How do Vehicle Missiles work?


Cosmic Mongoose
How do they work?
I may be blind.

Vehicles A launches missiles.

Vehicle B point defense attacsk the Salvo.

Salvo was 12 now 5.

Now what?
Do you just treat them as like spaceship missiles?
There are no special rules for missiles in personal or vehicle combat? Presumably they attack with a standard attack roll.

Vehicle Handbook gives a hint:
Vehicle Handbook, p49:
Anti-missile systems will automatically destroy an incoming missile or grenade on a 2D roll of 8+, with a DM appropriate to their type shown on the Anti-Missile Systems table. DM-1 is applied to every additional incoming attack made in the same round.
Havent been able to find them.
So are we to read that a successful PD reacction destroys the entire salvo or are to read it more literally and it destroys one missile.
INTERESTING discussion.
In a real-world sense, Air Defense Artillery doesn't block everything. The Israelis and US successfully penetrated some of the most intense and lethal air defense belts in the world in multiple wars. I specifically note the IAF penetrating the Egyptian air defense belt in the '73 Yom Kippur War and in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon later on despite the very best air defense that their Soviet sponsors could put together. The same is true for the US' raids into North Vietnam in that conflict.
Something else that many Traveller players miss is that 'counter-battery fire' by artillery does not shoot down the enemy projectiles. Radars locate the enemy gun battery and friendly fire missions either destroy or drive off the enemy battery so that they are out of range of the battle zone.
There was a LOT of hope that the DoD laser and rail gun tests might be successful in shooting down in-flight artillery rounds, but so far testing hasn't worked out. As it stands now, the lasers are having difficulty getting enough energy onto the in-flight target and the rail gun tests have been abandoned because of the enormous energy requirements of the current designs. Obviously, that'll change as tech levels rise. I also encourage you to look at the Israeli Iron Dome system. That's some pretty incredible stuff. Link to Iron Dome below.
This tells me that *at roughly equal tech levels* air defense can only mitigate the effect of an incoming artillery, missile, or air strike. This means that your 'Salvo 12 subtract Air Defense [Salvo 5 remaining] equals number of dice damage' has an authentic and realistic ring to it. And obviously the effect of artillery/missile/air strikes will skew with the greater the disparity of TLs of combatant forces.

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I read Dilbert's rule quote as meaning a successful roll destroys one and only one missile, but you can keep rolling against successive missiles at a cumulative -1 each time. So you may well get more than one, but are very unlikely to stop an entire large salvo.

Problem, that's a lot of rolling, but that's still how I read it. You could make it one roll by saying PD negates 1+Effect missiles. I don't have a feel for if the math works out exactly the same though.
I think it depends, very much on how air defence is structured, and how much lead time it has.

There's a reason that command and control (and communications) aircraft are considered juicy targets (with additional options, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), because they can see missile launches way over the horizon, calculate where it's going, and direct any air defence assets in it's path, and if multiple simultaneous launches, prioritize them.

The Israelis have Iron Dome, that is comparatively very expensive against rather cheap rockets.

Since actions occur in six second turns, though not in real time, you can calculate how many air defence assets you want to allocate to shoot down a missile, assuming you can detect and track it.

It tends to less one to one, than penetrating an air defence zone.

If you use spacecraft rules, fragmentation warhead takes out salvoes.
Although many missile systems in the Vehicle Handbook and elsewhere have the "Auto" trait.
Just means you can launch more than one missile per turn. It's not a good fit for missile systems as you have launch more missiles than you get attacks:
Core22, p79:
Auto X: These weapons fire multiple rounds with every pull of the trigger, filling the air with a hail of fire. A weapon with the Auto trait can make attacks in three fire modes: single, burst and full auto. Attacks using the Auto trait lose any benefits gained from aiming.
  • Single: Attacks are made using the normal combat rules.
  • Burst: Add the Auto score to damage. This uses a number of rounds equal to the Auto score.
  • Full Auto: Make a number of attacks equal to the Auto score. These attacks can be made against separate targets so long as they are all within six metres of one another. Full auto uses a number of rounds equal to three times the Auto score.
So, to get three attacks you have to launch nine missiles...
Although that is perfectly possible with some of the gear you can fit to vehicles.

Sure, but launch three missiles from a single launcher system, you get one attack; launch three missiles from three launchers from the same vehicle, you get three attacks.

A missile launcher is not a machine gun...
I agree. I play that you launch a number of missiles equal to the Auto rating. Seems a common sense approach.
I agree. I play that you launch a number of missiles equal to the Auto rating. Seems a common sense approach.
That’s how I’d do it as well - possibly allowing them all to strike as one, applying the explosives rules for combined damage, or treat them as separate attacks, one and one.
So without the auto score, the missile for vehiles can only fire a singular missile per turn.
The plasma missile pack, with Auto 3, can fire 3 missiles per turn. It can do this 4 turns, before the rack is out.
So then, every attack is its own Salvo and its own attack.
Ah, okay. So than, for a tank to defend from a 3 missile barrage. So the first one has a DM+0, second one has DM-1, third one has DM-3.
THis does lead the odd thing, that singular missile can be used in Burst, and gains +3 damage.
The other question I have is travel time.
Use the plasma missile pack, since its convient, has a max range of 149 kilometers. Often out of the scope of whats been my typical games, but since we're talking about this rules weirdness.
How do they work?
I may be blind.

Vehicles A launches missiles.

Vehicle B point defense attacsk the Salvo.

Salvo was 12 now 5.

Now what?
Do you just treat them as like spaceship missiles?
Should be equivalency across the board. If an offensive missile launcher can ripple fire 6 missiles in one round then a defensive missile launcher should be able to do the same. A point defense gun/laser system would have a maximum number of engagements per round.

Designers of such systems are going to try and anticipate what sort of incoming fire is expected on average, and offensive weapon systems are going to be designed to try and overcome defenses. I'd say in a one-on-one engagement defensive fire will always be equivalent to offensive fire for any equivalent system.

It's quite reasonable to expect an inbound craft to be able to dump it's entire offensive load in one round. Why? Because it first has to survive to get to it's target and then it's got to be able to get back (assuming it's not a one-way drone). The defenses have to assume as much, so they'd be able to do the same - and probably have more ammo since that's typical of most offensive/defensive models.

So in the example above, assuming 7 of the 12 units didn't make it, I'd roll 5 times to see if what survived actually hits the target. Traveller rules aren't really set up for big wargame attacks. Best way to handle that is to group up attackers and defenders as single attacks.