High Tech vs. the Orb WAS Re: the honing of Vlad

Maximilian Wilson wilson.max at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 01:41:28 PST 2006

As far as the "how did we get there?" question, I'm only analyzing
attacking a Dragaeran Empire, not the Dragaeran *planet*. I.e. I
thought we were discussing a hypothetical high-tech Easterner
civilization, and how it would fare against "Elder Sorcery," as
Majikjon put it. My thought was that the Easterner civilization has a
lot of advantages that are not immediately obvious.

You ask what the purported military objectives are. I'm not sure. What
are Sethra the Younger's purported military objectives? It appears to
involve a lot of killing people and breaking stuff: probably
establishing military credibility in the face of aggression by the
other side, or else because you want something like the Pepperfields.
Destroying the Empire itself is probably outside the scope of our
objectives, but it hasn't really been well-defined what we're doing.

"Several zillion hugely unwarranted assumptions," eh? Some of those
assumptions were warranted by the context of the discussion; others
may be genuine oversights, which I would be pleased to have you point
out. I noted several advantages on the Easterner side which have
nothing to do with storing energy in high-density packages. (Radio,
for instance, doesn't require powerful batteries. You saw how useful
communication systems were in /Sethra Lavode/.) Furthermore, all we
actually know is that spell sticks were abandoned because somebody
figured out how to make them all go off at once; whether that is
because they were high-density energy packages or because they were
delayed spells is unknown. The approaches I outlined were in fact
designed to test whether Dragaerans *can* make tanks go "boom" from
two miles away by igniting their ammunition. If Dragaerans are in fact
capable of catalyzing arbitrary high-energy packages from long
distances, the war is lost anyway, because they can just melt your
flesh by igniting your *bodily* energy. (BTW, the human body produces
more heat than the sun, cubic inch for cubic inch. Of course there's
an awful lot of sun.) So basically, we don't know what would happen if
Dragaerans went up against high-altitude bombers, and I'd be an idiot
not to try it assuming that I've developed those bombers already for
use against the USSR-equivalent of the period. (Again, we come back to
not knowing exactly the circumstances of the contact.)

In response to your #2: I have other high-tech advantages which are
reliant on high-density energy storage, but behind the front lines (in
my manufacturing base, for instance). If Dragaerans can make them go
*kaboom* at an arbitrary distance, yes, my situation becomes a lot
uglier. In that case there's not much point in analyzing tactics,
because strategically I've lost before the war even begins. I have no
way to defend my homeland, period.

In response to #3: When discussing Sethra's tactics, I was thinking
more particularly of /Sethra Lavode/, where the stakes were a lot
higher than in /Dragon/. We still didn't see her destroying armies
with sorcery. In fact, her tactics were still very much as in
/Dragon/, in spite of the fact that the enemy had no access to sorcery
at all.

And I suppose I should leave discussion at that.

~Max Wilson

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.