Initially, these Titans were only available to SRS Pilots; however, a reverse-engineered, IMC-produced Vanguard variant known as the Monarch is available for use by independent contractors and non-SRS pilots.
The Vanguard-class Titan is the Militia's first home-made Titan design, and the first class to be fielded that was not stolen from the IMC. Due to material restrictions placed on the Militia, Vanguard Titans are available only to Pilots of the Special Recon Squadron, with other, non-SRS Pilots reliant on models designed by Hammond Robotics.[Note 1] The class was designed for armed reconnaissance behind enemy lines, and is equipped with a variety of tools to enhance longevity and flexibility in the field.
Following the Battle of Typhon, the wreckage of two Vanguard units fell into the hands of the IMC. These units were initially handed over to Vinson Dynamics for examination and reverse-engineering, but this feat proved impossible for the Vinson scientists. Consequently, captured Vanguards were upgraded into Monarch-Class Titans, and shipments inbound for the front lines were soon captured and sold on the Black Market. As such, the Militia, IMC and Mercenary pilots all have access to some form of Vanguard or another.
Design and Capabilities
The Vanguard has a number of features that are different than other Post-Demeter Titan designs, bearing more resemblance to older chassis designs (in terms of function) such as the Atlas. Vanguards utilize three Batteries, located underneath and just behind the Titan's left arm - which is both a blessing and a curse. Although less vulnerable to Rodeo attacks from Pilots, any Titan that manages to get right behind a Vanguard-class Titan can rip out its batteries and successfully neutralize it. The Vanguard can also utilize other Titan loadouts, even Core Abilities, with very little modification, making them extremely flexible in terms of what they can carry into battle.
Furthermore, much like Titans from the original game, Vanguard-class Titans sport regenerating body shields. Vanguards are much more durable and maneuverable than other second generation Titans (being almost as well armored as a Legion, with the dash capacity of a Ronin) but are also very, very expensive compared to other, cheaper Titans.
These rare Titans are only given to the best of the Militia's pilots, exclusively available for those members of the Special Recon Squadron - likely due to a high material cost or perhaps expertise required for its production. While most commonly issued with the unique Expedition kit, Vanguards have no set loadout; their weaknesses depend upon the weapons and ordnance they have equipped, rather than their overall design alone.
Vanguard-class Titans include several pieces of equipment not seen in other, conventional Titan designs.
- Hologram projector - The "eye" of the Titan can project holograms, including prerecorded events and conversations.
- Contactless manipulator - Technology in the hand of a Vanguard appears to be able of manipulating objects without actually physically touching them.
- Regenerating Titan Bodyshields - Unlike other designs employed around the same time, the Vanguard incorporates the regenerating shields found in the Atlas, Stryder and Ogre.
- Artificial Intelligence - The Vanguard chassis is currently the only Titan design directly observed to incorporate a self-aware artificial intelligence into its design, allowing it to operate completely independently of a Pilot.
- SERE Kit - a survival kit incorporating the AI core of the Titan, a Smart Pistol MK6 and Data Knife.
Known Vanguard Titans
- Vanguard Titans appear to have a dominant hand, much like humans do. However, this choice is overwritten when under the control of a pilot. For example, while BT-7274 is a left-handed Titan, he instead uses his right hand when under the control of Jack Cooper.