Looking at Bombers

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:05pm
I'm pulling this information from my postings on bombs so it will be a bit more coherent... and hopefully encourage feedback.


Joe Cabadas
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:07pm

Several aerial attack craft are available in the Frontier, though most are militarized versions of other common air vehicles such as the jetcopter, the air car, and the air transport.

Since the vast majority of worlds in the Frontier Sector have just one colonial government, actual purpose-built strategic bombers would be virtually non-existent. If your campaign includes a species that does have several nations – like, let’s say, the optional S’sessu race – then such aircraft might be present there.

Two aerial attack craft were highlighted in the “Here Comes the Cavalry!” story from Dragon Magazine included the attack helicopter and the VTOL fighter-bomber. What follows are some statistics for various bombers, including several based on fan-created craft that appeared in Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer magazines.

Also in this story is an adaptation of the Zebulon’s Guide vehicle computers and progits as well as a list of various targeting systems for vehicles of war.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:12pm

Vehicles of War

If you wish to use armed and armored vehicles for combat in the Star Frontiers setting – including the bombers listed in this story – several things should be noted. Zebulon’s Guide, whether you love it or dislike it, offers some cogent points:

“Vehicle-mounted weaponry is not common on the Frontier outside of the military and law enforcement forces. Even criminals are loathe to mount easily spotted weapons on vehicles. It is illegal to have mounted weapons on a vehicle unless a permit has been granted by Star Law. These permits are issued for dangerous explorations, ambassadorial vehicles, etc. Any other vehicle possessing a mounted weapon may legally be destroyed on sight,” Zeb’s says regarding weaponry.

When it comes to armor, the Zeb’s rules further say: “It is against the law on most planets for nonmilitary or nonlaw enforcement vehicles to have more than two layers of armor unless first obtaining a permit. If there is no suitable reason for more armor, i.e., business requirements, accepted danger to life, hazardous environment, etc., the permit is usually denied. Enforcement of this law is difficult, especially at night, because spray armor is not thick enough that an extra layer or two can readily be identified.”

Other than Zebulon’s Guide plus the modules Sundown on Starmist – with the Clikk wartank – and the Alcazzar modules, TSR never provided much in official cano nrules on how to handle war vehicles. But resources are still available.

Dragon magazine articles that covered vehicle combat included Alex Curylo’s “Tanks a lot! Vehicle combat in Star Frontiers gaming,” in issue 99; along with an addendum in the November 1985 issue called “Tanks again! More material on Star Frontiers vehicle weapons." Then came Matt Bandy’s “Here Comes the Cavalry! Conventional warfare in the STAR FRONTIERS® game,” in the April 1987 issue.

While you can go hunting for and find copies of these old stories online, more readily available versions of vehicle combat for the game can be found in Frontier Explorer’s sister publication. Issue 15 of Star Frontiersman magazine offers two stories. The first by Larry Moore, called “Non-Civilian Duty Vehicles,” is basically an update of the classic stories in Dragon stories. And, in that same issue you can find a complimentary article by Richard “Shadow Shack” Rose, called “Vehicle Modifications.”

Moore’s and Rose’s stories provide a good basis for expanded vehicle modification and combat rules – if a referee wishes to use them.

An innovative idea in Moore’s story was how to handle various add-on armor for non-civilian vehicles. He called this “coats of protection.” Coats of protection are a modifier that would be subtracted from any roll on the Vehicle Damage and Loss of Control tables.

For this story, the coats of protection is known as the “damage modifier.” This is presented as a negative number, basically so you remember to subtract it from your rolls on the vehicle damage charts.


Revised Vehicle Size, Structure/Stamina Point Table

Size

SP

STA

Example(s)

0

5-25

10-50

Bicycles, mopeds, 1-person transport pods, go-karts.

1

25-75

50-150

2-person cycles, ATVs, “golf” carts.

2

50-150

100-300

2-4 person small cars.

3

100-200

200-400

Mid-size cars. (Star Frontiers ground cars and hover cars)

4

150-250

300-500

Small cargo trucks or vans. (Star Frontiers transport)

5

200-300

400-600

Large cargo haulers, tractor trailers.

6

250+

500+

Truly large vehicles but excludes mass transports such as monorails, ocean freighters, etc. 250 SP/500 STA equals 1 Hull Point under Knight Hawks.

AverageVehicle Structure Points

·        Size 0: bicycle, 5; go-kart, 10, moped, 15; transport pod, 20

·        Size 1: golf/utility carts, 30-40; ground and hover cycles, 50-60; ATV, 50-70

·        Size 2: 2-person ground car, 75-100; 2-person hover car, 50-80; 4-personground car, 60-120; 4-person hover car, 50-100

·        Size 3: 6-person ground and hover cars, 150

·        Size 4: Cargo trucks and vans, 200

·        Size 5: Large cargo haulers, tractor trailers, 400

·        Size 6: Varies

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:15pm

Vehicle Sizes and Structure Points

As noted in previous stories, including an article about sathar vehicles in issue 25 of Frontier Explorer Magazine, structure points for vehicles have been part of the Star Frontiers game from the beginning. The Alpha Dawn Expanded Game rules provides such information on pages 24 and 25. The module, “Starspawn of Volturnus,” notes that a sathar transport vehicle had 120 structure points (SPs) while an automatic cannon had 60 SPs.

Normally, the game does not seem to keep track of structure points in vehicle combat. Rather, when a vehicle is damaged, one rolls a 2d10 on the Vehicle Damage Table(for ground vehicles) or on a second damage table for jetcopters and aircars. The number of dice of damage caused by an attack is added to this result.

An optional rule is to also mark off structure point damage whenever a hit occurs. Or the referee could decide that the structure takes damage when the “No Result” is rolled on the damage tables.

After a vehicle reaches zero structure points, it is so badly damaged that it is unfit for service.

If a referee would rather just treat vehicle damage like Stamina point damage for robots and the like, there is a simple conversion. One structure point generally equals two stamina points.

The amount of SPs that a vehicle has depends on its size, which is presented in the “Revised Vehicle Size, Structure/Stamina Point Table.” This table is based on the one created by Moore. His rule was: “As a baseline a vehicle has a number of SP equal to its size x 200. From there you can adjust up or down.”

Moore’s calculation, however, greatly exceeds the amounts provided for vehicles in the Alpha Dawn game and the “Starspawn” module. The revised table shown here is an effort to be closer to the canon material. Instead of just one structure point number for a certain size vehicle, the revised table provides a range with the idea that lighter, faster vehicles in a certain size class will have fewer structure points, while sturdier vehicles will have more SPs.

Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 8, 2019 - 5:19pm
I did a conversion of the Reaper Drone to Star Frontiers using the canon rules and the Tanks alot dragon article in the FE. it wasn't pretty. You can compare to that.

EDIT: FE 17
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:43pm

Stamina vs. Structure vs. Hull Points

·        2 Stamina Points = 1 Structure Point

·        500 Stamina Points = 250 Structure Points = 1 Hull Point

The official Alpha Dawn rules do not cover how the referee is supposed to treat starship hull point damage outside of the Knight Hawks rules. Sure you can look at the “Structural Damage Capacity” table in the Expanded Game booklet and note that an armored wall has 200 + 2d100 structure points. You could surmise that to breach a starship hull, that would probably be the damage needed, but how much damage would a group of characters need to do to knock off one hull point?

This is useful to know, especially if a bomber wants to attack an assault shuttle that is sitting on the ground somewhere. One fan discussion I had once read opined that a hull point would be equal to 1,000+ Stamina points. So the damage caused by space weapons vs. a character’s handheld laser pistol would similarly be scaled up. That seems like a bit of overkill, especially if we consider (what I think is) the last Star Frontiers module ever published, “The War Machine,” by Ken Rolston.

In one encounter, a sathar attack craft called a Ravager, will circle the character’s landing site and fires on their assault scout with its heavy laser. If the ravager is to serve as any kind of real threat, except to any characters standing outside, it should be able to do more than scorch the paint on the starship. So, based on a more recent discussion on the starfrontiers.us website, 1 hull point will equal 250 structure points or 500 STA for handling situations like this – including an attack by bombers.



Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:43pm
jedion357 wrote:
I did a conversion of the Reaper Drone to Star Frontiers using the canon rules and the Tanks alot dragon article in the FE. it wasn't pretty. You can compare to that.

EDIT: FE 17
 

Ah, I forgot about that one. I'll include it too!
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 9, 2019 - 7:47pm
I noticed that the discussion about structure points is repeating what I did for Things that go boom Part 7. 

So I'll look at which version is better -- or make an even better one -- for Part 7. This story will pretty much just say, refer to Part 7 for more information.

Hmm, maybe what's needed too is a discussion about buildings too. How much damage does a building take before it is destroyed?
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 9, 2019 - 4:56pm
OK. The structure point discussion was shoved back over to Part 7 of "Things that go boom!" Instead, this story will focus on other items.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 9, 2019 - 7:49pm
...

Moore’s and Rose’s stories provide a good basis for expanded vehicle modification and combat rules – if a referee wishes to use them.

Structure Points, Coats of Protection

For the vehicle descriptions provided here, it will be assumed that the referee will be using structure points for vehicles. This topic was extensively reviewed in Part 7 of this series.

An innovative idea in Moore’s story was how to handle various add-on armor for non-civilian vehicles. He called this “coats of protection.” The coats of protection are a modifier that would be subtracted from any roll on the Vehicle Damage and Loss of Control tables.

For this story, the coats of protection is known as the “damage modifier.” This is presented as a negative number, basically so you remember to subtract it from your rolls on the vehicle damage charts.

Handling Armor

Zebulon’s Guide offers the characters the opportunity to modify their vehicles by applying coats of spray-on armor. Larry Moore’s system allows for other types of armor too, which increases the protection number (i.e. the damage modifier) along with boosting the vehicle’s structure points.

Spray Armor. Spray-on synthetic armor helps nullify nearly all kinds of damage. This spray is extremely thick and can be used to protect structures as well as vehicles. The number of layers determines the resistance to damage.

Spray armor is heavy, however, and slows a vehicle down. For every layer added to a vehicle, the following modifications must be made:

·       Each layer of armor can only absorb a total of 25 points of damage; it is destroyed once this amount has been done, but new layers can be applied later.

·       All of the armor’s protection must be penetrated before damage requires the referee to consult the Vehicle Damage Table.

·       The vehicle’s maximum speed is reduced – atmospheric craft are slowed by 40 kilometers per hour per layer, all others are cut by 15 kilometers per hour (kph) per layer.

·       In a crash, passengers suffer damage as if the crash occurred at a speed that was 10 meters/turn less for each layer of armor.

·       Spray armor can be added in addition to the normal and heavy armors.

Normal Armor. Normal armor adds 5 protection points (an additional damage modifier of -5) while increasing the vehicle’s structure points by 25 percent (SP x 1.25). The armor reduces crash injuries to occupants by -1 point per die.

Heavy Armor. Restricted to vehicle sizes 3+, it adds an additional 8 protection points (-13 for the damage modifier). Structure points improve by 50 percent (SP x 1.5) while crash injuries to occupants are reduced by -2 points per die.

Altitudes with an Attitude

The Altitude Conventions Table, which was created by Larry Moore, gives a general guideline for the different ceiling heights for various Frontier aircraft on an Earth-like planet. However, worlds with much thinner atmospheres – including Kraatar or Starmist – will have lower operating ceilings for many craft.

Note, the skimmers provided in Alpha Dawn – the hover cycle, car and transport – float “on a cushion of air 30 centimeters above the ground.” Variable hover vehicles, a Moore creation, are more powerful craft that can normally operate a few meters off the ground but have limited flight capabilities.

Altitude Conventions Table

 

Altitude

Description

Orbit

260+ km

Stations, spaceships, launches

Suborbital

101-260 km

Shuttle/Landers

High

31-100 km

Fast transport, intercontinental airliners, weather balloons

Medium

6-30 km

Aircars, jetcopters, cargojets, glijets, pressurized airships.

Low

1-5 km

Open-basket balloons, non-pressurized airships.

Very Low

Less than 1 km

Variable hover vehicles

1.      Launches are space vehicles that ferry passengers and cargo between a space station and ships or between ships.

2.     A shuttle or lander is specifically designed to withstand constant re-entry into an atmosphere. It ferries personnel and cargo between a planet and orbit.

Aerial Combat Notes

The game mechanics for aerial combat are laid out in the Expanded Game booklet while the story “Things that go boom! Part 7” offers a system for dealing with dropped ordinance along with information about the structural damage capacity of various buildings.

This story will touch on a couple important points to remember.

Tactical Movement. Jetcopters, aircars and air transports can make up to six 45 degree turns in one game turn. These turns can be made at any point in the vehicle's move.

These craft can accelerate or decelerate up to 100 meters/turn each turn. If they are stopped, these vehicles can hover in place and turn to face any direction. They can increase or decrease their altitude by 20 meters/turn.

Nap of the Earth. When scouting, jetcopters, aircars and air transports fly at or above the level of the treetops, 50 to 100 meters above the ground. To stay out of sight they can fly very close to the ground, following the contours of the hills and valleys. This is called Nap of the Earth (NOE) flying.

NOE flying limits a jetcopter to its cruising speed and an aircar/air transport to 100 kph (175 meters/turn).

Attacking from Behind. Attackers behinds a flying craft receive a +20 percent bonus to hit.

Speed Modifiers and Bombing. As with missile combat (see “Things that go boom! Part 2” in Frontier Explorer Issue 26), the interpretation of "slow" and "quick" is different. When firing a missile or dropping a bomb at a target, the referee should consider not only how fast the target is moving, but how far away it is.

For example: A jetcopter flying at full speed within 50 meters of an a target is moving quickly. Yet, if that same jetcopter is flying at the same speed about a hundred or more meters away from a target – even a ground car driving at full speed too – that target may be considered as moving slowly to a bomber. The referee must use his common sense.

Target Size. As with missile combat, the only time target size is considered for bombs is if the target is relatively huge in comparison to the attacker. Then a +10 percent modifier may be granted to the attacker. Generally, area effect damage negates the consideration of size especially with bombs (plus missile warheads and artillery shells).

Aircraft Damage and Crashing

One of the worst results for an aircraft that is damaged is when the “Vehicle Burning” result is rolled on the damage table. The Alpha Dawn rules note: The vehicle is out of control and burning. It will crash in two turns. Characters can jump from the vehicle (see Movement: Jumping) or use a parawing. A parawing is a small, emergency glider, similar to a glijet with no rocket. A parawing will not work if the character was less than 10 meters above the ground when he jumped.”

When it comes to bombers or other high flying aircraft, it may take longer than “two turns” for a burning craft to fall to the ground. A lot would depend on how fast the craft was moving too.

For instance, an anti-aircraft missile successfully hits a VTOL Fighter-Bomber that is flying at 10.6 kilometers in the air at 200 kph. Based on the damage rolls, the craft goes out of control and is burning. It will take about three minutes for it to strike the ground (depending, of course, on whether the surface is level or mountainous).

Maybe the referee will allow the character to make some sort of save to crash land the vehicle, but the wiser course may be to bail out… if aparawing is available. ...

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 10, 2019 - 4:40pm

Vehicle Computers. One of the key optional components of civilian and military vehicles is the vehicle computer (VC). Designed similar to a bodycomp, the VC is often mounted in the vehicle's cockpit and linked to all of the vehicle’s functions. It has 12 progit ports and uses the same type of power packs and processor packs as a bodycomp.

Normally a vehicle will only have one VC, but there appears to be nothing in the canon rules that prevent someone from installing more computer units. These will be detailed later.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 10, 2019 - 4:47pm

Attack Helicopter

Purchase Cost: 100,000 Credits

Rental Cost: N/A

Size/Duty: 4/Military

Base Structure Points: 400

Damage Modifier: -6

Top/Cruise Speed: 600 kph/100 kph

Accel./Decel.: 120/120 m/t

No. of Turns per Combat Turn: 8

Crew: 2

Cargo: 150 kg, 1 cubic meter

Parabatteries: two Type 5s, SEU: 4,000/4,000, Cost: 4,500 Cr., Mass: 200/200 kg

Power Usage: 8 SEU/km

Max. Range: 1,000 km

Defenses: Has six coats of protection built-in

Spray Armor: Can take 2 coats without decreasing movement

Screen Spaces: 2

Available Hardpoints: 9

Description:

The attack helicopter is a purpose-built military jetcopter rather than a conversion of a civilian jetcopter. Designed to battle enemy ground forces, this war machine is typically armed with a combination of lasers, machine guns, missiles and even bomb racks.

The attack helicopter can make eight 45-degree turns per game turn. This craft is used by the Landfleet, various planetary militias and mercenary units. Mega-corporations might deploy them at their most secure facilities. Rarely will they be seen outside of these roles.

The cost provided is for a new, basic frame without any additional gear. Normally equipped with two type 5 parabatteries (which are purchased separately), the attack helicopter can operate on just one battery, though that cuts its maximum range in half.

Various common equipment and armament “packages” follow with the appropriate prices. Attack helicopters are not available for rental. Characters might be able to purchase a demilitarized, stripped down surplus unit.

Weapon Mounting Locations:

The attack helicopter can mount one small or one medium “chin” turret at the front, which would have a 180-degree forward firing arc. It can also have four weapon pods (two on the right side, two on the left) and two pylon mountings that can accept bomb racks.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 2:38pm

“Blue Thunder” Package:

Cost: +60,367

Upgraded Structure Points: 600

Upgraded Damage Modifier: -14

Sensors:

·        Infrared cameras, Video cameras, Radar (5 km range)

Equipment:

·        Ejection seats (2), Search Light (1 hp), radiophone, 2 advanced emergency kits, techkit, envirotent, duraraft.

Defenses:

·        Heavy Armor, Infrared Jammer, 1 chaff pod (1 hp)

Energy Screen:

·        Inertia, uses 32 SEU/minute. Runs on Econopack-plus with 320 SEU

Spray Armor:

·        1 coat (25 points)

Armament:

·        Turret: 1 Medium Laser Cannon (turret), 1,000 SEU Drum

·        Right Side, Pod One: 4 guided missiles (Arrow type)

·        Right Side, Pod Two: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Right Side, Pylon Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive bombs

·        Left Side, Pod Three: 4 Guided Missiles (Arrow type)

·        Left Side, Pod Four: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Left Side, Pylons Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive (contact detonators)

“Blue Thunder” Vehicle Computer

Cost: 17,800Credits

Processor: C

Power: Fullpack

Lock Level: 6

Type A Progits: Diz-Viz, Helm-Link

Type B Progits: 2 Cyberlink Targeting II (1 for pilot, 1 for co-pilot), Comp-Voice, Diz-Map Navigation, Help-Distress, Para-Scan, and Vehicle-Scan

Type C Progits: Auto-Pilot Basic, Crash-Wish

The Blue Thunder VC has one empty progit port. The descriptions of what the progits do follows later.

“Blue Thunder” Cyberlink System

Cost: 4,400 Credits

Notes: 2 cyberlink helmets (200 Credits each), both the pilot and co-pilot have the ability to fire 5 total weapons at a time without penalty. Normally, however, the pilot controls the two machine gun pods and the bomb release; he has overlap to control the turret. The co-pilot normally has control of the chin turret and the two guided missile platforms, but can also take control of the machine gun pods.

To fully operate, it needs to link to the battle computer with the cyberlink targeting progits, which will give the operators a 50 percent chance to hit.

The pilot and co-pilot can use the cyberlink system or use manual targeting for weapons, though they would face penalties if they fire more than one weapon at a time.

Total cost for Blue Thunder Attack Helicopter:

·        182,567 Credits (191,567 Credits with the two Type 4 parabatteries)

 

Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 11, 2019 - 4:18am
JCab747 wrote:

Stamina vs. Structure vs. Hull Points

·        2 Stamina Points = 1 Structure Point

·        500 Stamina Points = 250 Structure Points = 1 Hull Point

The official Alpha Dawn rules do not cover how the referee is supposed to treat starship hull point damage outside of the Knight Hawks rules. Sure you can look at the “Structural Damage Capacity” table in the Expanded Game booklet and note that an armored wall has 200 + 2d100 structure points. You could surmise that to breach a starship hull, that would probably be the damage needed, but how much damage would a group of characters need to do to knock off one hull point?

This is useful to know, especially if a bomber wants to attack an assault shuttle that is sitting on the ground somewhere. One fan discussion I had once read opined that a hull point would be equal to 1,000+ Stamina points. So the damage caused by space weapons vs. a character’s handheld laser pistol would similarly be scaled up. That seems like a bit of overkill, especially if we consider (what I think is) the last Star Frontiers module ever published, “The War Machine,” by Ken Rolston.

In one encounter, a sathar attack craft called a Ravager, will circle the character’s landing site and fires on their assault scout with its heavy laser. If the ravager is to serve as any kind of real threat, except to any characters standing outside, it should be able to do more than scorch the paint on the starship. So, based on a more recent discussion on the starfrontiers.us website, 1 hull point will equal 250 structure points or 500 STA for handling situations like this – including an attack by bombers.


Personally I feel 1K is the more accurate figure considering how KH Campaign book spells out how explosives or LPT must inflict 200 + 2d100 structure points to expose a 1m x 1m opening for boarders to gain access to a ship. That damage is not a -1 hull point scenario...rather just what is needed for someone to pass through a hull without the benefits of using a hatch.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 10:45am
Shadow Shack wrote:
JCab747 wrote:

Stamina vs. Structure vs. Hull Points

·        2 Stamina Points = 1 Structure Point

·        500 Stamina Points = 250 Structure Points = 1 Hull Point...


Personally I feel 1K is the more accurate figure considering how KH Campaign book spells out how explosives or LPT must inflict 200 + 2d100 structure points to expose a 1m x 1m opening for boarders to gain access to a ship. That damage is not a -1 hull point scenario...rather just what is needed for someone to pass through a hull without the benefits of using a hatch.
 

I understand your line of thinking.

But, part of this idea is an outgrowth of the discussion on "How Much Damage is Too Much Damage?" http://starfrontiers.us/node/10362

But especially "Structure Points vs STA Points vs Hull Points" http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/10239
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 10:47am
Here is what came up on "Structure Points vs..."

TerlObar wrote:
...
As to the discussion topic,  I typically go very similar to Shadow Shack.  1 SP = 2 STA. I also go with 1 Hull point = 100-150 SP.  I usually convert SP to STA and just let weapons to their rolled damage....

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 10:52am
So, I'm actually going for a higher Structure Point value than Tom Stephens, though, of course, this is all up to what the individual referee wants. 

I thought making 1 hull point at least equal the STA value needed to take down a warbot was reasonable.

Part of it, you could look at it this way, if you breached the hull of a modern day ship or airliner or even a B-52 bomber, what effect would it have on those craft? Partly it would depend on where the breech is, what is effected, etc.

But you might have the strongest ship in the world... for the time... and an ill-fated encounter spells doom...

See the source image
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 4:45pm

Replacement Components

Corner ReflectorPod. Similar to chaff pods, corner reflector pods release many-sided objectsthat re-radiate sensor signals, mostly back toward the source and disruptmissile lock-ons. The debris cloud only lasts 1-10 turns. The pods take up onehardpoint of space. Effect: 60percent chance to disrupt a missile lock-on. Mass: 25 kilograms. HP: 1.Cost: 200 Credits

Chaff Pod. Chaff pods are carried by aircraft andare dropped after a missile has locked on. The pod explodes, releasing hundredsof metallic coated fibers that cover a large area and provide many falsereturns. Modern Frontier chaff is useful against radar, sonar, LIDAR, shape,infrared and other sensors. The debris cloud lasts for up to 1-5 minutes unlessthere is a fierce wind to disperse the chaff. Effect: 40 percent chance to disrupt a missile lock-on, includingguided missiles. The pods take up one hardpoint on a vehicle. Mass: 25 kilograms per pod. HP: 1. Cost: 100 Credits.

Emergency Kit Plus. Thisis an 11 kg backpack with numerous essentials for an aircraft crewmember. Itincludes: an all-weather blanket; chronocom; compass; coveralls; doze grenade; Everflame;first aid pack with bandages, anti-septic, etc.; two holoflares; ID card; life jacket;machete; pocket flashlight; pocket tool; rope; staydose; stimdose; sungoggles; fivedays of survival Rations; vitasalt pills; and one water packet. Cost: 290 Credits

Envirotent. Wt.: 3 kg. Cost: 40 Credits

Duraraft. Wt.: 3kg. Cost: 90 Credits

Ejection Seat. The ejection seat can be manuallyactivated or when the Vehicle-Scan and Crash-Wish progits detect an impedingcrash. It causes the roof panel to slide back and the ejection seat rockets atleast 20 meters straight up, where a para-wing opens to carry the passenger tosafety. Safety features prohibit activation when the vehicle is not upright.Additionally, in the case of helicopters, the system blows the rotor bladesaway from the craft before the ejection seat fires. Cost: 500 Credits per seat

Infrared Cameras. The IR camera system allows the aircraftto detect heat sources within 500 meters. It uses 1 SEU per minute ofoperation. Cost: 800 Credits

Infrared Jammer. IR jammers make the vehicle invisibleto IR sensors, and they give guided missiles a -20 modifier to hit. They use 2SEU per minute of operation. Cost: 500Credits.

Radar. Radar enables sight through any interference,but objects show up only as blips on a screen. It has a range of 5 kilometersand uses 1 SEU per minute of operation. Cost:1,500 Credits.

Searchlight. One can be mounted in a turret for200 Credits (using 1 hp) or as a surface mount with a 180-degree arc (alsotaking up 1 hardpoint). It can be used as a weapon to blind opponents.Blindness duration is 1d10 turns, or 1d10-3 if the searchlight is over 500meters away. Light range is 1 km. SEU use is 3 per minute. Cost: 500 Credits.

Video Cameras. These record images 360-degrees aroundthe aircraft and above and below. It eliminates blind spots. The cameras linkto a recording system with 200 hours of memory. Cost: 800 Credits

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 11, 2019 - 7:18pm
I'll work on refining the prices and equipment levels.

If I didn't mention it earlier, I am basing the attack helicopter on how it was outfitted in the story "Here comes the cavalry" from Dragon magazine. I probably need to provide some more generic mix and match weapons packages so it will be more useful for players and GMs.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 11, 2019 - 7:43pm
Going by 500STA=250SP=1HP 

If you cut eight 1mx1m holes into an assault scout with a LPT (a lower amount of damage required vs the KH 200+2d100 rules for cutting such a hole), the ship is compromised per the below-half-hull point rule. I don't see anything viable about that, more so because the same thing can be accomplished by the engineer removing eight 1mx1m hull panels.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 12, 2019 - 11:07am
TSR really should have provided this information when Knight Hawks was published or in one of the Dragon errata sections. 

I'm hopefully providing some sort of rational system... one where you can shoot down an attacking fighter... if you provide it with something other than assault rockets for straffing or anti-fighter operations.

A fighter has 8 hull points. So if we used my system, it has 4,000 STA or 2,000 SP. At least one might have a small chance of knocking it out of the sky with multiple shots from... I don't know, heavy lasers, machine guns, rocket launchers, etc.

At least it's a better chance for characters than if 1 hp = 1,000 SP = 2,000 STA where the same fighter would have 8,000 SP or 16,000 STA. 


Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 12, 2019 - 12:44pm
JCab747 wrote:
TSR really should have provided this information when Knight Hawks was published or in one of the Dragon errata sections.



Saddly they took Cook and Schick's rule system that was from what I can surmise from fragmentary information about it and re worked it was targeted at an older audience and at the last minute and targeted it at the 11 yr old market. So its not surprising they just overlooked obvious things as unimportant.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 12, 2019 - 2:04pm
I realize that Traveller is not Star Frontiers, so I'll just throw this out there from that system. Traveller states ship hulls are very tough, and by very tough means very difficult to damage without using a ship-to-ship weapon. The simple fact that the base 200+2d100 rules supercedes such a rule means that TSR recognized that it was, indeed, possible to inflict hull damage without resorting to ship-to-ship weapons. As such i have no qualms with the 1kSP=1HP premise...more so in light of the fact that ship defensive systems aren't being applied to the damage from "personal weaponry" like personal defense systems could be applied to the same weaponry (re: a reflective hull does not influence any hit or damage results from a LPT while albedo suits & screens can influence a LPT).

The flipside, of course, is how will you treat the ship based weapons against a vehicle attacking the ship? If a LB inflicts 1d10 hull points of damage, now you have to allow it to inflict 1d10 x (200+2d100 or 250 or 1000 SP or whatever SP-to-HP metric you are using) against the attacker...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 12, 2019 - 7:34pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
I realize that Traveller is not Star Frontiers, so I'll just throw this out there from that system. Traveller states ship hulls are very tough, and by very tough means very difficult to damage without using a ship-to-ship weapon. The simple fact that the base 200+2d100 rules supercedes such a rule means that TSR recognized that it was, indeed, possible to inflict hull damage without resorting to ship-to-ship weapons. As such i have no qualms with the 1kSP=1HP premise...more so in light of the fact that ship defensive systems aren't being applied to the damage from "personal weaponry" like personal defense systems could be applied to the same weaponry (re: a reflective hull does not influence any hit or damage results from a LPT while albedo suits & screens can influence a LPT).


Well, to each their own... such is the the game...

One could easily rule that most personal weapons can't do much -- if any -- damage to the hull of a ship. Afer all, the spacesuit armor does that.

But what fun is it if these ships are invincible to rockets and bombs and such?
The flipside, of course, is how will you treat the ship based weapons against a vehicle attacking the ship? If a LB inflicts 1d10 hull points of damage, now you have to allow it to inflict 1d10 x (200+2d100 or 250 or 1000 SP or whatever SP-to-HP metric you are using) against the attacker...
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 13, 2019 - 7:07am
JCab747 wrote:

Armament:

·        Turret: 1 Medium Laser Cannon (turret), 1,000 SEU Drum

·        Right Side, Pod One: 4 guided missiles (Arrow type)

·        Right Side, Pod Two: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Right Side, Pylon Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive bombs

·        Left Side, Pod Three: 4 Guided Missiles (Arrow type)

·        Left Side, Pod Four: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Left Side, Pylons Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive (contact detonators)

What's the difference between a pod and a pylon in this instance? Are pods attached to the side of the fuselage and the mounts are on stub wings? Just asking as I should be able to rustle up some artwork if this becomes an article Wink


Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 13, 2019 - 2:22pm
JCab747 wrote:
One could easily rule that most personal weapons can't do much -- if any -- damage to the hull of a ship.

One should easily come to that, after all it's spelled out in canon. What you're proposing for a hull point worth of damage is lessed than the canon reference to cutting a 1m x 1m hole into the hull. That's the part I have issue with.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 13, 2019 - 4:50pm
KRingway wrote:
JCab747 wrote:

Armament:

·        Turret: 1 Medium Laser Cannon (turret), 1,000 SEU Drum

·        Right Side, Pod One: 4 guided missiles (Arrow type)

·        Right Side, Pod Two: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Right Side, Pylon Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive bombs

·        Left Side, Pod Three: 4 Guided Missiles (Arrow type)

·        Left Side, Pod Four: 1 Medium Machine Gun, 20 bursts

·        Left Side, Pylons Mount: 15 kg Mount II with two 15 kg standardexplosive (contact detonators)

What's the difference between a pod and a pylon in this instance? Are pods attached to the side of the fuselage and the mounts are on stub wings? Just asking as I should be able to rustle up some artwork if this becomes an article Wink

 

That I need to look up. 

The description for the 'chopper is based on a Dragon story, but you have a valid question on "what's the difference between a pod and a pylon."
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 13, 2019 - 4:56pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
One could easily rule that most personal weapons can't do much -- if any -- damage to the hull of a ship.

One should easily come to that, after all it's spelled out in canon. What you're proposing for a hull point worth of damage is lessed than the canon reference to cutting a 1m x 1m hole into the hull. That's the part I have issue with.
 

I wouldn't dream of disagreeing with you, other than one situation is a "surgical" opening of a hull... ha, ha! ... versus efforts to blow something up. Still, the damage of opening a hole in the hull just might fit the idea of a hull point.

Of course, you had made this other point earlier.

Shadow Shack wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
How much damage should large conventional bombs actually do? How would they compare to other, preexisting weapons in the game?

If it's in league with other canon weaponry, it should barely leave a scratch. The simple fact that the average unarmored being (STA:45) can survive a point blank 10 round full auto burst (5d10) from an automatic rifle is testament to this...
 


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 13, 2019 - 4:56pm
But, I'm back to the lament that TSR should have spelled out how many structure points = 1 hull point back in the day.
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 13, 2019 - 11:14pm
JCab747 wrote:

That I need to look up. 

The description for the 'chopper is based on a Dragon story, but you have a valid question on "what's the difference between a pod and a pylon."


I'm guessing that a pod is a weapons pod that fits to a hardpoint. The description says it has 9 hardpoints but it seems that it actually has 6, if we count the pod/pylon mounts as hardpoints. It suggests (to me, at least) that the 'copter has wings (like the Mi-24 in your photo) and the hardpoints are fixed to them. A hardpoint can carry a pod or a bomb, much like the Mi-24. Lastly, 15kg for a bomb seems unlikely unless they actually mean 150kg.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 14, 2019 - 10:39am
KRingway wrote:
JCab747 wrote:

That I need to look up. 

The description for the 'chopper is based on a Dragon story, but you have a valid question on "what's the difference between a pod and a pylon."


I'm guessing that a pod is a weapons pod that fits to a hardpoint. The description says it has 9 hardpoints but it seems that it actually has 6, if we count the pod/pylon mounts as hardpoints. It suggests (to me, at least) that the 'copter has wings (like the Mi-24 in your photo) and the hardpoints are fixed to them. A hardpoint can carry a pod or a bomb, much like the Mi-24. Lastly, 15kg for a bomb seems unlikely unless they actually mean 150kg.
 

Aircraft Weapons

From “Tanks a lot!,” Dragon Magazine, July 1985.

Jetcopters and aircars are a special case. Their weapons are most commonly mounted not in the body or in turrets, but in weapon pods attached to pylons.

These pods add space to a vehicle. A jetcopter can have two pods, each holding 2 spaces worth of weapons, while an aircar can have 4 pods, each holding 4 spaces of weapons. A small (l-space) pylon with post costs 200 Credits; a medium (2-space) one costs 400 Credits; and, a large (4-space) one costs 800 Credits. (Of course, regular weapon mounting fees must still be paid.)

Example: Dandel is arming his aircar. He mounts a vehicle MG and a vehicle FT coaxially in a large, underbody turret.

This fills up the vehicle’s body spaces (as shown on the Vehicle Table).

However, he can still add up to 4 pylons of up to 4 spaces each, under the wings, so the total weaponry on his aircar could be 20 spaces. Note that pods are fixed, forward firing weapons

Larry Moore’s “Non-Civilian Duty Vehicles” story in Star Frontiersman issue 15 does not seem to make a distinction between air and ground vehicles when it comes to mounting weapons... at least nothing I noted about "pods and pylons."

Th eAttack Helicopter presented in Dragon, April 1987, definitely exceeds the armament limits allowed by “Tanks a lot!” – which is one of the reasons I say it must be a purpose-built military craft. After all, taking Knight Hawks as a cue, military craft exceed the limits of what one can do to modify civilian ships under the ship building rules. (I at least know that much about KH.)

Thank you for the feedback! I need it point out flaws.

Well, I’ll be working on the attack chopper description some more so there’s some semblance of consistency for mixing and matching different weapons.


Joe Cabadas