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Heavy tractor beam range

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Janick Beauchamp

Janick Beauchamp

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While we know vanilla heavy tractor beams cost 10 turbolasers against a ship's weapons budget, if one was to use a heavy tractor beam in a thread, would a heavy tractor beam be assumed to have standard turbolaser range or long-range turbolaser range?

Kurayami Bloodborn

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Janick Beauchamp


For a heavy tractor beam, given that it is able to provide a greater amount of 'holding power' I would put its maximum range around that of a standard turbolaser due to power requirements to maintain the coherence and strength that would be necessary to hold a larger target in place. Granted I am no judge or staff, but it makes sense that the ability of the beam to do its job would dissipate over range, so while it would still be rather difficult to get out of for an enemy combatant, it would be more likely that on the outer ranges they would have at least a slightly better chance of doing so (granted doing so could mean having to shut down certain offensive systems and shunt the power to engines possibly burning them out in the process). My 2 cents, take what you will from it.  






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There's no firm answer to be found in canon, so far as I'm aware. That said, long-range turbolasers have a really...long...range, and I could see eyebrows being raised if someone tried to tractor things from that far away without specialized equipment. So there's no firm answer, but it might be a good opportunity for discretion.

Cyrus Tregessar

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Let's star wars science this poodoo.

The following is established by canon:

Tractor beams utilize the mass of the tractoring vessel to capture the target vessel in a field that allow them to manipulate it. This normally used in a benign manner, to safely dock ships and maneuver them into tight spaces and the like. These are all fairly short-range operations.

Military grade stuff is used for two purposes, mostly. First to capture smaller vessels. Second to immobilize or detain larger/equivalent vessels to make shooting them easier. Again, in canon these are shown to happen only at close range. Also we see tractor beams operated like a weapon, with targeting and missing and getting outmaneuvered and the like.


A smaller vessel using a tractor beam on a larger vessel just locks the smaller vessel to the inertia of the larger one, with little to no indicated effect on the larger ships ability to maneuver.

Given all that, and the functions involved, I have a hard time seeing tractor beams working at long range. Presumably they attenuate rapidly, so while you could theoretically put a big projector on a big ship and be able to snag a fighter at long range but... you also have to factor in accuracy, so it'd be like hitting a fighter at long range (with a turbolaser). You also have to factor in debris or some other object getting snared at that range, given that's the whole concept behind how Tractor Shrouds work.

So inefficient/ineffective in general. Granted, there's possibly some way to magic up away around these limitations, like how stealth missiles can help get around the limitations on warheads.

Edited by Cyrus Tregessar, 25 September 2017 - 12:07 AM.



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