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One Shots...

The "Prince Roger" books, co-authored by David and John Ringo, are a well-loved series...join us for further conversations!
One Shots...
Post by Somtaaw   » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:52 am

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So one thing that really bugged me about the books, is how Roger kept bundling into people with one-shots and reacting the same way, every single time.

First encounter: ok, admittedly nobody was expecting Seb Tor to have a one shot, and this was also Roger's first encounter against one.

He sees it, has that "oh shit" moment, tries to lift his main powered armor weapon before eating it, and barely survives in the end.

Ok, it's his first time, and even he realizes the only reason he survived at all was because of his souped up reflexes. You can figure that "if the burnt hand teaches best", losing a few ribs and spending a few weeks bedrest would teach nearly as well right? Nope...

Second encounter: just a few months later, Saint commando ship. KNOWS the ship captain is a maniac who already set the self-destruct and is a "True Believer" which anyone but a total idiot knows means completely insane.

Nobody even checks the commandos for weapons before the dooming question "which one of you is the Prince?", and the one shot gets revealed, Roger once again goes to lift his armor primary weapon before realizing he can't use it or else, goes for sword and Pahner suicides to save him. Second one shot is revealed, Roger uses the sword, and is obviously pretty furious about "surrended" commando's producing one shots.

Third encounter: in the Imperial Palace, yet again walks stupidly into one shot range of someone he has ordered to 'surrender', and is still on their own two feet and capable of combat. Meanwhile Roger himself is, by this time, missing an entire lower leg and is using his armor's primary weapon just to stay on his remaining foot.

One shot gets revealed, and Roger has yet another "oh shit" moment, before dogzard saves his ass.

I can understand the first time being a big surprise, Seb Tor being a scummy and not expecting him to have Imperial weapons at all.

I can sort of understand the second one, although admitting who is who to "True Believer" commando's is ridiculously stupid. Not having switched weapons, or having another person armed with a bead cannon (stutter gun?) covering, since the beads wouldn't vaporize the controls they needed. Pretty sure that only Roger and Pahner were on the bridge, both armed with plasma cannon and neither had switched to some form of bead sidearm after entering and seeing no visible "high threat" weapons that required them to keep plasma cannon ready.

The third is the almost unforgivable one though. Roger's now had his two encounters with one shots, is wounded and missing a leg so he no longer has his old agility, is in the Chung body which is more grav tank than he's used to, and once again closed to hand to hand range with a hostile. Leaving aside the minor fact he completely forgot to reload his bead pistol sidearm, I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume he actually ran out of reloads and forgot to simply grab a fresh one off a body after he came to from losing his leg earlier.

He was armed with a plasma gun here, so he couldn't shoot and kill the hostile without also killing his mother, who he was obviously there to rescue. But he could have turned it into a standoff, the Colonel couldn't kill his mother without assuring his own death, and Roger couldn't advance without assuring the Colonel kills his mother. But Roger was still in armor, and could have called someone else to get into a position to simply shoot through the damn wall at a height that would have hit the standing Colonel, avoiding his mother, and being beads wouldn't have harmed Roger inside his powered armor.
Re: One Shots...
Post by HB of CJ   » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:53 pm

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Perhaps just a small written weakness in an otherwise great four books. I am looking forward for the next edition.

Good story lines frequently do not project well into the real world. Particularly drama involving close quarter action.

Especially individual security concerns and actions in the fog of close combat. The real world and fiction are different.
Re: One Shots...
Post by RODMAN012003   » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:07 pm


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Definately one of the weaker parts of the stories. Sor Teb, last seen disappearing just before Roger shoots him between the eyes.

He knows Sor Teb is smarter than your average scummie, he knows he has reflexes like a snake on crack, the last thought he'd have of him was regret he hadn't managed to kill him...

Then, he just walks up to within arm's reach? Even in a parley situation you don't just let the enemy walk up to within arm's reach. Teb would have been towering over Roger if he was that close. NOBODY puts up with having their personal space violated like that, especially with a known duplicitous adversary.

None of Rogers' bodyguards has a problem with such stupidity? Cort doesn't impose his 12' spear? Despreux doesn't have a marine meltdown?

Even after he's one shotted, the stupidity continues. Sor Teb runs back and intermingles with his scummie troops before despreaux can shoot him?

The whole scene was just very badly written.

The other two one shot scenes were in some ways even worse for reasons the OP described. I guess its Superman and kryptonite, if you're impervious to everything, there's no risk, no risk, no challenge, no challenge, boring story...
Re: One Shots...
Post by Rod   » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:43 pm

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I also had a problem with Seb Tor having a one-shot. But from the point of, when those at the port came out. They came out loaded and ready for anything! So why would you give someone a weapon (and a barbarian at that) that can get through your protection? Never made sense...
Re: One Shots...
Post by thanatos   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:48 pm

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I think we need to remember that Roger was never trained as a marine and that the march across Marduk included his training in hand-to-hand and short range weaponry (swords and spears), as well as a sniper. So he didn't have the ingrained training for the sort of situational awareness needed to expect a one-shot. It takes time and experience to handle what is essentially a futuristic grenade that is (according to textev) a short range weapon that is only good within a few meters (it is a last ditch weapon). Remember that Bronze Company had to retrain in the use of modern weapons, close quarter combat and on shipboard fighting during the sea voyage and after taking the spaceport (and even then they never expected to get hold of a Saint Greenpeace vessel).

Roger was surprised by Sor Teb true enough, and Sor Teb's possession of the one-shot indicates that he had contact with humans (the Saints perhaps) who gave him that weapon with the intention for him to use it against an armored Imperial trooper in order to further is scheme (and put a Saint-friendly local in charge). Remember that his scheme to supplant the head of the army as heir to the High Priest was predicated upon the sacrifice of one of the humans to their fire god. It therefore stands to reason that Sor Teb got that weapon to further his original political goals.

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