Back to the main page

Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: Robert Watkins robert.watkins@******.com
Subject: Starting equipment [was: Value and so on]
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 16:27:27 +1000
Arcady writes:
> I don't see a military performing intensive medical
> modifications on it's
> regular soldiers anytime soon. Most of the cyber ware is useful
> for close in
> small scale combat only. The arena of mostly special forces and
> occasionally
> marines. And higher tech makes this more and more true. We didn't have too
> much 'war in the trenches' in Iraq and Kosovo.

In general, I would agree. Your average PFC isn't going to get extensive
cyber mods put into him. He _is_ going to be given a damn good set of
armour, not to mention training with BattleTac gear, but that is different.

Your average PFC may well go out and get stuff put him off his own back,
especially low-cost/high-gain stuff like a smartgun link, and I can see an
army subsidising this to a degree (for example, issuing smartgun adaptors
free of charge). (On a side note, I would see this even more likely in the
police forces, where many officers go out and purchase their own sidearms,

> > Conscript militaries drop in utility as the sophistication of
> warfare goes
> > up. You can teach a man to stand in line and load and fire a
> musket quite
> The best military in the world. With the highest tech and highest level of
> training is a conscription military located in the middle east...
> The Israelis have motivation. And that makes them darn good.

Special case, Arcady. A conscript army implies that the people in the army
are not particularly willing to serve. As you said, the Israelis have
motivation. In addition, the core of their army is still the regular army,
made up of volunteers, who get the bulk of the training; the conscripted
units are mostly support units, AFAIK.

The typical modern image of a conscript army is the army fielded by the US
in Vietnam: low motivation, low discipline, and generally under-performing.
The Russian model was also similar.

It is generally accepted that a modern, regular army needs intensive
training. That training requires too much of an investment to see the
trainee bugger off after their two years service.

> The toughest marines among all the nations that the US sees
> as allies are
> also from a conscription country. And while the South Koreans
> don't have the
> raw technology and well trained regular troops that we in the US
> have; their
> marines are something to be feared. What they call a marine and
> have in the
> thousands we call a 'Seal' or a 'Ranger' and have only in elite units. And
> they too are this way due to motivation; as their northern enemy has some
> 80000 soviet trained special forces troops who our (US) military admits to
> being hands down better than any special forces troop we have. And I might
> add that those boys in North Korea are also conscripts.

IIRC, Soviet Spetnaz troops were NOT conscripts. Sure, they were recruited
from the conscript base, but they had to volunteer to go through Spetnaz
training (or could drop out back to a regular unit after being drafted for
Spetnaz training). I would imagine that the NK troops had a similar set up.
I also would imagine that the South Korean forces are similar: heavily
trained volunteers backed up by relatively untrained conscripts, though I'd
think that the South Korean troops would probably have non-conscript NCOs (a
big departure from the Soviet model)

Again, it comes down to economics: it makes little sense to train a
conscript, who will leave in two years, when you can train a volunteer who
is here for a tour-of-duty, and is likely to sign on again afterwards.

.sig deleted to conserve electrons. robert.watkins@******.com
Message no. 2
From: David Cordy DCordy@****.com
Subject: Starting equipment [was: Value and so on]
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 09:40:24 -0700
> If you don't plan to use them as a PC option all you need to know is that
> they're mysterious hip young kids who can run the Matrix with little more
> than a modified simsense hookup. Play them mysterious and spooky. Like AIs
> with bodies.
While I like the general description given (especially the last line), I
have to strongly disagree with 'hip'. The Otaku in general are described as
under developed and socially inept. They originally had very little contact
with the 'real' world, and to say that they are 'hip' implies that they are
on the cutting edge of society. IMHO, I don't think so. To take an example
from a recent movie, it seems that you are implying that Keanu is a
representation of an Otaku. A mysterious hip young man. I would argue that
Mouse is a better example. Small, frail, excited more about the virtual
world then the real one, a real nerd. This also moves them away from the
whole White Wolf youth is beautiful, "We should all be models if we weren't
(vampires, werewolves, or whatever the beastie of the week is), alas. Woe
is us" Again, IMHO. And sorry for the rant.

Message no. 3
From: Arcady arcady@***.net
Subject: Starting equipment [was: Value and so on]
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 22:47:26 -0700
> > Yet another reason to not hand out cyber ware to normal day to day grunt
> > troops. All that is reasonable to hand out is a data jack that can take
> > smart link and the equipment needed to run skillsofts.
> What are people's opinions of skillsofts in the military or FASA view?
> Personally, I would rather want my soldiers to _know_ the skill and
> not have to depend on a computer that can get damaged much more easily
> that human memory.

Same here, but I'd also want them to be able to slot in needed skills in a
crisis. Any military can field grunts. What makes the US and other top rate
militaries so good is that they field intelligent technically skilled

> This is <1 essence and it's not removing anything from them ['cept a
> little skin, some bone and maybe (?) a little brain...] so it's not
> going to have _that_ big an effect on their self image. Also, surgery
> is minimal and effectiveness is maximal.

Personally I'm of the opinion that the moment they slot in the chip it will
have a big effect on their mental state.
I think Knowsofts, Linguasofts, and Datasofts would be common with troops.
The rest goes into special forces territory in my book.

Normal troops tend to be behind the state of the art. That's just how
government budgets work. The 'cool' stuff goes to special forces types. And
the ultra cool stuff goes to the ultra-secret of these. The boys you never
see nor hear about.

But a normal enlistee or conscript get handed the proper training and some
basic gear like uniforms. When they ship out they get a gun and armor and
whatever fits the field conditions.

Arcady <0){{{{><
The Revolution will not be televised; it'll be emailed.
/.)\ Stop making sense. Be an Anti Intellectual
\(@/ Be Tao. Live Tao. Feel Tao. But don't do Tao.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Starting equipment [was: Value and so on], you may also be interested in:


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.