Vehicle Combat

Vehicles can participate in armed combat as its own entity. Rather than having its own actions an skills, however, a vehicle relies on the performance of its crew. To interact with the combat outside of the vehicle, it has a number of stations that may be manned by the crew: typically a minimum of one handler (“driver” or “pilot”), and a gunner for each onboard weapon. Swapping between stations is a standard action for each character involved, and prevents the station from being used for one turn. Other character may attempt to create advantages for the other characters (for example, filling the commander or spotter roles).

Weapons

Weapons mounted on a vehicle are subject to certain restrictions depending on type of hard point on which they are fixed. They are represented by the following traits:

Turret – The most versatile hard point. There are no restrictions for this weapon.
Coaxial – The weapon is mounted on the main turret, and must attack the same target as the turret. A successful hit from the Coaxial weapon grants a +1 bonus to the turret’s attack.
Pintle – The weapon is mounted on the outer hull. Characters operating this weapon are fully exposed to enemy attacks (but are targeted separately, and may use the vehicle as a cover Aspect).
Sponson – Smaller turrets mounted on the side of the vehicle. No two Sponson weapons on a vehicle may fire at the same target.
Fixed – The weapon fires along the main axis of the vehicle. This is the only weapon that may be fired by the vehicle handler. When not fired by the handler, the handler must make a Machine Handling roll as his Standard Action (defensively, or to overcome terrain), and use 2 shifts from the roll to align the vehicle to enable the weapon to be fired.

Hull and Damage

Vehicles have Hull ratings, representing the sheer size and bulk of the vehicle that helps protect the vehicle from harm. Hull may be used in place of a defense skill to oppose physical attacks, even after the defense roll has been rolled. Hull rating works in addition to any Armor rating the vehicle may have.

Penetration does not reduce Hull, but the Anti-vehicle trait does. The handler may always make a Machinery roll (at half value if a Standard Action was taken) as part of the defensive action, and switch between the result and the Hull rating for each attack.

Maneuverability

A vehicle may have a maneuverability rating, which modifies all of the operator’s Machinery rolls for the vehicle. Additional handling modifiers may be available for terrain the vehicle excels at.

Vehicle Damage

When a vehicle is hit by an attack, the operator sustains mental Stress as damage. When damage exceeds the mental stress track, the vehicle begins to take consequence. Different vehicles may have different consequence grades available. If the vehicle takes damage that cannot be absorbed in this manner, it is Taken Out. This may not necessarily Take Out its operator or its occupants, but will automatically inflict at least one consequence on them.

In addition to the usual Aspect based Consequences, a vehicle may take Critical Damage instead. Several types of Critical Damage are listed below, but the availability depends on the vehicle.

Critical Damage: Motive Drive Damaged
Threshold: 4
Vehicle speed is reduced to 1.

Critical Damage: Primary Weapon Destroyed
Threshold: 4
Vehicle cannot uses its primary weapon (typically on a turret or fixed hard point).

Critical Damage: Secondary Weapon Destroyed
Threshold: 2
Vehicle cannot use a secondary weapon. If the gunner is exposed, they take a consequence.

Movement

On a tactical level, vehicle movement operates the same way as a standard character’s movement. Even though on a straight away, vehicles can quickly outpace personnel, tactical movement is slow because it accounts for obstacles, distractions and acceleration.

As a minor action, the operator may move the vehicle 1 zone. To move more zones, the operator makes a Machinery roll.

Note that Take Cover option is not available to vehicles unless it has the Nimble trait. See Hull Down action below.

Maximum Speed

Vehicles may have a maximum speed specified. It cannot move more than that number of zones each round.

Special Combat Actions

Hull Down – As a standard action, the operator maneuvers the vehicle behind low obstacles so that the majority of its hull is hidden from view and weapons fire, but its weapons still gain line of sight. Treat this as an Active Defense action with the Machinery skill, but is only effective against range attacks from at least 1 zone away. In addition, they may also free-tag any cover Aspects in the current zone (though keep in mind cover adequate for infantry may not be adequate for vehicles). The defense roll remains active until the vehicle moves from this position.

Turret Down – Similar to the Hull Down position, but the operator maneuvers the vehicle almost entirely out of line of sight. This allows the operator to use Machinery to conceal the vehicle from sight, though it does not hide its Auspex signature. Weapons also cannot be use beyond the vehicle’s zone in this position.

Crush Terrain – A heavy vehicle may use 2 shifts of its movement to destroy an Aspect beneath its treads. What Aspects can be crushed depends on the vehicle involved.

Provide Cover – A vehicle is immobile may be tagged as cover aspect by infantry and vehicles up to a comparable size. If a functional vehicle may forfeits its movement and ability to evade attacks to provide cover in this way.

Vehicle Types and Traits

Most ground vehicles fall into three categories: wheeled vehicles, tracked vehicles, and walkers.

Wheeled vehicles are typical fast and agile, perform well on open roads and flat terrain, but quickly lose their edge in rough terrain and around obstacles. Exposed tires are also vulnerable to damage, which can slow or immobilize the vehicle. Wheeled vehicles typically do not have a maximum speed, gain a bonus to Maneuverability, and often have either the Overdrive or Cruising traits.

Tracked vehicles are heavy, rugged vehicles that excel in any terrain. They are slow, but with a competent operator, they can negotiate seemingly impassable obstacles. Tracked vehicles may have traits such as Cruising, Heavy Treads, and Heavy Crush.

Walkers are bipedal or multipedal platforms designed to negotiate the roughest obstacles, although swampy terrain still pose a danger for heavier walkers with their higher ground pressure. All walkers will have the Combat Walker trait, which allows them to ignore terrain aspects that impede movement. Light walkers may have the Nimble trait, allowing them to use cover very effectively. Heavy walkers may have independent weapon servos, allowing their weapon arms to function independently. Each arm attack and be attacked as their own entities, independent of the main walker chassis.

Traits

Nimble: Enables the vehicle to Take Cover as a minor Action
Overdrive: Full Action: Move and defend at Machinery -1
Cruising: Spend a minor action to move two zones
Heavy Treads: Provides 1 extra shift each turn for overcoming difficult terrain
Heavy Crush: Provides 1 extra shift each turn for crushing cover aspects and obstacles

Sample Vehicles

Sentinel Scout Walker

Type: Light Reconnaissance Walker
Crew: 1 Driver
Hull: 0
Armor: 2
Maneuverability: + 1
Consequence: Mild (+ 1), Moderate (+ 3)
Weapons:
Multilaser Suite (Fixed ): + 2 damage, 0 penetration, 2 range, Standard issue
Defoliaging Chainblade (Fixed ): + 1 damage, 0 penetration, melee attack using Machinery, Shredding
Special: Nimble

Chimera Armored Transport

See: Chimera Armored Transport Vehicle

Leman Russ Battle Tank

Type: Heavy Tracked Battle Tank
Crew: 1 Driver, 4 Gunner, 1 Commander, 1 Engineer
Hull: 4
Armor: 6
Maneuverability: + 0
Max Speed: 3
Consequence: Mild (+ 2), Moderate (+ 4), Severe (+ 6)

Weapons:
Battle Cannon (Turret ): + 3 damage, 3 penetration, 3 range, Standard issue
Las Cannon (Fixed ): + 1 damage, 4 penetration, 2 range, Anti-vehicle(4)
2x Heavy Bolter (Sponson ): + 3 damage, 0 penetration, 2 range, Shredding
Heavy Stubber (Pintle ): + 2 damage, 0 penetration, 2 range, Area
Speed: Heavy Treads, Heavy Crush

Vehicle Combat

Fate: Warhammer 40,000 Andante