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The cannon is a devastating weapon that deals a lot of damage, with a good rate of fire, good range and the ability to tear apart internal modules. The main weaknesses of this weapon are its explosive nature, and the low speed of its shells making it difficult to hit agile ships.
The cannon deals damage in 3 ways: impact, penetration, and fire. A direct hit to shields and hull deals 750 damage, and a hit to structure deals 375 damage. Its fire rate is 1.33 shots per second with a range of 175, and a speed of 40. This gives it a DPS of 1000 verse hull and shields, and 500 against armor.
Every tile that a cannon penetrates will take 375 damage and has a 20% chance to start a fire. Some tiles are more resistant to penetration than others, but a shot is capable of penetrating 3 of most tiles or 6 corridors (including the one it hits) in a row.
Cannon shots will spread when firing. This makes them worse at hitting specific tiles. At maximum range it will hit a area of 8.7 (100 range) and at ideal it spreads along 5.2 (60 range)
Standard cannons require 2 crew to run (minimum) and 1.33 ammo per second. Each factory will produce 2 ammo per second. Ammo factories consume minimal power at 1/19 a reactor when producing at maximum. The cannon is capable of storing 6 rounds (including chambered round).
A major issue with cannon logistics is only 3 crew at a time can reload it. This means the absolute maximum distance your cannon can be from an ammo storage is 4 corridors, or 2 of most tiles. This small increase in distance also doubles effective crew usage from 2 to 4.
The cannon will also require an additional crew, part-time, to load the ammo factories, as ammo factories are powered by energy. A single crew can carry 25 rounds' worth of energy at a time, but can only carry 2 rounds, so it is possible to put the generators far away from the factories. Due to AI pathfinding, more crew will be needed.
For the reasons listed above its a good idea to localize production of ammunition as it will overall be cheaper, safer and result in higher reload speed.Here is an example battery. This allows for
The cannon is a moderately durable weapon. It is more fragile than small lasers and will explode when destroyed.
The standard cannon is capable of firing at 57.5 degrees in each direction, for a total arc of 115 degrees. The example to the right provides the maximum amount of coverage possible without reducing the firing arc.
Cannons and ammo will explode upon death. This can cause a chain reaction where upon losing one storage/factory will cause the entire battery to explode. Empty storages will cause much less damage than full ones. See Part Explosion for more detail.
Standard cannons are one of the strongest primary weapons in the game.
Local production using ammo factories is almost always superior to using ammo storages. Factories require less infrastructure and have less potential to explode. An example setup is having 2 standard cannons and 1 ammo factory. By the time ammo runs out in 30 seconds, the ammo factory would have manufactured 72 ammo and used one battery, which is equivalent to 3.89 storages.[removed section about cost due to lack of clarity] With the added infrastructure they require, ammo storages can end up being more expansive.
As shown to the right, a battery of 3 standard cannons and 2 ammo factories can sustain fire indefinitely. A battery of 2 standard cannons and 1 ammo factory can sustain fire for 30 seconds
Cannons have the highest DPS per cost in the game. This makes them a budget option and allows the design of very large ships for very little. They also have a high DPS per width making them a good choice for larger ships.
In combat they have a good range which allows them to start attacking before other comparable weapons have a chance. They are capable of penetrating which will deal considerable damage to undefended parts. This can damage pathways restricting crew movement, start fires which deal damage and require crew, and can easily damage internals like reactors.
One of the benefits of cannons are easy local production using ammo factories. This reduces the need for hallways and reactors. 1 standard cannons will at maximum use 1/10 the hallway, and the power of 2 small lasers. The reduction of hallway reduces the amount of armor needed and opens up space for more armor or weapons.
A standard cannon's small total depth makes it easy to shield. This helps to offset its lower HP per width.
While the ammo factories will explode upon death, their explosion is much smaller and easier to contain than a reactor's.
Due to low speed and spread they are bad at hitting specific tiles.
They also have lower durability, so additional protection is needed.