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

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

That still shows a lack of discipline.... even if your not following
orders out of fear, thats lack of discipline compared to the unit that
follows anyway. BTW, I never said knights didn't fight in units
(although due to the nature of medieval combat there were plenty of
times that there were too few fighters to really notice...), just that
they didn't fight in tight pike ranks with a 'no moving out of line'

Yeah... I fired that one off the top of my head and was not very clear about my point. It's a complicated subject in some ways and becomes easy to get lost in the minutia and though I've been practicing I'm still not a very good secretary for the lunitic in my head. Where I drifted most I think was in the idea that how a unit fights is dictated in part by the style they were equiped to fight in and the farther you get from a club the more likely that major features of that equipment evolved in response to the equipment they expect to face. In some ways the medieval knight can be viewed as a return to the Trojan style hero with a chariot and expensive, heavy equipment who can rapidaly move from place to place along the battle-line.
Any unit can go impetuious... or leader for that matter.
I just think that saying that knights generally were undisiplined is very strong and maybe a tad misleading.
My bag for poor communication.

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.
True, but I wouldn't say a knight in early medieval or even dark ages
Europe was really better equipped than a Hoplite... maybe for
individual combat, maybe in a 1:1 comparison, but the hoplites were
pretty much as well armed as it got (armored, shielded, long piked) in
their heyday, and you can't really say more than that for the Knights
themselves. I guess what I'm saying is that if a unit of (at least
early) medieval knights went into combat against a unit of hoplites
(or someone similarly trained with updated weaponry) then the hoplites
probably win. Pikes in disciplined rows (along with organized units of
peasant archers) were the downfall of knights, after all... it started
being a waste of money to put so much armor on only ONE unreliable

I hear you Sir and agree with a couple of caveats.
"Ordered" pikemen are indeed effective against the calvary charge, but they require that the field of battle is narrow enough for effective deployment.
Give the Calv too much space and the mobility trumps the formation.
A charge to a phalanx flank pretty quickly drops them from primary weapon to sidearm if they can't turn to meet it.
Also the trigger had quite a role in sheading the knight from his armor.
Of course, that's back to the evoloution of arms.

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.

You're on.

hee hee hee... I'm working on it.
I'm trying real hard to add some strategy and building to the mix rather than just focus on the combat itself. If I let the players into the Power Structure of a little town and give them enough resources (maybe a dungeon crawl) to throw around on Unit creation and the buildings needed for support then I have them playing something like a Sim-City thing where the actual combat works like a disaster for something like a viking raid on the town. Combats fine but I'm really sick of the whole focus centered on killing things.
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