Boar Rider's with polearms

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Boar Rider's with polearms

This topic contains 99 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Draxynnic 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #134922

    Gloweye
    Member

    well, TBH, the Deepguard weapon is IMO on the short to count as a pike – maybe it should be longer. They appear at most twice the length of the dwarves(=small ppl), where historical pikes used to start at 2x human length, and sometimes were closer to 3 times the length – given the availability of straight trees long enough to enable the production. The use of a pike against a charge scales directly with length – the only weight requirement is for the weapon to be sturdy enough to survive being charged into with the full momentum of a cavalry charge – which can be quite a lot.

    However, for in-game animation, they would need to be almost a hex long to be on scale(and stick out that far when defending against a charge) – which I can understand isn’t done.

    #134951

    Bouh
    Member

    Epaminondas, your toxic posts are not contributing and they are not even funny. Grow up. You are making a fool of yourself now.

    Certainly, I don’t think it’s nearly enough to justify the polearm or pike square qualities.

    And I don’t think it justifies it either. But nor does a poleaxe IMO.

    #134952

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Epaminondas, your toxic posts are not contributing and they are not even funny. Grow up. You are making a fool of yourself now.

    There is great irony in you calling others’ posts “toxic,” given your past history on this forum.

    Further, I frankly think your posts on this thread are troll-ish, given that you are obviously ignorant of medieval military history and keep prolonging the thread to no productive ends. And I am surely within reason to express that view.

    #134956

    Draxynnic
    Member

    @gloweye: Well, despite the term, there are few if any true pikes in the game. Mostly ‘pikemen’ seems to be a stand-in for ‘polearm user’, including glaives, halberds, poleaxes and pitchforks, and generally more on the order of eight to ten feet rather than the twenty feet that some pikes could reach.

    #134957

    Bouh
    Member

    Further, I frankly think your posts on this thread are troll-ish, given that you are obviously ignorant of medieval military history and keep prolonging the thread to no productive ends. And I am surely within reason to express that view.

    You know, this is an add hominem. This does not contribute in any way. And you are plain wrong about me. Also, what should we think about someone who prefer to insult someone else instead of explaining in what he is wrong ? I think you misread some Socrate’s ideas quite badly if even I can taunt you about courtesy. How many of your posts in this thread are not dedicated to insult me ?

    #134960

    Epaminondas
    Member

    And you are plain wrong about me.

    We’ve gone over this already. But it bears repeating that I am not the only person who feels this way about you. So you should say instead “the world is plain wrong about me.” In fact, you’ve posted several times how “everyone” misunderstand you. Perhaps you should make a better effort at communication?

    Also, what should we think about someone who prefer to insult someone else instead of explaining in what he is wrong ?

    Here’s the problem: As your dialogue with Draxy and others who actually know this stuff demonstrates, there is no point in discussing things with you substantively, because you always (if slightly) change the terms of the debate when you are proven wrong and thereby simply prolong the argument to no end. So it’s really pointless to have any debate with you.

    How many of your posts in this thread are not dedicated to insult me ?

    My initial contributions on this thread had nothing to do with you. I only poked fun of you when you began to make absurd comments: Namely, 1) that a Boar Rider is a de facto T3 unit; and 2) that a zweihander was used as an anti-cavalry weapon in a similar fashion with a pole-arm (along with several other stupid comments, e.g.: a halberd is not a pole-arm). And you keep persisting in variations of these absurd comments; and such non-sense – since I lack Draxy’s patience, at least not with you – can only be met with laughter.

    #134967

    With that being said, I did say earlier in the thread that I don’t think boar riders should get it. To be fair, it does seem to be identical to the Deepguard weapon – however, you have different options even with the same weapon when mounted on a steed that’s inclined to charge at anything it sees as a threat than you do when on foot.

    It could just be that you can’t rest the thing on the ground, as you are on a boar….

    #134981

    Also, I read on the french zweihanders wikipedia page that this weapon could be used with the handle on the floor to stop cavalry charge, but the page shows no source for this and is mostly questionable.

    I think it is a fairly reasonable speculation based on a few factors. The first is that the weapon is roughly the length of short polearms, and was carried as such. The second is that recreators have found that they handle somewhat more like halberds than swords, which could, of course, be used in both anti infantry and anti cavalry roles. The third is that the weapons were used to defend standards (and city walls) against multiple opponents: some of whom would have be cavalry.

    Finally, there is comparative evidence with similar very large, two handed swords which were used to fight cavalry from foot: the nodachi in Japan, and the Zhanmadao and later Miao Dao in China.

    A nice article on the later: http://cookdingskitchen.blogspot.co.il/2014/10/the-brilliance-of-chinese-longsword.html

    On a side note, I also found that the movie LOTR Elves (and the aow iii elves by imitation) two handed saber weapon has a recent European actual parallel: The Two handed German Saber.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messer_(weapon)

    #135017

    Draxynnic
    Member

    It could just be that you can’t rest the thing on the ground, as you are on a boar….

    Exactly.

    On a side note, I also found that the movie LOTR Elves (and the aow iii elves by imitation) two handed saber weapon has a recent European actual parallel: The Two handed German Saber.

    From memory, the LOTR two handed saber weapon had a longer handle, though – on the order of about two feet with a blade not a lot longer than the handle. Kind of like a cross between a two-handed sword and a short glaive.

    The AoW3 elven swords are a little more conventional, of course. (The irony is that, IIRC, in the books it was elves that used straight swords while orcs used curved ones…)

    #135040

    Bouh
    Member

    1) that a Boar Rider is a de facto T3 unit; and 2) that a zweihander was used as an anti-cavalry weapon in a similar fashion with a pole-arm (along with several other stupid comments, e.g.: a halberd is not a pole-arm).

    1) You are often assaulting me because of wording. Here though you mistaken “is” with “is almost”. I guess you know what almost means. So either you are a douchebag trying to make a fool of me with real lies this time, or you misread what I wrote.
    2) Again readin comprehension problems : I said a zweihander and mre precisely the greatsword of orcs greatswordmen *could* (and not *can*, you see the difference ?) be used as an anticavalry weapon as much as the “poleaxe of the boar rider which is not a hallberd”.

    So, all this anger because you missread what I wrote. Perhaps you should make more effort at reading instead of of trying any way you can to insult me ?

    because you always (if slightly) change the terms of the debate when you are proven wrong and thereby simply prolong the argument to no end.

    You know, in a discussion, someone who is not completely stubborn can evolve his mind, or the two can finaly understand eachother and realize they actualy agree except on a detail. Sometimes, people are only looking to learn things when discussing, they are not always trying to prove someone wrong. I’d say changing his mind is better than insulting someone based on misread sentences without even discussing those sentences, but that may be me… I know I can be very harsh with words and ideas, but that’s just what they are : words and ideas. That’s what I mean when I say I’m humble about my opinions : if you show they are wrong or idiot, I’ll change my mind. But this only work when you target words and ideas and not the people writing them.

    #135049

    Epaminondas
    Member

    1) You are often assaulting me because of wording. Here though you mistaken “is” with “is almost”. I guess you know what almost means…

    Well, words do matter, because they can obviously change the entire meaning of what you want to convey; and you are extra-ordinarily sloppy – and slippery – with words. And when someone is that careless with words, they ought to be called on.

    In the Boar Rider example, for instance, of course you merely said they are “almost” T3s, not actual T3s. Nonetheless, that implies that they are closer to T3s than T2s; and I don’t think that’s a claim that any reasonable person would accept, given that Boar Riders are still far closer to peer T2 units than peer T3 units statistically – as I showed. In short, your claim was a gross exaggeration or distortion, and that kind of use of words characterize your technique of argumentation. And if you don’t want to be called out constantly for such exaggerations or distortions, then don’t make them. Like your infamous tendency for cussing on this forum (more on this next), exaggerations or distortions turn people off.

    …you are a douchebag trying to make a fool of me with real lies this time…

    So, all this anger because you missread what I wrote. Perhaps you should make more effort at reading instead of of trying any way you can to insult me ?

    Funny, you accuse me of posting in “anger” – and insulting you otherwise in general – when you call me a “douchebag.” The worst I called you on this thread (or any other threads) is a “liar” and a “troll” – epithets which were specifically and appropriately tailored to the context they were used, and epithets that describe what you were doing with precision. In contrast, “douchebag” is a far worse cuss word, and it is a general insult and can only be an insult.

    Should I tag you with the word “hypocrite” as well? 😉

    By the way, it’s “misread” or “mis-read,” not “missread.”

    #135050

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Finally, there is comparative evidence with similar very large, two handed swords which were used to fight cavalry from foot: the nodachi in Japan, and the Zhanmadao and later Miao Dao in China.

    Nodachi were really not used as anti-cavalry weapons, in spite of what random online sites may say. The Song two handers may have indeed been used – most prominently versus the Jurchen “pagoda” cavalry (the heaviest East Asian cavalry ever, as far as I know), but that evidence is controversial and contested. At any rate, even if true, it’s a rather isolated or exceptional instance.

    #135051

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Anyways, to make my position on this clear, as I tire of this thread really:

    While I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give the polearm ability to Boar Riders, it’s not a position that I feel passionate enough to advocate with any vigor. If it happens, then (moderately) good; if not, then no huge loss. My limited, moderate stance is merely that I do not believe it would be as over-powered as some of you are making it out to me – a stance that none of you have dissuaded me from yet. So I just want to make that clear: I am not heavily invested in this cause – at all. Finally, my intermittent jousts with Bouh had more to do with the means rather than the ends. That is, I was objecting to the typical bogus arguments he was making to sustain what is an otherwise valid position, rather than his position itself.

    *back to regular programming hopefully*

    #135060

    Bouh
    Member

    Bouh wrote:

    …you are a douchebag trying to make a fool of me with real lies this time…

    So, all this anger because you missread what I wrote. Perhaps you should make more effort at reading instead of of trying any way you can to insult me ?

    Funny, you accuse me of posting in “anger” – and insulting you otherwise in general – when you call me a “douchebag.” The worst I called you on this thread (or any other threads) is a “liar” and a “troll” – epithets which were specifically and appropriately tailored to the context they were used, and epithets that describe what you were doing with precision. In contrast, “douchebag” is a far worse cuss word, and it is a general insult and can only be an insult.

    My full sentence, because you are still either a douchebag or still misreading what I write :

    So either you are a douchebag trying to make a fool of me with real lies this time, or you misread what I wrote.

    So, did you misread ? Or are you modifying my words on purpose ? And how should you be called in the latter case ? And if words matter, why don’t you read them all ?

    #135067

    GeorgiSR
    Member

    @bouh and @epaminondas

    Both of you are clearly going out of topic so please stop. Bouh you really need to pick what you are writing so you will not get on some people words. Epaminondas you are a fine reader and you DO know how to use words properly – clearly you are intelligent man with great sense of punctuality so don’t get on the Bouh hook so easily.

    Now in my eyes that pig rider is a fine cavalry without the need of pike like weapon since this is not the purpose of that unit. If I would change anything – that would be the MP of this unit since boars are not beacon and they do have enough stamina for covering great distances.

    #135069

    Epaminondas
    Member

    My full sentence, because you are still either a douchebag or still misreading what I write :<br> …

    That you still insist on using terms like “douchebag” (though I suppose it’s an improvement from “f”-bombs) repeatedly and unrepentantly really tells everyone all they need to know about you.

    Shall I rest my case, Mr. I-am-never-ad hominem-or-offensive-except-the-two-times-I-was-caught-by-mods?

    #135071

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Both of you are clearly going out of topic so please stop.

    I apologize to everyone; but I am trying very hard, and I did succeed for a few days, I think, in staying away from this thread. But Bouh just keeps going on and on with nonsense and doesn’t ever seem to know when to exit the stage. But then I suppose the same criticism can be leveled at me as well, so I will try even harder to not post on this thread.

    #135124

    From memory, the LOTR two handed saber weapon had a longer handle, though – on the order of about two feet with a blade not a lot longer than the handle. Kind of like a cross between a two-handed sword and a short glaive.

    The AoW3 elven swords are a little more conventional, of course. (The irony is that, IIRC, in the books it was elves that used straight swords while orcs used curved ones…)

    yeah, it is much more a falx or rhompaia than anything more recent, but I wasn’t aware that curved two handed swords were renaissance adjacent at all in western Europe.

    Egalmoth, a noldorian elf did use a curved sword.

    Nodachi were really not used as anti-cavalry weapons, in spite of what random online sites may say. The Song two handers may have indeed been used – most prominently versus the Jurchen “pagoda” cavalry (the heaviest East Asian cavalry ever, as far as I know), but that evidence is controversial and contested. At any rate, even if true, it’s a rather isolated or exceptional instance.

    eh hem:

    http://rijs.fas.harvard.edu/pdfs/conlan.pdf

    to quote from the top of page 10.

    “Gigantic seven foot long swords were sometimes used in battle to bludgeon opponents and break the legs of horses who came too close. Only the tips of these blades were sharpened, however, so they should best be thought of as glorified clubs. A perusal of fourteenth-century picture scrolls indicates that some swords were wielded like pikes.”

    This is from Thomas Conlan, a Princeton phd historian whose later book on the same subject was excellently received by Stephen Turnbull, (the one who does all those men at arms things and consulted on Shogun Total war).

    #135192

    Epaminondas
    Member

    eh hem:

    http://rijs.fas.harvard.edu/pdfs/conlan.pdf

    to quote from the top of page 10.

    “Gigantic seven foot long swords were sometimes used in battle to bludgeon opponents and break the legs of horses who came too close. Only the tips of these blades were sharpened, however, so they should best be thought of as glorified clubs. A perusal of fourteenth-century picture scrolls indicates that some swords were wielded like pikes.”

    This is from Thomas Conlan, a Princeton phd historian whose later book on the same subject was excellently received by Stephen Turnbull, (the one who does all those men at arms things and consulted on Shogun Total war).

    Ok, I did not want to get into an elaborate discussion on this thread (not the least because conclusive evidence is elusive) but at least a few – hopefully brief – points that won’t take too much energy.

    First, on the legitimacy of particular “authorities”: I had no idea who Professor Conlan is, but a brief glance that I just took now at his CV and such indicates he is indeed legitimate. But I certainly know who Turnbull is, and I am not sure whether I’d accept his endorsement alone as an unimpeachable. I am sure you know that popular recognition is not the prime evidence of a scholar’s worth and can indeed be the very cause for skepticism on that score. And true to form, Turnbull – while he may be lionized by TW gamers across the galaxy – is not always viewed in such luminous light in the scholarly community according to Korean and Asian specialists I know personally. Among others, his book on Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea (which I have also read) was widely pilloried for its inadequate scholarship (it appears that he consulted predominantly Japanese sources, some Korean sources, and hardly any Chinese sources – and Turnbull later apparently acknowledged this embarrassing lacuna under mounting criticism), its obvious pro-Japanese biases leading to some bathetic conclusions (e.g. the Ming’s rescue effort of Joseon was largely responsible for the Qing’s eventual conquest of the Ming).

    To drive home the point: Be selective when citing authority (especially if that authority actually contradicts your point elsewhere – but more on this later).

    Second, on Conlan’s “evidence” itself: The paragraph alone, I am afraid, does not conclusively establish that nodachi were used as anti-cavalry weapons. The problem – perhaps irresolvable – has to do with precise terminology, and this really is the crux of the issue. Now, Conlan says “gigantic seven foot long swords.” But is that really nodachi? Nodachi were long indeed, but the paintings and descriptions I’ve seen rarely point to a “SEVEN” foot sword! More important -and at this point I stress I do not read Japanese (though I do read Chinese, and it is possible to make a general sense of Kanji passages with excruciating effort), but my understanding is that Japanese writers frequently did not sharply distinguish between various types of long bladed weapons throughout their “medieval” period. So that “gigantic seven foot long swords” could be nodachi, naginata (a pole weapon with single edged blade at the end), or a nagimaki (a true hybrid between a nodachi and a naginata) or something else. Certainly, some paintings of weapons I have seen classified as a nodachi actually look like a naginata or a nagimaki. Likewise, you see the same conflation or inter-changeability in Japanese literature: Perhaps most famously, Benkei, the legendary monk-warrior, is described as carrying a nodachi in some sources, and a naginata in others. Incidentally – and pertinently – you will see the same terminological conflation that stymies our effort to distinguish the Chinese analogues of the subjects at hand, the Zhanmadao (the Chinese long swords that purported were sometimes used for anti-cavalry purposes) and the Guandao (the Chinese single-bladed halberds).

    Finally, for the record: My own understanding – gained not merely through an admittedly cursory familiarity with the subject matter but also some training in Japanese swordsmanship – is that the nodachi was largely a ceremonial, “show-off” weapon and not practical in battlefield. And to the extent that they are depicted in combat or in preparation for combat, I have seen them described (the Taiheiki – one of the most authoritative sources on the samurai, albeit fictiona – describes them as wielded from horse-back, for instance) or painted as either wielded on a cavalry (this is an example http://media-cache-ecArray.pinimg.com/originals/Array8/bArray/5a/Array8bArray5a5ee46c5bdaArraydd77e69Array7efArrayArray8a.jpg ) or foot weapons but as anti-infantry weapons. (In fact, I believe Turnbull says as much – that they were largely ceremonial and wielded on horse-back – though I do not have the relevant book in front of me.) So that’s where I stand at the moment.

    Nonetheless, my position is by no means immovable like Luther’s. I am neither a Japanese historian or Japanese art historian – and frankly I am not well-read enough in either subject to even qualify as an informed dilettante. So I would be more than open to reliable counter-evidence. But that counter-evidence has to be precise, as well as grounded in solid historical material and not folks simply passing vague, unverifiable hearsay. In the least, I’d imagine counter-evidence have to be based on either contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous literary description or visual painting evidence that are just as contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous. Too bad I am too lazy in my dotage to undertake such an intellectual inquiry these days – perhaps you can? 😉 At any rate, it might be useful – and relatively painless – for either of us at least contact someone like Conlan or even Turnbull and ask for specific textual or visual evidence for nodachis being used as anti-cavalry weapons.

    #135198

    At any rate, it might be useful – and relatively painless – for either of us at least contact someone like Conlan or even Turnbull and ask for specific textual or visual evidence for nodachis being used as anti-cavalry weapons.

    Yes we should, and also ask him whether Boar Riders should have polearm? 😛

    Jokes aside, why can’t all your posts be more like this one, instead of “let’s attack Bouh”?

    I admit I am genuinely curious to see a really long sword in action against Cavalry…

    #135206

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Yes we should, and also ask him whether Boar Riders should have polearm? :P

    As I said somewhere back in this thread: I really am NOT that invested in the position that Boar Riders should have polearms. I think it could be nice, but they don’t need it, and it’s not anywhere near my top priority list of what this game needs – which is why I don’t really want write all that much on this thread.

    Instead, I entered the breach here – so to speak – because people were going overboard with their objection to the suggestion that Boar Riders have polearms. And then of course, the Bouh episode happened…

    I admit I am genuinely curious to see a really long sword in action against Cavalry…

    I am kind of curious, too. And frankly, I may have been too rigid in my initial presentations of my position – because I got caught up in the context/argument. In principle, I suppose it is possible that nodachis can be used as an anti-cavalry weapon when necessary. But why would you do so unless you had no choice (as in no spear-type of weapon at hand)? Pole-arm weapons like naginata would be far easier to wield – hence easier to master – have the reach advantage in most cases, and is cheaper to manufacture, while retaining the slashing power of a nodachi. So even if the nodachi were used as anti-cavalry weapons in a pinch, they could not have been preferred anti-cavalry weapons. And Bouh’s original argument – which certainly raised my heckles – seemed to imply some sort of equivalence in efficacy between zweihanders and polearms as anti-cavalry weapon.

    #135210

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    Admittedly this is a wikipedia link, but most of the information is referenced and there are even external links to surviving copies of the Japanese No-dachi along with measurements. It seems the folks at Creative Assembly weren’t too far wrong with their latest Shogun iteration when designing the unit.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%A7%E5%A4%AA%E5%88%80

    Before anyone comes up and complains they can’t read what’s in the article, I have read it and it does confirm the blade was used primarily as an anti-cavalry weapon but also used occasionally for close-quarters battles. It seems more of a prestige weapon than anything else since the length, size and weight of the weapon made it impractical for anyone other than absolute behemoths of warriors to properly wield.

    #135218

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Admittedly this is a wikipedia link, but most of the information is referenced and there are even external links to surviving copies of the Japanese No-dachi along with measurements. It seems the folks at Creative Assembly weren’t too far wrong with their latest Shogun iteration when designing the unit.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%A7%E5%A4%AA%E5%88%80

    Before anyone comes up and complains they can’t read what’s in the article, I have read it and it does confirm the blade was used primarily as an anti-cavalry weapon but also used occasionally for close-quarters battles. It seems more of a prestige weapon than anything else since the length, size and weight of the weapon made it impractical for anyone other than absolute behemoths of warriors to properly wield.

    Are you actually fluent in Japanese? I don’t want to be harsh, but you seem to have mis-translated the Kanji – if you indeed tried at all. As I have said, I can make out some kanji since a lot of characters are identical with their Chinese and Korean counterparts, and this pivotal sentence early on (no way I am going to try to go through the entire entry) seems to confirm my suggestion that nodachis were wielded on horse-back primarily:

    馬上から馬の走る勢いで斬る武器である。

    If you put that in an English google translator, it comes out pretty garbled, but that too indisputably indicates a weapon wielded on horse-back.

    At any rate, as you acknowledge, it is Wikipedia and thus needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    #135220

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    You really love jumping to conclusions early, don’t you?

    This is the complete sentence: 基本的には歩兵の武器ではなく、騎馬武者の用いるもので、馬上から馬の走る勢いで斬る武器である。そのため、実用にあたってはあまり振り回す必要はない。しかし腕力を誇る武士が馬に乗らない白兵戦で使用する場合もあった。

    The weapon was essentially a cavalry weapon utilising the horse’s momentum as a slashing weapon. For this reason, its main purpose was not as a weapon to be swung in combat. However, warriors with great confidence in their physical strength would use the weapon in close-quarters combat on foot.

    Unlike you, I don’t try and pretend to be fluent in the language because I can guess a few characters. Nor did I use google translate or some other machine translator to figure out the sentence. So how much difference is it from my earlier comment “blade was used primarily as an anti-cavalry weapon but also used occasionally for close-quarters battles. It seems more of a prestige weapon than anything else since the length, size and weight of the weapon made it impractical for anyone other than absolute behemoths of warriors to properly wield.”?

    There’s a bit of side info on the Japanese Zanbatou:

    現代においては敵将を馬ごと斬ることができる代物とし、フィクションにおける表現では馬の胴体または首部と騎乗の武士を一緒に斬る豪快なイメージを描くが、実際にはそのような使い方はなく、長いリーチを生かして馬と騎乗の武士からの攻撃を避けつつ、足を狙って馬をつぶすことが主であった。

    A term used to refer to a blade designed to cut apart horse and rider in one blow, fictional works describe the blade as capable of cleaving a horse’s body together with the warrior on top of it. However the actual use of the blade was to exploit its long reach to avoid attacks from the rider on horseback and for the Zanbatou wielder to aim at the horse’s legs.

    One of the external references given in the article is to the martial school “Yagyu Shingan Ryuu” which retains information pertaining to the use of the No-dachi in warfare. A lot of the article has measurements of the remaining blades which were dedicated to Shinto shrines allowing them to survive to the present day.

    Either way, these weapons are absolutely massive and whether on foot or on horseback could potentially be used as anti-cavalry weapons. They weren’t terribly practical when you consider physical limitations on the user and the availability of more common and easier-to-use weapons for use against cavalry.

    #135221

    UltraDD
    Member

    “However the actual use of the blade was to exploit its long reach to avoid attacks from the rider on horseback and for the Zanbatou wielder to aim at the horse’s legs.”

    A rider\pikeman that has more defense against mounted units =stacks with pike square, doesn’t work when flanked similar to shields= and makes them lose one attack worth AP -Say they are in green range, mounted units can only attack this unit twice- on first attack sounds interesting.

    #135222

    Epaminondas
    Member

    You really love jumping to conclusions early, don’t you?

    Guilty as charged – especially online.

    Unlike you, I don’t try and pretend to be fluent in the language because I can guess a few characters.


    Absolutely false:
    I stressed and reiterated several times that I am NOT fluent in Japanese, and that at best I can sometimes get a sense of what a given passage in Kanji is saying due to the identity of certain characters. No way can I be charged of “pretend[ing] to be fluent” in Japanese.

    The weapon was essentially a cavalry weapon utilising the horse’s momentum as a slashing weapon. For this reason, its main purpose was not as a weapon to be swung in combat. However, warriors with great confidence in their physical strength would use the weapon in close-quarters combat on foot…

    So how much difference is it from my earlier comment “blade was used primarily as an anti-cavalry weapon but also used occasionally for close-quarters battles. It seems more of a prestige weapon than anything else since the length, size and weight of the weapon made it impractical for anyone other than absolute behemoths of warriors to properly wield.”?

    Okay, it may be that I may have over-interpreted the intent behind your post. From my perspective, the only reason I contradicted you was because you also said:

    It seems the folks at Creative Assembly weren’t too far wrong with their latest Shogun iteration when designing the unit.

    I thought TW: Shogun series portrayed the nodachi as an entirely infantry weapon and never horsemen-wielded? But then, I confess I have not played TW: Shogun II and I have very vague recollections of playing the original version. And If I am wrong on this score – and thus mis-interpreted you – I sincerely apologize.

    It seems like this thread has made my posture very adversarial, and I assumed you were intending to contradict my claims. But again, you did omit what I thought was pivotal horsemen-wielded part. Consequently, I assumed you either 1) did read Kanji but intentionally omitted the description of the nodachi as a horsemen-wielded weapon and only left the anti-cavalry language, or 2) ignorant of Kanji and entirely BS-ing and trying to pull a fast one. Both assumptions are indeed harsh, but I think they are understandable, given the nature of online interactions – though I have also said that some posters here do rise high above the internet troll muck in terms of both their civility and erudition.

    #135224

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Okay, it may be that I may have over-interpreted the intent behind your post. From my perspective, the only reason I contradicted you was because you also said:

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Harleyquin14 wrote:</div>
    It seems the folks at Creative Assembly weren’t too far wrong with their latest Shogun iteration when designing the unit.

    I thought TW: Shogun series portrayed the nodachi as an entirely infantry weapon and never horsemen-wielded? But then, I confess I have not played TW: Shogun II and I have very vague recollections of playing the original version. And If I am wrong on this score – and thus mis-interpreted you – I sincerely apologize.

    Hmmm, it looks like I may be right in my assumption that the nodachi were portrayed as entirely an infantry weapon in TW: Shogun 2? I don’t see a nodachi cavalry unit.

    http://www.totalwars.ru/encyclopedia/units.html

    So I am confused now. Weren’t you trying to contradict me? I never said that nodachis weren’t used by horsemen against other horsemen; the issue is whether they were used by infantrymen against horsemen – and that I have not seen primary source evidence of that.

    #135227

    First, on the legitimacy of particular “authorities”: I had no idea who Professor Conlan is, but a brief glance that I just took now at his CV and such indicates he is indeed legitimate. But I certainly know who Turnbull is, and I am not sure whether I’d accept his endorsement alone as an unimpeachable

    Both scholars are Japanese weapon experts: however biased they are towards the Japanese vis a vis other scholarly areas (a common thing that, for instance, occurs between byzantine scholars and crusade people like Johnathan Riley Smith), they should be considered reliable in their micro area.

    Medieval terminology is quite indistinct (I have read of too many engines and stone throwers to say otherwise), but if the conlan fellow is correct in his readings, everything points to this being a nodachi used like a zweihander.

    The first thing is that the weapon is much longer than a nagimaki, which seems to be more in the falx range (four or five feet long, with an equal division between blade and handle). Seven feet need not be the total exact length of the weapon (although the longest functional zweihander’s could be six feet, so it isn’t impossible), but it is a very long sword.

    There is also the detail of the weapon being mostly unsharpened. This would make the nagimaki rather useless, and would be odd on a Naginata.

    For a large sword, however, it makes perfect sense. It allows you to half sword with it effectively on foot, and makes it something akin to the estoc when on horseback (a very long sword used as a less breakable spear).

    You could also use it as a naginata, as the guy in the cool picture you posted seems to (where did you find it?).

    You could also probably use the unsharpened part to “clip” infantrymen when running in the spaces between files (this would be especially easy with the loose fighting formation of 14th century Japanese warfare).

    I also wouldn’t describe even an unsharpened naginata as a “glorified club” which suggests something heavy and compact, unlike an elegant spear weapon.

    And yes, many Odachi were used as offerings/relics of legendary warriors, or used from horseback. However, just like how some zweihanders were purely ceremonial, and others were functional, multiple uses attended. Wikipedia at least says nodachi means “field sword”, which seems to indicate a more functional usage.

    This is more difficult to tell for Japanese swords than western ones, since many were cut down/destroyed due to later regulations by the Shogun or even american forces.

    Pole-arm weapons like naginata would be far easier to wield – hence easier to master – have the reach advantage in most cases, and is cheaper to manufacture, while retaining the slashing power of a nodachi. So even if the nodachi were used as anti-cavalry weapons in a pinch, they could not have been preferred anti-cavalry weapons.

    Well, one thing is that spear weapons tend to break under repeated strain (that is what happened at Adrianople to the Romans, for instance), and another is that the benefit of spear weapons vs. cavalry tends to come from “serried ranks” rather than just advantages as a fencing weapon.

    A really long sword would mitigate the later advantage, and work well as a kind of impromptu shield for parrying the blow, then coming in close for a slash/stab, forcing the spearman (or woman, given the number of fighting women at that time) to retreat, switch to a shorter weapon, or do something else.

    There is also the “rule of cool”, which operated extensively in 14th century Japanese warfare. The greater expense, difficulty in mastering the weapon, and the very fact that it is a sword would make using it something to aspire to.

    It is like having a set of dragonbone arms/armor in skyrim: it is a mark of wealth/skill, an invitation to attackers (to get the super good loot), and a warning to those attackers (I wanted you to notice me, so come and get some!)

    #135232

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Epaminondas wrote:</div>
    Okay, it may be that I may have over-interpreted the intent behind your post. From my perspective, the only reason I contradicted you was because you also said:

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Harleyquin14 wrote:</div><br>
    It seems the folks at Creative Assembly weren’t too far wrong with their latest Shogun iteration when designing the unit.

    I thought TW: Shogun series portrayed the nodachi as an entirely infantry weapon and never horsemen-wielded? But then, I confess I have not played TW: Shogun II and I have very vague recollections of playing the original version. And If I am wrong on this score – and thus mis-interpreted you – I sincerely apologize.

    Hmmm, it looks like I may be right in my assumption that the nodachi were portrayed as entirely an infantry weapon in TW: Shogun 2? I don’t see a nodachi cavalry unit.

    http://www.totalwars.ru/encyclopedia/units.html

    So I am confused now. Weren’t you trying to contradict me? I never said that nodachis weren’t used by horsemen against other horsemen; the issue is whether they were used by infantrymen against horsemen – and that I have not seen primary source evidence of that.

    No-dachi were portrayed as infantry in both iterations of Shogun, probably because it’s easier to portray a bunch of muscle-bound giants wielding over-sized swords on foot than cavalry with oversized swords which only work well on a charge.

    I didn’t like this comment: Are you actually fluent in Japanese? I don’t want to be harsh, but you seem to have mis-translated the Kanji – if you indeed tried at all

    Nor did I like this one: ignorant of Kanji and entirely BS-ing and trying to pull a fast one.

    Coming from someone who can read a bit of Kanji and relies on machine translators for this particular language yet puts something I put up for comparison as an excuse to let rip.

    As for the article, didn’t it make it very clear that the weapon was originally used against horseback against other riders? The secondary use (and the one which the Total War series decided to turn into a unit) was of muscle-bound giants using the weapon on foot in close-quarters combat. It’s not specified who the opponents are for the foot-troops, but given the nature of the weapon and its wielders it’s probably anyone they can charge into!

    Since Epaminondas is so fluent in Chinese, have a look at the Chinese wikipedia entry for the 斩马刀. It’s better written than the other weapon categories and gives four different historical periods when the weapon was used.

    http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%AC%E9%A6%AC%E5%8A%8D

    #135237

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Both scholars are Japanese weapon experts: however biased they are towards the Japanese vis a vis other scholarly areas (a common thing that, for instance, occurs between byzantine scholars and crusade people like Johnathan Riley Smith), they should be considered reliable in their micro area.

    *Fug*! The Internet ate my post, so try again.

    Yes, indeed unfortunately this kind of “frog in the well” perspective (Korean adage) is prevalent in academia, and it may not indicate deficiency in one’s knowledge of – to extend the adage – one’s own well. Nonetheless, I am viscerally wary of people who write books purporting to be a comprehensive account of a large historical event involving a number of protagonists and examine primarily sources from one side. It seems to contravene the spirit of scholarship altogether. Can you truly esteem, say, someone writing about the Korean War from an entirely North Korean/Chinese perspective without examining South Korean and American sources at all? We would more fittingly call such historians “propagandists.” For instance, Koreans are famously ethnocentric and anti-Japanese, but the most respected Korean historians of the Japanese colonial period still at least painstakingly examine Japanese sources.

    The bottom line: If a “scholar” approaches his material in such an incomplete, half-ass fashion in one area, what is there to ensure he does not do in another area?

    Medieval terminology is quite indistinct (I have read of too many engines and stone throwers to say otherwise), but if the conlan fellow is correct in his readings, everything points to this being a nodachi used like a zweihander…

    There is also the detail of the weapon being mostly unsharpened. This would make the nagimaki rather useless, and would be odd on a Naginata.

    And yes, many Odachi were used as offerings/relics of legendary warriors, or used from horseback. However, just like how some zweihanders were purely ceremonial, and others were functional, multiple uses attended. Wikipedia at least says nodachi means “field sword”, which seems to indicate a more functional usage.

    That imprecision in terminology is, again, precisely why I keep asking for primary source references – whether it be literature or visual art. Otherwise, this type of debate becomes absolutely interminable, and that is why I am loath to engage in it.

    As for what Conlan wrote: Your subsequent inferences are certainly plausible and perhaps even persuasive (except perhaps one aspect which I will briefly get to later); and I would lean toward your interpretation as well, if I were forced to choose “either/or” at a gun point. But surely, you can understand now at least why that excerpt from Conlan was alone a sufficient, incontrovertible evidence, given the vagueness of historical sources (at least as far as I understand them)?

    Wikipedia at least says nodachi means “field sword”, which seems to indicate a more functional usage.

    The Japanese term for nodachi is apparently 野太刀, and the relevant character at issue is 野. Now, once again I stress I am not a native Japanese speaker, but 野 is used in both Chinese and Korean. So unless it has a peculiarly Japanese meaning, I will assume – conditionally or provisionally, of course – I know what it means. And here while 野 could be translated as “field” (or “plain”), I am not sure if that is the correct one in this context. There are – like many Chinese character or Chinese character-derived terms – multiple legitimate meanings, even when narrowed to the context (which, by the way, is why I think it is impossible to translate old Chinese texts with absolute precision – or even with reasonable determinacy: not only are the meaning of individual characters sometimes revealed only in conjunction with the context, but at times cannot be grasped at all – which also contributes to the elusive or oblique, as well as fragmentary, character of Chinese writings that both scholars and practicing statesmen like Kissinger endlessly complain about). And in this context, I am not sure whether 野 actually points to “field” or “plain.” It could also point to definitions that lean toward “crude,” “feral,” etc.

    There is also the “rule of cool”, which operated extensively in 14th century Japanese warfare. The greater expense, difficulty in mastering the weapon, and the very fact that it is a sword would make using it something to aspire to.

    This is elegantly-put and indeed a very good point. The samurai – like the medieval knight – or men in ancient timocracies of Greece and Rome – were suffused with the passion to distinguish themselves. But I’ve alluded to that dimension in why the samurai may have chosen to equip the nodachi. And even if it is possible that somem samurai did seek to use the nodachi in battle to advertise their singularity – kinda like Musashi and his wooden swords? – I’d imagine they would be a small minority and that this weapon was primarily intended as an anti-cavalry infantry weapon.

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