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Ask me about Warfare

Discussion in 'Research' started by thecoldembrace, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Hello there everyone. At the behest of Ankari and Sheilawisz, I wanted to offer my services as an adviser on matters dealing with the military. To give some background so you know at least were I come from, I have my doctorate in Military History with my personal focus being on the Ottoman Empire (my dissertation being on Suleiman the Magnificent's campaign against Vienna). I am now a professor of what I learned and work at a local university.

    Beyond the period that the Ottoman Empire encompassed I also had to learn warfare from its beginning to what it is now, and across the globe.

    Mind you I am an expert on military history and military theory. I have not been in battle personally. If I do not know something, I will gladly learn it to help anyone asking the question.

    Beyond this, I have spent a great deal of my personal time writing my own story, wherein I use the knowledge I have to delve deep into the fantasy battle sequences, and learning and theorizing how magic and other fantasy elements can be effectively used in full scale military operations.

    I hope my extensive knowledge can be of use to someone here, and would welcome any questions that you have to how something might work in your own worlds. Just try and give me a good scope of the scenario so I can help you as best as possible.

    If known, let me know the culture if any you model off of... the types of arms and armor... magic involved and so forth and I will do my best to answer.
  2. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    Here's a first question!

    May be big but its something which I have long sought for an answer to. :)

    During the Early Middle Ages (say, 800-1000 AD) what would you say where the major differences and common similarities between Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Norse, Frankish and if possibly Slavic armies in terms of tactics, weaponry and types of troops? And what social and cultural dynamics lied behind each culture's approach to warfare?
  3. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    Shame you can't edit.

    But I realize that my question is probably to big and thus I would ask if you could, if you want to, make a short overview regardingb one of the cultures that I mentioned, instead of all of them?
  4. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Haha, yes quite a large question put in a small context. That is quite alright. You are basically curious as to the properties of those who succeeded the Romans and managed to carve out those well known European kingdoms. So first off a very briefly I can tell you that for the Anglo-Saxon/Irish/Nordic/Frankish forces they fought in a similar style. The style in which they developed was very effective for the time period.
    The shield wall was the common way to fight, front to back in a very clustered formation of raised shields interlocked to protect against barrages of missile fire. It was also extremely effective in warding off frontal cavalry attack. Warriors in these clustered formations used the spear as the primary weapon of choice, one because it didn't cost a hoard to make, as swords were the dominion of those with riches or prestige enough to have them. The other was a dagger or axe which could be used in more individual combat should the spear be broken or lost.

    Most tactics of the day were not that of formal engagements. I had a very successful debate with several professors one time that in effect the tactic was to use small groups of effective warriors, (war bands for lack of a better term that I prefer) who would raid and or seek and destroy an opposed raiding force. Mind you these men were not professional soldiers. The use of heavy armor was lost for some time and was only really used by those who truly needed to be protected and those who could afford the extravagant cost. Most men had simple leather (cheap and effective) and cloth to protect them, using the prized shield for most of their defense.

    The tactic in battle, after an initial skirmish was to smash the shield wall against the other, pushing the enemy to displace their ranks, or pulling the enemy into you to kill and further displace. This was a grueling and tiring type of combat. Most casualties were only received when the line broke, the wall shattered and men withdrew from the field. Until that point it was a contest of wills and stamina akin to mountain goats smashing their heads together or a deadly version of tug-a-war.

    I use the term multi-weapon systems a lot, which generally means the inclusion of four main elements in a military force, defined as light and heavy infantry, and light and heavy cavalry.
    For the early period of which you ask about cavalry was used sparingly and not to great effect until the couched lance and stirrups. Also most horses were not the well bred warhorses of knights, but smaller animals. The cavalry of the day was not really for the most part used as a means of combat, instead as a means of transport to combat which then led to the rider dismounting and fighting on foot.
    So thus, the main systems used were light and heavy infantry, heavy infantry being those men in the shield wall, and light infantry being the skirmishers, the archers, the javelin throwers. It was the light infantry that began the battle and usually made the foray when the shield wall was broken and chased down fleeing foes, as most men in the wall by that point were exhausted.

    The Slavs on the other hand who were further east had greater use of the horse, and still maintained a very good cavalry fighting force, though not in the traditional sense of heavy cavalry. The Slavs used to effect, lightning attacks and withdraws to harass their foes before closing in when they were weak in the lines or morale. They had a more (and I know one other professor that would argue the point) a mob mentality when it came to infantry combat. They used to limited degree a cluster of men in formation with shields, but more often then not infantry combat devolved to individualized mayhem rather quickly.

    As to the reasons for warfare.... they remained traditional. Land and power by local chieftains or for the need of external goods that could only be obtained in trade reverted to being taken in armed conflict. Do you envy your neighbor's goods... well yes of course you do, go take them. The incentive to join the expedition was to share in the spoils, gain glory and fame, and for the non-christians to be seen by the Gods. Now mind you this is a brief overview of what drove men to raid and plunder, for conquest. But, to this point I could write a book in and of itself for just this alone as I would for delving deeper into how these peoples fought.

    I hope its a good start to your question.

  5. ascanius

    ascanius Inkling

    This may be a stupid question but what is military theory? What would be the theory during the Roman republic and for the various powers at that time.

    What about organizational structure besides what the Marius reforms established.

    And lastly. How would magic change warfare, my magic system doesn't really permit mass destruction more on the level of a shotgun for the average battlemage. The more skilled individuals would be able to get more of a claymore effect going. Most magic would also be close quarter combats with raged attacks more difficult. Any thoughts? What would be the civil and political implications of magic? (Don't get me wrong magic is useful but has limits)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2014
  6. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Military theory is applied tactics and strategy. Today in a modern sense, theory is the application of knowledge to understand the flow of combat in and effort to predict an outcome. Basically, its how it SHOULD work. Since we ourselves, you, me and all of us alive were not alive in the time of the Romans, and even though we have detailed accounts of how the Romans conducted their warfare, we have reconstructed what we know from all the various places. They should say, it is understood that it was done thus, but I was drilled at early study that we say, it is theorized that is was done thus.

    The Marian reforms were instrumental into turning Rome's military from a conscript army to a professional standing army that could take on its mounting list of external threats.

    Magic, I have found, depending on how powerful the Art is can change the battlefield. Now this doesn't have to be destructive in nature. When most people think of magic in a battlefield sense, they picture a mage hurling fireballs into masses of men and so forth. To be honest magic with a utilitarian aspect can be extremely beneficial. It is because of magic's broad aspect that it can accomplish a ton of things. Need men with natural armor that wards off arrows? Done, theres a spell for that... usually.
    I was speaking with Ankari the other night, and his simple use of basically a water walking spell or prayer changed what would have been a very difficult battle into a virtual rout at first impact.
    So the question is... what is the true limit of magic in your world. Can your mages create a wall of fog? (Useful in screening your forces so they can get into position) Can your mages scry... i.e. serve as battlefield scouts and intelligence to provide a commander a literal visual view of what he/she is facing?
    As to your shotgun effect.. can this spell (if it is a spell) be placed on say a shield for a short duration of time? I ask because before moving forward a mage can go across the front lines of his army and put this spell on their shields... right before first contact the spell goes off and like a shotgun explodes in the face of the foes, and if it doesn't kill outright it would definitely disorient and create enough disruption in the enemy line to be exploited.
    I find that some of the most basic, slightly laughable... low powered spells can be just as effective as a ritual that takes all day to cast. Battles are not long drawn out affairs typically, and a simple, explosive advantage at the get go could turn a battle rather quickly.

    As to your final question, the civil and political implications of magic. First of all magic only has limits that you yourself set (very good to have to avoid a single mage from annihilating a whole army of decked out soldiers). If you are going to use magic in combat, on the battlefield then you have to treat magic like any other weapon system. It has to be countered, it has to be increased. The very act of having magic alongside soldiers spins into creation the attempt by enemy mages to counter magical effects, to protect their cities from falling to an earthquake ritual that topples towers and walls with equal ease.
    The result is... people want to be protected, people want security, and magic can provide ample security. It would be in great demand regardless of how powerful magic is in the world, because magic is... well... magic.
  7. Is your dissertation published online? I ask because I'm very interested in Ottoman culture and warfare (and particularly in the Yeneceri/Janissaries) but I find it hard to come across good material (on the internet). If it is I'd love to read it. I'm very interested in a dissertation on a longer campaign. If not, then I'd still appreciate it if you could point me to some good books. I'm interested in all things Ottoman, with Suleiman, the Janissaries and Sipahis in particular.
  8. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    The dissertation has not yet been published. I don't know if it is because I only recently (within the last year) graduated with the doctorate. And agreed, it is hard to come across some good material on the internet, and most of it most can't access due to the information being on secure university databases. The best, most comprehensive book I've found and still go back to from time to time is Osman's Dream by Caroline Finkel as a history of the Ottoman Empire. She did an amazing job of including large amounts of primary sources and secondary sources and it is usually carried by a local bookstore.
    For my own research I spent months (off and on) in Turkey at the great libraries in Istanbul and Ankara. Mind you most was in Old Ottoman script which I had to take time to learn. Its honestly sad for those like you and I to realize how difficult of a field of study the Ottoman Empire is, it is largely passed over for more European fields of study. That was one reason that I chose it however, besides my natural love of the culture.
    I have continued my own work on the Ottomans and did not stop with my dissertation. My current research is on the organizational structure of the Janissaries, from the time they were taken as boys till they were professional soldiers, as well as trying to find good first hand accounts of war, written by the Janissaries themselves. I know I have a long way to go, and a lot of digging to do but if I can do it, it would clear up a lot of gaps in current research, and bring them to a larger field of view by others interested like yourself.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2014
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Second the recommendation on Osman's Dream. :)
  10. Ah well it's something. But if your thesis gets published in the future, send me a message! I assume a copy of your thesis will be available in your university's library (that's standard for a thesis here) but that doesn't do me any good. Maybe it'll get an online publication later.

    Until then I might check out Osman's Dream. I hope it has detailed descriptions of some campaigns in it. Those are especially hard to find as most primary sources are incredibly vague (e.g. "And the great sultan gathered a large body of men and armed them with spears and muskets and swords and then...") and therefor of limited interest.

    I am however impressed you learned Ottoman.
  11. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Ottoman was a chink in my learning chain for a long period... I forced myself to bunker down and learn it. Glad I did
  12. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    Very interesting and just what I was looking for. A thousand thanks. :)
  13. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    The author should decide the frequency of dealing with magic in wars.
    If magic is not common or never faced, it would be hard for the defenders to deal with the new weapon.
    If it is common, then the command element would have plans on how to deal with magic, counter magic, and probably their own combat mages.
    WWI the machine gun kept both sides in the trenches, and thousands of lives were thrown away with the traditional charge to battle. But by WWII they figured out better ways to face a machine gun.

    Fog, wind, would be great to cover the enemy in a fog, or if possible a irritating gas? More powerful a deadly magical mist? But this would be very powerful magic to extend too far. Then there could be in little or no wind areas, a flammable gas enemy charges into it at night with torches, boom. Or during the day, the defenders simply ignite it. Less powerful magic but still very effective, ecspecially if multiple mages cover a battle field.

    Any good leader would use all the weapons of war to work together at their best. Archers and mages would work together, heavy weapons and mages would work together, leaders would use the mage to maximize their forces while minimizing the enemies forces.

    The army that isn't prepared for magic in combat, will suffer low morale, will panic quicker, and more likely to mutiny and flee the field. Of course the more seasoned warriors the less likely this happens, but they will still be less effective then if they were dealing with known tactics.

    I would think the mage would find ways to deliver his talents on natural weapons so as to lessen the drain on his limited magical energy. So instead of blasting a fireball into the center of a charging army, they simply place it on a ballista missle or catapult missle, and it explodes on impact. Alot less energy used but still damaging to the enemy.

    I do like the magic endowed shields that blast the enemy first hit.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  14. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Purely technical aside: since this is the "Research" forum, discussions of magic per se don't really belong here.

    No, I'm not going to be a jerk about it. In fact, I'm about to violate that guideline myself. ;)

    What would be appropriate here—and what I believe was intended by the initial question—would be discussions of how magic can replicate real-world effects (e.g. poison gas, as already mentioned), or how it might interact with real-world tactics. Leaving aside the obvious—a "fireball," depending on size, is similar to a grenade or artillery—there are a number of possibilities, some seemingly minor, which could have profound impact in actual combat.

    Enchanting bowstrings to stay dry in the rain, for instance. Enchanting blades so that they do not bend, notch, dull or rust. Enchanting armor straps so that they do not break randomly. Or horseshoes, so that they do not fall off. Or saddles, so the riders don't. These alone could give one force a significant advantage over another… all without mages tossing spells about on the battlefield with abandon. Or at all. And all without "enhancing" the base properties of the items in question: they're no more "magical" than any similar item, in terms of what they can cut through, how much damage they can deal, etc. They allow the items to be used as intended, with identical effects… the items just don't fail the user at critical moments.

    Keeping the soldiers themselves from "failing" is even more valuable. Want to make a real difference in a drawn-out campaign? Have mosquito-repellant spells. Water purification spells. Food preservation spells. Glamorous? Not so much. But neither is being laid up with fever or dysentery while your buddies are forming a shield wall.

    One terribly important factor often glossed over or ignored when writing about battles is C[SUP]3[/SUP]: command, control and communication. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in pre-modern times this was problematic to say the least. Commanders deployed their forces, gave them tasks, hoped they could carry them out, and if they were lucky could somehow get messages to the right people at the right moment to react in a timely fashion when something went contrary to plan. Usually, this involved message-runners (or riders). Flag signals were sometimes possible, but only worked when the signaler was in a place he could be seen by the recipient… and the recipient was watching to see the signal. Sound signals (trumpets, drums) were somewhat better, since no one had to be watching for them… but of course they needed to be audible over the noise of battle. One can easily see how a magical form of communication—"throwing voices," perhaps, so that a spoken command was heard as if the recipient were standing next to the sender, a rough equivalent to short-range radio—could completely change the complexion of a battle. Or, failing that, messenger birds which unerringly located their targets. (No, mundane carrier pigeons won't work on a battlefield.)

    Even the best C[SUP]3[/SUP] fails if the commander does not have good information. Magical scrying—someone with a mirror or crystal ball sitting next to the commander—would be of inestimable value. Or someone with a flying familiar through whose eyes he could watch the battle from above. One can imagine the sort of elaborate dance a battle might become if both sides had scryers and reliable communication, and continually reacted to the other's moves in real time.

    Looking beyond replicating modern tech with magic, there is still a plethora of "subtle" possibilities available—far too many to even start into. Here's one I've never seen before: tents which cause their occupants to fall into a comfortable slumber five minutes after their heads hit the pillows—from which they can awaken, fully alert, at the sound of reveille. Most of the time, an army will know it's "on the eve of a battle"… a condition not historically connected to getting a good night's sleep. Imagine having a fully-rested army when your opponent does not.

    The point is to know your subject—i.e. warfare—first, then consider how magic might interact with and enhance it, rather than starting with the magic. It's easy to write about a battle where opposing mages are blowing things up left and right. You don't need to know much of anything about real-world combat: the magic will be exactly as dominant as you want it to be. Far more interesting is writing the combat as realistically as possible, and allowing the magic to add extra dimensions, without overwhelming the basic fact of masses of armed soldiers trying to slaughter one another.

    And, of course, the mages, if they can reach them. :D
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
    C. A. Stanley likes this.
  15. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Ravana, you have hit the nail on the head. I'm not a mage nor an expert on anything magical. I have theorized how it could possibly benefit a battlefield commander. I prefer to have people ask, "If this happened, magey did this spell, (describes its effects and yada), how would this theoretically effect the battle?) At this point, taking in account of the other details of what is going on I can make a better prediction of the effect.
    Magic is its own weapon system, as is aerial combat. Unhealthily, I might have done too much theory into this field, but hey I love magic and I have an academic love and understanding of warfare. Fantasy has become very flushed with the fields of magic and battle, sword and sorcery. It adds interesting dynamics and challenges, and these I say we should all better understand to make sure when we are writing such a thing it comes out so that it makes sense and not muddled through.
  16. Shadowfirelance

    Shadowfirelance Scribe

    As my current world is dealing with the repercussions of a massive scale war, (And quite a few small ones) I've a few questions.
    Thank you, if you can get through all these! :biggrin: Also, Most, if not all, of my knowledge of warfare and such have been taken from games like AoE, and Empire earth, so forgive me if I ask a basic question.

    How much would Airships (Basically blimps with added weaponry) actually change the course of a war, assuming both sides had equal numbers?
    How much does gunpowder weaponry actually change, in small numbers? Would it make the battles more chaotic, Or much easier for the side that has them?
    Does economy change the size of an army?

    How well would, to use real world equivalents, Roman soldiers fair against an army similar to Vikings, but with better armor? (I'm assuming they had leather, or something other than iron/steel armor.)

    Would raiding tactics actually damage an army, or would they just be an annoyance?

    Would an army that specializes in Artillery (They've invented gunpowder first) be any different than an army that specializes in infantry? (Same numbers of troops, expected kills, etc?)

    How much does fear affect the outcome? Would an army incapable of fear beat an army capable of it?

    Again, thanks for reading this!
  17. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Wow... lots of questions.. I love questions.. time for some edumacation. I'll try to work my way to them all here.

    So since we are assuming both sides have equal numbers of these airships we are throwing out the thought that one side could suddenly pull them out as a surprise. Both sides would have them both sides would prepare for them. Also, these I have thought a lot about in my own world where my dwarfs have their airships and are the only ones with them. These can be used for quite a few scenarios, but their main use is scouting to give accurate information to battlefield commanders or for commanders to command in above a battlefield. The other would be to use them as quick fly over attacks on a battlefield, knowing that they can't stay stationary long or they become a vulnerable target.

    If you are talking air to air combat, both sides have them in equal numbers thus, it depends on the crews manning them and the use and general skill of their pilots and commanders in deploying them in order to win a direct fleet vs. fleet battle. If used on a battlefield at the right time, when the enemy are fully engaged on the ground they can cause a great deal of mayhem. Airships are also very good at relieving sieges, attacking supply lines, and deploying specialized teams of men behind enemy lines.

    So to put it, if these weapons of war are used correctly and at the correct times they can turn the tide of a battle, and get supplies to beleaguered men being sieged with no hope of land or naval resupply anytime soon. Their greatest strength is their long reach and the ability to hide in the clouds above the enemy and strike at the most opportune time to turn the tide of a battle. They are excellent for forward scouting missions, as well as putting troops down behind lines of contention.

    Gunpowder weapons if used in small numbers, I'm assuming you are talking about small units of men using them while the vast majority of others are not.

    This question comes with one question of my own.. How well known is the gun in your world? I ask, because if being showcased for the first time it can cause quite a panic in men that are not used to the sudden explosion of fire and hot death being thrown at them as they are charging. Horses not used or trained to not panic on the sound of gunfire also have to be dealt with.
    The sound and sight of a gun can unnerve opponents, especially the more primitive the opponent is. Take the Spanish against the Aztec and Incan civilizations. Mind you, guns were at a very early stage at this point and were very slow to reload, highly inaccurate, but it put into the native's minds that these guys can create thunder.

    If we are talking a battle against similar foes though I would have to say that a small unit of men using gunpowder weapons would do very little in the scheme of things. Unless these guns are rapid repeaters or have amazing range, they just take too long to reload before the first impact of the lines. They need to generally be used in mass with training and discipline before they wreak any kind of large scale panic and disorder. If the cannon is introduced however that would change the ballgame quick. The devastation of the cannon in even the beginning age of gunpowder was a force to be reckoned with, that even if it wasn't laying out a small team of men with a shot, it would cause a great deal of disruption and fear in enemy ranks. Arrows didn't shred bodies, cannons did, its quite a bit more psychologically damaging than the average shower of arrows.

    Bows and crossbows were used until large scale forces of men could be equipped with guns because an arrow can fire several shots a minute compared to typically one bullet, and could penetrate armor and acceptable distances.

    The short answer, yes. To use a quote from Abraham Lincoln “I can make more generals, but horses cost money.”

    Economy drives war. Historically, the nation with the best infrastructure and a powerful economy fields the largest army (notice I did not say the best army), and can afford to equip its soldiers with the best weapons available. An economy in peacetime can be transformed in wartime to a powerhouse to supply the war effort. The best example of this is the United States in WW2 that virtually overnight became a coast to coast manufacturing plant for everything needed to win the war.

    When economy does not change the size of an army is when there is not enough people at home to press into service. You can have an extremely rich people, but if there are not enough of citizens at home they themselves can't field a large army, this forces them to hire men to fight their wars for them, mercenaries, sell swords and the like. This also applies to nations who are rich but don't want their own sons and daughters fighting and dying, and thus hire out to avoid this.

    Lastly on this point, men don't go to battle and risk their necks for pride of nation alone, that may be one contributing factor but not enough to risk getting a sword in the gut and dying a slow agonizing death. Soldiers want to be paid, either by promises of spoils of war or by payment as a soldier.

    Pitting the equivalent of the Roman army against a Viking host would in most scenarios bring the Romans out on top. With their very, very well organized military, with disciplined men in formation and using their traditional tactics would for lack of a better word, dominate. Is it any wonder why Rome became what it became?

    In this it doesn't come down to what armor you are wearing, it comes down to style of combat. The Vikings did not have well articulated heavy infantry, heavy infantry yes but not articulated. After the initial shock attack by a Viking force against the battle squares of the Romans, it would quickly devolve into the traditional meat grinder of Roman infantry fighting style.

    For the Vikings to win they would have to do what other barbarian forces had to do, catch the Romans by surprise (which was not very easy most of the time). The Battle of Teutoburg Forest is the prime and one of the best examples of a battle that caught the Romans with their pants around their ankles. This battle annihilated three whole legions of men as well as the auxiliary force.

    Against the powerful Roman legion, the Vikings would have to do what they do best, avoid a full scale engagement of army to army, and instead use guerrilla tactics of hit and run to slowly wear down their foe. In pitched battle and most other scenarios Rome has the advantage.

    I will get to the rest of your questions tomorrow, as it is 4:30am here haha.
    Shadowfirelance and Sheilawisz like this.
  18. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I'd say our Revolutionary war would be an example of raiding tactics.

    The enemy expected our army to walk out and meet them in a field, face each other and continue to stand there while each side traded volleys of musket fire.
    Our forces laid in wait and fired from cover, killing/injuring a few, then running off.
    This didn't cut down the numbers of enemy quickly, but it did cut morale and undermined leadership. The commanders were letting the enemy hit them frequently and not doing anything to strike back. So after enough times, even the most seasoned veteran will charge off on their own. Probably adding to the numbers of dead or injured on their side, rather then racking up numbers for them.

    Never fight the war your enemy wants or where he wants it, fight the war you want, where you want it.

    Magic could help with Command and control. Being able to contact sub commanders quickly would help for quickly changing tactics. Even more hitting all the officiers with one message would be great also. The more people that know the objective and the tactic employed the more likely it will be obtained.

    Old signal systems: Our US calvary used the bugle, Some European areas used bagpipes, some used other horns, I believe most towns had alert bells, there were signal flags, but once engaged few looked back to check on flags.
    The signals were limited to common movements: charge, retreat, assembly(regroup), I believe they probably had signals to move to the left, to the right, to flank an opponent or to protect from a flanking movement.

    I don't know if the engaged groups had a horn for signaling to their squad or back to leadership, I'm thinking orders flowed one way.
  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Hey coldembrace, thanks for all the cool information.

    What kind of tactics would an army use to deal with difficult terrain? How quickly could they cross a river, or climb a mountain, or cut through a jungle? What kind of equipment would they use, and would they have special units just for dealing with the terrain?

    My story is based in a fantasy Asia, with influences from India, China, Tibet, Japan, Mongolia and Indonesia.

  20. thecoldembrace

    thecoldembrace Sage

    Alrighty back at it
    So continue off of what SeverinR said.

    Raiding tactics are used when a pitched battle is beyond the means of one side because of limits of army size/technology etc.. It can damage an army, but not in the toll of death dealt (if that is what you are looking for) Raiding can greatly undermine the power of an army in a region, even its home turf. It sows discord, lowers morale and MOST important... puts the larger force on the defensive.

    Modern warfare has Vietnam, with the NVA and the US slugging it out. See how that ended? How many true engagements were there in that war (by the book engagements)? The number is frighteningly low.

    If raiding can be done across large areas of land against the enemy army or the enemy lines of supply and communication, it can do quite a bit more than simply annoy. At first, yes commanders will try and shrug it off as nothing more than stinging nats. However, its not the commanders that are the issue, its the regular soldier who has to prepare for these surprise attacks. They are the ones who get less sleep at night, they are the ones looking over their shoulders. And pity the poor messengers running from camp to camp... they are fast moving target practice.

    To finish this, I love Sun Tzu quotes: "To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." And "If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near."

    Keep the enemy on his toes and destroy him from within, this is the hallmark of a true commander. This is heavily applied when forces are under heavy pressure from home to do something. Politicians.. Kings get impatient, especially from hearing this morning's raiding reports. How many men did I lose yesterday? How much of MY stuff was stolen?
    You get the idea.

    This is a curious question. Mainly because I don't think I understand it. Are we talking literal artillery I.E. cannons/mortars? Or are we using artillery in a broader sense of all firearms? If I can get a better gist of what is being asked here. I don't want to go off on some tangent and not have it pertinent to what you need.

    An army incapable of fear... gods If i had an army that stands without fear the things I could conquer ...

    SO hehe... Fear my friend is the thing commanders dread most in their men. When push comes to shove, are my men going to hold their ground or run? Even the most veteran soldiers will brake if pushed too far. Napoleon's Old Guard in the battle of Waterloo, his elite men who had campaigned with him virtually everywhere were being shot to pieces, they hit the marker that every man has and broke.

    Now presuming that both armies are the same (never happens but for the SAKE of argument) and the only difference is one with fear and one without.. I would generally place my bets on the one without. Of course things do happen in battle that turn the tide, but an army that has no fear cant have fear put into them, thus they will fight until they are too exhausted or are told to retreat. Self preservation is taken out of the equation for one army.

    Now.. before everyone shouts... Fear makes you do amazing things. TRUE... fighting for your life can make men do incredible things in the face of adversity. The fear that if you fail your friends, your family could die will make a man worth ten, and allow him to carve a bloody path.

    Fear of embarrassment kept men in line of battle in the American Civil War, where most of those by your side were people you knew growing up, sons, fathers, brothers and neighbors. Men would stay in the line for fear that they could never return home in shame if they ran.

    The reason I stick to the army without fear is, if they are not mindless drones and can still think, they can still fight. Fear does some amazing beneficial things but it also makes men weak. Historically, if a SINGLE man ran it could cause an increased 45% chance of others running who see him run (This added onto what they already feel inside). They get in their head... he might be right, I'm not going to die for this.

    The army without fear is more consistent in at least they are not getting this same penalty.
    Now, the scenario I would switch my bet onto the army with fear side would be in that back against the wall scenario. You run you die regardless, so you better fight and take as many of these guys with you as possible. This scenario while, rooting out fear still has self preservation. That natural human instinct to kill your attacker is paramount to survival. Men would fear death, and with no option to run, no escape, back to the wall they would fight for their lives or know 100% that they will die if they don't. Even if its a 1% chance of survival, by hacking your way through enemy lines and getting to safety on the other side.

    It's a simple question, but it has a lot behind it.

    Hope some of this helped Shadowfirelance

    Shadowfirelance and Sheilawisz like this.

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