“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.”
- - Otto Von Bismarck
This page is to provide a basic summary of warfare in the Sporewiki science fiction universe. In this page will be brief and informative summaries on how warfare is fought from tier to tier. While this page will be a guideline, think of it as just that; A guideline; Don't be afraid to be unique or throw a curveball in your next war!
Motives for WarfareEdit
War has all kinds of motives and nations will use many casus belli (Latin: "case for war") to wage it. When considering causes for war, remember that different races have different cultures, and these different cultures frequently lead to different motivations and desired outcomes for war. With this in mind, common causes are:
The reason may be one, or a mix of multiple. It is common for people or nations to declare war for one reason but also maintain different goals. For example, the papacy declared the Crusades with the intent of reclaiming the Holy Lands from the Ottoman Empire, however other goals included raising wealth from looting (a necessity at the time).
"Types" of WarfareEdit
"Type" in this case is a catch-all term to describe the actual nature of the war itself; Above strategy and tactics that are being used (more on that later). They are as follows,
Also known as "conventional" warfare, it consists of two or more parties, usually countries, that are fairly evenly matched locked in war with each other. This type of war usually has a definite beginning date and definite ending date and may consist of pitched battles, formal declarations of war, and formal peace deals. Unlike asymmetric warfare, symmetric warfare happens between states with militaries of roughly comparable technological advancement, size, etc. It is a contest between which state can outmaneuver the other through the employment of strategy and tactics in open battle.
- First/Second World War
- Napoleonic Wars
- Six Day War
Sometimes referred to as "guerrilla" warfare it consists of two or more parties that are unevenly matched; The quintessential example is usually an occupying army and a small force of revolutionaries, though can also includes states which have vastly different amounts of resources at their disposal. Because the odds are stacked one way the inferior force must make use of raiding, sabotage and ambush attacks to even the odds. Asymmetric warfare is not a contest of relative strength and employment of strategy like symmetric warfare, but rather a war of attrition aimed at the attacker. Asymmetrical wars may go on for many years and are almost always less "formalized" than Symmetrical warfare (that is, there is rarely talks or large-scale battles between the sides).
- Vietnam War
- Iraq War
A less common form of war, often undertaken by tribes or clans, is a form of warfare that has similarities to both Symmetrical and Asymmetrical warfare. It consists of fairly constant, low-intensity fighting; Usually small skirmishes; With the occasional pitched battle or larger conflict. Endemic warfare is usually quite inconclusive and may drag on for generations.
- Wars between native tribes
- Sengoku Jidai
Distinction between "Strategy" and "Tactics"Edit
Despite their almost interchangable use in regular speech, "strategy" and "tactics" are in fact two distinct concepts. A strategy is the overarching plan by which a campaign or battle is to be won, whereas a tactic is an individual manoeuvre making up the overall strategy. Using the Roman Flank as an example of strategy, the individual tactics include a retreat, two sympathetic charges, and a flanking charge made by outrider cavalry.
(All Descriptions Below Taken from Wikipedia)
Battle of AnnihilationEdit
A battle of annihilation is the strategy in which an attacking army seeks to destroy the military capacity of an opposing army in a single planned pivotable battle. This is achieved through the use of tactical surprise, application of overwhelming force at a key point, or other tactics performed immediately before or during the battle. Fictional examples of empires that use this strategy are the Drakodominatus Tyranny, whose strategy is based primarily on Battles of Annihilation and Attrition Warfare.
The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale. Employment of this strategy implies that the side adopting this strategy believes time is on its side, but it may also be adopted when no feasible alternative strategy can be devised. Fictional examples of empires that use this strategy are the AGC and FPC during the Andromedan Campaign of the Great Tyranny War.
Maneuver warfare, or manoeuvre warfare, is the term used by military theorists for a concept of warfare that advocates attempting to defeat the enemy by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption. Maneuver warfare doctrine sees styles of warfare as a spectrum with attrition warfare and maneuver warfare on opposite ends. In attrition warfare the enemy is seen as a collection of targets to be found and destroyed. Attrition warfare exploits maneuver to bring to bear firepower to destroy enemy forces. Maneuver warfare, on the other hand, exploits firepower and attrition on key elements of opposing forces. Fictional examples include the Orion League during the Milky Way Campaign of the Great Tyranny War with elements of it used by the Drakodominatus Tyranny to bring about Battles of Annihilation.
Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and materiel. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources. Fictional examples of empires which use this include the Junction during the Borealis Campaign of the Great Tyranny War as well as the DCP in the Milky Way Campaign of the Great Tyranny War
Planning a CampaignEdit
The actual planning of your war fiction's military campaign will be amongst the most important, and perhaps also the most challenging, things you will do for it. While daunting, its possible to visualize and break it down into fairly straightforward steps. They are as follows;
1.) Decide on a place of discussion for all involved, and communicate regularly! This is very important for all fictions, but especially a war which will require a lot of cooperation and prior consent. We'd recommend a private IRC or Discord channel, but message boards are also an option (so long as you don't mind people peeking!).
2.) Find or make a map. This is also important so you actually know where countries are in relation to one another, and can plan manouvers. To make a map, we'd recommend Paint.net or GIMP.
3.) Know you and the other collaberators' assets. We all know that fleets cannot pop up from thin air! Therefore it is important to have a rough assessment of the size and composition of the factions' campaign armies, major worlds, and leaders. For most only a rough assessment will be necessary; We're writing fiction, not wargaming (usually).
4.) Plan ahead of time what'll happen. As said, we're writing fiction as opposed to wargaming, so discuss how the war will go with the other side in order to make it as interesting for the end-reader as possible. Steps 1, 2, and 3 all culminate into this one, so make sure you have all the above down-pat first!
Planetside warfare is generally the first type any civilization will wage, and is still the most important to actually gain control of enemy assets. Depending on the tactics of your fiction and the goal of your war, Planetside warfare may be very common or extremely rare; For example in a war of pure annihilation or extermination it may simply be easier to bombard the world than land troops upon it. Likewise to capture an important world with minimal damage, a planetside battle may need to take place.
The general nature of 29th-century ground warfare is fast, furious, and decisive in nature. Time is of the essence for the attacker to quickly capture and hold onto a world, and specialized "artillery ships" or more conventional batteries can make tight formations unfeasible. So, battles are usually first fought via skirmishes over the width of a continent (or several!) before retreating back to major cities; Where more pitched combat occurs.
Though, no matter your civilization's stance on ground warfare, if you annex enemy lands it will almost always be necessary to occupy them with ground forces.
Types of UnitsEdit
This is a mostly-complete list of typical planetside units. Note that every civilization will have their own variation or "twist" on each type, and one fiction's infantry might be another's armour! (Take Dominatus "infantry", for example) For this we will also provide the standard NATO military symbol for the said unit type.
Easily the most ancient and still most important unit in organized warfare, the humble footsoldier remains important in the 29th century due to their flexibility, agility, inexpensiveness, and indispensible and unique ability to hold onto and occupy territory in the long term (an infantryman can easily patrol city streets; It would be expensive, inefficient, and likely impossible to do the same with a tank). Depending on a civilization and it's level of advancement as well as doctrine, different kinds of infantry can be biologically, mechanically, or cybernetically enhanced beyond "baseline" levels for that species, if not totally cybernetic. The most elite, enhanced and trained of these are generally considered the species' supersoldiers and are used for a variety of missions. Some races are advanced or have enough of an emphasis on quality enough where most of their infantry is enhanced. Another thing to consider is the equipment of infantry, with some species giving their average infantryman powered armor that only supersoldiers of other species have. All in all, depending on a species advancement, doctrine etc, one race's supersoldiers may be another race's grunts.
- Light Infantry - Lightly armed infantrymen, usually travelling solely on foot. They are generally utilized for reconnaisance and to screen and harass the enemy army. Historical examples would include the Greek Peltasts or, as a more modern example, the US Rangers.
- Line Infantry - The most common type of infantry fielded by a civilization, forming the "line of battle". Their equipment is usually a service rifle (or equivalent) and some sort of sidearm (a pistol, for example) along with armour. Quality can vary widely, from being well-trained, hardened and competent soldiers, to little more than conscripts given a rifle.
- Heavy Infantry - As the name implies, these are soldiers given tougher, heavier gear and weapons. Historically, they may have been the "line infantry" or shock troops of their day (take the Roman Legionaries, for example). Though more often in a modern or most 29th century battlefields they are mixed in with squadrons of line infantry to provide heavy support (machine gun-fire, anti-armour, etc.).
- Mechanized Infantry - Infantry that are supported by and may also travel in armoured vehicles. Most infantry now and (most likely!) in the future are/will be mechanized in some way (using APCs to travel to and from battle, for example), so this is more of a "sub-denomination" than a class of its own.
- Special Forces/"Supersoldiers" - Special forces, or biologically or mechanically-modified "Supersoldiers", are a small group of highly-trained, extremely elite soldiers. Though rarely used in open battle due to a very limited number and high expense of their creation, Special forces find their niche in delicate operations such as hostage extraction of infiltration, or for use in harassment behind enemy lines.
Cavalry are mounted soldiers generally armed with swords and/or small arms to quickly flank, harass, or crash through infantry. While becoming mostly obsolete with the advent of fast-firing rifles, machine guns, and the decline of armour, they may again see use in the 29th century with improvements in armour, mobility, and other technologies. So far, only the Drodo use them in significant numbers.
A note on Hoverbikes/Motorbikes vs. Mounts
When choosing a mount for your cavalry, choose wisely before going one way or the other. Both Hoverbikes and (mechanical/cyborg) horses/other similar mounts have definite strengths and weaknesses, and should best be applied to different roles. Hoverbikes, for example, are very, very fast. They can levitate, and are fairly light. But their cons are almost the same as their strengths; That is they are fast, and light. Melee cavalry rely on three things, weight, height, and speed. Hoverbikes have height, but they possess no weight and almost too much speed! This makes them useless on the charge. For one to use a lance and go full-speed ahead at a target and hit, its very much so possible that the light hovercraft may go head-over heels, even if dedicated to that job. However this being aid their speed makes them an excellent mount for dragoons or pistol-toting skirmisher cavalry.
On the other hand, horse (or similar) cavalry have similar pros and cons. Their pros are weight, reliability, and height. Cons are a comparitive lack of speed and, for living specimins, the possiblity of a spooked horse. If using a legged mount, it almost always best to choose a mechanical or cyborg mount to overcome morale problems and to mitigate speed problems. Because of the presence of more weight and physical height legged mounts are a good vehicle for melee cavalry like Cuirassiers or Hussars, but aren't so good for raiders or even dragoons due to a lack of speed.
- Light Cavalry - Lightly-armed and armoured cavalry, generally on smaller, faster horses. Light cavalry are generally armed with sabres and pistols and sometimes carbines. Their main job is to act as scouts and a flanking force. Other occupations include harassment of enemy divisions and mopping up routing or broken troops. A historical example would be the Hussars of the Napoleonic Wars.
- Lancers - Lancers are hard to describe. In general, lancers are any cavalry that use a lance as their primary weapon. But the confusion arises as Lancers have been both very heavy, and very light cavalry depending on the era. In general, however, lancers may be seen as a sort of "medium" cavalry; A unit that possesses the potential mobility of light cavalry, and the shock of heavier cavalry thanks to their lances. Lancers are best used against infantry or, in the Drodo's case, vehicles (thanks to their powered lances); as their lance is fairly clumsy when engaged against cavalry using the more agile sabre.
- Dragoons - Also called "mounted infantry". Basically infantry given horses for their mobility, and are expected to dismount and fight as infantry when joining battle with the enemy.
- Heavy Cavalry - More heavily armed and armoured horsemen, the main job of the Heavy Cavalry is to strike head-on in powerful, terrifying charges. They are usually given heavy armour and big sabres to do this. Historical examples would include the Napoleonic Cuirassiers, and medieval Knights.
"Armour" generally encompasses Main Battle Tanks and other heavy armoured vehicles. Tanks and armoured vehicles have in most circles superseded the cavalry in the role of a "mobile attacker". Impervious to most small-arms and even explosives, they make for a powerful, if expensive, asset on the battlefield. Another thing to keep in mind is that due to different race's advancement levels, doctrines and species, that tanks of a category can have wildly varying sizes. For example, the Dominatus Steelhammer, the Dominatus Main Battle Tank, is larger than the Imperial Guard's Baneblade, an Imperial Guard Super-Heavy Tank. Tanks have various means of locomotion, some using treads, while some using variants of antigravity or electromagnetics to hover above the ground.
- Light Tanks - Light Tanks are generally used for scouting, skirmishing and reconnaissance. They are generally more inexpensive than Main Battle Tanks but possess less punch and staying power. They tend to be around as common as Main Battle Tanks depending on the doctrine of the army and are generally not used as the forefront of an army's force in pitched armored battles. Fiction examples include the French C-39 Light Battle Tank as well as the Dominatus Desolator Light Tank.
- Medium/Main Battle Tanks - Main Battle Tanks generally constitute the main portion of an army's armored firepower. Main Battle Tanks possess a powerful balance of speed, firepower, as well as protection and are capable of engaging anything from enemy armor, infantry to buildings, with varying degrees of success. Fiction examples include the Drodo Goliath, the Dominatus Steelhammer, the DCP Canister Tank, the Draconid T-472 Dragon, and the French C-41 Ulysse Main Battle Tank. Examples from other universes include the Imperial Guard's Leman Russ from Warhammer 40k, the UNSC's Scorpion from Halo among others. RL Examples include the T-34, current Main Battle Tanks (M1 Abrams, Challenger, Leclerc, Leopard 2, Merkava, T90)
- Heavy Tanks - Heavy Tanks are more powerful than Main Battle Tanks in terms of firepower and armor but are generally less mobile and harder to supply. They are generally used in the most intense armored battles as armored spearheads, either leading Main Battle Tanks or in specialized Heavy Tank formations. Many races do not have heavy tanks as part of their doctrine given that a Main Battle Tank suffices for most engagements. Fiction examples include the Dominatus Warlord Class Heavy Tank. Examples from other universes include the Mammoth Tank of the GDI, and the Imperial Guard's Malcador Class and the Space Marine's Land Raider. RL Examples include the Soviet KV and IS series and the German Tiger Series.
- Super-Heavy Tanks - Super-Heavy Tanks are generally the heaviest tanks used in a battle and are only used for the most intense battles as well as attacks on extremely well fortified positions. They are rarer and more powerful (as well as more ponderous) than Heavy Tanks and are not used by many races as part of their armored doctrines. Fiction examples include the Dominatus Juggernaut Class Super-Heavy Tank as well as the Imperial Guard's Baneblade and Shadowsword Variants and the Space Marine's Fellblades/Decimators. Keith Laumer's Bolos generally belong in this category as well with the exception of latter models. RL Examples include the German Maus.
- Land Battleships - Land Battleships are the catch-all term for the most massive land vehicles and are obviously, some of the rarest and most powerful of armored vehicles. Only a few races have doctrines that support these. Fiction examples include the Dominatus Heimdall Class Land-Battleship, the Adeptus Mechanicus's Ordinatus, the Squats Leviathan and Capitol Imperialis, Gundam's Land Battleships as well as the latest Bolo Models. The only RL conceptualization of this are the German P1000 Ratte and P1500 Monster, which never left the drawing board.
- Walkers - Walkers are vehicles which travel on legs as opposed to treads/hovering. Walkers can have any number of legs, with popular configurations being bipedal walkers, hexapodal or octopodal spider walkers, among others. Walkers vary immensely in size, from things at just 10 meters tall, to massive vehicles exceeding 100 meters in height. Fiction examples include the Nialka Battle Suits, Draconid Walkers, Zazane Colossi, Dominatus Mechs as well as the Galactic Empire of Cyranus' Walkers among others. Other Universes have the Covenant's Scarab, the Adeptus Mechanicus's Titans, Battle Tech's Mechs, Gundam's Gundams, and the Galactic Empire's AT-AT among many others.
Artillery are large cannons or guns capable of firing at an enemy from many kilometres away. Artillery, above any other support weapon are the most important to have and are indispensible on the field of battle. In the 29th century they come in many exotic forms; Such as orbital batteries, specialized "artilery ships" capable of providing support from orbit, or the more "old-fashioned" self-propelled guns, rocket artillery, and field guns.
- Field Artillery - Artillery that is used to support armies in the field; Usually fire smaller shells and are often towed or mounted on small/medium-sized vehicles. Examples would include the "French .75" field gun,
- Self-Propelled Artillery - Artillery mounted onto a vehicle chassis and can move under its own power. An example include the British AS-90.
- Rocket Artillery - Artillery that fire rockets instead of shells. Often grouped under Field artillery.
More to be added.
Anti-Tank is fairly straightforward; Any type of unit dedicated to taking out armour. This usually means a specialized infantry team or tank destroyer.
To supply your army (and make sure it arrives in one piece!), this section is essential. It emcompasses all of the trucks, dropships, transports, and even troop carriers that bring the army and its supplies to and from the field of battle.
Also called "anti-air". These are the specialized guns, cannons, and missile carriers that keep aircraft away from your army and let them deal with the threat on the ground. For modern and 29th century warfare, they are essential.
Ship Roles Edit
In most fleets, ships are constructed and outfitted with specific roles in mind. Not every navy follows the same organisation conventions, and certain roles may be more or less common in these fleets. Keep in mind that these roles are based on a mixture of current naval organisation, and the classification system employed in Battlefleet Gothic.
Escorts are any type of ship not intended to operate on its own. Usually organised into groups with other escorts and/or line ships, they may also be tasked with patrol or picquet duty (sentries set up to provide early warning).
Referring to any ship built for speed and manoeuvrability over firepower, frigates are typically constructed to serve in a support capacity by providing quick, reactive fire support for larger vessels. When used independently of line ships, they may be used for surgical strikes or as a patrol unit.
Shorthand for Torpedo Boat/Destroyer, this refers to any ship designed to protect larger vessels from incoming attack craft. In modern naval terms, these ships are designed to protect larger vessels from incoming torpedoes and submarines, and are frequently deployed to escort larger fleets on long voyages to deployment zones.
More commonly known as a minesweeper, historically a naval trawler was a shallow-hulled vessel that sailed ahead of the main fleet to trawl the ocean for mines, destroying them to clear the way for the deeper-hulled vessels to pass. Futuristic incarnations might instead carry sophisticated electronic countermeasures to disable floating mines, rather than physically detonating them. Higher tech-level navies might employ even more advanced systems to displace or destroy said mines.
Line Ships Edit
Line ships make up the main bulk of the fleet, and can operate independently for extended periods of time. The name originates from the standard naval tactic of forming a broadside firing line to expose the maximum number of cannons to enemy ships, however some navies might not employ this tactic and therefore make use of a different name for this category of ships.
Designed for long-term independent operations (originally called "cruising missions"), cruisers are the lightest variety of vessel considered to be a line ship. Cruisers are typically outfitted for such missions as commerce raiding, surface bombardment or planetary defence.
Typically comparable to a battleship in terms of armament, battlecruisers are lighter-armoured and faster, used either to independently hunt and destroy cruisers, or as support vessels for the larger battleships.
As the name implies, battleships or line-of-battle ships form the centre firebase of a fleet of war. Armed primarily with heavy weaponry but also carrying point defence weapons and/or torpedoes, battleships are typically designed to engage enemy shipping head-on.
Similar in scale to a battleship, dreadnoughts have a noticeable difference in that they are armed exclusively with heavy weaponry. These may take the form of heavy bombardment cannon or dedicated anti-ship weaponry allowing for unrivalled firepower on an individual basis. This over reliance on heavy weaponry does however leave the vessel vulnerable, necessitating the use of escort ships.
Forgoing firepower for the ability to deploy strike craft, carriers revolutionised the modern era of naval warfare. Carriers may be equipped to deploy all manner of strike craft, ranging from interceptors, bombers and landing craft.
The command vessel of a fleet, flagships take their name from the message flags used to relay orders between ships. Typically the largest ships in the navy and traditionally the heaviest armed, the true defining feature of the flagship is the communications and sensor suite that affords the fleet's commander the information needed to direct the fleet in battle.
A note on capital ships: The best current definition of a capital ship was given by William S. Lind; "These characteristics define a capital ship: If the capital ship is beaten, the navy is lost. If the navy is lost, the capital ship can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other." This means that capital ship is a subjective title, referring to the dominant ship of the day rather than a role or design.
Higher Scope WarfareEdit
In Warfare Between Tier 1s, when capturing a planet is not necessary, warfare often devolves into finding a way to completely and utterly destroy the enemy. While high-level ideas from traditional military doctrine still hold credence, planetary warfare often becomes redundant (though still occurs in quite a few situations). Instead, both factions try to seek out and lure the main elements of enemy factions and blast them with their most powerful superweapons, many of which have system destroying scale and others, such as Gridfire and the Dominatus's Scythes of Death have the ability to completely decimate entire sectors. Oftentimes, this warfare degenerates into slugfests which merely pit both sides industrial and technological capacity against each other. An example of this type of warfare is the parts preceding and the initial parts of the Tyranny's Operation Deathstorm, in which the DCP and the Drakodomiantus Tyranny, both among the Gigaquadrant's foremost powers, traded fearsome superweapons and completely disintegrated the area of the Milky Way now known as the Deathstorm.
Glossary of TermsEdit
The following is a useful glossary of terms used to describe war, strategy, or the tactics used therein.
Strategies and Tactics
- Strategy - The plan by which a war, theatre, region, battle, or engagement is to be won.
- Tactics - The means by which a war, theatre, region, battle, or engagement is to be won.
- Logistics - The art of supplying and maintaining a military force. For example replacing broken or old equipment, hospitalizing wounded, maintaining a steady supply of goods and supplies, etc.
- Flanking Manouver - Also known as a "flank", using a section of a larger force to attack the sides or back, the "flanks", of a unit or army. It is one of the most basic attacks in organized warfare.
- Encirclement - Completely surrounding an enemy force. While hardly a one-move checkmate (as Hollywood would have us believe), it can and has conferred an advantage to its users. It generally requires a numerically larger force to encircle an enemy but this isn't always the case.
- Siege - The strategy of encircling an enemy settlement or fortification to starve out the defenders or otherwise force them to capitulate.
- Ambush - Also named a "surprise attack"; An unexpected or unsolicited strike at an enemy unit, position, or army. This is amongst the most basic tactics in warfare, likely predating history.
Parts of an army
- Flanks - The right and left flanks are the most maneuverable portion of an army and can be retracted or extended depending on the situation.
- Center - The center of an army was described by Sun Tzu as the communication between the left flank and the right flank. If it is destroyed, the flanks of the army become isolated and can be dealt with separately. A common strategy in a pitched battle, called a breakthrough maneuver, takes advantage of this property by focusing attacks on the enemy center before moving on to the isolated wings.
- Rear - The rear is by far the most vulnerable portion of an army. It is there that reserve units wait to be committed to the battle and where the C.O. typically has his headquarters. Striking at the rear of an army forces the enemy to divert troops from their front line to counter the attacking force. However, this is not a very practical tactic unless the attacking side has twice the troops as the defending side.
- Service Rifle/Arm - The standard issue firearm or weapon given to soldiers in an armed force. It is usually used by all or almost all frontline infantry, with the exceptions of some specialists.
- Bayonet - A small knife or sword that is fixed to the end of a long-gun or rifle to make it into a spear.
- Vibroweapon/Vibroblade - A science-fiction weapon in which a bladed weapon will make very small, rapid vibrations to improve cutting power. Most bladed weapons used in a military capacity in the Fictionverse are Vibroweapons.
- Blaster - A sort of energy weapon that uses superheated gas as ammunition. Used by more advanced civilizations.
- Sidearm - A weapon, usually a knife, sword, or pistol that is used when the primary weapon or service rifle is not usable or available. Often only used as a last resort.
- Artillery - Large cannons or guns that fire shells or other ammunition over long distances.
- Infantry Support Weapon - A fairly small, crew-served weapon that is used to support infantry divisions with extra firepower. Examples include machine guns, light mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and grenade launchers.
- Small Arms - Any firearm or weapon that is usable by a single individual; A personal weapon. Examples include pistols, assault rifles, and submachineguns.
- Light Machine Gun - A type of Infantry Support Weapon, a machine gun that uses a smaller calibre than other machine guns and is useable by a single soldier.
- Powered Armour - Heavy armour that augments and improves the user's strength and endurance through the use of motors and hydraulics. These are expensive to field, and so only more advanced civilizations can field them en masse.
- Privateer / Corsair - Private person or ship, be it a group or a fleet, authorized to fight for a specific nation/government under the lawless flag. Usually used to attack and loot trade conveys under wartime without raising any suspicion. More read.
Work in progress, expect more.