Russian Federation.
T3-81 ("Tank Winter").
Russian Federation.
US Militry Intelligence got the first hints of this tank around 2004; The intelligence community was confused about the vehicle; "Why would the Russians be developing a tank with wheels?" The matter remained unresolved until 2 years later, when the Russians,
A T3-81 "Winter Tank."
A Ski Torpedo, Originally Developed For the Winter Tank; Not seen used very by many groups since then, but those who do use it are fanatical.
via Argentine clients, made a very bold play to seize Antarctica's oil by taking control of a British scientific outpost and send a massive militry force to make a landing; The convoy was intercepted by Commander Amanda GARRETT aboard the guided missile destroyer USS CUNNINGHAM, sinking almost the entire fleet. In the aftermath, the "wheeled tank" came into clarity. The wheels allowed road access, but the skis were to allow the vehicle to move over snow. The wheels gave traction to move forward by.
The main weapon was a particle beam cannon, at the time an experimental weapon unsuitable to general militry use due to the high heat generated; In Antarctica, normal types of guns would have been useless, due to the extreme cold contracting the metal parts around each other, jamming them, but the particle beam cannon would have been ideal, since it operates primarily with electricity, and had no solid physical projectile.
The Winter Tank's main powerplant was a nearly unprecedented (in a tank of this class) 500 cubic inch jet engine; If the tank had been developed a few years later, it probably would have been powered by a nuclear power plant. Later variants are powered by a true nuclear powerplant, making these the only ones so built.
Fuel Economy.
Normally, a bigger engine, a heavier vehicle, and a higher speed causes fuel economy to lower, and in the road configuration this is still true, but on snow and ice the Winter Tank actually got about 100% better fuel economy than its various counterparts; In fact, it's miles (3) to the gallon, rather than gallons to the mile (around 5 in the Winter Tanks class, as much as 100 in heavy MBT's such as the Abrams).
Modern Winter Tanks use a true nuclear powerplant, although a very small one with extremely limited chances of accident or of penetration.
Motive Systems.
The Winter Tank uses a most unusual and sophisticated motive system; A quartet of skis help to spread the tank's weight out of the snow (along with the underside of the hull, though to a lesser extent), while the 8 wheels grabbed on the snow, dragging the tank along. Because the Winter Tank "floated" on snow, it could move VERY quickly, up to 250 mph on straight level terrain.
When the tank's blueprints were confiscated as reparations for the Antarctica misadventure, the skis were lengthened to turn them into 2 skis, reducing the footprint even further, but without reducing the effective speed.
The International Community extended the skis to be a pair of full-length units, reducing the footprint a further 8% while raising it 1/122%.
The primary intended motive system was the skies, in so far as the tank was intended for use on snow and ice. At just over half the length of the tank and just under 1/4 the width (combined), they widened the footprint of the tank by 38%, making them suitable in all but the softest of snow. Operations on ice were a little more chancy, but generally if a human can skate on the ice, the tanks can operate on it.
Road Wheels.
The skies reduce the effective weight, but did not provide momentum; The was the job of the 8 road wheels, which would pull the tank along giving it up to 200 mph capability in ideal conditions, and at bare minimum 40 mph under all but the most extreme conditions (bringing the tanks to the edge of their operational limit). In addition, detachable rubber treads could be installed to give the tank additional traction if needed.
The underside of the hull was designed like a wide-bottom boat, to increase the effect of the skies in weight distribution; The use of a slightly sharp bow allowed it to glide over snow a lot easier.
The tanks can NOT float on water as-is, they're simply too heavy. Based on their weight, they'd have to be a little over 4 times their current size (or on water with a salinity 5 times ocean water) to safely float.
Anti-Gravity Pods.
After the Rain Of Death, the Russians worked very quickly to secure T'sentraedi Mecha and equipment; Several hundred unarmed and unarmored hover pods were scavenged, and many of these were stripped for their anti-gravity pods. The entire remaining Winter Tank fleet was retrofitted with 2 of these pods to give them limited flight abilities, though these proved better at getting the tanks out of bad situations than in getting them through tough ones.
The winter Tank was painfully short on electronics, consisting only of standard radios and civilian grade radar; The radio gave approximately 500 mile range and auto encryption, but did not allow multiple crew members to be on the same circuit. The radar had a 200 miles range and 250 target track, and did not have blue force tracing capabilities.
The reason for this was secrecy; By using civilian grade radar, the development of the tanks was far more easily hidden. The radios used were taken from pre-existing stocks of infantry radios that were slated for recycling; On paper, they were in fact recycled
Many years later (after the Rain Of Death, in fact), most were upgraded to include thermographic and night vision equipment, and in fact mounting were pre-built to allow this, since the need for secrecy had changed significantly.
Survival/NBC Systems.
Tragically limited; The Russians didn't put a terribly high priority on their personnel's survival.
However, Russian troops were issued warm wx gear (included fur liner for helmets, heavy fur gloves, etc.) and gas masks; The tank was designed around this gear, including larger, easier to manipulate controls, larger than normal hatches, etc.
The Winter Tank was fitted with a SIDE boarding hatch, something very rarely seen on tank in general (outside of infantry vehicles) and never in a Russian main battle tank before this.
Weapons Systems.
The secondary weapons, a pair of 25MM autocannons a pair of SRM Launchers, are fairly normal for any tank. The Particle Beam Cannon and Ski Torpedoes, however, were very new.
Particle Beam Cannon.
A Particle Beam Cannon essentially works by sucking in air, heating it to plasma, and propelling it forward.
The problems with PBC's until the SDF-1's arrival was that they generate INCREDIBLE amounts of heat; In fact, that's specifically how they work. At small scale it's perfectly fine, but anything above a child's toy or specialized scientific equipment was impossible, since the equipment overheats.
The Winter Tank had a different sort of problem; Too COLD. As metal gets cold it contracts, meaning parts than enclose each other, like the barrel to the breach, the breech to the lock, etc., compress each other, causing the gun to jam. PBC's not only don't have this problem (because they have no moving parts), their main functional components, wires and electromagnets, work BETTER. The trouble is the heating elements; They in turn don't work as well when the air entering is already super frigid. The solution was genius itself; Use the engine to pre-heat the air.
Though the concept was novel and moderately effective, the T3-81's PBC in the end proved to be less than desirable, and the Overtechnology brought by the SDF-1 proved much more effective.
Ski Torpedo.
The Ski Torpedo is technically not a torpedo at all but rather a lighter medium range missile warhead on a very heavy short rang missile body, mounted to a vehicle-grade ski. The main aiming system was the tank itself, since the missiles couldn't change their course very well, but they could shit up to 10 degrees and could explode their warheads without even touching a specific target. These were fascination but inevitably not terribly useful weapons that were never deployed in any significant numbers in combat, though every country on Earth with the ability to do so at least made a try at replicating the system.
Strangely the Ski Torpedoes didn't get mention in the press at all after the sinking of the Argentine fleet, and the top three most detailed militry interest websites give any mention of them at all (and very little at that) and a dozen or so "third rate" conspiracy websites mention them beyond this; Simply put, they weren't "interesting" enough to mention, a curio to be noticed but forgotten. However, had the fleet landed, they could have been devastating, since their range and destructive power put them in a class all of their own.
The Argentine adventure sent to the bottom of the ocean 8,314 of the 10,000 that were built; 686 survived to make it home, and 1,000 were still in Russia at the time of the battle. Of these, 843 were confiscated as compensation to the international community, as were those on the sea floor (of which only 10% were recovered). Additionally, Russia was prohibited from building new Winter Tanks, though they ignored this requirement. The terms of the settlement allowed them to build the Road Tank (a Winter Tank without skies or fittings), but the Russians added the ski systems anyways.
Political Fallout.
Officially, the Winter Tanks sank were the property of Argentina, leaving the Russia well insulated; The Russians recovered (mostly as bodies) were "technical advisors," not direct combatants.
But the international community was fooled at all. The settlement with Russia was described as an arms limitation agreement and international press was pressured to downplay the significance, or simply not report it at all, and most complied, saving face of Russia.
As for Argentina, the disaster was unprecedented; More men had been killed than during the Falkland Campaign, more tanks and aircraft destroyed, more ships sunk. Many more, in fact. The country entered a short spasm of civil uprising that almost developed into full-fledged civil war, and the sitting president at the time was forced to resign (along with over a dozen of the highest ranking army and naval officers).
The REF had about 20 of these vehicles (designated Armor, Tundra, Type 2, or AT-2's, and named Dominators) when they departed Terra. They saw limited action during the Atorian Campaign, but really didn't see any during the Regent campaign, and only 2 ever left Tirol during this time.
Since then they've been used for policing forces on extremely cold worlds, and road versions used to limited degrees for Regional Forces. Start up mercenries use them in limited numbers, usually not more than a year or two, before selling them off in favor of more modern equipment. Weapons systems in mercenry service varies widely, but UGC allied Regional Forces are universally identical (to increase logistical support and reduce cost of manufacture).
Name: Winter Tank.
Model Type: Winter and Tundra Battle Tank.
Class: Snow/Road Tank.
Crew: 3; Pilot/commander/Gunner, Gunner/Pilot/Commander, and Commander/Gunner/Pilot. (The second and Third titles are their secondary job, the First title their primary job.)
Passengers: None internally but up to 5 riding on the hull.
MDC By Location:
Tank Hull-
Crew Compartment-
Rear Jet Thrusters (2)-
Grav Pods (16; 8 each side)-
Wheels (8)-
150 each
150 each
100 each
Skis (4)-
FGU-20 Auto Cannon-
25MM Auto Cannon-
32MM Auto Cannon-
SRM Launchers (2)-
100 each
10 SDC
200 each
Notes: Usual penalties apply.
Speed and Statistical Data:
Speed: 200 MPH max.
NOTE: Due to the use of gravity pods, there is NO physical terrain that they can't traverse sort of hills over 15 feet high and 50 degrees; Even then, they can cover it with a running start, but this is the upper end of their limits. They are typically used to get out of bad situations only; Grav pods WILL work over water.
Hovering Height: From 2 to 15 feet:
WARNING: Higher flight causes a 02% loss of piloting control per foot (-30% at maximum 15 foot hover height).
Maximum Range: 3,000 miles (483 km)
Height: 9 feet, 6 inches (2.9 meters)
Width: 10 feet 6 inches (3.2 meters).
Length: 30 feet (X meters) (the gun is shorter than the overall tank).
Weight: 60 tons (57.2 metric tons)
Power System: Chivoski 23 jet engines; Output: 65,000 Kwh
Hover System: Normal grav pods.
Cargo Capacity: Crew supplies only; About a half ton of various cargos are known to be tied onto the hull, but this is not the true purpose of the tank. Also, such cargo is subject to any environmental factors (including chemical, biological, and nuclear/Reflex weapons).
Cost and Availability: Each tank costs 610,000credit.
Availability: Always available.
Black Market Cost: 150,000credit. If fitted, any extra weapons systems will add to the cost of the tank.

Weapon Systems:
1. BC-8 Particle Beam Cannon: The BC-8 was the first PBC to see operational deployment, though in the ill-fated Antarctica campaign. A few fired from the transport ships in an attempt to interfere with CUNNINHAM'S blockade, and at least one confirmed kill was made (of a missile), but overall these were not very good, and nobody uses them anymore.MD: 4D6 times 2.
Blast Radius: 15 feet
Range: 2,000 feet.
Rate of Fire: Per gunner's attacks per melee.
Payload: Unlimited.

2. Twin Forward 25MM Auto Cannons: Controlled by the driver, the auto cannons are primarily for anti-personnel defense. They fail in the -25 degree summer highs of Antarctica, though, so why the Russians selected these is deeply debated.
MD: Short Burst: 1D6; Medium Burst: 2D6; Full Melee Burst: 4D6
Range: 3,200 feet.
Rate of Fire: Per driver's APM.
Payload: 4,000 rounds.

3. 2 Short Range Missiles: One on either side of the turret.
Primary Purpose: Defense/Anti-Aircraft
Secondary Purpose: Offense/Anti-Armor
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: One at t time per pilots attacks per melee.
Payload: 2 total. Takes 30 minutes to fully reload.

4. Ski-Torpedoes (2): By all measures, the Ski Torpedo really is a fascinating weapon that, in the Antarctica campaign, probably would have been a game changer lasting to the present day. A very heavy short range missile body was fitted with a lower-yield medium range missile warhead and a simplified control systems, making it capable of punching through bunkers. Unfortunately, 99% of the Ski Torpedoes ended up at the bottom of the ocean, and very few were recovered until a decade after the Invid Armistice. (The American CIA and British MI-6 secretly recovered a dozen during a joint operation to recover some of the tanks themselves for study.).
Primary Purpose: Offence/Anti-Bunker
Secondary Purpose: Offense/Anti-Armor
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: Volleys of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 18, or all 24 per launcher per pilots attacks per melee.
Payload: 24 per launcher (96 total). Takes 10 minutes to fully reload per launcher (extra SRM's can be carried inside).
REF/Regional Forces Variant:
1. L-08 Rail Launcher. Nicknamed "The Sniper" for their use to precisely take out aircraft and make pinpoint shots on Mecha, this normally semi-fixed position (towed) rail launcher system is a semi automatic weapon system. The LIMA-08 (said "LEE-MA zero
L-08 Rail Launcher.
) is normally fed from 10-round detachable magazine; However, in the Dominator it's a continuous feed system. The system is radar controlled, but manually fired and designed for Mini-Missile's. Like their more normal use in the TU-s, the L-08 has been paired to the L-02.
Purpose: Heavy Assault.
Weight: 2 tons
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: Per gunner's attacks per melee.
Payload: 10 per magazine (loads from the right side).
Bonus: Either quadruples the normal range of the missile OR triples it and adds +3 to strike.
Cost and Availability: 20,000credit each; By Assignment
Black Market Cost: Not available.

2. L-02 Rail Launcher: The L-02 is normally mounted on a carriage in a tandem quartet, but on the Dominator they are dependently mounted on separate carriages; that means they will target the same object (as determined by the fire control computer. Like the L-08, the gun has been modified for continuous feed. Designed for Micro-Missiles.
Purpose: Heavy Assault.
Weight: 1.2 tons
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: Per gunner's attacks per melee.
Payload: 2,000. One magazine serves both guns.
Bonus: Either quadruples the normal range of the missile OR triples it and adds +3 to strike.
3. Short Range Missile Launcher: The Dominator is equipped with a short range missile launcher.
Purpose: Assault.
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: 1, 2, 6, or 12 per gunners attacks per melee per gunner's attacks per melee.
Payload: 36.

4. Shields: A basic full-force barrier field.
MDC: 200
Range: Self + about 20 feet.
Payload: Technically unlimited;
Attacks Per Melee: Technically unlimited; Requires one melee action to raise and lower.

4. Ski-Torpedoes (2): Ski Torpedoes can still be used if available and desirable. They rarely are, though.
Primary Purpose: Offense/Anti-Bunker
Secondary Purpose: Offense/Anti-Armor
Damage and Range: Varies by type used.
Rate Of Fire: Volleys of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 18, or all 24 per launcher per pilots attacks per melee.
Payload: 24 per launcher (96 total). Takes 10 minutes to fully reload per launcher (extra SRM's can be carried inside).

  • Stealth: Limits the tank's radar cross-section, infrared signature, acoustic signature, and other radiation by about 50%. This is increased to 65% when using camouflage nets and other gear (which can not be used in motion).
  • Hearing Amplification: Can amplify sounds as quiet as 1 decibel at 1,000 feet, and in the ultra- and sub-sonic ranges.
  • HUD: Displays maps, radar, targeting information, and any OTHER information the user wants directly in front of the them.
  • Visor Display: An auxiliary HUD displaying directly to the helmet visor. Based on the Cyclone version (since Tankers are required to wear their CVR-3 anyways).
  • Activities Recorder: Essentially the same as a plane's black boxes, this system records from sensors and the cockpit itself. 500 hours of recording available.
  • Radar: Combat grade radar. Range: 200 miles, can track up to 250 individual targets. 95% reliability (24% against unfriendly stealthed vehicles).
  • FLIR/SLIR: Forward and Side Looking Infrared. Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
  • ESM: Radar Detector. Passively detects other radars being operated.
  • AJP: Active Jamming Pod. Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
  • Full Range Sensory Suite: Infrared, ultra violet, Magnification, night sight, color filters, thermal imager. Range is about 2,000 miles for MOST sensors.
  • Motion Detector: Activates a loud wailing when an object is coming at the user fast, and a soft ringing if it's coming slowly. Activation ranges must be specified by the pilot.
  • Blue Force Tracker: Identifies Friend from Foe. Overlays the information on both the radar and HUD, ensuring that friendly forces are not accidentally targeted.
  • GPS: Standard tracking device.
  • Virtual Map: Displays a continuously-updating map of local terrain for the pilot. Effective land navigation of 85% as updates come. Good to 50 miles. Specific range can be adjusted in 1 mile increments.
  • Anti-Jamming System: Reduces Electronics Countermeasure by 3/4 (decrease skill level appropriately).
  • Electronic Counter Measures (ECM): These systems disrupt enemy radar and tracking systems, making it difficult for them to lock onto the ship with weapons. The countermeasures give the Mecha a +3 to dodge, +2 to strike and +1 on initiative in combat.
  • Loudspeaker: Amplifies voice 1 to 100 times. 100 feet in normal crowds.
  • CBR Protection: Complete chemical, biohazard, and radiological protection. Uses overpressure combined with space closure.
  • Vacuum Seal: Permits the Mecha to be used in hard vacuum (such as outer space), and other hostile environments.
  • Oxygen Rebreather System: Extends internal air supply to 100 hours; Cartridge MUST be replaced after that period of time. Rarely used.
  • Internal temperature and humidity control: Automatically maintains users desired heat, humidity, and other personal comfort settings. However, the Dominator tends to work in extremely cold environments that still makes it "uncomfortable."
  • Fire resistance: Fires external to the tank are not felt at all, even if the crew wants to.
  • Grav Clamps: Actually reversing the polarity of the grav pods; Allow the tank to adhere to any SOLID (and some liquids) in the known universe.
  • Decoys: Specially modified Mini-Missiles used as decoys; Burning globs of magnesium/aluminum alloy to confuse both radar AND heat sensory systems, as well as creating a lot of smoke to obscure the Mecha. NOTE: Though the modified mini-missiles combine smoke flares, AMC/FDs, and LDP's, they aren't powerful enough for use with Destroids/Guardians/Etc. Reduce effect by 20% against smart missiles (add +20% to rolls for smart missiles).
    01-50: Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
    51-75: Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (may lock onto another target).
    76-00: No effect, missile is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind nearby heat sensors (and optically based sensors at night) for 1 melee. They will suffer the following penalties: Reduce melee attacks/actions, and combat bonuses by half. Also, a cloud of smoke approximately 25 cubic feet wide and high by about 1 half-mile long.
    Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Rate of Fire: Once per melee.
    Payload: 6 chaff/flares.
  • Combat/Targeting Computer: Records all enemy and friendly activity over the course of time; Can replay that activity for the pilot, assign target designation numbers, and track likely damage based on mathematical formulas (ie "Right leg red" badly damaged/destroyed, "head green" not damaged, etc). Displays this information as a pop up in the HUD on request by the pilot.
  • MRA 6 Radios: Allows real time, continuous radio link up with friendly forces in the area via satellite relay over laser radio signals, preventing jamming, and automatically encrypts/decrypts same to prevent eavesdropping.
  • Type-11 wide band radios: Effective 10 mile range, auto encrypt/decrypt. Works on standard radio band wavelengths, so it can still be jammed (if the enemy knows the frequencies).
  • Survival Pack: A pack of simpler emergency survival supplies: Pup tent, Sleeping bag, Black light, GPS, First aid kit (bandages, gauze, bandage tape, pads, antiseptic/analgesic), Plasma torch (for small repairs and starting fires), Repair kit (with MDC Repair Spray), Sewing kit (a small spool of thread and 5 needles), 7 star flares (250 foot apogee), 2 white parachute flares (1,500 foot apogee), 100 feet of black or brown parachute cord (150 lbs tensile strength), 2-5 weeks rations, 20 gallons water, Water purification kit (good for about 200 gallons).
    Combat Bonuses from T3-81 Winter/AT-2 Dominator Tank Combat Elite:
  • 3 additional attacks per melee.
  • One additional attack per melee at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12 with any additional bonuses for the pilot and crew.
  • +3 Initiative.
  • +2 Strike.
  • +1 Parry, Dodge, and Roll.
    The main advantage of the T3-81/AT-2 is it can operate in the cold; Most others can't.