about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

People See Things As They Are Predisposed To

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I am very, very annoying to Jean.

I just do not see the world the way she does.

Jean sees pretty buildings. Lovely vegetation. Awesome vistas.

I see avenues of approach. Concealment. Fields of fire.

What I see is all crowded together and overlaid by time.

That wide boulevard does not present much of an obstacle for marching a cohort of Roman heavy infantry in mass to contact, and poses no difficulties in employing their pilums before the shock.

That wide boulevard is a kill zone for machineguns firing diagonally across from both sides effectively dividing any advance east to west or west to east, but would be a true kill zone if the advance was north to south or south to north.

In the mid 1800s, a battery of guns would be difficult to employ versus enemy marksmen (because to be effective in such a street scene it would be too close and exposed to fire). In the early 1900s guns would make movement difficult, and trenches connecting the houses would be needed. By 1945, the trenches would need overhead cover to protect from proximity fuzed munitions. By the late 1900s improved conventional munitions would make even the houses poor protection from artillery fires without significant internal reinforcement.

In one direction, where is the best place to site a machinegun. In another time, is there a good position for a ballista (the tops of some of the mid-sized buildings, perhaps, but the ground is mostly too low to find good firing positions).

Even driving outside of town, would that hill make a good TOW position, something the TOW can move into position, shoot, hit the target, and then get out of dodge to a new position before shells begin landing? Natural ditches channel not just armored vehicles, but dismounted troops (whether armed with swords and bucklers, or rifles and bayonets) away from some locations and canalize them into possible kill zones.

A flower bed is a minor impediment to my stolid Roman foot soldiers, by my modern soldiers will have to take care that it might be strewn with a few mines.

All that being said, can I even appreciate art? Well . . . a lot of "modern art" not at all, but "Scotland Forever" appeals to me. And were I to ever win the lottery, I would commission a painting for a wall of my house of "Thunderchild" showing the ship ablaze as she rams one of the Martian war machines, with the smoking shattered remains of the one her guns got nearby.

But even at Origins I tended to think of  how to fight in the building, and the differences time has made. Grenade launchers and portable anti-armor weapons complicate defenses that were much simpler before the start of World War I.