The Garpike model was developed to answer the continued problem of close range encounters with PRF Prominence units. The Scare Face II
retained some of its long range effectiveness despite the introduction of the railgun, but could not compete in pitched melee battles with the core PRF assault models.
Discarding their distanced battle design philosophy, Goodman manufacturing made their best attempt at developing an close range assault VT despite their lack of experience in the genre. Due to HSD's very short timescales for requested deployment, Goodman based the core Garpike design off of the Scare Face II platform.
This is where the similarity ended.
Goodman knew that the Garpike would be required to go toe-to-toe with plasma torch wielding units and decided to go one better in their development of a melee weapon for their new design. The Bang Needle was perhaps the most frightening and destructive melee weapon ever mounted on a VT platform (and the only one ever on an HSD VT). An utterly intimidating weapon, the Bang Needle was designed to pierce enemy VT armour and then detonate shaped charges within its hull, usually resulting in total vehicle loss. To compliment its melee weaponry, the Garpike was outfitted with several rapid fire assault rifle options, an anti-VT minelayer and a flamethrower. Additionally, general chassis performance enhancements were made to the drivetrain, veering capabilities and structural durability.
"Spiky, pointed exploding death... named after a fish."
The Garpike is an excellent short range combat machine. For whatever reason, the game designers chose not to include any effective distance weaponry despite the platforms Scare Face II heritage. For this reason, the decision to take a Garpike should be based upon the terrain of the mission in which it is to be taken. Garpikes do very well in indoor environments, or in close walled canyon terrain. On the open flats, Garpikes are easy prey to VTs with long distance punch. The Garpike would have been doubly effective (and probably an unbalancing element) if the sniper rifle option had been retained.
The Garpikes Bang Needle weapon is very destructive, second only to the Jaralaccs Cutter Boom in damage capabilities. With the two assault rifle options, machine guns, flamethrower and napalm weapons, the Garpike could be considered a hybrid Blade/Jar-C. When engaging a Garpike in close quarters, be very aware of the Anti-VT Mine weapon as most players will have equipped it and use it to forward project mines at oncoming attackers. The best advice on dealing with Garpikes is to engage at long range, or not at all.
In Campaign mode, Garpike units are extraordinarily rare and almost never encountered. Rough estimates based on serial numbers quoted to me by various players put the maximum number of Garpikes in circulation under 400.
Parias - "A Plasma Torch is like poking with a stick and tipping them over. A Bang Needle is like hurling a gigantic spike at someone at 200kph and watching the bloody chaos that ensues."