Friday, May 31, 2013



These next few chapters are going to have to be theoretical because none of you ever got to these stages. The Earthlings defeated you, so you never had to worry about security and post-war operations. But I’m curious to know what you were planning, because I didn’t see any invasion that provisions for these stages.

I can always tell the guys that know what they’re doing from the amateurs by how they handle security. Professionals will have tight security, but it won’t look like tight security. Regular life can continue in these areas, and in some cases it’s like an invasion hasn’t actually happened. Dumb jackasses put a tank on every street corner, have troopers bust into buildings just for the hell of it, and let their men do whatever they want. This is just as bad as blasting every living thing in your path, and gets you the same response from the occupied.

It gives the populace no choice but to resist, in small ways or large. This increases the demands on your manpower. Now you have to send guys out on Scumbag Patrol so you can “teach the populace a lesson.” But those operations stir things up instead of pacifying the region. It’s hard for warriors to turn into peace keepers, but that’s exactly what has to happen. If the area is a living hell then you haven’t pacified anything, and you’re going to have to keep wasting time in an area you’ve already conquered.

Nice and quiet is your goal. The conquered should never feel conquered. They should be able to live their lives as they have. There will always be some diehard resistance, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

An even worse option is to come down hard on the populace, but not stick around. This is the result of a poorly planned operation, one where the commanders didn’t bring enough troops for security purposes. These occupations are some of the worst. The populace only knows that these strange beings in their vehicles swoop out of the sky and start shooting up everything. The troops usually are on their worst behavior because they have to leave the safety of their base. They haven’t developed any contacts among the locals, so they’re jumpy and fearful. Then the soldiers say “don’t do it again,” get back in their vehicles, and zip off into the night sky.

What happens is you get the worst of all possible worlds. The populace is pissed at you, and they aren’t intimidated in the least. As badass as you like to make yourselves out, you don’t stick around. You’re only temporary. As soon as you’re gone, they start dreaming up ways to kill your ass. Which causes your troops to get edgier, which makes the missions more screwed up, which brings more wrath and hatred. It’s a never ending cycle of crap that no one can endure forever, especially advanced civilizations that expect quick victories.

As crappy as I’m making this sound, your invasions featured no security force at all. So things were going to be much, much worse than this. Let me repeat: running through the countryside and blasting everything in sight doesn’t secure you anything. If you leave no police/administration force in your wake, you haven’t conquered anything. You were just passing through and messing with everything.

You’re just asking for a resistance movement to rise up behind you, one that has seen your capabilities and may have figured out your weaknesses.

As you conquer more and more territory, the security problem becomes even greater, as victory creates more pockets of unpatrolled or uncontrolled areas. More resistance fighters will flock to these areas, meaning more danger to your supply lines, and the more your operations can be disrupted.

You can’t afford to sneer at security and administration duties. If you don’t attend to them, you will pay the price.

The first thing you need is strategic security. All the major and minor points of an area must be secured. Any resources that are vital to your efforts have to be cordoned off and defended by regular troops. The same goes for any areas of vital military importance. Any high ground or good defensive position should be occupied unless you want the enemy to take it.

The next comes the security and administrative forces. These are specially trained units that can take over the administration of a given area and keep it running. Security personnel are level headed individuals who don’t fire their weapons at the first sign of trouble. They are going to act as the police force in the area. As such, they have to be able to act in a peace keeping capacity. They have to be able to break up demonstrations and riots with non-lethal force.

Counter insurgency forces are a whole different bag. These are some of the toughest troops to train and equip. They could be doing it all, from arresting a suspect to assaulting a rebel hideout. They have to combine law enforcement, special forces, and diplomacy into one package.

The really difficult part about these operations is that eventually you have to negotiate with the locals. The best trained counter insurgency force in the galaxy will fail if they do not have some kind of local support.

Securing the territory is just one part of the job. The easy part. Lasting security only comes about after you’ve made an understanding with the locals. Your security and administrative personnel really have two jobs. The task of security is hard enough that local diplomacy is neglected. This just guarantees failure down the road. Because, unless you convince the local populace that it is their best interest to support you, then the territory will never truly be secure.

How do you convince them your presence is in their best interest? It’s about time you asked that question.

Friday, May 24, 2013



There is another way around the manpower problem. As I mentioned, Earth has over six billion people. Why didn’t you recruit some or, better yet, a lot of them?

I’m shocked no one tried reaching out to the Earthlings themselves except for the Magelian Horde. That was a smart move on their part, but they made their own fatal mistakes that we’ll get into later.

However, this was one instance after a number of tries, and that’s a little baffling. This is pretty standard for other military operations. You have to court at least some assistance from the indigenous population, if for no other reason there are just too many jobs that you’ll have to fill with your own soldiers. Local support is a vital component of any military occupation. Normal strategy is that you don’t want to be seen as “occupiers” for too long; otherwise you risk an insurgency. And insurgent campaigns are the worst thing in the known galaxy. They’re long. They’re nasty. Worst of all, there’s no way to tell who’s really winning. Insurgencies have a way of taking all the metrics that usually determine victory or defeat and throwing them right into the crapper.

The only way to avoid an “occupation” is to turn it into a “liberation.” Okay, it takes a hell of a sales job to convince people that you’re tromping over their homeland with armed soldiers in order to “liberate” them, but you at least have to make the effort.

But the humans gave you one advantage, they were stubbornly individualistic. Ask a question of any ten humans, and you will likely get ten different answers. Ask any ten humans what’s wrong with their world, you’ll get over a thousand answers. In that never ending grousing, there was an opportunity to turn potential enemies into new allies. See, humans are never one hundred percent happy with their situations. Some are willing to do a lot to change things up.

To whom could you have turned to for support? A tricky question. During the Gorgonian invasion, the world was dominated by something called the British Empire. Quite a few of these “imperial subjects” probably would have welcomed liberation. During the Sondrak Imperial invasion, Earth was divided between two camps in what they called the Cold War. That would have made it real simple; choose one side and help them win.

Speaking in general terms, with any planet you’ll find that plenty of people are getting the worst end of the stick under the current order. They would probably be happy to overturn it. These are the poor and the backwards. Often, through no fault of their own, they were left behind by the other nations of the planet. Believe me, they resent it. The problem is, these conditions produce lower levels of education, high mortality rates, poor healthcare. Thus, the quality of assistance they can render is limited, probably little more than a safe base to land and stage further attacks. In these countries, the political systems tend to be a little less sophisticated. Sure, plenty of poor nations have representative governments with strong laws. But many more are in the grips of a despot or an oligarchy. They probably remind you – of you. But that’s not a good thing. Dictators may kiss your ass, but they can’t be trusted. Either they’re secretly planning to stab you in the back, or they’re a knife’s edge away from being overthrown themselves.

Conversely, maybe some of the better off powers would jump at the chance to ensure their survival and status. The haves can bitch just as much as the have-nots. Hell, most of the time they bitch even louder and more vehemently. A hungry man hates being hungry, but a glutton will go into a rage at the thought of going hungry for a little while. And the wealthy nations got their riches mostly through technology. They’ll quickly see that the only way to maintain their place is to ensure their technological advantage. The drawback is these countries tend to have more sophisticated governments and legal systems. They have ideals; how does siding with a world conquering alien race fit in with those ideals? On the plus side, these countries are open to marketing, and thus persuasion. In addition, many of the developed countries have a history of warfare with their underdeveloped neighbors. These are low level conflicts that nonetheless can be very vicious. Earth itself has a long history of these kinds of wars. It a perfect scenario it would not too hard to insert yourselves into one of these conflicts, either as a “liberator” of the oppressed or as a “guardian” of civilization. A really deft salesman can pass himself off as both at the same time.

This approach has its own dilemmas. How far do you trust your allies? How much assistance do you give them? How much tech? When they gain enough, are they going to turn on you?

Eventually, you’re going to need more than just a base for your own forces. You want to use their manpower to lessen the demands on your own. Do you give them advanced weaponry? Maybe equip a few battalions with pulse rifles. Do you share industrial technology with them, enabling them to manufacture advanced combat vehicles? They’re going to want to be equals in this partnership if that happens. Sounds complicated?

It is.

Guess what? War is complicated.

But this is a perfect scenario and the time for perfect scenarios is long past. Having been invaded so many times, there aren’t a lot of humans left who are going to side with you. The Magelian Horde relied on a handful of powerful, but morally suspect, individuals, and that was about all they could muster. After their failure, you can expect even less help than that.

Friday, May 17, 2013



In order to have the right mix of troops, you need the right number of troops. So now we come to the big ass problem, one of the main reasons every Earth invasion up until now has failed and failed miserably: lack of manpower.

As long as the Earthlings can’t get by your defenses, you’re safe. Once they figure that out – and they always have – then it’s over.

Look around. Bloodlords look at the Magellian Horde. Magellian Horde look at the Sondrak Imperials. Imperials look at those jerks on your left. What’s the point of all this besides making me vomit a little bit in my mouth?

Excuse me.

The point is this; would you invade one of the major powers in the galaxy like the Saurians with the same skeleton force you’ve thrown at the Earth? Hell, no! If you even attempted that, you’d be overwhelmed and crushed within seconds.

Yet you feel you can get away with this when you invade the Earth. Why? Because they’re primitive? Because they’re “inferior?” The only thing primitive or inferior is that kind of thinking.

Let me make this as clear as possible: people who launch invasions without the proper logistics don’t deserve to command armies.

To invade a planet the size of Earth, you need a lot of boots on the ground. We’re talking millions and millions of frontline combat troops. Robotics and automation and superior weaponry only go so far. You can only control land that you actually have troops in, and just one soldier for every square kilometer is not going to do the job. I don’t care if he’s inside a twenty story battle mech. That’s too much ground for a single unit to cover effectively. No matter how much technology you bring to the party, your soldier can only look in one direction at a time. Okay, some of you two-headed freaks can look in two directions at once, but that’s still not enough. What’s going on in the places where you’re not looking? I’ll tell you what, a whole lot of bad crap. Bad for you, that is.

That’s why you have to bring lots of troops. And every trooper needs support staff. That quickly adds up. A minimum size for an invasion force is at least forty million personnel total, and even that is pushing things to the limit. There are six major continents on this planet, not counting the uninhabited continent at the pole. Forty million leaves you roughly six million army personnel per continent. Keep in mind not all personnel are frontline combat troops. And not all frontline troops will be engaged in battle at the same time. That still leaves roughly a million to two million troops on each continent. That may sound like a lot but, against a population of six billion, there will be times when you are just holding on. Basically, if you want to have even a chance at invading and controlling the Earth you have to come with a small country in tow.

Now this is possible. But it requires creating numerous space habitats, or habs, to house all the troops, support personnel, and their supplies. Hollowed out asteroids make a good candidate.

Each hab will be a small independent city. Very massive habs can house up to ten million people in extremely crowded conditions. That’s something to watch out for. Space will be at a premium until you conquer enough land on Earth to form permanent colonies. That may motivate your troops to fight hard, but it might also breed resentment. Keep in mind, you will need enough space to train and prepare.

Habs come with another problem. They make additional drains on your manpower. You need specialized personnel to run and administer these facilities. While the troops and invasion personnel are training and preparing, somebody has to oversee the vital systems, make sure everyone is fed, and ensure order and discipline. Soldiers like to cause trouble when they’re off duty. You need to keep that to a minimum.

It’s a major engineering project, essentially building an entire viable colony near Earth. In the past, the detection risks were low. Though, if you had been able to pull this feat off, it does pose some questions as to why you’re invading.

Before we leave this subject, I want to talk about cloning, or “grown” troops. Some people have tried to get around the manpower problem by employing troops that can be grown like plants, or otherwise mass produced. This doesn’t solve anything. You can’t grow, clone, or assemble troops out of thin air. You have to provide raw material to create these troops. Plus, you still need all their supplies and weapons. I don’t care if you grow each soldier with wings and claws, they’re going to need guns and communications equipment. So that doesn’t decrease the size of your attack fleet. It just decreases the number of soldiers at the start of your campaign.

The main problem is that to create these space habs you need a safe working environment. That used to be the case. Back when the Gorgonians first attacked, the Earth had no rockets at all. When the Sondrak Imperials came, they had just barely figured out how to put artificial satellites in orbit. When the Scythian Bloodlords appeared, they were gearing up for lunar exploration. And when Dronn attacked, they were putting the first permanent space stations into orbit.

Guess what they’re doing now? They have an extensive presence throughout their solar system. It’s largely made up of robotic drones and probes, but they’ve made sure to cover themselves. They especially made sure to watch the asteroid belt, and there’s even talk about starting space mining. You try to create habs in the belt, you will be noticed. You may scoff at the idea of being discovered. Earth doesn’t have a space fleet, true. But they can still do damage and, at this stage, your invasion would be at its most vulnerable. Everything is on a tight timetable. Habs have to be completed. Personnel have to be transferred to them. They have to be up and running. And then training has to begin. In a scenario like that, the Earthlings don’t have to defeat you, they just have to delay you for things to go to hell.

Friday, May 10, 2013



Before we get into manpower, we should first address a major problem. You want a professional force. What does that mean? It means having the right mix of troops.

In all my research, I’ve never heard of an Earth invasion force that had a proper mixture of troops. Or, for that matter, any real mix of troops, at all. Mostly what I hear about are large craft that hover above the surface, a large number of fighter aircraft, and maybe some heavy but very slow land vehicles; usually combat walkers or something equally lumbering. As I’ve noted before, this leads to a slow moving army with limited ability to project force at a distance. It’s also ill suited to many tasks. What do you do for waterborne operations? Amphibious assaults? Who’s doing reconnaissance? Who’s carrying out raids? Who’s responsible for fire support? Who is taking care of area security? Got any construction or engineering projects? I’d like to see a group of aircraft carry that out. But beyond that there are a lot of simple, basic needs that the army has. Food, shelter, rest; these are things all soldiers need. I never see barracks or mess halls. Equipment needs to be repaired and replaced. I never see repair yards or supply depots. Sometimes I wonder if some of your troops didn’t just drop dead!

The same way that you bring the right mix of weapons, you need the right mix of forces. You don’t need separate troop types for all missions, obviously, but you need units that have a degree of flexibility.

Let’s start with the ordinary foot soldier. This fellow has been the basis for all military organizations since time began, yet he gets left off your Earth invasion plans. Why? What’d he ever do to you? In case you missed the last thousand years of armed combat, let me drop some knowledge on your heads; foot soldiers are some of the most flexible forces in warfare. They can not only be used for combat and assault, but also scouting, raiding, special operations. With enough training and the right equipment, an infantry force can tackle just about any target. And they generally cost a lot less than a big, hulking walker that’s only good in certain situations.

The foot soldier also comes in handy when there are less sexy jobs that need doing, like construction and engineering. What’s that, you say? You can always gang press humans into building stuff for you?


We’ll talk about this later, but the humans don’t have our technology. Unless you want to rely on their primitive methods to build things like bases, roads, and other structures, you’re either going to have to train them up (and thus empower them), or do it yourself.

There’s also a lot policing, logistics, and administrative work that goes on. Do your troops work for free? That may explain why they fight like crap when things really go wrong.

Speaking of logistics, bring some damn transport craft next time. What the hell do you use to move stuff around? Workers, materials, supplies? You can’t be moving that all in combat vehicles. That’s a waste of resources.

What do you do if you encounter a fortification that your regular weapons can’t reduce? If you’re you, then you’re out of luck. But the rest us bring along something called fire support. This applies to everything from local support that’s part of a combat unit, all the way up to strategic options, orbital lasers, or batteries of smart bombs.

Then there’s the exploitation force. You need a heavy force that can race through ruptured defense lines and wreck havoc on the enemy. In every invasion I’ve studied, the Earthlings were routed in the first encounter. But that victory was always wasted because there was no exploitation force waiting to pour through the holes in their lines.

Also don’t forget to bring special forces, recon scouts, and commandos; troops who can operate behind the lines. Not bringing them is suicidal. It means that, unless the Earthlings are facing your main force, they are completely safe and can do whatever. You need scouts and raiders to unsettle them, find out what they’re up to, and destroy vital supplies. Capturing high value leaders alive is a job for highly trained warriors. Again, dead leaders can’t surrender.

You should concentrate on land combat, because that’s where the humans live, but don’t forget to bring specialized air and sea units. Most invaders make do with multi-purpose vehicles, usually hovercraft or anti-gravity vehicles that can be used on all terrains. This isn’t a bad idea, but these vehicles are energy eaters, and are themselves very light. There are even some invaders who used vehicles for combined sea, land and air operations. We’ll talk about those in the section of tactics but I’ll just say this; when you try to do everything you end up doing nothing well.

The most important reason for bringing a combined force is this: if you only bring one kind of combat unit, then the Earthlings only have to figure out how to take down that one vehicle to destroy your entire force. A combined arms force means they have to take on multiple types of troops and vehicles, and no single attack will work on all of them.

At least, I hope not.

Friday, May 3, 2013



Now this next point concerns all of you. There’s a very good reason why you are where you are when it comes to ranking the galactic badasses. But first, just answer one simple question: how many warriors does it take to conquer a planet?

How many did the Gorgonians bring? A few hundred, almost all of them in their assault walkers. The Sondrak? About the same number. The Bloodlords brought almost a thousand. General Dronn and his group brought the largest number of troops to date, a few divisions, maybe fifty thousand troops total. Nearly all of them were concentrated into a handful of large landing craft, twenty-five in all.

I see you sitting there and asking, “What’s the big deal? Superior technology saves on manual labor, therefore it must make occupation and controlling area easier.”


The Earth has 148,300,000 square kilometers of dry land. This means each your twenty-five ships has to cover six million square kilometers of land!

War is an expensive proposition. Never believe anyone who tells you it can be fought for cheap. And never believe anyone who says you don’t need manpower. Sometimes you may have to do without large numbers. If your population is small, you have to rely on technology and the quality of your troops to see you through. But if you’re in that situation, you know what you shouldn’t be doing? Invading another planet!

Advanced technology and troop quality only goes so far in military matters. You still need troops on the ground to control territory and make sure it stays yours.

You need numbers because eventually front line troops have to be rotated into rear areas.

You need numbers just to guard against a lucky shot taking out fifty percent of your total force!

Frontline combat is only a small part of a military force. There’s command and control, communications, logistics. We’re going to get into the reasons why you’re invading this rock in the first place. For now, just remember that you need some kind of work force to do what you came several hundred light years to do. If you’re smart – which you’re not, but we’ll pretend you are – then you’ll have police and administration units set up to handle the pacified areas. Then there’s scouting and recon, intelligence, medical. The list goes on and on. The thing is, you need a lot of specialized personnel in order to make any large scale military operation run properly.

But more important is space. Not the black space of the void. I’m talking about the space of the planet’s surface. If nothing else, you have to control that space. You need to form a continuous front line. Why? Because if you don’t you may as well not even be there. Without a continuous line, you leave gaps that the Earthlings can travel through at will.

There’s no way to secure what you’ve conquered without sufficient troop numbers. You can’t even really claim that you conquered the area if you just leave it after blasting your way through. You never even come close to a million combat troops. Which, by the way, would only be enough to properly seize and hold a fraction of Earth’s habitable land mass.

In the Nimerian global war, a single theater of the conflict involved no less than ten million combat troops. Nimeria is roughly the same size as Earth, and this theater covered one side of one of the major continents. That should give you an idea of the size of the force the Earthlings can mobilize. Numbers don’t scare you? They should. Anyone with the slightest ounce of military knowledge knows this is a problem.

And that brings us back as to your less than stellar status. It’s not just that you have a history of poor leadership and planning. It’s not just that you have exceedingly poor troop quality. The main reason you rank so low is that you simply don’t have enough troops to be taken seriously. The major powers all have several million troops. Even tiny factions like the Bagara, who have a total population of two million, can field a force twice as large as the army General Dronn brought into battle. You want to get real about invading the Earth? Then you’re going to have to bring a lot more troops.