My name is Kyoko Nakashima. I was a high school student in Osaka, Japan. I was involved in an accident which reincarnated me to this world. When I regained consciousness, I was told that I was in a country called Ameris (nothing to do with America) on the continent of Seureas. There are many countries, ranging from kingdoms, republics and democracies. However, they can all be grouped into three factions: the Metallurgists, the Alchemists and the Scholars.

The Metallurgists are known as the most skillful with metal and their buildings and fortifications are both tall and strong, able to withstand a full day's worth of artillery bombardment with only a dent on the armor side. There are several nations on the Metallurgists faction, but the biggest and strongest nation is the Kingdom of Ameris. They are military-centric, meritocracy-based nation where they separate their people as citizens and commoners. I will not get into details on their differences but enough to say that citizens protect the kingdom and its people while commoners are those who drive the economy. Ameris's strength lies in its Automatons, which is an exoskeleton capable of inflicting massive damage by use of hydraulics to exponentially increase the wearer's strength and agility. Automatons are only available to certain units, however.

The Alchemists have advanced knowledge in chemistry, biology and herbalism. Their cities are beautiful, incorporating both nature and modern life. They have been at odds with the Metallurgists for the Alchemists' unethical experiments on animals and humans in order to evolve humans to the next step of evolution. The most powerful of the Alchemists (though not the biggest) is the Arcology of Alreal, a semi-despotic nation where only the smartest are invited to lead and the rest are allowed to do whatever the hell they want. Their strength lies in their Chimeras, powerful, big and durable creatures made through some kind of genetic engineering. The biggest I've seen was as big as the Kremlin. Even the smallest one, about the size of a freight container needed 10 Automatons fighting together to bring it down.

The Scholars are a peculiarity. You see, there is no dominant nation among them. There is one big nation, with autonomous states that can be called on to provide military might in times of war. They have no real advantage, except for the fact that they can see the future. Oh, they also have a fleet of airships that they can deploy to drop bombs on their enemies. In the past, Metallurgists and Alchemists could only flee when they see this fleet overhead. In this war, we already lost two cities from this aerial bombardment.

As it stands, I'm on the Metallurgists' side. Well it's not like I have much of a choice, since I'm married to one. No, I don't want to talk about it. It pisses me off. Anyway, now I need to find out how to defeat or turn them back. A quick review of what we have:

1) Smokeless gunpowder
2) Ability to refine and forge titanium, but titanium is low in supply
3) Knowledge of how gun (WW1 type rifles) work and how to produce them, this includes cannons (pre WW1 types)
4) Knowledge of rifling for gun production
5) Soldiers skilled in the use of gunspears
6) Strong military tradition and very good army morale
7) Strong men and tough women, both genders have equal rights in the military

Now, all three nations are in a state of three way war. Ameris and our allies, being the only faction without a seemingly-magical advantage is being pushed further into our own lands. I proposed to the military think tank to design an armor-piercing bullet to bring down the large Chimeras, but it has yet to produce results. Sure, the bullets did pierce their thick hide, but not deep enough to cause serious damage. I wanted to propose the invention of aeroplanes or rockets to bring down the airships, but how would I turn their backward steam engine into internal combustion engine or design a rocket that will fly straight instead of everywhere but the target?

But the calculations! I'm just a high school student. Up until a year ago, I was eating ice cream with my friends after kendo practice. Now I'm supposed to be an aviation expert and weapons designer among people who haven't even invented the dynamite?

So now, after much deliberation, I have decided to ask a random world how I would be able to push back the Alchemists and the Scholars. At this rate, the Metallurgists would be pushed to the western seas, how can we push them back? You don't have to be confined to the idea of aeroplanes or rockets. There must be many other ways to push them back.

Oh, you're asking how I can send you this message? That's my husband's doing. That a****** was the one who summoned me here in the first place. He thought he was inventing teleportation, that idiot.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question....but it's a little bit hard to understand, as there is a lot of irrelevant detail. You might get better chances of getting a good answer if you edit your question down to size. See meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/363/2072 for more info. $\endgroup$
    – Shokhet
    Nov 25, 2014 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ Is it the one with the title "When to use in-universe point of view?" If so, that was based on one of my questions. There was a complain that I left behind details that could be used to answer the question more effectively, so I gave all the questions I have in this one. I'll try to shave it off a little. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, yes it is :) .... I didn't realize that was your question ....too little information is bad, but too much confuses the issue....for example, in this question, the information about the character and where she came from is completely unecessary. $\endgroup$
    – Shokhet
    Nov 25, 2014 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ Can you expand on the limitations of the scholar's ability to see the future? Unlimited ability to see the future quickly becomes an indomitable power so it must have a limitation. If there are no limits to their power, than the solution must involve supporting the Scholars in whatever their end goals may be, because it will be utterly impossible to do otherwise. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Nov 25, 2014 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know a little bit about their ability to see the future. It seems like they cannot use it to predict catastrophes and it's not foolproof. Metallurgist generals have time and time again foiled their plans. The main characteristics of their ability to see the future is: they are able to predict an attack, predict what will happen when they are attacking, and able to recall or send soldiers so that they catch us in a pincer attack. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 6:04

6 Answers 6


Organized structure should be your saving grace. The ability to create ingenious social and physical structures is the shining capability of any highly technology oriented race, and it sounds like the metallurgists are by far the most technology-centric in their approach to the world. Always target your strengths. As an added bonus, that means you are stronger when you finally do defeat them!

vs. Alchemists

The power of organic life is its ability to remain resilient in the face of great force. However, it tends to adapt far more to how to avoid losing anything rather than learning how to do well after losing something. Consider how much you spend making sure your leg stays on, as opposed to how much thought evolution seems to have given you for how to live after your leg has been blown clean off.

If you are technology focused, the idea of sacrificial hardware is natural and intuitive. I would concentrate on sending powerful devices on suicide missions. Rocketry is an excellent example, and something the Alchemists would never do with their Chimeras.

Concentrate on all or nothing attacks. A suicidal dropship full of a few dozen automatons which manage to effect a small crack in the Alchemist's social structure before being demolished is endlessly more effective than those same dozen automatons could do in straight on battles against resiliant, healing, massive Chimeras. I'd also assume growing a Chimera to full grown is FAR more time consuming than whipping up a few dozen Automatons.

These attacks are only effective if you have an army structure that is organized enough to continue functioning as you continuously throw parts of it to the vicious Alchemist army. Note that modern hierarchical military structure is very effective at functioning even after massive losses.

Strike like a hot knife, trade armies readily, organize around knowing you will lose huge parts of your armed forces.

vs. Scholars

The scholars will be a tricky group. The ability to see the future is an insanely powerful feature. However, the mere fact that you find an opportunity to bother them suggests they have limits in this ability. Your entire job in this war needs to be identifying those limits.

One potential limitation is the ability to see past cusp events where a discrete "yes" or "no" is the result of highly unpredictable forces. As a student, you should be familiar with Schrodinger's Cat, and the unpredictability of quantum mechanics. Well, I highly doubt the Metallurgists are ready for QM, but it might be possible to find the Scholar's limitations by using highly chaotic structures, like weather patterns or just a jointed-pendulum. If they have issues with highly unpredictable forces, these chaotic sources of random information would be key to preventing them from developing an advantage.

The best way to defeat the scholars with this weakness is to be as unpredictable and apparently random as possible, in hopes that that will negatively affect their ability to see the future. Build your army's battle plans around random things like the weather or oracle bones. Make sure as many events are as unpredictable and stochastic as possible. Consider trying to develop mechanical computers to make this easy.

If they're not being confused by this random behavior, maybe they can see the true future, but with limited duration. Concentrate on battle plans which are entirely built around progressively larger blocks of time, where the way the block plays out is far less important than the fact that you achieve your final outcome. Eventually you should realize that you are winning more than you used to, which is a suggestion that you have found the limits in their ability to predict the future. At this point, begin playing out your warfare strategies like a Chess game, with discrete moves, each move larger than their ability to see the future.

Fortunately for you, the metallurgists should be more than comfortable with the highly discrete army divisions and strict orders needed to maintain functioning armies in the presence of randomness. The scholar's structure is not as rigorous, so it will be slow to adapt compared to your whirling unpredictable beast of an army.

Strike like the wind, never predictable. Never fight within their ability to see the future, always seek to fight around it.


If they don't seem to have any limitations, your next step should be seeking an audience with the Metallurgist leadership to talk about surrender and supplication to the Scholars. Unlimited ability to see the future is far too powerful to fight against, even with technology of the future. It's not worth even considering a fight, and you should only consider actions which make the Scholars happy. Consider asking them if they'd like you to fight the Alchemists for a while. Or maybe befriend a deity or two, or a supreme being, and ask them kindly to remove the Scholars, because the ability to see the future is truly a deity-worthy ability.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, it is true that the metallurgists are more technology-centric than the others and our armies are much more disciplined compared to the mercenaries of the Alchemists and the conscripts of the Scholars. The problem with rockets and dropships is that such technology is unknown in this world and I will have to invent them from scratch. We don't even know how the Scholar's airships work, all attempts to steal one failed. But your suggestion does have merit. I wonder if I can make it work with what we currently have. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am aware of the Schrodinger's Cat idea. I read it from manga, so it may not be entirely correct. But that idea does have merit. I'm just afraid that we'll be throwing too many of our soldiers lives before we find the weakness, though. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 12:43

A 21st Century High Schooler would have many significant advantages in a Steam Punk society...

Electricity - They have seen it and know some of what it can do. It would be fun to watch them work with this world's hydraulic engineers to build a simple generator. Any kid whose taken physics could probably sketch out the basics of a generator.

Flame Throwers, Hot Air Balloons, Mustard Gas - same as electricity... A 21st century high schooler with a passion for history would know a lot about these things. While we are talking history, think of how much military strategy the average high schooler has had to learn. Those automatons probably compare pretty favorably to a world war II tank. Anybody for a blitzkrieg!

In the realms of diplomacy, the high schooler would again be well armed. Maybe they are a Star Trek fan with lots of experience finding peaceful solutions. Maybe they watched Babylon 5 instead, making them a little more ruthless and cunning in the use of power. Maybe they like Anime... Those automatons could act like Mechs, throwing nets and sharp objects at flying enemies.

As for fighting the Scholars, that's no challenge at all. They can only see the future. The high schooler grew up in the future!

Just thought of one more advantage you could give your high schooler... Imagine if their school backpack came along with them to the new world. TextBooks and a pocket calculator that can do ballistic trajectories! Of course only your high schooler would know how to read the language that the books are written in, but that just ensures their job security.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the series of highly unlikely maybes. It is a great reminder that, when thrown into war, we use absolutely everything at our disposal, no matter how absurdly insignificant it seemed before! $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Nov 25, 2014 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yes indeed, I do know about electrical generators, but only enough to know how it functions, not how to build one. I suppose this is where I have to work with the Metallurgist engineers. It is true that the automatons are highly mobile and very durable, similar to a world war 2 tank. I wonder how blitzkrieg will work with legs instead of tracks. Sorry to say, I was reincarnated without a stitch of clothing on me. So I don't have any books or electronics, not even my mobile phone. The horror! $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 12:35

I'm going to focus on the Scholars as they are the really unique proposition. Fighting people who can see the future is hard, but as mentioned in other answers the key is to find the limits to their predictive power.

Can they only see a certain time ahead? Can they only see predictable events? Can they only read intent? Can they only cover a limited area?

For example if they can only read intent then send strike teams into their cities. The strike teams would have step by step instructions written down and after following one set of instructions open up the next. If need be have a tree structure in the planning but the key thing is to make sure they don't know their true target until it is too late for foreknowledge to help that target.

When precognition is limited to a certain area then control that area and use it like fog of war. Perform important steps inside the fog of war and only reveal them when it is too late to prevent.

When it is limited to certain time then plan for the long term and in the short term just use reactive protocols to try and keep up while you rely on better long term strategic planning.

Their precognition may not deal well with randomness. Make major military decisions on the roll of a dice and they will never know in advance what day you will attack. (Naturally smaller scale tactical decisions should still be made sensibly, but things like deciding the exact day or hour of attack, or which building to sleep your leaders in, etc could all be decided on the roll of a dice).

  • $\begingroup$ From the reports I've seen, their ability to see the future is limited by time. This time limitation varies. In some cases, they can see as far as a week. In some cases, only a couple of days, in other cases, only a few hours in advance. We do not know why this varies, we only know that whenever the Scholars predict the future, they shut themselves inside an observatory in their most prestigious academy. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ This precognition doesn't seem to be limited to a certain area, but they can't predict what happens in areas they have not previously mapped. That is why compared to the Alchemists, their progress into our land is slow. It is our only respite from their strange power. That is also how Metallurgist generals are able to foil their plans. It seems that in places they have no knowledge of, they simply charge blindly or become defensive. Metallurgist generals have used this opportunity to guide them to little known areas, but then they'd send the airships if they found out we stay clumped together. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ This suggests that in mapping the area they are somehow either taking readings or leaving something that allows them to make the predictions. If you can identify what that is then changing it would throw out their predictions. Also bomb the academy. Lots. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Nov 25, 2014 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ Oh trust me, we do want to bomb the academy. If possible we want to bomb it until it becomes a crater. Unfortunately it's far behind enemy lines (TT.TT) $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ If they lock themselves inside of a central location, how hard would it be to drop a couple normal soldiers (not mech suits) inside the dome? Or consolidate all your spies to acquire entrance into the dome? I would also recommend research into sniper development, all biological fighting machines need sensory organs, target those with a good ol 50 cal and you disable the main force. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2015 at 16:40

You sure drew the short end of the stick. Your selling point was your walls, but if they can be flown over and your city bombed... It's pretty hard to beat future-sight as well. I suppose when you sick a chimera the size of the Kremlin on a city it doesn't matter if you saw it coming. Unfortunately your side doesn't have anything that can eat tanks for breakfast. You had the right idea with going for aeroplanes, the sky is the only real way you can catch up. At the very least you could then fire your anti-tank rounds from on high. Maybe then gravity could make up the difference in penetration for the chimeras. First and foremost though, I would send spies to the Scholars and see if you can determine the extent of their sight. After you've determined the extent of their powers I would have the spies fly back to your capitol to hasten advancements with their captured tech. You could also start collecting Magnesium. If you can scrounge enough up you can forge a pipe with holes in it, after being set on fire it would burn through most anything. But do be careful! Titanium can be set on fire quite easily by burning Magnesium, and is very hard to put out!

  • $\begingroup$ Hmmmm... I put "Hello Kyoko," at the top of my answer. It deleted it and won't let me edit it back in. Is this a feature? $\endgroup$
    – Black
    Nov 25, 2014 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ I put greetings too, it was erased. I think there's a minimum limit to a sentence. Anyway, the spy idea might work. We have sent spies before, of course, but it was mostly to spy on their armies and steal information. We have not tried to determine their the extent of their future sight through spying. Also how would this titanium pipe with magnesium inside work? Do you have a reference for me? Of course we do have magnesium as they use a cruder method of Kroll process, so collecting it is not a problem. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I wasn't suggesting you mix the two. Far from it! I was suggesting you keep them far apart! A bar of solid magnesium with proper ventilation (the holes) would burn through pretty much anything since its only a couple hundred degrees cooler than a sunspot. It's explosive when it contacts water though so be careful when you stab those chimeras. P.S. I think the AI on our planet no longer allows friendly greetings. I'll start gathering my own magnesium now... $\endgroup$
    – Black
    Nov 25, 2014 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ Greetings at the start of posts are automatically removed by Stack Overflow in an attempt to reduce "chattiness". $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Nov 25, 2014 at 12:15

It sounds to me like you have the makings of an absolutely devastating defensive line

You already have disciplined infantry, excellent walls, and the best firepower in the world - with what sounds like a polearm built-in, if I'm interpreting 'gunspear' correctly. That should be enough to make your lines unbreakable to conventional infantry/cavalry... you just have to worry about the Chimeras and airships.

New equipment:

Your number one priority should be developing your firepower. If you have developed sealed rifle cartridges, then you have the basic techniques needed to produce an explosive cannon shell. Make the 'cartridge' bigger, replace the bullet with an impact trigger on the nose (you should be able to repurpose the percussion caps from your rifle bullets), and launch it from a cannon. The Alchemists' Chimeras might be tough, but even they should feel a direct hit from a shell. You might also want to look into shrapnel and/or incendiaries - I guarantee that nothing will shrug off a phosporus strike (and magnesium will probably be effective as well, since you said you have access to that). Depending on how disciplined the genetic engineering makes the Chimeras, incendiaries might prove particularly useful here - it was a classic response to war elephants in our world, and often sent them rampaging through their own sides lines in a blind panic.

Secondly, look into bringing your cannon technology up to the standards of your rifles. It sounds like your metallurgy is easily good enough to produce rifled artillery - look into that. It's the enemy heavy units that you need to fear, and cannon are the tool for countering them. This is also an excellent place for using the technology from your Automatons to make cannon mounts. Aim for simple-but-effective: you want something that will allow your gun crews to quickly and accurately aim the cannon, and that you can build in quantity. Hydraulics would be ideal, but consider going back to screw- or gear-based mechanisms if they would be easier to manufacture.

Machine guns are another option to look into, but I'd suggest making them a secondary objective. If you've got well-trained troops, even just bolt-action rifles can put out withering firepower. During the first World War in our world, Germans encountering the British Lee-Enfield rifle reported in horror that every enemy soldier had a machinegun. You want to duplicate that performance. If you don't have one already, develop a top-quality infantry rifle ASAP, and then get it into the hands of all your troops and have them start training.

If possible, develop anti-air cannon. How you go about thisw will depend on what the Scholars' airships look like, and what your engineers think is most feasible - all I can do is offer some suggestions on starting points.

I assume 'airships' means lighter-than-air craft - if they're hydrogen-filled, your job gets a lot easier, since hydrogen burns very easily. You need some way to put a piece of burning material (magnesium would be great) into the body of the airship. One option is a heavy-calibre rifle - something mid-way between an infantry rifle and a cannon. Your infantry rifles should be fast-firing and accurate; if you can scale one up enough to give it the range to hit an airship and build a mount for it, then all you need is an incendiary bullet. Otherwise, look into time-fused shrapnel shells or really big shotguns.

If they're hot-air based, then incendiaries won't be nearly as effective. Fortuntely, hot-air isn't really that practical for Zeppelin-type airships, so you're probably facing fairly simple balloons. In this case, you're looking to rip holes in the side of the air pocket. Chain shot is your friend here - load the cannon with two or three iron balls connected by lengths of chain or cable. (This would also work against a hydrogen-based ship, of course, but incendiaries are probably easier.)

If you're really unlucky and the Scholars have heavier-than-air planes, then you're going to have to fall back on filling the air with large numbers of bits of metal. Shrapnel shells (flack) is the traditional method in our world, but machine-guns would also potentially be worth considering (this is the exception to making them a secondary objective as advised above).

Your best offensive weapon is your Automatons. As I noted above, you have the potential for a devastating defense... but defense doesn't win wars on its own. You need something that will let you attack, as well.

Consider a new Automaton version, armed with heavy fire-power. You'll want to experiment here, since there are a number of ways you could do this. Possible firepower types: explosive/incendiary shells (see the cannon suggestions above); volley fire (canister shot or a volley gun); or sustained, rapid fire (the heavy bolt-action mentioned for anti-air use, or a machine-gun). If you do go down this route, think about moving away from the 'exoskeleton' design and copying our world's tanks - you'll probably find that they're just as effective as a mobile gun platform and easier to build.

Alternately, you might find that staying with the close-combat build works. Either way, the key here is to have a heavy, mobile assault unit that you can use as the spearhead of an attack.

One wild possibility here is to try an Automaton designed around defense, not attack. The goal here would be to have something that it is virtually impossible for the enemy to actually damage - think six inches or a foot of the strongest armour plating you can build. If you design the joints carefully and build it as squat and durable as possible, you might be able to produce something that even the biggest Chimeras would struggle to hurt (if only because they can't get a proper purchase on it - a bit like a human trying to break a really short stick). At that point, all the pilot has to do is climb down its throat and start punching holes in the squishy bits inside.

Put at least some energy into looking into rocket design. Producing a rocket that will fly straight is actually really simple, even if it's not necessarily easy. Essentially, it's a question of consistency. The outside surface needs to be smooth and even - no bumps, no rough patches, etc. The whole thing needs to be balanced - this means the frame needs to be even, the fuel and explosive needs to be evenly packed, and so on. You need guidance fins that are smooth, flat, and aligned perfectly straight. Finally - and potententially most difficult - the fuel you use to propel it needs to burn smoothly and consistently.

If you have the ability to do all that - make a design and build large numbers of rockets, all exactly the same - then you'll have another deadly fire-power increase on your hands. They might be useful for anti-air cover, as you suggested - although in our world anti-air missiles didn't really come into their own until we introduced guidance systems - but I'd actually consider them to be more useful for ground combat.

A dozen or so good-quality rockets in a box launcher, set up for either ripple- or volley-fire, will probably be the single most destructive one-shot attack in your world (the only thing I can think of that might compete is a heavy bomb from one of the Scholars' airships). It'll take quite a long time to reload, and ammunition will be heavy and bulky, but for that one-off, kill-it-NOW alpha strike there's nothing else that will even come close.


The Scholars might be vulnerable here. One big weakness of airships is that they are crippled without proper bases to resupply from - see if you can find a way to take out those bases. You don't necessarily have to capture them - just smash them up and prevent the Scholars from resupplying there. If their airships are really causing you trouble, think about trying to form a temporary truce with the Alchemists for a combined assault - the airships will be causing them trouble too, and it sounds like the Scholars wouldn't have the raw combat power to stand up to both of you together, even with their precognition. (If you're trapped in front of it, all seeing a landslide coming does is give you more time to think about how screwed you are...)

As an alternate option, you might be able to break up the cohesion of the Scholars - it sounds like they're not really a united contry so much as a confederation. Offer one or two of the city-states a generous deal to defect to you/declare neutrality, and promise to destroy them utterly if they don't accept (and make it clear that both the offer and threat apply only to them, not the Scholars as a whole). Make sure you're entirely honest about both halves, and make sure that you only make threats and promises that you can actually keep (it doesn't necessarily matter if you'd have to over-stretch yourself to destroy them, as long as you could...), and you might be able to turn that precognition around on them. If one or two states betray the rest of the Scholars - and a vision of your city burned to the ground, the populace slaughtered, and the ground sown with salt would be a strong incentive to do that - things are likely to go downhill for the rest of them quickly.

Otherwise, your key strategy should be never to overextend. Build your defenses, fortify your front lines, and only attack when you have overwhelming force available. Ideally, you'd like to let the enemy attack you, shatter their army with your superior defensive firepower, then advance forward a few miles before they can recover.

To beat you, the Alchemists need to get their Chimeras into close combat despite your ranged firepower and the Scholars need to use their precognition to catch you off-balance or their airships to hit you outside the cover of your anti-aircraft gun positions. Both of those will be far easier when you're moving and/or have over-extended your forces; conversely, if you can get the suggested heavy guns into production it should be almost impossible for them to do that against a well-prepared defensive line.

Therefore, your primary concern is not to make any mistakes. The Metallurgists should be a glacier - slow and predictable, perhaps, but 'predicatable' only matters if there's something you can do in response. Not when you present an unbreakable wall that just keeps slowly grinding forward.

Quod habemus, teneamus - what we have, we keep.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, gunspear is basically a large calibre rifle, with its stock end being a pole and a long bayonet permanently attached. The Metallurgists have the technology to make dedicated rifles, but the gunspear is more versatile, being able to fight hand to hand, long range or provide additional damage in a melee. You have lots of good suggestions here. I particularly like the glacier part and modified Automatons. I suppose the new cannons won't really be mobile anymore and your suggestion about making conventional tanks have merit, even if it's just to carry the cannons. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 14:13

Counter Strategy Alchemists

As they cannot see the future, they can be taken by suprise.

I assume the beasts they created have some kind of handler, or some other form of restraint which is released when they are deployed in battle.

Even if there are genetically engineered to be controlled by special trainers and otherwise leave the rest of their population in peace, this controls must be broken.

If the Chimeras can be roused to go on rampage in the Alchemists staging posts, outposts or even in their cities, soon they would either stop deploying them for the sake of their country or would start an all out assault, which might prove to be a costly mistake for them.

The Chimeras would be produced somewhere, or breed somehow.

As their breeding program would have to be maintained developed and guided by specialists, subverting, kidnapping or assasinating those specialists would prove very beneficial in the struggle for supremacy in the realm.

Counter Strategy Scholars

As they can see the future, raids and betrayal wont work on them.

However, one doesnt have to stage an attack to gain the upper hand. The secret lies in stealth, secrecy and sabotage.

Their airships are their biggest asset, and yet their biggest threat.

For one, if instead of an all-out attack, agents and spies are send into their airports, it is unlikely they will be detected from the seers.

They therefore would be able to either sabotage the airships, that they might not deploy or do a forced landing upon deployment.

Another target for sabotage would be the ammunition and bombs stored in the airships and in ammunition depots. If fire can be set to either one, the result will be a blazing inferno that might even spread into the city itself.

The advantage here is, that even when the seers are able to detect the impeding attack, without their fleet they will know just as well that they don't have anything to throw against it, rendering their skill useless.

Alternatively the Engineers who built develop and maintain the airships are vulnerable to attack.

If the lead researcher in their airship program is assassinated (which can be done with something as simple as a piece of cloth, twisted and with a knot in the middle to form a Garrot), it might throw them off balance.

Also, airships are hungry beasts when it comes to supplies, as the bigger they are, the more there is on them to break and the more high quality goods they need to keep them running.

Starting to attack, disrupt and destroy the production and delivery of for example the cloth they use to make the balloons that keep the airships afloat can reduce the deployment time of a fleet considerably, so that they will wreck havoc for shorter periods and over shorter ranges in ones own territory than initially.

Counter Counter Strategy Scholars

As the Scholars are able to see the future in form of impending attacks, the sabotage missions can be timed to coincide with another event: The attack of the Alchemists on the Scholars.

To be able to get to this point, one would either have to infiltrate the ranks of the Alchemists and make them believe that the Scholars have developed a new super-weapon able to undo the balance of forces in the realm (perhaps a dirty bomb or something).

If Infiltration or double agents are not successful, the Metallurgist might come out and tell them, well, we're sorry for the experiments we're conducting on humans and animals to make something better (gently mentioning that their Chimeras are actually what they strive for), but however the Scholars definitely pose the bigger threat, due to their new super-weapon.

Then a temporary alliance should be formed, but that is not even necessary. It would only be required to make the Alchemists mistrustful enough to increase their surveillance of the Scholars territory.

Agents there could be used to conduct activities and drop clues (perhaps even a hijacked airship that is doing target practice with a new shiny bomb, whose powerful visual effects mask its uselessness) which would eventually make the Alchemists launch an attack.

Once that is known, the agents in the Scholars territory would have to activated, as by then the seers would definitely focus on the imminent (and real) threat of an incoming Alchemist attack and concentrate their air fleets on staging points and airports.

This way concentrated, they would be much easier to be taken out, as they are either on the ground, or docked and receiving maintenance.

The Metallurgist might even be able to sneak people onto their flagships which despite the sabotage might still be functioning, and murder the captain or sabotage the ship while in enemy territory so their captain falls to either the Metallurgist of the Alchemists, who would then have quite an upper hand in a bargain with the Scholars.

General Combat

As in all wars, infantry would be involved to take land from the enemys forces and to guard it against them.

In ancient Japan, Shuriken were dug into the land around the fortress. Infiltrators and Samurai, usually only wearing sandals, would step into them and cut themselves.

The cut itself might not be fatal. The tetanus infection they would receive almost certainly will be.

Same goes for the projectiles hurled at the Alchemists Beasts and soldiers from both sides.

During European Medieval the usage of poisoned arrows was considered unknightly.

However British Longbowmen stuck their arrows in front of them in the ground when firing (for easier reload) hence infecting the once hit with Tetanus.

Alternatively a plant like Hemlock can be used to poison the arrows of the bullets.

If all that is not an option, and dirt on the bullets would make them misfire, one might just dunk them into poo. This will also ensure an infection after the projectile penetrated the enemy forces.

This would allow your bullets, which already can pierce the Chimeras outer layer, to penetrate deeper and deliver the payload of those deadly little helpers.


No Calculations necessary!

The game of treason with the two factions might be complicated, but as long as they don't get wise and launch an all-out assault against the Metallurgist, it eventually would roll their way.

Due to the possibility of an all-out attack, a group of infiltrators should be stationed in the Enemy Factions Capitals, to unleash Chimeras in the Alchemists from Control and set fire to Bomb Depots in the Seers realm, in order to have a counter strike in such an event.

Such an attack at any rate is more unlikely, due to the fact that committing considerable resources to attack an Enemy that is strong on the defence (The Metallurgist and their superior structures) would leave them themselves vulnerable for a strike from the other faction.

This is why it is so important to sow distrust and suspicion between the two other Factions, that they might never get wise and team up against oneself.

Not recommended

It is not recommended to take down all infrastructure and population centers in the other factions territory.

Doing so might yield a small advantage initially, like burning down a village here or razing a city and a fortification there.

But not stopping at that and rounding up and decimating the population, or destroying the life supporting infrastructure thus forcing them to flee, would fast backfire as the reputation of the Metallurgist as a bloodlusty pack of Barbarians would make them both much more unpopular in the land they try to conquer and it might also convince the two other parties to work together to do a joined attack against the metallurgist.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, perhaps my sentence was confusing. It was the Alchemists who did unethical research on humans and animals. The Metallurgists consider them evil because of it. Unfortunately, apart from medical research, the Metallurgists are quite behind in genetic research, so while they do have labs, it's not as well equipped as the Alchemists, and the researchers are unfamiliar with genetic engineering. The common sentiments among Metallurgists are 'Modifying a living being is evil, cold hard steel is all you need to supplement your natural strength'. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I misread that. Let me modify my answer $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Propaganda war and cloak & dagger stuff might contribute significantly. Though truth be told, it's not their strong point. Cloak & dagger is actually more of the Scholar's lifestyle, we are somewhat behind in espionage techniques, but it's workable. Based on your example, the Metallurgists are something like the European knights, they hate doing things that is dishonorable, like cloak & dagger stuff though not everyone share the same sentiments. Their code of conduct doesn't stop them from killing civilians or raiding villages, similar to Bushido. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ If they are raised in the way of Bushido, the assination of other factions key personal would be included maybe not in their EuroKnight Moral Code, but definitely in their list of Must-dos as warriors. Their path to victory would then to actually employ scorched earth strategies in the production zone of critical supplies for the airships in disguise of alchemists and commit atrocities in Alchemist territory and pretend to be Scholars to provoke a retaliatory strike by them on the Scholars. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 16:09

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