Petlienzotl Mark 1(Champion) Warbot
URP 64602-00-NM32J-77D3(9)     Cr 806,150     380.5 kg
Fuel =36.4  Duration = 4.33 days   TL=13
30/75 (Combat Armor)
Light Intensifier
Passive Infrared
Mass Sensor
Electronic Circuit Protection
Spot Light
Acoustic Speaker
Radio, very Distant
TL 13 Holorecorder
Laser Rifle
Survival -1
Forward Observer -1
Laser Rifle-1
Inf Ground Combat-1

The Petlienzotl “Champion” first entered production in IR 1003. Designed by engineers at Chiadle, the Petlienzotl’s mission was to provide a functional replacement option for the standard Tech level 13 Zhodani combat infantryman.  In concept, the Champion would be able to be deployed in all-robot units transported to the battlefield by standard G carrier. Due to their increased size, a four robot squad would deploy from an 8-10 man squad G carrier. Robot infantry seldom formed more than a battalion sized unit and in practice usually deployed at the company level. No larger robot formations were conceived or deployed. (see Warbot organization below)

The initial requirement foresaw a need for easily deployable infantry forces that might be held in long term reserve without appreciable loss of their battlefield capabilities. While the relatively high price tag for a single unit caused some concern among critics, the practical economics of soldiers that needed to be financed rather than paid, and that required no leave, disability, or retirement costs showed even the harshest critics the economic viability of the units.

The Champion’s battlefield role focused primarily on raid or wartime missions rather than police actions or counter insurgency. In practice, Champions were often inserted into environments where casualty or capture of Zhodani military personnel would pose political or propaganda challenges. The theory behind these deployments being that while force could be brought to bear with either human or robotic infantry, robotic losses created less cachet and allowed far less political reaction among opponents at home. Often though, Champion units were deployed from fleet reserves or depots as a fast reaction force where human infantry was not readily available.

The Champion’s main weapon was the TL 13 laser rifle although some prototype models were fitted with an adapted ACR or Gauss Rifle. These prototypes were not adopted due to the relative reliability and independence of the Laser Rifle system and the fact that the ammunition stowage limited the operational duration by removing fuel capacity from the torso. Endurance testing the prototypes also pointed to the likelihood of ammunition depletion in combat in less time than the operating duration. The laser rifle system also simplified logistics for these units which would avoid any ammunition in the supply chain.

Command and Control for Champion units varied from normal Zhodani combat practices. In regular units, warbots are integrated into the human infantry unit. The warbots serve as a special purpose tool for difficult situations. Champion units were designed to be deployed as independent units. There command and control functions were integral to all units in order to provide maximal survivability and interchangeability under battlefield conditions.

Each squad had one warbot designated as “prime.” Since these robots are constructed with limited synaptic CPU capacity, some post-production skill learning is possible. Generally the robot with the highest level of tactics skill is selected as the prime.

The prime operates as a squad NCO directing the operations of the three other robots in the squad. If the prime unit is rendered inoperable, the remaining robots select a prime based on highest level of tactics skill. Platoon and company command operates in a similar manner.

Early deployments discovered some unexpected properties of the units. Many opponents suffered a morale disadvantage when faced with the Champion. After action interviews with captured enemy combatants indicated that the idea of the robot soldier struck terror even when the robot fought and suffered casualties like other armored infantry. Unlike the earlier TL 12 Squire Warbot which had a sensor “head,” the Champion stowed all sensors within its torso. The resulting appearance was much less human and its “inhuman” appearance seems to have created a morale advantage.

Champion’s software and logic design expected that the units might be deployed for up to 3-4 standard days without refueling. Champions were equipped with a “sleep” mode as part of their survival software that often extended their active operation duration to 7-8 days dependent on combat conditions.  The software skill package enabled each Champion to serve as a forward observer. Combined with an excellent sensor array, the Champions were ably equipped for the role of infantry scout and spotter.

Successive deployments against enemies familiar with the Champion capabilities showed that the lack of indirect fire capability created a disadvantage against opponents in cover. Since the infantryman combat role required effective engagement of targets in close terrain, three shot grenade launchers have been added to Mark 1 designs as a field improvement. Recent models have come from the factory with the grenade launcher attachment and have been designated the Mark 2 model.

The initial contract with Chiadle called for delivery of 100,000 units over a ten year period (though 1013.)  Subsequent to the initial procurement, the Consulate has opened bidding on construction of the units to other robot manufacturers based on the Chiadle design. Chiadle has won a number of subsequent awards but other manufacturer have produced approximately 70,000 units. There are no statistics available on the number of units still in service. An unknown number of units have been sold to Zhodani clients and allies.

Petlienzotl Mark 2 – same as Mark 1 model with three grenade external launcher fitted to torso.
Petlienzotl Mark S Sharpshooter – Software change to drop survival and forward observer skill in favor of Laser Rifle-3

Warbot Organization:
Squad  — 4 warbots, one designated as prime (NCO)
Platoon – 3 squads, one squad prime designated senior prime (Senior NCO)
Company – 3 platoons + command section + point defense drone squad + MRL sled section

Playing Champions in Striker
Champion Units do not check morale and count as average initiative for command and control purposes. One or more senior primes may be designated as high initiative depending on the scenario.

Use the robot damage tables from Book 8 for damage. If the a squad prime robot suffers a brain hit, the other squad robots may not move or fire for one FFP and one EFP while a new prime is negotiated. Once negotiated, the new prime takes over all command functions of the previous prime.


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