Meso American Supplement ?

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Montezuma49
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Meso American Supplement ?

Post by Montezuma49 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:38 pm

Can anyone please tell me if there will be a supplement to cover the Central and South American armies in the fullness of time. In particular Aztecs and Inca.

regards
Paul

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Re: Meso American Supplement ?

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:46 pm

Montezuma49 wrote:Can anyone please tell me if there will be a supplement to cover the Central and South American armies in the fullness of time. In particular Aztecs and Inca.

regards
Paul
In the fullness of time yes.

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:58 am

Marvellous news. Thanks for the information.

regards
Paul

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Post by tamerlane » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:01 am

Hopefully they will all be classed as Poor Mob - these obsidian weilding feather wearers have always been over-rated in other rules!

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:43 pm

You may well think that Tamerlane, but there is nothing wrong with the classifications if they fight against their historical enemies.

Individually the Knightly orders were superior to their Spanish opponents, it was their equipment that was inferior.

regards
Paul

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Post by korvus » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:30 am

Montezuma,

That depends on the design philosophy that the developers have adopted. Are they rating troops based on their abilities solely related to the historical enemies, or by a larger scheme intended to balance the effect of differing technologies.

At least some evidence points to the latter. Companions are not knights, and suffer a disadvantage against them despite their having be the ne plus ultra of shock cav of their day. Their eliteness will be a small help, but a quick look at the POA table shows that they will suffer a serious penalty against knights, and seem to be pointed accordingly.

Your comment about the relative abilities of the Aztec warrior societies to the Spaniards is one I've heard before, and one that causes no end of concern, and there is really nothing supporting it except prejudice.

Its been my observation that cultures that make war in isolation have demonstrated an inflexibility in the face of innovation and change that has led to their ready defeat. Your opponent doing something or having abilities you completely don't expect is probably the most terrifying thing a general can experience, and a lack of a tactical solutions to deal with them is devestating.

Most medieval generals studied classical military texts assiduously, and practiced their skills in the cauldron of war that was Europe, North Africa, and the Middle east. The Spanish troops in Mexico were the products of a military system that had been continuously at war for centuries. They had destroyed the Moors, exterminated French influence in Spain, and before the century was out would break the back of the mightiest Navy afloat, that of the Turks. Their fall would also soon be brought about by upstart pirates from England. But at the time, they were arguably among the best soldiers in the world.

The escape from Tenochitlan illustrates this well. Despite being massively outnumbered, having suffered hideous casualties, exhausted, tired, they still stood up, fought, and won, to complete their escape.

So who was better?

Have fun!
Cole

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Post by Montezuma49 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:59 pm

You have of course chosen not to mention that the several hundred Spaniards in Mexico were aided by several tens of thousands of native Tlaxcallans, without whom the result of the conquest would have been quite different.

regards
Paul

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Post by richnz » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:09 pm

A major difference between the Companions-Knight comparison and the Aztec-Spanish one is that the Spanish are post-1500AD and therefore out of scope for FoG.

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:20 pm

Good point RichNZ, I had forgotten about the date issue.

regards
Paul

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Post by eldiablito » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:54 pm

The fact that the 16th century Spaniards had thousands of Tlaxcallan allies really mutes the strengths of Meso-American military, namely the Aztecs.

If we were to Truly support the notion that obsidian armed natives were all poor mobs, then we would have to seriously downgrade Spartan spear because much of their weapons were bronze and would break just as quickly to the strength of high medieval steel. It is silly, and ignorant to simply attack one set of cultures (Meso-American) and overlook one's own (ancient Western European) when they suffer a similar liability (namely technology).

For those who want a very clever approach to the reasons why the Aztec and Inca nations fell so quickly to European imperialism, go read Guns, Germs and Steel. It is an easy read and it goes into the detail of why the natives lost. IMO, and this isn't just random pontificating, the biggest reason that both native cultures fell so easily was the plague. None of the native populations were biologically prepared for the onslaught of these pandemic illnesses.

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:38 am

I entirely agree Eldiablito. There seems to be a systemic bias against the meso-american cultures, which I have never fully understood.

This was highlighted by the DBM system which made the fully trained Aztec Warriors, Hd(S), a completely inappropriate grading.

regards
Paul

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Post by Rudy_Nelson » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:23 pm

As was mentioned the design concept is paramount in establishing a foundation for formulating armies from different eras even though they are all pre-gunpowder and whose weapons have similar killing capabilities.

In regards to a meso-American bias, a significant question in regards to troop ratings will be are you rating based on historical and regional (and near contemporary) opponents OR does the rating principles need to be based on the possibility of most battles being ahistorical in nature?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:18 pm

Rudy_Nelson wrote:As was mentioned the design concept is paramount in establishing a foundation for formulating armies from different eras even though they are all pre-gunpowder and whose weapons have similar killing capabilities.

In regards to a meso-American bias, a significant question in regards to troop ratings will be are you rating based on historical and regional (and near contemporary) opponents OR does the rating principles need to be based on the possibility of most battles being ahistorical in nature?
A bit of both really.

For example we don't take into account the issue of efficacy (or otherwise) of bronze weapons/armour vs steel weapons/armour.

However, we do have to accept that ahistorical battles will be fought, and straying too far away from the troop definitions could lead to apparently silly results.

Ultimately the list editorial team will decide final troop classifications in all officially sanctioned lists with a view both to historical matchups and ahistorical game balance.

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Post by korvus » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:06 pm

That's nice to hear!

Cole

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Post by eldiablito » Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:50 pm

I do want to add this though... I, personally, find the DBM classification of Blade to be a little too good for eagle and jaguar knights. Almost all Meso-American weapons were an impact weapon and not a fencing weapon. The obsidian and wood were not good at blocking enemy strikes and are best at a single, brutal wound weapon (much like the function of an axe). For this reason, I, personally, thought that most Meso-American stands should have been warbands, Aux, spear or hordes (depending on their weapons and training). Although the Aztecs didn't have phalanx troops like the ancient Greeks, they did use quite a bit of spear and shield combinations and should therefore have access to a few groupings of defensive spear stands.

So, what would this mean about the Fields of Glory troop types? Well, I would make the list a combination of heavy, medium and light foot troops (some, lesser Mob troops are in order, but they shouldn't be the norm). There would (obvioulsy) be very few heavy foot; Much of the Inca, Aztec and other native armies were involved in warfare that concentrated on using and fighting within terrain. Every or nearly every close combat battle group should have protected armor as they used shields and padded armor, but nothing better. Slingers and archers should be reserved for unprotected. Much of the elite armies (namely Aztecs and Incas) should get drilled training and Average to Superior Quality (whereas the Mixtec, Mayans and other lesser armies would go from poor to average quality and undrilled training). As far as troop capabilities, there would be quite a few Impact foot, a fair amount of Bow, javelin, and sling and finally a modest amount of defensive spear. Of the things I would NOT do, I would not give out swordsmen or skilled swordsman (unless fighting each other... That obsidian and wood weapons just crumbled under the impact of a steel weapon). Nor would they, obviously, have any mounted troops. I cannot see them having any real artillery or warmachines for sieges as Meso-American sieges were not against the impressive defenses that the Western World constructed. On a final note, if someone were to buid a Zapotec army (specifically), they had access to a limited amount of primitive metal. If I recall, this tribe was in the early stages of constructing bronze axes before they were snuffed out. I guess, they could potentially get a few stands of swordsmen (but very limited indeed).

I preface all this as the pontification of a single individual and I could easily see an expert in Meso-American history pointing out weaknesses in my definitions. However, in order to build a historical army (first) and flex the exact weapon roles to represent some of the game definitions (second), I could easily see details of exactly how they fought being exaggerated to fit what is primarily an ethnocentric view of warfare.

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Post by Montagu » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:35 am

If the designers decide that the 'Jaguar Warriors" are HF, armored, elite, skilled swordsmen, I would join you in saying that I don't think they should be X, Y or Z. But, I but it doesn't seem to me that it shouldn't make a difference in terms of game mechanics. Everything in this game is paid for. This unit is being 'given' anything. The unit cost is a reflection of its attributes.

Rules applied equally to all are fair.

Monty
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Post by flameberge » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:38 am

I know absolutely nothing about meso-american military history except some of the technology and so reading this thread has gotten me interested in it. I'll have to find a good book on it.
Korvus mentioned the military experience of the Spaniards, what kind of military experience did the various american tribes have? Was it mostly small raid type battles or were there large scale battles as well?

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:16 am

Much of Meso American culture revolved around warfare due to their need for sacrificial victims. The Aztecs in particular fought many large scale wars and batles, but within that there was an emphasis on individual combat, especially among the upper classes.
Effectively the Aztecs were permanently at war with one or other of their neighbours.
There are a number of books, I will have to make a note of a few I have and post them, if you are interested.

regards
Paul

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Post by flameberge » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:02 pm

Yes, please do, Thanks.

Montezuma49
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Post by Montezuma49 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:15 pm

Hi Flameberge,
here are 4 that came to hand:

The Conquest of Mexico - Hugh Thomas, good overall history of the period.

Aztecs - Inga Clendinnen, a bit heavy going, but she knows her stuff. Probably more of an academic'c view.

Aztec Warfare - Ross Hassig, very good, has some well researched chapters about the way the Aztecs went to war, as you would expect from the title.

The Aztecs - Richard F Townsend, similar scope to Clendinnen, but more accessible.

I have several others but these should keep you going. I would recommend Thomas and Hassig in the first instance anyway. Hope this is of use to you.


As you can probably tell, Meso America is my thing. I have been using Aztecs since 1984 or so and have 3 different 25mm armies and 2 15mm armies, all for 6th edition.

regards
Paul

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