Prev: RE: SG2/DS2 artillery Next: Re: New Confederate States: In search of the owner

Re: SG2/DS2 artillery

From: Adrian Johnson <ajohnson@i...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 01:11:46 -0500
Subject: Re: SG2/DS2 artillery

>Once you have a grav platform, the war is so much about mobility and a
>tank becomes the all around weapon - replacing jets (which are lighter
>armoured), VTOLS (same), arty (not mobile enough), and of course doing
>duty as a tank.

Except that the tank isn't a tank any more, 'cause it starts to carry
infantry and all kinds secondary weapon systems.  If the grav platform
the capability to carry the weight of heavy armour, then why not have it
carry troops too - and you get multi purpose vehicles that serve as
dropships and troopcarriers.  What's the purpose of having separate
if the apc's can carry tank-size armament anyway...  If the role of the
tank is JUST to fight other tanks, there isn't any point in having them.
Infantry hold the ground, and in the end, tanks now are about supporting
the infantry by killing the other guy's tanks, which can kill your
But if your apc's are as tough and as heavily armed as a tank, why
having tanks?

And if you're fighting with these sorts of zoomie high tech flying
"ground" warfare will probably be about short, sharp, small fights
dispersed forces that manoever for position to sieze strategic bits of
or get the other guy's depots.	No percentage in mass-battle type
'cause the other guy will just slam you with ortillery if you
too heavily.
I don't see too much place for "conventioal" artillery at anything
than the platoon mortar size when you can do it from orbit.  If you
have some forces in orbit, then you're toast anyway 'cause he
you into the stone age whenever you concentrate....

>Until then though, I assume forces wanted a high mobility force and
>specifically those operating with an atmosphere (no AC on airless
>will want to be air-cushion. That'd let them move very fast over water,
>most land, tundra, ice floes, etc. It makes amphibious assaults a joke.
>Additionally, you'll get an AC tank moving faster than a track layer.
>And probably better for the ground its running over - more distributed
>surface pressure. Works in swamps!

Sure.  Forces nowadays are getting smaller but more highly lethal, and I
think that trend will continue.  Artillery will get smarter, so you'll
less of it and equipment not as BIG to do the same job - which means
logistic support, manoeverability, etc.  If the arty shells are all
by an AI, you won't need to shoot off bazillions of them to get the
guy - and that brings in the whole ew/counter-ew thing 'cause each side
will try to spoof the others' arty shells, etc etc.

But the arty you DO have will HAVE to be quick to move.  No point in any
kind of towed stuff at all, unless it is being used by a low tech force.

We know there'll be conflicts at different tech levels (NSL regulars vs
regulars is HIGH tech, but NAC farmers' militia vs. marauding PAU
militia will be much lower tech.  In the case of extremely long lines of
communication, major powers may choose to send lower-tech equipment on
purpose, so that the local infrastructure can support the repair,
maintenance, and ammo resupply requirements of a long campaign.  The NAC
may not take it's best equipment if the enemy force isn't equipped with
high-tech stuff and it is FAR away from NAC core worlds...  So then you
the lower tech arty being used because of it's inherent reliability and
ease of maintenance - and maybe it is towed - or wheeled SP.

>Given this might be the case, wouldn't most artillery be of the form of
>an MRLS or a CPR (Chemically Propelled Round) nature mounted on an AC
>chassis (which grounds to setup and fire, but to leave just flips on
>fans and motors...). Given the state of Counter Battery today, that
>would seem like a darn good plan. Shoot, then scoot. Fast.

Yep.  Gotta be that way or they'll be counterbatteried right pronto. 
I'd have the counterbattery stuff set up as MLRS with guided hypersonic
scramjet (or equiv) rounds, so the return fire arrives REALLY fast. 
ammo would be more expensive than a simple explosive round, but the
counterbattery mission is about the most important one that arty can
undertake, so they use the good stuff.	And everybody knows it, so you
your arty FAST when you shoot - that would be a no-brainer standard for
every army (except, perhaps, as I indicated above in the "lower tech"

>You might find field guns in militia and colonial forces (easier to
>than MRLS) similarly to why you'd find IAVRs and RRs there instead of
>GMS many times.

And that gives we gamers an excuse to use arty as a mission hook, and
them as off-table support...  I have added three of the Heavy Gear arty
pieces to my SG collection, and they are great to use as an objective in
scenarios.  I use that one as a demo game at con's quite often, and it's
lots of fun.  One side has to get on and capture or "spike" the guns,
the other has to defend them...  Simple.

>Or (if it is actually not an AND) am I raving? Is there some good
>justification for towed arty which takes longer to setup and does not
>have the mobility?

Scenario driven reasons.  PSB (and PSHB -
can justify nearly anything :)

>I'm curious. Speak to me, oh visionaries and luminaries of the list.

well, tripping bling and confused list member here, maybe :)

Adrian Johnson

Prev: RE: SG2/DS2 artillery Next: Re: New Confederate States: In search of the owner