Author Topic: WorkMech Wednesday (2017-06-14): Diomede Construction/Demolition/Security 'Mech  (Read 1913 times)

Giovanni Blasini

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WorkMech Wednesday: Diomede Construction/Security 'Mech



Welcome to this week's WorkMech Wednesday.  This is a new thing I'm trying, and we'll see how it goes.  Not sure I'm going to be able to get something every Wednesday, but hopefully it won't be as sporadic as, say, some of my JumpShip articles have been.  For those wanting to participate, feel free to join in!  The more the merrier!

Today, for our inaugural WorkMech Wednesday, we're going to talk about a bit of an odd duck, the Diomede ConstructionMech and its SecurityMech sibling.  First produced in 3084 by Curtis Hydroponics' Power Systems Division, its origins are a bit of an odd duck, which fits, since the Diomede is a bit of an odd duck itself.

Curtis Hydroponics, or "CHydro", was originally based on the FWL world of Paradise, which briefly was part of the Duchy of Graham-Marik before, in 3081, the Regulans decided to wipe out the planet with thousands upon thousands of nukes, in an attempt to kill the Master of the Word of Blake, proving once again there's no kill like overkill.

With their primary production lines gone, CHydro shut down its Curtiss Militech division entirely, ending their production of the Eagle, Wrath and Yeoman BattleMechs, focusing instead on IndustrialMech production.  Reportedly, this is at the behest of Devlin Stone and the Republic of the Sphere, which makes no damn sense, given Silver is in the Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey. So...maybe those restrictions are exclusive to sales within the Republic?

So, let's look at the first Diomede to roll off the assembly lines in 3084, the D-M3D-3.  Starting off, we have a 100-ton IndustrialMech that's primarily built to work at the job site.  Its left arm sports a heavy-duty pile driver, while each side torso sports a searchlight along with a port/starbord sprayer fed by a two-ton bay in the center torso.  In the right arm, you have a standard hand actuator with two wrist-mounted rivet guns, fed by two tons of rivets.  Like many IndustrialMechs, the Diomede has a set of tracks, in this case mounted on the 'Mech's shins.  Meanwhile, each side torso rear sports a lift hoist, allowing it to haul its own mass behind it.  Together, these give a clear picture of an effective ConstructionMech.

That's not all the Diomede has going for it, though.  In addition to its industrial equipment, all versions of the 'Mech sport 19 tons of Heavy Industrial Armor, equivalent in protection to the venerable AS7-D Atlas, and requiring three gauss rifles to the CT or two to each side torso to strip the armor.  Legs have max protection, and arms are each a point shy of max, with 3.5 tons of armor divided up across the rear torso, the CT rear able to take a heavy PPC with a point of armor to spare.  Paired with thick armor is a dirt-common Nissan 200 standard fusion engine, giving the 'Mech 10 standard heat sinks.  These come in handy when you look at another feature all Diomede share in common:  twin MML-7 launchers, one in each side torso, each fed by a ton of LRM and a ton of SRM ammo, protected by CASE, and paired with advanced fire control.

Combine, then, heavy armor, fusion engine, tracks and CASE in each side torso, and this becomes a ridiculously durable IndustrialMech.  While not currently supported by MegaMek as far as I could tell in testing, even taking out the Diomede's gyro won't guarantee rendering it immobile, which helps offset its slow 2/3 speed to some degree: it may not move fast, but it's damned hard to get it to stop moving that 2/3 each turn, and with its weaponry divided up, it's going to be hard to keep it from shooting.  Oh, and if you do disable it, it's got an ejector seat to try to get the pilot out of harm's way, and if you get close enough to try to take advantage of its IndustrialMech construction by engaging it in melee combat, you're still engaging a 100-ton 'Mech in melee combat.  Where it can punch you, kick you, or even just hit you with its pile driver if annoyed enough.

"But Gio, isn't this a ConstructionMech?" you ask?  Yes, yes it is.  Mostly.  Obviously, you've got a bit more going on here, and a D-M3D-3 Diomede can provide supplemental security to your job site without really impacting its performance as a ConstructionMech, thanks to its size and fusion engine.  Of course, those same qualities mean CHydro has to be a little careful about who they sell it to, though they also maintain strict neutrality in terms of selling to governments of the former FWL, and it's drummed up plenty of merc command interest.  The Republic, evidently, is extremely careful in vetting who they permit to buy the Diomede.

The D-M3D-3 model isn't the only Diomede, though.  There's also the D-M3-D4, the DemolitionMech (John Spartan not included).  This variant drops the pile driver and hand actuator, but picks up a spot welder in place of its hand, and a rock cutter replacing the pile driver, as well as a third sprayer in the left arm.  The MMLs, torso searchlights and sprayers and arm-mounted rivet guns remain in place, as do the lift hoists, so this is a 'Mech that can bust stuff up a bit better than the stock one, but isn't as good at putting things together.  Additional combat capability is...dubious at best, since the rock cutter does less damage to combat units than the pile driver does.  It rips the crap out of buildings, though, which you might be able to make use of in combat, at the risk of pissing off everyone.

It didn't take long for someone at CHydro to figure out the Diomede would make a good straight-up SecurityMech.  In fact, it took eight years, with the D-M3D-M Diomede debuting in 3092, probably causing Republic officials to become apoplectic.  Making no pretense at being for industrial work, though still built as an IndustrialMech, the D-M3D-M (for "MilitiaMech"?) drops all the industrial gear, except for the tracks, and mounts the standard twin MML-7, pairing it with a gauss rifle in the left arm, twin machine guns with a ton of ammo in the right arm, and twin medium lasers, one in each side torso.  The center-torso, previously home to a two-ton liquid storage cargo bay, now houses two additional single heat sinks.  The bad news is you can actually overheat if you push your luck, but a gauss rifle and twin MML-7s packing LRMs isn't bad for ranged combat, and careful use of the MMLs with SRMs and the medium lasers is workable for close combat.  Machine guns, of course, make infantry sad without costing any extra heat.

Not counting the 10 tons spent on the tracks, or the 0.5 ton ejector seat, the D-M3D-M Diomede devotes 37 tons to its weaponry, ammo, heat sinks and CASE, while its motive systems use up roughly equivalent mass to a standard 300 Vlar fusion engine.  This is only slightly less than an AWS-8Q, and more than your typical Succession Wars 4/6 heavy/low-mass assault 'Mech, like the Victor or BattleMaster.  When combined with the choice of flexible weapons systems and extremely durable armor protection, there's no question that the D-M3D-M Diomede is the king assault SecurityMech.

There is a key word there, though: "SecurityMech".  Like all its IndustrialMech kin, the D-M3D-M Diomede is far more vulnerable to critical hits than a true BattleMech, especially in melee combat.  Also, the use of an ejector seat and the heavy weaponry and equipment precluded environmental sealing, which precludes the Diomede, in all its flavors, from working in environments as hostile as those a BattleMech can handle including, as I recall, water.  If deploying one, that's important to keep in mind.

How do you use a Diomede?  If it's the ConstructionMech or DemolitionMech, use as indicated by its name, with the 'Mech serving a secondary role as shepard of your job site, protecting against the occasional pirate or bandit.  In this role, it should work quite well.  For the Diomede MilitiaMech is a straight-up fighter: slow, but durable for what it is, and relatively cheap and readily available when compared to true BattleMechs.  You're slow compared to most assault 'Mechs, but you're still an assault 'Mech, with a versatile armament consisting of gauss rifle for heavy hits, LRMs for range critseeking, SRMs for peppering in close, and medium lasers and MGs for backup.

How do you defeat a Diomede?  Take advantage of its slow speed as much as possible, and pour on the firepower.  One obvious answer would have been to close into melee range, since this tends to work great against other IndustrialMechs, but with the Diomede, you're facing a 100-ton 'Mech, with its 10-point punches, 20-point kicks, and occasional improvised industrial melee weapon.  Unless you've got the durability to handle this, which means probably an assault 'Mech yourself, this has a high chance of not ending well for you, and you're rolling the dice that critical hits against them will occur faster than the Diomede is going to pummel you in return.  I'm not sure that's a hill you want to die upon, so tactics similar to those you might use against an Annihilator may serve you much better:  big, beefy brawlers or artillery.

But enough about me, what are your thoughts on the Diomede?  Has it found a home in your games?  Do you find its armor protection and weaponry to offset its IndustrialMech vulnerabilities?  Anyone else find them to be downright hilarious to field?

(MUL entry for the D-M3D-3)
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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The RoS's "disarmament" program looks a lot different when you take things like this into consideration.

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marauder648

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Lovely article on a handsome looking Mech :) Couple of quick questions.

1.  Does the Piledriver have any special rules as a 'melee weapon' and if not. Why not!  Thats bonkers, its a bloody piledriver, it should at least count as a mace.
2.  With its leg treads...is this thing..like...a Bi-vee?  because When it squats down and goes on tracks then its basically a tank with a literally armed turret. 
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Giovanni Blasini

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Lovely article on a handsome looking Mech :) Couple of quick questions.

1.  Does the Piledriver have any special rules as a 'melee weapon' and if not. Why not!  Thats bonkers, its a bloody piledriver, it should at least count as a mace.

Hits for 9 points, has a penalty of 2 to its attack roll.  On a smaller 'Mech, that would outdo a punch, but not as useful here.


Quote
2.  With its leg treads...is this thing..like...a Bi-vee?  because When it squats down and goes on tracks then its basically a tank with a literally armed turret.

Essentially.  Tracks are an older technology, which the Horses drew from when making the QuadVee.

Rivet guns, meanwhile, can be used as impromptu machine guns with 1 hex of range. I don't remember them getting bonus damage against infantry, but can't say for sure that they don't.
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UnLimiTeD

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I always like me some articles on the less noticed elements of the universe, as long as they could theoretically be used in a game.
As such, good on you. Also a decent article; never really thought about the tracks giving the unit sustained mobility.
Certainly an interesting one, few industrial mechs are that combat capable.
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marauder648

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Hits for 9 points, has a penalty of 2 to its attack roll.  On a smaller 'Mech, that would outdo a punch, but not as useful here.


Essentially.  Tracks are an older technology, which the Horses drew from when making the QuadVee.

Rivet guns, meanwhile, can be used as impromptu machine guns with 1 hex of range. I don't remember them getting bonus damage against infantry, but can't say for sure that they don't.

Interesting stuff! Shame the piledriver don't act like a mace or something. I can just picture the Diomede putting it against a Mech for a moment before firing it.  Its got a travel distance of a good few meters there and that would create a significant wallop.

And the tracks would explain why the Taurians put them on a version of the Brahama.  I guess the Conversion equipment though on the Quadvee does something or helps with stuff otherwise they could just go and put tracks on a mech save weight without the conversion equipment and have more room thanks to arms.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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I think that tracked mechs have more restrictions on their movement than quadvees in vehicle mode and also have the issue of requiring a PSR whenever they take 20+ damage.

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Weirdo

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Thanks for doing this, Gio! I've been looking forward to a Diomede article for a LONG time. O0

You should always remember the sprayers before getting up close with a Diomede. They're not very accurate and only work at point blank range, but still have almost the full capabilities of true Fluid Guns. The damage curve for an acid-spitting Diomede goes up FAST up close. Similarly, it should be noted that a Diomede on tracks that crosses an oil slick does have to make a skidding roll...but will not fall if it fails, unlike other mechs. Do with that what you will. :)

Another thing about tracks: You can't use running MP with them, but you do get the road bonus, so a Diomede going flat out on roads is actually a more accurate shooting platform than a running one for the same speed, since there is no running AMM involved.

If you've got a true Battlemech that's similarly slow(or that you have parked in a nice defensive position), a Diomede can make a rather nice support unit. The MMLs contribute extra firepower, and you can spray the Battlemech with coolant for extra heat capacity.

Rivet guns do 1D6 damage to infantry. :)

Where the Diomede really shines is when you need to do a building, or hurt something inside a particularly tough one(like spotting battlesuits). Both the pile driver and rock cutter do a healthy amount of extra damage when used against buildings, on top of their normal damage. Useful when you want to hurt a building, but either don't have AE handy or don't want to use it for some reason.
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Iron Mongoose

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I don't really know what to think of this thing.  If I'm expecting a fight, would I not be better served to just station a dedicated defensive mech (like the Security variant) at my construction site?  And if I'm not expecting a fight, then why acquire a construction mech with MMLs and tremendous armor?

I can see a role for them perhaps as combat engineers, building fortifications and bridges and things under fire, and of course the demolition mech has it's roles in breaking the enemy's things.

I suppose in the era, the best use for the "non-combat" models might be in buying a reasonably powerful mech that at least on paper isn't for fighting.  If I were a planetary nobleman, I might have a lance of these things doing a "remodel" on my palace at times of tension.  Perhaps if I were of a mind, I might sneak one of the security model in for myself.
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Weirdo

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The idea behind the Diomede is that in that day and age, doing any work anywhere means you need to be expecting a fight. A dedicated SecurityMech is too expensive, because aside from fighting it's not doing anything for you. Sure, mechs with hands can do some work, but their capabilities on the worksite pale in comparison to a true IndustrialMech. A Diomede can protect you and earn its keep at the same time.

On a completely side note: Mechs like this make me wish we had record sheets for the opposite: Engineering configurations for Omnimechs, for use by units that don't have regular access to combat engineers and/or units that want to get more usage out of their Omnis during times when they're not actually under attack.
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Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

marauder648

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I love the idea that these would be attached to an Engineering Regiment as basically the primary mover/worker for the Regiment.
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Weirdo

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As long as yours isn't a particularly mobile HQ, they'd probably work pretty well in that regard, able to do a lot of the engineering jobs a unit might need when setting up a field base, and they can look after themselves if the base is attacked.

I believe that mech units that can afford them use IndustrialMechs instead of support vees whenever possible, and military Diomedes would be a perfect example of this.
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Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

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Great article!  I always thought that Diomede was interesting Q-Mech, civilian mech with hidden military potential. 

I can see this thing being nice (if not challenging) machine to use in a 3132 campaign where wanna be mechwarriors arise and try carve career with what they got.

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On a completely side note: Mechs like this make me wish we had record sheets for the opposite: Engineering configurations for Omnimechs, for use by units that don't have regular access to combat engineers and/or units that want to get more usage out of their Omnis during times when they're not actually under attack.

They get boring fast. The factional nature of Omnis mean at least one per faction. There are only so many interesting ways that you can put a lift hoist and pile driver on a Mech. TRO:VA had similar issues. It has to do with the granularity of BT. Think about how many unique flatbed trucks there are in the real world and how difficult it would be to replicate that in BT.

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They get boring fast. The factional nature of Omnis mean at least one per faction. There are only so many interesting ways that you can put a lift hoist and pile driver on a Mech. TRO:VA had similar issues. It has to do with the granularity of BT. Think about how many unique flatbed trucks there are in the real world and how difficult it would be to replicate that in BT.

I always figured that a lot of those semi-generic designs represent archetypical designs for which similar units are available in most factions in instances where own is faction-specific, such as ground cars, cargo trucks, etc.  The same is probably true with older IndustrialMechs.
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Weirdo

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They get boring fast. The factional nature of Omnis mean at least one per faction. There are only so many interesting ways that you can put a lift hoist and pile driver on a Mech. TRO:VA had similar issues. It has to do with the granularity of BT. Think about how many unique flatbed trucks there are in the real world and how difficult it would be to replicate that in BT.

Very true, I was just thinking of a small handful, not an engineering config for every omni.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

Giovanni Blasini

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I could easily see that happening with some of the more lackluster early IS Omnis, like the Strider.
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On a parallel note, best use for the Infiltrator I, or Sloth - conversion to industrial powered armour.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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I could easily see that happening with some of the more lackluster early IS Omnis, like the Strider.

Even some of the less lackluster ones like the Blackhawk KU might get a little of that treatment: add some construction equipment while keeping a few lasers and missile pods for a combat engineering variant.

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Too expensive for civilian use. Too limited for Military use.

Seriously... why would Curtiss be worried about the RoTS in Marik space? The entire area is a perpetual war zone. I am sure someone would buy this the same way they would buy an urbie, they are desperate. Still, they can sell more by making a dedicated Battlemech.

marauder648

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I wouldn't say its too limited for military use, its just very specialised.  This isn't a war machine, even though it is a Mech.  Its like an AVRE or this thing



Just on legs.  It can tow away disabled Mech's or vehicles, it can dig trenches for the infantry, help set off mines with its MML's etc.  Its a Combat Engineer's dream.
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ajcbm

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I wouldn't say its too limited for military use, its just very specialised.  This isn't a war machine, even though it is a Mech.  Its like an AVRE or this thing



Just on legs.  It can tow away disabled Mech's or vehicles, it can dig trenches for the infantry, help set off mines with its MML's etc.  Its a Combat Engineer's dream.

A very expensive dream.

marauder648

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True but so too are Mech's :p And a Regiment would realistically have a mixture of recovery vehicles or worker mechs and the like to do things like salvage a Mech or carry out battlefield engineering works and the like.  Whats the old saying, soldiers win battles, logistics wins wars?  A prime mover like this is expensive, but in the terms of the setting where you could say they are in some cases close to being a post scarcity society, its not much when you can have dozens of mechs with huge Cbill costs lost in a battle and not bat an eye.

Mech costs are like the Eldar in 40k  It varies on who's writing about them.  The loss of 1 can be a terrible tragedy, then 20 minutes later 20,000 are wiped out and no one bats an eye.  Its all a matter of perspective :)
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ajcbm

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Like I said, its a cost/benefit thing. How many cheaper construction mechs can you buy instead? How many mediums for the combat model?

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Like I said, its a cost/benefit thing. How many cheaper construction mechs can you buy instead? How many mediums for the combat model?
See it more of a transport issue, tonnage of construction pods vs mechbays for construction mechs.
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Giovanni Blasini

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At 4.5 million C-Bills for the base Diomede and 1228 BV, it's not that terribly expensive considering. The Demolition and Security versions would cost more, but industrial structure and smallish engine help here.
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mbear

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As long as yours isn't a particularly mobile HQ, they'd probably work pretty well in that regard, able to do a lot of the engineering jobs a unit might need when setting up a field base, and they can look after themselves if the base is attacked.

I believe that mech units that can afford them use IndustrialMechs instead of support vees whenever possible, and military Diomedes would be a perfect example of this.

So you'd attach it to the Kiso (I think that's the quad construction mech).

And for combat engineers, using mine clearance missiles is a no-brainer, especially if cleaning up an engagement with the CCAF. And loading the MMLs with Tear Gas could be useful to support police units.

Giovanni Blasini

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Yep, the Kiso wouldn't be a bad pairing, in either industrial or command role.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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So you'd attach it to the Kiso (I think that's the quad construction mech).

And for combat engineers, using mine clearance missiles is a no-brainer, especially if cleaning up an engagement with the CCAF. And loading the MMLs with Tear Gas could be useful to support police units.

Wouldn't the lack of environmental sealing make using tear gas missiles a little dicey?

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It would, yeah. You'd have to make sure you had the weather gauge, or fire them at the edge of your range and then back off, letting sealed units finish the job.

And yeah, a Kiso/Diomede pair would probably work pretty well. Between the two, your civilian uprising has the effective abilities of a command Battlemech, something even a lot of military units don't have access to. :)
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

 

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