Laser is Better than Accel?
Since the damage on the weapon is the same, no matter what the fluff text elsewhere says, I go with magnetic weapons for now. The difference is not high anyway when comparing rifles:
- Magnetic: 40 damage, 5 pen. , -2 armor/hit, magazine 20, weight 25
- Laser: 40 damage, 0 pen., -8 armor/hit, magazine 5, weight 20
1st shot vs. 20 armor
- Magnetic: deals 25, reduces armor to 18, total damage 25
- Laser: deals 20, reduces armor to 12, total damage 20
- Magnetic: deals 27, reduces armor to 16, total damage 52
- Laser: deals 28, reduces armor to 4, total damage 48
- Magnetic: deals 29, reduces armor to 14, total damage 81
- Laser: deals 36, reduces armor to 0, total damage 84
When we look at the hitpoints of the aliens, it makes no difference which weapon you use, as neither allows a faster kill (= with less shots). However, that is only true in a one-on-one comparison.
If several soldiers fire at the same target, the additional shooters benefit more from the laser. That might shorten the number of required hits by one. A team with only lasers has slightly better ratio of kills/shots fired. The laser is lighter, an obvious advantage, the magnetic rifle has a far larger magazine. The time spent reloading is not insignificant, and the laser would be way better with 8 shots instead of 5.
I don’t remember seeing the laser having better accuracy. If it actually has that, that would make it superior in my eyes. If not, then magnetic weapons are not really worse, and the less TU spent on loading would look even more inviting.