Magic in this world comes from an external Force which is virtually Unlimited. So, Wizards won't get tired from doing spells; they could continue doing spells for weeks if they could stay awake that long.

However, magic has its limits:

  1. It is limited to the sense range of the wizard casting the spell ( if you can't see it, hear it, or smell it then you can't use magic against it).
  2. You have to say the Spell correctly: get the pronunciation wrong and, at best, nothing will happen at all, at worst, you accidentally turn the spell against yourself.
  3. To use Magic requires the aid of some magical object in addition to the spell such as a wand or a magic staff.
  4. Each spell does one particular thing: the spell to make a tornado, for example, will be different from the spell to make a slight breeze. The spell to turn lead into gold will be different from the spell for turning people into gold; wizards are limited by the amount of spells they can memorize.
  5. Wizards can only use a spell on one object, animal or person at a time. If two people attack them, they will have to cast two different spells to defend themselves.
  6. Use of magic makes it hard to understand machines. Most Wizards cannot build anything except for the simplest of machines. Neither can they repair machines. However, they can use Magic on machines and use machines themselves as long as their usage is not that complicated (using a gun is pretty simple, but a wizard might have trouble using a computer).

Forms of magic:

Transformative Magic: transforming people into animals, lead into gold, animals into stone, solids to liquids, liquids to solids, one human into another human and so on.

Mind magic: erasing memories, planting false memories, hypnosis, and spells to make you feel specific emotions.

Elemental Magic: control the elements wind, Fire, Earth, lightning and Light, water.

Telekinetic spells: spells to move things toward or away from you and various angles.

Healing spells: spells to heal injuries and illnesses.

Curses: curse of death, curse of the plague, curse of pain, curse of Madness.

The ability to speak and control magical beasts: There are various magical Beast most are used for transportation as many of them can fly, teleport or both. Also since they all are several times stronger then humans they are also use for their brute strength both as laborers and as War beasts.

The ability to produce enchantments: enchantments are written spells on objects that enhance characteristics associated with the purpose of that object. For example, you could enchant a sword to be Supernaturally sharp, able to cut through anything. Or a shield, to be so hard it's practically impenetrable. Note: the enchantment must be related to the purpose of the object. For example, you can put a magical sharpening spell on a sword because swords are made to cut through things, you couldn't put that on the shield; furthermore, putting more than one enchantment on object can result in it forming a will of its own and the ability to work against its creator if it chooses to.

The wizard population is very low and it is estimated they could probably only produce an army that is a tenth the size of the modern human Army.

Because of this, it is predicted that in the case of armed conflict they would probably resort to some form of guerrilla warfare instead of a straight out fight.

In light of this, what strategy could a modern but mundane military implement that would have the greatest long-term success in a guerrilla War against these Wizards?

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ random thought: you say "Wizards can only use a spell on one object, animal or person at a time. If two people attack them, they will have to cast two different spells to defend themselves." ... so why not target themselves with a defensive spell, such as enchanting their skin to be impenetrable, or maybe a telekinetic spell that compresses the air in front of them to a nearly impenetrable barrier? One spell, protecting against two (or more) attacks. Also protects against the unseen such as snipers ;) $\endgroup$
    – Doktor J
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ The nitpick in me wants to know if taste and touch are excluded from being able to target magic, if by some chance something was interfering with the longer-range senses. $\endgroup$
    – Megha
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Megha no you could still use magic on something you could taste your touch but it would be a little impractical as you would have to be really close to the person. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2017 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ "the enchantment must be related to the purpose of the object." So can clothes be made to be invulnerable? or do they become exceptionally good at keeping the wearer at a given temperature? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 14:42

17 Answers 17


The word "bullet" leaps to mind, as does the word "sniper".

It is limited to the sense range of the wizard casting the spell ( if you can't see it or hear it or smell it then you can't use magic against it).

This first limitation suggests a distant sniper ( 2km kills are doable now ) stands a very good chance of not being killed and of killing the target.

You have to say the Spell correctly get the pronunciation wrong and at best nothing will happen at all, at worst you accidentally turn the spell against yourself.

So even if a wizard spots a sniper, he's probably dead as a very dead thing because he's not going to have time to say anything before the 0.50 caliber rips him apart.

To use Magic requires the aid of some magical object in addition to the spell such as a wand or a magic staff.

Do these guys use a shower ? They've got to put the thing down sometime. They're vulnerable.

Each spell does one particular thing: the spell to make a tornado for example will be different from the spell to make a slight breeze, spell to turn led into gold will be different from the spell for turning people into gold; wizards are limited by the amount of spells they can memorize.

OK, you can pick off the less experienced ones easier. They'll make mistakes, they'll panic in combat - everyone does sometime.

Wizards can only use a spell on one object, animal or person at the time. If two people attack them they will have to cast two different spells to defend themselves.

Numbers game : bigger army wins in the end. Game over, wizard.

Use of magic makes it hard to understand machines, most Wizards cannot build anything except for the simplest of machines. Neither can they repair machines. However they can use Magic on machines and use machines themselves as long as their usage is not that complicated (using a gun is pretty simple but a wizard might have trouble using a computer).

If all I need to do is make my machines complicated, these guys are dead. There are people out there who love making complicated devices and some of them like making complicated killing machines.

Drones - high altitude, practically invisible, armed with anything up to and including Nukes.

I don't see any way a limited number of Wizards can win long term.

The numbers would be whittled down and it is, by definition, a group where replacing experts is time consuming and difficult, so even a small number of high level kills will reduce their ability to function and be a serious threat.

Low and middle ranking wizards probably wouldn't be any more of a real threat than a determined non-wizard terrorist.

And high level ones will try to avoid being detected as they're potentially vulnerable to attacks in numbers and, hey, don't high level leaders usually like to stay safe ?

So no more of a real threat that any terrorist group, IMO.

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    $\begingroup$ How does the sniper know who to shoot? If the wizard mind-controls some guy to drive a truck into an army-base in ~30 days? In an open conflict those guys are dead, but why should they wear funny pointy hats? $\endgroup$
    – kat0r
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ @kat0r While that ability sounds fine, they end up with people who are just regular terrorists, which we're used to. It's also one person at a time whereas real terrorists often train groups at a time. It's also a risk for them, as presumably a trained infiltrator (anti-terrorist types) could notice something as trivial as a spell beginning and snap someone's neck before they complete it. The whole "have to be close and say a spell" is a serious weakness. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ @kat0r How to know who to shoot ? Same principle applies to regular terrorism. One word : intelligence gathering. And note that mind controlling someone to do something means the wizard is locked in to that spell for the whole period (as I read the rules). After the event the victim's identity and movements can be traced back to likely sources of the spell by normal intelligence operations. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @John Granted this is true, but then the wizard will be requiring unbelievable concentration to complete a spell without being rendered incapable. And I just used the expression "unbelievable" in an discussion about "wizards" - time for that reality check I've been promising myself. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ This answer seems to suggest that the wizards will be camped across the field with a big sign that says "wizards here" ... quite the contrast to the guerrilla warfare specified by the OP. The wizards aren't just going to sit there and take it. How will the conventional soldiers defend against the literally miraculous attacks of the wizards? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 19:39

The soldiers lose.

First, because while there are 1/10th the number of wizards, they have mind magic. So they can easily have 100s of people dedicated to the cause of helping the wizard per wizard. Mind magic is easy; they all feel a total and complete selfless love for their wizard.

Depending on resources, these servents can be equipped with magical equipment that rivals a modern battle tank, except they can teleport.

You'd require a panopitcon beyond anything we have ever imagined to prevent infiltration of transmuted mind controlling and controlled teleporting spies who take control over your country. Lacking the ability to detect magic, any member of the military who is out of contact with the chain of command must be presumed suborned; disrupt communications and they cannot trust anyone who isn't in eye sight.

Ambush and turn a squad. Mind control them, transmute your operatives into looking exactly like them, use them to sneak into the base, mass control more of the base, etc. With the ability to teleport, you can bring overwealming magical force to bear on a single location, convert it, and now they are on your side.

The only response that stands much of a chance is using overwealming power in response. Create bait bases that the wizards are lured to try to take over, and use nuclear or equivalent weaponry to wipe out both the wizards attacking and the base itself. Even that might not work; the wizards could easily be wearing armor proof against nuclear blasts.

So to stand a chance, you have to create constant surveilance of your own people (both military and civilian) to detect being suborned, sterilize areas that are suborned, use overwealming force against the wizard population centers, fight using drones, snipers, missiles and other "long range remote" attack tools, hide the very location of your military bases long enough.

Really, you should sue for peace. One miracle worker can match or exceed 10 soldiers in effectiveness. You are outnumbered, outgunned. You are fighting the guerilla war, not them, and they can capture and convert your most dedicated agents with ease.

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    $\begingroup$ Why bother wearing armor? Human skin exists for the purpose of protecting the human, why not enchant it to become impervious? (Though you'd want to limit yourself to one personal enchantment, as the enchantment rules suggest that more than that would risk insanity) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @ThunderGuppy Yeah, I'd imagine all these wizards as heavily tattooed :-) $\endgroup$
    – Bergi
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 12:42

Same way the US “won“ the vietnam war, just with the enemy beeing even more powerful and better in hiding.

Apart from a lot of air strikes against soft targets there's really no way to win against an enemy that is dispersed through a big terrain.

So either you just bombard every city you can find and just ignore the hidden magicians, or you get them to actually defend those cities, then you can find them. but if they don't care and just go into hiding, laying traps and attacking your army from the distance, you don't win.

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    $\begingroup$ Erm, the US lost the vietnam war. It does not matter how many engagements are won, if the army withdraws, it has lost. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @ThorstenS. I know ;-) Thats why it's won and not won $\endgroup$
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ It needs a <sarcasm> tag with arrows. It's too inconspicous. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ @ThorstenS. is that a thing? it doesn't do anything for me $\endgroup$
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ @DonQuiKong You wanted "won" not won. Italics emphasises the word. Quotes indicates that you're using the word facetiously. $\endgroup$
    – Necoras
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 21:09

Wizards stand no chance against modern troops, since military can use "sorcery" as well in form of grenades, RPGs, drones, night vision goggles etc. All modern military has to do is perform a pincer attack of some sort and group the wizards together and then nuke them or just lure them into a minefield and they won't even understand what is happening as they blow up to smithereens. Not to mention... "if you can't see it or hear it or smell it then you can't use magic against it". Just drop a smoke bomb on the wizard ranks and shoot them down like target dummies.

If wizards are way too powerful military can just capture one alive and brainwash him to aid them in battle for the best of both worlds to annihilate the wizard army. Or maybe study the wizard and develop anti-magic bullets that null any magic and pierce through it(f.e. powerful barriers).

In addition, military can use big SWAT shields covered in pure silver which is known for being able to reflect magic or something similar.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! Interesting answer. If you have the time please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about how WorldBuilding works. Have fun! $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ did you just use "f.e." to mean "e.g."? interesting.... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ They can use wind to blow the smoke screen though. $\endgroup$
    – Vylix
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ @AdiNugroho Some smoke/gas that would induce coughing might stop that. The wizards would probably catch on quick and enchant against it (or acquire gas masks), but if they're coughing they should have difficulty with the verbal components of their spells in addition to the visibility issues from the smoke/gas. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:20

The same as they deal with any other guerrillas.

For practical theory, read Galula's Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice.

For a more hands-on guide, read the USMC's Small Wars Manual. Or Greene's The Guerrilla — And How To Fight Him.

For doctrine on how the US or a US-like force approaches it, skim Army Field Manual FM 3-24, Counterinsurgency Operations.

For examples of how to utterly fail at it, read the past decade of headlines, or read up on the French-Algerian war.

Guerrillas need, need, need a sympathetic populace. It doesn't have to be a majority, but they do need somewhere to fall back to and draw supplies from (that place might be logical instead of physical: churches/redheads/anime clubs/whatever). However, as long as they have that stronghold, it really isn't possible to destroy the movement (technically it is, in the same way that France technically pacified the Casbah. However, I am not aware of any non-genocidal examples where this was ultimately successful). Mao wrote extensively about this, but I don't recommend reading his work as casual research; it's too dense.

So, winning a war against guerrillas is almost entirely a matter of removing their popular support. Raiding/airstriking/assassinating individual guerrillas can help with this (because it's hard to make cogent arguments/carry out threats/govern anime utopia when you're dead), but it also tends to win new converts faster than you can raid them. And it's expensive. Instead you're looking at convincing the populace of a couple points:

  1. Your vision is good
  2. Your vision is achievable
  3. Your vision is sustainable

If you can hit those three points, you basically win, and are into mop-up. But there are some complexities. E.g. even if the new democracy works while the US is around, you can't hit point 3 unless the US will always be around (hah) or you can make people believe that the new democracy will work even without US help.

Anyway, this topic has killed entire forests of trees, this is a tiny, paraphrased summary.


I think you have to look at the difference between guerilla warfare, terrorism, and other forms of rebellion. This is difficult, not least because various government have redefined terrorism as whatever the other side does.

  • In a guerilla war, the insurgent force is using violence to reduce the effectiveness and legitimacy of an incumbent government, and to introduce their own government structures (cf Viet Cong, Taliban).
  • In a terrorist campaign, the insurgent force is using violence to create fear in the target population and to cause political effects from that fear.

Of course in practice guerilla groups may employ terrorist tactics, but few terror groups employ guerilla tactics. A guerilla group might shoot the government tax collector from ambush and send their own cadres to collect taxes; a terror group might shoot the government tax collector, but they won't send their own tax collectors.

The way to defeat a guerilla group is to uphold the legitimacy of the government, and to point out that they cannot provide government services themselves. Look at the IS in Syria and Iraq. Where they tried to govern, things were pretty dismal.

TL;DR: So if the mages really want to wage guerilla warfare, go after their cadres in the villages. They don't have many of them.

  • $\begingroup$ actually the terrorists might very well seend their own tax collectors. Terrorism is expensive. And in all major terror groups of our time, the goal is power, which not only requires money to achieve, it also grants access to a state's budget worth of money once it is acquired. While terror is all about publicity, even terrorists have to pay some bills at least. $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Burki, if they do that they're insurgents using terror as part of their arsenal. That's what I meant with getting definitions right. ISIS tried to govern populations, Compare the Weather Underground, which tried to influence a population without trying to govern. $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Burki These wizards can transmutate gold. Little need to extort money there. $\endgroup$
    – Faerindel
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Faerindel, sending in tax collectors is about establishing a new government structure as much as it is about getting cash. By paying the guerillas, the population acknowledges the legitimacy of the guerillas and diminishes the authoritiy of the government. $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Faerindel Great, the gold must have been useless by now. $\endgroup$
    – Xwtek
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 12:28

For the technologically primitive wizards, modern military soldiers are sorcerers. They can fly at incredible speeds and heights, summon drones, telecommunicate, see through the clouds and predict movements.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke

The military must use its technological advantage, not only to dominate on the battlefield, but also at a psychological level. They can put up one hell of a show to make the wizards fear their dark "magic", without getting close. Using lights, sounds, smoke, drones and choregraphed movement on the ground will make them fear the supernatural power of the military. Once afraid and disorganized, they'll move and the military will be able to take them out from the skies and from afar.

Surely the wizards will call the bluff at some point and counter-attack with the proper spells. But will it be already too late?

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    $\begingroup$ You could possibly assist this by using infrasound. It seems to enhance the feeling of something weird or fear inducing is happening bothi n humans and animals Wikipedia Article $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 16:26

Image the regular troops plan to assault a mage stronghold or base.

As you stated, the mages need to see their targets.

Therefore camouflage would work to get the soldier get closer to their targets, and some good old flash-bang or smoke grenade would incapacitate them during the close range approach.

  • $\begingroup$ assaulting a stronghold with troops? Bad idea. Demolishing said stronghold, with <10m accuracy, with 0.5 ton JDAM glide bombs, from 40 kilometers? More effective idea. Remember that most today's combat is beyond visual range (or any unaugmented, non-sensor detection range, for that matter) $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2017 at 12:49

The issue is that you have a force that can do damage that is very much quantifiable. Impressive and terrifying damage to be sure, but quantifiable in Joules. You're talking about that fighting a smaller force of people who can do damage that isn't quantifiable by any means. How many joules of energy does a spontaneous hurricane in the middle of a desert emit? Because magic can do that. So you can't say but we have so much destructive things that go big boom because a wizard will outclass it with unquantifiable destruction.

As far as snipers go with the whole "wizards can't hit what they can't see", that goes both ways. A sniper could probably pick off a couple who break off to go take a leak but all that would be required would be for the wizards to take shifts setting up a protective barrier since they don't get exhausted maintaining it. Alternatively a bunch of illusory copies will throw a sniper off. Hell, just change your entire appearance every day, or every hour even. Sniper can't hit what he doesn't know to hit.

So that leaves the biggest destructive force known to man: a nuke. Again, magic isn't quantifiable so there's nothing to say that a magic barrier won't protect the wizards, or even contain the blast of the nuke. And if you don't like that argument OP mentioned telekinesis. So in theory they could simply move the falling bomb into the ocean or, I don't know, right on top of the armed forces over there.

Bottom line, despite its limitations, magic is still pretty limitless by human destructive power in comparison. With just over 1M Americans in the US Armed Forces you're looking at about 100,000 wizards... gg America.


The muggles do not stand a chance.

Instead of an army of millions of wizards (10% of the population of the muggle army), I will assume an army of 100 wizards and 100 beasts capable of teleporting themselves and the wizard riding them.) I do this to make the question interesting by limiting the wizards somewhat.

I will assume that, on day one, the 100 wizards all know who they are, and the muggles know that they are in an unconventional war with 100 wizards. They know what powers the wizards have, at least to the same level of detail as provided by the original post of this question.

Mind control and memory alteration are the only spells worth knowing. Don't go for the President of the USA, he will be guarded. That is where the limit of 100 wizards makes this slightly difficult - going for a 'risky shot' will not be an option.

Influence unguarded people, low level politicians, police constables, mayors, workers at electricity grid control centres, gas well operators, telecoms operators, accountants, software developers, pilots, bus drivers, mid tier journalists. Ideally, make most of them remember some injustice committed against them by the establishment, being really big fans of the wizards, some particular politician, or potential politician. Implant false memories of how to operate their respective equipment. Implant false memories of a scandal years back where it was revealed the government and the media were caught out colluding to misinform the public.

The wizards should be teleporting around the world as they do this, so they cannot be cornered.

Society would break down within a matter of weeks. The establishment would only be able to safeguard roughly 1% of the population, on army bases, bunkers and secure locations. From that point on, they have to assume the 99% are traitors.

Democracy fails at this point. The wizards' puppets can run as candidates, and the wizards can alter the memory of voters into believing positive things about their candidates and negative things about others. The establishment can't trust any candidates that they have not been watching the whole time. So the establishment does the only thing they can - they suspend elections. They never appear in public, for fear they will be mind controlled. This is not sustainable, democracy will fail. Most likely, a significant portion of voters will believe the government has been turned, at this point.

Entire villages/towns could be turned, without the government being able to do anything. The one cop in town is mind controlled first.

With public trust for the government low, the wizards have their mind controlled towns refuse to pay taxes. Towns that aren't mind controlled are suspicious of the government may follow suit.

Suspicion can be further built up through implanting false memories. Gary goes to the police and says he saw a man that looked like Trevor, doing something that looked like casting a spell on Megan. Was Megan mind controlled? Or has Gary had a false memory implanted? The wizards can flood police stations with such reports. So many false ones that the police have no choice but to ignore all public reports of seeing wizards. So scared mobs of people, will arrive at the conclusion that the police are under the wizards' spell, why else would they be ignoring all these cases? They will turn to mob 'justice', and lynchings will start.

Whilst attacking democracy, the puppets would also be committing economic terrorist attacks on an unprecedented scale. The power grid could easily be taken offline, most manufacturing would taken offline with ease. Large transport ships would be grounded or sunk. In this situation, mind control would be more effective than memory magic.

A modern military cannot cope with the level of economic sabotage available to the wizards.

The intelligence community currently, can mostly keep ahead of terrorist attempts. This is in a situation where, in order to turn someone into a suicide bomber, takes months or years, requires reaching out to them (or them reaching out to you) via public channels. It is also susceptible to double agents. Government reps pretending to be willing to commit an atrocity.

The wizards can convert a person in 10 seconds, with 100% reliability and no paper/electronic trail. The wizards can also choose who to convert, rather than having to take whoever is most willing. This allows them to pick people in the best position to do significant economic damage.

The intelligence community could not keep up.

Eventual victory conditions for the wizards are likely the complete disintegration of society into anarchy, establishment of a community for those with false memories, who believe the previous muggle governments caused the anarchy and the wizards popped up to save them from it. The wizards can continue their Guerrilla tactics in the remaining free cities/socities, building up supporters there and destabilising them, until eventually people accept their wizard overlords, or are memory charmed.

  • $\begingroup$ the spell has to be we reperformed when you give someone a new command. So if you want to control a senators vote you have to reperform for every new piece of legislation you wanted him to vote for $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ @bryan - memory magic is more powerful than mind control. If they remember the wizards being helpful, protecting them from a totalitarian government, no follow up is needed. The person will naturally act to help the wizards indefinitely. $\endgroup$
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 9:09
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanMcClure Only if you micromanage. Use magic to influence the direction of one's thinking. "X is a great leader, follow his direction, he is right, he has the vision our country so desperately needs" - voila, no new command needed. Think more abstract. $\endgroup$
    – TomTom
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 11:03

Ok so, your mages are way too strong, a single one with mind magic could destroy the army so no direct confrontation can exist:

  • the army's command must remain really remote and secretive to avoid any mage intrusion.
  • they need to divide the mages as much as possible through misinformation, false flag operations etc.
  • They need to spread propaganda amongst the population, make them hate the mages so that they turn them in to a milicia, discouraging mages from using their magic and forming groups.
  • the milicia should never meet any army official in person.
  • tear gas would be the best weapon(makes you cough uncontrollably), make it as readily available to the population as possible. Make its use a motto just like "stop drop and roll".
  • they need to have their own defector mages on their side, enchanting sensitive stuff so that it can't be enchanted by others,like documents, weapons etc.

In the general technique of defending against guerrillas, the normal technique used by the United States since Shay's Rebellion:

  • Execute one or more the ringleaders. To attack the state is death.
  • Figure out why these people were willing to die and probably fix it.

This has worked well. Our alternate solutions have not, e.g., "find where the September, 2001 terrorists come from (Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan) and attack the geometric mean (Iraq).

Against wizards, this is your only major defense. It's too easy for a wizard to cast 'Copy Currency', 'Add Disease', or 'Poison Food'. Everywhere is a site of potential destruction. It makes for a poor story, though.

In the specific active defense against wizards, have large no magic zones. If a microphone detects the wizardly tongue, start blasting out fast random syllables to make the wizard screw up.

If your goal is increase the number of guerrillas, station lots of extra people in uniforms and have them do nothing.

  • $\begingroup$ 'Execute the ringleaders' wouldn't work. The usual ways to execute a ring leader involve tracking them with satellites and setting up an attack, or finding out where they will be by converting or torturing the information out of an enemy captured. The wizards are capable of holding their meetings on the moon, or in the sky above Antarctica. They can change their appearance, and they can blank their own memories so that, if caught, they cannot be tortured into giving up information about co-conspirators, they can memory charm each other into not wanting to betray each other. $\endgroup$
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I was unclear. You need to execute the perceived ringleader of the particular attacks, not the organization. For example, the U.S. executed Timothy McVeigh even though others feel there is a larger conspiracy. (amazon.com/dp/1586480987). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 17:24

Easy: use Sonic Weapons.

So, the mage needs to get pronaunciation right. This is relatively easy if you can focus. Sonic weapon will attack your ears. It hurts. Also, it's proven that your focus is much worse when you are in a loud environment.

Sonic waves penetrate the walls, and it's hard to know that they are attacking once they hit(unless you're far away).

Another thing is that you can use drones. It's safer than putting there soldiers, who might get mind controlled.

The first weeks might be tough, as the army does not know the capacity of the enemy, but they would quickly limit the wizards to small area, then either use methods above, get their wands away and use them as test subjects to learn how to use their magic, or simply use a rocket. It's hard to pronounce anything when rocket's coming right at you.


I think everyone's missing a big loophole here. If a wizard can enchant things with one effectively unlimited effect, you only need one wizard to destroy the whole world.

First of all, they can just get an interconnected full body suit and make it invulnerable to all damage.

Then they can enchant a pair of goggles to allow them to see anything they think about, nose plugs for smell, ear plugs for sound, extra inner gloves for touch, etc.

Then they can enchant a book to link with their brain allowing them to memorize anything written in it, which would grant them a larger choice of spells.

They can then enchant an item that allows them to always say what they are thinking perfectly.

I now have a singular wizard that can do anything.

  • $\begingroup$ cheers for the edit @Secespitus $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ No problem, have fun on the site! $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ do you think that it would work? my OP wizard i mean $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, there are the usual loopholes with basically overpowered creatures: Does it live forever? If not I just have to wait, if it does I can throw it in a really deep hole and put earth above it. No sound -> no spell -> forever trapped -> not a problem anymore. Poison, dropping from great height and other little tricks might do the trick, too, depending on the needs of the wizard. Depending on whether he can circumvent this stuff, too, there might be other things. There is always a creative solution to killing something nearly omnipotent. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ but I could just add other things like enchanting the wizard with an unlimited lifespan. an object that converts the magic energy into constant sustenance. I could just send wizard after wizard with extra bits and pieces each time he will eventually become omnipotent. in fact, i could just enchant the wizard with one enchantment and that's godhood $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:20

I get a feeling you're conflating guerrilla warfare with ambush warfare. The former employs the latter, but it's not guerrilla warfare if the opponent isn't occupying the territory (for example, the Finnish Winter war was a conventional war with lots of ambush warfare). Has Modern Nation already overrun Wizard Nation, or are they trying to overrun it but getting disrupted by small wizard squads in the forest who they are now seeking to dislodge?

However, an actual guerrilla war is interesting, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that Modern Nation already has overrun Wizard Nation, and what Modern Nation now works to eradicate all wizard resistance.

Crack down on magic knowledge

From the description, it sounds like it will take a long academic education to become a versatile wizard. A guerrilla movement needs to sustain losses, and the primary weapon of the wizards seem to be knowledge. They would need to set up underground academies to train new recruits on the most important spells, focusing on spells which are easy to learn and which can be practised in cramped compartments.

Likewise, Modern Nation would do best to remove as many tools as possible from the wizard's arsenal by simply burning the books (or, if they can and are willing to learn magic themselves, steal them). Scour every library, wizard tower and home. Force the wizard guerrilla to devote more and more resources toward reproducing magic knowledge instead of fighting them. Make every killed wizard hurt the resistance twofold for all the knowledge lost with them.

If Modern Nation is persistent enough, the wizard guerrilla will be reduced to a group of hedge wizards only knowing spells which are transferable via oral traditions, and too afraid to pool what written knowledge they have in case Modern Nation would hit them with a raid and wipe it all out. Maybe they'd even splinter into a faction preferring to take up modern arms instead, and traditionalists focusing on retaining the magic knowledge. A rift which could persist even after an eventual victory.


As long as the wizards are smart, there is no good way to beat them. All our tech can be countered by stone skin, or turning yourself into flames, or whatever. There is literally no weapon we have that they cant stop.


Use artillery, it's super effective. Drones work great too. If these guys are limited to the range of their eyes, they are screwed. Also, being able to engage enemies one at a time is going to cause them lots of trouble.

Every time they make contact with infantry, they're going to get smacked by artillery and airstrikes from outside their range of seeing/hearing.

Modern weapons approach at greater than the speed of sound from beyond visual range. There will be no warning whatsoever. For example, a drone is practically invisible once it's at altitude. It can see perfectly day or night and it can hit from a great distance without warning. This already works great against actual guerrilla warfare. Which bring me to the next point.

As for guerrilla warfare... wizards are going to stick out like sore thumbs. They aren't members of the local population so they can't blend in or hide. They have a flashy and unusual fighting technique that is limited to line of sight. They're basically fancy (yet unsupported) infantry, cut off behind enemy lines. They're going to get wrecked.


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