Battlefield Artillery for Rifts (Version 1.2):

Index:


Introduction:


In modern battle, artillery is an important component of the battlefield. Likewise it still is very important in the war torn world of the Rifts. To a certain extent, vehicle missile launchers have replaced cannon artillery but cannon style artillery is still far less expensive both to purchase and use. Artillery fits into two general categories: towed and self-propelled. Since self-propelled artillery varies greatly, it will be covered separately and written up as vehicles based off of modern equivalents where possible.


Listed are the most common types of artillery and rounds for the Pre-Rifts United States, there have been nuclear artillery shells but I have not listed their damages and effects. Nuclear artillery shells are also extremely rare, even more than nuclear missiles and bombs are. This is because nuclear weapons are normally considered strategic weapons and in the hand of the Government not the military.


Towed artillery is designed for ease of carrying but towed artillery has a much lower rate of fire then automatic loading systems which would be used in some self propelled artillery and most naval vessels. As a hand loaded artillery continues fire, it cannot sustain a full rate of fire. This is because of loader fatigue, robots used as loaders allow the cannon to fire at full rate of fire continuously.


Many companies on Rifts Earth produce towed artillery designs and well as many being left over from before the Rifts. Some of the companies which produce towed artillery include Northern Gun, Wellington Industries, Metalworks Industries, Triax, and Iron Heart Armament before it was taken over by the Coalition. There are many smaller companies who also produce the towed weapons and Golden Age Weaponsmiths refit surviving pre-rifts towed artillery mounts.


These rules may also be used for many naval ships weaponry as well as for other modern Palladium games in addition to Rifts.


Towed Artillery rates of fire:


For Rate of fire of the 105 mm Howitzer: For the first minute (four melees), the gunners and loaders can fire 2 shots per melee. For the next three minutes, the gunners and loaders can fire at a rate of 3 shots every two melees. The gunners and loaders can sustain a rate of 3 shots every four melees. A 105 mm towed artillery also usually requires a crew of 5 people to operate at this rate of fire.


For Rate of fire of the 155 mm Howitzer: For the first minute (four melees), the gunners and loaders can fire 1 shot per melee. For the next three minutes, the gunners and loaders can fire at a rate of 3 shots every four melees. The gunners and loaders can sustain a rate of 1 shots every two melees. A 155 mm towed artillery also usually requires a crew of 10 people to operate at this rate of fire.


For Rate of fire of the 203 mm Howitzer: for the first minute (four melees), the gunners and loaders can fire 1 shot per melee. For the next three minutes, the gunners and loaders can fire at a rate of 3 shots every four melees. The gunners and loaders can sustain a rate of 1 shots every two melees. A 203 mm towed artillery also usually requires a crew of 15 people to operate at this rate of fire.


Guns:

Artillery Size:Weight:
Towed
Range: Non-
Rocket Assisted
Range:
Rocket Assisted:
Cost:
Towed
105 mm Howitzer4100 lb (1859 kg)8.7 miles (14 km)12.1 miles (19.5 km) 100,000 Credits
155 mm Howitzer15800 lb (7170 kg)13.7 miles (22 km)23.5 miles (36.4 km) 250,000 Credits
203 mm Howitzer16800 lb (7600 kg)16.1 miles (25.9 km)22.7 miles (36.4 km)450,000 Credits


Warheads:


Fragmentation:

Fragmentation:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer1D6x1025 feet550 Cr1D4x1020 feet750 Cr
155 mm Howitzer2D4x1040 feet1800 Cr1D6x1030 feet2000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer3D4x1050 feet4000 Cr2D4x1040 feet5000 Cr


High Explosive Rounds:

High Explosive:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer2D4x1015 feet600 Cr1D6x1010 feet800 Cr
155 mm Howitzer2D6x1025 feet2000 Cr2D4x1020 feet2400 Cr
203 mm Howitzer3D6x1035 feet5000 Cr3D4x1030 feet6000 Cr


Armor Piercing

Armor Piercing:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer2D6x10 [1]4 feet750 Cr2D4x10 [1]3 feet 900 Cr
155 mm Howitzer3D6x10 [1]6 feet2200 Cr2D6x10 [1]5 feet 2800 Cr
203 mm Howitzer4D6x10 [1]10 feet6000 Cr3D6x10 [1]8 feet 7000 Cr


[1] Due to the weapons high penetration, warheads inflict critical strikes (double damage) on natural 18, 19, and 20


Plasma

Plasma
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer3D4x1020 feet900 Cr2D6x1015 feet1200 Cr
155 mm Howitzer4D6x1030 feet2500 Cr3D6x1025 feet 3200 Cr
203 mm Howitzer5D6x1040 feet7500 Cr4D6x1035 feet 9000 Cr


Incendiary:
Incendiary inflicts less damage than other warhead types but instead burns for several melees. An Incendiary burns for 6 melees and does damage all 6 melees. The damage should be applied on the start of each melee that Incendiary is burning the target.

Incendiary
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer4D64 feet800 Cr3D63 feet1100 Cr
155 mm Howitzer6D66 feet2300 Cr5D65 feet3000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer1D4x1010 feet6500 Cr6D68 feet8000 Cr


Smoke:
Use the blast radius of smoke for knockout gas, tear gas, and fire regardant as well.

Smoke:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm HowitzerNone30 feet50 CrNone20 feet150 Cr
155 mm HowitzerNone40 feet200 CrNone30 feet400 Cr
203 mm HowitzerNone50 feet800 CrNone40 feet1200 Cr


Cluster Munition:
Cluster Munition warheads work by dispersing numerous sub-munitions. Each sub-munition is a small grenade-like bomb. These bombs impact all over the target area causing massive amounts of damage. These are used against runways, highways, bridges, and sometimes large fuel tanks. If used against a runway, highway or bridge, the bombs will crater the entire target area. This will cause a runway to become unusable and highways and bridges to be very dangerous to traverse.

Cluster Munition
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer5D6 [2]5 feet800 Cr5D6 [2]5 feet1100 Cr
155 mm Howitzer5D6 [2]5 feet2300 Cr5D6 [2]5 feet3000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer5D6 [2]5 feet6500 Cr5D6 [2]5 feet8000 Cr


[2] This weapon works by distributing (100 for 105 mm standard, 75 for 105 mm rocket assisted, 200 for 155 mm standard, 150 for 155 mm rocket assisted, 300 for 203 mm standard, and 200 for 203 mm rocket assisted) grenade type bombs on the target. Each grenade does 5D6 MD to a 5 ft radius. All of the grenades are dispersed in a radius on target, thus causing widespread damage. 105 mm standard create an area 40 feet in diameter, 105 mm rocket assisted creates an area 30 feet in diameter, 155 mm standard create an area 60 feet in diameter, 155 mm rocket assisted creates an area 50 feet in diameter, 203 mm standard creates an area 80 feet in diameter, and 203 mm rocket assisted creates an area 60 feet in diameter.


Top-Attack Anti-Armor:
Top-attack anti-armor (TA3) artillery rounds are designed to strike armored vehicles from above, where they are most vulnerable. These artillery rounds work by delivering what is known as an explosively-formed-projectile or EFP. These EFPs travel at velocities in excess of 6,560 ft/s (2,000 m/s) and are usually capable of punching through the relatively thin upper armor of many vehicles. These munitions are also sometimes used against underground bunkers and fuel storage

Anti-Armor
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer2D4x10 [3]5 feet800 Cr2D4x10 [3]5 feet 1100 Cr
155 mm Howitzer2D4x10 [3]5 feet2300 Cr2D4x10 [3]5 feet 3000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer2D4x10 [3]5 feet6500 Cr2D4x10 [3]5 feet 8000 Cr


[3] TA3 warheads will penetrate the armor if the damage done equals or exceeds 30% of the total armor of the area being attacked. If an EFP penetrates, all targets inside, including equipment, take one-third damage.
For number of warheads, 155 mm artillery using the TA3 warhead actually carry two EFPs and 203 mm artillery using the TA3 warhead actually carry four EFPs. Each EFP, once deployed, is capable of attacking a separate target independently within 75 ft (22.9 m) of dispersal. EFPs will automatically attack separate targets unless there are fewer targets than there are warheads are present, in which case all targets will be attacked with multiple hits on the largest target.


Deployable Minefield:
Deployable minefield artillery shells are used to deliver mines in front of, behind, or even on top of enemy troops. Minefields will usually severely slow down advancing troops as they attempt to either clear or bypass the field. This time can be used by friendly troops to regroup, attack, or any of a number of things.

Anti-Personnel
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer7D6 [4]20 feet800 Cr7D6 [4]20 feet1100 Cr
155 mm Howitzer7D6 [4]20 feet2300 Cr7D6 [4]20 feet3000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer7D6 [4]20 feet6500 Cr7D6 [4]20 feet8000 Cr


[4] 105 mm standard delivers 50 mines covering an area 150 ft (45.7 m) in diameter and 105 mm rocket assisted delivers 40 mines covering an area 100 feet (30.5 m) in diameter. 155 mm standard delivers 100 mines covering an area 200 ft (61 m) in diameter and 155 mm rocket assisted delivers 80 mines covering an area 150 ft (45.7 m) in diameter. 203 mm standard delivers 200 mines covering an area 300 ft (91.4 m) diameter and 203 mm rocket assisted delivers 160 mines covering an area 200 ft (61 m) in diameter.
Anti-personnel mines will be triggered by pressure of over 100 lb (45 kg) within 15 ft (4.6 m).

Anti-Armor
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm Howitzer1D4x10 [5]20 feet800 Cr1D4x10 [5]20 feet 1100 Cr
155 mm Howitzer1D4x10 [5]20 feet2300 Cr1D4x10 [5]20 feet3000 Cr
203 mm Howitzer1D4x10 [5]20 feet6500 Cr1D4x10 [5]20 feet8000 Cr


[5] Number of warheads and radius is identical to anti-personnel mines but the Anti-vehicle mines will be triggered by pressure of over 400 lb (180 kg) within 15 ft (4.6 m).


Illumination:
Illumination warheads deliver parachute-suspended flare type lights or "candles". These provide illumination over a battlefield for at least a limited amount of time.

Illumination:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Blast Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Blast Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm HowitzerNone [6]200 feet200 CrNone [6]150 feet 300 Cr
155 mm HowitzerNone [6]500 feet600 CrNone [6]400 feet 700 Cr
203 mm HowitzerNone [6]1000 feet1000 CrNone [6]800 feet 1200 Cr


[6] Multiple candles are released from the warheads. The illumination will last for 10 melees (2.5 minutes).


Jamming:
These rounds are very rare. Jamming warheads explode over the target releasing large amounts of chaff while jamming transmitters produce electronic noise. While the jamming system is on, conventional radar, conventional radar, and conventional missile guidance systems will not be able to function properly in the area affected. Sensor systems will have ranges reduced to 50% of normal and have a -25% penalty to all read sensory rolls including the chance of detecting any targets in the area of the jamming. Smart Missiles can be programmed to go after the signature of the Jamming with a weapon systems roll and smart missiles have this option automatically available.

Illumination:
Artillery Size:
Standard:
Mega Damage:
Standard:
Effect Radius:
Standard:
Cost:
Rocket:
Mega Damage:
Rocket:
Effect Radius:
Rocket:
Cost:
105 mm HowitzerNone [7]100 feet1000 CrNone [6]80 feet 1500 Cr
155 mm HowitzerNone [7]250 feet4000 CrNone [6]200 feet 5000 Cr
203 mm HowitzerNone [7]500 feet10000 CrNone [6]400 feet 12000 Cr


[6] Multiple jammers are released from the warheads. The jamming will last for 10 melees (2.5 minutes).


General Rules:


Flight Time:
Without trying to make the system incredibly complex, Artillery rounds take 1 melee for every ten miles they travel.


Terms:
Direct Fire: The artillery is being fired directly on a target with no angle. Some artillery can be used as anti-aircraft weapons and this is the way they are operated when used in this role. In these cases, the gunner has full bonuses and does not use the special targeting tables
Indirect Fire: In this case the artillery is fired at an angle upwards and comes down onto the target. The rules after this are applied to indirect fire.


Shooting down Artillery Rounds:
Artillery rounds can be shot down in a similar fashion to missiles. Most 105 mm howitzer rounds have 10 M.D.C., 155 mm howitzer shells have 15 M.D.C., and 203 mm howitzer shells have 25 M.D.C. In most cases, a guided missile or an advanced fire control computer is required to shoot down projectiles. In most cases, once an artillery shell which contains sub-munitions has broken into multiple targets, those are almost impossible to destroy so it is best to destroy the rounds before they break apart.


Guided Projectiles:
Guided projectiles have the advantage of being able to seek out their target. There are multiple forms of Guided projectiles and their use similar seeker systems to guided missiles. Due to costs involved, artillery shells rarely have a smart guidance system. Strike roles for guided projectiles are as per normal strike rules.


Active Radar Homing: This shell guidance is a tiny radar system that allows it to guide itself to target. This guidance is Autonomous. This guidance system can be detected by any system that detects radar signals. These missiles are vulnerable to being tricked by chaff systems, can be jammed by active jamming systems, and have minuses to targets that are radar stealth vehicles. The projectile guidance has +3 to strike. Costs an additional 500 credits with the ability to Home on Jam costing an additional 250 Credits.


Anti-Radiation Projectile: This shell guidance has a special system that tracks on Electromagnetic signals. This is normally used to track on radar transmitters but can be used to home in on radio, microwave, and other similar signals as well. This guidance is Autonomous. These guidance systems are a special purpose system and will only target active transmitters and as such the best defense is to shut the transmitter off. Almost all shells remember the target and will target that location. The projectile guidance has +4 to strike a target that has active emissions but cannot hit targets that are not active (Shells that remember target will have no bonuses to strike.) Costs an additional 800 credits with the ability to Remembers Locations costing an additional 200 Credits


Command: The shell is controlled by a radio signal the gives the projectile directions to hit its target. This guidance is not Autonomous. This system is limited to the range of the radio signals although directors could pass to other directing signals. This system is vulnerable to radio jamming and if jammed, missile will either detonate or will follow a pre-programed course. If Jammed, projectiles are at -9 to strike with no gunner bonuses to strike.
The command guidance use the bonuses of the director of the missile (In the case of a gunner, their bonuses) to strike. Costs an additional 200 credits.


Optical Guidance: This guidance system uses a picture of the target and locks on to that target. This guidance is Autonomous. These projectiles can be tricked by changing the targets profile, by target changing position, and by very thick smoke although projectiles with thermal imaging can see through the smoke. The projectile guidance has +3 to strike. Costs an additional 500 credits with Thermal Imaging costing an addition 250 credits.


Semi Active Laser Homing: This guidance system follows a laser beam from a director to the target. This systems is very hard to fool and is very accurate. The only weaknesses is that the target must be in a direct line with the director (no over the horizon targeting) and some high tech sensors can pick up laser beams on the target. Only the target or sensors within about 6 inches of the beam can pick up the laser beam. The guidance use the bonuses of the director of the missile (In the case of a gunner, their bonuses) to strike. Costs an additional 200 credits.


Semi Active Radar Homing: This guidance system follows a radar beam from a director to a target. Systems is similar to Laser Homing but uses a Radar beam in place of a Laser beam. The weaknesses of this system is that it can be fooled by Chaff, can be Jammed by Radar Jamming, has minuses to targets that have radar stealth, most sensors will pick up the radar beam, and target must be in a direct line with the director (no over the horizon targeting). The guidance use the bonuses of the director of the missile (In the case of a gunner, their bonuses) to strike. Costs an additional 200 credits.


Unguided Projectiles - Rolling to strike:
The author has kept these rules simple for ease of use. If anyone can come up with a better systems that is still relatively simple, I would be willing to modify these rules. Unless artillery is being used for direct fire, first roll to strike as an unmodified roll except weapon systems gives a +1 to strike if roll is made. Having a spotter or automated observation equipment will increase bonuses to strike as well and reduce penalties. Penalties are only used with unguided projectiles.


Penalties to Strike:
Choose only one Wind condition and one Precipitation / Fog condition base on the conditions on the battlefield. Fog may also include heavy smoke or dust. The conditions are then combined together for any penalties (if any) to be applied to gunnery rolls. The rules on target detection should also be used to determine if the target is spotted to be fired at in the first place


Walking Onto Target:
Normally, the first strike of artillery will miss and the person firing must correct for this using data from an observer or via direct observation. If the person only has one set of target coordinates and no ability to refine the targets location, the gunner will get no bonuses to strike a target and will have a -4 penalty to strike moving targets with no bonuses as well including for weapon systems skill roll. The ability to strike moving target is limited, assume that targets that are traveling over 50 mph (80.5 kph) have no bonuses and targets that are traveling over 100 mph (161 kph) are unable to be hit by artillery except on direct fire and by guided projectiles.


Direct Observation:
This is if the gunnery crew has visual on the target. This does not include spotting using reconnaissance equipment. The big item to remember is that if you can see them, they can see you.
The gunners must have the skills of Navigation (cannot be Land Navigation), Read Sensory Equipment, and Weapon Systems. For each shot after the first, the gunner has a +1 to strike for every three rounds to hit an unmoving target and the gunner has a +1 to strike for every six rounds to hit a moving target


Using Spotter or Reconnaissance Equipment:
This is if the gunnery crew has a spotter in the field or reconnaissance equipment such as a min-aircraft doing spotting. In these cases, the gunner has no direct observation of the target. These bonuses with a -2 penalty can also be used for return fire. This is using the other artillery being fired at you to target that artillery. In that case, ignore the skills needed for the spotter.
The gunners must have the skills of Navigation (cannot be Land Navigation), Read Sensory Instruments, Radio: Basic, and Weapon Systems. If using a spotter, the spotter must have the skills of Navigation (cannot be Land Navigation) and Radio: Basic. For each shot after the first, the gunner has a +1 to strike for every four rounds to hit an unmoving target and the gunner has a +1 to strike for every eight rounds to hit a moving target.


Using Both:
This means that the gunnery crew has the ability to see the target but has an observing or observation equipment as well. These give you the best bonuses. Like just direct observation, the big item to remember is that if you can see them, they can see you.
The gunners must have the skills of Navigation (cannot be Land Navigation), Read Sensory Instruments, Radio: Basic, and Weapon Systems. If using a spotter, the spotter must have the skills of Navigation (cannot be Land Navigation) and Radio: Basic. For each shot after the first, the gunner has a +1 to strike for every two rounds to hit an unmoving target and the gunner has a +1 to strike for every four rounds to hit a moving target.


Misses:
Artillery often misses but the effects of the miss can still be effective.
How to determine where shell strikes:


Roll on eight sided die.

RollDirection
1North
2North East
3East
4South East
5South
6South West
7West
8North West


For every point that the strike roll was under the target number, the round will miss the intended target by 50 feet (15.2 m).


Note: If the target is within the blast or strike radius of the round, then the target still takes damage as appropriate.



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune) and Chris Curtis (C-Curtis@tamu.edu).


Copyright © 1998, 2004, & 2005 Kitsune & Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.



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