Things that go Boom! Part 4: Looking at Dropped Weapons

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 10:12am
Note: This story will build upon Part 1: looking at grenades, Part 2: looking at rockets and missiles, and Part 3: looking at mines.

Dropped weapons -- i.e. bombs -- first appeared in Dragon magazine with the "Tanks a lot!" story and were later updated by Larry Moore for his vehicle combat article in Star Frontiersman magazine.

What I want to do here is flesh things out a bit more.
Joe Cabadas
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 10:26am
What follows are notes, rather than a good opening for a story.

Dropped Weapons

Small and medium sized bombs were first introduced as a vehicle weapon in article “Tanks a Lot!” by Alex Curylo in issue 99 of Dragon Magazine. They were not covered in Zebulon’s Guide, so what follows is based upon Curylo’s story plus Matt Bandy’s story “Here Comes the Cavalry!” from the April 1987 issue of Dragon Magazine. One should also consult the aerial combat rules for more information.

Bombs released from very low altitudes are typically set to explode one turn after being dropped, giving the bomber (such as a jetcopter or aircar) that amount of time to vacate the blast radius. Failure to vacate the blast area results in damage to the bomber.

To successfully use bombs, a character should have a new skill: Dropped Ordinance. This can be added to the traditional Alpha Dawn skill system or a Zebulon-Alpha Dawn style system, such as Star Frontiers 2000.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 10:26am

New Skill

Weapons: Dropped Ordinance

Type: Military PSA/Enforcer

Success Rate: ½ DEX or LOG + 10% per level

PR: None

Also known as a bombardier or “bomb aimer,” characters with this skill are proficient at aiming dropped munitions – or even supplies – from an aerial craft by using bomb sights or advanced targeting systems. It does not help a character throwing grenades or other explosives from an aircraft but it can include dropping munitions/supplies from a low-orbiting space vehicle.

For each level of this skill, the bombardier also increases his range brackets. For example, the point blank range for a level 1 bombardier is 10 meters, but it increases to 20 meters for a level 2 bombardier and progressively improves.

Bombardier Ranges

Skill Level

Point Blank

Short

Medium

Long

Extreme

1

10

30

60

120

121+

2

20

60

120

240

241+

3

30

90

180

360

361+

4

40

120

240

480

480+

5

50

150

300

600

601+

6

60

180

360

720

721+

7

70

210

420

840

841+

8

80

240

480

960

961+



Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 10:27am

Falling Off Target

The distance by which the bomb misses its target is dependent upon the altitude of the bomber, as shown on Bomb Miss Chart.[1]



[1] Bandy, Matt Bandy. “Here Comes the Cavalry!” Dragon Magazine, April 1987, p. 73.


Bomb Miss Chart

 

Altitude of bomber

Miss distance

Point Blank

20 m

Short

50 m

Medium

150 m

Long

250 m

Extreme

350 m



Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 10, 2019 - 10:27am

Chart 59: Bomb Racks

Cost (Cr)

Wgt (kg)

HP

Small Bomb Mount

50

10

1

Medium Bomb Mount

50

12

2


Chart 60: Dropped Weapons

Cost (Cr)

Wgt (kg)

HP

 

Dropped Weapons

Cost (Cr)

Wgt (kg)

HP

Small Bombs

 

 

 

 

Medium Bombs

 

 

 

Standard Explosive

100

15

1

 

Standard Explosive

250

30

2

High Explosive

150

15

1

 

High Explosive

400

30

2

Electrical Discharge

150

15

1

 

Electrical Discharge

400

30

2

Field Crusher

140

15

1

 

Field Crusher

350

30

2

Foam: Acid

130

 

 

 

Foam: Acid

250

 

 

Foam: Chemical Defoliant

130

15

1

 

Foam: Chemical Defoliant

250

30

2

Foam: Extinguish

130

15

1

 

Foam: Extinguish

250

30

2

Foam: Irritant

130

15

1

 

Foam: Irritant

250

30

2

Foam: Slick

130

15

1

 

Foam: Slick

250

30

2

Foam: Solid

130

15

1

 

Foam: Solid

250

30

2

Foam: Rad-Blast

130

15

1

 

Foam: Rad-Blast

250

30

2

Gas: Doze

130

15

1

 

Gas: Doze

250

30

2

Gas: Dusk

130

15

1

 

Gas: Dusk

250

30

2

Gas: Nightfall

130

15

1

 

Gas: Nightfall

300

30

2

Gas: Poison

130

15

1

 

Gas: Poison

250

30

2

Gas: Smoke

130

15

1

 

Gas: Smoke

250

30

2

Incendiary

140

15

1

 

Incendiary

350

30

2

Sonic Stunner

135

15

1

 

Sonic Stunner

300

30

2

Tangler

130

15

1

 

Tangler

250

30

2

Airdrop Pod, Small

50

5 empty

1

 

Airdrop Pod, Medium

90

10 empty

2


Chart 61: Dropped Weapons

Damage

 

Blast Radius

Ammo

ROF

Defense

Range

PB/S/M/L/E

Small Bomb[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard Explosive

10d10 +100

20/30

1

1/all

Inertia

10/30/60/120/121+

High Explosive

15d10 +100

30/45

1

1/all

Inertia

10/30/60/120/121+

Electrical Discharge

Elect. Short

20/30

1

1/all

Insulation

10/30/60/120/121+

Field Crusher

10d10+50 vs. fields

20/30

1

1/all

--

10/30/60/120/121+

Foam: Chemical Defoliant

Defoliates

30/45

1

1/all

--

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Doze

Sleep

30/45

1

1/all

STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Dusk

Dim Light

30/45

1

1/all

IR, scanners

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Nightfall

Darkness

30/45

1

1/all

IR, scanners

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Poison

S10/T10

30/45

1

1/all

STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Smoke

-15% to hit

30/45

1

1/all

IR

10/30/60/120/121+

Incendiary

8d10 + (1d10x6turns)

30/45

1

1/all

Asbestos

10/30/60/120/121+

Sonic Stunner

Stun

20/30

1

1/all

Sonic, STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Tangler

Entanglement

2d10 + 10 turns

20/30

1

1/all

RS check

10/30/60/120/121+

Medium Bomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard Explosive

20d10 + 200

30/45

1

1/all

Inertia

10/30/60/120/121+

High Explosive

30d10 + 200

40/60

1

1/all

Inertia

10/30/60/120/121+

Electrical Discharge

Elect. Short

30/45

1

1/all

Insulation

10/30/60/120/121+

Field Crusher

10d10 + 200  vs. fields

30/45

1

1/all

--

10/30/60/120/121+

Foam: Chemical Defoliant

Defoliates

40/60

1

1/all

--

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Doze

Sleep

40/60

1

1/all

STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Dusk

Dim Light

40/60

1

1/all

IR, scanners

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Nightfall

Darkness

40/60

1

1/all

IR, scanners

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Poison

S10/T10

40/60

1

1/all

STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Gas: Smoke

-15% to hit

40/60

1

1/all

IR

10/30/60/120/121+

Incendiary

15d10 + (1d10x10urns)

40/60

1

1/all

Asbestos

10/30/60/120/121+

Sonic Stunner

Stun

30/45

1

1/all

Sonic, STA check

10/30/60/120/121+

Tangler

Entanglement

3d10 + 10 turns

30/45

1

1/all

RS check

10/30/60/120/121+

Airdrop Pod, Small

20kg of supplies

N/A

1

1

N/A

10/30/60/120/121+

Airdrop Pod, Medium

50kg of supplies

N/A

1

1

N/A

10/30/60/120/121+



[1]These are “dumb” bombs and not current military grade. To successfully use this weapon, one should purchase Weapons: Dropped. This skill is applicable to anything dropped from a moving air vehicle.




Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
March 11, 2019 - 2:10pm
JCab747 wrote:

Bombs released from very low altitudes are typically set to explode one turn after being dropped, giving the bomber (such as a jetcopter or aircar) that amount of time to vacate the blast radius. Failure to vacate the blast area results in damage to the bomber.

Then again, there's the option of skip bombing - which is a skill in itself ;)


JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 11, 2019 - 3:05pm
KRingway wrote:
JCab747 wrote:

Bombs released from very low altitudes are typically set to explode one turn after being dropped, giving the bomber (such as a jetcopter or aircar) that amount of time to vacate the blast radius. Failure to vacate the blast area results in damage to the bomber.

Then again, there's the option of skip bombing - which is a skill in itself ;)

 

True, very true.

Does my proposed bombadier skill look workable? It has not been playtested.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 12, 2019 - 5:33am
I think the skill works but I question the frontier industrial military complex producing dumb bombs over guided munitions. Seeing as how guided munitions nix the skill.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 12, 2019 - 1:19pm
jedion357 wrote:
I think the skill works but I question the frontier industrial military complex producing dumb bombs over guided munitions. Seeing as how guided munitions nix the skill.

I would agree, but the Dragon stats -- and the ones from Star Frontiersman magazine -- seem to indicate they are "dumb" bombs as opposed to any "smart" weapons. There aren't any laser-guided aiming devices. No GPS guided stuff. Not even a robotic brain to adjust the fins. 

And if the only ones available to characters are those dropped off of aircars and jetcopters, not a dedicated bomber, then I am making the argument that they are "dumb" bombs... as opposed to duds. I could be wrong, however. 
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
March 13, 2019 - 11:19am
There's still a use for dumb munitions, and probably always will be. It's a low-tech solution, and such weapons can be manufactured from things that aren't standard factory-made bombs. Barrels and various other things have been used in the past, and this will probably continue to be the case. 'Smart' weapons may be beyond the budgets of some armed forces, whereas dumb bombs can be manufactured somewhat more easily.

As for the skill, I would suggest that the use of such weapons in various forms, along with missiles and guns, may fit into a 'Combat Pilot' skill umbrella. Or just have the Combat Pilot skill cover all of the knowledge and use of all of these types of weapons. This doesn't necessarily mean that it would also allow any in-depth knowledge of how they're made, but it might help if a player has Combat Pilot and has been asked their opinion abouth feasilibilty of some kind of, for example, air-delivered ordnance.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 13, 2019 - 2:28pm
KRingway wrote:
There's still a use for dumb munitions, and probably always will be. It's a low-tech solution, and such weapons can be manufactured from things that aren't standard factory-made bombs. Barrels and various other things have been used in the past, and this will probably continue to be the case. 'Smart' weapons may be beyond the budgets of some armed forces, whereas dumb bombs can be manufactured somewhat more easily.

As for the skill, I would suggest that the use of such weapons in various forms, along with missiles and guns, may fit into a 'Combat Pilot' skill umbrella. Or just have the Combat Pilot skill cover all of the knowledge and use of all of these types of weapons. This doesn't necessarily mean that it would also allow any in-depth knowledge of how they're made, but it might help if a player has Combat Pilot and has been asked their opinion abouth feasilibilty of some kind of, for example, air-delivered ordnance.
 

That is an idea!
Joe Cabadas