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    • Commander RayCav


      The Orville >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ad infinium >>>>>>> ST: Discovery (aka Star Trek: PTSD) and Tilly is still a meme character. Carry on.
    • Commander RayCav

      Memorial Announcement for Gear of Troll Kingdom   04/02/2018

      As far as I'm aware he wasn't a member but some members of this board crossed over. Khas has told me he died of cancer, and regardless what community he will be missed.
    • Commander RayCav

      PLEASE READ - tagging me on Facebook and my retirement   04/09/2018

      It has come to my attention that I'm being tagged on Facebook posts by members of ASVS including the administration and moderatorship here. As I use that Facebook profile strictly for professional development...I have to request that you guys stop. I'm not kidding when I say it might become a serious liability, especially since I work in an industry extremely sensitive to things we joke about here. And with that, it has also come to my attention that the entire Commander RayCav persona has also become a liability towards my continued professional development - and so as of this moment I've decided to permanently retire it. I'm shutting this account down and I'm surrendering all moderatorship and administratorship responsibilities and privileges. I'll reregister under a new name as a regular member.

Captain Seafort

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Everything posted by Captain Seafort

  1. This a response to Brian's new criteria video, specifically the section on (as the title suggests) ship-to-ship combat, and a couple of statements in particular. Wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. Even before we start to consider the fact that the term "capital ship" would be more appropriate, given the shift from the battleship to the aircraft carrier as the primary instrument of naval power, the following actions were fought between battleships and/or battlecruisers during WW2: Off Lofoten, 9 April 1940 - Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (32,000 tons, nine 11" guns) vs HMS Renown (36,000 tons, six 15" guns) Off Calabria, 9 July 1940 - Giulio Cesare (29,000 tons, ten 12.6" guns) vs HMS Warspite (31,000 tons, eight 15" guns). Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941 - Bismarck (42,000 tons, eight 15" guns) vs HMS Hood (47,000 tons, eight 15" guns) and HMS Prince of Wales (35,000 tons, ten 14" guns) Sinking of the Bismarck, 27 May 1941 - Bismarck (42,000 tons, eight 15" guns) vs HMS King George V (35,000 tons, ten 14" guns) and HMS Rodney (34,000 tons, nine 16" guns) Guadalcanal, 14-15 November 1942 - Kirishima (37,000 tons, eight 14" guns) vs USS South Dakota (35,000 tons, nine 16" guns) and USS Washington (35,000 tons, nine 16" guns) North Cape, 26 December 1943 - Scharnhorst (32,000 tons, nine 11" guns) vs HMS Duke of York (35,000 tons, ten 14" guns) Surigao Strait, 25 October 1944 - Yamashiro (29,000 tons, twelve 14" guns) vs USS West Virginia (32,000 tons, eight 16" guns), USS Maryland (32,000 tons, eight 16" guns), USS Mississippi (32,000 tons, twelve 14" guns), USS Tennessee (33,000 tons, twelve 14" guns), USS California (33,000 tons, twelve 14" guns), and USS Pennsylvania (32,000 tons, twelve 14" guns) Again, wrong. The last ship-to-ship action to have a decisive impact on a major war was the Battle of Burwood Bank, on 2 May 1982. By sinking ARA General Belgrano, HMS Conqueror induced the entire Argentine navy to retreat to its home waters, where it stayed for the duration of the Falklands War. Had it not done so, the risk of attack by the Belgrano and/or the carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo would have forced the British task force to remain well to the east of the Falkland Islands, preventing the landing of ground forces to liberate the islands. Likewise, during WW2 the critical battle in the western theatre was the Battle of the Atlantic - even 50 million Shermans would have been incapable of beating a single Tiger if the Shermans were all sat on the bottom of the ocean. At times, even with the advantage of US industrial capacity, the U-boats came close to winning the battle. It wasn't until the start of June 1943, only a year before D-Day, that losses had dropped sufficiently that the allies considered it safe to begin a major build-up of forces in the UK in preparation for the invasion of the continent. This demonstrates the reason that ship-to-ship combat is the third most important factor in an interstellar (or transoceanic) war, behind only industrial capacity and strategic mobility (Brian combines these two factors under the category "logistics", but I feel that they're sufficiently different in nature and individually important that they deserve to be treated separately). Ground forces, regardless of their qualities, are utterly useless until they get on the ground, and are utterly useless if they run out of supplies. In order to get on ground, and to be resupplied, they have to to be confident that the enemy's naval forces will not interfere, which requires friendly naval forces to be decisively superior in fighting power. If this prerequisite cannot be obtained through superior industrial capacity or strategic mobility, it must be obtained through individual superiority in ship-to-ship action.
  2. First of all I agree with Brian's fundamental premise that one needs only have the tools available that can do the job that needs to be done. Extras are just nice to have. Nonetheless I do take issue with some of the statements he makes in his efforts to support this fundamentally sound theorem. 1) Having something is always better than nothing. Provided the "something" in question is capable of fulfilling the tasks it is set this is true. If it isn't, then there are circumstances in which it can be worse than useless. The Husnok attack on Rana IV was one such situation - a Miranda close enough to reach the planet while the attack was in progress would have done nothing but get another two hundred people killed, just as the "live bait squadron" should never have been sent to patrol the Broad Fourteens in September 1914. 2) Lots of average ships/planes are better than a few great ones. This depends on the definition of "average". The TIE example works, because TIEs are clearly capable of engaging and defeating X-wings, and indeed have a far superior kill/loss ratio (partially because of the circumstances of the Death Star runs). The Mustang example does not because it looks at one narrow situation, and fails to consider the range of threats the NORAD area has to be concerned about. Yes, a swarm of Mustangs would have been more effective against AQ's method of attack than half a dozen modern fast jets. Against Bears, Backfires, Blackjacks, Flankers and Fulcrums they would be useless, and the damage they are capable of inflicting is vastly greater than that inflicted on New York and Washington. 3) Speed vs manoeuvrability. Brian is correct that speed kills, and is wrong to assert that a defensive mission changes that. Forcing fighters to remain at low speed and within a certain distance of whatever they're defending is stupid, because it robs them of the initiative and leaves them sitting ducks. It's ironic that he uses the US bomber offensive against Germany to support this point, because until early 1944 VIII Bomber Command used precisely the tactics he describes and was getting the shit kicked out of it as a result. It wasn't until Jimmy Doolittle took command, took the fighters off close escort duty and ordered them to go and find the Luftwaffe and destroy it that the air war swung in favour of the 8th Air Force.
  3. There's stronger evidence than that that AT-ATs may be shielded. They may exhibit shield flashes
  4. 4-way dogfight

    Then we go back to the asteroid calcs, knock a zero off the Falcon's resilience, and are still left with kiloton-ish TIE lasers, a couple of orders of magnitude more than the shot that slapped the Yangtze Kiang silly in Battle Lines
  5. 4-way dogfight

    Then how exactly do you explain the Falcon doing precisely that in ESB? A figure that implies TIE firepower roughly equivalent to the multi-GJ bare minimum demonstrated by X-wings when strafing the first Death Star. EDIT: Even if you only go by the asteroid vapourisation TL estimates, that still means the Falcon shrugged off hundreds of kilotons in that shot, which still implies kiloton-range TIE weapons .
  6. 4-way dogfight

    When you say "contradicted", do you mean that the Falcon cannot withstand megaton-range hits, or that TIEs do not pose a threat to the Falcon? Both of these are clearly demonstrated in the films I referenced.
  7. 4-way dogfight

    The satellite that shot down the Yangtzee Kiang went from dormant to high megawatt-range output in a few seconds, as did the one that destroyed the Rio Grande's probe. It didn't have time to build up a charge of more than low GJ range before firing. ESB establishes that the Falcon can survive low megaton-range hits. ANH establishes that TIEs are a threat to the Falcon after scoring dozens of hits. Ergo, TIE laser fire is almost certainly low-mid kiloton range. BS. The runabout probably has the firepower to destroy a Defender, but that's far from cut-and-dried, and the reverse is certainly true. I expect the battle would be won by whoever lands the first solid hit, and I expect that to be the Defender. While the Danube-class are manoeuvrable, they aren't anywhere near as good as TIE fighters. Not surprising, given that their role is closer to Lambda-class than a TIE.
  8. 4-way dogfight

    No they can't, any more than the Falcon can tangle with SW capships. Runabouts can survive incidental fire, and their weapons have been seen to be powerful enough to destroy a Jem'hadar fighter (not exactly the most powerful ships around) if, and only if, they have detailed targeting advice from a senior Vorta. Runabouts can be very badly damaged by low-GJ range weapons fire (from Battle Lines), and starfighter laser cannon are at least that powerful (from ANH). As I said in the other thread, even small numbers of bog-standard TIEs are a threat to the Falcon, which can withstand low megaton-range shots, so a Defender should be able to take on a runabout on at least even terms.
  9. The quote explicitly states that knocking out the shields is a prerequisite for fighters to stand a chance. If fighters could slip through the shields then knocking them out wouldn't have any effect on their effectiveness. It goes against CW and ST examples, but it is supported by TPM and OT-era examples from RO and ANH Then why were the Y-wings explicitly targeting openings in the shield? Why did Devastator drop shields to bring the T4 aboard? Why did Dodonna explicitly bring up the Death Star's permeable shields as a weakness? Why did Ackbar describe knocking out the Endor fleet's shields as a prerequisite for fighters to stand a chance? There was no mention of shields - only armour, and TLJ is one of the examples where the shields are permeable. There's a difference between refuting and ignoring. I'm doing the former.
  10. 50 TIE Fighters vs. 1 Oberth-class Starship

    There are also repeated shield flashes from two of the fighters hit by the Falcon's guns during the escape from the Death Star. I wouldn't even say with confidence that they're weaker than an X-wing's shields - there are examples of both types being hit and blowing up with no shields flashes at all.
  11. Which, as I've now said several times, implies impermeability of most shields, otherwise there would have been no need for Dodonna to explain that the Death Star's shields were permeable. Yes there is - I provided it above. In full, from Ackbar, Return of the Jedi paperback, page 178, immediately after Lando advised moving in to engage the Star Destroyers at close range: "Concentrate your fire on their power generators. If we can knock out their shields, our fighters might stand a chance against them." Read my answer above. Because, as Brian noted, the control ship was launching fighters at the time, ergo it would have had to lower shields to do so. Up to that point all the professional pilots had been complaining that shields were too strong - ergo they were impermeable, and Anakin, while out of control, slipped through the localised, lowering of the shields around the hangar entrance. Call it luck, call it a fluke, call it the Force, but it certainly wasn't consistent permeability of the entire shield.
  12. 50 TIE Fighters vs. 1 Oberth-class Starship

    A common, oft-repeated error, proved wrong by watching the engagements between the Falcon and various TIEs in ANH and ESB. Brian looked at this comprehensively in some of his earliest videos.
  13. Yes there is - in TPM the professional Naboo pilots were complaining about the Trade Fed's shields being too strong, and in RotJ we have an explicit statement that bringing down the shields was a prerequisite for the fighters to stand a chance. In ANH, Dodonna explicitly mentioned the permeability of DS1's shields, which he wouldn't have if permeable shields were SOP. Conclusion: while we have proof of shield permeability in some circumstances, we also have proof of absolute impermeability in others, and therefore we have to ask what's changed. Variations in tactical doctrine strike me as the most likely, given the repeated switches back and forth. Brian's theory of low-speed permeability, based on Anakin's explanation of ground-contact shield permeability, is not supported by the evidence (in TLJ for example) of shield penetration by high-speed attack runs compared to the very low speed T4 docking that required Devastator to drop shields.
  14. 50 TIE Fighters vs. 1 Oberth-class Starship

    An Oberth's defences are utter crap - Kruge's BoP destroyed the Grissom with one torpedo accidentally, and I see no reason whatsoever for a science vessel to have any sort of armour. It might not even have any weapons, as I'm not aware of any example of them being shown firing, although the presence of one at Wolf 359 may indicate otherwise. It does, of course, have the ability to choose whether or not to engage, due to having FTL. A TIE, on the other hand, definitely has shields (albeit probably fairly weak ones), and its lasers are, with sustained fire, capable of punching through the Falcon's shields (seen in the ANH engagement). As the Falcon is capable of surviving at least one multi-megaton TL hit (seen in ESB), and even capship PTs of several decades after the Kruge-Grissom encounter are of the same strength or less (from Pegasus and Rise), this leads me to conclude that even a flight of TIEs would be a threat to an Oberth, let alone the wing-strength group proposed. Scenario: This would, obviously, occur with the Imperial forces on the tactical defensive - any ship or group of ships carrying that many fighters would almost certainly have the firepower to blow away a defending Oberth with ease. The TIEs must therefore be guarding something, having either been left there by a ship that has since departed, or based locally, on the ground on in a space station. The most likely use of something as weak as an Oberth would be to deploy or extract special forces, or perhaps personnel from a base left behind in a general withdrawal. Conclusion: TIE fighter victory. Either they destroy the Oberth, or the Oberth runs away and leaves the TIEs in control of local space. It is highly unlikely that the Oberth would be able to destroy all the TIEs, as would be required prior to lowering shields to conduct transporter operations.
  15. The medical frigate is a hospital ship a fraction of the size of the Mon Cal cruisers. I wouldn't be surprised if it were vulnerable to fighter-scale weapons even firing against its shields. As for the larger ships, I can think of a few ways in which fighters could play a role against them even with impermeable shields - using weapons flashes on the shields to interfere with targeting, or forcing them to keep 360 degree coverage instead of focusing against the Star Destroyers.
  16. You assume incorrectly - I'm talking about the Star Destroyer's shields, when the Y-wings were explicitly ordered to aim for the opening in the shields created by capship bombardment. Is your argument, therefore, that all the professional pilots are incompetent idiots, since none of them flew through the shields, and were complaining that said shields were too strong for their weapons to penetrate. The fact that they were launching fighters at the time comprehensively counters the "permeable shield" theory in this example. It's not the first time we've seen that ships have to lower shields for others to launch or dock - you demonstrated this conclusively yourself with your analysis of the T4-Devastator battle, to the extent of identifying the moment the Devastator dropped shields, by showing when T4's shots stopped causing shield flashes and started causing armour flashes. Indeed, and General Dodonna specifically mentioned that characteristic of the shields in his briefing. If this characteristic was typical of shields, there would have been no need for him to do so. Meanwhile, we have Admiral Ackbar's explicit statement that "if we can knock out their [the Star Destroyers'] shields our fighters might stand a chance against them" (my emphasis). In these cases, fair enough, as I've already acknowledged. On the other hand, would you consider the clear demonstration of the E-D's bubble shields in, say, Best of Both Worlds, as evidence that the E-A had bubble shields in TUC?
  17. I think "objective" would be an explicit statement that this is an outlier to be ignored. It's not just the fact that small arms/ground artillery have demonstrated equal or superior firepower (a list to which I'd add Han's shot against the docking bay wall in ANH, Veers' shot against the shield generator in ESB and the clone heavy artillery shooting down the TF battleship in AotC), its that starship guns have demonstrated vastly better firepower: ANH: Devastator's partially deflected shot vaporised a significant volume of T4's fin (greater than that of the speeder bike blown apart here) ANH: X-wings vaporised several cubic metres of the Death Star, again greater than the volume of the bike ESB: multiple asteroid vaporisations, all volumes significantly greater than the craters left here RotJ: TL shot either a) vaporised an ISD on it's own or punched through tens of metres metal, probably including armour, to hit the main reactor. Again, a far greater volume than the bike TPM: TF battleship guns blowing apart starfighters far bigger than the bike AotC: Slave 1 blows apart multiple asteroids of greater volume that the craters seen here RotS: Numerous shots from capital ships blowing holes in their opposite numbers far of greater volume than the bike RO: Again, capship guns blowing holes of far greater volume than the bike. Conclusion: When we see multiple cases of warship guns vaporising asteroids tens of metres across, and numerous examples of warships blowing holes in starships that likewise represent tens of cubic metres of vaporised metal, then a single example of them producing craters 1-2 metres across, or blowing apart a two metre long accumulation of chicken wire is not convincing.
  18. Fair enough, although to be fair to the GG, it was one of the first, if not the first of that seemingly-endless string of increasingly-silly plot devices, and one of the more plausible and interesting. It certainly wasn't as bad as the Sun Crusher.
  19. You're too late for the Galaxy Gun, unless you don't count the functionally identical Starkiller Base. I'd like to see two things: 1) The awe and terror-inspiring majesty of a Base Delta Zero on the big screen 2) The even more awe and terror-inspiring majesty of the Errant Venture. In the appropriate colour.
  20. Which universes can Star Wars beat?

    So we have an outlier or two. I assume you're talking about this, which seems to make HTLs about as powerful as the famous blaster rifle grate shot. That doesn't change the overall conclusions any more that ST5 gives Trek hyperdrive-scale strategic mobility or MJ-scale torpedoes. The "new cannon" still show ISD light guns vaporising asteroids in milliseconds, big chunks of the Tantive IV in seconds, and knocking the Falcon off its axis. It still shows AT-AT guns likewise vaporising big chunks of the Hoth shield generator. It still shows the Death Star blowing Alderaan apart at close to lightspeed. Well? Don't keep us in suspense.
  21. Which universes can Star Wars beat?

    Doesn't really help when the Empire can deploy similar numbers (as at the Battle of Coruscant) and Imperial light guns are about as powerful as the best the Feds have (low Mt LTLs shown against the Falcon in ESB vs maybe-Mt PTs in The Pegasus and Rise, and the low-Mt deflector dish weapon derivable from BoBW and Deja Q.) 1) Do you have any evidence that the online game is cannon, given how consistent Trek has been that only live-action TV series and movies count? 2) Assuming the existence of such evidence, I fail to see how the fact that Trek capital ships are starting to approach the size of Imperial escorts helps them. The problem with the scene is that it directly contradicts everything we've seen concerning capital ship beam weapons against rock. In A Matter of Time, Legacy and Inheritance, phasers were drilling phaser-width tunnels through rock at about 100m/s, and suffering worrying feedback from ore concentrations in the latter. In The Pegasus, Riker didn't even consider using phasers against the asteroid, instead advising using hundreds of PTs even through TDiC-scale phaser firepower would have destroyed it in a fraction of a second. Likewise, Voyager used one of her "irreplaceable" PTs to destroy the Rise asteroid, even though it was a fraction of the size of even the Pegasus asteroid. Where have we ever seen anything close to that sort of firepower in the TNG era? The only thing I can think of is the planet-cracker from Obsession and The Immunity Syndrome, and frankly, given that TOS repeatedly demonstrated the sort of speeds that would have had Voyager home in months, I'm not convinced its capabilities can be reconciled with the TNG-era.
  22. Here I intend to tackle any differences I have in two posts – initially, here, with the introductory overview, and later with anything that relates specifically to individual ships/universes once Brian releases part three of the series. Although the series is named “Capital Warships”, the introductory video makes clear that this is a misnomer and it’s actually talking about all aspects of naval warfare, as made clear by the description of the primary role of a starship as a transport and the inclusion of the Liberty ship, with a focus on ship to ship combat. I disagree with this generalisation, as while the fundamental role of the combined navies of a nation (merchant and combat) is indeed the transport of resources (in its widest sense), no ship can or should be a jack of all trades. Indeed, I disagree with Brian’s prioritisation of naval operations, and specifically ship-to-ship combat, so lowly in his list of priorities – my view is that the top three categories should be as follows: Industrial capacity – the ability to generate and sustain sufficient forces to match or overmatch one’s opponent. This includes warships, armoured vehicles, aircraft, personnel, and sufficient sealift (starlift?) capacity to transport them to the theatre of operations. Strategic mobility – the ability to concentrate sufficient forces at the decisive point (in both time and space) to match or overmatch one’s opponent. Ship-to-ship combat – the ability to seize and maintain control of space lines of communication. This is not limited to combat between capital ships, but also the defeat of commerce raiders, be they analogous to armed merchant cruisers, submarines, or aircraft. The first two factors are effectively Brian’s “logistics” category, separated for clarity. The third, in a way, is also a logistics consideration, as there is no point in having lots of troops and fast transports if you can’t stop the enemy destroying it short of the objective. In 1588, 1805 and 1940, England, and Britain, were faced with armies that, had they been able to march across the English Channel, would have almost certainly defeated the ground forces opposing them and occupied the country. On the first two occasions, said armies had sea transport with the capacity and speed to land sufficiently large forces within a sufficiently short space of time to do so. On none of these occasions was an invasion successful, because of the superiority of the Royal Navy in ship-to-ship combat. As Mahan put it, "those far distant, storm-beaten ships upon which the Grand Army never looked, stood between it and the dominion of the world." In discussing the importance of the presence of a given vessel over its tactical qualities, Brian veers into the issue of strategic mobility. While I entirely agree that this category is more important than ship-to-ship combat, it’s something that I feel should be dealt with in its own category, and leave this one to deal with how effectively a given ship or force can do its job once it gets to its objective. This leads on to Brian’s view that a Fabian strategy of avoiding the enemy main force and striking at his weakness is superior to one of direct confrontation. In this I feel he’s making a grave error, confusing the ultimate objective of a total war – to either take and hold resources or deny the same to the enemy – with the manner by which this is achieved. His analogy with a chained dog is flawed, best replaced by a slow one or one with a pair of broken hind legs, as even a force with limited mobility relative to one’s own is not pinned to a certain volume of space. At the outset of a campaign, the primary objective of any commander must be the destruction of the enemy main force, because as long as that force exists it will pose a threat to the commander’s operations. Once it has been destroyed, then the territory will fall as a matter of course. While the manner in which this is accomplished might change, with the ideal indeed being to do so without fighting, as Sun Tzu says, and as happened at Ulm, this does not mean that it can be dismissed as irrelevant. To answer Brian’s question of how to deal with an enemy with inferior strategic mobility, I would use that mobility to defeat the enemy in detail, bringing the full strength of my own fleet to bear against single enemy ships or small squadrons, in order to remove the threat before my own forces are spread so thinly that they are unable to defend all my conquests. In his description of the concentric pattern of fleet deployment, Brian is clearly being influenced by modern naval combat which is heavily influenced by the existence of small, highly manoeuvrable or concealable vehicles such as aircraft, torpedo boats and submarines, capable of carrying weapons heavy enough to cripple or destroy capital ships. In this he fails to address the alternative, that in one or more universes a ship’s ability to inflict and absorb damage is proportional to its size, as was the case for most of naval history. In such circumstances it makes more sense to put one’s heaviest ships – the ones capable of resisting the most punishment – right at the front of the formation, and use them both to shield the smaller and weaker ships, and as a battering ram to smash through the enemy formation. In such a scenario the role of smaller, faster, ships ceases to be a close screen for the capital ships, but as scouts for them, with mid-sized vessels operating independently to provide a naval presence in areas to important to be left undefended, but not important enough to warrant a battle fleet.
  23. My initial thoughts on Brian's latest piece of analysis. Aliens Gorman describes the ammunition used as “10mm explosive tipped caseless” and then explains their purpose “standard light armour-piercing round”. Brian interprets this to mean the rounds penetrate any armour and then explode, but the manner of the description leads me to believe that the explosive is their armour-piercing mechanism rather than additional to it, otherwise the tip of the round would be a very strange place to put it. Regarding the alleged lack of a non-lethal capability, I would class this as not directly demonstrated but plausible, rather than absent. The weapon has a couple of grenade launchers, which appear to be an integral part of the weapon, rather than an optional extra as modern UGLs are. While their design makes them unsuitable for baton rounds due to their loading mechanism, they could be used to fire CS grenades or beanbag rounds. Obviously, since the marines were going into a combat situation on LV-426, they only carried HE. B5 Regarding the weapon Brian describes as “heavy rifle”, the pump action and the rounds visible through the frame of the magazine indicates that it’s a projectile weapon, and the effects indicate that the rounds are explosive. I therefore think it’s highly unlikely that this is anything but a grenade launcher. BSG Regarding the warriors’ use of pistols in all situations, I don’t have much of an issue with it as Brian – they’re officers and fighter pilots, two groups who have historically used pistols as their primary weapon. Those who have ground combat as their primary role do, as noted, carry weapons appropriate for that role. These pistols definitely have some AP capability, given their effectiveness against the armoured Cylons. How tough this armour is isn’t clear, but in The Lost Warrior, Redeye had clearly been hit repeatedly by small arms fire, probably handguns, although rifle fire is a possibility, with no more damage than a few dents. Centurions (including Redeye himself) are routinely dropped by single shots from Colonial pistols. Stargate Regarding the rate of fire of a staff weapon, while the clip Brian shows certainly appears to indicate full auto, it also involves Bra’tac. This, added to the fact that staff weapons are almost universally depicted as semi-auto, leads me to suspect that what we’re seeing the example chosen merely demonstrates what the most skilful and experienced of its users can achieve. It is not typical of the weapon any more than 35-40 rounds/min is typical of bolt-action rifles. Star Trek Given its explicit anti-vehicle primary role, I would consider the CRM114 to fit into the support weapons category rather than small arms – it’s clearly equivalent to a Javelin or Stinger missile, intended to provide man-portable firepower close to field artillery or light/medium AAA. It’s far beyond the BAR/Light Fifty scale of relative firepower that I would consider a heavy rifle.
  24. It's been a while since anything happened here, so I'll add my two-penneth and see what happens. Brian's latest two videos, on the frontal attacks that comprised the best-known aspects of the battles of Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, make key claims - that frontal attacks are inherently stupid and doomed to failure, and that the frequent success of frontal attacks in science fiction, with Brian exemplifies with the Siege of AR-558, the Battle of Babylon 5, and the capture of the Tantive IV, was due to the absence of artillery. He also has a few cracks at Lee vis a vis a certain obnoxious little corporal. I disagree on all three points. First, the general issue of frontal attacks. Yes, they are frequently extremely bloody, but they have the advantage of having the most straightforward route to the objective, and thereby allow the maximum possible force to be applied in the minimum amount of time. For this reason, they are both common, and frequently successful. The key is to ensure proper coordination of all arms and, if possible, making the final push is against a weak sector of the enemy position. By applying these principles, frontal attacks have achieved some of the most famous victories in history - Blenheim, Ramillies, Austerlitz, the Alma, Amiens and Second Alamein. Indeed, the successful Anglo-French attack at the Battle of the Alma bore striking similarities to the failed US attack at Fredericksburg less than a decade later - across a river, up a hill, and into enemy forces behind a solid earthwork. The failures Brian uses as examples were largely caused by inadequate artillery support, and in the case of Pickett's charge the unavoidable delay between Lee's attacks on the union flanks on the second day, and the final assault on the second day had given ample time for reserves to be moved to meet the charge. The grand tactical scheme was sound in principle, but it would have had to have been applied far quicker than was possible for it to have worked. Second, the issue of why the frontal assaults shown in sci-fi have worked. First of all, if the Jem'Hadar attack on 558 was a success then so was Pickett's Charge - both attacks reached the enemy position before being driven back in hand-to-hand combat. More generally I feel that the key difference was one of range - in all three sci-fi actions, the defenders, while having the advantage of a choke point, had their first chance to engage the enemy at very close range. This meant that, even with semi-automatic weaponry, they could only get off two or three shots before the enemy was on them, and could therefore be overwhelmed by superior numbers. An artillery piece, in the unlikely event that it could be fired without causing as many friendly casualties as enemy, would probably only get off a single shot. At both Gettysburg and Fredericksburg, on the other hand, the attackers were advancing over a wide open field. This allowed the defenders to fire on them for a considerable period of time before the enemy reached them. Pickett's Charge would have been under artillery fire for over fifteen minutes, allowing some 20-30 rounds per gun, and rifle fire for 2-3 minutes, allowing for approximately 10 rounds per man. Finally, the minor issue of Lee vs Napoleon. It's true that, where possible, Napoleon would launch attacks around his opponents flanks, to get in behind the main enemy line. This was not, however, intended as his main attack - that was Frederick the Great's style. The ideal Napoleonic battle would consist of three main phases: frontal assaults to fix the enemy and force him to commit his reserves, with enough strength to break through if he didn't, a flanking attack to get behind the enemy and force him to strip troops from his main line to counter it, and a final frontal assault to break through the weakened sector. Two of the three key phases of this ideal battle therefore consisted of frontal assaults. Moreover, in practice Napoleon repeatedly relied purely on such attacks, successfully, for example, at Wagram and Borodino (at the cost of extremely high causalities - approximately 75000 combining those of both sides in each case), and famously unsuccessfully at Waterloo. At least Lee didn't try sending Longstreet's Corps forward in massed columns as Napoleon did - it's unlikely they would have got anywhere near the union line.
  25. Since this subforum has been all but dead for months I'm going to give it a prod. Might get nowhere, but hey-ho. 1) What did the poor old Jemmies ever do to Brian to deserve this? I recognise that it's one of the relatively rare examples of a set-piece action with clear objectives on both sides, but surely a slightly more challenging test of their capabilities could have been found? Given the flat terrain on the approach to the Feds' position, and the complete lack of anything resembling a competently-designed weapon, you could replace either attackers or defenders with some of these guys and I expect they could have pulled it off. 2) I think Brian is badly underestimating the advantage provided by the CM's dropship (assuming they don't lose it through stupidity as orginally). In both the Omaha and AR-558 scenarios he effectively uses it as another IFV parked on high ground. In the former, a better question would have been to ask what a few dozen of the things hammering the flak towers of Berlin and dropping the IFVs in the back garden of the Fuhrerbunker could have achieved - completely bypassing occupied Europe. In the latter case, don't wait for the Jemmies to attack - strike first, and obliterate their camp with massed rocket fire while they're still organising. In either case, the ultimate objective is achieved without the action being discussed even being necessary. 3) Finally, a minor nitpick about Omaha. The US did have close air support, tanks and artillery. The aircraft were mostly busy inland, keeping German reinforcements away from the beaches, the tanks sank in rough seas, and the artillery was floating offshore - Admiral Kirk pushed the Enterprise as close in as he dared to provide the supplement the fire of the destroyers providing immediate support. It was the fire from those ships against the German bunkers (which had already withstood months of attack from heavy bombers and a pre-landing bombardment from battleships) that knocked out enough of them to allow the infantry to advance off the beach.