High-Tech Forces vs. High-Magic Forces
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  1. #1

    High-Tech Forces vs. High-Magic Forces

    Some of us were discussing guns in a fantasy setting, and then I came across The Veil War, which imagines a magically armed and armored force of "goblins" invading our world and facing confused US forces.

    I don't know if the author has D&D-style hit points in mind, but he has the US troops concentrate their fire on specific goblins. Their reason: "It @#$%s with their mojo, sir."

    How would you imagine a fight between a D&D-style horde and modern military forces?

  2. #2
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    Tactical nuclear weapons
    Biological weapons targeting goblinoid DNA
    Dungeon-busting bombs with depleted uranium casing

    Are goblinoids covered by the Geneva convention?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Some of us were discussing guns in a fantasy setting, and then I came across The Veil War, which imagines a magically armed and armored force of "goblins" invading our world and facing confused US forces.

    I don't know if the author has D&D-style hit points in mind, but he has the US troops concentrate their fire on specific goblins. Their reason: "It @#$%s with their mojo, sir."

    How would you imagine a fight between a D&D-style horde and modern military forces?
    Hmm. The M-16 can reliably kill a person at 300 yards vs. swords and bows (longest effective range of a longbow is circa ~250 yards.

    Modern military has the benefits of greater training, that is for certain. If a typical warrior in a D&D style fantasy army is a 1st level Warrior, a modern soldier would be 3rd or 4th level more likely just from increased training and practice.

    Simply put, modern forces against a typical goblin horde would be a wipeout. The goblins would have to use wave attacks throwing more forces than the defenders have ammunition. Standard combat load for a US soldier is 210 rounds (7 magazines of 30 rounds each), and despite what you see in movies, US troops do NOT use automatic or burst fire as standard doctrine. Against little green men with shortswords and shortspears, one soldier could reliably fight several dozen of them.

    Add armored vehicles into that fray and the multiplier becomes huge, because a goblin would need siege engines or mid-to-high level magic to stop it, while the tank can devastate goblin forces.

    Also realize that most D&D magic might be dangerous at short range, but it would take a pretty high level goblin shaman to pose a real threat to an A-10 performing Close Air support.

    Since they aren't "human" the issue under international law about things like Geneva Convention protections and rights, as well as prohibitions against the use of CBRN weapons becomes a little more fluid as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulchrave II View Post
    Tactical nuclear weapons
    Biological weapons targeting goblinoid DNA
    Dungeon-busting bombs with depleted uranium casing

    Are goblinoids covered by the Geneva convention?
    " I wish their weapons had backfired, " .

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    How would you imagine a fight between a D&D-style horde and modern military forces?
    Like Grunts, by Mary Gentle.

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    It depends what edition of D&D the magic force is using! But in general the tech force has most of the advantages. Invisibility in 1e-3e is a useful low level spell that the tech force can't counter, but in terms of firepower the moderns would have a huge advantage.

  7. #7
    I'm just going to add that I would absolutely be willing to read The Things they Carried from the perspective of a goblin.

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    I think it kind of depends. How powerful does a spell have to be to be at the same level of magical sophistication as a nuclear bomb or genome-targetted plague?

    I mean, if we are talking big guns, at the same time technology is destroying entire cities all at once with nuclear weapons, magic is pounding entire countries with something on the level of the Rain of Colourless Fire or Invoked Devastation.

    If you goal is to completely annihilate your enemies... Magic can do that.

  9. #9
    The people playing the orcs, goblins, & trolls in Sturmegshcutz & Sorcery may lose, but they will have more fun doing so than the folks playing the Germans....

    Ranges have increased, modern tactics have been developed to handle the increased range and accuracy. If the archers remain in a solid formation then the artillery/grenades will hurt them bad. If the try to skirmish then modern weaponry will out range them, affecting weight of fire at any one point.

    Magic is the only wild card, and much of magic in D&D emulates modern weaponry, which technology is more available becomes the deciding factor, and I again give modern weaponry the edge.

    The Auld Grump, compare a wizard's fireball range with that of an explosive shell fired from an Abrams....

  10. #10
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    I believe that the second Darksword novel by Weiss & Hickman included a massive invasion by high-tech forces into a world of magic. No idea how it ended though: I haven't read the books for about 20 years.

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