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Quote of the Week: "A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." - Barnett Cocks, British political writer (1907-)

A bit of analysis: Posleen War

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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-10-02 08:14pm 

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Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14053
Ahriman238 wrote:
The SheVa rounds are mentioned both as traveling at 2500 m/s and hitting a target twenty kilometers distant in a 'bit less than two seconds' in the same chapter. That blew my mind. :wtf:


Yeah I think that I remember it now. Ringo Math strikes again. (cf the 2 ounce "teardrops" from Hymn before Battle for the grav pistols.)

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Yes and no. Except for the very poor or understrength units, ten or twenty percent of a Posleen company will have a weapon capable of one-shotting a tank, and every God-king has one. So mostly they use berms or fire hull-down or generally act more like mobile artillery than tanks. Every once in a while, like in Richmond, they fight in the open and slaughter vast amounts of Posleen, but they always take serious casulties in the process.

Again, the Posleen are soft targets, massed together, and stupid. They are easy to kill. The hard part is killing neough to make any real difference.

They are however, still mass-producing tanks as fast as they can. The old joke reborn "Careful now, we only three inches of armor.""Well how thick do you think this G.I. shirt is?" Tanks that are comparitively easy enemy kills compared to RL are still better than no tanks.


As I said before I still think that tanks could have been effective given a.) Range of the main gun b.) speed and c.) size. I don't think the tank-killing weapons EXCEPT a HVM could possibly match a 120mm smoothbore, and frankly the HVMs are an outlier as far as weapons for the Posleen go (they never really countered those effectively for ACS or vehicles as I recall.) It depends alot on the terrain but using tanks to drop HE/fragmentation rounds on the Posleen from a couple km away should be pretty effective methinks. Possibly even cannister depending on how close the Posleen need to get for a kill-shot.

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I'm just going to second Simon on this one. You don't have to be a nut to want to take some bad guys with you, or not die by a knife or digestion.


I'll let my explanation to Simon stand, as well as your posting the joke telling session. :mrgreen:

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The grav cannon firing lights up sensors on every Posleen ship, and a nuking follows shortly. This is why every PDC was supposed to be a super-GalTech-bunker. And they didn't get enough to fully outfit the PDCs, which I would presume to be a priority over mobile platforms.

I kind of assumed the grav cannon was a predecessor or prototype for the spinal-mounted SD weapon that one-shots battle-globes.


Probably. But this becomes just yet another one of those Schizophrenic Ringotech things (And thats not even factoring in crazy shit like the German SheVa analgoues from Watch on the Rhine...)

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In Hymn the ACS used terawatt lasers themselves, as tripod-mounted heavy weapons. However, they were deemed too bulky and awkward for the fast-paced life of ACS combat, and a poor percentage weapon against the unarmored Posleen.


This is what I find hard to believe, given the whole "they wanted lasers" thing to begin with. If they could make grav-guns work, they could have made lasers (I mena the Posleen had fucking gigawatt lasers) and by Hell's Faire they had man portable plasma rifles for crying out loud.

And even if the terawatt lasers hadn't been effective as ACS weapons they could have rigged those as Anti-Lander weapons (fighters and starships were using them against the Globes as I recall in Gust Front.)

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Fair enough, I stand corrected. You only think I'm fixated on the grav-gun paradox. I'm much more amused by the idea that the same suits that weather thousands of railgun hits, hops out of planes, gets thrown out of trucks at highway speeds and smashed by mega-tons of material can be 'seriously damaged' by hitting things at 10 m/s.


1.) "thousands of railgun hits" depends entirely, as I recall, on how they hit. As I noted later they seem to focus on the suits avoiding taking direct hits, esp from the 3mm rounds, as a way of defeating them. Glancing hits and deflections probably mean tha tonly part of the energy ever "hit" the suit at any one time. Also, there's a difference between "thousands of hits simultaneously" and "thousands of hits over a period of time." I don't think the Posleen ever hit an ACS suit with thousands of rounds all at once.. :P

Hopping out of planes and getting thrown out of trucks plays into the odd "forcefield" aspects of the suits - the anti-grav/flight ability, the "mass lightening" feature they had (don't get me started there...) and the same active defenses that not only provided stealth but protected from blast and impact effects (like Mike' ssuit surviving that FAE) Like I said for all we knmow the armour is actually pretty fragile without all its neat active measures to help, and alot of it depends on what sort of thing they're hitting (is it stationary or moving, what is it made of, how do they hit it, etc.) - the fact that the mass lightening was such a big issue for them suggests that an un-lightened suit probably wasn't designed to handle collisons. :mrgreen:
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-02 10:48pm 

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Connor MacLeod wrote:
Well again I'm not sure that ACS suits are protected just by "slabs of metal" - there's that weird reinforcement issue which seems to provide protection/deflection as well. Can you engineer that into the tank? For all we know the armor without the field isn't nearly as impressive. In any case, you'd still have to get said alien metal from the Federation, which imposes the same logistics issues with getting more ACS suits and antimatter-laden ammo that they had, IIRC. On the othe rhand you could basically just argue that they already did put on "slabs of alien metal" in Hell's Faire. Its just not the same high tech metal.
Basically, my impression is that the aliens have a wide variety of different materials of greatly varying strength. The toughest (which may include force field reinforcement and the like) require careful fabrication by Sohon adepts, and so are very hard to come by. Because of weight and size constraints, only these materials will work effectively for ACS suits.

For tanks, where you can afford to put a slab of material a foot thick on for armor, you have more flexibility, and can use 'less good' Galactic materials that are less difficult to make per ton. Why they are less good, I don't care to speculate on.

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Yeah, as a solution it left a lot to be desired, but if you want to kill landers at all you kind of need something in that range- it takes a nuke to kill them, more or less. You need naval-caliber artillery, actively guided missiles are not going to cut it, so you need one hell of an AA gun, and if it has to be mobile you need one hell of a chassis to move it on.

I don't know what can be done for that.
The real thing about SheVa is that its basicaly a scaled up self propelled gun, and since the Posleen are less effective against posleen I don't quite see why they needed a huge gun to fire a super-fast shell specifically to take out Landers. Of course, if Ringo could make up his mind whether SheVa's were a joke design that came bout from a misunderstanding or an effective ewapons platform (like in Hell's Faire) it might help.
Heh. I think the SheVa is somewhere in between- it works, but it's something you'd have to be nuts to build, and there are better solutions somewhat more practical and less ridiculously large.

Again, though, it takes a big damn gun to kill Posleen landers. There aren't a lot of things that don't involve GalTech which can hope to do it at all, and most of them are just plain too big to be used extensively. Which is the big issue that makes GalTech necessary. That, plus the desire to wear down Posleen forces in space to at least reduce their ability to cause damage during the landings.

Also, I have no idea what you mean about "and since the Posleen are less effective against posleen."

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I might buy that, except for the explanations Ringo gives in Hell's Faire for the grav gun (EG they wanted rayguns, and this was the only way they could come up with rayguns... which doesnt even make sense allowing for a massive stupidity factor of "It looks cool" actually being a design priority.) and nevermind the analogues they come up with (like the reaper flechette cannons. even with the absurdly higher ROF those things make more sense than a freaking grav gun.) Its even more silly when they had the Sluggy Freelance self insert walking in carrying a plasma gun.
You sure that wasn't a modified Posleen weapon? There were quite a few of those washing around by the late war.

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What's the range on the regular posleen troops with the railguns? IIRC they weren't even close to matching a tank gun, and I am pretty sure they aren't faster than tanks.
That's mostly a function of volume of fire. Sure, no one Posleen with a 3mm railgun is likely to hit your tanks from long range, but the God King saucers can target them just fine, and there are a boatload of them firing antitank weapons at you blindly.

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You would go with "blowing yourself up" over "getting the fuck out of there?" I mean those underground habitats they devised were absolute shit, but I'm pretty sure there were more options humans had other than "get eaten or commit suicide" Of course I have to admit given that in that universe I would be living in a place that was (by authorial fiat) largely protected from Posleen attention by the weather I can afford to say that. :D
Lots of people run for it when the Posleen show up, in many countries. Some make it to safer places; others just wind up being treated like cattle on the hoof if Posleen units catch up with them.

When the Posleen land right on top of your city (as in Fredericksburg), you may well find your escape cut off, in which case, yeah, you're going to die. So "get blown up" beats "eaten alive." Although I do agree it's improbable that so much explosive would be passed out for the purpose in wartime.

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Grandpa O'Neill was one of the more grating aspects of the entire series for me, especially with Cally along. It just really broke my whole suspension of disbelief the way he managed to survive the whole thing out on his farm, even with Mike's illicit assistance. The stuff that happened later on only got worse, really. I mean for me its even more grating than Tommy, the Ten Thousand and Mighty Mite (wasn't that Mike's nickname?) combined.
I see what you mean.

What I mean is that I don't understand where you go from "The sad part of this is that I could see alot of nutjobs doing this sort of thing. Especially the religious or the militia wackos. However, this kinda flies in the face of Grandpa O'Neal the Militia Babysitter, and just shows how much of an authorial fiat he was."

What, exactly, does Grandpa O'Neal have to do with the suicide bomb houses?

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For purposes of explaining the tactics to American infantry grunts, hell yes using American football analogies is a good idea.
Didn't they take it a bit more beyond analogies, though? I remember it being along the same lines as "Give the ACS grav guns because we want them to have rayguns" and "have sci fi authors because we have noone in the military who can envision space warfare".
No, I don't think they did- aside from maybe using a few names and stuff to make it memorable. It's not like ACS try to physically tackle the Posleen, or run around in complicated patterns to distract their quarterback, or something silly. So I don't really see what you're getting at here.

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Possibly aircraft can't fire weapons effectively without defeating the point of the stealth- suddenly they become targets again, and about the only thing they can do without getting spotted is sneak around hauling cargo or scouting.
Well, it can't be just movement alone, otherwise "hauling cargo and scouting" would also be problematic. It could be a targeting issue, but then again why not just dump ordnance on a target area, or something? Or sticking mortars or artillery onto an airborne platform (or something like a laser, or whatever) - I'm pretty sure they could devise some means of deploying firepower form the air to support without making them detectable, given things like artillery and whatnot.
Up to a point- but if my stealth aircraft drops bombs that are visible, it will probably be visible while bombing. B-2s have that problem, for example. There are ways you might do it, but the ease of engaging aircraft that make themselves visible, forcing all aircraft to remain invisible so much of the time, really does change the dynamic a lot and reduces the role of air power tremendously.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-10-02 11:15pm 

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Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
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Anything I didnt commnet on or cut out is stuff I either gave up on, conceded, or forgot what the hell I am talking about, just so we're clear.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Heh. I think the SheVa is somewhere in between- it works, but it's something you'd have to be nuts to build, and there are better solutions somewhat more practical and less ridiculously large.

Again, though, it takes a big damn gun to kill Posleen landers. There aren't a lot of things that don't involve GalTech which can hope to do it at all, and most of them are just plain too big to be used extensively. Which is the big issue that makes GalTech necessary. That, plus the desire to wear down Posleen forces in space to at least reduce their ability to cause damage during the landings.


why wouldn't a normal tank gun work? Or why does it even have to be sixteen inch? I'd imagine its not too impossible to convert a 8 inch howitzer cannon or a 10-12" battleship gun something similar into firing something at tank gun velocities (1.5-2 km/s - say maybe via sabot?) and it wouldn't require super-insane recoil compensation, huge ass tanks, or anything like that. OF course I nevre quite got why they *needed* multi-kiloton munitions to kill them either soo...

Alternately of course they had those damn terawatt lasers the ACS never bothered using. Why not mount those on tanks with nuclear reactors and use them to blast down Posleen? If the fighters could use them on the transports/globes in space, I don't see why not on the ground.

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Also, I have no idea what you mean about "and since the Posleen are less effective against posleen."


I think I must have meant to write "artillery" but wrote posleen. Oh well.

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You sure that wasn't a modified Posleen weapon? There were quite a few of those washing around by the late war.
Maybe it was, but I don't remember the posleen packing plasma guns. In any case I find it silly that the "grav gun" was the only fucking option given we know gigawatt and terawatt lasers were possible in universe. I mean if you set Luke Campbell (Death ray site guy) loose with Galtech I bet he could have built you a better raygun than the fucking grav gun did - and I bet it would have had the same effect. (then again maybe a sustained cutting laser would have been better at taking out hordes of posleen..) I mean fuck, it would have made more sense to have given the ACS bolters.

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That's mostly a function of volume of fire. Sure, no one Posleen with a 3mm railgun is likely to hit your tanks from long range, but the God King saucers can target them just fine, and there are a boatload of them firing antitank weapons at you blindly.


Yeah, tjhe God Kings could still kill a tank, but they'd have to rise up and expose themselves I'd think to target it, which would make them vulnerable to sniper fire. Might not be a bad tradeoff either (a tank for a God King).

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Lots of people run for it when the Posleen show up, in many countries. Some make it to safer places; others just wind up being treated like cattle on the hoof if Posleen units catch up with them.

When the Posleen land right on top of your city (as in Fredericksburg), you may well find your escape cut off, in which case, yeah, you're going to die. So "get blown up" beats "eaten alive." Although I do agree it's improbable that so much explosive would be passed out for the purpose in wartime.


Not only that the sheer amount of weaponry on hand (I was thinking of Tommy' subplot.) It makes me think of Shroomy's "MURCA" Fanfic in some ways the way it was portrayed. And you would think that all those gun toting civilians packing so much explosive would, you know, be more heavily armed and fight back. It worked for Grandpa O'Neill.

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I see what you mean.

What I mean is that I don't understand where you go from "The sad part of this is that I could see alot of nutjobs doing this sort of thing. Especially the religious or the militia wackos. However, this kinda flies in the face of Grandpa O'Neal the Militia Babysitter, and just shows how much of an authorial fiat he was."

What, exactly, does Grandpa O'Neal have to do with the suicide bomb houses?


I suppose the point is "if Crazy Grandpa can fight back, why the fuck is everyone else rigging their houses to blow up?" You'd think the townspeople would be fighting back. They can always blow themselves up if things get desperate (or just rig it to go up if people forget to reset the timer, or something..)


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Up to a point- but if my stealth aircraft drops bombs that are visible, it will probably be visible while bombing. B-2s have that problem, for example. There are ways you might do it, but the ease of engaging aircraft that make themselves visible, forcing all aircraft to remain invisible so much of the time, really does change the dynamic a lot and reduces the role of air power tremendously.
[/quote]

I'm not sure I'd follow why "if whatever the shuttles drop on a target is visible, then the ship itself must be immediately recognizable". But even if that were the case, then you just change how you employ the vehicles. Something like Tau or Eldar gunships/grav tanks would be nice, espeically with indirect fire weaponry. You have more mobility than regular vehicles, and fuckloads more range. (Actually it would be a bit like American gunships, in that way I guess. Or amybe just an artillery version of a helicopter.) Or maybe stick some of those terawatt lasers on and turn the shuttles into low flying ABLs that plink their targets from tens or hundreds of miles away.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-02 11:43pm 

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@ Connor, I'm really planning on trying to deal with the SheVa with one post, but later on it's explained that the KE from a SheVa will pretty much always kill a Lamprey, but it takes a nuke to bring down a C-Dec.

They build a dome city/shipyard on Titan to churn out the Space ships they need. But attrition among Space forces is very high, because so many officers are inexperienced in space combat, and because the Fleet personnel are more answerable to the Darhel.

Earth is effectively blockaded. Not only are there plenty of Posleen ships still in orbit to provide orbital bombardment, grounded ships and even tenar can reach targets in a low orbit. only dedicated Himmit stealth-ships can get through, landing a pittance of GalTech on one of a few South Pacific islands, then taking on a pitiful number of refugees. The parts and suits then get shipped by the sub-freighters from before to Canada, then moved overland to where they're needed.

Terawatt lasers are described as 'nibbling' at Lampreys and C-Decs as they break from each other and hit atmo. This implies the ability to hurt them, but it's not the one-shot capability of the grav cannon or SheVa.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 12:05am 

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Connor MacLeod wrote:
Anything I didnt commnet on or cut out is stuff I either gave up on, conceded, or forgot what the hell I am talking about, just so we're clear.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Heh. I think the SheVa is somewhere in between- it works, but it's something you'd have to be nuts to build, and there are better solutions somewhat more practical and less ridiculously large.

Again, though, it takes a big damn gun to kill Posleen landers. There aren't a lot of things that don't involve GalTech which can hope to do it at all, and most of them are just plain too big to be used extensively. Which is the big issue that makes GalTech necessary. That, plus the desire to wear down Posleen forces in space to at least reduce their ability to cause damage during the landings.
why wouldn't a normal tank gun work? Or why does it even have to be sixteen inch? I'd imagine its not too impossible to convert a 8 inch howitzer cannon or a 10-12" battleship gun something similar into firing something at tank gun velocities (1.5-2 km/s - say maybe via sabot?) and it wouldn't require super-insane recoil compensation, huge ass tanks, or anything like that. OF course I nevre quite got why they *needed* multi-kiloton munitions to kill them either soo...
They're well enough armored that penetrating the hull takes something heavier than a grav rifle- that much is clear. Now, exactly how powerful grav rifles are (or 'should be') is an open question, but they are themselves much more deadly in terms of direct-fire power on target than pretty much any kind of normal-sized round fired from land-based guns.

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Alternately of course they had those damn terawatt lasers the ACS never bothered using. Why not mount those on tanks with nuclear reactors and use them to blast down Posleen? If the fighters could use them on the transports/globes in space, I don't see why not on the ground.
Yes- at which point you're back to relying on GalTech, which is kind of my point: fighting the Posleen landers without use of GalTech requires a really weird and improbably large-scale technology concept.

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You sure that wasn't a modified Posleen weapon? There were quite a few of those washing around by the late war.
Maybe it was, but I don't remember the posleen packing plasma guns.
Some of their heavier weapons (found on God King saucers and in the hands of the richest warbands) are, as I recall, plasma weapons.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 12:52am 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
There aren't a lot of things that don't involve GalTech which can hope to do it at all, and most of them are just plain too big to be used extensively. Which is the big issue that makes GalTech necessary.


A 16"/50 HE Shell has a muzzle velocity of 820 m/s, and a weight of 862 kilograms; that equates out to 289.8 megajoules if my math is correct.

(NOTE: the rounds fired at Fredericksburg, VA were HE, not AP, they were firing for effect on massed formations of Posleen)

(NOTE II: This is for muzzle velocity -- the velocity of the shell at the end of flight would be different, I need to find GRAEPHS for that, but consider this as a crude estimate)

The 16" Smoothbore SheVa round is stated to have the power of six 16" shells; so that's 1,738.8 megajoules.

By contrast...

Image

Time from launch to burnout was 1.124 seconds, and the burnout speed was 8,400~ FPS (2,560.3 m/sec).

So....

Going with the launch weight of 2,600 lbs (1,179.34 kg), it means HIBEX weighs some 414~ kg at burnout...

...and hits you with 1,356~ MJ of force.

Not as powerful as a Sheva, but infinitely more tactically and strategically portable, and needs no GalTech.

I'm not even sure the Posleen could try to intercept it, too.

It would be reaching the limits of system lag, in that detecting, then physically swivelling a weapon to lock onto an inbound HIBEX would take almost as long as the HIBEX would to hit it's target.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 01:18am 

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Found the GRAEPHS for the 16"/50 Mk 7:

Linkapoo

Striking Velocity of the 1,900 lb (862 kg) HC Mk 13 at 38~ km: 473 m/sec.

That yields 96.42 MJ, and that means SHEVA shells are only merely 578.52 MJ.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 10:46am 

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MKSheppard wrote:
Found the GRAEPHS for the 16"/50 Mk 7:

Linkapoo

Striking Velocity of the 1,900 lb (862 kg) HC Mk 13 at 38~ km: 473 m/sec.

That yields 96.42 MJ, and that means SHEVA shells are only merely 578.52 MJ.
Call the first figures upper limits, and those lower limits.

And yeah, something like a HIBEX would probably be a good option that should have been seriously considered instead. I think the "no missiles" brainbug gets in the way here.
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PeZook
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 03:36pm 

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CaptainChewbacca wrote:
That was the plan, PeZook. They wanted to make contact, have humans develop weapons and tactics that can defeat the Posleen, remove large 'breeding populations' of humans to use as soldiers, and then allow earth to be destroyed.

It actually took a decent amount of subterfuge and disobeying direct orders for fleet to break the siege of earth.


I know they wanted to fuck us over (though I forgot about the part where they wanted to set up offworld breeding enclaves too, yeah). My point was that it would've been easier to control the bloodthirsty savages if they were completely dependent on equipment supplied by the Galactics, which they'd only provie to as few soldiers as feasible.

So I figure they'd actually be very willing to go with the plan to only ship out light infantry to man entirely Galactic equipment (presumaly one with proper built-in security measures), instead of huge armies with lots of human-made heavy gear.

Of course, I have to wonder how the Darheel would feel about President Shep's apparently pretty feasible defence plans, but really...all they have to do is make the Poslies win in orbit. So just concentrate on sabotaging the fleet, the Poslies will do the rest.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 04:21pm 

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Ahriman238 wrote:
@ Connor, I'm really planning on trying to deal with the SheVa with one post, but later on it's explained that the KE from a SheVa will pretty much always kill a Lamprey, but it takes a nuke to bring down a C-Dec.


As I recall they had to get inside and damage it, but a C-dec is quie a bit bigger anyhow. Then again how much antimatter did Mike use to take out the C-dec in Hymn?

Also I'm not sure its just KE that is needed - I mean at 2.5 km/s thats about the velocity limit modern tank guns would be using (just below or around the hyper-velocity threshold for RL materials) with penetrators. At that scope you're more worried about force/pressure of the combined momentum than the KE (same with shaped charge munitions I believe) - hell they hav eeven reduced velocity on tank guns to use a heavier projectile on more than one occasion with KEP. Of course if they NEED 10 km/s to penetrat,e then that becomes a whole nother issue. But again this is one of those Ringoisms. Shiva capabilities change from novel to novel and chapter to chapter.

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They build a dome city/shipyard on Titan to churn out the Space ships they need. But attrition among Space forces is very high, because so many officers are inexperienced in space combat, and because the Fleet personnel are more answerable to the Darhel.

Earth is effectively blockaded. Not only are there plenty of Posleen ships still in orbit to provide orbital bombardment, grounded ships and even tenar can reach targets in a low orbit. only dedicated Himmit stealth-ships can get through, landing a pittance of GalTech on one of a few South Pacific islands, then taking on a pitiful number of refugees. The parts and suits then get shipped by the sub-freighters from before to Canada, then moved overland to where they're needed.


I suppose that might make sense, but it sounds borderline contrivance to me.

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Terawatt lasers are described as 'nibbling' at Lampreys and C-Decs as they break from each other and hit atmo. This implies the ability to hurt them, but it's not the one-shot capability of the grav cannon or SheVa.


Oops well so much for that idea. Then again I imagine they could have used alot of smaller platforms scattered about to hit the platforms.

This is even more hilarious given the Reaper's anti-lander grav cannons (some 75mm rocket-assisted projectile at 1000 km/s and over 5 per second) are things they could have also platform mounted and probably would have worked better.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 04:24pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
They're well enough armored that penetrating the hull takes something heavier than a grav rifle- that much is clear. Now, exactly how powerful grav rifles are (or 'should be') is an open question, but they are themselves much more deadly in terms of direct-fire power on target than pretty much any kind of normal-sized round fired from land-based guns.


SheVa's cannon has about as much in common with a grav gun as I have in common with Justin Bieber. Grav guns throw hypervelocity/relativistic pellets at a target to make it explode messily (EG hypervelocity impacts, which are not known for penetration as I recall.) SHEVA is basically a Kinetic Energy penetrator combined with a nuclear warhead and scaled to a 16" gun. It's penetration is more in like with APFSDS rounds..

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Yes- at which point you're back to relying on GalTech, which is kind of my point: fighting the Posleen landers without use of GalTech requires a really weird and improbably large-scale technology concept.


I'm still not sure about that. I mean worst case and they do need a nuke - adopting the Casaba howitzer seems like it would work if you stuck it on a multi-kt warhead (you wouldnt even need antimatter.) the SheVas would only need to fire the round hard enough to get it into line of sight of the target and then blast away.

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Some of their heavier weapons (found on God King saucers and in the hands of the richest warbands) are, as I recall, plasma weapons.


Maybe, although I dont remember if the God King saucer weapons could be dismounted and used. I vaguely recal a case where they might have (one saucer gets shot down and the God King dismounts and fights on foot) but if that were true then I'd laugh even harder about the silliness of things like the grav gun.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:17pm 

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@MkShepperd: Sorry, it's a 16" gun that shoots 8" DU sabot rounds.

@Connor: All Posleen weapons, save the 1mm railguns and shotguns can be mounted on a God-king's tenar, and dismounted to be easily swapped out, or wiedled by hand as long as they're strong enough. Granted, their accuracy sucks without tenar computer support.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:21pm 

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Posts: 21023
Connor MacLeod wrote:
Ahriman238 wrote:
@ Connor, I'm really planning on trying to deal with the SheVa with one post, but later on it's explained that the KE from a SheVa will pretty much always kill a Lamprey, but it takes a nuke to bring down a C-Dec.
As I recall they had to get inside and damage it, but a C-dec is quie a bit bigger anyhow. Then again how much antimatter did Mike use to take out the C-dec in Hymn?
Mike's antimatter demo charge was gross overkill against the C-Dec; the catch is that even penetrating one's armor and putting a hole in it won't necessarily destroy it, as with most warships. So nuclear-tipped shells are used for increased kill probability.

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This is even more hilarious given the Reaper's anti-lander grav cannons (some 75mm rocket-assisted projectile at 1000 km/s and over 5 per second) are things they could have also platform mounted and probably would have worked better.
Yeah- although this quickly comes back to the recurring need to use GalTech for anti-lander work. The point of the SheVa, insofar as it had one, was that this was what an antilander system built purely on Earth looked like: totally batshit insane and huge.

Connor MacLeod wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
They're well enough armored that penetrating the hull takes something heavier than a grav rifle- that much is clear. Now, exactly how powerful grav rifles are (or 'should be') is an open question, but they are themselves much more deadly in terms of direct-fire power on target than pretty much any kind of normal-sized round fired from land-based guns.
SheVa's cannon has about as much in common with a grav gun as I have in common with Justin Bieber. Grav guns throw hypervelocity/relativistic pellets at a target to make it explode messily (EG hypervelocity impacts, which are not known for penetration as I recall.) SHEVA is basically a Kinetic Energy penetrator combined with a nuclear warhead and scaled to a 16" gun. It's penetration is more in like with APFSDS rounds.
My point is that just from a material dynamics standpoint, anything that can resist grav rifle fire must be hellaciously well protected. This means that the list of things that can crack the armor using purely terrestrial technology has to be rather limited, almost by default. Sure, the mechanisms are different, but it's very unlikely that the armor would be able to shrug off a rapid-fire stream of low-relativistic projectiles without being at least difficult to break using APFSDS or the like.

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Yes- at which point you're back to relying on GalTech, which is kind of my point: fighting the Posleen landers without use of GalTech requires a really weird and improbably large-scale technology concept.
I'm still not sure about that. I mean worst case and they do need a nuke - adopting the Casaba howitzer seems like it would work if you stuck it on a multi-kt warhead (you wouldnt even need antimatter.) the SheVas would only need to fire the round hard enough to get it into line of sight of the target and then blast away.
Yes, that might well work- although since everything about Casaba Howitzer is so classified that we can't even be sure it works properly, I don't know whether it would pan out. But it's certainly an idea for how to go about this.

Side note: Casaba Howitzer charge shaping might not work at all for antimatter- it exploits specific properties of fission.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:31pm 

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Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Right, I've finally hit the halfway mark, I've read longer books but few of them felt this long. Anyway, since the discussion is quickly outrunning my posting of data-points, I decided to treat myself to a short break and just post what I have so far. 'K?

Other/Misc:

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The battleglobes were constructed of layer upon layer of combat ships. A direct hit by an antimatter warhead would strip a layer off a section of the exterior but the inner ships would simply blow the damage off and reengage. Thus the theory of using a massive punch to break them up and then engaging the scattered ships with "secondaries." But that required not only fleets of secondary ships, fighters, frigates and destroyers, but a massive central capital ship.

However, rather than wait until the Fleet was fully prepared the Galactic command had thrown more and more ships, practically right out of the shipyards, into the battle. Pissing them away in dribs and drabs not only in Terran space but over Barwhon and Irmansul. The loss of the ships, the secondaries that were vital to the overall plan, was bad enough, but the loss of trained personnel had been devastating.

-snip-

The second invasion wave was fully in swing before the first "superdreadnought" was launched. This massive ship, nearly four kilometers long, was designed to use its spinal hypercannon to break up the globes. And it worked with remarkable facility. Coming in at high velocity from Titan Base the Lexington smashed two of the globes headed for Terra. And then it was swarmed.

Thousands of smaller ships, the skyscraper shaped Lampreys and C-Dec command ships, surrounded the beleaguered superdreadnought and pounded it to scrap. Despite the heavy anti-ship defenses along the sides and despite the massive armor it was stripped to a hulk by repeated antimatter strikes. Finally, when no further fire was forthcoming, the wreckage was left to drift. So durable was the ship the generators at its core were never touched and it was eventually salvaged and rebuilt. But that took more years, years that the Earth didn't have.

Mike wondered how many other wives and husbands, mothers and fathers were pissed away by the goddamned Fleet. By "admirals" who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the heel. By a high command that kowtowed to the damned Darhel. By senior commanders who had never seen a Posleen, much less killed one.


Just a touch about the space situation, and the superdreadnought design. MAD MIKE is not happy with the armchair admirals who suck-up to the Darhel. Clearly they are out of touch, having never even seen the Posleen, unlike the thousands of spacemen who calmly looked the enemy in the eye from thousands of km away before firing their great hypercannon and smashing Posleen ships, spraying them with yellow blood.

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Mosovich, however, could see the normals fairly clearly. The Land Warrior system was proving its worth again, giving him the capability to easily direct and redirect fire on the targets in the gap, enhancing the team's vision and permitting them to communicate clearly. Shoot, move and communicate was what war at all levels was about. But it was especially critical at the level of the small team and the suits were a real boon.

They weren't perfect though. Advanced research on them had more or less been halted at the start of the war and even with the Galactic power systems they were fairly heavy. They also did not have GalTech clarity levels in low light; there was a particular problem with depth perception that seemed insoluble without the Galactic ability to make continuous micro-sensors.

But what they did, they did very well. Mosovich picked out another target, bringing the aiming bead onto the target and squeezing the trigger of the Advanced Infantry Weapon. The system used a series of sensors in the suit and the weapon to determine the accuracy of the shot and whether any inaccuracy was the fault of the weapon or the operator. If any inaccuracy was an environmental input, whether a temperature change in the barrel or a shift in the wind, the system automatically compensated on the next shot. If it was the fault of the operator it simply sulked in electronic silence. In this case it determined that the 7.62 round would miss its target point by less than three centimeters in the four hundred meters of flight. Since this was well within its margin of error, it made no adjustments.

Mosovich knew, intellectually, what was going on, but he wasn't really worried. The system had proven to be better "straight out of the box" than he had had any inkling would be possible and he had come to depend upon the accuracy of the system. It occasionally "threw" shots, but it enhanced his own already expert marksmanship to stellar levels. Especially in this half-light, half-dark.


Even the army men without power armor get the fruits of the canceled Land Warrior, predecessor and part of the likewise canceled Future Force Warrior project, though in fairness it was canceled after the books came out. The idea was basically to put a computer in a soldier’s helmet that would integrate his communications and weapons, with an eyepiece that could give him night vision, camera display, or downloadable maps. Plus better body-armor and rifle, which were kept after the project but which mostly suck. What was it someone said about these books reading like a firearm fanboy’s checklist?

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Tommy stood at the counter, aimlessly whistling through his teeth for a moment, then picked up a copy of Guns and Ammo, one of the few magazines to survive the collapse in publishing. He flipped through a couple of pages looking at the new Desert Eagle .65 design. He, personally, thought that anyone smaller than him would be as likely to knock themselves out as be able to fire the damned thing. But some people just had to have the biggest gun on the block.


Words fail me. A .65 handgun?

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"Cool," the master sergeant said. He dropped the magazine and jacked out the round up the spout. The brass and steel cartridge was as big around as his thumb. "Jesus! That's a big goddamned round!"

"You can lose a .45 cartridge in the shell casing," Papa O'Neal said with a laugh. "I did that one time reloading. And the bullet's the new Winchester Black Rhino .50. It'll put a Posleen down with one shot almost anywhere you hit it. And there are seven. I got tired of carting around a rifle all the damned time."


For the non-firearm fanboys out there, Winchester refers to a famous line of shotguns, and a Black Rhino is a nigh-legendary hoax bullet made of plastic which had both armor-piercing capabilities and after penetrating would fragment into thousands of pieces. Sort of a poor man’s bolter. Except that after calls to ban the ‘cop-killer’ bullet before it hit the streets in the '90s, the whole thing turned out to be a fake. Yes, the plastic armor-piercing frag bullet isn’t real. Shocking, I know.

I can think of two possibilities here, RIngo heard about the Black Rhinos, sans the ‘fake’ part and thought ‘cool!’ or in-universe they use the advanced knowledge of GalTech to actually produce the things as a specialized anti-Posleen bullet. Why, I’m not sure since Posleen don’t use armor, and a .50 should kill them pretty easily anyway.

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"Oh, it took a few years to set them all up," Papa O'Neal said with a laugh, sending a stream of tobacco juice to the floor. "And I did it bit by bit, so the cost wasn't all that bad. Also . . . there's some government programs now to do this sort of thing. At least that's what they're really about if you read the fine print: The BATF would shit if Congress had come right out and said as much. And recently, well . . ." He grinned and shook his head. "Let's just say that my son has done pretty well financially in this war."

Mosovich had to admit that was probably the case. The Fleet used something similar to prize rules, a combination of Galactic laws and human application. Since the ACS was generally the lead assault element, they got the maximum financial benefit of all the captured Posleen weaponry, ships and stores that generally were lying around in a retreat. He also noted that Papa O'Neal had neatly sidestepped the question of how many similar caches there were.
"And he's a great source of surplus," Mueller said, kicking a grav-gun ammo case.
"Uh, yeah," Papa O'Neal said with another grin. "They go through a lot of grav-gun ammo."


Fleet salvage rules again, a discreet program of encouraging people to make ammo caches, and O’Neal senior has a couple of grav guns.

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About forty five seconds after he dropped it, the plastic oblong quivered, turned over and—with a slight "huff" of expelled air—threw out three fishing lines, complete with treble hooks. Then, with an almost unnoticeable clicking noise, it slowly pulled the lines in until the treble hooks caught on the surrounding vegetation. At that point the device was apparently satisfied and settled back into quiescence.


SF booby-trap. A bomb that deploys its own tripwires. Actually a mine.

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The device he dropped on the trail had started life as a scatterable mine. The devices were packed into artillery rounds and fired into battlefields to "scatter" and create a problem for the enemy to deal with.

The Posleen response to minefields was to drive normals across them. It was an effective method of clearing and, from the Posleen's point of view, very efficient since they would scavenge the bodies for weapons and equipment then butcher the dead for rations.
Therefore, generally the humans didn't use scatterable mines. While "every little bit helped" in killing Posleen, by and large minefields were pretty inefficient. There were, generally, and with the exception of Bouncing Barbies, better uses for artillery.

Scatterable mines themselves, however, were a different story. In bygone days the sergeant major probably would have stopped to set a claymore. While that might have been more effective, it also took more time. Or, if he was in a real hurry, he would drop a "toe-popper," a small mine that would detonate if stepped on. But toe poppers were, at best, wounding. And, unless you dug a small hole and hid it, which took time, they were also easy to spot.
One of the modified scatterable mines, though, was just about perfect. The "fishing lines" were monofilament trip-wires. They threw out the hooks then pulled them in until there was a graduated resistance. At that point, the mine was "armed" and if the lines were disturbed in any way, either by pulling or cutting, the mine would detonate.

No matter how it was dropped, the first thing the mine did was right itself. So when detonated, as in this case when the lead oolt'os of the approaching company charged up the saddle, it would fly up one meter and send out a hail of small ball bearings.


See?

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The Wall was over seven stories high at the point that it passed through Black Mountain gap, with each level sporting a different mix of weaponry. These ranged from Shrike light anti-lander systems to giant sheets of directional mines called Longswords. In the last five years only one attack had made it to the Wall, and that one had been repulsed by the Longswords.


The Wall, ie the major (only) defensive line for the American Interior. Before the wall, there is only an artillery-scarred no man’s land, plus some barbed wire and stakes, close in. Behind the Wall is a small network of trenches, but after those its smooth sailing. It was going to be a large network, but somehow they never quite got around to making more than three lines, though they should slow the Posleen down a fair bit. Whatever advantages their body-shape gives the Posleen, they are not adapted for jumping down into trenches, then climbing back out the other end. Or clambering up heaps of broken rubble. Or sharp slopes.

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But, really, it was the Gatling guns, and the artillery hammering down from above, that did most of the damage.

The gun was mounted on an M27-G2 semi-fixed mount. On command, it would automatically move back and forth across a fixed azimuth, putting out a hail of bullets. The firing circuit was keyed in parallel with all the other guns in the B-14 zone, and at the press of a button, a button located in an armored command center, all twelve weapons would open up, each spitting out either 2000 or 4000 rounds per minute, depending on the setting, and filling the air with 7.62 rounds.

At least, that was the theory. The M134 was a fairly reliable system and the basic M27 mount design was older and more tried than Buckley. But tiny changes in design, necessary to convert both systems to a ground, universal availability, fixed, remotely controlled firing system instead of an aerial, regular availability, firing system, had led to tiny quirks, some of them related to the design, but most of them related to trying to integrate it. To manage those quirks, six soldiers, under Sergeant Buckley, were supposed to keep the guns mechanically functional and "fed" both between battles and during them.


Semi-automated gatling guns on the Wall. How insanely useful they would have been anywhere else, at any other time. Hells, it'd be kind of nice if they could dial the grav-rifles back to 2-4,000 rpm.

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The round was based on a standard 155 millimeter round. But instead of explosive it carried more dangerous weapons: a camera and a radio.

As the round left the distant artillery gun, a shroud fell away and the camera was uncased. Using an internal gyroscope it compensated the sensor mount against the spin of the round and kept the camera pointed at the indicated target, which in this case was the ground.
The camera was only a sophisticated visual light system; transmitting systems such as millimeter wave radar were engaged by every God King and lander in sight. But the visual light system was able to pick out the shapes of Posleen and Posleen devices from the background clutter, sending the data back to the intelligence center in narrowly directed, short, encrypted bursts.

Despite the short, directed transmissions, the Posleen were able to detect and destroy the rounds most of the time in flight and they did so in this case, catching the round as it passed over Lake Burton, but leaving all its non-transmitting brethren, who only carried high explosives and lethal shrapnel, alive.

Ryan shook his head in bafflement. None of the humans could understand why the Posleen were so damned effective at destroying anything that maneuvered or transmitted, but left "ordinary" artillery alone. He checked the FireFinder radar, which actively worked with the gun targeting systems to ensure accuracy, and, sure enough, the rest of the rounds went on their way to the target.

The picture that had come back from the round was interesting enough. The artillery had reached over fourteen thousand feet in its parabolic arc, and the "visual footprint" had stretched from Dahlonega to Lake Hartwell.


Sensor round, i.e. howitzer-launched video camera. They always get shot down (God-king autotargeting works for radar detection and radio transmission, but that last is REALLY inconsistent) but they usually get a good look around first. A moment later, they set them to transmit their take after a set delay, a second or two before they’d impact the ground anyway.

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The static rappel system was one of the first that used the more advanced Galactic sciences in a device of purely human design and manufacture. Humans had implemented "old" Galactic technology, some of which was close to the cutting edge of human tech and theory, in many designs. New gun barrels were the most common devices, but there were also some small railguns designed for humans and "human only" fusion plants, that were only five or six times the size of equivalent Galactic and about a third as efficient.

This device was the first that used theories that were beyond human ken. The Tchpth considered gravity to be, at best, a toy and, at worst, a minor nuisance. A few of their "simpler" theories were explainable to humans, such as the theory that led to the Galactic bounce tube.

When Indowy wanted to travel up or down in their megascrapers, they generally travelled by bounce tube. This was a narrow tube that went to a specific floor. You entered it and if you were at the bottom it shot you to the top and if you were at the top it let you drop to a screaming (in initial usage this was literal) stop at the bottom. What it took humans a while to discover was that while bounce tubes were "active" devices on the lift side, they were "passive" on the drop. That is, a device at the bottom detected something coming in at high velocity, generated a very minor field and when the item hit the field it was decelerated using its own positive momentum for energy.

The Tchpth and Indowy considered this purely efficient. The humans initially considered it magic.

However, after staying up for several days, smoking a large amount of an illicit substance and taking a very long shower, a research grad at CalTech suddenly realized that if you took some of the things that the Tchpth were saying and turned them on their sides . . . sort of, it was a lot of very good stuff . . . it made a certain amount of sense. Then she wrote them down and slept for three days.

After deciphering what she wrote, which, as far as anyone but her mother was concerned was apparently Sanskrit, she created a little box that when thrown at a wall "threw back." The energy usage involved was no more than that of a small sensor and it always threw back, even when fired from a low velocity pneumatic cannon. (The cannon was called a "chicken gun" and was usually used to test aircraft windshields. But that is another story.)

There was a current upper limit on the device, that is, when fired at very high velocity it tended to break the windshield, and it was better at stopping itself than it was at stopping stuff coming at it. So there was no "personal forcefield."

In other words, it was a very fast way to get to the ground in relative safety.

The device was modified and adjusted until it didn't just stop itself, but created a "static repulsion zone" which, when there was a situation of sudden kinetic change, damped that change. Then it was turned over to TRW for manufacturing purposes. The device was being installed on every vehicle still on the roads and in other places where sudden stops happened in a bad way. And it was issued to all the LRRP teams.


Static rappel system. Basically a magic device that lets you step off a cliff and land without needing to bend your knees, because it redirects the energy of your falling motion into a braking force. Naturally, the first thing to do is install it in cars.

We also have a couple other examples here of tech built by humans, from local materials, using Galactic sciences. Like the heat-dispersing barrels from the manjacks, some railguns, and even fusion. Though I wonder what great obstacle there is to using Posleen railguns, their hands are four-fingered with great big claws, but that shouldn’t be too serious an obstacle. They don’t have sights, but it must be easier to add sights than to design and build your own railguns from scratch. Perhaps the centauroid body shape can handle recoil better?

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After the last reconnaissance debacle, the corps commander had ordered a halt to long-range patrols for the time being. The gap was being taken up by increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles and scout crawlers. The former were small aircraft, most of them not much larger than a red-tailed hawk, that hovered along in the trees, probing forward against the Posleen lines. The problem with them was that the Posleen automated systems identified and destroyed them with remarkable ease. So they would only get a brief view of any Posleen activity. Crawlers—which looked like foot-long mechanical ants—did a little bit better. But even they had not been able to penetrate very far; whoever was commanding the Posleen had the main encampment screened tighter than a tick.


Suicidal UAVS are used in the same manner as the recon shells from before. There’s also a ground version, but I’m sure we can do better than that with existing technology.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:47pm 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21023
Ahriman238 wrote:
Quote:
Mike wondered how many other wives and husbands, mothers and fathers were pissed away by the goddamned Fleet. By "admirals" who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the heel. By a high command that kowtowed to the damned Darhel. By senior commanders who had never seen a Posleen, much less killed one.
Just a touch about the space situation, and the superdreadnought design. MAD MIKE is not happy with the armchair admirals who suck-up to the Darhel. Clearly they are out of touch, having never even seen the Posleen, unlike the thousands of spacemen who calmly looked the enemy in the eye from thousands of km away before firing their great hypercannon and smashing Posleen ships, spraying them with yellow blood.
Since Mike's wife died in a space battle commanding an ill-prepared ship in Earth orbit during the events of Gust Front, I... think he can be considered an unreliable narrator. Not 100% objective, y'know?

Then again, it could just be Ringo being an unreliable author.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:48pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Posleen:
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When they first got orders to fire up any targets of opportunity while on patrols it did not seem to be a good idea. He'd been chased by the Posleen before and it was no fun. The aliens were faster and had more endurance than humans; getting them off your trail required incredible stealth or sufficient firepower.


Posleen are not just much faster than humans, they can keep the pace much longer to.

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The Posleen had extremely advanced weaponry, hundreds of generations better than the humans. Their light-weight hypervelocity missiles could open up a main battle tank or a bunker like a tin can and every tenth "normal" carried one. The plasma cannons and heavy railguns mounted on the God King's saucers were nearly as effective and the sensor suite on each saucer swept the air clear of any aircraft or missile that crested the horizon.

In addition to their technological edge they outnumbered the human defenders. The five invasion waves that had hit Earth, and the numerous "minor" landings in between, had ended up dropping two billion Posleen on the beleaguered planet. And it only took two years for a Posleen to reach maturity. How many there were on Earth at this point was impossible to estimate.


A bit of review of Posleen 101, two years to maturity for baby Posleen.

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All of these defenses were predicated on the Posleen's major weaknesses: inability to handle artillery and inability to cross significant barriers. The God Kings were able to engage aircraft and missiles with almost one hundred percent certainty but still were unable to stop indirect, free-flight artillery. So as long as they were in artillery range of humans they were vulnerable. And because of their odd mental dichotomy, it was virtually impossible for them to overrun modern defensive structures. Posleen attacks that carried the first layer of a prepared defense normally involved casualty rates of one hundred Posleen for every human killed; even with their overwhelming numbers they simply could not take more than the front rank of a prepared defense. And virtually all the defenses along the Rockies and Appalachians were layered with large units up and multiple supporting units. So the Posleen came on and they died in such vast numbers that it was impossible to count. And they lost. Every time.
Now, in most areas humans crouched behind their redoubtable defenses while the Posleen created a civilization just out of artillery range. And in between was a weed-choked and ghost-haunted no-man's-land of shattered towns and ruined cities.


Stand off. The Posleen cannot force their way into the heavily defended stronghold of Middle America, but the troops aren’t exactly rushing out to give the alien invaders the boot. Artillery remains essential to fighting the Posleen, wherever and however you do it.

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Attenrenalslar was what the humans had taken to calling a "five percenter." Ninety-five percent of Posleen God Kings understood only the simplest imperatives. Eat, screw, fight, take territory and repeat until death. However, that remaining five percent was, in some ways, more trouble than the other ninety-five. The "five percenters" were the ones that jammed the humans' frequencies at seeming random, but always it seemed at the worst possible time. It was the five percenters that occasionally took over a fire net to the consternation of all. It was the five percenters that organized groups of Posleen to act in what was an almost concerted action. And it was the five percenters that used their Lampreys and Command Dodecahedrons as airmobile units.

One of O'Neal's nightmares was somebody who would organize all the five percenters into one massive unit.


The “five-percenters” who learn from their enemies, break with the traditional and highly predictable tactics of their brethren, use ships intelligently, coordinate with each other, jam transmissions, hack computers and generally make a great nuisance of themselves.

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The communications situation Beyond the Wall was complex. The Posleen had become more and more adept at detecting and localizing radio transmissions. After repeated losses, the LRRP teams began using automatic laser retransmitters for commo. Every team went out with large numbers of the bread-loaf sized devices and emplaced them on the ridges in their areas of operations. Since the retransmitters doubled as sensors they also gave the commands a feel for movement in their area.


The Posleen are learning, getting better at finding transmissions. The GalTech comms for the ACS are pretty much undetectable, but not everyone gets them, that would be silly.
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A holo map blossomed over the older Kessentai's tenar showing the relative position of the human team and the Posleen force.


Tenar have holographic displays. Even the God-kings get mini-maps.

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The God King was a good four hundred meters away and there was only one. The sensors of the saucers had been shown to be able to "see" humans at that range, but could not "discriminate" them if they were not firing. If the Posleen company had been headed down the hill the team would simply have dropped and hoped they weren't spotted. But it was clear from the movement of the force that it knew where the humans were and was headed over there to wipe them out.


Tenar sensors can detect humans at over 400 meters.

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The gun looked not dissimilar to the shotguns of Cholosta'an's oolt'os. However, when the oolt'ondai fired it was clearly different. For one thing, since the humans had dropped over the back side of the hill and were under cover from direct fire, he would not have been able to hit them. But the senior Kessentai did not seem to be trying to, rather firing into their general vicinity. Another change was that the round was clearly visible, travelling at relatively low speed to drop into the distant white pine and hardwood forest. The last difference was that there was no apparent effect except a slight flicker in the tenar's sensors.
"What was that?" Cholosta'an asked warily.
"A little present Tulo'stenaloor cooked up," Orostan said. "Now to see if it worked."


A God-king uses a shotgun-fired EMP grenade. Even the hardened stuff gets fried, but not Posleen or GalTech.

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"Fire pressure's still up there," O'Neal opined as the others dug themselves out of the ground again. "Sometimes if you pin them in place and don't kill the first million or so they run out of bullets. But when you're killing wave after wave the guys behind are always fresh and have full loads. We used that in . . . Christ . . . Harrisburg One, I think. Pinned the front-ranks down until they ran out of fire, moved forward and dug in again so the rear ranks could come forward a bit then did it all over again. Sort of. I think. It's been a long time. But if we try that here, we'll get flanked. That was when we were retaking the outer defenses and we were covered on a narrow front."


Anti-Posleen tactics again.
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The globes were made up of thousands of smaller vessels from multiple worlds. They formed at predetermined deep-space rendezvous then proceeded to the target planet. When they reached the outer strands of the atmosphere the globes broke up and the subvessels, Lampreys and Command Dodecahedrons, would fan out in a giant circle around the landing target.

Battle-globes, and how the Posleen arrange to form them.

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It was unlikely that the secondary weapons would scratch that thing; it was the size of a oolt'pos.


SheVa tank is about the size of a Lamprey. Since a SheVa is 117x143x52 meters, this gives a ballpark estimate for Lamprey sizes. This in turn gives us a somewhat rougher idea of C-Dec size, since a C-Dec is a dodecahedron with each face a bit larger than a Lamprey.

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Despite desperate winnowing on Tulo'stenaloor's part, there were only forty Kessentai who were capable of "fighting" their ships without automatics. Since this required a real "crew," including intelligent and trained persons to man weapons consoles, instead of just hitting the odd flashing button, it was not too surprising. All told, the forty ships were crewed by over four hundred Kessentai. Normally there would have been a bare sixty at most.
But these Kessentai arguably had the second most important job in the entire "mission"; removing the Wall. And that meant real weapons.
The viewscreen went dark as the first anti-ship missile impacted on the Wall.


Not many God-kings can fly their ships beyond telling the automatics/AI what they want. God-kings are the only Posleen smart enough to crew a starship in any case. Plus they need ten to fly and fight a ship that should only really need one or two.

Quote:
The humans had observed that behavior before, but only on Earth. Although the God Kings invariably lived above ground, usually in large stone or metal pyramids—although there didn't seem to be any evidence of those here—most of their manufacturing facilities seemed to be underground.
Apparently this was a "late conquest" activity. After an area had been fully reduced and all the human evidence cleaned up the Posleen generally put in farms. They primarily grew local crops having, apparently, none of their own. While this was going on the local God King's pyramid was constructed and the multitude of items necessary for that and day-to-day existence was created from the "factories," mostly nannite "vat" production, on the ships. But as soon as an area reached a certain level of production, underground facilities started being built. And when they were complete, the ships were passed on to the next generation and took off for either another planet or another part of the same planet. And the local settlement started working on the next ship out of their surplus.



Posleen manufacturing and agriculture in secure areas. Interesting that they also use nano-tech production, at least for the small scale things like weapons. And they build their shipyards and major factories underground.

Quote:
He sighed and pulled up a graph that he knew he looked at too much. It was his own AID's estimate, based upon all available information, of . . . relative combat strength in the United States. It took into account that the casualty ratio of humans to Posleen tended to be about one thousand to one, but it also took into account the dwindling supplies of soldiers and Posleen birthrates. What it said was that sometime in the next twelve months, when the current crop of Posleen nestlings reached maturity and were given their weapons, there would be enough Posleen to swamp every major pass in the Appalachians. And it wouldn't even take smart Posleen.


I know I’ve said this before, but the Posleen come in fairly large numbers, and usually breed faster than you can kill them. Thus, the problem isn’t killing them, it’s killing enough of them to make a difference. Also, a final casualty ratio stat. So the final results go something like this, open field battle 1:2 Posleen. Trenches or foxholes, with Division artillery, 1:10 human. With serious fortifications, treacherous ground and serious artillery and ACS support, 1:1000 human.

We have another inconsistency, in that at the start of the book the Posleen were estimated to outnumber the humans ten-to-one, now even the thoudand-to-one exchange rate is simply not good enough, and they’ll be overrun within a year when the next generation of earth-grown Posleen reaches maturity.

Quote:
"That's not a factory, then," he muttered, working a big wad of jerky into his cheek. He wondered just what those sneaky yellow bastards thought they were doing. The Posleen under certain conditions dug like gophers; they apparently had very good mining technology, along the lines of the Galactics' ionic miners. But they generally left their normals on the surface farming, strip mining and gathering.


Both Posleen and Galactics have very good digging technology. The Posleen strip-mine for metals, rather than shaft-mine.

Quote:
The sixty tenaral had taken a winding path up and down the valleys of the area the humans called "Warwoman" and now their surprise was complete.


Tulo’stenaloor’s group has 60 tenaral, the flying tanks.

Quote:
The craft looked like something straight out of a 1950s science fiction novel. It was more or less saucer shaped with a small turret on the top. Most of the turrets seemed to have . . . Posleen plasma guns mounted in them.


Tenaral.

Quote:
The creatures were one of the pests brought by the Posleen. Like the Posleen they were omnivorous and capable of surviving on Terran vegetation. They were about the size of rabbits, white and looked somewhat like a cross between a rat and a pillbug. They moved like a rabbit, hopping along on a single rear leg that had a broad, flexible pod-foot. Individually they were inoffensive and, unlike Posleen, fully edible to humans; Mueller had eaten them and he had to admit that they tasted better than snake, something like capybara. However, they nested in large colonies dug into the ground like anthills and defended their colonies viciously, swarming out on anything that came near them and attacking with a pair of mandibles that looked like oversized rat-teeth. They also cleared large meadows out of the forests, felling the trees like beaver and chewing them up to create underground fungus gardens. They also ate a variety of vegetation and had been observed to scavenge carcasses.

They were eaten by everything at this point including wolves, feral dogs and coyotes, but their only natural predator was what the Posleen called "grat." The grats were much worse than abat, being a flying pest that looked remarkably similar to a giant wasp. However, grats were limited since the only thing they could eat was abat. With a mature abat nest in the area, Mueller made sure to keep a sharp eye out for grat; they were much more territorial than the abat and the sting from one was deadly.


Posleen vermin. Like the Orks, the Posleen drastically effect the ecosystem wherever they go. Unlike the Orks, the vermin aren’t related to them, just really good at stowing aboard their ships.

Quote:
The Posleen normal had apparently been screened by a holly thicket. Now it charged down the hillside, spear held at shoulder height.


Feral Posleen without access to technology use spears or similar improvised weapons.

Quote:
"A kenal flak, senra, fuscirto uut!" Orostan shouted. He shook his arm and glared at the flash burn. "I am going to eat that human's GET."


Just for old times’ sake.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 05:58pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
As I recall they had to get inside and damage it, but a C-dec is quie a bit bigger anyhow. Then again how much antimatter did Mike use to take out the C-dec in Hymn?


One quarter-kilo of antimatter.

Quote:
Since Mike's wife died in a space battle commanding an ill-prepared ship in Earth orbit during the events of Gust Front, I... think he can be considered an unreliable narrator. Not 100% objective, y'know


This is so.

Missed a Posleen bit again.

Quote:
"Yes," Goloswin answered, gesturing at the monitor. "From a Kessentai who was on Aradan. It seems he has gained access to control codes for the metal threshkreen communications. We are now 'in their net' as the humans would say. This includes communications between the chief of all threshkreen in this land and the metal threshkreen. Also, there are other threshkreen who use this communications medium; among others your lurp friends. I also have their numbers and disposition in the entire U.S.; the only available unit is in its quarters in the area the humans call 'Pennsylvania.' It also permits entry to Indowy communications on the planet, few as they are. The few Darhel are still locked out, but it gives me a starting point to work on them as well."


In spite of everything, the Posleen eventually hack the ACS/AID communications. Apparently Indowy can access the net, but the Darhel are locked out. Interesting.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 06:09pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
ACS:

Quote:
He put the cigarette in his mouth, lifted his left arm and a two meter gout of flame suddenly spurted from one of the many small orifices on the surface of his suit. He took a drag on the cigarette and the flamethrower went out.

Mike’s suit has a flamethrower. That he uses to light cigarettes instead of say, directing it towards the enemy. 2 meter range. Minor nitpick, since they aren’t fighting humans and are engaged in a desperate struggle for survival, but aren’t those things banned?

Quote:
Moving ACS had been a problem from the beginning. Packaging their suits and moving them separately effectively disarmed them; most ACS troopers were fairly incompetent without a suit wrapped around them. And moving the suits with people in them was a horrendous operation; even with their pseudo muscles turned "down," suits tended to destroy normal structures when the two came into contact.
Finally, standard forty-five passenger school buses had been converted to carry the units. The seats, basically bars of raw steel welded into benches, were intensely uncomfortable for anyone not in a suit. But they had the benefit of being able to survive even a long bus trip with ACS enlisted infantry onboard.
The sole concession to comfort in the buses was an adjustable headrest. The first thing ACS troopers tended to do once they were out of combat was remove their helmets and that habit had been recognized in the design. It was a well understood action; ACS sometimes spent weeks in continuous contact with the Posleen; after that long in a virtual environment the need to breathe uncanned air and feel wind on their face became overwhelming.

With the ongoing shortages of Banshees, converted schoolbuses have become the primary means of moving ACS around. Converted in the sense that all the seats are replaced with steel-bar benches that can actually hold the weight and won’t be accidently destroyed.

Quote:
"No problem," Mike said with another grin, flexing one arm. His forearms were still the size of most people's thighs. "I take it you work out?"
"Yes, sir," Tommy answered. "At least two hours per day, duties permitting."
"Yeah," O'Neal said with a nod. "You'll be glad to hear that the suits permit weight exercise while in them. Otherwise there is no way I could maintain this. But I wasn't thinking of Rochester or even, I think, other battles . . . Shelly: Thomas Sunday, Junior, encounters and relationships, not while he was a member of the Ten Thousand."


The suits, as mentioned earlier, double as exercise equipment by resisting ones motions to a preset degree. The AIDS can even keep track of people, and tell you where you know a guy from.

Quote:
"The good news is that even we can't miss." Because of the automation of the systems and the fact that the ACS was designed to "spew" fire, it was an article of faith among the conventional forces that they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

Which is a bad thing when your bullets can kill dozens.

Quote:
"That was, until the Alpha company began to run low on ammunition. To their front was a gully, and the Posleen waves were, in part by accident, sheltered by said gully. The Reapers had used their grenades to good effect, but the resupply line had been partially flanked and was sustaining heavy interdicting fire. So, slowly, the company got lower and lower on ammunition until they were down to firing individual rounds.


Confirmation that grav guns have a single-shot mode.

Quote:
"Our esteemed leader, doing his notorious impression of the sphinx, then looks around, picks up a small boulder and rolls it down the hill."
"You could hear the crunch when it hit the horses," Stewart chimed in. "It was nearly as big as he is. . . . He looked like an ant lifting a big chunk of dirt. . . ."
"Then he turns to the company commander and says . . ."
"He who laughs last is generally the one that thought fastest on his feet," Mike said, taking a sip of beer.
"We edited for content and punch," Duncan said. "Using boulders from the surrounding terrain, Alpha Company then proceeded to play 'Bowling for Posleen' for the next few hours."


Explanation for 555th motto, alternative tactics for ACS in the absence of ammo.

Quote:
The sniper didn't have to worry about hypothermia. The Galactic Hiberzine medication used a combination of drugs and nanites to slow human internal functions to close to zero and the nanites prevented, to the greatest degree, anything but gross mechanical damage to the body. So as long as they made sure some blood stayed in his system, he was "good," under virtually any conditions, for about three months. When administered the anti-drug, or after the nanites ran out of energy, the patient woke up with no memory of the time in between; to them it was as if no time had passed.


Some of the processes behind Hiberzine, and some of the limits. Namely, it can only keep someone in suspended animation for 3 months. Because the nanotech has a limited power supply.

Finally, there's a bit I didn't grab a quote for early on, where a platoon of ACS expends 15% of their ammo on a minor firefight with a single oolt.

@Raxmei, took until about a third of the way into the book to find out, but no. MAD MIKE is not a captain any longer but a major (Does that make him MAJOR MAD MIKE or just a major pain?) and is commanding the entire 555 battalion, though that's normally a light Colonel's command. :shrug: It doesn't really bother me, there are too many screwy things going on to get too hung up on any one point. Plus, I believe there is a considerable precedent for officers commanding larger groups then they're supposed to on paper.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 06:31pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
And now, what I know you have all been waiting for, the orgy of illogic, alogic, nonlogic, unlogic, and anti-logic that is the SheVa anti-lander platform. A weapon so inconsistent and offensive to rationality I had to make up four words to describe it already.

I give you horror! I give you insanity! I give the Great Old Sleeping One! I give you...

SheVa:

Let’s start with some stats:

Quote:
Height: 170 ft.(52 m) ground to top of turret
Treads: four
Tread height: 27 ft. (8 m)
Tread width, individual tread: 150 ft. (46 m)
Weight of individual tread: 37 tons
Total vehicle width: 385 ft. (117 m)
Total vehicle length: 468 ft. (143 m)
Gun length: 200 ft. (61 m) including barrel and breech
Gun bore: 16" (406 mm)
Round weight: 16 tons, projectile, cartridge and propellant.
Cartridge length: 14.7 ft. (4 m)
Cartridge diameter: 27 inches (69 cm)
Reactors: 4 Johannes/Cummings pebble-bed uranium/helium
Drive motors: 48
Total power: 12,000 horsepower
Unloaded weight: 7,000 tons approximate


Some stats for the monster. Metric conversions mine. I think someone took the phrase ‘land ships’ a little too literally. Here's a picture, thanks to MKShep for posting it in a previous thread:


Image
Quote:
The basic parameters for the weapon were simplicity in themselves. The gun was an extended barrel, smoothbore, 16" battleship cannon. Because of the occasional necessity of rapid fire, the standard 16" "bag and round" method of loading, which involved sliding a 1200-pound round followed by fifty-pound bags of powder, had been replaced with a single shell the size of a small ICBM. The SheVa gun carried eight rounds as a "standard load" and a tractor-trailer could haul two "four-packs" that permitted reloading in under ten minutes. Each gun was loaded with standard rounds, but there were at least two tractor trailers "on-call" carrying special munitions, including both sensor and antimatter area effect weapons, at all times.


Because when you build a tank that that shoots nukes, the ability for rapid fire is all-important. Remember the SheVa only actually carries eight shots, it’ll be important much later. Trailer-trucks used for resupply.

Quote:
The other parameters were that it be able to fire from two degrees below horizontal to ninety seven degrees above with a swiveling turret and that the system be fully mobile. It was this combination that had caused all the design teams to almost give up in despair. That was, until the good old boys (and girls) from the Shenandoah went ahead and admitted that the parameters just meant it needed to be bigger than anyone was willing to admit, even privately


Well, it’s certainly big, and can not only shoot straight up, but straight up and slightly behind. I’m sure that always ends well.

Quote:
The monstrosity that was finally constructed defied belief. The transporter base was nearly a hundred meters long with two fifty-meter-wide treads on either side supported by four-story-high road wheels. The "gun" was mounted on shock absorbers the size of small submarines and constructed using some of the same techniques. The swivel turret was two stories thick, constructed of multiple pieces "welded" together by an explosive welding technique, and nearly fifty meters across. The upper deck was six-inch steel plate, not for any armoring purpose, but because when the gun fired anything else would buckle.


Despite appearances and everything else, the SheVa is not a tank. It is a self-propelled artillery piece. Any armor is there because it need to be rugged to work. With one notable exception, any of the SheVa will quickly die the moment infantry gets around them. Like many tanks, they have no armor on the underside, unlike the tanks, their underside is 8 meters off the ground. Think about that for just a moment.

Quote:
SheVas were not, strictly speaking, armored vehicles. They had a lot of really heavy metal pieces on them, some of them quite hard, but they were necessary to support the energies released with each firing of the massive gun. They were not designed to withstand close range heavy plasma fire and that became clear on the second hit, when the right rear track separated.


Support of the above.

Quote:
When the design was mostly done the power source was obvious; there wasn't enough diesel in the entire United States to support the projected requirements for the guns. On the other hand, Canada's supplies of pitchblende were plentiful and above the weather-line that the Posleen preferred. Therefore, nuclear was the only way to go. However, putting a large "reactor control crew" onboard seemed silly. Finally, they "borrowed" a South African design for a simple, practically foolproof nuclear vessel called a "pebble-bed helium" reactor. The system used layered "pebbles" that automatically mitigated the reaction and helium—which could not pick up, and thus release, radiation—as the temperature transfer medium. Even if the coolant system became totally open, that is if it started venting helium to the air, no radiation would be released and the reactor would not "melt-down." Of course, if the reactor took a direct hit there would be "hot" uranium scattered all over the ground but other than that, no problem; the system was absolute proof against "China Syndrome."


My knowledge of nuclear reactors is actually a lot less substantial than the Wikipedia article on them, so I have no idea if Ringo is talking out of his ass for this part. I’m suspicious for the simple reason that if it were possible to build nuclear reactors that were much safer and didn’t require constant monitoring by trained professionals, we would use it for nuclear vessels already.

Quote:
The control center and living quarters were actually located underneath the behemoth and were the size of a small trailer. It wasn't that it took a large crew; the system could actually be run by one person. It just made more sense that way. The designers looked at the physical requirements for the three-man crew and finally settled on a small, highly armored command center. But the monstrosity had so much power and space to spare that they added to the design until they had a small living quarters that would permit the crew to live independent of the surroundings.


Living quarters for SheVa crew.

Quote:
Millimeter wave radar on the side of the gun "painted" the target, comparing it to the electronic pictures it stored of various Posleen equipment. The onboard computer determined that, yes, this was a lander and the lack of return from an "Identify, Friend or Foe" query indicated that, yes, this was a valid target. It then ran a laser down the barrel, determining that it was in good condition to fire and another on the outside determining that all the support structures that were supposed to be supporting were in fact functioning. Last it computed barrel distortion, number of rounds fired through the barrel, temperature of the air and a myriad of other variables to arrive at an adequate firing solution.


Process for acquiring a firing solution and preparing to fire.

Quote:
Major Porter hit the lowering circuit before Edwards was even in his seat, but the gunner had the escape vehicle starting before they had dropped more than a meter. Porter sighed as the scream of the jet turbine engine caused the vehicle to purr like a tiger. Functional power was a good thing.

"Thank God for General Motors," he said. He glanced at the height reading then hit the release as another wash of plasma hit the massive SheVa above them. Fuck it. The torsion bars would handle the drop.

At forty miles per hour and accelerating the still bouncing M-1 Abrams burst from under its larger brethren and headed for the shadow of the nearest ridge.


Yeah, the escape vehicle is a fully-outfitted Abrams tank that lowers or is dropped the 8 meters to the ground and drives off with the crew.

Quote:
The rounds for the SheVa guns used the equivalent of a battleship 16" gun "max charge." The bullet, however, was a sabot round, a depleted uranium "arrow" surrounded by a thermoplastic "shoe." The bullet, therefore, was very light compared to the standard 16" gun "round." And instead of a rifled barrel, which permitted a round to stabilize in flight by spin, but also retarded the speed of the round, it was a smoothbore. The barrel was also extended to nearly three times the length of a standard sixteen-inch barrel, thus permitting more of the energy from the charge to be imparted to the bullet.

Since round speed is a function of energy imparted versus round weight and barrel drag, the round left the barrel at speeds normally obtainable only by spacecraft.

The plastic "shoe" fell off within half a mile and what was left was an eight-inch-thick, six-foot-long, pointed uranium bar with tungsten "fins" on the back. The fins stabilized its flight. And fly it did crossing the twenty kilometers to the target, trailing a line of silver fire, in just under two seconds. However, such speed and power do not come without some minor secondary effects.


Calc-fodder! So the 16 ton ‘rounds’ that are loaded in consist of a 1 ton sabot projectile, and 15 tons of propellant, the ‘shoe’ and the cartridge? Interesting. The SheVa gun fires with a similar lightning-visual effect to the grav guns. There are two speeds given for the SheVa shots, first this one, twenty kilometers in two seconds, then a 2500 m/s on the next bloody page. So I just calced both of them, and am calling them my high-end and low-end figures. If I had to choose one, I’d figure on it being closer to the low-end, since the propellant is ‘equivalent to a max charge on a regular battleship gun of the same size and not pixie-dust.

59,330.53 cm3 for volume times 19.1 for density. Mass= 1,133,213.12 grams. The mass calc is probably a bit off, since rather than being solid DU, there’s 10 KT worth of antimatter, but that should be less than a kilo, so I’m calling it close enough. I also didn’t figure for the tungsten stabilizer fins.

So, 1,133.21 kilos.

At 2,500 m/s= 3.54 gigajoules.

At 10,000 m/s= 56.66 gigajoules.

Quote:
The SheVa gun was just setting into place, to the east of Dillard. To the north, paralleling the highway and occasionally touching on it, was a smashed track of its movement.
"That's a SheVa gun," Mosovich said. "An anti-lander gun. There's another one down by corps headquarters, but you didn't notice it since it was camouflaged."


Yeah, I’m sure the foam version of camo-netting makes them really inconspicuous. It's not like they tower over the landscape or anything.

Quote:
As he said that, green and brown foaming liquid began to pour out of inconspicuous ports along the side of the base. The foam quickly hardened creating a mound that built up along the base of the gun system.

A large tractor trailer, with what looked like two brass missiles on the back, backed up to the rear of the SheVa gun and tilted one of the "missiles" upwards, sliding it into a port on the rear of the gun.

"That looks like the biggest . . . bullet in creation," Shari said.

"That's more or less what it is," Mueller answered. "They fire full rounds, not projectiles, bullets, with propellant bags or something. They're the biggest cartridges ever made and the most complicated; among other things the system uses a plasma enhancer that requires resistors to be threaded through the propellant. They're not just stuffed with cordite or something."

"In an hour it will look like a big, green and brown mound," Mosovich said. "Then when landers come over the horizon, it just drives out and engages; the foam flakes off relatively easily. And it's a hell of a lot easier to set up than that much camouflage netting."

"What does it fire?" Elgars asked, still staring at the slowly disappearing monstrosity.

"A sixteen-inch discarding sabot with a nuclear round at the center," Wendy said with a smile in her voice. "When you care enough to send the very best . . ."

"Antimatter, actually," Mosovich said. "Much cleaner than even the cleanest nuke. It's a bit of overkill for the Lampreys; the penetrators generally tear them up pretty good. But it's necessary for the C-Decs, the command ships. They're bigger and have more internal armoring. I hear when they hit a lander's containment system it's pretty spectacular."


Antimatter is ‘clean’ KE kills Lampreys, it’s the C-Decs they need the antimatter charge for. Camo-foam. Now the propellant is 'plasma enhanced' where earlier it was the same as a BB gun.

Quote:
"Sir!" the warrant said desperately. "That's what I'm trying to tell you; the camo-foam isn't set yet. Until it cures it's . . . malleable. Heat it up and it sets hard; if it seals the sensors we'll never have an acquisition system. They'll be frozen solid until we can get a CONTAC team out here. With a lot of solvent. I shut them down manually as a safety measure."


SheVa are vulnerable when first deploying camo-foam. They can move some, and swivel the turrets, but they can’t use sensors or elevate/depress the barrel. They can fire once, but not twice if forced to engage in this state.

Quote:
The magazine for the SheVa guns was the heaviest armored container ever designed. The inner layer was simple steel, four layers of hardened case steel coated with "supersteel," a recent development that increased the surface hardness of steel almost fourfold. Outside that were two layers of "honeycomb" armor made of tungsten and synthetic sapphire. The outermost section was multiple layers of ablative explosive plates. These had been found to disrupt Posleen plasma guns, to an extent.

In addition there were four sections that were designed to "control" the explosion and "blow out" if a round went off. And there were internal baffles designed to direct the majority of the explosion away from surrounding rounds. In that way it was felt that the explosion could be reduced to at most one or two rounds. Better a minor cataclysm than a major one.

The Posleen had determined that most tanks placed their engines at the front and rear. And since their orders were to keep pounding until the gun stopped and was burning, they had pounded over four hundred plasma blasts into the rear compartment. There was only so much that even the strongest armor could take.

The round that actually penetrated had one last defense to make it through. But at the end it cut through the thin shell of depleted uranium surrounding the antimatter core with relative ease. The antimatter then did what antimatter does when it comes into contact with regular matter. Explode. Spectacularly.

The accidentally targeted round was only equivalent to 10 kilotons and the engineers were relatively sure that a single round exploding would be controlled by the container. At the most, if it was on the outer rack it would blow out and only be a nuisance to any unit within, say, a mile of the gun. A major nuisance to them, but if you weren't too close or, say, directly behind the gun, you might survive.

In this case, however, the round was on the inner rack, where there were no available blow-out panels. In addition the plasma rounds worming their way into the gun's vitals had shattered most of the internal compartmentalization, for whatever good it might have done. So when the round went off it set off all the remaining rounds racked in the magazine.
The gun had fired twice and had one round loaded. So there were only five rounds to blow. But they went in a ripple sequence that was effectively instantaneous. And both the nature of the containment vessel and the damage that it had sustained combined to cause a near optimum explosion.



SheVa death and magazine safety fatures.
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Vejut
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 07:40pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2002-08-28 11:34pm
Posts: 289
Location: edge of hickville, just inside suburbia
Hunh. Either that picture can't possibly be right, or the stats are way off. Assuming the unit is set up the way that picture shows--even two treads side by side leave only 85 feet of 385 between them for drive units and the like. Four 150ft side by side treads on a 385 ft wide unit...he's got 215 feet of tread sticking beyond his "total vehicle width" even before you fit anything to drive them. For that matter, the total length of the vehicle is only 3 tread widths.

Plus, you've got a land ship four times as wide and half as long as the average battleship, not to mention probably twice as tall, with enough empty space they put in living quarters for the heck of it, and it only weighs 7000 tons? and can only carry 8 shells, as opposed to the 1200+ carried by Iowa? Weird stuff. To think my initial critique of it back when was that they were silly for making a barrel so long they needed a 100 foot tall box to mount the cranes to keep it straight.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 08:26pm 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Ahriman238 wrote:
@MkShepperd: Sorry, it's a 16" gun that shoots 8" DU sabot rounds.


So the weight of the penetrator will be around 350 pounds (mass of an 8" superheavy shell) speed -- 2.5 km/sec.

Hum dee dum.

500 MJ.

Which is actually in line with my estimate earlier of 578.52 MJ based off that line of the recoil force for a SheVa gun being six times that of a 16"/50 gun.

Meanwhile, HIBEX hits with 1,300 MJ.

HIBEX is so fun, I did more calculations related to HIBEX and found that:

  • HIBEX's propellant ISP is 290~
  • HIBEX's Vacuum Burnout Velocity is 2,977 m/sec. Stupid atmosphere limiting it to 2,575~ m/sec.
  • HIBEX's Mass fraction is 0.54 (e.g. 0.54 lbs of structure for each pound of propellant).

So I whipped up on paper Micro-HIBEX:

  • 600 lbs of propellant
  • 360 lbs of structure/warhead (I decided to be conservative and go for a mass fraction of 0.6, due to shrinking it down).
  • 960 lb loaded mass

Which gives me a vacuum VBo of 2,792 m/sec, which translates to an atmospheric burnout velocity of 2,300~ m/sec if we go by the same rough proportion of atmosperic slowdown as HIBEX.

That in turn gives me a striking force of 430~ MJ. Not as much as a SheVa, but much more portable; weighing only 1,000~ lbs, compared to a 14 million pound SheVa.

Hell, its now within feasibility of mounting on a Humvee; given that the Humvee was able to mount 4 x LOSAT missiles (175 lbs each) for a total weight of 700 pounds.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 09:24pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21023
Ahriman238 wrote:
Because when you build a tank that that shoots nukes, the ability for rapid fire is all-important.
Do remember the intended targets; you may very well have to shoot twice in ten minutes. For that matter, you may have to shoot twice in five minutes, in which case your SheVa dies violently.

Quote:
Antimatter is ‘clean’ KE kills Lampreys, it’s the C-Decs they need the antimatter charge for. Camo-foam. Now the propellant is 'plasma enhanced' where earlier it was the same as a BB gun.
I'm more inclined to suspect that there's enhancer in, and that the description earlier isn't meant to suggest that the propellant for the round is exactly what goes into WWII battleship guns.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 09:29pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Oops well so much for that idea. Then again I imagine they could have used alot of smaller platforms scattered about to hit the platforms.

This is even more hilarious given the Reaper's anti-lander grav cannons (some 75mm rocket-assisted projectile at 1000 km/s and over 5 per second) are things they could have also platform mounted and probably would have worked better.


Don't get me wrong, there are less than a hundred weapons that can one shot Posleen ships in the entire world over the course of the series, and never more than fifty or maybe sixty at any given time. Under the circumstances, I'd think having a couple thousand weapons that can damage and possibly eventually destroy the ships to be a big help.

Considering they five years of prep time, there's really no good excuse for the lack of anti-lander weapon-platforms.

Quote:
59,330.53 cm3 for volume times 19.1 for density. Mass= 1,133,213.12 grams. The mass calc is probably a bit off, since rather than being solid DU, there’s 10 KT worth of antimatter, but that should be less than a kilo, so I’m calling it close enough. I also didn’t figure for the tungsten stabilizer fins.

So, 1,133.21 kilos.

At 2,500 m/s= 3.54 gigajoules.

At 10,000 m/s= 56.66 gigajoules.


Quote:
So the weight of the penetrator will be around 350 pounds (mass of an 8" superheavy shell) speed -- 2.5 km/sec.

Hum dee dum.

500 MJ.


Hmm, our numbers don't quite seem to match up, not like that hasn't happened before this thread. Still, something I'd like to resolve. Where do you get 350 lbs? Even when I convert to Imperial I have close to 2500 lbs.

Quote:
Hunh. Either that picture can't possibly be right, or the stats are way off. Assuming the unit is set up the way that picture shows--even two treads side by side leave only 85 feet of 385 between them for drive units and the like. Four 150ft side by side treads on a 385 ft wide unit...he's got 215 feet of tread sticking beyond his "total vehicle width" even before you fit anything to drive them. For that matter, the total length of the vehicle is only 3 tread widths.

Plus, you've got a land ship four times as wide and half as long as the average battleship, not to mention probably twice as tall, with enough empty space they put in living quarters for the heck of it, and it only weighs 7000 tons? and can only carry 8 shells, as opposed to the 1200+ carried by Iowa? Weird stuff. To think my initial critique of it back when was that they were silly for making a barrel so long they needed a 100 foot tall box to mount the cranes to keep it straight.


Welcome to the madness. You did read the first paragraph of the SheVa post, right?

Quote:
And now, what I know you have all been waiting for, the orgy of illogic, alogic, nonlogic, unlogic, and anti-logic that is the SheVa anti-lander platform. A weapon so inconsistent and offensive to rationality I had to make up four words to describe it already.

I give you horror! I give you insanity! I give the Great Old Sleeping One! I give you...


Or did you think I was kidding?

EDIT: And its a 3 man crew, I doubt adding living space was any great trial.
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TimothyC
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 10:54pm 

Of Sector 2814


Joined: 2005-03-23 06:31pm
Posts: 3124
Ahriman238 wrote:

Quote:
So the weight of the penetrator will be around 350 pounds (mass of an 8" superheavy shell) speed -- 2.5 km/sec.

Hum dee dum.

500 MJ.


Hmm, our numbers don't quite seem to match up, not like that hasn't happened before this thread. Still, something I'd like to resolve. Where do you get 350 lbs? Even when I convert to Imperial I have close to 2500 lbs.


Shep is using the weight of the heaviest 8" shell the US deployed at 335 lb.

If you take the dimensions of an American Super-Heavy shell (36 inches long [0.914m] , with an 8 inch diameter [0.102m radius]), and model it as a solid slug of Depleted Uranium you get a mass of 1236 lb ( 561 kg). At 2.5 km/s this yields 1616 MJ. If the mass is reduced by 50% to shape it into a shell and to provide internal volume for the warhead, the KE drops further to 808 MJ.

Looking back at the numbers given for the length of the shell SheVA uses it doesn't get any better because a good 3 feet of the shell is dedicate to the nuke (the shortest 155mm or 203mm device was 31+ inches long). This would reduce the amount that is lost to shaping down to say 20%, or roughly 1700 MJ for the KE, (with three feet of DU slug with 20% of the mass lost to shaping and a W-33 device with a mass of 110 kg) or about 30% than what you get out of HIBEX.

At that point four of Shep's Mini-HIBEX devices gets you the same KE delivered.

Four HUMVEEs vs a LANDSHIP OF DOOM.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-10-03 11:02pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21023
I am really skeptical of launching a HIBEX from a Humvee. That thing must have one hellacious exhaust backblast, and it's a bit heavy.

Of course, you still come out ahead over a SheVa no matter how big the launch platform is.
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