"Yeah, verily, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am driving a house-sized mass of Fuck You!" - Anonymous tank crewman
The AMX-120 is the main-line battle tank of the Directorate Army and Naval Infantry Corps [marines]. It is a long-serving design, in fact one of the oldest vehicles still in operational use by Directorate military forces. Many of the most grizzled, veteran tankers crew vehicles which are considerably older than they are - battered by the scars of a hundred vicious battlefields and touched by glow of dozens of alien suns.
As a concept, the tank pre-dates the Directorate by more than a millenium. The idea of armored fighting vehicles has been a centrepiece of warfare since man's pre-space days, clattering and grinding through the very cradle of old human civilization. And, though the Carnifex is a dated design by Directorate standards, it is to these ancient vehicles - like the Abrams and Tiger Tank - as a bow & arrow would be to an automatic machine gun.
Perhaps the vehicle's most anachronistic feature is the fact that it is a manned fighting vehicle at all, not an autonomous construct (or "robot"). However, this is the case for most all Directorate military hardware. Most everything, from the power armor worn by the individual infantrymen to the massive 300km battleships, is equipped with a sentient Artificial Intelligence construct to assist the human operators and even exert autonomous control if they are incapacitated. The Carnifex is no exception. In addition to the four-man crew, each tank has an A.I. "consciousness" through which they interact with the machine.
The vehicle's computer systems are with out a doubt its most modern feature. The Current model of AMX-120 is actually its fifth iteration. The original AMX-120 "Mark I." was fielded almost four hundred years prior to the current date.
Denizens of pre-colonial Earth would have no trouble recognizing the Carnifex for what it is. It drives on caterpillar tracks, has a single powerful turret-mounted main gun, is very well-armored, large and makes copious amounts of noise. There is nothing subtle about the machine. However, its every feature - when compared to the tanks of the 20th and 21st century - is exagerated and ramped-up on an exponential scale.
In general form, the vehicle resembles a sitting four-legged animal. Its treads are distributed in four independently-articulating sponsons, two fore and two aft, that pivot on the body for maximum all-terrain effectiveness. The body is coffin-shaped, with the longer narrower portion toward the front. It grows wider near the rear, where the turret is located. The turret is small and, although rear-mounted, its main gun protrudes out over the front of the vehicle - it holds only ammunition, the entire crew is located in the body. The driver sits at the front of the vehicle, almost laying flat on his back thanks to the steeply-sloaped front plate. Directly behind him sits the gunner, facing the same direction, like the second crewman on an attack helicopter. Further back is the commander, and directly behind him in a rear-facing seat is the technician, who controls the tank's electronic systems and engages in electronic warfare and counter-warfare with the help of the A.I.
Size and MobilityEdit
Massing nearly 200 metric tonnes, the AMX-120 out-weighs the heaviest battle tank of the 20th century - the M1 Abrams - by more than double. This has little if any affect on its mobility, however. With a fully-sealed outer hull that offers complete passive Nuclear-Biological-Chemecial (NBC) protection, it can simply drive through bodies of water like rivers unperturbed and even boasts integral hydro-jets for this specific purpose. Moreover, its four track sponsons are capable of unfolding into legs, allowing it to walk over extremely uneven terrain and achieve a wider field of fire. For weight-sensitive terrain such as marshes and bogs, the tank is further equipped with a series of repulsion projectors that allow it to hover. In this state, however, it moves with extreme slowness - at a crawling pace, really - and only has about a meter of ground clearance. It is often towed, in hover mode, by the all-terrain AMX-400 "Brucus" antigravity tractor.
The tank's primary weapon is a 152mm linear-accelerator, or "rail gun". Capable of firing about 16 shots per minute with a variety of projectile types (of which the most common are solid heavy metal penetrator "bolts"), there is little the AMX-120 cannot destroy in a single shot. Moreover, the Carnifex boasts a pair of automated 37mm coil-accelerator chain gun pods at the middle of its body, one on either side in the gaps between the forward and rearward tred sponsons. These weapon mounts have a 180-degree field of fire, allowing each one to fire to the front and rear as well as across the vehicle's entire side. There is a third chain-gun pod on the front of the vehicle, behind the rotating "turret" that forms the driver's vision system. On the vehicle's main turret, mounted co-axially to the main cannon and integrated with its firing system, is a 65mm heavy autocannon (on the left) as well as a fourth 37mm chain gun (on the right). A second 65mm autocannon is mounted atop the turret and is often employed as an anti-aircraft weapon, although it is quite capable of engaging ground targets. Finally, a fifth chain-gun pod is mounted BEHIND the main turret at the back of the vehicle to protect the rear. All secondary weapons, apart from the two mounted coaxially with the main gun, are controlled by the tank's A.I.. All four crew-members have the capability to assign targets for these weapons, though that is not necessary as the A.I. can distinguish between friend and foe and judge target priority autonomously.
As a final offensive feature of the vehicle, when in "walking" mode, it can act as a medium artillery platform. Using the additional height provided by its legs and their independently-articulating ball sockets, the tank can alter the orientation of its chassis and aim the main gun higher than it otherwise would be able to for indirect fire. The Carnifex is deployed in this role almost as often as it is used as a battle tank, though even in regular "tracked" mode its cannon still possesses a more limited-range indirect fire capability. When performing artillery fire missions, the crew of the vehicle will often exit and leave the operation entirely to its A.I. (which is strongly against Directorate Military regulations).
Being a battle tank, the Carnifex's most obvious defense is its incredibly thick, heavy slab-like armor. In general concept, the armor would be immediately familiar to the 20th or 21st century engineer. It is a complex system of metallic and ceramic layers forming "cells". These cells are placed between spaced inner and outer titanium alloy hulls, and are often referred to as "sandwiches" by Directorate engineers. Each armor plate contains one or more cells, and there are cells of multiple thicknesses and compositions that can be inserted. The cells are numbered according to where they are placed and lettered according to their type, with the "A" cell being the standard (and thickest) cell.
The tank also possesses Energy Screens (more commonly referred to as "shields"). Its onboard computers are capable of complicated electronic warfare and counter-warfare operations. It also has active protection systems in the form of computer-controlled "interceptor" launchers, which fire small proximity-detonating missiles, ultra-violet pinpoint lasers and shotgun-like clusters of tungsten pellets to destroy incoming ordnance.