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Re: DSII Question- Obstacles

From: Brian Burger <burger00@c...>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 18:20:42 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: DSII Question- Obstacles

On Tue, 17 Feb 1998, Thomas Barclay wrote:

> > Well, the way I see it, barbed wire would be ignored by vehicles,
> > dragon teeth would be ignored by foot soldiers (although, if densely
> > they could count as cover, ne?) One could certainly sow both
> > with mines, if you're feeling like annoying the sappers.
> A full defence would include obstacles and wire to channelize 
> infantry and vehicles, covered by arcs of fire from units including 
> support weapons, interspersed with mines to prevent obstacle 
> clearance and to destroy aggressive vehicles or personel. CDMs to 

CDMs don't exist in DS2 - not in the stock rules, anyway. However, to
something like this up in SG2, they're vital...

> provide a last ditch close in shock to any assaulting troops, with 
> mortars and other short range company level support assets to destroy 
> the attacker while they move through the obstacles, mines, and 
> infantry fire. Once you start considering the multipliers in force 
> that a well laid defence gives, you realize that attackers often need 
> their 3:1 odds and good arty prep and air support in order to have 
> any chance of success. 

Ouch, ouch ouch...we're getting into WW1 here...thing to do w/ someone
lavishes this much care onto his fortifications is to bypass them - use
orbital-inserted PI to land in his rear area, swing around and outflank
his forts w/ fast armour, use air-mobile assets to again hit his rear,
etc. Think Magaino (sp!) Line, and the advance thru the Ardennes by the

> > These defenses would be totally ignored by grav vehicles (fly over)
and PA
> > troopers (unless it's monofilament wire). And a DFFG or two would
> > vaporize wire and melt mines, if you could just get that armor
officer to
> > lend his firepower to your footsloggers for a round or two....
> DFFG wouldn't vaporize buried mines, and I'm assuming DFFG has ammo 
> considerations preventing its use as a broom. Hence it could clear 
> paths, but its still subject to side attacking mines. Also, I could 
> see implanting a form of rocket/mine that reacted to such sweeping 
> attempts and homed in on the source of the DFFG with an anti-armour 
> missile. Sticky wire would be bad for PA, and if properly anchored 
> for vehicles that move through it. And is a field of nuclearly melted 
> muck something you plan on advancing even PA through? I wonder. What 
> about obstacles with a cheap ablative coating that makes them 
> resistant to this kind of attack? 

DFFGs and direct-fire weapons don't destroy minefields - but artillery
attacks do - just set up an open sheaf mission on top of those
then send in the engineers to clear the rest after the arty clears the
mines...or use those direct-fire weapons on the wire/tank traps, and the
arty on the mines.

High-tech 'sticky-wire' sounds interesting - maybe have a couple kinds
wire, from 'old-style' steel/alloy razorwire, then exotic-materials
(Hammer's Slammers has 'berilium (sp) netting'), up to 'sticky' or
'smart' wire - imagine nano-tech wire that moves to grab and cut units
moving into its range - nasty...

> (What I'm saying is if we research things, I think we'll find 
> obstacles are progressing as fast as other tech so they'll still be 
> around, we just need to figure out what form). 

Stationary defences are always going to be important _somewhere_, even
not everywhere. Choke-points, vital bridges or crossroads, perimeters -
even simple PoW/refugee camps...the technology used will progress along
with the times, although probably slower - barbed wire is still fairly
unchanged from ww1, razor wire is newer but not as widespread...

> > Something else that bears consideration: tank traps. Big pits would
> > down about anything but (again)grav vehicles and PA troopers.
> I think PA might be slowed down too. Or a big enough pit could drop 
> in a grav vehicle. What about a pit filled with monomolecular tipped 
> spikes that could punch through PA (bengal tiger trap made modern)? 
> What about a buried device that goes off and kills the electronics in 
> PA or in vehicles? (they have these now for use by police to kill 
> engines and end  high speed chases).	
If you're going to bury a device, why not make it a standard minefield?
Just wax the sucker, don't get fancy...besides, a big ECM-mine might
up your electronics too, if they're too close...

Regarding pits - in DS2 scale, 1" = 100 meters - that's either a _very_
large pit, or it's not worth digging - it just won't show up at DS2's
level of terrain detail...for SG2, though...I like the idea of
monomolecular-spiked tiger-traps...high-tech Viet Cong?
> Another interesting point I haven't see anyone take is the Grav Tanks 
> vs. Tracklayers or ACV. You say "But grav are better! They can fly!" 
> Anyone who ever did Striker or Striker II vehicle design for 
> Traveller will remember this classic dilemna. Do I armour four sides 
> (or five if you count the top) heavily, or do I add that sixth side 
> (the bottom) where I won't have any weapons bearing, but I'll still 
> have to carry an extra weight of armour if I'm going to fly around 
> and fight. I think a Grav vehicle (by virtue of having to armour six 
> sides roughly equally - only good sense, maybe more on the front and 
> turret) will have a lower average level of armour than a similar tech 
> tracklayer or ACV. Also I think any of these would be susceptible to 
> a buried straight-up firing armour piercing missile-mine.  Also can 
> you say Grav Mines? If I can pack grav electronics into a tank, why 
> not into a mine? A grav pulse could slam grav vehicles into the 
> ground by increasing gravity or cancelling their anti-grav fields. 
> Ouch. Or Anti-Grav field seeking missiles? Oooh, too bad for the grav 
> vehicles.....

You pay more for grav drives in dirtside, so I guess that could be your
extra bit of armour as well as the drives? (Never thought of it)

The Jumping Mines of DS2 attack anything, including VTOLs in Low
there's already a missle-mine thing...

Personally, I'd avoid specialty anti-grav weapons as too inflexible - I
don't field grav units, none of my opponents do, so I'd rather have
mines and stock missles that can hunt down anything I want to aim them
at...if I face someone fielding grav forces, a GMS/L inf team will work
just as well on his grav-panzers as on my regular opponents tracked and
ACV AFVs...Grav-specific weaponry would be heavily background dependant
in a 'stock' DS2 game, its of limited utility, if you're playing
RenLeg-DS2, it's vital - everyone has grav tanks.

One thing I've been thinking of, for DS2 - as I read the rules,
have IFF abilities, so if you want to move one of your own units through
your minefield, you can. This leads to interesting implications -
'offensive' minesowing, probably via artillery. Want to stop an advance
down a road, but don't want to or can't get troops there fast? Drop a
minefield or three...Mine the insides of your own compounds to chop up
intruders and drop troops, but you can conduct normal ops...this depends
on your level of command & control, of course - does _everyone_ have an
IFF unit _all the time?_ Even w/ minimal IFF, offensive mining has its
uses, out in the field...Hold up enemy advances long enough to
a sector...Thoughts or comments?

Brian (

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