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National Vehicle/Force Design Characteristics (DS2/SG2)

From: "Thomas.Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 14:08:21 -0500
Subject: National Vehicle/Force Design Characteristics (DS2/SG2)

Preamble: (Or perhaps in my case, pre-ramble)

It seems that most modern and presumably future military forces tend to
derive their TO&E somewhat from their strategy/tactics, and sometimes
chosen strategy and tactics dictates TO&E. In short, these areas are

It also seems that nationalities exhibit certain flavours. In real life,
this reflects differing political, geographical, and financial
realities. In
the GZGverse, these factors must similarly apply. Plus there is one
additional factor: It is kind of neat in a game to have some distinction
between forces. 

Having said that, I'd be interested to hear differing visions of the
imperatives and limitations that drive vehicle and force designs for the
varying star nations. I'll take a first cut at a few that I've thought


>From what we've seen, the NAC seems to have a number of wheeled
(Striker, Phalanx, etc) and be rather heavily into the Wheeled Combat
Vehicle idea. The fact they use the Phalanx (which is quite huge)
they also have no aversion to large vehicles. 
Possible Rationale:
It strikes me that the NAC is the largest power, and therefore probably
the most territory to defend. Much of that defence will be best
by cost effective vehicles - cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain. As Jon
has suggested Grav is finicky and maintenance intensive, and we can
ACV may be also, wheeled vehicles make sense for a majority of NAC
with Grav reserved for special strike units. Wheeled vehicles can be
deployed to hole-in-the-wall worlds without a big supply train. The
simplicity of these vehicles will also allow them to be more easily
maintained by colonial units (local planetary defence forces and reserve
regular army units) they are loaned/given to. Weapons wise, the NAC
be cutting edge, and I think that one could expect to see a fair number
DFFGs, Superior GMS, and MDCs, perhaps with the more complex systems
present on the smaller-in-number strike force vehicles, and more
but nonetheless effective weapons and defenses deployed on the simpler
vehicles. The same logic applies to stealth and ECM systems and other
defensive options. Basically, the NAC has the biggest economy, but given
cultural past, prudence in defense spending is likely. The Crown has
been sensitive to budgetary matters, and the populace of the NAC are
more interested in investing in other things than in military spending.
course, they still want the toughest, biggest military, but done with
fiscal sense - which means saving the wazoo gadgets for the rapid
regular forces and allowing the serviceable, but more simple, kit to do
jobs within NAC space. 

On a historical note, British design doctrine rarely seems to have
around high speed armoured vehicles, being more interested in well
well armoured. 

>From what we've seen, some of the NSL vehicles are AC. This seems
likely to
fit with the style of warfare Germans seem to love...

Possible Rationale:
The NSL are a big power, and probably bigger than the NAC industrially
as a state, but in terms of the MegaCorps that call NSL home). They have
history of manufacturing some of the world's best tanks and armoured
vehicles, and some excellent weapons systems. If this trend continues,
may be quite likely that the NSL has some of the highest tech forces in
GZGverse, in terms of average deployed technology level. Their areas of
responsibility are probably somewhat smaller than the NAC, so they are
probably more willing to invest in reliable but expensive/complex
electronics and propulsion systems. I forsee the NSL not being able to
afford grav vehicles for all their forces, but being quite happy to
deploy a
large number of AC vehicles of all varieties. This also would fit with a
blitz hit-fast, hit-hard style of warfare, and the NSL countries have
demonstrated some competence in this area over the years. It emphasizes
strategic strokes. I see it as likely their AFVs have high quality
electronics (stealth, pds, ecm, ew, sensors), and are probably powered
FGPs. Weapon wise, I'd suspect most weapons would be DFFG, HEL, GMS

On a historical note, German design doctrine seems to have evolved
AFVs with excellent balance of speed, armour and firepower. 

>From what we've seen, some of the NSL vehicles are AC. This seems
likely to
fit with the style of warfare Germans seem to love...

Possible Rationale:
The ESU is another very large power with widely slung colonies. It has
NAC as its main rival, and may well have internal struggles running
continuously thanks to some of its governing techniques. OTOH, the ESU
more willing to spend more GDP to counterbalance their shortages in an
economic productivity end so the net result is a large, potent military.
it strikes me that many ESU vehicles would be basic (in terms of
luxuries or
fancy gizmos) but they would also be easy to maintain, robust, and quite
effectual. Good armour can be a result of wazoo tech or thick walls. ESU
fire control and electronics probably isn't up to NAC (let alone NSL)
standards, but it is probably quite satisfactory for most tasks. The ESU
tend to win conflicts by deploying enough numbers to carry the day. I
suspect HKPs, GMS (enh) and RFACs might typify ESU armament, and ECM and
fire control might be at best enhanced. It seems also likely that extra
ons like stealth, ablative/reactive armour, etc are less likely.
Mobility is
probably often tracked or wheeled and CFE powerplants are probably still
use in many cases. Artillery will tend to be heavily used. 

On a historical note, ESU design doctrine seems to have evolved around
with excellent balance of armour and firepower. In general, the main
criteria seems to have been how to produce a tank 80% as capabable as
NAC counterpart, and for 50% the cost. The ESU has seemed willing to
sacrifice the capability per-tank in exchange for having a robust,
maintainable, and reasonably effective AFV which it can crank out in

Other thoughts on other nations, or contrary opinions, welcome. 

Thomas Barclay

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