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108 votes
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What would induce a country to actively guard an empty wasteland?

There are many possible options; here are some: Religion, culture, tradition. You can make people do all sorts of sub-optimal stuff if they think there is value in them, from the favor of the gods ...
Raditz_35's user avatar
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91 votes
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How could medieval ships protect themselves from giant mermaids?

Employ mermaid escorts. They are smart. They like stuff we have because they accept it in payment from ships crossing their territory. Presumably they can deal with criminals of their own kind. ...
Willk's user avatar
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77 votes
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How to hide an urban landmark?

During WWII the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, was under menace of being bombed by the German bombers. Since it was known that the bombing would have taken place overnight, it was decided to build in ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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72 votes
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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 ...
MichaelK's user avatar
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67 votes
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How can a defecting pilot improve their odds of survival?

Land and wait Don't go anywhere near a place that has the capability of bringing you down. You'll be detected flying in their airspace soon enough, you don't need to go to their military base. ...
Theik's user avatar
  • 1,911
66 votes

Best strategy against anti-material monsters

Use their attraction towards magic to drown them into poop It's too exhausting to renew all these expensive defense mechanisms. There is one resource the kingdom will never run out of: poop. Let ...
Alexis's user avatar
  • 1,620
64 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 ...
MichaelK's user avatar
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62 votes

How can a defecting pilot improve their odds of survival?

Cross into hostile airspace, but don't go towards anything. Keep on a level course, away from anything that could be construed as a strategic target. Set the transponder to whatever the most visible ...
Cadence's user avatar
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61 votes

What would induce a country to actively guard an empty wasteland?

You are describing all the field training areas I have seen The army always gets the cheapest land around. Which is the land no one else wants. Which is also a benefit when training soldiers to ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
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60 votes
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Zombie killing structure that's easy to construct, durable and low maintenance?

A super low tech alternative approach. Stairway to heaven. Build a nice tall stair case going from ground level up a good 5 or 6 floors then hang a birdcage a good 6 or 7 feet off the edge of the ...
apaul's user avatar
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58 votes
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Can one nuke reliably shoot another out of the sky?

You have described 1950 era ABM's, so the short answer is "Yes, of course" The pulse of hard radiation from the nuclear explosion could potentially fry the electronics of the incoming warhead, so the ...
Thucydides's user avatar
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53 votes

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

Machine guns have made human wave attacks ineffective. Where human waves prevailed against modern firepower, it was always that defendants were unprepared for it, due to lack of properly dug-in ...
Alexander's user avatar
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51 votes
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Can spacecraft defend against antimatter weapons? How?

Don't be there when the antimatter beam arrives. There is no shortage of ways to destroy a spaceship: high-powered lasers, antimatter particle beams, near-lightspeed projectiles, and so on. There's ...
Mark's user avatar
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50 votes
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What is the ideal location to hide the President in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

Why would you want to hide the President? That concept makes sense if there is an attack by an intelligent adversary who wants to target the chain of command. In this case, it sounds as if you want to ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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49 votes

How would one attack or lay siege to a flying castle?

Let's revisit the premise that the sky-castle has a year's worth of water stored on it. As a corollary to this premise, we should assume that the stored water won't become stagnant or otherwise ...
user535733's user avatar
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49 votes

How can a pre-industrial civilization effectively defend against aerial attacks from large, fire-breathing creatures without the use of magic?

A normal human society would not try to defend itself against non-magical large, flying, fire breathing creatures. A normal human society would hunt them and kill them dead. Humans are very good at ...
AlexP's user avatar
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45 votes
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What kind of a unit/army would prefer fighting from a low ground position?

The high ground is better because... you can more easily throw stuff onto the enemy, you can walk down saving strength, you can see further, and in close quarters you stand taller. We need to ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 5,859
44 votes

Can spacecraft defend against antimatter weapons? How?

The mass-energy in a gram of anti-matter is $0.001 c^2 = 9 × 10^{13}$ joules or about 20 kilotonnes of TNT, that is substantial! (and you get another $9 × 10^{13}$ from the annihilation of the ...
James K's user avatar
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44 votes

What is the ideal location to hide the President in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

Fort Knox Contrary to popular belief, Fort Knox is not just the location where the gold is stored. That title goes to the United States Bullion Depository. Fort Knox is actually a 109,000 ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
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43 votes
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Surviving an Overwhelming Siege

Tunnels. Tunnels under tunnels, under tunnels, under tunnels. You can never have enough tunnels. And they're so handy. You can keep your water, gas masks, food, ammunition, anti-tank weapons, ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
43 votes
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If the Cold War went hot in the early 1970s, would the Warsaw Pact be able to reach the Rhine River?

My aunt and uncle were both stationed in Germany for many years as part of the US force that was ready to face the Soviets coming through the Fulda Gap. In the words of my uncle (who spent most of his ...
JBiggs's user avatar
  • 9,601
43 votes

How would one attack or lay siege to a flying castle?

From a safe distance, your sappers excavate a tunnel. The tunnel leads to the tether point of the castle's anchor chain. Bring the tether down into the tunnel from below. Winch it along the tunnel....
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
42 votes

How useful is an impregnable castle?

Castles were useful for a certain type of defensive warfare. They allow you to project power over an area with a relatively small but immobile force. You could consider them to be primarily a delaying ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
41 votes
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Are underground shelters defensible?

Much of what you are asking has been answered in the 5000 year old recorded history of warfare. Essentially, what you are asking about is how to protect your fortress or fortification from investiture ...
Thucydides's user avatar
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41 votes
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U.S. Army/Military's response time to an army appearing in the middle of a major city

It wouldn't be an 'all at once' kind of scenario. It would probably go down something like this: 0-1 hours: Initial invasion. Massive wave of 911 calls results in large scale but uncoordinated ...
Morris The Cat's user avatar
38 votes

Defenses against someone moving at 1500+mph

1500+ mph is about Mach 2. This is within the operational envelope of the AN/SEQ-3 LaWS. Unless your speedsters can resist a 30 kW laser bolt, things don't look very good for them. It is also possible ...
LSerni's user avatar
  • 55.4k
38 votes

How to defend a kingdom without killing anyone

Location location location. Make yourself such a hard target no one wants to attack you. The problem with an army is that they come from the population, especially in medieval times. Losing too much ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 45.4k
36 votes

How can a defecting pilot improve their odds of survival?

Vulnerability The defector knows that the flight pattern of one wanting to attack is going to be evasive and attempt to avoid retaliation. The defector also doesn't want to be mistaken for a ...
Neil's user avatar
  • 4,290
36 votes

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

Mud Hoses Dwarven engineers create some kind of very big and powerful water/mud hoses. As soon as attackers are charging downhill, they target the hoses against the hillside, to generate a very ...
Onoper's user avatar
  • 1,407
36 votes
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Defenses against someone moving at 1500+mph

they have 2 weeks before the speedster finds and kills them Seems like they are headed for a final showdown. Since they are the defendants, they get to pick the battlefield. I suggest this: That ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar

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