Combat Armor

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by Madin Jackson

Editor’s Note: This armor is handled quite differently than the Polyplate Armor found in the back of the Alpha Dawn Digitally Remastered book, and generally you should choose which of the two rules you’d like to use in your game. On the other hand, since they are quite different yet fairly equally balanced against one another, it could simply be an additional technology available to your characters in the Frontier. The Polyplate armor is an extrapolation of skeinsuits and albedo suits, while this armor is more an extrapolation of Knight Hawks Space Suits. Both are equally suited for Star Frontiers gaming.

Combat Armor was designed as additional protection for soldiers in wartime. It has since been adopted by mercenaries and corporate security for its decrease in potential casualties. Most Frontier worlds require special permits for Combat Armor, for private use.

The armor is created by using several strands of plasteel mynomers, woven together which are then electromagnetically charged to thicken the mynomers and tighten the woven material. The mesh is then coated with a plastic polymer, giving it a hard, plastic shell. The interior is lined with padded material, allowing the armor to be worn for extended periods of time in the field, while still making the wearer comfortable. Combat Armor comes in three types: Light, Medium and Heavy.

  • Light Combat Armor covers the shoulders, torso, abdomen and shins, providing maximum protection to vital areas. Light Combat Armor weighs 7kg and costs 650Cr.
  • Medium Combat Armor covers the same areas as Light Combat Armor, but increases the density of the armor, to provide a greater defense. This means, however, that the armor is bulkier. Any character wearing Medium Combat Armor, must subtract 5 from his Dexterity and Reaction Speed tests. Medium Combat Armor weighs 15kg and costs 1,200Cr.
  • Heavy Combat Armor covers the shoulders, forearms, torso, abdomen, shins and thighs, providing the greatest defense, short of only Powered Armor and Space Suit Armor. Reinforced Boots and Gauntlets cover the feet and hands. The armor is fairly bulky and any character wearing it must subtract 10 from his Dexterity and Reaction Speed tests. Heavy Combat Armor weighs 25kg and costs 2,000Cr.


Combat Armor will protect a character to some degree from most weapons. The Weapon vs. Armor charts display the effect of armor on various weapons. While Combat armor is effective, it is nowhere near that of space suit armor and cannot be used in hazardous environments, where harmful gasses are present.

When Combat Armor has a percentage chance to protect the wearer, the Character being hit must roll a d100. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the suit’s protection percentage, the weapon does not penetrate the armor (nothing gets hurt, the wearer or the armor). If the roll is unsuccessful, the weapon has punctured the armor, but only causes half of its normal damage to the wearer.


Combat Armor must be continually repaired, or it will lose its protection, due to combat wear and tear. After any combat where the armor was worn, all effective protection values derived from the tables below will be reduced 5% unless a Technician character successfully makes a Repair Machinery roll (only one attempt is possible).

At the end of a mission/adventure, if situations allow, a weapon shop can repair all damage remaining on the suit at a cost of 25Cr and one hour per damage percent. Thus if your suit is damaged to -20%, it will cost (25Cr x 20 =) 500Cr and take 20 hours. Obviously, there is a point at which you should consider scrapping the armor and purchasing a new set.

For example: a character has had five combats during his adventure. He successfully rolled his Repair Machinery skill directly after three of those combats, so he has -10% worth of damage. If he were to get into another combat, his armor would have all of its protection percentages reduced by 10. At the end of the mission, his -10% can be repaired for (25CRx10=) 250Cr, and it will be in their hands for 10 hours.

Weapon Type Effect of Armor
Blunt Weapons 30% Protection
Piercing Weapons 30% Protection
Needlers 60% Protection
Sonic Weapons 10% Protection
Bullets 30% Protection
Beam Weapons 25% Protection
Fragmentation Grenades 20% Protection
Gyrojet Rockets 20% Protection
Electric Sword 15% Protection
Vibroknife 10% Protection
Electrostunner Full Penetration
Shock Gloves Full Penetration
Stunstick Full Penetration
Tangler Grenades Full Penetration

Weapon Type Effect of Armor
Blunt Weapons 50% Protection
Piercing Weapons 50% Protection
Needlers No Penetration
Sonic Weapons 20% Protection
Bullets 40% Protection
Beam Weapons 30% Protection
Fragmentation Grenades 25% Protection
Gyrojet Rockets 25% Protection
Electric Sword 20% Protection
Vibroknife 20% Protection
Electrostunner Full Penetration
Shock Gloves Full Penetration
Stunstick Full Penetration
Tangler Grenades Full Penetration

Weapon Type Effect of Armor
Blunt Weapons 60% Protection
Piercing Weapons 60% Protection
Needlers No Penetration
Sonic Weapons 40% Protection
Bullets 60% Protection
Beam Weapons 40% Protection
Fragmentation Grenades 30% Protection
Gyrojet Rockets 35% Protection
Electric Sword 25% Protection
Vibroknife 20% Protection
Electrostunner Full Penetration
Shock Gloves Full Penetration
Stunstick Full Penetration
Tangler Grenades Full Penetration

Editor’s note: If the above tables seem cumbersome in actual play, you can use the following rules instead:

Light Armor: 20% Protection.
Medium Combat Armor: 40% Protection.
Heavy Combat Armor: 60% Protection.

Versus Needlers: x2 Protection rating.
Versus Sonic/Beam: x1/2 Protection rating.
Versus shock, stun, or tangler effects: No protection.