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Ancient Military- Before 1500A.D
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Posted 8/19/08

Eririel wrote:

It depends on what kind of battle you are fighting. You certainly wouldn't use armies built around horsemen and horse archers for long term sieges and you certainly wouldn't use a large band of heavy infantry in a dense forest (Massacare of Varus' column at Teutoburger forest).

The Hunnite armies were raiders and would have been highly ineffective during sieges. The walls of Constantinople kept the Hunnite army and bay and prevented Attila from sacking the great city. The belief was that the Huns had spent so much time on horseback, they had "forgotten how to walk".

As for the Roman Legions, the pre-Marian reform legions worked much differently to the legions after the reforms.


Not necessarily true about the heavy infantry in dense forest, in a way, it is a much more preferred option than using cavalry, horse archers, archers or spearmens, the heavy infantry are the slow, close-combat types and it is ideal for them to fight in dense forest for they will be protected from arrows and cavalry (due to the forest impeding the horses ability to run), unless you start a bush fire (gotta love how easy it is to set one up in Australia ==), then those heavy infantries are going to be melted trophies. The only thing that would be more effective than heavy infantry in the forest is light infantry who are more based on speed and quick attacks, they than would be able to set up ambushes.
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Posted 8/19/08

h4x0rz wrote:


OTAKUADDICT wrote:

The Crusaders,Turks,Goths,Mongols,Arabs & Vandals.


you do realize only the second crusade was successful right? 1 out of 4 is a very poor score =_=
Arabs not really, maybe the Ottomans, which had it's seat of power with the Turks.
Mongols, fuck yeah, they were savage.
Vandals?


I agree, the crusaders were just a bunch of religious retards that deserved to be shot down for their intrusion. I thought it was the first crusade that was successful and the second crusade was appallingly unsuccessful (first crusade captured Jerusalem etc). Arabs are rather.....Hell, I only know that they like their cavalry. Ottomans, yeah they were good (Turks), the Janissary are soldiers trained from youth, well educated and usually end up in top positions (they were taken from christian families, not Muslim families, there were even reports of Muslim families faking their religion as been christian to give their child to serve as Janissary). Vandals....I don't know much about them other than that they looted Rome (too bad for them that Rome converted to Christianity for vestal virgin tradition would have died out by then).

Just bored and felt like quoting......
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Posted 8/19/08

mikejacobs wrote:


h4x0rz wrote:


OTAKUADDICT wrote:

The Crusaders,Turks,Goths,Mongols,Arabs & Vandals.


you do realize only the second crusade was successful right? 1 out of 4 is a very poor score =_=
Arabs not really, maybe the Ottomans, which had it's seat of power with the Turks.
Mongols, fuck yeah, they were savage.
Vandals?


I agree, the crusaders were just a bunch of religious retards that deserved to be shot down for their intrusion. I thought it was the first crusade that was successful and the second crusade was appallingly unsuccessful (first crusade captured Jerusalem etc). Arabs are rather.....Hell, I only know that they like their cavalry. Ottomans, yeah they were good (Turks), the Janissary are soldiers trained from youth, well educated and usually end up in top positions (they were taken from christian families, not Muslim families, there were even reports of Muslim families faking their religion as been christian to give their child to serve as Janissary). Vandals....I don't know much about them other than that they looted Rome (too bad for them that Rome converted to Christianity for vestal virgin tradition would have died out by then).

Just bored and felt like quoting......


Mongols almost destroyed the Arab Civilization when they've attacked Baghdad and also Timur(who is a Mongol Persian) and the Timurid army even defeated the combined Serbian-Ottoman army at the battle of Ankara(I dunno if this is the specific location)................Ottomans maybe strong but they were scared when they faced Vlad the Impaler and he impaled thousands of Turks and I cannot forget the Night Raid when he attacked the Ottoman army..

I'm bored too so I decided to quote~_~
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Posted 8/20/08 , edited 8/20/08

mikejacobs wrote:
Though the romans would have lost if Phillip had cavalry to back him up (Did Phillip have cavalry in his army at that time?), other way to defeat the phalanx- just make wooden fences (mobile fences that is) and push it in their way or horse archers ^^.


Your idea about the wooden fences is so absurd, I'm not really sure what to say about it. So you push a wall towards them. Let me guess, its got wheels and is probably a hundred meters wide and seven or eight feet tall. Just for good measure, let's make it a foot thick and ensure that the battlefield is flat just so we can entertain your fantasy. Heck, just so its feasible it stands and won't fall over on one side from its sheer weight and lack of support.

You see, your wall is static. Men and thinking are not. The enemy general is going to see the HUGE block coming at him a mile away and he's probably wondering what's the best way to set that thing on fire. His archers are going to be laughing because the amount of wood you used to fashion that block of wood would probably make a million arrows. His infantry is laughing because the men behind the wall probably don't know what maneuvers the enemy is going to make and the fact that they could probably spread out and go around the wall or simply march away and watch your wall-bearers tire out from pushing that immense block after them.

And now for the grand question; how are you going to push that thing to the battlefield from your home base assuming the journey will take three days on foot without that thing? You could take it apart, but that would mean you would have to reassemble it before the day of battle, which is often unpredictable.

If you want to fight a phalanx the way you are describing, best stick behind some city walls because at least the walls are firmly planted into the ground.
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Posted 8/20/08

Eririel wrote:


mikejacobs wrote:
Though the romans would have lost if Phillip had cavalry to back him up (Did Phillip have cavalry in his army at that time?), other way to defeat the phalanx- just make wooden fences (mobile fences that is) and push it in their way or horse archers ^^.


Your idea about the wooden fences is so absurd, I'm not really sure what to say about it. So you push a wall towards them. Let me guess, its got wheels and is probably a hundred meters wide and seven or eight feet tall. Just for good measure, let's make it a foot thick and ensure that the battlefield is flat just so we can entertain your fantasy. Heck, just so its feasible it stands and won't fall over on one side from its sheer weight and lack of support.

You see, your wall is static. Men and thinking are not. The enemy general is going to see the HUGE block coming at him a mile away and he's probably wondering what's the best way to set that thing on fire. His archers are going to be laughing because the amount of wood you used to fashion that block of wood would probably make a million arrows. His infantry is laughing because the men behind the wall probably don't know what maneuvers the enemy is going to make and the fact that they could probably spread out and go around the wall or simply march away and watch your wall-bearers tire out from pushing that immense block after them.

And now for the grand question; how are you going to push that thing to the battlefield from your home base assuming the journey will take three days on foot without that thing? You could take it apart, but that would mean you would have to reassemble it before the day of battle, which is often unpredictable.

If you want to fight a phalanx the way you are describing, best stick behind some city walls because at least the walls are firmly planted into the ground.


*sigh* Really, what a stinging attack ^^, but thats not the wooden fence I'm thinking==, let say like really small logs bound together, almost like a palisade except movable really quickly and really light. The reason why I was saying that was because the phalanx are really inflexible and they would have to break formation because it is in the way, and also.......In a way, if archers set that on fire, it could work to your advantage ^^, if your defending of course. The enemies army would then have to avoid it while its on fire etc etc>>. This is just an idea, no need to attack me ^^.
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Posted 8/20/08 , edited 8/20/08
MONGOLS HANDS DOWN. there has never been as efficient a fighting machine as the mongol hordes. they had mobility, manueverability, long range weapons, brilliant commanders, effective lines of communication, ingenious army organization, and especially the adaptability to fight various armies from around the world (from china to hungary, and from russia to india, dominating them every time [though with india its debateable])

i don't see how you could possibly compare them to anyone else, even the romans
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Posted 8/20/08

mikejacobs wrote:
*sigh* Really, what a stinging attack ^^, but thats not the wooden fence I'm thinking==, let say like really small logs bound together, almost like a palisade except movable really quickly and really light. The reason why I was saying that was because the phalanx are really inflexible and they would have to break formation because it is in the way, and also.......In a way, if archers set that on fire, it could work to your advantage ^^, if your defending of course. The enemies army would then have to avoid it while its on fire etc etc>>. This is just an idea, no need to attack me ^^.


You are better off building shields with all that wood. That palisade would require manpower to move it and hold it in place. Its not easy to ram something into the ground without digging first. Also, have you considered how the terrain would be like? If you are fighting in a rough terrain, your palisade will probably not have a firm location to place it on.

Secondly, something like that would be clearly visible to any enemy commander: they will not just walk into it. You also forget that an army does not rely on one type of soldier alone. A smart commander would have already issued new orders to reposition his troops to avoid the wall. Now the onus is on you to reposition the wall.

With a wall like that, you are equally if not more inflexible than a phalanx. On a side note, the phalanx can be spread very wide and thin or very thick and narrow. So they are more flexible than you realize.

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Posted 8/20/08

Eririel wrote:


mikejacobs wrote:
*sigh* Really, what a stinging attack ^^, but thats not the wooden fence I'm thinking==, let say like really small logs bound together, almost like a palisade except movable really quickly and really light. The reason why I was saying that was because the phalanx are really inflexible and they would have to break formation because it is in the way, and also.......In a way, if archers set that on fire, it could work to your advantage ^^, if your defending of course. The enemies army would then have to avoid it while its on fire etc etc>>. This is just an idea, no need to attack me ^^.


You are better off building shields with all that wood. That palisade would require manpower to move it and hold it in place. Its not easy to ram something into the ground without digging first. Also, have you considered how the terrain would be like? If you are fighting in a rough terrain, your palisade will probably not have a firm location to place it on.

Secondly, something like that would be clearly visible to any enemy commander: they will not just walk into it. You also forget that an army does not rely on one type of soldier alone. A smart commander would have already issued new orders to reposition his troops to avoid the wall. Now the onus is on you to reposition the wall.

With a wall like that, you are equally if not more inflexible than a phalanx. On a side note, the phalanx can be spread very wide and thin or very thick and narrow. So they are more flexible than you realize.



I suppose ^^, just a theory, so it will be subjected to have weaknesses and strengths. What about you, what would you use to destroy a phalanx?
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Posted 8/20/08

MEMPHADON wrote:

MONGOLS HANDS DOWN. there has never been as efficient a fighting machine as the mongol hordes. they had mobility, manueverability, long range weapons, brilliant commanders, effective lines of communication, ingenious army organization, and especially the adaptability to fight various armies from around the world (from china to hungary, and from russia to india, dominating them every time [though with india its debateable])

i don't see how you could possibly compare them to anyone else, even the romans


Horse archers are not invincible. They experienced many victories on open plains and the steppes but if they ever got to heavily forested Europe, they would discover their tactics would not be as effective as on an open field and the natives of those areas would have a severe advantage against them.

The other problem the Mongols would experience is the number of fortresses Europe had. The Mongols are superb horsemen but when it comes to sieges, they are not the best of fighters on foot. Even if they had had secured a supply line to send for Chinese engineers and siege equipment, it would take several years before they reached Europe.

During those several years, disease and famine would set in while they waited outside the city walls and the prospect of the Catholic nations descending down upon them would be something to consider.
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Posted 8/20/08 , edited 8/21/08

mikejacobs wrote:
I suppose ^^, just a theory, so it will be subjected to have weaknesses and strengths. What about you, what would you use to destroy a phalanx?


A phalanx is invincible in its front. They were also deployed in huge numbers to cover as much ground as possible and to make outflanking very difficult.

The only wait to fight a phalanx's front is with another phalanx . I would prefer a Macedonian phalanx for the longer pikes and hence a better chance to strike the enemy before they strike you.

Terrain can also play a huge role in battle. If I'm fighting them on a very hilly and rough terrain, light skirmishers and horsemen can pelt them with missile numbers to thin their ranks and eventually allow for infantry to move in through once there are gaps in the formation.

But the easiest solution could be to outlast them in a siege. The Greeks were certainly not the best at siege warfare, and after a while famine and disease would eat away at the besiegers.

Of course, its easy to say this on paper, what one really needs is timing, opportunity and a rough estimation of what forces the enemy can muster. If I'm looking at a typical Macedonian army, my first thought would be to draw the cavalry away from the field to ensure that I can successfully flank the phalanx.

I'm going to say that there is no invincible army; all armies are a product of their resources, environment and the way they hunted or the way their neighbours fought them. Any army we have ever seen was developed to fight another army they were used to fighting. Mongols came as a shock to the known world because they were literally a plague that came out of nowhere.
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Posted 8/21/08 , edited 8/21/08

MEMPHADON wrote:

MONGOLS HANDS DOWN. there has never been as efficient a fighting machine as the mongol hordes. they had mobility, manueverability, long range weapons, brilliant commanders, effective lines of communication, ingenious army organization, and especially the adaptability to fight various armies from around the world (from china to hungary, and from russia to india, dominating them every time [though with india its debateable])

i don't see how you could possibly compare them to anyone else, even the romans


They even destroyed the Khwarezmian empire in Persia for just a month!

Although the Mongols never reached Japan and Indonesia.
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Posted 8/21/08
The Mongols never got to Venice either.
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Posted 8/21/08

Eririel wrote:

The Mongols never got to Venice either.


Venice archers are very powerful!
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Posted 8/21/08

OTAKUADDICT wrote:


Eririel wrote:

The Mongols never got to Venice either.


Venice archers are very powerful!


The Venetians would have outlasted the Mongols behind their city walls. Venice has a natural moat, the world's most powerful navy (For that time) and the swamps would have spread disease and rot away the food of the Mongolians, eventually leading them away from Venice.
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Posted 8/21/08 , edited 8/21/08

Eririel wrote:


MEMPHADON wrote:

MONGOLS HANDS DOWN. there has never been as efficient a fighting machine as the mongol hordes. they had mobility, manueverability, long range weapons, brilliant commanders, effective lines of communication, ingenious army organization, and especially the adaptability to fight various armies from around the world (from china to hungary, and from russia to india, dominating them every time [though with india its debateable])

i don't see how you could possibly compare them to anyone else, even the romans


Horse archers are not invincible. They experienced many victories on open plains and the steppes but if they ever got to heavily forested Europe, they would discover their tactics would not be as effective as on an open field and the natives of those areas would have a severe advantage against them.

The other problem the Mongols would experience is the number of fortresses Europe had. The Mongols are superb horsemen but when it comes to sieges, they are not the best of fighters on foot. Even if they had had secured a supply line to send for Chinese engineers and siege equipment, it would take several years before they reached Europe.

During those several years, disease and famine would set in while they waited outside the city walls and the prospect of the Catholic nations descending down upon them would be something to consider.


of course they are not invincible, but they proved themselves capable in more than just the open steppes. they conquered china, india, turkey, and hungary, all of which weren't on the steppes. the mongols also proved themselve capable of siege warfare in their chinese campaigns.

yes europe had many fortresses. but the style of combat of the day was that the knights would sally forth to meet the enemy and fight them as gentlemen, but when they did that they were always cut down by the mongols. which is why hungary fell so fast. in fact, the greatest defensive victory for any european army was against italian mercenaries on the adriatic coast, who were not bound by chivalry and stayed behind the walls launching their crossbows (which the mongols greatly feared).

besides that, the mongols defeated several armies organzied by many different catholic nations throughout hungary and poland, almost always being greatly outnumbered, proving that they really were superior to knights of the day

i stand by my claim
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