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What is next at the Front

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri May 29, 2015 3:29 pm

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As for this --

tonyz wrote: Another factor: the Sharonans will only be able to close very small portals completely, because Arcanan dragons can fly through them above the range of most Sharonan artillery. And even if AA is in place on the smaller portals, Arcanan navigation spellware will further allow them to cross at night or in bad weather when AA can't be targeted (barring some psionic Talent, like the very rare predictive Distance Viewers).

Supporting airborne operations in distant universes will, of course, be very difficult logistically, but even the threat of Arcanan raids in back universes will greatly complicate Sharonan logistics and deployment. Unlike locomotives, dragons can forage for game in relatively empty universes.

Bottom line: neither side has yet realized that portals are not the be-all and end-all of choke points that their strategy is based upon. Arcana can't prevent Sharona from punching through them; Sharona can't seal them totally against raids and infiltration.


Sharona does not have to completely seal a portal against dragon infiltration.

It has to do enough attritional losses on Arcanian dragons making a transits to make them stop trying.

That is a substantially lower level of required performance.

One that the Ft Salby gate when fortified seems quite capable of providing, if only by wounding dragons sufficiently that they are grounded on the Sharonan side of the gate.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri May 29, 2015 3:37 pm

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I disagree with this --

brnicholas wrote:More then water and sanding stations building a railroad will require huge quantities of coal and steel. And it will continue to consume the coal after it is built. I can't imagine why Sharona would want to haul that any further then necessary. I therefore expect that in every universe through which Sharona has built or will build a railroad there is or will be at least one large coal mine, a small iron mine and a steel mill. The population to work those at Sharonan tech levels means a small city and presumably the farms to sustain that population. The only thing about that dynamic I expect the war to change is that I expect those cities to be fortified in the future.

Nicholas



As steam engines can use alternate fuels like wood or charcoal in lieu straight coal. Hard anthracite coal is the best for efficiently operating a steam railway engine.

It is not a requirement for operation.

Water is a much stricter limitation in terms of rail logistics.

The replacement of steam with diesel train engines in WW2 Persia increased the carrying capacity of cross desert rail roads there -- IIRC -- on the order of 50%-to-75%.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Castenea   » Fri May 29, 2015 3:56 pm

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Mil-tech bard wrote:I disagree with this --

brnicholas wrote:More then water and sanding stations building a railroad will require huge quantities of coal and steel. And it will continue to consume the coal after it is built. I can't imagine why Sharona would want to haul that any further then necessary. I therefore expect that in every universe through which Sharona has built or will build a railroad there is or will be at least one large coal mine, a small iron mine and a steel mill. The population to work those at Sharonan tech levels means a small city and presumably the farms to sustain that population. The only thing about that dynamic I expect the war to change is that I expect those cities to be fortified in the future.

Nicholas



As steam engines can use alternate fuels like wood or charcoal in lieu straight coal. Hard anthracite coal is the best for efficiently operating a steam railway engine.

It is not a requirement for operation.

Water is a much stricter limitation in terms of rail logistics.

The replacement of steam with diesel train engines in WW2 Persia increased the carrying capacity of cross desert rail roads there -- IIRC -- on the order of 50%-to-75%.

Even if they are not stockpiling anthracite coal, there is going to be a small to medium sized city at all but ocean portals (occasionally somewhere between portals). The rail will require a stock pile of burnables, a warehouse of spareparts, and housing for the skilled personell who do repairs. Maintaining those will cause the creation of a small city. As you form the city farmland to feed the city will be developed (most years with at least a small surplus to that cities needs). Those closer to the front may be stockpiling cordwood, but coal is a better fuel and I believe it stores better, so more developed universes would have one or more coal mines supplying the fuel.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Sat May 30, 2015 10:41 am

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"... there is going to be ..."
but not immediately.

Especially since DW seems to be underestimating the need.

1) The population of Salbyton dropped to 2,000 once
the Cut was completed. Town, not City.

2) Consider the population of Faryika while chan
Gerith's train was going through it: less than 20,000
in that entire World, including RR resuppliers!
Not much for cities.

HTM

Castenea wrote:Even if they are not stockpiling anthracite coal,
**there is going to be a small to medium sized
city at all but ocean portals**
(occasionally somewhere between portals).
The rail will require a stock pile of burnables,
a warehouse of spareparts, and housing for the skilled personell who do repairs. Maintaining those will cause the creation of a small city. As you form the city farmland to feed the city will be developed (most years with at least a small surplus to that cities needs). Those closer to the front may be stockpiling cordwood, but coal is a better fuel and I believe it stores better, so more developed universes would have one or more coal mines supplying the fuel.
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what troubles me re: What is next at the Front
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Sat May 30, 2015 10:56 am

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One thing that has troubled me about Sharona sending
nine division-equivalents (three from Ternath) to the
War Zone, is the difference between "could" and "will."

Yes, I agree that they could send the nine divisions.
Whether they will send so many, depends upon conditions
on Sharona itself.

Specifically, the possibility of Civil War.
If Chava and his Othmalian allies strike at Zindel,
attempting to take over all Sharona,
Then a Ternath division, or two, might be diverted from
Larakesh Gate to Tazvana so as to stop them,
along with major units from other nations on both sides
of this fight.

It might turn out that 3rd Dragoon Division will have
little support other than Markan Cavalry Brigade,
until a month after the Civil War ends.

HTM

brnicholas wrote:{snip - htm}
I disagree about the Sharonan ability to defend a 1000 mile supply line between portals (and they are very lucky that the longest gap between portals on the direct route is the 1430 miles in Failcham, 3 or 4 thousand miles would probably be beyond them). To see why Sharona can do this we first need to recall Arcana's limitations.

{snip}

So in order to protect a 1000 mile rail line what Sharona has to do is dominate the entire rail line by fire. Shrapnel shells will kill anyone trying to damage track without damaging the track themselves. Here is what I believe Sharona needs to dominate a 1000 mile rail line by fire.

Small artillery forts, with maybe 10-15 guns and 200 men every five miles along the track. That distance is based on ranges for World War I artillery. Its general range seems to have been 10,000 yards or 5.5 miles. If Weber wants to make it easier for Sharona he can say that the existence of distance viewers led to an arms race regarding artillery range, which is what I would expect would happen, and as a result Sharonan guns are significantly longer ranged then comparative Earth weapons. But I will use five miles because we can be certain of that range. So to cover 1000 miles they need 200 forts or 40,000 men. In addition I would expect them to need another 2,500 men every 500 miles to serve as reaction forces to drive the Arcanan’s off the track if they decide to seize a long section of it. So 10,000 more. Total force 50,000. That equals about 5 divisions. My original post said Sharona might be able to support as many as 9 divisions at the front by the time they are ready to attack in the spring. If that isn’t wildly optimistic they can provide this defense.

Could Arcana use its mobility advantage to concentrate forces, punch out one of these forts and tear up some track? Yes, but they would launch the entire attack and tear up the track while under fire from the neighboring forts and within several hours the reaction forces would come up and drive them off and I expect the track to be repaired within 24 hours. That brief of a delay won’t interfere with the Sharonan advance (they certainly won’t be using just in time delivery!) and I would expect Arcanan losses to be heavy, which they can’t afford.

Nicholas
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by phillies   » Sat May 30, 2015 11:55 am

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Chopping firewood for train is slow in the steam era. Pelletizing it is slower. Not as slow as in the axe era, but... *drying* the wood for a year or two is even slower. Besides, the Sharonans almost certainly know precisely where the shallow anthracite beds are.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by bkwormlisa   » Sat May 30, 2015 2:26 pm

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The Arcanans might not have bombs, but they do have land mines. If they can get people there to plant them and find a way to make them go off when a locomotive reaches them, they could do some serious damage to the Sharonian logistics capability. Attacking locomotives would probably be more effective than tearing up tracks.

Of course, first they would have to know what a locomotive is, and how critical it is. Their prisoners undoubtedly know that, but do they? Slider cars are all individually powered. That difference could bite them hard if they don't know.

Another good tactic would to be to wreck the Traisum Cut, if they can. And if they can reach it. Putting that back together if a few switchbacks are gone would be a hell of a lot harder than replacing track, and they do know what switchbacks are. But first they'd have to get past Fort Salby.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Astelon   » Sat May 30, 2015 2:48 pm

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I don't believe there are any switchbacks in the Traisum cut. It is just one straight cut down to the level of the next universe. Collapsing the walls (demolition spells) would seal the cut at least temporally, once the Arcanas are forced out of the area, it would be dug back out.

Not sure how Arcanan land mines (trap spells) work. They may not be able to effect locomotives and armored vehicles in their current form. I am sure Arcana can develop some that will, but R&D takes time; especially when your researchers are two months communication time from the front.
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by SCC   » Sat May 30, 2015 5:18 pm

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I'll have to double check things (And I don't know which chapters to check) but from the way the geography is described I think that Fort Shalby is before the cut, so the Arcanians currently hold it
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Re: What is next at the Front
Post by Castenea   » Sat May 30, 2015 5:18 pm

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phillies wrote:Chopping firewood for train is slow in the steam era. Pelletizing it is slower. Not as slow as in the axe era, but... *drying* the wood for a year or two is even slower. Besides, the Sharonans almost certainly know precisely where the shallow anthracite beds are.

Turning wood in pellets is actually easier and quicker than chopping firewood. The greatest difficulty would be the lift required to get both the mechanism and the logs to the same place. Today wood chippers are generally run by diesel engines, although some of the smaller ones use gasoline fueled engines, and some of the big chip mills likely use three-phase traction motors, if you can get the power transmission correct there is no reason it could not be powered by water or steam. The feed mechanism is generally hydraulically powered off the engine although some have the hydraulic motor powered from the drive belts. The issue is driving the cutting drum and keeping the teeth or knives sharp. http://www.banditchippers.com/index.php ... Itemid=147
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