Mechanics Series - #2 Beam Weapons
One of the primary weapons players will use in Lord of Rigel are beam weapons. Beam weapons are energy weapons that hit on the same turn that they are fired. They can come in pulse and continuous versions. Pulse variants are a lot like the cannons seen in Star Wars, while continuous ones are like the phasor weapons in Star Trek. Beam weapons are extremely versatile allowing for numerous modifications including: shield piercing, armor piercing, auto fire, etc.
Beam weapons lose damage over distance, their damage is also highly variable. Their accuracy can be improved with better computer technology. Also, small ships tend to be harder to hit with beam weapons than larger ships. Faster engines also make it harder to hit a ship with beam weapons.
Beam weapons can be fitted in several mount types. Spinal mount weapons have only a forward or backward firing arc but do the most damage. Heavy mount weapons do a lot of damage, but can't target fighters and missiles. Normal mounted weapons are good at medium ranges and can be set to overwatch to attack enemy ships as they move. Point defense weapons are excellent at shooting down missiles and fighters.
One advantage beam weapons have over other types is that they can also be used for called shots. Called shots are shots that specifically target ship systems for a steep to-hit penalty. Any damage that penetrates shields and armor will be applied to the targeted ship system (such as a shield generator, enemy weapons, or their engine array). Combine this with smaller ships that have targeting bonuses versus larger ships and you have an excellent combo for disabling larger ships.
In Lord of Rigel as you advance in researching technologies you'll automatically receive upgrades to previously discovered weapons. Such upgrades include modifications such as shield piercing, enveloping (hitting all shield and armor facings at once), and weapons not having range penalties.
The different types of beam weapons in the game will also tend to be effective in different situations. Lasers are effective all-around weapons up to the mid game, but are still effective for point defense in the late game. Fusion cannons are more situational, and best for short range fights. Some weapons like Ion Cannons seem very powerful as they can easily destroy internal systems but are difficult to use due to their range penalties and issues penetrating shields. Overall, players will need to combine different types of beam weapons and experiment with different weapon mods to be the most effective in combat.
Join us next week when we'll be discussing the different shield technologies in Lord of Rigel!