## Server Bug Fix: Why does Black want to trade off her King’s Bishop in many d4 lines?

I feel that in many lines starting with d4, such as the Queen’s Gambit Declined, or especially the Nimzo-Indian, Black is more than happy to trade her King’s Bishop for White’s knight on c3. For instance, one frequent line in the Nimzo-Indian (reached in 3200 games of the chess365 database) would be the following:

``````
[FEN ""]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3
```
```

What strategic benefit does this hold for Black? She has given up the bishop pair, given White the chance to capture toward the centre with her b-pawn, in turn strengthening the d4 square for White, and moved the same piece twice in the opening. And yet, this seems to be a line where Black enjoys a higher win percentage than White, which puzzles me as it contradicts my naive understanding of opening principles.

Black gains a tempo. Black has played two bishop moves, but white has played Nc3, a3, and bxc3. Once the smoke clears, black has a lead in development with one minor piece out (vs none) and can immediately castle. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the doubled pawns are a weakness that can be exploited later.

If white does not play a3, black has no immediate need to take the knight, and it makes more sense to keep the pin. This is especially true because black does not gain the tempo without a3.

Bent Larsen explained it like this. If you want to win as Black you must unbalance the position, and this involves giving something to get something. Giving your opponent the two Bishops is something that you can do without a great deal of risk, because the advantage will probably not be significant until the endgame, and White must first of all get to an ending.

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## Server Bug Fix: Why doesn’t Lichess’ Stockfish suggest this bishop sacrifice?

I arrived at the following position in an online game after the opponent left a queen hanging.

``````[FEN "r1b2r2/pp1p1ppk/2n1p3/6B1/2P5/5N2/PQ3PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 16"]
``````

In the game, I played 16. Bf6 with the idea that in case he accepts the sacrifice, my queen can come to an exposed king with mating ideas and possibility of exchanging the rook for the knight and I should probably be able to arrive with the rooks by lifting them sooner than his minor pieces are able to help significantly. If the opponent refuses, my bishop is still up with a better aim and I have possibilities of blasting the kingside with a major advantage.

I looked at the game with lichess’ Stockfish to check if this was a blunder and the main lines lichess’ Stockfish suggests to me are 16. Be3, 16. Qc2+, 16. Nd2, 16. c5 and 16. Qa3, the first line having an evaluation of +12.8. Bf6 is not suggested, but it has an evaluation of +18.0 after it is played, so it left me wondering why it doesn’t suggest Bf6 in the first place. My guess is that maybe Stockfish does not consider sacrificial moves without a forced advantage if the player has a large lead, which seems reasonable, but this is only a guess.

Running an analysis in chess.com with the Komodo engine suggests Bf6 as the best move, with +11.6 evaluation, so it left me even more curious as to why Stockfish doesn’t even consider it.

Good question. I let Stockfish 11 think on the position, and even by around depth 25-26 it didn’t suggest Bf6. But like in your case, after making the move on the board, Stockfish suddenly realizes it is the best move. Although what’s also odd is that after Bf6 gxf6 Qxf6, it takes Stockfish longer than at least depth 27 to realize it’s a mate in 9 moves/18 ply (instead of some evaluation that’s “only” over +20).

One possible explanation for all this is due to how engines prune. If an engine spends an equal amount of time examining every single move in its calculations, it will be very slow (there’s an average of roughly 30 moves in a given position, so the complexity for searching everything is on the order of 30^depth). Therefore, they will spend more time thinking on moves that look more promising, and stop wasting as many resources on moves that look clearly worse.

In the position you posted, there are multiple moves that give at least a +12 evaluation. Meanwhile, Bf6 drops a bishop, and perhaps it is only multiple moves further that White’s overwhelming compensation for it becomes apparent. There are already many +12 moves available from the starting position, so an engine could decide not to waste time going deep into the Bf6 branch, stopping at a point before it realizes how good it is.

But then when you actually play Bf6 on the board, there’s nothing else for the engine to look at. It’s “forced” to examine the Bf6 branch, and then it quickly realizes it’s very good (although in Stockfish’s case taking a while to realize it’s a forced mate, likely due to this same pruning issue).

Note that all the above is just my own understanding of things, and there could be other factors at play. If I had to guess why Komodo suggested Bf6 to you but not Stockfish, it would be because Stockfish prunes more aggressively in order to be extremely fast in searching.

It’s all a matter of pruning. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it’s a key part of how engines search so deeply from a position. They are based on heuristics, e.g. the engine will search moves that give away a queen for no material compensation less. This allows it to focus its attention on the main moves in the position and search those deeper.

Good pruning contributes a huge amount to engine strength, but it’s possible that pruning also cuts off the best move if the compensation is too deep (more technical term here is “beyond the search horizon”). That’s what you’re seeing. The heuristics for this position tell Stockfish to focus on other moves.*

In any case, if you let Stockfish analyze deeper, it’ll spot that Bf6 is the best move. At depth 38, it’s suggesting Bf6 (+37.0), Be3 (+14.5) and Rad1 (+14.3).

*I’m not sure if Stockfish has “if everything wins, search X less” code. It’s possible. After all, Stockfish patches are tested against previous versions of the same program, and if everything wins then a patch that moves Bf6 up the move ordering isn’t really an improvement – they yield the same result.

To expand on what heuristic pruning means for an alpha-beta negamax search, which many chess programs use, typically the evaluation function has some kind of depth parameter and the alpha-beta window. What it does is to test each possible move one by one, calling itself on the resulting position with the depth parameter reduced and with the appropriate alpha-beta window passed in. eval(d,α,β) searches to depth d and returns the value of the current position truncated to the interval [α,β]. At the start we call eval(D,−∞,∞) where D is the maximum depth. Note that the alpha-beta window depends on the evaluation results for previously tried moves as follows.

We first set m := α before testing any move. When testing each subsequent move we would call t := −eval(d’,−β,−m) and then set m := max(m,t). If m≥β then we can immediately return β. At the end we return m. The reason for calling “eval(d’,−β,−m)” is that if the resulting position has true value u outside [−β,−m] then it would have equivalent effect on the true value v of the current position as the truncated value. (If u<−β, then −eval(d’,−β,−m) yields β so we return β, which is correct since v>β. If u>−m, then −eval(d’,−β,−m) yields m so it does not affect m, which is correct since that move led to true value of −u<m.) Here d’ is set by a heuristic (e.g. quiescence search may set d’ := d−1 for normal moves but d’ := d−1/2 for check and d’ := d for captures).

To understand how heuristic pruning helps, one must first understand how alpha-beta helps. When the move-ordering is optimal (it always tests an optimal move first), then alpha-beta eliminates all the other moves at every alternate recursion level in most of the cases. To intuitively see why, consider the first move. To find an optimal first move X, we really have to check all possible first moves. But after we test an optimal one first, m would be set to that value, and we call eval(,−∞,−m) for every other tested first move X’. But since we first test an optimal opponent response Y to X’, we will find that it results in a value at least −m (since X’ is not better than X), and hence immediately return (discarding all other opponent responses because the first one already confirms that X’ is not better than X). This happens throughout the search tree, and so the branching factor is more or less reduced to 1 at every alternate level in the search tree. This effectively doubles the search-depth possible with the same resources.

Mathematically, it is impossible to do better than alpha-beta search if we want to prove that a move is optimal. However, in many games such as chess we can perform better on average by using heuristic pruning. Instead of testing all the moves required by the alpha-beta search, we discard many of the moves! Heuristics inform this process. For example, if d>4 then we could for each possible move X, perform X then set t[X] := −eval(4,−β,−α) then undo X. After that, t[X] represents a depth-4 evaluation of those moves truncated to [α,β]. We might then choose to discard any move X if t[X]+3≤m; Informally, if move X causes a depth-4 evaluation that is at least a ‘bishop’ worse than the current best, we assume that it is poor enough that ignoring it will not affect the evaluation result.

Heuristic pruning (beyond alpha-beta) can hence reduce the effective branching factor (not just at every alternate level). That is why it is used in many modern chess programs today. The example heuristic I gave above is just for illustrative purposes; actual chess programs use a whole variety of complex heuristics to prune (e.g. null-move heuristic), as well as heuristics to not prune (e.g. the killer/history heuristic).

Now looking at the situation you have here, it is easy for many heuristics to prune off the best move `Bf6` unless the depth-0 evaluation gives high enough weight to king danger, because `Bf6` drops the bishop for a pawn and it takes quite a lot of quiet moves to see any benefits besides increased Black king danger. I am not sure, but the best line appears to be:

``````[Title ""]
[FEN "r1b2r2/pp1p1ppk/2n1p3/6B1/2P5/5N2/PQ3PPP/R4RK1 w Q - 0 1"]

1. Bf6 gxf6 2. Qxf6 Rg8 3. Ng5+ Rxg5 4. Qxg5
``````

This line takes 2 quiet moves, 1 check and 4 captures. However, a pruning heuristic will very likely prune based on the first few moves of the following line:

``````[Title ""]
[FEN "r1b2r2/pp1p1ppk/2n1p3/6B1/2P5/5N2/PQ3PPP/R4RK1 w Q - 0 1"]

1. Bf6 gxf6 2. Qxf6 Kg8 3. Ng5 Nd8 4. Rad1 e5
``````

Since it cannot see that this line ends in checkmate, it may believe that the bishop has been lost for a pawn. If the evaluation function had counted the position after `3. Ng5` as high king danger, it would not have pruned the `Bf6` line away. As it is, it likely weighed the king danger against the bishop loss and thought it was worse than keeping the bishop. Furthermore, since there are many possible moves instead of `Bf6` that keep the bishop, they would likely have pushed the `Bf6` line far down in the move-ordering, hence it never got searched deep.

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## Server Bug Fix: Playing the Square Chess

On an ordinary chess board (8×8) without any pieces on it as a starting position, two players will alternately place a pawn on any square (unoccupied) so that the first player that form a square (upright or tilted) with his 4 pieces on the board wins the game. This question mainly search for the best strategy to win as white or else black. Draw is possible when both players pieces can not form a square anymore. From the above position, what is the best move for black?

If it is white’s move then he can win like so:

1. d4, forces d6
2. c3

Now black has to stop white at both e3 and b4, which is impossible, so he loses. Note that white can win by doing the same starting with d6. So black has already lost this position. This also means that if white goes first on an empty board then he can guarantee a win, by forming two pawns in a straight line (like in the diagram).

If you remove tilted squares then the game becomes a lot more balanced in my opinion.

Suppose black passed. White could easily win in three moves: `c3` forcing `e3`, then `d4` threatening to create either of two squares. White could also use the same tactic starting with `e3`, `c7` or `e7`.

If black doesn’t pass, they can prevent this sequence starting `c3` in three ways: play on one of the squares used for the sequence (`c3` or `d4`), play on one of the final threat squares (`d6` or `b4`), or make a play such that their forced next move will create a threat of their own (`f4` or `f2`). Of these moves, only `d4` or `d6` will prevent all four sequences for white.

Suppose black plays `d4`. White can play `c7` (forcing `e7`), then `a5` (forcing `a7`), then `b6`, threatening to win on two squares; black never has a threat in this sequence. Similarly if black plays `d6`, white plays `c3`, `a5` and `b4`. So black can only survive for a few more moves, and survives longest if their next move is `d4` or `d6`.

Applying the following rules with revision:

2. White moves first (place a piece on any square).
3. Black and white alternate take turns to move.
4. Both players may “block” the 4th corner of opponents square.
5. 1 block is allowed before the player’s move turn.
6. A player wins when 4 of his pieces form an upright or a tilted square.

Here is a line for continuing the above position.

1) e5..f3
2) c5..d5

3) white to d4.. black block 1-3-2 on d6’…then to e4!

4) white to c3 ?..two posible squares for pcs. no. 2-3-4 & 1-2-4

…black blocks 2-3-4 on b4′..then to e3 , turn block 1-2-4
w/ potential for 5-2-6 & 1-6-4

5) white make c2′ to block 5-2-6 then to f4 , blocking 1-6-4..

6) …black wins with d3!

7) if white blocks 1-4-7 on e2′ and 1-7-2 on f5.. black wins on c4*
(or blocks 7-3-8 on g3 and wins with g6*)

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## Server Bug Fix: WW2 Era Soviet Rifle Squad, Time Travels to 1066 England, attempts to take over [closed]

(This part is pretty hand-wavy, and only exists to provide context for a fun thought-experiment/fictional story. Feel free to skip to next paragraph) In 1943, the Soviet Union has developed what they believe to be a teleportation device. They can only fit one rifle squad within this device, so they hand-pick an elite squad of volunteers, equip them with loads of ammunition, and test it by attempting to send the volunteers from Moscow to the front. Unbeknownst to them, they had accidentally created a time travel device, that sent the soldiers back in time to 1066 England, the beginning of the reign of William the Conqueror. The device is destroyed in this first use, but the Russians are delivered safely to Medieval England. Being good strong Russian soldiers, they waste little time bemoaning their situation (once they realize what has happened, which will likely take some time to piece together. Like a lot of time) and quickly decide that if life gives you lemons, you might as well set yourselves up as the new rulers of England right? This is a time of political upheaval in England to begin with, and there were already some uprisings against the new king as it was.

The question, then, is as follows. Can a single Russian rifle squad use their massive advantage in military technology to outweigh their equally massive disadvantage in numbers, and set themselves up as rulers? All of their weaponry is in good working order, and they are the cream of the crop of the 1943 Russian military. They have extra ammunition, basically as much as they could carry, but have no hope of ever resupplying. They will likely be seen as gods or wizards by many, because of their firepower. Also, it should be possible for them to recruit help, at least at some level, given William’s relative unpopularity.

The Soviet Rifle Squad is made up of eleven men, armed according to the attached graphic. Clearly they have an incredible advantage in any direct fighting with even numbers, and great mobility as compared to any army large enough to fight them. However, they must seek to avoid large scale conflicts that would take all of their ammo to win, because a rifle without bullets is an expensive club. I am looking for political and military strategies they can use to successfully topple William, and set themselves up as rulers.

Note: for the purposes of this question, please ignore some of the more obvious problems here, such as language differences, and the issue of diseases being brought back by the Russians and wiping out the continent. Valid concerns, but for this thought experiment I am primarily focused on what military/political strategies the Russians could use, as well as what the best course would be for William to retain his throne. If I have made assumptions or incorrect statements regarding either the Russian element or Medieval element, or if there is extra info that would be helpful, please use the comments and I will edit as soon as I can. This idea of a small modern force seeking to conquer a medieval country has been kicking around in my head for a while now, and I am very curious to hear from some people with more expertise/knowledge than I.

Edit: Some “Answers” so far have surrounded the fact that there is a massive numerical disadvantage. This is obvious. If there is in fact no way to overcome this, that’s a valid opinion, but what would be the best way to try? I’m fine with them getting a little way and ending in failure, this is actually probably better so as not to disrupt the historical timeline, but what strategy might they attempt?

I’ll offer an alternative to the majority of ‘NO’ answers:

Upon arrival, these 11 men would be the most accomplished military force on the planet, with weapons and combat experience garnered from a war the likes of which the medieval world could hardly imagine. Of course, they are seriously outnumbered. The population of England at the time (according to the Domesday book) was reportedly ~1.5 million. Of course not all of them were soldiers, in fact, at maximum lords could extract 20% of their peasant workforce as primitive troops before famine may become a significant threat due to the lack of farmers. So the Russians could expect to face 300,000 peasants at max before the country began to collapse due to the shortages in labour forces. Also bare in mind around 1066 the king’s military was already stretched fighting the Normans, and the King wasn’t exactly popular, and I doubt could get even 20% of the population to fight.

The Russians could cause immediate destruction, devastating the feudal system of the time. By starting fires, and killing high-ranking officials, they could terrify local populations, and gain support through tyranny — something Russians from 1943 were well-versed in. This would involve conserving the use of their weapons, only employing them in front of crowds to exercise authority. High-ranking officials who refuted them would be murdered with alarming speed. By the time news had spread to the king (which travelled at the speed of a horse) the Russians could have exploited the feudal ‘pyramid of command’, replacing local lords high up the pyramid, and holding reign over a large area of land and peasant population. By forcing lords below them to obey, immense power could be gained very quickly.

Many have mentioned the language barrier, although I’d point out ‘Old English’ was divided into numerous dialects at the time, due to the significantly less globalised world. There was no centralised ‘English language’, making language barriers very common, and not as destructive to politics as some may suggest. It is also fairly common to quickly adopt a native language if surrounded by it — exchange students use this principle to learn foreign languages at a high speed and quality.

The majority of the medieval population was superstitious, and religion was mandatory. If the Russians could frame themselves as prophets, I believe they could manipulate a sizeable proportion of the population by preaching Communism (which I believe would look extremely attractive to a medieval peasant population) instead of Christianity.

If the King could somehow withdraw his forces away from the Normans to face against the Russians, they would have already began assembling their own medieval forces. Production of primitive firearms were still not yet viable due to the poor machining techniques of the time, but cannons may have been possible due to their simplicity, should the Russians know the recipe for gunpowder.

By the time the King’s army finally arrived, word of the Russians would have spread to the surrounding parishes and counties. The King may experience resistance in his own population, and defectors within his army. If the King failed to attack early, his army may well disintegrate entirely. Any attempts to siege the Russians would fail due to the vast area of land they control. The King would be trapped between the Normans and the Russians.

If 11 men had prepared to invade modern England, they would’ve brought a lot of ammunition and demolition equipment. If the King attacked, a single machine gun set-up in a defensive position (e.g: castle) could flatten hundreds of men before the King’s archers were even within range. The King’s army most likely, upon being so heavily damaged before even engaging the Russian’s army, would collapse and flee (many disloyal medieval forces collapsed under far lighter threats, such as cavalry charges, etc. What about machine guns?) If the King turned up himself, expect him to be sniped.

Over the course of many years, the rest of England would be slowly seized from the Normans or the king, through political subversion or direct force. The New Russia would outperform the rest of England in almost every aspect – medicine, agriculture, literacy, manufacturing, and rapidly accelerate towards the Enlightenment era many hundreds of years before its actual occurrence. Of course, the Russian soldiers may not known much about crop rotation, manufacture of penicillin or gunpowder weapons, but simply instructing people to not do this would go a long way, and you’d be surprised by how much general knowledge we today deem primitive and commonplace would be of immense use to a medieval society.

As a wily local Baron, I’m skilled in intrigue and deception. As a skilled Feudal warrior myself, I recognize the difference between offensive and defensive weapons and tactics, the proper uses of different weapons, and defenses against those weapons.

I’ll quickly recognize that these are not gods carrying magic wands. Those are men carrying weapons, powerfully capable, but understandable.

I’ll easily separate those men from their weapons…likely by using the nearest brothel. There are only 11 of them; they must sleep sometime.

Once the group is separated from their weapons, then they are just young men. I’ll simply torture one of those soldiers until he shows me how the weapons work. Then some quick knife work and toss the whole squad into a shallow grave.

Those secret weapons will, with a bit of intrigue to keep their use secret, guarantee ME the throne!

## It depends on Leadership, Ability to Learn, Cunning and Political Acumen

So obviously modern era weaponry (even with limited ammunition) will give you a tactical advantage over any one you meet on an individual level.

The primary ‘purpose’ of your weapons in this context is however mainly that you can force someone to listen to you or take notice of you. That’s all.

In the time they take notice of you, you need to convince them:

• You are worthy of their attention
• You are good leadership material for them
• You understand their needs now and in the future
• You persuade them their future is better if you are their leader, than their current king

This will be difficult because of the following challenges which would need to be overcome:

• You need to keep your group together. Leadership needs to be really strong. All you need is for one of your team to disagree or splinter off to form a rival faction, or have a mental breakdown, and all is lost.
• You need to learn their language quickly, and be deft at sensing their customs. You need a leader that is educated and capable of learning on the fly.
• You need to have a leader that is persuasive, somehow adept at political cunning and acumen, that can persuade disgruntled Lords, Barons and other leadership figures that you can further their own cause by joining you. You need willing local support that will selfishly follow you (or ‘use’ you to further their own ambitions).

Historically, many monarchial structures have been overthrown by a lot less, and even by foreign forces and individuals, however the important thing to remember is they need to have local support because they are seen as politically expedient. Weapons alone will not win a political game, only political cunning in a supporting political environment can.

Failure to plan is planning to fail

This is eleven Russians with awful, terrible weapons. They lose any fight very fast. Seven of the weapons are Mosin-Nagats (M1981/30), a bolt-action rifle with a five-round clip, and I’m going to assume that these are Soviet mass-produced Mosin Nagats to boot, very rough and shoddy weapons. Still could function perfectly fine, but perfectly fine is, again, a five-round clip of a bolt action rifle. The two Tokarovs (SVT-40) are slightly better – it’s not bolt-action and it can hold ten rounds. The PPSh is a lot more impressive, as it the DT, but they both suffer from problems when it comes to accuracy, not to mention that their rate of fire now works against them – both weapon chew through bullets.

A force to be reckoned with against a peasant mob, sure. Even against militia, they’ll be useful. However, they lack the ability to perform any kind of meaningful siege, not to mention that on an open battlefield, due to their lack of armor, they’re susceptible to massed arrow fire, and they don’t have the means to stop them. If they get lucky and manage to find something defensible, they can hold ground, but they can be easily starved out should it come to that.

The most viable option is for the company to form a defensive position at the first town they find and hoard the food there in preparation for a siege. At that point, they have a base to defend, and they can prove their worth. Hypothetically, this would give them a negotiating position which they could then leverage to be signed on as a mercenary force. However, that’s not the case because they can’t communicate due to the language barrier. Not to mention that, given this is 1066, guns don’t exist and neither do cannons, so they’ll be labeled as magicians of some kind. (The fact that they’ll look different from everyone else, given that they’re Russian from 1943 won’t help.) And, again, given the year 1066, the locals are always up for a good witch hunt.

The Russian aren’t likely to know English, and even if they do, the version of 1066 is vastly different from the modern equivalent. A broken modern English would be detrimental because all that will do is lead to miscommunication. It’s possible that a translator who knew 1066 Russian would be able to communicate with them, but there’s no reasonable assumption that a translator who could do that would be nearby, given that Russia wasn’t a player in European politics at that time.

Ultimately, a lack of preparation and resources on the Russian’s part cannot be overcome by applying clever stratagems. The most likely outcome is the majority of the Russian being killed after valiantly attempting a last stand and the last few getting tortured to death by eager Europeans desperate for information on how to create their weapons, and the Russians being unable to respond.

I’d say that their biggest problems is knowing the language and people and the political situation..etc.

But I’d go with something like this:
First the goal is to recreate certain modern tech if possible.
Medicine, electricity…etc.
But the most important one is ammunition actually.
As war never changes, you need ammo.
So if you can fix that then you can actually have a solid start.
I think they were drafted anyway so might as well have an electrical engineer and surgeon…etc

But how to take over the country?
I can see 3 possible ways.

1. Playing the political game as people do. Claims, royalty…etc
2. Setting themselves as demi gods or angels or something like that.
Which is not a fantastic ideas as people are not stupid enough to just believe that because they have a loud tube that can kill people it means they are god.
3. Change the rules. They are Soviets, right? Start a new revolution and using Marxist propaganda they can preach of a new utopia.
I’ll focus on that.

Each path is unique but I think they will lead to the basics of how to rise to power and use it.
They start small. Align themselves with a lord or town. Then they help people there using superior military arms and tactics.
Like they just try to be a group of mercs and if they kill enough people a lord or a town might hire them.

The goal at first is to have a homebase and have loyal followers.
Using the Marxist ideas might not be such a bad idea as the masses might be into that more.

Now for the fighting, either to defend their land or attack that earl that wants to retake his city, they have to relay on themselves being shock troopers and fight accordingly.

I’d say they use something like a testudo and fire from behind the protection of the shields.
That way they won’t even have to be in any risk.
They can also construct something like an armored car.
Just metal and wood on a wheeled frame, they actually existed, and they can fire from that safety.

But again their greatest ally is actual traditional military tactics.
Discipline, maneuvers, superior officers…etc.

This is actually an important point as we know that that level of professionalism is not something too common back in the day.
So if they can produce actual competent officers then even a 1 to 1 battle will end in their favor as their officers are much quicker on their feet.

Again here is a good place to start creating early cannons and early firearms.
The above inventions would radically change their armament and guarantee their superiority.
And again they actually know how to use firearms and cannons, even early ones.

So no more having trouble with coordination between cavalry, artillery, and infantry.
No more not understanding how weather conditions gunpowder or that you aim for the center of mass.
And especially training the men to actually shoot and kill, none of that shot above the enemies crap.

So just inventing a competent army with WWII theory would change the world.

The first city is of course the hardest. But after that it’s simply a matter of organization.

Copy the Soviet formula. Create the party, have a crap ton of spies to the point of having 1 in every 3 people being one, control the entire state, fund massive public projects, control the food and the farms…etc.
This is not about supporting the USSR, Marx, or Stalin.
I’m merely talking about history and what is logical for a group of USSR soldiers to do.

Anyway as I was saying trying to create a whole new regime is not that hard if you actually have a group of people with enough skill and intelligence to start it.

Appeal to people with popular ideas and images.
Hire the disgruntled and utilize those landless and powerless.
Creating a core of fanatic believers is, again, tough at first.
But we all know that a single German political with a good enough oratory skill plunged the entire continent into absolute chaos.

The actual tactics and political maneuvering has to be based on the context

# No.

First, that squad and the mission. The clever thing to send would be saboteurs, not a regular rifle squad. Instead of rifles and a LMG, pistols and lots and lots of timed incendiaries. Or perhaps German uniforms and regulation sidearms. By then the Soviets had plenty of samples.

Next, the skillset. The Soviets would know that they’re sending people of a kamikaze mission. The soldiers might also know, and agree anyway, as long as there was a marginal chance of survival. Frontline infantry didn’t have a long life expectancy, either.

There might be someone from the NKVD in the team, perhaps even someone with covert ops experience in Berlin. But no really skilled political manipulator, either. They would not send a skilled mechanic or engineer because those people are needed for other jobs.

The best chance would be if the Soviets thought they had an one-way time travel machine, and selected/trained/equipped a squad to visit Ivan the Terrible or Peter the Great to “take over” and “uplift” Russia. A few reliable (in communist eyes) political operators, physicians, engineers, and their bodyguards, with a cargo of textbooks and plans. The malfunction would be in distance (time).

The team as described would be

• unable to set up ammunition production, once their initial stocks are used up,
• unable to speak the local language,
• unable to turn advanced scientific and technical knowledge into benefits on the ground.

You know that Penicillin comes from moulds, right? Do you know how to produce it? Black powder is saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. Do you know how to turn a centerfire rifle into a flintlock?

Follow-Up:

# How to suspend disbelief

There is a saying in various games/speculative fiction, “primitive does not mean stupid.” But assume that several of the time travelers are very well versed in Marxist-Leninist theory, and actually have a better understanding of the fundamental economic conditions in 11th century England than the local Englishmen. So they introduce the economic aspects of early industrialization, from division of labour instead of individual master artisans to double-entry bookkeeping. They understand things like inflation, interest, depreciation of assets, etc.

The squad contains a riverboat mechanic and a machinist. Together you technobabble that they come up with a viable steam engine, which helps a former coal miner to seriously overturn mining.

Francisco Pizarro conquered Peru with a few men, primitive firearms, no supply line, against a native army of 100 thousand warriors and without knowing language, culture or geography.

So, it can be done if you are brave and cunning enough.

There are a number of problems facing the squad (ignoring disease and language barriers)- namely lack of manpower, lack of historical, political and geographic understanding, lack of money and distrust from locals.

The first problem is going to be that they are massively outnumbered, and without any support units providing reconnaissance and intelligence, it is going to be fairly easy for an enemy force to surprise the squad. Given their limited ammo supply and the fact that WW2 weapons were not that accurate, they probably aren’t going to want to open fire beyond 400m. A galloping horse can travel at around 25m/s, meaning that they would have around 15 seconds to break the charge before they get overrun if attacked by cavalry. Given that there is only one machine gun in the squad (and the DP-27 was generally issued with a 47 round drum) and they don’t have enough men to create a dense 360 degree protection, a determined cavalry charge by a few hundred horsemen from multiple directions will split their fire enough that it will most likely succeed and wipe them out. Pure force, therefore, is not going to cut it.

It is going to take savvy and political knowledge to be successful, and there is no guarantee that the squad will have any. Most of your squad will likely not have any knowledge of 1066 England, however given that this is a hand picked unit, it’s not beyond the question that some of them may have higher education- history and politics degrees will probably be the most useful. However, they still will lack any connections or knowledge of the local area they find themselves in.

The local population is probably going to be distrustful of strange men with strange accents, weapons and uniforms, so recruiting locals is going to be difficult- especially as the average peasant probably just wants to keep their head down and feed their family.

One possible approach is that they present themselves to a lord and offer to work in their service. Under the right circumstances, they are going to have a massive advantage over their enemies (especially if supported by period troops to protect their flanks), so any lord trying to carve out their territory, deal with local insurrections or topple the king would happily take them in to their service. If a talented sniper is sent back as part of the squad, they alone would be a huge asset to lords as assassins.

This would give them a foot in the door to build connections, and develop their own strength and loyal troops. After winning over the trust of enough knights and noblemen, they could launch a coup and seize control or try and earn a castle and lordship through service.

Extending their control beyond a single region is going to be difficult, however, as with only 10 men they cannot project force far enough by themselves and will rely on local forces to do that. They will inevitably be seen as ‘upjumped common soldiers’, not noblemen, so they cannot guarantee any loyalty or fealty from local nobles once they leave the area- you would probably need a Russian squad in every castle to control it and the surrounding area in anything other than name.

Arguably, their best chance to win complete control of the country is to ride on the waves of a rebellion against William the Conqueror, using their own weapons and skills sparingly in decisive battles, and rely more on the local forces they have built up. Should the rebellion succeed, they could take advantage of the instability to eliminate their opponents and claim the throne for themselves.

However, this is a long shot at best, with the most likely ‘good scenario’ being that they establish themselves as minor Lords with small areas of lands and influence.

Their reception would depend on their exact location and time of the year. The situation in some remote rural location would be very different from that in a large town, but either way one big problem would be time.

Whatever demonstration of power was made might well have to be repeated as news would not be telegraphed far and wide very quickly and would get garbled. Things would tend to happen very slowly by modern standards as there are few roads and limited long distance travel. They have to walk everywhere until they can find enough horses and some or most of them probably don’t know how to ride a horse.

In 1066 the local population would not be an uneducated equivalent of twentieth century people. They would have a very different outlook and environment. 1066 was before the enlightenment and people would not be open to manipulation in the same way that people might be today, yet would be open to manipulation in ways that people aren’t open to today. But the Russians would be unlikely to know how to deal with people for their best advantage.

The Russians would more likely be seen as demons than magicians under such circumstances and generate fear amongst the people. Knowledge of history and theology would probably be as useful as the guns.

It would be very difficult to engage with people due to massive practical difficulties in language, culture and religion. For example Old English and Norman French would be totally unrecognisable to modern English and French ears let alone Russian ears.

Another problem when they did start dealing with people in authority would be the necessity to deal with them at close quarters where dangers might lurk behind every corner or curtain and all food and drink would be suspect. At longer range arrows and stones might arrive from unexpected directions at any time.

Eventually their ammunition would become exhausted or their weapons would get damaged or accidents would lead to injury infection and death, or they would go mad.

## Snipers at the Battle of Hastings

In Jan 1066 King Edward the Confessor dies childless. A powerful earl, Harold Godwinson, claims that Edward appointed him to be king of England on his deathbed. Maybe Edward did. Maybe he didn’t.

Nevertheless the King of Norway decides to invade. He’s supported in intelligence and favor-building by Harold’s own brother Tostig.

In September 1066, the King of Norway’s forces (about 10,000 soldiers) land in England. Harold puts together a mob of about 3,000 peasants and maybe another 1,500 recruits. In the battles of Fulford the Norwegian King kills almost all of the hastily-recruited English militia, but a few days later at Samford Bridge, a significantly strengthened (10,000 footmen + 2,000 cavalry) English army routes the King of Norway, killing most (8,000) of the assembled invasion force.

Two weeks later William or Normandy crosses the English Channel with between 3,000 and 12,000 troops. Half of these are footmen, a quarter longbowmen (but don’t be impressed, during the fighting the were injured by slingshots and thrown rocks from the other side), and a quarter armored cavalry (but again don’t be impressed because the armor was ridiculously flimsy and they were taken down by axes).

Harold Godwinson, calling himself the King of England, puts together another militia of anywhere between 3,000 and 12,000 troops (somewhere between 6,000 and 24,000 total combatants). William is harassing Harold’s peasants and disrupting commerce, so Harold rushes out to meet him.

In a full day of fighting, about 10,000 soldiers are put into their graves. Harold is killed by “an arrow” during the fighting. William’s cavalry and archers are hacked to bits by slingshots, spears and axes. After a night-time English rally fails to finish William off, the exhausted English vanish into the wilderness, allowing William’s force to take the throne.

## неуместны во времени

With a published range of 547 yards for the M1891, the Soviet rifle squad could pick any target at the Battle of Hastings at a stand-off range from the combat. Assuming a member of the squad knew about this battle, the squad leader could have chosen to take out both William and Harold from the marshes.

There are no contemporary images of William, but likely both leaders were taking a very active role in keeping their dispirited fighters fighting, and might have been easy to pick out.

After all the butchery was done, you had a few thousand English and a few thousand out-of-place Normans who were probably all eager to go home. A full can (47 rounds) or an extended can (63 rounds) from the DP machine gun could put any re-organizing resistance into the dirt. The DP has a published effective range of 874 yards, so your rifle squad doesn’t even need to expose themselves to harm to take out any troops that aren’t going home.

However, you may not even need to do that. The key persons on both sides are dead, and the armies have nothing to do. And who is really going to think some weirdos standing in the marsh had anything to do with the kings’ deaths? The Soviet rifle squad could just walk away.

## The March to London / Stalin’s Solution to Dukes

Most government was by duke. And most duchal household’s security was a few knights among the family, and the ability to rally their peasants.

Stalin recognized a similar rallying power of wealthy farmers in Russia. Recognizing it as a threat to the revolution, he sent men with guns into their homes to kill them.

The next step for your rifle squad would be to, before word could spread, travel to the nearest duchal households. A peasant would kick in the doors, and drawn out the knight(s). Although people were familiar with gunpowder, bulletproof knightly armor would not exist for another three centuries. A rifleman would take out the knight(s) and any other defenders at range.

The element of surprise keeps the dukes from having time to rally their citizens to defend the house.

The dukes would need to be replaced with loyal men the Soviet squad had picked out of whatever local followers they’d gathered.

With a few days work, you could manufacture supportive nobles in the territories from Hastings to London.

## Regrouping

After becoming King, your group may have a problem. The Pope is influential, and was supportive of William. However, the nobles were no sticklers for royal blood : William himself was an illegitimate child. How well the rifle squad held on to power would depend greatly on how they managed the political climate of the times.

This essentially the premise of 1632 / Ring of Fire, just in a difference in scale. Whereas the 1632 series had thousands, these people do not. They’d last maybe a week or so before succumbing to disease or locals.

As was pointed out, ammunition is not infinite, nor are primers. This is the modern Achilles heel of all firearms. Since they don’t have any mercury fulminate or knowledge of manufacturing alternative ‘green’ primers (Chlorates), their guns are just unwieldy clubs once they inevitably run out of ammunition.

## Server Bug Fix: There are 2,001 doors leading to 2,001 hallways. How quickly can you find the way out?

Once again, you have angered the Emperor, and she has imprisoned you in a special prison.

“I do have a bit of good news for you,” the Emperor has told you. “You’re only two doors away from freedom, and I’ve left all the doors unlocked for you!” Of course, she neglected to mention the details.

So here are the details. From the main part of your prison suite, you can walk into a very long hallway. The hallway runs east and west, and on the north side of the hallway, there are 2,001 doors. (Evidently, the Emperor really, really likes doors.) Each door leads into another very long hallway, running north and south. The north–south hallways are so long that it takes about half an hour to walk from one end to the other. At the north end of each of these hallways is another door.

At the north end of one of these hallways, the door leads to freedom. At the north end of each of the other hallways, though, the door simply leads to a dead-end room. The dead-end room has two doors, both on the south side. One door leads to the hallway you just came from (obviously), and the other door leads to the adjacent hallway.

You have access to some simple supplies: pencils, paper, sticky tape, scissors, and plenty of string. (Of course, you probably won’t need all of them. Maybe you won’t need any of them.)

How are you going to get out? If you try doors at random, it could take you hundreds of hours to find the right one.

Ah, but you’ve just thought of something. You’ve figured out a way to escape from the prison in under a week, guaranteed.

What is it?

Let’s number the hallways (doors) from $$1$$ to $$2001$$ from west to east.

One important observation is that:

The way out is behind an odd-numbered hallway.

This is because:

Each dead-end room connects two adjacent hallways. So the set of all doors to the west and east of the exit have even numbers of hallways. Thus, the way out is behind an odd-numbered hallway.

Now, another important observation is that, if a dead-end room connects hallway $$i$$ and $$i+1$$:

If they are on the west side of the way out, then $$i$$ must be odd (and $$i+1$$ must be even.) This is because the connections are $$(1,2),(3,4),(5,6),cdots$$. Conversely, if they are on the east side of the way out, then $$i$$ must be even (and $$i+1$$ must be odd.) This is because the connections are $$cdots,(1996,1997),(1998,1999),(2000,2001)$$.

Combining both observations:

We can do a binary search! Let’s pick an odd-numbered hallway as middle as possible from the solution candidates e.g. $$x$$. If it’s a way-out, you’re lucky! If it connects to an even-numbered hallway which is lesser than it a.k.a the other hallway is on its west ($$x-1$$ is even and $$x$$ is odd) then we are on the east side of the way out. Thus, the way-out hallway must be $$. Conversely, If it connects to an even-numbered hallway which is greater than it a.k.a the other hallway is on its east ($$x$$ is odd and $$x+1$$ is even) then we are on the west side of the way out. Thus, the way-out hallway must be $$>x$$.

How long will it take for us to survive?

It’s roughly $$log_2$$ factor so at most $$10$$ or $$11$$ trials perhaps. The exact hour is not important but it takes less than a day to survive!

This is a visual help:

As an easy-to-remember simple implementation of @athin’s excellent answer:

Starting before the first door, and until you walk out the exit

Skip 1000 doors to reach door #1001, enter it, and follow the other door out. Whatever side you came out of, continue in that direction (e.g., if the door was on the west side (e.g. 1001->1000) continue to the west when you exit).

After each exit,

Skip half the number of doors you skipped last time, rounded to the nearest odd (down for ties) since you will always be exiting an even door: `1000 -> 499 -> 249 -> ...`

As mentioned by @FlorianF, this

Is guaranteed to get you out in at most 9.5 hours (plus ~2000 door-separations of walking, which is probably 20-30 minutes).

With an expected time (assuming random positioning and ignoring E-W movement) of

.5 + (0/1001 + 1000/1001 * (1/500 + 499/500 * (2/250 + 249/250 * (3/125 + 124/125 * (4/62 + 61/62 * (5/31 + 30/31 * (6/15 + 14/15 * (7/7 + 6/7 * (8/3 + 2/3 * (9/1)))))))))) ~= 8.507 hours

I am thinking this through as I type.

Where I would start, and the theory I proceed under:

I start at the west end. As there’s no door to the west of that door, it must either connect to the exit or the door to the east. I spend an hour verifying it’s not the exit, and now I know that door 1->2, and so 3->4… and so on until the unpaired exit hallway, so my theory is that I will find an odd door that connects to a door to the west, and then I will know that the exit is west of that door.

How I move forward from there:

I can cut the 1,999 remaining doors in half by walking down to door 999. Use the tape to mark every 10th odd door to make them easier to count, and use the pencil to note the actual number on them if possible, but counting taped doors would work.

Narrowing it down:

If 999 connects west, then I know my exit is < 999, east > 999. Second door is then halfway again (499 or 1499) and so on.

OK, lets look at the problem first.

I think we can…

turn the problem into a binary search!

To do this we first have to notice a few things about the problem. Each dead end room has two doors exiting it. One to the corridor that you came from and one to the adjacent corridor.

From this property we can apply this logic…

If we number the doors from 1 to 2001 (from west to east) then we notice that at the start of the corridor the doors 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and so on will share a room. Always with the odd numbered corridor to the west and the even numbered corridor to the east.

At the end of the corridor the doors 1996-1997, 1998-1999, 2000-2001 will share a room always with the even numbered corridor to the west and the odd numbered corridor to the east.

This is because at some point along the main corridor our escape route takes up one of the numbers on its own. This means that the next corridor shifts the parity along by one.

We’ll call this property the “parity” of the dead end room. Odd parity is with the odd number on the west. Even parity is with the even number on the west.

Further to this we know that…

…the escape route must be an odd numbered door. Otherwise we would have to have a dead end room to the west of the escape that only has a single door back out of it. i.e. there must be an even number of corridors to the west and east of the escape.

So, we can perform our search by using the following “algorithm”…

Starting with the range 1-2001 pick an odd number half way along the range. (1001 in this case). Now enter the corridor and walk to the end.

If the door is the escape we’re done. If not note which way the doors are arranged in the dead end room. If you enter on the east of the room then the escape route is a higher numbered corridor than the one you’re in. (And vice versa).

So adjust the range up (for odd) or down (for even) based on the parity of the dead end room. 1-1000 for even and 1002-2001 for odd.

Now repeats the steps using the new range.

If needed you may keep a not of the current range on your piece of paper but two numbers is not hard to remember 😀

Performance of this escape…

This is a binary search (which I first thought we could use) and so has speed of log(n) which is about 11 (where n = 2001). So the length of time for this search would be 11 hours. 1 hour (to walk to the north end of each chosen corridor and back) * 11 (the number of corridors you would have to search).

So we can definitely escape in less than a week. It just takes half a day of lots of walking.

You can improve @athin solution by knocking on the East or West walls once in the small room. Depending on what you hear you can deduce whether you’re next to the exit, or 2 additional wrong rooms, thus improving the algorithm. I’m sorry I cannot comment on their answer.

Tagged : /

Regarding this position:

``````[fen "r2qr1k/pbpn1pbp/1p1p1np1/4p3/1PP5/3P1NP1/PBQNPPBP/R2R2K1 w - - 1 1"]
``````

I have 2 questions:

1)If the game goes 1..c5 2.b5 the engine shows white slightly better but if 1..a5 2.b5 then the engine shows black slightly better.Why is that??

2)In this game Capa played h6 I think to prevent Ng5 but according to Alekhine this was not a good move. I don’t understand why play another move and invite the Knight to g5?

2) In this game Capa played h6 I think to prevent Ng5 but according to
Alekhine this was not a good move. I don’t understand why play another
move and invite the Knight to g5?

This position comes from the famous game in which Richard Reti defeated the reigning world champion, Jose Raul Capablanca, in New York in 1924.

``````[fen ""]
[title "Reti vs Capablanca, New York 1924"]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b4 Bg7 4.Bb2 O-O 5.g3 b6 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.O-O d6 8.d3 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 e5 10.Qc2 Re8 11.Rfd1
``````

However, in this position, Capablanca didn’t play 11…h6 but 11…a5, followed by 12…h6. Despite this difference, the question deserves to be asked because h6 is still debatable.

``````[fen "r2qr1k1/pbpn1pbp/1p1p1np1/4p3/1PP5/3P1NP1/PBQNPPBP/R2R2K1 b - - 3 11"]
[title "Reti vs Capablanca, New York 1924"]

1... a5 2.a3 h6?! (2...Qe7!? {to prepare e4})
``````

Alekhine criticized h6

This move, which is difficult to understand, is the best proof that
Capablanca was poorly disposed that day.

## Why is h6 inaccurate?

The move h6 is inaccurate because White does not threaten to play Ng5 (He could have done it before, and the exchange of light bishops might weaken the White king). h6 is a move difficult to understand because at this super high level, moves always have a goal. Here we do not clearly understand its purpose. My guess is that

• Black is playing a waiting move because it plans to sacrifice a pawn with c5 but waits for a more favorable moment.
• Black does not want to push e4, which is natural, but tends to favor White.
• Black could have played instead Qe7 to prepare e4.

``````[fen "r2qr1k1/1bpn1pb1/1p1p1npp/p3p3/1PP5/P2P1NP1/1BQNPPBP/R2R2K1 w - - 0 13"]
[title "Reti vs Capablanca, New York 1924"]

1. Nf1 c5! {was that the plan?} 2.b5! {no thanks!} (2.bxa5 Rxa5 3.Nxe5 Bxg2 4.Nxd7 Bc6 5.Nxf6 Bxf6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qd2 h5! {and Black has more than sufficient compensation according to Kasparov}) Nf8 e3 Qc7 d4 Be4 Qc3 exd4 exd4 N6d7 Qd2 cxd4 Bxd4 Qxc4 Bxg7 Kxg7 Qb2+ Kg8 Rxd6 Qc5 Rad1 Ra7 Ne3 Qh5 Nd4 Bxg2 Kxg2 Qe5 Nc4 Qc5 Nc6 Rc7 Ne3 Ne5 R1d5 1-0
``````

If the game goes 1..c5 2.b5 the engine shows white slightly better but
if 1..a5 2.b5 then the engine shows black slightly better.Why is
that??

``````[fen "r2qr1k/pbpn1pbp/1p1p1np1/4p3/1PP5/3P1NP1/PBQNPPBP/R2R2K1 b - - 1 1"]

1... c5 (1... a5 2. b5) 2. b5
``````

After 1..c5 2.b5 the a7 pawn is weak and after 1..a5 2.b5 the c7 pawn is weak. The difference between the two positions is that the weak c7 pawn can’t easily be attacked by white because access is blocked by the white pawn on c4. Also the pawn push c4-c5 by white to try and pry open the position to get to the weak c7 pawn is out of the question for a long time.

However after 1..c5 2.b5 the weak a7 pawn can be attacked down the a file by bringing rooks to a3 and a4. This could be very unpleasant for black. Also on the cards is to just push the a pawn up the board, again with the white rooks behind it, and white is going to open up the a file to his advantage.

Tagged : / / / /

## Server Bug Fix: What is the best way to defeat a enemy with superior numbers, but inferior technology?

Our protagonist civilization is based on a large island in the middle of the pacific(think half the size of Australia), has a population of 100 million, has abundant resources and is totally self-sufficient, and has only 1 million personnel, but has the equivalent military technology of today’s USA. They have 1000 planes, 1000 tanks, enough weaponry for everyone, and basically infinite ammunition. No nukes, and they have the USS Gerald Ford and approximately 5 destroyers and 10 frigates.

The enemy nation is based in what is now Asia, and has 1 billion population and 35 million personnel, but only have 1800s level tech. They have little to no naval power (think maybe a couple ironclads), and have rifles, revolvers, and horses.

If they can at all, what is the best way for the advanced military to defeat the enemy?

Note: assume all citizens of the primitive society will fight to the death for their nation.

Some really solid answers already. I agree with another comment – how could they not win. But i”ll give some details on how. what is the best way for the advanced military to defeat the enemy?

Enemy Analysis
35 million personnel

• Degrade there concentration of force by separating troops, ie targeting multiple locations so they split up.
• Target their command and control (imagine how hard it is to co-ord 35 million.)
• Target heavy logistical chain (draw troops away from supply lines , target stockpiles)

but only have 1800s level tech.

• PhyOps, pamphlet drop on troops highlight the tec differences.
• Body Armour and Tanks 100% invulnerable
• Close Medical Support for limited injuries.
• Expose limited logistical methods (trains/ horses etc)

Rifles, revolvers, and horses.

• Engage highly mobile warfare to expose limits of horses
• Employ more heavy weapons (Machine Guns, Grenade Lunches, Grenades) within the basic military unit.

Friendly Analysis

1 million personnel, but has the equivalent military technology of today’s USA.

• Avoid large battle, strike hard at key point (Command Nodes, logistical centers, small enemy groups) and withdraw

They have 1000 planes, 1000 tanks, enough weaponry for everyone, and basically Infinite ammunition.

• Use planes for recon, targeting enemy prior to ground fighting.
• Use helicopters for mobility into battle and redeployment out.
• Use Planes to destroy enemy navy.

They have the USS Gerald Ford and approximately 5 destroyers and 10 frigates.

How I would do it

Air-warfare Phase

1. Destroy Navy
2. Recon Enemy nation
3. Bombing Targets (Command Centers, Logistical Nodes, Train lines, bridges, troop concentration)

Shaping Operations.

1. Small Raiding parties at lightly defended areas, force the enemy to
spread their superior numbers out. (Helicopter mobility)
2. Commence Phy Ops, on the technological over match, and inevitability
of defeat.

Seize the initiative

1. Focus on cutting enemy resupply with raiding forces.
2. Start to take territory from lightly defended areas, focus on smaller enemy formations that can’t overwhelm you.
3. Use a tank heavy army, to strike hard and withdraw against the enemy (blitzkrieg) in the country side.

Domination

1. Surround remaining enemy position (that have high enemy concentrations) use Aircraft, artillery, tanks to continue to bomb them.
2. Bait a now desperate enemy into engagement areas, and prepared defensive areas. (Withdraw if it enemy to overwhelm you.)
3. Don’t enter cities, bombard them.

Stabilization

1. Demand unconditional surrender / intern entire civilian population.

Note: assume all citizens of the primitive society will fight to the death for their nation Modern warfare is all about convincing your enemy the war is now pointless and to accept defeat. You idea undercuts a lot of modern military thinking.

There are a lot of bad answers here that mainly seem to come out of a few pervasive myths about European colonialism. There is no need to go around killing the natives at a ratio sufficient to match their relative population. There is barely any need to fight the natives at all. Naval or ranged bombardment is neither necessary nor all that effective in the first place. Trying to spread religious rumors, trying to convince the natives that the invaders are gods, or timing the arrival with a solar eclipse will not work (native people are not stupid). Taking native political leaders hostage can momentarily destabilize central governments, but won’t get you very far towards exerting meaningful control on the ground.

What you do (and this is what the Spanish did in the New World) is you simply convince various subgroups of natives that they are better off following you, and not the existing native authorities. In any large society, there will be no shortage of disgruntled interest groups, and many of them are just waiting for an icebreaker to come along and give them a chance to gain an advantage. You approach local leaders, offer them slightly more autonomy than they currently enjoy, offer them weapons or even just transportation, and most importantly, you tell them that you are also talking to other local leaders about the same idea, so that if they decide to revolt, they won’t be doing it alone. Your goal is not to subjugate the natives, your goal is to be as helpful as possible so that they (or at least the leaders) will literally be inviting you into the country.

I would argue that the modern day military would have to monumentally screw up in order to not wipe the floor with the 1600s era military, no matter how great the numerical disparity.

Chances are they would not even have to meet the enemy in the field. All it would take is a show of force with a flight of aircraft bombing their forts and government buildings- that should be more than sufficient to make it clear to the leaders of the continent that it’s in their best interest to not resist. While they may not care about the lives of their citizens, the fact that you can put a 1,000lb bomb on a warlord / king’s heads anywhere in the continent would make them bend their knee quick enough.

The enemy military would likely be armed with smooth bore muskets, with a range of maybe 100 yards at a pinch, and a rate of fire of maybe a couple of rounds per minute. Their weapons are less accurate, shorter ranged, much less reliable and much slower to fire. Any large formation of men marching towards them is going to be spotted days in advance by aerial reconnaissance, giving them ample time to be attacked with air support and artillery.

Consider how deadly crossing no-mans land in WW1 was. Now imagine that one side has modern weaponry, and the other side has muskets. All it would take is a couple of incredibly bloody battles for the peasants to learn that trying to fight is a death sentence, and the 1600s era nation now longer can field an army.

Most 1600s era rulers did not do a great deal for their peasantry- simply proving food and medical care to the locals would likely be more than enough to encourage them to accept the modern nation as their new rulers, especially when the alternative is to be forced in to a suicidal attack.

Edit: based on the update to the question that all citizens will fight to the death (which is rather unlikely), your only real solution is to wipe out the entire continent. The simplest approach is to destroy their food supply from afar. Invasive species being introduced to ecosystem, crop diseases would do the trick. Poisoning major rivers and contaminating the groundwater could cripple the population if the advanced nation was willing to do it. Introducing diseases in to the populace that they have no natural immunity to would also be very effective.

After a few years of famine and disease, you could probably cut the population down to a fraction of its initial size, and disrupt what industrial/military capacity it would have had.
Then, steadily going from village to village and mopping up anyone left is really the only answer if every peasant insists on fighting to the death (assuming you can actually convince your military to conduct a lengthy campaign of genocide)

A lot depends on the skill and morale of both armies and the tactics employed.

There have certainly been many cases in history where a technologically superior army crushed a technologically inferior one. The European conquest of the Americas come to mind. But bear in mind that it’s not a given. When the Spanish under Magellan landed in the Philippines and thought they’d easily crush the primitive natives, they were badly beaten and took heavy losses.

I read once — and I’m afraid I don’t have the citation — that in cases of “asymmetrical warfare”, i.e. where one army was clearly superior on paper, bigger, better weapons, etc, the inferior army nevertheless won the war about 1/3 of the time.

Because sure, one person with a machine gun versus one person with a wooden club, meeting in an open field where both can see each other coming from a long way off, the person with the machine gun will almost certainly win. But one person with a machine gun versus 1000 people with clubs? He might mow down many of them but they still overwhelm them by sheer numbers. And one person with a machine gun relaxing in their tent at night versus a person with a club who sneaks up on them and attacks them in their sleep, the person with the club probably wins.

If the people from the more primitive nation really are willing to fight to the last person, what’s the morale of the people from the advanced nation? If they go into battle outnumbered 1000 to 1, even with their superior weapons, against a determined foe, they’re likely to take heavy casualties. If the soldiers know that, sure, they’ll kill 100 of the enemy for every person they lose, but in the end they’re still going to die, they might decide to just drop their weapons and run.

So how to win?

The trick for the advanced army is to keep combat on the open field. If both armies are lined up and facing off in open terrain, their superior weapons give them a huge advantage. But if it turns into a guerrilla war, with the primitive army sniping them from hiding, launching surprise attacks, etc, their advantage largely evaporates.

Take steps to prevent the enemy from capturing weapons. They may not be able to make them, but if they can capture them from you they can turn them against you. And if they have time and just a few sufficiently-talented people, they can eventually duplicate at least some of the technology.

It’s a lot easier for the superior army to defeat the enemy army than it is to keep control of the country afterwards. Sometimes it’s “easier to win the war than to win the peace”. We’ve seen that as recently as the US campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US easily defeated the enemy armies and took over both countries. But then got bogged down in a seemingly endless guerrilla war, until they eventually declared victory and withdrew in defeat.

The biggest enemy is complacency. If the superior army thinks, “We’re just going to walk in and take over. Once these yokels see our superior weapons they’re going to promptly surrender”, they’ll probably soon find themselves retreating with heavy losses.

I’ll assume you’re unwilling to resort to bio-weapons. No worries, you don’t need to.

You have tanks. They are effectively invincible.

You have planes. They are invincible; the enemy literally has no way to fight against them.

You have bombs that can almost certainly obliterate whatever fortifications the enemy can throw together.

You have machine guns that can slaughter the enemy with impunity. Heck, your basic infantry weapons can kill them from well outside their effective range (only about 100 m, especially if they don’t have rifling).

But you don’t even need to do that. Send a few drone strikes or cruise missiles their way and claim to be a god. At their level of technology, they’ll believe you. Seriously, you can cause arbitrarily large explosions anywhere you want (well, outdoors anyway), any time you want, and it isn’t obvious how you’re doing it. They won’t be able to surrender fast enough.

Your problem isn’t defeating the enemy in an engagement, it’s how to garrison / manage the territory after their military has been crushed, and possibly how to deal with long-term guerilla warfare. Because you will crush their military if your own leadership is even remotely competent. Open engagement, for your enemy, is nothing short of suicidal.

Client state.

You do not need to colonize this land to resettle your excess population. I cannot imagine the Asians are invading you. Probably you want wealth and you want to justify your military expenditures. Ideally you want the wealth without administering the territory as your own, which is hard work.

1. You trade with the Asians, presumably. There are cities where trade goes on.

2. An uprising in a trade city threatens your nationals. Some are killed.

3. Your troops enter the city and put down the rebellion for the common good. You leave a garrison there to keep order.

4. You explain to the central government that they will pay for the upkeep of your troops at a price you decide on. If they do not pay you explain to the city government that they will be responsible.

5. Other cities also acquire a garrison of your troops and also must pay for upkeep.

Now you have a client state and a way to enforce continued payment. You have a justification to continue enriching your cronies in the military-industrial complex, and prevent them from selling their arms to the Asians (which they would already have done, of course, but your fiction). If your PR is good and your soldiers well behaved maybe the citizenry of the occupied cities will not resent you too much. You have not needed your tanks but they are in the garrisons, ready to go.

Firstly do a lot of reconnaissance and find out where the large centres of population are, who the rulers are and where they live. Monitor the rulers with spies, remote sensing devices and hidden spy cams.Then start spreading rumours concerning the second coming of Christ amongst local priests backed up by some demonstrations woven into the narrative perhaps involving, lights in the sky, high altitude vapour trails and stars falling to Earth. Play on existing superstitions and wrap it up in suitable language for the 1600’s and let that permeate for a few months or years.

Then at some preordained point at a full Moon or during an eclipse make a huge demonstration of force over the capital with low flying aircraft and airships painted to look like dragons and monsters from mythology, they could fire powerful flame throwers and drop bombs designed to make as much noise as possible.

The population would be totally petrified. At the same time Special Forces paratroopers land on the kings castle over power all of the guards and take the royal family hostage. The King can probably then be manipulated to comply with anything you want if fed the right flavor of religious misinformation and a few hair-raisingly impossible feats of magic courtesy of modern technology involving film, high tech, animatronics, submarines and so on.

Then either control the country as Hernán Cortés controlled the Aztecs or failing that introduce a messiah sent from God to banish all of the demonic planes, airships and strange effects and save the people. Then let him take over.

The short answer is artillery. With no “navy” to speak of, they can’t perform a “Dunkirk”. Use advanced technology (tanks, APCs) and air support to herd and pin the enemy against the coast, then annihilate them with artillery from land or offshore.

Since you are low on manpower, use the manpower of the enemy country against them.

Find powerful political figures and military generals within the enemy country who are hungry for power and willing to work with you.

Next, wait till the enemy government is in session and use cruise missiles to blow up their capitol buildings and military headquarters in a simultaneous strike.

Next use predator drones to assassinate the enemy military generals or other leaders who were not in the capitol building.

After that your chosen generals and politicians will step in and take control of the country. You can then rule using them as your proxies.

Whenever someone opposes your proxies, use snipers to take them out from afar.

I would also like to add, in the case where there are battles.

Fight battles at night: You have night vision goggles and they don’t. That gives you a huge advantage in the dark.

Fight battles from far away: Your weapons easily out-range them. If you can use your superior standoff range to keep the enemy back they can’t do any damage to your army in an open field.

Use air power: They don’t have anything that can hit you if you are up high enough.

Establish 10 km beachheads at desolate locations. Since the enemy has no navy, this will be easy. Then before reinforcements arrive, dig trenches around and build runways in each of the beachheads. Whenever they send troops, they will be destroyed by machine guns, plane strafing, and artillery. The planes should primarily be used for surveillance- whenever there is a lapse in the movement of enemy troops to counter the beachheads, advance as far as possible and dig new trench lines. Now, they have several ways to try to counter you:

• They can build countercastles, castles on top of hills that allow them to attack your land with cannons and trebuchets. Take these out with planes and paratroopers.

• They probably will adopt scorched-earth tactics, so most of your planes will be needed for supply drops, rather than combat.

• Likewise the fairly small navy will also be mostly used for supply. The Gerald Ford will need to sit in the middle of the ocean to refuel traveling supply planes. As the enemy can’t do anything against your ships, there’s no point in having flotillas- use some of the destroyers to bombard the parts of the coast you haven’t occupied yet and demoralize the enemy.

• If they are smart, they will probably retreat most of their forces inland to construct walls and trenches before you reach them. So, its critical that planes surveil as much as possible to identify any construction of defensive works in order to destroy them in later bombing runs.

Assuming all the citizens of the nation will fight to the death as you have stated, then you can’t win. You’d have to exterminate the population.

Were I the enemy I’d fall back and fight a guerilla war, particularly urban guerilla fighting, making it too expensive for the other nation to “win” the war. Their fighters can disperse among the population, all of whom will willingly dies to protect them. Then re-emerge at a convenient time to inflict more casualties on the occupiers. Think the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but with even better local support of the insurgents, but nations that outnumber your protagonist.

They don’t even need high tech. Simple hand grenades, improvised explosives, etc. You have an occupying army, Massively outnumbered by a society will to die to drive them off. That is a recipe for failure with any approach short of genocide.

Also over time some of your high tech weapons and ammo will fall into the guerilla’s hands, enhancing their capabilities. IN time they would be able to manufacture simpler version of the occupiers weapons (E.g. the Sten Gun in WWII was simple enough to manufacture that resistance cells behind German lines could do so with just a couple of machined parts given to them. Not as good as a British manufactured once, but still quite deadly).

Your protagonist can win every pitched battle and likely will. They will just never be able to hold the ground without exterminating the population.

That does of course give you fertile ground for how the war affects the home nation and its perception of itself, if you wish to make that part of your story.

# Politically

An enemy is only defeated at the point they accept defeat; ruling a continent-sized land mass with 1bn people who are in open rebellion is totally impossible irrespective of your military and technological capability. Your technological state will likely have to go city to city, or state to state and ‘persuade’ the leaders to accept their new masters. At this point it’s worth considering what the techy-overlords actually want, income/resouces/loot from a conquered land, a new place to settle their citizens, religious control, ethical/political overhaul?

From recent US history some examples show technological superiority is a patchy indicator of military success:

• Success: Japan 1945
• “Mission Accomplished”: Iraq
• “Others”: Vietnam, Afghanistan

Exploit the class divide you have created by funding separatists so that you can defeat their patriotism.
Once their love for their mother land subsides, and they realise that they are ‘primitive’ for being how they were, you have already won.

Alternatively, try this
https://store.steampowered.com/app/508440/Totally_Accurate_Battle_Simulator/

# Starve them out!

Assuming that you are willing to play dirty, all you have to do is:

1. Disrupt (burn) their means of food production (farms / fishing boats)
2. Prevent external supply chains, either by force or threat of force. Sink supply ships, air strikes on caravans etc.
3. Watch your enemy starve. It has been long said that an army marches on its stomach, the bigger the army the larger the stomach.
4. At some point your army will be larger than theirs.

Bioweapons

Bioweapons are the obvious answer. You drop a few virus bombs or aerial sprays that you have vaccines for and decimate the enemy population. There is no radiation or chemicals to clean up and your people are immune to it. No infrastructure is damaged and people with 1800 levels of tech have no real defence.

It’s the perfect weapon. Ethically as black as hell but warfare doesn’t worry about morals. Even if you don’t want to invade and take over, the enemy won’t want to go near you for fear of what you can do.

There is nothing like Ebola and bleeding from every orifice to strike fear into the enemy.

the disparency in men power is a real problem on most modern military force. They are plenty of example of such events, in modern and colonial history (such as the conquistador). With your forces, the conquest phase submitting the or destroying the local political force should not be a problem at all. You may not even have to battle, because you have access to the third dimension you can deploy and attack the main centre of power. Capturing/killing political force in a moment. The main problem is that your manpower is unsufficient to occupy and administrate such a large and populated territory. A solution is to use fusion forces, i.e. recruit indigenous force willing to fight for you. Can be either hostile to current political power or the new political power you just have put in place. This happens very often. Your fusion forces occupy the territory and engage their former friends. Then you can concentrate your awesome firepower were it is needed without spreading it. Assuring the position of your new political ally and protectorate.

# It won’t be a battle, it’ll be a Slaughter.

## From a defensive POV

Let me explain, the advanced nation is 100% safe. Basically, the advanced nation won’t be affected, at all. The enemy lacks an airforce, so they can’t project their influence aerially. And let’s talk realistically, a few ironclads aren’t going to stand a half-decent chance against 5 destroyers, they’ll be vaporized before they can even see destroyers. The destroyers could probably run them over.

Therefore, defense is not much of a problem. Any attacks will be dealt with long before they can even reach the mainland.

## From an offensive POV

I’m not going to consider dirty tactics, because honestly, it’s not necessary. What I would do is take out their navy with a couple of bombers. Then, keep the USS Gerald just close enough to the primitives so that your drones and stealth recon aircraft have enough range for a few reconnaissance missions. You could also use satellite pictures since a lot of the technology you mentioned needs satellite navigation and photography as a prerequisite. Now find their armories and weapons manufacturing areas, bomb them with your bombers. Then use drones (if you have them) to eliminate their leaders. Then take out the rest of the warriors with airstrikes.

### Infiltration

Now let’s focus on taking out any rebels, which is everybody (mass extinction). Since you said that they won’t surrender, the only option to get rid of all resistance. Send in a Special Forces unit, load one of them with fake information, all analog, since the primitives won’t be able to decipher digital information and may kill him. There should be a map with clearly illustrated diagrams that show your base in a specific region, preferably one where you need to go through a valley/canyon/gorge to get to it. The more passages/canyons that lead up to it the better, like so:

Bridges/narrow passages above deep gorges are good too. The only important thing is that it has to be narrow and very long.

Now, bring all of your carriers, ships, and planes, along with your army to the closest possible distance from the shore without being within visual range. Your SF unit will go to this location (here’s where the recon comes in handy) and will set up a base with campfires, lights, and everything. They will conspicuously stay there for a week so as to not arouse suspicions in the next stage. Now send the SF operatives out into the forest, specifically trying to be captured. There should be 5 other operatives following the captured operatives. They should wait outside the rebel base. Once the rebels interpret the info (if they don’t know how, order the operatives, who should be fluent in the local language, to give them the information. Once the majority of the rebels set out and are out of earshot. The free operatives will take out those who stayed behind and will free the captured operatives. Before the expedition, the operatives would have set charges in the gorge so that it collapses when the charges detonate, Park several attack helicopters above the gorge, this should be done long before the rebels arrive, and the helos should be camouflaged carefully. From the helo, send out several snipers and infantrymen with heavy machine guns and RPGs, again, all camouflaged. From here you can go two ways.

i. Once the rebels arrive and all of them (the vast majority) enter the gorge, blow the charges. Then start up the helos and get the snipers to fire at any survivors, with data from the helos’ thermal imaging. Use missiles and machine guns to eliminate everyone else.

ii. Wait until everyone exits the gorges. Then blow the gorges, so they have no escape. Now use HMGs, RPGs, snipers, and missiles to deal with the rest.

### (The Dark Part) – Extermination

After that move all the attack ships, destroyers, and carriers, that we kept near the shore into their final position, 1 mile from the shore, so that nobody can climb aboard.

Then, put all your troops on the ground and set up strategically placed bases and camps around the primitive nation. Start bringing fuel and other resources to the p.n. (primitive nation). Bring in the helos and start a nation-wide thermal imaging campaign. Once you’ve found the rebels, send in the infantry and a few helos for good measure. After you finish with a rebel base, monitor it for a few days, then call in an airstrike if you see any rebel movement.

You are almost done, start a bombing campaign at all the known rebel locations. Also, stop all o=movement out of the country with heavily armed checkpoints.

## One Important Thing

Of course, all of this is pointless if you’re willing to bomb them back to the stone age with a full-on bombing campaign, and then sending in the army to finish the job.

Congrats, you’ve successfully wiped out a race! (I do not promote or encourage this idea in real life)

# The Smart Way

All of this could be avoided if you infiltrated their ranks as friendlies over the years, pretending to promote technological advancements, but really sabotaging them every step of the way.

Then one day, declare war. When they come to attack with all their might, turn the sabotaged tech against them and watch them bomb themselves back to the stone age. While your people watch from their couches with a Coca-Cola in hand.

### The End.

Hope this helps!

Offense or defense?

## Offense

If our protagonists are trying to conquer them, it’s pretty much pointless. The only real option against a society that will fight to the last is kill them to the last. Genocide. A well informed modern population is unlikely to support genocide.

A modern society has an alarming number of ways to slaughter lots of people en mass, even if you take nukes off the table. Ways an 18th century society would have no way to counter. Biological weapons, orbital weapons (ye olde god rod), poisoning their water, their fields, their air… They don’t even need to attack their enemies directly. Inflict a famine or two back to back, and the vast majority of the population will be dead or starving. The plague that almost certainly followed would all but depopulate the country.

They might try to turn the country into a prison, but that seems wildly impractical. Enslave the entire population? Same difference.

## Defense

Defense should be trivial. There’s AN OCEAN between them. It’s all naval, all the time, and mostly wooden ships with the occasional iron-side will have absolutely no chance against a modern navy. There’s absolutely no way for your primitives to sneak up on a civilization with satellites and drones and radar, and and and…

On land you can sneak up on your enemy and remove any range advantage. Primitives have zero chance of sneaking up on someone with radar, sonar, and real time satellite imagery.

Yes, the first military submersibles were used in the civil war. No, they didn’t work. Their range sucked, they utterly failed their one mission I’d heard of, and their range was limited to the length of a drill bit attached to the roof. No chance of sneaking in.

And if they can’t sneak, then it’s all about range and accuracy. Smooth bore broadside vs modern naval weaponry? You know we have prototype laser weapons right? How long do you think a sail would hold up to a laser? Ditto for prototype rail guns: Coastal bombardment with a range over 200km.

## Both?!

Okay, so one political party on your island nation is running things, and they’re expansionists. The island nation is hurting for land, so they take some from the primitives on the mainland. They don’t take on the whole nation, they just kick the crap out of one little corner of it, and then fort up.

Now you’ve got a protagonist army on the mainland. Now it’s clearing fields of fire, sensor/satellite/drone intel, and making explosions from afar (whether that be air power, artillery, or [cruise] missiles). Oh, and bullets. Lots and lots of bullets. Ooh ooh! And mine fields. Do you know we have artillery shells that can spread mines?

An ultimatum and a precision airstrike on the royal palace should do it. Followed by the same again if the next regime does not comply, and so on.

It really should not take long for political factions in the larger nation to figure out that peace is the only option. Yeah, everyone says that they’ll fight to the death, but nobody does.

With this kind of technology, including drones, satellites etc, the smaller nation can easily track everything relevant in the larger one and destroy leadership targets at will. If necessary they could carry out shows of force to destroy more visible targets (for example, knocking out key bridges, dams etc) to disrupt infrastructure and make a point, but that would hardly be necessary.

Alternatively, develop nukes (would not take long with modern resources) or biological weapons.

Tagged : / / /

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Gather 4 to 20 players around a campfire and depending on your role in the game, hunt down werewolves that have infiltrated the group, devour innocent villagers, or even end up as the only survivor to win the game.

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