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Questions tagged [tactics]

For questions about short term actions, often in a military context. Consider also [military].

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50 votes
19 answers
9k views

How to add tactics and maneuvering into space warfare

I have a setting with space fleets fighting, the include both capital ships and human flown 'space fighters', which I already put some work into justifying: How to keep humans pilots instead of AI in ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.6k
45 votes
17 answers
12k views

Zombie army is bad idea. But why actually?

In my custom fantasy world, raising the dead is really simple. Before the Great Act of Beautiful Death, raising a body and keeping it alive (undead?) for at least a week was a part of entrance exams ...
Feanorek's user avatar
  • 589
41 votes
24 answers
13k views

What kind of spells would magicians cast in combat if the fuel to magic is very expensive

In the story I’m working on, there is a strict ruleset on how magic works, one of the main points being it needs a “fuel” to work, and that “fuel” is VERY expensive. That being, most magicians use ...
rschpdr's user avatar
  • 1,434
40 votes
14 answers
6k views

How much havoc can a small amount of people cause in a metropolis?

Our forces have surrounded the modern city of Vale; a large metropolis of over 5 million citizens who all have decided to try and rebel against us and form their own country. The city has large dams ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
40 votes
20 answers
12k views

How would space battles alter combat tactics?

A thought occurred to me while watching Ender's Game. Why are these two fleets in space lining up like two armies during the revolutionary war (or pick your war of the musket/volley era)? Thinking ...
James's user avatar
  • 32.9k
38 votes
31 answers
11k views

What kind of a unit/army would prefer fighting from a low ground position?

It's a well-known fact that attacking or defending from a high ground gives a wide range of advantages over an opponent occupying a lower position. I'm DM-ing a campaign where PCs are about to defend ...
LordMarkus's user avatar
38 votes
21 answers
16k views

Are "Midas" swords useless for warfare?

Are swords, spears, and arrows that turn slain enemies into pure gold useful, in medieval combat, or are they useless aside from free money? Notes about the weapons: flesh wounds don't turn people ...
Seraph Myrmidon's user avatar
36 votes
5 answers
3k views

How Would the Square-Cube Law change Medieval/Ancient Warfare Between Tiny Humanoids

My story has a battle between two tiny races of humanoids. Assume that both of these races have developed in relative isolation from one another so they have not had a lot of time to develop ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
33 votes
25 answers
10k views

Why would an army of angels with air superiority fight demons on the ground?

Angel society is militaristic with all individuals serving as warriors in some capacity. They are locked in an eternal battle against demons from hell over control of the mortal plane. Angels have ...
user avatar
31 votes
20 answers
9k views

What would be the most effective role to place 150-300 modern soldiers in during the Civil War? [closed]

So, let’s say 300-ish modern American Soldiers/Marines are sent back to the civil war. They lack any heavy weaponry, but overall this is what their armament consists of: 250 of them have basic M4 ...
DT Cooper's user avatar
  • 11.3k
31 votes
8 answers
8k views

Would a hill covered with 10,000 dead rabbits and soaked with 5,000 liters of wine present an impediment to charging horse-mounted cavalry? [closed]

In a little short story I'm writing, a king has an army of about ten thousand men, and is about to face a host twice as large at least. In preparation for the battle, he has his men pray to the gods ...
user227435's user avatar
30 votes
4 answers
11k views

How long can a medieval siege last?

We have many medieval questions here, so I thought I would add yet another. I have a city the approximate size of Paris with a technology level similar to that found in 1000's Western Europe. I have ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
26 votes
10 answers
4k views

How to utilize dragons that are too small to ride in warfare?

Dragons in my setting are significantly smaller and less physically powerful than most depictions. The large males reach about 100 kilograms and just over two meters tall. This means that they ...
user avatar
26 votes
7 answers
8k views

Why can't a Tercio use crossbows and pikes?

The Spanish tercio was the premier infantry unit of the late 15th and 16th century, as exemplified at their one-sided demolition of the French army at Pavia in 1525. The tercio was a mixed unit of ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
24 votes
7 answers
10k views

Handling a sword blade (directly) to stab

I'm ESL, hope I can deliver the questions clearly. Consider a regular and sharp longsword. Would it be possible to stab someone by handling it close to the tip or maybe in the middle of the blade? (...
Silva Filho's user avatar
23 votes
11 answers
10k views

Tactics and strategy an army can use to counter Human Wave attacks?

TL;DR: What tactics can a professionally trained army use against a horde of untrained conscripts using human wave attacks? (This scenario takes place in the very-near future.) Background ...
Sydney Sleeper's user avatar
22 votes
9 answers
8k views

Fighting a dragon with modern military units (or Smaug vs. a MEU)

First off -- this differs from our history questions on this topic in that we are dealing with modern assets here, not historical ones, and from this question in that our military units are out to ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.3k
22 votes
9 answers
2k views

Styles of Melee Combat developed in microgravity

How would melee combat develop in a zero-g environment? What kind of formations, and techniques would be developed to combat both other zero-g melee combatants and arrow fire? This applies for both ...
knowads's user avatar
  • 2,210
21 votes
16 answers
7k views

How to battle enemies who have superhuman speed

Let's say your kingdom is plagued by a particularly nasty breed of demons. These hellspawn are similar to particularly ugly thick-skinned humans, except for one thing: they are roughly twice as fast ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
20 votes
15 answers
8k views

How do dwarves defend their City-under-the-Mountain from a dragon?

The Kingdom of the Dwarves has been rich and prosperous since the days that the first Dwarf-father awoke in the roots of the mountain. In the uncounted ages since he rose, the depths of the mountain ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
20 votes
12 answers
4k views

Battlefield Tactics for eleven pixies carrying a machine gun

So, imagine a traditional fantasy world that has progressed into the modern age. Assume technology similar to that we had in world war 2. With the humans, orcs, elves, dwarves, and the like constantly ...
Globin347's user avatar
  • 5,797
20 votes
11 answers
5k views

Making sense of possessed dolls: how could they actually kill people? [closed]

Posessed dolls are a common horror trope, they also make zero sense. Even if you say they have the strength of an average Joe, concentrated in a tiny body, it still leaves them with little to no mass ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
5k views

Rhino cavalry charge! How horrible would it be?

There have been questions asking if rhino, hippo and other similar kinds of cavalry are feasible. Now let's for a moment skip that and assume we have some special means, on the end of which, we get ...
Failus Maximus's user avatar
20 votes
7 answers
13k views

Realism of a multi-arrow bow

You may have heard of this common fantasy trope, an archer firing multiple (usually 3) arrows in a single pull of the bow. Now, I am not an expert at bows or tactics, but it seems to me that the ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
19 votes
9 answers
3k views

What kind of tactical situation/s would be best approached with trained jetpack pilots?

I'm writing a story where there's a civil war fought by people with weapons and technology based on 50s experimentals, kind of like a subtle "What-if" aesthetic. How can I manipulate what ...
Yun Kirk Ackerman's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
4k views

How would mesoamericans fight dinosaurs?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aztlan. The Aztlanians are essentially based on a mix of Aztec, Maya, and Inca cultures, with hints of Olmec, Nazca, and Mapuche thrown in. For example, ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
19 votes
8 answers
4k views

Tactical Advantages to Dragons with Riders

Given a fantasy world in which magic exists and which dragons are real, what kind of tactical advantages could a dragon and rider pair have over dragons without riders? To expand on the setting: ...
Edit Your Profile's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
3k views

How different would land-based medieval warfare be if it had to combat area of effect attacks?

In plenty of fantasy words, there's a wizard who can drop fireballs on large swathes of combatants. There usually isn't a detailed explanation of how a medieval military force would deal with what is ...
user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to make classical firearms effective on space habitats despite the coriolis effect?

The direction of the force will always be perpendicular to velocity and pointing to the opposite side of the rotation direction. In plain terms, any object traveling in the rotation plane: up (toward ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
17 votes
15 answers
4k views

What tactical advantages can be gained from frenzied, berserkir units on the battlefield?

Let's picture a medieval world, where a tribe of Viking-like mercenaries live for the thick of the fight, the blood nourishing the ground, and the honour of the gods of war. So they are equipped, ...
Tortliena - inactive's user avatar
16 votes
21 answers
6k views

What is the best way to defeat a enemy of superior numbers but inferior technology?

Our protagonist civilization is based on a large island in the middle of the pacific(think half the size of Australia), has a population of 100 million, has abundant resources and is totally self-...
Sync's user avatar
  • 587
16 votes
13 answers
2k views

Personal Shield Generators effects on Strategy/Logistics/Tactics

In World War II shield generators were discovered. As their durability or surface area coverage scales up the cost exponentially increases. By their nature they wrap around the target approximately, ...
Ranger's user avatar
  • 17.5k
15 votes
8 answers
4k views

Medieval style tactics vs high-positioned archers

I am working out a situation where an army is invading a heavily wooded land, two large units of regular footmen with sword and shield and supporting archers, against a force almost exclusively of ...
distracteded's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Forest rebels and the animal brigade

So you are rebel, your name is Norn, and you are hidden away in a lovely forest swarming with all kinds of little critters, in the middle kingdom where the king and his formidable military are ...
James's user avatar
  • 32.9k
14 votes
22 answers
5k views

Why would space combat require boarding? [closed]

In my scifi world I would like space combat to frequently involve sending boarding parties to defeat the enemy ship. Perhaps the infiltrators can disable the enemy ship's shields so that they be more ...
SpoonyBard's user avatar
14 votes
15 answers
5k views

What types of tactics would humans develop against creatures that are hurt by light in a literal dark post-apocalyptic world?

In a post-apocalyptic world, monster-like creatures have taken over most of the planet, and twenty years later, only a few clusters of humanity still remain with somewhat functioning governments, and ...
TheWatcher's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
15k views

Is the Pike Square formation truly invincible? [closed]

According to Wikipedia: With their famed discipline and in combination with heavy cavalry like the gendarme, the Swiss pike squares were almost invincible on the late medieval battlefield. Is ...
Jotunn's user avatar
  • 616
14 votes
5 answers
737 views

Preconditions for 'Classical' Space Fighters and Carriers

Let's say that I, like many other worldbuilders before me, want to have 'classical' (space-operatic) space fighters and carriers in a space setting. However, I don't want to do it by fiat and ...
vicky_molokh's user avatar
  • 1,811
13 votes
5 answers
7k views

Would tanks or small walkers be better for Lunar militaries?

This question is similar to my other question "would walkers work on airless worlds?", however even though it's the same setting and I am talking about the same battle group tactic that question dealt ...
skout's user avatar
  • 2,058
13 votes
13 answers
6k 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 ...
Arizan's user avatar
  • 317
13 votes
21 answers
4k views

Probable criteria for Ramming to become popularized for Space Combat

The society that I am developing is reminiscent on Early Medieval Society, and I want a version of the cavalry charge (and the cavalry cycle) to exist in my universe as well. Essentially I want ...
knowads's user avatar
  • 2,210
13 votes
14 answers
5k views

How to make a weapon that never friendly fires?

On some computer games it is common to have a setting that disables friendly fire, it does not prevent shooting but it the bullets don't harm friend players. In real life would it be possible to make ...
André Dias's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
457 views

Would submarines be well defended from space based lasers? What about railguns?

When a planet is under seige, obviously its airports, missile silos, and launch sites are the first targets of bombardment, to prevent a counterattack. It thus seems that submarines, which can fire ...
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 891
11 votes
3 answers
567 views

What would a modern soldier trained and equipped to operate in burning forests look like?

So, let's just say that the US Military has a tactic that involves setting forests alight and deploying troops there for combat. I don't know if this is plausible, or why they would do this, but I ask ...
SealBoi's user avatar
  • 14.9k
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to Escape an Impossible Situation Using Minimal Magic?

Background: My evil 10,000 year old Nature Mage Erilius has escaped the desert and made it back to the furthest outpost in his Rainforest kingdom. Upon entering his makeshift Magic plant tower ,his ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
10 votes
13 answers
3k views

Defensive Middle Ages measures against magic-controlled "smart" arrows

Hear hear, with the latest arcane technology, archers on the battlefield are able to shoot "smart arrows". Smart arrows are propelled by a little unit of magiteck, which allows the archer to ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 3,816
10 votes
10 answers
4k views

How come townsfolk can forge legendary weapons and teach powerful spells but not take on a dragon?

Set in 1100 BC, an evil dragon appears and is terrorising the world. All the towns seemed to have everything to prepare the adventurers on their rescue operations. They have blacksmiths to craft and ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Scorpions as living handgrenades

There's a society similar to ancient Egypt. Most soldiers are either skirmishers with slings or shortbows, or "heavy infantry" with spears and big shields, but wearing the same loincloths as the ...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
  • 2,939
10 votes
2 answers
763 views

Are medieval flamethrower chariots viable?

Historically, the Byzantine Empire used ship-mounted Greek Fire throwers to defend Constantinople. These weapons were pretty advanced and horrifying for the enemy. The existence of these historic ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
4k views

Does gliding flight give any advantages to dragons in combat?

"They fly now?" "They fly now!?" "They fly now" One of the most iconic characteristic of dragons is their ability to fly, on top of that, my intelligent (human level) dragons also use a fun ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar