Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-04-29 22:30:47
Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG often writes gameable material despite or perhaps because of his focus on architecture and urban planning, this is no exception. Feral Cities, Indirect Streets, and Soft Fortification http://www.bldgblog.com/2019/04/feral-cities-indirect-streets-and-soft-fortification/ How would you go about designing a feral city for a campaign?
Richard G @ 2019-04-30 01:40:49
bldgblog is one of the best gaming blogs. His piece on prison cities and escapes was gold. the conceptual end of architecture is most often a wanky word soup of misunderstood terms from other disciplines, like a particularly primitive Markov chain recombiner that keeps letting you know it doesn’t understand what it’s spewing out. But Manaugh manages to be both true to the disciplinary discussion and free-ranging and omnivorously curious. https://www.google.com/amp/www.bldgblog.com/2012/01/breaking-out-and-breaking-in/amp/
Roger Giner-Sorolla @ 2019-04-30 19:42:05
the feral city is best considered as resistance to the state as well as to the invader it may govern democratically ... conspire behind power as a mafia's den ... rise in open strife ... knuckle resentfully under garrisons and Hausmannesque boulevards ... or just be of no consequence, "forget it Jake" if it takes part in trade, opacity is involved -- illicit, corrupt, or at best depending on a net of go-betweens
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-04-30 19:50:37
@Richard G Agreed that bldgblog is one of the best gaming blogs. @Roger G-S, love the notion of the feral city being in resistance to the state and to the invader. Covertly or overtly, fiercely protective of its autonomy.
Paolo Greco @ 2019-05-11 09:59:23
I finished reading the post, it's super interesting, and I have thoughts: 1: a city in Arabia had by law streets where the line of sight had to be limited to a number of steps, to hinder perception and offense by the invader. 2: Napoleonic boulevards were done exactly for the opposite reason: to allow the army to penetrate deep into and break revolting cities. They are also incredibly nice to live in because they allow trees and sun and cafes with tables on wide sidewalks. Glasgow does not have them and it's sad. 3: the Swiss military doctrine, to this day, mandates road signs to be removed in case of war. Also, all bridges and tunnels are mined. Usually the engineer that designs anything has the second role of being the military engineer that design how to demolish it. Normally the explosives are not left in, but the structure is design and built with cavities for explosives around its critical parts. Switzerland is design to collapse its own infrastructure and redoubt itself as much as possible. Also, invading Switzerland would be foolish and nobody seriously attempted it: Napoleon cut off parts of it that were conquerable, and the last bit left are Basel, Geneve, and Ticino, all parts which can be construed as not entirely "Switzerland proper" geographically or culturally. 4: Bagdad was taken because the US Army surgically demolished parts of it and built a ridiculous amount of concrete barriers: you might be familiar with the New Jersey type used on streets, but have you heard of the Texas, Colorado, Alaska, and T-barrier? https://mwi.usma.edu/effective-weapon-modern-battlefield-concrete/ (yes that's the link to a West Point blog)
Paolo Greco @ 2019-05-11 10:02:04
5: a city built around a court system, like in Cairo, or anywhere in Lombardy older than 300 years, are also a nightmare to navigate. Those enclosed courtyards are all samey, full of balconies, and ways to going from one to the other often involve going through private houses and going up and down levels.
Paolo Greco @ 2019-05-11 10:07:54
6: the IDF has also been developing military practice that are useful to fight #5. That is, to fight on the ground in Gaza, tactically breaching walls without compromising structures too much. That is, it must stay up lest an Israeli soldier is crushed under it, but it's totally fine if the building collapses later killing several family of Palestinians. 7: while the conversation is now bleak as it can be, let's not forget the correlation between urbanization and number of civilian deaths in war.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-05-11 12:01:03
Amazing stuff, thanks @Paolo. I especially like the idea of cities built around court systems. I imagine there would be good spots where locals could ambush invaders.
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