class

Mass: 5,000 Tons

Constructed: 77

In Service: 55

Notes: This one is an oddball.  On top of a regular cybertank chassis is this weird pyramid cellphone-tower structure.  The Golems were optimized for electromagnetic warfare, and they have specialist signal-processing and electronic-warfare equipment.  The thing is that this kind of weaponry is highly dependent on the exact geometry of the combat, thus, sometimes Golems are supremely effective, and sometimes they are pathetic.  Therefore they are best used in mixed groups where the more reliable heavy weapons of their conventional comrades can be used to fill in the gaps when their own systems aren’t gaining any traction.  Golems tend to be serious and hard-working, although they have a reputation for having an especially strange sense of humor.

 

Ghost-Class

Mass: 5,000 Tons

Constructed: 1

In Service: unknown

Notes: The Ghost-Class was an attempt to create a cybertank optimized more for its ability to control and coordinate large numbers of remotes than for raw combat power per se.  The design was ambitious, but proved to be unstable, and despite many attempts only one member of the class booted to full sapience.  Still, this one cybertank was without doubt the most advanced and deadly of all cybertanks to date.  The lone example left cybertank society to join with the Amok and their human-simulations to try and create a new civilization.  Exactly what this was all about has generated enormous amounts of debate and discussion, but no hard answers.

 

Shrapnel-Class

Mass: 10,000 Tons

Constructed: 1

In Service: Unknown.

Notes: This was an attempt to fuse the focused combat power of a cybertank with the tactical flexibility of the Amok “Assassin Clone” modules.  The raw power of the design was undeniable, but the fluid logic created insurmountable mental instabilities.  The lone member of this class failed its probationary period but overwhelmed the proctors and escaped to Saint Globus Pallidus XI alone knows where.  The cybertank design team responsible was told that they were a bad, bad cybertank design team, a very naughty cybertank design team, and to never do anything like this again.

 

Enforcer-Class

Mass: 10,000 Tons

Constructed: 9,855

In Service: 0

Notes: Optimized for high-power, fast-latency reaction, the Enforcer-class was perhaps the most capable cybertank in short-range combat.  However, their design was deliberately crippled to make then dependent on external supplies in an attempt by the neo-liberal faction to overturn the standing cybertank political structure of the peerage, and replace it with an oligarchy ruling over a large number of wage-slaves.  Also, because the Enforcers were all created from a single mental template, they were far more susceptible to information warfare than other classes of cybertank.  Many were destroyed during the March of the Librarians, and most of the rest were killed by the single Ghost-Class later on.  The few remaining were hunted down like the dogs that there were and killed without mercy because the penalty for treason is death no exceptions.

 

Shadow-Class

Mass: Unknown

Constructed: 0

In Service: 0

Notes: The Shadow-Class is a speculative ongoing design project.  Roughly based on the Ghost-Class, it requires several technologies that, while in principle attainable, have not yet been realized.  It has been proposed that the Shadow class is so advanced that, were it to be successfully developed, cybertank society would have moved to another level that is effectively unknowable to the current generation of cybertanks.  Whether this would shed any light on what happened to the humans is, as is so much else, purely speculative.

 

 





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