SFMC Equipment Guide

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SFMC Equipment Guide


Introduction

Below are some of the personal equipment and weapons used by the Starfleet Marine Corps. Just as with the Vehicles page, this is in a constant state of updating, so make sure to check back occasionally.


Personal Equipment

Armor

The personal body armor used by the Star Fleet Marine Corps comes in a number of forms.

  • The combat helmet is part of all marine battle dress. The helmet has an integral short-range communicator. It is also equipped with various sensors that allow night-vision, infrared scanning, magnification up to 5x, and a targetting interface with type III or IV phasers, plasma rifles, or missile lauchers.
  • Standard field combat dress consists of ablative armor plates over a flexible mesh base. The plates affixed to the mesh cover arms, torso, and legs. Joints are covered by plates which are flexibly attached to the other armored plates. The groin is covered by a flexible armored skirt. The overall effect looks something like medieval plate mail. The armor is intended to provide protection against physical attacks, stop most projectile weapons, and to give some level of protection against against low-level energy wepons or glancing short from higher power beam weapons. (A solid shot from a phaser on kill will probably kill the wearer of standard combat dress and it is even possible to stun a target wearing this armor with heavy stun.) Note: standard field combat dress may be worn over a conventional vacuum suit and worn with a sealable helmet and gloves. This adds zero-atmosphere capablities to the suit.
  • Battle suits are the most common type of powered armor. Larger powered armor suits have been phased out because, while they are capable of allowing the wearer to sustain heavier damage and carry heavier weapons, they severely limit maneuverability and stealth. Battle suits can be environmentally sealed to withstand gas attacks and even zero-atmosphere situations. These suits of powered armor increase the individual's strength by approximately a factor of 10. They may be variously configured for greater scouting capabilities, heavy weapons loads, and endurance. In scout mode, the suit is equipped with a standard type III phaser weapon, an advanced sensor system, a secure tight beam transmitter, and additional power packs. While scout equipped suits do not offer a substantial increase in firepower over a conventionally armored marine, they allows the marine to move at sustained speeds up to 60 kph and have approximately 50 hours of endurance with the suit sealed to atmosphere and using onboard life support. At the other extreme, a battle rigged suit might carry a type IV phaser on a stabilized mount, a standard type II phaser for close range, a grenade launcher, and an advanced targeting system. These heavy weapons reduce the ability to carry additional power cells and have high power drain. As a result, a suit equipped as above, while having much more firepower than any single marine not in power armor, would only have about 4 hours of endurance even with the suit not powering its onboard life support systems.

The armor will stop most conventional projectiles from portable armaments and offers some protection from crew-served projectile weapons. The ablative armor also offers protection against energy weapons. The mesh has the ability to conduct and disperse an energy weapon charge as well, helping to diffuse the effects of all but the highest power shorts from a phaser or disruptor. (Maximum power kill will still vaporize an armored fighter and heavy stun will still stun. Light stun is usually not effective except on a very lucky shot.)

  • Vacuum suits - Vacuum suits consist of a rubberized fabric suit with a built in oxygen scrubber which allows the user to survive for 36 hours without other life support. The suit has a large, clear helmet, though this may be replaced by a special sealable combat helmet. Standard issue light duty suits are black. Standard issue heavy duty suits have a 72 hour life-support capacity and are more resistant to damage. However, they have reduced tactal sensation. They are used in operations where a more resistant suit is needed and the reduced tactal sensation is acceptable. Either type of suit can be patched with special quick seal patches that are always stored in pockets on the suit.
  • Enhanced musculature system - A light exoskeleton can be work under the uniform, combat gear, or vacuum suit to enhance the wearer's strength. These systems are designed to allow higher operation efficiency on worlds with higher than Earth-normal gravity. They are not designed for extended use in lower-g environments as they can lead to deterioration of musculature by reducing the normal muscle load. However, they can be used for short periods to enhance the strength and endurance of marines in the field. They may also be switched on or off as needed by the wearer.
  • Recon Zero-g Suits (RZG Suits) - These suits are similar to light vacuum suits, but are modified for up to 1.5 times the life support capacity. They are still black in color, but have a sensor absorbing coating, making them almost invisible against the blackness of space and difficult to detect with sensors. These suits are intended for stealth and are not armored. The suit is equipped with an enhanced musculature system that increases the wearer's strength by a factor of 2. They are usually deployed only with recon marine units.

Weaponry

  • Phaser Weapons - The standard beam weapon for all Federation troops, Naval and Marine, is the phaser. Phasers (PHASed Energy Rectifiers) carefully modulate wavelength and amplitude to produce the most versatile type of beam weapon. This careful modulation can produce effects from bioelectric shock which will stun most organic targets to heat to sub-atomic disruption which can vaporize or explode targets. Phasers are rated by the ultimate power output capacity of their emitters and by beam type. Most marine use is of Type II-V phasers.
  • Plasma Rifles - The plasma rifle is a type of ion weapon. It operates by exciting the atoms of a gas to the point where they spontaneously ionize and expelling the plasma bolt in a magnetic bottle which breaks upon impact. The weapons has is powered by a standard type III phaser power pack and is charged with a hydrogen cartridge. A plasma rifle burns through ablative armor more effectively than a phaser weapon which tends to have its energy conducted across a wider surface area. Moreover, phaser weapons have the potential at higher power settings to trigger explosive decoupling of atomic bonds in matter. Plasma weapons do not operate in the same manner as phasers and so do not pose this risk.
  • Electromagnetic Projectile Weapons - While Star Fleet seldom uses projectile weapons, there are cases where they are more effective than either phasers or plama weapons. Shaped charge projectiles are often the most effective way to deal with armored individuals. Moreover, projectile weapons have certain advantages over phaser and plasma weapons. These advantages include the ability to spin a projectile in order to curve its flight path. That is, certain projectiles weapons are capable of literally shooting around corners. This latter ability is particularly used in sniper weapons.

Virtually all modern projectile weapons use an electromagnetic linear accelerator to launch the projectile. In the common vernacular, these are referred to as "Gauss" rifles and pistols. Most Gauss weapons fire an explosive dart. The sniper version of the weapons actually fire an explosive sphere. An additional accelerator hung around the barrel of the sniper weapons allows the user to spin the spherical projectile to produce different trajectories that give the weapon a limited ability to shoot over barricades and around corners.

  • Electromagnetic Cannons - When indirect fire capabilities are needed, electromagnetic cannons are used as artillery or to replace the main armament on hover tanks. These weapons operate similarly to their smaller rifle and pistol counterparts, though they are never fitted with the relatively delicate sniper spin control mechanism for reasons of maintainability in battle conditions. These weapons fire a variety of types of shells. These can include conventional high explosive, armor piecing, anti-matter, concussion, sonic, and anesthesia gas rounds.

In the case of anti-matter rounds, the Federation strictly limits the size of charges to limit collateral damage. The maximum charge deployed in the field is a 5 kiloton TNT equivalent charge containing 120 mg of antimatter. (Note: The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima had the energy equivalent of about 20 kilotons of TNT.) Most artillery shells fired carry a 12 mg charge, 500 ton TNT equivalent.

  • Grenades, Mortars, and Missiles - Grenades, mortars, and missiles all carry warheads similar to, but small than those of, artillery shells. These classes of weapons use the same basic canister load for the actual charge and different delivery and fusing casings. These can include conventional high explosive, armor piecing, anti-matter, concussion, sonic, and anesthesia gas rounds.

In order to control damage distribution antimatter charges are normally limited to 24 micrograms (2.4x10-5 g), though a maximum of 7.2 mg may be loaded into a shell. The 24 microgram shell has the explosive potential of 1 ton of TNT. The 7.2 mg shell has the explosive potential 300 tons of TNT. Larger charges are only used with mortar and missile delivery systems to help insure that the user is not caught in the blast radius.

Grenades have a small case with a timed or impact fuse. Grenades may either be thrown or delivered by a Mk IV grenade laucher. The Mk IV has a similar appearance to a type III phaser rifle with a shorter, broader barrel. It has the same basic targeting system and the type III phaser.

One type of grenade, deployed to special forces units, is not normally found in mortar or missile form. That is the time-lapse grenade. The time-lapse grenade effects the brain through the optic nerves and works on most species to black out everyone in the area of effect of the grenade (about 5 m radius) for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. The grenade also effects short term memory so, unless obvious changes to the area have occurred or there is other clear proof, the subject will generall believe that he was fallen asleep. (Very useful on guards late at night.) An auto-blackout face shield which affixes to a normal helmet is the companion of this device, but physically shielding the eyes with another opaque object will suffice in an emergency. Eyelids are not sufficiently opaque to prevent the functioning of the device.

Mortars are high arc indirect fire weapons. The mortar rounds carry their canisters in an aerodynamic round with stabilizer fins at the tail of the round. These roungs are electromagnetically propelled from a short tube. The tube has a computer targeting system that may be fed data from remote sensors or targeted manually based on spotter information.

Missiles are chemically propelled, computer targeted, and guidable. The guidance system may either be located within the missile or they may be remotely controlled from the launcher.

Credits

The contents of this page come directly from Appendix G of the Player's Manual, developed and compiled primarily by Jeffrey Jenkins.