PrivateHudson wrote:Agreed, fairly minor change, not a factor in battle outcome. Mostly stems from a sense of perceived "realism".
Actually, in terms of realism, I think point-defense weapons would probably be your most effective weapons against ground targets. You're firing at essentially point-blank range, and small missiles, mass driver rounds and pinpoint lasers would be best suited to penetrate atmosphere.
I probably get something wrong about space-to-ground combat. Under "space-to-ground combat" here I understand engagement between spaceships and ground defenses, lasting until either ships retreat or defenses are no longer kicking.
a) Ships are more vulnerable, as they are under weight restrictions and can't benefit from terrain (cover, camouflage).
b) Ships are vastly more maneuverable.
c) Bigger weapons have longer effective range, in atmosphere as well. Why "small missiles, mass driver rounds and pinpoint lasers would be best suited to penetrate atmosphere"?
d) As combatants are closing, ships can use only so much more weapons (point-defense ones being the last available), when ground defenders can potentially bring exponentially more (until every last infantryman fires his rifle).
e) Hence for fleet commander it seems preferable to stay away as far as possible, reducing number of enemies that can reach his ships more than the number of weapons he can fire, and getting more time to react to incoming fire (shoot-down or evade).