Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Postby Singular Quartet » 2008-02-06 11:51pm

phongn wrote:
Singular Quartet wrote:I thought he went with 6666 standard legions, with Satan's personel 999 legions as a seperate force?

"So, the Armies of Hell have a core elite force of 999 legions with the balance of the 6666 being a sort of local militia type of force. That works really well."

That indicates that the 999 are part of the 6666.


Looking at that quote, I read it the other way around. 999 are the heavily trained Praetorian guard, while the 6666 are the drafted armies (and thereby a seperate force).

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Postby phongn » 2008-02-07 12:17am

Singular Quartet wrote:Looking at that quote, I read it the other way around. 999 are the heavily trained Praetorian guard, while the 6666 are the drafted armies (and thereby a separate force).

Yes, but he wrote "balance of the 6666," not "other 6666" or "remaining 6666" legions. Totally different meaning, there.
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Postby Singular Quartet » 2008-02-07 12:24am

phongn wrote:
Singular Quartet wrote:Looking at that quote, I read it the other way around. 999 are the heavily trained Praetorian guard, while the 6666 are the drafted armies (and thereby a separate force).

Yes, but he wrote "balance of the 6666," not "other 6666" or "remaining 6666" legions. Totally different meaning, there.


Fine, be the intelligent one who can understand the meaning of strange meanings of meanings... and stuff.

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Postby Darth Ruinus » 2008-02-07 12:41am

Awesome.
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Postby Dargos » 2008-02-07 04:08am

Great story, truly a fun read. But I do have a question? The Allied Human forces are going to be burning through a huge amount of conventional ammunition. Is there enough ordinance on hand in theater to hold back this hellish tidal wave of demon flesh until the logistics are worked out? Current stocks in theater can't be too high, seeing as the US and British forces in the Middle East were deployed originally for anti insurgent operations instead of Total War. Won't there be a logistical problem of getting enough high explosive ordinance into the area of operations to in a timely manner hold the line?

Of course I could just be blowing hot air out of my ass, but I would like to see how this problem (at least in my mind) will be solved.
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Postby Starglider » 2008-02-07 04:23am

Stuart Mackey wrote:Nice. I note the effectiveness of the razor wire..which means edged weapons are effective as well. This gives a nice baseline for the robustness of the demons skin and anatomy.


This isn't incompatible with being immune to swords. The razor wire may be somewhat sharper and harder than an early iron age sword, but the primary difference is that the demon's own strength is doing the cutting when they thrash around in the stuff. Without that kind of strength behind it a normal blade may not have enough penetration to matter.

Dargos wrote: Is there enough ordinance on hand in theater to hold back this hellish tidal wave of demon flesh until the logistics are worked out? Current stocks in theater can't be too high, seeing as the US and British forces in the Middle East were deployed originally for anti insurgent operations instead of Total War.


Based on TBO I imagine there is going to be ample discussion of the logistical situation after the battle. The contrast in fighting styles will probably be underlined by the humans doing a detailed post-battle analysis to optimise their tactics, while Satan rages and fumes about Abigor's incompetence and/or an imagined massive network of traitors.
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Postby Stuart Mackey » 2008-02-07 05:05am

Starglider wrote:
Stuart Mackey wrote:Nice. I note the effectiveness of the razor wire..which means edged weapons are effective as well. This gives a nice baseline for the robustness of the demons skin and anatomy.


This isn't incompatible with being immune to swords. The razor wire may be somewhat sharper and harder than an early iron age sword, but the primary difference is that the demon's own strength is doing the cutting when they thrash around in the stuff. Without that kind of strength behind it a normal blade may not have enough penetration to matter.



Ye jest? do you know what a sword is capable of, what it will cut/thrust through when used correctly? If a demon cut itself to the bone just trying to free itself from razor wire a properly constructed sword will cut it a lot worse due to its momentum, velocity and geometry. To be resistant to sword blows indicates its skin is as hard as steel or bronze armour
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Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2008-02-07 05:19am

Hrm. This makes me wonder whether or not the dragons of European lore were rogue Harpies (wings, fire-breathing) who decided to start hoarding gold and raping human women on Earth.

Other than that, HOLY SHIT AWESOME! I can't wait for the combined militaries to make hard contact with whatever's left of the charging demons. Abrams and Challengers spewing their machineguns and co-axial guns as demons charge all around them! Soldiers fighting tooth and nail and bullet with utter monstrosities!
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Postby Starglider » 2008-02-07 09:00am

Stuart Mackey wrote:
Starglider wrote:This isn't incompatible with being immune to swords. The razor wire may be somewhat sharper and harder than an early iron age sword, but the primary difference is that the demon's own strength is doing the cutting when they thrash around in the stuff. Without that kind of strength behind it a normal blade may not have enough penetration to matter.

Ye jest? do you know what a sword is capable of, what it will cut/thrust through when used correctly?


I am not particularly familiar with swords. However I have plenty of experience using axes, bowsaws, chainsaws and various similar tools and that's where I'm drawing an analogy from.

If a demon cut itself to the bone just trying to free itself from razor wire a properly constructed sword will cut it a lot worse due to its momentum, velocity and geometry.


Razor wire isn't a 'blow'. It has zero 'momentum and velocity'. Razor wire inflicts damage (on tough targets like these) with a sawing action. Imagine hitting a tree with a sharp axe. You'll make a cut an inch or two deep but that's it. It takes many blows to the exact same spot to cut through the trunk and bring down the tree. Swinging wildly at different spots will achieve nothing. A bowsaw will bring down a tree faster and easier than an axe (at least, if you tie it off on one side with a rope to take the vertical pressure off the blade) because it applies near-constant slicing force to the exact same cut. A chainsaw will do it even faster because it has more power and no dead time to reverse the stroke.

Hitting a demon with a sword is equivalent to hitting a tree with an axe. Each blow inflicts a little damage, but you'd have to keep hitting the same spot to penetrate to the vitals and that's not going to happen in melee combat (both because of the difficulty of hitting an exact spot and beause the demon is going to kill you real quick). Having the demon struggle in razor wire is the equivalent of using a chainsaw. You're using the demon's superhuman strength against it, and the razor wire will bite in, constrict and chew steadily through the skin until it hits something vital. Momentum isn't relevant and impact resistance don't help.
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Postby Stuart Mackey » 2008-02-07 10:16am

Starglider wrote:
Stuart Mackey wrote:
Starglider wrote:This isn't incompatible with being immune to swords. The razor wire may be somewhat sharper and harder than an early iron age sword, but the primary difference is that the demon's own strength is doing the cutting when they thrash around in the stuff. Without that kind of strength behind it a normal blade may not have enough penetration to matter.

Ye jest? do you know what a sword is capable of, what it will cut/thrust through when used correctly?


I am not particularly familiar with swords. However I have plenty of experience using axes, bowsaws, chainsaws and various similar tools and that's where I'm drawing an analogy from.


Not quite the same thing.

If a demon cut itself to the bone just trying to free itself from razor wire a properly constructed sword will cut it a lot worse due to its momentum, velocity and geometry.

Razor wire isn't a 'blow'. It has zero 'momentum and velocity'. Razor wire inflicts damage (on tough targets like these) with a sawing action. snip.


A sword acts as a shear or slice.
So you are saying that razor wire can cut through something that has the resistance of steel? swords, by and large, cannot accomplish this, but razor wire can with less momentum and less velocity? can you show how this works for me, because I can assure you if wire can entangle a demon and cut to the bone then a sword will remove a limb.

Perhaps the author refers to very early bronze weapons because if demon physiology and build is tough enough to resist swords as does steel, then standard infantry weapons will have some difficulty, I think.
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Postby Surlethe » 2008-02-07 10:23am

What's the difference in surface area between a sword and razor wire? If razor wire is thinner, then it will have correspondingly larger pressure and thus be better at penetrating. Moreover, razor wire is essentially fixed; this allows for far more effective use of the baldricks' momentum and strength against them. Perhaps if a sword were fixed and a baldrick just ran into it, it would hurt it, but when a sword is swung by a human, you're limited in your ability to penetrate by the human's arm strength.
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Postby Jawawithagun » 2008-02-07 11:47am

Illuminatus Primus wrote:Given the sheer numbers, I think the U.S. et al is going to have to swap out conventional tactics and armament for nuclear devices and massive retaliation. I relish this along with Shep.


I dunno, just picketing the portal with artillery and teaching them what we learned from WWI can easily chew up even these massive numbers, to the steady 24/7 drumbeat of the howitzers.
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Postby Starglider » 2008-02-07 11:52am

Stuart Mackey wrote:A sword acts as a shear or slice.


All mecahnical cutting implements work by applying a lot of pressure to a very small area, forcing the material you're cutting through apart by overcoming its sheer strength and any friction on the blade. The depth of the cut is dependent on the pressure applied and the length of time it is applied for.

So you are saying that razor wire can cut through something that has the resistance of steel?


'Resistance' is not a physical term. Pressure and sheer strength are. I'm not a mechanical engineer but it's still clear to me that you are not approaching this the right way.

swords, by and large, cannot accomplish this, but razor wire can with less momentum and less velocity?


I will say it again because apparently it didn't sink in; razor wire has (effectively) no momentum or velocity. These things aren't automatically relevant; they're onyl relevant to melee weapons because that's how melee weapons use stored energy to do a lot of damage in one hit. A sword applies pressure due to the force required to deccelerate the blade to a stop; the kinetic energy is converted into mechanical work done applying force over the depth of the cut. But once it is at rest, all the energy is gone and no more work is done. This typically takes a small fraction of a second.

Razor wire applies much less pressure than a sword, but it applies it for a much longer period; from tens of seconds to many minutes (assuming a struggling victim). It cuts at a much slower rate than a sword stroke, but it has hundreds to thousands of times longer to act, so the eventual damage can much greater. This is assuming that the pressure exerted is enough to overcome the sheer strength of the material at all.

can you show how this works for me, because I can assure you if wire can entangle a demon and cut to the bone then a sword will remove a limb.


In this case the evidence is that humans with early iron age swords can't do significant damage to demons while razor wire with demons thrashing about in it can. A human struggling in razor wire causes each strand to act like a bowsaw, almost certainly not enough to penetrate demon skin. However a demon's superhuman strength causes each strand to act like a chainsaw, which apparently (and unsurprisingly) is enough to penetrate and (given several minutes) chew deep into the demon's innards. Similarly I would guess that a sword with human strength behind it creates a trivially small wound, while a sword with demon strength behind it would be enough to disebowel a demon; unsurprising as you'd expect the weapons the demons carry to be useful against each other.

Perhaps the author refers to very early bronze weapons because if demon physiology and build is tough enough to resist swords as does steel, then standard infantry weapons will have some difficulty, I think.


No, I imagine he just has more experience with bullets and razor wire than you.
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Postby Stuart » 2008-02-07 12:19pm

Surlethe wrote:What's the difference in surface area between a sword and razor wire? If razor wire is thinner, then it will have correspondingly larger pressure and thus be better at penetrating. Moreover, razor wire is essentially fixed; this allows for far more effective use of the baldricks' momentum and strength against them. Perhaps if a sword were fixed and a baldrick just ran into it, it would hurt it, but when a sword is swung by a human, you're limited in your ability to penetrate by the human's arm strength.


Razor wire is made of high-grade steel and has an egde (like its name suggests) as sharp as a razor. If you pick some up clumsily and it slides in your hand it really will cut off your fingers. However, it gets its lethality from the fact its victims get entagled in it. As they struggle to get free, the coils tighten around them and literally slice them apart. Razor wire is a killer. If somebody gets tangled in it, about the only thing the victim can do is to stay absolutely still and wait to be cut out. Getting tangled in old-fashioned barbed wire isn't a picnic either. Most people know barbed wire only from fences where its held taught. If its in loose coils and the victim gets tangled in it, getting out is almost impossible - as soldiers in WW1 found out.

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The key thing to keep remembering is that the Hellish Army is essentially a bronze age army. They think in bronze age terms and they have the sort of weaponry that a person from the bronze age would regard as being incredibly effective. We're seeing just how effective it is now.

Their skins are pretty much proof against bronze age weaponry -ie bronze swords and spears.

A word on powers and weaponry. The various forms of baldricks have weapons that derive from their biology. They can generate fire (hydrogen ignited by biological means), they can generate electrical phenomena because they have an internal organ that develops electrical charges in much the same way as an electrical eel. So, you can expect to see weapons that exploit that. They have the entanglement capability (also linked to their electrostatic charge generator) so they can create illusions but only to people who are unprotected from such charges. They can create portals between their dimension and ours and that gives them some options. Nothing get's pulled out of a hat. The Greater Demons don't have new powers, they just have much more advanced versions of the ones we're seeing already.

Order of battle in Hell. Total of 6,666 legions of which 999 (997 now :) ) are a sort of rapid deployment force, always kept under arms and available for instant deployment. That force has an operational strength (prior to the fighting starting) of 7,325,270 - which is roughly equivalent to the peak strength of the Russian Army in WW2. Of these troops, 440,000 are with Abigor. So far his total casualties are in the region of 15,500 dead.

The remainder of the legions of Hell consist of a sort of militia. This has 5,658 legions (41,487,850 baldricks) but they're ill trained and mostly do other things (like guard hell itself and its prisoners). it'll take time to mobilize them. The other 9 Legions (66,666 Greater Demons) are Satans personal bodyguard and these are not nice people. The Heralds were one of those legions although their capabilities were different from the other eight.

On logistics. Munitions expenditure is a real problem. At the moment there's plenty of goodies in store but it takes time to ramp up production - hence the effort to comb the arsenals and get stored equipment back into use. The Russians and Chinese are the big factors here, they have huge stockpiles of stuff (the Russians still have T-34/85s and captured German 88mms in store) while the Chinese have immense mass production capability for older patterns of munitions (they make mortar rounds - which are very low-tech - on a village home-industry basis). There are operational implications to all of that. This is what's on General Petraeus's mind all the time; he's running against the clock. He's a very bright man indeed, probably one of the sharpest intellects the Army has produced in decades, and a skilled operational commander. I've been to some of his lectures and he's impressive. Also, like all professionals, he has the logistic support of his army in mind at all times. Hence the comments about roads. Petraeus knows that any human general will look at the map of Iraq and knw exactly where the army will make its stand because its dictated by the road network which allows the big Oshkosh eight-wheelers to deliver food, ammunition and fuel to the troops. JHe can see the Hellish Generals don't realize that and that tells him they don't understand what they are fighting. The fact they don't use the road network themselves tells him volumes about their army.

Once again, we have the humans studying their enemy, using reason and logic to work out who and what they are and deduce what their moves will be while the baldricks rely on faith and tradition, assuming that they will win because it must be so and always has been so in the past.
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Postby John Chris » 2008-02-07 12:31pm

You know, I would like to see what Heaven thinks of all this. Jesus Christ can't be happy that his sacrifice is ultimately in vain.

I have the ultimate question here: Is God testing Humanity to see if it is truly worthy of taking His place (and getting rid of his eternal foe's forces at the same time to kill two birds with one stone) or is he really just a douche? I can understand why the latter is in the minds of many a human (especially with the Message), but can't the former apply as well? Maybe God wants to hand over the reins of power to us because he intends to retire and move to Florida and is doing it in a tough love way. Kinda like how bird parents kick their chicks out of the nest when they're ready.

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Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2008-02-07 12:33pm

The bit about organically-derived powers is interesting. I wonder if electircally-inclined baldricks can project 'lightning' through their weapons. That'd certainly scare the breechcloth off a bronze-age farmer, and maybe even hole an M1A1.
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Postby The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-02-07 12:40pm

The only kind of Judeo-Christian variant which could survive The Message is Gnosticism, because it happens to be absolutely correct about the Old Testament God. No wonder Christianity was so "motivated" to exterminate it here.
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Postby Starglider » 2008-02-07 12:40pm

John Chris wrote:I have the ultimate question here: Is God testing Humanity to see if it is truly worthy of taking His place?


:lol:

Abigor already remarked on your attitude;

Stuart wrote:Ravaging the area the humans called “The Holy Land” would be satisfying and it would give Satan an opportunity to goad Yahweh over the fate of his “Chosen People”. That made Abigor grin, how could the humans have believed Yahweh for so long? Accepting every bit of good fortune that came there way as one of his gifts, dismissing every disaster as a test or trial. Abigor couldn’t help but think that humans must be terminally deluded. Perhaps that was why they were resisting now? They were hoping their Yahweh would change his mind and come to aid them? They were in for a disappointment if they were, it simply wasn’t happening.
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Postby That NOS Guy » 2008-02-07 01:21pm

Stuart wrote:The Russians and Chinese are the big factors here, they have huge stockpiles of stuff (the Russians still have T-34/85s and captured German 88mms in store)


Do they even have ammunition for them? Don't tell me they're keeping 60 year old shells too!

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Postby Junghalli » 2008-02-07 03:53pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:The only kind of Judeo-Christian variant which could survive The Message is Gnosticism, because it happens to be absolutely correct about the Old Testament God. No wonder Christianity was so "motivated" to exterminate it here.

If you think what's happened so far would kill the Abrahamic religions you greatly underestimate human powers of rationalization and creative interpretation of the evidence.

"Obviously, this must be some kind of test!"

Some are going to go with John Chris's idea: this is a sort of "trial by fire" God puts humanity through when He thinks we're ready to stand on our own. Others are going to say God is testing us to see if we keep our faith even when He seems to have abandoned us, like what He did to Job but on a much grander scale. This sort of thing is easily spun.

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Postby Junghalli » 2008-02-07 03:57pm

Ghetto edit: and captured demons contradicting these statements wouldn't automatically discredit them either. Satan is supposed to be the Lord of LIES after all, it would make perfect sense that they'd lie to us to get us to abandon God. Remember we're talking about the most deeply held beliefs of people: they will grasp any straw that they can use to hang onto them.

That could change, but only if we bust into Heaven.

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Postby Darth Raptor » 2008-02-07 04:24pm

My understanding of The Message (finally having read the SLAM thread) is that it's much more immutable than all that. Anyone who believed that strongly probably isn't alive anymore.

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Postby Stuart » 2008-02-07 05:20pm

That NOS Guy wrote: Do they even have ammunition for them? Don't tell me they're keeping 60 year old shells too!


Oh yes - remember there's nothing in a shell to go wrong. Remove the explosive and fuse and it stores like anything else. To recommission it, just put in a new explosive charge and screw a new fuse into the nose. Same with bombs; there's no reason (other than drag) why old bombs from WW2 can't be used.

Just to add to the fun, a lot of artillery ammunition is still in production - for example ammunition for French m1897 75s is still being made today - 110 years after the gun was first introduced. 88mm ammunition was being made in Serbia until quite recently -it may still be in production but I can't confirm that. More pedestrian stuff like Russian 85s, British 25 pounder and American 105 is being made literally all over the place.
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-02-07 06:19pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2008-02-07 05:35pm

How many modern guns will TAKE french m1897 75s?! Or did Algeria corner the market on those older guns and equip an artillery regiment?
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Postby MKSheppard » 2008-02-07 05:39pm

Stuart wrote:Oh yes - remember there's nothing in a shell to go wrong. Remove the explosive and fuse and it stores like anything else. To recommission it, just put in a new explosive charge and screw a new fuse into the nose. Same with bombs; there's no reason (other than drag) why old bombs from WW2 can't be used.


I wouldn't be so sanguine; explosives and propellants all decay over time ESPECIALLY in poor stowage conditions (hot and humid); there have been many fires in Army ammunition depots caused by decay products from ammunition.

Not to mention, they become more sensitive to shocks as they decay. Better to just scrap the shells and use the steel to make new shells.
"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944


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