Tanks Again
More Material on Star Frontiers vehicle weapons

by Alex Curylo
Dragon Magazine, #103, pg. ?

["Tanks a lot!" (DRAGON issue #99) proved to be one of the most popular STAR FRONTIERS articles we've run in a long time. Alex Curylo, the author of the piece, sent us a few corrections, clarifications, and bits of new material to add to the original article. 'These are given below. - Editor-]


The power econopack holds 250 SEU, as stated in the article, not 500 SEU (as stated on the charts under "Ammunition").

Mines from a mine dropper weigh 5 kg apiece, not 25 kg as given on the charts under "Ammunition."

The heavy version of the guided missile weighs 45 kg, not 60 as given on the same chart.

Bombs cost 500 Cr (light) and 1000 Cr (heavy), not 50 and 100, respectively, as given on the ammo chart.


The vehicle MG only fires bursts of 20 bullets apiece. This could have been deduced from the charts (the vehicle MG has 400 rounds of ammo, but only 20 shots), but should have been stated explicitly.

Reading the descriptions of the sprayer, one gets the impression that one multipurpose sprayer fires smoke, oil, and paint. This is not so. Each type of sprayer is a separate weapon, but all are the same size and cost. Also note that sprayers on jetcopters and certain air vehicles will have their jets broken up by the rotor wash, making them ineffective at best.

The ranges given on the charts for cannons and howitzers are both for indirect tire. Both weapons can also be used in the direct-fire role; a cannon has the range of a vehicle rocket launcher, and a howitzer has the range of a vehicle recoilless rifle.

The programmed guided missile cannot be used to hit a moving target. It can be aimed at where you think your target will be, but this subtracts two levels from the firer's GM skill.

Cyberlinked weapons all fire at the same time. Weapons not able to aim at the gunner's target will miss automatically, but still fire and use ammo.


The dimensions given for oil and paint jets assume that the vehicle is traveling at its turn speed. If the referee wishes the extra work, he can assume that traveling slower widens and shortens the slick, and traveling faster extends and narrows it. No more than 50% alteration of either length or width should be allowed.

The question of applicable weapon skills was basically left untouched in the article. Obvious extensions of Expanded Rules weapons use the same skills as used for their smaller cousins. Cannons and howitzers use Projectile Weapons skill; if either is used as an indirect fire weapon, use the new Military skill of Indirect Fire. (This skill could also be used to fire mortars, rifle grenades, and other indirect-firing weapons.) Flamethrowers use Flame Weapons skill. Bombs use Dropped Weapons skill, which is applicable to anything dropped from a moving air vehicle. Sprayed weapons and mine droppers don't require a weapon skill; add 5% per Technician level of the driver to half of his DEX for an attack roll if these weapons are being aimed at a pursuer.

For greater consistency with these rules and official game rules, guided missiles should use skill-oriented rolls also. The wire-guided missile should then have a base chance to hit equal to the gunner's DEX, + 5% per level of Guided Missile skill. The programmed missile should have a base chance to hit of 35%, +10% per level of Guided missile skill. Note that absolutely no one without at least one level of Guided Missile skill has any chance at all to hit with these weapons.