Questions tagged [space-warfare]

For questions relating to the physics and tactics surrounding combat outside all planetary atmosphere. This includes ship-to-surface, ship-to-ship, and personal combat (space walking). The tag is appropriate when asking about the consequences of tactics, technology, chemistry, and physics of weapons and defenses.

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How to efficiently transport troops from orbit

Warships in this universe travel with handwavium hyperdrive engines, but I'm trying to keep everything else plausible. How could I possibly transport troops from an orbiting warship to a planet? How ...
alkahest's user avatar
  • 1,151
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

How long would it take humans to notice a civilization on Venus?

Now I know this is a very weird and impossible question, there is clearly no civilization on Venus. But for the sake of the story I'm cooking up in my head, Venus remains habitable and develops life ...
Dono's user avatar
  • 205
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can we have a three-way space race?

I want to have a setting for a thing I am doing set in a world with a three-way space race between countries X, Y, and Z. Each country has a space program roughly on par with the 1960s US and USSR. ...
Goodn_plenty's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

Wormhole Based Warfare [duplicate]

Let's say that, theoretically, a civilization is capable of utilizing wormholes for travelling to the stars, this wormholes, eventually get turned into a device that can be used as for travel, as a ...
Dakka's user avatar
  • 119
11 votes
10 answers
3k views

Engines capable of surviving a highly destructive space battle

Context: It is set 50 000 years from "now" in no-FTL interstellar setting. The idea is that active defences and armor of spacecrafts have obscenely advanced to the point that any projectile ...
Kugelblitz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
296 views

Effectiveness of antimatter particle accelerators in space warfare

I came up with this idea for a space-based weapon and I'm wondering how viable it actually is. The weapon is made possible using portals. The Portals The portals are a clarketech produced by a portal ...
M S's user avatar
  • 2,328
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

How to develop (and justify!) a nation born out of a lawless region of space? [closed]

I am here once again for I am stuck on writing this part out... Long story short, a region of space, nicknamed the NCIZ 2 (second iteration of such thing happening); or "Non-Controlled Inhabited ...
Just Kherty's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Millitary applications of a gravity drive [closed]

Let's say gravity drives exist. This is a device that can power a spaceship by creating an artificial gravity well some distance in front of the spaceship that the spaceship perpetually falls into, ...
Zags's user avatar
  • 2,717
3 votes
4 answers
659 views

What is the Distance needed for gravitational lensing for offensive lasers?

Space Navies A and B are on sufficiently distant orbits around a black hole. They are on similar orbits to each other, and neither side is risking going around the gravity well (for reasons). Lt. ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
619 views

Interception of missiles in space combat

How to approach this problem! Numerically. Trying to find some closed form equation to spit things out is extremely difficult, especially in the face of how well this lends itself to numeric methods. ...
cthon's user avatar
  • 327
1 vote
3 answers
258 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
3 votes
1 answer
889 views

Is a particle accelerator weapon feasible?

I am envisioning a weapon that operates similarly to a proton therapy machine, only with the aim of killing a person. Essentially, a beam of protons is launched towards the target. However, the proton ...
user73910's user avatar
  • 823
2 votes
4 answers
318 views

Could a sun gun work from the surface?

The concept of a sun gun is of a parabolic reflector, placed it orbit around a planet, which focuses sunlight as a deadly beam on a specific point of the surface. What I want to know is this: what if, ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is a planet-sized magnet a good interstellar weapon?

(Same universe as Saturnian Cloud Cities and Quazar Power Plant) In this setting, humans (Earthborn) are the first intelligent life to emerge in the Milky Way. They have now unified and became a grand ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,402
8 votes
1 answer
230 views

What would be observable about a hypervelocity killer asteroid?

An early warning scout ship sits in deep space, making various kinds of observations and doing deep space science experiments, when suddenly a 2-kilometre-wide asteroid zooms past at about 0.9c on its ...
Pingcode's user avatar
  • 4,945
17 votes
14 answers
5k views

Why does space warfare not lead to total anhiliation of both sides?

The title is intentionally provocative, but let me try to justify it. Let's take a common science fiction setup of two interplanetary civilizations with a hand-waved FTL technology that are at war (...
Zags's user avatar
  • 2,717
2 votes
1 answer
202 views

Tactics and formations to defend a convoy of starships [closed]

Once upon a time, there were two kingdoms at war. One of them had more starships and access to magnetic monopoles. For the purpose of this question, they could have been another exotic particle. ...
Tusky Emonay's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
296 views

Obliterating the Earth, *without* throwing rocks? [closed]

In this case, I don't mean "make the Earth uninhabitable", I mean "make the Earth a debris field". This has been asked before, of course, but the answers always seem be be some ...
JustasidequestNPC's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
131 views

What would be a good reason to make a Wasp or Bee shaped armoured exoskeleton with big rear?

In a setting where there are multiple different species of aliens (alongside humans), humanity was forced to quickly adapt to aliens and invented various war machines. Among them are several types of ...
speeder's user avatar
  • 716
5 votes
6 answers
3k views

Field Promotion to Captain [closed]

In a future space navy universe that is heavily based on modern wet navies, would it be acceptable for a vessel XO (rank of Commander) to be field promoted to Captain from a single Fleet Admiral? To ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Binary system travel time for war

To set the stage, 2 opposing groups exist in the binary Alpha Centauri system. The 2 stars have a roughly 80 year orbit that brings them as close at 11 AU together and as far as 36. A ship at a 1g ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
7 votes
2 answers
378 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
0 votes
3 answers
133 views

Space-Travel friendly weapons [closed]

When creating a background antagonist, there is a civilization of aliens who are trying to expand their space empire. They are not the typical "evil empire", but rather just an empire trying ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 2,605
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
2 votes
4 answers
148 views

XO of a naval cruiser leads an internal investigation

In a future space navy setup, a Long Duration Mission cruiser experiences a mysterious death while in deep space. A member of the crew mysteriously dies while at their station and causes a series of ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
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
3 votes
1 answer
78 views

What atmosphere composition would make my weapon shoot orange plasma?

I am planning on painting a Warhammer 40k army that uses orange plasma for their energy based weapons, and use that exact same orange plasma for my worldbuilding, and other unrelated works of writing. ...
Commissar Wilhelm's user avatar
16 votes
9 answers
3k views

Is it possible to effectively fight piracy in a solar-system wide human civilization?

So, humanity has invented an engine that while not capable of FTL travel, is still incredibly fast (IE cross the solar system in a matter of weeks or even days on certain ships). We make colonies and ...
Chuck's user avatar
  • 1,399
10 votes
6 answers
5k views

How does a military fight while trying not to be nuked?

To avoid detail in the name of getting at the underlying question, I've got a modern-adjacent military being invaded by well-equipped nomads supported by angry aliens in space who have far too many ...
Nous the Space Alien's user avatar
5 votes
12 answers
509 views

Warfare in a universe with FTL on rather fragile platforms? [closed]

How do you imagine the large picture of space warfare would shape into in a universe with the following characteristics: There is FTL, but it's just available in very large and expensive platforms, ...
Fernando D'Andrea's user avatar
13 votes
11 answers
4k views

Why would space nations find more value in empty space rather than star systems?

In most 4x games, almost every space nation fights for star systems, planets, black holes, etc. The benefits are obvious: planets to colonize or mine from, solar energy, strategic positions and so on. ...
Katai's user avatar
  • 957
0 votes
1 answer
132 views

How large would space warships be? [closed]

How large would space warships be? Resources are limited to that of the inner Hills cloud & inward. The main concern is fighting within the solar system. Earth is still the only habitable planet ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,456
4 votes
7 answers
328 views

Do aliens need to invade humans? [closed]

Everything has gravity, even the smallest things. NASA and ESA considered using drones and rockets rotating around asteroids to to pull them away with their gravity in order to avoid apocalyptic level ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
120 views

Plasma windows as justification for Free Electron Lasers?

There are two main types of military lasers: Free Electron Lasers (FEL lasers from now on) and Medium Lasers. FEL lasers work by "wiggling" electrons through a line of magnets to create ...
lrCr's user avatar
  • 21
13 votes
8 answers
1k views

If stealth in space doesn't work, how might you hide?

While there have been numerous arguments about ways of actually pulling off stealth in space, what I'm interested in is the scenario in which you can't conceal your presence in the conventional sense ...
Adam Reynolds's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
3k views

Why are ground troops necessary in intergalactic warfare [closed]

Problem: In a space-age war (with magic), why would ground troops be used, rather than just dropping orbital marines onto problem areas? Elaboration: So to set the stage, we’re dealing with wars ...
Mozila 's user avatar
  • 432
2 votes
3 answers
211 views

What large scale strategies would an interstellar nation use to conquer another interstellar nation? [closed]

I'm working on a science fiction setting for a game. I'm trying to write a setting that focuses on man-operated war machines in sight range combat. Everything ranging from fighters to mechs to capital ...
Arvex's user avatar
  • 3,034
7 votes
11 answers
2k views

ETCs, macron accelerators, and plasma cannons! Viable alternatives to the same old space weapons?

The other day I wrote this post, asking about the possibility of an electricity based weapon. Sadly, no real feasible or possible weapon was available that could work in a vacuum with some actual ...
ZoTheCutestPirate's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
336 views

Methods of Conducting Electricity through a Vacuum?

The title sums up most of what I'm asking, but I'll give a bit of background. Recently I've been reading mortal engines (minor spoiler alert, so skip to the next paragraph if you'd like), and in the ...
ZoTheCutestPirate's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
474 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
2 votes
5 answers
722 views

Black hole minefields

A civilization has developed black hole guns and Hawking Radiation stabilizers while warring with other civilizations in their stellar neighborhood. Currently, they can create black holes up to 1000 ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 1,009
19 votes
23 answers
6k views

Why wouldn't a space fleet use their lasers for a precision strike?

You are the admiral of a fleet of warships in orbit around Saturn (EDIT: the individual ships can be anywhere in the Saturnian system, including into Titan's orbit), tasked with performing a precision ...
Benjamin Hollon's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
869 views

Orbital Bombardment of Airships

Imagine that you're the admiral of a fleet of warships in orbit around Saturn. You need to capture targets on Titan, the largest moon. (This could also be applied to, say, Venus or one of the gas ...
Benjamin Hollon's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
362 views

How would one hack a battleship in space warfare?

Note: I might have put way too much information here; I've bolded the most important things. Okay so here's the situation (this is the context in story; I'll bold the actual question): the Solar ...
Benjamin Hollon's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
819 views

Would a hypervelocity laser "HEAT" round work?

Lately I've been working on a SciFi setting, primarily focusing on space combat. Something I've been working on is an energy shield that can reliably stop hypervelocity rounds (which are common in ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
5 answers
716 views

What range will space battles generally occur at?

There are a lot of questions on this site asking how to justify space battles at different ranges (including one by me). However, I have not been able to find much information on what range a ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.6k
3 votes
1 answer
619 views

How many ships would an interstellar empire have in their navy? [closed]

So I'm writing a sci-fi space opera that takes place at a pretty realistic scale meaning even pretty small interstellar nations have millions of systems and the biggest ones have billions of systems ...
Clueless198's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
246 views

Should Orbital Bombardment be Considered a War Crime? [closed]

One of the most common tactic in realistic interstellar war is the tried and true orbital bombardment. The victor is often the one who holds the high ground, so it make sense to take the ultimate ...
Jacob Badger's user avatar
  • 2,343
5 votes
3 answers
261 views

How could one armor/defend against this hypothetical kinetic shell?

I know that this is an oddly specific question, but it was something I was wondering In my setting, lots of space navies field a hefty amount of kinetic weapons because energy weapons are highly power ...
Howie Frizzell's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
344 views

Orbital Warfare Maneuvers

So lately I’ve been re-rereading (again) some of the articles on Atomic Rockets and I was metaphorically struck by the idea of orbital combat as presented on the site. To summarize, it involves using ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 5,283