Jump to content

Vehicle locomotion methods


kristof65
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would say it depends on the altitude a grav vehicle can hover at as to whether they're really different.

 

A grav vehicle that can hover at any altitude is really an aircraft . . .

 

Since I'm thinking of ground vehicles, I lumped air-cusion and grav together.

I pondered the hypothetical technology, gravitics, a bit more. We agree about grav vehicles being considered aircraft above a certain altitude. If the tech was that good. What if it was not?

 

Suppose the gravitics only worked within 2 meters of a solid surface. That might mean air cushion vehicles (ACVs) could operate ON bodies of water where gravitic supported vehicles (GSVs) could not. And sea-ice? beats me... :unsure: You could still have a category called ground effect vehicles (GEVs)* that covered both types.

 

Point is the capability of the technology will have a lot to do with the category.

 

*Acronym is not original with me, SJ Games was there first...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

This thread is making my head spin!! Only with big, stompy robots and their associated vehicles do I find myself overwhelmed by the difficulty of suspending my disbelief.

 

I know the thread is about movement, so I'll start there. An Emperor CAV and it's associated weight would collapse a whole lot of terrain. I wonder if could even move, especially in a desert setting?

 

As for the tech: if, going from the CAV setting, there are nanobots which repair CAVs and vehicles, would it sound feasible to have the same tech bring them to ruin, like the germs took out the Martians?

 

If a faction has the resources to build something as big as a CAV, I don't understand why they don't just build bigger bombs?

 

I love the CAV range, and enjoyed the 2nd edition. I hope the 3rd edition proves fun to play too, but when the future arrives, will all this stuff look as dated as the ships from the old Flash Gordon films with the sparklers comin' out the back of the rocket?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the tech: if, going from the CAV setting, there are nanobots which repair CAVs and vehicles, would it sound feasible to have the same tech bring them to ruin, like the germs took out the Martians?

 

Presumably there would be nanobots designed to counter the "germ" nanobots too. Touched on in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age

 

If a faction has the resources to build something as big as a CAV, I don't understand why they don't just build bigger bombs?

 

Why build tanks today when you can build nuclear bombs? What is a armored division compared to a 50Mt nuclear weapon?

 

but when the future arrives, will all this stuff look as dated as the ships from the old Flash Gordon films with the sparklers comin' out the back of the rocket?

 

Probably. Look at the SF of the '50s or even '60s. Star Wars has aged pretty well, but who knows what things will look like in 50 years?

 

Damon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mecha exist in fiction precisely because they look cool. But the whole silhouette issue is a bit of a downer. I just don't let it disrupt my fun. Depends on how "hard" your SF project is.

 

"Run-flat" tires are great and currently allow vehicles to self-recover to the nearest base for a replacement...unless the whole tire is shredded by whatever caused it to be damaged.

 

I would imagine that lighter more durable tracks by some feat of science, but would have no clue as to what they'd be made of. With tracked vehicles I think your thought process is backwards regarding weight. Tanks, APCs, IFVs, SPARTY etc. are heavy because of their armor and armament, the treads distribute it better than wheels.

 

As far as the conjectured appearance of future vehicles, all I have to say is "Where the F*** is my flying car?!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but when the future arrives, will all this stuff look as dated as the ships from the old Flash Gordon films with the sparklers comin' out the back of the rocket?

 

A year or two ago I saw some drawings of a vehicle the army is considering as a replacement for the Abrams perhaps mid century. The vehicle had a VERY low siluette. As I recall its height was about the equivalent of just the Abrams' hull! This was going to reduce the size and weight of the vehicle to something in the neighborhood of 40-50 tons. Considerably lighter than most modern MBT's today

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tracked vehicles tend to have heavier weights which can lead to 2 serious problems. One is fuel consumption. Because they tend to weigh significantly more they consume a heck of a lot of fuel compared to a wheeled vehicle. Also, crossing bridges can be problematic for tracked vehicles. Finding a bridge capable of handling 30, 40, up to 70 ton vehicles aint always easy.

This is actually one of the things that brought me to posting this thread. One of the reasons tracked vehicles are so much heavier than a wheeled counterpart are the weight of the treads themselves (the other main reason being the tracks have a higher surface contact area, and thus can support a heavier vehicle for the same pounds per square inch). Anyway, almost all tracked combat vehicles have very heavy metal mechanical track sections. At some point, I have to believe this will change - some materials engineer will figure out a better material to make the track from - right? But what kind of alternatives might be possible? And how will those possibilities change the look of a track?

 

I'm not too sure how much farther track evolution will go in appearance or function. Assuming a material can be designed that is lighter, yet just as strong as current metals I'm not sure that would necesitate a radical redesign of tracked vehicles. I think one area of design improvement that you could explore would be designing protection for a vehicle's tracks. Perhaps encasing them in some sort of armor so only the portion that is in contact with the ground is exposed. This would, in theory, make it much more difficult to damage the tracks with anything short of some ground mine. I guess i'm describing some kind of "super skirt design" If you're familar with the "skirting" concept for tanks. Again the reason no nation has yet bothered with such a design today is the massive increase in cost and weight it would add to a vehicle to armor it in such a way. This would mean, to keep performance the same, you would have to design a more powerful engine which gobbles even more fuel... lord knows that's the last thing today's armies want heh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, having huge skirts that protects the entire suspension, besides being heavy, will effectively limit the amount of travel distance of the suspension arms. Even with a fairly wide range of movement on the arm itself, the skirt could come into contact with the ground and thus interfere with movement. The biggest advantage a tank has is not neccessarily protection, but mobilitiy IIRC.

 

Damon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've decided that the walker type vehicles I'm most interested in are the tripods the Martians ride in. Rebel Minis makes some of the coolest 15mm Martian tripods around. I think I'll just go for those, and use them for all of my gaming!!

 

It's easier to suspend my disbelief when aliens are involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest advantage a tank has is not neccessarily protection, but mobilitiy IIRC.

 

Damon.

 

On the modern battlefield mobilty is important, but it no longer comes close to protection. The reason for this is the fire control system in MBT's today. Tanks are so accurate with their fire and at ranges around 4,000 yards it really dosent matter if your vehicle can go 50 mph. If you can't defeat a hit your dead. Mobility as a defensive factor was pretty much outdated by the 1960's. As evidence of this compare two tank designs of the time period that were developed along the lines of protection vs mobility. The French army developed the AMX series which was very fast but lightly armored. The French subscibing to the theory that mobility could still be used as a viable form of defense. The British OToH devloped the Chieftain series. A tank with average mobility at best but, had massive armor. The Chieftain performed brilliantly and its crews loved it for its ability to survive hits from the new Soviet designs mounting 125mm guns. The AMX was a death trap that could not even withstand hits from 100mm guns on older Russian models like the T-55. All the battlefield experiences learned from the various Israeli vs Arab wars proved time and again protection is king, followed closely by firepower (hitting power plus accuracy) and then mobility. As a final note a tank with effective armor also improves crew morale dramatically. I mean think about it if you know your in a machine that can take a hell of alot of punishment you're feeling pretty damn confident driving into harm's way. Abrams' crews today are evidence of that. Or ask a Tiger crewman how he felt when he was confronted with a Sherman (more mobile) vs how even a Platoon of Sherman's crewmen felt when engaging a Tiger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IF that Tiger tank didn't break down while road marching to the battle (read Sledgehammers for an eye opener: the first battalion sized offensive conducted by Tiger II tanks started with the full battalion, but perhaps a reinforced company actually hit the enemy lines -- due mostly to breakdowns). It doesn't matter how well protected a tank is when engaging enemy infantry: if they get into a position to close-assault the tank, the tank is in trouble. In this instance the tank's best protection is mobility (by being away from the infantry). Similarly, a tank needs to use its superior mobility to maneuver against the enemy. It's one thing for an Abrams to take hits such that the LRPs of the T-72 stick out of the armor like lawn darts, but this protection doesn't mean much if the tank cannot maneuver into a position of superiority to engage the enemy with concentrated fires...

 

Damon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IF that Tiger tank didn't break down while road marching to the battle (read Sledgehammers for an eye opener: the first battalion sized offensive conducted by Tiger II tanks started with the full battalion, but perhaps a reinforced company actually hit the enemy lines -- due mostly to breakdowns). It doesn't matter how well protected a tank is when engaging enemy infantry: if they get into a position to close-assault the tank, the tank is in trouble. In this instance the tank's best protection is mobility (by being away from the infantry). Similarly, a tank needs to use its superior mobility to maneuver against the enemy. It's one thing for an Abrams to take hits such that the LRPs of the T-72 stick out of the armor like lawn darts, but this protection doesn't mean much if the tank cannot maneuver into a position of superiority to engage the enemy with concentrated fires...

 

Damon.

Mechanical breakdowns are a consequence of poor Reliability and Maintainability. Those are qualities distinct from Mobility. So far this thread has exceeded its original scope (categorizing and identifying the mechanisms for achieving mobility) and has gone on to identify (and even rank) the basic qualities of a Mechanized Military Vehicle: Firepower, Protection, Mobility, Maintainability and Reliability.

 

Two things to ponder:

The WWII Germans had a Late-War drawing board design for a Landkreuzer. It had battleship thick armour, a spare twin or triple turret meant for a Kriegsmarine Cruiser, several diesel engines . . . It was big, it was silly, they never built it. If it was given 'D&D' style stats for F P M M R those might have been: F-23 P-28 M-0 M-4 R-3. It gets Mobility of 0 because it is unlikely it could have moved under its own power.

 

Second item to ponder:

Suppose an alien tripod (or up to octopod) walker had wheels at the bottom of each 'leg'. For road operations the wheels are unlocked and/or extended and at least one is powered. For off-road they lock/retract and the tripod (or whatever) 'walks'. Does there need to be a combo category?

 

I miscounted, here's a a third item to ponder:

Waterbourne locomotion and land operation combined? Second WW Amphibious DUKW - wheels and propellers. Current issue USMC AAV-7s (formerly LVT-7s) - treads and propellers. Future amphibian half-track - treads And wheels AND water-jets! Oh my.

 

(I just want to see slater's head spin...) :devil:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Second item to ponder:

Suppose an alien tripod (or up to octopod) walker had wheels at the bottom of each 'leg'. For road operations the wheels are unlocked and/or extended and at least one is powered. For off-road they lock/retract and the tripod (or whatever) 'walks'. Does there need to be a combo category?

Many, many years ago I had a copy of Heavy Metal magazine that had some sort of combat story. I don't recall the specifics of the story, but there is one thing that stuck with me - there was a tank in the story that had three "legs" with a track at each end. These weren't full out legs, more of a "super suspension" that allowed it to sit level on unlevel ground, or do pop-up style attacks, etc. The image stuck with me all these years, and I've always wanted to build a model of something similar - my own take on the concept.

 

It's not really practical - a lot more mechanically complex than just a simple tracked vehicle. It's now on my to do list as I'm working on getting some models designed, 3d printed, and hopefully cast up in resin.

 

 

I suppose a combo category would be appropriate, too - after all, a half-track is both wheeled and tracked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Walkers are somewhat viable albiet very limited. Northern Afghanistan would be the perfect place for medium sized walkers (15 - 20 feet tall; 15 - 20 tons). There's not a whole lot of options as far as ground vehicles that can bring heavier firepower to bear on the enemy in Northern Afghanistan which is very mountainous. Another use for walkers would be the Urban Combat. A walker's silhouette wouldn't be that big of an issue IMO as it would initially be seen as a really tall human. An then there's the psychological of a CAV/ Battlemech type of walker which would be worth the price. Granted you would have a battlefield full of them, but there are uses for the Combat Walker. Remember Artillery wasn't particularly effective for the first few hundred years of it's use and neither were firearms. Right now they aren't all that feasible, but who knows how the future of warfare might change. With the advent of drones, it might not be all the smart to have a manned vehicle that doesn't have the manueverablity of a Walker. When you look at the first tanks, they're pretty laughable compared to today's standard. I'm not saying that Walkers will be a game changer, but they will offer a general with a new weapons platform with it's own set of characteristics to employ.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...