History Main / BattleOfWits

30th Nov '16 7:31:40 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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->''"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. [[ToWinWithoutFighting To subdue the enemy without fighting]] is the acme of skill."''

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->''"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. [[ToWinWithoutFighting To subdue the enemy without fighting]] fighting is the acme of skill."''
26th Nov '16 12:00:48 PM StFan
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-->-- '''Sun Tzu''', ''Literature/TheArtOfWar''

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-->-- '''Sun Tzu''', '''Creator/SunTzu''', ''Literature/TheArtOfWar''






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* Surprisingly enough, most of the battles in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' are quite strategic in nature. The most prominent example would have to be the battle between Piedmon and Gallantmon. Which essentially involved Piedmon using every dirty trick he could think of and Takato [[XanatosSpeedChess adapting to and countering these moves]], all while engaged in an ''awesome'' midair duel.
* ''FanFic/DeathNoteEquestria'', being (as the name suggests) an adaptation of ''Death Note'' with ponies, naturally has this as the core conflict between [[VillainProtagonist Twilight Sparkle]] and [[HeroAntagonist L]].

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* Surprisingly enough, most of the battles in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey''. Beetle Bailey and Sergeant Snorkel are quite strategic in nature. The most prominent example would have constantly trying to be the battle between Piedmon and Gallantmon. Which essentially involved Piedmon using every dirty trick he could think of and Takato [[XanatosSpeedChess adapting outwit each other as Beetle tries to and countering these moves]], all while engaged in an ''awesome'' midair duel.
* ''FanFic/DeathNoteEquestria'', being (as the name suggests) an adaptation of ''Death Note'' with ponies, naturally has this as the core conflict between [[VillainProtagonist Twilight Sparkle]] and [[HeroAntagonist L]].
avoid work or otherwise get on Sarge's nerves.



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[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Surprisingly enough, most of the battles in the ''Fanfic/TamersForeverSeries'' are quite strategic in nature. The most prominent example would have to be the battle between Piedmon and Gallantmon. Which essentially involved Piedmon using every dirty trick he could think of and Takato [[XanatosSpeedChess adapting to and countering these moves]], all while engaged in an ''awesome'' midair duel.
* ''Fanfic/DeathNoteEquestria'', being (as the name suggests) an adaptation of ''Death Note'' with ponies, naturally has this as the core conflict between [[VillainProtagonist Twilight Sparkle]] and [[HeroAntagonist L]].
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



-->''before the 10th fight''\\
'''Gillon''': Never try and hustle a hustler, Mr. Caine! \\
''after the 10th fight''\\
'''Caine''': Actually, I believe it goes: [[IronicEcho Never con a con-man]]. Especially one who's better than you are.

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-->''before -->''[before the 10th fight''\\
'''Gillon''':
fight]''\\
'''Gillon:'''
Never try and hustle a hustler, Mr. Caine! \\
''after ''[after the 10th fight''\\
'''Caine''':
fight]''\\
'''Caine:'''
Actually, I believe it goes: [[IronicEcho Never con a con-man]]. Especially one who's better than you are.






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* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey''. Beetle Bailey and Sergeant Snorkel are constantly trying to outwit each other as Beetle tries to avoid work or otherwise get on Sarge's nerves.

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* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey''. Beetle Bailey and Sergeant Snorkel are constantly trying The final confrontation in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' can be this, depending on your stats.
* The entire focus of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' courtroom sections.
* One of the side-quests in the Original Campaign which comes with ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' has you hunting down an InsufferableGenius escaped criminal known as ''The Stirge''. When you find him, he offers
to outwit each other as Beetle tries to avoid work or otherwise play a game of wits with you for his life. If you follow the example he gives you when you get on Sarge's nerves.
to play the real game,[[spoiler: you will inevitably lose.]]



[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The final confrontation in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' can be this, depending on your stats.
* The entire focus of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' courtroom sections.
* One of the side-quests in the Original Campaign which comes with ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' has you hunting down an InsufferableGenius escaped criminal known as ''The Stirge''. When you find him, he offers to play a game of wits with you for his life. If you follow the example he gives you when you get to play the real game,[[spoiler: you will inevitably lose.]]

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* The final confrontation in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' can be this, depending on your stats.
* The entire focus of
WesternAnimation/BugsBunny is the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' courtroom sections.
* One
patron saint of the side-quests in the Original Campaign which comes with ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' has you hunting down an InsufferableGenius escaped criminal known as ''The Stirge''. When you find him, he offers to play a game this trope. Of course, most of wits with you his opponents come ill-equipped for a battle of wits, but are generally well-armed otherwise. Perhaps his life. If you follow the example he gives you when you get worthiest opponent is self-proclaimed "super genius" Wile E. Coyote; in this case, Bugs uses Wile E.'s arrogance to play the real game,[[spoiler: you will inevitably lose.]]
his advantage.




[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny is the patron saint of this trope. Of course, most of his opponents come ill-equipped for a battle of wits, but are generally well-armed otherwise. Perhaps his worthiest opponent is self-proclaimed "super genius" Wile E. Coyote; in this case, Bugs uses Wile E.'s arrogance to his advantage.

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25th Nov '16 8:46:23 PM Willbyr
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* In ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'', the final confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty is [[spoiler: Holmes initiating his SherlockScan to win the battle in his mind before winning it in reality, but Moriarty suddenly undercuts Holmes' strategizing with his own, so it's both of them having a fight in their minds. They both come to the conclusion that Holmes can't win the fight because of his injury, so the actual fight never happens because Holmes decides to TakeAThirdOption and pull himself and Moriarty over the railings and off a cliff.]]

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* In ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'', the final confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty is [[spoiler: Holmes [[spoiler:Holmes initiating his SherlockScan to win the battle in his mind before winning it in reality, but Moriarty suddenly undercuts Holmes' strategizing with his own, so it's both of them having a fight in their minds. They both come to the conclusion that Holmes can't win the fight because of his injury, so the actual fight never happens because Holmes decides to TakeAThirdOption and pull himself and Moriarty over the railings and off a cliff.]]


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26th Oct '16 12:34:21 PM Morgenthaler
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* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' gives us these dressed in many guises. Even as more conventional battles for when you want to curtail whole massive wars of sprawling stupidity. For all Westeros seems to value brawn over brains, when push comes to shove, the series hammers home the lesson that if you don't fight ''intelligently'' with an eye to the long game and using ''every'' possible tool you've got and ''not'' just leaving everything to your army or your physical and numerical strength alone, you can and will wind up losing down the line.

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* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' gives us these dressed in many guises. Even as more conventional battles for when you want to curtail whole massive wars of sprawling stupidity. For all Westeros seems to value brawn over brains, when push comes to shove, the series hammers home the lesson that if you don't fight ''intelligently'' with an eye to the long game and using ''every'' possible tool you've got and ''not'' just leaving everything to your army or your physical and numerical strength alone, you can and will wind up losing down the line.
26th Aug '16 11:05:59 AM Gamermaster
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* The premise of ''Manga/KaguyaSamaWaKokurasetai'' is two teenagers trying to force each other into a LoveConfession. Most chapters quickly turn into a game of XanatosSpeedChess.
16th Aug '16 8:55:36 PM eowynjedi
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* Numerous instances in ''Literature/WolfHall'', but there's a notable subversion near the end of ''Bring Up the Bodies''. Thomas Cromwell has prepared himself for a long battle of wits to entrap Mark Smeaton by positioning himself as trying to protect Anne Boleyn from all these enemies she's got. Thirty seconds in and Mark is boasting that Anne is desperately in love with him. Cromwell says after, "Well, there aren't many men alive who can say they took me by surprise."
2nd Jun '16 12:55:46 PM Morgenthaler
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5th May '16 6:51:23 AM Euodiachloris
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** Historically, this was [[ZeroPercentAprovalRating Brynden]] [[HateSink Rivers']] whole shtick as [[HypercompitentSidekick Hand]] to two Targaryen kings. Every time the Blackfyres tried to start rebellion, he undercut each and every attempt using information, spies, policing and other underhanded tactics and chains of shady strategies they (and even his own allies) would never stoop to or expect -- including calculated assassinations of relatives at critical points. It worked. [[TheExtremistWasRight He got hated and exiled, but the cunning worked]].

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** Historically, this was [[ZeroPercentAprovalRating [[ZeroPercentApprovalRating Brynden]] [[HateSink Rivers']] whole shtick as [[HypercompitentSidekick [[HypercompetentSidekick Hand]] to two Targaryen kings. Every time the Blackfyres tried to start rebellion, he undercut each and every attempt using information, spies, policing and other underhanded tactics and chains of shady strategies they (and even his own allies) would never stoop to or expect -- including calculated assassinations of relatives at critical points. It worked. [[TheExtremistWasRight He got hated and exiled, but the cunning worked]].
worked]]: the Blackfyres wound up epically losing every time they took to the field, becoming less and less of a threat.
3rd May '16 9:59:28 AM Euodiachloris
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** Historically, this was [[ZeroPercentAprovalRating Brynden]] [[HateSink Rivers']] whole shtick as [[HypercompitentSidekick Hand]] to two Targaryen kings. Every time the Blackfyres tried to start rebellion, he undercut each and every attempt using information, spies, policing and other underhanded tactics and chains of shady strategies they (and even his own allies) would never stoop to or expect -- including calculated assassinations of relatives at critical points. It worked. [[TheExtremistWasRight He got hated and exiled, but the cunning worked]].
31st Jan '16 10:43:43 AM Euodiachloris
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* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' gives us these dressed in many guises. Even as more conventional battles for when you want to curtail whole wars. For all Westeros seems to value brawn over brains, when push comes to shove, the series hammers home the lesson that if you don't fight ''intelligently'' with an eye to the long game and using ''every'' tool you've got while not just leaving everything to your army or your strength alone, you can and will wind up losing down the line.
** The Lannisters as a clan specialise in the pragmatic and calculated use of wits... [[SnarkToSnarkCombat and sarcasm]]. [[ManipulativeBastard Tywin]] and [[GuileHero Tyrion]], in particular, are both masters: Tywin mainly through deeds, Tyrion very much through words. [[LadyMacbeth Cersei]] ''thinks'' she's good at this [[RegentForLife kind of thing]]. [[PassiveAggressiveKombat And, she is]]. [[VillainBall Up to a point]]. The problem is, she could [[SmugSnake never be as good as she believes herself to be]]. [[TheConsigliere Kevan]] is also a surprise contender to many all-too used to him living beneath his brother's shadow. Jaime, too, can also be a left-field surprise -- [[HiddenDepths when he gets his headspace right on a good day]], since he's not just the BloodKnight many view him as. He rather likes avoiding ''stupid'' or, worse, boring fights if trolling will work, instead. It's just a pity they all turn their skills on each other as much as they do upon anybody else.
** Littlefinger isn't adverse to pitting his wits and words against all comers. [[spoiler: And, by "all comers" we actually mean "the entire continent". Westeros hasn't realised it yet, but he's pretty much hung the Seven Kingdoms out to dry with his schemes. He's not so much avoiding wars as making sure that other people fight costly wars that'll benefit ''him''.]]
** Lord Varys is a one-man, government-subverting machine. He schemes like others eat. Saying he battles with wits is pretty redundant.

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* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' gives us these dressed in many guises. Even as more conventional battles for when you want to curtail whole wars. massive wars of sprawling stupidity. For all Westeros seems to value brawn over brains, when push comes to shove, the series hammers home the lesson that if you don't fight ''intelligently'' with an eye to the long game and using ''every'' possible tool you've got while not and ''not'' just leaving everything to your army or your physical and numerical strength alone, you can and will wind up losing down the line.
** The Lannisters as a clan specialise in the pragmatic and calculated use of wits... [[SnarkToSnarkCombat and sarcasm]]. [[ManipulativeBastard Tywin]] and [[GuileHero Tyrion]], in particular, are both masters: Tywin mainly through deeds, Tyrion very much through words. [[LadyMacbeth Cersei]] ''thinks'' she's good at this [[RegentForLife kind of thing]]. [[PassiveAggressiveKombat And, she is]]. [[VillainBall Up to a point]]. The problem is, she could [[SmugSnake never be as good as she believes herself to be]]. [[TheConsigliere Kevan]] is also a surprise contender to many all-too used to him living beneath his brother's shadow. Jaime, [[BrilliantButLazy Jaime]], too, can also be a left-field surprise -- [[HiddenDepths when he gets his headspace right on a good day]], since he's not just the BloodKnight many view him as. He rather likes avoiding ''stupid'' or, worse, plain boring fights if trolling will work, instead. It's just a pity they all turn their skills on each other as much as they do upon anybody else.
** Littlefinger isn't adverse to pitting his wits and words against all comers. [[spoiler: And, by "all comers" we actually mean "the "[[DivideAndConquer the entire continent".continent]]". Westeros hasn't realised it yet, but he's pretty much hung the Seven Kingdoms out to dry with his schemes. He's not so much avoiding wars as making sure that other ''other'' people fight costly wars that'll benefit ''him''.]]
** Lord Varys is a one-man, government-subverting machine. He schemes like others eat. Saying he battles with wits to do this is pretty redundant.
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