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Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

From: Jeff Lyon <jefflyon@m...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:54:42 -0600
Subject: Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

Another thing that needs to be cleared up IMO is what exactly do we mean
when we say "railguns"?

We can build prototype railguns today and will probably be fielding
field models within a decade (probably less).

Some of the weapons in DS2 and SG2 (such as the MDC and gauss rifle)
arguably be classed as railguns.  So might PDS systems.

I've heard KV railguns described as accelerating projectiles to "near
relativistic" velocities, but can't seem to find that in the
in MT.	(Personally, I think such a weapon would be more like the
cannon in Saberhagen's Berserker novels; it would probably destroy any
it hit.)  I've also seem some back and forth over whether they are the
electromagnetic accelerators we are familiar with or some sort of
accelerator instead.  If true, they clearly aren't "your granddaddy's
railguns" anymore.

I think we need to ask what general guideline we expect them to conform
are these the products of technology that is similar to, slightly
to or significantly superior to that of humanity in the official GZG

And while we are at it, why not hammer out some general guidelines for
incorporating advanced technologies into FT?  I think the low mass/high
cost payoff makes a lot of sense and should be fleshed out so that those
us who don't play in the official sandbox can have a truly generic
for designing balanced ships for any alien race rather than getting too
caught up in the care and feeding of Kra'Vak specifically.  That way you
can have your "advanced drives" race, your "advanced material science"
race, etc. in addition to your special weapons X, Y, and Z races.  For
example, I'd like to use railguns for the "low-tech" humans in my

In the case of the official universe I think one should ask why humans
not develop them as a primary weapon system when we are clearly on that
path today.

Who knows?  You might find that the Kra'Vak are actually _less_ advanced
some areas and use RGs because they are the best thing they could think
 Perhaps with the new FB designs, we'll find  that railguns are really
effective against fleets that have "over specialized" in their defenses
against beam weapons.

I guess, in summary, I'm saying lets re-evaluate what they are and how
work as part of an integrated ship design system that will continue to
for any universe.  Perhaps we'll end up with two (or more) different
of weapons; call 'em railguns and gauss cannons or whatever.  

Just some thoughts.


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