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Old 09-02-2019, 10:50 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

Bombs are an interesting weapon in Spaceships. They have the same diameter as missiles, but they have 1/3 the mass and 1/10 the cost, making them lighter and cheaper than shells of the same diameter. Of course, they are quite inaccurate, but they can represent a number of dumb munitions (and they can always carry nuclear warheads).

For example, a TL9 bomber could easily carry four bomber bays as main weapon batteries, each with 15 25-kiloton bombs, giving it a heck of a punch for such a small vehicle. With an HEDM engine and 10 fuel tanks, it could attack any target on the surface of a planet or in LEO, making squadron of AKVs equipped with such weapons the preferred orbital defense against large capital ships. If nothing else, the AKV can detonate its bombs as it rams it's target (1.5 megaton with a full load).

So, have you had much experience with using the bombs from the Spaceships series? How good where they? Would you say that they were worthy weapons or were they disappointing?
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:22 AM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

I doubt you'll find the math friendly to bombs over missiles for anti-ship attacks. Bombs are light and cheap, but they're released from the same launchers at the same rate as missiles.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:40 AM   #3
Aldric
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

Haven't even found them on the books, so no idea what their stats are. Will see how they work and compare if I ever get that far, stuck on other issues atm.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:59 AM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

Dumb bombs are only going to be useful against fixed surface targets or ballistic targets in space. They were obsolete at birth against surface ships under way or land vehicles that can move, unless you're willing to use large nuclear warheads.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
Rupert
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

You can't just drop bombs on targets on the ground from orbit - you need to deorbit them, and unless they have a fair bit of delta-vee (i.e. they're a missile), you you do, they'll be doing it slowly (by aerobraking over several/many orbits) and thus will be horribly inaccurate.

As far ramming with nukes - you won't get them to all go off properly because some will vaporise the rest - you'll get a lot of fratricide.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

We have nanosecond timers right now, so I fail to see how bombs physically connected to the same clock will not go off at the same time.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:56 PM   #7
Kale
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

They are good against anything that can't maneuver in space. Fixed stations, derelict ships with no operational engines, asteroids, etc. Otherwise the only way to use them is point-blank release from a fighter against a really large ship with poor maneuvering capabilities. Note if you combine them with Stealth, a large civilian freighter might not see them coming since the bombs wouldn't have drive/propulsion signatures.
I'd allow planetary bombardment in the case the planet has no atmosphere. Otherwise the bombs would have to have special construction to survive re-entry and de-orbit into an atmosphere. I'd treat this as increased cost per bomb for ablative heat shielding or similar.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:38 PM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

The standard bombs are precision munitions that are already designed for orbital bombardment against planetary target with atmospheres (they have steering fins from atmospheric corrections). They have a S range against such targets (P range against space targets). They are the equivalent of the final stage of an ICBM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:43 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Dumb bombs are only going to be useful against fixed surface targets or ballistic targets in space. They were obsolete at birth against surface ships under way or land vehicles that can move, unless you're willing to use large nuclear warheads.
Spaceships bombs aren't dumb. They just don't have a lot of onboard delta-V.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:52 AM   #10
Rupert
 
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Default Re: The Utility of Bombs [Spaceships]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The standard bombs are precision munitions that are already designed for orbital bombardment against planetary target with atmospheres (they have steering fins from atmospheric corrections). They have a S range against such targets (P range against space targets). They are the equivalent of the final stage of an ICBM.
Bear in mind that they are smaller than an electromagnetic or grav gun shell (half the size and mass of a missile), implying even less manoeuvre capacity (though oddly they are more accurate than gun shells). Them having fins and some post-reentry manoeuvring capability puts them a step up from an ICBM final stage, BTW - they do their final adjustments before reentry.

The thing is, they have no meaningful delta-vee of their own, so unless the launching craft is on a high-speed reentry course when it launches them, the bombs will have to aero-brake to re-enter, and that's slow and will introduce course variations so unless they have terminal guidance they'll scatter all over - probably not far enough to matter if you're nuking a city, but otherwise far enough to make unguided bombs next to worthless. Their slow re-entry means a moving target will be out of their target area by the time they've re-entered (unless they randomly scatter to being over it), and during the re-entry phase the bombs will be surrounded by plasma and unreachable by non-superscience communicators.

So, either use a 'dive-bomber' to launch them, or fire shells or missiles.
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