Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about fighting in it.

I'm not sure what the terrain of the Sahara is after getting blasted with hurricane-force winds for 2 million years, but assume that it's everything from "swamp covered in low, dense mats of vegetation" towards the outside of the hurricane to "shallow seas" towards the middle to "bare, smooth rock" around the core. The wind, of course, increases in intensity the closer you move to the center.

Now, before I get into the conditions involved, you should know that this is a very specific form of fighting.

There are four things of value in this perpetual hurricane, which has been hovering over what used to be the northern Sahara Desert for the past 2 million years.

1: alien artifacts of exceptional research value - enough to fight over, of course. These are not going to be found in areas where humans can access them on foot, because they already accessed them on foot, and they're gone. Their density picks up as one approaches the core of the hurricane.

2: the research facilities dedicated to researching the alien artifacts that are too large to be removed, all of which are evenly distributed throughout the hurricane.

3: armored wind power plants; as one might imagine, a perpetual hurricane represents a great source of easily-utilizable energy. These are situated more towards the outside of the hurricane.

4: the infrastructure to support (2) and (3), found wherever (2) and (3) are. Think "underground transportation networks".

I have personally written off air travel as impractical. If you think there's a way it can work, let me know.

Now, take into account the following conditions:

  • Flying vegetation, rock chunks, sand, etc. - if it can be blown, it's flying around in there, and statistically speaking it'll hit something eventually. Sure, most of it was stripped away during the first few thousand years of the hurricane, but occasionally the hurricane pulls some vegetation out of the swamp region, or desert winds funnel sand into the low-pressure region it occupies, or it chips off a chunk of rock, or someone looses a glove, etc.

  • Constant wind that ranges from "breeze" (outlying areas) up to 250 kilometers per hour (core). It always blows counterclockwise, if that's relevant.

  • Visibility that rapidly decreases the closer to the core you go.

  • 100% humidity, all the time, every time, unless you're in the outlying regions and not the hurricane itself.

  • High air temperature.

  • Potential tornados embedded in the hurricane.

  • Constant, constant, constant torrential rainfall; even the outlying swamps see rain on a daily basis.

  • Potentially very lumpy (if physically smooth) terrain towards the core where rock formations have been exposed.

Taking all of this into account, how do is military combat conducted in this region?

  • $\begingroup$ What is the tech level of the combatants? Are there any weapons that are politically off limits or that could damage the alien artifacts (eg nuclear weapons)? Is the priority to capture enemy assets or destroy them (or does the answer vary for different asset types)? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 Tech level is whatever you want it to be, although I'm pretty sure it would take modern technology - at least - to enter the deeper regions. The priority is always to capture enemy assets, because it's significantly cheaper than building your own. No, nukes are not off the table; this is a setting where, due to a complicated set of conditions, nuclear war is generally a limited affair. However, nobody wants to nuke a facility, because they're valuable due to how hard they are to build. $\endgroup$
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ I’d guess most of strategy would revolve on being upwind. Depending on the unpredictability of the wind, ranged weapons might be very unreliable too. $\endgroup$
    – tbrugere
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


In order to hit anything with a ranged weapon, you have to know the speed and direction of all the debris in the area (ie, arrays of doppler radar). Beam weapons are unlikely to be very effective due to dispersion, but might be useful at close range. Steerable projectiles will probably be required in order to achieve any accuracy.

Fast and cheap tunneling tech would be very useful. Depending on local geology, horizontal drilling of holes up to several tens of centimeters is possible with current tech, that could deliver weapons payloads capable of killing everyone in a building. You'll also need ground penetrating radar and seismographs.

Warfare under these conditions would progress very slowly. Lots of careful planning and investment required before you can engage the enemy. Even if there's an existing network of tunnels that you can use, the simplest defense against and attack is to collapse or fill the tunnels with concrete and industrial diamonds.

Tunneling in the current era is not stealthy. Several microphones and seismographs can easily detect any drilling activity within a few hundred kilometers. The vehicles required for surface travel can't move without creating small but easily detectable earth quakes or detectable anchor drilling activity.

The specified conditions are most amenable to peaceful resolution or military operations outside of the storm. Take over the enemies external supply routes and starve the occupants of the sites you want to take over.

Lots of spying/espionage!


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