Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

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zgrssd
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Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

There is a lot of tech that we developed on earth, but are no longer using. Something about them just did not work out. However, often a reason it did not work out was the times it became avalible or relative abundance of another resources. The Abundance of fossil fuels being propably the biggest killer of ideas by far!
However those same Resources may well be very scarce on any Shadow Empire Planets.
So all those technologies we dropped? They can be very valuable for Shadow Empires.

This is a thread for gathering examples of such technologies. Ideally you should mention:
- name of the technology
- when and how it was developed (ideally use a Wikipedia Link to history)
- why it was dropped (aka, "what killed it?")
- the gameplay effect such a technology could have
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

My first two examples are a bit of a cheat, because they are already there - just on a way to high tech level from my point of view!

Electrical Motors
Currently that tech is in Propulsion, 4 whole groups away from the starter techs.
History: The thing is, we had electrical Motors and batteries done by 1800 to lastet 1900.
What killed it: Fossil Fuels. Simply put, refining and putting Gasoline into engines prooved to be way more convenient. As a result, battery technology more or less stalled. The reason Electrical Motors are not as good on earth, is because they were 100-200 years behind Fossil Fuel Burners.
And especially during colonisation of moons, using Electrical Moters makes a whole lot more sense then Fossil fuel burners. Planets that have open air farming can propably get by using Biofuel Plants, but everyone else really has no reason to even restart with that.
Gameplay effect: Electrical Motors become avalible at way lower tech - propably with fuel burners. However, the early ones may not be very efficient. Both "Fuel" capacity and consumption may be very unfavorable. Additional techs would improove that, until we get to current day tech around Advanced Chemistry or Propulsion.

Gas Powered Small Arms
Currently that tech is in Advanced Engineering, 3 Groups from starter Techs and 2 from Automatic Rifles. Again, way to deep..
History: Originally I thought the idea of using Air Rifles as miltiary gear was not sensible. But turns out, it is very sensible.
What killed it: The Air Reservoirs. With the technology back then they were very hard to manufacture, very fragile and refilling them was a (literal) chore.
With pumping and manufacturing tech somewhat more this century it should not be an issue. We put gasses into tanks all the time!
Gameplay effect: It would stay a low ammo-consumption gun. It would just come before Automatic Rifles, rather then after.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

Bicycle Generator:
Take a bicycle. Remove the aft wheel put a dynamo there instead. You got a way to generate power.
History: The Dynamo part is a 1832 thing.
The bicycle is a bit hardert quantify. 1817 is the earliest thing that could apply. But I guess the invention of the chain drive is the leap we need, wich was 1880.
What killed it: It is not really dead. Still in use in 3rd world countries and emergency cases to this day. However generally every other form of power generation is better.
Gameplay effect: This would be a worker intenstive way of converting food (all those extra callories people are burning) into energy.

Stirling engine:
The Stirling e ngine is a way to generate work from a heat differential.
History: It is a contemporary of the Steam Engine, 1817.
What kileld it: The availibility of Steam Engines and the low overall work the engine can do. However they have been making a comeback in the 20th century: They are used in Submarines and even heat-concetration solar power. They are like a steam engine, except you do not need water or pressure bodies.
Gameplay effect: Generate power wherever there is a temperature differential. Particulary with Volcanos on a Ice Planet.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
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Malevolence
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
Gas Powered Small Arms
Currently that tech is in Advanced Engineering, 3 Groups from starter Techs and 2 from Automatic Rifles. Again, way to deep..
History: Originally I thought the idea of using Air Rifles as miltiary gear was not sensible. But turns out, it is very sensible.
What killed it: The Air Reservoirs. With the technology back then they were very hard to manufacture, very fragile and refilling them was a (literal) chore.
With pumping and manufacturing tech somewhat more this century it should not be an issue. We put gasses into tanks all the time!
Gameplay effect: It would stay a low ammo-consumption gun. It would just come before Automatic Rifles, rather then after.

As a note, the issue is not capability, but feasibility. Snuffy already has a lot of tasks on their plate. Gas Powered handheld weapons separate two sustainment issues: (1) projectile and (2) propellant. With respect to killing machines, the KISS principle is in full effect.

You are much more likely to see the end of the ammunition's metallic case with a sealed magazine that holds all rounds. That improvement both reduces weight and eliminates another Snuffy task (i.e. loading magazines).

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zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

ORIGINAL: Malevolence
ORIGINAL: zgrssd
Gas Powered Small Arms
Currently that tech is in Advanced Engineering, 3 Groups from starter Techs and 2 from Automatic Rifles. Again, way to deep..
History: Originally I thought the idea of using Air Rifles as miltiary gear was not sensible. But turns out, it is very sensible.
What killed it: The Air Reservoirs. With the technology back then they were very hard to manufacture, very fragile and refilling them was a (literal) chore.
With pumping and manufacturing tech somewhat more this century it should not be an issue. We put gasses into tanks all the time!
Gameplay effect: It would stay a low ammo-consumption gun. It would just come before Automatic Rifles, rather then after.

As a note, the issue is not capability, but feasibility. Snuffy already has a lot of tasks on their plate. Gas Powered handheld weapons separate two sustainment issues: (1) projectile and (2) propellant. With respect to killing machines, the KISS principle is in full effect.
The original worked with 18th century tech. It was particulary usefull in poor supply situations, as all you need is something to shoot and someone to pump - no Blackpowder.

And it is already in the game. It just comes after Automatic Rifles, rather then after Carbines. It's specialty is using particualry little ammo, for a 75 Firepower.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
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Malevolence
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Malevolence »

I was just noting Gas Powered Small Arms as incongruous as designed.

It was not a criticism of your suggestion.

[8|]
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GodwinW
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by GodwinW »

Minefields: anti-tank mines and anti-personnel mines both.

I think it would be a very nice strategical addition. Should also add minesweeper vehicles as well then.

"His border is undefended! Let's go!
... oh."

(Should be a third row tier tech. Later than RPG's and before Lasers. Imo.)

zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

Chlorine triflouride
How about a flamethrower that can work on concrete and metal - even in a vacuum!*
History: Nazi Germany considered it as flamethrower "fuel". NASA considered it as oxydizer for Rockets. We are still using it as cleaning agent.*
What killed it: It was deemed too reactive for both applications!* Yeah. that is right: Nazi Germany considerd it too dangerous to put into a flamethrower. And Nasa considered as too dangerous to put into Rockets.*
We still use it as a cleaning agent for realy extreme scenarios - namely all those were plasma is not deemed suitable.
Gameplay Effect: A flamethrower that basically works on everything humans can build, without needing Oxygen (so it works just about anywhere).

*I can not overstate how burny that stuff is. This thing is not a fuel for a fire - it is the Oxydizer treating just about everything as fuel.
Normal fire is just realy fast oxydisation. Stuff stops burning if either the temperature drops too low, runs out of Oxygen or the stuff becomes fully satuarted with Oxygen - wich is why Ash, Asbestos and a bunch of other things can not burn with Oxygen (anymore). Any fire with Oxygen as Oxidizer you can douse simply by depriving it of oxygen - including sufficating it under some noble gas.
Well, flouride is a better oxyidizer then Oxygen. It can use just about anything as fuel. Indeed if will rip out the oxygen just to be in it's place. Stuff that Oxygenfires can not burn anymore, especially burn with it (it is a fire that can burn other fires). You can not suffucate it, because it is the Oxydizer.

There was once a spill of about 1 ton. It burned through 30 cm of asphalt. And 90 cm of gravel below the asphalt!

NASA engineer John Drury Clark summarized the difficulties:
It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water—with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals—steel, copper, aluminum, etc.—because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride that protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminum keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.
Note "Hypergolic" means roughly "spontaneous combustion at room temperature".

Oh, and triflouride is not even the worst:
We figured out Chlorine Pentaflouride by adding two Flouride atom to Triflouride. But there are other formulas. It also reacts with stuff like Gold and Platinum.

And then there is Dioxygen Difluoride, or as it is coliqually called: FOOF. We only tested this stuff once - at -100°C. And it still caused fires and explosions with just about everything. It even burns Chlorine triflouride! (It is fire, that burns fires wich burn other fires!)
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
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Maerchen
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Maerchen »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd


Electrical Motors
Currently that tech is in Propulsion, 4 whole groups away from the starter techs.
History: The thing is, we had electrical Motors and batteries done by 1800 to lastet 1900.
What killed it: Fossil Fuels. Simply put, refining and putting Gasoline into engines prooved to be way more convenient. As a result, battery technology more or less stalled. The reason Electrical Motors are not as good on earth, is because they were 100-200 years behind Fossil Fuel Burners.
And especially during colonisation of moons, using Electrical Moters makes a whole lot more sense then Fossil fuel burners. Planets that have open air farming can propably get by using Biofuel Plants, but everyone else really has no reason to even restart with that.
Gameplay effect: Electrical Motors become avalible at way lower tech - propably with fuel burners. However, the early ones may not be very efficient. Both "Fuel" capacity and consumption may be very unfavorable. Additional techs would improove that, until we get to current day tech around Advanced Chemistry or Propulsion.


The electrical motor tech hasn't changed much since 19th century. It is the battery tech that is and was the problem. High energy density (low weight/reach), quick charge (refuelling) and relatively safety (and sustainability, but that wouldn't matter for SE) are still the problems.

And it was an electricity related invention that paved the road for mass mobilization with combustion engine cars: The electric starter. After it got implemented into combustion cars, driving a combustion engine powered car became convenient rather than time consuming, dirty and stressful. You could even start the car while it was raining cats & dogs!


Anyway, I support your idea. Make electrical motors an earlier tech, with an applied sciences branch for energy density optimization, extending range and reducing energy need.

The logistics hell this game is IS the fun part! - Maerchen, 2020

The good thing is, we have all the information in the reports. The bad thing is, we have all the information. Maerchen, 2020

Came for SE. Will stay for SE.
Kamelpov
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Kamelpov »

Bicycle infantry like good old time.
Elver
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Elver »

The extremely obvious one, along the lines of the aforementioned bike dragoons, would be fauna-mounted cavalry & dragoons. We already have cavalry for minors, but it'd be nice if we could tame some of the abominations on these planets. Some of them already can only be said to be weaker than tanks b/c they don't have any sort of gun mounted...
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

Mounted Cavalry and Bicycles (as extension to Motorcycles)
Currently we only have Motorcycle infantry. But this one would extend it to include Mounted Riders, Bicycles and even Chariots
History: As far back as the Bronze Age, humanity has used Chariots. Once we managed to breed horses large enough to carry a human, it just became the rider. If there was not enough Horses, sometimes humanity used Bicycles. And of course the most modern option is Motorcycles
What killed it: Nothing really killed the concept of making Infantry more mobile. However there is a clear preference for some modes of transprotation over others:
Back in the Bronze Age, horses had not yet been breed large enough to carry a human rider reliably. So a chariot with 2+ smaler horses was the top of the line Miltiary technology.
Once they came in breeds able to carry a rider, horses universally seemed to have replaced chariots in military settings.
When horses were sparse but roads okay, Bicycles have been used as the mount of choice a lot of times.
In modern times, the Motorcycle and Motorized Infantry have replaced the other options.
Gameplay Effect: Motorcycle infantry has one advantage over motorized infantry - you do not need extra people to drive and maintain the vehicles.
These options would propably use Food as "fuel": This simulates fodder for the animals or the extra callories burned by cycling over long distances with military gear on your back.

A Bicycle would keep the "wheel" movement type, but at a severe speed penalty given that it lacks a motor. And again, it would use food as "fuel" for all the extra callories that cycling burns.

A rideable mount would use the foot movement type. It would be faster then a human on foot. The animals would eat food, simulating the need for fodder.

A chariot is the odd one out. It is the fall back option, if there are no animals large enough to ride and you really do not want to use a bicycle. Maybe it is the poor mans Motorized Infantry. It would be the most material intensive option short of full on trucks or APC to make a unit mobile. But at least it would still be using food instead of needing fuel, wich itself can be a huge advantage.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
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beyondwudge
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by beyondwudge »

I must admit, I found that article on air rifles really cool.
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BlueTemplar
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by BlueTemplar »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
Stirling engine:
The Stirling e ngine is a way to generate work from a heat differential.
History: It is a contemporary of the Steam Engine, 1817.
What kileld it: The availibility of Steam Engines and the low overall work the engine can do. However they have been making a comeback in the 20th century: They are used in Submarines and even heat-concetration solar power. They are like a steam engine, except you do not need water or pressure bodies.
Gameplay effect: Generate power wherever there is a temperature differential. Particulary with Volcanos on a Ice Planet.
*All* heat engines generate work from a heat differential, it's just that you are often supplying the "hot side" via combustion.
Volcanoes on a Ice Planet would probably just involve steam (from ice !) power.
(There are issues though with corrosive substances (and pipe-clogging minerals ?) that volcanoes are known to emit and that end up in that water, so Stirling Engines might indeed be more practical in some situations ?)

Also, SE already has (now?) steam powered Volcanic Energy Tapping.
ORIGINAL: GodwinW

Minefields: anti-tank mines and anti-personnel mines both.

I think it would be a very nice strategical addition. Should also add minesweeper vehicles as well then.

"His border is undefended! Let's go!
... oh."

(Should be a third row tier tech. Later than RPG's and before Lasers. Imo.)
In a way fortifications like these are already abstracted by the Entrenchement mechanic ? (Who is laying down the mines ?)
But it might be cool to have a Strategic/Operational option !

----

Things I Won’t Work With: Dioxygen Difluoride :
https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/a ... difluoride

----
ORIGINAL: zgrssd
[...]
Back in the Bronze Age, horses had not yet been breed large enough to carry a human rider reliably. So a chariot with 2+ smaler horses was the top of the line Miltiary technology.
Once they came in breeds able to carry a rider, horses universally seemed to have replaced chariots in military settings.
[...]
And/or AFAIK chariots were used because the stirrup hadn't been invented yet ? (Seems to be as recent as -500/-200 BC ?)
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

And/or AFAIK chariots were used because the stirrup hadn't been invented yet ? (Seems to be as recent as -500/-200 BC ?)
The stirrup (and solid saddle) were the requirements for the "knightly lancer" type cavalry.

However lighter cavalry could have some impact:
Units like Alexanders Companion Cavalary was about the most impact focussed force you could have prior ot Stirrups & Saddles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbLnrGGqyWY

Back in Alexanders and romes day, the cavalry of the average Civilised Nations was pretty crappy.
Basically unless you were a tribal nation (Numidians, all those Roman Barbarian auxiliaries) or had a unique Horse resource (like Macedon did) you only fielded very light cavalry that would loose to any of those others.

The chariot could be used in 3 ways:
- Archery Platform*
- Mobile Melee Infantry*
- a line breaking weapon as alternative to elephants. Same counter: give way and throw spears.

*Basically they did drive-by shooting or drive-by melee
DW2 Poll:
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Arcalane
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Arcalane »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
Stirling engine:
The Stirling e ngine is a way to generate work from a heat differential.
History: It is a contemporary of the Steam Engine, 1817.
What kileld it: The availibility of Steam Engines and the low overall work the engine can do. However they have been making a comeback in the 20th century: They are used in Submarines and even heat-concetration solar power. They are like a steam engine, except you do not need water or pressure bodies.
Gameplay effect: Generate power wherever there is a temperature differential. Particulary with Volcanos on a Ice Planet.

Radioisotope Stirling Engines could also be used as a basic power source; something like the GR 'Liquid Energy' plants, where it has a minimal output but very minimal maintenance and operational requirements.

e.g. Lv1 takes 3 turns to build, 250 IP + 1 rad + metals/rares per turn, and then produces 100 energy with no worker/resource cost.

Then certain independent settlements might start with an ancient RTG instead of a broken down LE as a fluff thing. Isolationists who don't want to rely on the GR economy for liquid energy, those kinds of groups.
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BlueTemplar
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by BlueTemplar »

I welcome replacing the Degraded LE Mini-Reactor, but your suggestion sounds to be a bit too good ?
(Well, depends on where the technology to build your own would be ?)

Compare with the Power Plant that you have to research first (though it's in the first tech group), and that :
produces 5*100 Energy on tier 1 for :
capex : 5*200 metal, 5*50 IP, 5*3/5 Machines, 5*660 Worker-rounds (in 3 rounds).
opex : 5*220 workers and especially 5*100 fuel
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

I welcome replacing the Degraded LE Mini-Reactor, but your suggestion sounds to be a bit too good ?
(Well, depends on where the technology to build your own would be ?)

Compare with the Power Plant that you have to research first (though it's in the first tech group), and that :
produces 5*100 Energy on tier 1 for :
capex : 5*200 metal, 5*50 IP, 5*3/5 Machines, 5*660 Worker-rounds (in 3 rounds).
opex : 5*220 workers and especially 5*100 fuel
The overall balance of power generators is another thing that Vic will ahve to adress as a bigger update.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
Arcalane
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by Arcalane »

I wasn't looking at the energy plant stats when I wrote that, so excuse me for not having a perfectly balanced example off the bat.

ASRGs/RTGs would probably be a mid-level tech, and I don't think they would scale very well (maybe lv3 max and outputting maybe 200 power at that point, if they're upgradable at all). If you're fielding an army that's packing tons of laser/beam/plasma guns you'll still need massive solar farms/heavy nuclear power plants/etc. to keep up with them, unless you want to build a lot of RTGs.
zgrssd
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RE: Everything old is new - outdated Earth tech Shadow Empires can use

Post by zgrssd »

With Naval Supply being on the Horizon, I stumbeled over a video conerning how we could use Windpower in modern, low CO2 Shipping. Which happens to be usefull for any SE planet, where fuel is sparse.

Wind Powered Ships
History: Sail have been used for longer then recorded history.
What killed it: One part is engines. For many applications, the cargo (humans, food) spoils. So we need the reliable speed of engines, or bascially there is no way to effectively transport such stuff. Sailing ships were not exactly luxury yachts.
However we do not use it for non-spoiling cargo either. The issue is another - our high troughput ports. It turns out covential sails would seriously hamper the throughput of any habour terminal. This will not be an issue for the low capacity, empty coastline, SE style of shipping.
That being said, even for high capacity modern shipping there are solutions. Involving putting rotating cylinders on deck. I do not fully understand it myself, but the science seems sound.
Gameplay effect: Well, mostly it is for art. But it oculd also explain why sometimes you should or can't use windpower. Of course with SE, the atmosphere density and windspeed is also a factor.
DW2 Poll:
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