Playing With / We Have Reserves

Basic Trope: A character doesn't care if his/her underlings die, since he/she can easily replace them.
  • Straight:
    • General Bob orders his soldiers to charge a heavily fortified location, knowing that they will certainly all die.
    • General Bob asks for an artillery strike that will hit both the enemy and his own troops.
  • Exaggerated: General Bob is willing to depopulate his entire nation in order to win a single battle.
  • Downplayed: General Bob accepts some casualties, understanding that it's unavoidable.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: General Bob cares so much about his soldiers that he would rather lose the war than see them killed.
  • Subverted:
    • General Bob starts with this attitude, but once he sees that War Is Hell, he starts to care far more about his men.
    • General Bob initially appears to not care when his soldiers die, but is later shown drowning his sorrows, suffering from Bad Dreams, or otherwise mourning the deaths of his men.
  • Double Subverted: ...but then it turns he was just pretending to mourn them so people would stop criticizing him for being too callous.
  • Parodied: General Bob sacrifices a million soldiers just to get himself a cup of coffee, and then sends a million more out because he doesn't have any cream for his coffee.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: General Bob does not treat his men as completely expendable. This may or may not necessarily entail being A Father to His Men.
  • Enforced: The author wants to show that War Is Hell.
  • Lampshaded: "I don't care if my soldiers die; that's their job."
  • Invoked:
    • An Evil Chancellor deliberately places General Bob in command of the army to kill off the soldiers loyal to the King.
    • The Empire teaches its officers to see their soldiers as expendable.
  • Exploited: Bob's enemies continually encourage his men to desert, and they're only too willing to accept the offer; after all, it's not like they could be treated any worse as POWs than they are as soldiers.
  • Defied: The Federation teaches its officers to value the lives of their troops, and to try to win with as few casualties as possible.
  • Discussed: "The General really doesn't care how many of his own soldiers die, as long he gets to proclaim victory at the end of the battle."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • General Bob's willingness to let his army take massive casualties results in his nation running out of fighting men and costing them the war.
    • General Bob's callousness results in morale plummeting to rock bottom, and most of his soldiers desert or defect. This eventually results in either General Bob being court-martialed or one of his former troops killing him for such cruelty
  • Reconstructed: General Bob's tactics, costly though they are, are demoralizing enough to the enemy that they sue for peace, preventing the war from dragging on and killing more people on both sides.

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