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Airforces of the human sphere

Discussion in 'Off-Topic English' started by R-z, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Darkvortex87

    Darkvortex87 Combat jump kamikaze

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    if i'm not remembering wrong Nomad had "Uni-fighter" or something like that.
    Basically single pilot space fighter used for boarding and space fighting purposes.

    TBH i've always imagined the nomad boarding parties a la "the expanse"
     
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  2. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    Of course I did, and the cost is still lower than fielding a single Jotum. Specially since, oh my god, it is possible to field a single remote with a close operator (Sincronized... Oh, look! Auxilias! Guarda de Assalto! Heck, even the Seraph! And some Deva Functionaries).
    And short bursts of movement are ok, the real problem comes from ye olde long march on foot... As for the rest, standard tactics, look, it's all compiled with the other spreadsheets that, oh, wait, top secret and several Tb of data, so I can't show it...

    Really, if you really want to stop discussing it, do not keep providing arguments when you say so, that might work in a face to face conversation, but let's be real: this is the internet, and short of having admin privileges, there is no way of preventing others to give counterarguments, no matter how offended you do want to look like.
     
  3. Wildgit

    Wildgit Member

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    How do you know? Did you ever work it out yourself? Do you actually think infantries such as Druzes are cheap? Are finding their replacement are that easy? Are your recruiters contacs are reliable? Are the replacements would be satisfying? How long would it takes for their training to reach a same level of peformance? How about their needs? Entertainment? Food? Healthcare? Problems that they would makes when on tour of duties? Are 'whops secrets' a proper answer? Did it will solve your problems in the future?
     
  4. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    I'll try to keep myself from breaking into bouts of laughter. You are making it quite difficult, with that "child with sugar overdose" attitude, but I'm a professional!

    So, one of the few (and the single greatest) advantages of externalization is that You.Don't.Care. The druze die? Not my problem. The mission was a failure? You don't get paid the rest of the money (or where you thinking that people pays all the money upfront? If you want some declassified materials, Shadowrun has a very deep and detailed amount of data about the relationship between mercenaries and their "Mr Johnson" clients, with suggestions on how to set up Escrow Accounts).
    If they suceed, there are no extra costs. If they don't have the trained troops, I go to another contractor. If their performance is poor, I don't look for them the next time... and other prospective clients will also look elsewere, so the merc unit will vanish fast. And all of the logistical problems? Again, theirs, not mine.

    Of course, I would not send them to retrieve sensitive things, lest they get ideas like demanding ransom or try and get the upper hand... infiltration missions are, after all, an Hexa's job, and they tend to get pricky when someone steps into their turf. As for their "tour of duty" maybe you are mistaking Haqquislam's need for mercenaries, and the other potencies use for them (read: none, another thing entirely are the corporations, which might or might not be related to their government but can almost never have a military protection detail on premises all the time). So yeah, the Kaplan are a private corporate unit (not true mercs), and the Druze are more like their own country.

    As for how do I know... well, I'be been GM'ing for more than a decade, and my most recurring players are in the army, and they love all kind of military-related missions (to enter and break, mind you). Now, how do YOU know?

    And yes, I can keep answering. Forever.
     
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  5. leigen_zero

    leigen_zero Morat Pacifist

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    Funnily enough I've nearly finished reading Startide Rising (I put it down months ago and really need to finish that book), getting cross-referenced to Brin's novels thanks to reading the Eclipse Phase source material (I actually have a half-formed neo-octopus PC concept if @Flipswitch ever gets round to GMing the game he suggested several years ago :tongueclosed:).

    I don't think the Nomads would bother with cephalopod-human hybrid for clockmakers. I think they would be more likely to be accompanied by loads of cybernetic augments and semi-autonomous or thought-controlled drones. Not that this rules out the more avante-gard of Bakunin's bodyhackers from experimenting with octopus biomods.
     
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  6. Flipswitch

    Flipswitch Sepsitorised by Intent
    Warcor

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    I deleted our FB group for it very quietly to see if everyone would forget it. :v
     
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  7. R-z

    R-z Active Member

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    Well I guess that Ariadna will proupily have to make do with 21st century style jet fighters and attack crafts with a few adjustments. For example a warthog's 30mm auto cannon is actually a good TAG killer and Teseum plating will make it dam near unkillible.
     
    #27 R-z, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  8. devil.advocates

    devil.advocates Well-Known Member

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    Personally, i'll prefer something more inline with F-16 on steroids for air support to root out those well nested TAGs or advancing IFVs coloum with smart bombs, since other advance HS nations AA capabilities are might be insane enought with pinpoint accuracies to easily shoot down any slow moving warthogs that came in their radar. But hey, its still awesome.
     
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  9. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

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    Very interesting subject matter and a great amount of ideas in the comments.
    Sounds like you and your friends have alot of fun when you get together.
     
  10. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    I have never managed to find an EP playing group, sadly... I got stuck with GMing it, and that gave another batch of problems (namely, few people bother reading even the core book since I have the physical 2nd edition in english and all digital versions... and few incentives to buy the spanish translation now that the new edition is getting ready, not to mention the FATE version).

    I was thinking more about "strange experiment having to make do" rather than "let's make octopi clockmakers for 0G" (much less a "let's pick this guy and turn him into an octopus"), a byproduct of Praxis when messing around with uplifting tech into something different than Pupniks.

    I'd say that Ariadna doesn't have much of an air force, since there were little to no incentive to even build any combat plane aside from relatively fast "flying guns" like the Warthog you mention, using instead choppers for most day-to-day ops until contact was restablished with the rest of humanity.

    Why? Essentially the only threat (and not a small one) Aridnans had were the Antipodes, whom we can assume had little to no ground-to-air weaponry, meaning some heavy planes for "fast" response and combat choppers for "less than fast, more than normal" would be the go-to solutions (and the choppers would only need "vietnam-like", no need for super heli-gunships like Apaches). While some fighters can't be discarded, since Ariadna was "broken" into some distinct "countries" (Caledonia, USAriadna, RUSariadna, Merovingia...), there would be little need for infighting considering how much unsettled ground there is on the planet, the only real roadblock bein the Antipodes (and yeah, the "your land has more X than mine").
    This evaluation would, logically, need to change when the rest of the human sphere came knocking on the planet, with their landing ships and "black" shuttles (to smuggle Teseum out of the planet), but compared to other planets in the sphere the atmosferic fighters would be small in number, and quite "simple" until Ariadna has a big enough industrial and working base for maintaining this vehicles (which would be, i'd say, one of the main reason Ariadna didn't went to the Nomads and bought a bunch of TAGs: they would be dependant on external maintenance).

    Indeed! We've been playing a lot of time, with the Schedule master whipping our backs a lot, but we've been playing RPGs since nearly 20 years ago, we started with the Rolemaster version of the Lord of the Rings, then 7th sea, cyberpunk 2020, Vampire (Dark ages and Masquerade, we even managed to play the Transilvania Chronicles with me as a player instead of my usual seat as GM) and Werewolf (yeah... Rage across South America was very appreciated... and then I dumped them in Russia, where they had to go from "vietnam style" to "Cold War Moscow") and more...
     
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  11. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, another Ace Combat player!

    Well, there is actually a pic in the N2 book of a bunch of Ariadnans in a souped-up HIND with a Fenestron fan. I'd give 50/50 odds as to whether the Ariadna mission would have Su25s or A10s. The A10s would be ancient and long out of production, so limited spare parts in ~20 years when the Dawn colonization mission kicks off, while the Su25 will probably still be in limited production. It's really ironic, but check out pictures of the YA-9 competitor to the A10. Looks almost identical to the Su25!

    The Ariadnans would definitely have smaller drones like Predators, and might have gotten a few of the big Global Hawk drones, too.

    All factions will probably have Predator (or Reaper) sized drones for CAS. Props are slightly better than jets in the low-altitude realm, since if you push the props forward you get more thrust NOW, while pushing the throttles forward on a jet has a delay to get power. Props also get better fuel economy, but they have issues with top speed (basically, no supersonic fun for prop-jobs). These drones may or may not have a gun on them, but I'd want both a 30mm and a .50cal if I get to chose (well, ideally two of each).

    Modern fighters seem designed around a 3-4 shot engagement (at least based on how I play Ace Combat). Two missiles per kill, with ~4 medium range missiles and 2-4 short-range missiles per bird. This is the case for the F4, the F15, some loadouts of the F14 (typical F14 load was 4x long, 2x medium, and 2x short), and even the F22 carries 6x medium range and 2x short range missiles. Eurofighter carries 4x medium-range and 2x short-range missiles, Rafale carries 4x medium-range and 4x short-range. Assuming that medium range engagements remain a thing (this is questionable, depends on how prevalent radar stealth becomes), I'd expect the air superiority drones to carry a similar armament. If radar stealth does become pervasive, then engagement ranges will get a bit shorter and we will see more IR-guided medium-range missiles.

    Stealthy ground attack planes are going to end up being big due to the need to hold bombs internally. One idea I kicked around was turning the YF23 into a small strategic bomber like the FB111, but doing that required enlarging the forward fuselage to hold a single rotary launcher, 12 feet wide and 25 feet long!
     
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  12. R-z

    R-z Active Member

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    well it's said that Ariadnans have access to advanced 3D printers so getting spare parts should be relatively easy.
    Also I wonder what kind of toys would Pan-o have, I could see them having a version of the Arcbird and it wouldn't be a big stretch if we found out that they(pan-o) have developed a version of the COFFIN system.
     
    #32 R-z, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  13. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    I'd say they built factories of true and tested nature instead of developing new tech, remember Ariadna was a case of "survival" (where, in this case, means using "good enough" old tech designs and focus investigation in more productive developments, like Antipode Control Devices!), which also tends to get the extra advantage of sturdier materials, better production techniques, etc... A similar, actual and real situation would be the old "nokia 3310-like" phones, where they are more protected (since the circuits are smaller), with better batteries (same or bigger size than the original models of nearly 15 years ago), and much cheaper (thanks to scale production, it is cheaper to make 1.000.000 circuits and adapt half of them to work like those old phones than directly produce 500.000 circuits for the new phones).

    Also, as I mentioned before, there were little dogfighting on Ariadna's skies until the planet was rediscovered, or the factions would have ended wiped out (even at the hands of each other, or under the Antipodes' fangs. An external threat does wonders to the cause of cooperation!)
     
  14. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    The Ariadna mission would have whatever tech we consider sufficiently reliable in 20 years. Seriously, ~2040 is when they go out through the wormhole!

    A10s are a pain in the butt, they have machined wing skins (instead of simple flat sheets). While that shaping is conducive to 3d printing, the size of the panels isn't. A10 wing skins are 20+ feet long! (Plus I'm not sure you can laser-sinter aluminum alloys very easily, but that may be addressed) It's terrifying how fast 3d printer costs go up as the size of the print bed increases. Plus, 3d printing is NOT cheap. A company got bored and 3d printed almost all the parts for a 1911 pistol. The only parts that they didn't print were the springs, since those would need to be heat-treated and tempered. They estimate that the pistol would cost about $15,000, roughly 10x the cost of "carve it out of a block of steel" manufacturing.

    Some flavor of helicopter is easy to predict, but I'd be surprised if the Ariadnans had any fast-mover fighter-bombers.

    They're probably still flying C130s, too. Herky-birds aren't comfortable to fly in, but they're just about unstoppable.

    When I was talking about aerospace craft versus pure air-breathers, Arkbird would be an aerospace craft (as would the legendary UD4 Dropship from Aliens). Arkbird itself is probably too big, but I'd expect similar aircraft to exist.

    As far as the COFFIN system goes, what do you think Remote Presence tech is? :smilingimp:
     
  15. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    Well, as far as we know, Ariadna mission was going against an uninhabited planet (they ran into Antipodes quite a while after planetfall and setting up the first colony). They'd have need for air transport, sure - so utility helicopters and fixed wing transports are a given. But if there is no opposition with advanced tech, there's no justification for resource-hungry air superiority fighters, mutirole fighters and high-performance jet attack aircraft. Against the Antipodes, air superiority was a given as soon as you were able to put together a hang glider, and start dropping some rocks on their heads. Antipodes, AFAIK, had no technology to counter that!

    A pop-job airplane (or even turboprop, though that is more difficult to build and maintain IIRC) is good enough for close air support in that case. RL, there are a number of crop duster & otther light utlity planes that were successfully converted for light ground attack / COIN role - and that's exactly the role the Ariadnans would be needing against Antipodes.
    This means lots of light, cheap, multirole aircraft that can be stationed close to where they'll be needed, and operate from minimally-prepared bases. Depending on requirements, dusting crops, bombing Antipodes, or running delivery service / air ambulance mission, because there's an urgent need.

    Once the Sphere "rediscovered" them?
    As I said about spaceships back on the old forum: it is way easier - and cheaper (at least short-term) to simply buy modern tech, than try to develop your own to match the Sphere's standard. The same way few countries build their own jet fighters these days - most buy ready-made ones from the few countires who have tech to actually develop and build them.

    And, @Section9 - Why C-130s? The Russians have several nice transport plane designs that are exceptionally well suited for rough atmospheric condition and makeshift landing fields. I'm sure they would apreciate even an An-2 "Colt", if the ol' "Kukuruznik"* weren't way too outdated to ever end up on Ariadna the Starship's inventory (though then again, they might just as well reverse-engineer one...). Those things are rugged and low-maintenance (after all, it is a damn big biplane with a direct copy of a DC-3 Dakota's engine in front. Yup, measured originally in inches, that's why An-2's engine parts have so weird sizes for a metric-used person!).

    * "the corn plane", nicname derived either form its use as crop-duster, or implied ability to land virtually everywhere, including a field covered with corn.
     
  16. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    They would go to Ariadna with few flying vehicles (maybe one or two choppers), with the real "treasure" would be the machine shops, mining gear, and technological database (that would allow them to build more vehicles there); and of course the know how.

    Once Ariadna gets "rediscovered" the need for an aerial force (and a spatial one) shows up: patrol the skies against, mostly, smugglers (and blackops, pirates...). Yes, Ariadna would not design their own planes, but they could buy older designs (if they get any sold) or use the 2040 ones with a few improvements courtesy of the Nomads and Haqquislamites, not because of their capabilities, but because of logistics (repair, replacement parts...).

    Also, while you are correct in that most countries buy war machines outside, there is a caveat: the juicy bits are not included, and you tend to need to design your own compatible replacement. Like Radars (real case in Spain, with the Harriers: they came without radar, an in-house one was installed... and the patch job provided a superior solution to the original tech xD) or other stuff.

    So we can assume Ariadna has some outdated drones (like Haqquislam, which would consider those a non-priority expense), some patrol spaceships (I'd bet Nomad contracts instead of fully crewed and bough Ariadnan ones, but they would have some ships of their own), and a few hundred of atmospheric fighters with some scattered bases (and support planes for refueling and the like).

    Of course, fan-powered planes for troop and supplies transport would be used aswell. But they would ahve little need for really "up to date" ones.
     
  17. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    @ Spanish Harriers - I recall some Harrier variants had no radar from day one. Since the variant was intended for ground attack duties, it was considered unnecessary. Or something to that effect (forgive my memory, I was quite an aircraft geek once... but it was about half my life ago!).

    Also, I'm pretty sure Haqqislam would be more than happy to fill their coffers and improve their relations by selling Ariadna some military hardware (after all, they still are - we can see Haqq Viral munitions being sold to Merovingia, and I recall several Ariadnan models with the same Panzerfaust design - side-by-side tubes - theHaqqislamite troops do use). Remember that in NeoColonial Wars Haqqislam and Nomads tended to support Ariadna against PanO / YJ-backed corporations. And I guess the PanO / YJ wouldn't mind dusting off some of their outdated hardware and making a profit on it, from time to time.

    The Nomads wouldn't do that only because they lack production capability of sufficient output. But they'd be all over any contract to modify and pugrade the hell out of whatever Ariadnans had, much like the Israeli do nowadays: they tend to offer modernisation packages for basically any marginally combat-worthy machine - and if not, they'll brew something special for you. With new engine, new electronics and Israeli-designed missiles, your old plnes can suddenly become pretty dangerous... after all, conventional aerodynamics tends to make sound airframes since quite a while.
     
  18. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Why C130s? Because 3/4ths of the major mission sponsors use them (US, UK, and France). And honestly, it's a 1950s design, frighteningly reliable even with large holes blown in it. Doesn't need much fancy stuff to keep flying, plain sheet aluminum skins. Even the engines last a long time (IIRC, 3500 hours between overhauls, close to twice as long as most others). Though An72s (or Be200s) wouldn't surprise me for larger planes. If I was exploring a new planet, I'd want my air transport to be amphibious, so I could touch down on lakes or rivers, so that means either Be-200s or ShinMaywa US-1 or US-2. The Japanese flying boats have an advantage of using C130 engines (I'd be all over maximum standardization), but the Be200s are faster.

    But I expect that there was a pretty healthy quantity of Russian-designed equipment in the mix, too. Probably mostly firearms, since AKs are pretty much the gold standard for reliability and indestructibility, and need far less machining than an AR.
     
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  19. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    Well, the Nomad+Haqq support to Ariadna was more about politics and installing a prospective ally in a voting position than the goodness of their heart, with the extra bonus of kicking the "big guys" between the legs at the same time. However, if we go real, the "technological aid" Ariadna would get would be easy to mantain stuff, some hard to mantain stuff they can pay for that maintenance (thus limiting its presence), and plans and designs Ariadna will need to produce in-house: the Nomads have no atmospheric ships (they live in space, so they use hybrid space/atmo or pure space ships), and Haqquislam has more ground than navy (thus the use of the QK mercenary forces and corsairs).

    However, the Nomads have a very good space Navy, mostly composed of retrofitted hulls like the Don Peyote we saw on Wotan, making them good candidates for the patrol of the Ariadna space system (with some Ariadnan troops onboard), call them "customs patrol". In short, Ariadna is a golden chance for the Nomads to make a business partner in equal terms, something they barely manage in Haqquislam.

    As I said, add new construction techniques and materials to the old designs, and you can even double that reliability and ease to keep in working order. Sure, top performance will be abysmal compared to "modern" stuff, but if we think about it, how many top of the line "enemy" ships will go to Ariadna, aside from the CA ones? O12 gave Ariadna full membership... meaning that any human faction moving against Ariadna will also face the others, whom are forced to help or the O12 goes through the airlock, something that won't happen with the CA already trying to enter for a picnic (unless that faction allies itself with the CA, in which case humanity is screwed anyway).
     
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  20. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Again, you need to balance your high tech with the ability to maintain it.

    I'd guess that once Ariadna was rediscovered (less than 20 years ago), we would see a lot of replacing simple aluminum alloys with composites. You can refine aluminum with 1890s tech. Make a nice big hydroelectric dam and go nuts (it's why Kaiser Aluminum used to be based in Eastern Washington state, cheap electricity). Geothermal power also works well, it's why most of the aluminum refineries are in Iceland nowadays.

    Composites need a bit higher industrial base to make, I'm not sure that Ariadna would have been able to maintain that tech level after the wormhole collapsed. Well, fiberglass is relatively simple, but kevlar and carbon fibers are not. And the epoxies are potentially ugly.
     
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