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Old 01-15-2023, 09:54 PM   #16
Join Date: Jun 2020
Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
And obligatory reminder that as Agamegos says, "interesting human stories" and "combat between spacecraft in a universe like our universe" are a contradiction in terms.

Games like Attack Vector: Tactical and Children of a Dead Earth try but even then they have to move the decimal points in the direction of drama (and they are wargames, not stories about people).
Yeah, and one of the settings I'm working on is best described as 'Traveller and Transhuman Space had a baby'... and Traveller is somewhat well known for its ships.
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
No, they might use DEWs. It depends on your tech assumptions (there's a threshold effect -- it takes a certain quantity of missiles to overwhelm energy weapon point defense. If that quantity is too small, beams just increase the cost of attacking. If it's large enough, you wind up with a beam-dominant paradigm and missiles fall out of use).

Incidentally, neither one produces remotely interesting combat. Space is about the most boring combat environment possible, and it's mostly complex environments that result in interesting tactics.
It's the 'onion' paradigm of sorts. While stealth is useless in space, AAMs are the first line of defense against missiles (and they tend to be around a ton for standard AAMs). If the missile barrage gets through that, it faces off against rapid-fire DEWs. If the missile barrage gets through the DEWs, it faces off against KEW CIWS. Space missiles in the settings can get through via a combination of armor, velocity (a 'light' anti-spaceship missile that I made in GVB has a velocity of around 25.5Gs and some armor), and penetration aids (decoys, jammers, and the like).
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Manned and unmanned aerial vehicles today do almost all their offense against targets that can defend themselves with guided projectiles. Even against targets that can't defend themselves such as insurgents without ground-to-air missiles, craft like the A-10 Warthog have the problem that strafing is not very precise so endangers friendlies and bystanders. I'm sure someone has tried mounting a machine gun on a drone and using it to shoot at another drone, but it does not seem as common as crashing a cheaper drone into it or dropping a ground-attack munition on it while it is hovering.

My understanding is that air-to-air combat has been dominated by guided or seeking missiles since at least the 1980s (to the extent that it happens at all). An early example was the Iraqi air force covering their invasion of Iran finding that its aircraft kept exploding with no sign of the enemy; Iranian fighters with the Shah's NATO kit were spotting and killing them with missiles before they could be detected. After a little of that, the Iraqi air force became cautious.
Good point...
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em guns, gauss weapons, gurps 3e, railgun, space

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