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tvihiocus

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Everything posted by tvihiocus

  1. tvihiocus

    ROME: CAPUT MUNDI Capitol of the World

    Include me as well, please
  2. tvihiocus

    Weapons

    Of course no hard feelings, just wanted to set the record straight, so to speak. Misunderstandings tend to happen every now and then to everyone.
  3. tvihiocus

    Weapons

    If you're going to bash my posting - at least read the post properly first. I was referring to wielding the spear like a staff, which does require space. Obviously as a one-handed stabbing or throwing weapon it doesn't require much space and could be used in tight formations, but that was not what I was talking about. It should've been rather clear if you indeed read the whole paragraph of the post, and not just the lines you quoted; "...to be used as a staff. Although when used as such [a staff]..."
  4. tvihiocus

    Weapons

    And even if you can't just simply extract it as directly usable, you can extract the metal part and reuse it, even if you need a new shaft for some spears. Easier and faster to reuse what you can than make new from scratch, and especially if another battle is imminent, it's the only choice. In all, the pilum must've been quite effective in combat when properly wielded like the Romans did (heck, I sure love mowing down enemy formations in Rome: Total War with hails of pila), whether they bended or not - it doesn't really matter much. After all, hails of arrows were effective too, even if the arrows didn't break when hitting the ground or whatever (so enemy archers could theoretically shoot them back if out of arrows of their own). And the pila were used in much, much closer range where the enemy probably couldn't simply throw them back because the battle turned to melee after throwing the pila.
  5. tvihiocus

    Roman Special Troops

    The way I figured he didn't mean that either, just a bit unclear with his sentence structure.
  6. Indeed. If you really want tactical though, multiplayer might be a better choice than single player, since often against a computer opponent somewhat unrealistic tactics seem to work wonders (well, like as greeks just use enough phalanxes to make a circle when defending, some horsemen and missile troops in the middle, and watch the enemy run to a pointy death, then let the horses loose when the enemy flees and run them down). Of course, you can use more realistic tactics, but often those end up being not as effective against AI in my experience.
  7. tvihiocus

    Roman Special Troops

    Not initially. The Guard was fully loyal to their creator, Augustus, after all. And they did help getting rid of some bad emperors. Still, they obviously ended up being something quite different from what Augustus intended them to be.
  8. tvihiocus

    Weapons

    Hmm. I suppose my favorite "classical Rome"-era weapon would probably be the gladius I suppose. It seems like a nifty little sword. If Wikipedia's type images are correct, the Pompeii variation looks the nicest. Would be cool to get a modern replica some day. Some medieval swords (like the Claymore) are nicer-looking, but that's medieval, not Roman. Or well, I'm not familiar with the regular sword types the "barbarians" used during those times yet, but let's just say that for now the pompeii gladius is my favorite Roman weapon. My "image" of a Roman soldier will probably always be (has since I was a kid) a guy with lorica segmantata, gladius, the helmet and a rectangular shield, for one reason or another Oh, and on the topic of the spear, depending on the type it's not useless in closer ranges if it's not too long to be used as a staff. Although when used as such it does require some space around you to wield, but if you have that, it's very efficient. Obviously for a legionaire, though, you couldn't do that with the large shield anyway, nor in a tightly-packed formation.
  9. Well, since this has been brought back up now, here's my two cents. It really seems the hardcore Rome fans aren't really looking at this objectively. Think about it, Rome was a relatively small power back in Alexander's time. So while Rome was able to recover from huge losses for example in the Second Punic War, Alexander would probably have been the one with this advantage in his day - his empire was huge, and he employed many of the "barbarians" he conquered in his army. He certainly wouldn't have run out of men any time soon, while Rome just might have. Further, when thinking about Alexander fighting Rome, it's not really relevant to bring the likes of Caesar, Scipio and Sulla into the discussion in the sense that they weren't around when Alexander was. In Alexander's day Rome didn't have any generals even nearly equal to him. With his advantage of a huge pool of resources, skilled veteran troops and his tactical and strategical genius, I'd dare claim Rome probably wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in Hell. Think about it, in that time Rome's army wasn't huge, nor was it the professional Marius-reformed army of Caesar's time. Nor did they really have the auxiliaries they had later, while Alexander had plenty of different troops to draw into service, including the excellent cavalry, phalangites, and even elephants and all the rest. Had they met in one decisive initial battle, and had Rome lost like it would've most likely happened, Rome most likely wouldn't even have had time to recover for a new large battle before Alexander would've already seized Rome. In general it seems many think Rome in its prime when comparing with Alexander, and that is just wrong when thinking what would've happened had Alexander invaded Rome. A hypotethical encounter between someone like Caesar and Alexander is another thing entirely, and not such a simple thing. Later generals learned a lot from Alexander, the troops and circumstances were different, etc etc. There's really no answer. And isn't the fact alone that Caesar looked up on Alexander a testament in and of itself? As a side note, Alexander most likely would've fought Romans sooner or later had he lived longer. After all, he seemed to be planning further conquests in Europe.
  10. tvihiocus

    Roman Military Superiority

    Oh, sorry, I wasn't being clear. I didn't mean to imply that the Greeks would have done so, but I simply meant that if doing a mobile offensive the long spear would probably be more useful that way than in the slow and inflexible phalanx - you'd get to strike the enemy with the spears when doing the charge before the enemy could hit you, and then you could drop the spear and enter the fray with a sword. Hence the troops would have to be specifically trained for using the sword, as well as the spear. But I suppose this is already going way off topic.
  11. tvihiocus

    Roman Military Superiority

    Neos Dionysos, yes, I agree. The phalanx really works best as a stationary force, for example as a defensive unit (that one is true even in the game Rome: Total War - the Phalanx units kick ass when defending, but I find them hard to attack with - they're so damn slow in Phalanx mode, which would be quite true in reality too, you simply can't maneuver such a tight formation with long spears quickly), especially in a restricted area where it cannot be flanked. There the extra reach and mutual coverage of the frontal area with the long spears really is a huge advantage. When attacking, the use of the long spear would often, of course depending on the situation and type of opposition, pretty much be better as a first-charge weapon, after which it is dropped and then a sword or such is used instead - kinda like with the pila of the Romans.
  12. tvihiocus

    Roman Military Superiority

    Indeed, it is not really an universal formation, apparently many of the later uses of the phalanx were unsuccessful because the armies wielding them relied too much on phalanxes alone, which is what Alexander, for example, seemed to try to avoid. Used correctly with other units in the right place it still would have been quite effective a lot longer even in the Roman era.
  13. Even though I'm far from being any sort of expert, it does seem though that the legions becoming in large part non-Italian was the beginning of the end. In the time of the fall of the Western Empire the legions were nothing like in times of Caesar - skill, discipline, equipment... it just wasn't near the same. From what I've read that was in part indeed because of the increasing "barbaric" influence on the whole Roman population as well as the army. Although in all fairness, given the huge size of the empire I suppose it wouldn't have even been possible to keep a mainly Italian army of large enough numbers in the long run. Still, that doesn't change the fact that the Roman infantry legions were at their best when they were still mainly Italian, like in Caesar's and Octavian's time. Whether this had more to do with them being "true Romans" - instead of "barbarians" from all over - or something else, I still haven't determined for sure, but hey, I'm just starting to learn.
  14. tvihiocus

    Roman Military Superiority

    Training. On the level of ordinary troops that's what matters the most. The best of leaders can't do much with bad troops, like happened with the decisive battle between Hannibal and Scipio where the majority of Hannibal's troops was very inexperienced etc, while Scipio's forces were battle-hardened veterans for the large part. Even with a bad leader good troops can hold out for a while at least. Still, skilled leadership counts for much (after all, Rome's legions supposedly were, soldier for soldier, better than Hannibal's men even when they fought in Italy). In the best of times, it was the whole package that counted - good training and equipment combined with some of the best military geniuses in history, like, obviously, Julius Caesar. No, it wasn't. Even the Eastern Roman Empire adopted the use of the phalanx in the 3rd century AD. Also, titled the "last noteworthy action of the Spartans", the Spartan phalanx defeated raiding Visigoths following the defeat of Romans in the battle of Adrianople. I suppose the Spartan hoplite phalanx troops would've been a lot more influential even after 300BC if their number of citizens hadn't shrinked to very small numbers, and hence after a defeat at Leuctra and another battle some years after they couldn't recover enough to be anything but a footnote on the events after that. Still, their hoplites were some of the best even after that, just too few in number to really matter. Anyway, that's sidetracking already, but what I meant was that the phalanx still was a fully valid formation long after Marius. Heck, it seems that some sort of variations of the phalanx were used even in the middle ages, namely the Scottish schiltron at least in the 12th century as well as the Swiss pike square in the 15th century. If you think about it, as long as combat is done mostly with melee weapons, the phalanx really is quite effective.
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