German "Panther" Main Battle Tank:


"Much has been said about the toughness of the Tiger and the Germans seem to believe we fly in the clouds. Obviously they have not come against a collumn of Schwarzkopf and Mackintosh running on the deck at over a hundred miles per hour to have us open fire before they even know we are there."


- USA-M-22 Mackintosh Crewmember


"The proponents of hovertanks seem to forget that where ever the terrain allows them to hover at high speed, we can see them coming miles away. And in terrain where we can`t see hovervehicles coming miles away, they cannot fly that fast without hitting a lot of obstacles. Unless they take to the air and go over them. And become very visible targets. And those are hovertanks. Let us not even discuss the visibility of some of the new and in some circles very popular "giant Robots".
One should never forget that we have optimalized the Tiger to fight the Reds, and that such a confrontation will be on the plains of central Europe (...) what works for us need not work for the US army or, in fact, for anyone else."


- Feldmarshall Zimmermann


The Panther had been the main battle tank for the German republic for over three decades, when it looked as if it was about to be replaced by robot vehicles. Certainly the USA had shown the way with its incredible Glitter Boy armor, more maneuverable and lighter than any tank, yet just as well armored.
But in the last years of the century, this vision of the future changed. The SSSR was now beginning to roll out not powered armors, but the prototypes for tanks, both hover tanks and HUGE conventional ones. Unlike the NATO forces, the EU military (helped by some clever intelligence gathering) came to a most unsettling conclusion:


Tanks were far more efficient on the battlefield against Robots and powered armor than everyone had assumed, and were capable of breaking a Robot formation with relative ease, but they were also rather cheaper to build. In an interview with TASS, Marshall Vladimir Ilonoff gave a most telling quote: "For every company of Glitter Boys the Capitalists field, we field two regiments of Mega-Damage Main Battle Tanks."


The realization that the Marshall was right was cold and frightening. And the EU had much more to fear from SSSR tanks than most NATO Countries . . . And so the Generals of the EU Armed Forces came to the last company in the entire EU with any experience left in building tanks: The German firm of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. "Build us a tank capable of taking on any other current tank", they said. And Krauss-Maffei, in cooperation with Rheinmetall and Signaal, delivered.


The new Pzkw XI (Panzerkampfwagen XI) was a massive tank, with impressive capabilities. It featured a new kind of M.D.C. armor, a Bi-Phase Carbide/Durachrome laminate which lessened the effects of directed energy weapons, and was highly resistant to kinetic energy weapons as well. For its main armament it had an 88-mm high-velocity railgun, which was as powerful as any conventional weapon, but could fire more rapidly, and carried more ammunition. This was mounted slightly to the left of the center of the turret. Mounted to the right of the centerline was a 40 mm gauss cannon, for use against smaller targets. At the rear of the turret was a smaller turret with a rapid fire Pulse Laser for close in defense. Mounted flush on the right side of the turret was a reloadable missile launcher, which held two medium range missiles. On the left of the turret there was a six barreled mini-missile launcher. The entire turret was automated, and totally separated from the crew compartment, so that not only could a damaged turret be replaced easily, the crew also had improved survival chances. It also meant that in a later stadium, replacing the weapons fit would be relatively easy. Mounted in the main body of the tank itself were two particle beam weapons, one on the right, and one on the left side. These shortranged weapons were meant as a last-ditch defense against missiles and infantry.


The tank’s hull featured a layout like that of the Merkava tank of the late twentieth century, with the engine (a fusion generator) and its reaction mass located in front, the crew compartment aft of this, with the turret and the ammo storage behind this. As noted the armor was a new Bi-Phase Carbide/Durachrome laminate type, which in fact proved to be the most versatile armor ever deviced. Even in Rifts time the NGR has lost the art of making this armor, and for now concentrates on Glitter Boy armor.


Amongst the preventive measures onboard of the tank were active Infra-red laser jammers, which actively destroyed the seeker heads of IR guided missiles, a powerful ECM suite capable of detecting and jamming radar, Chaff launchers to confuse radar and missiles and smoke generators which produced a particulate smoke that obscured vision and was difficult for laser designators to penetrate. Further electronics included IR sensors, Radar and a powerful battlefield management communications system.
The most impressive piece of electronics onboard of the later versions was a robot brain which would normally guide the CIWS, but could, in case of emergency, replace one or even all of the crew members in the tank, making it a fully autonomous fighting unit!


More preventive measures included IR suppression and active cooling throughout the tank, with radiators located on the underside and behind of the tank, which made it more difficult to detect from all but the rear aspect. A final survival measure was the inclusion of a mine plow as a standard piece of equipment. This meant that the Tiger had much less to fear from minefields than previous tanks.


The end result was arguably the best tank in the world, outclassing tanks like the USA`s Schwarzkopf and Russian designs in raw capability. Although it was too heavy for many bridges, the Tiger could cross almost any river by simply driving across the bottom. Troops never saw the lack of a hover or flying capability as a loss. Tanks were supposed to stay on the ground, not fly above it.
Note: In this respect the Giant Robot designs being popular in many post-Rifts militaries fare even worse: Tanks can crawl or hover on or just above the ground even with weights of up to 80 tons, but 10 meter tall robots are troublesome to armor sufficiently without making them too heavy to even walk. Besides that, big robots make big targets, and tend to be very visible on the battlefield. And to be visible on a battlefield where everyone has missiles and Line Of Sight weapons is to court disaster...


And so the Tiger remained in production throughout the rest of the century, and well into the time of the Rifts. Most already in service survived the coming of the Rifts, to become part of the NGR military. The NGR has begun to replace the Tiger with the XM-330 hovertank only because the secret of the construction of the Bi-Phase Carbide/Durachrome armor was lost in the Gargoyle Empire`s campaign of retribution in 38 P.A.. Even so, Triax scientists are hard at work to re-engineer the armor, and the remaining Tigers are kept in well maintained reserve, in case they should be needed. A possible proposal is to replace the BPC/D armor with Glitter Boy armor, since the manufacture of this armor is now a possibility. At current there are still some 1,200 fully functional Tiger tanks kept in reserve. Though the XM-330 Hovertank is commonly named when laymen are asked about NGR armor, the professionals know better, and although the Tiger is no longer the most numerous tank in the NGR arsenal, it is the one that holds by far the longest service record, and has the most victories on its name.


Note: The stats below are for the most current model of Tiger tank, and reflect the tanks currently in reserve. Any new tanks with the Glitter Armor would have 20% less M.D.C. rating on all locations, but would enjoy the 50% reduction in laser damage of the Glitter Armor.



Model Type: Krauss-Maffei Pzkw XI "Tiger"
Vehicle Type: Heavy Tank
Crew: Three (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):160 each
[2] Weapons Turret:450
88 mm Railgun:200
* Turret mounted TX-41 CIWS Laser:100
* 40 mm Co-axial Gauss Cannon:100
* Particle Beam Gun (2):40 each
[3] Medium Range Missile Launcher:100
* Mini-Missile Launcher :75
* Infra-red Laser Jammers (2):45
* Firefly Chaff Launchers (2):25
[4] Mine Plow:200
[5] Aft Radiators:200
Reinforced Crew Compartment:200
[6] Main Body:900


Notes:
* All items marked with a asterisk are small and difficult to strike. They require a called shot, and are -3 to strike.
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank 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.
[2 ]The Weapons turret is unmanned by the crew, and can be destroyed without otherwise damaging the vehicle. This makes the tank very survivable, and it can retreat and have a new weapon turret fitted relatively quickly.
[3] The launcher is mounted flush with the right side of the turret, and provides a difficult target to hit: Called shots only.
[4] The Mine Plow will clear a path that is the width of the tank of mines, by simply shoving them aside. Unless a mine is specifically set to explode when moved, most anti-tank mines won't go off when moved with the plow. There simply is not enough pressure or sensory data to do so. The plow cannot be used at speeds over 40 mph (64 km).
[5] Destroying the radiators means that the tank loses its IR Stealth, but otherwise imposes no penalties. Due to their small size and difficult location, the radiators are -3 to strike, and ONLY on a called shot.
[6] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.
Special: As the tank’s armor is constructed out of a Bi-Phase Carbide and Durachrome laminate, all damage done by directed energy weapons, explosives and kinetic energy weapons is reduced by 25%. Only Plasma does full damage.


Speed:
Ground: 74.8 mph (120 kph) maximum road speed; 50 mph (80 kph) maximum off-road speed. 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%.
Maximum Range: Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 20 year duration)


Statistical Data:
Height: 10.87 feet (3.26 meters) to top of CIWS turret.
Width: 15.33 feet (4.6 meters)
Length: 36.23 feet (10.87 meters) with mine plow; 32.48 feet (9.9 meters) for just the hull/main body of the tank.
Weight: 91.5 tons (83 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear fusion reactor; Must be refueled every twenty years, otherwise effectively unlimited.
Cargo Capacity: Minimal, enough for equipment with crew. Extra storage rack on back of turret, seldom used in combat.
Black Market Cost: 20,000,000 Credits was the production price originally; One of the remaining tanks would sell for up to triple that on the black market; Unfortunately the NGR watches them like they are made out of pure gold; Very very poor availability. Plus the NGR would not take kindly to unauthorized persons riding around in one...


Weapon Systems:

  1. High-velocity 88 mm Railgun: Mounted in the turret, the 88-mm railgun by Rheinmetall was a marvel of engineering. It fired an APFSDS round of depleted uranium at hypersonic speeds, and was capable of knocking out any tank then in existence. It could also fire several other rounds, such as HEAT, Fragmentation, and Plasma. It was fully gyrostabilised, and with the aid of laser sighting, laser range finding and the fire control computer, the gun has a +3 to strike. The cannon can angle from -10 degrees to +35 degrees up, and the turret can rotate through 360 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: Direct fire range is 26,000 feet (7,800 meters) with the APFSDS round and 16,667 feet (5,000 meters) for all other rounds. With the help of the rangefinder, radar, and the computer, can fire all rounds indirectly to 49,333 feet (14,800 meters).
    Mega-Damage: (APFSDS):4D6x10+40 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration) Fragmentation: 5D6, blast radius of 40 feet. (HEAT): 2D6x10, blast radius of 10 ft. (PLASMA): 4D6x10, blast radius of 20 ft.
    Rate of Fire: Four times per melee.
    Payload: 90 gun rounds; Usually 30 APFSDS, 22 Fragmentation, 22 HEAT, and 16 Plasma. All rounds are stored in an Autoloader, and the gunner can select between them at the flick of a switch. An extra Plasma round is usually carried ready to fire in the railgun, so that the tank can respond at once to any situation. Note that any possible mix of rounds can be carried, above is simply the recommended loadout. Reloading the autoloader can be done in five minutes (twenty rounds) by an experienced crew, and double that by an inexperienced crew.
    Bonuses: +3 to strike at all times with cannon shells from the laser sight and fire control computer, including when on the move. For indirect long-range fire has a +3 to strike, but only when standing still.
  2. 40 millimeter Gauss cannon: Mounted to the right of the main gun. This was essentially equal to the cannon used in the Panther, but being a gauss cannon instead of a autocannon allowed for more munition in a smaller magazine, due to there being no need for propellants. The gauss cannon could fire both single shots or bursts, and had a dual ammunition feed, firing both fragmentation and armor piercing rounds. The cannon had independant elevation from the Railgun (but still rotated with the turret). Maximum elevation was 60 degrees, allowing the weapon to be used against flying targets. Very accurate due to being controlled through the fire control computer for the main cannon.
    Maximum Effective Range: 8,000 feet (2,400 m)
    Mega Damage: 6D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 1D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 5 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 3D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
    Payload: 220 rounds, usually 110 AP, and 110 fragmentation.
    Bonuses: Shares the same fire control computer that helps to aim the main cannon. Has +3 to strike and gauss cannon does not have minuses to fire when the tank is moving.
  3. CIWS TX-41 Pulse Laser: Mounted in a mini-turret at the back of the main turret, this is sinply a TX-41 pulse laser mounted in a small automated turret, and connected to the tanks power supply. This is a variable frequency laser with 12 different light frequencies. The frequency can be changed by the operator, or can be selected by the computer when it is in automatic (reaching optimal setting against laser refractive armor takes 1D4 rounds on automatic). Setting No. 7 counters the USA-10 Glitter Boy armor. The pulse laser turret moves independantly from the main turret, and has a 360 degree swiveling fire-arc and is capable of tracking aerial targets even directly overhead the Tiger. Being linked into the firecontrol system of the tank gives the laser an improved chance to strike.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
    Mega Damage: 3D6 per single shot or 1D6x10 per rapid-fire triple pulse (counts as one attack).
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner or 8 attacks when on automatic (shared with the particle beam weapons).
    Payload: Effectively unlimited
    Bonuses: +2 to strike when manually controlled, or +3 when on computer control.
  4. Particle Beam Guns (2): Mounted on the sides of the Tiger are two Particle Beam weapons in a flat ball turret. These are used for defense against personell and as part of the integrated CIWS system together with the turret mounted pulse laser, although any of the crew members can instantly override the system and fire (or not!) it himself.
    Each ball turret has a firing arc of 180 degrees sideways and up/down.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1200 feet (365 m)
    Mega Damage: 5D6+6 per blast
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner or 8 attacks when on automatic (shared with the Pulse laser).
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  5. Medium Range Missile Launcher: Mounted flush to the right side of the turret, this launcher holds two Medium Range Missiles. It fires in the direction that the turret is facing, but the missiles can be programmed to engage targets all around the tank. The launcher is reloaded from a magazine within the tanks body.
    All missiles are considered to be Smart missiles, and the gunner or the commander usually fired this weapon. Launcher can rotate 360 degrees, and has a elevation of -15 to 90 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Two per melee.
    Payload: Eight missiles in magazine, plus two in the launcher.
  6. Sextuple Mini-missile Launcher: Mounted on the left side of the turret, this weapon was meant to engage enemy vehicles and giant robots. Reloading of the launcher was automatic. Usually controlled by the tank commander, but the gunner and the driver can also take control. And like all weapons it could be fired by the onboard AI, when acting in (semi)independant mode. The warheads usually carried were Armor Piercing or Plasma.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually Armor Piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually AP are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) mini-missiles per melee round.
    Payload: 24 missiles total.
  7. Infrared Laser Jammers (2): These are jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles, though actually the lasers fire wide beams of IR light at incoming missiles. When an IR guided missile is hit by the lasers its seeker is blinded.
    Effect: Upon firing there is a 50% chance that any IR guided missiles are blinded, and miss the tank. Does 1D6 S.D.C. damage to anyone within the effective radius. Watch out for unprotected eyes!
    Rate of Fire: Twice every round.
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 200 ft (60 m) around tank.
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  8. Anti-Laser Prismatic Smoke generator: This Generator uses a chemical reactant to produce a thick anti-laser smoke which is difficult to penetrate, and can obscure the tank completely.
    Effect: Upon activation the tank begins emitting a large cloud of smoke, a Anti-Laser Prismatic aerosol. Anti-Laser prismatic aerosol reduces damage by half for any laser beam striking the tank (With the exception of X-ray lasers but not variable frequency lasers; X-Ray lasers suffer no damage modifiers, and variable frequency lasers simply cannot compensate for the variables involved), and adds a +4 difficulty to targeting the tank with a laser guidance system or visually. Rate of Fire: Usually once every three melee rounds; Effects are not cumulative.
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
    Payload: Sufficient reactant for twenty clouds.
  9. Firefly Chaff Launchers (2): Located on the sides of the tank in the box-like structures just above the tracks. The launchers fire decoys straight up. this system is designed to confuse incoming missiles. The launchers do this by launching both flares and active radar decoys. Chaff isn`t actually in use any more, but the name sticks around. The decoys and the flare rockets float down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.)
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
    Mega Damage: None
      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.
    Payload: 18 each for a total of 36.


Sensors and special features:
The Tiger has all of the features common to NGR powered armor and tanks except for the following:

Special Notes:



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First and second drawings drawn and copyrighted by Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net).

He has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.


Third Image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

He has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.


By Mischa (E-Mail Mischa )


Copyright © 2000 & 2002, Mischa. All rights reserved.



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