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Old 2009-07-16, 22:10   Link #2161
itanshi1
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They seemed more like the Seele organization, leaders behind leaders, benefactors, shadow government, etc
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Old 2009-07-17, 00:30   Link #2162
arkhangelsk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Right. Well, basically everyone else besides those handful.
How many of those were there?

Quote:
You'll note Graham getting shoved out of the bureau,
What he did can quite well earn a death penalty. Even counting politics, early retirement is a wrist slap and actually says more in the opposite direction.

Quote:
and had the brains and Regius not been killed, they'd have faced charges as well. Proof of this is Auris, the lone survivor of the bunch, who was arrested. This is blatant proof that what they were doing was not condoned by the TSAB, regardless of rank.
For one thing, Auris is only a "3rd class Commander" (a Major). For another thing, the capital being nearly destroyed certainly had much to do with this.

And don't forget - it is the TSABbie promotion system that raised out these paragons of society to be top commanders.

Quote:
'I can live on a peaceful little wildlife reserve planet with virtually no surveillance' Caro comes to mind.
Please don't revive my memories about Caro. She was in a Minority Tribe on a Management World (the 6th). When she was thrown out of her village, she was taken in by TSABbies, who, in a very white and sterile place, were discussing how to use dump her all alone as a mass destruction weapon right in her face! Then, she joined the TSAB. At first it was in a peaceful specialty but by 10 she was in a combat unit... there is a reason why Scarlietti's words hurt so much.

Quote:
Oh, and then of course there is the point where nobody made a fuss when they gave Nanoha a blatant choice of whether or not she wanted to get involved or resume her normal life. Seriously? They very casually make a huge breach in protocol and nobody gives as much as a squeak? Honestly?
1) They didn't know how good Nanoha was at that moment.
2) Lindy probably can read Nanoha and her situation up and through and figures that she'll be back tomorrow anyway. It is kind of like those missions in films where the commander says "This is a volunteer mission, blah, blah, blah" but he really figures everyone will volunteer anyway - the volunteer part just makes everyone feel better about the whole affair.

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And finally, in the anime the TSAB has been displayed as nothing less than extremely humanitarian, and anyone we've seen being less so was either discharged or arrested (I'm purposely not counting the killed ones, since the TSAB really didn't have much to do with Due offing the High Council and Regius). Having a cradle robbing rule in place is a blatant contradiction to this.
Do you just have a Mind Block about Ep9 in the original?

I've said it previously - the big consistent line among all of TSAB's commanders is pragmatism, not deontological humanitarianism. Ep9 was a pragmatic decision. SO were the impressment rules. They were pragmatically ready to destroy a big chunk of Japan in Ep12 and only backed down when a better plan (which does not interfere with the old plan) came along. The TSAB's treatment of Caro is pragmatic, and of course Regius and Graham made pragmatic decisions too.
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Old 2009-07-17, 21:34   Link #2163
synaesthetic
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The real issue isn't whether the TSAB is humanitarian or corrupt.

It's just incompetent beyond belief. ^^; One wonders how it's even still in existence after some of the wallbanger decisions made by a great many TSAB officers.

To me it just feels like the TSAB is just one giant Red Shirt Army put in place purely to make Nanoha & Co. look incredibly badass in contrast.

StrikerS tried so very hard to subvert this trend, but failed miserably and ended up making the TSAB seem even more inane, unorganized, unnecessarily convoluted and just plain lame as hell.
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Old 2009-07-17, 22:24   Link #2164
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I dunno. An awful lot of military organizations are just like that.

One of the reasons that the US army is so good is that we've got a knack for the proper kind of organizational conflict necessary to keep it sharpened... and it doesn't hurt that we've spent fifty or sixty years facing off against an existential threat, with plenty of low-level conflicts to provide experienced veterans and stress situations which eliminate the dead wood. But even the US military is still an ugly patchwork of inter-service rivalries, procurement boondoggles, empire building, pork delivery, time-serving, and so on, and so on.

The Israelis do a good job too, for a lot of the same reasons - they've got the technical advantage and a LOT of opportunities to get good at it, plus the need for constant vigilance that gives them the incentive to keep an edge on it.

One of the reasons why a lot of third-world nations can't put together a good military, even given first-line equipment, is that they don't have the cultural imperatives to keep it up. They don't have strong military traditions, they don't have strong oversight, and they don't actually fight that much. Military preparedness costs money and effort, and if you go a little slack, suddenly you find a lot of extra resources for the decision-makers. Discipline rots out. (For a good example of what happens when this kind of culture sets in, examine the US Philippine forces in the 1930s. And that was an American unit!)

The TSAB isn't like the US armed forces. The TSAB doesn't really have an existential threat, and so their military has a lot of elements of a law enforcement organization grafted onto an exploratory navy all built on a big jobs organization and social network. It looks a lot like the Japanese military (well, for obvious reasons), and it's actually kind of refreshing that it's got a lot of the same problems as the Japanese military.

The unique part is that high-powered mages are, as you put it, incredibly badass in comparison to the rank and file, and so a few hardened clots of competence can put a real spine in the TSAB when it's necessary. Nanoha's other failures as a military commander aside, give her that much credit; she worked her unit like she expected them to be needed.
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:00   Link #2165
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At least Vita and Signum showed some semblance of acting like actual military officers. ^^;

Nanoha I really have few problems with; some folks I know think it's a wallbanger that she's always soft-spoken and doesn't have the drill instructor bark. In my opinion she more than makes up for her sweet personality with the ability to completely wipe the floor with her trainees with both hands tied behind her back, not to mention putting every last one through Training From Hell.

Section Six, Nanoha & Co. struck me as reasonably believable, with a few exceptions concerning just how long Teana got away with being reckless and stupid (Signum's FALCON PAUNCH more than made up for it, though).

This is getting pretty off-topic, though.

Edit: The TSAB reminds me a lot of the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek: TNG, except without the Communism. Basically just a military that's less military and more an exploratory police force.
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:17   Link #2166
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One of the things I've gone after personally in this respect is the rather attrocious Distrobution of Power between the badass elites, and the mooks. And not the social aspects like limiters pushing down power levels, but the actual Strategic aspects of conflict.

When 90% of your effectiveness comes from less than 1% of your total forces, there lies a glaring weakness of the Force Projection of the TSAB. Effectively one Nanoha level mage being taken out by any means, would be as devastating as having a base wiped out here in the real world.

This would be like having one Terrorist walk right into Fort Hood and detonating a backpack Tsar Bomba.

The clincher is that a mage is NOT a huge military base. Nanoha's not spread over a hundred square miles of land, she's about a meter and a half tall. It doesn't take much to knock her out if you catch her with her guard down. You don't have to expend hundreds of tons of artillery like you would even if you caught a base completely unprotected. You don't need all that artillery or a nuke to take her out if given the right moment. All you need, is a KNIFE.


Can you imagine that imbalance? A single knife taking out the asset equal to an entire military base. And when that base is killed, it's further compounded by the fact that you CAN'T rebuild it... it was a PERSON!

So effectively, a single lucky knife thrust could litterally take large chunk out of TSAB effectiveness.

When compared to things like the US Military, who have more or less even distrobution of force enhanced and multiplied by effective combined arms, the TSAB is a clumsy child armed with a nail file and a sledgehammer...)
It files away at all the little problems it encounters nicely to keep things smooth until it hits something the nail file can't handle, then smashes it with the sledgehammer.

It's this inherent issue that actually keeps getting the TSAB into these messes in the first place. As an example, Jail would never have become such a threat at the end of strikers if the Ground Forces weren't so weak as to have the effectiveness of a wet paper bag save for a few good mages who can hardly cover that much ground... The brains would never have needed to endorse the lunatic and he would have been tracked down and... pardon the pun 'jailed'.

So often times, little problems don't have the correct force level required to deal with them until they spiral out of control and explode into HUGE problems that warrant 'Saving the World!' level mages. So what we end up seeing in the plot is actually Nanoha cleaning up after the TSAB because it doesn't have the adequate force distrobution and balance of power to deal with problems before they cascade into deadly avalanches.

It's a brutal (but entertaining) cycle.
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:32   Link #2167
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Related and slightly more on-topic; Mid-Childa may have outlawed kinetic weapons, but one does wonder what real defense they have against high-powered rifles, cannons and directed-energy weapons explicitly designed to kill, unlike magic attacks which appear more focused on less-than-lethal force.

We've seen Protection and Defenser block some powerful magic (and some falling/flying debris) but never really have we seen it block a railgun slug or a beam of highly-energetic particles. Every weapon is magic-based or the low-tech side of an Armed Device.

I'm sure it's been done in fanfiction before, but it would still be interesting to see how well the mages we all know and love would fare against an enemy unlike any they've encountered so far in canon--an advanced, non-magical enemy that uses weapons designed to kill.
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:43   Link #2168
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I'm thinking magic can defend against lethal magic or even kinetic weapons. Kinetic weapons are banned only because they are one noted. They have no 'fun' use.
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:46   Link #2169
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I beg to differ. ^^; Me and my HANDHELD MURDER MACHINE (tm) have lots of fun putting holes in paper men with cheap 9mm milsurp rounds every month or so.

I haven't seen MGLN's magic exhibit too much mundane utility outside of combat, either.
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:06   Link #2170
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Related and slightly more on-topic; Mid-Childa may have outlawed kinetic weapons, but one does wonder what real defense they have against high-powered rifles, cannons and directed-energy weapons explicitly designed to kill, unlike magic attacks which appear more focused on less-than-lethal force.

We've seen Protection and Defenser block some powerful magic (and some falling/flying debris) but never really have we seen it block a railgun slug or a beam of highly-energetic particles. Every weapon is magic-based or the low-tech side of an Armed Device.

I'm sure it's been done in fanfiction before, but it would still be interesting to see how well the mages we all know and love would fare against an enemy unlike any they've encountered so far in canon--an advanced, non-magical enemy that uses weapons designed to kill.
SSX. Erio against mass-based gun users.
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:07   Link #2171
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A radio drama is awfully useless to someone who doesn't speak Japanese. ^^;
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:28   Link #2172
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It's been translated, look in the Music Discussion for the links.
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:37   Link #2173
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
A radio drama is awfully useless to someone who doesn't speak Japanese. ^^;
Basically, the guy with the gun shoots Erio, who deflects the bullets and flattens the guy, who then has something of an "oh shi- he's a mage!" reaction.
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:52   Link #2174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy C View Post
It's been translated, look in the Music Discussion for the links.
Thanks, I'll check it out.

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Basically, the guy with the gun shoots Erio, who deflects the bullets and flattens the guy, who then has something of an "oh shi- he's a mage!" reaction.
So it works with mundane firearms and in semi-canon no less. I was expecting that, since arguably the shrapnel and debris fragments that the mages shrug off with little ill effects have more knockdown power than your average Colt Government .45.

I do question the effectiveness against particle beam weapons, as the projected charged particles travel at speeds approaching c. It would be difficult to say the least to put up a barrier in time to block highly energetic neutrons accelerated to near-relativistic speeds. This property of particle-beam weaponry is exploited by the "normals" who fight supernatural creatures in my original writing, as an ordinary gun would be easily dodged or deflected.

Weapons whose discharge travel very quickly would prove problematic for mages due to human reaction times being what they are. A particle beam weapon could potentially turn a mage's body into a fine red mist before they could even think about putting a barrier up.

It is certainly interesting fanfiction fuel. ^^;

Edit: Considering doing a oneshot in which Teana and Fate are investigating the murders of several highly placed TSAB officers and wind up pitted against a very savvy and dangerous assassin using a powerful particle-beam rifle.
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Old 2009-07-18, 03:03   Link #2175
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SSX is more than semi-canon, as shown by Vivid'd recent chapter revealing Ix to be in the manga.

And the speed debate has never really reached a conclusion, so yes, it certainly is interesting fanfiction fuel
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Old 2009-07-18, 03:05   Link #2176
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I'm sure there are probably some types of "contingency" magic that a mage could place on themselves prior to combat that would defend against attacks of this nature, but there'd be no way they could mount a reactive defense against something that travels at relativistic speeds. A more indirect defense though, such as Tea's shadow images, would definitely help.

Contingencies are what I'm intending to use to prevent our heroines from dying horribly at the hands of this as-of-yet-nameless murderer. Getting some good ideas here. ^^;
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Old 2009-07-18, 03:08   Link #2177
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Auto barriers may be another, a device can detect and react to a charging or incoming attack much faster than a human can.
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Old 2009-07-18, 03:16   Link #2178
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I thought about that, too, which kind of goes hand in hand with contingency spells. The one thing that would allow such a killer to operate with impunity would be stealth--she'd make sure she wasn't detectable.

The easiest way to deter a passive scan like that would be to set up a small anti-magic field generator. Since the weapon itself doesn't rely on magic to function, but good ol' science, it wouldn't be affected by the field.

Of course, this would only work until our intrepid detective girls discover that the murderer is using an AMF to prevent detection. At this point they'd pull a Sergei Smirnov and simply use Wide Area Search or equivalent active detection spell to find the "hole" in the magic.

Edit: This is starting to go off-topic, but I'm worried discussion of this OC will end up deleted if moved to the extremely-inaccessible character thread. =|
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Old 2009-07-18, 03:34   Link #2179
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Wouldn't an AMF turn up as 'black spots' on a scan though?
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Old 2009-07-18, 04:30   Link #2180
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Keep in mind that mages have a hell of a detection radius. Nanoha picked up Vita so far away that she managed to go, without flying, from her lil' suburban neighborhood to a built-up area. (Okay, it's Japan, that's not necessarily far. But it's not next door either!)

And she wasn't even on the lookout for trouble. So either RH is a champion paranoid, or mages are quite easy to detect at range if you know what to look for. (Also, Vita isn't stealthy AT ALL.)

The presence of devices makes assassination teams difficult. Mages sleep; their devices don't. We don't know how much warning a device would need, but it probably ain't much; it's entirely possible that a sudden lunge through a crowd wouldn't be enough. And an alerted mage probably doesn't have to worry about this sort of thing at all; if you're running around with your Barrier Jacket up and your device is suspicious, you're not going to be caught off guard, period.

(Okay, sure, relativistic speed weaponry might sneak through. But we haven't seen any of these in Nanoha, at least not at the man-portable level.)

So effectively, your assassin either has to totally eschew magic at all, plus be good enough at stealth to avoid a paranoid sleepless lookout, or one hell of a mage specialized in stealth magic. On top of that, even if you get a kill, even at range, you're instantly exposed; the device is going to know exactly what happened and scream bloody murder along with the vector you just fired from. So you also need, effectively, a suicidal assassin; they aren't getting away.

It could work once or twice, but after that, the difficulty would go up precipitously, as high-powered mages shift some of their attention to personal security. And, let's be blunt, the TSAB doesn't have a whole lot of enemies with inexhaustible supplies of fanatical assassins.

Of course, you could get a drone to manage the same trick. But I don't know if that's possible with respect to Nanoha. Jail's drones were singularly underarmed, for the most part; they weren't really a threat to anyone except en masse and against troops who had no offensive or defensive capabilities that didn't rely on magic. Of course, an evil-minded our-worlder would just say "mount a conventional sniper rifle on it and call it a day"...

As far as mages being equal to high-value targets, well, okay, they are. What can you do about it? Try not to operate them independent of support, sure, and they do that. But your HVT mages are people, not ships. They have a high degree of autonomy merely by the virtue of being what they are (which means you can't treat 'em like grunts; even little Nanoha can get away with defying a direct order if she can pull off the desired result, and big Nanoha is a lot bigger and meaner than little Nanoha was.) And, frankly, you've GOT to let them fight, because that's where the high value is.

Of course, as observers with analytical minds and a fine appreciation of military virtue, we can come up with possible routes of attack against powerful mages. At the same time, a creative team of aces could absolutely wreck an entire conventional army, whose doctrine simply has no way to deal with an enemy who can move from point A to B without traversing the space in between! (And who can cloak. And who can fire huge energy beams. And who can make images of themselves. And who can shrug off tank fire. And who can pull themselves out of conventional reality! Not to mention who can, given a few seconds and something to hide behind, turn into unarmed civilian girls...)
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