Technical Journal: Mine Kits

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by Larry Moore

These mine kits could be purchased for any type of grenade. Tangler mines are set in place and activated, then have special sensors (see below) to determine when they should detonate. They make fantastic perimeter defenses and non-lethal wards against intrusion.

A mine kit has two parts. First is the grenade itself, which mounts into the kit. Second is the sensory cluster, which act as the method of detonation (replacing whatever “delivery” type the grenade had previously). There are six basic types of tangler mine sensor clusters, as shown below:

  • Pressure Sensor – This is the standard, classic form of mine sensor cluster. It assumes the mine will be buried into the ground or under debris. It has a simple weight cell that relays analog weight levels back to a central processor, where it compares the detected weight against the sensitivity adjustment set during the setting of the charge. It takes 5 turns to dig, bury, cover, perform a weight tare, calibrate the setting, and conceal. Any creature equaling or exceeding the weight setting will detonate the grenade and be tangled. If desired, the mine’s detonation can be delayed 2 turns after the weight is released, in an attempt to entangle a larger group being followed by a party’s scout who set it off.
  • Proximity Sensor – This sensor can come in one of two forms: electromagnetic proximity sensor or laser-eye sensor. The electromagnetic sensor detects the presence of an electric field, either a bioelectric field generated by a living being or an activated defense screen (such as a sonic screen concealing the noises of an approaching intruder!). The laser-eye sensor is actually a beam and a receiver, which wirelessly reports data safely back to the mine central processor through a simple radio frequency transmitter/receiver pair. The mine will detonate if it detects the light beam is broken or the signal is somehow interrupted. It takes 2 turns to properly set and calibrate a mine equipped with a proximity-sensor cluster.
  • Motion Sensor – Using technology similar to the Motion Tracker (see this issue’s Equipment article), this sensor cluster detects movement in the proximity of the mine. It can be calibrated to filter out repetitive motion (such as rotating satellite antennae) and can even have filters put in place to define minimum and maximum speeds and sizes of detected motion. When the proper sized object or creature moves at the proper speed, it will detonate the tangler. It takes 2 turns to set and calibrate a filter array for a mine equipped with a motion sensor cluster.
  • Time Delay – Instead of a sensor, this cluster simply comes with a series of dials and buttons used to set a desired countdown. It can be set from 0 to 999 and can have hours, minutes, or seconds selected. Once selected and the “Initiate” button is pressed, the countdown begins. When it’s done, the grenade in the mine kit will be detonated. Although not commonly used with Tangler grenades, it certainly could be. It takes only a single turn to set a mine equipped with a time delay delivery cluster.
  • Photon Sensor – This type of sensor is set to detect either light or lack thereof, depending on the presence or lack of light in the turn directly following the turn in which it is set. Thus, if it is dark when the mine is set, the mine will detonate as soon as light becomes present. If it is light when the mine is set, it will detonate when darkness is detected. This can be used as a booby trap: simply place in a dark room near the door, and when the door is opened and the light in the hallway pours in, the person opening the door will be surprised. It takes only one turn to set a mine equipped with a photon cluster.
  • Voice Recognition Cluster – This very modern cluster has a programmable logic controller that is programmed by simple voice recognition pattern. Simple commands are used to set and define its operation. It is very expensive to purchase and is destroyed by the mine’s detonation (as are all sensor clusters). The character setting the mine simply speaks his command set to the mine “Mine. Activate. Motion Sense. One meter movement size. Ten meter minimum movement rate. One hundred meter maximum movement rate. Initiate.” Its operation can be set to do any of the above sensor cluster types. It’s also possible to set up exclusion rules (identification of friend or foe: IFF transponders) so allies never get affected. Voice Recognition Clusters are also quite difficult to defuse because they require programming knowledge to identify how they’ve been set. It takes only a single turn to set a mine equipped with a voice recognition cluster.

Mine Kit EquipmentCost (CR)WeightTurns to set
Mine Kit1 20 1kg --
Sensor Cluster
  Motion 40 1kg 2
  Pressure 35 1kg 5
  Proximity 45 1kg 2
  TimeDelay 25 1kg 1
  Voice 150 1kg 1
  Photon 20 1kg 1

1 (doesn’t include grenade. Blast radius of 3 meters)