Semi-Autonomous Combat System (SACS)
Fixed (sentry guns a la ‘Aliens’ movie) or Mobile (mini-tanks a la ‘X-Com’ computer game). (F-SACS or M-SACS)
Target as Size 1 point targets for both Fixed & Mobile.
Design:Fixed and Mobile SACS can mount any TWO SAW-type weapons, or any ONE of the following: any Class 1 heavy weapon, GMS/L or GMS/H.
Firing is as normal for vehicle-mounted weapons. Most SACSs will be SUP or EHN systems. SAW-mounting SACSs will roll Quality as VET (d10) plus one Support die per SAW. E.g. a twin Gauss SAW SACS will roll 3 d10s.
M-SACSs can be any Mobility type. Tracked and Grav are the two most commonly used Mobilities.
SACSs of both types have d10 Armour. F-SACS can be armoured up to d12 Armour; they can also be designed to retract into bunkers. While deployed in firing position, such F-SACS have either d10 or d12 Armour depending on design; when retracted, they are protected by the armour of the bunker housing them, but cannot fire. It takes 1 action to extend or retract such an F-SACS system.
SACSs do not get the usual ‘free’ SAW of other vehicles, only the weapons specified in their design.
Command & Control: SACSs are independent units, forming ‘squads’ of one or possibly two units. SACSs do not have Confidence levels, nor do they take Suppression markers from fire. SACSs can be activated during the regular turn sequence if desired, or left to engage targets on their own. For other applicable rolls, SACS are Leader 1s, and should be given any color 1 chit for recordkeeping.
M-SACS on independent activation can move half their regular movement (6″ or d12) with one or both of their actions.
SACS on independent free fire will fire at the END of all other activations.
ALL SACS WILL ALWAYS ENGAGE THE NEAREST TARGET TO THEM, modified by the following rules, and if two targets are at equal range, use the following rules. If two identical targets are at identical ranges, determine target randomly.
- SAW-equipped SACS will target infantry over light (Size 1 and 2) vehicles, and those over larger vehicles.
- Gun-equipped SACS (those with Size 1 weapons) will engage light vehicles and infantry equally (random roll if needed), and those over larger vehicles.
- GMS equipped SACS will engage larger vehicles over lighter ones. They are incapable of engaging infantry, and will not do so.
There is one last way to activate SACS: as part of an infantry squad’s activation, with the SACS acting as a squad SAW. Both the infantry & the SAC System have to have LOS to the same target. The squad takes a Communication action as it’s first, then a Firing action. If the Comm roll is passed, the SACS adds it’s Support die to the squad’s fire, and both are then finished as usual. (The Reorg action represents the squad leader’s communications with the SACS AI system, and sharing of targeting information)
Limited Ammunition: Man-portable F-SACSs could have limited ammunition available in some scenarios. How limited depends on referee’s decision – I’d say four to six chits, each of which is one Firing action. As a carrying load, I’d say such an F-SACS would be an Encumbering load for three or four troopers.
Building-mounted F-SACSs or regular M-SACSs wouldn’t normally have ammo limits, save maybe for GMS units. If GMS/P equipped M-SACSs are used, they can only mount 1 GMS/P, but ignore or increase ammo limits.
Models: There are a couple of 25mm Sentry Guns, and otherwise they’d be good scratch-building or kitbashing projects. For a mobile system I’d be inclined to start with a largish 6mm tank chassis , and replace the turret – I’d think more of these systems would be open-mount type things, for weight saving.
John Crimmins wrote:
There was a pack of true 25mm Sentry Guns produced by Leading Edge Games. Not bad figures, but kinda drab. They do not look much like the ones from the movie. Grenadier/Scotia/etc. produced some Resin SGuns for the Kryomek line. These look more like permanent installations than anything else, but they are VERY nice indeed. And just last week, I saw a pack of SGuns for White Wolf’s “Trinity” line. Excellent sculpting, though they may be a bit big for some–they are 28mm scale. I’m certainly going to get a few packs, though, for use with my Grenadier “Future Warriors”. Lastly, didn’t GZG produce some mobile SGuns? I have at least one of them–a Gatling Gun mounted on a small hover chassis–and I seem to remember a GMS version, as well.
It sounds like 15mm Stargrunters are out of luck for the moment – it’s scratchbuilding or go without for us. Fortunately, I like scratchbuilding and kitbashing, so I’m modifying a spare 6mm grav MBT chassis into a single-SAW mounting M-SACS. I’m also going to get ahold of some larger grav or tracked tank hulls and make slightly larger M-SACS. Scratchbuilding F-SACS (sentry guns) will take a bit longer – some open-mount sentry guns first, then later bunker-mounted emplaced guns when I finally get started on buildings.
In the following rules these term should be taken as:
- Mounted infantry should be taken to mean an infantry squad riding small, unarmed one man vehicles, used mainly to enhance the moblity of the unit. This can include things like motor bikes, grav powered bikes or even jet skis.
- Dismounted infantry is a mounted infantry squad that has gotten off their bikes.
Being mounted on a bike gives mounted infantry a basic move of 12 and a combat move of D12 x 2. The mobility type of the bike (ie. Grav powered, high-mobility wheeled, etc) is used to determines the effects of terrain on the movement of a mounted infantry squad. In the case of grav powered bikes, the power plant is not powerful enough to allow them to use high mode movement or popup attacks. (This keeps the production costs down). When encumbered mounted infantry squads have a mobility of 10 and a combat move of D10 x 2.
Dismounted infantry use the mobility and terrain modifications to movement of normal infantry and when encumbered are effected as per normal infantry.
Mounted infantry squads can make full use of available cover but the mobility type of their bikes will will often limit the type of terrain they can enter. Mounted infantry squads can not go into position. Dismounted infantry follow the same rules for cover and terrain restrictions as regular infantry and if they go into position are assumed to have moved their bikes into covered positions as well (ie laid them on the ground).
Due to the restrictive nature of powered armour, only troopers wearing non powered armour can be mounted on bikes. The norm is to wear partial light armour.
DISMOUNTING / REMOUNTING
Mounted infantry can dismount during a reorganise action. The advantage of this is that when dismounted they no longer have a range restriction on their weapons and they can also use any IAVRs they may be carrying (See Fire Procedure below). Unless you form a detached element the entire squad has to be either dismounted or mounted. While dismounted the squad is treated like a normal infantry squad which allows them to leave their bikes and move into buildings and other terrain that may have been impassible to them while mounted. To remount, the dismounted squad must be move so that all the dismounted figures and the bike models are within a 6″ diameter circle and then they need to perform a reorganise action.
MOVING BIKES ON FOOT
A dismounted infantry squad can move their bikes while on foot by the simply pushing them and should be considered encumbered for movement purposes while doing so. It takes one figure to move a single bike. Enemy squads can also move unattended bikes in the same manner, though they will have to deal with any guards first. If the dismounted infantry push their bikes into terrain that would normally be prohibited because of the movement type of the bikes, they can not mount their bikes again until they leave this terrain.
Shooting at mounted infantry: A mounted infantry squad is considered a size 1, dispersed target. The fact that they are mounted on small one man vehicles does not make them point targets. Hence when you shoot at a mounted infantry squad you use the standard fire procedure for firing at a normall infantry squad. This includes heavy weapons only getting an impact dice of a D8.
Shooting at dismounted infantry: When shooting at dismounted infantry use the normal fire procedure for shooting at a normal infantry squad and ignore the bike models. If a dismounted squad takes casualties that result in the death of a trooper, his bike will be left behind for latter salvage (assuming their side wins the battle). See MOVING CASUALTIES for more details. While dismounted, a mounted infantry squad is effected by all combat results as if they were a normal infantry squad.
Shooting at bike models: If a mounted infantry unit dismounts and then moves away from their bikes there is a possibility that the opposing player will want to shoot at the bike models. I would suggest that the bike models should not be considered a valid target but if you must shoot them, then treat each bike as an individual point target with armour 0 (D6). This means it will take a number of separate fire actions to destroy all the bikes and this is time you should really have been using to deal with the dismounted riders instead.
Mounted infantry shooting:
Due to the need to concentrate on manoeuvring their bikes across the battle field the mounted infantry do not have a lot of time to aim at distant targets. In fact a lot of their fire is just pointing their weapons in the general direction of the enemy and letting rip with a burst of fire, making it inaccurate at anything over close range. Hence mounted infantry weapons can only be fired at close range (within one range band). Due to the need to use one hand to steer and the fact that anything other than small arms is too cumbersome to carry and use on a bike, mounted infantry can only be armed with infantry small arms (No heavy weapons or support weapons). Theone exception to this is that mounted infantry may carry IAVRs strapped to their bikes but the IAVRs can only be fired when dismounted.
When a mounted infantry unit first receives incoming fire the troopers will do one of two things. If the fire is light and inaccurate the normal response is to hunch down low and gun the bike’s engine so as to quickly remove themselves from the fire zone. If the troopers judge the fire to de too dangerous to continue they will instantly bring their bikes to a sudden halt and quickly take cover on the ground, normally behind their recently vacated bikes. This has become know, rather affectionately amongst mounted infantry units, as a ‘crash dismount’. On the other hand normal leg infantry call it ‘cowering in the dirt and hugging your bike like a long lost sweetheart’ but everything depends on your point of view. A crash dismount is not meant to be a new action just a nice descriptive term for the result of failing the reaction test.
To see what your mounted infantry squads reaction to incoming fire is you should make a reaction test with a threat level based on the number ofsuppression counters it has. The threat level is +2 for the first counter and +4 for the second counter. If a mounted infantry squad gets a third counter they automatically perform a crash dismount with no reaction test being made. If a mounted infantry squad suffers a casualty from incoming fire they will also perform an automatic crash dismount again without a reaction test being made.
If a mounted infantry squad passes the reaction test to stay mounted they can continue to perform movement and leadership actions while affected by a suppression counter but no fire actions. They can also perofrm a reorganise action if they are in cover. Suppression counters can be removed as normal. A dismounted infantry squad and one that has performed a crash dismount are affected by suppression counters like a normal infantry squad and cannot remount until all its suppression counters have been removed.
A mounted infantry squad can only perform a close assault action if it currently has no suppression counters. See CLOSE COMBAT for more information about mounted infantry performing a close assault.
Suppression information about mounted infantry performing a close assault:
Suppression counters effect a mounted infantry squads ability to perform final defensive fire during a close assault in exactly the same way as they effect normal infantry and final defencive fire is the only way a mounted infantry squad can perform a fire action while affected by a suppression.
Casualties are determined for mounted infantry squads in the same manner as when firing at a normal infantry squad (ie. the fire needs to be fully effective and the firer needs to beat the armour dice of the trooper with his impact dice). If you get a kill result in it is assumed that you have hit and penetrated the fuel tank / engine compartment resulting in a spectacular explosion and crash that kills any riders. If you get a wounded result it is assumed that you have damaged the bike causing it to crash and in the resulting crash the rider is also wounded.
Treatment & Movement of Casualties:
During a reorganise action it is assumed that the squad members attempt to treat any casualties as well as attempting to repair damaged bikes. Roll a D6 for administering to the wounded as usual. If the roll results in a full recovery it is assumed that the squad members also manage to get his bike back into running condition. Any other result on the treatment dice means that the bike has been damaged beyond the ability of hasty field repairs to fix.
Untreated casualties: When a mounted infantry squad moves with untreated casualties, it is assumed that two of the wounded troopers squad mates are holding the casualty onto his bike and moving the bike and rider along with the unit. This means it takes two squad members to move a single untreated casualty. The unit is considered to be encumbered when moving casualties.
Treated casualties: When a mounted infantry squad moves with treated casualties it is assumedthat the treated casualty is carried on the back of a fellow squad members bike. Hence it takes only one squad member to move a single casualty. The unit is also considered to be encumbered when moving treated casualties.
A mounted infantry squad can initiate and be the target of a close assault action like a normal infantry squad. If the mounted infantry squad is the attacker they get a ONE DICE SHIFT up for the first round of close combat, this die shift does not apply when they are the defender and is in addition to any other die shifts that they qualify for under as normal (ie. Cover, close assault weapons etc.).
If a close assault action continues past a single round of combat it is assumed that the mounted infantry has dismounted and if they are subsequently forced to withdraw from the combat they will abandon their bikes when they fall back. If they win the combat they will not pursue the enemy for this would mean abandoning their bikes also. If the combat is resolved in a single round the mounted infantry are assumed to still be mounted and can hence pursue the retreating enemy provided they pass therequired reaction test. This means that follow through attacks can only be carried out by mounted infantry if they defeat their opponents in a single round.
If a mounted infantry squad is the target of a close assault action, passes the confidence test to receive the charge and is still mounted and able to perform movement actions (ie. They have previously passed the reaction test for not doing a crash dismount. See SUPPRESSION above for details) the player can chose to have them withdraw even if they have suppression counters. If the mounted infantry is dismounted then they should follow the normal rules which in that case the suppression counter would stop them from withdrawing.
Mounted infantry who suffer the effects of final defensive fire while performing a close assault are affected in exactly the same manner as a normal infantry squad. If they suffer a casualty from final defensive fire they will not perform a crash dismount until after they have fallen back.
If involved in a close assault action, as either the target or attacker while dismounted, a mounted infantry squad should be treated like a normal infantry squad and receive the normal die shifts.