Techno-Wizard Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) Assault Gun:
Sergeant Ottilie Foerster had only comparatively recently been promoted to a commander in the “Prussian Liberation Force. She was assigned to one of the new assault guns. Probably would be better to call it a tank destroyer but the boss insisted that it would be called an assault gun. Still, she liked the vehicle. It had a much lower silhouette than the tanks while effectively having the same firepower as one of the Panthers. Before taking command of the armored vehicle, she had been a gunner on a Panther.
Her role was to ambush a group of raiders. Thoughts were that it a group of Brodkil backed up with one or more tanks. Sometimes seemed like there was an almost endless supply of old Russian tanks available to them. Old T-72s and T-80s were most common although there was often a sprinkling of more modern tanks supporting the Brodkil. It were these more modern tanks than were the greatest threats. Unless swarmed by multiple older tanks, should be able to take them unscathed.
There were other tanks backing her up, several Panthers ready to spring when the trap was ready. Still, it would be her job to engage them, bottle up the attackers, while the others came in for the kill. She could hear is the distance the sound of a tank moving. With her chameleon enchantment, her vehicle should be virtually undetectable. The crew had added cut foliage to make the armored vehicle even hard to see.
Suddenly, an armored vehicle came into view. Appeared to be a Russian tank but she did not remember having seen one like this before. Looked even older than a T-72. Maybe a really ancient T-55 tank. There were rumors that they had been discovered but did not think anybody would press one into service. Her round would likely go through one side and then out the other.
Her gunner took careful aim at the turret on the other armored vehicle. Thought about using a flechette round but a solid dart round was already loaded and ready to fire. The StuG shook only slightly as the cannot fired. The round hit something, seemed like just a few millimeters from the hull of the old tank, and bolts of what looked like electricity crackled around the target. While force field had collapsed, it looked like the round did only a little damage through the force field.
It had been protected by a magical force field just like hers. She was not fighting a conventional tank but instead another techno-wizard tank. Why were Russian Techno-Wizard working with the Brodkil. Maybe the Brodkil had captured it somehow.
Hurriedly, she engaged the force field on her own vehicle. It was just in time for the T-55 to fire a round at her. The hit almost completely took down her force field in a single blow although the field had held just barely. It was not armed with a normal cannot but something more powerful, either a rail gun like hers or an electro-thermal cannon. She was betting on the last because a number of later Russian tanks had been armed with them and was a fairly common weapon.
One advantage she did have is a much higher rate of fire as her gunner opened fire. The other vehicle however had engaged his force field again. Ottilie could only hope that her driver would call for assistance. While she thought that they probably could still handle this one, if it had any reinforcement, there could be real trouble.
From the rear of the old Russian T-55 came a massive volley of what looked to be sixteen mini-missiles. She took a moment to fire a volley of four mini-missiles in return back at the incoming mini-missiles. Luckily, the mini-missiles exploded together, leaving her tank unscathed. The question was what would happen with the next volley.
In the meantime, her gunner was able to penetrate the force field again on the T-55. It looked like he had been able to damage it again but not disable it. Ottilie took a moment to drop the badly damaged force field and bring it back up. It was just in time because the enemy tank fired another volley of mini-missiles. One could only hope that they had limited numbers of those missiles. She was lucky because again she was able to shoot down the incoming volley with her own mini-missiles.
Her driver was able to maneuver to avoid a round fired by the T-55's main gun. At the same time, her gunner was able to get a third round into the tank. It had managed to penetrate the force field once again but against did not disable it. At least this time, the force field did not come back. At the same time, Ottilie could actually see a box launcher of missiles on the back of the T-55. She strafed them with her pulse laser and was rewarded to watch the launchers be ejected.
The tank unfortunately did not seem to be out of missiles although fired four at her StuG instead of a volley of sixteen. They came from the turret as well. This time, something went wrong with her targeting and the mini-missiles struck her tank and managed to knock her force field flat. She took a little bit of damage but not such. Unfortunately, just then a main gun round hit her StuG, doing more damage.
Jut then, her gunner managed to hit again, this time hitting the turret directly and blowing off the turret. While the driver might still be alive, the main gun would not be firing at her anymore.
While most people think of the Panther, Tiger, and Tiger II when World War II German armor is discussed, the reality is that the Sturmgeschütz III is the single most produced German armored vehicle produced with over twelve thousand produced and many more converted from old Panzer III tanks. Well armored and armed, it was originally designed for bunker busting and infantry support but was soon employed in the roll of tank destroyers. Later models were armed with a long barrel 7.5 cm cannon which was extremely effective against other armored vehicle. Crews of these assault guns claimed over twenty-thousand enemy tanks.
Roland Mohkenhoff., a former New German Republic engineering who learned the art of techno-wizardry when he visited North America, designed the techno-wizard King Tiger and later the Panther. As you might expect from a former engineer of the New German Republic, his design incorporate a huge amount of Triax technology. Technologically, they are some of the most advanced techno-wizard designs on Rifts Earth.
Even though the Panther was far smaller than the Panther, there was interest in a smaller “tank” design. As with other designs, it was decided to base the design on Pre-Rifts World War II German armored designs. The Sturmgeschütz III , the single most produced German armored vehicle was decided to use as a basis and is virtually identical externally to the original Assault Gun design. The design is far less expensive to build than the Techno-Wizard Panther and especially the King Tiger.
At this point, the design is just entering production and has not entered full combat service in the “Prussian Liberation Force,” a mercenary company which works to get rid of Brodkil and other supernatural creatures in what was Northern Poland. Still, is has fought in a number of small engagements where it has done quite well. It has both fought old refitted Soviet tanks and the Brodkil hordes. There was even an engagement against a Russian Techno-Wizard T-55. It was able to beat the older techno-wizard tank but was badly damaged in the engagement.
Instead of developing a new weapon, the engineers decided to simply use the Glitter Boy Boom Gun used in the Techno-Wizard Panther. Even though much lighter than the Panther, it is still far heavier than the Glitter Bow and has no need to anchor itself before firing. The gun, even though with a relatively small bore of 60 mm, outranges many older tank cannons and is quite powerful. As with the Techno-Wizard Panther, most crews prefer solid round over flechette rounds. As with the Panther, the assault gun has a dimensional pocket to store ammunition. The assault gun also has an autoloader to allow for the rapid selection of different ammunition types.
As with the original StuG III, instead of being mounted in a turret, the gun is mounted in a casemate. The casemate fires directly forward although is modified to be able to elevate up to forty-five degrees and able to traverse twenty-five degrees to either side. The Boom Gun can engage relatively low flying airborne targets although the limited traverse makes it less effective than conventional tank designs. The barrel is longer than that of a normal Boom Gun although, like the Panther, is mostly to keep the length identical to the original Sturmgeschütz III.
Coaxial to the Boom Gun is a pulse laser weapon. This laser is identical to the TX-43 pulse laser rifle. It has a long range and has the ability to fire effective bursts. Generally used against targets which the main 60 mm gun is considered a waste of ammunition. Power is pulled from the vehicle’s fusion reactor which gives virtually unlimited shots. In addition, the armored vehicle has a top mounted weapon mount. It has laser rifle identical to the coaxial mount and a pump pistol automatic rifle design. While the first has an unlimited payload, the second is considered effective against targets which are impervious to energy weapons. It also used the dimensional pocket to store ammunition to vastly increase payload. The weapon mount is designed to be able to be controlled from inside the armored vehicle.
Finally, as far as weaponry, the tank destroyer is armed with missile weaponry. These also take advantage of the use of dimensional pockets to store the missiles. On either side of the hull is a medium range missile launcher and on either side of the casemate structure is a mini-missile launcher. A total of eight medium range missiles per launcher are carried for reloads and twenty-four mini-missiles are carried for each mini-missile launcher. Often the medium range missiles are used to engage fast moving targets while the mini-missiles are used for bombardment roles.
As far as armor, it is not quite as well protected as the Panther but is still pretty well armored. It is still tougher than most converted Russian tanks. Instead of using magical materials, high strength composites and alloys are used. Using these materials, the techno-wizard Sturmgeschütz III is lighter than the original armored vehicle. This is backed up by a magical force field which can be activated up to three times per day. Each time, the force field has a duration of ten minutes. A careful commander needs to chose when he or she activates the force field.
Other techno-wizard additions include a “Fireworks” chaff and flare system which is used to decoy incoming missiles. It also has the more conventional enchantments of Chameleon, Invisibility, and Impervious to Energy. Each of these enchantments uses magical energy from the crew. There is the enchainment of “See the Invisible” enchantment on the assault gun’s optics. One feature it does not share with the Panther and later King Tiger is the “Fear” aura.
The electronics on the Sturmgeschütz III are modern. This includes a sophisticated fire control system, nigh vision and thermal optics, a modern communication suite, and even a medium range radar system. These are similar to those carried on most robot vehicles. The crew of the original StuG III was four. In the techno-wizard model, this is reduced to three. This includes a commander, a gunner, and the armored vehicle’s driver. The vehicle has full life support for the crew.
While the Techno-Wizard King Tiger and Panther share the same fusion plant, the Sturmgeschütz III mounts a smaller fusion plant. Still, provided enough power to substantially increase speed over the original assault gun design. Top speed is slightly slower than the Panther with a top speed of eighty kilometers per hour on roads and sixty-five kilometers per hour traveling cross country. Speed was not considered essentially because the plan is to use for ambushing as much as possible. The transmission is of modern design and is able to handle easily the top speed of the design. It is designed to be able to operate underwater when needed to transit rivers and other bodies of water.
Model Type: “Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III)” Techno-Wizard Assault Gun / Tank Destroyer
Vehicle Type: Magical Assault Gun / Tank Destroyer
Crew: Three (3) [Driver, Commander, and Gunner]
M.D.C. by Location:
 Tractor Treads (2):
Main 60-mm Heavy Rail Gun (Casemate):
 Coaxial Automatic Laser Cannon (Casemate):
 Commander Combination Weapon Mount (Top of Casemate):
 Retractable Mini-Missile Launchers (2, Side of Casemate):
 “Fireworks” Magic Chaff and Flare Dispensers (2):
Retractable Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, Side of Hull):
 Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):
Reinforced Crew Compartment:
 Main Body:
 Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the assault gun 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.
 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.
 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.
 As per the spell “Armor of Ithan” - Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage. Each activation lasts for 10 minutes (40 melee rounds.)
 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.
Ground: Cruising speed on land is 49.7 mph (80 kph) on roads and 40.4 mph (65 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 15.5 mph (25 kph).
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 20 year duration) Armored Vehicle carries about three weeks worth of emergency supplies onboard.
Height: 7.09 feet (2.16 meters).
Width: 9.68 feet (2.95 meters).
Length: Main Body: 17.65 feet (5.38 meters) and With Main Gun: 22.21 feet (6.77 meters).
Weight: 24.8 tons (22.5 metric tons)
Power Source: Nuclear fusion reactor; Must be refueled every twenty years, otherwise effectively unlimited.
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilot’s compartment; about three feet (0.9 meter) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Four carbines and two hand-held missile launcher with four loads each.
Black Market Cost: 24 Million Credits.
One (1) High Velocity 60-mm Heavy Rail Gun: This is the famous RG-14 “Boom Gun” designed for the USA-G10 Glitter Boy. It is mounted on the right side of the pulse laser cannon mount on the main turret. It is useful against heavy armor, aircraft, and supernatural creatures. The weapon is also useful in the role of short ranged artillery. Common rounds include flechette rounds and solid slug rounds and high explosive and other rounds are also available. Extended range rounds are also available. Has an autoloader system which allows the gun to chose between a variety of rounds. Instead of having a turret, the gun is mounted in a Casemate. The gun can angle up to forty-five degrees, depress eight degrees, and slew from side to side by twenty-five degrees. The weapon system is also gyro-stabilized and has an advanced fire control computer. Ammunition is carried in an enchanted dimensional pocket and payload is incredible.
Maximum Effective Range: By Boom Gun Round Type (See Boom Gun Rounds). Flechette Rounds have a direct fire range of 11,000 feet (3,352.8 meters). Solid Projectiles have a direct fire range of 12,500 feet (3,810 meters) and indirect fire range of 22,000 feet (6,705.6 meters.)
Mega Damage: Flechette Rounds: 3D6x10 (Has +2 to strike fast moving targets) Solid Slug: 3D6x10+30 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration.) Several other types of rounds are also available (See Boom Gun Rounds.)
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of primary gunner or commander.
Payload: 800 rounds (Ammunition carried in a dimensional pocket.)
Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with rail gun and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
One (1) Co-axial Automatic Laser Weapon: Mounted beside the 60 mm hyper velocity rail gun and used against targets which the main gun is considered to heavy to engage. Modified version of the TX-43 laser rifle sometimes used by troops as a combat weapon except modified for a greater rate of fire, extended range, and the ability to fire three round bursts. Unlike the troop carried version of the weapon, the laser weapon plugs directly into the Tank’s fusion power system and has virtually unlimited shots. While the pulse laser can be fired with the main gun, it rarely is due to the difference in range and the slightly angled trajectory of the 60 mm round compared to the straight beam of the laser.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters.)
Mega Damage: 4D6 per single shot, 1D6x10+10 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting.
Rate of Fire: Equal the gunner’s number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use Machine Gun burst rules.)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
One (1) Commander Combination Weapon Mount: Combines an automatic laser mount with a weapon which is fully automatic and fires the same rounds as the Triax pump pistol and pump rifle. The secondary weapon acts in much the same fashion as an automatic grenade launcher. The mount was designed so that it can be controlled from within the casemate so the commander would not be exposed to hostile fire.
Automatic Laser Mount:
Modified version of the TX-43 laser rifle sometimes used by troops as a combat weapon except modified for a greater rate of fire and the ability to fire three round bursts. Unlike the troop carried version of the weapon, the laser weapon plugs directly into the Tank’s fusion power system and has virtually unlimited shots.
Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 meters.)
Mega Damage: 4D6 per single shot, 1D6x10+10 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting.
Rate of Fire: Equal the commander’s number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use Machine Gun burst rules.)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Triax TX-160-T Pump Pistol Cartridge Automatic Rifle:
This weapon uses the same cartridge as the TX-5 and TX-16 but has the added feature that it can various bursts including a three round burst. Ammunition is stored in a dimensional pocket.
Maximum Effective Range: 1600 feet (488 meters.)
Mega-Damage: 4D6 per single shot and 1D6x10 for three round burst, or use automatic weapon burst rules for higher burst setting.
Rate of Fire: Equal the commander’s number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use automatic weapon burst rules.)
Payload: Has a special belt with 4000 rounds (Ammunition carried in a dimensional pocket.)
Two (2) Medium Range Missile Launchers: Mounted in retractable launchers on either side of the assault gun. The launchers only extend when about to be fired and are virtually concealed when not in firing mode. Each launcher has two ready to fire missiles. The launchers are reloaded from a magazine by an automatic reload system within the tanks body.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: One at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) medium range missiles.
Payload: Eight (8) missiles in magazine for each launcher plus two (2) in each of the launchers (Missiles carried in a dimensional pocket.)
Two (2) Casemate Mounted Mini-missile Launchers: Mounted on the sides of the tank’s turret are retractable mini missile launchers. The launchers only extend when about to be fired and are virtually concealed when not in firing mode. Each launcher has four ready to fire missiles. These launchers are designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. These weapons are designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried for special purpose uses. Weapon is mainly controlled by the tanks gunner but the pilot and commander also have controls. Missiles are carried in a dimensional pocket within the turret.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: One at a time, or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8 - 4 per launcher) mini-missiles.
Payload: Each launcher carries twenty four (24) mini-missiles for a total of forty-eight (48) Mini-missiles (Missiles carried in a dimensional pocket.)
Two (2) Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispensers: 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.
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.).
Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Sturmgeschütz III has the following techno-wizard modifications built into the tank. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot or crew
Chameleon (6th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.
20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
The Assault Gun has all the standard features of a standard robot (including long range communication, radar, and radar tracking) plus these special features listed.
Magical “See the Invisible” Optics: The assault gun has special optical systems with see the invisible on them. Same as spell and used at will. 2,000 feet (610 meters) range. Can see forces, objects, and creatures which can turn invisible, or are invisible. Can also see vaporous beings and astral bodies.
Radio/ Video Communications: Long range, directional, has a range of 500 miles (805 km) with short range directional radio of 5 miles (8.5 km).
Laser Targeting System: Range is 2 miles (3.2 km) and gives +1 to strike with long range weapons.
Combat Computer/ Targeting Computer: Assist in the tracking of targets.
Radar: 50 miles (80.5 km), can identify 96 targets and track 48 as low as 500 feet (152.4 meters). Same as robot’s Maxi-Radar.
Full Life Support: Protects pilots and tank from heat and radiation and gives a breathable atmosphere inside the hover tank for up 48 hours in vacuum and three weeks with scrubbers.
Spotlight: Range: 600 feet (182.9 meters)
Thermo-Imager: Range: 2,000 feet (609 meters). Finds the infrared radiations of things that are warm. Also enables pilot to see in smoke, shadows and darkness.
Nightvision Optics: Range: 2,000 feet (609 meters). Uses light amplification to make a picture. Emits no light but will not work in absolute darkness. System can be dazzled by sudden bright lights but does not physically blind the pilot.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2014, Kitsune. All rights reserved.