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CRAM Cannons replaced the earlier Custom Cannons, and are one of the simplest customizable projectile weapons. The name apparently comes from "cramming" the different kinds of pellets into the shells.

Basics of a Good Design[]

Typical CRAM cannons (not deck guns, see next paragraph) are designed with a large cylindrical section under the deck, connected through a narrower neck to a turret cap / gunhouse. Most of the components, especially auto loaders, pellets, and ammo boxes, are stored in the underneath section. This section is typically composed of horizontal "slices", where vertical columns of 6-way connectors are surrounded by autoloaders, which in turn are surrounded with pellets and ammo boxes. Multiple of these columns can be arranged so that each pellet has 4 connections, the most without a more advanced 3D "tetris". The connector columns are then joined together before going into the neck, where spare space can be filled with armor and gauge increasers. The final part is the turret cap, where the firing pieces, barrels, and typically most of the gauge increasers are. For the barrel, a good setup is half motor driven barrels, around a quarter recoil absorbing, and about a quarter normal (depends on ship size and CRAM gauge; normal + recoil should be equal to motor driven), then an elevation barrel on the end (or beginning). The fusing box and laser targeter can go anywhere (if you choose to use them), but near the firing piece is typical. Most cannons should at least have an inertial fuse and timed fuse. The gauge components are often in the cap because they are more durable than pellets, and the irregular shape of the cap can be more easily filled with them. For multiple barrel turrets, make sure that 6-way connectors and gauge increasers (and ideally ammo boxes, too) from different firing pieces don't touch (you can use the 4-connection gauge corners to help you prevent unintended connections), otherwise one piece can end up with all the parts.


For deck guns (turrets which don't extend below the deck) you may disregard everything but the last sentence above. Deck guns are necessarily smaller than their in-hull counterparts, and are typically viewed as worse due to how large they must get to fit many components. The fact that the entire system is exposed means that more armor is needed. Few faction designs have deck guns, with most that do being DWG ships with the deck guns as small broadside weapons.


CRAM cannons can also be hard-mounted (not on a turret). For this it is recommended to forgo the elevation barrel as that limits horizontal traverse. hard-mounted guns have the advantage of being easier to armor and harder to destroy, though they suffer greatly due to the fact they are harder to bring to bear on an enemy. The setups which work best for hard-mounts are CRAM bombs (using the bomb chute and mounted to an aircraft, facing down), mortars (use the high firing angle setting and probably add a limit to speed, facing upward), and either broadside or forward-mounted (works best on an aircraft or other forward-broadsider). Bombs and mortars typically benefit the most from an altitude fuse, while it is better for conventional cannons to use a timed fuse instead. Broadside cannons work well on traditional sailing ship designs and as a supplement to larger ships, though turrets are usually superior.

CRAM Tetris[]

There is an ideal tetris for each interior diameter. For a 3m or 5m wide turret area, a 3D tetris reigns supreme, but for anything larger a 2D tetris works just fine. Due to the number of connector stacks, 3x3 turrets can really only use 1 firing piece, 5x5 turrets can use 2 with the 2D tetris, but the 3D tetris works best with just 1 barrel. 7x7 has 4 connector stacks and can therefore do a dual or quadruple setup, while the 9x9 has 9 stacks and should almost always be for a triple turret. Anything larger can vary significantly. Images of each setup may be added at some point prior to the heat death of the universe. In lieu of that, here is an attempt at an explanation. Viewing the 3x3 3D tetris from the side, in the middle there is a vertical tower of 6-way connectors. Every fourth row there is an additional 6-way out to each side. Every fourth row, but in between the other ones, you can have an extra 6-way out behind and in front of the central column. Should look a bit like a thing of coral. From there, you will need to add autoloaders such that all three of their connections are available to use within the 3x3 space allotted. Fill in the remainder with pellets and ammo boxes. Except at the top and bottom, every autoloader should be fully utilized, and every pellet should have 4 autoloader connections.

Shell Speed[]

The base speed of a CRAM shell is limited to a maximum of 300 m/s, but this can be reduced by the use of either a bomb chute, or flash and recoil suppression barrels. The more of these suppression barrels you have on a CRAM cannon the slower the max speed will be. Nothing else like diameter, capacity, or barrel length affect the max speed of the CRAM shell. The actual speed of a shell can be reduced by adjusting a slider in the CRAM cannon menu. This can be useful if one wants a CRAM mortar to reach its target within a reasonable time.

In the past the max possible shell speed was only 200 m/s even further in the past the max speed was dependent on the diameter.

Capacity[]

The fully packed capacity of a CRAM shell is determined by the diameter of the shell and the number of compactors are connected to the CRAM cannon. If a CRAM cannon has a diameter of D, and P compactor connections it will have a capacity equal to

Reload Time[]

The reload time of a shell is affected by its capacity, diameter, and the number of pellet connections. If CRAM cannon has a capacity of C, diameter of D, and N pellet connections its total reload time be equal to

The reload time is equal to the reload time indicated on the cannon’s info card and it is measured from the moment the cannon is fired to the next time it can possibly fire, assuming there is enough ammunition. In the past the time indicated on the cannon’s info card was measured from time the cannon finished preparing its packers to when it could fire next.

Health[]

The health of a CRAM shell is determined by the capacity of a shell and what fraction of each pellet type is used, and the number of fuses used on the shell. If the shell has a capacity of C, a hardener pellet fraction of H, and f fuses selected the health will equal

The armour class of the shell on the other hand is not affected by anything and is always equal to 20.

Damage[]

Kinetic Damage[]

The kinetic damage of a CRAM shell as indicated on its info card is dependent on the shell’s capacity, what fraction of each pellet type is used to pack it, and if a thump head is used. The speed of the shell is irrelevant to that damage that it can deal. If the capacity of a shell is C, the fraction of hardener pellets used to pack it is H, and it has no hollow point its kinetic damage will equal

And that same shells AP value will equal

If the shell uses a hollow point to deal thump damage its kinetic damage will be equal to 0.790569 time its regular kinetic damage. This shells AP will also be equal to

Explosive Damage[]

The explosive damage and radius of a CRAM shell depend on the CRAM cannons capacity and the fraction of explosive pellet connections. If the cannons capacity is C and the fraction of explosive pellet connections is X then the explosive damage of the shell will be

And the explosions radius will be equal to

EMP Damage[]

The EMP damage of a cram shell depends on the CRAM cannons capacity and the fraction of EMP pellet connections. If the cannons capacity is C and the fraction of EMP pellet connections is E then the EMP damage of the shell will be

Frag Damage[]

The amount of frags produced by a CRAM shell is dependent on the CRAM cannons capacity and fraction of frag pellet connections. If the cannons capacity is C and the fraction of frag pellet connections is F, then the number of frag pellets will be roughly equal to

The damage produced by each fragment is dependent on the capacity of the shell, the fraction of frag pellet connections used to pack it, the number of fragments, and the fragment angle. If the capacity of a shell is C, the fraction of frag pellets connections is F, the number of fragments is n, and the frag angle is A then the damage per fragment equals

Barrels[]

  • Barrel
  • Heavy Barrel (exists in start and end variants, but those are purely aesthetic and have the same stats as the base-variant)
  • Recoil Suppression Barrel
  • Flash Suppression Barrel
  • Motor Driven Barrel
  • Elevation Barrel
  • Bomb Chute

Traverse[]

Traverse speed is proportional to the number of Motor Driven Barrels plus one and inversely proportional to the total barrel volume + 0.1. For a 2000 mm cannon, ignoring non-proportional factors, the traverse speed is about 8 degrees per second.

Fusing[]

Main article: Fusing



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