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Weapon efficiency


I am not sure of cannon for Traveller, but I am noticing some trends in T20. I'd love comment on these observations and questions:

1) Lasers seem to do more damage than run-of-the-mill projectile weapons. However, they also seem to not very efficient against armor. Is it me or does Reflec when combined with other Light Armor almost a no-brainer? Reflec is 0/6. When combined with Flak it become 4/10 - thats 10 AR vs. Lasers. Why would anyone not do this? Why would anyone continue to use lasers?

2) I notice that Marines (Imperial?) get the Weapon Proficiency (Swordsman) feat. Are melee weapons still used actively in a TL 9+ setting? Is there a reason for their use like "they tend to not blow holes in the side of ships"? If so, is this the logic for the adoption of lasers as a replacement to melee weapons short of throwing lead around that could puncture a ship, or am I off on a tangent?

3) Should I be treating anything in the PGMP and FGMP line with the illegality of Battledress in my campaign? i.e., should the Imperials take a nasty view of people using, say, a PGMP-12?

4) Are there any other conventions, restrictions or observations on weapons and their use that I should know?

Thanks guys!
Astute man.

for the most part the answer to your questions is YES.

Marines haveing Cutlass-1 as consequence of merely being marines in the old game was a source of humour.

('not so clumsy nor random as a blaster' - Murphy's Rules, Space Gamer Mailer covers. SJG)

However it has carried over. The logic IS that in space melee weapons will see use. (most ship's lockers have cutlass's or boarding axes on board as well as Autopistols)

Lasers are powerful but fragile and expensive and the use of reflec underwear makes them less effective than they might be.

Athorities take a dim view (often anyway) of Advanced Combat Rifles and other 'military' hardware. PGMP's and FGMP's are 'worse' than ACR's.

TA #1 - Weapons of Charted Space (A gunhead's catalogue for traveller) actually contains some essays that provide plausible answers to your questions. (As well as a bunch of invented brand names and speciality weapons).


Hope this helps.
The whole Laser-Reflec thing is a good question. In Classic Traveller, just about every adventurer wore Cloth Armor and Reflec. THe T20 FLak-Reflec combination (or Cloth-Reflec if you don't mind slowing down) is probably set up to mimic that.

Laser rifles do 3d10, but so does a Submachinegun firing a 4 round burst, so the big advantages of a laser over an auto slug thrower are the ammo capability--100 laser rifle shots lasts a long time, you'd have to use up 400 bullets at that rate, reloading many times--and the fact that lasers have no recoil and so are easier to use in zero-g.

With lasers, you also get a "it's so crowded nobody goes there" phenomemnon. If flak plus reflec is such a good combo, then nobody will want to carry a laser weapon. If nobody is carrying laser weapons, then why would you bother spending all that money for reflec? So somebody decides to carry a laser, he's likely to find lots of enemies who aren't wearing reflec.

Laser weapons are also great for frying low-tech and middle-tech savages of course.

So, Lasers are a viable choice, but not the only choice.
Not to mention the ability of lasers to designate a target for laser-guided weapons (The main reason one of my players is taking a laser carbine... so he can get full use out of his FO skill. He and the player playing the Ship captain are already plotting how to use ship to ground support
Can a laser carbine be used for FO targetting? That seems a little extreme - why would anything hold still while being shot long enough for FO to pay off?
Originally posted by scurry:
Can a laser carbine be used for FO targetting? That seems a little extreme - why would anything hold still while being shot long enough for FO to pay off?
Well, it's canon from book 4 (the first illustration in a CT book, IIRC, was the laser carbine carrying FO in that book). You do not need damage levels to guide a weapon, so there could/would be a "paint" level that was low power and invisible to the eyeball Mark 1.

The first man carried lasers are doing just that today. There were more than 1 spec ops team in Iraq doing just that during Gulf War I.

I tend to allow 3 settings on lasers -
i) targeting - Paints a dot on the target - useful when sniping - note that the pulse will go exactly where the dot is (also useful in training)
ii) Designating - As long as you have dailed the right frequency, the thing you are designating for should be able to hit what you paint
iii) Full power - Bang

Yes my lasers are frequency agile and power variable.

(I also allow people to shoot low power when charges are low - does a d6 )