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Old 09-06-2017, 11:35 AM   #1
Michael Thayne
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Join Date: May 2010
Default [Ultra-Tech] [Spaceships] Weapons that are hard or impossible to miniaturize

In Transhuman Space, particle beams have a minimum size that allows them to be installed on SDVs but not smaller ships. (SDVs are typically SM +10 or +11, though Spaceships 8 mentions particle beams can be installed on ships as small as SM +8.) Spaceships 7 has an optional rule to put similar limits on X-ray lasers, antiparticle beams, and grasers. Some questions about this:
  • How implausible are smaller versions of these weapons?
  • How plausible would it be to lift the limits 1 TL after a weapon is originally introduced?
  • SS7 gives the same size limits for all weapons covered by the optional rule. Is this realistic? I can see particle and antiparticle beams having the same minimum size (depending on how the antiparticles are generated), but would X-ray lasers and grasers have the same minimum size?
  • I've heard one possibility for x-ray laser weapons involves a "free electron laser", but IIUC these both have (a) an even larger minimum size than given in SS7 and (b) are tunable, so such a weapon could also function on other wavelengths for say planetary bombardment, a capability Spaceships lasers don't have. So how could an ~SM +10 x-ray laser with the capability in Spaceships work?
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