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Old 01-12-2018, 11:13 AM   #191
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

Bicycles don't need grass or gas. They do need that other thing, but troops need that anyway in order to stand upright.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:36 AM   #192
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

Bicycles are notable for needing roads, and slowing down when going up hill, especially when heavily loaded with gear.

On the other hand, they're going to be much easier to find than horses, don't cost much when you're not using them, and AtE often has lots and lots of roads.

Bicycle troops certainly have a role in an AtE setting. I'm not sure that I'd use them to replace horse troops.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:00 PM   #193
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Bicycles are notable for needing roads, and slowing down when going up hill, especially when heavily loaded with gear.
All of these describe infantry, period. MTBs work just as well off-road and up-hill as grunts do.
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Bicycle troops certainly have a role in an AtE setting. I'm not sure that I'd use them to replace horse troops.
Use them instead of of dragoons or mech. The only reason bicycle infantry wasn't very successful in the 20th century was that it can't compete with mech. Some countries do use bike paratroopers though, and the US has experimented with it, reasonably successfully, notably Operation Dark Claw.

Also Turbo Kid is fun as hell.

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Old 01-12-2018, 01:19 PM   #194
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I see a few gaping holes in your scenario:

1) RPG's often struggle with simulating mass combat realistically.
Granted, but the question wasn't what realistically happens, the question was what GURPS rules say happens. However, in terms of realism the actual accuracy doesn't seem too bad, the real issue is that infantry can remain in disarray for far longer than the GURPS rules for surprise allow.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:09 PM   #195
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Granted, but the question wasn't what realistically happens, the question was what GURPS rules say happens. However, in terms of realism the actual accuracy doesn't seem too bad, the real issue is that infantry can remain in disarray for far longer than the GURPS rules for surprise allow.
You can be panicked indefinitely if you keep failing your rolls. Especially if you are using the rules from Tactical Shooting; note that once stunned you no longer get the "heat of battle" bonus to Fright Checks.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:20 PM   #196
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Bicycle troops certainly have a role in an AtE setting. I'm not sure that I'd use them to replace horse troops.
Bicyclists might not be able to replace actual cavalry, but bicycle dragoons are likely better than horse dragoons.

Even heavy, three-speed off-road bikes can probably sustain 6-8 mph cross-country for 3-4 hours/day, so they're strategically faster than horses. An active cyclist might consume more calories than an infantryman (maybe), but it's still less than a horse, so your logistics tail is lighter.

Bicycles don't need to be trained to not spook at the sound of gunfire, and you can train up a cyclist faster than you can teach a man to ride and a horse to be ridden. You have to manufacture bicycles (though steel or wood 3-speed off-road bikes are TL5, especially if you use solid tire rims), but you have to grow horses, so I'd consider that a wash.

On the attack, horse dragoons have to detach 15-25% of their number just to hold the horses, but you can drop off a bike without worrying about it wandering off someplace.

You obviously can't replace heavy cavalry with bicycles, and probably not light cavalry that fires on the move from the mount*. So if that's something your AtE setting has, bikes won't replace them. But late TL5/TL6 style horse cavalry that are really dragoons should be replaced by bicycles if you can.

* It seem like tandem bikes could be used to let half your force move and shoot. Alternately, bike rickshaws could work like fairly compact chariots. I'm not sure that tandem bikes and rickshaws are better than light cavalry at that point, though.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:39 PM   #197
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Even heavy, three-speed off-road bikes can probably sustain 6-8 mph cross-country for 3-4 hours/day, so they're strategically faster than horses.
The Dark Claw test apparently managed between 10-20 mph. Of course those were, I think, chrome-moly frames with modern gears and everything.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:51 PM   #198
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

Wikipedia to the rescue. Based on how they were used historically, an AtE setting where motorized transport is low availability (quite possible due to fuel logistics) would find bicycles quite useful and they do seem to largely supplant horse troops.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:49 PM   #199
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1) RPG's often struggle with simulating mass combat realistically. This is generally because of issues with morale and willingness to kill. Big blocks of men don't annihilate each other in 15 seconds of close combat, and an awful lot of soldiers historically didn't shoot to kill. I say historically because after Vietnam modern armies started actually conditioning people so they wouldn't have those problems. Most soldiers just fire in the general direction of the enemy.
Ah, yet another victim of Dave Grossman!

Five thousand years of empirical evidence shows no signs that the vast majority of humanity have much trouble killing off other swaths of humanity. The 'average guy' is not psychologically incapable of killing. Grossman's methodology was horrible, and he has many detractors, who write things like "COL Dave Grossman: How Wrong Is He?" The British military- who have been doing their own studies on the subject for over a century- think he's a buffoon. It's hard to trust a psychological source that has never been peer-reviewed, and who clearly misrepresented or misinterpreted at least some of his data. Grossman has only published mass-market books and in law enforcement journals, not actual peer-reviewed journals or in fact any sort of psychological journal. It's also hard to trust a source that has made an entire career out of this tripe, and tried to start a psychological discipline called "killology", as well as a Killology Research Group with only a single member- Dave Grossman.

Most soldiers "just fire in the direction of the enemy" in modern warfare because that's a valid tactic, known as suppressive fire, and not because they lack the will to kill.

Also, before it is brought up (because it always is), freezing is not being psychologically incapable of killing. Being terrified beyond the ability to function is not being psychologically incapable of killing. Not quite being able to believe that the guy from the alley is actually about to shoot you is not being psychologically incapable of defending yourself. Getting PTSD afterwards is not being psychologically incapable of killing. Not wanting to kill is not being psychologically incapable of killing. And so on.

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Old 01-13-2018, 05:58 PM   #200
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

It's a rather silly hypothesis to begin with. If I want someone over there dead, I'm not going to fire a single bullet no matter how good of a shot I think I am.
My accuracy will likely go down more, because I'm at least as caring about not getting shot myself.
And I am mostly pacifist with zero military skill or education.
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