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Most users ever online was 78 on 10/8/2017, 03:59

Crazy Ideas Part II

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Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Herdir on 28/4/2017, 17:59

So, been thinking recently, as I've already said. Expecting, as always, feedback.

So this one is about fighting titans. And still technology. Those will probably be most of my wonky ideas to be fair (In short: Mitsuo will have lots and lots of work. Poor him). So, what is the main problem of titan-fighting? The fact it's dangerous as the seven hells, and that you might get grabbed and killed midway. Cannons are too inaccurate as an option.

So, why not crossbows actually used by soldiers?


To elaborate, crossbows using explosive bolts with a timed detonation from impact (should not be a problem, really), so that they go boom while stuck inside the nape of a titan. After some quick research, the materials needed should be absolutely no problem (after all, the military is using explosive cannon shells. I'm pretty sure they can spare a few explosives for them arrows), and the range at which a crossbows stays pinpoint accurate can get as far as 75 metres (~80 yards) with ease. Accounting for heavier bolts due to the explosives, we're still looking at a good 30 metres at least (~32 yards), which is a huge improvement over the melee range of swords.  


Obviously, a soldier would need to get behind the titan first, but nothing stops 3DMG from being used in conjunction. Bolts where the blades would go, and the crossbow handle affixed to the 3DMG handle on the mainhand, with the 3DMG handle on the offhand having either an arrow-nocking thing, or simply have it affixed to the wrist (so it does not fall out of reach while using that hand to reload/aim).  

The problems that are raised are:

1. Would a soldier be able to consistently shoot the nape of a titan while on the move?

My guess is that yes, it should be possible. Historical horse archery shouldn't have been much different.

2. Would a bolt be able to carry enough explosives to cause lethal damage to a titan's nape?

Looking at the anime, that would mean an explosion that damages around 0,5 - 0,75 metres deep (19 inch - 29 inch), and about 1,5-2 metres long (60 inch - 78 inch).

Minor spoiler: According to why the titans die when their napes are cut (see the wiki; or just make some basic logical connections), the only important number would be the depth.

Assuming the bomb would be gunpowder based, I think it would have enough explosive power if it's detonated withing the titan's flesh, but I am not 100% sure on this. I call upon the expert help of Alan regarding physics.

3. Would a bolt be able to penetrate into a titan's flesh?

Given that historical crossbows were capable of getting through plate armour, I assume a titan's flesh shouldn't be much harder. The bigger problem is whether or not the bolt can be designed in such a way that it keeps both the piercing affinity, and the explosive payload, without heavily compromising either of the two.





Anyway, that'd be it. Awaiting further input from you guys regarding the problems I raised, and if you see any other problem that I failed to observe. Also, whether or not you'd want to see stuff like this happen.
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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 28/4/2017, 23:29

I love this idea...

In fact Mitsuo did have an idea of using a ranged weapon against the Titans... something similar to the anti-human MGs.

But the fact that explosives are involved make this all the better!
Honestly this would be like a dream Mitsuo did not realise he wanted to come true...
Similar to the train, really.

But yeah, all in all great idea!
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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Alan Katlewande on 29/4/2017, 02:43

I have mixed feelings about this idea. On the one hand, it's really cool and does make sense - humanity should strive to designing weapons that are less dangerous to use. On the other hand, however, it would simply be less cool. It takes a lot of the risk away from titan combat, and therefore makes the whole thing, story-wise, less intense.

But enough of that. Time to try and answer some of your questions!

Regarding your first query, I am not so sure humans could shoot titans accurately with a crossbow whilst on the move. Even if history shows similar usage on horseback, the targets were humans and not giant, much faster creatures. By any means, it would be much harder to aim than a regular sword in use. Even if it is physically possible, it should require years of training before becoming viable.

Regarding your second question, I simply believe the answer is a 'no'. This is based on the assumption that gunpowder is used.
Gunpowder is generally inefficient energy-density wise (Meaning that it is only really useful in large quantities), and has seen little to no usage as a stand-alone small-volume explosive because of that. It is generally used to push objects fast, not as a damaging source by itself.
Crossbow bolts, even the heaviest ones that were used by stationary crossbows, weren't larger than 100 grams. Standard crossbow bolts weigh something more akin to 22 grams on average. No way that an effective amount of gunpowder could be put on it to make it useful - a tablespoon of gunpowder weighs more than a bolt like that!
Point is that gunpowder is not an option. If you want to make this work, you have to find a different explosive source.

Regarding your final query, I see no reason as to why crossbow bolts won't penetrate titan skin. Go wild.

TL;DR - It can technically work, but you need to find material that isn't gunpowder and train the soldiers really well. And even then, they'll be less cool than sword soldiers Razz

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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Herdir on 29/4/2017, 12:39

Thanks a lot for the detailed info on the gunpowder, Alan! Knew I could count on you.

So, the easy things first: The fact horse archers were shooting at other mounted humans, really, is not a proof that they wouldn't be able to shoot at titans. I mean, think about it: the area to hit is about as big, but a titan moves slower than a mounted man. If you take for example japanese horse archers, well, they used to train by shooting blunt arrows at running dogs, which again are quite the degree more agile than your usual titan. (And abnormals are hard enough with the swords too)

While I do agree training would be needed much more than with the swords, I'd blame reloading and generally operating the 3DMG while doing various crossbow-related actions more than the shooting itself. The reason for that is the fact the movements aren't static, like with the swords. So, yes, it would certainly still take extesnive practice before proper use could be achieved.



Then, the gunpowder: Mrh. That's not too encouraging, but if that's physics that's physics. Can't tell reality to work better.

What's interesting, though, is the existence of HE rounds in the AoT universe. If indeed gunpowder would be a really bad idea, then they have to be using something else, which maybe could be used in here too. (Minor spoiler: There is also a specific weapon that has a projectile much too big to be able to work on gunpowder alone, not from the barrel it's shot from).

This makes it a community decision of whether we get the crossbows or not, I'd say.




And lastly, the hard part: is it a good idea?

Alan raises the point about swords being cooler quite well (although I think differently), but the more important one is the tension of the fight. Indeed, battling from afar would reduce that by quite a lot.

My current plot line that I can see as a possibility for these things would be:

-Mitsuo invents them on his own;
-He gives them for testing to Cora's mercs (obviously, the first prototypes ain't perfect and it improves with time)
-The guys end up managing to use them after the type of inhuman training Cora is making them do
-Whether or not the military adopts that as well will be a debate for a different time

Part of the reason is that it makes more sense for mercenaries to use a weapon like this, because soldiers do have some honour and some form of a 'way of the blade' in their 3DMG swords. Mercenaries, on the other hand, simply care for the most effective, safest way of getting the job done.




This will be up to the community; if I see you guys agreeing to it, it's a go. Otherwise, not so much.

Awaiting input.
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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Alan Katlewande on 29/4/2017, 13:12

I dig the idea of 'some' people using the crossbow, while not all. It takes years for even objectively better gear to be mass-produced and adapted by a militant body. It would make it even easier to justify as to why only certain people have access/knowledge of how to use such a weapon.

As for realism - Meh. In all honesty, the AoT universe, while remaining generally realistic in a lot of regards, does have some flops here and there. I don't mind exaggerating the effects of gunpowder in this fictional universe if the end result is cooler Razz

So yea. I'm in favor of the creation and usage of such weapons, as long as it is this sort of unknown, generally uncommonly used thing. It could definitely spice things up.
Of course, at the same time I feel like it will need to be at a different time relative to the train project thing. Too many inventions and revolutions at once could get a little overwhelming, no?
Regardless, it's a cool idea, and it'll be interesting to see if/how it is implemented.

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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 29/4/2017, 15:09

I'm down for making Mitsuo blow himself up in the creation process for these weapons!

I must admit, I agree with Alan. Literally, couldn't have said it better.
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Re: Crazy Ideas Part II

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