The Adams' Rod is a cylinder of solid high-strength steel, which is honed to a point at the front end. That point has deep radial grooves that run in a spiral pattern. The overall effect is that air passing through the spiral grooves causes the rod to spin, resulting in a straighter flight path and longer range, and that plus the superior quality of the steel and point give an increase to the penetration of the weapon.
Upgrading a normal Rod Gun to an Adams' Gun takes virtually no work at all, but the Adams' Rods are fairly expensive, so a Rod gun equipped with Adams' Rods is assumed to cost 2000 pounds instead of 800.
Thanks to the positive relationship Between the USA and the Tossian Empire, many of these items have found their way into Tossian service; in fact, the Tossian Empire is Dr. Adams' chief customer. However, a few other city-states have purchased them as well, mostly in the Mare Acidalium and Bosporos regions. Thanks to a few corrupt Tossian officials, however, some of these shells have been re-sold to other Martian states, and some might find their way into the hands of the Oenotrians, though these will be rare.
Here are the stats for the Dr. Adams' Rod Gun:
The Martian Lob Gun uses as ammunition large boulders with bands of iron strapped around them. They are very heavy and when striking a vessel they can destabilize it, causing a loss of trim. However, the stone shell tends to fragment easily and does not do too much actual damage to the ship compared to it's size and weight.
The first and most obvious thing to do occurred to Dr. Adams almost immediately, which is to make lead shot for the Lob gun. While metals are rare on Mars, and Martian mettalurgists might not be up to the task of forging a four-foot wide lead ball, the foundries of Earth are more than capable of the task. lead shot improves both the damage rating and penetration of a Lob gun, though the heavier ammo makes loading the weapon take longer.
The second step was to create an exploding cannonball for the Lob Gun. This task, while more difficult, inevitably met with success, and so exploding shot is available for Lob Guns as well. Again, the weight and ginger care necessary with these shots makes the reloading time higher than a regular Lob Gun.
While these weapon modifications have become popular among some Martian naval circles, the exploding shot Lob Gun has become of particular value as an artillery bombardment and siege weapon.
Converting a normal Lob Gun to fire these types of ammo takes very little work, but the high price tag of the ammo (especially as compared to rocks) means that a Lob Gun equipped with these types of ammo will be considered more expensive.
While Dr Adams' company, Adams Metals, has sold a fair quantity of these items to the Tossian Empire, other companies have imitated this work and are selling them in many places on Mars. Dr. Adams can do little about it since one can hardly patent a lead ball, or a spherical bomb. However, Dr. Adams' company does have a good reputation for high quality which many other firms do not.
Below are some Stats for improved Lob Guns.
|Lob Gun - Lead Shot||Lob Gun - Exploding Shot|
|Weight||200 Tons||Weight||200 Tons|
|Damage Value||6+T||Damage Value||8+T|
Though Dr. Adams did not invent the Carronade, after looking at Martian ship designs he quickly realized the potential of this type of weapon. Ideal for fast-moving ships, the Carronade weighs much less than a conventional cannon of the same caliber, and if a vessel can get close enough its carronades can do a terrific amount of damage.
Making a Carronade takes a degree of greater precision in production than a conventional smoothbore cannon, since the windage (the gap between the shot and the barrel) is much smaller in a carronade. Martian metallurgists were not up to the task, but with the application of Dr. Adams' know-how a carronade foundry was built in Thymiamata.
Dr. Adams originally began producing his carronades in 42-pounder and 24-pounder sizes, so that conventional Rogue and Heavy cannon shot could be used in them. As old earth 68-pounder guns began finding their way to Mars, he decided to build this type of weapon as well, and then he began production of the smaller 12-pounders as well. Stats for these weapons are below.
|68-pdr Carronade||42-pdr Carronade|
|Weight||40 Tons||Weight||30 Tons|
|Damage Value||3||Damage Value||3|
|24-pdr Carronade||12-pdr Carronade|
|Weight||20 Tons||Weight||10 Tons|
|Damage Value||2||Damage Value||1|
There is really no market on Earth for Carronades anymore, but were one to purchase a carronade on Earth the cost would be roughly two thirds the prices listed here, which are for Mars.
The primary value of a Sand Dropper is to douse fires. Any time a Sand Dropper drops sand on a burning ship, roll a D6 and subtract an amount equal to the difference in altitude between the Sand Dropper and the burning ship. The result is the amount of fire points that are extinguished by the Sand Dropper. This type of damage is recorded as "W" on the weapon lists.
Sand Droppers can also be used as a crude antipersonnel weapon as well, since the sand and dust tends to choke and blind crewmen, having a stunning effect. The rating of fire that is extinguished is also the amount of crew hits generated by the Sand Dropper, unless the crew has stood back from fighting the fire altogether (if the target ship is not on fire, then the crew takes full damage since this is a deliberate attack).
However, these crew hits are only temporary; at the start of each turn the owning player may make a saving roll for each of his affected crewmen; this attempt is the same as the roll to unjam a gun. Crew that have been disabled by a Sand Dropper recover on that turn if the roll is made. Should the roll fail, then they will be out of action until a turn occurs where the roll is successfully made.
Here are the Stats for Sand Droppers:
The Four-Pounder's damage rating of 1/2 means that aginst ordianry ships the shot is too small to do damage all the time; after a successful hit is rolled, another roll must be made on a D6; four or higher means a single damage point has been scored, while less than four means that no damage has been scored. However, against zeppelins the damage rating for this weapon is equal to one.
In Martian service, the use of solid shot in a four-pounder (which they refer to as a Sweeper) has never caught on, and instead they almost universally use grapeshot. However, due to the small bore size of the gun, the use of grapeshot makes the gun perform like an antipersonnel gun. The use of a sweeper in such a way is well covered by the rules.
However, should a person wish to use the Sweepers on his or her ships with solid shot, the below stats apply:
While this may not seem like a lot, nevertheless Fire Damage can be very dangerous to a wooden vessel, and the use of this weapon can be very decisive against such vessels. It is only rarely found on ships designed to capture ships, such as those equipped with large Marine compliments or rams, or vessels used as Privateers or Pirates, since fire tends to destroy or damage a ship without necessarily making it easier to capture.
Here are the stats for the Liquid Fire Cannon:
Martians never bothered developing such a weapon, because while water does extinguish normal fires it does not extinguish Liquid Fire. The W damage value for a water cannon can only extinguish fires started by conventional damage (unlike the Sand Dropper). When used against Liquid Fire damage, the Water Cannon can never:
Here are the stats for the Water Cannon:
Placing a Hale Rocket battery in a lateral mount is quite simple. In this case, the Battery retains all the stats that it normally has when used in a vertical mount. However, in this case the battery is mounted in a conventional gun mount, and appears on the ship's deck plan as using up a gun space. Hale Rocket batteries mounted laterally count as guns and are treated as such for the purpose of gun and magazine hits, though no gun crew are assigned to man a lateral battery. Like a normal Hale Rocket battery, once the weapon has been used it can not be re-used again during the same battle.
Lateral batteries can never fire into more than one firing aspect.
Stellasborg's first design in 1888 was built for the .50-calibre Gatling Gun, and allowed a gunner operating the crank to use the same action to operate both guns simultaneously. The two guns are aimed together at the same target and fire simultaneously. He shortly follwed up with a design for the 1" Gatling gun. In mid-1889 Stellasborg developed a similar mounting that could be used with the more modern Maxim gun, and is reputed to be working on a design that uses twin 1-pounder Hotchkiss Rotating Cannons.
The weakness of the design is that should one of the two guns jam the whole apparatus is rendered inoperable until the jam is cleared. When firing the weapon, the rolls for both guns are made together, and should a jam result then one of the two guns has jammed and must be cleared. Should two jams be rolled then both guns are jammed, and the gunner must make two separate successful unjam attempts for the gun to work again.
Note that for a Maxim Gun, two 1's must be rolled for one gun to jam, so four 1's must be rolled for both barrels to be jammed. Note also that the dual HRC has a low/high rate of fire, and in the dual mount is subject to normal jamming rules as with gatling guns.
|Dual Mount .50-cal Gatling||Dual Mount Maxim|
|Weight||5 Tons||Weight||5 Tons|
|Damage Value||P||Damage Value||P|
|Dual Mount 1" Gatling||Dual Mount 1-pounder HRC|
|Weight||8 Tons||Weight||15 Tons|
|Damage Value||1||Damage Value||1|
Similar in use to Hale Rockets, Screamers are less accurate and efficient and as a result a larger battery is required to have a similar effect. Likewise, the Screamer rocket design is heavier and larger, and does not have quite the same level of power, so the range of the screamer rocket is less than that of a Hale rocket.
Screamer rockets work using the same rules as Hale Rockets, but when rolling to hit, roll 1D6 and subtract 1 to see how many rockets strike their target. Likewise they have a maximum range of three hexes/altitude levels instead of four.
Perhaps the most significant difference in performance is the tendency for these rockets to misfire. Whenever a screamer battery is fired, if a "1" is rolled then this counts as if the Screamer battery in question has been struck by a magazine hit. Roll a D6 again to determine how many hits are scored against the firing ship, and do not subtract one this time. Though the rocket battery in question does not have a crewman assigned to it, a deckhand must be present to fire the weapon; this deckhand is killed during a misfire as well.
Legend has it that when the aerial fleet of Seldon the Great attacked the city of Korsoon, the Mighty armada was driven off through the use of these weapons. This did not save the city, since Seldon's land forces and canal boats laid siege to the city and took it after about four months, but the battle of Korsoon is legendary for this purpose. Supposedly after capturing the city Seldon gave great honour to the craftsmen who built the rockets, even though his advisors counselled him to put them to death. They joined his forces and produced rockets for the Empire after that.
Likewise, for misfires Fire damage is scored against the firing ship instead of hull damage. If some other critical damage is rolled, count the rockets as if they had a damage value of 1.
Otherwise the Fire Blossom rocket follows all the same rules as the Screamer rocket.
by Bret Foland and Lester W. Smith
Copyright ©1990, Challenge
Before the arrival of the humans on Mars, Martian culture had reached a point of stagnation in which innovation had nearly died out. In the years before the onset of this stagnation, Martian engineers developed a number of interesting and innovative weapons, which have never entered common usage for one reason or another. One of these items is listed below.
This means of loading raises the gun's rate of fire somewhat, although three gunners are required to crew the weapon. The canister must be loaded with powder and shot in conventional fashion, but a number can be prepared ahead of time, at leisure, ensuring a better measured charge than is possible in the heat of battle. The increased rate of fire is achieved at a loss of range, however, because the seal at the breach is usually poor (due to corrosive effects of Martian gunpowder), and considerable pressure is lost, with consequent reduction in range. Despite this, Thunderbolts are still popular with some captains.
However, because the rules give the torpedoes themselves no weight, and instead allow a limited number of torpedoes based on hull size, the launchers themselves are quite heavy and make it nearly impossible for small "Torpedo Boats" to be built. Instead, the Smuts Discharger is a weapon which is best suited to larger vesels, which are precisely the sort that don't need them.
These rules allow the weight for the Smuts torpedoes to be calculated separately, which allows more options for the shp designer, and enables smaller, fast torpedo boats to be built. The stats for the Triumph (the only vessel from Sky Galleons of Mars canon to be built with such a weapon) are unaffected.
Note that each torpedo still requires an "interior" space for storage, in addition to it's weight. A vessel has as many interior spaces as it's Hull Size.
|Smuts Discharger||Smuts Discharger - Advanced|
|Weight||150 Tons||Weight||40 Tons|
|Damage Value||-||Damage Value||-|
This Aerial Torpedo is simpler in design than Smuts' and has no trailing grapnels or other folderol; it is just a simple and straightforward torpedo that happens to fly through the air.
Of course, without all those cables, the Männlicher Torpedo has a reduced chance (-1) to hit an opponent, though it always hits on a 6. Likewise it cannot hit a target at a different altitude level than it.
Two types of Launchers are available for the Männlicher Torpedo. The Basic Launcher weighs only 5 tons, and uses vented steam from the ship's boiler to launch the Torpedo. The problem with this is that in a turn that the Torpedo is to be fired, the tube must be primed with steam pressure from the boiler, reducing the efficiency of it. In a turn that a Basic Launcher is to be used, the ship's boiler is considered to be one size level less, even if the launcher is not actually fired that turn. The effects on the vessel's speed are recalculated, rounding down. Several launchers may be present on such a vessel, but the boiler effect is cumulative, and a ship's effective boiler size may never be reduced below zero.
The Advanced Launcher weighs 20 tons and contains it's own small boiler which it can use to power itself, so that the reduction of power from the ship's main boiler is not necessary. However, the secondary boiler is not kept running at all times, so when a vessel clears for action (i.e. at the beginning of an encounter or scenario), the steam must be brought up. Each turn the player makes a roll; if a 6 (or a 5 or 6 if the crew is Crack) is rolled, the Advanced Launcher is ready. It can be fired in the manner of a Basic Launcher if it has not raised steam yet.
In addition, the Advanced Launcher may be built into a turret, allowing the torpedo to be fired in other than a fixed direction. This system is quite heavy, however, and the weight of a launcher in a swivel mount is 50 tons. This mount comes with it's own crew.
Interior spaces are used to hold Männlicher torpedoes, but the Launchers themselves may each store a single torpedo as well.