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Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.
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Old 08 May 2008, 18:39   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

I have spotted a rather large problem with the Missile Pod; lack of ammunition!

My recent scribblings had me working a Deathrain Battlesuit into the conflict, yet I realised that such a battlesuit would have just six shots before running dry!

Now, I began musing on the issue, and came up with two probable answers to this. However, both have flaws...

Solution #1: Micro-Missiles
The first answer is that the Tau Missile Pod actually contains multiple missiles, all stacked up behind one another. So, each missile port might stock 3-4 missiles as opposed to just one.
Aside from the obvious problems caused by a jam, this has the issue that the only exhaust ports and/or case-ejection system is toward the back of the pod. In other words, the missile at the front would be belching fire into the warhead of the one behind!

Solution #2: Internal Loading
The Missiles are brought up via an internal magazine, and slid into the firing port by mechanics hidden within the pod and Battlesuit. This has the obvious flaw that any system designed to shunt missiles through a very narrow and rotatable joint is going to be prone to jamming... and getting your gears chewing an explosive warhead is a very bad thing!


So, with neither solution particularly desirable, what role can the Missile Pod possibly fill? Well, I think it fills a role that the ruleset does not cover; heavy tank-hunting. The "Assault 2" stat of the Missile Pod could reflect not a barrage of missiles, but one powerful missile that can kill multiple enemies. Sort of a "Not-quite-Blast" weapon. Needing regular reloading, a Deathrain is likely to be kept well back, thumping out missiles one at a time in a manner similar to the Skyray.

Battlesuits that sport the Missile Pod as a secondary weapon no doubt do so when expecting heavy opposition that cannot be taken down by conventional weapons (Plasma, Burst Cannon), nor can a close-assault with Fusion Blaster be risked.

Anyway, a rather random rambling, but what are your thoughts on this perplexing little weapon?
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Old 08 May 2008, 18:49   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

Picture using a similar principle to how a railgun fires its rounds being used to launch one of your theorized micro missiles and the problem of jamming or accidental warhead explosion is eliminated all together.

That'd be my thought on a solution.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:03   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

I've seen a massive discussion on the workings of this somewhere, maybe ATT. Doombringer will be able to shed some light I believe.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:16   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

Remember that the models we see are designed to be interchangeable and easy to configure to what we want, they don't necessarily have to work, tau in fluff could have a seperate suit for each configuration, I don't imagine the tau unclicking a weapon and clicking a new one in a few minutes, each weapon should be grafted to the arms, pretty much like the forge world suits actually..
But otherwise I see one missile on the pod splitting into seperate missiles, which is what.. six rounds in total :P

And are the shoulder mounts meant to be rotatable? Unless you snip off the bit which hold it in place its forward firing, which would let the internal loading work. especially if you lose the narrow gap and graft them to the shoulders.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:34   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

How about MIRV style warheads?
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:39   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

Seeing as i always mount the missiles on the arms of my suits, i imagine that there is a sort of "Ammo crate" in the lower arm, the missile would be fed up in the same sort of way as bullets into a machine gun. The elbow joint would be all the aiming movment needed for the suit.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:51   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

What about dual missiles in each 'slot', and each of those is roughly half the length of the 'slot'. The cases would probably use a soft launch system, similar to the Javelin missile. Upon firing the case (either spring loaded, for simplicity, or with low explosive bolts) would split apart, freeing the missiles. At this point the engines on the missiles would ignite, and the active seeker mechanism would come online. Each missile would use either vectored thrust or small guidance fins to provide some semblance of manoeuverability.

I'm not sure how small these mini-missiles could be, but given the Tau's ability to miniaturise most technology, I'd say they could be quite small, allowing for a total of between 12-24 mini-missiles per missile pod.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:53   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

It was mentioned somewhere that the missile ends on the model was simply a cover, containing around about 6 micro missiles per slot - giving you 18 missiles per pod. More than enough for an extended engagement.
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Old 08 May 2008, 19:59   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

Aside from that, you could have four missiles that are deployed as they are shot from the pod. After they are deployed they fire as normal missiles. Four missiles each basically a crushed soda can in a tube; good for quick reloading.
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Old 08 May 2008, 20:20   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Missile Pod - thoughts on design and application.

I find the idea that something Tau made would jam very unlikely
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