Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

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Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by cmdrjones » 2014-10-11 02:17pm

This is one of the few sites with concrete numbers on B5 firepower, (subject to debate of course)

http://b5tech.com/oldb5tech/science/weapons/weapons.htm

and this is my story thread about The Death squadron coming to B5
https://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic ... 4&t=161592

Which garnered some pretty great comments...
and this is the SD.net page on TL firepower:
http://www.stardestroyer.net/tlc/Power/

Now, I have read through them, and I am NOT very Numerate... sorry. History major here; and while I can grasp that turbolasers can vape asteroids and that the average turbolaser shot is similar to the blast that leveled Hiroshima... when I go through the physics calculations that people put up here to explain these things more accurately or (heaven forbid) when I try to compare the raw numbers on each side, well,, my head starts to spin a bit.
SO, here's the deal....
I'll post a few paragraphs of flavor text from my upcoming fic, in the hopes that it will inspire a few of your to try to break this down barney style for me, because I have JUST arrived at the point where B5 races and SW races are about to start slinging fire back and forth, and I want to be dramatic but NOT take it so far out into the realm of science fantasy that I lose the SOD on all of the more tech types here... and yes, yes I understand that you can't please everybody all of the time... OK that being said, let's get down to brass tacks.

Basic question: For the main B5 races what it the ratio of firepower for their main weapons to the SW main weapons? .1X .01X .001X?

Or How many SHarlins would have to fire at once full blast to collapse the shields of a SD? an SSD?
Could centauri Mass drivers hurt a SD?
what about human nukes?

and so on....

thanks in advance.

Oh and here's a small taste, I do Hope you enjoy:

Vae Victis
The Old Ones have a saying...
I don't hear a thing.
Exactly!


Prologue
Late 2258 A.D., Earth Calendar.
The Vorlon Kosh Naranek did nothing, but left nothing undone. He watched over the unremarkable barren planet known to the younger races as Epsilon III and over the 5 mile long blue and gray Space Station turning slowly in orbit above it. Kosh simply was, and then the great machine began to stir beneath the surface of Epsilon III.
"It is time," Kosh said in his mind. "The circle must close."
In response Varn, the keeper of the great machine bowed his head and began the preparations to send a massive burst of energy into deep space carrying a simple two word message: 'Help me.'
Be ready Zathras, it is time to find another guardian for the Great Machine, we live for The One, we die for The One...The creatures known as Zathras scurried about through the massive corridors of the Great Machine, maintaining, and servicing. Within mere minutes the burst of Tachyons erupted from the planet surged past the Babylon 5 space station and tore a hole through the fabric of space and time searching for another who could answer the call. Varn had been guardian of the Great Machine for so long, he no longer even knew if his race still existed. Still, he had to try. The power of the ancient races that built it was without equal anywhere in the galaxy, that power must be used wisely, and for the benefit of the younger races. While he was too old to continue, another one must be chosen to take his place.
Another Galaxy, another time.

Large wedge shaped vessels plunged headlong into an asteroid field in pursuit of a fleeing star freighter, blasting at the floating nickel iron rocks with gigantic turbo lasers. The Imperial Star Destroyers cleared a path for the even more massive Super Stardestroyer Executor, flagship of the Galactic Empire. Aboard this vessel, the right hand of Emperor Palpatine, a massive figure clad in black cybernetic armor known as Lord Vader glared from behind his mask at the small blue holographic representation of his underling, Admiral Piett transmitting his situation report from another part of the fleet.
"Lord Vader, we have found no sign of the Millennium Falcon, but given the amount of damage we've sustained, they MUST have been destroyed."
"No Admiral, they are alive, continue to sweep the asteroid field until they are found,” Lord Vader growled but kept his voice even as he spoke.
Nearby, the holograms of another pair of officers flickered and died as their bridge was decimated by an asteroid impact hitting with several gigatons of explosive force. Lord Vader took no notice of the event and stared straight at Admiral Piett, waiting for a reply.
"Of course my Lord," Piett said with a slight bow.
The Imperial fleet continued the slow, dangerous and seemingly futile task of searching for one small freighter amongst millions of deadly asteroids.
Admiral Piett stood on the bridge of the Executor and surveyed the rest of the Death squadron, Lord Vader's personal flotilla of Star Destroyers.
Nearly three standard hours later, the Executor received a burst transmission from Captain Needa of the Avenger.
"Lord Vader, we have them."
"Be mindful Captain, capture the Millennium Falcon do not destroy it. I shall be there within moments."
Lord Vader turned to the bridge crew of the Executor and ordered that the command ship be moved to the scene of the chase. Asteroids were of no concern, the Emperor would not be denied his revenge on this boy Skywalker!

The Star Destroyer in pursuit glided through space pushed by massive thrusters mounted in the rear, blazing with a blue fire like three captured white dwarfs half covered by an armored protective cowl. Captain Needa oversaw the pursuit from the command deck, perched atop the superstructure of the battleship in an upright conning tower flanked by twin scanning globes. The dorsal surface and leading edge of the triangular vessel bristled with weaponry while the ventral surface contained a partially hidden hangar bay surrounded by tractor beam emitters. Small single man fighter craft spat forth from the bay and swarmed towards the Millennium Falcon like angry insects.
The disc shaped, heavily modified freighter dodged this way and that, pursued by a trio of TIE fighters. Fighter craft used by the empire and manufactured by the millions, they were simply a pair of Ion engines with another pair of energy cannons mounted just below a spherical cockpit, the entire assembly sandwiched between two vertical wings attached by short horizontal struts. The pilots attacked fearlessly and in waves. They knew that Lord Vader had no mercy and that the penalty for failure was far worse than an instantaneous explosive death in the cold depths of space. Their prey did not return fire, but maneuvered frantically, putting most of its power into the rear shields hoping to keep the firepower of the fighters away from the hull, while they dodged the massive bolts coming from the nearly 2 Kilometer long battlewagon bearing down on them.
Long minutes of pursuit followed with the Millennium Falcon staying just out of reach of the TIE fighters, and easily staying out of the proper firing solutions of the Star Destroyers deadly guns. With each hit the fighters scored on the escaping freighter she slowed slightly, the shields drawing power from the engines to resist the blasts slicing through space around them. Slowly, inexorably, the Millennium Falcon would be caught unless she could jump to hyperspace and flee the sector.
The Millennium Falcon took another hit on the port quarter and lurched visibly from the impact. The gunners on the Star Destroyer hesitated, afraid to fire at full power and destroy Lord Vaders' prize.
Suddenly, their prey banked to port and began to come around straight at the bridge of the pursuing Stardestroyer. The fighters scattered to avoid their own carriers' heavy guns.
"They're moving to attack position!" exclaimed a bridge officer incredulously.
Captain Needa half turned towards the sensor station behind him, "Shields up," he snapped.
They must be insane.
One of the port side ventral gunners, Hakto, made a fateful decision. He reached to adjust the power level of his Turbo Laser battery just as a wave of Tachyon particles passed through the space around the battle surging backwards through time, shaking all the ships involved in the chase. Though he did not know it, the massive wave of tachyon particles rent time itself asunder around the ship, a flash erupted from the tear blinding him temporarily. Gunnery Tech Hakto's finger jerked and he fired his battery on half power, gambling that the ship would be crippled yet would hold together. The bolt seemed to streak forth then halt, continue, then halt as seconds stretched out, then contracted again. His body trembled, now the entire Stardestroyer shook and more brilliant flashes of light erupted in the gunnery station around him. The TIE fighters seemed to shake and jerk in space then began to drift aimlessly, the screams of the pilots erupted through the communications system, stopped, started again, then came again and again over the next few days.
The Millennium Falcon took the brunt of the blast on the ventral surface, just as it was to pass over the Stardestroyer Avenger. The blast overpowered what was left of the freighters' shielding and it tumbled through space, powerless and unable to further resist.
Hakto blinked against the light, not realizing that what he could see and what his vessel, and the entire Stardestroyer squadron were seeing, was a bubble forming in space-time which expanded almost instantly to encompass everything in the area. The Stardestroyers, the Millennium Falcon, The asteroid field and the pursuing fighters were dragged forcibly into another place, another time.
Hakto knew none of this, all he saw in front of his eyes was a massive green starship shaped like some sea beast dragged from the depths of the oceans of Mon Calamari. The Alien vessel surged out of a strange blue vortex that appeared out of nowhere ripping a hole in space and vomited the vile thing forth. Its four arms reached out for him, blazing with an energy buildup, all his instincts told him it was preparing to attack. The sight of its sickly green-yellow skin inspired instant loathing.
"Alien vessel bearing down on us!" Hakto keyed his mic to the gunnery pits on the bridge, received only static. He glanced at his instruments, the readings were nonsense, To hell with it! "Port side, danger close! 30 degrees above the dorsal plane, on the way!" Hakto fired and fired again, but the Alien vessel kept coming and he could do nothing.
All through the fleet, pilots in unshielded craft shrieked and died. Ships shook and twisted, shearing supports and bending even the strongest bulkheads. Shield generators overloaded, exposing crew near the exterior hull to deadly radiation. Men saw events from the past or from the future, seemed to go mad with fear or turned on one another. Officers and technicians suffered the worst without the protective armor of Stormtroopers or the layers and layers of bulkheads between common crewmembers and the ravages of the time distortion. Men like Hakto saw enemies that were not there or returned to battles long since fought and tried to fight them again. Random Turbolaser bolts arced through space adding to the chaos.
The rescue effort to the crippled destroyer Entor halted completely when shuttles full of evacuees turned into floating coffins. The Executor suffered damage and some casualties, but the flagship with far stronger shielding and greater superstructure was relatively untouched. For long minutes, the bridge crew was forced to watch as their escort vessels seemed to come apart around them. Watching this mouth agape, Admiral Firmus Piett shouted for status reports and for all ship captains to cease firing immediately. The floor plates of the Executor vibrated unnervingly as waves of energy seemed to crash against the ships. What tossed the Imperial Star Destroyers about like children’s' toys barely registered aboard the Super Star Destroyer.
"Admiral, order the fleet to--" Lord Vader did not finish the sentence, he saw a flash of light, even through the polarized lenses of his cybernetic helmet and suddenly he was... somewhere else. A wave of heat and choking ash assailed him. General Obi Wan Kenobi, red hair and beard plastered with sweat, his robes singed, burned, and holed in spots, pointed a blue lightsaber at Vader and gave ground slowly, backing towards a narrow stone bridge on the lava ridden planet Mustafar.
"Don't make me fight you Anakin, I don't want to hurt you. The chancellor is evil!"
Lord Vader remembered what he should...had... would say next: "From MY point of view, the Jedi are evil!" Instead, he began to reach for his own lightsaber, intending to slay this younger, faster version of Obi Wan where he stood. Unlike this Obi Wan, he knew what was to happen next. Darth Vader had already experienced it as Anakin Skywalker the name he had as a Jedi Knight nearly 20 years before. The searing pain of losing his limbs, of burning alive, of smelling his own flesh smolder, burst alight, and then losing his sense of smell as his lungs and sinuses slowly seared as he lay screaming. The thought gave way to rage, the rage gave way to the Dark Side and the power began to flow through him.
Obi Wan did not seem to notice Darth Vader before him, but continued to plead with Anakin Skywalker to return to the Light side of the Force. Rather than follow Obi Wan out over the lava for a Lightsaber duel Vader simply reached out with the power of the force and threw a huge section of the ground, and Obi Wan with it, into the sea of Lava. There was another flash, and Vader heard men screaming and the high pitched squeal of twisting metal. He just killed half of the bridge crew by smashing them to death with pieces of console and floor plating ripped from the Executor by the power of the Dark Side.
"No," Vader hissed between slow, labored, mechanical breaths, "This ends now. Admiral, signal the fleet: All stations cease fire and stop all engines.” Darth Vader repeated his command to Admiral Piett, the again and again inside his mind as he fought to contain the raging storm of energies surging through the battered remains of his body. A body ravaged by injury and age, a body held together by bionic reinforcement, maintained by cybernetic organs and propelled by clumsy robotic limbs, all sealed in a cocoon like suit of computerized armor.
Terralthra wrote:It's similar to the Arabic word for "one who sows discord" or "one who crushes underfoot". It'd be like if the acronym for the some Tea Party thing was "DKBAG" or something. In one sense, it's just the acronym for ISIL/ISIS in Arabic: Dawlat (al-) Islāmiyya ‘Irāq Shām, but it's also an insult.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Mr Bean » 2014-10-11 03:50pm

cmdrjones wrote: Basic question: For the main B5 races what it the ratio of firepower for their main weapons to the SW main weapons? .1X .01X .001X?
B5 is considered bottom end of the powers scale. Their weapons are pure nukes and kinetics with a few fancy beam weapons. Their ships are horribly armored and shielded and the specials don't matter much. Old B5 VS Star wars threads you can dig up around here pretty much lay the case out. B5 uses the equivalent of contact nukes and the ray and energy weapons are not much higher. IE B5 has plasma weaponry in the five megaton or less range nukes up to the same we can make in real life just smaller. So a heavily armed B5 ship is something that can take a few megaton level hits and dish out the same in return.

The old gold standard the Republic Acclamator which was a clone war's era troop transport and one of the best hard numbers figures in Star Wars has main guns that kick out two hundred gigatons per shot in a quad turret. Or in other words the main guns of a troop transport are 20,000 more powerful than the armament of a heavy B5 ship. Even the first ones are not kicking around weaponry tens of times stronger than base races. As I wrote myself almost a decade ago an Imperial Star destroyer VS an Imperial Star destroyer is a fight that (We have several instances of a Republic controlled Star Destroyer Vs normal Imperial Star destroyer) is expected to take awhile. Until you can beat the absorption threshold of SW shields to start over-taxing them your not doing anything.

Assuming the highest end B5 figures (which per that weapon site is for a Minibar war cruiser pumping out 106 megaton's per second) assuming it can keep up continuous fire.. to threaten an Republic Acclamator you need at least an equivalent of it's own broadside which is 2,400 gigatons so divide that by that you need at least 2000+ war cruisers to pump out the required firepower to break the Acclamator's shields and start damaging the ship.

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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Batman » 2014-10-11 08:48pm

And 106MT/s is ridiculously high given that not only can those same War Cruisers be destroyed (if only through secondary explosions) by single-figure MT omnidirectional nukes, but Shadow Battlecrabs - the setting's 'Oh woe is me' opponents- be killed by 500MT bombs used as mines.

B5-below GT omnidirectional explosives can kill both the best the younger races have to offer and the freaking Shadows.

Wars-triple figure GT every joule hits the target medium turbolasers on a glorified troop transport.

And I'm sorry but did nobody else notice the 'Minibar' War Cruisers?
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-11 09:36pm

Pedantic note: A ship that can put out a hundred megatons per second in theory may be able to kill a ship that could survive no more than a single-digit megaton hit. If the range is long enough relative to the velocity of the weapons involved, it may be impossible to get all that destructive power on the target for even the hundredths of a second required.

Or the weapons may spread out the way a real beam of light or stream of projectiles fired from a moving platform would... in which case the vast majority of that destructive energy may be wasted on empty space.

The counter, of course, is to fly closer and hit the enemy more often. But if your ship has the same "eggshell armed with sledgehammer" dynamic as theirs, getting close enough to kill them guarantees being close enough for them to kill you. This results in the battle becoming a very sharp, bloody, and above all short round of "circular firing squad tag".

But that is just a general comment on SF, not relevant to this thread directly.
________________________________

Anyway. For the sake of argument, just suppose we completely ignore the extremely high published EU figures like the "200 gigaton turbolaser..." A devil's advocate might argue that this was published in a supporting text where writing big numbers is 'cost-free,' the equivalent of a child boasting "my ship has as much power as yours, TIMES A ZILLION!" And we could reasonably argue that the number is pure inflation or puffery.

Even so, though, there are numerous examples of Star Wars ships delivering planet-scorching bombardments that annihilate all land-based life, infrastructure, and often will even boil off the oceans, which is really hard to do by direct energy transfer. In other words, a typical Imperial Star Destroyer can do something the Shadows need to break out one of their dedicated planet-killing "Death Clouds" to do.

The Vorlons have a ship armed with a weapon that can physically blow apart planets, which is beyond the scope of all but the largest and deadliest mobile weapons platforms in Star Wars... but is at least as far beyond anything else in their own setting, including anything we've seen the Shadows field.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Batman » 2014-10-11 09:46pm

Define 'extremely high' please. 200GT for the Acclamator's MTLs is considerably less than what you'd get by downscaling from the DS1.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2014-10-11 10:32pm

As I have said in fanfiction, and will repeat in a more dedicated forum here, Star Wars is the exception that puts Clarke's second law to the proof. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" can be read in a lot of different ways, one of them being that the possibilities of new advances do not cause linear change, they multiply off each other to create ever widening spans of capability and complexity, things become possible that would seem like magic to those who don't know how it's done.

Except in Star Wars. There is what certainly should be sufficiently advanced technology- the power technologies required to do what the Death Star does are so far beyond the present that they do look like magic, there probably has to have been repeal of at least two of the laws of thermodynamics- but where are the intricate intermeshing complexities that there should be, where are the industrial and commercial roots, where are the social changes caused by them? With the raw power and pervasive computing involved, these people should be so far post- singularity it isn't even funny. Should probably be past another two or three on the far side, as well, we are far, far beyond the near future here into "we are become as gods" territory.

So pick your absurdity. What seems madder- that these people have not been moulded by their environment, are still close enough to human that the audience can relate to them, despite being thousands of years more advanced;
or that this gang of farmboys and nerf herders can manage far future technology that were it real would be making physics professors' frontal lobes burn out and fall off?

Which do you take as the ground truth, the people or the technology? Go with the hardware, with the effects as seen (boom...) and you get high capabilities, big numbers, line units able to kill planets. Go with the people and the demonstrated capabilities do seem far too far beyond their capabilities to manage.

To be absolutely honest I prefer the playground of the mind (to quote Larry Niven) that the big numbers imply, as opposed to the saturday morning cartoon writ large of the main story.

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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-12 01:15am

Batman wrote:Define 'extremely high' please. 200GT for the Acclamator's MTLs is considerably less than what you'd get by downscaling from the DS1.
High relative to other SF.

Also, downscaling from superweapons is almost invariably a bad idea either in SF versus comparisons or in real life. Try working out energy densities for hand weapons on 20th century Earth by downscaling from a nuclear weapon and you'll see what I mean.
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:Except in Star Wars. There is what certainly should be sufficiently advanced technology- the power technologies required to do what the Death Star does are so far beyond the present that they do look like magic, there probably has to have been repeal of at least two of the laws of thermodynamics- but where are the intricate intermeshing complexities that there should be, where are the industrial and commercial roots, where are the social changes caused by them? With the raw power and pervasive computing involved, these people should be so far post- singularity it isn't even funny. Should probably be past another two or three on the far side, as well, we are far, far beyond the near future here into "we are become as gods" territory.

So pick your absurdity. What seems madder- that these people have not been moulded by their environment, are still close enough to human that the audience can relate to them, despite being thousands of years more advanced...

or that this gang of farmboys and nerf herders can manage far future technology that were it real would be making physics professors' frontal lobes burn out and fall off?

Which do you take as the ground truth, the people or the technology? Go with the hardware, with the effects as seen (boom...) and you get high capabilities, big numbers, line units able to kill planets. Go with the people and the demonstrated capabilities do seem far too far beyond their capabilities to manage.

To be absolutely honest I prefer the playground of the mind (to quote Larry Niven) that the big numbers imply, as opposed to the saturday morning cartoon writ large of the main story.
Personally I've always taken a sort of middle ground. The technology in Star Wars seems to have gotten complicated to the point where basically all human tasks in the economy seem to involve maintenance and operation of elaborate, often sentient hardware. The farmboys and nerf herders are doing jobs we would consider to be the work of specialist technicians... although, to be fair, on equipment that is probably designed to be maintained by farmboys and nerf herders.

This proceeds to the extent where one can reasonably posit that only a very slender minority of them have a firm grasp of all the operating principles of their own technology, and they rely very heavily on the machinery being able to diagnose itself and be repaired with the aid of said diagnostics. To the extent that it's worthwhile to have a protocol droid around to translate for a piece of farm equipment... or possibly to program the farm equipment.

This may, alas, help to explain the condition of relative technological stasis that seems to obtain- all obvious problems acquired a solution, sometimes a ludicrously over-complicated solution. And the difficulty of inventing anything fundamentally better has become insurmountable...
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Boeing 757 » 2014-10-12 12:39pm

Are the ICS books still deemed canon on the forums these days? Aside from the asteroid-destruction in AOTC and TESB, what else is there in the current canon which could underscore claims of triple-digit gigaton weapons?
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Esquire » 2014-10-12 01:40pm

There's a detailed analysis on the main site, but the short version is that the Death Star must generate as an absolute minimum 1.2E33 watts to be able to destroy one planet per day, which we have from the ANH novelization (I think). As the Death Star and a common garden-variety Star Destroyer are powered by the same hypermatter reactor technology, we can assume that their power generation capabilities scale in a relatively linear fashion, actually leaving us with several thousand times more energy than we'd need for ICS-grade yields. I think somebody calculated that a Star Destroyer-sized Death Star would have a per-shot yield of 5 million gigatons, or something like that - weird things stick in my brain. Even if the station can only fire once every month, we're still well over the scaled-down power capacity needed for ICS yields.

As to whether hypermatter reactors really do scale linearly... well, in the absence of an approved Imperial physics textbook, we default to the simplest explanation. Why wouldn't they? Furthermore, we see small gunship-mounted compound lasers in AOTC, suggesting that the Death Star's superlaser was simply bigger than previously existing weapons, not a revolutionary idea. That's another argument for scaling as a valid method.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-12 03:46pm

There's no compelling reason to assume that the power output of a hypermatter reactor scales entirely linearly with its volume, as opposed to scaling geometrically or even exponentially.

I would argue that the evidence suggests that extremely small craft like starfighters and AT-ATs cannot produce the kind of firepower we'd expect by linearly downscaling from a star destroyer (a seven thousand ton AT-AT does not have one one millionth the firepower of a seven billion ton starship), even when we would have reason to think they'd do it if they could.

The same might well apply if we scale vastly upwards from a star destroyer to the Death Star. A supermassive reactor might well be vastly more efficient ton for ton than a smaller one... but be impractical for any purpose other than blowing up planets. Because star destroyer-sized reactors are already energetic enough to provide all the power any normal industrial or military process could reasonably demand- so the fact that a reactor a thousand times larger could provide a million times more power is normally irrelevant.
Esquire wrote:As to whether hypermatter reactors really do scale linearly... well, in the absence of an approved Imperial physics textbook, we default to the simplest explanation. Why wouldn't they?
Because AT-ATs and starfighters don't seem to have power output that scales linearly with their tonnage either, if we use the larger ISD as a benchmark and accept triple digit teraton or single digit petaton per second output from it?
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Esquire » 2014-10-12 05:31pm

Fair points, if walkers and fighters run on hypermatter reactors. Are we sure they don't use some smaller* generator with a lower power-to-weight ratio? As an analogy, nuclear reactors obviously don't scale down to handguns or tank engines, but they ought to at least give an answer in the right order of magnitude for smaller nuclear reactors.

Anyway, I'd use the scaled-down Death Star benchmark as an absolute maximum for exactly the reasons you describe, with lower limits to be established from other sources. The fact that a trio of Star Destroyers is capable of a BDZ operation (admittedly an EU, and therefore not currently canon claim) indicates that the minimum power generation of an ISD is 6.6E23 watts, ignoring all other power drains and using the lowest possible definition of a BDZ. Shielding, in particular, should be even more energy intensive since Imperial warships can withstand their own weaponry for more than a single salvo. Also, I freely admit I'm using the main site's numbers - if there's problems with them or the assumptions behind them, I'd be interested in learning more. I'm drawing mostly from the BDZ and beam weapons pages.

*Can't quite find the right word here - suppose that hypermatter reactors can't be shrunk down enough to fit in a fighter, but some other kind of generator can. I don't know if there's evidence one way or the other, but it might explain the disparity in Death Star, capital ship, and fighter performances.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Jub » 2014-10-12 06:24pm

Fighters and most smaller vessels don't use hyper-matter reactors and this is one of the reason why many fighters can't make the jump to hyperspace and those than can have limited range. These craft, at least IIRC, use fusion reactors for power.

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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Batman » 2014-10-12 06:55pm

If we go with current canon and ignore the EU we're pretty much at a loss as to the big guns for Wars because the only thing we ever see them fired at is shielded warships which makes determining their yields essentially impossible. Even after the shields fail they're volatile targets by their very nature.

And while you're not going to get Wars (even onscreen) accelerations out of a fusion rocket, you're hard pressed to get them out of any reaction engine that has to obey the laws of physics, fusion should work for fighter firepower (and M/AM definitely would).
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-12 07:39pm

Eh.

My basic point is simply that if we're going to do versus-calculations about firepower, it is best practice to stick to concrete examples of an actual feat that we're pretty sure the authors meant to put in and knew would involve large-scale destruction. Like boiling off the oceans of a planet in a short amount of time.

As opposed to just copying a number that the authors put in without (so far as we know) having any real sense of what such a huge number would imply. We know that one shot from a "two hundred gigaton" weapon would be enough to, say, obliterate all manmade construction on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and start fires from the middle of the Atlantic over to the Mississippi... the author of Imperial Cross Sections might or might not have been bearing that in mind when he said those were "two hundred gigaton guns."

Because similar things happen in a lot of settings at the low end. This is how we get stuff like "rifle in the forty watt range" when that isn't even enough to warm something up, let alone kill it- the author put it in because it sounded cool, not because it's scientifically plausible. So trying to interpret it from a Watsonian standpoint creates distorted results like:

"This weapon, which is clearly portrayed as lethal, is actually nonlethal because the technobabble used 'watts' when it should have used 'kilowatts.' "
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But rambling about best practices aside, it's STILL irrelevant, because we have repeated evidence of star destroyers and comparably sized Imperial ships being able to deliver continent-searing bombardments in a short amount of time. Which, in Babylon 5, is the province of the most advanced and enigmatic races of the setting.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Batman » 2014-10-12 08:18pm

And why is the null hypothesis that the author of those numbers []didn't[/i] know what they imply? I'll gladly give you that for TV hacks that think a 3GT explosion can destroy the planet or accept ridiculous concepts like toxic antimatter residue or a crack in the event horizon but the ICS figures come from a guy who put a lot of time and thought into analyzing Star Wars and has the science background to know what those numbers actually mean. Given that combined with the fact that downscaling from the DS1 gives the Accie MTLs several orders of magnitude more firepower than the ICS I see no reason to doubt it.

As for that firepower being 'extreme' compared to other SciFi-Doctor Who has weapons that can destroy the universe, Andromeda had systemkillers at the fighter level (albeit technobabble ones), Perryverse even their equivalent to the Younger Races had double-figure TT broadsides for most of the series' run (and you don't want to know what the local Vorlons can do).
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-12 11:32pm

If the figures are supported by what we see the ships do in action in the hands of the authors creating the actual stories, I'm all in favor of them. A planet-shattering weapon is a planet-shattering weapon, we know it has the power to do that because it does.

But my bias has always been in favor of basing technology performance on what we see things do, rather than

If orbital fire hitting ground targets consistently causes continental devastation or comparable levels of destruction, then I can buy gigaton-range firepower from the weapons delivering that fire. If it causes little puffs of smoke on the ground, or explosions comparable to two thousand pound bombs, I am more skeptical. And sure, there are workaround explanations for that; what I'm talking about is the cases where multiple instances form a pattern.

In the case of Star Wars, the real support for teraton-range starship firepower is the Base Delta Zeroes, not the ICS.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Borgholio » 2014-10-13 02:27pm

Jub wrote:Fighters and most smaller vessels don't use hyper-matter reactors and this is one of the reason why many fighters can't make the jump to hyperspace and those than can have limited range. These craft, at least IIRC, use fusion reactors for power.
In ANH, you see a tech closing and disconnecting a fuel line from an X-wing prior to launching to attach the Death Star. Unless hypermatter can be transferred via a standard-looking fuel line, then they use some form of fuel other than hypermatter. If it's a miniature fusion reactor, then they could have been pumping deuterium...which would work fine.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Anacronian » 2014-10-25 03:33pm

Still a Vorlon Planet Killer is much smaller than a Death Star and they do the same job - so at least the Vorlons could compact super heavy firepower.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Lord Revan » 2014-10-25 04:10pm

Anacronian wrote:Still a Vorlon Planet Killer is much smaller than a Death Star and they do the same job - so at least the Vorlons could compact super heavy firepower.
Well we did hear of survivors from Vorlon PK attack so it can't be as powerful as the Death Star as an explotion that violent doesn't leave survivors as it's overkill by a rather signifigant margin.

Also Ivanova called for Atmoshpare capable shuttles suggesting the planet was more or less intact rather then scattered asteroids in the rough location where the planet used to be
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Anacronian » 2014-10-25 04:18pm

Lord Revan wrote:
Anacronian wrote:Still a Vorlon Planet Killer is much smaller than a Death Star and they do the same job - so at least the Vorlons could compact super heavy firepower.
Well we did hear of survivors from Vorlon PK attack so it can't be as powerful as the Death Star as an explotion that violent doesn't leave survivors as it's overkill by a rather signifigant margin.

Also Ivanova called for Atmoshpare capable shuttles suggesting the planet was more or less intact rather then scattered asteroids in the rough location where the planet used to be
Wierd i always thought the Planet killer blew up a planet like a Death Star since we see it fly though what i guess is the rubble of a planet here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl7C6_qa1Do
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by NecronLord » 2014-10-25 04:25pm

Boeing 757 wrote:Are the ICS books still deemed canon on the forums these days?
Let me jump in here.

No.

However, the figures used in them are generally reliable because they were derived from examples in the movies only, using no EU sources, and were not invented; there is some detail on how that was done on Scifights.

You can do the math and get the same figures based on movie only examples, usually they are derived from the extreme acceleration in the films, which is often thousands of gravities or more.

So no, it's not canon, on the other hand, the ICS isn't actually a high end source, it doesn't raise the figures at all, it's merely the very straightforward and simple one.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by NecronLord » 2014-10-25 04:29pm

Anacronian wrote:
Lord Revan wrote:
Anacronian wrote:Still a Vorlon Planet Killer is much smaller than a Death Star and they do the same job - so at least the Vorlons could compact super heavy firepower.
Well we did hear of survivors from Vorlon PK attack so it can't be as powerful as the Death Star as an explotion that violent doesn't leave survivors as it's overkill by a rather signifigant margin.

Also Ivanova called for Atmoshpare capable shuttles suggesting the planet was more or less intact rather then scattered asteroids in the rough location where the planet used to be
Wierd i always thought the Planet killer blew up a planet like a Death Star since we see it fly though what i guess is the rubble of a planet here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl7C6_qa1Do
The Doylian (out of universe) answer is that JMS didn't really have an answer, at times he's said that it blows the planet up, while at other points the show depicts folks escaping from the surface.

However, without ever having seen it operate, or any canon source to suggest it explodes planets, we have to assume the show is right, and the attack if somehow survivable.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-25 04:32pm

Maybe you survive it by flying off the planet before it blows up? Maybe it produces an effect that builds up over time and can only destroy a planet after time has passed?
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Lord Revan » 2014-10-25 05:24pm

perhaps but it begs a question why would ivanova want specifically atmos capable shuttle if the mass of the planet is scattered, she's not stupid.

Also it kind of defeats the point of "killing the message" if it takes so long you reasonbly rescue people in the time it takes to travel there from B5 after you already shot your weapon.

also the Shadow equilevant left a planet, a dead uninhabitble planet but still a planet behind and the Shadows and Vorlon are generally depicted as more or less equals in terms of firepower.
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Re: Have mercy on a layman... B5 vs SW firepower

Post by Anacronian » 2014-10-25 05:31pm

They way i understood it was the PK enters system and a whole lot of people on the surface goes aw shit and jump into their shuttles and take off before the planet goes boom - i imagine the vorlons shoot a lot of them down but a few made it to a jump gate.

At least that's how i understood Ivanova's statement.
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