Hai Shi Dao commanders had proven the distance combat concept on the battlefield many times by the start of the second year of the conflict. Unfortunately, all of the support artillery platforms to date had been relatively delicate in terms of durability. In particular, flat terrain engagements often found support units being flanked and destroyed far more often than would normally be expected. The HSD initially looked to Goodman to produce a more durable artillery platform based on their Maelstrom
model, but by this time, Goodman design engineers were deep in the development of the Garpike
model and could not spare resources for the project. Strangely enough, Lycoming Defense Systems won the contract to build the heavy support platform, which was a great departure from their previous products, which until this time had included only the Vitzh
Lycoming D.S. knew that the Behemoth model would need extraordinary durability to survive in a combat environment where encounters with the PRF railgun were now becoming more common. Additionally, the platform needed to be able to mount an impressive amount of support weaponry. The resulting design incorporated an armour rating unlike any VT which had ever been fielded before, almost three times as durable (and twice as large) as any other second generation VT fielded at that time. Mounted onto the hulking chassis were some of the most destructive support weapons ever devised, giving the Behemoth an unmatched distance standoff capability.
Due to the rarity (and expense) of the platform, Behemoth pilots must undergo a rigorous selection process and supplemental training to ensure that they can utilise the VT to its fullest capabilities. Further, Behemoths are never fielded without a support platoon of Scare Face II units.
The Behemoth saw its first battlefield deployment in February of 2085 in defense of the port city of Lo Pei. Five units (plus their support platoons) were able to successfully repel amphibious Jaralaccs Mercenaries by sending 12 landing craft to the bottom before the assaulting forces were called to retreat.
"This thing is a monster."
The Behemoth towers above everything else in the game, which can have an intimidation effect on players who have never encountered one before. This also makes it really difficult to hide; it's hard to miss 1/3 of a VT sticking out above the treeline launching fiery death from a drainpipe on its back. The decision to take a Behemoth should be made pre-deployment with the knowledge of your teammates because at least one of them is going to have to help babysit you and keep enemy units from getting behind you to take advantage of the Behemoths extremely slow turning performance. A lone Behemoth is lethal at long range, but up close it is nearly defenseless, tough as nails, but not particularly dangerous. Behemoth pilots should be very aware of their surroundings and check their rear camera often to make sure no one is sneaking up behind.
The support weapons loadout of this VT is very impressive. The ability to take an HVM-LA, 550-HW and 12-MLR all the the SAME TIME lets this VT deal out astonishing damage in the 1000+ distance range. In Campaign mode, equipping an Additional Mount optional part allows the 660-HW to be taken, which can take down nearly any VT in four or five direct hits and has a huge effective radius.
The Behemoth is one of the few VTs that induces an odd distortion in the effective range of attacking weapons due to its extreme armour specification. Weapons that would normally be "in range" register MISS when fired against the Behemoth, this is particularly true for chain gun and machine gun class weapons, which are effectively useless against this VT. Other VTs this behaviour has been seen with include the Earthshaker
(shield deployed) and all VTs of the Jaralaccs series.