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Playing With / One-Man Army

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Basic Trope: A character who pulls far more than his own weight in combat, being able to defeat many enemies at once.

  • Straight: Bob blasts through Mooks by the hundreds.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob depopulates entire worlds on a regular basis.
    • Bob is fighting against the whole world going against him, and doing a pretty good job at winning.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is a skillful fighter, able to take on multiple opponents easily. But more than six and he's in trouble.
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    • Bob wasted hundreds of enemies, though he was mostly using ambushes and traps to get kills while using stealth and superior mobility to avoid retaliation. Once the enemy successfully ambushes him and forces him into a straight fight, he's toast.
  • Justified:
    • He's just that good.
    • Bob is a trained warrior, while mooks are an unprepared bunch of peasants wielding blades on sticks.
    • Bob has a vast array of superhuman abilities that make him far more powerful compared to a normal human.
    • He specializes in Splash Damage attacks that affect a huge area, maybe to the point of being a Person of Mass Destruction, and most of his battles are in wide-open areas where the enemy can Zerg Rush.
    • Bob is virtually (if not totally) indestructible and invincible. He may not necessarily be a very good warrior, but that hardly matters when he's up against a bunch of ordinary mortals.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • The mooks had been ordered not to put up a fight.
    • Bob manages to beat up 50 mooks, but the 51st took him down easily.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The mooks had been ordered not to put up a fight, but they did anyway.
    • ...Until his superpowered side kicks in.
    • Alternately, they were ordered not to put up a fight, but Bob still has no trouble fighting off the wave of ones that weren't.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Bob racks up massive amounts of kills, and then it was discovered he had help...but only on the last of the 1,000 battalions...which were ordered not to put up a fight...but did anyway...even though they had no weapons or training....
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    • Bob has Me's a Crowd as a superpower, and uses Doppelganger Attacks to take down a great number of the enemy. Technically, he fought them off by himself, but at the same time, he was not alone.
  • Averted:
    • Bob's combat abilities are on par with the rest of the cast.
    • Nobody is a one-man army. Anyone who tries to fight too many opponents on their own, even if they're quite a badass, will still get their ass handed to them.
  • Enforced:
    • "We need to show the audience how awesome our hero is, so let's have a scene of him taking on a few hundred mooks by himself".
    • This is a video game.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Help! He's unstoppable!"
    • "The hell you mean, 'he's unstoppable'?! There's hundreds of you, and he's Just One Man!"
  • Invoked: "Normally I'd assign backup, but since it's you..."
  • Exploited: Evilz knows of Bob's power, and makes sure to plan insurance fraud with all his minions before sending them off to die, in order to get a massive payout and claim revenge on the insurance providers who overcharged him.
  • Defied:
    • Bob calls for backup rather than attempting to take on the enemy base by himself.
    • Emperor Evulz orders some of his mooks to join Bob.
    • Emperor Evulz sends only one mook after him.
    • Bob is an Actual Pacifist who doesn't want to fight the mooks.
  • Discussed: "Legends say the Mountain Warrior slew ten thousand foes in a single day".
  • Conversed: "Exactly how many kills have you racked up over the course of this game?"
  • Implied: We see two actual armies face off. The opposing army charges forward. Bob, alone from the other army, also charges forward. When we next cut to that scene, we see Bob knee-deep in corpses.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Everybody Bob knows lives in fear of him, and the government has prepared deadly countermeasures in case he ever switches sides.
    • Alternatively, killing hundreds of people has devastating effects on Bob's psyche.
    • When Bob gets somehow killed or dies, perhaps of old age, the government realizes how screwed it is because its Redshirt Army has nowhere near similar fighting ability. Easily Conquered World ensues.
    • Bob may kill hordes of mooks with ease, but he's ultimately Just One Man and can't be everywhere at once. The Enemy adopts a strategy of attacking on multiple fronts simultaneously, which Bob can't defend against.
    • The Enemy decides to Nuke 'em since it can't beat him conventionally.
    • The reason why Bob fights on his own is to hope someone could put him out of his misery mid-fight.
    • Bob can wipe out armies, but that would soon tire him out and make him weaker.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The government, due to incompetency, never uses said countermeasures, allowing Bob to wipe out armies anyway.
    • All of his friends have been killed while trying to be this trope, so Awesome Bob goes into Tranquil Fury on all of his enemies and murders the lot of them.
    • Bob breaks down for a while, but recovers and comes back even deadlier.
    • Bob is a loner who works alone and doesn't care for or need others' concern. If people fear him, all the better, as long as they don't hate him.
    • The allies build up strong defensive garrisons and advanced transportation so that they can Hold the Line while Bob zooms from fight to fight.
    • Alternatively, they send Bob out to take the fight to the enemy homeland. After all, the best defense is a good offense.
    • The setting has an All-Powerful Bystander superpower that has hitherto ignored the war, but using WMD will make them Neutral No Longer and the resulting Curb-Stomp Battle would make Spetsnaz fighting baby look fair. So the Enemy decides it'd rather not take the risk.

Sir! If you keep going back to One-Man Army, you'll make the rest of us look bad, sir!

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