In a sci-fi setting, what are some cool ways to get a squad of soldiers onto the battlefield?
In the noble brightness of the far future, there are only dropships.
>Group drop pods like 40k
>Solo drop pods like Starship Troopers
>APCs(same as dropships but no flight)
>All the various IRL ways of getting troops into combat
>Fire them out of a cannon
>Dig up from under the ground
I always like variations of drop pods and drop ships. Even mixing them together, with drop ships that do a strafing run and drop pods off in the wake can be a lot of fun.
Also a big fan of really fast moving drop ships at low altitudes where the troops basically run/jump/launch out the back to slow their lateral speed.
On the reverse, APCs with launching catapults (like on aircraft carriers) to either get some kind of power armored infantry forward, or a small mech (in a combined arms approach they have a tactical place) or even a squad deployment pod. Basically working like man cannons from Halo as the idea for getting them into combat, regardless of any other carrying method to expedite the process.
I also like burrowing APCs.
Have to land a large portal device onto the battlefield for a large number of squads to go through. One end is in your base the other has to be deployed likely by an airdrop. If it's destroyed then back up support is entirely cut off.
I just pulled that from the top of my head, but it might be cool.
You know, probably the most badass troop deployments I've seen in a campaign was when the demigod in our group put in a call to his pantheon. The dancing flame dropped pyramids from orbit to encircle our objective. I'm talking hollow monsters the size of the great pyramids burning through the atmosphere with just enough featherfall on them to not create an extinction event. Then they poured out the army of fire-wielding entertainers and adventurers, wearing gear that healed them when hit by fire magic. And THEN they started bombarding the area with fire magic.
I always have and always will love the idea of troop deployment through Portals.
With science fiction and teleportation?
It only becomes cooler.
Submarine-based deployment is pretty cool.
I did have an idea a while back that you could drop (probably with disposable retro-thrusers so it's not completely insane) a submarine into the oceans of a planet you're at war with and thus maintain a hidden threat/deployment method against pretty much anywhere on the planet that's connected to water - means that you don't have to deploy near any defences, just in somewhere that's deep enough.
Getting the sub out again might be a bit tricky though.
Figured "high dive" would be what soldiers call it
Maybe just get some motherfucking tanks, stick some retro-rockets on them and drop them from planes on some poor SOBs head, like the Russians planned to do?
Seriously, it's like 40k in real life. I wouldn't like to stand on that drop zone.
Well you see, there was this lich, a crafter lich. And when we killed him, his chest exploded, with a teleportation circle unfurling.
At the same time, thousands of miles away in his secret base, an alarm went off, everyone dropped everything.
And one by one, simulacrums of himself flooded out of his chest screaming bloody murder at us. And they came and came. Half dozen, dozen, two dozen, fifty, SEVENTY simulacrums of himself poured into the dungeon.
He was Dr. Doom.
I grabbed everyone and greater teleported our asses out.
>No matches for rappelling
You're all a bunch of slack-jawed faggots. Not a sexual Tyrannosaur - like me.
Shaltari are the thing you are describing, except their gates fucking fly.
>sarge told us we were hitting the space nigger ship from orbit and abducting their leader
>his domme gf from space CIA made him readjust coordinates at the last fucking second as we were dropping
>space niggers chimp the fuck out and rip a wormhole to pussy off to god knows fuck all where
>emp fucks up our systems, we fly off-course
>I slam into a wall and get knocked the fuck out for like 6 hours
Sometimes it pays to be the strong, silent type
I always thought that was a good way to get planet side. Individual drop pods, that way not everyone gets KIA if the vehicle gets hit, but only one dude
I'm running a Traveller campaign where the PCs once used giant water boatmen beetles and re-breathers to infiltrate a military installation on a water world.
The world had very high oxygen, high pressure atmo so could sustain giant insects.
You're dropped from an orbital platform by being shot out of a canon you aim just prior, your futuristic scifi armor comes with complimentary reentry shielding that blasts off your body around 500ft up to massively slow your descent to non-lethal speeds allowing you some time to fine tune your landing location, at this point you can maintain velocity and crash into a specific point killing enemies in your landing zone but damaging your suit or blast your personal jump pack to slow to safe velocity but leave you wide open mid air and glowing for all to see. Maintaining velocity MIGHT let you also punch through the enemies AA net as well but you'll be almost dead on landing.
Section 8 touched on it but they did it way to low to the ground for the true shock and awe effect i imagine could be done. http://youtu.be/V9L7GqZcP-4
Even drop pods 40k and halo style don't quite do it justice. Sure those guys just walked out of whatever fell from the sky but they aren't juggernauts who just fell from space on their own set of flaming wings just to fuck your shit up.
Entering the target country via clandestine methods and integrating into the local culture. Then, when given a specific signal, rendezvousing with the rest of the force in a surveillance blindspot, getting your gear from a dead drop, and proceeding with a mission like an army of phantoms.
Teleport in through enemy soldiers, pic related.
I really likes the drop method take fron the final fantasy movie, where the dropship would fire a gel like substance as the troopers deployed from the dropship, the gel would instantly grow and solidify as it hit the ground, taking only seconds. right before the soldier would hit the ground, submerging him and stopping his fall in moments and then go inert and fall away just as fast.
I love me some droppods, Preferably with orbital bombardment timed to finish hitting just as the pods hit the ground.
agreed the game was also lame and generic which is why it died. I just like the fact it showed the skydrop. Could you imagine it though? You're out fighting over some god forsaken patch of land in your power suit when those asses show up and kill you and your buddies, all that tech that let you stomp your foes and angels of death swoop down to show you theres always someone bigger.
Its a good way of making the enemies fear you. Especially if you can do that shit anywhere any time.
>you're in orientation
>you don't even want to be here
>no, seriously you were essentially kidnapped. Sorry, "Recruited" by the time nazi's or something.
>big guy walking down the line reaches into a timeslip and pulls out your gearbag
>its just a food cube, a gun with a single clip, and a metal flak jacket
>apparently the bag is your uniform just cut out holes for your arms and head
>big guy on the microphone is explaining now how times like that one movie from 400 years ago
>you being recruited means there are other infinite amounts of universes where they haven't recruited you
>he assures all present that your infinite selfs will eventually be recruited for the only true cause the timelines have ever known
>even says those versions of you in the same timeline split seconds before and after your recruitment have also been recruited or are being recruited and are currently in the giant room were in
>yadda yadda yadda life span six seconds the versions of you that survived before and after that will also be recruited rest assured
>time portal suddenly takes up the miles huge floor we're all standing on
>at least i can do for something i love i guess
>shout at the top of my lungs to hide the fear in my heart
"FOR THE SKUBS!"
Not entirely plausible nor does it necessarily fit for a large squad, but I played a Star Wars game with a few friends, a Mandalorian and a Jedi came to rescue my character after he shipwrecked on an island. DM had an npc pilot because we suck at stuff like that. We were more in it for the story telling aspect, and the combat of course. So this npc pilot did nothing but fly. He was total sleazebag, he couldn't fight worth shit, but he'd get the final shot on people the rest of us fought and then claim them as his kill. We'd gather bounties or missions and he'd run up to us and say, "We have to leave, I fucked a dude's wife and we gotta get out of here!" So a total piece of shit, but damn could he fly. He dove straight down towards the encampment that had found me, past four massive AA turrets, pulled up at the last possible second and came to a stand still a few feet from the ground for all of three seconds (during which Mandalorian and Jedi jump out) before shooting back up into the sky to draw fire of the ships that deployed to take us out. Made for awesome battle entrances and amazingly hilarious moments. Another time Mandalorian was on the 20th something floor of a building with a squad of npcs, some shit went down on the ground with the Jedi, the squad runs into an elevator and the Mandalorian just looks at the window. "I just bought a jet pack..." Squad is slowly riding down to elevator music, suddenly glass shatters, few seconds later a jet pack deploys and this massive suit of armor hits the ground and starts tearing people apart. We had some of the best entrances I've ever seen in that game.
RAPPELL out of a dropship, like a real Sexual Tyrannosaurus! Fight predators all day long with a handheld minigun!
Seriously, more dropships need hi-strength rappelling for their power armoured-troops. It is the only true way.
>Maybe just get some motherfucking tanks, stick some retro-rockets on them and drop them from planes on some poor SOBs head, like the Russians planned to do?
The Russians spent billions on developing this concept. Word is that it was successful... but they haven't done a major VDV paradrop since WW2 so it's hard to say for sure if the system really works. Spetsnaz GRU can't do it this way because they need to remain covert, but the Russians have put a lot of thought into ways to mechanize even them.
There's a lot to love about this approach. You don't have to train your airborne troopers to use parachutes. No worries about the squad being scattered. Troops are protected inside their vehicles instead of exposed to shrapnel and enemy fire. You can drop more supplies with them, so the staying power is greater. Mechanizing them gives them more protection, mobility, AND firepower. It simplifies linkup (where your airborne coordinates with the mechanized divisions advancing towards their positions-- a very hard problem actually).
The downside is that you need more and heavier transports to move all that equipment, square-cube law problems for dropping heavy vehicles, and expense.
Strategic ant insertion.
Good list, but let's not forget battletech. You can do direct insertion: drop pods that pop open at high altitude to release mechs and battle armor, which then free fall and brake using their jump jets.
There's also the varitech/LAM method: fly an aerospace fighter down to low altitude, go to VTOL, and then right above ground transform into a ground unit.
Still a third, used a few times already in history, is to smuggle troops down in disguise, then have them deploy off a passenger ship. Spetsnaz can be brought into a country under diplomatic passports, as "embassy staff" or disguised as commercial employees. Their weapons are brought in through the diplomatic bag or smuggled in separately. Then they elude surveillance, link up with their gear, and deploy.
In several cases, "passenger jets" filled with airborne soldiers arrived at a foreign airport, got off the plane, and then immediately moved to take over the airport and from there the government. Often spetsnaz arrives covertly first and partially secures the airport to ensure the first transports arrive safely. The plane's doors open and, surprise surprise, it's combat troops rather than passengers who come pouring out.
Tom Clancy did a variation on this in Debt of Honor, where japanese airborne troops arrive in the first few passenger planes disguised as business travelers, armed with SMGs in briefcases.
If it's a port city, the same trick can work with heavy equipment aboard a container vessel (Red Storm Rising has one variation on this). In Debt of Honor, the light infantry takes the airport and then seizes the port just in time for an "automobile transport" to arrive loaded with the equipment of a heavy infantry division.
Oh, and one more. The Command and Conquer method. You get ONE trooper down, covertly if possible. He's equipped with enough energy and starting materials to produce a nanofactory which in turn can build infrastructure which in turn can build your invasion force on the ground.
In Forge of God, both alien sides use this tactic. Many bio-horror swarm species in fiction use this. Why send a hive fleet when you can send a vast swarm of seeds instead? If even one lands and is not destroyed, then it breeds a whole new swarm. By the time you realize what's happening, it's too late. In 40k, it's not tyranids who do this, but orks, but it's the same thing.
So imagine how this works. I build a seed consisting of a nanofactory, some starting energy/minerals, and a library of designs for weapons, vehicles, cloning vats, and a huge number of uploaded personalities of my soldiers, colonists, and administrators. Wrap it in just enough of a spaceship to survive re-entry and implantation, then mass produce millions of them.
Then package them in an interstellar probe and launch it towards a target star. If the system is unsuited for colonization, then either I self-destruct or implant on an asteroid and build enough launch infrastructure to propel me to another target. If the system is suitable but empty, then I release my probes towards the target planet (or release a couple, then find an asteroid and build launch infrastructure to repeat with another star with the rest of my probes). If the system is suitable but inhabited, then I release all my probes towards the target. When they hit, they each try to covertly begin the invasion.
Glorious Skyfurnaces shall bomb the enemy with tank drops after clearing the sky with witch-powered cannons, comrade!
After all return through the retrieval portals, we shall immolate the remains!
Glory to the red victory!
It's already been stated but I'm partial to drop pods, though I like mine Halo ODST flavored. Aside from an armored shell dropping right into the shit, it has minor maneuverability so that it stays its course or can divert in case of emergency. Maybe not realistic but thematically it can give a neat sense of tension.
Now if we had to go off the rails with stuff I like the idea of the Trojan Horse, just jam a battle ready battalion into some inconspicuous gift-thing. It's so dumb but so simple, to see if lampooned or recreated in fiction is always a pleasant treat imo
>dropping out of the sky
>not popping out of the ground
Not familiar with that series, but probably. It's appeared in several sci fi series.
The problem with hard sci fi is that an interstellar invasion makes little sense and is impractical to conduct. At least using traditional methods. Without FTL, your fleet spends most of its time in transit, and a lot can happen to fuck up your whole plan. You have no idea what to expect when you arrive. Consider what Earth was like 1 century ago, or 2.
Another problem is this. What could you obtain in system #2 that you can't find in system #1 that might justify such a colossal risk and expense? The periodic table doesn't have any convenient gaps in it, though perhaps there's that island of stability to fall back on. Still a weak reed to cling to. Certainly due to the energy considerations and transit time, population pressure won't ever be solved this way.
Finally... how the hell do you invade and carry along enough "stuff" (men, resources, infrastructure) to counter an enemy that already owns the resources of a whole solar system?
FTL solves most of these problems, but in hard sci fi FTL isn't usually an option. Unless your goal is annihilation (in which case relativistic kill vehicles a la Charles Pellegrino is the way to go), the seed ship is the cheapest and most effective strategy. You infiltrate in, develop local infrastructure, and then invade inward. You work like a disease, not a predator.
>When your target planetoid is frequently bombarded by meteors, disguising drop pods as meteorites
>Using jump packs and freerunning from fly-by dropships in dense urban settings
>Covert construction of stargates by your spies, that are so big that multiple craft can get through
>And from Battlefield 2142, APC's that can fire drop pods onto airbourne ships or behind enemy lines
Not a series, but lore from the Orion Arm setting:
Honestly, I already knew all that you posted, from reading the Atomic Rocket website and Orion Arm.
Teleportation into the centers of smaller, frailer mooks, bursting out fully armored in a spray of gore. Scream sneak attack loudly while spraying bullets wildly into the air. If the bigger guys arent demoralized, tell them to surrender or you'll call in the tanks.
It's fun to see people ask about "hey, how early could I justify space warfare", you go "50 years ago", they "stop shitposting", and you explain about how we could have battleships powered by nuclear shaped charges.
Indeed, But as far as shock value goes it's hard to beat 'blazzing acros the sky in a steel coffin with the single minded intent to put a boot up a Xeno's ass'
>not just controlling the high orbitals and dropping kinetic strike packages on anyone dumb enough to offer resistance
Unless you're playing star wars or 40k, both of which run more on the rule of cool/absurd than real science, there is absolutely no reason to be conducting combat insertions
Suppose you want the planetary industry?
Or suppose the defenders have this new-spangled weapon that can fire through the atmosphere into space, hits instantly, doesn't ever miss, and can have waaaaay more power and coolant behind it than any spacebourne equivalent, called a laser?
>not just controlling the high orbitals and dropping kinetic strike packages on anyone dumb enough to offer resistance
just like how in real life the only way wars are fought is by dropping nukes on people right?
i award you the /tg/ expert award
The only reason that they aren't is MAD. They are, however, overwhelmingly fought by massive bombing campaigns and artillery barrages with only small-scale infantry and tank battles.
No real major powers have clashed recently enough for modern tanks to really be employed in a war setting.
Blowing the shit out of things with air strikes and artillery has several problems, the biggest being that there's a good chance you want the infrastructure intact, and it does not win you a god damned thing with the locals who are more than happy to spend the next several decades running guerrilla ops on your ass.
Thus the modern doctrine of precision strikes. It's still an overwhelming bombing campaign. And we can assume that, given that one power has free reign over an atmosphere in which to bomb, they have atmospheric superiority. The principle is the same: sap the enemy's capability and will to fight with persistent, precise and effective strikes.
And honestly, when you have a setting where multi-billion person populations are waging extermination-scale wars, infrastructure and the morale of locals is pretty low on the list of priorities.
I will agree with you, though, large-scale bombing campaigns aren't very effective for modern wars, but that is because they have a different aim entirely than a war between two about-evenly matched modern states.
Swoop bikes motherfucker! Faster and much more powerful than a shitty speeder bike. You ride it till it explodes then you ride a little longer. You survive, you get gang rep. Theres even lore on how mandalorians would pop on duct taped space suits and dog fight actual fighters with them, they won by the way.
>Theres even lore on how mandalorians would pop on duct taped space suits and dog fight actual fighters with them, they won by the way.
There's lore about a guy who replaced his head with a laser cannon too, but it doesn't make the concept of guys in spacesuits on hoverbikes dogfighting actual space ships any less retarded.
the boat version. drop the boat and then the crew jump out after into the water and then just swim to the boar and drive off
Needlecast like in the Takeshi Kovacs series.
The Envoy soldiers consciousnesses are transmitted across the galaxy at FTL speeds to waiting dormant bodies on the target world/ship.
thats seems overly complicated for not very much benefit. why not just have the agents there in the first place if someone already has to be there and waiting for them?
if you could work out a matrix scenario where the agents takeover people and then transform into themselves that would be cool
Once you secure a battlefield and land reinforcements, you set up time portals to send your reinforcements back in time to the beginning of the battle to secure the battlefield.
The best part is that if you lose then your "casualties" are from a future that never happened, so you take no loses.
also ill add its just a retarded idea. a better one is like from the movie edge of tomorrow or something
you attack. take note of enemy positions and reactions. go back in time and try it again with the prior knowledge. keep doing it until you have a perfect victory
Have "asteroids" drop off fully automated construction robots that would build cloning vats in remote out of the way areas. These vats would grow bodies for the consciousness of the soldiers to be beamed into and they would leap into action fully formed.
Of course, they would be designed without mouths or anything so that the bodies would die off after the initial rush, and the second wave of reinforcements would use their shells as bunkers and artillery pieces.
What, you thought this shit was going to be to human scale? Nah man, they wreck shit and then die as static installations. Self-destruct if the enemy tries to dissect/occupy them.
No, it assumes multiple continua which intersect or diverge based on human actions. Just as every moment in time has multiple possible futures, so too does every moment in time have multiple possible pasts. With appropriately planned back-time deployments these pasts and futures can be made to overlap and intersect in strategically useful ways.
True, this can have the effect of significant portions of your forces arriving from, or being "lost" to, parallel timelines. However, so long as the parallels are close, moral is not adversely impacted.
>don't do this
this. youre trying to have your cake and eat it too with your stupid time travel shit. random nonsense would be happening all the time with no apparent cause if all your infinite timelines are connect all willy nilly
Teleport them in on top of a large steel plate about 6 meters above the enemy. Some enemies are crushed alive while the rest are forced to scatter and break formation.
But then again, why are you teleporting in soldiers when you could teleport bombs and not worry about putting your men in danger.
Shit, teleporters are OP as fuck.
Robert A. Heinlein's method from star ship troopers is pretty good. Individual pods fired from ships in orbit each holding a trooper. the pods burst into pieces at a programmed altitude and create multiple sensor readings identical to the trooper to confuse enemy AA. computer guidance system and retro rockets in the troopers power armor let him touch down safe on objective while the enemy shoots pieces of the pod. course some of them still get shot, and they come in a little faster than is probably healthful, but still pretty awesome in my opinion.
I disagree, personally. And if for every pod with a soldier you dropped, there were ten dummy pods that was just a similarly shaped hunk, odds on 90%+ of your guys make it to the ground intact. Seeing as how such insertion could be done to put a few good operatives into a very sensitive zone, I think the advantage far outweighs the cost.
You know how "Aliens" was heavily inspired by Vietnam-era US Military? Well for this novel series I'm writing (which I'll spare you guys from the shameless self-promotion), I tried to base the military off of Iraq-war/Desert-Storm era US military.
So instead of the dramatic "We're dropping in hot, hold on to your ass", scene that we're so accustomed to, it plays out more like this:
>Huge navy of Bulkhead-Class Cruisers hover over hostile planet, waiting for the order to engage
>Each of them loaded with a massive arsenal of XX-Megaton Clean Bombs and Kinetic-Bombardment type genocide weapons
>"Burn it down. Over."
>They unleash hell. There's so much firepower on board these ships you can literally see the damage from outer space. It's impressive and terrifying, all at the same time.
>After glassing 1 percent of the entire planet, dropships unload hundreds and hundreds of loader bots and construction vehicles, and materials to start quickly building a military base.
>All in all, construction takes about a month, which may or may not take longer, depending on the level of resistance from any vengeanace natives.
>Even then, a single month to build a military base about the size of Oahu? That, in and of itself, is very impressive.
>After the base is set up, there's a steady stream of ships coming to and fro, always dropping off, or picking up military personnel, supplies, vehicles, etc. etc.
>From that single base, that's where they begin their conquest of the planet.
>Warfare between rival empires who are technologically matched devolve into a massive game of "give and take", in which they both continue to glass each other's planets, start up a base, get their planet glassed, lose a base, etc. etc, until one of them runs out of money, or until they both get tired and draft a treaty.
>You know how "Aliens" was heavily inspired by Vietnam-era US Military?
I didn't know that but given the time when it was made late 70'/ early 80s US military seems given.
Then again the drop in Aliens wasn't an invasion it was primarly Search and Rescue mission, or a Search and Destroy mission , depending of the situation on the planet, which then went downhill when xenomorphs entered the picture and slaughtered most of the marines. I mean when they realised there was no one left to save and their butts had been kicked, the marines decided to nuke the site from the orbit.
What I am saying is that even nowdays S&R missions conducted in suspected hostile territory are more of style of Aliens, fast insertion of "lightly" armed soldiers, usually special forces, find the people you want saved, get out with fastest possible way out and then let other people take out the hostile presense the mission might have discovered.
You know, that reminds me that
a) the way the agents replace people is a great scifi insertion doctrine
B) The matter conversion towers from Blame! are nearly as good, and much more setting neutral to boot. Huge towers that use electromagnetic effectors to effectively sculpt random shit in the environment into low quality soldier robots. If I wasn't on my phone I'd post the matter conversion darts scene.
No, I get what you're saying and all. In cases of Search and Rescue, and other sensitive operations, they infiltrate deep behind enemy lines just like today. It's just that, in large confrontations, this is how they generally go about it.
Hmmm, now that I think about it, there's not really a whole lot of difference between Vietnam-era military and DesertStorm-era military.
They both used shock&awe tactics to clear a zone for eventual US military bases. They both did a lot of patrolling and expansion. They both had the same attitudes and ideas about their enemies.
I guess war really does "never change".
Farcaster dropships like those used in the Hyperion duology. Similar to Eldar gate tanks, but much more flexible.
Heck, farcasters in general. Free standing portals are also an option, though more rare.
well, It has changed to seeking air superiority in every stage of combat, massive amounts of combined support and mobile combat tactics. Aka, shoot and move, Having air/artillary/armour support on call for comparatively 'small' groups of soilders.
Also a shift to being Very focused on cooperation with locals and letting them die instead of us when fighting for their homeland.
Oh, also very very focused on the carrier groups. those things are terrifyingly powerful.
Dropping a batch of these motherfuckers from orbit and following it up with Combat robots. Lots of flying drones, Mobile factories, shit like that.
America and Europe are learning the limitations of an "air power only" strategy against ISIS. America's losing the war in afghanistan, too.
The reality is that infantry remains a very valuable tool in warfare. Air power (and ortillery) can destroy, but it can't occupy and control ground.
indeed, Feet on the ground with guns in their hands are what hold the territory. You can bomb an insurgent cell flat, slaughter them all with one strike, But their buddies will just come in and clean out the corpses and get all the more fanatical for it if you just leave the site to the winds. You need a way to keep them from just reentering their old territory.
It's not a terrible idea. Physical infrastructure is costly and time-consuming to move around. But you don't want a vast standing military because THAT'S costly and potentially a threat to your political stability.
So you keep the physical infrastructure mothballed near where you'll use it. But the warriors themselves you can keep centrally under your control and ready to deploy. At home, they can live their lives, or train, or whatever. They're not on a long annoying deployment "just in case", or at least not many of your soldiers are.
It's not that different from US forces during the cold war. NATO had enough troops to hold off the Soviets, but there were several divisions of tanks that were mothballed in place. In the event of war, the soldiers stationed in America would be flown out to activate the pre-positioned equipment. Diego Garcia used to have a whole armored division sitting around in ships just in case we needed to invade the middle east.
I don't care what the other anons say, this is fucking brilliant.
Someone was pushing this for the Frogulans in the Tactical Command forums (epic 40k). He wanted in-game abilities like summoning future versions of yourself to assist in battle. So you have a tank formation use that power and pop! another appears just like it. As the original takes casualties, the future version does as well.
It resolves the paradoxes by using the parallel universe approach to time travel. So if you go back, you're really changing someone else's past.