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Old 06-13-2019, 08:19 AM   #41
maximara
 
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Going to 3e sources is worse than useless here.
The TLs didn't change that much (at least until you hit TL8) and until we get formal updates (like what is happening with Steampunk) it is in many cases are largest sample set we have to work with.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
EDIT: Although, admittedly, what we have on WWII in GURPS High Tech is...interestingly conflicted. For instance, the MG151/20 is identified as TL7. The fighter whose presence in the book is presumably why the MG151/20 was listed? TL6. Does a TL6 vehicle with TL7 components make sense? Did different authors work on those stats and lack a rigorous common reference frame for the TL boundary?
Actually a TL6 vehicle with TL7 components makes perfect sense. Otherwise you could say a Model-T was TL7 because you custom installed a transistor radio into it.

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The Fw 190 first flew before 1940. The MG151 HMG and later cannon post-date the 1940 boundary (and were not the first weapon fit for Fw 190s), so it makes sense. The P-51 was designed and first flew in 1940, so it's not so clear why it'd be TL6 (and of course most versions used an old TL6 gun).

That said, I'm not sure why the guns for the Pz.IV and M4 are TL6, as they are both designs that are post-1940, and were quite modern when they appeared.
IMHO part of the problem is some authors view TLs as a bright line and unless the Basic Set says something otherwise the look at the year and go 'oh it is after year x therefor it much be TLy'.

I should point out Tthe Panzer IV came out in 1939 and while the M4 Sherman came out in 1942 there is generally a long delay between design and production. The B29 for instance started out on the design board in 1938 with the Model 334 being effectively a B-17 with some modifications (like pressurization and longer-range)

Also the Panzer IV had many variants of which High-Tech give the very late M4A1(76)W and so is not entirely representative of the whole series.

Last edited by maximara; 06-13-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:26 AM   #42
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

Until we have an improved, portable energy storage solution, I am having a lot of trouble saying we've jumped a Tech Level. There is a lot of tech that is nearly ready to go, but we just can't power it reliably. Exoskeletons come to mind, as do man-portable directed-energy weapons.

As for firearms, I am going to climb the hill and challenge anyone to knock me off it: the idea that caseless or plastic-cased ammunition was the Next Big Advance was wrong. I'll forgive the authors for this one, as even a decade ago we didn't quite realize it, but it has become very clear that small arms have absolutely plateaued. Ever since the introduction of the plastic-framed, large-caliber pistol - i.e., the Glock - there has not been a major advance in any firearms technology. For a little bit optics seemed to be improving rapidly, but they too seem have to hit a hard wall. Caseless ammunition has proven to be a huge hassle for nearly no benefit.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:04 AM   #43
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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As for firearms, I am going to climb the hill and challenge anyone to knock me off it: the idea that caseless or plastic-cased ammunition was the Next Big Advance was wrong. I'll forgive the authors for this one, as even a decade ago we didn't quite realize it, but it has become very clear that small arms have absolutely plateaued. Ever since the introduction of the plastic-framed, large-caliber pistol - i.e., the Glock - there has not been a major advance in any firearms technology. For a little bit optics seemed to be improving rapidly, but they too seem have to hit a hard wall. Caseless ammunition has proven to be a huge hassle for nearly no benefit.
Telescoped plastic cased rounds are entering service. Caseless rounds work perfectly well, but never came into service for political and economic reasons.

We can do better than what we've got, but nobody is willing to put in the cash when it's cheaper and easier to just tinker with barrel lengths and then make a 'new' brass cartridge that's very like any number of off-the-shelf hunting cases except that it's been made especially for the military at great expense (and profit), but not so great an expense as switching to careless and having to build whole new ammunition factories.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:27 AM   #44
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Actually a TL6 vehicle with TL7 components makes perfect sense. Otherwise you could say a Model-T was TL7 because you custom installed a transistor radio into it.
And I would, if giving a single TL to 'model T with radio', put it at TL7.
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Also the Panzer IV had many variants of which High-Tech give the very late M4A1(76)W and so is not entirely representative of the whole series.
I'm sure you know this, but the M4A1(76)W is a (not very late, though not maximally early) Sherman variant, not a Panzer IV variant.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:29 AM   #45
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Originally Posted by ColBosch View Post
Until we have an improved, portable energy storage solution, I am having a lot of trouble saying we've jumped a Tech Level. There is a lot of tech that is nearly ready to go, but we just can't power it reliably. Exoskeletons come to mind, as do man-portable directed-energy weapons.
Wait, where are you getting an effective DEW that would be man-portable if it had a lighter power source?
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:48 AM   #46
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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I'm sure you know this, but the M4A1(76)W is a (not very late, though not maximally early) Sherman variant, not a Panzer IV variant.
It's a relatively early vehicle, with a late-war gun.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:52 AM   #47
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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I should point out Tthe Panzer IV came out in 1939 and while the M4 Sherman came out in 1942 there is generally a long delay between design and production.
I have no quibble with the authors choice of TL6 for the tanks. The Pz.IV was a clearly pre-1940 vehicle (the first versions were in production in 1936, by the way), and the M4 was an incremental improvement on the M3, which was the same on the M2, to the point that the engine and transmission layout was identical, to the M4's detriment.

However, many vehicles used in WWII had quite sort design and development periods, the P-51 Mustang being one of them.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:37 AM   #48
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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I have no quibble with the authors choice of TL6 for the tanks. The Pz.IV was a clearly pre-1940 vehicle, and the M4 was an incremental improvement on the M3, which was the same on the M2, to the point that the engine and transmission layout was identical, to the M4's detriment.

However, many vehicles used in WWII had quite sort design and development periods, the P-51 Mustang being one of them.
True but IMHO that is because they utilized "off the shelf" TL6 materials rather then "true" TL7 designs and materials. The P-51 Mustang's engine for example was an Allison V-1710 which dated from 1930 (though it had seen improvements since then).
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:45 AM   #49
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Telescoped plastic cased rounds are entering service. Caseless rounds work perfectly well, but never came into service for political and economic reasons.

We can do better than what we've got, but nobody is willing to put in the cash when it's cheaper and easier to just tinker with barrel lengths and then make a 'new' brass cartridge that's very like any number of off-the-shelf hunting cases except that it's been made especially for the military at great expense (and profit), but not so great an expense as switching to careless and having to build whole new ammunition factories.
The biggest limitation on adopting caseless designs is the several million guns the various militaries already have, plus the several billion rounds in warehouses.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:56 AM   #50
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

Unless there is a truly spectacular development, like cheap high-temperature superconductors or cheap durable quantum computing, we might not be able to see a Tech Level change. The transition from TL4 to TL5 makes good sense, there were many changes coming together in the Early 18th century. But someone living in the Cotswolds might be excused for not noticing the changes. Heck, there would be perfectly clear headed people in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, that would have missed the transition.

How do we know that we could see the difference between late TL8 and early TL9 even if it was right in front of us?
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