1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

Moderators: jestingrabbit, Moderators General, Prelates

eddiekizer
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:06 am UTC

1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby eddiekizer » Mon May 26, 2008 5:28 pm UTC

Sorry for the title, I don't know what else to write.

Anyway, I am kinda addicted to the whole "Stop the Alien"/"Alien Defense" post thing. So, a few days ago, my friend posed me this question:

If you could go back in time to America in the 1800s (or create a parallel universe that is so), could you hold off the entire world population with:

A tank (enough fuel to drive for a week straight)
Four metalstorm turrets
A machine gun with lots and lots of ammo
Rations (to eat)
A machete
A flak (bulletproof) vest

If so, how? If not, why not, and how far back in time must you go to do this?
(For this puzzle's purposes, assume that the whole world is working in harmony [to kill you], that everyone lives forever unless you kill them [directly or indirectly], and that no babies are born.)
I plugged a Mac into a cat,
And plugged a PC into a dog.
Then the penguin that runs on Linux
Came and ate them.

User avatar
Mr. Beck
Commencing Countdown, Engines On
Posts: 1469
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:14 am UTC
Location: Albuquerque, NM.

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon May 26, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

No. You'd get a moat dug around you, and be stuck.

eddiekizer
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:06 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby eddiekizer » Mon May 26, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Shoot everyone who is trying to dig a moat. It's a tank, and they can't bring in 100,000+ plus trench-digger-people without you noticing. Even if they had a massive trench around you, they still couldn't hurt you without an explosive of some sort.

That said, I still think you're going to die no matter what.
I plugged a Mac into a cat,
And plugged a PC into a dog.
Then the penguin that runs on Linux
Came and ate them.

daryuu
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby daryuu » Mon May 26, 2008 10:13 pm UTC

I really don't think you'd do very well for yourself in the 1800s, but the question of how far back you would have to go is an interesting question... It seems like there are a lot of limiting factors that could make it impossible in just about any time period, though. For example, I'm still going to have to sleep, and all of my weapons have a finite range. Reasonably smart people would probably be able to find ways to out maneuver a tank, or they could even stay on boats in the ocean if necessary. If the goal of the world population is to kill me no matter what, then they could just keep waiting outside my range until I'm asleep (they couldn't guarantee it, but they'd be right at least some of the time) and sacrifice a few people to try to cut into the side (or top, or whatever) of the tank before I wake up and kill them. Also, the only weapon I have that would be useful against naval forces is my tank's main cannon, and I would think that enough shots from a naval cannon would eventually take down a tank (and I can't chase them across the ocean to stop them from making more cannon balls)...

Another interesting question might be what you would need to be able to succeed at something like this in the 1800s... Is there even a set of weapons that would make it possible? Would having two people make it easier?

eddiekizer
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:06 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby eddiekizer » Tue May 27, 2008 12:57 am UTC

My friend is still convinced that you will win.
Yeah, set up the turrets to kill them even when you are sleeping!


No. They'll just walk towards the tank. When the bullets come, they'll dig a tunnel under the tank, fill it with a load of gunpowder, and blow the tank skyward. Turrets can't see underground. Anyway, people have been doing it since ancient Greece.

But does he listen? No.
Yeah, the weight of the tank will crush them...!
I plugged a Mac into a cat,
And plugged a PC into a dog.
Then the penguin that runs on Linux
Came and ate them.

daryuu
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby daryuu » Tue May 27, 2008 1:01 am UTC

What about the naval problem? If they can make reasonably good guesses as to when you're asleep and fire cannons at you, it seems like they'd win fairly easily (good luck rigging up auto-aim for something like that).

User avatar
Ansain
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:15 am UTC
Location: Here

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Ansain » Tue May 27, 2008 3:21 am UTC

I have a strategy that works on a few assumptions

1) You get to do some research first about the location you will land in and pick out a specific spot.
2) You have unlimited rations and ammo. (This sounds unrealistic, but it works if time travel works)
3) You get some time to set up before the entire earth population comes a knocking.

My strategy is to hold up in an Egyptian pyramid. Don't bother with the tank, you wont need it. (if you dont get to pick the landing zone you could use the tank to get you there) What you do need is to find a pyramid with only one entrance and a few side rooms in the entrance hallways. place the turrets inside those room such that they get a clear veiw of the hallway and can make sure nothing passes alive(while remaining out of harms way themselves. Hold up in a room further down with all your rations. you could probably use your machine gun to take out some walls so that even if they get past the turrets they cant get to you.
Why put off till today what you could just as easily get done tomorrow?

I can mathematically prove that 1 equals 0!.

Parts a-x in my plan weren't that important anyways.

daryuu
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby daryuu » Tue May 27, 2008 3:31 am UTC

Did they not have enough firepower to destroy a pyramid? I don't know how much it would take, but if the entire world's supply of explosives couldn't do it I would be fairly surprised...

User avatar
Ansain
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:15 am UTC
Location: Here

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Ansain » Tue May 27, 2008 3:55 am UTC

thats a good point, but what are the odds that they end up traping me without killing me that way? I suppose for that to work we could go back before gunpowder was invented.
Why put off till today what you could just as easily get done tomorrow?

I can mathematically prove that 1 equals 0!.

Parts a-x in my plan weren't that important anyways.

User avatar
Air
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:07 am UTC
Location: Open.

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Air » Tue May 27, 2008 5:34 am UTC

The real subject of concern here is, are there raptors involved?

User avatar
EdB
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:40 pm UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby EdB » Tue May 27, 2008 5:44 am UTC

I think if you went far enough back in time to before we fell out of the trees you'd win. No enemy means they lose by default right? I guess you could also get away with a couple of few thousand years of early man's development because there wasn't enough of them and they weren't too bright. And didn't have tools. Except for like cool rocks and sticks and stuff.

heydonms
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:54 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby heydonms » Tue May 27, 2008 8:08 am UTC

Gun powder as we know it today didn't exist back then, and black powder wouldn't be practical, it might be possible to build a black powder gun that could damage a tank, but it would be massive and wouldn't work well.

Fortunately (assuming you're one of the 1800s people) explosives aren't necessary, just fuel. Light a big fire, with the entire workforce of the planet to help out it shouldn't be too hard. The temperature inside the tank would soon enough become unlivable.

Edit:

Oops, nitrocellulose was around in 1832, I don't believe it was in wide spread usage until a while later though.

User avatar
Fin Archangel
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:42 am UTC
Location: in ur base, killing ur doodz
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Fin Archangel » Thu May 29, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

The entire population is at least over 4 billion or so, right?

They could just send every single person, with whatever, go to the tank, swarm it (you couldn't kill them fast enough) and forcibly open it and kill you, if friendly fire from your turret didn't kill you first.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
BeetlesBane
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:32 pm UTC
Location: Not Chicago

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby BeetlesBane » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

daryuu wrote:Did they not have enough firepower to destroy a pyramid? I don't know how much it would take, but if the entire world's supply of explosives couldn't do it I would be fairly surprised...

Napoleon didn't have sufficient firepower to destroy the Sphynx.

User avatar
reflectia
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:51 am UTC
Location: A figment of your imagination

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby reflectia » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

Questions:

Are you alone?
Is "lots and lots of ammo" finite?
Where in America?
What end of the 1800's?
I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.

User avatar
Mr. Beck
Commencing Countdown, Engines On
Posts: 1469
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:14 am UTC
Location: Albuquerque, NM.

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:52 am UTC

BeetlesBane wrote:
daryuu wrote:Did they not have enough firepower to destroy a pyramid? I don't know how much it would take, but if the entire world's supply of explosives couldn't do it I would be fairly surprised...

Napoleon didn't have sufficient firepower to destroy the Sphynx.

Bored soldiers with a cannon =/= the entire world trying to destroy something.

User avatar
BeetlesBane
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:32 pm UTC
Location: Not Chicago

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby BeetlesBane » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:49 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:Bored soldiers with a cannon =/= the entire world trying to destroy something.

Agreed. But it does offer a feel for the limits of early 19th century firepower.

NerfTW
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:55 pm UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby NerfTW » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:12 pm UTC

What kind of tank is it?

A tank requires a crew usually. That turret only fires in one direction at a time, and a calvary can easily charge you from several directions, while you're swinging the gun around, they can climb on and start pulling your hatch off with crowbars. The only reason they don't do that in wars is because there's infantry backing it up, and a crew manning the side guns. The reason they don't do it when someone steals a tank is to avoid civilian casualties.

The turrets are only good for defending an area really, since once you exit the tank to set up, you're open to fire.

Bullet proof jackets are not invincible. It takes a different material to stop a bullet than to stop a knife or arrow. (Unless there have been advances in the many years since that early 90's stuff I've read, which is quite possible.)They'd probably figure out pretty quickly that arrows are a good idea for taking you out, and in the early 1800's, bows and arrows are still pretty good, cheap hunting tools.

That, and depending on where you land, there are animals that can take on a tank. A stampeding herd of elephants or rhinos, for instance.



On a side note, didn't they invent tanks long before that, but they were just never practical until World War I?

zealo
Posts: 321
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:36 am UTC
Location: perth, australia
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby zealo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:52 pm UTC

with a weeks worth of fuel, you aren't going to be able to take on everyone with your tank
ave_matthew wrote:in a perfect system a gallon of body fat is worth one third of the US GDP

User avatar
BeetlesBane
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:32 pm UTC
Location: Not Chicago

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby BeetlesBane » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:23 pm UTC

Wikipedia (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population) gives estimates of slightly under 109 to 1.6*109 as the world population during the 19th century. Using an average kill rate of 1/sec, it would require 31.6 years to kill 109 (UK one thousand million, US 1 billion) people. This allows us to estimate a time scale.

eddiekizer
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:06 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby eddiekizer » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:48 pm UTC

Are you alone?
Yes, you are alone. If you want, take a friend back [to man the side cannons, and occasionally pop out of the hatch and get people], but being fat, he will reduce your driving time to half a week.

Is "lots and lots of ammo" finite?
Due to a new and improved ammunition compression technique, you can get 10¬7 bullets for your main gun, and 10,000 bullets for each turret. Each bullet is armour-piercing, i.e., they can penetrate a 1 in. steel plate. But yes, if you go around firing maniacally in the air, you will eventually run out of ammo and need to use a primitive rifle.

Where in America?
Anywhere you want to. Your time machine/parallel multiverse relocator has that ability.

What end of the 1800's?
Around the end of the American Civil War.


The original friend who posted this still stubbornly believes that you would hold them off. But my other sensible friend made this story:

You land in the middle of a forest. In just a day, soldiers are on all sides of you, firing madly. You deploy all of your turrets, and this cuts their number down. But field howitzers you can’t see (you are, after all, in the middle of the forest) cut down trees all around you. One massive tree falls on your tank, and crushes all of your turrets. You’re trapped! You pull out your AK47 and try to get out. Then, more soldiers dump gunpowder, lots of it, on top of your tank and BAM! You’re fried.

Quite a nice story.
I plugged a Mac into a cat,
And plugged a PC into a dog.
Then the penguin that runs on Linux
Came and ate them.

Cryft
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:12 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Cryft » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:27 pm UTC

I think you're all being too concerned with "holing up" and surviving forever. The object is to kill every last human being.

Needless to say, simple civilians can be taken down rather easily with your rifle. Random bands of people can be taken with the tank. The main concern here is organized military.

A little research can tell you where the largest mobilization of military could form. Pop in there to start, and immediately deploy some turrets to really start the killing quickly.

Although, supposing you succeed, it wont be long before other nations band together to create something stronger than the previous world power.

Or will it? Mobilizing a global army wouldnt be an easy thing to do in the 1800s...

I dunno, just throwing more things to think about.

joegoo6657
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:12 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby joegoo6657 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:34 am UTC

An interesting question, but I don't see how one could take on the entire world.... Don't forget that Napoleon's soldiers (who didn't cause the lack of a nose on the Sphynx) were using grenades, and this was a good half a century before the era the scenario is set.

However, if you could make alliances.... Guns Of the Southanyone?


Addendum: I mention to bring up the use of poisonus materials. da Vinci developed a sulphur and arsenic bomb for the Duke of Milan.... "Stink Bombs" were also used by Romans to blind enemies...

Just throwing it out there.

User avatar
BeetlesBane
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:32 pm UTC
Location: Not Chicago

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby BeetlesBane » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:05 am UTC

The clarification on "Is lots and lots of ammo infinite?" wouldn't allow killing a half million people before being reduced to "primitive" weapons. That leaves an awful lot of people.

User avatar
Fin Archangel
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:42 am UTC
Location: in ur base, killing ur doodz
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Fin Archangel » Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:11 am UTC

I say hole up at Los Alamos, force the scientists to build a bunch of nukes, build a silo somehow, and start shooting ICBMs at everyone.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
Lord Aurora
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:14 am UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Lord Aurora » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:33 am UTC

I like Fin's response:
Fin Archangel wrote:I say hole up at Los Alamos, force the scientists to build a bunch of nukes, build a silo somehow, and start shooting ICBMs at everyone.


However, realistically, we can assume that

1) You eventually will run out of ammunition before the earth runs out of people, even if the people just line up to be shot
2) People will do their damnedest to kill the crap out of you, and they will, in all likelihood, succeed

So you need to find another way to kill people AND another way to avoid being killed.
Decker wrote:Children! Children! There's no need to fight. You're ALL stupid.

User avatar
Fin Archangel
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:42 am UTC
Location: in ur base, killing ur doodz
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Fin Archangel » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:58 pm UTC

lulz @ Lord Aurora

How about...

Um...

Let's lure them into an active volcano. How about...

We go to Kilamanjaro. We dig a hole in the side of the caldera. We hide there. We deploy the turrets. We spend all our time constructing a ton of fireproof stuff.

No, that's stupid.

...never mind.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
Pistols327
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:37 pm UTC
Location: Dewitt Michigan

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Pistols327 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

Assuming that the whole world is after you after your first kill why not make countries fight eachother? I mean if you assasinated the British leader and made it look like the yanks did it you have to world going at it right there. After your done toying with everyone you pull out the tank and pwn the rest of the world which is basically civs.

This is also assuming you have the ability and the opportunity to start wars.

User avatar
Peregrine
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:57 pm UTC

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Peregrine » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:07 pm UTC

Even supposing infinite ammo and rations, I highly doubt that you would be able to succeed in a world with ballistae and trebuchets. Night falls, and the people sneak in with trebuchets from all sides and start flinging jars of pitch at you and your tank. Flaming arrows and bolts will then be able to end your campaign fairly quickly.
Never let yourself be drawn into false trichotomies.

Lethal Interjection
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1800s Era Defense/Assault Puzzle

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:11 pm UTC

I highly doubt it is possible.
The geography would have to be perfect for your little defense, and then the entire world would have to have some reason to just continuing to walk in to this absolutely fantastic geographical defense bunker you have made yourself. And even then, there would be ways that they would get wise, and find some method.


Return to “Logic Puzzles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests