Originally posted by orangetom1999
For a historical basis I would suggest some of you research the New Model Army begun by Oliver Cromwel in the English Civil war.
Here is a leader who founded a different type of army in his day which was never defeated in battle yet suffered remarkably low casualtys for the
hardships of the campaigns carried out.
Up until the New Model Army the Roundheads as they were sometimes called were losing the Civil War to the Cavaliers. After the New Model Army the
Roundheads never looked back.
Yet intrestingly enough this is hardly mentioned in history compared to the significance of it.
As I recall up until this period in history battles were sort of a mixed bag of sides meeting in the field and just slugging it out till one group was
What Cromwell did and is recorded was diciplined his forces so that in the midst of a battle at the command they could reform quickly and go on the
offensive again. A concept not done by most armys in those days. Quick maneuverability and flexability used over and over in different battles by
Cromwell with success.
Cromwell chose men with Zeal and purpose for soldiers ..not olde men , drunkards, tapsters and serving men...but men with purpose and who understood
their purpose. Quite a accomplishment in those days.
Gee, the worlds first documented football game. How could historians have overlooked /that/?
Seriously, there is a lot to be said for invoking a 'group will' to a given activity in much the same manner as team sports are trained for and yet
it was not always intuitively a given that this should be the way it was done. Knights sat their horse and infantry were cannonfodder levies of
whatever a given landholder to scratch-force bring together to meet his fealty requirements.
Having said, organized militaries do go back as far as the Phalanx or beyond (I imagine the group hunting activities of neanderthal or cromagnon might
be considered a 'thicket of spears and flames' early form of coordinated martial teamwork, given the size and density of the natural threats they
Now, is that a 'good thing' these days?
IMO, no. Easy comms and cheap explosives as well as autofire weapons make group targets far too readily identified. Yet as the recent losses of
soldiers in both Iraq and Israel point out, being alone as a human largely reduces you to being the victim of kidnap/hostaging no matter what (and a
suicide option here is probably a god send compared to what has been done by the wondrous native wildlife in the ME).
Having said that, the items of necessity for me are:
1. Absolute invulnerability from area or point attack antipersonnel weapons of the coming generation. Whether that be combined ultrasound/microwave
'fear field generators', ADW surface conductance heat weapons or lasers and other means of direct attack. Because those will be the systems by
which small forces defend themselves against large or sudden-onset hordes.
2. High capacity onboard secure electrical generation. Sufficient to run imbedded comms, maps and targeting gear with redundancy in all apertures
(i.e. competing system volumes). With 100% reserve generation for extreme environment heating and cooling and later addition of DEWS.
3. Heavy Weight Armor Without Mobility Loss.
Sufficient to stop .50 sniper/SPR rounds. While maintaining high agility in all four principle axes of movement and the ability to negotiate a 20%
gradient and a 3ft obstacle. Redundancy here probably means motor-on-hub wheels with an independent hydraulic chassis lift system.
4. Mixed Weapons Systems with both less than lethal, lethal to 100m, lethal to 1,000m and explosive fires integrated into a single weapon/tube
cluster environmentally shielded and armored against direct attack.
5. Secondary scouting systems. At least three. Though 1+1 if a flyer would be an option. This to AVOID direct exposure while sensing as much as
shooting from defilade. The ground unit would likely have to have it's own weapons system (poison darts, microexplosives or tazer technology) but
would otherwise only be required to negotiate a human level environment. Implying a walker of somekind, possibly with at least one manipulative,
extensible, reversible fingered, hand. The aircraft needs to be VTOL and capable of 120 minutes of unrefueled flight with sensors feeding data back
to the unit or another relay platform but no weapons requirement.
6. It needs to be cheap, hardy, easy to manufacture and modular. Assume that it takes 60,000 dollars to pay and train a raw recruit from off the
street to fully Basic+Infantry School capable generic rifleman category. Assume that he has another 100 grande in death benefit. Each vehicle,
including all onboard packages should cost no more than half of this. Repair in the field should be a function of complete (failed drive train on one
chassis-arm = replace the arm) modular switchout while upgrades should be similarly accomplished with a plug'n'play architecture that is secure
against most hacking (unique BIOS encrypt). You should be able to make no less than 100 per month at a single factory to ensure rapid standup of a
force that needs no further training or preparation before wooden-round delivery to storage or combat. This means sealed hydraulics or
7. Upgrades Should Be Preplanned.
To include secure networking and navigation, combat and eventually /mission/ autonomy using a staged improvement program with ACTD demonstrations
(i.e. open patents) and easy spiral slip or coupled additions that can be applied to new models or existing inventory WITHOUT disrupting current
production (i.e. total cradle to grave support capabilities from the system integrator and an attitude of cooperation when demand exceeds load and
work must be laid off to other companies.
Obviously I come down hard on the 'battle droids beat clone troops' side of the Star Wars argument. Simply because, until you are willing to invest
high level GE technology (currently not even /legal/ in this country) into the poorest and dumbest of our societies desperate hopefuls, none of the
Super Soldier crap will ever come to pass. And even IF it does, you are still looking at a man all too easy to kill with total loss of a 300,000
dollar and 20 year
'training cycle.' I suppose if high level psionics were involved, things might be different but frankly the kinds of things I would be looking for
there would be precog and intuitive pattern matching along with long range clairvoyance and telepathy. All items which are better vested in an HQ
environment than on the battlefield.
Either way, so long as we insist on risking moronically vulnerable human assets on a battlefield where all engagements are functionally about survival
rather than victory, we cannot do better than to augment existing human capabilities with _mechanical not biologic_ systems additions. A normal man
with a properly designed exoskeleton being able to outrun a super-athlete while carrying more gear for instance.