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You Shall Not Pass / Tabletop Games

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  • Lots and lots of Warhammer 40,000 fluff characters get scenes like this. Most notably, perhaps, Gaunt et al.
    • This can actually happen in a way in the actual game, known as Death or Glory. Say you have a Chaos Predator declare Tank Shock on a squad of Veteran Guardsmen. They pass the morale check, then have the guy with the meltagun step in front of the speeding tank, and take a shot at it. If the shot hits, the tank slows to a halt in front of the heroic soldier. If the shot misses, though, what you have is affectionately known as "hamburger with a meltagun".
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    • In older fluff, an Eldar warhost covered the escape of an Imperial contingent containing civilians from a horde of Tyranids. The Imperials managed to get away, but the Eldar were all killed.
  • In BattleTech when the Clans invaded, on the planet of Twycross, a single mechwarrior defended a huge chasm from the entire army of invaders. Of course, it helped that the entire canyon was rigged with explosives so that when his mech was destroyed, the whole thing collapsed and buried everybody.
  • To an extent, this is what the "defender" tactical role in the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is all about. Classes that fit this niche (such as the fighter, paladin, or swordmage) are designed to be good at keeping the enemy's attention focused on themselves so that their companions can do their own stuff reasonably unmolested.
    • In fact, he utility power that the paladin's Champion of Order paragon path grants at 12th level is literally named "None Shall Pass". It powers up the character's divine challenge class ability for one encounter so that it affects two targets each time it is used, rather than just one as normal.
  • The setting of The Dark Eye actually has a patron saint of this trope: Saint Thalionmel, the Lioness of Neetha. A priestess of the goddess of valor, she defended a bridge against an invading army that had so far smashed straight through any attempt to even slow them down. When she was finally overwhelmed, a sudden flash flood (believed to be a divine miracle) swept away the bridge, the invading army and her remains.
  • Pathfinder opens each chapter of its books with a two-page illustration and a short passage explaining the story there, so in Ultimate Equipment, when the image is an Angel in golden armour, halo blazing with light, flaming sword in hand and demons throwing themselves against him, you know the passage has to be suitably dramatic.
    "They came upon him in a slavering horde, ten times a hundred, yet the bridge was wide enough for only one at a time. Sword ablaze, burning crown set above his brow like a beacon in the darkness, Aram the Golden-Heart struck them down, one by one. Claws rang against his armor, yet could not scratch it. Acid blood stained his blade, but could not etch it. His was the voice of truth, and all souls who heard rejoiced in it, even as the demons quailed. For three days he fought. When at last he fell, it was as a light departing—yet he did not fade entirely. The sword and mail lie still within the lake of fire, untouchable, a brightness that may not be shaded. We still sing his song, that the damned may remember."
    • The Pathfinder 2nd edition playtest adventure, Doomsday Dawn, features a chapter called "The Heroes of Undarin," where the player characters have an opportunity to play this role. While it is possible for the heroes to survive the adventure, they are expected to die holding off wave after wave of demons and undead. However, their sacrifice gives the adventure series' main heroes the time needed to find the MacGuffin needed for final victory.
  • The Halting the Tide scenario in Warhammer's Storm of Chaos campaign represented an Imperial force trying to delay Archaon's horde as long as possible (as measured by how much damage the doomed defenders inflict to the oncoming horde). A fairly common strategy was to feed Archaon sacrificial units so he risked cutting himself down to half health on his Evil Weapon.

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