From: Foxtaur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: TL8 Drop Troops
Sender: Daniel Boese <email@example.com>
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First, some background:
I'm working up a nifty little TL8 setting, where the PCs will be aboard
the HMSS Sir Isaac Brock. This ship usually just quietly orbits the Earth;
but whenever the higher-ups decide to intervene in a military hotspot, the
Brock is quite the useful tool. It has around sixty nukes it can drop if
the mission is just to utterly destroy a given target (tactical nuclear
warheads have lost some of their social stigma after being used so
liberally by both sides in the decade-long European/Islamic war); but when
the object is to do a /controlled/ amount of damage, the Brock sends in
The Brock carries one company of drop troopers - about 160 men - split
into four platoons. Four dropships - the "Detroit", "Queenston Heights",
"Stony Creek", and "Beaver Dam" take the soldiers from whatever orbit the
Brock happens to be in to the target zone. Depending on the specific
mission, either the dropships will land, or the troopers will either
parachute out (letting the dropships leave the area in a hurry). If one
dropship is knocked out, the remaining three can carry the entire company.
Now, my questions:
You're probably familiar with Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (which the
movie bears little resemblance to), and you might have read the "Alien
Legion" series of comic books. Within 'standard' TL8 limits, and taking
into account that this company is yet-another assembly of the 'best of the
best' (or, like Nomad, 'worst of the worst' <grin>), these are the closest
examples I can think of of the type of military group I'm trying to write
up. I have some ideas which I'd like your opinions on, and I'd also like
to see what ideas you can come up with. :)
Given how common CBRN weapons (chemical, biological, radiological,
nuclear) are, and that the occasional mission will be on the moon or at an
orbital colony, armoured vacuum suits are an absolute minimum. And given
how heavy those are in addition to a standard combat load, exoskeletons
also sound like a good idea. When I add up all the available options for
such a suit (plus an emergency medkit) the total comes to 532.2 lbs and
$294,755 per suit - and that's without any weaponry or extras. Given that
the Brock herself cost about $2.5 billion, I suppose that's not completely
unreasonable... is it?
(Also, given CBRN warfare, the Brock carries a P4-secure Full Genetics
Lab to deal with any nasties the troopers might discover.)
For TL8-level weapons, the only sourcebooks I have are Basic, Space, and
Cyberpunk. I've also declared that batteries have 1/10th the energy of
standard powercells, which means that man-portable lasers aren't
My latest ideas for arming these fellows is to split them into 4-man
"Fire Teams", carrying four vibro-blades, three Assault Chainguns, an EM
Mortar or automatic EM Grenade Launcher, various grenades, and ammunition.
I also want at least a one-shot anti-vehicle weapon, but the Mortar is the
closest I can find. Given how much money has already been sunk into the
Brock, the guns might as well be "very fine" and the vibroblades "super
Visible cybernetics have about the same social stigma as current
prosthetics ("You mean you cut off your arm?"), but are still better than
not having a given limb at all. The military would probably be willing to
pay for certain biomods, though, should the soldier volunteer. (Bio-Tech,
page 63; Jointwork, Muscle Graft, Eye Upgrade, and Bone Stimulation seem
One thing I haven't quite worked out is what sort of parachuting gear the
troopers might use. Heinlein's troops had the advantage of a TL10-level
Personal Reentry Kit; the only other thing my books list is the Backpack
Parawing from Cyberpunk.
Should I try to come up with one or two drop-attack-aircraft, for when
a nuke's too big but fragmentation-mortar-shells are too small? What sort
of craft would you design?
Here's what I've come up with so far for the Brock herself and her
dropships. How do they look to you? What changes do you suggest?
Space Submarine: "HMSS Sir Isaac Brock"
Spaces Mass Cost Notes
Hull, 2M cf, SL (3160) 200 12 Area: 100 ksf.
Total Compartment. - 40 .4
Turrets, large, 2 <200> 40 2.4 Area: 20 ksf.
cDR: 1 - 900 36 "Advanced" armor.
Radical Stealth - 120 180
Radical Cloaking - 240 360
Large Bridge 4 9 3.2
Enhanced Sensors 1 12 23 Scan: 34/33. Power: 1.
Astronomical - .1 .5
Planetary - .12 .25
Life Support, total 66 165 3.3 Capacity: 330. Power: 1.5.
Cabins 330 330 .99
Crew, 150 - 15 -
Missile bays, 2 2 2 .006
16 Hvy Nukes - 22.4 2.112
40 Lt Nukes - 12 3.44
Entries, lrg, 3 3 9 .033
Halls, 3 30 .6 .09
Surgeries, 3 1.5 .42 .15
Ursaline - - .858 330-man, 2-year supply.
Fission Core 1 4 .61
Fission Power 200 800 160 400 MW.
Fissionables - - 320 2 year supply.
Solar Panels 2 24 2.88 Area 96 ksf. 3.8 MW at 1 AU.
Batteries 10 250 50 450,000 MWs.
Light Sails 2 100 100 Thrust: 20. 30 sq. mi.
Nuclear Pulse Drive 300 1200 240
Fuel Tank 1000 25 170
N Pellets - 12000 300
Genetics Lab, P4 20 100 10 G:Bio-Tech, page 21.
Dropship bays, 3 315 1.5 0.009
Dropships, 3 - 3561.69 300.459 Includes mass of marines.
Cargo Space 872.5 0 0
Cargo - 0 0
Heavy Laser <100> 500 90 Power: 10,000.
Heavy P-Beam <100> 500 90 Power: 29,000.
When using light sails: -1
cHP: Hull: 1500
Turrets: 300 each
Total Mass: 21,183.83 tons.
Total Cost: $2,459,817,000.00
sAccel: 1.416 Gs
Burn Endurance: 1h 8m 34.2s.
Delta Vee: 57,100.2 m/s
Top Air Speed: 4,330.1 mph.
Dropships: "Detroit", "Queenston Heights", "Stony Creek", "Beaver Dam"
Spaces Mass Cost Notes
Hull, 50k cf, SL (80) 200 12 Area: 10 ksf.
cDR: 1 - 75 3 "Advanced" armor.
Radical Stealth - 10 15
Radical Cloaking - 20 30
Cockpit 0.5 2.5 1.1
Basic Sensors 1 12 4.6 Scan: 32/31. Power: 0.5.
Passenger Seats 4 5.6 0.036 60 men. Power: 0.03.
Entry Module, small 0.5 2 0.007
Crew, 60+pilot - 6.1 -
Surgeries, 2 1 0.28 0.1
Fission Core 1 4 0.61
Fission Power 1 4 0.8 2 MW.
Fissionables - - 0.16 2-year supply.
Nuclear Pulse Drive 1 4 0.8 Thrust: 100.
Fuel Tank 70 1.75 11.9
N pellets - 840 21
Total Mass: 1,187.23 tons.
Total Cost: $100,153,000.
sAccel: 0.084 Gs.
Burn Endurance: 24 hours.
Delta Vee: 71,319.0 m/s.
Top Air Speed: 866.0 mph.
Time to reach Earth Orbit: 4 hours, 49 minutes, 42.6 seconds.
Time to escape Earth Orbit: 6 hours, 49 minutes, 42.6 seconds.
(And if you're wondering: The Brock was originally American, but during
some political shenanigans involving arms limits, was transferred to
Canada, who then lent it to NATO. Canada is a country caught in the middle
between the US/Islamic and Europe/China power blocs; Canadians try to be
as un-American as they can be, given how close they are. (For example,
after Fidel died (at as ripe an old age as TL8 medicine can buy), in order
to avoid becoming Yet Another American Territory, Cuba declared itself
part of Canada... <grin>)
After establishing the setting with the players, I intend for the main
plot to involve the Brock swinging around to Mars after the Phobos and
Deimos colonies are lasered into oblivion by undeclared attackers... I'll
probably have the ship swing around Venus, both because it can be a
shorter route, and for any Venusian intrigue I can come up with - perhaps
having to acquire fuel for the Nuke-Pulse drives from uncooperative folk,
within a time limit that can't be changed as the Brock swings around on
its Hohmann orbit...
Do you have any other plotworthy ideas?
Any other comments at all? :)
Thank you for your time,
The Rrangoon species is available at http://www.phantomcross.org/