History Main / UnwinnableTrainingSimulation

15th Jan '17 5:00:19 PM KeithM
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** In one of the prequel series Travis complains about a no-win scenario he was observing because the reason the trainees lost was because the Opposing Force pulled out a weapon that was ''physically impossible to produce'', which he then proceeds to explain exactly why you couldn't make one. This gets him in trouble with the officer who came up with the simulation, as he'd been trying to get the funding to develop said system (A multi-drive missile). While [=MDMs=] were eventually developed, Hemphill had an additional 400 years of further R&D to build on to make it practical, and even then one of Travis' objections (That an MDM would be significantly larger than a single-drive missile, and thus have a different sensor return) still applied.

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** In one of the prequel series Travis complains about a no-win scenario he was observing because the reason the trainees lost was because the Opposing Force pulled pulling out a weapon that was ''physically impossible to produce'', which he then proceeds to explain exactly why you couldn't make one. This gets him in trouble with the officer who came up with the simulation, as he'd been trying to get the funding to develop said system (A multi-drive missile). While [=MDMs=] were eventually developed, Hemphill had an additional 400 years of further R&D to build on to make it practical, and even then one of Travis' objections (That an MDM would be significantly larger than a single-drive missile, and thus have a different sensor return) still applied.
15th Jan '17 4:45:13 PM KeithM
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* A fairly common practice after a particularly notable air disaster involving some kind of failure of the aircraft is to program a simulator with the scenario, put experienced pilots in the cockpit, and see if there was anything at all that could have been done. Even if the test pilots know what's coming, it's not unusual for it to be demonstrated to be utterly impossible to have saved the aircraft. In cases of ''near'' disaster, running the simulation often shows how ridiculously lucky and/or skilled the original pilots were to have pulled off what they did.
15th Jan '17 4:28:05 PM KeithM
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** In one of the prequel series Travis complains about a no-win scenario because the reason he couldn't win was because the Opposing Force pulled out a weapon that was ''physically impossible to produce'', which he then proceeds to explain exactly why you couldn't make one. This gets him in trouble with the officer who came up with the simulation, as he'd been trying to get the funding to develop said system (A multi-drive missile). While [=MDMs=] were eventually developed, Hemphill had an additional 400 years of further R&D to build on to make it practical, and even then one of Travis' objections (That an MDM would be significantly larger than a single-drive missile, and thus have a different sensor return) still applied.

to:

** In one of the prequel series Travis complains about a no-win scenario he was observing because the reason he couldn't win the trainees lost was because the Opposing Force pulled out a weapon that was ''physically impossible to produce'', which he then proceeds to explain exactly why you couldn't make one. This gets him in trouble with the officer who came up with the simulation, as he'd been trying to get the funding to develop said system (A multi-drive missile). While [=MDMs=] were eventually developed, Hemphill had an additional 400 years of further R&D to build on to make it practical, and even then one of Travis' objections (That an MDM would be significantly larger than a single-drive missile, and thus have a different sensor return) still applied.
10th Jan '17 3:07:02 PM StarSword
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* "Fanfic/TheUniverseDoesntCheat" was written for a ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' forum prompt on the ''Maru'', and somewhat {{deconstruct|ion}}s it. Kanril Eleya attempts XanatosSpeedChess against the computer[[note]]She negotiates with the Klingons as a delaying tactic while she sets up her ''real'' plan, which is to fire on the ''Maru'' to disrupt its shields and beam everybody off, while simultaneously {{ramming|AlwaysWorks}} her way out of the Klingon pincer by going to warp ''through'' a battlecruiser, then spraying torpedoes out her rear launcher to discourage pursuit.[[/note]], but unusually for fan fiction ''doesn't'' win: she and T'Var figure out that the computer is cheating when a pair of pursuing battlecruisers hit a physically impossible speed, then changes tactics ''again''[[note]]This time she's prepared to sacrifice herself and the stardrive in a holding action to let the saucer containing the ''Maru'' crew and her nonessentials escape.[[/note]] and the computer basically gives up and drops a battleship on her head. T'Var calls the logic behind the test fallacious and notes that with their WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief broken by the computer's obvious cheating, the accuracy of the test is questionable. Meanwhile Eleya comments that, while she believes actual no-win scenarios to be ''possible'', they usually happen "because somebody ''fucked up''!"

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* "Fanfic/TheUniverseDoesntCheat" was written for a ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' forum prompt on the ''Maru'', and somewhat {{deconstruct|ion}}s it. Kanril Eleya attempts XanatosSpeedChess against the computer[[note]]She negotiates with the Klingons as a delaying tactic while she sets up her ''real'' plan, which is to fire on the ''Maru'' to disrupt its shields and beam everybody off, while simultaneously {{ramming|AlwaysWorks}} her way out of the Klingon pincer by going to warp ''through'' a battlecruiser, then spraying torpedoes out her rear launcher to discourage pursuit.[[/note]], but unusually for fan fiction ''doesn't'' win: she and T'Var figure out that the computer is cheating when a pair of pursuing battlecruisers hit a physically impossible speed, then changes tactics ''again''[[note]]This time she's prepared to sacrifice herself and the stardrive in a holding action to let the saucer containing the ''Maru'' crew and her nonessentials escape.[[/note]] and [[RocksFallEveryoneDies the computer basically gives up and drops a battleship on her head.head]]. T'Var calls the logic behind the test fallacious and notes that with their WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief broken by the computer's obvious cheating, the accuracy of the test is questionable. Meanwhile Eleya comments that, while she believes actual no-win scenarios to be ''possible'', they usually happen "because somebody ''fucked up''!"
6th Jan '17 8:39:51 PM nombretomado
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* Used in the "Glitter N' Gold" episode of ''{{Jem}}''. Jerrica wants to tell her boyfriend, Rio, that she is Jem's secret identity. She uses Synergy, her hologram-making super-computer to make an illusion of Rio to see what will happen; it goes badly. Synergy assumes that she might be wrong--but then the real Rio explodes at Kimber after she reveals that she made a mistake -- using almost the exact same words the holographic Rio did. This came from Christy Marx, the writer of most of the episodes of the ''Jem'' series, who wanted Jerrica to have a reason to keep her other identity a secret from Rio.

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* Used in the "Glitter N' Gold" episode of ''{{Jem}}''.''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}''. Jerrica wants to tell her boyfriend, Rio, that she is Jem's secret identity. She uses Synergy, her hologram-making super-computer to make an illusion of Rio to see what will happen; it goes badly. Synergy assumes that she might be wrong--but then the real Rio explodes at Kimber after she reveals that she made a mistake -- using almost the exact same words the holographic Rio did. This came from Christy Marx, the writer of most of the episodes of the ''Jem'' series, who wanted Jerrica to have a reason to keep her other identity a secret from Rio.
29th Dec '16 10:41:15 AM 64SuperNintendo
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'': ''The Battle for Gobwin Knob'' IS a Kobayashi Maru, or at least the scenario Parson had been designing that resembled it was. That's likely why Parson was considered the perfect warlord, he had spent months thinking over an unwinnable situation for a tabletop game. [[spoiler:In addition to fighting impossible odds, the GM is supposed to cheat, and the only way for the player to win is to cheat the system better or come up with a solution clever enough to impress the GM. Parson ends up [[RocksFallEverybodyDies destroying his own capital city with the enemy army inside it]], slaughtering ''everyone'' except himself and a few magic users on his side.]]
** At this point, Parson has "won" the battle and is now having to deal with the aftermath. It seems like every story told in Erfworld so far deals with impossible odds.
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' gives the following advice to [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0888.html GMs:]] "in a roleplaying scenario, you need not fear setting up unwinnable scenarios. Because, when it comes right down to it, you can never take into account all the sneaky things a group of desperate [=PCs=] can get up to. The [[TakeAThirdOption third option]] is always there; even if you can't see it, they will."
* In ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'', Space Ranger cadets are routinely put into unwinnable sims and graded on ''how many times they can beat them anyway'', each time with the solution they used last time removed. "Impossible" is [[WeDoTheImpossible not a well-respected concept]] in the ESS Ranger Corps.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge''[='=]s fifth "Tales from a Parallel Universe" storyline is introduced with one of these: Rockman successfully defeats Junk Man, then gets hit with a sneak attack by Guts Man. Guts Man proceeds to pick up a boulder to finish Rockman off, but then he freezes in place [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/021106 as it turns out Roll shut off the simulation]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The short story "The Op" in the WhateleyUniverse. The Grunts (the mutant version of [=JROTC=]) face an Franchise/{{Alien}}-like threat that has already wiped out a city. They're killed one by one in horrific fashion. The villain of the scenario is [[spoiler:Sara]] as we see just how dangerous [[spoiler:she]] really could be. In full trope mode, they get their asses chewed by Gunny Bardue once the scenario ends.
** This trope crops up again a while later, in chapter 8 of "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl," where Team Kimba basically goes up against an army and gets their asses handed to them. It looks like they're going to try re-running the same sim in a few days, so we'll see what happens then.
*** It's turned into a NoodleIncident, but Team Kimba used what Ayla learned in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" to come up with two ways to win that sim. And apparently, Jade's CrazyAwesome 'Radioactive Condor Girl' idea ''actually worked''. And completely freaked out the people running the sims.
*** Possibly because Ayla's plans were so detailed...See UnspokenPlanGuarantee.
[[/folder]]



[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'': ''The Battle for Gobwin Knob'' IS a Kobayashi Maru, or at least the scenario Parson had been designing that resembled it was. That's likely why Parson was considered the perfect warlord, he had spent months thinking over an unwinnable situation for a tabletop game. [[spoiler:In addition to fighting impossible odds, the GM is supposed to cheat, and the only way for the player to win is to cheat the system better or come up with a solution clever enough to impress the GM. Parson ends up [[RocksFallEverybodyDies destroying his own capital city with the enemy army inside it]], slaughtering ''everyone'' except himself and a few magic users on his side.]]
** At this point, Parson has "won" the battle and is now having to deal with the aftermath. It seems like every story told in Erfworld so far deals with impossible odds.
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' gives the following advice to [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0888.html GMs:]] "in a roleplaying scenario, you need not fear setting up unwinnable scenarios. Because, when it comes right down to it, you can never take into account all the sneaky things a group of desperate [=PCs=] can get up to. The [[TakeAThirdOption third option]] is always there; even if you can't see it, they will."
* In ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'', Space Ranger cadets are routinely put into unwinnable sims and graded on ''how many times they can beat them anyway'', each time with the solution they used last time removed. "Impossible" is [[WeDoTheImpossible not a well-respected concept]] in the ESS Ranger Corps.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge''[='=]s fifth "Tales from a Parallel Universe" storyline is introduced with one of these: Rockman successfully defeats Junk Man, then gets hit with a sneak attack by Guts Man. Guts Man proceeds to pick up a boulder to finish Rockman off, but then he freezes in place [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/021106 as it turns out Roll shut off the simulation]].

to:

[[folder:Webcomics]]
[[folder:Other]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'': ''The Battle for Gobwin Knob'' IS a Kobayashi Maru, or at least the scenario Parson had been designing A prank puzzle called "The Inescapable Island". The teller begins with "imagine that resembled it was. That's likely why Parson was considered you are stranded on a tiny little island", then goes on to describe with detail how the perfect warlord, he had spent months thinking over an unwinnable surrounding sea is vast and borderless and filled with hungry sharks and how the island is a bare spot of sand with thousands of poisonous scorpions and this and that. Once the situation for a tabletop game. [[spoiler:In addition to fighting impossible odds, is inescapable enough, the GM is supposed to cheat, and teller then asks the victim to find out a way to save themself. The only way for the player to win is to cheat the system better or come up with a acceptable solution clever enough to impress is along the GM. Parson ends up [[RocksFallEverybodyDies destroying his own capital city with the enemy army inside it]], slaughtering ''everyone'' except himself and lines of "stop imagining".
* There's an old joke about
a few magic users on his side.]]
** At this point, Parson has "won" the battle and is now having to
trainee sailor asked how he'd deal with the aftermath. It seems like every story told a series of increasingly severe incoming storms; in Erfworld so far deals with impossible odds.
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' gives the following advice to [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0888.html GMs:]] "in a roleplaying scenario,
each case, he answers that he lowers another anchor. When finally asked "Where are you need not fear setting up unwinnable scenarios. Because, when it comes right down to it, you can never take into account getting all the sneaky things a group of desperate [=PCs=] can get up to. The [[TakeAThirdOption third option]] is always there; even if you can't see it, they will.your anchors?" he replies "Same place you're getting all your storms."
* In ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'', Space Ranger cadets are routinely put into unwinnable sims and graded on ''how many times they can beat them anyway'', each time with [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in ChooseYourOwnAdventure style gamebook TrialOfTheClone, where the solution they used last time removed. "Impossible" is [[WeDoTheImpossible not a well-respected concept]] in the ESS Ranger Corps.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge''[='=]s fifth "Tales from a Parallel Universe" storyline is introduced with one of these: Rockman successfully defeats Junk Man, then gets hit
silent protagonist may be faced with a sneak attack by Guts Man. Guts Man proceeds Kobayashi Maru {{Expy}}. You may attempt to pick up a boulder to finish Rockman off, but then he freezes in place [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/021106 as it turns out Roll shut off honestly face the simulation]].test [[spoiler:which ends the game]], shoot a random person instead [[spoiler:thus setting you back]] or cheat [[spoiler:in the most ridiculously, stupidly obvious way possible.]]



[[folder:Web Original]]
* The short story "The Op" in the WhateleyUniverse. The Grunts (the mutant version of [=JROTC=]) face an Franchise/{{Alien}}-like threat that has already wiped out a city. They're killed one by one in horrific fashion. The villain of the scenario is [[spoiler:Sara]] as we see just how dangerous [[spoiler:she]] really could be. In full trope mode, they get their asses chewed by Gunny Bardue once the scenario ends.
** This trope crops up again a while later, in chapter 8 of "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl," where Team Kimba basically goes up against an army and gets their asses handed to them. It looks like they're going to try re-running the same sim in a few days, so we'll see what happens then.
*** It's turned into a NoodleIncident, but Team Kimba used what Ayla learned in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" to come up with two ways to win that sim. And apparently, Jade's CrazyAwesome 'Radioactive Condor Girl' idea ''actually worked''. And completely freaked out the people running the sims.
*** Possibly because Ayla's plans were so detailed...See UnspokenPlanGuarantee.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* A prank puzzle called "The Inescapable Island". The teller begins with "imagine that you are stranded on a tiny little island", then goes on to describe with detail how the surrounding sea is vast and borderless and filled with hungry sharks and how the island is a bare spot of sand with thousands of poisonous scorpions and this and that. Once the situation is inescapable enough, the teller then asks the victim to find out a way to save themself. The only acceptable solution is along the lines of "stop imagining".
* There's an old joke about a trainee sailor asked how he'd deal with a series of increasingly severe incoming storms; in each case, he answers that he lowers another anchor. When finally asked "Where are you getting all your anchors?" he replies "Same place you're getting all your storms."
* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in ChooseYourOwnAdventure style gamebook TrialOfTheClone, where the silent protagonist may be faced with a Kobayashi Maru {{Expy}}. You may attempt to honestly face the test [[spoiler:which ends the game]], shoot a random person instead [[spoiler:thus setting you back]] or cheat [[spoiler:in the most ridiculously, stupidly obvious way possible.]]
[[/folder]]
22nd Dec '16 7:16:03 PM Xtifr
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* KimStanleyRobinson’s ''Literature/RedMars'': On the Ares, they do a lot of training runs of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerocapture aerocapture]] maneuver. They go all the way from “mantra runs”, everything works fine, through difficult but possible (not all of it mechanical faults: “‘Arkady (who thinks up the scenarios) has gone mad!’ ‘He has ''simulated'' going mad.’”) to absurdly unlikely and impossible to survive. (“(T)he screens register(ed) a hit by a small asteroid, which sheared through the hub and killed them all.”)

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* KimStanleyRobinson’s Creator/KimStanleyRobinson’s ''Literature/RedMars'': On the Ares, they do a lot of training runs of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerocapture aerocapture]] maneuver. They go all the way from “mantra runs”, everything works fine, through difficult but possible (not all of it mechanical faults: “‘Arkady (who thinks up the scenarios) has gone mad!’ ‘He has ''simulated'' going mad.’”) to absurdly unlikely and impossible to survive. (“(T)he screens register(ed) a hit by a small asteroid, which sheared through the hub and killed them all.”)
17th Dec '16 2:54:37 PM dracogeorge
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* A ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''/''Franchise/MassEffect'' crossover called ''Hammerhand'' has a Space Marine trying to beat one of these. The AI tries to persuade him that "winning" the simulation is impossible, since it has no ends and simply keeps spawning more and more (and more powerful) enemies until you die. The point is to die as late as possible. Though it should be noted that this is [[{{Determinator}} entirely in character]] for a Space Marine.

to:

* A ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''/''Franchise/MassEffect'' ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}''/''Franchise/MassEffect'' crossover called ''Hammerhand'' has a Space Marine trying to beat one of these. The AI tries to persuade him that "winning" the simulation is impossible, since it has no ends and simply keeps spawning more and more (and more powerful) enemies until you die. The point is to die as late as possible. Though it should be noted that this is [[{{Determinator}} entirely in character]] for a Space Marine.
2nd Dec '16 2:02:12 PM Morgenthaler
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* In ''[[Literature/TheActsOfCaine Blade of Tyshalle]]'', the College of Battle Magic has an advanced class that opens with the Lakefront simulation. In it, our student Actor is put into a VR simulation of Overworld, in the docks of the city of Ankhana, where he/she hears the sound of a woman being assaulted down a nearby alley by a single man. Those actors who confront the man will quickly find out that there are two others waiting on the low rooftops to jump some fool like you rushing to her aid. Even defeating all three won't do; the best student in the College, Kris Hansen, got that far only to be knifed by the woman, who is in on the charade. When Hari Michaelson, a Labour-caste near-dropout with terrible magick skills, enters the challenge, he becomes the first person in the history of the College to beat the simulation. Not bothering with spells, [[CombatPragmatist he gets the jump on the first man]], [[BadAss KOs the other two before they can recover from jumping into the alley]], and [[SatisfiedStreetRat knows better than to trust the woman]], who gets her throat cut when she tries to knife him. He only fails because the test expected him to use magick, and the instructor hacked the simulation to bring the other players back to life and beat him senseless, something that was never before needed for the Lakefront sim. Regardless, as the instructor points out, the point of the test is to show whether the Actor-to-be can give the viewers an interesting death scene.

to:

* In ''[[Literature/TheActsOfCaine Blade of Tyshalle]]'', the College of Battle Magic has an advanced class that opens with the Lakefront simulation. In it, our student Actor is put into a VR simulation of Overworld, in the docks of the city of Ankhana, where he/she hears the sound of a woman being assaulted down a nearby alley by a single man. Those actors who confront the man will quickly find out that there are two others waiting on the low rooftops to jump some fool like you rushing to her aid. Even defeating all three won't do; the best student in the College, Kris Hansen, got that far only to be knifed by the woman, who is in on the charade. When Hari Michaelson, a Labour-caste near-dropout with terrible magick skills, enters the challenge, he becomes the first person in the history of the College to beat the simulation. Not bothering with spells, [[CombatPragmatist he gets the jump on the first man]], [[BadAss KOs the other two before they can recover from jumping into the alley]], alley, and [[SatisfiedStreetRat knows better than to trust the woman]], who gets her throat cut when she tries to knife him. He only fails because the test expected him to use magick, and the instructor hacked the simulation to bring the other players back to life and beat him senseless, something that was never before needed for the Lakefront sim. Regardless, as the instructor points out, the point of the test is to show whether the Actor-to-be can give the viewers an interesting death scene.
26th Nov '16 1:14:16 AM MacabreBuffalo
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Added DiffLines:

** If we're playing the Kobayashi Maru example straight, then chances are the true test is a test of character, judging how well a pony can accept failure and realize where their flaws lie. Given how Twilight takes the thought of failure, it's not exactly a surprise she failed in the many alternate timelines.
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