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Re: Big Guns and Small Ships (was Re: house rules/offline)

From: "Christopher Weuve" <caw@w...>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 09:31:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Big Guns and Small Ships (was Re: house rules/offline)

On Oct 18, 1997 at 11:59:42 AM, Jerry Han <> wrote:

> Unfortunately, in FT and most sci-fi universes, guns are lasers, or 
> phasers, or rapid-fire rail cannon; things where reload rate is 
> irrelevant, and the speed of the projectile is so high that even if
> miss with the first shot, you can easily compensate and tag the bugger

> with the second.  End of Story.  (Examine Starfire, or the Honour 
> Harrington Books, or the B5 Universe.  You're small, you die easily in

> the line of battle.  HH is the strongest example of this; I would not 
> want to take a destroyer, or even a squadron of destroyers, against a 
> Superdreadnought.) 

An interesting take on this is presented in Sherwood Smith and Dave 
Trowbridge's _Exordium_ series.  In the series, battlecruisers are the
ships, at 7 km in length, with destroyers being closer to a kilometer. 
are armed with a single skipmissile tube, a weapon which fires a
skipping plasma burst of tremendous power.  Both ship types mount tesla 
shields as well, although the shields of a destroyer are much weaker. 
general, a destroyer cannot withstand a square hit from a skipmissile,
a battlecruiser can.  Such a hit sets up oscillations in the shield,
and with guile and skill three or more destroyers can overwhelm a 
battlecruiser's shield.  A single destroyer cannot, because its
tube can't recharge fast enough.  Battlecruisers can sometimes (albeit
great difficulty) best each other in single combat, because their tubes 
recharge faster.

_Exordium_ is a great universe, but unfortunately it can't be gamed very
because lightspeed information lag is very important to the naval
tactics of 
the universe.  It does have a LOT of clever ideas for games, though. 
currently rewriting my _Exordium_ web page to detail the ships involved
-- it 
should be available on 10/27.

--Chris Weuve		[My opinion, not my employers.] (wk/day) (h)
Would you like to see Smith & Trowbridge's _Exordium_ reprinted?  Help
editor, Beth Meacham, convince the Tor sales department -- send email to
at	   []

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