With interstellar mining companies scrambling for far off planets in search for precious minerals and metals, it quickly became apparent that tracked vehicles could not operate in most harsh environments and these mega corporations quickly started investing heavily in robotics and developed the first of the industrial walkers, designed primarily to carry heavy equipment and drilling operations. Over time, the mega corporations begun staking claim on entire planets and started colonizing them, forming interstellar governments and massing military equipment.
Eventually, the largest of these bodies, the Riesman Confederation, started buying out the smaller fish. In the early 3060′s, a handful of the largest, free corporations formed the Interstellar Alliance, halting the buyouts for the time being. In the late 3070′s, the Alliance discovered a new system, Solaria, littered with several planets rich with some of the rarest minerals found in the known universe, and greed drove Confederation to start an all out war against the Interstellar Alliance. Thus began the first Interstellar War of 3078.
Initially, the two sides restricted themselves to space combat and both sides fared equally, but eventually Confederation forces started attacking Alliance’s mining colonies and with superior military hardware and better training, the Confederation soon gained the upper hand.
The Alliance had set up a technology lab on the moon planet Vesper IV where they were researching and developing new weapon systems to use against the Confederation forces. In the year 3082, the Confederation forces made planetfall very close to the secret lab, and started scouting the planet for hidden colonies. A scouting party spotted the base and an assault team was dispatched to take control of the facility. Sensing certain death, the scientists at the Alliance base jury-rigged the industrial walkers they had with prototype weapons and whatever armor plating they could find, and sent them out with the few light attack vehicles they had to take on the incoming assault force. The walkers razed the assault force and sent the survivors scurrying back to their dropship.
The Alliance saw an opportunity to turn the tide of the war and started work on Project Retribution. The sole focus of this project was to develop dedicated Armored Combat Walkers that would give the Alliance’s limited ground forces the edge they needed. The first ACWs rolled out were built around the Mammoth heavy industrial walker chassis. With better engines and machinery, they were fitted with the best prototype weapons the Alliance had and were used as front line units, with some variants focusing on fire support and artillery roles. Their combat effectiveness was proved when a simple squad of mixed heavy and light ACWs successfully thwarted an enemy attack on their base, and then continued to take out the enemy HQ nearby. The ACWs helped the Alliance end the war with the enemy forces retreating to Confederation space in 3091.
The Confederation, analyzing mission debriefs, soon realized the effectiveness of such weapon systems and developed their own ACWs. The second Interstellar War (3187-3234) resulted in the Alliance losing several planets in the Solaria system and heavy casualties on both sides, and an eruption of mercenary units loaded for bear with the best weapon systems from both sides. IW2 also resulted in the development of better weapon systems and several new classes of ACWs.
Copyright © 2007 – 2015 – Kashif Malim
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