The Most Badass Military Units in Science Fiction
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The Most Badass Military Units in Science Fiction

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June 1, 2023
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The genre of science fiction has, since its inception, contained some of the most astounding technology and capabilities their writers could imagine, so it comes as no surprise that military organizations in those universes would follow suit. While unfortunately there isn’t a Deadliest Warrior for fictional fighters (unless there is and I’m not aware of it because it’s criminally under-marketed), the concept of who kills the most bugs or spaces the most Xenomorphs is a fascinating one. It would be impossible to rank them directly as different universes have different rules, but some organizations stand out on their own.

Spartan II – Halo Universe

Sure, the game came before the lore really caught up, but once it did it came with a vengeance. Just under 200 of the most exceptional children humanity produced were secretly stolen and replaced with flash clones that would quickly die. These children were then sent through a training and physical augmentation program that would last into their early adult years. Faster, stronger, and smarter than normal humans, not to mention massive in size on average, the Spartans were then given their now famous Mjolnir combat armor. Fitted with power systems so sensitive they would snap and crush any unaugmented human who wore it like a beer can at a country music festival and energy shielding technology stolen from the enemy alien Covenant, this system turned the pinnacle of human performance into a near unstoppable juggernaut. 

If anyone were to question their inclusion on this list, I will refer you back to Master Chief John 117 requesting permission to exit a space station during an enemy assault. When the purpose of the request was asked by Admiral Hood he calmly said “To give the Covenant back their bomb.” Master Chief then decompressed an airlock, jumping into open space, and rode a bomb through open space onto an enemy supercarrier like an even more insane version of Major Kong from Dr. Strangelove.

Mobile Infantry – Starship Trooper

While the individual Troopers are normal, unaugmented humans, what they lack in technological prowess they make up for with numbers and tenacity. They are often depicted as being overwhelmed by the bug menace (for dramatic effect) but each Trooper takes out piles of bugs on their own before heading for the Big PX in the sky. 

The purpose of the original novel was to show the evils of fascism, and that message should be taken seriously, but watching humanity take on giant space bugs with essentially the same kit used by Marines during the War on Terror, and coming out ahead? Respect.

Imperium of Man – Warhammer 40k

The lore of this universe is so extensive as to be impossible to cover adequately in dozens of books. An easy statement to make because there are likely hundreds of books and more coming. Of the many individuals that make up soldiers in the Imperium of Man who on their own are single person armies, the forces of the Imperium as a whole dominate the known galaxy. 

In struggling to both explain their nature and the forces they face, I have these two key points.

First, the star drive units their ships use to traverse galactic space are essentially the same as the black hole drive from the scifi horror movie Event Horizon… they rip a hole into an alternate dimension that is quite literally hell. That's just how they get to work everyday.

Second, here are some of the more colorful descriptions I could find;

“Warhammer Fantasy is Lord Of The Rings on a cocktail of steroids and GBH. And Warhammer 40,000 is the above on a cocktail of every drug known to man and genuine lunar dust, stuck in a blender with Alien, Mechwarrior, Starship Troopers and Star Wars, bathed in blood, turned up to eleventy billion, set on fire, and catapulted off into space screaming WAAAGH! And waving a chainsaw sword.”

“Catholic Space Nazis sound like awesome villains, how can they be the heroes?”

“By comparison.”

There are far too many to truly narrow down the list to who would be crowned top of hill, who would you rank as the masters of sci fi combat?

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