Phase World Mines:


Index:




Introduction:


Space mines are basically unmanned platforms that are positioned in planetary orbit, positioned around space platforms, or on courses that a starship would have to go in order to get to a location. Most have simple "Station Keeping" Drives. In Phase World, there are multiple different general types of mines. They can be broken down into three basic different types. First is simple mines. Second are basically energy weapon platforms. Last are missile launching platforms. Each have advantages and special capabilities.


In addition to mines, there are also special decoy platforms and jamming platforms. These are designed to protect mines from being destroyed easily. This is done by adding additional targets and/or jamming to confuse targets. There may be specialized mines which combine different weapon systems (including even mixing energy and missile systems) although these are uncommon.


These sytems are designed to work with revised starship speeds and weapon ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.




Simple Mines:


These are basically a space borne equivalent to the modern land mine or ocean mine. Unlike on the ground or in an ocean, the areas involved are huge. This means that these mines must have some ability for movement although because they do not have to chase just intercept, their speed and range are very limited compared to missiles. The way these mines are used is that when a target gets within the range that these mines can reach their targets, they activate small contra-grav engines and move on an intercept course with the target. A mine can store 800 different targets. Starships and Star fighters can carry these mines in place of the equivalent missile type to lay these mines.


Brilliance guidance systems are available for heavy mines and extra heavy mines.




Energy Platforms:


These platforms are basically ship mounted energy weapons, power supply (fusion reactor with two year lifespan), and fire control systems that are in a self contained unmanned platforms. Due to power limitations, heavy anti-ship mines have a limited number of shots using a capacitor. They vary in size from small anti star fighter platforms to large anti capital ship platforms. Because they tend to be more expensive and shorter ranged than missile platforms, they tend to be less popular. These mines can store up to 2000 different targets. These systems do not include the X-Ray laser type that destroy themselves when used. For mines with built in stealth systems, cost is 150% of the cost of non stealth versions. These platforms are carried on warships and cargo ships in their cargo holds (or in place of fighters) and are carried by special minelayers. They can also be carried externally in small numbers.




Missile Launching Platforms:


These platforms are basically simply missile launchers with fire control systems. They are more expensive than simple mines but have a much longer range then the simple mines do and so can be used to cover much larger areas. These are also considered to have an advantage over energy weapon platforms due to having longer range and are far cheaper although do have limited payload. Capital / Cruise Missile Platforms are considered the main ship killers. these platforms cannot saturate small areas as effectively as simple mines can. Payload and rate of fire are average for systems. They can be larger or smaller in size. For mines with built in stealth systems, cost is 150% of the cost of non stealth versions. These platforms are carried on warships and cargo ships in their cargo holds (or in place of fighters) and are carried by special minelayers. They can also be carried externally in small numbers. In many ways, the New Coventry “Pepper Box” launchers are similar.




Decoy "Mines:"


Equal in size to a Medium Mine (Medium Range Missile), Large Mines (Long Range Missiles), and Extra Heavy Mines (Cruise Missile) but are designed to appear to be a much larger target. Medium Mine class are the most commonly carried because they can be carried in large numbers. As well, there is a quad version where a single capital mine separates into four medium class decoy mines.


These are designed to deceive sensors so that they are targeted instead of the actual true mines. They are designed to emulate all of the energy signatures of the mines which are being covered (Can potentially be used to cover starships or fighters as well.) Usually not used to protect simple mines but used to protect more advanced mines including energy platforms and missile platforms.


In normal use, sensor operators must roll against the decoy with a -40% or be unsure if the decoy is a real target or not unless there is something that reveals that the decoy mine is not the true target. There are sometimes small signature anomalies which allows a sensor operator to tell the difference between an actual target and a decoy. As well, sensor operators must roll for every decoy which is deployed, it is not one roll and they know all the decoys are fake.




Jamming "Mines:"


There is a class of special mines with jamming equipment designed to hide mines (and potentially starships can hide within the same jamming field.) Unlike decoy mines, these are far more commonly operated with simple mines. Jamming type mines are available in various classes from mini-mines to extra heavy mines.


While the jamming system is on, conventional radar, gravity-wave sensors, and conventional missile guidance systems will not be able to function properly in the area affected. The jamming also effects many communication systems. Sensor systems will have ranges reduced to 25% of normal and have a -40% penalty to all read sensory roll including the chance of detecting any targets in the area (this includes the missile carrying the jamming system) of the jamming.


Smart and Brilliant Missiles can be programmed to go after the signature of the Jamming with a weapon systems roll and smart and brilliant missiles have this option automatically available. Rifts Earth Tech level sensors cannot overcome phase world jamming devices.


Mini-Mines: The jamming will affect a 5.7 miles (9.1 km) diameter area in space.
Light Mines: The jamming will affect a 9.5 miles (15.2 km) diameter area in space.
Medium Mines: The jamming will affect a 100 miles (160 km) diameter area in space.
Heavy Mines: The jamming will affect a 500 miles (800 km) diameter area in space.
Extra-Heavy Mines: The jamming will affect a 1,000 miles (1,600 km) diameter area in space.




Mine Laying / Deployment:


There are various ways which mines can be deployed. Mines may be deployed to protect a target or to interdict a target. As well, some groups prefer mostly missile mines while others like to mix in energy weapon mines. In general, missile type mines are more popular due to longer range even though they have a limited payload. As well, many like to deploy either decoys or jamming platforms in order to conceal minefields.


Simple mines are generally not as well protected as enemy platform or missile platform type mines. In some cases, lighter mines designed to target fighters might be used to protect the heavier anti-starship mines. As well, minefields of simple mines may be protected by jamming mines.


Missile Platform and Energy Platform mines are often far better protected. This might depend on how the minefields are deployed. A rapid deployment may be thin on defensive measures and concentrate on capital / cruise missile platforms which are considered the true ship killers. A rapidly deployed minefield might be cruise missile platforms with interspersed decoys or jamming platforms. A thicker minefield might be one capital / cruise missile platform matched with defensive platforms. A mix might be four lighter defensive platforms for each heavier platform.




Minesweeping:


Minesweeping in the Three Galaxies is normally done by specialized vessels although warships can do it in a pinch although less effectively. There are two general styles. Some are relatively small destroyer class vessels while others are larger battleship class vessels. In some cases, fighters are also used for minesweeping although one might imagine that such missions are unpopular due to the comparative fragility of such craft.


Minesweepers are normally equipped with very high powered short range (usually around 4 million miles) radar and neutrino sensors. Mine sweeper are usually armed with very powerful point defense systems, medium range missile launchers, and long range missile launchers. Missile launchers are uses so ship can destroy mines at the longest distances possible with the best accuracy. It is normally impossible for mine sweepers to be able to eliminate cruise missile launchers before getting into range so powerful point defense is mounted on minesweepers.




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune)


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