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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 10:44 pm

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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 11:30 pm

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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 3:30 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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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Chaser617   » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:31 pm

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I know I'm way late to this but I think another limiting factor is going to be catapiller drives generally require a transmission to work efficiently and with the current preger setup its pretty much all direct drive. I rembwr reading in the books that they specifically did not want to introduce turbines yet because they didn't want people quite getting the idea for a geared transmission just yet.

Though hilariously if they did introduce diesel power it would actually be more in lines with modern tanks. Most militaries save the USA have determined the big turbo diesels are the best power-packed for armored vehicles.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Brigade XO   » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:45 pm

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Your probably going to find some sort of self-propelled artillery more usefull if you want to do any mechanization.
Possibly the largest challenge for that kind of vehicle in combat on Safehold is using black powder as the propellent and "self locating" your gun when you fire. On the other hand, if you outrange what you are shooting at OR if you are able to fire from behind and shooting over something like a hill between you and your target, then you really only need good artillery spotters and a way to get the initial range and then corrections back to the gun(s). Charis is routinely fireing shells, not sold shot or grape so you can drop fused shells into either trenches or fortifications.
The real question is is when and why are you going to need this type of gun. Powering them with steam is going to bring it's own set of challanges with the smoke from the engines advertizing whre they are in daylight. If you are able to used diesel, well, that takes care of most of the visable exhaust problem.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by isaac_newton   » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:25 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Your probably going to find some sort of self-propelled artillery more usefull if you want to do any mechanization.
Possibly the largest challenge for that kind of vehicle in combat on Safehold is using black powder as the propellent and "self locating" your gun when you fire. On the other hand, if you outrange what you are shooting at OR if you are able to fire from behind and shooting over something like a hill between you and your target, then you really only need good artillery spotters and a way to get the initial range and then corrections back to the gun(s). Charis is routinely fireing shells, not sold shot or grape so you can drop fused shells into either trenches or fortifications.
The real question is is when and why are you going to need this type of gun. Powering them with steam is going to bring it's own set of challanges with the smoke from the engines advertizing whre they are in daylight. If you are able to used diesel, well, that takes care of most of the visable exhaust problem.


i had the vague impression that the Doble{?} type engines did not tend to emit vast clouds of steam - but could very easily be wrong on that!
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:36 pm

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It's not so much the steam as the smoke from whatever fuel you are using. Wood or coal produce smoke and though diesel -more so than gasoline- can produce smoke it isn't anywhere as dense or visible as wood or coal. Mostly it the management of the air flow/mixture but with solid (vs liquid) fuel like wood, there are practical limits to how well you can control the burn.

Have you ever seen a wood stove putting out "white" smoke, particularly on an early morning. If you see one putting out brown or gray smoke they have a problem. White (other than condensing water vapor) is more normal.

Most people haven't seen coal fired heating run in a house type environment and these days most coal fired electrical generation stations are first grinding the coat almost to dust and then blowing it into the "firebox" with a managed stream/volume of air for best burning ratio (varies on temperature, air pressure, humidity) and being also balance for maximum burn/minimal soot and other emissions.
Steam locomotives and steamship engines in the 19th and 1st half of 20th century are a whole other discussion on what comes out of the stack, and variations. There are reasons you hear about "spark arresters".....a locomotive burning wood could be shooting burning bits of wood out the stack all the time and trackside fires happened all the time.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by isaac_newton   » Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:54 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:It's not so much the steam as the smoke from whatever fuel you are using. Wood or coal produce smoke and though diesel -more so than gasoline- can produce smoke it isn't anywhere as dense or visible as wood or coal. Mostly it the management of the air flow/mixture but with solid (vs liquid) fuel like wood, there are practical limits to how well you can control the burn.

Have you ever seen a wood stove putting out "white" smoke, particularly on an early morning. If you see one putting out brown or gray smoke they have a problem. White (other than condensing water vapor) is more normal.

Most people haven't seen coal fired heating run in a house type environment and these days most coal fired electrical generation stations are first grinding the coat almost to dust and then blowing it into the "firebox" with a managed stream/volume of air for best burning ratio (varies on temperature, air pressure, humidity) and being also balance for maximum burn/minimal soot and other emissions.
Steam locomotives and steamship engines in the 19th and 1st half of 20th century are a whole other discussion on what comes out of the stack, and variations. There are reasons you hear about "spark arresters".....a locomotive burning wood could be shooting burning bits of wood out the stack all the time and trackside fires happened all the time.


nice answer - thanks :-)

It does raise the vision of a tank advance in the late summer leaving 'forest' fires behind, esp if going thru ripe corn fields.

on that theme - we used to have deliberate stubble burning in the UK and that was clearly visible!!
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by WeberFan   » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:37 pm

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Castenea wrote:
Michae wrote:I've been re-reading through Fiery Trials and I'm wondering given the amount of Automotive manufactories popping up in various nations,if it's possible to re-produce some of the better tanks of WW2? As I'd love to see the first Charisian Panzer Division in action. I chose WW2 tanks as I think anything else might be pushing the boundaries more than they'd like,and plenty of good Medium tanks in there to pick from,including my personal favorite medium,The German Panther tank..

Only problem with building any WWII tank on Safehold will be engine packaging. Without electricity power trains are limited to steam or some very interesting diesel systems. While diesels can work I would expect steam engines to be used to power the tanks, and steam engines tend to be very bulky for their power output. The bulky, smoky engines will put limits on uses of tanks as will the lack of electricity and radios. We could see some very interesting heavy tanks though Think British mark IV or German AV tanks of late WWI

Emphasis mine...

But Charis already has a growing oil/refining industry and is building an oil-fired warship.

I envision a tank mounting one of the 4-inch breechloaders with two praeger steam engines aboard - one for each track. If you even decide to go with tracks and don't go with the armored car approach. Emerald also has natural rubber that is starting to be used for tires although I can't recall if they're solid rubber or inflated...
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Erls   » Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:18 am

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Also, one point I may have forgotten to mention... Think of Tanks as yet another technology demonstrator. If Charis builds a 20 ton tank with a 4 inch breechloader that is protected against anything smaller than a 3 inch cannon - that can also travel at 25 miles an hour - everyone else is going to want one. And you cannot make said 20 ton tank without a robust industrial base as well as a solid grasp of steam and/or diesel.

It would be, along with their oil-powered cruisers, the biggest reasons why the rest of Safehold will embrace petroleum.
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