Flashy spaceships, brilliant beam weapons, glowing plasma torpedoes, missiles with bright fiery exhausts and smoke trails, fires in spaceships, people getting sucked out into the cold void of space, etc. It makes for great science fiction television, movies, and descriptions in books.
But how realistic is it?
If you can see it, you can kill it. If you can predict it, you can kill it. These are the lessons of modern warfare.
The Local War universe takes a different approach. Every ship, spacecraft, ground vehicle, and even munitions are based on real military concepts. If it travels in space, it’s non-reflective black (passive camouflage). It hides its emissions (stealth). If there’s danger, it uses active camouflage (invisibility). Beam weapons are invisible to the unaided eye. Missiles and rail gun slugs use the same technologies as the ships and spacecraft. In combat, crew wear protective battle armor and air is evacuated into storage cells, creating vacuum inside the ship. No fires. No one getting sucked out into space if there is a hull breach. Even if they do, their battle armor will keep them alive for days.
This makes combat very different in The Local War, more akin to modern submarines fighting each other, except in fleets. I’ll break down each tech above and many others in my blog posts. You can also meet the tech below: