Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Ultra-Tech Garage: The AVB-3 Infiltrator

There has been a growing call for more Ultra-Tech vehicles to fill out relatively small selection  of sci-fi craft offed up by the Basic Set and  Ultra-Tech so I'm heading the call!

Every post of mine in this format will cover new Ultra-Tech vehicles, usually in the TL9 or TL10 range, and while they will usually be military platforms I will also cover more predestination vehicles to help with world building.

Welcome to the Ultra-Tech Garage!

For this first entry in the Ultra-Tech Garage, I'm bringing to you want I feel a realistic mecha might look and operate like. I know the common thought on mecha is that they're impractical but I feel that's only the case if you 1) think of them as Gundams, I tend to design my mecha to be 15ft tops but prefer them to be smaller, and 2) think of them as being walking tanks. I see them more as link between power armored infantry and infantry fighting vehicles. They're big enough to bring heavy weapons to bear while being small and mobile enough to fight effectively in built up areas. I feel that this view on them also work great for RPGs. Outside of fighter jets, most military vehicles are multi-crewed but a mecha lets a PC control a heavy weapons platform by themselves and even better, as an extension of themselves. This in turns let a GM run a larger then life campaign, even more so then what power armor lets them, and still have it feel "believable".

AVB-3 Infiltrator (TL9)
The Tyler Motor's Armored Vehicle, Bipedal Model 3 "Infiltrator" is a small, 11ft 5in tall "mini mecha"  with a smooth, curved body, two large legs, two arms and turreted main sensor head. It was designed for use as either a recon scout unit or for close in heavy infantry support. In both cases it excels at fighting in built up areas like cities, forests and jungles were the narrow pathways and vertical topography hinders traditional wheeled and tracked combat vehicles. While too tall to enter most buildings without wrecking them, they are still small and light enough to climb larger buildings or cliff facings with their built in gecko pads and find hiding places almost anywhere. These facts make make it a popular  choice by both professional militaries as well as corporate security forces It's frame is a light weight aluminum alloy and it's armor is made up of titanium-matrix composite (which is heavily curved and slanted in the front for increased protection) and is considered Laminate (double DR against shaped charge class weapons).

Do to how small it is, the Infiltrator is almost "worn" like an oversized suit of power armor. To board it, the Infiltrator sits in a kneeling position and its pilot then enters their password and hatches on the torso and leg open. The pilot then sits on a motorcycle style seat in the mecha's torso and slides their legs into the mechas thighs and the pilot's head sticks up into the Infiltrators main  sensor head and once the pilot straps themselves in the hatches close and the cockpit is sealed and pressurized and carries enough air, water and rations to support it's pilot for 24hrs if needed.

The cockpit has a Compact Computerized Crew Station (Ultra-Tech pg. 24) which has a full control suite for the pilot to use, a crash web system which provides DR11 ablative against crushing damage from collisions and falls (note that this is a retcon of Ultra-Tech's Crash Web rules, see pg. 224, to bring them more in line with High-Tech's air bag rules, see pg. 229. They should provide TL+2 ablative DR), a small radio and laser com (see Ultra-Tech pg. 44), a Fast, C7 Personal Computer (See Ultra-Tech pg. 22 and 23) which usual runs programs such as Tacnet, Silhouette and a Weak Dedicated AI (see Ultra-Tech pg. 28 for the AI and pg. 149 for the other programs. Also see Future Solider, Pyramid 3/55 Military Sci-Fi more detail and options for the programs as well as a good worked example of a Weak Dedicated AI), a TL9 Internal Compass (see Ultra-Tech pg. 74. +3 to Navigation (Land, Sea and Air)) and half a cubic foot of cargo space which is usually occupied by a Survival kit with a TL9 Heavy Flashlight (see Ultra-Tech pg. 74), TL9 Envriobag, TL9 Filtration Canteen (see Ultra-Tech pg. 75 for both), TL9 First Aid Kit (see Ultra-Tech pg. 198), a dose of Analgine, antirad and hyperstim (see Ultra-Tech pg. 205), a 10mmCLP Heavy Pistol with two spare magazines (see Ultra-Tech pg. 135 and 137) and a C cell. The cockpit also has a D cell for uses as emergency back up to keep the systems running in the cockpit in case the mechas engines goes out which can run the entire mecha at fulls power for 69 seconds or just the cockpit for 24hrs. The cockpit is also surrounded by an ceramic-matrix composite "tub" that gives the pilot an extra DR 75 against attacks that hit the cockpit (hit location 9) but counts as semi-ablative.

While the cockpit comes with its own 3D view screen, the pilot uses a head mounted  HUD display that the mechas main sensor head is slaved to for normal operations. The mecha is piloted with the Driving (Mecha) skill (Though they will often Electronic Operations (Coms and Sensors) for handling the Infiltrators systems) and is operated through the used of two joysticks with full HOTAS functionality (Hands On Throttle And Stick, a design philosophy were every major control a pilot will need in a combat situation can be operated without their hands leaving the controls) though doing complicated actions with these controls takes about 4× longer so duplicate controls with more advanced functionality is also provided for each system. The right stick looks like a flatten mushroom and is used to steer the Infiltrator much like a steering wheel. It also has a roller ball mouse interface located under the index finger and several programmable hot keys for switching between different modes.

It's left stick is more like a traditional "joystick" man mostly handles the Infiltrators armaments and mission specific pods as well as operating of the mechas arms do to the fact the confined nature of the cockpit makes a waldo interface system impractical. Use this set up for controlling the mechas arms does limit fine work giving the pilot a level of Ham-Fisted while operating it. It is also used to activate the mechas counter-measures and operate the small radio and laser communicator 

It's main sensor is a 64× Infrared passive visual sensor (See Ultra-Tech pg. 60-61 for more on Infrared Passive Visual Sensors. +6 acc when aiming) with full binocular vision located in the mechas head turret which can be switch to a 128× mode (+7 acc when aiming) with more restricted field of view (Gives the pilot No Peripheral Vision when in use, takes a Ready Maneuver to switch modes). It also has two back mounted 2× Nightvision cameras to help improve situational awareness. All can run in low light TV mode if needed. It also has headlights that can operate in IR mode (90 yard range) mounted on its shoulders and thighs.

To help it in its scouting, the Infiltrator has extensive stealth systems including a TL9 Thermo-Optic Chameleon System (+4 to  the pilots Stealth skill rolls against ordinary or infrared vision, +2 against hyperspectral vision and +1 vs PESA. Halve all these bonus if moving. See Ultra-Tech Pg. 98-99 for more), TL9 Radar Stealth (-4 to detect via radar, see Ultra-Tech pg. 100) and TL9 Sound Dampening (-4 to detect via hearing roll, see below).

On the defensive side it has a Tactical ESM Detector (Adds a +1 (quality) bonus to Electronics Operations (EW) or uses Electronics Operations (EW)-12, see Ultra-Tech pg. 62 for more) and two 16 shot 40mm counter-measure launchers (see below for more) usually loaded with half  prism smoke (See Ultra-Tech pg. 153 under Biochemical Aerosol and pg. 159- 160) half multi-purpose decoy (-4 to guided missile attacks made with laser, passive visual sensors or active sensors, see below for more).

For scaling walls it can deploy a gecko adhesive system (See pg. 6 of  More Ultra! More Tech! from Pyramid 3/12 Tech and Toys and Ultra-Tech pg. 83 for more on gecko adhesives), this gives its pilot a +5 to climbing rolls and lets it scale up walls at half its normal acceleration. The gecko pads are built into each of its arms and legs are strong enough to support an additional 923lbs after taking the mecha's weight into account.

Its drivetrain is based on the same artificial muscle system as seen in TL9 Combat Power Armor (see Ultra-Tech pg. 183 and 186) which gives it an excellent strength to weight ratio which in return gives  it high acceleration, mobility and a top running speed of  18 mph. This also means that not only does it have a high lifting and carrying capacity for its size but is a dangerous close combat fighter having Lifting/Sticking ST 79.

It can can deploy roller wheels under each feet to improve speed when needed, in this mode it has Move 4/18* but is mostly road bound do to relatively small wheels it uses and in this mode it is somewhat less stable and maneuverable (Hnd/SR drops to 4/2). In wheeled mode the mecha is still operated with the Driving (Mecha) skill since learning to operate one under in this mode is part of normal training. 

To power its drivetrain, it employs two magneto-hydrodynamic turbine engine located in each thigh providing the Infiltrator with 9.2HP worth of power a piece. It has an two internal 33.6  gallon hydrogen fuel tank located in each thigh ( both are self sealing and have DR 6. Do to safety systems of the tanks, treat the hydrogen as resistant when seeing it if catches fire) which provides it with 227 miles of range (though given the built up areas the Infiltrator is designed for, this range is mostly theoretical). A full tank of hydrogen for both costs $39.

It can also attach two 33.6 gallon external tanks that gives it and extra 113.5 miles of extra range each. They each weight 26.3lbs and cost $55.50 fully loaded (the 33.6 gallons of hydrogen costs $19.50. Also treat as resitant) and have a thicker skin then the internal tank giving them DR 12.

As with most mecha, a very diverse load out is possible. The Infiltrator can hold weapons and gear in each hand, on two large shoulder hard points with 400lbs capacity (located on the sides of each shoulder) and two small shoulder hard points with 150lbs capacity (located on top of each shoulder by the "neck").

The most common load out used for the Infiltrator includes a rifle form version of the 25mmCLR Light Autocannon (see More Ultra-Tech Guns and Heavy Weapons, Pyramid 3/37 Tech and Toys II pg. 23 and 27. Uses Guns (Rifle)/TL9) with ST 20†  that is carried by one of the arms and is usually armed with either 25mmCLR APHC (6d×4(2) pi++. CPS $50) or 25mm HEAT (5d×3(10) cr ex with 2d cr ex linked. CPS $50) with a spare magazine clamped to each thigh, a 7mmCL Minigun (See Ultra-Tech pg. 136 and 138. Uses Gunner (Machine Guns)/TL9) mounted on one of the small shoulder hard points for anti-personal work, a 100mm MTML (See More Ultra-Tech Guns and Heavy Weapons, Pyramid 3/37 Tech and Toys II pg. 25 and 27. Note that it should have actually have ST 21M. Uses Artillery (Guided Missile)/TL9) mounted on on of its large shoulder hard points and is normally armed with either APHC (6d×30(2) pi++. Warhead cost $80), MS-HEAT (6d×5(10) cr ex with a 6d×10(10) cr ex  follow up and 6d×3 cr ex linked. Warhead cost  $320) or a surface to air variant armed with a Angular Blast Fragmentation Warhead (7d+2 pi, ROF 1×95 and rcl 1. Warhead cost $200), a 64mm MLAWS (see Ultra-Tech pg. 145 and 146. Has ST 14M when mounted. Uses Artillery (Guided Missile)/TL9) mounted on the other large shoulder hard point and is usually armed with HEMP (7d×4(10) cr ex with 5d×3 cr ex [3d+1]. Warhead cost $40) and the last small shoulder hard point is either left empty or equipped with a mission specific weapon or sensor pod.

Its limbs are also effective weapons doing 9d cr with its arms and 9d+1 with its legs (its armor effectively acts as a brass knuckle and steel toe boots respectively).

In situations where heavy, close combat is expected the Closed Assault Armor Package upgrade (usually called CAP) can be equipped. It consist of a main body covering made of STF Reflex (Covers locations 9 and 10; DR120/40*, optimized)  with the front main body covered with Explosive Reactive Armor (DR 375/150; 1/2 coverage, -2 coverage modifier. Does 1d cr ex with each hit. See this post for Reactive Armor rules), weighs 113lbs and costs $48,200.

TL Vehicle   ST/HP   Hnd/SR    HT   Move    LWt.    Load    SM    Occ    DR       Range    Cost              Loc.       LC    Notes
9    AVB-3       79/69        5/3         11f     8/9       2.5         0.35     +2     1S      284/189     227       $1,100,000     2A2Lt     2     [1, 2, 3]  

[1] The higher DR value before the slash is for attacks against the front torso, the lower value is for all other locations. The armor counts as Laminated and is doubled against shaped charges.
[2] The pilot compartment (Location 9) is protected by an additional DR 75 that counts as Semi-Ablative.
[3]Can go into wheeled mode. In this mode the mecha has Move 4/18 and Hnd/SR 4/2.

Hit Locations
Use the Vehicle Hit Location Table on pg. 554 of the Basic Set with these following notes. The AVB-3 Infiltrator counts as Unliving.
  • Legs are hit on 6-7 (right leg) and 13-14 (left leg) and arms are hit on 8 (right arm) and 12 (left arm). Effects are as for hits on these locations for humans and humanoids with the below exceptions. 
  • When a leg is hit roll 2d. On a 2-3 the pilots leg is hit if the damage penetrates the legs DR, on a 5-7 treat as a normal leg hit, on a 8-9 a fuel tank is hit and on a 10-12 an engine is hit. 
  • Fuel tank has DR 6, only leaks on a major wound in which case it leaks a gallon a minute per major wound. Each MDH turbine engine has DR 6 and HP 23 and counts as Unliving. If an engine is dropped to less then 1/3rd their HP its move drops to Lifting/Striking ST 68 and move 7/8 (4/16 with roller wheels). If both engines are dropped to less then 1/3rd HP or one engine is destroyed then Lifting/Striking ST drops to 56 and move becomes 6/7(3/14 with roller wheels) and if one is destroyed and the remaining one is dropped to less then 1/3rd HP Lifting/Striking ST becomes 40 and move becomes 4/5 (2/10 with roller wheels).
  • Hit location 9 is the torsos pilot compartment. It has an extra DR 75 semi-ablative.
New Equipment

Sound Baffling (TL9)
By using padding, locking down of rattling parts and sound absorbing materials, it is possible to mask how much noise a device makes while active or a person makes while moving. It subtracts -4 (TL9), -6 (TL10), -8 (TL11) or  -10 (TL 12) from rolls to hear the baffled object. $1,500, 3lbs, (Adjust by SM). LC3.

Counter-Measure  Decoys (TL9)
Homing weapons (see Guided and Homing Weapons, Basic Set pg. 412-413) can have their guidance systems thrown off through the use of decoys. The type of decoy needed depends on the type of guidance system the homing missile is using, flares and smoke for passive visual sensors and chaff for active sensors or multi-purpose which effects both types but are less effective then ones that is purpose built. Counter-Measure Decoys work by giving a penalty to an homing weapons attack roll if the weapons guidance system is of a type it is rated against, for example a 40mm Decoy gives a -6 which means the homing weapons has a -6 to hit. Counter-Measure Decoys are most effective against guidance systems of the same TL or lower, their attack modifier increases by 2 per TL higher the Decoy is then the homing weapons guidance system but if the Decoy is of a lower TL then the Decoys effectiveness is reduced by 2 per TL lower. Decoys are more effective when fired in salvos, increase a Decoys modifier by 1 if two are used, by 2 if three are used, 3 if five are used, 5 if seven are used or 7 if ten are used.

Pick which kind of Decoy you are choosing, Anti-Passive Visual Sensor, Anti-Active Sensor or Multi-Purpose. Anti-Passive Visual Sensor and Anti-Active Sensor use the listed modifier but only against the type of guidance system they are designed for, otherwise they have no effect. Multi-Purpose effects both types but at reduced effectiveness, reduce a given Decoys modifier by 2.

Smallest Warhead is 25mm.

Warhead        Damage
25mm             spec. (-4)
40mm             spec. (-6)
64mm             spec. (-7)
100mm           spec. (-8)
Counter-Measure Decoys are double normal cost. LC3.

40mm Counter-Measure Launcher
Essentially 16 small motor tubes in a box, the 40mm Counter-Measure Launcher lobs 40mm grenades at low velocity in a high arc. While technically any 40mm warhead can be used, generally defensive warheads are used (though HE rounds could work for close-in anti-personal defense). While generally designed to fire its rounds in a predetermined high arc, Artillery (Cannon) can be used to aim them at a specific target.

It has the same stats and cost as the 40mmPLB Motor only that rather then having 4 tubes stacked with 4 rounds each, it has 16 individual tubes.

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