Aerospace Missiles

The long awaited "Level 3" rules for missiles.  These missile rules can be used with Aerospace Fighters, Conventional Fighters, and Aerodyne Small Craft.  Missile attacks can be very effective, but one thing that reduces their effectiveness (in an economics campaign) is their relatively high cost.

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Missile Attacks
Point Defense Systems
Dumb-fire Missile
Heat-seeking Missile
Image-recognition Missile
HARM Missile
Friend-or-foe Missile
Chaff Pod

Missile Rules

- Missiles are attached to the underside of the wings and fuselage, much like bombs.
- Also, as with bombs, missile capacity depends on the size of the fighter.  A fighter can carry 1 missile for every 10 tons of fighter weight.  Aerodyne Small Craft, due to their construction, have more limited spaces to carry missiles, and can only carry 1 missile for every 40 tons of small craft weight.
- A fighter may carry both bombs and missiles.  In this case, use bombs as the basis for determining the modified Safe Thrust and the max number that can be carried, and each missile is considered two "bombs".

Missile Attacks

- For simplicity reasons, I have narrowed missile rules down into "same round" firing and impact.
- Missile firing is declared at the end of the Movement Phase.  Because the missiles require a large portion of targeting capability, missile attacks cannot be combined with regular weapons fire, with one exception (see below).  For simplicity, the missile is assumed to be fired at the end of the Movement Phase, then travel and hit (or miss) during the Combat Phase.
- The target must be in the attackers Front arc.  LOS is required for all missile attacks, with one exception (see below).
- Missile fire creates 5 heat per missile fired.
- Missile attacks may also be made against Battlemechs and Vehicles on the ground.  For these attacks, use the attack rules for Striking (on pg. 26 of AT2).  As before, missile attacks cannot be combined with regular weapon attacks, with the same one exception (see below).  Due to their small size, infantry and Battlearmor cannot be the target of a missile attack.
- Two rolls are required.  First, if the target is another fighter, a small craft, a dropship, or a warship, both the attacker and the target must make an opposing Control Roll.  This is used to determine the modifier to the attack roll and reflects the subtle (and often sudden) small movements of both attacker and defender.  All standard Control Roll modifiers apply.  An opposing Control Roll in favor of the attacker produces a negative modifier (a bonus) to the attack roll target number (TN), while one in favor of the target produces a positive modifier (a penalty) to the attack roll TN.  For example, if the attacker rolls a 6 and the target rolls an 8, a +2 modifier is added to the attack roll TN.  If both attacker and defender roll a 3, no modifier is added to the attack roll TN.
- Because of their larger size and less maneuverability, Dropships subtract a -2 from their opposing Control Roll, while Warships subtract a -4.
- For purposes of missile attacks, Jumpships and Space Stations are considered to be at "0 velocity".
- The second roll is the attack roll itself.  This roll follows all normal attack modifiers, in addition to the modifier from the opposing Control Roll.  If this second roll is successful, the missile hits and causes damage as normal.  If the roll fails, the attack is unsuccessful and the missile is considered destroyed.
- Although missile attack declaration is made at the end of the Movement Phase, the target of such an attack may forgo weapons fire during the Combat Phase and perform "Evasive Maneuvers".  Doing such adds +2 to their opposing Control Roll.  "Evasive Maneuvers" may be used in conjunction with dropping a Chaff Pod (see below).

Point Defense Systems

- Missile targets that carry point defense systems (including fighters with anti-missile systems) in the targeted arc may choose to use those systems to attempt to shoot down incoming missiles.  This action is declared during the Combat Phase, and takes the place of point defense system's normal defense against LRMs, MRMs, and SRMs.
- As with standard AMS, missile defense takes place before the missile's attack roll is made.
- Each point defense system may only target one incoming missile.  However, multiple point defense systems may target the same missile.
- Base TN for point defense is 6+ on 2d6, modified as applicable for vessel sensor/CIC/FCS/crew damage, or if the missile target is out-of-control.
- A successful point defense hit destroys the missile.
- Torpedoes, due to their larger size and somewhat-more ruggedness, require two point defense hits to be destroyed.  A torpedo with only one point defense hit is damaged, but still attacks.  Modify the attack roll TN for the torpedy by +1, and reduce the damage by half.

Dumb-fire (DF) Missile

The Dumb-fire (DF) Missile is effectively a large rocket, as it has no guidance system, similar to MRMs.  This lack of a guidance system means that the warhead packs much more explosive than the other missile types, making the increased damage potential worth the reduced accuracy.

- DF Missiles are the exception to the rule that missile attacks cannot be combined with normal weapon attacks. DF Missile attacks can be made in conjunction with normal weapons attacks and strikes against ground targets, including fixed installations/buildings.
- DF Missiles have a +2 penalty to the TN.
- Range is 1-6 (short), 7-12 (medium), 15-18 (long), 19-24 (extreme)
- Damage is 40 points standard-scale, 4 points Capital-scale.
- Cost is 40,000 C-bills.

Heat-seeking (HS) Missile

Heat-seeking (HS) Missiles are an old standby that date back to the days before mankind left Terra.  The missile targets and locks onto a heat source (such as an engine), and is guided towards that target.  While this increases the potential to hit and inflict engine damage, it means that the missile can only be fired at the vessel's rear.

- HS Missiles can only be fired at the target's rear/aft section.
- HS Missiles have a -1 bonus to the TN.  If the target has engine damage, grant an additional -1 bonus to the TN for every 2 engine hits the target has.
- Against grounded Battlemechs with 15+ heat, the HS Missile has a -2 bonus to the TN (in place of the standard -1).  Against grounded Vehicles and Battlemechs with less than 15 heat, the HS Missile has the standard -1 bonus to TN.
- The HS Missile will not pick up heat sources in the immediate vicinity, as it is blinded by the close nature of such a heat source.  For this reason, the HS Missile cannot be fired at a target within 1 or 2 hexes.
- Range is 3-5 (short), 6-9 (medium), 10-13 (long), 14-17 (extreme)
- Damage is 25 points standard-scale, 2 points Capital-scale.
- Cost is 80,000 C-bills.

Image-recognition (IR) Missile

The Image-recognition (IR) Missile utilizes a micro-camera and small software suite in the warhead that takes a picture of the target, and keeps that target in memory, making small adjustments towards that target during flight.  This greatly increases accuracy, but the reduced warhead size means damage is less than other missile types.

- IR Missiles have a -2 bonus to their TN.
- Because the missile is constantly correcting itself, the modifiers at longer ranges are reduced.  The penalty for Medium Range is +1 (instead of +2), at Long Range is +3 (instead of +4), and Extreme Range is +6 (instead of +8).
- The IR Missile cannot get a proper picture when the target is immediately close.  For this reason, the IR Missile cannot be fired at targets in an adjacent hex.
- Range is 2-5 (short), 6-9 (medium), 10-13 (long), 14-17 (extreme)
- Damage is 20 points standard-scale, 2 points Capital-scale.
- Cost is 100,000 C-bills.

HARM Missile

The HARM Missile, otherwise known as turret-killer, is a specialized missile that homes in on the fire-control radars of weapons turrets.  While doing little in the way of damage, it is very effective at destroying weapons turrets on the targeted ship.  Unfortunately, the small signature of fighter weaponry reduces the missile's effectiveness against fighters.

- Against vessels Dropship size or larger with active weapons in the targeted arc, the HARM Missile has a -1 bonus to its TN.  Against Dropship-size or larger vessels with no active weapons in the targeted arc, the HARM Missile has a +2 penalty to its TN.  Against Fighters and Small Craft, the HARM Missile has a +4 penalty to its TN.
- The HARM Missile may be used in strikes against fixed gun emplacements on the ground, as well as grounded Dropships.
- The HARM Missile, like other "homing" missiles, has great difficulty targeting in the immediate vicinity of the attacker.  For this reason, HARM Missiles cannot be fired at targets in an adjacent hex.
- Range is 2-5 (short), 6-10 (medium), 11-15 (long) 16-20 (extreme)
- Damage is 10 points standard-scale, 1 point Capital-scale.
- A successful HARM hit will automatically destroy one weapon turret (pick turret at random)
- Cost is 100,000 C-bills.

Friend-or-foe (FF) Missile

Friend-or-foe (FF) Missiles are designed to detect coded signals emitted from friendly vessels, and seek out and attack the nearest ship that does not emit those signals.  Unfortunately, nearby friendly vessels that have sensor damage may be considered "enemy" by the missile.

- FF Missiles are the exception to the rule that the target must be in the attacker's front arc with LOS.
- Because of the FF Missile's nature, no opposing Control Roll is made.
- The FF Missile, when fired, immediately targets the nearest enemy craft within range.  Friendly craft that have sensor damage are also considered "enemy craft" for this purpose.
- Base TN for the FF Missile is 5+ on 2d6, with any applicable target modifiers.
- Range is 1-14.
- Damage is 15 points standard-scale, 1 point Capital-scale.
- Cost is 80,000 C-bills.


Otherwise known as "ship destroyers", the torpedo is the only capital-scale weapon that can be fitted on a fighter or small craft.  The torpedo is designed to lock onto a large vessel, and hit with ferocious intensity and damage.  Unfortunately, the targeting circuitry is poor at picking out smaller ships, and cannot even pick out the smallest ships.  Torpedoes have a fairly long range, but are somewhat sluggish compared to other missiles, which gives targeted ships more time to maneuver to avoid them at longer ranges.

- Torpedoes require 3 missile slots.
- The torpedo cannot be fired at anything less than 500 tons.
- Because of the torpedo's nature, no opposing Control Roll is made.
- Torpedoes have the following TN modifiers based on range:  1-2 (-1), 3-6 (0), 7-10 (+2), 11-14 (+4), 15-18 (+6), 19-22 (+8).  These modifiers replace the normal range modifiers.  All normal modifiers for Target and Attacker apply.
- Because Dropships are slightly more maneuverable than Warships, torpedo attacks versus Dropships add a +2 penalty to the TN.
- Damage is 80 points standard-scale, 8 points Capital-scale.
- Torpedoes do significant internal damage.  On a successful attack, make a roll for critical hits as if the Damage Threshold was exceeded.  This roll is in addition to any other normally-required critical hit rolls.  For example a successful torpedo hit that exceeds the Damage Threshold would require 2 rolls for potential critical hits.
- Cost is 80,000 C-bills.

Chaff Pod

The Chaff Pod occupies a missile slot, but isn't really considered a missile.  Moreso, it is a missile defense.  If a fighter or small craft is attacked by a missile from the rear or the side, they may drop a Chaff Pod, which may momentarily confuse the missile and cause it to miss.  Chaff Pods have also become quite useful against standard missile attacks.

- The Chaff Pod may be used against HS, IR, or FF missile attacks.  It may also be used against Streak SRM, ATM, or Artemis- or NARC-equipped LRM/SRM missiles.
- If a missile is coming in on either side or the rear arc, the target may drop a Chaff Pod.
- Each Chaff Pod may deflect a single missile attack.  A single Chaff Pod may not be used to deflect multiple missile attacks.  However, multiple Chaff Pods may be used to deflect a single missile attack.
- On an 7+ roll on 2d6 for any attack except the IR Missile, the Chaff Pod successfully confuses the missile, and the attack fails.  For IR Missiles, a 9+ roll on 2d6 will successfully confuse the missile.
- Cost is 20,000 C-bills.

If you have any other ideas, or comments/suggestions on the above items, please let me know.  In the future, I will be adding optional rules for missiles.

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Page last modified 31 December, 2003