Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Imperial Navy: Materiel

I already made an attempt at this back in Iteration 4, so what's changed?  Well, first of all, I have access to superior Beam Weapon mechanics, thanks to GURB, a better understanding if military formations, thanks to Lindybeige and to my analysis of Mass Combat in Iteration 5, and a superior armor-design system, thanks to Pyramid #3-96.  Plus, my discussion of Imperial tactics garnered me quite some feed back: Many of my commenters would like an even better Empire.  Why not?

So how will Imperial forces look now?  Well, I like the idea of a "modern Empire," one that uses tactics reminiscent of WW2 tactics, which suits their origin.  So, tanks rather than AT-ATs, heavy artillery, and forward moving troops with rapid-fire carbines, supported by even more rapid fire weapons and snipers.  A quick look:

For personnel:

  • Basic Troopers equipped with rapid-fire carbines and grenades
  • Drivers, equipped with submachine guns and pistols
  • Heavy troopers equipped with a bi-pod mounted machine-blaster.
  • Recon troopers with sniper rifles
  • Engineers with flame throwers and explosives
  • Imperial ground officers armed with SMG blasters and superior radio equipment
  • Elite troopers (Kill squads) equipped with grenade launchers, and advanced carbines.
For equipment, we need:
  • The Light and Heavy Hardsuit (or is what we have already good enough?)
  • The rapid-fire carbine
  • The blaster LMG
  • The advanced carbine
For vehicles, we need
  • A Recon Bike
  • A tank
  • Self-propelled artillery
  • Close Air Support
  • A troop transport/IFV


Heavy Hardsuit

What was wrong with the hardsuits as written?  Nothing!  But with Tech & Toys, I can take a deeper look at our armor.

Our original "heavy combat hardsuit" was DR 100/60, with the highest on the skull and torso.  If we do the same again, using diamondoid laminate on all locations except the face (where we use Diamonoid), and we add waste relief, climate control, bio-medical sensors, a radio, and an air-filter with a mask, we get... 42 lbs and $15,000, which is both heavier and more expensive then what it listed in Ultra-Tech, even if we add a space-helmet to the Combat Hardsuit.  The result?  A more realistic system gives more realistic results.

This means someone in a hardsuit with ST 10 is at Medium encumbrance, or Light with ST 24, though if we add other gear, we're surely into Medium!

We also need to give it a different name, as it's a different armor. How about the Overtech Elite Guardian Armor System?

Light Hardsuit

The light hardsuit is a little more questionable.  It falls to guys with pistols, but on the other hand, that heavy hardsuit is heavy. And expensive.  DR 60 on the torso stops an average of 12 damage, which stops all pistols up to the heavy pistol, which it might stop.  Furthemore, even security trooper (Ugh!) sport DR 70/30, though it's not a great 70/30. If we went with a DR of 80/50, we'd almost stop carbines on the torso and definitely stop pistol fire to the face.  What would that look like?  Well, we clcok in at 31lbs and $11,000, which is close to an actual hardsuit in cost and weight (lighter and cheaper, actually, if we account for a helmet).  It almost means that most characters will be at Light encumbrance, even with complete kit.

Let's call this the Overtech Guardian Armor. or the Basic Armor.

Pilot Suit

Hey, I thought we were talking about the Imperial navy!  While players will get into firefights with the Imperial Army more than they will the Imperial Navy (outside of their fighters, that is), it's useful to know how a pilot might be equipped, especially if a player wants to be one.

I say we give them the equivalent of a battleweave tacsuit (DR 30), sealed, prepared for vacuum, with a solid helmet (DR 80/40, equivalent to a light hardsuit's helmet).  A pilot suit in real life is a g-suit, and while gravitic compensators make flying in a fighter much easier, you're still easily looking at 5-10gs when all thrusters engage.  While I haven't suggested that we check for stresses for flying hard maneuvers, it's realistic that pilots have some sort of protection. The only technology like this is TL 7, from High-Tech (Ultra-Tech doesn't touch on it), but let's just take the TL 7 and say it has about 1/5 the cost and 1/6 the weight, for $1000 and 1 lb.  This gives them +3 to resist any G stresses.

Let's call this the Overtech Wingman Suit.


Basic Carbine

Last time I tried to finagle a half-ass solution to rapid fire.  I still like the idea of rapid-fire troopers, but I think I should just go all the way.  Their tactics also received criticism, as people pointed out the sheer effectiveness of a blaster carbine when fired aimed.  Storm troopers are terrible shots, but imperial troopers in Psi-Wars don't need to be, so let's make a weapon that off-shoots the masked penalty slightly.

So, we'll create a weapon with an ROF of 8, an integral sight worth +1 (to offset some of that -4 from being masked), and we'll give it 5d damage.  By sheer coincidence, it still clocks it at 5.6 lbs, after it's -10% weight.  We'll call it the Overtech BR-4 Brawler

Heavy Carbine

I liked the concept we had before, but this time, both weapons are automatic.  This one will just have higher firepower.  So, we improve accuracy, improve damage, and leave it otherwise the same as the above, though we arbitrarily increase its cost by +20% rather than +10%.  It's a mark-up for the fancier name, which will be the Overtech BRX-100 Brawler-X.

Machine Gun

Originally, I had given the Empire a tripod mounted machine gun, but in the playtests that took too long to set-up and proved to be too static.  We want an army on the move.  The classic WW2 tactic is to have a section with a machine gunner providing suppression fire for the rest of his section as they advance, then picking up his bipod mounted rifle and moving forward.  This sort of tactic seems well-suited to imperial troopers (though the gunner will have to go prone to fire it, but that shouldn't be a problem).

If we build an ROF 12 rifle with 8d(5) damage, we get a weapon that weighs 30 lbs and requires a D-cell pack, but has 100 shots (which is actually rather low, if you think about it. Better bring a spare!).  We'll call it the Overtech BG-49 Decimator, to impress all those Ministry of Defense types.

Really Heavy Guns

Previously, I had a tripod-mounted machine-blaster.  That's not really a bad idea, as it's both something we can set up in defensive perimeters (a "machine gun nest") and something we can mount on vehicles.  It might also be nice to mount heavier cannons.  We can simply use the Semi-Portable Blaster Cannon, but the numbers are actually off.  So, I'll replace it with a new ST 25 blaster cannon that also deals 6dx2(5) burn sur, and call it the Overtech BG-242 Thunder.  Then, we'll do the same for a rapid-fire gatling blaster canng called the BG-242A, which deals 5dx2(5) burn sur, and has slightly shorter range, but is otherwise just as heavy and and requires ST 25.  Either can be tripod mounted.

Other weapons

We have them!  Want a sniper rifle?  The BR-1 Executioner.  Want a submachine gun?  The BPX-5 Avenger!  Wand a pistol?  The BP-40 Enforcer!  Sure, these are police weapons, but our police are heavily militarized already and get their gear from the same provider as the military: Overtech.  They might want them reskinned and perhaps renamed, but that's not something I'm going to bother with.


Recon Bike: the Hunter

We have one!  Just use the Overtech Hunter, and mount either a Thunder cannon or a Storm cannon.

IFV: the Vanguard

Again, the Security vehicle will do well enough here.  It'll take most blaster fire pretty handily.  It's not a tank, but it was never meant to be.  And instead of mounting a nerve beam on the turret, we can mount a gatling blaster, and our grenade launchers can fire explosives to clear the area out before unleashing its ten combat troopers and then supporting them with its turret-mounted machine gun.

Hover Tank: the Vanquisher

Alright, a hover-tank!  Why not?  We need to know a few things

  • How armored does it need to be?
  • How fast does it need to be?
  • How much firepower does it need?
Let's start with fire-power.  If we assume an SM 5, 30 ton tank, we're looking at about 150 ST.  That'll load a blaster cannon, which deals 5dx20(5) damage, or it will penetrate about 1700 points of DR (dealing an average of 320 damage), which looks good.  We can also mount a similarly-sized fusion cannon.

For armor, we need to be able to resist that much damage, at least on the front.  We also need to consider a TL 11^ 64mm HEMP round, which penetrates up to 2100(!) points of DR.... but if we use laminate (and why wouldn't we?) that's only 1300, and if we use EMA, that drops further to ~900.  So, if we have a frontal DR of 1600 and a side DR of 800, then a blaster cannon deals about 30 damage to us on a frontal hit and 190 on a side hit; a 64 mm HEMP warhead deals no damage on a frontal hit, and no damage on a side hit.  That's not too bad (a little weak on the sides, but that's to be expected).  If we add a fusion reactor, basic electronics (two crew stations with holographic controls, a computer multiscanner, IR sensor array, etc), we get the following (The smaller turret is a mount for an anti-personnel blaster gatling)

Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR Ht Move Lwt Load SM Occ DR Cost Loc
Vanquisher 170 0/5 12 5/100 38 0.2 +5 2S 1600/800 $12,000,000 Tt

Hover Artillery: the Eradicator

For artillery, we have to turn to Pyramid #3-37: Tech & Toys II, where it includes some big guns.  I had wanted a 160mm cannon, which is actually typical of modern howitzers, but for mass, the 100mm made more sense and deals sufficient damage.  For the rest, it doesn't need to be particularly fast or particularly tough, as it needs to be far from the enemy.  I'd treat the 100mm howitzer as an ETC cannon, increasing its range by 1.5x.  This also has the convenience of allowing us to use 100mm rounds, of which I think plasma and biochemical aerosol (for nerve gas) would be preferred weapons.

Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR Ht Move Lwt Load SM Occ DR Range Cost Loc
Eradicator 150 0/5 12 5/100 25 0.2 +5 2S 300 NA $4,000,000 T

Close Air Support: The Firebrand

One thing that popped out of our mass combat excursion was the need for close air support, as it provides considerable support for ground forces.  I imagine you see the same sort of contests between army and air force played out over the Empire, with the Navy arguing that typhoons are "good enough" and the poor bloody infantry demanding their equivalent to the A-10 warthog.  The idea of close air support is something the Empire in Star Wars doesn't really show, and I think it would provide a fascinating challenge to players stuck on the ground

In the real world, close air support is usually provided by slow-flying, well-armored aircraft like the the AT-10 Thunderbolt 2, which is known for its powerful cannon, and attack helicopters like the Apache, known for their hellfire missiles.  The equivalent would be a contragravity gunship that moves fast enough (say, 600 mph) and is heavily armed.  For hellfires, we'll use two MTML from Pyramid #3-37, which lets us fire 100mm HEMP rounds (enough to damage a Vanquisher Tank) and twin Fusion Gatling cannons (which each fire 10 blasts of 8dx5(2) burn ex per second, or an average of 140(2) explosive damage per shot).  That should be sufficient CAS for any imperial force, and fits their "ovewhelming firepower!" motif.  The DR of 600 means that it can survive a direct hit from a 64mm HEMP round, though it won't be happy, and it can endure hits from a Starhawk, though a 20cm missile will almost certainly remove it from the battlefield.

Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR Ht Move Lwt Load SM Occ DR Cost Loc
Firebrand 100 +2/4 12 30/250 7.5 0.2 +4 2SV 600 $3,200,000 gX
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