Weapons

Basic Weapons Types and Descriptions

1.0 Melee:

Melee weapons are simply any hand held weapon used in close quarters combat.

1.1 Clubs: Clubs are any simple object used as bashing weapon, anything from a stout stick to a discharged rifle can be used as a club. Clubs are not typically issued as combat weapons, however some security forces are issued simple wooden, metallic, or ceramic clubs or batons in lieu of more sophisticated stun weapons.

1.2 Knives: A knife is a sharp-edged hand tool used for cutting. A knife usually consists of a blade (metal, ceramic, or crystaline), usually less than 1 metra (30cm) in length, attached to a handle. The blade of a knife is usually pointed and may have one or two cutting edges, combat knives often feature a serated edge. Knives have been used as weapons and tools since primitive times, and simple knives can be constructed from stone, glass, wood or bone.

1.2.1 Vibroknife: A vibro knife is simply a normal combat knife with a vibration motivator in the handle that causes the blade to vibrate at exteremely high frequency. The vibration is almost imperceptible to most beings, but allows for easier cutting by the user.

1.2.2 Monomolecular Blade Knife: MMBFs are knives where the edge has been sharpened to a single molecule in thickness. These weapons usually are kept sheathed at all times because of how effortlessly they cut. Originally developed as surgical scalpels soldiers soon adopted the weapons for use in the field because of the ease with which they can slice through most materials.

1.2.3 Energy Knife: Energy blades are exotic weapons used only rarely because of their unstable nature and the fact that they require a power cell to function. Most produce a coherent plasma blade much like a beam cannon, but less then half a metra long. Energy knives while intimidating are not practical weapons because of their energy requirements, and are usually only carried by the very rich for show.

1.3 Swords: A sword is a long edged bladed weapon, consisting in its most fundamental design of a blade and a handle. The blade, normally made of metal, ceramic or crystal and often ground to at least one sharp edge, usually has a pointed tip for thrusting. The handle, called the hilt, can utilise many materials, but traditional swords normally use wood covered by leather, fish-skin or metal wiring. More modern swords use composites in the hilt construction because they tend to be lighter and more durable. The basic intent and physics of swordsmanship remain fairly constant, but the methods of using those physics vary widely from culture to culture. Most of the variations result from the differences in blade designs around the Galaxy, and even geographically on each world.

1.3.1 Vibrosword: Like the vibro knife (1.2.1) the vibrosword utilizes a motivator to vibrate the blade at high frequency to allw for easier cutting with less force by the user.

1.3.2 Monomolecular Blade Sword: Again, similar to the above mentioned knife (1.2.2), the MMBs are always kept sheathed except when in use. These weapons tend to be more ceremonial then practical as a skilled hand is required to yield one because any errant cut can result in devestating injury or damage.

1.3.3 Energy Sword: Energy swords are even less popular then energy knives (1.2.3) because of the massive energy requirements needed to generate an energy blade of sufficient length to qualify as a sword. Few manufactures exist for energy swords and those that do cater to obscure markets. Most energy swords require a separate power source in order to function, though one manufacturer claims to have an energy sword that is self contained and can maintain its blade for more then an hour before recharging is required. Energy swords are also not popular because the blade has no appreciable weight to it, so any traditionally trained swordsman has great difficulty in using one.

1.4 Stun Batons: Stun Butons are simply metra long rods with electrodes that upon contact with skin emit a charge that temporarily paralyzes the target. Stun batons are typically used only law enforcement, and are intentionally designed with enough mass to them to act as clubs should their internal charge run out.

2.0 Low Velocity Ballistic Weapons:

Low velocity ballistic weapons are those that are propelled either by hand or by non-energetic means.

2.1 Dart: Darts are missile weapons, designed to fly such that a sharp, often weighted point will strike first. They can be distinguished from javelins by fletching (i.e., feathers on the tail) and a shaft that is shorter and/or more flexible, and from arrows by the fact that they are not of the right length to use with a normal bow.

2.2 Spear: A spear is a simple, ancient weapon, used for hunting and war. It consists of a shaft, usually of wood or composite, with a sharpened head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be of another material fastened to the shaft. The most common design is of a metal spearhead, shaped somewhat like a dagger, and made entirely for thrusting. Spears can also be thrown and are typically only used by primative cultures or for ceremonial purposes.

2.3 Bow: A bow is a weapon that shoots arrows powered by the elasticity of the bow and/or its string. It is useful for hunting and war. The technique of using a bow is called archery. Bows are typically used now only for hunting but combat bows can still be found.

 2.3.1 Composite bow : A composite bow is made from different materials laminated together, usually applied under tension. They are recurve bows as the shape curves back on itself and it is this design that gives the bows tremendous power compared with their size. Modern composite bows such as a compound bow use laminated wood, plastic, and fibreglass. These are little affected by changes of temperature and humidity.

2.3.2 Compound bow: A compound bow is usually a composite recurve bow coupled with pulleys known as eccentric cams. It is little affected by changes of temperature and humidity and gives superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to the classic longbow. With recurve bows, the shape curves back on itself. It is this design that gives the bows tremendous power compared to their size. With a traditional single string bow as the string is pulled back the tension increases, so the bow must be aimed and released quickly, on release the string rapidly accelerates to its fastest and then decelerates for the rest strings return to stationary. There are mechanical advantages to pulleys:

1) the draw weight does not increase as the bow is drawn enabling the archer to hold the bow fully drawn and take time to aim.

2) the pulleys enable the archer to draw a bow with a much higher draw weight than they could manage with a conventional single stringed bow. 

3) the string continues to accelerate from the release to rest so imparting more power (and hence speed) to the arrow.

3.0 Small Arms:

The term small arms describes any weapon that a person can easily transport and fire. It describes personal weapons such as pistols, rifles, grenades, grenade launchers, mortars and machine guns. Small arms find a variety of uses including police and military uses, hunting, personal protection, crime, civil war and sports shooting. Many small arms have a low power compared to other gun types.

3.1 Pistols: A pistol or handgun is a usually small, projectile or energy weapon, normally fired with one hand and is meant for personal use (used by one person) in short-range action.

3.1.1 PLASER: PLASER is short of Plasma LASER, where in a plasma charge is excited by a laser and propelled down a barrel where it is focussed into a tight coherent package capable of severe damage. PLASER pistols are typically composed of the following components, a gas cylinder (usually compressed hydrogen), energy cell, laser excitation chamber, accelerator coils, focussing lens, emitter, cooling sleeve, trigger. Once the trigger is pulled gas is pumped into the excitation chamber where the laser excites and initially propels the plasma charge. Magnetic Accelerator coils in the barrel further accelerate the now charged and excited plasma while magnetic focusing lenses compact the plasma charge into a tight coherent slug. The emitter is the last stage and controls the final dispersion of the plasma charge, from small lethal slug, to disperessed stunning cloud. Plasers are the standard side arm of most races and plaser pistols range in size from small holdout blasters to large shooting pistols with sophisticated targeting software and scopes. The gas cylinder of most Plaser pistols is separate from the energy cell and typically carries enough compressed gas for five energy cells before requiring recharge.

3.1.2 Mass Driver: Mass Driver is the typical coloquilsim for any gun that magnetically accelerates metalic or metal coated slug to high speed. Mass drivers are based off of Gauss Rifles, but Guass rifles are a different class of weapons. Mass drivers tend to be slightly heavier then the equivalent plaser pistol due to the weight of their rounds and heavier mangetic accelerators, but are less prone to overload or electical failure. However mass drivers can have a round jam in the chamber which then has to be cleared, a “jam” in a plaser weapon on the other hand usually results in the excitation chamber bursting, destroying the weapon. Mass drivers also give a more kinetic hit then plasma weapons and are prefered by those dealing with berserkers or armored targets.

3.1.3 Slug Thrower: The term slug thrower almost exclusively applies to weapons that use a means other then electromagnetic to propel their projectile, these include chemical reactions, gasous expansion and mechanical impact. Chemical slugthrowers for instance typically utilize the rapidly expanding gas released during energetic chemical reactions, or by detonating phosphoric powders to acceleratte a metalic or ceramic slug. Chemical slug throwers typically do not accelerate their rounds as fast as mass drivers, so the kinetic energy is much lower so they are useful only against unarmored targets. However, their lack of electical or high energy components makes them all but invisible to weapon’s scanners making them ideal tools for smugglers, pirates, and special ops groups.

3.2 Rifles: A Rifle is a firearm with an extended barrel, usually designed to be fired braced against the shoulder. Barrels of such weapons commonly extend to around 50 cm or longer, giving considerable accuracy and range. Rifles typically fall into a number of catagories depending on their usage:

3.2.1 Assault Rifle: A combat rifle designed for having a high rate of fire, usually at the expense of accuracy. Assault rifles are the standard armament of most soldiers and are designed to be particularly robust, often they are found with multiple weapons types, typically MDC and PLASER.

3.2.2 Sub-Rifle: Sub Rifles were known as Sub-Machine Guns, in the age when chemical slug throwers were the norm. These weapons are usually half to two-thirds the size of their larger assault rifle cousins, and almost always single nature. These weapons are designed primarily for close quarters combat and as such are not the most accurate at long range.

3.2.3 Sniper Rifle: Rifles designed for long range accuracy over high rate of fire. Sniper rifles are almost always single nature with extermely accurate scopes and targetting software. Sniper rifles usually feature additional acceleration coils, in types that use them, in order to deliver a more powerful shot, making them more powerful and deadly their assualt rifle cousins.

3.2.4 Heavy Repeating Rifle: Also known as SAW, Squad Automatic Weapon, the HRR is the evolution of the old machine gun concept. These weapons are designed solely for the purpose of putting a large number of high caliber rounds down range for extended periods. SAWs tend to be bulky with large ammunition reserves, additional cooling systems, and limited targeting software, these are heavy weapons.

3.2.5 PLASER: Plaser rifles are constructed much like the smaller plaser pistols (3.1.1), but with one important difference. Plaser pistols typically carry their gas cylinder and power pack seperately while Plaser rifles combine them into one magazine. In UCSB plaser rifles a simple cover which protects the electical contacts and gas valve, this cover is breached upon insertion into the rifle. GF Plaser rifles on the other hand require that the protective strips that cover the contacts and valves of their rifles be removed prior to insertion.  This can however result in premature gas discharge if not done properly.

3.2.6 Mass Driver: Mass driver rifles operate exactly the same way as their pistol counterparts (3.1.2), but usually carry larger caliber ammuntion.

3.2.7 Gauss Rifles: Gauss rifles are advanced mass drivers with additonal accelerator coils packed along the barrel. Guass rifles typically have a perceptibly lower rate of fire then mass drivers, and jam more often if not properly cared for, but are much heavier hitting to the point where gauss sub-rifles can pierce vehicular armor.

3.2.8 Slug Throwers: Slug thrower rifles operate exactly like slug thrower pistols (3.1.3), but are less popular because they are not as easily concealed, despite usually being of smaller size and profile then more modern rifles.

3.2.9 Pulse Rifle: Pulse Rifles, aka Concussion Rifles, would be the ideal tool for assassins if not for several key factors: they are short range, have a distinctive whine when they charge to fire, and are somewhat bulky. Pulse rifles work only in atmosphere and function by first drawing in outside air through a series of vents, usually along the barrel. The atmospheric gasses are then compressed into tight packets and have electrons stripped way in order to make them magnetically attractive. The packets are then acceleated down the barrel where they are either further contracted or expanded. When fully contracted the packet acts much like a plasma slug and pierces skin, but usually without the burn left by plasma bolts, infact a finely tuned pulse rifle will leave only a tiny wound that is barely perceptible. When the packets are set to expand they are much shorter ranged and and expand further as they travel, the blast usually enough to knock most adult humans unconcious, and cause internal injuries. As such pulse rifles are usually favored by hunters who do not want to damage the outer skin of they prey, police, and shipboard security forces, since Pulse rifles, no matter their setting, cannot pierce a ships hull.

3.2.10 Particle Rifle: Particle rifles work under a similar principle to pulse rifles, but are far more energetic and destructive. Particle rifles are basically minature beam cannons. Using internal reserves of plasma gas and intakes which continuously draw in more from the surrounding atmosphere the particle rifle fires a continous beam of plasma. Particle rifles were originally devised as mining tools but soon found their way into the military arsenal. Particle rifles are not widely used however because they tend to overheat quickly and their particle beams tend to dissipate quickly making them useful only in close quarters.

3.3 Grenades: A hand grenade is a hand-held explosive device, made to be thrown by a soldier. Some grenades are designed to be fired by a grenade launcher.

3.3.1 Fragementaion: The fragmentation grenade is an antipersonnel device that is designed to spew shrapnel in all directions. The body is made of hard plastic, steel or ceramic, and flechettes or nicked wire provide the antipersonnel shrapnel fragments. Also the filler can consist of small metal balls to penetrate the target(s). (When the word “grenade” is used without qualification, and context does not suggest otherwise, this is the kind of grenade usually meant.)

3.3.2 Smoke: These are canister type grenades used as a ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling device, a target or landing zone marking device, or a screening device for unit movements. The body consists of a sheet metal cylinder with a few emission holes on top and at the bottom to allow smoke release when the grenade is ignited. The filler consists of colored (red, green, yellow or violet) smoke mixture (usually potassium chlorate, lactose and a dye). Another type of smoke grenades, are the bursting kind. These are filled with white phosphorus (WP), which are spread by explosive action. The phosphorus catches fire in the presence of air, and burns with a brilliant yellow flame, while producing copious amounts of white smoke (phosphorus pentoxide). These double as incendiary grenades (q.v.).

3.3.3 Gas: Gas grenades to disperse large groups of people and uses airborne irritants that cause diffuculty breathing and usually watering of the yes. This grenade is in terms of shape and use similar to smoke grenades. Gas Grenades need to be used carefully when employed against groups of mixed species as what may be simply an irritant to one may be fatal to another, or may have no effect.

3.3.4 Incendiary: These kind of grenades produce extreme heat by means of a chemical reaction, or plasma ignition. The body is practically the same as smoke and gas grenades. The filler consists either a thermate compound or a concentrated plasma gas and charger. A portion of the thermate mixture is converted to molten iron, which burns at 2200 degrees Celsius (4000 degrees Fahrenheit). It will fuse together the metallic parts of any object that it contacts. A typical incendiary will burn for 40 seconds and can burn through a 1/2-inch (13 mm) homogeneous steel plate. There is no need for an external source of oxygen and will burn under water or in vacuum. White phosphorus (see Smoke grenade) also has a very good incendiary effect; burning at a temperature of 2800 °C (5000 °F).

3.3.5 Concussion: Concussion grenades are used to concuss, confuse, disorient, or momentarily distract a potential threat for up to five to six seconds. A “flashbang” can seriously degrade the combat effectiveness of affected personnel for up to a minute. The “Flashbang”, so called because it produces a blinding (1 million Candela) flash and deafening (170-180 decibel) blast. This grenade can be used to incapacitate people but without serious permanent injury, though flashbangs can be dangerous and possibly fatal if misused. Upon detonation, the fuse/grenade body assembly remains intact and produces no fragmentation. The body is a steel hexagonal tube with holes along the sides which allow a blast of light and sound to be emitted. The filler consists of about 4.5 grams of a pyrotechnic metal-oxidant mix of magnesium & ammonium perchlorate.

3.3.6 Stun: Modern stun grenades typically use diffused blast plasma as they primary filler. Assembled in much the same way as a concussion grenade, when a stun grenade is detonated the excited blast plasma at it core vents out of the holes in the body of the grenade in a dispersion field. Those beings with unprotected central nervous systems are almost immediately knocked unconcious by the blast. Though the grenade does not fragment, close proximity or contact with it upon detonation can result in serious burns because the blast plasma has not yet disperessed enough.

4.0 Heavy Weapons:

The term heavy weapon is usually used to describe weapons that are typically crewed by multiple persons for use against heavily armored targets. These weapons include rocket and missile launchers, light repeating cannons, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

4.1 Rocket Launcher: A rocket launcher is typically a shoulder-launched missile weapon that fires a rocket-propelled missile at a target, yet is small enough to be carried by one man, and fired whilst held on their shoulder. The smallest shoulder-launched missile weapons are called rocket propelled grenades (RPG). There are also larger “dumb” shoulder-launched missiles, used in a similar way to a RPG, but with far greater destructive power. A number of specialised “smart” missiles are available in shoulder-launched forms, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft guided missiles.

4.2 Rockets: Military rockets are typically unguided or minimally guided weapons that use a liquid or chemical rocket for propulsion. These weapons do not manuever and fly ballistic trajectories, while fitted with warheads the kinetic impact of most is enough to damage or destroy most targets.

4.3 Missile: Missiles that have the ability to maneuver through the air or space and can be guided, and are known as guided missiles, or generally as just missiles. These have four key system components:

4.3.1 Tracking: A tracking system locates the missile’s target. This can be either a sentient gunner aiming a sight on the target (remotely from the missile) or an automatic tracker. Automatic trackers use radiation eminating from the target or emitted from the launching platform and reflecting back to it from the target. Passive automatic trackers use the target’s inherent radiation, usually heat or light, but missiles designed to attack Command & Control posts, aircraft or guided missiles may look for radio waves. Active automatic trackers rely on the target being illuminated by radiation. The target can be “painted” with light (sometimes infrared and/or LASER) or sensor waves which can be detected by the missile. The radiation for the painting can originate in the missile itself or may come from a remote station (for example, a hilltop gunner can illuminate a target with a LASER device and this can be used to direct an air launched guided missile).

4.3.1.1 Infrared: Infrared or IR trackers seek out the heat emitted by a target. These are passive seekers meaning they do not emit any radiation for tracking purposes. IR trackers are not used much by this time of the war as they are easily spoofed by larger heat sources like flares or dazzled by bright lights.

4.3.1.2 Radiation: Radiation seekers are a derivative of the older style IR and sensor seeking trackers. These weapons seek in on multiple bands of radiation emitted by their targets making them much harder to spoof. Specialized Radiation seeking missiles can be left as hunters and with larger engines can follow the radiation trail left by a target long after the target has left the immediate engagement area.

4.3.1.3 Image-Recognition: Usually referred to simply as Im-Recs, these passive seekers use library information downloaded from the launcher to form 3-D images of their target. The advanced “hunter” AI then commands the missile to seek only targets that match the selected profile. Early IM-Recs would often lose lock on their target if another that matched its design came into view causing it to track after it. More modern version however build full color maps of the target that are unique to it. More advanced models can continue to track even if the craft becomes damaged, so long as the damage is incurred while still in the view of the seeker, otherwise the missile will attempt to reaquire lock on another craft that matches the original description.

4.3.1.4 Telemetry: Telemtry trackers use data transmitted to them from outside sources, usually the launcher, to guide their missile towards their target. While the tracker itself is passive it requires that the target be actively illuminated. Some Telemtry trackers also have “beam riding” features included in their trackers which allow them to track in on the “echoes” reflected back by the illuminating sensor.

4.3.1.5 Sensor Guided: Sensor guided is a generic term for any tracker that uses an inbuilt active scanner, usually radar, tachyon or gravimetric, to track a target. These weapons selfguided, “fire and forget” type because they do not require external illumination for tracking, though most will accept telemtry updates.

4.3.1.6 Inertial: Internially trackers use preprogrammed coordinates and interal gyroes to maintain their course to target. These are typically used for long range weapons against fixed targets, and require no outside source of guidance.

4.3.1.7 LASER: LASER trackers locate and seek targets based on LASER light that “paints” a target from some outside source, either a nearby observor or the launching entity. The trackers are passive but require that the laser designator stay on target. The seekers track only on specific LASER wavelengths and frequencies making jamming difficult, but can still be spoofed or have their optics dazzled by sophisticated jamming equipment.

4.3.2 Guidance: A guidance system takes data from the missile’s tracking system and flight system and computes a flight path for the missile designed to intercept the target. It produces commands for the flight system.

4.3.3 Flight: The flight system is what powers the missile towards its target causes the missile to maneuver. Most missiles use a chemical rocket for propulsion, either solid or liquid, but more advanced missiles and torpedoes use small ion drives or Particle Duct Engines. There are three main systems for flight control: vectored thrust (for missiles that are powered throughout the guidance phase of their flight), aerodynamic maneuvering (wings, fins, canards, etc), and reaction control jets, which are essential for exoatmospheric use.

4.3.4 Warhead:  The Warhead system is what gives a missile its destructive potential because unless the target is slow moving or stationary missiles rarely make “skin to skin” contact with their targets. Once a target detector deteremines a missile is close enough to its target it detonates the warhead, the blast from the warhead and shrapnel created by the detonation doing damage to the target.

4.3.4.1 Kinetic: Kinetic warheads are not truly warheads, instead they are the whole missile, or rocket slamming into the target. Kinetic warheads are usually employed against lightly armored, unshielded targets where a large explosion is not necessary or desired.

4.3.4.2 Blast Fragmentation: Almost exclusively used by the GF and less developed races, BF warheads work much the same way as a fragmentation grenade, detonating a ballistic filler that shatters the fragmenting shell and propells it out in all directions. Most GF BF rounds use continuous rod warheads which propels out an expanding ring of interconnected rods that perforate armor and can overload shields.

4.3.4.3 Blast Plasma: BP rounds are used extensively by the UCSB and are similar to BF rounds in their function. The priamry difference is that the ballistic filler is an energetic plasma that upon detonation shatters the weapon throwing out not only the solid fragmentation rounds but the energized plasma. This makes the rounds more effective against shields, but plasma diffusion usually makes it less effective against armor. However plasma has been known to burn out external electronics.

4.3.4.4 Anti-Personnel: AP warheads are generally used only in unguided rockets, and are ineffective against any armored or shielded targets. AP warheads work much the same way as a BF round, usually employing flechettes which are kinetic rounds capable of tearing through flesh and light armor.

5.0 Vehicular Mounted:

As the name implies, vehicular mounted weapos are any weapon that is mounted to or carried on a vehicle (land, sea, air or space).

5.1 Cannon: A cannon is a projectile weapon with a larger bore size than a machine gun or heavy repeating rifle, and requires fixed mounting point.

5.1.1 Autocannon: An autocannon is a single barreled cannon with a high refire rate and are usually self loading. Autocannon are known for being more reliable then battery type cannons and for having longer range. Autocannon also usually feature larger caliber rounds then equivalently sized battery cannon.

5.1.2 Battery Cannon: A battery cannon is any multi-barreled cannon where each barrel is fired in sequence. Also known as rotary or gatling cannons these weapons usually feature between three and eight barrels. Physical projectile types typically rotate the barrels and feature a single firing chamber that fires down each barrel in turn. This allows for a weapon with a much higher rate of fire with fewer cooling problems then an equivalent autocannon, but at the cost of long range accuracy. Energy based battery cannons tend to leave the barrels fixed and act instead like a tightly clustered group of autocannons. Again this allows for better cooling and a higher rate of fire but at the cost of long range accuracy.

5.1.3 PLASER Cannon: Plasma LASER cannons are built much in the same way as lighter PLASER weapons (3.1.1) but do not feature the difuser settings needed to allow them to stun targets. Most PLASER cannons feature a built in plasma gas reserve as well as a pump to allow the weapon to draw from the craft’s own fuel supply, if the fuel is compatible with the PLASER cannon.

5.1.3.1 Plasma Cannon: Plasma cannons are usually referred to as less subtle plasers and in effect this is true. A plasma cannon is usually used as a short range area effect weapon by dropships for clearing a landing path and works in much the same way as a plaser except that it does not accelerate the plasma to anything close to the high velocity of a plaser nor does it tightly focus and compress the plasma.

5.1.3.2 Heavy PLASER: Heavy PLASERs as simply larger more powerful PLASER cannons, usually configured as Autocannons (5.1.1) these weapons pack incredible punch but tend to be bulky, quite massive and have a low refire rate.

5.1.3.3 HyperPLASER: HyperPLASERs are almost always mounted only to ships as their energy drain and plasma volume per round is usually more then most vehicles can carry. Refire rate on HyperPLASERs is usually measured in seconds but they are accurate up to extremely long ranges and in properly built advanced weapons plasma dispersion is minimal up to 1 AU.

5.1.4 Mass Driver Cannon: MDCs operate in much the same way as all Mass Driver weapons (3.1.2) but are much higher caliber and accelerate their rounds signficantly faster. Most MDCs tend to be configured as battery cannons and can feature numerous types of ammunition, from solid slugs, to plasma cored explosive rounds, to minature missiles.

5.1.4.1 Gauss Cannon: Gauss cannons are typically single barreled Autocannons (5.1.1). Functionally they are identical to MDCs and can in many cases use the same ammunition. The difference comes in the number of accelerator coils packed along their barrels. Gauss cannons can feature up to six times the density of accelerator coils then those of an equivalent MDC and those coils are usually more powerful as well making for an extremely hard hitting and accurate weapon. This level of kinetic power comes at the cost of a low refire rate, high mass and high jam rate if the weapon is not properly cared for.

5.1.4.2 Thrasher Cannon: Thrasher cannons are the mass driver equivalent of a shotgun. Tharsher cannons work much like a standard MDC but their ammuniton are tightly bound flechette rounds that explode shortly after firing. These flechettes spread out over long distances making the thrasher most effective in close up engagements, or as a turretted defense weapon. Despite a low firerate thrasher cannons are still considered desirable as defensive weapons because they can quickly overcome sheilds with their widespread bombardments.

5.1.5 Electron Particle Cannon: Known simply as EPCs these weapons use the basic building blocks of the atom as projectiles. The EPC strips away the electrons from atoms, usually hydrogen or helium atoms from an internal reservoir or the vehicles fuel supply. A sophisticated array of superconductive magnets and focusers then accelerate the streams of electrons to near the speed of light before they are released from the barrel emitter. EPC hardware is actually relatively light, but the energy requirements are considered excessive, especially for what is a short-range weapon. EPC bursts disperse quickly after firing and tend to act as an area effect on the targets surface. As a result instead of each round punching a small hole in the target large areas of armor are burned off a few layers at a time with each strike.

5.1.6 Bio Cannon: Bio cannons are developed and built exclusively by the Donvarion and like all of their technology is organic in nature. The exact workings and a functionality of the weapons are unknown and internal damage to weapon requires that it be sent to Donvarion specialists for repair. That being said the Bio-Cannon is a marvelous weapon firing a concentrated burst of a metal eating microbe. These microbes cannot reproduce outside of a special environment but even in small quantities they can do significant damage. Of little use against shields once the mass of microbes impacts armor it splashes across the surface and begins eating. Damage is usually not immediately apparent, especially if penetration occurs but in a matter of scant seconds whole armor plates seem to simply dissolve as the microbes dissolve it before dying shortly thereafter.

5.1.7 Narfic Cannon: Narfic cannons were developed by the mystics of the Tarrian Order and named in honor of their founder and greatest wizard in Anulian history. These energy-based weapons are intended primarily to disable an intended target. The initializing charge causes the cannon to fire bolts of what appear to be lightening creating an electrical bridge between the cannon and target. The weapon then proceeds to create a drain on the enemy target draining its power supply or causing circuit breaker to trip and fuses to break from the sudden powerful flow. A secondary mode causes the weapon to return the gathered energy in a single powerful bolt, this bolt causes severe damage to armor boiling off large chunks of it and creates an ionization effect known to wreak havoc on electrical systems. Narfic cannons are all mounted on special gimbaled arms and are usually controlled by a Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) in order to keep them trained on their target.

5.1.8 Ion Disruptor Cannon: IDCs are a less sophisticated but in many ways more powerful answer to the Narfic cannon. These weapons deliver a blast of charged particles that wreak havoc on a ship’s electrical systems and impart physical damage to armor. However, whereas a Narfic cannon usually does not destroy electrical system the IDC is less subtle and irreparably shorts out the electrical systems it effects. IDCs have a good rate of fire for standard sized models, but larger models, which are considerably more powerful, have a much lower rate of fire.  IDCs are particularly potent against Electro-Magnetic Torus based shields as they neutralize the ion cloud projected by the field, dispersing it and leaving the craft undefended.  The IDCs used by the GF are powerful enough to take out a fighter’s shield in two solid hits, but can only fire a three round burst at a time before having to recharge.

5.1.9 Anti-matter Cannon: Usually reserved only for capital ships, smaller scaled anti-matter cannons can be found on bombers and attack craft. These weapons fire magnetically contained anti-matter at their target accelerating it with magnetic or gravimetric coils to high sub-light speeds. The impact to the anti-matter on physical matter is devastating annihilating an equal amount of matter as the charge contains and initiating a small yet powerful nuclear explosion in the process. Most small scale anti-matter cannons use anti-matter charges, magnetic charges with a small amount of anti-matter contained within. More sophisticated types, known as charging types, have variable yields drawing on anti-matter reserves to build up each shot from minute amounts to large anti-matter bolts.

5.1.10 Particle Cannon: Particle cannons are the bigger brother of the particle rifle (3.2.10), and the little cousin of the large beam cannons mounted to capital ships. A particle cannon works by drawing on internal particle reserves or drawing on particles from surrounding space or atmosphere. Once initiated the weapon excites and accelerates the particles into a narrow coherent beam of intense destructive potential. These are primarily used in atmosphere where sustained bombardment is possible. In space it must rely on its internal reserves and in such cases only fires particle bolts instead of concentrating the particles into a cohesive beam. The beam yield can be adjusted from small pinpoint beams used in long range precision strikes to thicker more powerful beam that can cut a swathe through enemy formations, but at the expense of range and sustainability.

5.1.11 Stinger Cannon: Stinger cannons are used to refer to the light Razer cannons used on bombers and attack craft. These scaled down meson cannons based weapons work on the same principle as the much large anti-capital ship weapons but are used as subsystem destroyers.  A specialized type of particle beam weapon, the meson gun, use subatomic Pi neutral mesons (created by the collision of an electron and a positron), that pass through normal matter with minimal interaction, in a similar manner to neutrinos.  They also have a very short life span however, decaying in a burst of gamma rays that react violently with material substances. A Razer/meson gun accelerates pi neutral meson particles to near-lightspeed, where time dilation slows their rate of decay. The precision used for this requires extremely accurate targeting computers that continually compute for the three dimensional position of cannon and target. When done correctly, the meson packets decay at a predetermined spot in space, bypassing shields, and armor. These “packets” of mesons are extremely densely packed and the resultant energy release from the decay can approach that of a reaction warhead.  Stinger cannons consume huge amounts of power however and have a refire rate that is best described as tedious.

5.1.12 Microparticle Burst Cannon: These weapons are used exclusively by special operations craft and work by bombarding the target with a cloud of hypervelocity subatomic particles. These particles upon contact with matter knock electrons and neutrons out of their orbits degrading the matter and effectively knocking it down the periodic table. These cannons are fairly lower yield and not exceptionally powerful and used mostly in advance of a major operation to weaken enemy ships before they go into combat. They are also used in harassing tactics to cause failures in an enemy ship, effectively crippling it without ever firing a shot.

5.2 Missile and Rocket Launchers: Modern missile and rocket launchers and typically pod or pack designed carrying multiple warheads within an armored shell that contains the electronics required to fire the weapons. Some craft still utilize external hardpoints, which carry the weapons in exposed recesses or hang them off of launching racks and rails, these also contain the electronics required to fire the weapon. Pack designs are favored for a number of reasons, mostly protection of the warhead from enemy fire as well as making the carrying craft aerodynamically cleaner, though hardpoints are considered more reliable and better for carrying larger ordnance that the craft is not normally equipped with.

5.2.1 Rockets: Military rockets are typically unguided or minimally guided weapons that use a liquid or chemical rocket for propulsion. These weapons do not manuever and fly ballistic trajectories, while fitted with warheads the kinetic impact of most is enough to damage or destroy most targets. Some rockets utilize miniature slipstream drives to propel themselves to even higher speeds and it is not uncommon for a rocket launcher to feature magnetic or gravimetric accelerator coils to impart additional velocity on the rocket.

5.2.2 Missiles: Missiles that have the ability to maneuver through the air or space and can be guided, and are known as guided missiles, or generally as just missiles. See Section 4.3 for additional details on missile design and components.

5.3 Torpedoes and Launchers: Torpedoes are large scaled guided missiles designed for use against capital ships. The smallest torpedoes are used in the anti-component role but have enough firepower to seriously damage or destroy light capital ships, unlike dedicated anti-component weapons. The largest torpedoes can only be carried on capital ships and have enough destructive potential to level whole cities. Torpedoes are typically constructed in the same manner as missiles only larger with the following exceptions:

5.3.1 Tracking: A tracking system is what locates a Torpedoes target and sends commands to the guidance system. This can be either a sentient gunner aiming a sight on the target (remotely from the torpdeo) or an automatic tracker. Automatic trackers use radiation eminating from the target or emitted from the launching platform and reflecting back to it from the target. Passive automatic trackers use the target’s inherent radiation, usually heat or light, but torpedoes designed to attack Command & Control posts, may look for radio or sensors emissions. Active automatic trackers rely on the target being illuminated by radiation. The target can be “painted” with light (sometimes infrared and/or LASER) or sensor waves which can be detected by the missile. The radiation for the painting can originate in the torpedo itself or may come from a remote station (for example, an escorting fighter can illuminate a target with a LASER device and this can be used to direct a bomber launched torpedo). Most torpedoes are large enough to use multiple tracking systems in order to guide them to target. See section (4.3.1) for details on individual tracker types.  

5.3.2 Guidance: A guidance system takes data from the missile’s tracking system and flight system and computes a flight path for the missile designed to intercept the target. It produces commands for the flight system.

5.3.3 Flight: The flight system is what powers the torpedo towards its target and allows the torpedo to maneuver. Most torpedos use a chemical rocket for propulsion, either solid or liquid, but more advanced torpedoes use small ion drives or Particle Duct Engines and in the case of larger capital ship based weapon some use slipstream drives. There are three main systems for flight control: vectored thrust (for missiles that are powered throughout the guidance phase of their flight), aerodynamic maneuvering (wings, fins, canards, etc), and reaction control jets, which are essential for exoatmospheric use.

5.3.4 Warhead:  The Warhead system is what gives a Torpedo its destructive potential beyond simply striking the target since most torpedoes are designed to impact their target. Once a target detector deteremines a torpedo is close enough to its target, it detonates the warhead, the blast from the warhead and shrapnel created by the detonation doing damage to the target.

5.3.4.1 Kinetic: Kinetic warheads are not truly warheads, instead they are the whole torpedo slamming into the target. Kinetic warheads are usually used in long range torpedoes that use unstable slipstream drives to power them across a system. These torpedo drop off the slipstream without decelerating and have been known to impact with enough force to cause temblors if striking a fault line of a planet.

5.3.4.2 Photon Detonator: PD warheads are used exclusively by the UCSB in the shark line of light and heavy torpedoes. These warheads use underdeveloped photon energizer crystals which are charged to the bursting point by exposure to white light. Photon Detonators, when exposed to white light longer then a safe duration, begin to convert the photons in anti-gluon particles through a method that is not well understood and quickly grow unstable as the anti-gluons begin to break down the molecular structure of the crystal. If shattered or left exposed too long they explode violently. The immediate reaction creates a spherical blast of anti-gluons fifty foot in radius that blow out the intermolecular bonds of all matter inside the blast sphere. The concussive force also devestates any loose material nearby propelling it away. Any matter caught inside the blast is either blasted out in its new form or reforms in the blasts aftermath, but rarely with the same molecular structure, usually reforming as much weaker molecules.  PD are prefered by the UCSB over reaction warheads because despite the fact their yield is set they do not produce radiation or radioactive fallout.

5.3.4.3 Reaction: Reaction warheads use nuclear fision or fusion to produce energetic explosions of incredible force. Reaction warheads are typically used only on torpedo type weapons can vary in yield from a few kilo-tons, or several hundred mega-tons. Use of these warheads is frowned upon by many because of the radiation and radioactive fallout they produce, but the weapons are still used because of their ease of production and devestating potential. Modern reaction warheads come with the actually fision/fusion warhead encased in a dense easily plasmaed medium. This allows for the warheads to still have effect beyond radiation and EMP generation when used in deep space. Though still not as effective as a M/AM warhead in space or as effective as in atmosphere.

5.3.4.4 Anti-Matter: M/AM warheads work by colliding contained matter and anti-matter together to produce an energetic reaction of equal or greater power then even reaction weapons. M/AM warheads are substationally more expensive then reaction warheads, but produce far less radiation or radioactive fallout, making them safer to employ. Containment of a M/AM warhead is more difficult however as the Anti-matter must be kept inside a magnetic field to keep it from interacting destructively with other matter.

5.3.4.5 Hyperbubble: Hyperbubble warheads were not introduced until the later stages of the war and were first used by the Galactic Federation. These highly unstable warhead use a hyperspace bubble generator matrix to envelope a target inside pocket of hyperspace. The bubble generators are usually powerfull enough to engulf gunships or light corvettes but not larger capital ships. Ships trapped within the bubble are quickly destroyed by hyperspace if unshielded. When used against larger ships the bubble will bypass the ship’s combat shields as if they were not even present carving out a chunk of the ship. Most of these warheads then “pop” the bubble, the un newly formed bubbles always being quite unstable, the resulting explosion is extremely powerful and mimics the effects of a M/AM warhead (5.3.4.4)

5.3.5 Special Equipment: Unlike missiles which are compact and can only carry the bare minimum of equipment, most torpedoes are large enough to be fitted with sophisticated additional equipment. This equipment is usually torpedo type specific and oft times is large or massive enough to allow for only one of each.

5.3.5.1 Jammers: Many torpedoes carry sophisticated jammers and sensor masking equipment to hide their pressence from their intended targets. These systems are only effective when the torpedo uses a passive tracker and are usually used on hunter torpedoes whicah can track a target a long distance before striking, or are sometimes left seeded in key areas of system.

5.3.5.2 Shield Negators: Usually only found on large torpedoes shield negators, when used properly, allow a torpedo to pass through a target’s combat shields unmolested. The advantage of this is that the full descructive potential of the torpedoes warhead can be imparted on unprotected armor. The drawbacks include a longer lock on time as the launching craft must first scrutinize the targets shields, and the fact that when the data is inaccurate the torpedo can simply slide along the shield without detonating. This was mainly a problem with earlier SN equipped torpedoes, newer ones can continually assess the targets shields and recalibrate to match or in the case where it will be unable to penetrate will trigger detonation upon shield contact.

5.3.5.3 Multiple Warheads: Used primarily by planetary assault torpedoes, some feature numerous warheads which can be disperessed over a large area to inflict maximum destructive potential. Some anti-capital torpedoes also feature multiple warheads, either to overwhelm enemy shields, and to provide numerous targets, or in order to bore a hole deep into the ship by dropping the individual warheads in the wake of the main torpedo.

6.0 Capital Scale Weapons:

Capital scale weapons are any and all weapons which can only be mounted on and utilized by capital ships and fixed installations. These weapons have massive power and space requirements and are orders of magnitude more complex then those used by smaller craft.

6.1 Defensive Weapons: Defensive weapons are usually comprised of small scale turrets and missile launchers. These weapons are designed specificially to destroy incoming warheads or enemy fighters and bombers, they pose little to no danger to capital ships. For the most part the weapons mounted to these turrets are the same as those used by fighters, tanks, and bombers, only modified to fit their new turretted mounts.

6.2 Turretted Anti-Capital: Turretted anti-capital ship weapons make up the bulk of a ships offensive and defensive armament, usually energy based some still use projectiles and many can fire missiles or torpedoes. It is not uncommon to find an anti-capital turret that features defensive missile launchers, on the whole however these turrets are usually too large and too slow to engage fighters.

6.2.1 HyperPLASER: HyperPLASERs are almost always mounted only to ships as their energy drain and plasma volume per round is usually more then most vehicles can carry. Refire rate on HyperPLASERs is usually measured in seconds but they are accurate up to extremely long ranges and in properly built advanced weapons plasma dispersion is minimal up to 1 AU. Hyperplasers are usually configured as Battery cannons, with the individual barrels buried deepinside the main barrel. These cannons then have the ability to either maintain a higher rate of fire of less powerful rounds, or they can fire all their battery barrels at once to deliver a much stronger blast.

6.2.2 Rail Gun: Rail Guns are built along the same lines as MDC and Gauss Cannons but on a much larger scale. These weapons fire huge projectiles and sometimes even cross-system torpedoes. Rail Guns see only limited use in modern warfare because Plasma based weapons are felt to be more reliable with less moving parts and fewer crew demands. However several races still favor rail guns because of their destructuve potential.

6.2.3 Anti-Matter Cannon: Anti-matter cannons are usually the strict province of capital ships, though they can be found on some smaller bomber and gunships.  These weapons fire magnetically contained anti-matter at their target accelerating it with magnetic or gravimetric coils to high sub-light speeds. The impact to the anti-matter on physical matter is devastating annihilating an equal amount of matter as the charge contains and initiating a small yet powerful nuclear explosion in the process. Capital scale Antimatter Cannons are all charging types and the gunners of the individual turret can then determine the amount of antimatter to commit to each volley as the intended target dictates.

6.2.4 Particle Beams: Particle beam cannons, also known as plasma beam cannons, because most use excited plasma as they primary ammunition, are quickly becoming the mainstay in space combat. PBCs work by focusing excited and energized plasma or particle masses into coherent streams, which are accelerated to tremendous speeds and then fired from the emitter matrix. The beams can then be steered like giant lances and can be used to bore straight through a ship or even cut a ship in half. PBCs are devastating weapons but very few can sustain fire for more then a few seconds at a time due to overheating and the need to rebuild their plasma or particle reserves. Most PBCs are in dome shaped emitters on the surface of a ship however more ships are now starting to adopt the Drashig design philosophy which combines PBC and HyperPlaser turrets making them more versatile, but creating narrower yield beams, however since most of their turrets carry multiple barrels the effect overall remains relative unchanged. Like Hyperplasers a properly maintained PBC can generate a particle beam that can maintain cohesion up to 1AU from the firing ship, however, no ship known can actually generate a particle beam that long.

6.2.5 Torpedo Launchers: While not generally turret mounted some races to favor turreted torpedo launchers. Most shipboard torpedo launchers are actually inside the skin of a ship and fire out of external hatches instead. Most capital ships feature multiple torpedo launchers for head on, rear launched and broadside attacks. For additional information on torpedoes refer to section (5.3).

6.3 Fixed Weapons: Fixed weapons are also known as keel mounted weapons because so many of them are built into the keel of the ships they are fired from. In general this type of weapon is a large anti-capital weapon that destroy smaller capital ships in single volley. These weapons also require that the whole ship maneuver to bring the weapon to bear on the intended target otherwise many of these weapons have enough recoil to tear themselves free if turreted.

6.3.1 Asteroid Cannons: Asteroid cannons make up the bulk of the UCSBs large anti-capital cannons. These weapons work along the same lines as rail guns (6.2.2) but instead of firing a manufactured projectile launch asteroids using magnetic and gravimetric accelerators. These asteroids are usually modified in some way, either being packed with warheads and explosives, and or in some case fitted with maneuvering engines. Most asteroids have to be modified to fit their launcher, either to limit their size, or to eliminate protrusions that could potentially damage the accelerator coils. Some battleships feature turreted asteroid cannons but these are not commonly used because of recoil problems, and flex mounting the massive weapon is preferred.

6.3.2 Razer Cannons: Razer cannons make up the bulk of the GFs anti-capital cannons, and while in use by the UCSB too are generally associated with the GF.  Razor cannons are based on the principles of the meson cannons and are a specialized type of particle beam weapon, that uses subatomic Pi neutral mesons (created by the collision of an electron and a positron), that pass through normal matter with minimal interaction, in a similar manner to neutrinos. They also have a very short life span however, decaying in a burst of gamma rays that react violently with material substances. A Razer/meson gun accelerates pi neutral meson particles to near-lightspeed, where time dilation slows their rate of decay. The precision used for this requires extremely accurate targeting computers that continually compute for the three dimensional position of cannon and target. When done correctly, the meson packets decay at a predetermined spot in space, bypassing shields, and armor. These “packets” of mesons are extremely densely packed and the resultant energy release from the decay can approach that of a reaction warhead.  Razer cannons consume huge amounts of power however, generate tremendous heat and a result have a refire rate that in larger more powerful cannons that can last up to half an hour. For this reason the UCSB prefers asteroid cannons, and the GF has developed Razer cannons with “chokes” that vary their packet yield and allow for more rapid firing. It is also for this reason that most Razer equipped ships are mounted with several of the siege weapons.

6.3.2.1 Buster Cannon: The Buster cannon is the completely Terran reengineered and built variant of the Razer cannon developed by the Yamato Staryards. Counter to normal convention these weapons are turreted and using advanced materials and structures, as well as variable yield burst controls have a significantly improved rate of fire. These weapons were introduced late in the war and used almost exclusively on the Matsumoto class battleships.

6.3.2.2 Beam-Razers: Made exclusively by the Centauri Shipping Consortium for their Bremen line of light destroyers the Beam Razer is built using the same basic external design of their older Razer cannons. The Beam-Razer cannon is a revolution in weapons design, CSC somehow finding a way to integrate a powerful PBC with their standard Razer. This unprecedented advancement allows the beam cannon to track its target up to twenty degrees off axis and then fire the Razer blast off bore down the beam. This was first demonstrated when the GFS Bremen destroyed the UCSBS Vamair in its first combat engagement. The Bremen was destroyed shortly thereafter by bombers off the UCSBS-Wolfsbane, but the technology was proven quite effective.

6.3.3 Heavy PBC: Heavy PBCs are identical in construction to standard PBCs but are so large they have to be fixed in their mountings. Even these large PBCs are stearable however and are favored in planetary bombardments where a large yield PBC is preferred.  

6.3.4 Graviton Particle Cannon: GPCs are devastating weapons, and are fielded only on battleships and Tacit Class carriers. A GPC is actually two weapons in one and is the natural evolution of the Razer Cannon. A GPC works by firing a massive graviton particle bolt at the target that generates a gravitational potential in excess of 200Gs of personal gravity. However around and preceding the bolt is cloud of subatomic particles that upon colliding with matter degrades the structure of the material knocking the material a few steps down the periodic table. This blast alone is enough to destroy many craft as they immediately begin to suffer major structural collapse. The Graviton burst furthers the damage by collapsing the already weakened structure and once the graviton bolt explodes it shatters the ship.

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