Don’t go for kills

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

I don’t know why the makers of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal went with Moneybattle:

SMBC Moneybattle

They could have drawn curved swords, used “slashes” instead of “stabs,” and called the whole thing — wait for it! — Sabermetrics:


  1. Kirk says:

    Probably the issue with that niggling little thought in the background that it wouldn’t be quite… Accurate.

    Because, stabbing is really far more effective–The Romans made their choice for the Gladius Hispanicus to rearm their troops after figuring this out. In general, the thrust is more advantageous than the slash, in combat. Especially in melee combat.

  2. L.C. Rees says:

    “Gurney says there’s no artistry in killing with the tip, that it should be done with the edge.” “Gurney’s a romantic,” the Duke growled. This talk of killing suddenly disturbed him, coming from his son. “I’d sooner you never had to kill…but if the need arises, you do it however you can – tip or edge.”

  3. Kirk says:

    Just realized… They coulda/shoulda went with “Stabbermetrics”

    Why do these only occur to one after you already post…?

  4. Aretae says:


  5. Alrenous says:

    Comic is correct in a sense, since the goal is to neutralize the enemy, of which killing is only one method.

    Siegwurst may be an MMO tank. He’s not getting stabs because everyone is trying to kill him. He’s famous, and stands out even if you don’t know of him. Which means he’s busy trying to not die. Meanwhile nobody is trying to kill Birk so he can set up stab opportunities without distraction. Indeed folks that would be trying to make Birk’s life difficult are themselves distracted by Siegwurst.

    Now of course we’d need to run the numbers on these things as well. How much distraction is it, really? Is Birk kind of hopeless without someone drawing aggro, or does he only lose 1-2 stabs per battle?

    Finally that angry scholar attitude has got to go. If your findings are correct, have confidence in them. State your case with sanguinity. If the case doesn’t work, you’ve done all you can. If you’re not confident in them, then it’s not time to harangue either. It’s time to continue research.

  6. JTarb1 says:

    I recently read one a book on 4GW that stated that one of the reasons the US so frequently loses battles against non-state actors was our ability to kill instead of maiming. Maiming will cause more resource loss to, say, payouts to families and harm families that willingly send their sons to combat. It will also cause the need to pick up wounded friends on their side. I guess we only need to watch the Collateral Murder video to know that the enemy picks up the wounded at times.

  7. Kirk says:

    I would be very suspicious of any source purporting to be a work on any such delusional thing as a “fourth generation of war”. I remain unconvinced that that even exists, to be quite honest. War is what it is, and you can find for yourself examples of “fourth generation war” going back to antiquity–So, when you start from a flawed standpoint to analyze the conflict, you’re going to return similarly skewed results.

    I would submit an alternate thesis, to the idea that we killed too many, and didn’t wound enough: Instead, I put it to you that we didn’t kill enough.

    Compare/contrast WWI and WWII: In WWI, we killed just enough Germans to cause them to retain a grudge, and not quite enough to convince them that they’d lost the war on the merits of their war potential. You can see the outline of that in the prevalence of the “Dolchstuss” or “Backstab” theory–Despite the strategic evidence we presented the German people that they’d lost the war, at the “retail level”, we failed to close the sale, so to speak. Most Germans after WWI were convinced that the end of the war was based on a fraudulent premise, that they and their armies were defeated. After all, the Allies had had to blockade them, and the German Army withdrew from France in relatively good order–The German people saw little of the actual horror of war, and were able to eventually convince themselves that they’d been cozened into surrender by traitors and a perfidious enemy. That this was delusional didn’t matter–They still thought and felt that way.

    In WWII, there was no possible way for the German people to mistake the fact that they had lost, just like in Japan. This fact goes a long way towards explaining just why it was that we had WWII in the first damn place, and haven’t had another major war with either of those belligerents since. We finally convinced both parties that it was better to stand with us than against us–And, that’s precisely where we failed in our “more humane” war-making after WWII, to include the so-called “War on Terror”. We didn’t convince the majority of Iraqis or Afghanis that making war on us was a Really Bad Idea(TM), and we created that failure by pulling our punches. Add in the fact that all the signalling we sent, by way of offering up “humane” humanitarian aid and development monies, and you can easily see how the primitive Islamic mind can interpret those things as tribute offered up to the victor by the defeated…

    We’ve basically been sending confusing signals to them all: “Oh, you want to attack us…? Here, enjoy the fruits of our Cold War labors, and we’ll kick your asses in a limited, humane way…”, which leads to the confusing (to them) state where we’re apparently simultaneously offering tribute with one hand, and threats with the other. In the Arabic/Islamic mindset, that’s not the behavior of a truly superior victor–That’s how frauds behave.

    Had we wanted to do our signalling properly, we’d have treated the Iraqis and the Taliban the same way the Mongols treated the Ismaili sect at Alamut, and our signalling would have been unmistakable: “F**k with us, and we’ll kill you, your women, your children, and then take your goods for ourselves…”.

    I can about guarantee you that had we done unto the Iraqis, the Taliban(and not forgot the gentlemen of the ISI and Saudi government who supported and enabled 9/11)? You’d see a very different outcome. Mercy applied the way we’ve been applying it is both confusing and extremely deleterious to the cause we fight for, which is Western civilization itself.

    It is, I am afraid, why the oh-so-civilized Israelis have signally failed to achieve any lasting peace and acceptance among the locals surrounding them. They keep winning the war, and then losing the peace by behaving (in Arab eyes…) as though they really lost it. This does not provide for the necessary crushing of ambition that is required for achieving a lasting peace–Instead, it sparks hope among the confusion, and the war continues.

    The Israelis would have done better to utterly crush the Palestinian Arabs, taken their lands, raped their women, sold their children into slavery, and then they’d have had lasting peace–Because, to the Arab mind, that would have signaled Israeli victory/superiority, and made it impossible for them to lie to themselves the way they have, very similarly to the Germans, for the last fifty years.

    There is, I propose, a specific point in warfare where you’ve killed enough of the enemy to achieve your goals: That point lies somewhere in between the end state of Germany after WWI, and that which was the end state of the German nation in WWII. The purblind fools who ended WWI early, instead doomed their children to re-fighting the damn thing twenty years later.

    And, yes… It does sound horrible. That’s because it is–You want to start out making war, then you had better be willing to make it worthwhile, and instead of playing an endless game of tit-for-tat with your opponent, you had best plan on utterly crushing them into the ground, the way we did Germany in WWII, or how Sherman dealt with the South. You don’t achieve lasting peace with half-hearted “humanitarianism” plays at the “game of war”; you achieve peace by utterly crushing your enemy into the ground, and rubbing their noses into the dirt of their failure. At that point, they learn. Before that point? The histories show that they manifestly do not.

    We didn’t kill enough Iraqis, or enough of the Taliban. We should have simply slaughtered the combatants to the point where they could not possibly make a case, even to themselves in the dark privacy of their nights, that they’d won or had a chance of winning. Had we done that, the breaking of their pride and power would have led to them deciding that they’d better reform themselves and their culture, or they wouldn’t survive; the necessities speak that reform like that doesn’t come until you have no other choice, and you have to do what you can to survive.

    The remnants of the Ismaili Assassin’s sect are today almost entirely pacifist mystics, having totally given up the goals and desires of the Old Man of the Mountain. The Mongols did that, and they didn’t manage that feat by being shortsightedly and vaingloriously “humanitarian”, either.

Leave a Reply