February Update: King Atlas
Overview:

Originally designated the Atlas III by Republic High Command, the RAS-04’s exemplary performance on the battlefield soon earned it a new nickname: King Atlas. The King Atlas, and its counterpart the Dragoon II, were built in response to complaints about and perceived flaws in the heavier of the Republic’s iconic Mojave series. Designed with battlefield endurance in mind, even the original prototype of the King Atlas features several redundant myomer bundles and heavy-duty joints designed to reduce operational wear. 

Capabilities:

Slow and ponderous, the King Atlas’s warship-grade Ferro-Aluminum-Carbide armor, integral C.A.S.E., a standard fusion engine, and a heavy-duty gyro renders the King Atlas extremely resistant to battlefield damage. At close range, the King Atlas is an un-ignorable threat capable of outmatching even equal-weight designs. Its biggest weakness is a dearth of long-range firepower, a limitation its sister design, the Dragoon II, is more than capable of covering.

Deployment:

The King Atlas has seen only limited deployment among RWA forces. The final production model of the machine did not enter full production until just months before the RWA’s deployment to Andurien. Although several Republic worlds have the industrial facilities necessary to manufacture the King Atlas, presently only two are capable of sustained production and there are presently less than two dozen King Atlases in service, three of which have been set aside as gifts to high-performing mercenaries under the RWA's command.

Variants:

The RAS-04a is the primary production model of the King Atlas. An extremely durable electronics warfare platform, the King Atlas A-Type fields a powerful Angel ECM system, rendering it a master ambusher. Its Heavy Gauss Rifle and paired Snub-Nose PPCs make short work of any enemy it encounters at close range, while a single Medium Pulse Laser provides ample deterrent to cheeky light `Mech pilots. Rounding out its armament is a single Inferno SRM-4 launcher, protecting the design from infantry and battle armor.

The RAS-04b has a similar armament to the main production model, but its Inferno SRM-4 and Angel ECM system have been removed to make room for a third Snub-Nose PPC in the center torso. In place of the A-Type’s redundant myomer bundles, the King Atlas B-Type instead sports triple-strength myomer. Although the TSM puts unbelievable stress on the `Mech’s frame, the King Atlas’s oversized joints have held up to the strain better than any other machine the Republic has ever produced. There are presently only three B-Types in existence, all of which have been set aside as gifts for high-performing mercenaries. (It also features an Armored Cockpit but SSW refuses to save that for some reason).

The RAS-04c is something of a departure from the original production model. Built in limited numbers and intended for use as a raider, the King Atlas C-Type has traded the main production model’s Heavy Gauss Rifle for a pair of LB-10X Autocannons and enough ammunition for over three minutes of sustained fire. Backing up the LB-10X Autocannons are a pair of arm-mounted Plasma Rifles, a nasty shock for any enemy hoping to pick the machine apart at long range. A MASC system rounds out the C-Type’s capabilities and enables it to keep pace with Dragoon II for short periods of time.

A notable failure and proof that great things often have humble origins, the RAS-04x King Atlas Prototype was originally designed decades before the production model’s advanced Ferro-Lamellor armor was completed. Sporting 38.5 tons of hardened armor and an armament very much reminiscent of the original AS7-D Atlas, the Prototype is both sluggish and extremely difficult to pilot. A good idea on paper, the reinforced cowl protecting the prototype's cockpit rendered the machine's ejector seat a deathtrap and, even more damning, the original design did not include a working communications system. The prototype’s head-mounted laser had to be removed so that an additional ton of communications equipment could be added to rectify this shortcoming.

Notable Mechwarriors:

Duncan "Demon" Kalma was gifted an RAS-04b Atlas III. His highly-publicized performance was the primary instigation behind the "King Atlas" name.

Design Quirks:

The RAS-04a, RAS-04b, and RAS-04c have the following design quirks:
Battlefists, Command `Mech, Rugged (2), Difficult Ejection, Difficult to Maintain, and Non-Standard Parts.

The RAS-04x has the following quirks: Battlefists, Command `Mech, Cowl, Difficult to Maintain, Non-Standard Parts, No Ejection System, Prototype, and Hard to Pilot

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