Hot answers tagged

50

You have two choices here. Use mechanisms like wormholes that provide a "shortcut" through space. Wormholes, or wormhole-bearing things are sent out in a screen ahead of you, and can watch the enemy ship and relay signals back to you through the wormhole, thus avoiding the lightspeed lag. This does not need to violate causality or require FTL travel or ...


31

The advantages of a robot swordsman is a diffused set of vital functions. Something I point out a lot is that humans aren't really designed for combat, a especially considering the number of spots on our body that would mean instant death, or lifelong incapacitation. A robot, on the other metal hand, does not need suffer from this. Redundancies would go a ...


29

A mirror You did not specify that the creature could not be victim to its own attack. Once it is paralyzed, simply drop a bomb on it from a plane without looking down at it. An advanced computer algorithm Develop a unique program "filter" that renders the image of the creature different enough that it does not affect those that stare at the screen. This ...


29

Would they be able to even destroy the nanoscopic machines Are they nanoscopic? teeny tiny things have a real problem getting around. They certainly won't swarm and fly like locusts; air viscosity at that scale is too high. They'd be blown around, and work more like fatal hay fever than a homing cloud of doom. Anyway. Yes, the nuke would work jolly well, ...


28

Based on the information you provided, I will assume that the beam is straight (so it travels along the straight line connecting the two ships in three-dimensional space) and unguided (so once fired, its vector cannot change, even if the ship of origin moves out of position) If those facts are true, and you know your enemy has this weapon, there are actions ...


27

Don't forget that real world humans hunted large beasts like mammoths and whales, just using spears, slingshots and fire (well, fire not for the whales). When it comes to projectile weapons, Aztecs can count on Atlatl The atlatl was a spear thrower, which produced greater force from a greater distance. Only the highest ranks were allowed these ...


25

Solar Charging Electro-magnetic Flechette gun How advanced is the most advanced world you've encountered? A Coil-gun is perhaps the most reliable weapon imaginable. It fires reliably underwater, in space, in mud.. The entire weapon can be sealed in plastic and it has virtually no moving parts whatsoever. It cannot jam, it doesn't misfire and requires ...


23

Best solution is to skip the gunpowder - too difficult to manufacture while traveling or carry vast quantities, and a bit of a pain to deal with anyway. Of course if you are relying upon the giant cloud of smoke to obscure you and the target and loud bang to scare the primitives off, then go with black powder, but honestly I would rather shoot them than ...


21

It is not a killing machine. It is a fencing master. If the goal of the maker were to make a killing machine he would not make a swordsman. But that is not the goal: this robot prioritizes fair play and a level playing field over victory. It is bound by rules. It is a fencing robot. The robot must therefore be defeatable by another swordsman. This ...


21

Wooden boats. Why mess up a working plan? Lots of them. Maybe all of them. String them together. Point row of boats at Chickamauga and fire up the engines. Crew disembarks from wooden boats and climbs aboard fiberglass boats. Wooden boats defeat Chunkymugga. Cthulhu snickers. An artificial intelligence trained to identify giant monster-gods using ...


19

I'd recommend the Colt Pocket Percussion Revolver, possibly supplemented with a good muzzleloader (they've got easy-to-maintain modern ones now) for ranged shots. Sorry, I'm sticking you with ball and powder. Modern ammunition is pretty great, and not hard to make with modern techniques - but that's the thing. It's best with modern techniques to get the ...


17

Well, humans will be humans, so I have no doubt that they'll prevail. Because they already did in the past. Are the dino actively at war with the humans? No. This means that the humans will, first thing, learn to make their habitat dinosaur-free. Villages will be located in places with less dangerous predators, or in places which will be less accessible to ...


17

No, the copper would not really enter their system from the blade of the sword. Copper is actually an essential nutrient for fungi, and also toxic in large doses. Your weapon is really only a cutting instrument, no matter what the material is the target will only get exposed to a minuscule amount. The blade will work best by being sharp. Copper is very soft, ...


10

For reference: SCP-096: Shy Guy That's how The Ominous They deal with a relatively small monster who can't be looked at. Assuming your world-altering Old One is gigantic and more brutishly destructive, the human governments are basically waging a war against a kaiju in addition to the difficulties described in the SCP article. Sonar. I assume radar or ...


10

Use Shotguns What exactly does a Gatling Gun do? It spits out a lot of bullets quickly. Why do you want to spit out a lot of bullets quickly? Because hitting a fast moving target is hard and if you fire a lot of bullets the chances of one hitting increase. So your real goal is to crate a hail of projectiles. Why not use a gun which can create such a hail ...


10

All you really need is heat and knowledge. Copper and tin were very common metals in the world you describe, so the brass to manufacture ammunition is no problem. Gunpowder existed - but only in China - so the early Europeans just hadn’t found it yet. It was there. He needs to be really good at making very precise recipes from natural ingredients. We are ...


9

Simple fix: You're only in danger if you see the creature or a perfect replica. Thus the troops that are engaging it are issued some goggles that simply display the image they see--except the red and blue signals are crossed--no need for fancy image processing or working with blurry images. Make a bunch of goggles, see who uses them the best and they get ...


9

This is fairly easy to dodge or avoid. Ship A fires a deathbeam on Ship B. Let's assume the best-case scenario for Ship A: Weapon takes 0 seconds to warm up or recharge. Fired deathbeam targeting is sufficiently precise, with negligible error at the target range. If the beam is desired to hit an arbitrary point in space, that hopefully contains a ship, ...


9

Get medieval, get a crossbow! A crossbow has simple enough construction and rugged enough parts that it should be able to handle a good deal of travel so that should fit your reliability criteria. The most vulnerable part would be the string but you could easily bring a few extras and as bows were developed by just about every human civilization at some ...


8

Drones Why risk people? The USA have mastered the art of dispatching people remotely and without having to look at them. You don't need to look at the creature, just nuke the hell out of its vicinity, and the drones can be preprogrammed for that. To clarify: no visual processing is needed. If you know where the monster is, all you need to input to your ...


8

Low flying aircraft are best engaged by "look down/shoot down" systems from opposing aircraft, since the elevated sensor and shooter platform(s) will have a much greater area that they can cover with sensors and weapons than ground based systems. An integrated GBAD system tied into the larger battlespace management system would be a useful addition, since ...


8

The current state of affairs is driven primarily by two factors: First, ammunition is cheap, so there's no reason not to use as much as a soldier can carry. Second: Modern armed combat is chaotic and hitting an enemy soldier is generally an exercise in statistics rather than skill. Video games provide an astonishingly unrealistic perspective of what ...


7

Other dinosaurs! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBLmN0oV-8 Triceratops and other ceratopsians have a herd structure like Cape buffalo (I here assert!). Strength in numbers means that the herd is usually immune to large predators with any sense, because once the predator closes with its chosen prey the others in the herd flank it and gore it. Like ...


7

If it's a magic effect, like silver weapons against werewolves, sure. But not if it's just a poison. Poison just isn't a very effective weapon in melee combat. The deadliest poisons in real life take several minutes to even show symptoms, while swordfights are over in seconds. All poisoning your sword does is let you turn a total defeat into a Pyrrhic ...


7

"his right shoulder is a bit lower than his left" I don't understand how this is a disability. Or at least a real problem. Like if he can still use a shield he is fine. Shield + weapon, mostly spear, is the dominant combo in history. He does not have to raise it above his head as well. Just holding it out a bit in front and covering his body from the ...


7

It probably has more to do with symbolism of death. In western culture, death/ grim reaper has a scythe with which it reaps the lives of people like farmers cut wheat. This is symbolical connection. Scythe thus becomes symbol of death, and thus also deadly event like plagues and more on topic war. From there, it becomes a deadly weapon in our mind. Of ...


7

So, slightly unhelpful answer: they'll cost enough to keep your game balanced. More practical answer: economies of scale will make things cheaper and easier to come by, though do be aware of tropes like Adam Smith Hates Your Guts or No Hero Discount. As far as killing monsters goes everyone is going to be happier when there are more people available and ...


7

Historically, knights were protected from firearms. Armour from the late 1400's on was "proofed" by firing a shot from a handheld firearm into it, allowing the purchaser to have a visible sign that the armour was capable of stopping a bullet. Handgonne from the 1400's Proofed suit of armour The issue was that while it was possible to create armour which ...


6

For a battlefield robot that fights with swords, a humanoid frame is actually what you would try to avoid. Your robot will want to be able to create a stable fighting platform wherever it goes, so it will likely have a low center of gravity and multiple legs. Bonus points for being able to climb walls and so on, Douglas Fairbanks Jr will have nothing on ...


6

Ship A is about to pump out an incredible amount of energy in the form of it's death beam. It first needs to generate that energy, unless it can do so instantaneously which needs much bigger handwavium than the actual death beam. So Ship A brings extra reactors & capacitors on line, and as they start to produce and pool energy, some of that extra ...


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