Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Stuart
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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-26 08:14am

Headquarters, Army of Abigor, Western Iraq.

The Great Beast saw Abigor approaching and clicked its claws in greeting. As befitted Abigor’s status, his Great Beast towered over the lesser Beasts ridden by the cavalry brigade and its black skin swirled with iridescent colors that caught the rising sun and sparkled into a shimmering halo. Abigor returned the salutation of his Great Beast and swung up on to the animal’s back. Over his head, he could see the viciously curved tail straighten and then fall back to its natural position. The Great Beast was ready to move, to attack the humans that dared to defy its master.

Ahead of him, Abigor saw his legions start to roll forward, the thinned ranks looking pitifully slender by the standards of demon warfare. The legion was designed to fight as a solid mass, its 81 ranks adding mass and weight to the charge that would strike the enemy with the force of a battering ram. Abigor had knowingly sacrificed that weight, given up the power of his charge in favor of hitting the humans along a much broader front. Ahead of him, he could see the humans had done it again, they had formed up behind the ridgeline where they were shielded from the trident bolts of the demon infantry. They had to be up there though for this was the day of the great battle.

Overhead, Abigor could see the strange white clouds the human Sky Chariots left behind them as they searched out the remaining fliers. He could hear the sound of their battle-cry, a strange roaring scream punctuated by thunder-like explosions as their fire lances tracked their targets and blew them apart. There were more Sky Chariots here that Abigor had ever seen before, they filled the sky above the battlefield, dipping down to slash at the fliers who floundered helplessly below them. Casualties up there must be terrible, Abigor thought. Even as he watched, three fliers fled westwards back to the hell gate. A Sky Chariot was in hot pursuit, closing the range on them with terrible speed. Oddly, this one was silent and if Abigor hadn’t been watching, he wouldn’t have known it was passing. Only after it had passed did Abigor hear the thundering crash and roar of its battle-cry. The Sky Chariot swerved after the fliers and it gave forth a rasping moan that filled the sky with bright lights. One flier exploded, there was a brief pause, then another rasp and a second flier died. The Sky Chariot zoomed skywards, rolled over and slashed down at the third. It too died as the lights engulfed it.

Still, it was the ground forces that were important. Fliers were important for terrorizing a fleeing enemy but in a real battle, it was the cavalry and infantry that counted. Abigor urged his Great Beast forward, keeping close to the infantry as they surged forward. He could sense the uneasiness in the ranks, the infantry felt exposed without the thick mass of the ranks that usually surrounded them. And the Cavalry were staying back, normally they led the charge, the shock of their weight and speed breaking through the enemy lines. Now they were being held to wait on events. If the army started to fall apart, it would be their job to stem the breach and hold the line. Abigor suddenly stopped himself, he was thinking about what would happen if he lost? Something had changed in him the previous night when he had listened to Tomovoninkranfat’s account of how Merafawlazes’s Army had died. Defeat had ceased to be unthinkable, now it was all too real a possibility.

The sky to the east was changing, suddenly, the rising sun was shining through the streaks of the human fire lances suddenly emerging from far behind their lines. Their mages had to be at work already. The front like of the advancing infantry lowered their tripods to the horizontal and let fly with a withering barrage of lightning bolts. The ridge crest was at extreme range and man of the bolts had dissipated before they made it there but enough hit the line to disrupt the concentration of the human mages. Abigor was sure of that. Yet it did not seem to affect the Fire Lances as they arched over and raced down into his infantry. The rippling sea of explosions engulfed a whole section of his front line, devouring it, shredding those unfortunate enough to be caught in its hot breath. That was how Abigor found himself thinking of it, it was the Humans breathing death over his infantry. They were faltering, looking around, seeing the wire ahead of them and realizing what was to happen. Abigor drove his Great Beast into the middle of their ranks, urging them forward, firing his tripod – and hearing the wailing screams as yet more human magic was added to the chaos.

Headquarters, Multi-National Force Iraq, Green Zone, Baghdad.

“Pumpkin-One reports receiving heavy inbound fire Sir. The baldricks are firing on the ridgeline as they come in. Fire is ineffective Sir.”

Petraeus nodded. The truth was, he wasn’t that interested at this point. His artillery was tearing huge gaps in the baldrick attack although the reduced density of targets meant the death toll was lower than it had been yesterday. Standing in front of his screen, he could see the baldricks surging forward, taking their losses from the deadly MLRS barrages and the minefields. They hadn’t reached the wire yet. Not that it mattered to him, the brigade commanders along the front knew what they had to do and Petraeus had left them to get on with it. They had enough on their plate without their commanding general peering over their shoulder and second-guessing them. Petraeus had enough to do as well, in addition to handling his corps artillery, he had to keep supplied of ammunition and fuel flowing towards the brigades. He had truck convoys scattered all the way between the front line and Baghdad, keeping them flowing forward was a job in itself. He had staff handling that as well, his part of the battle was to stand here in front of this screen and spot things going wrong.

“There’s a flight of C-17s coming in from CONUS. Carrying reloads. Make sure our fighters screen them from any harpies surviving out there. And have the fighters report when the harpies are cleared out of the way. The Apache crews will want to get their licks in.”

“Sir, Yes Sir.” That had to be one of the Marines Petraeus thought. Still it was better than the Rangers, that constant Oooh-Agh got on his nerves after a while. Getting the AH-64s into action was going to be critical for more reasons than one. The 25th Mechanized Infantry Division, known on the radio as “Pumpkin” was already tearing the baldricks apart, they had the firepower and mobility they needed. The baldricks in front of them were going to die, it was simply a question of how many of them would do so before the rest broke and ran. Not that there was anywhere for them to run to. In the west, the Shamshar Division and the First Armored were rapidly closing the gap that was the baldrick’s only escape route.

No, 25th Mech were going to be all right. The problem lay to their north, where the 10th Mountain Division, call sign Mango, held the line. They were a light infantry division, they didn’t have the armor that had dominated the battlefield so far. They did have four brigades rather than three and more artillery but their force structure was light. Petraeus had put them on his right for two reasons. One was that they covered a more inhabited and built-up sector of the front where the armor would be at a disadvantage. The other was a more ruthless one, Petraeus had to find out how human infantry would fight against the baldricks. All the reports so far said that the baldrick infantry were larger and stronger than humans and they took a lot of killing. Could human infantry stand up to them? It was a question that had to be answered sooner or later and sooner was better than later.

Hence the importance of getting the Apaches back over the battlefield. They were an important part of 10th Mountain’s firepower.

“Sir, Mango reports the baldricks are moving to attack them. Should we divert artillery support from Pumpkin?”

Petraeus thought for a second. “Negative. Keep battering the troops attacking Pumpkin. We can destroy that attack fastest, then we can thin out Pumpkin’s positions and shift forces to support Mango.” 10th Mountain had its artillery and that would have to do. The 25th Mech and 4th Infantry Division’s artillery was concentrating on the baldricks assaulting Petraeus’s left, over 100 Paladin self-propelled 155s and 60 MLRS launchers. The sheer volume of fire they were pouring into the advancing baldricks was enough to stop even an Army from hell. Or so Petraeus hoped.

“Gee Sir, will you look at that!”

The Marine’s voice had lost its dispassionate inflexion. In the middle of one surging mass of baldrick infantry, pinned up against the wire, was a single jet black figure that towered above the rest, mounted on a rhinolobster that dwarfed the others.

“I guess he must be important.” Petraeus raised his voice slightly and addressed the fire direction center. “Put an MLRS battery on to that location soonest.”

Front Line, Army of Abigor, Western Iraq.

Abigor saw his infantry surging against the river of silver threads that strung across the battlefield. Some of his demons had tried to grab the threads with their hands, only to scream in anguish as the razor edges bit through their flesh to the bones. Others had tried to force their way in through the coils, only to become entangled and slowly sliced apart. The momentum of the attack was broken and all the time the shrieking howls of the enemy magic drowned out any attempt at thought. The infantry had to get through the threads, there was no other choice.

He saw the answer over his shoulder, on their way through to the threads, they had crossed a field covered with bars that exploded when a demon stepped on them. Many of them had been killed and their mutilated corpses littered the ground. Others writhed in pain from the traumatic amputations the bars had caused. Yet, Abigor thought, even the dead and the half-dead could still serve him. “Get those bodies. Throw them on the threads and use them as a bridge.”

The noise was too great for his words to carry far but some heard and started to collect bodies and throw them on top of the coils of threads. Others saw what was happening, understood and copied them. Soon the wire was sagging under the weight and the first of the demon infantry was running across, clear of the wire and into the open ground beyond.

“Sire, there are problems on our left!” One of the lesser demons, a legion commander by the look of him, carried the message but could barely make himself heard.

The left, Abigor thought, ten minutes fast ride away. He had better get there and find out what was happening. “Take over here, keep driving them forward.” Then, he turned his Great Beast’s head and started the ride up to his left flank. This was a problem he hadn’t thought of, in the traditional formation he could see all of his forces, in this new style of attack, he could see only a small portion of the battle at any one time. He was spending all his time running from one crisis to the next, trying to solve each one before it became a major problem. Time he should have been spending in finding the enemy commander so Abigor could have the pleasure of killing him.

There was another shrieking howl and the terrifying ripple of explosions that were the trade-mark of the fire-lances. Abigor felt the blast and the sting as stray fragments at the end of their trajectory flicked at him. Behind him, the area where he had just been had vanished under a rolling cloud of dust and smoke. Abigor had already seen enough fire-lance breaths to know that nothing was left alive in the area he had been in just a few minutes before. Then it struck him, he might not have time to find the enemy commander, but the enemy commander had found him.

Headquarters, Multi-National Force Iraq, Green Zone, Baghdad.

“Missed him.” The Marine sounded disappointed.

“Don’t sweat it son, it was only a chance. He’s heading north, guess on his way to Hit. Sitrep?”

“Mango-Four is in Hit sir, they’ve dug in. They’re all west of the river and there’s only one bridge out.”

Petraeus knew what that meant. If Mango-Four tried to evacuate the city, there would be a massacre as they piled up before the bridge.

“Sir, Mango Four requests permission to blow the bridge. They say it won’t do them any good and taking it intact might help the Baldricks.”

“Tell them to do it. We can throw an assault bridge over easy enough. The baldricks don’t seem to have heard about combat engineering.”

“Sir, with the bridge gone, Mango Four won’t be able to…..”

“I know, so did they when they suggested it. Order Cherry-One up on Hit. Tell them to form up to the east of Al-Ramadi.”

Outskirts of Hit, Western Iraq.

“We’d just got this place quieted down as well.” Corporal Tucker McElroy looked out at the advancing baldricks with certain level of disgust. A year earlier, Hit had been torn to pieces by gangs of terrorists and insurgents whose attacks and murders spared no one. Then, the Marines had moved into the city as part of Task Force 17 and cleaned the city up. It had come back to life and its economy had been improving everyday, so much so that a week before The Message had changed everything, the City had been handed over to Iraqi security forces. Now the baldricks were coming.

Not as many as there had been, that was for sure. At first their long ranks had been a terrifying sight but Mango-Four’s artillery had got to work as the baldricks had stalled in the minefields and on the razor wire. By the time the baldricks had swarmed through the artillery over the wire, their neat ranks and serried formation had gone. In its place was a stream of baldricks in groups of varying size making their way towards the outskirts of the city. McElroy heard the 120mm mortars coughing as they lobbed their first rounds at the larger of the groups, the brigade 155s were still pounding the baldricks hung up on the wire. By now, the leading groups of demons had reached the great divided highway that swung around the outskirts of Hit. It was time to do some real soldiering.

A few yards away Charles Foss was scanning the nearest group of baldricks through the powerful scope on his M82A3 sniper’s rifle, well, it wasn’t actually a sniper’s rifle, officially it was an anti-material rifle. There was even an urban legend that it was illegal to use it against humans but that wasn’t true. Anyway, the targets this time weren’t human. Foss checked his ammunition, the tips of the .50 caliber bullets were green on white. That meant they were Raufoss SLAP rounds, multi-role armor-piercing explosive incendiaries. They’d been pouring in to Iraq for days now, the joke was that they had still been warm from the production line in Norway when they’d been stuffed into a transport and flown here. The infantry formations had been given priority for their issue, they needed the firepower.

Magazine in place, Foss squinted through the scope again. The baldricks cleared ground fast, at least twice as quickly as a human. One figure in the nearest group seemed to be the driving force, urging the others forward. Foss put the cross hairs on his forehead, just between the horns and gently squeezed the trigger, just the way he’d taught his six-year old son to shoot. Never pull the trigger, squeeze it. The heavy Barrett rifle kicked and the baldrick went down.

“Damn.” Foss swore to himself. The baldrick was down, his head mangled, but he was still moving. What did it take to kill these monsters?. A second shot was the answer, it fixed the leader for once and for all. Foss swung his scope to the second in the group and fired again. This one went down hard and finally with the first shot. The rest of the baldricks went to ground, confused by the inexplicable outbreak of sudden death that had struck them. That was a fatal mistake. The mortar teams saw the group stop moving and a pattern of 82mm mortar bombs blanketed their position. By that time, Foss and his fellow snipers were seeking fresh targets.

Inside the fortified house, McElroy looked over the sandbags that blocked the doors and windows to see the baldricks rapidly closing in on the forward defense line. They were over the inner ring road, less than 200 yards away, running into an area of ploughed sand where a new city block had been planned. Those plans had been abandoned and would probably never be revived now that half the city’s population had laid down and died as demanded by The Message and the rest were refugees being sheltered further east. But the blocks either side of the cleared area had been built and then they’d been fortified.

Human infantry would have seen the deadly danger of that open ground and avoided it. To the baldricks, it was an alley into the city and forty or more piled into it. They’d been the first group through the wire and minefields, the first to cross the open ground and get close to the city, the city that was defenseless. To their astonishment, they could see the buildings in front of them, the humans hadn’t built walls or moats to keep attackers out. Just the threads, the exploding bars and their horrible magic fire-lances.

McElroy gave a last check, the baldricks were in a three-cornered ambush with infantry squads on both flanks and another in front of them. Worse, from the enemy’s point of view, McElroy had dismounted the Browning .50 caliber from their Humvee and had it on its tripod, firing through a narrow slit, its green-and-white tipped bullets waiting to bite. Fine, the baldricks were in a trap, time to spring it.

“Open fire. Let them have it!”
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Post by Dargos » 2008-02-26 08:39am

Outstanding Stuart! It’s about time some Legs got some action. I do question Petraeus willingness to potentially sacrifice the whole 10th Mountain Div just to see if human infantry can go toe to toe with the Baldricks, especially without a withdrawal/backup plan. I would think a smaller experiment (Battalion or even Brigade sized element) would have answered his questions just as well. If human infantry can't stand up to the task, it will be a large waste of trained manpower.

::EDIT::
Are they useing modified SLAPT rounds? As far as I know SLAPT rounds are not explosive. Another point, since SLAPT rounds are putting Baldricks down the question about the Bradley's 25mm Bushmaster is answered. The auto cannon will mow these monsters down without a problem.
::EDIT #2::
Will NATO 5.56 rounds even phase the demons? I would think it would take a goodly amount of rounds to put the bastards down. Might be a reason for the military to go back to 7.62mm.
Last edited by Dargos on 2008-02-26 09:02am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by DarthShady » 2008-02-26 08:56am

I think i am addicted to this story. :lol:

Abigor is one lucky bastard.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-26 09:07am

Dargos wrote:I do question Petraeus willingness to potentially sacrifice the whole 10th Mountain Div just to see if human infantry can go toe to toe with the Baldricks, especially without a withdrawal/backup plan. I would think a smaller experiment (Battalion or even Brigade sized element) would have answered his questions just as well. If human infantry can't stand up to the task, it will be a large waste of trained manpower.
He hasn't got much choice really (one of the things I hate about civilian wargames is that commanders get to pick what units they fight with). Petraeus is stuck with a light infantry division and he's got to defend a city (If you want to see where all this is going down, the last scene is taking place at N33.38.1, E42.49.88 ). So, he's got one of 10th Mountain Division's four brigades in the city holding that flank. Its the best place to deploy what is essentially a very weak unit. The other three brigades are holding the flanks to the city. 10th Mountain is a real problem, it's too big a formation to leave out the battle, relieving it by pushing 4th Infantry in would leave him without a mobile armored reserve so all in all, using it to defend the leading edge of a populated area is about the best he can do with it. And, he has to find out whether infantry can hold against baldricks. That's ultra-critical because a lot of forward mobilization plans are affected by it.

In another perspective, what we're seeing is WW2 thinking on casualties returning. Back then, expending a division as a diversion was considered quite normal and 3 - 4,000 dead in a day-long attack pretty average. The hyper-sensitivity to casualties in that sort of number is very modern indeed. If somebody told General Patton that winning a major campaign at a cost of 4,000 dead was unacceptable, he'd probably slap them.
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Post by tim31 » 2008-02-26 11:06am

I was wondering when you were going to break out the Barretts :D

I doubt that 5.56 NATO will do anything to a demon. But as always, and like everyone else, I wait with trembling anticipation for the next round.
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Post by Kodiak » 2008-02-26 11:29am

Am I the only one rooting for the demons? Not that I want them to win a total victory, but I'd really like to see them do what they do best- heads up hand-to-hand fighting.
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Post by gtg947h » 2008-02-26 11:33am

Stuart wrote: In another perspective, what we're seeing is WW2 thinking on casualties returning. Back then, expending a division as a diversion was considered quite normal and 3 - 4,000 dead in a day-long attack pretty average. The hyper-sensitivity to casualties in that sort of number is very modern indeed. If somebody told General Patton that winning a major campaign at a cost of 4,000 dead was unacceptable, he'd probably slap them.
I think some of that's possibly stemming from knowing that, if they die, they aren't gone forever like they used to be--they're just going in to reinforce the resistance movement. Well, that, and knowing that this really is the big war for humanity.

Part of me's wondering... who is it that saw Abigor on his mount, and how did they see him? Maybe it's a bit naive of me, but if I'd seen what appeared to be a high-ranking leader, I'd try to hit him with something more direct--tank cannon, sniper, Predator/Hellfire, etc. But maybe he's not close enough for that yet... have to go home tonight and make a map or something.

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Post by DarthShady » 2008-02-26 11:49am

Kodiak wrote:Am I the only one rooting for the demons? Not that I want them to win a total victory, but I'd really like to see them do what they do best- heads up hand-to-hand fighting.
I second that.Give the boys a chance to do what they do best.

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Post by brianeyci » 2008-02-26 11:52am

Hm I dunno, if Hell were real I'd be far less inclined to die. Nobody knows about the resistance movement bullshit yet except the Randi institute and a few select people.

Hyper-sensitivity to casualties is a modern issue, but it's a modern issue I just don't see going away even in a total general war. I would argue that hypersensitivity to casualties has always been part of the human experience, except in modern times with 24 hour news networks technology has just made the battlefield accessible. Newspapers, caskets, television especially brings it all into the living room. It's why I don't see the US Army adopting 4x4 Toyotas even in this situation. Any accusation of substandard equipment will cause an uproar.

Unfortunately a number like 5000 dead doesn't mean shit. A picture is worth a million words, like the Holocaust pictures caused so much shock after WWII. If Patraeus loses 5000 men, he will be sacked even in a situation like this. If he loses a thousand he will be sacked. If he loses several hundred he is in danger of being sacked. It's got to be limited to equipment failures, friendly fire incidents and the odd death or CNN, FauxNews and everybody else will be on his case like a virgin on a girlfriend.

Patraeus did not use the full arsenal. That could easily be spun into Patraeus is incompetent by... anybody.

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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-02-26 11:54am

Dargos wrote:Outstanding Stuart! It’s about time some Legs got some action. I do question Petraeus willingness to potentially sacrifice the whole 10th Mountain Div just to see if human infantry can go toe to toe with the Baldricks, especially without a withdrawal/backup plan. I would think a smaller experiment (Battalion or even Brigade sized element) would have answered his questions just as well. If human infantry can't stand up to the task, it will be a large waste of trained manpower.

::EDIT::
Are they useing modified SLAPT rounds? As far as I know SLAPT rounds are not explosive. Another point, since SLAPT rounds are putting Baldricks down the question about the Bradley's 25mm Bushmaster is answered. The auto cannon will mow these monsters down without a problem.
::EDIT #2::
Will NATO 5.56 rounds even phase the demons? I would think it would take a goodly amount of rounds to put the bastards down. Might be a reason for the military to go back to 7.62mm.
Frankly, the combination of a short-barreled automatic shotgun and what's basically a hunting rifle would be the ideal equippage from what I've seen. And dum-dum bullets. Frankly, I hope that the 10th Mountain has dum-dum bullets already. Say, firing those in .45-70 (and you can get a bolt-action rifle in .45-70, there's an Enfield mod out there with a 3 round mag, you could 4, 5 rounds easily enough) at range, and then when the demons get close, you have the automatic shotgun. Not much different from the Turkish Plevna technique if far more powerful and sophisticated.
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-02-26 12:49pm

Was Abigor the demon leader shot by Foss? I hope not. I like Abigor...
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Post by Stuart Mackey » 2008-02-26 01:30pm

Junghalli wrote:
Crayz9000 wrote:I somehow get the feeling that a "knight in shining armor" is going to be almost as terrifying to a lone baldrick as the Iron Chariots are...
Given that the knight will be weighed down significantly by his armor ..snip.
Oh is he? the armoured man is very mobile, I assure you, dont buy into ill conceived Victorian myths when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Not that it would matter, mind.
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Post by Stuart Mackey » 2008-02-26 01:36pm

brianeyci wrote:Hm I dunno, if Hell were real I'd be far less inclined to die. Nobody knows about the resistance movement bullshit yet except the Randi institute and a few select people.

Hyper-sensitivity to casualties is a modern issue, but it's a modern issue I just don't see going away even in a total general war. I would argue that hypersensitivity to casualties has always been part of the human experience, except in modern times with 24 hour news networks technology has just made the battlefield accessible. Newspapers, caskets, television especially brings it all into the living room. It's why I don't see the US Army adopting 4x4 Toyotas even in this situation. Any accusation of substandard equipment will cause an uproar.

Unfortunately a number like 5000 dead doesn't mean shit. A picture is worth a million words, like the Holocaust pictures caused so much shock after WWII. If Patraeus loses 5000 men, he will be sacked even in a situation like this. If he loses a thousand he will be sacked. If he loses several hundred he is in danger of being sacked. It's got to be limited to equipment failures, friendly fire incidents and the odd death or CNN, FauxNews and everybody else will be on his case like a virgin on a girlfriend.

Patraeus did not use the full arsenal. That could easily be spun into Patraeus is incompetent by... anybody.
And if he is sacked, then what? he gets replaced by another general who still looses thousands. Sacking generals does not change the objective realities of a situation. If your in a war for your very existence as a species, those casualties, while inevitably disturbing, will be accepted just as they always have been ,because the alternative is unthinkable.
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Post by Gerald Tarrant » 2008-02-26 01:49pm

Brianeyci wrote:Hm I dunno, if Hell were real I'd be far less inclined to die.
That would probably be most people's initial reaction. But The Message was:
Chief Baldie wrote: “I, Satan Mekratrig, Lord of Hell, Commander of the Legions of the Damned do hereby declare my dominion over the earth and all that it contains. Crawl to me, humans, knowing the eternity of torment that awaits you.”
If you don't fight you go to Hell, if you do fight, you might die and go to Hell. I don't know the odds, but I'd take whatever odds I might survive the fighting, over the certainty of Hell if I didn't fight. Plus there's the possibility of doing a little harm to those who'd torture me forever. Humans can be pretty spiteful in death, "I'm going to Hell and taking you with me." kind of a thing. Only in this case the Demon hears "I guess I'll be tortured forever but it won't be by you." and then the human pulls a piece of metal from it's strange metal egg.

Of course no one wants to die, "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." And the 10th Mountain is in a good defensive position. As Stuart is pointing out if non-mechanized infantry can't hold a defensive position we need to know now, finding out now will save lives later. If we'd assumed they could hold cities, and that had been wrong, then demons could put in a rear attack via portal and supposedly defended cities get slaughtered. Remember we don't know enough about the Baldrick's capabilities, this is probably the safest chance we'll have to see the Baldricks in action. At this point the Baldricks are attacking a city empty of civilians, with well trained soldiers in prepared positions, that's the best chance an infantry division could ask for.
brianeyci wrote: Hyper-sensitivity to casualties is a modern issue, but it's a modern issue I just don't see going away even in a total general war. I would argue that hypersensitivity to casualties has always been part of the human experience, except in modern times with 24 hour news networks technology has just made the battlefield accessible.
I disagree. Fighting for the existence of your nation tends to do away with those things. "Nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of a hanging". I don't think the news networks can afford to look defeatist, this war has the potential to Damn every human being on the planet. Most of their viewers would bitterly protest anything that looked anti-military. I'm not sure but I might expect some networks to go the opposite route and not report some stuff.
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Post by Beowulf » 2008-02-26 01:52pm

It should be noted that it'll be essentially impossible for most of the reactivated divisions to be anything other than light infantry. The expensive part of a light infantry division is the people, which we have a lot of. Guns are cheap, even the medium machine guns that will be issued like candy. Heavy divisions, like the 4ID, require IFVs and tanks, which are expensive in terms of capital, and take a while to produce.

It's of vital importance that we find out if a light infantry brigade can hold out against their opposing number, because if they can, even in a defensive situation, then they free up the heavy divisions to perform offensive operations.
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Post by Stuart Mackey » 2008-02-26 02:01pm

Beowulf wrote:It should be noted that it'll be essentially impossible for most of the reactivated divisions to be anything other than light infantry. The expensive part of a light infantry division is the people, which we have a lot of. Guns are cheap, even the medium machine guns that will be issued like candy. Heavy divisions, like the 4ID, require IFVs and tanks, which are expensive in terms of capital, and take a while to produce.

It's of vital importance that we find out if a light infantry brigade can hold out against their opposing number, because if they can, even in a defensive situation, then they free up the heavy divisions to perform offensive operations.
And its that factor is also what will determine what an army fields. My own nation would deploy a medium division with above average quantities of armour and artillery for the simple reason that once thats gone, there is nothing else left to commit, so what we do have had better be proportionately better than the average. Thats what we did in the last two world wars, with a reasonable degree of success.
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Post by Crayz9000 » 2008-02-26 02:49pm

Just in case anyone wants it, here's a Google Maps link to the coordinates Stuart provided.
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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-02-26 03:00pm

I predict Abigor is going to die fighting-- okay, trying to fight as human artillery, armor, and infantry with heavy weapons rain death on his position.
tim31 wrote:I doubt that 5.56 NATO will do anything to a demon. But as always, and like everyone else, I wait with trembling anticipation for the next round.
Considering that razor wire can cut demonic flesh to the bone, I'm sure 5.56 x 45 mm rounds will cause considerable damage. It'll take a while for the demon to bleed to death from the small holes created, but each additional hit will make the demon slower, making it easier to hit.

But yeah, 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 x 51 mm is probably a better idea.
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Post by FA Xerrik » 2008-02-26 04:07pm

I'd love to see the Demons actually do something. I've been skipping big chunks of most of the latest chapters since it's basically all meatgrinder fluff. Maybe I'm missing something of the appeal, but I liked it more when the story was actually going somewhere in the earlier chapters. If the whole battle is going to just be demons getting mulched, you could just as easily skip to an after-battle report of how bad they got raped and then focus more effort into advancing the story.

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Post by Stravo » 2008-02-26 04:31pm

Gerald Tarrant wrote:
That would probably be most people's initial reaction. But The Message was:
Chief Baldie wrote: “I, Satan Mekratrig, Lord of Hell, Commander of the Legions of the Damned do hereby declare my dominion over the earth and all that it contains. Crawl to me, humans, knowing the eternity of torment that awaits you.”
That's not The Message. The Message is much nastier and a greater betrayal than that. The Message is God essentially telling people the gates of Heaven are closed and everyone else from now on is consigned to Hell no matter what.
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Post by brianeyci » 2008-02-26 05:02pm

Stuart Mackey wrote:And if he is sacked, then what? he gets replaced by another general who still looses thousands.
Not really. If he loses thousands, he gets replaced by a General who makes liberal use of carpet bombing.
Gerald Tarrant wrote:I disagree. Fighting for the existence of your nation tends to do away with those things
Imagine if Tommy Franks had lost thousands of men to Saddam. The country sure believed it was fighting for its own existence against nukular weapons.

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I don't think they will lose thousands though. Not even hundreds. Not even fifty. Strip away the style and demons are just a gang out to pillage and loot. They even shoot their guns like gangbangers sideways (at least I imagine the tridents firing from the hip.)

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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2008-02-26 05:12pm

Stuart, I'm afraid the idea of Nephlim is, biologically speaking, non-sense. The genetic differences between chimpanzees and humans is merely 2% of the entire genome, 500 genes. However, that difference is large enough for human-chimp hybrids to be impossible. You're telling me that, with all the bio-chemical differences between humans and Baldricks, they are genetically compatible? That's ridiculous. And that's just for first generation Nephlim, mind. Second generation Nephlim means the first generation was fertile, and when two individuals are capable of producing fertile offspring then they are, by definition, members of the same species.

This wouldn't be a problem in most demon fare, you could just wave your hands and say "it's magic", but in this story magic has been thrown out the window, hence the problem. Nephlim may have to be ret-conned out unless a solution to this can be found. If you do/did think of a solution to the problem, I suggest the scientists in the Randi group express disbelief at the idea of Nephlim (as I'm doing right now), and continue to regard said idea suspiciously until the solution becomes evident.

A possibility, which I do not know if it is possible due to not knowing enough about the biology involved, is that if a pregnant woman has sex with a demon, the demon's seed causes chemical changes on the fetus which make it a Nephlim. If this fetus is female, the changes in its body chemistry will in turn cause any of her children to be Nephlim as well. Again, though, I just made this up and have no idea if it's plausible.

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Post by Junghalli » 2008-02-26 05:22pm

Like I said, the only way it makes sense is if the Demons are engineered lifeforms. The original Demon form could have been somewhat different and the warrior forms we see now were created with human DNA for some reason (most likely because they were specifically created to fight/terrorize humans).

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Post by MKSheppard » 2008-02-26 05:47pm

YOu know, Abhigor's command style has rapidly jumped quite a bit from "bronze age army commander" who dispatches orders to command riders every few hours to "Civil War General" who must be with his unit, to stiffen it after horrible casualties and issue on the spot orders.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-02-26 05:49pm

The battle is unfolding nicely; given its one-sidedness it's essentially a textbook description of 'how to slaughter bronze age armies using modern weapons' with (enjoyable) dashes of colour and flavour supplied by the character viewpoints.
Adrian Laguna wrote:Stuart, I'm afraid the idea of Nephlim is, biologically speaking, non-sense.
It's certainly highly dubious.
if a pregnant woman has sex with a demon, the demon's seed causes chemical changes on the fetus which make it a Nephlim. If this fetus is female, the changes in its body chemistry will in turn cause any of her children to be Nephlim as well.
This is just barely plausible if the state of being a Nephilim is in fact a prion disease. I'd say that's the least worst explanation.

That said, I really hope Luga's description of how to open a portal ('radio telepathy with the power cranked up') is either ignorance or deliberate misinformation. The absolute physical implausibility isn't so much the issue, it's the fact that humans haven't found any trace of such an effect despite many decades of experimentation with all manner of high-power EM transmissions. If you must technobabble this, please consider using a higher grade of technobabble than 'it involves quantum entanglement'.

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