Missiles that are used in the Three Galaxies are in many ways similar to those used on Rifts Earth and generally follow the same rules but there are important differences. These are that the speeds of missiles are much greater, there are new some new sensors available, and there are some new warhead types. These rules are designed to work with revised starship rules for Phase World.
Missile Ranges, Top Speeds, and AccelerationsEdit
In the Phase World Dimension books, you get the impression that starships lumber toward each other, not firing any weapons until rock throwing ranges (100 miles or less) and then slowly lumber together until one to two miles is reached before launching missiles. I prefer a much more dynamic starship and missile combat. Missile ranges are vastly increased and missiles now travel and accelerate as well at percentages of the speed of light. Missile fire may now commonly start at ranges greater than one million miles. Missiles can be used to hit targets beyond their maximum range because missiles will travel in a straight line one they run out of energy. They are of course affected by gravity wells but that can be calculated for by starship crews. Targets that do not move are ideal for this type of strike. These targets include orbital bases and cities. There are no bonuses or minuses to hit these targets. To hit specific targets, such as an individual building in a city, the missiles are at -8 to strike. To hit a large moving target such as a Large Capital ship (Protector or Dreadnought for example), the missiles are at -16 to strike and unlike most attacks, the pilot can make dodges that no damage will be taken no matter how large the starship is. Targets smaller than about five million tons cannot be hit if they can dodge. Missiles are not affected by the maximum speed like starships are because the missile's lifespan after the launch is brief enough that radiation and particle damage is not a factor. About 1% of all missiles will not reach their targets because radiation or particles will either cause them to destroy themselves, become inert, or veer off course. Acceleration is affected the same way starship accelerations are effected.
Missiles do not have to accelerate at full speed and may be stepped down in speed. This may be desirable in a situation that you are longing both long range missile and cruise missiles and want both the long range missiles and cruise missiles to get to their target at the same time.
Missiles can be made with only atmospheric or space drive to reduce cost. Ground troops often do not need the incredible acceleration of space missiles and starships often are not seen as needing atmospheric capable missiles. If an non-atmospheric missile is attempted to be used in an atmosphere, it will slam into the atmosphere and explode when it does. Non space missiles have the problem of simply being unable to intercept starships accelerating.
- Cruise Missiles - Missile range is 8000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship)
- Long Range Missiles - Missile range is 3400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/ 9.7 light seconds) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (far faster than any starship)
- Medium Range Missiles - Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/ 0.43 light seconds) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn (faster than any starship except a fighter exceeding it maximum safe acceleration)
- Short Range Missiles - Missile range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn (faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration)
- Mini-Missiles - Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space. The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration)
- Micro-Missiles - These missiles do not have the size to carry the full gravity drive that larger missiles do. These missiles accelerate at twice their listed Mach speed in Gs (Earth Gravities) of acceleration and have the powered range of eight times their atmospheric speed when they are used in space.
Missile Guidance SystemsEdit
The fire control computers on all Phase World starships is assumed to be able to lock onto and fire simultaneously at as many targets as the launcher has available missiles. Example: A Mini-Missile launcher on a Warshield Class Cruiser has the ability to launch on up to eight mini-missiles at one time. This means that the launcher can theoretically lock onto eight targets and launch at all of them at the same time. In Phase World, all the guidance systems that are available on Rifts Earth are available but there are additional guidance systems available. *Gravity Sensor - All targets have a gravitic footprint which allows them to be tracked by gravity sensors. This includes targets that are invisible. The other advantage is that gravity sensors allow the missile to track its target in real time no matter what the distance is because gravity has no delay and is faster than light. A target can often hide under the gravity signature of other targets to trick sensors but ships that are using gravity propulsion are even easier to detect.
- Neutrino Homing - How this missile guidance works is to home in on a neutrino signature. Nuclear Fission Engines, Nuclear Fusion Engines, Anti-matter Engines, Fusion Thrusters, Ion Thrusters, Plasma Explosions, Fusion Explosions, Nuclear Explosions, and Anti-Matter explosions all create neutrinos that can be tracked. Missiles can be set to track on the strongest Neutrino signature or a specific neutrino signature.
- Tachyon Beam Rider - These missiles use a Tachyon beam to hit its target. The advantage is that the beam is FTL meaning that there no appreciable delay in painting the target. Similar to the Rifts Earth Semi Active Laser and Radar homing and sensors can pick up the beam if they are targeted.
- Brilliant Missiles - This is a more advanced version of the smart missile and the missile actually have a limited artificial intelligence guidance system. These missiles' guidance systems are expensive and cost twice the normal cost for the smart missile guidance systems. This guidance system is also illegal outside of the military. This missile guidance is capable of breaking through most countermeasures even those that work against normal smart missiles. Like smart missiles, the missiles must have an autonomous guidance system. Brilliant missiles are more capable then smart missiles and have +7 to strike and +6 to dodge and providing that they can catch their target multiple times, they have three attacks per melee until they run out of fuel. Brilliant Missiles also separate when launched so they cannot be destroyed as a volley. All brilliant missiles automatically have the feature of IFF identification and Loiter capability. This feature can only be added to long range and larger missiles. All Phase World Missiles Types (Including mini-missiles) are available as smart missile.
FTL Capable MissilesEdit
Star Ships will often carry a small number of cruise missiles that are capable of being used at FTL speeds for limited durations. FTL capable missiles are limited to cruise missiles only although several governments are presently working on an FTL capable long range missile. The missiles give up part of their payload in order to fit in the FTL propulsion system. As well, they give up their normal atmospheric drive systems. FTL combat is in many ways more deadly then sublight combat due to the fact that there are few point defense weaponry that can be used at FTL speeds. Tachyon and Gravity based beam weapons are the only non missile weapons that can be used at FTL speeds so point defense is greatly restricted. In a similar way, the only missiles that are normally useful for defense are missiles with Gravity based warheads. The gravity based cruise missiles can be used to pull incoming cruise missiles out of FTL travel. A ship can use non FTL capable missiles at FTL speeds but they will only have limited maneuverability and will drop in speed at the rate of 2 ly/hr per turn until then enter normal space. The ship launches these missiles to the front by firing them and then immediately decelerating. Shields are often the best defense against FTL capable cruise missiles. Normally a Starship will carry about 10% of its total missile compliment in FTL cruise missiles. The FTL missiles are very expensive and cost 4 times that of a conventional Phase World cruise missile.
FTL Missile Range and SpeedEdit
The FTL Cruise Missile has an amount of fuel which is given as 50 Fuel Points. At Sublight and a speed of 1 LY per hour it burns 1 Fuel Point per turn, giving it a powered range of fifty turns. For each additional LY/hour of speed it burns one additional Fuel Point per turn, so that at 5 LY/hour it burns 5 Fuel Points per turn, giving it a powered range of 10 turns. At maximum FTL speed of 10 LY/hour it burns 10 Fuel Points per turn, giving it a powered range of only 5 turns. When the CM runs out of fuel it decelerates at a rate of 2 LY/hour per turn, until it finally hits light speed, at which time it continues to go on at 98% of the speed of light. Of course, the missile can no longer maneuver when its fuel runs out, so from that moment on it is traveling in a straight line until it is destroyed or it self-destructs.
Missiles have penalties to strike if the missiles increase of decrease their FTL speed relative to the vessel launching. This also includes a missile dropping from FTL space to normal space. The missile has a -1 penalty for every LY/hour change in the missiles speed. If a missile is launched at FTL speeds and is programmed to drop back into regular space, the missile targeting will be imprecise and the missile will end up being 1D4 x 100,000 miles (1D4 x 160,000 km) from its target. This means that FTL missiles cannot be used to pop right at the target without point defense being able to stop the missiles.
The missiles can be used at sublight speeds as normal cruise missiles but this is not normally done due to the hideous cost and smaller warheads of FTL missiles. FTL missiles cannot be made to go into FTL space if they are within the Gravity well of a sonar system.
FTL Missile WarheadsEdit
Some missile warheads are more effective at FTL speeds than others. This is simply because energy usually travels at the speed of light or faster. Conventional explosives, including K-Hex and Plasma Warheads inflict half damage to the front, quarter damage to the sides, and no damage to the rear of the target. Nuclear, anti matter, fusion explosives along with X-ray laser warheads (if very close) will inflict full damage to the front, half damage to the sides, and no damage to the rear of the target. The problem with X-Ray laser warheads is that the missile is too large to carry on FTL capable missiles. The only exceptions to reduced damage at FTL speeds are gravity warheads and Tachyon based warheads which inflict full damage due to the fact that the blast travels at FTL speeds. The spaces for the warhead in FTL missiles, due to the size of the missiles drives, are smaller than they are in standard missiles and are limited to the smaller sizes of missile warheads. Fusion and Nuclear warheads are limited to Heavy Warheads (Inflicts 2D4x100), Anti-Matter is limited to Heavy Warheads (Inflicts 3D6x100), and all other warheads are similarly restricted.
All warheads from Rifts Earth are available. Go to <A HREF="http://kitsune.addr.com/Rifts/Rifts-Missiles/missiles.htm">Revised bomb and missile table</A> for Rifts Earth Warheads.
- Nuclear - In Space, Nuclear Missiles do not have the blast that they do in the atmosphere. In space, they do the same damage as fusion warheads on the Revised Missile Tables.
- Anti-Matter - Anti-matter is an incredibly powerful munition that uses a reaction between matter and anti-matter to produce an incredible reaction that can inflict large amounts of damage to the target. The anti-matter is kept in a magnetic containment until it strikes the target and releases its anti-matter. This warhead is only available in Cruise Missiles. If Anti-Matter munitions are used in an atmosphere, they have double the blast radius as a nuclear munition of the same size. The drawback of anti-matter is that it does minimal damage to targets that are impervious to energy. The other limitation is that if a ship with anti-matter warheads takes a magazine hit, it creates powerful explosions that can destroy the ship.
| Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (medium)||2D6x100||80 ft (24.4 m)||45|
| Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (Heavy)||3D6x100||100 ft (30.3 m)||45|
|Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (X-Heavy)||4D6x100||120 ft (36.4 m)||45|
|Anti-Matter Cruise Multi-Warhead||5D6x100||150 ft (45.5 m)||45|
| Anti-Matter Cruise Missile (Super Heavy)||1D4x1000||500 ft (124.4 m)||45|
 Warheads that can be carried in FTL Cruise missiles  Only available for Consortium Warships - Not sold outside of the Consortium Armed Forces.
- K-Hex - K-Hex is a special explosive that only recently has been made useable by weapon systems. In its natural state, it is very unstable and dangerous. In order to keep K-Hex rounds more powerful than standard warheads, their damages have been modified to be above other types of warheads.
|K-Hex High Explosive Mini-Missile||1D6x10||5 ft (1.5 m)||1|
|K-Hex Fragmentation Mini-Missile||1D6x10||20 ft (6.1 m)||1|
|K-Hex Armor Piercing Mini-Missile||2D4x10||3 ft (0.9 m)||2|
|K-Hex High Explosive Short Range Missile||2D6x10||20 ft (6.1 m)||5|
|K-Hex Fragmentation Short Range Missile||2D6x10||30 ft (9.1 m)||5|
|K-Hex Armor Piercing Short Range Missile||3D6x10||5 ft (1.5 m)||5|
|K-Hex High Explosive Medium Range Missile||4D6x10||30 ft (9.1 m)||10|
|K-Hex Fragmentation Medium Range Missile||6D4x10||60 ft (18.2 m)||10|
|K-Hex Armor Piercing Medium Range Missile||4D6x10||20 ft (6.1 m)||10|
|K-Hex High Explosives Long Range Missile||6D6x10||50 ft (15.2 m)||20|
|K-Hex Fragmentation Long Range Missile||6D4x10||100 ft (30.5 m)||20|
|K-Hex Armor Piercing Long Range Missile||5D6x10||30 ft (9.1 m)||20|
- Gravity Well Cruise Missile - This warhead is also too large to be carried on any missile smaller than a cruise missile. Most of these warheads have two settings but some are constructed with one setting to reduce cost of the missiles.
The first is that the warhead forms briefly a gravity effect similar to that of a black hole but much weaker. This missile has two special advantages when compared to other cruise missile warheads. The first is that because it does it damage by crushing, a physical effect, it does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy and to cosmic knights. The other spacial advantage is that it can temporarily prevent starships from going FTL. It takes one gravity well cruise missile per 10 thousand tons of ship to prevent the ship from being able to go to FTL. A Warshield cruiser, for example, would require 10 gravity well cruise missiles to prevent if from going FTL. This effect only lasts for one melee (15 seconds). If there are not enough gravity wells to prevent the ship from going FTL, The ship takes double the missiles normal damage from ripping through the gravity wells in this case.
The second is only for affecting FTL travel. It does this by producing a weaker but much wider gravity field. This warhead effects a 1,200 foot radius and effects 100 thousand tons of ship to prevent the ship from being able to go to FTL. It will also pull the same amount of mass out of FTL. A ship takes about ten minutes to reset its systems before re-entering FTL. The way that the missile warheads are used against ships in FTL is that the missiles are used as mines in the path of the incoming ships. They are activated as the ship passes through the spot in question and have to be carefully planned as a ship passing through the area in FTL goes through if used at below relativistic speeds.
| Gravity Well Cruise Missile (Heavy - Setting 1)||3D4x100||100 ft (30.3 m)||45|
| Gravity Well Cruise Missile (Heavy - Setting 2)||None||1000 ft (303 m)|
|Gravity Well Cruise Missile (X-Heavy - Setting 1)||4D4x100||120 ft (36.4 m)||45|
|Gravity Well Cruise Missile (X-Heavy - Setting 2)||None||1200 ft (364 m)|
| Singularity Cruise Missile||1D6x1000||300 feet (91.4 m)||45|
 Warheads that can be carried in FTL Cruise missiles  Only available for T.G.E. Warships - Not sold outside of the Trans-Galactic Empire.
=X-Ray Laser Cruise Missile Warheads - This missile is a Fusion warhead that detonates and powers a burst of Laser beams. While the beams have no bonuses to hit other than those from the starship size chart, there are a fairly large number of beams and because of the beams allows the missile to standoff the target. The missile also has one other advantage, when the missile goes dead, it retains half the normal bonuses and minuses to strike. This warhead is too big to be carried on a missile smaller than a Cruise Missile and are too large to be carried on an FTL capable cruise missile.
These warheads are only available for a small number of militaries with many lesser militaries not having the technology. The militaries which have these warheads include the Consortium, Trans-Galactic Empire, Free Worlds Council, Human Alliance, Wolfen Forces, and a number of smaller militaries.
|Fusion warhead (Direct Blast)||1D6x100||80 ft (24.4 m)||45|
| X-Ray Lasers (10 beams)||2D4x100 Each||N.A.|
 When the warhead detonates, ten X-Ray Laser Beams are fired at the moment of its destruction. Laser Beams have a range of 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere and 40 miles (64 km) in space. X-Ray lasers inflict full damage against laser resistant materials. Because the lasers do not have a large amount of fire control, each laser has no bonuses to strike and each laser strike should be rolled separately. With large volleys of missiles, grouping the rolls may be the only way to speed up strikes but the number of lasers that should be grouped together should be fairly small.
- Tachyon Beam Missile Warheads - These weapons are in many ways similar to the X-Ray laser warheads but are less powerful and far more expensive (around ten times). The weapon is powered by a very powerful fusion explosion. The explosion powers a series of Tachyon Beam Generators that fire toward the target. The missile fires a total of eight beams and each beam is less powerful than the X-Ray laser beams. While the beams have no bonuses to hit other than those from the starship size chart, there are a fairly large number of beams and because of the beams allows the missile to standoff the target. The missile also has on other advantage, when the missile goes dead, it retains half the normal bonuses and minuses to strike. This warhead is too big to be carried on a missile smaller than a Cruise Missile but is small enough to be carries on FTL Capable Cruise Missiles.
There are far fewer militaries with Tachyon Beam technology than even with X-Ray laser warheads. The Consortium and Trans-Galactic Empire are the two main ones and the technology is only recently developed. The Human Alliance and the Free Worlds Council both do not have the technology.
|Fusion warhead (Direct Blast)||1D6x100||80 ft (24.4 m)||45|
| Tachyon Beams (8 Beams)||1D4x100 Each||N.A.|
 When the warhead detonates, eight Tachyon Beams are fired at the moment of its destruction. Tachyon Beams have a range of 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere and 40 miles (64 km) in space. Because the Tachyon Beams do not have a large amount of fire control, each beam has no bonuses to strike and each beam strike should be rolled separately. With large volleys of missiles, grouping the rolls may be the only way to speed up strikes but the number of lasers that should be grouped together should be fairly small. Tachyon Beam Cruise missiles are available on FTL capable missiles
Special missiles of various sizes with no warhead but have special equipment to emulate engine and sensor signature of various starships, starfighters, missiles, and even power armors in some cases. Can emulate CG Drive Engines and most other Three Galaxies Star Ship Engines. Decoys are not constructed any smaller than medium range missiles.
In normal use, sensor operators must roll against the decoy with a -40% or be unsure if the decoy is a real target or not unless there is something that reveals that the missile is not the true target. There are sometimes small signature anomalies which allows a sensor operator to tell the difference between an actual target and a decoy. As well, sensor operators must roll for every decoy which is deployed, it is not one roll and they know all the decoys are fake. If the true targets and decoys are made to cross paths, the sensor operator must roll again to see if they detect which target is the decoy and which one is the ship.
If the sensor operator is unable to tell that the decoy is not the real target, the way to calculate if a decoy or an actual target is calculated is relatively simple. Assuming that the targets are in relatively close proximity, add the number of decoy missiles to the number of actual targets. Then roll randomly which is hit. Some tactics can potentially modify this.
In addition to being able to be used to confuse targeting, decoy missiles can be used to make it look like there are more "ships" in a fleet than there actually are. As well, they can be used to confuse the course of a "ship" so that an enemy will maneuver in the wrong direction.
Finally, there is a version of the decoy missile available in cruise missile class only. The missile is designed to act as decoy to protect other missiles. When the volley of missiles which the decoy missile is with, it splits into four smaller decoys each emulating a cruise missiles.
Decoy missiles have the same duration as standard missiles before drives run out. Even when the missile drives run out of power, the missiles will continue to travel on a ballistic course. Decoys are available as Cruise FTL capable missiles.
- Medium Range Missile Decoys - These can emulate various ship sizes from cruise missile / power armor to a medium fighter sized ship.
Long Range Missile Decoys can emulate various ship sizes from cruise missile / power armor to a destroyer sized ship.
- Cruise Missile Decoys - These can emulate various ship sizes from fighter to battleship size. Ships larger than Battleships cannot use standard missile decoys. There is a special version of the cruise missile which carries four decoy warheads which is primarily designed to emulate cruise missiles.
Self Destruct Package inflicts 1D6x10 MDC on medium range missiles, 2D4x10 MDC on long range missiles, and 2D6x10 MDC on cruise missiles and all sensitive equipment will be destroyed.
Special missiles with jamming equipment replacing the warhead. While the jamming system is on, conventional radar, gravity-wave sensors, and conventional missile guidance systems will not be able to function properly in the area affected. The jamming also effects many communication systems. Sensor systems will have ranges reduced to 25% of normal and have a -40% penalty to all read sensory roll including the chance of detecting any targets in the area (this includes the missile carrying the jamming system) of the jamming. Smart and Brilliant Missiles can be programmed to go after the signature of the Jamming with a weapon systems roll and smart and brilliant missiles have this option automatically available. Rifts Earth Tech level sensors cannot overcome phase world jamming devices.
- Mini-Missiles - The jamming will affect a 300 foot (91.4 meter) diameter area in an atmosphere and 5.7 miles (9.1 km) diameter area in space.
- Short Range Missile - The jamming will affect a 500 foot (152 meter) diameter area in an atmosphere and 9.5 miles (15.2 km) diameter area in space.
- Medium Range Missile - The jamming will affect a 1 mile (1.6 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 100 miles (160 km) diameter area
- Long Range Missile - The jamming will affect a 5 mile (8 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 500 miles (800 km) in space.
- Cruise Missile - The jamming will affect a 10 mile (16 km) diameter area in an atmosphere and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) diameter area in space.
While Jamming missiles have the same duration as a normal missile, they can continue to operate their Jamming systems after the engines have run out fuel and are traveling on a ballistic course. Jamming Warheads are available as Cruise FTL capable missiles.
Self Destruct Package inflicts 2D4 MDC on mini-missiles, 2D6 on short range missiles, 1D6x10 MDC on medium range missiles, 2D4x10 MDC on long range missiles, and 2D6x10 MDC on cruise missiles and all sensitive equipment will be destroyed.
Sensor Probe WarheadEdit
Special Cruise missiles with sensors replacing the warhead. The sensors are equal to those carried on a light star fighter. While Probe missiles have the same duration as a normal cruise missile, they can continue to operate their Probe systems after the engines have run out fuel and are traveling on a ballistic course. The missiles can even be launched with no active power systems and no active emissions. Probe warheads are available on FTL Capable Missiles. There are versions of the missile with stealth systems but in. As long as missile drives are not active, the missiles can generally only be detected at 10% normal RADAR range and 20% normal TADAR range. These missiles cost four times normal.
Self Destruct Package inflicts 2D6x10 MDC and all sensitive equipment will be destroyed.
[ Phase World TM, Nurani TM, K-Hex TM, and Triax TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ] [ Rifts® is a registered trademark owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc.]
By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). Copyright © 1998 to 2001, 2008, & 2010 Kitsune. All rights reserved.
I would like to recognize Chris Curtis and
Mischa Campen for helping with many of the ideas listed here.