"The dammed things tore apart my platoon like scythes cutting through wheat. I guess I'm lucky that I only lost an arm."
- Anonymous Commune Federation soldier
The Mark III Light Scouting Platform, more commonly referred to as the Raider, is the Golden Hand Syndicate's standard reconnaissance and rapid-attack vehicle. It is a swift, agile hovercraft designed to rush through infantry formations and tear them apart with its blaster cannons and saw blades. It is also used as a reconnaissance vehicle, scouting ahead of the main Syndicate force to gather intel on their foes.
When the Voyager first crashed onto the world of Vesroth, it brought with it vehicles intended to be used by the colonists in helping them adapt to their new surroundings. Among these vehicles were small hovercraft called "RD-3Rs". These vehicles were designed to perform quick surveys of the surrounding area. When the colonists scattered across Vesroth and divided into clans, those who took the RD-3Rs found that they had nigh-unparalleled mobility compared to their foes. Despite the RD-3Rs being unarmed, they were quickly modified by their new owners for combat purposes.
When Konrad Sicallion took over the Bloody Hands clan, he quickly realized the potential of these vehicles in future battles, but found their capabilities to be lacking. As such, Konrad ordered his top minds to redesign the RD-3R into a true force to be reckoned with. The RD-3Rs in the Bloody Hands' possesion were equipped with stronger armor, more powerful weaponry, and enhanced engines that allowed them to outmatch the RD-3Rs used by opposing clans.
After the Bloody Hands took over Vesroth and reorganized themselves into the Golden Hand Syndicate, they quickly realized that their RD-3R's could be used against foes off-world as well. However, they quickly realized they would need a serious upgrade in order to take on the highly-trained and equipped armies of the Verpletter region. After a long modernization process, the RD-3R's were eventually turned into the Raiders seen across the battlefields of Verpletter.
The Raider is a small hovercraft with a sleek, rectangular body slightly reminiscient of a motorbike. It is operated by a single pilot, who sits in an open cockpit near the tail end of the vehicle. Right behind the cockpit is the thruster array, which feeds power into a pair of thrusters that propel the Raider forwards. On the bottom of the vehicle is the anti-gravitic array, which is directly connected to the frontal reactor via a series of cables. The reactor is concealled within an airtight, armored casing, which allows it to function in even the harshest of environments. The Raider's saw blades are attached to the sides of the vehicle, and can fold up when not in use. The way these blades are folded, coupled with their size and durability, allows them to be used as rudimentary shields for the pilot, blocking enemy fire until the time is right for the kill.
The Raider comes equipped with a pair of blaster cannons mounted on the front of the vehicle. These rapid-fire weapons are highly effective at dealing with not only infantry, but are also good for dealing with lightly-armored vehicles. However, the Raider's true strength comes from its side-mounted saw blades. These large, serrated disks are crafted from high-density materials, allowing them to stay razor-sharp even after hacking their way through numerous foes. They can even be used to great effectiveness against larger targets, as the blades can pierce through heavy armor to hack away at a vehicle's vulnerable internal components. This can leave enemy vehicles disabled and allows for larger Syndicate units like Marauders and Ravagers to easily destroy them.
The Raider's primary role is that of a fast-attack vehicle, either spearheading assaults on its own or by attacking an enemy's vulnerable flanks to support their larger allies. Since they are lightly armored, it is best that they do not stay in the thickest of action for too long, as they are easily destroyed by anti-armor weapons. However, the sheer amount of terror a squadron of Raiders can inflict on enemy infantry is sometimes too much to ignore by many Raider pilots, so they end up charge into the thickest concentration of enemies they can find. The Raider's swiftness and low profile have also seen it been used as a reconnaissance vehicle, as they can quickly identify an enemy's capabilities before returning to friendly lines.
- Hellhound - The Hellhound is a variant of the Raider designed for combat in tight, densely-packed areas. To achieve this role, it replaces the saw blades seen on the standard Raider with a pair of high-intensity flamethrowers. This allows the Hellhound to quickly burn its way through tight alleyways or narrow tunnels with ease, leaving nothing but ash in its wake.