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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

A bit of analysis: Posleen War

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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 02:06am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Hey Ahriman238, I hope you don't mind me doing my own mining of the first book A Hymn Before Battle for my own datapoints:

Quote:
"Now for more bad news. The upper level commanders, that is myself and some of the 'type' commanders, are going to have to hash out a few things. But there are some political and budgetary constraints that the Federation has on its military. Those constraints are going to cause most of the Navy, Air Force, Marines and elite Army to be absorbed by the Federation forces." At that a buzz of conversation filled the previously silent room. Cleburne motioned them to quiet down and kept talking.


:lol: This will be shot down in five seconds by the service chiefs.
Much less the USMC Propaganda Machine.

Secondly, why even do this? Earth's militaries exist independently of any budgetary constraints the Galactics have. It does not cost them one red quatloo for the US Army to exist -- because the US funds it themselves.

In fact, shouldn't they be paying humanity megabucks for each human soldier sent offworld?

Of the races making up the GalFed...

The Himmit are total cowards; the Darheel can shoot, but supposedly it messes them up when they pull the trigger, and the Indowy and Tchpth are total pacifists.

So in walks humanity, which as a whole has no problem cheerfully mass murdering each other with smart bombs, smart missiles, rifles, RPGs, nukes, knives, and sharp sticks.

We are the ones with the advantage, because otherwise, why would they have contacted us?

It's certainly not for our social skills.

Quote:
"That means each wave will drop two hundred and forty million heavily armed alien soldiers." The accusation was quiet but fierce.


Hum. 240 million screaming fools to deal with in each wave. *notes*

Of course, MAD MIKE ONEAL says we will need....

Quote:
O'Neal nodded and reopened the briefing packet. "To stop them will require infantry. We can degrade them with artillery; air is out; we might be able to come up with a wonder tank, but if it's too big the production end will kill us. But we have to have something that can take the fight to them, not just fight in fortifications, stop them in place and survive even when being swarmed, call for fire . .


:lol:

Everything from that point goes around MAD MIKE'S emphasis on INFANTRY INFANTRY, including the ACS suits.

Quote:
"Like I said," said Horner, patiently, "a fair proportion of it will be slated to home defense. But the point is, the equipment and R and D costs will be picked up by the Galactics. Also, we won't just be dreaming it up. We really need to have all our ducks in a row, because what is dreamed up at this conference is, more or less, what we're going to take into combat. We will not only dreamland the weapons systems, we'll also be the full authorizers; these weapons will not go through the usual procurement ritual."

"What? Why?" asked Mike, surprised. Development and procurement was normally a long-term process involving a cast of millions. While it was more than himself and the general on the team, a group like this would usually just start the design process rolling.

"Think about it Mike," the general snapped. "We've only got five years, less if you think about fielding forces for planets already under assault and the attacks that will probably occur before the main landing. We have to get these systems designed, simmed, tested out, the manuals written and fielded in time for units to do a total conversion before the landings." Horner smiled ferally. "And that also means that every swinging dick of a military contractor with a four billion dollar piece of crap does not get to bid. Our team and some Indowy and Tchpth are going to be designing it from the ground up."


:lol:

No wonder everything was fucked up. They went with a bunch of fatty nerds like MAD MIKE to design their weapons systems, instead of contractors such as General Dynamics Land Systems, whose products were combat proven in Dis. :-P

Oh, and guess what? Diess was deliberate authorial fiat to get the result that Ringo wanted for his SUPERSUIT INFANTRY:

Quote:
"Well, the Multiple Launch Rocket System is fully dedicated to 10th Panzer Division. Corp intelligence, at least, thinks the Posleen will strike with the greatest weight on their location. We might, would, be able to get them for FPF, except for one thing: the damn megascrapers. There's only seventy-five meters between them and they're nearly a mile damn high. That presents an angularity problem that artillery can not overcome. The artillery firing support for the other units is just backing up a few klicks and firing right down the avenues. We can't do that because of the dogleg that Sisalav takes from the mountain. So, basically, forget arty."


Of course, the 10th Panzers get maimed, and have to be rescued by the ACS infantry on the bounce, and dropping buildings on the Posleen via combat engineers having a stiffy.

Additionally, of course, via Authorial Fiat; the US 3rd Armored Division, 2nd Infantry Division, and 7th Armored Cav Regiment are reduced to a mishmash of platoon/company size units because of course, they're heavy mechanized units, not airborne ACS units.

Of course, Mr Ringo thinks that only infantry can fight in cities. That's not true; particularly if you're the defender, at a numerical disadvantage; and even more so if the city is space opera giant skyscraper.

It means you can drive your tanks inside for more protection and camouflage, or the perfect ambush position, with the building itself providing protection from Postie weapons.

--------------

Moving on to Gust Front:

We see once again the same old pattern, of the heavy mechanized units being assraped and having to be rescued by the airborne ACS; with the recounting of how the First Infantry Division got wiped out during a changeover of a battalion on the frontline, and the remnants of the BIG RED ONE had to be rescued by a British ACS battalion.

And of course, we see MIGHTY MIKE being stymed by the HIDEBOUND BRASS AT THE PENTAGON; because of course, the U.S. Military has never dealt with fanatical human wave charges by people at a rough technological parity with the US -- never in WWII, never in Korea, never in Vietnam, etc.

There's also some actually smart use of GalTech here:

Quote:
"Partially by subs. We're reactivating a bunch of the nuclear launch boats, boomers, that haven't been scrapped. We're ripping out all the weaponry and upgrading the environmental systems. We figure we can pack nearly a battalion into the missile section alone, more in the torpedo rooms, and so on. We're substituting the nuclear kettle with power crystals to appease the environmentalists."


Ummm....Why not use these to develop quick and dirty SSGCs (Submarine, Guided Missile, Crystal)?

Basically the big limiting factor in submarine production are the long lead items, such as the reactor, advanced sonar system, etc. Building the hull is fairly straightforward; as are the other bits.

But if we're getting the power crystals from the Galactics; we can take shortcuts everywhere else; since the Posleen have no naval presence at all; so there go the expensive sonar system and torpedo tubes, etc.

Instead of stuffing them with people; why not use them to spam large amounts of cheap, MRLS style missiles from under the sea?

Oh, some talk about the Battelsheps:

Quote:
General Horner snorted and went on. "The Navy is also reactivating all the battleships that haven't been turned into razor blades. Since there were a bunch of them that have become museums and since there were howls of protest over scrapping the last two of the Iowa class that weren't, it turns out we have eight."

"I heard about that, sir," said Mike. "Can they stand up to Posleen weapons?"

"Well, their belt—that is, the portion of their hull that is above the waterline, and most of their bridge armor—is twelve to fourteen inches of homogenous steel. That would normally be light to stand up to plasma cannons, but the steel that they are made of turned out to be surprisingly resistant. Also they're adding on some lightweight ceramet enhancements that increase their resistance to laser and plasma fire by about twenty-five percent. They'll be able to hold their own, even at short range, and think about the firepower! Each of those things has nine guns, either fourteen or sixteen-inchers."


Um...the M1A2 Abrams has about 900+ mm RHA equivalence on the turret front, and 550mm on the hull front.

By contrast, 12 to 14 inches is 304 to 355~ mm. And it's not the advanced steel/DU/ceramic composition found on the Abrams, but plain old homogenous steel.

But somehow through authorial fiat magic, these can stand up to plasma cannons surprisingly well, while an Abrams can't!

Oh, and they get upgraded with applique armor, which is something we could be doing for the Abrams!

But...according to them...

Quote:
"And even an Abrams can't stand up to Posleen for very long," continued General Horner.


Make up your fucking mind Ringo. A battleship with 300-350~mm of plain jane steel armor can somehow be viable against Posleen plasma cannons, while a tank with in excess of 500mm of equivalence armor, somehow cannot stand up; despite being much much smaller than a battleshep; and thus harder to hit with a plasma cannon.

Oh, some more MIGHTY MIKE rantoids:

Quote:
"Like I said, Captain, to each his own. Very well, my problems are as follows. One." He flicked a finger up, counting. "I am about fed up with professional paper-pushers. It was paper-pushing, political, regular-Army assholes that fed me into a grinder on Diess and that probably will here on Earth.


Anyway, the HIDEBOUND MILITARY GENERAL makes some really goddamn good points:

Quote:
The swamps of Barwhon hamper our Abrams and Bradleys, while the megascrapers of Diess hamper artillery and deny effective logistical support. Given open terrain, or even broken terrain, mobile cavalry and armored forces would be able to outmaneuver the Posleen forces and subject them to repeated firetraps. That is the way to fight them, on the plains that everyone wishes to avoid!

..

"And as for the ACS–one-tenth the expense poured into those tin suits would have bought thousands more fighting vehicles. And I have stated my professional analysis of the effect of conventional equipment in the upcoming conflict. So, I beg to differ that one ACS battalion is worth five damn divisions of trained and equipped mechanized infantry, armor and cavalry, I really, really do." The general was practically frothing by the end of the tirade.


So what's MIGHTY MIKE's reply to this?

Quote:
"Well, General," he repeated, "that's your opinion . . . and you know the saying about opinions." He grinned coldly to drive the insult home. "Before the primary invasion we will, I fear, both have ample opportunities for vindication. I frankly hope you are correct; it would make my job easier. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch. Heaven and hell have been moved so that I can spend one more week with my family. It behooves me to keep them both on my good side."


Right. Such a convincing strategic and tactical argument.

Really, the entire book series is starting to make sense here.

John Ringo spent his military service in the 82nd Airborne, which is intensely parochal and looks down on all other branches of the Army pretty much.

So if you look at it from the perspective of a thinly veiled screed for light infantry airborne; a lot of the Posleenverse falls into place and starts to make a kind of sick, twisted sense, particularly his disdain of artillery as a crushing dominating force.

The 82nd Airborne in the mid 1980s Cold War was very lightweight; it's fires components were:

54 x 105mm Towed Howitzers
36 x 81mm Mortars
54 x 60mm mortars
48 x AH-1S

Against this, the planned Division 86 (Armored or Mechanized) was walking around with no less than

9 x MRLS
12 x M110 8 Inch (203mm) Self Propelled Howitzers
72 x M109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzers
66 x M106 4.2 inch (106mm) Self Propelled Mortars
50 x AH-64

And of course, Division 86 heavy units operated within a Corps setting; with further fires available on call from Corps when necessary.

Under the Army 86 concept, Corps Artillery would have consisted of:

4 x MRLS battalions (108 launchers)
6 x 155mm Battalions (144 guns)
1 x 8 Inch Battalion (12 guns)

And because BIG ARMY operates BIG; the Corps Artillery would have been further backed up by Army Artillery.

And this was in no way an American thing.

The Bundeswehr's Kampfwagen 90 concept, built around Artilleriestruktur 85 would have given each German division no less than sixteen MRLS launchers, among other things.

Why so much emphasis on MRLS in the above?

In the mid 1980s, Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov considered that a single US MRLS rocket with DPICM bomblets approached the tactical effectiveness of a single 1 kiloton neutron bomb or a standard 10 kiloton nuclear device.

The More You Know

In 1986; the number of artillery per 1,000 men was:

USSR: 16.7 barrels
USA: 6.7 barrels
W Germany: 4.0
UK: 2.8

In 1918 it was:

British: 13.0
French: 13.0
German: 11.5

In 1914 it was:

British: 6.3
French: 4.0
German: 6.0

So clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement in Posleen slaughter; as in a rational world, the world's militaries would reorganize around a WWI-style artillery-centric organization; and away from tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that came to dominate post 1945 armies.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 02:19am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Some more randomity from GUST FRONT:

Quote:
"On orders, if there is a landing in our area of responsibility, which is central Virginia, we will begin rigging all the bridges leading out of the infested zone for demolition. You will not, I say again, not, destroy any bridge without express order unless the Posleen are in near contact, that means one thousand meters or less."

....

You have no flexibility in this. You will blow the bridge when the Posleen reach five hundred meters distance. We cannot take the risk of the Posleen capturing a bridge.


Reason for this is because the Posties have no combat engineer bridging capability, and other than the GODKINGS, cannot cross a river effectively.

But by saying "only blow the bridge when they close to 500m", you're fucking yourself like the Germanoids at REMAGEN.

Since river crossing capability is so nonexistent for the Posties, the bridges should be blown when they close to within 5 km, with no exceptions. The humans can swim across the river to escape the Posties.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 02:24am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21386
Re: Ringo's Lexicon.

It's not really a lexicon, it's just a bare minimum of alien-ese words that allow him to render translated dialogue convincingly-ish. I can't blame him for doing it; the Posleen aren't supposed to think like humans, so their vocabulary for things like "enemy soldiers" shouldn't read exactly like human vocabulary. "Food that stings" actually sort of makes sense in that context, and his choice of words and syllables for the terms is kind of arbitrary.

So I won't criticize that.

Ahriman238 wrote:
The GalTech team did design a 'Howitzer 2000' but all we see of it is a single throwaway line about it being held back. The idea of nuking the Posleen was brought up in Gust Front, but dismissed for want of a better delivery system than loading a warhead into the back of a pickup truck.
Sigh. A pity- a pickup truck nuke is a totally viable way to deal with them, as is a nuclear land mine, if you're ruthless and ballsy enough and pick your spots right.

Something like the SADM should be revived for the Posleen War.

(I have seen that nuclear backpack, by the way; also that giant cannon Shep posted...)

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Well, it wouldn't be overkill if they were used as semiautomatic weapons- pull trigger once, blow the shit out of that group. Shift target, blow the shit out of that group. With even a modest number of riflemen on the line, you could make this weapon stop a basically unlimited attack force, because you can cover a front too large for them to cross in lethal blast footprints.
Depends on what you shoot them with. Even for a Tenar I can't quite see needing a bullet packing hundreds of kg/pounds of TNT equivalent to kill something.
.50 cal rounds can kill a tenar if they're aimed carefully, or just sprayed around until it goes down. Less so the teneral, the flying 'tank' to the tenar's 'jeep.'
Grav rifle rounds should casually obliterate those too, really.

But that's not the point; the point is that the grav rifle's per-shot firepower is so high that firing large numbers of them in a fraction of a second makes no sense- the first round isn't done blasting the wreckage of the target out of the way before the second round impacts. It's so powerful that even if all issues of recoil and aim are ignored, it should still be a semiautomatic weapon, unless you can figure out a way to target each individual round on a different point on the target so you don't just get six rounds impacting and blowing apart on the same corpse.

Ahriman238 wrote:
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.
What would be interesting to see would be a grav rifle scaled up to 'naval ordnance' level: individual shot energies in the hundreds of tons of TNT-equivalent, rate of fire comparable to the absurd levels found in the grav rifle (within an order of magnitude or so). That would be a really useful weapon against Posleen globes before they break up, because you could walk fire across it and saw apart large numbers of individual B-Decs and C-Decs with shots roughly calibrated to what it takes to crack them open- no massive overpenetration, mind, but at least it wrecks the stuff capable of fighting on the surface of the globe, and if they jettison the wrecked ships to clear their guns for the next layer, they expose that to fire too.

Since grav weapon muzzle velocity is so much higher than escape velocity (even 50 km/s is "much higher" for our purposes, let alone 500 or 5000 or 50000 km/s), you could use these things as planetary defense guns almost with impunity, possibly from ranges at which Posleen systems would have trouble replying effectively, depending on how their bombardment nukes work.

Quote:
Quote:
You know the magitech stealth systems make me wonder why they were supposed to be completely neutered as an air power now....
I've been wondering that since I reread Hymn. Simon, I believe, has a good theory for that.
Yeah.

It's actually not hard to avoid detection by Posleen sensors, as many human snipers have learned. It's very easy to draw their attention by shooting at the user of the sensors, as many human snipers have learned, briefly. Which limits the role of air power sharply, since an aircraft that cannot shoot is at best a resupply and medevac craft.

MKSheppard wrote:
The Paris Gun of WWI had a range of 80 miles with a 210 lb shell; and NO ROCKET ASSIST.

I'm sure we can do better with modern computers for ballistics calculations, high strength steel/titanium alloys to increase shell payload and lighten the gun so it's easier to emplace...
Eh, still might be more trouble than it's worth... no, because you could have a relative handful of them dug in at corps or army headquarters level and range on everything within fifty or a hundred kilometers.


MKSheppard wrote:
Quote:
"Now for more bad news. The upper level commanders, that is myself and some of the 'type' commanders, are going to have to hash out a few things. But there are some political and budgetary constraints that the Federation has on its military. Those constraints are going to cause most of the Navy, Air Force, Marines and elite Army to be absorbed by the Federation forces." At that a buzz of conversation filled the previously silent room. Cleburne motioned them to quiet down and kept talking.
:lol: This will be shot down in five seconds by the service chiefs.
Much less the USMC Propaganda Machine.

Secondly, why even do this? Earth's militaries exist independently of any budgetary constraints the Galactics have. It does not cost them one red quatloo for the US Army to exist -- because the US funds it themselves.
Reason for doing this: the Federation military is what goes off planet, and to be able to do its job well enough to be worth the effort of sending it, it has to be drawn from relatively high quality manpower- especially for the initial units which are sent to fight on Diess and Barwhon.

You cannot take raw, new manpower and put it into Federation military forces right off the bat, and the Galactics are making the human provision of good troops conditional for all the support which Earth needs to defend itself from the alien invasion that's looming in a few years.

Later, a human compares the situation to WWII Australia, or the cartoon history thereof: a nation which trains some very good troops, then sends them off to fight in remote theaters for allies' behalf, leaving the country to be defended by junior-varsity forces when an actual enemy shows up on their doorstep. Unfortunately, the world and the US are not in a good position to avoid this, since, again, the Galactics have humanity by the short hairs when it comes to technical support.

Quote:
In fact, shouldn't they be paying humanity megabucks for each human soldier sent offworld?
They are- that's what's paying for the GalTech technical support, including the use of some of the rarest and most highly prized elements of their industrial base to create the whacked-out advanced shit.

Quote:
Of the races making up the GalFed...

The Himmit are total cowards; the Darheel can shoot, but supposedly it messes them up when they pull the trigger, and the Indowy and Tchpth are total pacifists.

So in walks humanity, which as a whole has no problem cheerfully mass murdering each other with smart bombs, smart missiles, rifles, RPGs, nukes, knives, and sharp sticks.

We are the ones with the advantage, because otherwise, why would they have contacted us?

It's certainly not for our social skills.
Darhel can shoot but go batshit homicidally insane when they pull a trigger, so they tend to set up their war machines to create a very large bang when a single button is pressed, then write off that button-pusher as he goes manic and then dies of hormonal imbalances in the brain in like sixty seconds.

As to the advantage, we would have a great advantage were our own homeworld not smack in the path of the main Posleen invasion fleet, giving the Galactics a lot of leverage they wouldn't otherwise enjoy. Basically, we can't refuse to help them convincingly because if they don't help us, we're all dead in ten years anyway, or that's how the situation is presented.

Quote:
No wonder everything was fucked up. They went with a bunch of fatty nerds like MAD MIKE to design their weapons systems, instead of contractors such as General Dynamics Land Systems, whose products were combat proven in Dis. :-P
Yep.

Quote:
Of course, the 10th Panzers get maimed, and have to be rescued by the ACS infantry on the bounce, and dropping buildings on the Posleen via combat engineers having a stiffy.

Additionally, of course, via Authorial Fiat; the US 3rd Armored Division, 2nd Infantry Division, and 7th Armored Cav Regiment are reduced to a mishmash of platoon/company size units because of course, they're heavy mechanized units, not airborne ACS units.

Of course, Mr Ringo thinks that only infantry can fight in cities. That's not true; particularly if you're the defender, at a numerical disadvantage; and even more so if the city is space opera giant skyscraper.

It means you can drive your tanks inside for more protection and camouflage, or the perfect ambush position, with the building itself providing protection from Postie weapons.
I think the armor plays a role in the fighting, insofar as non-ACS fighting is portrayed on Diess; it's just that the tanks tend to get knocked out by sheer volume of heavy weapons fire pretty quickly. ACS caught in the open do too, mind, unless they do something really bitchin' clever.

Quote:
We see once again the same old pattern, of the heavy mechanized units being assraped and having to be rescued by the airborne ACS; with the recounting of how the First Infantry Division got wiped out during a changeover of a battalion on the frontline, and the remnants of the BIG RED ONE had to be rescued by a British ACS battalion...

Right. Such a convincing strategic and tactical argument.

Really, the entire book series is starting to make sense here.

John Ringo spent his military service in the 82nd Airborne, which is intensely parochal and looks down on all other branches of the Army pretty much.
Heh. Yeah.

What craps out the argument about the heavy mechanized forces in Gust Front is mostly training issues- the mechanized divisions tasked with stopping the Posleen are part of the conscript army, and the training standards have supposedly dropped off so that maneuver warfare starts breaking up in the chaos of the huge space landings.

Quote:
So if you look at it from the perspective of a thinly veiled screed for light infantry airborne; a lot of the Posleenverse falls into place and starts to make a kind of sick, twisted sense, particularly his disdain of artillery as a crushing dominating force.
We do see a lot of references to artillery, Shep. There's a point in Hymn where O'Neil is thinking about an "unwinnable" sim scenario against the Posleen and noting that he's got the hang of winning it- and it's all in how the artillery is used. Artillery in the form of mortars appears throughout Gust Front, appears all over the place in the form of both mortars and gun/howitzer-type artillery in the later novels, and naval gunfire support appears in Gust Front and, God help us, Yellow Eyes, the first one he wrote with that lunatic Kratman.

Quote:
So clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement in Posleen slaughter; as in a rational world, the world's militaries would reorganize around a WWI-style artillery-centric organization; and away from tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that came to dominate post 1945 armies.
The potentially awkward question is what happens if you can't hold a well defined front that separates the Posleen hordes from the artillery kill zone.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 02:44am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Now, Ringo actually did something SMART here. From GUST FRONT:

Quote:
"Colonel," Argent asked quietly, putting on his reporter face, "is the loss of the satellites going to degrade the quality of your artillery fire and command and control? I understand that most development in those areas has concentrated on global positioning satellites."

"It would, yes, except for the extraordinary work over the last three years of the United States Geological Survey Service. Using a mixture of military, civilian and volunteer personnel, they have put in survey markers across the country, in most areas no more than a kilometer apart. In turn, the location and elevation of the markers have been put into a universal target database. Now, whenever an artillery unit gets into place, they just find the distance and elevation to the nearest UTD point and input that data. That gives them their location to the millimeter. Other units use a similar although slightly less accurate system. So, yes, it will be a pain, but with the UTD we have effectively replaced GPS."


So he can be logical and smart when the need arises. It's just buried in so much shit and light infantry wanking.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 10:56am 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4396
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Hey Ahriman238, I hope you don't mind me doing my own mining of the first book A Hymn Before Battle for my own datapoints:


Not at all. The more the merrier. I like to think I got most or all of the important parts, but more points for discussion are always welcome.


Quote:
This will be shot down in five seconds by the service chiefs.
Much less the USMC Propaganda Machine.

Secondly, why even do this? Earth's militaries exist independently of any budgetary constraints the Galactics have. It does not cost them one red quatloo for the US Army to exist -- because the US funds it themselves.

In fact, shouldn't they be paying humanity megabucks for each human soldier sent offworld?

Of the races making up the GalFed...

The Himmit are total cowards; the Darheel can shoot, but supposedly it messes them up when they pull the trigger, and the Indowy and Tchpth are total pacifists.

So in walks humanity, which as a whole has no problem cheerfully mass murdering each other with smart bombs, smart missiles, rifles, RPGs, nukes, knives, and sharp sticks.

We are the ones with the advantage, because otherwise, why would they have contacted us?

It's certainly not for our social skills.


The Galactics used to use a 'sort of tank' that fired 'broad-area energy mines' sacrifice one Darhel to fire. They apparently spent decades debating using humanity (the Darhel are ancient astronauts) but when they saw earth was a few years from being Posleen chow, they decided it was use us or lose us.

And as has been said, the Galactics are paying us in technical support.

Quote:
Hum. 240 million screaming fools to deal with in each wave. *notes*


Better make it twice that. The initial briefing was pretty optimistic and they used a fair number of median figures. Even when I used the max numbers from their estimates I only got about 75% of the actual landing force.

And within five years of that first landing, they made back all their losses in the invasion and still had six times as many heads as they'd landed with. I can't really overstate their breeding rate, they can generally afford to take fifty to one casulty rates, won't even blink at them, to be honest.


Quote:
No wonder everything was fucked up. They went with a bunch of fatty nerds like MAD MIKE to design their weapons systems, instead of contractors such as General Dynamics Land Systems, whose products were combat proven in Dis.

Oh, and guess what? Diess was deliberate authorial fiat to get the result that Ringo wanted for his SUPERSUIT INFANTRY:


Isn't that more-or-less what I said? The whole series is a form of authorial fiat, an enemy that can attack in massive human waves, against whom modern air support and armor are largely useless. I think this is the greatest problem the ACS would have in versus debates. The ACS were designed as a specific counter to a specific threat, the Posleen, who were themselves designed by the author as a specific counter to {modern warfare.}
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 11:55am 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4396
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Ummm....Why not use these to develop quick and dirty SSGCs (Submarine, Guided Missile, Crystal)?

Basically the big limiting factor in submarine production are the long lead items, such as the reactor, advanced sonar system, etc. Building the hull is fairly straightforward; as are the other bits.

But if we're getting the power crystals from the Galactics; we can take shortcuts everywhere else; since the Posleen have no naval presence at all; so there go the expensive sonar system and torpedo tubes, etc.

Instead of stuffing them with people; why not use them to spam large amounts of cheap, MRLS style missiles from under the sea?


Maybe the almost-perfect anti-missile defenses? We know they can be overcome with missile spam, and I've heard a theory that you could build a missile that boosts from launch but goes ballistic just before crossing the horizon, but at that point you have to ask if the ability to use missiles is worth the expense of engineering them to that degree or doing honor-verse style missile spam.

Quote:
Anyway, the HIDEBOUND MILITARY GENERAL makes some really goddamn good points:


Quote:
The swamps of Barwhon hamper our Abrams and Bradleys, while the megascrapers of Diess hamper artillery and deny effective logistical support. Given open terrain, or even broken terrain, mobile cavalry and armored forces would be able to outmaneuver the Posleen forces and subject them to repeated firetraps. That is the way to fight them, on the plains that everyone wishes to avoid!

..

"And as for the ACS–one-tenth the expense poured into those tin suits would have bought thousands more fighting vehicles. And I have stated my professional analysis of the effect of conventional equipment in the upcoming conflict. So, I beg to differ that one ACS battalion is worth five damn divisions of trained and equipped mechanized infantry, armor and cavalry, I really, really do." The general was practically frothing by the end of the tirade.



So what's MIGHTY MIKE's reply to this?


He came off as an ass not so much because of his tactics, but because he whines so much about the cost of suits they aren't really paying for. The Posleen are pretty mobile in open terrain, not as much as armor or mechanized infantry, but much more so than traditional infantry, and enough so to require a fairly major adjust in tactics. Infantry and armor fighting from prepared positions can keep up an ok casulty rate against Posleen. Infantry caught in the open get slaughtered. Tanks in the open go down hard, but take hundreds of Posleen down with them.

Quote:
Reason for this is because the Posties have no combat engineer bridging capability, and other than the GODKINGS, cannot cross a river effectively.

But by saying "only blow the bridge when they close to 500m", you're fucking yourself like the Germanoids at REMAGEN.

Since river crossing capability is so nonexistent for the Posties, the bridges should be blown when they close to within 5 km, with no exceptions. The humans can swim across the river to escape the Posties.


The Posleen can ford water, or in extremis run in like lemmings until they build a bridge of corpses, which is what Army Ants do. It does take a lot of time, however, and rarely works if they're under fire the whole time. Smart God-kings, the 'five-percenters' who can think and operate outside of traditional Posleen tactics, usually keep some of the locals, Human or Indowy, alive as slave labor to build bridges and roads.

I believe the Posleen should be able to do that themselves, they do utilize farmland and factories to build their technology, they even build those pyramids for their God-kings, si clearly the ideas are there.

I have nothing constructive to add on the Battleship vs. Abrams armor issue. Well done.

Like I said at the start of the thread, I'm not going to use this thread to bash Ringo, his politics, or his writing style. Others have done that far better than I could, and it's a discussion that would practically never end. Whatever his motives, this is the universe he presents for us. I'm mostly just trying to collect information for versus debates with the Posleen-verse.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 12:37pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4396
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Grav rifle rounds should casually obliterate those too, really.

But that's not the point; the point is that the grav rifle's per-shot firepower is so high that firing large numbers of them in a fraction of a second makes no sense- the first round isn't done blasting the wreckage of the target out of the way before the second round impacts. It's so powerful that even if all issues of recoil and aim are ignored, it should still be a semiautomatic weapon, unless you can figure out a way to target each individual round on a different point on the target so you don't just get six rounds impacting and blowing apart on the same corpse.


It seems probable that there is a single shot setting. At least the scout's sniper variant grav-rifle works this way. I think the grav-guns would work much better if they had adjustable power/RoF. Even if they just dialed them back to an old-fashioned machine gun. There are plenty of problems created later because of the suits needing to provide power for the guns.

Quote:
What would be interesting to see would be a grav rifle scaled up to 'naval ordnance' level: individual shot energies in the hundreds of tons of TNT-equivalent, rate of fire comparable to the absurd levels found in the grav rifle (within an order of magnitude or so). That would be a really useful weapon against Posleen globes before they break up, because you could walk fire across it and saw apart large numbers of individual B-Decs and C-Decs with shots roughly calibrated to what it takes to crack them open- no massive overpenetration, mind, but at least it wrecks the stuff capable of fighting on the surface of the globe, and if they jettison the wrecked ships to clear their guns for the next layer, they expose that to fire too.

Since grav weapon muzzle velocity is so much higher than escape velocity (even 50 km/s is "much higher" for our purposes, let alone 500 or 5000 or 50000 km/s), you could use these things as planetary defense guns almost with impunity, possibly from ranges at which Posleen systems would have trouble replying effectively, depending on how their bombardment nukes work.


And what do you call the grav-cannon?


Quote:
Yeah.

It's actually not hard to avoid detection by Posleen sensors, as many human snipers have learned. It's very easy to draw their attention by shooting at the user of the sensors, as many human snipers have learned, briefly. Which limits the role of air power sharply, since an aircraft that cannot shoot is at best a resupply and medevac craft.


Never underestimate the value of aerial recon, something that's done more to change the face of war in the last century than any one facet, save perhaps the atom-bomb.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 01:24pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4396
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Frankly the sheer power behind those guns is ludicrous. A solid DU slug would be around 300 kilos at those dimensions, for something like 1e18 joules at those speeds, or about 250 megatons. Which is 5x more than the biggest guns on earth. But they use missiles and TERAWATT lasers remember!

Also considering how little firepower you need to take out landers and shit... I wonder why they even bothered with just one super gun. And evne then why the fuck aren't they sticking these on mobile platforms?


There were supposed to be 45 super-guns in five locations, its just that only five were delivered. The Chinese, Indian, and European grav cannon engaged the landing, and were destroyed. The American one was held in reserve, until the ships on the ground lifted for airmobile or air support missions. It fired, and was destroyed. The Japanese never fired their grav gun, so that one stayed intact.

Does that deplyment, America (specifically Virgina) Europe (specifically, the Maginot Line) India, China, Japan? Either these guns offer massive coverage, or they're leaving some holes. I wonder how they decided these things. Who says the Chinese get a PDC and not the Russians?

Anyway, after Gust Front, the president threatened to recall all off-world forces unless the Darhel ponied up fresh grav-cannon.

Anyway! Time for another thrilling installment. For two books, they built up the menace of the Posleen and the coming invasion, we even got a small taste of the devastation in that first landing. So, as we went to read about this promised war to end wars, imagine our surprise when it runs out the book is five years later and the war is basically over. All humanity, as near as they can tell, is gone except for the US. Posleen outnumber the humans on earth 10 to 1.

Well, gee... I was kind of expecting a war story, not a post-apocalyptic one. To ease the transition, the prologue contained a timeline of the conflict.
Quote:
October 9, 2004
First Landing Five Globes: Landings: Fredericksburg, Central Africa, S.E. Asia, Uzbekistan.


The events of Gust Front.

Quote:
July 28, 2005
First Wave 62 Globes: Primary Landings: East Coast North America, Australia, India.

August 15, 2005
Last Transmission: Australian Defense Command, Alice Springs.


The first wave takes out Australia.

Quote:
April 12, 2006
Second Wave 45 Globes: Primary Landings: China, South America, West Coast N.A., Middle East, S.E. Asia.

May 14, 2006
Last Transmission: Chinese Red Army, Xianging.


A month to take down China? Are you joking? You could hardly walk across China in a month, and that’s without the PRC army trying to kill you.

Quote:
May 28, 2006
Last Transmission: Turkic Alliance, Jalalabad.

June 18, 2006
Last Transmission: Combined Indochina Command, Angkor Wat.

December 19, 2006
Last Transmission: Allies of the Book, Jerusalem.


Who the hell are the Allies of the Book? Is he actually implying a Judeo-Islam alliance without any sort of backstory?

Quote:
January 23, 2007
Battle of L3: Loss of Supermonitor Lexington, Task Fleet 4.2.

February 17, 2007
Battle of Titan Base.


Space battles. Loss of first “supermonitor” a capital ship that can one-shot battle-globes, but can’t deal with swarms of Lampreys and C or B-Decs. Nice he acknowledges the LaGrange points.

Quote:
March 27, 2007
Third Wave 73 Globes: Landings: Europe, North Africa, India II, South America II.


Third Wave invasion.

Quote:
April 30, 2007
Last Transmission: Islamic Defense Forces, Khartoum.

July 5, 2007
Last Transmission: Indian Defense Force, Gujarrat.

August 25, 2007
Last Transmission: Forces of Bolivar, Paraguay.


Loss of the Middle East, India, some of South America.

Quote:
September 24, 2007
First Battle of Irmansul: Loss of Supermonitor Enterprise, Yamato, Halsey, Lexington II, Kuznetsov, Victory, Bismarck. Task Fleets 77.1, 4.4, 11.

December 17, 2007
Second Battle of Earth: Loss of Supermonitor Moscow, Honshu, Mao. Task Fleet 7.1, 4.1, 14.


More space battles. See why I said a space posting is almost a death sentence?

Quote:
December 18, 2007
Fourth Wave 65 Globes: Primary Landings: China II, East Coast North America II, Europe II, India III.


Fourth Wave...

Quote:
March 14, 2008
Last Transmission: European Union Forces, Innsbruck.


...and subsequent losses. Europe fends off the first landing in wave 3, loses here. Last stand of European civilization fought in a largely inconsequential mid-sized city in Austria. Ouch.

Quote:
August 28, 2008
Fifth Wave 64 Globes: Primary Landings: West Coast North America II, East Coast North America III, Russia, Central Asia, South Africa, South America III.


Fifth and Final invasion wave.

Quote:
September 17, 2008
Last Transmission: Grand African Alliance, Pietermaritzburg.


Considering the Africans received exactly zero support or GalTech, their holding out so long is impressive.

Quote:
October 12, 2008
Last Transmission: Red Army, Nizhny Novgorod.

October 21, 2008
Official Determination: No coherent field forces outside of North America.


The Russians almost make the distance. Considering much of Mother Russia is exactly the sort of territory that the Posleen avoid, suprising. And I’ll leave it at that for now.

With the fall of the Russians all armies and nations have been defeated, except the US and Canada.

Quote:
November 14, 2008
Second Battle of Irmansul: Loss of Supermonitor Lexington III, Yamato II, Task Fleet 14.


Man, some people just have to throw away the cool spaceships the moment they get them. How these people got such rank in a completely new service in a new environment baffles me.
Quote:
December 1, 2008
Senate Select Committee classified report: Earth Human Population Estimate 1.4 billion Posleen Population Estimate: In excess of 12 billion.


And that’s the ball game, folks. How are the remainder of humanity ever supposed to reclaim their world, to say nothing of the many destroyed cultures.

Quote:
May 26, 2009
Last operational Posleen force destroyed on Irmansul.


Well at least the Galactics on Irmansul are safe and sound. That Australia comparison is looking a lot more valid, even if that’s not what happened historically.
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Raxmei
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 02:35pm 

Rabid Monkey


Joined: 2002-07-28 04:34pm
Posts: 2846
Location: Davis, CA
Ahriman238 wrote:
Well, gee... I was kind of expecting a war story, not a post-apocalyptic one. To ease the transition, the prologue contained a timeline of the conflict.
Quote:
April 12, 2006
Second Wave 45 Globes: Primary Landings: China, South America, West Coast N.A., Middle East, S.E. Asia.

May 14, 2006
Last Transmission: Chinese Red Army, Xianging.


A month to take down China? Are you joking? You could hardly walk across China in a month, and that’s without the PRC army trying to kill you.
What supposedly happened was that the PLA (Why would they start calling themselves the Chinese Red Army?) was comprehensively defeated in the opening engagements. This was foreshadowed in the earlier books with the poor performance of Chinese units sent offworld. The remainder of the war in China was using nukes to try to slow the Posleen down enough for refugees to reach Tibet, and that was used as the political reason to swear off nuclear weapons since they were now seen as the last resort of a failed state. IIRC there should still be transmissions from surviving Chinese forces in Tibet.
Quote:
Quote:
May 28, 2006
Last Transmission: Turkic Alliance, Jalalabad.

June 18, 2006
Last Transmission: Combined Indochina Command, Angkor Wat.

December 19, 2006
Last Transmission: Allies of the Book, Jerusalem.

Who the hell are the Allies of the Book? Is he actually implying a Judeo-Islam alliance without any sort of backstory?
Made up and destroyed in the same line of text, no mention anywhere else. Not much else it could be other than an alliance of countries surrounding the holy land.
Quote:
Quote:
December 18, 2007
Fourth Wave 65 Globes: Primary Landings: China II, East Coast North America II, Europe II, India III.


Fourth Wave...

Quote:
March 14, 2008
Last Transmission: European Union Forces, Innsbruck.


...and subsequent losses. Europe fends off the first landing in wave 3, loses here. Last stand of European civilization fought in a largely inconsequential mid-sized city in Austria. Ouch.
Hey, the last stand of Southeast Asia was fought in a tourist trap/archaeological site in Cambodia. It'd be like the combined forces of the USA, Canada, and Mexico fighting their last battle at the ruins of Teotihuacan.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-09-26 05:52pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21386
Ahriman238 wrote:
Maybe the almost-perfect anti-missile defenses? We know they can be overcome with missile spam, and I've heard a theory that you could build a missile that boosts from launch but goes ballistic just before crossing the horizon, but at that point you have to ask if the ability to use missiles is worth the expense of engineering them to that degree or doing honor-verse style missile spam.
I think MLRS salvoes can be fired such that the boost phase is outside the Posleen engagement envelope. Not sure.

Ahriman238 wrote:
It seems probable that there is a single shot setting. At least the scout's sniper variant grav-rifle works this way. I think the grav-guns would work much better if they had adjustable power/RoF. Even if they just dialed them back to an old-fashioned machine gun. There are plenty of problems created later because of the suits needing to provide power for the guns.
Exactly- you should be able to fire single extremely powerful shots of artillery-range firepower, single moderate shots, long bursts of weak shots equivalent to small arms... but there's very little use for a direct fire weapon that fires individual rounds with artillery-grade punch at such a high rate of fire. Energetically, it's pointless overkill against a handful of targets and underkill against the mass of them.

Quote:
And what do you call the grav-cannon?
I dunno. What's its rate of fire?

Quote:
Never underestimate the value of aerial recon, something that's done more to change the face of war in the last century than any one facet, save perhaps the atom-bomb.
It's a huge difference, but it isn't air power in the traditional sense- you get reconnaissance but no strike capability whatsoever. IRL, aerial recon and airstrikes evolved hand in hand.
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Raxmei
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 04:15am 

Rabid Monkey


Joined: 2002-07-28 04:34pm
Posts: 2846
Location: Davis, CA
Note also that the timeline is somewhat misleading. There are known to be surviving Europeans holing up in the Alps well after the listed last transmission as well as the aforementioned Chinese in Tibet. There are probably more human holdouts in various places plus boat people all over the fucking place since everyone knows Posleen don't like getting their hoofsies wet.

MKSheppard mentioned that they'd probably have to switch to timed fuzing for artillery since VT might be subject to Posleen air defense. Given what else they've been doing here it might be possible to use reasonably clever time fuzing. That UTD system should be able to help them do more than just lay the guns. Precise data on your location and the target location plus a good weather report tells you how long the shell's going to be in the air. If you're feeling fancy you could give the fuze setting job to a machine and fool around with modernized automortars. Ringo wasn't an artilleryman so obviously he wouldn't dwell on such things. Did he have much to say on the subject of conventional artillery developments beyond the paladin on wheels?

Mike is quite vocal about the Posleen refusal to take even the most basic precautions against artillery fire. While refusing to be suppressed means they don't slow down it also means they're too dumb to come in out of the steel rain. That practically begs for classic barrage tactics backed with old style infantry tactics with emphasis on field fortifications. Basically fight a deranged caricature of WWI. Or, you know, what Shep said.

By my recollection Hell's Faire has more fan pandering than the preceding books. You might pick up on this too.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 04:49am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Modern super advanced artillery shell fuzing is now done automagically by the gun itself.

Basically, when teh shell is fired, as it passes the muzzle, there's a special muzzle extension that uses inductive conductance (same principle that my implant works on) to transmit the fusing information to the shell.

Basically, right now, it's used for the most advanced weapons, currently shiny new naval medium caliber autocannons:

Image
Inductive Fuze Setter on the end of a 35mm Millennium CIWS, notice the wiring leading away from the muzzle

Most conventional artillery nowadays is set by portable fuze induction setters; you put a magic box over the fuzed shell and the shell fuze automagically sets itself from the information transmitted by the box.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 07:07am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Raxmei wrote:
Precise data on your location and the target location plus a good weather report tells you how long the shell's going to be in the air.


And all these tasks can be automated by a modern computer. In fact, it should be possible to design a portable electronic artillery assistant that asks you:

UID location?
Target UID location
Gun type?
Shell type?
Target Type (Infantry/Armored?)
Target Vegegation (None/Light Woods/Heavy Woods/Forest)

and maybe a few more questions, and then it automagically spits out the correct bearings and fuzing settings. Or hell, it could even wirelessly transmit it to the gun.

Right now, being an artilleryman is a very math-magical MOS. You have to know the basics of how artillery works, and how to at least have a try at calculating a trajectory. This...is kind of limiting for mass mobilization. But we can use computers to make it easier to become a red-leg.

Quote:
Did he have much to say on the subject of conventional artillery developments beyond the paladin on wheels?


Not sure. BTW; he began writing the books in like 1998/1999, so that means XM2001 Crusader is still alive. There's no need for magic GalTech Howitzer 2000.

Crusader's big problem was it's weight; which was due to the need to make it resistant against top-attack DPICM bomblets; because it was designed to be the ultimate Cold War Gone Hot artillery piece, which meant that the Soviets would be using DPICM from MRLs as counterbattery fire.

But since the Posties don't have artillery, we can dispense with the very heavy top attack protection, which suddenly makes Crusader a lot lighter. Also, since we will be fighting largely within CONUS, it also eliminates any further need for "lightening".

Also, Crusader had only three men, who would be sitting in a command "pod" in the hull. We could use the Crusader chassis as the base for a war mobilization vehicle that serves as a IFV/Tank/SPH, which is an important logistical consideration.

Quote:
Mike is quite vocal about the Posleen refusal to take even the most basic precautions against artillery fire. While refusing to be suppressed means they don't slow down it also means they're too dumb to come in out of the steel rain.


Aaaand, Raxmei nails it. This is why I simply don't believe Ringo's in universe talk about how artillery is useless, or only inflicts 30% of required casualties.

The reason why there's so much emphasis on Time on Target for artillery barriages is because against humans, who take cover and cower when they realize they're being shelled, the most lethal shells or rockets are the first ones. So if you can make all of them hit at the same rough time...

In WWII, the UK calculated that a man standing up had a relative risk of 1 to artillery. If he dropped prone, then his risk dropped to 1/3.

Additionally, the Posleen present a much juicier artillery target than humans, because they're centauroid aliens. That alone greatly increases their target profile, especially from the side and top aspects.

Also, they don't have much protection, other than their scaly hides; which while offering better protection than human skin, don't offer the protection of body armor against fragments.

Here's a WWII British Area of Effect contour for a 25-pounder firing a high explosive shell, set to ground burst against men standing in the open, with a plunging angle of 20 degrees:

Image

Some revelant points to be made about this:

  • 25-pounders fired 87.6mm shells weighing 25 lbs. NATO standard artillery now fires 155mm shells weighing 95 pounds.
  • British WWII Artillery shells were made out of 19-ton yield steel. US WWII shells were made out of 23-ton steel. This meant that US shells could be lighter and hold more explosives, and fragment better. I'm sure we can do better today.
  • Modern plastic explosives offer more powerful blasts, and better fragmentation than the fillers used in WWII.
  • Modern artillery shell design is much more lethal, in that they are carefully optimized for uniform fragmentation. In fact, we still use shells that are WWII-era in basic design today, because they're less lethal and can be fired closer to our troops than more modern shells.

And of course, there's DPICM rounds...

Armies of NATO's Central Front by Isby, published by JANES' in the 1980s had a nice table showing lethal areas in square feet for a whole host of projectiles. I've taken the liberty of converting it to metric for you and adding some more information.

Numbers are the lethal area in square meters; and the parenthic numbers are (Groundburst/Airburst/Bomblets):

60mm Mortar: (105/151)
81mm Mortar: (307/380)
4.2" (107mm) Mortar: (136/675)
120mm Mortar: (396/915)
105mm Howitzer: (272/550/1,122)
155mm Howitzer: (207/390/2,397)
203mm Howitzer: (304/390/4,168)

According to a US Army presentation on the HIMARS system, the average ground area covered by a 12 rocket MRLS ripple will be about 30 to 50 acres (120,000 to 200,000 square meters) with some overlap, depending on the range.

Some more random factoids:

The Israelis produced a 120mm DPICM mortar round; the M971. The US Army actually looked into license producing it here in the US a bit back, but I have no idea if it actually was done. It carries 24 bomblets which are scattered over an approximate 100 x 110 m radius, covering 4,800 m2. If we used the data from Armies of NATO's Central Front as a guide, then we could expect it's lethal area to be about 1,800 m2.

They actually did produce a bomblet shell for the Iowa's 16"/50 guns in the 1980s -- the Mark 144, which carried 400 x M43A1 AP grenades. There was also the planned Mark 146, which would have carried 666 M42/M46 grenades.

To give you a scale to compare those two rounds; here are the grenade counts for various shells:

105mm: 42~ grenades
155mm: 88 grenades
203mm: 104 grenades (later models had 195)
M26 MRLS: 644 grenades (later models reduced this for more range, etc)

BTW, about 1 billion artillery rounds were fired by all sides in WWI, by a few countries with much less industrial capacity than the entire world today.

Finally, Ringo handwaves the wounding potential of these rounds. The people in the books keep talking about how it's not enough to just wound them, blah blah blah.

If a Posleen gets his tendons torn out, among other fun things from a shell; he's pretty much dead, since he's now immobile or cannot advance as fast as before. There's also the possibility of him becoming a snack for the following waves of Posleen who might be hungry; in addition to becoming an obstacle that slows down the Posleen behind him.

Cannibalism yay?
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 11:30am 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
The early planning estimates shown in A Hymn Before Battle estimated that each Colonial Combat Globe carried 4~ million Posleen troops; and that each wave would consist of 50-70 of these globes.

They also estimated that there would be five invasion waves each six months apart.

What actually happened was:

Scout Force: 5 Globes, 20 million
Wave 1: 62 Globes, 248 million, 9.7 months after Scout Force.
Wave 2: 45 Globes, 180 million, 8.6 months after Wave 1.
Wave 3: 73 Globes, 292 million, 11.6 months after Wave 2.
Wave 4: 65 Globes, 260 million, 8.9 months after Wave 3.
Wave 5: 64 Globes, 256 million, 8.5 months after Wave 4.

So they were actually a bit conservative in how fast the Posties would slam into earth.

We can do some crude calculations.

1.) Take the upper limit of 70 globes for a wave in that briefing. That's 280 million each wave.

2.) Figure out the average footprint of a Posleen.

Normals are shown as being able to enter human sized houses (and get blown up by Ringo's LOLSUICIDEBOMBZ); so that sets an upper limit on their size as being 0.48m wide by 1.21m long, since they have to be able to fit through standard sized doors and be short enough to turn around/manouver in average hallways. That's about 0.5808 m2.

Meanwhile, the Godkings are said to be roughly the same size as an Arabian horse; which works out to about 1.52m wide by 2.4m long as a crude guesstimate, and 3.648 m2 in footprint. We can however discount Godkings as they're pretty rare.

So hum 280 million posleen times 0.5808 square meters per posleen, gives us 162.62 million square meters of area to FREEDOMIZE.

The ammunition counts needed to FREEDOMIZE that area in a perfect world are:

120mm Mortar ICM: 90,347 rounds

105mm Unitary Groundburst: 144,941 rounds
105mm ICM: 144,941 rounds

155mm Unitary Groundburst: 785,623 rounds
155mm ICM: 67,845 rounds

203mm Unitary Groundburst: 534,947 rounds
203mm ICM: 39,017 rounds

MRLS: 12,197 rockets

[Unitary Groundbursts are included because sometimes the Posleen might be under very heavy tree cover preventing the use of ICM -- they will hang up in trees -- and VT fuzes will cause the rounds to be shot down.]

Now, in real life, you won't get this kill efficiency, but it sets a lower order of magnitude to the scope of the industrial task required to defeat the Posleen.

But fortunately for all of us, I once went looking through old Department of Defense Budget Summaries that were in the University of Maryland's Holdings..

MRLS
FY1984: 36,000 MRLS rockets actually funded.
FY1985: 72,000 MRLS rockets actually funded.

Artillery
FY1981: 533,000 x 155mm ICM proposed for funding in that budget.

FY1983: 665,000 x 155mm ICM and 131,000 x 203mm ICM proposed for funding in that budget.

More fun factoids for your consideration...

That huge 1980s VON REAGAN buildup led to a huge glut of conventional ammo stockpiled, on top of prior ammo stockpiles.

In a demilitarization symposium in Denver, CO on 19 May 2011; General Dyanamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems stated that:

  • 5 million 155mm ICM shells were in stockpile, along with 440 million grenades for them.
  • 500,000+ MRLS rockets were in stockpile, along with 322 million grenades for them.

That doesn't even begin to take into account old WARPAC stockpiles sitting in some forest in Russia...

Then there's new production of shells.

The previous budget figures I quoted were from Cold War environments.

In December 1944; the US shipped 1.2 million rounds of ammunition in calibers from 155mm to 240mm to the ETO; and production requirements for the 155mm gun ammo went from 400,000 rounds a month to 600,000.

To give you how fast things moved in a total war environment, the average US Ordnance plant had it's contract approved in the Fall of 1941, with the first items coming off the line in the Summer of 1942.

Finally, we're helped by the fact that not all 240~ million posleen will land in the same place, lessening the ammunition burden for each country.

The biggest problem in defeating the Posleen is not going to be the actual fighting, but the management of three critical items:

  • Food.
  • Weapons.
  • Ammunition.

specifically, stockpiling them at critical locations across the country, due to the fact that we can't predict exactly where the battle globes will land; which areas will be cut off, etc.

But don't worry; with the industrialized world pumping out ammunition and weapons like crazy (imagine the weapon production rate of India or China....crikey); we can ensure that wherever the Posties land, they get smothered under shellfire.

Really, since we got five years of prep time, this is a cakewalk. Now, if the scenario had us having only 90 days to prepare...we'd be fucked without lube.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 12:25pm 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Ringo was an AIRBORNE INFANTRYMAN, hence his love of towed howitzers on flatbed trucks, as towed howitzers are used within the AIRBORNE.

But one of the big problems with towed guns is that the crew gets tired; and this affects rate of fire.

In David Isby's companion book titled unimaginatively Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, it's stated that a 122mm D-30 howitzer crew in action can sustain the following ROFs:

Beginning of Firing: 3 RPM
10> minutes of firing: 2.4 RPM
30> minutes of firing: 1.6 RPM
60> minutes of firing: 1.2 RPM
90> minutes of firing: 1 RPM
120> minutes of firing: 0.9 RPM

Even with self propelled howitzers like the M-109, crew fatigue is a major issue, since the reloading process is not fully mechanized.

By contrast, the XM2001 Crusader SPH was fitted with a fully automated/mechanized loader, enabling it to fire 10 rounds per minute and keep up that rate of fire; as well as allowing it's first 8 rounds to impact at the same time. Also, a cooling system was fitted to keep up this rate of fire without having to slow down due to a danger of premature shell ignition.

Additionally, the reloading system was fully mechanized, allowing the Crusader to be reloaded with 48 rounds in less than 12 minutes, while the crew on both the howitzer and reload vehicle are under armor and NBC protected.

Considering that in order to defeat the Posleen, we're going to have to fire, fire, fire, and fire...

But hey, NERD-POINTS for using the SOuth African G-5 as a basis!
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 12:32pm 

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Posts: 21386
Raxmei wrote:
Mike is quite vocal about the Posleen refusal to take even the most basic precautions against artillery fire. While refusing to be suppressed means they don't slow down it also means they're too dumb to come in out of the steel rain. That practically begs for classic barrage tactics backed with old style infantry tactics with emphasis on field fortifications. Basically fight a deranged caricature of WWI.
Certain portions of the war do evolve into this, particularly in Gust Front at Richmond and in When the Devil Dances on the Appalachian Wall. Also in, God help us, Yellow Eyes, the one he wrote with Kratman.

In general, if Posleen aren't running into WWI-style defenses and extensive infantry dug into field fortifications, it's because they landed somewhere before there was time to run up such defenses to meet them. Which happens, naturally.

MKSheppard wrote:
Raxmei wrote:
Precise data on your location and the target location plus a good weather report tells you how long the shell's going to be in the air.
And all these tasks can be automated by a modern computer. In fact, it should be possible to design a portable electronic artillery assistant that asks you:

UID location?
Target UID location
Gun type?
Shell type?
Target Type (Infantry/Armored?)
Target Vegegation (None/Light Woods/Heavy Woods/Forest)

and maybe a few more questions, and then it automagically spits out the correct bearings and fuzing settings. Or hell, it could even wirelessly transmit it to the gun.

Right now, being an artilleryman is a very math-magical MOS. You have to know the basics of how artillery works, and how to at least have a try at calculating a trajectory. This...is kind of limiting for mass mobilization. But we can use computers to make it easier to become a red-leg.
Yes- although do bear in mind that mobilization for the Posleen War started in 2000 or so, the first troop landings were in 2004, and that the ground war on Earth is largely over by 2008 or so. So some of the most impressive stuff we see IRL in terms of electronics might simply never be developed here due to mobilization constraints.

Then again, that clashes sharply with Ringo's use of cruddy bleeding-edge alpha versions of various fanboy-loved weapons. So take that with a grain of salt.

MKSheppard wrote:
They actually did produce a bomblet shell for the Iowa's 16"/50 guns in the 1980s -- the Mark 144, which carried 400 x M43A1 AP grenades. There was also the planned Mark 146, which would have carried 666 M42/M46 grenades.
This or something much like it shows up in Gust Front, and it causes a shitload of casualties to Posleen spread out around an intersection in Northern Virginia.

I think the only problem is that Ringo, while he can more or less grasp what cluster munitions are capable of in single instances, has trouble wrapping his brain around the fact that you can literally cover entire battlefields in this kind of firepower in a relatively short span of time...

Quote:
Finally, Ringo handwaves the wounding potential of these rounds. The people in the books keep talking about how it's not enough to just wound them, blah blah blah.

If a Posleen gets his tendons torn out, among other fun things from a shell; he's pretty much dead, since he's now immobile or cannot advance as fast as before. There's also the possibility of him becoming a snack for the following waves of Posleen who might be hungry; in addition to becoming an obstacle that slows down the Posleen behind him.

Cannibalism yay?
Statistically speaking, only a relatively small fraction of wounds will totally immobilize one- the tendons in the legs aren't that big a target. It is a problem if they don't reliably go into shock when hit by one or two fragments the way a human might. But not that big a problem.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 12:48pm 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Simon_Jester wrote:
In general, if Posleen aren't running into WWI-style defenses and extensive infantry dug into field fortifications, it's because they landed somewhere before there was time to run up such defenses to meet them. Which happens, naturally.


The gods of Caterpillar and Komatsu will fix this problem, along with the BTM-4M Trench Digger.

Link to BTM-4M

In one hour it can dig a 0.6m wide, 1.5m deep trench out to 1 kilometer in non frozen ground.

Also, wasn't there much time and energy wasted in stupid fanboy schemes in Ringoverse like surrounding designated citadel cities with city walls.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 01:01pm 

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Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4396
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Quote:
Re: Ringo's Lexicon.

It's not really a lexicon, it's just a bare minimum of alien-ese words that allow him to render translated dialogue convincingly-ish. I can't blame him for doing it; the Posleen aren't supposed to think like humans, so their vocabulary for things like "enemy soldiers" shouldn't read exactly like human vocabulary. "Food that stings" actually sort of makes sense in that context, and his choice of words and syllables for the terms is kind of arbitrary.

So I won't criticize that.


Some funny things going on linguistically. In the first book the Posleen never went two paragraphs without saying some variation of the words 'beget' and 'favor.' 'This ill-favored street on this ill-begotten world.''I will have their get for thresh!' That sort of thing.

It helped to make their mindset feel alien and their language difficult to translate, sort of like the book was giving you a bad dubbing. However, this was completly dropped in Gust Front.

Speaking of that book, within three hours, tops, of landing, the God-kings understood written English well enough to read road signs and captured maps. There's even a joke where a young God-king confuses 'Treasury' for its historical meaning! Either they have a translatation technology somewhere between Star Trek and the bloody TARDIS or... I don't even know.

There are only a couple of hiccups, for instance it takes one a little while to decipher the word 'cemetary' because the Posleen have no equivalent places. And they never seem to get the idea behind acronyms.
Quote:
Note also that the timeline is somewhat misleading. There are known to be surviving Europeans holing up in the Alps well after the listed last transmission as well as the aforementioned Chinese in Tibet. There are probably more human holdouts in various places plus boat people all over the fucking place since everyone knows Posleen don't like getting their hoofsies wet.


This is true, a page later they say there are resistance movements in Scandanavia, the Russian Interior, the Balkans, Alps and Himalayas, the Posleen not being fond of cold areas (for want of good foraging, rather than the cold) and scattered Pacific islands that were too small for anyone to bother landing on.

There are however, no 'governments' no armies, and very little in the way of effective armed resistance.


Quote:
The early planning estimates shown in A Hymn Before Battle estimated that each Colonial Combat Globe carried 4~ million Posleen troops; and that each wave would consist of 50-70 of these globes.

They also estimated that there would be five invasion waves each six months apart.

What actually happened was:

Scout Force: 5 Globes, 20 million
Wave 1: 62 Globes, 248 million, 9.7 months after Scout Force.
Wave 2: 45 Globes, 180 million, 8.6 months after Wave 1.
Wave 3: 73 Globes, 292 million, 11.6 months after Wave 2.
Wave 4: 65 Globes, 260 million, 8.9 months after Wave 3.
Wave 5: 64 Globes, 256 million, 8.5 months after Wave 4.

So they were actually a bit conservative in how fast the Posties would slam into earth.

We can do some crude calculations.

1.) Take the upper limit of 70 globes for a wave in that briefing. That's 280 million each wave.

2.) Figure out the average footprint of a Posleen.

Normals are shown as being able to enter human sized houses (and get blown up by Ringo's LOLSUICIDEBOMBZ); so that sets an upper limit on their size as being 0.48m wide by 1.21m long, since they have to be able to fit through standard sized doors and be short enough to turn around/manouver in average hallways. That's about 0.5808 m2.

Meanwhile, the Godkings are said to be roughly the same size as an Arabian horse; which works out to about 1.52m wide by 2.4m long as a crude guesstimate, and 3.648 m2 in footprint. We can however discount Godkings as they're pretty rare.

So hum 280 million posleen times 0.5808 square meters per posleen, gives us 162.62 million square meters of area to FREEDOMIZE.

The ammunition counts needed to FREEDOMIZE that area in a perfect world are:


Most of this was covered in my initial posts. Plus remember that the Posleen were able to end the five-year period with six times as many heads as they startes with, DESPITE a major global campaign with serious losses, including the nuking of China.

You are incorrect in one regard, however, the line about 'Arabian horses' in Hymn was in fact reffering to Posleen normals and superior normals. At the start of Gust Front they say the normals are 14-15 hands (a hand is a unit for measuring a horses' height, 10.6 cm) at 'the complex double shoulder.' I'm not sure if this means the normals are 140 cm at the torso-shoulder, or the horse-shoulder. God-Kings are two hands taller.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 01:50pm 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21386
MKSheppard wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
In general, if Posleen aren't running into WWI-style defenses and extensive infantry dug into field fortifications, it's because they landed somewhere before there was time to run up such defenses to meet them. Which happens, naturally.
The gods of Caterpillar and Komatsu will fix this problem, along with the BTM-4M Trench Digger.

Link to BTM-4M

In one hour it can dig a 0.6m wide, 1.5m deep trench out to 1 kilometer in non frozen ground.
I can believe it- but that still requires that you have a good many machines to run up ten or twenty kilometers of modern earthworks in less than a few hours. And Posleen fleets can arrive with a few hours' warning; in Gust Front they basically land on Fredericksburg, VA and are marching on Washington all within the space of significantly less than a day. Getting troops into position and running up the entrenchments fast enough to stop an army under those circumstances is a significant challenge, the likes of which has been fumbled before more than once.

Ahriman238 wrote:
Some funny things going on linguistically. In the first book the Posleen never went two paragraphs without saying some variation of the words 'beget' and 'favor.' 'This ill-favored street on this ill-begotten world.''I will have their get for thresh!' That sort of thing.

It helped to make their mindset feel alien and their language difficult to translate, sort of like the book was giving you a bad dubbing. However, this was completly dropped in Gust Front.
Chalk it up to the author's mindset changing between his first and second published works, maybe...

Quote:
Speaking of that book, within three hours, tops, of landing, the God-kings understood written English well enough to read road signs and captured maps. There's even a joke where a young God-king confuses 'Treasury' for its historical meaning! Either they have a translatation technology somewhere between Star Trek and the bloody TARDIS or... I don't even know.
Their computer networks are ridiculously sophisticated... and ridiculously automated. Don't ask me how they read written maps, mind you- they may have some kind of HUD associated with their saucer computers.

Quote:
This is true, a page later they say there are resistance movements in Scandanavia, the Russian Interior, the Balkans, Alps and Himalayas, the Posleen not being fond of cold areas (for want of good foraging, rather than the cold) and scattered Pacific islands that were too small for anyone to bother landing on.

There are however, no 'governments' no armies, and very little in the way of effective armed resistance.
To a large extent this was gradually retconned- Ringo decided he actually intended to tell stories about the Europeans and Russians and whatnot that didn't end with "and then they were all reduced to hobos in the mountains," so he retconned in a bit more in the way of organized successor/survivor states.
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 02:43pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Simon_Jester wrote:
This or something much like it shows up in Gust Front, and it causes a shitload of casualties to Posleen spread out around an intersection in Northern Virginia.


Quick micropost related:

Scrap auction for last 16" barrels in USG inventory

That's 15 x 16" railroad guns right there, with some construction of the cradle mounts and reconditioning of the breeches. :P
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 05:07pm 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Simon_Jester wrote:
And Posleen fleets can arrive with a few hours' warning; in Gust Front they basically land on Fredericksburg, VA and are marching on Washington all within the space of significantly less than a day.


Hum, I went through Gust Front and hacked together a crude timeline:

H-3:36: Battleglobes appear in GEO (2:44 PM on 9 Oct 04)

H Hour: Localized to area of Fredericksburg, VA (6:20 PM on 9 Oct)

H+1:30 Globes land south of Fredericksburg, VA (7:50 PM on 9 Oct)

H+16:04 -- Posleen secure Fredericksburg, and begin breaking out. (10:24 AM on 10 Oct)

Even then, they don't advance that far, until...

Quote:
The one bright spot was artillery support. With the shift in emphasis from human-human to human-Posleen combat, the Army had radically changed its approach to artillery equipment. Although the bulk of the Army would remain mechanized infantry, the lack of counterbattery ability—the ability of one artillery unit to fire on another—by the Posleen meant that the division and corps artillery did not need to be armored. Thus the M-222 "Reaver" was born.

Modified from a South African mobile artillery piece, the Reaver was a six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle mounting a 155mm howitzer. It had the speed to keep up with mechanized forces and the ammunition capacity to support them effectively.

Three full batteries of these artillery behemoths were in places to support the division and the resultant firepower exceeded the artillery of three divisions of the latter twentieth century. The Posleen might succeed in overrunning them, but they should take massive casualties in the process.


You know, in US terminology, a battery is between four and six weapons. So the division has support of just 12 to 18 guns.

This is supposed to be an artillery-centric army? I posted earlier how in the Army '86 concept, Corps Artillery had no less than 156 guns plus 108 MRL launchers...

Anyway, there of course is secret hidden code in the IVIS artillery code routine, that apparently ignores the user input for targets, picks the nearest friendly unit around the user designated target, and targets it.

Of course, this code was never triple, double, and quadruple checked.

But hey; I guess MIGHTY MIKE decided that paying General Dynamics $5,000 per line of code to code the IVIS artillery call in routines was WAR PROFITEERING FOR THOSE CORPORATIONS....

...nevermind that the IVIS coding for calling in Artillery was done in 1993-94...

Anyhoot....

H+19:22 -- Posleen are about one hour from the Occoquan Bridges -- which is apparently in Occoquan, VA. They also roughly reach the outskirts of Richmond, VA. (1342 on 10 Oct)

It has taken them virtually all of a day to move 50 kilometers in both directions towards DC and Richmond.

This is actually in keeping with the fastest cavalry rate of advance in history; General Allenby's cavalry at Meggido in 1918 doing 56 km/day.

H+26:25 -- Last X Corps units pass through IX Corps lines at 8:45 PM on the night of October 10th. It's specifically stated that X Corps was a heavy corps, and that we lost about 25,000~ men, and only killed about 9,000 Posleen.

Hum.

Since X Corps was a heavy corps, it would have had Corps Artillery, which as I've said before, would be 156 guns.

If all of them were M2001 Crusaders, and you did one cycle of fire off ammo / resupply / fire off ammo; your corps artillery would be capable of sending 18,720 rounds down range to Posleen positions...in 45 minutes.

[Note: I am using the original design for Crusader, which was 55 tons for both the SPH and RSV and a 60 round magazine.]

Because the Resupply Vehicle has to be manually reloaded before it can reload the Howitzer, there'd be a lull after that 45 minute spasm; but to put all this in perspective...

The entire amount of shells fired in 1991 Operation Desert Storm by US 155mm self propelled howitzers was 43,500~ rounds. I'm sure we can beat that by the end of the first 24 hour period of combat.

Oh, and did I mention that it took the Posleen about fourteen to fifteen hours to begin to break out of the 25~ km area they seized around Fredericksburg?

Crusader was designed for high mobility with a top speed of around 40 mph, and long range -- an unassisted ballistic range of 30 km (compared to 23 km for the M109).

If X Corps Artillery was sitting on the National Mall in DC when the Posleen arrived as part of a show and tell for congresscritters, it'd take about 3 hours tops for them to get within firing range of Fredericksburg.

And of course, since Fort A.P. Hill is an active duty Military installation only 30~ kilometers from Fredericksburg, chances are there'd be M2001s firing on the Posleen within 20 minutes of the landing; when the Posleen were even more concentrated.

X Corps Artillery would also be pumping it's four MRLS battalions' rockets into Fredericksburg -- since a launcher's spill can cover 1 km2 with submunitions (effective lethal covered area is less though), you'd be seeing a map square 10 x 10 km considered severely degraded of most living things every 20~ minutes.

(Official MRLS reload time is 5 minutes...but let's be honest with ourselves and be conservative -- heat of battle and all that; since the rockets must be reloaded via built in cranes out in the open)

Oh, and that was just X Corps. I'm sure IX Corps would like to get into the fun with it's own Corps Artillery since they were hanging around Northern Virginia as well...

Seriously; Ringo had to do two pretty authorial fiat events:

  • Corps Artillery consists of 16 to 18 open topped South African Howitzers instead of over a hundred heavy SPHs.
  • The Darheel have an autohack into IVIS; which somehow never was noticed, despite the software being mission critical; and thus subject to increased scrutiny.

to get the results he wanted from the Battle of Fredericksburg.

And before you say "but the American government wouldn't go Soviet RED GOD OF WAR on it's own cities!"...

Ringo has the US Government installing fairly large and powerful bombs in their suburban homes to booby trap them so that the citizens can blow up themselves and the Posleen in the event of a landing (the left would have a shitfit; all that powerful plastic explosive sitting unsecured in homes?), so it shouldn't be hard to get the political permission to start removing grid squares from America [tm].

BONUS QUESTION

What exactly is Posleen logistics?

Quote:
There were over twenty God Kings in sight of the manjack. All of them fired at the sensor point. And so did approximately eight thousand normals.

A storm of flechettes and missiles slammed into the side of the skyscraper...


Ringo keeps talking about how the Posleen are all teeth teeth teeth, no tail. But how does the teeth keep shooting off HVMs and flechettes?

Do they eat corpses and then shit out fresh munitions?

Or do they just keep shooting until their ammo is expended, pick up a gun from a corpse, shoot some more with that ammo?
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 05:15pm 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25191
Why are you guys trying to make sense out of trash?

Serious question. I can see trying to make sense out of Harington or whatever, but from this stuff? What is the redeeming value here, especially of those NAZI NAZI NAZI books of Kratman?
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MKSheppard
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 05:16pm 

Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger


Joined: 2002-07-06 06:34pm
Posts: 28163
Thanas wrote:
What is the redeeming value here, especially of those NAZI NAZI NAZI books of Kratman?


Krautman? What books? He's never written any books. Just neo nazi pamplets. :P
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Lonestar
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 06:22pm 

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Joined: 2003-02-13 04:21pm
Posts: 12594
Location: The third best place to live in the country.
MKSheppard wrote:
Ringo was an AIRBORNE INFANTRYMAN, hence his love of towed howitzers on flatbed trucks, as towed howitzers are used within the AIRBORNE.



I'm actually reasonably sure that Ringo was a Comms Goon(or something a lot like it) that happened to be attached to a airborne unit.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-09-27 08:58pm 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21386
MKSheppard wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
And Posleen fleets can arrive with a few hours' warning; in Gust Front they basically land on Fredericksburg, VA and are marching on Washington all within the space of significantly less than a day.


Hum, I went through Gust Front and hacked together a crude timeline:

H-3:36: Battleglobes appear in GEO (2:44 PM on 9 Oct 04)
H Hour: Localized to area of Fredericksburg, VA (6:20 PM on 9 Oct)
H+1:30 Globes land south of Fredericksburg, VA (7:50 PM on 9 Oct)
H+16:04 -- Posleen secure Fredericksburg, and begin breaking out. (10:24 AM on 10 Oct)
Huh. I could have sworn it was a good deal faster than that.

The storyline features a couple of corps trying to dig in in the Posleen's path and getting broken- but you're already finding that in your quotes, I suspect.

Quote:
You know, in US terminology, a battery is between four and six weapons. So the division has support of just 12 to 18 guns.
This is supposed to be an artillery-centric army? I posted earlier how in the Army '86 concept, Corps Artillery had no less than 156 guns plus 108 MRL launchers...

Anyway, there of course is secret hidden code in the IVIS artillery code routine, that apparently ignores the user input for targets, picks the nearest friendly unit around the user designated target, and targets it.
Of course, this code was never triple, double, and quadruple checked.

But hey; I guess MIGHTY MIKE decided that paying General Dynamics $5,000 per line of code to code the IVIS artillery call in routines was WAR PROFITEERING FOR THOSE CORPORATIONS....
...nevermind that the IVIS coding for calling in Artillery was done in 1993-94...
Yeah. The sabotage is basically handwaved fucking elf magic- literally, since it's strongly implied that the Darhel were involved. Given their asserted ability to screw with computers it would somehow fail to surprise me that they could actually fuck up the artillery computers, but you're right that it's a pretty arbitrary handwave- as a way for the Darhel to commit sabotage, it's so... bleh.

Also, I think you overestimate Mike O'Neal's influence, which is nontrivial but far from all-powerful... a nice wisecrack, though.

Quote:
Anyhoot....
H+19:22 -- Posleen are about one hour from the Occoquan Bridges -- which is apparently in Occoquan, VA. They also roughly reach the outskirts of Richmond, VA. (1342 on 10 Oct)
It has taken them virtually all of a day to move 50 kilometers in both directions towards DC and Richmond.
This is actually in keeping with the fastest cavalry rate of advance in history; General Allenby's cavalry at Meggido in 1918 doing 56 km/day.

H+26:25 -- Last X Corps units pass through IX Corps lines at 8:45 PM on the night of October 10th. It's specifically stated that X Corps was a heavy corps, and that we lost about 25,000~ men, and only killed about 9,000 Posleen.
Hum.
Since X Corps was a heavy corps, it would have had Corps Artillery, which as I've said before, would be 156 guns...
Oh, and did I mention that it took the Posleen about fourteen to fifteen hours to begin to break out of the 25~ km area they seized around Fredericksburg?
Yep. I had plain forgotten- thought they'd broken out sooner.

Quote:
  • Corps Artillery consists of 16 to 18 open topped South African Howitzers instead of over a hundred heavy SPHs.
  • The Darheel have an autohack into IVIS; which somehow never was noticed, despite the software being mission critical; and thus subject to increased scrutiny.

to get the results he wanted from the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Fair point.

Quote:
Ringo keeps talking about how the Posleen are all teeth teeth teeth, no tail. But how does the teeth keep shooting off HVMs and flechettes? Do they eat corpses and then shit out fresh munitions? Or do they just keep shooting until their ammo is expended, pick up a gun from a corpse, shoot some more with that ammo?
I think they have fabricators capable of making ammunition aboard their ships, but that doesn't explain their ability to supply masses of ammunition during actual combat.

On the other hand, they don't necessarily fire that many rounds per 'man' in an offensive- their weapons are all shoulder-fired, and they can probably handle a good deal of weight per person, so their ammo loadout could be quite substantial. Their projectile weapons fire pretty light slugs, too, so they can carry a lot of them.

Dunno.

Thanas wrote:
Serious question. I can see trying to make sense out of Harington or whatever, but from this stuff? What is the redeeming value here, especially of those NAZI NAZI NAZI books of Kratman?
None. I occasionally mention stuff from those books insofar as it might impact what the hell Ringo thinks is going on in the setting, but that's about it.

I think Shep is having fun with this (I've never seen Ringo's take on military tactics analyzed this way, in terms of "he's light infantry, he underestimates armor and artillery accordingly," and I like it). I'm just shooting the breeze- I don't really think it holds together, but it's entertaining.

Lonestar wrote:
I'm actually reasonably sure that Ringo was a Comms Goon(or something a lot like it) that happened to be attached to a airborne unit.
Plausible- his idea of tactics still winds up coming as much from the airborne as anywhere else, at least anywhere outside his own skull.

Why do you think so, by the way?
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