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Questions tagged [warfare]

For questions related to the effects of certain circumstances, conditions, or locality changes on war. Related tags: [civil-war], [nuclear-war], [cold-war]

142
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17answers
27k views

Would a bear cavalry be feasible?

Over the course of history humanity rode several kinds of animals to war: horses, camels and elephants being the most common. However, bears are not amongst them. So I was wondering, if they could be ...
80
votes
32answers
14k views

Conquering a Metropolis with near-zero own casualties

You have a trillion dollar/year military budget. You can buy all the toys (that are physically and financially possible to build with current technology). You can hire the manpower, command the ...
76
votes
28answers
19k views

How can I build a door to repel a horde of zombies?

In The Walking Dead, the survivors have seen plenty a wall. From Woodsbury, to Wellington, to Alexandrea, they are all different and they all have their advantages. One issue that none of them have ...
74
votes
15answers
22k views

Why would a country make a declaration of war instead of just invading?

So a declaration of war is made when you wanna go to war with someone else (duh). For example, country A hates country B's guts. A declares war on B. A and B go to war. One side wins, unless the ...
72
votes
9answers
15k views

If the insects declared war, who would win?

It is the near future and insectoid aliens pass our planet. They are shocked and dismayed to find that disgusting fleshy creatures seem to be in charge. Using their alien technology they imbue all of ...
70
votes
35answers
14k views

Eternal space battle around a planet. But why? [closed]

The Setting A planet (large continents, mostly steppes, deserts and plains) is settled by nomadic tribes (think Mongols, Tuareg or Apache). The tribes lack written history, but the legends speak of a ...
69
votes
26answers
16k views

How would a war between immortals be fought?

Imagine a world similar to medieval Earth (technologically), populated by humanoid beings. For all intents and purposes, they are humans - they talk like humans, think like humans, have human-like ...
68
votes
23answers
22k views

In what war would one modern military vehicle make a difference?

Somewhat related to this question. Take one modern, new-off-the-production-line, Challenger II battle tank, and one time machine. To what war do you need to send this tank before it can really have a ...
65
votes
21answers
11k views

What single change would have given the best chance for the Allies to win the Battle of France in early WWII

The obvious WWII alternate history question is how could the Axis have won. Let's try something different this time. The Battle of France was a big gamble for the Third Reich. They sent more or less ...
63
votes
25answers
12k views

Ensuring an endless war, and an endless stalemate

My 7 year old son and I have pitted the Elves against the Dwarfs - The Elves control the sky - they have airships, gliders in their cloths that enable gliding from airship to airship, and bridges ...
63
votes
28answers
24k views

Plausible Reasons for usage of Combat Mecha

So, assuming that the technology is readily available and that we could build these mecha as easily as we build modern tanks or planes. What would be a good advantage in using a legged (not ...
61
votes
11answers
12k views

Is a pig-mounted cavalry possible?

Recently, my neighbour upset me. I have discovered that he plans to somehow improve his trebuchets to throw nasty things across the river. I told him that my pig-mounted cavalry will attack him. I ...
60
votes
25answers
24k views

Would a full body diamond armor and sword guarantee survival and victory against a medieval battalion?

As usual I write stuff like any professional fictional writers do, my protagonist worships a deity calling herself "The Expensive One" and she bestowed a flawless full body diamond armor which comes ...
59
votes
14answers
7k views

What would a medieval war against an aquatic race look like?

The setting; there’s a large population of merfolk living in the ocean, and a developing seafaring human nation on the neighbouring coastline. These merfolk are entirely aquatic. They have gills and ...
58
votes
19answers
11k views

How do I make a space battle both realistic, with physics in play such as no sound and weird motion, but also very epic and intense still?

I always wondered what it would look like for a Sci-Fi battle in space to occur if it were a bit more realistic. I don't plan to use any space fighters or anything like that, just big capital ships ...
58
votes
17answers
8k views

From which point on would including a dragon on one side of a historical battle not be an instant victory?

Inspired by this question, I am wondering something similar. In a modern war a dragon that simply flies over enemy forces and torches them with its fire breath there are several ways of taking it down ...
55
votes
31answers
13k views

Why would a race with high longevity but low numbers be aggressive and warlike?

Context Members of my race can live virtually infinite lives (they still have to drink, eat, and can be killed, but don't age and are immune/really resistant to disease) but are unable to reproduce. ...
55
votes
15answers
9k views

Stealth in Space: How realistic is it?

This has been considered other places on the net, but I thought it would be good for the hard-science challenge, since it is often an example of the subtle difference between soft and hard science. ...
54
votes
14answers
9k views

Would a castle built at the top of a mesa have unusual weaknesses?

Imagine some settlers are looking to build a castle in an area of expansive plans discover a small, isolated mesa: the formation has a very steep face, rising up 10-20m. The area of this formation ...
54
votes
12answers
11k views

Would gorillas with human-level intelligence make effective soldiers?

Suppose I take a troop of gorillas and modify them to have human-level intelligence. How effective would they be in a war when compared to modern human soldiers, when comparably equipped? Aside from ...
53
votes
20answers
14k views

Would a fighter pilot with an invincible space ship be able to conquer the galaxy?

Setting Not so long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, there were two civilizations at war. Both were at war because the leaders of both wanted more and more power. Both were advanced and mined the ...
53
votes
15answers
16k views

How would exposing a female warrior's (mostly) bare bottom help her in combat?

There's a valid discussion about feminism and objectification of women to be had. This is not the place for it, nor do I attempt to make it one. I noticed that in Fire Emblem: Fates (and probably ...
53
votes
18answers
15k views

What US states are most likely to rebel?

A Little Explanation I have come across many books and trilogies based on the premise of a war torn United States. The latest of these is Burning Nation (link to Amazon page) in the Divided We Fall ...
52
votes
24answers
11k views

Wooden sticks are the only allowed weapons in a technological society - how far would these weapons have progressed by now?

Imagine that the inhabitants of Earth all follow a religion that allows only wooden weapons. How would warfare look nowadays? Commandment 37. 37a) Thou shalt make weapons only from the wood of ...
52
votes
12answers
14k views

What kind of natural armor would stop bullets?

It should not resist 50 cal bullets, but an armor which could protect a creature from the US standard issue rifle, for example. Here are a couple of things the armor needs to do: Protect the creature ...
52
votes
22answers
9k views

How do I defend an island nation from attackers with 15th century technology?

Apologies in advance that my bullet points got away from me and turned out a bit long, but I'm trying to give as much information as I can to ward off initial questions. Imagine the following ...
52
votes
17answers
9k views

What would an out-of-water submarine (for water-breathing mer-people) look like?

My mermen & women (fish from waist down and human from waist up, but breathe only in water) are at WWII era warfare and interested in their version of 'underwater,' meaning they want out-of-sea ...
51
votes
14answers
9k views

Why does gold matter so much in a matter of life and death?

We've all played fantasy RTS (real-time strategy) games, like WarCraft or DOTA, where you're in a battle and you need to spend gold to upgrade. Maybe you're buying troops or gear or whatever. But if ...
50
votes
14answers
6k views

Would charging unicorns survive the impact with a line of infantry?

The unicorns would be used to charge a line of infantry with their horn. They are as big as a horse and the horn is similar to this image: The infantry is a standard medieval army made mostly of ...
49
votes
15answers
10k views

What good are herbivores in an animal army?

This is a multi-species animal army with predators of all shapes and sixes, foxes, lions, bears, tigers, leopards, wolves, lynx, eagles, falcons and so on. The herbivores have been excluded from the ...
48
votes
25answers
10k views

Would a squad of soldiers who can shapeshift into T. Rexes be useful in a modern battle?

Take a country in the modern day, like the U.S., which routinely makes use of weapons such as guns, artillery, drones, tanks, et cetera. Now imagine that everyone in one of its elite squads of ...
48
votes
29answers
12k views

How to explain the use of high-tech bows instead of guns

I'm creating a science fiction dystopian world that takes place about about 50 years in the future. One of the characters for this world is a member a highly sought-after group of mercenaries that I ...
48
votes
17answers
14k views

Build an impregnable fortress in the middle ages with modern technology

Let's say we want to build the strongest possible fortress¹ in a medieval (1300 CE) setting while having access to any modern technology and material. Said technology can only be used during the ...
48
votes
6answers
15k views

What does a medieval army cost?

Something I was wondering about recently. My world has a medieval/fantasy setting. Most of the factions are either empires or kingdoms and they all have some sort of standing army. In time of war, ...
47
votes
5answers
13k views

Are nuclear weapons useful in space?

On Earth, nuclear weapons can wreak enormous damage to a country and for that reason, large-scale wars between nuclear powers don’t happen. But what would happen if humanity progressed just enough to ...
46
votes
14answers
8k views

Why is ground warfare smaller scaled than space warfare?

The universe is populated by a decent number of different spacefaring civilisations and races, the largest spanning over hundreds of systems. They have formed relations with each other: Diplomacy, ...
45
votes
15answers
11k views

Is this alternate history plausible? (Hard Sci-Fi, Realistic History)

Is this alternate history I came up with plausible? What holes does it have? Are some events very unlikely to happen, even impossible? Should I change some dates of some events? Most of my knowledge ...
45
votes
22answers
14k views

Would a 100% simulated war be a way to solve national conflict?

My world is similar to our daily world except that fully immersive virtual reality is already well-developed. The virtual reality is built by scanning real environment. The system was first used to do ...
45
votes
17answers
7k views

Surviving an Overwhelming Siege

The evil enemy has us surrounded. They outnumber our forces, they have us outgunned. These helldogs have a trillion dollars/year for their war budget, and they can afford the fanciest toys, numerous ...
44
votes
17answers
3k views

What would be the most effective way of keeping a psychopath with a spaceship from wreaking severe havoc in a suicide crash?

Any spaceship over several hundred tons is an extremely dangerous weapon in the wrong hands, particularly if it's intended for reentry. Made mostly of metal and possibly shaped to be able to breach ...
43
votes
29answers
16k views

What shape of a ship would be most effective in real life space combat?

What shape of ship would be optimized for space combat in the context of a future space navy? What advantages and disadvantages would the shape you have chosen have and why is it the best for future ...
43
votes
17answers
10k views

What are the enabling factors for melee combat in modern or future settings?

Swords are neat. Unfortunately, they aren't very practical with guns around. What sorts of technologies, social circumstances, environmental factors or magics would allow for people who train to fight ...
42
votes
16answers
10k views

What would be the pros and cons of a merged military and police?

What would be the pros and cons of a merged military and police? In the world I am building war is an ongoing issue, and so the culture's military is quite extensive. Also the majority of people ...
42
votes
19answers
6k 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 ...
42
votes
11answers
5k views

Hammer-proof armor

We know, unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, that plate armor was actually incredibly effective when it was being used. In order to combat this, some bright spark came up with the concept of ...
42
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I train monkeys to fight with knives effectively?

I saw this picture and I wonder if you can train a monkey and use him as bodyguard or soldiers in a medieval world. If so, can they be effective against human troops? How can you make them not betray ...
41
votes
25answers
12k views

Advantages of “Spider Mechs” over Tanks?

I've seen the discussion on how bipedal mechs are inferior to treaded and wheeled vehicles in almost every way. However, all of these questions appear to be related to bipedal mechs. I'm wondering if ...
41
votes
7answers
3k views

What would World War I outcomes be if the Tunguska event had occurred over London in 1908?

I am exploring an alternative history of a timeline if the centre of the British Empire is wiped off the map in the early 20th century. The Tunguska event was believed to be an air burst comet or ...
40
votes
17answers
9k 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 ...