Hot answers tagged

89

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 with after a couple of hours (assuming the knight just stands there) is a whole lot of exhausted men with bent baseball bats, and a knight whose worst problem is ...


89

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 shows examples of interactions with a non-Newtonian fluid. A protection spell applies such dilatant properties to the atmosphere around the wizard. Ballistic ...


64

The Devil is in the Details. Your hypothetical mage's 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 penetrate. However, this has an unwanted side effect of that they are no longer ballistic in nature. As a result, the robe is now, for all intents and purposes, ...


58

During the War of 1812, the United States frigate USS Constitution earned its nickname "Old Ironsides" when cannonballs from HMS Guerriere were seen bouncing off its heavy all-wooden live-oak hull rather than penetrating. In the mid-1800s, the introduction of ironclad and iron-hulled warships changed the nature of naval combat so quickly that many ships ...


23

After the first dozen ships are destroyed with zero chance of causing even the slightest damage, the rest break off. Unless they are suicidal morons. Seriously, they cannot damage the battleship and they get slaughtered in droves as they slowly approach what, to the battleship is point-blank range. Hell, the Bismarck could probably win with just AA and ...


23

The magical robe also magically perceives intent. Enemy projectiles? Blocked. Harmless raindrops falling from a benign sky? Come on through. Angry raindrops from an insulted deity? Blocked! Additionally, this could optionally add a fun wrinkle where an "accidental" projectile, say friendly fire or a alchemical explosion, could actually become very deadly ...


21

It's because you are looking at two different phenomena. Anything gets wet because of capillary forces and surface tension. Both phenomena have nothing to do with stopping ballistic projectiles. It's like asking "why do I get wet though my sweater is pink?"


20

Even a 32-lbr. gun could do serious damage to the superstructure and deck equipment of the battleship. Aircraft, aircraft catapults, ship's boats, radar and radio antenna, optical rangefinders, they would all be vulnerable to a hit. So unless you make the battleship captain stupid, he should fire back. The Bismarck carried only 864-1,004 rounds for the 38cm ...


14

Let's look at it objectively: You don't even need a battleship. Let's look at the first iron armored ships and their combat - which included frigates and 2 ironclads. The armament of both the frigates and the ironclads is comparable to somewhat superior to an age of sail ship of the line. USS Monitor and Merrimack/CCS Virginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads ...


10

This brings to mind the personal force shields from Frank Herbert's Dune series. These shields (note that, despite the name, it's a force field encompassing half or all of the wearer's body, not a "strapped to your arm" shield) resist incoming objects with a force proportional to the energy of the incoming object. A bullet, or even a quick blade thrust, is ...


9

Spear and shield infantry - around a month as absolute minimum. Hypothetically, a man can fight with spear and shield pretty fast, but you also need to train them to keep formations, etc. If they can't do that, they're going to be near useless on battlefield. Archers - forget about it. Crossbow soldier is an option, but Archers require a lot of training. ...


9

It depends on the missile's capabilities and on the demon's physiology. However, if the missile is capable of detecting any heat gradient, and the demon's biology is roughly restricted by the laws of physics (that is, based on some kind of chemistry and incapable of breaking the second law of thermodynamics), it should be able to. The reason is as follows: ...


8

Well, I once wore a bullet-proof vest and it was raining. The vest got wet. No one shot me, but I'm pretty sure that if they had, it would have protected me. This is because rain is expressly not bullets. Rain and bullets don't work on the same principles. However, a bullet-proof vest and mage's robe (as you have it) don't seem to work the same way ...


8

Too many projectiles Magic is computable. Each spell is like a computer program, and an enchanted object is like a computer. Unless the enemy attack completely overwhelm the battlemage in term of magic strength, the robe should survive unscathed. The rain overwhelms the robe's capacity to process ballistic trajectories. A few droplets do get deflected, ...


8

Taking just the energy side of the question: say we're using 36lb (17.6kg, we'll round up to 18kg) guns. These have a muzzle velocity of ~450m/s, apparently. That means that the kinetic energy in each shot no firing is ~1.8MJ. Assume that's all perfectly applied to the ship. The armour of the Bismarck weighed 17.5Mkg, so rather conveniently, that's about 0....


8

If I was the battleship's commander, as soon as the 700-ship fleet of sailing vessels shows up on the horizon I'm altering my orders. "Only vessels which are closing on our ship are to be targeted. Each of the 105mm gun mounts will be assigned targets in its quadrant of the ship. Any enemy vessel closing to eight kilometers range will be targeted by two ...


8

In order to deliver damage, a projectile mush have suitable velocity suitable hardness Velocity is needed to give enough energy to the impact, and hardness to ensure that the target is damaged. A battle ship contemporary of the Bismark would be able to afford shots with both characteristics. A ship dating centuries before would fail on both sides: soft ...


7

Let's rephrase your question: "We have a battleship with hard iron plating being hit with slow lead projectiles. What weight of accumulated projectiles is necessary before the battleship sinks?" Lots. Also, they would better with some occasional chain shot to make a more cohesive mass.


6

No, the sailing ships cannot sink the battleship using their cannon. But... Once the battleship is moving again, they could lay partly submerged ropes across the path of the battleship in an attempt to tangle the battleship's rudder. The sailing ships wouldn't know about the propellers unless there was some divination magic that revealed their existence ...


5

The Bismarck wouldn't put up with it for one second They would use any means to repel the attackers. Remember how the Germans lost the Graf Spee. The damage they took in battle was trivial - the British attacks barely dented the armor. However, every battleship has some squishy equipment topside - radio masts, rangefinders, lifeboats, and on the Graf ...


4

he gave instructions to his crew to only fire at the ships attempting to board them. Your commander may not be able to fire at ships which are attempting to board his vessel, at least not using his guns: Battleships are tall and the guns can only be depressed a limited amount. For example, the 20mm Oerlikon guns on an Iowa class battleship could typically ...


4

The Bismarck carried supplies for less than 3 months, so that's how long it could sustain the attacks. The canon fire doesn't matter.


4

For the Iowa class the citadel has enough reserve buoyancy to keep the ship afloat if the rest of the hull is flooded. The the side armor is 12.1" sloped at -19 degrees.The transverse armor is 11.3" There is no way, no how a cannonball is getting through that. Before the cannonball could even get to that armor it would have to pass through 2" of armor ...


4

Spear and Shield: A Few Weeks of Drilling The spear is the easiest melee weapon to use and was the core armament of all medieval armies. If you want effective troops than you’d actually need them to understand drill. Knowing how to march in step, facing movements, and obeying commands are all critical, and can be learned quite well within 7 weeks. I know ...


4

Protection of this sort needs to have a lower limit: if it didn't, air itself would be sealed away, and the mage would suffocate in his own protective magic. Given that such a lower limit must exist, a robe tuned so that bullets are stopped would still allow rain through: raindrops hitting the magic would (at worst) atomize into a fine mist that passes ...


4

It depends. A very simple heat seeking missile will just chase any hot spot its IR sensor will detect. It can be then easily fooled by spurious hot spots, like fires, flares and the like. In an environment like hell, unless the target is way hotter than hell, its sensor will probably be saturated and won't detect any specific target. If it instead has ...


3

The enchantment on the robe makes the fibers of the robe invulnerable. In order for an arrow or crossbow bolt to pierce the mage, it would have to sever strands of the fibers that make up the cloth the robe is made of. The magical enchantment on the robe makes that impossible. If the cloth is sufficiently thick enough, or has padding, it will absorb the ...


3

Probably yes. Provided that (a) they indigenous people's magical capabilities are incapable of destroying your weapons, and (b) the colonists are a united people, then by all means yes. As you pointed out, the main problem with these weapons is that they are glass cannons; they are "capable of going through armor like a knife through butter", but they have ...


3

Frame challenge: What if instead of blocking bullets, the robe magically caused the wizard to dodge them? I.e.: it gives him superior predictive capabilities to know exactly where every bullet and arrow is going to be and aids his reflexes (or just physically pushes him out of the way - think of Doctor Strange's robe. Sure this might interfere or distract ...


2

Well this a rather interesting question since the general rule of 1000AD was there was no formal military training as we would recognize it and for most "decent" meant "living long enough to let the professionals do their work with some degree of safety"...in short, learning formations. Luckily, this can be done rather quickly for this most part spear and ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible