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  #101  
Old 02-01-2017, 07:32 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Speaking of MIRVs, does anyone else remember the game Scorched Earth?
Played that game for many hours with friends as a kid. You can play it online at archive.org.
  #102  
Old 02-01-2017, 07:33 PM
snfaulkner snfaulkner is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Speaking of MIRVs, does anyone else remember the game Scorched Earth? Specifically, does anyone else remember the Death's Head? And did anyone else ever set the explosion sizes to the maximum possible?

In all of the thousands of times I've played that game, I think I might have survived using the Death's Head twice. But it was always worth it.
Oh YES! So much wargasming! *goes to look for an android version*
  #103  
Old 02-01-2017, 07:56 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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I always thought that was one of the most impressive feats of technology in both Star Wars and Star Trek. The technology to build an energy weapon that somehow shoots slower than modern ballistic projectiles is some incredible engineering.
  #104  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:49 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Now I'm trying to remember the author who had mirror-finished armor as defense against laser pistols. Still Niven?
Don Tait
  #105  
Old 02-01-2017, 11:18 PM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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Julian May's Many Coloured Land books too I think. Vaguely recall that the dead Tanu champion Lugon (spelling?) had mirrored armour to deflect photon beams.
  #106  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:22 AM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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Thought of another massively stupid SciFi weapon last night. Those flying aircraft carriers of Shield. I can't even think of how many ways those make no freaking sense. Even under normal operating conditions, you're burning up huge amounts of energy to keep a massive infrastructure in the air. At any sort of altitude that would keep you out of weapons range, the flight decks would be freezing and low oxygen. As the first Avengers movie demonstrated, any sort of damage to the engines is catastrophic. And unlike normal aircraft carriers, they don't seem to be ringed by a number of support vessels to ward off attack. And they must have an enormous radar signature. And, oh, yeah, they exist in a universe full of flying superbeings who tend to be easily pissed off.
  #107  
Old 02-02-2017, 10:48 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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The biggest problem with those is, if you have the technology to make a flying ship, why is it a carrier? Aircraft have the big advantage that they can fly, but the disadvantage of low dwell time: You can't just park a bunch of planes in the sky right next to a misbehaving country. Ships have great dwell time, but can't (with current technology) fly. An aircraft carrier is a compromise solution that gives most of the advantages of both, for the technology that we have. But if you can make something that flies and has long dwell time, just put the weapons directly on that thing.
  #108  
Old 02-02-2017, 10:52 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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But if you can make something that flies and has long dwell time, just put the weapons directly on that thing.
You mean like Project Insight?
  #109  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:27 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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You mean like Project Insight?
Man, don't get me started on Hydra's evil scheme. What's the point of having AI predictive software that figures out who your enemies are when you have massive flying platforms that are murdering people by the millions? It's pretty safe to assume that everyone who isn't on one of your mobile oppression palaces is going to be your enemy.
  #110  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:32 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
Thought of another massively stupid SciFi weapon last night. Those flying aircraft carriers of Shield. I can't even think of how many ways those make no freaking sense. Even under normal operating conditions, you're burning up huge amounts of energy to keep a massive infrastructure in the air. At any sort of altitude that would keep you out of weapons range, the flight decks would be freezing and low oxygen. As the first Avengers movie demonstrated, any sort of damage to the engines is catastrophic. And unlike normal aircraft carriers, they don't seem to be ringed by a number of support vessels to ward off attack. And they must have an enormous radar signature. And, oh, yeah, they exist in a universe full of flying superbeings who tend to be easily pissed off.
Yes helicarriers are massively stupid.
  #111  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:41 PM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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I've got the beginnings of a list of sci-fi supersoldier programs that produced fighters that are 1. Unreliable, 2. Uncontrollable, 3. Actually have pretty severe limitations compared to a conventional infantryman, 4. Don't seem to be any more effective than a conventional weapon (like a bomb), or some combination of the above.

A running theme I've noticed seems to be that giving a zombie a machine gun is usually much, much more trouble than it's worth.
  #112  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:55 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Yes helicarriers are massively stupid.
Since SHIELD was originally a UN organization, the helicarriers were a way around the problems with SHIELD headquarters being in one specific country and a stationary target.

The MCU versions are, however, a different story. Unless you posit some heavy-duty stealthing along with the optical camouflage, those things must give a radar return you could spot with a microwave oven.
  #113  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:57 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kobal2
Astromechs are actually fairly limited in what they can and can't do. They're here to plot lightspeed courses that don't plow through stars - that's their stated and major role, with a secondary repair task because the little guys can crawl where human mechanics can't and operate in space without any issue.
Many pilots just also happen to use them as ad hoc autopilots, flight recorders, computer experts, amusing chirping sidekicks, what have you. But it's kinda like using your phone as an mp3 player : sure, it can do that, but that's not really what it's for. FTR, Deetoo is a heavily modded one - your fresh out the factory R2 unit doesn't have a built-in zapper, oil spewer, lightsaber flinger, jetpack...
My point is why make them mobile at all, instead of just building them into spacecraft itself.
  #114  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:06 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Since SHIELD was originally a UN organization, the helicarriers were a way around the problems with SHIELD headquarters being in one specific country and a stationary target.
.
So would ships that sail around the ocean blue.
  #115  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:06 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Mirror-finished armor would actually work reasonably well against a laser, so long as the mirror finish isn't damaged by some other weapon first.
Except mirrors still absorb some light and energy. Particularly as you start getting into the non-visible range of the spectrum. So a sufficiently powerful laser will still heat up and explode your mirrored vehicle.
  #116  
Old 02-02-2017, 03:00 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Well, yes, but a sufficiently-powerful weapon (of any type) will always be able to penetrate any armor you can come up with (of any type). But if anything at all can defend against a laser, a mirror is going to be a pretty good bet.
  #117  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:00 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by asterion View Post
Now I'm trying to remember the author who had mirror-finished armor as defense against laser pistols. Still Niven?

.
Lots of people have used the idea. IIRC, Arthur C. Clarke does in his novel Earthlight. Harlan Ellison has it built into the armor on a car in the short story along the Scenic Route


Still, unless your mirror is incorporeal (like a plasma, or something) or re-forms (like the liquid mirror I wrote about above), if you get dirt on it, you'll get local heating, with potentially disastrous consequences.
  #118  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:02 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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So would ships that sail around the ocean blue.
How ordinary.
  #119  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:11 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
. . . Those flying aircraft carriers of Shield. . . .
They certainly crash an awful lot! I'm not sure I can count how many have crashed, but it's around ten or fifteen now.

(But they sure are way, way cool! Steve Rogers got his ten dollars' worth!)
  #120  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:35 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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They certainly crash an awful lot! I'm not sure I can count how many have crashed, but it's around ten or fifteen now.
Credit where credit is due, for million ton behemoths of steel with absolutely no aerodynamic properties, they do tend to crash very, very slowly, leaving lots of time for dramatic confrontations and last minute escapes.
  #121  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:36 PM
Deeg Deeg is offline
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The Death Star has a more inexplicable flaw - while it can travel interstellar distances in a matter of days, it takes hours to get to the other side of a planet.
I dunno...seems true to life to me. I can fly clear across the country in a few hours and then spend a few more taxiing to the gate.
  #122  
Old 02-02-2017, 05:08 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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I dunno...seems true to life to me. I can fly clear across the country in a few hours and then spend a few more taxiing to the gate.
And you DO NOT want to know how the Imperial Transportation Security Agency manages the pre-boarding security checks.
  #123  
Old 02-02-2017, 05:17 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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And you DO NOT want to know how the Imperial Transportation Security Agency manages the pre-boarding security checks.
"Are you carrying any Samsung Note 7 phones?"

"No, these aren't the droids you're looking for."
  #124  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:47 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
The MCU versions are, however, a different story. Unless you posit some heavy-duty stealthing along with the optical camouflage, those things must give a radar return you could spot with a microwave oven.
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
The biggest problem with those is, if you have the technology to make a flying ship, why is it a carrier? Aircraft have the big advantage that they can fly, but the disadvantage of low dwell time: You can't just park a bunch of planes in the sky right next to a misbehaving country. Ships have great dwell time, but can't (with current technology) fly. An aircraft carrier is a compromise solution that gives most of the advantages of both, for the technology that we have. But if you can make something that flies and has long dwell time, just put the weapons directly on that thing.
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
Man, don't get me started on Hydra's evil scheme. What's the point of having AI predictive software that figures out who your enemies are when you have massive flying platforms that are murdering people by the millions? It's pretty safe to assume that everyone who isn't on one of your mobile oppression palaces is going to be your enemy.
The point of this thread may be to point and laugh, but in fairness to the MCU...

(1) The original helicarrier did have stealth technology. It didn't work again Hawkeye, who probably knew all about it. We don't know the exact nature or limits of it in general.

(2) The original helicarrier was unarmed, apart from its planes and security personnel. It seemed to be more of a base than a warship, though, so that may have been the point: why put battleship guns on the HQ, when you can just send out planes? It makes the same sense as with regular naval carriers; increase the range of your firepower without giving away your location.

(3) Project Insight gave Hydra a method of removing every possible enemy leader or resistance cell. It wouldn't matter if everyone on Earth privately swore vengeance - they would never be able to organize, or for that matter, even know who was really doing the attacking. And the moment anyone tried to start a movement, Hydra would be able to immediately eliminate them, either by bombardment or simply arranging an "accident". It might not have battered if someone *did* take down the new, evil-brand helicarriers, as long as Hydra was able to consolidate power first.
  #125  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:40 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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How about the Tholian Web? A confinement field that requires the target to be relatively immobile for several hours?

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 02-03-2017 at 07:40 PM.
  #126  
Old 02-04-2017, 08:08 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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My point is why make them mobile at all, instead of just building them into spacecraft itself.
That way you can move them from ship to ship instead of having to build one per. Which is germane to the Rebel's problem of limited ressources : when the Imperial Navy is around, you send a bunch of starfighters raiding, then they come back and you put their droids back on fleet hopping duty. Maybe ?

There's also the whole "perform repairs in zero atmosphere" aspect - or into a fire, that sort of thing. You actually see an example of it in the prequel trilogy, where a bunch of R2s are sent out to do in-combat emergency repairs on a capital ship. Plus, say you've got a big meteorite-shaped hole in a bulkhead and you have to seal half of the ship away before the entire thing goes through decompression, it's kinda nifty to have a little guy you can send in to patch it up, or run the components that are in the no-air half of the ship.

Now, why the little guy doesn't have, yanno, arms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robot Arms
For something with so many functions, how are people supposed to interact with it? R2 is shown understanding human speech, but its ability to reply seems pretty limited. There's not much point in having something process information if it can't communicate the results.
Well that's why you have to buy a translation droid for it. That's Big Droid for you. You thought Microsoft was solely confined to our galaxy ?

Seriously though, IIRC one of the RPG's book explained that R2's beeps and boops are sort of like your PC's motherboard's beeps and blinkenlights : sure they're useless to the average user, but a droid specialist knows exactly what they mean and over time even non-specialist can sort of guess around the more common boops. I mean, even just watching the trilogy you can tell when R2's going "oh hell no" or sarcasming at C3PO.
  #127  
Old 02-10-2017, 01:37 AM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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Dune's shields. Stop fast projectiles, don't stop slow melee weapons.

So you can't kill me with a machine gun, but you could smack my brains out with a frying pan. Rightio.
  #128  
Old 02-10-2017, 02:49 AM
Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is offline
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"Are you carrying any Samsung Note 7 phones?"

"No, these aren't the droids you're looking for."
Love it.
  #129  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:16 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by [B
DrDeth][/B]Yes helicarriers are massively stupid.
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
SHIELD was originally a UN organization
Well, that explains it, then.
  #130  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:29 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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So you can't kill me with a machine gun, but you could smack my brains out with a frying pan.
How much damage could a frying pan moving at six to nine centimetres per second do?
  #131  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:02 PM
Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is offline
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How much damage could a frying pan moving at six to nine centimetres per second do?
Might give you a nasty burn if it's fresh of the stove.
  #132  
Old 02-11-2017, 01:12 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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Speaking of Dune, do you recall the first (godawful) film? The "weirding modules". Not a bad weapon per se, I suppose (although absolutely a wretched interpretation of Herbert's vision). I was a bit silly how it worked- just as when I was a kid pretending to do karate, if you yell "Hah" at just the right time, your blow is waaaay more effective.

Strategically, probably locking them away in a vault where they would be unavailable to Atreides soldiers if attacked was probably not their mentat's finest moment.
  #133  
Old 02-11-2017, 03:18 PM
Deeg Deeg is offline
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Dune's shields. Stop fast projectiles, don't stop slow melee weapons.

So you can't kill me with a machine gun, but you could smack my brains out with a frying pan. Rightio.
This is not completely insane. Some non-Newtonian fluids exhibit properties that are vaguely similar--they resist fast-moving objects more than slow moving ones. Granted, it might be a bit messy to surround one's self with a non-Newtonian fluid.
  #134  
Old 02-11-2017, 03:41 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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This is not completely insane. Some non-Newtonian fluids exhibit properties that are vaguely similar--they resist fast-moving objects more than slow moving ones. Granted, it might be a bit messy to surround one's self with a non-Newtonian fluid.
The same idea was used in Haldeman's "The Forever War." Within the confines of the force-field, there was a maximum speed objects could move. Guns didn't work, but axes and pitchforks were just fine!

I don't remember where, but I read some SF story where the force-field suppressed the differential, not of speed, but of acceleration. You could go as fast as you wanted, and accelerate as much as you wanted, but the acceleration itself could only increase slowly. Sort of an anti-concussion field. (I'm thinking Larry Niven, 'cause it's right up his alley.)
  #135  
Old 02-11-2017, 04:07 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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I've heard the differential of acceleration termed "jerk".

That would definitely mess up guns. Not lasers or ray-guns. Maybe a gyrojet gun could work, depending on amounts of jerk allowed. Same for swords & such, although lower jerk.
  #136  
Old 02-11-2017, 04:12 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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Niven had a field that could hold you immobile, used in his "crash field" and "police web". I don't think it was based on acceleration or jerk.
  #137  
Old 02-11-2017, 05:16 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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How much damage could a frying pan moving at six to nine centimetres per second do?
You've obviously never had my girlfriend's cooking.
*rimshot*
  #138  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:16 AM
Asuka Asuka is online now
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Pulse rifles firing 10mm explosive tip caseless standard light armor piercing rounds are good for rupturing primary heat exchangers inside what are basically giant fusion reactors.
The bigger problems with the M41A Pulse Rifle being the fact it has incredibly simplistic gutter/trench iron sights as well as a digital round counter that can't be seen without removing your eyesight from the sight picture. These looked better on-screen than they would in real combat which is why they did it.

The first person video games based on the Alien franchise managed to fix this in two separate but simple ways. They either always have the player character fire the weapon from the hip (much like in the actual movie) thus there's no need for the iron sights as well as you can still see the round counter while firing. Or they add a simple optic to the top that also has a build-in round counter there as well below the red dot sight.
  #139  
Old 02-12-2017, 04:45 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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The people trap

And now for a completely different kind of stupid weapon
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Originally Posted by Robert Sheckley
Engraved on it, in flowing Martian script, was, "The Last Weapon" [...] Well, he told himself, let's see what the Martians considered their last weapon. He opened the box. [...] 'Ho ho' the mouth said. 'Protoplasm!' [...] 'I like quiet protoplasm,' the thing said as its gigantic mouth converged on Parke. 'But I also like levely protoplasm.' It gulped once, then drifted out of the other side of the field, looking ansxiously around for the millions of units protoplasm, as there had been in the old days.

Last edited by Melbourne; 02-12-2017 at 04:48 AM.
  #140  
Old 02-12-2017, 08:29 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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I don't understand why people thought Darth Maul was cool when he had the dumbest light saber in the SW Universe. How do you point that thing at anybody without hurting yourself?

Starkiller Base in SW:TFA, a weapon so dumb even I noticed how idiotic it was.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-12-2017 at 08:31 AM.
  #141  
Old 02-12-2017, 09:18 AM
Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is offline
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I don't understand why people thought Darth Maul was cool when he had the dumbest light saber in the SW Universe. How do you point that thing at anybody without hurting yourself?
Yeah. I mean, let's face it, the original lightsabers never were terribly practical weapons to begin with---but hey, Jedi, force, and rule of cool. But everything they did to them since, trying to one-up the original, has just cheapened the concept, finding its ridiculous (and undoubtedly, temporary) conclusion in the Rebels TV-show (link might be considered a spoiler).
  #142  
Old 02-12-2017, 09:52 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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... the mind boggles.

So, when I'm spinning up there at 300 feet and somebody shoots at me and my hands are busy spinning my light saber above my head so I don't plunge to my death, I'm supposed to do... what?
  #143  
Old 02-13-2017, 10:17 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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As for the bat'leth, its fatal flaw is the damned thing has no reach. You hold the thing close to your body, and it's stable as a rock. It's clumsy to extend with one hand from one end, though, so a guy comes along with an epee or a foil and pokes you in the eye, because a sword's got a reach and the tip can move swiftly. The bat'leth is fine for close quarters where your enemy can't move away (maybe the Klingons used them in tunnel warfare, or something), but a guy with your quarterstaff can stay out of reach and keep bashing Worf over the head.
Fan wank: Klingons developed a fighting style where they are always charging forward. (They don't like to fight in formation. They seem to value personal glory and tradition.) Always charging forward means that (in melee combat) your target won't be out of reach for long.
  #144  
Old 02-13-2017, 10:19 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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Are you kidding? Is there any reason at all that anyone besides R2D2 should be piloting the ship at all?

For that matter, why is there even such a thing as an "astromech" droid? IOW, why would you ever want to take all the avionics out of an X-Wing and let it go on crazy adventures?
Don't you remember the Great AI War of 25250BY?!? (Explains why they "wipe" droids periodically.)
  #145  
Old 02-13-2017, 01:02 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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I always thought that was one of the most impressive feats of technology in both Star Wars and Star Trek. The technology to build an energy weapon that somehow shoots slower than modern ballistic projectiles is some incredible engineering.
"I've designed a portable hand-held laser pistol!"

"Excellent! Now design some sort of beam inhibitor to slow it down to paintball gun velocities, an oscillator to limit the rate of fire to that of a WWII rifle and some sort of tracer to make the beam visible from miles away".
  #146  
Old 02-13-2017, 01:28 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I don't understand why people thought Darth Maul was cool when he had the dumbest light saber in the SW Universe. How do you point that thing at anybody without hurting yourself?

Starkiller Base in SW:TFA, a weapon so dumb even I noticed how idiotic it was.

Why was it easier to hollow out a planet like an apple core and install a giant gun instead of just building a giant gun in space?



Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
As for the bat'leth, its fatal flaw is the damned thing has no reach. You hold the thing close to your body, and it's stable as a rock. It's clumsy to extend with one hand from one end, though, so a guy comes along with an epee or a foil and pokes you in the eye, because a sword's got a reach and the tip can move swiftly. The bat'leth is fine for close quarters where your enemy can't move away (maybe the Klingons used them in tunnel warfare, or something), but a guy with your quarterstaff can stay out of reach and keep bashing Worf over the head.
]

Yeah..sure...Maybe it's a good weapon in the close quarters of a starship if you really insist on bringing a knife to an energy weapon fight.
  #147  
Old 02-13-2017, 02:22 PM
Horatius Horatius is offline
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Yeah..sure...Maybe it's a good weapon in the close quarters of a starship if you really insist on bringing a knife to an energy weapon fight.


Actually, there is a school of thought that believes knives, swords and the like will come back into style if were ever do start fighting on spaceships. After all, there are lots of things in spaceships that wouldn't react well to bullets/lasers/blasters.

Remember the full quote when Obi-wan introduced the light saber: "Your father's lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. An elegant weapon... for a more civilized age."
  #148  
Old 02-13-2017, 02:30 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Actually, there is a school of thought that believes knives, swords and the like will come back into style if were ever do start fighting on spaceships. After all, there are lots of things in spaceships that wouldn't react well to bullets/lasers/blasters.
There are other answers, though. The Babylon 5 answer was the PPG, which will do wicked things to exposed flesh or thin materials, but dissipate if it hits anything substantial or strongly heat-dissipating.

They never did consider the idea of a plasma bolt being subjected to EM and magnetic fields, though. You could botch someone's aim big time if you were hiding someplace next to a large strong magnet, for instance.
  #149  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:18 PM
Unpronounceable Unpronounceable is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
"I've designed a portable hand-held laser pistol!"

"Excellent! Now design some sort of beam inhibitor to slow it down to paintball gun velocities, an oscillator to limit the rate of fire to that of a WWII rifle and some sort of tracer to make the beam visible from miles away".
In Star Wars' (but probably not Lucas') defense, blasters were explicitly not lasers. No excuse for the turbolasers, though.
  #150  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:21 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post

Yeah..sure...Maybe it's a good weapon in the close quarters of a starship if you really insist on bringing a knife to an energy weapon fight.
It makes sense as a ceremonial weapon.
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