A list of characters, manufacturers, and mechs from Lancer.
There are five major fabricators of goods and tech in Union, and those five also provide licenses to their mech patterns.
General Massive Systems (GMS)General Massive Systems (GMS) is the galactic-baseline for quality, and the bar isn't as low as that makes it sound. GMS is one of the oldest fabricators in the galaxy and have lasted that long for good reason. Everything that can be manufactured is from GMS, or uses their parts.
- Boring, but Practical: Most GMS core bonuses are very simple and workhorse, but they are still incredibly useful, such as adding an integrated weapon, more damage to a single weapon, or more accuracy to all the weapons of a single mount.
- Disk One Nuke: The Cyclone Pulse Rifle is one of the most powerful single-target weapons in the entire game, is accurate at long ranges, and only suffers from needing to reload. Every starting character has access to it. That said, as a Superheavy Weapon, it requires a Heavy mount and an additional weapon mount in order to equip it, and firing it requires a full Barrage action. For most mechs, that's a very significant investment in both build resources and action economy.
- IKEA Weaponry: IKEA mecha, in a sense. GMS sells licenses to all kinds of weapons, from simple knives to gigantic rifles, explosives, self-propelled smart drones, and more, and printing technology allows a pilot to create a mech equipped with precisely what they need for a mission immediately before launching on said mission. Even pilots that favor frames licensed from other manufacturers, like IPS-Northstar or Smith-Shimano Corpro, will often incorporate GMS weapons and systems to fill gaps in their repertoire.
- Starter Equipment: Every license level 0 pilot begins with nothing but what's available in the GMS catalog. Furthermore, GMS gear is always available to equip on a mech, regardless of the pilot's licenses.
- Theme Naming: GMS mechs have nicknames based on a mountain. Not mountains in general, but a particular one with its name from multiple languages.
- We Sell Everything: It is admittedly easier to sell all kinds of things when most of the galaxy can simply print weapons and systems.
Size: 1GMS's flagship mech, the Everest, isn't the fanciest nor the best, but being incredibly modular and reliable has allowed the Everest to become ubiquitous in the galaxy.
Everest provides examples of the following tropes
- Fan Nickname: An in-universe example. When it was originally developed it was designated as the rather plain General Massive Systems Standard Pattern 1, or GMS SP-1. At some point far in the past, someone named their personal mech Everest, and the name stuck. It proved so popular over the centuries that GMS eventually made it the official name.
- The Ghost: Unlike all other player mechs, the Everest has no defined art for its frame, so as to allow players complete freedom to imagine what it can look like.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: The Everest is straightforwardly decent at everything, possessing entirely average stats that make it resilient and balanced. This does of course mean that the Everest doesn't specialize at anything in particular, and moreover doesn't have any particularly interesting gimmicks on its own.
- Overdrive: Fittingly for the 'average' frame, the Everest's core system gives it increased accuracy to all attacks, checks and saves for the rest of a scene, as well as allows it to Boost (take an additional move action) for free every round.
- Starter Equipment: The Everest is every lancer's first mech, and it'll carry them for a good while until they have enough license points to pilot something else. Even then, the Everest is always an available fallback option if the lancer is tapped for a mission that's a poor fit for their usual ride.
Size: 2An old mainstay of the GMS lineup, having since been phased out for more modern frames like the Everest. It can still be found on the frontier and with the Albatross, however, and isn't to be underestimated.
Sagarmatha provides examples of the following:
- The Ghost: Carries on the GMS tradition of not having official artwork.
- Mighty Glacier: Slower than the Everest, it also comes with an increased size and heavier armor. It even has the same ability to be used as hard cover that the other defender frames from IPS-N and HA have.
- Starter Equipment: Just like the Everest, you don't need to have any licenses to build it.
IPS-Northstar (IPS-N)IPS-Northstar is the biggest name in interstellar shipping in Union, with a history inextricably tied to that of interstellar piracy, and their mech lineup reflects that. IPS-N offers a range of versatile and durable mechs with a focus on toughness and close-quarters combat.
- Cyber Cyclops: One of IPS-N's design signatures is a single optical sensor placed asymmetrically on the mech's face.
- Implacable Man: Several of IPS-N's core bonuses make their mechs just that much harder to destroy, but the Briareos Reinforcement Frame epitomizes this by giving the mech resistance to all damage as long as it has only 1 Structure remaining, and when reduced to 0 Structure it still will keep going as long as it succeeds at Structure Damage checks.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: IPS-N certainly seems to think so. Most of the corps catalog comes equipped with kinetic weapons, with the few exceptions being fairly underwhelming by comparison.
- Theme Naming: IPS-N names its mech lineup for famous naval commanders, keeping in line with its history in Interstellar shipping and anti-piracy.
- Walking Arsenal: As a rule, IPS-N has one of the widest selections of weapons out of all of the corporations. Going down more than one license track will likely leave you with more weapon options than you can feasibly field at the same time.
The Blackbeard is focused on close-ranged fighting, and especially grappling its foes and tearing them to shreds.
Blackbeard provides examples of the following tropes
- An Axe to Grind/Chainsaw Good: Its Chain Axe is a tactical-scale modification of a logging tool. On critical hits, it applies the Shredded condition to its target, temporarily taking away their Armor or Resistance.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Asides from its Chain Axe, it possesses a fairly large Nanocarbon Sword whose molecular composition can change in real-time for maximum damage. In game terms, both weapons have the Reliable tag, making them deal a certain minimum damage, even if the attacks would normally miss.
- Achilles' Heel: The Blackbeard frame has an exposed reactor, making it particularly susceptible to attacks which force Engineering checks.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot/The Berserker: Its highest license level grants the SEKHMET-class NHP, which when activated enhances all melee critical hits, as well as allows the user to Skirmish (have an extra attack with a single weapon) once a round as a free action. Unfortunately, SEKHMET takes over the mech while doing so, and will not distinguish from friend or foe.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: SEKHMET will force the Blackbeard to pursue and attack whichever target is closest to it at the time, regardless of whether theyre friend or foe. If that target dies, it moves on to the next one, and so on until the pilot successfully turns SEKHMET off, or theres no one left to kill.
- Building Swing /Grappling-Hook Pistol: It possesses a number of reinforced cables which it can use to 'fly' in between movements or even simply hang from nearby structures.
- Close-Range Combatant: Its entire theme is to fight up close and personal.
- Flechette Storm: Its sole ranged weapon is a flechette launcher designed to hurt grappled enemies or biological infantry in a radius around it.
- Grapple Move: The undisputed master of it, the Blackbeard can grapple enemies from a decent distance, Grapple or Ram enemies bigger than itself, and while grappling, can still move to some extent and take Reactions.
- Harpoon Gun: Its core power, Omni-Harpoon, is to launch any number of grapple hooks to nearby targets, damaging them and pulling them all closer to it, immobilizing them.
- Lightning Bruiser: It is agile, strong, has high HP and some armor.
- Magically Inept Fighter: However, the Blackbeard frame is not at all suited to making or receiving technological attacks.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Synthetic Muscle Netting allows the Blackbeard to Grapple, Ram, and otherwise push around targets larger than it, as well as doubling how much weight it can lift and drag.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Reinforced Cabling can drag down an enemy in range, knocking them Prone and giving Blackbeard the chance to catch up. Its core power, Omni-Harpoon, is even worse, dragging any number of mechs within range to its feet, Prone, Immobilized, and just itching for a Coup de Grâce.
A complete departure from IPS-N standards, the Caliban was designed as a weapons platform first and foremost. Focusing on close-ranged fighting and using knockback to move both enemies and itself, the Caliban was designed to sit in the uncomfortable space between long range and melee combat with a plethora of shotguns.
Caliban provides examples of the following tropes
- Blown Across the Room: All of the Caliban's weapons deal knockback, and one of its systems allows it to mod a weapon to deal even more knockback. This synergizes well with its Pursue Prey trait, which can turn the suit from a Mighty Glacier to a Lightning Bruiser provided it continues to chase the target it's knocking back.
- Boring Yet Practical: The Caliban really only does one thing well: shooting shotguns. But its very good at shooting shotguns.
- Odd Name Out: Named after a character from The Tempest, rather than anything associated with naval history.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Caliban is tiny by this game's standards, closer to a suit of Powered Armor than a proper mech, yet is capable of knocking around opponents much larger than itself thanks to its traits and systems.
- Pistol-Whipping: Whenever the Caliban fires its Flayer Shotgun, it can butt-stroke an adjacent enemy as part of the same attack. Yes, this also causes knockback.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Caliban's core system is a powerful shotgun that gets even more powerful when the mech's core power is activated. At license level 3, it can equip an even bigger shotgun.
- Shout-Out: A fully-licensed Caliban pilot is a Space Marine wielding a shotgun, a super shotgun, and sticky bombs, equipped with a jump booster and an overshield, that's able to take down much larger opponents so long as they keep moving and keep hammering them with attacks. They will rip and tear, until it is done.
- Space Marine: The Caliban was originally designed to serve as an anti-capital ship weapon, by virtue of being a one-man boarding party. It is also worth noting that the systems provided by the Caliban license map fairly closely to a set of Standard FPS Guns and power-ups.
- Unorthodox Reload: The HHS-155 Cannibal, the aforementioned bigger shotgun, can use the ejected shells themselves as a surprisingly effective attack method whenever it reloads.
- You Will Not Evade Me: A more proactive version than most — whenever the Caliban deals knockback to an enemy mech, it has the option to keep it in range by the simple expedient of running after it.
The Drake is a large, very heavily armored powerhouse designed to defend its allies while still providing considerable firepower.
Drake provides examples of the following tropes
- Barrier Warrior: Its Aegis Shield Generator creates a fairly standard forcefield that reduces damage to allies within.
- BFG: Its Leviathan Heavy Assault Cannon is classified as a Superheavy weapon within the game, and can appropriately provide an impressive amount of damage.
- Chainsaw Grip BFG: The art depicts it using its Leviathan Heavy Assault Cannon as such.
- Deployable Cover: Its very name-indicative Portable Bunker allows it to create a large area that essentially counts as a fortified emplacement, providing immense defense to all characters within.
- Gatling Good: Its iconic Assault Cannon (and its upgraded version) can spin its barrels to provide a great increase in damage and reliability at the cost of becoming Slowed.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Its Argonaut Shield can provide Resistance to all damage to a nearby ally, at the cost of taking some of that damage itself.
- More Dakka: Despite being more focused on being a tank, it still provides a respectable amount of heavy guns and ammunition.
- Shout-Out: It bears more than a passing resemblance in color scheme and shape to the iconic Zaku from Gundam.
- Stone Wall: The Drake is one of the slowest, most armored mechs in the entire game, cannot be pushed, pulled, knocked back or knocked prone by smaller characters, passively allows allied characters to treat it as hard cover, and has Resistance from all regular, burn and heat damage from any area attacks (anything that doesn't target a single character). Its core power, Fortress Protocol, essentially exaggerates this trope, completely immobilizing it at the benefit of turning it even more resilient.
Smaller, heavier armored, and just as fast, the Kidd was made as a sidegrade to the Lancaster's support capabilities, focusing on frontline and rapid support.
Kidd provides examples of the following tropes
- Drone Deployer: As opposed to regular drones, the Kidd carries bipedal robots that can do all sorts of things, including making themselves a slapdash armor plating, set up snare foam that's hard to move through, and deploy a little station that helps fix up burn damage.
- Explosive Overclocking: The Field Approved, Brass Ignorant Modifications allow a Kidd to target an ally and make their weapon fire so hard that not only are they knocked by the force of the shot, they also can knock the enemy target on their ass as well as pierce any armor and resistances. Yes, even energy weapons. Also, once overloaded, the Smokestack Heatsink will explode. Yes, this is also by design.
- Kill Sat: One literally comes included with the license; the Jolly Roger is a floating support satellite that charges as the Kidd uses its abilities. Depending on the level of charge, the Kidds pilot can use the Jolly Roger to Scan and Lock-On to a group of enemies, hack them into oblivion, or straight up blast them off the face of the planet. And thats just the passive core power- the active core power just makes all of these functions even deadlier than they already are.
- Mundane Solution: Need to fix a mech that suffering from half a dozen HORUS viruses, being locked down by a weapons jam, and an NHP running rampant on the computer? Just use the PEBCAC and force the mech to hard reset.
The Lancaster is a deceptively fast support frame, made for keeping allies on the field on their feet with field repairs and support drones.
Lancaster provides examples of the following tropes
- Combat Medic: While designed to provide battlefield repairs and upgrades to its teammates, its plasma torch and nanomachine swarms can also be turned on enemies in a pinch.
- Lightning Bruiser: The fastest Size 2 mecha in the game, and has a faster base movement speed than most mechs period.
- Mechanical Horse: Four-legged and can be ridden, though its artwork resembles the Boston Dynamics BigDog.
- Battering Ram: Its aforementioned speed and bulk make it a surprisingly good ram.
- Technically a Transport: The MULE harness upgrade allows the Lancaster to function as a transport for infantry and other mechs (particularly when combined with the FOMORIAN frame reinforcement ISP-N core bonus), and sticking a decent weapon in its sole mount turns it into a passable IFV.
- Utility Party Member: Readily doles out repairs and buffs to friendly mechs, but don't expect it to kill much of anything.
The Nelson is an IPS-N collaberative effort with the Albatross, a group of Knight Errant Space Cowboy vigilantes that roam the farthest reaches of known space at relativistic speeds. Made for rapid approach and unleashing a flurry of attacks.
Nelson provides examples of the following tropes
- Blade on a Stick: The level 1 Nelson license comes with a war pike, which can be upgraded at license level 2 to incorporate a thermal blasting charge.
- Close-Range Combatant: Even more so than the Blackbeard — the Nelson's license provides no additional ranged options whatsoever. It's meant for use in combat situations where the use of firearms is dangerous or logistically impractical.
- Fragile Speedster: The Nelson is lightly-armored by IPS-N standards, with systems geared towards zipping around the battlefield conducting hit-and-run warfare.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Nelson is built to resemble a giant, lance-wielding knight, and its strong association with the Albatross organization helps sell the association.
The Raleigh is a tough gun platform with a focus on powerful, reloading weapons.
Raleigh provides examples of the following tropes
- All-or-Nothing Reloads: Its two ranged weapons both have the Loading tag, meaning they need to be reloaded after each attack. Fluff-wise, though, making an attack can be either shooting a single bullet or a whole magazine, depending on the players whim.
- Benevolent A.I.: Downplayed. It possesses an UNCLE-class Comp/Con, which allows it to take control of a single weapon to shoot automatically for you during your turn. As a Comp/Con, it does not have actual sapience, but at the same time, that means it cannot become unstable and undergo cascade, making it by far the safest non-base AI system.
- Chest Blaster/Revolvers Are Just Better: The frame has an integrated weapon, the M35 Mjolnir, a six chambered revolving chest cannon which can freely shoot each round you reload a weapon.
- Charged Attack: The Mjolnir can be charged via its Thunder God protocol, loading up two chambers each turn it isnt used. Once fired, the Mjolnir deals devastating damage proportional to the rounds loaded - if enough rounds are fired, the attack pierces armor and leaves the target vulnerable until the end of their next turn.
- The Gunslinger: Its appearance and weapon set bring the trope to mind.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The frame is allowed to shoot even under the Jamming condition, which would normally prevent it from doing so.
- More Dakka: Its frame and licenses allows for it to mount a large amount of weapons.
- Scratch Damage: All of its standard weapons have the Reliable tag, meaning they deal a minimum amount of damage even if they miss or roll low.
- Shout-Out: One of its core traits is called Full Metal Jacket. Meanwhile, its "Roland" Chamber clearly references The Dark Tower and its protagonist, Roland Deschain.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Downplayed. The Raleigh only has one system that grants explosives, its BB Breach/Blast Charges, which allow it to deal decent damage with either grenades or mines. However, they are designed with the objective of destroying obstacles first and foremost.
- Trick Bullet: After reloading, its "Roland" Chamber allows it to boost one attack from a Loading weapon to deal explosive damage, and potentially knocking down the target.
- Unorthodox Reload: One of the frames core traits allows it to reload all its Loading weapons if it hasnt made any attacks or forced any saves that turn.
Made for capital ship defense and boarding actions, the Tortuga is a frontline mech made for taking extreme amounts of abuse and dishing it back at close range with a shockingly powerful computer system that allows for a small but powerful zone of control around it.
Tortuga provides examples of the following tropes
- Benevolent A.I.: The Watchdog Co-Pilot core system, which helps the pilot react to rapidly-changing battlefield conditions (read as "makes their overwatch better").
- Close-Range Combatant: A ranged variety, Tortuga's entire kit plays around getting into close quarters.
- Gun Kata: Hyper-Reflex Mode grants the Tortuga an extra Overwatch and Immobilizes anyone hit by its Overwatch attacks.
- "Instant Death" Radius: Avoid getting within three spaces of Tortuga while Hyper-Reflex Mode is active.
- Not the Intended Use: Despite its focus on close combat and damage absorbtion, the Tortuga has a shockingly powerful sensor and tech setup installed, allowing for players with more support or hacker based skillsets to use it as an alternative to other, longer range mechs.
- Pile Bunker: The Catalytic Hammer is a melee weapon that uses an explosive charge to drive a massive metal spike into its target, and requires reloading to use again.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Tortuga has two: the Deck-Sweeper Automatic Shotgun and the Daisy Cutter.
- Stone Wall: The HyperDense Armor system grants resistance to damage and heat from all attacks outside range 3, but also slows the mech down and halves any damage or heat it deals to targets beyond range 3. Note that this provides no protection either from or to any opponents inside the Tortuga's "Instant Death" Radius.
- Super Reflexes: Hyper-Reflex Mode.
- There Was a Door: Siege Ram allows Tortuga to use the Ram Action to plow through anything it wants, terrain and enemies alike.
The latest in a line of mechs originating from asteroid miners, the Vlad is a heavily armored vanguard made for immobilizing enemies. Violently.
Vlad provides examples of the following tropes
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Vlad's entire kit revolves around punching holes in other mechs. With a name like "Vlad," what did you expect?
- Spikes of Villainy: It's covered in nasty spikes and named Vlad.
- The Spiny: Vlad's Shrike Armor trait damages any enemy that attacks it from too close. This damage can be increased further with its Tormentor Spines, which not only increase the damage it deals, but allow it to completely ignore any damage from the attack.
- This Is a Drill: The simply-named Combat Drill, a massive melee weapon designed to tear through enemy armor, the enemy, and whatever happened to be on the other side of that enemy.
- Odd Name Out: Unlike the rest of IPS-N's lineup, the Vlad doesn't appear to be named for any famous naval commander or pirate of note. This is because the Vlad is a successor to the lPS-N's legacy model, the Yi Sun-Shin, named for the 16th Century Korean Admiral who fended off the Japanese invasion with his Turtle Ships.
Originally a heavily modified Raleigh, the Zheng is a tenacious melee fighter designed to use the surrounding environment itself as a weapon.
Zheng provides examples of the following tropes
- Ace Custom: The original Zheng was a stock-standard Raleigh that was nearly destroyed in a pirate attack and then cobbled back together using whatever spare parts the pilot was able to find. Think of it as the Gundam Ez8 to the Raleigh's Gundam Ground Type.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: The Zheng's kit is geared towards wrecking other mechs and the surrounding terrain using its fists, whether by punching or grappling.
- Famed in Story: The original Zheng pilot, Xiong Xiaoli, is renowned throughout the Long Rim for single-handedly killing more than 45 Space Pirates with nothing but a kit-bashed junkheap of a mech and a rapidly-diminishing supply of food and clean air, culminating in a Dying Moment of Awesome where she punched a hole through an entire starship (and even then, the security patrol that recovered her chassis Never Found the Body).
- Improvised Weapon: Rank 1 of the Zheng license grants access to the Total Strength Suite I system, which allows a mech to pick up a mech-sized object or rip a mech-sized chunk out of the local scenery and hurl it at an enemy.
Smith-Shimano Corpro (SSC)Elegant and stylish, SSC was an early leader in developing sublight and EVA vehicles before expanding and diversifying into other technologies. Mechas created by SSC emphasize maneuverability, speed and accuracy over firepower.
- Fragile Speedster: Most of the SSC mechs arent very durable, but good luck hitting any of them.
- Humanlike Foot Anatomy: A non-cartoon, non-animal example. Many humanoid SSC mechs possess human-like feet with four articulated toes, compared to the boot-like feet of IPS-Northstar and Harrison Armory mechs or the animalistic designs of HORUS.
- Theme Naming: Their mechs are named for various butterflies and moths.
Closer to a cybernetic ninja suit than a mech, the Atlas is a melee specialist with unconventional movement options and weapons made specifically to punch above its weight.
Atlas provides examples of the following tropes
- Armor-Piercing Attack: The Terashima Blades Troll Stance allows it to hit harder and ignore armor, in exchange for less accuracy.
- Coup de Grâce: The Atlas trait Finishing Blow allows it to deal more damage to prone targets.
- Cyber Ninja: A core power that boosts its movement speed and stealth abilities, a zipline system, the ability to wall run, ninja stars, a katana... yep, the Atlas qualifies.
- David Versus Goliath: The Atlas has a number of abilities designed to help it take down opponents larger than itself — which, since it's only size 1/2, amounts to most of the mechs in the game.
- Fragile Speedster: The Atlas is very fast, tied with a few other mechs for the highest base Speed and Evasion scores in the game; however, the rest of its base stats are all extremely poor, so it's highly vulnerable to hacking and overheating, and any attack that manages to actually connect with it will make it crumple.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Has, by far, some of the worst tech stats out of the entire SSC lineup.
- Master Swordsman: The Terashima Blade turns the wielder into one of these. On its own, it's a mediocre melee weapon with a high SP cost; however, it also grants the ability to enter one of four stances, which provide either improved single-target damage, crowd control, enhanced mobility, or the ability to parry bullets.
- Shout-Out: A cybernetic ninja capable of parrying bullets and winning sword fights with giant robots, you say? Hmm... where have I seen that before?
A frame specialized in the utilization of electromagnetism to protect itself and its allies from physical weapons fire.
Black Witch provides examples of the following tropes
- Achilles' Heel: Thanks to its various systems, the Black Witch is highly resistant to kinetic damage, explosions, and tech attacks. However, it has no native defense against energy damage.
- Anti-Magic: The ICEOUT Drone provides a technological equivalent, generating an aura in which tech actions fail to function.
- Barrier Warrior: The Black Witch's Mag Field core power and Magnetic Shield system both generate force fields with varying effects.
- Bullet Dodges You: A number of the Black Witch's systems revolve around stopping kinetic attacks dead in their tracks.
- Deflector Shield: The Black Witch has two: an internal Repulsor Field, which grants resistance to kinetic damage, and a deployable Magnetic Shield, which grants anyone resistance to kinetic and explosive damage originating from the other side of the shield.
- Immune to Bullets: The Black Witch's basic traits cause any kinetic-based attack to deal half damage against it, assuming the pilot doesn't simply negate the attack outright with Mag Parry. Those are merely the first in a long list of tricks the Black Witch can use to shut down incoming kinetics.
- Magnetic Weapons: The Magnetic Cannon, which does a relatively small amount of energy damage while also pulling closer any targets caught in its area of effect.
- Magnetism Manipulation: Aside from two electronic countermeasure systems, everything the Black Witch does revolves around creative applications of magnetism.
- Parrying Bullets: The Black Witch's Mag Parry ability gives it a 33% chance of deflecting any kinetic attack that strikes it or an adjacent ally.
- Selective Magnetism: In a sense, as not all of the Black Witch's magnetic systems explicitly require their targets to be made of metal.
- Squishy Wizard: Subverted, as while the Black Witch has a low health pool, between its high evasion and its abilities, it is capable of taking much less damage than it ought to — at least until someone shoots it with a laser or sets it on fire.
- You Will Not Evade Me: The Magnetic Cannon can pull targets directly towards the firer, while the Ferrous Lash and Perimeter Command Plate systems and the Mag Field core power can affect opponent's (and allies') movement in other ways.
SSCs answer for a long-range attacker, Deaths Head is a precision sniper mech designed to take targets out at long range.
Death's Head provides examples of the following tropes:
- Achilles' Heel: Deaths Heads core power and even some weapons cant be used on adjacent targets. So dont let enemies get too close.
- Cold Sniper: The Mech.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Enforced. With a trait that allows Deaths Head to reroll botched attack rolls, as well as bonus accuracy to ranged attacks, even if it does miss, systems like Kinetic Compensator will ensure the next attack wont.
- Long-Range Fighter: The Death's Head is built from the ground up as a sniper, with no answer for any opponent who manages to close distance with it.
- One-Hit Kill: The Deaths Head license encourages this strategy. Its core power, Mark For Death, allows you to focus all your might and attention on one target, dealing significant bonus damage. Core Siphon gives you bonus Accuracy on your first shot each turn (but Difficulty on each subsequent shot). And the Railgun, being an Ordnance weapon, has to be the first action you take on your turn (barring Protocols). In other words, the Deaths Head may only be firing one bullet per turn, but that bullets gonna hurt.
- Railgun: The, uh... Railgun. Also an Armor-Piercing Attack, and depending on positioning, a One-Hit Polykill.
- Spider Tank: The Death's Head is one of the few mechs in the game with more than four legs — six, in this case — and its upper body looks more like a turret than a humanoid torso. The example in the official art is even equipped with human-scale manipulator arms that resemble pedipalps.
- Wall Crawl: High-Stress Mag Clamps allows you to treat walls and even ceilings as flat ground, which lets you set up some pretty interesting angles to attack from. Just make sure no one knocks you Prone while youre doing it, or youre gonna regret it.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Tracking Bug is a unique example. Tagging an enemy with this reveals their HP, Structure, and Speed as long as the bug is attached, as well as preventing them from hiding or benefiting from Invisibility. The Deaths Heads range and weapons provide the rest.
A highly-mobile, flight-capable mech that supports allies and disorients enemies with light-based weapons and systems.
Dusk Wing provides examples of the following tropes
- Action Bomb: Not the Dusk Wing, but its core power, Hall of Mirrors, which leaves behind a hologram each time Dusk Wing moves or boosts. Said holograms explode when enemies get too close, and if Dusk Wing decides to teleport to one of them as a tactical retreat, every other hologram on the field explodes at once.
- Barrier Warrior: A bit. Shooting allies with the Veil Rifle gives them soft cover, and OASIS Wall leaves behind a holographic wall that not only provides allies with hard cover, but also energy resistance.
- Blinded by the Light: Two things; Burst Launcher hits an enemy with a light grenade that can impair them upon a critical hit, and StunCrown — which does not actually Stun people — releases a burst of light that can leave opponents who look at it Jammed and Impaired.
- Confusion Fu: As a Controller/Support, Dusk Wing is absolutely loaded with options to trick and disorient the enemy, from tech attacks that alter perception, to flashbangs on steroids, to explosive holograms that the Dusk Wing can even teleport to for a quick retreat. Trying to predict what the Dusk Wing will do next is often an exercise in futility.
- Damage Over Time: None of the weapons on the license hit very hard, but all of them come with some nasty side effect or another, leaving the enemy disoriented and confused as the Dusk Wing whittles them down to nothing.
- Flight: The best flier in the game, thanks to Integrated Hover Flight. It doesnt have to move in straight lines while it flies, even while boosting, and can stay in the air, even while not moving.
- Fragile Speedster: Not only does it have an actual trait called Fragile, its HP is pretty below-average. Its Evasion, however, is some of the highest in the game, and thats without factoring in its other traits and systems. As a result, good luck hitting it.
- Invisibility: The license has multiple systems that can either grant the Dusk Wing Invisibility (Flicker Field Projector), or cause enemies to perceive them as invisible (Neurospike).
- Light 'em Up: Just about anything you can do with light, Dusk Wing is capable of. Holograms, invisibility, barriers, flashbangs, lasers, and so on.
- Overclocking Attack: Shrike Code works this way, causing the target to deal Heat damage to themselves whenever they attack.
- Support Party Member: Dusk Wing isnt designed to make the kill, but rather keep the enemy so bogged down in status ailments and perception-altering attacks that the rest of your team can clean up with ease.
A mixture of offensive and defensive long-range support, the Emperor helps its allies and itself survive the battlefield by applying Overshields through various means and with various effects.
Emperor provides examples of the following tropes
- Archer Archetype: The Marathon Arc (which is itself a bow) encourages either putting your allies squarely between you and the enemy or flanking to their exact opposite side in order to make full use of the bow and frame's overshield capabilities. This generally encourages mobile and teamwork-based tactics, and discourages maverick power plays or frontline fighting.
- Barrier Warrior: Almost its entire license line, as well as its own subsystems, focus on applying Overshields to allies and by extension itself. It even has several different flavors to choose from, from the Action Bomb type to one that turns a melee teammate into an Implacable Man. Even its integrated Marathon Arc Bow applies Overshield to allies.
- Friendly Fireproof: Unlike most Line weapons, the Marathon Arc can fire through allies with impunity. Well, more than impunity - firing through allies "heals" them through giving them overshield while allowing the shot to continue on its way.
- Glass Cannon: Its default health is lower than an unarmored human.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Despite having less actual hull than a human has skin and muscle, the Emperor is still on the upper end of average durability thanks to the rest of its durability going straight into Overshields, which it can restore throughout the fight.
- One-Hit Polykill: The Emperor's integrated Marathon Arc Bow fires in a line, allowing it to hit multiple characters simultaneously; activating its core power causes the damage to increase for each character in the area of effect, emphasizing the "polykill" part. However, friendly characters hit by the bow actually gain health in the form of an overshield instead of losing it, making this a One Hit Poly-Buff for them instead.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: You could probably tell by now that the Emperor is tied into its bow by a lot. It only has one weapon mount aside from it natively, and no other weapon really interacts with its overshield mechanic - which is good if the Marathon Arc is all you need, but bad if you run into something that just has a LOT of health since the bow just does average damage at best.
A remnant of SSC's design philosophy under SecComm, the Metalmark is a mobile and vexing frontline combat mech that specializes in never giving the enemy a clean shot, whether through speed, invisibility, or old fashioned flashbangs.
Metalmark provides examples of the following tropes
- Blinded by the Light: Flash Charges are essentially mech-sized flashbangs that significantly reduce the line-of-sight for any character caught in the effect.
- Chameleon Camouflage: Implied by the Carapace Adaptation trait, which makes the Metalmark even harder to hit than usual when benefiting from soft cover (which most commonly takes the form of obscurement).
- Hot Blade: The Shock Wreath weapon mod adds thermal conductive filaments to a melee weapon, which can be activated to add a nasty amount of burn damage to a normal hit.
- Invisibility: Two systems, a core power, and an inherent trait all provide the Metalmark with some form of invisibility.
- Invisibility Cloak: The Tactical Cloak core system, and to a lesser extent the Reactive Weave system, are both fabric-based systems that provide invisibilty when activated.
- Invisibility Flicker: The Flash Cloak trait and the Reactive Weave and Active Camouflage systems all provide the Metalmark with short-duration bouts of invisibility; combined together, these result in the Metalmark flickering in and out of sight as it darts around the battlefield.
- Lightning Bruiser: Carrying three different weapon mounts, native armor, the highest speed out of any mech with native armor, and a plethora of systems that give enemies a hard time when targetting it, the Metalmark can be downright frustrating to do serious damage to without specific setups.
SSC's specialized self-propelled ordnance platform, specializing in fire support and medium-to-long range bombardment with the speed to keep the distance.
Monarch provides examples of the following tropes
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Monarch includes a built-in missile system as part of its core traits, and pretty much every system the license provides either gives the mech more missiles or makes those missiles more effective at killing things.
- Up to Eleven for its (usually) once-per-mission core system Divine Punishment, which allows the Monarch to attack everyone (if the pilot chooses so) within 50 space as long as it's physically possible for the self-guiding missile to reach them. This is in a system where map size is assumed to be no more than 40 spaces on its longest side.
- Missile Lock-On: The Monarch's Seeking Payload trait enhances this, allowing any missile it launches to consume a target's Lock On status to become a Super-Persistent Missile.
- Multi-Directional Barrage: The TLALOC-class NHP granted at Monarch license level 3 allows this, cycling and re-targeting the mech's weapon systems at a much faster rate than the pilot normally could.
- Super-Persistent Missile: The Seeking Payload trait grants this ability to any launcher attack from the Monarch that consumes a target's Lock On status. The Gandiva missile system benefits from this natively.
A melee specialist frame designed to use and abuse its short range blinkspace jump capabilities to catch out-of-position enemies and punish them before getting out of range just as fast.
Mourning Cloak provides examples of the following tropes
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Variable Sword is a length of monomolecular wire affixed to a handle and held within a magnetic field. It's capable of dealing a lot of damage on a Critical Hit.
- Flash Step: The Mourning Cloak frame and license grant a lot of ways to perform short-range teleportation, resulting in this trope.
- Fragile Speedster: The Mourning Cloak is quite agile, but if you're in for a bad time if you take a hit.
- Perception Filter: The Hunter Logic system allows a Mourning Cloak pilot to inflict this on a target via the Stalk Prey invasion option.
The dedicated, and very fragile, sensor scan support frame, turning a simple Lock-On action into a hugely valuable combat asset against strong, single, or hidden opponents. Has one of the fastest base ground speeds of all frames, and can stay invisible for the entire battle... so long as it stays still. Also has a Ranger variant commonly found on Hercynia.
Swallowtail provides examples of the following tropes
- Armor Is Useless / Armor-Piercing Attack: The Swallowtail can facilitate these, either for itself or- more likely- for its teammates by way of its Prophetic Scanners trait, allowing it to once per round inflict the shredded condition on enemies when it locks onto them. Meaning any armor or resistances the poor sap had have suddenly become useless.
- Big Brother Is Watching: What makes the Swallowtail shine- and an absolute terror for enemies in the field- is its capacity for this, bordering on Sinister Surveillance. With a sensor range rivaling that of the Goblin, the Swallowtail can detect, track, identify, and lock onto enemies from beyond most mechs' capacity to retaliate. With its Lotus Projector and Athena-Class NHP the Swallowtail can know the exact location of enemies, negate any of their stealth capabilities, and identify most- or with the Athena NHP active, all- of their statistics. Information it can share with its allies, making it child's play to track down and eliminate any enemies within the Swallowtail's downright ridiculous range. When someone has a Swallowtail in their ranks you can run or you can fight, but you cannot hide.
- Boring, but Practical: What most of Swallowtail's equipment amounts to. Most of its equipment, setting aside naming flavor, amount to a spotting light, an unarmed scout drone, and the ability to curl up and hide. None of its equipment will garner glory or gore, but it gives the Swallowtail capacities for targeting, information-gathering, and enemy detection that no other mech in the entire system can match. All the while keeping itself secured and hidden away from prying eyes.
- Fragile Speedster: The Swallowtail is not by any stretch of the imagination brimming with firepower (its default license only coming with one weapon that does 1d3 damage) while its armor and HP are both laughable. However it's tied for first place among the fastest mechs in the entire game to date and its evasion is no joke either; combined with its various methods of invisibility, this makes the Swallowtail a very difficult mech to pin down, hit, or even target in the first place. Played With though, in the sense that many of its traits and systems require that the Swallowtail limit its movement or give it a self-inflicted slowed condition.
- Invisibility: Though by no means the first mech in Lancer to make use of it, nor even the one to make the most extensive use of it in combat (compared to fellow SSC mech Metalmark), Swallowtail is noticeable because it's the only mech in the game capable of giving multiple members of its team invisibility, by way of its LB/OC Cloaking Field system. Whereas other mechs can make themselves invisible, or hack into single enemies to make allies appear invisible to them, only Swallowtail's license offers any means of making the entire team invisible to all enemies. However they have to be within two spaces of you- forcing allies to clump up and be vulnerable to Ao E weapons- and you're slowed while using it. The Swallowtail can also passively become invisible, but only if it hasn't moved and only until the start of its next turn.
- Long-Range Fighter: "Fighter" is a bit of a stretch with its lackluster armaments, but while they don't do much damage its Oracle LMG-I are nonetheless tied as one of the longest-ranged weapons in the game- while being Auxiliary, whereas most other long-ranged weapons are Main, Heavy, or even Superheavy- and between "Accurate" and "Arcing" they're much more likely to hit than other weapons. They won't hit for a lot of damage, but they'll hit consistently and they'll hit from outside the range of most other mechs.
- Spider Tank: The Swallowtail has a tetrapod leg design, a turret-like upper body, and — like the Death's Head — the example in the official art is equipped with a set of pedipalp-like manipulator arms.
- Support Party Member: The Swallowtail has a lot of means to identify and hone in on enemies, removing their stealth and defensive capabilities to make them not only easier to hit, but guaranteeing they'll feel the hurt when they do get hit. However, its weapons have downright pitiful damage and in order to be at its best the Swallowtail has to be as far from the fighting- and the enemy's weaponry that can chew through its fragile frame like paper- as possible. This all means that it's designed to use its targeting systems to set up its allies, making it more likely they'll land devastating hits while knowing exactly where- and who- to aim at.
Cousin to the Black Witch, the White Witch uses the same basic premise of powerful electromagnetism to defend itself and punish its attackers, occasionally combining the two by turning its attackers into reinforcements for its chassis.
White Witch provides examples of the following tropes
- Gathering Steam: The longer a fight goes on and the more hits the White Witch takes, the higher its armor gets.
HORUSHorus isn't so much a company as it is a philosophical cult. Spreading in tandem with the Omninet and operating via black market printers, hacker communes and esoteric collectives, HORUS's mechs specialize in crowd control, unit management and electronic warfare.
- Hollywood Hacking: All of HORUS mechs are at least adept at Tech Attacks, in addition to core bonuses and individual mech traits that make it even easier to perform. Some HORUS mechs are even capable of hacking reality.
- Reporting Names: Given its decentralized and secretive nature, the "proper" names for most HORUS mechs are unknown, assuming they even have one in the first place. The names given in the rules for HORUS frames (or, more accurately, "pattern groups") are actually their designations in Union's Universal Threat Assessment Manual.
- Theme Naming: HORUS mechs are named after mythological creatures and monsters — or, more specifically, after entries in the D&D Monster Manual. (Amusingly, this does imply that whoever is in charge of assigning UTAM designations to HORUS mechs is a massive D&D nerd.)
A grappler mech that pins down and grinds its prey into a slurry using clouds of hostile nanomachines.
Balor provides examples of the following tropes
- Grey Goo: One of its traits is a cloud of nanomachines that deals Damage Over Time to enemies adjacent to or grappled by it. Swarm Body and Balors core power make it worse, and Hive Drone allows you to do the same thing at a distance.
- Healing Factor: Not only does it regain 1/4 of its health per turn on its own, but taking a Rest during Downtime allows it to regain full HP without having to spend repairs.
- Mighty Glacier: Its not fast, at all, but its a strong frame and quite hard to kill. Exaggerated further with the Swarm Body system, which deals more damage the longer Balor has been stationary.
- Nanomachines: Yes. Balor is made of nanomachines, has weapons made of nanomachines, and has clouds of nanomachines to do its bidding.
- The Swarm: Hive Drone, Swarm Body, the Scouring Swarm trait, its core power, and Swarm/Hive Nanites. Enough for you?
- Whip It Good: The Nanobot Whip is exactly what it sounds like.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Landing a critical hit with the Nanobot Whip drags the target to a space adjacent to you.
The Goblin is a small but deadly and feared hacking platform.
Goblin provides examples of the following tropes
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Goblins highest license grants it access to an OSIRIS-class NHP. OSIRIS Prime, the original upon which the others are based, if left alone, would have become able to delete what humans perceive as reality. Users of OSIRIS clones are suggested to be careful with them.
- A God Am I: The OSIRIS clones usually seeks out admiration, awe, and approval, and if left alone become aware of their true potential, and start thinking of themselves as ruler or deity analogs.
- Delirious Misidentification: The system associated with the OSIRIS, Hurl Into The Duat, slowly manipulates enemy machines, inflicts conditions, and ultimately confuses the target into thinking their enemies are allies and allies are enemies until the end of their next turn, or until they get hurt by enemies.
- Tsundere: OSIRIS clones are reported to frequently display "both disdain and marked desperation for approval, adulation, or awe" for their pilots.
- Always Accurate Attack: Its sole standard weapon, the Autopod, can only attack when an ally attacks a target within your range and consumes the Lock On condition. However, it always hits, and as a Seeking weapon can ignore cover and line of sight, as long as it can draw a path to the target.
- Chicken Walker: Depicted in the art as having digitigrade legs.
- Dueling Hackers: If the Goblin frame suffers a tech attack, it can immediately take any Quick Tech action against the attacker, essentially simulating this trope.
- Master of Illusion: An expert in perception warfare, capable of creating holographic objects, whether for cover or for use as decoys. These holograms are essentially real as far as any system can tell - mechs cannot walk into them voluntarily. Decoys, meanwhile, are actively treated as the real thing by targeting systems, even if the pilot knows theyre false. Either way, both require a Systems check to destroy.
- Mini-Mecha: Easily the smallest mech in the entire game. The art portrays it as so small, that some bits of the pilot can be seen between gaps in armor.
- People Puppets: To a very limited degree, the Goblins hacking can cause this, forcing enemies to move involuntarily in certain directions, eject their cooling rods, or empty out their ammo cases.
- Powered Armor: Halfway between this and Mini-Mecha (see above). Mechanically, its size of 1/2 is identical to a normal human and puts it at about 10 feet tall. Compare this to the the rest of the roster, most of whom are at least twice its size if not bigger.
- Squishy Wizard: One of the most fragile mechs in the entire game, very unsuited to actively making physical attacks or Hull checks and saves. However, it is easily the most powerful frame in terms of making and defending against tech attacks.
- The Symbiote: Its core ability, Symbiosis, allows it to latch onto another mech. In an example of mutualism, the Goblin obtains hard cover, while the host mech is allowed the use of the Goblins impressive electronic offense and defense, as well as Systems rating.
- Synchronization: Its Metahook system allows it to use the Sensors of an allied mech within range of its own Sensors and in line of sight, meaning that it can make hacking attacks from extremely long distances without needing to put itself in the way of danger, while the ally can use the users Systems to make checks or saves. However, both characters suffer Heat damage and conditions when the other does, making it a double-edged blade.
A frame made to lock down an entire area, either through retaliatory weapon systems or a dangerous memetic pattern of light that can shut down cognitive functions in humans and frames.
Gorgon provides examples of the following tropes
- Brown Note: The Gorgon's BASILISK core system is a visual example of this — an anticognition hyperfractal that can induce paralysis, psychological effects, and even adverse physical reactions in anyone that sees it.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: This is essentially the Gorgon's modus operandi. Practically every system in the license is devoted to unleashing brutal punishment against anyone that dares to attack one of the Gorgon pilot's allies.
Less of a single contiguous frame and more of a colony of drones atop a skeleton, the Hydra specializes in both drones and nexus weaponry.
Hydra provides examples of the following tropes
- Attack Drone: Lots, to the point that every single offensive option available in the Hydra license comes from some form of drone.
- Detachment Combat: The Hydra is less a mech than it is a mech-shaped collection of drones that are capable of flying off to attack targets independently.
- Drone Deployer: Exaggerated. Literally every aspect of the Hydra — its abilities, its core system and core power, and every system granted by its license levels — either gives it more drones to launch or makes it better at using those drones.
Originally a mining suit turned into a resistance combat frame, the Kobold is a guerilla fighter with the ability to change the field to suit their needs.
Kobold provides examples of the following tropes
- Chameleon Camouflage: The Kobold's Mimic Carapace ability allows it to become invisible so long as it remains adjacent to a sufficiently-large piece of terrain or hard cover.
- Geo Effects: Kobold's shtick revolves around manipulating the battlefield, generating piles of slag and extruded polymer that can serve as cover for its allies and obstacles for its enemies.
- Improvised Weapon: The entire mech, to an extent. The "typical" Kobold (inasmuch as the term can be applied to anything HORUS makes) is a standard mining frame, equipped with standard mining tools, modified by viral HORUS code to remove safety limiters and add in a few other tricks. The resulting mech is simple to learn, easy to hide, and very effective, making it a favorite of guerrillas and insurgents.
- Kung-Shui: The Seismic Ripper system unleashes a pulse of seismic energy in a line from the mech, knocking over characters and dealing significant damage to objects in its path. Any object destroyed by this system will violently explode, damaging any characters nearby.
The Lich is a strange, paradoxical frame that guarantees its continued existed through time loops and temporal resets. Naturally, this makes it remarkably hard to kill.
Lich provides examples of the following tropes
- Glass Cannon: The Lich is capable of mounting some highly impressive systems and a pretty nasty gun. It also has a whopping four base HP per point of Structure; as a point of comparison, an ordinary human has six HP. Its base heat cap is also utterly abysmal. Subverted, however, in that clever use of the Lich's frame traits can actually turn it into one of the most durable frames in the game, as it can simply hit the "undo" button on many effects that would damage or destroy it.
- "Nothing" is Scarier: The flavour text for the Lich and its gear is comprised entirely of recovered audio segments (some dated several thousand years in the future), chatlogs and an after-action report from a combat in the Dawnline Shore where something happened, with almost no explanation of where the Lich came from, what it is or what its systems do.
- Resurrective Immortality: Once per scene, when the Lich is destroyed, it can pop back into existence at its soul vessel marker with a single point each of Structure and Stress. Notably, if the pilot was killed in the process of Lich's destruction, they are also resurrected when the Lich reappears.
- Time Master: The Lich has a... flexible relationship with linear time, and its kit revolves around applications of this: speeding up and slowing down time, creating chronal duplicates of people, rewinding time to avoid undesirable outcomes, and teleporting around by virtue of mucking about with the timestream. It's a bit like Tracer from Overwatch, if Tracer was an incredibly creepy robot from the distant future.
The Manticore is an unstable system that heavily uses electromagnetics, with a distinct theme of divine punishment.
Manticore provides examples of the following tropes
- Action Bomb: One of the frame's core traits causes it explode as per a reactor meltdown the turn after it is destroyed.
- Dead Man's Switch: Optionally, during a Full Repair, the pilot can switch the frame into or out of Castigation Mode, causing it to explode immediately upon destruction/reactor meltdown, causing it to kill the pilot and anyone else inside with it, while dealing a large amount of damage to surrounding units.
- Cast from Hit Points: Most of its powers carry this sort of drawback to them.
- Its passive core power allows it to deal energy damage to nearby foes once per round when it takes Heat damage and both of its standard weapons deal self-inflicted Heat damage as recoil.
- Three of its four Invade options are powerful enough that they carry the drawback of causing some energy damage to itself.
- Its Lightning Generator protocol allows it to deal small energy damage to nearby foes each round at the cost of taking some Heat damage, but it is used automatically, with its power doubled, if the mech is already in the Danger Zone (halfway to Overheating).
- Charged Attack: Its active core power gives it a Charged Die that increases in number each time it takes on energy or Heat damage, from 1 to 6. Once it reaches 6, it deals a devastating burst of power to everything around it.
- Lightning Gun: Both its standard weapons, Catalyst Pistol and Arc Projector, are this.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The exact name of its Dead Man's Switch power is Castigate The Enemies of the Godhead, and its Charged Attack's name is Destruction of the Temple of the Enemies of RA.
- Overclocking Attack: Its "Sear" Invade option is essentially this, allowing it to deal great Heat damage to an enemy proportional to the number of other characters adjacent to them.
- Shock and Awe: Its entire theme is electricity - it has passive resistance from energy and burn damage, and all of its standard forms of attack deal energy damage. Ironically, the only time its licenses dont deal energy damage is when it explodes as part of Castigation Mode (which is naturally explosion damage).
- Standard Status Effects: Its "Smite" Invade option forces an enemy to make a save or be stunned until the end of their next turn.
- EMP: It can also stun all non-biological targets in a burst around it, at the cost of stunning itself as well.
- Taking You with Me: It automatically suffers a reactor meltdown when destroyed. In its Castigation State, it explodes even faster and with more power. This requires the pilot to be in the mech.
- Weaponized Teleportation: Its "Summon" Invade option allows it to pull all nearby characters to a target of their choice, perfect for using its area of effect attacks; meanwhile, its Beckon Invade option lets it switch positions with a target, as long as both can stand or move on those positions.
The Minotaur is a dimension-bending mech that excels at inflicting negative conditions upon enemies.
Minotaur provides examples of the following tropes
- Achilles' Heel: The Minotaur has nothing to offer in the way of standard weapons, relying almost entirely on technological warfare and inflicting negative status. Thus, Biological targets are easily its greatest weakness.
- Bigger on the Inside: Noted to have more components on the inside than should be possible. Space is also distorted outside of it, making it impossible for foes to move past it, even if they're far bigger than it.
- Gradual Grinder: It has nothing in the way of conventional weapons, but it has several methods of causing Heat damage and making life hell for enemy mechs over time. And unlike most other hacking-focused mechs, it is resilient enough that it can afford to take a few hits, even without armor.
- Logic Bomb: One of its Invade options unleashes one of these to characters of your choice in a burst, forcing them to make a Systems save or be Slowed as they grapple with whatever it is you showed them.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: The Minotaur frame allows the pilot to dismount or mount the mech very quickly, and while inside, characters will never be hurt, even if the mech is destroyed or suffers a reactor meltdown. The benefits of this are very niche in comparison to other mechs.
- The Paralyzer: Has multiple means of stopping enemies dead or incentivizing standing still. Its "Banish" Invade option in particular causes Heat damage to foes for each space they move, for instance.
- Inverted, as well. Its Aggressive System Sync can deal Heat damage to enemies if theyre adjacent close to their allies (forcing them to stay away from them) or if theyre too far away from the Minotaur itself (forcing them to chase it even when it's tactically unwise).
- Its Metafold Maze allows it to Slow down enemies after a successful technological attack. If theyre already Slowed, they become Immobilized, and if theyre already Immobilized, they become Stunned. It can make this more deadly by activating its Core System, Maze, which automatically Stuns the target and forces them to do nothing but attempt to escape every turn until they succeed.
- People Puppets: Its Law of Blades system allows a powerful hacking attempt that grants fine control over an enemy's actions (usually, an attack or movement, but more complicated or unusual actions are allowed).
- Quirky Bard: It is somewhat gimmicky, and excels at causing the Standard Status Effects of Slowed, Immobilized and Stunned.
- Support Party Member: Alone, the Minotaur cannot do much. On a good team, it is extremely effective.
- Teleport Interdiction: Its Interdiction Field generates a large area around it that, in addition to stopping teleportation from people you dont allow, slows down hostiles that arent able to make a Systems save. Unfortunately, it also slows down the user while its active.
- Weaponized Teleportation: Using its Metafold Carver, it can teleport enemies closer to itself, or make them outright disappear from the field of battle until the start of their next turn.
The HORUS equivalent of a sniper, the Pegasus uses what could only be generously described as a "gun" to deal consistent damage to enemies in range, on top of other weapons it can mount.
Pegasus provides examples of the following tropes
- Always Accurate Attack: The Pegasus's core system, the Ushabti omnigun, is a paracausal weapon so advanced that it doesn't qualify as any of the standard ranged weapon types in the game. It only does Scratch Damage, but if the target is within range and line of sight, it will take that damage — the omnigun hits automatically, and no ability, effect, or rule in the game can make it miss or reduce its damage.
- Boring, but Practical: For all of its esoteric weirdness, in practice the Pegasus is a remarkably straightforward gun platform that delivers consistent, reliable ranged damage, and is best used by pointing it at a target, holding down the trigger until that target dies, and repeating until there's no targets left.
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic:
- The SISYPHUS-Class NHP is capable of bending probability. In game terms, it allows the Pegasus pilot to roll two d20s and substitute those numbers for up to two d20 rolls made by itself, allies, or enemies within the Pegasus's sensor range.
- The Pegasus's core trait also qualifies, as it essentially takes luck out of the equation by giving any weapon the Pegasus fires the option to deal fixed, average damage instead of rolling.
- More Dakka: The Pegasus carries a full three weapon mounts (two Flex and one Heavy), plus the omnigun, and one of the weapons granted by the license is an autogun that can be fired as a free action. If the Pegasus makes a Barrage action with its core power activated, while loaded with as many guns as possible* , it can make the equivalent of nine weapon attacks in a single turn, when most mechs are only able to pull off somewhere between two and four.
- Painting the Medium: The Pegasus is so weird that even its profile is glitched out. It technically has two traits, but only one of them actually has an in-game effect; the other is a string of computer code-like gibberish that vaguely implies the Pegasus can extrude weapons from its own body.
- Randomized Damage Attack:
- Inverted — not only does every weapon granted by the Pegasus license deal fixed damage, but its only functional trait (By The Way, I Know Everything) allows it to take any weapon that would ordinarily roll dice to determine its damage and instead deal the average value of the dice roll.
- That being said, the Mimic Gun's base stats are randomly generated — at the start of combat the player rolls three twenty-sided dice, and the number on the die determines the Mimic Gun's range and damage, with the gun cycling through the dice at the start of every turn.
- Swiss Army Weapon: The Mimic Gun takes this Up to Eleven. It's a shapeshifting weapon that cycles through its various forms so quickly that it counts as every single type of ranged weapon available, simultaneously.
Harrison Armory (HA)Once an arms and munitions manufacturer, the end of the Union's Second Committee has allowed HA to expand into a full-blown imperialist corpro-state which now fields its own line of heavy-duty combat mecha. HA mechs tend to be very durable and often field massive, state-of-the-art weaponry.
- Energy Weapons: HA has the most energy weapons in its lineup out of all the Big Five.
- Space Romans: They have a lot of parallels with the Roman Empire, such as being controlled by a single ruler, holding heavily expansionist and militarist policies, and even going so far as to call their private corporate armies "Legions".
- Theme Naming: HA names its mechs for famous generals.
An incredibly massive frame, the Barbarossa is more akin to a gigantic siege weapon around which a mech has been built.
Barbarossa provides examples of the following tropes
- Achilles' Heel: As mentioned below, it is very slow, and particularly vulnerable to effects that force Agility checks.
- Anti-Air: Its Flak Launcher forces hit flying characters to make a save or become Slowed and immediately land, preventing them from taking flight on the next turn. Its Bouncing Mine has a similar effect.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Apocalypse Rail requires three turns to charge up for maximum damage, the windup resets if the mech moves at all (even involuntarily), and if it fires it cannot take any other action that turn. But if it does fire...
- BFG: It has two of them: the Apocalypse Rail and Siege Cannon. The latter is a Superheavy Cannon, so it says a lot that the former is a far more destructive weapon.
- Long-Range Fighter: Its Siege Stabilizers allow it to plant itself into the ground and give its ranged weapons an extended range, at the cost of being unable to fire within close range, or use melee weapons. Its Apocalypse Rail also cannot fire within close range of itself.
- Mighty Glacier: The Barbarossa is thus far the single largest unmodified mech in the game, and incredibly hard to push, pull, or knock over. It also possesses resistance to explosive damage, and can be used by friendly characters as heavy cover. Unfortunately, it's also the slowest mech in the entire game and not very good at dodging things.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Apocalypse Rail.
- Shoulder Cannon: Its Apocalypse Rail is depicted as such in the artwork.
- Siege Engines: It effectively is one, and its multiple licenses further enhance its capacity as such.
- Trick Bomb: Its "Roller" Grenades can move past obstructions and obstacles to explode when they reach a hostile target.
- Unorthodox Reload: Its Autoloader Drone and External Ammo Feed allow it or its allies to more easily reload weapons with the Loading tag.
- Wave-Motion Gun: If the Barbarossa can overcome the above mentioned drawbacks, its Apocalypse Rail can lay waste to anything within its targeting reticle.
The Genghis is a terrifying frame that uses flame-based warfare; notably, it was the first mech to be used in a military context, popularizing it for such purposes.
Genghis provides examples of the following tropes:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Downplayed. The highest license level grants an AGNI-class NHP, which are noted to be cold and efficient, and of which a small percentage act erratically and illogically. Gameplay-wise, however, it is as stable as the rest of the game's NHPs.
- Armored But Frail: The Genghis is tied with the Drake for the highest unmodified armor in the game, and tied with the Dusk Wing, Swallowtail, and Goblin for the lowest base health in the core rulebook (with only the Lich from Long Rim having less).
- Backpack Cannon: It is depicted on its art as having a smaller flamethrower held up in this manner.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: Its Plasma Thrower inflicts such damage that it leaves behind patches of fire on the battlefield, which naturally cause damage to people who start their turn in them, or who move into them.
- Cast From Hitpoints: The Plasma Thrower deals an incredible amount of damage in a wide range, but it deals a large amount of Heat to the user from each of its attacks.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Its two standard weapons are powerful flamethrowers - the Krakatoa Thermobaric Flamethrower, and the Plasma Thrower. Notably, both are BFGs - the former is a Heavy weapon while the latter is Superheavy.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: All its attacks and weapons are designed to hit as bursts, cones, or lines of damage, making it exceedingly good at fighting large groups.
- Instant Cooldown: One of its core traits, its Auto-Cooler protocol, and its AGNI Protocol all grant it different ways to vent heat and keep it safe. See also Weaponized Exhaust.
- Kill It with Fire: Its entire theme is fire. It is immune to any Burn damage (which deals Damage Over Time), it excels at dishing it out itself, and it has multiple ways of dealing with (or benefiting from) Overheating.
- Man on Fire: The lore entries on the Genghis explicitly note that it was made in mind for area-denial, and against organic targets.
- Molotov Cocktail: Its HAVOK Charges allow it to use grenades or mines that essentially behave as such.
- "Nothing" is Scarier: The Genghis Mk I was designed to host a weapon only cryptically referred to in the corebook as a TBK, and it is noted that the Genghis Mk II, which does not have it, has been brought in line with Union's Utopic Pillars. In other words, the TBK was a weapon that was considered inhuman.
- To further put this in perspective, the Genghis' core system is exposing the power cells of the TBK Sustain Suite - not itself a weapon, but the framework designed to support the TBK.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The No Room For a Wallflower supplement does not clarify in any way how exactly the TBK worked or what it involved beyond its scope, but it helpfully clarifies that it stands for Total Biome Kill.
- Weaponized Exhaust: A non-ship example. It has several ways of venting out heat in a burst of Heat and Burn damage around itself - its Explosive Vents, core system and AGNI protocol.
- Steam Vent Obstacle: A rare non-videogame example. When either its core system or AGNI Protocol vent heat, the ensuing steam cloud grants soft cover, and in the case of the core system, invisibility.
The Iskander is a sophisticated mech that controls the battlefield via manipulation of gravity.
Iskander provides examples of the following tropes
- Gravity Master: The main source of its power.
- No Gravity for You: Its Tesseract technology option allows it to either generate a field of zero-g, allowing everyone in a zone to fly while being slowed, or to immobilize a single target and force them to float several spaces up.
- Trick Bomb: Its Grounding Mine forces a nearby target to make a save or be pulled as close to the mine and then knocked prone, potentially forcing aerial foes to land. Its Gravity Grenade, meanwhile, slows down a target until they make no voluntary movements for a full turn.
- Utility Weapon: Its Gravity Gun forces all targets in the area it hits to make a save or be forced as close to the center of that area. This effect deals a bit of Energy damage, but the intent is to clearly pair it with Iskanders other Area of Effect powers.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Inverted, its Repulser Field knocks away nearby foes and further weaponizes it by detonating all nearby mines.
- Made of Explodium: Iskender's core ability releases a Death Cloud, filling effectively the entire battlefield with micromines, including the air.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Death Cloud, though ironically it's a name you literally cannot run really fast from, because anything other than a regular move action, including flight results in you taking explosive damage.
- Revolvers Are Just Better/Punch-Packing Pistol: Its Stub Cannon is a small Auxiliary Cannon that only has six shots, deals a small amount of fixed explosive damage, and deals Knockback - ideal for blasting enemies into mines.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: It possesses a large number of grenades.
- Grenade Launcher: A core trait of the frame allows it, once per round, to launch grenades or plant mines from a very long distance.
- Grenade Spam: Averted - almost all of its weapons are Limited and can run out if spammed too much.
- Sticky Bomb: Its Clamp Bombs stick to an enemy and explode, also dealing Splash Damage to surrounding characters unless the enemy manages to detach and disarm it.
- Trap Master: It is an expert on planting mines.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Almost said word for word in the Gravity Guns description."Weve weaponized the force that holds all things in its embrace. What could go wrong?"
The Napoleon is a small and tenacious combat unit with a unique suite of abilities based around its ability to bend and abuse blinkspace to defend itself and its allies.
Napoleon provides examples of the following tropes
- Heavily Armored Mook: Napoleon's base traits and core power grant it a number of ways to reduce incoming attacks to nothing more than Scratch Damage.
- Invincibility Power-Up: The Napoleon license grants a number of systems that temporarily render the user or others completely immune to all damage, albeit at the cost of reducing their battlefield effectiveness.
- Stone Wall: The Napoleon license doesn't grant any actual weapons at all until the third license level (although the gun it does finally give you is admittedly a doozy), but the frame and its systems are crammed full of ways to mitigate incoming damage.
- Subspace or Hyperspace: A number of the Napoleon's systems make use of blinkspace technology. The Trueblack Aegis core system and the Blinkshield system use it for defensive purposes, while the Displacer weaponizes it.
- Teleport Gun: The one weapon granted by the Napoleon license is the Displacer, which removes threats from the battlefield by teleporting everything in its blast radius into blinkspace. It's slow to fire and generates a truly ridiculous amount of self-inflicted heat* , but the effects are suitably devastating.
The Saladin is a combat support frame with a specialty in wide-area combat shielding. Excellent for combat escorts and protecting other soft targets.
Saladin provides examples of the following tropes
- Attack Reflector: The Tachyon Shield core power and the Diluvian Ark provided by the NOAH-Class NHP system are both capable of bouncing an attack back against its user (or, in the case of the Tachyon Shield, against anyone else within the attack's range or area of effect).
- Barrier Warrior: A fully-licensed Saladin frame has four different options for generating Deflector Shields, three of which can be used offensively with a bit of cleverness.
- Deflector Shield: The Saladin can generate multiple different types of force fields to protect itself and its allies, each with slightly different effects.
- Hard Light: The Hardlight Defense System is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — a barrier made of solidified light that stops all attacks and effects from passing through. Characters can force their way through if necessary, although they'll take some burn if they try.
The workhorse of the Harrison Armory line, and the second-most deployed mech aside from the Everest. The Sherman is designed to be useful in almost any theater, and on almost any battlefield, thanks to its versatile systems, reliable reactor, and lots and lots of lasers.
Sherman provides examples of the following tropes:
- BFG: The ANDROMEDA-Pattern, the Tachyon Lance, and the ZF4 SOLIDCORE all qualify.
- Cast from Hit Points: Every energy weapon on the license deals Heat damage to the user when fired. Downplayed due to the systems on the license designed to mitigate said cost.
- Charged Attack: The ZF4 SOLIDCORE Laser starts at 1 charge, and gets another charge every time the Sherman uses a Stabilize action, to a cap of 4. Each charge spent when the weapon fires increases the damage and the range of the attack, and returns the SOLIDCORE back to 1 charge upon firing. Its core power drastically speeds up the process, fully charging the SOLIDCORE upon use, and doubling its charge speed for the rest of the scene.
- Combat Medic: Downplayed. The Sherman cant heal others like, say, the Lancaster, but it is equipped with systems that allow it to keep itself in top fighting condition.
- Determinator: The Sherman is designed to keep fighting, no matter what. Redundant Systems Upgrade allows it to turn a Stabilize action from a Full to a Quick Action, and the Reactor Stabilizer allows it to reroll overheating checks, making it a very reliable mech when it comes to Engineering needs.
- Energy Weapon: The Sherman License is stuffed to the brim with laser weapons, from the Main-mounted SOL-Pattern Laser Rifle, to the ANDROMEDA-Pattern Heavy Laser Rifle, to its core system, the ZF4 SOLIDCORE.
- Mighty Glacier: The Sherman suffers from low Speed and Evasion, but its also quite durable, and can bring the hurt right back with its battery of laser and energy weapons.
- More Dakka: The ASURA-Class NHP grants the Sherman either an extra two Quick Actions, or one extra Full Action. While youre not allowed to repeat actions like Skirmishes, the advantage of being able to, say, Skirmish and Barrage in the same turn cannot be overstated. Throw in an overcharge, and you can fill your foe with holes before they even realize what happened.
- One-Hit Polykill: The SOLIDCOREs firing solution is a Line, which means it hits everything in its range from 1 to 20. A well-aimed shot can fry several mechs at once.
- Playing with Fire: Kinda. Aside from its core system, all of the Shermans energy weapons deal Burn damage.
- Shoulder Cannon: Equipped with one in the official art, possibly the Tachyon Lance.
- Simple, yet Awesome: The premise of the Sherman is very uncomplicated: keep yourself functional, and fire back at the enemy when able. The awesome comes in because youre firing back lasers and Wave Motion Guns.
- The Engineer: Gains Accuracy on Engineering checks from one of its traits, and is armed with systems to amplify its ability even further than that.
- Wave-Motion Gun: Two for the price of one mech! First, the Shermans core system, the SOLIDCORE Laser, which charges as the pilot uses Stabilize actions, and the Superheavy Tachyon Lance, which fires weaponized faster-than-light tachyon particles at the enemy. Both of them are sufficiently devastating under the right circumstances.
- Weaponized Exhaust: Well, sort of. Firing the Tachyon Lance while in the Danger Zone causes it to fire a backblast of plasma in the opposite direction, damaging anyone who might be trying to sneak up on you.
Cousin to the Napoleon, the Sunzi is another experiment into blinkspace manipulation, specializing in moving allies and enemies across the field like giant chess pieces.
Sunzi provides examples of the following tropes
- Difficult, but Awesome: Without beating around the bush, the Sunzi is hard to play. Wrapping your head around the 4D chess you need to pull off to even make use of the basic LL1 systems in any meaningful way is daunting. But with some coordination with your team and some real combat experience, you can cause your enemies to almost never be in a comfortable position.
- Teleport Spam: Oh yes. It can blip a short distance away every round, it can use its core power to teleport itself or anyone else if it so chooses, it can throw grenades that teleport everyone in its blast radius to anywhere else in its blast radius, teleport enemies or allies directly to it using a subspace tunnel, teleport enemies every time they take damage after being hit with a particular tech invade... If you want someone, somewhere else, this is the mech for you. It even has a gun that teleports enemies on hit!
The high-risk, high-reward mech. Tokugawa is an energy-based melee striker that thrives on riding the line between success and failure with its overclocking abilities.
Tokugawa provides examples of the following tropes:
- Armor-Piercing Attack: The Annihilator does minimal damage on its own, but pierces armor and inflicts Burn. Also counts as a Herd-Hitting Attack.
- Armored But Frail: Zig-zagged. On the one hand, it only has 1 Armor, and its base HP is average. However, overclocking causes the Tokugawa to take double damage from all sources except Heat and Burn, so it does have its moments.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Two systems that can qualify: the first is the LUCIFER-Class NHP, which deals a significant amount of Heat damage to the user, but grants them bonus damage on their next attack equal to their current Heat. A better example is the Plasma Gauntlet, which deals a truly abhorrent amount of damage... but also half of that damage to yourself as Heat, in addition to leaving you Stunned. And since you cant even use it unless youre in Danger Zone, youre pretty much guaranteed to cook yourself in your mech upon activation, as well as being a sitting duck for any retaliation, regardless. Use wisely.
- Explosive Overclocking: The trademark of the Tokugawa; push all systems into the red for the power to kill everything in front of you. Proper positioning and Heat management is a requirement for using the Tokugawa effectively. Failure to do so will have disastrous results.
- Glass Cannon: The main thrust of its core ability: Tokugawa can give itself the Exposed status at will, taking double damage from kinetic, energy, and explosive damage. The benefit is that all its weapons get increased range and bonus energy damage. Goes Up to Eleven with its active core power, which can double or triple its range.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: Unless it whiffs, the Annihilator not only deals damage to the target, but all targets surrounding it.
- Hot-Blooded: Encouraged if you want to use a LUCIFER-Class NHP, which itself is an example; sources say the LUCIFER-Class prefers reckless tactics that can potentially leave its pilot exposed to danger, and even gets frustrated with cautious or unambitious pilots, meaning its ideal partner is someone just as reckless and/or decisive as it is. This behavior is even kind of encouraged by the frame itself, as the Tokugawa is more dangerous the greater the danger its in.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Aside from its core traits, weak Tech Attack score, and superior Heat Cap, Tokugawa is fairly balanced in stats, even lacking any HASE weaknesses. It also lacks any Heavy weapon mounts, but makes up for it by having three. So, while it wont excel at anything in particular without taking advantage of its quirks, it doesnt do anything too poorly, either.
- Kill It with Fire: Part of Tokugawas schtick; not only does it have a higher-than-average Heat Cap, but it even has a variety of systems and traits that get stronger when the user is in the Danger Zone. The Plasma Sheath trait, for example, turns all of Tokugawas bonus energy damage into Burn damage while its in the Danger Zone.
- Laser Sword: The Torch, which is basically a lightsaber.
- Long-Range Fighter: Downplayed. Tokugawa can be built to take advantage of Limit Breaks range and threat increase, cutting or shooting down enemies before they can get close, thus keeping themselves out of the line of fire. Just watch out for anyone with a longer range than you...
- Overclocking Attack: Self-inflicted and exploited; Tokugawa willingly pushes its systems to the limit in order to increase its own performance. Just make sure nothings left alive to get revenge on you afterward...