Custom missiles

Missile schematic

Isn’t it a drag that regular 50 kg missiles endurance is only 15 minutes? One measly turn of full thrust. Wouldn’t it be nice to have missiles that start drifting and can be turned on when they are close to their foe. What about decoy missiles that mimic your ships signature? Frag missiles, missiles with sensors, longer range controllers, higher thrust missiles, the list goes on and on.  What if you could custom build missiles to your own specifications?

I am in the process of rewriting Intercept for its 3.4 release with some major changes in the pipe I though I should give you its custom missile rules as an appetizer. These rules will work with the old as well as the new, upcoming rules. So, without further ado, here comes the custom missile rules. Updated Design system, Rules and Maptemplates are available here.

Missiles

Misslles in Intercept are operator guided from the launcher and comes in three sizes;

  • Small missile. 50 kg with 15 minutes endurance. They are sometimes called rockets and are all fission powered, they the only legal missile size for private ships.
  • Medium missile. 500 kg with 30 minutes endurance. They are sometimes called torpedos, fission powered at TL 9- and Fusion powered at TL 10+.
  • Large missile. 5000 kg with 1 hour endurance. They are sometimes called heavy torpedos, fission powered at TL 9- and Fusion powered at TL 10+.

The standard capabilities of missiles can be seen in the following tables (which are also in the rulebook and will shown on your ship designs as well.

Missile tables

Modifications

The above basic missile parameters can be modified to achieve certain goals. Most modifications alter the Thrust Gs of the missile and can be seen as modifications of the final dry mass of the missile. Modifications cannot modify the Thrust Gs to less than 0 and if modified down to 0 the missile will drift only, useful for decoys and sensors missiles but not much else. 0G missiles cannnot attack ships, even if they land on the same square as a target, a 10 000 km square is pretty huge after all.

Endurance

  • Half endurance (+1G, x1/2 endurance)
  • Double endurance (-1G, x2 endurance, x2controller range)
  • Triple endurance (-2G, x3 endurance, x3controller range)
  • Quad endurance (-3G, x4 endurance, x4controller range)

Endurance modifications affect how long the missile can thrust, smaller engine leaves room for more remass and vice versa. Missiles endurance will start ticking as soon as they launch regardless of endurance. If you want to launch them drifting you must add the Cold start option below. Double, triple or quadruple endurance also affects Controller range with the same multipliers, half endurance does not reduce controller range.

Cold start

  • Cold start (-2G, double price)

Normally it is the launcher that starts the engine for the missile but if you want to launch your missiles driftig you should add the Cold start option. Cold start does not allow you to turn on or off the missile at a whim, once started the engines cannot then be turned off and they will continue to burn until their endurance limit is reached. Cold start option doubles the price of the missile.

Frag

Frag missile (PEN-6, DAM-6, +3 DM)

If you want your missile to fragment before hitting thus increasing the hit chance at the expense of penetration and damage you should consider the Frag option. Giving a missile the frag option does not modify Thrust and does not affect price, it merely changes how the missile deals damage. Frag missiles are favorites among pirates as they can easily take out weapons and sensors of a ship (making them blind and defenseless) without unduly damage the ship and its cargo.

Decoy

  • Vis & Radar decoy (-1G per +2 Vis & Radar)
  • IR decoy (-1G per +2 IR x4 drift endurance)
  • Neutrino decoy (-1G per +2 Neutrino x4 drift endurance, double price)

Decoy mods come in three varietys Visual & Radar, Infrared and Neutrino. There is no way to alter a missiles Mass signature, not at the Tech Levels Intercept deals with (6-16). Visual & Radar decoys are metal foil balloons, IR decoys are burning magnesium or thermite charges with the appropriate oxidizers, Neutrino decoys are short halflife radioactive compunds that mimic regular powerplants or thrusters. Decoy modifications really does nothing more than increase the signatures of the missile. IR and Neutrino decoy modifications run 4x as long as the missiles endurance and but they go online at launch like all decoy mods, even if the missile has the Cold start option. After the IR and Neutrino decoy mods have lasted their endurance the missile goes back to its regular, pre modified, signatures. Visual & Radar modifications are always on and have unlimited endurance.

Sensors

  • Sensor(-2G, double price, Vis/IR rating from table below, double controller range)

Missiles can be equipped with low powered Visual/IR sensors so you can do your sensing from the missile instead of your own ship, this may help you scanning near planets or avoid performing Scans with Sun blinding. Missiles with sensors must be within Launcher range and arc at all times as does all missiles. THere is no endurance limit to sensors, they may start sensing as soon as they are launched regardless if the missile has Cold start or not. The acual sensors Sensitivity value comes from the table below:

Missile sensors

Launcher range

All missiles are operator guided and have a maximum range that depends on the missile type and TL of the launcher. Missiles beyond this range are auto­matically lost. Launcher range is based on missile size and TL but is also multiplied by Endurance modifications and the Sensors option. Note that half endurance missiles does not reduce launcher range.

Launcher ranges

Missile price

  • Cold start (price x2)
  • Neutrino decoy (price x2)
  • Sensor (price x2)

Small missiles cost 10 000 Cr, Medium missiles cost 100 000 Cr and Large missiles cost 1 000 000 Cr.

These prices are modified for some of the options above which should be all multiplied together to get the final price of the missile. Note that the Neutrino decoy option will only double the price once, regardless of how many levels of Neutrino decoy you give the missile.

Well, that is all for now folks, and remember; it is not the missile that kills you, it is the sudden stop of the missile.

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One Response to “Custom missiles”

  1. […] …and other heady stuff « Custom missiles […]

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