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Old 08-25-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
MatthewVilter
 
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Default [House Rules, Ultra-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
I'm tempted to give HEMP more of a "smart-matter" feel by giving it programable airburst and concussion modes (and maybe top attack?) and upping the cost to x5 or x10.
This doesn't really need to replace HEMP, you could just call it High Explosive Smart-Matter or whatever. Personally I think Shaped Charge warheads should just become available in smaller rounds at TL 10 and the (excellent) name “High Explosive Multi-Purpose” should be reserved for a higher tech more multi-purpose warhead type.

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
The role of a programmable anti-armor round is currently held be the SEFOP. Giving the HEMP a top-attack mode without also reducing its armor divisor would completely displace the "smart" round.
Yes, any top-attack mode would be using an explosively forged projectile (as opposed to a more standard shaped charge) and use an appropriately lower damage and armor divisor. As for displacing SEFOP warheads those are TL 9 and this is TL 10. But yeah, this new HEMP or HESM or whatever would need to be homing just like SEFOP.

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
There's no such thing as "programmable concussion mode" either the explosive has fragmentation in it or it doesn't.
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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Programmable airburst is not unreasonable, but should be very cheap to add. Concussion mode is both not reasonable ('smart matter' doesn't plausibly let you switch between a solid fragmentation case and none) and pretty much useless.
We are talking about the same smart-matter that allows Interphase armor and transparent bioplas right? Couldn't the solid fragmentation case just flake off in flight? I don’t know if shaped charges can work without a hard case around them but you could at least have a concussion mode with no other effect. As for it being useless:

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
You can't use HEMP in every situation:
Try resolving a hostage situation when your carbine is loaded with HEMP rounds.
...
I mean maybe explosive rounds of any kind aren't exactly ideal for a hostage situation. ;) But seriously, you can’t really use anything with fragmentation in public and, for example, the police may need to use explosive rounds to deal with microbot swarms or (if shaped charges can work without a hard case) a heavily armored criminal.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Top attack is probably not reasonable either, unless you've bought smart bullets capable of a pop-up and dive maneuver.
I am thinking that one or more (relatively shallow) bowl shapes for EFPs would be built into the side of the round and a conventional cone shaped shaped charge would be at the tip. One or the other would work depending on order and timing of detonators used or the detonators fire in such a way as to give more or less standard high explosive fragmentation results.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
We are talking about the same smart-matter that allows Interphase armor and transparent bioplas right? Couldn't the solid fragmentation case just flake off in flight?
Concussion rounds actually include a larger quantity of explosives, and smart matter isn't going to create more boomex from nowhere. While being able to program a warhead to not produce fragments is reasonable given smart matter, the result is just no fragments, no other stats change.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
We are talking about the same smart-matter that allows Interphase armor and transparent bioplas right? Couldn't the solid fragmentation case just flake off in flight? I don’t know if shaped charges can work without a hard case around them but you could at least have a concussion mode with no other effect.
The primary source of fragmentation in explosive rounds is material that is wrapped around the explosive with that specific purpose, not the destruction of the casing. The description of HEC in UT is not a good reflection of reality as far as I know. Light bodied explosive are mainly just an extra precaution.

Speaking of HEC one clever ultra-tech weapon you could replace them with would be DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) which gets no armor multiplier, they're just as penetrating as a normal round, and causes no fragmentation. That would make them an interesting trade off with normal HE round.

TL8 and 9 versions should take -1/die and carry a risk of causing illnesses like heavy metal poisoning or cancer to people within the blast radius.
TL10 versions can do full damage and carry not risk of illness.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Concussion rounds actually include a larger quantity of explosives, and smart matter isn't going to create more boomex from nowhere. While being able to program a warhead to not produce fragments is reasonable given smart matter, the result is just no fragments, no other stats change.
Well in Ultra-Tech HE and HEC do the same cr ex damage. But yeah, with all the other stuff crammed into this round it should probably do a bit less damage.

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
The primary source of fragmentation in explosive rounds is material that is wrapped around the explosive with that specific purpose, not the destruction of the casing. The description of HEC in UT is not a good reflection of reality as far as I know. Light bodied explosive are mainly just an extra precaution.
So a smart-matter round could dump the fragmentation material and retain enough of a case for a shaped charge to work?

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
Speaking of HEC one clever ultra-tech weapon you could replace them with would be DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) which gets no armor multiplier, they're just as penetrating as a normal round, and causes no fragmentation. That would make them an interesting trade off with normal HE round.

TL8 and 9 versions should take -1/die and carry a risk of causing illnesses like heavy metal poisoning or cancer to people within the blast radius.
TL10 versions can do full damage and carry not risk of illness.
*goes and reads just a bit* Yes, that could be a cool explanation for Ultra-Tech Concussion rounds. Now I just want to know if they are powerful (or fast or whatever) enough to drive shaped charges...
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
So a smart-matter round could dump the fragmentation material and retain enough of a case for a shaped charge to work?
Correct, you do not need a heavy case for a HEAT (that's the real world term for weaponized shaped charges) round to work.

I don't see a reasonable and realistic way create a round where you can decide the amount of fragmentation you want. Here are two cutaway images of a grenade:
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jay3...odel6.png.html
https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/h...99065529_n.jpg

The fragmentation is those little circles in the drawing and the little cubes in the photograph. It is held between the casing and the explosive charge. Making the casing lighter does nothing so long as you have the fragmentation material present. A light cased explosive means that it has neither a heavy case which might produce incidental fragments and that it contains no material to produce intentional fragmentation.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
Correct, you do not need a heavy case for a HEAT (that's the real world term for weaponized shaped charges) round to work.
Good times!

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
I don't see a reasonable and realistic way create a round where you can decide the amount of fragmentation you want. Here are two cutaway images of a grenade:
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jay3...odel6.png.html
https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/h...99065529_n.jpg

The fragmentation is those little circles in the drawing and the little cubes in the photograph. It is held between the casing and the explosive charge. Making the casing lighter does nothing so long as you have the fragmentation material present. A light cased explosive means that it has neither a heavy case which might produce incidental fragments and that it contains no material to produce intentional fragmentation.
Any reason the fragmentation couldn't be on the outside of the casing?
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
Any reason the fragmentation couldn't be on the outside of the casing?
If you're thinking of shedding the fragmentation in flight I'd advise against it in a realistic setting for a number of reasons:

The aerodynamics of the round would be massively altered by such a change which would alter the path of the round. Either the targeting system would have to be extremely precise (and the timing of the discard similarly precise) or the bullet would need guidance. I will concede that it is technically possible but you'd end up going through an awful lot of trouble to make it work when there's no good reason to do so.
I suspect that an outer case of fragmentation material would travel poorly as well and in weapons meant to be fired rather than thrown might to problematic things inside the barrel.

Even if you did overcome that issue it would be a boutique round, popular with the tacticool crowd, since the mechanical and software complexities will probably increase both the cost and risk of malfunction. Any serious warfighting group would just carry both concussive and fragmenting rounds. Unless there is a persistent need to change from fragmenting to concussion ever few seconds there is no actual benefit.
Put another way if you're going into a situation where "we need 10 frag grenades" is as likely to be true as "we need 10 concussion grenades" you know so little about the situation that you should bring ten of each!

The point of a non-fragmenting round is to prevent people or the environment from people hit by fragmentation for some reason. This doesn't entirely stop that problem since it would leave the fragmentation speeding toward the target at a very high speed. Essentially you've fired a shotgun along with your explosive. At close range a worst case scenario is the explosion might turn still airborne fragments into ordinary fragmentation and they're guaranteed to be closer to you than the target.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
If you're thinking of shedding the fragmentation in flight I'd advise against it in a realistic setting for a number of reasons:

The aerodynamics of the round would be massively altered by such a change which would alter the path of the round. Either the targeting system would have to be extremely precise (and the timing of the discard similarly precise) or the bullet would need guidance. I will concede that it is technically possible but you'd end up going through an awful lot of trouble to make it work when there's no good reason to do so.
I am already assuming these rounds are guided.

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
I suspect that an outer case of fragmentation material would travel poorly as well and in weapons meant to be fired rather than thrown might to problematic things inside the barrel.
Yeah maybe... :/

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
Even if you did overcome that issue it would be a boutique round, popular with the tacticool crowd, since the mechanical and software complexities will probably increase both the cost and risk of malfunction. Any serious warfighting group would just carry both concussive and fragmenting rounds. Unless there is a persistent need to change from fragmenting to concussion ever few seconds there is no actual benefit.
Put another way if you're going into a situation where "we need 10 frag grenades" is as likely to be true as "we need 10 concussion grenades" you know so little about the situation that you should bring ten of each!
That is a good point. I guess the police (and similar) probably shouldn't be carrying frag rounds anyway even if they do need concussion and HEAT rounds.

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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
The point of a non-fragmenting round is to prevent people or the environment from people hit by fragmentation for some reason. This doesn't entirely stop that problem since it would leave the fragmentation speeding toward the target at a very high speed. Essentially you've fired a shotgun along with your explosive. At close range a worst case scenario is the explosion might turn still airborne fragments into ordinary fragmentation and they're guaranteed to be closer to you than the target.
I was picturing the fragmentation layer coming off in pieces with much higher surface area to mass ratios when droped then when used. So that you would end up with something like a trail of confetti hanging in the air between you and the target. Maybe I am asking too much from smart-matter?
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
We are talking about the same smart-matter that allows Interphase armor and transparent bioplas right? Couldn't the solid fragmentation case just flake off in flight?
I don't see any reason that at TL 10 you can't have tungsten in a smart matter matrix that controls how the tungsten breaks up once the bursting charge is detonated. If it breaks into big pieces, you have fragmentation. If it disintegrates into tungsten dust, you have a DIME warhead with a limited area of effect.

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Originally Posted by MatthewVilter View Post
I don’t know if shaped charges can work without a hard case around them
It can, although I don't know if it is ideal. Shaped charge demolition strips, for example, don't use a hard case backing.

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Old 08-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: [House Rules, Ulta-Tech] A more smart-mattery HEMP warhead

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
I don't see any reason that at TL 10 you can't have tungsten in a smart matter matrix that controls how the tungsten breaks up once the bursting charge is detonated. If it breaks into big pieces, you have fragmentation. If it disintegrates into tungsten dust, you have a DIME warhead with a limited area of effect.
Now that is the kind of thing I'm hoping for!
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