A/N: This is the first of what will be Code Geass Colorless and Colored Memories Archives, that will house all the Knightmare Frame information for our fics. Timeline and other supplementary lore material I am doing on Code Geass Fanon Wiki thus far. And will do as I continue to write.
This lore piece was written by Juubi K writer of Code Geass/Gundam 00 crossover fic One and Only Son. Whom gave me permission to use it for my own fic, edited to fit the Colorless Memories Universe. Along with a few other lore material Juubi K has written for Code Geass over the years on the CG fanon wiki.
Same for the timeline I will put up, which certain details of were written by FireLordZuko on forums, kaiser11492 in the CG fic Classic History of the Holy Brtiannian Empire (though again edited to fit Colorless Memories timeline and my own ideas etc) whom gave permission when I asked a few years ago to use for my fic work.
Hope you enjoy the details layed within each chapter related to the topic or Knightmare in question.
"Ah Jubilous, a man whom I can honestly say is one of the few educated Oxford cats I respect, admire and enjoy conversing with. Whom actually has the brains to go with the frumpy and gaudy coats that they, along with the Eton Hall wankers often wear and the rest of the empty suits at Westminster. Especially that pillock with the dodgy hair. The false jester who couldn't even put the knife in the proper place. His piece on Robots is a very nuanced piece and i will admit has been an influence on some of my own passions and writings on stuff.
It should be required reading among all Euroforce commanders and members of the Council of Forty once it's fully published and accorded for. Might give the lessers a clue as to why we need to keep fighting against Britannia and it's Byzantine wannabe Empire colony, it's faux philosophy and slander of the british culture and history they have been allowed to fester along with the other stuff they appropriated for three centuries.
Especially by those who want to see the genocide of my people, they never would admit it. But certain people in Europe would love to see us wiped out. The island that changed the world. Our rocks may wither, but they never break. Our iron as black and unbending as they day it was forged. Our seas as blue and salted as ever, our beaches filled with good old 99p ice cream and bacon barms. Our tongue of the english language still going despite the frogs attempts to make us speak french. What is dead may never die. But rises again as strong as ever. Trust me on this… by the end of all this… the world will see the kraken spread itself once again."
The War Machine springs to life
A brief history of the Knightmare Frame by Professor Jubilous Karakuchi- lecturer at the University of Oxford, with a PHD in the scientific field of Robot Technology, Agricultural Medieval History and Fabulous writer of political drama in his sparetime.
Introduction: The Robot Age
The conceptual and philosophical origins of the Knightmare frame can be traced back many centuries, perhaps even millennia. But in practical terms, this particular war machine had its beginnings in the earliest stages of the robotic revolution, in the middle of the 20th century.
The Second War of the Alliances, sometimes called the Great War, brought with it a veritable flood of new technologies. Among these were the very first computers, though at this stage they were little more than highly complex mathematical calculators. More recognisable computers appeared in the late 1940s, coinciding with further developments in affordable Sakuradite-based superconductors. The first of what would today be recognisable as industrial robots appeared in the late 1950s. These were crude devices by modern standards, essentially robot arms capable of performing a handful of basic motions under highly controlled conditions. They were nevertheless sufficient to revolutionise manufacturing, especially when combined with one of Britannia's seminal innovations in industry; the production line.
For both Europe and Britannia, the decades following The Great War were a period of peace, stability, and prosperity. In Britannia, this was the peace dividend of many years of war and conquest, which left the entire continent of South America under Imperial rule; its human and material resources for the taking. In Europe, by contrast, prosperity was maintained through ever-increasing agricultural and industrial productivity, as European states sought to repair the damage wrought by years of war, and adapt to the loss of overseas empires. Between the scale of the rebuilding work, and the severe manpower losses wrought by the war, the European states found themselves with a serious labour shortage, limiting their ability to take advantage of rising demand for consumer goods.
The states initially attempted to resolve their labour shortages through immigration, but this was only partially successful. The newcomers hailed primarily from European colonies in Africa and Indochina, with only a relative handful possessing the technical skills that were so desperately needed. Most ended up doing menial or low-skilled work, but even this was enough to make them targets of xenophobia; much of it politically motivated. The result was that Europe's organised labour movements found themselves in the middle of a growing culture war. On the one side was their core supporters, the industrial workers and miners, the common men and women, many deeply patriotic, unconvinced by the new idea of a united Europe, who feared for their culture and their jobs. On the other side were the younger generations, who sought to break with the mistakes of the past, who would not stand to see immigrants rejected and mistreated simply for being foreign. To favour one side was to reject the other, and risk political isolation.
The Trade Unions and their allied politicians sought to escape the trap by enshrining workers' rights in law, both at the national and European level. The resulting legislation, amongst other things, made it increasingly difficult for employers to dismiss workers until their – increasingly long – contracts were complete. The obvious response was to hire as few workers as possible, and increase productivity through automation. The result was an automation boom, in which competing businesses poured more and more money into research and development, leading to ever more rapid advances in industrial technology and robotics. As technology advanced, so the possibilities of automation expanded, into areas for which it had never previously been considered outside the realms of science fiction. The idea of a fully automated economy found its way back into European philosophical and political discourse; not always with a warm welcome.
First Generation: Infancy
It was in the 1980s that the very first industrial frames began to appear. The idea of using robotics to enhance human capabilities was nothing new, but the early 1980s saw a crucial confluence of growing computer power and ever more sophisticated precision engineering that finally made it possible. The first models were essentially oversized exoskeletons, generally between three and four metres in height, and designed to allow a single worker to lift and manipulate heavy loads. Though technologically impressive, they did not immediately break the ice with potential users. At least one prospective customer is said to have commented "I think you sadly underestimate the simplicity and convenience of the forklift truck."
The frame's chance to shine came in 1983, when Soviet forces launched a full-scale invasion of Europe. The war lasted only a year, and ended in a victory that would contribute directly to the formation of the modern EU, but Eastern Europe was left devastated. In ruined cities and towns, frames became a common sight; clearing away the rubble piece by piece, cutting twisted metal with wrist-mounted cutting torches and shifting jagged lumps of masonry with enormous power-claws. This public exposure gained them rapid acceptance, and even a degree of celebrity as they expanded into other industries. Employers reported substantial numbers of younger people applying for otherwise difficult and unpopular jobs, notably construction and warehouse work, simply for the opportunity to drive a frame. The most glamorous frame drivers of all were in the emergency services, their fame enhanced by dramatic news footage of drames clambering up burning buildings, or tearing wrecked cars open to free trapped occupants.
It was in the early 1990s that frames underwent a crucial evolutionary shift. The most apparent and long-predicted change was a divergence between smaller, more compact exoskeletons and larger, enclosed Labour Frames. Of the latter, one of the most famous was Europa Mechanica's M-17 Workloader, exported as far afield as the then in existence Kurd Federation and even South Africa. Another well-known model was the Saar-Chan T-5 Talos, which would form the basis of the E1 Gardmare in later years. Frame development also dovetailed with a brief fad for passenger ejection systems; which in effect had produced a series of small one-person escape pods with legs. Though the ejection systems themselves failed to gain widespread acceptance, their technology was rapidly absorbed by the frame phenomenon.
Second Generation: A Wild Youth
It is at this point that Britannia takes centre stage. Through several years behind the technological curve, frames had attracted considerable interest in Britannia. Though a limited amount of trade and diplomatic contact existed between the two superpowers, Britannia appears to have developed its own frames independently. The first major interest to do so was the Ashford Foundation, under the leadership of renowned inventor and notorious party animal Reuben Ashford. His foresight, and sheer delight in going against the conservative zeitgeist, allowed him to corner the market in industrial frames and net himself a considerable fortune.
Though frames were employed in much the same fashion as anywhere else in the world, it was in Britannia that they were first seriously considered as weapons of war. But although the notion carried somewhat further in Britannia, the result was initially the same. The idea of weaponized frames was dismissed after a brief series of concept tests. Although frames could be armoured to the point where they could resist small arms and some light weapons, they could not move faster than a walking pace, and the most mobile models still required the use of an external power supply. As in the EU, the only positive outcome was the adoption of a range of machine guns for use by military labour frames, allowing frame drivers to protect themselves against inadvertent attack.
If the Knightmare Frame had its birth in Britannia, it was not in the laboratories or workshops of the armed forces or the corporate world. Rather, it was born in the robotics clubs and shop classes of Britannia's high schools and universities. Labour Frames had captured the public imagination the world over, an attitude reinforced by the popularity of robots in science fiction. The Japanese animation industry had made a name for itself with a series of works involving piloted robots, especially in military roles. If the state and big business were unwilling to take the first step, the youth of Britannia were more than happy to do so for themselves. Student clubs sprung up across the empire, producing a bewildering variety of custom-made frames for distinctly non-industrial purposes. Knightmare racing and knightmare duels proved extremely popular with the young, their ubiquity assisted by Britannia's distinctly relaxed attitude to Health and Safety regulations. It was also at this time that the Knightmare Frame acquired its name. The term 'Knightmare' is of uncertain provenance, but it is thought to refer to mythical warriors thought to have served the Britannian Emperors in times past.
Despite the youthful ingenuity poured into their development, second generation frames were still crude compared to what would come later. Early knightmares still moved at a walking pace, though a variety of wheeled, tracked, even magnetic levitation systems were experimented-with in this period, eventually giving rise to the Landspinner. Control systems were equally varied, ranging from traditional joysticks and buttons to exoskeletal systems. Some particularly innovative or well-connected knightmare engineers are even known to have experimented with Mind-Machine-Interface (MMI) technology in some rare cases. Weapons tended to be simple, with crude maces and hammers being generally popular, though lances, swords, and flails are also known to have been used. Firearms and untethered projectiles were generally avoided after the so-called San Diego Incident of 1995, when knightmare teams from rival universities battled with electromagnetic rifles and even rocket launchers. So violent was the clash that the city garrison was called out to suppress it, and the scandal was made worse by the revelation that of the twelve pilots involved, four were the sons of knights and three were aristocrats. Among the five commoners was a sixteen-year-old high school student, who gave her name as Marianne Lamperouge.
Third Generation: Maturation
It had not taken long for the mystique of the knightmare frame to cross class boundaries. Bored, thrill-seeking young knights and aristocrats found a new outlet for their energies, not to mention their bank balances. Increased funding allowed for remarkable developments in knightmare technology, and it was only a matter of time before the business world noticed. Reuben Ashford made a particular point of recruiting knightmare enthusiasts directly from universities and even high schools, gaining direct access to their practical expertise. Under his patronage, knightmare sports went from being a fringe pastime to popular entertainment, with knightmare duels increasingly included in traditional tournaments. Pilots, now known as devicers, became celebrities. Profits from these ventures grew exponentially, leading to a veritable arms race as tech companies competed to produce ever more capable knightmares.
This period saw the debut of arguably the most famous early knightmare of all, the Ashford Foundation's YF6-X7K/E Ganymede. Made famous by the exploits of Marianne 'the Flash' Lamperouge, it also gives a fair indication of the contemporary state of knightmare technology. At over six meters in height, the Ganymede was unusually tall by contemporary standards. This was due to the unique double-jointed legs, providing an advantage in mobility at the price of added design complexity. The arms also included two more joints than usual, ostensibly to provide flexibility. The Ganymede is also noteworthy for its full-functional humanoid hands – a real achievement by the standards of the time – and its Landspinner system; with retractable driving wheels in the soles of the feet. But what gave the Ganymede its advantage over rival knightmares such as the Steiner Concern's Gemini was its drive system, the so-called Yggdrassil Drive.
Revolutionary for its time, the Yggdrasil drive was built around a cube of energised sakuradite, suspended in superconductive fluid, dubbed the Core Luminous. Electromagnets were then used to rotate the Core at high speed, causing it to release energy. Though complex, the Yggdrasil drive proved considerably more efficient than conventional combustion drives, not to mention safer and easier to miniaturise. The result was the first true knightmare frame, capable of independent operation for extended periods.
Baptism of Fire: The Kurdish Civil War
It was in the early years of the 21st century that knightmares would finally prove their worth in battle. Rapid technological improvement made them increasingly viable as battlefield weapons, while the enormous popularity of knightmare sports on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean led to ever louder calls for their militarisation. Feasibility studies were carried out in both Britannia and the EU; by the Advanced Special Envoy Engineering Corps in Britannia, and the Euroforce Research and Development Bureau in the EU. Britannian thinking focused on lightweight, fast-moving, highly agile machines, while European thought favoured armour, firepower, and general survivability. Although Euroforce was comparatively forward-thinking organisation, its attempts to develop knightmares faced resistance from the more conservative state armies and cash-strapped national legislatures; for whom giving more money to an often-controversial pan-European institution could be politically risky. In Britannia, by sharp contrast, a combination of official interest and a cultural fixation with chivalry and personal combat drove development ever onward.
Though the Ashford Foundation had gained considerable influence from the accession of Emperor Charles zi Britannia in 1998, not to mention his marriage to noted pilot and Ashford client Dame Marianne Lamperouge, they nevertheless found themselves behind the curve in the race for true military knightmares. Ashford designs were highly capable, but were notoriously over-engineered and generally unsuitable for mass-production. Meanwhile, the prospect of a mass-produced knightmare had allowed Britannic, controlled by the powerful Bruckner family, to move up the inside track. Though lacking the artistic flair displayed by the Ashford Foundation and the Steiner Concern, Britannic was nevertheless a past master of what in Europe was called Technik; the art of turning a concept into a usable product. This had allowed Britannic to make a fortune through mass-production of conventional weapons, and made them an obvious choice to build the latest weapons of war for the Britannia Army and Navy.
Spurred into action by Queen Marianne's warnings, Reuben Ashford worked quickly to close the gap. The focus of his efforts was a simplified version of the Ganymede, with extra joints removed from the arms and legs to create a more conventionally humanoid design. Magnetic bearings were added to improve agility, and a smaller Yggdrasil drive reduced the torso weight, making the design more stable. The previously open cockpit was enclosed, with a combined camera and sensor unit - an early version of the Factsphere - fitted directly above it. Its armament was to be a knightmare-scaled assault rifle recently developed by Britannic. Work on this new model was accelerated as rumours spread of a planned Britannian intervention in Kurdistan; rumours doubtless confirmed by Empress Marianne. In September of 2003, Reuben Ashford finally displayed the prototype to Emperor Charles and Empress Marianne; who expressed their satisfaction. Perhaps with the Krugis situation in mind, Ashford had dubbed the new Ganymede the All-terrain Land Intervener, or ALI.
The Ganymede ALI saw its first combat deployment in the Krugis Civil War, though not in any great numbers. The first deployment was a single squad of six machines, led in person by Lord Bismark Waldstein. In those early battles, the squad limited itself to the combat recon role; scouting ahead of friendly forces and interdicting enemy counterparts wherever encountered. The light armoured cars favoured by the Pakistani and Afghan forces for this role proved no match for the knightmares, and the improvised 'technicals' generally used by KPSA or rebel forces were even worse-off. Impressed, Shah Darius Ismail requested and was granted dozens of knightmares for his personal guard, the Javidan. The regular army, known as the Artesh, were quick to request knightmares of their own. The only large-scale deployment of knightmares in the entire war was at the siege of Mosul, when Britannian and Javidan knightmares spearheaded the assaults into the city, and battled with KPSA Labour Frames in the streets.
The performance of the Ganymede ALI in Kurdistan had not been perfect, even after mechanical issues had been worked out. Though their speed and agility allowed them to out-manoeuvre tanks at close range, they proved vulnerable at longer ranges. Guided missiles, artillery, and airstrikes also proved dangerous. Lord Waldstein's response was to focus heavily on stealth tactics, making good use of dead ground to approach enemy forces unseen and close with them before heavy firepower could be brought to bear. Experiments with tactical air drops, with knightmares being carried by helicopters or dropping from low-flying transport aircraft were also carried out with some success.
Fourth Generation: Going Global
Though only a few dozen knightmares were deployed in Kurdistan, the war was nevertheless a vital opportunity to test the knightmare frame as a weapon, to discover its weaknesses and rectify them. It was also a major victory for the Ashford Foundation, which had proven that it could produce a semi-viable military knightmare frame in a hurry. The timing was crucial, for even then the Imperial General Staff was drawing plans for further expansion, this time into Indochina. The success in Kurdistan had not merely convinced the Britannian top brass of the viability of the knightmare frame, but sparked off an outright obsession. Knightmare-mania erupted through all branches of the Imperial armed forces, with all three main branches forming their own knightmare sub-branches; the Royal Panzer Infantry for the army, the Royal Marine Infantry for the navy, and the Royal Aerial Infantry for the Air Force.
Though that success would be undone a few years later with the rise of the Middle East Federation thanks to numerous factors that would require far too much time to explain here.
The year 2006 saw the first appearance of what was destined to be Britannia's first mass-production knightmare; the RPI-11 Glasgow. Built to an ASEEC design and developed by Britannic, the Glasgow met most of the general staff's requirements for a combat knightmare. Like the Ganymede series it included magnetic joint bearings, and was armoured with a reinforced tungsten alloy, providing a remarkable degree of protection while keeping its weight at a manageable 7.35 metric tons. Its agility and terrain-handling were further augmented by the addition of Slash Harkens in the shoulder joints. These rocket-propelled anchors had a maximum range of about fifty metres, while their cables and mechanisms were strong enough to rapidly lift and move the Glasgow; allowing it to bypass obstacles easily. Landspinners fitted to the ankles provided additional motive power, along with retractable wheels in the soles of the feet.
The Glasgow was the first Britannian knightmare to include a modern Factsphere, a combined multispectral sensor and combat information package that gave the Glasgow unprecedented situational awareness for a vehicle of its size. Its primary weapon was the same standard model Assault Rifle as the Ganymede ALI; essentially a 20mm electromagnetic autocannon in the shape of a sub-machine gun, with a co-axial 80mm grenade launcher. With a muzzle velocity of over a thousand metres per second, and an effective range of three kilometres, the autocannon allowed the Glasgow to engage and destroy most contemporary AFVs. When combined with the Factsphere, it let the Glasgow intercept anything from low-flying aircraft to stand-off missiles.
By far the most revolutionary feature of the Glasgow was its Synchronisation System; a rather opaque term for a non-invasive Mind-Machine-Interface system developed by ASEEC and first deployed in the Mk.2 Glasgow in 2008. It was this system that allowed the Glasgow its unprecedented agility and range of movement; at almost human-like levels. The system itself was responsible for largely for movement, while a semi-conventional joystick system controlled other functions, including the selection and firing of weapons. Though unquestionably effective, the Synch System was nevertheless controversial, primarily over the issue of pilot selection. Entry into the RPI and its sister branches was limited to the chivalric and noble classes, with candidates needing to achieve a synchronization rate of fifty percent or higher in order to handle a knightmare to the minimum standard. Synch rates, and the neurology behind them, were not widely understood outside of ASEEC, which retained responsibility for vetting candidates. This led to accusations of pseudoscience, and of deliberately manipulation of evidence in order to justify a socially-exclusive knightmare corps.
The Glasgow's unveiling at the 2006 Grand Tournament at San Diego was not merely an exercise in marketing, but Britannic throwing down the gauntlet to the Ashford Foundation, which had dominated the Britannian frame market for two decades. Although officially intended for exclusive sale to Britannia's new ally, the Kingdom of Kurdistan, the Ashfords made little secret of their hope of gaining an Imperial contract for their Ganymede ALI series. Two factors would combine to dash that hope in that very year; the first being the Glasgow's appearance, the second being a strange incident at a military base near the Kurdish city of Erbil, in Kurdistan. Unknown to the Imperial authorities, the Ashford Foundation had secretly transferred a prototype of the mark two Ganymede ALI to Kurdistan, where it was to undergo testing as part of licensing negotiations. While Turkmen rebels launched a daring and largely suicidal raid on the base, the prototype was stolen; later finding its way into the hands of Euroforce.
Though Ashford survived the subsequent investigation with his company and reputation officially intact, his standing with the Imperial General Staff was damaged. Worse, at the time, was their conclusion that the Ganymede ALI was compromised, and therefore unsuitable to be Britannia's mass-production knightmare. Ashford responded by throwing his efforts into creating a new and improved version, the mark three. In 2008, when a similar raid on the Imperial Military Academy at Caerleon resulted in the theft of a Glasgow Trainer, he threw his remaining political capital into lobbying for the Mk.3 to replace the now-compromised Glasgow. But his efforts came to nothing when, in October of 2009, Empress Marianne was assassinated. Robbed of his most powerful political ally, and with his reputation already damaged by the Erbil scandal, Ashford's position soon became untenable, and the Ashford Foundation collapsed in a matter of months.
With its rivals out of the way, the Glasgow made its combat debut on August of 2010, with the invasion of Japan. The knightmares functioned primarily in the combat recon and direct action roles, with many being deployed behind enemy lines via T4 VTOL aircraft, themselves deployed from Albatross heavy combat transports in some cases. Their superior speed and terrain-handling allowed them to cover ground more quickly and easily than conventional vehicles, and to launch ambushes and outflanking maneouvres that would otherwise have been impracticable. Japanese troops were taken by surprise more than once, with General Tatewaki Katase comparing the knightmares' swarming manoeuvres to the rampages of the Mongols. In many cases, Japanese forces were thrown into disarray before Britannian mechanized and armoured units arrived to engage them, leading to several crushing defeats.
Despite this, it soon became apparent that the knightmare frame was still at a disadvantage in a firepower and survivability contest with tanks. Japan's Type-90 Main Battle Tank was comparable in capability to the Britannian Clarent and the EU's Leopard; armed with an auto-loading 120mm coilgun and armoured in a ceramic and steel composite based on that of the Leopard. While the Glasgow's underarm Giant Cannon – generally known as the G-Cannon – was technically capable of penetrating its armour, the Type-90's superior survivability gave it a clear advantage in long-range gun duels. Knightmares could decisively overcome Japanese tanks only by engaging them at ranges of less than a hundred metres; where tanks were inherently vulnerable.
Fifth Generation: Meeting The Competition
The Glasgow's success in Japan silenced almost all critics, and knightmare frames became ubiquitous in all Britannian forces. For four years to follow, the Glasgow ranged the battlefields of the world all but unchallenged. Swiftly adopted by the four military orders of the Euro-Britannian movement, it played a significant role in the invasion and conquest of Russia, a campaign that would drag on for seven long years. But the other superpowers had not remained idle, and by 2014 their efforts to develop their own knightmare frames were beginning to bear fruit.
Despite acquiring significant data on Britannian knightmares, not to mention two examples even before 2010, the EU was relatively late in developing a humanoid knightmare frame; in part due to difficulties encountered in replicating the Synchronization System. Euroforce's first serious attempt was the so-called Gardmare, a technically Fourth Generation machine adapted from a common Labour Frame. Though reasonably well-armoured and capable of a fair road speed, it's only ranged armament was a heavy machine gun, and it relied on two power-claws for melee capability. Though superior to the converted Labour Frames generally favoured by organized criminals and terrorists, it tended to suffer when pitted against the Glasgow's superior firepower.
By 2014, the technology of the Synchronization System had been mastered to the point where the Glasgow could be cloned. Euroforce and the state armies were quick to abandon the Gardmare, which was shunted off to support and law-enforcement duties. Designated the Orlando, the EU-made Glasgow clones were straight copies of the original Mk.3 Glasgow, allowing them to use captured Britannian parts and ammunition. It was by no means alone, for the Glasgow's increasing ubiquity was become one of its worst enemies. Many thousands had been built by 2014, and not all losses were down to combat or accidents. Whether salvaged from the battlefield, stolen, or even purchased from corrupt Britannian officers and officials, Glasgows were finding their way into all manner of hands, not all of them state actors. Glasgows became a favoured tool of terrorists and organized criminals, not to mention guerilla armies. The Japanese Liberation Front famously produced their own modified versions of the Glasgow, the Burai and Burai Kai.
The appearance of the Orlando was a shock to the Britannians, who had a poor opinion of European innovation and military qualities. With their firepower and agility matched, Euro-Britannian knights found they still retained the advantage in hand-to-hand combat; though their weapons tended to be custom items produced at the owner's expense. The Glasgow's Slash Harkens were also shown to have some usefulness in melee combat; though they required considerable skill to use effectively.
The call went out for mass-production melee weapons, and ASEEC answered the call with the Stun Tonfa and the Shot Lancer. The former was an improvement on a retractable, wrist-mounted maul used by some Glasgow pilots; adding an electric charge that could overwhelm and burnout a target's electronics. The latter was a recreation of a curious weapon favoured by Britannian knights in the 19th century. Essentially a knightmare-scaled lance, the Shot Lancer's oversized head was in fact a guided missile with a high-explosive warhead, capable of destroying anything from knightmares to tanks. The Euro-Britannian orders adopted these weapons as fast as they could be shipped, and knightmare combat on the Russian front took on a bizarrely chivalric quality. It took the appearance of the heavily armed and armoured E2E8 Panzer Hummel – with its knightmare-killing 80mm guns - to shift the firepower advantage decisively to the EU.
At the same time, the Chinese Federation began to roll out its own contribution to knightmare warfare; the TQ-19 Gun-Ru. Reaching over five and a half metres in height, and weighing in at just over thirteen metric tons, the Gun-Ru was noticeably larger and heavier than most knightmares. The increased weight was largely due to inferior Chinese weight, with more and heavier armour needed to provide comparable protection to a Glasgow. Like the Panzer Hummel, the Gun-Ru depended on heavy firepower to succeed, with a pair of 80mm guns and two 20mm autocannons. But its electronics were noticeably inferior to those of the Panzer Hummel, preventing it from making best use of its firepower. Its robotics were also inferior, with its wheeled legs incapable of walking motion, and needing a wheeled tail to remain upright. But it was also considerably easier for a raw pilot to master than most knightmares, while its simple, sturdy design allowed it to be manufactured cheaply and easily maintained. The Chinese Federation churned out Gun Rus in vast numbers, seeking to overwhelm enemies through coordinated tactics and sheer numbers.
The appearance of fourth generation knightmares in the hands of Britannia's enemies forced a rethink within Britannic and Weinberg Corporations. Their response was to develop two new variants of the Glasgow with a view to taking on and defeating enemy Knightmares; the mass-production RPI-13 Sutherland and the limited-production RPI-209 Gloucester. It is worth noting at this point that the RPI did not follow a consistent numerical classification system, possibly to confuse enemy analysts. In truth, both were little more than incremental upgrades to the Glasgow, offering improved capability with little in the way of revolutionary features.
The main difference was a greater focus on agility and responsiveness, allowing them to outfight enemy Knightmares in direct combat. A range of new weapons were also developed, the most common being a torso-mounted heavy machine gun for antipersonnel use, a new shoulder-mounted G-cannon, and the so-called Chaos Mine; essentially an airbust shell made into a grenade. Other new weapons included a twin rocket-pod system known as Saddlewaffen, an anti-materiel rifle, and even a sniper rifle optimized for human targets. Both models were in common use by 2017, with the Glasgow relegated to second or third-line units.