by Marc A. Vezina
The first Cyberwalker was originally an attempt by the Nihon engineers to build a large manned mecha for use in the treacherous terrains of Southern Asia. The final result was much too complex to be managed effectively by a human team, so a slightly modified cybertank computer was installed instead. The result was far more than what the engineers had originally set out to accomplish. The new unit was slower and more fragile than a regular tracked cybertank, but it was more flexible and could function much better in broken and mountainous terrain.
The first three Kumo (Spider) prototypes made a sensation when they appeared on the battlefield. Soon, both the North American Combine and the Paneuropean Federation had set up crash development programs to counter this technological advance.
The typical Cyberwalker looks just like an Ogre with legs instead of treads. Like their tracked brethren, they are bristling with weapons and almost impervious to attack. Their massive legs enable them to casually stroll over low obstacles, while climbing claws and fusion jets make them excellent climbers.
By the end of the Last War, Cyberwalkers were used whenever the terrain was impassable by conventional armor or Ogres. They were almost never used in open terrain, where their slow speed proved fatal most of the time. In mountainous or broken terrain, however, they were almost unstoppable.
Not many survived to the Factory States era. Cyberwalkers are complex and fragile pieces of equipment and seldom did they find technicians with the know-how to make repairs. As a result, most Cyberwalkers fell to poor maintenance and "exhaustion" in the years following the end of the war.
Unless mentioned, all rules from Ogre Miniatures apply to Cyberwalkers. Each Cyberwalker must have a center point in the middle of its body (see Cyberwalker Miniatures). Unlike Ogres and other armor units, a unit is considered in overrun combat with the Cyberwalker if it touches any part of the figure, because a Cyberwalker is considerably more flex flexible and maneuverable than other units.
Cyberwalkers may not enter buildings. They may, however, move near and kick them, causing as many damage points as their size divided by two, every turn.
Cyberwalkers use Leg Units. These are similar to an Ogre's Tread Units and function exactly the same way. A Leg Unit represents the current status of the Cyberwalker's legs and articulation. They are always attacked at 1-1 odds since they are so well-armored. Once all Leg Units are gone, one or more legs will fail and the Cyberwalker will crash, causing one 1-1 attacks to each of its systems. Assuming it survives, it cannot move. However, it can continue to fight normally.
Cyberwalkers move at normal speed in clear terrain and get the usual 2" road bonus. If the road is blocked by a size 5 or smaller unit, they may ignore it; they may also use their legs to shove any unir under size 6. Cyberwalkers are unaffected by streams, and they can enter water (use the same rules as for Ogres underwater). They move at half speed in swamp, rubble, forest, town, or underwater. Cyberwalkers never get stuck in swamp – they can climb/jump their way out.
Cliffs of one level are no obstacle and may be ignored. Cyberwalkers may go down higher cliffs by spending 1" of move for every three levels, or part thereof, after the first. Climbing a cliff cost 2" of movement for each full 3 levels or part of, after the first.
Cyberwalkers use the same combat rules as the other vehicles in Ogre Miniatures, with a few exceptions.
Cyberwalker weapon systems have their strength doubled in overrun attacks, just like normal Ogres. Cyberwalkers may never be rammed, as they simply step out of the way! They do not ram either: they stomp instead. A stomp follows the same procedure as a ram, but a hulk always remains – the Cyberwalker can't put as much pressure on one foot as an Ogre on its treads. A Cyberwalker stomping loses Leg Units in the same way as an equivalent-sized Ogre.
Line of sight is measured from the top of the Cyberwalker's miniature (generally three inches off the ground). Because of this, Cyberwalkers have a line of sight similar to a Laser Tower, and can fire over or behind forest or level 1 cliff, provided the target isn't directly adjacent to the cliff. Because of their height, Cyberwalkers attack cruise missiles as if they were Laser Towers – i.e. a roll of 9+ on two dice.
Cyberwalkers can claim hull-down concealment from cover half as tall as the miniature. They are assumed to crouch or otherwise lie low behind the cover.
Cyberwalker Rocket Launcher
These are reloadable missile launchers, very similar to the ones used by missile tanks. The missiles cannot be targeted separately as they are contained in ammunition bays deep within the body of the Cyberwalker. They are available every turn for firing.
As for mecha, Cyberwalkers are not part of the official Ogre universe. Unlike mecha, however, there are no equivalents in other gaming universes, which means that miniatures are not available. An appropriate model is not hard to find, though. Look around in toy stores for something that might do the trick, or use modeling clay – or even cleaning pipes – to create a reasonable approximation. Modelers may wish to go a step further and sculpt their Cyberwalkers in modeling clay, which can then be fired in an oven. With a wire skeleton for support and bits of old plastic models, one can create a good-looking miniature with very little effort.
[Note: I am told that Zoids, especially SpiderZoids, would make good components for cyberwalker models.]
"The First": Nihon Empire KUMO
When the first Cyberwalker walked out of the Osaka Production Facilities, one of the generals present exclaimed that it looked just like a giant spider. The name stuck, and what was originally identified as Experimental Cybertank Type 56 became known as the Kumo (Spider).
The Kumo was innovative in more ways than one. Apart from the fact that it was the first cybertank with legs, it was also one of the first to mount missile launchers similar to the ones used by the more conventional Missile Tank. These were installed because it was felt that the fragile Kumo needed the extra range of the missiles to improve their chance of survival.
The Kumo carried two Main Batteries and two Secondary Batteries in a large "head" housing. The guns were articulated and surrounded the main sensor array; they looked like insect antennae as they moved in search of prey. The main body mounted two Rocket Launchers and eight Anti-Personnel Batteries on its side and top. Two large Ogre-class Missiles, mounted on the sides at the rear, completed the armament.
The Kumo starts the game with 32 Leg Units and a speed of 4". It is considered a Size 8 vehicle. The Kumo is worth 100 points.
2 Missiles (Attack 6, Range 10", Defense 3): O O 2 Main Batteries (Attack 4, Range 6", Defense 4): O O 2 Secondary Batteries (Attack 3, Range 4", Defense 3): O O 2 Rocket Launchers (Attack 3, Range 8", Defense 2): O O 8 Antipersonnel (Attack 1, Range 2", Defense 1): O O O O O O O O 32 Leg Units: Movement starts at 4" O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 3" O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 2" O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 1" O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 0
"The Biggest": N.A. Combine LEVIATHAN
The Leviathan was the biggest Cyberwalker ever built. To cut the development time, the engineers based the Leviathan on the proven Ogre Mark V tracked chassis. Combine developers placed emphasis on armor and firepower, reasoning that speed did not matter in the broken terrain where the Leviathan was intended to serve. The result was a sluggish and monstrous cousin of the mighty Mark V.
The Leviathan carried two Main Batteries, six Secondary Batteries, two Rocket Launchers and one Missile Rack with four missiles in an internal storage bay. The Missile Rack was placed at the rear and stored the missiles in a "revolver" type ammo drum which could be field reloaded in minutes by a Vulcan combat engineer cybertank. It also mounted ten AP Batteries, two of which were mounted underneath the main body for close-in protection.
The Leviathan was heavily built and armored. As a result, it did not move very fast and its great mass made its legs only more fragile to battle damage. The Leviathan starts the game with 40 Leg Units, and a speed of 4". It is considered a Size 9 vehicle. The Leviathan is worth 140 points.
1 Missile Rack (Defense 4): O 4 Missiles (Attack 6, Range 10"): O O O O 2 Main Batteries (Attack 4, Range 6", Defense 4): O O 6 Secondary Batteries (Attack 3, Range 4", Defense 3): O O O O O O 2 Rocket Launchers (Attack 3, Range 8", Defense 2): O O 10 Antipersonnel (Attack 1, Range 2", Defense 1): O O O O O O O O O O 40 Leg Units: Movement starts at 4" O O O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 3" O O O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 2" O O O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 1" O O O O O O O O O O Movement drops to 0
"The Fastest": Paneuropean Federation CYCLOPS
The Paneuropeans had seen the Kumo in action in Asia. They knew that a Cyberwalker was an even bigger target than an Ogre: they did have the length of one, plus additional height! Speed and flexibility were the keys to survival. As a result, the Cyclops – so named after its single Main Battery – carried less armament than other designs, but was much faster.
The Cyclops' legs were long and thin, and as such prone to damage. However, they afforded the machine exceptional speed and arachnid-like agility which often astounded onlookers. Nihonese forces in Asia nicknamed the Cyclops Kumo-Chan, or "cute little spider". Combine forces were more practical and referred to Cyclops as BEMs: Bug-Eyed Monsters.
The Cyclops mounted one Main Battery, three Secondary Batteries and six AP Batteries. Two Missile Racks with ten Missiles in an internal storage bay in the rear body completed its armament.
The Cyclops starts the game with 30 Leg Units and a speed of 6; it was the fastest Cyberwalker on the battlefield. It is considered a Size 8 vehicle. The Cyclops is worth 80 points.
2 Missile Racks (Defense 4): O O 10 Missiles (Attack 6, Range 10"): O O O O O O O O O O 1 Main Battery (Attack 4, Range 6", Defense 4): O 3 Secondary Batteries (Attack 3, Range 4", Defense 3): O O O 6 Antipersonnel (Attack 1, Range 2", Defense 1): O O O O O O 30 Leg Units: Movement starts at 6" O O O O O Movement drops to 5" O O O O O Movement drops to 4" O O O O O Movement drops to 3" O O O O O Movement drops to 2" O O O O O Movement drops to 1" O O O O O Movement drops to 0
Special thanks to Marc A. Vezina of Dream Pod 9 for allowing us to reprint his Ogre Cyberwalker rules, which originally appeared in Issue 13 of Mecha Press magazine. Check out DP9's Heavy Gear page!