Defacing Dollars

1203575952971I remember doing this once or twice when I was in middle school. It was the antiauthority thing to do, although it is a bit more innocuous than ass pennies.

Ass Pennies – watch more funny videos

Also relevant is Lioncash.


Tips for the Trade Federation

A while back, I watched this fantastic documentary about space travel called Star Wars — The Phantom Menace. It saddens me because what should have been a great army, namely that of the Trade Federation, was actually very poor when actual battle performance is considered. I have some tips for future improvement for this military that I feel will serve them well in future combat, regardless of its nature. Many are derived from primitive rules of warfare, and are applicable to any type of force, not just one in space.

1. Emergency Command and Control Systems
In retrospect, it was a terrible idea to connect the activity of every droid onto one capital ship in orbit. When this capital ship was destroyed, the droid army was essentially useless. This system does some things well, like it can change orders in real time for every droid, but the network upkeep for such a system must be enormous, and there is no way of dealing with any communications failures.

I propose giving each droid autonomous programming in case of failure to communicate. At the very least, in case of system failure, the droid’s system should stay running and see that whatever orders that it was supposed to carry out (kill all the Gungans, etc) is fulfilled.

2. Software and Hardware Improvements
Already human technology has advanced to the point where a software program can analyze the picture being displayed on the screen, locate a humanoid head, and destroy it with guns, resulting in a classic “headshot”. This technology should be imported to droids to improve their accuracy. The standard battle droid seems capable of firing in the general direction of the enemy, but not much more than that.

It may be the case that the droids do not have enough computational strength, but I find this difficult to believe as droids can understand humans speak and even modern computers with fast CPUs have a hard time understanding that. (Comparatively, the CPU usage of an aimbot is much lower as our computers do it perfectly fine.)

3. Exploitation of Space Superiority
This can manifest itself in two ways, either orbital bombardment or close air support. It is foolish for a force that controls all of the space around a planet not to stage attacks from this area.

The army that the Gungans fielded was entirely a land army, and the Trade Federation chose to engage with another army that was entirely a land army. Lord of the Rings had more aerial combat than this. There is no excuse not to deploy aerial forces when you have them and the enemy has no air defense.

4. Refuse Pitched Battle
If the entire enemy army gathers in a giant field looking for a fight, do not give it to them. They will be ready for it, they want it, and they think that they have a chance or else they wouldn’t have gathered there. The Trade Federation should have attacked before the Gungans set up their defenses. They obviously have satellites in orbit, so this kind of reconnaissance should be elementary to them.

Or, if the enemy has already set up, it is not necessary to attack them. In this particular case, the Gungans displayed hostility to the Trade Federation, so a better use of military force would be to launch an attack against the Gungan cities underwater. The droid army is not defending anything on the surface of the planet because none of it belongs to the Trade Federation. Therefore, the impetus of the Gungan army is to chase you. You should dictate the terms of the battle, not them.

5. Mobility > Firepower
Fixed defensive positions in an open field, like shield generators on top of large alien elephants, are the hallmark of a truly incompetent species, the Gungans. But what shows even more incompetence is a decision to launch a frontal attack against a prepared defending enemy. Unless you are certain that you can quickly rout or capture the enemy force, the defending force will likely inflict more casualties than necessary, simply due to how familiar they are to the terrain and the nature of defending.

You should not rely on a sheer difference in firepower to win your battles, you should always at least attempt to out-maneuver your opponent to force him into a disadvantageous position.

Or failing that, a less-costly strategy would be to lay siege to the shielded force, constantly attacking them with long-range weaponry, or even orbital weapons systems.

6. Kidnapping the Emperor is a Retarded Idea
If you have a massive fleet above the seat of government of the Galactic Republic, you are dictating the terms. Do not waste your time kidnapping the emperor, he is only one man. This would be like General Lee surrounding Washington DC with a Confederate army and then sending in some dudes to take Lincoln prisoner. Nobody gives a shit about Lincoln because his vice president will take his place. A much better idea would have been to destroy Coruscant via orbital bombardment and then leave before the Republic fleet arrived. You destroy the seat of power, military organization, and the Jedi temple, forcing the central government to take the demands of the sepratists seriously.

7. Automatic Weaponry
The standard blaster fires once every second or so, sending out a slow-traveling energy bolt that hits a single enemy, or that does very little damage to building materials, like bricks, concrete, etc. The advent of the droideka (AKA “destroyer droid” the ones that roll and deploy personal shields) brought repeating fire, but automatic weaponry should be standard among all droids, except for maybe some special sniper variant droid.

Judging by performance of the existing droids, they are largely inept at accuracy and thus should carry as much spray power as possible. For events like close range fighting, they should use something like the P90.

The armor suffers from this problem as well. The Armored Assault Tank (the ones that float) has only one large caliber cannon, which is acceptable for attacking enemy armor, but against an army comprised of only infantry and mounted infantry like that of the Gungans, it would not be any more effective than light armor, like a humvee. I propose a vehicle that incorporates a weapon like the GAU-8 Avenger, to spray an enemy army that is as clustered as that of the Gungans.

8. Guard the Fighter Bay
The Empire got this right on the Death Star. The place where craft take off or land, it might be a good idea to heavily arm that area. There’s always the chance that something unpleasant will fly into it, and when they do, they are inside your ship. Like a Naboo Starfighter or Anakin and Obi-Wan.

9. Screen your Capital Ships
It was not a terribly good idea to blockade Naboo with a force consisting entirely of carriers because they need smaller ships to adequately defend themselves. Every navy on the planet that has a carrier will deploy it in a battlegroup, which includes things like a flotilla of destroyers, battleships, and perhaps submarines, which all protect the carrier. Carriers do have native anti-ship and anti-air ability, but the cost of a few dozen fighters and bombers is nothing compared to the cost of a carrier.

So clustering capital ships is a retarded idea. In their defense, they did get it right in the battle above Coruscant, but that was largely due to the positive influence of General Grievous. (That’s what happens when military decisions are made by generals instead of bureaucrats!)

Guild Wars

I played Guild Wars for about a month. I was wandering through the catacombs, and I found an interesting room. It’s a fun game, but you’ll never meet anyone while exploring, only in towns. So that’s a major detraction, but it’s still a fun game. You can get it for $10 if you shop around and there’s no monthly fee. I’ll probably play the expansions when they drop in price. Also, the developers of Guild Wars are interesting people, as seen in this photograph.