One point about vehicle combat in Alpha Dawn; in the real world, vehicles become inoperable long before they are destroyed; the rules in Alpha Dawn (pp. 31-2) reflect this well; rolls or roll and burn results from loss of control result in either an inoperable vehicle or one that can be driven again in 1d10 turns; high-speed collisions kill the vehicle, while lower speed collisions result in -20m/turn to acceleration and turning speed once the vehicle starts up again after 1d10 turns.

Combat damage requires rolls in the Vehicle damage table; 2d10+the number of dice of damage from the weapon; a 1 SEU laser means a 2d10+1 roll, while the laser set on 20 SEU will require a 2d10+20. Since rolls of 2-19 equal “no effect”, this means that vehicles are pretty darn tough, capable of absorbing significant damage without major effect; even a point-blank 15d10 damage rocket launcher might result in no effect or minor acceleration issues! Of course, it might roll and burn on the spot, but this is what happens when vehicle builders put safety first in construction.

“Steering Jammed” results leave the vehicle functionally inoperable without repairs, turn speed damage (which is cumulative) increases the chance of loss of control and thus of a collision... assuming that the cumulative loss does not render the vehicle unsteerable.

Considering this intrinsic toughness of vehicles, and the canon lack of need for armored combat vehicles, there is no real need for tanks or other heavy combat units.

What? Yes, no need for tanks. The worlds of the Frontier Sector have homogeneous planetary governments, so their military forces do not have to face other military forces on the ground. Conversely, carrying combat vehicles from one world to another is simply not viable; the resources required to bring enough tanks to make a difference simply do not exist, based on the rate of ship construction and the rules for take off and landing from planetary surfaces.

On the other hand, combat robots, led by warbots, are well-suited for interplanetary conflict, and these can use more conventional equipment (suits, screens, weapons). These units do not need specialized combat vehicles either, only modified conventional vehicles.

So what advantages would there be to assigning structural points to vehicles?

More advantageous, I think, would be to introduce specialized projectile and gyrojet ammo that has a bonus to the roll on the vehicle damage table in exchange for overall damage. For example, a rocket launcher firing an anti-vehicle rocket would have a vehicle damage table roll of 2d10+20 (instead of 2d10+15), but would do only 10d10 damage (instead of 15d10). A gyrojet pistol with anti-vehicle ammo would roll 2d10+3 instead of 2d10+2, but do only 1d10 damage, rather than 1d10.

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