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Playing With / Zerg Rush

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Basic Trope: Trying to use a large number of weak soldiers to overwhelm your opponent.

  • Straight: The Dark Lord sends a massive army of weak goblins to overwhelm the Shining Ones.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The Dark Lord sends an entire nation’s population of civilians after the Shining Ones.
    • The Dark Lord sends out an enormous army of magical constructs. Even a slight gust of wind can tear them apart, but The Dark Lord is capable of making hundreds upon thousands of them with a mere snap of his fingers.
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  • Downplayed: The Dark Lord sends an army that only seems like a lot when compared to the size of The Shining Ones's group.
  • Justified:
    • The Dark Lord’s goblins breed like rabbits, but their physical abilities are inherently limited.
    • The Shining Ones can defeat anything the Dark Lord can throw at them one-on-one, but they cannot rely on raising more of them. The Death Lord can.
    • The Dark Lord's military backbone is composed by magically animated constructs. (like Dem Bones or Golems) They are plentiful, easy to replace and can be rebuilt on the spot if the need arises.
    • The Dark Lord just plain doesn't give a crap about his followers.
  • Inverted:
    • One-Man Army
    • The Dark Lord sends a few of his most powerful trolls to crush an entire Shining Ones army.
    • The Dark Lord will only ever send in his Elite Army of orcs to handle the Shining Ones.
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    • The Dark Lord uses his massive goblin army as a static, defensive bulwark rather than in a rush attack, then forcing The Shining Ones to charge through his defenses.
  • Subverted:
    • While the Dark Lord starts the battle with a screen of his plentiful goblins, the Shadow Knights that come after are the real linchpin of his tactics.
    • Aware of his goblin army's deficiencies, the Dark Lord decides to use his magic to make them stronger and more durable.
    • There has been a well-known goblin attack, in which a thousand goblins attacked a fortress and destroyed it...except it turns out that this version is just propaganda coming from the general who didn't want to admit that his fortress was defeated by a force of only 90 goblins. Also, this general is agitating for recruiting more troops, and he's interested in the possibilities of fighting a legion of goblins with a legion of his own soldiers.
  • Double Subverted:
    • This still isn't enough to tip the scales. The Shining Ones continue to defeat the goblins with ease, so the Dark Lord changes his mind and decides to have them fight in gigantic hordes instead.
    • His magical powers has limits, and doing this prevents him from doing arguably much more impactful things with his magic, so he later throws doing that out.
    • But once the Dark Lord hears the Shining Ones think they're being invaded by multi-thousand hordes of goblins, and how afraid they are upon hearing this, he decides the solution is to actually send that many troops in. And he has no problem sending in that many troops once he knows how good a strategy this is.
  • Parodied:
    • The Dark Lord sends his dust bunny army to bury the Shining Ones.
    • Zurg Rush.
    • The Dark Lord sends an army of Leeroy Jenkins after the Shining Ones.
  • Zig Zagged: The Dark Lord's ground forces storm towards walls of the Shining City, only to stop short of the walls and send a few highly trained specialists to tear down the walls. In the mean time, an entire second army tunnels below the walls and starts a Zerg Rush on the castle inside the walls of the city.
  • Averted: The Dark Lord’s armies are moderately sized and of moderate power.
  • Enforced: “If we make the Dark Lord’s goblins individuals of worth, the hero’s might lose sympathy for killing them; give them a hive-mind.”
  • Lampshaded: “Why do our enemies always choose quantity over quality?”
  • Invoked: "Even though we can't win, let's charge them now and take as many as we can with us."
  • Exploited: The Dark Lord orders an untrustworthy general to Zerg Rush in order to move him out of the way.
  • Defied: The Dark Lord marches towards the Shining City with his army, seeing only a small group of defenders is present. Despite this, he carefully plans his assault.
  • Discussed: "Should we charge the city now, sir?" "No, we would get slaughtered if we don't plan this carefully."
  • Backfired: The victorious army of goblins returns to Dark Lord's lands, and eat up all the victuals available, draining Dark Lord's resources.
  • Conversed: "An army of goblins are attacking handful of humans. Most of them will die before they win."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The Dark Lord is so committed to victory that he doesn’t care about mass death of his goblins, causing his massive army to rebel against him.
    • Sending the goblins against the Shining Ones only results in them being obliterated without even touching the Shining Ones.
    • The massive casualties suffered by the goblins severely depletes the Dark Lord's armies, making the Shining Ones' victory all but inevitable.
    • Since goblins are so plentiful and so easy to replace, the Dark Lord has no problem strapping bombs to them, making them horrifyingly radioactive, and/or infecting them with a veritable bouquet of incredibly virulent diseases before sending them into battle against the Shining Ones. The Shining Ones can easily defeat goblins in conventional combat, but the Dark Lord's ruthless tactics make it even more unpleasant than usual for everyone involved.
  • Reconstructed: The Dark Lord actually preformed a thorough tactical analysis of the situation and came to the conclusion that attacking en masse would have the greatest chance of success, and the rapidity of the conquest would result in less casualties in the long term and keep morale high.
  • Played for Drama: The goblins know they are expendable, and they discuss of their families, loved ones and children and their fates, and/or sing sad squaddie songs while marching to their inevitable doom.
  • Implied: The Shining Ones detect a massive cloud of dust approaching them well before they ever see the goblins.

Charge back to Zerg Rush, comrades! They can't kill all of us!

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