RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Twilight 2000 Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31  
Old 10-12-2020, 03:04 PM
Lurken's Avatar
Lurken Lurken is offline
A bad tomato
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 108
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bash View Post
If instead you run the game where an EMP acts more like a real life EMP there's damage to power grids and some totally unshielded electronics but plenty of electronics survive. In that case there's no problem at all talking about drones and UAVs that existed in the timeline of the game and how they might be used at the table or in the co text of adventures.
You forget the loss of lives, the loss of knowhow, the loss of production capabilities, the loss of spare parts. That is in the nuclear exchange only. Then add starvation, sickness, desperation, exposure to elements. As a final kicker, add a war that drags on for another 2-3 years, grinding even more spares and materiel.

At the start of the war, totally plausible. Directly after the nuclear exchange, just a little burnt but can still operate. After the ongoing chaos, destruction and war it will be quite rare to find high tech stuff. As specified on the books themselves. That high-tech stuff is lost and will not be replaced. Except for the RDF, where they can enjoy of local high tech support of the Israelies and Saudies, and the nuclear exchange was lesser there.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10-12-2020, 04:09 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 3,787
Default Which Lasts Longer, Tech or Meat?

Your arguments are quite logical, Lurken. I don't disagree with you per se, but consider the per capita amount of tech left by 2000. As more and more people die off due to nuclear warfare, starvation, disease, exposure, and/or conventional combat attrition, the ratio of tech to people might stay the same or even increase.

In other words, as the population decreases, there are fewer people making use of available tech. So, some tech might not get used up as quickly as it would if there were more people around to use it. This could apply to drones/UAVs, or the parts needed to jury rig one.

We tend to think that tech will get used up, and people killed, at roughly the same rate, but that isn't necessarily the case. I posit that the faster people die off, the more slowly that remaining available tech will get used up. Obviously, as modern manufacturing grinds to a halt, very little, if any, new tech will be produced, but for a time- one could argue that this period would occur around the year 2000- the rate by which tech would be used up by surviving people would be so slow that the amount of tech still left to use might last longer than one would think.

I know it's a video game, but one encounters this phenomenon in the Fallout series, where there are so few survivors left in some parts of the wasteland that an explorer will, from time to time, encounter pockets of forgotten, unused, viable tech.

-
__________________
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure module, Rook's Gambit, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, and co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook

Last edited by Raellus; 10-12-2020 at 06:38 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10-12-2020, 07:54 PM
bash's Avatar
bash bash is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurken View Post
You forget the loss of lives, the loss of knowhow, the loss of production capabilities, the loss of spare parts. That is in the nuclear exchange only. Then add starvation, sickness, desperation, exposure to elements. As a final kicker, add a war that drags on for another 2-3 years, grinding even more spares and materiel.
For starters, the US is absolutely lousy with technology and has been for decades. It's got layers of technology in scrap yards, junk yards, and back yards. It's also lousy with cars, books, airplanes, boats, lawnmowers, guns, and schools. In addition it's got mandatory childhood education and a high literacy rate. This was just as true in the 90s as it is today.

That means even if you reduce the population by half (as per Howling Wilderness) you've still got a huge population of people and tons of technological knickknacks lying around. With half the population you've actually got more knickknacks per person and a smaller support load in terms of food, water, and shelter. Loss of production and spares doesn't mean as much because everyone is surrounded by spares.

With spares readily available the average community college would have the books needed to get a lot of small scale infrastructure up and running. Even if all the knowhow didn't already exist in that population. I also don't think it's right to assume that the US and other countries pre-TDM wouldn't start Civil Defense programs back up in earnest, even just free classes on stuff like first aid and survival skills.

The people still kicking in July 2000 are going to have gotten together to survive the three years after TDM. I don't see them not trying to rebuild some force multipliers using salvaged/scavenged technology and equipment. Anything that makes people's lives easier to helps more survive it going to be useful and a desirable use of resources.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10-12-2020, 09:23 PM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered Registrant
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,375
Default

So far, there's a lot of valid points on both sides of the argument.
I would add though, that it does not matter if the knowledge and tech are available, if said tech does not help people stay alive, those people will not give a shit about that tech.
If it doesn't get food for them, doesn't give them shelter, if it cannot be traded for something they need... then it is just so much extra junk lying around in the world.
Which does leave it available for those people who are interested in it.

But ultimately, it comes down to what you as a Referee and you as a Player want from the game.
I've declined invites to some games because they were too sci-fi for what I expected of T2k, I've quit other games because they were too damned harsh with an attrition rate of one dead PC every four or five sessions and the game was a grind and not an enjoyable hobby.
Everybody has their own take on what the game world could be like.

It's worth remembering that before we try to shove our own personal take on the game down someone else's throat
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 10-13-2020, 09:48 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 1,481
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Your arguments are quite logical, Lurken. I don't disagree with you per se, but consider the per capita amount of tech left by 2000. As more and more people die off due to nuclear warfare, starvation, disease, exposure, and/or conventional combat attrition, the ratio of tech to people might stay the same or even increase.

In other words, as the population decreases, there are fewer people making use of available tech. So, some tech might not get used up as quickly as it would if there were more people around to use it. This could apply to drones/UAVs, or the parts needed to jury rig one.

We tend to think that tech will get used up, and people killed, at roughly the same rate, but that isn't necessarily the case. I posit that the faster people die off, the more slowly that remaining available tech will get used up. Obviously, as modern manufacturing grinds to a halt, very little, if any, new tech will be produced, but for a time- one could argue that this period would occur around the year 2000- the rate by which tech would be used up by surviving people would be so slow that the amount of tech still left to use might last longer than one would think.

I know it's a video game, but one encounters this phenomenon in the Fallout series, where there are so few survivors left in some parts of the wasteland that an explorer will, from time to time, encounter pockets of forgotten, unused, viable tech.

-
I agree with this and I could see RC toys being "weaponized" and used like a poor man's MCLOS missile, ala TREMORS II.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 10-16-2020, 08:17 AM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 3,003
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
In regards to trying to construct a drone, some problems I can see with it are: -
1. finding electronics that haven't been damaged by the war (fire, EMP, etc. etc.)
2. finding people with the skills to put put those electronics together to make the control system - it's not just a case of having the electronics skill, you would need someone who has at least minimal knowledge of how aircraft work.
3. finding people who have the knowledge to construct the drone to allow it to carry something like a camera etc. etc. - cameras and particularly video cameras of that era were typically bulky and heavy in comparison to what we're used to today, any drone would have to have the motor power to lift that and also fly with it, then you have to consider the power source...

It's not as simple as throwing a motor onto a frame, adding some axles and wheels, adding a driver's position and saying you can make ATVs
Keep in mind that you are talking to one such person who can do exactly what you are describing. Have been building model rockets and remote controlled model aircraft for literally decades - started doing so in college and continue to do so. Modified my son's drone to make it more efficient that he used for his weather forecasting service. So yes those people are out there. And have built a very serviceable remote controlled airplane in college using basically scraps and junk to do so.

Does that make them common - no obviously not. But plausible - heck yes.

Oh and Legbreaker - for the record - you can build a pretty damn good model airplane and or drone using very low tech items. You dont need what the creators of the game would have called high tech to do it.

FYI - its one reason I love the original Flight of the Phoenix movie - shows you exactly what could be done by a determined group of people who have an aeronautical engineer with them who knows about aerodynamics and how to build a very scaled up version of a model airplane.

As for why you would take the time to build a drone after the TDM - look at the Ozarks module and you get an idea what kind of advantages they would give you.

Last edited by Olefin; 10-22-2020 at 04:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 10-16-2020, 08:40 AM
Legbreaker's Avatar
Legbreaker Legbreaker is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 5,070
Default

ONE person.
How many left after 5 years of nuclear, chemical and biological war which in some parts of the planet have left a mere 3% of the population still breathing?
__________________
If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 10-16-2020, 09:13 AM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered Registrant
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,375
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
Keep in mind that you are talking to one such person who can do exactly what you are describing. Have been building model rockets and remote controlled model aircraft for literally decades - started doing so in college and continue to do so. Modified my son's drone to make it more efficient that he used for his weather forecasting service. So yes those people are out there. And have built a very serviceable remote controlled airplane in college using basically scraps and junk to do so.

Does that make them common - no obviously not. But plausible - heck yes.

Oh and Legbreaker - for the record - you can build a pretty damn good model airplane and or drone using very low tech items. You dont need what the creators of the game would have called high tech to do it.

FYI - its one reason I love the original Flight of the Phoenix movie - shows you exactly what could be done by a determined group of people how have an aeronautical engineer with them who knows about aerodynamics and how to build a very scaled up version of a model airplane.

As for why you would take the time to build a drone after the TDM - look at the Ozarks module and you get an idea what kind of advantages they would give you.
As far as I recall, nobody said it was not plausible.
What we did say is that while it's possible, it's not probable.
So you're one person who can do it. So what?
One person who might not have survived the war anyway.
Even if you did survive the war, so what?
You can't be in more than one place at once. So you make a drone or two for the military forces in the region you're in. So what?
It does not make drones a common item, it does not mean that drones will be found all over the place.
Your existence in T2k is not guaranteed and your ability to construct drones is not guaranteed, so where does that leave us?
Right back in the "there's definitely the possibility, but there's no certainty" area.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-16-2020, 10:32 AM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 3,003
Default

FYI guys - the RC/model rocket club at RPI where I went had a lot of members - and I have met a lot more over the years. There is a lot of people out there who can do this. So no I am not the only person who can do this. I am pointing out that at least one member of the board has the skills and knowledge to do it.

Thus can it be done - yup. And would make a great adventure where you get sent out to gather up the necessary parts to be able to either put drones back into shape to fly or make jury rigged ones that would be able to be used for basic recon and possibly attack missions (with the emphasis there on attack meaning ram into something with an explosive charge not fire a weapon and return)

Or fun missions like being sent to search for rocket motors using an old copy of a magazine that shows the shop did exist at one time in order to make a bunch of unguided rockets to use for helping to either defend or attack a town. And running into various people who really dont like the group much on the way.

And yes you can put a warhead on a model rocket. We did it in college - rocket was supposed to go straight up and have the warhead (a bunch of M80's wrapped together) explode in mid-air. But instead it went off course and detonated in the middle of the football field instead (luckily with no one on it). Coach was just a little pissed.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-16-2020, 10:45 AM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered Registrant
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,375
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
FYI guys - the RC/model rocket club at RPI where I went had a lot of members - and I have met a lot more over the years. There is a lot of people out there who can do this. So no I am not the only person who can do this. I am pointing out that at least one member of the board has the skills and knowledge to do it.

Thus can it be done - yup. And would make a great adventure where you get sent out to gather up the necessary parts to be able to either put drones back into shape to fly or make jury rigged ones that would be able to be used for basic recon and possibly attack missions (with the emphasis there on attack meaning ram into something with an explosive charge not fire a weapon and return)

Or fun missions like being sent to search for rocket motors using an old copy of a magazine that shows the shop did exist at one time in order to make a bunch of unguided rockets to use for helping to either defend or attack a town. And running into various people who really dont like the group much on the way.

And yes you can put a warhead on a model rocket. We did it in college - rocket was supposed to go straight up and have the warhead (a bunch of M80's wrapped together) explode in mid-air. But instead it went off course and detonated in the middle of the football field instead (luckily with no one on it). Coach was just a little pissed.
One nuke on that town and your entire club is... well, to be really blunt, totally irrelevant.

And even if they escape a nuke, there's the panic, the food shortages, the riots (with all the violence that can occur), the diseases, the radiation, the grind of daily survival in the hell of the post-apocalypse...
Really, what good is a drone when you're starving to death, you can't get enough fuel for your vehicles, you don't have enough ammunition to fend off even a half-arsed bunch of bandits and you don't have the medicine to deal with a minor infection?

What you did with a model rocket in college is completely irrelevant, it's T2k, the world as you knew it is so completely and totally fucked, your fun with rockets will not keep you alive.

I have no problem with a drone or two being available as a special encounter but to imply that every second American in the game will have access to the parts/skills to make one is really straining the suspension of disbelief.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 10-16-2020, 12:36 PM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
One nuke on that town and your entire club is... well, to be really blunt, totally irrelevant.

And even if they escape a nuke, there's the panic, the food shortages, the riots (with all the violence that can occur), the diseases, the radiation, the grind of daily survival in the hell of the post-apocalypse...
Really, what good is a drone when you're starving to death, you can't get enough fuel for your vehicles, you don't have enough ammunition to fend off even a half-arsed bunch of bandits and you don't have the medicine to deal with a minor infection?

What you did with a model rocket in college is completely irrelevant, it's T2k, the world as you knew it is so completely and totally fucked, your fun with rockets will not keep you alive.

I have no problem with a drone or two being available as a special encounter but to imply that every second American in the game will have access to the parts/skills to make one is really straining the suspension of disbelief.
I am not going to say it is super common, but I do not think it is as rare as you make it out to be. I know more people who can build a model rocket/simple RC plane than can do medical care, or grow food (not talking small garden). In my immediate group of about 10-15 people I know four who have built RC planes, three who have built computers from scratch (and yes I know this is different from build a drone, but skills are kind of the same). So yes it is not going to be a every man skill, but I do not think that the skill is going to be the big limiting factor. I think parts are going to be the bigger factor, but even there I am not sure that they will be as super rare as some are trying to make it out to be. Uncommon for sure, stuff of legend not even close. But that is just my two cents.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 10-16-2020, 12:48 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 3,003
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
One nuke on that town and your entire club is... well, to be really blunt, totally irrelevant.

And even if they escape a nuke, there's the panic, the food shortages, the riots (with all the violence that can occur), the diseases, the radiation, the grind of daily survival in the hell of the post-apocalypse...
Really, what good is a drone when you're starving to death, you can't get enough fuel for your vehicles, you don't have enough ammunition to fend off even a half-arsed bunch of bandits and you don't have the medicine to deal with a minor infection?

What you did with a model rocket in college is completely irrelevant, it's T2k, the world as you knew it is so completely and totally fucked, your fun with rockets will not keep you alive.

I have no problem with a drone or two being available as a special encounter but to imply that every second American in the game will have access to the parts/skills to make one is really straining the suspension of disbelief.
Stainless - please take a deep breath ok - no reason for this to get out of hand

One - I never said that every second American in the game has those skills - not once. So dont put words in my mouth and say I did. And the idea that just about every single person who has them is going to get killed is basically ridiculous.

Two - RPI (where I went from 83-87) was not nuked in the game - there wasnt a nuke anywhere near it - or for that matter a lot of Engineering schools that have similar people and skills (RIT and MIT come to mind right off the bat - neither of which were in nuke areas)

Three - you do realize that its not going to be a pack of starving animals everywhere in the US? That the country was hit hard but there are still army units functional as well as power being generated here and there. Thus in places like that people who have the skills will be in great demand to get the tech up and running again. And military units and organized communities would be where such people would probably be found.

Four - those who can do things like make a working drone or militarized model rockets will be doing it as part of defending their communities. Thats why people with tech skills would be high on the list of who gets into communities and who gets told to hit the road. To give those communities an advantage. Let alone for doing things like trying to get other equipment working.

Last edited by Olefin; 10-22-2020 at 04:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 10-16-2020, 05:47 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 3,787
Default Increase the Peace

This thread seems to be on the verge of boiling over. Please, let cooler heads prevail, and Keep it Civil.

I think we can all more or less agree on the following, as a sort of base-line:

Drones in T2k, c.2000?

Possible, yes.

Probability of encountering said, low.

As always, if you ref, the decision regarding if/how/when/why to include drones/UAVs in your T2kU is up to you.

-
__________________
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure module, Rook's Gambit, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, and co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 10-16-2020, 08:10 PM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered Registrant
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,375
Default

While I was indeed being blunt, very blunt, there is no threat of boiling over.
Like many forums, we seem to have an obsession with going over the same ground again and again so all that's happening here is the same for and against arguments being pitched over and over again.

However I will go back to one of my comments and expand upon it
Who the hell cares about making a drone, when they are trying to survive in the ruins of WW3?
There's a limited number of people who would see a use for a drone and they are most likely going to be military/security/police groups.
For the average person from the average town, even if they were the engineering professor at the local college, they are more likely going to be using their skills to get farming back into action, or the water system or the electrical system.
Having a drone won't put food on the table, so it's unlikely that many people will see any need for one.

EDIT:
Just to make this explicitly clear - nobody is arguing that drones could not exist or that they could not be constructed. Everyone pretty much agreed that the knowledge and the tech existed, everyone pretty much agreed that people with skills to make use of the knowledge & tech would still be alive in sufficient numbers and everybody pretty much agreed that there's even a good likelihood that the parts needed could be found.
So people should not be thinking that I am arguing that drones could not exist in the game world.
What I am asking, the question that nobody has answered, is "Why?"
Outside of certain groups, why would anyone bother with making a drone? The lack of people needing drones would make drones a scarce item. Encountering a drone would be a rare event.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 10-16-2020 at 10:11 PM. Reason: adding info
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 10-17-2020, 12:38 AM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
While I was indeed being blunt, very blunt, there is no threat of boiling over.
Like many forums, we seem to have an obsession with going over the same ground again and again so all that's happening here is the same for and against arguments being pitched over and over again.

However I will go back to one of my comments and expand upon it
Who the hell cares about making a drone, when they are trying to survive in the ruins of WW3?
There's a limited number of people who would see a use for a drone and they are most likely going to be military/security/police groups.
For the average person from the average town, even if they were the engineering professor at the local college, they are more likely going to be using their skills to get farming back into action, or the water system or the electrical system.
Having a drone won't put food on the table, so it's unlikely that many people will see any need for one.

EDIT:
Just to make this explicitly clear - nobody is arguing that drones could not exist or that they could not be constructed. Everyone pretty much agreed that the knowledge and the tech existed, everyone pretty much agreed that people with skills to make use of the knowledge & tech would still be alive in sufficient numbers and everybody pretty much agreed that there's even a good likelihood that the parts needed could be found.
So people should not be thinking that I am arguing that drones could not exist in the game world.
What I am asking, the question that nobody has answered, is "Why?"
Outside of certain groups, why would anyone bother with making a drone? The lack of people needing drones would make drones a scarce item. Encountering a drone would be a rare event.
I can see several reason to use drones, now yes the ones that first come to mind are for the military/security/police type. If you come to an area that you have to move through to get to where you are going but it looks like it would be a great place to set up an ambush, do some recon with the drone. If you are defending a town/fort whatever you could do some recon of a larger area quicker than sending ground troops out, not as complete but quicker so you use the drones on the more open areas, and send ground troops out to the areas that can not be seen well from the drone. One is if you are moving mostly, the other if you are stationary but both will help you stay alive, and if your troops are alive and well the community is likely better off. Some other thoughts that I have for uses of drones, when resources are scares and sometimes hard to get, you can use the drone to do some of the searching for resources, or expand the area that you are looking for stuff. If it finds a likely spot you are able to look there instead of looking everywhere or spending more time out looking. I think that there are so many different ways that they can be used, that it is like any other piece of equipment, how useful is NVG's if you only do stuff during the day, or a surgical kit if the best first aid you have is basic.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 10-17-2020, 01:41 AM
Spartan-117's Avatar
Spartan-117 Spartan-117 is online now
An Immense One
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I don't think it would be too difficult to build a simple UAV c.2000, but while it's one thing to construct a functional flying platform, it's entirely another to effectively militarize it. To give it recce/surveillance/spotting capability, you'd need to include live video feeds, imaging devices, and/or recording devices, etc.). Those sorts of electronics would be harder to find in the later years of the Twilight War than small engines and RC equipment, I would imagine. Without a proper bird's-eye view, it would be very difficult to turn an ad hoc drone into a weapons platform. You'd need LOS to target it effectively, and if you can see the target, it can probably see you too.
As an IT professional, I'd like to circle back around to this:

As Rae said, getting the motors, servos, etc. for a small drone wouldn't be as hard as getting the other electronics in 2000. The RC hobby has been around a long time. But getting a usable video signal off an RC platform in this era, without very specialized and proprietary equipment would be difficult.

The commercial drones you see in use now are all built upon a platform of open protocols, codecs, and software that have evolved since the late 90's.

802.11 WiFi standard was released in 1997 and clarified in 99, but widespread adoption of 802.11 networks only occurred after the release of 802.11b in mid-99 to 2000.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11_(legacy_mode)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11b-1999

So without an open signal standard and products that use that standard, you would need to roll your own video transmission system. I'm a Ham and I can tell you it's possible, but it's not a compact system, again, especially in the mid-90's timeline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_television

Now we are starting to need two skill sets: RC modeling and HAM radio Amateur TV expertise to kludge something that might be useful.

Most of your digital optics in the 90's were using CCDs and not CMOS and were still relatively bulky.

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/history/story08.html

Compact Storage/MMC cards came on to the scene in 95/97, so IMHO, that's your best option for video for a home-made drone at this point - drone goes up with video running the whole time, circles the target area, returns, then you pop the card, run it into a laptop (5.3 to 9 lbs back then), and watch the 12.1-inch SVGA TFT color LCD in 800x600 to see the drone video. Delayed video intel at best. But much easier than getting a video signal off the drone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MultiMediaCard

Military drones in this period, like the RQ-2A are using C-Band Line-Of-Sight microwave datalinks to transmit their data.

https://airandspace.si.edu/collectio...m_A20000794000

https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fmi3-04-155.pdf

https://fas.org/irp/program/collect/pioneer.htm

LOS Microwave means there's a microwave ground station, pointing a microwave dish at the UAV for the entire flight (or it's running over a UHF backup link with degraded video signal quality).

https://fas.org/irp/program/collect/avover1.jpg

So in summary, I think military UAV platforms are the only viable system for real-time intel in the 2000 timeline. Home-made UAVs will be hampered by the inability to transmit video in real time, and so could be useful for strategic (that cantonment is planting corn this year), but not tactical intelligence (here come 2 Gun Trucks!).

Last edited by Spartan-117; 10-17-2020 at 02:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 10-17-2020, 02:26 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 3,787
Default Fly, yes; spy, not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
So in summary, I think military UAV platforms are the only viable system for real-time intel in the 2000 timeline. Home-made UAVs will be hampered by the inability to transmit video in real time, and so could be useful for strategic (that cantonment is planting corn this year), but not tactical intelligence (here come 2 Gun Trucks!).
Excellent analysis and summary, Spartan. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
__________________
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure module, Rook's Gambit, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, and co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 10-21-2020, 03:03 AM
bash's Avatar
bash bash is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
So in summary, I think military UAV platforms are the only viable system for real-time intel in the 2000 timeline. Home-made UAVs will be hampered by the inability to transmit video in real time, and so could be useful for strategic (that cantonment is planting corn this year), but not tactical intelligence (here come 2 Gun Trucks!).
You've missed out entirely on analog video. CCTV cameras and compact 8mm camcorders have been around for a long time, and were readily available before TDM. A CCTV camera plugged into an RF modulator that's plugged into an amplifier would make for a pretty serviceable real-time video transmitter. It's literally all stuff you could source from a Radio Shack (you'd need to scratch build the amp). That all would also all fit in an MQ-2 or larger sized scratch built drone.

While you're still going to need a control station with LOS to the drone, you've still got a good tactical advantage with the high ground. Even if your drone's only got a few miles range that's still more intelligence than the opposition has on you.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 10-21-2020, 06:08 AM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
...

Compact Storage/MMC cards came on to the scene in 95/97, so IMHO, that's your best option for video for a home-made drone at this point - drone goes up with video running the whole time, circles the target area, returns, then you pop the card, run it into a laptop (5.3 to 9 lbs back then), and watch the 12.1-inch SVGA TFT color LCD in 800x600 to see the drone video. Delayed video intel at best. But much easier than getting a video signal off the drone.

...
This is what I am thinking when I am talking about a home made drone. A RC plane of some sort, with a digital camera attached. So no not real time, but will still give you decent intelligence, if it makes it back, and I see this as likely with the limited size of the plane, and lack of ammo (not likely to draw lots of fire, but this is very vearable).
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 10-22-2020, 02:10 AM
Southernap's Avatar
Southernap Southernap is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Washington State, USA
Posts: 83
Default

So everyone seems to be thinking about stuff like Pioneer or some variant of the the MQ-1 and MQ-9 series of drones.

Here are two more examples of drones that would have been in service during the Twilight War

1. BQM-34 Firebee - is a ground or surface launched drone and can do a number of things depending on the mission packages installed. Some of the Firebees were later modified into what was called "Buffalo Hunter" and used in missions over North Vietnam and the PRC during the 1960s. One of the images captured by a Buffalo Hunter mission lead to the Son Tay Rescue Attempt.

So all that said there might still be Firebees in storage some where (Point Mugu, CA; White Sands, NM; Wallops Island, VA) and trying to recover a complete drone or two with the servicing equipment, the ZEL launcher, some JATO bottles, etc. Could be a good plot hook.

2. BQM-74 Chukar is another drone that although a targeting drone; might again form a plot hook for someone. Say NA and they want to bastardized them into a crude cruise missile. Flip side is the use of these by either MilGov or CivGov for similar reasons or even again highly modified to try and take pictures or obtain radar photography of an area.

3. Without going too far, there was also a slew of drone aircraft that probably would have survived in numerous regions around the US in the Twilight War. Think of QF-102s, QF-80s, QF-86s, etc. They all might still be around post 1997-1999 moments of survival. Again, a good plot hook might be someone trying to acquire enough of these and enough parts to build an air force of some type again. Hand wave away the utter lack of POL products and other stuff, that would make this work. Still the technology is there and someone might know how to reverse engineer them back into flyable planes or even give them more capabilities than what they were as drones.

If we are talking the civilian market. I don't know how many folks remember the Estes Rockets and there was one with a real simple camera with timer on it (the modern version has a digital camera with video ). It used Kodak 110 film, I am sure that someone might find a way to fit one of these kits on to an R/C aircraft of some type or even say setup a bunch of these rocket kits around and use them as some form of aerial recon over their domain in some way. Granted the hard part would be to find the chemicals and ability to process the film, if not find more of this film some where. Still having photography back is important for those trying to claim domain over areas.

Just my .02 on the subject.
__________________
Hey, Law and Order's a team, man. He finds the bombs, I drive the car. We tried the other way, but it didn't work.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 10-22-2020, 02:47 AM
Legbreaker's Avatar
Legbreaker Legbreaker is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 5,070
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernap View Post
Hand wave away the utter lack of POL products and other stuff, that would make this work.
And there we have another reason drones will be rare - almost all the decent sized ones require fuel. Fuel that itself is near impossible to acquire.
As for the electric ones, well, batteries don't last forever either. There is a limit on recharging them. Electronics are also quite likely to be be scarce anyway due to the EMP effects. Sure, there may well be components laying about unaffected, but it's unlikely there'll be anything worth scavenging from complete units given the basic foundation concept of T2k is "technology is gone".
__________________
If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 10-22-2020, 03:44 AM
Spartan-117's Avatar
Spartan-117 Spartan-117 is online now
An Immense One
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bash View Post
You've missed out entirely on analog video.
No, rolling your own video system with a rando CCTV camera plugged into an RF modulator and hand-built amp is exactly what I'm referring to when I say:

"So without an open signal standard and products that use that standard, you would need to roll your own video transmission system. I'm a Ham and I can tell you it's possible, but it's not a compact system, again, especially in the mid-90's timeline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_television

Now we are starting to need two skill sets: RC modeling and HAM radio Amateur TV expertise to kludge something that might be useful."

Again, I'm not saying you couldn't do this, but it's going to require much effort and a more specialized skillset (along with that nearby Radio Shack you mentioned) than slapping a running camera on a drone and retrieving the footage later.

I'll also point out that there's likely an opportunity cost if you do have the skills to pull this off and raid the Radio Shack for everything you need to do it. A working remote video system has numerous security uses. While it wouldn't eliminate the need to patrol, having a camera or two monitor the most likely route of enemy approach/your cantonment's main or secondary gates/high value stores (armory, food, ammo, etc.) could be highly useful. Also, miniaturization and weight would be much less of an issue with these uses, than with a drone. The UAV, which is likely used only a few hours each day, would need to offer a higher ROI for the use of the video subsystem, than could be obtained otherwise, especially given that the risk entailed in lofting that video system into the sky, as opposed to a static emplacement (where it's much less likely to suffer damage due to catastrophic deceleration - i.e. crashing).

A non-military, hand-built, UAV in the TW2K timeline capable of transmitting video would be very much a rare unicorn indeed for all the reasons cited in this thread (obtaining parts, fuel, EMP effects, expertise, etc.). However, if a Ref feels that having one of those flying around doesn't strain credibility to the breaking point and impact verisimilitude, I say go for it.

Personally, if I wanted an OPFOR or PC group to have a UAV with real-time intelligence capability in the classic TW2K timeline, I'd do it with a military drone, because I believe that's more believable and simpler than the alternative. If I wanted survivors of either NPC or PC persuasion to have access to non-real time intel via UAV, I'd likely do it via an RC airplane.

Last edited by Spartan-117; 10-22-2020 at 06:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 10-22-2020, 02:46 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 3,003
Default

FYI a lack of fuel will 100% not be the reason you cant build a workable drone.

Anyone who has ever built model aircraft knows that they dont need much fuel at all - especially compared to something like a Cessna. Thus you get recon capabilities and communication capabilities that use very little fuel - perfect for the fuel scarce world of 2000-2001.

And there is fuel even in North America - all you need to do is look at the Robinson refinery - 1% of capability still is one hell of a lot of fuel that is being made. Keep in mind that Ozarks module has fueled ultralights that are being used by New America. Also keep in mind that model aircraft fuel is mostly methanol - i.e. you dont need avgas for them
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 10-22-2020, 03:09 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 1,481
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernap View Post
So everyone seems to be thinking about stuff like Pioneer or some variant of the the MQ-1 and MQ-9 series of drones.

Here are two more examples of drones that would have been in service during the Twilight War

1. BQM-34 Firebee - is a ground or surface launched drone and can do a number of things depending on the mission packages installed. Some of the Firebees were later modified into what was called "Buffalo Hunter" and used in missions over North Vietnam and the PRC during the 1960s. One of the images captured by a Buffalo Hunter mission lead to the Son Tay Rescue Attempt.

So all that said there might still be Firebees in storage some where (Point Mugu, CA; White Sands, NM; Wallops Island, VA) and trying to recover a complete drone or two with the servicing equipment, the ZEL launcher, some JATO bottles, etc. Could be a good plot hook.

2. BQM-74 Chukar is another drone that although a targeting drone; might again form a plot hook for someone. Say NA and they want to bastardized them into a crude cruise missile. Flip side is the use of these by either MilGov or CivGov for similar reasons or even again highly modified to try and take pictures or obtain radar photography of an area.

3. Without going too far, there was also a slew of drone aircraft that probably would have survived in numerous regions around the US in the Twilight War. Think of QF-102s, QF-80s, QF-86s, etc. They all might still be around post 1997-1999 moments of survival. Again, a good plot hook might be someone trying to acquire enough of these and enough parts to build an air force of some type again. Hand wave away the utter lack of POL products and other stuff, that would make this work. Still the technology is there and someone might know how to reverse engineer them back into flyable planes or even give them more capabilities than what they were as drones.

If we are talking the civilian market. I don't know how many folks remember the Estes Rockets and there was one with a real simple camera with timer on it (the modern version has a digital camera with video ). It used Kodak 110 film, I am sure that someone might find a way to fit one of these kits on to an R/C aircraft of some type or even say setup a bunch of these rocket kits around and use them as some form of aerial recon over their domain in some way. Granted the hard part would be to find the chemicals and ability to process the film, if not find more of this film some where. Still having photography back is important for those trying to claim domain over areas.

Just my .02 on the subject.
I had an Estes ASTROCAM 110 in the '80s. The only two issues I see with it was that you could only take a single photo per launch because the shutter was activated by a string connected to the parachute ejection system and it would only photograph a 100-meter square area with that photo (and the resolution was nothing to write home about either).

The rockets would be a Routine test of Chemistry to make and if a place like Krakow is making mortar rounds and small arms ammo, then they can make rocket motors. In Fact, I'd bet that Krakow would make RPG-7 rockets BEFORE it would make mortars. The RPG rounds are easier to make.

There were also a lot of RC aircraft capable of lifting a small camcorder but as CDAT already pointed out, you'd have to fly them and then watch the video after it landed. Some of the big RC bombers could fly for up to 30 minutes with such a payload. The big issue I see would be that most RC aircraft in the '90s would be using 3 channel FM or VHF control and this is VERY EASILY jammed by the most rudimentary ECM systems. In the absence of ECM, these model airplanes filled with explosives would make a good "poor man's" MCLOS Missile system.

The one thing I find funny about technology in Twilight2000 is the lack of appreciation for the complexity of certain technologies. I'm with Spartan 17 about using a "makeshift tele-feed" on a makeshift drone. The tech is too hard to make. But many players, even ones in this forum will simply "forgive" GDW when they introduce "tech" that seems basic on its face but in reality, requires a significant level of sophistication to produce. As an example, they ignore the idea that Krakow is making BICYCLES. I'm a pretty good "tinkerer," but I'm NOT SURE I could make a bike chain from scratch without any machining tools. Chains are COMPLEX DESIGNS that involve multiple PRECISION components like pins, links, and roller bearings, ALL OF WHICH must be made to exacting tolerances. Not to mention the hubs, chainrings, headset, and all the bearings a typical bike needs. Mess just one component up, and your new bike won't run.

This kind of reminds me of D&D where glass vials or iron flasks are cheap even though they require significant skill to make. And don't even get me started on mirrors.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 10-22-2020, 03:59 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 3,003
Default

"This kind of reminds me of D&D where glass vials or iron flasks are cheap even though they require significant skill to make. And don't even get me started on mirrors."

Yup thats one thing I always wondered about as well - i.e. where the heck were they getting all these glass flasks for the burning oil
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 10-22-2020, 05:42 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 400
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
But many players, even ones in this forum will simply "forgive" GDW when they introduce "tech" that seems basic on its face but in reality, requires a significant level of sophistication to produce. As an example, they ignore the idea that Krakow is making BICYCLES. I'm a pretty good "tinkerer," but I'm NOT SURE I could make a bike chain from scratch without any machining tools. Chains are COMPLEX DESIGNS that involve multiple PRECISION components like pins, links, and roller bearings, ALL OF WHICH must be made to exacting tolerances. Not to mention the hubs, chainrings, headset, and all the bearings a typical bike needs. Mess just one component up, and your new bike won't run.
Primitive chain-driven bicycles are 1869 technology, which is when watchmaker Andre Romain Guilmet had a chain drive bicycle built by Edouard Meyer. They won't produce modern bushingless roller chains, but bar link chains would be within even most "primitive" (non-CNC) machine shops' capabilities (and not require roller bearings), while being able to make roller bearings would let them make a skip-link chain.
__________________
The poster formerly known as The Dark

The Vespers War - Ninety years before the Twilight War, there was the Vespers War.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 10-22-2020, 11:45 PM
Southernap's Avatar
Southernap Southernap is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Washington State, USA
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
FYI a lack of fuel will 100% not be the reason you cant build a workable drone.

Anyone who has ever built model aircraft knows that they dont need much fuel at all - especially compared to something like a Cessna. Thus you get recon capabilities and communication capabilities that use very little fuel - perfect for the fuel scarce world of 2000-2001.

And there is fuel even in North America - all you need to do is look at the Robinson refinery - 1% of capability still is one hell of a lot of fuel that is being made. Keep in mind that Ozarks module has fueled ultralights that are being used by New America. Also keep in mind that model aircraft fuel is mostly methanol - i.e. you dont need avgas for them

Yes, but you will need oil and hyd fluid and other lubricating portions of P.O.L acronym. Without them then you will have an issue in keeping the engine and bearings in the flight controls or even the wheels lubricated. Allowing for the use of what it already out there. Processing what crude that is still recoverable from the ground into a lubrication or an oil will be difficult without a good chemical industry.
__________________
Hey, Law and Order's a team, man. He finds the bombs, I drive the car. We tried the other way, but it didn't work.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 10-23-2020, 12:17 AM
Spartan-117's Avatar
Spartan-117 Spartan-117 is online now
An Immense One
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 131
Default

Fuel - IT IS A PROBLEM.

Not for the RC engine though. That won't use much.

It's all the driving around you'll need to do to find that un-looted Radio Shack.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 10-23-2020, 01:05 AM
bash's Avatar
bash bash is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
Fuel - IT IS A PROBLEM.

Not for the RC engine though. That won't use much.

It's all the driving around you'll need to do to find that un-looted Radio Shack.
There were thousands of Radio Shack stores alone. Add in all the other electronics retailers as well as schools and office parks with computers, printers (servos, gears, drive belts), and other electronics. But I get it, the magic EMP that allows Diesel engines to run on alcohol but destroyed all electronics makes the point moot.

How about we split the thread into two different ones. The group that is sure that all electronics in the universe are destroyed and impossible to build can have one thread. They can talk about walking back to the US from Poland or whatever. The other group can talk about the game impact of things like drones or maybe adventure ideas around them.

That way the "nothing works" crowd doesn't have to get all snarky and offended that other people aren't playing Twilight: 2000 BC.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 10-23-2020, 01:24 AM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered Registrant
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,375
Default

EMP won't kill a diesel engine. Diesel engines don't require the electrical system that petrol/gasoline engines need. While the EMP might very well destroy any electronic ignition, military vehicles in particular have shielding to protect these things from EMP.
Most civilian aircraft will be protected from EMP as they must be capable of handling the impact of lightning strikes while in flight.
There's nothing magical about vehicles surviving EMP

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 10-23-2020 at 01:33 AM. Reason: explaining
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.