Naval weaponry can be roughly divided into two categories: direct-fire and guided munitions. The former group includes any weapon that attacks in a relatively straight line, from attacker to target. The latter can include missiles, rockets and come smart mines and explosives. In this article some of the more prevalent examples will be briefly touched upon.
Direct Fire Weaponry
Direct-fire weapons can be scaled to fit anything from single person fighters to capital ships, mounted on turrets or fixed. They have the single advantage of requiring no ammunition in order to function, simply a readily available power supply. However, they are of medium range and rely on line-of-sight to strike targets. They range from slow firing, high damage varieties (e.g. plasma cannons) to quickfire, low damage-per-shot designs (e.g. pulse cannons). They are the main armament for most ships in the known galaxy, barring some notable exceptions.
Guided Explosive Projectiles
Missiles and rockets remain important parts of any arsenal. These can be mounted on fightercraft, fired from capital ships or even surface-to-space in defence of a planet. They do not require line of sight and some can dodge and evade enemy interference on their way to their target. Their main advantage is the large damage even a single warhead can cause. However, ammunition is fundamental and a ship dependent on missiles can see itself low on warheads during a pitched battle. Unlike direct-fire weapons, guided munitions can be intercepted and destroyed en-route by various forms of point defence. Additionally, their targeting systems can be jammed and they can be knocked off course.
Mines can be deployed in deep space, around planets or other installations to augment existing defences. They can wreak havoc against the unprepared and special equipment is needed in order to defuse them.
Some weapons are ‘hybrids’, bridging the gap between both direct-fire and guided munition.
Fragmentation cannons – favoured by the Wun’Tux – are direct-fire weapons which require ammunition but cause explosive damage with each hit.
The Linear Cannons and related rail-gun or gauss weaponry – developed by human forces – are also direct-fire weapons which necessitating ammunition; their armour piercing abilities are often worth it.