Thursday, August 23, 2018

Top Ten Generals
By Warren Okuma

There are several lists of top ten generals on the internet, and I enjoy reading them.  I see it as a kind of Rorschach test, kind of like an insight into how the writer thinks.  So here's my ten - enjoy!

1  Alexander the Great

A master of tactics and strategy.  His logistics system was awesome, and he is undefeated, even though horribly outnumbered in many engagements.  He is flexible and manage to defeat the mighty Persian empire to Afghan guerrillas to elephants in India which makes him studied even today.  And he had a crappy doctor.
2  Genghis Khan

First unifying the Mongolian tribes, and conquering a huge empire this General makes my number 2 on this list.  Cavalry tactics, pioneered the army ambush (attack, then run away and when the disorganized army pursue, ambush an army), promotion by merit, and the originator of the broke unit spam is specifically why he's here.  Although he is the cruelest sociopath on this list.

3  Sun Tsu

Yet another undefeated general... maybe.  Scary brilliant, and wrote the book on strategy and tactics that is still used today.  And he used charisma as his dump stat.

4  Lycurgus of Sparta

He developed the professional army, and intense training by studying with Cretans.  It's how the best modern armies train, you know, full-time soldiers.

5  Napoleon
He's here because he developed conscription (to make large armies), mobilization, Napoleonic tactics (grand tactics) and brilliant artillery tactics.  Yeah, this is a short entry.

6  Erich von Manstein

The founder of modern armored warfare and schewepunkt, but a corporal forced him to use bad tactics instead.  The corporal was a real dick.

7  Lionides

Leadership and badassery.  Outnumbered over a hundred to one, they held the pass for days.  There was so much arrows, they died in the shade.  Together.  True leadership.

8  Enmebaragesi

The first known empire builder, so showed us all how it's done, and in the end wasn't keen on fishermen.  Try not to be mistake him for noises from someone suffering from a fatal throat disease.

9  Jan Žižka

He brought a tank to a gun fight five hundred years ago.  He used armored wagons laden with light cannon to blast his opponents to tiny bits.  Also, he pioneered the use of pistols, mobile artillery and when he chained up those war wagons together, mobile castles.  Although he did like drums, but not the Black Death.

10  William Tecumseh Sherman

Unka Billy of the American Civil War fame, waged a logistics war against the south eating the south's crops and destroying rail lines that carried goods crippling the south's war making, feeding its troops, and getting ammunition to their troops.  Really didn't like the South burning Fort Sumter or letting his enemies eat.

Bonus not a general person:  Georg Bruchmuller

He codified the way we use artillery today.  Centralized control of artillery, and by knowing muzzle velocity, wind, and other factors made his batteries more accurate.  He's the reason artillery is still the king of the battlefield.

If you like this please consider supporting me on Patreon

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Using Tactics in a Harry Potter Universe

So, like lots of people, I watched the Harry Potter weekend last month.    Here are some of my thoughts.

First, follow Neville Longbottom, boy does he have nice spell fumbles.  He used a Wingardium Leviosa spell to blow up a feather instead of levitating it.  Could you weaponize that spell?  Well, yes, it's called the Expulso Curse.  Hermione Granger tried to use it to blow up Nagini, the big snake thing.  Now you have access to a direct fire hand grenade.  Close enough is good enough for hand grenades, making this spell difficult to parry, plus you get to laugh like Tim the Enchanter, which is totally worth it.  Now I wonder if you can boost the spell's power like a expulso duo?  Probably, but it might be a one shot wand buster spell, so go big and do an Expulso Maxima.

Now Professor Gilderoy Lockhart (Chamber of Secrets) may seem to most as useless defence against the dark arts teacher, but that bone removal spell that turned Harry Potter's hand into rubber is worth it.  If you can reverse engineer that spell it is a semi-permanent disarm spell that's time-consuming to reverse.  Or if you get a head shot...

Lockhart's Alarte Ascendare that shoots up people (like Harry Potter from the water) might be used in a duel to slam people into the ceiling, and a concussion for extra points.

Ahh, then there is Felix Felicis which is also known as liquid luck.  Oh, now that's just broken and my favorite potion.  .  No wonder Snape likes potions.  I wonder if you can enchant a luck ring... hmm...

Well, we all know that the time turner is truly broken.  And if I get an inkling about time manipulation I am going to try to develop the haste spell, nothing like reacting twice as fast and can cast twice as many spells as your adversary.  Great in duelling and combat.

Some thoughts on the Three Unforgivable Curses

Imperio, the mind control spell might be defended against by blocking the pleasure receptors, since the mind control spell is based upon pleasure.  Sounds like a job for a potion.

Crucio, which causes intense pain might be blunted by modern painkillers.  Although a potion might do it.  Hmm... gonna have to take potions class if I ever get into a Potterverse.  Or Crucio might be blocked by Imperio.

Avada Kedavra the instant death curse is a tough spell to defend against.  So I would transfigure (shapeshift) a weasel into a super thin, long underwear and stack it with another long underwear of the same.  If the spell just takes one life, then the weasel dies instead of me.  However, since both is long underwear it might not count as a life.  Why two?  Because If a horcrux gets created, it's going to be a weasel horcrux and not a me horcrux.

The next ultra thin, long underwear would be transfigured Murtlap Essence, I figure, that if the Avada Kedavra death curse is a reverse healing spell, a healing potion like Murtap Essence might interfere with the spell.  Or not.

Let's see, I didn't see it penitrate walls in the movies, but that does not mean that it can't.  So the outermost layer is a plate carrier with a class 4 ceramic ballistic plate.  Hey, a centimeter or half an inch or so of ceramic might give you a survival edge.  Might.  Food for  thought anyway.

And if you ever get into the fictional Potterverse, learn to create magic items because it is far better to know how to make the awesome item than only knowing how to use it (Okuma Maxim 1).  It is the key to greatness.  Oh, like the invisibility cloak, philosopher's stone, time turner, elder wands, and horcruxes.

If you like this please consider supporting me on Patreon