History Main / LensmanArmsRace

8th Jan '17 1:29:10 PM nombretomado
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* This is a major plot point in ''TheUltimates'', crossed with GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke. After the public debut of the Ultimates, various foreign nations begin trying put together their own teams of superhumans, such as ComicBook/AlphaFlight and the Liberators. The final arc by Creator/MarkMillar has the Ultimates racing to stop military dictatorships like North Korea from developing their own superhumans.

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* This is a major plot point in ''TheUltimates'', ''ComicBook/TheUltimates'', crossed with GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke. After the public debut of the Ultimates, various foreign nations begin trying put together their own teams of superhumans, such as ComicBook/AlphaFlight and the Liberators. The final arc by Creator/MarkMillar has the Ultimates racing to stop military dictatorships like North Korea from developing their own superhumans.
27th Dec '16 2:48:33 PM ShorinBJ
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** We got off easy then. They could've [[Film/StarTrek blown up Vulcan too]].
19th Dec '16 7:19:22 PM WillKeaton
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Added DiffLines:

* A variation of this occurs towards the end of ''VideoGame/TIEFighter''. The Empire has just built the more durable TIE Defender to deal with Rebel starfighters. Then Grand Admiral Zaarin steals a few dozen TIE Defenders and stages a coup. Thus the Empire is, from a certain point of view, in an arms race with itself. They counter the TIE Defender with the Missile Boat, a starfighter loaded with as many warheads as it can carry.
19th Dec '16 6:57:10 PM WillKeaton
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* In Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' universe, this occurred between two [[{{Precursors}} Precursor]] races in the series' BackStory. The Tar-Aiym were individually powerful, warlike, and technologically advanced; while the Hur'rikku were prolific and persistent. Panicked by the Hur'rikku threat to use their planet-destroying anticollapsar weapon on Tar-Aiym worlds, the latter embarked on a hurried program of weapons development. The program eventually led to the release of a "photonic storm", a plague that travelled from world to world, wiping out all life forms more complex than single-celled organisms over a vast region of the galaxy, including the Tar-Aiym and Hur'rikku themselves. 500,000 years later, this region becomes known to the expanding Commonwealth as the Blight.\\\
It later turns out that the Tar-Aiym constructed, but never used, an entire artificial planetoid constructed entirely out of Krangs, a single one of which is enough to destroy a fleet and the combined might of all of them is sufficient to rip a hole across spacetime that can destroy entire star systems. And when that weapon [[TheWorfBarrage proves ineffective]] against the [[UltimateEvil Great Evil]], TheHero Flinx has to go looking for an even bigger one built by an even older race.

to:

* In Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' universe, this occurred between two [[{{Precursors}} Precursor]] races in the series' BackStory. The Tar-Aiym were individually powerful, warlike, and technologically advanced; while the Hur'rikku were prolific and persistent. Panicked by the Hur'rikku threat to use their planet-destroying anticollapsar weapon on Tar-Aiym worlds, the latter embarked on a hurried program of weapons development. The program eventually led to the release of a "photonic storm", a plague that travelled from world to world, wiping out all life forms more complex than single-celled organisms over a vast region of the galaxy, including the Tar-Aiym and Hur'rikku themselves. 500,000 years later, this region becomes known to the expanding Commonwealth as the Blight.\\\
Blight.
**
It later turns out that the Tar-Aiym constructed, but never used, an entire artificial planetoid constructed entirely out of Krangs, a single one of which is enough to destroy a fleet and the combined might of all of them is sufficient to rip a hole across spacetime that can destroy entire star systems. And when that weapon [[TheWorfBarrage proves ineffective]] against the [[UltimateEvil Great Evil]], TheHero Flinx has to go looking for an even bigger one built by an even older race.
19th Dec '16 6:56:12 PM WillKeaton
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* ''VideoGame/StarRuler'': You start without practical lasers or missiles and only the basics for everything else. By lategame you can build {{Ringworld Planet}}s, casually even, go StarKilling through brute force firepower, cause EarthShatteringKaboom with point defence guns, build ClownCar [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rjwZPRnv08 carriers holding thousands of parasite battleships half its size]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJJEMmzKzR4 build ships larger than the galaxy]].

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* ''VideoGame/StarRuler'': You start without practical lasers or missiles and only the basics for everything else. By lategame you can build {{Ringworld Planet}}s, casually even, go StarKilling through brute force firepower, cause EarthShatteringKaboom with point defence guns, build ClownCar [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rjwZPRnv08 carriers holding thousands of parasite battleships half its size]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJJEMmzKzR4 build ships larger than the galaxy]].galaxy.]]
19th Dec '16 6:53:30 PM WillKeaton
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** In less than a decade, the SGC goes from special ops guerrilla tactics, and firing missiles through the stargate, to commanding a fleet of home built interstellar starships. Most of this advancement happens after season 6 or so when Earth's first starship, the ''Prometheus'', is completed and the US starts making squadrons of F302 space fighters.

to:

** In less than a decade, the SGC goes from special ops guerrilla tactics, and firing missiles through the stargate, to commanding a fleet of home built Earth-built interstellar starships. Most of this advancement happens after season 6 or so when Earth's first starship, the ''Prometheus'', is completed and the US starts making squadrons of F302 F-302 space fighters.
19th Dec '16 6:50:10 PM WillKeaton
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* One of the main causes of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Particularly significant was the naval arms race between all the Great Powers in general and Britain and Germany in particular, which saw the transformation of the battleship from a mixed-gun, smaller vessel to the gigantic, all-big-gun Dreadnought type, and shortly thereafter increasing numbers of guns, and increases in size, speed, and armor among Dreadnoughts. By the time the War started eight years after HMS ''Dreadnought'' started the trend, the [[BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] had already commissioned three four-ship classes (the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Duke_class_battleship Orion]]'' class, the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_George_V_class_battleship King George V]]'' class, and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Duke_class_battleship Iron Duke]]'' class) of "super-dreadnoughts", all in response to the German campaign to build more and better battleships, which in turn was inspired by the launch of the ''Dreadnought'' in the first place. By the time the Archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo, Britain had 29 battleships, most of them dreadnoughts, with Germany having 17. Ironically, the only time that British and German battleships fought a large battle, it was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jutland Battle of Jutland]], a tactical stalemate that can only a be called a strategic victory for Britain by default (the Royal Navy held off the German fleet, maintaining control of the North Sea and the blockade of Germany, but only because two fleets banging futilely into each other tends not to change the status quo).

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* One of the main causes of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Particularly significant was the naval arms race between all the Great Powers in general and Britain and Germany in particular, which saw the transformation of the battleship from a mixed-gun, smaller vessel to the gigantic, all-big-gun Dreadnought type, and shortly thereafter increasing numbers of guns, and increases in size, speed, and armor among Dreadnoughts. By the time the War started eight years after HMS ''Dreadnought'' started the trend, the [[BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] had already commissioned three four-ship classes (the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Duke_class_battleship Orion]]'' class, the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_George_V_class_battleship King George V]]'' class, and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Duke_class_battleship Iron Duke]]'' class) of "super-dreadnoughts", all in response to the German campaign to build more and better battleships, which in turn was inspired by the launch of the ''Dreadnought'' in the first place. By the time the Archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo, Britain had 29 battleships, most of them dreadnoughts, with Germany having 17. Ironically, the only time that British and German battleships fought a large battle, it was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jutland Battle of Jutland]], Jutland,]] a tactical stalemate that can only a be called a strategic victory for Britain by default (the Royal Navy held off the German fleet, maintaining control of the North Sea and the blockade of Germany, but only because two fleets banging futilely into each other tends not to change the status quo).
19th Dec '16 6:48:27 PM WillKeaton
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* This tropes shoes up in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels.'' The Empire typically uses fast but non-shielded, fragile, hyperdriveless TIE Fighters and Interceptors. However they use a lot of them to make up for their weaknesses. The Rebels on the other hand use hardier and more versatile fighters, but they have fewer of them. In response to this part way through season three the Empire under the guidance of Thrawn, begins manufacturing [[spoiler:the fast, shielded hyperdrive capable, TIE Defender.]]

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* This tropes shoes up in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels.'' The Empire typically uses fast but non-shielded, fragile, hyperdriveless TIE Fighters and Interceptors. However they use a lot of them to make up for their weaknesses. The Rebels on the other hand use hardier and more versatile fighters, but they have fewer of them. In response to this part way through season three the Empire Empire, under the guidance of Thrawn, begins manufacturing [[spoiler:the fast, shielded shielded, hyperdrive capable, TIE Defender.]]
19th Dec '16 6:47:44 PM WillKeaton
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More than 2000 issues followed and stuff grew grander and grander in scale: Cosmic Powers of [[OrderVersusChaos Order and Chaos]], called "Kosmokrats" and "Chaotarches" by the less-advanced races, are forever fighting for supremacy, using mortal species and even [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended beings]] as [[UnwittingPawn chess pieces]] because they cannot interfere directly. The Chaotarchs try to literally [[OmnicidalManiac unmake the laws of physics]] and return the [[TheMultiverse multiple universes]] to a state of ur-chaos where they can thrive, while the Kosmokrats [[{{Precursors}} seed life and sentience]] throughout the galaxies and try to defend the "cosmic code" from tampering.\\\
While the Kosmokrats appeared to be the Good Guys in the beginning (sponsoring space-faring races, granting immortality to certain exceptional individuals to further their plans) it became more and more apparent that they behaved like the Vorlons from [[Series/BabylonFive Babylon 5]] in that they treated "lesser" races like chess pawns, and reacted badly to anyone trying to leave their service. As they claimed, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans they saw a bigger picture]]. Existing outside time and space, these transcendent entities were [[AGodAmI no longer able to imagine or sympathize]] with the plight of mortal races, even though they had started out as whole races of mortal species eons ago.\\\
Turns out the cosmic superweapons of the Kosmokrats were often just as destructive as those of the Chaotarchs; in one instance, servitors of the Kosmokrats were ordered to destroy a whole galaxy (and all civilizations in it) down to the subatomic level rather than seeing it fall into the Chaotarchs' hands. Somewhere in midseries, Perry Rhodan [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu showed them the finger]] in parallel to what happened in ''Series/BabylonFive''.

to:

More than 2000 issues followed and stuff grew grander and grander in scale: Cosmic Powers of [[OrderVersusChaos Order and Chaos]], called "Kosmokrats" and "Chaotarches" by the less-advanced races, are forever fighting for supremacy, using mortal species and even [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended beings]] as [[UnwittingPawn chess pieces]] because they cannot interfere directly. The Chaotarchs try to literally [[OmnicidalManiac unmake the laws of physics]] and return the [[TheMultiverse multiple universes]] to a state of ur-chaos where they can thrive, while the Kosmokrats [[{{Precursors}} seed life and sentience]] throughout the galaxies and try to defend the "cosmic code" from tampering.\\\
tampering.
**
While the Kosmokrats appeared to be the Good Guys in the beginning (sponsoring space-faring races, granting immortality to certain exceptional individuals to further their plans) it became more and more apparent that they behaved like the Vorlons from [[Series/BabylonFive Babylon 5]] in that they treated "lesser" races like chess pawns, and reacted badly to anyone trying to leave their service. As they claimed, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans they saw a bigger picture]]. Existing outside time and space, these transcendent entities were [[AGodAmI no longer able to imagine or sympathize]] with the plight of mortal races, even though they had started out as whole races of mortal species eons ago.\\\
ago.
**
Turns out the cosmic superweapons of the Kosmokrats were often just as destructive as those of the Chaotarchs; in one instance, servitors of the Kosmokrats were ordered to destroy a whole galaxy (and all civilizations in it) down to the subatomic level rather than seeing it fall into the Chaotarchs' hands. Somewhere in midseries, Perry Rhodan [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu showed them the finger]] in parallel to what happened in ''Series/BabylonFive''.



* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', it is initially a miraculous feat for humanity to figure out how to even operate a piece of advanced alien technology, namely, the Stargate. This turns out to be a risky move as they run into the Goa'uld, an egomaniacal alien race which rules various interstellar empires by using their advanced technology to pose as gods. Early on in the show members of Star Gate Command have to use ingenuity to adapt modern day weapons and what little alien technology they understand into methods of combating the much more advanced Goa'uld.\\\
In less than a decade, the SGC goes from special ops guerrilla tactics, and firing missiles through the stargate, to commanding a fleet of home built interstellar starships. Most of this advancement happens after season 6 or so when Earth's first starship, the ''Prometheus'', is completed and the US starts making squadrons of F302 space fighters.\\\
Replicators, however, take the cake. This race of sentient lego bricks which form into spiders and endlessly build more of themselves were a threat so advanced even the Asgard, a race that could pimp smack the Goa'uld, have to devote most of their resources to fighting them. At first it is mankind's more primitive way of thinking that allows us to stand toe to toe with this menace. Since their replicator blocks are based on "kiron" pathways, an energy particle humans had not even discovered, [=SG1=] decided the best response to a replicator threat was [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter flying chunks of metal]]. This seems to work until the Asgard decide to screw it up by trapping the replicators in a time dilation field. Their stupidly brilliant plan backfires when the replicators are able to reverse the time dilation device just before it activates and advance thousands of years, creating new humanoid replicators (made up of nanobots instead of cells) that are immune to shotgun blasts! Not to worry though, because thanks to [=SG1=] the device was reset properly, freezing the replicators in time just long enough for humanity to learn how to make a weapon that destroys kiron pathways.

to:

* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', it is initially a miraculous feat for humanity to figure out how to even operate a piece of advanced alien technology, namely, the Stargate. This turns out to be a risky move as they run into the Goa'uld, an egomaniacal alien race which rules various interstellar empires by using their advanced technology to pose as gods. Early on in the show members of Star Gate Command have to use ingenuity to adapt modern day weapons and what little alien technology they understand into methods of combating the much more advanced Goa'uld.\\\
Goa'uld.
**
In less than a decade, the SGC goes from special ops guerrilla tactics, and firing missiles through the stargate, to commanding a fleet of home built interstellar starships. Most of this advancement happens after season 6 or so when Earth's first starship, the ''Prometheus'', is completed and the US starts making squadrons of F302 space fighters.\\\
fighters.
**
Replicators, however, take the cake. This race of sentient lego bricks which form into spiders and endlessly build more of themselves were a threat so advanced even the Asgard, a race that could pimp smack the Goa'uld, have to devote most of their resources to fighting them. At first it is mankind's more primitive way of thinking that allows us to stand toe to toe with this menace. Since their replicator blocks are based on "kiron" pathways, an energy particle humans had not even discovered, [=SG1=] decided the best response to a replicator threat was [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter flying chunks of metal]]. This seems to work until the Asgard decide to screw it up by trapping the replicators in a time dilation field. Their stupidly brilliant plan backfires when the replicators are able to reverse the time dilation device just before it activates and advance thousands of years, creating new humanoid replicators (made up of nanobots instead of cells) that are immune to shotgun blasts! Not to worry though, because thanks to [=SG1=] the device was reset properly, freezing the replicators in time just long enough for humanity to learn how to make a weapon that destroys kiron pathways.
19th Dec '16 6:46:15 PM WillKeaton
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* ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' also gave us the Sunbeam; a whole star system altered to function as core, coil and vacuum tubes for a beam that directs the full power of the star into a fleet- and planet-annihilating beam. Lensmen and their rivals, Boskone, routinely flung ''planets'' at one another at relativistic speed in lieu of normal relativistic projectiles found in other novels. By the end they develop a way, both sides, to create wormholes that allow them to fire FTL planets at one another from intergalactic distances. Nevermind the fact that, originally, their "Super-Mauler" class battleships were created to ''kill relativistic planets'' in battle, and by the end both sides were producing them by the tens of millions and using them as frontline battleships. [[NoKillLikeOverkill They mass-produced Death Stars!]] Ironically the Super-Maulers proved ineffective...because the Boskone forcefield tech was amped up before they were deployed, ergo they simply started using them as battleships instead. The Sunbeam was considered a ''stop gap'' against relativistic planet bombardment until they developed something better.\\\
The FTL antimatter planetoid projectiles mentioned in the opening paragraphs? Yeah they start mass producing those as well. Including smaller ones designed to be launched from bomber squadrons, and whole fleets of them to be used as interstellar bombardment against enemy planets and star systems. This was also considered a minor footnote by the end, where their [[WaveMotionGun FTL planets launched from wormholes]] could destroy star systems from intergalactic distances.

to:

* ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' also gave us the Sunbeam; a whole star system altered to function as core, coil and vacuum tubes for a beam that directs the full power of the star into a fleet- and planet-annihilating beam. Lensmen and their rivals, Boskone, routinely flung ''planets'' at one another at relativistic speed in lieu of normal relativistic projectiles found in other novels. By the end they develop a way, both sides, to create wormholes that allow them to fire FTL planets at one another from intergalactic distances. Nevermind the fact that, originally, their "Super-Mauler" class battleships were created to ''kill relativistic planets'' in battle, and by the end both sides were producing them by the tens of millions and using them as frontline battleships. [[NoKillLikeOverkill They mass-produced Death Stars!]] Ironically the Super-Maulers proved ineffective...because the Boskone forcefield tech was amped up before they were deployed, ergo they simply started using them as battleships instead. The Sunbeam was considered a ''stop gap'' against relativistic planet bombardment until they developed something better.\\\
better.
**
The FTL antimatter planetoid projectiles mentioned in the opening paragraphs? Yeah they start mass producing those as well. Including smaller ones designed to be launched from bomber squadrons, and whole fleets of them to be used as interstellar bombardment against enemy planets and star systems. This was also considered a minor footnote by the end, where their [[WaveMotionGun FTL planets launched from wormholes]] could destroy star systems from intergalactic distances.



* A second, in some ways even more ridiculous, example from Creator/EEDocSmith is his lesser-known SpaceOpera ''Literature/SkylarkSeries''. By the final novel in the sequence, our heroes destroy two entire galaxies by teleporting every star from one into the close vicinity of every star in the other, causing each pair to collide and go nova, meanwhile teleporting every non-hostile world in the area to safe orbits around stars in a third galaxy, all while they themselves are safe in yet another galaxy entirely...! And all this only ''four books'' (and, at the most, a few {{in-universe}} years) after the same human protagonists discovered space travel!\\\
In both the ''Lensman'' and ''Skylark'' series, Smith combines fast evolution of weapons with a crazily short research and development cycle. The antimatter bombs go from theory to practice in a few months. In his proto-''Lensman'' novel ''Triplanetary'', agents of the Triplanetary fleet refit their own side's guided missiles to accept guidance from a totally new, recently-discovered means of communication... in the middle of a battle. And it works. Of course, the crazily short R&D cycle was something of a commonplace in all the pulp science fiction of that era, and is echoed by accomplishments in WWII a conflict which started with prop-driven biplane fighters, 3- and 5-tonnes machine-gun armed tankettes and a general level of technology not much distanced from WWI and ending (six years later) with the battlefields bristling with 55-ton armoured behemoths, jet powered fighters and bombers, flying bombs, ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. "Doc" Smith was a Ph.D chemist who spent WWII developing explosives for the U.S. goverment, and most of the Lensmen books were published post-war.\\\
In ''Skylark'', the LensmanArmsRace only really gears up when the protagonists encounter a very ancient civilization whose [[PlanetOfHats Hat]] is Science. They have worked out pretty much everything thousands of years ago... too bad they didn't have any of the [[AppliedPhlebotinum atomic catalyst]] until the heroes showed up...

to:

* A second, in some ways even more ridiculous, example from Creator/EEDocSmith is his lesser-known SpaceOpera ''Literature/SkylarkSeries''. By the final novel in the sequence, our heroes destroy two entire galaxies by teleporting every star from one into the close vicinity of every star in the other, causing each pair to collide and go nova, meanwhile teleporting every non-hostile world in the area to safe orbits around stars in a third galaxy, all while they themselves are safe in yet another galaxy entirely...! And all this only ''four books'' (and, at the most, a few {{in-universe}} years) after the same human protagonists discovered space travel!\\\
travel!
**
In both the ''Lensman'' and ''Skylark'' series, Smith combines fast evolution of weapons with a crazily short research and development cycle. The antimatter bombs go from theory to practice in a few months. In his proto-''Lensman'' novel ''Triplanetary'', agents of the Triplanetary fleet refit their own side's guided missiles to accept guidance from a totally new, recently-discovered means of communication... in the middle of a battle. And it works. Of course, the crazily short R&D cycle was something of a commonplace in all the pulp science fiction of that era, and is echoed by accomplishments in WWII a conflict which started with prop-driven biplane fighters, 3- and 5-tonnes machine-gun armed tankettes and a general level of technology not much distanced from WWI and ending (six years later) with the battlefields bristling with 55-ton armoured behemoths, jet powered fighters and bombers, flying bombs, ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. "Doc" Smith was a Ph.D chemist who spent WWII developing explosives for the U.S. goverment, and most of the Lensmen books were published post-war.\\\
post-war.
**
In ''Skylark'', the LensmanArmsRace only really gears up when the protagonists encounter a very ancient civilization whose [[PlanetOfHats Hat]] is Science. They have worked out pretty much everything thousands of years ago... too bad they didn't have any of the [[AppliedPhlebotinum atomic catalyst]] until the heroes showed up...
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.LensmanArmsRace