1. Reximus
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    Reximus Member

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    Clever Battle Tactics, where to find?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Reximus, Aug 22, 2010.

    Hello I would like to thank everyone for helping me on my previous post I gained perspective on fantasy noveling. I got another question in which evades me and I believe your guy's expertise could really help. In my novel and in fact probably all my novels for many years will have battle tactics. Like the very clever Trojan horse concept for example. Whether small batallions or massive wars. I am talking anything from simple decoys to stay-in-wait ambushes. I know simple ones just from movies. However I think I can learn clever ones just don't have a clue of where. If you don't know very well what I am talking about here are some examples of simple battle tactics:

    Lure enemies into a physical trap - dead.
    Lure enemies into ambush - dead.
    Use distraction to get past enemies.
    Use distraction to sneak behind enemies.
    Use distraction to infiltrate enemy base.
    Etc etc etc.

    I probably know all the simple ones or can think of them myself later. However can you guys name some or some places I can find some that are truly clever and that can inspire, "aww cool" in the reader? Being 17 and unexperianced I don't know where to find answers to questions such as these. Once again I want to thank you all for your help. I really appreciate you helping me be a better writer :-D.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Some cool ones have been used throughout history, but if you use them, it will be apparent to anyone who knows their military history that you've copied tactics from real battles.

    I like the one - I forget who did this - about warriors, call them Army A, fighting the enemy, Army B, on the far side of a foggy river. Army A ran out of arrows, so they made straw dummies to put in their boats and floated them towards the other side. Through the fog, Army B shot many arrows at the dummies, thinking they were real soldiers, but their arrows just stuck in the straw. Army A reeled in their boats, pulled out the arrows, and had plenty of ammo now to shoot back at Army B when the fog lifted.

    Read Sun Tzu's The Art Of War. It's not about specific tactics, but it'll make you think.
     
  3. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I agree with minstrel; The Art of War is fantastic book on fighting techniques and I've used some ideas for my script, specifically The Troubles flashbacks.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Go to a British online book store. They have tons of books about military history in every nerdy little detail. You can even find tomes about specific battles, too.

    I got one dedicated solely to the combat tactics of the German Tiger tank in ww2, as well as a big tome on the crossbow's history and use. Both books are British.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    History is full of great tactics and strategy. My first advice would be to read up on your history. Might want to consider battles where a smaller army won against larger army. Take the American Revolution. Smaller Army and underpowered waging war against a much stronger opponent.

    Might want to look into how Rome managed to conquer so much land and you might want to take a look into their attempts to conquer Britain.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Study the tactics of the famous military leaders you've heard of: Genghis Khan, Napoleon, George Washington, Alexander The Great, Hannibal, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    And invent some cool things yourself, too!
     
  7. Reximus
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    Reximus Member

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    Yeah I will try to be as original as I can but I don't think I can be truly original when it comes to combat tactics. After all thousands of wars have been done with thousands of tacticians thinking for millions of hours on this. Coming up with something new would probably only be something I "think" is new. Just probably don't know where its been used before.

    I will try to find out some about the art off war. Battles of Rome, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, George Washington, Alexander The Great, Hannibal I wouldn't know where to start though. Probably thousands of pages of irrelevant information I would find in books since this question is so specific. You guys know of any specific names of battles in which a small army used a bunch of really clever tactics against a big one?
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Battle of Cannae is by far the most famous example and one which is taught at every military academy. Hannibal of Carthage invents the pincer movement and destroys an entire roman legion.
     
  9. Talako
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    Talako Member

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    The Chinese did this. I forget the era and which civil war. This tactic was highlighted in the Chinese movie Red Cliff: Original International Version Part 2.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also sounds daft but cartoons are great for ideas. He-man, She-Ra, Thundercats etc
     
  11. Tavares765
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    Tavares765 Member

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    You might want to look into some fantasy anime if you want some great ideas. Some off the top of my head that apply is a show called Bleach and then Avatar: The last air bender (the show mind you not the movie -_-). These two shows have given me some great ways to incorporate something like science or abnormal powers into the mix to create some really stylish ways for my heroes to defeat the enemy and vice versa. Always think epic is what I say, your free to do what you want in fantasy just makes sure your world follows your own rules.
     
  12. Reximus
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    I actually watch anime for inspiration a lot. However I have seen all of Bleach three times as well with Avatar (anime not movie, big fan) and I don't believe they really use elaborate battle tactics, just use special powers. So that is not really what I am talking about. Thanks for advice though. It's cool that someone else is looking for inspiration from anime though. I figured it would be so rare for novelists to get inspiration from anime that I wouldn't see someone mention it here. Especially about the cool stylish powers, which I try to implement into my work myself. So its pretty cool seeing ya say that :-D.
     
  13. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Avatar: The Last Airbender isn't an anime, BTW. It's made by western artists, and is only based on eastern art.

    Another really strategy-based anime is Death Note. Even though it's not a very fight-sceney anime, it's still very fast-paced and you can watch it legally for free on Fancast.

    Although these rules are more for war and not the actual combat itself, I get a good deal of my strategy knowledge from The 36 Stratagems, which are attributed to Sun Tsu (although he had no hand in actually compiling the list), and Zhuge Liang.
     
  14. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another Anime that might help you in strategy is Code Geass. Lelouch manages to pull off some pretty sweet tactics. That and it has giant mecha's fighting. So its all good. :p

    Though you could also look into the Gundam series. Some strategy ideas might be able to come from there. Again its giant Mecha's fighting.

    Just thought I mention these. They are science fiction rather then fantasy but could possibly enlighten you on things. :)
     
  15. SilverWolf0101
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    War history is always a good way to figure out battle tactics, but there are other methods too.

    Anime is indeed a good example, surprisingly people don't realize just how much of a good example it can be.
    Gundam Wing and Code Geass are great examples. There's also Hellsing (believe it or not there are battle tactics in there). Bleach really doesn't have a lot of tactical moves, its mostly superior power over tactics. Plus Ichigo tends to rush into things before thinking things out.

    One good series that I know to have a lot of tactics packed in its books is The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. (Yes I'm talking about Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr).

    There are a few tactics that I can remember th best. One because they have worked out the best and two, because they are probably more famous.
    One of these tactics is when an enemy comes in from a frontal assult. Here you would have three rows of men with their firing weapons ready, the first row of men would fire, then sit and reload while the second row fires. While the first and second row are reloading the third row of men would fire. By that time the first would be reloaded and ready to stand and fire. Thus the process repeats and you are never truly left open. This tactic is of course used when the enemy is charging at you from one direction, and you are defended on three sides.
    The second tactic, is to divide the army into 3-4 parts and have them wait on different sides. With this tactic the enemy will direct their attention to one army, of which the enemy will attack. Just when it seems they have the upper hand the second army will rush in, then the third, and if a fourth, that one.

    But these are just some of the ones I can think of, off the top of my head. The best way to find anything though is to READ.
     
  16. Reximus
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    I see I have gotten many useful sources I didn't know of before. I have another question to add. Another part of strategy is using traps, which I know little of. Where could I find loads of trap descriptions in the ages of swords and arrows aka ones that would fit in a fantasy novel. Fantasy traps of any kind could would fit. Even magic can be involved in the trap. Anything from trip-line fire balls to pressure-point floor collapse.
     

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