Greetings! I decided to make this post to check out the relative power of some Starsector weaponry. Before I start, I'll just say hi and that the devs are all doing brilliant work and you guys on the forums are great.

Okay let's start off with some examples of current-day technology and the kinds of power they produce.

For example: the most powerful man-made detonation on earth is generally considered to be the soviet test of a 50 megaton (fifty

**million** tons of TNT) nuclear weapon, for perspective the

combined yield of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki devices used in WW2 is estimated to have been at most 40 kilotons (forty

**thousand** tons of TNT) and probably more comparable to 25 or 30 kilotons.

As a non-nuclear reference: modern conventional (read: non-nuclear) weapons tend to range from below a single ton up to 11 tons for one of the United States' most powerful conventional weapons, the GBU-43/B MOAB. (a very large unguided bomb deployed by aircraft)

For a non-explosive comparison, the ~1100 kilogram inert shells (read: kinetic weapons) fired by the massive 16 inch caliber Mark 7 United States naval gun on their

*Iowa*-class battleships has a total energy of approximately 350 megajoules, converting to roughly 0.08 equivalent tons of TNT.

Also, I have hopefully correctly done the sums and the amount of energy required to

**boil** an Olympic sized swimming pool is about 7.2 terajoules or 1.7 kilotons of TNT (to put

**that** in perspective, the Large Hadron Collider can use enough energy to boil two olympic pools... every second). In order to just raise the water from swimming pool temperature to boiling

**point** takes considerably less energy (about a factor of 10), probably 750 gigajoules or 180 tons of TNT.

Now that we have a set of references to more or less imaginable firepower, we need to work out the relative yields of the Starsector weaponry. To the best of my knowledge, the codex only provides sufficient information on one weapon to work out its power; the antimatter blaster. The key information is the mass of antimatter used in the projectile, stated to be 10 micrograms (typically positrons). The maximum possible energy released purely from the annihilation of this much antimatter is relatively straightforward to work out: the total energy equivalent in TNT appears to be about 430 tons.

Now that we know the yield of the antimatter blaster, along with its per-shot damage rating, we can work out that 1 damage =~ 0.36 tons of TNT... It should be noted that this is in pure energy terms, not taking account of the sophisticated nature of the explosive weapon design used in other weaponry etcetera, however it should also be noted that this is basically the most generous possible estimate, given that antimatter charges cannot be shaped and will always spread their energy virtually uniformly in a radiating sphere, coupled with the dubious nature of an immediate total annihilation of all the antimatter in a single instant.

So, now that we have a (probably generous) estimate of the amount of punishment involved in a single point of damage, we can start to compare a few weapons other than the AMB:

**Kinetic Damage***

Spoiler

Light Autocannon: 50 damage per shot ~ 18 tons TNT

Railgun: 100 damage per shot ~ 36 tons TNT

Graviton Beam: 100 DPS ~ 36 tons TNT per second

Hypervelocity Driver: 275 damage per shot ~ 99 tons TNT

Arbalest Autocannon: 150 damage per shot ~ 54 tons TNT

Storm Needler: 75 damage per shot ~ 27 tons TNT, however the continuous stream makes the DPS important here ~ 270 tons TNT per second

*The sheer difference here from the power in the U.S. naval example should indicate that, for kinetic damage at least, the actual power may be much less while still causing high damage due to concentration of energy.

**High Explosive Damage**Spoiler

Harpoon Missile: 750 damage per shot ~ 270 tons TNT

Heavy Mauler: 250 damage per shot ~ 90 tons TNT

Assault Chaingun : 40 damage per shot ~ 14.4 tons TNT

Hellbore Cannon: 750 damage per shot ~ 270 tons TNT

Cyclone Reaper Launcher: 4000 damage per torpedo ~ 1440 tons (1.44 kilotons) TNT

**Energy Damage**Spoiler

Tactical Laser: 75 DPS ~ 27 tons TNT per second

IR Pulse Laser: 35 damage per shot ~ 12.6 tons TNT

Phase Beam: 150 DPS ~ 54 tons TNT per second

Mjolnir Cannon: 400 damage per shot ~ 144 tons TNT

Tachyon Lance: 750 burst damage ~ 270 tons TNT

Plasma Cannon: 2250 burst of 3x750 ~ 270x3=810 tons TNT

So, I'm probably going to marginalise the kinetic weaponry here as it seems to not fit too well with the metric I'm trying to use and I can't think of a way to compensate for it. High explosive weaponry is probably fairly accurate, depending on the way the explosive force is directed and controlled it could be much less

**actual** power, but would have a similarly damaging impact as it's equivalent amount of TNT just placed against the hull. Energy weaponry is probably also quite well approximated here, although it depends on the nature of the weapon and how it delivers its damage.

**TL;DR**As we can see, most of the weaponry on display for starships seems horrendously powerful by modern conventional standards, but are by no means planet-cracking city-levelling nuclear weapon alternatives, a reaper torpedo seems comparable to a very low yield ~1 kiloton tactical nuclear device. However the fact that spaceworthy ships with extremely delicate and dangerous equipment on board can survive hits from these does indicate the incredibly advanced nature of their armour and even speaks strongly about the strength of their hulls; for example the Hound is by no means a massive ship, but can survive a single Harpoon missile even with depleted armour.

Thanks for reading guys, if you question my maths I can post some of the full working (there wasn't that much).

Holy balls that is a very long post I think. I just thought it was quite interesting to get a better idea of the scales people in the universe deal with, the guys in the Lore Corner might like some of this I guess.

All IRL values pretty much obtained from Wikipedia and/or my vague recollection of physics

EDIT: I did mistakenly use a much larger amount of antimatter than I should have (read: one thousand times as much), so these values are actually too high (a thousand times too high?)