Better commander in real military, Ender, Bean?

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.

Better Earth army commander?

Ender
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Bean
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Total votes: 36

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Better commander in real military, Ender, Bean?

Postby EA_Cru_2002 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:39 am

When I say "real" military, I don't mean OUR reality's military, although I guess you could also count ours in there, but I meant on Earth in the Enderverse after the Bugger War duing the Shadow of Hegemon - Giant period. Who would be the better commander? I know Ender turned out to be the better commander than Bean in Battle School because he could inspire loyalty and love while Bean's aloofness created disdain and at best, grudging respect.

But the thing about Battle School, was that it was a collection of the best of the best minds on Earth. And more than that, it was a collection of some of the most ambitious minds. So that means it is full of people who think they should be entitled to be head honcho. I do think Ender's empathy and leadership style are above anyone else and were just so damn good, that he was able to reign in all those Alexander the Greats to listen to him as Commander. That was something Bean couldn't do. And there were probably others, not just Ender, who could do a better job than Bean at inspiring trooper loyalty.

BUT that is Battle School. The "real" military is a lot different. It isn't filled with those same ambitious kids. Bean even says it in Shadow of the Hegemon that he found a lot of the soldiers in his Thailand army suffered from the opposite problem of being too COMPLIANT. Now there probably were a few people in there who want to move up in ranks and become an officer and whatnot, but in general, you're a lot more likely to find soldiers in the "real" world content with taking orders from anyone who seems half competant because they feel that person will do a better job than they would. So Bean, although not as good a commander as Ender, has more than enough commanding skills (I just made up a word) to inspire trooper loyalty in most armies in the world.

So I think if it came down to battles on Earth between armies, Bean would have the advantage. Ender's ridiculous surplus of commanding skills wouldn't give him any more advantage but Bean's superior tactical and strategic mind would most definately give him an advantage. Not to mention Bean's mind and skills doesn't stop growing while if you read The Polish Boy in First Meetings, a young Graff mentions that test results showed that normal human commanders (like Ender) would have reached their peak at teens and then there is a drop off.

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Postby wigginboy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:34 am

Ender fights to win completely, to obliterate the threat; Bean fights to kill, but only in pursuit of the prize. Bean knows exactly what he is after and does what is necessary to procure it, only displacing the obstacles directly in front of him. Ender sees the end but knows that the end is only complete when every trace of the enemy is wiped from the playing field. Thus, if Ender wanted it enough, was motivated enough to think that it was a necessity, he might choose to get rid of Bean and the threat that he embodies. However, taking down Bean fully enough to obliterate his influence would inevitably include the take-down of Ender's own brother, Peter Wiggin. To take down Peter would allow Achilles to run rampant, probably killing Bean, Ender, Petra and anyone else important in the latter half of the subseries. I think Peter foresaw this and that was his reasoning for the push to forbid Ender entrance back to Earth. He wanted his brother exiled because he knew that he would be exploited or killed otherwise. Thus, Bean is the better commander because he doesnt have as much to worry about as Ender would have. Ender would be so sought after by everyone, he probly wouldnt last a week after returning home before being killed in a rocket blast along with his entire family by some militant group to stop the enemy from getting to him first. anyway, thats enough bullshitting from me today. i must be heading to bed

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Ender-BY FAR

Postby John Locke » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:35 am

He had charisma and the ability to make people trust him on a level not even Bean could compete on.
Anyone want to be my Demosthenes?
"And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?"
I just want an "enemy" to create an ongoing political debate that will give both of us respect and a following for peace.

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Charisma?

Postby keats » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:00 am

Heck with Charisma...just based on tactics, Ender was far more empathic than Bean. He had the ability to understand his opponent. That was his advantage. Bean was brilliant, but Ender was the whole package.
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Empathy counts

Postby John Locke » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:41 am

Everyone wants to have someone to talk to. Ender could feel sorry for them when they had a problem, while Bean dismissed them. If the Jeesh could have a vote of Bean as commander versus a bugger, they'd choose the latter. Also, the more dedicated the underlings are to a commander, the more likely they want to succeed and impress him/her.

The main difference between Ender's strategy and Bean's is stark:
Bean is cool and calculating based on knowledge.
Ender based his strategy off of getting to know and love his enemy, then anticipating a response, and finishing them off.

As Bean matured he learned to "speak" the language of love because of Petra. In his own words, though "with a foreign accent.

Ender's empathy puts him over the top.
Anyone want to be my Demosthenes?
"And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?"
I just want an "enemy" to create an ongoing political debate that will give both of us respect and a following for peace.

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Postby beanpetrapeterlove703 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:34 pm

True, Ender understands and loves his enemy, but that is one thing that he passes on to Bean. Bean is far more intelligent than him, and can adapt to situations much faster. Having gone through constant, real life threatening situations, making him all together more prepared.
Also, after the bugger wars, Ender really just wants peace. His warm heart and endless mind are better suited for writing books or teaching and helping. Saving is Ender's thing; not destroying.
Bean would be the best choice for an actual military leader.

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Re: Ender-BY FAR

Postby greenbeans16 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:47 pm

He had charisma and the ability to make people trust him on a level not even Bean could compete on.
You must not have read the shadow series.

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Postby John Locke » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:43 pm

I most certainly read the shadow series, albeit out of order. First (for me) was Shadow Puppets, then Shadow...Hegemon, and last Shadow...Giant.
While Bean had respect, he didn't love his soldiers, and his soldiers didn't worship him. They respected him as a good general who didn't gamble their lives.
Ender still wins in my book, though if it were Bean or nothing, who do you think I would choose?
Anyone want to be my Demosthenes?
"And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?"
I just want an "enemy" to create an ongoing political debate that will give both of us respect and a following for peace.

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Postby greenbeans16 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:49 pm

oh. I'm really really sorry if I offended you! Seriously!
I just never thought it was possible anyone could think like that after having the opportunity to see Bean's character! Sorry!

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Unoffended

Postby John Locke » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:29 pm

Sorry if I came on a little strong.
I just posted what I thought.
I'm sorry if I led anyone to think I took offence.
Indeed, without dissent, there is no democracy.
Anyone want to be my Demosthenes?
"And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?"
I just want an "enemy" to create an ongoing political debate that will give both of us respect and a following for peace.

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Postby Jezebel » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:40 am

I think that in the end, Bean is better on Earth because landside, things are messy. In battle school and the fleet he's able to command absolute loyalty. People follow him and his only dealing with the enemy is through combat. Bean's brilliance is in the politics that has to accompany the strategy. That's where he'd beat Ender.
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Postby akrolsmir » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:51 pm

I don't think the real commanders stay out on the front lines anymore... They could just stay somewhere safe and communicate plans. And with that, Ender wouldn't have the ability to gain the trust and respect of his soldiers. Not to mention he would not be the one training them, just the one directing them.

In sheer strategy, Bean would win. That's why I voted for him.
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Postby Ela » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:24 pm

oh. I'm really really sorry if I offended you! Seriously!
I just never thought it was possible anyone could think like that after having the opportunity to see Bean's character! Sorry!
It most certainly is possible. I also voted for Ender.

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Postby John Locke » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:31 pm

[quote="Ela"][quote="greenbeans16"]oh. I'm really really sorry if I offended you! Seriously!
I just never thought it was possible anyone could think like that after having the opportunity to see Bean's character! Sorry![/quote]

It most certainly is possible. I also voted for Ender.[/quote]

Thanks for coming to my aid, Ela.
Anyone want to be my Demosthenes?
"And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?"
I just want an "enemy" to create an ongoing political debate that will give both of us respect and a following for peace.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:34 pm

Don't forget that an enormous part of "Earth" military command is politics. Dealing with people.
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Postby Ela » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:46 am

oh. I'm really really sorry if I offended you! Seriously!
I just never thought it was possible anyone could think like that after having the opportunity to see Bean's character! Sorry!
It most certainly is possible. I also voted for Ender.
Thanks for coming to my aid, Ela.
No problem. :)

I am definitely an Ender fan. :)

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Postby petraXthebest » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:34 pm

True, Ender understands and loves his enemy, but that is one thing that he passes on to Bean. Bean is far more intelligent than him, and can adapt to situations much faster. Having gone through constant, real life threatening situations, making him all together more prepared.
Also, after the bugger wars, Ender really just wants peace. His warm heart and endless mind are better suited for writing books or teaching and helping. Saving is Ender's thing; not destroying.
Bean would be the best choice for an actual military leader.
I agree with what you said about Ender. He's not a fighter.
Bean has more expirience with earthly combat, and realizes that his brain should be put to use in this field. Ender won his war already, and has moved on. He'd rather fight his battles inside the mind.

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Postby UnnDunn » Wed May 14, 2008 11:03 pm

I think the key phrase is on page 274 of EG:
Bean, who couldn't control large groups of ships effectively but could use a few like a scalpel.
Bean could never really command huge armies the way Ender could. Yes, Bean can think ten moves ahead of everyone else, and yes, Bean can anticipate and react better and quicker than anyone else, but at the end of the day, he performs best as part of someone else's strategy, he's the trusted Lieutenant, never the General.

If a huge war broke out with Ender and Bean as opposing commanders, Ender would win IMHO. But if, as part of the war, Ender and Bean led small strike teams in skirmishes against each other, Bean would handily wipe the floor with Ender.

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Postby zeroguy » Thu May 15, 2008 12:19 am

I think the key phrase is on page 274 of EG:
Bean, who couldn't control large groups of ships effectively but could use a few like a scalpel.
Bean could never really command huge armies the way Ender could.
This was "revealed" (or retconned) in the Shadow series to be a lie told to Ender by Mazer to prevent him from relying on Bean too much, or something. Someone else is going to have to look up the specifics on that; delving into the Shadow books always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth...
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Postby locke » Thu May 15, 2008 2:36 am

Ender represents Card's ideal military strategy in 1985, Bean represents his ideal military strategy in 2005 (or whenever the last shadow book was published) in those twenty years we see quite a difference in how Card thinks and his perceptions of the military. There's an undercurrent of resentment towards authority in Ender's Game (Ender forced, coerced and manipulated into fighting both at the battle school and against the buggers and the betrayal inherent in the deception is also quite significant) whereas in the Shadow series authority becomes much more glorified, less criticized, soldiers are now 'compliant' rather than independent and there is a clear caricature villain (evil simply to be evil) in Achilles for our modern day Doc Savage (Bean) to square up against. To be fair, the various characters run up against authority problems, but that is the old guard authority who have not yet ceded all control to the new (superior) philosophy of warfare/goverence that Card espouses.

Additionally the newer books are riddled with the brain "peaks as a teen" meme, this is different from Ender's Game where Card (at least in the short story) clarifies that they need a child commander because they couldn't trust an adult commander to take the reckless risks of life and material necessary to destroy the buggers completely. So whereas characters such as Novinha, Ender and Val get wiser and smarter as they mature in the new universe you're limited by your age of how smart you can get (i'm distorting slightly here, Card's belief is that your patterns of thought are set by 18 and you can't learn new ways to process information or think after that).

So if Card were ever to actually write a story I would expect Bean to win since Bean is written as a military obermensch and Ender is merely a flawed genius.

however imo, pitting Ender of Ender's Game versus Bean of Ender's Shadow would result in an Ender victory.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby UnnDunn » Thu May 15, 2008 5:52 am

I think the key phrase is on page 274 of EG:
Bean, who couldn't control large groups of ships effectively but could use a few like a scalpel.
Bean could never really command huge armies the way Ender could.
This was "revealed" (or retconned) in the Shadow series to be a lie told to Ender by Mazer to prevent him from relying on Bean too much, or something. Someone else is going to have to look up the specifics on that; delving into the Shadow books always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth...
In EG, it's told as if it was Ender himself making that analysis of Bean. And of course, Ender knew Bean's capabilities well before he met Mazer, and saw fit to assign Bean to a special-ops team in Dragon, rather than a regular toon. So Mazer's opinion of Bean probably wouldn't have mattered to Ender so much, and Mazer would know that.

And throughout Shadow, Bean never commanded huge armies as part of a large campaign; the most he got to do was train a small strike force which was deployed first under Suriyawong and later under Peter (and then later he got to lead the small Rwandan army, but it was still under Peter's overall control, and even then he still preferred working with his elite strike force which became a special-ops unit.)

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Postby zeroguy » Fri May 16, 2008 1:14 am

Sorry for all the long posts, but it's been awhile since I've been part of a good EG/ES discussion. Thanks, Undunn.

Shortly before that "scalpel" quote in EG, there's this:
But in the three weeks they practiced together, Ender came to know them very well.
indicating that Ender was learning their capabilities at the time (and that his prior knowledge of their Battle Room performance may not be applicable to the Command School simulations). Mazer said this to Ender early on, I think, to influence his opinion of Bean. So, Ender himself very well may have thought that it was entirely his own analysis, and unaware of Mazer's influence.

At least, that's how it goes in the Shadow series. Ignore the Shadow canon all you want (in fact, I encourage it), but I don't believe for a second that Shadow plot indicates that Bean is not useful with large amounts of forces.

Hmm, okay, I managed to get myself to look at this in ES again, and we heard this second hand from Graff (Graff is speaking first, then Bean):
"Ender isn't using you for anything important, and after having run the show that has to piss you off, Bean. But it's not Ender's fault. Mazer has been telling Ender that he has doubts about your ability to handle large numbers of ships. That's why you haven't been getting the complicated, interesting assignments. Not that Ender takes Mazer's word for it. But everything you do, Ender sees it through the lens of Mazer's lack of confidence."
"Mazer Rackham thinks I --"
"Mazer Rackham knows exactly what you are and what you can do. But we had to make sure Ender didn't assign you something so complicated you couldn't keep track of the overall flow of the game. And we had to do it without telling Ender you're his backup."
He could have been lying to Bean. But the way ES is written, especially around that point in the book, leads me to believe otherwise (this is a section where Bean somehow figures out pretty much everything, making Graff look rather silly. ...I really hate these scenes, they're so stupid.)
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Postby UnnDunn » Fri May 16, 2008 12:16 pm

zeroguy I guess you're right; nothing really indicates that Bean can't handle large armies. So I guess, once again the core Ender vs. Bean question comes down to raw intelligence and survival skills vs. empathy and fierce devotion.

Dagnabbit, and here I thought I had the definitive answer. ;)

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Postby zeroguy » Sat May 17, 2008 12:08 am

Well, if you never actually see Bean utilize a large force, but Ender clearly can handle one well, it's at least a notch for Ender's side, isn't it?
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Postby UnnDunn » Sun May 18, 2008 11:15 am

Yeah, but it was pretty dumb of me to assume that Bean couldn't handle a similarly large force just because we don't see him do it. And I don't think anyone here would bet against him being able to do it. Graff and Mazer certainly believed he could.

I haven't yet voted on the poll, but now I'm leaning towards Bean.

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Postby Birdshine » Wed May 21, 2008 10:17 pm

I think Ender would be the more effective leader, I don't think even Bean would admit that. But Ender would be a fool not to take Bean on as a consultant and strategist.
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Bean.

Postby Petra_Arkanian » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:44 am

My only reason for choosing Bean over Ender is this - Ender cannot face murder at all, even though for him it is instinctual. Bean, however, is well acquainted with it, and realizes that sometimes death is necessary.
That would be the only real reason not to choose Ender, in my opinion.

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Postby CreoleBeanFan » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:51 am

In Shadow of the Giant, during the meeting where all of the Jeesh Members (minus Hanzu and Alai) met with Graff and Mazer - one of the crew mentioned Bean's effectiveness as an actual commander.

I can't remember the exact quote, but one of the Jeesh members, when discussing Beans effectiveness as a comander mentioned that the Rwandan military worshiped Bean - that they would have walked off of a cliff if he'd instructed them to. They also mentioned how effectively Bean had trained his fighting force which originated with the Thai Military when it had consisted of '100 soldiers and a couple of choppers.'

Bean routed the armies of Sudan and Peru in defense of the newly recognized States of Nubia and (Dumpers nation - name escapes me at present).

Of all of the Jeesh members, Bean was the one who had the most experience actually leading armies into combat. The others served as strategists and military planners, but Bean and Surly were actually the commanders of the Hegemony military force, and were active in the field.

Bean had the highest test scores of any student to ever enter Battle School - even higher than Ender's. The difference between Bean and Ender's score was as vast as the difference between Ender's and the next highest student.

Ender just didn't have the disposition to be a Military Commander. At the end of Ender's game, Ender was heard saying that he never wanted to command another army again. Ender didn't like fighting - he didn't like hurting people. I cannot imagine him pursuing a career in the military, even if he had remained on Earth.

Bottom line: Bean held the office of Strategos, and led the Hegemony Military forces which unified the Earth governments. Ender became Speaker for the Dead.

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Postby LeftiesWillRule » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:01 am

well im leaning towards bean beause in Shadow of the Giant, him and his thai army massacred the indian force yet still managed o achiece their objective without and problems. that is saying that bean is much beter at commanding tropps and leading them to victory than ender, because no matter how much love you inspire into your soldiers, the better commander wins. in battle, there is no oubt of you commander, that is for space tactics people
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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:23 am

Ender, all the way!
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Postby Augustus » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:18 am

I voted Ender. Comparing the Ender of Ender's Game to the Bean of Ender's Shadow of course. Over the course of the Bean quintet Bean is slowly becoming a better command and strategist by using methods he learned from observing Ender, and speaking with him.

Comparing Bean of Shadow of the Giant with the Ender of Ender's Game however...Bean would most likely win. After Ender's Game, Ender becomes more of a philosopher, whereas every time we see Bean, he is in a military situation.
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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:03 am

You should think about doing something about that giant Avatar.
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Postby locke » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:58 pm

I happen to agree. please upload an avatar rather than linking it.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby DEK » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:55 am

Ender never fought a war, he fought individual battles. In each battle, he started with a clean slate, more or less, and his goal was to completely eliminate his enemy with minimal losses on his side. This worked great in the Battle Room, and in the Bugger War, but only because someone else always handled the logistics of getting to the battlefield.
Bean, on the other hand, had to deal with logistics since he was born.

Between the two of them, Bean would be better at taking charge of the entire war (deciding when and where to fight), and Ender would be better at winning the individual battles.

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Postby shadow_8818 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:54 pm

Ender is the commander that is all there is to it and military genius
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