Originally Posted by vanir
Mind you looking again at the (structural) damage scales of character/speeder/walker/starfighter/capital/planetary, starfighters armed with proton torpedos are much more heavily armed than speeders, being two scales higher to start with. Starfighter scale blasters normally 5d6 to other starfighters will likely do 7d6+2 to walkers, 15d6 to speeders and 25d6 to characters (don't stand in front of an X-wing while the pilot tests the guns, body armour and a medpack won't help you).
By the same token starfighter scale weapons have a reduction factor of 4 to capital scale structures, so those 5d6 blasters do only 0-10 damage points instead of the 5-30 they would normally do, anything but the weakest frigates are going to shrug it off even with little armour and thin hull plate.
But proton torpedos (and concussion missiles or other assault weapons) are designed specifically so that starfighters can damage capital scale structures (initially they were designed to combat capital scale planetary defences and damage things like buildings/large structures during raids). Base damage on a proton torpedo is 12d6, which means even with the scale reduction, against capital scale structures it still does 0-24 damage points and considering basic capital structures are 2d6 hull and warships start at 4d6 this is pretty equivalent and more than capable of doing them damage.
Having a starfighter equipped with proton torpedos is the equivalent of a fighter-bomber, attack aircraft or torpedo-bomber. A TIE fighter by comparison is hardly going to damage a Nebulon-B frigate with any surety, but a snubnose X-Wing will...if it can get past the shields.
Then you have capital scale torpedo-boats and destroyers like the Corellian Gunship, which is fitted with two concussion missile launchers on the front arc that mount projectiles the size of an ICBM. They can fire these out to 30km and do 10d6 capital scale damage with them, which is enough to cut an Imperial I Star Destroyer in half...if you can get them past the shields.
Our gaming group lost an entire fleet of CEC Gunships to a Star Destroyer once though, when we couldn't.
See the trick is, you use an X-Wing assault to try to bring down the shields. Then you jump in CEC Gunships and ruin them with capital scale concussion warheads. Problem is the two attack groups cannot be in realtime communication with each other, and it's a real mess when the X-Wings fail.
I mean that scene at the end of Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks is shooting at the Tiger tank with his service pistol is emotional and everything, but I laughed partly because it was so childish, despite endearing. Oh yes the .45" bullet could've gone in through the viewport and ricochet'd inside...in bizarro world, and I'm equally sure faced with imminent death any of us would be hoping for this. Remember the moment Hanks looked at his pistol oddly when the Tiger exploded, then realised it was destroyed by a P-51 that flew over.
As I said before, a lot of game designers don't look at real life weapons systems when they design things. Let's use your own example;
Except for the modern gatling and chain guns used by the Air Force the primary difference between a ground based system (Anti-aircraft gun) and one carried by the aircraft itself is the fact that a ground system can have a longer barrel. If we go back 60 years, the difference between what an infantry man would use was even smaller. The .303 machine guns used by the British as secondary guns on the Hurrican or Spitfire and the Lewis Bren or Maxim gun used by the infantry was only total ammunition carried into combat as a matter of course. On the American side of the lake the Original Tomahawk had two .30 calliber machine guns and four .50 caliber little different from the machine guns carried by the ground pounders. In Saving Private Ryan it wasn't the .50 caliber wing guns that killed the tank, it was one of the 5" HVAR rockets in use. In point of fact, the Russians refused deliver of the P399 (Export version of the P39 Aircorbra) because the 37mm central mounted cannon didn't have the pentration needed to punch through the upper armor of a German MKIII and IV tank.
An F4 Phantom with a 20mm gatling carries only 286 rounds for her main gun. 16 seconds at the lower rate of fire (1086 rounds per minute) Less than 5 seconds at full rate of 4,000rpm. Oddly enough, damage wise a modern plane actually has less capability that it's WWII counterpart. The Average American torpedo has a 500 lb warhead, as much as a 1,000 pound bomb. The difference is a torpedo will crack a ship's spine and kill her, whereas a 1000 pound skip bomb (Used by the Argentinians during the Falkland Islands was barely enough to kill even Atlantic Conveyor, the merchant ship sunk during that conflict.Assigning as much difference between a snowspeeder and a fighter is patently ridiculous. The weaponry of both depends on a way to recharge the energy released, either capacitor or energy throughput. The size is not enough to explain the energy difference.
Also 'Capital' ship has a specific meaning to a military man. If you're speaking in WWII terms, a Heavy cruiser or battleship is a capital ship. The others are escort or screening vessels. They are not ships of the line. In a normal battle the smaller ships engage each other unless they are released for torpedo runs. That doesn't mean they can't do good service, the destroyer flotilla under Commodore Vian in the search for the Bismarck were able to keep the crew of that ship at battle stations all of the night before the heavier ships arrive to finally kill her. During several battles off Guadalcanal destroyers and cruisers were able to lurk up on larger warships. In fact one Japanese Battleship (Kirishima I think) was badly damaged when a light and heavy cruiser got close enough for flat trajectory 6 and 8" shells to penetrate her armor.
Could you mount a capital ship launsher on such a small vessel? Yes. That is how the Osa missile boats were originally designed, and the Nanuchka missile boat carries four missiles designed for destroyers of the the Russian navy. But they don't have the magazine capacity to put more aboard. Those ships by definition are called Corvettes.