1. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    Efficient/Realistic Futuristic Warfare

    Discussion in 'Research' started by LordWarGod, Nov 11, 2018.

    I'm stuck on ideas for future warfare for both human and aliens that would be practical. I'm trying to come up with efficient war vehicles and strategies for humans that would make sense in fighting aliens on planets. Currently, space battles are pretty much non-existent because of star-system tier to galaxy tier destruction weaponry, so if humans or aliens want to take a star-system or a galaxy without utterly destroying everything, they'll have to sneak up on them so they can't use the weapon without destroying themselves.

    Do you guys think that this is a realistic or practical reason? Does it make sense or not really? Planets and stars are still crucial to civilizations for energy, resources and likely living space to inhabit, so I'd imagine it would be a huge deterrent to tactics where people just simply blast everything out of existence. And simply destroying the atmosphere to kill the current inhabitants might not be as practical if you need it for your own people.

    The less advanced civilizations that are similar or on the level of the human civilization aren't that big of an issue concerning planetary warfare and it might make sense to use more or less current day technology ramped up with futuristic technology to fight them. But thinking about it, current day warfare tactics involve flying a F-22 jet fighter on a stealth mission to bomb some targets from a distance. That wouldn't be practical at all against a huge invading force that has machines that fire explosives that are as powerful as nuclear weapons in conventional warfare.

    What might be a viable strategy and what kind of vehicles/artillery weapons might be practical against such an enemy?

    The more advanced civilizations are pointless to fight as they're unstoppable and the humans usually just set off a Wreath to destroy that star-system or galaxy to deny them the energy and resources. They'll lose whatever they're after anyway.
     
  2. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    In that case, it would all be about fighting a war without confronting the highly advanced enemy directly. In such a manner, guerilla warfare is particularly effective. Each unit with its own autonomy, small-scale enough that the loss of one has no effect on their ability to operate. Additionally, dispersing forces lessens the justification for using more powerful weapons rather than if that force was concentrated in a single place.

    I agree that unless the advanced force is led by an insane autocrat, it doesn't make any sense to use galaxy-destroying technology; there would just be too much lobbying power from commercial factors and public outcry that would be impossible to approve in a democratic country.

    Terrorism, you could say is a form of social or sometimes economic warfare with the aim of eroding popular support such that the relevant governments are forced to find alternative solutions to the conflict. It's all politics, and those politicians will do anything they can to stay in power; if public opinion changes to outrage and revolution, they will also flip-flop.
     
  3. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    To add a little context to my world for clarification: the human civilization is not democratic, it's totalitarian and they're fighting a "Great War" that involves the entire universe. The human civilization is constantly retreating while trying to defend their worlds from alien attack, there's no offensive for the human military because they no longer have the manpower to mount an attack anymore. So, I'm trying to figure out what would be an effective strategy to defend worlds instead and trying to figure out how aliens would realistically attack with different body anatomies and different technology.

    "Wreath" usage is as abundant as missiles are in modern warfare. So, vast swathes of the universe is empty and devoid of life as a result of this.

    I think guerrilla warfare could be effective against a more powerful enemy but what kind of strategy could they use to defend their planet?
     
  4. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

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    If they don't have enough manpower to mount a counteroffensive then most likely they also lack the manpower to defend all their worlds properly so re-locating to just a handful of planets would be a good idea, then use general tactics, you know, high ground, divide and conquer, surround them, fool your enemy (check the background for D-Day or the battle of Okehazama to better understand this point); it would be a good idea to research military tactics from different ages and military geniuses.

    Also, I'm not sure I understand why space battles aren't a thing, care to elaborate?

    P.S: Read "The Art Of War".
     
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  5. jim onion

    jim onion New Member

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    It partly depends on the motivations and goals of the participants.

    If the aliens don't care about the resources or wish to inhabit the planets themselves, why wouldn't they just turn them to dust that will blow away in the space wind? I assume, then, that the aliens have reasons to not do this.

    I'm also very skeptical that future warfare will be anything like past warfare, such as the world wars or before. The kind of technology we have now means entire armies can be obliterated by a few bombs / missiles. It's one thing that I had a hard time believing about the Halo video games, even though I love the original trilogy to death.

    I guess one option is this. Human soldiers are kept too close to the alien lifeforms for the latter to use their most devastating weapons without simultaneously sacrificing their own invasion force.

    The humans are aware of natural hazards on their own planets that the aliens are not aware of. This may include diseases, infections, poisons, wildlife, weather, etc.

    The most deadly weaponry is extremely fragile and time-consuming / resource intensive to build, as well as to use, which also helps limit its availability.

    Guerrilla warfare as somebody else suggested. Terrorism. Shadow warfare. Spies.
     
  6. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    The human race lost 28 galaxies during the war, they relocated all their people and military to the remaining 3 galaxies they had and mounted a last stand defense from there. So, I am kind of following this advice already.

    Because of how powerful weapons are. When you have weapons that can destroy star-systems or galaxies, they can just fire those weapons at a fleet traveling right out in the open before they even arrive at a planet. So most civilizations opt for an ambush planetary invasion, that way the enemy can't use their most powerful weapon since it would also destroy themselves. This is common amongst alien civilization armies that invade human worlds.

    Thank you for the advice, I'll check out some military generals and read about their tactics!
     
  7. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I explained in my second post on this thread exactly why it is they don't outright destroy their enemies. They need the energy of stars since that's the main source of power for most civilizations and planets for resources or living space. To outright trigger a Wreath that would destroy an entire star-system or a galaxy would be a tremendous waste of potential, especially since they need to refuel, build more war machines and structures and control planets to get a strong foothold on galaxies.

    I think that with such immensely powerful technology, future warfare would be as restricted as we are today with our nuclear weapons. While pretty much everybody has the power to destroy the planet and much more, they're not going to do that because they need the planet. I'd imagine that with extremely powerful war machines that can shrug off enemy fire, it would look similar to a WW2 battle where there are two fronts with trenches, buildings and fortresses for cover and the combatants march against each other.

    Since weaponry is significantly more powerful, I'd imagine the battles would be brutal. Entire cities or countries would usually be wiped out within an hour or two but with future tech that could protect against such devastating weaponry, it might take longer as the enemies try to drain each other and their energy. Not many civilizations want to set the atmosphere on fire because that would mean years of terraforming and fixing the ecosystem after they've defeated their enemy. Better to just weed out and exterminate the enemy with minimal damage to the planet.

    Yes, that's one of the reasons why devastating weaponry isn't always an option. I'd imagine advanced civilizations that desire to take a planet perfectly intact wouldn't be able to use powerful weaponry, they'd likely have to use their weakest weapons in order to take it. Kind of like how in real life, if we want to take a village full of tribesmen, we don't just drop the Tsar Bomba on it and destroy everything within a 30 mile radius. We get a small task force armed with rifles and body armor to go in and take out the people in the village so the village and the land around it remains functionally intact.

    Guerrilla warfare is useless against powerful civilizations. The humans just trigger a Wreath and wipe out the star-system or the galaxy depending how severe the invasion is.
     
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  8. jim onion

    jim onion New Member

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    Ah yes, sorry I missed this!

    Good point. I'd also imagine that while weaponry advances, defensive technologies advance as well. Although there quickly comes a point where it's all about energy shields, some of which are invisible until struck, and others (like the bubble shield in Halo) that are transparent and textured like lightly colored glass. I kind of wish more fictional universes would go into detail about the energy shields. Not necessarily super in-depth or anything, but never even touching the surface of how they function - and how they're different or more advanced than other shield technologies - always makes it feel a little bit like a lazy deus ex machina.

    Well this is what I meant about my skepticism (not skepticism aimed at your story, but just the topic of future warfare in general). Why not be in for the long haul? I understand there are a lot of external factors involved, but if you just "set the atmosphere on fire" then at least you don't have to enter a long, drawn-out battle over a planet that may not even go your way in the end, and might reach a point where it actually would've been no greater cost to "glass it" and then terraform.

    Even if most of the enemy troops have means of surviving (underground shelters, oxygen reserves, etc.), there's nothing left to fight for.

    I know you mentioned that they harvest stars for resources, but how many planets does that really require? Theoretically with common FTL technology, it would appear to me that you don't even really need more than a planet or two near the star. Maybe not even that, if you go the route of Dyson spheres and advanced space stations.

    In addition, one could destroy a planet's atmosphere and all life on the surface (and probably all sub-subterranean life) and still harvest, say, under-ground water or minerals and metals right?

    Since I'm not here to debate but rather just thinking out loud with you, maybe another reason would be that the alien leaders have been promised rewards for their military feats? Perhaps they get to choose a planet out of those that they've taken over, and get to rule that planet, akin to vassals and lords (I think)? Perhaps some leaders seek to enslave humanity, using them to harvest the resources from the captured planet? This might not work for your story; I'm just kicking the can around, but it may have potential for some good characterization of the aliens.

    I'm not sure I understand. Certainly it would depend on the exploits accomplished via guerrilla warfare, and certainly humanity can only wipe out so many of their own star-systems or galaxies before they run into some sort of problems. The first issue would likely be evacuating the planets of inhabitants. If you don't do that before hitting the big red button, that's even worse for humanity's morale. And eventually if you just kept abandoning and wiping out your own star-systems or galaxies you're going to run into all the roadblocks associated with population density and rationing / outright lack of resources.

    One also might have a similar issue that occurs with "scorched earth" warfare. If you turn the war around, you just burned all your own crops and shelter and bridges. Some of it may have been rebuilt by your enemy but that also depends in part on how long it took to go from "scorched earth retreat" (i.e. USSR fending off the initial German invasion) to successful counter-attack. It's a drastic measure for a reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  9. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I'm still trying to figure out how most shields work in my universe. I've got ideas for some but they're not very well fleshed out right now. But you're correct, it is mostly about shield warfare and draining energy to reach the enemy. Only that some enemies have better knowledge of how to utilize shield warfare.

    Some civilizations aren't as advanced so they can't build Dyson Rings or Spheres yet. Some require biomass to feed themselves, setting the atmosphere on fire defeats that objective. And since you brought up enslavement, that's actually a pretty good reason I didn't think of yet, I'll be utilizing that idea now.

    But all in all, I'm just looking for a very good reason to avoid space battles and to focus on WW2 style trench warfare on planets. Shield warfare is a good one, resources, energy, power or enslavement and so on. It's important to remember that this a war that spans the entire universe, not every single galaxy will be conquered, let alone star systems. The usual approach is to completely decimate any enemy galaxy until you can weaken the enemy enough to invade and begin conquering planets and stars for yourself. No point in fighting a fully rested, fully resourceful and prepared advanced military when you can just weaken them so the takeover is quicker and you lose hardly any causalities yourself.

    Which is exactly what happened to the humans and that's why the next thing you say is so crucial and is the whole point of the human civilization's downfall.

    This is exactly what happened to humanity, they kept pressing that red button, abandoning and wiping out their own star-systems and galaxies. 28 of their galaxies were destroyed, either by their own hand or the enemy's, this led to decillions upon decillions of refugees fleeing those galaxies to the remaining three in their control and caused pandemonium. Resources were severely strained, living space was almost impossible to find, crime rates went through the roof right into the stratosphere. The militarization of the police was necessary since the army was on the front-lines defending them in the war, the civilization becomes completely totalitarian as a response to the pandemonium and the necessity to control the civilians to avoid a complete meltdown of society.

    Along with that, most advanced technology is forgotten such as Dyson Rings/Spheres and nobody even knows how to utilize them let alone the purpose of them. A complete devolution of society from a Type III civilization on the Kardashev Scale to a Type 0 or I civilization and totalitarianism is what rules it. It's the "Great War, the "End-War" and the Apocalypse comes shortly after with immortal demons that were created by Dark Gods that swarm the universe. Nobody really cares if a galaxy or two is lost anymore, it is a literal fight for survival in an universe that is dying.
     
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  10. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

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    I'm guessing said weapons can be aimed with pinpoint accuracy to destroy fleets without collateral damage on a planetary scale; if this is not the case then defensive space battles outside a planet atmosphere would be a good idea (the best way to defend your land is keeping the enemy from entering it).

    I've been reading the rest of the posts, I don't really understand why the aliens would destroy galaxies, it makes sense for the humans if they have a mentality of "if I can't have it, no one will" even though this is a few steps above scorched earth tactics (you can't use planets or stars that don't exist anymore), but the aliens?... but, then again, to fully wrap my head around this and debate or point out holes I would have to know about the same as you do and that's not going to happen.

    Sounds like Hannibal Barca is your man.
     
  11. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I was thinking of doing that but that would mean a Star Wars type space battle scenario which I can't really think how to set up in practical terms and I just simply don't think it'd work out well. It's also pretty difficult to just stop the enemy from simply going down to the planet, so I'd assume there would be heavy artillery with surface to space explosives and weaponry to take out as much as possible before they do land.

    Picture galaxies in terms of countries on Earth with modern armies controlled by empires. Each galaxy is a country, if you take over or destroy a lot of countries belonging to an empire, you weaken it by impacting their resources, energy, living space and population of civilians or military. Use nuclear weapons to wipe entire countries off the map and avoid any causalities to your military and keep all your resources/galaxies perfectly intact.

    If you weaken an empire enough, you don't even need to use nuclear weapons to finish it off, you just simply send in your army to clean out the weakened empire and take whatever they have left for yourself. For most civilizations, a galaxy or two is a tremendous reward and conquering any more than that would be impossible when they're being defended by a strong civilization.

    Am I making sense yet? Or is this not really practical? The aliens don't have an emotional stake in it, they want to reap as many resources as they can without losing their own resources by destroying the galaxies of a strong and resourceful civilization as opposed to sending in tons of fleets and risking losing a lot of their military might. The humans on the other hand both have an emotional stake in it and a practical stake in it, destroying their own galaxies means slowing down the enemy for a little longer to gain breathing space.

    You're right though, you don't know as much as I do about my world and that's probably why it's pointless to debate about it. Original post was about practical future warfare spanning across the universe in multiple galaxies.
     
  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    ... Relationships. Diplomacy. Economic leverage. Publicity. Opinions. Cyber.
     
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  13. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

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    This is why I don't think it's practical for the aliens to nuke galaxies, they are destroying both their enemies and perfectly valuable resources that they could use to keep waging war (remember that wars have an annoying tendency to drain a fuck ton of resources), using your countries analogy, it would be an equivalent to the Huns destroying cities in China, everything material that's in the city (silk, food, wood, etc...), burning every single forest and killing every single animal (without skinning and cooking it) in their path, it's a waste of resources that they could use. The only way I can see this making some sense is if the galaxy that they destroyed was really small, like, Austria levels of small (you know, comparatively) or Vatican levels of small (the smallest country in the world if I'm not mistaken), but if they're destroying galaxies as big as Russia, China, the U.S, México, Canada or Argentina it would make absolutely no sense, this are some of the biggest countries in the world (the smallest in here being México... and it's still capable of fitting in like 20 somewhat "big" europian countries) and they hold a fuck ton of natural resources.

    Edit

    I must make clear that when I hear "destroying galaxies" I think of something akin to "the nothing" in The Never Ending Story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  14. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    Perhaps this is because I don't read sci-fi, so forgive me if this criticism is unjustified:

    I think I can see the problem why we (and you) are struggling to grasp this... when we think about scale - and this can be anything), there sort of comes a ceiling that we hit, beyond which numbers become impossible to comprehend. And beyond that comprehensibility, also goes the relatability.

    I bet I can imagine quite well the destruction of a city - the devastation of an atom bomb dropped, or the sacking or wholesale extermination. I can even research it to guide that imagination - it's happened before.

    I just... just... might be able to cprehend the destruction of a world: I can imagine the wealth of information, history and culture that Earth has to offer, vaporised in an instant.

    However, when you speak of the casual destruction of a galaxy, the migration of decillions of people: that has surpassed my ability to comprehend. And rather than considering the magnitude of loss that entails, my eyes just sort of gloss over it.

    Hopefully that helps explain my difficulty in helping you solve your problems.
     
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  15. jim onion

    jim onion New Member

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    That tends to not matter when you vaporize the entire galaxy at the press of a button.

    When I said "the most deadly", I was being literal. Anyway, fortunately it seems like LordWarGod will have some diplomacy, relationship drama, economic leveraging, and other tactful dynamics of politics in his story, which I'm sure you would agree is very good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  16. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    You're right about this, the scale is enormous and difficult to imagine. Which is why I'll probably have to find a way to make it easier for readers to visualize the scale. I have a simulator called Space Engine and it's essentially an universe simulator, it allows us to explore the entire universe according to real life distances and scales. It takes around 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the Earth traveling at the speed of light. It would take you exactly 2 million years to travel from the Milky Way to the Andromeda galaxy at the speed of light in this simulator, literally. You can travel up to 325 million light years per second and that would take you 10 minutes to travel from one end of the universe to the other.

    You can travel to each star, each galaxy, each black hole and all the planets that exist in every galaxy. It has documented stars/planets/black holes/galaxies and procedurally generated ones. You can download Space Engine for free online to check out the universe and be mesmerized by how beautiful it is.

    That's how I got the feeling for the scale of the universe and learned just how big and complex it really is. It really is immense and that's exactly why I want it to be on this scale. The epic/cool factor and trying to somehow go further than Tolkien or any other author has scale-wise.
     
  17. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    It's more of the issue in that waging conventional war with armies against an enemy that is fully prepared for war would result in tremendous losses for both sides. The idea is to weaken your enemy and take advantage of that by minimizing losses while keeping most or all of your resources intact. The country analogy was to explain how galaxies are perceived but you have to bear in mind that most civilizations have hundreds or even thousands of galaxies and they collected them slowly through strong-arming civilizations into submission by screwing up their infrastructure, forcing refugees to flee to fill up worlds and drain resources and so on.

    The addition of just one galaxy or two is incredible, that's the point here. To destroy many galaxies that are full of powerful hostiles to gain two or three galaxies is the best one could ask for in military strategy and logistics. If a conventional war was waged, it could take hundred of thousands to millions of years to finally clear a galaxy of hostiles and by then, the invaders could be the ones losing and falling back. Losing tons of resources and reinforcements. But with the strong-arming technique, a civilization could be conquered within a century or two, maybe less.

    Think of it like creating a diamond, you have to put immense pressure on it in order to create a decent diamond. All that effort and resource to produce a quality diamond is how war is planned out here. You don't want 30 galaxies that are rife with survivors or rebels that could wage guerrilla warfare for a X amount of years which could heavily impact your civilization, you want two or three galaxies that are squeaky clean with no possible resistance to mount from your enemy. And there's the expectation that most civilizations on the brink of defeat might attempt to trigger a Wreath to destroy their own galaxies so you'll be left with very few anyway by the end of the conflict.

    Not only that but the entire universe is at war, at any given moment, a civilization may be facing a hundred or more hostile civilizations on many fronts and they will be triggering Wreaths as well, so the loss of many galaxies for both sides is the reason why conventional warfare is useless until a civilization is actually weak enough that they cannot go on anymore. It's a war of which civilization gets fucked up the most with galaxy destroying weapons and becomes weak as a result of it.

    Suppose it could be explained in the context of countries. It's like Nazi Germany half-assing their conquest of Europe by fighting the armies of their neighbors but never fully exterminating the resistance before actually moving on to the next country, so you're stuck fighting in every single country while repeatedly starting a new one with another country before you've even finished the last country. It drains resources, it drains manpower, it can backfire spectacularly like it did at Stalingrad with the Nazis and that's something most military civilizations want to avoid. Better to utterly crush civilizations so they're softened up for conquest.

    I really appreciate all this discussion by the way, it's not all for nothing. I am learning so much about my own world and I'm developing new ideas just from this discussion. It really is helping me!
     
  18. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

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    Alright, yeah, I can see the logic behind that, still kind of a waste but it does make sense, well... kinda, I'm sure that firing one of those galaxy destroying guns is not cheap, and if it is... well, you better change your economy and make it so that it's not cheap to fire them.

    I just had a thought, why is it that every alien is attacking humans? If we had so many galaxies surely we would have one or two allies... probably.

    Edit

    I find it funny how I just ended up ignoring the original question, I think that it's because my answer "research historical tactics" it's good and easier on me.
     
  19. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    It's alright, you provided excellent answers that helped me. I have a lot of ideas that I can work with now, my world is way more fleshed out than it was before. The details concerning how civilizations fought were very vague and obscure previously.

    I'm still working on the economics and logistics of a Wreath. So, that's not really finished.

    But what's interesting is that the humans committed mass acts of genocide against the alien civilizations around them, mostly due to a George Bush 9/11 attempt to get everybody in the universe all riled up to go to war with each other. It was the doing of a Royal family of demons serving the Dark Gods, they had to create enough suffering and misery through war that a portal could be opened connecting the Gaunt with this universe and allow the Great Legions of demons in to trigger the Apocalypse.

    So, once the humans began exterminating entire galaxy fulls of civilizations, their list of allies practically went out of the window. This was also planned by the royal family as well to prevent any chance of diplomacy and ensuring that the Great War would proceed.
     
  20. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

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    Politicians destroying the universe? Yup, sounds about right.
     

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