The primary weakness of projectiles in combat was that they were fired in a certain direction at a certain speed and their ability to modify either course or speed was limited. All a warship had to do was maneuver away from their projected course and it would never have to worry about being hit. That meant warships had to fire at short range to stop the enemy from having time to maneuver away. Most Pre-Contact space combat was a matter of tanks at ten paces blazing away at each other in hopes of cracking enemy armor for the lasers to burn away before being cracked themselves.