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The folly of war part 1: Knights (Posted on 2005-08-23) Difficulty: 2 of 5
Consider two opposing armies of knights armed only with swords. The sizes of these armies are 500 and 300 knights.

When locked in combat with an enemy each knight has even odds of winning or losing. Knights, being chivalrous, prefer single combat and will not double up on their enemies. The extra knights in the larger army will wait until there is a free enemy to fight.

[Essentially the killing power of the larger army is proportional to the size of the smaller army.]

When the dust settles the smaller army is eliminated. How many knights (are expected to) remain in the larger army?

Generalize for two armies of size A and B where A>B.

See The Solution Submitted by Jer    
Rating: 3.4000 (5 votes)

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Solution Expected answer | Comment 8 of 23 |
If 300 knights are expected to die in B, then 300 knights should be expected to die in A, since the odds of dying are the same for both.
  Posted by Federico Kereki on 2005-08-23 12:59:06
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