1. The Inverse Economy of Violence - in media, the larger the weapon is, the less effective it is against heroes and named characters, thus lobbing nukes at an entire city is doomed to fail, and the best option is bare knuckles fisticuffs
2. The CE is increasingly geared towards small scale, squad vs squad, hero vs villain level of conflict Go to Comment
The Atlantic Federation is not the Clans from Battletech, but rather, piggybacks off of the Clan's use of cloning technology and their honor based military culture. In the Cosmic Era, the concept of unlimited warfare and massed formations of combined arms is a no-go idea. Environmentalism and collateral damage concerns have become much more prominent, but the CE exists in a place where previous wars, with those massed military units and unlimited warfare and bombardments and saturation bombings almost rendered Earth uninhabitable, so there is no point in winning if there is nothing left afterwards. This has lead to a more chivalrous mode of sporting warfare. This is supported on the other side by extensive, and I mean extensive use of surveillance, covert ops, and shadowrunning. The nature of arcologies and megastructures have also moved large scale war into the defensive, much like in WWI where trenches and fortresses dictated battle.
The command structure inside of an AFAF expeditionary force is flexible, and competitive. The different units withing the force are going to be vying for honor and glory because these justify their continued military existence, and validate the soldiers who carry them out. This rivalry is important because it keeps the knives sharp because there is not a monolithic military industrial complex, nor is there a Constant Readiness Doctrine. Historically speaking, during peacetime, most nations have their military obligations dialed down, and their military R&D more low key, war is expensive and it is even more expensive paying for a large standing army on wartime footing when there is no war. After the second World War, and running through the entirety of the Petroleum Age, many world militaries found ways to stay at wartime levels of funding and operation, and this was a tremendous drain on the world economies, and caused large amounts of social and economic suffering that was handwaved away with patriotism and fearmongering.
In the CE, military industries tend to be self contained, and the Cognocracy that runs the Atlantic Federation doesn't have loopholes and weaknesses for lobby groups and PACs to run roughshod over the government, the AISCs that make the big decisions are considered nigh incorruptible, compared to the politicians and policy makers they replaced. During wartime, or anticipation of wartime, the powers that be (military AISC) can order a build up, and standing units are mobilized, and reserve units are brought up, and groundwork starts on filling demand. When the war is over, there is a large drawdown. Reserves are packed up, heavily damaged units are disbanded, and so forth. The system of trials and rites add the mysticism element that humans respond well to, and it allows for human excellence to outshine pragmatism.
This is a multi-fold system. The AISCs cut back on military waste spending when it isn't required. In the case of an unexpected aggressor attack, military forces are going to be a prime target, so supply depots, motorpools, and the bases would be the first places hit. With far fewer, the number of potential targets shrinks and the high degree of internal mobility allows for fast rallying and deployment of forces in the case of such a venture. This is seen as basic, but there is a greater reason. The AISCs in charge are concerned about outside non-human non-terrestrial forces attacking, or compromising and hijacking human military resources in a bid to take Earth. The AISCs are aware that there are 'things' going on out in the Oort cloud, well past the Human Red Line (the line demarcing how far humans have traveled from the sun) and have assumed that these are potential alien incursions, but are unaware that this work of the Glassenheim Foundation and the Annunaki deep space fleet Go to Comment
When I get back to a computer I'll put those excellent points into the piece because they are excellent. I got the idea from an episode of One Punch Man where they discover the 'House of Evolution' which is a monster making lab staffed entirely by one mad scientist and the clones of himself he's created. He/ they succeed in making a hell of an Evangelion/giant beetle monster but are pretty quickly destroyed by the heroes. Go to Comment
This article was written after the conclusion of HBO's Game of Thrones series and how it won a huge following and promptly ruined it. The issue at hand is that for decades Hollywood has been dominated by the Individualistic Story, with its singular hero, singular villain, and all or nothing ending. Considering the influence of Hollywood over storytelling, the formulaic hero vs villain story has become the normal, the rule. The Game of Thrones series became popular not just because of the genre fantasy and grimdark delivery, but because it didn't cleave to this. Anyone could die at anytime, and frequently did. For the bulk of the HBO series, the showholders and writers had the framework of Martin's books to work from, and they did will with them. Going into the last season, they were left on their own, and had to make their own path. This showed that they were trapped in the paradigm of the individual storytelling formula and to serve this (and an expedient end to the series) they pursued what they considered important, a handful of individuals all bent to serving the culmination of the singular story, which is a shame. It is a shame because the richness of the series came from is societal storytelling and not its heroic individualism.
Another example of this dichotomy is in the classic series Robotech. While it is cobbled together from three different anime, the series was presented as a single story with multiple arcs, and there are different characters who all have their own arcs, their own directions, and they do not serve any single story master. Likewise, there are deaths, and a lot of significant destruction. Many are still sad over the death of Roy Fokker. But the story continues, the Robotech Masters are still fighting for protoculture, and the generations of humans on Earth are still defending it. Go to Comment
The .787 is a slab sided cinderblock of a pistol chambered for a 20mm round (.787 caliber). It can damage power armor at close range and can be used for called shots when used at point blank range. At medium and long range it is more of a nuisance weapon. Against conventional infantry and thin skinned vehicles, the .787 is a mauler. These are commonly seen as side arms and secondary weapons for security and police patrol armors. The gun is also an effective club when it is out of bullets.
The 20mm SMG is a popular mercenary and security force weapon, capable of laying down a barrage of 20mm shells in fast, if not particularly accurate, fashion. The weapon is ammo hungry, and far too heavy for normal infantry to use, but it is an absolute buzzsaw against autons, devastating in close quarters combat, and otherwise a really loud obnoxious way to make an entrance.
The 1.18 Revolver is frankly a terrifying weapon. The revolver is power armor sized and fires a 30mm cannon round, and can hold between three and six rounds, depending on how large the gun is. Unlike most .787s, the 1.18 can fire specialty munitions. Most of the time, troopers who pack 1.18s pick high explosive and armor piercing rounds, for fun. The revolver is massive, and most power armor users have to use both hands to control the it.
There are a large number of pistols, submachine guns, machine guns, and assault rifles chambered for the formerly popular .50 round, the 12.7mm heavy machine gun round. Formerly useful, this gauge of round has proven itself to be less than effective in power armor versus power armor engagements, and as such has been largely abandoned by most militaries. Large caches of guns and ammo remain in this configuration, meaning that there is a ready supply of them for third and forth tier military forces, wastelanders, Silk-roaders, low end mercenaries, gangs, and otherwise neer'do'wells.
The allure of 12.7mm guns is that most all of them can be used by conventional infantry, mounted on civilian vehicles, and otherwise be used in large numbers. While not effective against modern armor and equipment, they can still readily chew up normal infantry, shred through encounter suits, bring down robotic foes if enough ammo is used, and increasingly, these weapons are being upgraded to full automatic and link fire capability where sheer number of rounds fired bring down light and medium targets.
The pinnacle of .50 weaponry is the actually fairly terrifying 12.7mm minigun. This weapon is quite a bit slower than the larger GAU-8 Avenger used by the A-10 Warthog, but the ammo drum is limited to the carrying capacity of the power armor trooper, (and a fully load GAU-8 is just over two tons). The 12.7mm Rotary can reach speeds of 1800 rounds per minute, and if loaded with armor piercing rounds, can turn a surprising number of foes into scrap.
The original Nordenfelt was a 19th century attempt to create a rapid fire weapon by having a large number of barrels and chambers fixed to a platform. It was surpassed by automatic receivers and gatling guns, but the design was renovated in the CE, using relatively common Neo-Soviet 23mm cannon rounds. The power armor .905 Nordenfelt is a forearm mounted weapon, where three to seven barrels are fixed to the arm of the power armor and flexing the fist causes the guns to fire. They all fire at the same time and cause a surprising amount of damage, when firing armor piercing rounds.
Variant Nordenfelts are common. The concept of mounting multi-barrel weapons on a bracer can be applied to almost any weapon, provided the builder has the time, resources, and will to make it. There is no reason to say that there aren't laser nordenfelts, or plasma versions. Such variants would require extensive power supplies, but gyrojet and chemjet guns could add heavy low rate of fire punch for a relatively low investment.
Often considered the grandchild of the .22, the .866 is a 22mm non-specialized round. The .866 Gardener is a double barreled rifle with a rotating receiver. The rifle can keep up a high rate of fire for a prolonged period of time, as the alternating between barrels allows them to cool without reducing the rate of fire. These guns, while not the most effective against power armor, are very useful in urban and other close quarters situations where their good range and rate of fire allow them to clear out the area.
dakka, lots of dakka
Not related to the previous revolvers, the 1.57 fires a 40mm grenade round. The 1.57 revolver fires 40mm grenade rounds, which are high explosive by default, but it can fire a large variety of special munitions, including gas, chemical, flashbang, and other more exotic rounds. These weapons are less common, as they are fairly bulky, and heavy.
A 50 mm shotgun, the 1.96 is a purely anti-infantry weapon, but an absolutely devastating one. The most common versions are semi-automatic and have bullpup configurations, and rely on the armature of the power suit to handle the recoil of the weapon. Firing a 1.96 by hand would seriously injure any human foolish enough to attempt it. 1.96s can fire specialty munitions like solid slugs, and the frightening and highly popular dragonfire round, causing the gun to emit an impressive fireblast. These can be used to clear rooms, set fires, and generally cause havoc and mayhem.
Colorful, and a well executed introduction. Plenty of vistas to see, lots of room to expand outwards, which is excellent. There are a few moments where you shift from past tense (correct) to present tense (incorrect) while writing the narrative.
A steel boot catches one of his would be killers in the gut.
Catches should be caught
A minor issue and easily corrected.
The real question I have, with this noble blooded battleaxe swinging fantasy noir barbarian, what would you have us do with him? His trudge through the Grey (fantastic) feels like a literary device for his lack of purpose. Go to Comment
That's where I was coming from with the paralytic medusa rifle. I'm not a huge fan of stoning effects, and working it into the CE is challenging. I could certainly make it work as some sort of a DFE side effect, and there is precedent for people being turned to ash, and salt. Turning someone into stone... what kind of stone? Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic? Go to Comment
The Apocalypse Ascendancy is indeed a McGuffin that is mostly used as a mock time travel device. A self contained vessel of everything that can go wrong has, hence it being the Omega Timeline. Go to Comment
Adding in my own details, Captain Houou would be a citizen of the Commonwealth of New England, and her rank would be the Armed Forces of the Atlantic Federation. While she does do some actual campaign work, and has a number of combat kills, making her a legitimate ace, she does most of her work in a USO fashion, where she is used in military propaganda, does live concerts for the troops, and is a poster girl for said forces. As orb craft have yet to dominate the Cosmic Era, she is not an orb pilot, rather, she pilots something angular, dangerous, and hostile, like a Warhammer or a Battlemaster (Battletech), with the full regalia of nose art and kill marks on the body, and plenty of bond posters of her partially naked sitting in the mech.
Her special skill in a mech is sideshifting and combat evasion. She all but make whatever she is driving dance, rather than trudge or battlestomp wherever it goes. If she can't establish a radio comm, her mech will have a powerful loudspeaker or bullhorn on it so she can literally emit her mocking laughter at her foes in combat (psychological warfare). Go to Comment
Author's Note: Orb craft were inspired by the less than stellar Heavy Objects anime (available subtitled on Hulu) that feature these war machines. The show deploys them as nigh invulnerable behemoths, able to survive direct nuclear strikes, but require scantily clad young women to pilot them. The Heavy Object animation is nice, the characters are all around terrible, and the military aspect of what should be a military/war anime is all but non-existent. All the technology of the Cosmic Era would be able to create war machines similar to the titular Heavy Objects, but doesn't require either pneumatically busty or prepubescent girls to drive them, and they aren't so OP that they can survive being attacked by the combined might of 14 nations and shrug off nuclear strikes.
In the CE setting, there are a few dozen orb craft in existence, and at this point they are in their infancy. Eventually they will indeed become the main unit used in armed conflict, and most of the hardware being used currently will be relegated to garrison and support roles. There will be a massive amount of internal conflict as the naval forces will resent their usurpation by the orb craft, and mech and fighter jocks will find the simplicity and brutality of orb based warfare insulting to their warrior ethos.
Spaceships and warships wont end, but will become more transports and logistics than combatants. The bigger warships will become Orb carriers, and rather than big sexy wedges and brutalist bricks, are probably going to look more like brussels sprout stalks or grape stems. Go to Comment
You receive a vision of a rooftop "somewhere close by", where a rare moss grows; in the vision, you know the moss is suitable for greatly enhancing the effects of certain types of potions. Now go and find that rooftop. Don't fall off. (Of course, rooftop runners *will* be taken for miscreants by the local City Watch....)