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Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:47:00 -0500
Subject: Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

Sean spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> Perhaps before we get too far along any one trail for our K'V weapons
> discussion, we should establish some general goals. These are the one
> I think are important:
> 1) The "To-Hit" mechanic should reflect a projectile flavor. In my
> that means performance should be relatively constant out to a given
> and then drop off quickly.

Don't necessarily agree. Depends on the one shot vs. multishot 
theory. At close range, multiple shots could well give you a better 
chance of a hit. At close range, I'd want a rapid fire mode for my 
railguns to up my chance of hitting. At long range, this would just 
be a waste of ammo. 
> 2) Damage should be constant, without regard to range.

Agreed. Except again multiple shots could well give you more hits. 
> 3) Firing arcs should be very limited to preserve the K'V "feel."

Yep, although I liked the wider arcs for small guns (they don't need 
the big runup that a large gun does... ergo they should be able to 
slew around a bit). 
> 4) Mass should be relatively low, and point cost should be relatively

Sure. At least I agree on point cost. 
> Please refute these if you don't agree; they're just a starting point.
> we agree on some goals, then we can get down to the nitty-gritty of
> specific mechanics to achieve them.

Here would be my take on RGs
1. There should be some type or mode that fires one large projectile 
at high speed for a long range hammerblow. There should be some mode 
or type that fires lots of smaller projectiles at slower individual 
velocities, but at a much higher cyclic.  The mechanics of these must 
integrate smoothly. 
2. They are alien - they don't necessarily have to balance in mass, 
but definitely in points, with human weaponry. 
3. Maybe (unlike other weapons systems using energy) they can jam. 
Maybe a counterbalance for a powerful salvo capability is the 
possibliity of a jam - which takes a round or two to clear.  
4. I think small rapid fire railguns would make good PDS (ADAF/PDAF). 
Maybe not quite as good as lasers, but a darn sight better than 
5. A high energy single shot type or RG (or mode) should have a low 
chance to hit, and a fairly linear drop off (since projectiles won't 
just drop off odds to hit in space, but will tend to drop off with 
sensor and targetting accuracy which will probably decline linearly 
or perhaps even as a squared function of range, rather than declining 
ast some set point - which is why the 'beat the range' roll sounded 
good). But when a round hits, regardless of range, damage should be 
the same.
6. Rapid fire shots (a mode or a type of RG) should have a 
higher chance to hit, a more limited range, and drop off in a much 
more pronounced pattern since this type of attack relies more on 
volume of fire than on single shots from sensor data. And volume 
increases as a cubic function or increased range. So these should be 
shorter range (effectively) and should be capable of high damage 
raking fire and PDS functions. Damage here should be widely variable, 
but increasing as range closes (at closer range, more projectiles on 

My 0.02. 

Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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