Scimitars?

From: Svechin@cs.com
Date: Thu 06 Apr 2000 - 21:22:19 EEST


Andreas comments on Gians post:
>Sorry to meddle in this thread. I'm not quite sure, why the Lunar army
>should be superior.
>They are not like the roman army at all, because of their use of
>scimitars.

The vast majority of troops in the Empire don't use scimitars. They are used
as sidearms for _some_ officers (mostly Tarnils) and for many of the cavalry
units, but the majority of the infantry use weapons standard to their troop
class. The Hoplites use spear and shield, peltasts use javelin and light
shield etc. Only a couple of elite regiments use sword and shield only and
even then, the scimitar is not a favoured weapon for some units. It is a
slashing weapon and is therefore better for cavalry work (although even here
most cav uses lances or bows. Direct sword work is rare).

>The use of scimitars would result in a less dense packed
>formation (otherwise one would hit his neighbour or break up the
>formation to have more space) and so one of the major advantages of
>spearformations, density, would be lost.

Pretty much exaclty the reason why the scimitar is not used widely among
combat troops. For duelling, for individual guards or Temple or hourse
troops, yes, it is prevalent, but even there, there are many exceptions.

>The analogy with the seleucids is the best I know, since they also had a
>Khukri-like (and thus slashing) sideweapon together with pikeformations.

The Kh1ukri is more of a hand axe. I've practiced forms with mine many times
and it is very different in style to my Bowie pattern blade. It is a thick
bladed weapon which tremendous weight and due to the widening head, has
strong cutting power. Whereas the scimitar or sabre (or Falchion) is a
cutting and _drawing_ weapon. The curvature of the blade gives more of a cut
than a straight blade on the draw through stroke and is therefore a much more
effective cavalry weapon, at least against lightly armoured troops. The
origin of the weapon is of course nomadic and the Yuthuppans and other
Rinliddi used it extensively. This was where Tarnils actually picked up the
use of the scimitar and mastered it in his campaigns against the Pentans.

>But the seleucid army is not famous for being the best on the
>battlefields.

They were fighting many armies of the Successor wars which were very much
like their own. The Imperial Army has no foes like that or at least doesn't
in 1620. That is not to say that other armies cannot defeat the Imperial
combined arms system, because they can. What has to be remembered is that
the combined arms approach takes work, it is an effort and in the hands of
faction ridden incompetancy, it falls apart all too quickly. The Lunars are
beset by these problems.

>I'm ready to learn something new from the wargamers in this list, but
>this is my opinion until now.

Hope this helps.

Martin Laurie

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