Monday, August 22, 2011

Rifts Missiles. OMG.

Explosive weapons vary widely in their expected use. In real life, infantry weapons such as the 40mm grenade are fairly streamlined for use with many firing mechanisms. Real-life missiles are surprisingly similar, although they simply have more launch platforms than given in the books. Man-portable rockets (mini-missiles) vary so widely in scope that they are not on the same wavelength.


Rifle grenades measure 40x51mm, and carry between 50 and 200 grams of explosive charge.

Mini-missiles, or more accurately rockets, have a uniform diameter of 105mm and an overall length of about 800mm. Mini-missiles generally contain around a kilogram (1000 grams) of explosive materiel, although fragmentation rockets use much less. The overall weight of a rocket is generally in the range of 3 kilograms. Mini-missiles are generally unguided. Guided missiles with mini-missile warheads exist and are used as man-portable anti-aircraft weapons. In most cases, mini-missiles are used for anti-infantry, anti-armor (large robot), or anti-structure.

Short range missiles are much larger, measuring roughly 3 meters in length  with a 130mm diameter. SRM warheads typically carry 5-20 kilograms of explosive material. The entire missile is typically around 90-100 kilograms. SRMs are primarily used for taking out small RPA vehicles and/or aircraft. The average SRM's range varies widely - but all are capable of much longer ranges than those found in the GMG.

Medium range missiles are actually short range missiles. OMG! What this actually means is that short range missiles with the proper body (still roughly 3m x 130mm) and guidance systems can be used for BVR combat.

Medium range missiles are heavy surface-to-surface or air-to-surface missiles, with a few notable exceptions. These missiles, like SRMs, vary widely in range, from 12 miles to around 120 miles. They weigh roughly 450 kilograms (with light warheads), with a length of 4 meters and a diameter of 380mm. The warhead, like the missile itself, varies widely in function, from 30 to as much as 150 kilograms in weight.

Long range missiles are high powered cruise missiles capable of completely ruining someone's day. A long range missile is huge, weighing in at over 1000 kilograms. They are generally only fired by dedicated cruise missile launcher launch platforms or by bombers, including vehicles such as the F/A-18 Hornet. Cruise missiles have warheads of around 500 kilograms and are used against hardened military structures, to light a huge area on fire (like 300-900 feet radius), or to blanket a wide area (like the size of Tolkeen) in submunitions. Fact: If these missiles are used on Tolkeen, shit gets real.

So... what does this mean for players?


Mini-missiles are getting nerfed in terms of range. The typical rocket is somewhat implausible for attack outside about 1000 feet (it takes around 2 seconds for the rocket to travel that far). The maximum range of a rocket against a stationary target is around 3000 feet before they run out of fuel, but realistically, a rocket should be used within 1000 feet or less for any real chance at hitting a moving target. As compensation, mini-missiles will be reduced in price. Some mini-missiles will no longer exist and a few new types will be added.

SRMs are getting dramatically buffed in terms of range. Their payload will probably be similar, but the emphasis will be on special-purpose missiles meant to do a particular job, rather than the general purpose missiles present in the rule books. SRM focus is on anti-aircraft and PA, with a few anti-armor weapons. SRM price is going up somewhat.

MRMs are actually roughly staying the same, although most of the missiles will be gone, replaced by a smaller number of more functional weapons. The MRMs used for anti-aircraft are getting a very large range increase. The price is also going up a lot.

LRMs will be going up dramatically in price, and their effective range, damage, and kill radius is going to be dramatically increased. Player acquisition of a long range missile is going to be incredibly unlikely. They will generally not be listed here; estimate 750k minimum for a LRM, plus several mil for a mobile launcher or silo. If you want an actual decent payload like a SFW or ATACMS, expect to pay a lot more.

Another, very significant thing: Anti-personnel explosives deal 1/3 damage to tanks, large robots, and other heavily armored vehicles. This affects only fragmentation and thermobaric weapons. Also, anti-armor weapons deal grievous (triple) damage if they hit a fleshy or lightly armored (aircraft or light powered armor) target.

Mini-Missile functions:

Note: Any weapon carrying Mini-Missiles that is less than 0.8 meters long will either be modified to be a grenade launcher (likely) or will simply not exist anymore. Most MiM weapons will be treated in this fashion.

Note 2: A direct hit from a MiM deals 2d6 MD if the rocket does not immediately explode. This is mainly for the fragmentation and thermobaric weapons, which can have time delay fuzes.

Body, Mini-Missile, Rocket: This is the basic rocket used for mini-missile launches. It is an unguided, fin-stabilized projectile. Uses WP: Rocket Launcher to operate. These cannot be fired from a vehicle rocket launcher or CR-1.
Cost: 300 credits
Effective range: 1000 feet
Maximum range: 3000 feet

Body, Mini-Missile, HYDRA: A cheap, direct fire rocket designed to be launched from aircraft. Often carries HE for general purpose use.
Cost: 1000 credits
Effective range: 26,100ft against stationary targets. Roughly 2000ft against moving targets.
Bonus: -1 to strike past 2500 feet and for every 2000 feet of distance afterwards.

Body, Mini-Missile, IRHS: This is a guided missile using a FLIR module to track an enemy target's heat signature. It is useful against aircraft and even monsters, but can be spoofed by flares, heat decoys, or by the target masking its heat signature. It is ineffective against slow-flying TK-powered TW aircraft, but highly effective against any TW device using thrust or a steam reactor. Weapon Systems skill is required for use.
Cost: 2000 credits
Effective range: 16000 feet (yeah that's over 2 miles)
Bonus: +3 to strike.

Body, Mini-Missile, APKWS: This is a laser-guided munition intended to give more life to the larger Hydra rockets. This can be purchased as a kit to upgrade existing Hydra rockets to semi-active laser-guided missiles. As it implies, these rockets are configured with a frequency on installation, and can be fired from an unguided vehicle-mounted rocket launcher.
Cost: 2000 credits for upgrade kit; typically 5000 credits for a complete unit.
Effective range: 26,100ft
Bonus: Like SALH SRMs, the target must be painted until the missile impacts. The missile travels at roughly 2500ft/s or about 5000ft/turn. Because the guidance system is not as effective, the painter is -2 to strike.

Warhead, Mini-Missile, HEAT: This is a high explosive warhead designed to take out enemy tanks and armor. It can also blow holes in structures, but the area of devastation is rather limited.
Cost: 1000 credits
Damage: 1d6*10 MD to anything hit directly, as well as anyone directly behind a penetrated wall or cover.
Blast radius: 1d6 feet (1d6 MD to anything inside)

Warhead, Mini-Missile, High Explosive: This explosive is designed to be used against aircraft and power armor and fired from a guided missile launcher or Hydra launcher. It is too heavy (3kg) to be fired from a conventional rocket.
Cost: 2000 credits
Damage: 1d4*10 MD. Unlike most explosives, it deals triple damage on a direct hit to aircraft or light powered armor. It deals its full damage on a direct hit to a tank or large robot, but otherwise is subject to the 1/3 damage penalty.
Blast radius: 15 feet

Warhead, Mini-Missile, Fragmentation: This warhead has a timed fuze, and detonates at a distance specified by the weapon systems operator. If the Weapon Systems skill is not known or if the launch mechanism is primitive, the rocket will detonate automatically after about 2 seconds (1000 feet). If mounted on a guided rocket, this munition will typically detonate within a specified distance from the target.
Cost: 500 credits; 1000 credits for guided version.
Damage: 5d6 MD.
Blast radius: 60 feet

Warhead, Mini-Missile, Thermobaric: This advanced weapon has an impact fuze that detects when it has hit an object, and continues to travel for a few fractions of a second in order to attack the interior of a protected building. It can also be configured for a time delay fuze, as the fragmentation rocket. The thermobaric warhead requires Weapon Systems to be used. The explosion creates a huge shockwave of blast overpressure, leveling structures from the inside and decimating infantry. Thermobaric weapons are unsuitable for fighting fast-moving vehicles such as aircraft; the dispersal mechanism has a small (fractions of a second) delay, making hitting a 200-300mph vehicle very unlikely.
Cost: 2000 credits.
Damage: 1d6*10 MD. Deals 1/3 damage to heavy armor. If it detonates inside a closed structure, it deals triple damage to the structure and everything inside it.
Blast radius: 45 feet

Short Range Missile functions:

All SRMs require Weapon Systems to fire.

Any weapon using SRMs that has less than a 3 meter long launch bay will be switched to mini-missiles. Vehicles with ridiculous amounts of missiles will also have their SRM payloads reduced to a number that is plausible.

Body, SRM, IRHS: This is a short range body used for visual-range air-to-air dogfights. It is best used against aircraft or fast moving powered armor or robot targets in close range battles. It includes a FLIR sensor to identify targets by heat signature, and once launched, will estimate the optimal path to the target. This missile can track the heat from airflow coming off of an aircraft, and thus any fast-moving air vehicle (faster than ~100mph) is threatened by this missile. IRHS missiles are impossible to jam with ECM.
Cost: 25,000 credits.
Speed: Mach 4 (11 2/3 miles per melee round)
Range: 12 miles
Bonus: +3 to strike.

Body, SRM, ARH: This is a longer range body used for engaging foes at further than visual range. It is expensive, but highly effective against enemy aircraft. Once an enemy has been located on radar, the missile can be fired and will track the target with its own onboard radar system. As radar accuracy improves as distance decreases, this missile is almost impossible to escape once it is in the air. The only reliable counter is ECM; pilot dodges will only delay the inevitable. Because it has its own radar unit, it can be tracked by passive radar homing missiles.
Cost: 150,000 credits.
Speed: Mach 4 (11 2/3 miles per melee round)
Range: 60 miles
Bonus: +5 to strike, but is relentless and will attack every turn until it hits something.

Body, SRM, SARH: This is very similar to the ARH tracking mechanism, but instead uses the launching vehicle's radar and requires the launching vehicle to maintain a radar lock on the target (within 60 degree radius in front of the launching vehicle; must aim other weapons manually while the missile is in flight) and is not as robust or tenacious as the ARH missile. SARH missiles can also be manually aimed by the pilot by manually aiming the vehicle's radar beam in the direction the pilot wishes the missile to go. Lastly, a SARH missile can be configured to ride an enemy's radar/radio signal to the target. This is one of the most commonly used SRM missile types, since the targets are often ground vehicles and the SARH missile is much cheaper than an active system. SARH missiles confer a -20% to ECM attempts to jam them, and have a 50% chance of ignoring chaff.
Cost: 40,000 credits
Speed: Mach 4 (11 2/3 miles per melee)
Range: 60 miles
Bonus: +3 to strike, or alternatively can use the pilot's WP: Heavy and Weapon Systems bonuses if manually guided.

Body, SRM, SALH: Similar to the SARH missile, the SALH missile relies on a remote signal in order to hit the target. In this case, however, the SALH missile tracks onto a reflected laser designation signal to find the target. The signal may be generated from the launching vehicle or an infantry-operated laser designator, or even another vehicle, as long as the signal is specified at the time of launch. The SALH missile cannot be jammed. The SALH missile can also be fired from a surface-to-surface launcher in a ballistic arc for superior range. Most SALH missiles are pre-configured to operate on a particular frequency; altering this requires a Weapons Engineer roll.
Cost: 10,000 credits
Speed: Mach 1.3 (3.7 miles per melee)
Range: 5 miles (7 if fired in a ballistic arc)
Bonus: Automatically hits whatever is painted. The painting character rolls to hit; use WP: Energy Pistol (for personal designators) or WP: Heavy Energy Weapons (for vehicle designators). Consider it a single shot, with an additional +1 to strike. Remember, +1 per turn spent aiming; if the target is stationary, the missile hits automatically with no strike roll needed (the character still needs to aim the designator, though).

Body, SRM, COLOS: The simplest SRM delivery system, this fires a fin-stabilized, semi-guided ballistic missile. It is best suited for direct fire rocket launches from helicopters or jets at a surface target, or fired from a surface-to-surface rocket launcher. It is fired at a specific trajectory, although the missile can make minor corrections in-flight. In the case of non-LOS-launches, the launching vehicle must have the necessary computing functions for determining the correct angle of attack in order to strike a designated area. Most SRM-firing aircraft are not equipped with these, but most surface-to-surface SRM launchers are. COLOS missiles are impossible to jam, have a very small radar profile when fired in a ballistic arc, and are nigh-impossible to shoot down. The most effective method for stopping them is to destroy the launcher before it fires.
Cost: 6000 credits
Speed: Approximately Mach 1; however, missiles fired in a ballistic arc reach speeds of around Mach 4 when arriving on target
Range: 7 miles
Bonus: Completely ineffective at directly hitting a foe moving faster than 100 mph. No bonus and WP Heavy used for aiming directly from a helicopter or other aircraft. For surface-to-surface launches, these weapons are effectively howitzers, without the reloading issues. If Weapon Systems is known by the spotter, the artillery team is +1 to strike.

Body, SRM, BLU: This is not a missile, but rather an unguided bomb. This must be airdropped by a high-flying aircraft. The accuracy of these are rather low, unless dropped dangerously close to the target. These are not suitable for accurate bombings and if dropped en masse, will cause massive collateral damage. This bomb "body" can be used in any size bomb, small, medium, or large.
Cost: 500 credits
Speed: less than 100 mph
Range: Maximum of 5 miles if dropped from high altitude from a bomber.
Bonus: N/A; mostly a NPC device

Body, SRM, JDAM: This is a laser-guided bomb directed by either the launching vehicle or a friendly painting the target. This weapon is extremely accurate, generally landing within 15-25 feet of its intended target. The bomb uses fins to direct itself in the direction of the designated target, but should be launched from a higher altitude to give more time for correction. This bomb "body" can be used in any size bomb, small, medium, or large.
Cost: 5000 credits
Speed: Less than 150 mph
Range: Maximum of 40 miles if dropped from high altitude.
Bonus: Laser designation must be held until bomb impacts; +1 to strike (max 3) for every round (not turn) spent painting. Weapon Systems bonus only.

Warhead, SRM, HE: This is identical in function to the High Explosive mini-missile warhead in design. It deals triple damage on a direct hit to light PA and vehicles.
Cost: 5000 credits
Damage: 3d4*10 MD
Blast radius: 60 feet

Warhead, SRM, HEAT: Identical to the HEAT mini-missile warhead, it deals triple damage to aircraft and light armored vehicles. The range of the shaped charge is much longer, roughly six meters.
Cost: 5000 credits
Damage: 4d6*10 MD to anything hit directly
Blast radius: 1d6 feet (1d6 MD to anything in the radius)

Warhead, SRM, MAC: Similar in function to the thermobaric rocket, optimized for infantry takedowns. Like the rocket version, a direct hit on a moving vehicle is highly unlikely, but due to its large blast radius, a splash hit is very likely.
Cost: 10,000 credits
Damage: 2d6*10 MD; deals triple damage to a structure and anything inside if it explodes inside
Blast radius: 100 feet

Warhead, SRM, SDB: This light bomb has massive penetrating power, making it ideal for hardened structures or bunkers. It does not have a whole lot of explosive load, so its splash is generally poor. Cannot be loaded onto a missile.
Cost: 10,000 credits
Damage: 6d6*10 MD to any structure hit. Half to anything in the splash radius. Deals triple to any vehicle it hits directly.
Blast radius: 20 feet

Medium Range Missile functions:

All MRMs require Weapon Systems to fire. MRM missiles can mount SRM warheads. MRM "bombs" use the SRM guidance kits.

Body, MRM, IRHS: In general, MRMs are not commonly used in the world of Rifts, but these IR-guided missiles are simply up-scaling of the SRM FLIR system and are very uncommon. The most popular use of this system is from a ground-based SAM platform.
Cost: 60,000 credits
Speed: Approximately Mach 3 (8.75 miles per melee)
Range: 37 miles
Bonus: +3 to strike.

Body, MRM, SARH: The most common MRM in the world, used mainly by Coalition and NGR fighter aircraft. Like the SRM, it is jam-resistant (-20%) and has a 50% chance of ignoring chaff. Also like the SRM version, it requires that a radar lock be maintained on the target in whatever way possible. These missiles have a somewhat poor kill ratio in air-to-air dogfights, since they are not as mobile as the SRM SARH missiles. The standard operating procedure for these missiles is to fire in volleys. This is also the standard theater ballistic missile defense fuselage, a role in which it performs admirably well.
Cost: 80,000 credits
Speed: Mach 4 (11 2/3 miles per melee)
Range: 90 miles
Bonus: +2 to strike.

Body, MRM, ARH: The premier radar-guided, long-range missile system. Expensive to produce, due to its sophisticated electronics and radar equipment, but the lack of ECM among common military units allows this missile to excel in an anti-armor and even anti-aircraft role. Expensive, but cutting edge. As with the SRM version, ECM is the only countermeasure.
Cost: 250,000 credits
Speed: Mach 4 (11 2/3 miles per melee)
Range: 220 miles
Bonus: +5 to strike, but will attack every turn until it hits something

Body, MRM, JSM: The god of all missiles, this weapon system is only manufactured by Bandito Arms and is the ultimate in multipurpose missile systems. This missile requires either a land-based imaging infrared system or a aircraft-mounted IIR pod for appropriate missile designation. It uses sophisticated terrain recognition guidance to skim the Earth's surface to the target, and locks on via infrared imaging obtained from the spotter or IIR pod; in layman's terms, this means flares and other IRCM are not effective. Due to its low speed and unique design, this missile is -30% to detect via Read Sensors.
Cost: 800,000 credits, but only available through select vendors
Speed: Mach 0.8 (2.3 miles per melee)
Range: 125 miles
Bonus: +5 to strike. Also performs evasive action; is +3 to dodge.

Body, MRM, COLOS: These ballistic rockets are mainly designed for area saturation with cluster munitions. COLOS missiles designed for anti-structure or anti-ship are also available for the same price, and are designated COLOS-AS.
Cost: 20,000 credits
Speed: Approximately Mach 1; however, missiles fired in a ballistic arc reach speeds of around Mach 4 when arriving on target
Range: 350 miles
Bonus: Same as COLOS SRMs, used as rocket artillery.

Body, MRM, LGMR: Much like the SALH short-range missile, except these cannot be fired from an aircraft platform. These are direct upgrades to the COLOS system, and are designated via laser aiming module rather than simply a series of coordinates. As a result, they are frighteningly accurate.
Cost: 30,000 credits
Speed: Approximately Mach 1; however, missiles fired in a ballistic arc reach speeds of around Mach 4 when arriving on target
Range: 37 miles
Bonus: Same as SALH SRMs; used as artillery.

Warhead, MRM, HE: There is nothing complex about this warhead; it's little more than 200 pounds of high explosive shape-charged into an anti-structure weapon. It will decimate anything it hits, but the blast radius is relatively small.
Cost: 50,000 credits
Damage: 6d6*10 MD to everything in the splash. Triple to anything hit directly, but this is primarily used as an anti-structure weapon. It can be fitted on any MRM body, though...
Blast radius: 60 feet

Warhead, MRM, DPICM: The most frightening weapon on the battlefield. This weapon has an unparalleled effect radius, as it delivers hundreds of cluster bombs inside the targeted area, dispersed as the missile flies overhead. This hurts any chance of effective countermeasures, as anti-missile systems must target hundreds of DPICM bomblets rather than a single missile. This can only be mounted in the COLOS and LGMR as well as medium-sized JDAM bombs. The best countermeasures currently in place are theater ballistic missile defense, using SARH high-explosive SRMs to intercept the missile before the bomblets are released. This warhead can also be purchased with a configuration for delayed detonation in order to generate a minefield on the fly. It is advised that the forward observer calling for this strike be well outside of deployment range.
Cost: 250,000 credits
Damage: Everything in the effect radius is hit with 2d6 submunitions inflicting 1d4*10 MD. The munitions deal full damage to both light and heavy armor, but triple to soft targets.
Blast radius: 900 feet

misc notes:

BVR-AS mrm range: 350km (~220 mi)
BVR-AA mrm range: 200km (125 mi)
BVR-AA srm range: 48km (30 mi)
WVR-AA srm range: 20km (12 mi)
WVR-AS srm range: 8km (5 mi)

Cost of HE explosive: ~300c per kg
Cost of plastique: ~600c per kg

No comments:

Post a Comment