Different role for missiles


What if missiles were fewer in number, heavier, slower, but went through shields and did massive damage?

It makes sense, if fighters can go through shields, why can’t missiles?

It gives them a different role to beam weapons, right now they’re “weaker, counterable beam weapons with a travel time that still have all the weaknesses of beam weapons”

It’s cool to actually care if a missile goes through your PD

It gives you a reason to have PD.

It’ll make torpedo frigates potentially scary.

It may encourage people to have a bit of variety with offense / defense, since you’ll have a nice beam:weapon shield:PD balance, as opposed to the “all in” strategies now.


I think that could be good. Make ballistic weapons shield neutral and only block energy weapons with shields. This issues is that fighter rocket launchers would always be shield piercing from what ever range, and there is so many that PD could never cope. On the other hand, any armor greater that 10 already mitigates this. It would make fast frigates matchsticks in seconds, if internal consistency is held with all types of missiles. A possible counter to this is to greatly boost PD. This unfortunately would make missiles on larger ships useless. To balance that, could have variable damage on rockets. Next to nothing against large ships, but high against fighters.

Could function.


I think this is a potentially great idea worth exploring


I like this idea, but it would be extremely difficult to balance.

In terms of spinning ideas, it would make sense if beam weapons (that get blocked by shields) simply punched through armor kind of like they do now while the kinetic weapons had to chip away said armor. Kinetic weapons would have to be rather less effective than they are now against armour. There could also be an interesting dichotomy between long-range kinetic missiles and short-ranged kinetic railguns/slugs or rockets.

However, I think that this setup would lead to fleets using only either kinetic or energy weapons rather than an even mix because that way half of your opponent’s defenses are meaningless.

The only way I can thing of to make point defenses wirth taking and balanced is if they can still be useful even if the enemy doesn’t take missiles.


There is a certain mechanical elegance in keeping point defense focused purely on countering missiles, but if you want to open up for consideration broadening its functionality, there is significant precedent in both science fiction and the real world for allowing PD weapons to target fighters.

For science fiction, I was actually surprised to find that PD weapons couldn’t target fighters because I’m used to space combat games treating point defense as a general anti-fighter and anti-missile package. This simplifies the rock-paper scissors somewhat by letting you build more generalized defenses for your ships. If PD weapons have sufficiently high tracking and low damage and penetration, this could give armored bombers a real role, assuming that they are boosted to be better able to evade anti-ship weapons.

For the real world, anti-fighter and anti-missile point defense are nearly identical technologies that involve equal amounts of firepower and targeting finesse, as they are both variants of “shoot down a small, fast, and very dangerous object in the sky”. The US Navy uses a multi-tiered system that includes missiles and computer-controlled Vulcan cannons as their anti-missile point defense. The multi-purpose SAM missiles that the US Navy uses to intercept anti-ship missiles are also designed to target incoming fighters as needed. The Vulcan cannons, while primarily purposed only as a very short-range last-ditch anti-missile system, nevertheless are the same gun that serves as the standard air-to-air machine gun mounted on F-14s, F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s, and F-22s, and have accident-proven ability to take out combat fighters if such circumstances arose that it would be necessary to co-opt the gun in that fashion.


Yes this is true. There is definitely some mileage in the idea of giving PD weapons at least some minimal anti-fighter role, maybe only doing low damage, as we could assume that they are pretty low power devices anyway, just enough to melt through the casing of a missile and ignite the warhead.


I’m against this idea. If fighters can go through shields, why can’t missiles… then why can’t bullets? I think ‘shield penetrating’ missiles are an interesting idea, but as a uniform thing it is problematic. Fighters can get in shields because it’s cool and gives them an interesting role; missiles are just attacks like everything else.

If you wanted a more complex shield ‘type’ and attack ‘type’ system, that might make sense, but I’m not sure it’d be worthwhile complexity (‘oh dear I have too many reflective shields and the plasmas killed me’ or ‘too many forcefields and the beams killed me’ etc).


It would be good from a modding point of view to be able to allow weapons to ignore armour or shields.


are there any bullets? all i can think of are missiles, and energy-things … ion fire, blasters, lasers, plasma etc.

i think missiles ignoring shields is a great idea … But … only if PD fires rather faster :slight_smile:


I agree.

BTW, ions are bullets. Plasma (well, the magical contained plasma of fiction) is essentially a bullet. Why can one physical thing pass through shields and another not? It’s not a simulator; fighters can do it because it’s interesting. If shields can’t block missiles, the balance will have to be excellent or shields will become less important to play, which is probably a bad thing.


Ions are charged particles. Plasma is a very energetic state of matter that’s verging on energy. neither are anything like a lump of iron (in my personal opinion)

if shields can’t block missiles, missiles would have to be slower i think. but i also think there’s a place for inert projectile weapons - like railguns which also avoid shields… but obviously do far less damage than their charged bretheren.

or alternatively, shields could be good against energy or good against inert projectiles … or half and half. the inert-style shields could even bounce fighters off … but lasers would pass straight through?


Actually, now that I have seen what a dedicated missile platform could do, I agree. One way to compensate would be to give missiles shield penetration and high AP, but low damage. This, with leaving PD as is, or even boosting, could make for a functional ‘fast’ missile platform. The only functional missile platforms that I have been able to build are SLOW or immobile. Whereas, most weapons can be used in fast, slow and mid range speeds. They need a little boost as is and I think the above fits. Nerf damage. Leave AP. Pass shields. I also like the idea of kinetic shields. That adds a very interesting new level.