Aircraft Firepower Table
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|Laser Cannon (XCU)||ALL||26.3||35||35%||12||99||0.8||$369.6||910||$311||$0||$0|
|Plasma Beam (XCU)||ALL||105.0||52||50%||12||100||4.4||$159.5||5250||$133||$0||$0|
|Fusion Ball Launcher||Aggressive||172.5||65||100%||16||2||10.8||$26.1||345||$814||$138,000||$400|
|Fusion Ball Launcher||Standard||172.5||65||100%||24||2||7.2||$39.1||345||$814||$138,000||$400|
|Fusion Ball Launcher||Cautious||172.5||65||100%||32||2||5.4||$52.1||345||$814||$138,000||$400|
- Cost is for the weapon system alone, not including the aircraft, hangar and any Elerium to operate it
- Dmg/gs = average damage rate dealt per game second (gs)
- $K/Dmg/gs = cost of the weapon system per (damage per second), in $thousands
- Payload = total average damage dealt if entire ammo load can be fired.
- $/Payload = cost of the weapon system per unit of Payload
- $/Ammo rate = cost of ammo expended per 60 game seconds
- $Ammo/Dmg = cost of ammo expended per unit of average damage dealt
- Costs are the higher of: sale price (i.e. opportunity cost) or complete manufacturing cost from "XCOM_Profits.xls"
- Damage, cost etc listed here is per single weapon; typically they will be mounted in pairs.
- Accuracy figures differ from in-game UFOPaedia but are from code inspection (UFOPaedia.org).
- Rates of fire differ from in-game UFOPaedia but are taken from repeated observations.
- "Last shot misses" bug is not modeled here; assumes craft is Aggressive or switches to Aggressive for last shot.
- The strict definition of a game second is that 2 gs = the average reload time of a Cannon. A secondary definition is 2 gs = the time to close 1km of range. This will not equate to elapsed seconds playing the air combat part of the game. These time units are referred to as 'game seconds' only because the in-game UFOPaedia quotes 2 seconds as the reload rate of the Cannon.
Observations & Conclusions
- With the conventional weapons, there is an elegant trade-off between range and firepower, vs payload.
- There is not much point to this weapon, apart from the fact that you start the game with a free stock of them. The slightly higher total payload does not really compensate for the lower firepower and much lower first-volley lethality. As most Commanders attest, Avalanche is the way to go. The Stingray may have a niche role in shooting down Small Scouts early in the game. Apart from that, upgrade.
- Laser Cannon
- It has ten times the total payload of the Avalanche. Both Avalanche- and Stingray-armed aircraft will struggle to bring down large UFOs, due to their small total payload. In the early-mid game, the Laser Cannon could be the best option for tackling large UFOs, even though its shorter range and lower damage rate will expose aircraft to more enemy fire.
- Fusion Ball Launcher
- The Fusion Ball Launcher has the greatest standoff range and power per hit. Though as noted elsewhere the standoff range is useless because it does not work vs Battleships and other weapons are capable of standing off vs all other UFO types.
- It is cost-inefficient to maintain and has a low payload. Payload may be more important than Firepower in situations where an important large UFO target is attacked with limited resources.
- On the other hand it has by far the highest damage rate. This could reduce the amount of time aircraft are exposed to enemy fire, reducing aircraft damage and losses. In turn this prevents gaps in interception coverage which can be extremely costly (either due to lost intercepts, or the cost of maintaining extra spare aircraft).
- Weapons impacted by the last shot bug where the ship pulls out of range when the last shot is fired:
- The Fusion Ball Launcher is the worst-impacted losing 50% of it's payload.
- The Avalanche loses 33%
- The Stingray loses 17%.
- Of course the "cost" of downing a UFO will generally be small in proportion to the "value" of that downed UFO. Bean counters beware!
- It would be interesting (and easy) to calculate the cost of damage sustained by aircraft. It would then be possible to put an economic value on stand-off capability.
- Time taken to close range with a target is 2gs (game seconds) per km, or one Cannon shot per km. So for example an aircraft with Plasma Cannons (range 52km) closing on a Battleship (range 65km) will be exposed to (65km-52km = 13km, x2gs =) 26 game seconds of enemy fire before entering weapons range.