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How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST

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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by evilauthor   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:56 pm

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Additionally, the balloons came as a complete surprise to the Church forces. So the initial defenses had ZERO thought given to camouflaging them against aerial observers, making it easy for the spotters to find targets.

And later, ad hoc anti-aerial camo thrown up as the Church retreated was more often than not too bad to be effective.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:58 am

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This idea of aerial directed gunnery suddenly turning early twentieth century guns into precision slaughtering machines is...misguided.

Let us imagine you are a bright Charisian lad, schooled in your numbers and the natural sciences, and you’re a balloon observer. This is your situation:

You are sitting in a wind pushed balloon about a mile above the ground and a mile behind. The tethers keep you centered, but at any moment your exact position is quite variable. Which, now that you think on it, can also be said of the tethers. After all, a decade ago the idea of precision cartography was you knew how many days, with rough mileage, there were between cities. A few very specific ports and the like might have exact charts, but even those were the best guess of someone with a measure and basic arithmetic and a splash of geometry done with survey tools. That were honestly only “ok” for marking out who owned what field. But anyhow, the smartest engineers and map makers kind of think they know where you are.

They’ve even given you a map. It is far more accurate here on the ICA side of the line, but everyone admits that the farther towards the church you go, the more it’s speculation other than “there be a canal and some raids that look like this. A few educated guesses say they’re about yay long”.

So here you are, a mile up and a mile or more back, staring at a semi-accurate map and hoping that you’re actually where you think you are. You are busily trying to distinguish which brown furrow is what in the ground. And though you’re in the air, you’re really not that high. So the reverse slopes of hills, larger woods, really anything that cuts you’re twenty degree advantage is still blocking you. To add to the matter the people you’re looking for tend to be spattered in mid and dressed in drab colors, and they have equipment that is some variety of gun metal grey and “muddy wood”.

Still, you can basically make out the front, you can see the hills, and if enough dots move together, vaguest troop movements. The haze, morning fog, trying to identify things against a backdrop...the mark one eyeball is failing you. But you have Charisian Optics! You hurriedly pull them to your eyes to see what that pile of possible dots is.

You world is now seen through a swaying soda straw. Eight power certainly helps you identify what you think are rocket carts. Three of them! No, five! No, dammit, you miscounted when you swung out the far right, it’s really just three. Probably. Unless you’re wrong. You count again. Definitely four this time once you manage to center them in the glass (the fourth might be a bush in hindsight, but screw it, you aren’t counting again).

Now to call it in!

Well. Huh. Where are they from here? Can’t very well say “about half a mile south of the big woods and beyond the second enemy ridge”. Good enough for knowing, great way to spend the next hour blaring chunks out of mud for artillery spotting.

You get out your compass. Try to shoot a decent azimuth. In your swaying balloon. With a compass that is hopefully accurate to within a few degrees after the human error kicks in. Magnetic declination probably has a lot to do with this, but who k owns exactly what the magnetic declination is here? So you have an angle to them. From you. Sort of.

Only using the compass took your eyes off the optics. So now you re-verify by reinspecting through your glass. Shit. You drifted a few meters and now you’re off center. Is your angle even good anymore? You had to swing the glass a few more degrees...but you’ll do this all day if you keep it up. Have to go with what you’ve got.

Now to call in the range. Well, this handy map says the ridge you are using for a reference is “about” three miles away. And they’re...oh, who the hell can estimate the distance? You can’t even keep the ridge and the rockets in the same picture. A bit of dogged experience, hopeful geometry, and guess work has you add five hundred yards along the angle. Who knows, if you’re really good, you even got that range right to within a few hundred.

So you write this all up and send it down balloon to be used for target to g. We’ll leave aside that the battery has all the same problems as you location finding wise. You know they should shoot...sometime. You hear a boom! You shove your eye to the glass!

And see...nothing. Did they miscalculate? Did you? Is the shell still on the way? Did you just not see it burst? Was it a dud? Who knows...you send another message “unobserved. Repeat”

And so you do. You see the round this time. Good start. It missed. Not unexpected. But not you can adjust. How far did it miss by? Well, you can kind of guess, but you’ll probably just add and drop range until eventually range wise the shell lands close enough. Left and right? Pure guesswork. Your optics have basic angled declination, but as good as Charisian industry is, range marks on optics are still not millimeter precise marks. More of a pretty good measurement. So it’ll take a few adjustments left and right before you get it.

Of course, you’re still drifting back and forth on the tethers. Every adjustment you send is from a slightly different angle. And with a slightly different reference to what is “range” versus “left and right”.

You’ll get there though! Might take a touch, and you may over under more than you want...plus God Knows if the battery is falling out of well, battery, but you’ll get there.

Many corrections later, you make up for the bad angles, the basic optics, the most estimates, the shifting point of observation, and whatever errors the gunners made, and you land a round nearby.

You send the message to hit your target!

Guns roar! Wagon loads of them! You dump over two hundred rounds of the 3 inch guns on the evil enemy! And....

Have no idea what damage you’ve done. You see an overturned rocket wagon. Some bodies. Hard to count. Well, we’ll call that a kill shall we?

(Incidentally, assuming that the battery fired 288 rounds, and the rockets were manned by seventy or so men, you probably actually killed all three carriages. And just shy of twenty men. Unless they dig in. Then you killed/wounded about eight men and one rocket carriage. I’m giving you credit for 2018 fuses and shells. )
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:55 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:This idea of aerial directed gunnery suddenly turning early twentieth century guns into precision slaughtering machines is...misguided.

Let us imagine you are a bright Charisian lad, schooled in your numbers and the natural sciences, and you’re a balloon observer. This is your situation:

You are sitting in a wind pushed balloon about a mile above the ground and a mile behind. The tethers keep you centered, but at any moment your exact position is quite variable. Which, now that you think on it, can also be said of the tethers. After all, a decade ago the idea of precision cartography was you knew how many days, with rough mileage, there were between cities. A few very specific ports and the like might have exact charts, but even those were the best guess of someone with a measure and basic arithmetic and a splash of geometry done with survey tools. That were honestly only “ok” for marking out who owned what field. But anyhow, the smartest engineers and map makers kind of think they know where you are.

They’ve even given you a map. It is far more accurate here on the ICA side of the line, but everyone admits that the farther towards the church you go, the more it’s speculation other than “there be a canal and some raids that look like this. A few educated guesses say they’re about yay long”.

So here you are, a mile up and a mile or more back, staring at a semi-accurate map and hoping that you’re actually where you think you are. You are busily trying to distinguish which brown furrow is what in the ground. And though you’re in the air, you’re really not that high. So the reverse slopes of hills, larger woods, really anything that cuts you’re twenty degree advantage is still blocking you. To add to the matter the people you’re looking for tend to be spattered in mid and dressed in drab colors, and they have equipment that is some variety of gun metal grey and “muddy wood”.

Still, you can basically make out the front, you can see the hills, and if enough dots move together, vaguest troop movements. The haze, morning fog, trying to identify things against a backdrop...the mark one eyeball is failing you. But you have Charisian Optics! You hurriedly pull them to your eyes to see what that pile of possible dots is.

You world is now seen through a swaying soda straw. Eight power certainly helps you identify what you think are rocket carts. Three of them! No, five! No, dammit, you miscounted when you swung out the far right, it’s really just three. Probably. Unless you’re wrong. You count again. Definitely four this time once you manage to center them in the glass (the fourth might be a bush in hindsight, but screw it, you aren’t counting again).

Now to call it in!

Well. Huh. Where are they from here? Can’t very well say “about half a mile south of the big woods and beyond the second enemy ridge”. Good enough for knowing, great way to spend the next hour blaring chunks out of mud for artillery spotting.

You get out your compass. Try to shoot a decent azimuth. In your swaying balloon. With a compass that is hopefully accurate to within a few degrees after the human error kicks in. Magnetic declination probably has a lot to do with this, but who k owns exactly what the magnetic declination is here? So you have an angle to them. From you. Sort of.

Only using the compass took your eyes off the optics. So now you re-verify by reinspecting through your glass. Shit. You drifted a few meters and now you’re off center. Is your angle even good anymore? You had to swing the glass a few more degrees...but you’ll do this all day if you keep it up. Have to go with what you’ve got.

Now to call in the range. Well, this handy map says the ridge you are using for a reference is “about” three miles away. And they’re...oh, who the hell can estimate the distance? You can’t even keep the ridge and the rockets in the same picture. A bit of dogged experience, hopeful geometry, and guess work has you add five hundred yards along the angle. Who knows, if you’re really good, you even got that range right to within a few hundred.

So you write this all up and send it down balloon to be used for target to g. We’ll leave aside that the battery has all the same problems as you location finding wise. You know they should shoot...sometime. You hear a boom! You shove your eye to the glass!

And see...nothing. Did they miscalculate? Did you? Is the shell still on the way? Did you just not see it burst? Was it a dud? Who knows...you send another message “unobserved. Repeat”

And so you do. You see the round this time. Good start. It missed. Not unexpected. But not you can adjust. How far did it miss by? Well, you can kind of guess, but you’ll probably just add and drop range until eventually range wise the shell lands close enough. Left and right? Pure guesswork. Your optics have basic angled declination, but as good as Charisian industry is, range marks on optics are still not millimeter precise marks. More of a pretty good measurement. So it’ll take a few adjustments left and right before you get it.

Of course, you’re still drifting back and forth on the tethers. Every adjustment you send is from a slightly different angle. And with a slightly different reference to what is “range” versus “left and right”.

You’ll get there though! Might take a touch, and you may over under more than you want...plus God Knows if the battery is falling out of well, battery, but you’ll get there.

Many corrections later, you make up for the bad angles, the basic optics, the most estimates, the shifting point of observation, and whatever errors the gunners made, and you land a round nearby.

You send the message to hit your target!

Guns roar! Wagon loads of them! You dump over two hundred rounds of the 3 inch guns on the evil enemy! And....

Have no idea what damage you’ve done. You see an overturned rocket wagon. Some bodies. Hard to count. Well, we’ll call that a kill shall we?

(Incidentally, assuming that the battery fired 288 rounds, and the rockets were manned by seventy or so men, you probably actually killed all three carriages. And just shy of twenty men. Unless they dig in. Then you killed/wounded about eight men and one rocket carriage. I’m giving you credit for 2018 fuses and shells. )


Nice piece of fiction, but balloon observers were invaluable in World War One. The expression 'the balloon's gone up' comes from that era; the balloons were sent up before any major artillery bombardment, and that usually meant an attack was on the way.

Round balloons are indeed unstable; kite balloons are designed to stay steady and allow accurate observations to be made.

RFC hasn't simply made the Balloon Corps up - he's based it on WW1, then imagined a situation where only one side has aerial reconnaissance.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:42 pm

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It most certainly is a real thing. And even with electricity carrying instructions it produces the following results:

Counter battery was not usually sufficient to kill other artillery. Hence the German preference for firing a green cross/blue cross mix later in the war. Contaminating the guns provided longer “down time” than suppressive fires did. Even wth full aerial superiority.

Allied staffs had a planning factor: any attack supported by less than 600 tons of shells per kilometer of front was expected to fail. You didn’t reach “major attack will definitely succeed” till somewhere in the 900s. Laser designated killing it was not.

Aerial reconnaissance photos were usually used to pre-plan fires. Not “best guesses”.

Germans by 1916 had realized that reverse slopes could shield everyone in the second and third resistance lines, including forming counterattacks, from the attacker’s supporting artillery. Hence the early beginnings of the mobile defense that would become far more visible with mechanization decades later. Sounds like balloons weren’t that great at seeing the rear after all.

Even by 1918 with beginning of synchronized combined arms, it took literally millions of shells fired in support of advancing forces. This included meticulous use of recon flight photography. The allies would basically spend their stockpile, advance a few miles (Which for WWI is quite a lot) and then have to pause and restock.

So...even with actual photographs, telegraphs, and phone lines aerial observation was far, far, from magic. For many of the reasons described in my fictitious example.

But we’re supposed to bribe three balloons turn the ICA artillery into an unstoppable trench smashing force that can completely deny the rear? Yeah...methinks the protagonists are getting some plot warheads on those guns.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:31 am

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Balloons allow pre-registration of the guns prior to the main bombardment, they do not need to deliver real-time info to have a massive effect on the battlefield. In fact even in WW1 they were mainly used for this and observation of troop movements behind the lines as they could communicate these observations faster than aircraft being far far more stable and having a line down which message cans can be dropped.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Keith_w   » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:41 am

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<Snipped for Brevity>

GloriousRuse wrote:Germans by 1916 had realized that reverse slopes could shield everyone in the second and third resistance lines, including forming counterattacks, from the attacker’s supporting artillery. Hence the early beginnings of the mobile defense that would become far more visible with mechanization decades later. Sounds like balloons weren’t that great at seeing the rear after all.

You mean kind of like Wellington did at Waterloo when he used the reverse slope to conceal his troops from Napoleon's (former artillery officer) artillery fire until they were guarded by the advancing French columns?
--
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:26 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:Germans by 1916 had realized that reverse slopes could shield everyone in the second and third resistance lines, including forming counterattacks, from the attacker’s supporting artillery.


I think your analysis is good, but you missed a few points that apply to Safehold but nor WWI

1: Charisian artillery doesn't have to be 100% precise to defeat COGA earthworks; it just has to be perceived as too accurate to survive by COGA troops. The Balloon Corps Only has to double the artillery's accuracy (halve the CEP, if you're familiar with that metric) to give the impression of "demonic accuracy."

2: Charisian Artillery only overwhelmed COGA trenches for a short period; long enough to establish a reputation for uncanny accuracy in the minds of COGA troops.

3: Rainbow Waters came to the same conclusions as the German Army on the Western Front in much less time than WWI. The rest of the COGA, not so much. Successive lines set by Rainbow Waters weren't as vulnerable as the rest of the COGA, but Charis broke through the gaps and flanked the COGA except for RW and the Mighty Host.

4: IIRC, COGA trenches were not the deep entrenchments of WWI, or even the Civil War trenches of Petersberg or Vicksburg. They didn't have the deep bunkers, overhead protection, blast limiting zig-zags or any of the other sophistication of a WWI trench.

5: Charis was deploying "angle guns" (aka howitzers) that have some capability to bombard reverse slopes, especially with shrapnel. More importantly, they can drop shells over earth works directly into trenches; It doesn't take a great percentage of shells directly into trenches to create the perception that all of the shells are direct hits. It also doesn't take a great many direct hits in poorly designed, unsophisticated trenches to cause disproportionate casualties.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by GloriousRuse   » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:35 am

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@Keith: Sort of. By 1915 people on all sides had realized that direct firing artillery put the crew at vast risk in an age of rapid fire rifles. Still happened from time to time, but indirect fire (lobbing shells in big ballistic arcs rather than try g to shoot them straight at the target) became the standard. Instead of shielding directly from shells, the reverse slope allowed you to be out of the view of the real-time artillery observers (basically a WWI force was down to shouting and physical signals after it left its own trenches...and even if a a e or balloon could see you, the reaction time was far to slow to adjust fire onto you), which meant at best the enemy could fire preplanned shots with old data, hoping you were still there. This was, unsurprisingly, only effective if everything stayed completely synchronized. Murphy detests synchronization.

@Harold

1) I’ll buy that the balloons allowed registration rounds, and even precise registration for pre-planned concentrations. It’s quite another to assume it meant the COGA artillery was nullified with counterbattery and blasted away strongpoints like PGMs. It probably seemed “demonic” the first few times, but armies throughout history have adapted to far more lethal environments without shattering.

2) The classic “hurricane” bombardment ahead of assault troops. While that worked well in the east and then the ‘18 offensives, it was not terribly reliant on aerial adjustments. What isn’t clear is if the OCA actually knew how to exploit the suppression to penetrate through. It is written more as “suppression until the last minute and then assault”. Which while effective, still couldn’t deal with in depth defenses. The commo just wasn’t there. The defenders usually rallied, if not in the first line, then the second and third. It also usually resulted in close range slugging matches in the first line...an expensive proposition for Charis vs the Church. The allies had the manpower advantage by ‘18. Does the ICA?

3) Was it only RW? I may need to re-look. I thought everyone was starting to dig in pretty hard, it was only he who really understood defense in depth?

4) As above I recall reading about the church forces having basically a bunker and trench combination reminiscent of early WWI, with RW expanding it to full 1916. I could be wrong? Even so, the most basic shell scrapes reduce artillery casualties exponentially by the JMEMs...you really need 150mm+ rounds to start blowing out entrenched troops.

5) This becomes really the moral question of what fire will break people. Our history tends to indicate that the shock of fire alone is rarely decisive against a determined enemy. (The trend towards DPICM or equivalent and PGMs may have us at a tuning point ). The Chinese in Korea, for example, were smashed by aerially directed firepower many times anything the ICA had. The PICAs and Inmer Circle could dream of the shell weights involved, but no one else on safe hold could begin to comprehend it...and is still wasn’t enough to evict a dug in army.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:36 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:@Keith: Sort of. By 1915 people on all sides had realized that direct firing artillery put the crew at vast risk in an age of rapid fire rifles. Still happened from time to time, but indirect fire (lobbing shells in big ballistic arcs rather than try g to shoot them straight at the target) became the standard. Instead of shielding directly from shells, the reverse slope allowed you to be out of the view of the real-time artillery observers (basically a WWI force was down to shouting and physical signals after it left its own trenches...and even if a a e or balloon could see you, the reaction time was far to slow to adjust fire onto you), which meant at best the enemy could fire preplanned shots with old data, hoping you were still there. This was, unsurprisingly, only effective if everything stayed completely synchronized. Murphy detests synchronization.

@Harold

1) I’ll buy that the balloons allowed registration rounds, and even precise registration for pre-planned concentrations. It’s quite another to assume it meant the COGA artillery was nullified with counterbattery and blasted away strongpoints like PGMs. It probably seemed “demonic” the first few times, but armies throughout history have adapted to far more lethal environments without shattering.

2) The classic “hurricane” bombardment ahead of assault troops. While that worked well in the east and then the ‘18 offensives, it was not terribly reliant on aerial adjustments. What isn’t clear is if the OCA actually knew how to exploit the suppression to penetrate through. It is written more as “suppression until the last minute and then assault”. Which while effective, still couldn’t deal with in depth defenses. The commo just wasn’t there. The defenders usually rallied, if not in the first line, then the second and third. It also usually resulted in close range slugging matches in the first line...an expensive proposition for Charis vs the Church. The allies had the manpower advantage by ‘18. Does the ICA?

3) Was it only RW? I may need to re-look. I thought everyone was starting to dig in pretty hard, it was only he who really understood defense in depth?

4) As above I recall reading about the church forces having basically a bunker and trench combination reminiscent of early WWI, with RW expanding it to full 1916. I could be wrong? Even so, the most basic shell scrapes reduce artillery casualties exponentially by the JMEMs...you really need 150mm+ rounds to start blowing out entrenched troops.

5) This becomes really the moral question of what fire will break people. Our history tends to indicate that the shock of fire alone is rarely decisive against a determined enemy. (The trend towards DPICM or equivalent and PGMs may have us at a tuning point ). The Chinese in Korea, for example, were smashed by aerially directed firepower many times anything the ICA had. The PICAs and Inmer Circle could dream of the shell weights involved, but no one else on safe hold could begin to comprehend it...and is still wasn’t enough to evict a dug in army.


I think the point that is being missed here is that except in the case of Rainbow Waters' prepared positions in the extreme north, this was the Eastern Front in world war one, not the Western Front. I specifically pointed out in the book that it was impossible to create a contiguous line of trenches over a distance of thousands of miles, as opposed to the roughly 700 miles between Switzerland and the north sea. That means that it was much more of a war of movement. And while these were infantry armies with animal traction, the animals in question were dragons, with a much greater ability to pull heavy loads through rough terrain at a rate which probably didn't compare too badly with world war one motorized transport/traction (i.e., it was one hell of a lot better than horses and mules trying to pull artillery pieces through the bottomless mud of the no man's land which had been pulverized by both sides' artillery for two or three years).

Rainbow Waters had recognized the necessity for defense in depth. He had not allowed for the destructiveness of Charis's new artillery, and especially for TNT shell fillers (which, if you will recall, weren't used until the hurricane bombardment that ruptured his lines in a direct frontal attack. The bombardment weight that he received on that frontage was at least as heavy as in the majority of late world war one bombardments, and it was part of a precisely timed, preregistered, bombardment plan, to prepare the ground for storm trooper tactics Ludendorff would have been proud of in 1918. The follow-on fire had also been planned, and was coordinated by flares and signal rockets, observed by the spotting balloons, to control when fire made the next jump forward. We are talking here about corrections — "up 200" — not precise bearings on unregistered targets six miles behind the enemy's front.

Nahrmahn succeeded in pulling the Church's entire defensive deployment off balance by convincing the Church's leaders (especially Clyntahn) that the heavy attack would come in the south, when it actually came in the middle of their lines, where the fortifications were shallowest, where the digging in was still at an early stage, and where the front had been taken over by green troops who were only just beginning the process of familiarizing themselves with the terrain at the time of the attack.

Rainbow Waters knew that he couldn't defeat Charis and Siddarmark in a mobile campaign, and he knew that his was ultimately a losing hand. Bearing that in mind, and because frontage was so vast, his strategy was essentially to hold the chokepoints and deprive the Charisians and their allies of the mobility they had already demonstrated, especially with their mounted infantry. In the process, he hoped to bleed them so badly that they would be forced to break off the attack, at least for that year. Unlike certain world war one generals, he recognized that attrition was ultimately a losing strategy; it was simply the best one he had. His deployments, however, meant that the chokepoints — which were isolated from a contiguous line of trenches, à la world war one — were liable to being flanked and that Charis could concentrate massive, overwhelming strength on those isolated points as it chose to. It also meant that once the positions had been isolated, they could be mercilessly pounded with artillery with close observation at relatively short ranges.

Somebody pointed out that the German's had learned by 1916 to use reverse slopes and defense in depth. That's another way of saying that it took them a year and a half of experience with modern artillery to learn the lessons that were applied in 1916, and later. Rainbow Waters and the Army of God had exactly 0 experience with the sort of artillery that was brought to bear on them. Rainbow Waters was smart enough that he learned a lot of the right lessons by analyzing what Charis had already done. However, nothing that Charis had already done — and that the Church had a lot of survivors to report on — even remotely compared to what Charis did in the final campaign. The weight of fire, and the destructiveness of 10'-11'-inch, TNT-filled shells, was literally beyond even the imagination of Rainbow Waters, and even if it hadn't been, Rainbow Waters was only one man. Junior officers, enlisted men, field grade officers, other generals, were stunned by the massive weight, by the strategic misdirection, and by the sheer speed of the Charisian attack, and they had a matter of no more than a few months to digest the lessons and adjust to them.

Under the circumstances, I don't think it is at all surprising that their lines broke quickly and decisively. In fact, if there's anything remarkable, it's that the Mighty Host fought as effectively as it did.


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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by GloriousRuse   » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:27 pm

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So, a technical niggle before we begin: 11 inch guns are frickin railway cannons and naval weapons. 280mm shells are huge, their recoil is huge, the guns are huge. I think Krupp produced one battery of "light" 11 inchers that only weighed 20 tons in travel configuration. The brits I believe managed to produce a very short ranged ground variant of their naval gun that was "only" 11 tons, but was considered a direct fire weapon. I'll give it that dragons are worth four horses.

As a base measure, the classic deuce and a half has about 130hp to move 2.5 tons offroad, or 32 dragon power. You can see where this math is going...even reduced to 3 mph in fields, we're looking at 34 dragons in trace to move the Krupp gun. Moving these things is not, in any way, easy.

Anyhow....


-------------------

The East Front Comparison.

I'll absoultely agree the operational and tactical picture, minus RW, is far more East than West. Besides the comparatively larger area stretching Charis's limited and inherently less mobile baloon recon, this still doesn't explain the collapses.

The Romanian campaign actually comes to mind, with Ludendorff perfecting there what would become the artillery innovations later in the west. Or as someone pointed out Brusilov with the proto-sturmtroop ideas. Those campaigns saw the Central Powers trading casualties at about 1:2, and a roughly equivalent exchange rate for Brusilov during the heady early days.

It exhausted the attacker in both cases, and secured land the size of a few large provinces. Casualties were measured in in the 500k+ range for the victorious Central Armies in Romania, and the literally each side lost over a million men in the Brusilov Offensive.


Charis has to take, much, much, more land. And it most certainly does not have the manpower reserves of a WWI great power since it ha literally in a generation lept from early renassaince to early 1900s. If Charis is pre-colonial England, it has a population of less than 5M, double up for the Empire (if any one has a known number, please chime in). At WWI mobilization levels, it can put 1M men (or 11%ish of the known population) under arms across two generations committed.

If it kills churchmen at 10:1, and only needs to knock them below 80% before they outmaneveur them or break them in morale, doing five times as well as the Central Powers in the East...

About 20% of the ICA is lost. In one campaign season.

The poppies are growing in many, many fields.

Lets forget "how could they smash the lines", and lets ask " how is Charis not falling to an October Revolution?", and "How is the nation of Charis going to deal with having a nation and society shattering loss rate in the future?" When people talk about Europe losing a generation of young men and the fall of the world order, they aren't even beginning to touch what just happened to Charis's demographics.
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