Needs some help with the description, quite possibly a better name...and more examples.
One common trait of really
powerful Energy Weapons
in sci-fi is that they don't just hit
the target. They don't just melt, pierce, vaporise or explode it...they cut
. The beam is 'walked' across its intended target, which then tends to fall apart for a moment or two...and explode spectacularly. Sometimes the weapon in question is a Wave Motion Gun
, sometimes it's used frequently enough to qualify as Beam Spam
. It's frequently used for the starship equivalent of a Diagonal Cut
- In Iron Man 2, Tony has a pair of these mounted to the wrists of the Mark VI suit, which he eventually uses to great effect against a mob of Hammer drones. When Rhodes asks him why he didn't use them earlier, Tony explains that they're something of a Wave Motion Gun: if they don't work the first time, he doesn't get a second shot.
- A Borg cube in Star Trek: The Next Generation uses a powerful beam weapon to cut a 'sample' out of the Enterprise D.
- The Shadow beam in Babylon 5 is a prime example, but the beam cannons of the younger races qualify as well to a lesser extent.
- Capital beam cannons in the FreeSpace games sometimes show this behavior.
- Beam Weapons in FTL: Faster Than Light work this way. They are largely useless against shields, but once the shields are down they can be 'walked' across multiple compartments of an enemy ship, doing terrible damage along the way.