Comic 1213 - Runaway Bus

26th Jul 2015, 9:00 PM
Runaway Bus
Average Rating: 5 (20 votes)
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Comments:

Mark_L_A 26th Jul 2015, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

That muzzleblast effect is very cool.
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

thanks the idea was taken from the Navy test firing of the REAL rail-gun they are making :D
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 9:43 AM edit delete reply

The navy has so many wonderful toys, eh ?
Computant 18th Aug 2016, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Hilariously, not only are we going to use a railgun as a weapon, we are also going to throw planes with one.
Slight problem 1: EM emmissions from a railgun throwing your plane are bad for electronics-but who needs anything computerized or electronic in a modern jet fighter right?
Slight problem 2: "Hey, we can launch planes in even less distance than a steam catapult." Less distance=more G's...
But hey, we put it on a carrier, I'm sure the Chang will make it work!
Haegan2005 26th Jul 2015, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

Remind me to not get in a marksmanship contest with him...
DLKmusic 26th Jul 2015, 9:32 PM edit delete reply

Two thousand meters... THOUSAND meters...
with a rocket launcher!

YIKES!
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

actually thats a sniper rifle .. a Magnetic Linear Accelerator :D also called a Railgun.. or a OMFG he just shot me with a 1/4 pound of a slug accelrated to 8 times or more the speed of sound.. ( the blast wave from the rifle is from the air turning to plasma as it exits in front of the bullet. )
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 7:07 AM edit delete reply

Sniper Rifles.. when you need to reach out and touch some one.
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 9:44 AM edit delete reply

Marcus : Touching baddies inappropiately since he enlisted the military. >_<
Stormwind13 28th Jul 2015, 6:20 AM edit delete reply

"At anytime, anywhere our snipers can drop you. Have a nice day!". :-D
anonymous coward 27th Jul 2015, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
We have real-life sniper shots at that distance on record. Further even if using particularly good weapons for it: Three current longest distance recorded sniper kills are at 2.475, 2.43 and 2.31 using ".338 Lapua Magnum LockBase B408 bullets" and "Hornady A-MAX .50 (.50 BMG)" for the second and third respectively. It's probably easier to make that shot since gyrostabilizing, rangefinding and air current adjustment have probably advanced a wee little bit in the centuries between now and then, to say nothing of the fact that it's probably easier to get better MoA (or even SoA) rating out of a railgun than a chemical propellant weapon.
Mark_L_A 27th Jul 2015, 12:50 PM edit delete reply

According to a friend who was a Scout Sniper in the Corps, it's easier to figure out your hold shooting east vs shooting west due to the Coriolis effect. (The Earths Rotation can affect a shot at extreme ranges)
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 2:37 PM edit delete reply

all of this is true, weaponizing math is a wonderful thing.. when taking extreme shots, such things are taken in to consideration, from the humidity to the rotation to the wind factor... this type of shot at 1 mile out is very easy when you have the right equipment and a weapon that has the range to do it with.
Dragonrider 26th Jul 2015, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

That should definitely give some one a head ache. One that Excedrin won't cure.
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:54 PM edit delete reply

Or break someones heart . ( mind you he did just put it though the GUN and his Chest and the back wall..
jamie59 26th Jul 2015, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Have to guess we're back to just before 0400 again.
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:54 PM edit delete reply

Yep.. that we are :D :D
Mark_L_A 27th Jul 2015, 12:55 PM edit delete reply

03:59:45?
The Old Scribe 26th Jul 2015, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Scratch one gun tower. Nice shootin', two-cells. That looked like a HEDP round or its future equivalent. Good to see there's still a place in combat for projectile weapons.
Guest 26th Jul 2015, 9:30 PM edit delete reply
its Kenitic rail slug, but same function as HEDP, I save the fusion rounds for heavier targets
Marcus Ramesy 26th Jul 2015, 9:38 PM edit delete reply

its Kinetic rail slug, but same function as HEDP, I save the fusion rounds for heavier targets

(wasn't logged in when I made previous comment)
Boren 26th Jul 2015, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
So it's a combination of chemical propellant and magnetic rail acceleration?
Also is the ghost skull in the mussel flash intentional?
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:58 PM edit delete reply

Just magnetic .. no powder at all :D ghost skull? odd .. I dont see it :D

its just turning the air around the muzzle to plasma due to the speed the projectile is leaving the muzzle at..
Boren 26th Jul 2015, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
Outer edge of the flash just above the mussel on the left hand side it looks like eyes in the flash
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 10:06 PM edit delete reply

COOL it wasn't intentional on my part :D
The Old Scribe 27th Jul 2015, 7:28 AM edit delete reply

Oh yeah, now I see it. Looks like the left side of a skull. You can see the round top and the jaw. Are you goofin' on us, Cent? ;-)
velvetsanity 27th Jul 2015, 10:47 AM edit delete reply

I see several skulls in there
Boren 26th Jul 2015, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
Never mind the first question Cent answered it in the time it took to refresh lol
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 9:55 PM edit delete reply

Actually roma does have quite a few .. we just haven't seen them yet..
CptKerion 26th Jul 2015, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
I'd generally recommend chem-mag combinations to help overcome magnetic deflection shields.
Admittedly you could never mount a shield of sufficient power to do anything to a railgun projectile on a VW bus, but the principle still applies. It can be enough to turn a direct hit against something more heavily armored into an indirect hit that just scours away some paint.

So, guys, what do you call the projectile launched by a railgun?
Centcomm 26th Jul 2015, 10:59 PM edit delete reply

amusingly .. "Slug" or "Round" depending on how tactful you want to be :D
velvetsanity 27th Jul 2015, 10:48 AM edit delete reply

Call it such mundane terms if you wish. I call such a projectile 'life-ender' :D
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 1:58 PM edit delete reply

Well, *I* call it George! :)
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 2:38 PM edit delete reply

some will call it "to whom it may concern"
DLKmusic 27th Jul 2015, 5:20 PM edit delete reply

Call it "Dear John"?
That one guy 27th Jul 2015, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
I'd say the gun tower has moved on to scratching other things now.
cattservant 26th Jul 2015, 10:48 PM edit delete reply

a failure of windows...
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 1:58 PM edit delete reply

Windows need a patch to plug the security hole ?
cattservant 27th Jul 2015, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

Gun turrets shouldn't have windows.
mjkj 26th Jul 2015, 11:48 PM edit delete reply

Nice shot... XD

...one turret/tower down - one to go...


PS: great vote incentive =D

Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 2:00 PM edit delete reply

Well, the turret isn't down, as such, just the shooter - If I interpretrate it correctly.
Matt Knab 27th Jul 2015, 3:23 AM edit delete reply

Dang, nice shot!
Thomas 27th Jul 2015, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Seems a tad conspicuous for a sniper rifle considering the hug ball of flame it produces when it's fired.
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 7:12 AM edit delete reply

that is what the stealth field is for... and repositioning.. it is a limitation of the weapon.. but... it allows for taking out of hard to reach targets....
Stormwind13 27th Jul 2015, 7:18 AM edit delete reply

I suspect that the weapon can be dialed back if need be. Currently he is trying to take out gun emplacement of unknown armored thickness. So he is using the full capability until he knows what level he needs to use.
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 8:01 AM edit delete reply

Last I checked.. it had 2 settings.. pew... and no pew... Different rounds will do different things.. there is the fusion rounds that are the HE version of the kinetic rounds, the diamond P round for soft targets ... the general purpose round is the kinetic round which is overkill for soft targets but perfect for taking them out if they are behind armored walls or any thing... the Fusion rounds are for things that a bit more hardened like... tanks... and murder turds
Centcomm 27th Jul 2015, 8:11 AM edit delete reply

More like BOOM and NO BOOM! :D
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 8:20 AM edit delete reply

that works to
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 10:45 AM edit delete reply

Frankly, at a 2 klicks distance, a muzzle flash is NOT easy to spot.
anonymous coward 27th Jul 2015, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
That's what automated sensor analysis is for. Considering that it's easily possible to have 360-360 visual and auditory monitoring in tiny little packages, and computing power ought to be cheaper than it is now, you'd figure they'd scatter monitoring sensors every couple metres. It'd be useful for catching people who don't stoop and scoop, drug deals, political subversives, littering, general maintenance issues and any actual crime that happens in view, to say nothing of the use of firearms and other deadly weaponry. That stuff is on the horizon for being standard everywhere within the next twenty years and it's kinda more than halfway there already in a bunch of places (like London).
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 2:01 PM edit delete reply

True, unless ofcourse they took those out.

Ofcourse, noone's gonna think a whole lot about the little sniper once that van goes BOOM. :)
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 2:41 PM edit delete reply

such monitoring systems have been taken in to consideration and countermeasures are taken to prevent local surveillance from catching on too quickly
That one guy 27th Jul 2015, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Centcomm (author) stated above "its just turning the air around the muzzle to plasma due to the speed the projectile is leaving the muzzle at" for the muzzle flash, as there's no chemical propellant.

If we're talking about the projectile pushing the air fast enough to create plasma, it'd seem like there'd be some possibility of plasma generated from air displaced by the bullet in open air and not just rushing out the barrel. Pointed slug will reduce that, but you'd think there'd still be some degree of localized plasma cone that would make it easier to spot.

I also wonder how far out you could use a wadcutter as a tracer.
Centcomm 27th Jul 2015, 4:07 PM edit delete reply

wadcutter as tracer.. Probably as far until the bullet disintegrated Marcus's railslugs are made of a hyper dense alloy that can take the stresses of firing at that speed. lead isnt going to cut it .. har har..
That one guy 27th Jul 2015, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
I could be wrong, but I believe that a wadcutter is just the description for the shape. I'd assume you'd want something ferromagnetic for a rail gun.

So possibly incorrect/imprecise terminology on my part, but I'd meant roughly the same slug that's currently used, but as a perfect, rather than sharpened, cylinder.

I do think the plasma right in front of it would eat into it faster than a pointed slug as it wouldn't be shunting it aside, along with additional resistance to slow it down faster.

I'm really just curious if anyone a bit more physics-minded than me wants to take a swing at some of that. I'd considered physics in school, but went computers instead as I'm much better with discrete math than calculus, so I only dabble.
Hornet 28th Jul 2015, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
London's kind of F*up soft as butter borders but the internal security of a Max-sec prison.
Marcus Ramesy 28th Jul 2015, 6:52 AM edit delete reply

wadcutter is a shape they tend to be flat on top and generaly as wide as the bullet or just a slight taper .. they are used for target shooting so you get that nice perfect circle when you hit the paper.. you also have semi wadcutters same purpose just a little bit more tapered at the end.. I tend to use HBFP (hollow base flat point)

http://www.berrysmfg.com/product-i15028-c138-g8-b0-p0-9mm38_Super357_Sig_356_124gr_HBFP_TP___250ct.aspx

which is not technically a wadcutter.. but does the same thing nice perfect round holes in the paper target at the end .
chk 27th Jul 2015, 10:28 AM edit delete reply

Bidi must be so happy.
T1-G3R2501 27th Jul 2015, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
That raises a good point is Bidi cannon? or just cannon fodder? lol
DLKmusic 27th Jul 2015, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

since this isn't the real Bidi, my guess is "Bidi go BOOM"
anonymous coward 27th Jul 2015, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
Shooty noises now, boomy noises soon. I doubt we'll get something as cool as a full mushroom cloud out of it though.
I'm having a bit of trouble guessing what Marcus' plan is once they've blown up the front door though. Obviously you don't go in there but what does he do and how does he find his target(s) in that environment?
Sheela 27th Jul 2015, 2:03 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, you need a fair bit of explosive & thermal power to get mushroom clouds of big enough sizes to be seen over the city.
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 4:18 PM edit delete reply

sadly Anonymous, that information is classified and can not be discussed at this time.
lalverson 27th Jul 2015, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
"SHOOTY NOISES EVERYWHERE!" I love it, just a little more than "WEE-DOO WEE-DOO"
Tokyo Rose 28th Jul 2015, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

I'm usually the one who has to come up with the onomatopoeia as well as the font and style for all the bang-bang pew-pew effects. "WEE-OOO" was absolute cake by comparison. :D
Sheela 28th Jul 2015, 4:21 PM edit delete reply

What you need, is a child to make the sounds, and then you just transcribe them. :)
Draginbeard 27th Jul 2015, 4:05 PM edit delete reply

Good lord, that better be one tough Van!
Centcomm 27th Jul 2015, 4:46 PM edit delete reply

well Marcus did give them a shield unit for it :D
Sheela 28th Jul 2015, 4:22 PM edit delete reply

Lets not forget that most of the drivetrain of a van is at the bottom of the car, and soldiers have a tendency to shoot at the center of mass, which is the (mostly) empty body shell.

You can punch a lot of holes in there without stopping a car. You might kill the driver though.
CptKerion 27th Jul 2015, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
due to the seeming prevalence of shielded targets and various active and passive countermeasures, if I were equipping a military in the DC setting I'd actually give them Shear rifles. AKA, weaponized artificial gravity. I'd use rattler (bigger artificial gravity weapons) emplacements to knock aircraft and drones out of the sky and kill the crews of tanks.
I'd also use ramjets and stabilizers on projectile weapons to assist in foiling deflection type shielding.
I'd also use various ion weapons (shoots a cloud of ionized particles) to much up electronics as well as EMP. If you can knock the enemy back to the stone age while keeping yourself out of the stone age, you can win quickly. Alternatively, use broad area ion or EMP weapons and have your men equipped with chemical projectile weapons as a backup to allow them to keep fighting once all the electronics go offline.

I would also make heavy use of various seeker missiles of the smaller variety. I'd especially go for magnetic or shield seekers. As always, laser target paint is an option.
Marcus Ramesy 27th Jul 2015, 4:26 PM edit delete reply

Emp is something that we concern our selves with which is why every thing is hardened, it wouldn't do to have a simple emp blast take out the combat drones, cyborgs, and androids.. but.. a significantly powerful emp blast can and has caused havoc with the electronics, and thus forces us to fall back on more conventional weapons.. nothing says fuck you like a good ol fashion grenade to the teeth..


quote for the day: "1911, because pistol whipping some one with a piece of plastic just doesn't get the point across the same way"
Centcomm 27th Jul 2015, 5:00 PM edit delete reply

The Epiphytes and Luna DO have gravity based weapons .. one being called the "Hammer" because of the gravitic shearing forces it can exert on a target. Also the Repulse gun .. another gravity Push weapon.

The Epiphytes do not share lethal weapons tech with humans . they see that as putting razor blades in the hands of children.

Gavin used a EMP weapon "near" Lynn at the first of the comic.. didn't hit her car just scared her silly.

New Troy and Nova Roma both have various EMP weapons to wreak havoc on mechanized and synthetic weapons and androids and Bots

and yes intelligent seeker missiles also exsist in DC :D

There are also shield breaker and weapons designed against shields :D
Sheela 28th Jul 2015, 4:25 PM edit delete reply

Even todays military hardware is fairly well shielded.
CptKerion 28th Jul 2015, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
So I'd go more for Ion weapons then. It's not an permanent a solution as an EMP but it's enough to knock things haywire. Enough ionized particles will really jack up electronics (and for that matter plenty of other things while they're at it.)
and rattlers are essentially converted artificial gravity plates set to push and pull back and forth rapidly (I generally go for a rate of oscillation meant to kill crew rather than destroy hardware). I'd figure they'd be easier to get your hands on and sheering force weapons. I originally found out about them from one of James White's novels where they were the principle close quarters armament of starships.

I would also supplement things with just really powerful HE rounds. Can't penetrate the shields? knock it around so hard you jelly the crew. Rattlers are intended to do the same thing but are even harder to foil.


Also, an old favorite of mine, and the low tech option. Have a mote with a retractable draw bridge of sorts. Here comes the suicide bomber? there goes the road.

You have got to hand it to some low tech methods, they never completely lose their effectiveness.
What I mentioned about giving your inspectors a mechanic's stethoscope and a screwdriver was related.
A less obtrusive but marginally less effective method to the path of access issue would be the good old steel pylons sunk into the ground with a system of hydraulics (which should have a redundant isolated power system.)
Around important targets for opposition you should also maintain a certain area of "no man's land." make it a pretty (and minimally vegetated with no hard cover and little soft cover) park or something to that effect.

Also, maintain multiple sniper nests for security, and have systems to foil the oppositions counter detection systems and keep those extremely secret, with hard isolated systems and independent power supplies.
When you are the dictator knowing ahead of time what is coming your way is of paramount importance.


As always, it is key to isolate important systems from hostile access. The best way of doing this is to physically isolate them, avoiding external connections. While this increases crew demands it renders you invulnerable to hostile hackers.


Now when it comes to disabling enemy powered gear, it's an all or nothing proposition. You go in equipped with 15mm AP flechette rifles and shotguns packing needle loads and nonpowered exoskeletons. The enemy is either immobilized or under armored all the sudden, and half or more of their guns are rendered useless. If you can get engineered beings or aliens or mutants with excellent darkvision, do this at night at your opposition will be nearly helpless if they're mostly human.


These are various reasons why you should always give your personnel a weapon (usually a sidearm) with reasonable armor penetration and no power reliance. I'm a fan of various sabot rounds for that purpose. I generally recommend tungsten carbide with a teflon coating.




I spend way too much time thinking about this, don't I?


Also, ever had that moment where you are concerned that the villains may actually use the ideas that you have just espoused on the protagonists you love so much? I'm having it. I do not doubt the possibility that either A. the lovely authors already thought it up or B. they will not hesitate to consider what I mention. Or maybe they will because genre savvy assholes tend to win... and Dex ain't all that genre savvy.

Now, as to post Nova Roma antagonists? I do not doubt they'll employ methods far more difficult to bypass.
Centcomm 28th Jul 2015, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Wow .. thats .. very detailed! * makes some notes * :D I love comments like this! :D

Heres a bit of a breakdown

New Troy uses a lot of directed energy weapons like Lasers and blaster types and EM weapons like Ada's stunner

Heavy weapons for New Troy tend to be rail guns and high powered energy weapons.

Nova roma uses kenetic rifles for most of its rank and file .. Palace troops are issued kenetic and Energy weapons Energy weapons tend to hit just as hard as bullets but take more power and maintenance

Roma also tends to use a LOT of melee weapons like Power Swords and Pole-arms .. along with Machine pistols and SMGs

Why does roma use so many projectile weapons when energy weapons can hit harder .. Cost Gunpowder is cheap so are the mechanics of a gun.

The comic is showing mostly palace guard who have generally the best weapons available.

A lot of Cassians use pure melee weapons although some have used rifles and pistols as needed. Some Cassians such as Nox simply wont use guns because they don't feel like it.

Malati rarely used guns and only if the situation dictated it.

Hrist also prefers melee over Ranged.

As for Noctis - rose will have to answer that.

Kali is a realist and will use what gets the job done. Period.
Sheela 28th Jul 2015, 11:57 PM edit delete reply

And this, this is how an armsrace is started. >_<
Kitty 27th Jul 2015, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
"Spltch"? Eww...someone's gonna have a hell of a mess to clean up!
Centcomm 27th Jul 2015, 5:01 PM edit delete reply

someone get a mop?
Stormwind13 27th Jul 2015, 5:58 PM edit delete reply

I think that mess isn't going to be noticeable shortly, Kitty. :-)
Tokyo Rose 28th Jul 2015, 3:11 PM edit delete reply

In the grim darkness of the far future, pressure washers are very popular.
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