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What would make ninja valuable in defending humanity from an alien invasion?

Imagine a scenario like that of XCOM (old or new), Xenonauts, Phoenix Point, or other various Alien Invasion stories: the world has come under assault from a massive alien force. They are much more technologically advanced, though fewer in numbers than humanity. They scout and assault in powerful UFO aerospacecraft, and occasionally fight on the ground with infantry. Their soldiers wield futuristic gun-like weapons that are much more powerful than contemporary ballistic weapons, yet no less accurate.

Their ranks are made up of a variety of species with extreme specializations, such as frail psychics, bulky ogre-like shocktroopers, and beastly hunter monsters. They have vastly varying physiology, and have all evolved on different planets wholly separate of each other. Some of them have been genetically modified to possess abilities incredible abilities of strength, agility, regeneration, and other phenomenal powers.

Humanity has a military organization prepared for just such a possibility. This group begins shooting down UFOs, as well as assaulting the grounded aliens with infantry.

...and for some reason, they use a significant amount of ninja. ...and it works.

How? Why? ...What?

This question is most inspired by Long War 2, a mod for the game XCOM 2 that, among other things, saw your soldiers specializing in a base class known as Shinobi. While the majority of the rest of your XCOM soldiers relied on guns and explosives - as a modern army reasonably would - the Shinobi combat the alien menace with swords. And it goes rather well; the Shinobi are a valuable assassin-style class with high burst damage and mobility.

This, of course, only works so well in Long War 2 because it's a game. The mechanics allow the ninja to move around on their turn uncontested, letting them close distances to melee range with gun-wielding foes much more easily than one would expect in reality. Sprinting about and trying to slash enemies to death with a machete will probably get you shot on a modern or futuristic battlefield.

How do we explain this effectiveness in a believable way? What context would make this reliance on stealthy melee fighters in combating the alien menace make more sense? What special alien-fighting purpose do they serve that other soldiers are less adapted for? Do the aliens have a crippling weakness that can be exploited best by sword-fighters? What techniques or equipment would allow them to be useful on such a battlefield?

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closed as off-topic by StephenG, L.Dutch, Aify, MichaelK, Mołot Nov 2 '17 at 9:14

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about a computer game not worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Nov 2 '17 at 4:13
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenG Is it not. It's referencing several computer games, and about none of them. The question is asking a question about building a hypothetical scenario. $\endgroup$ – Southpaw Hare Nov 2 '17 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ It's simple : why is it that way in the games ? Because the makers needed an arbitrary scenario to sell a game and they don;t care if it makes sense. What you're asking for is people to create a justification for those scenarios after the fact - that's not worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Nov 2 '17 at 4:20
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    $\begingroup$ If your alien can be sneaked upon by ninjas, I think your alien might be medieval compared to other aliens. $\endgroup$ – Vylix Nov 2 '17 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ You are asking us to brainstorm for you what your aliens should do/be like, and that is too broad AND opinion based. $\endgroup$ – Aify Nov 2 '17 at 7:59
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How about a species with very poor night vision?

Maybe the invading aliens come from a planet which is in a binary star system, moving from full daylight to a bright dusk, never a dark night in their planet (such as in How can I safely brighten my secondary star?).

Thus, this species never needed to evolve night vision, nor did they adapt their weapons or tactics for fighting in the dark.

In this scenario, any troops adept to using darkness for tactical advantage would have an interesting edge over the aliens. This would be especially so if the aliens' hearing and sense of smell are not very acute.

Obviously, the aliens would eventually adapt to this new challenge, so the ninja troopers should show diminishing returns as the war goes on.

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Honestly, ninjas would be more useful after an alien victory. Unless the aliens are planning to come fight us, point and laugh, then go away, they are planning to stick around to enjoy the fruits of their conquest.

This is when you want ninjas. They'll work with the Resistance, spying, assassinating key alien leaders, stealing alien technology secrets and weapons, and so on.

During the actual mass combat phase, there's not much call for their services. Though I can imagine a situation where some of the Earth has been conquered and parceled out into fiefdoms while organized resistance continues elsewhere. [1] In this scenario, ninjas could help to destabilize the increasingly air-quoted "pacified" regions along with the other errands mentioned above.

[1] In an alien invasion I expect some countries will fold fast, and others will hold out for way longer. Hopefully some will last long enough for final human victory!

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To quote from wikipedia, "The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and guerrilla warfare." They did not run around with swords, only if they got caught. Or in computer games.

So I guess if your aliens are human-like enough, or the ninjas are masters of disguise, they could sneak among their ranks and learn enough about them to provide the military forces with a chance of defeating them, poison their leaders, destroy their ships from the inside, and if the aliens still manage to take over Earth then they could attack supply or transport vehicles (provided they don't fly).

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