Star Trek device that the crew carries to protect their stock of lifesigns. Phasers are weapons with a wide array of settings, (not to be confused with a disrupter).

In the dawn of the phaser settings spanned: Stun Kill and Shake'n Bake.

In the modern era settings were quantized, from 1-16.

Also a term used in various mathematics and Scientific Studies, too numerous to mention in this medium.

An energy weapon used in Star Trek. Stands for PHASed Energy Rectification. Range of types 1,2,2a side arms 3, 3a ,3b rifles, 4-10 and pulse cannons are ship based and 11 is ground/station based. Type one have 8 levels 8 while 2-3 have 16. The 3b and shipboard pulse phasers use compressed packets of phaser energy instead of beams and are able to carry suspended substances in their graviton shells and are simmilar to disruptors.

A type of audio effect very similar to a flanger. Phasers have a characteristic 'swoop' sound that is hard to describe but easy to identify. In a flanger, this swooping 'jet plane' sound moves up and down in pitch, but in a phaser it stays constant.

A phaser is very easy to program, and a little more difficult to construct physically. It consists of a very short (usually in the millisecond range) delay. The delayed signal is then added back on top of the original signal. The delay time is short enough so that at certain frequencies, the signal being added will be half a wavelength out of phase (hence the name), and will cancel out. At other frequencies, it will be close to one wavelength off, and will thus reinforce. Amplifying or attenuanting the delayed signal before mixing it back in will strengthen or weaken the effect.

Acoustically, this means a phaser will amplify certain pitches and attenuate others. This produces the characteristic 'hollow' and 'shrill' sound as certain pitches are dropped and other accentuated. The delay time will determine which pitches get affected. For example, a delay time of 5ms will amplify pitches near 200Hz, and cancel out ones at 100Hz. Also, even multiples of those pitches will be similarly affected.

(This writeup ignores SFC III, which cleaves closely to the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, rather than Starfleet Battles, which the earlier two are based on. Also, as I have never played the original Starfleet Command, info on that game is restricted to what I have read.)

In the Starfleet Command series of games, phasers are the primary weapons of all races. There are nine types of phaser: Type 1, 2, 3, 4, G, G2, X, A and B. Types A and B are heavy phasers which work differently from other phaser devices, and so will be discussed separately.

All phaser-equipped ships have a phaser capacitor, which holds enough energy to completely discharge all the ship's phasers once. This allows a ship which has completely charged its phaser capacitor to be ready to fire while still using its reactor output power for other purposes, such as charging other weapons.

Type 1 phasers are the main armament of warships in the Gorn Confederation, United Federation of Planets, Romulan Empire, Mirak Star League and Interstellar Concordium. The Lyran Empire, Klingon Empire and Hydran Kingdom also use Type 1 phasers, though many of their ships use the Type 2 instead. The Type 1 draws one point of energy per shot. It is long-range and does fairly significant damage, though its destructive power fades quickly with distance. In non-X-generation games, it is the most powerful phaser that can be mounted on a starship. These phasers can be fired at missiles, fighters and other close-in threats, but will not automatically fire at them.

Type 2 phasers are the older, less advanced cousins of Type 1s. They are used by the Lyrans, Klingons and Hydrans. They also consume one unit of energy. They are shorter-ranged and slightly less damaging than Type 1, but when set to point defense, will automatically fire at missiles and fighters which come within range. Due to their large damage potential for a point-defense weapon, they are almost certain to destroy these threats in one strike. As such, they are fairly good defensive weapons, but leave something to be desired as offensive weapons. Very few designs have both Type 1 and Type 2 phasers on the same frame. The Type 2 is one of the more common phasers on heavy fighter designs.

Type 3 phasers are also known as defensive phasers. They are short-range, low-damage devices which take 0.5 units of energy to fire. Like the Type 2, they automatically engage fighters and missiles within range. While designed for point defense, the Type 3 is effective against capital ships if fired at close range. A favored tactic of many captains is to overrun their targets, then fire their after Type 3 batteries as they pass. The Type 3 is used by all races, and is the sole weapon on standard admin shuttlecraft. It also arms most of the lighter fighters and gunboats.

The Type G (for Gatling) is best described as a fully automatic Type 3. It uses one unit of energy to charge, but once charged, can fire four Type 3 blasts, using effectively 0.25 units per shot. It was pioneered by the Hydrans, but the Federation, Gorn, ISC and Mirak eventually adopted it on their late and X-generation ships as a defensive weapon. Its rapid-fire nature makes is devastating as a point defense weapon, but in close combat, it can devastate capital ships as well. Weapons of this type are the main reason why overrun tactics are suicidal when facing Hydran or late-model Federation and Mirak forces. Many late-model heavy fighters carry the Type G in lieu of the Type 2 phaser - although the Type 2 causes more damage per shot, the Type G can actually inflict more damage overall, since it fires four times.

Type G2 is an exclusively Hydran X-generation weapon. It is essentially a Type G phaser with the range of a Type 1. This makes it better against capital ships, and brutal in an escort role, often allowing a ship thus armed to plink enemy missiles as they come off the rails. Their ability to perform long-range intercepts also allows more time to react if the target is not destroyed.

Type X is another X-generation device. It is used by all empires. The Type X is effectively a souped-up Type 1 with two firing modes. In normal mode, it can fire two Type 1 blasts in one turn. In overload mode, it fires one blast with double the damage potential of a Type 1. In either mode, it uses 2 units of energy. The Type X is the standard weapon on X-generation ships, replacing the Type 1 and Type 2.

The Type 4 phaser is a starbase-mounted weapon, though two types of monsters also carry them. The Type 4 is the most powerful phaser in the game. It can inflict a significant hit at very long range, and at close ranges can cripple frigate and destroyer-class ships in one hit.

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