Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Stargate)

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Mr. Oragahn
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Re: Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Starga

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:14 pm

Darth Spock wrote: Got a chance to review SG-1 premiere, "Children of the Gods." Yup, that some pretty impressive "scary bullet-proof bad guy" stuff going on... until the final battle, wherein we only see one Jaffa struggle his way through getting shot and keep fighting.
Perhaps because he was one of the first and that not all of them were getting shot down?
The chainmail that protects happens also when Apophis goes to Abydos, but as we know, it's not 100% fireproof.
Notice btw that on Chulak (the planet of the last battle), the SG teams had brought heavier guns. They also had two weapon staves on their side.
If it had taken time for an adaptation to be made, I could buy that all Jaffa are sporting super armor, but as soon as we see the local defenses, not the personal escort accompanying a Goa'uld himself on incursions through the gate, they fall in the usual manner.
They face heavier weapons and their own. Plus for the amount of fire thrown at them, there actually were not that many kills for the Terrans.
There's also the fact that none of these Jaffa wore helmets.
And considering that the trip to Chulak came after two engagements against hostiles who proved to have protections that could withstand regular weapon fire, there is, in fact, time for adaptation.
The first Jaffa to fall on Chulak get kicked back and hit in the chest (the shot go through the chainmail and the extra armour) and generate large sparkles.
Also, SG-1 used the H&K MP5A3 for almost half the series before switching to the P90, and even it realistically would not out perform the M 16s seen in the opening scene of "Children of the Gods".
Here though, I find my self in a quandary, in Stargate SG-1 S: 5 E: 18, "The Warrior", the P90 is described in real world terms, 900 rounds per minute, 50 round mag, and normal Teflon coated bullets, no super SGC exclusive Naquedah slugs here. Yet the demonstration lasts roughly 6 seconds, and hacks a big log in half. So, in the show, the weapon has a mag at least twice the size as in real life (and as their own description), and can inflict damage Myth Busters says takes a mini-gun a full minute to accomplish, and in 1/10 the time... If thats my benchmark, then I'll quietly leave and let the Wormhole X-Treme edition Jaffa enjoy their insanely easy victory...
And it was supposed to make the Jaffa weapons look crap when "normal" gunfire bisects a large and try wooden log.
For now though, I'm going with the idea that Apophis' personal guard are sporting elite grade armor.
For the rest of the series, all Jaffa close to Goa'uld and System Lords were mowed down like flies.
There doesn't seem to be any elite Jaffa armour.
Plus the helmet is, after all, just a rank thing.
Also, the Viking axe isn't the only Jaffa armor failure to blades. In "The Lost City" part 2, Bra'tac and Ronan swapped stabbings IIRC.
Both were using a Jaffa cutlass which, by the shape alone, is poorly suited to get through a chainmail since its dual blades multiply twice the work to be done to puncture said chainmail.
Not to say that there would not be enough thrust at such a close range and with such a lightweight and short weapon to massively puncture a Jaffa, let alone to pierce even a craptastic chainmail.
The only explanation left is the use of some mono-atomic blade or some crazy stuff like that.
Actually, Bra'tac wore two layers of chainmail and some leathery fatigue ontop of it. Ronin's got stabbed with a motion that was so short ranged he should have laughed at the attempt.
So either we go with Lords of the Rings physics were chainmail counts for zip, or go for super knives.
:(

On the other hand, Lord Marshall's axeman got stabbed thrice in the lower chest and that killed him. Is it me of higher tier Necromongers tend do show a slightly superior strength?
At any rate, the Necros aren't exactly dependent on blades. I had trouble finding battle scenes from the movie, not owning a copy, but from what I could tell, most used guns, though probably carried a knife or other short range weapon, and a much smaller number of them relied on heavier melee weapons, though I'd expect they would carry a pistol as well.
I agree.
My thoughts on this are that the Jaffa may be a little too disciplined. They have a philosophy and regime that works for most of their engagements, and they follow it, even if it results feeding themselves to their enemy like lambs to the slaughter. The final battle in "Children of the Gods" is a great example, with a line of claymores to thin the first wave, less than a dozen troops held off a Jaffa rush while a mass of refugees were herded through the gate, before a handful of Jaffa rushed after them meeting their demise, all for upholding the glory of their gods.
Both sides employ a kamikaze mentality, but the Necros seem to revel in the "berserker" tactics. Also, both forces deploy their troops without a care as to casualties, but the Necros do show that their campaigns are coordinated, not just throwing troops at random and letting them pick their own path. My point is that once "organized" advances and defensive lines of the Jaffa fail to wipe out their opponents and retain their cohesion, the ensuing chaos would play right into the hands of the Necro "crazies," while the Jaffa will either end up helplessly swinging their staves like at the end of the Stargate movie, or futilely trying to regain their organized edge.
We don't see any sign of any particular tactical acumen or specific strategical coordination from Necromongers on the ground. The only strategy we know of came from Lord Marshall, inside the Basilica, plotting course to attack worlds in a singular fashion.
And then, eventually, the landing near the sort of "senate" of New Mecca, and that's about it. Nothing to brag about, really.
It's not like there will be much to prioritize or coordinate on the ground. It's basically a big swarm vs swarm thing in woods and a city.
While I assume that the battle will be taking place in a relatively localized environment, I imagine that as far as civilians go, the planet is big enough that the Necros should be able to cut bloody swaths without worrying overly about not leaving enough survivors to convert. Their willingness to plunge conquest icons into a planet to soften the target is a testament to that, and indeed, that is one "shock and awe" element of their attack that they will be sorely missing.
Yes, that's massively important to their zerg rush strategy thing. That was truly awesome, but from a destruction point of view, they don't have that many ships landed on a planet, as we can count with the early attack on another world, by counting the number of explosions on its surface.
They don't even have cannons. Now imagine the advantage of being able to both disgorge flying crafts with homing energy-missiles at longer range coupled to cannon batteries laying down fire on the surrounding urban area at the feet of the carrier "stakeships".
Too bad this didn't happen.
They'd hardly lose that many humans to convert. For instance, a similar attack on contemporary Earth would kill something around a dozen millions (see the radius of damage caused by the landing in New Mecca), out of a population of several billions.

Honestly the most puzzling part of it was how badly equipped the Helion forces were. There weren't any kind of defense in space despite the rumours of desolation and destruction related to this comet, and the fact that several objects which would clearly "slow down" and turn towards the planet and then spread as to land in several places triggered no kind of military-grade defensive space force.
At some point they started shooting WWII-style DCA and missiles, that makes more sense, but only against a slow ass enemy moving at a low altitude.
The Jaffa having greater experience is a plus, but I already agree that individually, Jaffa are superior to Necros, its the overall combination of each forces respective tactics in a large scale (tens of thousands or more) confrontation that gives me doubts about a Jaffa victory. Weapons like the Staff Cannon are powerful, but don't offer sufficient rate of fire to deal with masses of infantry, nor do they offer significant "splash damage."
Huh, one shot will take down several men and cause mass disorganization in the enemy's ranks. These weapons in a large scale combat situation clearly add a clear advantage. Basically, every once in a given number of Jaffa, one or two of them has access to some heavy cannon.
They may take down an armored vehicle, but against troops it looks about as effective as 19th century cannon, less so, as these are limited to line of sight and lack the antique's anti-infantry adaptations such as grapeshot.
You cannons you think off had a horrible rate of fire, counted a lot on ricocheting (so uneven ground or muddy ones messed such weapons) and often had to be operated by several men. Not to say that they were particularly massive and their ammo was both voluminous and insanely heavy as a whole, and ultimately very limited. Not to say anything of wet powder. Oh and the horrible ballistics.
Comparing those old time cannons to plasma-based staff cannons simply does not work at all.
Not a single energy based Goa'uld weapon was commented on or seen going black ever, for the notice.
Really, they appear to be there mostly for intimidation, and perhaps as anti-vehicle or siege weapons.
Jaffa rarely have enemy crafts to shoot down other than Death Gliders and varying Goa'uld crafts. But on the ground, they're very useful to lay down a fire which will clearly kill you in a radius of several meters. Also, they'll mow down forests and blow walls off: so much for cover. One was used to shoot down a small corridor's reinforced door in the SGC.
As underwhelming as the Necro's suicide bomb was, I believe it, and the mentality it represents, pose a threat to Jaffa who won't simply be able to form a firing line and comfortably wipe out their enemy without taking comparable losses, before finally having their ranks broken and thrown into disarray. In short, I believe the Necros can handle the chaos and fog of war settling over over a large engagement better than the Jaffa could.
There is, first of all, the fact that dead bodies are all the more obstacles to move over. But this plays against both sides.
However, as you were strongly implying a somewhat tactical superiority of Necromongers, the whole suicide bomb actually talks pooly of all that.
You have not explained why the Jaffa's winning chances take a plunge the greater the armies on both sides. All I see, on the contrary, is that the larger the army, the less space and more cramped the battle zones will be. Which works in favour of those who have weapons with splash damaged effects.

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Re: Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Starga

Post by Darth Spock » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:33 pm

Mr. Oragahn wrote:On the other hand, Lord Marshall's axeman got stabbed thrice in the lower chest and that killed him. Is it me of higher tier Necromongers tend do show a slightly superior strength?
One of the big points I neglected to hash out completely. The whole issue of being unencumbered by pain. Like the guy who wandered out and, although with difficulty, stumbled along on Crematoia with most of his flesh burned off. Any normal person would have lost consciousness or been writhing in agony long before. Any attack that fails to actually kill a Necro quickly will be a wasted attack.
We don't see any sign of any particular tactical acumen or specific strategical coordination from Necromongers on the ground. The only strategy we know of came from Lord Marshall, inside the Basilica, plotting course to attack worlds in a singular fashion.
....
It's not like there will be much to prioritize or coordinate on the ground. It's basically a big swarm vs swarm thing in woods and a city.
My reason for bringing up Necro tactics at all was that, having pushed the idea that they would likely benefit from a chaotic battle, I didn't want to imply that they had no organization whatsoever themselves. They aren't going to be completely stupid about their attack, even if they completely expendable.
Honestly the most puzzling part of it was how badly equipped the Helion forces were. There weren't any kind of defense in space despite the rumours of desolation and destruction related to this comet, and the fact that several objects which would clearly "slow down" and turn towards the planet and then spread as to land in several places triggered no kind of military-grade defensive space force.
At some point they started shooting WWII-style DCA and missiles, that makes more sense, but only against a slow ass enemy moving at a low altitude.
Yes, the Jaffa may be cannon fodder, but admittedly, the Necros don't have terribly impressive forces to overcome, most of their reputation is just that, the narration tells us they're scary.

Huh, one shot will take down several men and cause mass disorganization in the enemy's ranks. These weapons in a large scale combat situation clearly add a clear advantage. Basically, every once in a given number of Jaffa, one or two of them has access to some heavy cannon.
You cannons you think off had a horrible rate of fire, counted a lot on ricocheting (so uneven ground or muddy ones messed such weapons) and often had to be operated by several men.
But on the ground, they're very useful to lay down a fire which will clearly kill you in a radius of several meters.
Looking back over some examples of the cannon, its rate of fire is much better than I remembered, but as for a kill radius of several meters, its largely plot dependent, and when nearby individuals do get knocked down, a lot of the time, most or all get back up. My take on this is that when mounted on a Death Glider, it works. But stuck on the ground, with its effective range cut down, and restricted to line of site, unable to move, a gun like that is going to draw fire from the enemy like crazy. Unless we're talking about an awful lot of these cannons, they'll be shot out before they can make a huge difference. The muskets and rifles that would have faced the antique cannon didn't have the range or power to be such a danger to the old cannons. The design of the staff cannon hampers its own usefulness against a force whose infantry weapons can likely pick the user off, maybe even knock the thing over, the gravity gun is a bit hard to figure out.
There is, first of all, the fact that dead bodies are all the more obstacles to move over. But this plays against both sides.
However, as you were strongly implying a somewhat tactical superiority of Necromongers, the whole suicide bomb actually talks pooly of all that.
You have not explained why the Jaffa's winning chances take a plunge the greater the armies on both sides. All I see, on the contrary, is that the larger the army, the less space and more cramped the battle zones will be. Which works in favour of those who have weapons with splash damaged effects.
I forgot that I haven't explicitly said why I felt larger numbers would play into the Necros favor. Let me explain my perception. First, a look at weapon effectiveness. Jaffa staff cannons and the occasional grenade should help with the long to medium long ranges, but the forests and buildings that appear prevalent are going to cut down on that advantage. Still, Jaffa should have the edge.
At medium range, both the staves and gravity guns are going to be fatal to both sides, and both seem to have comparable rates of fire. Also, while staves show moderate splash damage, the gravity guns have a similar advantage: given their tendency to throw the victim back, any front line Jaffa who gets shot, turns into a projectile bowling over those right behind him. Probably not fatal, but its going to cause disorder in the ranks. Both sides would probably take similar losses at this point.
Close range is where things get messy. The length of the stave is bound to make it more unwieldy in close or cramped quarters. Sure, we've seen Jaffa shoot people at close range, but it's not going to be as easy as with the smaller rifles and pistols the Necros use. Its length of course, is no accident, in this way it actually doubles as a close quarter weapon, but as noted above, the Necros wear full metal armor as well, and are resilient, and impervious to pain. Unless the Jaffa engaging in melee combat with the staves can actually crush a skull or completely crush a rib cage, the best they can accomplish is to impede the enemy, perhaps a broken limb. They will likely score very few kills with Necros they don't shoot.
Here is were the numbers come into play. The larger the forces, the smaller the proportionate number of those forces will be engaging each other at longer ranges. After the distance is closed between the two forces, any reinforcements will simply move to fill the void made by casualties. The dead littering the battlefield will be a problem, but, as you said, that will encumber both sides, and the battle lines can evolve and shift, all while both forces remain relatively near, engaging either in a giant rolling bloodbath, or a series of smaller skirmishes over a slightly larger area, endlessly repeating until only one side remains.

In my minds eye, I can only picture the Jaffa responding to the Necro threat in 3 ways.
-1. They send the bulk of their forces to meet them in a giant battle royale. I imagine this would play out much like how I described above.
-2. The Jaffa set up a number of defensive lines at strategic locations to intercept and ambush the invaders. This would work well, forcing the Necros to close the gap between the defenders multiple times, likely against cannons. But this also breaks the Jaffa into smaller pockets, each of which would likely be overwhelmed even more quickly once the distance finally is closed. Worse yet, it is more likely that any staff cannons employed will survive the assault, and be at the Necros disposal should they chose to commandeer them.
-3. The Jaffa hole up in heavily fortified positions, namely the fortress seen in the screen cap in the OP. This seems a bit out of character for the Jaffa, but they might opt for such a tactic, seeing that the invaders are bent on advancing berserker style. This could work well, except the Necros aren't completely stupid. They can't waste too many troops with kamikaze insanity, or no one will remain to carry on the crusade. Faced with a sturdy defense, they would likely settle in, and using scouting parties, and Lensors, look for the weakest point of attack, looting and ravaging any undefended settlements nearby in an attempt to goad the defenders out, and to shake moral. I imagine they would find a weakness eventually, likely striking under cover of night. Thinking of which, do the pain free Necros need sleep? Or have many of their natural functions been negated?

Having gone through all that, I realize that I have completely ignored what was supposed to be a definite part of the scenario: air power. From what all has been said regarding this confrontation, the aircraft involved seem to either give the advantage to the Jaffa craft, or else they seem to come out roughly equal. Given that Jaffa staff cannons would likely threaten aircraft, this should swing the advantage back to the Jaffa, since the Necros appear to lack any form of ground based antiaircraft weaponry.
All said, I'm ready to throw in the towel on this one, though I hope to have made clear my reasoning on what difference the actual number of combatants would make. Hey, it's not all bad, I'm a bigger fan of Stargate, and the Necromongers give me the willies. You go Yu!

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Re: Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Starga

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:55 pm

Sorry for my former reply, it was full of typos and stuff. :/

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Re: Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Starga

Post by Darth Spock » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:08 am

Mr. Oragahn wrote:Sorry for my former reply, it was full of typos and stuff. :/
It doesn't bother me, I did the same thing, in fact I screwed up my whole post. I see I both made my counter-argument and conceded at the same time. I was trying to address a point I had passed over and wind down for the thread, not double talk. The dangers of writing up a post in more than one sitting. :\

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Re: Setpiece battle: Necromongers (Riddick) vs Jaffa (Starga

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:38 am

To tackle the no pain thing, it's surely a plus.
The problem being that it's hardly been properly explored.
Helion rifles, admitedly less powerful than staff weapons, were mowing down the Necroes.
Aside from silly plot fiat (Jonas saving Daniel in season 7 I think), staff shots are terrible to the target. They scramble, explode and boil the tissues all at once.
In a good display of realistic effects, the two parter of season 7 showed that at the very least, SGC troops wearing flak jackets were still completely disabled by a shot. O'neill needed immediate medical aid and nearly died, having to be evac'd back at the SGC. Another trooper wasn't so lucky and died later on. It takes a long time to recover.
Unless taking a grazing hit, a Necromonger might not feel the pain, but will surely be gunned down no matter what, and most likely dead for good.

Other random points:
Staff cannons can be picked by any Jaffa. They have a narrow profile so they're also hard to hit. Jaffa are very strong.
Staff weapons are cumbersome in restricted corridors and would be problematic in very short ranged engagements.

Saw the latest and Riddick.
There are inconsistencies with the former movie.
The stakeships and the Basilica have been terribly dwarfed, the former don't even sport the aircrafts anymore.
A sexy Necro woman gets killed and she seems to really feel the pain. Or was she in shock?
In any way, the simple blade got the best of her.
Necromonger guns can now explode heads and rock? I wish they'd been that potent in Chronicles...
We see female breasts!
Beds are also confirmed. Someone asked if they need to sleep. I don't know, but at least beds are better for seks (although I'm sure some sickos probably had their ride on those converter racks seen in Chronicles).

Mind you, the latest Riddick was a nice underdog movie. It was well polished and lots of efforts went into the hostile creature designs. Infantry weapons were neat. The stun guns were a nice addition, although the bolts flew at a stupid low speed. Kara Thrace weilded a magnificent sniper rifle and the way she carried it was so "badass".
Oh, 1500 meters of effective range. Misses the first time, hits the running dogie on the second shot.
And, the short but very nice Necromonger scenes featuring Vaako teased me enough as to want to see the end of this.

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