History Main / DecapitatedArmy

10th Dec '17 6:05:21 PM Malady
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* [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in ''[[TheEdgeChronicles Freeglader]]''. The [[FeatheredFiend Shryke]] army that attacks the fleeing Undertowners is a newly hatched flock. Shrykes, especially young ones, tend to go into a [[UnstoppableRage frenzy]] [[BloodLust upon tasting blood]], becoming practically uncontrollable - the only one who can keep them in line being their [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Roost-Mother]]. When Mother Muleclaw the Third is killed, her army, lacking directions and vicious with bloodthirst, turns on itself, all the Shrykes [[IAmAHumanitarian devouring each other]].

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* [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in ''[[TheEdgeChronicles ''[[Literature/TheEdgeChronicles Freeglader]]''. The [[FeatheredFiend Shryke]] army that attacks the fleeing Undertowners is a newly hatched flock. Shrykes, especially young ones, tend to go into a [[UnstoppableRage frenzy]] [[BloodLust upon tasting blood]], becoming practically uncontrollable - the only one who can keep them in line being their [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Roost-Mother]]. When Mother Muleclaw the Third is killed, her army, lacking directions and vicious with bloodthirst, turns on itself, all the Shrykes [[IAmAHumanitarian devouring each other]].
7th Nov '17 10:24:58 PM Gamermaster
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* Thankfully played straight in [[BigBad Nowel's]] scenario in ''VideoGame/MagicalBattleArena'', where all you have to do to beat the combined forces of [[TheDragon Ruru]], [[OriginalGeneration Kirara, Sarara]], [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Nanoha, and Fate]] in her final stage is to take out Ruru.

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* Thankfully played straight in [[BigBad Nowel's]] scenario in ''VideoGame/MagicalBattleArena'', where all you have to do to beat the combined forces of [[TheDragon Ruru]], [[OriginalGeneration Kirara, Sarara]], [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [[Franchise/LyricalNanoha Nanoha, and Fate]] in her final stage is to take out Ruru.
26th Oct '17 8:14:28 PM CloudCuckooClock
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Subverted in Episode 52 of ''WebVideo/CriticalRole''. Though the [[BanditClan Herd of Storms]] stops fighting after Kevdak's defeat and death, this is only because Grog - who had previously challenged him to an honor duel - had dealt the final blow. According to the DM, the herd would have continued fighting if anyone else had killed Kevdak, which would have surely resulted in a TotalPartyKill.
[[/folder]]
30th Sep '17 5:20:26 PM cherrychels
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** It helps that, in this case, Lelouch's army is literally incapable of self-determination. He geassed them all into mindless slaves. They have no will other than obeying his orders or that of his immediate subordinates, and they were all in on it.

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** It helps that, in this case, Lelouch's army is literally incapable of self-determination. He geassed turns them all into mindless slaves. They have no will other than obeying his orders or that of his immediate subordinates, and they were all in on it.



** More justified with Gecko Moria, who was holding all the shadows from people around the world. Without those shadows, people die when exposed to sunlight. Once he was beat up enough, he forcefully let go all of the shadows he had collected.

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** More justified with Gecko Moria, who was holding Moria holds all the shadows from people around the world. Without those these shadows, people die when exposed to sunlight. Once he was Geckis beat up enough, he forcefully let lets go all of the shadows he had collected.



* Subverted in ''LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha''. TheHero attempted to assassinate the Demon King, believing he could end the war immediately. After finding that the demon ruler [[SamusIsAGirl is really a Demon]] ''[[SheIsTheKing Queen]]'', she informs him that if he did kill her, the human rulers would cover it up because [[WarForFunAndProfit the war benefits them]] and the demons would simply chose a new ruler in no time. After finding that she is not evil, Hero realizes the better option for ending the war is to work with her.

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* Subverted in ''LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha''. TheHero attempted to assassinate the Demon King, believing he could end the war immediately. After finding that the demon ruler [[SamusIsAGirl is really a Demon]] ''[[SheIsTheKing Queen]]'', she informs him that if he did kill her, the human rulers would cover it up because [[WarForFunAndProfit the war benefits them]] and the demons would simply chose choose a new ruler in no time. After finding that she is not evil, Hero realizes the better option for ending the war is to work with her.



** Also occurs in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' when the droid control ship is destroyed, causing their droid forces to deactivate on the spot. The Trade Federation [[GenreSavvy did learn from this one]], as when in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', set ten years later, one of their droid control ships over Geonosis is destroyed by the Republic's new army of clones, [[SoLastSeason nothing happens.]] (The novelization has the droids slaved to that ship deactivate for only a second before on-board processors kick in and they start fighting again.)
** Averted in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''. Early in the film General Grievous immediately takes command after Dooku is slain by Anakin and the Republic is fully aware Dooku's death isn't enough to end the war. Furthermore, the Separatist forces on Utapau keep fighting even after Obi-Wan kills Grievous. Afterwards Palpatine goes as far to have Vader execute ''all'' the remaining Separatist leaders to ensure no loose ends.

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** Also occurs in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' when the droid control ship is destroyed, causing their droid forces to deactivate on the spot. The Trade Federation [[GenreSavvy did learn from this one]], as when in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', set ten years later, one of their droid control ships over Geonosis is destroyed by the Republic's new army of clones, [[SoLastSeason nothing happens.]] (The novelization has the droids slaved to that ship deactivate for only a second before on-board onboard processors kick in and they start fighting again.)
** Averted in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''. Early in the film General Grievous immediately takes command after Dooku is slain by Anakin and the Republic is fully aware Dooku's death isn't enough to end the war. Furthermore, the Separatist forces on Utapau keep fighting even after Obi-Wan kills Grievous. Afterwards Afterward, Palpatine goes as far to have Vader execute ''all'' the remaining Separatist leaders to ensure no loose ends.



* The battle at the start of the movie ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'' seems to invert this--the Dead Rabbits stop fighting almost instantly.

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* The battle at the start of the movie ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'' seems to invert this--the this -- the Dead Rabbits stop fighting almost instantly.



* Averted in ''Film/BlackHawkDown''; when Mike Durant is captured, a militia man explains to him that even if General Aidid is captured, they will not suddenly put down their arms and adopt democracy.

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* Averted in ''Film/BlackHawkDown''; when Mike Durant is captured, a militia man militiaman, he explains to him that even if General Aidid is captured, they will not suddenly put down their arms and adopt democracy.



** A popular joke mentions that Aragorn granted the king's forgiveness to all of Sauron's forces, since fighting them would be suicide.

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** A popular joke mentions that Aragorn granted the king's forgiveness to all of Sauron's forces, forces since fighting them would be suicide.



** And note that this is averted in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', where the Orc/Warg army at the Battle of Five Armies is certainly somewhat discomforted when Beorn manages to kill their leader Bolg, but does not immediately crumble. This is because those Orcs were acting under their own will and not that of Sauron. This is also emphasised in the early chapters of ''The Two Towers'', when other Northern Orcs do not get along with the Mordor-orcs under Sauron's direct control (and the [[EliteMooks Uruk-hai]] under [[TheStarscream Saruman's]] control don't get along with either side).

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** And note that this is averted in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', where the Orc/Warg army at the Battle of Five Armies is certainly somewhat discomforted when Beorn manages to kill their leader Bolg, but does not immediately crumble. This is because those Orcs were acting under their own will and not that of Sauron. This is also emphasised in the early chapters of ''The Two Towers'', Towers'' when other Northern Orcs do not get along with the Mordor-orcs under Sauron's direct control (and the [[EliteMooks Uruk-hai]] under [[TheStarscream Saruman's]] control don't get along with either side).



** In ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', Vimes encounters a desert tribe and attempts to capture their leader to force surrender... which makes them charge even faster, since they believe that any leader stupid enough to be captured so easily isn't worth following.

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** In ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', Vimes encounters a desert tribe and attempts to capture their leader to force surrender... which makes them charge even faster, faster since they believe that any leader stupid enough to be captured so easily isn't worth following.



** The commanders of the Second Sons obviously expect this when they decide on assassination instead of risking battle against 8,000 Unsullied.

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** The commanders of the Second Sons obviously expect this when they decide on assassination instead of risking a battle against 8,000 Unsullied.



** Jon reasons that if they can kill Mance Rayder his wildling army will collapse back into their traditional rivalries. His reasoning is pretty solid, but his plan is less so and he knows it.

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** Jon reasons that if they can kill Mance Rayder his wildling Rayder, they can stop Mance's attack on the Wall since Mance's army of wildlings will collapse back into their traditional rivalries. His reasoning is pretty solid, but his plan is less so and he knows it.



** Even the heroes were prone to this. Without Roy's leadership the group's members were split in two and ended up becoming indecisive and/or hindering and fighting with each other, accomplishing nothing for months. The only exception is Haley who used her time to form a resistance and was crucial in reuniting the order so they can rez their leader.

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** Even the heroes were prone to this. Without Roy's leadership leadership, the group's members were split in two and ended up becoming indecisive and/or hindering and fighting with each other, accomplishing nothing for months. The only exception is Haley who used her time to form a resistance and was crucial in reuniting the order so they can rez their leader.



** This is a problem with such groups that have a large following of devotees. If you cut off the head, this will only strengthen the devotees because that person will be seen as a martyr. Furthermore killing the leader only ensures that he'll be replaced with someone younger -- meaning they're more idealistic, less prone to battle fatigue, and eager to prove themselves. In theory they should also be less experienced, but this doesn't mean much to terrorists who have grown up in war zones. As for drug cartels, targeting their leaders only causes the cartel to fracture into smaller groups, resulting in an increase in the drug supply as each competes with the others.

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** This is a problem with such groups that have a large following of devotees. If you cut off the head, this will only strengthen the devotees because that person will be seen as a martyr. Furthermore killing the leader only ensures that he'll be replaced with someone younger -- meaning they're more idealistic, less prone to battle fatigue, and eager to prove themselves. In theory theory, they should also be less experienced, but this doesn't mean much to terrorists who have grown up in war zones. As for drug cartels, targeting their leaders only causes the cartel to fracture into smaller groups, resulting in an increase in the drug supply as each competes with the others.



* The Prussian Army came very close to this trope in the battle of Auerstedt (14 October, 1806) when its commander, the Duke of Brunswick, was incapacitated by a (as it turned out, mortal) wound. King Frederick William III, who was present on the field, then failed to appoint a new commander-in-chief or to try to take command himself. The resultant loss of co-ordination between the various parts of the army (two-fifths of which were not even brought into action until the retreat already started) enabled Davout's outnumbered corps to score a remarkable victory.
* When in late 1813 some Allied roving corps attacked French-held Bremen, they could not make any impression on the city's fortifications. Then a rifleman belonging to the Lützow Free Corps managed to kill the French commandant with what even contemporaries described as a lucky shot. Shortly afterwards the garrison, which consisted largely of Swiss soldiers, capitulated.

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* The Prussian Army came very close to this trope in the battle of Auerstedt (14 October, October 1806) when its commander, the Duke of Brunswick, was incapacitated by a (as it turned out, mortal) (mortal) wound. King Frederick William III, who was present on the field, then failed to appoint a new commander-in-chief or to try to take command himself. The resultant loss of co-ordination between the various parts of the army (two-fifths of which were not even brought into action until the retreat already started) enabled Davout's outnumbered corps to score a remarkable victory.
* When in late 1813 some Allied roving corps attacked French-held Bremen, they could not make any impression on the city's fortifications. Then a rifleman belonging to the Lützow Free Corps managed to kill the French commandant with what even contemporaries described as a lucky shot. Shortly afterwards afterward, the garrison, which consisted largely of Swiss soldiers, capitulated.
25th Sep '17 6:12:31 AM JackG
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* ''Literature/TheDogsOfWar''. During the planning for the coup to depose [[TheCaligula President Kimba]], the mercenary Shannon stresses the importance of killing Kimba due to the belief among his followers that he has [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juju juju]] that protects him from harm. Whoever kills Kimba will be assumed to have more powerful juju, making his ability to run the country much easier. Kimba makes things easier by being so paranoid about a coup that he concentrates the only effective firearms in his own palace along with his PraetorianGuard; Shannon just plans a direct assault on the palace and kills everyone in it.

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* ''Literature/TheDogsOfWar''. During the planning for the coup to depose [[TheCaligula President Kimba]], the mercenary Shannon stresses the importance of killing Kimba due to the belief among his followers that he has [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juju juju]] that protects him from harm. Whoever kills Kimba will be assumed to have more powerful juju, making his ability to run the country much easier. Furthermore Kimba makes things easier by being is so paranoid about a coup that he concentrates the only effective firearms in his own palace along with his PraetorianGuard; PraetorianGuard, so Shannon just plans a direct assault on the palace and kills everyone in it.
25th Sep '17 6:10:21 AM JackG
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* ''Literature/TheDogsOfWar''. During the planning for the coup to depose [[TheCaligula President Kimba]], the mercenary Shannon stresses the importance of killing Kimba due to the belief among his followers that he has [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juju juju]] that protects him from harm. Whoever kills Kimba will be assumed to have more powerful juju, making his ability to run the country much easier. Kimba makes things easier by being so paranoid about a coup that he concentrates the only effective firearms in his own palace along with his PraetorianGuard; Shannon just plans a direct assault on the palace and kills everyone in it.
20th Sep '17 8:11:45 PM Tacitus
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** Going [[StraightForTheCommander straight for the enemy command structure]] was a trademark tactic of Warmaster Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Sons of Horus and leader of the Literature/HorusHeresy. When the Siege of Terra was dragging on and loyalist reinforcements were getting closer, Horus lowered the shields of his capital ship to tempt the Emperor to try the same approach with a teleportation attack. Ironically, Horus was killed in the duel and his own legion fell victim to this trope, fleeing with his body and leading the retreat.

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** Going [[StraightForTheCommander straight for the enemy command structure]] was a trademark tactic of Warmaster Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Sons of Horus and leader of the Literature/HorusHeresy. When the Siege of Terra was dragging on and loyalist reinforcements were getting closer, Horus lowered the shields of his capital ship flagship to tempt the Emperor to try the same approach with a teleportation attack. Ironically, Horus was killed in the duel and his own legion fell victim to this trope, fleeing with his body and leading the retreat.



* In the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games, killing the enemy general causes his troops to take a morale hit, making it much easier to mop them up. Of course, the same can happen to your general, too. In the ''[[VideoGame/MedievalTotalWar Medieval]]'' games peasant uprisings are particularly prone to this, being mostly made up of peasants with terrible morale. So long as the general unit isn't made of spearmen, 20 cavalry can rout an army of a thousand.
** On the strategic level, killing the faction leader and all of his heirs causes the faction in question to dissolve into leaderless rebels.
** Averted to a degree from ''[[VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar Empire]]'' onwards. Killing generals on the battlefield would not necessarily stop enemies (especially veteran units) from retreating that easily while in ''[[VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2 Shogun 2]]'', assassinating the daimyo and his heirs only serves to hand power over to said daimyo's wife. Also, in ''Empire'', actual government leaders are never present on the battlefield. They are also not characters on the map, so they can't be assassinated either. They can still die due to age or random event, but there is always someone to take their place. In fact, under a democracy, presidents are periodically subject to re-election.

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* In the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games, killing a general's death on the enemy general battlefield causes the rest of his troops army to take a morale hit, making it much easier to mop them up. Of course, increasing the same can happen odds it will rout. And on the strategic level, wiping out a faction leader and all of his heirs, through battle and/or assassination, will cause that faction to your general, too. collapse and join the generic "rebels" faction no matter how large and powerful it was.
**
In the ''[[VideoGame/MedievalTotalWar Medieval]]'' games peasant uprisings are particularly prone to this, being mostly made up of peasants with terrible morale. So long as the general unit rebel captain isn't made part of spearmen, 20 cavalry a unit of [[AntiCavalry spearmen]], one 20-man unit of knights can rout an army of a thousand.
thousand peasants with one good charge.
** On In ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'', this is the bane of crusader armies. Joining a crusade makes an army move faster, reduces its upkeep, and allows the recruitment of zealous religious mercenaries, but it's the character leading that army that joined the crusade, not the army itself. If said character dies and there isn't another noble to take over and take up the cross, the crusading army will disintegrate in just a few turns on the strategic level, killing the faction leader and all of his heirs causes the faction in question to dissolve into leaderless rebels.
map.
** Averted to a degree from ''[[VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar Empire]]'' onwards. Killing generals on the battlefield would not necessarily stop enemies (especially veteran units) from retreating that easily easily, while in ''[[VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2 Shogun 2]]'', assassinating the daimyo and his heirs only serves to hand power over to said daimyo's wife. Also, in ''Empire'', actual government leaders are never present on the battlefield. They are also not characters on the map, so they can't be assassinated either. They can still die due to age or random event, but there is always someone to take their place. In fact, under a democracy, presidents are periodically subject to re-election.
26th Aug '17 3:00:01 AM GentlemensDame883
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* ''VideoGame/{{XCOM 2}}'': Kill the FinalBoss and you win the final mission, regardless of how many mooks are waiting to shoot and tear into your troops.
20th Aug '17 5:24:32 AM JackG
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* Averted in ''Series/BlakesSeven''. When [[BigBad Servalan]] is deposed in a coup, the rebels urge their leader to let them kill her, arguing that "[[IAmTheNoun Servalan is the Federation]]". The RebelLeader points out this is only true while Servalan is alive, and she can be forced to order her armies to surrender. Kill her, and the war goes on as one of her subordinates would inevitably fill the power vacuum.

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* Averted in ''Series/BlakesSeven''. When [[BigBad Servalan]] is deposed in a coup, coup d'état, the rebels urge their leader to let them kill her, arguing that "[[IAmTheNoun Servalan is the Federation]]". The RebelLeader points out this is only true while Servalan is alive, and she can be forced to order her armies to surrender. Kill her, and the war goes on as one of her subordinates would inevitably fill the power vacuum.
20th Aug '17 5:23:32 AM JackG
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* Averted in ''Series/BlakesSeven''. When [[BigBad Servalan]] is deposed in a coup, the rebels urge their leader to let them kill her, arguing that "[[IAmTheNoun Servalan is the Federation]]". The RebelLeader points out this is only true while Servalan is alive, and she can be forced to order her armies to surrender. Kill her, and the war goes on as one of her subordinates would inevitably fill the power vacuum.
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