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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
Zinegata, the transition away from Roman spear phalanxes to the weird sword-wielding quincunx happens both moderately early into the development of Rome, is incredibly enduring, and so well-documented you have to be one of those twats who goes around looking for obscure ways to be wrong simply because defending contrarian positions engorges your dick with unjustified smuggery. Which, to be fair, is exactly the type I've pegged you as from all of our other military history discussions, but goddamn.


Oh please. The reason you keep accusing me of smuggery is because you're an insecure twat unwilling to admit that study of ancient warfare is built on a lot of hocus pocus and very little real observation. Which is typical of the standard Western male who's spent a little too much time trying to memorize Discovery Channel shit instead of understanding how the actual historical method works.

There are only a few hundred military historians around the world, only a few dozen specializing on Rome specifically, and those Roman "historians" all tend to read from the same five sources and never bothered to go out into the field and test the damn weapons.

For instance, the pilum? Apparently it wasn't just an anti-shield weapon - it was powerful enough that it went right through the shield and murdered the guy right behind it. That's what they found when they actually found real evidence of pilums and tested them:

https://ospreypublishing.com/the-pilum

"A heavy javelin, normally used as a shock weapon immediately before contact, the pilum was designed with a particular speciality: it could penetrate a shield and carry on into the individual behind it. Relying on mass rather than velocity, at short range a volley of pila had much the same effect on a charging enemy as musketry would in later periods."

So far from your insipid assertion that spears were useless and thrown only in the beginning of the battle, the latest actual scientific testing and research is saying that these weapons were so fucking effective that they were basically as good as early Muskets in terms of effect. A full-strength legion with 12,000 pilum could basically wipe an entire army if they all hit.

But sure let's instead keep living in a world where we still pretend that the Earth is fucking flat because claiming otherwise makes you feel smaller and you have to accuse people smarter than you of smuggery.

Meanwhile your assertion that they move towards the sword "relatively early" is complete bonkers. The ancestor of the gladius is the Spanish sword - one they literally encounter in a big way only during the Punic Wars. And in this case we even have a very specific year on when the sword became standard kit - 107 BC - because that's when they were made mandatory (and state-provided) equipment as part of the Marian reforms. The Roman Republic, for reference, is generally considered to have been founded in 509 BC or 400 fucking years before the Marian reforms.

And guess who was born seven years after those reforms? Julius Caesar - where about half of the primary sources on Rome are focused on.

Quote:
We have a pretty solid collection of translated primary sources extolling the uses and virtues of the gladius.


Yeah, about five sources worth - because that's all that actually survived since antiquity. Hilariously one of the most-quoted sources was Vegetius - who lived around four hundred years after Caesar and yet we take his word about the gladius and thrusting swords even though the Legions were literally abandoning the gladius at this point for the longer and more versatile Spatha during his day.

Quote:
The Romans had an actual fucking word for a thrusting spear separate from the word they used for their pilum (hasta), they had an actual fucking name for soldiers designated to use those thrusting spears as their primary weapon (hastati)


Oh shut up with your pretense of knowing shit about Rome. If your argument were in any way consistent you'd realize the Hastati were abolished during the Marian reforms - so by definition the period before that was all-spear.

And the piece of kit they carried over from the Republican era to the Imperial one? The pilum. Again because that was much more likely to be the primary weapon rather than this stabby stabby silliness.

Quote:
Romans knew a row of pilum were an extraordinary counter to cavalry charges, and when dealing with that they'd keep their pilums in hand.


Lol, bullshit. Pilum is not a long spear for anti-cavalry work. The times when the Romans were documented as using pilums in melee was not even against specifically cavalry. Try again.

Quote:
There's at least one siege I can't remember off the top of my head where someone made the deliberate call for their soldiers to keep and use their pilum instead of their gladius, which is noteworthy in that a Roman historian thought it was worth noting as though it were unusual.


Let me fill in the blanks for you. The source is Gallic War Chronicles and you're referring to the Siege of Alesia. Again, Julius Caesar era; and a piece that was specifically meant to make him look good (meaning it was propaganda).

Way to go with proving my point you're myopically focused on the lifetime of one fucking Roman though.

Quote:
That is... very dumb.


Less stupid theorycrafting, more actual practice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8RWLxlzTiM

Two experts - one with a spear and the other with a sword. Spear pretty much consistently wins. And if you observe carefully, it's because the spear-wielder can generally stay on the offensive.

Indeed, the only way that they've found a sword-wielder to have a chance against the spear is to have a free hand for grabbing or deflecting the spear (at great risk to the hand in real combat of course), rather than trying any stupid attempt to "parry" with a sword. That's just for fat armchair generals who rely on overly narrow sources.

Quote:
This is the perfect know-nothing moment to wrap up this conversation with. The Romans (~2m pilum, ~60cm sword) won their war with the Macedonians (~6m pike).


They "won their war" because they learned tactics like "flanking", not because of specific weaponry - and that was achieved through the use of more flexible formations.

Moreover the Macedonian Wars occurred before the Marian reforms, so your assertion they won with 60cm swords in this era when they were still equipped with Hasta primarily and their most elite troops (The Triarii) were basically a pike block identical to the Macedons is just a demonstration of how you're projecting Julius Caesar era weaponry to earlier periods where they weren't standard kit.

Indeed, it's worth noting that when Polybius talk about Roman sword-use in this period, he specifically talks about how it horrified the Macedons because of all the hacked off heads and limbs - which is completely contrary to the "gladius is a thrusting sword!" narrative of later eras. And in any case such hacking (especially of heads) is unlikely unless the sword-wielder had additional momentum and height advantage to his side... because you know maybe the Romans had actual cavalry during this period and they were equipped with swords (particularly for pursuit of routed units)?

So really, jerk off somewhere else when you can't even get your simplest dates right and yet you think you can pick an Internet fight with somebody who actually understands how long, broad, and ill-understood Roman history actually is. Republican and Imperial periods are not interchangeable - and both lasted a fucking long time (around 500 years apiece) to the point that a "historian" from the late Republican period may as well be talking of myth and legend when he talks about events from the early Republic; much less the twats like you from 2017 who are quoting what could be fanfiction from those who lived in the early or late empire.


Last edited by Zinegata on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:21 am; edited 6 times in total
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh, God, you're serious.

Zinegata wrote:
So far from your insipid assertion that spears were useless


What DSMatticus was actually asserting was that the pila were generally used as a ranged weapon and that Romans preferred the gladius in melee. What you've provided is evidence that the pilum is really good at being a ranged weapon. That's not a counterargument.

Quote:
Meanwhile your assertion that they move towards the sword "relatively early" is complete bonkers. The ancestor of the gladius is the Spanish sword - one they literally encounter in a big way only during the Punic Wars. And in this case we even have a very specific year on when the sword became standard kit - 107 BC - because that's when they were made mandatory (and state-provided) equipment as part of the Marian reforms.


Both of these are technically true statements and you're using them to try and mislead people into thinking that Roman hastati still used spears until the Marian reforms. They did not. By the third century BCE hastati and principes were already using swords as opposed to spears, a transition that was formalized by the Marian reforms, but for which the Marian reforms are not especially notable. The Marian reforms transitioned the Roman legion from the maniple units of hastati, principes, and triarii to the cohort units of pure swordsmen used in the late Republican and Imperial legions. The Marian reforms mark the end of the transition from spear to sword, not the beginning, as they disband the last of the spear-based units of the Roman legion. The transition to maniple units who relied on more swords than spears happened only a few centuries into the lifespan of Rome which, even discounting the eastern empire, lasted for over a thousand years. "Moderately early" is a perfectly reasonable way to describe this.

Quote:
And the piece of kit they carried over from the Republican era to the Imperial one? The pilum. Again because that was much more likely to be the primary weapon rather than this stabby stabby silliness.


Again you're using technically true statements to try and imply something false. The Romans transitioned away from the gladius to the spatha about a hundred years into the empire because spathas were a slightly different and superior type of sword. Upgrading their swords does not in any way imply that their swords are not important to their military doctrine, nor does deciding to keep an older model of javelin around mean that the javelin is secretly a pike.

Quote:
Lol, bullshit. Pilum is not a long spear for anti-cavalry work. The times when the Romans were documented as using pilums in melee was not even against specifically cavalry.


Horses do not give a shit how long the shafts on the spears are. They are not charging into a wall of pointy sticks. They know how impalement works and are not eager to be a part of it.

Quote:

Less stupid theorycrafting, more actual practice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8RWLxlzTiM

Two experts - one with a spear and the other with a sword.


Let's not even talk about the difference between formation fighting, skirmishing, and a one-on-one duel. Let's also ignore the fact that you apparently think a buckler and a tower shield are basically the same thing. Are you really trying to assert that two dudes fencing is superior historical data than period records written in an era when these weapons were used to fight actual wars?

Quote:
Moreover the Macedonian Wars occurred before the Marian reforms,


But after the Polybian reforms, when their primary troops first started using gladii. There is an actual saying in Roman culture about how rare it was for maniple units to actually use their spearmen.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hi, I too am one of those assholes who puts HEMA into practice and I'm here to say:

Zinegata wrote:
If you're busy parrying, it means you are not attacking.


you are a fucking moron and this is the opposite of true and they will disabuse you of this stupid statement about five minutes into your first day of Swordfight Club.

Blocking, dodging, and attacking are joint aspirations which can and should be achieved simultaneously in nearly every maneuver, and this is a most essential discipline.

P.S.:

Zinegata wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8RWLxlzTiM


Spears are highly formidable and I do not claim that I would pose significantly better results if I tagged into this match, but that swordsguy is optimally equipped for failure. I would take almost any other weapon in my dominant hand and I would take literally any other equipment in my of-hand, including a handy article of clothing, or, indeed, nothing at all.


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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Are you really trying to assert that two dudes fencing is superior historical data than period records written in an era when these weapons were used to fight actual wars?

He's flat out claimed those are worthless, as are historians and historical sources. His only source is the jacket description from an as-yet-unpublished book by a tour guide/wargamer published the Trivial Details company, best known for their coloring/uniform books, who have branched out into fantasy and speculative fiction. I'm hoping his next rant will be from the Osprey Adventures line, particularly Nazi Moonbases or Elf Warfare.


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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm glad I saw Zinegata's post and decided fuck it I'll worry about it later.

But to be perfectly clear, no one gives a shit about the date of the Marian Reforms. The Marian Reforms are not the date of the invention of the sword. They are not the date of the formation of the Roman Army. Speaking of dates no one gives a shit about, no one gives a shit when Rome stole the specific design for a specific sword from people they were stabbing in the Iberian Peninsula. That is also not the date of the invention of the sword. Roman soldiers were originally just off-brand Greek hoplites, and that means they would have been carrying a spear and a sword from day one. The sword probably would have been a kopis instead of the iconic gladius, but it's a fucking sword. The question is entirely about when the throwing javelin (the pilum) supplanted the thrusting spear (the hasta) in Rome's first two ranks, and to what extent the throwing javelin was still used in melee instead of the sword they'd already been carrying all along.

And the answer to those questions are "probably sometime 300 BC to 250 BC" and "non-zero but almost certainly less than the gladius." The Romans took their hoplite phalanx to war with the Samnites and it sucked for them, and that is when we see the development of the maniple system which they would take it into the Pyrrhic War, where it performed well against the Macedonian phalanx just as it had performed well against the Roman phalanx when the Samnites used it (or something like it, anyway). Rome was probably still using the hasta over the pilum for most if not all of the Pyrrhic War, but regardless neither would have rivalled the length of the Macedonian pike. Once adopted, the gladius and pilum combo would survive well past the Marian Reforms and right into the early imperial days, until finally the spatha gradually phased out the gladius. Hahaha just kidding the spatha is just a slightly longer sword.

Which is why when you said this...
Zinegata wrote:
And the piece of kit they carried over from the Republican era to the Imperial one? The pilum. Again because that was much more likely to be the primary weapon rather than this stabby stabby silliness.

It filled my brain with fuck. You are an idiot. An actual fucking idiot. It's not just that you are wrong about things, or that you are one of those really obnoxious jerkwads who second-guesses historical consenses solely because being different makes you feel smarter than being right, but you're a fucking idiot. You cannot chain simple thoughts together into a coherent whole. You are arguing that the persistence of the pilum into the imperial era demonstrates its role as the primary melee weapon, but the gladius persists right alongside it, demonstrating its role... as the... primary melee weapon? There is no fucking reasoning here! You're just saying shit!

There is also the part where you opened by bitching at me for suggesting the pilum was used primarily as a ranged weapon because "don't you know what an effective ranged weapon it is?!" I genuinely don't know what the fuck you're trying to accomplish with some of your points. They run the gamut from irrelevant noise to actively counterproductive. But the core of it - the bit with anything that might resemble substance - seems to be some weird ideas about the Marian Reforms, as though somehow Rome had been stomping around the continent four hundred years before discovering the sword and then Marius had some eureka moment ("hey, maybe we can use these!"). Uhh, no?
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre wrote:

Spears are highly formidable and I do claim that I would pose significantly better results if I tagged into this match, but that swordsguy is optimally equipped for failure. I would take almost any other weapon in my dominant hand and I would take literally any other equipment in my of-hand, including a handy article of clothing, or, indeed, nothing at all.


In fairness to swordsguy he says in the comments section that his persistence with the buckler was for experimental and demonstration purposes and if it were for real he'd probably just toss the damn thing.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I should also mention that the length of spearguy's weapon is pretty ideal for what he's doing, which is literally:



I'm not getting smart, here; this skill is fungible between the weapons. With a willingness to discard the buckler and maybe a moderately more militarized weapon, the swordguy could have fought something close to a mirror match. Which is in fact exactly what Salvador Fabris would have you do:



For a longer spear, such as might be featured in a stacked-rank formation of the sort we've discussed, the accusation they're disputing ("Get past the point and fuck him all up!") would be more applicable. As it stands, you can see them close to a bind several times, and the extra control that the spearman has from getting two hands on his weapon is generally what puts him ahead. The swordguy could have gotten parity with another hand on his own weapon, a hand on his opponent's weapon, or a hand on a dagger or other implement that he could submit to the bind instead of his sword (note that purposefully walking the fight past the effective range of your own weapon is pretty scrub-tier).
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virgil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You can use UMD to 'trick' a weapon into acting as if you meet its prerequisites. Can you use the same skill to make your opponent fulfill its requirements - making your +1 dragonbane longsword act as if everyone you fight is a dragon for bonus purposes.

Conversely, can you use UMD defensively against someone with such a weapon? Can that orc rogue use their UMD in response to an elf with an orc bane longbow not get their bonus damage against you?
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would argue no. An orc bane weapon isn't holding back its power from an unworthy user like a holy avenger would, it's enchanted with something that specifically fucks up orcs by fucking with something they have in their guts that nobody else does.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RAW no, it's all about when you use or activate an item. It's a cool idea, but I'd be hesitant to buff what is already a very strong skill.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre wrote:
Spears are highly formidable and I do not claim that I would pose significantly better results if I tagged into this match, but that swordsguy is optimally equipped for failure. I would take almost any other weapon in my dominant hand and I would take literally any other equipment in my of-hand, including a handy article of clothing, or, indeed, nothing at all.


And here comes the terminally insecure trying to cover up each other's stupidity by moving goal posts. Bolded portions where emphasized by me Bored

Did you even note the part where I said this?

"Indeed, the only way that they've found a sword-wielder to have a chance against the spear is to have a free hand for grabbing or deflecting the spear (at great risk to the hand in real combat of course), rather than trying any stupid attempt to "parry" with a sword. That's just for fat armchair generals who rely on overly narrow sources. "

Because DSM claim isn't just that sword can win against spear. It's that sword can win again spear because it's supposed to be really fucking easy to parry a spear with a sword. The video demonstrates exactly why this isn't the case.

That's why I also said the Roman tower shield was just as important as the stabby sword if it really got into melee.

But hey, sure, I'm the arrogant one here. I only pointed out "Reach is generally OP in real life", which is what HEMA teaches. Please continue defending the retard who got salty over this simple truth and tried to pretend that his amateur-level understanding of Roman military history could somehow act as some kind of dick enhancement instead of showing how he's a fool who wouldn't last five minutes talking to any real experts on the subject.


Last edited by Zinegata on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
What DSMatticus was actually asserting was that the pila were generally used as a ranged weapon and that Romans preferred the gladius in melee. What you've provided is evidence that the pilum is really good at being a ranged weapon. That's not a counterargument.


And yet he ignores that the Hasta - a non-throwing spear - was used in the first four hundred years of the Roman Republic's existence which is almost as long as the Imperial period. He just pretends it was a really short period of time; along with the fact that archeological evidence shows Imperial period legions also used spears along with bows, weird crossbows, and a whole bunch of other ranged kit that doesn't fit the standard British Red-colored Roman Legion who only fought with pilum and gladius.

Again, Rome is not just the few decades of Civil War around Julius Caesar's life. You're stuck in that model and it shows.

Going back to real history - which is for the consumption of non-retarded Denizens who are interested in actually learning something - my point isn't that they never used swords. We know they used swords. I even gave the exact year where the sword became standard kit and three of the five primary sources (Vegetius, Polybius, and Gallic War Chronicles) that everyone cites when talking about Roman swords.

My main point is that the sword wasn't the primary weapon for most of Roman history. It was a sidearm for the most part, and it was probably a primary weapon only during an extremely narrow section of Roman history. Again, specifically - it's during the Caesarian Civil War. Because again that's when Rome ended up throwing large numbers of heavily-armored well-shielded dudes at each other and ranged tactics would have worked much less and thus required a lot more sword stabbing.

And in any case anyone who thinks the gladius was the only weapon that mattered here is deluding themselves. Roman Legions weren't just equipped with gladiuses. By that time they got good body armor. They got big shields which could bash. They had their ranged kit. They had siege engines for battlefield use. The Roman legion was a lot more than the gladius and anyone making statements that it was an army that "won because of the sword" is flat-out being a retard.

The Roman military system could have arguably won all of their wars regardless of their weapons because of all of the other factors favoring them. That's why amateurs on the subject keep bringing up the damn swords. The professionals who study Rome for insight into modern armies look at the actual institution and its products - such as the Centurions.

Quote:
Both of these are technically true statements and you're using them to try and mislead people into thinking that Roman hastati still used spears until the Marian reforms. They did not. By the third century BCE hastati and principes were already using swords as opposed to spears, a transition that was formalized by the Marian reforms, but for which the Marian reforms are not especially notable.


You're really trying to twist things around just to pretend DSM wasn't talking out of his ass.

Your statements are in fact false, because you talk with a level of certainty we simply don't have with regards to ancient-era warfare.

We know they started using swords around the third century BCE - because again that's when the Punic Wars happened. I already stated this.

What we don't know is if they started relying primarily on swords at this point. These are very different things.

Polybius says they started using swords in a big way the Second Punic Wars, but you have to remember he didn't live during that time period. Indeed that's a big reason why people who've tried to wargame the big battles of the Second Punic War tend to find the fights on the incredible/unrealistic side - Polybius wasn't a first-hand witness and there's probably a fair deal of his work that was made up about this period.

When he commented on the Macedon Wars - which he might have witnessed since it was within his lifetime - he notes there was a lot hacking, rather than stabbing. And again hacking tends to be more of a cavalry thing than an infantry thing. Even one generation before we have definite implications they weren't all into the stabbing gladius yet.

And in any case, the point is we don't know. It's only the Marian reforms that gives us a real watershed - because that's the point where we're certain that they made swords a part of the standard kit. And unlike the pre-reform period troops were now issued with their weapons rather than buying their own stuff. Indeed, for all we know a short sword may have been cheaper at this point than a good long spear; and that economic reasons were behind the switch instead of them being more effective.

But again, this is also the time they got two pilum, a tower shield, and armor as standard kit. Moreover we do not have any actual Roman tactical manuals. We have some descriptions of how they fought, albeit again the sources vary from being propaganda (Gallic War Chronicles) and far removed from the action (Vegetius writes 400 years after the gladius became standard kit)

And if you'd actually read some real attempts to recreate the Roman Army - Sabin (PhD in ancient history) in particular is an excellent expert on the subject and he's also a big wagaming fan - you'd realize that the idea that they'd be hacking and slashing at each other primarily with swords is bonkers.

The battles they fought were recorded as having lasted hours. And as anyone who's fought in melee can attest (e.g. Eikre if he's done trying to cover up for DSM), such face-to-face fights tend to last minutes or even just seconds at most. It is too exhausting to have everyone hack at each other for two hours straight.

That's why Sabin came upon the concept of "pulse" combat - which means that most ancient armies didn't end up in long melees. Instead, most ancient armies stood at pilum-throwing range - with both sides mainly throwing stuff at each other to scare them away - with only occasional "pulses" of melee combat where a few brave men on each side surged towards the enemy line (usually using the shield to cover themselves or bash the enemy); hacked, bashed, or stabbed a few over-extended guys, before running back to the safety of their own lines.

Casualties in this case were low - and indeed most may have been inflicted by javelin fire rather than the "pulse" combat phase.

However, at one point one side or another may finally waver and decide to run; which would allow the other side to charge and just slaughter the fleeing enemy. That would cause the majority of the casualties to the losing side (estimated to be around 30% in most cases).

The thing is, in a rout basically any weapon was good enough to kill a fleeing enemy; but a short sword was particularly effective because it was basically a dagger that could be used to stab one guy you've run down quickly before moving to the next. In that sense, the gladius was a good "weapon", but was it really the main weapon that won the battle?

That's again why I pointed out the vast breadth of Roman weaponry and tactics; and in this post of the institutional strengths of the Roman Army. In the end, the Romans may have won regardless if they used gladiuses or not. And from an archeological and re-creation perspective, we know for a fact that they used other weapons to a huge degree and these were way more effective than the sword at forcing the crucial psychological routing of the enemy.

Edit:

Quote:
Horses do not give a shit how long the shafts on the spears are. They are not charging into a wall of pointy sticks. They know how impalement works and are not eager to be a part of it.


For the last time pilum are not pikes or even long spears.

First of all, pikes are about twice as long as pilum. That's important because it allows the guys behind the first line to also project their spears towards the enemy. Otherwise, the only spears pointing towards the enemy would belong to the thin line right in the very front (the ones in the second line might not even reach unless there is no spacing between the first two lines, which is a terrible idea).

Horses would not be starting at a wall of point sticks ala a hedgehog. Just a couple of point sticks with plenty of space in the middle where they could slip into.

Secondly, it's really very obvious you and DSM are just cribbing it off the Wikipedia Pilum article, which cites "Arrian's Array Against the Alans".

The problem is that you clearly didn't ever bother reading the original text. The anti-cavalry formation described in the document describes a four-rank deep formation of spearmen in the front, which is far too deep for the back row to reach the front with just a 6 foot long pilum.

And if you'd spent even a little time understanding the historical process, you'd realize the issue here is a translation one - the actual word used to describe the "pilums" in the document is an ambigious one. It could refer to a throwing spear, but it could be a longer spear as well that was commonly used by legions in the area.

Which again points to how Romans were not limited to two types of weapons forever because that's how Total War depicts them. Rather, the issue is with people who keep trying to project their pop-history biases on them - "they only used gladiuses and pilums", so any "spear" in Roman use was automatically assumed to be a pilum despite the original document never using the term and the physical dimensions of the weapon ran contrary to such use.

But hey, the Earth is apparently still flat because that's what you prefer.


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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
Quote:
Are you really trying to assert that two dudes fencing is superior historical data than period records written in an era when these weapons were used to fight actual wars?

He's flat out claimed those are worthless, as are historians and historical sources. His only source is the jacket description from an as-yet-unpublished book by a tour guide/wargamer published the Trivial Details company, best known for their coloring/uniform books, who have branched out into fantasy and speculative fiction. I'm hoping his next rant will be from the Osprey Adventures line, particularly Nazi Moonbases or Elf Warfare.


No, I'm claiming anyone who says there is "historical data" about the effectiveness of Roman gladiuses against spear-wielding troops is on shaky ground. Because we literally have fewer primary sources on this than the fingers on one hand; and one of the main sources lived a hundred years after the war he was describing happened.

Also, the flap cover is there because the book isn't published yet. I've looked at the actual attempts to recreate the pilum and their research into it - which went into the Osprey book. Again, quite simply, the pop-history meme that it was just for knocking out shields before a charge is a myth.

It was good enough to smash a shield and kill the enemy behind it. And they almost certainly didn't charge after unleashing a volley unless the enemy was clearly running after losing a whole bunch of guys to the volley - because such a charge against a steady enemy would result in a scene as ridiculous as the entire movie Troy.

Because again, it pays to actually read up on real experts of the subject instead of relying on some guy who keeps babbling about stories and yet can't even be bothered to remember his primary sources.


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've heard that in the Qing dynasty twin straight swords were popular with bodyguards who need something easy to carry but can still parry a polearm wielding foe. The idea being one sword parries the polearm while the other attacks.

For warfare though carrying a polearm yourself or a shield was preferred over two swords, but that's because it's war and you don't need to worry about where to put your shield while sitting at a restaurant.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:

But to be perfectly clear, no one gives a shit about the date of the Marian Reforms. The Marian Reforms are not the date of the invention of the sword. They are not the date of the formation of the Roman Army.


First of all, the rest of your statements are just a poor attempt to copy Frank Trollman's hyperbole - which really tends to ramp up when people get caught making untrue statements. You need to realize you will never get by in real life by trying to pretend you're bigger than you really are.

Secondly, anyone who says the Marian reforms don't matter doesn't know anything about the Roman Army. Professionalizing the Roman Army was in fact seen by pretty much every historian - both those relying only on the five old primary sources and the new generation doing actual re-creation and archeology - as the watershed moment for its effectiveness.

Because again, an army isn't just about the pointy weapons it uses. That you obsess over these really shows how this is all about the puny size of your dick and how you keep trying to make it look bigger by trying to bully other people. If you had half a brain, an ounce of confidence, or even a touch of self-worth you'd realize that its size doesn't matter - how you use it is what matters.

Instead, the Roman Army was successful because it was in fact flexible. It was willing to adopt new weapons and tactics as they encountered them - and they had a cadre of officers (Centurions) who could pass on this knowledge. That's why dating the Gladius to the Spanish Sword and Second Punic Wars - which I did long before you brought it up - was really easy.

The thing is, that means they were not relying on one weapon all the damn time; especially when you're basing the primacy of that weapon on just a handful of sources focusing on the Julius Caesar era. Literally one of these sources - Vegetius - was still talking about gladiuses even though the Romans were already switching to a longer sword (the Spatha) because they were encountering a lot more horsemen and well-drilled spearmen. Because unlike you, the Romans were actually flexible and switched to weapons that were more suited to the enemy they were facing.

Indeed, you are so broken in you're thinking that you thought I said the pilum was a primary melee weapon. It wasn't. I was saying it was the primary weapon, period, because Rome was much more reliant on ranged weapons than British Popular History bullshit. Why the hell would they risk their troops with close-ranged stabby-stabby against people with bigger swords when they could just kill them from 30 feet away with a javelin? Maybe again that's why the Romans actually issued two pilums per troop? Maybe that's why it was also sturdy enough to be used in melee in case the enemy closed too quickly?

The pilum was an incredibly effective weapon and the gladius was in many ways just a mop-up tool after the pilum had already broken the enemy. That's why it's a side-arm.

But no, let's instead stick with the notion of two hour hack-and-slash sessions; because you prefer to pretend that history is a static subject and there is no room for further archeological study or re-creation. Which is again the exact same mind set as the idiots who insisted that the world was flat.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
I've heard that in the Qing dynasty twin straight swords were popular with bodyguards who need something easy to carry but can still parry a polearm wielding foe. The idea being one sword parries the polearm while the other attacks.

For warfare though carrying a polearm yourself or a shield was preferred over two swords, but that's because it's war and you don't need to worry about where to put your shield while sitting at a restaurant.


Yeah, swords were popular with bodyguards (and nobility in general) because they were easy to carry around and they were often indoors where many polearms simply wouldn't fit. Wielding two swords at the same time may have been done by some elite troops, but required too much raw talent for the average conscript.

I would note as well that pole-arm use in battle tends to be very different from its use in one vs one combat. In battle it tends to be primarily about staying in formation and the guy with the longer pole-arms tending to win - with the former being a lot harder than it sounds. The video I shared for instance would totally not be how they do pole-arms in the battlefield.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
And yet he ignores that the Hasta - a non-throwing spear - was used in the first four hundred years of the Roman Republic's existence which is almost as long as the Imperial period.


Quote:
My main point is that the sword wasn't the primary weapon for most of Roman history.


Quote:
Your statements are in fact false, because you talk with a level of certainty we simply don't have with regards to ancient-era warfare.


All three of these statements come from the same person, in the same post, presumably written within, at most, an hour of one another. Your argument is literally "historical evidence is inconclusive, therefore we should assume I am right despite period sources ubiquitously disagreeing with me."

Quote:
Quote:
Horses do not give a shit how long the shafts on the spears are. They are not charging into a wall of pointy sticks. They know how impalement works and are not eager to be a part of it.


For the last time pilum are not pikes or even long spears.


I literally just said that horses don't care how long the shaft on your spear is. I am very specifically making the point that horses will still get stabbed to death if they try and charge into a wall of relatively short pointy things, because no, they cannot "slip between" a wall of spares being held by soldiers whose shoulders are less broad than that of a horse. If more than half of your front line cavalry charge gets through a spear wall alive, then number one holy Hell your enemy put a lot of effort in training their horses to do something stupid and number two your men routed before the charge hit. Humans are narrower than most horses. If two humans hold spears in the same position as one another, the space between them is less than one horse's worth. If you got a horse into that space, then someone was holding their spear wrong.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Does a double weapon count as a 2H weapon on both ends for purposes of adding strength to damage?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Does a double weapon count as a 2H weapon on both ends for purposes of adding strength to damage?

No, although it probably should, then there'd be a reason to use the damn things.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Does a double weapon count as a 2H weapon on both ends for purposes of adding strength to damage?


citation:

A character can fight with both ends of a double weapon as if fighting with two weapons, but he or she incurs all the normal attack penalties associated with two-weapon combat, just as though the character were wielding a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

The character can also choose to use a double weapon two handed, attacking with only one end of it. A creature wielding a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.

so yeah, basically, they're pretty crap. I think EWP: given double weapon is essentially a replacement for Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting, in that they let you DW one-handed weapons (double longsword, f.ex). Not that you care, they're still not really worth it!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

angelfromanotherpin wrote:
virgil wrote:
Does a double weapon count as a 2H weapon on both ends for purposes of adding strength to damage?

No, although it probably should, then there'd be a reason to use the damn things.


Word. I took it to be particularly assholish that magic weapon staves got charged extra cost for being double weapons.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:

I literally just said that horses don't care how long the shaft on your spear is. I am very specifically making the point that horses will still get stabbed to death if they try and charge into a wall of relatively short pointy things, because no, they cannot "slip between" a wall of spares being held by soldiers whose shoulders are less broad than that of a horse. If more than half of your front line cavalry charge gets through a spear wall alive, then number one holy Hell your enemy put a lot of effort in training their horses to do something stupid and number two your men routed before the charge hit. Humans are narrower than most horses. If two humans hold spears in the same position as one another, the space between them is less than one horse's worth. If you got a horse into that space, then someone was holding their spear wrong.


Horses slipping between the spears is less of an issue than the spearmen being crushed by the horses momentum before the spear can penetrate deeply, because horses are fairly heavy and moving rather quickly. Short pointy things are also more likely to bend or break before penetrating deeply into the horse simply because they have to be held at a higher angle to hit the horse's center mass, compared to a longer spear, and are thus subject to greater lateral force on the shaft. If the spear breaks, or is ripped out of its owner's hands, before it penetrates anything vital, then the horse will be able to continue fighting and the spearman will likely be trampled to death. Length is an important consideration spears to use against cavalry, because the longer it is the lower the angle it can be held at and still hit center mass. Lower angle means that more force is taken down the shaft, and less across it. That means less chance of breaking and deeper penetration.

And properly trained heavy cavalry horses will charge a wall of pointy sticks, because that's what training is for. They'd be useless, otherwise.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Horses slipping between the spears is less of an issue than the spearmen being crushed by the horses momentum before the spear can penetrate deeply, because horses are fairly heavy and moving rather quickly.


There are several feet of spear in front of the spearman, so the amount of penetration the spear is capable of before the horse reaches the man holding it is enough to punch through the entire body and out the other side. "Before" is definitely not a problem at all.

Now, it's true that short spears are unlikely to hold together when being charged by a horse, and that this will both destroy the spear and result in less than maximum penetration, however the spear will not typically break so fast that it doesn't get deep enough into the horse to hit something vital, which only takes a few inches. It's also true that the dying carcass of the horse will have enough momentum to quite possibly kill the first rank of soldiers, but then the second rank is right there and densely packed heavy infantry have a huge advantage on horses because horses are bigger than infantry which means infantry can bring more of their dudes to bear in a melee than cavalry can and it means that horses are expensive to armor properly which means they almost never are and so the infantry will have no difficulty at all carving up your horse's torso and no greater difficulty than normal fending off cavalry attacks with their shield while they do so (although the cavalryman's height advantage does mean that any blows that do get through are very likely to hit the head, shoulders, or something else terribly important). If you use 2m javelins to fend off a cavalry charge and the cavalry charge actually connects then when you are done you will be missing an awful lot of your front rank soldiers, but the front rank cavalry won't fare any better and the rest of their formation is going to lose the ensuing melee super hard.

It's even possible that your front rank will begin to rout and take the rest of the formation with them, because they're afraid of being killed immediately after killing the horse. In fact, if the front rank does begin to rout, it will probably be well before the horses are actually in melee range, because by then it would be far too late, which means you may be able to rout a heavy infantry formation with cavalry who would not actually be willing to engage in melee if the heavy infantry had called their bluff. You're not going to rout anyone after the melee begins, though, because no formation with the grit to stay put while your charge connected is going to break after it connects and the cavalry start losing.

Quote:
And properly trained heavy cavalry horses will charge a wall of pointy sticks, because that's what training is for. They'd be useless, otherwise.


Heavy infantry are a pretty hard counter to cavalry charges. Getting a bunch of men to hold firm and rob the cavalry of their momentum is specifically how you defeat a cavalry charge. If you charge heavy infantry and the infantry don't break formation before you arrive, meaning that all their spears are still pointing straight at you, you want your horse to rear up and refuse to get any closer a couple of yards out, because otherwise you are going to have a melee and you are going to lose. Saying that cavalry need to be able to charge not only into an infantry block but into a spear wall is like saying it is vitally important for scissors to be trained to pick a fight with rock.

The battlefield role of cavalry is to charge into the flank of an enemy formation, to run down fleeing enemies and maximize the damage of a rout, and to outmaneuver heavy infantry to hit artillery units who are lightly armored and/or underarmed for melee and will lose to cavalry at short range.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What kind of game system would suit a game with a Sliders (the dimensional travel TV show, not small hamburgers) premise
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The premise seems pretty system-agnostic. I'd probably go with Fate, to encourage spending the first half of the episode adventure getting into trouble, and the second half getting out of it, all in a not-particularly-serious tone.
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