Monthly Archives: August 2012

Rome II Total War and a Classical Warfare Primer

I originally posted this over at the Total War Forums, in response to a query as to what features I would like to see in the upcoming Rome II: Total War PC game. I have been playing this series (mostly in the form of various mods) since the original Rome: Total War and therefore have a pretty developed sense of what I’d like in the next one. I’m also a long-time student of classical warfare, so most of my requests are for mechanics that improve the realism and tactical depth of the gameplay (I think they already have a relatively good handle on strategic depth).

After I finished the marathon forum post, I realized that it makes a halfway decent primer on the mechanics of classical combat, so I’m reposting a cleaned up version of it here for those who are interested.

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The Future of the US Strategic Arsenal: Into the Fourth Generation?

Looking back over the last 60 years, it becomes apparent that the nuclear standoff between East and West was in large part responsible for the lack of great-power conflict.  The fact that this occurred in the face of an incredible increase in the lethality and mobility of conventional forces is historically astounding.  Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has kept its nuclear strategy more or less as-is, but it is possible that challenges posed by the changing global political situation and new technologies either recently developed or only now cresting the horizon of practicality will necessitate a major change to the makeup the US strategic deterrent.

The Bear and the Eagle

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Molten Lead Cooled Fast Reactors

With world energy demand projected to more than double by 2050, nuclear energy is fast becoming a prime option for the future of global power generation; indeed, the proportion of the world’s energy produced by nuclear means would need to grow by 15 times to stabilize global CO2 emissions. The reactors that will be commissioned to replace and augment the currently operating crop of generation II and III designs (mostly light-water reactors, or LWRs) will need to be safe, proliferation resistant, sustainable, and competitive with other power generation options in order to be politically and economically viable. One possible option for this fourth generation of nuclear reactors is the lead-cooled fast reactor, or LFR; a design which combines favorable features of some other potential Gen IV reactor-types with significantly better behavior in severe accidents.

Fewer nuclear plants = much more CO2. From REepedia

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Return and Grandma

Wow, that was certainly a long and busy hiatus! Two moves and two states later, I am finally back in a situation where I can continue this little project. To start off, here are some fun renders of a 3D cutaway model I made for an RPG campaign I am running. The game is set in the Warhammer: 40K universe by Games Workshop, and involves the crew of an Imperial tank trying to survive after the near annihilation of their operational maneuver group. Their vehicle is a Leman Russ Main Battle Tank; Conqueror variant. Being as obsessed as I am with realism (not to mention armored vehicle design and engineering), I couldn’t help but make changes. After all, I take it that since human beings are not 5 heads high it is reasonable to assume that the other miniatures are similarly exaggerated versions of what exists “in universe.” So, here is “Grandma” (I love my players).

Run for the hills!

Front view showing off the main gun and lascannon. Glass for driver’s vision blocks, along with much else, is a work in progress.

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