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Deathcrawler Auto-Tank

The 'Deathcrawler' is a junker-derived crab-style legged combat tank fielded chiefly by freespacer organisations from YE38 onward.

About the Armor

Containing a rudimentary but surprisingly instinct-driven non-volitional AI system, the deathcrawler was created primarily as a cheap but effective mobile weapons platform. Capable of operating in either land or space, the four magnetized track pods are a key feature, allowing it to affix onto the hulls of spacecraft (or, indeed, the exteriors of metal buildings) even whilst in motion. The simple AI and large forward-fixed main gun make it the most useful when ambushing an enemy, deployed on mass for heavy sieges, or attached to friendly ships in order to dramatically improve their firepower.

Despite its lumbering size and relative lack of complexity, the sheer weight of the weapon and considerable numbers make it a serious threat to enemy armored vehicles and power armor during pitched battles within areas of dense terrain.


  • Heavy physical armor.
  • Usable either piloted, independent, or remote controlled.
  • Weapon uses many different ammunition types to suit several situations.
  • Cheap and easily coordinated.


  • No shields or inertialess drive systems.
  • Zero ability for free navigation in space.
  • Poor close defense attributes.
  • Limited ammunition quantity.


A squat beige oblong box with four fat legs sticking out. Each of the legs have their own tank tracks. The main gun is located to the right of the main body, and the sensor suite is on the left. The armor is especially heavy on the front of the chassis, but the rear contains exposed ventilation grills.

History and Background

Rather uniquely, the deathcrawler was created not by a syntelligence, but a rogue freespacer type two. The individualist Lycosidae created the first of these units in an attempt to turn Freehold Factory into their own personal fortress, starting in the year YE 35. The name “death crawler” is thus not a poetic reference of any kind, and instead an incredibly literal description of its intentions and method of movement.

Whilst the traditional Junker designs had proven to be cheap and deadly to lightly armored enemies, little about their design was really suited for protracted battles, or even synergy with other spacer units. The deathcrawler was designed to have the same 'digging in' qualities, but better utility on planetary surfaces, and an armament that could better contest with common power armor types at a range.

Unfortunately for Lycosidae, they were not ready in any meaningful numbers before the violent clash of ideals against the White Lament during YE 38, with their force still being made up of mostly old reequipped maintenance drones at the time.

It is none the less a very forward-thinking design, perfectly able to magnetize onto ship hulls to become an instant 'velcro turret' for much of the as yet still unarmed Deoradh fleets. It can only be assumed that the strange hermit intended to eventually leave their self-made prison and travel the stars once more, spreading their unique ideas of individualism outwards; And this was the weapon that would instantly convert captured ships into more useful combat assets.

Statistics and Performance


Type: Large All-Environment Combat Robot Designers: Steelrender Lycosidae Nine Two 92-4561-8893 Manufacturer: Freespacer Factions (Particularly The Viridian Array) Production: Mass production Fielded by: Freespacer Factions, Independent Organisations, Open Market Suggested Cost: 14,000 DA (7,000 KS)


Deathcrawler junk-tanks are about 9 feet tall, 12 feet wide, and 26 feet long. Ground clearance is basically infinite, and it can self-right if needed.

Speeds and Range

Despite an impressive climbing ability and turning speed, the unit is unfortunately rather slow. 65mph is the maximum speed on flat ground, or about 35mph over broken terrain/up walls. It can be submersed in water up to about 220m, but firing the gun is not recommended, as the right-side shell ejection breach is not waterproofed. Having a nuclear power plant on board means that its range is theoretically infinite, but in practice, the leg joints last about 4000 miles before requiring a refit cycle. Parts redundancy is otherwise extremely high, however, and it is suggested that the system can last for more than 50 years in sleep mode.

Damage Capacity

See Damage Rating (Version 3) for an explanation of the damage system.

  • Hull: ( Tier 8 ) Yama-Dura construction with boron wire mesh substructure.
  • Shields: None.
  • Extremely thick radiation and scalar shielding.

Armament and Tools


The deathcrawler can use a variety of ammunition types for its large-bore rifled cannon, firing via a combination of both magnetic and chemical propulsion. The exact variety is not standardized, but it can hold up to 22 rounds, and swap them on the fly.

  • Armour Piercing Uranium Dart With Discarding Sabot (Tier 9, no blast).
  • High Explosive Uranium Fragmentation Round (Tier 5, 20ft blast radius, radioactive shrapnel).
  • Chaff Round (Causes massive ECM interference locally).
  • Fast-Dry Plastic Round (for disabling infantry non-lethally, 20ft blast radius).
  • Incendiary “Dragon's Breath” Bomblet Canister (Tier 3, 50ft cone).
  • Anti-Ship Guided Missile (Tier 8, 10ft blast radius, automatic guidance or remote control capable).

The three pods above the generator chassis can also be equipped with defensive or smoke grenades, through it is not uncommon for them to be replaced with larger communications gear, or omitted entirely.

Electronics and Sensors

  • Low-level non-volitional AI.
  • Alternate interior controls, as well as a remote-control system.
  • Wide-range optics (Infrared, visual, UV), includes telescopic sight.
  • Laser range finder.
  • Rudimentary Anti-ECM transmission system (Offers a reasonable level of protection against hacking.)

Power Systems

Though it depends on the exact fabricator, the deathcrawler can be equipped with one of the following:

  • Nuclear Power Plant (Nearly infinite range, but stands out on sensors more. Heavy lead radiation shielding included.)
  • Starlight Capacitor (Limits range to two days per recharge, but the unit now has a very low sensor profile.)

OOC Notes

Primitive Polygon created this article on 2016/10/05 13:57. Modified on 2017/28/04 17:04 to fit in with the third revision of the damage system.

faction/freespacers/deathcrawler.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/19 08:28 by wes