This article originally appeared in Issue #013, January 2011, of the downloadable PDF magazine.
The grenade has a long history, with the term itself dating to the XVI century (Terran calendar) on Terra—but there are records suggesting that the weapon itself predates the term by about 800 years on Terra alone. As technology progressed, the grenade became more effective, and variations on the theme, involving differences in the “load”, developed for different objectives. In all cases, though, the basic anti-personnel purpose remains. This article gives a brief overview of some available types of grenades and how to apply them in a Traveller game.
(Cpl. Shortstraw says, “Always throw a grenade into the room before you enter it!”)
Concussion (“Flash Bang”)
Wt.: 0.5kg Price: 20Cr TL-5
Burst radius is 5 meters, and all personnel within it that are wearing “soft” armor are stunned for one round and suffer 1D6 temporary reduction to their Dexterity for 2 rounds after that. Combat or Battledress wearers who have open (or no) helmets on are treated as if in “soft” armor. Otherwise hard armor gives 100% protection against the stun effect. The flash causes anyone who fails a saving roll of 10+ on 2D6 to be blinded for 3 rounds, double if they are wearing thermal or IR imaging devices in low light conditions.
Concussion grenades will work in vacuum or trace atmospheres, but only the flash effect will affect personnel. In dense atmosphere (or underwater) the flash effect is the same, but the concussion effect causes 1D6 actual wounds to a random characteristic and the stun lasts for 2 rounds instead of 1.
Wt.: 1.0kg Price: 50Cr. TL-8
Canister grenade consisting of a cylindrical metal shell filled with 30 pressure sensitive bomblets fused to detonate at 50kg+ pressure. Each bomblet has a contact-only penetration of 4 (Striker value) and will disable the personnel who detonated it if in soft armor (or hard armor if the PEN roll causes damage). With Classic Traveller combat rules each bomblet attacks the target who stepped on it as if it were a regular HE hand grenade for 2D6 damage, and the target is disabled.
The bomblets scatter over a 10m radius and all personnel must roll an 8+ on 2D6 to avoid stepping on one when passing through the area. When used within an enclosed area (like a corridor or room) each target within the area is hit on 8+ on 2D6, with 3 chances to hit each person. Each is a separate attack as described above and doing 2D6 damage.
Black-Out Riot Grenade
Wt.: 1.0kg Price: 150Cr. TL-10
Anti-riot gas grenade loaded with a selective nerve agent that directly affects the optic nerves to induce temporary blindness for 1 hour. The burst radius is 10 meters and the gas is non-persistent; typically it is safe to enter the area without protection within 30 minutes of use, or after using copious amounts of water to wash the biodegradable agent away (riot cannon are dandy for this). The gas is effective if inhaled or absorbed through the mucous membranes, so a gas mask is usually sufficient to protect someone from the gas effects, but caution must be used while the gas is active to avoid inadvertent exposure. A common use of Black-Out is in conjunction with anti-hijack systems on many star liners since it has no lasting ill effects and allows the crew to don vacc suits and safely round up exposed troublemakers. It can also be substituted for gas rounds fired from snub pistols.