Friday, April 26, 2013



You don’t want to crawl. You want to sprint.

Every attack has the same purpose, to end the war as quickly as possible. Once the assault starts, you want to cover as much ground as possible, as fast as possible.

Speed is your friend. It creates havoc and confusion in the enemy. It demoralizes him. It makes him think that, even if he can fight back, there’s no point, anymore. Not with your forces everywhere.

Strike fast. Seize everything of value before the enemy can even blink.

You shouldn’t just be fast in combat; everything should be running as fast and as crisp at headquarters as in the field. Are you mighty generals, or fat slobs loafing around and stuffing your faces with Zindaran anchovies? You’d better be zipping around the control room, on top of every detail, and getting answers from everyone. Speed is a function of your level of aggression. If you’re slow, you’re in a passive mode. And I have no idea why the hell you would be passive when you are in the middle of a large scale battle.

Everything in war is urgent. If somebody needs to relax they can do it when they’re off duty. That’s why we have these distinctions.

There’s on duty. There’s off duty. There’s being alert. There’s being asleep. There’s being active and seizing the initiative. There’s criminal laziness.

Do you understand this concept?

General Dronn knows where a lack of urgency can lead.

During his invasion, a patrol got ambushed by an Earth resistance cell with a new weapon. It turned out to be the computer virus that shut down their energy shields. The patrol was wiped out, but it was able to get a message off. Their immediate commander, though, didn’t think it was important. He thought his men were just exaggerating and that there nothing to worry about. He decided to wait for them to return and get a full debrief then. He didn’t send out a team to investigate. He filed a non-urgent report.

That report got kicked upstairs to central command. It got read by some staff officer who really didn’t care. The staff officer decided he had more important things to do like get his rocks off with a Cytaran hooker he ordered.

Somehow the report made it to Dronn, but he didn’t read it. As far as he knew, the war was already won. He didn’t want to read about one lost patrol. He was getting ready for a victory celebration.

The next day, the Earthlings attacked with their new weapon, and the entire invasion force was wiped out. Some celebration, right? Those guys wanted to take it easy. Now a lot of them are really taking it easy, because they’re dead.

Slow equals dead. The problem is you can’t conquer Earth that quickly, anymore. Their planetary defense network is vast and protected. It’s designed specifically to slow you down to a crawl. Quick victories are no longer possible. The Earthlings have planned for a number of scenarios, including fast moving attack craft.

Friday, April 19, 2013



Here’s another mistake that the big invasions have in common.

To recap, these operations have all threw away the high ground, wasted the element of surprise, made no attempt to gain vital ground or capture prisoners, fired indiscriminately and left the Earth no choice but to fight back, and because of poor weapon choice were unable to attack anything except what was directly in front of their lead elements.

Despite all of that, they could have turned things around by moving quickly and decisively. Is that what happened, Dronn? Let’s look.

(War Hawk’s podium projects an image of Dronn’s warship hovering about the smoldering ruins of the Earth metropolis Manhattan. A title informs the audience that this is “One Hour After Initial Attack.” Another image is projected, this one of the same warship, now hovering a few miles to the west of the ruins. The title declares this is “One Week After Initial Attack.”)

No. You moved slowly. Agonizingly slowly. You crossed interstellar distances in the blink of an eye to get there. But once you arrived, you crawled along the Earth’s surface like an Ordian Tortoise.

There was no reason to inch across the landscape. You gave the humans enough time to fall back, regroup, and examine your ships for possible weak points.

It would have been one thing had you bothered to secure the area behind you and set up security forces, administration, logistics. You know; getting an actual base of operations established. You never attempted this. You just continued to blast away at whatever was in front of you. As bad as that strategy was, if you had been quick about it you still might have won. But you were not quick.

Speed! Speed! Speed! That’s another one of those qualities that can win a battle even if everything else goes wrong. And on the opposite side, even if you do everything right and you hesitate, you can lose.

This I can’t get at all. This isn’t just a principal of warfare it’s a principal of combat! Here let me demonstrate. First I’ll need some assistance. Thank you.

(At this point War Hawk helps up a volunteer to the stage. It is the Scythian Bloodlord, Vareg who looks a little pale and nervous. But then again maybe he just skipped his noon plasma feeding.)

WAR HAWK: Now if I’m going to fight this guy -

(At that exact moment War Hawk spun around and punched Vareg right across the jaw, knocking the Scythian to the floor and producing a very ominous squishy sound.)

WAR HAWK: - I want to do it as fast as possible. But if I am slow in my attack. Go ahead, attack me.

(War Hawk is addressing Lord Vareg who somehow managed to get back to his feet. The Bloodlord does appear to throw a weak roundhouse punch, though he might have been stumbling forward at this stage. In any event, War Hawk easily ducked the blow.)

WAR HAWK: I’ve got no chance of hitting. And every chance of being caught by a counter move.

(Now War Hawk shoots inside the Bloodlord’s reach and wraps his arms around his lower body. This is followed by a massive heave and Lord Vareg of the Scythians is sent flying back into the seats with a mighty crash right next to a Movalan Colonel.)

WAR HAWK: This is as true for large scale warfare as it is for personal combat. Thanks for your help.

MOVALAN COLONEL: I think you broke his neck.

(It should be noted that Lord Vareg does not move after this point and remains crumpled up and upside down in his seat until the end of the lecture. Not that anyone seemed to mind.)

WAR HAWK: Getting back to our discussion. What’s happening in these Earth invasions goes beyond hesitation. This borders on loafing. We are warriors. Our job is to fight, and fight well. That means fighting with speed. Fighting as fast as you can. This shouldn’t be an issue. You should have units capable of circling the planet several times in a heartbeat. You should be able to almost instantly bring substantial force to any area on this planet.

Once you start an attack, you move as fast as you can, for as long as you can. To do otherwise is to invite defeat. Which is exactly what happened.

Friday, April 12, 2013



I love beam cutters. I love blasters and plasma bursters. I love seeing mechs, fighter craft, hover tanks, and power armor get sliced, melted, or blown to pieces.

But we’re not here to talk about my predilections. We’re talking invasion. As incredible as directed energy weapons are, they have a distinct disadvantage when fighting planetside. See, they travel in straight lines, and the surface of the Earth – as it is with most planets – is curved. A powerful beam weapon can destroy anything within your line of sight, but on a curved surface your line of sight only goes only so far. Chances are, most of your enemies will be beyond that point.

We’ve come to rely on beam weapons so much because a lot of combat takes place in space. There, the distances are extreme. Even super-fast projectile weapons like missiles and probes can take a while to reach their targets. Beam weapons travel at or near the speed of light, so they almost instantaneously arrive at their targets.

We’re talking about fighting planetside. When fighting on a planet, the curved surface means your beam weapon is only effective to a certain range. So you need a weapon that can strike over the horizon. It’s here that you need projectile weapons.

Bring a wide variety of missiles as well. Bring big strategic ones for mass devastation and intimidation. Bring tactical missiles for individual battles. Bring ones that will saturate the ground with explosives. Bring smart bombs that can pick a target out of a crowd, fly right next to him and blow him to pieces. Even individual troops need some kind of projectile weapon for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes you need a projectile or something that arcs because the enemy is behind a very thick barrier. Unless you want to waste time using a beam cannon to burrow a hole through the obstacle. But that’s just asking for a nasty surprise.

Even if a target can be hit by your beam weapons, you may need to use a missile or probe. The target in question may be resistant to that specific type of energy attack. Hell, all you need to deflect some lasers is a shiny surface. Plasma does most of its damage through heat. Something as simple as water or ice packs can lessen the blow. It’s called thermal transfer. Electrically charged particles can be deflected, or even redirected, via a strong magnetic or electrical field. That’s the big problem – the very fact that these energies can be directed means it’s possible to redirect or deflect them.

When it comes to Earth, the inhabitants have already made some big strides. They knew about lasers before the last several invasions. They had worked with plasma. They’ve figured out a few tricks of their own.

It’s a lot harder to protect against kinetic force, whether that’s a shock wave or projectiles. During Dronn’s invasion, the Earthlings didn’t have inertial control technology; that is, the stuff we use so we don’t get pulverized when we accelerate our space ships. The same tech is used in defense shields.

Ironically, the weapons that would have given the Earthlings the most problems were the ones they were most familiar with, missiles and kinetic explosives. Their only defenses at that time were huge slabs of hardened concrete, or the old stand-by, Don’t Get Hit.

But that was then. Since that time, the Earthlings have had plenty of time to sift through the debris of wrecked ships. They have come up with several experimental defense shields that can be deployed over major areas.

Friday, April 5, 2013



Here’s another thing nearly all the big invasions have in common; the Gorgonians, the Sondrak, the Bloodlords, and Dronn’s Army. Just take a look at this.

(At this point another flurry of images appear to the guests; Gorgonian Tripods, Sondrak manta ray craft, Bloodlord flying saucers, and Dronn’s big mother ships. All of them are shown liquidating their targets with energy beams.)

What are we seeing here? That you’re all using beam weapons. No other type of weapon, just directed energy.

I berated you because your forces mindlessly blasted just what was in front of them. But because you only used directed energy weapons, you could only attack what was in sight.

In other words: no long range attacks.

Another huge mistake.

Because you waited so long before attacking, there were few high level targets still inside your immediate area. All the really important stuff was by that time several kilometers away from your location.

It would have been a good time to break out the long range weaponry. Except you guys didn’t bring anything that can hit a target beyond the horizon.

I love my directed energy weapons as much as the next mercenary. But their range is limited when used on a planet’s surface. They fire in perfectly straight lines, and the planet’s surface curves.

Again, here’s where setting up firing platforms in orbit would have come in handy. From orbit, a beam weapon can hit a wide range of targets on the surface. But you didn’t do that, so you were we left hoping that someone or something of major military importance wandered across your path.

Yes, Dronn, you did bring fighter craft on your invasion. And fighter craft do act as a long range weapon system. You had them, but you didn’t use them nearly aggressively enough. You took a few bases after your initial assault, but mostly relied on your big ships and their beam weapons.

You don’t use fighters or any long range weapon system just a few times. You use it as often as possible. It’s something we like to call force projection. Without it, the Earthlings were free to gather their surviving military and strike back at you. And boy did they ever strike back.

At the time of your invasions, Earth combat forces – land, sea, or air – were very easy to spot or locate because they used enormous amounts of fuel, and gave off large heat signatures. Any high concentration of aircraft or armored vehicles would have been easy to spot, especially from orbit.

The second they were spotted, you should have hit them, and hit them hard. That’s the beauty of fire support. It reduces your enemy without tying up too much of your own manpower.

Speaking of tying up manpower, fighters are cool, but if they are your only method of long range force you have another problem. Namely, you can only field fighters if you have pilots. Historically speaking, in many cases, an air force has been defeated because they ran out of trained pilots, not aircraft. Hell, the Earthlings don’t even need to win a single dogfight to beat your air force. All they have to do is find out where your pilots are housed and lob an explosive shell into the mess hall during lunch. The Xernians found that out during their little adventure.

In case I haven’t made my point, pilots are a precious resource, one that’s limited. You can’t be sending your fighters against every distant target. Sooner or later, you need another option, for example ballistic missiles and drones. But none of you brought missiles or drones. It’s like you didn’t want to use a missile because the Earthlings already had them.

How does this work? In most civilizations, rockets were used as weaponry before being used for transportation. Any technology that can be used to transport people can be used to transport explosives or thermal nuclear devices. You should be very familiar with missiles, drones, and probes. They’re a huge part of spaceship-to-spaceship combat. This may come as a shock to you, but they work just as well planetside.

It was as if you wanted to dazzle the humans with a light show rather than kill them. Am I wrong in assuming that entertaining the Earthlings is not part of the agenda? I hope I’m not wrong.