Vehicle Mounted Heavy Flame Throwers
By Adrian Johnson and Tom Barclay
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These weapons are designed primarily for deforestation, firing buildings and other built-up structures, and for attacking infantry formations. They have little effect on vehicles, which are largely immune to their effects. The only exceptions to this are open topped, light vehicles, bikes, and the vehicle mounting the flame thrower if the weapon is involved in a secondary explosion caused by non-penetrating hits.
Heavy Vehicle Mounted Flame Throwers ("HVMFT") have limited range, and can only fire at targets within the vehicle's close range band (up to 12"). They attack infantry formations as per a normal vehicle heavy weapon (quality die, FC die). Any hits to the unit are resolved with a d10 impact. The main effect of the weapon is it's dramatic influence on a target unit's morale. The target unit struck by a Heavy Flame Thrower must take a confidence test with a TL of +2, and an additional penalty of +1 per casualty suffered by the attack. This confidence test is required even if the target unit suffers no hits. These weapons are designed to terrorize, and if the unit fails the confidence test, its morale level drops by 2 levels for a simple failure, and 3 levels for a serious failure (when the dice result is less than half the target number). This could be catastrophic for even experienced and highly motivated troops, but that is appropriate after coming under fire from this type of weapon.
We suggest that for vehicle construction purposes, the weapon be considered a size class 1 weapon for vehicular mounting.
When carried by a Combat Walker or mounted on an unarmoured vehicle, these weapons are subject to the Exposed Weapons on Walkers rule. Also, any internal (penetrating) hit to a vehicle with a HVMFT has a 3 in 6 chance (50%) of exploding the fuel tank - flampanzers are great, but if they do get holed, it tends to go very badly for their crew - and if the explosion occurs, treat the vehicle as destroyed including for resolution of crew bail-out as if by a class 2 weapon.
Vehicle Mounted Flame Throwers can not immediately harm targets with more than armour class 2 (this equates with a sealed environment - unless some particular situation/design dictates otherwise). They attack soft skinned and unarmoured vehicles as small arms would.
A vehicle hit by a flame HVMFT that suffers a penetrating hit is automatically on fire (after resolving the attack using the small arms vs. armour rules). This happens because while the outside is fireproof, the interior is not. A vehicle that suffers a non-penetrating hit is on fire if the sum of the flamethrower FP and FC dice exceeded the defense die. (No extra roll required).
If a target vehicle has fire suppression systems, the fire affects it once only, on the turn it was hit. At the beginning of the following turn, the fire is out. A vehicle without fire suppression systems which catches on fire burns each turn. At the beginning of the turn, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, the fire goes out. If not, the vehicle suffers a d10 impact hit vs. its standard armour rating. With a fire suppression system, this is a menace. Otherwise, it is a devastating weapon. Most military vehicles built to first line standards will have a fire suppression system. Poorer constructs and many civilian vehicles or paramilitary vehicles will not have such a system.
If a target is penetrated (and thereby disabled or destroyed) by a Heavy Flame Thrower (either from the initial attack or subsequent burning), then all crew escape numbers are treated as if a class 2 weapon had hit the target. In this case, a "disabled" result means that 2+ is needed for crew to escape (get out before the flames cook off the stored fuel!). A "destroyed" result means that a 4+ is needed to escape. The only exception to this is if one FT vehicle hit another and destroyed or disabled it. In that instance, the numbers are doubled again for crew escape (to beating a 4 for disability and an 8 for destruction).
The "on fire" rule should serve to allow vehicles to drive around flaming. Flaming vehicles can be marked with "fire" counters - I believe that the Stargrunt II counter sheet comes with flame/fire markers. The Referee (or players if no referee) should decide whether such flaming vehicles set bushes and other flammable terrain they pass through on fire.
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