Questions tagged [space-combat]

For questions regarding the physics/mechanics/dynamics of space combat.

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Relativistic Droplet Accelerator

In this blogpost, Matter Beam discuss a potential weapon that based of a concept meant for interstellar travel. The concept is that the particles in a particle beam are allowed to cool and condense, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
145 views

Ideal materials for the outer layer of a whipple shield

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipple_shield What I'm looking for is the best possible materials for the outer layer of a whipple shield. From what I understand, the outer layer turns a hypervelocity ...
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28 votes
26 answers
6k views

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

In my universe, humans are pretty good with AI and have some experience in space combat, as nations fought for resources. Regarding the world, humanity remains in the solar system and is in space ...
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4 votes
1 answer
74 views

Magnetic Flux Pinning Whipple Shields?

Would it be possible to have a collapsible whipple shields that can extend far out of a spaceship and be held in places with super conducting magnets? My rough idea is to be able to absorb more damage ...
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4 votes
7 answers
2k views

When are Turreted Railgun better than Spinally-Mounted Railguns?

When and why are spinally-mounted railguns superior to turreted railguns for space combat? Is it a power issues(longer barrels could probably be mounted spinally, and the longer barrels might allow ...
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20 votes
9 answers
5k views

How Does Orbital Warfare Work?

Let's say in the near future(so no fusion drives or anything exotic like that, VASIMR engines are the "best" engines placed on ships, not on expendable weapons), two space ships, armed with ...
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4 votes
7 answers
2k views

XO Commanding a cruiser

My universe uses a lot of parallels to modern and World War Era navies. With that, I am trying to make a plausible space navy operating several centuries from now. The particular ship for this ...
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13 votes
9 answers
2k views

Single vs multi-person drop pods

Excluding teleportation, the most rapid way of delivering troops to an operation planeside is by dropping them out of orbit in a steel can. Whether a small QRF or a few thousand marines dropping in to ...
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  • 1,144
8 votes
9 answers
1k views

Could Short-Range Fighters Realistically Return?

I am shooting for a futuristic image of fighter warfare (similar to the depiction in Star Wars). As jets and long-ranged targeting have developed, aerial “turn-fighting” and short-range dogfights ...
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1 vote
1 answer
609 views

What would be a good engagement distance for space ships, assuming it took place in the sol system

(Edited due to oversights and ridiculous numbers) So I was curious about this. I know similar questions have been asked but they all have specific parameters that are different from mine. All ships ...
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12 votes
16 answers
3k views

How can gravity shielding be defeated?

In this science fiction universe, that has somewhat tough science in it, paragravity is an established technology that is used to its fullest potential. Which lies the problem where warfare is ...
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3 votes
3 answers
404 views

In space is it better to use cannons instead of railguns?

A problem in space is a lot of the time heat dissipation. Another big problem is if you are set off course by the forces that the gun shooting inflicts on your spaceship. For the same speed and ...
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9 votes
2 answers
574 views

Is my space combat system realistic?

The Basics There is no FTL. Most spacecraft use He3-De fusion Torchdrives, capable of performing sustained multi-gee burns. Most torchdrives can also use fuel that is delivered by accelerators ...
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3 votes
4 answers
496 views

"Low" Efficiency High Power Fusion drives for weapons and "High Efficiency" lower power drives for ships?

I'm currently trying to develop 2 different "classes" of drives for space ship, Expanse style combat with "Low" Efficiency High Power Fusion drives for weapons and "High ...
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1 vote
5 answers
311 views

How to manage nuclear armed missiles in a spaceborne combat environment?

Thanks to all the members in my previous question regarding nuclear armed missiles (nukes). From those responses, it turns out nukes are more powerful than I expected they would be in terms of ...
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6 votes
3 answers
445 views

Does the technology to create a laser weapon naturally provide defense from it?

In a space-faring, war-torn world with mostly-realistic technology, the engineers have been developing laser weaponry and defenses. All sides of the war have roughly equal technology. This question ...
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4 votes
1 answer
494 views

Fleet tactics & strategies in a hard sci-fi setting with near light speed weapons, ultra hypervelocity kinetics, realistic sensors, and torch ships

I am trying to figure out tactics and strategies for ships that move in a Newtonian regime and use weapons at or near the speed of light. Signals are also at light speed, being lidar and radar; ECM ...
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1 vote
4 answers
240 views

Missile warheads in space?

So I am thinking about space battles in my universe. The main weapons on my ships will be missiles/torpedos. Which of these would be the most effective warhead: Tungsten shotguns. The missile closes ...
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13 votes
8 answers
1k views

Realistic space battle distances?

Distance in space battles is a crucial variable that affects the tactics and outcomes. With the following tech what is a reasonable distance for battles to be engaged: Engines: Fusion drives with max ...
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  • 2,063
2 votes
2 answers
124 views

How to do repairs during high G maneuvers?

In Nemesis Games during the battle a character moves through the ship. Since the ship is maneuvering they get banged around a lot. My books are written with a tech level similar to the Expanse so this ...
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11 votes
5 answers
588 views

How massive can a starship or fleet be without becoming a danger to itself or the star system?

There are a lot of large starships in sci-fi but their influence on a solar system is rarely deeply explored and kept fairly limited. For example, in Eve-Online fluff, titans are considered massive ...
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3 votes
2 answers
152 views

External 'Stellaser' style beam weapons driven from 'plasma envelope' surrounding a spaceship - Hard Science Fiction

A previous question asked about the feasibility of reflective flakes of metal suspended in the plasma to absorb heat from the plasma and radiate it for cooling the craft: Plasma-shell and suspended ...
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13 votes
17 answers
5k views

How do I justify short-range engagements in space?

So, lately I have been developing a tabletop board-game, the subject of which is space battles. My intention for it is to be somewhat similar to Armada, but more realistic (e.g. tyranny of rocket ...
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  • 8,878
5 votes
7 answers
721 views

What theoretically workable weapons are the best for ship-to-ship combat in space?

What theoretically workable weapons (they don't necessarily have to exist, they just have to be possible with a little bit of unobtainium) would be the most effective for ship-to-ship combat in space? ...
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10 votes
10 answers
1k views

Proper combat distance scaling for a sci-fi space opera tabletop setting

I'm making a completely homemade tabletop system with the intent of generating a hardish scifi, more sim-like experience for my friends. I've settled on no FTL and all space battles would be ...
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Optimum shape for a Space Dreadnought [duplicate]

So, for a board game I am developing, I need to design the perfect Space Dreadnought, in the Star Destroyer style. My concept of the end product involves a More Dakka approach, with the combined ...
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13 votes
15 answers
10k views

Why is the Death Star laser red? [closed]

In the distant future, the Earth Federation decided to turn our Moon into a Death Star which has a powerful laser cannon which produces a high energy laser beam capable of obliterating a terrestrial ...
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2 votes
3 answers
189 views

How to tell it is a relativistic kugelblitz instead of other photonic attack?

Set in a quite distant future, intergalactic war is brewing and it is important to tell what form of attacks the enemy ship is using otherwise the battle will quickly become one sided. Anyway imagine ...
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Defense procedures in case of encountering robotic alien locusts

The Swarm are a species of semi-intelligent insectlike alien robot evolved from a self-upgrading machine designed to clean space junk. They are widely known in the galaxy and regarded as a threat, yet ...
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4 votes
6 answers
525 views

Do lightweight blockade-runner transports make single-seat space fighters obsolete?

The overall background and setting of this question: a mashup of Star Wars and the Freespace video game franchise. Note: There's a comprehensive reference wiki on Freespace (easily searchable on ...
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10 votes
3 answers
466 views

Relativistic Interstellar Combat

This question is heavily motivated by the details of my story, but it has a lot of free parameters to work with. I invite you to think creatively! Setting: You are in command of a constant ...
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6 votes
3 answers
278 views

Realistically, what type of weapon is the best at delivering a specific radiation in space battle?

It's 20 years into the future, and humanity is (trying to) reaching for the stars. And congratulation, we have met a lot of quirky alien civilization, as per SF tradition. Unfortunately, this isn't ...
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4 votes
2 answers
272 views

Space combat for a TBS 4x game game

I am currently writing a TBS 4x space strategy game. I am done with interfaces and graphics and i am now developing the first of the three major parts - the combat starship. The next is the combat ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

How Powerful a Starship Coilgun Can We Make?

I've spent a good deal of time working through the mechanics of 'realistic' space combat, and figure that good old kinetic projectiles will probably still at least be part of the arsenal, if not the ...
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24 votes
15 answers
4k views

On the feasibility of space battleships

We all know and presumably love enormous space battles with vast battleships doing minimal damage to each other for hours before being blown up by a single fighter. On Earth battleships became big ...
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14 votes
8 answers
6k views

Dogfights in outer space

Assuming spacecraft are using contemporary propulsion technology, and are engaging in a dogfight in outer space (whether they are manned, drone, or autonomous), would the movements of the craft be ...
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6 votes
7 answers
369 views

Interplanetary fighter craft

Am I correct in assuming that an interplanetary fighter craft using existing technology, that functions exclusively in the vacuum of space, could be made inherently lighter, more maneuverable, more ...
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  • 1,279
11 votes
9 answers
3k views

Historical experience as a guide to warship design?

I've been working on designs for some model starships, in particular warships. My working assumption has been that the designs and materials for these ships will reflect the way that the civilisation ...
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3 votes
9 answers
394 views

How do I give my alien mercenaries a fighting chance?

So, Earth has run afoul of an alien power. The aliens have a working FTL drive, but no one else (including us) does. They have used their technological superiority to create a far flung mercantile ...
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5 votes
6 answers
448 views

You are murderous alien pirates, how do you get onboard a victim's spaceship? [closed]

Backstory: One space-faring civilization detects evidence of intelligent/sapient life on another planet. They send emissaries. The people on the planet, a species of intelligent apex predators, ...
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-4 votes
3 answers
113 views

How to compromise block chain force shield? [closed]

Set in the distant future, a notorious terrorist group infamously known as "51 Crew" is planning an ambush near the orbit of Thebe, Jovian moon. In the next few hours an armoured shuttle holding a ...
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12 votes
8 answers
3k views

How would an energy-based "projectile" blow up a spaceship?

I have noticed this in many fictions: during a battle between spaceships exchanging fire in empty space, a pulse of laser fire hits the hull and the entire spaceship explodes into many pieces. Is ...
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  • 46.1k
5 votes
3 answers
725 views

How would an EMP affect spacesuits (and small-arms weapons)?

Since most online and media depictions of EMPs run the gamut from devastating annihilation (complete with sparks shooting from every angle) to gentle shutdowns resulting in inconvenient repairs, what'...
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3 votes
1 answer
391 views

Laser Induced Plasma Channel Inspired Gun

The idea is for a gun that was manufactured by revolting mining colonists from existing mining lasers, as such a weapon would be easily procured from their own resources. The weapon itself would be ...
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19 votes
15 answers
4k views

Stopping a Planet Cracker?

One of the issues with creating a model of space warfare that is both realistic and interesting is the ease with which one can destroy things using high-velocity kinetic kill vehicles (KKVs). For a ...
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4 votes
5 answers
657 views

Single-use nuke-propelled mass driver spaceship

So this is in the context where space battles are fought by ships that are little more than giant railguns (or other electromagnetic mass drivers), and therefore are fought at extreme ranges with very ...
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36 votes
34 answers
13k views

Why would a fighter have a weaker shield than a capital ship?

I enjoy designing games, and in one that I'm working on the ships have shields, similar to the shields in Star Trek. They are created via some kind of force field projection mechanism and are ...
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5 votes
5 answers
402 views

What is the best way to vent gas to cool a star cruiser?

Generating physical effects with energy generates waste heat. Using a lot of energy, say, by firing a rail gun or a MW laser, generates a lot of heat. A discussion of waste heat issues can be found at ...
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12 votes
16 answers
6k views

What kinds of weapons produce little or no recoil that could be used aboard a spacestation?

And by "Weapons" I mean ranged weapons specifically. Melee weapons would certainly be useful for close-quarters, but due to the range at which combat occurs in this question, I'm looking for ranged ...
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9 votes
21 answers
6k views

How to protect your ship against TW-range lasers?

Let's say you live in a war-torn universe, with sub-FTL intertellar travel, big ships, big railguns and big ship-mounted railguns. At some point, people (read engineers) realized that fast moving red-...
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