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Author Topic: Armored Trains in a Cyberpunk Setting  (Read 361 times)

Lurkndog

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Armored Trains in a Cyberpunk Setting
« on: December 20, 2020, 10:26:57 AM »
I saw this amusing little Cyberpunk 2077 glitch video on 9Gag:

https://9gag.com/gag/a1WzjOG

Cute, but the design of the train car got me thinking: why in the world would you ever open a window on a train, particularly in cyberpunk-land?

If anything, I think the train cars would be rolling pillboxes, both to protect them against constant casual vandalism, and to protect against terrorist action from Antifa types targeting the commons.

You could also have different types of cars running on the same tracks: utilitarian bombed out subway cars, but also private luxury cars that would be tank on the outside, and Gucci on the inside. Ideally this kind of luxury train car would be a blacked-out armored exterior, maybe covered with teflon to prevent spray-painting. On the inside, you would have an ultra-opulent lounge area with comfy seats and maybe some plants, a tidy snack and coffee bar, and a forward compartment housing a squad of security troops that would take care of intruders and secure the train platform when the car is stopped. The lounge area would appear to have huge windows, but they would all be flat screens showing views from rugged cameras on the outside, which would be a solid slab of armor.

For extra evil points, the flat screens could airbrush out the slums on the fly.

spon

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Re: Armored Trains in a Cyberpunk Setting
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 08:25:46 AM »
I've always thought you're unlikely to find many trains in "urban combat" style cyberpunk settings. Everyone knows where the tracks are, and so they're really easy to blow up. If that's a part of the charm, then great - but it would mean that trains would be pretty rare and so full of valuable stuff (so more likely to get attacked), or decoys - so probably still likely to get attacked!

But they do lend themselves to Wild West or a "north West Frontier" feel. Which would be great - if a little "railroady" :-)

Lurkndog

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Re: Armored Trains in a Cyberpunk Setting
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 09:12:47 AM »
I've always thought you're unlikely to find many trains in "urban combat" style cyberpunk settings. Everyone knows where the tracks are, and so they're really easy to blow up. If that's a part of the charm, then great - but it would mean that trains would be pretty rare and so full of valuable stuff (so more likely to get attacked), or decoys - so probably still likely to get attacked!

But they do lend themselves to Wild West or a "north West Frontier" feel. Which would be great - if a little "railroady" :-)

Your point about the tracks being immobile targets is a good one. My thought is that their vulnerability could be reduced by several methods:
  • Run the train tracks inside an active security perimeter like the inside of an arcology, or a company town
  • Elevated train tracks so that they are out of reach
  • Underground train tracks
  • Just armor the shit out of the tracks
I do find the concept of an arcology to be somewhat dated, Count Zero famously took the heroes through the ruins of a failed domed city. I'm picturing the train running between a small number of hardened secure outposts scattered throughout the slums of the Sprawl. Which is basically Philadelphia in 2020.

HappyDaze

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Re: Armored Trains in a Cyberpunk Setting
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 02:30:53 PM »
I've always thought you're unlikely to find many trains in "urban combat" style cyberpunk settings. Everyone knows where the tracks are, and so they're really easy to blow up. If that's a part of the charm, then great - but it would mean that trains would be pretty rare and so full of valuable stuff (so more likely to get attacked), or decoys - so probably still likely to get attacked!

But they do lend themselves to Wild West or a "north West Frontier" feel. Which would be great - if a little "railroady" :-)

Your point about the tracks being immobile targets is a good one. My thought is that their vulnerability could be reduced by several methods:
  • Run the train tracks inside an active security perimeter like the inside of an arcology, or a company town
  • Elevated train tracks so that they are out of reach
  • Underground train tracks
  • Just armor the shit out of the tracks
I do find the concept of an arcology to be somewhat dated, Count Zero famously took the heroes through the ruins of a failed domed city. I'm picturing the train running between a small number of hardened secure outposts scattered throughout the slums of the Sprawl. Which is basically Philadelphia in 2020.
Something like Musk's hyperloop might make a good model for "rail" travel in Cyberpunk, especially if the tube is heavily reinforced/armored and possibly even buried.