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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    Agree, they lost because Hitler bit off more than he could chew with Barbarossa and then resolved every strategic crisis that followed by doubling down. Two fronts giving us trouble? No worries, lets declare war on the US!
    Barbarossa was a mess itself, as a campaign. Interestingly enough, the Wehrmacht put more thought into logistical planning than they get credit for. It's just that the planning process went something like this:

    1. We won't be able to send winter supplies to our troops while also sending combat supplies.
    2. We will only need combat supplies in large quantities during the actual campaign.
    3. Solution: Defeat Soviet Union before winter supplies are needed.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Are there any well attested instances of classical-medieval heavy weaponry being incorporated into fortresses? I'm thinking of scorpions/catapults set up on towers, that sort of thing. The architecture doesn't seem designed around them the way later fortifications were built not just to resist cannons but to incorporate them.

    If not, why not? A scorpion's range and accuracy seems like it'd be especially helpful for harrassing enemy siege weapon crews.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Chateau Gaillard had a mangonel on the most exposed tower. It was positioned to counter enemy siege weapons.
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-08 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendicant View Post
    Are there any well attested instances of classical-medieval heavy weaponry being incorporated into fortresses? I'm thinking of scorpions/catapults set up on towers, that sort of thing. The architecture doesn't seem designed around them the way later fortifications were built not just to resist cannons but to incorporate them.

    If not, why not? A scorpion's range and accuracy seems like it'd be especially helpful for harrassing enemy siege weapon crews.
    There were the ballistae on the towers around Londinium (built after 350 AD). https://books.google.it/books?id=MCQ...dinium&f=false

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    In the games I play, I typically see scale armor presented as out-and-out inferior to mail. Is this so? Does mail provide better protection than scale, either outright or on a per weight basis? Are there any sorts of things against which scale is a superior defense?
    Yes, scale armor is generally inferior to mail - not in term of protective quality (it can resist sword, axe, spear and arrow just fine), but in term of durability. A powerful axe chop against scale armor will likely knock some scales off even if it fails to penetrate and harm the wearer, so repeated blows will eventually damage the armor enough to render it useless. Mail isn't immune to this either, but it generally last way longer.

    (Some European scale armors are riveted to the cloth backing. I don't know how durable those are but likely much better than the laced version)

    And scale also has the vulnerability to upward thrust...

    Scale's advantages over mail are that it's less picky about what material you use, requires less expertise to manufacture, and probably cheaper (although in this case lamellar or brigandine are much better choices compared to scale).

    It's also better against blunt trauma than mail, presumably.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    It isn't really that much better against blunt trauma. In order to keep the weight reasonable the thickness of the scales needs to be pretty thin, so in the end you get something that isn't terribly good at absorbing those sorts of shocks.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    In the games I play, I typically see scale armor presented as out-and-out inferior to mail. Is this so? Does mail provide better protection than scale, either outright or on a per weight basis? Are there any sorts of things against which scale is a superior defense?
    I agree with wolflance: mail is (slightly) better. Especially in prolonged melee battles. In Europe mail was (genreally) prefered, in spite of scale was known. Scale takes less time to produce, so it will be cheaper. Scale is extensively used among horse-cultures, and offer the same protection as mail against arrows, so if arrows are you main concern it is a good choice.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobtor View Post
    I agree with wolflance: mail is (slightly) better. Especially in prolonged melee battles. In Europe mail was (genreally) prefered, in spite of scale was known. Scale takes less time to produce, so it will be cheaper. Scale is extensively used among horse-cultures, and offer the same protection as mail against arrows, so if arrows are you main concern it is a good choice.
    Actually depending on where you look. Even horse cultures rarely used scale armor.

    Lamellar armor is all around superior to scale, having all of its advantages and much less downsides. It is also superior against blunt and projectile weaponry against both scale and mail.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Scales is superior when you want to draw a gritty fight with swords as wide as your hand, scales exploding out as the coat is torn open by the unavoidable swing!

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Can anyone give me any info or sources about firearms in medieval India? I am mainly looking at pre-Mughal India.

    From what I understand, the earliest gunpowder weapons were introduced around the time of the Mongol invasions of north India in the 13th century, like most of Eurasia, but then there doesn't seem to be much for the next few centuries until the Mughals. Mainly just bombs and other incendiaries, with firearms being uncommon. This is based mainly on Wikipedia to be honest, but I don't know where else to look for info on this in English. Also Wikipedia had much more info for other world regions. I have had someone tell me firearms were considered unpopular and poor military weapons in India.

    This seems pretty odd to me, when firearms were generally taken up with great enthusiasm by just about every other region of the world, despite their drawbacks. The culturally close South East Asia used them, as did Central Asia, China and the Middle East. If all these peripheral regions made extensive use of firearms, why would highly developed India not?
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-10 at 10:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    Can anyone give me any info or sources about firearms in medieval India? I am mainly looking at pre-Mughal India.

    From what I understand, the earliest gunpowder weapons were introduced around the time of the Mongol invasions of north India in the 13th century, like most of Eurasia, but then there doesn't seem to be much for the next few centuries until the Mughals. Mainly just bombs and other incendiaries, with firearms being uncommon. This is based mainly on Wikipedia to be honest, but I don't know where else to look for info on this in English. Also Wikipedia had much more info for other world regions. I have had someone tell me firearms were considered unpopular and poor military weapons in India.

    This seems pretty odd to me, when firearms were generally taken up with great enthusiasm by just about every other region of the world, despite their drawbacks. The culturally close South East Asia used them, as did Central Asia, China and the Middle East. If all these peripheral regions made extensive use of firearms, why would highly developed India not?
    It's an interesting question and I don't have a direct answer (looking forward to learning from someone who does). As a wild guess though if it's true that there was less ready adoption of firearms in India it might be due to moisture. Humidity, monsoon rains, jungle conditions. Early gunpowder (etc.) was notoriously vulnerable to moisture, especially before the 14th Century when they began to learn to process potassium nitrate better (to exclude the calcium nitrate).

    I would be really surprised if they didn't use some gunpowder weapons though at least in forts.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobtor View Post
    I agree with wolflance: mail is (slightly) better. Especially in prolonged melee battles. In Europe mail was (genreally) prefered, in spite of scale was known. Scale takes less time to produce, so it will be cheaper. Scale is extensively used among horse-cultures, and offer the same protection as mail against arrows, so if arrows are you main concern it is a good choice.
    I suspect scale, and lamellar might both be a bit better against missiles, while mail is better against sustained close range attacks (cuts and thrusts) and more durable as people have mentioned.

    Both scale and lamellar seem to have been more widely used in the Middle East and in Asia whereas mail, especially the stronger types of riveted mail, seems to have originated in Europe and was mostly widely used there (although also in the Middle East)

    G
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    It's an interesting question and I don't have a direct answer (looking forward to learning from someone who does). As a wild guess though if it's true that there was less ready adoption of firearms in India it might be due to moisture. Humidity, monsoon rains, jungle conditions. Early gunpowder (etc.) was notoriously vulnerable to moisture, especially before the 14th Century when they began to learn to process potassium nitrate better (to exclude the calcium nitrate).

    I would be really surprised if they didn't use some gunpowder weapons though at least in forts.

    G
    Humidity could well be a factor, which perhaps makes it all the more confusing that the armies of South East Asia used them in the rainforests there. Forts and sieges would be the logical place to find gunpowder weapons I agree.

    I think you are right, that there were at least some gunpowder weapons. I likewise would be interested to hear any other ideas for why they may be uncommon.

    Warfare in the Indian-influenced regions of South East Asia and India itself is something I know little about, but would like to learn more.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    I'd also suspect entrenched vested interests in fighting in particular ways and good, old-fashioned cultural inertia as well. You had guilds, warrior societies and tribal groupings who were all invested in fighting with bow, spear and sword (along with a plethora of unarmed styles), which create exclusivity given the time taken to train with them.

    By contrast any peasant can learn to stand in a firing line in a matter of weeks. When you have large, complex societies, as you had in India, cultural factors can overwhelm everything else.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    I'd also suspect entrenched vested interests in fighting in particular ways and good, old-fashioned cultural inertia as well. You had guilds, warrior societies and tribal groupings who were all invested in fighting with bow, spear and sword (along with a plethora of unarmed styles), which create exclusivity given the time taken to train with them.
    This seems reasonable.
    By contrast any peasant can learn to stand in a firing line in a matter of weeks. When you have large, complex societies, as you had in India, cultural factors can overwhelm everything else.
    Whilst this is true for later periods, I'm mainly interested in pre-Mughal medieval India. I thought at this point gunpowder weapons are mainly expert equipment, not weapons given to levies? As I understand it, the shift happened in the 16th century with improving powder and matchlocks, and formalised drills to reduce the risk of operator error.
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-11 at 10:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    Can anyone give me any info or sources about firearms in medieval India? I am mainly looking at pre-Mughal India.

    From what I understand, the earliest gunpowder weapons were introduced around the time of the Mongol invasions of north India in the 13th century, like most of Eurasia, but then there doesn't seem to be much for the next few centuries until the Mughals. Mainly just bombs and other incendiaries, with firearms being uncommon. This is based mainly on Wikipedia to be honest, but I don't know where else to look for info on this in English. Also Wikipedia had much more info for other world regions. I have had someone tell me firearms were considered unpopular and poor military weapons in India.

    This seems pretty odd to me, when firearms were generally taken up with great enthusiasm by just about every other region of the world, despite their drawbacks. The culturally close South East Asia used them, as did Central Asia, China and the Middle East. If all these peripheral regions made extensive use of firearms, why would highly developed India not?
    "Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India" by Iqtidar Alam Khan is an excellent book on the subject if you can find it in a library, however it is out of print now. If you have JSTOR access there are a number of articles by the same author if you do a search for his name.

    It seems that india was starting to use early rockets, bombs, and projectile throwers based on gunpowder, especially during sieges, in the mid to late 14th century. But I don't think they were used nearly as extensively as they were in the ming empire, who found small cannons and handguns extremely effective against nomadic cavalry armies on the northern frontier.

    During the 15th century though the most extensive development, including the invention of matchlocks and more modern artillery, seems to have been occurring in eastern europe with european and ottoman gunpowder technology advancing side by side. During the second half of the 15th century there is evidence that early matchlocks and cannons had made their way to India from the Ottoman empire, but they weren't as effective as the ones that the Mughals or Portuguese eventually brought with them.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    One thing to remember is that states had to have a certain scale and centralization before they started fielding significant gunpowder weaponry. Historians classify certain states, especially the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals as the "gunpowder empires"--states that developed strong central imperial governments in conjunction with the advent and spread of firearms.

    Basically, it's a self-reinforcing cycle where political centralization leads to better control of, and access to, the supply and industrial chains necessary to maintain gunpowder armies, and then those armies concentrate power even more heavily in the hands of the central government. I'm far from an expert in pre-mughal India, but if it had significant political fracturing and small/weak monarchies, they wouldn't have had the concentration of resources that say, the Ming or Ottomans did.
    Last edited by Mendicant; 2018-02-12 at 01:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendicant View Post
    I'm far from an expert in pre-mughal India, but if it had significant political fracturing and small/weak monarchies, they wouldn't have had the concentration of resources that say, the Ming or Ottomans did.
    Which actually exactly describes the situation in India until British rule really starts cracking down on it in the later 1800s.

    Off the cuff I can only recall the Guptas (300-600 CE abouts) and then Moghuls as empires that ruled over large part of the Indian subcontinent. I see now from wiki that the Delhi sultanate (1200s-1500s) and Mughals had a fair bit of territory. Interestingly THe Mughals repalced the Delhi sultante in part due to their firearms technology. There's the Maratha confederacy too later on competing with late Mughals. Generalizing the northern Ganges plains were easily controlled and invaded from outside the subcontinent and were where the Guptas and Mughals rules. Then you have the Deccan where the Maratha were focused which is sort of it's own thing. They'd usually be rival power centres. Between and around the Ganges plain and the Deccan you'd have loads of smaller kingdoms of various permanency all depending on the strength of the main powers.

    Many of the larger states would have been working through ancient lines of power though and might not have more than nominal control of some areas. Some of the areas with petty kingdoms would have been geographically challenging to control and could easily resist larger foes for long periods. And of course tended to rebel eroding existing powers.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    What sort of technological prerequisites are there to inventing gunpowder? Is there any reason other than chance that it was 9th-century China that discovered it, and not, say, BCE Rome, Egypt, or Babylon? The ingredients don't seem to be an issue, as both saltpeter and sulfur are naturally occurring. Is there some aspect of mixing and combining them that represents a hurdle only more advanced technology can overcome?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    What sort of technological prerequisites are there to inventing gunpowder? Is there any reason other than chance that it was 9th-century China that discovered it, and not, say, BCE Rome, Egypt, or Babylon? The ingredients don't seem to be an issue, as both saltpeter and sulfur are naturally occurring. Is there some aspect of mixing and combining them that represents a hurdle only more advanced technology can overcome?
    I asked a somewhat similar question I think towards the end of the prior incarnation of the thread.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...1#post22725461

    See forward from there for the answers to my version of that question.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Does anyone here know why leaf-shaped swords stopped appearing? They seem very common in bronze age and early iron age weapons, but then they more of less vanish.

    Did their advantages work better with bronze and less so with steel? Do they stop being useful once you get a longer blade?

    I'm sure there's a reason, I just don't see what it was. The idea of more mass at the center of percussion and a nice acute point seems pretty solid. What was the advantage of the straighter migration-era pattern?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendicant View Post
    One thing to remember is that states had to have a certain scale and centralization before they started fielding significant gunpowder weaponry. Historians classify certain states, especially the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals as the "gunpowder empires"--states that developed strong central imperial governments in conjunction with the advent and spread of firearms.

    Basically, it's a self-reinforcing cycle where political centralization leads to better control of, and access to, the supply and industrial chains necessary to maintain gunpowder armies, and then those armies concentrate power even more heavily in the hands of the central government. I'm far from an expert in pre-mughal India, but if it had significant political fracturing and small/weak monarchies, they wouldn't have had the concentration of resources that say, the Ming or Ottomans did.
    That is interesting - and while it may be true for the Ottomans, it's almost the opposite in Europe where the city-States and Free Cities (very small polities of anywhere from 10,000 to maybe 100,000 people) were way ahead of the larger Kingdoms on the use of gunpowder weapons. France eventually got up to speed probably much in the same way as the Ottomans did - due to contending for a long time with Flemish city-states (as part of the Burgundian Duchy).

    But cities like Ghent created weapons in the very early 15th Century (like this beast) that France couldn't produce until 100 years later.

    The City-State of Venice probably had the largest, most efficient, most technologically advanced and most productive arms industry in all of Latinized Europe, the famous "Arsenal", known chiefly for it's ability to produce a warship in a single day, but they also routinely produced large quantities of high quality firearms - by the hundreds when most polities of their day were producing guns in the scores or dozens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Arsenal#History

    Nuremberg was another leading producer, making large quantities of the most advanced firearms in the 15th and 16th Centuries and leading the way with technology like wheel locks, rifling, and breach loading firearms.



    I guess when it comes to arms production there are two ways to go about it - the large Centralized State or the small but free and self-administered city.


    Regarding India, I do see some formidable cannon there by the 16th Century, such as this beast the Dal Madal Kaman.

    I suspect maybe the reason that the South Asians didn't adapt gunpowder, aside from humidity and monsoon rains, might be the destabilizing devastation wrought by the Mongols and subsequent violent establishment of the Mughal State. The Chinese similarly had the Yuang dynasty but they seem to have assimilated to Chinese culture a bit quicker and so far as I know, were not of a different religion.

    The Mughals seem to have retained a lot of their Mongol ways in terms of how they fought, and the Mongols never did adapt firearms beyond a kind of niche use. They preferred the horse-archer, which worked on the Steppe for probably at least 2,000 years so why not.

    G
    Last edited by Galloglaich; 2018-02-12 at 04:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    What would be the lowest plausible rank in the US army to be left in charge of retaking/quarantining a city from the zombie apocalypse? Assuming military structures are intact and it's a fairly low priority.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Does anyone here know why leaf-shaped swords stopped appearing? They seem very common in bronze age and early iron age weapons, but then they more of less vanish.

    Did their advantages work better with bronze and less so with steel? Do they stop being useful once you get a longer blade?

    I'm sure there's a reason, I just don't see what it was. The idea of more mass at the center of percussion and a nice acute point seems pretty solid. What was the advantage of the straighter migration-era pattern?
    At least in the long term (and I'm moving to late medieval here), I know the goal for improved sword handling capability was to move the center of mass as close to the hilt as possible, so from that point of view at least, a leaf-shaped blade is counter-intuitive. While a sword with more mass towards the point might deliver a heavier chop, there are better weapons for chopping than a sword. And more mass towards the point would be of little to no benefit in delivering a thrust.

    [hit send too soon] Also, for bronze and early steel blades, the weak spot for bending/snapping is the narrowest point. Which I suspect led to a cost/benefit move towards uniform width blades, as they were only as strong as that weak spot, but the leaf-shaped blade used more metal that one consistently of that narrowest width,

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    Last edited by DrewID; 2018-02-12 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    What would be the lowest plausible rank in the US army to be left in charge of retaking/quarantining a city from the zombie apocalypse? Assuming military structures are intact and it's a fairly low priority.
    depends on the size of the force, but i'd go for brigadier general, or maybe full colonel. any lower than that and you have a force too small to do much more than secure a few blocks.

    realistically, youd need thousands of troops to properly sweep a city, and it'd be a slow, slow process as youd have to clear every room of every building. s lot of your manpower would be just trying to maintain a cordon that can keep the dead out of the "Cleared" sectors of a city.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    What would be the lowest plausible rank in the US army to be left in charge of retaking/quarantining a city from the zombie apocalypse? Assuming military structures are intact and it's a fairly low priority.
    That's going to depend on how many troops are required to do the job, which in turn is going to depend a lot on the nature of the zombies. Slow, unintelligent zombies that can be killed by headshots are not particularly threatening to disciplined troops with good rifle training, unless in vast numbers.

    In terms of retaking a city, can you do it slowly by house-clearing or do you have to basically take on a swarming horde of zombies in one go?

    If the former, and it's low priority, you can assign a platoon commanded by a junior officer and they can take months to get it done.

    If it's a swarm that you have to destroy in a single battle, well you need more guys. Say you want a 1:10 ratio or better, a small city with 20K original inhabitants that now consists of 10K zombies, you need 1K soldiers so that's a couple of battalions. My guess is that a colonel would be put in charge of the job.

    Numbers could be wildly off though. If it's possible to channel zombies into a prepared killing ground, with the use of noise emitters to lure them in and chain link fences to contain them and a large shallow pit that they end up walking into, you could do the job with far fewer men.

    As well as specialised tactics, you will end up with specialised gear. Slow dumb zombies are going to be useless against men with body-armour and skull-breaking weapons. If you're wiping out zombies in relatively small groups as opposed to giant swarms, you might have squads of guys kitted out in what looks like a Mad-Max/HEMA combination, who simply close and kill the enemy hand to hand.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Thank you, folks. Brigadier General sounds about right, the idea is that the commander can quarantine the city easily enough because zombies are an extremely poor threat against any kind of half baked fortification
    unless something goes terribly wrong, but doesn't have enough crew to clear it so starts hiring contractors.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Which actually exactly describes the situation in India until British rule really starts cracking down on it in the later 1800s.

    Off the cuff I can only recall the Guptas (300-600 CE abouts) and then Moghuls as empires that ruled over large part of the Indian subcontinent. I see now from wiki that the Delhi sultanate (1200s-1500s) and Mughals had a fair bit of territory. Interestingly THe Mughals repalced the Delhi sultante in part due to their firearms technology. There's the Maratha confederacy too later on competing with late Mughals. Generalizing the northern Ganges plains were easily controlled and invaded from outside the subcontinent and were where the Guptas and Mughals rules. Then you have the Deccan where the Maratha were focused which is sort of it's own thing. They'd usually be rival power centres. Between and around the Ganges plain and the Deccan you'd have loads of smaller kingdoms of various permanency all depending on the strength of the main powers.

    Many of the larger states would have been working through ancient lines of power though and might not have more than nominal control of some areas. Some of the areas with petty kingdoms would have been geographically challenging to control and could easily resist larger foes for long periods. And of course tended to rebel eroding existing powers.
    That is interesting - and while it may be true for the Ottomans, it's almost the opposite in Europe where the city-States and Free Cities (very small polities of anywhere from 10,000 to maybe 100,000 people) were way ahead of the larger Kingdoms on the use of gunpowder weapons. France eventually got up to speed probably much in the same way as the Ottomans did - due to contending for a long time with Flemish city-states (as part of the Burgundian Duchy).

    But cities like Ghent created weapons in the very early 15th Century (like this beast) that France couldn't produce until 100 years later.

    The City-State of Venice probably had the largest, most efficient, most technologically advanced and most productive arms industry in all of Latinized Europe, the famous "Arsenal", known chiefly for it's ability to produce a warship in a single day, but they also routinely produced large quantities of high quality firearms - by the hundreds when most polities of their day were producing guns in the scores or dozens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Arsenal#History

    Nuremberg was another leading producer, making large quantities of the most advanced firearms in the 15th and 16th Centuries and leading the way with technology like wheel locks, rifling, and breach loading firearms.



    I guess when it comes to arms production there are two ways to go about it - the large Centralized State or the small but free and self-administered city.


    Regarding India, I do see some formidable cannon there by the 16th Century, such as this beast the Dal Madal Kaman.

    I suspect maybe the reason that the South Asians didn't adapt gunpowder, aside from humidity and monsoon rains, might be the destabilizing devastation wrought by the Mongols and subsequent violent establishment of the Mughal State. The Chinese similarly had the Yuang dynasty but they seem to have assimilated to Chinese culture a bit quicker and so far as I know, were not of a different religion.

    The Mughals seem to have retained a lot of their Mongol ways in terms of how they fought, and the Mongols never did adapt firearms beyond a kind of niche use. They preferred the horse-archer, which worked on the Steppe for probably at least 2,000 years so why not.

    G
    My thoughts were that Europe was really pretty similar to India in terms of a mix of large and small polities, with overlapping and changing allegiances, yet most states started to use gunpowder more and more in Europe. I suppose a combination of all of these factors is at play- whilst none of them alone seems to be a reason to avoid gunpowder, if you add fractured states, a humid environment, entrenched cultural ideals and foreign anti-gun influence, I can see that all working together to make firearms rare.

    Whilst it is correct to say Venice was a city state, I think it is a bit unfair to use them as an example of a small state vs a big centralised one- they also operated a reasonably large empire to finance their production, and basically inherited a lot of the Byzantine empire. Whilst it is mighty impressive that such a small state was able to build such a powerful empire, at the point they were producing loads of gear, they had said empire.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Mongols didn't use firearms heavily because early firearms were not easy to use from horseback until the wheellock comes along, so gunners would not be easy to factor into their highly mobile style of warfare. At best, they would likely be used as mounted infantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    As well as specialised tactics, you will end up with specialised gear. Slow dumb zombies are going to be useless against men with body-armour and skull-breaking weapons. If you're wiping out zombies in relatively small groups as opposed to giant swarms, you might have squads of guys kitted out in what looks like a Mad-Max/HEMA combination, who simply close and kill the enemy hand to hand.
    I've always thought that in a zombie apocalypse, my first action is to the raid the nearest medieval museum for some armour (I am lucky enough to live in Europe, where such museums are not uncommon). Full plate or full mail with a face coif would leave you almost invulnerable from being infected, short of zombies smart enough to forceably remove segments of armour. Otherwise, it is massively repeated blunt trauma or suffocation to worry about, and bodily needs requiring some degree of exposure, like toileting, washing or eating.
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-12 at 07:30 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    My thoughts were that Europe was really pretty similar to India in terms of a mix of large and small polities, with overlapping and changing allegiances, yet most states started to use gunpowder more and more in Europe. I suppose a combination of all of these factors is at play- whilst none of them alone seems to be a reason to avoid gunpowder, if you add fractured states, a humid environment, entrenched cultural ideals and foreign anti-gun influence, I can see that all working together to make firearms rare.
    I'm always one for looking at a combination of factors for broad trends. I would also point out that the Indian subcontinent didn't have platearmoured knights to crack open with firearms either. I'm not sure about "foreign anti-gun influence" though, what do you mean by that? What we don't quite see, from what I know, in some of the broder culture on the continent is the kind of social dynamicism we see in Europe where friction between various ideas, social fabrics and cultures spur a lot of innovation.
    At least we can't blame wheat, germs and steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if the Mongols didn't use firearms heavily because early firearms were not easy to use from horseback until the wheellock comes along, so gunners would not be easy to factor into their highly mobile style of warfare. At best, they would likely be used as mounted infantry.
    Firearms barely existed during the Mongol heyday so it's not exactly like they had opportunity to really deploy the technology. Though their successors did use them. The "problem" of all steppepeoples has always been one of production. The gunpowder using Mongol successors e.g. were much more settled peoples.


    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    I've always thought that in a zombie apocalypse, my first action is to the raid the nearest medieval museum for some armour (I am lucky enough to live in Europe, where such museums are not uncommon). Full plate or full mail with a face coif would leave you almost invulnerable from being infected, short of zombies smart enough to forceably remove segments of armour. Otherwise, it is massively repeated blunt trauma or suffocation to worry about, and bodily needs requiring some degree of exposure, like toileting, washing or eating.
    I think you'll find the odds of making use of the armour isn't as good as one might hope though. The best armour was rather formfitting and what museums got on display tend to be the best examples of fitted armour. As an example there's no way Henry VIII's armour would be of any use to me. You might also be lacking the padding to go with it. And will the straps hold up? You'd be unused to moving about in the armour and it won't be as flexible to you as it was it's original owner.
    Theoretically you are right, in that if you are lucky you could find a suit of armour that fits. But then I have to ask, do you know how to put it on?
    As always, depending on what type of zombies. But I think being able to move normally and staying away is the best recourse usually.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I'm always one for looking at a combination of factors for broad trends. I would also point out that the Indian subcontinent didn't have platearmoured knights to crack open with firearms either. I'm not sure about "foreign anti-gun influence" though, what do you mean by that? What we don't quite see, from what I know, in some of the broder culture on the continent is the kind of social dynamicism we see in Europe where friction between various ideas, social fabrics and cultures spur a lot of innovation.
    At least we can't blame wheat, germs and steel.
    I was referring to Galloglaich's thoughts above regarding Mongol influence.

    Lack of plate is true, but did India use the combined mail and plate style of armour we see in the Middle East? I am referring to the suits that look like a combo of mail and a coat of plates, with the plates connected together via mail. I wouldn't be surprised if the north of India did, but the south didn't. Armour seems to be unpopular in tropical regions, due to the climate and issues in overheating I assume.

    Firearms barely existed during the Mongol heyday so it's not exactly like they had opportunity to really deploy the technology. Though their successors did use them. The "problem" of all steppepeoples has always been one of production. The gunpowder using Mongol successors e.g. were much more settled peoples.
    Good point.

    I think you'll find the odds of making use of the armour isn't as good as one might hope though. The best armour was rather formfitting and what museums got on display tend to be the best examples of fitted armour. As an example there's no way Henry VIII's armour would be of any use to me. You might also be lacking the padding to go with it. And will the straps hold up? You'd be unused to moving about in the armour and it won't be as flexible to you as it was it's original owner.
    Theoretically you are right, in that if you are lucky you could find a suit of armour that fits. But then I have to ask, do you know how to put it on?
    As always, depending on what type of zombies. But I think being able to move normally and staying away is the best recourse usually.
    I was actually thinking of looking for mail for pretty much all the reasons you point out! Much more forgiving in sizes, easier to put on and off, less reliance on old straps and should still be plenty resistant to bites. The padding for mail could also simply be thick clothing. The main weakness would be my face and head- mail face coifs were not common here. I would have to try to find a visored helmet to cover that gap.
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-13 at 05:15 AM.

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