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Re: [GZG] Artillery considerations (was: Re: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!)

From: "John Atkinson" <johnmatkinson@g...>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 17:36:56 +0300
Subject: Re: [GZG] Artillery considerations (was: Re: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!)

On 7/8/08, Indy <> wrote:

> One thing that's niggled at me about artillery (and something I need
to take
> up with Oerjan for DS3) is the presumption of ultra-accurate artillery
> the PSB of a GPS system. Maybe I'm not using my imagination enough to
> on the SF possibilities, but what if...

Part Two of answer:

Precise location (currently most easily done by GPS) is part of the
equation.  But there is more that goes into it.  A large factor is the
replacement of fire direction charts used by overworked and frequently
exhausted human beings with computers that talk directly to the guns.
Certainly the guy in the FDC talking to the observer can still fat
finger things, and the observer can screw up his call for fire, but
the calcultation is done by a computer.  Wind direction sensors are
electronic and far more precise than the mechanical equivalent of
WWII.  You can even adjust for barrel wear as measured by sensors on
the gun.  The round will land where the computer is told to put it
with far more precision and reliability than was possible 50 years
ago.  And there are fewer opportunities for human error than there
were 50 years ago.

If you start adding SF refinements like liquid propellant (more
precisely measured than bagged charges) and so forth, you can argue
for even greater accuracy and lethality.  Perfected voice recognition
software can take the humans out of the FDC altogether, and if you
then link it to a tracker system (BFT, for the modern example) then
you also make the process of clearing the fire much quicker.  I don't
intend to hit these arguments in detail, I'm just tossing them out
there as examples, that it is easier to argue for artillery becoming
more lethal than it is to argue for it becoming less lethal.

And that's before I start talking about the next generation of
long-range precision fires, wherein we will likely see the line
between "UAV" and "artillery rocket" roles blur in a serious way--UAVs
that carry warheads are already out there.  UAVs that carry reloadable
submunition dispensers are the next obvious step.

So yes, precision artillery is going to be part of any SF game that
doesn't figure out how to PSB it away.	And PSBing it away takes
either near-perfect defenses (Hammer's Slammers energy weapons under
computer control, for instance) or handwaving.	And if you PSB away
artillery rounds, you're likely to PSB away aircraft in the process,
which is fine for some people and not for others.  It is a conscious
game design decision, or at least it should be.

"Thousands of Sarmatians, Thousands of Franks, we've slain them again
and again.  We're looking for thousands of Persians."
--Vita Aureliani

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