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132 votes

Is there any real reason for Dwarves not to have cavalry?

Dwarves don't have cavalry because cavalry is useless in their preferred environment. Let's take a look at history. Where does the cavalry excel? On large, open flat plains. Horses are large, ...
M i ech's user avatar
  • 5,837
99 votes

Is it possible to win many wars while not being highly regarded in the military art?

The easiest way to do this is to have him on the frontier far from the important part of the country. A general who isn't of the right class/race/religion/thinking three thousand miles away is easy ...
Dan Clarke's user avatar
  • 7,191
95 votes

Military Tank drone, why are they not common yet?

Unlike a flying machine, loss of connection or autopilot malfunction is not catastrophic, in the worst case your tank just sits idle or runs into wall instead of crashing like a flying drone would. ...
Euphoric's user avatar
  • 2,734
94 votes

Why would space fleets be aligned?

The crews have evolved on worlds with orientation, so their psychology and conventions reflect the reality that they are planetary creatures. Orson Scott Card captured the importance of orientation ...
pojo-guy's user avatar
  • 9,722
88 votes

What is a realistic time needed to get a properly trained army?

Without logistical hurdles: 8 Months Minimum Basic Training: 8 Weeks. This provides the basic (minimal) set of soldier skills: Safe weapons handling and use, combat movement and reactions, ...
user535733's user avatar
  • 28.9k
87 votes

Is the concept of a biometric smart gun that will detonate when anyone besides its owner touches the weapon unrealistic?

A smart gun which only fires in the hands of an authorised individual -- which may include any soldier in your army -- is a useful and practical concept. It may have issues when transferring weapons ...
David Hambling's user avatar
86 votes

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

Police and Military should never be merged. They have different missions and are set up completely differently. If you look at countries in conflict, and those that are stable today, you see a ...
flox's user avatar
  • 22.2k
82 votes

Infantry weapons, or why are there people running around down there anyway?

War is not about smashing things If all you wanted to do was to blow thy enemies to tiny bits in thy mercy, then orbital bombardment will do the job without the need for infantry, that is correct. But ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 43.9k
82 votes

Would tanks or small walkers be better for Lunar militaries?

I was an Anti-tank gunner for 8 years with the Marines, I'll let ya in on why walkers will never be used by a military as an armored vehicle. First, joints are huge weak points. Not just to enemy ...
TCAT117's user avatar
  • 21.1k
78 votes

Military Tank drone, why are they not common yet?

Many good answers here, but I thought I'd add my two cents as a former infantryman. One of the biggest benefits to using a drone aircraft is the mitigation of risk to human life. We are willing to ...
JBiggs's user avatar
  • 9,601
78 votes

Storming Area 51

I began to plan out various tactics and such, when I realized it was all for naught. Let's suppose they breach the perimiter of the base. They will soon face an unsolvable problem. They don't have ...
Lupus's user avatar
  • 2,445
77 votes

Conquering a Metropolis with near-zero own casualties

Drone warfare Your people might not be disposable but you have the money and you have the toys. There's no reason to actually send any of your people within 500miles of the place. So you lose a few ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
76 votes

How much havoc can a small amount of people cause in a metropolis?

Assassinate the Garbage Collectors Every city has workers at the bottom, doing the nasty, dirty jobs needed to keep a city livable. Chances are, dear reader, you yourself don't 'see' these people in ...
Nathaniel Ford's user avatar
73 votes

What measures might an early-medieval society take to deal with draugr?

Fight draugr with dogr. If you have weird dudes sneaking around the village looking for trouble, there is nothing better than a watchdog. They will be even better for draugr. Dogs will smell these ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
72 votes

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. is about ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 43.9k
71 votes

How would modern naval warfare have to have developed differently for battleships to still be relevant in the 21st century?

TLDR: All you need is better Anti-Aircraft Guns There's a lot of good information here, but I think @Karl actually has the best and simplest answer to the question. Imagine a scenario where instead ...
Morris The Cat's user avatar
69 votes

Conquering a Metropolis with near-zero own casualties

Inspired by a certain politician/real estate mogul: Build a high wall around the city. Make it very high, full of automated defenses and airtight. Not inspired by said person, but by a lake: Then ...
Cyrus's user avatar
  • 22.4k
66 votes

Are there examples of rowers who also fought?

Vikings! If the Vikings had to row, everyone on the longship took their turn at an oar (though they sailed any time they could, because who wouldn't?) -- and when they went ashore to fight, everyone ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 45.9k
65 votes

Is it plausible that a country developed steam engines before gunpowder?

Yes You're in luck, the first steam engine was actually invented in the 1st Century AD a good 1000 years ahead of gunpowder. The Aeolipile is technically a steam engine, what's required is for the ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
64 votes

Why would The Machines not hunt humanity?

Because their programming doesn't allow them. The most likely way for a realistic AI to become "hostile" to mankind is because it learned something in a way we didn't intent to. As an ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 45.4k
64 votes

What kind of war would lead to Ultra-Heavy tanks being useful?

A lot of people are focusing on the viability of making giant land vehicles. I mean... we already have stupidly large land vehicles, don't we? That's the BelAz. It's a huge cargo truck, to move ...
Mermaker's user avatar
  • 9,094
63 votes

Mounted Cavalry in the Modern Era

I'm sorry, but there's just no way to realistically spin this in the context of modern warfare tactics, weapons, and battle doctrine. In the olden days, thousands of people would gather in a big ...
AndreiROM's user avatar
  • 34.7k
61 votes

Would a National Army of mercenaries be a feasible idea?

This practice was done all the time in Medieval Europe, the most famous being the Swiss Guard which was formed in the late 15th century and were stationed as guards in foreign courts until 1847 ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 10.8k
59 votes

What kind of spells would magicians cast in combat if the fuel to magic is very expensive

Snipers Given the rule that magicians can control what they can see the most effective place for a mage would appear to be as a magical sniper, special forces or artillery. It's also probable the ...
Murphy's user avatar
  • 26.4k
59 votes

How to stop soldiers from selling their equipment?

Miliary Court and Spot Checks This is the boring answer, but that's how it is handled in basically every army. Soldiers have to account for their equipment. If something is used or lost, they need to ...
jan.sende's user avatar
  • 706
59 votes

Is there a way a society could produce tanks as cheaply as cars?

In the name of upkeeping their proud military tradition, your society has chosen one of the worst civil vehicles possible, rivalled only by steamrollers and drag cars. Tanks are incredibly ...
ebinbenis's user avatar
  • 1,539
57 votes

Is it possible to win many wars while not being highly regarded in the military art?

Yes, there are historical examples Ulysses S. Grant Grant won (or, at the very least, commanded the victorious army) at several famous battles as a field commander like Shiloh and the Siege of ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
57 votes

Full plate - ways to make individual suits look more distinct

Historically, tabards and painted shields were used display a Coat of Arms. If you want knights from the same area (but of different houses) to show some similarity, then you can make some armaments/...
K Mo's user avatar
  • 2,774
57 votes

Why would a country with high population suffer from low manpower?

"The events are set in a late renaissance like world, minus the gunpowder." Fine. Let's take this as given, and let's assume that by "late Renaissance-like" we understand western European Renaissance,...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91k
54 votes

Reason to use tridents over other weapons?

A Few Thoughts: Although the trident is somewhat limited as a weapon, I can think of several good reasons to use them. Tradition: Cultural reasons are often more powerful than you might think. A ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.7k

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