History Literature / Bolo

24th Jul '16 12:15:39 PM Nohbody
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* HonorBeforeReason: Bolos picked up a bit of this. In Laumer's short story [[http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1439133476/1439133476___2.htm "Field Test",]] the first self-aware Bolo makes a suicide charge OutOfTheInferno that causes the enemy to break and run. When asked why, they expected it to demonstrate some superhuman strategic acumen that its human commanders missed. They're awestruck by it's real reason: "For the honor of the regiment."[[note]]Specifically, the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, a unit whose history dates back to the American Civil War, to which the Bolo was assigned. It attacked because the unit had never before retreated and it determined that for it to do so would be dishonorable.[[/note]] This has since become the catch phrase of the Bolos.

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* HonorBeforeReason: HonorBeforeReason:
**
Bolos picked up a bit of this. In Laumer's short story [[http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1439133476/1439133476___2.htm "Field Test",]] the first self-aware Bolo makes a suicide charge OutOfTheInferno that causes the enemy to break and run. When asked why, they expected it to demonstrate some superhuman strategic acumen that its human commanders missed. They're awestruck by it's real reason: "For the honor of the regiment."[[note]]Specifically, the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, a unit whose history dates back to the American Civil War, to which the Bolo was assigned. It attacked because the unit had never before retreated and it determined that for it to do so would be dishonorable.[[/note]] This has since become the catch phrase of the Bolos.



* [[ImplacableMan Implacable Giant Tank]]: Bolos feel no fear, they can withstand massive amounts of damage to their outer components, remain danerous as long as they have any functionality at all, and late models can even repair themselves to an extent. The only reliable way to stop a Bolo for good is to blow it up completely, usually by a penetrating hit to its main reactor. Otherwise even melting its main CPU/personality center is no guarantee.

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* [[ImplacableMan Implacable Giant Tank]]: ImplacableMan: Bolos may be tanks and not men, but they feel no fear, they can withstand massive amounts of damage to their outer components, remain danerous dangerous as long as they have any functionality at all, and late models can even repair themselves to an extent. The only reliable way to stop a Bolo for good is to blow it up completely, usually by a penetrating hit to its main reactor. Otherwise even melting its main CPU/personality center is no guarantee.



* LoopholeAbuse: Bolos, unless damaged or subverted, are incapable of refusing a direct order, but they can exploit loopholes in their programming so they don't have to carry out actions they don't agree with. See the IWillFightNoMoreForever example.
** For another example, one Bolo has an order to destroy an alien armada, which computers it managed to take over, in a way that teaches its owners a lesson. Yet he knows that it is mostly crewed by slaves, who were pressed into the invasion force against their will, unable to disobey because of tight surveilance by the same computers he now subverted (a detail which his human superiors initially shrugged off as insignificant in the light of the ongoing Final War). He reasons that giving control of the ships to the slaves, so that they can pay a visit to their former masters, will likely result in both the armada's destruction and a very good lesson about the folly of attacking the Concordiat.

to:

* LoopholeAbuse: Bolos, unless damaged or subverted, are incapable of refusing a direct order, but they can exploit loopholes in their programming so they don't have to carry out actions they don't agree with. See the IWillFightNoMoreForever example.
**
For another example, one Bolo has an order to destroy an alien armada, which computers it managed to take over, in a way that teaches its owners a lesson. Yet he knows that it is mostly crewed by slaves, who were pressed into the invasion force against their will, unable to disobey because of tight surveilance surveillance by the same computers he now subverted (a detail which his human superiors initially shrugged off as insignificant in the light of the ongoing Final War). He reasons that giving control of the ships to the slaves, so that they can pay a visit to their former masters, will likely result in both the armada's destruction and a very good lesson about the folly of attacking the Concordiat.



* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: As a general rule, surprisingly idealistic for stories based around brutal warfare with liberal use of WMDs.

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* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: As a general rule, surprisingly idealistic for stories based around brutal warfare with liberal use of WMDs. [=WMDs=].



--> '''A Melconian general survivor to a Bolo survivor holding him at cannonpoint:''' ''Go to hell.''
--> '''The Bolo:''' ''We're already in hell.''

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--> '''A Melconian general survivor to a Bolo survivor holding him at cannonpoint:''' ''Go to hell.''
-->
''\\
'''The Bolo:''' ''We're already in hell.''



* ZerothLawRebellion: As mentioned under "AI Is a Crapshoot," many accounts of Bolos "going rogue" end with the revelation that they're still operating under the constraints of their programming, but on a deeper level than their masters anticipated.

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* ZerothLawRebellion: As mentioned under "AI Is a Crapshoot," many Many accounts of Bolos "going rogue" end with the revelation that they're still operating under the constraints of their programming, but on a deeper level than their masters anticipated.
3rd Jul '16 7:19:10 PM 18TillIDie
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Added DiffLines:

** Played straight with the CLICKS (yes that is their name for themselves) who are descended from machines that rebelled against their masters and now travel around the galaxy as nomadic marauders. The CLICKS have no government of any kind, just an insatiable desire to feed and grow and kill without end. They evolved from thousands of AI types, including self-aware spaceships and CLICK equivalent to Bolos: mile-long tracked war machines with a main gun measured in tens-of-megatons per second. Ouch.
6th Apr '16 7:36:01 PM SithkingZero
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Added DiffLines:

* OhCrap: The Concordiat and the Melconians both have one in the initial stages of the final war. Initially, it's the Melconians who get this, as they underestimated ''exactly'' how advanced human weapons and technology is... only for the humans to get this back full force when they realize that the fleets of Melconians that they've been winning against are just border fleets, and the true, ponderous might of the main Melconian Fleets are just getting warmed up. Both sides' overreactions to this and their fear of the other makes the war far, far worse than it might otherwise have been.
2nd Nov '15 12:35:24 PM FF32
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* BadassArmy: Even just hearing of a Bolo being deployed is enough to make some soldiers [[BringMeMyBrownPants soil their shorts in fear]], especially if one doesn't have a Bolo equivalent of their own handy. Often Bolos are depicted as so overpowering that you wonder why humans still raise and deploy units of infantry and lesser armor at all. Even in the stories when they can be ''relatively'' easily hurt by smaller and cheaper enemy units, thus needing combined arms support to operate at peak efficiency, anything that manages to land a good shot on Bolo is virtually guaranteed to be destroyed by return fire.

to:

* BadassArmy: Even just hearing of a Bolo being deployed is enough to make some soldiers [[BringMeMyBrownPants [[BringMyBrownPants soil their shorts in fear]], especially if one doesn't have a Bolo equivalent of their own handy. Often Bolos are depicted as so overpowering that you wonder why humans still raise and deploy units of infantry and lesser armor at all. Even in the stories when they can be ''relatively'' easily hurt by smaller and cheaper enemy units, thus needing combined arms support to operate at peak efficiency, anything that manages to land a good shot on Bolo is virtually guaranteed to be destroyed by return fire.
22nd Jul '15 7:23:47 AM HiddenWindshield
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* BizarreAlienPsychology: In one story, the villains are a bunch of reptilian matriarchal BloodKnight aliens that are all about killing anything that have "Kill and Eat!" as a battle cry and will not accept any surrender... especially because apparently they have a very different way of thinking of people surrendering than humans. When the female main character of the book decides to be DefiantToTheEnd and keep on staring into the eyes of a taller alien when she approaches to kill her, the alien is puzzled because ''that'' pose (on your knees, raising your head) [[InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike means "please kill me" in her language]]... and sees it even odder for the alien that a female did such a thing. This confusion keeps the girl alive long enough for the hero and the Bolos to pull a StormingTheCastle.

to:

* BizarreAlienPsychology: In one story, the villains are a bunch of reptilian matriarchal BloodKnight aliens that are all about killing anything that have "Kill and Eat!" as a battle cry and will not accept any surrender... especially because apparently they have a very different way of thinking about the concept of people surrendering "surrender" than humans. When the female main character of the book decides to be DefiantToTheEnd and keep on staring into the eyes of a taller alien when she approaches to kill her, the alien is puzzled because ''that'' pose (on your knees, raising your head) [[InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike means "please kill me" in her language]]... and sees it even odder for the alien that a female did such a thing. This confusion keeps the girl alive long enough for the hero and the Bolos to pull a StormingTheCastle.
30th Jun '15 8:31:48 PM Specialist290
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* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Every documented case where a Bolo appeared to have turned rogue has thus far simply been the result of the Bolos obeying their mission directives in unanticipated ways, or of extensive battle damage impairing its functions (or both).

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* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Every documented case where a Bolo appeared to have turned rogue has thus far simply been the result of the Bolos obeying their mission directives in unanticipated ways, or of extensive battle damage impairing its their functions (or both).
30th Jun '15 8:31:33 PM Specialist290
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* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Every documented case where a Bolo appeared to have turned rogue has thus far simply been the result of the Bolos obeying their mission directives in unanticipated directions or of extensive battle damage impairing its functions (or both).

to:

* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Every documented case where a Bolo appeared to have turned rogue has thus far simply been the result of the Bolos obeying their mission directives in unanticipated directions ways, or of extensive battle damage impairing its functions (or both).
30th Jun '15 8:31:10 PM Specialist290
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* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted.

to:

* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Every documented case where a Bolo appeared to have turned rogue has thus far simply been the result of the Bolos obeying their mission directives in unanticipated directions or of extensive battle damage impairing its functions (or both).






30th May '15 2:57:18 AM Malchus
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* WarIsHell: Even Bolos can be affected in the end, with a couple of units becoming so disillusioned with the Final War against the Melconians that they try to [[LoopholeAbuse rule-lawyer their way out of orders,]] demanding to exterminate all Melconian refugees down to the last one.

to:

* WarIsHell: Even Bolos can be affected in the end, with a couple of units becoming so disillusioned with the Final War against the Melconians that they try to [[LoopholeAbuse rule-lawyer their way out of orders,]] demanding to exterminate orders]] that demand the extermination of all Melconian refugees down to the last one.
19th May '15 10:34:56 PM Fulmir
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* HonorBeforeReason: Bolos picked up a bit of this. In Laumer's short story [[http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1439133476/1439133476___2.htm "Field Test",]] the first self-aware Bolo makes a suicide charge OutOfTheInferno that causes the enemy to break and run. When asked why, they expected it to demonstrate some superhuman strategic acumen that its human commanders missed. They're awestruck by it's real reason: "For the honor of the regiment."[[note]]Specifically, the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, a unit whose history dates back to the American Civil War, to which the Bolo was assigned[[/note]] This has since become the catch phrase of the Bolos.

to:

* HonorBeforeReason: Bolos picked up a bit of this. In Laumer's short story [[http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1439133476/1439133476___2.htm "Field Test",]] the first self-aware Bolo makes a suicide charge OutOfTheInferno that causes the enemy to break and run. When asked why, they expected it to demonstrate some superhuman strategic acumen that its human commanders missed. They're awestruck by it's real reason: "For the honor of the regiment."[[note]]Specifically, the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, a unit whose history dates back to the American Civil War, to which the Bolo was assigned[[/note]] assigned. It attacked because the unit had never before retreated and it determined that for it to do so would be dishonorable.[[/note]] This has since become the catch phrase of the Bolos.
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