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{Drums, sounds of chanting in distance} "Rooikat, Rooikat, Rooikat..."   {Opposing chanting begins, in counterpoint} "Ratel, Ratel, Ratel"

Mini-competition suggestion: fix-a-tank   Contestants will be given an existing, flawed AFV design (or a selection to choose from), as well as a country and a time period. They will then be

The Lone Free State of Texas needs YOU! The year is 2255, and the Lone Free State is still recovering from how hard it got hit during The Big One. The geography and politics of the local area are

Design a tank "walker" (bipedal, quadripedal, tripedal; whatever) that could reasonably be as effective as its tracked counterparts. Naturally we assume that the core elements that would allow the tank to walk will have been magic'd in. Maybe not an ideal competition given how much theory and how little practical experience can go into this. Obviously not a contest to be taken too seriously

 

Further elaboration: The core of this contest is mocking the concept of a walker tank; this is a joke contest, if at all. I'm not a materials expert, some weight limit would have to be determined based on the materials used in the walkers legs and method of propulsion, and the core of the walker would be designed around this weight limit. Designs would be judged by how close they can come to matching the effectiveness of contemporary tracked vehicles (by whatever metrics judges want to judge), because as hip as walker tanks are for 16 year old alt history artists, they're 1945 German R&D as far as practicality goes. I'd really like to see if we could come up with some standard metric for effectiveness for this, like "this vehicle made out of modern alloys and composites is actually not too bad, I'd rate it at .75 M4 Shermans". Probably want Solidworks for this one.

 

Alternative proposition: 16 year old alt-history artist edition; materials are now magic and designs don't need to make sense. Make your design as dumb as possible, and after all designs are submitted here, all of the designs will be uploaded on a single account to deviantart or AH or whatever along with descriptions. The winner will be the design that gains the most praise relative to how dumb it is. Bonus points for garnering praise for components that blatantly could not work (IE guns mounted on legs with no mechanism for reloading, crew compartment located directly inside of the engine, legs needing to move through other parts to function, etc). Any design software is on the table for this.

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Design a last-ditch weapon for fighting an industrial war in the mid-20th. The weapon can be an aircraft, afv or small arm, and must show a massive cost reduction over existing types while still having a comparable level of task effectiveness. Bonus points for showing a manpower reduction (both making and/or using), skill reduction (ditto) or supply-chain rationalisation.

Edit: the judging would depend on the category of weapon chosen for the contest. Modelling may be required to show that the weapon works to spec. The contestant would also have to provide a convincing rationale for how the expected savings in materials/manpower would be achieved, as well as describing the implementation in a realistic fashion.

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Bring a retarded idea to life!:

Hitler/Stalin/King Kerbal has given you a bunch of drawings for retarded weapons provided by an idiot relative. Your job is to bring these ideas to life in as practical a manner as possible without making the results look too different from the drawings.

Failure is punishable by death/gulag/volunteering for a mun shot.

Edit: drawings and descriptions of a selection of retarded weapons would be provided, but the contestants could also bring in their own, so long as it is someone else's work and has sufficient levels of description (size, mass, components, performance etc) to be modelled. Modelling would be done using something like KSP or simpleplanes, and the contestant would have to show that the design works to at least a limited extent (the closer you can get to the retarded design's paper stats the better). The contestant would also have to describe what changes were made to make the retarded idea work, with points for creative solutions that still allow the resulting design to look like the drawing it is based on.

For the purposes of judging, it should be assumed that the idiot relative is looking over everyone's shoulder and checking the contestant's work against his 'vision' for the weapon. So the contestant blatantly subverting it by, for instance, sneaking a turbojet into what is supposed to be a piston-powered supersonic fighter, would be grounds for death/gulag/mun shot.

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Bring a retarded idea to life!:

Hitler/Stalin/King Kerbal has given you a bunch of drawings for retarded weapons peovided by an idiot relative. Your job is to bring these ideas to life in as practical a manner as possible without making the results look too different from the drawings.

Failure is punishable by death/gulag/volunteering for a mun shot.

 

The GOOLAB needs more science personnel, comrade.

 

My vote is for a pendulum fallacy believing Munshot rocket.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, sorry, I haven't been able to give the comps their due, as I have been mighty busy. Collimatrix, would you go ahead and start the second competition that we talked about?

 

KK.  Let me get the resources together, light the signal fires and put the slaves in their finest chains.

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  • 3 months later...

Design a Volks/folke AFV.

 

 

Main focuses:

It has to be cheap, VERY cheap, as cheap as possible. This includes maintenance costs.

It has to provide better or equal capabilities to Infantry Mobility Vehicles.

Has to be able to be mass produced.
Man power is readily available, use it. 

It has to be able to operate in Arctic climates, which means -50 degrees and a lot of snow and frost. 
It has to be able to operate off road, so it can't be a Ferrari with a Minigun.

 

 

Infrastructure and cost restrictions:

It has to be easy to use, requiring minimal training. 

Has to be very reliable and require minimal maintenance. 

It can't use guided munition or FCS. 

Everything has to be off-shelf, no fancy weapons. 
You have to use infantry based weaponry. No AMOS mortar systems or MBT guns. Exception: Mothballed or dirt cheap equipment with tons of ammunition available. 

Max weight: 12 ton

 

Dimension restrictions:

Max width: 3,1m

Max height: 3,6m

Max length: 5,5m

 

 

Hardcore restrictions:

Has to have some anti-tank capability.

Can't use mothballed or dirt cheap non infantry weaponry. 

Has to be based on a existing vehicle.

 

Max length: 5m

Max width: 2,5m

Max weight: 8 ton.

 

 

 

This competition was inspired by my countries Homeguard. It uses 3% of the total defense budget, and still has 45 000 (to be reduced to 32 000 in 2017) combat ready soldiers at a 7 hour notice, it also defends all of the country.  Much cheaper compared to the Army with it's measly 4000 soldiers.

 

This causes everything in the Homeguard to only use the cheapest and most cost effective of equipment. This caused the army to scrap 100 Iveco LMVs instead of giving them to the Homeguard. Simply because they are too expensive to operate. 

 

So instead we got this thing, recently donated from the Special forces:

HVNETT__S167467.jpg?Width=1158&Height=65

 

We still use this thing. The MB G-wagon. And it still works, even though it is outrun by a tank and they are literally falling apart.

But the amazing thing about these is that they function as:

 

IMVs

Cargo transport.

Command post.

Command vehicle.

Forward observing vehicle.

Mortar carrier.

Ambulance. 

Tank destroyer.

Engineering vehicle. 

 

 

And this Multi III seen above, can mount a 12,7mm BMG or a 84mm Carl Gustav RFK and a MG-3 or a Minimi. It can also be modified to carry a mortar.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Yet another design-a-tank competition:

Part 1:

It's 1938 and your company is trying to get in on the booming market for armoured vehicles. You've come up with a workable design, so now it's time to find some customers!

- Design a tank for sale to a particular country or countries. Projected sales should be at least 200 units all-in-all.

- A convincing, historically plausible rationale for why the sale should take place must be provided. Current inventory, industry, politics and practice of the client nation/s should be considered.

- No parts from after 1938 can be used, although you can speculate in terms of armament. Incorporation of components having commonality with those of your would-be client are a bonus.

- Describe the tank in detail, including where it would have issues or teething problems requiring further development.

Part 2:

It's sometime during the second world war, and the tank is still soldiering on. Although obsolescent, the needs of war mean that its current owners must find a way to wring the last possible bit of usefulness out of the design.

- Pick a point based in WWII (or just afterwards) and describe the modifications, upgrades, conversions etc made to the tank.

- Ownership may have changed based on the historical fate of the client nation. The tank may even still be in production in some form or another.

- Construct a plausible life/development history for the tank to get it to the chosen point.

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  • 2 months later...

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