Techno-Wizard M4A7T "Thunder" Sherman Tank:


Four Coalition Linebacker tanks advanced on the defenders position. The mission was to flatten the town completely for harboring wizards and D-bees. The tank crews were expecting some sort of defense so they approached cautiously, a fraction of their top speed of almost two hundred and fifty kilometers per hour. A second wave of troops were behind them but the tanks were suppose to smash the defenders. While they did not have the heavy guns carried on Iron Heart Armament tank designs, their heavy missiles were considered to compensate for their lack of a heavy gun.


Waiting in ambush of the Coalition hover tanks were two Techno-Wizard Sherman tanks. Supporting them were only a handful of power armor. The tanks were completely invisible, hidden by the spell of Chameleon. Sitting in the commander's position of the lead tank, Lieutenant Naomi Cardinal watched carefully. She had expected to encounter something other than hover tanks and the defenses had been set up to deal with giant robots not hover tanks.


Her tanks were of a new version of the Sherman, nicknamed the "Thunder" Sherman. They were armed with a more powerful main gun, a 90 electro-thermal cannon replacing the conventional 120 mm cannon on the conventional model. They could engage at two thirds greater range and the cannon punched about thirty percent heavier than the conventional cannon.


The Coalition Linebackers were heavily armored but Naomi considered them to be a horrible design. Their only real danger was the medium range missile launchers mounted in the rear. Hopefully, their chaff and flare systems would decoy any incoming missiles. Their first round might not let them be targeted but the second round was sure to draw fire to their location. They were also far faster than most Coalition heavy robot designs and would change the engagement strategy.


The crew of the Coalition hover tanks looked around, more nervous than anything. There was no sign of movement and the commander felt between his shoulders that it was an ambush. With the exception of their missiles, they would have to get to around a mile to return fire. While great against small arms, heavy tank weapons such as those on Iron Heart tanks would range on them long before then.


Watching over his targeting sights, Naomi's gunner waited as the hover tanks entered range of the main gun. The targeting computer gave a range of five thousand five hundred meters. While this was within range of the main gun, he was not to open fire until the Coalition units got to within five thousand yards. The plan was to wait until the Coalition units closed a bit so that they could not escape once they opened fire.


As the hover tanks got to within five thousand meters, the electro-thermal primer had an incredible surge of electricity passed through it and a 90 mm round flew from the barrel and an incredible velocity. There was no smoke from the firing of the round and the first warning for the Linebacker was the high density projectile hitting the front of the Coalition tank. It did not penetrate the front armor but put a large crater in the armor plate. A second round followed a moment later.


Suddenly, the threat radar of the Sherman tanks detected the seeker head of multiple missiles. Eight missiles appeared to have been launched in a pair of volleys. Naomi locked four short range missiles on the first volley and four on the second. All four missiles of the first volley detonated but two slipped through on the second. The front gunner was able to kill one of the incoming missiles with his enchanted flame cannon. The final one was decoyed by the enchanted flare and chaff system and exploded behind the tank.


Another pair of volleys followed the first with eight more missiles incoming. The Sherman commander opens up with her remaining short range missiles. This time, one missile of the first volley and a pair of missiles of the second volley. Again, one missile was destroyed by the enchanted flame cannon and one of the surviving missiles was decoyed. The final missile hit the force field protecting the Techno-Wizard tank. Just as the missiles struck, the Sherman main gun hit the hover tank again.


Yet another pair of volleys came towards the two tanks as the four Coalition hover tanks closed the distance as fast as they could. The driver of Naomi's tank jammed the Sherman tank in reverse. Unfortunately, Naomi's tank was out of defensive missiles and she had to rely on decoys and gun mounts to deal with the incoming missiles. She opened fire with her telekinetic machine-gun while the front gunner opened up with his plasma cannon. They managed to kill two of the missiles and four out of the remaining six were decoyed. A major explosion erupted behind her tank. The other two missiles took out the remains of the force field and blew off a large amount of armor of the tank. If Naomi had not been protected by her own force field, she would have been killed by the explosion. The gunner had stayed cool under fire and had fired another round at the forward Coalition hover tank. The explosion may have messed up his fire control solution because the round missed.


Naomi hastily raised the force field again before another volley of missiles could be fired. As she expected, eight more missiles were incoming. This should be the last of the missiles carried by the hover tanks. She opened fire with her telekinetic machine gun and the front gunner fired his flame cannon once again. This time they were lucky and were able to destroy a total of four incoming missiles, a pair from each volley. Two of the four were decoyed by the enchanted decoy system with the two remaining missiles hitting her force field. Again, the force field was blown out but the tank only took light damage. She raised the force field for the last time and looked over at the other Sherman. It was still operational as well but had taken far worse damage than hers had. She also noted that it had not raised its force field. The other tank commander must have used all three activations of the force field.


As they continued to back up, her gunner continued to fire 90 mm rounds at the enemy tank. It took four more before the enemy tank was disabled. Just a few moments later, a second hover tank was destroyed by the other Sherman. The odds now were far more even although the hover tanks were closing fast. If they reached mini-missile range, they could smother the two Sherman tanks with them.


The hover tanks had to slow down slightly to avoid they wrecked counterparts. There was a minefield using Elemental Earthquake Mines but they would not effect the hover craft because they were not actually in contact with the ground. On the other side was a conventional minefield but mini-missile range would be reached before they could get the enemy hover tanks over the mines.


Naomi radioed to her companion commander, "Concentrate on my target." Her gunner fired a 90 mm round at one of the Coalition tanks, the one slightly forward. The second Sherman fired at the tank a moment later. The combined fire of the two techno-wizard tanks soon were able to wreck their target. Its hover jets remained functional and the hover tank skidded to the side, spinning wildly with its stabilizers destroyed.


Unfortunately, the final tank had almost reached mini-missile range. Naomi activated the enchantment on her tank which would make it impervious to energy. Both Sherman tanks continued firing but mini-missile range had been reached. The Coalition tank fired at the worse damaged of the pair and Naomi heard an explosion beside her. She turned her head to see that her companion was gone. The crew might have survived but she could see the other commander and he looked badly hurt or dead. One final round took care of the surviving hover tank.



Background:

The basic Techno-Wizard version of the M4 Sherman, called the "Super Sherman", is an extremely impressive tank design. The tank combines good armor with a variety of enchantments which make it even more formidable. One of these is a magical force field which gives additional protection to the tank and a special enchanted flare and chaff system to decoy missiles. It is slightly larger than the original M4 Sherman of the Second World War. The original M4 Sherman was one of the most famous tanks ever built. While it looks like the original Sherman, the techno-wizard version is a modern design which incorporates the strongest of alloys and has full life support systems and advanced sensor systems.


As with most designs, the Techno-Wizard Sherman has received some criticism. The two most common areas are in the areas of speed and in the power of the main gun. Compared to more modern tanks, the Super Sherman is rather slow. Top speed is around forty-five miles per hour off road compared to around fifty-five miles per hour for the Iron Fist, which is considered to be a fairly slow tank design. Hover tanks are far faster with top speeds of over one hundred miles per hour, in some cases closer to two hundred miles per hour. The 120 mm cannon carried on the Super Sherman was extremely powerful when introduced but is dwarfed in capabilities. Still, more powerful weapons including both rail guns and electro-thermal weapons have replaced the 120 mm cannon. Another disadvantage of the 120 mm cannon is a limited payload.


There was little which could be done about the speed of the tank although firepower was a different situation. The 120 mm cannon is replaced by a far more powerful 90 mm electro-thermal cannon. The cannon is identical to the cannon carried on the Techno-Wizard converted M48 and M60 Patton tanks as well as the Lightning Fist manufactured by Northern Gun. The Northern Gun design is the first which appears to have carried the cannon and the weapons are purchased directly from the company. Unlike the M48 and M60 tanks, power is pulled from the fusion reactor and the tank uses an auto-loader. This allows a greater rate of fire while not needing an additional crew member to load the cannon. Finally, the smaller projectiles allows the tank to carry a larger payload although rounds other than anti-tank round are less powerful.


The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a "propellant", which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to "switch" directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. In many ways, the cannon is as powerful as a heavy rail gun.


Model Type: M4 "Super Sherman" Techno-Wizard Tank
Vehicle Type: Magical Battle Tank
Crew: 4 (Driver, Commander, and two Gunners)


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):100 each
Weapons Turret:250
90 mm Electro Thermal Cannon:120
[2] Coaxial Heavy Flame Cannon:40
[2] Hull Heavy Flame Cannon:40
[2] Commander Modular Weapon Mount (Top of Turret):60
[3] Ejectable Short Range Missile Launchers (2, Side of Turret):50 each
[3] Ejectable "Calliope" Mini-Missile Launcher (Above Turret)120
[2] “Fireworks” Magic Chaff and Flare Dispensers (2):20 each
Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):200
[4] Main Body:500


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot," but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[3] Once the missiles have been expended, or in an emergency, before they have been fully expended, the launcher can be ejected from the tank. Though disposable, they do not have to be disposed, and can be re-used indefinitely.
[4] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and unsalvageable, but crew may survive in their reinforced compartments.


Speed:
Ground: Cruising speed on land is 55 mph (88.5 kph) on roads and 45 mph (72.4 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Underwater: Buttoned up, it can travel under water at 20 mph (32 km).
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 5 year duration) Armored Vehicle carries about two weeks worth of emergency supplies onboard.


Statistical Data:
Height: 10.7 feet (3.26 meters)
Width: 11.6 feet (3.54 meters)
Length: Main Body: 22.7 feet (6.91 meters) and With Gun Forward: 29.5 feet (8.99 meters).
Weight: 47.3 tons (42.9 metric tons)
Power Source: Nuclear fusion reactor; Must be refueled every five years, otherwise effectively unlimited.
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilot's compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and two hand-held missile launcher with four loads each.
Black Market Cost: 40.5 Million Credits. (8 million to upgrade from standard "Super Sherman" version


Weapon Systems

  1. 90 mm Electro Thermal Cannon (1): Mounted in the tanks main turret in place of the 120 mm cannon on the Super Sherman and is quite a bit more powerful. Have an auto-loader unlike the Techno-Wizard M48 and M60. As well, power is pulled from the tank's fusion reactor. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a "propellant", which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to "switch" directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. Since the cannon is built into a turret, it can rotate 360-degrees and can aim upwards 55 degrees - allowing it to engage low-flying aircraft and creatures. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3.5 miles (5.6 km) for direct fire and 8 miles (12.9 km) for indirect fire.
    Mega Damage: A single round 3D6x10 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use High Explosive rounds that does 2D4x10 M.D. with a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m). High Explosive Anti Tank does 2D6x10 M.D. with a blast radius of 10 ft (3.0 m).
    Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
    Payload: 80 rounds (smaller and require less propellent). Normally 40 rounds are of standard anti-tank slugs. The payload of the original Iron Fist was actually 50 rounds not 80 rounds.
    Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
  2. Heavy Flame Cannons (2): One is mounted in the turret beside the main cannon and is controlled by the same gunner who controls the 120 mm cannon and the other is mounted in the hull and is controlled by the secondary gunner. The cannon is designed to be used against targets which do no warrant the use of the main cannon. The weapon is a converted heavy plasma weapon. The flame cannon has a slightly better range and have an unlimited payload compared to hand held flame cannons. The weapon must be recharged once a month using the spells "Fire Bolt", "Energy Bolt", and 100 P.P.E.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per flame cannon blast.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunners (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
  3. Commander Modular Weapon Mount (Top of Turret): Above the turret in an open mount is a position for the tank destroyer's commander and a weapon. The commander is not fully protected by armor but is protected by the tank's magical force field when active. A variety of different weapons can be carried including a second flame cannon, a telekinetic machine-gun, or a conventional automatic grenade launcher. Even though the grenade launcher has a limited payload, it is popular with crews due to its incredible firepower.
    1. Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted on a spindle mount.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
      Mega-Damage: 4D6 for single shot of Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft, 1D4x10 for a single shot of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, 2D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft, and 3D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner / commander.
      Payload: 400 Rounds.
    2. Heavy Flame Cannon: The weapon is a converted heavy plasma weapon. The flame cannon has a slightly better range and have an unlimited payload compared to hand held flame cannons. The weapon must be recharged once a month using the spells "Fire Bolt", "Energy Bolt", and 100 P.P.E.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per flame cannon blast.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner / commander.
      Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
    3. T.K. Machine-Gun (1): It is enchanted by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of the T.K. Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 50 P.P.E. each once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 6D6 per shot
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner / commander.
      Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
  4. Missile Launcher Hard Point: Mounted on either side of the turret is an attachment to carry two short range missile launchers or a single large mini-missile launcher. The mini-missile launcher fits above the turret and restricts the visibility and arc of fire of the commander of the tank. The launchers are designed to be able to be quickly ejected. The missile launchers can be controlled by either the gunner or the commander of the tank.
    1. Disposable Short Range Missile Launchers (2): Mounted on side of the turret, these launchers give the tank destroyer a reasonable missile payload while keeping the external appearance mostly unchanged. The launchers can be ejected when no longer needed or if they are in danger of exploding.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with short range missile type; Usually High Explosive or Armor Piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies with short range missile type; Usually High Explosive or Armor Piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles.
      Payload: Eight (8) short range missiles per launcher for sixteen (16) total.
    2. Disposable "Calliope" Mini Missile Launcher (1): Mounted on the sides of the turret but actual launchers are above the turret. The launcher has 2 sets if 12 tubes on bottom and a single row of 36 tubes on the top. The launchers can be ejected when no longer needed or if they are in danger of exploding.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, mini missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), five (5), ten (10), or twenty (20) missiles.
      Payload: Launcher carries a total of 60 Mini-missiles.
  5. Fireworks Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispensers (2): The system is mounted on either side of the tank behind the main cannon. In many ways this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare system. When the system fires, it looks like fireworks firing. The anti-missile system works by combining three spells. The three spells are Fire Bolt, Apparition, and Telekinesis. The physical effects of the system are similar to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being reloaded, it is recharged by spells.
    Effect:
      01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half.
    Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 10 Uses before being recharged. Each launcher is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.).
  6. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Sherman has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the Tank. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot or crew
    Special Features:
      Chameleon (10th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.
      Impervious to Energy (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
      Invisibility-Superior (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.


Sensory Equipment:
The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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