Katorone wrote:Don't forget that turrets are very useful for engaging multiple targets at once. A cap ship could fly between two others and engage them both using turreted weapons.
True, but that implies that the enemy caps somehow get that close. If your cap is basically a massive gun with an engine, then you should be able to kill the enemy (or be killed by it) long before it gets that close. I'm equating such a cap to artillery or a giant anti-materiel weapon, which you would never use for close-quarters combat. Likely each shot would take some time to set up, e.g. charging capacitors or something.
If you are in close quarters combat with multiple targets, then turrets are extremely useful. However, that's really point defence, which would involve smaller weapons with a much more rapid rate of fire. Maybe there's a case for having "fire support" ships that specialise in close quarters fighting (as well as fighters), but I'd suggest those would be smaller and more manoeuvrable than caps, as that manoeuvring ability would be important to their usefulness.
There's a common idea to equate spaceships with naval vessels, but I don't think that parallel holds because of the different environmental physics. Naval battleships use turrets for main weaponry because their manoeuvre ability is important as range is still short (horizon or closer). Conversely spacecraft could engage at far greater distances, so a massive long-range weapon would be extremely useful. While you could build a single giant ship with many such weapons, it would make a massive target itself and be extremely unmanoeuvrable. If you take the same weapons and turn them into separate ships, then you have the same firepower but forming much smaller targets with far more manoeuvrability. Ideally you don't want your caps to ever be caught up in close-quarters fighting, but you'd use smaller ships to screen them. If you're sensible!
Of course, that's for "firepower" caps - there may well be other caps such as carriers and EW which have no major offensive weaponry on board, so all armaments would be defensive.
Ships without turrets are also more likely to get hit. If you need to point your ship to a target to be able to shoot it, that means you're flying in a predictable way. With turrets you can fly more randomly and let them do the tracking. Even at distances.
Not necessarily so. For a start, a long, a thin single-gun ship would have a very small cross section, so would present a small target. 99% of shielding could be at the front. A turreted equivalent would be much easier to hit and harder to shield. If there are powerful transverse engines, a thin ship pointing at the enemy could still dodge enough to avoid incoming fire and make enemy aiming more difficult. For a more massive, turreted ship, the transverse dodging would be much smaller so it would be easier to hit, as well as being a larger target anyway. The one downside would be the inability to simultaneously fire while flying quickly another location, but I suggest that is a much smaller downside than the alternative. It means that cap bombardment ships would use their main engines to get to a fire position, not to fly while firing. In that sense it's far more like artillery than a tank, and with the vast distances of space, having that long-range firepower would be critical long before close-in manoeuvring can take place.
I'm not sure why you need counter weights in space. But I'm not very familiar with space physics.
Angular momentum is always conserved. On Earth, if you rotate a turret, you rotate the Earth in the oposite direction. As the Earth is a zillion times more massive than the turet, it only rotates a zillionth as much. In space if you rotate a mass, there has to be an equal and opposite effect to conserve that angular momentum. Gyroscopes could be useful for that, but they would make ship manoeuvring much more difficult and unpredictable as they're not at the ship's centre-of-mass - the bicycle wheel effect
. Large counterweights may be better, but they add mass and bulk to your ship, making it a slower and larger target. Hence the smaller the turret, the better. If you have a single gun-ship, then central gyros and a reaction control system would give you full, predictable manoeuvrability. You have more fire-power per mass, which (assuming sensible use of mass) would be the statistical decider in space warfare. Physics-wise I see it as a much better option.
Take a step back and ask - what's the point of warships at all? Ultimatately it has to be the ability to defend & destroy economic assets, such as stations. To spend the least money on a a warship that can destroy defended stations, you'd build a massive long-range gun. To increase the effectiveness per credit, you'd make such guns more manoeuvrable and defensible, not compromise them chaining them together and adding unncessary mass. Hence 10 x single-gun ships > 1 x 10-gun turreted ship.