In today’s modern military, massive things are generally frowned upon. They’re simply too big of a target.

Oh! You have a big tank that could easily beat my tanks?apply enter image description here

Apply aircraft.enter image description here

Oh God! Oh no! You have a big bad battleship with guns that can pierce my armor like a knife through butter?enter image description here

Spam Aircraft hAHaenter image description here

The point of all this is, big targets are bad no matter how good at its job it is. Better to have many targets that you could throw at the enemy over and over.

Here’s the thing, I have humans but they’re incredibly advanced. Sufficiently so, that they’ve survived the end of the universe and moved on to another one. They came upon a planet where they’ve discovered magic exists. Not being sure on the capabilities of this magic; they just start advancing technology like crazy.

Starting from the medieval era, they’ve been developing technology both military and civilian. For now, they seem to be at the late WW2 to the early Cold War era. They have total air superiority and even control the major bodies of water.

Now, since everyone is so far behind on technology would it a waste for them to build the super weapons? Things such as the P1000 Ratte, the H45 Battleship and the unnamed 500-ton Japanese Flying Boat.

Reasons to build such things in a world where even a small frigate can control a large amount of coastline? A world with magic may have hidden powers that are overwhelmingly strong, better safe than sorry I guess.

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    $\begingroup$ Your humans are incredibly advanced yet only have WW2 technology? They have 'survived the end of the universe' yet are 'so behind on technology'? I would put forth that any humans that have managed to defeat Entropy can manage to build an ancient WW2 battleship or two. For nostalgic purposes perhaps. $\endgroup$
    – flox
    Mar 28, 2020 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ @flox It takes a bit of time to redevelop technology and to collect the necessary resources. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2020 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ its still ride or controlled by human right? not droid ? are the human infinite or breed alot or the moral high and wont mind to charge and die like stalin method ? what about economy ? if some of this is not fulfilled i think it will end up pyrrhic victory sooner or later. as for why build bigger, it just for show off or intimidation like Marvin has say. though i agree with you that today many realize that speed matter more in war especially for warship, i dont know about tank though. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Mar 28, 2020 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ I think you missed an important plot point. "They came upon a planet" - so this incredibly advanced civilization sets up a colony on a planet, and then this colony suffers a technological collapse? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 30, 2020 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander more like after eons of traveling through space they somehow managed to crash land on an inhabited planet. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2020 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


Probably yes.

Provided that (a) they indigenous people's magical capabilities are incapable of destroying your weapons, and (b) the colonists are a united people, then by all means yes. As you pointed out, the main problem with these weapons is that they are glass cannons; they are "capable of going through armor like a knife through butter", but they have trouble when you start spamming aircraft/infantry.

However, this magical world doesn't have spammable aircraft. As a result, there is no restriction on building these. In fact, these would be the perfect weapon for your world. You see, on a basic level all massive weapons are fleets-in-being. Their designers have been told to

"Make it evil... Make it totally clear that this has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with."

  • Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

In order to fulfill these instructions, fleets-in-being have to be monolithically huge. To use another example from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a bomb the size, shape and color of a cricket ball is never going to scare anybody, even if everybody knows it can destroy the universe.


Almost certainly not.

While the technological disparity with insurgencies is not to this degree, the resource disparity is similar. What did the US Army want when they were at war in Iraq? They didn't want more M1 tanks, even though they were essentially immune to RPGs and all but the most powerful IEDs, they started producing MRAPs that were cheaper to operate and could be in as many places as possible.

When you're against a weaker enemy, you don't need overwhelming power in a single location, you need dispersed power in as many locations as possible. What you're talking about here is not dissimilar to the problem in the US military of Fobbits(a combination of hobbit and Forward Operating Base, for those people who never leave their bases and thus accomplish little).

Even if the magic does weird things, how do you know that it doesn't affect something heavier more? Or maybe putting all of your eggs in one basket makes it easier for all of the wizards to gang up on your tiny handful of powerful units. Frankly what you need in that case isn't overwhelming military force but better intelligence gathering, so that you can come up with counters to their magic. Which is also the case in fighting insurgencies in reality, something fortress units naturally make worse.


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