A Public Opinion Survey

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AuthorTopic: A Public Opinion Survey
Lifecrafter
Member # 6193
Profile Homepage #25
quote:
The relevant part of the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_armour While it looks heavy, a full plate armour set could be as light as only 20 kg (45 pounds) if well made of tempered steel. This is less than the weight of modern combat gear of an infantry soldier, and the weight is better distributed. The weight was so well spread over the body that a fit man could run, or jump into his saddle. Modern re-enactment activity has proven it is even possible to swim in armour. [citation needed] It is possible for a fit and trained man in armour to run after and catch an unarmoured archer.
The guy's on a frigging horse, so dexterity isn't a huge concern, but even if he is unhorsed the knight isn't some helpless statue. Without some sort of pole weapon to knock the knight from his horse or a crossbow or longbow to punch through his armor, the samurai has no chance. Sword vs plate isn't a great matchup.

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Posts: 900 | Registered: Monday, August 8 2005 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6714
Profile Homepage #26
Oh, I see. I did not factor in weight distribution. My mistake. I concede the argument.

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Posts: 91 | Registered: Thursday, January 19 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 4638
Profile #27
1. Pirate wins hands down. He sends his parrot to confuse the Ninja and sips some rum to get his killing mojo on. Then bring out the cannon. BuBye Ninja. Luck favors those with peg legs.

2. Draw. The Viking chops off the Spartan's head with his axe while being impaled on the Spartan's spear.

3. An intellegently controlled character could kill the Shaper easily. Shapers are only powerful because in Geneforge the AI goes after creations. The Exile charcter would not.

4. Knight

5. I have no idea what weaponry these people would have. The pirate could kill both of them with one eye behind a patch.

[ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:42: Message edited by: Ceylon ]

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Posts: 93 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #28
Having played AoE II, I'm going with Samurai all the way. But if you give me enough longbowmen I can take out anything...

[ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:44: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #29
quote:
Originally written by Ur_Vile_Wedge:

4.Samurai vs knight. Tricky, probably the hardest of the lot. Samurai could ride around and shoot, it is true, but they didn't have bodkin shafts, nor any real armor piercing arrows. The real question here is could (and would he even think of it) the samurai disable the knights horse? Once the knight gets off his mount, the Samurai is going to cut him to pieces. However, since knight's horses were usually also armored, (quite heavily) I think that sooner or later the knight is going to hit him with a lance or simply crash into him (do you know how much momentum a charging knight in steel armor has?!) and end the fight right then and there.
Stereotypically, I don't think either one is going to get a bow. Then again, stereotypically I don't think the samurai gets a horse, either.

quote:
5. Aztec vs Celt. If the Aztec guy was fighting to capture, (they often were to gain sacrificial victims,) I think that the celt would win. Also, if the battle were conducted at range, the celt guy has a huge advantage, with real arrows and such. However, if things ever got to hand to hand, I would give the win to the Aztec. Go read the accounts of Cortez and his men. An Aztec warrior, armed with a Macanah (a kind of club with affixed obsidian blades) was able to decapitate a *horse*. One hit with that thing and the Celtic warrior will be pushing up daisies.
A Celt's sword couldn't decapitate a horse with enough force behind it? Lucky hits aside, metal makes better weapons. It might not be an easy fight, and the Aztec certainly could win, but the Celt has more advantages.

—Alorael, who now wants to know what happens if shaper ninja in heavy plate armor gets into a fight with an Avernite samurai armed with a macuahuitl and a parrot.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7557
Profile #30
When that match occurs I shall retire to a place of safety like the next star-system.

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First person to call me a mercenary gets necromatized.
Posts: 942 | Registered: Sunday, October 8 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 10234
Profile #31
The whole concept of what is a "ninja" has been seriously affected by pop culture and ridiculously overblown.

A ninja was essentially an assassin and master of espionage who used the cover of night to advantage to sow chaos in feudal Japan where battles could not be won directly on the battlefield (or when countries were at "peace").

They were one aspect of a feudal society, not one-man killing machines.

The answer? Easy. If the battle is on the open sea I'd give the win to the Pirate with his dirty fighting techniques and sea legs.

When the pirate falls asleep at port in Japan after drinking too much and cursing a local Lord in public? Clearly the Ninja gets the kill. ;)
Posts: 102 | Registered: Monday, September 3 2007 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6714
Profile Homepage #32
Well see, that's the point, Ming. The questions did state stereotypical this, stereotypical that, ect ect.

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Posts: 91 | Registered: Thursday, January 19 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #33
quote:
Originally written by Billy Bob Joe with an Afroking:

So, I recently was sitting in boredom listening to music, when I realized a twist on the old Pirate v. Ninja debate. So, I come before you with a variety of examples, that if I may say, are very stereotypical of me. You'll note that I am basically adding fuel to the fire, a bit of variety never hurt, eh?

1. A pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean, with all of his stereotypical weaponry, battles a similarily stereotypical ninja to the death. Please state who the victor would be and why.

2. A stereotypical Viking raider operating primarily in the British Isles, with all of his stereotypical weaponry, battles a similarily Spartan you would find in the Battle of Thermopylae to the death. Please state who the victor would be and why.

3. A party member from Avernum/Exile at the end of the game who has learned all of the priest spells and mage spells duels in a magic competition with a Shaper/Lifecrater PC at the end of the game who can Shape all creations and cast all spells. Please state the victor and the reason why.

4. A stereotypical Japanese samurai with all of his armor and weaponry battles a knight who also has all of his armor and weaponry. Please state who the victor would be and why, keeping in mind they're both on horseback.

5. A stereotypical Aztec warrior with all of his stereotypical weaponry battles a similarily stereotypical Celtic warrior to the death. Please state who the victor would be and why. Please note that this is not Nethergate or Nethergate: Resurrection.

1.) Pirate, because Jack Sparrow rocks.

2.) Viking, because 300 sucked.

3.) Avernum, because Geneforge su---. Sorry, I meant because Avernum rocks.

4.) Samurai, because I felt bad about the ninja.

5.) Aztec, because I want to peeve Tyranicus.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5660
Profile #34
quote:
5. Aztec vs Celt. If the Aztec guy was fighting to capture, (they often were to gain sacrificial victims,) I think that the celt would win. Also, if the battle were conducted at range, the celt guy has a huge advantage, with real arrows and such. However, if things ever got to hand to hand, I would give the win to the Aztec. Go read the accounts of Cortez and his men. An Aztec warrior, armed with a Macanah (a kind of club with affixed obsidian blades) was able to decapitate a *horse*. One hit with that thing and the Celtic warrior will be pushing up daisies.
A Celt's sword couldn't decapitate a horse with enough force behind it? Lucky hits aside, metal makes better weapons. It might not be an easy fight, and the Aztec certainly could win, but the Celt has more advantages.

QUOTE]

Most likely not. Remember, the heyday of the Celts was roughly 400 BC. (The sack of rome was 390 B.C. I believe) A celtic warrior would be lucky to even have a wrought iron weapon, and would likely be outfitted with bronze. The Aztec, on the other hand, would have been armed with obsidian. While unquestioningly not as durable as the bronze or iron weapon, the obsidian would be lighter and *much* sharper. A celtic sword would *not* be able to decapitate a horse in a single blow, unless the weilder was literally superhumanly strong. (roughly the same amount of force necessary to break the horses neck with the bare hands) Maybe the obsidian would break, leaving the aztec guy with a club, but I think more likely the gaul would be cut up real bad.

Hmm, going back to number 4, there seems to be a contradiction right at the very outset. "Stereotypical" Japanese samurai are usually depicted as being on foot, in which case the knight would kill him easily. On horse, well, I said it above. (If he has no bow the knight would still kill him easily)

[ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 16:02: Message edited by: Ur_Vile_Wedge ]

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"Violence never solved anything except ending slavery, fascism and communism."
Posts: 33 | Registered: Saturday, April 2 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #35
Ironworking became widespread over a very long time, but it reached even the most remote Celts by the 5th century B.C. and they would almost certainly be using iron or steel. Besides, I think the era of Nethergate and Boudicca's rebellion is as good a time for our stereotypical Celt as any, and that's in the first century B.C.

—Alorael, who thinks decapitation of a horse with obsidian requires as much superhuman strength as decapitation with iron, if not more. To have enough force behind it, the macuahuitl would have to be heavy, and that means bulky as well. Which would hack through bone better, iron or stone?
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 5660
Profile #36
It's not so much knowledge of ironworking. Heck, there has been evidence of iron ploughs dating as far back as 2000 B.C. The problem was more of one of obtaining fire hot enough to beat iron into some sort of useful shape, and I don't think that the Celts had charcoal, or the organizational ability to construct a wooden fire large enough for some serious smelting.

Editing to accomodate the subsequent post

The gauls were a tribe of Celts! Julius Ceaser's accounts of his campaigns are called the Gallic Wars.

[ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 17:33: Message edited by: Ur_Vile_Wedge ]

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"Violence never solved anything except ending slavery, fascism and communism."
Posts: 33 | Registered: Saturday, April 2 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #37
quote:
Originally written by Ur_Vile_Wedge:


Most likely not. Remember, the heyday of the Celts was roughly 400 BC. (The sack of rome was 390 B.C. I believe)

The Gauls of France sacked Rome that time, not the Celts.

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Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #38
Are you arguing that the Celts didn't have iron weaponry in the 1st (or even 5th) century BC? I can't find any reputable sources, but there are certainly plenty that attest to the use of iron.

quote:
For exampleThe Celts had one major advantage - they had discovered Iron. Iron had been introduced to the Celtic peoples in Europe around 1000 to 700BC, thus giving them the technological edge to spread as they did. Iron was a far superior metal to bronze, being stronger and more durable. On the other hand, it required much hotter fires to extract it from its ore and so it took a fair degree of skill to use iron.
—Alorael, who in any case would give the advantage to even bronze over wood and obsidian. There's a reason the Bronze Age began in Europe.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #39
quote:
Originally written by DanielJacksonMPC:

25 kilos of armor? I don't think so. That's ludicrous. Why would someone wear 25 kilos of armor? Unless all knights were supermen who were much stronger than your average human, they could barely MOVE in that kind of armor, let alone actively fight!

Plus, do you realize how much steel it would take to create that much armor? It would take so much more than would be worth using!

This made me laugh. 25 kilogrammes isn't much at all; I can certainly carry that much stuff on my back and still move around relatively freely. It would be even easier if that weight was evenly distributed like in armor. And 25 kilos isn't much steel at all; assuming the armor will be about 4 mm thick, you'd get a metal sheet of 2,5 m x 2,5 m. That ain't so much when you think about all the parts you need for complete plate armor. (...though I don't think all the weight came from iron parts.)

If you want to experiment, find a large-enough sheet of paper and spread some of your clothes on it. You'll see what I mean.

I noticed Lazarus already (kinda) replied to this, but I felt the need to speak up myself as well.

As a funny sidenote (about that "worth using" bit), Guy Windsor, one of the few swordmen here in Finland teaching medieval martial arts, has lectured me that many knights were actually bankrupted and lost their status because buying and maintaining armor and weapons was so costly...

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Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
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Just because it is today, the pirate would kick the ninja's derrière, and then stagger into the other four arenas and summarily defeat all the other combatants as well. Even the Celt.

Arrr.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #41
Samurai had awfully good swords, and I guess their bows were okay. But their armor was much lighter than European late medieval stuff, and I do not buy that it offered comparable protection just because Japan Is Superior. I don't think Japanese swords or arrows would penetrate European armor well. They weren't designed to defeat armor so heavy, since they didn't have to face it.

Lots of cultures had mounted warriors. Why did Europe develop armor for its knights that was so much heavier than anyone else's? Was there some socio-economic reason that European knights could afford it more than their counterparts? Did Europe have lots more iron to use? Were huge horses unique to Europe? Was Europe alone in having essential technologies like stirrups and chain mail?

Or did Europe lack something that let other cultures do something better than heavy knights? European armies have been fascinated by the supposed 'shock action' of heavy armored charges from before Agincourt to after Kursk. But light cavalry for pursuit, raiding, reconnaissance (and 'screening' to keep out enemy reconnaissance) has always been the duller but far more valuable role. Maybe other cultures were able to keep their cavalry from grandstanding so much.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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Profile #42
Not having done any research, I would hazard a guess that Europeans were physically larger and more able to support the armorweight. Prolly their Neanderthal heritage.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5660
Profile #43
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:



Lots of cultures had mounted warriors. Why did Europe develop armor for its knights that was so much heavier than anyone else's? Was there some socio-economic reason that European knights could afford it more than their counterparts? Did Europe have lots more iron to use? Were huge horses unique to Europe? Was Europe alone in having essential technologies like stirrups and chain mail?

Or did Europe lack something that let other cultures do something better than heavy knights? European armies have been fascinated by the supposed 'shock action' of heavy armored charges from before Agincourt to after Kursk. But light cavalry for pursuit, raiding, reconnaissance (and 'screening' to keep out enemy reconnaissance) has always been the duller but far more valuable role. Maybe other cultures were able to keep their cavalry from grandstanding so much.

This is a *very* complex question. I'm going to give my answer, but I'm not going to claim that it's the "right" or "only" answer. That being said, while I could be wrong, I really don't think I am :P

If you trace back European, and especially western European sociologic/economic/military systems, you find a huge difference between areas that were Roman controlled or influenced, and areas that weren't. The Romans, in turn, draw a lot of their systems of the same from the Greeks. (Case in point, until the Second Samnite War, in the mid 300's BC, Romans still faught in a hoplite fashion for what could be termed as the middle to upper classes.)

One then, must go back to the Grecian military model to find out why there is this emphasis on the "Decisive battle", the one big event where it's victory or death. (Interestingly enough, in Herodotus's histories, he puts the words in the mouth of Mardonious, the Persian commander of Xerxes' army, that the Greek way of assembling the forces and staking it all in one battle is an alien way of fighting to him.)

Here is where I make the assumptive leap. When ones looks at ancient greece, you find some interesting factors. Soldiers paid for their own equiptment, and were generally expected to operate in and around their own lands. Furthermore, they were civilian armies. No matter how well they were trained, no matter how good in battle they actually were, (The eagerness, indeed, desperation, that the surrounding empires, including the Persians, looked for Greek mercenaries goes to show that they did seem to be pretty good) ultimately, wars were intended to be won, and more importantly, they had to be won *quickly*, given that the soldier had fields to harvest.

It kind of flows from there. Once you have the need to win fast, you then progress to need to arrange to have one big showdown that destroys the enemy, as opposed to an endless series of raids designed to bleed the foe white. If there is the "win or die" battle, the deficiencies of armor's weight and clumsiness tend to be outweighed by their protection and shock value. (The extra momentum created by the additional mass of the armor was hugely important, maybe even more so than the protective value.) It is only in the long campaign, where the ability to march far, the ability to have stamina and dexterity, can come to outweigh the protection and mass. To put it succinctly, armor, and indeed western style warfare, is designed for battle, wheras light troops are designed for skirmish.

Once it started, it became hard to stop. Overall strategic doctrine can be hard to change, especially in abscence of a conquerer. Western armies became more and more shock based, and they designed terrain around themselves that made their way of war effective. Eastern style armies did the same. It's almost a kind of "home team" advantage.
(That being said, the Western world has far more often been the one able to occupy, at least temporarily, the Eastern world, than the reverse.)

That then would be my answer. THe knight, and heavy armor in general, was born of a political/economic need to finish wars, for good or for ill, quickly. The armor helps in that. Non- western, non-armored armies, developed under a different set of socio-economic pressures, and designed their armies accordingly.

Note, I am not clever enough to think up all of this myself. If you really want an in depth, and extremely good work on the subject, I would recommend "Chaos and Carnage" by Victor Hansen

http://www.amazon.com/Carnage-Culture-Landmark-Battles-Western/dp/0385720386/ref=sr_1_1/103-6155900-9170248?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190234375&sr=8-1

Ur_Vile_Wedge

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Posts: 33 | Registered: Saturday, April 2 2005 08:00
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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
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Profile #45
Hmm, an interesting idea. I don't really buy that decisive battle is a uniquely western goal. Nobody wants a long war. For one thing, all armies before quite recent times suffered terribly from disease, so that there was a high casualty rate whether the army fought or not.

And, anyway, plenty of lightly armored forces have been able to win decisive battles. The Mongols, for instance, or the Ottomans. And Agincourt was a battle where heavy cavalry charges were decisive only in losing.

But there is a long western tradition of trying to achieve decisive battles specifically with heavy cavalry charges. I understand that this was Alexander the Great's favorite tactic, though how well this really worked without stirrups is unclear to me. And the Byzantines were into heavy cavalry, though I don't think they had stirrups either. The western Romans, on the other hand, were never much into heavy cavalry. So tradition could go both ways, and I'm still left wondering. Armies that do a lot of fighting don't maintain unproductive traditions for centuries on end, so there must have been some good reasons for all those European knights. What were they, and why didn't other cultures follow them?

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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But I'm talking about heavy troops in general, and a shock decisive win factor, and not necessarily heavy cavalry.

Armies suffered huge amounts of attrition due to disease, but so did the enemy, and so did the civilian population back home. Armies, while more susceptible due to crowding and possibly short rations, weren't really all *that* much more vulnerable on the campaign field than they were anywhere else. And even so, the strength equation tended not to change that much, because the enemy was dying of disease at the same rate.

The Mongols, while being famous for their horse archery, did field significant contingents of heavier forces. The Saho river crossing would have been impossible were it not for the mounted warriors in metal armor. The Ottomans I am not as familiar with, but I do believe that the Janissary troops fought in reasonable level armor, as well as being one of the earlier utilizers of gunpower.

About the heavy cavalry charges, while that was defiitely a hallmark of Alexander's style, (Heavy cavalry was perfectly possible without stirrups. Stirrups are necessary to stand in the saddle, which makes a lance type weapon feasible. I believe that Alexander's companion, i.e. heavy cavalry used spears, almost certainly shorter than what a hoplite, let alone a phlaganite, would use. You can still generate quite a bit of power, even without a medieval lance.) I would not say so much for the Byzantines. The Cataphract was designed as a kind of "medium" cavalry, supposed to be able to outmaneuver and shoot heavier cavalry, while being able to crush over lighter horsemen, and the first cataphracts were drawn from the ranks of Hunnic mercanaries. (who were still around at that time, although they had gone *far* down in the world since the days of Attila. Also, by this time the stirrup had definitely been introduced into Europe, indeed, many thought the Huns brought it with them.) While the western Roman empire, it is true, was not famous for their cavalry, one must consider that.

A. Most of their famous military exploits were accomplished before that stirrup got over. By the time that the stirrup was around (lets assume that was with the Hun invasion) they were already *far* in decline, and what we do have of their records seems to indicate that they were trying to increase the cavalry's role.

B. Even though it was not armored cavalry, they used the armored infantryman to a similar useage, i.e. Create a decisive breach in the enemies line by projection of mass rather than unfocused lethality. Legionarres could maintain a much tighter formation than any cavalryman ever could, and with interlocking shields and moving at a run in a relatively deep column, they could achieve quite impressive breakthroughs.

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Posts: 33 | Registered: Saturday, April 2 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #47
No, armies suffered from disease far more than civilian populations, because armies were dense population centers, while civilian populations were overwhelmingly rural and diffuse. Diseases spread quickly in dense populations, and sanitation is much tougher to handle.

And nobody could afford to let their army sicken away over a long campaign just because their enemies might also be sickening. Diseases may eventually get everybody, but they come in unpredictable waves, and no general could count on his enemy's attrition rate matching his.

Winning decisive battles is by far the best way to win wars, if you can possibly swing it. So the question is why westerners alone tried to swing it by means of such heavy armor.

The possibility that Mongols and Ottomans won battles with moderately armored troops only makes it harder to understand why Europeans went all the way to very heavy armor, and these other powers did not. If armor was good for the Mongols, why didn't they get more of it? If light armor was good enough, why didn't the Europeans stop there?

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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Actually, armies tended to spread out their encampmetns, especially for any army larger than say, 1,000 people. Usually they'd only be brought in some sort of tight formation for battle. If you look at say, the dimensions of Ceaser's fort at the siege of Aleisa (please bear in mind that troops in a fortification would be more tightly packed than they would in the field), you see that some maybe 40,000 troops are placed into an area of some 50 square km. Sure, it's denser than a rural area, but it's not a suffocatingly festering pit of disease. (Plus, obviously sick people were usually chased out of camp)

Remember too, that a long campaign allows for one to say, recruit reinforcements, call in allies, or even low key it. While a total protracted war is impossible, Eastern armies tended to conscript far fewer on a percentage basis, of their people than a western army did.

Plus, the *best* way to win a war is wholly dictated by a cost/benefit analysis. Let us say that you can raid and plunder your opponent into a certain victory for your forces, conscripting 1% of the adult male population into your army, and taking twenty years to campaign.

Or you can conscript 10% of your population, march out decisively, and win 85% of the time, but risk losing disastrously and having your empire obliterated.

I think that the reason that the Europeans had much heavier armor than the intermediates was simply a matter of timing, before guns got advanced enough to penetrate all steel armor and kind of put an end to things. Looking at say, dark age armor development, you see a pattern. Scale armor gives way to chain, chain to partial plate, and partial plate to full plate. (I am HUGELY overgeneralizing here. I acknowledge that) Indeed, full plate as we think of it in the King Arthur style movies, only really developed in the sixteenth century as a *response* to the early firearms. (Bulletproof used to refer to a bullet mark made at point blank range on a steel plate, to show that it was capable of standing up to gunfire.)

As the armor developed, weapons developed to get better at piercing armor, thus prompting even heavier and more protective armor to defeat them. (You could also look at it the other way aroumd, I suppose). It is entire possible, even plausible, that non-Europeans would have kept advancing, and thus making heavier, their armor, had they not been introduced to powerful (and I mean late seventeenth early eighteenth) century firearms before they could get that far.

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"Violence never solved anything except ending slavery, fascism and communism."
Posts: 33 | Registered: Saturday, April 2 2005 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #49
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Hmm, an interesting idea. I don't really buy that decisive battle is a uniquely western goal.
...

While not uniquely western, the idea that a war ends after a grand battle is far stronger in Western Europe than anywhere else. For example, Napoleon was very surprised by guerilla resistance he encountered in Russia. The burning of Moscow was a great example of the clash between western tradition where after losing the decisive battle the losers would present the winner with keys to the city, and eastern tradition where conflicts go on for decades, only occasionally flaring up in battles.

The tradition of protracted conflicts probably goes back to nomadic tribes, which were in the near-constant state of war with their farming neighbors and with each other. Since nomads were raiders, rather than conquerors, people who had lived on the edges of steppes knew that a single battle never changed anything, because victorious raiders would leave to return later, and even if a tribe was defeated, another would rise to take its place. In Western Europe, everybody lived by farming (or hunting), rather than grazing cattle, so even the militant tribes and rulers were interested in conquering their neighbors, rather than just raiding their lands. (Vikings were probably the only exception to that, but their threat was not as constant, especially to the people of central and southern parts of Western Europe as the nomad threat to people of eastern parts of Eastern Europe.)

As for reliance on heavy armor, it might be due to the fact that the west was a lot more concerned with “rules of war” and surrender was an acceptable option, while in the east surrender would likely lead to being sold into slavery. If surrender is more acceptable, it makes sense to focus on protection so you can survive until that surrender. For Samurai, being sold into slavery might not have been a concern, but, from what I understand, they didn’t like the idea of surrendering, so they would focus on deadlier weapons, rather than more protective armor. (However, this paragraph is just my guess, so it might be completely wrong.)

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