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Tanks on Safehold

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Erls   » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:44 pm

Erls
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zyffyr wrote:
Erls wrote:**Snipped**


There are several critical difference that allow flags to work for Naval warfare but leave them functionally useless for directing Armor.

1)Line of sight -
A naval taskforce generally doesn't have to worry about part of the unit on the other side of a hill - even a mound of dirt or a wall a few feet taller than the tank is going to be an issue. Smoke and night fighting are the only major impediments.

2)Command complications -
The variety of commands you are likely to want to issue in a ground fight are far more varied than in a navy fight. Naval battles generally don't need to issue commands like "3rd squad swing around behind that hill to look for their artillery", and due to the differences in speed/maneuverability/distances when you DO need to issue them you can do a fully spelled out semaphore massage.

3)Keeping track of the commander -
In general, naval battles are fought in formations and each ship knows where they are supposed to be. That means that the ships spotter has a fair idea where they should start looking to find the command ship for messages. Nice neat formations in a tank battle pretty much mean either "our opposition is too weak to hurt the tanks" or "I am playing Warhammer 40K"


1) We don't know the topography of much of Safehold to assume this is true. We do know that many of their forests are largely impassable to any largish group of people, meaning any tank of be of next to zero use there. I can think of many types of terrain that would be common in Safehold - think rolling farmland with scattered trees, plains, or desert - where my proposed communication system would be a work-able do-around for pre-engagement orders.

2) Again, you don't need to micromanage the tanks. With the Zeppelins, Charis could easily work out a "super-seeder command", where a message is flashed to the Zeppelin and then a combination of rockets orders a group of tanks to Stop, Push, Go Left, or Go Right. Say you have three different groupings of tank: The first zeppelin rocket would have a black trail and either 1, 2, or 3 would be fired to say which tank grouping. The second rocket would either be red, green, blue, or orange, to correspond with stop, go, right, left. Not fool-proof, but a way to relay signals across distances. From there you trust your commanders on the ground to know their assignments and not take unnecessary risk.

3) This would be a problem, is no reason not to try it. Especially if you had over-arching orders that, when a tank cannot find its commander to follow its orders, it is to hold in place (or retreat if by itself). This may leave infantry unsupported - by they would be unsupported if tanks were not around. It would at best try to prevent tanks from racing too far ahead and getting chopped up, by ordering them to retreat if something goes wrong.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:30 pm

Dilandu
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Erls wrote:
3) This would be a problem, is no reason not to try it. Especially if you had over-arching orders that, when a tank cannot find its commander to follow its orders, it is to hold in place (or retreat if by itself). This may leave infantry unsupported - by they would be unsupported if tanks were not around. It would at best try to prevent tanks from racing too far ahead and getting chopped up, by ordering them to retreat if something goes wrong.


Considering that the main role of the tanks is to support infantry, it make more sense to tie tanks WITH infantry, rather than with other tanks.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Silverwall   » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 pm

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To be honest given the scale of most ground warfare to date which is more reminiscent of WW1 eastern front than the much smaller western front I feel tanks are a logistical luxury not much needed. I feel a good 4x4 or 6 wheeled armoured car with no more than a MG to act as fast cavalry scouts would be a vastly better use of Charisian industrial capacity and would be significantly more reliable in most situations.
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