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Why don't CAV's have hands?


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AI is a whole other dimension in robotics, and for CAVs there would almost have to be some primitive kind of "reasoning" to avoid the programmed routines from "stalling" while its trying to figure it's way around a problem. Stalling in combat could be deadly.


AI is basically the means for a machine to rationalize outside it's programmed routine, or to "learn" the answer to a problem and commit it to memory.


At its basic function, lets examine a drone RC car whos task is to travel a path from point A to Point B at a certain time each day. It does this regularly but one day a brick wall is put in its way. All of the sudden, there is a problem so the operator guides the drone around the wall and the drone changes it's routine to adjust.


Thats a typical robot, however with true AI, the drone would have been able to identify the problem itself and rationalize a solution without the operator's intervention. Right or wrong, the drone would have made a choice based on it's best "reasoning" then acted on that choice.


The best robots nowadays have the intelligence of a dumb animal, they do what they do, thats it! The difference is they do what they do extremely well, especially repatative motion.


this is why AI for the weapons components of a CAV is a scary thing (for me anyway), so the WSO is a practical answer for that. Whats to stop the machine from declaring it's own crew a target? Now we're talking close to what I mean by a CAV which is slaved to a Mangus in our "future campaigns".


AI is a whole other arena of discusion and it tends to revolve around religions and emotion. but unfortunatly that is a path which isn't clearly defined along our conditions, and that's why we as humans are naturally afraid.


You don't even have to argue about the articulation of hand joints, that is absolutely true.


the Combat Assault Vehicle is a robot, but it isn't much good for anything else; the whole arm from the shoulder down, is designed to carry a heavier weapons load out than if it were a weapon carried in a hand. The wieght distribution is different, but if the whole arm was removed from lets say a Dictator and replaced with an articulating hand, the flexibility of the Dictator would be governed by what it can hold.


NO argument there, brother, but there would be no hand held weapon it could carry that would match the firepower of its GKw 12s; it's the load distribution.


So would a CAV with hands be even in the same league with a typical CAV? Not without some serious programming and discipline changes. for example, A light recondo or stealth variant CAV would benefit from being able to clear its own way through heavier brush.


It would need killer ECM and hellified speed to compensate for the lack of firepower. Under this rationale, this type of CAV would not be expected to confront a typical superiority CAV, but use its flexibility to take it places beyond what a normal CAV can go. things like vertical rock climbing, thick brush movements, ETC, ETC.


Now there is a "CAV with hands" that uses it's strengths to compensate for its weakness'. I could see a special knife for this variant but more so for other uses, like clearing brush than opposed to close combat. Give it a good short ranged weapon with some punch, maybe a single shoulder fired anti CAV weapon.

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I was thinking more along the lines of a big axe or mace as opposed to a knife. Obviously a CAV wouldn't have the capabilities a human would in regards to mobility or dexterity, but wouldn't bellar joints be perfect for weapons requiring a certqain amount of centrepidal force like flails or maces? A frictionless joint spinning something relatively heavy, hmmm..

We've seen Battlebots and the damage capability of that little bot with the weighted wheel mounted on the front, it rips the crap out of everything. That bot literally threw other bots weighing several hundred pounds several feet in the air when it got a bite.

I do agree with KAMUT, a specialized recon CAV with manipulators of some sort would be able to carry out sabotage a little more steathily than a standard CAV with just woosh-bang weapons. Maybe a shoulder mounted weapon with short barrells so they don't get in the way, or a DFM rack with a lot of oomph.

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The flail is an excellent weapon for its day and time, but we wouldn't arm our troops with it. This is a weapon which excells at close range combat, and is great at wacking through foilage. (in the case of a 20-30 foot robot, those pesky tree branches.) but a Machete is just as effective and not liable to bounce back against a hard surface and smack you right back.


Battlebots is specifically point on point contact, now imagine if somebody armed one of them with a pair of M60 machine guns. the game will be dramatically changed.


I think this type of CAV would definately have to be on the small size, maybe even with a single crewman. Something like this could only be piloted by an expert, skilled as a pilot and WSO. I like the idea of a back slung weapon on a track which rotates the weapon over the shoulder and fired in the manner simular to an infantry man firing an anti tank rocket. - maybe for versatility, give it a multi function like the Chimera. (just don't mount it on the crotch with pump action) :blink:


It could have a hand held weapon, something like an MP5 in relation to size. that way it's small enough to tuck aside on a "holster"; plus a quickload feature would allow the weapon swap powercells (obviously, it's mission role would require it to rely mostly on PBG or LBG weaponry.)


A powered Knife would be pretty cool, maybe even shaped like a machete and holstered slightly downward from the chest, that way it could draw and slash in one motion. ideal for close combat if it was necessary; utilize a quick kill method against a full sized CAV by using it's stealth abilities to get close enough to the rear of a stationary CAV and Swiiiiiiiiish.


ECM would have to take on a stealth characteristic, perhaps even allowing an enemy CAV to read it as a lone infantry stand until visual confirmation is made. maybe deploy this single CAV as a section and place 3 more lone infantry stands to act as decoys. (one of course would be marked as the real thing.)


after visual confirmation is made, the stealth CAV can be placed on the table, unless it's in some heavy foilage like a jungle or forest with good tree cover. it can raise hell on anything that enters it's area of operation and the best defense is indirect fire saturation of that area.


Data card wise, this thing would be no more or less than 3 DTs. it's shoulder fired weapon just stay in the area of no more than +4 or +5 against either hard or soft targets. (range 32-40 depending if it's a sniper variant). the shoulder tracked weapon would be a weapon which will be on par with a large CAV chassis but not as tough.


Speed would be at least 26 inches, just enough to stay with the fastest superiority with an upgrade, but not enough to keep up with a RECON/ESM type CAV. it would be able to scale abrupt surfaces for maybe 2 or 3 points per level, and cannot fire when in that process.


parts would not be interchangable with other units, (breeders, TL systems, ECM systems.) In that relation, this type of CAV would be to CAVs what a laptop is to computer.


If Reaper ever pursues this idea, please let the Terran UCORs be the first to come up with this, preferably Mitso Ta. then you can call it the Mitso-Ta "Ninja". Of course, other UCORs would follow. So what does everybody think?

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There's something satisfying about seeing a small mushroom cloud abd debris flying everywhere


hehe, with the advent of the breeder, the flashy kill of yester yore is sadly gone.... ;)





KAMUT - on AI and Robots - I think you're arguing degrees. I am with you when you say that an AI would have to be an incredible to thing to pilot a CAV, a brilliant cognitive computer designd to use fuzzy logic at nearly the level of the human brain. The concept is that since it is science fiction you can go as far as you want. AI can be rugged and reliable. It doesn't have to be "scary" if you don't want it to.

For the sake of argument, if you can get to a point where an AI can think much like a human can, then you can set down some basic premises, like "Don't target freindly vehicles or personnel". You can even program parameters into your AI for each individual mission. With science fiction the sky is the limit.


a truly robotic CAV could certainly out perform a human piloted CAV in many arenas. Acceleration, deceleration, and centrifugal force are no longer a limiting issue. Fear is no longer an issue, nor is disobedience for the most part.


On the hands thing - I don't think having hand limits you in any way that would be considered unacceptable when weighed against the disadvantages. For example the ammunition could potentially be argued as an issue, although tat could be solved in several ways. The size of the weapon may or may not be an issue when it comes down to it. What's the difference between having an arm dedicated to carrying one single weapon, or an arm that is configurable to many? It isn't necessarily any more weak then the dedicated arm, and it has the added advantage of dropping said weapon for a greater speed advantage if need be. Close combat is the cliche but it is still an issue on the battlefield, especially with the way CAV can boogey.


Maintenance is a much more simplified thing, especially that important aspect - field maintenance. Currently I have to stop, hunker down, put my technical crew in danger and/or expose my CAV crew as well, to detach the damaged weapon, and re-attach the new weapon. All of which I can't imagine could be done in under an hour.

With hands, we have a few units that are combat ineffective, well, I drop my current damaged weapon and pickup one of their weapons, total time - about 6 seconds.

I just ran out of ammo?! No big deal, I close the distance and I start tearing armor off by the sheet. Hell if it get's down to it I'm still holding a potential club, not to mention all the goodies that could be custom built for close combat on a machine that large.



I like Heavy Gear as a great example of this. Many of your examples KAMUT are held up in that game. What's also cool about their concepts is that you still have the AI to take care of the mundane stuff. It's not mentioned in CAV but in Heavy Gear, your Gear can prep itself and even maintain a level of defensibility if the pilot is knocked unconcious while it makes it's way off the battlefield. That in my book is the ultimate combination of man and machine. Now you have the flexible and quick thinking human being in charge but you have a suitable back up computer brain or AI to cover all the mundane tasks you'd prefer the pilot to ignore and it can act as pilot and gunner in a pinch!

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Again, true AI is the ability to reason outside it's programed routine. If you program a machine to "not target freindlies" with true AI, it has the ability to think outside of that routine. that's true AI. Science fiction or not. I was just saying, that is scary to me. unfortunate for me, we are heading that direction.


An AI equipped CAV will outperform a human/WSO piloted one, almost too mechanical and with no inhibitions about it.


I'm with you about the flexibility of weapons. drop one pick up another, yeah it doesn't get much quicker than that. but your at the mercy of whats available, and that wouldn't always be applicable.


A hand held weapon for a CAV would be smaller than whats currently used for them. you couldn't use the current CAV weapons like a pistol, their too big, harder to aim and the prolonged stress would be a problem in the "forearm area" of the arm. the metal would have to be rediculuously thick and dense to keep it from destroying the arm. If you did decide to use one of the typical CAV weapons, it would have to be used like a rifle; and you'll only have one.


If you tuck a rifle under both of your arms then you can use two, but a CAV is already configured that way. A typical CAV is a dedicated weapons platform with a certain degree of flexibility. Agreed not nearly as flexible as a machine with hands, but well designed for its role.


I do think a CAV with hands may not be such a bad idea, I agree with you there. but what I'm saying is, it's combat role would be much different.

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Can you describe the differences in combat roles you see for hands and not hands?



As for AI - I see what you are saying. It doesn't bother me. As a matter of fact I am one of those that would argue it is a step of evolution :poke:


As for handheld weapons vs hard mounts. I can see where you are going with the loadout. With hands you might lose the benefit of having two large caliber weapons. It could be argued that you could still carry two large caliber weapons but then you lose some of the advantage anyway. What I imagine is sort of more an over the shoulder method. A layout where a machine potentially has it's shoulder mounted weapons, much like CAV's do. It would also carry a main weapon usually a "rifle" of some sort. It could be used one handed if need be but using both hands gives you greater stability. In this configuration you do indeed lose the 4th weapon, but that doesn't mean you couldn't compensate. In HG some Gears carry pack mounted rockets and bazookas, disposable weapons designed to give that extra punch.

As for strength of material, etc...in a science fiction environment that is never really an issue. Just like a renewable power source that doesn't explode :) you can have a super dense or strong alloy that can hold up to the pressure. again another balance thing.


While I know a lot of CAV players have the kneejerk reaction to respond favorably to anything in CAV that isn't like CBT, I personally would go with hands over non-hands with no doubts. The ability to do my own field engineering (quite a bit easier to dig your own entrenchment with hands then scooping it out with barrels ;) ) the flexibility of on the go weapons change outs, and the ability to pull your opponents arms off and then kick them around just to rub it in adds up to something I would prefer.

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At a glance, you just described the differences yourself.


the weapons loadout dictate the mission role. A CAV to put it simply is a Combat Assault Vehicle (cool name huh?). there is no mistaking that, and it will carry a much heavier weapons payload than an equally sized CAV with hands.


Role specifics, are as Reaper described exactly. CAVs are breach and penetration, especially against a heavy battle line. Simular to conventional armor, but far more mobile.


Something like a Heavy Gear or a CAV with hands is far more surgical in operation. Attacks would be against precise and predefined targets, where it could utilize it's flexibility at best. In a straight up fight, within a few seconds against an equally sized CAV, a CAV with hands wouldn't stand up to a typical CAV.


A typical CAV will have it outgunned from the jump. The weapons damage greatly supercede the armor value in CAV and the CAV with hands wouldn't be able to bring about decisive firepower as quickly as a CAV can. Not trashing HG, or the idea about CAVs with hands, just running the comparison.


Close combat could be ideal for a CAV with hands, but just like your not going to run 300 meters across the battlefeild just to punch a rifleman in the head, a CAV with hands will have to be crafty with its approach.


the Larger weapons on a CAV would have better range than anything hand held and a rifle type CAV weapon will have to stand up against two primary weapons.

secondary mounts have been left out because if the two were equally sized, the two have the same potential to carry the same secondary weapons types.


A CAV with hands lacks the double primary weapons advantage of a typical CAV, but gains the advantage of flexiblity because of the articulation of its hands. It would be better to avoid a direct fire fight with a typical CAV so I think the reduction of size in comparison would make it a harder target and easier to hide. A CAV with hands would do better to mask its approach (as with all things) but more so being that it is obviously outgunned.


Stealth would work better with a smaller unit anyway so this type of CAV starts to shine here. Light CAVs usaully have great ECM, so as a lighter model, this could be a simular trait. Why fight a CAV directly if you can snipe him from a safe and obsene position? A CAV with hands would definately be able to reach these obscure positions.


this is the discipline that suggests itself to me when I compare two equally sized CAVs; one with hands, and one without.


I really have to try out Heavy Gear; I've been a little biased towards even trying out other Mecha games. Heavy Gear is one for certain I haven't tried.

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Some good points KAMUT, however I would like to propose that a CAV with hands could potentially carry an equally lethal payload.

The idea is that with two supporting limbs, the weapon could be potentially bigger then even your standard CAV, near double what a single CAV mounted weapon would be.

Of course the trade off is that you have the single shot instead of the double shot, but the oppurtunities for a straight out kill are higher and most likely equal out those trade offs in the long run.

I would also argue that you could potentially mount "super" weapons, because at one point you could mount something extremely large on a CAV that could kneel and use it's hand or hands to add extra stability. Of course this could also be accomplished by a specialty CAV, like the Spider or Scorpion.


Of course I agree in a stand up fight your standard CAV would have the weapons load out advantage but that to me is minimal when compared with tactical flexibility.


I would also like to note that in my mind, close combat is still secondary to other aspects of having hands on a machine. Close combat is typically a balls to the wall, no guts no glory type of action, when standoff isn't going to be as effective and usually signifies a desperate attempt on someons part to even the odds. Having the hands obviously gives you an edge in close quarters but I consider that more a bonus then a goal. Even in Heay Gear, close combat is not as effective and so discouraged. It's relegated to heroic action or desperate action. All Heavy Gear carry "small" combat knives or machete but those are more utility then combat effective in my opinion.


If you get the chance KAMUT I highly recommend you check out HG. I think it would appeal to your sense of detail and military knowledge. The game is much more "realistic" in it's play but as I have stated on another forum recently, even with the added detail, both games seem to take about the same amount of time. The models are a tad cheaper and it is most certainly combined arms since Gears are more a highly specialized form of power armor then the dominant piece of military equipment. Hands and legs give them the greater flexibility (as we have been discussing) and so they are essentially used as heavy infantry/special forces type roles.

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I think I was proposing something simular with the specs for the "Ninja" whereas using a shoulder mount to fire a standard CAV sized weapon simular to how a grunt fires a stinger or maybe like a Dragon. The potential is definately there. I like the idea of this weapon operating with various modes like the Chimera or the Sultan's rotary IFM. this would increase it's heavy combat potential. maybe with a 36-40 range, this unit could qualify as a sniper.


Too often enough, a lot of people equate a mech with hands and the potential for close combat. Its there, but as you said, those are extreme measures, you have to get close enough first.


Sold on HG, and will talk to my people tonight. I think I can get a platoon in a pack, so I'll start with that to get a feel for the game. maybe later I'll try Gear Krieg too.

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that's not a bad idea. Like I said earlier, similar to heavy gear where it is common for gears to carry one off weapons like bazookas and such.


I know now a days you can purchase cadres/squads for HG for around 25$, thats about 5$ per gear, a pretty good price if you ask me. The gears sell seperatley for about 6$. Tanks and Striders run a little more, between 10-25$ depending on the size of the machine but most of them are certainly worth it on the battlefield. There are a couple of nice things about Heavy Gear, first if your a fluff kind of person then there is TONS of it for the universe. Most of the books for the RPG are informational, with small sections on actual game statistics. For the tactical game there is a huge number of vehical compendiums as well. The down side is that since the company has maintained a small profile the new releases come slowly, however most vehicles are just variants on different chassis and so it is easy enough to kitbash most of the variants.

My recommendation is that you start with 2 squads/cadres of gears from both sides and learn the game that way. I added infantry almost right away as well as some lighter units, mostly bike units, and a Strider for each side. My next purchase is going to be some tanks for both sides. If you have any questions KAMUT feel free to ask, I love the game and can probably answer most of your questions!

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Let me dig for info first, then I'll ask you about whichever faction I choose.


On the CAV side of the house, If your willing. We'll try a few new things on Cassini once the holidays let up. We already established as we push further to the north, we will come across heavier experimentations like TAK Sinopa, Notako, Apukeena and quite possibly lesser Mangus.


We'll introduce a Special Operations Cybot (SOC) and a few hand held weapon classes to start with. most certainly, we'll keep these Cybots on the light CAV scheme of things, however with the shoulder track and heavier weapon, this thing should at least be able to carry one heavy weapon somewhat comparable to a large CAV.


We can bump heads on stats together, but preferably its weapons load should stay around 1-2 hand held weapons (or a rifle) a knife and either a shoulder tracked heavy weapon or some kind of secondary DFM/IFM mount for light CAVs. Damage wise, i'm looking no more than +4 to +5 (Hard) for a shoulder tracked weapon +3 to +4 for hand held weapons, rifles having the better range.


Scaling vertical surfaces require 3 or 4 movement points per level, and a rappelling kit is standard for this thing. (perhaps good for up to 10 levels of vertical climb) some of the terrain up north will be great to try this out. I'll get to work on this and look for them during our next recovery operation right after the New Year.


We'll give these things a baptism by fire, hoah.

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Sounds cool to me! I'm all for it. I'll give some thought to some stats.


As for HG and factions. Try to read some fluff on it if you can. Much like real modern armies, the equipment for each of the factions is similar, especially considering the south essentially stole the technology for gears from the north and have maintained that habit. The big difference come between Terranovan Factions and Earth forces or paxton arms forces. Earth forces tend to be tank and infantry heavy since before they arrived on Terra Nove they had no idea what a Gear was.

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I think for HG, i'll probably stay small for a while, so I'll probably try a Terranova faction to get the feel for their mecha. besides, my pockets can only handle so much anyway, it's tough managing a CAV army, hoah.


At Spartan; No doubt. It'll be included with our next update of the Tolucan registry and you can have it all in one shot. just give me an email.


At Red

I'm reexamining the situation at Sierra Romeo, the trench and bunker system. basically that whole ridge area is home to a pretty extensive underground facility. Originally a light CAV would be able to get around a lot of that facility but these SOC may have the right mix of capability to get through all of that, even if they have to high crawl, low crawl through some areas.


Another situation is the mobile Delgado TACOPS, one SOC sniper round oughtta take her out, and theres no way in hell any conventional equipment is going to get further north without punching through. Wild Apaches would keep the remaining Delgado elements occupied, I think a sniper variant is in the works.


Silent Storm has been giving us all hell, so maybe a recon screen is the best option. You already caught Mchale, and with the Geronimo pounding the h*ll out of Delgado, they would certainly disperse to avoid being pin pointed. We'll run a section of SOC through their area with a super wide dispersal pattern, pin point any of their prick officers and take them out before they have the chance to converge on any of our heavier forces.


there might be a small delay before we start up, but I'll have these mission parameters detailed when we do.

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