Questions tagged [space-combat]

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

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36
votes
34answers
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 ...
23
votes
14answers
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 ...
19
votes
15answers
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 ...
15
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15answers
7k views

Deep Space bomber - Best bomb against Interstellar warship that is kilometers long in size

We have two opposing forces: the Democrats and the Imperialists. Each one can field an armada of ships numbering millions in their fleets, supported by trillions- to a quadrillion person strong super ...
14
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8answers
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 ...
13
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17answers
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 ...
13
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15answers
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 ...
13
votes
8answers
585 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 ...
12
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16answers
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 ...
12
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8answers
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 ...
11
votes
9answers
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
533 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 ...
10
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17answers
2k views

Making physical gunners preferred in space combat

Backstory: Space travel is commonplace and cheap -- space combat isn't uncommon either, whether it be two space fleets sallying forth into battle or a mercenaries defending a merchant ship from a ...
10
votes
10answers
892 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
557 views

What would grand strategy look like in a world with fast interstellar travel and slow interplanetary travel?

The specific situation is the tech in the Battletech universe. The Kearny-Fuchida hyperdrives are jump drives that can travel instantaneously up to thirty light years - being deposited (usually) at ...
10
votes
3answers
345 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 ...
9
votes
21answers
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-...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

(Somewhat) Realistic force field

As part of a series of questions about a hard sci-fi universe (for more answered questions about it, please check this and this) The setting is the same: I'm making a world where sub-FTL ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

In regards to heat managment on a starship + space combat

Various sources consider heat emission and heat management a major issue when it comes to setting up "realistic" space battle scenarios. I have a few questions in regards to this: Heat is a ...
8
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
770 views

Remotely controlled battle starships

Maneouvrability is a potentially significant advantage in almost any battle. But, the maneouvrability of a spacecraft with inhabitants is limited by the inhabitants's tolerance to accelerational ...
6
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4answers
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 ...
6
votes
7answers
349 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 ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Defending against directed Gamma Ray weaponry

I am trying to picture how space combat would happen with a sufficiently advanced level of technology (way beyond what we have today), and obviously defense from radiation would be a massive benefit ...
6
votes
4answers
375 views

How would SSTO aircraft affect warfare?

In my world, an engine very similar to the SABRE engine has been made. Along with it is the development of WEAV propulsion systems. The SABRE engine is a hybrid between a hypersonic jet engine and a ...
6
votes
3answers
390 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
558 views

Space Combat - Electronic Warfare viable alternative to real weapons?

I'm intrigued by the use of Cyber- or Electronic Warfare (short EW) in a space combat scenario. Basically something that is very rarely (if at all) seen in Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar ...
5
votes
5answers
937 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
524 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? ...
5
votes
3answers
678 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'...
5
votes
5answers
358 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How would the bridge command structure of a starship work?

In television and movies we have a very familiar bridge command structure: the captain gives orders like "shields up", "fire primary weapons", or "transfer power to sublight". I think this trope was ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

What formations would stellar capital ships use?

The science fiction militaries of my latest project field large numbers of space faring battleship style capital ships. Historical, combat formations have been dictated by the capabilities of the ...
5
votes
6answers
425 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, ...
5
votes
5answers
562 views

Ideas for how aliens would approach this fight?

I had a handful of great ways for the opening battle of a space opera to go down, but they got totally scrapped when I changed how quickly jumping between star systems worked, and now intra-system ...
5
votes
3answers
211 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
509 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
310 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
292 views

Understanding the dispersion field

Prelude In a recent discussion, the user jmb posted the following answer: The ship is much much larger than a crew member / combatant; if the hull shielding incorporates some sort of active ...
4
votes
1answer
234 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

How can a starship be hardened against EM-based attacks

Lets assume i have a capital starship that needs to be made resistent to electro-magnetic attacks, either by a nuke' pulse or a by more direct way to "apply" EM (radiation) attacks - how could ...
3
votes
5answers
327 views

Deep space covert operations - covering up a covert operation

Deep Space bomber - Best bomb against Interstellar warship that is kilometers long in size In continuation of the question above Assuming we are successful on developing the following bombs. All ...
3
votes
2answers
586 views

How effective is a free electron laser in space combat?

In my world I'm thinking of using megawatt class free electron lasers as main armament, hopefully somewhat minaturized with future tech. Free electron lasers are lasers that use electrons as the ...
3
votes
2answers
108 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 ...
3
votes
9answers
358 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
397 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Banksian warfare

Many of you will be familiar with the Culture novels, the universe of Banks Orbitals. While not always central to the plot, they're always making maximum use of the universe - hyperspace jumps, ...