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Underwater Energy Weapons
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: Underwater Energy Weapons Reply with quote

Whill's work on the Deepwater-Class Light Freighter has gotten me thinking about high-tech weapon options for underwater vessels. Per Battle for the Golden Sun, blaster weapons are at reduced effectiveness underwater, and the projectile alternatives (torpedoes and spear guns) are little different conceptually from the real world versions of the same weapons.

So, I started wondering if there would be any sorts of high-tech weaponry that would actually be more effective underwater. Sonic weapons certainly would, but would likely prove difficult to focus narrowly enough for point attacks.

The other option that occured to me was a linear-discharge tractor beam-type weapon, using tractor tech to "push" a column of water into a target at high velocity (enough to do kinetic damage). A variation on that would be an extremely narrow-angle tractor beam - literally a kinetic energy beam - could be weaponized to inflict penetrating damage on a target.

I just wanted to get this in writing before I packed it in for the night. Let me know what you think.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blasters would encounter problems, as you mentioned, but you might try a retuned laser beam. Blue-green lasers tend to penetrate further into seawater than other colored beams, mimicking the properties of visible light. It's why everything looks blue underwater. We played around with this a bit years ago and found the blue-green works best in RL applications.

I like your tractor beam idea. Squib Tensor Rifles might be effective also.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What of concussion weapons? Like the Concussion rifles, used in the Dark forces games..
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deleted my last post, apparently the Concussion Rifles were a form of Sonic Weapon. It's likely that they would cause way more collateral damage underwater.

https://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Concussion_rifle
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
What of concussion weapons? Like the Concussion rifles, used in the Dark forces games..

I'd want to know way more about the physics of exactly how Concussion Rifles do what they do.

Raven Redstar wrote:
Deleted my last post, apparently the Concussion Rifles were a form of Sonic Weapon. It's likely that they would cause way more collateral damage underwater.

There's also the fact that, when fired in atmosphere, the bolt maintains cohesion until it strikes a solid object, at which point it has a blast effect. But water doesn't compress like air does, so there's a good chance the bolt would expend its energy as soon as it leaves the barrel...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit skeptical that water could be used to deal kinetic damage in the way you're suggesting. According to my understanding, you would need some kind of way to isolate the weaponized water if you wanted to achieve a hydraulic effect (which is what you seem to be getting at?).

Using the tractor beam tech to create a vacuum, however, might allow a pressure differential that rips a target apart, rather than puncturing it.


Last edited by Naaman on Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:35 am    Post subject: Re: Underwater Energy Weapons Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
The other option that occured to me was a linear-discharge tractor beam-type weapon, using tractor tech to "push" a column of water into a target at high velocity (enough to do kinetic damage). A variation on that would be an extremely narrow-angle tractor beam - literally a kinetic energy beam - could be weaponized to inflict penetrating damage on a target.

It makes the most sense to me that "repulsor" tech pushes, and "tractor" tech pulls, because that's what those words actually mean. Just sayin'.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to agree, but "tractor" is the in-universe term for manipulating kinetic energy at a distance. I'm simply using it for the sake of familiarity, in that whatever tech drives tractor beams could be inverted to "push" hard enough to inflict damage. If this theory of tractor technology is correct, tractor tech could be linked to concussion weapons and the seismic charges from AotC.

Repulsors would be a good fit, except that in the SWU, repulsor refers to anti-gravity tech, with repulsors "pushing" against the local gravity field, and not the ground underneath the vehicle. Some repulsorlift vehicles (particularly landspeeders) would use tractor-tech fields to "grab" the ground under them to generate movement, but that would be two separate technologies: one neutralizing gravity, the other "pulling" on the ground.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a thought here based on a PM conversation with Whill.

A weapon that exists in official stats (barely: it's included on exactly three out of all the official WEG stats) is the Pulse Laser. However, Pulse Lasers are indistinguishable stats-wise from regular Laser Cannon, so they pretty much just exist because a stat writer thought they sounded cool.

What I'm thinking is that Pulse Lasers could be re-worked to be laser cannons specifically tuned to function underwater, reducing or negating the penalties to blaster weapons listed in Battle for the Golden Sun. All that would be required from there is re-naming the weaponry on the three ships that already have pulse weapons...

An initial thought on the techno-babble would be that the individual pulses create a pocket of super-heated steam in their wake, which eases the passage of the next pulse, which in turn eases the passage of the next bolt and so on and so forth.

A first draft on the differences between standard Lasers and Pulse Lasers:
    Pro:
    -When fired underwater, a Pulse Laser only loses 1D of Damage (instead of 2D) and hits at normal Difficulty (regular Lasers suffer a +5 Difficulty at all Ranges)

    Con:
    -Pulse Lasers are bulkier and more expensive, due to the specialized equipment and tuning needed to generate the pulse effect. Double weight and cost for Laser Weapons (as listed in Tramp Freighters); installation and repair costs unchanged.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
I like your tractor beam idea. Squib Tensor Rifles might be effective also.

I've heard a couple different variants; the Tensor Rifle was one, but the other was a tractor beam variant - called a Force Cannon - that oscillated between "push" and "pull" thousands of times per second and essentially ripped the target apart at the molecular level.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would work both in and out of water. I'm also intrigued by Namaan's vacuum idea. Cavitation releases a tremendous amount of energy (which is why it makes so much noise and can be heard miles away) so if you could localize the effect it's a potentially potent weapon.
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gree or Aing-Tii technology might utilize some form of non-locality principle to cause explosions or energy bursts at any given coordinate.

Supercavitating projectiles might be the underwater equivalent of railguns.

A multi-beam attack might cross several beams at a given point in order to intensify the effect of the beams.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarn wrote:
Gree or Aing-Tii technology might utilize some form of non-locality principle to cause explosions or energy bursts at any given coordinate.

Interesting, but that sounds more like a niche exotic weapon than something mainstream that's commonly found aboard underwater platforms.

Quote:
Supercavitating projectiles might be the underwater equivalent of railguns.

How would this help, exactly? I was picturing something similar to a bowcaster, with projectiles encased in zero-friction energy sheaths to ease their passage through the water. Would cavitation have a similar effect?

Quote:
A multi-beam attack might cross several beams at a given point in order to intensify the effect of the beams.

Or maybe a combined beam ala the composite beam projectors in AotC, combining their firepower to reduce degradation from passage through the water?
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, super-cavitation enables high-speed movement through water. The Russians supposedly have some supersonic torpedoes that operate on this principle.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
Yes, super-cavitation enables high-speed movement through water. The Russians supposedly have some supersonic torpedoes that operate on this principle.

Cool. I think I may apply that principle to sub-torpedoes to justify high speeds underwater.
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