• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 16 minutes ago

MrNumbers


The magical psychic socialist

E

Unicorns are historically superior to other races.

Twilight finds out why.

Edited by Aragon and R5h, uniquely inspired by KitsuneRisu.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 164 )

This is a good story, but I still hold that pegasi would be the superior offensive fighting force if for no other reason than sheer mobility. Entire major wars have been won due to one side possessing strategic depth to maneuver in, and pegasi have easy access to an entire additional dimension of movement. They do have some potential logistical issues, but I think those would be easier to work around than unicorns or earth ponies working around pegasus flight.

Plus they could hide an entire fighting force in the clouds...imagine if every cloud over your realm could possibly be a Trojan horse.

"He who can injure others without being injured himself is the master of the battlefield." - Sun Tzu, Probably

9804848
I'm mostly in agreement with you there. The only counter-argument I would make is, well, magic. And all that entails. There are practically countless possibilities they could use to defend themselves from pegasi, as long as they were quick enough. Then there are spells like Shining Armor's shield. So... I dunno, maybe I'm split on that one.

TDR
TDR #4 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

....... I see a redistribution of wealth coming soon.....

To be fair, magic will almost always trump military strategy due to the versatility of the damn stuff.

Clouds? Shred it with lasers and boil the pegasi in their own shelter.

Aerial swarm? Barrier up and take pot shots until the pegasi lose stamina and then break out the aoe spells when they try to regroup or launch a last ditch assault.

Rather, it would be more prudent of pegasi to siphon up the water, launch it back as snow or hold it for ransom.

9804851
Truth, but remember something established back in Season 1: Twilight Sparkle was emphasized as being a tremendously gifted spellcaster just for knowing a mere twenty-five distinct spells, one of which was merely a mustache spell. The same episode has Spike comment that most unicorns know “a few” spells, strictly related to their special talent.

My point being that the typical unicorn’s spellcasting ability is probably encapsulated in Rarity, whom we only ever see cast one spell in her own right, her gem-finding spell. Otherwise they seem to be limited to telekinesis and making their horns glow. So it shouldn’t be presumed that every, or even most, unicorns have some arcgmage potential.

Yes, you get wildcards like Twilight or Shining Armor — but then pegasi have horses like Rainbow Dash or Lightning Dust, or earth ponies have Applejack or Big “drag an entire house behind me” MacIntosh.

9804859
Oh, absolutely. But I can't imagine you could get into the Royal Guard without at least knowing a few more spells than the average unicorn.

Then again, considering the Royal Guard's lack of competency... :rainbowlaugh:

9804861
I actually have a story about that (unicorn in the royal guard but only knows one spell) right now!

#shamelessplug

9804848 9804851
So that's wars, and not the maintaining of private property - which is largely the role of a standing police force and not the military itself. Though we get into much more wobbly theory here than I care to, and I'd start linking to a lot of things that aren't fluffy pony stories. This unfortunately draws on real history - telling it in Equestria was just funnier.

This a pretty good summary of how history works. All you need is one big advantage. Hmm...guns, for example. Thise were pretty hard to beat if you didn’t have them.

This made me laugh out loud. I loved it!

9804852
The wealthy still have crossbows. On the other hoof the poor don't and to protect them strict gu.. bow safety laws have been passed.

9804867
Eh, fair enough, although standing civilian police forces fully distinct from a town or city militia is a pretty new thing too, only about since the late 1700s or so, and I’d imagine Equestria would parallel that. So I’d still think that, if pegasi became the military class of early Equestria, the police forces would probably favor pegasi still. The advent of the crossbow might change things, but I can’t help but think that it’d be more likely that a version of the crossbow usable by pegasi (and probably earth ponies too) would be invented.

But that’s just me overthinking things.

9804861
To be fair, I don't think we've seen a Royal Guard that wasn't Shining Armor do any serious spellcasting.

Or spellcasting at all, for that matter.

How can we know for sure they're unicorns at all?

Bigd2k #15 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

That last line is horrifying in its own way.

9804857

In a slightly more realistic Equestria, I´m surprised nobody even sit down and thought ·"Hey, spellcasting is so cool! why should unicorns be the only ones who can do it? can magic be understood and mastered like electricity or any other form of energy? and how could we do it?"

I read this and I can only think of one thing. "But... but Pinkie can use a crossbow. :pinkiesad2:"

Counterargument:
derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/10/17/1004260__safe_screencap_pinkie+pie_the+one+where+pinkie+pie+knows_back+to+the+future_crossbow_discovery+family+logo_helmet_solo_zipline.png

Mind you, that's not to say this history is invalid. Just because earth ponies could fire crossbows doesn't mean they had crossbows to fire. That said, I'd think that horn lasers would be the preferred unicorn projectile. I suppose crossbows were more energy-efficient, in the sense of asking for less energy from the user.

In any case, Pinkie's right. Just because the current social order was founded on who could point spring-loaded pointy sticks at whom doesn't mean that Twilight can't work to make it more equitable for all. Especially when the earth ponies have partillery now. :pinkiecrazy:

Very fun little story. I always appreciate a Pinkie who shows hidden depths from her upbringing. Thank you for it.

Pinkie disappeared, then rolled her party cannon into the library a second later. “You were asking me what gave me the idea for this!”

Won't it be something more like party ballista then?

nemryn #20 · 2 weeks ago · · 1 ·

9804896
It's not direct spellcasting, but there are plenty of stories out there where pegasi and earth ponies do have the same kind of magic as unicorns, it's just directed through their wings or hooves rather than horns. There's also Estee's stuff, where pegasi do have a direct spell-analogue, in the form of "workings".

nemryn #21 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

“Okay, so even if it is true-” Twilight stormed up to the shelves and glared at them, “What do I do about it? I went to Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns ! I was her personal student, just because I was born right?” She whipped back to look at Pinkie, her fringe fraying as she fussed with it. “Does that make me a bad pony? Does that make Celestia a bad pony? Because I never heard of a school for gifted earth ponies!”

See, I've never really bought into this idea. In line with a fluffy pastel Equestria, I've always figured that of course there's also a Royal Cloudsdale Academy and a Manehattan Culinary Institute, they've just never come up on the show.

Hilariously absurd.

Things would change if the earthponies or pegasi invented guns like Pinkie's cannon

Georg #23 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

9804972 Partillery. Most certainly.

♫ You've come such a long, long way ♫

"Congratulations, Twilight. You're an alicorn now. Here's your crossbow."

"What?"

"All new alicorns get a crossbow. Didn't you know that?"

"What?"

"Admittedly, yours isn't as nice as Luna's, since she's had so much time to customize it. And Cadence put little flowers and hearts all over hers, which I just don't understand. But here it is, all yours. Enjoy."

"What?"


(Much later)
"Congratulations, Cadence. Shining Armor. Your new foal looks adorable! Here's her crossbow."

9804896
Because most of the non-unicorn casters are freaking supervillians.

That's why.

Oh hey a story about guns and imp... er I mean crossbows and nobility.

9804987
Not necessarily. Early guns are dangerous and unreliable, only good because they're cheap and easy to use. But easier for unicorns too. Manual (mouth? Wing? Horn?) Dexterity makes a lot of difference into the operation of complex weaponry.

9805008

At Celestia school:
Teacher: "So you are a spellcaster,huh? Without a horn, or even a magic related Cutie Mark? Please, don't waste my time little colt, and go back to the farm with your dirt pony family (close the door)"

Colt: "THAT IS! I, Necro Dancer, will show you all! I vow you will regret this day! Muhahahaaaa"

In other words don't give up your crossbows.:pinkiehappy:

This is amusing, but considering some of the things that ponies do with their hooves in the show I would think that everypony could use a crossbow.

Now, if it were Estee's ponies where there is no magical hoofie grip and the vast majority of non-unicorns have problems using or making complex or delicate tools ...

“Well, yeah.” Pinkie went back to mixing the batter. “You’re a unicorn. Why would you? It’d just make you feel bad. I bet you’re super mopey right now!”

That's pure gold.

One day, Pinkie decided to invent tools for the proletariat revolution. Just in case.

“It doesn’t just shoot confetti!” Pinkie beamed, patting its side with a mother’s love. “I wouldn’t worry about it, though, Twilight. I know you’re one of the good ones!”

Absolutely not going full payback

9804899
Do not fret, she has actual ARTILLERY

Pinkie, who says confetti has to be made out of paper?

:pinkiecrazy:

9804848
No... they lack dakka. More dakka is needed. Dakka is love, dakka is life.

Say your a Unicorn and you and your family have just "acquired" some land from some mud ponies with the help of the Unicorns good friend the crossbow,but now you need to run and organize your homestead to make it profitable so you don't have time to patrol your property yourself and the sparkly lights of your glowing horn will only scare your new earth pony serfs into obedience for so long ,how are you gonna protect your stuff from earth pony criminals?

Simple! Hire a Pegasus band to patrol your land and keep dirty mud ponies in line and in the fields and away from dangerous ideas like stealing your crops,organizing revolts or becoming literate! After all violence is the only thing those pegesus brutes are good for anyway,that and making clouds. (note only rich Unicorns could hire Pegasus mercenaries,filthy earth ponies could not hire Pegasi)

9804859
Good points, for sure. Of course, each tribe would have specific advantages over the others, but specific disadvantages, too (the whole idea of paper/rock/scissors comes to mind).

Imagine a unicorn like Rarity as a soldier--able to teeking nothing but sewing needles.... :raritystarry:
Dozens and dozens and dozens of sewing needles.:raritywink:
All moving at near sonic speeds.:raritywink:
Forget dodging, darling--you're NOT going to see them coming.:raritystarry::rainbowderp:
Oh, you mean her unicorn magic glow? :raritydespair:
That happens to be the same color as the sky??:raritywink:
Sure, Rainbow Dash could almost blend into a cloudless sky (if not for her mane and tail)--she's nearly naturally camouflaged. :rainbowdetermined2:
But so is Rarity's magic...:raritywink:
And clouds as cover? Well... no.... You see, cover is what you can hid behind to protect you from incoming fire. Clouds are at best only concealment.:rainbowkiss:
(well, clouds MAY prevent another pegasus from ramming into you, but...):rainbowwild:
No. The simple obvious solution to that is you do what Hans Gruber would do: shoot the clouds!:duck::rainbowhuh:

...and if you really wanted to get nasty, you poison the needles! :trollestia:

Just the right mix of silly and serious!

9805189
Counterpoint: pegasi can fly many thousands of feet in the air, much further than telekinesis can reach, and drop stuff. Plus it can’t be practical to vaporize every cloud...

And thats why Equestria at War is a great mod.

9804896 Maybe they did sit down, think it over, and realized that they can't. Not all things are possible just because you think really hard at it.

9805207

Yeah, like flying or travelling to the Moon. That´s obviously impossible...until someone finds a way.

9805119
Indded, canister shot is sort of like metal confetti right? :pinkiecrazy:

9805229 Your argument is poor. You bring up all the times something was thought impossible, worked on, and then realized to be possible.

However, you neglect all the many - many - times something was thought impossible, worked on, and despite that remained impossible.

9805200
I think I heard somewhere that at the outbreak of WW1, pilots would literally drop darts out of their planes to try and hit people. Obviously not the most effective, but if you could catch a small unicorn army unaware (otherwise they could cast a shield) and you and some friends could drop a few dozen darts.

This was actually a very serious story in the Socratic style about the mechanisms of primitive accumulation. Prank'd into reading theory.

You monster.

Excellent wee piece, Numbers, and that last line's a beauty. Cracking title as well. :raritywink:

9805251
Or rocks, javelins, arrows, etc., all while sitting comfortably outside of retaliation range and letting gravity do most of the work. Of course, that assumes you even attack the army in the first place. Pegasi should be masters of asymmetrical warfare, principally targeting supply convoys, towns and villages, mines, roads — find out where your enemy is and then strike where they aren’t. Sun Tzu said something to that effect. The pegasus cloud-cities, meanwhile, remain essentially impervious to retaliation from the other two tribes.

Not that the pegasi don’t have problems of their own. Principally their air forces would be limited by the amount of food and supplies that the pegasi themselves could carry, which is probably a lot less than what an earth pony or even ground-bound unicorn could drag behind them on wheeled carts. They’d be heavily dependent on foraging from the land and plunder to keep their forces fed.

Which goes a ways towards explaining the might of United Equestria once the three tribes came together — earth ponies and unicorns could solve the logistical issues of pegasi by creating and maintaining supply trains or fortresses that extended both the range at which pegasi could extend, and the amount of material and food they could carry.

I’ve thought a lot about this over the years, if you couldn’t tell, especially the logistics...amateurs talk tactics, but professionals study logistics. That’d be General Robert H. Barrow, USMC.

9805246

The point is, just because something is impossible now doesn´t mean someone won´t find a way around someday.
Humans can fly like birds because our anatomy and aerodinamics cannot be changed. Flying aircraft and engines create an alternative while taking the previous into account.

9805274 Yes and the counterpoint to that is "Just because you try really hard at something doesn't mean it'll happen. Some things are impossible, full stop."

You asked "Why haven't the ponies tried to make non-unicorn spellcasters?"

And my entirely reasonable response is "Maybe they did, and it turned out it can't be done." So I don't really know what it is you're trying to argue here.

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