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Old 11-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
jacobmuller
 
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Default Who needs tanks?

I've seen lots of debate on why mecha are daft and tanks would be the way to go. I like mecha, even if daft.

My problem is, in a setting where if you can see it, it's dead, why have AFVs?
Assuming you've got mobile infantry in battlesuits with chameleon stealth and PESA sensors carrying weapons that'll ignore armour, and the tanks/mecha are similarly equipped, and all have audio stealth too.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
My problem is, in a setting where if you can see it, it's dead, why have AFVs?
Perhaps you don't, if every infantryman can carry weapons which can penetrate any amount of armor a tank can mount. A passing mention in Starship Troopers suggests that powered armor made AFVs obsolete.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

If your infantry are loaded with tank-killers, the next step is to go down to SM-1 or SM-2 drones that have powersuit-killers...

LOS = dead probably means your mobile infantry are bot-minders more than close-assault troops.
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Perhaps you don't, if every infantryman can carry weapons which can penetrate any amount of armor a tank can mount. A passing mention in Starship Troopers suggests that powered armor made AFVs obsolete.
Really? I'd retained the impression that there was an Armor arm with some really serious tanks, which never showed up in the book, presumably because their role didn't put them on the battlefield at the same time as the MI.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

Aw, forget bot-minders. The future is behind AKVs.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Aw, forget bot-minders. The future is behind AKVs.
Only if and once you trust them to decide whom to kill and whom not to kill. IMO humans wont do that for a long time.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Only if and once you trust them to decide whom to kill and whom not to kill. IMO humans wont do that for a long time.
Thing is, suddenly some group will and if, at that point in time, AKVs are just good enough then others will need to embrace them too (most likely) or get wiped out.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

Earlier this century, I did a little comparison using VE2. I designed an AFV for crew X + Passengers Y at TL8. Then I created a (X+Y) man battlesuit squad at TL8. I tried to have the battlesuits roughly match the cost of the single AFV. My observations include:

* The battlesuits had greatly inferior strategic mobility and mrginally better tactical mobility.
* The suits could not be armed or armored to the level of the AFV, although the inferior armor was not as great a difference for relatively light vehicles.
* The battlesuits had a greater overall maintenance requirement.
* For the most part, it was much less likely to get a one-hit kill on a battlesuit squad compared to an IFV
* The battlesuits could hide a lot easier than the AFV. This wasn't just a matter of relative size, but of a humanoid battlesuit being able to lay down behind things that would never hide the AFV.

My opinion was that, at TL8 anyway, battlesuits were generally inferior to AFVs.

A couple of these issues change at TL9+, as battlesuits drop in price a bit faster than the AFV, so the balance shifts.

I've also designed some WWII mecha (mostly 4-8 legs). Great mobility but damn expensive.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
My problem is, in a setting where if you can see it, it's dead, why have AFVs?
In a setting where that's true, you have mobile sensor platforms with heavy stealth (this does a fair job of describing modern air-to-air combat). However, that degree of imbalance between offense and defense is rare.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Really? I'd retained the impression that there was an Armor arm with some really serious tanks, which never showed up in the book, presumably because their role didn't put them on the battlefield at the same time as the MI.
IIRC, in a discussion of powered armor fairly early in the book, Johnny makes a dismissive mention of tanks, along the lines of "if they used those silly things anymore." That passage always struck me as a bit odd. After all, ten-year-old-me reasoned, if they can put more armor and bigger guns on a guy in a powered suit, how much more than that could they do with something the size of a tank?
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
IIRC, in a discussion of powered armor fairly early in the book, Johnny makes a dismissive mention of tanks, along the lines of "if they used those silly things anymore." That passage always struck me as a bit odd. After all, ten-year-old-me reasoned, if they can put more armor and bigger guns on a guy in a powered suit, how much more than that could they do with something the size of a tank?
I had a friend of mine who joined the Army who told me, with a straight face, that the M113 he was going to drive was INFINITELY preferable to the M2/3 Bradley. Perhaps that's just unit pride on Johnny Rico's part...
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