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Another Weapons Thread

Discussion in 'Research' started by trentonian7, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

    Like some other posters, I've been exploring alternative weapons. The vast majority of armies in history were equipped primarily with spears, the Romans being the only major exception I can think of.

    Do any weapons or cultures come to mind where the spear isn't the standard weapon? Excluding firearms of course.
  2. Russ

    Russ Istar

    Primarily mounted armies like the Mongols might be different, as I think were armies that were centered on chariot warfare.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    It's my understanding that the Romans used spears quite effectively. When they locked shields, the Roman soldier in front would thrust his sword out to kill the person to his side (like a pawn in chess). But almost right on top of him a soldier with a spear would attack the person in front of him.

    The effectiveness of the spear in melee combat isn't just about the spear itself. It's about the shield. You can attack with your spear over the shield without lowering your defenses. Although the reach of the spear can't be overlooked.

    The spear is so cheap and effective that I'll be surprised if you can find an army that didn't use it. Mixed arms combat is usually what wins a war. But that also means you can find specific military units which didn't use them. For instance, it's my understanding that Mongols had separate mounted archer and spear units. Their archers would ride forward, harass the front lines of their enemies, and then lead them to their heavier mounted units.
  4. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    I think it'd be hard, probably impossible, to find an army that made absolutely no use of spears, although the importance of the spear varied.

    Ancient Egyptians had spears but I think they were never a primary weapon and served more as auxiliary weapons. Bows and arrows, hatchets, maces, swords were typically more important.
  5. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

    And you're certainly right, but I'm not looking for examples that didn't use the spear at all, only ones that primarily used another weapon. The earlier example of the Romans fits this; of course certain lines used spears and javelins were standard, but the primary weapon of standard infantry for most of the late republic and early to middle empire was the gladius. Those are the kinds of things I'm looking for.

    I'm definitely going to look more into Egyptians and Mongols, I didn't even think of nomadic cultures. Thank you to commentators thus far!
  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    The Dacians used the falx extensively, to the point that the Romans had to modify their armor and helmets to counter it. Of course, spears were still used, just as nomadic horse peoples also used spears/lances alongside their horse archer tactics.
  7. intipablo

    intipablo Scribe

    The nomadic people of the steppes and or Scythians, were nearly entirely made up of Horseman, whether it be horse archers, lancers, spears, etc.

    However the infantry of the Scythians was made up of mostly axeman. They Scythians were known for their Sagaris, which was an ancient battleaxe used by them (and I'm pretty sure invented by them as well, though I'm not quite sure) They did use spears, but they weren't very common until later in history, when they received heavy Greek influence, which changed the course of their armies.

    Almost the entire army was always armed with a bow accompanied by another weapon, most likely a melee one of sorts.

    But most other armies of that time used spears, and I can't think of much else. Like Equestris said, the Falx was also very big in Dacia.
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    The Seljuk Turks. The Fatimid Egyptians. These are both 11thc-12thc. As with other examples, spears were used, but were not primary.

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