power armor vs stealth fields

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by NMLevesque, May 29, 2017.

  1. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    610
    Jul 2, 2016
    I'm hoping this thread can explore a simple notion: which technology would be more useful in combat? Obviously this question relies on specifics. Namely the conditions of battle, such as its scale and the balance of power (e.g asymmetric or symmetrical). As well as the capabilities of each technology.

    In Fallout stealthboys make nightkin basically invisible (translucent), and presumably have a similar affect when equipped, but that's about all we know of its potential. Later titles, including the cancelled Van Buren project would establish the idea that it was reverse engineered from a suit.

    Given how warfare has progressed IRL, I would have to side with stealth fields. Give it to any unit for any mission and they can be more effective, without any penalty. It would be useful in reconnaissance, ambush, and even basic maneuvering. Such as redeploying, moving from cover to cover or simply making use of it. The importance of such matters cannot be overstated.

    Power armor primarily increases one's capacity to bear weight. That means armor, weapons, or really any kind of supplies. However that the Fallout world has decided to use that to make a full body suit, is one of it's biggest issues. What do you do when someone is injured? How do you treat someone with a back or neck injury, or really anything that makes it dangerous to move them? Either way, it makes troops slower, limits their sphere of awareness (think touch and proprioception), and as a consequence of both of those points--even without any kind of "agility penalty" or decrease in the range of motion (unlikely)--increase the time needed to react or make use of cover. It would also make one louder and easier to notice.

    However, this probably means longer service hours and a lower fitness requirement for soldiers. Which could mean older and therefore more experienced soldier's being fit for duty. It might also mean a lower reduction in combat effectiveness when injured, if servos do most of the work. Or a capacity to serve despite an otherwise crippling injury, such as the loss of a limb. They would however be immensely expensive, not just to build but to maintain. The first would actually be more problematic b/c it would be much cheaper for the enemy to destroy. You probably wouldn't need anti-tank weaponry, but there is always that.

    Which begs the question of why not just have tanks? The pros and cons are one thing, but there really isn't much point of using them in lieu of tanks. Since a walking tank, like any other tank, would probably not be well suited to holding ground. Whereas larger vehicles would still be best for taking it. So power armor would really only be useful in support roles, in close quarters, and more so in urban combat than anything else. Great for SWAT teams on the home front I imagine.

    Another interesting point is that the natural evolution of armored vehicles, of which power armor is one, is already explored. Employing stealth fields on any kind of scale beyond the individual soldier is unknown. Vehicles that are difficult to identify and track optically is one thing, but erasing your camps and bases from the map...I don't even know where to start.
     
  2. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    244
    Jun 4, 2015
    Really depends on the application. Power Armour would be ideal for urban warfare. Lots of cover from heavier weapons that could pierce the armour, and pretty much complete invulnerability from small-arms fire. Fighting house-to-house you're going to be hard to stop. On an open battlefield you're going to be slow-moving and easy to kill from a long way away with armour-piercing rounds. a .50 cal will still go straight through you.

    Stealth is going to be good for snipers and so on, but its usefulness for infiltration is pretty limited by the fact that it can be defeated simply by closing a door.
     
  3. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    Obvious answer is power armor equipped with stealth fields.
     
  4. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Power armor is nice for support roles, but I think stealth fields will be much more useable in most applications. No need for heavy armor if your enemy can't even see you.
    Really, power armor will be useless most of the time. You can't make the armor thick enough to provide reasonable protection against larger rounds, so a soldier in power armor will always be vulnerable to anything above and including a full-power rifle round, which is available in handy packages. Fallout 1 says that the T-51b absorbs up to 2.5 kJ of kinetic energy, which makes it slightly better than Type III body armor, so anyone with a full-sized hunting rifle could bumfuck your expensive piece of hardware quite easily. Andeven if it were a lot better, you can't really put enough steel on a dude to protect him from an anti-material rifle. Gimme a stealth field any time...
     
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  5. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    There is a reason why the Predator's armor is almost non-existing but they do have a stealth field.
     
  6. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    107
    Apr 29, 2017
    Stealth, hands down.
    There's almost nothing you can do to an opponent that you cannot see.