Weapons

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Weapons are components used to adapt blueprints for the purpose of engaging the enemy in (notionally) honourable Combat. These tools of destruction range from single-block devices, to monstrous abominations with over nine hundred parts per barrel, not including the actual barrel! There's no rule saying you can't have more than ONE such beast, so if you want to have sixteen of them in one turret, go for it. Just don't act surprised when the sheer weight of the thing leaves you falling asleep waiting for it to swing those guns around.

Also, do note that while most weapons are unaffected by weather, lasers (see below) suffer greatly in mist, fog, and rainstorms, and will have a generally bad time whenever water's involved. More importantly, optical Detection Components (See the relevant subsection of the AI folder in the build menu), will suffer as inclement weather weakens the optical signature of vehicles and structures, drastically decreasing the range at which the AI can detect targets, and thus indirectly decreasing the range of any weapon system controlled by said AI.

Simple Weapons[edit | edit source]

Main article: Simple Weapons

Whereas most other weapon types feature high degrees of customizability, these weapons forego that in favour of -you guessed it- Simplicity! Each simple weapon (with one or two exceptions) is a self-contained system, all they need is a Local Weapon Controller (or its anti-munition equivalent), oh and don't forget ammunition! ...well, the Drill uses engine power, but that only proves that every rule has an exception.

As for the lack of custmizability, don't worry, we've been nice enough to make a simple weapon for every occasion... Or, we tried. Anyway, here's the list.

Type Subtype Name Effective Range Description
Melee
Ram Punching distance It's a ram. You stick it into the enemy and it makes a hole where it hits.

What do you mean "going too fast"? Ram means Ram! Not "Nudge", RAM!

Powered Drill Arm-flailing distance A ram, but it makes a hole even when the helmsman is being a coward.
Tactical Nuke If you can tell it's not a CRAM shell,

it's already too close.

Don't trust the advertisements, it can't singe wood from 25 meters away.

Still, you'd better be wearing some sunscreen and shades if ya see one coming...

Fixed mount. Like Melee weapons, Fixed weapons don't do much in the way of aiming.

Thus, you'll have to aim your whole ship at the target.

Or you could mount the weapon on a turret. That'll work too.

"Salvaged" tech Laser 500m Powered by the light of burning gunpowder (or whatever is in ammo boxes),

this short-range laser produces a scorching beam of thermal energy.

30mm Assault

Cannon

1250m A light rotary cannon. It's not too powerful on a shot-per-shot basis,

but it does fire lots of them.

60mm Auto Cannon 1500m A heavier counterpart to the assault cannon, this one fires bullets 8 times as big,

and with a longer range thanks to their higher velocity, at the cost of fire rate.

Limited Arc Unlike the Fixed types, these weapons can actually do some aiming on their own.

Not a lot, mind you, but if you can get them pointed in the general direction

of whatever you want them to shoot at, they'll do the rest.

Age~of~Sail Rokkits Revolutionary Revolving Blast-Gun 5500m A fully automatic shotgun. No, it can't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside,

but you're not wasting ammo on a poor farmer's barn now, are you?

Age~of~Sail 16 pdr Cannon 1200m A small cannon which does little damage. Only effective en masse.

Its mount has some fairly large aim angles though.

Age~of~Sail 32 pdr Swivel Gun 1500m A much more powerful version of the small cannon. Still only effective en masse.
Age~of~Sail 64 pdr Cannon 2000m Even larger. Aim angles are reduced, but velocity and damage are nothing to sneer at.
360-degree

Traverse

While Limited Arc weapons have... well, limited arcs of fire,

these weapons can traverse a full 360-degrees!

(Please set up some firing constraints or else they might shoot their own ship)

R-Class .50 AA Gun 1200m A cheap machinegun. Not very useful unless you're fighting wooden biplanes,

but it has a fairly high muzzle velocity, fitting its "Anti-Aircraft" designation.

T-Class 20mm AA Gun 1260m With twice the hitting power and more than double the magazine capacity,

this four-barreled weapon is a respectable step up from the R-Class .50 AA Gun.

Twin 40mm Mk-H 3000m Solid bullets are fine and dandy, but they can be hard to notice unless they hit.

This gun provides a reasonable solution: time-fuzed explosives!

Quad 40mm Mk-I 3000m Twice the shells, slightly longer reload time. At only 150% the cost, it's a bargain.
Octuple 40mm Mk-S 2400m Eventually, the sheer recoil started tearing the mounts out of the deck, and so we're

using reduced-charge shells. Not that it's a problem as long as the enemy's in range.

Custom Shell Type-E 60mm Grenade Launcher Variable

800-1900m

This nifty little device takes cartridges up to 300mm in length. The range is so-so,

but it will make a good mess out of a paddlewheel.

Custom Shell Type A 3.7" Gun Variable A 94mm Anti-Aircraft gun that takes shells up to 760mm in length.

It comes with a fuze-setting table, for use with time-fuzed shells.

Custom Shell Type A(L) 3.7" Gun Variable A modification of the Type A, this mount comes fitted with a sturdy gun shield.
Custom Shell Type L Casemated Gun Variable These 130mm naval guns can't elevate high enough for useful anti-aircraft work,

but with shells up to 1.3m long, they are a menace upon both shore and sea.

Custom Shell Type L(E) Casemated Gun Variable The Type L's larger twin brother, the L(E), uses two longer bored out barrels.

With a new caliber of 150mm, it can fire shells up to 1.8m long.

CRAM Cannons[edit | edit source]

Main article: CRAM Cannon


CRAM cannons replaced the earlier Custom Cannons, and can be thought of as oversized mortars. They're a far cry from the relatively light and sometimes ineffective Simple Weapons, and offer extreme firepower and potentially excellent range at a surprisingly low operating cost. In spite of this, they're the simplest of the multi-block weapons.

Of course, the "extreme firepower", "excellent range", and "low operating costs" come with some serious drawbacks. For starters, the firepower is intermittent, to say the least, with large cannons only being able to fire a few times per minute. Secondly, although a maximum-gauge CRAM cannon can fire a 2m wide shell out to nearly 5km, this requires a very long barrel, making the gun both extremely heavy and slow to aim. Even then, the shells have a maximum velocity of 200m/s, leaving ample time for evasion.

Because of these qualities, CRAM Cannons are widely employed as heavy Surface-to-Surface weapons on fortifications, tanks, and ships, but have also found use as makeshift bomb-launchers on aircraft by firing shells straight down using very short barrels called Bomb Chutes, and as cheap anti-submarine depth-charge mortars using altitude-fuzed explosive shells.

Advanced Cannons[edit | edit source]

Main article: Advanced Cannon


Another step up in complexity, Advanced Cannons are broadly similar to CRAM cannons, but use the Advanced Projectile System modular projectiles with calibers of 18-500mm. The list of projectile modules include the obvious choices between slow and heavy armour-piecing solid shot parts, fast and lightweight but fragile (easily destroyed) hollow parts filled with High-Explosives, with fuze options similar to those of CRAM shells, as well as more exotic items such as tracers (improves accuracy of following shots for a short time), shaped charge ("penetrates" armour without destroying the actual blocks, and sprays fragments on the other side), base-bleed (improves range and accuracy, but it's an expensive part to make), disruptor conduits for messing with the target's shields, and more.

Once you've got a suitable custom cartridge (the system is designed for unitary ammunition only), you then need to feed it into the gun, and so Advanced Cannons, unlike their CRAM brothers, use so-called autoloaders measuring between 1 and 8 metres in length, to store finished shells ready for use. Because they also typically fire shells at higher velocities, and with shorter reload times, measures may need to be taken to help them dissipate both heat and recoil forces, lest the gun suffer from poor accuracy and frequent stoppages due to overheating. The need to fit in unwieldy autoloaders and recoil buffers, as well as snaking lengths of cooling pipes, results in a very different tetris from those of CRAM guns, and is generally seen as "more realistic" by the various inhabitants of the game's Discord channel and Steam forums.

Advanced Cannons, both because of this customizability in terms of fire rate (for sustained fire or split-second high-rpm "bursts") and accuracy (for precision attack against slow or predictable targets, or large-scale barrages against very fast or agile foes), as well as their use of the Advanced Projectile System allowing for very specific projectile payloads against a target's various vulnerabilties, can be specialized towards almost any task.

Missiles / Torpedoes / Mines[edit | edit source]

Main article: Missile


Missile systems are in many ways an inversion of Advanced Cannons; A single missile, even a really small one, can inflict an impressive amount of damage upon a target, but instead of hoping that sheer volume of fire will ensure a hit, the missile (or torpedo) relies on an array of rocket thrusters, torpedo propellers, fins, seeker heads, and guidance datalinks, all to maximize the hit probability of each weapon.

This approach has the benefit of not necessarily needing a full-size detection system to provide pinpoint targeting data, and the self-propelled nature of the missile means that only a small and relatively light launch ramp is neccessary to carry and fire the weapon. Drawbacks include such minor inconveniences as the cost of throwing away a couple of perfectly good and very expensive rocket motors and detection systems every time you pull the trigger, but you're free to skip the propulsion and guidance systems, and simply drop the warhead part of the weapon as an unguided bomb if you want to conserve ammunition. Oh, and then there's the reload time. You'll eventually realize that high-cost munitions are inherently incompatible with the spray-and-pray ideology behind CRAM and, to a lesser extent, Advanced cannons, but when you first use missiles, the reload times will have you grinding your teeth. And that's just the reload time for standard launchers, don't get us started about the rail versions. Sheesh...

Now, if the description of this weapon system seems a bit vague, don't worry! Missiles, like Advanced Cannons, have a lot of potential applications, and so it can be difficult to nail down what they are and aren't. To get you started, here's a list of some of the things that can be made using missile parts:

Dumb[edit | edit source]
  • Magnetic bombs and depth-keeping mines.
  • Flares and decoys.
  • Rockets
  • Sonar and Raday bouys (to help submarines and anti-submarine aircraft find one another)
Guided (relies on external control)[edit | edit source]
  • Laser-homing precision EMP bombs and missiles, useful for "carefully" disabling an enemy craft's weapons and sensors before boarding it.
  • Long-range versions of homing missiles/torpedoes; homing seeker heads might struggle to lock on small or far-away vehicles, in which case combining self-homing capability with remote guidance systems such as beam-riding or guidance datalinks will help to bring the seeker head close enough to the target.
  • Lua-controlled missiles and torpedoes with more complex behaviors than the basic seeker heads and on-board control systems will allow, including altitude-keeping and proximity detonation.
  • Stealthy, countermeasure-resistant datalink-guided missiles and torpedoes
Homing (independent)[edit | edit source]
  • Airdropped anti-submarine torpedoes.
  • Fire-and-forget active-radar anti-ship missiles.
  • Heatseeking air-to-air missiles.

Lasers[edit | edit source]

Main article: Laser


Unlike projectile weapons, Lasers don't care too much about speed or evasive maneuvers; as long as your detection systems can draw a bead on the target, the laser of will remain on point as it rips through the unfortunate foe at a steady pace. As such, they're very useful as anti-aircraft weapons, and are the basis for the Laser Anti-Munition Defence system.

Firepower at the speed of light does not come without flaws however, and while lasers may be cheap to operate as they only consume electricity, building the laser system in the first place requires plenty of room and copious amounts of materials. Additionally, they require a clear line of sight to the target, rendering them largely ineffective in uneven terrain.

Particle Cannons[edit | edit source]

Main article: Particle Cannon

Particle Cannons are highly customisable weapons, sort of like a laser, but you've got more choices as to what happens to the target when they get hit. Like lasers, PACs use power to fire light speed projectiles, but unlike lasers, they use a fairly large firing piece with snaking particle accelerator tubes to increase the particle beam's power.

The cannon can be customised entirely to fit your needs and can be set to different damage modes: explosive, piercing, EMP, and thump.

Water[edit | edit source]

Main article: Water


Now, this will sound strange to you at first. "Water?" you'll say, "that's not a weapon, it's just... ya know, water!" Well, true, but there's a reason why the armour of real-world warships was largely concentrated to the waterline, with weaker protection deeper down mainly intended to defeat torpedoes, and relatively thin but still respectably armoured decks to stop plunging fire. Water, while not a weapon in and of itself, tends to interfere with almost every weapon in the game, and its effects should be taken into account when designing said weapons. More specific information might be available in the main article of each weapon system up above, and it's up for debate whether a summary of that information should be on the Combat page, or on the Water page, or on this page, For the time being, it's here, and so we hope you'll enjoy this general description of the various woes which will befall both you and your enemies when attempting to fire weapons into, out of, or through water.

Explosions in general[edit | edit source]

Whereas air typically exists in a compressible gaseous form, the vast majority of the world's water exists in a liquid, and relatively incompressible state. Being incompressible makes water a poor shock-absorber, allowing explosive shockwaves to remain lethal at far greater distances than they would in open air.

  • Explosive damage increases with water depth, to a maximum of +50% for explosions at depths of 5m or deeper.
Cannons[edit | edit source]

Impacting the water at very shallow angles tend to cause a projectile to skip across the surface, potentially flying high enough to completely miss a watercraft with a low freeboard, or striking the superstructure and masts.

  • The water-skipping effect is fairly easy to simulate, and has been implemented in a simplified form. Note that the Advanced Projectile System offers a projectile part which magnifies this effect, causing every single projectile so fitted to skip off the water at angles below 30% (~17 degrees).

As for those which actually enter the water, well, bullets and shells are typically already unstable while in the air with the Centre of Mass being far behind the Centre of air Pressure, meaning that you need to keep them turning like a flying spinning top in order to maintain stable nose-first flight. Underwater, the drag increases by orders of magnitude, overpowering the stabilizing effects of the spin, causing projectiles to tumble end-over end.

  • While the unpredictable motion of a projectile travelling sideways or tail-first through the water are too resource-intensive to simulate, the dramatic loss of velocity and penetrative performance isn't, and has been implemented.

Real-world navies have attempted, with mixed successes, to mitigate this effect by moving the CoP backwards and closer to the CoM, and by decreasing the sideways area ahead of the centre of mass that sideways drag forces could act on to push the projectile off course. By WWII these efforts resulted in the widespread adoption of both purpose-made anti-submarine shells, and mild alterations of the shape of armour-piercing caps of many nations' medium-to-large caliber AP projectiles to improve their underwater travel distance. More recent developments involve long, tapered projectiles with a finely machined flat tip that creates a focused pressure shock at the front of the projectile, and a corresponding near-vacuum pressure drop behind it. The projectile, that is, everything behind the very tip of it, is effectively "flying" inside a pocket of steam (from seawater evaporating due to the vacuum), which means the water can't touch the thing in any of the ways that'd make it tumble.

  • The Advanced Projectile System offers a projectile part which decreases the underwater drag, but the majority of the simple weapons, as well as the CRAM cannons, can't use the thing, and so are out of luck.
Missile systems[edit | edit source]

As the number of real-world air-to-underwater missiles remains limitied, mainly because most missiles are too fragile to survive the impact, the ability of FtD's missiles to survive such high-speed impacts isn't entirely realistic, but considering their relatively low velocities and general resilience against anti-missile weapons, it can be assumed that they are somewhat sturdier, and exposed to less violent impact forces, than their real-world counterparts. With this in mind, the physical effect of hitting the occasional wave is quite realistic, and similar to that exhibited by a regular projectile. Of course, regular projectiles don't have thrusters (basebleed gas generators decrease drag, but cannot meaningfully propel a projectile and so do not count), fins, or guidance systems, and so missiles exhibit some additional effects.

  • Thrusters other than the torpedo thruster, including the turning thruster, and seeker heads other than the torpedo sonar, cease to function until the missile is out of the water, and speed will rapidly reduce due to drag. It should also be noted that missiles are naturally bouyant, and will resurface on their own. The orientation will however not change, meaning that unless a functioning seeker head or remote guidance system alters the course, a missile which hits the water nose-down will stay in this orientation, and will push itself underwater again when its thruster re-ignites.
  • Torpedoes, being a variation of the missile, exhibit the opposite basic behavior; they work fine underwater, but torpedo thrusters and sonar seeker heads cease to function when exposed to air.
    • Note that some suggestions have been brought forth regarding the addition of a flat-nosed supercavitating head part for use on torpedoes, and allowing the short-range thruster to operate underwater, in order to allow for replication of weapons such as the VA-111 Shkval. These have been rejected, possibly on account of the fact that M4 and S2 torpedoes can already reach 97-103m/s, which is already close to the publicly available figures for the Shkval.
Lasers[edit | edit source]

Even in the crystal-clear Silfra, one will notice that it's difficult to make out objects more than a hudred or so metres away. Water turbidity, as well as chemo- and thermoclines, all cause light scattering in excess of that which occurs in air on a typical day. In addition to these effects, even H2O of constant temperature attenuates light to some degree. That is, it converts light into thermal energy, or heat. Even blue light (wavelength of about 475 nm) is virtually absorbed after 275m. Lasers, being focused streams of photons all going in the same direction, suffer greatly when faced with the gradual scattering of their beams, and attenuation severely limits their maximum range. Despite these issues, LIDAR remains useful for seabed navigation, though irrelevant in the context of the game.

  • Lasers generally perform poorly when asked to penetrate any significant distance of water to reach their target, and are a poor choice of weapon for and against submarines. They may also perform in a less-than ideal manner against ships unless an aimpoint card is connected to the Mainframe controlling the laser's LWC, and said aimpoint card has been set to only target above-water blocks. While this means that the laser will cause more total damage to the target, if most of the target's critical systems (AI, powerplant and propulsion systems, magazines, weapon parts and so on) are located below the waterline, the damage is unlikely to be crippling.