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Old 11-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #11
ericthered
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

To be fair, the range on the UT grenade launcher is almost unbelievable. Its five times all but one GL in High Tech, and that's for an experimental weapon that was cancelled, so I'm not sure if I believe it. If we were comparing 500 yard maximum ranges to the 8,000 yards, there might be a little more demand for the payload riffle.

The weapons I'd really like to see would be 25 mm gyrocs or 100 mm grenade launchers.

The one time I pulled out the payload riffle was for Reign of Steel, but that was before I figured out grenade launchers.
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
So, how often do you see the 25mm used in your games? Do players ignore it or are they drawn to the allure of shapecharged viper ammunition? Does it perform well enough to make it worth the expense and the weight?
Our specialist marksman had one in the Reign of Steel game that spawned Will to Live. We got it, along with other TL9 gear, as a present from the resistance in Zone Washington, so expense wasn't an issue. It was invaluable for damaging aircraft and heavy robots.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

Did you also have a 15mm? If so, how did they compare? Was there a preference?
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I had a character for a TL12 military time-cop game that unfortunately never actually ran who carried around a payload rifle. My character was a military android, and his team were tasked with defending the timeline against other time traveling groups who wanted to damage it. I carried a few mags of relatively normal ammo (HEMP for the armour pen, if I remember correctly), but I also had a single mag of 5 mini-nuke shots for targets like enemy time traveler vehicles. The payload rifle was the only weapon that could chuck the mini-nukes far enough away that the radiation was only a minor problem, and in theory the ROF of 3 would let me drop a bunch of them on a target at once if extreme overkill was needed.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I haven't had any player ask for one in my SF game. They go for laser rifles with underslung grenade launchers, and prefer 40mm for the extra payload over the 25mm GL's range.

An 'armoured' hovercraft has DR150/70, and I think it's fair to assume it's laminate for double value vs. shaped charges. That means a TL9 25mm shaped charge will do ~22.5 of injury per hit, and it takes about half a dozen hits to get the hovercraft to 0HP (assuming frontal hits). Depending on whether you go by the magazine weight or the individual round weight (they're inconsistent) that's 4.8 or 6 pounds of ammo. A 64mm missile weighs 2 pounds, and does ~117 points of injury, a major wound and nearly bringing the hovercraft to 0HP in one hit, so it's rather more weight efficient when it comes to hovercraft killing (the launcher is also lighter, even the 6-shot version, though the payload rifle is cheaper). The MLAWS can make a dent in the front of the light battle tank, too. The payload rifle needs a side or rear aspect.

Also, I'd charge through the nose for viper rounds - if normal gyroc rounds cost $5 each, but guided ones $50 each just for the shell I see no reason why guided bullets shouldn't also come at a premium of at least something like +$40 or +100% of base cost, which ever is greater.

Overall, I think the payload rifle is, if all the gear in UT is available, a very niche weapon (but not as niche as the poor gyrocs, which really don't have one at all).

By the way, the 1/2D range of a gun is not the projectile's velocity.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
To be fair, the range on the UT grenade launcher is almost unbelievable. Its five times all but one GL in High Tech, and that's for an experimental weapon that was cancelled, so I'm not sure if I believe it.
The Mauser MG 151/20 has a range of 1200/6900, and it's a rather low-powered 20mm cannon, and the M252 has 2400/3300 and is a low-powered 25mm cannon. That a fairly powerful 25mm grenade launcher has Max 2200 is quite reasonable.

If you want something to be suspicious of, go for the penetration of small calibre shaped charge rounds (and HE, for that matter, but it's not as big an issue with them) in UT - penetration is linear with calibre, which is the general case. However, small warhead use up a disproportionate amount of their available mass and volume in fusing, and thus have less penetration than extrapolation from larger calibres would suggest. The HEMP rounds of 10-18.5mm have this allowed for (but making them imp seems off), but the 25mm shaped charge should arguably also have a penetration modifier of only (5), or reduced base damage.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:23 PM   #17
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

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Overall, I think the payload rifle is, if all the gear in UT is available, a very niche weapon (but not as niche as the poor gyrocs, which really don't have one at all).
If you work out that the 0.25 lb and $50 Holdout Gyroc is the only really common form there is a niche for that one. If you load it with flares it's a flare gun but if you load it with HEMP it's a battlesuit killer. The shotshell variety is also a shotgun of unrivalled range. Then there's the Guided version for anti-sniper work. Every soldier should keep one in his pocket with a small but useful variety of ammo.

What I would actually do with Gyrocs is put them in disposable tubes that attached to another weapon's accessory rails and interfaced with its' targeting scope.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

The sad thing about the Gyroc is that the 15mm ETC is just better (if much more expensive). Its ammunition is also cheaper for the damage ($4 base, +$12 for a viper, +$36 APEP), allowing it to deal 22d+2(3) pi damage with Skill 13 (+Acc on a successful skill roll) from 27,000 yards (at 3,000 yards/sec). By comparison, a APEP micromissile for a Gyroc is $95 and has a range/speed of 3,800, dealing only 6d(3) pi+ with the same skill.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

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By the way, the 1/2D range of a gun is not the projectile's velocity.
It is when you convert it to Guided with Viper or similar (UT146). And, no, this doesn't particularly make much sense, as it's meant to be just adding a sensor suite and control surfaces to a normal bullet, rather than turning it into a gyroc.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The sad thing about the Gyroc is that the 15mm ETC is just better (if much more expensive). Its ammunition is also cheaper for the damage ($4 base, +$12 for a viper, +$36 APEP), allowing it to deal 22d+2(3) pi damage with Skill 13 (+Acc on a successful skill roll) from 27,000 yards (at 3,000 yards/sec). By comparison, a APEP micromissile for a Gyroc is $95 and has a range/speed of 3,800, dealing only 6d(3) pi+ with the same skill.
At TL 9, Viper and APEP shouldn't be combinable for calibers below 30mm. Viper has a minimum caliber of 15mm at TL 9, while an APEP's actual projectile (after discarding the sabot) would be - based on the APDSDU round from HT it's replacing - around 50% of the weapon's nominal caliber. Granted, UT doesn't explicitly disallow this combination, but it makes sense. UT's APDS/APEP entries do imply a 75% caliber projectile (pi class doesn't drop - that is, caliber doesn't go down below 15mm - unless below 20mm), but I feel HT's stats are more realistic. Indeed, integrating UT and HT ammunition options would be a good idea, which would change APEP to be x1.5 damage and AD (2) (rather than AD (3)). It also would introduce fin-stabilized versions of APDS and APEP, for further increased range and damage.

And yeah, the gyroc is, sadly, a fairly pitiful weapon. Granted, rifles wouldn't be that great if you had all your weapons designed to be loaded with 9mm Parabellum. "Hot" gyrocs would make some sense, with higher damage due to a higher sustained velocity, and possibly longer range if they are longer (and thus hold more propellant). This might allow gyrocs to more be competitive with conventional rifles, particularly if you adjust ETC down to a less-problematic x1.2 or x1.3 damage (+1/die) and range, reserving x1.5 for TL10's ETK.

The fact gyroc projectiles need a special modification to become capable of getting the Viper/etc treatment, but bullets can get converted no problem, is also a bit problematic. Bullets should also be at least x10 to base cost, and arguably more (gyrocs already have most of the control surfaces to keep themselves stable in flight, so should need less modification than bullets, which will need those added and will need to deal with spin), before they can get a sensor suite installed.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

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I feel that one of the often neglected gems of TL9 weaponry is the 25mm Payload Rifle.
It's a neat gun, but way too heavy for what it does, given the alternative. The 25mm UBGL does the same job as well or close to as well out to almost two miles while being so light (1.5 pounds) that multiple soldiers in a squad can carry them. The only advantages the 25mm payload rifle has is more kinetic damage (Basically useless), higher velocity on viper rounds (Which is nice, but hardly a deal-breaker; the 25mm UBGL viper round is somehow high trans-sonic), and the longer range is only going to matter if your infantry team decides it absolutely has to engage battlesuits or light-skinned vehicles at 2+ miles. It's not much of an answer to armored hovercraft; a 25mm shape-charge does a meager 5dx3(10), for an average of 52.5 damage, meaning you'll need to hit that armored hovercraft an average of four times to even force a HT roll to disable it. It could be a decent last-ditch option against them, but "last-ditch" and "two mile range" seems like two situations that will rarely intersect. If you absolutely have to engage such a vehicle at long range, the TML seems like a far better option, and at shorter ranges, the UBGL does as well as the payload rifle while the MLAWS or even IML (At a mere six pounds) do better (Generally being one-hit knockouts, and having higher hit rates if you make them multi-spectrum).

I could maybe see some use as a niche specialist weapon in a military force with power-armor soldiers who can spare the extra weight, or by specialist teams organized around that specific weapon in order to support the regular ground forces. At best, it fills a role similar to the automatic grenade launchers we have now, like the Mk 19 (Though at that point you might as well use the Assault Cannon). For most PC use, though, the UBGL probably does everything they'll need about as well and for a fraction of the cost and weight. The only time I see it being very useful for a PCs outside of a full-on military campaign is if they need to do some high-explosive sniper work from two-plus miles away, which doesn't seem like it would be that common of a thing.

Last edited by Phoenix_Dragon; 11-13-2019 at 02:02 AM.
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