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141 votes

How can guns be countered by melee combat without raw-ability or exceptional explanations?

This is not possible within your constraints As others have mentioned, the main benefit modern firearms have over melee weapons is accuracy, fire rate and range. Thus, under your constraints, a ...
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  • 7,272
113 votes

Best fighting style for a pacifist

The ancient and noble art of Running Away. Lots of martial arts have maneuvers which minimize harm to their opponents -- but almost all of these consist of chokes, joint locks, pressure points, etc --...
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  • 5,991
102 votes
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Despite being invulnerable against ballistic projectiles, why does a wizard's robe still get wet during rain?

The spell creates a force barrier that behaves like a non-Newtonian fluid. A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that, among other things, increases its viscosity with increased shear force. This video ...
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  • 1,155
100 votes

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

What you need is a mine clearance flail tank Here is a video showing it at work These are based on M4 Sherman tanks and still have the standard weaponry in addition to the flails. Fuel capacity 138–...
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97 votes
Accepted

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

All of his other abilities are dwarfed by the "shapeshift into a human" option, which would make him an invaluable weapon for surprise attacks and assassinations. Even if his dragon form isn't ...
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  • 2,185
95 votes
Accepted

How long could a late WW2-era battleship last under sustained ship of the line cannon fire?

Imagine for a moment finding a man in full plate armor — a veritable knight encased head to toe in steel — and ordering a few dozen men to attack him with aluminum baseball bats. What you'd end up ...
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  • 7,233
86 votes

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

Use immobilizing foam to neutralize the skeletons and then the villagers can go in with hammers or similar and finish them off. This will be therapeutic for the villagers in that they feel they are ...
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  • 76.2k
85 votes

Why do my monster minions all have obvious weak points that instantly kill them?

What it offers is worth more than it sacrifices Think of it like this: Why do animals have eyes? The are easily injured, prominently and obviously positioned on the front of our faces for any one to ...
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  • 67.3k
84 votes
Accepted

How advantageous is an invisible sword?

Very Advantageous. But with careful use. Obvious use is assassinations, since it can let your guy appear to be unarmed. He can even do it in public, and frame a nearby armed person. For a duel, he ...
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  • 10.7k
82 votes
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How could a group of 6 people destroy an army?

Here's a few ways it can be cut down to size. They can be split up into two types: taking the story at its face value, and not. First, taking it at its face value... It turns out that a mass of ...
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  • 29.7k
82 votes

How could people in the medieval times defeat an armored vehicle?

So, you ask how to defeat an army of that side with the artificer?... Honestly, the description is so insane that best thing opponents can do is actually give that side a second artificer, to spend ...
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81 votes

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

Logistic support Boring as hell, but that's the most realistic option. Most other uses are replaceable by other means. Why send a dragon on a special ops mission when highly trained operatives ...
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  • 4,395
76 votes

How to Defeat a Precognitive Warrior?

Use poison. If the poison takes longer than six seconds to take effect then by the time the warrior sees his own incapacitation looming, it's too late to change it. Make it a paralyzing poison, or ...
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  • 48.1k
76 votes
Accepted

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

Hmm... in a culture that equates femininity with cowardice (regardless of whether the females actually are more cowardly than the males), it could be a way to get them to fight to the death, instead ...
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74 votes

Making the 'Master Swordsman' fantasy realistic?

You don't need stronger muscles, you just need fear The difference in strength between the strongest and average human is really not that important in the scheme of things. Especially in sword ...
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  • 84.4k
72 votes
Accepted

Would a non-lethal military be effective?

War and battle is not about killing... Summary / tl;dr Yes, this military will be effective, because you will write that it is. Your job as the author is to make it credible. ...it is about ...
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  • 39.7k
72 votes

Despite being invulnerable against ballistic projectiles, why does a wizard's robe still get wet during rain?

The Devil is in the Details. This hypothetical robe "parries all ballistic projectiles." When rain strikes the robe it does its job, reducing the drops to zero velocity so that they do not ...
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  • 8,878
71 votes

How can I explain a one-shot, slow-to-reload laser sidearm?

You could have your power supply as 2 parts: A super-capacitor that, once fully charged, can power one shot from the pistol. A battery. The battery provides a slow trickle of power to the super-...
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  • 26.2k
70 votes

Are gunswords feasible?

There are actually historical examples of such weapons. They are called pistol swords. But all of these weapons are unique novelty items usually sold to rich people who were fascinated with weapons ...
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  • 44k
69 votes

What would be the best way to fight a duel with lightsabers?

I have thought about Jedi duels a long time. I may have obsessed a wee bit much in this answer. In the Star Wars universe, only Jedi and Sith use lightsabers as weapons because they're just too ...
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  • 130k
69 votes
Accepted

Superheated bullets and the damage they would deal

The name of the game for weapons is the amount of energy they transfer to the target and how fast and how concentrated it is when it gets there. The kinetic energy of a fast-moving projectile ...
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  • 14.1k
69 votes

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

The trouble when you ask for weapons is that people think of weapons. The sound of Brrrrrt is all very well in context but we're looking at an entirely different problem here. It's closer to toxic ...
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  • 114k
69 votes

Realism of throwing knives or daggers

Having thrown knives myself as a (casual) hobby when I was younger I can tell you that it doesn't take that long to gain both power and accuracy with well balanced knives. Give it a few months of ...
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  • 741
68 votes

What would be the best way to fight a duel with lightsabers?

The best way to fight with a lightsaber, in general, is to fight dirty. Fight like a sith. In a comment, TrEs-2b provided a link to some excellent dirty lightsaber fighting techniques. I take no ...
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  • 48.1k
68 votes

How could people in the medieval times defeat an armored vehicle?

A mud pit is more than enough to stop it. Wooden wheels, even when plated with metal, do not have that much of a grip, and once they are sunken into thick mud it's a real hassle to free them up. Being ...
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  • 245k
67 votes
Accepted

Making the 'Master Swordsman' fantasy realistic?

Tactics Matter Forget the "Surrounded and outnumbered" scenario. You can survive being outnumbered, but not surrounded. This means where you choose to stand and fight is as important as your skill in ...
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  • 20.8k
65 votes

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

An army that moves in the ground Human warfare has actually been conducted under ground. From the cave bases in Afghanistan, to tunnel warfare in Vietnam, to mining in The Great War. In a fantasy ...
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  • 39.7k
65 votes

How do I stop annoyed wizards from killing people all the time?

they can kill anyone they know the location of with a thought The wizards very rapidly kill each other. It makes sense. Any of those bastards could kill you with a thought and probably... too late, ...
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  • 284k
63 votes
Accepted

How can I explain a one-shot, slow-to-reload laser sidearm?

Lasers need a lot of energy to be used as weapons. Even with a high-density battery (better than our current Li-ion batteries), it's going to be a large and heavy battery, so it's the equivalent of a ...
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  • 8,199
63 votes

What effects would propellant that expands at near light speed have on firearm technology?

(...) propellant that expands at near light speeds (...) It doesn't matter whether the projectiles themselves would go near light speed... Just the propellants doing so would already be quite ...
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