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How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST

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How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by supersonic05   » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:52 pm

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I’m sorry if this has been discussed before, I tried searching. But this is really bothering me.

I am currently rereading At the Sign of Triumph; the Army of the Center and Mighty Host of God and the Archangels entrenchments/lines keep getting obliterated by Artillery. From what I know of WW1 this did not happen often, or if it did only in a very small area and no were near fatal. If I understand the description of the guns and trenches they are not as good as there were in WW1 but better than what was used during the Siege of Petersburg. At the battle of the Somme, The British did a 7-day preliminary bombardment on the German lines, that failed to cut the German barbed wire or damage the defenders' dugouts. While Charisian artillery seems to be able to destroy the Churches trenches within hours. I know the balloon core helps a lot, and the other side not being able to do it own recognizance or attach Charisian’s.
What the different either in Trenches or in Artillery that allows Charisian artillery to destroy the Churches lines at will?
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by evilauthor   » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:22 pm

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supersonic05 wrote:I’m sorry if this has been discussed before, I tried searching. But this is really bothering me.

I am currently rereading At the Sign of Triumph; the Army of the Center and Mighty Host of God and the Archangels entrenchments/lines keep getting obliterated by Artillery. From what I know of WW1 this did not happen often, or if it did only in a very small area and no were near fatal. If I understand the description of the guns and trenches they are not as good as there were in WW1 but better than what was used during the Siege of Petersburg. At the battle of the Somme, The British did a 7-day preliminary bombardment on the German lines, that failed to cut the German barbed wire or damage the defenders' dugouts. While Charisian artillery seems to be able to destroy the Churches trenches within hours. I know the balloon core helps a lot, and the other side not being able to do it own recognizance or attach Charisian’s.
What the different either in Trenches or in Artillery that allows Charisian artillery to destroy the Churches lines at will?


It's because of the balloons. With up to 50 miles of uncontested observation (two days travel by foot!), the balloons made artillery batteries practically immune to counter attack and the artillery could basically destroy at their leisure anything and everything the balloons could see.

In WWI, no such lopsided spotting ability existed because both sides could field airplanes to shoot down the other side's aerial observers, or at least get those observers too busy fighting for their lives to spot for artillery.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:34 pm

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supersonic05 wrote:I’m sorry if this has been discussed before, I tried searching. But this is really bothering me.

I am currently rereading At the Sign of Triumph; the Army of the Center and Mighty Host of God and the Archangels entrenchments/lines keep getting obliterated by Artillery. From what I know of WW1 this did not happen often, or if it did only in a very small area and no were near fatal. If I understand the description of the guns and trenches they are not as good as there were in WW1 but better than what was used during the Siege of Petersburg. At the battle of the Somme, The British did a 7-day preliminary bombardment on the German lines, that failed to cut the German barbed wire or damage the defenders' dugouts. While Charisian artillery seems to be able to destroy the Churches trenches within hours. I know the balloon core helps a lot, and the other side not being able to do it own recognizance or attach Charisian’s.
What the different either in Trenches or in Artillery that allows Charisian artillery to destroy the Churches lines at will?


In WW1, both sides have fast transport, aerial reconnaissance and instant communications (radio and telephone). One of the reason, why the whole stalemate appeared, was because railroads & trucks allowed reserves to be rushed quickly, aerial reconnaissance made any large-scale concentration of troops problematic, and radio and wire communications allowed defenders to coordinate their actions better.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by EdThomas   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:05 am

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My recollections from reading about WW1
1.early observation balloons were shot down quickly by the opponents fighters. rapidly moving fighter aircraft are not stable enough to provide accurate fire observations, especially when there were other aircraft trying to shoot them down. Charis balloons were very stable and had much higher bandwidth communications to the fire control operations than any WW1 fighter did.
2. Germans, and I assume Allies learned to build multiple trench lines to create defense in depth. We don't know if Church forces did the same.
3. I think Charisian guns outranged Church guns which effectively made them invulnerable. Charisian observation advantage would quickly identify any Church attempt to move guns closer for counter-battery fire.
4. Railroad and truck movement was basically strategic and irrelevant at the tactical level.

ROC gave Charis continuously observed fire which no WW1 force had. This one's a no-brainer.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Julia Minor   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:35 pm

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EdThomas wrote:2. Germans, and I assume Allies learned to build multiple trench lines to create defense in depth. We don't know if Church forces did the same.


The Mighty Host definitely had multiple trench lines, and I believe the Dohlaran army used them as well.

What none of the Church forces had, as far as I know, was any idea that Charis had explosives more powerful than black powder. Their engineers designed to stop black powder shells, and got blindsided by Lywysite. Combine that with Charis' range and spotting advantages, and it's understandable that Charis did a better job of smashing fortifications than WWI forces did.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by GloriousRuse   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:30 pm

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“Realistically” they cannot. Even with Charis’s advantages.

Consider this: modern artillery, referred to target with cartographically excellent maps, with spotters using a combination of laser range finders and GPS, even after the tubes have been registered on a specific arc, using ballistic computers to calculate firing solutions, can easily miss with initial rounds. Modern guns require copious expenditures of artillery to inflict casualties on dug in troops...literally dozens of rounds fired per casualty.

So the idea that because there are a few guys in the sky with oversized binos looking at their version of a map with reference courtesy of the charisian engineers sending messages via primitive relay to batteries that kind of know where they are on a similar map and then are trying to calculate the solution on a plotting board (also with human error in it) are suddenly tearing apart the trenches...not so much

Similiarly, having walked parts of the Somme, I can tell you it is literally possible a century later to step on nothing but grassy shell holes from the British lines to the German. Not once do you need to walk on flat ground or a path in some parts. At the mine crater, even today the hole that was blasted in the line is over a football field wide and nearly as deep. The Germans still fought and well.

Now, admittedly Charis gets an early lead on Sturmtroop tactics. It is worth remembering that even those very successful spring of ‘18 offensives cost hundreds of thousands of losses. And that while this would pioneer maneuver warfare, it came at deliberately skimming the cream to be used in such roles. Not every unit could work that way...unless the Charisians are granted that every one of their soldiers is a top twenty percenter for any other army, the entire ICA probably can’t make them work.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by Silverwall   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:53 pm

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The church didn't have machineguns. This is the invention that caused trench warfare the most coupled with limited command and control.

Charis had balloon recon and howitzers. The church also didn't have the communications speed to react to Charisian initiatives.

With accurate balloon led artillery fire smashing trenches with high angle fire the church infantry lacked the firepower to stop the skirmish tactics of the advancing charisian forces.

Basically what you had was an army set up like Lee's at Petersberg fighting the the role of the Germans in the 100 days offensive of WW1 fighting the 1918 British army sans aircraft and tanks.

Also the area of action is more reminiscant of the eastern front than the west, there the action was always more fluid due to the shear size of the battlefield. Just look at the success of the Germans in 1915 or Bruisilov in 1916.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:05 pm

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Silverwall wrote:The church didn't have machineguns. This is the invention that caused trench warfare the most coupled with limited command and control.

Charis had balloon recon and howitzers. The church also didn't have the communications speed to react to Charisian initiatives.

With accurate balloon led artillery fire smashing trenches with high angle fire the church infantry lacked the firepower to stop the skirmish tactics of the advancing charisian forces.

Basically what you had was an army set up like Lee's at Petersberg fighting the the role of the Germans in the 100 days offensive of WW1 fighting the 1918 British army sans aircraft and tanks.

Also the area of action is more reminiscant of the eastern front than the west, there the action was always more fluid due to the shear size of the battlefield. Just look at the success of the Germans in 1915 or Bruisilov in 1916.

Indeed so. The ICA artillery engaged in suppressing enemy artillery and keeping ground forces under cover. The assault battalions rooted out the enemy. The Mighty Host and AoG had a choice of being cut off by the advancing allies had they remained behind their field works or to retreat while hey could. The casualties happened when the MH and AoG moved between fixed positions.
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:53 pm

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All of these issues folk have said, plus, concrete fortifications made things even tougher when they were built in WW1

Also when huge shells went off, many poor sods were stunned for up to a hundred yards around by the concussion, but, it only lasted a few seconds or a minute or two, which wasn't enough time to take advantage of it because crossing no man's land was slow
Charisans, because of much better preparedness and superior gunnery, storm troops had chances to do that




Ps isnt "lwysite" in Safehold the name for dynamite, and Composition D is TNT?
Composition D was one of.the UK WW2 names for RDX iirc?

When RDX gets introduced, THAT is going to change things a bit...plastique and armour piercing HE shells.....
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Re: How Can the Churches lines be destroyed so fast in AST
Post by DMcCunney   » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:20 pm

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Let's not forget Nahrmann's inspired bit of disinformation.

Earl Rainbow Waters was smart. He knew he didn't want to face the ICA in the field where their advantages in weapons and mobility would give them a pronounced edge.

Instead, he very carefully planned comprehensive layered defenses, with his people thoroughly dug in, designed to funnel attackers into areas where they could be enfiladed, and planned lines of retreat to other fortifications should a particular line be breached.

He recognized the advantage fighting from prepared defensive positions provided which would go a long way toward mitigating the ICA's weapons and mobility superiority. He wanted to force the ICA to attack him.

Even with the balloons, the ICA really didn't want to try a frontal assault. They had too much respect for the Earl and what he had done. Narhmann's disinformation did what it was hoped it would do - get Mother Church to shift forces south to cover an apparent thrust from that direction. It created a weak spot in Rainbow Water's defenses, because the troops filling the hole left by Earl Silken Hills shifting south would have to be filled by Archbishop Militant Walker's new Army of God formations. They were trained, but not experienced, and hadn't had the opportunity Silken Hill's troops had to become thoroughly familiar with their fortifications and the area they were defending. (The Earl had misgivings about the redeployment, too. His instincts told him an attack really should occur in the north, with the objective of cutting off access to the Holy Langhorne canal that was his critical supply line. Lose that, and he retreats if he can, surrenders, or starves.)

The advantage the balloons provided in being able to see exactly what the ICA was advancing into and give the gun dogs precise targeting info to soften it up would likely have let the ICA win anyway, but it would have been a lot more expensive.
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