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Additional tech weapons

by Alex Benson

I think similar weapons can be found in "City of the Gods". IIRC they are referred to as being Blackmoor weapons, though in fact they are Federation weapons. They probably drew these weapons from Star Frontiers. There's an issue of Dragon Mag (#259 I think) with a section on weapons for the Alternity System for the Fallout 2 RPG. There's a little bit of everything offered from Red Ryder BB Guns to Laser rifles. Of course all of these are in Alternity stats.

Lasers in general are a mainstay of sci-fi movies, and such, as being the standard shoulder weapon and sidearm of the sci-fi warrior. In truth they are not the most efficient of weapons. First, the laser rifle is a power hungry weapon requiring vast amounts of energy to power each laser bolt. A laser bolt hit would have a cauterising effect on the flesh, making a pencil thin incision and possibly doing some internal damage to internal organs. However the cauterising affect would limit internal bleeding and limit damage to the beam contact area. There would be no shock affect one gets with a kinetic round. In most sci-fi movie applications, laser weapons display a pitiful rate of fire. A better use for a laser in the field would be as a "sickle" type weapon. Fire the beam in a sustained pattern and move it back and forth amid the ranks of the enemy. This would cut them to shreds.

That's one of the reasons I utilise kinetic powder charged assault rifles. They are an efficient means to send a metal projectile into the bodies of thine enemies. Since troops would be part of a mechanised force, they'd have additional supplies and weapons in their transports. As I see it (influenced by various sources) a typical tech trooper would be equipped as follows when venturing out from the transport vehicles:

Armour- The trooper would wear an airtight one piece coverall design. Armour plating would be attached to this suit. Reinforced sole boots, shin guards, breastplate, bracer/gauntlets. The head would be protected by a helmet with full faceshield. The suit is essentially a set of plate mail but with the chainmail aspect replaced with synthetic materials (layered kevlar / goretex / thinsulate). The plating either being super strong alloys or composite materials. The suits can be sealed and provide life support/environmental conditioning from a backpack mounted unit if need be.

Electronics- the troopers are equipped with a variety of electronic functions to aid them in their combat duties, each bundled into the suit and helm.

Communications are provided through a multichannel radio mic and speaker within the helm. Through this, the trooper can communicate directly with his platoon, HQ, air support, intel/recon, other troops, arty, etc. in groups or as isolated signals. Through this a direct link to other units can be maintained and info can be quickly sent, received and processed. Data is displayed on the helm faceshield. Controls are located on wrist/gauntlet.

Sensory enhancement comes from a hardware package that sees passive light collection/enhancement on the entire light spectrum, an active light/radar/sonar projector, sound mic, and zoom magnification. All data collected is channelled through the unit's central processor and the results displayed on the helm's display, or can be displayed on a screen on one of the wrist/gauntlets. Data can be broadcast abroad to HQ or other units and soldiers. Additional data can be stored in the system's memory pack. Control settings allow these systems to be used in various combinations, altogether, or as singular functions.

Weapons- The troopers carry the standard issue assault rifle. These weapons fire chemical charged metallic rounds, from 30 round magazines. The rifles have selective fire: semi-automatic, three round bursts, and full automatic. Sighting is done through traditional "iron sights" or through an electro-optical sight mounted on the rifle. Targeting data is piped in through coaxial or fiberoptics to the helm display to offer a crosshair for target acquisition.

Additional firepower is provided by a pistol. Since it is considered a back up weapon, no special targeting (just iron sights) is provided and only three 10 round magazines are carried (one in pistol).

It is customary for each squad to be equipped with a heavier machine gun of a higher calibre. This is usually handled by a single troop bearing 400 rounds of ammo, with additional ammo distributed throughout squad.

Also included in each squad is an assault rifle with a charge slinger (grenade launcher) mounted beneath its forestock. The trooper assigned this duty carries 30 propelled grenades in a special satchel. Grenades can be of various types: incendiary, fragmentation, concussion.

Hand thrown grenades are also present and standard issue. Standard issue is six grenades; four frag, one incend, and one concussion. However additional grenades are often carried.

Stationary directional explosive devices (claymore mines) are also found. They prove invaluable in establishing a perimeter or in providing addition firepower from a fixed position. The devices can either be triggered manually/remote, by sensor, or by mechanical tripwire.

Plasma packs are explosive charges. Every squad carries two or three of these devices. They can be set to detonate by timer or by remote control.

Also carried is the combat/survival knife that can be affixed to the rifle as a bayonet. It is more often used as a tool than as a weapon. However, its use is still taught in training camp. The knife handle is hollow and removing the pommel cap reveals stowage. Most troops use this to store small personal effects, additional power cells, or nothing at all. Many troops symbolically fill the knife handles with soil taken from their homeworlds, good luck trinkets, etc.

Misc- As far as ammo is concerned, troops are issued six magazines for the assault weapons, these are carried in pouches on the belts. Additionally, an equal amount of loose ammo is issued for restocking the empty magazines. However, more ammo is often allowed. Many troops go into battle with as many as 10 or twenty magazines and a few packets of loose ammo.

Troops usually carry enough food and water (freeze dried) for a three days. They also carry emergency rations for two additional days. Additional supplies are often crammed in packs.

A med pack has painkillers, antibiotics, dressings, disinfectant spray, salt tablets, and water purification tablets. For more pressing medical attentions at least one (sometimes two) squad members carry and are knowledgeable in the use of more pressing medical devices and medicines. These are used to stabilise a trooper for medical evacuation.

Though primary shelter would primarily stay in the transport, each trooper would carry a shelter half in case they must make camp away from their vehicle. Combining two shelter halves, forms the basis for a tent for two troopers. Environmental concerns would be addressed by the armour suits.