Author Topic: Secondary Guns  (Read 769 times)

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Offline BasileusMaximos

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Secondary Guns
« on: January 11, 2018, 04:04:07 PM »
How useful are secondary guns on ships?

By secondary guns I mean beam weapons that are not the main (largest) guns but are also not meant for PD.

What I want is to have main spinal-mounted railguns to take on large ships and then have smaller turreted railguns to take on smaller ones.

Would this space be better used for other things?
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 05:41:21 PM »
Not very.

If you want to include anti-beam-fighter or anti-beam-FAC weapons it usually works better to design those as dual-purpose main guns or dual-purpose point defense guns instead of independent systems.

Oh, and railguns can't be turret mounted. (They still make good PD guns due to volume of fire however.)


((Edited to simplify reply.))
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:53:32 PM by sublight »
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 06:01:32 PM »
Considering you can only have one spinal mounted weapon, secondaries will likely make up most of your firepower.

What I do when designing beam ships is decide on a total tonnage and speed.  This tells me how much tonnage I can spend on weaponry.  Once I know my weaponry budget, I put in the biggest spinal weapon I can, as many gauss turrets as I think I may need, and then I fill the rest of the space with the biggest normal mount lasers I can build.  You don't need to turret them, with their low rate of fire they'll be bad against missiles no matter what, and if you're in a beam fight against someone who vastly outpaces you you're already dead and no amount of tracking speed will save you.

So in a 6000 ton beam destroyer, I will have one spinal laser, 4-6 normal lasers, and 2-3 gauss turrets.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 02:16:46 AM »
One of my strats vs the AI is to have enough point defense in my fleet to bleed out their missiles.  Then I close enough for my short ranged missiles to kill their energy armed ships.  At that point, I can safely close and rip their empty missile ships apart.

If there is a secondary beam armament on all the ships, it takes a lot more missiles to take out the energy component.  So for the AI ships, it makes sense to have a mixed armament to make it a little harder for the player to efficiently pick them apart.  But then, players are smart enough to manage their ammunition a bit better.

Having a secondary beam armament means you aren't completely vulnerable to something that closes to point blank energy range.  Fighting a long ranged beam fight, at least the damage is not so fast that you wouldn't be able to deal damage back.

Having some beams with a 5 second or 10 second recharge time isn't debilitating.  And there is nice RP value in it.  But it isn't all that efficient.  It MIGHT work in terms of shipyard tooling, where you basically alternate retooling the missile launchers and retooling the beam weapons, if each component amounts to a smaller fraction of the total cost of the ships.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 08:10:51 PM »
I sometimes have a mixed laser battery for different ranges: the finest 15cm lasers I can build for long-range combat, low-tech lasers (which can be of pretty much any size) for cheap point-blank firepower.

Turreted lasers and midsize railguns (5s or 10s refiring time) are fine dual-purpose weapons, even if they may be too expensive or too short-ranged to be my primary anti-ship weapon.

In general, a mixed battery can outperform a uniform one: one powerful weapon that carves deep gashes into armour and a fast-firing one that reliably exploits holes.
 

Offline Lamandier

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 08:30:17 AM »
My last game I tried to design ships with both primary and secondary beam/kinetic weapons, but as the game progressed I found myself ditching the secondaries entirely in favor of bulking up the ship's offensive or defensive missile armament(I prefer countermissiles and CIWS over beam turrets for missile defense), or in a few cases making room for larger, longer-ranged primaries. Any more I don't even bother with secondaries except on dedicated escort ships; my standard ships of the line tend to be armed either with a spinal laser or a battery of heavy railguns backed up by missiles.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 08:53:39 AM by Lamandier »
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Offline boggo2300

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 03:34:53 PM »
My last game I tried to design ships with both primary and secondary beam/kinetic weapons, but as the game progressed I found myself ditching the secondaries entirely in favor of bulking up the ship's offensive or defensive missile armament(I prefer countermissiles and CIWS over beam turrets for missile defense), or in a few cases making room for larger, longer-ranged primaries. Any more I don't even bother with secondaries except on dedicated escort ships; my standard ships of the line tend to be armed either with a spinal laser or a battery of heavy railguns backed up by missiles.

Jackie Fisher came to the same conclusion, which is why the world got HMS Dreadnought
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Offline Starmantle

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 04:35:14 PM »
I usually lead with missiles backed up by anti-missile turrets and throw in the occasional big ship beam weapon.  So I can't say I've ever used secondary guns as described here, unless you count mounting one big spinal laser along with a couple more big lasers that are designed for similar use. 

Generally I want to do one thing really well instead of a lot of things half-assed, so multiple anti-ship guns don't fit in the same design or even fleet, really. 

That said, it feels like it would be appropriate in a WWII-type navy and I like the feel of secondary guns, which might go a long way in roleplaying. 
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 06:00:52 PM »
Generally, I think of beam weapons as secondary guns anyway. So most of my ships have a secondary armament in that sense.  I prefer to use CIWS if armament is intended only for anti-missile defense.
 

Offline serger

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 12:36:25 PM »
I use some microwave guns in addition to laser battery at my main battle ships. But it's more auxiliary, than secondary.
 

Offline TCD

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 01:07:54 PM »
I use some microwave guns in addition to laser battery at my main battle ships. But it's more auxiliary, than secondary.
Interesting. Why? Wouldn't you be better off using all microwave guns to increase your chance/speed of blinding the enemy (along with a few PD guns for the final kill)? Or is it a range thing?
 

Offline serger

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 01:13:17 PM »
Yep, I want to have longrange main battery.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 09:26:17 AM »
Primary beam weapons would in most cases be those spinal lasers and or extra laser/particle beams to complement them.

Only a few ships will have secondary guns which are turreted and aimed at targeting FAC and Fighters in mostly JP defence or attack scenarios.

From a tactical standpoint it is quite effective to have some primary beam weapons on every ship rather than a few that have just primary beam weapons. This give you allot more staying power but the same offensive overall power in your fleets.

Beam weapons designed primarily for PD are not something I even consider as useful on ship to ship combat since their range simply is too poor.

Missiles obviously are the primary weapons
 

Offline obsidian_green

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Re: Secondary Guns
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2018, 02:42:53 PM »
My warships generally employ ASMs, lasers (sometimes turreted), PD Gauss turrets, and AMMs. The laser batteries have definitely proven to be a secondary weapon, but have seen use in jump-point encounters and a planetary blockade where I wanted to see if I could capture an alien shipyard (so enemy ships periodically popped out that needed swatting). Less often, against large formations of fast attackers, turreted laser batteries have helped destroy attackers that managed to close range without being destroyed by my missiles. I designed my first laser turrets as fast-firing quads that would have the dual role of supplementing PD turrets and countering beam fighters, but I've stopped considering the PD role in more recent designs (so no need for the quads).
 

 

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