U.W.W. Iron Spear Assault Shuttle:


The Moon Rose was said to be one of the most beautiful ships ever built in the history of the United Worlds Warlock. This incredible liner had only been a few years old and was a work of art from the Elven designs. It was all smooth lines and a rainbow of color. Many had described the ship as a giant flower as her namesake. Only the finest crews served onboard and the ship was considered the flagship of the company.


Lightly armed, it was not designed to fight a truly determined assault and was quite a fast ship and able to escape most pirates. What the crew was not ready for was an assault from within. The Nostradamus Liberation Front had snuck several of their own people onboard as crew and they had managed to bring weapons onboard. No power armors were able to be brought onboard but plenty of rifles and conventional body armor.


A second wave came onboard as passengers and there were several hundred of them onboard. Laying low, the NLF waited several days before seizing control of the liner. While the ship did carry small arms for the crew, they were heavily outnumbered and all of their planning was turned against them with the collaborators in the crew. One the terrorists took control of the ship, they took the vessel to a remote sector near a Splugorth system. Once there, they threatened to kill all of the passengers unless an extensive list of prisoners were released.


The United Worlds Warlock had decided differently and had sent in an elite force to retake control of the liner. The NLF had previous sold prisoners to the Splugorth and their location so close to their space supported this. The mission would be spearheaded by Warlock Raiders and Recon followed up by marines. The Raiders only got the most dangerous of assignments and they had among the heaviest casualties of any branches of the Warlock Militaries.


A derelict cargo vessel appeared in system, dropping out from Faster than Light Space. The drive pattern appeared to be that of a Consortium design. A little large for the merchant ships which visited this system but that was it. The terrorist bridge crew on the Moon Rose watched the ship carefully. At first they were nervous but the ship was slow and appeared to be only lightly armed. Tracking had detected the ship several hours out and they had been prepared to duck from the system if it had turned out to be hostile. They relaxed, the ship would be of no threat and the course was no where near. Still, they carefully tracked the ship on its course in system.


The course of the ship was that of an orbital insertion around the only life supporting planet in the system. The Liner was parked in an orbit around a small gas giant in the outer system. Part of the course of the old cargo vessel would bring it into the shadow of a moon for around half a minute. Still, it did not seem of particular concern.


The Pandora was a special operations vessel bought from the Consortium Military several decades before. It was designed to look like a standard merchant vessel but was equipped as an assault transport. It had been used on a number of top secret assault missions. Lady Medwyn was the commander of the Recon Marines who prepared for the assault. The Elven woman had been a raider for almost a century and was one of the most experienced Raiders in the entire Warlock military. Her crew were mostly elves as well. She did one final check on her Warlock Armor and did a role call on her Raiders. She was going to be on the first wave to board the ship.


Just as the ship passed behind the shadow of the moon, four shuttles launched. Each one contained over one hundred Raiders and Marines. The ship continued on its course as the shuttles fell away. The shuttles activated invisibly and disappeared from all sensors. They drifted from behind the moon and headed on an indirect course towards the Moon Rose.


The approach to the Liner was agonizing slow and the shuttles would have to get within three thousand miles before the Raiders and Marines could begin teleporting onboard. Two group of Recon Marines would teleport to one of four location. One group would be sent to the bridge while another group would be teleported into the engineering area. The other two would be teleported into the main hanger bays to seize control of the main hangers. Heavy Raider Armor would accompany the troops seizing the hanger bays. They had extensive layout information about the ship and had interrogated both the engineers who built the ship and previous crew members.


Three thousand miles was reached and the first four groups of raiders teleported across. One of the groups missed their target and ended up floating in space waiting for later rescue. The other three managed to teleport to their planned locations. The two assault shuttles reappeared as their invisibility enchantments broke. The crew worked fast to teleport a second group of troops.


Along with six raiders, fourteen marines teleported onto the bridge of the Linber. Lady Medwyn brought her rifle up to fire. She always preferred the H-800 Rifle because of its better accuracy than the Volcano rifle. She had it set for a three round burst. There were only eight terrorists on the bridge but one, who appeared to be the leader, grabbed one of the ship’s crew, a younger woman, to use as a shield. He appeared to be trying to bring up the weapon controls to take out the shuttles. The Recon commander carefully aimed her rifle and fired a controlled three blast burst. The energy beams were perfectly aimed and went right through the brain of the terrorist. At the same moment, the other troops, Recon Marines and regular Marines, opened fire as well. There was no advantage with trying to capture them as shoot to kill rules of engagement were in effect.


The girl was sprayed by brains, blood, and pieces of skull as the brain superheated. She fainted and collapsed to the deck. Lady Medwyn brought her sensors up to scan the girl. There was a strong heartbeat. At least she was alive. The Recon commander brought her comm online to report back to the shuttles.



Before the introduction of the Iron Spear, the U.W.W. mostly operated modified civilian shuttles which featured a number of Techno-Wizard addition. When the U.W.W. decided to update its assault shuttles, the Warlock Marine Corps was vehement that most available models did not adequately support the shock trooper mentality of the Corps. Other available shuttles designs were considered either too so slow, not capable of effectively dealing with a hot landing zone, or couldn't carry the mix of equipment the Corps wanted. Since it appeared that they would be designing a purpose-built shuttle for the Warlock Marines, they decided to go the full nine yards and create their own highly advanced T.W. Assault Shuttle. Most units have received the new shuttle design although some units still operate older designs.


The Iron Spear shuttle differs greatly from the standard assault shuttle operated by most powers within the Three Galaxies, starting with its exterior. The classic assault shuttle is usually considered to be the standard Consortium model. Because its primary mission was to deliver troops to planetary drop zones, most of them hostile considering the WMC reputation, a winged, streamlined profile was used to give it a high speed and greater maneuverability than most shuttle designs. This gave the ship a profile like that of a diving bird of prey. The shuttle has a large rear loading door for its vehicle assortment as well as side cargo doors for its power armor troops. The cargo bay is specifically designed to carry a Marine assault company (Seventy Marines) with full Greataxe support (Seven vehicles). It is an interesting fact that is not often remarked on is that these shuttles more often perform mundane rolls than assaults and the shuttle can carry up to 500 tons of cargo.


A massive propulsion unit gives it the ability to rapidly descend and escape from drop zones. Because it operates in an atmosphere so much, it utilizes a combined techno-wizard and nuclear power system. Like virtually all shuttle designs, a faster-than-light drive was never added and the craft is dependent on a larger vessel carrying it between systems. Like most Warlock Navy designs, the life support systems are magical and life support is maintained even with a hull breach. Even so, all troops and crew aboard are usually in space suits. The shuttle is heavily armed and shielded, as well as equipped with missiles and bombs for clearing landing zones. For protection, the shuttle mounts a magical force field. The shuttle carries a small techno-wizard magic battery. All are also equipped with the enchantment of Invisibility Superior and the enchantment allows the assault shuttles to often make a complete surprise attack. In addition to having a standard array of sensors, the shuttle carries an array of magical sensors.


There is only one common variant of the shuttle. This is the Special Operations variant. About hallf of all Special Operation versions mount a standard variable force field. Only a few United Warlock Designs carry such a shield. While the shield gives greater protection, the shield requires much longer to bring back up. Sensors are more advanced and are equal to those carried on a corvette including sensors designed to detect ships traveling out of system on faster than light drive. The final feature of the shuttle is that they carry techno-wizard teleport platforms. The Iron Spear is mone of the smaller vessels to mount them. The standard tactic is to have the shuttle sneak up to a target vessel or station using invisibility and teleport troops into the target. Standard deck layouts of a wide variety of ships are carried onboard. Most troops are outfitted with special teleport beacons to allow for the second wave of troops to be teleported in with a higher percentage of success. This tactic has been used successfully with a captured liner named the "Moon Rose." The ship was re-captured virtually intact, all of the terrorists were killed, and only a handful of the passengers and crew were killed.


This shuttle design uses modified starship speed and ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.


Model Type:TID-AS-IS-22Standard Assault Shuttle
TID-MS-IS-22Special Operation Assault Shuttle
Crew: 9 (Pilot, Copilot, Communication/Sensor Operator, and six Gunners).
Troops / Vehicles: Up to 500 tons (450 metric tons).


Vehicle & Troops (S-22):

7WIFV-99 Greataxe IFV Tanks
70W-1 Warlock Combat Armors (Flying Suits can be substituted)
Vehicle & Troops (MS-22):
36W-1 Warlock Combat Armors (With Raider Augmentation)
64W-1 Warlock Combat Armors (Flying Suits can be substituted)
12WF-1R Force Recon Warlock Combat Armors


M.D.C. By Location:

Point Defense Turrets (Particle Cannon / Demon Missile - 4):150 each
Variable Focus Particle Beam Cannons (Wingtips, 2):100 each
Missile Pylons (24, on the Underside):10 each
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment:200
Rear Door Ramp:400
Landing Gear (3):100 each
[1] Main Body:3,000
[2] Magical Force Field (S-22 and 50% of MS-22):1,200 total
[3] Variable Shield (50% of MS-22):400 per side (2,400 total)


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the shuttle out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck if in space and will crash to the planet if within the atmosphere. Note: Like the Shadowbolt fighter, the shuttle is magically impervious to most types of energy weapons, but not missiles, rail guns, gravity guns, magic, or phase weapons.
[2] This is not a variable force field, but a magical shield that must be completely depleted. Once the shield has been knocked down, it will cost 120 P.P.E. and require one minute ( 4 melees) of spellcasting to restore the force field. All S-22 Assault Shuttles mount the Magical Force Field and about 50% of the MS-22 Special Operations Shuttle mount the magical force field.
[2] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (120 M.D.C.) per melee. About 50% of the MS-22 Special Operations Shuttle mount the variable force field.


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: The main ship has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 50 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.8 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed of the full shuttle is Mach 2.5 (1,853.6 mph / 2,983.1 kph), can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra gravity.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by Drive system but is limited by supplies. Has supplies for crew members and troops for about four months (Emergency rations).


Statistical Data:
Length: 240 feet (73.2 meters).
Height: 50 feet (15.2 meters).
Width: 70 feet (21.3 meters)
Weight: 1,200 tons (1,088 metric tons)
Power System: Combination Fusion & Techno-wizardry with 20 year life span. The Shuttle also has a P.P.E. generator that produces 400 P.P.E. per hour / 2 P.P.E. per melee round (Activating the Rifts Jump Drive costs 2,000 P.P.E.) and can hold up to 2,400 P.P.E. in storage. This P.P.E. can be used to power the teleport systems and other enchantments on the vessel.
Cargo: The Large troop compartment can carry 500 tons (450 metric tons) when not carrying vehicles or troops. The troop compartment cargo hold is 40 x 40 x 100 feet in dimensions (12.2 x 12.2 x 30.4 meters). The shuttle also has storage for equipment and weapons for troops.
Market Cost: 260 million credits for an S-22; as a new design, these are extremely rare and could go far as much as three times as much. 480 million credits for an MS-22; the MS-22 variant is restricted to UWW Navy only and will never be sold. None have made it to the black market, and it's likely that any found by UWW forces will be destroyed on sight.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Point Defense Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon/ Bottled Demon Missile Batteries (4): Each turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Weapons are mounted at the corners of the shuttle for point defense and one each on the top and bottom. One part of this turret is a Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon cannon. Uses the spell of the same name from page 143 of Federation of Magic. The spells must be renewed every two months (costs 400 P.P.E. and 20,000 credits per Cannon) but during that period the weapon can fire unlimited blasts. The other part of the turret is a launcher for bottle demon missiles. The missiles are literally demons summoned and bottled into a missile and are an aggressive and intelligent guidance system. The evil demons will continue to chase its target until destroyed (50 M.D.C. to the missile). Bottled demons are slightly larger than mini-missiles and require special launchers. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Missiles are super smart and have +4 to strike and +5 to dodge. Unlike normal missile, the bottled demon does not explode and keeps striking at its target over and over. If the target is destroyed or vanishes, the missile disappears. The launchers have been modified so they can fire standard mini-missiles. This is done mainly by fitting the mini-missiles with a special sleeve that allows them to be fired from the launcher. Many shuttles do not carry bottle demon missiles and simply replace them with conventional mini-missiles. In those cases, increase conventional missile payload. Launchers can launch on multiple targets each.
    Maximum Effective Range: Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon: 200 miles (320 km) in space. 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere. Bottled Demon Missiles: Effectively Unlimited! Once fired, the demon controlled and powered missile will fly and pursue the designated target until its target or the missile is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight, jumps away, or gets away by another means.) Conventional Mini-Missiles: Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon: 1D6x10+10 M.D. Bottled Demon Missiles: 3D4x10 M.D. of magical energy every time the missile strikes (3% chance of releasing the demon every time it hits). Conventional Mini-Missiles: Varies with mini-missile type (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5). Bottle Demon / Conventional Mini-Missiles: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two, three, or four.
    Payload: Sub Particle Acceleration Cannon: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every two months whether the cannons have been used or not. Bottled Demon Missiles: 4 plus one reload of 4 per launcher for a total of 48 bottled demon missiles. Conventional Mini-Missiles: 6 per launcher plus one reload of 6 for a total of 72 mini-missiles. If Bottle Demon missiles are not carried, increase mini-missiles to 12 per launcher plus one reload of 12 to a total of 144 mini-missiles
  2. Two (2) Particle Beam Mounts: These purely technological weapons were added after a Warlock Marine watched a demonstration of the Bushido Industries Taiyo assault shuttle. One mount is on each "wingtip" of the shuttle. These particle beams will fire a very powerful narrow beam and can fire a scatter effect that is less powerful but is capable of striking multiple targets. The weapon system is quite useful against missiles although the cone is not as wide as Tachyon cannon sprays are. Weapons are mounted in turrets that can rotate 360 and have a 180 arc of fire. Each mount can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee).
    Maximum Effective Range: 300 miles (480 km) in space and 3 miles (4.8 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: Single Target: 4D6x10 Wide Beam: 5D6 to all targets within a 5,000 foot (1,524 meter) diameter area. When fired as a wide beam, the cannon cannot be used on targets closer than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) away.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Missile Pylons (24): On the underbelly of the shuttle are twenty four missile racks that allow the shuttle to carry one long range missiles, two medium range missiles, or four short range missiles each. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Short Range Missiles: The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn (faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds), and Short Range Missile range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two, three, four, or eight missiles.
    Payload: One (1) Long Range Missile, Two (1) Medium Range Missiles, or Four (4) Short Range Missiles per Pylon (Up to 24 long range missiles total or 96 short range missiles - or a mixture of different sizes)
  4. T.W. Transporters (2, MS-22 only): The MS-22 segregates its troop bay into one small and one large compartments, each of them incorporating a system based on the spell Teleport: Superior. Coupled with an extensive database of starship blueprints, these units allow Warlock Marines to put raiding parties aboard starships and space stations right through intervening force fields and hulls. While usually these transporters are too large for use aboard shuttles, in this case the system is built directly into the hull. Each one has the ability to teleport up to 10,000 lbs (4500 kg). This works out to around twenty normal Warlock Marines or five Raider Armors. Usually a squad of Recon Marines are the first to board. Each activation requires 600 P.P.E. which can be pulled from the shuttle's P.P.E. battery or troops' own energies. The shuttle carries enough magical energy for a total of four teleports from onboard resources.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3000 miles (4830 km).
    Chance of Successful Teleport: External mapping only 20%. Approximate layout 58%, Exact layout 80%, Seen a few times before 85%, Familiar location or Teleport beacon 99%, and to another T.W. Teleporter is automatic
    Result of Unsuccessful Teleport: 1-40 Appears 3D6x100 miles off course (usually deep space if teleporting onto a ship), 41-75 1D6x100 miles off course (usually deep space if teleporting onto a ship), 76-98 1D6x10 feet off course but unharmed (possibly space but could be in another area of the ship), 99-00 Teleported into solid object generally resulting in instant death.
    Payload: Costs 600 P.P.E. per activation. P.P.E. battery stores 2,400 P.P.E. total and regenerates 400 P.P.E. per hour.
  5. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Iron Spear has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the shuttle. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the ships crew or P.P.E. battery.
    Special Features:
      Shadow Meld (10th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
      Invisibility-Superior (10th Level) - 40 P.P.E. or 80 I.S.P.



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By James Laursen (prowlstheknight@yahoo.com) and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2008, James Laursen & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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