Terra Cotta Army: Bronze vs Iron

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ethan
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Terra Cotta Army: Bronze vs Iron

Post by ethan » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:26 pm

Went to see the Terra Cotta army exhibit last weekend and it had an interesting take on the weaponry. Most of the weapons recovered are bronze, with a small fraction of iron. But the exhibit claimed that Bronze was actually preferred, that the Chinese were very adept at manipulating the copper/tin ratio to achieve the desired properties and that they but a layer of oxidized chrome on the edges of the weapons (presumably as a cutting edge).

The claim was that the later change away from bronze to iron was driven by economic factors rather than due to the supriority of iron weapons. Anyway, I had heard some of this before in the Near East/Europe context as iron is much more abundant than copper/tin but this seemed like a much stronger statement on this than I have heard before.

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Re: Terra Cotta Army: Bronze vs Iron

Post by sergiomonteleone » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:56 am

ethan wrote:Went to see the Terra Cotta army exhibit last weekend and it had an interesting take on the weaponry. Most of the weapons recovered are bronze, with a small fraction of iron. But the exhibit claimed that Bronze was actually preferred, that the Chinese were very adept at manipulating the copper/tin ratio to achieve the desired properties and that they but a layer of oxidized chrome on the edges of the weapons (presumably as a cutting edge).

The claim was that the later change away from bronze to iron was driven by economic factors rather than due to the supriority of iron weapons. Anyway, I had heard some of this before in the Near East/Europe context as iron is much more abundant than copper/tin but this seemed like a much stronger statement on this than I have heard before.
Hi Ethan,
me too I'm very interested in this army.
This was my favourite one in DBM .................... but in FOG in my opinion it isn't very good for tournaments :oops: :oops:
Sergio

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Post by Moro » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:13 pm

Why not, sergio?

Drilled Armoured Heavy weapon supported by xbow (better bow) are a very good combination, a very hard nut to crack!

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Post by sergiomonteleone » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:06 pm

Moro wrote:Why not, sergio?

Drilled Armoured Heavy weapon supported by xbow (better bow) are a very good combination, a very hard nut to crack!
Ciao Andrea,
you are right.

But:
- no HF :twisted:

- only MF (so you can be lucky with terrain) and no superior troops (for example why HCH or CV are only average :roll: ?).

In my opinion in Empires of Dragon there are other armies stronger compared to DBM (for example Koryo Korean: Cv superior, MF heavy weapon supported by bow, enough LH in particularly if you use ally).

Even if my favourite ones, considering miniatures, are Warrying States and Han :( :(

Sergio

P.S.: with this army you cannot play with 25-27 BG's :wink:

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Post by ethan » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:26 pm

Qin chariots prior to 209BC are superior if you want.

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Post by ShrubMiK » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:50 pm

That's an interesting take on the bronze vs. iron thing...not heard that before but does sound plausible. Obviously once you figure out steel then the iron ore becomes the clear way to go!

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Post by Intothevalley » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:22 am

I vaguely remember watching a programme a couple of years ago where they had a mock fight between a bloke with a bronze sword and someone with an iron sword. The bronze sword had lots of dents in it afterwards, but came off much better than the iron sword, much to the surprise of the TV crew (and me) - but this was entirely within the expectations of the swordsmiths. In addition, the bronze sword could be repaired easily whereas the iron sword was scrap. So it seems like iron might not be superior to bronze per se, so unless there were other reasons (and eventually it seems there were in China) for using it why not stick with bronze.

I also remember reading that China has a relatively high availability of copper and tin, hence why large numbers of huge bronzes have been unearthed in Chinese archaeology which haven't been found in such abundance in other cultures.

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Post by sergiomonteleone » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:05 am

ethan wrote:Qin chariots prior to 209BC are superior if you want.
You are right, but you can have only 2 BG of HCH superior ............... :oops: :oops:
Not a good option :oops:

If we could have superior CV I guess also in FOG could be good for tournaments :D

Sergio

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Post by Saurocet » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:36 pm

Here is a passage from a book I have...

Peers, Chris. (1998). Warlords of China: 700BC to AD1662. Arms and Armour Press, London.

"A theory that was once popular was that Ch'in owed much of its military superiority to its use of iron weapons against the bronze which was still in general use, but modern archeological discoveries have tended to undermine this idea. Iron was gradually coming into use for armour and weapons around this time, but was more closely associated with states such as Han and Yen than with Ch'in. In any case, the cast iron of the period was not necessarily superior to bronze, the use of which had by this time been developed to an extremely sophisticated level. Various alloys were employed to improve its properties, and a technique for chromium plating was also known, as excavated weapons from the Mount Li site have shown" (page 56).

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Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:04 am

sergiomonteleone wrote:
ethan wrote:Qin chariots prior to 209BC are superior if you want.
You are right, but you can have only 2 BG of HCH superior ............... :oops: :oops:
Not a good option :oops:

If we could have superior CV I guess also in FOG could be good for tournaments :D

Sergio
Having run them a number of times out of period they are more effective than people realize. The mixed formations are quite good versus enemy mounted. 1-2 BGs with POs and you can really do well. You do need 4 TCs. maybe an IC+3TCs.

Give them a run out.

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:46 am

Saurocet wrote:Here is a passage from a book I have...

Peers, Chris. (1998). Warlords of China: 700BC to AD1662. Arms and Armour Press, London.

"A theory that was once popular was that Ch'in owed much of its military superiority to its use of iron weapons against the bronze which was still in general use, but modern archeological discoveries have tended to undermine this idea. Iron was gradually coming into use for armour and weapons around this time, but was more closely associated with states such as Han and Yen than with Ch'in. In any case, the cast iron of the period was not necessarily superior to bronze, the use of which had by this time been developed to an extremely sophisticated level. Various alloys were employed to improve its properties, and a technique for chromium plating was also known, as excavated weapons from the Mount Li site have shown" (page 56).
It sounds like the bronze was at a peak of development while the iron was in its most primitive (and brittle).

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Post by sergiomonteleone » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:12 am

hazelbark wrote: Having run them a number of times out of period they are more effective than people realize. The mixed formations are quite good versus enemy mounted. 1-2 BGs with POs and you can really do well. You do need 4 TCs. maybe an IC+3TCs.

Give them a run out.
I've played them some times, obviously with 4 TC's (IC is too expensive).
In fact mixed formations are good, in particularly if you are lucky with terrain.
I've used also Early Nomad Ally.
Sergio

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