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Subject: War tactics in fiction
Miles    9/18/2007 8:07:32 PM
Do you really need to descript the war tactics your characters must plan out in your war story? I'm not very good with war tactics, like planning how my characters could get around their enemies, or sneak into a heavily guard base. I just have no clue.
 
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RexHavoc       9/18/2007 10:03:04 PM
Miles,
 I can probably help you with any military scenarios you'd like to arrange via fiction.  Give me a brief point A to B situation and I'll draft something you can change to suit your version of the fiction.  It will show you techniques to convey your literal reality.
 
-RH
 
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ker       9/19/2007 1:25:56 PM
It all depends.  Some fiction produces a responce in the reader by discribing tactics.  This can be powerful if you can explain a tactica delema to a reader who neather wanted to or thought they could understand it.  You can get the Whole new worlds effect.
 
Other good fiction that happens in war time skirt tactical consiterations.  Then if they make a movie out of it they hack out tons of poetic dialogy and throw in effects shots of battle.
 
You can decide what will drive your story.  Read a books where the small scail maps or charts of battles are included as illistrations. 
 
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Treadgar       9/20/2007 9:56:35 AM
Miles, there are lots of combat simulation games that would be useful to give you an idea about military tactics, anywhere from  theatre wide operations to small unit tactics. There is also a good military science fiction site here: http://www.military-sf.com/. He actually gives all kinds of good advice about writing this kind of fiction. He talks about small unit tactics and more, how armies are organized, ranks, so on and so forth. Just reading about military history can help alot, too. I actually have American military manuels from the Marines and the Army, these could be very helpful. The military channel also has some good stuff, esp. with the shows that use 3D graphics to illustrate tactics. Sometimes it is hard to visualize some tactics by just reading about them. One show I think that is really good for air combat is the Dogfights series.

Treadgar
 
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Ehran       9/20/2007 2:01:54 PM
it can be hard to extrapolate the differences advances in tech can have on tactics.  sometimes relatively minor seeming things can make a vast difference in how things work on the battlefield.  counter battery radars for instance changed how arty is used quite a bit and one of the staples of SF is the degree of integration of battlefield comms which will certainly change how units are used.  drone vehicles, sattelite access directly by troops on the ground and advances in AI tech are just a peek at what soldiers a century down the road will accept as old hat.
 
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Miles       9/20/2007 4:15:57 PM
Your link is not working Treagar. 
 
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Jeff_F_F       9/20/2007 4:28:04 PM
On the other end of the spectrum I remember Heinlein saying that when writing about war it was best not to write about how the military is but how it should be or some such. Reality can get in the way of fiction. Sci fi should be first and foremost about the human condition which is univeral. Technology, tactics, etc are simply part of the background that helps illustrate a fictional time/place when a story can be told which illustrates that human condition.
 
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BasinBictory       9/20/2007 7:50:36 PM

On the other end of the spectrum I remember Heinlein saying that when writing about war it was best not to write about how the military is but how it should be or some such. Reality can get in the way of fiction. Sci fi should be first and foremost about the human condition which is univeral. Technology, tactics, etc are simply part of the background that helps illustrate a fictional time/place when a story can be told which illustrates that human condition.



Yeah - remembering Starship Troopers, Heinlein only very superficially described how the tactics of the Mobile INfantry worked, but he mentioned early in the book about how Rico's squad was one person short and how that endangered the unit as a whole. readers could identify with that more easily than saying "Our force capacity was diminished by one soldier which forced us into an unorthodox formation which was non-optimal."
 
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Treadgar       9/21/2007 1:22:15 PM
Miles, try searching for "Tips on Writing Military Science Fiction."

Treadgar
 
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Miles       9/22/2007 12:37:01 AM
I found a website, which can be useful.  Check it out. 
 
 
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Miles       9/22/2007 12:37:51 AM
This link. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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