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Realistically, How many people could one guy fight alone?

Depending on tech levels, someone in full plate armor against a camp of unprepared, unarmored men, could be a gruesome slaughter. It could be written so people believe it. Full plate is a bitch to beat a man to death through, in particular, if you're wearing your pajamas and he's trying to kill you back, heh heh. In fact, it might not take long before you couldn't kill the entire encampment because they'd be running to get the hell out of there. It could be a fun writing challenge.

I'm reminded of the movie Unforgiven too, where Clint Eastwood shoots 5 or six men, and it's believable. Now, if 5-6 gunmen draw on you simultaneously and you gun them down? Not so believable. But as the fight went down, totally believable.
 

Ned Marcus

Inkling
I'm reminded of the movie Unforgiven too, where Clint Eastwood shoots 5 or six men, and it's believable. Now, if 5-6 gunmen draw on you simultaneously and you gun them down? Not so believable. But as the fight went down, totally believable.

I love this shootout. I agree, the way they do it feels totally believable.
 

MrNybble

Sage
Does this world have lots of magic, godly, or super power possiblities? Without the world building foundation that all this is based on, I can't give any chance in hell an accurate response. I have mortals that can best gods and even kill them in my fictional world. Not sure what your fantastical environment can produce.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Hi,

In open ground I would guess three max. The simple fact is that while your man is facing down one or two the third is behind him. He would be nearly screwed with three and four would kill him. It doesn't matter how good he is or the others aren't, they'd simply mob him. And once he's down he's dead. Your man needs to be intelligent. That has to be his edge. So he strikes with stealth. Stands in a choke point where only one man can get to him at once, and no ranged weapons can reach him. Then he's got a chance of killing twenty five or more.

If it's high fantasy he can have powerful magic as a weapon. Maybe a tangle spell to hold his opponents so they can't attack him. Or blindness. Or if it's steampunk, a bomb would help even the odds.

And personally I say forget Bruce Lee. He was brilliant, but the way he won his fights in Enter the Dragon etc, was that his opponents always stood back and let one or two go for him and waited until they were down before trying their luck. I don't see this as realistic in an actual, non staged fight.

Cheers, Greg..
 

pmmg

Istar
The simple fact is, its unpredictable.

The likely outcome is one will not prevail against many. But there are accounts of people who have. I found one account of one taking on a dozen and giving enough of them a whooping that he prevailed.

I cannot find what is considered the most one person ever singlehandedly beat but ive seen several accounts of one vs ten.

There would be so many factors that would make such a statement true that it would be hard to account for them. My guess is adrenalin, opponent fear, and the ability to get them one at a time matters most.
 
Hi,

Forgot to add two things. First there is another tactic he could use if your guy is fast enough - hit and run. He attacks one then runs, somehow gets away from the rest and then keeps picking them off. Obviously he needs a confused arena with lots of places he can hide for this tactic to work.

The other thing is stamina. Sure your guy may be good one on one. But each time he fights one of these enemies, even one on one, he grows tired. Twenty five is a hell of a lot of fights, especially if they are anything more than just one punch / stab and you're down.

Cheers, Greg.
 
Have a look at the Sharpe series (historical, not fantasy). In every book Richard Sharpe kills dozens of people - often in the same fight.

It's very believable and is partly dependent on reputation, partly on size and skill, partly on excellent planning and partly on luck. (Sharpe is reputed to be lucky in battle.) The author really knows how to write a battle scene. The books basically insert a fictional character into the novelised career of the Duke of Wellington - all the way from India to Waterloo. Brilliant.
 

ShadeZ

Maester
Read the Illiad. Achilles killed way more than you are worrying about. So - where does your hero come in on the Achilles-o-meter?
The character involved is of Kronian Blood meaning he can naturally become invisible (he is trained to move with the wind and quietly so he's difficult to detect) and he can hold his breath for up to 2 hours (his species devolved from the winged flying sky elves) as such their lung capacity can be quite large only his culture retain this to be able to do it so long. This culture developed this into an amphibianoid manner so they have very thick skin and a resistance to cold but vulnerability to heat (they hate summer) they tend to sleep underwater using an auto bobbing reflex like a hippos to come up for air. They are strong compared to other cultures due to intense training and genes that favor such.
 
I'm sorry if I'm coming into this late, but I'd say the answer wholly depends on how many he literally fights at once, not altogether. For instance, one very powerful character could marathon lay out 25 guys but most reasonable human-like creatures without magick or something similar aren't going to fare well against more then maybe 5 if they decide to attack in unison, IMHO. BUT most people, real, or not, or creatures, likely won't attack in unison and might make it EASIER to resist the bigger the group gets...we aren't pack animals, after all, and only they have the instinct to fight in and as a group without training.
 

S J Lee

Inkling
The character involved is of Kronian Blood meaning he can naturally become invisible (he is trained to move with the wind and quietly so he's difficult to detect) and he can hold his breath for up to 2 hours (his species devolved from the winged flying sky elves) as such their lung capacity can be quite large only his culture retain this to be able to do it so long. This culture developed this into an amphibianoid manner so they have very thick skin and a resistance to cold but vulnerability to heat (they hate summer) they tend to sleep underwater using an auto bobbing reflex like a hippos to come up for air. They are strong compared to other cultures due to intense training and genes that favor such.
yes, but that isn't really an answer.... ;-)
 

Helen

Inkling
Title pretty much says it all. I have a group in one of my WIPS that are from a culture with simalar biology to an elf or an especially agile human. This culture grow up in a highly dangerous environment and is prized in other countries as assassins for their cold, relentless, and predatory nature. This culture have a group that are the top combat and covert operations students that become essentially royal guards and function as assassins and spies for the royal family. One of the mains in my books is the former captain of this group and was known for (in keeping with the theme so far) his capacity to kill anyone regardless of their status or appearance, sadistic nature, and ability to take out entire enemy encampments (20-55 men). However, I'm trying to figure out, in a fight how realistic or what ability levels would be required for such if its even feasible?

Neo takes on an infinite number of Agent Smiths. If you have a superpower, like slowing down or freezing time, or moving superfast relative to the enemy, then you can take on zillions. I think my point is that if you've given a rationale for it to be feasible, then it's feasible.
 

S J Lee

Inkling
I wouldnt say "make seem realistic"- I would say, "as many as seems true to the world you have created" - ie, without violating suspension of disbelief. Yes, this is ALMOST the same thing....
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Personally, I like the word "plausible." It marks the difference between suspending disbelief and taking it bungee jumping. ;)
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
In our urban fantasy universe, we have preternatural beings called Heroes, who each has a particular Destiny and they all either die to it or very soon after. But, until then, a Hero on their Journey is unstoppable.

So, we have a Hero in our cast, and in our most recent book we brought him to a battle in Faerie. He's assigned to hold the center of the line, and he does. He mows through the enemy's attacks like a buzzsaw, and nothing can bring him down. And it's entirely plausible, because we laid the groundwork for it in the two books prior. He's also fully armed and armored and facing down peasant conscripts and the occasional knight. It was brutal.
 

ShadeZ

Maester
In our urban fantasy universe, we have preternatural beings called Heroes, who each has a particular Destiny and they all either die to it or very soon after. But, until then, a Hero on their Journey is unstoppable.

So, we have a Hero in our cast, and in our most recent book we brought him to a battle in Faerie. He's assigned to hold the center of the line, and he does. He mows through the enemy's attacks like a buzzsaw, and nothing can bring him down. And it's entirely plausible, because we laid the groundwork for it in the two books prior. He's also fully armed and armored and facing down peasant conscripts and the occasional knight. It was brutal.
This actually makes me curious to an unrelated note. Couldn't a hero simply run from their destiny and in doing so become invulnerable long term? Or is it one of those you can't out run it deals.
 
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