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Old 09-10-2006
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Default The Weapons and Tactics Adaptation game

So here's an interesting thing I want to try... How about we start a running contest where one of us tosses out a 'new threat', and everyone else attempts to adapt weapons and tactics to meet the threat. The rules will be as follows:

The weapon adaptations must be realistic and within current technical limits. In fact you could simply choose weapons you would arm your forces with from pre-existing types, or maybe something similar to a current type but with a small modifications. An example would be something like an FN SCAR in 6.5 Grendel with 30 round magazines... Perfectly within reason. Maybe even something like "A P-12 based shotgun, but redesigned as a semi-auto"... again, not too far fetched. But not "Man portable miniguns" or "phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range" etc etc.

The tactics must make at least a little sense, and not violate combat reality.

The 'threats' need to be reasonable... Not Zeus or Godzilla. I recommend sci-fi things from movies or TV. The encounter must be based in the very near future, even if the threat in the movie/tv/book was a long time in the future.

And lastly, only one threat per topic, start a new topic if you come up with a new threat.


Please go into detail when you can. Come up with your own concepts for dealing with the threat before you read anyone elses replies... We're going for variety here, not "What he said, but with a bayonet on it".

I don't care if it's something simple like "An AKM with a bunch of 30 round mags and some hand grenades..."... That's fine.

I'm going to be replying to this with the first 'threat' in a few minutes... Wait for me to write it up.
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Old 09-10-2006
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[please don't expand on the threat]

Threat: XenoArachnids


May 5th, 2007. A medium comet detected on an Earth collision trajectory. With only eight days warning, no means of preventing the collision could be attempted. The comet impacted in central Uzbekistan, but shocked experts when it inflicted almost no damage. It was later determined that the comet was actually a large clump of low density carbon, wrapped in a thin shell of hardened graphite and another thin layer of ice.

Shortly after, a team of scientists were quickly sent into the impact zone to investigate, assisted by a team of Spetsnaz operatives.

As soon as they reached the impact zone, the group came under attack. Only three survived by fleeing in one of the teams 4x4 vehicles. Continued engagements by the Russian and Uzbek militaries resulted in disaster, although they gathered much intelligence in the process.

The threat appears to be very large insectiod lifeforms. They used the comet-like-object as a means of interstellar travel, but no further details are know. They attack in large numbers, but the exact number is unknown. So far, in the first three days of combat operations, at least 10,000 of the lifeforms have been encountered. It is believed at this point they have a means of reproduction using materials in the impact zone, but details are unknown. If they are holding reserves is also unknown.

What we have been able to determine, based on recovered bodies of the lifeforms that have been recovered, is the following.

Type: Carbon based insectiod lifeform.
Standing height: 10 feet.
Weight: +/-1,000lbs
Ground speed: +/-25mph
Weapons: Limbs and mandibles, no standoff weapons yet seen. Two primary forelimbs are used in forward stabbing attacks, and are able to exert over 5,000ft/lbs of force on impact. Maximum attack radius is only two meters.
Method of attack: Massive, high speed wave-attacks. Swarms will absorb heavy losses, but still overrun and kill the enemy they are attacking. They do not retreat or even break contact, they live only to press forward it seems.
Vulnerability: Not too difficult to wound, but they seem capable of taking massive damage and still pressing the attack. Loss of limbs don't even slow them down. It is as if they do not feel pain or fear of death. Best means of attack seems to be to hit their nerve center, but this is a small target and difficult to hit. Shooting off all their limbs will disable them, but this takes time and effort, not to mention ammunition. 5.45mm and 5.56mm ammunition are very inadequate, with entire squads having to empty their magazines into a single target to eliminate the threat. 7.62 seems to be considerably better suited to the task. .50caliber heavy weapons have been very effective. RPGs have shown an impressive ability to kill a threat in single shots, but their weight and size hardly make up for this. GP-30s inflict some damage, as do hand grenades. Airstrikes and artillery support have had only limited usefulness, the demoralization effect it has on humans does not exist with these enemies, who ignore the relatively small losses these inflict.

Photos from combat, and captured specimens below:









Not much in terms of heavy weaponry has entered the fray yet, but already there is a massive mobilization worldwide. Almost every advanced nation is sending detachments to the area in a joint military operation. You have been selected to outfit and command *insert your nation here*'s detachment.

On the national scale: What weapons would you arm your men with, what equipment would you bring, and what tactics would you use?

On the personal scale: What would you use, yourself, in front line combat against this threat? What about your squad?
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Old 09-10-2006
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On the national scale, the first thing I'd request would be a massive, rolling nuclear bombardment of the impact zone and everything about 500 miles around it until all that is left is a glowing glass pit. Then I'd make a second rolling nuclear bombardment... then a third... then maybe a fourth. Best to do this while we have a chance rather than risk these things spreading.

If the request wasn't allowed, and we had to go in conventionally, here goes:

Assuming I could magically and instantly arm my military with whatever weapons I wanted, I'd make the standard rifle for my ground forces the FN SCAR-H in 7.62x51NATO, barrel would be 18", I'd like 30 round magazines but I can live with standard 20 rounders. ACOGs and EOTechs would be standard optics, with about a 50/50 mix. Both AP and FMJ ammo would be made available, and used depending on which shows the best result. Four SCARs in each squad would have underbarrel AG36 grenade launchers, using mainly M433 HEDP. Each squad [12 men] would have four M240s to provide fields of fire. Somewhat modified Claymore mines would make up the main secondary weapon, but using large tungsten shrapnel pellets instead of tiny BBs, and it would also be rigged at about a 15 degree angle, since most of the times you'll want to use them will be at point blank. The effectiveness of weapons like the M202A1 FLASH rocket launchers and the Mk153 with Mk80 or Mk3 warheads would be looked into, but I'm not seeing them being useful.

Air support would be mostly Napalm [carbon based, remember? Damn things have to burn], CBUs and Guns. A-10s would be the preferred air platform due to their low speed abilities [allows them to get an idea what is going on on the ground] and massive gun, but all other fighters in the US inventory would be committed, except maybe F-22s, which would be held for air defense in CONUS... They aren't really needed here anyway. AC-130s would also be used... As in every damn AC-130 in the world. B-1s, B-2s and B-52s would be used too. AH-64s, AH-1s and AH-6s would be used for close in infantry support. UAVs would provide air intel so the troops know what is going on.

Tanks would be used if possible... The heavy armor, weapons and mobility of an Abrams could be a G-dsend here. Getting them into the combat zone might take time however. APCs of all types would also be used, since they would at least provide some cover and mobile heavy weaponry for the infantry.

Defensive positions would be small forts, built as follows: a 100' layer of 10 foot tall steel spikes facing outward at a 45 degree angle. Following that a 300' kill zone that would be clear of any cover, but the ground would be seeded with many layers of claymore mines, and also gas pipes to provide a fire buffer. After that a 25' tall vertical concrete wall with firing positions on top. This would be turned into a six sided [hexagon] fort. Inside would be additional concrete towers to provide fire support to any area overrun. Along all walls and towers would be a massive collection of M2 .50cals, Mk19s, miniguns and whatever else we can toss in. Ammunition and supply stores in these forts would be huge. There would be several large helipads inside to allow resupply, including one large enough to allow low altitude paradrop of supplies from C-130s. The entire floor of these forts would be a 24" thick concrete slab, not dirt. Phalanx and Avenger air defenses would be used. I expect the Army Engineers to be able to build these things in about 24 hours...


Tactics: Build those forts in a giant circle around the impact zone, with several 'layers' of these forts, so that the loss of any one fort is not a breach. While these are being built, soldiers would guard the building sites in defensive lines. Attack helicopters [AH-64s] would patrol the spaces in between the forts constantly to prevent breach. Bombers would constantly CBU-carpet-bomb the impact area, to suppress any attacks while the forts are being built. Fighters and AC-130s would support the infantry.

Once the forts are built, preventing escape or loss of containment, offensive operations would start. Abrams tanks would lead the way anywhere the terrain allows it, backed by APCs and Infantry. Attack helicopters would provide close in air support, with A-10s on call.

Rules of engagement: Kill anything with more than two legs.

Op Tempo: Go slow and careful, but don't stand still. Change course constantly. Only hold and defend ground if it becomes necessary to prevent overrun. Call for air support before it gets to that point. Press forward until resistance becomes heavy, then request orders. Depending on situation, you will be ordered to either break contact, or hold ground for additional support. In lack of orders, break contact. Objective is to kill them, not commit suicide trying to take ground.

Overall Objective: Carefully probe the enemy to learn his abilities. When it becomes possible, press towards the impact zone and find out where the damn things are coming from. Reassess objectives once that is learned.

Focus of research: How these things reproduce, and how they can be killed as a group. Do they have abilities we don't know of? What weapons kill them best? Can a chemical weapon be made that kill these things [bug spray, folks]?


Personal tactics: Assuming it shows itself to be reliable, I'd go with a P12 shotgun loaded with slugs, with an EOTech sight... But redesigned semi-auto if possible. Sidearm would be, quite seriously, a S&W 500. Two or three M67 hand grenades. NVGs and all the damn ammo I can carry. No body armor, pretty much worthless.

My personal squad would be armed with four M240s, four SCAR-Hs and four P-12s [semi-auto if possible]. SCAR-Hs would have a full size barrel [18" or 20"] and optical sights [ACOGs]. Their use would be standoff fire at long range. M240s would be used closer in for fields of fire when they swarm. P-12s and their slugs are for last-ditch heavy fire. All weapons would have laser sights to help with close range reflex fire. No body armor, lots and lots of ammo, and a bunch of those special claymores.



I still say just nuke the damn place first.
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Old 09-11-2006
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I would say...

Get everything in .50 Beowulf, .458 Socom, and .499 LSW that is out there. Create 30+ round magazines for them. Push Beta through making a drum and mass produce it anywhere that can do precision polymer molding. The issue with these things is that the only place that really hits them hard is tiny; most soldiers are not going to have the accuracy to hit that at much range. So give them a weapon that if they miss that spot, they still do big damage. Things that are equivalents of .45-70 out of repeating arms. Fortunately weight isn't as big an issue. Give every rifle either a M203 or a 12 gauge LSS loaded with Brenneke slugs.

Given the wave tactics of these creatures, we need to dust off tricks from WW1 and Korea. Conscript any water cooled MG we can find more than 50k rounds to put through. Use them to supplement current MGs. Use 5.56mm SAWs only if they can be converted to .50 Beowulf. Spread the water cooleds along any defensive line to help secure rally points. Build technicals using light repeating cannon of 20-40mm. Issue beehive rounds to anything with a larger cannon. Use mortars of 80mm+ loaded with airburst charges... cheap, fast firing, and we don't need precision... mortars are ideal for these wave attacks.

Tanks are a problem with these creatures, keeping them out of the way of the things could be troublesome. If they ever got on them, I'd assume they would tear apart even an M1 in short order. Tanks need to be used much less aggressively, and unfortunately the distance I'd want them at could negate their MG's. The exception would be to fit out a special "Brawler Tank". This would be a heavy tank built off the frames of M1's and Merkavas that is equipped with 20-30mm rotary cannon insted of large caliber single shot. Equip the rear corners of the turret with .50 caliber M2 and similar to allow near-360 firing arcs. Then, instead of covering the outside surface with reactive armor, cover it with heavy duty claymore mines.

Are they warm blooded or not? Either way, sew the earth where they will approach with motion detector, remote, and seismically triggered bouncing betty-type mines. Use extra heavy loads of Willy Pete and HE.

The advantage with large rounds on these swarm moves are that you almost can't miss a major body section of at least one of them, so as long as the round can punch on through firing into the swarm will work.

We don't have any treaties regarding warfare with these things. Use White Phosphorus everywhere that won't start a wildfire. (And if the wildfire would only wreck land they are on, use it anyway.) They are carbon based after all. Napalm munitions are also good, cluster bombs as well. But the trump card... investigate the effects of chemical agents on the creatures. Human soldiers have available protection, the body morphology of these bugs makes such protection nearly impossible. So yeah, use bug spray. Many chemical weapons should be largely effective on any carbon based lifeform; chlorene gas is lethal when inhaled byt almost anything. Even if they aren't completley lethal, most creatures would find most chemical weapons nasty and unpleasant and be unable to travel through them.

I would use chemical agents as a means to herd the creatures. Force them into certain directions by use of airdropped and even crop-dusted chemical agents. Avoid hitting the central masses of the bug armies or forcing them against impassable obstacles; that would cause them to disperse and create a wider problem. This is a move to buy time and help us set up the ideal battlefield for the hometown advantage. Set up an infantry position on elevated ground with artillery and technicals... and good old fashioned sharpened stakes and tank traps in front to give a tough surface for those spindly legs to crawl on. Drive the bugs into it with chemical weapons. Wait until a line of bug corpses builds up, THEN set off the bouncing betties. Follow on with artillery, airstrike, and then sweep brawler tanks in from the flanks through the chemical fog to clean up. Rinse and repeat.

If decent elevated defensive terrain cannot be found, weather permitting use mud. Those sharp ponted legs look mean, and are probably wicked on hard terrain, but a 1000 lb creature supported on 4 small points will turn into a sitting duck in good soft mud. Our people and vehicles aren't quite so limited Make sure the last couple leftovers get killed with longbows, just to make a point.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCoyote
I would say...

Get everything in .50 Beowulf, .458 Socom, and .499 LSW that is out there. Create 30+ round magazines for them. Push Beta through making a drum and mass produce it anywhere that can do precision polymer molding. The issue with these things is that the only place that really hits them hard is tiny; most soldiers are not going to have the accuracy to hit that at much range. So give them a weapon that if they miss that spot, they still do big damage. Things that are equivalents of .45-70 out of repeating arms. Fortunately weight isn't as big an issue. Give every rifle either a M203 or a 12 gauge LSS loaded with Brenneke slugs.

I had considered .458 SOCOM... But I went with 7.62x51 for all the small arms in my force due to the large amounts on hand. If that wasn't an issue, I think I would go with that... Or maybe .50 Beowulf... Testing needed to see which is best. I think I would want a good belt fed weapon for support however... that would need an interesting redesign for either of those calibers to work.

Quote:
Given the wave tactics of these creatures, we need to dust off tricks from WW1 and Korea. Conscript any water cooled MG we can find more than 50k rounds to put through. Use them to supplement current MGs. Use 5.56mm SAWs only if they can be converted to .50 Beowulf. Spread the water cooleds along any defensive line to help secure rally points. Build technicals using light repeating cannon of 20-40mm. Issue beehive rounds to anything with a larger cannon. Use mortars of 80mm+ loaded with airburst charges... cheap, fast firing, and we don't need precision... mortars are ideal for these wave attacks.

I think a mix of Mk19s, Miniguns, and maybe a watercooled version of the M2 would be the best defensive emplaced weapons for this... Hadn't really considered watercooled.

Quote:
Tanks are a problem with these creatures, keeping them out of the way of the things could be troublesome.

Not really an issue... 65 ton metal tank going 40mph vs. 0.5 ton carbon bug... Who is going to win?

Quote:
If they ever got on them, I'd assume they would tear apart even an M1 in short order.

I doubt it actually. But possible.

Quote:
Tanks need to be used much less aggressively, and unfortunately the distance I'd want them at could negate their MG's. The exception would be to fit out a special "Brawler Tank". This would be a heavy tank built off the frames of M1's and Merkavas that is equipped with 20-30mm rotary cannon insted of large caliber single shot. Equip the rear corners of the turret with .50 caliber M2 and similar to allow near-360 firing arcs. Then, instead of covering the outside surface with reactive armor, cover it with heavy duty claymore mines.

If we had time for the refits, I agree with this. Except I would add some flamethrowers around the tread skirts.

Quote:
Are they warm blooded or not?

Probably somewhat warm blooded [well, warm gooed], but not as 'warm' as humans... I base this on sources from a movie.

Could be wrong.

Quote:
Either way, sew the earth where they will approach with motion detector, remote, and seismically triggered bouncing betty-type mines. Use extra heavy loads of Willy Pete and HE.

Mines hadn't even occured to me... Good idea.

Quote:
The advantage with large rounds on these swarm moves are that you almost can't miss a major body section of at least one of them, so as long as the round can punch on through firing into the swarm will work.

We don't have any treaties regarding warfare with these things.

There are no rules of warfare when you're fighting space aliens who have invaded your planet.

Quote:
Use White Phosphorus everywhere that won't start a wildfire. (And if the wildfire would only wreck land they are on, use it anyway.) They are carbon based after all. Napalm munitions are also good, cluster bombs as well. But the trump card... investigate the effects of chemical agents on the creatures. Human soldiers have available protection, the body morphology of these bugs makes such protection nearly impossible. So yeah, use bug spray. Many chemical weapons should be largely effective on any carbon based lifeform; chlorene gas is lethal when inhaled byt almost anything. Even if they aren't completley lethal, most creatures would find most chemical weapons nasty and unpleasant and be unable to travel through them.

I would use chemical agents as a means to herd the creatures. Force them into certain directions by use of airdropped and even crop-dusted chemical agents. Avoid hitting the central masses of the bug armies or forcing them against impassable obstacles; that would cause them to disperse and create a wider problem. This is a move to buy time and help us set up the ideal battlefield for the hometown advantage. Set up an infantry position on elevated ground with artillery and technicals... and good old fashioned sharpened stakes and tank traps in front to give a tough surface for those spindly legs to crawl on. Drive the bugs into it with chemical weapons. Wait until a line of bug corpses builds up, THEN set off the bouncing betties. Follow on with artillery, airstrike, and then sweep brawler tanks in from the flanks through the chemical fog to clean up. Rinse and repeat.

If decent elevated defensive terrain cannot be found, weather permitting use mud. Those sharp ponted legs look mean, and are probably wicked on hard terrain, but a 1000 lb creature supported on 4 small points will turn into a sitting duck in good soft mud. Our people and vehicles aren't quite so limited Make sure the last couple leftovers get killed with longbows, just to make a point.

Heh, I like that last part.

All good ideas.

I'd still say just nuke them while we can.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
I had considered .458 SOCOM... But I went with 7.62x51 for all the small arms in my force due to the large amounts on hand. If that wasn't an issue, I think I would go with that... Or maybe .50 Beowulf... Testing needed to see which is best. I think I would want a good belt fed weapon for support however... that would need an interesting redesign for either of those calibers to work.

Well I expected the MG's in my concept to be standard calibers, as they would be firing at longer range. But the shoulder fired stuff should lean more toward hard hitting than long range. I think .50 Beowulf would be best, knocking a larger hole. But I listed those 3 calibers cause I'd grab everything in them to make up for the limited supply of any particular one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
I think a mix of Mk19s, Miniguns, and maybe a watercooled version of the M2 would be the best defensive emplaced weapons for this... Hadn't really considered watercooled.

Mk19's... 40mm grenades have had some issues with their shrapnel being able to take down people, I doubt they'd be very useful here with the exception of a HEAT round landing head-on, and that's more something for making a shot with a M203 than an emplaced weapon. Miniguns are fine. I think watercooled's ideal, being able to pull back the triggers for an hour is a good thing for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
Not really an issue... 65 ton metal tank going 40mph vs. 0.5 ton carbon bug... Who is going to win?
Unfortunately tanks are employed to charge an enemy, and these creatures are too tall and likely too agile to simply run over. The main gun is too slow, cannister would help some. The .50 BMG is exposed, and the 7.62mm is a popgun when your up close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
I doubt it actually. But possible.

2.5 tons of force exerted by each one, get 2 or 3 on your tank and they'll tear the turret clean off.. turrets aren't built to withstand that kind of assault. Not to mention engine covers, or access hatches. That's why any going in ought to have claymores stacked on in the way reactive armor is; anything gets on the tank and you blow it to chunky salsa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
If we had time for the refits, I agree with this. Except I would add some flamethrowers around the tread skirts.
Perhaps, but then ammo supply would be limited. I don't think they'd make that much difference in the open fields you'd use tanks in anyway. But I might issue flamethrowers to my infantry teams I'd send in to mop up afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
Mines hadn't even occured to me... Good idea.
MOST mines are a bad idea, those pointy legs aren't likely to set off standard mines, they aren't likely enough to step on them. Plus the main body is far enough off the ground to minimize such damage. That's why I listed alternative triggering schemes using the bouncing types.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
There are no rules of warfare when you're fighting space aliens who have invaded your planet.
Fortunately, just in case anybody got anxious about my use of chemical and incindiary weapons, weapons prohibited in international wars don't apply to interstellar ones. Also, if a weapon is banned from "anti-personnel" use, that only applies to persons, right? Gets hazy there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
Heh, I like that last part.

All good ideas.

I'd still say just nuke them while we can.

Just saying, these things have a body layout that while large and intimidating, isn't exactly well suited for a number of environments. While I would assume they could swim in some way, mud I'm pretty sure would turn them into easy pickings. And some parts of Russia and the Ukraine have absolutely unbelievable mud in the spring.

I could see some use of small tactical nuclear weapons, but I think it's superfluous. Also, nuclear weapons are not good denial of ground against these things either like chemical weapons could be; remember, cockroaches are notoriously resistant to radiation. In fact, I'd be a little bit more worried about their resistance to radiation allowing them to use such ground afterwards to regroup and breed where we'd have a much harder time fighing them. Might be better to stay conventional/chemical.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Default I'm actually starting to think up an entire scenario step by step for this.

I'll post it up when I'm done writing it out.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Default First of all though

Are these things going to start burrowing out a colony for themselves like they do in the movies?
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Are these things going to start burrowing out a colony for themselves like they do in the movies?

That's unknown at this time *wink wink*.


Keep in mind in the situation above, we know nothing about these things besides the fact they showed up out of a comet [like object] impact zone.
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I could see some use of small tactical nuclear weapons, but I think it's superfluous. Also, nuclear weapons are not good denial of ground against these things either like chemical weapons could be; remember, cockroaches are notoriously resistant to radiation. In fact, I'd be a little bit more worried about their resistance to radiation allowing them to use such ground afterwards to regroup and breed where we'd have a much harder time fighing them. Might be better to stay conventional/chemical.

I disagree. We have about 40,000 nuclear weapons in this world. When I said "rolling nuclear bombardment", I meant it. I wouldn't stop until there wasn't anything left near the impact zone.

Keep in mind, we know nothing about these things... They might not only be a physical threat, but also a biological one... What kind of diseases could they be carrying that we have no immunity to?

Hit the area with enough nukes, and there won't be anything left alive... When dealing with hostile space aliens, that's a good thing.


And I'm not worried about the rads... That's not what I want to kill them with, the blast itself is the weapon I want. While it is true that the target area will become a wasteland no one could step foot in for about 1,500 years, and also true that the rads might not effect the bugs much, I don't see that as a problem. It's highly unlikely that anything would survive if you dropped 10,000 high yield nukes in there. Even if something did, somehow, survive, it would still slow it down enough to give us a chance to build a good containment circle around the area. After that, we can go hunting in the no-mans-land using aircraft and unmanned combat ground vehicles [not an unrealistic weapon in a giant radioactive parking lot].

These threats can't be underestimated. They might be able to wipe all of human kind out, in multple ways. Nuke them while you have the chance, when they're contained in one area, before they can spread.
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