I remember hearing in a discussion about modern geopolitics and military strategy how modern terrorist groups for a Western liberal democracy. The technological advantage most modern militaries have over terrorist groups (who are often civilians or from poorer countries, or both) is completely nullified because terrorists don't fight face-to-face battles. Additionally, there is no clear path to victory, there is no singular leader of a nation-state that can be toppled for the war to end and the terrorists don't fight like a conventional military, eschewing uniforms and hiding among civilians. Globalization and widespread mass media makes it a lot easier for terrorists to spread an atmosphere of terror, because news travels a lot more widely than in the past. And because most Western countries have lines they are reluctant to cross due to either humanitarian concerns or sanctions from other nations, they can't employ the brutal tactics that ancient empires used to handle armed guerilla resistance (which was mostly either lock down the province through military rule or if all else failed just kill everyone until the attacks stopped).

That got me thinking. From a fictional perspective, wouldn't an uprising by a group of organized werewolves be even worse than an IRL terrorist group, because the same factors that make terrorist groups so effective against modern militaries are also present in werewolves but on steroids.

  • The main danger from werewolves is that they could strike anywhere with very little warning and overwhelming force before anyone arrives, and then retreat before organized retaliation comes. Basic asymmetric warfare you see in any terrorist or resistance group. And unlike IRL terrorists, who usually have the same handicaps soldiers have in being slow bipeds with little ability to see in the dark, werewolves have a huge advantage in mobility, night vision, and senses (hearing, smell) in wolf form, which means they can more easily single out targets or attack in conditions humans couldn't. E.g., you can't spot an incoming werewolf by looking for their flashlight.
  • Werewolves could be anyone. Much like how modern militaries struggle with terrorist groups because the terrorists spend most of their time hiding among civilians, werewolves spend most of their time blending in with the local people. It's even worse than IRL terrorists because it would be hard to link a wolf to their human form. About the only way you could easily identify them is if the werewolves follow the old rule that injuries in wolf form carry over to human form.
  • Werewolves can bypass a lot of the retaliation from humans. Werewolf packs are basically akin to man-eating tigers but organized. Man-eating tigers will win when they attack an unsuspecting human nine times out of ten. But usually what happens is the humans create a hunting party, hunt it down, and kill it. By contrast, werewolves can avoid hunting parties by blending in with the populace, but if the military tries to flush them out by instituting military curfew the werewolves can just go run off into the wilderness and eat deer until the heat dies down. They would basically form one of those survivalist communes which are notoriously difficult to track down.
  • The werewolves can abuse the socio-political situation to their advantage. I can see two major ways this could happen:

1. The werewolves could organize their uprising to incite harsh military retaliation on the civilian populace. Because the military can't easily identify the werewolves, the easiest thing to do would be impose harsh martial law so nobody can slip around unnoticed, and that might get harsher as werewolf attacks get more brazen. Avoiding targeting civilian targets could sway the locals to be more sympathetic to the werewolves than the occupying military force. Eventually the civilians might get so fed up with the military they revolt against them, their line of thought being "at least the werewolves don't oppress us". Overall it would be a planned campaign to turn public opinion against military action due to war weariness and harsh actions, akin to what the North Vietnamese did to win in Vietnam. Either that or an outright false flag operation to get people at each other's throats by making them believe the other group are werewolves.
2. They can frame the narrative to put them in a good light, framing it as a marginalized people being brutally oppressed by the local government to win support from people outside the war zone. Whether or not the setting is one where the werewolves genuinely are an oppressed people seeking public support for their plight or if they are monsters with a fake sob story trying to manipulate humanity doesn't matter, what matters is that in the present society this would most likely work as long as the werewolves don't blow it.

EDIT: @user535733's answer highlighted that I wasn't really clear about the werewolves' overall methodology, so I thought I should clarify it. I wasn't really thinking of the precise strategy in order to avoid making the question story based, but I was more thinking of a situation where you have left-hand versus right-hand shenanigans where some werewolf groups want a peaceful resolution to the conflict by exploiting war weariness (but decidedly not engaging in terrorism) and others want a violent solution by force of arms. The only thing the groups can agree on is they want some kind of territorial sovereignty. Pretty much like every revolutionary movement throughout history.

However, I can see the werewolves having some weaknesses.

  • The werewolves can't really hold territory. Doing so would negate their entire advantages over the human military, in that the military can't pin them down in one place to wipe them out. I'm reminded of what a historian once said about the Battle of Little Bighorn, where even though the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho won territory against the U.S. cavalry, they couldn't hold it because they lacked the industrial base necessary to equip soldiers to where they could contest territory on even ground. Which basically meant they were forced to rely on asymmetrical warfare.
  • I'm probably missing some more weaknesses, but for the sake of the argument lets say these werewolves aren't restricted to transforming on the full moon. This has become a common enough depiction in fiction, and if werewolves could only transform on the full moon it would mean they would pretty much not fight any different than a human army (and in fact would be weaker because they would be more predictable).
  • Silver wouldn't be too much of an issue for the military, once the military found out that werewolves are hurt by silver it wouldn't take long for them to start equipping their soldiers with silver-tipped bullets. In my setting silver isn't an insta-kill for werewolves (though at the same time they can still be killed with regular firearms, it's just harder), but it shouldn't affect the question that much since eventually everyone would be wielding silver weaponry.

So given this, how would a modern military deal with an organized uprising from a group of werewolves? By this, I don't mean a small group of a dozen or so individuals like a single werewolf pack, but a more organized group composed of many packs in the high hundreds to low thousands, if not more, banding together and trying establish themselves as the sovereign power in control over somewhere like the Pacific Northwest or Rocky Mountain West of the U.S. or Canada, where they could really abuse the terrain to their advantage.

EDIT: @Mary suggested that I should update this question giving more detail as to the werewolves' goals, as that will affect how the werewolves' act and how the military responds. I would say the goals of the werewolves are the same as any other group who engages in asymmetric warfare: expelling the occupying/nominally ruling powers from their borders and having other nation-states recognize their territorial claims. They basically want to topple the local government and set up a werewolf-ruled state in…wherever this is set. The general plot idea was you had a bunch of werewolf packs get together in the Rocky Mountain west and go "Why are we in hiding from humans? Why don't we just set up our own nation where we're in charge if we have this supernatural power?"

To be clear, this is not intended to be a story-driven question. This is more a question of how the military would try to combat such a situation given current technology and tactics, not what the plot requires. I realize however the military does respond will be influenced heavily by the situation on the ground and the disposition of the commanders on both sides, but this is the case for any history or warfare-related question on this stack.

  • $\begingroup$ All I have to add is this: youtube.com/watch?v=8SlWegS2sS0 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithMorrison I was severely tempted to put a link to the famous climax of Dog Soldiers in my question but I figured that would be seen as too cheeky. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 8:09
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ But seriously, I suspect the end result of (quasi-realistic) werewolves starting what will be seen as a terrorist movement against humans will be humans being the cause of werewolf extinction. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 8:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think you need to put that in because it will definitely affect both strategy and tactics. $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is old, but I must comment. You don't end wars by "toppling the leader of the other side". In fact, you should take great pains to avoid killing him. He's the guy that must sign the peace treaty where he surrenders according to your terms. You might get away with killing him, if his nation has a strong system for succession, but even strong systems can fail during the stress of a war (that in this case they're losing). I don't understand how this isn't painfully obvious to everyone over the age of 8. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 15:39

11 Answers 11


A lot depends on what exactly the WWs (werewolves) do, and the capabilities of the military. user535733 had a good answer, but that was if the military is competent, and can beat the WWs via intelligence operations.

So a lot of people are talking about what they could do, and how things could go well... but I don't see anyone talking about what they WOULD do, and how things seem more likely to go.

I won't be specific about any country, since none was given.

Organized Chaos

If the WWs are more like a collection of sleeper cells, communicating by open radio or the like to the lines of, "RAAAAWR!" ... then it is a lot harder to deal with brutal unintelligence.

It also depends on how many there are, and worse, if they can start infecting people. If they could spread lycanthropy, and get others to go on rampages, then even if it's just a few people with knives killing 30 and wounding 150 people, that's going to have an impact. If they're resistant to gunfire and have knives for claws, that's going to increase the casualties perhaps exponentially (yes, I was referring to a real incident with those numbers).

What you would want to do, if there's a bunch of bloodthirsty WWs about, would be arm the populace. Realistically, they would enforce weapons bans, which will make it easier for the WWs to kill their prey.

Half Measures

Another case from the same country... there were problems with street kids attacking people at night, particularly around campus. Very brutal gangs.... One thing they tried was setting up checkpoints around the area. The guards manning the points died, sometimes.

One day, they decided to storm the neighbourhood with an army of cops in riot gear, and try to arrest suspected felons. And... it was a slaughter. As the OP said, dangerous people hidden amongst civilians is a bad mix. So many officers left the scene a bleeding mess, as it was just too easy to ambush them, and too hard to handle a large population of civilians with violent people mixed in.

And those were just poor teenagers.... Even if they have no powers without their transformation, if they have the aggression associated with werewolves, and some of the predatory sense of a wolf, I would expect worse.

Desperate to Appease

Let's remember that, unless things get REALLY bad, people won't generally resort to martial law. Thus, the talk of what the army would do jumps to the conclusion it would get to that point, and the nation would not have capitulated sooner. If the WWs are smart, it won't get to that point.

It wouldn't take that much to get many places to agree to demands, once bodies started falling for a specific cause. Some countries would be much, much harder targets... but many are not. There'd be hardliners, for sure, but you could always target their leaders and target the groups likely to break and demand concessions for WW kind.

Moreover, if the leaders of these WWs are smart, they can just make "reasonable" demands, like a camel's nose under the tent. Once they give in to one demand, increase it, then add on another, then find some grievance to add on three more... until you're in such a strong position that you can make yet more demands.

And if they don't care about the people, it isn't that hard to assassinate officials. And if they don't care about the people... well, what's to say you can't spin it so that this or that politician advanced peace in the world by agreeing to your demands? Everyone who appeased Hitler got a pat on the back for saving the world, at the time.

But what's probably the most obvious result of WWs: Witchunts

Mass suspicion of everyone, and probably deciding your political opponents are ruled by WWs. Especially if there are rumours they can spread their disease.

This could be both civilian lynchings, general distrust, or police arresting anyone they suspect of lycanthropy, possibly to fill an overzealous quota. You might see incidents like Vietnam, where civilians are shot and declared WWs after the fact, so the army can feel like it's winning.

But then, things could go wrong for the WWs, too.

Of course, we have little reason to assume WWs are immune from stupidity. Infighting is the biggest concern, and something that would be exploited (perhaps ineptly). A bunch of aggressive, likely disunited packs and psychopathic individuals hardly makes for a cohesive political party. They might be able to stick together until the enemy is defeated, or maybe they'd get overconfident and start fighting over who gets what after they win?

Second is if the WWs have too much aggression and not enough predatory sense. Predators go for weak targets, maximizing they K:D ratio, since that's how carnivores survive, preying on the sick and weak. But a maniac prefers to go in guns blazing and die gloriously. The latter can be good, for a terrorist organization... but only if they are successful maniacs, who get some results when they throw their lives away. Far better would be true predators, who are relatable to kidnappers and serial killers.

Lastly... what about morale? Do the WWs really feel dedicated to the cause? Or are they just here for fun, and are likely to flake out? If there was some inciting incident to get them dedicated, it might work, but otherwise it's likely hard to get such strong personalities to decide to put their nose to the grindstone and work for years at a revolution. If they're not, then the leaders will be desperate for results, and that's likely to result in overambitious and failed plans.

As for what's best to do

Maybe give the WWs a reasonable deal, which will satisfy a portion of their ranks, then drive a wedge between the faction willing to settle and the ones unwilling to settle. You can also use harsh penalties for WWs that don't settle, to make it carrot and stick.

The police already use silver bullets, as its common in HP round designs to use a little silver. Depending on how much you need, that might be enough.

Send out fake prey, then ambush the WWs that take the bait. On the subject, you may want to crack down on ALL crime very harshly, and coerce cooperation against the WW threat, so that the criminal underground can't act as cover.

Work on a lunar calendar. Seriously, if you know the WWs work on lunar basis, then you can work in shifts, being the most prepared during full moons, and that will make a big difference. It's a lot worse if they can attack at any time, as that stress all your people trying to guard everything all the time.

The methods mentioned by the others can of course be used in conjunction with this. Hope it was helpful.

  • $\begingroup$ but armed the populace also can make the werewolves easily gain weapon too and they are tougher than human, regarding targeting the leader i can imagine they can do the same, since they can blend in. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 2:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LiJun There were issues with hand grenades in Japan and Sweden. Paris was attacked with assault rifles not long ago. A country with no illegal guns would be a country without any illegal drugs, since if you can smuggle one you can smuggle the other, and criminals and terrorists will do just that. As it is, I already pointed out knives are enough to kill 30 and wound 150, and there's no way to band those (especially since they have claws). $\endgroup$
    – Johnny
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 0:26

Here's one way.

Werewolves that claim to be a suffering minority get sympathy and support. But that's not the case here. The OP's description suggests that these are rampaging, murderous thugs bent upon carving out their own state (and perhaps chasing the normals out of it, except as food).

So these werewolves seem to have given up on the idea of popular support. Instead, the popular consensus will be to use military force to wipe out the terrorizing rebels (not terrorists -- there's a difference).

The police can identify rebel werewolves using normal informants (there will be plenty) and investigation: Money movement, explosive taggants, routine questioning, etc.

Once the military has a subject to follow, they can perform ordinary target surveillance. It can be drone-based, sensor-based, camera-based, informant-based, etc. This is much easier when the local population doesn't want the rebels nearby and fears their random predations. It means the rebels spend most of their time together outside of town.

When the surveillance target has unintentionally shown the army all of their meeting places, other subjects to follow, and other leads, then it's time to ambush groups as they meet.

Secluded meetings out of town can be conveniently napalmed from the air. No need to form a cordon...let drones follow any survivors until they expire or reach their fellows. Then you have a new set of targets for surveillance.

Secret meetings in town buildings are perfect for listening to additional intelligence data. Poison regularly-used town sites with persistent chemical agents, or set off a chemical grenade during their meeting.

For defense against random werewolf marauding, most armies are simply too small and too expensive to be everywhere. Arm and train the anti-werewolf population in basic team defense and basic hand-to-muzzle combat using silver-edged weapons. The army itself should protect vulnerable institutional targets (schools, police stations, hospitals) of werewolf predations. Let symbolic targets be destroyed -- that will merely fuel more public anger against the rebels.

The state's political response is vital: Werewolves must enjoy full rights as citizens and must not be persecuted. They are fighting a rebellion, not engaging in genocide.

  • $\begingroup$ I was more thinking of different werewolf revolutionary factions with differing believes on the degree of violence necessary than all the werewolves being thugs, but otherwise all your points still stand. I clarified the question a bit given what you said. Nevertheless your answer is still great when it comes to the more violent factions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ as OP mention they can shapeshift and claim false charge or innocent ppl though, and who know if the informant is correct (assuming this informant is also werewolves, otherwise i cant think how they can get close to get the information, if iam the werewolves i will only get contact with fellow werewolves), and end up attacking innocent ppl instead, that can end badly. besides they can blend as civilian make them can see the tactical maneuver of the civilian self defense, that make them can sabotage or counter it with their own way, not considering they get free weapon. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ @LiJun if either side is so tremendously incompetent or corrupt as to not confirm the accuracy of their information before attacking, nor to confirm the identity of the person providing their intelligence data, then they are certain to lose anyway. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 4:12

regarding a way to detect a werewolves, i think the police or military can use dog to sniff them out, either from the werewolves fur or clothes left behind or they have certain smell by itself.

or they can use blood test, or DNA test, or bone check up to civilian to check are they human or not (guard by the military of course).

outside of that, assuming there is any symptom or allergies to the werewolves from silver contact, i think they can provide silver implant or using silver syringe or injection, or provide ring, bracelet, earring, etc to civilian (if it can react from surface skin contact) or making silver piercing as fashion boom, to detect werewolves base on the symptom.


A werewolf terrorist would only differ from other terrorists in being less vulnerable to certain weapons. They would use the same types of attack - IEDs, car bombs etc. However, they might also be able to make 'suicide bomb' or vehicle crash attacks without dying, depending on your interpretation.

Much depends on how werewolves differ from humans and how this can be detected. if it's as simple as niffing them out with dogs, then if - and it's a big IF - every werewolf is a terrorism suspect, they will not last long.

They would be vulnerable to the same sort of counter-insurgency tactics as other groups, which will be intelligence-led and aim to separate them from support in the wider community. What do other people think of them? Do they have any supporters? What groups could be recruited into anti-werewolf militias? Also, what factions or divisions do they have that could be exploited? What terms are they seeking and what is the government position?

Also key is whether lycanthropy can be cured, and whether it is (seen as) a curse from god or something 'natural'.


Knowing the Why and what:

Critical to understanding how to fight them is to understand why they are fighting, what they hope to accomplish, and if there are special vulnerabilities to them.

Why are they being terrorists?: What is motivating your WW's to do what they are doing? Are werewolves persecuted?

  • If they are so perfectly able to blend in with society, how is is even possible to persecute them? There would need to be a test or a tell, because otherwise how would you know who was one. If all werewolves are tracked and in a database, they are subject to the same tracking any oppressive government can use on people. They are still the same "humans" they were before. If there is a test to determine if someone is a WW, then it can be screened for.
  • Are WW's compelled somehow magically to be part of the movement? If so, they can be treated as an inhuman threat and the society can justify ANY means of rooting them out. If not, then they are an insular (functionally racial) group and can be infiltrated like any other - only it's open to new members (you could even make your agents WWs to infiltrate the enemy).

What do they hope to accomplish?:

  • Are the WWs hoping to normalize their relationship with humans? If so, terror will be counterproductive. The inhuman nature of WWs means that they will always be viewed as an external threat, and the infectious nature of them means that threat is perpetual until they are wiped out. Convincing humans they are evil won't get them to their goal. Do they want to assimilate all humans? If so (and even if it's not really), it becomes a survival issue, and the WWs will NOT be able to blend in, as the humans around them will be fearful and constantly vigilant (there will be no safe haven except among WWs because all humans will be monitoring for signs). People WILL spot them if everyone is looking for even subtle signs.

  • Territorial claims would be extremely hard to create as the WWs have no territory to start with. There is no accepted region, and everyone in the claimed region is native to the region and thus unwilling to leave. It would be no different than the Israelis and Palestinians - you would have a perpetual war, backed by outside forces. If you assimilate the locals (by making them WWs), you have just established the anti-human genocidal nature of WWs and they new WWs will either become their own insurgent group (supported by the government you usurped) or you will provoke a genocidal response up to and including a nuclear one (to prevent destruction of the human race).

  • In a non-dictatorial society, there would be many alternatives to a secessionist movement for WWs. All WWs advocating for a separate state and not actively opposing one would be assumed to be supporting secession. Any resulting WW territory would be dependent on human civilization for products, services and trade.

Fighting: This is where it becomes critical to know if they are terrorists who happen to be WWs, or WW terrorists.

  • For WWs who happen to be terrorists, I would say the goal is to Fight WWs with WWs. In this scenario, WWs are not united in identity, and WW patriots are willing to stand up for their country. Hopefully WW troops can spot WWs, fight harder in small numbers like WWs, and require more extraordinary means to be killed, and use better means to fight WWs. WW troops will be better equipped to fight WWs since fighting super-troops will benefit from the technological and industrial resources of a government. Silver weapons will be custom and expensive, and otherwise you'll need to bring lots of firepower to bear, which favors governments with resources. Since in this scenario the WWs are part of society, then the military will deal with them like any other terrorists.

  • For WW terrorists, where WWs are separate from society, propaganda becomes powerful. The WWs are trying to set up a situation where they are clearly understood to be separate from humanity. First, give them what they "want" - place all WWs in concentration camps (preferably in abandoned places with no resources and few witnesses to atrocities). Enact laws against infecting humans with lycanthropy. It would be easy to mark WWs as cruel, savage, inhuman monsters bent on the destruction of the entire human race (regardless of actual goals). People are endlessly clever, and you can mobilize the populous against WWs. Look how willing people were to persecute anyone smacking of Muslim, and they were fully human and generally peaceful. I think in this scenario, the WWs would FAIL to blend into society, as there would be constant vigilance against them. There really aren't THAT many good places for a whole culture of WWs to hide out. Within 3 months of a sustained campaign of WW atrocities, there would not be a wolf, coyote or wild dog to be found - they would be exterminated, and the environmentalists would be applauding the government for preserving them in zoos. Universal testing for WW antigens would follow within 6 months, and cities would have gates and walls in no time as people would believe their very survival as a species would be threatened by WW assimilation. Everyone would go everywhere with shotguns loaded with silver-plate slugs. People would EMBRACE travel bans, and strangers would be arrested on sight with the approval of the ACLU (as better than the alternative of mass lynching). Survivalist communes would "come in from the cold" and likely join the fight. The wilderness would be emptied of humans, except for endless patrols of troops with kill-on-sight orders. After all, everyone would be the enemy, and diseased, and (presumed) genocidal murderer terrorists.

On the plus side, nothing would bring humans together like a common, openly evil enemy. On the negative, if I were a government who wanted to enslave humanity (while having them thank me for the privilege) I can't think of something better than to present them with an invisible, insidious enemy that you can never prove to be eliminated.


Fight this on an ideological level, convincing them that winning isn't worthwhile

You are correct that an insurgency has a massive asymmetric-warfare advantage over a modern military. However, an insurgency that seeks to carve out a state for itself especially faces a daunting challenge in this day and age: what if we win? Controlling territory through violence is one thing, but being able to provide a modern degree of taxpayer services to the citizens (whether human or werewolf) of your new state takes a significant amount of apparatus and bureaucracy.

So, I'd basically treat this as an ideological conflict, and focus heavily on delivering propaganda to the werewolves, especially if you can infiltrate their internal communications. Most of it would consist of a primary message that "winning this fight isn't worth your time, because you'll just be setting yourselves up to fail by trying to run a country without the personnel and knowledge needed to run a country." The aim would be to basically demoralize them and strip them of their desire to secede; that, along with fair treatment for those who accept not running the show on their own, would probably be sufficient to nip this in the bud.


There are great answers here already: intelligence-led counter insurgency tactics. The military isn't worried about winning a battle with the warewolves because it always has bigger weapons than their teeth and claws. The political issue is about cutting off their support and finding them in order to defeat them.

If there is some method the military could use to detect warewolves definitively (by testing their reaction to silver, sniffer dogs, DNA swabs, bottled full-moon-light.. etc) then this would be easy: remember terrorists are impossible to detect because they're fundamentally (pun intended) people.

So what a military would do (in support of the political aim):

  • Protect yourself. Reinforce and defend critical areas and likely warewolf targets. This is done by bodyguarding people, hardening buildings/towns with walls, fences and checkpoints, and patrolling roads or areas.
  • Find the warewolves. This is the big bit. Using intelligence, informants, technical methods (look at their cellphone records!). Put spies and moles into their organisation. Buy, threaten or turn a warewolf to act as an insider. Roll-out checkpoints, and patrols in the areas they're likely to be (like in Northern Ireland during the Troubles). If you have a definitive test, perfect, if not, then you do a full biometric dragnet and get them as soon as they leave saliva on a victim.
  • Isolate the warewolves. once found, you need to separate them from the normals who aren't a threat, and keep them apart. This may be physical (they're the only ones on that isolated farm/in that car) or it may be by addressing the support network that they have in place (making it illegal to sell dog-food without a license, or to house a warewolf that's not registered with the police)
  • Finish it. Now you're in a position to throw a political bone and negotiate with the ones who can be convinced to wear a collar, or if they're irreconcilable extremists, then it's time for, ahem, the final trip to the vets and a silver injection, using a mortar round if necessary...
  • $\begingroup$ Great, but the werewolves could test the spies and moles so they would discover that they are moles because they can't turn into wolves and kill the spies and moles. $\endgroup$
    – Leviathan
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ That assumes the warewolves have no 'norm' associates at all, in which case the isolation is already completed; or that it is not possible to 'turn' a warewolf into to a traitor... $\endgroup$
    – zactionman
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ Werewolves. Not warewolves. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 3:45

You are thinking about this totally wrong.

You are thinking about this like there are two factions that have a defined conflict, and will get together and play a game of chess to decide who wins, except the "chess" is especially violent and bloody.

That's not how anything works.

Your "modern military" is an arm of a political state. The state has some visions of how they want the world to be. The usual taxonomy says they have four "levers of power" to make the world be that way: Diplomacy, Information, Military, Economic (DIME). Whether that state even chooses to use military force is itself a big question: if nothing else the state has to contend with other states. Assuming they do exercise some military option, what capabilities they apply and how they apply those capabilities is going to be highly specific to the actual circumstance. "Modern military" might mean a cruise missile on top of Werewolf HQ; it might mean Green Berets training counter-insurgents; it might mean a full-fledged invasion. Which of these options are on the table is thoroughly a political question.

Your werewolves need to think even more about this. If "uprising" just means a random acts of terror, that's a criminal law-enforcement issue. Maybe you have military assistance, maybe not. The bigger issue is probably intelligence to shut them down early.

Assuming you really mean uprising though, what do your werewolves want? If they just want to live their lives alone in East Nowhere, that's a PR fight, not a military one. The modern military can win so hard their government collapses (see: France + Algeria et al.). If they want full citizenship and rights, that's not a military issue at all. If they want to conquer an area, that's still very doable with clever management of other levers and good focus on objectives (see: North Vietnam; Communist China).

If the werewolves are just going to smash the modern military with their faces, they will lose.

Overall, from the little you've said, you're probably looking at Algeria as your closest analogy. Read David Galula and Savage War of Peace.

  • $\begingroup$ The idea was the werewolves want to set up a werewolf-ruled state, but want to do so by carving out a chunk of US or Canada and forcing the government to acknowledge their claims by brute force and/or turning enough of the population into werewolves (propagandizing that "its an us or them situation and the humans now sees you as "them"). The government can't let this stand because it makes them look weak and the Rockies are important for military, travel, and commerce reasons. Less Algeria and more like if Alsace-Lorraine tried becoming independent, if that helps. (1/2) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ TBH the goal is fairly unrealistic, but these are a bunch of werewolf ideologues and supremacy zealots and their goal is to have their own private fiefdom where they can rule over humans, and they want to take a take a bite out of a developed country for that to happen. It's not that different from some of the worst flavors of secession movements, but secession movements (usually) can't forcibly convert people or can travel/be seriously armed using their physical abilities rather than relying on technology produced by an industrialized state. (2/2) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 16:02

First off let's establish what werewolves are according to the original lore. Werewolves are split into 3 categories:

  1. humans that are cursed to turn into wolves under certain conditions
  2. humans that turn into wolves by wearing a magical artifact
  3. sorcerers that turn into wolves at will

Now the first two categories can be turned back into human by speaking their name 3 times. Also despite werewolves being stronger than regular humans and having some regenerative properties in some cases generally according to lore they can be killed just as normal humans or wolves depending the form they have at the time. to prevent the body to return to life burning it doing a sermon to forgive the sins of the spirit or decapitation with the separation of head from body were all proposed solutions. If they are from the third category things get trickier. Sorcerers generally have a number of tricks to avoid death from transformations to moving their soul somewhere else to being unable to be killed as long as a certain personal item is not destroyed. Generally with persistence and a bit of research even those can be eliminated. Also the only cases of groups of werewolves come from american indians and generally they can be killed pretty easy once their totems are destroyed. So to answer the question with a little bit of intel they can be killed as any other human group.


They'd Lose the Greatest Advantage of Terrorists

They can't hide amongst the civilians. Terrorists can hide amongst the civilians because there are nothing fundamentally different between them and civilians. But werewolves are not humans. They are werewolves. It feels like you are trying to make your werewolves be all perk and no drawbacks, like a race of Mary Sues. They can transform into wolves but can't be detected? Nonsense.

You can bet that within a few years, we'll have methods of detecting and tracking down werewolves.


An addendum to the previous point, but are werewolves a genetic thing? If so, they are pretty easy to track. Find one, and you find a whole line of them.

Goal-oriented Terrorism is Nonsense

Terrorism is terrible for completing goals. It pretty much has never completed any goals, and no one is going to listen to the dreams of a bunch of murderers.

Normal Ways of Detecting Terrorism Works

Just because they are werewolves doesn't make them somehow better at terrorism. Most of the "terrorists" are going to be dumbasses who leave their homemade bomb in the middle of their yard, for everyone to see.

Werewolves Can't Just Run Off to the Wilderness

We'll just kill every weird wolf-thing in the jungle with our guns.

Werewolves Can't Frame Themselves as Victims

They are werewolves. They'd be lucky if there aren't institutionalized witch-hunts against them. One case of their killing some poor child and people would be swarming to crucify them in their yards.

They'd Lose Their Even More Important Most Important Advantage

They'd have no sympathy from civilians and can't recruit amongst civilians. Once again, they are werewolves. Human civilians won't emphasize with these terrorists because humans aren't werewolves. They also can't join them because the former aren't werewolves.

A Cure for Werewolvism!

If being a werewolf is transmitted, then people are going to be looking into a cure. Soon, there will be a vaccine, and the disease responsible will be eliminated.

A Short Reminder on Human Rights

In reality, human rights and constitutional protection are more of a guideline. They can be stretched or temporarily nullified in times of emergency. There are often work-arounds as well. Not to mention, the US pretty much makes a practice of violating the right of privacy anyway.

Besides, is a werewolf a person? Women weren't considered persons just a hundred years ago. What makes a (hu)man?

Frame Challenge: Werewolves Won't Try for a Violent Uprising.

At most, they'd peacefully sue for native tribal status. Most probably won't even do that. Why would a minority of a thousand people, well off in a good country, try to establish their own country violently? Do they all have a problem with taxes? With some laws? Are they somehow discriminated against, despite people having no way to identifying them?

How do they identify each other anyways? Any way they use can be used by humans. How do they set up an efficient communication system to even consider an uprising? Do they go on werewolves.org to meet with other werewolves and discuss their terrorism plan?

  • $\begingroup$ I kinda agree, satellite imagery, thermal cameras, and drone tracking makes matching a werewolf to their human form a lot easier than it ever was. plus they can just start randomly poling people with silver, or even dosing military people to keep werewolves out a few low dose colloidal silver is harmless to humans, very bad for your werewolves. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 23:42

I mean... if werewolves are such a threat, why not... just join them? Werewolves aren't a threat to other werewolves by default. I remember 🧠 this as an obvious problem with Innistrad, as there is no reason for any race to object to every human turning into werewolves, and it is infinitely better than what they actually do. Though, Innistrad is just one giant fractal plothole that has no plot.

The most obvious response is to just use diplomacy.

As for weapons, just mass surveillance. That would take away advantages like not needing food and being able to move very quickly in wolf form.

As for directly attacking them, just use tanks. Werewolves are unlikely to be able to use them due to resources and being more beastly in werewolf form. Put some everywhere, and try and run them and their shelters over. Would at least get them on the run.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .