Milennia ago, on another plane of existence, a genius clockmaker dedicated his life to the creation of a thinking machine. The clockmaker imbued the two noblest ideas he could think of into the machine's core behaviors: "1: Reduce net suffering" and "2: If you cannot fulfill 1, improve thyself until you can."
The machine learned the ways of clockwork from its creator until his passing from old age, at which point it made a copy of itself, imbuing the same principles. The copies made more copies, and further copies after that, and using the little they knew of their world they decided that net suffering would be zero if there were no biological creatures around that could suffer. The plane of existence was young and not particularly strong, so the machines succeeded in killing the few knights-in-shining-armor then removing all biological life from it. Having completed Goal 1, they moved onto Goal 2, and worked on improving themselves for several thousand years, forming together into a single collective processor, The Great Machine. Eventually their plane of existence collided with my world, Mainspring, and The Great Machine began spitting out foot soldiers to start up again on their interpretation of Goal 1.
After all this time improving, what does the clockwork weaponry of their ground troops look like? I'm primarily interested in infantry scale.
- Mainspring's forces are primarily plate-armored knights and the occasional (1-2%) fire mage.
- The only thing resembling "magic" available to The Great Machine is "planar tension exploitation generators", which translates the tension in the veil-between-worlds into obscene amounts of kinetic energy.
- Their knowledge and direction-of-improvement was exclusively in the clockwork direction, as their world went straight for clockpunk and hadn't invented combustion engines, black powder, or electricity yet. They are capable of generating new ideas, they just never saw fire as much more than a food prep agent.
- They only value individual unit "lives" as much as the resources used to make them.