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NoXion

The BFG - is it a practical military weapon?

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I'm a not any kind of military expert and I have never served, so the following constitutes conjecture on my part. Anyone with relevant experience is more than welcome to comment.

 

Among many endeavours that the UAC is shown to engage in across multiple games, a consistent one is that of weapons research. While I reckon it can be assumed that the plasma rifle is just a futuristic pew-pew assault rifle, the BFG is an odd weapon indeed. The classic version has a wind-up time and emits tracers from the weapon after firing. I'm not sure how the Doom 3 version works. The BFG in the new games fires a massive ball of energetic plasma that shoots out lightning-like tendrils at various targets before impact.

Would any of these incarnations of one of Doom's signature weapons be useful on a realistic battlefield?

I would say... maybe? The wind-up time on the classic version could perhaps make it impractical, but maybe there are real-life weapons with a firing delay, I don't know. the newest version of the BFG seems like it might be more useful in that respect. But in either case the firepower is unmistakable.

What do others think? Was the UAC onto something, or were they so fixated on the question of whether they could, that they never once asked whether they should?

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if you want to destroy the shit out of your enemies, then it could be.

 

but yeah it's not that practical, even if you don't want to give a fair chance to your enemy, so i'd say it exists just for the sake of it.

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Put some soldiers in armor plating and give them each a BFG 9000 and they'll be able to clear a platoon of terrorists pretty easily.

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2 hours ago, NoXion said:

Among many endeavours that the UAC is shown to engage in across multiple games, a consistent one is that of weapons research. While I reckon it can be assumed that the plasma rifle is just a futuristic pew-pew assault rifle, the BFG is an odd weapon indeed. The classic version has a wind-up time and emits tracers from the weapon after firing. I'm not sure how the Doom 3 version works. The BFG in the new games fires a massive ball of energetic plasma that shoots out lightning-like tendrils at various targets before impact.

Would any of these incarnations of one of Doom's signature weapons be useful on a realistic battlefield?

The classic BFG really doesn't make sense. It's best to forget about its idiosyncrasies if we want to ask a question about realistic use.

 

The Doom 3 BFG and the nuDoom BFG work similarly: there's a big and relatively slow plasma ball that shoots tendrils of energy that damage nearby targets. In Doom 3, they explain the projectile contains a targeting system that directs the tendrils. You can even shoot it out (if you can intercept the BFG projectile with something else) to stop the projectile from shooting tendrils, and to reduce the blast from its impact explosion! Don't ask me how it works. We can suppose the nuDoom BFG is similar in how it targets enemies rather than random objects or the player.

 

Now there's the question about what use it has on a battlefield.  Honestly, very little. Given its firepower, it would be best used against armored targets, like a tank, but the projectile as displayed in the games is kinda slow. Slower than your average 20th century-technology ATGM. It would be useless against fast-moving distant targets such as aircraft.

 

The way it can damage several close targets at once could make it a good weapon against massed infantry. The problem here is that everything is a good weapon against massed infantry. That's why infantry spreads out. Despite being fancy and flashy, it'll still cause less damage than a thermobaric weapon (think of things like a fuel-air explosive bomb).

 

The BFG is designed to serve a starring role in a very specific kind of combat: a lone, highly mobile footsoldier with that weapon using it against heavily-armed elephants in close-range battles. This is very, very far from any sort of realistic scenario.

 

1 minute ago, Old-Doomguy said:

Put some soldiers in armor plating and give them each a BFG 9000 and they'll be able to clear a platoon of terrorists pretty easily.

Terrorists do not come in platoons. And usually when terrorists are fought, there are civilians around.

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6 minutes ago, Gez said:

The classic BFG really doesn't make sense. It's best to forget about its idiosyncrasies if we want to ask a question about realistic use.

 

The Doom 3 BFG and the nuDoom BFG work similarly: there's a big and relatively slow plasma ball that shoots tendrils of energy that damage nearby targets. In Doom 3, they explain the projectile contains a targeting system that directs the tendrils. You can even shoot it out (if you can intercept the BFG projectile with something else) to stop the projectile from shooting tendrils, and to reduce the blast from its impact explosion! Don't ask me how it works. We can suppose the nuDoom BFG is similar in how it targets enemies rather than random objects or the player.

 

Now there's the question about what use it has on a battlefield.  Honestly, very little. Given its firepower, it would be best used against armored targets, like a tank, but the projectile as displayed in the games is kinda slow. Slower than your average 20th century-technology ATGM. It would be useless against fast-moving distant targets such as aircraft.

 

The way it can damage several close targets at once could make it a good weapon against massed infantry. The problem here is that everything is a good weapon against massed infantry. That's why infantry spreads out. Despite being fancy and flashy, it'll still cause less damage than a thermobaric weapon (think of things like a fuel-air explosive bomb).

 

The BFG is designed to serve a starring role in a very specific kind of combat: a lone, highly mobile footsoldier with that weapon using it against heavily-armed elephants in close-range battles. This is very, very far from any sort of realistic scenario.

 

Terrorists do not come in platoons. And usually when terrorists are fought, there are civilians around.

 

 

Wow, I didn't think that through enough.

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11 minutes ago, Gez said:

The BFG is designed to serve a starring role in a very specific kind of combat: a lone, highly mobile footsoldier with that weapon using it against heavily-armed elephants in close-range battles. This is very, very far from any sort of realistic scenario.


I thought as much, but the thought does occur that even Doom's more "realistic" (in the loosest sense of the term) weapons have concessions to gameplay within their operation, for example the rocket launcher fires rockets that can be outrun. So a "real" (lol) BFG might have the energy ball travel faster, say.

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Seems like it would cause some liabilities - imagine if the ball misses what you're aiming at and starts flying away into the open, and then 10 minutes later it hits something and the tracers suddenly fly out of your body and kill all your nearby teammates.

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9 minutes ago, NoXion said:

I thought as much, but the thought does occur that even Doom's more "realistic" (in the loosest sense of the term) weapons have concessions to gameplay within their operation, for example the rocket launcher fires rockets that can be outrun. So a "real" (lol) BFG might have the energy ball travel faster, say.

Admitting it can go much faster than shown in the game, it'd make a good close-range anti-tank weapon. Potentially also useful against low-flying helicopters. A good weapon for insurgents fighting against a superior army; which kind of is what you are in Doom.

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The tendril one (like in DooM 3 or DooM 2016) could be used for room clearing without putting the operator in danger, or enemies behind walls. The energy ball enters the room and targets the occupants or sails over a wall/cover, killing everyone hiding behind it.

 

Or you could use a grenade.

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I didn't care about if it was used as a weapon or rather a tool for opening holes on surfaces. In my opinion it is an engine for big laser cannons which is used by a UAC spaceship like from DooM Eternal. This question is like "Is thunder gun was an actual weapon from Quake 1 ?" You shouldn't ask questions which are you already know their answers, mate.

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1 minute ago, Adrian The GasMask Face said:

I didn't care about if it was used as a weapon or rather a tool for opening holes on surfaces. In my opinion it is an engine for big laser cannons which is used by a UAC spaceship like from DooM Eternal. This question is like "Is thunder gun was an actual weapon from Quake 1 ?" You shouldn't ask questions which are you already know their answers, mate.


I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. If I knew the answer already, I wouldn't have asked the question. I'm just bored at work and thought some idle speculation would be a fun way of passing the time.

As for Quake's lightning gun, my opinion is that it would just be a more lethal version of the electrolaser which is being researched by some companies.

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1 minute ago, NoXion said:


I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. If I knew the answer already, I wouldn't have asked the question. I'm just bored at work and thought some idle speculation would be a fun way of passing the time.

As for Quake's lightning gun, my opinion is that it would just be a more lethal version of the electrolaser which is being researched by some companies.

Wow, friend don't get angry at me. We all talk here, not annoy eachother. Mine is a friendly reply. Typing with keyboard is bad thing cuz people can not see what you actually mean, what you actually imply and smile on your face. Maybe that's the reason I use social media rarely. :-D

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28 minutes ago, Gez said:

We can suppose the nuDoom BFG is similar in how it targets enemies rather than random objects or the player.

 

The 2016 BFG actually works a bit differently. It only seems to specifically target enemies with Argent Energy inside them.

 

"This weapon delivers streams of supercharged Argent Energy to multiple targets, and is to some extent self-guiding. The streams will seek any cache of Argent it can find - usually demons (or human test subjects that have had Argent beacons surgically implanted). When the streams find their target, they released all of their stored energy in a fraction of second, delivering an electrical shock that instantly boils the blood and fatty tissue of the recipient. Spontaneous explosion of the subject often follows."

 

The Eternal BFG doesn't make mention of this and just says it is drawn to organic matter.

 

"The sphere of superheated energy undulates as Argent tendrils lash out, drawn to nearby organic material and immediately producing a fatal explosion from within."

 

---

 

Not sure how either blows up barrels though.

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1 minute ago, Adrian The GasMask Face said:

Wow, friend don't get angry at me. We all talk here, not annoy eachother. Mine is a friendly reply. Typing with keyboard is bad thing cuz people can not see what you actually mean, what you actually imply and smile on your face. Maybe that's the reason I use social media rarely. :-D


I'm not angry. I'm just confused because I found your post hard to read. You seemed to be implying that I was asking questions that I already knew the answers to.

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Just now, NoXion said:


I'm not angry. I'm just confused because I found your post hard to read. You seemed to be implying that I was asking questions that I already knew the answers to.

:-P

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12 minutes ago, AtimZarr1 said:

 

Not sure how either blows up barrels though.

I believe this proves that the barrels in Eternal have organic nukage. And the ones in 2016 have Argent nukage.

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Just now, kalaeth said:

I believe this proves that the barrels in Eternal have organic nukage. And the ones in 2016 have Argent nukage.


And just like other organic products, they cost more.

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3 minutes ago, NoXion said:


And just like other organic products, they cost more.

 

thus making them even more satisfying to explode.

 

(disclaimer : I never played the nuDoom games, so I have no idea how satisfying it is to blow barrels in them but I do love me some barrel fun :D )

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I don't think I've ever not had fun with exploding barrels in video games, to be fair. Few things are more satisfying than luring an enemy close to them, and then getting the frag by exploding the barrel with one shot from the weakest weapon in the game.

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I think is implied in most of its appearances that is a prototype, so i don't think its mean to be practical, at least in its current state.

 

Though i guess you could say that nuDOOM's bfg was specifically made for killing hordes of demons.

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I've always thought, that the BFG was just an experimental weapon, kind of like the gauss from Half-Life. Perhaps they were stress-testing plasma usage in weaponry? Idk.

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Waaaaaaaaay to much of a possibility of collateral damage I would say.

 

The vast majority of conflicts these days take place in populated areas (city’s, towns, etc) and the BFG Just indiscriminately annihilates everything in its path which would be bad. Should go without saying but killing civilians doesn’t go down well.

 

That said, a mounted BFG 9000 / mini BFG 10000 might be feasible as a navy warship weapon.

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5 hours ago, DooM Bear said:

That said, a mounted BFG 9000 / mini BFG 10000 might be feasible as a navy warship weapon. 

Yes, it could be an effective point defense system. The relatively slow projectiles that shoot tendrils around could be used, with sufficient spam, to intercept incoming missiles.

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Now this thread for sure has popped up before because i recall this fantastic scientific answer that came from it.

Basically, to establish a fully featured handheld BFG, you would need a energy source more powerful than a black hole. Even if such a thing would exist, the size equivalent would be large enough that it would only fit on a battleship.

 

Because of its power, its user would be destroyed after a single shot.

 

The ion/laser cannons that are now tested on these things comes to mind.

 

In short: Realistically its completely impractical. In fiction, you may survive something like with a energy based shield or armor.

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13 hours ago, DooM Bear said:

Waaaaaaaaay to much of a possibility of collateral damage I would say.

 

The vast majority of conflicts these days take place in populated areas (city’s, towns, etc) and the BFG Just indiscriminately annihilates everything in its path which would be bad. Should go without saying but killing civilians doesn’t go down well.

 

That said, a mounted BFG 9000 / mini BFG 10000 might be feasible as a navy warship weapon.

mini BFG 10k probably will work as a naval weapon, it's certainly easier to aim than conventional cannons. BFG 9000 would just be far too slow. The normal BFG 10k could serve as the space age Gustav cannon, wiping out entire colonies from across the solar system or even destroying colonies in other solar systems.

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Yes, if you're a stranded marine in the middle of a techbase, where the enemies are ready to attack you, but don't know you're there, and there happens to be a bunch of giant guns hiding in secret walls, then it could be necessary. There could be a cyber enemy, that might need 2 shots, but that is rare. So yes, it is practical. 

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I always think of the BFG9000 as a prototype weapon that only Doomguy is strong enough to use and the real final gun is the BFG10k.

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