Space warfare are a set of techniques and terms relating to combat in space. It also serves as a guide to how ships operate in space in order to help avoid the most common of loopholes.
Space warfare is not going to be like any form of warfare seen before. The factors at play are likely to make it as different to warfare in other theatres as air warfare is to naval warfare- just as it would seem ridiculous for jet planes to attempt to close to point-blank range and cross the T, it is unreasonable to think that space warfare will follow the same path as that in other environments. If one is needed, perhaps the best comparison is like a combination of submarine and fighter jet battles. But even this is not perfect; for example, spacecraft can move in all axes, unlimited by a sea floor, surface, or a flight ceiling, and will likely be travelling at velocities of many kilometres per second. All these new conditions provide new possibilities for combat tactics. As a result, battles take place over millions of miles across space, though most battles take place within solar systems because of readily available areas to deposit excess heat or charge.
- See also: Invasion guide
Space combat doctrines change from empire to empire, but the general rule remains the same. Heavier ships will often be equipped with sturdy hulls. A way to penetrate such a hull is mandatory whether it be disabling it from the inside or through sheer force. Space battles will often involve a wide variety of different angles of approach making radar equipment an essential.
Securing a planet requires close co-operation between ground troops and space forces. Naval formations will be required to secure the space around a planet and ensure that supply chains remain open. Ground forces will have the unsurprising task of engaging and destroying hostile forces and securing areas of strategic importance. Naval support during the period of planetary conflict is critical to ensure that troops can operate in all required areas, and to ensure that enemy naval forces do not regain control of the planet's orbit and reinforce their troops on the planet.
- Main article: Methods of space travel
Space is incredibly vast. Even at the speed of light, it would take years just to reach an adjacent system. To cover large distances, there are two main methods: warpspace and FTL.
Warpspace is the most common method and is the easiest to achieve. Warpspace involves bending the fabric of space to propel a ship forward, while the ship itself is enclosed in a protective bubble that deflects random debris that could shatter a ship to pieces. The actual warped space itself is actually another dimension known as the Locubrermour where the laws of physics aren't quite right.
FTL utilizes something similar. It has the same protective bubble to protect from debris, but it actually travels faster than light itself. However, travelling faster than light has some strange effects. The Karnasaur Higgsium Drive is an example of a true FTL drive.
- Main article: Weapons
A variety of weapons are used in space.
- Kinetic weapons - Kinetic weapons rely on the transfer of energy to the target. As space is a vacuum, kinetic weapons are very effective without being affected by air resistance or gravity. This makes them effective at very great ranges.
- Missiles - Missiles are vehicles equipped with warheads that actively seek their targets. They can be used both by anti-space guns as well as spacecraft. Missiles are very effective as they almost always hit their target unless they are neutralized before.
- Lasers - Lasers are beams of electromagnetic radiation that deliver energy to the surface of the target, resulting in heating or vaporisation. They are most useful as medium range weapons (tens of thousands of kilometres).
- Particle beam - Particle beams accelerate electrons or ions to focus on a particular target. Although they require large equipment, they are often used to achieve what lasers cannot, and leave enemy structures largely intact.
- Nuclear weaponry - Nuclear weapons are massive weapons with enormous yield. They are extremely versatile from anything to ship-to-ship combat or orbital bombardment.
- Antimatter weaponry - Antimatter weaponry is the use of antimatter. Although tricky to contain, antimatter is highly effective.
Blockades in space are functionally similar to blockades on land, sea, and air. Small, fast vessels intercept any incoming or outgoing traffic and call upon heavier vessels waiting on-station should they be needed.
Aside from having a defending fleet above one's planet, the only other methods of defense are ground-based guns capable of hitting orbital targets, orbital gun platforms, and minefields. As would be expected, the more important a planet is, the more defensive measures will be installed. Small squadrons can be easily dispatched by orbital and planetary gun platforms, but larger fleets with larger ships often warrant a request for reinforcements. In these cases, defensive installations delay and damage an attacking force until a sizable enough fleet can be dispatched.
- Main article: Spaceship Defence
The presence of radiation, micrometeroids, debris and even dust particles at high velocities means that spacecraft require physical defence against threats. Such defences include armour, point defence, and evasive capability.
- Main article: Shields
It is almost imperative for a ship to have some way to protect itself from enemy fire. There are two main methods: Electron Particle Fields (EPF) and Photon Condensement Fields (PCF). EPF's are more effective at protecting a ship against kinetic or mass-based weaponry while PCF's are better at protection against antimatter.