100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

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Titan Uranus
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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-01-04 10:44am

Thanas wrote:
2018-01-04 07:57am
Titan Uranus wrote:
2018-01-03 07:34pm
Battles were and are not won by individual champions, they were and are won by economics, strategy, luck, morale, training, experience, terrain, weather, etc. But almost never individual champions.
It is not about individual champions. It is about creating/buffing units that were considered the best of their time and were already feared enough that most times the enemy did not want to face them. That is an invaluable tool.
It would be about individual champions. There are only 100 in all of Northern Italy! And they’re rained down randomly it’s just as likely to land in the forest, or amongst mountain crags as it is to land in a city or some open field. These are not large objects, so unless the force calls to passersby as though the sabers were the one ring of power, most of them are not going to be found. And you propose to equip whole units with these things? Why, when they have so many useful civilian applications? How, when even a small unit of ten is going to be a significant fraction of all the sabers found?

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-01-04 11:12am

Ghetto edit, I accidentally hit the submit button.
LaCroix wrote:
2018-01-04 08:58am
While I agree that they most likely will be used in construction (not only stone cutting, but also ore smellting, glass production, etc), the Lightsaber is the ultimate sapper tool.

It MELTS the ground. You don't have to carry dirt away, it just melts into a (relatively small puddle.) It even works as a tool to reinforce the tunnels, as the resulting surface will be watertight, which makes tunnelling so much easier. You sitll will need wooden supports, but the digging is going to be so much faster...

Also, it digs without sound. Tunnelling was usually detected by listenning to the more or less continuous impact of shovels and pickaxes, which made it easy to pinpoint and counterdig. This will be virtually silent, apart from the occasional support post errection.
I do agree that it’s a fantastic sieging tool, but I do not think that it could be used for tunneling. The fumes would drive out or kill the sappers if it does indeed vaporize the earth. While if it only cuts, then it’s not going to be useful enough to replace the shovels for loose soil. It would be great for busting up rocks, or hard soils, like clays. And remember, you can just take a gallery up to the walls and cut them away in a few minutes.


Also, I’m not sure if it would heat up Earthly materials. It heats up Star Wars materials, but it could be that the blade only does so because those materials provide more resistance than earthly ones. I don’t think there are any canon examples that I can recall of the sabers heating up any materials other than Star Wars metals. The only cuts on materials that I can think of that we can reasonably assume are similar to their earthly counterparts are against flesh, which did not heat up enough to change color, as I recall.

If there’s a counterexample, let me know, but I don’t think that the blades are actually hot unless the blade is cutting through something which is resisting. The fighters certainly don’t act like they are wielding weapons so hot that they will turn battlesteel red in seconds.

If I’m right about this, and the heat generated is based on resistance then it would explain why flesh gets hot enough to cauterize, but not glow. Which gives us something to base the effects on, I’m not sure how hot the dirt would need to be, nor what actually resists the saber, since it is primarily a magical weapon.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-01-04 11:19am

You don't get it - it's not about "only a few individuals have them", he talks about tactics. And in battle, individual fighters are mostly irrelevant.

Even if there are all 100 sabers in just one army, the other army would not mind. They'd look at the total army composition and make note to either fire cannons or a lot of arrows/crossbow bolts at them, or just run them over with a cavalry charge. Or a massed infantry charge with polearms and daggers... If all fails, you simply throw enough bodies at them, the problem can be solved.

If they are on a horse (means they are less effective, as they need to take care not to kill their mount), and charge, you attack the horse and see them killed by the dismount, or kill them while stunned from the fall.

If they are on foot, or do not charge, you simply charge them with impact cavalry. If the guy get's run over by a horse charge, it doesn't change anything that he might be able to chop off a bit of the lance before contact. The remaing wooden pole would still kill him ( he can only cut, but not deflect the lance away from him), and if that misses him (unlikely), he will get run over by a horse. And if he takes a swing at the horse, the half horse will still hit him with the same force.

Lightsabers do not mean you can't kill the wielders. Without jedi precog and the resulting ability to dodge/parry, it's just a very sharp sword. 100 individual champions are pretty much irrelevant if there are ten thousands of fighters involved.
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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-01-04 11:22am

Earth is mostly organic chemistry, trace metals and silicium, I can't see why it should not behave like a body/tree/metal object.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-01-04 03:46pm

LaCroix wrote:
2018-01-04 11:19am
You don't get it - it's not about "only a few individuals have them", he talks about tactics. And in battle, individual fighters are mostly irrelevant.

*snip*
I’m not quite sure who you are responding to here, I’ve been saying that the sabers are too valuable for their limited utility on the battlefield the whole time I’ve been in this thread. I’ve been talking about individual champions or very small groups because that’s the maximum that could be physically equipped with sabers. All I said was that they might have utility if hidden, used to open a pike square, and then hidden again, before the enemy can respond. Or that they would have utility if hidden under cover (with a gallery, or several, say), secreted to the walls of a fortification, used to cut open those walls, and then withdrawn under cover.
LaCroix wrote:
2018-01-04 11:22am
Earth is mostly organic chemistry, trace metals and silicium, I can't see why it should not behave like a body/tree/metal object.
My point was that flesh and Star Wars metals behave differently under the tender mercies of a lightsaber. The metals tend to heat up to red-yellow while flesh just gets cauterized. I think that earthly materials would behave more like the flesh than like the Star Wars metals.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Thanas » 2018-01-04 05:32pm

Titan Uranus wrote:
2018-01-04 10:44am
It would be about individual champions. There are only 100 in all of Northern Italy! And they’re rained down randomly it’s just as likely to land in the forest, or amongst mountain crags as it is to land in a city or some open field. These are not large objects, so unless the force calls to passersby as though the sabers were the one ring of power, most of them are not going to be found. And you propose to equip whole units with these things? Why, when they have so many useful civilian applications? How, when even a small unit of ten is going to be a significant fraction of all the sabers found?
1. I never said it would be an either/or. They can be used for one thing during peace and for another during war, like most tools.

2. Even if you have only 20 or so in a unit, that still is enough to give that unit (lets say a gewalthaufen) a massive advantage over the other haufen. They would function as better protected/equipped Rodoleros/Doppelsöldner, who usually decided battles at that time.
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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-01-04 09:39pm

Thanas wrote:
2018-01-04 05:32pm

1. I never said it would be an either/or. They can be used for one thing during peace and for another during war, like most tools.
I’m not arguing that the sabers would have no uses on the battlefield, I am arguing that they would be too valuable to risk in almost any situation. Both because of lost revenue and because I think they are going to be more valuable than all the wealth in gold, buildings, and capital in any given mid-sized non-Italian city.
2. Even if you have only 20 or so in a unit, that still is enough to give that unit (lets say a gewalthaufen) a massive advantage over the other haufen. They would function as better protected/equipped Rodoleros/Doppelsöldner, who usually decided battles at that time.
But unless your family has already united Northern Italy you are not likely to be able to get 20 sabers altogether. If there were a couple of hundred sabers, and they only rained down on city plazas, then I would agree with you that small units of sabermen would be commonly used in battle to corset conventional forces. Though I think that they would be used extremely conservatively.


Actually, a major advantage of the light saber in battle would be that it can be so easily concealed, as long as the blade is retracted. I’m imagining the sabermen keeping their sabers off and behind a shield during a charge until the last instant, chopping up the pikes/halberds of the opposing block and then either withdrawing or getting stuck in alongside the conventionally-armed Rodoleros of their unit.

I expect that the ease of concealment would aid in precipitating routs, the unexpected appearance of weapons that you cannot defend against would be rather demoralizing. And the hostile commander is going to have a hell of a time planning for them when they could appear in any unit and their wielders cannot be identified from a distance.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Stewart M » 2018-02-06 07:34pm

Titan Uranus wrote:
2018-01-04 09:39pm
I’m not arguing that the sabers would have no uses on the battlefield, I am arguing that they would be too valuable to risk in almost any situation. Both because of lost revenue and because I think they are going to be more valuable than all the wealth in gold, buildings, and capital in any given mid-sized non-Italian city.
Just for fun, let's assume lightsabers are hot (and yes, that would imply all sorts of things).

By one source, a lightsaber produces 28 kW of energy. Source. If the energy cell does last forever, and you leave it on all day, thats (28 kW) x (24 hours) = 672 kWh per day.

By another source, a ton of coal produces 6150 kWh of thermal energy. Source.

So a lightsaber can supplement about a tenth of a ton of coal each day, assuming some clever engineer can set up a plant to harness it.

...Which might be more than the Renaissance Italians mined? So, whatever that equals in charcoal or watermills. Or donkeys.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-02-07 04:18pm

Stewart M wrote:
2018-02-06 07:34pm
Titan Uranus wrote:
2018-01-04 09:39pm
I’m not arguing that the sabers would have no uses on the battlefield, I am arguing that they would be too valuable to risk in almost any situation. Both because of lost revenue and because I think they are going to be more valuable than all the wealth in gold, buildings, and capital in any given mid-sized non-Italian city.
Just for fun, let's assume lightsabers are hot (and yes, that would imply all sorts of things).

By one source, a lightsaber produces 28 kW of energy. Source. If the energy cell does last forever, and you leave it on all day, thats (28 kW) x (24 hours) = 672 kWh per day.

By another source, a ton of coal produces 6150 kWh of thermal energy. Source.

So a lightsaber can supplement about a tenth of a ton of coal each day, assuming some clever engineer can set up a plant to harness it.

...Which might be more than the Renaissance Italians mined? So, whatever that equals in charcoal or watermills. Or donkeys.
The power's not really useful unless you can harness it. It would also require a constant supply of new material. A steam turbine is the best method I can think of, and that's rather beyond the technical abilities of Renaissance Italy. And then you have to find a means by which to transfer that power to whatever tool you want to use it for.

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Re: 100 lightsabers in Renaissance Italy (RAR)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-08 10:45am

You could set up a boiler of some sort, stick a lightsaber through the top and fix it into position so when the boiler is at capacity the blade is entirely submerged, fill the boiler and turn the blade on. Give it however long it takes to heat the water to boiling, vent the steam somewhere, spin a turbine...

But that's assuming lightsabers heat water up to a significant degree. We saw them being used underwater in Clone Wars without any particular ill effects to anybody around them, well at least anybody not being brought into contact with the saber anyway.
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