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"Which way gaming figures and reality?" Topic


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3,136 hits since 3 Apr 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Mute Bystander03 Apr 2015 4:14 a.m. PST

It seems that in many cases figures for battles larger than skirmish tnd to emphasize a future battlespace where:

1) AFVs predominate over infantry presence not allowing (in some rules) infantry any serious anti-armor values.)

2) In the smaller sizes (which would be "larger scale" according to how I learned math and science since "large scale" maps show smaller pieces of earth than "small scale" maps) there appears to be a tendency to say "they all look the same" (Brigade Models 15mm infantry and Power Armor (PA) for example.)

3) Tactically and technologically most rules I have played, (which is far from all by any means,) either technology works backwards (the rifle weaponry ranges in Starguard were even then unrealistically short effective ranges and combat values) or take a favorite era (WW2 or in some cases even WW1) and use the tactics of that genre instead of more "modern" realities.

So my thoughts are –

A) Should SF games try and get beyond the apparent traditional favorite "WW2 in space" presentations of many rules tactically on the gam table? And How?

B) Should extrapolations of modern technology be more imbedded in SF rules? (Dirtside II, I believe, justified lack of hidden movement due to satellite and drone observation on the battlefield.)

I am sure people have examples where the rules have moved beyond "WW2 in space" so please fell free to use those examples of play in any responses.

While I am unlikely to change from my current sets of rules for time/space constraints I would like to read what rules do those things above incase I get a chance to play them at a convention.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2015 6:58 a.m. PST

Yes they should.

Infinity is a skirmish ruleset but can be adapted to fight much larger battles using the Fireteam rules. If you make each type of model eligible to be a fireteam it works pretty well and can be played with 15mm models quite easily.

You might not have 100s of figures on the table with it but it is quite easy to get 50 on each side.

It does all the things you want. Plus you can download it for free.

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2015 7:28 a.m. PST

We are beginning a development effort to adapt the Look, Sarge, No Charts game engine to near future and science fiction. I think we'll address your concerns -- and more -- so that it is not just WWII (or WWI) with lasers. Watch for announcements of early play test games at upcoming HMGS conventions.

Buck Surdu

Information about this family of rules can be found here: link

Cacique Caribe03 Apr 2015 7:47 a.m. PST

"I am sure people have examples where the rules have moved beyond 'WW2 in space'"

I dunno. I still see lots of requests for SF miniatures organized and armored in a similar form as during WW2. Even aliens have the same armor vehicle type breakdown.

Maybe this was done to win over previous WW2 players who were looking for something new and yet a bit familiar?

Dan

Weasel03 Apr 2015 8:11 a.m. PST

The rules mostly reflect the miniatures: Grav tanks, power armour and guys with swords.

If that's the armies people have on the shelf, that's the armies you'll see in games.

As I've said before elsewhere though, the problem isn't the scifi rules, it's the ww2 rules.

How many WW2 games have you played where you have perfect knowledge of the battlefield, troops always move at optimal rates, units react instantly to new orders and can change plans turn by turn?

If our ww2 games feel like space battles already, how can we set apart our space battles ? :)

(and yes, there can be reasons for doing any of the above, usually connected to simplicity or playability. The point isn't that they are WRONG)

Legion 403 Apr 2015 8:17 a.m. PST

Anything GW has done for 40K the last few decades is certianly more fantasy, than Sci-fi … and generally has nothing to do with reality …

1) AFVs predominate over infantry presence not allowing (in some rules) infantry any serious anti-armor values.)

Have see this in some rules … which IMO, makes them a "poor" rule set. Where in reality today and very much in the future, it is just the opposite. The last thing AFVs want to do is be caught alone in Closed or Mixed terrain. Not to mention many Infantryman have long range AT weapons, like TOWs, etc. …
The rules mostly reflect the miniatures: Grav tanks, power armour and guys with swords.

Any SF rules that have guys with swords, etc., again IMO, is a poor rule set. Again like GW 40K. Just IMO, always do what works for you … not me. There is no right or wrong answer. Just what appeals to individual tastes, predilections, etc. … Roll the dice and have a good time. That being said, if you paint your tanks, etc. in circus/calypso colors … I'll probably make fun of ya ! wink

Weasel03 Apr 2015 11:16 a.m. PST

I always liked the old Space Marine rules where all infantry could fire on tanks, with at least a small amount of chance.

As far as swords, people want their space fantasy I guess.

My point is more that rules are driven by the miniatures we have.
The scifi mini's are space knights, grav tanks and vietnam in space so that's what we write.

Lion in the Stars03 Apr 2015 12:55 p.m. PST

I'd point out that today's special forces troops spend a lot of time training with blades of various types, so the power sword isn't exactly wrong.

More likely that your CC troops will be packing lots of blades and full-size rifles or carbines (Infinity style) than swords and pistols.

I prefer 15mm and 28mm games with lots of terrain on the table, the kinds of fighting that most AFVs would avoid like the plague. Advantage in playing, don't need to buy AFVs!

To one extent, I like the Vietnam-in-space feel. The ability to put troops anywhere is a real game-changer (just ask anyone who has played late-war Russians against the American Air Cav troops from Tropic Lightning).

Of course, the flip side of that is that your transports are potentially VERY vulnerable to ground fire.

One of the interesting tidbits of the progression of military firepower is that the amount of firepower carried by the individual soldier keeps increasing, and the variety of weapons carried keeps getting pushed farther and farther down the TO&E.

Machine guns, for example, started out as an artillery weapon in the 1850s and 60s. Then in the 1880s and 90s, they became part of an infantry battalion, but there were only 2-4 of them per battalion. By the end of WW1, there were a couple MGs per company, and light MGs in the platoons. In WW2, we saw the development of the GPMG, where the same weapon could fit either the squad LMG role or the company MMG sustained fire role. WW2 also saw the preview of the assault rifle, where every single infantryman could carry an automatic weapon. By the time you get to the 1980s, the infantry squad in the US Army has two belt-fed MGs and two 40mm grenade launchers for indirect fire. The individual fireteam has one MG and one GL.

I'm honestly expecting the individual weapon to have direct fire and indirect fire HE capabilities within the next 25 years. Though one idea that has been rattling around has been a modification of the WW2 Japanese knee mortar and grenades, either as a barrel-launched grenade or as a rifle grenade. So the individual weapon would have a ~6.5mm rifle, a 20-30mm flat-trajectory grenade launcher, and a fitting to launch a hand grenade a couple hundred yards or more on a high trajectory.

This would also apply to AFVs, where even a Tank has some capability to deliver indirect-fire HE or precision-guided munitions within 8km or so.

McWong7303 Apr 2015 3:40 p.m. PST

It's sf gaming, anything is possible and there is no right or wrong.

Legion 404 Apr 2015 8:24 a.m. PST

I always liked the old Space Marine rules where all infantry could fire on tanks, with at least a small amount of chance.

Yes, that really sold me on those rules. Based on my Mech Co. having a pretty good array of AT capabilites, and that was in the late '80s. So in the future it should be at least as good if not better. Each of my Squads had a Dragon M47 MAW, 2 M203s which could fire HEDP rounds, an M2 .50cal that could take out a BMP/light AFVs. As well as, many M72 LAWs could be issued as needed. Plus an AT Section of M901 ITVs … So that was a decent amount of AT firepower.
I'd point out that today's special forces troops spend a lot of time training with blades of various types, so the power sword isn't exactly wrong.

True, but heavy weapons really have more "functionality", IMO. evil grin That being said, we all carried knives or bayonets, etc. … And yes, I didn't got about replacing all my Epic models' swords … only a few … evil grin
picture
… Now that's a Knife !", Mick Dundee
laugh

wminsing05 Apr 2015 3:03 p.m. PST

The reason the 'WWII (or Vietnam, or what have you) but in space' motif is so enduring is exactly because it IS familiar and so requires less explanation for people to 'get it'. I mean the reality is that I'd expect war in 2215 to look less like war in 2015 then war in 2015 looks like war in 1815. But trying to come up with a model that's consistent, interesting to play and explainable to folks without reams of background data is a pretty big challenge.

Also, I think a lot of sci-fi games tend to postulate technology evolves in such a way as to get the sort of action they want to represent. Ogre, for example, assumes that tactical air power virtually goes extinct due to theater-wide laser AA systems that knock out anything above tree level fairly well. Hence, big armored battles are the rule.

That said, plenty of rules that are 'pushing the envelope' in actually trying to represent new and emerging technologies; Tomorrow's War has quite of rules for 'drone' systems and net-centric warfare, for example.

One of the interesting tidbits of the progression of military firepower is that the amount of firepower carried by the individual soldier keeps increasing, and the variety of weapons carried keeps getting pushed farther and farther down the TO&E.

Yep, this is exactly what drove Heinlein's model of combat Starship Troopers, as one example; the Mobile Infantry had companies holding a front that a brigade would have been required for in the 20th century, and they had tactical nukes issued right down to the platoon level….

-Will

Legion 406 Apr 2015 8:50 a.m. PST

I'm a fan of the Book "Starship Troopers" … not so much the movie. I also like Drake's Hammer's Slammers books. Both have a little different take on futuristic warfare. But again, one's choice of Sci-fi gaming and the rules that go with it is a matter of tastes, predilections, etc. … I like OGRE, but not my #1 choice. And of course, IMHO, GW's 40K fluff is way over-the-top, as is many of their models. That being said, I have a huge collection of GW's 6mm Epic models[plus many other 6mm sci-fi model producers']. And started gaming Epic way back in '90. Just "cherry pick" the models, rules, etc., that work for your own tastes, etc. …

OSchmidt07 Apr 2015 4:17 a.m. PST

IF, AND IT IS A BIG IF

OSchmidt07 Apr 2015 4:29 a.m. PST

if!!!!, AND IT IS A BIG IFF, there is combat in outer space or with other worlds then it will be totally different from anything we know or have known on this earth. Space is the most hostile environment to our life form, and I suspect to ANY life form above the microbial. Much more will be concentrated on keeping alive. Second, the amount of energy required to even get to the proximity of an alien race to fight it will drain any civilization, even a planetary one, such that any benefit of conquest will be ephemeral at best.

Having said that, the realm of science fiction is highly appealing to 12 year olds and monstrously out of shape gamers who can only fantasize of being Sergeant Rock, Steiner, Petrov, Petro, or whatever, bringing down a tiger tank with a squirt gun. WWII or some conflict in the Middle East is all we know, and therefore what people do.

There have been games featuring more "alien" methods of war. They have been singular failures because the aliens are NOT from central casting.

"It's the energy stupid!"

If a civilization expends the titanic amounts of energy to cross the interstellar distances, then it already HAS the energy and technology to produce ANYTHING it wants in it's own balliwick and does not have to come here to grab out water, food, hydrogen, world, or energy.

They might come because curiosity might draw them to see what kind of art, philosophy, religion or customs we have, but beings who come for that are not then going to destroy that which they have come for. If they have, they will have already made whatever machines they need to reporoduce anything, and there is likely then a Taj Mahal, Louvre, St. Peters, Dejener sur La Herbe, Venus De Milo, Shakespeare library, on wherever they come from.

emckinney02 Jun 2015 11:17 a.m. PST

I am sure people have examples where the rules have moved beyond "WW2 in space" so please fell free to use those examples of play in any responses.

SPI's StarSoldier is really different. link

When your infantry can fly, it does change things … The other element was the very powerful Free Flight Missiles that didn't hit instantly (and were area weapons). They made it dangerous to just take cover and not move. Discouraged bunching as well.

Last Hussar02 Jun 2015 2:40 p.m. PST

"Real SF Combat" IF it could ever exist, will be so vastly different from what we know, you might as well go with 'What the hell – lets do "x IN SPACE!!!!"

X wing? – Battle of Britain
Space fleets? – Probably Napoleonic (some may be Cold War)
Ground Combat – WW2 or Moderns with bells and whistles (if there is even a need in future – if you control orbit why would you fight on the ground?)

You won't need morale rules – Robots.

So, in summary.

Ignore the naysayers here. Have Fun. Do Space Opera. The computer is your friend.

Mako1102 Jun 2015 6:53 p.m. PST

Yes, staying in one place is dangerous, even in modern warfare.

A smaller, better force of British defeated larger ground forces in the Falklands, because they hunkered down, but also due to their lower quality.

The Iraqi army was defeated twice by the coalition, since they hunkered down for the most part, permitting our forces to outmaneuver and crush them fairly easily.

As mentioned above, maneuver warfare is where it is at, and things change when grav tanks can act like helos or aircraft, and infantry with rocket or grav belts can fly through the air.

Many Sci-Fi rules severely curtail the speeds of Sci-Fi infantry, even when flying. Seems to me they should easily be able to fly at a minimum of 60 MPH in the near future, and perhaps up to 200 MPH, or so, at the top end.

See various test platforms that have worked in the past, but not been put into production for various reasons, plus the Birdman's ducted fan flying wing.

I suspect some R&D people are working now on figuring out a way to permit carrying weapons that can be fired in flight.

Even unpowered wingsuits give a pretty decent initial deployment ability when compared to ground troops.

Russ Lockwood02 Jun 2015 8:43 p.m. PST

It's interesting that over the decades I've seen lots of WWI biplanes attached to antennas than can be raised and lowered to mimic altitude, but few WWII and only one sci-fi game (at a Gencon: something from the Honor Harrigton books -- had a little V-ish-shaped stand that would rotate the ship and when firing, players consulted a 6-inch globe to get the correct point of impact on the target ship…much too confusing -- and too long to calculate -- for a quick tableside explanation).

Mako1104 Jun 2015 12:09 a.m. PST

The Grav Armor rules I created for FUBAR permit faster flight and orbital insertions at altitude, though with more risk from ground fire, and auto-detection.

The 3-D Flight Stands I sell work well with my Topgun range of Grav Armor.

Need to get them finished painting, and run a few scenarios, soon.

Mute Bystander04 Jun 2015 8:54 a.m. PST

OSchmidt, this is logical:

They might come because curiosity might draw them to see what kind of art, philosophy, religion or customs we have, but beings who come for that are not then going to destroy that which they have come for. If they have, they will have already made whatever machines they need to reporoduce anything, and there is likely then a Taj Mahal, Louvre, St. Peters, Dejener sur La Herbe, Venus De Milo, Shakespeare library, on wherever they come from.

But then I remember the scene in Monuments Men where the Nazis torch the art…

There is no reason to assume aliens are any less pathological than Nazi art collectors.

Lion in the Stars05 Jun 2015 2:41 p.m. PST

"It's the energy stupid!"

If a civilization expends the titanic amounts of energy to cross the interstellar distances, then it already HAS the energy and technology to produce ANYTHING it wants in it's own balliwick and does not have to come here to grab out water, food, hydrogen, world, or energy.

They might come because curiosity might draw them to see what kind of art, philosophy, religion or customs we have, but beings who come for that are not then going to destroy that which they have come for. If they have, they will have already made whatever machines they need to reporoduce anything, and there is likely then a Taj Mahal, Louvre, St. Peters, Dejener sur La Herbe, Venus De Milo, Shakespeare library, on wherever they come from.


That's an awfully … positive view of the likelihood of friendly extraterrestrial life.

Picture something for me. It's about 3am on a moonless night in Central Park, NYCity. You're walking through there and you can hear bits and pieces of events happening around you, but nothing you recognize as words. Are you going to turn on your flashlight and investigate, or are you going to leave your flashlight off and pray that whatever you heard leaves you alone?

Paint it Pink08 Jun 2015 12:25 p.m. PST

I;m not sure about positive, but I assume that any civilization that is able to cross the vastness of interstellar space will not have anthropocentric values or concerns. This may mean they tread on us by accident and wipe us out, but it won't be war as we know, because we won't matter.

Mute Bystander10 Jun 2015 8:39 a.m. PST

Two words: Food Source.

"Tastes like 'Chicken'!" moment.

chironex11 Jun 2015 7:06 p.m. PST

"if!!!!, AND IT IS A BIG IFF, there is combat in outer space or with other worlds"

So, what was your plan for world peace… ?

Granted, if you could move out and settle on a planet away from any other colonies you could live as you please and not have to fight each other, but what if another colony wanted that planet too? Or if the colony got so big they split into multiple factions or there was a Glorious Peoples' Revolution or…

"Much more will be concentrated on keeping alive."
One of the oldest reasons to fight each other there is.

"If a civilization expends the titanic amounts of energy to cross the interstellar distances, then it already HAS the energy and technology to produce ANYTHING it wants in it's own balliwick and does not have to come here to grab out water, food, hydrogen, world, or energy. "

"World" is pushing rather a lot. Theoretically, they could make other resources if they had such a perfect power source, though it may have to be at the elemental level. However an entire planet?
Also, maybe they have an ideological aversion to using such a thing for the creation of material resources. And how do we know they got here by using that source of enrgy, or even requiring it, and didn't somehow cheat?

"(if there is even a need in future if you control orbit why would you fight on the ground?"
1. What makes you think you control orbit? Anyone who saw that one coming would have so many antiorbital weapons it's not funny.
2. Ask anyone from a country that controls the skies over a war zone who ends up hopping out of a helicopter and promptly being shot by an enemy hidden under a tree.

Animals go to war over logical reasons, sentient life makes up reasons that are not. Plus, it is far too closed-minded to assume out of hand that any and all star-faring life is automatically Sufficiently Advanced.

"I prefer 15mm and 28mm games with lots of terrain on the table, the kinds of fighting that most AFVs would avoid like the plague. Advantage in playing, don't need to buy AFVs!"

What rules are you using? In many systems, the other guy would buy AFVs and make a right minky of you. Also, there is the difference between "system" and "setting" that many posters are missing here. Perhaps the technological development ends up with handwavium being the most common element apart from hydrogen and stupidity, or perhaps a civilisation simply misses something. Maybe in making powered armour that wipes out tanks, they didn't manage, bother, or think they could justify the expense to make tanks up to a similar level. But maybe they did.

Maybe jet/grav packs that fly for more than 40 seconds come into common use. Maybe not. The most believable design for such things I have seen so far is ten times the size of the users' body. Also if your troops fly how can they hide? In Deadlands: the Great Rail Wars they called it Death From Above, but there was a tactic used to counter it by opposing forces who referred to it as Dead from Above.

Giant Robots may replace tanks, maybe not. Compare Battletech with the later series of the GUNDAM franchise. Anything you can imagine can be justified in SF, some may simply have reasons you thought made sense, some because of certain limitations on what the audience was willing to accept. I have heard of space opera settings where magnetic noise made electronics so unreliable on a certain planet, neccesitating combat with, effectively, WW2 tanks; people who have a magic shield that makes them only vulnerable to slow-moving blades or lasers, and the latter is too impractical, suddenly having to face normal ranged combat again because they land on a planet with giant beasties that are attracted to the shields; and worlds where energy shields prevent sudden releases of energy, neccessitating combat with ancient weapons (odd how the releases of energy include gunshots and energy weapons, but not mechanical slug-throwers or impacts from melee weapons) whereupon a visitor suddenly makes a thrown weapon and a mechanical thrower of smaller versions of that thrown weapon, which sends the aliens into shock.

The thing is that you don't know, so you make stuff up. We cannot know the reality of warfare in the future, so everyone either copies from multiple sources, or invents something and then justifies it with any old cr@p that comes to mind. And much of the copying comes from the warfare of the past; Star Wars was an artistic choice, to invoke the peoples' memories of the Second World War, while the author of the Honour Harrington books went on record as having deliberately invented the setting's technology to have classic broadside-exchanging Age of Fighting Sail battles IN SPACE! Ground Zero stated in Dirtside that they couldn't possibly know what would happen in the future, but a table occupied with infantry, powered suits, futuristic (or just zeerusty) tanks and carriers and giant alien bug-monsters looks more interesting than an empty table with a couple of drones flying over it. Not that you couldn't make a game out of that.

Covert Walrus In the TMP Dawghouse11 Jun 2015 8:22 p.m. PST

Just to stir here – Who was the games maker who came up with the rules and minis for Nanotech warfare between microscopic machines? one of the US -based naval warfare games house IIRC?

chironex12 Jun 2015 2:07 a.m. PST

War Times Journal?
link

Covert Walrus In the TMP Dawghouse14 Jun 2015 3:35 a.m. PST

Thanks, chironex, the very one! :)

Lion in the Stars14 Jun 2015 4:17 a.m. PST

"I prefer 15mm and 28mm games with lots of terrain on the table, the kinds of fighting that most AFVs would avoid like the plague. Advantage in playing, don't need to buy AFVs!"

What rules are you using? In many systems, the other guy would buy AFVs and make a right minky of you.


Then the rules have issues, because no modern tanker, not even someone in an Abrams or Challenger 2, will drive into a city without infantry support.

Those that do drive into a city without infantry support don't live long enough to learn not to. See Chechnya and Georgia/South Ossetia.

chironex14 Jun 2015 3:02 p.m. PST

They most likely do buy infantry support. Plus of course these are rule systems that still allow cavalry charges straight into prepared autocannon positions-without guaranteed results. Whether the mounts are as heavily armoured as ankylosaurs or not, and they usually are not. The requisite amount of pulverised sodium chloride crystal is required to take them.
Then again, Dropzone Commander has countermeasures for anything infantry can throw.

Elenderil07 Jul 2015 7:16 a.m. PST

Future combat may not be driven by the need to take and hold ground to control resources. Resources are likely to be the objectives in human v human future conflict, but controlling them may not require you to have boots on the ground. Remember that war is the extension of politics by other means. Future wars may use other means to force your opponent to negotiate. I foresee lots of cyber strikes on production technologies and distribution nets. On the military battlefield electronic counter measures will become more important, but in asymmetric combat if the other guy has nothing worth interdicting and nothing putting out EM signatures then it's worthless.

In space human v human fights will be technofests as the little guys won't be up there. The big problems will be that it takes time to get a weapon payload to target and the target will have time to evade and launch counter measures but hits will be devastating. Don't think Jutland in space think sub v sub. To my mind inertia will be the big killer if you carry to much delta v you can't evade and a good handful of gravel will killjoy if the losing speed is high enough. Much farther in the future and there is little to base any forecast on. Go straight to your favourite SF and go fro there.

DS615107 Jul 2015 8:35 a.m. PST

They might come because curiosity might draw them to see what kind of art, philosophy, religion or customs we have, but beings who come for that are not then going to destroy that which they have come for.

I would.
And if I would, there are others that would.

You're making the unfounded assumption that it would take massive amounts of energy to reach us. Since you have no knowledge of how they travel, that cannot be assumed.
You're also assuming that energy production and manufacturing are linked. They aren't.

Rules use "WWII in space" simply because that's what lets them use the most figures and vehicles. If you want bigger battles, that's what we have to draw on. If you want small units engaging in individual skirmishes, then we tend to put hose rules into different categories.
Frankly, I think the ww2 in space is perfectly valid, and that's exactly the kind of conflicts we will see in the future anyway, though that's not the reason the rules are written.
Our current method of fighting, small unit actions and dispersed support units, is unsustainable. It functions for now, against the enemies we have now, but it's not a permanent method.

Mako1127 Jul 2015 2:55 p.m. PST

"Maybe jet/grav packs that fly for more than 40 seconds come into common use. Maybe not. The most believable design for such things I have seen so far is ten times the size of the users' body. Also if your troops fly how can they hide?".

So, I guess that means you haven't seen the "birdman" footage of the guy that flies his own powered wing over the Swiss Alps, or Bahrain for lengthy periods of time.

link

YouTube link

Fuel for ten minutes of powered flight, from the turbofan engines.

This guy with a more traditional style jetpack seems to get quite a bit of endurance out of it:

YouTube link

Perhaps no need to hide, if you have enough men, and/or they can fly in low, over the treetops, using the curvature of a planet, or other terrain to hide behind.

Clearly, with such superior mobility and speed, any concentrations of enemy forces can be easily outmaneuvered and avoided, like the Germans did against the Maginot line, decades ago.

chironex28 Jul 2015 2:05 a.m. PST

I didn't bother because I'd already seen it on Top Gear @ the Movies. The item is a plausible substitute for a parachute, and you're all getting so excited you can't see that it isn't a substitute for a helicopter.

You do know how many shots it took to make that second video, yes? I do not see that much endurance out of it. Show us a reputable scientific paper that proves how those little cans provide sufficient reaction mass for the whole three minutes of hover time, let alone movement.

Plus, your enemy would hear you start up, before you ever got airborne, and have hidden much more effectively.

Mako1127 Aug 2015 12:05 a.m. PST

The jetpacks are still pretty bad on endurance.

Those turbo-fanned flying wings though can provide an awful lot of capability, and endurance, relative to the jetpack, and are quite fast and maneuverable too.

Kret6927 Aug 2015 6:31 a.m. PST

Good topic.

An honest, scientific extrapolation of warfare development would probably end up in games being mathematical models, because what good would be models of bacterias, nanotech or advanced IT/ biotech weapons?

There is always this question "what is realism in gaming?". I am afraid we have to accept that "realism" is what everyone is accepting as real, especially in sci-fi (but also in WW2 which has already been pointed out). So "real" is a matter of consensus based on shared experience. If playing with veterans, one would probably accept their rich real-life experience (not without flaws either) but in most gaming environments this "real" is based on popular culture or books/TV documents.

So I am OK with "Aliens" type of warfare (USCM that is) even though it wouldn't be that way in 3 hundred years or so.

What I do not accept in sci-fi settings at all though are aliens. Humans using obsolete tactics and types of warfare against other humans are convincing. Aliens using human tactics and methods of organization (incl. organization of society) are IMO completely unrealistic. No other species on planet Earth knows the meaning of war (although some advanced monkeys probably show something primitive of that kind, but dolphins for that instance do not). I do not see the reason why any other alien species would "wage war" in human sense.

Lion in the Stars27 Aug 2015 9:48 a.m. PST

The "birdman" with the turbofan-assisted wingsuit starts off by jumping out of an airplane or helicopter at significant altitude. His setup doesn't have enough lift or horsepower to lift him from the ground.

Besides, Schlock Mercenary had the perfect line for troops with flight packs (which basically all troops have in the Schlockiverse): Do you know what they call flying troops in combat? Skeet.

Flight gives you obscene operational maneuverability; but once the shooting starts, you gotta slow down, get low, and use cover. (see modern helicopter gunship tactics)

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