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socal_chic
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I probably am not thinking this through well enough, so I thought I might ask you all for help. I just reread Ender's Game and then Ender's Shadow. It seems that in those final battles (thought to be games by the children) that they could have been instructed to bypass all the buggers, going straight to the home planet. Then they could have killed the queen and all other buggers simultaneously without encountering all previous losses. Like I said, I'm probably being dumb and am missing something obvious. Thanks for your help!
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Portabello
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Remember that it was Ender's idea to attack the planet, not the adult's.
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King of Men
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Mazer mentions this : It is a deliberate strategy of his, wiping out the colony worlds before the main battle with the home planet. This is a war of extermination, after all.

Given this, it does seem a little odd that we are not shown what happens after Ender wins his previous battles; presumably the victorious crews are capable of invading a helpless planet as infantry and taking it over, ready for the human colonists?

So you see, it is definitely not an author needing to maintain tensions throughout the book by building up initial battles. Absolutely not. By no means!

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HandEyeProtege
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Perhaps the increasing difficulty of each battle and the subsequent narrative tension is not enough to justify that plot direction, but there was a very good in-story reason to fight the battles in this order - each battle was a learning experience for Ender and the jeesh. They were becoming familiar with how the buggers fought, refining their own tactics, and becoming more comfortable with the simulators with every battle. I doubt they would have stood a chance had their first "real" battle been the bugger's homeworld.
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socal_chic
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Thanks to all three of you. That was stuff I hadn't thought of and it now makes a lot better sense. [Smile]
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El JT de Spang
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I think there was also the case of each colony planet having its own queen, which had to be destroyed before the buggers could actually be defeated. Obviously the colony worlds were mostly between earth and the bugger homeworld, because they found us during their expansion. The bugger home planet was the farthest away, thus, it was the last battle.

Search Speaker for more info. I think Ender gets an explanation when he finds the hive queen.

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socal_chic
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Really? I must have totally missed the part about a queen on each colony. Does anybody have a quote from one of the books so I can read that part?
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Dogedog
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Read the other 3 or 4 books after Enders Game and Enders Shadow( Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Shadow of the Hegamen); fun stuff, and goes more into depth about buggers. BUGGERS WILL LIVE ON!
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DavidR
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Actually, I recall that all the queens supposedly remained on the home world. Because of this, when the home world was destroyed all of the buggers on the colonies became uncontrolled and the Human race was able to move in and colonize those worlds unopposed. Of course it is late and I am tired so I may be misremembering.
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Avicus
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Before the final battle Ender asked Mazer whether Dr. Device could be used against a planet. Mazer didn't really say whether it was a good idea or not, and that was the only time it was ever brought up. Later during the battle because of the numbers of the "enemy" Ender just kind of lost it for a second and didn't know what to do. It was only because Bean said the enemies gates is down that Ender finnally connected it in his head and remembered that if he could get one ship to the surface before his fleet was shot to hell that he could still win it.
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Jacob Calder
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I could be totally wrong, but I thought the IF's fleet was launched at different times, so the ships that attacked the Bugger home planet were not the ships in the beginning. And I don't think the Buggers would have let the ships just go by. Ender was taking a huge risk and sacificing the lives of the entire fleet and the hopes of the IF
chancing that one ship might reach the planet.

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El JT de Spang
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The ships were launched at different times, and the ones that reached the bugger home planet were the oldest, because the home planet was the farthest away. At least that's how I remember it.
Someone with the book can probably tell us definitively.

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DemonGarik
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OK heres how it goes-

After Mazer killed the queen in the second invasion, they recalled all of the queens to the homeworld because killing a queen was so unthinkable it forced them to reconsider things.

At the point Mazer beat the second invasion, they sent fleets to the bugger worlds. Because the bugger ships were all being used to bring queens back, or had been cut off because of the killing of the "earth Queen" there was little to no resistance going after these planets. Presumably they also had maps of where they were from the capture of Eros.

There appeared to be threefold reasons why they had Ender fight the other battles first then the homeworld:
1) To learn, he needed to know how the enemy acted and responded and to be able to fight
2) To ensure that there were no other queens on colony's, if you blow up the homeworld and every world between here and the bugger planet still has a queen, what good was winning?
3) To prepare Ender to do the impossible- Every battle before the final one, Ender's goal had been to save as many human lives as possible- The buggers learned this. By the time Ender had pushed and fought so much against so overwhelming odds, they knew he was tired, stressed, and ready to give up, just like when they put him against two armies in battle school. Therefore, they knew he would fight to win-- Not to save lives. In the final battler at battleschool, the object was to win the battle, not save his men, they knew however he had to be on the brink of quitting or it wouldn't work. It worked.

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Avicus
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Jacob isn't thinking 360 degrees. It's not fighting on a battle field. It's fighting in a vacume where you can move anywhere. Go play Homeworld 2 and you'll understand.
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ill malkier
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I don't think the IF had any idea that all the queens not on colonies would be at the home world. In order to kill them all, they had to take out each fleet, each world they encountered.

My question, though, is how did they know that there weren't any bugger queens en route somewhere (like the one hidden for Ender to find)? How did they locate all the bugger (s'cuse me, Formic [Smile] ) worlds? Did the ansible make that possible, by tapping into the Formic communication, maybe?

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IanO
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The Bugger homeworld was, as it turns out, the farthest out, from earth's perspective. But it could have just as easily not have been, as the Buggers could have colonized in the entire opposite direction of earth.

So naturally, they could not know which was the home planet. You'll recall that the fighters that got there were the oldest. That indicates that there had been no recon to scout out what the most likely home planet was.

Ergo, all of them had to be attacked one at a time.

My question is how they had been able to find all the different Bugger worlds in the first place. There could have been one or two planets humans knew nothing about that had their own queens (since the queens were only gathered to the homeworld once Ender started attacking, not before- a stupid strategy, if you ask me.) Then Xenocide would never have occurred.

And of course, that answers that question.

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Feiwaltan
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if i remember correctly, on eros they found all the info they needed to defeat the Formics, and thus they would have known where the home planet of the Formics was, also the paln to save atleast one queen was made nearly at the end of the Battle when the queens learned that Ender was gonna destroy their home planet, they sent one queen away in a egg. once you read all the books youll understand everything that can be understood by the information given to us.
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X12
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Ok, let's see how well my memory serves me. There are two lines (or quotes, I can;t remember and I don;t have my book with me) where Mazer explains something thats has to do with this. The first was when Ender deliberately asked what would happen to a planet if M.D. Device was used on a planet. The second was.. (I believe right after the last battle in EG) whan Mazer was congratulating Ender and said that no one (adult-wise) would've done the same...

Sorry, it's 3 AM and I don't have my book... I still try to help, though.. [Big Grin]

Peace.

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Little_Doctor
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I'm not too sure if someone said this already. I only skimmed the thread. But...


The reason that the outcome of the last battle was so jurastic was because all of the queens had been retreated to the homeworld. If Ender and the kids hadn't fought any of the earlier battles, the queens wouldn't have been so conveniently located.

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musyklvr
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hi socal_chic.

i am fairly certain that the only reason why ender sent the dr. device to the planet is because he had given up. it was infered (i think) that the device *never* be used on a planet, and he was trying to be thrown out of the game. he was tired, he was getting beat up by mazer and he was using up his friends' abilities. he just wanted everything to end, so he did what he thought would make the adults angry enough to stop the game.

you have to remember, though, bean knew what needed to be done. that's why he said, "the enemy's gate is down." i think initially ender took it as a relief from the tension, but within a few seconds he took it as a relief from guilt.

and "hearing" bean wish the if fleet who was giving up their lives to hit the planet has made me cry every single time i've read it.

*love and sunshine*
jessyka

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0range7Penguin
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I am almost positive their were no queens on the colony planets because in those battles ender and the fleet stay in space and the queens, it on the planets, would not have been killed. Also I think it mentions something about all the queens in relation to the homeplanet.
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