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Imagine a turn-based strategy game where everything is customizable down to the pixel: units, buildings, vehicles, maps, everything. That's Picture Wars. One person posts a picture of the area that the combat will be in, another posts the same picture but with his units added in. On his next turn he just posts the picture again but with his units in different places, and so on. Because of this, basically anything is possible as long as it is fair. This results in several tons of awesome.
Sometimes this is used as a generic forum game, but it has its own forum.
There are also several variants on this, known as Modded Matches.
This work provides examples of:
- Arbitrary Gun Power (Averted. Most infantry die from a single hit to the chest or head, and anywhere else will basically make them useless in combat.)
- Ass Pull
- Blood Sport (Most Colors matches are implied if not outright stated to be one of these, with all of the colored soldiers being clones that think they are fighting in a real war.)
- Bottomless Magazines (Maybe the soldiers reload between turns or something. Bigger guns normally have an actual reload time for balance.)
- Bottomless Pit (It's not common, but the bottom of the map is usually treated like this.)
- Bug War/Robot War (Sometimes the bugs fight the robots.)
- Cosmetically Different Sides (Ahahahahahaha But seriously, most armies are vastly different, which leads to some major balancing problems.)
- There's also the Colors gamemode, where two sides of exactly the same soldiers fight eachother, normally over a flag.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience (The Colors gamemode obviously, though neither side is really good or evil. Most armies don't have a particular "alignment" so this doesn't apply to them.)
- Also true of the now-dead Immortal Empires gamemode. Every side seemed to have their own individual color scheme, with he majority of evil cults gravitating towards saturated colors while the good cults would often be much brighter.
- Construct Additional Pylons (Occasionally averted, but a lot of armies build their bases right then and there.)
- Crowning Moment of Awesome (It's said that every game must have one massive explosion before it can end properly. Sometimes the crowning moment isn't the explosion.)
- Explosions in Space / Stuff Blowing Up (Like I said...)
- One of the larger explosions was at the end of Part I of Worlds War One, where a hotel receives four huge missiles.
- Game Breaker (Known as imba. The only way to beat imba is to be imba. Though some armies do have uberunits that are hard to get but incredibly destructive.)
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere (A common way of ending a game that has made one player bored.)
- Human Aliens / Rubber Forehead Aliens / Starfish Aliens / Humanoid Aliens (All of them exist in this game.)
- No Recycling (Averted by most. Undead armies even recycle the enemy.)
- Not Playing Fair with Resources (In one mode, a single army has to fight against an unlimited force of attackers while trying to sustain it's base. Also, some armies don't have resources, but they usually have some weakness to compensate.)
- Nuke'Em: Not uncommon as a sub-trope of Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Poor Communication Kills (Almost every match handwaves why the two armies are building bases in a small area by saying that neither knew the other was there in the first place.)
- Rule of Cool (Quite a few of the sub-tropes of Rule of Cool are in Picture Wars.)
- Taking You with Me (It is incredibly unlikely that a game will end with anyone left standing.)
- The Smurfette Principle (Women are pretty much nonexistent in any army that doesn't breed. And in a few of those, there's a "Queen" unit that does all the babymaking herself.)
- You Fail Physics Forever (If you are comparing Picture Wars physics to real Physics you are an idiot.)
- You Require More Vespene Gas (Yeah, pretty much every army with a resource is like this.)
- Curb Stomp Battle (Seen to many times when cannons and lasers goes up against sticks and stones.)
- A lot of Ugmen battles are like this.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene (Captured units do not generally get away easy. Seen in the match where blunderbuss wielding Skeletons massacre lesser equipped frogs and in another where an OTS officer executes a tied up Anhurian prisoner on his knees.)
Tropes relating to specific armies:
- Corrupt Corporate Executive (Trios Enterprises. They eat planets for resources, kill any competitors with their extensive military, and reverse-engineer alien technology for profit.)
- They are also attacking a mine held by an enemy empire, to steal their wealth.
- Crazy Awesome (Quite a few named soldiers. The Tiporan rebel Stieff comes to mind, for his genocide of aquatic life and wearing a jellyfish on his head.)
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods (Several armies are variations on cephalopods. Most notably the Ceph'qua which are cybernetic floating cuttlefish.
- Power Floats (Everything for the Ceph'qua floats. Everything.)
- Justified in that their vehicles use a lesser-known element known as floatanium.
- Kill It with Water (Aquamorphs. Telepathic Hydrokinetic one-eyed aliens. They also have ice powers.
- Happy Fun Ball (HAPPYbots. They're happy and smiling and they love all creatures all of the time! Just don't let them hug you...)
- Madness Mantra (DATA. A lot.)
- Time Police (The as-of-yet seen in action Time Police, who violently deal with time travel and changing the future/past in general. Unless it was destined for the time traveler to change the timeline, in which case they'll let it slide. The Travelers were not destined to do so, and are currently warring with them.)
- Time Travel (The Travelers, a race of time traveling aliens from the future who are out there in the past to avert the apocalypse. Given their xenophobia though, it's unlikely they're in it for anyone besides themselves, which in some cases leads to lots of carnage.)
- The War of Earthly Aggression (Most notably the match Worlds War One.)
- One Nation Under Copyright (Displayed in the OTS, who are the main fighting force of Argent Enterprises, a corporation that runs everything from hospitals to galactic colonization.
- Also displayed with Trios Enterprises, which sells everything from fruit to fissile material. Their military is just as extensive as their markets, though somewhat subverted in that Trios Enterprises has nothing that can be called 'civilians'; everything is automated save for the brain-in-a-jar Brainbots.
- Honour Before Reason (House Anhur's military, who display suicidal and irrational (fighting with swords against fully armed mercenaries) methods as they fight for their families and empire.)