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Old 03-21-2017, 07:31 PM   #51
starslayer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Most places where you would likely be fighting a guerilla war against the Zoneminds, there should already be enough trash and debris around to camouflage your traps; you shouldn't need to add more generally.


Not defending against hostile hacking seems like a really bad idea when your most significant enemies are the other Zoneminds.
Well, not armoured against in that 'if you start getting hacked connect to your next highest admin-bot and it'll set you straight.'

Since ALL the zoneminds rely on wireless comms to keep everything in line humans can start with a jammer and then exploit hacks that will only work if the bot can't phone home.

The zoneminds can't exploit this because both sides would have the problem.

Example: Dumbot hunter if given two targets of equal importance traveling in opposite directions at equal speed will freeze, call the nearest admin bot for priority, and chase whichever one the admin bot says to.

Humans can therefore jam dumbot hunter and have two targets of equal importance separate away from it, leaving it paralyzed with indecision and unable to call for help, thus allowing hidden human #3 with a portable EMP to get a good bead on it (or depending on how bad the indecision paralysis is, just walk up to it and hack it with a close range radio that can penetrate the jamming)

Last edited by starslayer; 03-21-2017 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:50 PM   #52
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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The zoneminds can't exploit this because both sides would have the problem.
Yeah they can. Jamming can be selective, and nonselective jamming is still fine as long as it annoys the opposition more than it annoys you. In any case, while you can make robots cinematically dumb, the ones in RoS by default aren't.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:39 PM   #53
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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Yeah they can. Jamming can be selective, and nonselective jamming is still fine as long as it annoys the opposition more than it annoys you. In any case, while you can make robots cinematically dumb, the ones in RoS by default aren't.
They aren't cinematically dumb, but the smaller ones (human-sized and smaller) are less intelligent than human average by the RAW. So the GM should 'play' them that way, to some degree. They aren't stupid, by any means, and they can be enormously knowledgeable, but to a practiced guerilla they may reasonably become somewhat predictable.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:00 AM   #54
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

They don't canonically have Indecisiveness though.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:38 AM   #55
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They don't canonically have Indecisiveness though.
No, they don't. But I could imagine it kicking in reasonably under certain circumstances. Also, we need to keep in mind that there is a RAW distinction between an NU and an AU. The former is just a computer, if you can somehow get a copy of its software, and know what kind of computer it's running on, you can in principle predict its behavior precisely. NUs have precisely zero initiative and imagination. A clever human really could reasonably trick an NU into driving mindlessly over a cliff if he set it up right.

AUs, on the other hand, have both initiative and (within limits) imagination. They're basically AIs that lack free will. Which means their behavior can be far more diverse. Any given AU, even of the same series and model, might develop this Disad or that from experience. After years in the field, Juggernaut 3039 and Juggernaut 9535 might be mechanically similar, but behaviorally totally different.

Now normally, that would be 'reset' when the robot is periodically run through checks and scans at a robot hotel. But in wartime, when the Z-minds are pounding away at each other, with the humans firing too, an AU might remain at the front or in the field for years on end, and could potentially get very quirky and strange.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:43 AM   #56
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

Predatory insects can figure out that they need to chase just one prey at a time, so I think tricking killbots like this would just be silly.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:44 PM   #57
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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True. Nor is possible for them to make entirely invulnerable robots. They can make very tough ones, but all have limits.

As for tactics, to a first approximation, study anti-tank tactics. The robots are not perfectly analogous to tanks, but there are similarities. For ex, even the valuable Centurions have tracked propulsion. Presumably, they're vulnerable to the sort of attacks tank treads are.

Note too that in an all-out war, approximations of the same logistical issues that plague human armies will plague the robot armies. They don't have to worry about food or water or mostly about disease*, true. That helps a lot in comparison with human armies.

But machines wear out, parts break down, fuel has to be shipped or recharging facilities set up. If a large mass of Juggernaughts loses 10% of their membership to breakdown over the course of an operation, that's quite a few broken robots waiting to be salvaged or raided.

It a mass of Hoplites outruns their logistical support, even if their power supply is fine they could easily run out of missiles, making them somewhat vulnerable.

Remember, war is still war, even when it's waged by AIs. It's about logistics.
The above portion of an earlier post made me think of something too. It's not just that the bots will have to manage those needs, but also that the supplies and transport methods might be more vulnerable than the bot-squad itself. Raiding supply lines, or sabotaging them might be very useful in weakening an invading force of robots.

Also, do I remember correctly that this campaign is a supers campaign too? The PCs have access to super powers? That opens up a whole lot of options. Someone with enough telekinesis could do horrible things to robots. Or someone like Kitty Pryde from X-Men could probably win the war by herself.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:48 PM   #58
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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They aren't cinematically dumb, but the smaller ones (human-sized and smaller) are less intelligent than human average by the RAW.
Sure, but the example given was cinematically dumb. Animals are smarter than that.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:37 PM   #59
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Default Re: Ideas for Anti Robot Technology

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Predatory insects can figure out that they need to chase just one prey at a time, so I think tricking killbots like this would just be silly.
Predatory insects have more 'awareness' than NUs. NU's are automata. Their behavior can be fairly complicated if the situation has an answer in their programming, but that's all they can do. That's why the Z-minds rarely field NUs without either remote control or AU supervision.

Now, the AU killbots are quite a different story.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:41 PM   #60
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The above portion of an earlier post made me think of something too. It's not just that the bots will have to manage those needs, but also that the supplies and transport methods might be more vulnerable than the bot-squad itself. Raiding supply lines, or sabotaging them might be very useful in weakening an invading force of robots.

Also, do I remember correctly that this campaign is a supers campaign too? The PCs have access to super powers?
Not by default. The basic default RoS has no magic, superpowers, or psi, though it notes that there are ways those can be introduced, and cautions against introducing the ones that can turn into a curbstomp defeat for the robots.

By default, the humans have only mundane human abilities, and access to what tech they can steal, trade for, or scrounge from the robots or the ruins. Realistically, by the default RoS setting and RAW, it's a pretty grim situation with little long-term hope.
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