History Main / DecapitatedArmy

6th Jun '17 7:55:06 PM Nicoaln
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** Justified in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'''s remake. Just about every stage sans the FinalBoss is a "Rout" mission, so enemies will ''still'' fight to the last man even when their commander is down. Yet the map where you fight Rudolf is an assassination map - before it starts, Rudolf will tell his men that if any of them are left standing once he falls, they were to lay down their weapons and surrender. Naturally, when Rudolf is defeated, the map ends no matter how many enemies are left standing - because they all surrendered.
3rd Jun '17 10:37:27 AM JackG
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** This one is PlayedForLaughs, as the brass has been replaced by non-commissioned officers.

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** This one is PlayedForLaughs, as the brass has been replaced by [[SergeantRock non-commissioned officers.officers]].
3rd Jun '17 10:36:09 AM JackG
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** This one is PlayedForLaughs, as the brass has been replaced by non-commissioned officers.


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* In the Cross-Time Engineer novel ''The Flying Warlord'', Conrad Stargard sends in a commando force who [[BoringInvincibleHero somehow identify and kill every commander in the Mongol forces in the middle of the night]]. This is used to explain the IdiotBall later when the Mongols ride straight into the trap set by Stargard's forces. Given that an army of nomad warriors who had already conquered large parts of Asia and Eastern Europe would be used to taking casualties and have no shortage of combat-experienced soldiers adept at taking the initiative, this is rather implausible.
17th May '17 7:17:17 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', defeating Legate Lanius either by either killing him or convincing him to retreat will officially win the battle for the NCR (and if the player is fighting for Mr. House or an Independent Vegas, all that's left to do is to take care of General Oliver via the same means). However, this is also simultaneously averted: Lanius is second-in-command of the Legion after Caesar. Regardless of whether or not you're gunning for the Legion, killing Caesar himself has basically no effect on the end battle, although it is stated that Caesar himself is essential to the Legion's survival as a whole, as he's the personality the Legion is built around and without him it will fracture.
** After the Master's death in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'', most of the surviving first-generation Super Mutants emigrated east, settling in [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}} Broken Hills]], and later [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Jacobstown]]. Since they and most other remnants of the Master's Army have no interest in continuing their former mission, this trope is pretty much played straight.
** Subverted by the Enclave from ''Fallout 2'' through ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. In spite of losing at least four major headquarters and having their entire upper echelon of leaders gutted at least twice, the Enclave has managed to regroup and recover from their losses almost every single time. Only time will tell if the Enclave has finally been defeated once and for all, after the destruction of their headquarters at Adams Air Force Base in ''Broken Steel''.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
**
In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', defeating Legate Lanius either by either killing him or convincing him to retreat will officially win the battle for the NCR (and if the player is fighting for Mr. House or an Independent Vegas, all that's left to do is to take care of General Oliver via the same means). However, this is also simultaneously averted: Lanius is second-in-command of the Legion after Caesar. Regardless of whether or not you're gunning for the Legion, killing Caesar himself has basically no effect on the end battle, although it is stated that Caesar himself is essential to the Legion's survival as a whole, as he's the personality the Legion is built around and without him it will fracture.
** After the Master's death in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'', the first ''VideoGame/Fallout1'', most of the surviving first-generation Super Mutants emigrated east, settling in [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}} Broken Hills]], and later [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Jacobstown]]. Since they and most other remnants of the Master's Army have no interest in continuing their former mission, this trope is pretty much played straight.
** Subverted by the Enclave from ''Fallout 2'' ''VideoGame/Fallout2'' through ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''.''VideoGame/Fallout3''. In spite of losing at least four major headquarters and having their entire upper echelon of leaders gutted at least twice, the Enclave has managed to regroup and recover from their losses almost every single time. Only time will tell if the Enclave has finally been defeated once and for all, after the destruction of their headquarters at Adams Air Force Base in ''Broken Steel''.
16th May '17 7:24:12 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is close to being a subversion, but fails on certain points. [[EvilOverlord Fire Lord Ozai]] gets permanently depowered by the Avatar while at his strongest thanks to Sozin's Comet and his entire airship fleet destroyed, [[DaddysLittleVillain Azula]] gets dethroned before she can even be officially crowned, and the entire Fire Nation garrison at Ba Sing Se is defeated. However, the Fire Nation still effectively controls a major portion of the world, and should have a massive amount of reinforcements. Instead, the loss of their leadership and a major settlement is enough to make them all fall in line when Zuko (who shouldn't even be a legitimate heir) claims the throne. However in the comic continuation, ''ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise'' a few fractions of of the Fire Nation are still loyal to Ozai and tried to assassinate Zuko or continue the fighting.
* This comes up multiple times in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''
** After the defeat of the leadership of the Equalists and [[spoiler:Amon being exposed as a bloodbender]] in Book 1, the Equalists are no where to be seen in Book 2. WordOfGod states that there is a [[TheRemnant holdout]], but they are of no threat and only appear in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfKorra the game]], in which they serve as mercenaries [[EnemyMine alongside]] the Triple Threat Triads.
** In Book 2, the Northern Water Tribe army withraws from the South after [[spoiler:Unalaq is killed]]. Possibly justified by the fact that Eska and Desna, [[spoiler:who by the end of the season had enough of their father's [[AbusiveParents abuse]]]], ordered them to, as the heirs to the tribal chief position. Same goes for the Dark Spirits, who all retreat after [[spoiler:Vaatu is purified]].
** Book 3 sees [[spoiler:the Earth Queen]] being assasinated by anarchists, who incite the populace to riot. The government falling apart after her death is partly justified by the fact that at least some of the military force is shown siding with the rioters. However, Book 4 shows that there are a number of people who remain loyal to the monarchy and work to reinstate it (though not terribly many since the heir in line for the throne is a RoyalBrat).
** In Book 4, Suyin banks on this trope and tries to end the threat of Kuvira's army [[StraightForTheCommander by taking out Kuvira herself]], pointing out that most of her army was forced into service and isn't loyal to the cause. She fails, so we don't get to see if it would play out as such. [[spoiler:Averted at the end of the season, as Kuvira is finally convinced that she's gone way too far and surrenders herself and her army.]]

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* ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'':
**
The GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is close to being a subversion, but fails on certain points. [[EvilOverlord Fire Lord Ozai]] gets permanently depowered by the Avatar while (despite being at his strongest thanks to Sozin's Comet Comet) and his entire airship fleet gets destroyed, [[DaddysLittleVillain Azula]] gets dethroned before she can even be officially crowned, and the entire Fire Nation garrison at Ba Sing Se is defeated. However, the Fire Nation still effectively controls a major portion of the world, and should have a massive amount of reinforcements. Instead, the loss of their leadership and a major settlement is enough to make them all fall in line when Zuko (who shouldn't even be a legitimate heir) claims the throne. However in the comic continuation, ''ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise'' continuation ''ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise'', a few fractions of of the Fire Nation factions are still loyal to Ozai and tried try to assassinate Zuko or continue the fighting.
* ** This comes up multiple times in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''
** After the defeat of the leadership of the Equalists and [[spoiler:Amon being exposed as a bloodbender]] in Book 1, the
''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
*** The
Equalists are no where defeated in Book 1 after [[spoiler:their leader Amon is exposed as a bloodbender]], and are nowhere to be seen in Book 2. WordOfGod states that there is a [[TheRemnant holdout]], but they are of no threat and only appear in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfKorra the game]], in which they serve as mercenaries [[EnemyMine alongside]] the Triple Threat Triads.
** *** In Book 2, the Northern Water Tribe army withraws withdraws from the South after [[spoiler:Unalaq is killed]]. Possibly justified by the fact that [[spoiler:his heirs Eska and Desna, [[spoiler:who by the end Desna ordered them to, since both of the season them had turned against Unalaq after finally having enough of their father's [[AbusiveParents abuse]]]], ordered them to, as the heirs to the tribal chief position.abuse]]]]. Same goes for the Dark Spirits, who all retreat after [[spoiler:Vaatu is purified]].
** *** Book 3 sees [[spoiler:the Earth Queen]] being assasinated by Red Lotus anarchists, who incite the populace to riot. The government falling apart after her death is partly justified by the fact that at least some of the military force is shown siding with the rioters. However, Book 4 shows that there are a number of people who remain loyal to the monarchy and work to reinstate it (though not terribly many since the heir in line for the throne is a RoyalBrat).
** *** In Book 4, Suyin banks on this trope and tries to end the threat of Kuvira's army [[StraightForTheCommander by taking out Kuvira herself]], pointing out that most of her army was forced into service and isn't loyal to the cause. She fails, so we don't get to see if it would play out as such. [[spoiler:Averted at the end of the season, as Kuvira is finally convinced that she's gone way too far and surrenders herself and her army.]]
2nd May '17 5:47:34 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* Both played straight and averted in ''FireEmblem''. Some missions end immediately after you defeat the opposing army's commander, while in others the enemy will continue fighting even after you kill the boss until you complete another objective, like wiping out the enemy to a man, surviving for a given number of turns, or occupying the tile the boss was sitting on. It's entirely possible (and annoying) in one of these missions for your lord unit to kill the boss only to be [[OhCrap finished off by a bunch of]] {{Mooks}} [[GameOver next turn]].
** In terms of story, it's not clear just how many of [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Sigurd]]'s army [[spoiler:dies at the Battle of Belhalla]]. In fact, it's entirely possible that [[spoiler:most of them survived]]. But [[spoiler:with Sigurd dead]], they end up scattering to the winds rather than try to renew the fight, claim their inheritances, or clear their names.

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* Both played straight and averted in ''FireEmblem''.''VideoGame/FireEmblem''. Some missions end immediately after you defeat the opposing army's commander, while in others the enemy will continue fighting even after you kill the boss until you complete another objective, like wiping out the enemy to a man, surviving for a given number of turns, or occupying the tile the boss was sitting on. It's entirely possible (and annoying) in one of these missions for your lord unit to kill the boss only to be [[OhCrap finished off by a bunch of]] {{Mooks}} [[GameOver next turn]].
** In terms of story, A plot-based version occurs in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar''; it's not clear just how many of [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Sigurd]]'s Sigurd's army [[spoiler:dies at the Battle of Belhalla]]. In Belhalla]] (in fact, it's entirely possible that [[spoiler:most of them survived]]. But survived]]), but [[spoiler:with Sigurd dead]], they end up scattering to the winds rather than try to renew the fight, claim their inheritances, or clear their names.
11th Apr '17 5:08:02 PM nombretomado
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* In several battles in the ''ShiningForce'' series, killing the resident (minor) boss enemy will instantly cause every other enemy on the field to drop dead. Also applicable to your team in most games, where the death of the leader's character is an automatic total defeat.

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* In several battles in the ''ShiningForce'' series, ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'', killing the resident (minor) boss enemy will instantly cause every other enemy on the field to drop dead. Also applicable to your team in most games, where the death of the leader's character is an automatic total defeat.
8th Apr '17 3:43:15 PM nombretomado
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* In ''Franchise/StarWars: ReturnOfTheJedi'', Emperor Palpatine's death seems to reduce the entire Imperial starfleet to virtual catatonia. They aren't even shown retreating or regrouping; they just suddenly are gone. They had also just lost Darth Vader, the second in command, and Admiral Piett, the commander of the fleet, along with their Death Star and flagship Star Destroyer, so this was more of a complete rout.

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* In ''Franchise/StarWars: ReturnOfTheJedi'', Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', Emperor Palpatine's death seems to reduce the entire Imperial starfleet to virtual catatonia. They aren't even shown retreating or regrouping; they just suddenly are gone. They had also just lost Darth Vader, the second in command, and Admiral Piett, the commander of the fleet, along with their Death Star and flagship Star Destroyer, so this was more of a complete rout.
2nd Apr '17 5:44:55 PM JackG
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* This was the dilemma throughout the UsefulNotes/ColdWar for any nuclear power. Do you keep rigid political control of your nuclear arsenal, and risk a decapitation strike on the capital that will leave your country helpless? Or do you devolve responsibility to local military commanders who, if cut off from their superiors, might launch on their own authority when the politicians didn't want them to?

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* This was the dilemma throughout the UsefulNotes/ColdWar for any nuclear power. Do you keep rigid political control of your nuclear arsenal, and risk a decapitation strike on the capital that will leave your country helpless? Or do you devolve responsibility to local military commanders who, if cut off from their superiors, might launch on their own authority when the politicians didn't don't want them to?
2nd Apr '17 5:41:15 PM JackG
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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 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.
**
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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