if you had a mech, or a group of them, say three, about 15ft persay, are you going to MARTCH them out into a tank? has a anyone here heard of tactics?
But seriously, if you had this theoretical group of mechs, your NOT going to send them against tanks. you wouldent send infantry against tanks, and
mechs would essentaly be very big, very well armored, and very deadly infantry. there ARE huge tactical advantages to be had by a smaller mech, or a
mech suit (samus // master cheif style), but more on that later.
Size = mass. Mass to support the mass. Plus more mass to cover the added vulnerability area of the mass. As a pure exercise in /weight/ this mass
will add up to COST.
Infantry are used because they are essentially cheap to lose and numerous enough to either feel out a battlespace or lock it down so that nobody can
move within it.
If you have a million dollar fighting suit, I figure that adds up to about 1/3rd of an IFV or 1/5th of an MBT. Or 16 trained men. From a purely
accounting viewpoint, 12 trained men are easier and more flexible. Not least because a General can command men. A suit he cannot.
I also have a problem with a 15ft tall whatever. If it's unmanned, there is no reason to make it stand, bipedally, that tall (taller than an Abrahms
at roughly 12ft). If it has a pilot/driver, you have to accound for HIS need to bend. Does he look out vision slots in the breast plate or stand in
stirrups in the device's kneecaps or what?
another thing thats bothering me here. what kind of mechs exactly are we talking about? are we thinking of more gundam ish, very huminoid oversise
robotic suits? or are we talking about mechwarior style tank-on-two-legs thing? the former could have some advantages in some instances, but the
latter is utterly useles, why not just get a tank?
The problem is that you can 'scale' tanks as, if not MORE (existing automotive technology base is /huge/ and highly evolved) as readily as you can
armored suits and the combination of wheels-a-turnin' and internal volumetrics (squat by wide) is much more reliable (fewer linear/reciprocal
acuator/effectors and better weight distribution) and much easier to stuff with systems (cubic feet, plain and simple).
Now, for the ways that if used TACTICALLY a small to smallish mech (normal humansized robo suit to 20 ft tall at outside) would be imensiely usefull.
ideal mech: small, mabie about 7-8 feet tall, works in small groups, can withstand smallarms fire, would let the pilot (if not neccicarly the mech)
atleast survive an rpg, or 50cal rounds. give this mech a booster pack, sutch as would be usefull to make a jump longer/ higher and move faster.
The best way to survive an RPG is not to be shot at. The second best is to be too fast to be engaged by it. The third best is to shoot it down
(Trophy, Arena etc.) the _very last modeal preference_ is to 'take the hit and live'.
Because it's often cheaper to be able to throw something away than it is to lug it's armored weight around.
This argues against human occupational mechs at all, IMO, because the ability to move (or even /transition/ to moving, from a prone or kneeling
posture) rapidly through a given engagement zone is not inherent to the biped stance and the why /deliberately/ cripple yourself by putting a hollow
inside the volume that armor must surround, thus compromising it's thickness beyond that necessary for any internal actuation systems?
Look at a T-800-101 and tell me how thee heck you plan on stuffing a human inside that?
If Mechs have any advantage at all over conventional vehicles it will be that they are lighter because they DO NOT have a human inside. And perhaps
can be compacted tighter or stood more vertically to facilitate dense packing (Battledroid sequence from 'TPM').
What you would want to do with these things is drop them out of a helicopter near to an enimy position, they could land from higher up with the aid of
jumppacks, and then get them IN CLOSE with soldiers.
Why? If I _know_ soldiers are present, I'm going to drop a bomb or artillery round on their heads. The best way to figure this out is with building
penetrating microwave sensors or a tiny little Tamiya RC-like throwaway.
NEVER come to where the enemy is. Because he sure as heck knows his own location better than you do and may well have prepped the area /before/ you
detected him, so as to create an ambush.
Maneuver to Target NOT Engage is one of the key laws of Firepower.
If these things can withstand at least smallarms fire, and amplify human strenght *would have to to move, i remind you* and have a close combat wepon
in addition to a firearm, three these things could DESTROY a group of twenty soldiers group of soldiers in one go.
I think you're hung up on a Predator/Ninja/Jedi mode of thinking. Never send a Marine where a bullet can go better. Never spend more on the bullet
than the aperture you target-smartly with it.
In close range, with small arms fire not working, what are you going to do? blow up your comerades with an rpg or grenade?
A typical soldier is going to have between 8 and 12 magazines on him for a patrol, maybe more if it's a LRRP type long boonie walk. Depending on the
nature of the fight, he is going to either expend all of 1-2 mags on a bunch of targets that HE ambushes. Or every round he has instant-onset
suppressing an enemy that has done the same to him.
THE KEY is to _maximize the conditions_ by which:
A. You make sure you're a proactive shooter (see first, kill first or /avoid/ as a decisionial variable).
B. You have ENOUGH shooters so that (in a spread out patrol line) any initial attrition is not overwhelming and you ALL are shooting 'to the last
8X30 = 240 rounds. 10X240 = 2,400 rounds. Where the definition of infantry as point-fire shooters is that they can ALL target individual as much as
clustered aimpoints by clock bearing and highlow (preassigned) target fields.
And then shift to reengage a fresh one.
It is actually quite hard to match them for numbers of aimed-targets per minute engaged.
Now an MG can lay down a LINEAR fire as a 'beaten ground' type system whereby you all occupy a narrow arc or zone of attack and are taken down like
wheat before the scyth. But it is not aimed so much as saturative which means that if you have one-or-a-few shooters, all with heavy weapons, you
will have a very difficult time matching both the sustained (bullets carried) fires and the ability to rapidly engage several point threats,
Remember, for every measure there is a counter. And if you are into killing millioni-dollar fighting suits, so too can the countermeasure
performance:cost leveraging increase (because there are likely fewer mecha than grunts).
As the basics of 'don't hit a rhino with a ball peen hammer'' suggest Landmine, LAW and SPR as the likely engagement methods of choice, let's see
what we can do to improve their performance.
One idea that immediate springs to mind is an EFP/SFF system via a tuned Hornet or similar (WAAM) type skeet flinger. The round goes up, it sees the
target, it points a self forging fragment at it, and from as much as 100-150 yds away, you put a 9,000fps slug through the 'helmet' of the
Go robot vs. robot. Placing a very large caliber (50-80lbs) rocket weapon (100mm?) or heavy antitank rifle (50mm?) on a remote firing post or
vehicle. If a bigger bang is what it takes and you KNOW you can no longer stand up to the 'man himself', there is no reason to hump the weight or
stick around to point the kill-mechanism, manually.
Especially in 4GW, the essence of infantry tactics is that they are so cheap and easy to whack that the enemy /thinks/ he can do so and get away with
it. Often, he does. Sometimes, he gets careless or lazy and is run down by the surviving friends. Sometimes, it's a trap and by shooting
dumb-ugly-1 he is in fact setting himself up to take a smart bomb or a FFAR to the forehead in his revealed fighting position.
If the threat is so intimidating that there is no chance of a 'got yer scalp!' psychologic reward, _the threat will not engage_.
In any case, remember, SCALING. If a (lucky) RPG can kill a tank, it will always be a threat to something smaller 'but still too large' to avoid
detection or dodge the kill effect.
I dont think so. The crucial elements here would be geting them to MOVE FAST and withstand small arms fire. Also, i would say that these things would
be realy usefull in an urban enviroment. for instance, if you belived that there were enimys in a particular building, ordinarliy you would send you
soldiers in, where the others have the advantage of knowing the layout of the building, and knowing what paths could posobly be taken to get in. with
this smaller 7 ft mech, you could break through a wall ( i suppose this could be done with a grenade also) go inside, quickly dispatch everything
inside with minimal injury because no one expects to need an rpg inside a building, or have a 50cal placed facing inwards.
You take buildings, from the smallest to the largest, _top down_. So that the rats have a place to flush too and so that the natively 2D thinking of
the average muzzle mutt doesn't get him a bullet to the crown of his skull. This scenario has actually played out in Fallujah and two men ended up
being badly hurt because they went too deep, too fast without clearing the bloody rooftop.
What ended up being done was the entire building blown apart by a tank. While this may sound 'excessive' it actually tends to /save/ lives and
property because if you want scarey, you talk the overpressure/blast effects of a HEAT round blowing up inside a contained volume. And again, the
OTOH if, for whatever (foolish) reason you cannot get full-court-pressish with your engaged opfor, it is STILL CHEAPER to send in a SMALL robot with a
9mm and a selfdestruct charge (also bomb detection sniffers) to first find and fix the threat. And then use gas or smoke to wheedle him out.
Simple as that. mech walks back out, gets picked up by helecopter, and goes back in its power cradle.
The problem with using tanks as infantry support weapons is, as I have said, that they opfor will evaporate if they are at all wise. OTOH, the
problem with using infantry as tank support weapons is that, sure, they can sweep a fairly large city, one street at a time.
But they will take /enormous/ casualties. And the very slowness of their rate of advance is such that they also tend to put the AFV at equal risk.
What a tank does best is to create gaps through which conventional forces can break out. Or to range-deep to CUT OFF whatever enemy is dislodged by
i.e. Rather than use your highly costly robot as a one-course-horse in competition with systems that do that job just as well; you need to create an
employment scenario where it does either a bunch of things. Or ONE THING better/cheaper/quicker than any other platform can be cross-missioned to
IMO, the place for a robot is equivalent to that of a hunting cat breaking /past/ the forward lines of support. And then killing whatever tries to
run by in rout.
Oh and thats another thing: a group of small mechs could fit inside a helicopter or specially modified troop transport, 'charge up' there, and would
only NEED a batterly life of about four or five hours, if that, to be effective. the pilot could have infared, a gps, radar, and a HUD, all situated
in the helmet, all activated by voice commands.
I think you underestimate the amount of juice it would take to power a fully armored, manned, fighting suit. Though I admit I have no idea as to how
many many watts we're talking about (I recall an all-electric demo in which a converted car running on banks of laptop lithium-ion batteries which
outran a corvette in the 1/4 mile, only to have to be recharged), it would not surprise me if it didn't need more than a conventional car does.
Probably by a factor of 3-4. Imagine hauling around 4 car batteries worth of weight /just in and of themselves/.
No. It's better to go with a fuel cell or small rotary generator (constant speed=very high efficiency) and a _low_ capacitance battery system, IMO.
Because weight:weight the liquid fuel will be lighter and it will /run/ (albeit at greatly reduced performance), even if the battery is taken out of
The only question is whether you are able to muffle the system sufficiently to work without compromising the operational profile of the vehicle.
main obstacles that i can see are making these things move fast, and not sacrificing armor execively. with a smaller mech, the fast part is not so
hard, the power issues are alredy out of the way, so these are realy the only problems left. the armor bit could be sloved, or at least helped by
removable armor. have the main armor 'plates' be removable, and replaceable, depending on the situation, and a small armory, likewise
interreplacable, all inside this transport, the same one with the power cradles. if you were likely to only run into lightly armored infantry, put on
lighter armor, bring lighter wepons. you could also make them able to leach juce out of power outlits, if its an urban setting, incase of exended
perious away from main carrier.
No. Unlike a wheeled chassis which will always have a given strength margin inherent to it's frame and wheel supports that is almost always vastly
greater than the official payload margin (to accept the lumps and bumps of travel on an irregular terrain matrix), anything on legs has to be sized to
carry the weight that is there /all the time/. Because it is it's own loadbearing AND locomotive source.
So leaving the armor off doesn't improve it's lift-leg-/thrust!/ electromechanical efficiency much if the structural capability to bear the weight
is still inherent to it's chassis.
There will also be some severe balance and (axial) acceleration issues which means that whatever gyro system and hydraulic or electrical or fiber
'muscle' system must also be tuned to generate adequate responses in-range for the mobility @ weight you are going to be using most often.
ha HA *mechs are so cool!*
PS: im sure there are lots of holes in this, and some of its probobly alredy covered, but some of its good, im sure.
It's not that they aren't cool. It's that they are already among us in far simpler forms, with wheels. Mecha as a class need to be considered,
not as anthropomorphic expressions of our identity as a function of 'what can we do to stay relevant on the battlefield'. Rather they need to be
seen in the light of 'what NEEDS doing that neither man nor existing vehicles can continue to achieve without near-random if not overwhelming
One area that comes to mind, particularly if you are not going to make your own doors, elevators and 5.56 pincushions through every wall in a
building, is simply the ability to climb stairs. To turn a doorknob. To press a button. Or climb a wall if not rope.
These acts which WE DO because /we live/ (in the places that posess such features) and which conventional machines cannot, are inherently dangerous
because they are either signature actions which can be sabotaged in their execution. Or require transit of key chokes which are predictable.
And yet, to replace the human hand (cue 'The Addam's Family' theme) or the human foot DOES NOT require an anthropomorphic equivalent form. Nor one
which weighs, at a minimum, several hundred pounds.
It simply requires something which does not lose traction or overtip on a regular slope. And which can extend a prehensile actuator that -may or may
not- look like a finger/thumb combination.
And which, perhaps most importantly, is light enough to be carried until needed to scramble ahead of an infantry team with more ease than existing
It might be a spider. It might be a cat. But in replacing US /rather than/ compete with an armored golfcart (as the best solution to your
suggestion) it has to do the same or similar job for _less value_ that it can be carried and expended at the same rate for which humans would take
similar casualties navigating a similar hazard.
Keep that in mind. COST as not only an independent variable but a principle one (top three of 10 say). And then go back to the drawing board and