Variant Power System

by Ken Wheeler


It's obvious that a truck's engine has more stored energy than a motorcycle's, but in game terms they have the same amount - the motorcycle just pays less for a recharge. Also, that recharge costs the same whether it's a full charge or just a "top off." And power-draining equipment like radar and refrigerated trailers cost no power. These new rules, though complicated, give more realistic ranges for electric power plants. Editor's note: These rules are unofficial.

Engine Capacity

Car, truck and helicopter power plants have an energy capacity equal to their spaces times 50; cycle power plants have factors equal to their DP times 25. Thus, a super truck power plant has 800 power units, while a small cycle plant has only 50.

these power units (PU) are consumed at varying rates, given by the formula below:

PU Drained = (Engine Capacity) x (Speed - 10) / 9000

per mile for ground vehicles, or

PU Drained = (Engine Capacity) x (Speed) / 20,000

for helicopters. For speeds over the plant maximum, use the maximum speed, then drain an additional 1 power unit for every full 10 mph above the limit for every second (See Going Faster, DCW, p. 29). For ground vehicles, speeds below 40 mph are treated as 40 mph; for helicopters, speeds below 70 mph are treated as 70. For example, that super-truck power plant (800 power factors), travelling 60 mph, consumed 4.4 PU per mile, while the small cycle plant uses up a mere .28 PU per mile at the same speed. (A quick reference table is included at the end of this article to help you avoid a lot of the math involved.)

Under this system, the maximum range of any power plant remains 200 miles at 55 mph for ground vehicles or 100mph for helicopters (figure it out). The main purpose of these rules is to accurately reflect the energy costs of special weapons and accessories, as follows.

Draining Power

Lasers consume power normally; gauss guns drain 1/2 unit per shot. Constantly running infrared or long-range radar drains 20 units per hour, normal radar drains 10 units per hour, and ATADs and computer gunners require 5 units per hour. Refrigerated trailers or carriers drain 10 units per hour (only if the refrigerator is on, of course). Remote control drains 5 units per hour for the sender, 2 per hour for the receiver, running with headlights on (necessary at night unless the vehicle has infrared - radar won't do) also drains 5 units per hour. Finally, every 10 seconds of combat (firing weapons, accelerating and decelerating, etc.) drains 1 unit. All power costs except this last cost for combat may be drained from a laser battery rather than the power plant; laser batteries have 100 power units.

POWER TABLE

Ground Vehicles

Cars
Power   Total   _______Power Drain per mile at _______   Cost of
Plant   Units     40      55      70      85     100     Charge 
Small    150     0.50    0.75    1.00    1.25    1.50     $30
Medium   200     0.87    1.00    1.33    1.67    2.00     $40
Large    250     0.83    1.25    1.67    2.08    2.50     $50
Super    300     1.00    1.50    2.00    2.50    3.00     $60
T-Cat    400     1.33    2.00    2.67    3.33    4.00     $80
Cycles
Power   Total   _______Power Drain per mile at _______   Cost of
Plant   Units     40      55      70      85     100     Charge 
Small     50     0.17    0.25    0.33    0.42    0.50     $10
Medium    75     0.25    0.37    0.50    0.63    0.75     $15
Large    100     0.33    0.50    0.67    0.83    1.00     $20
Sp Cycle 125     0.42    0.62    0.83    1.04    1.25     $25
Sp Trike 150     0.50    0.75    1.00    1.25    1.50     $30
Trucks
Power   Total   _______Power Drain per mile at _______   Cost of
Plant   Units     40      55      70      85     100     Charge 
Small    400     1.33    2.00    2.67    3.33    4.00     $80
Medium   450     1.50    2.25    3.00    3.75    4.50     $90
Regular  500     1.67    2.50    3.33    4.17    5.00     $100
Large    650     2.17    3.25    4.33    5.42    6.50     $130
Super    800     2.67    4.00    5.33    6.67    8.00     $160

Helicopters

Power   Total   __________Power Drain per mile at __________   Cost of
Plant   Units     70     100     125     150    175     200    Charge 
Mini     400     1.40   2.00    2.50    3.00   3.50    4.00     $80
Small    500     1.75   2.50    3.12    3.75   4.37    5.00     $100
Standard 650     2.27   3.25    4.06    4.87   5.69    6.50     $130
Super    800     2.80   4.00    5.00    6.00   7.00    8.00     $160

HTMLized by Tim C Morrison and Odette Mintrom, tcmom@c130.aone.net.au