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Re: (TFT) Reality in Melee (The Space Gamer #20, 1978), Elephants in war

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joey Beutel"

"Neolithic warriors do not use shields, although later primitive
types might have animal-hide shields that stop 1 hit adjust DX by 1."

"Heavy wooden shields covered with hippopotamus hide stop 1 hit and
adjust DX -1."

"Light infantry carry large wicker shields which stop 1 hit and
adjust DX -1."


That one i see no problem with, as a shield with animal hide is
exactly what a shield with hippopotamus hide is... and I see no reason
why a wicker shield can't be similar (its various special rules
actually make it quite different).

I grew up around war-gameing so maybe it's just me but having unspecified hides streched over a frame (to my understanding of what he mentions) match woven reeds and/or wood with a specifically thick hide is quite a bit much to ask. This wasn't research into what our ansestors could do but rather looking at a questionable list from origional Melee and somewhat arbitrarally call any ancient shield "small" and of a given -1 hit value no matter what it's hit with.
Poor art.

Then there's stuff like.

"After the 8th Century BC, heavy infantry wore iron-reinforced
leather armor which may be considered equal to MELEE chainmail.
Before that, they wore breastplates and helms and carried large
shields. The helm and breastplates may be considered chainmail, but
with MA reduced to 5."

MA 5.

Yeah, I laughed at that too, due to our recent talks about MA. Then
again, I've recently been thinking "who cares?" because the MA rules
have always worked for me in combat situations. Might not work for a
race, sure, but in combat it should work fine.

IMO it's not that they can't move quickly in heavy armor, just that they can't move as quickly as long as an equal Figure outta the stuff but if their both swinging the same swords?
Reguardless 5 MA isn't really a brisk walk.
Look at the people and equipment he's referencing and make your own call.

According to Hyginus, the Achaeans killed 362 Trojans during their
ten years at Troy."

Nifty lil thought...

If he's talking Neolithic tribesmen colonizing the area then he
already covered this and is really just saying that one "tribe" is
called Achaeans.
If he's using it like Homer then the stone tools are WAY off.
Where's the Dendra panoply?
Heck, based off the above those guys probably only get an MA of 2.

There are some small differences, but I agree that this was kinda a
redundant rule.

This was where I gave up on any chance of learning anything from this artical and figured out the guy was hanging guess numbers on historical terms he just pulled outta his nethers.
We might as well be talking about Orcs here.

He thinks knights lack discipline and Philip and Alex's "strategy"
were responsible for Macedonian success "rather than any
technological superiority".

Well, the Macedonians did use rather similar weapons (and even
tactics, on the small scale) to their greek counterparts, and there is
no doubt that Alex's strategy and use of his companion cavalry was
essential to his victories.  Also, knights' discipline varied a lot,
but for most of medieval history, in most areas, they were not very
disciplined. Note the Battle of Agincourt's charge of knights that
resulted in them all getting killed because, essentially, they were
bored. (they also killed their own men in the charge). And even the
better disciplined knights (in the sense that they listened to their
commander's orders) still fought in a rather barbaric style compared
to the tightly packed ranks of hoplites, as melees descended into
brawls rather quickly in medieval europe.


Yahweh save me from the goyim...

A Unit going impetious doesn't mean it's not a Unit.
I'm not sure folks appreciate how much downtime goes into actually engageing the enemey.
After a few years you get a bit eager for battle if that's what will send you home.

That knights fought in looser formations than the phalanx doesn't mean much unless they had similar equipment that they were useing in such a different way.

What's a Formation for Heinlein's Starship Troopers?
The better armed and armored you are the larger area you command (zoc) in general.

You take a rabble of knights and I'll take a group that has a Formation or two and can close in double time while holding said Formation and lets see who wins the most outta 100 battles all else being equal. =====
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