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Planet Buster Yield calculated!


;nuke; :math:

--- Quote from: Eldritch Sukima ---More excessively overpowered giant missile goodness, this time from an entirely different game. They don't live up to their name, sadly, but they're still pretty scary.

Like the previous calc with Sturm's missile, this one has a pretty big assumption, but we'll get to that in a moment.

This is what the in-game database has to say about the Planet Buster:

--- Quote ---The quasi-nuclear Planet Buster is future humanity's ultimate atrocity. Planet Busters destroy everything within a radius equal to their reactor size, often leaving immense craters.

Under the U.N. Charter, use of Planet Busters is punishable by immediate expulsion from the Planetary Council and total military destruction.

--- End quote ---

In-game, the Planet Buster takes out a diamond shaped area, destroying everything a certain number of tiles away from its detonation point. There are four reactor types in Alpha Centauri. Fission, Fusion, Quantum, and Singularity. Each reactor upgrade extends the Planet Buster's range. A Fission Planet Buster takes out everything within one tile of the detonation, while a Singularity Planet Buster takes out everything within four tiles of the detonation.

One of the game files also gives us some flavor text on the Planet Buster:

--- Quote ---#PLANET BUSTER
Designation: Mk. 714 Plasma bomb
Active kill radius: 2000 km
Explosve force: 296 gt TNT
Target acquistion: Charged particle

--- End quote ---

This file lists seems to only list the simplest, default versions of each piece of equipment, so I'm going to assume these stats are for the Fission Planet Buster.

Now for the iffy part. I'm going to assume that Planet Buster yield scales up at the same rate it does in-game. In other words, each reactor upgrade adds 2000 kilometers to that kill radius.

Since these are outright described as 'quasi-nuclear' weapons, I'm going to use the nuke calculator again.

Plugging the Fission Planet Buster's yield of 296 gigatons into the calculator gives us a thermal radiation radius of 2042.1 kilometers. Very close to the listed kill radius, and if the Fission Planet Buster's range is doubled/tripled/quadrupled by the more powerful reactors, the thermal radiation radius for each should look like this:

Fission Planet Buster: 2042.1 kilometers
Fusion Planet Buster: 4084.2 kilometers
Quantum Planet Buster: 6126.3 kilometers
Singularity Planet Buster: 8168.4 kilometers

Fiddling with the calculator to find each of those gets us the following yields:

Fission Planet Buster: 296 gigatons
Fusion Planet Buster: 1.6052 teratons
Quantum Planet Buster: 4.3153 teratons
Singularity Planet Buster: 8.7043 teratons
--- End quote ---

Source here.

You got to admit that as much as it hurts to get hit by these things, I like the way SMAC/X handles nukes as opposed to the watered down nukes in Civ 4.

I always thought there was something wrong if a wonder is immune to nukes!


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