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

Thu Jan 19 13:50:19 PST 2006

Maximilian Wilson wrote:

>On 1/19/06, Ken Koester <kkoester at email.ers.usda.gov> wrote:
>>Less than relevant.  It takes quite a while to train a mob to be an
>>army, no matter what you equip them with.
>There's still a quantitative difference, probably nearly a qualitative
>difference. It appears to take a *long* time to train a good sorcerer,
>whereas you can make a decent soldier in less than a year. More to the
>point, if e.g. motion-sensor guns a la /Aliens/ were found to be
>useful, I could quickly deploy them in large numbers. It most
>certainly is a relevant factor.
You can get a greenie in less than a year, but he won't know how to move 
in combat, what is dangerous and what is not, how to keep himself alive 
and healthy in the field, how not to kill his comrades & a host of other 
things.  And such a soldier would be more equivalent to the average 
Dragon, anyhow.  If you want to compare to an army of sorcerors, then 
factor in the 20 or so years of education necessary to become the 
average high tech whiz.  As for rapid deployment, check the German 
armaments production figures for, say, '39-41.  It is instructive how 
long it took them to deploy things in the middle of a war.  Heck, 
compare with how long it has taken the US to deploy Strykers, armored 
Hummers & trucks, & effective body armor for the troops in Iraq.

>I think Howard made a good point about conquering vs. invading.
>Logistics are way outside my area of expertise, while you appear to
>know something about the subject, so to an extent I'm willing to

Doesn't really matter; your armies aren't fighting in a vacuum.  They 
have a range.  They have needs.  High tech armies need enormous amounts 
of things, just to stay in one place, much less move around.  And when 
they do move around, all that stuff has to move with them.  I cut off 
the flow of juice to your electronics, it just becomes a box somewhat 
less protective than the equivalent mass of iron.  Heck, it takes 3 or 4 
or 5--maybe 10-- of your high tech guys totin' beans, just to get one 
guy to blast out with a directed energy weapon.  Invading, defending, 
conquering--doesn't much matter; unless you suddenly repeal the law of 
inertia or tap into a *concentrated* energy-everywhere source, you've 
got an enormous tail to take care of, even if all you do is repel an 
invader.  Even if you repel one at your border--borders are not the 
factor, distance from railhead/port is.  A Dragaeran army has little of 
that to contend with.  Your best counter isn't high tech at all, but to 
burn all the fields in its path.

>I know little about military equipment except that RPGs
>seem to have a reputation for being robust and simple to operate, but
>perhaps RPG rounds are closer to bazooka rounds than to regular
They are bazooka (well, panzerfaust) descendents, definitely.  They're 
meant to tackle armor & to a lesser extent, structures.  They aren't the 
best antipersonnel weapons.