MKSheppard wrote:I'll answer your questions a bit later, but something jumped at me, and I did some dirty calculations:
Even if we sacrifice one button pusher to kill 100 Posleen with GalTech Tanks firing wide area SpaceClaymores[tm] at the push of the BIG RED BUTTON...
It would only cost a hundred million Darheel driven insane to kill 20 billion posleen. I'm sure we can find that many; given how Diess IV was stated to have a population of 12 billion before posleen-fall...so why do the Galactics need humanity? 100m dead is small scope on a GALACTIC scale.
Also, surely their AI can't be that terreble at killing Posleen...really, the more you drill in, the less it makes sense.
The 12 billion sentients on Diess are/were almost entirely Indowy- who cannot push the button
. They cannot do it, racially; you cannot reliably find Indowy willing to push a button that will kill Posleen. You can just barely, maybe
drive an Indowy mad enough (by the standards of their species) that they will issue a chain of orders that leads to a machine killing Posleen, but it is nearly impossible to do this. Practically speaking, only
the Himmit and the Darhel can push lethal buttons.
The Himmit will always
run if spotted*, which makes relying on them to fight
(as opposed to relying on them to kill by remote control when they are beyond any danger) nigh-impossible. The Darhel themselves make up only a tiny (powerful) minority on most of the worlds so far attacked- one of the triggers that causes them to bring humans in is that if this goes on, the worlds where significant numbers of Darhel live will be threatened by the Posleen advance.
Darhel can push that button and go horribly, fatally mad in short order. It is not something they are proud or eager to do at all
; quite the opposite. Their culture does not exactly encourage that sort of self-sacrifice, either. They are the ruling elite of their civilization and they maintain control via what amounts to corporatist loan-shark tactics. Sacrificing others to save themselves comes as second nature; the reverse does not.
No, you cannot find 100 million Darhel out of a population of several billion who are willing to push those buttons.
Moreover, and this is important, the Galactics are set up to suck at warfare
. Since they do not fight wars among themselves, their mental models of what a weapon should look like, how it should be used and kept supplied, are very primitive. This makes it very hard for them to come up with a useful means of handling even something relatively simple like human wave tactics, given that there are
complicating factors like the risk of the Posleen landing their troops on the 'wrong side' of your prepared trap.
This also makes it hard to program effective combat AI- they don't know what an effective combat AI looks like.
*Yes, you SHOULD be able to hide a Himmit on the other side of a mountain range and have him push a button which exploderizes a bajillion Posleen by remote control. The Himmit would probably even agree to do this, but Ringo's got the Galactic social structure effed up enough that efforts to do this have not been seriously arranged. Also, it is problematic if the Posleen don't land where expected, among other things.
Ahriman238 wrote:@simon on the one hand that's true, on the other, the Darhel were always going to screw us over, the only thing you can change is the timetable. GOing back to the first hand, they can't really know that. Well, they do know the Darhel tried to screw them over the issue of pay. However, the Darhel have already recruited several people, in cluding the Secretary of Defense, to push their agenda without ever seeming like they're doing so. Talking everyone down to a 'reasonable' compromise, etc.
The trick is to come up with a mobilization plan that doesn't give the Darhel active reasons to screw us over more
. If we have the right 'earthly' weapons to deal with the bulk of the Posleen ground forces with a minimum need to rely on GalTech, and only need GalTech for antilander defense, things should go as well or better than they do in the novels: humanity survives, Darhel ability to screw us is mitigated by our reliance on earthly weaponry. Which they can sabotage, but only to a limited extent.
However, we need some
GalTech, so we can't openly reject the Darhel offer to trade GalTech for human expeditionary forces, even given that the Darhel are planning to make that trade very much on their own terms.
The God-kings rarely go much higher than 1 km, but at that alltitude the horizon is more than a hundred miles.
My impression is that they usually stay pretty close to the ground, so as to remain in effective control of their own troops; God-Kings hovering 500 meters up won't be able to talk meaningfully to the normals on the ground. However, they might at least have the concept of a few guys hovering at that altitude as "top cover" and scouting; I don't know.
They don't seem to do it very reliably, though- if they did, you'd expect tactics which revolve around reverse slopes and indirect fire to not work against the Posleen very well, and they do work pretty well.
Bouncing Barbie. The accident from the first book come full circle in a mobile reusable cuisinart mine. Deployed via artillery in packs of 48. Only GalTech in widespread use, even now, a decade after the initial conference. Not very impressive, compared to the existing Volcano, besides the idea of reusable mines.
Oh, I don't know. The lethal radius of the Bouncing Barbie (fifty meters) is enough that if you throw 48 of them in a single cluster round (you can fire multiples of them, remember), you get pretty good coverage...
48*pi*50*50 is roughly... 375000 square meters. That's a larger area than is covered by the M139, and since these mines can physically relocate themselves, they can probably be programmed to form an optimal coverage pattern. So they can arrange themselves to hit pretty much everything in such an area with lethal effect, slicing and dicing practically everything in that third-of-a-square-kilometer. Six times over. From one repeat one
artillery-fired cluster munition.
In theory, you can probably even go pick up the mines after the battle is over, recharge the batteries, and load them into another cargo shell to do it again next week.
So basically, this allows one 155mm shell to do the work of full laydown from an M139, and then some.
I'm liking the idea of the shake n' bake. The main problem of raising a vast conscript army in the books was that they were counting on rejuv to give them officers and senior NCOs. When that dried up, you got a lot of Indians with no Chiefs and they rioted and looted and sold off military hardware for booze. This way, any rejuv is a bonus, but they don't really need them.
Yeah- what they should
have done is only drafted enough people for the existing army plus rejuv to provide the cadre for. This is also better for war mobilization, because you don't take five million people out of war production before you're ready to arm and properly train them.
This is the difference between a mobilization plan
and a "oh shit draft everyone" kneejerk response.
There is a reason why, during WWII, the US military kept calling up new draft numbers throughout the war, rather than just drafting a zillion people in 1942 and then gradually filtering through a system of training camps and supply chains that weren't ready to receive them...
My one beef is that while you could conceivably gather the officers and cadre beforehand, you absolutely cannot activate before August 16 (the day the world governments go public with the alien menace) and probably not for a couple of weeks afterwards. Even if you announce the draft on the same day, it will take time to get everyone registered, assigned to their new units etc.
You can't do that anyway- you can't start the draft before you announce the threat regardless of how you raise those divisions, so you're not starting your divisions any faster. Nor can you start churning out masses of new rifles, artillery, or other weapons by stepping up war production before you announce the threat, because people will ask why you're suddenly requiring the factories that make 155mm shells to work three shifts a day. No mobilization is possible without public awareness of the need to mobilize, period.
Also, you can, in theory, announce the threat sooner if you really
need to start drafting people sooner.