Things that go Boom! Part 3: Looking at Landmines

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 12:20am
Background: I've already submitted stories to Frontier Explorer magazine looking at grenades, which converts the Zebulon grenades into the Alpha Dawn system, plus gathering information about other grenades that were in Star Frontiersman, Frontier Explorer, and on this website.

Part 2 of the story looked at the Zebulon missiles, plus rockets -- both the Alpha Dawn rocket plus those from Tanks a lot! including the guided missile. 

This story is intended to build upon those earlier works. As yet, it is unfinished, but I would like any feedback or suggestions that anyone has.
Joe Cabadas
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 11, 2019 - 9:26am

Things that go Boom!

Part 3: Looking at Landmines

By Joseph Cabadas

Primarily used as a defensive weapon, landmines – along with primitive weapons such as caltrops and traps – have been used over the centuries to help protect a position or direct an enemy to another spot where they will be at a disadvantage.

Two different styles of mines were introduced in Zebulon’s Guide – the grasshopper and the leapfrog – while other types have appeared in issues of Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer magazines. Hidden, stationary bombs, mines are a type of area effect weapon that can be a hazard to characters in the Star Frontiers game universe.

Some of the types of mines that characters might be able to purchase or encounter include: EMP Field Mine, Grasshopper Mine, Leap Frog Mine, and the small landmine that would contain a grenade. Larger mines are designed to be equipped with type I, II or III missile type warheads.

Characters could also employ improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using explosives, bombs or warheads without using an official mine kit.

If they are buried, landmines do not have secondary blast areas. They use motion, pressure, proximity, time delay, voice or photon or other activation sensors.

A history of traps and combat

Outnumbered by the forces of Gauls at the town Alesia in 52 B.C., Julius Caesar’s army deployed spikes in the fields to show the advance of the enemy. Known as caltrops, these are devices made of several spikes that are arranged so that one point will always face upward while the other ends anchor it into the ground.

Using a combination of caltrops and traps aided the Romans in winning the battle. With the glory from this battle, Caesar would set out to turn the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

These “lilies of the field,” caltrops became widely used by Roman armies. They are still used today because of the ease of their design to manufacture.

Other ancient, but still effective land traps include pits and punji sticks – sharpened, poisoned bamboo spikes – that were used by the Vietcong against American troops during the Vietnam War. Though these traps did not use explosives, they created a number of casualties.[1]

The Chinese are believed to use the first explosive landmines around 1277. Europeans began using them by the 1500s. But the first modern landmines – with gunpowder, a detonator and wrapped in a metal container to create shrapnel – was invented by American Gabriel Rains in 1840.

From North Carolina, Rains joined the Confederate Army, becoming a general. The Confederates began using Rain’s “torpedoes” or “subterra shells” to impede the advance of Union cavalry and troops. They also began using some of the first improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These weapons were devastating to those who stepped on them. [2]

By World War I, the British deployed landmines filled with poison gas, including against the Germans at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.[3] The use of mines by military and guerilla forces continued to spread and were used in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and other regional conflicts. By the 1990s, it was estimated that 26,000 people became casualties of landmines each year. [4]

Accordingt o the Federation of American Scientists, about one of every 236 people in Cambodia is an amputee as a result of landmines from old wars. An estimated 10 million mines are believed to still be in the country, which has a populationof 8.6 million.

By the 2010s, landmines were causing an estimated 500 deaths or injuries a week – about 15,000 annually – with the victims being overwhelmingly civilians and many of them children. “Unlike other weapons, landmines continue killing and maiming long after the war has ended,” noted a report by the Federation of American Scientists.

The United States eventually developed a so-called “safe” landmine that would self-destruct after a designated period of time.[5]

In the Star Frontiers universe, it is doubtful that landmines would be eliminated, but their possession and use outside of the military – especially the lethal designs – would probably be illegal on the more civilized worlds such as Gran Quivera.

Use in Star Frontiers

A true minefield is a death trap that player characters would have little chance of escaping. The movie “Uncommon Valor” portrays a minefield in action. Rather, mines could be used for dramatic effect.[6]

Only characters with the Demolitions skill should be allowed to set explosives and charges – at least with any degree of reasonable safety. The number of turns needed to set a charge is the character's skill level subtracted from seven. At first level, a character needs six turns to set a charge, but at sixth level he needs only one turn.

If acharacter fails the skill check to set and detonate the charge, the charge will not exploded and must be re-set. The referee should feel free to have the charge explode prematurely or late if the skill roll results in an automatic failure.

Charges can be detonated by timer, radio signal, weapon fire or other devices. A timer lets the character set a time when the charge will explode. The timer can bea djusted to delay from 1 second to 60 hours.

If a chronocom, radiophone or subspace radio is available, charges can be set to explode when a particular signal is beamed at them. The chance to explode a charge with a radio beam is 10 percent less than normal.

Demolitions experts also can set off a charge with a laser. If the expert hits the charge, it explodes.[7]

Demolitions experts can use type I missile warheads as improvised mines. Referees may allow a character with this skill to manufacture small explosives one-tenth the strength of TD-19 for around 12 Credits.

Detecting Mines

When entering an area with mines, characters without mine detection equipment should make an Intuition check to notice the device(s). Characters with a demolitions skill and technical skills, such as detecting alarms and defenses, should make a skill check.

Since mines are normally concealed, those relying strictly on an Intuition check might receive penalties of  -10 to -30 percent to notice and avoid a mine.

Demolitions-CAS. A Demolitions-Computer Access Scanner can check for explosives, bombs, or mines within two meters. Its detection equipment can look through all materials except federanium. It can indicate what type of explosive it is, what detonation devices are attached, and give suggestions on how to defuse it.

This Demolition-CAS provides a +20 percent bonus to characters with a Demolitions skill when they are trying to defuse an explosive.[8]



[1] Falcon, Kyle. “A Brief History of Landmines Part I, Pre-Modern Uses: Traps, Spikes and Caltrops,” Canadian Landmine Foundation, March 2, 2014, http://canadianlandmine.org/a-brief-history-of-landmines-part-i-pre-modern-uses-traps-spikes-and-caltrops.

[2] Boissoneault, Lorraine. “The Historic Innovation of Land Mines – And Why We’ve Struggled to Get Rid of Them ,” Smithsonian Magazine, Feb. 27, 2017.

[4] Boissoneault. Smithsonian Magazine.

[5] “Landmines: A Global Scourge,” Federation of American Scientists, https://fas.org/asmp/campaigns/landmines/lmhistory.htm.

[6] From the discussion of “Mines”on the starfrontiers.us website. Posted by user Rattraveller on Feb. 4, 2018, http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/9977

.

[7] Description from the Alpha Dawn Expanded Game remastered rulebook.

[8] Adapted from Zebulon’s Guide.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:32am
Warning: The rest here are notes and rough ideas... though the posting above is not exactly up to snuff yet either...

Other Detection Methods.

 

Other equipment, everything from ground penetrating radar sensors to trained bomb-sniffing animals can be used to varying degrees of success to detectl and-mines.

 

The most widely used tools are metal detectors, which have become so sensitive that they can detect tiny pieces of metal. But using metal detectors is a time-consuming process, since they require deminers (who work on the ground with various tools to locate, excavate and deactivate land mines) to investigate all kinds of metal, not just land mines. In some cases, an area that is mined can be up to 98 percent mine-free, making it a time-consuming process. When Cambodia cleared 54 square kilometers of land and destroyed 20,000 land mines in 2014, the country accounted for 27 percent of the worldwide total clearance for that year. Demining is a slow, dangerous business, with no obvious end in site.

“The most promising recent improvement [of metal detectors] was the combination with a ground penetrating radar, which can give an idea of the size of a buried object and therefore be used to discard metal detector signals coming from objects that are too small to be mines,” Yvinec said.

Ground penetrating radar works by sending pulses of energy into the earth, then recording the strength of waves that are reflected back and the time it takes for their reflection. Researchers have shown that using a GPR to generate a data set can minimize excess“noise” from non-land mine objects and help deminers locate real mines more rapidly.

A similar invention is a laser created by the U.S. Army and Air Force, which draws on 1,100 amps of power to detonate underground explosives from up to1,000 feet away. This tool, however, is mainly limited to militaries with the money to invest in such technology, unlike the GPR-metal detector combo.


the Mine Kafon Drone is a higher-tech, homemade version of robots used by militaries. The drone flies over a field to map it with GPS points, hovering low to detect land mines with a metal detector extension. It then returns to the mines and places detonators on them so the mines can be exploded from a safe distance

What do bees, rats and elephants have in common? They can all be trained to sniff out land mines without detonating them. “Once the bees are trained, they are left on their own and they tend to concentrate where there are explosives,” said Yvinec, who was impressed by the professionalism of the training team he observed at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. “I was surprised to learn that the hard part of their job was not to train the honeybees, but to track them once they are released.” The bees are trained with sugar-coated TNT and move through minefields in search of the treat, clustering together when they find it—though without any sugar.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:41am

Disarming/Clearing Minefields. A character with a Demolitions skill can attempt to disarm a land-mine, though the best way is to avoid them or use various remote-controlled devices to cause the mine to “harmlessly” explode.

 

Note: add informaton about trip-wire detonators

 

A mine is a hidden, stationary bomb that is triggered by any one of a variety of detonators (need to add info in here) or small scanners (heat sensitive, motion detection, etc.). The available types of bombs are similar to grenades or some warheads: electrical discharge, field crusher, gas, high explosive, sonic, standard explosive, and tangler warheads all designed for use with type I missiles. 

There is no secondary blast area to consider when using a buried mined

There is a secondary blast area when using one of the two following mine-delivery systems: grasshopper mines and leapfrog mines.

 

Demolitions

Type: Enforcer, Espionage, Explorer, Criminal

Pr: None

There are two sub-skills to the demolitions skill: set charge and defuse charge. Only a character with demolitions skill can legally buy or use explosives or detonators. Tornadium D-19, sometimes called kaboomite, is the standard explosive but there is also TD-20 and Plastid.

Numerous detonators are used for explosives. Demolitions experts also can use type I-III missile warheads as mines -- using a mine kit. They can also create explosive packages that can be thrown like a grenade.

Setting and defusing charges or mines requires a skill check. A character with this skill and the Chemistry skill can easily manufacture small explosives one-tenth the strength of TD-19 for around 12 Cr.

Sub-skill, Setting Charges:

Success Rate: Success Rate: ½ DEX + 10% per skill level (Zeb's conversion rate)

Only characters with this skill can set charges. The numberof turns needed to set a charge is the character's skill level subtracted from nine (this is for a Zeb's conversion; I'll have to look up the Alpha Dawn system). At first level, a character needs eight turns (Zebs) to set a charge, but at eighth level (Zebs) he needs only one turn.

If a character fails the skill check to set and detonate thecharge, the charge has not exploded and must be re-set. The referee should feel free to have the charge explode prematurely or late if the skill roll results in an automatic failure.

Charges can be detonated by timer, radio signal, weapons fire or other devices. A timer lets the character set a time when the charge will explode. The timer can be adjusted to delay from 1 second to 60 hours. If a chronocom, radiophone or subspace radio is available, charges can be set to explode when a particular signal is beamed at them. The chance to explode a charge with a radio beam is 10 percent less than normal.

Demolitions experts also can set off a charge with a laser. If the expert hits the charge, it explodes.

Sub-skill, Defusing Charges:

Success Rate: ½ DEX + 10% per diffuser's skill level– 10% per setter's skill level (This is a Zeb's conversion, not the Alpha Dawn system)

A demolitions expert can try to defuse a charge that was set by another expert. Defusing a charge takes one turn, no matter what level the expert is. The expert's chance to succeed is his success rate modified by the bomb maker’s (set-up character’s) skill level.

If the set-up character's skill level is higher, there is a -10 percent modifier to the skill check. If the defusing character's skill level is higher, there is a +10 percent modifier to the skill check.

After successfully defusing a bomb, if a character is trying to defuse another charge set by the same bomber, he receives a +10 percent modifier. No other modifier exists if both characters are the same level in this skill. A character can defuse one of his charges automatically.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:44am

Types of Mines

Star Frontiers landmines come in several different sizes and types the most common are mine kits.

Mine Kits (Small, Type I, II, or III). Depending upon the size, mine kits will turn normal grenades and Type I, II and III warheads into mines. These still need some sort of sensor cluster – even ifi t is a tripwire – to detonate them.




Claymore Mines. Named after a large Scottish medieval sword, this is a class of anti-personnel mines that are activated by remote control. It directs its energy outward, in one direction, mostly in a 60 degree arc.

Star Frontiers claymores come in five models – with fragmentation, electoral discharge, sonic, sonic stunner, and tangler warheads. These mines have a primary blast range of 50 meters and a secondary range of 75 meters.

Anyone or anything within the 60-degree arc may be caught by the mine’s blast zones –a 50 percent chance, and a 30 percent chance in the secondary zone. Its effects are mitigated by terrain – those not in a line of sight from the mine will not be affected. For example, a character could be hiding behind a log or around the corner of a building.

Characters who are prone, but exposed have a 30 percent chance of being affected if they are in the primary blast zone, but no chance of being hit in the secondary zone.

Although most of the blast is focused in one direction, defenders using claymores with the explosive, sonic and sonic stunner warheads are instructed to place something such as sandbags behind the mine to protect themselves.

·        Fragmentation Claymore. This mine will do 8d10 points of damage to targets in the primary blast zone, and 2d10 points in the secondary zone. Characters can make a Reaction Speed check to take half damage.

·        Electrical Discharge Claymore. This acts as an electrical discharge grenade to any targets in the primary blast zone, shorting out electrical equipment. It also acts as an electrostunner set to damage for every bioform in the primary blast area. This unit does not have a secondary blast zone.

·        Sonic Claymore. A sonic weapon, it’s power decreases the farther a target is away from the detonation point. It will do 10d10 points to anyone or anything within 10 meters of the mine, 8d10 points to targets within 15 meters, 6d10 to targets within 20 meters, 4d10 to targets within 30 meters, and 2d10 points to targets out to 50 meters.

·        Sonic Stunner Claymore. Anyone within the primary blast zone must make a Stamina check or be stunned for 1d100 turns. In the secondary blast zone, a character receives a +30 percent bonus to avoid falling victim to the stunning effect, which would only last 1-50 turns.

·        Tangler Claymore. These munitons throw out hundreds of strong, sticky polymer threads. These threads stick to everything within the primary blast zone. Characters can make a Reaction Speed check to avoid the threads. This weapon does not have a secondary zone.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 11, 2019 - 8:48am

EMP Field Grenades. More mine than grenade, the E.M.P. (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) field grenades are designed by and for military use. They are expensive but having a pack of these could mean the difference between life and death when facing robotic or computer-augmented enemies.

This unit comes with a special carrying pack containing three identical-looking field grenades that must be used together. If used separately, they are simply useless.

To use an EMP Field Grenade pack, the must place them from 5 meters to 15 meters apart in a triangular-shaped field. It is in this triangular area where the EMP effect will take place.

It takes one character one turn to set a single EMP field grenade. So, it takes three turns for one person to properly prepare this defensive weapon, but a party of three characters can do it in a single turn.

Once all three grenades are placed, the EMP Field is set. Detonating the grenades is done either through voice command or purposeful activation.

If the last of the three grenade-disks is set for voice command, the character who activates it speaks a word while setting it. This will be the command word to detonate the field. If the character speaks that word again within 10 meters ofa grenade, detonation occurs.

Whether or not a command word was spoken during final grenade activation, anyone can detonate the field by simply slamming their hand (or an object) down on a button located in the center of any of the grenades; this is called purposeful activation.

When the field detonates, all electronic items caught within the triangular-shaped field will be struck with an intense electro-magnetic pulse field that will cause it to be rendered inert, disabled, and difficult to repair. The field is harmless to living beings.

Summary: EMP Field Grenade packs cost 750 Credits and weighs 1 kg for the shoulder-slung pack and its contents.[1]

Grasshopper Mines. These weapons will fling themselves up to three meters straight up in the air before detonating, which can help them attack low flying or hovering targets. If it hits an obstacle on its way up, it will be deflected two meters in a random direction before detonating. Use the Area Effect Weapon Miss Diagram for random direction.

Leapfrog Mines. This mine is made to jump toward its target. Use the Grenade Bounce Chart to determine where it lands. The trigger system is usually a scanner, as it must know which direction to leap toward the target. (See  the equipment section of the Zebulon’s Guide to determine how scanners work.)

Tablet Mines. These small explosives are the size of an aspirin tablet used as an area-denial ordinance.

Each mine only does 1d10 damage, but, they wait 3 seconds before detonation. This way, the victim is well within the minefield before they explode. They have no area of effect, but should scare a character along with destroying any footwear and causing lower leg injuries.  

Due to the up close and personal nature of the explosion, skeinsuits only provide 25% protection, as it's not just a physical hit, but explosive force.

The mines are available in several different camoflage variations, to match the area of denial.  Make an INT roll at 1/2 if casually walking through an area, full INT if moving at half speed, examining an area closely before moving through.  Optionally available, you can get a single-use remote control that can activate all the mines thatare currently assigned to it.  Be careful to spread all the mines, as if you are still in possession of any of that batch, they'll go off in yourpocket, removing you from the gene pool = P.

When one mine explodes, there is a 40% chance the mines in the same hex will explode as well.  You can put 5 mines/hex.

150 cr/20 mines
50 cr for Remote[2]

Umbrella/Disintegration Mines. When deployed, umbrella mines are half-a-meter in diameter with a 40-centimeter long power core that protrudes from its base. This appearance resulted in it earning this nickname.

This insidious weapon must be planted in the ground, and its sensor covered head cannot be covered by more than 3 centimeters of material. Mine's 10-SEU power core allows the mine to function in sleep mode for two decades before it goes inert.

The sensor system can detect vibrations up to 5 meters from the mine, causing the weapon to “awaken.” Any object weighing over 10 kilograms that steps on an active mine triggers it. The victim can make a half Reaction Speed check, otherwise he will take 4d10 points of damage from what has been described as a disintegration beam.

The beam causes the electrons in the victim’s cells to destabilize. If the victim survives the initial blast, he must make a Stamina check or permanently loses 2 out of every 5 Stamina points he possesses along with losing the limb that had initial contact with the mine.

Witnessesto the mine’s detonation have described seeing a flash of nearly blinding blue-white energy erupting and smelling ozone in the air.

These weapons saw some action during the Second Dramune War and were quickly banned by the UPF. Several crates of these weapons were never recovered. Reportedly some of mines were acquired by one or more of Dramune’s shadowy crime bosses.

Untriggered mines often have a fail safe device installed when they are almost out of power which causes them to explode with effects similar to a half strength fragmentary grenade. [3]

 



[1] Logan, Bill. “EMP Field Grenades,” Star Frontiersman, Issue 7, pg. 23.

[2] This grenade was created by user SFAndroid on Dec. 14, 2010, on the starfrontiers.us website:http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/4524

[3] This mine was created by user Deryn_Ryson, Jan. 1, 2011, on the starfrontiers.us website: http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/4524

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 11, 2019 - 8:38am

Types of Munitions

Grenades, bombs, artillery shells and mines have different types of ordinance. Most common are the explosive type (fragmentation) that send out shrapnel, but there are also electrical discharge, field crusher, foam, gas, incendiary, sonic stunner, and tangler munitions.

The descriptions of these types of munitions were mostly covered in part one and can be found in the Alpha Dawn and Zebulon’s Guide rulebooks, so they will only briefly be covered here. Although similar to grenades, larger munitions have a secondary blast area, where damage and effects are greatly reduced to any targets there.

Electrical Discharge. Releasing a high charge of electrical energy when it strikes, the electrical discharge warhead short-circuits every device in the blast radius including computers, chronocoms, and other normal electronics. It can stop an unshielded vehicle, warbot, etc., dead in its tracks, requiring extensive repairs.

The ED warhead acts as an electrostunner set to damage for every bioform in the primary blast area.

Standard Explosive and High Explosives. Standard explosives will cause normal damage to people, structures, robots, vehicles, and other objects within their primary and secondary blast radii.

High explosive warheads are more designed to inflict maximum damage to “soft targets” – i.e. people, animals, light structure buildings. But, when used against armored robots, vehicles, buildings, spaceships, etc. the amount of damage they inflict is similar to a standard explosive bomb.

Field Crusher. This warhead only damages force fields and other energy screens such as inertia, albedo, gauss, light shift, simp, sonic, shimmer, etc. Otherwise, these munitions have no other effect on bioforms or electronics.

Foam. Foam munitions include acid, chemical defoliant, dye, extinguish, irritant, slick, solid, and rad-blast. Within the secondary blast radius, cut its effects in half.

Gas. Gas munitions include doze, dusk, nightfall, poison, and smoke. The effects of a grenade last one turn. The gas cloud from larger munitions are much more persistent. Assume that the resulting gas cloud –barring a fierce wind – will last for 2 turns times the weight of the munition.

Incendiary. This warhead causes fire damage, with the flames continuing to burn long after the initial explosion, which causes more damage.

Sonic Stunner. Anyone within the blast radius must make a Stamina check or be stunned for 1d100 turns. In the secondary blast radius, a character receives a +30 percent bonus to avoid falling victim to the stunning effect, which would only last 1-50 turns. 

Tangler. These munitons throw out hundreds of strong, sticky polymer threads. These threads stick to everything within the blast radius.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:49am
Note: This story on mines will heavily rely on charts for grenades and missile warheads that should be previously published. As a result, this should be a shorter story than parts I and II.

I am thinking that I should include information about demolitions such as kaboomite here and probably for "ancient explosives" such as TNT and nitrogylcerin.

Illustration of a character on "Lost" holding an ancient stick of dynamite:

See the source image

Illustration of said character after failing his skill check:

See the source image
 
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:58am

Chart 51: Mines

Cost (Cr)

Wgt (kg)

EMP Field Mine Kit

750

1

Grasshopper Mine

80

5

Leap Frog Mine

80

5

Small Mine Kit

20

1

Type I Mine Kit

40

2

Type II Mine Kit

50

3

Type III Mine Kit

60

4




Chart 52: Mine Kit Equipment

Sensor Cluster

Cost (Cr)

Wgt (kg)

Turns to Set

Motion

40

1

2

Pressure

35

1

5

Proximity

45

1

2

Time Delay

25

1

1

Voice

150

1

1

Photon

20

1

1


Chart 53: Mines

Damage

Blast Radius

ROF

Defense

Effect

EMP Field Grenades[1]

Elect. Short

10

1

Insulation

--

Grasshopper Mine

As per grenade

As per grenade

1

Varies

Leaps 3 meters up

Leap Frog Mine[2]

As per grenade

As per grenade

1

Varies

Leaps 5 meters

Small Mine Kit

As per grenade

As per grenade

1

Varies

Anti-personnel

Large Mine Kit Type I

As per missile I warhead

As per missile I warhead

1

Varies

Anti-vehicle

Large Mine Kit Type II

As per missile II warhead

As per missile II warhead

1

Varies

Anti-vehicle

Large Mine Kit Type III

As per missile III warhead

As per missile III warhead

1

Varies

Anti-vehicle



[1] More of a mine than a grenade, the EMP field grenade comes in a set of three generators that must be placed 5 to 15 meters apart. It can be set of by voice command or remotely. All electronic items within the blast radius would be rendered inert, disabled and in need of repair.

[2] The Leap Frog mine, as the name implies, leaps towards its target.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:51am

http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/9977

Jedion

adding to the mess that is Zebs I'm interested in limpet mines as well

two methods of making them stick:

magnetic: same tech as mag boots and most likely activated by user and mine has a small SEU power disk to power this effect.

tangler adhesive: adaption of tangler thread technology-a plasti-paper backing is pealed off the mine exposing tangler adhesive to air and activating it causing it to foam up a little and the mine can be attached to any surface. It will remain stuck there for 60 minutes (the decay time for tangler threads is 30)  before the adhesive decays and the mine drops. For this reason limpet mines of this sort generally have a variable timer of 60 minutes because the mine dropping would drigger its anti tamper feature.

I suppose there would be a velcro backed limpet mine- for sticking to the velcro strips lining floors and walls in space habitats and on star ships.

I suppose any treatment of mines should also include a trip wire detonation feature as well.

 

The prices on all of the Zebs detonators are 5 to 15 Cr so I'm inclined to just say in the mines description that it comes with variable timer and mechanical activation (mechanical being pressure plate for stepping on or a tripwire alathe real world claymore)  or for 15 Cr more can have one of the following X,Y or Z detonators as well.

Working off the Claymore's stats

a standard Frontier mine might be 20 cm diameter
1.5 kg

 

 

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:55am
Sorry about the words running together, but when I am cutting and pasting from a Word document, I've been running into that problem. I'll have to go back and edit what is above, but I think it is readable at the moment. Update: I think I've fixed the problem with words running together up above, but if I do more copying and pasting below, I will probably run into the same problem.

I also want to create some stats for "antique mines" -- aka caltrops or obsolete mines, for those who want to set their adventures on a less technologically advanced world.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 9:58am
I think I should add some sort of to-hit numbers for mines, especially for the grasshopper and leapfrog types. Most likely the character that triggers a device will get the primary blast, though an RS check might be appropriate to take half damage. 

Roll for separate damage (and a to-hit?) for other characters in the primary and secondary blast zones?
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 11, 2019 - 8:20am
JCab747 wrote:
I think I should add some sort of to-hit numbers for mines, especially for the grasshopper and leapfrog types. Most likely the character that triggers a device will get the primary blast, though an RS check might be appropriate to take half damage. 

Roll for separate damage (and a to-hit?) for other characters in the primary and secondary blast zones?


what about anyone within initial blast radius is RS check for half.

the beating the RS check similates someone that reacted fast enought and dove outside the initial blast radius.

anyone outside the initial blast radius but inside the secondary blast radius takes half damage but has an RS check for no damage
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 29, 2019 - 7:10pm
Ground penetrating radar information: https://www.geophysical.com/whatisgpr

Appropriate ApplicationPrimary Antenna ChoiceSecondary Antenna ChoiceApproximate Depth Range
Structural Concrete, Roadways, Bridge Decks2600 MHz1600 MHz0-0.3 m (0-1.0 ft)
Structural Concrete, Roadways, Bridge Decks1600 MHz1000 MHz0-0.45 m (0-1.5 ft)
Structural Concrete, Roadways, Bridge Decks1000 MHz900 MHz0-0.6 m (0-2.0 ft)
Concrete, Shallow Soils, Archaeology900 MHz400 MHz0-1 m (0-3 ft)
Shallow Geology, Utilities, USTs, Archaeology400 MHz270 MHz0-4 m (0-12 ft)
Geology, Environmental, Utility, Archaeology270 MHz200 MHz0-5.5 m (0-18 ft)
Geology, Environmental, Utility, Archaeology200 MHz100 MHz0-9 m (0-30 ft)
Geologic Profiling100 MHzMLF (16-80 MHz)0-30 m (0-90 ft)
Geologic ProfilingMLF (16-80 MHz)NoneGreater than 30 m (90 ft)
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 29, 2019 - 7:14pm

GPR Method

GPR works by sending a tiny pulse of energy into a material and recording the strength and the time required for the return of any reflected signal. A series of pulses over a single area make up what is called a scan. Reflections are produced whenever the energy pulse enters into a material with different electrical conduction properties or dielectric permittivity from the material it left. The strength, or amplitude, of the reflection is determined by the contrast in the dielectric constants and conductivities of the two materials. This means that a pulse which moves from dry sand (dielectric of 5) to wet sand (dielectric of 30) will produce a very strong reflection, while moving from dry sand (5) to limestone (7) will produce a relatively weak reflection.

While some of the GPR energy pulse is reflected back to the antenna, energy also keeps traveling through the material until it either dissipates (attenuates) or the GPR control unit has closed its time window. The rate of signal attenuation varies widely and is dependent on the properties of the material through which the pulse is passing.

 

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 30, 2019 - 11:29am

Demolitions-CAS. A Demolitions-Computer Access Scanner can check for explosives, bombs, or mines within a 10 meters radius and up to two meters deep.[1]Its detection equipment can look through all materials except federanium. It can indicate what type of explosive it is, what detonation devices are attached, and give suggestions on how to defuse it.

The Demolition-CAS provides a +20 percent bonus to characters with a Demolitions skill when theya re trying to defuse an explosive.[2]



[1] This range has been increasedfrom what was presented in Zebulon’s Guide, which only gave it a 2 meterdetection radius.

[2] Adapted from Zebulon’s Guide.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 30, 2019 - 11:31am

Ground Penetrating Radar

A ground penetrating radar (GPR) system sends out a series of tiny pulses of energy into material. Its sensors record the strength and the time it takes for signal to be reflected back. This reflection is caused when the energy pulse enters a material that has dissimilar electrical conduction properties than the material it just passed through.

“The strength, or amplitude, of the reflection is determined by the contrast in the dielectric constants and conductivities of the two materials,” noted information from GSSI, a company that produces GPR units. “This means that a pulse which moves from dry sand (dielectric of 5) to wet sand (dielectric of 30) will produce a very strong reflection, while moving from dry sand (5) to limestone (7) will produce a relatively weak reflection.”

Although some of the energy pulse returns to the receiver antenna as a radar echo, the remainder keeps travelling through the ground until it dissipates (attenuates).

Different GPR systems are useful for different applications including for checking structural concrete roadways and bridge decks, for shallow soils, for archaeology and for geological profile with units that have ranges from 0.3 meters to greater than 30 meters.

For Star Frontiers, assume that the Demolition-CAS has a GPR unit, but more advanced detectors are available for robots, drones, and vehicles. The GPR’s base cost is 200 Credits for the AAA size, which is the replacement cost for that found on the Demolition-CAS. See the chart below for more information.

 

GPR Scanners

Size Types

Range Above Ground (radius in meters)

Depth Range          (in meters)

Weight (kilograms)

Cost (Credits)

AAA

0-10 meters

0-2 meters

0.25

200

AA

0-10 meters

0-4 meters

0.5

500

A

0-15 meters

0-8 meters

1

1,000

B

0-20 meters

0-10 meters

10

1,500

C

0-30 meters

0-20 meters

15

2,000

D

0-50 meters

0-40 meters

20

3,000

E

0-100 meters

0-50 meters

30

4,000

F

0-200 meters

0-100 meters

80

8,000

G

0-500 meters

0-1 kilometer

500

10,000

 

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 30, 2019 - 8:57pm

Some incomplete ideas below, concentrating on Sathar mine clearing devices.


Sathar Equipment

Sandflee Drone Types I, II, III. Used by the Sathar, these are small drones with a 5 kilogram body and six legs. The move up at a Slow speed, up to 10 meters per turn. The Sandflees are all equipped with a Type AA scanner, which is used to detect mines buried up to 4 meters deep.

TheType I has a specialized Laser Drill that can burrow into the earth up to 5 meters that can be used to set off a mine. The Type II has an electronic discharge gun with a range of 10 meters that is used to neutralize the electronics found in Frontier mines so they can be collected and reused by the Sathar.

The Sandflee Type III has the equivalent of 1 kilogram of Tornadium D-20, a shaped charge. It is designed to travel to the spot over a deeply buried mine, drop off the explosive charge, and leave the area. The explosive then goes off, withthe blast directed toward the mine (3d10 + 285 points of damage) in the hopes of destroying it.

Creative Sathar commanders have sometimes used these drones in offensive capacities to attack enemy positions, even though they were apparently not designed for those purposes.
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 2, 2019 - 4:28am
A couple of other ideas about mines, as they tie in to a certain degree with your other 'Things' articles:

One relatively modern system is FASCAM (Family of Scatterable Mines): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Scatterable_Mines

Somewhat related are cluster munitions, which can be small mines. Some of these can be for use against personnel, whilst others only target armoured vehicles. In the case of the latter, there is at least one design which launches itself up into the air and then destroys itself by firing a self-forging projectile at it's target.

In the Traveller:2300AD RPG, the 'baddy' aliens known as the Kafer airdrop small mines over wide areas that only target aircraft.

So, one could have similar things in SF, as well as permutations on their delivery method(s). There could be artillery and rocket-deployed systems, or air-dropped munitions, for example. Weapons such as marble grenades could also be sown by such systems. Ordinarily these grenades have a quite limited range of uses, but if one imagines a whole field of them, areas of which simultaneously detonate when triggered, any players caught in such a situation would definitely face a challenge.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 2, 2019 - 8:29am
KRingway wrote:
A couple of other ideas about mines, as they tie in to a certain degree with your other 'Things' articles:

One relatively modern system is FASCAM (Family of Scatterable Mines): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Scatterable_Mines

Somewhat related are cluster munitions, which can be small mines. Some of these can be for use against personnel, whilst others only target armoured vehicles. In the case of the latter, there is at least one design which launches itself up into the air and then destroys itself by firing a self-forging projectile at it's target.

In the Traveller:2300AD RPG, the 'baddy' aliens known as the Kafer airdrop small mines over wide areas that only target aircraft.

So, one could have similar things in SF, as well as permutations on their delivery method(s). There could be artillery and rocket-deployed systems, or air-dropped munitions, for example. Weapons such as marble grenades could also be sown by such systems. Ordinarily these grenades have a quite limited range of uses, but if one imagines a whole field of them, areas of which simultaneously detonate when triggered, any players caught in such a situation would definitely face a challenge.
 


Oh, yes, although I've been a life long civilian, I've heard about the FASCAM. I think that would be a specialized munition that I would put in an article about artillery.

Thanks for the feedback!

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 2, 2019 - 8:32am
Several things that come to mind for this story are:

Putting in some stats for other kinds of demolitions such as:

A keg of black powder.
A jar of nitrogylcerin (very dangerous!)
Dynamite
TNT


These would be examples of outdated demolitions technology but perhaps something that could be found on a more backwater/primative planet. I'm still trying to research this... and probably get flagged by NSA for looking into dangerous stuff... oh, well...
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 2, 2019 - 8:35am
Some specific feedback I would like is in regards to this:

Umbrella/Disintegration Mines. When deployed, umbrella mines are half-a-meter in diameter with a 40-centimeter long power core that protrudes from its base. This appearance resulted in it earning this nickname.

This insidious weapon must be planted in the ground, and its sensor covered head cannot be covered by more than 3 centimeters of material. Mine's 10-SEU power core allows the mine to function in sleep mode for two decades before it goes inert.

The sensor system can detect vibrations up to 5 meters from the mine, causing the weapon to “awaken.” Any object weighing over 10 kilograms that steps on an active mine triggers it. The victim can make a half Reaction Speed check, otherwise he will take 4d10 points of damage from what has been described as a disintegration beam.

The beam causes the electrons in the victim’s cells to destabilize. If the victim survives the initial blast, he must make a Stamina check or permanently loses 2 out of every 5 Stamina points he possesses along with losing the limb that had initial contact with the mine.

Witnessesto the mine’s detonation have described seeing a flash of nearly blinding blue-white energy erupting and smelling ozone in the air.

These weapons saw some action during the Second Dramune War and were quickly banned by the UPF. Several crates of these weapons were never recovered. Reportedly some of mines were acquired by one or more of Dramune’s shadowy crime bosses.

Untriggered mines often have a fail safe device installed when they are almost out of power which causes them to explode with effects similar to a half strength fragmentary grenade. [3]

[3] This mine was created by user Deryn_Ryson, Jan. 1, 2011, on the starfrontiers.us website: http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/4524

The umbrella mine seems to be particularly nasty, and beyond the Frontier's technology. Maybe I should rework it as some sort of alien device? 

Not Sathar... Maybe Clikk? Tetrarch?



Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 7, 2019 - 8:28am
I've been trying to do some research into various demolitions to get an idea on how to translate them into Star Frontiers. This may require a separte topic from landmines. Maybe I should do demolitions first, then landmines... anyway, this is something from an AD&D website. I just need to translated it into the SF combat system.


C4/Semtex

So-called “plastic” explosives resemble slabs of wax. Hard and translucent when cold, these explosives warm up when kneaded, and then can be coaxed to take various shapes. The information on the table represents a 1-pound block. Additional blocks can be wired together, increasing the damage and burst radius; each additional block increases the damage by +2d6 and the burst radius by 2 feet, and requires a Demolitions check (DC 15) to link them.

Although the damage statistics on the table represent a 1-pound block, C4 is sold in 4-block packages. The purchase DC given represents a package of 4 blocks.

C4/Semtex requires a detonator to set off. It is considered to be a moderate explosive for the purpose of using a Craft (chemical) check to manufacture it.

Det Cord

Det cord is an explosive in a ropelike form. Technically, det cord doesn’t explode—but it burns so fast (4,000 yards per second) that it might as well be exploding. Normally used to string multiple explosive charges together for simultaneous detonation (allowing a single detonator to set them all off), det cord can also be looped around a tree or post or other object to cut it neatly in half.

The information on the table represents a 50-foot length. A length of det cord can be spread out to pass through up to ten 5-foot squares. When this is the case, it deals the indicated damage to all creatures in each 5-foot square through which it passes.

It can also be doubled up; for each additional 5 feet of cord within a single 5-foot square, increase the damage by +1d6 to a maximum increase of +4d6.

Det cord requires a detonator to set it off. It is considered to be a simple explosive for the purpose of using a Craft (chemical) check to manufacture it.

Dynamite

Perhaps one of the most common and straightforward explosives, dynamite is very stable under normal conditions. A stick of dynamite requires a fuse or detonator to set it off. Additional sticks can be set off at the same time if they are within the burst radius of the first stick, increasing the damage and burst radius of the explosion. Each additional stick increases the damage by +1d6 (maximum 10d6) and the burst radius by 5 feet (maximum 20 feet).

It’s possible to wire together several sticks of dynamite for even greater explosive effect. Doing so requires a Demolitions check (DC 10 + 1 per stick). If the character succeeds on the check, the damage or the burst radius of the explosion increases by 50% (the character’s choice).

Dynamite is sold in boxes of 12 sticks. It is considered to be a simple explosive for the purpose of using a Craft (chemical) check to manufacture it.

To set off dynamite using a fuse, the fuse must first be lit, requiring a move action (and a lighter or other source of flame). The amount of time until the dynamite explodes depends on the length of the fuse—a fuse can be cut short enough for the dynamite to detonate in the same round (allowing it to be used much like a grenade), or long enough to take several minutes to detonate. Cutting the fuse to the appropriate length requires a move action.



Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 7, 2019 - 8:33am
Another gaming source was this:

Call of Cthlhu: dynamite: damage and blast area

https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/call-ofcthlhu-dynamite-damage-and-blast-area.666663/

The English version is 6e says:
"Calculate effect in terms of the strength of the blast and the radius of effect in yards. Example; a stick of dynamite does 5D6 damage in the first two yards, 4D6 in the third yard, 3D6 in the fourth, and so on. Each victim takes separate full damage. Doubling a charge increases damage by half. "

So 2 sticks do 7.5D6, 4 sticks do 11.25D6, 8 sticks do16.875D6, 16 sticks do 25.2D6. 12 sticks would do roughly 21D6 or 21 to 125 damage in the first 2 yards/meters, roughly 16D6 in the third yard/meter, roughly 12D6 in the fourth yard/meter and so on. I'd decrease it by four dicefor each extra yard/meter down to zero more than 7 yards/meters from the blast.

Distance should be exponential, double the distance, quarter the damage. This is not stated in the rules, but that is how explosive force works and also makes it easy. The book example is linear which will result in a much larger blast radius compared to the real life numbers. Not a huge deal with small charges, but quickly unmanagable on large ones.

Book example 2yd 5d6, 3yd 4d6, 4yd 3d6, 5yd 2d6 6 yd 1d6 vs 2yd 5d6, 4 yd 1d6.


Taking a Mk3A2 offensive (aka concussion) grenade which holds 1/2 lb of TNT (roughly equal to 1 stick of dynamite) in a non fragmenting fiberboard case. It is listed as having an effective casualty radius of 2 meters in the open (closed spaces increase blast damage). Following the 5d6 for1 stick of dynamite, exactly following the rules would still have the blast be equal to a rifle shot at 6 yds, while the formula I list has it doing 1d6 at 4yds (still double the listed effective radius).


So accepting the 12 stick example numbers are correct, youwould get 2yd 21d6, 4yd 5d6, 8yd 3d6, 16yd 1d6 following the 1/4 damage foreach doubling of range, while the book example would be doing damage out to 21yds, losing 1d per yard (not sure where the poster above got the drop by 4d6per yard).

A 500lb aircraft bomb (approximately 200lbs of explosive filler or 400 sticks of dynamite, not even going to do the math) has anexplosive blast radius of 13 meters, with effective fragmentation to 40+meters. -1d6 per yard would greatly exceed both the blast and fragmentationgiven by the military.[1]



[1]“[Call of Cthlhu] Dynamite: damage and blast area,” Forum.RPG.Net, https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/call-ofcthlhu-dynamite-damage-and-blast-area.666663/


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 7, 2019 - 8:34am
Another source is this:

Think about it this way - one "fullstick" of dynamite used by construction and demolition crews is generallyenough to move and split one cubic yard of rock. A cubic yard of rock weighs alittle over 1 ton - around 2200 pounds. So 1 stick of dynamite is enough tosplit and move 2200 pounds of solid rock if used appropriately.

In open air,
dynamite isn't nearly as powerful - as there is nothing to contain the blast,
and the force emanates outward in a somewhat spherical shockwave, thus the
force drops off at a cube root of the distance (at 10 feet the explosion is 1/8
the strength it is at 5 feet).


In reality, most
"massive" explosions are measured in "tons", "kilotons"
or "megatons" of "TNT equivalent" - TNT being
trinitrotolulene, the explosive ingredient in Dynamite. A large mining and
excavation site might use something like 4000 pounds of dynamite to complete a
single blast - a "2 ton explosion". The nuclear bombs used in Japan
in WW2 were measured in "kilotons" - so roughly in the
"thousands of times stronger" than an excavation explosion, or
equivalent to a million or so sticks of dynamite. Large thermonuclear fusion
weapons are in the megatons range - 1000 times stronger than the WW2 nukes, and
equivalent to a billion or more sticks of dynamite.
[1]

So an actual quarter stick of dynamite has about 60 times thepower of an M-80 - before you add the blasting cap![2]



[1]“Damage of one stick of dynamite,” DSLReports.com, http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21659321-Damager-of-one-stick-of-dynamite

[2]Poulton, Mike. “Is a quarter stick of dynamite the same as an M80 firework? Ifnot, what’s the difference?” Quora, https://www.quora.com/Is-a-quarter-stick-of-dynamite-the-same-as-an-M80-firework-If-not-what-s-the-difference,13 February 2019.


Joe Cabadas