Their Shafts Benight The Air

The Daalípel (“Whiteout”) is the first entry of Eye-in-the-Flame Arms, ICC into the military vehicle market. An evolution of the classic MLRS platform, Daalípel has a variety of advanced design features.

The vehicle itself resembles a large pillbug, with rows of individual rocket launchers and laser point-defense units arranged behind the defensive armor plates leading each of the Daalípel‘s nested segments. However, the resemblance extends beyond appearance; while the Daalípel moves only slowly using its conventional rollagon drivetrain, the vehicle, like its inspiration, can conglobulate – docking nose to tail and forming an gyrostabilized ellipsoidal wheel. In this mode, while the rocket launchers cannot be used, the armor offers maximal protection and the rollagons can be used to drive the entire vehicle at high speed for rapid deployment scenarios.

The weapons systems of the Daalípel are an equal advance over its predecessors. While most MLRS systems (such as the Imperial Legions’ venerable HVR-17 Burnscar and HVR-19 Glasslake systems) are configured to fire unguided or minimally guided rockets in order to either blanket an area with submunitions (the time-honored “erase this map square” option) or inflict heavy damage to a single target, or small group of targets, the Daalípel incorporates a high-factor tactical warmind and wideband multiplexed control channels, enabling it to simultaneously fire hundreds of smart, seeker minimissiles, each in turn equipped with multiple guided submunitions.

In summary, the Daalípel can, with a single fire mission into a densely crowded target zone, take out the enemy with astounding precision while causing little or no damage to civilian property or infrastructure. One demonstration event showed this capability being used to assassinate a target demographic entire within a crowd without causing significant harm to anyone else, a function valuable for eliminating hostage-takers, occupation forces, or users of sophont shields.

Similarly to the HVR-19 Glasslake – although significantly more difficult to achieve due to the greater complexity involved – the Daalípel is designed to manufacture its own ammunition from onboard stocks, field replenishment, or even scavenging, with advanced onboard fabbers capable of restocking an empty Daalípel fully in a matter of hours under typical conditions.

While still being evaluated by the Imperial Military Service and little-purchased elsewhere, modified Daalípels have proven popular in a number of roles: they have been used for the rapid deployment of search-and-rescue minibots across areas afflicted by disaster; to spread mesh network nodes across silent regions; for emergency application of medical solutions; and to distribute self-expanding supply packages to those in need.

The response of the Directorate to this development is, as yet, unknown.

– Destruction Review editorial

Notable Replies

  1. I do enjoy a proper high-tech solution for low-tech barbarian problems like this…

  2. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    I feel like I should note that this has been in the queue since long before… recent events. (Inspirations include the protoss Reaver from the original Starcraft, which always looked like it should be able to pillbug and yet never did.)

    As an author’s note, incidentally, the title is from A. E. Housman’s The Oracles, which has always been a favorite of mine:

    The King with half the East at heel is marched from land of morning;
    Their fighters drink the rivers up, their shafts benight the air.
    And he that stands will die for nought, and home there’s no returning.
    The Spartans on the sea-wet rock sat down and combed their hair.

  3. Must admit, the mental image of a multi ton MLRS rolling up like a pillbug and then zooming across the ground is odd.

  4. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    To quote my notes on the Eye-in-the-Flame design process:

    Their design process, notoriously, has been described as “getting as high as possible on creativity-enhancing noötropic drugs and ignoring entirely the coquetries of practicality”.

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