OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: Update Firemane's forces.
- Image Credit: Here. 'Plazma Heavy' by 2-Dpanda. Found on Deviantart.com.
- Role: Heavy infantry, anti-armour, bunker busters.
- Links: Firemane.
- Unit Name: Firemane Ironsides.
- Affiliation: Siobhan Kerrigan, Firemane.
- Classification: Heavy infantry.
- ACS-004 Titan Assault Armor or ACS-004 Olympian Battle Armor
- Mark One Bolter, Icebreaker
- Exterminus, Heavy Bolter, Shatterbolter, Electromagnetic Pulse Launcher, Plasma Cannon, or Lance Missile Launcher (require the Titan armour's blaster cannon to be detached if the soldier is wearing that suit)
- ARGH flamethrower.
- Grenades, thermal detonators.
- Heavy blaster pistols, sonic blasters or Cylix bolt pistol. Wrist bolter. Vibroknives. APE boltgun rounds.
- Misc equipment like medkits, military rations, lifeform scanners etc.
- Availability: Rare
- Deployment: Minor
- Heavy infantry. Excel at cracking, including tanks and walkers, along with fortifications such as bunkers. Perfect for sieges. They can make a breach into enemy defences, allowing more mobile shock troops to advance. Also effective against clusters of enemy infantry at range.
- Power armour is used by the best soldiers of the unit. Grants enhanced strength and very good protection.
- Slower and less mobile compared to light infantry. Power armoured Ironsides are encumbered by their big suits, the more lightly armoured ones cannot stray too far since that would leave the former exposed. Reduced agility makes them vulnerable to snipers, artillery strikes, turbolasers, especially on an open battlefield with little cover. More lightly armoured infantry may not be able to match their firepower, but can outmanoeuvre and ambush them.
- No stealth. Enemies will see them coming. Obvious targets.
- Vulnerable to air strikes since they're an infantry unit. No effective air defence except portable missile launchers, and that's pretty variable.
- Limited ammo. Most of their weapons are quite heavy, limiting the amount of ammo they can carry, and/or have small magazines and a low firing rate. The Titan's blaster cannon is the main exception to the last two, but such weapons are prone to overheating and run out of ammo fast. Moreover, several of their main weapons are not practical or useable at close range.
- Lightsabre resistance of their suits is minor. Better than common Stormtrooper armour, but inferior to suits crafted out of lightsabre-resistant materiels.
The dramatically named Firemane Ironsides were created as a bunker/tank busting heavy infantry unit. For the most part, Firemane relies on motorised infantry backed up by units of specialists and heavy armour. But it saw the need to create an infantry force with more punch, drawing on lessons learned from recent battles. Thus the Ironsides were born. Firemane outfitted them with the strongest, heaviest weapons it had developed itself or could purchase on the market. When it came to the latter, it reached out to ArmaTech and Fire for Effect, as the megacorporation is on good terms with both. Their equipment reflects their nature as armour busters: Missile launchers, grenade launchers, bolters, flamers, EMP cannons, plasma cannons etc. In short, standard heavy weapons/siege stuff.
The Ironsides are not intended to operate in a vacuum. Rather they are supposed to be deployed in conjunction with more lightly equipped shock troops. This is essential because while the Ironsides hit very hard, they are comparatively slow, which leaves them vulnerable. Moreover, many of their weapons are rather heavy and they can only carry limited ammunition. In the case of the explosive weapons, they can only be utilised at range. Enemy light infantry may not be able to match their raw firepower, but can conceicably ambush and outmanoeuvre them. Especially since they are obvious targets. While bolters have ammunition that can be utilised at close range, such as APEB rounds, their main projectiles are explosive bolts, and changing ammunition takes time. Moreover, their firing rate and ammo capacity is generally low. This can become a problem in pitched combat. And obviously carrying lots of explosive ordinance can be quite risky.
When operating as part of a cog in a machine, the Ironsides can create a breach for Firemane infantry by, for instance, cracking bunkers and fortifications that could otherwise only be stormed with severa casualties. Flamethrowers are good for clearing bunkers and trenches, while carbonite rifles can temporarily snap freeze medium tanks. Both also make good area denial weapons, which can be practical if Firemane soldiers need to yield ground but prevent enemies from pursung them.
Likewise, since their focus is on heavy weapons, they are better equipped to bust or severely damage armoured vehicles, including tanks and walkers. By contrast, their anti-air capacities are limited, since they only have portable missile launchers at their disposal. This is a decent form of defence if there is nothing better available, but still variable and less reliable than a battery of self-propelled antiaircraft guns.
Because their equipment is expensive, the Ironsides' numbers are low. This limits how many of them can be deployed to a battlefield at any given time, though it also ensures that training standards are kept high. Firemane cannot field armies as huge as those amassed by galactic empires and federations, so it makes sure that its forces are rigorously trained, well-equipped and well-paid. Many of the Ironsides are Firemane veterans who have served the megacorporation in several bloody campaigns, such as Gehenna, Ruusan, the Xioquo War and Kaeshana. As a result, they are tough, experienced soldiers. Some of them have served Firemane's ruling couple since the glory days of the defunct Omega Protectorate.
The Ironsides are composed of non-Force-users, so they do not have access to preternatural powers. Rather they must rely on their wits, training and tech to win the day if they encounter hostile Force-users, though several of their weapons are effective against space wizards. Their armour suits possess minor lightsabre resistance. It increases their chances of surviving an encounter with a lightsabre-wielder, but do not allow them to tank hits the way someone wearing Phrik or Beskar armour would.