Monday, November 25, 2013

Choose your weapon

Time now for a thought exercise in the form of a pop quiz. For the purposes of this, please leave preconceived notions at the imaginary door you came through to get here, and do not consider which is the best answer for your politics, or what have you.

In this exercise, you are all that stands between those you care for and the most gruesome end imaginable. But despite this terrible situation, you're in luck: You may have ANY weapon presently available that can be used by a single person (things requiring tripods or vehicle mounts are out). The threat shall remain mysterious, and all you can hope is that your choice of armament is sufficient to defend those who are depending on you. Your selection and its availability has no impact on what, if any, weapons you will be challenged with. Some possible opponents will be listed at the very end, don't look until you have completed the quiz.

And now the high-stakes game of "would you rather" begins

1) Given the option, would you rather:
   A) Close to melee range?
   B) Remain at a distance?

2) How much training do you want to NEED to use your implement effectively in battle
   A) Days
   B) Months
   C) Years

3) Would you prefer a weapon
   A) That gives an advantage to the larger/stronger combatant
   B) That disregards the effects of size and strength

4) Would you prefer a weapon that is
   A) Effective against a single opponent
   B) Effective against multiple opponents

5) Would you prefer a weapon that is
   A) Designed for ergonomic use
   B) Designed to be easier to make from a single piece of material

From here on, the quiz is written assuming you have elected to utilize a ranged weapon that utilizes ammunition of some variety.

6) Would you rather have:
   A) More shots before reloading
   B) Less shots before reloading

7) Would you prefer:
   A) Low recoil, low power
   B) Medium-low recoil, medium high power
   C) High to very high recoil, high power

8) Oh no, the danger is close to your friend/family/etc! Would you rather
   A) Have complete control of each projectile fired
   B) Have an uncontrollable cone of projectiles

9) Wow, you've really found yourself in quite a tough spot! Going to need a few shots to take care of this. Would you prefer
   A) Faster shots
   B) Slower shots

10) When selecting your ammo, would you prefer ammunition that will
   A) Cause more damage for the same size/weight shot
   B) Cause less damage for the same size/weight shot

11) Jeez, whatever it is is still coming and you've run empty! Would you rather
   A) Have slower reloads
   B) Have faster reloads

12) Finally, a brief respite, your weapons have driven them back to the edge of their your range. How far back would you prefer to push them? Would you prefer your range to be
   A) Longer
   B) Shorter

13) It was nice while it lasted, but now you're fighting them off from room to room. Would you rather your weapon be
   A) Larger
   B) Smaller

If you've selected well, you may have successfully fended off the threat! First we'll look at what weapon you probably wound up with if you answered honestly for the best defense of your family. Next, let's take a look at some of the possible villains, shall we? They're both after the jump (let's see if this works right, I have no idea what I'm doing).

Chances are, if you answered truthfully without any kind of "political correctness", your answers will likely have added up to one of these. Relatively low recoil for high effectiveness, firing hollow-point ammunition stored in great big magazines. Compact and manageable, depending on the caliber some of them can reach all the way out to 1000 yards, and 500 yards isn't too hard to reach for most. You can learn to use it well enough to save your friends, family, and self in a pretty short span of time, and if you're able to lift it (not one of these is much more than 10 lbs), you can use it about as effectively as the burliest muscleman ever born.

The reason this class of rifles (or the civilian semi-auto copies) has grown so popular is that there's nothing bad about it. If you have to bet your life or even just your score on the weapon you carry, you want it to be the best it possibly can.

And now let's take a gander at what you may have been up against, shall we?

"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And, if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."
Reavers; Humans, driven mad by the aggression centers of their brains overloading, they're cannibalistic psychopaths. If they don't kill you, they'll torture you until your mind breaks and you become one of them. Think zombies, except they can work a spaceship, and they enjoy what they're doing. It's considered a mercy to kill anyone rather than allow the Reaver's to take them.

In addition to being about 50% swords, this thing can spit spikes hard enough to shoot down aircraft.
Imagine a swarm of 30 or so of these things charging at you, going very, very fast.

The Zerg/Tyrannid; from Starcraft and Warhammer 40k respectively, they're effectively the same (indeed, the Zerg were inspired by Tyrannids, but better pictures exist for the Zerg and I knew of them first). Ravenous space bug monsters, made from various species twisted into killing machines, intent on wiping out/assimilating all life that isn't them. Controlled by a hive mind, they're as likely to infect you with a mutating mind-controlling parasite as they are to simply devour you. Almost always found en-masse. To add to the fun, some Zerg/Tyrannid breeds are large enough to gnaw on tanks! Lucky you didn't meet any of them, the things that will deal with them tend not to be man-portable. Sometimes even tank portable is still insufficient! They also have air support, but most of it is just as susceptible to rifle fire as the ground critters.

Mutant Zombie Bear; It has all the usual tendencies of a zombie, but is made out of a critter that isn't a giant bucket of suck when stripped of the ability to use tools. Whatever you're using on this one, it's gonna take a few shots. Not quite as bad off as the above examples, but you still wouldn't want one or more of these to go bump in the night.

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