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Necromas: Actually, a well built trebuchet is VERY accurate for a medieval siege weapon, the general tactic was to continually pound the same spot in a wall to weaken it. They're just hard to aim.
Captain Thunder: I changed Sieging castles as a first resort. (In The Middle Ages, this was only done very rarely, and even then, they usually just waited outside the castle walls until the enemy starved or surrendered.) to Assaulting castles as a first resort. (In The Middle Ages, this was only done very rarely, and even then, they usually just waited outside the castle walls until the enemy starved or surrendered.). By definition, a siege is where the army surrounding the castle starves out the occupiers. And the verb form is "to besiege".


Tonkarz: The trope's main text says that siege weapons in an open battle are a bad idea. Isn't the purpose of these types of weapons in a battle like that supposed to be forcing your enemy to attack? So you can defend with ranks of spears and flank with cavalry.

Semi-Known Troper: As I understand it most siege weapons were constructed on site by specialist siege engineers one a fortress was encircles, so they would'nt be present in field battles at all.

Rogue 7: Someone needs to read up on their medieval battle tactics. Knights of the middle ages were not used for flanking. They charged right in. Archers were used to create gaps that the knights could exploit, but the entirety of medieval battle plans were designed around allowing the knights to charge. Admittedly, once pikes and tight-laced infantry were developed by the Scots, Flemish, and Swiss, this tactic lost its effectiveness, but that doesn't change the fact that it still worked.
Stm177: Here's the fanwank discussion for Star Wars. I deleted it from the main page. (Fan Wank follows:)
  • This troper disagrees, but only on the Phantom Menace point. Where did it ever say the Naboo pilots were inexperienced?
    • The Naboo are nearly completely pacifist (which was one of the reasons the Federation chose to blockade the planet) and it is explicitly stated that they do not have an army, only security personnel. Therefore, inexperienced.
    • Those particular pilots are described in official material as veterans, having served with Republic and sector forces as part of Naboo's military contribution. And let's face it, there wasn't a whole lot of choice now was there?
    • Also, pacifism doesn't have to mean not knowing how to fight. The Swiss are well known for being pacifists, but they have huge, well trained army.
  • This troper would like to point out, aside from Episodes II's and III's ground battles, most of the "bad tactics" can be explained by the desperation of the good guys. Further:
    • The distance flown would be less the closer they stay to the station's surface, and time was of the essence; and that if they left the trench, they would be more easily targeted by the station's guns (only one Rebel pilot died before the TIEs showed up, and he poked his nose out of the trench).
    • In addition—this is probably counted as non-canon anyway, but hey—in the X-Wing computer game, they included a mission against the Death Star. Flying through the trench, for whatever reason, resulted in a very appreciable increase in speed.
    • The "trench run" tactic is standard fare for the shielded Rebel fighters versus the unshielded Imperial fighters in the Expanded Universe whenever the opportunity presents itself, especially in paths that aren't straightaways. It provides cover from all but a few approaches, and the Rebels can in theory clip the wall or floor without wrecking their ships at high speeds thanks to their shields, while the TIE fighters, with their boxy profile and lack of shields (and less-experienced pilots, given how fast the Empire must go through them), are much more vulnerable to accidents in a trench run. It's also a lot of cover to help avoid laser barrages from bigger ships, and shelter from scanners since Star Wars scanning doesn't seem to be based on detecting high energy expenditures/output, but is instead almost purely visual. Trench runs can be hard to track unless you're directly overhead.
    • what with the truely insane jamming, no sensors were working, but leaving the trench would have let EVERY gun on that side of the DS bear on them
    • as pointed out above, entering the trench gave them a megre amount of cover form the thousands of surface emplacements that were dotted around the place. getting below the horizon like that means that only those guns actaully stie in or next to the trench could fire on the attacking group. The way the wingmen didn't do muhc more than try and sit between the TIE's and the lead craft was pretty stupid, though.
    • Of course ground infantry aren't well-suited to defending against what are effectively the big brothers of tanks. But that, plus a few stationary emplacements, and a half-squad of speeders, was all the Rebels had. It seemed they were buying time to evacuate the freighters; they only retreated when the walkers took out their last emplacements.
    • Their options were "stand still and get slaughtered" or "charge headfirst". That was, in fact, the entire setup of the battle. It was a trap meant to keep them entering hyperspace to escape, penning them in while the Death Star took out the capital ships. With the Death Star able to target a ship moving at high speed (see the fate of the second Rebel cruiser it destroys), their only option was to close, hopefully make the people firing the Death Star's superlaser hesitant, punch a hole through the blockade if possible (and if not take as many Imperials with them as they could), and hopefully stay alive until the ground crew managed to bring the shield down.
    • The scene is still written with horrid incompetence, though. On the part of the Imperials. With only two Mon Calamari cruisers and half a dozen frigates and gunboats to throw against over two dozen Imperial Star Destroyers and the freaking Executor, the Rebel Fleet should have died almost instantly. Instead, they survived, in a point-blank slugging match, for over twenty minutes.
    • five classes of moncal ships were there, an unknown number of each was present
    • The 'real' reason for the junky tactics used in the Episodes 2 and 3 is the fact that no-one has heard of artillery, or at least the bits of it relating to 'howitzer', 'mortar' and 'missile'.
  • In answer to the question "Why is there is a trench", well, if there wasn't a trench, the exhaust port couldn't be at right angles to the surface of the Doomstar. The trench provides room to vent.
    • It's venting into hard vacuum, what difference does the trench make?
  • What does this page have to do with Real Life Writes The Plot?
    • Most writers in real life aren't very good tacticians. Still, removed it.

Ninjacrat: Holy crap. This page had the highest Stupid to content ratio I've ever seen on the wiki. Always in the last place you'd expect...


John Di Fool: What would be a good page to discuss the completely underwhelming tactical weapons often seen in futuristic settings? In Star Trek phasers are barely more useful than a submachine gun, they apparently forgot about the wide stun setting used in "Return of the Archons", nobody keeps the phaser trigger depressed (like a flashlight beam) and walks it to the target, and there's no other tactical weapons in evidence (like stun grenades). This page discussed the crap weapons seen in the Starship Troopers adaptation, but that doesn't seem to be the main focus here. Do I sense the possibility of a new page being brought forth into the world?
  • Jonn: Star Trek was never designed as anything close to a proper war simulation, since Gene was a pacifist. He didn't even want to put proper sights on the guns, for cryin' out loud. And the phaser walk was lampshaded in the novel "Survivors", when Tasha Yar is practicing marksmanship. Walking would just waste the charge.


Roland: To avoid Natter, I'll just say this: Line formation was used prior to firearms because it allowed multiple ranks of spearmen to do their thing. Yes, the lines might start to lose cohesion once push of pike began and the formations went up against each other, but soldiery in medieval warfare tended to try and keep the formation up. Swords were sidearms meant for use once battle had been joined; it was usually started by spear- or polearm-wielders.


Ninjacrat: Ok, second radical culling of Teh Dumb. What is it about this page attracts it so?


Ninjacrat: Fourth-and-a-halfth major culling of Dumb. Is there, somewhere on the internet, a link saying 'please go here and be as stupid as is humanly possible'? Was this page built on an Indian burial ground?

Bob!: Quite possibly.

  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, the battle of the recommissioned USS Missouri (now the last non-disabled US Navy ship) versus Outer Haven is basically covering fire for Solid "Old" Snake, Meryl Silverburgh and Johnny Sasaki to be catapulted onto the deck of Outer Haven, from where they're to infiltrate the ship and upload a computer virus. Mildly subverted in that while Solid "Old" Snake makes it by being such a Memetic Badass, Meryl's ankle is injured in her landing, and Johnny misses his mark — likely due to his carrying a M82 anti-materiel rifle — and ends up hitting the side of Outer Haven and falling into the ocean, Boba Fett style. Then again, with Sons of the Patriots (SOP) hijacked by Liquid Ocelot, there's apparently precious few left with the will to fight without it, much less the ability and the knowhow.

Not an example. At all.

  • Signs: interstellar invaders whose weakness is of all things, WATER, don't use any kind of protection on a planet that's covered in the stuff!

Also not an example. It's just Too Dumb to Live.


The Gunheart: I know it sounds dumb, but...could someone elaborate on the UFO example? It's not like everyone here can watch it to see what exactly was wrong.


(random passer-by) In the early 21st Century, More Dakka is still quite viable against low-flying aircraft, particularly helicopters. Soviet (and later, Russian and Chinese) air defense doctrine has always depended upon large numbers of cheap antiaircraft guns throwing metal into the sky. Surface-to-air guided missiles—especially older generation ones—can still be fooled with decoys, jammers, or flares, or otherwise induced to "run stupid," especially when operated by illiterate Third World peasant conscript soldiers. But masses of cheap HM Gs and autocannon on towed carriages pointed skyward, ready to throw tons of high-velocity nastiness into the paths of ground-attack aircraft, are still more than capable of ruining a close support pilot's day, and this is as true in 2009 as it was in 1949. AAA—antiaircraft artillery—is also very inexpensive, compared to missiles. The Syrians and North Koreans, for instance, are said to be very big believers in this concept.


The Gunheart: Just a thought, but while the intro mentions the Rule of Drama, shouldn't it also be mentioned that many cases also fall under Rule of Cool?


Unknown Troper: Pulled this due to edit war in the Star Wars section.

  • At this point it's worth mentioning that Hollywood Tactics aren't restricted to the armies, the whole naval concept is out of what, primarily the reliance on limited-range guns and fighters rather than missiles with heavy payloads, acceleration measured in 10s-100s of gravities, and the ability to jink around defensive fire, there's nothing to stop an attacker dropping in at a few light-seconds distance, unloading a full barrage of missiles, and jumping out again, before the defenders can so much as blink.

Missiles are generally not used because they can be easily shot down with point defense weapons, turbolasers have a generally higher yield and fire faster, and turbolaser bolts move faster. Also, most Star Wars engagements take place inside of planetary gravity wells, which limit the ability to drop in and out, and sitting several light-seconds out and firing missiles simply gives the defender sufficient time to line them up and shoot them down. Furthermore, there's nothing to stop a defender from hopping into hyperspace to outrun the missiles as well. It's worth pointing out that every major engagement in the Star Wars movies occurs inside a planet's gravity well, not in open space. There's a reason for that. Also, in the article history, the argument was brought up regarding the special missiles used in Shadow of the Empire. It is worth noting that those were special, highly expensive missiles that were designed to shrug off low-level blaster fire. They're not indicative of the standard-issue anti-ship missiles used by most of the militaries in the setting.
  • Reading Tyrant's Test (specifically the battle of ILC-905), I'd say that flak (point defence) is an imperfect defence against even straight-flying missiles, let alone dodging ones. The 'supposed' higher yield of turbolasers is offset by the fact that ray shields also appear to be much tougher, and at long ranges you also have to account for accuracy (missiles are always accurate if they track, turbolasers don't have that luxury). Also, while the Diamond-Boron Missile is expensive, most of the characters appear surprised at the fact that the Outrider can put up enough fire to hit a missile, and said fire was not 'low level' (the cannons were rated 'heavy').
    • The Gunheart: Um, point defense may be imperfect in the real world, but this is Star Wars we're talking about here.
      • Hey, missiles got through at ILC-905 (I know, I've read the book), so theirs isn't perfect either.