Empty Fort Stratagem
Lure the enemy into your base to trap or kill them
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(permanent link) added: 2013-05-24 00:01:28 sponsor: WiseMan23753 (last reply: 2014-01-30 16:56:09)

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"Welcome to my web," said the spider to the fly.

So The Siege is going on your home. You're outgunned and on the losing side. But you don't want to surrender as you wouldn't want your base to fall into the enemy. So what do you do?

Easy. Let them have it...only to have them get them a surprise awaiting for them. Whether it's explosives, a monster hidden underneath, or some other weapon to give as a last will or going away gift.

This trope often involves the activation of a Self-Destruct Mechanism with a time delay.

Subtrope of Batman Gambit.


Anime and Manga
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED gives a very good example. The Earth Alliance commanders let their forces in Alaska defend hopelessly against ZAFT forces during their Operation Spitbreak. Once ZAFT reaches the center, they and the defenders get microwaved by the Cyclops. Fortunately, our heroes make it out okay.

  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Kirk pretends to surrender the Enterprise to the Klingons and he and the others beam down to the planet's surface. When the Klingons beam over to the Enterprise, they hear the ship's computer saying "Nine, eight, seven, six, five..." - the last few seconds of the self-destruct sequence countdown.
  • Invoked in The Enemy Below. After the destroyer escort rams the sub, the sub's crew activates its self-destruct charges and evacuates. If the DE's crew had tried to enter the sub (e.g. to grab its code books) they would have been killed.
  • You Only Live Twice. James Bond and the Ninja army have captured the SPECTRE base. Before he escapes, Blofeld sets the base's Self-Destruct Mechanism so they won't be able to keep it and may even be killed.
  • Inverted with The Man with the Golden Gun in which The Villain Scaramanga succeeds in luring James Bond into his surreal deathtrap, designed to cause his targets to waste bullets. Although Bond loses his Walther .32 PPK there, he's still able to use Scaramanga's deathtrap against him.

Live-Action TV
  • Jack Bauer from 24 invokes this trope in Season 1. Fear of this is his reason for wanting CTU to let him rescue his family without support.
  • Double Subverted in "Minimal Loss" of Criminal Minds. The cult leader has everything set up for it. Just someone else pushes the button.

Video Games
  • Doujin game series EXceed has the Church forces lure the vampires and Gun Bullet Children into the alter of Anhel to destroy them.
  • Done in the third installment Halo at the the end of mission "Crow's Nest", where the Marines activate a bomb in the Operations center during evacuation.

Real Life
  • In ancient Japan, the philosophy of fortification wasn't to be impenetrable, but to lure the enemy into carefully prepared kill zones, often designed as mazes or cul-de-sacs.
  • The Waco Siege. We break inside only have nearly everyone inside die...
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