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Headscratchers: Home Front
  • The Idiot Plot. North Korea pulling off a successful invasion of South Korea? Not going to happen, period. Even if South Korea wasn't capable of defending itself, the entire world would see a North Korea victory as a very, very bad thing. In short, North Korea would either end up utterly defeated, or nukes would be used on South Korea, effectively crippling any unified Korea into poverty, destitution, and cancer. Its capability to invade any other country would be so laughable it's not even funny. And the Korean EMP satellite? If only space programs were that easy—and that's not even counting countries where so much human talent is wasted, education is very poor except for the few chosen elite, and an air of You Have Failed Me stifles development. Oh, and apparently Canada and Europe think letting the world go to hell is not their problem whatsoever. Not like there was a world war in the past or anyth—
    • I'm going to try to address all of your points. As far as North Korea taking South Korea, that is probably the easiest. Just have China come out in support of North Korea with some propoganda about unification and no one going to mess with North Korea. To be blunt, this is not 1950. Governments are run by wimps that do not stand up to dictators at all. See Iran and and current responses to North Korean nuclear tests for examples. Basically, if North Korea managed to overrun South Korea quickly enough, few people are going to try to reverse it. If China vetoes a UN Security Council resolution against North Korea almost no one is going to act on their own. Only the US probably even has the ability but proably lacks the willpower judging by the fact that people are bothered by 5,000 dead in ten years whereas in WWII America had 400,000 dead in only four years. Beating back North Korea would seem like more trouble than it is worth. In 2012/2013, the memories of Iraq and the proably ongoing fight in Afghanistan make responding seem unlikely.
    • Concerning the ability to invade another country, their ability to reduce South Korea to rubble is rather easy. Invading other countries is not that hard either if you follow the WMG that China is bankrolling North Korea, leaving China's reputation untarnished and putting China in a very good position to be the ranking superpower. Aren't proxies wonderful? Why is it so hard to believe that the North Korean military could not be built up to be a much more high-tech force? You're confusing right now with what could happen ten to fifteen years later. For example, America went from having an army of 200,000 to a military composed of 10.5 million servicemen and women in only a few years. With some help from China and some R&D of captured South Korean and presumably U.S. equipment from the invasion of South Korea, upgrades are not impossible. Captured equipment from Japan (I think that was the next target) would also be helpful.
    • As for the EMP satelite, I'm pretty sure that, if they got no other help, that was a gift from China. I know I have basically used China as the reason for everything, but this one makes the most sense. It gives the PRC the perfect chance to test such a device and lets them avoid reprisals should the attack not work.
    • The last part, that Canada and Europe wouldn't let the world go to hell, is by far the least thought out thing you wrote. Of course they'd let the world go to hell. They do it all the time right now. the UK's army only has six divisions, of which only two are currently deployable. Canada almost doesn't have a military worth mentioning in terms of size. The rest of NATO isn't in much better shape. Almost none of them have any deployability worth mentioning, America being the only member with a large airlift force. Basically, there is little, short of the no-win option of nukes, that Canada or Europe is able to do. Again, I am not sure the willpower to fight against what by this point is a powerful modern military force is there. Most of the countries that fought in WWII may still exist, but their current populations sure couldn't have fought the same war, America included if not especially so.
      • Firstly, China wouldn't want the US gone—they're a major target for exports, and they import a lot of US tech as well. Second, South Korea would not loose quickly to North Korea unless it was nuked. If THAT happened, then you can BET the rest of the world will smite North Korea into oblivion (China would be very, very stupid to be connected to such an attack in any way). And China backing North Korea? In any amount that would make a difference, it would be extremely noticeable to foreign intelligence. And even assuming that South Korea is conquered quickly, NATO would jump in. THEN the EMP satellite...okay, no. Space programs are NOT easy to start and run. Progressing to launching ICBM's is something only two countries in the world have ever done, and only after they had a space race that culminated with LANDING ON THE MOON. And the rest of the world would know if China had such a technology, which means the use of it would strongly implicate China in an invasion of the US. Cue Rest of the World versus China. Also, North Korea can't keep its population out of famine, let alone run an empire. As for your belief that the world isn't willing to stand up against dictators anymore; did you forget about Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Kosovo, etc? The reason America grew tired of Iraq was because it dragged on for years and years when the entire rationale for invading in the first place turned out to be a lie...and it was a massive financial burden. It also diverted resources away from Afghanistan, where the real perpetrators of 9/11 were being fought. Lastly, any major nation's military is capable of being seriously bolstered in times of crisis. Just look at 1940 United States versus 1942 United States. Or 1938 Britain with 1940 Britain.
      • Ok, to start off, the main lie about the rationale for the Iraq invasion was that THERE WAS an overarching lie. Pretty much every single point rattled off in the justification was broadly proven to be true, and only *one* of them as per the UN ceasefire would have dejure legalized another war against Saddam. That, and Saddam's alliance with the "real perpetrators of 9/11" and countless other actions would have justified (in principle if not in actuality, where other concerns would have to be weighed) action agianst him. Naturally, the justifications for a war are more complicated than whether the schematics of a decades-old UN-backed agreement are violated, and the justifications for war were certainly stacked beyond what was reasonably concealable by the evidence and what turned out to be true, but the fact of the matter is that the population has broadly gotten sick of Iraq and even Afghanistan-which you posit as the just war- without an underlying fatal weakness in the stated moral justifications for it, which further highlights the question of whether the US would be willing to sustain a prolonged conventional war against a major military power with the potential backing of a superpower more or less in isolation. Also, you highly overestimate how much the Chinese would care about being implicated unofficially in the matter. Even if China has utterly imploded on itself to a far greater degree than we believe in the gap between RL and Homefront, it would at worst be a situation like the Warlord era of a bunch of semi-feudal commanders with enough firepower to make any open war intervention to simply prove a point highly costly for anybody save those committed to actually carving out Empire there (like the Japanese were). And as for the rationale that the Chinese would not want the US gone due to the economics issue, that's severely overestimating the good will the Chinese regime has for the West: to one degree or another, the Chinese have- and not always unjustly- viewed themselves as being the prime power on the world, and to some degree one of the great competitors for global primacy, and since they indisputably lost that position to the West pretty much every Chinese government regardless of ideology or way has sough to overturn this (some far less horrifically than others, natch, compare Mao to-say- Sun Yat Sen, who primarily sought to do so peacefully through what we'd call good old fashioned national competition), but the fact remains that the CCP isn't our friend *by choice*, and in the long run their ideology demands that they must supplant the West as the dominant world power or fall in the attempt. Both of these would combine to make the Chinese a button *nobody* would want to push just yet. If the West is fighting tooth and nail with their sock puppets the DPRK and have been kicked all the way the *NORTH AMERICA* by them, how the hell would bringing the *Chinese* into the war openly help them? If anything, having that happen prematurely might well spell the final doom of anybody that actually wants to beat Kim Jong Un and his masters. Which is why regardless of how much flow there is between the PRC and the GKR, nobody would care to intervene *Yet*, save perhaps by noting it and filing it away for future reference: for the same reason that when the Western Allies went to war against Nazi Germany in 1939, they *didn't* go to war with the USSR: they couldn't afford to fight both at once.
    • I thought that Korea was unified via diplomatic means. Kim Jong-un gets a Nobel Peace Prize for it. He could very well have used only diplomacy and threats of force to take control of all of SE Asia.
    • Keep in mind the world economy was a mess at the time, and there was a war raging between Iran and Saudi Arabia that resulted with a massive oil crisis. Kim Jong Un probably took advantage of the chaos, while the rest of the world tried to adjust to conditions that North Korea has been living with for five decades.
      • Second, there is an implication that China isn't doing too well either. Multiple world crises might have stalled their development, or even caused a period of disorder in China. What if North Korea took advantage of that and sent covert forces into China to grab any supplies and equipment they could to up their industrial capacity? Just to give one example, Dandong is almost literally a stone's throw away from North Korea and is a bustling city with %8 annual growth. KPA would not have to go far to get what they needed.
      • Perhaps, though the trailer map doesn't support this, and if history has come to show us *anything*, that might well sucker the North Koreans into something very much like the Second Sino-Japanese War, particularly given the bad racial blood between the two.
    • All of this discussion still doesn't take into account the fact that a)the whole world except North is going to hell despite the fact that logically they should be struggling just as much as everyone else b) South Korea just rolls over and "peacefully" merges with a nation that in real life they are constantly taking a harder line with and are super paranoid about c) Kim Jong-Un is impossibly skilled at wresting control over his own government away from his generals who will all most certainly try to maintain the status quo and would never concede to the types of changes he brings about d) Japan is pushed aside despite the fact that a more powerful (and possibly belligerent) North Korea is something out of their worst nightmares and if the U.S. pulls out of the East Asia region, Japan and other surrounding countries will almost certainly resort to militarism to protect themselves. e) the other major powers in East Asia, Russia and China, which quite frankly make more logical targets for Korean aggression than the the far away United States, are rarely if ever mentioned, and also seem to role over as North Korea seems to conquer East Asia despite that being their neighborhood and primary sphere of influence. f) THERE IS NO LOGICAL REASON FOR NORTH KOREA TO INVADE THE U.S., something that would be a strategic disaster for such a small nation, along with being improbable, unfeasible, and just down right unbelievable. They would gain nothing against a powerful and determined American defense, which they would undoubtedly meet. Not to mention America's sprawling geography gives it great lines of defense and would make any determined invasion the equivalent of invading Russia, except you have to cross an ocean first to get there. Even the Japanese Empire at its height is not that stupid. g) Europe and Canada do nothing to involve themselves in the war. That would be ILLOGIC Al. Canada is right next to America and under just as much threat as America. If Korea is willing to invade America, that puts Canada in the unenviable position of a despotic imperialist state being right at their doorstep and grabbing territory like a fat man grabs sandwiches. The European powers should at least support America, a constant ally. This would be chance to "pay the states back" for two world wars and would protect their own interest in the United States, a big real world trade partner. There is also the fact that FREAKING KOREA IS INVADING AMERICA, why the hell would they do nothing about that. h) This idea that an economic collapse would lead to isolationism in America is not necessarily a smart move either. Economic issues at home are not a recipe for isolationism, but military interventionism and adventurism. When you lack resources, like say, oil, you go looking for it. America banding together to invade Venezuela for oil supplies, force Canada into one-sided deals and involve itself in the South China Sea to secure oil wells there makes a hell of a lot more sense than becoming isolationist when you already lack oil for basic services. Its amazing that America is not more aggressively minded in this world.
      • By and large I agree, however for the sake of the argument I'll try and break down the points. A) This is one of those "Da Eff??" parts of the game's story, but it's worth noting that while North Korea is terminally dependent on a LOT, it is far less interconnected with the rest of the world than the average, meaning that if it could somehow get its' basic needs met, it might endure. Of course, meeting those basic needs would be trouble enough.... B) Correction: the GOVERNMENT and the older generations are taking the harder line. The younger generations of South Korea are actually increasingly Dovish and basically do not see North Korea as a problem or a threat by and large. Of course, I don't have to tell anyone here how monstrously stupid this is, but that doesn't change how that's how they roll. This doesn't explain the miraculous way Kim Jong Un is able to do it singlehandedly of course, but it helps show that South Korea isn't has vigilant as it should be. C) This point's been Undermined By Reality since that is more or less *exactly* what Kim Jong Un has spent the opening parts of his reign doing, and by all accounts he has managed to manhandle the generals putting up the sternest resistance to his rule. If anything, that bit of the game's plot can be taken as downright prophetic; it doesn't explain away the other Villain Sue parts, but that much is good to go. D: Agreed, that's another major problem with it. However, if I had to hazard a guess, while the Japanese certainly would re-militarize, they'd be far more internally divided due to the traditional post-war anti-militarism and are in the middle of a demographic implosion. Couple that with the fact that the North has far better intelligence on Japan in general- thanks to organizations like Chongryon- than on vice-versa. It'd still be a vastly harder fight worth looking into than its' treatment in the 'verse, but it's not entirely impossible to a God-Mode Sue-ized North Korea and the North Koreans would simply be the more numerous and more ruthless. E) Agreed; besides the fact that they have historically been aligned with Pyongyang and might not be the most obvious targets in the world because of that. In contrast, the US has been foursquare against the Kim Dynasty since it was born, and would certainly be regarded as a threat. F) Yes, you've got me there about it there, however, at the very least there would be considerable benefits to even an evacuated invasion in hopefully devastating the US home front and pre-empting retaliation for the forseeable future...at least in theory. In practice it almost certainly would be a disaster, but I don't even want to know how the North Koreans came up with their plan. They just *might* be hedging their bets on a strike on the US neutralizing their greatest adversary for the time it takes to consolidate the conquests. G) Agreed, no qualification. H) Which was why the US totally seized the opportunity to enter into war with Japan in 1937, and joined the Western Allies in 1939 from the onset, right? In reality, adventurism like that is just *one* strategy to cope with downturn like that, and history indicates that the US tends to turn inwards when its' in the midst of economic and resource troubles. Overall? I agree it's VERY much an Idiot Plot but someone has to play Devil's Advocate, particularly since individual parts hold up to scrutiny quite well.
    • Not to mention that the only reason why the DPRK still exists right now as a country and not as a mass grave is through international food aid... from countries like the United States and China. If the US were to come upon tough economic times, so would China (since our economies are inexorably linked, and the Chinese need us more than we need them). And once the DPRK's two largest food donors collapse, so does the country.
      • I would like to dispute that China needs the United States more than the US needs China. If the US economy suddenly collapsed China would be hit pretty hard but would still be capable of adjusting. With America giving up more and more of its manufacturing capability a reversed situation would result in a major shortage of manufactured products with countries such as India and Mexico eventually picking up the slack later on unless China pulls America and the rest of the world down with her.
      • If anything, I would say the opposite and your example gives as much. China's in a crippling demographic spiral down, is sort of hitting a wall with what the current system the regime has allowed can accomplish, and is getting undercut by some other rivals. You can't really grow as an economy or country in the long term when your demographics are getting crippled; while the US is tottering under a massive amount of debt that can at least be serviced with competent management (which is not a foregone conclusion, granted...). If anything, it's likely that those countries like India and Mexico picking up the slack would cut into the ability of the Chinese market to be competitive on an international scale.
  • Okay, so Connor pulls a Heroic Sacrifice by pulling a flare, running into the enemies and telling the Air Force to shoot there. Fine, that's cool. Here's a thought, why not pull the flare, and then say "Hey, don't shoot the flare, shoot north of it!"? Seems like a Senseless Sacrifice to me.
    • Well, "shooting north of the flare" isn't all that specific. They know where Connor is. They just don't know how to tell friendlies from hostiles. The thing that most people object to is why doesn't Connor just throw the flare and say "bomb there", though that solution can also be shot down if Connor can't throw that far (or if the enemy is numerous enough that simply throwing to the front of the convoys is not going to stop them.
  • So it's been two years since the invasion, and the GKR occupies everything west of the Mississippi. Yet there are still US armed forces in North California that only lacks a supply of jet fuel to begin a counter-offensive, plus we are told that five destroyers have managed to break the blockade of San Diego. How could they possibly hold out for so long while cut off?
    • Fluff indicates the Korean occupation isn't total, as shown by the survivalists managing to have a nice large chunk of land to call their own with little Korean involvement. It wouldn't be surprising if the Koreans only managed to hold onto the major cities, while both militia and actual American military forces still control much of the non-urban areas, much like what occurs in most actual historic occupations.
  • Hoo boy, where to begin? I'm less than two hours into this game and already the Idiot Plot is grating on me so badly it's difficult to continue playing. So as not to stretch this out into a page-long rant, let's limit it to the beginning - the very start of the very first mission. Specifically, the resistance's plan to rescue you, which involves ramming the bus you are on at high speed with another vehicle. The impact sends the vehicle flying and kills literally everyone else on board - indeed, it seems as though the only reason you survive is because you're the protagonist; you land head-first, which would have broken your neck in real life. There is really no way the plan could have possibly gone well; what if you had been killed like everyone else? What if the only person to survive was one of the other people on the bus? Literally their entire massive plan would have been utterly ruined at the outset, solely because they're apparently incapable of understanding the concept that being inside a vehicle as it is wrecked tends to be dangerous. It would have been far safer to just attack the bus on foot while it was stationary - they end up having to fight their way through what seems to be the entire Korean army anyway, so it's not like it would have made much of a difference. Hell, they might not have inadvertently killed a half-dozen innocent civilians, either, which is exactly what they did with their original plan.
    • There were only two civilians on there, and I think the crash was basically to show that the Resistance isn't exactly made up of White Knights. Rhianna also lampshades the fact that the protagonist is still alive after the crash, and it seems like it was Connor who got the idea of ramming the bus with a car, and considering how Connor is a Hot-Blooded Sociopathic Hero, it's not surprising.
      • Three civilians, who apparently don't count as Americans when Rhianna is later whinging about "not signing up to kill Americans" even though she was in the truck with Connor when he killed two Americans.
      • Rhianna still kills the Crazy Survivalists anyways. We don't really see the planning stages, but it's assumed that she voiced objections to the ramming plan as well before being shown that it's the only way, and she decided to do what she had to do.
      • Rianna's first words to Jacobs are "Glad to see Connor's 'plan' worked" or something to that effect. She definitely voices disdain and skepticism about the strategy. And it's fully possible that ramming the bus wasn't the original plan and Connor just decided to do it.
      • Given how Connor thinks, the fact that there was a good chance of killing the pilots was probably an upside to him. Better to kill them then to have them fall into the wrong hands etc. That one survived was lucky.
    • Another question is how on earth they even knew Jacobs - whom they apparently were looking at specifically because he was a pilot with combat experience and they knew where he was - was going to be on that bus. If they were watching Jacobs's apartment so they could contact him, how did they a) get a vehicle suitable for ramming a freaking bus off the road and b) get ahead of said bus despite not necessarily knowing what route it would take?
  • Jacobs was a pilot in the Marine Corps but can't pickup magazines from an M4 to use with an M 16 A 4, and vice versa.
    • He's a pilot, not infantry. And it's pretty clear that Jacobs hasn't been with the army in a while.
      • The Marines emphasize marksmanship, the motto being that "every Marine is a rifleman first". He would have been trained, and had to qualify annually, with an M 16 A 4 unless he's old enough to have served before then (in which he case he would have used an M 16 A 2 which is almost the exact same rifle). He should have at least a passing familiarity with the M4 and should know that the magazines used by the M4 and the M16 are the exact same magazines. Even looking at the guns should tell him that.
      • Hell, he doesn't have to be a pilot. It's enough for him to have a bit of common knowledge or to read T Vtropes or play ego shooters. And you'd expect somebody who's able to mow down hundreds of trained enemy soldiers with ease to know such facts.
    • He's kinda done being in the corps. Hence why he's living in an occupied city. So perhaps his shooting skills are rusty, and since he has no access to the internet due to the EMP, he's not entirely sure if M4 mags fit into an M 16 A 4 and vice versa, simply because he forgot.
      • That doesn't really fly. It's not that M4 mags fit in M16s. It's that they are, literally, the exact same magazine using the exact same ammunition. And as a Marine, presumably in the 2020s or post-2011, unless he's older than we're led to believe, he would have been very familiar with the M 16 A 4 and would have - at the absolute least - a passing familiarity with the M4.
      • I think you have it backwards. The M 16 A 4 is being phased out of the Marine Corps in favor of the M4 so he may have had very little experience with the M16. He's also spending most of his time around guns being shot at for the first time in a while, so he might be panicking and just not thinking clearly.
      • The M 16 A 4 and the M4 use the exact same magazine, and NATO standardized around STANAG for a reason. Just chalk it up to Critical Research Failure.
      • It doesn't have to be a critical research failure, it's a gameplay conceit. The only reason he can't do this is so that every weapon has its own, unique ammo supply. Many shooters do this so that you're constantly swapping weapons, never just sticking with one weapon the whole time and Homefront is no different. That's the simplest reason that this was done. Call it Gameplayand Story Segregation or whatever else you like but it was very clearly done on purpose to anyone who knows anything about FPS game design.
    • Maybe he tried it off-camera, but Connor yelled at him for not using the right clips or something. Connor's nuts, maybe he has everyone scared.
  • Heres a logistical puzzler for you, where the hell are the North Koreans even getting an army big enough to invade the US, let alone take as much territory as they have? A 2011 estimate puts their population at 24,554,000, current estimates put their military at 1.21 million. I can maybe see that taking South Korea (and even if its an allegedly peaceful reunification, given the habits of the North Korean soldiers in the game and their government's real world treatment of actual North Korean citizens I find it unlikely that a peaceful reunification would last very long before South Koreans who prefer not starving start rebelling, thus necessitating a "peace keeping force"). South Korea has a population of 50,004,441 more than double that of the North. The north is going to need a hell of a lot of soldiers to "pacify" that many people, many of which likely didn't want them their in the first place, especially the South Korean military which had 650,000 troops as of 2011. Now personally I think that such a reunification of the Koreas would go about as well as the an invasion of Afghanistan, especially once North Korea got down to the whole death camp business, but for the sake of argument lets say everything goes really smoothly for them to set them up for the invasion of Japan. Japan has a population of 126,659,683. Again, this is at least semi plausible provided you've been drinking heavily enough to ignore all factors other than man power. Ok so I can buy the reunification of South Korea, and the conquest of Japan on a long enough timeline, my question then is where the hell did they get enough troops to take half the US? Even if they significantly bolstered their army through conscription and brainwashing the people they conquered into joining, that still should be enough for them to barely have enough soldiers to take Oregon before they have assign an a single platoon to each individual state to commit atrocities and make america a workers paradise or whatever they're goal is besides strangling as many puppies as possible.
    • There's a pretty cool timeline here that explains some of the logistics of how the Korean unification under Kim Jong-Un would happen: http://homefront.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline. Most of it is similar to the rise of Hitler; that is, redirecting peoples' anger from focusing on the North to focusing on the US while also appealing to the pretty strong Korean sense of nationalism. As for the occupation of Japan, presumably most of the lower government infrastructure (law enforcement, public services) would be kept intact, so you wouldn't really need a massive army as long as you had control of the top (of course, running death camps would be pretty difficult, especially when they would appear to be targeted at the entire ethnic group of Japan instead of a hated minority like the Jews). As for the invasion of the US, assuming that the member states of the GKR magically don't mind contributing, say, 5% of their combined population to the military (North Korea at its height had about 6.1% of its population in its military), that would yield a total of 59,001,936 GKR armed forces members. I don't know about the logistics of equipping, training, supplying, and feeding that many soldiers, but in terms of raw manpower, that would be enough to occupy the urban centers of the downtrodden and demoralized West-and-Midwest US.
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