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ChalkLine 12-14-2018 07:53 PM

Twilight 2020
 
(Yes, I know about Twight 2013. For the purposes of this thread I won't be using it.)

Not to worry about a 'how it could happen' scenario, we've done lots of those.

If a GM wanted to set a twilight game in today's world what changes would you need?

Would you change the starting kit? Night Vision Goggles and radios are pretty much standard in most major national armies now, would you make them standard? Do the battery rules need a change now that so many more things use batteries?

Basic vehicle lists. What needs changing? Would the old lists based on actual vehicles change? I think a list based on vehicle role would be better. Also rules on adapting vehicles for the needs of Twilight soldiers is needed. In Viet Nam you see things like a M551 Sheridan with a twin M2 .50 on the commander's cupola and an M60 on a pintle on the loader's hatch for example.

Currency and trading needs better rules. I have used the '1x 7.62mm cartridge = $1' as a basis for trading and also '1x cigarette = $1' but what other rules do we need. A lot of players practically become 'combat traders' moving slowly westwards! :)

StainlessSteelCynic 12-14-2018 11:14 PM

Yes I would definitely change the starting equipment list to reflect the wider use of electronic devices (not just night vision gear but also military notebook & tablet type computers, micro-drones/UAVs and so on).

I don't know if battery rules need to change so much as be updated & supplemented. For example, you can get all manner of portable & lightweight rechargers for mobile phones and tablets plus there's lightweight solar powered chargers you can get. Quite a few military electronics went away from the use of specialized batteries to batteries of the same standard as commonly used civilian batteries. For example, many night vision devices use AA cell batteries - they benefit greatly from using high capacity AA cells but even these are no longer the sole domain of government as such batteries are commonly used by photographers using digital cameras.

I absolutely agree that currency & trading needs to have a good ruleset behind it. A lot of players these days look beyond the straight forward "this is *whatever genre* game" approach and look to see what else they can do within it.
Some are not content with just going out and slaying the monster and rescuing the person in distress. Some of them want to get more deeply involved in other aspects of gameplay. Economics is just one of them but certainly deserves a more comprehensive coverage than it has at the moment.

Vehicles and weapons. There is so much that could be done with vehicles and weapons beyond the Wear Factor rules that are already in place.
We've already seen a lot of discussion about fuel (rather illuminating overall) and while we know many military vehicles use multi-fuel engines, a number of civilian vehicles in Europe run on diesel (and I don't just mean trucks but also private cars). Does this mean that there would be greater stocks of diesel available? I don't know if that's correct but it's something that should be looked into.
As for weapons, there is still the overall concern about ammuntion. There should be more comprehensive rules dealing with manufacturing and reloading of ammo. I think there also needs to be more comprehensive rules regarding additions to weapons to make them more effective or easier to bring into use, e.g. sighting devices, laser target markers, foreward pistol grips, combat slings and so on.

Raellus 12-15-2018 10:25 AM

I agree that military personal electronic devices would be much more common, batteries too. That said, battery life, even rechargeable types, is finite. Even a new battery doesn't hold its charge forever. Three or four years after a TDM-style event, no new batteries will have been produced for some time. Those still left in their packages would be slowly losing juice. For an updated T2K, comprehensive battery life rules are a must- at least, if you want a realistic setting. It's simple and crude, but here's I've house-ruled battery life in my campaigns:

Device
Current Charge/Battery Capacity
7/9

The first number is the current charge. A battery loses one Current Charge point for every hour of use, under normal conditions (double this for cold conditions). The Current Charge number can be raised one point per hour by recharging the battery using a compatible recharger. The second number is the Battery Capacity. Every other time that the battery is recharged, it loses one Battery Capacity point. Eventually, the battery will no longer hold a charge, resulting in a totally dead battery. This will show as a Battery Capacity of 0. The device that relies upon said battery will no longer function until a fresher battery replaces the dead one.

Legbreaker 12-15-2018 05:58 PM

A couple of useful links re batteries.
http://www.batteryeducation.com/2006...y_degrada.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batter...g_battery_life

Cdnwolf 12-16-2018 10:22 PM

I would love to know the effects of and EMP on equipment now. Would the computers in things like tablets survive? Would the circuits in night vision devices be fried? Just curious.

.45cultist 12-17-2018 03:40 AM

More civil careers, including "prepper". The emergency personnel can be formed using existing ones. Civilian load outs, like 72 hour kits. Updated electronics.

StainlessSteelCynic 12-17-2018 05:21 AM

Without trying to turn this into The Morrow Project or invoke the negative perception of preppers, I think it can be argued that Bug Out Bags would be part of the available starting equipment for various civilian careers.
Many people now are more aware of the usefulness of having some sort of gear bag to help them if they get caught in bad weather, run out of fuel, there's a major power outage or at worst some sort of attack against civilians.

.45cultist 12-17-2018 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic (Post 80252)
Without trying to turn this into The Morrow Project or invoke the negative perception of preppers, I think it can be argued that Bug Out Bags would be part of the available starting equipment for various civilian careers.
Many people now are more aware of the usefulness of having some sort of gear bag to help them if they get caught in bad weather, run out of fuel, there's a major power outage or at worst some sort of attack against civilians.

Yeah, I mainly brought it up because I'm toying with a later date two part campaign. My original character's kid(s) active duty and a "Homefront" campaign with the retired character and civilian family.

rcaf_777 12-17-2018 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80229)
Would you change the starting kit? Night Vision Goggles and radios are pretty much standard in most major national armies now, would you make them standard?

While night vision goggles and radios are standard not every solider is going to have a set and not every military vehicle is going to radio or means to mount one. Some unit might Motorola Sabers or the AN/PRC-343 Integrated Intra-Squad Radio (IISR). Not everyone going to issue with one. As the war goes on both night vision goggles and radio are going to give out based on need and same with batteries.

.45cultist 12-17-2018 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcaf_777 (Post 80258)
While night vision goggles and radios are standard not every solider is going to have a set and not every military vehicle is going to radio or means to mount one. Some unit might Motorola Sabers or the AN/PRC-343 Integrated Intra-Squad Radio (IISR). Not everyone going to issue with one. As the war goes on both night vision goggles and radio are going to give out based on need and same with batteries.

This and the death of smartphones and internet should affect Western societies pretty quickly, especially among younger folk.

WallShadow 12-17-2018 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by .45cultist (Post 80262)
This and the death of smartphones and internet should affect Western societies pretty quickly, especially among younger folk.

You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.

StainlessSteelCynic 12-18-2018 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WallShadow (Post 80264)
You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.

No doubt about that but I wonder if the culture shock will be bigger for Western societies than some others simply because so much of our social and work life is conducted through computers/smart phones.
Not simply Western societies but also the younger generations in tech savvy societies who have found digital tech a portal into the outside world where otherwise their traditions/culture would limit their exposure/interaction to the wider world.

ChalkLine 12-18-2018 02:46 AM

The Prepper community is like everyone, made up of unique individuals. Some are going to help, some are going to hinder and as long as we don't have blanket statements I think it's okay. I have Prepper friends both here and overseas and I think highly of them but you also hear of individuals who seem to think a disaster is an excuse for a free-fire zone.

As I said in The Morrow Project forum they're going to come up against the military, police and disaster control and federal organisations such as the USA's FEMA. What the situation is and how it works out is a game situation

.45cultist 12-18-2018 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WallShadow (Post 80264)
You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.

I bet you're correct, but I only see the smart phone addicts here since I can't travel abroad.

unkated 12-18-2018 08:04 PM

Rules for...

Computer systems and computer networks.
Computer and Network security.
Jamming (wifi)

Civvy & military both, where they are different.

Rules for determining wide area networks. For example, some Polish (or Czech or American) electronics wiz may cobble up a set of three towers covering downtown Krakow with cell or wi-fi, or a hardwired cameras.

Or someone rewires Sussex & Kent (but nowhere else and not out of England). Or all of Australia is fine if no one nukes it. Or Japan has enough power to rebuild its internet by building new equipment.

My point (and this is the problem with any post-apolcalyptic RPG), that you need to include rules for still-working tech, partially working tech, repairing tech. (Computers and commo systems are not the only holes).

Uncle Ted

copeab 12-19-2018 02:26 AM

And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...

Legbreaker 12-19-2018 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by copeab (Post 80275)
And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...

Already been done. Twilightcycle:2000.

ChalkLine 12-19-2018 05:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by copeab (Post 80275)
And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...

That's all my games. The systems bolt together perfectly, although it becomes far, far more lethal

.45cultist 12-19-2018 09:08 AM

This forum has offered up so many useful things, food and water are two examples. I have the DC1 gear book with electronics, there might be some rules to form a basic guide.

Jason Weiser 12-19-2018 12:58 PM

Hmm, Twilight: 2020 as a background for "500 Miles..." something to do a post on in the near future.

StainlessSteelCynic 12-19-2018 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by .45cultist (Post 80278)
This forum has offered up so many useful things, food and water are two examples. I have the DC1 gear book with electronics, there might be some rules to form a basic guide.

Along the lines of food and water, there's so many other gear items that could be included these days. But that raises (again) the need for guidelines or rules dealing with equipment in general and more specifically wear and tear.

For example, personal water filterings. They used to be something only found in the military, search & rescue or expeditionary/exploration groups. Nowdays they are in common use with hikers, climbers, people who travel frequently and people who just want something extra in their emergency kit (and they come in so many different types and capacities, far more than the military used to have access to).
However they can only filter a certain amount before becoming useless. It's a simple enough task to keep check of how many litres a filter has cleaned but it's another book-keeping task that some players don't like doing.

This is not quite the same as recording Wear Value but it does amount to the same thing There should be some suggested alternatives to the traditional method of book-keeping say maybe giving the item, in this case the water filter, a lifespan of "general" use - for argument sake say 6 months of "general" use. The Referee is probably going to need to keep a check on any of the book-keeping if the players don't like doing such levels of accounting (but that's a problem encountered in every rpg since the hobby began) so simplifying the task would be the overall aim here.

pmulcahy11b 12-26-2018 09:42 AM

One thing that would be common before and during the opening phases of a Twilight War 2020 is cyberwafare. Electrical grids, water supply grids, the internet, would all be targeted with an aim to cause disruption in the enemy nation. I would be much harder, but friendly hackers would target enemy command and control, communications and switching systems for nuclear missiles, air defense networks, supply systems, and even communications systems and computers down to the tactical level would be targeted, possibly by white hat hackers operating in extreme-rear areas in hardened shelters or even large trucks.

There would be essentially the cyber equivalent of MIJI (Meaconing, Intrusion, Jamming, and Interference -- anyone who's been a radio operator knows that acronym and its implications in detail). Enemy units would be given orders that make them show up in the wrong place, supplies may never get to the troops, ammunition supplies would stopped for short periods of time, nuclear strikes may not be fully implemented. White hat hackers would be issuing orders to enemy troops that make them ineffective or less effective. Everything from individual command posts to NCA would be affected.

Raellus 12-26-2018 12:34 PM

Great point, Paul. In my 2030 campaign, most U.S. consumer electronics and computer-controlled infrastructure, like the power grid, were fried by Chinese and Russian viruses. My T2030U also includes nuclear strikes, but the damage caused by cyber attacks was greater than that caused by EMP, which tends to be fairly local when it is the effect of standard ground strikes and airbursts.

StainlessSteelCynic 12-26-2018 09:34 PM

Excellent point Paul. I think we have to consider cyberwarfare in it's "total war" potential because with the push now for the "internet of things" it won't be just your infrastructure being attacked to cause disruptions.
Hacking the internet of things means the attackers could disrupt common household appliances. It sounds laughable and while I'm not suggesting it will be like The X-Files episode where ATMs and mobile phones began displaying messages to kill people, disruptive behaviour by your fridge or washing machine is a real possibility.

For example: the fridge indicates that all your food is bad and automatically reorders more. One fridge isn't a problem but if the city has forty thousand internet connected refrigerators all ordering food at the same time from the same suppliers, you are then suffering a variation of the Denial of Service attack.
Your washing machine determines that you are using the wrong brand of clothes washing powder. No biggie really but if it refuses to work until you use the "correct" powder, you're going to be a little annoyed because not only do we generally not want to reuse dirty clothes but we definitely are not going to like being told by the washing machine what powder we can use. And also because nobody these days is going to want to handwash their clothes.

When other internet connected devices start to play up like this and people lose all those "convenience" devices from their lives, the level of frustration in the public is going to rise and fear/paranoia of technology is a potential result - in a world where we are using high-tech nearly every day, all of a sudden you have a group of people who probably cannot function because their tech is screwing with them.
That's not even taking into account those people who will let their frustrations boil over into public disobedience or rioting.

bash 12-27-2018 12:45 AM

Attacks on consumer electronics in a coordinated fashion could actually be a useful weapon if used correctly. If you could cause a bunch of IoT appliances to turn on full blast (huge power draw) at the same time you cause some key power plants to shut down (or redirect their generation to unloaded circuits) you might be able to selectively black out cities. Couple blackouts with false flag terror attacks and you can multiply the damage and panic and throw a whole metro area into a dangerous panic.

At the same time there's a lot of cyber warfare doomsday scenarios that are too fanciful to actually be effective. Lots of systems work just fine air-gapped from the Internet proper. It's also trivial to simply shut down or throttle traffic from networks or groups of networks. Anymore network operators are well aware of DDoS techniques and patterns as are CDNs and a lot of cloud providers.

The sort of attacks that might have crippled networks and services twenty years ago are just Internet background noise today. Dedicated attacks by APTs still can and will cause damage to systems. Attackers only need to succeed once to be successful after all. However "unplug the router" is a fairly effective defense against a great deal of attacks.

.45cultist 12-27-2018 11:13 AM

Ok, I've started work on three civilian careers: Guide/Hunter/Poacher/Trapper, Prepper, Survival Instructor. The Instructor one can be used as an MOS with a Basic Training package. Ri-enactor is a possible one too.

Gadgets, Gear and Gizmos is also a chapter in my "Home Front" notes.

StainlessSteelCynic 01-01-2019 04:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bash (Post 80355)
<snip>
At the same time there's a lot of cyber warfare doomsday scenarios that are too fanciful to actually be effective. Lots of systems work just fine air-gapped from the Internet proper. It's also trivial to simply shut down or throttle traffic from networks or groups of networks. Anymore network operators are well aware of DDoS techniques and patterns as are CDNs and a lot of cloud providers.

The sort of attacks that might have crippled networks and services twenty years ago are just Internet background noise today. Dedicated attacks by APTs still can and will cause damage to systems. Attackers only need to succeed once to be successful after all. However "unplug the router" is a fairly effective defense against a great deal of attacks.

Thanks for the info, those of us outside the industry don't often hear about the newest protective measures.
Which leads me to another aspect of a Twilight: 2020 setting - nuclear power plants.

Newer NPPs use vastly different tech than their predecessors so the risk of a plant going critical and melting down like Three Mile Island or exploding like Chernobyl are very unlikely. I don't know the specifics so I hesitate to say that it could not happen at all, but again, the chance is very low.
So in regards to a T:2020 setting, the scenario of NPPs being left unmanned and melting down etc. etc. is confined to the older plants. Plants with newer reactor technology and containment principles are designed to slow the reactor process or remove the reactor fuel. If it all goes to hell, the reactor shuts down using the same principle as the dead man switch on locomotives. No nuclear devastation, no wrecked infrastructure, no radioactive contamination for miles around and there's the bonus possibility that the plant can be recovered and restarted.

Makes for some extra scenario possibilities.

ChalkLine 01-02-2019 08:58 AM

It looks like Russia is planning on deploying its new Ratnik Future Soldier System this year. Although this system has been 'deployed' since 2016 I know for certain that many of its components are still in train to be deployed but evidently it's getting to the troops in 2109.

It features:

- GPS individual positioning
- IR signature reducing camo
- Lightweight thermal individual weapon sight
- Exo-skeleton (I'll be very interested to see if they get this right)
- AK-12
- Lightweight 1kg helmet

all about 30 components.

This will make the Russians a bit more of a problem for modern campaigns
(crossposted in both forums)

ChalkLine 01-03-2019 06:45 PM

I think it is important to say that the USSR and Maoist China are gone, gone the way of the Aztecs. A Twilight 2020 should look at the modern world and base its models on what actually exists today rather than taking an easy way out and resurrecting old Cold War stereotypes. Yes, Russia may be an adversary of the USA but lets leave the kommissars in their graves.

In fact, Russia has to be an adversary. Every moderate power is going to have to fight the USA to make the scenario plausible, and this should probably include India, China and anyone else with a decent army. This is because in every aspect of military measurement the USA can annihilate any other coalition in a stand up fight. The USA easily outmatches Russia and China combined in the air and especially at sea and is only outmatched by the Chinese ability to muster more infantry, something easily offset by the USA planning and creating an army designed to obliterate any large mass of troops that confront it.

It will probably be easier to say who will fight with the USA rather than who will fight against it as the opposing coalition has to be huge to be a threat. The UK will definitely fight alongside the USA as will Australia. Both have armies inextricably linked to the USA fighting force and their foreign policies are usually exactly the same. Many allied nations might sit out a war until the nukes fly, as this is probably the greatest violation of international customs there is.

Once again, avoiding a 'this is how it happens' scenario we have to think where will the bulk of the war be fought. It really can't be fought in the USA as no one else can get close to it. To the south you have Central America and Mexico and those counties, while possible enemies of the USA, wouldn't invade even if they could and they can't. To the north is Canada which isn't about to, or even be capable of, invading the USA. It will have to be offshore.

Europe would be the best bet. Here the USA has a powerful presence and is creating a new centre of power in Poland. Most of the old NATO countries know Russia isn't an existential threat as Russia can hardly project power into Ukraine let alone Germany, but Ukraine, Poland and some of the Baltic States might be persuaded to go to war with Russia.

The question though is how to stop the USA beating Russia in an afternoon?

Raellus 01-03-2019 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80450)
I think it is important to say that the USSR and Maoist China are gone, gone the way of the Aztecs. A Twilight 2020 should look at the modern world and base its models on what actually exists today rather than taking an easy way out and resurrecting old Cold War stereotypes. Yes, Russia may be an adversary of the USA but lets leave the kommissars in their graves.

In fact, Russia has to be an adversary. Every moderate power is going to have to fight the USA to make the scenario plausible, and this should probably include India, China and anyone else with a decent army. This is because in every aspect of military measurement the USA can annihilate any other coalition in a stand up fight. The USA easily outmatches Russia and China combined in the air and especially at sea and is only outmatched by the Chinese ability to muster more infantry, something easily offset by the USA planning and creating an army designed to obliterate any large mass of troops that confront it.

It will probably be easier to say who will fight with the USA rather than who will fight against it as the opposing coalition has to be huge to be a threat. The UK will definitely fight alongside the USA as will Australia. Both have armies inextricably linked to the USA fighting force and their foreign policies are usually exactly the same. Many allied nations might sit out a war until the nukes fly, as this is probably the greatest violation of international customs there is.

Once again, avoiding a 'this is how it happens' scenario we have to think where will the bulk of the war be fought. It really can't be fought in the USA as no one else can get close to it. To the south you have Central America and Mexico and those counties, while possible enemies of the USA, wouldn't invade even if they could and they can't. To the north is Canada which isn't about to, or even be capable of, invading the USA. It will have to be offshore.

Europe would be the best bet. Here the USA has a powerful presence and is creating a new centre of power in Poland. Most of the old NATO countries know Russia isn't an existential threat as Russia can hardly project power into Ukraine let alone Germany, but Ukraine, Poland and some of the Baltic States might be persuaded to go to war with Russia.

The question though is how to stop the USA beating Russia in an afternoon?

As an American, I'm flattered by your assessment, but I think you are overestimating current U.S. military power, and underestimating Russian, and especially Chinese, capabilities.

First off, let's look at Russian and Chinese capabilities.

Just a few years ago, Russia annexed the Crimea, and they recently blockaded the port of Mairupol, impounded Ukrainian naval vessels, and shut Ukrainian traffic out of the Sea of Azov. NATO didn't/won't do anything about it. If Ukraine can't extinguish a long-running ethnic Russian separatist insurgency (which benefits from thinly-veiled Russian military support), how could it stop a full-scale Russian invasion without direct NATO intervention?

Russia could retake the Baltic States in a matter of a few weeks and there's not much NATO could do to stop it. Estonia has no air force. The U.S. simply doesn't have enough pre-positioned heavy combat units in Europe to respond quickly enough and with adequate force, to turn back a Russian invasion. This isn't just some amateur military-buff's assessment- US military think-tanks have concluded as much.

So that's where T2020 could start. The Baltic. Russian retakes Estonia and Latvia and NATO takes a belated stand on the Lithuania side of the Poland-Lithuanian border. Boom! WWIII. With the U.S. embroiled in a large-scale conventional war in the Baltics, China makes its play for Taiwan (and/or North Korea launches a second war of reunification) or, if that's too bold for your tastes, the Spratly Islands, attacking Vietnamese and Filipino navy vessels that arrive to assert their respective territorial claims.

The Chinese navy is growing faster than the USN. The USN is aging and it's newest [littoral combat] vessels have been beset by all sorts of mechanical and systems and structural problems. The Chinese have a large and formidable coastal defense force and are rapidly developing a capable blue water navy. Any naval war fought in either/both of the China Seas will mean that the Chinese have interior lines of supply and access to numerous land-based aircraft. Their new anti-carrier ballistic missile could be a game-changer. In a similar vein, the Russians are rolling out hypersonic SSM/ASMs. Meanwhile, the USN still relies on the 40-year old Harpoon ASM.

I've already touched on some US weaknesses above. Here are some more.

The US still has the largest military budget in the world, but instead of investing in new and improved major systems like replacements for its aging Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers, or M1 MBTs, or F-16s, most of that money is spent to pay for its long-running "War on Terror"- and most of that is for upkeep and maintenance on old, hard-working systems.

The USAF is currently facing a pilot shortage. The F-35 is a highly problematic airframe/avionics platform and there's not enough money in the budget to restart F-22 production. Instead, the USAF is looking at a program to replace it's 40-year old F-15 fleet with a new, upgraded model, the F-15X. The workhorse of the USAF, the F-16 is also getting old (airframes are approaching the end of their serviceable career). Meanwhile, the Chinese air force is steadily growing and modernizing. It's catching up qualitatively too- they're starting production of their own stealth fighter.

Lots of U.S. tanks and IFVs have a lot of hard miles on them, from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with replacements nowhere in sight. Thousands of new-ish MRAPs aren't going to help much in a conventional war against a modern foe like China or Russia.

These threads include links to various articles, mostly about Russian capabilities vis--vis the Baltics and NATO, some of which are referenced above:

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....2030#post61416

Legbreaker 01-04-2019 12:39 AM

Ok, so the US military isn't likely to be beaten on the battlefield....
So don't try to.
Use economic warfare for a few years first to cripple the economy and make the US unable to sustain a large military.
Use social/cultural warfare to destroy the populations will to fight, even reduce their acknowledgement of the NEED to fight.
There's lots of ways to beat the US besides shooting at them. They just take a bit longer...

StainlessSteelCynic 01-04-2019 12:56 AM

It's worth looking at what's happening with NATO in Romania and Bulgaria at the moment as a possible contribution to any casus belli, particularly in light of Russian jets buzzing NATO warships in the Black Sea.

RN7 01-04-2019 01:48 AM

I agree with some of this Raellus but I think you are being too critical of US capabilities.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
First off, let's look at Russian and Chinese capabilities.

Just a few years ago, Russia annexed the Crimea, and they recently blockaded the port of Mairupol, impounded Ukrainian naval vessels, and shut Ukrainian traffic out of the Sea of Azov. NATO didn't/won't do anything about it. If Ukraine can't extinguish a long-running ethnic Russian separatist insurgency (which benefits from thinly-veiled Russian military support), how could it stop a full-scale Russian invasion without direct NATO intervention?

The Ukraine could do little to stop a Russian advance on their territory, they are massively outgunned. NATO could do little to aid them and wouldn't as they are not part of NATO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
Russia could retake the Baltic States in a matter of a few weeks and there's not much NATO could do to stop it. Estonia has no air force. The U.S. simply doesn't have enough pre-positioned heavy combat units in Europe to respond quickly enough and with adequate force, to turn back a Russian invasion. This isn't just some amateur military-buff's assessment- US military think-tanks have concluded as much.

Russia could take the Baltic States in a week as Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania have tiny and lightly armed militaries. NATO could do nothing to stop Russia doing it either outside air and naval attacks, although if NATO began mustering large land forces in Germany or Poland the Russians would likely retreat back to their border with the Baltics. They don't want to tangle with NATO and US forces beyond their own sphere of influence as they will lose.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
So that's where T2020 could start. The Baltic. Russian retakes Estonia and Latvia and NATO takes a belated stand on the Lithuania side of the Poland-Lithuanian border. Boom! WWIII. With the U.S. embroiled in a large-scale conventional war in the Baltics, China makes its play for Taiwan (and/or North Korea launches a second war of reunification) or, if that's too bold for your tastes, the Spratly Islands, attacking Vietnamese and Filipino navy vessels that arrive to assert their respective territorial claims.

Its plausible, but the Middle East is also very dangerous at the moment with ISIS on the retreat but still dangerous, the Arabs fighting proxy wars with each other and Iran and Russia causing trouble. Israel and Turkey could also be dragged into it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
The Chinese navy is growing faster than the USN. The USN is aging and it's newest [littoral combat] vessels have been beset by all sorts of mechanical and systems and structural problems. The Chinese have a large and formidable coastal defense force and are rapidly developing a capable blue water navy. Any naval war fought in either/both of the China Seas will mean that the Chinese have interior lines of supply and access to numerous land-based aircraft. Their new anti-carrier ballistic missile could be a game-changer. In a similar vein, the Russians are rolling out hypersonic SSM/ASMs. Meanwhile, the USN still relies on the 40-year old Harpoon ASM.

China has greatly expanded its naval forces over the past 20 years. On paper its looks formidable, but there are flaws to their naval expansion. Chinese littoral forces will not come in range of US Navy warships unless the US Navy wants to engage them. US Navy aircraft, submarines and USAF aircraft are capable of picking them off at will from US carriers and land bases in the Pacific without China being able to do much about it. Quite frankly it would be a one sided slaughter if the US went full throttle at them. Also the Chinese cannot rely on the PLAAF to defend their ships close to China as the PLAAF is simply not good enough of an air force in equipment or experience despite the hype from Chinese propaganda. US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet's and USAF F-22 and F-15E would wipe the floor of them and the Chinese probably know it.

To fully engage the US Navy out in the Pacific the Chinese need aircraft carriers and submarines, and a lot of them. The Chinese carriers are not capable of taking on US Navy carriers for a whole load of reasons, but principly because they don't have naval aircraft to compete with US Navy aircraft and their movement would be tracked by US intelligence resources particularly orbital satellites. US submarines or strike aircraft would blow them out of the water before they got in sight of Taiwan or the Philippines. Chinese submarine are also not a match for US submarines, and are also noisy and easy to track.

The Chinese DF-21D anti-carrier ballistic missiles threat is more an illusion than reality. The Russians tried this in the 1970's, gave up and switched their focus to the Tu-22M Backfire with supersonic nuclear missiles. China needs a powerful OTH radar, recon satellites, recon aircraft and submarines to all work in tandem to track the US carrier and hit it while its standing still about 1,700 miles offshore, and hope that the US carrier is not sailing full steam at 30 knots, and that all the US escorts with multiple anti-ABM missiles and ECM are asleep and that there is no clutter over the area. The OTH radar of questionable capabilities that China has constructed with Russian assistance in the Gobi desert would be vaporised long before the US sends its carriers in range of Chinese forces in wartime.

The Harpoon is an old missile but is still highly capable but it is now being replaced. The Freedom and Independence Class LCS are being fitted with new Norwegian NSM missiles. All US Navy combat aircraft and USAF and Marine aircraft are capable of firing the air launched AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER anti-ship cruise missile. It is an advanced anti-ship missile with a range of 170 miles and is considered the most accurate in US Navy service. The even more advanced AGM-158C LRASM or JASSM is currently entering service with a range of 300 miles, and potentially 1,000 miles, with US Navy aircraft. The AGM-158C can also be ship-launched and will probably be fitted to the Zumwalt Class destroyer and other ships. The Russians have had supersonic cruise missiles since the 1970's, they armed them with nuclear warheads as it was the only way they could attack a US Navy aircraft carrier and destroy it. But if you use a nuclear warhead against US forces you also risk a retaliatory American nuclear strike on you.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
I've already touched on some US weaknesses above. Here are some more.

The US still has the largest military budget in the world, but instead of investing in new and improved major systems like replacements for its aging Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers, or M1 MBTs, or F-16s, most of that money is spent to pay for its long-running "War on Terror"- and most of that is for upkeep and maintenance on old, hard-working systems.

The USAF is currently facing a pilot shortage. The F-35 is a highly problematic airframe/avionics platform and there's not enough money in the budget to restart F-22 production. Instead, the USAF is looking at a program to replace it's 40-year old F-15 fleet with a new, upgraded model, the F-15X. The workhorse of the USAF, the F-16 is also getting old (airframes are approaching the end of their serviceable career). Meanwhile, the Chinese air force is steadily growing and modernizing. It's catching up qualitatively too- they're starting production of their own stealth fighter.

The F-35 is a problematic aircraft and is aerodynamically inferior to an F-16 with a GE engine and is dependent on its sensors. But its primarily a BVR fighter and strike platform, and its stealth will give it an edge over any other fighter. The F-22 is aerodynamically superior to any other fighter at the moment and with the F-35 is the only 5th Generation combat jet flying. Only the Su-57 is believed to be in the same class and it is a less powerful aircraft than the F-22 and it is still a prototype, and it is unlikely to be built in great numbers or exported by Russia. The only other fighter that could take on an F-22 at the moment in a BVR or WVR air duel with any confidence of defeating it is a Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 3, which basically means that the only air force that has a hope of taking on the F-22 is the British RAF. In regards to combating any 5th generation aircraft coming online from Russia or China over the next decade, the US has been designing and developing their 6th Generation F-X since 2012.

The F-15X is in my opinion a good idea as its in the same class as the ex-Soviet Flanker variants which are the main BVR combat aircraft of the Russian, Chinese and many other air forces. An upgraded F-15C with a new airframe, more powerful engines, new sensors and the latest missiles would be a very effective way of countering the proliferation of Flanker variants around at the moment other than building more F-22's which would be a problem in itself as they would need an upgrade themselves which would not be cheap.

As regards to China well they can't build reliable jet engines because they weren't able to steal the technology from America and Britain that is needed to build them. Basically they haven't been able to copy the metallurgical and engineering processes needed, or can they manufacture the crystal nickle-steel that is needed to sustain them for 2,000 hours plus without fail. Chinese jet engines burn out after about 40 hours and fall out of the sky. China uses Russian engines which are not as good as American or British engines but still way better than Chinese ones. Until they manage to build a reliable jet engine I will reserve my opinion of Chinese aircraft.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80456)
Lots of U.S. tanks and IFVs have a lot of hard miles on them, from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with replacements nowhere in sight. Thousands of new-ish MRAPs aren't going to help much in a conventional war against a modern foe like China or Russia.

These threads include links to various articles, mostly about Russian capabilities vis--vis the Baltics and NATO, some of which are referenced above:

The US hasn't built any new tanks since the mid-1990's, but with good reason as practically all their M1 tanks have been rebuilt to such an extent they are practically new tanks. They are also fitted with DU armour, which is about the strongest armour around and none have been lost to enemy action by a direct hit in their critical frontal armour. In 2018 the US Army and Marines had 2,831 M1 Abrams in service with another 3,500 held in storage.

ChalkLine 01-04-2019 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 80459)
Ok, so the US military isn't likely to be beaten on the battlefield....
So don't try to.
Use economic warfare for a few years first to cripple the economy and make the US unable to sustain a large military.
Use social/cultural warfare to destroy the populations will to fight, even reduce their acknowledgement of the NEED to fight.
There's lots of ways to beat the US besides shooting at them. They just take a bit longer...

Yep, but I'm trying to do a 'we are fighting US enemies in a foreign theatre after a nuclear exchange'. Even with a lot of weakening moves not much will make an effect before 2020. Maybe I should have thought 2025

ChalkLine 01-04-2019 05:40 PM

The Russian GDP, which is smaller than Spain's, is going backwards. They can't afford to outfit themselves with a division of their T-14s and have the Armata variants in the same division. Honestly, they have very little projection ability. Not only that but they don't want to. Crimea was transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Kruschev in 1957 from Russia and the Russians wanted it back. Ukraine has gone neo-fascist and actually is oppressing the Donbass Russians (I have a friend who is Ukrainian who tells me that their revolution was hijacked by the thugs from groups like the Azov Battalion and they now run the defence ministry). Russia, no good guy either, is just settling scores in its neighbourhood. They aren't interested in the old soviet defence-in-depth perimeter the soviets set up after The Second World War

For expansionism, as many people said, they key area is The South China Sea. However this area doesn't give us the armoured war that we are kind of after so it looks like we're going to have to fight on the Chinese mainland. I assume that Taiwan will be 'bounced' in a time coinciding with hawk governments on both sides.

Legbreaker 01-04-2019 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80469)
Maybe I should have thought 2025.

Makes a little more sense I think and certainly allows more time to set up the needed conditions.

Raellus 01-04-2019 10:16 PM

Sources?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80470)
The Russian GDP, which is smaller than Spain's, is going backwards. They can't afford to outfit themselves with a division of their T-14s and have the Armata variants in the same division.

And they took the Crimea back, by force, and Ukraine could do nothing about it. You seem to think Ukraine didn't really want it, or care about the Russian smash-and-grab of Ukraine's sovereign territory.

The Russians don't need a division of Armata MBTs to retake the Baltic States. They could do it without a single T-14. They have an overwhelming military superiority over all three Baltic States combined. Yes, the Baltics are part of NATO, but NATO is a hollow shell of its former, Cold War self. The US has no prepositioned heavy divisions in Europe. The UK has one aircraft carrier and a steadily shrinking, aging navy. The German military is in decline. It can barely field a single squadron of combat ready aircraft, and major defects have been found in its Puma IFVs, it's newest destroyers, its E90 transports, and the G36! The Russians have been flexing on the Baltics for the last several years. They've been projecting military power in the Baltic to the point that Finland is considering joining NATO. They could reconquer the Baltics and NATO couldn't stop them. There's your T2020-'25 right there.

Seriously, don't take my word for it. Read some of the articles I linked to in the other thread I shared. I posted those a couple of years ago and, since then, not much has changed. If anything, with Brexit, NATO is more disfunctional that it was then.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80470)
Honestly, they have very little projection ability. Not only that but they don't want to.

Neither of those statements is accurate. Were you forgetting the Russian forces currently operating in Syria? The same Russian air, sea, and land forces that saved the teetering Assad regime? If they didn't care about projection ability, why are they so desperately trying to hold onto their Mediterranean naval bases in Syria?

Putin longs for the days of Soviet (ne Russian) influence, in Europe and beyond. That's why he continues to flex on the Baltics, and support the Assad regime in Syria.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80470)
Ukraine has gone neo-fascist and actually is oppressing the Donbass Russians (I have a friend who is Ukrainian who tells me that their revolution was hijacked by the thugs from groups like the Azov Battalion and they now run the defence ministry).

Your Ukrainian friend sounds like he has a strong pro-Russian bias. You might want to do a little more research on the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution and subsequent Russian-backed separatist movement.

Legbreaker 01-04-2019 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80474)
Putin longs for the days of Soviet (ne Russian) influence, in Europe and beyond.

You know this how exactly?
Note the media isn't exactly unbiased...

Raellus 01-05-2019 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 80475)
You know this how exactly?
Note the media isn't exactly unbiased...

The western media. ;)

Seriously, though- you guys are intelligent. Are you not following current events? Do you seriously believe Putin's propaganda? I can't believe that we're having this debate.

Anyway, I don't need the media to tell me what Putin's mindset is. Just take a look at his behavior, including but not limited to:
  • Russia's seizure (by force) of Crimea
  • Russia's continued support of separatists in eastern Ukraine
  • Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (according to the CIA, NSA, and FBI)
  • Russian defense procurement and spending (the fact that they can't currently afford to purchase the various modern, offensive weapon systems that they want to is largely immaterial- the intent is there)
  • Russia's various shows of force, like it's recent staging of Blackjack strategic bombers from Venezuela http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...island-reports
  • Russian bombers have been flying right on the edge of Finnish, Swedish, UK, Canadian, and US airspace
  • Russia's direct military support of the Assad regime in Syria
  • Russia's blockade of Mariupol and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels
  • Russia's militarization of the Arctic http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...improved-bases
  • Russia's attempts to woo Serbia https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN12Y1JX

Putin claims that most of this behavior is defensive in nature. He sees NATO and the US as an existential threat to Russia. This is clearly a Cold War mentality. So to is the concept of self-defense through the acquisition of buffer states (like Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, etc.), massive military- conventional and nuclear- strength, and power projection.

Bottom line Leg, are you saying that Putin doesn't long for the days of Soviet (ne Russian) power and influence in Europe and beyond? And you would know this how exactly?

RN7 01-05-2019 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80478)
The western media. ;)

Seriously, though- you guys are intelligent. Are you not following current events? Do you seriously believe Putin's propaganda? I can't believe that we're having this debate.

Anyway, I don't need the media to tell me what Putin's mindset is. Just take a look at his behavior, including but not limited to:
  • Russia's seizure (by force) of Crimea
  • Russia's continued support of separatists in eastern Ukraine
  • Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (according to the CIA, NSA, and FBI)
  • Russian defense procurement and spending (the fact that they can't currently afford to purchase the various modern, offensive weapon systems that they want to is largely immaterial- the intent is there)
  • Russia's various shows of force, like it's recent staging of Blackjack strategic bombers from Venezuela http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...island-reports
  • Russian bombers have been flying right on the edge of Finnish, Swedish, UK, Canadian, and US airspace
  • Russia's direct military support of the Assad regime in Syria
  • Russia's blockade of Mariupol and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels
  • Russia's militarization of the Arctic http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...improved-bases
  • Russia's attempts to woo Serbia https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN12Y1JX

Putin claims that most of this behavior is defensive in nature. He sees NATO and the US as an existential threat to Russia. This is clearly a Cold War mentality. So to is the concept of self-defense through the acquisition of buffer states (like Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, etc.), massive military- conventional and nuclear- strength, and power projection.

Bottom line Leg, are you saying that Putin doesn't long for the days of Soviet (ne Russian) power and influence in Europe and beyond? And you would know this how exactly?

Also the state sponsored assassination by poison and nerve warfare agent of Putin's critics and opponents in Britain, Russia and the Ukraine, and Russian spies trying to hack the evidence from files from chemical weapons labs in the Netherlands and Switzerland.


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