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MAME 0.209

MAME 0.209

With another month over, it’s time for another release, and MAME 0.209 is sure to have something to interest everyone. We’ve cracked the encryption on the Fun World CPU blocks, making Fun World Quiz, Joker Card, Mega Card, Power Card, Multi Win, Saloon and Nevada playable. Regular contributor shattered has added Кузьмич-Егорыч (Kuzmich-Egorych), a Russian Mario Brothers bootleg running on heavily modified Apple II hardware. In other Apple II news, CD-ROM drives now work with the Apple II SCSI card, and another batch of cleanly cracked floppies has been added to the software list. The NES SimCity prototype has been added to the software list, along with MMC5 improvements to support it, and better emulation for Famicom cartridges with on-board sound chips.
Henrik Algestam has continued his Game & Watch work, bringing Popeye (wide screen) and Zelda to MAME. Chess computer support has been expanded with Fidelity Chess Challenger 3, and additional versions of Applied Concepts Boris, and Novag Super Expert and Super Forte. Newly supported arcade games include Akka Arrh (an Atari title that failed location testing), Little Casino II, a French version of Empire City: 1931, and additional versions of Dock Man and Street Heat. A better LM3900 op-amp model means Money Money and Jack Rabbit are no longer missing the cassa (bass drum) channel, and mixing between music and speech is improved.
Bug fixes include the Rockwell AIM 65 being returned to working order, working support for multiple light guns on Linux from Kiall, corrected screen freeze behaviour on Deniam hardware from cam900, and better flashing characters on the Sinclair QL from vilcans. You can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

Joe Walsh Will Not Save Us (G-File)

Dear Reader (including the poor Biden staffers who have to white-knuckle their armrests when not sucking down unfiltered Marlboros every time Joe Biden gives an interview),
If you’ve never heard the Milton Friedman shovels and spoons story, you will (and I don’t just mean here). Because everyone on the right tells some version of it at some point. The other Uncle Miltie (i.e., not the epically endowed comedic genius) goes to Asia or Africa or South America and is taken on a tour of some public works project in a developing country. Hundreds of laborers are digging with shovels. Milton asks the official in charge something like, “Why use shovels when earth moving equipment would be so much more efficient?”
The official replies that this is a jobs program and using shovels creates more jobs.
Friedman guffaws and asks, “In that case: Why not use spoons?”
The story might not be true, but the insight is timeless.
Here’s another story: When I was in college, we were debating in intro to philosophy the differences between treating men and women “equally” versus treating them the “same.” At first blush, the two things sound synonymous, but they’re not (indeed the difference illuminates the chasm of difference between classical liberalism and socialism, but that’s a topic for another day). I pointed out that there were some firefighter programs that had different physical requirements for male applicants and female ones (this was before it was particularly controversial—outside discussions of Foucault—to assume there were clear differences between sexes). Female applicants had to complete an obstacle course carrying a 100-pound dummy, but men had to carry a 200-pound dummy, or something like that. A puckish freshperson named Jonah Goldberg said: “I don’t really care if a firefighter is a man, a woman, or a gorilla, I’d just like them to be able to rescue me from a fire.”
A woman sitting in front of me wheeled around and womansplained to me that “you can always just hire two women.”
I shot back something like, “You could also hire 17 midgets, that’s not the point.”
(I apologize for using the word midget, which wasn’t on the proscribed terms list at the time.)
But here’s the thing: Sometimes it is the point. Whether you’re talking about spoons or little people, the case for efficiency is just one case among many. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an important one, but it’s not the only one. Sometimes older children are told to bring their little brothers or sisters along on some trip. They’ll complain, “But they’ll just slow us down!” or, “But they aren’t allowed on the big kid rides.” Parents understand the point, but they are not prioritizing efficiency over love. Or, they’re prioritizing a different efficiency: Not being stuck with a little kid who’s crying all day because he or she was left behind.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer is when the chess tutor Bruce Pandolfini, played by Ben Kingsley, tells the chess prodigy’s parents that they have to forbid their son from playing pickup chess in the park because he learns bad chess habits there. The mom says “Not playing in the park would kill him. He loves it.”
Kingsley replies, accurately, that it “just makes my job harder.”
And the mom says, “Then your job is harder.”
I love that. I love it precisely because it recognizes that good parents recognize that there are trade-offs in life and that the best option isn’t always the most efficient one.
This is one of those places where you can see how wisdom and expertise can diverge from one another.
The Unity of Goodness
Efficiency can mean different things in different contexts. In business, it means profit maximization (or cost reduction, which is often the same thing). In sports, it means winning. Always giving the ball to the best player annoys the other players who want their own shot at glory, but so long as he can be counted on to score, most coaches will err on the side of winning. Starting one-legged players will wildly improve a basketball team’s diversity score, but it’s unlikely to improve the score that matters to coaches—or fans.
I’ve long argued that there’s something in the progressive mind that dislikes this whole line of thinking. They often tend to find the idea of trade-offs to be immoral or offensive. I call it the “unity of goodness” worldview. Once you develop an ear for it, you can hear it everywhere. “I refuse to believe that economic growth has to come at the expense of the environment.” “There’s no downside to putting women in combat.” “I don’t want to live in a society where families have to choose between X and Y,” or “I for one reject the idea that we have to sacrifice security for freedom—or freedom for security.” Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were masters at declaring that all hard choices were “false choices”—as if only mean-spirited people would say you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Saint Greta
Nowhere is this mindset more on display in environmentalism. Everyone hawking the Green New Deal insists that it’s win-win all the way down. It’s Bastiat’s broken window parable on an industrialized scale. Spending trillions to switch to less efficient forms of energy will boost economic growth and create jobs, they insist. I’d have much more respect for these arguments if they simply acknowledged that doing a fraction of what they want will come at considerable cost.
Consider Greta Thunberg, the latest child redeemer of the climate change movement. She hates planes because they spew CO2. That’s why she sailed from Sweden to a conference in New York. As symbolism, it worked, at least for the people who already agree with her. But in economic terms, she might as well have raised the Spoon Banner off the main mast of her multi-million-dollar craft (that may have a minimal carbon footprint now, but required an enormous carbon down-payment to create). The organizers of this stunt had to fly two people to New York to bring the ship back across the Atlantic. And scores of reporters flew across the Atlantic to cover her heroic act of self-denial. Her nautical virtue signaling came at a price.
The organizers insist that they will buy carbon offsets to compensate for the damage done. But that’s just clever accounting. The cost is still real. And that’s not the only cost. It took her fifteen days to get to America. In other words, she actually proved the point of many of her critics. Fossil fuels come with costs all their own—geopolitical, environmental, etc.—but the upside of those downsides is far greater efficiency. If you want to get across the Atlantic in seven hours instead of two weeks, you need fossil fuels. The efficiency of modern technology reduces costs by giving human beings more time to do other stuff.
The Conservative Planners
The unity of goodness mindset has been spreading to the right these days as well. The new conservative critics of the free market see the efficiency of the market as a threat to other good things. And they’re right, as Joseph Schumpeter explained decades ago. For instance, just as earth-moving equipment replaces ditch-diggers in the name of efficiency, robots replace crane operators, and the communities that depended on those jobs often suffer as a result.
I have no quarrel with this observation. My problem is with the way they either sell their program as cost-free, or pretend that the right experts can run things better from Washington. They know which jobs or industries need the state to protect them from the market. They know how to run Facebook or Google to improve the Gross National Virtue Index. Many of the same people who once chuckled at the Spoons story now nod sagely. I don’t mean to say that there’s no room for government to regulate economic affairs. But I am at a loss as to why I should suspend my skepticism for right-wingers when they work from the same assumptions of the left-wingers I’ve been arguing with for decades.
Embracing Trumpism to Own Trump
Instead I want—or I guess need—to talk about another trade-off. I’ve been very reluctant to weigh in on the Joe Walsh project for a bunch of reasons. The biggest is that I am friends with some of the people cheering it on. But I think I have to offer my take.
I don’t get it.
Oh, I certainly understand the desire to see a primary challenger to Trump. I share that desire. And I understand the political calculation behind the effort. It’s like when one little league team brings in some dismayingly brawny and hirsute player from Costa Rica as a ringer. The other teams feel like they have to get their own 22-year-olds with photoshopped birth certificates in order to compete. My friend Bill Kristol is convinced that Trump must be defeated and that Walsh is just the mongoose to take on the Cobra-in-Chief.
I try not to recycle metaphors or analogies too much, but this seems like another example of a Col. Nicholson move. As I’ve written before, Col. Nicholson was the Alec Guinness character in The Bridge Over the River Kwai. The commanding officer of a contingent of mostly British POWs being held by the Japanese, Nicholson at first follows the rules and refuses to cooperate with his captors in their effort to use British captives as slave labor for a bridge project. But then his pride kicks in and he decides he will show the Japanese what real soldiering is like, agreeing to build the bridge as a demonstration of British superiority in civil engineering. [Spoiler alert] It’s only at the end of the film that he realizes that building the bridge may have been a kind of short-sighted moral victory, but in reality he was helping the Japanese kill allied troops because the bridge was going to be used for shipping Japanese troops and ammunition. When this realization finally arrives, he exclaims, “My God, what have I done?”
Walsh’s primary brief against Trump is that Trump is temperamentally unfit for office and a con man. Fair enough. But he has to focus his indictment on Trump’s erratic behavior. Why? Because he’s a terrible spokesman for much of the rest of the case against Trump. I may not call myself “Never Trump” any more, but I was in 2016. And back then, the argument against Trump wasn’t simply that he was erratic. It was also that he wasn’t a conservative, that he happily dabbled in racism and bigotry, and that he was crude, ill-informed, and narcissistically incapable of putting his personal interests and ego aside for the good of the country. I’m sure I’m leaving a few other things out. But you get the point.
Walsh may be sincere in his remorse over all the racist and incendiary things he said in the very recent past. He may regret supporting his anti-Semitic friend Paul Nehlen, though I haven’t found evidence of that. But none of that history should be seen as qualifications for the presidency, the Republican nomination, or support from conservatives.
And yet, it is precisely these things that make him attractive to his conservative supporters. Trump is an entertainer who trolls his enemies with offensive statements for attention, so let’s find someone who does the exact same thing!
Walsh may have been a one-term congressman, but his true vocation was as a shock-jock trolling provocateur. It’s ironic. As I’ve argued countless times, much of Trump’s bigotry in 2016 stemmed less from any core convictions than from a deep belief that the GOP’s base voters were bigoted and he needed to feed them red meat. Trump's reluctance to repudiate David Duke derived primarily from his ridiculous assumption that Duke had a large constituency he didn’t want to offend. He may have believed the Birther stuff, but he peddled it because that’s what his fans wanted. And Joe Walsh was one of those fans.
It may also be true that Walsh never really believed most of the bilge he was peddling and that he was doing the same thing Trump did—feeding the trolls—on a smaller scale. But if that’s the case, then he’s a con man, too.
I don’t want to beat up on Walsh too much because, again, his epiphany may be sincere. There are lots of people who pushed certain arguments too far only to recognize that the payoff was Trump and the transformation of conservatism into a form of right-wing identity politics. There are a lot of Col. Nicholsons out there. And I have too much respect for Bill Kristol to believe that he would lend his support to someone he believed to be as bigoted as the man Walsh seemed to be a few years ago.
But from where I sit, the prize we should keep our eyes on isn’t defeating Trump; it’s keeping conservatism from succumbing to Trumpism after he’s gone. This isn’t easy, and no tactic is guaranteed to be successful. We’ve never been here before. My own approach is to agree with Trump policies when I think they’re right—judges, buying Greenland, etc.—and disagreeing when they’re wrong. My own crutch is to simply tell the truth as I see it, regardless of whether it fits into some larger political agenda or strategy. Truth is always a legitimate defense of any statement.
But for those who see themselves as political players as well as public intellectuals, I think this is a terrible mistake. Intellectually and morally, the case for continued opposition to—or skepticism about, Trump cannot—or rather must not—be reduced to simple Trump hatred. But by rallying around Walsh—instead of, say, Mark Sanford, or Justin Amash, or, heh, General Mattis—that’s what it looks like. Because you can’t say, “I’m standing on principle in my opposition to a bigoted troll and con man as the leader of my party and my country and that’s why I am supporting a less successful bigoted troll and con man for president.” Walsh isn’t a conservative alternative to Trump; he’s an alternative version of Trump. And his candidacy only makes sense if you take the “binary choice” and “Flight 93” logic of 2016 and cast Trump in the role of Hillary.
Let’s imagine the Walsh gambit works beyond anyone’s dreams and Joe Walsh ends up getting the GOP nomination (a fairly ludicrous thought experiment, I know). If so, I have no doubt that my friend Bill Kristol will say, a la Col. Nicholson, “My God, what have I done.”
Various & Sundry
Canine Update: It’s good to be home. The beasts were delighted to see us. Everything is settling back to normal, except for one intriguing development. I think Zoë has finally had enough with Pippa’s tennis ball routine. The other day on the midday walk with the pack, Kirsten managed to film Zoë putting an end to the tennis ball shenanigans. She took the ball and buried it. It was, to use an inapt phrase, a baller move—and she was unapologetic about it. Maybe she just didn’t like all the commotion with the other dogs, because she’s tolerant of the tennis ball stuff again. Or maybe she was being protective of her sister given that many of the other dogs in the pack are known thieves. Regardless, they’re doing well and having fun.
If you haven’t tuned into The Remnant lately, please give it another try. The first episode of the week was with Niall Ferguson and the feedback has been great. The latest episode is with my friend and AEI colleague Adam White on all things constitutional. Word of mouth is really important in building up audiences, so if you can spread the word about The Remnant or this “news”letter, I’d be grateful.
submitted by Sir-Matilda to tuesday [link] [comments]

MAME 0.209

MAME 0.209

With another month over, it’s time for another release, and MAME 0.209 is sure to have something to interest everyone. We’ve cracked the encryption on the Fun World CPU blocks, making Fun World Quiz, Joker Card, Mega Card, Power Card, Multi Win, Saloon and Nevada playable. Regular contributor shattered has added Кузьмич-Егорыч (Kuzmich-Egorych), a Russian Mario Brothers bootleg running on heavily modified Apple II hardware. In other Apple II news, CD-ROM drives now work with the Apple II SCSI card, and another batch of cleanly cracked floppies has been added to the software list. The NES SimCity prototype has been added to the software list, along with MMC5 improvements to support it, and better emulation for Famicom cartridges with on-board sound chips.
Henrik Algestam has continued his Game & Watch work, bringing Popeye (wide screen) and Zelda to MAME. Chess computer support has been expanded with Fidelity Chess Challenger 3, and additional versions of Applied Concepts Boris, and Novag Super Expert and Super Forte. Newly supported arcade games include Akka Arrh (an Atari title that failed location testing), Little Casino II, a French version of Empire City: 1931, and additional versions of Dock Man and Street Heat. A better LM3900 op-amp model means Money Money and Jack Rabbit are no longer missing the cassa (bass drum) channel, and mixing between music and speech is improved.
Bug fixes include the Rockwell AIM 65 being returned to working order, working support for multiple light guns on Linux from Kiall, corrected screen freeze behaviour on Deniam hardware from cam900, and better flashing characters on the Sinclair QL from vilcans. You can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to MAME [link] [comments]

MAME 0.209

MAME 0.209

With another month over, it’s time for another release, and MAME 0.209 is sure to have something to interest everyone. We’ve cracked the encryption on the Fun World CPU blocks, making Fun World Quiz, Joker Card, Mega Card, Power Card, Multi Win, Saloon and Nevada playable. Regular contributor shattered has added Кузьмич-Егорыч (Kuzmich-Egorych), a Russian Mario Brothers bootleg running on heavily modified Apple II hardware. In other Apple II news, CD-ROM drives now work with the Apple II SCSI card, and another batch of cleanly cracked floppies has been added to the software list. The NES SimCity prototype has been added to the software list, along with MMC5 improvements to support it, and better emulation for Famicom cartridges with on-board sound chips.
Henrik Algestam has continued his Game & Watch work, bringing Popeye (wide screen) and Zelda to MAME. Chess computer support has been expanded with Fidelity Chess Challenger 3, and additional versions of Applied Concepts Boris, and Novag Super Expert and Super Forte. Newly supported arcade games include Akka Arrh (an Atari title that failed location testing), Little Casino II, a French version of Empire City: 1931, and additional versions of Dock Man and Street Heat. A better LM3900 op-amp model means Money Money and Jack Rabbit are no longer missing the cassa (bass drum) channel, and mixing between music and speech is improved.
Bug fixes include the Rockwell AIM 65 being returned to working order, working support for multiple light guns on Linux from Kiall, corrected screen freeze behaviour on Deniam hardware from cam900, and better flashing characters on the Sinclair QL from vilcans. You can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to cade [link] [comments]

[OT]Ask Nate: Field Manual FM-02W SciFi Military Fiction

    Field Manual FM-02W

       SciFi Military Fiction

 
"What a gang of apes! Maybe if you'd all buy it this drop, they could start over and build the kind of outfit the Lieutenant expected you to be."      - Career Ship's Sergeant Jelal Starship Troopers 1959. Robert A. Heinlein
 

Intro

     Before we get started here, I want to send a huge shoutout to everyone who participated in FM-01W. Especially, WarriorPoet02 who has a in-depth knowledge of both modern and historical combat, as well as a validated expert (with actual experience) in modern Marine Combat. He was able to fill in some gaps in my knowledge and even I learned some stuff. On that point, while I may have a wide-range of general knowledge, I'm not an expert in things I'm not an expert in. Don't ever be afraid, no matter how much you think you know, to consult others. You can always learn more.
     Time for Hot Shots: Part Deux; SciFi. As for the quote, it comes from one of my all-time favorite SciFi MilFic books; which was turned into a campy movie that pretty much only shares the same title. The book itself was once on the Commandant of the Marine Corps reading list, because despite being an old SciFi action romp; there are a number of deep reflective themes in the book that transcended genera fiction. Themes that did not make it to the film. Neither did their awesome power armor.
     Enough about Starship Troopers. What am I going to cover here today? This guide and the Fantasy one are designed more to provoke inspiration and creativity, rather than to give you established precedent. These are just my recommendations, so feel free to pick and choose what you want. SciFi and Fantasy universes have their own rules, just stay consistent. I'll tell you how I (and a few others) have gone about using existing military concepts and apply them to straight up fiction. And remember, no matter how cool your tech is, the best stories are always about the people and their struggles.
 

Frame the Universe

     Before you take your first step out that airlock, you need to decide what your restrictions are. Unlike the other three guides which are locked to a single planet (Earth or your Fantasy world, don't make me go down a magic portal rabbit hole for other worlds there...) SciFi is usually out in space. But not always.
     Why is there conflict? You can write SciFi all day without political conflict (personal conflict, not so much). But military SciFi needs an excuse to break out diplomacy through other means. Just having a squad run around breaking sh*t and engineering chaos, while exciting, isn't very interesting. Who are your aggressors and why? Develop the reasons, they tend to make for a better read than just blatant xenophobia. Old Man's War has some interesting angles to this regard. I'm sure you can all cite a few more (Dune, also comes to mind).
     And as goes with all stories, your characters need to be relatable. So if you have no humans, there better be some threads you can attach to as a reader.
 

Force Building

It's like world building, but for the military.
Me, I like to ground things in a heritage of the existing. Why? Because it's what humans do, either because of heritage, relatability, or because we aren't very original. This is more relevant (I feel) in SciFi based off human futures (moreso than let's say High Fantasy), deviate accordingly.
Rank and Structure      Most of the best SciFi/Fantasy militaries are based on real world examples. Yes, you can start from scratch and create completely alien military structures. However, the more off-the-beaten-path you go, the harder it will be for the reader to relate to and follow. As much fun as it is to create a 27-tiered rank structure of a thirty-seven layered hierarchy, your readers aren't going to be able to keep track without constantly referring back to the 30-page appendix in the back of your novel.
So… Kreckel Jip Paccku of the 4th Gregglan Raggers… ok so a Kreckl outranks a Jiggag, but not a Opperg. And a Ragger unit is bigger than the J'hest, but subordinate to the Max Headroom?
     Yeah, confusing as hell without constant references. Titles like "Lord Imperator" or "Knight Commander" might not be modern ranks, but at least make enough sense for someone with an average IQ to follow. This is why you generally see authors stick to basic concepts of Private, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant in their works. It's not just that future military concepts are rooted in history, it's that the reader has to follow it.
     Is it ok to make up new unit types and ranks? Sure, just be careful not to make it insanely confusing. I have a universe where I replaced line company Captain (O-3) with a rank called "Aegis". It's the same rank, I just did away with the confusion created by also having ship "Captains" (O-6). The other officer ranks mostly follow the traditional Marine/Navy structure. (Ignore the two "non-combat" columns on the right.) This problem actually exists in our own military, though it seldom causes any actual problems. Navy Captains out rank Army, Air Force, and Marine Captains by three levels.
Navy or AirForce?      Who took the lead? In SG-1, it was the Air Force, so they were very focused around their behavior and structure (though the other US DoD branches and Russians were also in the picture). In many SciFi tales they try to shape their fleets around Naval traditions. Feel free to blend/meld them… just try not to be too confusing.
Mega-Stupendo Heroes      Is your MC overpowered? Overtrained? Do it, don't do it, I don't care. But seriously, be careful with it if you do. Master Chief is a great video game character whose story became relatable because he struggles with his humanity. Having said be cautious of making super soldiers, I've done it myself. Yet, they too struggle with what it means to be human and are vulnerable at the loss of those around them.
     I actually started this point to ponder on an old scifi show Space: Above and Beyond which struggled to try and stay "realistic". Real pilots take years to train. Typical pilots hit the fleet as senior First Lieutenants who're about to be promoted to Captain. You don't risk all that training sending pilots on infantry missions. The show did that a number of times. There were other weak plots I caught watching it as an adult who had served, that never dawned on me as a kid. (I still enjoy the hell out of S:AAB.) Yes, your MC might be an elite, super warrior… but there better be logical explanations for why before you end up with a magic Mary/Marty Sue.
Warrior Generals      I suppose this largely depends on the universe you build out, but even some of the most hardcore modern Generals don't see frontline combat. In the real world, you'd be lucky to see anyone above a Major on the ground/in the fight or a LtCol/Commander in the sky trading shots with the enemy. You tend to trade rank for boring desk jobs and rear-echelon leadership roles. The "warrior general" is really something of the bygone era and has more of a place in Fantasy, than SciFi. That's not to say the rules of your force can't dictate that, just be mindful. In Starship Troopers, everyone dropped and everyone fought. Pretty sure one of the big Generals bought it in a bug fight too.
 

Technology

      War, in the most extremely basic mathematical approach, is all about rendering more of the enemy combat ineffective than they can inflict similarly on to you. Conflict is all about the 5 D's: Defend, Delay, Disrupt, Destroy, or Divert. Technology has evolved over time to do those five things. I'll cover a handful of popular concepts, but this isn't even close to the full list.
Space Battles      Massive fleets of capital ships and squadrons of fighters are often woven into the fabric of an epic space opera. So how does one describe this dance of behemoths?
     Scarecrowsid, also pointed out: Using Navy structure as a base, the value of studying the ways in which a CIC and Bridge operate can have a significant effect on how battle sequences play out in Ship to Ship combat. There are a number of options here, but to name a few:
Drone warfare      On the note of space battles and the argument for human pilots vs drones: Light has a current finite speed. 299,792 kilometers per second. We'll assume no one is jamming your comms. That's still millisecond lag in close engagements. We put current drone operators as near as we can to avoid lag in terrestrial situations. Even then you get some lag. Not just data travel, it's processing too. I can't go into actual lag times or the differences in responsiveness for drone operators in CONUS vice in Theater (not only because it's likely classified, but because I don't know the details other than it exists). These are drones not engaged in 1-on-1 sorties. So imagine in your space combat drone vs piloted and how the signal-decision-command-execute delay is for a live pilot vs a drone that is getting further and further from the base station. If you have pushed the magic insta-communications "I believe" button, then go ahead…
Communications      Back to the speed of light… physics is a bitch. Ok, we can assume even in an FTL world, light still takes time to travel. Some EU gets around this a number of ways.
Power ArmoMECHs      I enjoy a nice suit (the HIMYM/Avengers gag was brought to you by MajorParadox). The US military is currently working on a few prototypes, but the biggest hangup is still power. It will likely continue to be a problem for the near future before we see Space Marines dropping on us. But this is your Nuka-Cola™ powered future. Bring on the Jeagers, Power Armor, and Battlemechs. Things you might want to toy with are scale issues (stepping on friendly forces), power (might still run out of those Fusion Cores), Ammo (it's still gonna run out), crossing large swaths of terrain (are you limited to human running speed, there still is a human in that suit), and the shortcomings of human anatomy (there still are restrictions on how much punishment a body can take even in the nicest padded cell and a body has to fit into the armor somehow).
Superweapons      I'll show you my Galaxy Gun if you let me see your Death Stars. (I'm already ashamed at that joke.) Yes, superweapons are a trope. As are the: Lost Superweapon, Forgotten Superweapon, Superweapon Surprise, and the Ancestral Weapon. I'd say not to, but the Mouse now owns an entertainment Empire born on the back of them. My advice…make sure your thermal exhaust port isn’t showing. (cringes) Ok, bad jokes aside; if you want to go the superweapon route, don't build me a third Death Star (cough, cough JJ?). What do I mean? Get to it, fight it, but don't dwell on it forever. (Seriously, don't spend pages on building it for me.)
Robotics      I actually was going to skip this for the sake of running long, but two of the reviewers pointed out it would be a good topic to cover. Macro and micro (regular and nano?) robots are likely to be a large part of space exploration since humans are fragile (we squish good) and take a lot of logistics to support. Human-sized or larger combat troops might just be the answer. On the other hand, smaller nanobots might be used for repairs/construction or in a swarm/cloud attack approach.
     (Will insert quote here if permission is given, don't like using people's words without their consent.) The gist of the argument made, however, is that continued human combat would be unlikely given a robust AI robo-troop force.
     It's a valid point. I could see it go a few ways as a story teller:
  1. You could write from a sentient AI robot perspective and keep to the above ConOps
  2. You could be one of the Robot Handlers. A commander of robotroops.
  3. Your society banned AI after a Terminator-like Rise of the Machines, so only basic (or no) robots are assisting humans in space.
     Also, from my buddy /Merklynn:
I'd throw Phillip K. Dick's short story "Second Variety" into the discussion. It's focus on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where a small rabble of surviving military from both sides try to rendezvous for a truce while avoiding the lethal "claws", disguised AGI killing machines, is about as close as I've seen PKD come to military sci-fi. The story isn't pure military sci-fi, but it is one of the earliest examples I can think of in which artificial intelligence has gone out of control, infiltrated humanity and constantly upgrading itself, making a terrifying enemy. The 1995 film adaptation Screamers is hit and miss, but the surviving enemy units being forced together and dealing with a total loss of communication with their superiors on Earth is one of the most compelling things about the story for me.
 
     Stuff I didn't cover: killer robots, nanobots, superviri, cyborgs, and more… I'd be here all week.
 

Battlespace

     Alright, back to your combat. So now you have your universe, how are you going to play in your sandbox? A lot of the stuff covered in the previous guide still applies (make sure to skim the comments of that guide for some great commentary on combat). Some additional things to consider:
 

BONUS: Mercs / Parma-Military Contractors

     penguinzeppelin asked me about Mercs. Well IRL, most Military Contractors (even the ones without guns) heavily draw from the retired/veteran pool. It's a steryotype for a reason. I would likely approach my characters as such, or conversely how difficult they had blending into a group of all vets -OR- as a company/grioup the hard time they had getting work without that on their CV.
     While entertainment media likes to portray corporate military orgs like crazy wildcards (yes, Blackwater was bad m-kay) the ones that don't adhere to strict business practices tend to flash and fade as they die the death of a million lawsuits. Blackwater did end up in very hot water.
     Mercs that don't have business acumen tend to become pirates, privateers, or freelancers at least in decent SciFi. Morals tend to get in the way (or become great story points). Is it a big team of hundreds and your MCs are just a small cog in the wheel (maybe they break off and go it alone)? Are they a small (12 or less) team that does independent contractor work? Do they look for a specific type of work that suits their personalities or are they so desperate for work that anything goes?
Big Orgs
Small Orgs
Again, this "article" is more designed to generate ideas and concepts to be applied to the normal rules of good story telling.
Questions, Comments, Complaints for your Congressman?
Ask your questions and I will get to them as soon as my day allows. Everyone is encouraged to participate and share your own thoughts. This is an open discussion. If people bring up good points, I will edit this accordingly. Also feel free to list your favorite SciFi military books, shows, etc in the comments.
the Military Fiction (MilFic) Field Manuals FM-01W - Modern Military Fiction FM-02W - SciFi Military Fiction - (this guide) FM-03W - Fantasy Military Fiction (High and Low) - TBD FM-04W - Historical Military Fiction - TBD – Will cover ancient armies (Roman/Egyptian) up to early-Industrial/pre-WWI
submitted by Nate_Parker to WritingPrompts [link] [comments]

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