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A time-traveling mare from an alternate future once quipped "War. War never changes". She was half right.

Certainly the aim and end of war has remained constant. After all, what is war but a forcible imposition of one's will upon an opponent (including the case where your will is simply that she not impose hers on you)? Ponies have been forcing their will on their fellow neighbours and Doing Unto Others As They Would Not Have Done To Themselves from time immemorial, ever since paleopony Og gazed with covetous eyes upon the prime grazing patch her neighbour Thag occupied.

While the nature of war has not changed, the tools by which it is waged has thanks to the Thaumaturgical Revolution. Equestrian military machinery and materiel can be grouped into five main categories: the Mundane, the Meteorological, the Magical, the Mechanical, and the Munchies. In some cases this was an incremental refinement and evolution of existing weapons, in others a complete paradigm shift.

Mundane weapons are the oldest and least changed of Equestria's armoury. They are simple, brutally efficient tools for enhancing a pony's natural reach and power. They require no special magic to wield aside from some basic hoof-eye coordination and are readily employed by ponies of all tribes. All Mundane weapons can trace their roots back to the four basic weapon archetypes (some lineages are more torturous than others): a large, solid stick for hitting things, a pointy stick for poking things, a large rock for bashing things, and a knapped, edged rock for cutting things. More modern versions include crystal shocklances, wing blades, hoof-claws, tail flail meteor hammers, glaives, segmented bō staves, weighted hoof-guards, and horn-blades.

Meteorological weapons have also existed as long as Equestrian ponies have lived on Equus and are a natural extension of a species with an affinity for weather manipulation like the entire Pegasus tribe and select Earth ponies and Unicorns with weather related Cutie-Marks. Weather related weaponry ranged from personal static bolts and bottled microbursts, to squad automatic Cloud-Hammers and crew-served Thunderheads, up to battalions of hurricane wranglers and blizzard jockeys. Cloud structures feature prominently with Equestrian military skylift, logistics, and C2ISTAR with Stratiform supply and stand-off clusters, Cumulonimbiform forward mobile bases, and high altitude NLC recon sheets. Weather magic also lead to the creation of the WEATHER VANE theatre defence shields (named (officially) after the rooftop implement due to its shape and (unofficially) after the deviant sexual practice because "it f:yay:ks with the enemy's weather!").

Magic weapons are perhaps historically the most famous (if not the most "flashy") of Equestria's arsenal. While commonly employed by unicorns due to their natural, biological advantages, a non-insignificant number of pegasi and earth ponies also practice magic. Spells ranged from the massive and strategic (the Celestial Solar Flare, the Crystal Theatre Defence Shield, and the Elements of Harmony), to the tactical (Sonic Rainboom, teleportation, and Cloud Walk), to the esoteric like "Time Travel", "Want It-Need It", and "Rubber Ducky" (records have been sealed sub judice pending a war crimes investigation tribunal). When it came to the war effort, no spell was considered too simple, not caster too unskilled. Ponies found new and inventive uses for spells that any other being would have dismissed out of hoof for being "too silly"; simple light cantrips were used to pump laser weapons, balloon popping spells adapted to create fearsome ballotechnic anti-everything warheads, and mundane tailoring spells were weaponised to create the dreaded cursed lingerie favoured by Equestria's fearsome "Rouge Cell" special operations teams (unit motto: "Strike fast, leave a pretty corpse". They were quite literally on the cutting edge of fashion).

The Mechanical weapons were the first that created an new paradigm in the Art of War. The mundane, meteorological, and magic weapons were incremental developments to weapons, tactics, and techniques that have existed since time immemorial; mechanical weapons are a entirely new class precipitated by the recent modern advances brought about by the Thaumaturgical Revolution. Earth pony inventiveness, mechanical aptitude, and industriousness lead to the complete modernisation and mechanisation of Equestria's military forces at a rate never before seen in any other sapient race. The technological boost was not limited to weapons alone; were Equestrians reduced to fighting with mere stones and pebbles, they would still maintain an overwhelming Strength Gradient thanks to a logistics transportation chain powered by the new internal thaumic engines. Like magic weapons, mechanical arms ranged from the strategic, like the Iron Charger Siege Dreadnought and Ballistic Undertaker Titan Tank, to the tactical, like the Crystal Power Armour and heat-seeking anti-dragon PONPADS. Probably the most influential mechanical weapon is the gun and gun-harness which allowed ponies of all races, sexes, and builds to project accurate, lethal force at a distance at a fraction of the effort of a mundane or magical weapon. As the famous quote goes, "Faust the Elder made ponies, but Braeburn made them equal".

Mechanical, meteorological, and magic weapons tend to hog to spotlight and headlines (nations tend to sit up and take notice when a battalion of 80 metre mechas or a 80 kilometre wall-cloud fortress enters their territory after all), but they direct scrutiny away from Equestria's true technological achievement: the Munchies. Weapons based on food may appear daft as a box of frogs, but any Equestrian commander will tell you it is no laughing matter. As the famous Prench pegasus general Neighpoleon commented, "an army flies on its stomach", and having the technology to weaponise food gives the Equestrian military and enormous advantage. The logistics savings alone allow pony battalions to strike out further, faster, and with more force that any of their neighbours could ever possibly hope to bring to bear. Thanks to an intensive research and development programme (and not a little bit of political lobbying by the Military-Agricultiral complex), the most advanced munchie munition is the humble apple and all its culinary derivatives. Apple pies, apple fritters, apple strudel, apple crumble, apple sauce, apple jam, apple preserves, apple slices, apple juice, apple cider each more nutritious and destructive than the last. Culinary military research has also recently began to branch out into baked goods, adding more tasty meals and effective ammunition for Equestrian soldiers.

The sheer variety and efficacy of Equestrian military and war technology may come as a shock to casual observer who naïvely expects pretty pastel ponies to be pacifistic push-overs. The historian would point out that these weapons should come as no surprise; they are, after all, what allow Equestrians to defend their right to live a pacifistic life surrounded by carnivorous and omnivorous sapients, mad demigods, and megafauna large enough to appear on survey maps. No, the real surprise is that once Equestria rallied after the initial invasion campaign and marshaled their full skills and talent into the war effort, that there was anybeing left alive to negotiate a surrender...

In an unrelated note, rumour has it that the future mare inked out a lucrative publishing contract with A. K. Yearling to produce a best-selling novel and literary spin-off series...

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Holy moly

ohh thought a fav story of mine had been republished but only it's name is the same. Will read it asap.

Absolutely brutal.

Lest We Forget. :pinkiesick:

An occupied world is no place to deploy a Starhammer.

Dont worry, it wont remain occupied for much longer.

Always wondered, how much power would Nightmare Moon have left, if theres no Moon remaining?

Ponies took a correspondence course:rainbowkiss:

Devastating scene, with some fantastic touches. Priming bullets with breath and blood was an exquisite display of the story's particualr aesthetic blend. Thank you for an incredible read.

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