Manufactured in small numbers by Majesty Metals in the Magestry of Canopus, the 20-ton “Assegai” is a rarity – a battlemech powered by an ICE engine. The mech is a “chicken-leg” design, with enough similarities to the LCT-1V Locust to provoke some court challenges. It was designed for anti-guerilla operations, civil defense, and for operation by poorer groups who still desire the prestige of a battlemech in their arsenal.
The choice of the Vernon 100 rotary combustion engine is a deliberate one, as it can be fueled by nearly any combustible liquid, and is easily maintained. Along with the use of machine guns and rocket launchers, the entire mech is maintainable by any technical infrastructure that can support any vehicles. Only the neurohelmet and control helmet systems must be imported. This also has the effect of bringing the unit cost in under 1 million C-Bills. The downside is that while the Assegai’s armor is respectable, it is only 60% as fast as the Locust and similar designs, though still a useful speed.
The Assegai’s armament is similarly light – two machine guns for anti-infantry work, and four Rocket Launcher-10’s for anti-armor, anti-mecha, and “light artillery” work. Against the sorts of opponents that the Assegai is intended to fight, this combination is devastating. Against conventional forces, the Assegai can only hope to “shoot and scoot”, delivering a single fearsome barrage and then retiring to safety. In any sort of standup fight, the Assegai can be quickly outmatched by more common sorts of mecha.