The MAC (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon) was a projectile-based ship-to-ship weapon. It fired a super-dense ferric tungsten shell. The tremendous mass and velocity could cripple or obliterate an unshielded target on impact. Unlike most projectiles of its day (i.e. missiles), the MAC round was unguided and thus the firing solution must have been perfect to hit the target; not an easy task in fast paced battles where the ship with the MAC and its target were moving rapidly.
One hit wonderEdit
If a MAC round hit a shielded target, the round and the shield would go through a test of endurance. If the shield was powerful enough, it could hold off a MAC round until it lost enough momentum to be shrugged off. If the MAC round won out, the round would pierce the shields and do damage directly to the hull, though at a greatly lessened magnitude do to lost momentum.
The MAC was a rapid fire and reload weapon. Once a round was discharged, a new round had to be loaded and the magnetic capacitors recharged. The latest developments in magnetic field recyclers that when coupled with charge booster capacitors could drastically increase the recharge time, but this had a drawback. The MACs using these recyclers and capacitors had to fire light rounds that used a ferrous core surrounded by a layer of super-dense ferric tungsten.
MAC's that used these capacitors and light rounds were called mini MACs. These MACs did less damage, but the round splinter on impact spread, causing a 'shotgun' effect. Due to the lighter rounds and the charge booster capacitors, a mini MAC may have fired up to three rounds in a single charge. Eventually, the mini MAC completely replaced its older brother as it was far more effective in both combat and power management.
A ship was recommended to carry only one MAC or two at the most, as the recoil from firing an off-center MAC gun could send even a mighty capital ship into a spiral. A mini MAC, however, had recoil that was drastically dropped off from that of its larger brother. Large cruiser class ships could handle the recoil of a mini MAC, and the SSD Element of Treachery which was armed with four, was completely unaffected by the recoil of the cannons.