Exploring the tech behind my idea for a mil sci-fi romance has led me to suspect starship-to-starship combat could end up looking pretty strange, so I'm seeking some outside perspectives. The centerpiece of this whole system is a reactionless drive along the lines of the Alcubierre drive, although its mechanism for warping spacetime is different. You can't use it for FTL, and its current in-universe upper limit is around .2c. Besides allowing faster sub-light travel than anything else humanity has developed, this drive offers another massive advantage: the bubble of warped spacetime doubles as an almost impenetrable shield. So far, hitting the bubble with another warp bubble to destabilize or "pop" it outright seems like the only viable threat. You could do this by ramming your starship's bubble into an enemy's, proximity mines that briefly project a warp bubble when they detect an approaching ship, or missiles mounting the same type of drive. Since ramming is suicidal and space is so big minefields are impractical, missiles are probably the most feasible weapon. My problem surrounds launching them. You can't fire projectiles out of the bubble for the same reason you can't fire them in: the warping destroys them. If your missiles bring up their bubble drives while they're still inside your ship's bubble, you pop your own bubble. The only way to launch these missiles is to drop your bubble, wait until they're outside where it would be, then raise the bubble again. At first glance, this looks pretty reasonable...but these drives (theoretically) don't pass inertia along to the ship because the ship technically isn't moving. Spacetime is moving, so the ship becomes stationary when the bubble drops. You become a sitting duck. The enemy can use their superior mobility to maneuver into a much better position before dropping their own bubble and opening fire, or they could use their speed to get out of range and/or outrun your missiles. All this combines to create a tactical paradigm I can scarcely imagine. Are we looking at a high-stakes game of chicken where you're trying to spook or trick your foe into being the one who drops their bubble first? Does this make space battles a series of head-on passes so your missiles don't have to chase the other ship down from astern? If I can come up with some vaguely plausible reason for starships to coast ballistically after dropping their bubbles, the combat would be much easier for me to get a handle on. Missile broadsides, interceptor missiles to counter them, decoy rockets to mimic a ship's bubble (filling the same role as chaff), lasers for combat at close range, etc. You'd still have a bit of that high-stakes chicken with captains balancing the security of hiding in their bubble with the need to drop it for attack and point defense, but that system seems much less alien. Unfortunately, no plausible physics explanation comes to mind. I don't plan on wading too deep into the science--this is meant to be mil sci-fi romance, after all--but withstanding casual scrutiny would be ideal. For added context: The bubbles interfere with just about every type of sensor you can imagine, so everyone relies on detecting ripples caused by the bubbles. These ripples echo into hyperspace and offer real-time data. Fluctuations in the bubbles can be used for simple, faster-than-light coded messages because they alter the ripples Warships generally follow a toothpick-like design, with starboard, port, ventral, and dorsal "broadsides" plus bow and stern chase weaponry. If I can't find a reason for the bubble drives to impart inertia, I might throw out this design in favor of something else. FTL is possible only through hyperpoints, spherical volumes on the edge of a star system where the bubble drive's interactions with gravity allow a ship to access a stable "lane" through hyperspace to another star system, so FTL is less important tactically than it is at the strategic scale. I know all this is a lot, but any ideas you have or holes you can poke in what I've got so far is much appreciated. Although the tech isn't the focus and the tactics are secondary, I'd much prefer to find out I've overlooked something while I'm still pre-writing.