Could a modern day Marine Expeditionary Unit, sent back in time, destroy the Roman Empire? Someone asked the question, and ARFCOM answered. From my unofficial tally, it's about two-to-one odds against the Marines for some of the dumbest arguments imaginable. It really got me thinking though about if ARFCOM ran a giant episode of Deadliest Warrior. There would be a complete list to the cartridge of all the shit an outfitted MEU has at its disposal, from M9s to M1A1 Abrams main gun rounds, against all the cleverness (snicker!) and weapons a 2,000 year old civilization had:
(In an overly enthusiastic, raspy voice) - Marines, the Deadliest Warriors of the modern age attack with bloodthirsty hunger wielding weapons of terrifying awesomeness and DEEEEEEEATH!
(Geek voice) - "Here we have a modern fighting force with modern weaponry. The Marines, while honorable, courageous, and committed to accomplishing their mission, often forget their sole purpose in life of killing everything they see and get sidetracked due to raging hormones and desire for strong drink. Some of the weapons the Marines will be using on the show are:"
The M16 A4 rifle!
The M9 pistol!
The M240Bravo machine gun!
The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon!
The MK19 machine gun firing 40mm grenades of DEATH!!
The LAV-25 Amphibious Assault Vehicle with 25mm automatic gun!!
The M777 Howitzer firing 155mm high explosive rounds!! OF DEATH!!
The Bell AH1Whiskey SuperCobra!!! IT'S AIRBORNE DEATH!!!
(Raspy fake voice again) - "But the Romans strike back with a deadly arsenal of their own!!!!"
(Geek voice) - "The Romans were like smart and shit, and were known to change their tactics to win decisively against other large, primitive and starving forces fighting in massed clusters with weapons made from bronze. Here are some of the things our Romans will be using against the Marines on the show:"
The Gladius! Three feet of low carbon steeeeel!
The Javelin!! Five feet of wooden DEATH!!!
The Shield!! Thick wood and bronze protected a Roman warrior FROM DEATH!
Whores! Slutty assassins who woo warriors!! TO DEATH!!
Chlamydia! Burning penal discharge of DEATH!!
Syphilis! The rashy kiss of crotchety DEATH!
Sour Wine! OF DEATH!!
(Geeky Canadian voice) - "I think the Romans are going to win this one. They were unbelievably clever, definitely enough to defeat the Marines' two millenia of technology, tactics, and complete knowledge of history. Aaaaand, nobody has ever thought of Marines being clever enough to adopt their strategy to defeat a numerically superior force. Also, a Marine Expeditionary Unit has a finite amount of ammunition on board, estimated at about one and a half million small arms rounds and hundreds of thousands of high explosive rounds, as well as a supply of batteries and fuel for only a month of operations. Once those run out, they're fucked."
(Other Geek voice) - "Yeah, you make a good point about the Marines having a limited supply of ammunition. But the Romans though had an infinite number of warriors who were not only super skilled with close range weapons made of primitive steel, but they were also like mad smart, too! They had so many warriors that they would never run out. When four Marine Corps M1A1 tanks annihilate a one hundred thousand strong army with all their leadership in a ten minute engagement, Rome would simply send in a hundred thousand more. The beauty is that Roman warriors don't even need training; they just wander out of the morning fog and stand ready in formation."
(Geeky Naval Special Warfare guy) - "I'm going to go with the Marines on this one. The Roman army, while admittedly super clever with their aquaducts and all, would not operate all that well as a fighting unit once all their generals and leadership were assassinated silently in their beds at night by green faced Marines with night vision goggles and suppressed rifles. And considering the devastation that a 155mm artillery barrage has against a force wearing body armor dispersed amongst rocks and cover, much less a formation of malnourished troops shoulder to shoulder in an open field wearing leather and wood, I'd say that if there even was a head on battle, it would be over in two minutes. One or two battles per region and that whole area would fall, which would destabilize the empire, and then the Marines would own all the harlots and booze they wanted."
(Geeky guy) - "Hmmmmm. Good points all around; it looks like it's going to be a tough call. But once we get all the data loaded into our sim, it will give us the answer."
(Raspy voice) - "Representing the Roman army are two Greek cooks from Manhattan, both direct descendants from warriors who fought in the Roman army."
(Greek cook) - "We're gonna kick their asses! Romans had gleaming muscles and thick chest hair under all their ridiculously effective armor, and had trained from before birth to wield a sword! No contest."
(Raspy voice) -"Representing the Marine Expeditionary Unit are two Marine Corps war veterans who, as Force Recon Snipers, killed thousands and thousands of terrorists across the globe using the devestating power of combined arms!"
(Marine, with a huge dip in his mouth) - "This is a fucking joke, right? I mean, we aren't talking about a MEU occupying a large land area or conquering every last city; all we need to do is slaughter a few hundred thousand Romans and the empire will break up. We'll take Rome on the first night!"
ETA: (Raspy voice) -- "WHO! IS! DEADLIEST!!!"
Yes, I have a wild imagination floating around in all this bitterness.