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Author Topic: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?  (Read 811 times)

Col Toda

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Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« on: 14 February 2020, 09:00:14 »
So I like to put a hull down position  at traffic circles. Put a tank with a vehicle  grenade launcher to put out Chaff grenades acts like light smoke and ECM . Hull down + 2 , light smoke +1 , if hardware not available  yet infantry  SRM platoon laying out heavy smoke to get another +1 w/o ECM . 

Have side streets with armored level 1 hardened building's  to house infantry or battle armor  park an Awesome  there to use as partial cover put SRM 6 and Sprayer on each side. Sprayer cools down Awesome 3 heat a turn smoke gives it an additional  +2 cover bonus to the partial cover .

 Deliberately build level 5 Buildings with good vantage points out of light construction  to tempt light jumping mechs to go there have it blow up out from under them an fall 5 levels .

Recon Cameras  mounted on buildings at every  major intersection  . Remote Sensor network  with a civil defense  command bunker to monitor  them.

What building  codes and practices  you use to make city invasion hell on the attacker ?

grimlock1

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #1 on: 14 February 2020, 11:32:21 »
Mix reinforced, medium and light buildings, but in a pattern known to the defender.   Maybe with certain identifying features.  "If a building has a grey HVAC stack, it can support a medium mech, but if the HVAC is blue, light mechs only." 

The Netherlands reworked the entire country so that be flooded to stem a Soviet advance in case of WWIII.  It's kind of a nuclear option but a city full of depth 1 water, defended by a mix of aquatic and standard Battle Armor is kind of horrifying.

A former US Army combat engineer once described West Germany as a "country built to self destruct."  Many bridges were built with a spot to place a prescribed demolition charge.  Twisty alpine roads would have what looked to be a manhole, were another prescribed demo charge would fit.

Tunnels connecting buildings.

Tunnels from the main base to concealed mech elevators.

Pre-surveyed firing locations for artillery.

Remote control on fire hydrants. An over heated mech stands over the hydrant, calls in to central, "I'm at the corner of Park and Broadway and I'm overheating."  Control opens that hydrant remotely and sprays the mech down.

Going back to the last ditch options, every building's gas main has a remote valve that is open to air in the basement. And every building has an electric igniter up rafters.   

NARC and TAG turrets everywhere. Especially since TW and NARC buffs indirect LRM action.

Can you pre deploy C3 Remote sensors as hidden?
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Cannonshop

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #2 on: 14 February 2020, 14:39:47 »
alternate street structural integrity to have pre-placed 'mech/tank traps. 

Disaster evacuation routes from designated buildings and train stations to rapidly evacuate civilians in large numbers (or to act as counter-invasion routes).

steeply angle roofs to make 'perching' 'mechs precarious.

Storm Drains with outlets that are pre-configured as firing points or observation posts.

Buildings with extra deep sub-basements and weak floors, designed to trap an invader in them, then drop inward.

Mountain Roads with preset demo, the sort you can wire a car battery to, and drop a convoy or column down the mountain in a massive rockslide.

pre-registered artillery targets that double as firing positions, the enemy takes the position and gets hammered by artillery.

Concealed explosives in roadways and side walk pavements.

Wire the Streets for sound.  cameras everywhere on the roads and streets, feeding to your command center.  (This also helps with disaster response).

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Calimehter

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #3 on: 14 February 2020, 17:20:19 »
Vibrabombs seem like they should be worth a mention.  Unless you have a lot of utility mechs around, you can sow these things all over the place (including rooftops and basements) without very much disruption to civilian life, and not have to worry about needing anyone around to detonate them during an invasion.  You could set up a few 'safe corridors' for your own Mech forces for transit, and turn those corridors into ambush sites for any foe who tried to take advantage of them.


Kargush

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #4 on: 14 February 2020, 22:29:19 »
Going back to the last ditch options, every building's gas main has a remote valve that is open to air in the basement. And every building has an electric igniter up rafters.   
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Greatclub

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #5 on: 14 February 2020, 22:47:13 »
At any point did they actually site the explosives in the West German roads and bridges? Fake charges for training exercises, real ones for Cuban missile crisis, what?


religon

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #6 on: 15 February 2020, 11:44:58 »
Urban combat is tough enough for attackers. I would try to make it "hell." It also leads to a very sluggish pace of game play.

Paul

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #7 on: 15 February 2020, 15:58:18 »
alternate street structural integrity to have pre-placed 'mech/tank traps. 

Difficult to impossible when you're just paving over dirt, which is 99% of all paved roads on the planet right now.
You could make a *dedicated* Mech trap in select spaces tough. Basically burry a concrete 'vault', much like you'd do for sewers systems.  Probably only costs about 10-20 mil each.

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steeply angle roofs to make 'perching' 'mechs precarious.

I like this idea. And with the massively overdesigned roofs of BT buildings, this shouldn't be that hard.


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Storm Drains with outlets that are pre-configured as firing points or observation posts.

I'm not following, can you expand?


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Buildings with extra deep sub-basements and weak floors, designed to trap an invader in them, then drop inward.

Unlikely to pass building code.


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Concealed explosives in roadways and side walk pavements.

Definitely won't get approved by anyone during peace time, and probably not during wartime neither.


Mix reinforced, medium and light buildings, but in a pattern known to the defender.   Maybe with certain identifying features.  "If a building has a grey HVAC stack, it can support a medium mech, but if the HVAC is blue, light mechs only." 

Cute idea, but word will get out on that within minutes.

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Tunnels from the main base to concealed mech elevators.

Neon Evangelion style?
You can probably buy a Mech regiment in cash for the cost of 1 of those.


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Remote control on fire hydrants. An over heated mech stands over the hydrant, calls in to central, "I'm at the corner of Park and Broadway and I'm overheating."  Control opens that hydrant remotely and sprays the mech down.

Could work. Valve would have to be on top, so it fountains up, otherwise you'd just spray the ankles for near 0 effect. Would drastically increase the cost of every hydrant by a factor 100 though. Cities have 1000s of those.
Hope your civvies love taxes. Definitely too much cost for too little gain. And if the system glitches, a building burns down, unless you want to make them even more expensive to permit manual opening as well for the FD.


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Going back to the last ditch options, every building's gas main has a remote valve that is open to air in the basement. And every building has an electric igniter up rafters.   

The fire marshall has permission to shoot people who approve those plans. Any construction company caught doing this will be sent to a re-education camp.

« Last Edit: 15 February 2020, 16:00:02 by Paul »

Daryk

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #8 on: 15 February 2020, 16:39:20 »
Quote
Quote
Buildings with extra deep sub-basements and weak floors, designed to trap an invader in them, then drop inward.
Unlikely to pass building code.
Except that "weak floors" here means "unable to support 20 tons or more".

Paul

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #9 on: 15 February 2020, 17:22:10 »
Unlikely to pass building code.
Except that "weak floors" here means "unable to support 20 tons or more".

Ah. We call those "floors" on this planet. Supporting 44,000 lbs is an unusual problem, likely requiring 8 inches of pretty high pressure concrete and a dense rebar grid. You'd need that for semis+trailers. Concrete in trailer yards is rated for that. But it also rests on dirt, you take the dirt away and suspend it, and you have to make it MUCH stronger to get back up to 20 tons.
So for this basement approach, beyond adding ENORMOUS cost to every building that doesn't need or want basements, you're make the floors normally.

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #10 on: 15 February 2020, 17:32:21 »
Vibrabombs seem like they should be worth a mention.  Unless you have a lot of utility mechs around, you can sow these things all over the place (including rooftops and basements) without very much disruption to civilian life, and not have to worry about needing anyone around to detonate them during an invasion.  You could set up a few 'safe corridors' for your own Mech forces for transit, and turn those corridors into ambush sites for any foe who tried to take advantage of them.
There may be a really low rate off accidental detonation, but you leave mines all over a city for long enough, and some are going to get set off, whether by unexpectedly large vibrations from normal city life or simply by materials corroding after being buried in the sidewalk for a quarter-century.  UXO is a big enough problem already.  I don’t care how reliable your triggers are, you don’t mine your own cities in peacetime.  Or even in wartime, except for times of tactical necessity when the place has already been evacuated.
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Kargush

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #11 on: 15 February 2020, 18:27:11 »
Definitely won't get approved by anyone during peace time, and probably not during wartime neither.
Switzerland, West Germany, and Norway. To name 3 countries I know had bridges, tunnels, roads, and more rigged for blowing in case of the WarPact hordes.
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grimlock1

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #12 on: 15 February 2020, 19:48:22 »
Switzerland, West Germany, and Norway. To name 3 countries I know had bridges, tunnels, roads, and more rigged for blowing in case of the WarPact hordes.
But the explosives aren't in place.  A friend who was stationed in Germany explained that in the case of the invasion, everyone else's job was to hold the line for as long as possible.  His job, and a bunch of others was to take a truck full of explosives, head west and blow every bridge, tunnel and road behind him.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #13 on: 15 February 2020, 20:35:18 »
Ah. We call those "floors" on this planet. Supporting 44,000 lbs is an unusual problem, likely requiring 8 inches of pretty high pressure concrete and a dense rebar grid. You'd need that for semis+trailers. Concrete in trailer yards is rated for that. But it also rests on dirt, you take the dirt away and suspend it, and you have to make it MUCH stronger to get back up to 20 tons.
So for this basement approach, beyond adding ENORMOUS cost to every building that doesn't need or want basements, you're make the floors normally.

it really depends on which real-estate you're dealing with.  In a downtown core with huge, multistory buildings capable of sustaining a 'mech's weight, it's not that much added cost and the double-basements can serve additional peacetime purposes or even be connected to the subways and underground public transit routes. (making for faster evacuation). Ideally the trick is that the floors above, aren't structurally sound enough to hold 20 tons of battlemech, and the roof might not either, but the walls and 'skeleton' of the building are sufficient to hold the ordinary weight of offices and retail spaces (which is what tends to occupy big, multistory buildings)

another might be to alter teh cell-towers to function as either commo relays, or jamming stations.  The enemy enters the city, and his sensors act like they're on acid, his radios start buzz-sawing and lose range, and his active probes are seeing broadcast sources EVERYWHERE!!!

another fun one goes back to the middle ages; make sure you don't have any straight streets or avenues, or that the majority of your streets are 'twisty', curved, or have lots of sharp bends in them, and they're all narrow as frell with lots of 'courtyard' buildings (built around a central courtyard) to break up and disrupt formations and make mutual support difficult for ground units that don't have master-keys to go through the lower floors of structures without damaging them.  done right, this forces the invader to have to capture it block-by-block.  when also linked to some of the better suggestions in this thread, it makes the whole enterprise even slower and more frustrating for an attacker while enabling the defender to use contain and besiege methods to root him out.
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Kargush

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #14 on: 15 February 2020, 21:17:20 »
But the explosives aren't in place.  A friend who was stationed in Germany explained that in the case of the invasion, everyone else's job was to hold the line for as long as possible.  His job, and a bunch of others was to take a truck full of explosives, head west and blow every bridge, tunnel and road behind him.
Looking up-thread, no-one is saying the explosives will be in place until the shooting starts. So I'm not sure where you're getting that idea. Indeed, the Swiss example is perfect here, lots of prep-work had been done in advance, all that was needed was to add the final ingredient and pull the plug.
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Vehrec

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #15 on: 16 February 2020, 14:18:19 »
The most important building code in any Battletech city is that no primary road network shall be laid out in a 90 degree grid.  Roads, especially main arteries, can ONLY meet at 60 or 120 degree angles.

Urban defenses, especially turrets, should be clustered near each other for mutual support, but not so close together as to attract artillery fire unduly.  This may not be possible with more sprawling city layouts, giving incentive for arcologies, subterranean factories, mega-skyscrapers, and other high-density solutions.  City walls, where practical, ought to be made with an inner park-belt to avoid a collapsing wall also taking out major citizen areas, though some may say that using apartment blocks as supports for walls is the best use of the dragon's subjects/non-citizen's lives.
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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #16 on: 16 February 2020, 15:41:58 »
The most important building code in any Battletech city is that no primary road network shall be laid out in a 90 degree grid.  Roads, especially main arteries, can ONLY meet at 60 or 120 degree angles.

I wonder if that was a Star League thing that became completely ingrained and standardised, and no-one has questioned it since? :-D
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Calimehter

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #17 on: 17 February 2020, 10:44:06 »
There may be a really low rate off accidental detonation, but you leave mines all over a city for long enough, and some are going to get set off, whether by unexpectedly large vibrations from normal city life or simply by materials corroding after being buried in the sidewalk for a quarter-century.  UXO is a big enough problem already.  I don’t care how reliable your triggers are, you don’t mine your own cities in peacetime.  Or even in wartime, except for times of tactical necessity when the place has already been evacuated.

I totally get this, and wasn't meaning to make light or express ignorance of the serious issues with mines going on in the world today.   

Its worth noting that vibrabombs have one huge edge on your typical minefields, in that the triggers are not set for anything that civilians will be doing (stomping about in 12m tall robots), so the UXO problem does go down by an order of magnitude or so vs. our "real world" examples, even if it doesn't go down to zero.

The comparison that came to mind for me was the natural gas piping system built into many cities, including the one I live in.  That is a system that laces the entire city with potentially explosive materials that lies just under the surface of the ground.  This system requires constant maintenance and repair, needs close monitoring and occasional shutdown altogether around areas of construction, could potentially be hijacked by someone with ill intent (or James Bond), and still randomly explodes once in a while with loss of life and property (we had a school building go up last year a dozen miles from me, luckily it was not in session but there were still fatalities) . . . yet we still keep the system in place because the cost/benefit analysis says we should.  Its a great way to heat homes and cook food and provides everyday value.

I doubt 99.something% of Battletech cities would find the cost/benefit analysis in favor of investing in a Vibrabomb network and setting up the further maintenance and support infrastructure needed to keep it functioning and maintained and minimize accidents after it was buried.  Unlike natural gas, its not something providing significant daily benefits to their citizen's lives, it is only providing an invasion deterrent.

Imagine, though, a city in the Draconis March in the 3rd SW era where raids can be a yearly occurrence, and you have been brought up from birth to believe those raiders are just itching to finish what Jinjiro Kurita started on Kentares.  Imagine a shell-shocked Capellan city just after the 4th SW and under Romano's rule, desperate and fatalistic about your own future and knowing that enemies are coming soon.  They might make that call if other options aren't available.

----------------

Let's face it, most of the suggestions in this thread, even the more "sensible" ones that require less investment and danger, are unlikely to be adopted by governments on a budget and building contractors looking to keep their margins.  Even swapping out ordinary traffic cameras for the pricier military-grade Recon Cameras would need to be justified in somebody's budget.  This is the Battletech universe, though, with constant warfare a reality and crazy economics and occasional command-economy-style decisions being made by House Lords and others not beholden to a voting public.  A few of the ideas in this thread could find their way into being in the right places . . . and in isolated instances even some of the more extreme and dangerous options.


Daryk

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #18 on: 17 February 2020, 10:53:17 »
If you want to do it on the cheap, "Motion Sensors" (AToW, page 305) are only 100 C-Bills a pop.  There's no reason they couldn't be plugged into the power grid to keep their batteries topped off.

dgorsman

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #19 on: 17 February 2020, 13:13:55 »
Dual purpose stuff would be better.  Like intelligent traffic monitoring and control could also be used to monitor intruders.  The control centers and emergency offices could also be used as command and control centers.  Highway and public transit depots could be re-used as logistics buildings. 

Rather than an offensive system, the natural gas system would have remote shutoff so the grid can be cut off in threatened areas to limit accidental explosions.
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Col Toda

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #20 on: 21 February 2020, 08:05:11 »
I do a slight variation  on the flooding theme . Have the enemy  go through dry canals when attack but fill them before a retreat any open leg would flood farcing abandoning the unit.

grimlock1

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #21 on: 21 February 2020, 11:15:52 »
I do a slight variation  on the flooding theme . Have the enemy  go through dry canals when attack but fill them before a retreat any open leg would flood farcing abandoning the unit.
True but that can create its own problems. Sun Tzu said to leave your enemy a path of retreat.  Assuming the other team is competently lead, they will recognize a bad situation and bug out.  If there's nothing left but win or die, they will fight harder.   Now if you could flood the canal as they are retreating... That will be bad even for unbreached mechs.

If you are talking about major canal systems like the LA storm drain system, then could easily see canals that are 10 meters deep.
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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #22 on: 22 February 2020, 17:27:44 »
If you're particularly insane, you could release a hydrocarbon on the surface of the canal (or river) water and light it on fire. Just try to float your havercraft over that. It would necessitate keeping foliage and combustible buildings away from the canal to avoid collateral damage.


Col Toda

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #23 on: 25 February 2020, 08:28:03 »
Regretfully some of the suggestions  are not great for long term  implementation.  Prepared tank and mech traps  inside a city not practical  because when not in use would be the beginning  of a sink hole as water always wins.  Long term explosive sidewalks have pre mature detonation issue as wells as time increasing due issue and finally most explosives are Toluene  based  and subjecting the population to toxic waste . There are parts of France still contaminated with WWI ammo . A city in Battletech  is an asset and cash cow destroying in its defense  anything other than prefabricated  light construction  gives it a shot of being  a loss leader.

 A standard whole planet tends to have a good 60 million  yearly budget for defense . After spare parts replacement ammo and armor you have to pay your militia  . So built up hardware from it's own resources  can be a couple of times that . Just replacing  a platoon troops killed represents 1+ million C Bill's.

Quantity  is a quality  all by itself . Later Eras have far fewer more expensive  units that once destroyed  it be a miracle  to replace  in a years time

Cannonshop

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #24 on: 25 February 2020, 15:31:59 »
Regretfully some of the suggestions  are not great for long term  implementation.  Prepared tank and mech traps  inside a city not practical  because when not in use would be the beginning  of a sink hole as water always wins.  Long term explosive sidewalks have pre mature detonation issue as wells as time increasing due issue and finally most explosives are Toluene  based  and subjecting the population to toxic waste . There are parts of France still contaminated with WWI ammo . A city in Battletech  is an asset and cash cow destroying in its defense  anything other than prefabricated  light construction  gives it a shot of being  a loss leader.

 A standard whole planet tends to have a good 60 million  yearly budget for defense . After spare parts replacement ammo and armor you have to pay your militia  . So built up hardware from it's own resources  can be a couple of times that . Just replacing  a platoon troops killed represents 1+ million C Bill's.

Quantity  is a quality  all by itself . Later Eras have far fewer more expensive  units that once destroyed  it be a miracle  to replace  in a years time

depends on what those traps are during 'civilian time'.  For an example, look at the stormwater drainage structures of Las Vegas.  a lot of those would be very effective as tank traps.  One of the limiters on Armor planners during the cold war, was the structural strength of major bridges-this is one of the reasons the soviets didn't go over fifty something tons on their MBT designs while U.S. designs 'porked up' into the sixty-five-to-seventy ton ranges in the seventies.  (warsaw pact nations had a hard time building bridges that could handle the weight/ground pressure of bigger tanks.)

One thing else to consider, is that dropships don't like landing on water, this means your major cities are going to be on high, dry ground, not coastal or river deltas as is typical through most of human history because most of the trade supporting your colonies offworld requires flat, stable concrete with landing pits, not good docks or warfs.
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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #25 on: 25 February 2020, 16:45:22 »
depends on what those traps are during 'civilian time'.  For an example, look at the stormwater drainage structures of Las Vegas.  a lot of those would be very effective as tank traps.  One of the limiters on Armor planners during the cold war, was the structural strength of major bridges-this is one of the reasons the soviets didn't go over fifty something tons on their MBT designs while U.S. designs 'porked up' into the sixty-five-to-seventy ton ranges in the seventies.  (warsaw pact nations had a hard time building bridges that could handle the weight/ground pressure of bigger tanks.)

One thing else to consider, is that dropships don't like landing on water, this means your major cities are going to be on high, dry ground, not coastal or river deltas as is typical through most of human history because most of the trade supporting your colonies offworld requires flat, stable concrete with landing pits, not good docks or warfs.
You'e not going to be building your drop ports right next to the cities though, are you?  That's a hell of a lot of noise and vibration and the like for your random peasants to put up with on a daily basis.  I mean, the viewing area for Space Shuttle launches is several miles away, because getting too close can deafen you, or even just flat-out kill you.  I'd imagine that drop ports are more likely built 5-10 miles away from the cities themselves (if not more, given that dropships probably make a lot more noise than dinky little 2200 ton STS units).  that seems inconvenient, but a simple rail line could pretty easily move all the needed cargo back and forth.
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grimlock1

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #26 on: 25 February 2020, 22:17:52 »
depends on what those traps are during 'civilian time'.  For an example, look at the stormwater drainage structures of Las Vegas.  a lot of those would be very effective as tank traps.  One of the limiters on Armor planners during the cold war, was the structural strength of major bridges-this is one of the reasons the soviets didn't go over fifty something tons on their MBT designs while U.S. designs 'porked up' into the sixty-five-to-seventy ton ranges in the seventies.  (warsaw pact nations had a hard time building bridges that could handle the weight/ground pressure of bigger tanks.)

One thing else to consider, is that dropships don't like landing on water, this means your major cities are going to be on high, dry ground, not coastal or river deltas as is typical through most of human history because most of the trade supporting your colonies offworld requires flat, stable concrete with landing pits, not good docks or warfs.
it was also a doctrinal issue.  NATO planned to fight a defensive war in Europe.  They could expect to fight, retreat, then blow the bridges behind them.  Warsaw Pact had to anticipate building new bridges, and probably doing it under fire.
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Challenger

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Re: Building Codes and practices in a battlech city ?
« Reply #27 on: 26 February 2020, 10:40:17 »
Theres good historical precedent for insisting that all new buildings built in a city are designed with defence in mind. If I was ruling a planet that is likely to be attacked I’d be insisting on stone, brick and concrete over glass walls along with good rooftop access.

However, if I’m serious about defending the city I’d recommend earthworks and canals with bridges that are either prepared for demolition or too weak to support heavy mechs/tanks. (If not both)

IMHO, BT forces are usually too small to adequate defend a whole city, or in all practicality attack one. I’d be looking to slow down the attackers enough so I can mass my mobile forces to meet them.

A series of obstacles that have to be bridged will slow all non jump jet equipped units advance to a crawl.

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