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Old 11-11-2019, 10:40 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I feel that one of the often neglected gems of TL9 weaponry is the 25mm Payload Rifle. A versatile weapon, especially with the ETC upgrade, the 25mm Payload Rifle possesses a high enough caliber that can deliver shapecharged rounds from long distance. With the viper enhancement to the ammunition, an ETC Payload Rifle outperforms the MLAWS for speed and range, as its munition are twice as fast and go six times as far (though they are much lighter than the 64mm ammunition of the MLAWS).

While it is not quite the sniper weapon of the ETC 15mm Anti-Material Rifle, it is a good complement, as you could imagine a 10-person TL9 Infantry Squad carrying one of each (a four-person team for the 15mm and a four-person team for the 25mm). The 25mm is very much the answer to the armored hovercraft or the combat walker, especially with shapecharged viper ammunition (the 15mm would use APEP viper ammunition to take out powered combat armored troops from over 14 miles away). An infantry platoon with four squads with one ETC 15mm and one ETC 25mm each would be able to take on almost anything.

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?
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:46 AM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

Seems like a really unnecessarily heavy launcher for small-caliber grenades.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:42 AM   #3
Aldric
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I think it's more a problem of "what you're issued with" then what you may want to use.

And that depends on what you're up against, if you're not expected to take down armored vehicles, it seems a bit unnecessary, and if those weapons are the standard response to powered armor, I don't think you're going to see many powered armors around.

That said, I don't have much experience with those kind of weapons, one campaign I was in, we were shooting rifles at default, while the one I'm working on will probably feature gyrocs (useful in zero-G for being recoilless) but I doubt there will be many shaped charge bullets flying around.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
ericthered
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I don't think of it as neglected: its one of the weapons that sticks out strongly in my mind from Ultra-tech. Its ST rating makes it tricky to use, but the warhead size and the range turn it into a very versatile weapon.

Ultimately, I think its mostly a threat that stays in the closet or gets used to display how large and powerful a given foe is. Most Ultra-tech guns are lethal long before you get to the payload riffle, but the payload riffle slams home the point that ultra-tech armor is needs to be really good to be effective.

The comparison to the grenade launcher is a good one, but I can see one big exception: the riffle lets you use your guns(riffle) skill, which is probably higher than Guns (grenade launcher)
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:43 AM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

And at a much longer range. An ETC 25mm Underbarrel GL has a range of 540/3,300 (which is not that bad for a secondary weapon) while an ETC 25mm Payload Rifle has a range of 1200/12,750 (a significant jump). Of course, either one can benefit from viper rounds, it is just that the speed that is different.

A 25mm Underbarrel GL is also not a bad short range combat option for a 25mm Payload Rifle. The ST is lower, so the average soldier can fire it without using the bipod, and it offers 3 extra shots for 1.5 lbs (half the weight of a three rounds for the rifle). It would not a horrible idea to have a load of Thermobaric in the GL for short range combat and a load of Shapecharge in the PR for long range combat. Of course, a 25mm Underbarrel GL is probably an essential option for any TL9 soldier (as every soldier could have three viper shapecharge rounds loaded for bear).
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:03 AM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
So, how often do you see the 25mm used in your games?
Not at all. I've never had a group for 3e or 4e that wanted to do the sort of small unit military warfare this would be appropriate for. I'm the gunhead in the group(s) I've been associated wiith and pretty much by myself.

It's been a while since I even had a Gurps character to play rather than GM'ing. When I did that character woulnd't have carried anything more powerful than a Gauss CAW for a personal weapon. Hostile people 8500 yards away are the army's job.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:31 AM   #7
ericthered
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
And at a much longer range. An ETC 25mm Underbarrel GL has a range of 540/3,300 (which is not that bad for a secondary weapon) while an ETC 25mm Payload Rifle has a range of 1200/12,750 (a significant jump). Of course, either one can benefit from viper rounds, it is just that the speed that is different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Hostile people 8500 yards away are the army's job.
I actually deleted an analysis of the range from the original post. The Grenade launcher has a sizable fraction of the payload riffle's range, and needing a semi-portable weapon to fire from 2 to 8 km away is fairly niche, and feels rather military. Those are artillery ranges, and the use of homing bullets in the above example kind of proves that point: almost no PC is going to be able to reliably hit anything at -17 range penalties. I struggle to think of gaming situations where striking from 3 miles away is routinely a much better option than striking from 1 mile away. In built up areas, you don't get those kind of ranges. In remote areas, Its better to just use the weapons mounted on your vehicle.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:37 AM   #8
Aldric
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

I don't really understand the wild difference in range and speed, when you're firing the same thing btw...
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:25 AM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

While the diameter is the same, the size and cost is different. Base cost and weight for the GL ammo is 22% that of PR ammo. The PR ammo has a lot more propellant, so it deals significantly more damage at a much further range than the GL ammo.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:23 PM   #10
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: 25mm Payload Rifle [Ultratech]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldric View Post
I don't really understand the wild difference in range and speed, when you're firing the same thing btw...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
While the diameter is the same, the size and cost is different. Base cost and weight for the GL ammo is 22% that of PR ammo. The PR ammo has a lot more propellant, so it deals significantly more damage at a much further range than the GL ammo.
Yeah, the projectiles you're throwing may be roughly functionally equivalent but the light cannon masquerading as a rifle is launching it a whole lot faster.
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