Hot answers tagged

81

For aliens, or creatures with interstellar-level technology, boots-on-the-ground planetary invasion and subjugation of the local population makes almost no tactical or strategic sense from a military perspective. That's why their invasion isn't a military operation, it's an alien entertainment show: The aliens have built remote-controlled bodies (or are just ...


54

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 great hero of the past used a trident, and the culture was once a nautical one. There are a wide variety of pole-arms used in the middle ages, and the heads were ...


51

Historical example: horse and bow The steppe nomads from Asia have been quite proficient horse archers. It's their signature fighting style to move quickly and shoot. Individually, neither of these is hard to duplicate. And mostly anybody can learn to shoot from atop a horse. What makes the steppe people fearsome is how well they do both at the same time. It'...


45

You got the English Longbow. Archery is hard. Like, really hard. Fantasy almost never makes justice on how skilled and how strong an archer has to be to be effective in combat. While we often see archers as those lithe, quick, nimble elf-like beings with noodly arms that use bows because they lack upper body strength, that is the absolutely worst physical ...


41

Non-metallic non-organic low-velocity projectiles. It's a pretty well known fact that low velocity projectiles will pierce even the most developed personal shielding devices. See Dune shield tech or even the Go'uld shield tech. Normally this means that a thrown hatchet, knife or other such low tech weapon will do the trick. However, your alien shield tech ...


37

Tridents grow on trees. http://laviecevenole.blogspot.com/2009/06/sauve-and-pitchfork.html For a working hay fork, this takes eight years on the bush, with well-gauged pruning all the while. If more than ten days lapse without trimming, the year's harvest can be lost. Once the fork is ready and cut from the bush, it is transferred to a 100 C oven, where as ...


24

NERF is really an acronym. Stands for Non Earthling Repulsion Force. Nerf was invented by time travelers who knew about the upcoming invasion, and knew about the fatal flaw in their shields. Nerf makes q tiny crack in their air shield, and then the atmosphere kills them.


21

Frame challenge: Your mage guild has no problem, whatsoever. Ok, creating an enchanted artifact is expensive. Buying it second hand is cheaper. However, with the possibility of reselling an item once it's not needed anymore, it's easier to justify buying it new. Just look at the car market: Cars are sold second hand all the time, but the ability to resell a ...


17

Gosh, isn't it hard. Here's my try : Alien shields have a terrible flaw They are proportionally inversely effective against incoming impacts. Indeed, the shield's wavelength is accurately designed to deter any offensive maneuvers aggressively, not unsuspected friendly ones. This means that high-velocity bullets are slowed to a stop, while slow, very light ...


15

It's simple economics. Once a weapon is enchanted, it's a much better weapon in some respects. The thing is, weapons aren't normally judged on a wide-ranging, complicated scale. The enchantments people will pay for will all be more or less the same - supersharpness, unbreakability, flame generation, soul reaping, etc. Once you've acquired one of these ...


15

Sticking to the good old tradition: we are not punks who fight with laser, plasma annihilators and all that garbage used by these honor-less two legged beings who dare calling themselves men. Our ancestors, those were real men, defended their land and honor with guns and lead, and so we will do.


14

Supply chain disruption and bad coding The Setup The enemy shields are completely impregnable, but use up a lot of energy. They go through one battery every ten minutes. The batteries, which are based on zero-point energy, use an exotic tech that causes them to explode violently if they get within six feet of each other, so soldiers can't carry multiples. In ...


14

Assuming an ideal spherical free market in a vacuum, recycling becomes rare if we go by these axioms: An enchanted sword is worth more than the same weapon without an enchantment. Magicians seek to make a profit. A magician who decides to sell enchanted weapons must acquire weapons to transform. It only makes economical sense if the output of the process ...


13

I like the answer by Mathaddict, but I want to add a couple of thoughts: Mines (in the traditional meaning of the word) or Saps Dig a tunnel to the wall, shoring the roof as you work. Under the wall, dig a cavity, again with wooden beams. Then fill it with flammable stuff and torch it. The cavity collapses, and so does the wall. Gunpowder would have helped, ...


12

Four-Pronged Approach Prong #1 Mage Corps 4-5 mages, one highly skilled, the rest apprentices 200 mage support troops 50 guards Mage Corps priorities: Neutralize enemy mages: Apprentices work in shifts to tire out the enemy magic users employing hit and run tactics. Support troops specialize in distracting enemy mages providing supporting fire and using ...


12

There's more incentive to NOT re-enchant a sword than you might think Swords are a dime-a-dozen. They're made by the thousands for the military. Swords are everywhere. It's almost as if you can't swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting one. And since there's no benefit to enchanting a sword twice, there's no motivation to do it. In fact, one could say ...


11

More holes per hit. Your soldiers are fighting creatures that can deal well with deep wounds, but not so well with lots of them. Say, at least some of the time, you're fighting some amorphous creature with a thick skin that prevents the stuff coming out. Think huge Paramecia. Poking a deep hole into the liquid inside won't do much good, and a few small ...


10

Let's look at smart gun technology for inspiration A smart gun is a gun and/or weapon that can detect it's authorized user. If said authorized user is not the one pulling the proverbial trigger, the weapon does not actuate. What your guilds invented was Smart Magic TechnologyTM, and all it requires is — a drop of blood! The Mage Guilds are protecting their ...


10

It's not the form, it's the material Actually this "super weapon" is simply a sword/spear. Maybe it does look fancy, but that's because the godess of those island-weirdos demands it. But compared to mainlander-swords the material is more durable, probably a bit lighter and needs a lot of disuse to lose it's edge. And you know how those island-...


9

A variation on Tortliena's idea: I don't believe they would have a shield flaw that severe. However, how about a corner case: The shield projects an extreme gravity wave at incoming projectiles, this normally throws back anything incoming. However, Nerf darts are made of foam--the shield hits the dart and instead of throwing it back it's compressed down to ...


8

More accurate than you might think possible Let's look at a surprising science: photography. When doing photography of objects that are distant, low light or both you need to have a longer exposure to make the image bright and detailed enough. But anyone these days can tell you that making a picture in a dark room is difficult. You need a steady hand as well....


8

Here's a quick break down with your values listed, without going into any deeper speculation or theory. Assume two ships are pointed at each other and about to fire. How close can they be and still dodge an incoming shot? If we assume the ships are cylinders with a 10 meters radius and are stationary with respect to one another, we can use the Distance ...


8

If a weapon is actually a significant upgrade it will be copied by everyone within a short period of time unless the people that know how it functions are rare. Where you would end up with a weapon that was unique to a group for an extended period of time would be when a weapon isn't actually better under normal circumstances but that when combined with a ...


8

The answer by The Square-Cube Law sounds good, but let me add tradition to the mix. Honor can only be satisfied by a duel which meets the traditional forms. Traditional in your world are swords, and muzzle-loading pistols, and specific models of six-shooters. There are elaborate rituals of challenge and acceptance, selection of site and selection of weapons. ...


8

The Defendant's plans, however, did not involve death. From seemingly nowhere he pulled out a sword, and before the guards could react, he ...raised it high. It was an absurd scene - not only was the very idea of a sword as a weapon completely insensate: the blade was actually a luminous plastic cylinder, and almost everybody present immediately recognized ...


7

And a Child Will Lead Them: The aliens don't have technology like we understand. They are psychic beings, and all that gear is a perception filter to make us believe in their invulnerability. They barely even register physical matter. They prepared themselves well to conquer us, and WE are the valuable commodity to psychic beings - psychic minds ripe for ...


6

Alien shields are made of special compound which protects them very nicely against impact weapons like bullets by dissipating impact force to larger area and resisting punctures. However, the chemical composition of Nerf tips is (as luck would have it) something that aliens have never met before (so it escaped their testing) -- in contact with shield ...


6

Huge caches of ammo and guns. There used to be a lot of people. Back when there were many people, manufacturers made lots of guns and ammo for all the fighting all those people were going to do. Now there are just a few people left. The giant troves of guns and ammo remain, and they are more than enough for the little bit of fighting that now goes on. ...


6

Depends how long do you need to orient the weapon on the ship to damage it. If you need the beam to hold for a long time (>1sec), or your using railguns: I'd be looking at the accuracy of surveying tools like Theodolites. Here's one on eBay than can do 10 seconds of angular accuracy. That's (10 / 60 / 60)'th of a degree. 0.00277778 degrees. That's about ...


6

Won't Know Until You Fly Them As has been previously mentioned, a ship of an arbitrary size (10 meter radius and cylindrical) would be able to dodge your weapons at about 7,500 meters provided it had 1 second of warning. But there are some problems with this (excellent) "perfect secnario" mathing out of your question. 1: It isn't a perfect ...


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