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January 30th, 2005, 10:12 PM
In the story concept I'm working on, I'm exploring the idea of a world where, instead of rasing armies to win by force of numbers, nations rely on "heroes" who represent each nation in combat to decide their fate. The losing nation resigns to the conditions of the battle. It's like a big, unfriendly coalition of which all (known) nations are a part.

Let's say these "heroes" are specially selected fighters trained from birth (or a very young age) with the ability to tap into... whatever force exists in this world (that I won't get into). Essentially, they're much more powerful than ordinary people.

What's your take? Do you think this concept could be considered "realistic" given the right conditions? What would it take to make sure everyone, given the fact that they're cooperative in the first place, doesn't decide to just up and raise an army anyway to overtake the undefended nations?

It's a fantasy work I'm trying to create, but I don't want it to be implausible, so to speak.

January 31st, 2005, 12:37 AM
Maybe they all HAVE the armies and horrible weapons too. But instead of trying to destroy everything and everyone, they meet in one-on-one combats with both sides agreeing to abide by the decision of the combat.

January 31st, 2005, 01:09 AM
The losing nation resigns to the conditions of the battle. It's like a big, unfriendly coalition of which all (known) nations are a part.

What's your take? Do you think this concept could be considered "realistic" given the right conditions?.

You should check out the film; "Troy" as this is basically what happens at the start.
It's definitely a realistic concept, but it would require a lot of honour and faith in those participating.

January 31st, 2005, 05:07 AM
I think it is an idea that would work or at least suspend disbelief (and is an interesting one by the way), if this situation you describe is an evolution.

By that I mean that your world DID have armies and war in its history, and the nations evolved your new premise to save resources and lives.

That I can believe.

It would also be very interesting to have countries or races in your world who still desire the old ways and you can bet that some nations would train armies, how does your world prevent this and how do they combat it without having their own enforcers?

January 31st, 2005, 05:35 AM
It's a realistic premise but only if, as suggested above, your kingdoms/countries have armies and weapons of war as well. Without these, the premise doesn't seem to stand up imo.

January 31st, 2005, 05:45 AM
Just thought I add a myth that may/may not have happened at the beginning of the Mongol Invasion of Japan.

Appararently the Japanese army that first stood against the Mongol Horde, offered up their finest warrior to fight the best the Mongols had.

The Mongols being the barbarian horde they were (and considering their general style of battle consisting of feigned retreats, ambushes and other guerilla tactics) attacked en mass and cut the Japanese champion to pieces.

The Japanese were not impressed with this "dishonourable" display, and bloody mayhem ensued.

Hereford Eye
January 31st, 2005, 08:17 AM
How about another short story that did away with modern armies and the Cold War by building a stadium with an elaborate mechanism to flip a huge coin. Issues were decided by the flip of the coin. No one got hurt; everyone had an equal chance at winning. Analog magazine in the 80s?

January 31st, 2005, 08:33 AM
I think there is nothing unbelievable about this. Look at history. Our notion of war being "total war" is fairly new.

January 31st, 2005, 08:41 AM
I think it could work, but you will need to set the background pretty solidly to overcome other people's objections. For instance, this would work if the other weapons the two nations had were so powerful that it would be likely that they would both be destroyed. The countries would need to be equally powerful, or else readers will be saying to themselves "Why doesn't A just go in there and kick their butts?".

If they are not equally powerful, you could have some precious resource or other object of great desire in the weaker country. Something where by the stronger one attacking, they would also destroy themselves. Of course the stronger country would still covet whatever was there, and would scheme to try and take it.

And of course, even if both nations go for single combat, there will always be rules lawyering and cheating if the stakes are high enough.


January 31st, 2005, 11:30 AM
Or equally powerless. If neither side had the sort of political authority needed to force people into going to war, then all out war isn't likely.

I agree, though, you need to lay out the background carefully if you want this to be plausible.