Is there any conceivable reason why one would want a weapon more potent than an atom bomb? I can’t see why the former would be more of a deterrant than the latter, and it would surely be even more useless in actual combat.
“Powerful” is a poor term. You don’t rate a weapon by its “power,” but judge it by how efficiently it does its work, its cost, its specific role, and its flexibility.
There could be uses for weapons more explodey than an atom bomb. It might be cheaper or easier to deploy. It might be less lethal, depending on where and when you use it. It might have applications for space or marine warfare. It might be more directed, delivering more force to the actual enemy.
A planet-killing device is essential to maintain the integrity of a Galactic Empire.
A viral attack could potentially make an atom bomb look like a firecracker.
Please define destructive how you will. I was thinking in terms of destructive to humanity, but I’m sure there could be other definitions.
Planet-killing or star system killing?
It’s hard to destroy the universe with mere nuclear weapons. How will we cleanse the universe of life in the name of the Dark Gods ( praise their unholy names ! ) without galaxy destroying weapons, at the very least ?
Ok, so clearly in some kind of future civilisation where we own many planets, more destructive weapons will come in useful.
But on earth: any real use?
Well, after 1945 I think a lot of people were asking why anyone would need a more powerful bomb than a fission based atomic bomb. But we built one anyway. The fusion-based hydrogen bomb is a thousand times more powerful than the fission bomb.
Shows what happens when a species of aggressive, violent apes gets intelligence.
But shield those exhaust ports!
Actually, if MOO2 has taught me anything, Stellar Converter+Stargate+Telepathy+Thorium Fuel Cells makes formation of a galactic empire a simple question of “How many ships can you build per turn?”
Well, maybe if I had one, people would finally stop messing with me.
Somewhere in the universe, there is a completely nonviolent sentient species descended from something resembling a deer.
And when we find them, they’re toast!
I’m reminded of the Arthur C. Clarke story “Second Dawn”:
[SPOILER]A civilization that had been based on psionics rather than technology (lacking good manipulating appendages) is at the brink of self-destruction, having developed a “chain-reaction mindwipe” telepathic weapon. One of them discovers another sentient race on their world, primitive but with functional hands. Their combined strengths start them on the road to material developments, which they hope might avert the coming conflict by producing plenty for everyone.
The story ends with an odd report, not seen by the characters as particularly significant, of a strange rock that left mysterious burns on the explorer who’d carried it home, and glows in the dark…[/SPOILER]
Because someday, someone will come up with a good way of stopping atom bombs.
Reminds me of :
[scifi]Well it was ray shielded…
And why’d you need Telepathy? Did you mean Omniscience ? [/scifi]
Our most recent weapon developments seem to have been related to power generation. Combustion, Fission, Fusion. I don’t know of power technologies that are being developed beyond that. I don’t think Anti-matter is ever going to be a viable source of energy. So what else is there ?
Unless you want to wipe out whole countries in a single blast the only newer weapons we need are ones that carry the same destructive power we have in a smaller more controlled form. I’m thinking orbital ion cannons. That’d be cool.
Reality television, McDonald’s franchises, and mid-level marketing?
Python’s most dangerous joke.
And here I thought advertising was already deployed and terrorizing us all.
Nope. Play a creative race with 2 picks left unused. This works better on an easier setting and with the earlier version. Anyway, thanks to the creativity, you’ve gotten Doom Stars, the top armor, the top shields, the fastest engines, the unlimited range fuel cells, and lots of other things. Stick a Stellar Converter and a Time Warp Facilitator in the Doom Star and you get two sure kills every round. With the four extra picks from Evolutionary Mutation, you take Telepathy for six points total, which allows you to take over an entire planet without needing to invade and they all convert peacefully instantly. So, you go and take out all the defenses in a planetary system and use telepathy to take over the planet. Of course, you could just blow it up instead, but you get more points the bigger your population. The stargate is a free star system upgrade and means you can go a-conquering without getting your fleets out so far that you can’t get them back to defend a planet in time.