by Joseph Benedetto, Jr.
HTML'ized by David Little
One of the problems the Warriors of Krell face is a shortage of heavy weapons. They do have some captured Morrow Project weapons, but the majority of these are low on ammunition, and supplies are not as plentiful as Krell would like, one of the big reasons Krell's forces are striking out to locate and capture MP caches, bases, and boltholes in a search for more supplies. Right after The War, Krell captured a number of National Guard Armories and US Army Reserve Centers and Supply Depots. This was often easier than it sounds, as many such installations were understrength during the chaos following The End of the World. Thus, Krell's forces obtained large stocks of rifles and small arms, along with a good supply of "obsolete" and "Removed from Service" weapons, such as recoilless rifles and bazookas. With these weapons, Krell led his campaign against the Morrow Project; they supplied his army until several MP caches and bases fell into Krell hands. A number of these weapons are still around; the present push by Krell's forces has led to some heavy fighting, particularly between his advance patrols and a few, scattered Morrow Project teams (see Project File R-003, Operation Lucifer, for more details). Although most of the Krell small arms are common and have been described in the MPGB or the modules, the non-MP heavy weapons have not been covered; the following charts show the stats of several typical Krell weapons, and their current disposition.
KRELL HEAVY WEAPONS
Introduced in 1950, the M20 Bazooka was eventually replaced by the M72A2 LAW rocket. The M20 fires an 88.9mm rocket projectile with a shaped-charge warhead, and has a highly prominent and very visible backblast (over 30m), and cannot be fired from enclosed areas. About effective as the M72A2 LAW, the M20 has a somewhat shorter range, but can also engage targets at much shorter ranges than the LAW can; the LAW cannot engage targets closer than 50m, while the bazooka can fire at ranges as short as 5m. NOTE: due to the age of the equipment, there is a flat 10% chance that a round will not launch when fired. In Krell service, one man carries the bazooka and one round of ammo, and a second man (the loader) carries another 6 rounds of ammo, and loads the weapon in combat.
M20 BAZOOKA AMMUNITION 88.9mm M28A2 HEAT
Armor Piercing round; impact scatters fragments (E-factor 4) across the burst radius.
88.9mm M30 WP (White Phosphorus)
The bazooka is usually assigned to a 6 man team: Gunner, Loader, and 4 infantrymen to provide covering fire. Bazooka teams are found in, or just behind, the vanguard of the Krell Army.
M18 57mm RECOILESS RIFLE
This Recoilless Rifle (RR) can be fired from the shoulder, bazooka style, or its built-in tripod can be set up for firing on the ground. The weapon is recoilless, and has an excessive backblast--50m long and 25m wide--which prevents it from being fired in an enclosed area. The weapon can fire any one of 4 types of ammunition: HE, HP, AT, WP, and CANNISTER. The 57mm RR is usually assigned to a 6 man team: Gunner, Loader, and four infantrymen for cover, the loader usually carries a box containing 2 cases (8 rounds) of mixed types; often the emphasis is on the T25E5 Canister (shotgun) round. The 57mm RR is the most common heavy weapon found in the Krell advance forces, followed by the bazooka. The larger 106mm RR is not usually seen except on special occasions.
M18 57mm RECOILESS RIFLE AMMUNITION
57mm M306AI HE (High Explosive Warhead)
57mm M307AI HEAT (High Explosive, Anti-Tank)
57mm M308Al WP (White Phosphorus)
57mm T25E5 CANNISTER ("shotgun" round)
Because of the wide variety of ammo available, and the fact that one man can transport it, the 57mm RR is one of the favored Infantry Heavy Weapons of the Krell forces. However, due to the smaller, spin-stabilized HEAT round, the 57mm RR is not as effective an anti-tank weapon as the M20 bazooka, which often follows the M18 teams into combat as backup fire.
M4OA2 106mm RECOILESS RIFLE
This was the heavy anti-tank weapon of the US forces until replaced by the TOW missile system. Due to the size and weight of the weapon, it is usually mounted on a jeep or other vehicle to provide mobility under fire. A number of these weapons in Krell service have been equipped with an AC-20 splinter shield to protect the crew when under fire. The weapon is quite effective, and is occasionally used as an artillery piece in the field; it fires three types of ammo: HEAT, HEP, or APERS. Because of the size, and the effectiveness of the weapon, the majority of these have been installed in ground defenses around the captured Morrow Project base where Krell habitually goes into hibernation. The remainder of these weapons are mobile, but are held in reserve until definitely needed.
M4OA2 RECOILESS RIFLE AMMUNITION
106mm M344AI HEAT
106mm M346A I HEP
Although an effective round, the HEP round must hit exposed armor plate to inflict damage. Hitting spaced armor, or hitting objects on the hull (racks, cargo, etc.) will detonate the round without causing any internal damage.
106mm XM581 APERS (Antipersonnel)
This is a "beehive" round, packed with flechettes (giant needles). Targets caught within the blast radius of the round must roll for 1d100 hits (use the whole body damage tables for the death %). The APR round is accurate out to over 3 kilometers, and can literally shred personnel in the open. Against targets wearing body armor (i.e., MP teams), take 10% of the individual's hits as having hit exposed flesh-head, hands, etc. Note that the flechettes will not penetrate the MP issue Resistweave coveralls, but will end up stuck in the weave. (In other words, MP players will end up looking like porcupines.) This round is a favorite of the Krell gunners. The 106's are never encountered in the forward part of the army, but are held in reserve. Except when dealing with known MP units or other troubles, 106's in the field have relatively little ammunition handy. (This is not the case back at the Krell base, however).
KRELL 20mm ANTI-TANK RIFLE
Although Krell has captured a large number of MP caches and boltholes, most MP vehicles were incapacitated or destroyed: the number of 20mm rounds taken far exceeds the number of 20mm autocannons available. For this reason, Krell has equipped his forces with a modern version of the old, WWII 20mm AT rifle. This Krell weapon is semiautomatic, and can be carried and used by one man. For this reason, 20mm AT rifles make up a large portion of the Krell Army, providing heavy individual of firepower against a wide variety targets. Indeed, the weapon is occasionally used like a regular rifle against exposed personnel. A number of these guns have been mounted on light vehicles and provided with 25 rd magazines.
KRELL 20mm A AMMUNITION (CAPTURED MP ISSUE) 20mm M56AI HEI
20mm T22IE3 API
The API round does not contain any explosives; it is a solid slug of hardened steel. Note that both rounds have a Tracer base, and will set fire to any combustible objects they hit.
These weapons represent the typical, non MP firepower that Krell possesses. However, with the exception of the 20mm AT rifles, these weapons do not have a large amount of ammunition available; Krell forces will try not to waste any of it. Also, the weapons themselves are not too common: the larger the caliber, the less chance there is of encountering it in the field. Interspersed with the older weapons are the more modern weapons of the US Army, and captured MP weapons and gear. Remember that there just is not enough of it to go around in strength yet, so Krell's army is underpowered. However, Quantity, not Quality, is still often the deciding factor in combat; the massed, human-waves attacks can overrun a well-armed MP team. After all, 100 men with rifles and clubs can overwhelm a 5 man team, despite high-tech gear, showy firepower and cocksuredness. So, the Krell forces are still very deadly; underestimating them can be a fatal mistake, as many teams already know.