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Exalted Inspiration - Weirdest War Tatics that Worked

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  • Exalted Inspiration - Weirdest War Tatics that Worked

    Normally, I wouldn't post something from a clickback website, but this article has great Exalted Inspiration Fodder

    Harold Hardrada pretended to die when injured during a siege. Then, he had his men ask for permission to bury their leader inside the wall of the enemy city. The city capitulated, so long as the men didn't bring weapons inside.

    Harold climbed into a coffin in full armor, was carried through the gates, and when the time was right, burst out of his own coffin, fight his way back to the gates, open them and take the city.
    Dawn: No way this is going to work.
    Eclipse: Don't worry. I can talk anyone into anything. Now get into the fucking coffin.

    The capture of the Dutch fleet at Den Helder might be one of the most ridiculous and effective attacks of all time. A large number of Dutch warships were docked at Den Helder during a particularly cold winter. Suddenly, the dock froze over. The ships were trapped. A French cavalry regiment saw this and decided that they would charge the ships. They wrapped cloth around the hooves of the horses to soften their blow against the ice and charged the Dutch as they slept. They took every ship with no casualties.

    This is the only instance in history of a cavalry charge against a naval fleet.
    Eclipse: Who needs to favor Sail, when you got Ride?
    Dawn: You are lucky it's winter...

    At the battle of Cannae, Hannibal took on an army nearly twice the size of his (50k v. 85k), and using a genius battle formation, actually encircled the Romans, and for hours afterwards several hundred Roman soldiers were cut down every minute.

    The defeated army was literally driven insane by what was happening, being systematically killed by these madmen who crossed the Alps in winter, that some of them dug holes in the ground and suffocated themselves rather than wait for hours, as the Carthaginians slaughtered their way inward, and their comrades died around them until the same inevitably happened to themselves.
    Dusk: And that is how you destroy an army.
    Eclipse: Why do we always end up in the bar with the psychopaths?
    Dawn: ...and they dug holes and suffocated themselves...*takes notes*


    I write things.

  • #2
    ... If I didn't know that those were real things, I would call BS on most of those. But alas, they are real and provide wonderful fodder for the creative Solar especially the Dawn caste.


    Wow I wish I had something cool to say here

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    • #3
      The Tumblr post linked in the comments is worth a look too.

      One contribution of my own: The Cold War-era Swiss rigged their own country to collapse if the Soviets invaded. That link is from a news article about the bombs being removed from a historic bridge less than two years ago.

      I'm not sure whether you should count that as "working", since they never had to use the explosives, but I imagine the Swiss military is quite happy with how it all worked out.


      EX3 Craft Rewrite

      Sanctaphrax is not a person
      -Chejop Kejak

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      • #4
        You'd think they would describe what Hannibal actually did, rather than the aftermath.
        Originally posted by wonderandawe
        Why do we always end up in the bar with the psychopaths?
        With the what now?


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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        • #5
          so this story is the Romance of Three Kingdoms, and essentially takes place between Zhuge Liang, resident tactician extraordinaire, and Sima Yi… OTHER resident tactician extraordinaire.

          The two were both regarded as tactical geniuses and recognized the other as their rival. Zhuge Liang had a reputation for ambushing the SHIT out of his opponents and using the environment to his advantage, thus destroying large armies with a small number of men. Sima Yi (who kind of entered the picture later) was a cautious person whose speciality was unravelling his opponent’s plans before they began. So it was natural that the two would butt heads; however, since Sima Yi tended to have more men and resources, he started winning battles against the former. Which, y’know, kinda sucked.

          On to the actual story: Zhuge Liang is all like “shit i gotta defend this city with like 10 men.” Literally if he fights ANY kind of battle here, he WILL lose; his only option for survival is not to fight. And that’s looking more and more impossible until he hears that his rival is leading the opposing army. And then he gets this brilliant idea. He basically opens all the gates, sends his men out in civilian clothes to sweep the streets, and sits on top of the gate drinking tea and chilling out and basically makes the whole thing out to be a trap

          When Sima Yi comes he’s all like “yo come on in bro”

          and Sima Yi is like “yeah he’s never been that obvious about his traps before. this is definitely a bluff” and he’s about to head in when he realizes

          wait. he knows that i think he’s bluffing.

          and so he gets it in his head that maybe, just MAYBE, Zhuge Liang has this cunning plan that will wipe out his army - recall that he has a pretty good handle on what his rival is capable of. And after a long period of deliberation (which is just like “he know that I know that he knows that etc.”), being the cautious man he is, SIma Yi eventually decides to turn his entire army around and leave.

          Zhuge Liang later points out that the plan was based specifically on the fact that he was facing his rival; if it had been anyone else, there’s no way it would have worked. A dumber or less cautious person would have simply charged in and won without breaking a sweat.

          and that’s the real genius here: it was a plan formed entirely just to deceive one man, and it worked.
          Eclipse: Hey, man! What's up?
          Dusk: *confused* You do realize we are here to slaughter your entire town?
          Eclipse: About that... marching your army all this way sounds like hard work. Why don't you sit down and have some tea?
          Dusk: Where's the Dawn?
          Eclipse: Oh, he's around. Do you take sugar or lemon in your tea?
          Dusk: This is a trap, isn't it?
          Eclipse: A trap? This isn't a trap. I'm just here to offer you tea before you rape and pillage my town.
          Dusk: *to his officers* Turn around. It's a trap.
          Eclipse: Hey! Where are you going?! Your tea's getting cold!


          I write things.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            With the what now?
            Did I spell something wrong again? Use the wrong word?

            /Fucking Dyslexia


            I write things.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post

              Eclipse: Hey, man! What's up?
              Dusk: *confused* You do realize we are here to slaughter your entire town?
              Eclipse: About that... marching your army all this way sounds like hard work. Why don't you sit down and have some tea?
              Dusk: Where's the Dawn?
              Eclipse: Oh, he's around. Do you take sugar or lemon in your tea?
              Dusk: This is a trap, isn't it?
              Eclipse: A trap? This isn't a trap. I'm just here to offer you tea before you rape and pillage my town.
              Dusk: *to his officers* Turn around. It's a trap.
              Eclipse: Hey! Where are you going?! Your tea's getting cold!

              That is exactly how it could go... wow...


              Wow I wish I had something cool to say here

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              • #8
                No, it's more... how is the person a psychopath?


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  No, it's more... how is the person a psychopath?

                  It's just the Eclipse being an asshole. The Eclipse would have offered the army the chance to surrender or something like that.

                  Last edited by wonderandawe; 03-06-2016, 09:10 PM.


                  I write things.

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                  • #10
                    So it's September of 52 B.C. and you are Gaius Julius "Jules" Caesar, with 60,000 men at your command, facing 80,000 Gauls under Vercingetorix. Those aren't great odds, and on top of that Vercingetorix has possibly the best name history has ever seen.

                    Vercingetorix has kicked Roman ass up and down Gaul and Caesar had to hoof it across the Alps in the winter to meet him, and now he's pulled his troops back to the fort at Alesia, because while 3:4 odds are pretty good, he's got another 120,000 troops coming to reinforce him. Time is not on your side, Jules.

                    Alesia can't be taken by force; it's just too strong a fort. So Caesar decides on a siege, and builds a wall - eighteen kilometers of four-meter high wall - in three weeks! - around Alesia, to pen up the Gauls and wait them out. But wait, what about the reinforcements?

                    Duh, we build a second wall. Jules puts it outside the first wall, making it even longer, and so when the Gallic reinforcements arrive they find themselves facing a fort, which surrounds their own fort, with the Roman legionnaires manning the outside one and Vercingetorix manning the inside one.

                    Caesar's legionnaires, due to the superior construction of their own fort, managed to beat the shit out of both the inside army and the outside army as they repeatedly attacked on both sides.

                    Dawn: No way.
                    Twilight: Craftsman Needs No Motherfucking Tools.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post


                      It's just the Eclipse being an asshole. The Eclipse would have offered the army the chance to surrender or something like that.
                      Did you just ENGINEER them to death?!!!! Yup!!! I love me some Gaius Julius Caesar!

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                      • #12
                        Everything Zhuge Liang ever did belongs in this thread. The tumblr post mentions Borrowing Arrows With Straw Boats but I will summarize them in the following list:
                        • Zhuge Liang was challenged by a rival to collect 100,000 arrows in three days, so he had the men construct scarecrows and put them on boats. Then he floated them down the river on a foggy day while his men yelled and made noise on the opposite bank, so the enemies shot the boats in a panic as they passed by. This story is called Borrowing Arrows because after Zhuge Liang's men pulled the arrows out of the scarecrows, they returned them to the enemy with great enthusiasm.
                        • Zhuge Liang was initially recruited by the Zenith Liu Bei, but the other two members of Liu Bei's Circle, two Dawns named Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, didn't quite trust him, so Zhuge Liang proved himself spectacularly. He told them to taunt the enemy into attacking through a mountain pass, even though the enemy far outnumbered Zhuge Liang's side. He made sure not to be too convincing, though, as part of the plan. Then he had Liu Bei's men set fire to all the camp and supplies the enemy left behind when they moved to attack. The enemy's advisor had spent the whole time thinking about Zhuge Liang's suspicious behavior until he realized it was a trap, so their army turned back, but it was too late; the enemy panicked when they saw the fire and Zhang Fei's men drove them right through the pass and into the flames.
                        • At the same river where he borrowed the arrows, Zhuge Liang sent his Eclipse friend Pang Tong to the enemy to masquerade as their tactical advisor. Pang Tong suggested that the enemy blockade the river, and furthermore chain their ships together to form a stable wall. Then Zhuge Liang sent a few burning ships down the river, and the enemy's entire fleet went up in flames.
                          • Dawn: "Dammit, stop advising the enemy! Save your plans for our side!"
                          • Twilight: "Shh, my friend. Don't worry. Fire solves everything."
                          • (in Creation this involved judicious use of Flight of the Brilliant Raptor)
                        • Shortly before that plan kicked off, Zhuge Liang's rival realized that the plan depended on the wind, because if it blew the wrong way their own fleet would catch fire instead. Zhuge Liang told him not to worry because he knew magic. What happens then varies a little: either he actually performs a ritual that changes the weather, or he uses meteorology to predict when the wind would change, or he just keeps dragging out these big ceremonies until the wind finally changes. Any way, he came out smelling like roses.
                        • This one barbarian was proving a thorn in Liu Bei's side, so Zhuge Liang maneuvered some men into capturing him. The barbarian, Meng Huo, complained that Zhuge Liang was essentially a cowardly nerd who only won because he cheated, so Zhuge Liang let him go. Then Meng Huo came back with more men, so Zhuge Liang rekicked his ass and let him go. This happened seven times until Meng Huo finally gave up and let Zhuge Liang Tiger Warrior his men.
                        • He had a really sick hat, and as Girl Genius teaches us, that is the primary measure of both authority and awesomeness.


                        But sexually.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                          Twilight: "Shh, my friend. Don't worry. Fire solves everything."
                          This is probably the best summary of Zhuge Liang's plans. Sure, he could pull out all sorts of crazy bullshit, but his heart was with Fire.

                          Originally posted by Brilliant Plan
                          At Red Cliffs, [Zhuge Liang] and Zhou Yu each wrote his plan for defeating Wei on the palm of his hand. They laughed as they both revealed the same word, "Fire."

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                          • #14
                            There's a bunch more there: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/c...r_tactic_ever/
                            I suspect the site in the OP straight out copied some of the answers off Reddit because they look identical, but hey.


                            Part-time table flipper.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                              [*]This one barbarian was proving a thorn in Liu Bei's side, so Zhuge Liang maneuvered some men into capturing him. The barbarian, Meng Huo, complained that Zhuge Liang was essentially a cowardly nerd who only won because he cheated, so Zhuge Liang let him go. Then Meng Huo came back with more men, so Zhuge Liang rekicked his ass and let him go. This happened seven times until Meng Huo finally gave up and let Zhuge Liang Tiger Warrior his men.
                              You have to add the details to this story: Zhuge Liang took Meng Huo on a tour of Liang's army. He showed Meng Huo exactly how many men he had, of what types, where his supplies were, what kind he had, the uniforms and faces of his officers, and so on, and so on. This is an absolute avalanche of military intelligence and any officer who did such a thing today would be strangled by his own commander. Then Zhuge lets Meng Huo go - and spanks him six more times despite Meng Huo's military intelligence advantage.


                              ----------------------

                              Towards the end of Liang's life, as he lay sick in his command tent during a prolonged battle against his rival Sima Yi, he gave instructions to have a detailed effigy of himself secretly built, and passed orders to his commanders in the event of his death.

                              Zhuge Liang passed away some hours later, and the news rapidly spread throughout his army, which became extremely demoralized. His troops lost ground, and soon the army was forced to retreat deep into a wooded canyon. Sima Yi's troops, having also heard of Liang's death, pursued, intent on massacring them - until they came into view of the clifftop, where the effigy of Liang sat, dressed in his robes and holding his peacock fan, surrounded by his command staff. Immediately Sima Yi realized he had been tricked! Liang still lived! This was merely another of his cunning ruses! Retreat! Retreat, damn you! Retreat! and Sima Yi fled the battlefield.

                              Sima Yi was the second-most brilliant general in all of China and Zhuge Liang managed to kick his ass posthumously.
                              Last edited by Korhal_IV; 03-07-2016, 06:31 PM.


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