Phase World / Three Galaxies Missiles:


Index:

Introduction

Missile Ranges, Top Speeds, and Acceleration

Dual Atmospheric / Space Missiles fired from an Atmosphere

Missile Guidance Systems

Faster than Light Capable Missiles

Missile Warheads

Multi-Warhead Missiles


Introduction:

Missiles that are used in the Three Galaxies are in many ways similar to those used on Rifts Earth and generally follow the same rules but there are important differences. These are that the speeds of missiles are much greater, they have much greater range, there are new some new sensors available, and there are some new warhead types. These rules are designed to work with revised starship rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies.

Of note, the terms “Cruise Missile” and “Capital Missile” are considered interchangeable. Normally such missiles are only used on larger targets such as larger corvettes, destroyers, and larger vessels. They are not considered to be effective weapons against fighters, power armors, or other missiles.


Missile Ranges, Top Speeds, and Accelerations:

In the Phase World Dimension books, you get the impression that starships lumber toward each other, not firing any weapons until rock throwing ranges (100 miles or less) before even firing energy weapons. Then they continue slowly close with each other until the ships reach one to two miles before they actually launch missiles at each other.

The author of this website prefers a much more dynamic starship and missile combat and has developed a system for the Three Galaxies which reflects this. Instead of traveling at mach speeds, missiles travel at percentages of the speed of light. In addition, missile ranges are vastly increased with ranges up to several million kilometers.

One major change in the system is that missile may be used against targets which are beyond the powered range of the missiles. This because once the missile’s propulsion runs out of thrust, they continue to travel in a straight line. There are factors such as the gravity of various objects (such as moons, planets, and asteroids) which effect the missiles but these usually can be calculated for by the crew launching the missiles.

As one might expect, targets which do not move are ideal for this type of strike. These targets include orbital bases and cities. There are no bonuses or minuses to hit these targets. However, to hit specific targets, such as an individual building in a city, unpowered missiles have a -8 penalty to strike.

To hit a large moving target such as a large capital ship (Protector class battleship or Doombringer class dreadnought for example), unpowered missiles have a -16 to strike. In addition, even though large starships cannot fully dodge such attacks, the ship’s pilot can fully dodge unpowered missiles. If they make their dodge, the missile completely misses and no damage is taken. It is assumed that targets smaller than one million tons will automatically make their dodge against these projectiles. However, this is only the case with missiles which are unpowered and cannot maneuver.

Unlike starships, missiles are not limited to a maximum speed by particle and radiation shielding. This is because that after launch, the missile’s life span is considered brief enough that radiation and particle damage is not a factor. However, at game masters discretion, one percent of missiles will not reach their target in an operational condition due to being overwhelmed by radiation and particles. In such cases, missiles will destroy themselves, become inert, or veer off course.

The acceleration of a missile is effective by relativity in the same manner as starships. The chief effect of this is that the greater the velocity of the missile, the lower the apparent acceleration. See revised starship rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for details.

Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles do not have to accelerate at their full acceleration and may be stepped down in their acceleration. This is only commonly down with respect to long range missiles and capital / cruise missiles. The most common reason for this is because those launching the missiles want both types of missiles to arrive at their target simultaneously.

In order to reduce costs, missiles in the Three Galaxies can be made with only space propulsion or atmospheric propulsion. In most situations, ground troops do not need the incredible acceleration of space capable missiles. On the other side, starships generally do not need missiles capable of being used in an atmosphere.

When a missile which is designed to be used only in an atmosphere is fired in space, they normally simply do not have the acceleration to strike starships. Even if launched from a starship moving at a greater speed than the vessel it is being fired at, the missile similar cannot maneuver well enough to strike a starship maneuvering.

If a missile is fired from space at a significant fraction of light into an atmosphere, the missile will usually destroy itself when it strikes the atmosphere. The shielding on the missile simply cannot withstand striking the atmosphere. Instead, the missiles have to be fired at atmospheric velocities in order not explode.

Dual atmospheric / space missiles can be fired from an atmosphere into space. They do lose some space range due to the time which they require to traverse the atmosphere. As well, their initial space velocity is extremely low but does build up as normal.


Cruise Missiles:

Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 25 (19,030 mph / 30,630 kph) in an atmosphere and has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship) in space.

Long Range Missiles:

Missile 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. The missile has a top speed of Mach 20 (15,225 mph / 24,500 kph) in an atmosphere and has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (far faster than any starship) in space.

Medium Range Missiles:

Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/ 0.43 light seconds) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 15 (11,420 mph / 18,375 kph) in an atmosphere and has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn (faster than any starship except a fighter exceeding it maximum safe acceleration) in space.

Short Range Missiles:

Missile range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 (7,610 mph / 12,250 kph) in an atmosphere and has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn (faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration) in space.

Mini-Missiles:

Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 (7,610 mph / 12,250 kph) in an atmosphere and has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration) in space.

Micro-Missiles:

These missiles do not have the size to carry the full gravity drive that larger missiles, even mini-missiles, do. These missiles accelerate at twice their listed mach speed in Gs (Earth Gravities) of acceleration and have the powered range of eight times their atmospheric speed when they are used in space.


Dual Atmospheric / Space Missiles fired from an Atmosphere:

Dual Atmospheric / Space Missiles can be fired through an atmosphere into space. Top speed of the missile is limited to atmospheric speeds while traveling through an atmospheric but can immediately accelerate at space speeds once the missile reaches the end of an atmosphere. This somewhat reduces the range and final space velocity of the missile.

In general, only medium range, long range, and cruise missiles are considered effective when used in this manner with medium range missiles having the greatest reduction in their space range.

These rules assume a missile fired from the ground in an Terran type atmosphere. The edge of space is considered to be 62 miles (100 km) from the planets surface. While medium range missile space drives are assumed to activate at the edge of the atmosphere, long range and medium range missile delay the activation of their space drives slightly to better clear the atmosphere. In most cases, it takes approximately twenty seconds to clear the atmosphere.


Cruise Missiles: Once the missile leaves the atmosphere, space range is assumed to be 3,950,000 miles (6,356,910 km / 21.2 light seconds) before the missile’s drive runs out of thrust. Requires 19 seconds to pass through the atmosphere.

Long Range Missiles: Once the missile leaves the atmosphere, space range is assumed to be 1,750,000 miles (2,816,350 km / 9.4 light seconds) before the missile’s drive runs out of thrust. Requires 24 seconds to pass through the atmosphere.

Medium Range Missiles: Once the missile leaves the atmosphere, space range is assumed to be 50,000 miles (80,470 km / 0.27 light seconds) before the missile’s drive runs out of thrust. Requires 19 seconds to pass through the atmosphere.


Missile Guidance Systems:

The fire control computers on all Phase World / Three Galaxies starships is assumed to be able to lock onto and fire simultaneously at as many targets as the launcher has available missiles. In some cases, warships can also target missiles fired by other vessels. Example: A Mini-Missile launcher on a Warshield Class Cruiser has the ability to launch on up to eight mini-missiles at one time. This means that the launcher can theoretically lock onto eight targets and launch at all of them at the same time.

In the Phase World / Three Galaxies setting, all of the missiles guidance systems that are available on Rifts Earth are available. Active radar guided missiles are still relatively common especially for smaller missiles such as mini-missiles and short range missiles. Active missile guidance systems are however smaller and such systems can be fitted into mini-missiles.

There are additional guidance systems available as well. Below is the list of new missile guidance systems available in the Phase World / Three Galaxies setting.


Gravity Sensor:

All targets have a gravitic footprint which allows them to be tracked by gravity sensors. This includes targets that are invisible. The other advantage is that gravity sensors allow the missile to track its target in real time no matter what the distance is because gravity has an element to it which can be detected at faster than the speed of light.

Gravity propulsion systems are also among the most common in the Three Galaxies and are quite easy to detect using gravity sensors. While there are various stealth measures to minimize the gravity signature of a target, they can usually still be detected at the close ranges when a missile is closing on its target.

Missiles using gravity targeting are among the most common missiles in the Three Galaxies.


Neutrino Homing:

How this missile guidance works is to home in on a neutrino signature of a target. Any target which converts matter into energy or otherwise produces particle collisions will produce neutrinos. Part of the energy is converted into neutrinos.

Examples of sources of neutrinos sources on starships include, but not limited to, nuclear fission reactors, nuclear fusion reactors, anti-matter reactors, fusion thrusters, ion thrusters, plasma weapons, ion weaponry, particle beam weaponry, plasma explosions, fusion explosions, nuclear explosions, and anti-matter explosions.

Neutrino homing missiles can be set to track on the strongest nearby neutrino signature or a specific neutrino signature. Neutrino homing missiles are immune to most jamming systems as well.


Tachyon Beam Rider:

Missiles which use this guidance system follow a tachyon beam to strike their target. The advantage of this guidance system is that the tachyon beam operates faster than the speed of light. In addition, the tachyon system is immune to most jamming systems. For effective ranges, there is no appreciable ranges when painting a target with this system. Otherwise, this system operates in a similar manner to the common Rifts Earth semi-active laser and semi-active radar homing systems. In addition, there are Phase Worlds / Three Galaxies sensor systems which can detect tachyons and can detect the beams in targeted on them.


Smart Missiles:

While on Rifts Earth, “Smart Missiles” are generally limited to medium range, long range, and cruise missiles, in the Phase World / Three Galaxies setting, all missile types (including mini-missiles) are available as smart missiles. On both mini-missiles and short range missiles, they can be smart missiles in addition to mounting an active type guidance system.

As with Rifts Earth missiles, “Smart” guidance system gives +5 to strike and +4 to dodge. When used in an atmosphere, the missiles have two attacks per melee round. Due to requiring too much time to decelerate, the missiles will normally only have one strike against a target in space. Instead, they usually will have a secondary potential target which they can be locked onto.


Brilliant Missiles:

Brilliant missiles might be considered a step up from Smart missiles. They have a more advanced guidance system which is actually a limited advanced artificial intelligence guidance system.

As “Brilliant Missiles” are far more capable than standard “Smart Missiles,” they have greater bonuses. They have +7 to strike and +6 to dodge. When used in an atmosphere, the missiles have three attacks per melee round. As with standard “Smart Missiles,” the missiles will normally only have one strike against a target in space due to requiring too much time to decelerate. As with standard “Smart Missiles,” they usually will have a secondary potential target which they can be locked onto.

With regard to counter measures, “Brilliant Missiles” are capable of breaking through most countermeasures even those that work against normal smart missiles. As with “Smart Missiles,” these advanced missiles must have an autonomous type guidance system. All “Brilliant Missiles” automatically have the feature of IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) identification and loiter capability. Brilliant Missiles also separate when launched so they cannot be destroyed as a volley.

As one might expect, the “Brilliant” guidance system is extremely expensive and costs four times that of the standard smart missile guidance system. In addition, this feature can only be added to long range missiles, cruise missiles, and similar larger missiles. Cannot be added to mini-missiles, short range missiles, or medium range missiles. Finally, in most places the guidance system is considered illegal for civilians to own and is only available to the military.


Faster than Light Capable Missiles:

Star Ships will often carry a small number of cruise missiles that are capable of being used at faster than light (FTL) speeds for limited durations. These missiles generally use a contra-grav propulsion system. They only travel at faster than light speeds when launched from a vessel already traveling faster than light.

Faster than light capable missiles are currently limited to cruise missiles only although several governments are presently working on an faster than light capable long range missile. There is some evidence to suggest that the ancient Valdemarian civilization may have developed such a missile. In addition, it is believed that their missiles were capable of much greater faster than light travel than modern missiles.

The missiles give up part of their payload in order to fit in the faster than light propulsion system. As a result, they are limited to the smaller warhead types in most cases. In addition, these missiles give up their normal atmospheric propulsion.

With faster than light combat, few weapon systems can be used. There are no point defense missiles and there are a handful of direct fire weapons which can be used at faster than light speeds. These include tachyon and gravity based systems. Most vessels do not have either type of weaponry. As a result, point defense is also limited.

While not effective at destroying missiles, a gravity based warheads can create a gravity field to pull faster than light missiles out of their faster than light travel. At present, gravity warheads are limited to cruise missiles and they have standard penalties to effect other missiles.

Often the best defense are the ship’s force fields. These force fields are generally gravity based and can be used on the ship when it is traveling at faster than light speeds. Finally, both decoy missiles and jamming systems can be effective against faster than light missiles.

Because many missile’s blasts are not effective at faster than light speeds, these missiles will usually attempt to overtake their target, merge its gravity field with the target, and then detonate. This way, the target will travel into the blast of the missile instead of accelerating away from the blast and be unaffected. The only exceptions are gravity and tachyon warheads.

An object traveling at faster than light speeds, such as a starship or missile, have a special field which allows them to operate at faster than light speeds. If that field is disrupted, the object immediately drops out of faster than light travel. A standard missile fired by a faster than light ship will immediately drop from faster than light travel.

These missiles are not available outside the major militaries of the Three Galaxies. In addition, they are extremely expensive and cost four times that of a similar conventional Phase World / Three Galaxies cruise missile. When these missiles are carried, a starship will usually carry ten percent of less of its total cruise missile compliment in faster than light cruise missiles. Some of these are often decoy type missiles.


FTL Missile Range and Speed:

The faster than light cruise missile has limited fuel. For game purposes, assume that the missile has a total of 50 Fuel Points. The faster the missile travels, the greater the amount of fuel which the missile burns. For every light year per hour travels, the missile burns a Fuel Point per turn / melee round. These missiles are limited to a maximum velocity of ten light years per hour.

Examples are if the missile is traveling at one light year per hour, it has a range of fifty turns / melee rounds. If the missile is traveling at the maximum speed of ten light years per hour, it will burn ten Fuel Point per turn / melee rounds and run out of fuel after ten turns. / melee rounds.

When the cruise missile runs out of fuel, it drops immediately back into normal space although it will be traveling at 98% of the speed of light. Of course, the missile can no longer maneuver when its fuel runs out, so from that moment on it is traveling in a straight line until it is destroyed or it self-destructs. In addition, the calculations are basically impossible with respect to targeting a faster than light missile against a target in normal space except for a target the size of a large gas giant or star.

Faster than light missiles cannot be fired from normal space and have then accelerate into faster than light travel. In addition, even a small gravity well will always pull these missiles out of faster than light travel.

Faster than light missiles have penalties to strike if the missiles significantly increase of decrease their faster than light speed relative to the vessel launching them. Usually the launching vessel will ste the missile to only be slightly than the target which it is being fired on. The faster than light missile has a -1 penalty for every light year per hour change in the missile’s speed.

While these missiles can be programmed to drop out of faster than light into normal space, there are even greater targeting issues. Faster than light missiles cannot be used to pop right at the target without point defense being able to stop the missiles. In fact, they are generally only considered effective at being launched at immobile targets due to the imprecise nature of the targeting. In fact, the missile will end up being 1D4 x 100,000 miles (1D4 x 160,000 km) from its target when it drops back into normal space.

While faster than light cruise missiles can be used in normal space, they are generally not used in that manner due to their incredible cost and the inability to carry larger warhead types.


FTL Missile Warheads:

Some missile warheads are considered more effective at inflicting damage against targets traveling faster than light speeds than others. This is simply because energy usually travels at the speed of light or faster. In most cases, a missile will try to overtake their target, merge its gravity field with the target, and then detonate.

Conventional explosives, including K-Hex and Plasma Warheads inflict half damage to the front of the target, quarter damage to the sides, and no damage to the rear of the target. Nuclear, anti matter, and fusion will inflict full damage to the front of the target, half damage to the sides, and no damage to the rear of the target.

The most effective missiles against faster than light targets are gravity warheads and tachyon based warheads. These effects travel at faster than light velocities and inflict full damage from all sides of a target.

The volume available for the warhead of faster than light missiles is limited due to the special faster than light missile drives. As a result, they are limited to the smaller classes of missile warhead. For example, fusion and nuclear warheads are limited to Heavy Warheads (Inflicts 2D4x100) and anti-matter is limited to Heavy Warheads (Inflicts 3D6x100) as well. There are no multi-warhead types available for faster than light missiles. There are decoy and jamming faster than light missiles available however.


Missile Warheads:

All missile warheads types from Rifts Earth are commonly available in Phase World / Three Galaxies. Especially common are plasma and fusion warhead types. Go to revised bomb and missile tables for common Rifts Earth missile warhead types.

There are a number of specialized warheads not covered here including various enchanted / techno-wizard missile types.


Nuclear:

When detonated in space, nuclear missiles do not create the blast which they do in the atmosphere. For game purposes, assume that nuclear warheads inflict the same damage and fusion warheads do on the revised missile tables.


Anti-Matter:

Anti-matter is an incredibly powerful munition that uses a reaction between matter and anti-matter to produce an incredible reaction that can inflict large amounts of damage to the target. They are one of the main “Ship Killer” missile warheads of the Three Galaxies.

The anti-matter is kept in a magnetic containment until it strikes the target and releases its anti-matter. This warhead is only available in cruise missiles. If anti-matter munitions are used in an atmosphere, they have double the blast radius and effects as a nuclear munition of the same missile size.

The main drawback of an anti-matter warhead is that it does minimal damage to targets that are impervious to energy. The other limitation is that if a ship with anti-matter warheads takes a magazine hit and the hit breaches a missile, it creates powerful explosions that can destroy the ship.

Anti-Matter warheads are generally not available to the minor powers in the Three Galaxies including most independent defense forces and mercenary groups. Most do not have access to other advanced warheads so often carry fusion warheads at their most powerful anti-ship missiles. In addition, most major military forces do not carry anti-matter warheads except during wartime conditions due to safety issues.

The Consortium Armed Forces has the most advanced anti-matter containment technology in the Three Galaxies. They have developed a special super heavy anti-matter warhead. They have not shared this technology however with the Human Alliance or the Wolfen Republic militaries.


Warhead

Mega-Damage

Blast Radius

M.D.C.

[1] Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (medium)

2D6x100

80 ft (24.4 m)

45

[1] Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (Heavy)

3D6x100

100 ft (30.3 m)

45

Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (X-Heavy)

4D6x100

120 ft (36.4 m)

45

Anti-Matter Cruise Multi-Warhead

5D6x100

150 ft (45.5 m)

45

[2] Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (Super Heavy)

1D4x1000

500 ft (124.4 m)

45


[1] Warheads that can be carried in FTL cruise missiles.

[2] Only available for Consortium Warships - Not sold outside of the Consortium Armed Forces.


K-Hex:

K-Hex is a special explosive that only recently has been made useable by weapon systems. Initially developed by Naruni Industries, they have licensed the technology with a number of other companies. In its natural state, the ore is very unstable and dangerous. In order to keep K-Hex rounds more powerful than standard warheads, their damages have been modified to be above other types of warheads.


Warhead

Mega-Damage

Blast Radius

M.D.C.

K-Hex High Explosive Mini-Missile

1D6x10

5 ft (1.5 m)

1

K-Hex Fragmentation Mini-Missile

1D6x10

20 ft (6.1 m)

1

K-Hex Armor Piercing Mini-Missile

2D4x10

3 ft (0.9 m)

2

K-Hex High Explosive Short Range Missile

2D6x10

20 ft (6.1 m)

5

K-Hex Fragmentation Short Range Missile

2D6x10

30 ft (9.1 m)

5

K-Hex Armor Piercing Short Range Missile

3D6x10

5 ft (1.5 m)

5

K-Hex High Explosive Medium Range Missile

4D6x10

30 ft (9.1 m)

10

K-Hex Fragmentation Medium Range Missile

6D4x10

60 ft (18.2 m)

10

K-Hex Armor Piercing Medium Range Missile

4D6x10

20 ft (6.1 m)

10

K-Hex High Explosives Long Range Missile

6D6x10

50 ft (15.2 m)

20

K-Hex Fragmentation Long Range Missile

6D4x10

100 ft (30.5 m)

20

K-Hex Armor Piercing Long Range Missile

5D6x10

30 ft (9.1 m)

20


Gravity Well Cruise Missile:

These missile warhead are also too large to be carried on any missile smaller than a cruise missile. Most of these missiles are available with warheads with two settings although they may be constructed with one setting to reduce cost of the missiles.

The first is that the warhead forms briefly a gravity effect similar to that of a tiny black hole although much weaker. This missile has two special advantages when compared to most other cruise missile warheads. The first is that because it does it damage by crushing, a physical effect, and it does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy as well as to cosmic knights.

The second advantage is that the can temporarily prevent starships from activating their faster than light propulsion. Each gravity well missile can prevent up to 10,000 tons of a target from being able to go into faster than light travel. A Warshield cruiser, for example, would require ten gravity well cruise missiles to prevent if from going faster than light. This effect only lasts for one melee (15 seconds). If there are not enough gravity well missile to prevent the ship from entering faster than light, the ship will take double the normal damage of the missiles from the ship effectively ripping through the gravity wells created by the missiles.

The second setting these missiles have is strictly with regard to restricting faster than light travel. Instead of producing a strong but intense gravity field, it produces a weaker but much larger gravity field. While not considered effective against lager ships such as battleships, it is capable of preventing cruisers and smaller vessels from entering faster than light travel. In addition, it is capable of pulling similar sized vessels from faster than light travel. Ships up to 500,000 tons are effected by these missiles.

If a ship is pulled from faster than light travel, this will create problems with the drive system and it usually cannot be immediately reactivated. Instead, it will usually require around ten minutes to reset and recalibrate its systems before re-engaging faster than light travel.

Tactically, the way these are usually used against ships traveling at faster than light speeds is that the missiles are effectively used like mines in the path of the incoming ship. Just as the target reaching the location of the mine, the field is activated and the ship is hopefully pulled out of faster than light travel. If used properly from normal space, the ship pulled from faster than light travel may have no warning. This is a relatively common tactic by pirates.

The Trans-Galactic Empire has developed a special “Singularity Missile” with a much more powerful warhead. It is not believed at this time that the Free Worlds Council has been able to capture an example of this missile. It is also believed that several powers, including the Consortium of Civilized Worlds, are attempting to duplicate this missile.


Warhead

Mega-Damage

Blast Radius

M.D.C.

[1] Gravity Well Cruise Missile (Heavy - Setting 1)

3D4x100

100 ft (30.3 m)

45

[1] Gravity Well Cruise Missile (Heavy - Setting 2)

None

2,000 ft (606 m)

 

 

 

 

 

Gravity Well Cruise Missile (X-Heavy - Setting 1)

4D4x100

120 ft (36.4 m)

45

Gravity Well Cruise Missile (X-Heavy - Setting 2)

None

2,400 ft (728 m)

 

 

 

 

 

[2] Singularity Cruise Missile

1D6x1000

300 feet (91.4 m)

45


[1] Warheads that can be carried in FTL Cruise missiles

[2] Only available for T.G.E. Warships - Not sold outside of the Trans-Galactic Empire.


X-Ray Laser Cruise Missile Warheads:

An extremely popular missile type with those who have the technology to manufacture the missile. When this missiles gets close to the target, there is a powerful fusion warhead which detonates and produces energy to fire a burst of x-ray lasers at the target.

The lasers only have limited targeting and they have no bonuses due to the guidance system of the missile even though it is available as a “Smart Missile” and in some cases even a “Brilliant Missile.” Even so, the missile fires a total of ten laser beams and the beams have the ability to have the missile act as standoff type weapon.

Compared to conventional type warheads, when the missile drive goes dead, reduce the normal penalties by half with regard to engaging targets. The X-ray lasers from missile would have -4 to hit a specific location on a space station and -8 to strike a large moving warships such as Doombringer class dreadnought.

The missile warhead is one of the largest which can be carried on a cruise missile and cannot be carried on any smaller missile types. In addition, it is too larger to be carried on a faster than light capable cruise missile.

While extremely popular, only a limited number of militaries have these missiles. These do however include a number of independent defense forces which have managed to capture the technology from others and others who have managed to get the technology through clandestine means. Among those who have it include the Consortium of Civilized Worlds, Trans-Galactic Empire, Free Worlds Council, Human Alliance, Wolfen Republic, Icaria star system, and the New Coventry.


Warhead

Mega-Damage

Blast Radius

M.D.C.

Fusion warhead (Direct Blast)

1D6x100

80 ft (24.4 m)

45

[1] X-Ray Lasers (10 beams)

2D4x100 Each

N.A.

 


[1] When the warhead detonates, ten X-Ray laser beams are fired at the moment of the missile’s destruction. X-Ray laser beams have a range of 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere and 40 miles (64 km) in space. X-Ray lasers inflict full damage against conventional laser resistant materials. Because the lasers do not have a large amount of fire control, each laser has no bonuses to strike and each laser strike should be rolled separately. With large volleys of missiles, grouping the rolls may be the only way to speed up strikes but the number of lasers that should be grouped together should be relatively small.


Tachyon Beam Missile Warheads:

These missiles were developed in order to have a weapon system that works in a similar manner to X-Ray laser warheads but would also be effective against targets when traveling at faster than light velocities. The technology is still considered experimental at the current time and are extremely expensive. Currently, each missile costs ten times as much as an X-ray laser cruise missile.

As with the X-Ray laser missile, the weapon is powered by a very powerful fusion explosion. The energy of the explosion is then channeled into a series of tachyon beam generators which fire toward the target. Instead of ten beams, the missile fires a total of eight beams and each beam is less powerful than each of the X-Ray laser beams.

Targeting is similarly limited to the X-Ray laser missile warhead. Each beam has no bonuses due to the guidance system of the missile even though the missile is available as a “Smart Missile” and in some cases even a “Brilliant Missile.”

Compared to conventional type warheads, when the missile drive goes dead, reduce the normal penalties by half with regard to engaging targets. The beams from the missile would have -4 to hit a specific location on a space station and -8 to strike a large moving warships such as Doombringer class dreadnought.

While missile warheads is far smaller than the far more common X-Ray laser warhead, it cannot be carried on a missile smaller than a cruiser missile. It is however smaller enough to be carried on faster than light capable cruise missiles.

In comparison to X-Ray laser warheads, there are fewer militaries which have tachyon beam missile technology. The only two powers which are known to have the technology is the Consortium of Civilized Worlds and the Trans-Galactic Empire. It is also believed that the ancient Valdemarian civilization had the technology. Even the Human Alliance military does not have the technology although it is believed that they are working on it. As well, the Free Worlds Council has not been able to steal any examples from the Trans-Galactic Empire.


Warhead

Mega-Damage

Blast Radius

M.D.C.

Fusion warhead (Direct Blast)

1D6x100

80 ft (24.4 m)

45

[1] Tachyon Beams (8 Beams)

1D4x100 Each

N.A.

 

   

[1] When the warhead detonates, eight tachyon beams are fired at the moment of its destruction. Tachyon beams have a range of 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere and 40 miles (64 km) in space. Because the tachyon beams do not have a large amount of fire control, each beam has no bonuses to strike and each beam strike should be rolled separately. With large volleys of missiles, grouping the rolls may be the only way to speed up strikes but the number of lasers that should be grouped together should be fairly small. Tachyon beam cruise missiles are available on FTL capable missiles


Decoy:

Special missiles of various sizes without a true warhead but instead have special equipment to emulate engine and sensor signature of various starships, starfighters, missiles, and even power armors in some cases. Can emulate contra-grav propulsion signatures and most other Three Galaxies starship propulsion systems and other energy signatures.

While there are decoys smaller than medium range missiles, they are usually used only for special purposes. They are often used to emulate smaller missiles and in some cases power armors.

As the decoys are normally used, sensor operators must roll against them with a -40% to their Read Sensory Instrument skill penalty or be unsure if the decoy is a real target or if is actually a decoy. Automatic targeting systems, such as those mounted on most missiles, are easier to confuse as well.

In some cases, there might be something which reveals what is the decoy or the real target. Most common is that there might be some small signature anomalies which allows a sensor operator to tell the difference between an actual target and a decoy.

The more decoys which are deployed, the harder it is to differentiate the true target from a decoy. This can be rolled in two manners per game master and player’s options. First is that each decoy must be rolled against individually. A second is to roll with a -40% penalty for the first decoy and a -10% penalty for every decoy beyond the first in order to spot the real target from all of the decoys. If the true targets and decoys are made to cross paths, the sensor operator must roll again to see if they detect which target is the decoy and which one is the ship.

If the sensor operator is unable to tell that the decoy is not the real target, the way to calculate if a decoy or an actual target is calculated is relatively simple. Assuming that the targets are in relatively close proximity, add the number of decoy missiles to the number of actual targets. Then roll randomly which is hit. Some tactics may potentially modify this.

In addition to being able to be used to confuse targeting, decoy missiles can be used to make it look like there are more “ships” in a fleet than there actually are. As well, they can be used to confuse the course of a “ship” so that an enemy will maneuver in the wrong direction.

Decoy missiles have the same duration as standard Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles before propulsion run out. However, decoy missiles are designed to transmit for a short period of time afterwards although they will continue on a ballistic course which generally makes them easier to detect as decoys. The missiles can be commanded to shut down their decoy systems in order to extend their operating time and brought back up when required. Decoys are available as faster than light cruise missiles.

Finally, there is a version of the decoy missile available as a multi-decoy missile Theses missile is designed to act as decoy to protect other missiles. One of the most common is a cruise class missile. When the volley of missiles which the decoy missile is with, it splits into sixteen small “mini-missile “ sized decoys each emulating a cruise missiles. They have a relatively short duration before the mini-missile drives run out - Basically the same as a normal decoy mini-missile. There is also a version which splits into four medium range missile decoys with the same duration as a normal decoy medium range missiles.

There is also a medium range decoy missile loaded with four mini-missile class decoys and a long range missile loaded with four short range missile decoys.


Mini-Missile Decoys are designed to be able to emulate missiles of various sizes from medium range up to cruise missile class and can also emulate space power armors. They will continue operating as decoys for two melee rounds (30 second) after the missile drive runs out.

Short Range Missile Decoys are designed to be able to emulate missiles from medium range up to cruise missiles and can also emulate power armors. In addition, they can emulate the signature of a light fighter. They will continue operating as decoys for four melee rounds (60 second) after the missile drive runs out.

Medium Range Missile Decoys can emulate long range and cruise missiles and can also emulate power armors. In addition, they can emulate fighters up to large fighters and can emulate smaller corvettes as well. They will continue operating as decoys for eight melee rounds (two minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There is also a medium range decoy missile loaded with four mini-missile class decoys.

Long Range Missile Decoys can emulate cruise missiles and can also emulate power armors. In addition, the can emulate fighters and ships up to large destroyer / escort cruiser class. They will continue operating as decoys for sixteen melee rounds (four minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There is also a long range missile loaded with four short range missile decoys.

Cruise Missile Decoys cannot emulate anything smaller than a heavy fighters. Otherwise, they can emulate targets from heavy fighter sized to battleship sized vessels. Ships larger than Battleships cannot use standard missile decoys. They will continue operating as decoys for thirty-two melee rounds (eight minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There are a special version of the cruise missile which carries four or sixteen decoy warheads which is primarily designed to emulate cruise missiles. The four decoy missile uses medium range missile decoys while the sixteen decoy missile uses mini-missile decoys.


Self destruct package inflicts 2D4 M.D.C. on mini-missiles, 2D6 on short range missiles, 1D6x10 M.D.C. on medium range missiles, 2D4x10 M.D.C. on long range missiles, and 2D6x10 M.D.C. on cruise missiles and all sensitive equipment on the missile will be destroyed.


Jamming Warhead:

Special missiles of various sizes without a true warhead but instead have special equipment designed to create a jamming signature. 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. The main exceptions are neutrino detection and tachyon based systems where there are few ways to jam either.

With the jamming field, sensor systems will have ranges reduced to 25% of normal and have a -40% penalty to all Read Sensory Instruments skill rolls including the chance of detecting any targets in the area (this includes the missile carrying the jamming system) of the jamming.

Both “Smart Missiles and “Brilliant Missiles” can be programmed to go after the signature of the jamming with a Weapon Systems skill roll and “Smart Missiles and “Brilliant Missiles” have this option automatically available. A ship which is using active jamming might use these jamming missiles so that they are targeted into of the ship emitting the jamming.

Due to the technology difference, Rifts Earth level sensor technology cannot overcome Phase World / Three Galaxies level jamming. In addition, Rifts Earth jamming conventional systems are ineffective against Phase World / Three Galaxies level sensors.

Jamming missiles have the same duration as standard Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles before propulsion run out. However, jamming missiles are designed to transmit for a short period of time afterwards although they will continue on a ballistic course which generally makes them easier to target. The missiles can be commanded to shut down their jamming systems in order to extend their operating time and brought back up when required. Jamming missiles are also available as faster than light cruise missiles.

There are various multi-warhead jamming missiles. These include medium range, long range, and cruise missile types. The jamming “sub-warheads” have the same duration and range as the class of missiles which they are considered. Medium range multi-warhead jamming missiles carry four mini-missile class jamming warheads. Long range multi-warhead jamming missiles carry four short range class jamming warheads. Cruise multi-warhead jamming missiles carry four medium range class jamming warheads or sixteen mini-missile class jamming warheads.


Mini-Missiles: The jamming will affect a 300 foot (91.4 meter) diameter area in an atmosphere and 5.7 miles (9.1 km) diameter area in space. They will continue operating in the jamming role for two melee rounds (30 second) after the missile drive runs out.

Short Range Missile: The jamming will affect a 500 foot (152 meter) diameter area in an atmosphere and 9.5 miles (15.2 km) diameter area in space. They will continue operating in the jamming role for four melee rounds (60 second) after the missile drive runs out.

Medium Range Missile: The jamming will affect a 1 mile (1.6 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 100 miles (160 km) diameter area in space. They will continue operating in the jamming role for eight melee rounds (two minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There is also a medium range jamming missile loaded with four mini-missile class jamming missiles.

Long Range Missile: The jamming will affect a 5 mile (8 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 500 miles (800 km) in space. They will continue operating in the jamming role for sixteen melee rounds (four minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There is also a long range jamming missile loaded with four short range class jamming missiles.

Cruise Missile: The jamming will affect a 10 mile (16 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) diameter area in space. They will continue operating in the jamming role for thirty-two melee rounds (eight minutes) after the missile drive runs out.

There is also cruise jamming missile loaded with either four medium range jamming missiles or sixteen mini-missile class jamming missiles.


Self destruct package inflicts 2D4 M.D.C. on mini-missiles, 2D6 on short range missiles, 1D6x10 M.D.C. on medium range missiles, 2D4x10 M.D.C. on long range missiles, and 2D6x10 M.D.C. on cruise missiles and all sensitive equipment on the missile will be destroyed.


Sensor Probe Warhead:

This is a special type of cruise missile with powerful sensors replacing the standard missile warhead. These sensors are considered to be the equal of those carried on a light space fighter including both active and passive sensor systems.

While the propulsion system of the sensor probe missile has the same operating duration as a standard cruise missile, the sensor system will continue to operate even once the propulsion systems have run out of power. Running active sensor systems, this is limited to fifteen minutes. On pure passive however, this is extended to a full hour before running out of power.

Most of these missiles are fitted with advanced stealth systems. To further aid in the missile’s ability to evade detection, these cruise missiles can even be launched with no active power systems and no active emissions. As long as missile drives are not active, the missiles can generally only be detected at 10% normal RADAR range and 20% normal TADAR range.

There is a special faster than light version of the sensor probe missile.

As with most electronic warfare type missiles, these missiles are fitted with a self destruct package. When activated, the self destruct package inflicts 2D6x10 M.D.C. to anything in the missiles vicinity and all sensitive equipment on the missile will be destroyed.


Multi-Warhead Missiles:

Many missiles used in the Three Galaxies have multiple warheads. It is far harder to shoot down all of the warheads of a missile volley as well as acting as a volley and is unable to be dodged. See writeup for rules for Multi-Warhead missiles for details. Various specialty multi-warheads are also covered here.




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune)


Copyright © 1998 to 2001, 2008, 2010, & 2016, Kitsune. All rights reserved.


I would like to recognize Chris Curtis and Mischa Campen for helping with many of the ideas listed here.



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