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Questions tagged [space-combat]

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

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How to fight effectively on a space station [duplicate]

So the question here is fairly simple. What kind of weapons can you use on a space station that can kill someone in advanced body armor, and even the occasional person in powered armor, without too ...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 809
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Rock as a heat sink

I was thinking of having large ships made from asteroids in my setting, and I was wondering: How effective of a heat sink would the (very thick) shell of an asteroid be? Would it be significant(...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 809
9 votes
11 answers
4k views

What are advantages of plasma based weaponry in ship-to-ship combat

I want to know what are some general advantages(and disadvantages) of using plasma-based weaponry over kinetics. I know containment is generally the killer, but in my setting that is a non-issue ...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 809
3 votes
3 answers
159 views

How could a spacecraft defend against a train of small hypervelocity impactors?

Hypervelocity (30 km/s) impactors tend not to penetrate that deep, even though they can have an enormous amount of kinetic energy. The penetration depth can be approximated by $l_i \sqrt{\rho_i/\rho_a}...
causative's user avatar
  • 7,312
16 votes
9 answers
2k views

Realistic protection for spaceships against kinetic projectiles

With relatively current technology (i.e. no force shields, etc) what are ways to protect a spaceship (or at least mitigate the amount of damage) against hypervelocity kinetic projectiles? I'm a ...
Oak135's user avatar
  • 161
4 votes
5 answers
365 views

Missile Heavy space combat: Do you want fire and forget, or SEAD and destroy?

Missile combat can be immediate and intimate, requiring EW support and even escort, or distant and very impersonal, where you're lobbing yours immediately before running away from your enemies, ...
cthon's user avatar
  • 327
10 votes
11 answers
3k views

Would a laser resistant (heavily heat resistant?) armour for space ships have unfortunate consequences and would it still have to deal with heat?

Basically, I want to decisively put an end to any idea that lasers could be used in my space combat in any large degree. One of the solutions I've thought of is a world having advanced armour (either ...
Mandalore The Proud's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
260 views

Would a ferro fluid cloud work as a "force" field for space combat?

Bit of a weird question, but lemme explain. I want to make shields that block lasers but don't block projectiles, As lasers in my world are very powerful. I heard that military grade lasers can be ...
procrastanator's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
199 views

How would a multipurpose railgun work

In my game, spaceships need to have weapons with more than one purpose, due to the cost of hauling extra weight across interplanetary/interstellar space. My railgun needs to be able to fire plasma ...
dashort1's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
119 views

What would be the most effective shape for interlocking starfighters? [closed]

This is a question relating to my Safespace sci-fi setting, in which the Unified Intergalactic League attempts to keep peace between the litany of sapiods (a classification for intelligent creatures ...
Jobah_HigherMind's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
211 views

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, ...
Seraphim's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
379 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 ...
spaceamoeba1010's user avatar
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 ...
Infrisios's user avatar
  • 2,488
4 votes
1 answer
89 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 ...
itisyeetimetoday's user avatar
5 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 ...
itisyeetimetoday's user avatar
19 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 ...
itisyeetimetoday's user avatar
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 ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
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 ...
Boo Radley's user avatar
  • 1,196
8 votes
9 answers
2k 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 ...
Mark Price's user avatar
  • 2,458
1 vote
1 answer
664 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 ...
AstartesFanboy's user avatar
13 votes
16 answers
4k 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 ...
Seraphim's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
478 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 ...
4.12.22.4.18.0.'s user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
838 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 ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
552 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 ...
itisyeetimetoday's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
359 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 ...
nukeman240's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
495 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 ...
LukeN's user avatar
  • 1,455
4 votes
1 answer
741 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 ...
Diamond Eyes's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
353 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 ...
11Bravo's user avatar
  • 2,082
13 votes
8 answers
2k 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 ...
11Bravo's user avatar
  • 2,082
2 votes
2 answers
136 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 ...
11Bravo's user avatar
  • 2,082
11 votes
5 answers
647 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 ...
Razmode's user avatar
  • 2,458
3 votes
2 answers
215 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 ...
Toby Weston's user avatar
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 ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.9k
5 votes
7 answers
927 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? ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.9k
12 votes
10 answers
2k 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 ...
Genso's user avatar
  • 123
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 ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.9k
12 votes
15 answers
10k views

Why might a Death Star laser be 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
2 votes
3 answers
214 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
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 ...
DarklingArcher's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
593 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 ...
user1258361's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
609 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 ...
BMF's user avatar
  • 6,788
6 votes
3 answers
320 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 ...
Nam Nguyen Hoang's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
304 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 ...
Stefanos Zilellis's user avatar
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 ...
FlyingLemmingSoup's user avatar
29 votes
19 answers
5k 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 ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
14 votes
8 answers
7k 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 ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 1,279
6 votes
7 answers
403 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 ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 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 ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.8k
3 votes
9 answers
414 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 ...
Hewholooksskyward's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
474 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, ...
MarielS's user avatar
  • 2,788