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 Post subject: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:58 pm 
Mercenary
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Since we are entirely infantry based I wanted to know what the community thought was the most effective infantry and why.

Also, I think it would be cool if anyway had any success in transferring the skills that caused them to be effective into Belegarth.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:07 pm 
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Red Team.

Also doubles as cavalry.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am 
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Off the top of my head, I'd say the Roman Legionnaires. I think one of their biggest advantages (and something that can be and is done in bel.) was their discipline and training. Against an unorganized mob, ANY amount of discipline will get you an advantage.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Romans worked really well in tight crowded environments, which they were really good at forcing.
http://www.roman-empire.net/army/tactics.html
The situations where you can duplicate roman tactics in Bell seem limited and far in-between. However, thats not to say it can't be done.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:07 pm 
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There's a reason why Swiss pikemen were envied and feared throughout Medieval Europe. Sadly, we don't have enough cavalry (as in, any at all) for their success to transfer to foamfighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Mercer wrote:
There's a reason why Swiss pikemen were envied and feared throughout Medieval Europe. Sadly, we don't have enough cavalry (as in, any at all) for their success to transfer to foamfighting.


It also doesn't help that building 18' pikes is challenging given the materials we use.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:26 pm 
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I would put my money on any sort of Nordic infantry coming out on top, be they Danes, Swedes, Saxons, Angles, or Jutes. They were able to scare the Byzantines to the point of recruiting vikings as their royal guard just to keep them from sacking their cities all the time and they could deal with cavalry so long as they held formation through their large numbers of thrusting spears and bloody huge axes (Hastings). I think that only a solid pike formation would be able to stop them, but, as Kyrian pointed out, pikes are not really ideal in our sport.

The only other infantry that I think could top that would be the nearly all archer armies that the English had during the 100 years war (Agincourt, etc). Though this was post gunpowder, all that was available were simple bombards which could not do much of anything on a field battle.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:47 pm 
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Gurkhas... They stopped the Muslims from conquering the world. I think they are one of the only culture of warriors to have survived basically intact and to be feared in both pre and post gunpowder.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:13 pm 
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The Greek Spartans fought in eight ranks ran several hundred yards in formation and sprinted the last fifty to one hundred ,keeping formation all the way in. They used an eight foot spear a three foot across round shield (hopilon) and closed with a short sword.
The English longbowman of the Hundred years war could hit a target one foot across at better than 150 yards. By the time the first arrow hit 3 more were on the way. Each a cloth Yard in length and capable of punching plate armor.
The Roman Legions "made a game out of war and war a game". Ie.reduced the war to an exorcise via sports and drill .
Actualy all of these and any sucessful military achieves thier sucess thru drill and sport . The Greeks had olympics and Sparta inparticular practiced the addage we are soldiers first.
The English longbowman by law had to practice weekly then compitions were held the winner was awarded a ham Hince the saying "bringing home the bacon"
What we do is a game possibley a sport. If we have practice drills and rewards for sucess we can get better. But all of us are somthing other than an Archer, Hopalite,Legionair.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:55 pm 
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I wish I could be a full time archer :(

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:35 pm 
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I wish I could be a full time archer :(



yeah... and win hams..

mmmm.... ham

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Orion Nomad wrote:
The English longbowman of the Hundred years war could hit a target one foot across at better than 150 yards. By the time the first arrow hit 3 more were on the way. Each a cloth Yard in length and capable of punching plate armor.


Citations? It's tough as hell to hit a 12" plate at 150 yds with an AR-15 with iron sights on it, and that only has a foot of drop at that range (sighted in at 50 yd).

Likewise, there were no arrows that could penetrate plate armor consistently, not even bodkins. There have been numerous tests done lately; results are searchable on the intarwebs. Hell, most arrows couldn't even get through mail or even a particularly well-made gambeson, according to period accounts.


Also, my money would be on the French/German/Italian gendarme cavalry-supported pike-and-doppelsoldner infantry, but then, that includes the heavy cav.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:41 pm 
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Late Republican to Middle Imperial Roman legions, from the Marian reforms to the Tetrarchy. Hands down. Especially when under a skilled commander, but that caveat can be applied equally to any force.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:23 am 
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Juicer wrote:
Big Jimmy wrote:
I wish I could be a full time archer :(



yeah... and win hams..

mmmm.... ham


Well, definitely not a down side. Plus, as long as your arching full time and according to this guy can hit a foot at 150 yards, you could probably hunt blindfolded and bring home whatever the **** you wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:54 pm 
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I have become accustomed the the fact that anything I write on any of these subjects( Including my name)is immedeately jumped on and shot down by those who must be just siting on thier computer waiting to naysay anyone who states anything as fact.
Yeah I have seen the BBC version of mythbusters show on the war/ history channel. When they could not shoot an arrow and punch the nice square chunk of cold rolled homogenious steel.
A piece of metal that despite its brown and pitted appearence was in so many ways superior to that which the typical or even non typical french Knight would have given much to have.
At least 10,000 would have (the number lkilled at Agin Court)
But thiers was beaten , pinched, swedged, peened, and drawn from a poured chunk of iron full of impurities and weaknesses produced by the aformentioned process.
Try reading a little

The English longbowman was well acquainted with shooting hard in the bow though. For long periods of time, the English people were subject to numerous laws promoting the use of the longbow. There were often laws concerning the compulsory ownership of longbows for people in certain wage categories. Under the reign of King Henry II, everyone who earned 2-5 pounds per year had to be armed with bows (Assize of Arms, 1242 CE) (Wilkinson, pp.164). It was mandatory to practice in the bow on Sundays for many English citizens (Wilkinson, pp.164). Churches were required to maintain butts (targets) so that anyone could practice in the bow. There were even rules about the distance one must shoot at the butts from. Keep in mind that these laws were not intended for professional soldiers, for there were very few in those days. (Professional soldiers were mercenaries, not members of a standing army.) These laws were intended for the average citizen, who might be called upon at some point to fight for England. (This is the case for the whole spectrum of soldiery in the Middle Ages.)

A Welsh or English military archer during the 14th and 15th Century was expected to shoot at least ten "aimed shots" per minute. An experienced military longbowman was expected to shoot twenty aimed shots per minute. A typical military longbow archer would be provided with between 60 and 72 arrows at the time of battle, which would last the archer from three to six minutes, at full rate of shooting. Thus, most archers would not loose arrows at this rate, as it would exhaust even the most experienced man. Not only are the arms and shoulder muscles tired from the exertion, but the fingers holding the bowstring become strained; therefore, actual rates of fire in combat would vary considerably. Ranged volleys at the beginning of the battle would differ markedly from the closer, aimed shots as the battle progressed and the enemy neared.

The V symbol (for Victory, and now Peace) formed with the index and middle finger, palm outward, popularized by Winston Churchill during WWII, has a very different connotation in Britain when formed with the back of the hand toward the target of the symbol. It means essentially the same thing as showing them your middle finger. English longbow men of the middle ages gave the V-symbol, palm facing inward, its significance as an insult. At the battle of Agincourt, the English longbowmen wreaked havoc upon the French knights. As a result, from that point forward, the French would cut off the index and middle finger of any English archer they captured; this would prevent the archer from ever drawing a bowstring again. In response to the French practice, English longbowmen would flaunt their intact index and middle fingers at their French adversaries from across the battlefield in future conflicts, and thus the symbol derives its very insulting nature among modern day British culture. (thanks to Vollendam for that anecdote!)

The longbow was not a weapon for the weak-hearted or weak-armed. The bowstring itself required in upwards of 100 foot-pounds of pressure to draw it, let alone aim it properly. Further, English archers were required to hit a man-sized target with their arrows at more than 200 yards distance. While a great weapon in and of itself, the longbow was even more deadly in the hands of a skilled archer. (thanks to Sereg for that bit of information!)

1415 AD - 25th October - Battle of Agincourt - Henry V of England army was attacked by the French army near Calais. Some 60,000 French soldiers faced off 6,000 English soldiers, mainly archers. The opposing forces faced each other for several hours waiting to see who would move first. Henry sounded the attack, whereby the archers advanced a short distance and planted a row of stakes in front of them. This prompted the French to attack with a cavalry charge. This charge was repelled, but the retreating force ran into the second charge of the advancing French cavalry. This caused mass confusion in the French attack.
The English archers continued to shower arrows down on the French cavalry until finally running out of arrows. The archers then attacked with swords, daggers and even mallets they had used to drive in the stakes.
Some accounts state as many as 10,000 French soldiers killed, with only 100 English soldiers killed. Other accounts state only 29 English killed.

I have seen an American Archer practice with a English Longbow hitting the target at better than 150 yards. his grouping was a little bigger than 1 square foot. This was a Marine who in his offduty hours was involved in the SCA and stationed at Navy Sub Base Bangor. I am sure he was probley better with his TO weapon the M16a1.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:04 pm 
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I didn't mean arrows shot at 16 ga cold-rolled. I meant arrows shot from compound bows at 18 ga peascods or 14 ga 3/8 ID butted chain. They penetrate, sure; by about a half an inch. That definitely not killing penetration, especially with a gambeson under the armor.


Also, yes, an extremely skilled longbowman who practices all the time can hit targets at ludicrous ranges. The most experienced, most highly-trained, most fanatical about their trade military snipers and sharpshooters can hit a man-sized target at 1500 yd. I guarantee 95+% of everyone who has ever picked up one of those rifles can't do it.

The stated maximum effective range of the M4 (current issue weapon for most grunts) is 600 yd. Combat data says the real effective range is 150 yd and the killing range is shorter still. It's cool if the odd archer could drill a dude's eyes at 150 yds, but that isn't a good barometer of the average archer's abilities.

Also, I didn't mean for you to take what I wrote as an attack; it just seemed like the usual ludicrity that we get around here about how longbows were the cruise missile of the Medieval battlefield.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Ok so the English Longbowman was NOT the average archer. The original point of this thread was who was the elite forces of thier period of history. There is no question in most historians minds that the English long boman falls in to this catagory.
On the order of the Marine I spoke of.
The M16 A1 was the TO weapon when I spoke to this grunt ie. 0311 in 1982.
It was not my TO weapon. Though I did have to qualify with it. First Expert but later I was droped to sharpshooter.
I had to make do with a M1911 45, and occasionaly a 12 gage though I never fired the 12 ga and usualy only saw it hangin on the wall in the armory. My issued 1911 had parts from 3 different makers the Slide had a 2 or 3 mm shake to left and right. I was unable to hit a target if I had been in a closet with it.
I eventualy purchased a Para ordance DAO version that I can still drive nails with a 20 yards. Even though Im 51 Years old now and wear Glasses.
I retired from Active duty Navy in 96.
Some current info about USMC shooting follows;

Marine Corps Rifle Sharpshooter Badge


Criteria: Marine Corps weapons qualification badges are obtained after personnel obtain a passing score. Passing scores fall into one of three ranges – 190 to 209 for “marksman,” 210 to 219 for “sharpshooter,” and 220 to 250 for “expert” – and qualifying Marines receive a specific weapons qualification badge depending on the score obtained. Once a qualification has been obtained, and the weapons qualification badge issued, the badge may be worn for the remainder of a military career, unless a different level of qualification – be it either higher or lower – is achieved. Typically, enlisted personnel up to the rank of staff sergeant, and officers up to the rank of captain, re-qualify with the rifle annually. A Marine’s most recent qualification score determines the badge that is worn. If a Marine achieves the score of “expert” multiple times in his or her career, an additional "rung" may be added to the badge denoting the number of awards earned. Marine Corps weapons qualification badges are suspended beneath a bar indicating the type of weapon and qualification level earned. The suspended badge varies in appearance, depending on which weapon qualification has been obtained. Because of the Marine Corps policy "Every Marine a Rifleman," Marine recruits cannot exit Initial Recruit Training (or The Basic School for Officers) until a qualification of at least “marksman” has been obtained.


Corps

US Marine Corps marksmanship badgesMarine Corps marksmanship badges are suspended beneath a bar reading the type of weapon and qualification received. The badge is also different in appearance, depending on which weapon qualification has been obtained.

For a marksmanship badge to be obtained, a service member must obtain a passing score and will receive a qualification level depending on the score obtained. As of October 1, 2007, the Marine Corps has implemented a scored, Field Fire (aka Table 2, from 25-100m) portion to the established Known Distance (aka Table 1, or 'KD' from 200-500m) course of fire. This is the tactical counterpart to the competition style shooting of Table 1. The Table 2 fire is based on a 100 point scale and is additional to the legacy 250 point scale for Table 1. Scores for marksman range from 250-279, 280-304 for sharpshooter, and 305-350 for expert. If a Marine fails to qualify on the Field Fire portion, the individuals score will be dropped to 250 regardless of their actual score on the Known Distance course. Qualifying on the Known Distance course is a prerequisite to continue to Field Fire.

Once a qualification has been obtained, and the marksmanship badge issued, the badge may be worn for the remainder of a military career, or until a different level of qualification (higher or lower) is achieved. Typically, all Marines qualify with the rifle on an annual basis. The most recent qualification score determines the badge that is worn. If a Marine achieves the score of Expert multiple times in his or her career, an additional "rung" may be added to the badge denoting the number of awards earned.

Weapons attachments, such as the RCO and vertical foregrip, are permitted.
Thanx for your Time
Don Ollerton FMF USN Ret


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Fair enough, sir. The elite English longbowman was most definitely a formidable opponent, no doubt about that. Your point is well-taken.

Also, good GOD that's a lot of slide slop. I do love my Springfield, too (Ultra-Compact SAO).


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:08 pm 
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I've always though of archers as more of an artillary position, rather than "infantry".
I've always though of Infantry as hand to hand footsoldiers. Of course this applies only to pre gunpowder armies. After EVERY * on the field has a gun things change for everybody.
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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:49 pm 
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Humm well as you say this is your thought so I cant say that you cant belive that.
However pre gunpowder arty did exist in a truer form.
ie. Engines of war and seige. catapults, ornagers, trebuchets, Mangonels are examples of indirect fire engines.
Scropions, Arbalists,and Ballista were direct fire weapons. Most took some time to set up as does todays arty does.
The Infantry Archer is called that to differentiate him from his more moble and somewhat luckier counter part the Cavlery archer. The Mongols would be a good example of a Cavlery archer. Also considered an elite fighting force. The French and english both had cavlery archers makeing a fast raiding party a few Knights a couple of sergants and men at arms supported by mounted archers. could weak much havoc / terror several counties away and be back befor a group of heavy Knights could respond.
a pay roster for the period of the English longbowman
about 1/5 of ther archers were mounted.



Recognized
Customary Pay
(vadia consueta guerre)

Out of England
Knight 2s
Other Men at arms 1s
Armati (armored footsoldiers) 6d
Archers 3d
Mounted archers 6d

Archers in English Garrison service
Archers 2d
Mounted archers 4d


1 pound (£)= 20 shillings (s) = 240 pence (d)

If you made a thurough study of aincient warfare thru to the begining of the gun powder. you will see several accounts of cav archers and infantry archers.
The term does take on a different meaning when you speak of crossbowmen who were not always archers buy often some other form of conscript pressed in to service example the Genoese sailors in French service in during 100 years war. Were actualy sailors aboard the italian merchant vessels bringing new arms and armour
The archer was always considered to be a trained soldier, weather Longbow composit or short bow was being used. Conscripts peasant militia used pole arms.As little or no training was needed to poke somone with a sharp stick and cavlery would not approch if you had long enough poky sticks.
Well I need to catch a bus
later daze


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:10 am 
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After discussing it over several micro brews with friends who war game,read history, debate, discuss,and argue points of great intrest but little merrit. The term that best discribes archers in our humble opinion is "missle troops" as opposed to men at arms and the regular Grunts that swing a hand weapon. Some did this exclusivly others were armed with sword or other hand weapon presumably for defence.
Others were expected to be equil with either. Such as egyption troops under Ramsies at kedesh.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:10 am 
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After discussing it over several micro brews with friends who war game,read history, debate, discuss,and argue points of great intrest but little merrit. The term that best discribes archers in our humble opinion is "missle troops" as opposed to men at arms and the regular Grunts that swing a hand weapon. Some did this exclusivly others were armed with sword or other hand weapon presumably for defence.
Others were expected to be equil with either. Such as egyption troops under Ramsies at kedesh.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:11 am 
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Orion Nomad wrote:
A piece of metal that despite its brown and pitted appearence was in so many ways superior to that which the typical or even non typical french Knight would have given much to have.

But the steel that the knight's plate was made from would still have resisted arrows. Have you read Dr. Alan Williams' "The Knight and the Blast Furnace?"

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Blast-Furn ... 825&sr=8-1

If you'd like to know more about the metallurgical composition and performance of medieval plate armour, read this book before you so quickly condemn late medieval steel. Impure compared to modern steel or not, it was still capable of being made stout enough to resist the weapons of the day

Orion Nomad wrote:
Try reading a little

Right back at ya.

Anytime an English Longbow fanboy advances the "Longbows launched nuclear arrows that pierced even the strongest plate armour!" argument, I post this response that I have prepared in advance. I swear, the Super Longbow myth is just as persistent as the "Katanas can cut through tanks" myth.

Remember that at Agincourt the French armoured men-at-arms did in fact reach the English line, and were defeated in hand-to-hand combat, not by archery. The high casualty figures for the men-at-arms are probably the result of Henry ordering all prisoners to be slaughtered after they were captured and bound.

Also, remember that Agincourt is the last of the great English longbow victories. It did not prove as effective against advancing armour technology. Plate armour won the conflict with the longbow. Sure, there was a back-and-forth, and at times the longbow even had the upper hand at a few points in the 14th century, but ultimately plate armour prevailed. It took the advent of effective firearms to drive armour from the battlefield. William Turner, writing hudreds of years later in the late 17th century argues that longbow use should be revived because, "...arrows would do more mischief than formerly they did: since neither men nor horses are so well armed now to resist them, as in former ages they used to be." Essentially, he believed that a force of longbowmen would be effective in battle since they can shoot more quickly than musketeers, but also because soldiers would be vulnerable to the arrows precisely because they no longer made a practice of wearing armour into battle. He acknowledges that armour defeated arrows and drove the longbow from its once-exalted position on the battlefield. A century later, none other than Benjamin Franklin would echo his words.

The longbow won at Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt simply because the English got to pick the battlefield and made the French fight on their terms, which included placing their longbowmen behind substantial field fortifications. What conclusion should we draw from the results of other battles in which English archers were ridden down by the very heavy cavalry whose bane they supposedly were? In the batle of Patay, that's just what happened. Where was the longbow's armour-piercing power then?

I submit the following passage from Dr. Michael Lacy's paper on the Effectiveness of Medieval Knightly Armour. This portion deals with the battle of Flodden (1513) wherein the Scots fielded a force clad in the latest plate infantry armours mass-produced on the Continent:

"...the longbow, so decisive in the wars of the last century, was defeated by the heavy German armour of the Scottish front ranks; a contemporary accounts describe them as "most assuredly harnesed" in armour, and that they "abode the most dangerous shot of arrows, which sore them annoyed but yet except it hit them in some bare place, did them no hurt." Bishop Ruthal, writing 10 days after the battle remarked "they were so well cased in armour that the arrows did them no harm, and were such large and stout men that one would not fall when four or five bills struck them."

Pay special attention to the sections I have picked out in bold. That's right, contemporary English chroniclers reveal that the longbow did not pierce armour. Other accounts from Poitiers and Brouwershaven (1426) tell similar stories, to say nothing of reports of battles from the English dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses in which both sides turned the longbow on each other, in which it is specially pointed out that Lords Clifford and Dacre were not vulnerable to arrows until they had lifted their visors to drink or shout or breathe.

More near the time of Agincourt, here is a passage from the biography of Don Pero Niño, a Spanish privateer, who raided the English coast a couple of years before Agincourt:

"...they (the Spanish) were so near them (the English) that they could easily tell the fair men from the dark...the standard and he who bore it were likewise riddled with arrows, and the standard bearer had as many round his body as a bull in the ring, but he was shielded by his good armour"

For what it's worth, that standard bearer was none other than the author of this account himself, Gutierre Diaz de Gamez. It is noteworthy that his plate armour enabled him to survive a close-range arrow onslaught and live to write this passage years later.

The longbow was not the "king of the battlefield," the magical nuclear armour-piercer that its fanboys want you to believe. It was only effective under certain controlled circumstances, and even then was mostly an anti-cavalry weapon. Don't buy the hype. Don't misunderstand me--the English were awesome during the early part of the Hundred Years War, but it was because of their strategic expertise, and canny use of combined arms tactics, not because they possessed some magical, battle-winning wonder weapon.

I do not say that most of the casualties at Agincourt are the result of Henry's slaughtering of prisoners, but it can't be denied that that action did indeed inflate the numbers of men of rank who perished there.

I think I do make mention of the fact that the English were caught out in the open as being a decisive factor in the French victory. Again, IMO the English longbow seems to prevail over armoured men only if the English get to choose the ground and have time to set up their stakes and such beforehand.

I have lately dug up another account in support of armour stopping arrows. This is from a letter written by one Jehan Baugey, and dated 16 September 1475:

"That Monday after supper the English (mercenary longbowmen) quarreled over a wench and wanted to kill each other. As soon as the duke (of Burgundy) heard of this, he went to them with a few people to appease them but they, not recognizing the duke, as they claimed, shot two or three times directly at him with their bows. (The arrows went) very near his head and it was extraordinarily lucky that he was not killed, for he had no armour on at all."

The Burgundians had been hiring English longbowmen as mercenaries for decades at this point, and would have been intimately familiar with the power of the longbow. Yet they still expected that plate armour would have saved a man if he were struck by one of those arrows. What conclusion should we draw from this?

Here is a passage from Vaughan's Philip the Good that deals with the battle of Brouwershaven:

"...they (The English) returned fire with their deadly long-bows and drove the Dutch back in disorder. However, arrows could make no impression on Philip and his heavily-armed knights, who now arrived on the scene. The chronicler points out that Andrieu de Valines was killed by an arrow in the eye because he was not wearing a helmet."

Here, not only do we again have the expectation that a helmet would have saved one man, but a direct statement that the arrows from those longbows made no impression on the (presumably plate-clad) knights.

So there you are: evidence from several primary sources attesting to the ineffectiveness of longbows against steel plate armour. I can't seem to find any sources stating that arrows killed men through plate armour. Thus, I call on you to graciously revise your opinion on the subject of arrows defeating armour regularly.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Here are some accounts of armour stopping arrows. For the Longbow specifically, see Steelclad Lad's post.

This list was compiled by Bob Charron:

Galbert of Bruges on the seige of Bruges (1127-1128)[attack on the gate of the town, protected by archers and infantry]: "By the special grace of God no one died in this multitude which was entering." and "I could not begin to describe the crowd of those who were hit and wounded." and "...as to those wearing an armor, they were exempted from wounds but not from bruises.."

Odo of Douil concerning the ill-fated second crusade (mid-12th century): "During this engagement the King lost his small but renowned royal guard; keeping a stout heart, however, he nimbly and bravely scaled a rock by making use of some tree roots which God had provided for his safety. The enemy climbed after, in order to capture him, and the more distant rabble shot arrows at him. But by the will of God his armor protected him from the arrows, and to keep from be captured he defended the crag with his bloody sword.."

From Joinville (mid 13th century), referring to the day following his being wounded in five places and his horse in fifteen by Saracen darts: "I got up, threw a quilted tunic over my back, clapped a steel cap on my head, and shouted out to our sergeants: 'by Saint Nicholas, they shall not stay here!'. My knights gathered round me, all wounded as they were, and we drove the Saracen sergeants away from our own machines and back toward a great body of mounted Turks who had stationed themselves quite close to the ones we had taken from them. I sent to the king for help, for neither I nor my knights could put on our hauberks because of the wounds we had received." It seems the padded jackets were enough protection in this emergency, and that they could have fared even better against the enemy had they been able to wear their hauberks.

From an English chronicle of the Battle of Poitiers (1356): "Our bowmen of the vanguard stood safely in the marsh, lest the horsemen should attack them, yet even so those did prevail there somewhat. For the horsemen, as has been said, had the special purpose of overrunning the archers, and of protecting their army from the arrows. Standing near their own men they faced the archers with their chests so solidly protected with plate and mail and leather shields, that the arrows were either fended off directly or broken in pieces by the hard objects or were diverted upwards.." This is the evidence I'm talking about. No one in an armor is dying from arrows going through it. And this is just a small sample of what's available from the chronicles.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:14 pm 
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Yeah-yeah.
Dropin the science.
You guys are like **** KRS-1.
Thank you for re-enforcing some points that some of us already knew, through common sense, with a nice helping of fact.
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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:55 pm 
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Well done lads.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:55 pm 
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Steelclad and Doug up to par as usual. Any chance of this hitting esam?

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:26 am 
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Seriously......
bangor wrote:
Steelclad and Doug up to par as usual. Any chance of this hitting esam?


Cross post is silly barbar.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:09 pm 
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bangor wrote:
Steelclad and Doug up to par as usual. Any chance of this hitting esam?



Got a link? I can't find the thread in question.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:10 am 
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Their was an undefeated Spanish military army of about heavily armored 7,000 pikemen. Their unit fought for 200 years together and never lost an engagement. I once read a book about medieval sieges and it covered this groups champagnes the group actually disbanded still undefeated, shortly after the Welsh bowmen showed up historically. I might have to go back to my collage library to find the book.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:24 am 
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Details?

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:25 pm 
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To take the topic full circle back to the beginning:

Droknar wrote:
Also, I think it would be cool if anyway had any success in transferring the skills that caused them to be effective into Belegarth.


I don't think any spear/pike team can dominate the Belegarth field until they learn to work together and hold territory. Toward that thinking, here's an idea I just had for a 4-man training exercise. It requires 4 people, 3 spears and a door shield (and maybe a sword).

Draw a line in the grass/on the floor etc. 3 spearmen vs shieldman with the line between them. Spearmen cannot cross the line and win when they kill the shieldman. Shieldman wins if he crosses the line.

When the spearmen start winning every time, drop the number of spearmen to two.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:37 pm 
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As for the rest, I know for certain that mongols could shoot rabbits from running horseback.

That said,
a) They probibly missed as often as they hit
b) I'm not that good and won't be as long as I buy my food from the grocery.

Let's concentrate on what we can do.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Thomas MacFinn wrote:
I don't think any spear/pike team can dominate the Belegarth field until they learn to work together and hold territory. Toward that thinking, here's an idea I just had for a 4-man training exercise. It requires 4 people, 3 spears and a door shield (and maybe a sword).

Draw a line in the grass/on the floor etc. 3 spearmen vs shieldman with the line between them. Spearmen cannot cross the line and win when they kill the shieldman. Shieldman wins if he crosses the line.

When the spearmen start winning every time, drop the number of spearmen to two.


Hmm... I like it. I will have to try that here some time!

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:27 pm 
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The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite greek infantry unit in the 4th century b.c. They played an instrumental role in the Battle of Leuctra, which is one of the most significant battles in the history of warfare. This battle saw the Theban army defeat a much larger Spartan army with the first recorded use of the "Refused Flank" tactic, a tactic which has won many battles in the centuries since. This battle also permanently ended Sparta's primacy in Greece.

When Macedon defeated Thebes some years later at Chaeronea, the traditional hoplite phalanx was no match for the longspear phalanx of the Macedonians. When he reached the spot where they had fought to the death, Philip II gave honor to the fallen Band.


Conversely, the Spartans are almost as overrated a force as the samurai who wielded tank-killing katanas.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:58 pm 
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I'm pretty sure that the Thebians used phalanxes that advanced at an oblique instead of a straight line and some 12 foot spears rather than the normal 8 to win that battle. They may have also used a refused flank, but I doubt it was the first time.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Kharn wrote:
The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite greek infantry unit in the 4th century b.c. They played an instrumental role in the Battle of Leuctra, which is one of the most significant battles in the history of warfare. This battle saw the Theban army defeat a much larger Spartan army with the first recorded use of the "Refused Flank" tactic, a tactic which has won many battles in the centuries since. This battle also permanently ended Sparta's primacy in Greece.

When Macedon defeated Thebes some years later at Chaeronea, the traditional hoplite phalanx was no match for the longspear phalanx of the Macedonians. When he reached the spot where they had fought to the death, Philip II gave honor to the fallen Band.


Conversely, the Spartans are almost as overrated a force as the samurai who wielded tank-killing katanas.


i have studied this band actually and one thing discussed was the theory that the 150 paired men fought so well becuz of their "special" relationships but either way they fell to Philip's superiorly trained and longer reaching sarissas. considering the expanseive territory Alexander took over i have to lead with his sarissa weilding infantry as well as cavalry. on the note of bows i recently saw a documentary on bows showing how though the long bow might pierce the plate it would not be lethal whereas the mongolian bow had devastating effect to pierce plate as they could ride by at close range just my two cents look forward to reading any feedback or further info :goblin:

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Thomas MacFinn wrote:
To take the topic full circle back to the beginning:

Droknar wrote:
Also, I think it would be cool if anyway had any success in transferring the skills that caused them to be effective into Belegarth.


I don't think any spear/pike team can dominate the Belegarth field until they learn to work together and hold territory. Toward that thinking, here's an idea I just had for a 4-man training exercise. It requires 4 people, 3 spears and a door shield (and maybe a sword).

Draw a line in the grass/on the floor etc. 3 spearmen vs shieldman with the line between them. Spearmen cannot cross the line and win when they kill the shieldman. Shieldman wins if he crosses the line.

When the spearmen start winning every time, drop the number of spearmen to two.


Have any spearmen had any success with this yet? So far, our shieldman keeps winning once he gets over being intimidated by facing 3 red weapons alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:45 pm 
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If the foam smithing forum has taught me anything, it's apparently farmers and ninjas.


Lol. Priceless.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Thomas MacFinn wrote:
Thomas MacFinn wrote:
To take the topic full circle back to the beginning:

Droknar wrote:
Also, I think it would be cool if anyway had any success in transferring the skills that caused them to be effective into Belegarth.


I don't think any spear/pike team can dominate the Belegarth field until they learn to work together and hold territory. Toward that thinking, here's an idea I just had for a 4-man training exercise. It requires 4 people, 3 spears and a door shield (and maybe a sword).

Draw a line in the grass/on the floor etc. 3 spearmen vs shieldman with the line between them. Spearmen cannot cross the line and win when they kill the shieldman. Shieldman wins if he crosses the line.

When the spearmen start winning every time, drop the number of spearmen to two.


Have any spearmen had any success with this yet? So far, our shieldman keeps winning once he gets over being intimidated by facing 3 red weapons alone.


Rally? That surprises me! Is it because the pears can't physically get at him until he crosses the line? (If there were no line rule I would expect the spears would eat the shield for lunch every time) Also how spread out are the spear men?

I will try this at our next practice if I can, we don't have a tower, but we do have a fairly decent sized shield, 1 10' spear and 2 5' spears...


PS. Thomas, you avatar is full of win. Love it. Image

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Splat wrote:
...whereas the mongolian bow had devastating effect to pierce plate as they could ride by at close range just my two cents look forward to reading any feedback or further info :goblin:

When did the Mongolian bow ever face--much less pierce--European steel plate armour?

The Mongolian encounter with Western Europe occurred more than a century before the plate-clad knight of popular culture showed up in history. The knights the Mongols fought wore mail, not plate.

I suspect that later period European steel plate armour would indeed resist the vaunted Mongolian horsebow just as it resisted arrows from the hyped longbow.

A fifteenth century French or Burgundian writer, Bertrandon le Brocquiere, in writing a military treatise on how to fight armies that employed horse archers on a large scale suggests that "a brigandine or a light white harness" would be sufficient protection from their arrows.

The Great Warbow by Strickland and Hardy relates that the Mongol bows shot a much lighter arrow than the English longbow, and thus wouldn't have nearly as much penetrative power.

I don't think they'd have an easy time with plate-clad knights.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:20 pm 
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It is true a plate armored knight might be able to withstand arrows from a Mongolian bow. What about the knight's horse? And if the knight's horse is armored it would have a difficult time catching a less encumbered Mongolian pony.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:29 pm 
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You make a slightly irrelevant point. It really doesnt matter whether the mongolian arrows could pierce the knights armor or not. the mongolians were so organized that they could just run the knights into the ground from exhaustion and destroy them with their own knights. Also, 15th century burgundian writers never had any contact with 12th century Mongols, so that reference is somewhat useless in your arguement.

The Mongols were hands down some of the best warriors around.
wow that was off topic, we were talking about infantry werent we...

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:35 pm 
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In my opinion <insert random historical military force> was a million times better than any other group of dudes around because <random info source, probably wikipedia> said so.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Thank you Karn for summarizing this thread better than I ever could.


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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Cib wrote:
Thomas MacFinn wrote:
Thomas MacFinn wrote:
I don't think any spear/pike team can dominate the Belegarth field until they learn to work together and hold territory. Toward that thinking, here's an idea I just had for a 4-man training exercise. It requires 4 people, 3 spears and a door shield (and maybe a sword).

Draw a line in the grass/on the floor etc. 3 spearmen vs shieldman with the line between them. Spearmen cannot cross the line and win when they kill the shieldman. Shieldman wins if he crosses the line.

When the spearmen start winning every time, drop the number of spearmen to two.


Have any spearmen had any success with this yet? So far, our shieldman keeps winning once he gets over being intimidated by facing 3 red weapons alone.


Rally? That surprises me! Is it because the pears can't physically get at him until he crosses the line? (If there were no line rule I would expect the spears would eat the shield for lunch every time) Also how spread out are the spear men?

I will try this at our next practice if I can, we don't have a tower, but we do have a fairly decent sized shield, 1 10' spear and 2 5' spears...


Reading back over this I just realized I never reported back!

When we placed the spear men on the line it was very difficult for them to do anything of worth. If we spread them out in an extremely loose formation on the line they could almost do it.

We found the most success oddly enough when we lined up the spears 2-3 paces back from the line in a loose formation.

The 2-3 paces back allowed the spear man to step forward and get around the shield, the extreme lose formation allowed for a sharp angle cross shot. We could kill the guy right on the line most times.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Started Fighting: 04 Apr 2004
Realm: Dur Demarion
Favorite Fighting Styles: stick jockering douche baggery
they never actually fought in battle and were users of gunpowder but you people are stinking up the internet with things like "serious discussion" and "fact" so heres my favorite infantry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Giants


King Frederick William I of Prussiaother little known facts:

he was around four feet tall.

he punished desertion from the unit with facial disfigurement

when he was well to give himself a more "terrifying visage" he would rub his entire face with bacon grease.

:edit: **** i think i just necrothreaded. ****.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:15 pm 
Grizzled Veteran
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 11:26 pm
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Location: Elgin, IL (Dunharrow)
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Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Favorite Fighting Styles: Bat and Board, Archery, Spear
I disagree based simply on the fact that they were an entire unit of people together that were tall, but they were disbanded after their country was rolled by a short guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Most effective pre-gunpoweder infantry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 686
Started Fighting: 04 Apr 2004
Realm: Dur Demarion
Favorite Fighting Styles: stick jockering douche baggery
i actually don't know what your disagreeing with jimmy?

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Squire to Sir Chance the Tall
Smile! It's Graavish!
the monster with the red right hand.
A Life well spent in pursuit of pointless hedonism.
You are to wit what Hellen Keller was to competitive paintball
Murder means never saying your sorry.
Happy to live in a world were piracy is once again a viable career choice.
"Look men, something in the distance we haven't burned yet!"- Sherman


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