Questions tagged [combat]

For questions involving the specifics of combat.

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12
votes
16answers
5k views

What kinds of weapons produce little or no recoil that could be used aboard a spacestation?

And by "Weapons" I mean ranged weapons specifically. Melee weapons would certainly be useful for close-quarters, but due to the range at which combat occurs in this question, I'm looking for ranged ...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

How to make flashy fighting practical fighting

I have a friend who is a practitioner of HEMA (Historic European Martial Arts), and who adores telling me all about realistic fighting techniques and why all the fight scenes I love suck. Well, I know ...
12
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4answers
2k views

How long would it take to train a medieval village girl to be a swordsgirl?

This is for a story set in a Renaissance-era type society but with improved scientific knowledge from spirits / divination or some such with common elemental magic (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water...) and ...
12
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4answers
2k views

How could an outrigger or catamaran ship be modified for age of sail naval combat?

If Age of Sail era Ships were to come into regular contact with Polynesian outrigger and Catamaran ships like the Hōkūleʻa, and the people using the ships did not start using the foreign design of ...
11
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13answers
5k views

How can infantry and light cavalry defeat heavy cavalry in a valley?

At the climax of my medieval low-fantasy novel the protagonist has to besiege a castle that (from his side) can only be accessed through a valley. The valley is quite cramped, and the hills are too ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Blindfold battle as a gladiatorial spectacle - what are the tactics and communication methods?

The Emperor (may he live forever) has invented a new form of battle for his birthday gladiatorial spectacle. There are two armies, each consisting of one hundred trained warriors. Each is armed with ...
11
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5answers
5k views

Modern Body Armor for Medieval Style Weapons

Imagine an alternate history, where weapons types didn't advance past "medieval" type weapons. So like: swords, maces, flails, crossbows, bows, polearms, mauls, etc. I'm intentionally excluding "gun"/...
11
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6answers
2k views

Reasons for horns/antlers on helmets

One of the great misconceptions of history is the horned helmets of vikings. This is in fact untrue, they didn't have horned helmets. But horned helmets were a thing thousands of years before the ...
11
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1answer
154 views

How tattered can membranous wings get before flight becomes impossible?

It's a common trope in the visual design of dragons, giant bats and other fictional flying beings to have wings that appear to be severely torn, cut, pierced, and otherwise worn down. It's also quite ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Mermaid Land (and Sea?) Combat

I might have a bit too much saltwater in my brain. I'd like to discuss (can you do that in this format?) the ideas of combative mermaids on land. If you say my other questions, you say my bring up ...
10
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16answers
4k views

How to deal with speedster characters?

In many fictional franchises we see people like the Flash who can move at speeds defying physics. In my story I want to include a speedster, however I feel that they would be too overpowered for the ...
10
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4answers
986 views

How would martial arts specialize to take advantage of human sexuality-based musculoskeletal differences, especially in women?

Considering that men and women actually do wind up with a variety of nonreproductive physiological differences (unlike many fantasy worlds which ignore them), among them: Men wind up with more ...
10
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3answers
655 views

If one of the spatial directions wrapped around, how would combat be different?

This is a test drive of the alien-geometry. I hope it will be a fun tag. Okay, for the purposes of this question, the world is flat (like, you still have plants and hills and stuff, just no long term ...
10
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8answers
561 views

Combat in “age of sail” air ship

Assume that you've conquered the issue of flotation, probably using some very-much-lighter-than-air gas bladder, allowing your ships to take to the skies. Assume also that you've invented a way to ...
10
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3answers
422 views

How much of an advantage in medieval-style combat would it be to have four arms with pivoting shoulders?

So I'm writing a story about humans of the modern world being given various superhuman powers by an unknown entity, which eventually causes society to partially collapse and turn into a bizarre mash-...
9
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9answers
1k views

What changes would we see in humans genetically engineered for combat?

I've got a group of humans who believe as a central tenet of their religion that humans should be as physically perfect as possible. In pursuit of this goal, they've spent a few hundred years applying ...
9
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3answers
467 views

Would centaurs shoot more accurately than a cavalryman from horseback?

The question is fairly simple. If a Mongol and a Centaur ride by and shoot at you, who has the better chance of giving an arrow a new home in your gizzard? That is, given equal skill in shooting, ...
9
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6answers
661 views

Space combat: Is Jousting a counter to Ranged-Combat?

I had to think this one through, and even now I don't know if it belongs here, hopefully you guys can help. Most scifi media has the World War II approach to combat, chasing and maneuvering in ...
9
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4answers
693 views

How will military be modified if a warrior power could continue growing far beyond human limits with experience?

Imagine a world like any standard RPG games. In these games characters grow stronger as they defeat opponents, long after any real-world soldier would have reached their peak possible performance. ...
8
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10answers
2k views

How would medieval weaponry and combat be influenced in a world where humans project a magical barrier? [closed]

The barrier while active would keep anything from making contact, but force could still be transferred. Its not always on and can be "drained" from multiple blows. Approximately 20 full strength ...
8
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10answers
3k views

Cryomancer, combat style

Cryomancy is cool, ice is cool and ice mages too. But does it actually hold any utility other than keeping your food fresh, specially martially wise(?) How could an individual with ice magic powers ...
8
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6answers
445 views

How could dragons effectively use their wings as weapons in ground combat?

One reason I prefer classical western dragons over wyverns is that they aren't totally handicaped on the ground. However, those forelegs are only supposed to be for better locomotion on ground and ...
8
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6answers
2k views

Is it practical to wield a bladed weapon in mouth?

In the vast army of famous swordsmen, there's someone who's very well known for a certain community, and completely unheard for the rest. He's Roronoa Zoro, from the anime One Piece. His possibly ...
8
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4answers
2k views

How might castles develop in magical world?

Allow me to shed some light on this subject (turns on lightbulb). Brief Overview of Magic These powers manifest themselves any time from birth to the end of puberty. These magical powers fall under ...
8
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7answers
459 views

Could a mass-proportional physical speed limit on projectiles “nerf” guns but not ruin archery?

Like many other writers, I'm hoping to create some sort of justification for destroying the monopoly firearms have on the modern combat scene so that I can justify mixing things up with melee weapons, ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Dresses for swordplay?

I've tried to write up a few new styles of swordsmanship for a story I've been planning. I've got a lot of mileage from different sword types and techniques, but have one idea that I can't find any ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is a self contained air-bullet cartridge feasible?

In my world, there is no access to modern or traditional gunpowder. I was wondering if a dedicated technician with a modern shop (cnc machines, and a surplus of parts and raw material, etc) would be ...
7
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7answers
544 views

Man-portable weapons for post-disaster Arkansan troll hunters

I have a short story in the making where two young men go hunt a troll for an old widow. I have some ideas for what they could be carrying, but am aware that messing up something as fundamental as ...
7
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3answers
569 views

After the head, what part of the body is most vulnerable to blunt force trauma?

I'm in the process of re-evaluating what weapons my superhuman characters would find useful when fighting each other, and something recently occurred to me regarding blunt weapons like hammers, maces, ...
7
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7answers
406 views

How do I defend a person against an attacking teleporter?

Inspired by Personal Teleportation as a Weapon Using the teleportation rules from that question: The Teleporter can teleport themselves and/or any object (including people) they are touching, ...
7
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3answers
549 views

What history supports modern day Gladiatorial Combat?

For the most part human against human bloodsport lived and died with the Romans, but a common sight in fantasy or science-fantasy is the existence of gladiator arenas in some form (Hunger Games to ...
7
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2answers
356 views

What about electronic warfare?

According to two websites I respect a great deal (Atomic Rockets and Rocketpunk Manifesto), weapons fall into three broad groupings: kinetic, explosive, and energy. But if we're talking about winner ...
6
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13answers
3k views

How would one defend against a being that can turn parts of itself intangible at will? [closed]

There are a number of stories that contain a being that can turn parts of itself intangible at will, meaning it won't interact with most objects: The twins from the second Matrix movie; The demon ...
6
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10answers
2k views

Comparing space combat to naval combat - Helicopters? [closed]

Although I realize it is technically wrong, I often draw comparisons to naval combat when thinking about potential combat in space between starships. While you can compare a capital ship in space ...
6
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7answers
2k views

How Could a Human beat a Centaur in a Fight?

I write centaurs as wild barbarians that love fighting - especially with weakling, little humans. So let's say our centaur and hero are fighting in an open, little, dirt circle in the middle of the a ...
6
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4answers
522 views

Battle tactics for portal warfare / exploration

In a story a long time ago in an age long forgotten, the main characters find an ancient portal-gate-system, powered by an even more forgotten magic. The main characters have access to soldiers, ...
6
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3answers
771 views

Camouflaging a mech

With modern technology, targeting equipment has become very good in its ability to pick out a target and lock onto it, thereby reducing the viability of traditional camouflage. In a world of mechs, ...
6
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3answers
550 views

In a world where magic and mages are normal. Wouldn't combat be defensive?

So. This has been something I've been tossing up for a long time. Let's say you have a world that has a broad availability for magic power and mages are a normal part of life. Like DnD 3.5 worlds or ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Very Close Quarters Combat in space

When I saw this question today in the active questions list I thought it would be about one-on-one combat in space. But the question and answers (while still good) were focused on battles between ...
6
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4answers
342 views

How do you arrest/detain someone when people can make mental attacks capable of knocking someone out?

In a world where every human being can fight using their minds, every person effectively has a ranged weapon on them at all times. Societal change in my setting has brought about a major decrease in ...
5
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11answers
2k views

What is the most likely shape of a Super Sword? [closed]

I have in mind a bladed weapon that, left unpowered, looks like a "regular" sword, from whatever time period. The appearance of the weapon is important to the story; people need to know that it's a ...
5
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9answers
1k views

how would martial arts evolve in a magical world? [closed]

My magic system is quite basic it revolves around runes and drawing them in the air.If skilled enough you can not do that . or if the spell is so simple you dont need to unless exhausted. how would ...
5
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6answers
856 views

Could a bird be a match for a small airship?

Could a large, aggressive bird of prey take an aircraft the size and weight of two motorcycles out of the sky? The bird is about the size of a child, but has sentient intellect. If it got through the ...
5
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5answers
465 views

The effect of a 20 kilojoule punch on a person that is wearing a plate armor

I have always been in love of hand to hand combat but I realize the concept of efficiency and why that is not an ideal choice for combat so I decided to write a story in which characters who are ...
5
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4answers
644 views

Killing undead fish underwater

To kill zombies on land, you usually have to either chop their head off, burn them down or use purification magic (if it is a fantasy world). But underwater you can't kill the zombies the same way as ...
5
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5answers
771 views

What martial art style would most suit an unarmed 'support' character?

I'm toying with an RPG concept, which includes a younger unarmed martial artist (14/15). As keeping with martial arts tropes he fights unarmed and may fight against monsters as well as humans, but ...
5
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3answers
1k views

How thick a stone castle wall needs to be to withstand a modern tank?

From In what war would one modern military vehicle make a difference? question I presume a tank could decimate something like an ordinary medieval castle as have survived to this day. But at some ...
5
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3answers
126 views

Calculating the Resistance of Water, for Purposes of Violence

I'm writing a story about mermaids. For this reason, I'm wondering how much you can hurt someone by say, throwing a punch, hitting them with a rock, or even throwing a spear or rock. I'm not sure how ...
5
votes
3answers
517 views

Where realistically could somebody be stabbed and heal without modern medicine?

Assuming we are in post-apocalyptic wilderness where herbs are readily available for treatment, would it be feasible for someone to be stabbed with a knife and not only survive but heal enough to keep ...
5
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2answers
454 views

How would paleolithic combat work in a world where you have instant, and permanent mastery when you hold any tool?

How would paleolithic combat work in a world where you have instant, and permanent mastery when you hold any tool? Weapons are limited to stones, slings, clubs, and stone-point spears, but any tool ...