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    Josheua
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    CoM Fireside Chats

    -The Ground Warfare Problem Part 1-

    It was a great turnout for our first Fireside Chat and I am happy to say we covered a lot of ground in a short period of time. The whole goal of these fireside chats are to introduce topics and given everyone a chance to discuss them, ask questions, and get a better understanding of how the universe works. If you are interested in joining them in the future, grab your mic and headphones and hop on over to our Discord channel on Saturday Nights at 7PM EST. I’ll use the forum to help summarize what we talked about and some of the key things we came to terms with in our discussions. So here are the notes from the first chat:

    TOPIC 1 – Shield Zones

    INTRO

    • Shield zones are planetary regions distinct in that they are covered by an umbrella-like shield which protects that shield zone from orbital bombardment.
    • Shield zones can vary in size from something the size of a continent to something the size of a city, depending on the overall power of the projector.
    • Large shields can be reduced in size while increasing their overall strength, but there are limits to just how much they can be reduced and how much gain in strength is had by reducing the size.

    Note: A good thumb rule for this states that a shield can be reduced by about
    1/10th of its normal full size for a gain of about 3x the overall strength. Any further
    reduction doesn’t increase the strength of the shield. This process is sometimes
    referred to as “lensing” or “retracting” a shield. 

    • Shields can also vary in how they are configured, with some opting for a central, powerful shield projector with smaller ancillary shields. Others use a series of equal strength projectors creating an overlapping network of equal strength shield regions.

    PLANETARY DEFENSES AND SHIELD ZONES

    • Shields can protect planetary defenses, but those shields must be dropped in small regions in order for these weapons to fire through.
    • Shield zone shields are not portable and require a decent amount of power and infrastructure to establish and deploy.
    • While some large ships can be used to carrying the equipment, actually establishing a shield zone takes time and equipment to set up before it can be powered on.  

    SHIELD ZONES AND SENSORS/COMMUNICATIONS

    • Shield zone shields interfere with and can deflect radio and microwave energies usually used in mid to short range communications, and many modern sensors can only collect very vague data through the shield grid itself.
    • Most fleets rely on more traditional imaging techniques to collect data on the enemy’s defenses with some limited sensor data that they can collect through the raised umbrella shield. 

    Note: This is a good feature to use for other uses. Case and point, a secret military base
    may maintain a shield zone in order to both protect itself as well as hide from peering
    sensors. 

    TOPIC 2 – Invasions

    ENGAGING THE ENEMY FLEET

    • The first step to a successful invasion is determining which path you intend to go down – defeating the enemy fleet before the invasion or simultaneously. 
    • Defeating the enemy fleet has the added benefit of allowing the attacker to maintain a logistical presence without the threat of attack. It is also makes the initial phase of the invasion easier.
    • Invading simultaneously with the fleet battle draws the enemies attention in two directs and can confuse and overwhelm a defender. 
    • Either way, an attacker must eventually defeat the enemy mobile forces in order to have some sustained attack on a planet.

    ESTABLISHING THE “BEACHHEAD”

    • The first step of the invasion is establishing the beachhead. This can follow a number of various tactics. 
    • Large Scale Attacks – Large scale attacks feature full on assault ships landing troops enmase at the edge of the shield zone. These attacks benefit from a large offensive force that is capable of overwhelming the enemy defenses. They suffer from the threat of loosing a large number of troops if one of those assault ships are destroyed.
    • Shock Troops  – On the opposite end of the spectrum are the deployment of largely unsupported shock troops to establish the landing zone. These troops help disrupt defenses and eventually allow larger forces to land unopposed. They have the benefit of a low cost, high potential reward scenario but suffer

    TOPIC 3 – Advancing through the Shield Zone

    ADVANCING ON THE PROJECTOR

    • The goal of every attacking force will be to get to the shield zone’s projector or projectors. This will require a sustained fight beneath the shield zone away from direct orbital to planetary support in the way of both suppressing fire and direct logistical support. 
    • Attacks in the region can follow a couple of options. Sweeping attacks across an entire front for complete control of the regions beneath the shield, or quick sweeping movements into the shield zone.
    • Broad Attacks – Broader attacks across a front are slower and more demanding in both personnel and resources. However, they ensure that an attacking force maintains a constant supply line to their forces and isn’t at risk – for the most part – of being flanked by the enemy.
    • Slicing Attacks  – Slicing attacks straight at the projectors have the benefit of being quick and often hard to stop. However, they leave an attacker open to counter attacks both of their main force and their logistics. 
    • While covert operation-disruption of shield-generators is a possible tactic, it is not likely to work in many cases; shield projectors would be extremely well guarded.
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