May 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm #4824
Hi everyone, I’m new here, and wanted to know if MAG drive tech is or has been weaponised? In an IP I had been working on (and getting nowhere,) the principle form of FTL could be effectively be retooled into a moster spinal-mounted cannon that had characteristics of mass driver and directed energy weapon. In reading the article on how the MAG drive functions, it strikes me that a similar development could be made here, wherein the proposed weapon could project a column of distorted spacetime, leading to rampant exotic matter interactions along the beam path, and strong torsional forces both within the beam and immediately around it. Aiming such a weapon in or near gravity wells could pose a challenge, but they’d probably be fundamentally unable to cause damage to any large gravitational body, so no orbital bombardments.
What is the consensus on weapons of this nature?May 19, 2018 at 5:47 pm #4827
The problem with trying to weaponize a MAG Drive is that your weapon would be the size of a corvette, and nearly just as expensive; only a capital ship could actually launch the things, and even then the weapon could only really “shove” other ships aside. It might be closer to a linebacker running through a crowd, shunting people aside, but likelihood of really damaging other ships is slim.
And you would really need a missile for this. A MAG-Drive space warping cannon would be so short-ranged, you might as well just try to board the enemy ship. MAG Drive fields require emmense amounts of power, such that the reactor and propulsion section of a warship can take anywhere of a fifth to a full half of the hull of the ship, and can only make a field big enough to push the ship and anything immediately nearby, like fighters. A directed field would be difficult to control.
The only way I see this working well is firing a missile with conventional propulsion-still a corvette – sized missile – having it get close enough to a capital ship that it’s within the MAG Drive range, and then activating the MAG Drive to rip it apart. If it activates before then, it would just create a bubble that would push the ship (or, more likely, the missile itself) aside.
But that’d be like firing a Los Angeles-class submarine as a weapon when you could just use ADCAPs.
If you tried firing a missile/cannon like this near a planet, or within a few AU of a star, it would just rip itself apart.May 20, 2018 at 2:48 am #4830
Okay, so what about directing a beam or jet of combined EM and SM from the generator assembly as a particle stream? Basically the weapon would be to a jump drives Phase Coils, what a railgun is to an electric motor?
It occurs to me that given the operating principles of the MAG drive, there should be ways to engineer a destructive energy weapon for spinal mount on a ship of the line. Ships like the Renown class have gigantic kinetic cannons, but I haven’t seen anyone use large spinal lasers or particle weapons.May 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm #4831
Spinal lasers/particle weapons (which we classify as the same thing in terms of damage output, for the purpose of future tabletop games we’re making) are not just allowed, but incorporated into the shipbuilder file we have. The Coalition uses them, though most people tend to prefer kinetics.
You’re allowed to come up with your own method of creating said laser, certainly. I’d have my own opinions about using the direct energy of the core itself, though, mainly that you’d make it unstable and less efficient in everyday use for the sake of having the ability to tap it off, and in using it you’d momentarily render yourself without maneuverability. Particle beams/lasers in CoM use capacitors or capacitor-like storage for the energy. You can get more energy out of the process just by waiting and charging the weapon.May 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm #4838
Oh, I couldn’t get the shipbuilder to function. I just get a still image that I can’t interact with, kinda like a proof-of-concept mockup.
I’m thinking in order to bring things more in-line with CoM canon, a spinal particle cannon, that can be fired in a standard capacitor-fed manner, but engineered with effectively dump-valves from the MAG core, for rapid charging of the capacitors in a crisis, or direct-from-core fire mode for absolute last-ditch maximised firepower. Naturally diverting such a large percentage of drive power would come at a cost to powering other systems, and probably cook it’s own shields, but the design stems from an era of paranoia. For examples of similarly ludicrous weapons, look at the davy crocket nuke, or the various nuclear anti aircraft weapons designed and tested in the cold war.May 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm #4839
Also, say you could beam exotic matter at a target, what effects would be observed? I would imagine thermal and grav/tidal effects, and significant damage to shields.
Edit: I’ve just seen the link to ship weapons. Based on that, I’m thinking the spinal weapon is a particle laser, but tune-able so that it can, with a core powered boost, function more like a plasma beam, giving greater close-range punch at the expense of power consumption and overall range.May 24, 2018 at 11:34 pm #4842
That’s not so much “davy-crocket nuke” of an idea as it is “let’s design an aircraft carrier to be able to eject it’s core to kill a submarine beneat it” idea.
What happened with the exotic matter depends on what the exotic matter is able to do. The notion of exotic matter isn’t a solid one; it’s really just “Hey, we want this material that does a thing that nothing else does right now,” and so long as it isn’t totally ridiculous, we’ll canonize it. It’s sort of an excuse to have “cool” stuff that isn’t strictly hard science, like our Dark Matter Reactors – which do have some basis in reality, but are almost purely theoretical at best.
As far as “beaming exotic matter…” that’s just a kinetic rifle.
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