We’re winding down this series on the new weapons coming out in the Fort Alice Sourcebook, and I’ve saved what is probably the most decisive piece in the artillery for last. Bigger and more powerful canons are all well and good for punching through slow and tough targets, but when you’re defending a position and have a large force coming in, as well as some very nimble targets, you need to get a lot of bullets in a lot of places very quickly.

This is where the Vickers .303 Machine Gun comes in.

Vickers .303 Machine Gun

Base Damage: 12

Success Bonus: +5

Heat: 2

DEX Minimum: 12

STR Minimum: 14

Capacity: 500 (belt fed)

Rate of Fire: 1 / 15 / 75

Short Range: 60

Long Range: 120

Size: 8

Weight: 80

Price: £450

Availability: Very Rare

Description: Having the need to develop heavier full automatic weaponry in order to deal with the highly mobile Samsut units on the front lines, engineers were pressed hard to develop a weapon that could effectively dish out a wide spread arc of lead while still functioning reliably over a long period in extended field duty. The answer came with the water cooled Vickers .303 machine gun. Built off of the successful Maxim platform, the Vickers expands heavily on the rate of fire when operating at full automatic, as well as improving the damage rating without sacrificing range due to carefully controlled machining. Crewing a Vickers requires a gunner, ammunition handler, and a crew of 6 to move it. However, most Vickers guns are stationary mounted in order to take advantage of the water cooling system. Generally, Vickers guns are only moved when a position is compromised or a retreat has been ordered, assuming there is time to do so. If there is not sufficient time to dismantle the weapon and withdraw, crews are instructed to use explosives to destroy it. The loss of such an expensive piece of hardware is severe, but better to lose it entirely than let it fall into enemy hands.

Game Mechanics: When the Vickers is connected to an available water cooling line, an additional point of Heat is removed from the unit each round. This allows the weapon to fire essentially continuously without risk of failure due to a build up of heat in the system.

While I’m sure a lot of players would love to be able to just tote one of these around and blast their way through obstacles, it’s simply going to be too large to make that feasible. Besides, the real power comes into play when you have it statically mounted and can employ the water cooling system to avoid the heat penalties. Continuous fire rapid fire for an extended duration is going to allow the British to make some very significant strides in moving their front lines ahead and keeping their positions defended with less manpower needed.

This is not something your players should get to encounter every day, but when they do, it should make for a very stand out moment, as it will allow them to stand up against some truly incredible odds. If you’re planning a story that takes your players to the front lines and pits them up against the Samsut in a mass battle, then this is one you’ll want to have in your arsenal.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this series of sneak peeks. This marks the last one for this series, so next week will be something new (exactly what, I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve got a few ideas kicking around). We’ll see you then!