Following on from the discussion of Laser Pistol vs All Predecessors , what happens when the Laser Rifle is introduced into the weapons mix?
- The Laser Rifle takes over from the Heavy Cannon as the most lethal sniper weapon with the best first-shot kill in Aimed mode and the best first-burst kill in auto mode.
- The Laser Rifle also takes over from the Heavy Cannon as the most selective sniper weapon, with the lowest collateral damage per kill (the Rifle has slightly more raw accuracy but much less TU-efficient and much less lethal).
- The Laser Rifle takes over from the Rocket Launcher as the best (direct fire) Cyberdisk-killer.
- The Laser Rifle takes over from the Heavy Cannon as the best tool for point-destruction of terrain.
- The best standard Reaper-killing weapons remain HE fire from the Heavy Cannon and Auto Cannon (about equal at long ranges, the AC superior close-in). However the Laser Rifle closes the gap with these HE weapons from about 4x better (vs the Laser Pistol) to about 2x better. (Large Rockets are only about 25% more effective than HC-HE or AC-HE ).
- The HE weapons remain superior in tackling Silacoids by about 25% (AC-HE) - 40% (HC-HE).
- In conclusion, once Laser Rifles are available, Heavy Cannon can be dispensed with altogether, and limited numbers of Auto Cannon retained only for illumination roles, forest/jungle clearance, and 2 types of Terrorist-slaying. Outside of certain Terror missions there is no reason to carry more than 1-2 Cannon-type weapons on a transport.(Though Auto Cannon-HE may later have a renaissance once Power Suits are available.)