Space Combat

Unknown [Mass Effect]

Mass Effect

Ship mobility dominates space combat; the primary objective is to align the mass accelerator along the bow with the opposing vessel's broadside. Battles typically play out as artillery duels fought at ranges measured in thousands of kilometers, though assault through defended mass relays often occur at "knife fight" ranges as close as a few dozen kilometers.

Most ship-to-ship engagements are skirmishes between patrol vessels of cruiser weight and below, with dreadnoughts and carriers only deployed in full-scale fleet actions. Battles in open space are short and often inconclusive, as the weaker opponent generally disengages.

Once a ship enters FTL flight the combat is effectively over; there are no sensors capable of tracking them, or weapons capable of damaging them. The only way to guarantee an enemy will stand and fight is to attack a location they have a vested interest in, such as a settled world or a strategically-important mass relay.