Main Bug War Discussion

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03:48:39 AM Dec 5th 2013
edited by
Commented out the following Zero Context Examples and copied them here. Please don't add them back unless you also add context to show how they fit this trope.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Animorphs: The war on the Taxxon planet in The Andalite Chronicles.
07:34:51 AM May 26th 2017
Adding Marvel's Annihilation event back in, but expanding to include context.
02:40:22 PM May 26th 2017
Leaving a commented-out signature just to explain the edit you made was unnecessary, though. That's what edit reasons are for. So I'm removing that note.
04:45:12 PM Apr 15th 2012
I'm not entirely sure, so I'll ask: should the Ender's Game example say the Buggers/Formics are non-sentient? The end of the first book seems to indicate that they are, and thought humans were(paraphrase: "We thought these beings which could not share each others' dreams could not possibly have feelings.") Should this be changed?
05:24:43 AM Nov 30th 2011
From the inevitable 40K example:

"How nasty is this war? When the main force arrives, the entire galaxy will actually unite against them, and the first wave will be so massive it will cover the entire southern border of the galaxy (Sometime around M57 according to the Black Library). It is also worth noting that by then the Tau will have taken over Segmentum Ultima, which covers about half of the galaxy."

Colour me skeptical. None of the official background has ever got more than about 120 years past the "now" of the end of M41.
10:25:33 PM Oct 29th 2011
Removed this bit

The Vietnam War was the first to inspire such Bug Wars in fiction. The Bugs represented the Viet Cong, through a distaste for their frequent Zerg Rush tactics and guerrilla warfare, while the humans represented the US (and other) forces - fearless, well-armed, but inexperienced and completely out of their element.

Both the Trope namer and picture are from Starship Troopers, which Heinlein wrote in 1958-59, before the US entered the Vietnam Conflict. The book addressed, by Heinlein's own "word of god" his feelings regarding the then current push for nuclear disarmament.

Further, human wave attacks (zerg rush) have been a staple of warfare for at least a thousand years.

Notably in recent times, Japanese and Russian assaults during WWII and North Korean human wave attacks during the Korean War. Movies and fiction abounded prior to even the French Indo China war, notably in film regarding Japanese and Chinese attacks on American army/marine/navy positions.

The Viet Cong, Viet Minh, and NVA were only one in a long line, and neither the most passionate nor numerous examples.

Even the battle of Rourke's Drift between the Brits and the Zulu meet the criteria.
11:00:34 PM Oct 19th 2010
Dropped this from the Real Life section — fun speculation but not a real life example. (My two cents is that the square-cube law bites Earth insects hard because they lack convoluted lungs surfaces. All bets are off for alien insects.)

  • If aliens would resemble terrestrial life of any kind, insects are not a bad candidate.
    • Except, you know, they're small. There's a size limit on how big an insect can get before it just can't support its own weight. Unless there's a literal Hive Mind going on, there's no way a purely insectoid race could amass a big enough brain to become sentient.
    • they could however form a species similar to ants or bees, but with the division of work along the brawn/brains line rather than the worker/drone division that bees follow.
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