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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-16 12:18pm
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Stas Bush wrote:
Stellar wrote:
know that worse has happened and believe that worse can and will happen in the future.

What was worse than the Nazis that has happened? The genocide of American Indians, complete and utter, comes to mind. Other than that - I'm all ears.

For that matter, the genocide of the American Indians took place over almost 400 years (1492-~late 1800s), and the majority of deaths were from the inadvertent spread of disease in the early 1500s by Spanish explorers and conquistadors. The actual genocidal campaigns, such as Hispaniola, took 30 years to kill a million people through overwork and starvation, again inadvertently. Later campaigns in North America made use of disease as well, but were directed against tribes with fewer than 10,000 people each. While the scale of the deaths is in total maybe equal with the Second World War in its entirety (assuming about 20-30 million inhabitants pre-1492 in the Americas and a 95% fatality rate), four centuries versus six years is a massive difference.



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-16 07:19pm
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Yes, although that estimate of 20-30 million may be low (I'm not sure how good a point the high-counters have about pre-Columbian populations). But I agree that it's an important point that the time-scales were tremendously different.

On the other hand, you can still make a case for the outcome being worse. The destruction of the native Americans didn't "merely" kill large numbers of people. It wiped out entire models for the design of civilizations, to the point where we have little or no idea what those civilizations were really like and what contributions they might have made to humanity as a whole had they not been crushed under an avalanche of plagues and conquistadores.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-16 10:23pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
Yes, although that estimate of 20-30 million may be low (I'm not sure how good a point the high-counters have about pre-Columbian populations). But I agree that it's an important point that the time-scales were tremendously different.

On the other hand, you can still make a case for the outcome being worse. The destruction of the native Americans didn't "merely" kill large numbers of people. It wiped out entire models for the design of civilizations, to the point where we have little or no idea what those civilizations were really like and what contributions they might have made to humanity as a whole had they not been crushed under an avalanche of plagues and conquistadores.

Yes, that is true, but irrelevant to the idea that the death rate for the holocaust was unmatched by any time before the twentieth century and only matched by Pol Pot within the twentieth, which is what Stellar and Stas were arguing about. The two are also incomparable because the actual genocide campaigns were only a small percentage of the death toll (5%-3% with my numbers) and the majority of the deaths were unforeseeable by the Spanish and totally accidental. It's worth noting that in urbanized areas of the Americas (excepting Cahokia) the populace generally survived and intermarried with the Spanish.



Invited by the new age, the elegant Sailor Neptune!


I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 04:26am
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It depends very heavily on what you (and Stas) mean by "worse than the Nazis." The final net result of European colonization of the Americas on the natives was worse than the final net result of the Holocaust was on the minorities the Nazis targeted, so in that sense the former was worse. But as you say the Native American death rate was vastly lower over any given specific interval, so in that sense the latter was worse.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 05:17am
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Yeah, I was thinking about factoring the utterness of destruction as well, regardless of the low intensity of deaths. The destruction of American Natives was more utter, and in the end it was by final toll relative to the overall number of American Natives was worse, and in an absolute sense (pure numbers) it was also comparable to the Axis actions in World War II. Despite a massive timescale difference, I think the relative share of destroyed population must also factor.



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 06:15am
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Side note: to me, the destruction of the Native American societies is a sobering reminder of the fact that it is possible to bring about a horrible disaster largely by accident. Most of the actual damage was done by the plagues; in many cases most of the natives were already dead decades before any European even saw the area in question.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 06:25am
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Stellar wrote:

Quote:
Why not just make huge slabs of armor that we can then incorporate in our own fighting vehicles?"

indowiwy stare at the General for a moment and then do a collective facepalm




Stellar wrote:
Because if , as you say the books suggests, you have to will it existence it's not easy to manage and the larger the area you have to cover with the stuff the massively more expensive it will be. Since there will still be relatively few 'tanks' on the battlefield and practically nothing stops the relatively numerous HV Missiles and plasma rounds ( mobility kills = death) they will cost perhaps fifty times as much for the very same armor protection of a human being ( so much more area to protect ).


So, "willing" a plate of material into existence is a lot more difficult than visualising a suit of armor atom-by- atom/molecule-by-molecule? OK...We are however assuming that what ever the suits are made of isn't available simply as a plate, with no visualisation construction needed. A tonne of steel is cheap, a tonne of parts manufactured out of steel is (more) expensive. It would be cheaper. The whole vehicle wouldn't have to be up-armoured, just (IMO) the crew compartment and other vulnerable bits, it doesn't have to be slathered in unobtanium. Relatively few tanks on the battlefield? The HVMs and plasmas aren't "numerous", shotguns and bola (?) blades are.

Stellar wrote:
Since tanks can't dodge or hide nearly as well as a human sized figure can ( presuming the same range of movement) it makes in at least my mind sense to have a platoon worth of targets with the firepower that a tank can wield distributed between them.


How big are these suits of armour? I'm guessing they increase the silhoute (sp) of a human sized figure significantly. HVMs, railguns...dodge? Er, right, of course.

Stellar wrote:
Frankly speaking the whole point of a tank is to create opportunities for other forces to exploit with the point of armoring them being to survive what they are mostly likely to engage; infantry and sundry supporting relatively light forces.


Err, main battle tank, ever heard of one? They have enough armour to survive engagements with AT weapons, of the vehicle mounted and handheld variety.

Stellar wrote:
Tanks have no classical role against the Posleen as they are all the same and the cost of attacking them anywhere is exactly the same with armor that will probably never be sufficient if they mass fire on you. Since the suits somehow wield weapons that is more than enough to mow down Posleen by the tens of thousands it makes sense to evade return fire by entrenchment ( in defense) or by movement ( in the attack) where as there are cheaper ways to defend than tanks and no good way to survive counter fire on the attack.


The Posleen aren't "all the same". Most of them aren't much more than cannon fodder! A minority are well armed though. If the shotgun armed Posleen mass fire at an MBT, they have a snowball's chance in hell of killing the crew or disabling the vehicle. Tanks can be entrenched, if you wish to do so. I don't see how fighting a trench war is the right thing to do against the Posleen, especially if you can maneuver better than they can. If there are cheaper ways than to defend than tanks, what are they?

Defending with tanks is still cheaper than defending with ACS.

Stellar wrote:
Quote:
None of which would have occured in a plausible environment. In my defense i didn't think up the posleen verse. :) As for plausible i suggest you read some military history and see how implausible a whole lot of that looks even in retrospect!


Oh, the irony. You just told MKSheppard, of all people, to go read some military history. :lol:

Stellar wrote:
In conclusion i have issues with the posleen verse but clearly not the same one's as yours and as far the the rest of the commentary do remember that i don't know anything so feel absolutely free to ignore me.


Out of curiosity, what are your criticisms of the Posleenverse?

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 10:21am
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[R_H] wrote:
So, "willing" a plate of material into existence is a lot more difficult than visualising a suit of armor atom-by- atom/molecule-by-molecule? OK...We are however assuming that what ever the suits are made of isn't available simply as a plate, with no visualisation construction needed. A tonne of steel is cheap, a tonne of parts manufactured out of steel is (more) expensive. It would be cheaper. The whole vehicle wouldn't have to be up-armoured, just (IMO) the crew compartment and other vulnerable bits, it doesn't have to be slathered in unobtanium. Relatively few tanks on the battlefield? The HVMs and plasmas aren't "numerous", shotguns and bola (?) blades are.


The Sohon mentats who construct the suits do it atom by atom. The material the suits are made of requires this and it as well is produced atom by atom. Building a plate of armor is no different, it as well needs to be "built" molecule by molecule, atom by atom by the Sohon Mentats of the Indowy who are rather rare. Essentially, you'll be producing some incredibly expensive armor plating for a vehicle, that has a larger target profile than a suit and is slower to boot. (70 kph for an M1A2, ACS can go 100+ IIRC).

Shotguns and boma blades are the cheapass crap any Oolt (Posleen Company) can afford. 1mm railguns and 3mm railguns come next. Any battalion sized Posleen force can be expected to hold numerous 1mm and 3mm railguns as well as HVM's and Plasma Cannons. A 3mm railgun can mission kill an M1A2 or a Bradley. Even a relatively poorly equipped Posleen Company still has it's God King with its associated heavy weapons and sensors. Tenar-mounted heavy weapons can defeat pretty much any modern AFV.

Quote:
How big are these suits of armour? I'm guessing they increase the silhoute (sp) of a human sized figure significantly. HVMs, railguns...dodge? Er, right, of course.


About 2 meters tall as far as I remember. They do increase the silhouette somewhat. However, ACS can engage without exposing themselves from cover as they can track and engage the enemy without uncovering more than their rifles. On the move, the ACS can move at 100+ kph with limited ability to "fly" using their inertial dampeners or alternatively cross long distances rapidly by bouncing and using their inertial dampeners.

Quote:
The Posleen aren't "all the same". Most of them aren't much more than cannon fodder! A minority are well armed though. If the shotgun armed Posleen mass fire at an MBT, they have a snowball's chance in hell of killing the crew or disabling the vehicle. Tanks can be entrenched, if you wish to do so. I don't see how fighting a trench war is the right thing to do against the Posleen, especially if you can maneuver better than they can. If there are cheaper ways than to defend than tanks, what are they?

Defending with tanks is still cheaper than defending with ACS.


True, they are cannon fodder. They are however cannon fodder of the "shoot back highly accurately with weapons, that can defeat practically any vehicle-mounted or personal armor we have" variety. They shoot back en-masse while being provided targets by their God Kings. Most Posleen Companies carry atleast some 1mm and 3mm railguns with excellent anti-vehicle properties. Maneuvering better than the posleen is questionable considering how they apparently had little trouble keeping pace with a cavalry unit using Humvees and Bradleys in Gust Front. Practically all Posleen weapons heavier than their shotguns can engage effectively within an Armored Cavalry Unit's engagement range while God King's utilize vastly superior sensors and weapons mounted on highly mobile platforms.


Stupid yes, but unfortunately this is how the author wanted to portray his universe.



"The ones they built at the height of nuclear weapons could knock the earth out of its orbit" - Physics expert Envy in reference to the hydrogen bombs built during the cold war.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 01:24pm
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Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
The Sohon mentats who construct the suits do it atom by atom. The material the suits are made of requires this and it as well is produced atom by atom. Building a plate of armor is no different, it as well needs to be "built" molecule by molecule, atom by atom by the Sohon Mentats of the Indowy who are rather rare. Essentially, you'll be producing some incredibly expensive armor plating for a vehicle, that has a larger target profile than a suit and is slower to boot. (70 kph for an M1A2, ACS can go 100+ IIRC).
So the exact formulation used is too expensive. Then use two grades down, which costs much much less and offers marginally inferior protection at the kind of thicknesses we're talking about.

Quote:
Shotguns and boma blades are the cheapass crap any Oolt (Posleen Company) can afford. 1mm railguns and 3mm railguns come next. Any battalion sized Posleen force can be expected to hold numerous 1mm and 3mm railguns as well as HVM's and Plasma Cannons. A 3mm railgun can mission kill an M1A2 or a Bradley. Even a relatively poorly equipped Posleen Company still has it's God King with its associated heavy weapons and sensors. Tenar-mounted heavy weapons can defeat pretty much any modern AFV.
We aren't talking about modern AFVs, we're talking about comprehensive upgrades to improve them. The Polseen still use open topped fighting vehicles and regularly fight each other over dwindling resources as they wind down their campaigns on planets. So vehicular combat is obviously not an outdated part of their combat philosophy. Despite all these abundant weapons that you claim can overpenetrate a entire company of Abrams lined up single file.

Quote:
About 2 meters tall as far as I remember. They do increase the silhouette somewhat. However, ACS can engage without exposing themselves from cover as they can track and engage the enemy without uncovering more than their rifles. On the move, the ACS can move at 100+ kph with limited ability to "fly" using their inertial dampeners or alternatively cross long distances rapidly by bouncing and using their inertial dampeners.
Rifles which shoot blazing silver lightning bolts, instantly revealing where you are to the aliens armed with the hypersonic railguns that will blow any cover to shrapenel, right? Oh, and you can fly in a suit, but not in an airplane or a helicopter, because a suit is not a valid target for the auto-weapons on a tenar because it's a ground unit.


Quote:
True, they are cannon fodder. They are however cannon fodder of the "shoot back highly accurately with weapons, that can defeat practically any vehicle-mounted or personal armor we have" variety.
That's why we're talking about armor upgrades you idiot. [/quote]They shoot back en-masse while being provided targets by their God Kings. Most Posleen Companies carry atleast some 1mm and 3mm railguns with excellent anti-vehicle properties.[/quote] A .50 cal machine gun has good antivehicular properties too.
Quote:
Maneuvering better than the posleen is questionable considering how they apparently had little trouble keeping pace with a cavalry unit using Humvees and Bradleys in Gust Front. Practically all Posleen weapons heavier than their shotguns can engage effectively within an Armored Cavalry Unit's engagement range while God King's utilize vastly superior sensors and weapons mounted on highly mobile platforms.


Stupid yes, but unfortunately this is how the author wanted to portray his universe.
They're made of FLESH. For pity's sake, lead them on a Keystone cop chase and they should start dropping dead from exhaustion after the first 100 miles or so. Oh, you say they don't have the weaknesses of our earth critters? Well then what kind of insane design compromises were made to keep them breathing? Because as far as I understand it, quadrupeds don't run at cheetah speeds for hundreds of miles. And if your weapons are of too short a range, then maybe you should consider an upgrade, mmm? Maybe something like an automortar, for BVR combat?



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 02:02pm
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Vehrec wrote:
So the exact formulation used is too expensive. Then use two grades down, which costs much much less and offers marginally inferior protection at the kind of thicknesses we're talking about.


*Sigh* The Indowy construct all advanced materials this way. Atom by atom, slow as shit. Ultimately some Abrams do end up being upgraded with Galactic materials and they are far more survivable against Posleen weapons. However HVM's still do kill even the upgraded MBT's and heavy weapons such as Plasma Cannons or Terawatt lasers can penetrate the side or rear armor.

Quote:
We aren't talking about modern AFVs, we're talking about comprehensive upgrades to improve them. The Polseen still use open topped fighting vehicles and regularly fight each other over dwindling resources as they wind down their campaigns on planets. So vehicular combat is obviously not an outdated part of their combat philosophy. Despite all these abundant weapons that you claim can overpenetrate a entire company of Abrams lined up single file.


Upgrade them with materials that are just as slow to produce as the suit materials. Only Posleen God Kings ride vehicles and they are more of a C3I platform than a fighting vehicle. Granted, a C3I vehicle with extensive combat capabilities but a command vehicle nonetheless. I'm not "claiming" anything, the penetration capabilities of Posleen railguns and their heavy weapons are directly stated in the books, multiple times in fact. Stop putting words to my mouth dickwad.

Quote:
Rifles which shoot blazing silver lightning bolts, instantly revealing where you are to the aliens armed with the hypersonic railguns that will blow any cover to shrapenel, right? Oh, and you can fly in a suit, but not in an airplane or a helicopter, because a suit is not a valid target for the auto-weapons on a tenar because it's a ground unit.


Is there an argument here? I dont disagree, it's stupid but it's not my story and I'm not the author.

Quote:
That's why we're talking about armor upgrades you idiot.


I'm still wondering what you're gonna use to upgrade the armor since the Galactic Federation has not by and large ever heard of something silly called "mass production". All their stuff is built atom by atom by Indowy craftsmen.

Quote:
A .50 cal machine gun has good antivehicular properties too.


Uh, yeah. How does this answer the point you quoted exactly? I'm talking about anti-vehicular firepower carried by the Posleen.

Quote:
They're made of FLESH. For pity's sake, lead them on a Keystone cop chase and they should start dropping dead from exhaustion after the first 100 miles or so. Oh, you say they don't have the weaknesses of our earth critters? Well then what kind of insane design compromises were made to keep them breathing? Because as far as I understand it, quadrupeds don't run at cheetah speeds for hundreds of miles. And if your weapons are of too short a range, then maybe you should consider an upgrade, mmm? Maybe something like an automortar, for BVR combat?


Assuming that the Posleen would get on with such a chase since they're primarily attracted by big shiny objects, city centrums etc. While Posleen normals are morons, God Kings are less so and wont go on chasing a worthless prey through half a country if there is a rich, nice looking industrial area nearby. Which there will be since the Posleen tend to target such areas in their initial landings. Their landing patterns cluster on important looking targets (to them).

The ACS was equipped with automortars, which were rather effective. Why such an automortar system wasn't deployed more widely I cannot say. I didn't write the books.



"The ones they built at the height of nuclear weapons could knock the earth out of its orbit" - Physics expert Envy in reference to the hydrogen bombs built during the cold war.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 02:41pm
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Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
The Sohon mentats who construct the suits do it atom by atom. The material the suits are made of requires this and it as well is produced atom by atom. Building a plate of armor is no different, it as well needs to be "built" molecule by molecule, atom by atom by the Sohon Mentats of the Indowy who are rather rare. Essentially, you'll be producing some incredibly expensive armor plating for a vehicle, that has a larger target profile than a suit and is slower to boot. (70 kph for an M1A2, ACS can go 100+ IIRC).


That's an insane method of production. Wouldn't a plate be less complicated, and therefore much easier to produce? Is there ever an explanation given (it's been about 5 years since I read the books) why they build from the atom up? What's the raw material like? Whatever it is, could it possibly be alloyed with more conventional metals or even sintered into a ceramic (hello composite armour)?

Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
Shotguns and boma blades are the cheapass crap any Oolt (Posleen Company) can afford. 1mm railguns and 3mm railguns come next. Any battalion sized Posleen force can be expected to hold numerous 1mm and 3mm railguns as well as HVM's and Plasma Cannons. A 3mm railgun can mission kill an M1A2 or a Bradley. Even a relatively poorly equipped Posleen Company still has it's God King with its associated heavy weapons and sensors. Tenar-mounted heavy weapons can defeat pretty much any modern AFV.


Numerous, how many? The Tenar could be taken out BVR by using some sort of a guided artillery muntion (like the the Strix for example).

Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
About 2 meters tall as far as I remember. They do increase the silhouette somewhat. However, ACS can engage without exposing themselves from cover as they can track and engage the enemy without uncovering more than their rifles. On the move, the ACS can move at 100+ kph with limited ability to "fly" using their inertial dampeners or alternatively cross long distances rapidly by bouncing and using their inertial dampeners.


HVMs sound like they turn what ever cover there is into rubble. A la Abrams killing Iraqi tanks through berms in the Gulf War.

Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
True, they are cannon fodder. They are however cannon fodder of the "shoot back highly accurately with weapons, that can defeat practically any vehicle-mounted or personal armor we have" variety. They shoot back en-masse while being provided targets by their God Kings. Most Posleen Companies carry atleast some 1mm and 3mm railguns with excellent anti-vehicle properties. Maneuvering better than the posleen is questionable considering how they apparently had little trouble keeping pace with a cavalry unit using Humvees and Bradleys in Gust Front. Practically all Posleen weapons heavier than their shotguns can engage effectively within an Armored Cavalry Unit's engagement range while God King's utilize vastly superior sensors and weapons mounted on highly mobile platforms.


OK.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 03:19pm
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[R_H] wrote:
That's an insane method of production. Wouldn't a plate be less complicated, and therefore much easier to produce? Is there ever an explanation given (it's been about 5 years since I read the books) why they build from the atom up? What's the raw material like? Whatever it is, could it possibly be alloyed with more conventional metals or even sintered into a ceramic (hello composite armour)?
They finally gave an explanation in one of the books that came out this year. What it comes down to is "soft science fiction," so if you're going to mock it, it's probably best to mock it for reasons other than simply existing in-setting:

The material they use to make ACS armor (which is capable of resisting nuclear fireballs from inside the fireball and other neat stuff like that) has a very freakish molecular structure, one that actually exceeds the theoretical limits of material strength for normal molecules. To produce it they have to do what amounts to quantum-mechanical manipulation of the individual atoms, putting them in an equilibrium state that can not be achieved by more natural processes like heating up an alloy until it melts and pouring it into a mold.

As best as I can determine, ACS armor is made from an exotic metamaterial. It's made of the same elements as everything else, but the configuration of those elements within the material is extremely unusual, and does not occur naturally even under extreme conditions (such as the inside of a blast furnace).

So the reason they have to use such an inefficient and labor-intensive process to assemble the armor is because they're creating something that can only exist as a product of extremely precise atomic manipulation... and the way they do such manipulation effectively requires a psychic (a high-level "Sohon" adept who can perform the manipulations) to sit there and oversee the process. It's exhausting and time-consuming for the psychic, too, and Sohon adepts are one of the rarest forms of skilled labor in Galactic civilization.

Given the details of the assembly process, creating it in the desired shape is trivial compared to creating it at all; the Sohon user determines the shape of the armor and produces it without need for further machining.

I do not for a moment maintain that this is scientifically likely, but it does at least explain the nature of the problem. Their manufacturing process ACS armor material takes man-hours of skilled labor, and the man-hour cost is a linear function of the volume of armor created. Making big slabs is not easier than making a larger number of little slabs of equal total mass, and not noticeably easier than making a larger number of curved plates of equal total mass.

Quote:
HVMs sound like they turn what ever cover there is into rubble. A la Abrams killing Iraqi tanks through berms in the Gulf War.
They do, but HVMs are only a small minority of the total Posleen weapon load-out, and are frequently wielded by infantry who don't have the kind of stabilization and sensor suite used by an Abrams. Thus, they don't have the ability to score that kind of kill from longer ranges than the ACS can target and take down HVM wielders, the way Abrams tanks did with respect to Iraqi T-72s.

So the cover still helps, by providing cover from "light" Posleen weapons and concealment from the heavier ones.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 03:55pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
They finally gave an explanation in one of the books that came out this year. What it comes down to is "soft science fiction," so if you're going to mock it, it's probably best to mock it for reasons other than simply existing in-setting:

The material they use to make ACS armor (which is capable of resisting nuclear fireballs from inside the fireball and other neat stuff like that) has a very freakish molecular structure, one that actually exceeds the theoretical limits of material strength for normal molecules. To produce it they have to do what amounts to quantum-mechanical manipulation of the individual atoms, putting them in an equilibrium state that can not be achieved by more natural processes like heating up an alloy until it melts and pouring it into a mold.

As best as I can determine, ACS armor is made from an exotic metamaterial. It's made of the same elements as everything else, but the configuration of those elements within the material is extremely unusual, and does not occur naturally even under extreme conditions (such as the inside of a blast furnace).

So the reason they have to use such an inefficient and labor-intensive process to assemble the armor is because they're creating something that can only exist as a product of extremely precise atomic manipulation... and the way they do such manipulation effectively requires a psychic (a high-level "Sohon" adept who can perform the manipulations) to sit there and oversee the process. It's exhausting and time-consuming for the psychic, too, and Sohon adepts are one of the rarest forms of skilled labor in Galactic civilization.

Given the details of the assembly process, creating it in the desired shape is trivial compared to creating it at all; the Sohon user determines the shape of the armor and produces it without need for further machining.

I do not for a moment maintain that this is scientifically likely, but it does at least explain the nature of the problem. Their manufacturing process ACS armor material takes man-hours of skilled labor, and the man-hour cost is a linear function of the volume of armor created. Making big slabs is not easier than making a larger number of little slabs of equal total mass, and not noticeably easier than making a larger number of curved plates of equal total mass.

Quote:
HVMs sound like they turn what ever cover there is into rubble. A la Abrams killing Iraqi tanks through berms in the Gulf War.
They do, but HVMs are only a small minority of the total Posleen weapon load-out, and are frequently wielded by infantry who don't have the kind of stabilization and sensor suite used by an Abrams. Thus, they don't have the ability to score that kind of kill from longer ranges than the ACS can target and take down HVM wielders, the way Abrams tanks did with respect to Iraqi T-72s.

So the cover still helps, by providing cover from "light" Posleen weapons and concealment from the heavier ones.


Interesting. Especially that cost is dependant on volume of armour assembled. Do you have any data on the Posleen railguns? Length/mass/density/material of the projectile, projectile velocity. Do the HVMs have a warhead, or do they just use kinetic energy to kill?

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 04:53pm
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Quote:
Do you have any data on the Posleen railguns? Length/mass/density/material of the projectile, projectile velocity.


They are supposed to be .1c but their behavior does not match up with that.

Quote:
Do the HVMs have a warhead, or do they just use kinetic energy to kill?


I think they just use kinetic energy- a warhead would be redundant.

Quote:
They finally gave an explanation in one of the books that came out this year. What it comes down to is "soft science fiction," so if you're going to mock it, it's probably best to mock it for reasons other than simply existing in-setting:


I could mock the Darhel for never figuring out how to replicate it- after all, if the Indowy are the only source of something they need it gives them power and the one thing the Darhel hate is someone else having power over them.

Quote:
On the move, the ACS can move at 100+ kph with limited ability to "fly" using their inertial dampeners or alternatively cross long distances rapidly by bouncing and using their inertial dampeners.


Hey, if you gave a tank an anti-matter power plant you could probably pull insane speeds too... Heck, they have anti-gravity so you could make hover tanks if your design team was feeling in the need to make something flashy.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 05:30pm
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[R_H] wrote:
That's an insane method of production. Wouldn't a plate be less complicated, and therefore much easier to produce? Is there ever an explanation given (it's been about 5 years since I read the books) why they build from the atom up? What's the raw material like? Whatever it is, could it possibly be alloyed with more conventional metals or even sintered into a ceramic (hello composite armour)


It is an insane production method. However it was explained largely by the author as the governing race of the Galactic Federation, the Darhel, wishing to keep all production as this kind of cottage industry to control all supply and demand via controlling all the debts within GalFed. Plate wouldn't actually be any easier, the Sohon Mentat would still have to imagine every individual atom into place, just into plate form. The complexity of producing the armor comes from its physical properties. Not from being shaped into a power armor. Apparently, the armor is some sort of uranium-silicon alloy.

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Numerous, how many? The Tenar could be taken out BVR by using some sort of a guided artillery muntion (like the the Strix for example).


Wouldn't work. Posleen point-defense detects and engages any rounds using active systems of any sort. For example, all missiles are pretty much dogmeat. Artillery rounds with cameras and transmitters mounted on them for reconnaissance get shot down as well. A Posleen Company is around 400 moronic Posleen normals and a God King with its tenar. The company can have anywhere from 0 to 400 heavy weapons depending on how much wealth the individual Posleen God King has. Each God King equips his company out of his own funds. Generally though, judging by the weight of railgun fire thrown at human forces in every engagement, 50 railguns of either 1mm or 3mm variety should be expected. Larger ones are naturally more expensive.

Quote:
HVMs sound like they turn what ever cover there is into rubble. A la Abrams killing Iraqi tanks through berms in the Gulf War.


Correct, a HVM is roughly a soda bottle sized projectile accelerated to some .3c unless my memory fails me. They can penetrate the armor on pretty much any ground vehicle or ACS. HVM's are relatively few on a Posleen Company though, more common on God King saucers.

Samuel wrote:
Hey, if you gave a tank an anti-matter power plant you could probably pull insane speeds too... Heck, they have anti-gravity so you could make hover tanks if your design team was feeling in the need to make something flashy.


AM powerplants aren't that common. ACS don't have them, they utilize some sort of battery system. A tank would face problems with drivetrain durability as well. The suits also expend all of their power in less than an hour if using their inertial dampeners to hover/fly. As a full-blown MBT weighs over ten times more than a suit, and power was always a problem with the ACS:



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-17 10:41pm
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Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
It is an insane production method. However it was explained largely by the author as the governing race of the Galactic Federation, the Darhel, wishing to keep all production as this kind of cottage industry to control all supply and demand via controlling all the debts within GalFed.
Except that makes no goddamn sense. You control supply and demand by centralizing the interstellar economy and making everyone dependent on your goods, which you produce using a minimal amount of labor so you pay the fewest Indowy possible while producing at the lowest price possible. If you feel like it, you then distribute stuff to the now extraneous Indowy as a show of generosity, and to crush any remaining industry under their control under your free stuff. You don't need them and you never did. If the Ewoks want to agitate for their independence let's see them do so when they've been effectively excised from the galactic economy.

You're also still ignoring the point about using a lower grade of armor that's easier to make in thick plates. Stop doing that.

Quote:
Wouldn't work. Posleen point-defense detects and engages any rounds using active systems of any sort. For example, all missiles are pretty much dogmeat. Artillery rounds with cameras and transmitters mounted on them for reconnaissance get shot down as well. A Posleen Company is around 400 moronic Posleen normals and a God King with its tenar. The company can have anywhere from 0 to 400 heavy weapons depending on how much wealth the individual Posleen God King has. Each God King equips his company out of his own funds. Generally though, judging by the weight of railgun fire thrown at human forces in every engagement, 50 railguns of either 1mm or 3mm variety should be expected. Larger ones are naturally more expensive.
the very concept of funds in this is laughable. And again you miss the key point that suits fly nonbalistic courses without getting shot out of the sky all the goddamn time. Every time they so much as move they should light up every gravitic anomaly sensor on all the Tenars in ten kilometers. Do you see my point, or will I have to repeat it again? A suit on one of these extended jumps is a powered object on a non-balistic course through the air. By definition, it's exactly what the Polseen are supposed to be shooting down left and right.


Samuel wrote:
AM powerplants aren't that common. ACS don't have them, they utilize some sort of battery system. A tank would face problems with drivetrain durability as well. The suits also expend all of their power in less than an hour if using their inertial dampeners to hover/fly. As a full-blown MBT weighs over ten times more than a suit, and power was always a problem with the ACS:
Because they were designed by the idiot brigade, like every other feature on them. Seriously, is this so hard to believe?



ETA:
Quote:
Correct, a HVM is roughly a soda bottle sized projectile accelerated to some .3c unless my memory fails me. They can penetrate the armor on pretty much any ground vehicle or ACS. HVM's are relatively few on a Posleen Company though, more common on God King saucers.
Wait, wait, wait.

.3 c. In an atmosphere. And it's the size of maybe a 2 liter bottle.

Forget the weapon. How do you keep the Polseen firing it from bursting into flame from the disintigration of the projectile the instant it hits AIR???!?



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 05:34am
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Vehrec wrote:
Except that makes no goddamn sense. You control supply and demand by centralizing the interstellar economy and making everyone dependent on your goods, which you produce using a minimal amount of labor so you pay the fewest Indowy possible while producing at the lowest price possible. If you feel like it, you then distribute stuff to the now extraneous Indowy as a show of generosity, and to crush any remaining industry under their control under your free stuff. You don't need them and you never did. If the Ewoks want to agitate for their independence let's see them do so when they've been effectively excised from the galactic economy.

You're also still ignoring the point about using a lower grade of armor that's easier to make in thick plates. Stop doing that.


The Darhel control the entire GalFed economy through their control of all the money in the Federation. They control all the debts Indowy workers have to take in order to purchase the materials they need to produce anything. I'm not saying it makes any goddamn sense. This is however the author's explanation for the Galactic economy. The Darhel don't need to show any generosity. The Indowy number in the trillions and are completely non-violent by and large. They wont fight even in self-defense. A rebellion is practically impossible so the Darhel can be as ruthless as they wish when it comes to matters of economy concerning the Indowy. The Galactic economy is far from free as it is.

Im not ignoring the point about lower grade armor, even that lower grade armor still needs to be produced the same way if you want GalTech armor. This makes production slow and the armor expensive. It wouldn't be as slow and expensive to produce as the ACS armor, but it would still be produced by what amounts to space-age cottage industry.

Quote:
the very concept of funds in this is laughable. And again you miss the key point that suits fly nonbalistic courses without getting shot out of the sky all the goddamn time. Every time they so much as move they should light up every gravitic anomaly sensor on all the Tenars in ten kilometers. Do you see my point, or will I have to repeat it again? A suit on one of these extended jumps is a powered object on a non-balistic course through the air. By definition, it's exactly what the Polseen are supposed to be shooting down left and right.


The Posleen base their entire warfare system on centrally distributing the spoils of war from every conquest. They use these funds to equip their troops. By and large every God King is responsible only for his own troops. The Banshee assault shuttles fielded by Earth were also so much dogmeat against the Posleen. These shuttles had stealth systems on par with the ACS as well as mobility far in excess of an F22. Suits never fly in the face of Posleen point-defense. Except in couple of very special cases, only once they are "flying" when actually attacking Posleen while utilizing their GalTech stealth and holographic camouflage systems. They still get shot down in large numbers. Flying suits mean dead suits. In the face of concentrated Posleen forces in close range, the suits usually move by running normally. They can attain speeds of around 100+ kph by running.

Samuel wrote:
Because they were designed by the idiot brigade, like every other feature on them. Seriously, is this so hard to believe?


The Darhel had a hand in all of Earth's defense preparations. I'd imagine that, if the military had been granted free rein to design the stuff, the results would have been vastly different. It should also be kept in mind that there was no time for the regular R&D and testing usually done with new equipment. The suits etc. were designed as fast as possible and pushed into production as fast as possible.

Quote:
Wait, wait, wait.

.3 c. In an atmosphere. And it's the size of maybe a 2 liter bottle.

Forget the weapon. How do you keep the Polseen firing it from bursting into flame from the disintigration of the projectile the instant it hits AIR???!?


0.5 ltr bottle might be closer to the truth. I'd recall the rounds weighing somewhere around 1 kg but I wont vouch for this. Have to check the books. How the fuck would I know how the Posleen deal with something as pesky as friction, I didn't write the books nor has Ringo to my knowledge explained the weapons all that much outside the books. So *shrug*



"The ones they built at the height of nuclear weapons could knock the earth out of its orbit" - Physics expert Envy in reference to the hydrogen bombs built during the cold war.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 05:53am
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As I recall, the ACS suits were designed to be 'battery only' rather than have their own internal power source was because they didn't want the suits to be deliberately drained by an enemy if/when captured. Mike O'Neil's custom-built suit of armor has its' own antimatter power-pack built in and can run for several years at full output without recharging.

Basically, I think it was a minor safety issue and a BIG cost issue for why they didn't get their own power-packs.



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 02:43pm
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[R_H] wrote:
Interesting. Especially that cost is dependant on volume of armour assembled. Do you have any data on the Posleen railguns? Length/mass/density/material of the projectile, projectile velocity. Do the HVMs have a warhead, or do they just use kinetic energy to kill?

Thanks.
As best as I can determine, the HVMs are pure kinetic-kill weapons; at their velocity they carry significantly more energy than their own weight in chemical explosives. For that matter, given the mass percentage of antimatter in the fullerened antimatter used in-setting, they might well carry more energy than their own weight in nuclear explosives. Can't prove that last bit, though.

I have no useful data on the Posleen rail guns and HVMs, at least not in numbers. I might be able to reverse-engineer some numbers, but it would take time and I'm not as good at that sort of thing as some of the other guys here.

Samuel wrote:
I could mock the Darhel for never figuring out how to replicate it- after all, if the Indowy are the only source of something they need it gives them power and the one thing the Darhel hate is someone else having power over them.
To be sure you could. However, the Darhel worked very hard to gain control over the Indowy, and over their Sohon adepts. And succeeded, to the point where an Indowy Sohon master will sit there and starve to death rather than challenge the Darhel order.

So while the Sohon users are a hypothetical threat to the Darhel, and a hypothetical source of power over them, the Darhel had the problem well under control until the first human adepts came on the scene, thirty to forty years after the Posleen war ended on Earth.
_______

Rightous Fist Of Heaven wrote:
Wouldn't work. Posleen point-defense detects and engages any rounds using active systems of any sort. For example, all missiles are pretty much dogmeat. Artillery rounds with cameras and transmitters mounted on them for reconnaissance get shot down as well.
You can build a camera-guided weapon that locks on to the shape of a target; I believe this is how most top-attack antitank missiles work, for instance. However, I'm not sure how practical this would be as an anti-tenar system.

Quote:
Correct, a HVM is roughly a soda bottle sized projectile accelerated to some .3c unless my memory fails me. They can penetrate the armor on pretty much any ground vehicle or ACS. HVM's are relatively few on a Posleen Company though, more common on God King saucers.
My impression was that they were smaller or slower than that. A projectile that size and velocity would be in the megaton range, unless I'm doing my calculations badly wrong.
______

Vehrec wrote:
Except that makes no goddamn sense. You control supply and demand by centralizing the interstellar economy and making everyone dependent on your goods, which you produce using a minimal amount of labor so you pay the fewest Indowy possible while producing at the lowest price possible. If you feel like it, you then distribute stuff to the now extraneous Indowy as a show of generosity, and to crush any remaining industry under their control under your free stuff. You don't need them and you never did. If the Ewoks want to agitate for their independence let's see them do so when they've been effectively excised from the galactic economy.
Hmm. That might work, but it has drawbacks:

-The Galactic economy isn't capitalism as we know it; if you really tried to excise 90% or so of the Indowy race from the economy entirely, they might just build their own economy and screw you over. For the Darhel, controlling the Indowy economy is merely a means to controlling the Indowy race, so having them try to escape your system en masse is not good.
-The Indowy breed very rapidly, so this would be an ongoing process, which increases the social strain of trying to keep it up. Each generation of Indowy would have far more productive potential than you need, so each generation would have to have a large fraction of its population weeded out to keep production down to levels you can control.

Quote:
You're also still ignoring the point about using a lower grade of armor that's easier to make in thick plates. Stop doing that.
I'm not sure the 'lesser' Galactic materials (the ones that do not require Sohon adept man-hours to produce) are strong enough to make much difference as vehicle armor, compared to Earthly materials such as steel and depleted uranium.

Quote:
the very concept of funds in this is laughable.
Perhaps. Think of "funds" as "prestige," awarded by the AIs that effectively coordinate the Posleen's logistics. Conquer a lot of stuff or capture things the logistics AI "Net" can use, and you are rewarded with access to more and better weaponry.

Quote:
And again you miss the key point that suits fly nonbalistic courses without getting shot out of the sky all the goddamn time. Every time they so much as move they should light up every gravitic anomaly sensor on all the Tenars in ten kilometers. Do you see my point, or will I have to repeat it again? A suit on one of these extended jumps is a powered object on a non-balistic course through the air. By definition, it's exactly what the Polseen are supposed to be shooting down left and right.
They do; when they pull that kind of shit in line of sight to a Posleen force armed with heavy weapons that can reliably penetrate the armor, they tend to die.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 07:19pm
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To be sure you could. However, the Darhel worked very hard to gain control over the Indowy, and over their Sohon adepts. And succeeded, to the point where an Indowy Sohon master will sit there and starve to death rather than challenge the Darhel order.


Power is not just obedience- power is the ability to simply replace them with machines. With that step you are no longer limited by the number of obedient servants- you can simply make your own.

Quote:
-The Galactic economy isn't capitalism as we know it; if you really tried to excise 90% or so of the Indowy race from the economy entirely, they might just build their own economy and screw you over.


Don't remove them- make them irrelevant. You can have a mechanized portion that produces the goods you need and a cottege industry to provide for the Indowy.

Quote:
-The Indowy breed very rapidly, so this would be an ongoing process, which increases the social strain of trying to keep it up. Each generation of Indowy would have far more productive potential than you need, so each generation would have to have a large fraction of its population weeded out to keep production down to levels you can control.


You still don't understand- the more productive they are the more the Darhel can skim off the top.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 08:07pm
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Samuel wrote:
Quote:
To be sure you could. However, the Darhel worked very hard to gain control over the Indowy, and over their Sohon adepts. And succeeded, to the point where an Indowy Sohon master will sit there and starve to death rather than challenge the Darhel order.
Power is not just obedience- power is the ability to simply replace them with machines. With that step you are no longer limited by the number of obedient servants- you can simply make your own.
Ah.

I don't think the Darhel had any success with that. By the time of the novels, they may have given up on it in disgust because they know it won't work. Certainly, Ringo never gave any reason to believe that in setting a machine can duplicate the feats of a Sohon user, any more than in Star Wars you can build a machine that uses Force powers to predict the future.

Alternatively, the Darhel are not the technological cutting edge of the Federation; that honor goes to the Tchpth. Who might have refused to play along with an attempt to render the Sohon mentats* obsolete. Darhel control over the Tchpth is a bit shakier than over the Indowy, to the point where the Tchpth might very well not comply with their wishes were it not for the fact that they don't really give a crap who "rules the galaxy;" they're too busy navel-gazing.

Quote:
Quote:
-The Galactic economy isn't capitalism as we know it; if you really tried to excise 90% or so of the Indowy race from the economy entirely, they might just build their own economy and screw you over.
Don't remove them- make them irrelevant. You can have a mechanized portion that produces the goods you need and a cottege industry to provide for the Indowy.
This would be a wonderful solution if the Darhel viewed the Indowy as a useful machine for producing desirable products. Clearly, replacing one machine with a better one is a good idea. But the Darhel aren't optimizing their social system for anything you or I would call efficiency. They're optimizing for control over intelligent beings, because (metaphorically speaking) they get off on having power over other people, and have been bioengineered to the point where they can't really do it by brute force.

So yes, the economy they set up is inefficient, but even in inefficient form it's good enough to supply them with everything they need to live like kings. Indowy cottage industry is productive enough to give them that much surplus, at any rate. And they don't really care about the rest, except insofar as it gives them the power to dictate terms to large numbers of Indowy (and, to a lesser extent, the Tchpth).

And yes, the system is very disaster-prone. Like many societies throughout history, the Darhel concentrated on short term optimization of what they desired without worrying too much about the long term consequences if something went badly wrong. Which it did, and it bit them on the ass. Badly.

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 08:34pm
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Quote:
Certainly, Ringo never gave any reason to believe that in setting a machine can duplicate the feats of a Sohon user, any more than in Star Wars you can build a machine that uses Force powers to predict the future.


You could just clone the parts of the Indowy's brain that do the magic and hook them up to machinary.

Quote:
Alternatively, the Darhel are not the technological cutting edge of the Federation;


I'm pretty sure when you have centuries cutting edge becomes a bit irrelevant. Or do the Darhel have no scientists at all?

Quote:
This would be a wonderful solution if the Darhel viewed the Indowy as a useful machine for producing desirable products. Clearly, replacing one machine with a better one is a good idea. But the Darhel aren't optimizing their social system for anything you or I would call efficiency. They're optimizing for control over intelligent beings, because (metaphorically speaking) they get off on having power over other people, and have been bioengineered to the point where they can't really do it by brute force.


Yeah, but financial control is weak. After all the Indowy are plotting to overthrow the Darhel so the system isn't strong enough because the Darhel can be replaced. What you want is one that gives you power over your subjects without giving them power over you like the current situation.

Quote:
So yes, the economy they set up is inefficient, but even in inefficient form it's good enough to supply them with everything they need to live like kings.


Except it doesn't give them absolute control over the other subject species and the Indowy have been shown to be plotting against them. And the Darhel know about that (Watch on the Rhine).

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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 09:48pm
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Actually, in a few of the periphery posleen-verse books there are aldenata-level devices which can manipulate sohon fields.



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-18 10:50pm
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CaptainChewbacca wrote:
Actually, in a few of the periphery posleen-verse books there are aldenata-level devices which can manipulate sohon fields.

Even without that, there's another economic model that is completely automated and operates without any input except raw materials. No mechanically inclined ewoks needed at all! And it already produces large monomolecules on a regular basis with little effort.

Can you guess what it is? I'll give you a hint: It's very common and the Darhel have access to thousands or millions of such units. It's a Polseen Assembler. Let me repeat that: The POLSEEN have a more efficent ecconomic model than the GalFed. Now that's just sad and pathetic.



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 Post subject: Re: From Posleen thread PostPosted: 2009-11-19 03:18am
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The Darhael are terrified of Posleen forges coming into common use. At the beginning of the Hedren War storyline (the new series) they uncover an enormous stash of the things. Basically, the Darhael need their current economic model to subjugate/dominate the Indowy. They can't wipe the bastards out, and they can't themselves manipulate sohon fields. The Indowy tolerate their current style of living because they are (for the most part) content, but if the Darhael were to start letting 90% of them die off they'd do something.

Basically, the Darhael KNOW they've got a shitty economic system, but they can't make a better one work within the way the Federation is set up.



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