The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-02-28 06:25pm

That's definitely interesting but sadly doesn't really fit with my in-story thinking for the Mercurys. Good find though!

On a random note, turns out a few people at work are reading this as well, including one of my Judges. That was a fun conversation this morning after I took some files upstairs:

"Did you have a good evening Phill?"
"Yes sir, met up with some friends to play board games and have a drink. You?"
"Oh excellent, some chap online posted the next chapter of a story I'm following. It's something you'd probably enjoy, called The Thirteenth Tribe. I'm only a few chapters in to the sequel so far."
"uh...I'm the chap that writes it Sir."
"Really? Well your writing is excellent, but please don't give me any spoilers."

Yeah...my life has a habit of getting very weird, very fast. One of my other colleagues was chatting to me about it on a smoke break, and said of the Purifying Flame: "It's a pity big warships don't have death certificates. That one's would read "Cause of death: brought a raygun to a nuke fight."

Why can't life be normal?
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-02-28 08:26pm

Because it isn't.

At least you have an audience outside of SDN. That, I think is a good thing.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2019-02-28 09:35pm

Wow, small world.

Weird, with a side of surreal to match?
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-01 05:41am

Surreal is an apt description of my life at present
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by DKeith2011 » 2019-03-27 11:48pm

*poke*

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-28 12:45pm

Yes I am still working on this, never fear! I have the next chapter about 60% done, should be up tomorrow.

How are the 3D models coming on?
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by DKeith2011 » 2019-03-28 05:18pm

The artist had an unexpected job change that caused a big delay, but still in the works.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-28 06:19pm

That's good to know, thanks.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-29 10:54am

We're back ladies and gents:

Storm Front
Generator Complex Defence Perimeter, Menachite Mountain Foothills, Reach


The generator complex on Reach was quite possibly one of the finest examples of a bunker system ever constructed. The cliffs at Dover, Cheyenne Mountain, Yamantau, the underground networks built in the early days of the Mars settlements, all paled in comparison. They stretched for dozens of miles underneath the Menachite Mountains and contained a staggering amount of infrastructure beyond the fusion generators. ONI’s Castle Base was here, as was a substantial portion of the groundside military manufacturing capacity on the planet. Laboratories, test ranges, gardens, parks, sleeping quarters, hospitals, all of it buried in a series of connecting caverns more than two miles below the surface of the mountains.

All of this combined to explain why the Covenant were deploying forces for a ground assault rather than simply blasting the facility from orbit – they didn’t have enough firepower to do it, even without accounting for the Terran theatre shield that now covered the mountains from aerial or orbital assault. It had a flaw though – because of the topography it couldn’t cover the entire perimeter; in seven locations the shield did not reach the ground, allowing gaps that the Covenant could use to penetrate deep into the defences.

Those locations were of course known to the UNSC and Terran defenders and were fortified heavily. They had been turned into utterly lethal killing grounds; covered with minefields, artillery, machine guns, tanks, snipers and mortars. A pair of UNSC Marine divisions defended each of the six vulnerable locations, while the two Terran divisions covered the seventh. Two more Corps-sized formations remained further back as a ready reserve and every available close air support craft on the planet was on standby to help smash any penetrating force.

The human forces had a lot of firepower, but none present were confident it would be enough. Ranged against them were the ground forces of twenty-four Covenant light carriers, plus twenty-one of the carriers themselves. That meant upwards of two hundred thousand Grunts alone, plus tens of thousands of Jackals, Elites and Hunter pairs - plus their supporting fighters, dropships and tanks.

At the fourth defence position, codenamed Vienna, was the 25th Marines, informally known among the Corps as the Battlehymn Division. They earned this moniker three centuries ago when a rather eccentric commanding general introduced a new tradition: whenever a new Regiment commander took over, he would chose a period of music he liked, and then every company under his command would choose a suitable song from that era and they would sing it while waiting for battle like they were now.

It had started as a harmless curiosity but over the centuries it had grown into an ironclad tradition of the unit. Even when they had suffered fifty percent casualties in the retreat from the Outer Colonies years before, the survivors had insisted the custom continue with the new recruits. With the current crop of unit commanders, and the novelty of working alongside people from a parallel Earth from centuries before, the taste in chosen songs veered further towards 19th and 20th century music than was normal. But those old war hymns added a great solemnity to the occasion. All along the lines voices were raised in song, the lyrics blurring into one another as an observer moved from company to company. The new recruits looked more uncertain and confused, but the older veterans spurred them on. This was how the 25th Marines fought.

From A Company on the left flank came “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the neighbouring unit sang “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” with equal vigour. “Men of Harlech” sounded loudly and clearly from the centre, its stirring strains eerily appropriate as it spoke of being surrounded and a war cry sounding off the hills. “Scotland the Brave” and “Glorious Land” came from the right flank, with many others scattered in between.

And then…

Then the Covenant finally began their push against position Vienna. Plasma mortars lobbed balls of fire at the half-mile-wide gap under the human shield, their lethal contents splashing over the ground, turning it into blackened obsidian – and clearing the first rank of mines as well. The mortars would be unable to clear the mines within the theatre shield but the Fieldmaster in command intended to minimise his losses in the opening stages, knowing how murderous the human defences would be further in. The Fleetmasters in orbit may have long underestimated human warships, but Covenant ground commanders had a very different view of the tenacious nature of humans – especially as the technology disparity was a lot less significant on the ground that it was in space.

On the Grunts came, a massive wave of them thousands strong. They passed under the edge of the shield even as Banshees and Seraphs floating above them lobbed plasma bolts and fuel rod cannon rounds over their heads to suppress the initial defence line. Some positions burned, some crumbled, but the heavy AA guns further back lined up their barrels and went to work. The Covenant fighters had to now focus on evading the streams of tracer fire rather than attacking.

One, then two and finally three Banshees were clipped by tracer fire and slammed into the ground, crushing or burning dozens of Grunts under them. This came right as the front rank were entering the inner minefields and dozens more dropped as the mines exploded under them. The losses were in one sense incredible and in another trivial.

The 25th Marines now opened up with their own automatic weapons. A hail of heavy armour-piercing bullets stormed down at the onrushing Grunts, dropping the first rank even as the second climbed over the fallen to continue the charge. The Marines quickly realised they had a problem on their hands – the fallen Grunts were soaking up the bullets and the mines and sparing the more valuable, and dangerous, targets further back. The sniper teams were in action as well, gunning for the Elites and Hunters. But the Elites were surrounded by teams of Jackals who used their arm shields as a pseudo-phalanx, and the Hunters had armour heavy enough to withstand the sniper rounds, so only a few kills were scored. The Marines were bleeding the enemy badly, but the enemy just kept coming.

More and more Banshees and Seraphs were slipping through the narrow shield gap, more than the AA batteries could keep up with, and the Battlehymn Division commander, who also commanded position Vienna as he was senior to the commander of the 17th Marines on his right flank, had the terrible feeling that the same situation was being repeated at the other six positions. He would need to call up the ready reserve and the CAS aircraft sooner than he had hoped.

The Covenant fighters that were not cut down by gunfire sped away, completely ignoring the troops on the ground. They were not there to attack the Marines but to find out just where the infernal shield was projected from, working on the assumption that such a device couldn’t be buried underground with the rest of the generators. They were unfortunately correct, but it would take precious minutes to find it.

Back at position Vienna, the Covenant advance had slowed as they entered the more broken ground that marked the outer defence lines. The front rank of Grunts each primed a plasma grenade but instead of hurling them forwards as the Marines in the front trenches expected, simply held on to them and jumped into the trenches in a suicide attack. The surprise of this move cost the Marines dearly, as more than a few men and women were too shocked to dive for cover before the grenades exploded. With the front lines filled with either dead or wounded Marines and those unharmed who had sought cover, the first of the Jackal and Elite teams took the opening and leaped into the defence positions, shields raised and energy swords primed in a splendidly anachronistic, if nevertheless effective method of clearing enemy positions. Worse still was the fate that befell the frontline of A Company on the left flank – instead of Jackals and Elites, they had a quartet of Hunter pairs drop on them, crushing several positions by sheer weight alone. They had their own heavy arm shields while their fuel rod cannons spewed lethal green fire over the positions.

The Marines on the ground were too wrapped up in their own engagement to think or care about what was going on in space, or even outside the shield. They were rudely shaken from that focus though when the sky beyond the translucent barrier flared white and a tremendous thunderclap was heard. The hovering light carriers were firing on the theatre shield with both plasma torpedoes and energy projectors. These were less effective when fired within an atmosphere but there were twenty-one of those monsters cutting loose with all they had. Even in the seconds between the flashes of impacts the sky above the shield was a roiling mess of fire and smoke, with only occasional glimpses of vast and imposing Covenant hulls in the distance.

The commander of the 25th Marines watched as the second and third of his initial defence lines collapsed and the Marines unfortunate enough to be assigned there desperately scrambled back to the next line. He turned his eyes away briefly as a platoon of Scorpion tanks fired a volley of canister rounds into the Covenant hordes to buy time for the lines to stabilise. This proved to be an opportune moment as his radio operator waved to get his attention – someone on the comm wanted to speak to him. General Sinclair picked up the comm set.

“This is Vienna-Six-Actual, send traffic.”

”This is Marine-Six-Actual, SITREP.” Sinclair stiffened at that. Marine Six meant the Commandant himself, General Benjamin Maxwell who had assumed overall command.

“They’re pushing us hard Sir. Three defence lines overrun and a lot of fighters have gotten past the AA batteries, I can only assume they’re going after the shield projector.” His tone clearly indicated how much of a disaster that would be.

”They are. The flyboys are keeping them at bay for now but that may not last. Positions Berlin, Moscow, Kiev and Kronstadt are holding for now, and the Terrans are doing splendidly over at position Lemuria. Probing attacks mostly. Looks like the main push is coming at you and Agincourt. Can you hold?”

Sinclair looked over the battlefield, the dead and the dying, both his and the enemy. The initial charge of Grunts had slowed but now the heavier elements were advancing into his defences. And at the edge of the theatre shield he could see the rounded masses of Wraith tanks and Ghost speeders beginning their careful entry. He considered his answer carefully.

“Not with what I’ve got here. Can you send us part of the ready-reserve?”

”Affirmative Vienna, the 7th is moving out now. They’ll be at your position in five mikes. Hold the line. Marine Six, out.”

Sinclair handed the comm set back to the operator and breathed a sigh of relief. Help was on the way, and in the Corps there was no finer help than the 7th Airborne Cavalry. He tapped his own headset for an open channel to his troops.

“Stand firm boys and girls, help is coming. The Seventh are rolling in hard so we only need to hold these alien bastards for a little longer. Show them the spirit of the Battlehymn Division, show them why they should never have come here. Let me hear you bastards sing!”

There was a moment’s pause and then the voice of the Sergeant-Major who ran the headquarters section, a true-born Welshman at heart came over the comm channel, the tone clear and strident, a call to arms.

”Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming!
Can’t you see their spear points gleaming?
And their warrior pennants streaming,
To this battlefield?”


Another moment of silence on the comm channel passed, punctuated only by the continuous yet distant roar of gunfire. Then a young Lieutenant in C Company, First Battalion, 2nd of the 25th took up the call, his own voice wavering very slightly not with fear but with pride at the situation.

”Men of Harlech stand ye steady!
It can not be ever said ye,
For the battle were not ready!
Welshmen will not yield!”


Sinclair smiled even as the Division Artillery officer added his own voice:

”From the hills rebounding,
Hear their war cry sounding!
Summon all at Cambria’s call,
The mighty force surrounding!”


General Sinclair took up the final chant, a solemn oath sworn with his men and women:

“Men of Harlech on to Glory,
This will ever be your story.
Keep these burning words before ye:
Welshmen never yield!”

The moment passed even as the frontline troops and the support gunners kept firing. The Covenant forces seemed to have halted in the face of nearly twenty thousand voices raised in song, both the Battlehymn troops and their fellows in the 17th as the moment swept over them. There was a brief, silent gap as the enemy troops stood in awe at the fighting spirit of these humans. Their awe was broken as bullets and shells continued to rain down upon them.

The Elites let out a mighty roar of their own in response and charged forwards again. The human line wavered and started to fray until another, separate roar was heard. The roar of engines and cannonfire, of rockets and missiles.

Over the hills behind the human position came a vast cloud of Pelicans, Hornets and Harriers, their engines straining to the limits, their autocannon and rocket pods spewing forth a lethal concoction of armour piercing bullets, airburst fragmentation warheads and high-explosive shells. A new sound came over the radio, thousands more voices joined together in a triumphant chorus. It was a different unit with their own traditions.

The Seventh Airborne Cavalry, known informally as the Winged Hussars, was riding in to the rescue as it had so many times before; on New Odessa, on Paris IV, on Jericho VII and Second Base and Harvest. A thousand battlefields over the last four hundred years; they had a tradition to maintain. And the song they sang was one first penned by a Swedish band in the early 21st century, long before Reach had even been explored never mind settled:

”And the Winged Hussars arrive!
Coming down the mountainside,
And the Winged Hussars arrive,
Coming down they turned the tide!”


==============

Sorry this one took so long everyone. Anyways, for those unfamiliar, "Glorious Land" and "Winged Hussars" are both songs by Sabaton that I would highly recommend.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-29 02:24pm

I knew Sabaton would figure in there somewhere. I was just expecting "The Lost Battalion" and "The Last Stand." Or, even "Rorke's Drift."

I see you went with the version of "Men of Harlech" from Zulu instead of the more traditional version. Zulu is also a guilty pleasure of mine.

(now, all that's needed is for the 2d Queensland Light Horse to charge the Covies on their Wallers with bayonets drawn. :D)

Well done, by the way.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-29 02:26pm

Well, I had the chance to write an actual Cavalry unit, charing down a mountainside, to rescue a besieged defensive position that I could call Vienna....

Damn thing wrote itself!
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-29 02:28pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-03-29 02:26pm
Well, I had the chance to write an actual Cavalry unit, charing down a mountainside, to rescue a besieged defensive position that I could call Vienna....

Damn thing wrote itself!
True.

And, the best fiction usually does write itself.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2019-03-30 12:42am

And you were worried about not being able to write a half-decent ground battle.

Or are you specifically worried about the small-unit stuff, not large-formation actions like the last bit?
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-30 12:46am

I realize you likely had the ill-fated 7th US Cavalry in mind, Phil, but there is/was a 7th Lusatian Naval Landing Division in the Polish Army(closest thing Poland had to marines). Just saying.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2019-03-30 07:39am

You had what, a full field army, deployed on the 'umie side of things? 12 UNSC divisions at 6 of the 7 shield gaps, 2 Terran divisions at gap 7, and what looks like 6 UNSC divisions as a ready reserve.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-30 01:34pm

Yeah, my aversion to ground combat is more for the small-scale unit firefights than army-level stuff. I just don't know it well enough to write it convincingly. Larger-scale things, well, I've read enough of Tom Clancy's books (currently re-reading Red Storm Rising) and other stuff online (the unmentionable Humans vs Hell and Heaven, for instance) to make it at least workable.

As for the 7th Cavalry, yeah I know the US unit was ill-fated, but I was also thinking of the British 7th Armoured, the famous "Desert Rats." And since the UNMC is an amalgam of a lot of ground forces, well why not.

Fnord: Yeah, it's 12 UNMC infantry/mechanised divisions and two Terran mechanised divisions holding the shield gaps, plus two Corps-formations in reserve. I figure the two reserve formations are two-division Air Cavalry units, as they are better suited to a strong counterattack than they would be to a static defence.

There will probably be another ground combat chapter up sometime next week, tying off that particular furball and one or two more space-combat chapters to round off the battle and Act Four. I'm going to start introducing some ideas that will have an influence on Book Three as my plans for that are firming up nicely and I need to start dangling some plot threads for it. Also I'm re-thinking my plans for Act Five, which was mostly going to be centered on the Covenant occupying Installation 05 and the Flood outbreak but that may well change. Things for the Covenant are falling apart a lot quicker than in the games so the timetable is accelerating. The good old Imperial Admiral and his Supreme Commanders may well find themselves having to launch their coup earlier than hoped. And Cole, Jellicoe and Harper will be taking full advantage.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-03-30 09:56pm

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Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders,
Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away
From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra."
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-31 12:48am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-03-30 01:34pm
Yeah, my aversion to ground combat is more for the small-scale unit firefights than army-level stuff. I just don't know it well enough to write it convincingly. Larger-scale things, well, I've read enough of Tom Clancy's books (currently re-reading Red Storm Rising) and other stuff online (the unmentionable Humans vs Hell and Heaven, for instance) to make it at least workable.
Go on You Tube. There are episodes of two excellent war series on the platform which are centered on small-unit combat: Combat! and Tour Of Duty. Also Generation Kill, which is more contemporary than the first two(set in WWII and Vietnam respectively), though small-unit combat has remained essentially unchanged, save for the tech.

Also good references are the movies Cross Of Iron, Full Metal Jacket, and Heartbreak Ridge, especially the Grenada scenes. The latter deals with a MARSOC/Force Recon team, but they do engage in a conventional firefight with Cuban forces toward the end of the movie.
As for the 7th Cavalry, yeah I know the US unit was ill-fated, but I was also thinking of the British 7th Armoured, the famous "Desert Rats." And since the UNMC is an amalgam of a lot of ground forces, well why not.
I'm embarassed to admit I'd forgotten about the 7th Armoured.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by fnord » 2019-03-31 08:15am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-03-30 01:34pm
...

There will probably be another ground combat chapter up sometime next week, tying off that particular furball and one or two more space-combat chapters to round off the battle and Act Four. I'm going to start introducing some ideas that will have an influence on Book Three as my plans for that are firming up nicely and I need to start dangling some plot threads for it. Also I'm re-thinking my plans for Act Five, which was mostly going to be centered on the Covenant occupying Installation 05 and the Flood outbreak but that may well change. Things for the Covenant are falling apart a lot quicker than in the games so the timetable is accelerating. The good old Imperial Admiral and his Supreme Commanders may well find themselves having to launch their coup earlier than hoped. And Cole, Jellicoe and Harper will be taking full advantage.
So Act Five will be a massive Gambit Pileup? Wattinree et al caught on the hop, da 'Umies putting the boot in, some other Covvie races deciding "bugger this for a lark", etc?

Oooh... we finally get to see the (in-story) Greater Scope Villain! (Assuming you don't have this crazy ride mutate under you to a pentology or something).

Installation 05's monitor mutinying and/or (in)advertently releasing the Flood would certainly keep the pot stirred.

Maybe open Book Three with (the aftermath of) deliberate superweapon use - "You Made Us Come Over There".

... come to think of it, what happens if someone else cooks off a metric weapon, deliberately?

Not necessarily a "go BOOM here to kill everybody" false-vacuum collapse that we saw in Book 1, but something a little more creative. Couple of ideas that come to mind (swiped from Orion's Arm) are shatterbombs (where the spacetime metric in a given volume is altered to very temporarily increase inter-atomic separations by a micrometre or so, to the detriment of pre-detonation atomic organisation - "Battlewagon came, battlewagon saw, no more battlewagon") and pp-waves aka thunderbolts (causing significant damage to spacetime itself along its path, iiuc).
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-31 12:25pm

Or an Imperial battleship halting the flow of time.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-31 01:36pm

Yeah, Greater Scope Villian will be making an appearance - though Tev at least has already sussed his name, if not his history. Janus/Prometheus may also start acting in small ways.

Act 5 is going to be fun; Gambit Pileup is a good description. Installation 05's Monitor (2401 Penitent Tangent if memory serves) has, again IIRC, already started working with the Flood/Gravemind by this point in the canon timeline and none of my additions will have affected that. So the nasty zombie bugs will be on the loose.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-31 02:43pm

The GSV is Finn McCumhail?!
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-03-31 03:50pm

So far looks like ground combat is fairly restrained given stakes. I would have expected tactical nukes or their equivalents used against massed Covenant forces, maybe even a BC 304 stationed under the shield to give ground support.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-03-31 05:08pm

The UNSC doesn't use tac-nukes on the ground on Reach in canon as the EMP would fuck up the orbital guns (somehow). Plus I don't think they want to set off nukes on Reach if they can possibly help it. As for the 304 under the shield, yeah that'd be a good idea...but I can't let the humans get it all right can i?
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-04-01 06:33am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-03-31 05:08pm
The UNSC doesn't use tac-nukes on the ground on Reach in canon as the EMP would fuck up the orbital guns (somehow). Plus I don't think they want to set off nukes on Reach if they can possibly help it. As for the 304 under the shield, yeah that'd be a good idea...but I can't let the humans get it all right can i?
Sure you can. :D
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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