How would power armor change warfare realistically- rant/discussion

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Wumbology, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    I think that if power armor that that in Fallout were developed, it would lead to a basic restructuring of modern warfare- everything would change, to suit and take best advantage of the abilities of powered armor.

    I think small arms would begin to become bigger and higher caliber, because the problems of carrying so much heavy ammunition would be negated. Guns like the FN FAL and calibers like the 7.62 would see mass adoption again. The reasons for using smaller bullets (enables soldiers to carry more ammunition at the cost of stopping power) would no longer exist. Furthermore, specialty guns specifically designed for PA users might be developed, that non-PA users would have difficulty using- or cannot use at all. To give some leverage to non-armored soldiers, weapons would also have to be specifically designed to pierce armor. Since plasma is generally the only thing in the Fo universe that has consistent success with this, but is also really expensive, I think Panzerfaust-esque launchers might be used, or HE grenades and mines, as well as pulse weaponry- which apparently Chinese forces used to great success at Anchorage. In the end, though, unarmored infantry loses to PA almost always.

    Fallout canon tells us that the T-51b made tanks irrelevant, but I have my doubts. I still feel that tanks would keep a purpose in open field warfare, where the range and power of a tank gun is needed to successfully counter other tanks. Tanks are also quicker than men, and even though they are bigger targets, I have troubles imagining the open-steppe warfare like Operation Barbarossa without tanks. Furthermore, the Ghobi campaign, being in similar large, open spaces, would probably also necessitate the use of tanks.
    This is of course unless personal anti-tank weapons were developed with sufficient range to take on a tank were developed- but that'd have to be a miracle of engineering. In the tech level of Fallout, even tanks couldn't be totally irrelevant.

    Now, PA-on-PA fighting would probably be most interesting. Small arms are useless, and large guns would be too cumbersome at close ranges- so armored fighting would be up close and personal, like armored wrestling of European knights of old- such as this.
    (as a side note, Japan also had equivalent armored wrestling styles during the Warring States period).
    Specialized knifes to break through weak unarmored segments of the suit, and new wrestling styles- tense, awkward. Augmented strength would add a new dimension however- and as gory sounding as it is, I can only assume it would take advantage of the weak points of joints and limbs. If two forces of PA soldiers were to square off, the battle might turn into a vicious combination of melee/WWE match.

    So yeah. Warfare, modern and historical, has been limited by the strength and physical resilience of human beings. Something that could so fundamentally change that would lead to dramatic changes in warfare. The structure of armies may even be changed to accommodate for power armor.
    Thoughts? Am I wrong? Am I right?
  2. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    An interesting question. And all very theoretical I would say. I mean while some of the technology is there like exo-skeletons it will still take some years of research before they become usefull for the military and I think we are still very far away from the Fallout-Like power-armor concept.

    The military, as far as I know, actually sees the use of exo-skeletons as support for the equipment and not so much with the protection. Exoskeletons at least the one I have read about only amplify the users strength. They probably can't turn a normal human beeing suddenly into a warmachine or super-man. And yeah, they will definitely not make tanks obsolete. Not to mention if the infantry and their equpment is advancing, so will other branches, like tanks.

    Actually I feel the impact of lets call it "power armors" will not be that huge simply because I feel that a different kind of technology might actually fill the role. Robots. Military drones. Either controlled by humans, but most probably with a combat-program. I remember someone associated with military and research mentioned A.M.E.E. from the movie Red Planet as he thought that it was a very great idea. It stands for Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion. It follows a very interesting concept which is not that unrealistic if you think about it.

    It combines human and animal characteristics. It contains a drone on its back. And It could probably carry weapons on its body. Either machineguns or even heavy weapons like grenade lunchers.

    I am not saying there might never be some kind of power armor for the infantry. But I feel that the potential for robots is simply much bigger. The use of drones in the air actually shows that. Robots and machines are simply expendable and there is much less to care about. They don't need oxygen. They follow their programm/orders. Are easier to maintain. Don't require any training.

    With powerarmors on humans you well ... still have always to deal with the human.

    Though all of those concepts, be it robots or power armors/exo skeletons still have one very big problem. Energy. There are no batteries with the right size that can deliver enough energy to keep them all runing.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  3. TheChosen1

    TheChosen1 Moving Target

    Nov 8, 2012
    I'm not entirely sure how useful a full suit of power armour would be. An exo-skeleton to improve a soldiers strength seems more likely.
  4. naossano

    naossano Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 19, 2006
    It might be wrong, but from what i understood, power armor isn't meant to replace infantry, but to support them.
    I don't think there would be enough budget/mass production to equip every single soldier of power armor.
    So, it would bring some changes, but not so wide....
  5. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    It wasn't meant to replace infantry, no, but it was - in a way - meant to replace the current trends in heavy armor. I agree with the OP, fully replacing tanks is unlikely (open-steppe warfare is a great example), but I suppose that in FO world building 200 suits of armor and training 200 men to use them is more cost effective and practical than building 50 tanks and training 200 people to operate them.
    PAs were brought to the scene during the Canadian invasion, no? They were originally used for urban warfare. Having a walking man-sized tank of near indestructibility in such a situation is a lot more practical solution than having an actual 70 ton machine rolling through the streets and over the rubble.
    PAs are way more mobile, easier for maintenance and transport - and (presumably) cheaper. Most likely, far deadlier too.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
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  6. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I'm rewriting the article on power armor for the Vault and that's not the case. First, the lore says nothing of the sort. Second, tanks were largely retired because of the resource crisis. By 2060, there was no longer enough fuel around to allow cars to operate, much less gas guzzlers like tanks. The Chinese did use their remaining stockpile of oil to invade Alaska with tanks, in a massive gambit, and they practically rolled over the United States troops until the early, stop-gap T-45 models of power armor were put into service and the poor fucking infantry once again had the firepower and protection necessary to counter the enemy.

    However, the T-45 was a temporary solution that ended up becoming the mainstay by the virtue of being available. It provided insufficient at replacing tanks and the whole situation degenerated into trench warfare. Specifically because breakthroughs with tanks were no longer possible.
  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Yeah, but they also got fusion for cars. It would only make sense to assume that military vehicles like tanks would have eventually adopted that technology as well. Though probably not in masses.
  8. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    If I'm not wrong, fusion power cells which had a working life of more than a millennium were created for PAs.
  9. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    Hmm, good to know. Since I'm pretty sure the lore has never covered this in detail, I can only assume like Crni says that the microfusion technology was applied to most things, including tanks. If commercial cars like the Highwayman were nuclear, then without a doubt nuclear tanks saw action.

    Hmm. I'm looking at the Vault's article on the Battle of Anchorage and it says the same- I assume you wrote it- but given that Operation: Anchorage is really the only evidence of this, and given the simulation is of dubious accuracy to begin with...
    Looking at the citations, apparently the Fallout 3 Game Guide or something says that. But I have doubts that trench warfare could possibly happen in a world of military robots, advanced armor, or even with the bombing craft we see in Anchorage...
    Idk. Consider me skeptical of the plausibility.

    200 years was the lifespan in the item description for the T-51b, I think.
  10. RetroAmerica

    RetroAmerica It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 18, 2014
    "Power Armor" at least as applied in the original Fallout Chronology, would in effect be issued to mechanized infantry battalions (Van Buren, if memory serves me correctly), and in effect an battalion, or possibly even brigade sized element would effectively be able to defend against Chinese armored formations and moreover would be superior when it comes to MOUT due to their survivability.

    However due to what would be the extensive logistic and maintenance needs associated deploying power armored units, there would have to be a large scale strategic need for them, along with the fact that no doubt they were only deployed into actual combat zones, or to lesser extent policing/peacekeeping operations.
  11. ogreb

    ogreb First time out of the vault

    Jul 30, 2005
    PA in RL would not be feasible enough or cost efficient enough to justify the resources involved. Not to mention the science of it ! Talk about altering the laws of physics as we know them.
    To a Barret 50 cal...there would be no difference between someone in PA and some naked dude. ( In our reality )
    Not even some hybrid Chava / Dragonscale composite ceramic armor is going to stop someone from cracking your nut.
    Might be good as back up support, mobile artillery support, front line medical ..etc.
    But not combat.
    1. Too slow.
    2. Too big
    3. Too expensive
    4. Waste of resources ( like Hitler and the Gustaf )
    5. Too many other options to achieve same goal.
    6. Science is not even close....especially a power source that small and powerful.
    7. The laws of Physics !...can't forget that one. For every action there must an equal and opposite...?...anyone ?

    Sure you can scare the locals with a hulking armored dude, and maybe take light enemy fire...but anyone with an RPG is going to turn you into lots of shiny, bloody bits.
    The kinetic force of RPG impact alone would kill you.

    Now if reality worked here like it does in FO...sure...I can see it. I'd buy a suit myself.

    Unfortunately the future of war will be robotic tracked vehicles ( armed and otherwise ) and humanoid robots, no power armor, no mutants...sigh again..sigh..
    Just remote controlled metallic dogs of war, piloted by the X-Box generation from screens thousands of miles away.
    At least we still get to watch it from the comfort of couch .
    Now in 3 D thanks to CNNs new combat reporter drone ! You can now really see the blood fly!
    Sponsored in part by Vault Tec. Close captioning by Nuka Cola

    I've seen the private / army exo skeleton projects, but until a power source can made that small there is no future in it.
    See guys in PA dragging portable generators behind them. Probably turn them into walking forklifts aka Aliens. ( Except plugged in to the wall )

    That's why I feel like such bad ass in PA playing the FO universe...cause I know in this one I would have died a long time ago.

    Peace out !

    War never changes...and neither does my wife's nagging. Maybe that's why we have so many wars.
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  12. Beaviz81

    Beaviz81 First time out of the vault

    Mar 22, 2015
    To the previous poster, you make a good point with your point about kinetic energy, yet in Starcraft they had the realistic foam-solution. And unlike most people I think you still can do cartwheels like in this Youtube-video and such so agility wouldn't be that reduced. I mean it would be pointless making powered armour so cumbersome you can't even take cover. Nevermind how badly that would reflect on aiming a gun.