After the successful launch of their first VT platform, Oktaeder appeared to have retired from new VT development and be content with limited Siegeszug
production and the licensing of their hydrolics technology to other VT manufacturers.
The truth was far removed from the complacement facade being presented to the public. Oktaeders senior management had called for the creation of a VT which would be capable of "nothing less than total battlefield domination." The VT designers were given an unlimited research and development budget, as well as access to the latest in third generation VT technology advancements. Design specifications for the 3rd generation type railgun were purchased (at high cost) from mercenary forces previously involved in the raid on the Juggernaut
development facility. Due to the potential for industrial espionage and the highly competitve market for third generation Vertical Tanks, the entire Earthshaker project was kept under the tightest security.
The most impressive new weapon fielded by the Earthshaker was the Gauss Emitter. Past studies of VT power distribution technology had allowed the Hai Shi Dao to construct a crude prototype Gauss Emitter, which was destroyed along with the D3Eye weapons platform it was mounted upon at the end of the first Hai Shi Dao conflict. Refinement of the original design allowed Oktaeder engineers to develop a much smaller and more effective Gauss Emitter which could actually be equipped on a VT platform.
When deployed, the Gauss weapon diverts power from the primary drivetrain, temporarily disabling VT mobility. The reason for this is that the power draw needed for the Gauss is immense, attempting movement while charging the emitters would result in power waveguide ruptures, which would seriously damage internal VT electronics. The massive weight of the integrated Gauss Emitter mandated that the Earthshaker be built as a Heavy class VT in order to provide the necessary support frame. In addition to the aforementioned Gauss, the Earthshaker mounts an impressive array of 3rd generation weaponry, including an electromagnetic launcher and various self-guided missile systems. It is truly the culmination of 3rd generation VT design.
Due to their expense and rarity, the Right Brothers have only fielded Earthshakers during major battles and always with numerous support VTs present. Six Earthshaker VTs were present at the Wa Nan Jin foothills battle in August 2085 on the outskirts of Jian Ta City, one of the few battles involving all three major factions of the war. Strategic placement of Earthshaker units allowed them to prevent the weaker Right Brothers forces from being overrun. Although not decisive, this battle was one of the most costly in the history of the war.
"We're enountering some interference which is affecting VT systems,
unable to determine source..."
Last transmission of Lt R. Johanssen, 53rd PRF Battalion Commander
The Earthshaker is absolutely the most dominating VT available in the game. This does not mean that it is without fault though. Its massive expense and extreme rarity in Campaign mean that Earthshaker models are almost impossible to find and purchase from the Supply Bin or through trade. In Free Mission, the high sortie cost of each VT requires that the pilot who fields one be very careful not to lose it or severely impact their teams' sortie point total.
The Earthshaker maxes out a number of performance statistics, namely durability. The hull is able to survive multiple railgun hits, more than enough to outlive a lesser attacking VT. Offensively, the Earthshaker mounts the third generation variant Rail Gun, as well as a variety of guided missile, rifle and cannon weaponry. The weight allocation for the VT allows it to take an impressive arsenal without overloading. As with most Right Brothers VTs, the Marker Launcher is also available. In particular, the HVM-LA can be co-mounted with the Rail Gun for a timed launch combination that almost always ensures that one or the other will hit (dodge one, get hit by the other).
Fielding an Earthshaker is a rare event in Campaign so the majority of my advice here applies to Free Mission mode (I have only seen one
Earthshaker in Campaign mode, ever. Earthshakers should be used in combination with an escort VT if possible. Despite their massive durability, Earthshakers can be outnumbered and out-turned by other VTs. The Gauss emitter looks very impressive when fired, but the immobility required limits practical usage of the weapon. Use of the Gauss emitter requires a support fireteam due to the long undeploy time of the weapon. Any VTs hit by the Gauss will be back online by the time the Earthshaker is ready to move again. When used correctly with the support of other team members, the Earthshaker is very difficult to counter effectively.
The Earthshaker can be difficult to deploy on indoor missions due to its wide profile, conversely, the Gauss emitter can be used very effectively to set traps in confined corridors of approach (provided there is a support attack team).
General advice for the Earthshaker is to understand its limitations and the strategies available if fielded with teamwork in mind. Despite its titanic strength, it can be taken down (the enemy just has to try about 3x harder than with any other VT).
A final note regarding the Earthshaker is that it is one of the only models that "sway" when it walks, making manually aimed shots very difficult to execute unless in 5th gear wheel mode.
Endless thanks to community member "Shaloop" for providing the astounding "concept" art renders for the Earthshaker!