Treblinka was one of four units of what was officially called Aktion Reinhard; these, in a remote forest location, were extermination camps pure and simple, where the prisoners did not undergo any selection process or stay for any purpose, but were hounded straight from the railway station to the stripping rooms and from there, a naked mass, to the gas chambers. In the nature of things the German prosecutors who came later found eyewitnesses hard to discover. Ex-commandants were hard to come by too, having mostly killed themselves, or been hanged, or succeeded in disappearing.
Stangl was one who was found, and he was also one with normal human characteristics who could recognise crime and appreciate the moral purpose of questions. At this man Ms Sereny probed away, searching for the process by which a dull, provincial Austrian policeman had become the murderer of perhaps a million persons, driven as she always is by her insatiable need to know. While the German army fought the war, the SS slaughtered the victims. These, as Ms Sereny says, were not all Jews. At the same time as Hitler indulged his peculiar hatred of Jews he also pursued his mad design of decapitating the societies of Eastern Europe so as to leave the common people as serfs to be used in the German service.
Thus the German eastward advance was accompanied by a savagery not seen in Western Europe—a fact which no doubt contributed to the eventual rout of the Wehrmacht in the east. Germany, like her or not, is a huge part of Europe and a vital one. It was all 50 or 60 years ago, and Ms Sereny's further concern in this book is with the struggle of later generations of Germans to digest what happened, to accommodate themselves to their history.
In the end, this is not a matter on which Ms Sereny or any outsider can help much. AP Not someone to cross.
Both saw themselves as natural leaders of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Kennedy's language was colder and less colourful, but he was just as rude about the Texan who had succeeded his slain brother as president of the United States. Why did these two liberal Democrats hate each other so much? Why did this hatred flare up even before Kennedy openly opposed Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam war?
Johnson's enmity is, perhaps, the easier to understand. He craved affection, both public and private, and he thought he deserved to get it for the skill and courage he had shown in arm-twisting, sweet-talking and pork-barrelling a reluctant Congress into approving his civil rights and Great Society programmes over vehement, and sometimes violent, opposition. As it happened, Johnson got little thanks for it. Those who benefited, many of them black and Hispanic Americans, came so to idolise the buck-toothed, floppy-haired whipper-snapper from Massachusetts that on visits to ghettos like Watts he needed to be protected from adoring mobs.
Class, that unAmerican five-letter word, also played a part in fanning the Johnson-Kennedy feud. Johnson had a Texan-sized chip about establishment easterners. But in Evan Thomas's critical yet affectionate biography it is Kennedy who emerges as the more class-conscious of the two men, often treating Johnson behind his back as jumped-up white trash. As Mr Thomas makes plain, Kennedy had the arrogance of people born rich and brought up spoiled. He rarely carried cash, counting instead on companions and retainers to pick up the bill.
As attorney general, as a United States senator for New York and then as a candidate in the Democratic presidential primaries in , Kennedy treated even senior members of his staff as valets. Not only were they expected to get his shirts laundered and his shoes cleaned, they had to cope with such tasks as holding the head of a vomiting dog out of a limousine window.
Kennedy's family background in conservative Catholicism also had a lot to do with making him into such an illiberal anti-communist. He worked in the s for Senator Joseph McCarthy, a vicious and irresponsible red-baiter, and though that might charitably be put down to the shadow of the family and the indiscretion of youth, Kennedy continued his ruthless ways. But this evasiveness fails to throw his biographer off the scent. Mr Thomas shows beyond reasonable doubt that, as attorney general, Kennedy instigated plots to kill Fidel Castro that involved the sort of mobsters who wear dark glasses and pinkie rings.
Just as convincingly, he argues that fantasies about communist infiltration of Martin Luther King's inner circle persuaded Kennedy to approve wire-taps on the civil-rights leader's telephone. Mr Thomas for all that makes a decent fist of the argument that Kennedy, a tough-minded liberal, could have made an effective president. Americans, he says, were afraid in , and they eventually voted their fears and elected Richard Nixon.
Mr Thomas concedes that Kennedy would probably, like Johnson, have been a devious president, and might, like Nixon, have abused the power of his office. He would, though, have had to get elected first, and Mr Thomas effectively demolishes the legend that only an assassin's bullet stopped Robert Kennedy from winning the White House. His selection as the Democratic candidate in , let alone his election as president, was far from a sure thing.
The shock of his murder by a deranged gunman on the evening of his triumph in the California primary erased how narrow a victory it was. And the then-still-powerful party bosses much preferred Hubert Humphrey, the eventual Democratic candidate. One constituency was solid for Kennedy. Others have won more votes, but none such affection.
Johnson deserved it more. AP She'd rather cry in a Rolls. LIKE that other great Florentine family, the Medicis, the Guccis managed to produce both great beauty and great soap opera. It is a murder mystery and a story of rescue and survival—how financiers battled to save Gucci, how American business smarts revived a quintessentially Italian label and, most recently, how Gucci escaped the clutches of LVMH , its gluttonous French rival.
Gucci started as a single store in Florence, opened in by Guccio Gucci,who had developed an eye for luxury while working as a bellboy at the Savoy Hotel in London before the first world war. Guccio and his descendants became world famous for the bamboo-handled handbag sported by the likes of Jackie Onassis and the trademark loafers worn by Frank Sinatra's set. But their real talent lay in civil warfare. Having taken Gucci to America, Aldo, one of Guccio's sons, battled his brother Rodolfo for more control and ended up cheapening the Gucci brand through over-licensing.
An infamous board meeting in degenerated into a brawl during which Aldo gashed the face of his own son, Paolo, drawing blood. Paolo later got his revenge when he helped prosecutors put his year-old father behind bars for tax evasion. But the real high, or low, point was the shooting of Maurizio, Rodolfo's son, who had taken over the business. Patrizia's trial was followed in Italy much as O. Simpson's was in America. When she was convicted, Gucci stores around the world displayed sterling silver handcuffs in their windows.
That was apparently the touch of Tom Ford, an American who has breathed new life and a rock-star sexiness into Gucci's image since he became its chief designer in the early s. Meanwhile, Domenico De Sole, the company's in-house lawyer-turned- CEO , has restored its financial fortunes, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy by buying back licences and keeping a tighter control on distribution.
Today, Gucci is one of the largest and most profitable luxury-goods companies in the world. The Gucci story was always going to be a great subject for a juicy read, but Ms Forden has concocted something better even than gossip. A former Milan bureau chief for Women's Wear Daily , Ms Forden has whipped up a mixture of family drama and high finance into a tasty and complex narrative. Through exhaustive research and access to everyone that matters—she even corresponded with the jailed Patrizia—she takes readers right inside the Gucci boardroom.
This is a business book you will zip through like a novel. While some books, like some lives, seem destined for inconsequence, as a rule people have more of an excuse. Raised in the small mid-western city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bea returns to her parents' home after college in Madison, and stays there. It's the prim s, and Bea's mother admonishes her daughter to save herself for marriage. The civic-minded Bea proves a bit too good at saying no, and at length saves herself for a well-dressed dotage.
Flirtations with her married estate-agent employer and the family priest never progress beyond mutual embarrassed allusion. Yet while this quiet tale of missed opportunities might scan as tragic in the hands of, say, William Trevor, Ms Simpson succeeds only in making it exceptionally dull. True, she knits, and has a subdued brown wool imported specially from Italy. She will not list a house for more than the market will bear.
A faithful friend, for decades she rings the more adventurous companion of her youth in Arizona to discuss dyeing their hair. So placid and compliant a virtue presents itself less as noble self-sacrifice than failure of imagination. Sometimes she would miss a liverwurst sandwich and then just make one. Simple language can be elegant, and deceptively plain declarative syntax is capable of hinting at a rich emotional complexity teeming underneath.
A slender novel dooms no writer to slender accomplishment. And who better to delve into these complex manifestations of the national psyche than Robert Hughes, a celebrated expatriate commentator, author and art critic for Time. But halfway through filming, things went terribly wrong. Driving at night on a deserted Western Australian highway, Mr Hughes suffered a near fatal head-on collision that shattered his body and left him in a coma for weeks.
From that moment, the series concept became overtaken by Mr Hughes's painful recovery, by the media attention to the accident and by an unsuccessful case brought against Mr Hughes for dangerous driving. In the opening episode Mr Hughes returns to the crumpled wreckage of the car in which he was trapped for five hours.
It is as well to keep this warning in mind. It mixes the personal and the political, the historical and the stereotypical in bewildering ways. One moment Mr Hughes will be intoning on the failure of the early 20th-century White Australia policy, while the next he will be manfully fighting back a tear as he revisits the genteel family home of his Sydney childhood. Whenever you have a new book out, Western Fictioneers, give us the lowdown and a thumbnail of the cover, along with all the web places it can be found, and one of us will get it on the blog. Western Fictioneers.
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Search This Blog. Sunday, December 30, New books and stories by Western Fictioneers. Author-members of Western Fictioneers continue to publish Western novels galore no pun on the famous Ian Fleming character whose first name was Pussy. Below please find the latest. If something looks good to you, push a button and make a purchase. Pete Peterson. Dave Fisher. My latest release is The Turning of Copper Creek. The Poudre Canyon Saga is proving to be a very popular series. Information can be found on my website.
All these books and those that have been out for a while can be found on my Amazon Author Page. Troy D. Lines of Blue and Gray : Tales of the Civil War is up for kindle, and paperback should be up soon as well final proof approved. No such luck for the player. The Tribals and Swampfolk in Point Lookout have a similar hax effect with their weapons, the double barreled shotguns being the most deadly, since the armor-piercing damage is applied to each individual pellet, possibly resulting in a One-Hit Kill if all of them connect with the player.
Likewise for the Feral Ghoul Reavers' Deadly Lunge , and their gore grenades, which also instantly cripple body parts on a direct hit. Fallout: New Vegas : Due to the way armour is implemented, players may need to use special weapons, ammunition and methods of attack to penetrate an enemy's armour and cause meaningful damage. And of course, if you're the sneaky type , you can also go for a sneak attack critical, which has its damage added to the original attack and thus isn't nearly as affected by DT. The Piercing Palm perk causes all melee and unarmed attacks to ignore 15 points of DT, which effectively means anything not wearing heavy armor might as well not be wearing armor at all.
If normal-sized rats can chew through so many things, imagine what giant rats will do to humans. The Proton Axe from Old World Blues does 20 bonus damage points against robots and Power Armor , effectively cancelling most of the armor's DT, which includes the player when Lobotomites are wielding the weapon.
Lonesome Road 's resident Demonic Spiders , the Tunnelers, also seem to bypass the player's damage threshold. At high levels, they deal as much damage as the main game's Deathclaws. Fallout 4 does away with specialised ammo and weapons entirely, but armor penetration can still be gained in various ways. All weapon types handguns, rifles, heavy weapons, etc.
Last but not least, the effectiveness of armor decreases the more powerful the incoming attack is, which means a sufficiently strong hit can make a mockery of whatever protection you might have all on its own. Final Fantasy Final Fantasy X does this with armored enemies, who require a specific weapon type to get past it.
Fortunately, they begin to show up just as you get the biggest badass around, whose weapons all come with the armor-piercing ability, into your party. The "Armor Break" skill will remove the "armored" enhancement from its target, allowing you to damage it normally with non-piercing weapons.
Final Fantasy XII had guns and measures, both of which only calculated the weapon's strength for damage. So while they were good against enemies that had high defenses, it didn't matter how strong a character was when using them. Unfortunately, this effectively neuters the design philosophy behind some enemies, usually of the "evasive and tough, but with extremely low health" variety.
The most extreme example would be the Cactrot, which follows that model exactly: it has a perfect defence rating all physicals do 1 damage and is extremely hard to hit with physicals and magic alike. It has 3 HP, so anything that always hits and ignores defence, no matter how weak, will kill it. Given that he hits like a semi-truck , it's a good idea to stay the hell out of his reach while he's in this state. In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn , the Black Knight has an exclusive, beefed up variant of this skill called Eclipse which negates defense and multiplies the attack's might by a factor of five.
The minimum amount of damage he can deal with it is , in a game where the Final Boss has HP. Anyone who takes this is going bye-bye. The First Encounter Assault Recon games have several weapons which disregard or degrade the functionality of armor, both for enemies and the player.
To be more specific: all weapons, especially in the first game, deal part of the damage directly to the health. However, in most weapons the damage that isn't absorbed by the armor is a very small fraction of the total. There's a weapon in each game the Penetrator in the first game, the Hammerhead in the second that ignores armor almost completely, making them true examples of this trope.
Due to the combat mechanic of Galactic Civilizations II , armor is only really effective against mass drivers. Lasers and missiles are affected by armor, but only by the square root of the armor rating e. In Gems of War , some units have special attacks which ignore enemy armour dealing "true damage", in game terminology. In the console versions of Ghost Recon : Advanced Warfighter and its sequel, anti-materiel rifles such as the Barrett M95 can penetrate concrete barriers.
Future Soldier likewise gives most weapons the option of swapping out the regular ammunition for armor-piercing rounds that deal slightly better damage and can penetrate both the ballistic vests worn by Riflemen players and thicker surfaces enemies may be hiding behind. Some of these piercing weapons can only shoot through thin objects, but two weapons are capable of shooting enemies through virtually anything, from crates to solid walls to tree trunks.
Gotcha Force features two different ones - drills on the Drill Robot, and the energy lances of the Atlas Tank, the Proto Atlas, and the Atlas Robot which can switch between the previous two forms. They can go through obstacles, other enemies, and even the rare barriers that some borgs can generate.
As one of the borgs that can make barriers is the Final Boss , they're the go-to choice for the final assault. Abilities in Guild of Dungeoneering work on a "X skill does Y damage, and may or may not block Z damage of A type" system.
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Certain skills, connoted by a "No Shield" symbol, cannot be blocked. As the tip screens put it "They go straight through your blocks! Due to how armor works Extra armor is multiplicative in how much damage it reduces , this has a varying effect depending on the amount of armor. Guild Wars weapon skills that add damage also add a fixed amount of damage, that is unaffected by armor, making them useful against highly armored targets. All hostile attacks in Half-Life 2 are armor-piercing to some extent since Gordon's Powered Armor is incapable of fully stopping hits; it merely reduces their effectiveness.
Running around with your suit's power depleted means every hit will deal its full damage to your health instead. It's a justified example because Gordon's suit is meant for dangerous civilian engineering work and was never designed to protect against bullets, explosives or focused dark energy blasts. Iji features this due to the fact that everything is made of Nanotechnology. To wit, small arms fire such as the machine gun or pulse rounds will chip away at your armour which is really more of a forcefield until it is depleted at which point a Hit Point is sacrificed to replenish it.
However anything which hits you as in, a rocket, BFG round or a punch will deal actual damage to your body directly and send you flying across the room to boot. In Impossible Creatures , creatures that attack with quills or horns will bypass a portion of the enemy's defense. Jagged Alliance 2 has armour-piercing ammunition for most weapons; in fact for some weapon classes it's actually the default type. Its effectiveness varies somewhat, as it only gives an attack bonus versus armour and -realistically- a penalty versus targets who aren't wearing any.
Since almost every single enemy Mook has some kind of body armour, even a Vietnam-era flak jacket and a steel helmet, it's hollowpoint ammunition and its damage bonus versus unarmoured targets that ends up being highly situational instead.
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Turned against the player in Killing Floor - the Siren's scream ignores armor entirely, while attacks from the Fleshpound and Patriarch typically damage both health and armor. Oddly enough no archer units can get it, but then again King Arthur 's archer units are generally considered Game Breakers already and probably don't need any more help.
This is, of course, balanced out by stats like Armor Penetration and Magic Penetration, which serve to provide a way for squishy Marksmen and Mages to deal with opponents that stack defensive stats. A stat, known as 'Lethality,' was introduced as of February While normal Armor Penetration works on flat numbers, allowing X amount of damage to pierce armor - where X is the amount of Armor Penetration a champion has - Lethality is a flat percentage of damage penetration that increases based on the level of the champion dealing the damage.
Up until recently, the percentage was based on the level of the champion receiving the damage.
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In addition, some characters have the ability to deal 'True Damage,' which ignores all mitigation stats and items to deal, well, true damage. Notable examples are Garen's 'Demacian Justice,' which deals True Damage to the champion on the enemy team with the most recent kill, and Cho'Gath's 'Feast,' which deals a MINIMUM of 1, true damage to neutral monsters and minions, and a bit less to enemy champions. In The Legend of Dragoon , the group knows they stand no chance against the Divine Dragon on normal terms, so they go on a quest to find the Dragon-Block Staff made specifically for fighting dragons , thus allowing them to fight a significantly de-powered Divine Dragon with a chance of victory.
Mass Effect Variant: acid attacks in Mass Effect bypass your shields.
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The effects of this range from "mildly inconvenient" if you have armour with plenty of damage reduction and Immunity up, to "all right squad, we're taking a break to weep" when a thresher maw begins to spit holes in the Mako or shield-focused Tali gets mugged by a swarm of rachni workers. Mass Effect 2 has three different kinds of non-health defenses. Powers and weapons receive damage multipliers against specific defenses. Overload is treated in a particularly nice, given that it stuns humanoid targets, and can be upgraded to knock unprotected targets off their feet entirely for an even longer stun time.
Although, this fits in with the games overall greater focus on powers. Certain guns and mods also give your bullets penetration, which reduces the damage reduction armored enemies possess, and lets it go through cover, which includes the other-wise invincible riot shields. A Javelin sniper rifle with maximised penetration mod, maximised high-velocity barrel, and Garrus's specialty ammo can go through thicker cover than actually exists in the game.
Same in the Dominions series though the defense stat is called "protection", while the stat called "defense" is really evasion. Dominions also adds armor negating, which completely ignores the target's armor. No, it does not make the armor negative! Heavy and Xentronium armor negate armor bypassing, but neither can protect against an attacker equipped with an Achilles Targeting Unit device.
Shield piercing weapons can be stopped with the Hard Shields device. The downside is that it doesn't do much damage to shields and requires the ship to close in to short range for maximum effectiveness.
The Shadow Shield
You can still bypass Mercy Invincibility under certain circumstances, though. Mega Man X: Command Mission has several weapons that your party members can equip that have armor- or shield-ignoring properties. The base damage on them is rather low, however, but they're quite helpful against enemies with high defenses, and also bypass defense-enhancing buffs. Some enemies and bosses also have at least one piercing attack in their arsenal, subject to the same properties but sometimes a lot more dangerous due to the foe's high attack power.
The Void Walker demon in Nexus Clash has Precision of the Assassin, an attack that completely ignores the target's armor due to the Void Walker's maybe-real insubstantial state. This doubles as a Death-or-Glory Attack since it drops the attacker's own armor into negative numbers and makes the Void Walker liable to get killed in a few shots if they can't defeat their target quickly. Featured in Paper Mario with Watt, whose basic attack ignores the enemy's defense making her one of the most useful partners in the game, especially against high-defense enemies , as well as badges which would apply this property to your Jump or Hammer attacks.
Items and the Star Storm power also ignore defense. Mowz , whose attack is literally an Armor-Piercing Slap. However, there are also several enemies mostly Elite Mooks in this game that can pierce your defense , negating all defense badges you have equipped and leaving you with the standard choice of a regular Guard to stop 1 damage or a trickier Superguard to stop all of it. Pathways into Darkness has armor-piercing ammunition for the AK and M79, which is required to defeat the Greater Nightmares near the end of the game.
Both will make short work of any shield. Plants vs. Zombies : The Fume-shroom can ignore screen doors, newspapers, ladders, and trash cans that some zombies are holding. Chip Away, Darkest Lariat, and Secret Sword, which do damage while disregarding opponent's stat boosts in defenses. There are also moves that bypass Protect and similar protection moves, such as Hyperspace Hole and Phantom Force. And both moves are super effective against the Pokemon with the latter ability.
The Abilities Mold Breaker, Teravolt, and Turboblaze allow the user to ignore any of the target's Abilities while attacking. This trope comes into play when the opponent has an Ability that reduces or prevents damage, such as Thick Fat, Levitate, Wonder Guard, Bulletproof, and the aforementioned Disguise. Ragnarok Online not only has weapons that ignore defense, but a dagger called the Ice Pick, which isn't reduced by the target's defense and then proceeds to do more damage depending on how much defense it had. Wearing armor actually makes you take more damage.
Thankfully, they are quite rare. Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall Director's Cut , in addition to making armor an explicit value that attacks have to be stronger than in order to harm the user, also introduces attacks that can either degrade or ignore that armor. The Pierce skill in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne , which allows those who have it to ignore the enemies' physical resistances, immunities, and drains but not repels.
You get it just in time, too, since that's the point in the game when your randomly encountered enemies may have as many as four or five out of eleven elements be useless against them. Having the skill, and jumping through a few hoops to be able to get it on your Mons , changes the last part of the game from insanely hard to merely sanely hard. Devil Survivor and its sequel have it too, but only work for physical attacks. Still, being able to pummel bosses who otherwise drain or nullify physical attacks with a dose of Deathbound or Multi-Strike is quite satisfying. In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse , piercing attacks take another level since piercing attacks can now bypass repel , meaning that one must either take the full brunt of a piercing attack, or be lucky enough to dodge it.
Shores of Hazeron had the deadly Glue Gun , which due to a glitch , could ignore any amount of armor. Players would storm ships armed with nothing but a glue gun, which could pierce the Powered Armor of its crew, killing them without damaging the armor - in fact, it would actually repair their armor. In Soldier of Fortune , high-power weapons such as the sniper rifle can pierce both the player's and enemy's armor. Starting in Space Empires IV , weapons can now skip armor, in addition to shields.
A spin-off called Space Empires: Starfury had this, too. In Splatoon 2 's Salmon Run mode, the Grizzco Slosher has the unique ability to damage to any enemy it hits. Including bosses like Flyfish and Steelheads that are otherwise invincible unless they reveal their weakpoints. The sheer kill power is balanced by being a Painfully Slow Projectile. This concept was later implemented with the Explosher, which has a more limited version of this trait but, unlike the Grizzco Slosher, is not Purposely Overpowered and can be used in the other online modes. In both games, the amount of armor on a unit subtracts from the damage dealt by an attacking unit: if an attacker deals 3 damage and the target has 2 armor, 2 damage will be subtracted from the attack and only 1 damage will actually be dealt.
In gameplay terms, this means that weaker attacks will be disproportionately less effective than higher damage attacks against armor, although this could be easily overcome by Spam Attack from faster attacks or through sheer numbers. StarCraft II does away with the system, opting instead for one in which some units receive a bonus to attack against certain unit types. A Terran Marauder for example, deals 10 damage to most targets, but receives an extra 10 damage against any "Armored" type ground unit for a total of 20 damage.
Like Warcraft III , abilities in both games ignore physical armor but may be affected by unit type, with Irradiate capable of dealing up to damage on biological units but remaining completely ineffective against mechanical ones. Not very useful against the Terran or Zerg who don't have shields at all, but a Protoss Archon has shields and 10 health Star Ruler has weapons that partially and completely ignore armour, but usually don't do that much actual damage. The Galactic Armory mod adds weapons that are good at killing shields but don't do anything to armor or health.