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USA-M-8 Maverick class Infantry Fighting Vehicles:

"What?! No cup holder?! And you guys call yourselves tank designers?"

--Corporal Eddie Orbach, 7th Cavalry, Army of the United States of America, 2053 AD.

Around the same time the Jackson main battle tank entered service, there was seen the need for an Infantry Fighting Vehicle to replace all older troop transports. Older designs were becoming harder to maintain and upgrading was felt to be more expensive than building a new infantry transport. A new design would also be able to use new materials for the construction of the frame and would result in a much more rugged vehicle. Many of the engineers who developed the Jackson class tank also helped to develop the Maverick and the infantry fighting vehicle has many of the same virtues of the main battle tank. The Maverick entered service about two years after the Jackson and the combat vehicles were often operated together on the battlefield.

The Maverick was built in a modular construction and allows for the replacement of armor quickly and parts were designed to be able to be quickly replaced. All systems were designed to be low maintenance and the Maverick has almost as good a maintenance record as the Jackson. Even though the Maverick was an easy vehicle to maintain, the vehicle went through several important upgrades throughout its service in the United States Army. Like the Jackson, the Maverick later entered service with the marines as well. The design was exported to other nations and served around the globe. Production of these vehicles had stopped in the United States before the coming of the Rifts but many of the Infantry Fighting Vehicles still remained in service in reserve formations. As a result, a reasonable number survived the coming of the Rifts. The Mavericks have been adopted by several mercenary companies and are very popular. It could be said with some conviction that the Maverick has done more fighting since the coming of the Rifts than it ever did before.

From the beginning, the Maverick was produced in two models. One model carried a powerful cannon and the other model carried a medium range missile launcher as the main weapon. In all other features, the designs were identical. Secondary weapons included mini missile launchers for short range combat and liquid propellent machinegun for use against infantry and non armored vehicles. The vehicles also have four firing ports on either side and two in the rear. This allows the troops to engage in battle and be more than passengers. Both versions carried heavier armor than previous infantry vehicles and while not quite a tank, it was quite impressive. Like the Bradley fighting vehicle that the Maverick replaced, the Maverick was treaded and could travel almost any terrain. The previous infantry vehicles had been powered by diesel engines, the Maverick replaced the engine with a powerful fusion turbine which gives the vehicle a higher top speed than its predecessors and a higher top speed. The Maverick is only marginally faster on the ground than the Jackson but is much faster one the surface of the water and can be launched easily from vessels in the water as be piloted to shore.

The initial cannon armed version of the Maverick was armed with an 80 mm electro-thermal cannons and missile armed version carried eight medium ranged missiles. Various tactics were developed for the use of the different variants. Two became the most popular for using the Mavericks together. One was operating the vehicles in pairs to support each other. This was most often done when operated in small numbers. The other was operating with the cannon armed versions operating forward of the missile armed versions which acted in support. The missile armed versions were considered the best at destroying tanks but had a much smaller amount of ordnance than the cannon armed version.

The Mavericks were upgraded several times in their service lives. Upgrades included both new built tanks and upgrading tanks already in service. In the fighting vehicles that were upgraded, the main cannon in cannon armed versions but armor was upgraded and secondary weapons were upgraded. The medium range missile launcher was not modified during service on all medium range missile carrying versions. The first upgrade to the version replaced the electro-thermal cannon with a 50 mm rail gun. While the cannon had about the same performance as the older cannon, it increased the payload quite a bit. The general upgrades included increasing armor, although laser resistant armor was not used, and replacing the liquid propellant cannon with rail guns similar to those carried on the Pre-Rifts SAMAS. The second major upgrade was to the secondary weapon systems and power systems. The rail guns were replaced by pulse laser cannons and power cords were fitted for the use of the infantry being carried in the vehicle. By this time, most troops carried energy weapons instead of projectile weapons and the power cords allowed virtually unlimited fire from them and plugged in the place of an energy clip. The power cords required that the entire vehicle's power system be upgraded. There was some discussion of replacing the armor with laser resistant armor similar to that carried by the Glitter Boy but this was not carried out except on a handful of prototypes which none have been found.

Model Type:USA-M-8Original Model
USA-M-8A1Upgraded Model
Vehicle Type: Armored Personnel Carrier
Crew: Three (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).
Troop Carrying Capacity: 10 soldiers in full gear

M.D.C. By Location:USA-M-8:USA-M-8A1:
Mini-Missile Launcher (Top of turret):60 each 80 each
Main Turret:180220
Main Cannon / Missile Launcher:75125
[1] Forward Light Weapon Mount:5070
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):15 each25 each
[1] Headlights (2):10 each10 each
Main Hatch (Rear):150200
Reinforced Crew Compartment:100120
Reinforced Personnel Bay:100120
[2] Main Body:340400
[3] Track Treads (2):65 each85 each

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable. The main body of later tanks is constructed out of special materials.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the fighting vehicle until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (two replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.

Ground: 96.3 mph (155 kph) maximum road speed; 77.6 mph (125 kph) maximum off-road speed. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Water: On the surface at 40.4 mph (65 kph) or underwater (Buttoned up) at 19.9 mph (32 kph)
Maximum Range: Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 15 year duration)

Statistical Data:
Height: 8.25 feet (2.5 meters)
Width: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Length: 24.5 feet (7.5 meters)
Weight: 28 tons (25.4 metric tons)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about four feet (1.2 m) for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Four Laser Rifles and three hand-held Missile Launchers with 5 loads each are stored in a compartment behind the driver's seat. Without troops, can carry up to 8 tons (7.2 metric tons) in rear troop bay
Power System: Nuclear Only (15 year life span)
Black Market Cost: 20 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-M-8 Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Add 5 million for the USA-M-8A1 Model.

Weapon Systems

  1. Main Weapon: Since the cannon is built into a turret, it can rotate 360-degrees and can aim upwards 60 degrees - allowing it to engage low-flying aircraft and creatures. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment. The vehicle has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when it moving.
    1. 80 mm Electro Thermal Cannon (1): Original cannon carried on the cannon armed version of the USA-M-8 models which mounted a cannon. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant,” which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to “switch” directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2.2 miles (3.5 km).
      Mega Damage: A single round inflicts 2D6x10 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use High Explosive rounds that do 1D4x10 with a blast radius of 16 ft (4.9 m) and High Explosive Anti Tank does 1D6x10 with a blast radius of 8 ft (2.4 m).
      Payload: 40 rounds. Normally 25 rounds are of standard anti-tank slugs.
    2. Hyper Velocity 50 mm Heavy Rail Gun (1): Upgraded cannon carried on the cannon armed version of the USA-M-8A1 models which mounted a cannon. This rail gun normally fires a solid dart of ultra dense high strength materials that does massive damage to targets that it hits but can also use explosive warheads for softer targets and against aircraft.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2.5 miles (4.0 km)
      Mega Damage: A single round inflicts 3D4x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use High Explosive rounds that do 4D6 with a blast radius of 12 ft (3.7 m). High Explosive Anti Tank does 1D4x10 with a blast radius of 6 ft (1.8 m).
      Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
      Payload: 60 rounds. Normally 40 rounds are of standard anti-tank slugs.
    3. Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2 - Missile Variant Maverick IFV): Two medium range missile launchers are mounted on the sides of the turret mount on missile carrying variants of the Maverick Fighting Vehicle. Both launchers are usually controlled by the gunner, but can be fired by the driver or commander if the gunner is injured. They are usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles. The launchers can engage air and ground targets. This tank uses an automatic loading system and additional missiles for reloads.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), or four (4) missiles.
      Payload: 8 missiles, 4 in each launcher.
  2. Secondary Non-Missile Weapon (1): The Maverick carries a mount in the front and can be controlled by either the driver or the commander.
    1. Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun: This weapon is carried on the original USA-M-8 Model but replaced on most infantry fighting vehicles. This weapon is similar to the sub-machine-gun carried on the USA-GPA-01-D. This weapon's primary purpose is use against infantry and other lightly armored targets. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
        Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 6000 rounds each.
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on early USA-M8A1 models and refitted on many earlier models. It is simpler as far as ammunition and operation than the liquid propellant weapon. From the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
    3. Pulse Laser Mounts: Original mounted in the later versions of the Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicle and refitted into many earlier models. The weapons' primary purpose is use against infantry but is effective against missiles and to a lesser extent both aircraft and other armored vehicles.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Turret Mounted Mini-missile Launcher (1): Mounted on the top of the turret is a mini missile launcher. The launcher is designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. The weapon is designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried to hide the vehicles movement and troops disembarking
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: The launcher carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
  4. Firing Ports (10): The Maverick has ten firing ports that allow soldiers in the troop bay to fire their guns out of the vehicle. There are four firing ports on either side and two on the rear of the vehicle. Firing ports can be closed in order to make the vehicle a sealed environment. Firing ports are fairly small and grenade launchers and missile launchers cannot be fired from firing ports. Final models of the USA-M-8 have power connectors so that troops can fire energy weapons without draining their energy clips.
  5. Smoke/Gas Dispensers (2): A smoke/gas dispensing unit is attached to each side of the IFV. The dispenser releases a dense cloud of smoke that covers a 40 foot (12.2 m) area in front of the vehicle. It can also release tear gas. The dispenser can dispense prismatic aerosol for dispersing laser beams. This has the same effect as prismatic aerosol grenades. The effects of the prismatic aerosol is combined with the laser resistant materials that compose the armor if the later tanks when they are used together.
    Payload: 20 total; 10 charges each; typically 10 smoke, 5 prismatic aerosol, and 5 tear gas.

Sensory Equipment:
The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:

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Introductory Quotes by Talis D. Merrill (

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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