Currus Drepanus?

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mikekh
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Currus Drepanus?

Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:01 am

What's happened to the Currus Drepanus (scythed chariots) for Late Romans?
No big deal, I know, but I've just dusted off my Late Romans and it would be cool to use scythed chariots!!

:)

Cheers

Mike

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Re: Currus Drepanus?

Post by SirGarnet » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:06 am

mikekh wrote:What's happened to the Currus Drepanus (scythed chariots) for Late Romans?
No big deal, I know, but I've just dusted off my Late Romans and it would be cool to use scythed chariots!!

:)

Cheers

Mike
I think that will be on the Mythological Romans fantasy list, non-Hollywood variant, should one come out. :wink:

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Post by WhiteKnight » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:04 pm

IIRC the Currus Drepanus was a prototype and so unlikely used in anger. On the other hand, there are other army lists containing entries that some historians would take issue with, let alone informed wargamers, and any lists reflect the understanding of the writers of what is often partial and/or difficult texts. So the lists for competition purposes are written in stone, but I wouldn't mind if an opponent fielded something in a friendly game that their understanding of a text/archaeological find could justify! After all, all wargames are hypothetical and to an extent fantasy, so including a prototype doesn't seem so out of kilter with the spirit of the hobby!

Just an opinion...

Martin

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Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:13 pm

WhiteKnight wrote:IIRC the Currus Drepanus was a prototype and so unlikely used in anger. On the other hand, there are other army lists containing entries that some historians would take issue with, let alone informed wargamers, and any lists reflect the understanding of the writers of what is often partial and/or difficult texts. So the lists for competition purposes are written in stone, but I wouldn't mind if an opponent fielded something in a friendly game that their understanding of a text/archaeological find could justify! After all, all wargames are hypothetical and to an extent fantasy, so including a prototype doesn't seem so out of kilter with the spirit of the hobby!

Just an opinion...

Martin
Yes, the scythed chariots were possibly used in the reign of Valentian 1 but I don't know of any solid evidence that they were actually deployed. However my regular opponents game as much for the history as the game itself then I'm sure I'll be able to try them at least once!

Cheers

Mike

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Post by hammy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:56 pm

I looked over the army lists and what did I see
Comming forth to carry me home
Two superheavy scythed chariots iregular C
Comming forth to carry me home
Swing low superheavy scythed chariot
Comming forth to carry me home
Swing low superheavy scythed chariot
Comming forth to carry me home

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:21 pm

mikekh wrote:
Yes, the scythed chariots were possibly used in the reign of Valentian 1 but I don't know of any solid evidence that they were actually deployed.

There is no evidence, even non-solid, that they were ever actually made let alone tried out.

Definitely one for a fantasy supplement :lol:
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:00 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
mikekh wrote:
Yes, the scythed chariots were possibly used in the reign of Valentian 1 but I don't know of any solid evidence that they were actually deployed.

There is no evidence, even non-solid, that they were ever actually made let alone tried out.

Definitely one for a fantasy supplement :lol:
What about 'De Rebus Bellicis'? Is it a work of complete fiction?

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Post by ars_belli » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:40 pm

mikekh wrote:What about 'De Rebus Bellicis'? Is it a work of complete fiction?
De Rebus Bellicis is a highly speculative document whose anonymous author proposed a number of military devices that were never actually built or used, including a warship driven by large, ox-powered paddle wheels. Personally, I am glad that the authors of the FoG army lists have chosen to include only those troop types for which there is good historical documentation of their regular use on the battlefield.

For gamers who enjoy fielding some of the more 'imaginative' troop types and weapons mentioned in ancient texts, it should be a relatively simple matter to come up with special 'home rules' for individual scenarios. In fact, it would be great to see some of those posted here. :)

Cheers,
Scott

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Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:04 pm

ars_belli wrote:
mikekh wrote:What about 'De Rebus Bellicis'? Is it a work of complete fiction?
De Rebus Bellicis is a highly speculative document whose anonymous author proposed a number of military devices that were never actually built or used, including a warship driven by large, ox-powered paddle wheels...

Scott
I agree, but the use of scythed chariots is far more believable than the use of ox-powered boats. As a whole the document is speculative, but individual items within it have varying degrees of credibility - scythed chariots being one of the more credible entries.

Mike

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:33 pm

Er, ox powered boats are attested for the Chinese :shock:
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by ars_belli » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:27 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:Er, ox powered boats are attested for the Chinese :shock:
And as such they would be eligible for inclusion in the appropriate historical Chinese army list (at least for the upcoming campaign supplement), but not for a Roman one. :wink:

Cheers,
Scott
Last edited by ars_belli on Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by ars_belli » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:34 pm

mikekh wrote:I agree, but the use of scythed chariots is far more believable than the use of ox-powered boats. As a whole the document is speculative, but individual items within it have varying degrees of credibility - scythed chariots being one of the more credible entries.
Again, I prefer the approach taken by the authors of FoG, to include in the army lists only troops that were used typically, rather than skew the lists by including unusual types that were used by an army only a single time, or only hypothetically. And there is absolutely nothing to prevent one from using such speculative types in an individual scenario.

Cheers,
Scott

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Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:49 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:Er, ox powered boats are attested for the Chinese :shock:
Er, but not for European/Mediterranean based societies and armies. :shock:

We're talking about Roman armies.

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Post by mikekh » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:52 pm

ars_belli wrote:
mikekh wrote:I agree, but the use of scythed chariots is far more believable than the use of ox-powered boats. As a whole the document is speculative, but individual items within it have varying degrees of credibility - scythed chariots being one of the more credible entries.
Again, I prefer the approach taken by the authors of FoG, to include in the army lists only troops that were used typically, rather than skew the lists by including unusual types that were used by an army only a single time, or only hypothetically. And there is absolutely nothing to prevent one from using such speculative types in an individual scenario.

Cheers,
Scott
I agree with you completely :)



Cheers

Mike

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Post by eldiablito » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:58 pm

Only to be a little obnoxious;

If the Romans get ox powered ships, then I want my Greeks to have a ray (heat) gun built by Archimedes of Syracuse! Also, I want my Syracuse Hoplites to be able to set fires and blind enemies with their shields. ;)

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Post by flameberge » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:30 pm

ars_belli wrote:
mikekh wrote:I agree, but the use of scythed chariots is far more believable than the use of ox-powered boats. As a whole the document is speculative, but individual items within it have varying degrees of credibility - scythed chariots being one of the more credible entries.
Again, I prefer the approach taken by the authors of FoG, to include in the army lists only troops that were used typically, rather than skew the lists by including unusual types that were used by an army only a single time, or only hypothetically. And there is absolutely nothing to prevent one from using such speculative types in an individual scenario.

Cheers,
Scott
I agree with your thinking on the purely hypothetical but the authors do include in the lists troop types only used once or just a very few times since they include special troops you can field under specific campaigns, which I'm glad they do as these are usually famous battles. But like you said since the chariots are hypothetical you can't exactly have a special campaign date for their use.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:34 pm

eldiablito wrote:Only to be a little obnoxious;

If the Romans get ox powered ships, then I want my Greeks to have a ray (heat) gun built by Archimedes of Syracuse! Also, I want my Syracuse Hoplites to be able to set fires and blind enemies with their shields. ;)
That would be for the Campaign (Siege) Supplement as basic FoG only covers field battles. (And, of course, Archimedes's Death Ray is specifically mentioned - though not included - in the Syracusan list).

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Post by Scrumpy » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:01 pm

Do Hammy's French on a Welsh list not count as fantasy list candidates ? ;

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:06 pm

Scrumpy wrote:Do Hammy's French on a Welsh list not count as fantasy list candidates ? ;
No, because they are entirely historical, and the combined Welsh/French army spent 3 days faced off against the English army - although no battle ensued.

The issue re the DBM "Fantasy Welsh" was not the inclusion of French allies, but the fact that the list allowed you to have them in a South Welsh army.

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Post by ValentinianVictor » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:11 pm

There is a passage which I have often wondered about in Vegetius but my previous translation, the 1944 The Military Service Publication Company, was an incomplete one and its not until this week when I acquired a copy of Milner's later translation that I was able to fully compare them.

This is the passage in question-

'Two soldiers armed from head to foot in a chariot drawn by two horses, also covered with armor, attacked these beasts(elephants) with lances of great length. They were secured by their armor from the archers on the elephants and avoided the fury of the animals by the swiftness of their horses' (TMSPC 1944)

This is the newer, Milner translation of the same passage-

'Pairs of cataphract horses were harnessed each to a chariot; mounted on (the horses) were cataphract cavalrymen who aimed sarisae, that is, very long pikes, at the elephants. Being covered in iron they were not harmed by the archers riding on the beasts, and avoided their charges thanks to the speed of their horses' (Milner 2001)

Now, I don't know about you, but is this not the near mythical 'Currus Drepanus' proposed by the anonymous author of 'De Rebus Bellicis'? Not only does the above passage indicate such a device was used, but the below passage from the 'De Rebus Bellicis' gives an indication that this was not the invention of the author of 'De Rebus Bellicis' as he implies it was already in action when he wrote his little book-

'This type of combat vehicle, armed as you see in an unusual manner, owes its invention to the exigencies of battle with the Parthians(Sasanids?) (there is a picture of the chariot in the book that this part means you should study, it shows both riders and horses in armor and the riders each have a long spear). This car, then, is swept into battle at full speed by a crew of two men, carefully protected by mail clothing and weapons, and each mounted on a well-caparisoned horse. Its rear part above the chassis is defended by knives projecting in a row, so that no one can easily mount it from behind. Further, very sharp scythes are attached to the axles of the afore-mentoned chassis, with rings upon their sides to which ropes are tied: these ropes are slackened to let down the scythes and tightened to raise them, at the two riders will. THOSE WHO KNOW WARFARE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WILL DESCRIBE BETTER THAN i CAN WHAT LOSSES MACHINES OF THIS KIND INFLICT UPON THE ENEMY AND WHAT SLAUGHTER THEY CAUSE AMONG BROKEN RANKS (Thompson 1996)

The part I made bold would read '...I can what losses machines of this kind could inflict upon the enemy and what slaughter they could cause among broke ranks...' if the machine was a theoretical model not actually tested in the field of combat.

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