Blame Nightstalker for this idea. Wanted to make a munchy weapon to go with his Nanotube armor.
INNER SPHERE CHEMICAL LASERS
- Tech Level: Experimental
- Era: Succession Wars, 2850-2950
- Class: Artillery/Laser
- First Built: Pre-Spaceflight (Laboratory), ~2850 (FWL), 2880 (General House)
- Extinct: ~2950
- Rediscovered: ~3085
Material sciences in the Star League saw the use of electrical lasers instead of laboratory-based chemical weaponry due to a large number of factors (such as portability and the proliferation of fusion engines), but the reality was that chemical lasers could be too powerful on the battlefield. Chemical lasers such as the Chemical Oxygen Iodine laser (COIL) are capable of projecting 10 Kilowatts of power onto something the size of an atom for 45 minutes straight,but this fact is only used for marketing- tanks and battlemechs are too fast and carry too much ECM for that kind of tracking, and on battlefields full of armors made to boil and ablate in the presence of laser weaponry that power level without pulsing is quickly wasted. Worse yet, even the most basic of chemical lasers require intensely toxic and corrosive chemicals such as chlorinates and actinides to be fired, something that the clans only *just* solved despite using intensely radioactive heavy laser weaponry.
However, all of this was tossed aside in the Succession wars. Loosing planet after planet to orbital bombardment and searching for weapons that could reliably strike warships from orbit, Chemical lasers were an obvious choice, capable of of sustaining minutes of fire into low orbits. Even better, the ever-shrinking body of scientists and researchers still alive stated that some could be miniaturized, assuming that their 'ammunition' could deal with heavy movement.
The "IS Chemical Laser" is typically split into two groups- light and heavy- with only the 'light' being portable. Each weapon is unique, and can only be grouped into two 'classes' because each house used similar chemical mixes for their guns. The 'Light' Chemical laser is a 15-ton minimum, likely 10-12 crit weapon capable of both artillery AND direct fire, does NOT require a fusion/fission engine to run, and has no heat sink requirements. Each "Ton" of ammo provides somewhere around 5 shots of chemical "charges", but because the 'Light' chemical laser is likely an All gas Iodine laser any ammo hit immediately sets the firing unit on fire with a massive explosion, and treating the nearby hexes as being hit with a chemical attack. This is because that laser uses gaseous chlorine with proxides and ooooh boy, that'll kill ya. Their damage should likely be calculated as capital, but since chemical lasers can focus literally on beam sizes of single atoms i'd say if you get hit, you roll for crit since that things going through you.
The 'Heavy' IS Chemical lasers are worse. Like capital weapons they are structure-only, and likely are Hydrogen-flouride lasers like MIRACL, and if you need to know how toxic excited flourines can be I can point you in some good websites. Critting this things ammo would be a chemical dirty bomb going off- again, chemical attack (likely) with some other radioactive affects. The positive to the 'Large' Chemical laser would be the ability to fire back at black navy vessels in orbit, as these lasers can literally be fired for as long as ~40 minutes assuming their ammo holds out (!). Of course, it's not easy to keep targeting a warship 50+ kilometers away continuously, but wheres the fun in NOT trying?
Criticism required. TL;DR is, these guns would be crazy expensive and would require a massive chain of resources for upkeep, run off reactive and rare elements and are intensely destructive. They go extinct largely due to Holy Shroud but are reconsidered due to Clan Hell's Horses, aka Clan "Hold my Beer and Watch". Even preforming upkeep and maintenance can be deadly, why'd you make this?