History CombatPragmatist / Literature

29th Mar '16 8:12:30 AM Chariset
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* This shows up all the time in Creator/MercedesLackey's work, especially her ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Velgarth]]'' novels. Fighting instructors, as opposed to fencing masters, constantly emphasise to their students that there's no such thing as "unfair" or "dishonourable" tactics in a real fight. Fencing matches and the like are a different thing entirely.

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* This shows up all the time in Creator/MercedesLackey's work, especially her ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Velgarth]]'' ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' novels. Fighting instructors, as opposed to fencing masters, constantly emphasise to their students that there's no such thing as "unfair" or "dishonourable" tactics in a real fight. Fencing matches and the like are a different thing entirely.entirely.
** Other examples appear in her ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms'', where a bit of ruthlessness in the right cause goes a long way. (It helps that these are based on fairytales, where the protagonists almost never have the odds on their side).
17th Feb '16 1:41:38 PM ClearMadness
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* In ''Literature/TheIronTeeth'' Blacknail the goblin has absolutely no sense of fair play whatsoever. He is constantly ambushing his opponents or attacking them from behind. He also attacks unarmed men with a sword several times as well. It never even occurs to him to fight fair.
27th Jan '16 4:38:49 PM TechPriest90
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* ''Literature/GauntsGhosts:'' Considering that the main characters (The Tanith 1st and Only) are all stealth experts fighting a war against an enemy [[Main/TheUnfettered that feels no fear, pity or remorse and has no morals or qualms whatsoever]], and considers most atrocities [[Main/ReligionOfEvil as a form of worship to their Gods]], this trope comes into play a lot from both sides.
** It is explicitly mentioned, however, in ''His Last Command'' where [[Main/DrillSergeantNasty Major Rawne]] is shown fighting with no restraint whatsoever against the Archenemy. It frightens some of the men beside him - men who've probably seen the worst the Galaxy has to offer. Justified in that the Major had spent a long time as an infiltrator on a Chaos-held World named Gereon, which [[Main/IDidWhatIHadToDo necessitated him learning how to fight dirty]].
14th Jan '16 1:36:29 PM sagar
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* In ''Literature/SonOfTheBlackSword'' by Creator/LarryCorreia, pragmatism is a way of life for [[ActionGirl Thera]]. She rather mischievously tells Ashok about the time she pretended to be a ScreamingWoman DamselInDistress ''just'' long enough to get a rapist off his guard. And then she [[GroinAttack unmanned him]] with a concealed knife.
14th Jan '16 4:25:04 AM f1shst1x
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14th Jan '16 4:23:23 AM f1shst1x
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* Caine/Hari from ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' is widely considered the best infighter alive, even after being rendered partially paraplegic. He does not fight fair, ever, and it allows him to win fights where he really should have had no chance. Illustration: right after [[DarkestHour his lowest point]] in ''Blade of Tyshalle'', he escapes a dungeon cell by luring a guard in and provoking him to attack, apparently giving up the element of surprise. To recap, this is a naked and malnourished Caine, covered in his own filth, chained to the wall with his legs currently not working. The guard on the other hand is armored in chainmail, upright and well fed, and has the [[CounterAttack "chance"]] to draw his club and attack Caine first. After a few minutes the situation changes to that of a naked and unconscious guard in Caine's shackles while a now armed and armored Caine crawls up the dungeon steps.

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* ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'':
**
Caine/Hari from ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' is widely considered the best infighter alive, even after being rendered partially paraplegic. He does not fight fair, ever, and it allows him to win fights where he really should have had no chance. Illustration: right after [[DarkestHour his lowest point]] in ''Blade of Tyshalle'', he escapes a dungeon cell by luring a guard in and provoking him to attack, apparently giving up the element of surprise. To recap, this is a naked and malnourished Caine, covered in his own filth, chained to the wall with his legs currently not working. The guard on the other hand is armored in chainmail, upright and well fed, and has the [[CounterAttack "chance"]] to draw his club and attack Caine first. After a few minutes the situation changes to that of a naked and unconscious guard in Caine's shackles while a now armed and armored Caine crawls up the dungeon steps.



* Ender in ''Literature/EndersGame'' explains to an enemy that real soldiers don't play fair; they do whatever it takes to keep themselves alive. Ender doesn't just win; he annihilates. If he's kicking someone's ass, they won't have an ass left to be kicked when he's done. This is true from the time he's six years old and fighting ([[spoiler:aka. Murdering]]) bullies in the schoolyard.
** Not just Ender. This is a sentiment for every military figure in the books. Mazer Rackham tells Ender "This is war. There are no rules except what you can do to the enemy and what you can stop him from doing to you."
*** Bean makes a similar point to Achilles in ''Ender's Shadow'' about how real soldiers do whatever it takes to win.

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* ''Literature/EndersGame''
**
Ender in ''Literature/EndersGame'' explains to an enemy that real soldiers don't play fair; they do whatever it takes to keep themselves alive. Ender doesn't just win; he annihilates. If he's kicking someone's ass, they won't have an ass left to be kicked when he's done. This is true from the time he's six years old and fighting ([[spoiler:aka. Murdering]]) bullies in the schoolyard.
** Not just Ender.
schoolyard. This is a sentiment for every military figure in the books. Mazer Rackham tells Ender "This is war. There are no rules except what you can do to the enemy and what you can stop him from doing to you."
*** ** Bean makes a similar point to Achilles in ''Ender's Shadow'' about how real soldiers do whatever it takes to win.



* Staying with OrsonScottCard for a moment, in his novelisation of ''The Abyss'' the SEAL team leader, Coffey, is mentioned as having taken down a neighbourhood bully eight years his senior not in a straight-up street fight: rather, by going, lying in wait for the guy, and caving his head in with a cinderblock when the guy's back was turned. He then describes how Coffey tidies up, goes home, and never seeks any recognition of his act. On the other hand, Coffey is characterised as somewhere between a SociopathicHero and a monster.
* Locke Lamora of the Literature/GentlemanBastard(s) is most definitely one of these.

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* Staying with OrsonScottCard for a moment, in his novelisation In OrsonScottCard's novelization of ''The Abyss'' the SEAL team leader, Coffey, is mentioned as having taken down a neighbourhood bully eight years his senior not in a straight-up street fight: rather, fight but rather by going, lying in wait for the guy, guy and caving his head in with a cinderblock cinder block when the guy's his back was turned. He then describes how Coffey then tidies up, goes home, and never seeks any recognition of his act. On the other hand, Coffey is characterised as somewhere between a SociopathicHero and a monster.
* Locke Lamora of the Literature/GentlemanBastard(s) is most definitely one of these. He once escapes a difficult situation because it simply doesn't occur to anyone that Locke would have no problem punching an 80 year old woman in the face.
8th Jan '16 8:05:03 PM DrSlide
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*** Standard procedure when his staff is taken away or runs out of magic? Start blasting whatever he is fighting with .44 rounds 'til it stops moving.

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*** Standard procedure when his staff is taken away or runs out of magic? Start blasting Blast whatever he is he's fighting with .44 rounds 'til with any firearm he can get his hands on until it stops moving.
10th Dec '15 3:02:24 PM youfeelingluckypunk27
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*** [[spoiler:The titular sourcerer has to be defeated and Rincewind is the only one capable of following the sourcerer through a portal. The sourcerer is just a kid that has faced lots of wizards by following orders from his father, cointained in his staff, but he only does it because they are dangerous. Cue Rincewind, inept wizzard and incapable of hurting a fly (not for lack of trying, mind you), attempting to attack him with half a brick in a sock. After asking if it's an magic sock or if this is a trick, the boy is so convinced that Rincewind is completely harmless that he refuses to follow his father's orders for the first time in his life. Technically, fighting dirty '''did''' save Rincewind's life, just not as somebody would expect it to work.]]

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*** [[spoiler:The titular sourcerer has to be defeated and Rincewind is the only one capable of following the sourcerer through a portal. The sourcerer is just a kid that has faced lots of wizards by following orders from his father, cointained in his staff, but he only does it because they are dangerous. Cue Rincewind, inept wizzard and incapable of hurting a fly (not for lack of trying, mind you), attempting to attack him the staff with half a brick in a sock. After asking if it's an magic sock or if this is a trick, the boy is so convinced that Rincewind is completely harmless that he refuses to follow his father's orders for the first time in his life. Technically, fighting dirty '''did''' save Rincewind's life, just not as somebody would expect it to work.]]
27th Nov '15 9:05:32 AM ecuvulle6267
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* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Katniss Everdeen increasingly becomes this as the novels progress, though moreso during the games.
20th Nov '15 12:43:41 AM HeraldAlberich
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* Simon Illyan, Miles's 50-something boss in the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', is a fairly uptight but ReasonableAuthorityFigure. He doesn't actually get his hands dirty, he has underlings for that. When his artificial memory chip is sabotaged, and his underlings have to get him into medical treatment, though, he fights back...and he fights ''dirty''. No one knew, because no one had ever seen him fight before.

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* Simon Illyan, Miles's 50-something boss in the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', is a fairly uptight but ReasonableAuthorityFigure. He doesn't actually get his hands dirty, he has underlings for that. When his artificial memory chip is sabotaged, and his underlings have to get him into medical treatment, though, he fights back... and he fights ''dirty''. No one knew, because no one had ever seen him fight before.



-->She paced back and forth like a frenzied tigress. "I'm being stampeded. I know I am. ... Q.E.D.—Quinn Eats Dirt. Gods. Don't panic, Quinn. What would Admiral Naismith do in the same situation?" She stood still, facing the wall.
-->Ethan envisioned diving Dendarii starfighters, waves of space-armored assault troops, ominous lumbering high-energy weapons platforms jockeying for position.
-->"Never do yourself," muttered Quinn, "what you can con an expert into doing for you. That's what he'd say. Tactical judo from the space magician himself."

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-->She --->She paced back and forth like a frenzied tigress. "I'm being stampeded. I know I am. ... Q.E.D.—Quinn Eats Dirt. Gods. Don't panic, Quinn. What would Admiral Naismith do in the same situation?" She stood still, facing the wall.
-->Ethan
wall.\\\
Ethan
envisioned diving Dendarii starfighters, waves of space-armored assault troops, ominous lumbering high-energy weapons platforms jockeying for position.
-->"Never
position.\\\
"Never
do yourself," muttered Quinn, "what you can con an expert into doing for you. That's what he'd say. Tactical judo from the space magician himself."



-->'''Peter''': "Kind of hard to kill a man when you've looked in his eyes, ain't it... [his opponent keels over with a knife in his eye] 'course, it gets easier once you've done it a couple times."

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-->'''Peter''': "Kind -->'''Peter:''' Kind of hard to kill a man when you've looked in his eyes, ain't it... [his ''[his opponent keels over with a knife in his eye] eye]'' 'course, it gets easier once you've done it a couple times."



* Will and Lyra from the ''HisDarkMaterials'' trilogy have no problems fighting dirty if this gives them an advantage. Being children going up against adults who are very willing to kill them, it's just about their only chance to win anyhow. It's mentioned that Will learned at a relatively young age that the point of fighting is to hurt the other person more than they can hurt you, not to show off; he broke a boy's arm in school and he can and has killed. He's ''twelve''.

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* Will and Lyra from the ''HisDarkMaterials'' ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' trilogy have no problems fighting dirty if this gives them an advantage. Being children going up against adults who are very willing to kill them, it's just about their only chance to win anyhow. It's mentioned that Will learned at a relatively young age that the point of fighting is to hurt the other person more than they can hurt you, not to show off; he broke a boy's arm in school and he can and has killed. He's ''twelve''.



* ''BlackCompany'', a mercenary force in the series of the same name by Creator/GlenCook, make a living, and survive in the face of enormous odds, by fighting dirty and using every resource available to them in order to make themselves look like the baddest motherfuckers around. When it works, things look good for the Company. When it doesn't, that's when the fun begins.

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* ''BlackCompany'', ''Literature/BlackCompany'', a mercenary force in the series of the same name by Creator/GlenCook, make a living, and survive in the face of enormous odds, by fighting dirty and using every resource available to them in order to make themselves look like the baddest motherfuckers around. When it works, things look good for the Company. When it doesn't, that's when the fun begins.



* Don "Mad Dog" Slade from DavidDrake's ''Cross the Stars'' observes that you should only hit someone with your bare hands when you're naked and your feet are nailed to the floor.
* Similar Advice is passed along to the protagonist of ''StarDance'' by a Space Fleet Captain: "My Daddy also told me 'Only hit the soft parts with your hand. Hit the hard parts with a utensil.' "
* If RepairmanJack can't beat it, he'll shoot it. Heck, he'll probably shoot it even if he ''can'' beat it - he'd rather err on the side of caution. Now, if shooting doesn't work (which is not unlikely, given some [[EldritchAbomination things]] he bumps into) things will get ''really'' funny.

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* Don "Mad Dog" Slade from DavidDrake's Creator/DavidDrake's ''Cross the Stars'' observes that you should only hit someone with your bare hands when you're naked and your feet are nailed to the floor.
* Similar Advice is passed along to the protagonist of ''StarDance'' ''Literature/StarDance'' by a Space Fleet Captain: "My Daddy also told me 'Only hit the soft parts with your hand. Hit the hard parts with a utensil.' "
* If RepairmanJack Literature/RepairmanJack can't beat it, he'll shoot it. Heck, he'll probably shoot it even if he ''can'' beat it - he'd it--he'd rather err on the side of caution. Now, if shooting doesn't work (which is not unlikely, given some [[EldritchAbomination things]] he bumps into) things will get ''really'' funny.



* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''

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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':



** Harry Dresden himself. He doesn't like it, but he WILL do what it takes. He's also a fan of punching people in the face before they realize their in a fight. A brief, and by no means comprehensive list of examples:
*** Up against a deranged Fae Queen, Harry, the wizard,[[spoiler: instead of slinging his baddest spells, decides to ZergRush her instead. Using pixies. Armed with steel boxcutters. After which he physically pins her until she dies of a combo of blood loss and cold iron poisoning.]]

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** Harry Dresden himself. He doesn't like it, but he WILL do what it takes. He's also a fan of punching people in the face before they realize their they're in a fight. A brief, and by no means comprehensive list of examples:
*** Up In ''Literature/SummerKnight'', up against a deranged Fae Queen, Harry, the wizard,[[spoiler: instead wizard, [[spoiler:instead of slinging his baddest spells, decides to ZergRush her instead. Using pixies. Armed with steel boxcutters. box-cutters. After which he physically pins her until she dies of a combo of blood loss and cold iron ColdIron poisoning.]]



*** When being chased by a giant magic-proof fae in a later book, he throws a pack of bottled water out the back of the car, blows it up, then pulls heat out of the area to turn the whole road behind them into an ice slick. It falls flat on its face and they get away.

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*** When being chased by a giant magic-proof fae in a later book, ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', he throws a pack of bottled water out the back of the car, blows it up, then pulls heat out of the area to turn the whole road behind them into an ice slick. It falls flat on its face and they get away.



*** ''Dead Beat'''s climax involves him creating [[spoiler:a horrendously powerful [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot zombie]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome T-Rex]]]] to fight zombies.

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*** ''Dead Beat'''s ''Literature/DeadBeat'''s climax involves him creating [[spoiler:a horrendously powerful [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot zombie]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome T-Rex]]]] ''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome T. rex]]'']] to fight zombies.



*** His standard procedure for dealing with ambushes: Run away. Fast. Anything knowingly attacking a wizard has probably come prepared. To this end, he seriously took up gymming and martial arts to improve his stamina and melee skills.
*** Standard procedure when his staff is taken away or runs out of magic? Start blasting what ever he is fighting with .44 rounds till it stops moving.

to:

*** His standard procedure for dealing with ambushes: Run away. Fast. Anything knowingly attacking a wizard has probably come prepared. To this end, he seriously took takes up gymming exercise and martial arts to improve his stamina and melee skills.
*** Standard procedure when his staff is taken away or runs out of magic? Start blasting what ever whatever he is fighting with .44 rounds till 'til it stops moving.



*** Harry has also found out, and demonstrated, that {{Groin Attack}}s work just as well on trolls and grendelkin as they do on humans. The fact that he did it with cold iron on the former--resulting in said troll's bits ''bursting into flame''--let him hold off a whole bunch of them who wisely did not try to press their luck after seeing what happened to the first one.
*** In ''Ghost Story'' Harry interrupts the BigBad in the middle of a villainous monologue with a blast of fire. When she voices her outrage, he does it again. When she still doesn't get the idea he hits her with a ''third'' blast. [[spoiler: Turns out she's a bit of a pragmatist herself, luring Harry into wasting precious memories casting spells, and nearly reducing him to a mindless wraith. She can afford to take the hits better than he can afford to throw them.]]
*** In the first book, he gains the advantage against [[spoiler: Victor Sells]] with [[spoiler:a ''cleaning spell''.]]
** Ebenezer [=McCoy=] [[spoiler:[[ColonyDrop dropped a satellite]]]] on a difficult-to-kill vampire's remote fortress.
** Wizards aren't the only ones who can be utterly pragmatic. The Billy Goats Gruff, while being fairytale...um, fairies, have absolutely no compunctions against using such mortal inventions as submachineguns.

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*** Harry has also found out, and demonstrated, that {{Groin Attack}}s work just as well on trolls and grendelkin as they do on humans. The fact that he did does it with cold iron using ColdIron on the former--resulting in said troll's bits ''bursting into flame''--let flame''--lets him hold off a whole bunch of them them, who wisely did do not try to press their luck after seeing what happened to the first one.
*** In ''Ghost Story'' ''Literature/GhostStory'' Harry interrupts the BigBad in the middle of a villainous monologue with a blast of fire. When she voices her outrage, he does it again. When she still doesn't get the idea he hits her with a ''third'' blast. [[spoiler: Turns out she's a bit of a pragmatist herself, luring Harry into wasting precious memories casting spells, and nearly reducing him to a mindless wraith. She can afford to take the hits better than he can afford to throw them.]]
*** In the first book, ''Literature/StormFront'', he gains the advantage against [[spoiler: Victor Sells]] with [[spoiler:a ''cleaning spell''.]]
** Ebenezer [=McCoy=] [[spoiler:[[ColonyDrop dropped drops a satellite]]]] on a difficult-to-kill vampire's remote fortress.
** Wizards aren't the only ones who can be utterly pragmatic. The Billy Goats Gruff, while being fairytale... um, fairies, have absolutely no compunctions against using such mortal inventions as submachineguns.submachine guns.



*** He's also a ManipulativeBastard who likes to get the advantage with mind games, most memorably when he [[spoiler:pulls an ISurrenderSuckers in ''Skin Game'' in a bid to break one of the Swords of the Cross. ''It works''.]]

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*** He's also a ManipulativeBastard who likes to get the advantage with mind games, most memorably when he [[spoiler:pulls an ISurrenderSuckers in ''Skin Game'' ''Literature/SkinGame'' in a bid to break one of the Swords of the Cross. ''It works''.]]



** The DangerouslyGenreSavvy vampire Mavra knew she would at the very least have trouble taking on Harry in a magical slugfest, so instead she uses hostages, land mines, and minions with flamethrowers. [[spoiler:This last almost killed him. She figured out his shield only blocked physical force, not heat, so she pinned him in place and kept up with the fire until his hand was charred black. The only reason he regained the use of that hand was the wizard HealingFactor, and even then it took years]].

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** The DangerouslyGenreSavvy vampire Mavra knew knows she would at the very least have trouble taking on Harry in a magical slugfest, so instead she uses hostages, land mines, and minions with flamethrowers. [[spoiler:This last almost killed kills him. She figured out his shield only blocked blocks physical force, not heat, so she pinned pins him in place and kept keeps up with the fire until his hand was is charred black. The only reason he regained regains the use of that hand was is the wizard HealingFactor, and even then it took years]].takes years.]]



* This shows up all the time in MercedesLackey's work, especially her ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Velgarth]]'' novels. Fighting instructors, as opposed to fencing masters, constantly emphasise to their students that there's no such thing as "unfair" or "dishonourable" tactics in a real fight. Fencing matches and the like are a different thing entirely.

to:

* This shows up all the time in MercedesLackey's Creator/MercedesLackey's work, especially her ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Velgarth]]'' novels. Fighting instructors, as opposed to fencing masters, constantly emphasise to their students that there's no such thing as "unfair" or "dishonourable" tactics in a real fight. Fencing matches and the like are a different thing entirely.



* In the ''StarWars'' ExpandedUniverse novel ''[[XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', Wes Janson winds up in a duel using a blastsword, a weapon he has very little idea how to use. What Janson ends up doing is parrying his opponent's first strike, then knocking the sword out with his hands and [[GoodOldFisticuffs beating the crap out of him in unarmed combat]].
** In Yoda: DarkRendezvous, this is how WeakButSkilled Padawan Scout wins an Initiate tournament. She takes advantage of a lot of things: that some of her opponents are unwilling to seriously hurt her, that she can throw things in people's faces, that [[LoopholeAbuse There Ain't No Rule]] against leaving the ring or ''ducking behind the referee'', and especially the fact that in the tournament, lightsabers are turned down and won't cut through her if she grabs the blade. Notably, she never outright ''breaks'' a written rule, just unsaid ones.
*** The StarWarsExpandedUniverse is RIFE with this, especially with certain authors, such as Stackpole and Allston (who wrote ''Starfighters'' above.) In the XWingSeries, both Rogue and Wraith Squadrons are completely happy to use any unfair and probably illegal methods they can think of, including pretending to be the enemy, flying false flags, and acts of piracy. Note that in RealLife, all three of those are HIGHLY illegal. Hell, Wraith Squadron was BUILT on this, using random misfits and Special Forces soldiers as pilots specifically so they wouldn't fly and fight like pilots.
*** In Real Life pretending to be the enemy and flying false flags is illegal IF you open fire while pretending to be the enemy or flying false flags. Change to your own colors, flags, uniforms and IFF beacons before shooting and you are clear of problems (legal ones). Piracy is solved by Letter of marque that names a Enemy, acts of piracy against ENEMY (with whom you are at war) shiping is legal. Wraith Squadron was given permission fron Command to carry out acts of piracy against Empire forces and goverments that suport the Empire.

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* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
**
In the ''StarWars'' ExpandedUniverse novel ''[[XWingSeries ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', Wes Janson winds up in a duel using a blastsword, a weapon he has very little idea how to use. What Janson ends up doing is parrying his opponent's first strike, then knocking the sword out with his hands and [[GoodOldFisticuffs beating the crap out of him in unarmed combat]].
** In Yoda: DarkRendezvous, this is how WeakButSkilled Padawan Scout wins an Initiate tournament. She takes advantage of a lot of things: that some of her opponents are unwilling to seriously hurt her, that she can throw things in people's faces, that [[LoopholeAbuse There Ain't No Rule]] against leaving the ring or ''ducking behind the referee'', and especially the fact that in the tournament, lightsabers are turned down and won't cut through her if she grabs the blade. Notably, she never outright ''breaks'' a written rule, just unsaid ones.
*** The StarWarsExpandedUniverse is RIFE with this, especially with certain authors, such as Stackpole and Allston (who wrote ''Starfighters'' above.)
In the XWingSeries, ComicBook/XWingSeries, both Rogue and Wraith Squadrons are completely happy to use any unfair and probably illegal methods they can think of, including pretending to be the enemy, flying false flags, and acts of piracy. Note that in RealLife, all three of those are HIGHLY illegal. Hell, Wraith Squadron was BUILT on this, using random misfits and Special Forces soldiers as pilots specifically so they wouldn't fly and fight like pilots.
*** In Real Life pretending to be the enemy and flying false flags is illegal IF you open fire while pretending to be the enemy or flying false flags. Change to your own colors, flags, uniforms and IFF beacons before shooting and you are clear of problems (legal ones). Piracy is solved by Letter letters of marque that names a Enemy, enemy; acts of piracy against ENEMY (with whom you are at war) shiping shipping is legal. Wraith Squadron was given permission fron from Command to carry out acts of piracy against Empire forces and goverments that suport support the Empire.Empire.
** In ''Yoda: Literature/DarkRendezvous'', this is how WeakButSkilled Padawan Scout wins an Initiate tournament. She takes advantage of a lot of things: that some of her opponents are unwilling to seriously hurt her, that she can throw things in people's faces, that [[LoopholeAbuse There Ain't No Rule]] against leaving the ring or ''ducking behind the referee'', and especially the fact that in the tournament, lightsabers are turned down and won't cut through her if she grabs the blade. Notably, she never outright ''breaks'' a written rule, just unsaid ones.



** The novelization of ''RevengeOfTheSith'' offers a better explanation (that is to say, ''an'' explanation) of how Palpatine killed three of the best swordsmen in the galaxy without breaking a sweat. When the Jedi Masters came to arrest him, he pretended to be a helpless politician, terrified of four armed men threatening him for no reason. The moment their certainty faltered, he was across the room and one's head was bouncing off the floor, while another staggered with a hole drilled through his forehead. He may be old, but he's [[BadassGrandpa a Master of the Dark Side]].
** Despite being a ProudWarriorRace, the Mandalorians pride themselves on pragmatism and flexibility in a combat situation. There are certain protocols in place for honor duels, competitions, and disputes between ''Mando'ade'', but when it's an actual battle, they fight to ''win.'' It's one of the reasons they praise [[KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Revan]] so highly as a WorthyOpponent. Revan was one of the few Jedi who was just as ruthlessly pragmatic as they were, and beat them with their own tactics.
* Partially because she's untrained but mostly because she's her, Sirantha Jax of ''Literature/TheSiranthaJaxSeries'' will use any means to win -- fighting dirty, crazy tactics, you name it.

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** The novelization of ''RevengeOfTheSith'' ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' offers a better explanation (that is to say, ''an'' explanation) of how Palpatine killed kills three of the best swordsmen in the galaxy without breaking a sweat. When the Jedi Masters came come to arrest him, he pretended pretends to be a helpless politician, terrified of four armed men threatening him for no reason. The moment their certainty faltered, he was falters, he's across the room and one's head was is bouncing off the floor, while another staggered staggers away with a hole drilled through his forehead. He may be old, but he's [[BadassGrandpa a Master of the Dark Side]].
** Despite being a ProudWarriorRace, the Mandalorians pride themselves on pragmatism and flexibility in a combat situation. There are certain protocols in place for honor duels, competitions, and disputes between ''Mando'ade'', but when it's an actual battle, they fight to ''win.'' It's one of the reasons they praise [[KnightsOfTheOldRepublic [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Revan]] so highly as a WorthyOpponent. Revan was one of the few Jedi who was just as ruthlessly pragmatic as they were, and beat them with their own tactics.
* Partially because she's untrained but mostly because she's her, Sirantha Jax of ''Literature/TheSiranthaJaxSeries'' will use any means to win -- fighting win--fighting dirty, crazy tactics, you name it.



* In Chris Roberson's ''ImperialFists novel ''Sons of Dorn'', Jean-Robur learns to fight like this in his first battle, stabbing a foe InTheBack.
* ''{{Dragaera}}'': Vlad grew up in a bad part of town as a victim of FantasticRacism before clawing his way up to a mid-level position in [[TheSyndicate the Jhereg]] as an assassin. This, along with the fact that most of the people he's fighting are [[OurElvesAreBetter bigger and stronger than him]], has led him to become the kind of guy whose standard tactics involve having his poisonous-miniature-dragon familiar fly into people's faces to distract them.

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* In Chris Roberson's ''ImperialFists ''Literature/ImperialFists'' novel ''Sons of Dorn'', Jean-Robur learns to fight like this in his first battle, stabbing a foe InTheBack.
* ''{{Dragaera}}'': ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'': Vlad grew up in a bad part of town as a victim of FantasticRacism before clawing his way up to a mid-level position in [[TheSyndicate the Jhereg]] as an assassin. This, along with the fact that most of the people he's fighting are [[OurElvesAreBetter bigger and stronger than him]], has led him to become the kind of guy whose standard tactics involve having his poisonous-miniature-dragon familiar fly into people's faces to distract them.



* SherlockHolmes is a weird case. Holmes himself has a general Screw The Rules attitude, but he completely averts this trope as he usually prefers to fight fair in hand to hand combat. [[TheWatson Watson]], [[RetiredBadass the veteran of Afghanistan,]] is far more conventional, only breaking society's rules when there are lives at stake, but if you ever come down to Baker Street looking for a piece of him or his [[HeterosexualLifePartners homeboy]] he will grab a chair, or poker, or whatever and bust your head open with it before you even get to throw a punch.
** Remember that above all Holmes loves a challenge - he most likely approaches his fights the same way he approaches his mysteries. Besides, contrary to what some people seem to believe, [[SarcasmMode having actual fighting skill gives you an advantage in a fight]] and Holmes ''is'' a damned good boxer.

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* SherlockHolmes Franchise/SherlockHolmes is a weird case. Holmes himself has a general Screw The Rules attitude, but he completely averts this trope as he usually prefers to fight fair in hand to hand combat. [[TheWatson Watson]], [[RetiredBadass the veteran of Afghanistan,]] is far more conventional, only breaking society's rules when there are lives at stake, but if you ever come down to Baker Street looking for a piece of him or his [[HeterosexualLifePartners homeboy]] he will grab a chair, or poker, or whatever and bust your head open with it before you even get to throw a punch.
** Remember that above all Holmes loves a challenge - he challenge--he most likely approaches his fights the same way he approaches his mysteries. Besides, contrary to what some people seem to believe, [[SarcasmMode having actual fighting skill gives you an advantage in a fight]] and Holmes ''is'' a damned good boxer.






** On a larger scale, Garren's [[CombatPragmatism combat pragmatism]] causes him to win the battles but lose the war - while tactics like using hostages as shields, disregarding the challenge circle, using peasant conscripts as cannon fodder, and torturing a prisoner make life a lot harder for the protagonists, they also undermine the support of his subordinates and secure popular support for [[LaResistance the resistance]].

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** On a larger scale, Garren's [[CombatPragmatism combat pragmatism]] causes him to win the battles but lose the war - while war--while tactics like using hostages as shields, disregarding the challenge circle, using peasant conscripts as cannon fodder, and torturing a prisoner make life a lot harder for the protagonists, they also undermine the support of his subordinates and secure popular support for [[LaResistance the resistance]].



-->Avery, on t'other hand, is a genius, as we know, and younger and fitter -- but then again, Bilbo has the experience, and knows lots of tricks -- but curiously enough, black scoundrel though he is, the thought of using them [[WorthyOpponent never crosses his mind]].

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-->Avery, on t'other hand, is a genius, as we know, and younger and fitter -- but fitter--but then again, Bilbo has the experience, and knows lots of tricks -- but tricks--but curiously enough, black scoundrel though he is, the thought of using them [[WorthyOpponent never crosses his mind]].
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