Profits and Hazards During Sieges: A Guest Speaks

In another comment to a recent post, Andrew again expands the Traveller envelope!

(Which I just had to again push up to its own post, ’cause good stuff takes priority!)


Here’s some more stuff

DROPPING CRAP ON PEOPLE
In regards to aerial bombing, two good SciFi authors address using unconventional systems in order to bomb their opponents.

In David Drakes’ “Forlorn Hope”, the enemy uses a starship to drop ordinance from just inside atmosphere. The author does an excellent job of dealing with ground-to-air fire. Excellent book for those doing a mercenary ticket, and what happens when your employer screws you, dealing with support (or lack there-of) from local forces, and, well, it’s a Drake book. (Highly recommend his Hammer’s Slammers series, along with the RCN series dealing with Lt. Leary, excellent for mercenary and for small ship conflicts.)

Tom Kratman, in “A Desert called Peace,” deals with using basically soviet cargo aircraft for dropping smart bombs. Drop the bombs high enough and with the proper glide package, they stabilize and hit the target correctly. And using modified cropdusters as inexpensive ground attack craft.

So, what do these have to do with Seige of Allepo? The creative mind can think of some really weird stuff sometimes. The Syrians were using 55 gallon drums filled with mining explosives dropped out of Hind helicopters. No way? Way. Cargo aircraft have been used since, well, there were cargo aircraft for bombing or as gunships.

How does this relate to a Traveller Siege? Well, think of the opportunities. Use an Air-Raft to carry a guided munition or a dumb bomb on a bombing run. Just push it out the back or drop it from a sling. Any star or space ship can be used as a bomber, again, either smart or dumb or, hell, a cargo container of sub-munitions (imagine what a Traveller Cargo Container full of bomblets would do to an area, ouch) or just a whole lot of garbage like bricks and chunks of metal dropped from a sufficient height.

HOW TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF A SIEGE
Being a cold harded bastard, money is the end-all, be-all of many a Traveller player’s life. Trapped in a siege or near a siege doesn’t mean the money can’t flow into the PCs’ pockets. Here’s how.

Air-Raft –
Transport – can be used to sneak stuff into and out of a siege. Stuff equals everything from food to people to money/valuables. Blockade Runner extaordinare. Or get hired by some Non-Government Aide organization to, well, carry stuff legally-ish into and out of the siege. Opportunities for corruption/graft and smuggling will abound. Sometimes just a message will be worth a ton of money.
Combat – Arm the puppy with some mgs or some laser rifles and go do air-to-air against helos and slow movers like armed cropdusters and such. Sure, you’ll die in a real furball with dedicated combat aircraft, but against other converts, like, say a cargo plane dropping bombs, one does have a chance.

Star/Space ship
Just because your ship can go interplanetary or interstellar, doesn’t mean that it can’t operate like the world’s largest air-raft. Hire it out to some NGO for carrying aid into the area. You’ll compete with conventional methods, but think of all the “aid” a Free or Subsidized Merchant can carry at once in comparison to aircraft. Not to mention all the opportunities for smuggling (see quote marks around “aid” above.)

Without a Ship
What, stuck without transport, and an outlander? Hire yourself to one of those NGO’s as security (ex-military) or transport specialist (merchant). Or serve as a medic-for-hire to the local warlords/religious/refugee leaders.

BUT IT’S A SIEGE…
Sieges suck, for the attacker or defender. No-one wins, really. Commerce is destroyed, buildings and infrastructure are destroyed, people are destroyed. Avoid sieges like the plague. Get out if you can. If you can’t, there are always ways to come out ahead, as long as you physically survive. Smart/evil GMs will screw a surviving PC with sanity/mental health checks/issues after a nasty-nasty siege (I have, and I am a bastard GM.)

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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