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Attack! Attack! Attack!

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"This must be why my score as the Scout is so low."

"My rules are: if you meet a weaker vessel, attack; an equal vessel, attack; and if it is stronger than yours, also attack..."
Admiral Stepan O. Makarov (1849-1904)

Whether the characters are fighting men or monsters, they will often attack long after any sensible foe would have attempted surrender or retreat. They may suffer from crippling injuries, or even injuries that will be fatal without treatment.

May be justified (among humans) by having their pride hurt or honor involved, having lost so much that only victory can redeem them, having nowhere to run to, or having an absolutely crucial need for victory, so that flight would just be prolonging their pain, or (among monsters) by having them maddened in some way, but often enough it's just shown. Or maybe the character is simply a Fearless Fool.

Harder to justify, but popular, is that they fight until they drop dead. No one is crippled or disabled by wounds—and not because they took Bottled Heroic Resolve. This can overlap with Critical Existence Failure, especially in videogames.

The Determinator is prone to it, although depending on what he is determined on, he may not engage in it.

Common among Mooks (and many a Glass Cannon), though not the most common form of Mook Chivalry. One sign of The Berserker, who will often continue to attack after all his foes are down, not being able to distinguish between Friend or Foe?. Lawful Stupid characters may also engage in it. A We Have Reserves general usually demands it. This is the only tactic of the Smash Mook.

Compare Last Stand, where retreating from some fights would be carried out whenever practical, and Unconscious Objector, where they keep attacking even after they're too beaten up to realize they're doing it.

Inversion is Screw This, I'm Outta Here. See also Leeroy Jenkins. Contrast Super-Persistent Predator. Possible duplication with I Will Fight Some More Forever. Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat! is a comedy version when this trope is juxtaposed with Oh, Crap! and becomes Screw This, I'm Outta Here. A character who relies extensively on this can be defeated if the other side knows how to wear them down through either dodging, tanking, or otherwise causing them to waste valuable energy and resources and leaving them open for a decisive counterattack.

Not to be confused with Tora! Tora! Tora!

The "AI in Video Games" equivalent is Suicidal Overconfidence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Pretty much a sure-fire way to get everyone killed, but, nevertheless, Erwin uses this tactic when trying to retrieve Eren in Chapter 49 despite losing his arm.
  • Aura Battler Dunbine. It's even in the theme song. Aura Battler, Dunbine. Aura Shoota', Dunbine. Attack, attack, attack! I'm a warrior. Actually it is cooler than it sounds.
  • This is the philosophy that defines Guts' life in Berserk.
    • His enemies fall prey to it as well. One particular example has him and another (already wounded) character surrounded by a small army of foes. He tells her to run for help while he holds them off. By the end time she returns with reinforcements, Guts is standing against a tree, wounded and exhausted, surrounded by the bloody corpses of around a hundred dead soldiers. Only at one point during this battle do the soldiers question if it's wise to continue attacking someone who has already cut through dozens of men as if they were hot butter, before resuming the attack.
  • In the "El Baile de la Muerte" arc of Black Lagoon, a bunch of mooks are hired by a hitman hired by Roberta to flush out a Special Forces outfit. They are totally outclassed and outgunned, but their leader tells them to keep fighting, because they've lost too many people for this to be pointless. He repeats it until it practically becomes a Madness Mantra.
  • This is the default strategy of almost everyone in Bleach, especially when a character is about to suffer from The Worf Effect.
  • The exorcists of D.Gray-Man don't know the meaning of the word "retreat". All of them will fight until they can no longer move, and even that won't be enough to stop some of them. As his teammates point out, Allen fights twice as many Akuma as everyone else, and will continue to attack head-on no matter how much shit is getting beat out of him (usually a lot). The fact that his Empathic Weapon is specially tailored to allow him to fight long after he should be physically capable isn't doing him many favors.
    • What's worse is that this behavior is perfectly justified, In-Universe. Not only are the Akuma and their leaders/allies, the Noah and The Millennium Earl complete Omnicidal Maniacs who will brutally and horrifically slay any human they come across, men, women, and children, but the one time we are shown an exorcist trying to run away, after the rest of his squad was wiped out by a Noah that he had no chance against, his own Empathic Weapon turned him into an Omnicidal Maniac Eldritch Abomination that killed friend and foe alike, indiscriminately.
  • Cure Sword from Doki Doki! PreCure has only attacks with offensive purposes. Her teammates have at least one supporting attack, but even Cure Sword's support attack is an offensive one.
  • Hiruma's philosophy toward football...and pretty much everything else in Eyeshield 21. Some of it is justified because of the make-up of his team, but it's mostly just because he likes it that way.
    • Also the Seibu Wild Gunmen, who have incredibly strong offense. They could play defensively and stop their opponents from scoring a bit more, but they prefer playing aggressively for turnovers to get more points.
    • Inverted by the Ojou White Knights, which rely on extremely talented defenses.
    • The Hakushuu Dinosaurs are another offensive oriented team, relying on the power of their centre, Gaou, to force their way down the field, and breaking other teams' quarterbacks instead of playing fairly. Oddly enough, two of their best players are their safety (who doubles as the quarterback) and their cornerback. Marco may believe in the offense, but he makes sure he's got all his bases covered.
  • Fist of the North Star: Take Kenshiro (or some of his allies, like his friend Rei or his brother Toki). Take an army of Mooks. One or several mooks will attack Kenshiro, and they SHALL die in a awful and extremely painful way, usually by exploding, as Kenshiro remains unfazed and nearly always untouched. Most of time their partners's reaction will be attacking Kenshiro in spite of having just seen that is suicidal. Few times they will choose fleeing, even if Kenshiro suggests that option. And then you have the exceptionally dumb, arrogant mook who knows what Hokuto Shinken and Nanto Seiken martial artists are capable of, and still wants to fight them.
    • Let's talk about Spade. In the second chapter Kenshiro ran into him and his goons were torturing an old man to steal his bag of rice. When Kenshiro intervened, Spade shot an arrow at him, and Kenshiro stopped it easily. Kenshiro informed him that he would only take his eye instead of killing him if he tried that again. Spade tried it again with predictable consequences. Kenshiro though spared his life... and he attacked him again. Spade, lad, there are less painful ways to commit suicide!
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Izumi. She continues to fight even after coughing up blood from her missing organs. She always kicks their asses, too.
    • We can't forget Colonel Roy Mustang, who mercilessly killed Lust and nearly Envy out of revenge. He keeps fighting Lust even after she brutally injured him.
    • King Bradley, aka Wrath starts adopting this strategy by the end. His opponents have a tank? Keep fighting. Vastly outnumbered? Keep fighting. Lose an eye? Keep fighting. Lose both arms? Hold that sword in your teeth and keep fighting.
  • In Gamaran, the Ichinose style (a clan of Oodachi users from which one of the main characters comes from) involves highly offensive tactics focusing on fast sweeps. According to Ranmaru, thanks to this tireless, implacable style the first Ichinose clan leader was able to emerge victorious from any battle. Specifically, Zenmaru also focused his efforts in learning the "Blazing Flame Form" of the Ogame Ryu, mixing the above mentioned fighting style with extremely strong attacks.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • The hallmark of the Nishizumi school. Nishizumi-ryuu commanders will always find a way to move forward, and refuse to make tactical retreats for any reason. Ordinarily, this is an effective strategy; the mindset this requires leads them to develop Nerves of Steel and their subordinates to master iron discipline and perfect formation tactics, so they ordinarily don't need anything else (especially when fighting with superior-quality heavy tanks). However, the philosophy also leads to Honor Before Reason, going into duels instead of waiting for the rest of the squadron to catch up, and putting their own teammates in danger to win a sporting event.
    • Chi-Ha-Tan Academy also follows this philosophy, the only "strategy" they actually know seems to be "CHARGE!" However, they have none of the discipline nor firepower of Kuromorimine, so this more often than not gets them obliterated with little trouble to their opponents. They're supposed to be a parody of the Imperial Japanese army and their stubborn refusal to ever retreat from anything.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, this seems to be the favored tactic of Alus' Gundams — the Alus Core Gundam, Alus Earthree Gundam, Fake Nu Gundam, Dubious Arche Gundam and Reverse Turn X Gundam. The Mobile Suits prefer to unleash superior firepower to overpower their opponents and, with the exception of the Fin Funnels of the Fake Nu, has no manner of defense or even dodging patterns.
  • Occurs several times in Hajime no Ippo when a fighter — most notably Ippo and Sendo — will continue to box through muscle memory even after he's been knocked unconscious.
    • Ippo however, actually has a phenomenal defense. This is contrasted by Sendo, who has almost no defense and doesn't mind taking hits if he can dish out something in turn. Hell, he loves boxing precisely because he likes "hitting and getting hit". He has the advantage that you can't make him retreat or step back.
    • In the first movie Ippo even proclaimed he will lose to his opponent, Kazuki Sanada, if he even stops assaulting him for a second as it would break his rhythm and leave him open. Hitting like a freighter train onto the defending Kazuki he thinks only about "Attack, Attack and Attack even more!"
    • Takamura goes completely apeshit when he gets knocked out and is forced to Muscle-Memory Box. he was trained in an extremely orthodox style of boxing, which sharply contrasted hie opponent's wild and untrained style. The scary part was Takamura was aiming for LETHAL attacks with each hit. The man was launching temple shots and liver blows like he was born to do it despite being completely out of it and barely aware of his actions.
  • In Hellsing, Integra often gives Alucard such an order to dispatch their enemies, or as she likes to phrase it, "Search and Destroy!"
  • Hoshin Engi: Nataku's first and only solution against anything is to attack it with as much power as possible until it is defeated. He will also refuse to get help or listen to any plan Taikobo might come up with. He simply picks the strongest opponent and attacks. He can afford to be that reckless because he is a human paope who can survive anything from being dismembered or having his head blown off, as long as his core is not destroyed.
  • Deconstructed/Played with in Hunter × Hunter. The main character Gon does this, and at first it's seen as beneficial in situations where endurance is the criteria for winning rather than physical strength. (For example, an early one-on-one fight has the condition that the opponents fight until one consciously declares defeat. Killing is not allowed. Gon is paired against a stronger opponent, with the result being torture endurance rather than an actual duel. Gon wins.) However, over time this is explored more in-depth as a character flaw, since he fights recklessly in situations where it's detrimental as well. In fact, the most successful victories in the series are often the result of carefully thought out strategies, and awareness of any potential weaknesses an opponent might have.
  • Played with multiple ways in the war manga Kingdom:
    • Moubu starts off as this, fully confident in his strength and his army's overwhelming charge. He is thoroughly outplayed by Riboku, and it ends up in a costly defeat. He later becomes more strategic, although his favoured technique is still brute force.
    • Shin also tends to use this approach, and similar to Moubu it works against him for a while until Karyoten becomes his strategist.
    • On the other hand, it works quite well for Duke Hyou, who combines it with his instincts to smell out the perfect weakpoint to attack. It is noted that he has a very high mortality rate of soldiers though.
    • It also works for Akou, but he has the benefit of being able to simply replicate the orders of his commander and strategic genius Ousen when he needs something different.
  • The usual modus operandi of Admiral Fritz Josef Bittenfeld in Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The Iron Hammer Knight, Vita. There's nothing she can't destroy. And of course, Nanoha herself, who solves all her problems by blowing the crap out of them.
    • Rinne's style is basically "hit opponent until their defense breaks, then hit them some more until they break." She almost takes it to berserker levels as during Episode 3, Miura notes that aside from the first hit, Rinne did not have any clean hits on her opponent. This also explains why she lost to Vivio's dodge-and-counter tactics during their first encounter. Their rematch in Episode 8 escalates it into full berserker territory as after Vivio lands a clean hit on her face, she shrugs it off and gives Vivio a flurry of devastating blows, all while looking like a woman possessed. Unfortunately for her, this became her undoing anew after Vivio not only refused to go down, but mustered enough willpower to knock her out.
  • Probably the only way you can get Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth to give up is to beat her into unconsciousness. Its rather shocking the staggering number of injuries — and subsequent blood loss — she got from just one or two battles in the anime (that will power is really something...).
  • in March Comes in Like a Lion, this is essentially how the protagonist Rei describes his peer Issa's play style in shogi, where he focuses on offensive maneuvers and none on defensive ones.
  • The Mazinger series:
    • Kouji Kabuto of Mazinger Z falls into this sometimes, when he is facing a Mechanical Beast several times stronger than his own Humongous Mecha and still he refuses retiring or playing defensive. However, he still is able to think strategically, come up with plans quickly, and every so often you can talk him into leaving the battlefield, so he is not the biggest offender in the series.
      • In his battle against Jeiser J1 his enemy was too sturdy to be taken down easily, his mecha was quickly running out of power, the mechanisms were so strained that the controls were giving off sparks and the cockpit was filling with smoke, and he was risking a freefall (since they were fighting in midair)... and still he refused going back to the Home Base, waiting for a chance to nail the Beast instead.
    • That one would be Great Mazinger's Tetsuya Tsurugi, who is a hard-headed Blood Knight who never, ever, retires.
      • In the Great Mazinger vs Getter Robo feature, Tetsuya tried all Great Mazinger's weapons against an Eldritch Abomination. Neither did work, and the monster ripped off his mecha's arms and melted one leg. What Tetsuya did? Trying headbutting it.
      • In one of the first episodes, Kenzo Kabuto had to actually threaten him with (what was to Tetsuya) a Fate Worse than Death: "Return to the Fortress NOW or else you will be out of Great Mazinger... permanently".
      • In his climatic Sword Fight with The Dragon Great General of Darkness, his mecha was damaged and running out of power and he was badly hurt after a battle when he was informed that the Great General of Darkness -the biggest villain badass of the Mazinverse- was approaching to challenge him. Everyone exhorted him to run away. What did Tetsuya do? Picking two swords and meeting The Dragon's challenge.
    • In both series — plus UFO Robo Grendizer — the only method the army is capable to think to stop the Robeasts is attacking them endlessly, and when it fails, send more troops in. They DID get one success in the GosakuOta Mazinger-Z manga, though, but they needed a nuke to achieve it. You would think that after the first few times they would learn that Giant Equals Invincible.
  • Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia is a clever fighter when he wants to be, but more often than not he prefers to just overwhelm his opponent with sheer explosive force. This actually serves as a sound tactic in his second fight with Izuku. He knows his opponent's best tool is his analytical mind, so Bakugo attacks relentlessly so he won't have the needed time to think.
    • In a direct confrontation with All Might acting as a villain, All Might has cause to notice that normally putting your hand on someone's face makes them instinctively push it back off, but all Bakugo does is keep blasting him, both hands. All Might No Sells this and Bakugo gets away long enough for that to influence his strategy going forward, but only to the point of concluding that to win this, he has to hit All Might harder.
  • Rock Lee from Naruto. To the point where he was knocked unconscious from the pain from a shattered leg and arm, and broken spine, and had trained himself to the point where he could still fight unconscious. While he isn't averse of actual strategy or defense, his major attack tactic really is direct damage.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Fate's minions suffer from a rather nasty case of this; it works against Negi's partners, most of whom have no idea how to fight, but when faced with people with actual combat experience, they get their butts kicked.
    • Jack Rakan also acts like this, but he gets away with it because he's so powerful that there are only half a dozen people in existence who can actually hurt him.
  • Luffy from One Piece plays this straight or averts it depending on the situation. His main strategy is to hit the other guy as much as he can and as fast as he can, and if it's a fight he feels he has to win, he does just that. That said, he's not at all opposed to running away from a pointless or unwinnable fight (and does so pretty often) so long as it doesn't mean abandoning any of his friends.
    • Also Ace (and mentioned his father as well), had a "never run from a fight" attitude. However it was because of this Ace died at the hands of Akainu.
  • Mari Illustrious from Rebuild of Evangelion has this as her default strategy, with the effect that she completely demolishes her EVA every time she fights. She wouldn't even retreat when her EVA had an arm cut off, its skull cracked open and a large gaping hole in its side. (Keep in mind that she feels all the injuries and partially suffers them on her actual body.) Granted, if she gave up, Zeruel would've reached Terminal Dogma... and that wouldn't end well.
    • She also has the authority to remove the limiters that keep an Evangelion from going berserk, and this causes her feelings of aggression to go into overdrive too.
    • This is the modus operandi of berserker Evangelions.
    • The entire strategy of the U.N. armed forces appears to be "If we keep throwing more tanks, missiles, battleships and stuff at the angels, we can slow them down at least". Whether they are fulfilling their task as a "buffer" is debatable.
  • Rebuild World:
  • Rurouni Kenshin has Sanosuke, a Zanbato-wielder-turned-fistfighter who has consciously chosen to build a fighting style based on nothing but attacking. After being beaten a few times by a 'rival,' said rival criticizes Sanosuke for having no defensive moves; he just keeps attacking until he wins or is too badly injured to continue. Sanosuke's response is to learn how to attack HARDER. Then there's Enishi; even before he fights Kenshin, he's already decided that he will kill Kenshin or die trying, because in the past Kenshin had killed his sister Tomoe — the only person he ever cared about - and he feels he has nothing left but vengeance.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Joe "The Condor" Asakura is an aggressive, Hot-Blooded Blood Knight whose only strategy is attacking the enemy until they all are dead. Let's say that that the God Phoenix has a button to activate the missile launcher and Joe has practically worn it down all by himself since he is always pressing it (and if the missile attack fails? He presses the button again until they have run out of missiles). Even in scouting or infiltrating missions where they must be stealth instead of not engaging the enemy, he is always asking why they are NOT blowing them up.
  • Kazuma in Scryed will never give up. Take a look at his badly damaged body at the end of the show, or really after any fight.
  • A favorite tactic of Black Star in Soul Eater. He takes it up another notch with 'Speed Star' mode, and another 5 notches in 'Fey Blade' mode.
  • Kirito from Sword Art Online puts this trope to very good use, which favors his aggressive fighting style. Your friends and love-interest threatened by a dangerous floor boss that's already killed several others? Reveal that you have the exclusive in game ability to Dual Wield swords, and proceed to unleash a 16-Hit Combo called Starburst Stream to inflict massive DPS damage and defeat the boss! Facing one of the best players in a different game who possesses a sword that ignores any defense you have? Create a momentary distraction, borrow someone's weapon, and proceed to dual wield without game assistance and go hard on the offensive so that your foe doesn't even have a chance to attack. Facing a constantly respawning horde of enemies as part of a supposed endgame event in an attempt to rescue his girlfriend? Go all out and charge through them! The only time this seemingly hasn't worked for Kirito, is when his opponents either cheat through some unfair advantage by say, being the Administrator of the games themselves and having in game immortality, or using blatantly game-breaking abilities, or because his foes are very defense oriented tanks. Though sometimes it barely works, like when he defeats the boss The Gleam Eyes with only a tiny sliver of his own Hit Points remaining.
    • Kirito's almost entire party ends up doing this during the Excaliber's quest. The guy's tactic is "attack as hard as you can!" so everyone but Sinon (the archer) rushes the enemies. Admittedly, this was mostly because the quest had a strict time limit and more tactical approaches would have taken too much time.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    Adiane: If you shoot me at this range, your shells will collide. Are you humans really that stupid?
    Yoko: Unfortunately, we are that stupid.
    Attenborough: WHO CARES! FIRE! *KABOOM*
    • In the third Story Arc, the moon threatens to fall and crush the planet. Simon's response? Attack the freakin moon. It works, too.
    • Again near the end, while in the Chouginga Gurren-Lagann. Attenborough shows just how much he loves his job... by shooting every point in space and time at the same time. Don't worry. It doesn't make much sense, even in context. The line "Near Past -8, Near Future +10" doesn't mean much either, as there's no indication whether it's minutes, days, years or even millennia they're talking about. It worked, however.
  • The trademark strategy of the eponymous Yaiba. Of course, if this doesn't work he's more than capable of finding out a solution against his foes.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Jonouchi's duel with Kaiba was this. After Kaiba had destroyed Jonouchi's "Armored Lizard" (1500 ATK) with his "Battle Ox" (1700 ATK), Jonouchi summoned "Flame Swordsman" (1800 ATK) and attacked, but "Battle Ox" was resistent against FIRE monsters (an Early-Installment Weirdness that doesn't work in the real life game). After Kaiba fusion summoned "Rabid Horseman" (2000 ATK), Jonouchi kept summoning weaker monsters and attacking with them. He summoned only one moster in defense position ("Rock Ogre Grotto #1" (800 ATK / 1200 DEF)), and finally destroyed "Rabid Horseman" with his new "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" (2400 ATK), but Kaiba summoned "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" (3000 AK) and discreased Jonouchi's Life Points to 0.
    • During the final in Yami Yugi's last duel against Insector Haga, he attacks him with his monster Breaker the Magical Warrior (Haga 3700 -> 2200 Life Points). Then he activates the Quick-Play Spell Card "Berserker Soul" (that doesn't exist in real life), discarding his Hand and selecting "Breaker the Magical Warrior" as the target for "Berserker Soul". Yami can now draw cards from the top of his Deck until he reaches a Magic/Trap Card which will be added to his hand. For each drawn card that is a monster, he can discard it to the Graveyard to have "Breaker the Magical Warrior" attack an additional time. The first two cards he draws and discards are "Queen's Knight" and "Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts". This allows "Breaker the Magical Warrior" to attack twice more. (Haga 2200 → 700 → 0 Life Points). Blinded by rage, Yami doesn't stop attacking. He continues to draw and discard six more cards, all of which turn out to be monsters. "Breaker the Magical Warrior" attacks six more times (Haga 0 → 0 → 0 → 0 → 0 → 0 → 0 Life Points). Yami draws yet another Monster Card. He is about to discard it as well when Anzu stops him, pointing out he already won. Yami then realizes that the last card he drew was "Dark Magician Girl".
      • The real-life Berserker Soul actually can do this. Because of the way the effect is worded, the player keeps drawing cards even if Berserker Soul has completely depleted the opponent's Life Points.

    Board Games 
  • Among experienced Chess players, this rarely works. A good player will recognize that it is only a good idea to launch an all-out attack when the position calls for it, and often a large part of a game will be spent maneuvering to create such a position. An ill-advised and reckless attack will almost always be fended off by a skilled player, usually leaving the attacker overextended and in serious trouble.

    However, before modern theory and strategy were refined, and defensive skills were not nearly as common, many of the masters of the 18th and 19th centuries would play like this, often leading to spectacular victories. Although even back then, it would backfire a decent amount of the time. An aphorism used by the German master Adolf Anderssen was "Attack! Always attack!"

    Comic Books 
  • The 2000 AD story Flesh: The Legend of Shamana plays with this.
    Shamana and the dinosaurs had worked out a cunning and intricate plan to destroy the flesh factory. The frist wave would go straight in for the kill. Whereas the second wave would employ the classic tactic of going straight in for the kill. Meanwhile, the third wave would employ the saurian strategy of going straight in for the kill. Setting things up nicely for the fourth wave, who would go for the final objective — straight in for the kill.
  • Asgardians are prone to this in general, but Thor is one of the worst. He will NEVER run from a fight no matter how outmatched he is, and simply attacking blindly with brute force alone is the only strategy he uses most of the time. He'll fight until he's unconscious or something drags him away, which works well enough for him in his own comics, but in "What If...?" comics this attitude tends to get him killed.
  • Preacher: When the Saint of Killers is going on a rampage in Masada, the Allfather's instructions to his men is to "Rush him. Swamp his guns with your bodies". Given that the Saint is utterly unkillable and that the bullets from his guns will never inflict a wound that is less than fatal, this can only end one way.
  • The Punisher is usually smart enough to stick to attacking non-superpowered people, and Crazy-Prepared enough to know what to do if he runs into superpowered people. But in The Incredible Hulk #395, he runs into the Hulk in Las Vegas, and has no other idea of what to do besides just throwing everything (down to and including a hand grenade) at him. Naturally, nothing works. In fairness, the Punisher didn't realize it was the Hulk at first, but the fact that he was bullet-proof, eight feet tall and green should've tipped him off.
  • Why in the name of God any criminal in Metropolis even bothers to point their guns at Superman anymore is a course of continual mystification. Seriously, guys — unless you're packing Kryptonite sabot ammo or have exceedingly powerful firearms that will probably blow your arm off from the recoil unless you're superhumanly strong, don't bother. This is Lampshaded in Rising Stars, where Pyre (who has power similar to the Human Torch) is getting shot at, which, of course, fails to affect him.
    Pyre: Y'know, I remember watching the old Superman TV series with George Reeves, and the bad guys would always shoot at Superman, when he showed up. I used to ask myself, why? They know it's not going to hurt him, at most, it'll piss him off, so why shoot at him? You know what it comes down to? The bad guys are always stupid. Dirt-stick-stone stupid.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • The Ultimates: Cap's plan for fighting the Hulk? "We just hit him until he drops." When this doesn't work, he switches plans.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: When facing a clone army, Iron Man asks what the plan is. "All the people coming out of the water? Kill them".
    • All-New Ultimates: Cloak tells Dagger that they need a plan for the Femme Fatales. Her plan is to kick that lady's 'UNGH!'

    Fan Works 
  • Seems to be Astrid's only real strategy in dragon-training in Rivalry, Hiccup having to save her more than once from a point-blank blast from the dragons.
  • In My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, the Space Ponies' initial response to just about any opponent is to attack it with reckless abandon, only attempting to change strategies if they're getting thoroughly thrashed by it. And even then, their alternate strategies are: attacking it all at once, attacking it with a newly obtained weapon/power, and waiting for the enemy to show its weakness and attacking it.
  • The Night Unfurls: The Hunter's primary means of combat is highly aggressive, so relentless and aggressive that any scene that involves him slaying foe after foe with his serrated cleaver is synonymous with madness from an onlooker's perspective. He runs towards his prey rather than away from them, avoids damage via dodging and side-stepping, overwhelms them with extreme prejudice, and persists until all his enemies are reduced to mutilated piles of chunks on the floor. In the rare case where he does take damage, he can just restore health via injecting a Blood Vial and keep going. Contrary to his first impression, the Hunter isn't a reckless fighter, as he sometimes temporarily subverts the trope and opts for a stealthy approach. One thing is certain though: the Hunter ends fights regardless of the situation.
    Grace: You're hurt and you still killed all of those people. You won't stop will you?
  • I'm Nobody: Roxas' solution to most problems is to hit it as hard as possible (which he outright states). It's lampshaded by Shepard when she asks him if he can come up with a plan other than that, which promptly shuts him up.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Antz, Z mentions this when he's talking to the Queen and Bala after the termite battle. "You don't think, you just react, you have to attack! Attack! ATTACK!" It's kind of hilarious when you think about who voices Z. Played with in that the ants really do this in the battle, but for the sole purpose of getting everyone in the army killed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Airplane!, there's a scene where Rex Kramer is entering the airport on his way to help land a stricken airliner and is accosted by donation-seekers. He begins beating them up in increasingly brutal ways, which only seems to attract them to him like flies. They don't stop until they're all lying on the floor, moaning in pain.
  • In one of the scenes deleted from the theatrical release of Aliens, the marines make good use of four drone turrets salvaged from the wreckage of the dropship and APC. They set up the machine guns along the hallway leading up to the control room and before long, the bugs are pouring into the killing field. In a tense moment, three of the guns run dry on ammo as the xenomorphs unflinchingly throw themselves into the bullets, and by the time the aliens decide to find another route into the control room, the last gun only has four rounds left.
  • The 2022 adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front has a fanatic German general ordering his men to attack a French position on the last day of World War I, fifteen minutes before the Armistice is to go into effect, simply because his pride will not allow him to accept defeat without a final show of force.
  • Subverted in Avengers: Infinity War with the Outriders, Thanos' mooks. Due to being mindless soldiers created for combat, their main tactic is to simply charge and kill everything in front of them. They are deployed in Wakanda with a giant forcefield defending the country, and they begin destroying themselves trying to breach it with only a few of them passing through. When this tactic doesn't work, they begin circling around in order to assault the unprotected building where their real target (Vision) lies, forcing the heroes to open the force field so they can focus the bulk of the army on them. And the moment that Thor arrives and begins wrecking massive destruction on them, the Outriders begin to retreat from the field.
  • The title character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier basically just keeps attacking no matter what. Since he's a brainwashed super-assassin, this is probably a programmed trait meant to discomfit his targets.
  • For a group of mercenaries, the MNU special forces in District 9 are extremely well motivated, given that they keep attacking, literally to the last man, despite their colleagues being turned into Ludicrous Gibs left and right.
  • Godzilla: Surely, the JSDF in the films have exhausted all their soldiers and weaponry in the films from trying to defeat Godzilla after all these years.
  • In Green Room, Pat recalls that this is how the band won a round of paintball against U.S. Marine veterans. It inspires him and Amber to formulate a proactive plan, even if based on completely different principle.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Nebula's plan for dealing with Gamora is fly a Ravager ship at her with guns screaming. When Gamora tries hiding in a cave, Nebula just flies into it, not remotely caring that it takes off the ship's engines, still firing all guns (which, by the way, fail to land a single hit on Gamora). When Gamora destroys her ship, Nebula takes a moment to heal up, and then continues trying to beat her sister, even though it was already established every time they've fought Nebula has lost. Gamora is, understandably, exasperated by this.
    Gamora: Are you kidding me?!
    • She does so again in Avengers: Infinity War, stealing a necrocraft from Thanos's fleet and trying to park it on him, and when that doesn't work just leaps out and starts trying to hit him.
  • Hamburger Hill: The repeated attempts to take the eponymous hill that isn't even strategically important is used to portray the War Is Hell theme.
  • Logan: Laura, despite being eleven years old, acts like this. She has two settings in combat: "kill everything that moves" and "tactical withdrawal". Unless it's a potentially lethal injury or she's at a major disadvantage, she will not stop until she's standing in the middle of a field of dead bodies and severed limbs.
  • In The Magnificent Seven, The Seven wonder why the bandits keep attacking them instead of going off to find easier pickings. They learn that the bandits haven't eaten in days and if they don't get the village's food they will starve.
    Calvera: What if you had to carry my load? The need to provide food, like a good father, to feed the mouths of his hungry men?
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight parodies this attitude.
  • Patton:
    Patton: Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that "we are holding our position." We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose!
  • Both sides during the retreat from Lawrence in Ride with the Devil.
  • In Seven Samurai, the bandits fight to the last man without ever considering that there might be easier places to rob. The final bandit, hiding with the women, still sees fit to shoot at the samurai and betray his position rather than simply flee. This is partially explained by the bandit leader executing a couple of men who try to flee. We never learn why the bandit leader is so gung-ho, though. (As noted above, the 1960 American version The Magnificent Seven attempts to fix this by explaining that the bandits were already hungry when they came to the village and face starvation if they don't take it.)
  • Star Trek: First Contact: Starfleet resorts to this as the Borg Cube begins to reach Earth, after the Starfleet admiral leading their defense had been lost and the battle appeared to be the Federation's last stand.
  • Before being encased in the Darth Vader armor robbed him of his mobility, this was the fighting style of Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars. A master of the Form V lightsaber combat style Djem So, his fighting style consists of an endless flurry of attacks until his opponents slips up from the onslaught.
  • The would-be home invaders in Straw Dogs, as well those in the Home Alone movies that Straw Dogs inspired, persist beyond all reason. Though to be fair, in the first Home Alone movie the burglars do succeed after numerous injuries only to have Kevin's neighbor stop them at the last minute.
  • The Thin Red Line: LTC Tall's repeated orders to attack the ridgeline. Somewhat subverted when Cpt Staros, refuses his orders. This is further reinforced after the battle when he literally tells a group of his men, that they ARE his sons.
  • In Van Helsing, Anna has this problem. Mere seconds after escaping Dracula's mind control, and confronted with a charging army of vampires, her idea of a sensible solution is to grab a mace mounted on the wall, and start jumping into the horde. Fortunately, the title character is there to drag her out of harm's way.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage: During Carnage's prison break, waves of guards run up and fire on him, well after it becomes obvious that he's completely Immune to Bullets and is killing them for sport.
  • The War of the Worlds In the 2005 Spielberg version, a Marine Corps Captain in the hilltop battle scene actually says "Attack, Attack, Attack!" ordering the tanks and humvees to advance on the approaching tripods. A few seconds later they are all wiped out, but at least they bought the civilians they were covering precious time.
  • Watchmen: That guy in the prison hallway fight scene, who makes a 'You want some of this?' gesture after Nite Owl shuts down six of his friends, while he's shutting them down like they aren't even there? What did he really think was going to happen next?

  • Unsurprisingly, this is Blood Knight Rachel's strategy in Animorphs when she temporarily becomes team leader in The Weakness.
  • In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cainnote  novel Duty Calls, Battle Sisters are plunging into battle without thought for their own lives, or what their deaths (or simply their reckless advance) will do to the line, until Cain sharply reminds them that if they die and let the tyranids through, the tyranids will descend on the temple and slaughter the civilians there. They back off, and later admit that their zeal had led them astray.
  • The Sauron Super Soldiers of the CoDominium universe are trained to attack at all costs; the result is that they attack until they have nothing left, and the Galactic Empire waltzes in and sterilizes their planet; the only Sauron ship to flee and survive is disregarded as impossible, since Saurons never run. But the Empire also commits the same basic mistake, attacking the Saurons with increasing fanaticism until their own forces are all but gone; only their greater numbers allow a few Imperial worlds to barely survive knocked back to barbarism.
  • Conan the Barbarian
    He was no defensive fighter; even in the teeth of overwhelming odds he always carried the war to the enemy.
  • Carnival of Deepgate Codex.
  • In Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series, the Grik are a race of Lizard Folk from an Alternate Universe whose sole goal in life appears to be the utter destruction of the Lemurians with We Have Reserves as the only strategy. They do possess more advanced naval tech (after studying a 17-century East Indiaman and even lob shells filled with a form of Greek Fire, but they still prefer to dock with the Lemurian Homes (giant floating ships that house the entire population of the race) and attack them with swords and spears. They first time anyone has remembered the Grik retreating or showing fear was the appearance of the USS Walker with its deck cannons and machineguns.
    • Later, it's revealed that the Grik as a culture simply don't have a concept of defense (they understand it but believe only prey defends, while a true hunter attacks). In fact, when the Grik are faced with an overwhelming attack, they collectively turn into a "Grik rout".
    • This changes later thanks to influence from Japanese, and the Republic of Real People is utterly shocked, when they encounter a professional Grik army, whose soldiers (no longer mindless Uul) know how to hold a battle line and fight together, and capable commanders, who turn the battle in a Pyrrhic Victory for the Republic.
  • The D'regs of the Discworld novel Jingo are known for this, regarding a leader as merely someone to shout "Charge!". That Carrot convinces them not to on one occasion is seen as proof of his unnatural Krisma[sic]. When the enemy general finds out he had done this and he had a commander, he surrenders instantly.
  • In Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn novel Xenos, when they are thrown into Gladiator Games, the monster that kills one of them doesn't stop to eat the corpse but jumps onto the next victim.
  • The gods in Matthew Laurence's Freya series tend to be like this, especially Blood Knight Sekhmet. Most have enough worshippers to allow them to regenerate normal wounds in seconds, so they think nothing of running into a wall of automatic weapons fire.
  • In The Lost Fleet a century of warfare has killed off every Alliance officer who understands proper tactics for space battles and military culture now places honor and attacking above anything else. Geary is both disgusted and horrified when he learns that modern military thinking is to simply throw ships at each other until one side runs out.
    • The second book has an incident which shows how this works against the Alliance. A group of Syndic ships, aware of standard Alliance "tactics" (then again, Syndic "tactics" aren't much better) lays a minefield and then places themselves as bait on the other side of it. An over-eager group blunders right into the mines and is wiped out.
    • This is also why Geary is at first confused why the Syndics would bother designing a cruiser with extremely powerful engines (at the expense of weaponry and armor), as it would quickly be obliterated. When all his ships suddenly rush towards the enemy, leaving the unarmed supply ships behind, he realizes why. Only Captain Desjani's quick thinking and excellent ship-driving save the invaluable supply ships.
  • In Malevil, despite council to do otherwise, Vilmain decides that Malevil will be razed immediately to avenge the death of his Dragon Bèbelle. While his pride can be counted on an ill-planned attack, Malevil's defenders recognize that he won't allow it to become a suicidal one if he's losing.
  • From Vietnam onwards Richard Marcinko of the Rogue Warrior novels would invoke this by name, his standard strategy was to hop and pop, shoot and loot, maim, rape, pillage, slaughter and burn.
  • Saintess Summons Skeletons: Monsters infested by the Ebb have no regard for strategy or personal safety, and will charge into a meat grinder battle all day and night. Which allows Sofia to kill nearly half a million of them in one night, paying off over 100 levels of her experience debt.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, the biggest weakness of the Shade is that they're so crazed with bloodlust that they freely make suicidal attacks that humans would never consider and have virtually no strategy in battle, unless a Lord Shade is giving them orders. Exploiting this is the key to defeating their armies on the battlefield.
  • In Space Marine Battles, the more brutal Space Marine Chapters consider this the best tactic — or, to put it better, the only tactic — they have. The Orks and Necrons follow similar lines of thought, with both forces fighting until enough of them die.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Darth Bane: Rule of Two, Bane's Clingy Costume of orbalisks provides him with a nigh-indestructible suit of armor that lets him shrug off most lightsaber strikes. He plays this to his advantage with a hyper-aggressive variant of Form V: Djem So relying on sheer brute force to overcome opponents.
  • The Stormlight Archive: While the Parshendi will retreat, if no escape is available they never surrender and always fight to the last no matter how overwhelming the odds. This turns out to be pretty much entirely the fault of Highprince Sadeas, because early in the war when a group did try to surrender, their scouts observed him personally slaughtering them all for the "insult" of denying him battle.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 alternate history series, General Custer is a very poor general who suffers from severe Peter Principle issues - he used to be an awesome soldier, but he's been promoted into a position he's really not suited for. As a general, all he ever does is make direct assaults on the enemy. Being that he's in charge of an important front during World War I, he gets an awful lot of people killed. (Which is pretty much what happened in Real Life - lots of people died on both sides, and neither side gained any ground.) In spite of being essentially an idiot, he's also the only one who figures out the best way to use these new armored vehicles called "barrels", and he's both stubborn and reckless enough to defy instructions from Headquarters and put them all in one place for a single massive frontal assault on the enemy lines. This works, proving that even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf novel Grey Hunter, facing an ice fiend pack, Ragnar knows they will fight until their prey are dead, or they are. This is also one of Ragnar's defining traits; taking a hit so his counterattack will get through is practically a signature move.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000: Blood Angels novel Deus Encarmine, Iskavan is furious, even after victory, because they had retreated at one point during the battle. When the tide turns, and he is ordered to withdraw, he is enraged.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Aiel warrior society known as the Stone Dogs do not retreat. Ever. Aiel rarely have reason to retreat anyway, so it all works out.
    • There's also a Tairen High Lord called Weiramon, a Lord Error-Prone who figures a good cavalry charge is the best answer to all life's problems, and who routinely throws away thousands of lives at a time leading suicidal charges at unwinnable objectives.
    • Justified in Rand's climactic swordfight with the blademaster Turak in "The Great Hunt;" he sees that he can't win using "proper" swordfighting techniques, so instead he just throws himself at Turak with a sloppy but relentless assault that the man is completely unprepared for, and is killed by.
  • In This Used To Be About Dungeons the creatures in dungeons are almost universally affected by a "dungeon madness" of unknown origin, causing them to unrelentingly attack intruders, even at the cost of their own lives. Dungeoneers are able to exploit it by creating a choke points and killing them as they keep coming.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bottom Richie tries this method during a game of chess, much to Eddie's amusement.
  • Cobra Kai:
    • This is the biggest flaw of the titular Cobra Kai Karate as well as Johnny's Eagle Fang Karate. They are incredibly aggressive martial arts that focus all their energy on attacking fast, hard, and first, but with absolutely no defensive tactics in their repertoire. Practitioners of these martial arts effectively take attacks and power through them to take their opponent down which is overwhelming to most, but any opponent with a strong defense can brush their assault off with ease and then counter-attack the second the Cobra Kai user faulters or leaves himself open. Robbie takes down the entire Cobra Kai dojo by himself to prove that they too need to learn defense tactics in order to effectively bring down their opponents, which they do by adopting Miyagi-Do's defense tactics into an aggressive style of counter-counterattacks.
    • Similarly, is Chozen Toguchi's mastery of Miyagi-Do, where he focuses much more heavily on the offensive aspects of it. Unlike Daniel who believes in only using karate in self-defense, Chozen believes the best defense is a good offense and to "remove his opponent's ability to wage war" to defend onesself rather than by simply waiting for an attack and counter-attacking. One of his most effective tactics is a pressure-point attack that temporarily paralyzes an opponent's limbs.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Called specifically, though too old to be an Invocation, in the serial "The Armageddon Factor".
      "Base to fleet, commence attack. Attack, attack, attack."
    • Another example in "The Face of Evil" with the Sevateem.
  • In Full Metal Jousting, the jousters all wear modern versions of 16th century tournament armor. That armor is the ONLY defense there is in the sport. The only option is for rider and horse to charge in hard, aim well, strike hard, and hope for the best.
  • Game of Thrones: The Sons of the Harpy's Plan A for combat is the element of surprise, but Plan B is to throw themselves at the enemy and hope their death creates an opening for a fellow Harpy. Their success comes from a total lack of self-preservation even when a dragon shows up.
  • Captain America, Generation Kill. "Engage those buildings, soldier. What are you waiting for? Engage ENGAGE!!! FOLLOW MY TRACERS!
    —"He's shooting at scraps of metal."
  • Momotaros/Sword Form from Kamen Rider Den-O almost literally has "Attack Attack Attack" as his catchphrase.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a group of Jem'Hadar were ordered to attack the main characters by their Vorta commander before their Ketracel White supply runs out (and they go crazy and kill everyone). They were to attack across an open field against heavy cover. Even Sisko tells them they're charging into a trap. The Jem'hadar commander tells them they know, but they're doing it anyways (because their control drug is going to run out and because their ingrained loyalty requires them to obey, no matter how suicidal). Jem'Hadar in general do this, since they're genetically engineered warriors.
    • Klingons were also known for this attitude. During their attack on DS9 during "Way of the Warrior" they beamed into Ops five at a time. Four were gunned down the moment they materialized, but eventually they wounded enough officers to make the fight hand to hand.
  • The final episode of the first season of Tour of Duty had the platoon assaulting a useless hill.
  • In the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, Rick and the other sheriffs force a car with armed bank robbers off the road. As the half-dozen sheriffs are all in view, with weapons raised, and aimed at said car, two of the robbers come out and start firing, and are gunned down in seconds. A third robber, who was on the other side of the car and thus out of sight of the sheriffs, then comes out of the car. He is entirely unnoticed and could have easily gotten a headstart in getting away...but instead decides to open fire himself, succeeding only in wounding Rick before he's killed.

  • Magnus of The Adventure Zone: Balance exhibits this trope perfectly, to the point that his catchphrase is "Magnus rushes in." Additionally, he's not big on extracting himself once he's in. Some conversations he's had, coupled with his Backstory suggest that he's afraid that if he retreats, or even calls for backup, someone else will get hurt.

  • This is the standard tactic of near everything in a Destroy the Godmodder game, players and godmodders included. The Players, well, play with this trope, as they can and will summon entities, but this usually (at least, according to oldcanon rules) doesn't get in the way of attacking directly and that same power can also be used in massive alpha strikes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A lot of tabletop games tend to promote this mindset by simplifying and abstracting the complex realities of combat into “hit point” systems that let you attack with full efficiency until you fall over and die. For that matter, often the Game Master will have NPC enemies be very aggressive and unwilling to flee or surrender. (Depending on your opinion and circumstances, this can be a mistake or an Acceptable Break From Reality.) As your opponents will thus likely be on the attack themselves, running away will just give them free shots at your retreating backs, and magical or ultra-tech healing will likely bring you back to full effectiveness so long as you survive and win the fight, unrelenting attack is often the optimum tactic. Systems that encourage more subtle approaches thus have to work to convince players.
  • BattleTech:
    • Clan Ice Hellion is best summarized by this trope; they are quick to attack their foes at lightning speed, but they tend to get into fights with Clans who wield large and more heavily armed mechs, against their light and medium mechs.
    • The Draconis Combine gets in on this as well; their zeal to be the first samurai to draw blood for the glory of the Dragon tends to get a lot of their more impetuous pilots separated from the bulk of their unit. Left unchecked, this tendency leads to situations where entire regiments rush out ahead of their support and get massacred by more securely emplaced defenders. The thought of a defensive battle rankles many Combine warriors, and only in the most dire of circumstances do they stay in protected positions.
    • One of the Clan Homeworlds is home to an apex predator called the Sphinx Raptor. It's noted as being so aggressive that it will attempt to kill everything it encounters, to the detriment of its own survival. In the Clan sourcebook, it's noted that Nicolas Kerensky considered naming a Clan after the beast but decided that it wasn't a good idea to create a Clan whose totem animal's hat was mindless, self-destructive aggression.
  • Background information on demons from Dungeons & Dragons usually depicts them as this. Based on their stats, they're far from stupid, but they enjoy hurting other things so much that they'll often continue fighting a losing battle just to hit you a few more times. And, to be fair, it bears mentioning that dying on the material plane is mostly a mild inconvenience for Outsiders.
  • GURPS:
    • The disadvantage "On The Edge" causes this to an almost comical degree. The example given involves using a toothbrush to fight people with guns. But, well... that's more about roleplaying a character with clinical depression that manifests in not caring whether he lives or dies. "On the Edge" means that the character does things that may appear to be courageous, to people who do not understand what's happening, but when the character stares down a street gang armed only with a toothbrush, he's actually trying to die. "On the Edge" is more a Death Seeker kind of thing, though it's certainly possible in GURPS to be both "On the Edge" and a berserker — Berserk being a separate disadvantage that triggers overtly aggressive unrelenting attacks.
    • GURPS Martial Arts specifically advises against the GM promoting this mindset, noting that it wouldn't be fun or realistic. Thus, enemies who have taken a major wound should run away or surrender.
    • Likewise, the GURPS-based Discworld Roleplaying Game, in line with the realistic, pragmatic attitudes of its source material, notes specifically that characters who’ve lost a mere third or so of their hit points should usually be reconsidering their choices and thinking about flight or surrender. (And that despite the fact that GURPS characters generally have to be reduced some way below zero hit points before they actually die.) Fights to the death do happen, but they’re extreme cases.
  • Many cards in Magic: The Gathering are based around this trope, whether as a downside for your own creatures (Impetuous Sunchaser), a way to force opposing creatures to attack individually (Boiling Blood) or en masse (Angler Turtle), or just as a way to create total chaos (Avatar of Slaughter).
  • In the Mouseguard and Torchbearer games, players script exactly three actions ahead, choosing from the options of Attack, Defend, Maneuver, and Feint. Of these, only Attack and Feint actually deal damage against an enemy, and Feint fails automatically if played against Attack. In complex battles there's some use to Maneuver to help set up other players, but 1v1s regularly result in players declaring, quite literally, "Attack / Attack / Attack".
  • Invoked in Munchkin by the Potion of Idiotic Bravery.
  • In Paranoia, the doberbot's primary combat tactic is "attack someone until they die, attack someone else until they die, attack someone else until they die..."
  • Enforced for Princesses of Storms in Princess: The Hopeful. A Princess of Storms is allowed to fall back for tactical maneuvering, but if she actually flees from the fight she loses access to the Storms Invocation until she has filled her entire health track with at least Bashing damage (that is, until she is injured to the point of risking passing out).
  • Turnip 28: the Giant Enemy Crabs favoured by the Feast of Charybdis cult can never be treated as having won a combat while members of the enemy unit are still alive. In Turnip28, if neither side won a round of combat, you fight another round until there's a winner. As such, the crab will continue to fight until either driven off or everyone in the unit is dead.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Da Orks don't care, they just want More Dakka and killing. They're happily willing to charge forward, waving bloodied weapons and screaming "WAAAAGH!" until the last one is mowed down by bolter fire. Or just plain fire. In older background, the reason is explained thus:
      Griznak didn't mind the death. He was an Ork. The senseless waste of life didn't appall him. He applauded it. He lived to fight. Fighting was what life was all about. Death was part of fighting, everybody knew that, from the youngest Wildboy to the oldest Nob. Every Ork accepted death the way he accepted the possibility of a buggy accident. It was what happened to someone else. And if it did happen to you, so what? Your soul went back to Gork and Mork to be belched into another body so you could fight again. (Codex: Imperialis)
    • The background material explains that Orks actually grow from spores released by decaying Ork corpses. In other words, getting killed is essential to their reproduction.
    • Khorne Berserkers (especially the entire World Eaters Legion) and the Blood Angels Death Company... ah, well, the names of those should give a hint as to why they're examples of this trope.
    • Black Templars Space Marines. Most armies would run away when taking casualties...Black Templars move towards the enemy when they lose men.
  • The Impetuosity rule in Wargames Research Group DBM and DBMM games. Certain troop types are prone to Impetuosity, which means attacking the nearest enemy at sight without further orders. And without caring if they'd get their butts whipped or not. All Warbands and Irregular Knights are prone to this behaviour by default, and certain other types as well. All troops become Impetuous if a broken enemy is at 400 paces or closer. The player must allocate resource points to prevent his troops breaking the formation and attacking the enemy.
  • The Yu Gi Oh card Berserk Gorilla uses this trope as a downside. It has 2000 ATK, which is well above the norm for its level (at the time it was released, the strongest card with no downside had 1900), but it must attack if possible, even if it'd be attacking something far stronger, and if it's switched into Defense, it self-destructs. Beatdown players of the time loved it, taking the view that if you were on the defensive while playing Berserk Gorilla, you were probably doing something wrong.

  • In Pokémon Live!, Ash has Pikachu repeatedly use Thunder and Thundershock against Mecha Mewtwo, even when it's apparent it's unaffected.

    Video Games 
  • In The Ancient Art of War, Athena would always use this strategy against you.
  • Averted in Batman: Arkham City. Occasionally, when Batman drops in on a group of Mooks, a few will run away. Also, during the first mission of the game, Batman drops into a room with fifty of Two-Face's men, and all but a few flee in terror.
  • Despite the rapidly declining reinforcement count, this is usually the most effective tactic in Battlefield's Rush mode. Though heavy casualties are inevitable, it only takes a few stragglers to get through and act as a spawn point closer to the objective — indeed, the teams that lose are usually the ones that don't Attack Attack Attack enough.
  • The red Champion version of Mom in The Binding of Isaac does away with any of the Flunky Boss tactics that other bosses utilize and just tries to stomp on Isaac at high speeds, only stopping to occasionally fire projectiles from one side of the room (and of course reach out and swat Isaac if he hangs around one of the doors too much.)
  • BlazBlue:
  • A common saying in the Borderlands 2 community is that "the best defence is a bunch of dead Bandits", refering to the fact that the amount of dead enemies in a fight greatly reduces the overall firebase of the enemy forces. Since avoiding damage is almost impossible in all Borderlands games, killing the enemy before they overwhelm you is key to success. Combining this with healing weapons, and you can fire for days.
    • One notable exception to this rule is Salvador, who's entire skillset is based around John Woo-ing two guns, preferably high-damage, high firerate weapons with huge magazines, which also generates health and ammunition. As long as you keep firing, Salvador can take an army's worth of bullets and still keep coming.
    • Some weapon brands are based around pointing a weapon roughly towards the enemy and keep the left mouse-button pressed. The fast-firing Vladof and the high damage but low accuracy Bandit are the best examples.
    • Krieg is another notable exception, being a melee-focused character whose action skill recharges faster when he takes hp damage and fully heals him on a rampage kill. He wants to be right in the enemies face to eat the pain and keep the rampage going.
  • Brütal Legend: "Everything in that general direction must DIE!"
  • According to conventional wisdom, this is the best way to play the Blaster and Scrapper archetypes in City of Heroes.
  • Susie in Deltarune is the trope incarnate. If there's an enemy, she will attack them whether you want her to or not. Susie believes anyone standing in their way should die and how dumb it is to try and make peace with someone who is trying to kill you. One boss battle becomes difficult since Susie attacking it makes it stronger and heal itself while Kris and Raslei were trying remove the boss's crown to depower it. After some Character Development, Susie learns that sometimes ending a fight peacefully can be a better solution than attacking all the time and this is the point where she will start to obey your battle commands.
  • This is essentially the playstyle of every Disgaea game. The main strategies of the game such as using buffs or healing stop being useful in the post game, and it's far better to amass your allies and just wail on an enemy until they die or all of your units are dead. The most you will probably do is just position them to avoid too much damage from multi-target attacks, but that is often the sole exception to the strategy of beating your opponent senseless as quick and violently as you can.
  • The Cabal of Destiny literally do not have a word for "retreat" (or hubris, appropriately) and have six different words for "advance" with a heavy mentality of We Have Reserves. The only time a Cabal leader ordered a retreat in their entire history was when Empress Caiatl was tricked into opening up the Cabal homeworld to a Hive invasion that couldn't be repelled, forcing her to travel with the remains of her forces to the Sol System to seek the aid of the Guardians.
  • Doom (2016): This is the primary strategy for both the demons and Doomguy. It is the only strategy that is needed. Standing still for either side is a death sentence, as the demons can evicerate Doomguy easily, and Doomguy has just as easy a time reducing the demons to paste.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Played straight for enemies in the series through Morrowind. No matter how much stronger you are, no matter if you're decked out in otherworldly Daedric armor, no matter if you're wielding weapons forged by the gods themselves, every aggro'd enemy will continue attacking until you kill it or you run away.
    • Starting with Oblivion, enemies may attempt to flee once you've dealt enough damage.
    • In Skyrim, Dual Wielding is useful because it can potentially give you the highest damage output of any fighting style in the game, but the cost is that you can't block in any way. Which leads to situations where you might need to constantly use health potions while attacking just to survive.
  • Units with Reckless in Eternal Card Game are forced to attack every turn. This is also the usual strategy for Warcry, which buffs other units for attacking.
  • Certain Final Fantasy games use this as a status effect. In some games, Berserk is a status effect that increases attack power but decreases defense. In other games, it's much more true to this trope, causing anyone afflicted with the Berserk status to mindlessly spam their basic attack at the nearest enemy (or ally, if Confusion also hampers the character) until it wears off.
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden has this. Mooks summoned by an Enemy Summoner will not ever retreat to heal and will attack the player until they get killed, since more can just be summoned anyways. Same goes for the Redshirts summoned by your units via the Invoke or Legementon (Echoes DLC required) spells.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • The Blue Lions have this strategy. Most of their characters and native battalions emphasize raw damage or boost offenses in some way (the lone exception, Mercedes, is a foreigner), notably being the one house without a Warp user by default. In story, with the exception of the Crimson Flower route, Faerghus takes a fully offensive strategy. On the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, this comes back to bite them, killing off most of the non-recruited Blue Lions and leaving Faerghus without a leader.
    • In gameplay, the Black Eagles house. None of their native units have a Defense growth above 35%, and their native battalions tend to have offensive gambits (notably, they're the only faction whose Wyvern Co battalion has an attack gambit) and the highest overall increases to offensive stats. That being said, with the exception of token White Mage Linhardt, they're quite good at keeping the offensive pressure.
  • Gears of War: Queen Myrrah paints the Locust's fighting philosophy quite well in the epilogue of the first game. Later games reveal that they're Invading Refugees; if they don't claim the surface world as soon as possible they'll be destroyed by a Zombie Apocalypse from beneath.
    Queen Myrrah: They do not understand. They do not know why we wage this war. Why we cannot stop. Will not stop. Why we will fight and fight and fight. Until we win... Or we die. And we are not dead yet.
  • This is the strategy for most aggro decks in Hearthstone, but none more so than the Face Hunter. No matter what your life total is or how many minions your opponent has, HIT THE FACE.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    Sandor: How do you say "Attack!"?
    Kraal: Drava.
    Sandor: How do you say "Advance!"?
    Kraal: Drava.
    Sandor: Oh... "Move out"?
    Kraal: Drava.
    Sandor: Hold your position?
    Kraal: Drava.
    Sandor: Retreat?
    Kraal: Hmmm. Maybe... "Gurr-DA!"
    Sandor: That sounds pretty aggressive for "Retreat"...
    Kraal: Nnn. Actually means "Die where you stand." But is only battle order that doesn't mean "Attack!"
  • Lampshaded somewhat in inFAMOUS 2. Towards the end of the game, the redneck militia will keep fighting Cole, but they'll beg him not to hurt them while they do it. Turns out, the Big Bad is a Bad Boss. Turns out, Cole is either a Jerkass or a walking exmaple of Good is Not Nice. Tough break.
  • Averted in inFAMOUS: Second Son: DUP troops will drop their weapons, put their hands up, and surrender once most of their comrades are down.
  • Just Cause 2 and 3: Panauan soldiers and DRM recruits never hesitate to engage that guy who's singlehandedly tearing apart every military base in the country. In Just Cause 3 it's suggested this is because the government's troops believe if they're captured they'll be subjected to the same treatment as the rebel troops under their control.
  • League of Legends: This is usually a bad idea, since frenzied pursuit of a retreating enemy is almost certainly going to get you assassinated or lead to you facing down a tower that will shred your health in a hurry, but some champions can pull it off. Most notably, Ax-Crazy Yordle Kled is actively encouraged to get in the opponent's face and stay there as long as possible: his disengage game is very weak, consisting of a short-ranged dash, knockback from his pistol while on foot, and whatever summoner spells he's got, but his passive makes him hard to put down quickly, and sometimes continuing to fight will prompt Skaarl to show up again and give him a solid chunk of health back in the middle of battle, which can swing the fight his way. As if to encourage the most aggressive playstyle possible, his speed on foot is one of the lowest in the game, ranking below even Nautilus...but he does get a bonus when headed directly towards an enemy.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak has a mechanic where the protagonist Van transforms into Grendel at the climax of a chapter. All he can do is attack from a list of commands and all of them just have him attack his enemies. He can't even heal himself although he has access to a craft that does heal him whenever he attacks an enemy, although it doesn't heal him all that much.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team's Giant Battle Ring, this is literally all the characters can do. The game actually disables your only form of healing, so any fight there is 'attack or die horribly'.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Given the sheer amount of wreckage, the Alliance forces at the Battle of the Citadel at the end of Mass Effect qualify. Then again, if they had retreated, Sovereign would have succeeded in bringing in a massive fleet of Reapers, so they kind of had good reason.
    • The Turian armed forces approach almost every military conflict like this to beat their opponent into submission. Unfortunately, their much more subtle Salarian allies did not consider this when they created a super-weapon against the Krogans that was so horrifying that just the threat of it would force them to surrender. The Turians did not get the idea why anyone would build a weapon and not use it.
    • Admiral Gerrel has this propensity in Mass Effect 3 when fighting over the Quarian homeworld against the Geth. He does so against a disabled Geth dreadnought. While you're still aboard it. You can express your displeasure with his deed by gut-punching him. You also need to do a lot of work beforehand in ME2 and in ME3 to talk him out of doing it again at the end of the Quarian/Geth arc.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom 2: The Tigrex is a species that is distinguished by its overwhelming aggression: once aggro'd, it will relentlessly charge at, attack, and roar at Hunters. This is a double-edged sword for the Tigrex, however, as its violently aggressive nature makes it tire more easily. The Brute Tigrex, a subspecies who debuted in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, is even more aggressive and doesn't get tired so often.
  • Nintendo Wars: Olaf utters this exact phrase in Advance Wars on "Max Strikes", as does Jugger in his second mission of Dual Strike, though at least he is a machine.
  • In No More Heroes, Bad Girl employs this strategy against Travis in a cutscene after her defeat. Despite being impaled by a beam katana, she continues to bat him over the head with the blade still stuck in her body.
    I won't lose... I will never lose...
  • Oswald in Odin Sphere packs a dangerously exhausting Super Mode instead of a blocking option, and his high movement and attack speed lends itself naturally to this sort of playstyle. Generally, Oswald is played by ramming into an enemy at high speed, chaining attacks against it, and hoping it runs out of HP before you do. His fighting style reflects his characterization: he has next to no sense of self or sense of self-preservation, and can and will pick a fight with anything without any apparent care for his own survival.
  • Turning on Rush mode in Persona 3 and 4 speeds up the fight and puts the whole party on autopilot where they do nothing but spam standard physical attacks, even if they're getting their asses handed to them or the enemy is able to reflect their attacks back at them. It's still good for clearing out random encounters when you already know you'll win and just want to speed through the fight, but you still need to keep on eye on it to make sure things aren't going pear-shaped.
  • Pokémon:
    • The move Taunt forces the opponent to use only attacking moves for several turns.
    • Choice items give the holder a huge boost in Attack, Special Attack or Speed, but they're locked into using the first move selected. Naturally, the user should be using one of its attacks over and over again.
    • X and Y introduces the Assault Vest, which raises the Special Defense by 50 percent, but prevents the use of status moves.
    • Sword and Shield introduces Falinks, whose unique move, No Retreat, boosts all their stats at the cost of making them unable to retreat.
  • In Rune Factory series. Rune point goes down when you do any action. Charging into enemies non-stop without recovering your RP will grant you a quick defeat as attacking starts consuming a huge amount of HP instead.
  • In any Scribblenauts game, hand Maxwell a small weapon and tell him to attack. He will keep going until someone dies, even if it kills him.
    • Summoning an evil person with a weapon has the same effect.
  • An effective strategy when attackers have made some progress in Team Fortress 2 is for one player on a team (often a Scout or Heavy) to throw himself on the objective and die, over and over again. As long as someone keeps tapping the cart or picking up the briefcase, the attackers won't lose their progress. He's probably not doing much fighting, even, electing to go around or just run by enemies rather than risk being too late to the objective.
  • Used in Total War: Warhammer as a game mechanic for the Greenskins. Their pathological need to keep fighting is represented by a "Fightiness Meter"; winning battles fills the meter while losing battles depletes it, and the meter also gradually depletes on its own. As the bar begins to drain, the morale and battle effectiveness of the units in your army too decreases dramatically, and at really low levels, the warriors might even start fighting amongst themselves, causing gradual losses. This can be curbed somewhat by establishing raiding camps, but they come with their own downsides: they may harm growth in your own regions and may bring diplomatic fallout if they target neighbours.
  • In Vietcong, this is the NVA/VC's only strategy when it goes to attacking US/ARVN bases and Montangard villages. Subverted in some cases, where they bring mortars and tanks with them.
  • In World in Conflict, the final mission has the exhausted and heavily outnumbered Americans attacking the Soviet-held Seattle head on. This is mostly because they cannot afford to have the Soviets use the city as a beachhead for Chinese reinforcements, but partly because their commanding officer, Colonel Sawyer, feels it is necessary to redeem his failure in a previous mission. The fact that the city would be nuked by the US if Sawyer failed probably acted as a motivator too. And if the nuke hits the city, the afternotes tell that it led to an all-out nuclear war. Pretty good reasons to throw everything you got.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The orcs fall into this a lot. Dying on the battlefield is a great honor, running away is cowardly. If they do retreat, it will usually only be to regroup and attack more effectively later — if the battle is unwinnable either way, they're staying until they die.
    • Often stated as the Hunter's 'strategy' in the game. "Stab it in the face with arrows until it stops being funny."
  • Xenon and Kha'ak ships in the X-Universe games will never, ever retreat. They'll blithely throw tiny scout ships to try and kill your 4 kilometer long destroyers. Pirate and Commonwealth ships are like this 99% of the time, though they will occasionally try to retreat, but by that point, there is usually only one scout ship left.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, early opponents will continually set monsters in attack position even if they know theirs are weaker than yours.
  • In Fighting Games, the Unga Bunga/Gorilla subcategory of Rushdown characters have this as their M.O., trading in agility for oppresive pressure to bully their way through their opponent's defenses.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2: The Taste of Power character in the beginning can only attack.
  • Card City Nights 2: The philosophy of The Undefeated, as she says:
    The Undefeated: There is little point in defending yourself when you could be spending your time attacking your enemy. I'm talking about the card game, of course.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Shirou exhibits this trope in a number of fights. Most notably in the "Unlimited Blade Works" route where it is extremely effective against Gilgamesh. Since both are owners of virtually unlimited weapons but neither are masters of any of those weapons, it becomes battle of Attack Attack Attack. Even though Gil's weapons are slightly stronger than Shirou's, within the boundaries of "Unlimited Blade Works" Shirou can pull out weapons faster than Gil, allowing him the decisive blow when a frustrated Gil decides to take the extra time to try to pull out Ea.
  • In one ending of War: 13th Day, the two Valkyrie survivors attempt to take down the reigning clan of the Vi this way.

    Web Animation 
  • Sarge of Red vs. Blue possesses this quality, a sharp contrast to his lazy and cautious subordinates. His main goal at any given time is to find a new way to destroy the Blue Army. This is hampered by the antics of his troops and the general lazy and cautious attitude of the Blues. His secondary goal at any given time is to find a way to incorporate killing Grif into the situation at hand (one of his battle plans involved Grif charging directly at the Blues in such a way that, when he was inevitably shot, his Ludicrous Gibs would clog up their weapons, leaving them vulnerable to attack by the rest of the Reds; all of their emergency response plans start with clobbering Grif, except for the one that starts with shooting him instead).
  • RWBY: Yang and Jaune. Yang tends to be quite a bit more successful with this (though it has caused her a lot of problems as of Volume 3), as her aggression comes from her Blood Knight tendencies, while Jaune's just comes from his inexperience as a fighter.

  • Girl Genius: Martellus will attack his foe with absolutely no consideration for defense or feasibility of victory. Dreen? Smush it, or at least try to. Wulfenbach clank brigade? Charge! Gil Wulfenbach himself? Damn the dead sparkhounds, my crippled hands, and crippled mecha that came here to extract me! KILL HIMMMMMM!!!!
  • In Goblins, Goblinslayer does this even after almost burned to death and lost his weapon.
  • The Order of the Stick has this for a fair number of characters at one time, but as Haley correctly thought, not forever. When one thief finally realizes it is certain death and runs away, it astounds her ex-boss, who invokes this trope.
    Bozzok: Where are you going? Come back here and die for my fleeting tactical advantage!!!
  • In Our Little Adventure, they comment on how unusual the monsters who flee are.
  • When Demons from Slightly Damned go into berserk state, they will do this until they eventually die of exhaustion. If there's no one around to kill, they will proceed to Attack Attack Attack themselves.
  • Star Impact: Phoebe says of Etna that "[she] has almost no concept of defense", as the latter gleefully tanks Ponpon's blows for the first bit of their fight.
  • This happens to Big and his army of floating monkeys in the sprite comic Tip Of The Iceberg, and can be summed up with this quote:
    Big: He Told Us to bring it! Run!

    Web Original 
  • Bitch from Worm defaults to attack under almost all circumstances. This habit gets exploited by Dragon later by making Bitch fight a robot with a Healing Factor.

    Web Videos 
  • Leeroy Jenkins Video: This seems to be the philosophy of Leeroy Jenkins.
  • Golgotha from Noob has this as a side effect of her Leeroy Jenkins and Blood Knight combination. The worst she has done can be found in the comic version, where she doesn't let multiple deaths stop her in a game where Continuing is Painful.
  • In The Wizards Of Aus, a small host of soldiers happily and without hesitation charging a dragon, only to get annihilated by its fire breath, is more or less what was the final straw for Jack to get out of that entire world and someplace more sane.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • This seems to be the main strategy behind firebending in general, being fueled by anger and having few (if any) defensive techniques. Although he tries to seem sophisticated about it, Firelord Ozai for instance seems to rely on this, or twist his advisers' suggestions into this. This turns out to be a recent thing; the older style that Iroh uses and the heroes learn is based on internal balance.
    • Earthbending similarly requires a head-on, no-hesitation strategy. While the inherent properties of earth make it quite practical for defense as well as attack, those same properties make it pretty obstinate to deal with, so a bender who isn't prepared to grab it by the metaphorical balls and make it his bitch isn't going to get very far, no matter what he plans to actually do with it. Almost all of the defensive moves are direct counters, like throwing up a wall in front of an incoming attack; there are none for evasion. That said, choosing your moment is also central to the style.
  • In the episode of The Boondocks entitled "Shinin'," Riley gets his chain stolen by the neighborhood bully Butch Magnus Milosevic, who is at least a foot taller and appears to be 150 pounds (or more) heavier than Riley. Despite this, Riley confronts Butch alone, mostly out of pride. His punches have no effect on Butch, and Riley continues to get up after being knocked down, bloodied and even at one point shaking on the ground because of the pain he's in.
    • This seems to be a personality quirk of Riley's, because he adapts the same attitude when fighting Huey in the episode "Let's Nab Oprah." Despite Huey being bigger, smarter, and well versed in multiple forms of martial arts, he keeps attacking despite his every effort resulting in him getting soundly beaten until the fight is broken up by someone else.
  • The French crocodiles' chief mode of assault on The Drinky Crow Show. These exact words are even shouted during their boarding!
  • As far as Futurama's Zapp Brannigan is concerned, there's no problem that can't be solved by sending wave after wave of men at it.
    Zapp: [Addressing the troops] As you know, the key to any victory is the element of surprise... SURPRISE! [Pulls lever, airdropping troops onto battlefield]

    Zapp: [Explaining how he defeated the Killbots] You see, Killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them, until they reached their limit and shutdown.
  • Megas XLR's Coop: "I stick to my strengths, and smashing stuff is my strengths." and "We tried not smashing it, and that didn't work ... I just need to find the right way to smash it!"
  • Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has this mindset.
    *When facing down a giant hydra*
    Twilight: Oh, what would a brave pony like Rainbow Dash do?
    Twilight: CHARGE!!!
  • Happens at the penultimate episode ("Battle of Titans") of Il était une fois... Space:
    Admiral of the Cassiopeian Fleet: (*after having almost all his warships slaughtered by the Humanoid fleet and ignoring pleas by his advisors to think about how their ships are being effortlesly crushed without even damaging the enemy ones*) Orders are orders!. Second line of Nautilus start battle... for the honor of Cassiopeia!
  • Invoked word for word by Starscream in the Season 2 finale of Transformers: Prime as he leads an armada of Vehicon Generals in an attack on the Autobot base. Except here it works. And for the Autobots, it's terrifying.
  • In The Transformers this was Galvatron's attack strategy whenever he was in his more murderous moods. It seemed to alternate between this, Colony Drop or Weapon of the Day (like his predecessor). This particular strategy was deconstructed in one episode with the Decepticons get sick of having Galvatron using this strategy to confront the Autobots (and his mental condition had lead him to assault his allies on the field).

    Real Life 
  • Although others had taken advantage of it before (see below), Napoleon Bonaparte popularized the "cult of the offensive", emphasising fast, all-in attacks at the enemy's weak-point. (It was actually Georges Danton in the early stages of the French Revolution who formulated the phrase "Il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace!" — We must dare, dare again, always dare! — in his speech to the French Assembly in September 1792. This was just after Louis XVI had tried to flee France, and the European powers were gearing up to attack. The French republic was very fragile and a spirit of élan was needed, hence the speech.) The basic logic of this is that the attacker has a significant inherent advantage over the defender, as the attacker dictates where the fighting will take place while the defender has to react to it; and furthermore, while the defender has to spread his forces everywhere necessary to Hold the Line, the attacker can concentrate everything on where he intends to break through. In many cases a bold assault (even when out-numbered or out-gunned) can also take the enemy by surprise and shatter their morale.
    • The greatest use of this was at the Ulm Campaign of 1805, where the French army under Napoleon departed from France in September and marched so blisteringly fast that in only 16 days, they arrived at the rear of the Austrian army in Württemberg before the Austrians were ready to fight. The French captured 60,000 soldiers without a major confrontation.
    • As mentioned, Napoleon was inspired by the French concept of Élan, namely that armies were animated by a spirit that kept it going (what modern military theorists would call momentum, morale or cohesion) and which was best enflamed and expressed in an all-out attack. Napoleon's great idol on this front was Louis le Bourbon, "Grand Condé", a French general in the Thirty Years' War who favoured the all-out attack and won a number of stunning (and very bloody) battles during the conflict by throwing his armies into frontal attacksnote 
    • The French Army's one standing order at the start of World War I was "Ataque, ataque, tojours l'ataque!" (Attack, attack, always attack!). This order was also followed by most other nations during the opening stages of the war, who still held to doctrines used during the Franco-Prussian War. While the Germans came within a few miles of Paris in the opening stages, the proliferation of machine guns and explosive shell bombardments quickly replaced this doctrine with the now-infamous trench warfare.
    • The tactic was then used very successfully against the French army by Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel during the Battle of France (1940). Rommel's 7th Panzer Division moved several miles ahead of the German Army, leaving its flanks very vulnerable to counter-attack, but the Allies were in such a disorganized state that Rommel was able to rout any counter-attacks just by doing a massive frontal assault with his tanks.
    • On the other hand such bold attacks can also fail spectacularly, as in Guderian and Hoth's first attempt to encircle Smolensk (July 1941, encirclement completed thanks to great sacrifice by Hoth's forces), Guderian's attempt to make a 'deep' encirclement of Kiev around Kursk (August 1941, Guderian's forces successfully retreated over river to conduct “shallow” encirclement instead), or Guderian's attempt to capture Tula (November 1941, Guderian's forces shattered by Soviet counter-attacks).
  • A certain fringe religion's stance on handling their detractors is (literally) "always attack, never defend". If you are perfect, world-changing alien divine beings, any criticisms are clearly reflections of the critics' own flaws (hence "What are your crimes? What are your crimes?!" ad nauseam). This plan hasn't been working out too well for them lately, though, now that their enemy is Anonymous. This also shows the limitations of this trope — It's never worked well for them (and has gotten worse with the Internet and the Streisand Effect). "Always attack, never defend" has resulted in them shooting themselves in the foot so often that their detractors have coined the term "footbullet".
  • "Admit nothing, deny everything, make counteraccusations" has long been a favorite tactic of politicians of every stripe.
  • When asked to contribute to Sweden's entrance into the 30 Years War, the Estates of Yeomen famously declared that "Better to stable our horses at the house of our enemies than his in ours." That is, if you have to fight a war, might as well do it far away from home. Swedish tactics of the time were known as gå-på — literally "go on". The Swedish army in the late 17th/early 18th century relied on this offensive approach and lined up a series of great victories.
    • It certainly worked well in 1700 at Narva. The Swedes attacked in dense snowstorm with 4000 men against tenfold numbers of Russians in fortified positions — and won the day. Mainly because the Russians simply didn't believe anyone would be insane enough to attack in that weather.
    • Then, in 1709, the army of Tsar Peter arrived near the small town of Poltava which the Swedes were besieging. The Swedes decided to Attack, but to properly engage they needed to sneak past some redoubts in the Russians' extended defense line. The Swedish army didn't know how to sneak, however, and instead Attacked the redoubts. When the commanders finally managed to get (most of) the surviving troops to disengage and line up on the intended battlefield, the odds were very long: 4,000 infantrynote  faced 20,000 Russians. What to do? Attack! The Swedish army knocked itself out against the Russian line, disintegrated, and was annihilated.
    • Likewise, the Swedish fleet was on offensive all the time in the War of Gustavus III 1788-1790. They managed to achieve several Pyrrhic victories and catastrophic losses, but they won decisively in 1790 in the battle of Rochensalm when they were on defensive.
  • Pretty much the standard Russian (and Soviet) operative procedure since Generalissimus Aleksandr Suvorov: Defence exists solely to enable attack. The Russian way of warfare is focused solely on attack. Justified, since most of Russia is plain (steppe and fields) where defensive warfare is pretty much doomed to fail, but has produced appalling losses abroad in terrain which favours the defender and against an enemy skilled in defence. The standard Russian defence strategy is to simply retreat, trade space to time and prepare for counterattack.
  • There's a saying in kendo: "bogyo no tame no bogyo nashi" ("there's no such thing as defense for defense's sake"). Kendo practitioners are trained to respond to attacks by themselves attacking and trying to get there first, rather than focusing on defense.
    • The emphasis on attack is nowhere more evident than in Jigen-ryu Kenjutsu, a school of swordsmanship adopted by the Satsuma Clan and used with crushing effectiveness until swords were outlawed in Japan. Practitioners would attack by unleashing a flurry of diagonal blows alternating between left and right. Training consists of striking a hardwood pole repeatedly with a wooden sword until, over time, it is reduced to an hourglass shape.
    • In Renaissance-era fencing, at least in its German tradition, offense was promoted on the principle that if you don't attack, you won't beat the other guy, and if you only defend yourself, sooner or later he'll find an opening and do this to you. It is generally easier to strike before the other guy does than to master a high-level counter-technique. By contrast in competing English philosophy, an overzealous opponent can be goaded into conspicuous openings — in doing so you frustrate him, control his offense and lure him into exposing himself. The German tradition of eschewing defense in favor of attack led to fencers frequently being scarred, and the Dueling Scar become a mark of honor and bravery. Which evolved (or perhaps devolved) into young aristocrats deliberately getting slashed in the face to receive a visible scar, in an informal fencing match where you "lost" by flinching or otherwise attempting to block or dodge the blow.
    • Arguably this translates equally well into real-life application, as some martial arts systems (kali or Wing Chun comes to mind) advocate 'attacking the weapon' as a defensive strategy.
    • Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do combat philosophy gets its name from the idea that every move has the potential to end the fight, so a block is a re-purposed attack, and parries are matched with a simultaneous counterattack.
  • The last order of battle of admiral Horatio Nelson was Engage the enemy more closely. The Royal Navy has always been known for extremely aggressive tactics and doctrines.
    • The loss of three battlecruisers in the battle of Jutland 1916 was an example of this. The safety of handling the powder cartouches was sacrificed in order to maximize the firing speed, and the flashproof doors were kept open (or even outright removed in some cases) to enable quick delivery of the powder. The Battle Cruiser Fleet's wartime home port was further south and less protected than that of the battleships of the Grand Fleet, meaning they had far less opportunity for gunnery practice, and the highly aggressive Admiral Beatty decided to make up for their less skilled gunnery via More Dakka, figuring that even inaccurate fire would still score hits if you shot often enough.
    • The concept of the Royal Navy battlecruiser. Regular battleships were designed to strike a rough balance between speed, armor, and firepower, but the battlecruisers sacrificed armor for speed so that they'd be able to get in range faster and take out enemy shipping and their escorts (destroyers and cruisers at most) with impunity. The concept was worth... As long as the battlecruisers were kept doing what they were supposed to do. After German shipping was neutralized by the very existence of the Grand Fleet, however, the battlecruisers and their battleship-grade guns were included in the battle line, where they could not survive due their lack of adequate armor.
    • Nelson most notably tried this at the 1797 Battle of St Vincent; commanding the 74-gun HMS Captain, he disobeyed orders to attack the Spanish van consisting of the 80-gun San Nicolas, the 112-gun San Josef, and the 130-gun Santisima Trinidad (the largest warship afloat), supported only by one other British 74-gun ship. After exchanging fire for an hour, Nelson grappled and boarded the San Nicolas; when the San Josef came to her aid, Nelson boarded the San Josef over the decks of the San Nicolas, capturing both ships.
    • In 1801, legendary Royal Navy officer Thomas 'the Sea Wolf' Cochrane, commanding HMS Speedy (a tiny sloop) encountered the Spanish El Gamo frigate, around four times the size of the Speedy with six times the crew. Cochrane attacked, eventually taking El Gamo by boarding. Believe it or not, this was among the man's saner exploits. He was the inspiration for fictional naval captains such as Horatio Hornblower - generally toned down, because Reality Is Unrealistic and no-one would believe them in fiction. Suffice it to say, such was his reputation for this strategy that even in his late seventies, the Navy point blank refused to give him a command during the Crimean War on the grounds that they had no idea what he might do with it.
  • During World War II, Japanese officers were taught to try and find a chance for an attack even when being attacked, with the spirit of the offensive carefully cultivated among Japanese soldiers. During the War in China this worked well enough. In the Pacific theatre this eventually ended up as the 'Banzai charge' the level of success rapidly declined against well trained, supplied and experienced Allied troops. The largest such attack was during the Battle of Saipan when 4,300 troops & civilians were annihilated while inflicting 2,000 casualties from the 105th United States Infantry Regiment.
  • Let us not forget the bold effort put forth by the men of Taffy 3 during "The Battle off Samar" during World War II. By responding so aggressively to an obviously superior force, a small force of destroyers and aircraft held off the largest battleship ever constructed along with its battle group. The whole Attack Attack Attack mentality was best summed up by an unidentified sailor. Having damaged practically every ship in the opposing force, left several sunk or sinking, and outclassing the American force ship-to-ship by a ridiculous margin, the Japanese force nonetheless withdraws against the unexpectedly fierce resistance.
    American Sailor: Damn it, boys, they're getting away!
    • The Principle of the Offensive is one of the Nine Principles of War, and every military in the world teaches it to officer candidates. Only by going on the offensive is it possible to seize the initiative. The Japanese didn't have the industrial base or the resources to support large-scale mechanized warfare, and the massive banzai charges occasionally worked well in China (as the Guomindang used warlord and militia troops to take the brunt of Japanese offensives while their Central Army soldiers would attempt strategic encirclements) and even against some European troops. When they dug in and attempted World War I style static defensive tactics, it only resulted in large-scale Last Stand type battles in places like Okinawa and Iwo Jima, because they surrendered the initiative to the Americans, who were then able to act at a time and place of their own choosing. The resulting battles were always very bloody for both sides, but the final outcome was never in the slightest doubt: lose the initiative, lose the fight. And the Japanese, strategically speaking, lost the initiative when they failed to hold Guadalcanal, not even one year after Pearl Harbor.
  • Legendary Marine commander Chesty Puller never retreated, he merely advanced in a different direction.
    "They're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!"
    • To be fair, when he said the above quote, he was completely surrounded by Chinese forces. In that case, movement in any direction really is attacking and advancing.
  • Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was famous (to his officers, notorious) about taking the offensive early and often, usually at risk to flanking counter attacks, and to the detriment of his supply chain.
    "In the absence of any orders, go find something and kill it."
  • This was the go-to tactic for WWII Pacific Fleet Admiral William "Bull" Halsey. It was so much a reputation for him that the Japanese tried to use this against him multiple times. The entire setup of the Battle of Midway hinged on it. It only worked once at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Halsey's first order after seeing the devastation of Pearl Harbor was "Attack, Attack, Attack."
    • Unfortunately, that attitude led him to go chasing after a group of Japanese carriers, which turned out to be a diversion that left Taffy 3 to fight Japan's Center Force alone in the Battle of Samar. For Halsey, he was lucky that tiny force's sheer badassery managed to carry the day to make his blunder a mere footnote. However to be fair, there was no way he could have known that those carriers represented an empty threat. Up to this point, ignoring Japanese carriers was never a good idea.
  • George S. Patton. The guy was famous for maxims like "Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more." He famously treated large scale advances into Italy and Germany as races against other Allied officers to get there first!
    "Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then, sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat."
    • George Patton has the distinguished honor of being one of the most successful Generals in the history of warfare. In the operations he administered in World War II, he captured more land, defeated more enemies, and captured more prisoners of war in a faster time than any non-German, non-Soviet officer in history. As with other successful commanders of mobile armies (Hoepner, Hoth, Vatutin, Pliev, etc.), much of his mobile force's 'success' was due to the relative weakness of the enemy forces, who simply did not have the numbers (especially mobile forces) to forestall or halt his advances. However, like said successful commanders, he too made relatively good use of his forces to overwhelm what defending forces there were, turning what could have been merely average victories into thorough ones.
      • GEN George C. Marshall stated even before Operation Overlord that Patton would be the ideal person to pursue the German Army due to his relentless nature. Patton would drive his forces past exhaustion and past his own supply lines to stay on the Germans' heels.
  • The standing orders of outdated British fighter squadrons reputedly became this during World War I. It didn't work and culminated in the "Bloody April" of 1917. However, the Royal Flying Corps still carried out its tasks of providing recon and air cover despite those severe losses.
  • This is why the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich succeeded. On May 27, 1942, Heydrich was being driven on the Dresden-Prague road when a gunman ambushed him as the car slowed on a hairpin turn. The assassin's sub-machine gun jammed. Instead of having his driver, you know, drive, Heydrich ordered a complete stop so he could jump out and attack his attackers. The assassins took the opportunity to toss a bomb at the car. The resulting explosion wounded Heydrich. Instead of falling back through the smoke, Heydrich decided it would be totally awesome if he continued his charge, chasing his bicycle-mounted assassins on foot until he passed out from the shock. He slipped into a coma and died days later. Although his decision to chase the assassins was meaningless, as, unknown to him, he had already contracted a mortal infection from horsehair car seat fibers becoming embedded inside him due to the grenade blast.
    • To say nothing of the dark comedy which attended the pursuit of the Heydrich assassins after the attack. Having cornered them in the cellar of a church, the SS decided they would take the partisans alive, sending a succession of soldiers through the very narrow passage which granted access to the refuge. A good many SS men were Sten-gunned to death in the killzone before the partisans were finally apprehended. And by "apprehended" we mean committing suicide to avoid capture, hammering home how pointless this all was.
  • The former page quote is darkly ironic itself, because it comes from Stephan Makarov, one of Tsarist Russia's most distinguished naval commanders, who was reacting to the equivalent of Russia's Pearl Harbor during the Russo-Japanese War and the resulting blockade by chasing the numerically and qualitatively superior Japanese outside the protected harbor. Then, during one pursuit, he was killed when the flagship struck -- and was sunk by -- a mine the IJN had laid specifically to hole the Russian navy up.
  • In poker the most successful players are the aggressive ones. As a rule of thumb, it is better to bet/raise than to check/call in order to keep your opponent under constant pressure.
  • A Finnish Army guide for young officers: If you do not know what to do, attack. If you do not know where to attack, outflank the enemy. If you don't know where to outflank, do it from your right side.
  • The standard military tactic to deal with a close ambush is to push through your enemy. If the enemy is attacking you in an ambush, by definition you are right where he wants you. Therefore your best (and often only) hope of survival is to get out of there ASAP.
  • This trope is business as usual for soldier-caste social insects. Soldier ants and termites have no function other than to fight to the death in defense of their colonies, so their simple brains don't actually allow for a "retreat" option: the closest they get to one is to revert to a sentry role once the pheromones of battle have been supplanted by an "all clear" signal and there's nothing left to fight.
  • This was the favorite mode during the "romantic" era of chess, giving us immortal games like...The Immortal Game. With the advent of better defense techniques, the style went out of fashion. Still, any chess beginner will go through this phase.
  • Certain forms of Kung Fu are built having no blocks, just counters and attacks to rush down, and overwhelm, your opponent. The Southern Longfist form Jap Hsaio Ma (which was designed as Ancient Chinese Military CQC) has this within it's applications, and parts of Wing Chun are built around this.
  • An untrained brawler without the kind of dark tactics of a street thug tends to just swing their arms wildly, attempting to overwhelm whomever they want to punch out.
  • The "Highland Charge" tactic which dominated Scottish, Irish and English civil warfare in the 1600s and 1700s. A loosely-coordinated, full-frontal assault towards the enemy armed with traditional Scottish weapons, big swords and axes, along with the targe and dirk, a spiked shield and a long dagger. Against enemies with guns. It sounds ridiculous but it was actually rather effective, because the socket bayonet prevented you from firing your musket, so you often got the chance to fire only one shot and then you had to hurriedly affix while an army of screaming madmen were bearing down on you. It should be noted that a fair number of the men in a charge would also have pistols and muskets themselves, but they would wait until they were very close, fire, drop the guns and then rush into melee, steel flaring. The invention of the ring bayonet and development of canister shot and superior bayonet drilling eventually rendered this tactic obsolete, with results like the disastrous Battle of Culloden.
  • Ulysses S. Grant's insistence on always staying on the offensive meant that even in cases like the Overland Campaign where most of the individual battles didn't go so well, he would keep his opponent weakened and on the back foot, and by bringing the fight to his enemy and maintaining initiative on the strategic level, sustained fewer casulties absolutely and percentagewise compared Robert E. Lee even the brutal offensive pace he maintained.


Vegeta vs. Metal Cooler

Vegeta is quite persistent.

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5 (18 votes)

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Main / AttackAttackAttack

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