Noble Armada Preview: Weapons

In the last preview we discussed a bit on how shields protect a ship. This week I will spend some time talking about the many different methods of destroying an enemy. Each different type of weapon in Noble Armada can potentially interact with shields differently. Shields completely block some weapons, where other weapons may only be partially blocked by energy shields. There are also variations in weapon targeting strategies: direct fire vs. indirect fire.

Direct Fire Weapons

Direct fire weapons are those that use think machines and gunners to fire directly at a ship and having an immediate effect. The commonality among direct fire weapons is that they all require an active sensor link for targeting before they fire. These weapons generally have a range slightly farther than a ship’s battle sensor range, with large versions being significantly farther and depending on sensor links with other ships for targeting. Lasers, blasters, slug guns, and rockets are all examples of direct fire weapons.

Indirect Fire Weapons

These weapons are able to fire without being in battle sensor range. As long as a ship has detected an enemy it can launch indirect fire weapons at it. These weapons have their own internal think machines that are able to track their intended target, or search for one. Missiles and torpedoes are the most common indirect fire weapon. They are also large enough to stay active for multiple rounds so are able to travel great distances to reach their target, however they are also susceptible to fighter targeting or gatling laser fire.

Interacting with Shields

However a weapon reaches it target, it must also find a way to breach enemy shields. One of the primary methods of breaching shields is by simply focusing so much firepower on a ship that its shields overload or burn out. The nature of shields in Noble Armada also allows for weapons to slip through shields while they are resetting or focused on protecting the ship from other debris as well. As mentioned in the Noble Armada Preview: Shields the faster a ship is travelling and the environment the ship is in can significantly reduce the ability of shields to protect form incoming fire.

Once the shield activation roll has been made then the type of weapon determines how it is affected by the shields. Weapons with a shield negates effect are completely blocked by shields with each Victory Point completely blocking one weapon hit. Blaster weapons splash against energy shields and have the effect of leaking through them, even if most of the damage is blocked a little bit still gets through to impact against the hull. Finally, there are the most feared weapons, those that cause shield burn out like the Decados EM cannons, which do light damage to a ship’s hull but set up a feedback loop in the shield generators that can destroy them.

Some weapons are completely ignored by shields, they are too small or ineffective against the ship and as long as it has available shield generators on that arc, no roll is necessary. Other weapons, like rockets, missiles, and torpedoes are specifically designed to ignore shields by taking advantage of the nature of shields and performing a counter-burn at the last possible moment to slow down enough that the think machines cannot register the projectile as a threat and thereby not activating.

Find out more or ask questions in the Noble Armada Forums. The pre-order sale is still going on as well in our Online Store or at DriveThru RPG