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I'm currently designing a prison that has AA around it (yes there are reasons). My problem is what weapons to use. I've been toying around with using navel damage weapons but that sounds like over kill. So what do the esteemed members of this fine board suggest?

Unless you're actually going to shoot at a PC helicopter or something, just say they are SAMs. And if you are going to shoot at a PC helicopter, 15D AV missles should do the trick.
AA automated turret mounted rotary assault cannons (Victory?) under hardwired rigger interface from inside the facility. Same goes for heavy calibre miniguns like the Vengeance and Vanquisher for light vehicles/infantry and anti-missile defences. Similar to what is used on battleships today.

SAM batteries would be a must. If your really going high tech, then laser systems are another possibility - depending upon atmospheric conditions and prevailing weather patterns. And don't overlook the magical possibilities - bound spirits like Air Elementals are highly effective. Especially if they are Great Form ones.
Oops, almost forgot. If you've got rigger wired defences, then another good use would be for drones like the Wandjina for patrols and overwatch.
Austere Emancipator
You don't need Naval damage weapons against aircraft. Since your main concern are "lightly" armed transport helos (I assume you aren't concerned with high-altitude bombers or fighters with long range missiles), the Vogeljäger shoulder-fired SAM from Cannon Companion (p. 28) should be plenty. Decent intelligence, decent range, not too horrible a price. The Ballista Mk II is almost as good -- better intelligence so it hits better and better range, but won't cause a scratch if it misses more than a meter -- at less than half the price. A few of those in well concealed pop-up turrets should do the trick.

The bigger missiles generally have about the same kill radius, travel at the same speed and are less accurate, and cost 3-50 times as much as the Vogeljäger, so you can ignore them unless you really have to drop an airplane at 120km.

The main problem is getting enough sensors to lock on, and having a few batteries to get rid of the enemy's Control Pool. For that purpose, you might want to get a few HMGs to fire at the helo first and only then firing the SAMs.

Autocannons are horribly expensive: You can get 4 Vogeljäger launchers with 4 missiles each for the price of one autocannon. If you don't expect to actually be attacked by aircraft, just wait for them to get close enough for HMGs. If all the weapons are in pop-up, well concealed underground turrets, there's no way they can get any airborne vehicle close enough for a drop/lift.

Against heavily armored ground vehicles vehicles, just include a few Grand Dragon ATGMs or Ballista MK IIs -- or don't bother with anything extra if you got Ballista Mk IIs for air defense.

If resources aren't a problem (ie. this won't work for a prison...), you can get a bunch of low-mark up, stealthy Sensor-10 vehicles with the BattleTac FDDM (or whatever the name of the fire control network is) and use constant lock fire only. That should give a nice 20-ish dice to roll on attack = 5 Skill, 5 CP, 5 Sensors, 5 Int.
To save yourself the trouble of expensive weapons that are designed to take downplanes and bombers why not just say the prison is located in a close vicinity to a army airbase. They should have enough to counter fighters and bombers and will be in the air very soon if any attack helicopters happen to sneak to the prison. Have some sort of direct alarm to the base (gives something for the deckers to try and fidle with)
Now your only concern is escapees using ground vehicles (trucks, fast cars, bikes) and possible some transport helicopter.

Why even bother with misiles? In a prison riot if the prisoners take over a portion of the prison you have now supplied them with nasty rockets as well.

I would go with the rigger+drones with HMG+AV rounds.
multiple drones doing full auto (even burst is enough) would drop any air threat from the air...
But if u think about it in order for the escapees to get on the helicopter then the helicopter must land at some point (or at least touch-down quickly).
This would leave the escapees in the open..If your HMGs cannot kill the helicopter, dont bother, kill the escapees. End of story. Also RPG-HE shot at the helicopter open door should produce some nice mini-chunky salsa efect damaging the pilot (of not killing him).

Dont bother with too much high tech. Down dirty low-tech always has the advantage, cause u can have so many of them. smile.gif
Shotguns slugs (10S) do wonders against anything that has less than 5 armour. put some EX-shells and u have 12S that will penetrate 5 armour...
now on the nastier side.
prisoners are unarmoured, unless they stole some armour, 12S will kill anyone with 1 shot..(assuming u have decent skill (4+) and throw in some combat pool).
I've always considered a hard mounted Vindicator Minigun to be great, but it's low damage means that you won't crack any kind of serious armor. But the consensus here is probably right: shoulderfired SAMs plus tripod or turreted HMGs. Go hardwired Rigger for seriously tooled up systems. Don't forget that a helicopter has to land (or hover and lay out a rope) to pick someone out of the prison. While it's grounded a LAW rocket will paste it hard! These are cheap, simple and easy to use against vehicles or grounded aircraft.
Austere Emancipator
Actually, I didn't mean to keep those shoulder fired SAMs shoulder fired. wink.gif It's probably safer to keep them in a security rigging network, so that they're always ready and can make use of the large network of Sensors. This also means there's no way the prisoners can use them.

Unfortunately LAWs in SR are ultracrappy. The M79B1 LAW and Arbelast II MAW are both HE weapons, and thus cannot scratch any real armor. They've also got a huge Scatter and no Intelligence, so it's really hard hitting anything with them. Ballista Mk IIs are only 2x as expensive as MAWs, 2.5x as expensive as LAWs, and several times more effective.

HMGs with AV ammunition aren't exactly cheap either, although you might as well get some if you plan on downing a lot of armored aircraft. All HMGs are more expensive than the Ballista Mk II system, the same price range as the Vogeljäger. You can get 1 Ballista Mk II missile at the price of 100 HMG AV rounds, 1 Vogeljäger for 250.
Also keep in mind that easily portable missile launchers can become an entirely different sort of problem if the runners get into a position to lay their hands on them.


Yeah the law is crappy, but it's so cheap that you can give one to everybody (that's what they invented them for). And scatter is no problem if your guys can use plenty of aim actions to reduce their target numbers. Besides, as a GM it's nice to have weapons that miss but still make spectacular explosions. After all, if this AA screen is too good his players might as well just go home.

As for getting 100 AV rounds for the price of a ballista mk II, yeah that's true. On the other hand the ballista gets One shot at that while the HMG can go for ten initiative passes. Granted, the HMG will need to given it's much weaker damage. But the HMG is dual purpose: it works on ground attackers, helicopters and heck even the prisoners when you come right down to it. Maybe it's more like triple purpose smile.gif

Also, the Ballista launcher costs 10,500 nuyen.gif in my cannon companion. No HMG costs more than 6,000 nuyen.gif . It all depends on what effect you're trying to create.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Clyde)
Also, the Ballista launcher costs 10,500  in my cannon companion.

Fuck me, so it does. Sorry about that.

In vehicle combat, it usually comes down to the one shot. The first hit damn well better drop the enemy. If you've got a high skill and can keep yourself alive long enough to keep firing, you can deplete the target's Control Pool and then start hitting, but I personally believe in overwhelming the target with a massive amount of successes in the first place. Missiles are nice because the one hit will take the enemy down, and you get 4+ extra dice. And don't be fooled by the typifications of these weapons -- even the Vogeljäger can kill people and vehicles just fine, although the Grand Dragon ATGM is probably best as a multi-purpose, cheapo weapon.

Regardless, HMGs are good too. Get each HMG maybe 50 or 100 AV rounds to be used against heavily armored targets, and use standard ammunition otherwise. Not too costly, decent range and accuracy.
A fully-compensated HMG will dish out 19D(AV) with AV ammo, and impose a +3 Dodge TN for a typically 5ish TN, probably not lower than 3. Compare this to a Rigger needing no more than six successes on a hiding test vs. a TN that will probably be in the 2 range to break a missile lock...

Austere Emancipator
True enough, I hadn't noticed the Hiding rules, or realised their full implications to missile combat. Those do indeed effectively make every fast vehicle totally immune to missile fire from anything but a far faster and more maneuverable vehicle with a far better rigger. I'll just keep ignoring those rules for my games, but as far as canon game goes: Forget everything I said about missiles. They are absolutely useless against any rigger.
A missile is useless. Missiles plural aren't.

It still should be harder. Intelligence plus successes, at the least.

Austere Emancipator
I still can't really bend my brain around those rules. Do you need to take a separate Hiding test to get away from each missile/firing vehicle?

Another thing: Would using the Fire-and-Forget mode get around this?
To break a given missile lock, you make a hiding test. I don't believe it's specified whether it breaks more than one lock; I might allow multiple tests to be made simultaneously, but I'd require separate rolls and separate pool use (if any).

I believe SR missiles are fire-and-forget by default, aren't they? I suppose if they weren't the guider could try to reestablish the lock before the end of the combat turn. Not sure how that would work; second attack test, maybe? Probably with some negative modifier?

Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (CC @ p. 102)
Fire-and-Forget Mode: With this mode, the attacker needs to establish a missile lock only at the time of firing. Once fired, the attacker can move out of sensor range, fire at other targets and take any other actions necessary. He does not need to maintain the sensor lock. However, the attacker cannot add Sensor dice to the missile's Intelligence rating.

Since specific rules for F&F are given in CC, I doubt that's the default firing mode. Now the real question is: Does the Hiding test allow you to Hide from a missile (which is not a vehicle, except in Naval combat), or only from the attacking vehicle? If only the attacking vehicle, F&F missiles would still be quite useful.

This does have some really dreadful consequences on Naval combat...
I'm lacking my books, but I'm pretty certain it says that it breaks the missile lock, thus applying to both forms of missile fire.

Austere Emancipator
Is that in Rigger 3? The main entry for the Hiding Test in the Vehicle Combat rules in SR3 doesn't mention missile locks, only breaking contact with a vehicle.
Yeah, Im going with the machine gun school on this. Quad HMGs and a few autocannons will drop anything short of a tank, and while a T-Bird might look like one, it just takes one good shot to scrap it.
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Is that in Rigger 3? The main entry for the Hiding Test in the Vehicle Combat rules in SR3 doesn't mention missile locks, only breaking contact with a vehicle.

Rigger 3, yes (IIRC). If no one posts the page, I'll do it when I get home.

Well, don't forget range Lindt. The HMG can't come near a SAM's 5km range. Nothing like getting the first shot in to take the wind out of the other guy's sails.
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