Maybe we were just playing brikwars wrong (a solid possibly), but when our SHIPs collided (figuratively, at first), the guns were unable to cause any real damage. My friend had slapped on turrets containing the old grey guns from many star-wars sets which resulted in several Tier 2-3 inch weapons, while my biggest weapon was a tier 6 Gau-8 Avenger. Unable to cause serous damage to each other trough the Armor class 5&4 Energy Shields and Armor, the boarding parties did the most damage. It seems like there needs to be some class of weapons that people can choose from when making ships, also feel cool when saying their names. Maybe its just me, but "Capital Class" just rolls of the tongue rather nicely.
After looking through all three rulebooks for a few hours (you experts can help me here), I have thought up some nice, cool ideas for you guys to hack apart. (Note, these take concepts from Battlefleet Gothic [BFG], a tabletop space combat game)
Capital Class Weapons:
-Torpedoes and Missile Swarms
- Offensively Defensive Turrets
So, starting with Lances:
Lances are Beam Weapons, lasers that are immensely powerful and can slice through armored plating with impunity! These turrets house a crew of nearly a dozen minifigs, and have many power cables that feed it directly from the reactor core. Note,these power relays are easy targets for boarding parties, and it is best to include many non-essential wires and power relays, in order to confuse them and buy time for security to 'remove' trespassers. Lances are godly powerful weapons, and use a d12 die for there rolls.
Each type of lance turret requires a certain amount of charge counters in its capacitors before it can fire full strength. This bulky weapon also requires a large contingent of gunners to keep the Weapon Skill down to a decent level, so you have a decent chance of hitting the broadside of a starship. Light Lances can fire every other turn, while Heavy Lances require 3-4 turns of prep before they can fire. The firing of a lance is a game changing event, and should be accompanied by epic sound effects.
Of course this all varies with the size of your SHIPs reactor, the power load placed on it, and how much power your dedicating to the Lance turret. That can be a complicated system, the best solution is having the reactor output a number of chips, and you spend them on recovering shields and moving, but this is neither the post nor paragraph to talk about about that. Sounds like 2001 rules, if you ask me... Revisions are welcome! Picks of example weapons
Continuing with the list, Weapon Batteries:
Huge Fucking Guns on Huge Fucking SHIPs firing Huge Fucking Shells! These are usually embedded in the hull of the ship, covering only a single arc of the craft. Broadsides have been noted to look particularly awesome and a Captain shouting the word 'Broadside' has been scientifically proven to raise moral among crew, because it sounds awesome. These massive cannons are usually the main armament on a SHIP, unless said SHIP is specialized in Lance armaments, or Torpedoes/Strike Craft ordnance. They usually require many ratings to load the massive shells and fire the cannons in a timely manner (having crazed deckhands whipping the ratings is preferred to get the maximum efficiency).
Looking through the rulebooks, launcher weapons seem to fit this category the best. Having tier 6-8 launchers in a 4 launcher broadside seems to be the most effective way of dispatching foes. Also, having enough ammo for 6-10 rounds of combat means your magazine will be awfully large, and should be easily accessible by your fingers and your deck hands, while at the same time hard to reach by enemy sabatours. The diameter of your barrel also affects how large of a payload you can fire. What would you want to hit your enemy with, a 1x1x6 pip high explosive shell, or a 2x2x6 pip HE shell? (or 4 1x1x6 shots at once, yay for grapeshot)
Now, SHIP battles should be taking place in a basement sized area, with large distances between ships initially, so these cannons need a long reach. I'm a little mucky on the extend range rules, i think its 1 WS per inch, correct me if I'm wrong. Currently I cannot find the section (possibly I'm just failing), but if it is greater than that, then it should be fine, as closer engagements will result on more damage while pot shots at enemy ships 10 feet out will still be possible.
In the 2010 rules, cannon shots 12 inches out require an additional turn to land, and with starship battles can have lots of potential with players having to lead there shots when the enemy is moving abeam to them. Firing at farther ranges than say, 60 inches, could require two turns to hit their target, requiring greater player skill, and lots of fun dice rolls of crazy maneuvering to escape where the shots will land. More should be done and this should be looked into for future profit.
Now onto Ordnance:
Shooting torpedoes the size of buildings at enemy SHIPs seems like the best of ideas! If you don't have the internal space to hold enough ammo for a broadside of Macro Cannons, you might as well skimp out, and go for a one shot weapon, a massive torpedo. These are to compensate for the lack of real firepower, and instead of being awesome and firing loads of dakka with a low chance of hitting, you can pack all that together and fire a slow but reliable torpedo at the enemy ship, in the hopes of massive damage, eventually. If you don't have the capacity to launch big torpedoes/or don't want to place all those explosives on one basket/still want to retain some of that dakka spirit, you can launch dozens of small missiles in its place. The traditional rules are either inadequate/ perfectly fine, depending on who you ask, and I will need to do some more research/play-testing before I can comment on this subject. Some ships also carry fighters/drones. The drones are known for being especially compact, and efficient, and generally more common on starships. Starships that do carry fighters seem to make it an afterthought, and no real carriers have been developed, due to size constraints/lack of rules to make them an effective piece of equipment.
And last but not least, Offensively Defensive Turrets:
If you feel that fighters are flying too close to you, have these guys shoot them down! And if the resulting explosion scratches your paint job, then you can just sue them for damages!
Basically a overlapping network of medium or small turrets to fend off star fighters and dimmys alike. Combined fire would work well, but still not sure how that works. :/
Small dual miniguns would work well for intercepting incoming rockets/missiles/bombs/dimmys at point blank. Gau-8 Avenger equivalents would be good for taking down star fighters (or tanks). Standard lasers would be good and cheap.
Well, that took a while to write. Hope some of you guys enjoyed this, and the rest of you could provide constructive criticism to these ideas. The above will be edited in the future to accommodate changes.