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Small cal DEWs
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The location and mission that the following command was engaged on have been classified by fleet. As such all identifying information has been removed.

After action report
One of the 360 Ion beams slashed down at the [target] and I watched as the pure white core of the blue beam stabbed into the armour.
Molten lumps of the ablative layer floated into space, a cloud of particles reflecting the beam's light as they cooled to vapour.
Dozens of shallow slashes crisscrossed the target's hull as it headed along the negative Y relative to [the commander's ship] marks of other such strikes.

DEW calibre
Though the power of modern DEWs, especially the recent ICA evolution is impressive they still show a disturbing lack of effectiveness against armour with only the most powerful of these weapons having an appreciable penetration. Yet there is plenty of power available, the problem is most of this power is wasted. As our weapons have become more powerful it has been our standard to increase the calibre of them, thus decreasing their effectiveness against the actual target. While they are effective against the armour they do not strike at the ship itself and the internal systems thereof as they should.
Allowing the energy to spread across large sections of armour is clearly a mistake, it should be focused into a more controlled beam, not left to waste most of its power ablating armour. To this end Fleet requests that a selection of ultra low calibre ICAs and APICs be developed with the same power as the larger calibre of these weapons but with much lower beam widths in the order of Weapon 10 or perhaps Weapon 5 mounts. This should greatly increase the effective penetration of the weapons allowing for a much greater combat effectiveness and a much lower waste of energy against armour.

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Just a clarification: caliber is used as a rough gauge of how powerful a particular weapon system is. So a 3000ICAP is roughly ten times more powerful than a 300ICAP, even if the beam width looks the same.
*grins* I like the way this is presented, and additionally am glad that our playerbase has the desire to implement a truly realistic system of battlespace and systems modelling in PDS.

Both of you above are correct - but now I'll need some suggestions on how to implement that in-game. Using a IC100 barrel for a Rating 10 (10 terawatt?) capital ion beam is not a believable solution.

Roleplaying it so that our "IC557" means a 5.57 TW DEW (same weapon mount as existing) would be a more streamlined solution?
Would gigawatts be more suitable? After all, the amount of power it takes to power a city in modern times is measured in megawatts. Giga is 1,000 mega, and terra is 1,000 giga.
Using the numeric designation as a power rating rather than calibre does make a lot more sense for energy weapons.
I suppose we could say that the increased barrel size is due to the extra focusing mechanisms needed to maintain a narrow beam width on more powerful weapons.
Edited by Nemmerle on 18-11-2005 17:35
But if we go that way for energy weapons only, we have no means to measure destructive potential against missile and kinetic weapons. Would it make sense to calculate the potential destructive power for each weapon and use that as a measuring stick? Perhaps even number that takes into account rate of fire. Unless we want to start doing things like ICA300/0.5 indicating either an ICA300 firing once every 0.5 seconds, or firing 0.5 times per second for two seconds to fire one shot. But rate of fire alone isn't sufficient, because we'll have to develop a system to take into account beam duration as well.

Bleh. I'm going to lunch.
A 300 rating ICA isn't really equivalent to a 300 rating rail gun anyway.

If we want to have a comparative measure of damage we'd have to do something similar to wattage except with a damage index and fire rate indicator... Which could get very complicated.
I suppose what you'd do for that would be to take the damage a weapon does over say a minute and divide it by sixty then tack the fire rate onto the end of that. Which would give an idea of comparative weapon effectiveness between various types which is currently lacking.
I think a damage per second would be appropriate, I can just imagine the testing, captured Vagyr Frigates kept at weapons research facilities just to fire the weapons at to measure the effectiveness.
I don't know the statistics of the weapons and their effectiveness, but it could be ICA/P300-10s.
Seems like it was years since I was last here
I agree, but I think we should do a an output per second deal. So it would be like:

Ouput per shot / (duration of shot + recharge time )

so like a IC557 would be putting out 557 gigawatts per second.
Therefore, to gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest excellence; to subjugate the enemy's army without doing battle is the highest of excellence. -Sun-Tzu
KISS will be the most practical option, and damage/sec can be very redundant especially in the NGCS standard battlespace. Of utmost importance are shot power (mass + muzzle velocity) to cause damage, but even more important than this is whether the weapon can actually lock on to a target and track them.

In NGCS, ICAs all go to an auxiliary function as conventional type turreted beam weapons are too slow to be of any use in a maneuvering action, but this is reversed with the new, multi-directional DEWs based off Somtaaw multi beam technology.

Thus, on a "BH2.8" type enhanced Generation Four frigate the RG140s are the king of the battlefield, as the RG140 fires rapidly, traverses fast and unleashes a devastating torrent of metallic slugs that have no "maximum range" in the vacuum of space (now truescale in NGCS).

The APIC arrays (energy weapons have the short stick in range in NGCS, with the exception of anything above the 3TW rating) function like "Gundam beam spam" and is devastating at close quarters but only if you can track the target with the ship's nose long enough to engage them with the full spread. In a historical context they are most fairly compared to the WW2 destroyers' torpedo tubes. Devastating, but has a limited envelope of employment.

To this end I propose having power ratings for DEWs but kinetic weapons and missiles keep their millimetric size ratings. Their power and capabilities of the more, so called lower tech weapons can always be documented separately or one can look at the type of mount used.
Edited by TelQuessir on 20-11-2005 03:38
Sounds like a good idea, (provided there aren't any huge differences in warhead capabilities that might make a mm size rating misleading for missiles.)
Fleet seconds the proposal.
Size ratings for missiles is a good indicator on the other hand, for what missile can fit on what hardpoint and how many - this itself is a good way to let people know the relative weighting of firepower regardless of what missile warheads are carried.

Thanks for brining up the point - warhead type of course is missile dependant and has to be documented separately. Missile performance, likewise is design/technology dependant but going back to KISS - a ship armed with 20 120mm missiles can be assumed to salvo fire its expendable munitions load and a ship with four 700mm missiles is akin to a torpedo bomber. We can make use of human instinct there for automatic documentation in-game Smile
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