Ranged Weapons
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ID: 4124


July 18, 2007, 3:43 am

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Cheka Man

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Model XX Nova Cannon


We need a bigger gun…

The Nova cannon is a massive weapon, the emitter barrel is nearly three meters wide, and lined with monopole polarized nickle. The entire apparatus masses in at an impressive 1,250 tons, making it only feasible for the largest of ships to mount. The majority of the mass is dedicated to shielding the host ship from the blast generated by the weapon. Nearly 3/4 of the weight is a pressure cast alloy of iron and lead with trace amounts of vanadium, molybdem, and boron. This blocks heavy particle emisson into the ship.

Within the reinforced casing, multiple MASERs are focused on a single point filled with a mixture of vaporized iron, and tritium, an exotic heavy form of hydrogen, also known as Hydrogen-3. The masers superheat the vapor into plasma in a few milliseconds, and during that time, the mixture, controlled by a magnetic jar undergoes a nuclear fusion reaction.

The resulting blast is channeled by the magnetic bottle through the nickle lined barrel at 1/4 the speed of light. Nova cannons have a strategic range measured in millions of kilometers, able to strike planets, asteroids, and stationary targets with devastating results.

Mobile ships are able to avoid long range nova bolts with ease as they are not at all subtle. At short range the weapon is powerful in ship to ship combat, vaporizing enemy ships with alarming ease. Such a weapon would seem unstoppable, save for several key drawbacks.

The nova cannon cannot deliver sustained fire. The weapon needs signifigant amounts of time to cool after firing, and to be recharged for a second blast. Sustained firing can cause signifigant degridation of the cannon lining that can lead from radiation, and thermal leakage into the host ship to a failure of the magnetic jar, and the thermonuclear disintigration of the host ship.

The cannon also requires near constant maintainence. Basic maintainence indicates that the MASER emitters should be disassembled and inspected for damage every other discharge, while the nickle barrel, and mag-field generators should be inspected daily. Inspecting the barrel itself is a dangerous task as it sends a sailor into the barrel to inspect for damage to the liner, such as microscopic cracks, or other stress fractures and deterioration. A second hazard involves exposure to radioactive elements within the cannon. Radioactive isotopes embed themselves in the liner of the cannon, making inspections dangerous to the inspector.

All negatives aside, the Model XX is a signifigant improvement over the Model X which could only be fired once, and then had to be completely replaced.

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Comments ( 10 )
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July 18, 2007, 3:44
Ripped ~ from the depths of the Citadel, brought to light by Valadar spelunking through CP's armory thread.,400.msg15435.html#msg15435
Voted Cheka Man
July 18, 2007, 11:35
A planet blaster, useful and realestic.
July 19, 2007, 3:30
Looking back at this piece, which I literally cut and pasted from the forum link, I might have given the wrong impression about the firepower of the Model XX. This isn't a Death Star planet killing nuclear cannon. Taking a pot shot at a planet with this baby is going to cause alot of damage, though I'm not sure if a plasma bolt would detonate in the atmosphere like an airburst nuke, or if it would leave a fiery crater where it hit. Someone go ask Siren, I'm sure he knows.
Voted manfred
July 18, 2007, 19:41
And a big gun it is!
July 19, 2007, 13:11
It's your usual sci-fi BFG, but I like it. :D
Voted CaptainPenguin
July 19, 2007, 13:11
Only voted
Voted axlerowes
February 9, 2012, 21:38

This is a really good space weapon, I love the detail. So I assume you envision the the plasma projectile moving slower than light.  

I can already hear the players debating it merits.

Reasonable Player "It takes up too much space and has a low rate of fire"

Excitable Player "Yeah but only need to fire it once"

Meta-Player "The GM isn't going to let you take a bad guy with one shot, I don't care how big the gun is"


February 9, 2012, 22:08
Second Meta-Player: "Of course he will. The Rule of Cool demands that we utterly slag an opposing ship. It just won't be the big-bad."
Voted Chaosmark
February 9, 2012, 22:11

I was always partial to VLRs myself, but a gigantic plasma cannon works too.

Voted valadaar
August 27, 2015, 11:20
Interestingly, I recently read about new fusion developments - apparently if instead of tritium you use normal hydrogen and boron, you can get a neutron-free fusion reaction. Downside is you need much, much higher temperatures to ignite the fusion, but you do away with most of the dangerous, lining-irradiating radiation.

Theoretically simple - an uncorked fusion reactor - it works!

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