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Arcana attacking

"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!
Arcana attacking
Post by brnicholas   » Sun May 17, 2015 11:28 am

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I was surprised by how optimistic some of the posts in response to Snippet 2 were about Arcana's ability to stop Sharonan advances. I would like to propose a hypothetical situation to help me understand that optimism.

Sharona is advancing across an open relatively flat plain (like the US Great Plains) building a double track rail line as they go. Arcana has attempted to destroy railroad track but via a combination of running shorter but much more frequent trains to patrol the track and stationing repair crews along it every two or three hundred miles Sharona has managed to make this ineffective. The Arcanan raiders are slowing them but the track is staying open and enough supplies are getting through for the advance to continue.

The Arcanan commander has decided to hit targets more difficult to repair then railroad track over flat land. He has chosen to target a bridge over a small river at the bottom of a valley. The Sharonans recognized this bridge's value when they built it. So they built it to resist Arcanan attack and also put in fortifications for an infantry company they assigned to defend it. Both the bridge and the fortifications were planned in light of what they learned about the Arcanans from Fallen Timbers and Fort Salby.

My question is what forces does Arcana need to deploy to destroy this bridge and what kind of losses are they likely to take in the process? Destroying the Sharonan company is a nice bonus but isn't necessary.

I'm optimistic about Sharonan advances because I don't see any way for Arcana to do this without taking significant losses themselves or using a one time trick which the Sharonans will be prepared for next time. Other people here seem to see a way, could you enlighten me regarding what that is?

Thanks,
Nicholas
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by PeterZ   » Sun May 17, 2015 11:58 am

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I believe you might have a point, Nicholas. If the Arcanans lose a battle dragon for every bridge and Sharonan infantry company destroyed, who suffers more? At 20 some odd years to replace a battle dragon Sharona would count such an exchange rate acceptable.
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 18, 2015 12:52 pm

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Steam trains require water and fuel as well as mechanical repair stations and signals to control train traffic.

These require numerous stations to provide them.

They also require lots of small bridges to cross creeks, gully's and other small/intermittent water courses even in nominally "flat" terrain.

All are extremely vulnerable to dragon interdiction either by direct attack or by air-lifted raiding units,

This is what military railways do for you --

Military Railways
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... ailway.htm

"What exactly did steam power do for military logistics? Obviously, a railroad train could carry more tons of cargo than a mule-drawn wagon, but this alone did not confer any logistical advantage, for one could make up the difference in tonnage simply by adding more mules and wagons. The steam locomotive's advantage resided in the fact that it could haul more supplies farther on a given amount of fuel. A team of six mules drawing a wagon carrying 1.5 tons of supplies could travel approximately 333 miles on one ton of food. Multiplying 1.5 tons by 333 miles yields 500 ton-miles of transport capacity generated by that ton of mule forage. In contrast, a Civil War-era freight locomotive could travel only thirty-five miles or so on a ton of fuel, but its payload could be as high as 150 tons, yielding 5,250 ton-miles per ton of fuel consumed. (Steamboats, incidently, did even better.)

Trains, moreover, traveled about five times faster than mule-drawn wagons, which not only expedited the delivery of supplies but actually reduced the number of supply vehicles required. Faster travel meant more round trips in a given time, which meant that fewer vehicles were needed to maintain the required flow of supplies. Faster travel also meant that cargoes, be they men or supplies, arrived at the front in better condition. Troops traveling by train rather than on foot experienced less fatigue and fewer instances of straggling and desertion, even though the freight cars used for most troop movements were anything but comfortable. Supplies hauled by rail were more likely to reach the troops in useable condition, owing both to the speed of delivery and to the shelter afforded by enclosed railroad cars.

In sum, the advent of the steam-powered railroad boosted logistical output by at least a factor of ten. Such a dramatic development was bound to have a major impact on strategy in the American Civil War. Most notably, the railroad increased enormously the geographical scale of military operations. An army supplied by railroad could operate effectively even when hundreds of miles from its main base of supply. Such a capability allowed the waging of war on a continental scale, enabling armies to conduct campaigns that would have been unthinkable with wagon-haul logistics. Railroads also permitted armies to become larger. In previous North American wars, armies of 30,000 taxed the limits of wagon-haul logistics and local requisition. But in 1864, Major General William T. Sherman waged an offensive campaign with an army of 100,000 men and 35,000 animals. His supply line consisted of a single-track railroad extending 473 miles from Atlanta to his main supply base at Louisville. Sherman estimated that this rail line did the work of 36,800 wagons and 220,800 mules!
"



This is what raiders could do to a railway --


The Impact of Railroads on Warfare During the American Civil War
by david.hollis on February 16, 2010

http://www.brettschulte.net/CWBlog/2010 ... civil-war/

"Part of the Union army strategy was to attack and divide the Confederacy into non-supporting and isolated zones by cutting water and existing rail transportation lines. Lincoln recognized early in the conflict that Richmond could be isolated by severing the Confederacy’s main east-west rail lines. The most significant rail line in the South was laid across Tennessee, providing the main connection from the western states of the Confederacy with their national capital in Richmond. Cutting east-west communication lines by destroying or capturing rail bridges in Tennessee and across the Mississippi river; attacking and capturing rail centers such as Atlanta, Jackson, Chattanooga, Corinth, and Petersburg; and retaining (through military occupation) key border states (Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia) that contained critical east-west rail lines were three vital parts of the Union national war strategy. For example, in Missouri (a key border state): “Fremont’s great design was to invade the deep South, but first he had to secure Missouri. The northeastern part of the state, along the line of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad and up on nearly to the Iowa line, was racked by guerrilla warfare, with innumerable bands of night riders swirling sporadically cross country, wrecking bridges…Radiating out from St. Louis toward Confederate territory were three railroads. One followed the Missouri River to Jefferson City, sending a tentacle sixty miles beyond to Sedalia; the second went southwest to Rolla, haven for the defeated army; and the third ran seventy-five miles south to Ironton, in the hills…” (John Keegan, A History of Warfare).


The Confederate army was equally focused on cutting the lines of communication for the Union army. Raiders such as Mosby, Morgan, and Forest raided deep into Union territory in order to destroy the fixed rail facilities (water tenders, locomotives, stations, rail lines, bridges, maintenance yards, repair stockpiles, etc….) that were required to move the troops and supplies needed by the Union strategy. A large number of Union troops were diverted from offensive operations to defend these vulnerable fixed facilities. As late as July 1864, Confederate raiders were still “destroying railroads and bridges east of the South Mountain ridge and the long suffering Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was asking the Navy if it could send gunboats to protect railroad property in the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay.” (Bruce Catton, A Stillness at Appomattox), Union engineers were to expend considerable resources building a large number of rail lines and spurs during the war, both to rapidly replace those destroyed by Confederate raiders and to improve/redirect for military purposes existing facilities originally designed to move commercial goods to market."



The Arcanians have 100-to-150 mph (161-to-214 KPH) vertical/short take off dragons airlift that can emplace 40 mph Unicorn mounted troops behind Sharonan lines.

Unicorn mounted troops that can have magical flame and lightning throwers as well as engineering spells that can drop bridges as effectively as explosives.

And they also have deception spells to cover their movements.

I suggest you read the following in that light.

Railroad Generalship: Foundations of Civil War Strategy
www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA445773

Railroad's Critical Role in the Civil War
Originally published by America's Civil War magazine 1996
Published Online: June 12, 2006
http://www.historynet.com/railroads-cri ... il-war.htm


brnicholas wrote:I was surprised by how optimistic some of the posts in response to Snippet 2 were about Arcana's ability to stop Sharonan advances. I would like to propose a hypothetical situation to help me understand that optimism.

Sharona is advancing across an open relatively flat plain (like the US Great Plains) building a double track rail line as they go. Arcana has attempted to destroy railroad track but via a combination of running shorter but much more frequent trains to patrol the track and stationing repair crews along it every two or three hundred miles Sharona has managed to make this ineffective. The Arcanan raiders are slowing them but the track is staying open and enough supplies are getting through for the advance to continue.

The Arcanan commander has decided to hit targets more difficult to repair then railroad track over flat land. He has chosen to target a bridge over a small river at the bottom of a valley. The Sharonans recognized this bridge's value when they built it. So they built it to resist Arcanan attack and also put in fortifications for an infantry company they assigned to defend it. Both the bridge and the fortifications were planned in light of what they learned about the Arcanans from Fallen Timbers and Fort Salby.

My question is what forces does Arcana need to deploy to destroy this bridge and what kind of losses are they likely to take in the process? Destroying the Sharonan company is a nice bonus but isn't necessary.

I'm optimistic about Sharonan advances because I don't see any way for Arcana to do this without taking significant losses themselves or using a one time trick which the Sharonans will be prepared for next time. Other people here seem to see a way, could you enlighten me regarding what that is?

Thanks,
Nicholas
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 18, 2015 1:03 pm

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I suggest folks go here, look at the railway map and read General Sherman and his command staff reports on railways supporting Sherman's Atlanta campaign with railroads.


Railroads and the Making of Modern America
The Atlanta Campaign of 1864

http://railroads.unl.edu/views/item/1864rr

"In a recent paper before the U. S. Army Command and Staff College, Christopher Gabel argued that Union commanders practiced a form of "Railroad Generalship" and in so doing structured their campaigns and their strategy around the railroads. Railroads increased the scale of operations, he points out, so much so that Sherman's managed to supply an army of 100,000 men and 35,000 animals over a single line of railway extending 473 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, to Atlanta. Without the rail his army would have required over 36,000 wagons and 220,000 mules. Other historians too have suggested the importance of the railroad in Civil War tactics and logistics, including John C. Clark Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat (Lousiana State University Press, 2001), George Edgar Turner, Victory Rode the Rails: The Strategic Place of Railroads in the Civil War (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992, 1953), and Robert C. Black, The Railroads of the Confederacy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1952).

But "railroad generalship" in the Atlanta Campaign extended the reach of modern warfare far beyond the realm of logistics and supply. Just as railroad development did across the country decades earlier, the campaign became for Northern commanders a far-reaching attempt to reshape the social and physical environment of an entire region--the American South. To defeat the South Sherman thought he needed to master the region's complex nature, that is, to dominate, control, and comprehend its landscape, and its people. No one did this more effectively or thoroughly than Sherman, who, for his part, called forth geographical knowledge from twenty years earlier and assembled information on the railroads, distances, networks, topography, and characteristic of every local setting his army occupied. This intense geographic vision became the defining feature of his "railroad generalship."

Despite a war fought on a grand scale, made possible by the extensive railroad network, Union commanders in 1864 took a more intensive approach. The military reports of the Union Army commanders reveal the intensely local vision they held of the campaign and its structure around the railroads.



The picture provided at the related link --

Burning the Railroad Bridge at Resaca, Georgia

This image from the July 2, 1864 issue of Harper's Weekly depicts Union soldiers under the command of General William T. Sherman destroying a railroad bridge at Resaca, Georgia during the American Civil War.

http://railroads.unl.edu/documents/view ... l.str.0222

Answers why many of us are pessimistic on the speed of Sharona's advance versus Dragon airpower.
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 18, 2015 1:16 pm

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See also below and imagine the Arab raiders had dragon airlift, demolition spells and unicorn cavalry --

Lawrence of Arabia
Arab Warfare

http://www.pbs.org/lawrenceofarabia/rev ... fare3.html


" Hitting where it hurt
Lacking men and material to engage a regular army in major battle, Lawrence encouraged small-unit tactics, raids by 100 or 200 tribesmen, against the Turks.

Employing the smallest force, in the quickest time, at the farthest place, Lawrence's hit-and-run tactics in what he called this "war of detachment" caused maximum disruption to the Turks with minimum Arab casualties.

Explosives
With the Ottoman army spread thinly across the empty vastness of the Arabian Peninsula, the Hejaz Arabs found it relatively easy to strike and sabotage Turkish lines of communication and supply. With the Red Sea firmly in British hands, the Turks had no option but to use the Hejaz railway to move their men, supplies and munitions.

Lawrence and the Arabs spent much of their two years on the road to Damascus destroying sections of the railway. Small units of men laid charges on the track. Then as the Turks defended the track, Lawrence's men formed large moving columns capable of rapid hit-and-run operations.

It was a war of attrition; Lawrence used fewer people to attack and sabotage than the Turks had to repair the tracks. He favored complicated explosions that required time-consuming repairs. A particular favourite was the 'tulip bomb', named for twisting tracks so that they could not be straightened.

An alternative was to 'walk' the track out of service. To cut the line, 20 men walked along the track, lifted rails and threw them away which they repeated mile after mile. Bridges were blown up to shatter rather than crumble as they consumed more man-hours to fix. Drainage holes in the masonry were particularly useful for explosives.

Blowing up trains was a very tricky operation but worked best with ordinary explosives laid in parallel along the track fired electrically by an observer."
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 18, 2015 2:02 pm

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Thank you for the posts and links, MTB.

The difference between both Lawrence's and Sherman's marches are logistics. Sherman had a secure supply line and the resources to keep it secure. Lawrence did not have to project force. His forces came from the area for the most part.

Arecana has to project force well past their secure and established supply lines. Fort Salby guards a pretty defensible bottleneck. Sharona doesn't have to defend their lines until Fort Salby and the Arcanans change that without taking Fort Salby first. Further, there are more Sharonans between Fort Salby and Hell's Gate than Arcanans. Those Arab insurgents better describe Sharonans who want a piece of the Arcanan invaders.

Sneak a couple of snipers with .50 Cal rifles close to the Dragon pens and 20 years of investment dies with each round between the eyes or in the eyes. Send enough frontiersmen so armed and enough will find their way deep enough to kill dragons. Better yet guard each potential railroad target with 3-4 snipers hidden and armed dragon killer rifles. How soon before dragon assisted attacks on railroads are counterindicated?

Even if the dragons are tougher to kill even with .50 cal sniper rifles, are the riders as well protected? While attacking, probably. On the ground while tending to the beasts? Not so much.
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 18, 2015 2:21 pm

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Peter Z.

Mobility is a weapon all its own in a low force density conflict.

Unicorns, heavy horse and even griffins are a great deal more expendable than dragons and all were air-lifted tens of thousands of miles to Ft Salby.

Air-landed and air-resupplied Unicorn cavalry puts paid to most of your countermeasures.

Arcanian forces can live off the land far better than those of Sharona for the simple reason of dragon speed, range and mobility from food sources.

Consider what the bison herds of the North American great plains, the herds of the African savanna or Eurasian step, or whale spawning grounds off of several continents means for Dragon resupply.

They all represent dragon resupply based that can be 100 miles from the nearest rail line in a near virgin universe to drop off raiding forces to ravage railway lines.

No Sharonan horse cavalry force can catch a unicorn cavalry force, nor can any number of railway covering .50 caliber sniper rifles deal with night time raiders.

Arcania will have to pay a great deal to learn these lessons, but they will and Sharona's offensive's will slow down over time reflecting that.


PeterZ wrote:Thank you for the posts and links, MTB.

The difference between both Lawrence's and Sherman's marches are logistics. Sherman had a secure supply line and the resources to keep it secure. Lawrence did not have to project force. His forces came from the area for the most part.

Arecana has to project force well past their secure and established supply lines. Fort Salby guards a pretty defensible bottleneck. Sharona doesn't have to defend their lines until Fort Salby and the Arcanans change that without taking Fort Salby first. Further, there are more Sharonans between Fort Salby and Hell's Gate than Arcanans. Those Arab insurgents better describe Sharonans who want a piece of the Arcanan invaders.

Sneak a couple of snipers with .50 Cal rifles close to the Dragon pens and 20 years of investment dies with each round between the eyes or in the eyes. Send enough frontiersmen so armed and enough will find their way deep enough to kill dragons. Better yet guard each potential railroad target with 3-4 snipers hidden and armed dragon killer rifles. How soon before dragon assisted attacks on railroads are counterindicated?
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Re: Arcana attacking-spoiler
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 18, 2015 2:35 pm

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spoiler
Mil-tech bard wrote:Peter Z.

Mobility is a weapon all its own in a low force density conflict.

Unicorns, heavy horse and even griffins are a great deal more expendable than dragons and all were air-lifted tens of thousands of miles to Ft Salby.

Air-landed and air-resupplied Unicorn cavalry puts paid to most of your countermeasures.

Arcanian forces can live off the land far better than those of Sharona for the simple reason of dragon speed, range and mobility from food sources.

Consider what the bison herds of the North American great plains, the herds of the African savanna or Eurasian step, or whale spawning grounds off of several continents means for Dragon resupply.

They all represent dragon resupply based that can be 100 miles from the nearest rail line in a near virgin universe to drop off raiding forces to ravage railway lines.

No Sharonan horse cavalry force can catch a unicorn cavalry force, nor can any number of railway covering .50 caliber sniper rifles deal with night time raiders.

Arcania will have to pay a great deal to learn these lessons, but they will and Sharona's offensive's will slow down over time reflecting that.


I love your posts, MTB. They indicate just how much fund these books will be to read.

A bit of outside information I picked up a couple of years back. RFC is playing around with steam tanks and other applications of steam to mechanized warfare. I thought he wanted to use this for Safehold, but that storyline does not appear to be advanced enough to include steam powered mechanized cavalry or infantry. Sharona, now, might fit that bill nicely.

Steam tanks and APCs against your unicorns will be fun to read about. Unlike IC engines, Sharona has a very well developed steam tech base. Dragons drop the heavy ground forces far away and let the ground forces approach the Sharonan mech forces. A bit more even sounding to me. Dragons get too close and they die. The big question is how evenly matched are the ground forces? I can't wait to find out.
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Re: Arcana attacking
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Tue May 19, 2015 2:20 pm

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No, the Arcanans will *not* choose targets based on
how difficult they are to repair.
They will avoid targets that are *defended* and will
choose targets that are *not* defended.
Over three or four *hundred* miles of railroad,
there must be many such targets!

The presence of a Sharonan company ... or platoon ...
or five men waving flags (well, maybe not that) ...
will cause the Arcanans to reject that bridge as a
target. There are plenty of other bridges, after all,
in four hundred miles. Then there are all of those
miles of rails laid on level ground, which can be
pulled up, flown away, and deposited a hundred miles
to the side of the road, in a place that requires
more than a cursory search to find.
In short, "Hit them where they ain't!"

Those "more frequent trains" could run every fifteen
minutes, and still not be frequent enough to cover
the entire railroad, all of the time. The Arcanans
need only watch from a distance till a train passes,
dash in and grab three or four rails (or even one!),
and then the next train will be delayed an extra five
or ten minutes to replace them.
That will give the Arcanans 20 or 25 minutes to make
the next raid, and steal six or eight rails.
Nuff said?

HTM

brnicholas wrote:I was surprised by how optimistic some of the posts in response to Snippet 2 were about Arcana's ability to stop Sharonan advances. I would like to propose a hypothetical situation to help me understand that optimism.

Sharona is advancing across an open relatively flat plain (like the US Great Plains) building a double track rail line as they go. Arcana has attempted to destroy railroad track but via a combination of running shorter but much more frequent trains to patrol the track and stationing repair crews along it every two or three hundred miles Sharona has managed to make this ineffective. The Arcanan raiders are slowing them but the track is staying open and enough supplies are getting through for the advance to continue.

The Arcanan commander has decided to hit targets more difficult to repair then railroad track over flat land. He has chosen to target a bridge over a small river at the bottom of a valley. The Sharonans recognized this bridge's value when they built it. So they built it to resist Arcanan attack and also put in fortifications for an infantry company they assigned to defend it. Both the bridge and the fortifications were planned in light of what they learned about the Arcanans from Fallen Timbers and Fort Salby.

My question is what forces does Arcana need to deploy to destroy this bridge and what kind of losses are they likely to take in the process? Destroying the Sharonan company is a nice bonus but isn't necessary.

I'm optimistic about Sharonan advances because I don't see any way for Arcana to do this without taking significant losses themselves or using a one time trick which the Sharonans will be prepared for next time. Other people here seem to see a way, could you enlighten me regarding what that is?

Thanks,
Nicholas
Top
Re: Arcana attacking
Post by PeterZ   » Tue May 19, 2015 2:41 pm

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Posts: 6228
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

Quite right, Howard. I do wonder how many snipers armed with a .50 caliber 8-10x scoped rifle would it take to generate 50% odds of having one within effective range of a visiting dragon? If every other attack on the unguarded railroad risks one dead dragon, how long will the Arcanans continue to risk this?

If the amount of resources is small enough, what will it take to increase the odds to 75% or 100%? Will it be worth it to risk the snipers in order to get a shot at the dragons? At one point getting a shot at dragons will be more important than protecting the railroad.

In other words shooting dragons is a twofer. It harms the Arcanan transport ability as well as protects the railroad. Sending hoards of snipers to patrol the railroads to shoot dragons would be a good thing even if the dragons still tear up the railroad. So long as enough dragons are killed tearing up the tracks.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:No, the Arcanans will *not* choose targets based on
how difficult they are to repair.
They will avoid targets that are *defended* and will
choose targets that are *not* defended.
Over three or four *hundred* miles of railroad,
there must be many such targets!

The presence of a Sharonan company ... or platoon ...
or five men waving flags (well, maybe not that) ...
will cause the Arcanans to reject that bridge as a
target. There are plenty of other bridges, after all,
in four hundred miles. Then there are all of those
miles of rails laid on level ground, which can be
pulled up, flown away, and deposited a hundred miles
to the side of the road, in a place that requires
more than a cursory search to find.
In short, "Hit them where they ain't!"

Those "more frequent trains" could run every fifteen
minutes, and still not be frequent enough to cover
the entire railroad, all of the time. The Arcanans
need only watch from a distance till a train passes,
dash in and grab three or four rails (or even one!),
and then the next train will be delayed an extra five
or ten minutes to replace them.
That will give the Arcanans 20 or 25 minutes to make
the next raid, and steal six or eight rails.
Nuff said?

HTM
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