Pulsing a laser like that means building up electric charge over a period of time for a short attacking burst of very high intensity. The intensity, and thus range, is higher than an equivalent continuous laser can achieve. The tradeoff is that the rate of damage is reduced.
It would be nice if CoaDE could have pulsed lasers at some point. But first some bugs and limits regarding lasers would have to be worked on (ablation rate capped per laser, large arbitrary inaccuracy worse than Hubble, arbitrary M^2 lower limit, 10 Mm max draw distance).
Basically what it says on the tin. Could a coilgun be a hundred metres long and still be adding velocity? Five hundred metres? Five kilometres? If there is a speed limit due to something like the activation and deactivation speed of magnetic coils, could having a longer coilgun allow you to reach that maximum speed with lower g-forces on the payload?
Switching speeds could be reduced via superconductive magnets and thermal quenching, but that would lead to a fairly high reload time.
I believe the max speed of a coilgun is limited to a fairly high percentage of C, but that's so far out of the realm of CDE physics we barely consider it.
Details about killing underground bunkers with nukes tend to be kind of scarce for some reason.
There is also no kill like overkill. If you're even thinking about this then subtle options like drilling a hole first or pouring foam insulation down the heat vents weren't seen as sufficient.
No kill like overkill indeed. I was not sure that several dozen teratons of nuclear shaped charge would do the trick against a bunker designed for synthetics that is submerged in upper mantle. Well there are also 'supercavitation drills' in the setting but they are usually seen as harder to setup.
A large rock on a retrograde intercept could unleash exatons of energy; we have identified over 140 very large 100km plus objects in the main belt.
Given the orbital velocity of Earth is ~30kms we can get a ideal (ideal practical, that is) 60km/s relative velocity at impact. Wolfram gives me an estimate of about 1.36 exatons for a 100km chunk of nickel-iron at these impact velocities... Which still might be survivable for advanced synthetic intelligences.
However, most industrial processes capable of operating at such an environment are going to be less efficient simply due to thermodynamics, so once you turn the surface into lava, you can put a bunch of spysats/spydrones around, and deny any attempts at reindustrializing the surface while you exploit the system's resources vastly more efficiently.
Some people's armor schemes I've read on here are well in excess of 1 meter, that's all. And just so we're clear thick armor would greatly affect the firing angle of a muzzle-end rotating internal mount. Length of the barrel doesn't have any effect on your angle of fire if the point of rotation is the muzzle. If you are assuming the muzzle is the point of rotation, and the muzzle is placed on the inner surface of the armor, the only variables that affect your firing angle are the thickness of the armor and the width of the hole you want to make. Barrel length doesn't matter (other than taking up internal volume and making it more difficult to construct). For example:
.25 meter diameter hole, 1 meter thick armor: 14.2 degree firing arc (not particularly great, but probably usable) .25 meter diameter hole, 3 meter thick armor: 4.6 degree firing arc (not particularly great) .5 meter diameter hole, 1 meter thick armor: 28 degree firing arc (pretty good) .5 meter diameter hole, 3 meter thick armor: 9.4 degree firing arc 1 meter diameter hole, 1 meter thick armor: 53 degree firing arc (fantastic, but a lot of volume inside the ship given to swinging the weapon around) 1 meter diameter hole, 3 meter thick armor: 19 degree firing arc (not bad)
One of the main reasons the US Navy is working on railguns today is an excess of funding. The removal of explosive ammunition is a paper selling point. When you consider the logistics and risks of having to deal with carrying around a couple hundred explosive shells versus carrying around a multi-gigawatt power plant, one is the a clear winner over the other. It will be interesting to see what railgun technology is capable of, but I get a gut feeling that railguns firing projectiles at a ROF comparable to a rotary autocannon (2,000 rounds per minute or more) might be optimistic.
I feel like I'm talking to deltaV again. I showed how even a extreme 100 meter long gun could still gimbal with a 10 meter thick armor sandwich.
We don't need a large firing arc, otherwise we'd stick to turrets. At the ranges that optimized laserstars do battle at, you don't even need half a degree of movement to correct the pointing errors of large warships. The reason I prefer to gimbal at the gun's center of gravity is to minimize reaction wheel mass.
You don't need a gigawatt powerplant for a railgun; many of the railguns in Apo's standardized modules use less than 10 MW power; current major surface combatants like a DD has over 75MW mechanical power from it's propulsion systems, and integrated electric is becoming a thing.
What thickness of armor are you assuming to get your 1 degree? The thickness of the armor affects how big the hole needs to be. Or I guess you are assuming the muzzle is at the outer shell of the armor? I am assuming the muzzle would be at the inside face of the last interior armor layer.
Also I was assuming a more realistic projectile and ammunition size. But yes, if you are firing things that only weigh a gram and don't have propellant, then yes, that is less of an issue.
My usual armoring schema is far less than 1m thick. Even assuming 10m thick armor (lolwut), that only increases radius by 16.67% for a 100m long gun. Which is a pretty extreme example already.
As for ammo, you need small bullets to compete with lasers. Small bullets are contraindicated in modern, 21st century warfare because air resistance is a thing, not because they'd be ineffective in space.
As for propellant... Why? It's excuciating squeezing out more than a few km/s out of conventional explosive cannon, and their efficiency is awful. They're mostly useful for microdrones, which don't deal well with the laser constellation side of the meta, and are less flexible than the missile spam side of the meta, while being even more problematic in terms of lag.
One of the main reasons navies are working on railguns today is to remove explosives from their ammo... Significantly safer, more compact storage and easier ammunition handling for a given terminal energy, though they are still constrained by the need to overcome air resistance.
Also, just for interest: the pictured place here, Eros, is not available in the celestial body selection in sandbox, but it is available via selecting the Orbital Fallout level preset. This isn't too surprising since the mission area is so small the engagements are buggy (missiles spawn on top of you regardless of gun range, and fleets spawn well within 1Mm of each other so if you move at all you can enter combat).
My drones spin out of control when launched sideways. ;_;
I also like to think that the people saying MAD and logistics would stop sane people from doing much conflict in space are correct, although making humans stop trying to destroy eachother will probably require a couple of paradigm shifts and some significant edits to what it means to be human.
Even very smart humans are not always rational.
Plus, necessity breeds innovation, and conflict creates necessity at amazing pressures. War tends to drive progress at an incredible pace.