18: Aerospace Fighters

Level Four AeroSpace Fighters :

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   Kali-10 (Star League, 128 CP) : Reportedly christened by a horrified test pilot, the Kali takes full advantage of it’s minuscule size to obtain maximum efficiency. The net result is actually quite impressive. While no match for most other modern designs using advanced technology, the Kali is a reasonable match for most of the “classic” light fighters, and is generally considerably cheaper to build. If the Kali – or some similar design – becomes widely available, it may well become a favorite with the militias and other local defense groups.

   Building a Kali requires 65 points worth of Technical Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, +10 “Built-In” Heat Sinks, 25), 1/2 Ton Heat Sinks (10), “Reducing” Clan Medium ER Lasers to Star League technology (5) and reducing their weight (10), and one optimization (5).

  • Fuel-50. 2.0 Tons
  • Engine; R-110 UL/4 (Thrust 13/20, 20 Built-in half-ton Heat Sinks, Overheats Easily). 2.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit (No Life Support/Heat, Only 5 Armor). 2.0 Tons.
  • Armor-85 + 5 (Crystal-Aluminum). 3.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 20, L/R Wing 15 / 15, Cockpit 10, Fuselage 15, and Engine 10. Structural Integrity; 13.
  • 4x Clan Medium ER Lasers (Clan to SL, -1/2 Ton). 2.0 Tons.
  • Optimization; Efficient Fuel Use. -1.0 Tons.

    The Kali is quite commonly equipped with two strap-on Thunderbolt pods, totaling one ton (2 CP), although this does require access to Thunderbolt technology (QV).

   Gungnir-15 (Star League. 192 CP) : The Gungnir isn’t really a “fighter” in the usual sense. It’s hardly armed – although it is reasonably well protected – and doesn’t even carry a pilot, only a computer. Technically it’s a WarBot, and it’s deployment and use causes the usual loyalty penalties. In practice, it’s a missile. It’s designed to ram opposing fighters, dropships, and warships. Most of it’s weaponry is designed to keep it from being stopped. Overall, it’s a relatively cheap, and especially deadly, tactic.

   Building the Gungnir requires some 65 points worth of Tech “Improvements”; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Improved Engines (3x Lighter, 15), “Vulcan” Lasers (10), Reducing Clan AntiMissile Systems and Small ER Lasers to League Tech (10), Micro-flechette Anti-missile Ammo (5), an Optimization (5) and, of course, WarBot (10). A variant design drops the weapons and defensive systems in favor of an additional three tons of armor (Nose 60, Wings 40/40, Cockpit 20, Fuselage 40, and Engine 33) – which incidentally reduces the Tech requirement to some 40 points. It can be reduced further – by using standard armor and a heavier engine – but 15 points (Warbot and the optimization) are about the minimum.

  • Fuel-50. 2.0 Tons.
  • Engine(s); R-120 UL/5 (3 Tech Imp, Light MHD Coils, Overheats Easily, 10 Heat Sinks, Thrust 10/15). 2.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit / Controls (Computer System). 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-133 + 10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 5.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 35, L/R Wing 25 / 25, Cockpit 15, Fuselage 25, and Engine 18. Structural Integrity; 10.
  • Vulcan Laser. 1.0 Tons.
  • 2x Anti-missile Systems (Clan, Reduced to SL). 1.0 Tons.
  • -Anti-missile Ammunition (12, Microflechette). 0.5 Tons.
  • Small ER Laser (Clan, Reduced to SL). 0.5 Tons.
  • Optimization; “+1” (12 maximum) to all rolls on the “Ramming” Table (QV; “Condensed Charts”).

    -Actually, while this is technically simple enough, and really ought to be about as practical as any other space missile, the players should talk it over quite carefully before allowing the introduction of such a weapon. It’s possible – even likely – that any planet equipped with a few thousand CP worth of Gungnir’s will prove impossibly expensive to invade. This may not be unreasonable – but it would certainly undermine the basis of the game. .

 

   Sunsprite-25 (Star League, 360 CP) : Unlike the more common “light” aerospace fighters, the Sunsprite focuses on armor and weaponry, leaving it unmaneuverable, if well-armoured and heavily armed, compared to most other designs in it’s weight class. The Sunsprite commonly makes use of Ablative Shockfoam, further boosting it’s defences at the cost of extreme vulnerability to overheating. Sadly, despite the range advantages common to designs which use PPC’s for their primary weaponry, the Sunsprite requires careful handling to be effective in aerospace conflicts; it’s simply too small and light to really take on the role of “flying fortress”, and isn’t fast enough to avoid it. On the other hand, it’s a decent ground-support unit and is cheap enough to be readily deployed in lethal groups.

   Building a Sunsprite requires some 75 points worth of Technical Improvements; S. League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Improved Engines (3x Lighter, 15), Half-Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Reducing Clan Small ER Lasers and SRM-2’s to League Tech (10), Reducing Clan ER PPC’s to S. League Tech (5), and improving them (-3 Tons, 15), Batteries (5), and one Optimization (Geodesic Armor, 5). The Shockfoam, and the speciality SRM ammo, are optional extras. Using clan technology as a base reduces the technical costs to some 55 points, but increases the CP cost to 460 CP.

  • Fuel-60. 3.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-125 UL/3 Fusion Engine (Thrust 7/11), Ten 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks. 2.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-180+10 (Crystal-Aluminum. Sometimes equipped with 4 units (+48) of Ablative Shockfoam). 7.5 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 48+12, L/R Wing 30+6, Cockpit 20+6, Fuselage 42+12 – and Engines 20+6. Structural Integrity; 7.
  • 2x ER PPC’s (Clan to SL, -3 Tons, Nose). 6.0 Tons.
  • Battery (300 Point Reserve). 1.0 Tons.
  • 2x Clan SRM-2’s (Wings). 1.0 Tons.
  • -50x SRM-2 Ammo (Usually Decoy and AP). 1.0 Tons.
  • 3x Clan Small ER Lasers (2 Wings, Rear). 1.5 Tons.
  • Optimization; Geodesic Armor. -1.0 Tons.

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   Raptor-40 (Star League. 672 CP) : Highly specialized, the Raptor is designed to close quickly and slug it out. While impressively armoured, and capable of unleashing a devastating close-range laser barrage, the Raptor has no long-ranged weapons whatsoever. While this has sometimes proven disastrous in testing, it’s excellent performance in it’s intended role’ tends to balance out the problem.

   Building Raptors requires some 85 points in Technical Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, +10 “Built-In” Heat Sinks, 25), 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Improved “Clan” Medium Pulse Lasers (Reduced to SL Tech, -1 Ton, 15), “Vulcan” Lasers (10), Batteries (5), Reducing Clan Small ER Lasers to SL Tech (5), and half-weight Laser Antimissile Systems (5). Fuel Compression is not necessarily required – but it is strongly recommended. Using clan technology reduces the technical “cost” to 70 points, but increases the CP cost to 832.

  • Fuel-60 (72 If “Compressed”). 3.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-320 XL UL/5 (Overheats Easily. Light MHD Coils. 3x Tech Imp. Has 23 Built-In 1/2 Ton DHS. Thrust 10/15). 5.5 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-267+10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 12.5 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 65, L / R Wing 42/42, Cockpit 25, Fuselage 65, and Engine 38. Structural Integrity; 10.
  • 10x Clan M. Pulse Lasers (Reduced to SL, -1 Ton). 10.0 Tons.
  • Battery, 300 Point Capacity. 1.0 Tons.
  • Vulcan Laser. 1.0 Tons.
  • 2x Clan Small ER Lasers (Rear). 1.0 Tons.
  • 4x Laser Antimissile Systems (On Battery; 2 Heat, 3 points from the battery, 1/2 Weight). 3.0 Tons.

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   Wisp-45 (Star League. 776 CP) : A distinct departure from the “usual” principles of light fighter design, the Wisp is intended to outrange almost anything – including enemy dropships. What speed it has is usually devoted to keeping the enemy at a good distance or, if possible, to luring them into expending so much fuel chasing the Wisp that they cannot return unaided. Thanks to it’s highly- efficient thruster design and exceptional fuel reserves, the Wisp rarely has that problem. Of course, “immobile” targets can be blown apart with Arrow-II guided missiles at leisure.

   Building a Wisp requires some 70 points worth of Tech Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, 15), Improved ELRM’s (35), reducing Clan Arrow-II Systems to SL Tech (5) and an Optimization (5). Further improvements might include lightening the Arrow-II system to make room for a targeting computer or optimizing the design for long-range fire.

  • Fuel-80. 4.0 Tons.
  • Engine(s); R-225 XL UL/4 (Three Tech. Improvements, Overheats Easily, 10 Double Heat Sinks). Thrust 7/11). 3.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit / Controls. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-128 + 10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 6.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 30, L/R Wing 20 / 20, Cockpit 18, Fuselage 30, and Engine 20. Structural Integrity; 7.
  • 2x ELRM-15 (Improved, -6 Tons). 12.0 Tons.
  • -36 ELRM-15 Ammo. 6.0 Tons.
  • Arrow-II (Clan, Reduced to SL). 6.0 Tons.
  • -40 Arrow-II Ammo. 2.0 Tons.
  • 2x Small Lasers. 1.0 Tons.
  • Laser Antimissile System. 1.5 Tons.
  • Cable (Towline, for picking up disable fighters). .5 Tons.
  • Optimization; a -1 to the effective thrust used per turn when calculating fuel use. Minimum Thrust-1 fuel use is .2 points per turn, .1 for optimal thrust mode.

    -Worlds employing the Wisp commonly pair it with some TAG-equipped miniunits or, if they happen to have access to Narc Tracer Warheads, small, fast, fighters which can get the tracers into place, and then get out of the way. Once so “tagged” even very heavily armoured units may be in serious trouble.

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   Wrath-Of-God-50 (Star League. 820 CP) : Another very specialized fighter, the Wrath is intended to move in on a single target, lock on – and blow it to bits very, very, quickly. Thanks to it’s overwhelming barrage of “streak” SRM’s, this is highly successful – until opponents begin deploying specialized electronic countermeasures to keep the Wrath from achieving said lock-on. Unlike most other missile-based fighters the Wrath rarely suffers from any lack of ammunition. The streak system conserves it and, in any case, if a target survives such massive firepower long enough for the ammunition to run out, it is time to pull out and come back with a fleet.

   Building the Wrath-Of-God requires 95 points worth of “Tech Improvements”; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, and +10 Built-In Heat Sinks, 25), 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Improved Clan SRM-6 Streaks (Reduced to SL Tech, -1 Heat and -1.5 Tons, 30), Half-Weight Laser Antimissile Systems (5), Reducing Clan Targeting Computers and Small ER Lasers to SL Tech (10), and Geodesic Armor (5). The Wrath generally “runs” cool enough to use Ablative Shockfoam, but this is a gamble – the unpredictable heat surges of the Antimissile systems can, with a bit of bad luck, easily overheat the fighter if Shockfoam is applied. Using clan technology as a base reduces the technical “cost” to 75 points, but increases the CP cost to 1020.

  • Fuel-75. 5.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-350 XL UL/5 (Overheats Easily, +4 Heat, and +10 Built-In .5 Ton DHS (24 Total). Thrust 9/14) 7.5 Tons.
  • Ultrathrust Rocket Boosters, 3 Uses (Thrust 18). 1.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-171+10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 8.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 40, L/R Wing 30 / 30, Cockpit 15, Fuselage 42, and Engine 24. Structural Integrity; 9.
  • 10x Clan Streak SRM-6 (SL, 3 Heat, 1.5 Tons). 15.0 Tons.
  • 90x SRM-6 Ammo. 6.0 Tons.
  • Targeting Computer, SRM-6 Only. 3.0 Tons.
  • 2x Clan Small ER Lasers (Rear). 1.0 Tons.
  • 2x Laser Antimissile Systems (Half Weight). 1.5 Tons.
  • Optimization; Geodesic Armor. -1.0 Tons.

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   FireBird-65 (Star League. 820 CP) : While sometimes derided as a “Defence Platform With Wings”, the FireBird can be extremely effective when deployed as designed; as a shock-interceptor. The usual strategy is to take full advantage of the Plaser’s range and power, supplement it with the Thunderbolt missiles when the enemy enters into their range, and head for home to reload – and to be ready to support the ground troops. Despite it’s heavy armor, the FireBird doesn’t do well in a dogfight. It’s missile supply runs out extremely quickly, the SRM launchers are little more then tokens, and the Plaser – while potent – lacks flexibility.

   Since “Thunderbolt” missiles are self-targeting, they are NOT penalized by the Plaser’s power drain. Building FireBirds requires 70 points worth of Tech Improvements; 3x Lighter Engines (15), Plaser III’s (35), Thunderbolts (5), Cyrosinks (10), and reducing the Clan SRM-2 Launchers to League Tech (5). Of course, one can always lighten up the armor by four tons and forget about the improvements on the engine.
  • Fuel-60. 4.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-260 UL/3 Fusion (Thrust 6/9). 9.5 Tons.
  • UltraThrust (Solid-Fuel Boosters, 3 Uses, Thrust 12, no fuel use). 1.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-288 + 10 (Standard). 18.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 72, L/R Wings 42/42, Cockpit 30, Fuselage 72, and Engine 40. Structural Integrity; 7.
  • +2 Double Heat Sinks (12 Total). 2.0 Tons.
  • Cyrosinks, 60 Points. 2.0 Tons.
  • Plaser-III (Nose, Backup Power Supply in Fuselage). 9.0 Tons.
  • 12x Dual Thunderbolt Launchers (Wings). 12.0 Tons.
  • 3x SRM-2 (Clan, Reduced to SL. 2 Nose, 1 Aft). 1.0 Tons.
  • -SRM-2 Ammo (Usually mixed, including Decoy). 1.5 Tons.
  • Medium Pulse Laser (Aft). 2.0 Tons.

    As a note, one variant (796 CP) replaces the M. Pulse Laser with a “Skybreaker” Aerospace Missile (CP cost not included). Replacing the basic warhead on the skybreaker with a fusion bomb is possible, but not popular.

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   Apparition-70 (Star League. 1096 CP) : Probably the most advanced fighter ever designed, the “Apparition” is certainly one of the most versatile – and annoying. It’s also one of the few units capable of “concealing” itself from thermal, optical, radio-frequency, ultraviolet, and even microwave/radar detection even while thrusting. In effect, it can become invisible. It is also capable of operating underwater, refueling during combat, traveling to and from a jump point in times rivaling a dropship’s, and providing long-term life support for both it’s pilot and the usual single passenger. It mounts powerful – and astoundingly accurate – weapons, and is a most difficult target itself. Indeed, in space, the Apparition is near- impossible to hit at medium or long range. If it was not for the incredible “investments” in technology which are required to build the thing, the Apparition – or similar designs – would likely dominate most fighter battles. In the future, when building such advanced fighters becomes a bit more practical, they probably will.

   Building Apparitions requires some 160 points in Tech Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, +10 “Built-In” Heat Sinks, 25), 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Holographic Projectors (10), Improved “WatchDogs” (20), Fuel Scoops and Purifiers (15), Improved Clan Large Pulse Lasers (Reduced to League Tech and -3 Tons, 20), Targeting Computer (Reduced to SL, 5), Batteries (5), Cyrosinks (10), Vulcan Lasers (10), Half- Weight Laser Antimissile Systems (5) and 3 optimizations (15). Of course, if you have this much high technology available, why haven’t you won yet?

  • Fuel-75. 5.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-280 XL UL/3 with 21 1/2 Ton DHS Built In. 5.5 Tons.
  • Ultrathrust R. Booster, 1 Use (Thrust 6/9/12). 0.5 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Long-Term Life Support Module. 0.5 Tons.
  • Armor-405+10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 19.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 100, L/R Wing 70 / 70, Cockpit 30, Fuselage 95, and Engine 50. Structural Integrity; 7.
  • Null-Signature System. 1.0 Tons.
  • Holographic Projector / Chameleon System. 2.0 Tons.
  • Watchdog System (Improved. Blocks Streak/Targeting Computer Systems and may be set as an individual “Cloak”, reduced to Star League Tech, +20 Total) 1.0 Tons.
  • Reconnaissance Gear (High-resolution cameras and so on. Handy for surveying things, +5 on the battle setup tables where relevant). 0.5 Tons.
  • Fuel Scoops and Purifiers. 1.0 Tons.
  • Periscope (+1 Level). 0.5 Tons.
  • 6x Clan Large Pulse Lasers (Improved, -3 Tons). 18.0 Tons.
  • Targeting Computer (Reduced to SL Tech). 4.0 Tons.
  • Batteries, 900 point capacity. 3.0 Tons.
  • Cyrosinks (Improved; Thermal Masking. 1 “point” per turn may be used to “conceal” the user’s thermal signature in space – provided that the unit does not overheat. While in use, this provides a “+1” modifier on an opponent’s attempts to target the unit. 90 point capacity). 3.0 Tons.
  • Vulcan Laser. 1.0 Tons.
  • 2x Laser Antimissile Systems (On Battery; 2 Heat, 3 points from the battery, 1/2 Weight). 1.5 Tons.
  • Optimization; Baffled Thrusters. -1 on effective thrust used in a turn – as far as being detected goes.
  • Optimization; +1 to opponents target numbers with energy and missile weapons – in space only.
  • Optimization; a -1 to the effective thrust used per turn when calculating fuel use. Minimum Thrust-1 fuel use is .2 points per turn, .1 for optimal thrust mode.

    Variants include a cargo carrier, equipped with long- term life support space for sneaking things onto worlds, a bomber equipped with a bomb bay (for blowing up system defence stations), escape craft (For important people) – and a drone carrier.

   1) A null-signature system can be extremely effective in space; Units using one can remain “hidden” as long as they refrain from using detectable thrust or overheating themselves.

   2) A holographic projector does provide it’s bonus on the space map. Space is definitely difficult terrain as far as targeting goes.

   3) Net targting modifications;

  • -Null-Signature; +1/+2 Vrs Medium/Long Range Fire
  • -Holo-Chameleon; +1 Vrs all fire in space or when
  • “Terrain Modifiers” (EG; A Storm) apply.
  • -Thermal “Mask”; +1 Vrs all fire when in use.
  • -“Optimization”; +1 Vrs all fire when in space.
  • -The Targeting Computer may not be used while the null-signature system is in operation.

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   Volund-80 (Star League. 1096 CP) : Bucking the trend towards more specialized designs, the Volund is intended to be adaptable to virtually any aerospace role’ – even, given the use of appropriate drones, high-speed scouting – without the extra expense of an “omni-” configuration. While it’s a laudable effort, and is indeed quite deadly in virtually any situation, this has been achieved using so many specialized technologies that it’s virtually out of reach of any normal military force.

   Building the Volund requires 100 points worth of Tech Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, +10 Built-In Heat Sinks, 25), Half- Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Improved Clan ER Large Laser (Reduced to SL and -2 tons, 15), Lighter Laser Antimissile Systems (5), Drone Control Computers (10), Vulcan Lasers (10), Batteries (5), Reducing Clan Small ER Lasers to SL Tech (5), and reducing the Watchdog to SL Tech (5). Using a clan technology base reduces the technical costs to 80 points, but increases the CP cost to 1416 CP.

  • Fuel-72. 6.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-320 XL UL/5 (Overheats Easily. Light MHD Coils. 3x Tech Imp. Has 23 Built-In 1/2 Ton DHS. Thrust 6/9). 5.5 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-330+10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 16.5 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 80, L/R Wing 50 / 50, Cockpit 30, Fuselage 90, and Engine 40. Structural Integrity; 8.
  • Drone Control Computer (Fuselage). 1.0 Tons.
  • Miniunit/Drone Racks (6 Slots Available). 12.0 Tons.
  • 8x ER Large Lasers (Reduced to SL, -2 Tons). 16.0 Tons.
  • 4x Laser Antimissile Systems (On Battery; 2 Heat, 3 points from the battery, 1/2 Weight, Fuselage) 3.0 Tons.
  • 2x Vulcan Lasers (Fuselage). 2.0 Tons.
  • Battery, 900 Point Capacity (Fuselage). 3.0 Tons.
  • 2x Small ER Lasers (Clan, Reduced to SL, Rear). 1.0 Tons.
  • Bomb Bay/Cargo (Fuselage). 10.0 Tons.
  • Watchdog (Fuselage). 1.0 Tons.

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   Ironwind-100 (Star League. 1480 CP): Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the Ironwind is that it gets off the ground at all! A triumph of fusion power over aero- dynamics, the design has all the “glide” characteristics of a bowling ball. It’s little more then a compact mass of armor wrapped around an array of weapon systems. One objective, and only one, governed; brute force. As far as the designers were concerned, it should be able to smash it’s way through almost anything, and absorb an enormous amount of punishment along the way. They did a good job.

   Building an Ironwind requires some 115 points in Tech Improvements; League Crystal-Aluminum Armor (10), Better Engines (3x Lighter, +10 “Built-In” Heat Sinks, 25), 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks (10), Reducing WatchDog to SL Tech (5), Improved Clan Large Pulse Lasers (Reduced to League Tech and -3 Tons, 20), Targeting Computers (Reduced to SL, 5), Batteries (Half Weight, 10), Vulcan Laser (10), Half Weight Laser Antimissile Systems (5), and Improved Clan ER Large Lasers (Reduced to SL, -2 Tons, 15). Using a clan technology base reduces the technical cost to 90 points, but increases the CP cost to 1880 CP.

  • Fuel-60. 5.0 Tons.
  • Engine; R-300 XL UL/5 (3x Tech. Improvements, Light MHD Coils (+4 Heat/Turn), Overheats Easily. Has 22 Built-In 1/2 Ton Double Heat Sinks). 4.5 Tons.
  • Ultrathrust Rocket Boosters, 3 Uses (Thrust 10). 2.0 Tons.
  • Cockpit. 3.0 Tons.
  • Armor-740 + 10 (Crystal-Aluminum). 37.0 Tons. Armor Distribution: Nose 180, L/R Wing 120/120, Cockpit 30, Fuselage 200, Engine 100. Structural Integrity; 10.
  • 10x Clan L. Pulse Lasers (Reduced to SL, -3 Tons). 30.0 Tons.
  • Batteries (Ultradensity, 1200 point capacity). 2.0 Tons.
  • 4x Laser Antimissile Systems (On Battery; 2 Heat, 3 points from the battery, 1/2 Weight, Fuselage). 3.0 Tons.
  • 2x Clan ER L. Lasers (Reduced to SL, -2 Tons). 4.0 Tons.
  • Targeting Computer. 7.0 Tons.
  • 2x Vulcan Lasers. 2.0 Tons.
  • Watchdog (Reduced to SL). 1.0 Tons.

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 Bombs and Munitions

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   Bombs come in three major types; Unguided, “Inertial” Weapons (The classic WWII style), Homing Munitions, such as the Arrow-X systems can employ (While you have to get these into the correct area, they have a limited ability to locate their targets thereafter), and Guided Missiles(AKA; “Drones”, see “Miniunits”) – weapons fully capable of “seeking out” their own targets from great distances.

   Note that, for our purposes, those weapons that follow a fully preset course – such as most WWII torpedoes – fall into the “Inertial” category.

   The Planetbound use of Inertial Weapons is covered in “Dive Bombing”. This is not generally a viable tactic in aerospace battles. The targets are moving too quickly, and the distances are too great. A notable exception occurs with Orbital Installations. An aerospace unit which ends it’s movement in a hex containing such a target may make a “Dive-Bombing” attack. An asteroid Installation can be successfully targeted on a base of 8+, a “free-floating” installation can be successfully targeted on a 10+. This category also includes any dropship-sized or larger unit with a thrust rating of “1”. While it’s possible to make dive-bombing attacks against dropships, and even warships, this is usually suicidal and, in any case, requires an 11+ to succeed. Explosions do not normally affect multiple targets on the aerospace maps. Nuclear weapons may do so on the low-altitude map – but nothing short of the local sun going nova (Never mind. Game over) can do so on the high-altitude map. (See Also; Appendix VI, Conventional Fighters, “Carpet Bombing”). The available bombs include “Drop Mines” (QV) and the various others listed below.

   Homing Munitions are represented “in the game” by the “Arrow” series of homing shells. These may home in on a specific signal, provided by either a TAG system or by a variant on the Narc Missile Beacon (The Tracer “Warhead” suffices for this purpose), be direct-fired on the aero- space maps (It requires a basic roll of 11+ to “hit” the “appropriate” hex. Without ground clutter to confuse the issue the shell is capable of homing in on it’s target’s from there. It is possible for units on the ground maps to attack units on the low-altitude map in this way, but the altitude difference means that their firing range is still restricted as per the ground level ranges), or may simply be used to assault a ground scale hex (As per the standard artillery rules). Arrow-Class munitions can be delivered in any of several ways; they can be fired from an appropriate launcher, unloaded from VTOL’s (QV; “Drop Mines” for relevant rules), air-launched from both aerospace and conventional fighters (Up to two per turn may be “dropped off” in any low altitude hex or hexes which the fighter transversed during the turn. This requires a 4+ roll to get them into the appropriate hex – but DOES NOT require a full scale launcher, although the release gear does effectively double the weight of the shells. There is no chance of hitting a specific ground scale hex this way. That takes a launcher. Launchers may fire directly against any ground level hex (Unless, of course, there’s a mountain or something in the way. If there’s a dispute about this, get a neutral player to make a ruling on it), in the appropriate radius), or dropped from a “bomb bay” (QV; Appendix VI, Conventional Fighters, Carpet Bombing. It should be noted that, thanks to smoke, dust, flare, and other effects, no more then 1/1/2/3/3 Arrow Missiles can home in on any one Ultralight/Light/Heavy/Assault/Ultra- heavy unit per turn – although up to four can home in on an installation or dropship).

   Guided Missiles are treated as independent units, and are fully described under “Miniunits”.

   Available Bombs include the standard High Explosives, Incendiaries, Chemical Munitions, Bio-Weapons, and Nuclear Weapons. All of these are described below. It must be noted that, like drop mines and drones, only two bombs may be “launched” per turn from any single unit.

 

Tonnage Hex Damage Adjacent Hexes
0.10 05 02
0.20 10 05
0.25 12 06
0.40 25 12
0.50 30 15
0.75 40 20
1.00 50 25
1.50 60 25
2.00 70 35
2.50 80 40

 

   Incendiary Bombs (AKA; “Inferno Bombs”), mass .2 tons each. Smaller quantities don’t splatter enough, and larger ones don’t really accomplish any more. The hex hit is automatically on fire. Surrounding hexes are ignited on a 6+. Units in the area are splattered with burning gel, which inflicts 10 points of heat on units in the hex hit and 5 points of heat on units in adjacent hexes. Units which don’t “take heat” (Vehicles, etc) suffer the usual effects of fire. Barring being put out, the effects will continue for three turns, as per standard inferno ammo.

   Chemical Munitions also mass .2 tons each. Such bombs include Gas, Sand, Smoke, Window, Heatfoam, Firefighting Chemicals, and whatever else you can dream up. Everyone in the hex hit is “exposed” to a double dose of whatever it is you used. Those in surrounding hexes are exposed to a single “Dose”. As a rule, gases are relatively mild agents (It doesn’t reall matter if it’s tear gas or LSD. they’ll both take enemy infantry “out of action” without drifting about and wrecking the planet. True nerve gases tend to cause massive damage to both sides). The effects of various agents are noted under Exotic Systems (QV).

   Bio-Weapons come in .1 ton packages, but affect whole boards. In general, these will have no effect during the course of the fight they’re employed in, but will affect later ones. Irritant Weapons (EG; things that’ll cause a nasty rash, stomach upset, or other annoying, but fairly “harmless”, difficulties) can be developed as “technical improvements”. Each such weapon you can deploy is worth one extra battlecard to use in any given campaign. More lethal weapons are basically equvilent to “Deathpaste” – and may be dealt with using the same rules.

   Nuclear Weapons (Fission and fusion) inflict some 20x as much damage as a high explosive bomb of equal weight, and that damage is only decreased by five points per hex between the victim(s) and the detonation point. Perhaps sadly, in these days of high-powered lasers and portable fusion systems, these are disgustingly easy to build. It is not, however, generally a good idea to use them.

   Arrow-IV Missiles may load Incendiary, Chemical, Bio- Weapon, or Nuclear (400-point) warheads. Arrow-III’s may use BioWeapon or Nuclear (Tactical, 200-point) Warheads. Arrow-II’s may load Nuclear (Micro, 100-point) Warheads. All may, of course, also load the usual high explosives. For those who are wondering why the listed “weights” for “Bombs” are twice those of the “equivalent” Arrow- ammo, it’s because the listed mass includes the release system and other gear that goes with the bomb, while the masses given for arrow ammunition is for the ammunition alone.

   Fighters and VTOL’s may carry bombs as either “Strap-On Weapons “Pods”” or by devoting some of their internal space to the job. They MAY NOT use the original rules on the subject! (Which, at least, will prevent the lightest fighters from carrying the biggest bomb loads). It’s not a good idea to re-enter the atmosphere while carrying an external “strap-on” bomb load. A “hot” re-entry – as in; any re-entry which causes heat – will detonate any bombs still “on the rack” on a 6+ roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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