EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Tell us about the type of science fiction you enjoy.
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EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby EMRifleman » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:59 pm

Call me a bit of an anarchist if you'd like, I am thankfully not the bomb-throwing turn of the 20th century kind.

I am however, up late and have too much energy for any sane person so I thought I'd use it constructively.

In saying such, I'll list some of the science fiction works or themes that are currently on my mind and whether or not I like it.

In this instance, an anime universe I've really been getting into lately is Armored Trooper VOTOMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armored_Trooper_Votoms in which the protagonist, a young but certainly not inexperienced soldier and pilot of one of countless possible millions of Vertical One-man Tank for Offense and ManueverS essentially wages a Rambo-style war of his own as the existing order comes crashing down around him.

I won't spoil it, but it comes safe to say that this series comes highly recommended. After watching Crest of the Stars ect, I took to the idea of a series chiefly focused on what amounted to sci-fi ground troops done in flashy 80's anime style like fire to a parched mountain range. I simply love the idea of a practical machine that is both unique from what we have on this earth but all together familiar.

Aside from the obvious flaws of most mecha being too tall, they always tend to make them magically better than if you took the same magically resistant to tanks because mecha armor and then sloped it, put it on treads and gave the gun a more stable mount to pivot upon. Not so with VOTOMS. It's specifically a two ideas hybridized into a singular vehicle.

These two ideas are the tankette; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tankette, and the concept of powered armor, an idea that had been around in some fashion since the time of EE "Doc" Smith's Lensman series. What comes of this is a beautifully unique idea of a micro-mecha, slightly bigger than most powered armor but smaller than proper giant robots on the order of only being a few meters taller than an individual.

It's high mechanical and operational flexibility, ground speed and sensor suites make it ideal for mobile warfare like the tank, but it can also hold ground and take cover with the ease of infantry, if not needing only slightly bigger boulders, trees, or embankments to take cover behind.

My main gripe with it is that the concept of the VOTOM(S) seems to have been outpaced by the weapons technology of the time. While interesting, it has the drawback of at least, from what the animation conveys - penetrators going straight through the cockpit and the pilots having to duck their heads side to side to avoid either spalling or worse, the actual shells. What use is the armor if this can happen with any degree of frequency?

Well, my thought is that that is perhaps more of their infantry side, what with the totality of the armor making them far more resistant to say, indirect fire the same way a helmet offers resistance to that rather than being totally sealed from all but the hardest-hitting of penetrators or heaps of high-explosive material. Either that or, possibly, they are faced with a similar situation to the Second World War in that the two warring states, Balarant and Gilgamesh, are building tanks whose own main guns are penetrating their foes' armor with stunning regularity - ala the current marks of Sherman and Panzer IV at the time.

While possible, another very close friend of mine brought up the idea that perhaps they have another similarity - something akin to attack helicopters in that they're mobile weapons platforms that can't take as much as they dish out. While this is certainly true, the autocannon and the high-speed drives in the legs make me think that their maneuverability would have to be so valuable that resistance to fire is far outweighed by their ease and low cost of production and utility in having so many that you can simply combine with other assets to overwhelm entire theaters on planets in massive Kursk-style battles as hinted at in some of the OVAs or outright stated that planetary battles with sufficient numbers can not only ruin things, but also last only a few days.

I would like to think that VOTOMS is perhaps as creative about ground combat in it's meshing of neat ideas as Crest/Banner/What-may-come of the Stars is with their space combat ideas, if not a bit more 80's and willing to go full rock and roll both with their nifty cannons and their wailing 80's guitar OSTs.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:28 pm

As far as SciFi goes there a few things you should keep apart or keep in mind about the type of scifi:
1. realistic/technical scifi e.g. Gundam, Star Trek
2. more fantasy e.g. Star Wars
3. overtech e.g. Macross, Star Trek

The Seikai universe is so far of the first type. I'm certain tanks or the like machinery are available for troops as seen in Cots with the United Mankind armed dropships and tanks.

As far as personal armor goes it's physically not possible unless you got Star Trek level technology to create anything that could survive on today's battlefield. The number one problem is size and weight. Weight can be dealt with powered armor or powered exoskeleton but size simply limits the type of armor and the wearer's agility. Or it leaves weaknesses e.g. axle. Many people think the biggest threat from a gun is a 7.62 mm or a 12.7 mm projectile but the truth is it's the 14.7 mm and 20 mm and even 30 mm. Even if an armor exists that's light and resists those projectiles the sheer kinetic force and resulting shock when hit is more than enough to kill a person. It's the same problem as with wearing today's body armors that may stop a bullet but you still get bruises.

But to entertain our romantic thoughts about such things.
There are some promising technologies which may open a way for such armor. There are some form of plastics that harden up on impact. They would serve well for the joint parts. Leaving the metal hard armor for vital larger areas to protect. To counter impact some form of cushion is needed. The idea of a liquid armor is somewhat good because it would transmit a lot of the kinetic energy to the sides. This still need another layer of cushion.

As is said in Seikai no Monshou 3, bugs or nanite like bugs have been used extensively.

I would think that most future form of support machinery are on the same level as today's gunships.
In WWII a squat was equiped with carabine rifles. In Vietnam they got automatics + 1 grenadeer. In Golf war a squad got 1-2 grenadiers. Today's squad may have one sharp shooter, 2 advanced grenadiers, 1 regular grenade launcher. Today's squad is as powerful as a platoon from WWII or more.

So yeah I do think at low tech Votoms like armor is more practical then chunky body armor/exoskeletons. However, the same problems exists because the power of projectiles is still far superior than the difference between the armors. A 7.62 mm armor piercing from Vietnam can penetrate up to 5 cm of steel armor. Today's latest 5.56 mm armor piercing projectile penetrates ~2+ cm and still kills you. Against a 12.7 or 14.7 mm you need lots more. Not to mention today's grenade like the russian that can vaporize you making armor worthless.

It's been a while since think tanks have been thinking about automated drone tanks and all. This is certainly a sure thing to happen.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby EMRifleman » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:13 pm

Oh yes, @ the whole automated vehicles thing. Another series I wished to cover at a later date in a more extensive writeup was the Bolo series. That's the epitome of robotic combatants played out to a logical extent. VOTOMS is kind of like the very almost protozoan ancestor to what higher-level armored vehicles in science fiction have portrayed.

That said, if they can produce faster than light engines in VOTOMS I would imagine their materials science isn't terrible either. It's just that it seems to be a period where the attacker has far more to gain than the defender in terms of weapons versus materials. Let alone the slant that the Quent civilization appears to have left in the development of the Astragius galaxy.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:58 pm

Well, the Bolo ideas are old way of thinking even at the time imho. It fits more to the era of Jule Verne. In the age of atoms I expect more imagination. Not that it's bad. Today we got quantum and beyond understanding, hence, is a must way of thinking for today's scifi.

Frankly, the world of natural exiting atoms and nuclear force combinations is already stacked out. Even if we create new elements with accelerators it's no going to change anything. One reason is that hardness of materials depends on the element and its (crystal) lattice structure: preferable the smallest atom with densest possible crystal structure => diamond
In other words it's as good as impossible to have far superior super material. Now, if we can manipulate quarks and the composition of nucleus e.g. having 4 quarks instead of 3 maybe some impossible super material can be created. But it's till unlikely to be far superior. Hypothetical maybe an improvement of 1.3_^3=2.37 so definitely less than 10x.

The same goes for energy sources (fuel)...you can't have more energy density than the stable form (requirement) of fuel or the quantum limit.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:46 pm

Btw. seen the pics for the new Metal Gear Solid 5 yet? There's this personnel mecha:
Image
Image
Image

It reminds me of my own LEGO power suit design solution based on the Starship Trooper anime.
Image
With all functionality but without arms as I haven't found a fitting sized solution yet. Size is a big problem as I want to keep it at Minifig such that it can be used in minifig sized rooms. As always the most trouble stem from not existing parts. LEGO has lots of basic parts but 90% of the time there's no counter part e.g. the inversed part. So the function you want has to be created by a combo part which naturally is larger than double as could be.
references: Gunjap.net, Image

"Latest" version (as in a few years back) with ability to mount all possible add-on equipment. It has a different minifig seating solution but same mounting of course.
ImageImage
This is as far as I know the smallest LEGO mountable (not body build) power suit there is. :D The next bigger one is a few bricks taller found here by drabadan, a Japanese named Wadatsumi (I think). Videofrom someone else claiming the design as his 6 years later. Tsk.
Btw. these are all secrets of the Empire and shall not be disclosed to the public!

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby EMRifleman » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:04 pm

Forgive my glacial pace of response but yes, those have definitely made me smile! I might update this space further pending on how a synopsis goes but thank you very much. Very fun!

See, that reminds me a point I can't remember if elaborated on enough in the previous post: There is a rule for what divides a powered armor from mecha.

Powered armor you wear, mecha you crew, even if it's a crew of one. If your arm in a socket that corresponds to an arm in the arm makes it work like an arm, it is powered armor.
If you pull a lever, squeeze a trigger or push pedals then it is mecha, I suppose.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:43 pm

It's not like the forum has much traffic. Forgot to note the novel design and anime design differ a bit e.g. grenade launcher behind the helmet vs. left shoulder launcher. My last lego design was meant to be able to combine all possibilities.

Yeah, well, hard definition doesn't always work in the real world where smart people sometimes come up with ideas out of the box.
A simple example are those between powered armor and a Mech like those by Masamune Shirow called "landmate" or exoskeleton by others.
People also call the suits "hard suit"...well, too many names for all kinds of finer definitions.
Then there are Mech piloted by people wearing suits e.g. Gall Force.
But overall I agree: a suit is something you wear and more or less move with your limbs in parallel. But in reality our joints e.g. axle limits the size or bulk of the suit in between. It's simply impossible to move with a big one on regardless of what kind of mechanical assist. Moving would damage your joints.

That said there's no reason to stop imagining or discuss further. ;)

Edit:
Since we at it I want to say
I don't like the idea of controlling a mecha in a way like hunching over a motorbike. I understand the idea might have come up from how tanks are driven via bike steering wheels. But the position your body has to take will hurt your back, thorax and especially your neck. You gotta look up to look forward. Hurting your neck and wetting your butt are the most uncomfortable things that will decrease your fighting ability. Basic military knowledge here. That's why some modern snipers lie on their back than their stomach...

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:08 pm

Back to reality about the stuff grunts get to use these day, developed, fielded, and war proven in the last ten years.

The 43 mm russian vaporizer grenade fired by the GM-94, a thermobaric round. This is one hell of a scary weapon.

The green bullet M855A1. Don't mixe it up with the other black tipped ammo. Black just denotes armor piercing ammo & bombs etc.

These aside explosive tipped ammo (7.62 NATO, .50 BMG) have become standard issue due to recent conflicts.
It's obvious the modern and future battlefield is full of exploding stuff.

The green bullet has infringed on a certain patent. That said there was another older patent of similar design. I dunno why it didn't come up maybe because it's older than 20 years or not american. The idea or principle is very old, however. I'm pretty sure you can find it in some WWII ammunition. It basically uses a slug (heavy part, used to be lead) to push the hard but "lighter" penetrator through the armor.
Coincidentally, maybe not, I used a more advanced design for the Aliens RPG game...
Image
It's realizable today ten years ago. :lmao: Except, the micro fuze doesn't exist yet and the high power charge hasn't been developed for caseless use yet. The charge exists by another real name, though. ;)
There's a mod I made for Jagged Alliance 2 to try out this low tech weapon aside from other more powerful scifi weapons.

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Re: EMRifleman and Science Fiction!

Postby Ole_Al » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:31 pm

Too lazy to open up a new thread when there's not much attention anyway.

Sowjet space gun revealed
http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... ce-cannon/
Read the comments!

CIWS:
People mention the same problems as on earth e.g. debris continuing. And of course ranges and orbits. That's why we are changing from 20 mm gatling to 50 mm cannons or missiles (as said many years ago at Abhnation).
Some people mention about hitting tanks of the missile. Frankly, H2 and Os are separate and won't make the missile explode. Just like with hitting hydrogen Zeppelins with incendary or explosive rounds won't make them explode. Whether it's liquid or solid fuel it only creates a new "thruster".


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