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Weapon Technology (3200 AD)

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Space-borne Weapons

Space-borne Weapons are divided into two categories:

Weapon Batteries

Weapon Batteries form the main armament for most warships, and include such potent weapons as laser cannons, plasma projectors, gauss cannons, ion cannons and pulse lasers.

Lasers

"Laser" stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation", a device that focuses an amplified beam of light on a small surface area. The Laser uses this intensified beam of light to damage targets by heating them to melting temperatures. The relatively compact size and effectiveness of the Laser attributes its widespread use over many types of combat units.

Lasers are primarily long-range sniping weapons used for striking first. Because of their small energy requirements and heat generation in comparison to other weapons, laser weapons are also ideal for point-defense weaponry, such as anti-fighter and anti-missile systems.

Plasma

Plasma weapons are short-range broadside weapons. The damage is caused primarily through heat and kinetic energy, similar to particle cannons. Plasma weapons, because of their nature, dissipate at longer ranges and are thus only effective at short to medium ranges. They are energy intensive and generate tremendous amounts of waste heat, which means their cycle rates are fairly slow, but the incredible damages of larger plasma cannons certainly offsets this weakness.

Gauss

Gauss weapons are short- to medium-range weapons, but not because they are unable to strike at extreme ranges. Rather, Gauss weapons are not instantaneous weapons, and their relative inaccuracies when compared to lasers hinder their use in extreme-range duels.

Because of their bulk capital-grade Gauss weapons are not suitable for firing at fighter craft. They are, however, excellent anti-warship weapons because of the tremendous amount of kinetic damage delivered in a single salvo. Gauss weapons generate very little waste heat, but have high power consumption, and as such their rate of fire is limited by the recharge rate of the capacitors. Current capacitors are able to fire off a rapid salvo before having to recharge for several seconds.

Pulse Lasers

Pulse lasers differ from traditional laser weaponry, in that instead of firing one powerful beam, they maintain laser beams fired off in quick succession. While offering an overall increased rate of fire, the heat output also increases accordingly. Pulse lasers increase damage because they allow vaporized armor to dissipate from the location of damage. This allows subsequent pulses to reach the target area without being diffused by the vapor.

Lance Batteries

Lance Batteries are incredibly high-powered weapons that are capable of burning or punching straight through the hull of a ship or cutting an escort ship in two. They are usually mounted in batteries of five, thus the name Lance Battery.

Black Swords

Black Swords are essentially super-lasers, utilizing four high-powered energy projectors that focus into a concentrated beam. The resulting beam has been known to cut escorts in two or causing catastrophic explosions by hitting the reactor on an enemy ship.

Ion Cannons

Ion cannons work on a similar principle to the plasma cannon, but the ionized particles cause little damage, instead short-circuiting electrical circuits. Enough ion blasts can disable even the largest battleship.

Mass Drivers

Essentially the same as a gauss cannon, Mass Drivers are huge versions of the gauss cannon, capable of punching through even the heaviest armour.

Nova Gun

A Nova Gun is a massive weapon, normally mounted in the prow of a vessel so that the vessel's engines can compensate for its recoil. A Nova Gun fires a projectile at incredible velocity, using gravitic accelerators to accelerate it to near light speed. The projectile implodes at a preset distance after firing, unleashing a force equal to a half a dozen thermonuclear warheads.

Torpedoes

The various races utilize various types of torpedoes. The most common are detailed below:

Anti-Matter Torpedo

The most effective (and most expensive) torpedo, the anti-matter torpedo utilizes anti-matter as a warhead. Upon contact, the anti-matter reacts explosively, causing an implosion capable of cutting a capital ship in two.

Plasma Torpedo

The most common torpedo, the plasma torpedo is powered by a plasma reactor, which also functions as a warhead. On impact, the energies release causing a major explosion.

High-Speed Torpedo

The high-speed torpedo is little more than a plasma torpedo with a high-powered fusion reactor. As a result, the torpedo moves 50% faster than a normal plasma torpedo.

Ground-borne Weaponry

Melee Weapons

Electrical Whips

Electrical whips are devices which discharge an electrical charge on contact. On low settings, it can stun or disable its victim. On high settings, the discharge is lethal.

Force Weapons

Force weapons, by comparison to regular weapons, utilise focused energy fields to increase the deadliness of the weapon. The weapon uses a generator, either in its hilt or an external backpack, to sheathe its striking surfaces in a disruptive energy field allowing it to cut through most known forms of matter. Such a weapon can carve through armor and stone with as much resistance as empty air; typically only other energy fields can safely counter the effects of a force weapon.

Force weapon technology is limited and all examples are crafted individually by skilled artisans; commonly in the form of a sword, axe, or hammer, but sometimes in a more exotic form such as a whip. Even without the power field active the weapon will be of highest quality and potent in the hands of a skilled fighter.

Very rare force weapons consist only of the weapon hilt; when activated an energy blade is projected. The energy blade is not able to reflect energy, however.

Ranged Weapons

Disruptors

Disruptor weapons fire high-powered plasma beams, capable of vapourizing its target.

Flamers

Flamers are flamethrower-type weapons that project an ignited stream of fuel over a wide area, igniting many enemies in a single gout of flame. They are short-ranged, but are favoured by some for their sheer terror factor.

Fusion Weapons

Fusion weapons work by producing a small-scale fusion reaction using a pyrum petrol fuel mix. This is projected as a blast of incredible heat. Fusion weapons have a short range but are very powerful and are favoured for use against armoured targets. Fusion weapons are capable of rapidly incinerating armour which would normally be immune to most squad-based weapons (obstacles, tank armour, powered armour etc.). Fusion weapons are useful squad support weapons in situations where "excessive firepower" is an oxymoron.

Gauss Weapons

Gauss weapons, or coil guns, use magnetic fields to fire a metallic projectile at great speeds. Though the range and power is lessened the shorter the weapon, a gauss rifle is still a powerful weapon capable of punching through most types of body armour.

Ground-based gauss weapons vary in size from pistol-sized guns to massive, tank-mounted gauss guns capable of defeating all the heaviest armoured opponent.

Lasers

Laser weaponry are laser-based ranged weapons used by many forces in the universe. Laser weapons fire a single coherent ray of light (achieved by crystals that make the beam visible). There do exist laser weapons that fire invisible beams, but they are usually reserved for snipers.

Laser weapons are relatively easy to produce and maintain. They require no solid ammunition, have few moving parts, and use power cells which can be recharged or quickly swapped with a fully-charged power cell. This makes them ideal for distribution among large numbers of men. While the accuracy of a laser is not being distorted by wind unlike projectile weapons, it can be diffused by heavy particles in the air such as smoke and thus a laser can dissipate over long distances.

Laser weapons come in all shapes and sizes, from pistol-sized weapons to massive crew-served laser cannons used in the anti-tank role.

Masers

Maser weaponry are maser-based ranged weapons used by many forces in the universe. Laser weapons fire a single coherent ray of electro-magnetism. The beam is always invisible. Some species uses masers in place of lasers, although the principle is similar.

Like lasers, maser weapons are relatively easy to produce and maintain. They require no solid ammunition, have few moving parts, and use power cells which can be recharged or quickly swapped with a fully-charged power cell. This makes them ideal for distribution among large numbers of men. While the accuracy of a maser is not being distorted by wind unlike projectile weapons, it can be diffused by heavy particles in the air such as smoke and thus a maser can dissipate over long distances.

Maser weapons come in all shapes and sizes, from pistol-sized weapons to massive crew-served maser cannons used in the anti-tank role.

Missile Launchers

Missile launchers are capable of firing two types of missile, Fragmentation and Anti-Tank. Fragmentation projectiles are designed to spray an area with shrapnel, making them useful against lightly armoured infantry. Anti-Tank projectiles cover less area but they have improved penetrating capabilities, making them useful for either heavily armoured infantry or moderately armoured vehicles. Missile launchers can also fire other, less common missile types.

Slugthrowers

Slugthrowers are automatic weapons which fire solid-slug ammunition propelled by one of various methods, including the use of compressed gases. The ammunition used by these weapons are caseless ammunition. Despite the widespread use of laser weapons, slugthrowers are still popular as the bullets are capable of causing bleeding whereas a laser beam cauterises wounds instantly. Also its noise and visual effects are more useful against primitives. However it lacks the same degree of power as laser weapons, and requires ammunition unlike the lasgun.

Sonic Weapons

Sonic weapons are not widespread, but they are quite lethal nonetheless. On low settings, they can stun their target. On high settings, the sonic rays disturbs the nervous system, potentially crippling or killing the target.

Web Weapons

Web weapons, or "glue guns" fire a "net" of sticky material and as such is intended to immobilize rather than kill targets, though if the target continually struggled, the web would tighten to the point of killing the target. Some webbers fire an anesthetic-laden web, rendering the target unconscious. Its main use is in crowd control and mob suppression, and is rarely seen on the battlefield.

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