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140

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 charging swordsman will be hit multiple times by a gunman before he closes the gap. We must either have a shorter gap (to reduce the number of shots that can be ...


95

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 tremendously powerful in combat, it doesn't need to be as long as the enemy isn't actually expecting a shapeshifter. Modern physical security is largely based around ...


91

What you need is a mine clearance flail tank The following is an animation showing it at work - click to see full video. These are based on M4 Sherman tanks and still have the standard weaponry in addition to the flails. Fuel capacity 138–175 U.S. gallons (522–662 litres) depending upon variant Operational range 100–150 miles (161–241 km) on road ...


82

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 will need a visible weapon to maintain pretenses. Then he can sneakily stab the opponent who is focused on parrying the visible weapon. For extra equipment, ...


82

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 getting to fight back and will ensure total destruction of the skeletons. To be sure once the skeletons are smashed up with hammers they should be swept up and ...


79

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 already exist that can do the job better and more quietly? If he's a private, then he's inexperienced, so he's potentially a liability in the field. Why use a dragon ...


77

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 fighters can be at a disadvantage against a small group. Mob mentality takes over and it becomes very difficult for the large group to act in a coordinated ...


76

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 one that interferes with the BCI (Brain Computer Interface), etc. There is nothing the warrior can do to avoid this. The warrior thought that the glancing blow ...


76

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 of retreating. After all, if your front is covered but your back isn't, you're going to want to keep your front to your enemies so they can't exploit your ...


73

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 fighting, even the most compact muscles can easily be punctured by a blade. In a room full of swordsmen, a lucky strike can shear through to bone, and then the master ...


73

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 control This is not even a platitude: war and battle is not at all about killing people, war is about establishing and/or keeping control. When you have control ...


71

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 dangerous to use unless you have some level of prescience from your attunement with the force. Only a handful of individuals are known to wield a lightsaber ...


69

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 transfers energy very effectively: It slows down a lot (leaving the kinetic energy behind to damage tissues). The heat energy of a hot projectile? Not so much. It ...


68

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 but didn't have any actual combat experience, nor the intention to make any. The problem with these weapons is that they are neither good guns nor good swords. ...


68

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-capacitor that takes however long you want to want it to to power up the next shot. Say, 30 seconds. Your battery pack can supply 1, 6 or more shots depending on ...


67

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 credit for these images; as far as I can track down, they were created by Pere Pérez, who has some other work showcased here. Several of the moves depicted below ...


65

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 waste disposal than combat. Szczerzo has the right idea when it comes to small scale troubles and building clearances, pitchfork and a woodchipper is the way to ...


64

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 fighting. A narrow hallway, bridge, or similar bottleneck will mean you only face one or two at a time instead of many. This is historically how famed ...


63

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 world, where some races live under ground, like for example Drow and Duergar, relying solely on being on a hill to be safe against attackers would be folly at ...


62

(...) 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 hazardous. The very first XKCD - what if article deals exactly with that. The scenario is a baseball being thrown at 90% of the speed of light. It is a very fun read, ...


61

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 one-shot cartridge. Every time you shoot, you discharge the whole battery, and you have to insert a new one. Another possibility is cooling time. Even if you ...


60

Focus less on actual armor and more on keeping the enemy at a distance. Ranged weaponry is your friend. In most role-playing and computer games, the sling is almost always seen as a sub-optimal weapon. In actual use, using prepared shot (not just stone, but specially made of metal or ceramic), they can be quite deadly. If the Lokk are also physically ...


57

Your description and comments seem to imply that Alice will not be able to overcome the cultist with any single sequence of attacks. So, she'll have to use a long-term strategy defeat him, where no six-second sequence of events gives Alice a clear advantage, but she gains one when they are all combined. In particular, she could use the rope-a-dope. This ...


55

I'll try my hand at your comment on L.Dutch's Answer: Very insightful. Giving a "wavehandium" reason for slow fire rate is feasible. However, is there a way to make modern firearms less accurate - maybe something about the world's physics? Since you're writing a science fantasy setting, you could either play with the actual world (as in planet)'s ...


53

From Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series: The heroine, Vin, was fighting a warrior who had Atium, which gave him the magical power to see her attacks before she made them, and to react to them accordingly. It was believed that the only counter to the precognition of a warrior with Atium was to have Atium yourself, but Vin had used all of hers. But then ...


53

You can view this as a future-analog of knights wearing armor, and it that context it really depends on the circumstances of the fight, but traditionally the best melee weapons against hard-armor have been maces and mauls. Blades are designed to cut flesh and other soft material, and do not preform well against hard armor. They will simply blunt or become ...


53

Most authors and artists claim that practically nude armor on women has two advantages: It makes her faster and less encumbered. It distracts male soldiers. But this is a stupid argument, in reality neither of these will work or have any practical effect and there is no benefit to the so called bare ass-armor


51

We here, in the Department of Skeletal Removement use pitchforks (and shovels) and wood chippers. You simply load preferred amount of skeletons on your pitchfork like in the instructional picture below And then load them into wood chippers. For the extra sureness of bone removements you can sprinkle them with phosphorus or fluoride Always follow the ...


50

While this question is fantasy-based, this answer is reality-based in that it doesn't require that the hero know about the AI at all until after the fight has started, if at all, and doesn't require any magic or unusual equipment. As a martial artist (a red belt/4th kyu in Shotokan karate and hapkido), I have fought dan-grade black belts. The difference is ...


49

Shrapnel is your friend A skeleton is in many ways a similar target to the types of barbed wire fences used in fixed defensive positions. While you can pound them with artillery and mortars, the most efficient way to create breaches in a barbed wire obstacle (if you can sneak close enough without getting shot) is with a Bangalore torpedo - basically a long,...


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