You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Total War History
Moderated by Pitt

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.188 replies, Sticky
Total War Heaven » Forums » Total War History » The Quick Question Thread
Bottom
Topic Subject:The Quick Question Thread
« Previous Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 ··· 8  Next Page »
Legio Yow
Legionary
posted 23 January 2007 09:42 EDT (US)         
I decided we needed one of these.

The purpose of this thread is for little questions that have objective answers, and don't merit their own thread. For example, a good question you might ask here is "Who was the emperor who built the Colosseum?" or "Where can I find a description of the Battle of Alesia?". You can also use this if you are having trouble finding previous discussions in this forum. For example, you might ask "Where can I find a detailed description of the mechanics of a corpse bridge?", which would receive an answer.

This thread is not for introducing discussion topics. You do not ask "So, who was better. Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great?". Think of it as the AH equivalent of the Roman Party thread but do not spam.

If your query starts to get replies beyond two or three posts, then consider starting a specific thread if it looks set to run. If it gets to six or seven posts, start a specific thread on it.

This forum has needed this for a while. Please obey the rules.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry

[This message has been edited by Legio Yow (edited 01-23-2007 @ 05:15 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 24 March 2007 18:10 EDT (US)     76 / 188       
That was in the play Richard III by Shakespeare. As he was killed moments later, no, he did not get a horse.

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
Chalupa Batman
Centurion
(id: ccsantos)
posted 17 May 2007 02:05 EDT (US)     77 / 188       
Why is this part of the forum discussion limited to the 17th (or 18th?) century?

As-Salaam-Alaikum
Cordyceps
Naphal
(id: ArchDruid)
posted 18 May 2007 00:47 EDT (US)     78 / 188       
The entire TWH History forum is limited to the 17th/18th century because HG has another history forum which supposedly covers all time periods. Realistically anybody talking about something other than WW2 or the US Civil War gets shouted down by the denizens there though, and since Medieval Total War and Rome Total War share forums, the TW History forum basically covers the time periods dealt with in those games. That time period is extended to slightly later however because there are apparently some mods out there which take place later.

Just as some bodies, from the moment of birth, are endowed with beauty, while on others nature from their very beginning bestows blemishes and wrinkles, so with souls too, some are distinguished at once with extreme grace and attractiveness, while others leave a trail of sombre and deep gloom. ~Michael Psellus, Chronographia
dsmi1
Legionary
posted 10 June 2007 01:11 EDT (US)     79 / 188       
My question is about standard bearers. It was actually something i was going to make a similar thread to ask, because its probably not worth its own.

Were they required to fight? I know they carried the banner and helped them stay in formation or what not. But when the lines met would they move to the back, or drop the banner and fight? Surely they would not be effective fighters if they had to spare a hand/ arm to hold it.

Or if someone had a good reference instead of an explanation that would be just as appreciated.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 10 June 2007 04:17 EDT (US)     80 / 188       
Medieval standard bearers would usually have their right hand free to fight, but you're right that this would not generally be enough to fight efficiently. That's why there were good men tasked to defend the standard and its bearer.
In the 18th century the standard bearer had a sort of belt he could stick the flag into, to make it easier to carry. Still looks odd, though:

Bad drawing, but you get the idea.

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
dsmi1
Legionary
posted 10 June 2007 05:52 EDT (US)     81 / 188       
Yeah I had the idea that later on there was some sort of sleeve they could use, similar to stuff you see today. So for medieval battles, your saying there were better soldiers put into formation near the bearer to specifically keep him alive. Seems like a good idea, although having the bearer on the third line might make sense. That being said i wasnt there and im not a military commander haha. Thanks for answering that question Kor.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 10 June 2007 09:40 EDT (US)     82 / 188       
Roman standards were capable of being driven into the ground (so long as it wasn't solid rock...). They were also often placed slightly in advance of the unit, orders being given not to advance beyond the standards. Obviously if engaged the Romans would necessarily charge beyond the standard before the enemy reached it but it would then be a static rallying point to regroup on once the enemy had been repulsed.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
MisplacedPope
Legionary
(id: misplacedgeneral)
posted 10 June 2007 11:23 EDT (US)     83 / 188       
Roman standard bearers also carried a small, circular shield, and wore a sword for defense. I think, really, one would have to look at different types of standards though, since I'm sure some performed one role while another performed a different role (like a vexillae for a cavalry Alae)

"It's not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good." Jack Nicholson
Legio Yow
Legionary
posted 21 June 2007 14:28 EDT (US)     84 / 188       
What was Philip's quote about oaths and fooling people?

"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 14 July 2007 19:08 EDT (US)     85 / 188       
Since I spent the last few days playing tourist, my mind wondered when the first recorded tourists travelled? I don't mean isolated travellers, I mean numerous travellers.

The earliest I've heard of was Romans travelling to Sparta as well as the rest of Greece to view what was a "for display only" agoge system.
Anybody got earlier examples?

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

MisplacedPope
Legionary
(id: misplacedgeneral)
posted 14 July 2007 19:19 EDT (US)     86 / 188       
Most historians (such as Herodotus) traveled often, it seems, geography, customs and such.

"It's not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good." Jack Nicholson
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 15 July 2007 03:35 EDT (US)     87 / 188       
What was Philip's quote about oaths and fooling people?
'Cheat boys with dice but men with oaths.'


He really was a quality old rascal.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Legio Yow
Legionary
posted 15 July 2007 08:28 EDT (US)     88 / 188       
Ah, that's it.

As for Gaius, I'm not sure. Presumably the earliest tourism would have been pilgrimages, but by about 150 BC (When the Seven Wonders of the World list, the first tourist guidebook I know of, was compiled), tourism must have been fairly prevalent.

"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 15 July 2007 18:20 EDT (US)     89 / 188       
Interesting. It seems reasonable for it to have begun before Roman citizens travelled the world for pleasure.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

Cordyceps
Naphal
(id: ArchDruid)
posted 15 July 2007 18:24 EDT (US)     90 / 188       
It was pretty common for Diaspora Jews to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem, as well, dating back well before the Romans (or even Herodotus).

Just as some bodies, from the moment of birth, are endowed with beauty, while on others nature from their very beginning bestows blemishes and wrinkles, so with souls too, some are distinguished at once with extreme grace and attractiveness, while others leave a trail of sombre and deep gloom. ~Michael Psellus, Chronographia
dsmi1
Legionary
posted 19 July 2007 19:46 EDT (US)     91 / 188       
Some interesting discussion here so maybe I will continue.

My question comes from reading a novel last week, I know this forum is limited to 'early' gunpowder era so perhaps it fits. If not then the description on the forum is not detailed enough! Anyhow, onto the question.

When firing musket volleys, why was it so important for everyone to close ranks and stay tight? They even had ( which im assuming was in real life) rank or file closers to make sure everything was in order. Now I assume its so that each volley is more 'concentrated' and is sure to put down more enemies. But what wouldnt being that much closer together up make you an easier target for the return fire? My question really is about these rank closers and fillers their role etc.

Im not judging these tactics because as like most people, I have zero military experience, but the reasons why interest me.

Any reasons / ideas?
CavalryCmdr
Legionary
posted 19 July 2007 21:12 EDT (US)     92 / 188       
Now I assume its so that each volley is more 'concentrated' and is sure to put down more enemies. But what wouldnt being that much closer together up make you an easier target for the return fire?
Yes.

It is IMO probabaly the stupidest era in warfare. Basically, Numbers, Guts and Dicipline were the major deciding factor in such battles. That's why England dominated that era, they were the most diciplined, and 'fear' was rather effectively drilled out of their line troops. There's more to it then that, true, but only little.

That's a major reason America won independance and why the Confederates did so well against the Union. The cheaters refused to line up and be shot like proper soldiers.

Tell me how wrong I am if you want, but if you look at any era of warfare in it's most basic form, I'm right. I like over-simplification, it makes things easier.
Mechstra
Banned
posted 20 July 2007 04:43 EDT (US)     93 / 188       
Actually the US War of Independence was won on the strategic scale for the US, not the tactical scale, in which the British were generally victorious. It was poor strategic generalship rather than battles that lost it for the British. Also, the Confederates were just as fond of ranks and volleys as the Union soldiers were in the US Civil War - they were, however, generally more proficient, and as in previous eras that counted for a lot. Being able to reload faster and not break as early when under fire was what won straight fights when all facets of generalship were removed.

Musket volleys were as they were because muskets were horrendously inaccurate and ranks of men all firing at once (at least to start with) was the most effective way of using them. The standard French infantry musket didn't even have sights, I believe, while the Brown Bess had only a rudimentary stump which was no use to man or beast (although it was possibly the other way around). This was to discourage infantry from attempting to sight along the barrel, as muskets were so hopelessly inaccurate that a single shot fired at a single man standing 50 feet away would have a better than evens chance of missing him. Volume of fire, and aiming low so that the spread of musket balls would be more likely to hit something critical (they had a tendency of firing higher than it seemed to the soldiers), was what was important. Closing ranks was indeed to allow for a greater concentration of fire - this won battles. The much-vaunted British thin red line prevailed over the French columns because every musket in the line could fire - in the columns, mathematics dictated that only the front ranks and side ranks could fire. Also, closing ranks meant that the line stopped getting thinned out in places - a line with gaps is far easier for a charge of men to break through, starting a rout.

It was not until the advent of rifled barrels that modern infantry doctrine became at all applicable, although even musket-equipped light infantry used cover and concealment and skirmish order, much like later troops would. In the British army, each regiment had a light company which took these duties, and regiments such as the 60th Royal American Rifles (mostly made up of Germans by the time of the Napoleonic Wars) were distributed throughout the army in companies, to perform skirmish duties and nothing else. The French army had voltigeurs and chasseurs who performed light infantry duties with muskets, and in all armies which used rifles, the rifle-equipped troops fought with tactics more appropriate to their accurate weapons while the musket-equipped ones formed the line battalions. If it truly had been a stupid era of warfare, then the massed-ranks attitude would have been applied to the entire grand sweep of soldiery.

To say that the tactics of the 18th and early 19th centuries were stupid shows a gross lack of understanding of how these tactics had come about through trial and error and finding the best way of using the resources available. The middle of the 19th century is a far better example of 'stupid' warfare, as tactical mindsets were broadly stuck in the rut of ranks of men and volleys even though technology was racing ahead with breech-loading rifles and the like.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 20 July 2007 08:08 EDT (US)     94 / 188       
While I broadly agree,

- a line with gaps is far easier for a charge of men to break through, starting a rout.
isn't quite right as in the horse and musket era men tended to flee before contact. In a close formed line one has the reassurance of one's 'mates' close by - once the line is thinned this substantial moral reassurance fades and flight becomes much more likely.

Napoleon acrtually withdrew rifled muskets from his light troops as he thought they were more trouble than they were worth (supply, longer reloading). This was one of his more short-sighted decisions as it meant his skirmishers were at a huge disadvantage with respect to the range of their weapons.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Mechstra
Banned
posted 20 July 2007 08:41 EDT (US)     95 / 188       
isn't quite right as in the horse and musket era men tended to flee before contact. In a close formed line one has the reassurance of one's 'mates' close by - once the line is thinned this substantial moral reassurance fades and flight becomes much more likely.
That's more or less what I meant - I don't mean that it's easier for a charge to carve through the troops still standing, but that the line becomes so weak that the enemy can simply march onward and through as effective resistance fails and the 'defenders' retreat.

The French did this in the battle of Buçaco, ending up behind the main British and Portuguese lines with one of their advances, I believe. Didn't do them any good in the long run in that battle, but even so.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 20 July 2007 09:17 EDT (US)     96 / 188       
I can see that's what you meant now I look again, sorry.

Interestingly, Wellington's skirmish line was often so thick (and his main line concealed) that the French sometimes mistook his skirmishers for a disordered 'main body'.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
dsmi1
Legionary
posted 23 July 2007 00:36 EDT (US)     97 / 188       
Thanks for the responses CavalryCmdr, D Furius Venator and Mr Dunn. Sorted those issues out.

On the point of reassurance from having your mates around, i was reading an account of an American officer in Vietnam and how he felt something similar. One part in the book he said that when the man in front went around the corner, even though he knew he was less than a few metres away he ran to get around the corner so he could see him again. I guess its important to feel like your not the only one there. And if theres more people about then your perhaps less likely to be shot / attacked, and more likely (at least in your mind) to be able to get them before they get you.

Anyone got any other points to talk about?
dsmi1
Legionary
posted 09 August 2007 19:02 EDT (US)     98 / 188       
Was Procopius' description of Justinian a fair one? Im wondering what kind of state he left the empire in after he died, and if it really as bad as he made out. It has left a fairly negative view in my mind that soon (post university project period) I hope to find out some more details. What do you guys think?

I did do a search of Justinian on the forums which returned no results so I thought about asking here.
Cordyceps
Naphal
(id: ArchDruid)
posted 09 August 2007 23:03 EDT (US)     99 / 188       
Porphyrogenitus will probably provide a better answer, but it depends which Procopius you decide to follow. There's his history, which is several books long and fairly objective, but he also wrote a panegyric (complimentary biography) of Justinian as well as allegedly writing the 'Secret History' (which is unfortunately the most commonly available of Procopius' works).

Basically the panegyric and 'Secret History' are both obviously and blatantly biased for and against Justinian, and should likely be dismissed. Procopius' major work was History of the Wars which while apparently unbiased must still be taken with a grain of salt - Procopius was deeply involved with the people about which he was writing, accompanying Belisarius on numerous campaigns. He should probably be read with the same sort of attitude you'd take while reading someone like Anna Comnena or Julius Caesar.

Just as some bodies, from the moment of birth, are endowed with beauty, while on others nature from their very beginning bestows blemishes and wrinkles, so with souls too, some are distinguished at once with extreme grace and attractiveness, while others leave a trail of sombre and deep gloom. ~Michael Psellus, Chronographia
Porphyrogenitus
Legionary
posted 09 August 2007 23:10 EDT (US)     100 / 188       
Was Procopius' description of Justinian a fair one? Im wondering what kind of state he left the empire in after he died, and if it really as bad as he made out. It has left a fairly negative view in my mind that soon (post university project period) I hope to find out some more details. What do you guys think?
Justinian had one problem, which wasn't even under his control: the first bout of bubonic plague in European history.

The theoretical situtation - Justinian completes his reign (ie dies) without the plague having arrived. Italy, despite the devestation of a long war, still is profitable enough to pay for the twenty thousand or so soldiers needed to defend it. Likewise Africa is well able to support its own garrison, and the large population and strong economy provide a plentiful treasury despite extensive grand building programs. There are now sufficient troops led by the great Belisarius and the eunich Narses to ensure a final end to the Persian War favorable to the Roman Empire. The Hunnic tribes to the north have been entirely pacified, and Spain is the next target for Justinian's successor (quite possibly Belisarius himself, actually).

What has changed in this scenario? The plague. Without it, the empire would not have lost upwards of half its population (concentrated in the economically vital coastal and urban regions). Without it, Justinian would never have been at deaths door (he contracted the plague but survived it) which led Belisarius to begin plans for a takeover of the government, abandoned immediately upon hearing that Justinian was alive but enough to cause his effective removal from power until hunnic raiders necessitated his return to military command in the final years of his life. In general, the empire would have been far wealthier, its troops far more satisfied (regular pay, rather than the continual pay delays that sparked mutinies and reduced military performance). Justinian's successors would have had a far easier time of it (Maurice, had he still become emperor, would not have been overthrown, as the financial emergency that resulted in his murder would not have taken place), and in general things would have been a lot better for the empire.

The plague effectively ruined Justinian's careful plans for Europe, wiping out the imperial treasury, cutting the population by an incredible amount, and leaving the empire vulnerable on nearly every front. It is almost unbelievable that the empire managed to survive the plague at all, given the terrible impact that it made, and that fact is something of a testament to Justinian's prowess as a ruler. Despite the ravages of the plague he left an empire capable of surviving.

Edit: As for Procopius' biases, he was paid for the Buildings, and the Secret History was pretty much a vent for his frustrations and anger (he considered himself to be part of the upper class, which "suffered" under Justinian, primarily in a financial way, and so he was somewhat put out about tax policies, etc.). Both were written according to genre rules, and should be read as such (panagyric and invective, respectively). The Wars is better as an objective history, but even so Procopius shows some bias (pro-Justinian early on, but in the end pro-Goth).

0 Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance:
To our Rulers grant victories over the barbarians,
And by thy Cross protect thine own Estate.

- Prayer on the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross (September 14), established by Heraclius, Basileus (610-41), after recovering the True Cross from its captivity by the Persians and the utter defeat of the Sassanians by Roman arms.

[This message has been edited by Porphyrogenitus (edited 08-09-2007 @ 11:13 PM).]

« Previous Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 ··· 8  Next Page »
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Total War Heaven | HeavenGames