Original version (written as a fan estimate of the MR-02 Protector) - By Ty Stephens and Mark Blandford
Version 2.1 (MR-04, and new background history) - By Stan Bundy
The Merchant Republic of Patagonia began to coalesce into a single nation, following the announcement of the REF's impending departure for Tyrol. Prior to 2020, it had been a collection of small independent states. But, by 2024, it was one of the five largest independent nations (not part of the United World Government power structure), and was receiving technical assistance from the E.B.S.I.S. This technical assistance led to the manufacture of the MR-02 Protector Battloid in the Merchant Republic in 2025, to serve in the defense of the Republic from threats both alien and human (such as the Southern Cross). The MR-02 was in wide service with the Merchant Republic by January of 2029, when the Robotech Masters' fleet arrived, but saw very little action, since the Republic didn't take offensive action against the Masters' forces the way the Southern Cross did, and in addition was far removed from the ruins of New Macross City (whose capture was the only real objective for the Tyroleans).
Half-way through the conflict that was raging in space and the nations to the north, the government of the Republic realized that they would have a golden opportunity to seize the rest of South America at war's end, as both sides were blatantly throwing everything they had into a meat grinder, the likes of which hadn't been seen on Earth since WWI's trench warfare. To spearhead the growth plan, they would need a mecha designed for offense, unlike the Protector, and it was unlikely that the E.B.S.I.S. would help. So, the Republic turned to two retired RDF mecha designers who had settled in the Southlands; professors Miles Anderson and David Karloff.
The week before the climatic battle that destroyed both the Masters and Monument City, the first production model of a new mecha rolled out. Called the MR-03 Rapier, it was Anderson & Karloff's first, stop-gap action to increase the firepower of the Republic's mecha. Essentially a Protector up-armed with knock-offs of the SC EU-11 rifle and the missile launcher of the E.B.S.I.S. Recon Destroyer Battloid, it would serve as the long-range firepower for the reconfigured MR forces. However, as a heavy combat unit, it was always intended to be an interim design.
The first totally new design from the design team rolled out 4 months later, and was immediately put into service. Called the MR-04 Durendal (after a mythical European sword, in the tradition of the Excaliber), it boasted a wide range of weapons, and styling closer to the Malcontent-era Destroid prototypes (which Anderson & Karloff had actually worked on). In the new order of battle, the MR-02 Protector would serve as light combat and support mecha, the MR-03 Rapier as missile carriers and medium combat units, and the MR-04 as the heavy combat forces. Around 1000 were produced, scattered throughout the Republic's holdings, when the Invid arrived. Most were presumed destroyed in the resulting conflict.
Vehicle Type: Destroid (Has more in common design-wise with Destroids than Battloids, from size to armament to design philosophy)
Crew: Two is the standard crew, but the mecha can be piloted (and all weapons fired) by a lone pilot (but nowhere as efficiently as with the two-man crew). However, the irony is that most mecha of this type that survived the Invid invasion are probably piloted by only one person (most freedom fighters prefer the mobility of Cyclones and Veritechs, despite the fact that the Invid can detect their operation).
MR-3 Gun Pod^ (chest mount): 50/20* Forearm Missile Tubes^ (2 sets): 20 per tube, or 60 per set** Forearms(2): 150 each Upper Arms(2)^: 75 each Shoulders/Missile Packs(2): 150 each Searchlight Pod^ (Left Shoulder): 20 HL-6 Laser Pod^ (Right Shoulder): 30 Hands^(2): 15 each Lower Legs(2): 150 each Upper Legs(2): 100 each Main Body: 250*** Reinforced Pilot's Compartment: 200
^ Areas marked with this symbol are -4 to hit on called shots.
* 50 when encased in its armored housing; however, many units removed the housing, as the gun required constant maintenance, and tended to increase problems with the gun, from overheating. 20 is the gun's M.D.C. without the housing. Note that the art of the mecha is of a mecha without the housing.
** Area effect weapons and called shots do damage to the sets (divide evenly between 3 tubes, rounding up). Parries with the arm (as opposed to using a mace or other hand-held instrument) have a chance to do damage to individual tubes, as described under Mecha Combat.
*** Depleting the M.D.C. of the Main Body Shuts down the mecha completely.
Speed: 80 mph maximum speed. Generally cruises at 30 mph over open terrain, less when terrain is less favorable.
Height: 32 feet
Width: 20 feet
Length: 25 feet (with gun pod)
Weight: 20.6 tons
Main Engine: MT 844 Fusion Reactor
Standard Equipment: As RDF Destroids, except has a Nuclear Power Supply like the SC Battloids.
Special Equipment: Visible light and IR spotlights, and active IR systems. These are primarily used for base security, as they too easily allow the mecha to be spotted in combat situations. Range: 600 feet.
1. MR-3 55mm Triple Barrel Gun Pod: This is a chain gun, based on the GU-11 gun pod of the RDF. It uses the same ammunition, only supplied from an internal ammo drum. It has a slightly better rate of fire, however, resulting in better damage capability. If a two-man crew is used, it (and the shoulder MLs) are controlled by the gunner, while the other weapons are controlled by the pilot. The gun can be aimed up to 22.5 degrees above horizontal, to almost straight down, and has a 180 degree lateral firing arc (90 degrees either side of pointing straight forward).
Primary Purpose: Assault. Secondary Purpose: Anti-missile Defense. Mega-Damage - Short Burst: 5D6, Medium Burst: 1D6x10, Long Burst: 2D6x10 Range: 4000 feet. Rate of Fire: Short & Medium Bursts count as one attack; a long burst counts as two attacks. NOTE: No more than 150 rounds can be fired in a melee round. Payload: 2400 rounds. A short burst is 15 rounds, a medium burst is 30 rounds, and a long burst is 60 rounds.
2. Shoulder Short Range Missile Launchers (2): Other than the stylization difference in the covers, each of these is otherwise identical to TWO of the missile launchers found on the old Defender civil defense Destroid (see Strike Force). In fact, the first 100 Durendals actually USED launchers bought as surplus from the RDF, but had gone unused for 10 years (rumor has it the weapons had been part of a secondary arms deal back then, but were "misplaced" when the buyer was arrested by the Southern Cross before the exchange could be made). If a two-man crew is used, the shoulder MLs (as well as the MR-3) are controlled by the gunner, while the other weapons are controlled by the pilot.
Primary Purpose: Assault. Secondary Purpose: Anti-personnel. Mega-Damage: Varies by missile type. Range: Varies by missile type. Rate of Fire: Singly, or volleys of 2 or 4. Payload: 8 missiles (two sets of 4) per shoulder, for a total of 16.
3. Forearm Missile Tubes (2 sets): Each forearm has three armored missile tubes mounted on its exterior, with each tube holding one medium range missile. Naturally, the arm must be pointed in the general direction of the target when first fired (otherwise, the arm would be pointed at the ground, and the missile would blow up at the mecha's feet - doing blast damage to both of the mecha's legs, unless an AP missile, in which case only the nearest leg is damaged). These weapons are always controlled by the pilot, as he has full control of the mecha's arms.
Primary Purpose: Assault Mega-Damage: Varies by missile type. Range: Varies by missile type. Rate of Fire: Singly, or volleys all missiles from one arm (2 or 3). Payload: 3 missiles per forearm, for a total of 6.
4. HL-6 Laser Pod: This is a shoulder-mounted laser weapon, intended to serve in a role similar to the head lasers of the MR-02 and the SC Battloids. It has limited mobility (90 degrees vertical and/or to the right), however, and generally requires shifting the body to aim at targets to the mecha's left, or shorter than it.
Primary Purpose: Defense. Mega-Damage: 4D6 per blast; bursts are not possible. Range: 2000 feet. Rate of Fire: As pilot's combined Hand to Hand attacks. Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
5. Hand to Hand Combat: The Durendal is no slouch, but the MR-3 tends to get in the way of close combat.
Restrained Punch 1D4 M.D. Punch 2D4 M.D. Power Punch 2D6+4 M.D. (counts as 2 attacks) Stomp: 1D4 M.D. (only vs. targets under 12 feet tall) Kick: 2D4 M.D. Leap Kick: 3D6 M.D. (counts as two attacks) Body Block: 2D6 M.D., but will do equal damage to the MR-3.
6. Optional Use of a Gladiator Mace: Adds +1D6 to punch damage. Note that some MR forces have modified these weapons to more resemble spiked maces, mace-and-chains or morning stars; these variants add +3d4 M.D. Use of a Mace for parries reduces the likelihood of damage to the arm missile tubes.
7. Optional use of a hand-held gun pod: These are generally AKG-47s (the E.B.S.I.S. knock-off of the GU-11), the MR clone of the SC EU-11, or any other gun pod they can get their hands on. In areas where salvaged Zentraedi goods are not uncommon, the Zentraedi Laser Rifles and even Blaster Rifles have been pressed into service (the latter is generally modified by human techs to not have the chance of blowing up). In the Invid period, a MR-04 is likely to pick up a ASC EU-20 or an REF GU-XX, as they are more portable, the EU-20 can be powered from the MR-04, and the GU-XX will have more ammunition available than the older gun pods.
Basic Combat - Durendal: As Destroid Basic Combat from _The Sentinels_ RPG, but see the parry note under the full combat skill. Note that any person trained in an E.B.S.I.S. Battloid, the MR-02/MR-03, or two or more RDF/REF Destroids (including all SC Battloids as one type), automatically has basic combat in this mecha.
Mecha Combat(full) - Durendal:
Two Hand to Hand attacks, plus those of the pilot (usually a total of four or five). +1 to Strike, Parry and Dodge +2 to roll with a punch, fall or impact Critical strike does triple damage, at 6th level and beyond Mace adds +1 to strike and +2 to parry, or W.P. mace bonuses (if possessed), whichever is higher. One Additional hand to hand attack at level 5 One Additional hand to hand attack at level 10.
Problems with Parries: Due to the location of the arm missile tubes, there is a chance that one or more will be damaged in the course of a parry. The chances are as follows:
30% for parries using just the arm. 10% if the parry involves a Mace, or other hand-held weapon, used to block the incoming attack. Even a gun pod or Zentraedi rifle can be used in this manner, but not the Zentraedi pistol. DOUBLE these chances if only basic combat possessed. TRIPLE chances if no combat skill is possessed in this mecha. The DAMAGE from such a parry is to one tube, and is ½ the parried attack's normal damage. If this damage exceeds the M.D.C. of the tube, the remainder is passed along to another tube. If all tubes are depleted on that arm, then the remaining damage is ignored. Roll randomly to see which arm is parried with, unless a weapon is being used to parry, in which case it is that arm that is parrying.