Anvil Flats 3

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lirvilas
31st Mar 2016, 10:00 AM

All images public domain, creative commons, or some damn german public license. All are present on Wikipedia. Needless to say, don't rip off photos and try to make money off them unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences.

Been busy the last few days with Comic Fury: March Madness 2016, where I produced a short work with Monday. Please check it out and comment!

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Rd Ashes
31st Mar 2016, 10:24 AM

Oh, we're really getting to sit in on this conference.
AND we are privy to the powerpoint presentation!
:-D

Tell us more about the plans for this drone.

PS I think she's bragging.
:-|

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ProfEtheric
31st Mar 2016, 11:13 AM

I don't think it's about the drone, Rd...

lirv has been hinting fir some time now about a next-gen weapon, and who what that weapon may be...

I concur about the neato aspect of sitting in on the presentation.

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Rd Ashes
31st Mar 2016, 11:21 AM

I actually thought of that pageā€¦ but everything that I can image coming from that page is pretty darn terrifying.

It's just drones, right? Plain, old mechanical drones?!

:-(

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lirvilas
31st Mar 2016, 11:18 AM

Of course she's bragging.

As you and I should be as well.

Those who don't adopt the latest RMA see their cities fall and their children slaughtered.

Drones are the future, drones are life.

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David's Sling

steveha
31st Mar 2016, 2:39 PM

Anyone who finds today's comic interesting would likely enjoy reading a novel called _David's Sling_. It's out of print as a paperback, but you can still buy it as an ebook: https://www.baen.com/david-s-sling.html

The book was looking to the near future and imagining cheap, autonomous, smart drone weapons and the impact they would have on how wars are fought. The book was written when the Soviet Union was still a thing, and the last part of the book is about how a Soviet invasion of Europe was ultimately defeated by the smart drones.

The David's Sling system was imagined to have three components:

0) The "HopperHunter" was a small hovercraft that would skitter around a battlefield on an air cushion. It had two or three anti-tank rounds, and a machine gun. It would preferentially shoot any tank or person who was very active on a radio, on the theory that such people were giving orders and coordinating the fighting. It was lightly armored, relying mostly on speed and luck to not get hit; and it was made in large numbers and considered completely expendable.

1) The next one, I think it was called the "SkyHunter", was a stealthy solar-powered drone with the ability to loiter for a long time or travel a long distance. It would identify centers of radio communications, and it carried one or two missiles with which to blow them up.

2) The final one, I think called the "HighHunter", was kinetic kill rods dropped from orbit. These were used against tanks (rarely) or against hardened fixed defenses. Like the other two componenets, they were drones; they didn't communicate, each one would pick its own target, and the target-finding had a bit of scatter built in so they wouldn't all pick the same target.

The early part of the book manages to make project management (PERT charts and all) kind of exciting. There is also drama as the project is nearly strangled in its crib by bureaucrats in Washington D.C. The later part of the book is grimly fun, as you watch the Soviet invaders get turned from a purposeful group to a disorganized mob.

There was a really interesting idea toward the end. A Soviet guy was talking to another Soviet guy, saying "can we build drone weapons and turn the war around?" and the other guy said "We can't do to them what they are doing to us, because they are defending. All they have to do is make sure we can't do anything organized, and they don't need to be organized to do it."

Recommended.

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lirvilas
31st Mar 2016, 3:52 PM

Welcome aboard, STEVEHA!

Nice comment; I may have to look up this work, as 1) Soviet space assets were fearsome and under a built-up to WWIII I would expect nothing less than some truly scary space-based kill platforms which orbital drop weapons would be naked against and 2) sounds like the ground-based drones would be doing, you know, exactly what broken up NATO/host country assets would be doing during hasty, f*'d up defensive actions. Oh, and 3) I have a difficult time believing a scenario where non-networked warfighters would be able to decisively beat down networked warfighters (a.k.a. talking-to-each-other).

In any case, sounds like I need to look up the book for some good old Red Storm Rising tear-up-the-Continent action!

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lirvilas
31st Mar 2016, 4:06 PM

You get two responses because I liked this comment so much.

What I'd really love to read is an account of an invasion of the Soviet Union by high-tech NATO forces, using whatever wham-o-dyne Reagan-era awesomeness in a blatant war of choice. Because I also disagree that being on the defensive gives any sort of advantage--show me a war where the victor was purely on the defensive the entire time. And 1812 doesn't count because harassment by insurgents doesn't count as "defense", it's localized offensive actions.

Oh, and since I'm totally being horrible here, I'd like this book to be written by a Russian.

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anonymous coward
31st Mar 2016, 4:46 PM

This isn't exactly what you asked for, but if you go through the back articles of The Exile you can probably still find a description of plans for a Warsaw Pact first strike to kick off a conventional WW3. If I'm remembering correctly, they expected to conquer most of western Europe long before America could do anything about it. You probably already know about The War Nerd if you've got these kinds of interests though.

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steveha
1st Apr 2016, 9:05 AM

Wow, glad you liked the comment.

I did say that the idea that defending doesn't need coordination was "really interesting", not that I completely agreed with it! It's always an advantage to coordinate. This book was written before the Internet, and definitely before the "Internet of Things", so some of its ideas are creative but overtaken by actual technology.

But if you enjoy old-fashioned "idea" science fiction stories, you will very much enjoy this book!

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MadJak91
31st Mar 2016, 4:18 PM

Do not fight etc.

My thing with this is that it is one thing when some jerk decides your village simply has more meat and better cows and stabs your son because of it and the you get pissed and raid his place upside-down.
Other is when you wake up and simply say that your borders are kinda too small because why not so call a thousand of peasants because they need to die now for your borders that will not matter in in time anyway.

What is it today?
Some weird decomposed stuff underground and whose dude is sitting on the cloud.

In all seriousness, the only parallel I can draw to the new weapon is something with [proper rank] "Stonewall".
Last time you hinted at robots and stuff so I think they are somehow going to use her in this. She is in coma but well... They did take her...

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anonymous coward
31st Mar 2016, 5:06 PM

You're doing a pretty good job of rendering a long-winded slide show presentation, except it might not be boring enough. It's close enough that it's filling my head with all the standard sarcastic responses to such death by Powerpoint. Should I elaborate, or are you well-supplied for sarcasm?

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Stever
31st Mar 2016, 9:10 PM

Is panel 3 how the title for this one came about?

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lirvilas
31st Mar 2016, 9:27 PM

Naw. The title references a lyric from Atlantic City by Springsteen:
it's just winners and losers down here and don't you get caught on the wrong side of that line

Also there is a Social Distortion song that uses that phrase too.

And of course, let us not forget the Donald Trump quote in the comic profile. Hell with that guy.

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corruptedNPC
1st Apr 2016, 9:06 PM

I like that mushroom cloud. So beautiful.

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