In How would sentient intelligent, normal-sized mice fight against humans?

Humans are not doing well at fighting against the mice. They are small, smart and deadly. Humans will have access to medieval tech, swords, bows and magic.

The magic system would rank the spells as

Anti-unit [a basic fireball would kill a normal commoner right?]

Anti-army [something like blizzard which can affect up to a few hundred people]

Anti-fortress, Anti-planet will be excluded since humans won't handle this kind of power well enough to avoid blowing up the planet in a day.

Magicians that can use anti-army class spells would only add to about slightly above a hundred across the world. Not like they would help much when mice are quite literally everywhere. The spells can be complex but trying to do something like targeting all mice with instakill spells is impossible, spells require visual confirmation[bad news if you are blind]

For the sakes of allowing a answer, we are going to assume that the mice are out to destroy the kingdom of Joe. This kingdom is a monarchy, ruled by King Joe and his council of greedy nobles. The kingdom capital has a geocentric pattern divided into twelve rings and a circle in the middle.

The royalty would live in the middle followed by richer influential nobles followed by the less rich and influential until the last 9 rings which are occupied by commoners. Each ring or sector is surrounded by a stone wall with steel gates at each Cardinal direction (NW, NE, SE and SW included, so there are 8 gates at each circular wall. So in order to get to the center, one must pass through the 13 walls surrounding it[or climb past]. Guards patrol the rampart regularly and security tightens as one gets further in. To get from for example the 12th to the 11th gate, one must have a mark on your identity pass from the 12th gate [so people who sneak in illegally have to continue sneaking illegally]. The city also has a underground sewer that lead from the center to the last ring [they are connected]. Size of the capital I'm not really sure, each ring should be the about the same walkable distance from each other. Farmland is mostly on the last ring and outside the protection of the walls [the kingdoms station serfs and soldiers to guard those]


  • the humans know of the intelligent mice existence

  • the humans have experienced attacks carried out by them before about a week before

  • the humans do have beast tamers that can hunt them down but they will need a 3 days for all of them to get to the capital from the other towns and villages so there are about 50 of them currently in the capital and another 200 coming in 3 days. [The beasts are monsters that are tamed, for the sake of simplicity, they will all be dog-wolf types where their heads would reach a adult males chest level]

  • the population comprises of about 400,000 commoners, 4700 nobles, and about 100,000 soldiers [commanders included] [nobles are usually the ones in higher places] Humans have about 20 wizards capable of anti-army and a magic corps about 1000 wizards strong. [Can't believe I forgot that T_T]and 13 members of royalty. Totaling to about 505,733 people who live in the city

  • there are currently about 100,000 mice in the capital, they will be the only forces to defend against. The total population of mice at the end is not my concern, they could be all dead for all I know [also if u want a challenge, I REPEAT, A CHALLENGE , the mice can use anti-unit spells based off chemical magic [Acid spear, poison needle] and to a smaller extent as their affinity to other elemental magic [petite fire ball] is lower. All of them can use magic but can only manage off about 3 shots before getting mana exhaustion]

  • the mice main targets are royalty and nobles, they have no plans to kill the commoners but have no qualms for collateral damage or intentional slaughter of them. Also for all purposes, I'm gonna give them claws and teeth that can break iron and scratch through them. [Doesn't make sense for them to only be able to poison and not use their own skills right?]

  • for a successful defense against the mice attack, less than 20% of the total population of the humans can die [I don't want something like the nobles going all like "SACRIFICE THE PLEBEIANS"]

  • the defense plan must be able to prevent future attacks

  • this is under the full support of the royal family, so consider what you can do when you have a innumerable amount of metal, wood and other resources to use [medieval stuff of course, can't have you building automatic mice terminators can I]

  • the other question I asked would tell you what the mice can do. [ITS AT THE TOP]

  • $\begingroup$ What fraction of the humans/mice are wizards? Can magic be used to locate people/animals? Can magic be left attached to locations as a trap? $\endgroup$
    – Murphy
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it's possible to set traps, however they would use their own magic power to survive or stay there , so they would need to be maintained regularly and the traps survive longer if a better wizard made them[they can infuse them with more magic power], location or tracking magic would work like a beacon, it requires visual to place the beacon but even the commoners would know if they are being tracked as there is a magical phenomenon that's quite flashy. $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ Wait, so every single mouse can use magic but only 1 in every 500 humans can? Or are you only counting big magic? can the average peasant shoot little fireballs on a similar scale to the mice? $\endgroup$
    – Murphy
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ Also, are there any moats or is it only walls? $\endgroup$
    – Murphy
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can distract the white mice by posing an impossible metaphysical question. They will spend millions of years calculating the answer, and millions more trying to define the question..... $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:18

4 Answers 4


So, various problems.


The magic you describe sounds quite minor.

If the mice just want to cause damage and 20% of your population are in the most accessible portions of your city then there's not much you can do, they can dodge in and out of rafters firing fireballs and simply set everything on fire.

You mention that there's magic for tracking but everyone would know if they're being tracked. This seems useful. The defenders don't have the element of surprise. Expect tracking beacons on every gatehouse.

Area control: keeping the mice out of an area.

Assuming they're not already inside you want to keep the mice out and the mice desperately want in to kill the king.

Simple medieval walls are unlikely to be much of a defense since they're rarely perfect enough and mice can get through even tiny holes. Also mice are good climbers and there's going to be holes used by mundane mice.

Deal with massed charges: GLUE!

Glue, along every open area that the mice might need to cross place strips of fabric/paper/similar covered in tar or glue. Humans can just step over a 1-foot strip. Mice on the other hand are going to have trouble crossing. This can also be used to make walls unsafe to climb. Glue traps are horrible things and mice attempting to help other mice are as likely to end up stuck themselves unless they have some way of vanishing the tar without burning it (which would be bad for the mice stuck to it)

Protecting VIP's.

terriers, cats, larger dogs. Even wild rats. Anything that preys on mice, keep a number close to your VIP's.

Population control

Your commoners outnumber the mice. Lets motivate them. Offer a bounty for every dead mouse brought in.

Heavy rain would be your friend. If there happened to be a storm or the mages can somehow engineer a good heavy storm then filling the streets with mud, the sewers with raging water and dampening any thatch that could burn would make things a lot harder for the mice. A gutter filled with swirling water is an inconvenience for humans, it's a potential deathtrap for mice.

A few inches of horse manure on the roads turned into slurry in the rain is an inconvenience for humans but again, a horror for mice.

Damp clothing might even be an effective defense from minor fireballs. Humans also tend to cope better with the cold and wet due to simple body size.

To the humans it would be a muggy unpleasant day. To the mice it would be like a trench scene from a WW1 horror film.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe my question is too long but im sure the mice can jump 1 foot wide gaps, also they can dig holes under those strips anyway. The rain is a great answer but it's not gonna help in the future right? You can't keep that rain going for weeks. @murphy $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I'm sure they can dig through those walls easily. The magic system is only left as such so that the people can answer with their own imagination on what the magic does. Like i don't really fancy the idea of having to write down every class of magic so yeah. Oh yeah the pets strategy would be countered if the mice can shoot poisonous needles with magic at the VIPs right. $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Sky looking it up, yes 1 foot isn't enough. 4 feet to be safe. but a human can still comfortably step over that much. $\endgroup$
    – Murphy
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Sentient mice could, for example, throw dirt on to a glue strip so they could walk across safely. Still useful in the right place, but not as effective as it would be against regular dumb mice. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 9:06

Mundane Solution

Deploy the normal rodent control methods. Mice, as animals pretty low on the food chain, have a number of natural predators. Owls, cats, and snakes all come to mind. The latter can get into mouse holes, but most people despise snakes (I don't know why; I think they're awesome) and don't want them around in numbers (or at all). So pass a law saying everyone is required to have a pet cat. Owls are just too hard to keep around...

Magic Solution

Poison gas. Use magic to create a cloud of gas that affects only mice. Spread this universally across the entire city at the same time. This could be done by a single anti-army mage or a collaboration of anti-unit mages. After a few hours, let the gas dissipate on its own or magically dismiss it. (Of course, the right combination of chemicals could probably produce a similar, mundane effect.)

  • $\begingroup$ The magic part is nice but potentially dangerous for younger ones. And the mice would be able to hold their own against the pets and predators, as I have said before that they can wield weapons[albeit small ones like knifes] and they have well their naturally mutated claws and teeth I gave them. Sry if I edited too late tho. [weapon part is in previous question] $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Sky Universal human survival was not a requisite in your question. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Wait a sec, who said the mice could not climb to escape the gas. Ah the dangerous part was only my own moral compass being slightly tilted. Ignore that.@frostfyre $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Sky Humans can climb to avoid mustard gas. For every tactic, there's a counter to it. Nothing is foolproof. I did, however, update the magic method to a) protect humans and b) ensure mice lose the fight. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ thank you, the magic part was impressive and something I probably could never have come up with :D $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:30

A couple things immediately come to mind.

1: if there are something like 100K mice inside your capital city already, then the city is compromised. Under no circumstances do King Joe and the most senior and valuable personnel need to remain there. Step 1: get the king out of the city and put him on a big boat on a lake nearby where he can direct activity via courier and/or magic. (Why a boat? Water makes a pretty good barrier for mice. Obviously, the boat would have cats on it and probably the falconer's entire collection of hunting birds...)

2: Now that you have secured your command and control element, you can think about taking back the city. This place has a ton of walls, gates, and districts. It seems like the civilization is pretty darn good at engineering. I would try to find a way to flood the streets with a foot or two of water (is there a moat that can be pumped or redirected?). Sure it will cause some property damage, but it will also seriously slow down mice. Every building will now be like an island to them and any sewer system would be totally underwater. In this environment, terrier type dogs and snakes will both be good options for mouse hunting.

3: In warfare, you want to concentrate your forces against a dispersed enemy whenever possible. It might be worthwhile to gather most of your human population into the central districts of the city because a higher density of people means way less opportunity for the mice to operate (more feet to stomp on corridor floors, more eyes to lookout, etc). From there, a systematic clear and hold type operation should commence, working outward once some effective tactics have been worked out. One extreme result of this is that if you just can't dislodge the mice from the poor districts, you could burn the buildings with the greatest concentration of them. If the streets have been flooded with water, you could contain the fires to specific areas instead of burning down your whole city. Again, property damage, yes, but replaceable poor housing and not a lot of loss of (human) life.

4: You have to work out tactics and assign teams (from step 3 above, you can see that I have pretty much declared martial law and put all humans under the command of some kind of marshal. Those who can't fight would be located in the core areas, maybe in a large church, guildhall, or feast hall. Medieval cities would have a food store sufficient for at least several months, so non-fighting personnel would be pretty much camped out and waiting for the crisis to be resolved). Small terrier type dogs would be wonderful, probably every team would have at least one. In pretty much all ancient societies, small dogs (and cats) were kept by peasants for pest control purposes, so there should be plenty at hand. In medieval warfare, burning pitch, tar, boiling oil, and a lot of different kinds of missiles were all common. I would definitely set up fire teams with mobile pots of burning pitch, tar, and boiling oil that have a good area effect. The tar is even better because after it has burned/smothered a group of mice, it also creates an un-crossable mouse barrier (too sticky, like the mousetrap sticky strip discussion above). Humans are merely inconvenienced by tar, so I'd use that a lot (once again, the result will be property damage, but nothing that can't be fixed/cleaned/replaced later). Burning pitch was like middle ages napalm; really nice stuff to throw at your enemies in globs. Something as simple as baker's spoons might be a suitable "micro catapult" for launching burning pitch at clusters of mice.

I would probably use a lot more conventional tactics on offense and concentrate the mages on more defense. This is because sentient mice are a very unconventional enemy and I have limited magical personnel. Wizards could come up with creeping gas that doesn't disperse and is heavier than air so it naturally flows into low areas and fills the bottom 2 feet of hallways with acrid death. Humans wouldn't care (except children who would be kept in safe rooms), they would just walk through it, but mice wouldn't be tall enough to reach the air unless they climbed up the walls. Wizards might move around with boys armed with buckets of water and magically freeze water thrown at walls to create ice-covered areas that mice couldn't climb. Basically, I'd keep the wizards working on maintaining a safe zone while the warriors and able bodied men formed the vanguard actually pushing mice out of infested areas.

One nice weapon would be pretty simple and easy for a blacksmith to crank out in large quantities. Think of a cross between a metal waffle maker and a flyswatter. Basically, a long wooden arm with a flexible joint at the "wrist" and a metal "swatter" about halfway between a ping pong paddle and a badminton racket in size. That sucker would do wonders for front line morale. The flexible joint would let you swat mice on walls, floors, whatever.

Front line personnel who are going to be dealing with mice up close might get "mouse armor". All you really have to do is wrap them in enough layers of cloth padding that mice teeth and claws are too short to get to the skin and you have done a lot (we are only talking maybe an inch of padding to do that). More layers give you some protection from mouse weapons, and you could even roll the unfortunate front line grunt in tar to create a human stickyball trap if any mouse got too close.

The game would become; keep the mice broken up into numerous groups (primarily by flooded streets which keep them from massing) and then concentrate your people on one group at a time until you have pretty much cleared out the city.

Once you do that, THEN you put a bounty out ("A silver coin for every mouse tail" or whatever) and bring in a lot of cats, etc. Long term, you will want to build a bigger, better moat around the entire city and create water traps on every bridge over the moats (think of a three foot trench filled with fast moving water that cuts across the road).


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Breed sentient, intelligent normal-sized cats with magic powers to fight the sentient, intelligent normal-sized mice. Or build a better mousetrap.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This a bad idea. The cats will turn on us as the mice did. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 19:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There's always an answer. Breed sentient, intelligent normal-sized dogs with magic powers to control the intelligent normal-sized cats with magic powers who fight the sentient, intelligent normal-sized mice with magic powers. Why? Because dogs are so much nicer than cats. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ If the dogs get out of control, then you breed sentient, intelligent normal-sized coyotes with magic powers. If the coyotes get out of control, you breed sentient, intelligent normal-sized mountain lions with magic powers... and that's how the Earth eventually ends up being ruled by sentient, intelligent T-Rex-sized T-Rexes with magic powers... which sounds kind of awesome. $\endgroup$
    – xDaizu
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ @xDaizu Sapient T-Rexes with magic powers is just so awesome. I can hardly wait for the trilogy. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ @xDaizu: At some point in the chain, you would breed sentient, intelligent, normal-sized primates with magic powers yet relatively little hair. Oh wait, now we're back to Human wizards. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 15:29

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