7 Tips for successfully invading the EarthSaturday, May 12, 2012 19:45
One thing that I didn’t like about The Avengers is how the alien invasion at the end is yet another half-assed one without a chance in hell of actually succeeding. As one QT3 poster put it, “How did they expect to conquer Earth with a few hundred guys on flying motorcycles?” Never mind the Avengers, the US military would be more than sufficient to repel the so-called invasion once it had enough time to organize and deploy. And this is with real-world military assets, not the fancy toys SHIELD has. In the interests of one day seeing a halfway competent alien invasion plan put on screen, here is some advice for would-be alien invaders:
- So the portal is the only way for your forces to get to Earth. This means that your entire plan hinges on defending that portal and keeping it open. Randomly scattering your advance forces around the arrival area is a terrible idea. Terrorizing unarmed civilians serves no strategic purpose and therefore wastes time and troops. Instead, you need to secure your beachhead. Establish a strong defensive perimeter around the portal and launch assaults only against enemy forces that are intent on seizing control of the portal.
- Once your beachhead is secure, you need to identify longer-ranged threats. Yes, the Avengers are a clear and present danger. But their military value is insignificant compared to human weapons launched from way out of visual range which can decimate your entire force in a matter of moments. This means casting a sensor net widely outside of your landing zone and preemptively striking at enemy forces that are a threat, such as that cloaked helicarrier with nuclear-armed fighters.
- When invading a hostile populated planet, it is imperative to invade with overwhelming force. The aliens did not employ overwhelming force. Their pathetic weapons appeared limited to visual range only and their largest war machines relied on physically running into objects to cause damage. That is terribly impractical and tactically worthless. Where were the alien equivalents of bombs, artillery and cruise missiles? In fact, given that collateral damage wasn’t a concern for the invaders, why not just saturate the target area with lots and lots munitions before the first soldier even stepped through the portal? If brute force doesn’t work, then you’re not using enough.
- For that matter, why are you using an infantry heavy invasion strategy? They’re soft and have limited offensive power. Where are the alien tanks (remember US M1 Abrams tanks have an effective killing range of over 2.5 km, you need to have better performing equivalent tanks) and the alien fighter craft? Leave the infantry at home, at least until you’ve established secure control of a decent chunk of the planet, and bring only the big guns. Use infantry to police the local population only after organized resistance to your conquest have been decimated.
- Do not, repeat do not, run your entire command and communications system out of a single base, no matter how powerful and impregnable you think it is. If destroying your mothership shuts down your entire invasion force, then you’re doing it wrong. Always have back up command posts. In any case, deployed units that are cut off must be able to function autonomously based on last received orders and reports until the command hierarchy can be re-established.
- Defend your high-value assets, such as motherships, in depth. Employ screening elements so that enemy forces must go through them to reach your mothership. If your mothership lacks even basic defensive mechanisms that allow it to detect and intercept incoming hostile projectiles, well, you really should build some in before kicking off the invasion.
- If your enemy has nukes and you do not possess weapons of at least equivalent potency, I’m sorry but you lose. If you do not possess a technological edge over the enemy planet, then you shouldn’t be invading in the first place. In fact, you should be prepared to be invaded instead. And if they have nukes and you don’t and their nukes can kill anything and everything you have, believe me, you do not possess a technological edge no matter how scary you think your flying worms are.
Hopefully with the help of these handy tips future alien invaders will give a better go of it so that our heroes can finally have some serious enemies to fight.