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Composite-Beam Lasers
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject: Composite-Beam Lasers Reply with quote

I really liked the look of these weapons in E2 and E3, but they seem to be completely absent in the classic trilogy, save as the Death Star's superlaser. This seems odd that such a powerful weapon would be absent from the Capital Ship-scale arsenal. I have some ideas for their use, but I'd like to get some input from the list as to their absence in the classic movies. The obvious behind-the-scenes answer is that special effects weren't up to the task at the time, but I'm looking for a reason that that technology wouldn't be widely used at the time of E4-E6
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ZzaphodD
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old technology?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZzaphodD wrote:
Old technology?


If it were old technology, why would they use it on the Death Star?

If you think about it, composite beam weaponry has advantages over blast type weapons, both in energy delivered and versatility. If it were too expensive, why would they be able to mass produce it and put four cannon apiece on the LAAT/i's?
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hazardchris
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, look at the size of the weapons on the Larty, if you could get similar (or even superior) firepower from a simple tube weapon instead of a dish projector at a similar price, why not take the streamlined design? If I remember right, there was a slight delay as the beams conjoined before they produced the actual laser. The slimmer profile of the OT weapons would also make them less of a target to enemy fire.

That's my two cents, and it sounds about like the usual rationalizations we get from Lucas and company.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hazardchris wrote:
Well, look at the size of the weapons on the Larty, if you could get similar (or even superior) firepower from a simple tube weapon instead of a dish projector at a similar price, why not take the streamlined design? If I remember right, there was a slight delay as the beams conjoined before they produced the actual laser. The slimmer profile of the OT weapons would also make them less of a target to enemy fire.

That's my two cents, and it sounds about like the usual rationalizations we get from Lucas and company.


LoL. Maybe you can apply for a job.

The thing is, even though the ball turrets are relatively large, they are almost entirely a crew compartment for the gunner. The composite beam unit is a relatively small unit on the front. Of course, there is no telling what sort of power it takes to run a weapon like that.

Here are a few of my application ideas:

Air Defense-
I'm guessing one of these weapon has a very high intensity beam with a very long range. With the beam's duration, a gunner could either focus the beam on a specific point and inflict a lot of damage, or he could move the beam in a tight pattern (spiral, figure-eight, clover-leaf, etc.) to increase his fire control. These weapons would be capable of providing area defense for army units not just from starfighters and airspeeders, but ballistic artillery projectiles as well.

Heavy Capital Ship -
These weapons are basically the baby brother of the Death Star Superlaser, and to a lesser extend the axial superlasers on the Eclipse and Sovereign-Class Super Star Destroyers. I could see a weapon like this mounted in the flank turrets of Imperial Star Destroyers, providing a beam-weapon punch similar to the Lance weapons found in Battlefleet Gothic.

Assault Frigate -
In a similar vein, these could be mounted on smaller capital ships, like frigates or Alliance Assault cruisers to provide big gun punch against larger ships, similar (again) to Battlefleet Gothic, by mounting heavy lance weapons in a fixed forward mount that required the vessel to steer itself to aim the weapon.

Variation:
To add versatility, I've even considered making a composite beam weapon with multiple emitter types, so that it could fire either a composite beam or an ion beam, depending on operator settings.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The downside of this, is that to do much damage it seems to be needing the beam to stay ON a target.

Which might open things up for easier counter attacks.

BUT i too wondered why those weapons didn't feature in any novel after that time frame..
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ZzaphodD
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
ZzaphodD wrote:
Old technology?


If it were old technology, why would they use it on the Death Star?

If you think about it, composite beam weaponry has advantages over blast type weapons, both in energy delivered and versatility. If it were too expensive, why would they be able to mass produce it and put four cannon apiece on the LAAT/i's?


Just because something is effective on a death star scale and fields of operations doesnt mean that its effective on regular starships.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I belive the Sovereign and the Eclipse both had superhasers although it doesn't mention if they're composite beam versions.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC from Dark Empire, the Eclipse and Soverigns was based on just 1 of the 8 focusing beams from the deathstar laser.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
The downside of this, is that to do much damage it seems to be needing the beam to stay ON a target.

Which might open things up for easier counter attacks.

BUT i too wondered why those weapons didn't feature in any novel after that time frame..


Actually, they seem to do the most damage when used in a slicing attack. Most likely, with such an intense beam, you would be more likely to burn a hole straight through your target, but if you swept it across something, the beam could literally cut it in half. Makes me think of some of the battle scenes in Babylon 5, where the weapons on the Shadow Cruisers had a similar effect.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
IIRC from Dark Empire, the Eclipse and Soverigns was based on just 1 of the 8 focusing beams from the deathstar laser.


The description in the Dark Empire Sourcebook says that the Eclipse and Sovereign used a single laser, instead of the 8 focused beams on the Death Star, but that recent advances in focusing and power generation made this ray much more powerful than the individual units used on the Death Star.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hence my IIRC..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Hence my IIRC..


You said you wondered why composite-beam weapons didn't figure in any of the subsequent novels. Do you have any theories?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The powers that be either forgot about them, or just didn't consider them. Heck from what we saw in atoc, they ownly seemed to work on planets in an atmosphere. So maybe there was serious issues keeping the beam focused for space use..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
The powers that be either forgot about them, or just didn't consider them. Heck from what we saw in atoc, they ownly seemed to work on planets in an atmosphere. So maybe there was serious issues keeping the beam focused for space use..


Except for the opening battle scene in ROTS, where that high power beam was fired out of the ventral docking bay of one of the Venator-Class Destroyers. The explanation on that was that it was a refit of the main cannon from an SPHA-T, fitted to fire out of that bay. I always thought that explanation was rather flimsy, but there it is.

Plus, the biggest example of them all is the Death Star; from the very first movie, these weapons were shown to be not just usable, but highly effective in space.

I don't have any answers for this, but I think the answer must be something in their tactical utility; if they are part of the SWU, but we only saw a composite beam laser in action in the case of the Death Star, then the various combat forms in the classic trilogy must have been situations where composite-beam weapons weren't as effective as standard blast-type weapons.
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