Alternative Early German....

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Eques
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Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:57 am

.......Based on my interpretation of Tacitus (relevant text in the second post, cross referenced against the numbers in the right most column below)


PS. it would be kinda cool if you were able to post a proper table in this sort of forum! Seeing as you can't, the penultimate column represents minima/maxima.

Warriors--------------------------------HI--------Av--------Prot--------jav--------IF/light spear--------all--------24/100----------1,2,3

Select/Veteran Warriors--------------HI-------Sup--------Prot-------jav--------IF/light spear--------all----------8/24-----------1,2,3,9

Cavalry--------------------------------CAV-------Av---------Prot---------------------light spear---------2/3---------4/18----------------3
Runners-------------------------------LI---------Av----------Prot-------jav----------light spear---------1/3---------2/6-----------------4

Tencteri Cavalry---------------------CAV-----Sup or El----Prot---------------------light spear----------all-----------0/6---------------10

Companions-------------------------CAV------Sup----------Prot---------------------light spear----------all-----------0/4---------------7,8

Families/Women-------------------MOB------Av------------------------------------------------------------------------0/10--------------5,6
Last edited by Eques on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

Eques
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:00 am

Tacitus' text, cross referenced against the right most column above:

1) There is not even any great abundance of iron, as may be inferred from the character of their weapons. Only a very few use swords or lances. The spears that they carry—frameae is the native word—have short and narrow heads, but are so sharp and easy to handle, that the same weapon serves at need for close or distant fighting.
2) The horseman asks no more than his shield and spear, but the infantry have also javelins to shower, several per man, and can hurl them to a great distance; for they are either naked or only lightly clad in their cloaks
3) Their horses are not distinguished either for beauty or for speed, nor are they trained in Roman fashion to execute various turns. They ride them straight ahead or with a single swing to the right, keeping the wheeling line so perfect that no one drops behind the rest. On a general survey, their strength is seen to be rather in their infantry

4) their strength is seen to be rather in their infantry, and that is why they combine the two arms in battle. The men whom they select from the whole force and station in the van are fleet of foot mid fit admirably into cavalry action.

5) Not chance or the accident of mustering makes the troop or wedge, but family and friendship, and this is a very powerful incitement to valour. A man's dearest possessions are at hand; he can hear close to him the laments of his women and the wailing of his children. These are the witnesses that a man reverences most, to them he looks for his highest praise. The men take their wounds to their mothers and wives, and the latter are not afraid of counting and examining the blows, and bring food and encouragement to the fighting men.
6) It stands on record that armies wavering on the point of collapse have been restored by the women. They have pleaded heroically with their men, thrusting their bosoms before them and forcing them to realize the imminent prospect of their enslavement—a fate which they fear more desperately for their women than for themselves.

7) Conspicuous ancestry or great services rendered by their fathers can win the rank of chief for boys still in their teens. They are attached to the other chiefs, who are more mature and approved, and no one blushes to be seen thus in the ranks of the companions. This order of companions has even its different grades, as determined by the leader, and there is intense rivalry among the companions for the first place by the chief, among the chiefs for the most numerous and enthusiastic companions. Dignity and power alike consist in being continually attended by a corps of chosen youths. This gives you consideration in peace-time and security in war. Nor is it only in a man's own nation that he can win name and fame by the superior number and quality of his companions, but in neighbouring states as well. Chiefs are courted by embassies and complimented by gifts, and they often virtually decide wars by the mere weight of their reputation.
8) On the field of battle it is a disgrace to the chief to be surpassed in valour by his companions, to the companions not to come up to the valour of their chief. As for leaving a battle alive after your chief has fallen, that means lifelong infamy and shame. To defend and protect him, to put down one's own acts of heroism to his credit that is what they really mean by `allegiance'. The chiefs fight for victory, the companions for their chief. Many noble youths, if the land of their birth is stagnating in a protracted peace, deliberately seek out other tribes, where some war is afoot. The Germans have no taste for peace; renown is easier won among perils, and you cannot maintain a large body of companions except by violence and war. The companions are prodigal in their demands on the generosity of their chiefs. It is always `give me that war-horse' or `give me that bloody and victorious spear'

9) The bravest also all wear an iron ring—which to the Chatti implies disgrace as a bond from which only the killing of an enemy can free them. Very many of the Chatti like this fashion and still signalize themselves by it even till their hair turns white—a mark for friend and foe alike. With such old warriors it always rests to begin the battle. They are always in the van and present a startling sight; even in peace they decline to soften the savagery of their expression. None of them has home, land or business of his own. To whatever host they choose to go, they get their keep from him, wasting the goods of others while despising their own, until old age drains their blood and incapacitates them for so exacting a form of heroism.

10) Next to the Chatti, along a Rhine that has now defined its channel and can serve as a boundary, live the Usipi and Tencteri. The Tencteri, while sharing in the general military glory, excel in skilful horsemanship. The infantry of the Chatti are not more famous than the cavalry of the Tencteri. That is their inherited tradition, which later ages continue to honour. The games of the children, the competitions of the young men, all take this same direction; even the old persist in it: Horses are handed down as part of the household with its protecting gods and the rights of the succession. They are inherited by a son, not necessarily, like the rest of the property, by the eldest, but by the one who is the keenest and ablest soldier

kevinj
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by kevinj » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:17 am

If you want to add a table, here's how:

1) Create the table in Word, Excel or whatever.
2) Use a screen grabbing tool (Snaggit, Windows Snipping tool or even the Print Screen button) to copy an image of your table.
3) Use Powerpoint, Paint or similar to trim it if necessary.
4) Save it in an image format (jpg is good).
5) Follow the instructions here to post an image to the forum: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=5426.

grahambriggs
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:19 am

Given Impact Foot and Light Spear are both impact only capabilities, it's somewhat wasteful to have both. The txt suggests they fight as spearmen at all time so surprised you didn't opt for either offensive spear or defensive spear. Perhaps the former?

philqw78
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by philqw78 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:36 am

Why are you giving HF javelins capability? Surely they were used prior to impact
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

Eques
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:55 am

grahambriggs wrote:Given Impact Foot and Light Spear are both impact only capabilities, it's somewhat wasteful to have both. The txt suggests they fight as spearmen at all time so surprised you didn't opt for either offensive spear or defensive spear. Perhaps the former?
Good point about the duplication.

I thought offensive spear more implied a phalanx style, formalised regiment as opposed to "heroic" warriors fighting as individuals.

Maybe that is why the original list gave them "swordsmen" as a happy medium.

Eques
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:03 am

philqw78 wrote:Why are you giving HF javelins capability? Surely they were used prior to impact
For me this implies more of a genuinely multi-tasking warrior like Mesopotamian bow armed spearmen:

but the infantry have also javelins to shower, several per man, and can hurl them to a great distance

Personally I think if the javelins were used at impact Tacitus would have said so.

Maybe the warriors could be Medium instead of Heavy. I made them Heavy to reflect the respect Tacitus obviously has for them.

Eques
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:03 am

Also, I forgot the archers - would be the same as in the original list.

grahambriggs
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:53 pm

Eques wrote:
grahambriggs wrote:Given Impact Foot and Light Spear are both impact only capabilities, it's somewhat wasteful to have both. The txt suggests they fight as spearmen at all time so surprised you didn't opt for either offensive spear or defensive spear. Perhaps the former?
Good point about the duplication.

I thought offensive spear more implied a phalanx style, formalised regiment as opposed to "heroic" warriors fighting as individuals.

Maybe that is why the original list gave them "swordsmen" as a happy medium.
You're probably right about the 'happy medium'. They need something to give them a POA in melee and I suspect they got lumped in with all the other barbarian types of the period.

I'm not sure offensive spear necessarily implies a formalised regiment: most Greek hoplites weren't formal after all. I guess the issue was though one of fighting style. Tacitus doesn't seem that interested in how the Germans fought, but is happy to imply they are "noble savages". perhaps they formed a shiled wall, perhaps not.

ShrubMiK
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by ShrubMiK » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:05 pm

Wasn't there at least one ancient reference to certain early Germans fighting with "long spears" in "phalanxes"? (Can't remember who...or how accurate we think the translation is...)

Of course this does not necessarily imply they fought identically to hoplites, but might imply a different style of combat to the majority of German tribes. And which might (as with vikings, who I don't think of as ordered shieldwall types) be treated for game purposes as "offensive spear".

Defensive spear just doesn't sound right to me for Germans though.

ravenflight
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by ravenflight » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:25 pm

grahambriggs wrote:You're probably right about the 'happy medium'.
I don't think that 'swordsmen' necessarily means they have to have a sword though... just that they're skilled at one on one combat. For example, anyone who wouldn't rate a Zulu warrior's use of assegai as 'swordmen' has got (imho) rocks in their head. I have no idea on the fighting style of German's, but if they used their light spear as a 'sword' the same as the assegai, then why not?

ShrubMiK
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by ShrubMiK » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:25 pm

"Swordsman" also includes other side-arms, provided the troops have the necessary level of skill - I'm pretty sure that's stated in the rules. small hand axes, maces, clubs etc. may be counted as "swordsmen" for certain troops. I can't think of any concrete examples, but allowing a short thrusting spear to count as "swordsman" as well as "light spear" could be plausible if the troops could be demonstrated to deserve it.

I suspect most Early Germans had some other side-arm though, in practice. At least, that's how my fugures are modelled, so it clearly must be true in reality.

Maybe Zulus could be "offensive spear" though, and therefore the question of whether they could qualify for "swordsman" would be irrelevant? ;)

Sarmaticus
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Sarmaticus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:58 pm

Eques wrote:Tacitus' text, cross referenced against the right most column above:

1) There is not even any great abundance of iron, as may be inferred from the character of their weapons. Only a very few use swords or lances. The spears that they carry—frameae is the native word—have short and narrow heads, but are so sharp and easy to handle, that the same weapon serves at need for close or distant fighting.
That it could be used for distant as well as close fighting suggests it could be thrown, and so was not very long. That it was easy to handle suggests it was used in some way other than just poking from behind a big shield and that the Germans in question were adept in melee. So, if we imagine Germans s armed with a shortish thrusting weapon that they used effectively in melee, Swordsman doesn't seem that far amiss.

Eques
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by Eques » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Yes I knew "swordsmen" in the rules did not always literally refer to swords. Still as Tacitus makes a big, er, point about their love of spears (and about the scarcity of swords) I thought some kind of spear capability was worth looking at.

But yes quite right "so sharp and easy to handle, that the same weapon serves at need for close or distant fighting" could well be saying that the spears were used in the same way as swords. On first reading I thought he was saying that they were light enough to throw!

ravenflight
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Re: Alternative Early German....

Post by ravenflight » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:30 pm

ShrubMiK wrote:Maybe Zulus could be "offensive spear" though, and therefore the question of whether they could qualify for "swordsman" would be irrelevant? ;)
Not that it matters, because they are well out of period, but there is no way I'd rate Zulu's as "Offensive Spear". They were individual fighters. "Impact Foot/Swordsmen" would be my thoughts, but as I said, it really doesn't matter.

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