The B.A.T.

In the early eighties of the previous century, the organization of Cobra arose in the town of Springfield, USA. Under the inspiring leadership of Cobra Commander, its fanatic members began their destructive crusade to conquer the world. Continuously counteracted by the anti-terrorist team codenamed G.I.Joe, Cobra noticed it couldn't do the trick on its own. Zartan and his Dreadnoks failed. That's when the B.A.T., or Battle Android Trooper, showed up.

Dr. Mindbender

At the time when Cobra Command was looking for additional forces, able to fight off the Joes, a scientist called Dr. Mindbender was looking for fundings and laboratories to conduct the many revolutionary experiments he devised in his genius mind. Dr. Mindbender had many advanced technologies to sell in exchange to what he wanted, and Cobra Command joined forces with him. James McCullen Destro XXIV, a worldwide weapons dealer, owner of M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate) and major arms supplier of Cobra, detested the appalling self-confident arrogance of Dr. Mindbender, but couldn't stop the agreement.

One of Dr. Mindbender's first contributions to the Cobra army were the B.A.T.s or Battle Android Troopers, his highly sophisticated cybernetic warriors.

B.A.T.

The Cobra B.A.T.

Mindbender presented the abilities of his B.A.T.s to Cobra, by letting them attack a group of newly recruited G.I.Joe members on their final exam mission. The Joes had to use all of their resources to defeat the Android Troopers. Despite the failure of the attack, Cobra Command, still disappointed with Zartan's Dreadnoks and their multiple defeats, was impressed. So, very soon the Battle Android Trooper was an integral part of Cobra's infantry forces.

And an impressive force they were. An entire army, always at the ready. One just had to push a button, and they were going in action. They were not very smart, but they sure were tenacious. The only way to beat them was by total destruction ; even with several limbs shot away a B.A.T. didn't cease fighting. Its arsenal consisted of a flamethrower, a machine gun and a ferocious claw, used in hand to hand combat, completed with various grenades, guns and knives. A much used technique to deploy a B.A.T. unit on the battlefield was to drop them without a parachute out of a low flying aircraftv2 filecard. Although many B.A.T.s got destroyed in the process, many others remained to fight, damaged or not. And the sight of humanlike figures getting up and opening fire after tumbling down out of an airplane, often worked very demoralizing on the opposing foe.

B.A.T.

B.A.T. shortcomings

v1 filecardUnfortunately, a B.A.T. had some disadvantages which made it somewhat impopular to fight side by side with. First of all, the B.A.T.'s logic system (which, by the way, was a product from M.A.R.S., without Dr. Mindbender knowing thatjmmcfadd, anywhere else ?) was not very thrustworthy ; in battle it didn't always accurately distinguish between friend and foe, causing it to attack anybody in sight, including Cobra forces. Second of all, because its back was not as heavily armoured as the rest of its body, a B.A.T. had the tendency to explode when hit from behind.

v1 filecardThese two minor problems caused the B.A.T. to be soon downgraded to cannon fodder and to cover giving trooper whenever a Cobra force had to withdraw from battle. The Battle Android Troopers then kept the enemy busy until the retreat was complete. This, combined with the fact that a B.A.T. could rather easily be outsmarted, resulted in very heavy losses. conjectureCobra Command was not pleased with these pour battle results and transferred many of the tasks they had planned for their B.A.T.s to various specialized Viper forces. However, Cobra still had a need for large masses of expendable troopers, so the B.A.T. continued to be used. Also did the research for a better B.A.T. continue, and several newer B.A.T. versions were developed.