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 Post subject: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:51 pm 
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This started out as a nerd throw-down between waffle and I, but at his suggestion, I've made into a full-blown topic so everyone can join in.

So, the original message.

waffle wrote:
Subject: Simple Pleasures.

Galaxy Hunter wrote:
waffle wrote:
{Quote Singularity}

The Reapers are still out there.


...Not for long...


Was expecting:

Ah yes. The "Reapers".

Nerd throw down:
Reapers vs Zerg


And I replied with:

Zerg vs Reapers eh?

Challenge accepted.

On the ground the advantage definitely goes to the Zerg Swarm. Using nothing more than raw materials and their genetic catalog they can field armies in the hundreds of thousands in extremely short periods of time. The Zerg can regenerate and have an impressive array of abilities and attackers. The fundamental problem with the Reapers fighting the Swarm is their utter dependence on the populations they are attacking for their ground troops. They need to capture and corrupt/indoctrinate their enemies before they can amass troops. With the Zerg they just eat some crystals and some Vespene and away they go. Before you know it you're facing down an army of thousands of slobbering alien monsters spawned from their hives. Even if they had a massive army already in place, the Reapers wouldn't stand a chance once the Zerg hit their stride; even if they knocked out the first couple of waves of Zerg, as long as there were minerals on the planet the Zerg would keep throwing troops against them until they were over-run.

In the air the situation is a little iffy, although the advantage still goes to the Swarm. Reaper Harvesters are impressive, but they've got nothing on Corrupters (or Devourers), which shoot acidic parasites that'll kill them faster than any human weapon devised. Harvesters have powerful primary weapons, but Corrupters are heavily armored and usually attack in swarms, and like all Zerg units can fully self-regenerate. Coupled with Broodlords for anti-ground support, and swarms of Mutalisks for harassment and Scourge to take on Reaper capital ships in the atmosphere, the Zerg swarm would darken the skies of every world.

In space, things are more level. The Zerg have numbers, yes, but the Reapers are large, powerful, and much more well armed than their Terran or Protoss counterparts. I'd think actually in space it would end up a tie,even if the Zerg brought in their massive Leviathans to combat the Reapers, they would still be hard-pressed to stave off a determined Reaper fleet.

The only other thing I could say is that even though the Reapers have indoctrination I doubt it would work on a Zerg. From what I can recall off of the top of my head, the process works by the Reaper using ultrasonic signals to change brainwaves, and through them; brain chemistry and structure. The problem with that is that Zerg bodies and cells are constantly changing thanks to their hyper-evolutionary virus. Even if the Reapers managed to alter a specific Zerg's brain, they'd just mutate and the change the Reapers implemented would be wiped away in favor of a new type of tissue. Also they'd be going up against the combined psionic might of the Overmind (or Kerrigan) and the combined brainpower of every Zerg. Compared to that level of power, Reaper indoctrination would be like trying to mop up an ocean with a used napkin.

So: counter-argument, the Marvel Cinematic Universe vs The Reapers.

And his reply was:

waffle wrote:
Oh wow. Just start a new thread and post this already!

Marvel Cinematic Universe vs The Reapers

The Reapers have three key advantages over Loki's invasion force.

First, the harvest. The Reapers are already well prepared for the conversion of humanity. And while husks are by far their weakest unit, they have the resources to produce them in the billions, and very, very quickly. The longer the invasion goes on, the more disposable ground troops the Reapers possess.

Second, indoctrination. While Loki's Glow Stick of Destiny was impressive in the speed and thoroughness of its conversion, the Reapers' indoctrination is slow and insidious. Of the Avengers, only Thor is likely immune (not being human). Stark and Banner are potentially immune while suited up. The Iron Man Weapon is likely able to keep out the ultrasonic radiation and the Hulk simply does not care. The others are likely to be indoctrinated, though slowly. Again, the longer the invasion goes on, the higher the likelihood that some of the team will be converted.

Third, the Chitari are just too dumb for words. They invaded a civilian target, allowed themselves to be distracted by the civilian forces and a small commando team, never broke quarantine and were defeated by a glass jaw. The Reapers have no such weaknesses. As we have seen, the invasion will be at hundreds, even thousands, of points across the world. Targets will not be limited to civilian installations. Military installations will be hit and hit hard. The carapace of Sovereign class Reapers is likely impervious to anything other than a direct nuclear strike (though the navy's new rail gun might have some chance). In short, the initial invasion will be successful at every point that does not have one or more Avengers in defense.

Realistically, the Avengers only have a chance of saving one city. We'll get to that battle in a moment. In every other city, the invasion is successful and within hours Dragon's Teeth will have been deployed and the ground will be a no-go zone for Avengers.

Now, the one city. Consider the invasion of Vancouver in the opening of ME3. That was not a single Sovereign class Reaper. It was multiple capital ships with multiple smaller vessels. Stark, Thor and the Hulk have a chance of taking down a Reaper or two, but after that, Stark's armor will be beaten to nonfuctional and low on tank missiles. Thor and the Hulk have no such limitations and likely will keep fighting. All other Avengers will simply be overwhelmed and annihilated.

Fundamentally, in ME3, Shepard brought the combined navies of every civilization in the galaxy to bear on the Reapers (well, my Shepard did. Paragon of virtue he was. Even brought the Geth AND Quarian fleets). All that did was slow the Reapers down.

The only reason the Avengers had a chance was because their opposition was tactically naive.

But what if the Avengers landed on the Death Star?


My only thing to say to the above (all of which I agree with), is that the MCU also has the Asgardians, who protected Earth in the past against the Frost Giants. Who's to say they wouldn't come to our aid in light of a Reaper invasion? Granted, it's likely that they all aren't nearly as competent or skilled warriors as Thor or Odin, but come on, this is a group of people with tech so advanced Clarke's Third Law comes into play, and they might bring in other Realms to help out too. But I digress.

If the Avengers landed on the Death Star... Hm, well let's start with the Stormtroopers. They're well, about as pathetic as the Chitauri really. Thor would probably laugh off their blaster bolts, as he's shown to be capable of absorbing and controlling lightning. The Hulk would probably be in the same boat, except the shots would piss him off. (In the Avengers we saw him be shot by a volley of energy bolts from a dozen of those hoverbike things and survive, looking none the worse for wear.) Tony's armor, aside from being ridiculously tough, has shown to be able to absorb energy and shunt it to the repulsors during his fight in the woods with Thor.

Captain America would be the most vulnerable of the superheroes, but his boosted healing factor would probably allow him to shrug off a couple of shots (if he had time to recover) and his shield would either absorb or reflect the energy from being shot. Remember during the big shot at the end he reflected Tony's repulsor beams off of his shield, showing that it can re-direct energy. Of the whole crew, Black Widow and Hawkeye would be the most vulnerable. Both of them are perfectly normal (albeit extremely fit and well-trained) humans, and are thus highly vulnerable to laser fire (as inaccurate and sporadic as it might be). Hawkeye would be the better off of the two, as he could hang back behind the heavier members of the group and snipe Troopers from afar, but Black Widow would be out of luck, at least early on. Stormtrooper armor, although it has been shown to be ridiculously vulnerable to blasters, would probably be able to -if not withstand altogether- block enough of the energy from the bullets her small pistols fire to save the Trooper's life. And trying to use martial arts on an armed and armored soldier would be suicidal at best, much less when he's back up by a small squad of them. She and Hawkeye could probably scrounge some of the Troopers' weapons and armor, but for the beginning stages of the battle they'd be largely useless.

Now for the Empire's side of things. Assuming that that, realistically, the Stormtroopers being trained soldiers and all, they were able to hit anything, it still wouldn't do anything to the heavy-hitting heroes (for reasons explained above), and the Troopers would merely serve as Repulsor/Hammer/Fist/Shield fodder. Even if they try for heavier weapons, like rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and E-WEB turrets, they'd still be hard-pressed to stop a group of determined superheroes, especially seeing as many of them are nigh invulnerable to their weapons. Although they have the home field advantage on the Death Star, and I'm assuming that they could vent the atmosphere from any sections they wanted, that still wouldn't help them. Tony has his AI JARVIS, who'd be able to break into the Death Star's systems and wrest control of them from the Empire. Now, there's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of electronic warfare in the original trilogy, but in one short story (Therefore I Am, The Tale of IG-88) an assassin droid took over the Death Star II's computers and was planning to use it to lead a droid revolution. Since the Imperials never noticed this (despite a number of odd things the droid did while in the systems) I think it's safe to say that they have little to no skill with EW (I have read many of the books and I've heard references to 'Slicers' who I believe are their equivalent of hackers/tech and computer specialists, but I've never been able to get a good measure of their skill or capabilities). So JARVIS would be able to take control of the entire station, and (depending on how bloodthirsty Tony was feeling) either incapacitate or kill the majority of the personnel on board. And if that failed to work, the Hulk would just smash through the bulkheads until he found a pressurized compartment (decompression isn't instantaneous, after all)

Finally, we have the Sith Lord Darth Vader (and for good measure, let's throw in a couple of Emperor's hands). The most we've seen him do with the Force is limited flight, (V) choking a single individual (V) and fling/pull several objects around him at speeds roughly equivalent to a thrown baseball. Let's assume that the Emperor's Hands, who are not as well-trained (or as powerful) as Vader can do some of the same things. Now, thrown objects would be laughed off by the heroes, almost all of which possess super-strength and/or heavy armor. The choking would be more serious, though. However, every time we've seen the Force used in the original trilogy, the user was pretty much focused entirely on using it to the exclusion of other activities. (When Luke and Vader were fighting and Darth threw all of those objects at him, he noticeably stopped in place and lowered his saber first before focusing on it) So it can be concluded that using the Force requires a great deal of concentration and brainpower. Despite all of his vaunted Force prowess, I doubt Darth Vader would be able to strangle six individuals at once, even with support from the Emperor's Hands (who probably don't know how to do that technique at all, come to think of it). So, being able to choke let's set the max at two people at once, who does he choose? The enormous green rage monster (who knows if it would even work on him anyway? It might just make him angrier), the living legend in a spangley outfit, the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist in a fancy suit of armor, the point-break lookalike wearing his mother's drapes, or the two badass normals one of whom is an expert marksman? No matter who he chooses, he'll still be facing down against four super-powered (and likely cheesed-off) people, one of whom can hurl lightning (which Vader's suit is weak against).

Now for the final part: lightsabers. From Iron Man 2, we've seen that the Iron Man suit can withstand directed energy weapons fairly well, including Whiplash's whips, which cut through a car like butter, similar to a lightsaber. However, for the sake of the argument, lets assume that the armor wouldn't completely block a lightsaber, but at least slow it down. There's still the sniper, who could probably put an arrow through Vader's eye (or a incinerate him with a plasma arrow, or blow him up with an explosive arrow, or capture him in a poke-ball arrow), Thor, who could electrocute him, or Tony, who could just shoot him with any one of the insane number of weapons crammed into his suit. And the noticeable flaw with Darth Vader is that his primary weapon is a melee weapon and more than half the Avengers are armed with some sort of ranged weapon. Yes, we saw Vader absorb a couple of blaster bolts (with his robot hand, I might add), but that was from a single shooter in one direction, and he didn't get that many shots off. Now he's got four people, likely split up, shooting him with both energy and solid projectiles. He has no chance against them. Also, Vader is slow, heavy, and not very agile. If the Avengers could lure him to a hanger of some sort, he'd be completely screwed, because Tony (and/or Thor) would just take off and start circling and blasting him, distracting the Sith Lord long enough for the Hulk to rush up and beat the crap out of him. Also, the Hands I mentioned earlier would likely be overwhelmed instantly too, being far easier to deal with than Vader, as they're likely more inexperienced.

All in all, a dedicated team of superheroes would be able to take control of the station in a matter of hours. It would take quite some more time tahn that if they wanted to completely clean out the whole station, but in the end, the Empire would still lose.

So, any comments? And I'll throw out this to get the ball rolling on the next Vs. Section:

What if the Xenomorphs (the aliens from the movie Aliens) got on board the Death Star in secret?

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Took me a while to figure out that these were Reapers (Mass Effect, I guess?), not Reavers (Firefly + Serenity). I kept thinking, "You have all these details about the capabilities of the most enigmatic forces in a series not known for its displays of hard figures in combat ability??"

Xenomorphs? How many? It makes a big difference. A localized invasion not too near the command center, and the Death Star will have time to realize the extent of the problem and use drastic measures like exposing large regions of the station to hard vacuum. The xenomorphs could take that for a while, but the DS could keep that up a lot longer.

Otherwise, those poor storm troopers... The xenomorphs have so many places to sneak around and hide. All those bottomless pits are just begging for trouble, with the xenomorphs crawling all over the outsides and picking boring places to etch away and enter through.

My vs is...

Dresden Kodak vs Riff

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:11 pm 
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I just wanted to add the Hawkeye's arsenal included explosive tipped arrows which I would expect to be effective. He still might not be best effective in the twisting corridors of the Death Star as his expertise is as a sniper. Widow on the other hand is not a fighter. She is a spy. Cover ops are both her specialty and have been show to be incredibly effective against the Empire.

Did you mean Dresden Codak? As in a scenario where Riff is dropped into the comic itself?

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:43 pm 
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I, uh, thought that was her name. It's been a while since I read it. But yes, her turf. Suppose he fluxed himself there instead of to the sci-fi dimension.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Ah ok. Her name is Kim. And if its been a while you may want to check out the kickstarter for the book. http://kck.st/13cegZV

As far as the versus. Wow. That's going to be a close match.

Kim and Riff both have a grasp of inventing what they need. They also seem to let similar bugs 'features' into thier inventions. I can't see them as actually fighting though. More I feel that it'd be some form of competition or personal one-upmanship. In this case the inventions would escalate until something 'bad' happened which threatened all life as we know it. They'd then have to put aside their differences to save the universe.

Sorry this isn't in keeping with the general idea of this thread. I got a little de-railed.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:34 am 
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Since Steve failed to produce a new vs., I will leap at the opportunity provided and give a particularly complex example.

A chess tournament, first round seeding:

Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, vs. Emporer Sarabian (from The Tamuli)
Harry Dresden, wizard, vs. Sir Samuel Vimes, Ankh-Morpork City Watch
Chaz (powered up and talking, with someone* to move pieces as he requests) vs. The Thing, from Pratchett's Nome trilogy (similarly**)
Ponder Stibbons vs. Agatha Heterodyne
Sherlock Holmes vs. Baron Wulfenbach
Moist van Lipwig vs. R. Daneel Olivaw
Dr. Mcninja vs. Dr. Who

And, at the table at the end, the Child-goddess Aphrael vs. Rincewind the Wizzard

*i.e. Adrian Turnipseed
**Also Adrian Turnipseed

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:33 am 
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Most of those matchups have someone I don't know in them...

What era of Daneel Olivaw? Before Robots and Empire, to keep things fair? Otherwise very few could face him - Agatha and the Baron might be able to build countermeasures, Chaz and The Thing would probably be immune, and Vetinari could probably use enough quadruple-think to make it useless. Certainly Moist would go down hard. Probably he'd back out of the proceedings (he's generally not inclined to get involved anyway).

Dr. McNinja loses, I think. Chess is very un-ninja-like, with totally open information. He only got 100 doctorates by cloning and recombining. I don't think he'd have even considered chess much. If he has any skill at chess I'd like evidence. So, I'd go with Dr. Who. ETA: Of course, Dr. McNinja would cheat like crazy... and Dr. Who would catch him.

Sherlock vs Wulfenbach is the most interesting so far, and the only one I can't resolve.

I'll leave all that open for others.


Last edited by drachefly on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Harry Dresden vs Sam Vimes is the only pairing where I know both characters.

We've already seen once that it is possible, though improbable, for Discworld characters to cross into our world. Rincewind and Twoflowers did it, and the Luggage nearly brought down an airliner. So let us suppose Sam is jumped into our world. More precisely, let's suppose that near the beginning of Night Watch, two Sams went down the Trousers of Time. One had the really bad time of it that was Night Watch. The other appeared in Chicago in the late autumn of 2003.

Elsewhere in town, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only wizard for hire, is finally starting to feel his old self. It's been a couple months since he finished his case for Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness as recorded in Summer Knight. Things have been somewhat quiet with little work from S.I. Meryl's money is still holding out and he's getting most of his money out of the mundane P.I. fare of running down lost articles and missing persons.

Sam appears and has the usual fish out of water experiences, but these aren't too bad. Chicago may be a rough town, but Sam Vimes is rougher. Still, a man running around in battered armor with a short sword running off petty criminals with precision, focused terror soon attracts the attention of S.I. Murphy, smelling trouble, brings in Harry. But before the two can get moving on tracking down the armored vigilante, Murphy is pulled off the case by political pressure. A young, up and coming city councilman is twisting the screws and has managed to yank the case from S.I. and put it in the hands of homicide.

Sam, meanwhile, has had a disturbing encounter. It seems Carcer came across too. Worse, he's hooked up with a young, up and coming city councilman and is now his right hand man and a part of the local government. Knowing Sam fairly well, he's managed to give homicide enough hints that they are closing in on Sam. He's also told them in that Sam is a mentally unbalanced, very dangerous criminal armed with dangerous cutlery.

Murphy has managed to snag something from evidence and takes it to Harry. It's a silver cigar holder. One touch and Harry senses trouble. This, he declares, is an Outsider artifact. Which is true, after a fashion. The Discworld is not a part of our own, not even buried somewhere in the NeverNever. Harry's normal tracking spell won't work, as the tie to Sam isn't strong enough. But since it is an Outsider artifact, there may be some more complex magic Harry can work. Before he finishes, he's interrupted by Murphy, whose already located Sam by listening to the police radio. He's been spotted at a cheap motel in the city center.

Dresden and Murphy hightail it across town. S.I. would be hard pressed to deal with even the weakest of Outsider. Homicide, they figure, will be wiped out. Arriving at the motel, they discover the room trapped and the Outsider gone. Harry whips up the magic he had in mind and it leads them a building over to where Vimes has a stakeout running. He had allowed his location to be discovered, knowing that Carcer would want to be there at his arrest to gloat. Vimes jumps Harry and Murphy, quickly gaining the upper hand. Harry lets loose with the kaboom magic, tilting things back in his favor. But Sam is used to not playing fair. He suckers Harry, then drops him with a swift kick to the tonkers. Harry is wheezing at Karen to shoot, to take down the Outsider before he does something horrible. But Karen holds her fire. She recognizes something in Vimes. Instead, she identifies herself as an officer of the law and tells Vimes he is outside his jurisdiction. Harry mentally inserts a bad pop culture reference, waiting for the end. To his surprise, Vimes eases up, drops the sword and agrees with Murphy.

He lays it all out for Murphy. He is a fellow copper, a police officer, in hot pursuit of an escaped killer. They quickly work out a plan.

Vimes is arrested by homicide in the cheap motel. Handcuffed, he is brought out and put in a squad car. The detectives head back inside to do forensics stuff and high five, leaving a lone officer to watch the suspect. When the police are out of sight, the officer gets in the car. It's Carcer! it's amazing how gullible the police can be, he remarks, with a city councilman vouching for the out of town FBI agent. Sam and Carcer exchange some witty remarks as Carcer leans forward to figure out the car. Before he can do anything, Murphy slides into the seat next to him, gun drawn. Carcer is just beginning to get ideas involving knives. In his world, gonnes are simply not that effective and he's never met Mr. Beretta 9mm before. Before can get any ideas, Harry taps on the window with his staff. There may not be a knob on the end, but there's no mistaking the incandescent white carved along its length.

Some while later, the foursome are driving north along the lakeshore. Karen is driving, Harry's riding shotgun. Carcer is cuffed in the back, with Sam holding him at swordpoint. Harry directs Murphy to a point he knows where earth, water and sky meet. There, Harry preps a ritual, sending the two back home. Both reunite with their other trouser selves, replaying the ending from Night Watch.

Harry and Murphy return to Chicago. Murphy feels guilty about taking the squad car, but as she isn't asked, she says nothing. Homicide turns on the councilman. It comes to light he'd falsely vouched for someone who wasn't the FBI, but a member of his staff. Harry complains to Murphy that he won't get paid for this case, again, as it was yanked from S.I. and homicide isn't aware of his help. Murphy mollifies him by buying him dinner at Mac's.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Wow. They play chess like Calvin and Hobbes.

How about Calvin vs Walter Mitty, in an imaginary duel.

(edited to add: this is the post I'm talking about on page 2)


Last edited by drachefly on Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:29 pm 
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OOG: moderator, mod thyself! I split the threadjack I was instigating off into its own thread. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=30768

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:46 am 
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Brilliant, Waffle. Brilliant.

drachefly wrote:
Dr. McNinja loses, I think. Chess is very un-ninja-like, with totally open information. He only got 100 doctorates by cloning and recombining. I don't think he'd have even considered chess much. If he has any skill at chess I'd like evidence. So, I'd go with Dr. Who. ETA: Of course, Dr. McNinja would cheat like crazy... and Dr. Who would catch him.


I think I agree with you there, but Dr. Mcninja could win, against the right opponent. Consider, McNinja vs. Rincewind:

Rincewind draws White. Moves pawn to e4.

McNinja gives Rincewind a seriously intimidating glare.

Rincewind concedes by fleeing from the hall, doesn't stop running for at least three hours.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:16 am 
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Sure, but he wasn't facing Rincewind.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:27 pm 
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CCC wrote:
Brilliant, Waffle. Brilliant.


Thanks.

I think I'm going to propose a specific one here. What would happen if the reimagined Battlestar Galactica arrived at Earth (your choice of season) only to discover the aliens from Independence Day?

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:12 pm 
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However that works out, it'll probably be more satisfying than the end of actual BSG. Haven't seen ID4, so I'll get onto the sidelines.

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 Post subject: Re: X Versus Y
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:06 am 
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drachefly wrote:
Sure, but he wasn't facing Rincewind.


True; that scene came from speculation of how one might use ninja skills to win at chess. Dr. Who may not be entirely ninja-proof, but he can certainly ninja-proof a chess game.

waffle wrote:
What would happen if the reimagined Battlestar Galactica arrived at Earth (your choice of season) only to discover the aliens from Independence Day?


...I think that this may be the first vs. in which I am unfamiliar with both sides (instead of, as is more usual, just one side). I shall join drachefly on the sidelines.

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