The major trouble with all "slash" type beams is that they are inconsistent. They tend to slash past their target, sometimes inflicting more or less damage, whereas solid beams, however statistically inferior, either hits or misses, and usually hits. The TerSlash in particular has negative feelings associated with it, as a symbol of Terran
technological inferiority. Typically the TerSlash is compared to the SRed
, the beam mounted on the SCv Moloch
, as even though the TerSlash does 2.2x the sustained damage, the SRed
's better accuracy means it often does more damage than the TerSlash.
The TerSlash's problem is that it shuts down when it reaches the end of the target, or runs off the end of it, and so it doesn't always get the full damage output promised by its duration. In fact, it almost never does. A TerSlash can run from one end of an Orion to another horizontally at fairly short range, or across a Sathanas diagonally at medium ranges, and then the damage output approaches its promised totals. Against anything smaller, it's doing a lot less.
The TerSlash is fairly dangerous to any fighter within its firing range due to its tendency to slash across a wide arc.
For some odd reason, turrets equipped with a slash beam may shoot at any appropriate targets even if it's at the point where only a little bit of the beam actually makes contact. In a sense, the beam fires at seemingly nothing as the slash works its way over to the target, making contact for a split second before dying off.
The one benefit of slashers over direct fire beams is that they are much more likely to blunder into a subsystem or two as they slash their way across their target. This is particularly pronounced against targets with large subsystem hitboxes (e.g. the main beams on the GVD Hatshepsut, pretty much everything on the GTD Hades), but the slashers can get lucky against any target. However, direct beams (like the SGreen, to which the TerSlash is usually compared) can also be used to, and are more useful for, destroying specific subsystems with the fire-beam sexp.
The accuracy of the beam is dependent on the angle at which it fires. If its target is directly in front of the beam's view, the beam has to move less and as such is more accurate. But if the target is right on the edge of its field of view, the beam won't start directly on the ship. It will start a few hundred meters away from the ship then try and move onto the target. Unless that target is huge, it won't deal much damage.