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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  • #135239

    Epaminondas
    Member

    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.

    Now, I really think you protest too much in taking all this in a way too adversarial or defensive manner – just like me to some degree and perhaps even worse.

    As for the first quoted comment: I think given that 1) I had zero information of you, 2) this is the Internet, and 3) your initial translation or summary of the Wikipedia omitted “horserider-wielded” part – I don’t think it was that unreasonable for me to know something about your background in general and whether you spoke Japanese in particular. Still, I already apologized, and I really can’t do more.

    As for the second quoted comment: Oh, come on! That was actually an explanation of why I was a bit aggressive in a prior post. If you find that offensive, then I really don’t know what to say.

    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!

    Here is the issue that I think you still do not seem to grasp – and it bears repeating, because it explains my initial response to you at least in part. While the referenced article itself made clear that the nodachi were primarily a horseman-wielded weapon, it was in Japanese, and virtually everyone would be relying on your two sentence summary – which DID NOT make that clear at all. So the overall impression for the disinterested reader would be that you were agreeing with TW’s portrayal of nodachis as infantry-wielded anti-cavalry weapons, and hence contradicting me.

    Perhaps you are partial against me due to some of the more testy exchanges I’ve had with Bouh on this thread – or perhaps due to other unpleasant encounters between the two of us directly. Be that as it may be, I think the awkwardness of this exchange is more misunderstanding-driven than genuine ill will.

    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

    Well, 斬馬劍 is a different story altogether, and I’ve acknowledged from the very beginning that there is more solid bases for 斬馬劍 performing horse-cleaving exploits via infantry than the nodachi. It literally means “cutting-horse sword” after all!

    #135240

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    The weapon was essentially a cavalry weapon utilising the horse’s momentum as a slashing weapon. = Poorly worded apparently, so I’ll rephrase this to “The weapon was used by riders on horseback (cavalry weapon) utilising the horse’s momentum effectively as a slashing weapon.

    Original passage: 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。

    Frog in the well is also a Chinese saying, but no one’s really bothering to keep score on etymological references.

    Another example of a sword-class weapon designed to confront horsemen used by horse-riders is given here. The advantage of this particular article is it actually has a source in English to back it up.

    http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%92%B0%E9%A6%96%E5%88%80

    It’s a very old example as well, centuries before the Japanese no-dachi.

    As for the potential inspiration behind the no-dachi, the following article (sadly unreferenced) gives mention to another sword designed specifically for confronting cavalry on foot.

    http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%A8%AA%E5%88%80

    The relevant passage being: 陌刀的具体形象至今仍待考据,仅知为用以对付骑兵之长刀,一说可能类似日本“野太刀”,若真如此,那么唐代刀体系的形式基本上一致,仅有长度和功能性的差异存在了。

    Regardless of the number of historical examples anyone here can dredge up regarding anti-cavalry weapons used on foot or on a mount, the decision regarding the original topic on boar riders itself has been made and probably shouldn’t be changed. Many of the polearm examples used in the game emphasise the concept of the first strike utilising the length of the pole-arm weapon to stop the mounted rider’s attacks. Although this is feasible if the defender is ALSO on horseback (hence the black knight bonus), it’s probably more difficult for the boar because of the height difference and animation for the length of the weapon.

    #135244

    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)?

    It is as good as I, or anyone who doesn’t read medieval japanese/have access to the primary sources in high quality scans, can do.

    I will get one of his later books, “Weapons and Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warrior 1200-1877 AD”, in a few weeks, so I’ll inform anyone who still cares at that time.

    Indeed, even if excerpts from the literary and military document sources are translated (as they probably are in an appendix), I’d still be dependent on Conlan’s say so as the translator.

    Anyway, to meander back to the point (although I enjoy extended digressions), I think this is enough to show it was plausible that really big swords would have an advantage fighting cavalry (as opposed to shorter weapons), and that such swords would be used in ways roughly similar to short polearms, like halberds or poleaxes.

    Therefore, if you included “polearm” on the short poleaxe the boar rider has, it would be equally (or at least also) plausible to put it on troops with very large two handed swords (perhaps as a medal upgrade).

    #135245

    Bouh
    Member

    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.

    Well, no, that wasn’t what I say. I said that the weapons of the boar riders are poleaxes, not hallberds, so they are rather short not really anticavalry weapons in themselves. Hence, considering this, if boar riders would get polearm, orc greatswordmen could be argued to get it too. But this is not what I want.

    Then I talked about zweihanders used against cavalry (and NOT as anticavalry weapons, I hope one will notice the difference of initial purpose I put here). And then we hypothetized about how it could be done and how effective it would be.

    To sum up : I never said a zweihander was or is an anticavalry weapon, I said it could be used as such with about as much effectiveness as a poleaxe.

    I need to finish reading though. Anyway I’m happy if my “trolling” derailed on this conversation, because it’s a very interesting one. But just to be clear, I was not trolling.

    #135246

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    It is as good as I, or anyone who doesn’t read medieval japanese/have access to the primary sources in high quality scans, can do.

    I will get one of his later books, “Weapons and Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warrior 1200-1877 AD”, in a few weeks, so I’ll inform anyone who still cares at that time.

    Indeed, even if excerpts from the literary and military document sources are translated (as they probably are in an appendix), I’d still be dependent on Conlan’s say so as the translator.

    Anyway, to meander back to the point (although I enjoy extended digressions), I think this is enough to show it was plausible that really big swords would have an advantage fighting cavalry (as opposed to shorter weapons), and that such swords would be used in ways roughly similar to short polearms, like halberds or poleaxes.

    Therefore, if you included “polearm” on the short poleaxe the boar rider has, it would be equally (or at least also) plausible to put it on troops with very large two handed swords (perhaps as a medal upgrade).

    I’d have to agree with the above conclusion, although giving polearm to sword-wielding units like the orc greatswords and draconian crushers (even as a medal upgrade) is going to make the pikemen troops of the respective races even less desirable than they already are.

    I doubt my voice is going to be heard in the maelstrom of this thread, but it’s ironic that the OP for this thread has long since departed and that the conversation was hijacked by others (including myself).

    #135250

    I’d have to agree with the above conclusion, although giving polearm to sword-wielding units like the orc greatswords and draconian crushers (even as a medal upgrade) is going to make the pikemen troops of the respective races even less desirable than they already are.

    I doubt my voice is going to be heard in the maelstrom of this thread, but it’s ironic that the OP for this thread has long since departed and that the conversation was hijacked by others (including myself).

    That is why I’m arguing that the poleaxe shouldn’t get polearm. And the discussion was vaguely along the lines of the topic, and interesting to boot.

    #135251

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    Apologies, I misread the context of your last post.

    For what it’s worth, the status quo suits just about everyone except the OP who has by now disappeared.

    #135257

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I think it’s less of a hijacking and more that the idea of polearm boar riders had been simmering before, and this thread gave it a focus location rather than being spread elsewhere. (For the record, I think the boar rider poleaxe would be suitable as a polearm weapon if it was an infantry weapon – in fact, I think it’s exactly the same model as the Deepguard weapon – but being mounted changes what you can actually do with it. To be perfectly honest, I raised a mental eyebrow at Black Knights getting polearm…)

    Regarding seven-foot anticavalry swords – an extra foot in the weapon’s length actually means more than an extra foot in the effective length when set versus a charge. As I explained earlier, the point really needs to be at a minimum height in order to be effective – my choice of 4′ was a guesstimate, but let’s go with that. Using Pythagoras, a 6′ zweihander would have a hypotenuse squared of 36, while the 4′ of vertical height would cost you 16 of that, giving a horizontal reach (from the point the weapon is braced at) of little more than 4′. A 7′ nodachi would have a hypotenuse squared of 49, minus 16 is 33, giving almost 6′ of horizontal reach. An 8′ poleaxe (which appears to be roughly the length of the dwarf weapon) has a hypotenuse squared of 64, minus 16 is 48 – giving you close enough to 7′ of horizontal reach as makes no real difference. A 9′ polearm would have nearly double the horizontal reach used in this way as a 6′ zweihander.

    Basically, this is an area where a relatively small difference in the actual length of the weapon can have a much larger dividend in the effective reach. Which probably explains why a lot of polearms that weren’t simply long spears were within the 8-10′ range – it was long enough that they could be used to fend off a cavalry charge, but not so long that it couldn’t be swung.

    #135259

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    I don’t know about the length of actual polearms, but 8″ on the dwarf weapon seems a bit excessive. I know the weapons are taller than the wielders by a fair bit, but the halberds don’t look much longer than orc infantry standing at full height.

    The swords designed for anti-cavalry purposes weren’t meant to be set in the ground to wait for a charge, wielders had to be pro-active in swinging the weapon to get it to connect before the rider’s attack hit home. The handle for the no-dachi isn’t very long, so unlike a polearm shaft skilled wielders either killed or were killed if subject to a charge. Better for them to attack stationary cavalry who had just finished smashing into some other friendly platoon.

    The super-long spears and pikes used in medieval Europe and Japan didn’t need to be swung right? Just a matter of holding the pointy-end the right way so that enough of the sharp sticks in a tight bunch together could hold off even the most devastating of cavalry charges.

    #135267

    Draxynnic
    Member

    If you look at a Deepguard unit (in the unit inspector, not the Tome of Wonders) and wait until some of them hold the poleaxes vertically, the weapons are more than twice the height of their wielders. I tend to think of dwarves as being around 4′ in height, so that puts the poleaxes at around 8′, possibly more. They’re actually not much shorter than human halberds, elf glaives or orc impalers, probably longer than goblin skewers (hard to tell because the skewers never hold their weapons upright) and definitely longer than charger spears or farmer pitchforks.

    It’s certainly taller than an orc – the tip of the poleaxe goes out the top of the view window (at least on my computer) while orcs fall well short of that.

    Regarding the super-long spears – yeah, they were pretty much universally used as impaling weapons. Considering that some of them were about twenty feet long, even controlling them to that extent required skill and discipline.

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