A variety of projectiles can be accelerated using pulsed lasers, from planar metal flyer foils to spherical projectiles. This selectability of impactor geometry offers adjustable loading conditions in stress space. Here we explore the spall failure, changes in hugoniot elastic limit, shear banding, and fracture of advanced protection ceramics (Boron Carbide, Silicon Carbide, and Diamond-SiC Composites) under loading from various projectile geometries at velocities from 800 to 2000 meters-per-second. High speed imaging at 10 million frames-per-second allows us to characterize the flyer geometry and identify active failure mechanisms in the target. Photon Doppler Velocimetry provides nanosecond resolution of the target free surface velocity history and thus the internal stress state during failure.