The Generic Villain vs. the Evil Overlord List: Items 21-25

The Generic Villain continues a point-by-point facedown and update of that reference material of all baddies with imperial ambitions, The Evil Overlord List.

21.  Get a fashion designer for the minions, and make sure the uniforms are original—particularly not knockoffs of historical fighting forces that were themselves eventually defeated. This strategy wears pretty well, at least assuming you’re the type for uniformed minions; you really don’t want them thinking too hard about the implications of their imagery.

22. No consuming energy fields bigger than one’s own head. This is a good call, and I’d like to add to it “Don’t consume any energy field you haven’t analyzed, no matter what its size is.” Bottle it up, yes. Analyze it, absolutely. Consume it? That strikes me more as a Hand of Darkness-specific eating disorder than a workable strategy.

23. Keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and make sure troops know how to use them. I agree with this, and will add only “Make sure your troops can get to them easily.” It’s a good idea just to have them carry one of such weapons around, in case there isn’t time to respond. Particularly if the low-tech weapon is well-concealed. One last thing: carry one yourself. No, really. Come on, we all know disarming is right up there on the Hero Tactic list.

24. Maintain a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Seriously, why are people still not doing this? While you’re at it, maintain a realistic (actually, make that slightly optimistic in their favor) assessment of your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses—anything you know they can do, assume they can top, with a little extra margin for that last-hope desperation-rush they’re all so fond of, and a little more on the top for the Power of Love and Friendship. You may not refer to yourself as invincible. You may not refer to anything the heroes could potentially do as “impossible” or “inconceivable”. Underestimate yourself slightly, overestimate them slightly, plan accordingly. We clear? Good.

25. No matter how well it would preform, never construct any sort of machinery that has just one small and nearly inaccessible vulnerable spot but is otherwise indestructible. …all right, this is one of those times where I’m going to argue strenuously with the List. The problem people have had with that isn’t that the device had one fatal weakness and not much else. No, it’s that that one fatal weakness wasn’t properly defended. Tell me, would the Death Star still have been destroyed if the defenses had allowed for the possibility of one-man fighters doing an attack run? The Rebels certainly didn’t think so. Bear in mind, these devices are otherwise indestructible, and that one weakness just means that if your opponent knows what the weakness is, you know exactly where they’re going to strike and can plan accordingly.

GV’s further addendum: Hey, you beyond the Wall! If you’re getting tired of the List, do remember that I also answer questions and resolve diabolical dilemmas. If you’ve got a conundrum interfering with your conquest or cunning plan, ask me in the comments on any of my posts, and I’ll give you an answer.


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