RE: Glorantha tactica

From: Sandy Petersen <>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 15:45:04 -0600

Sandy Petersen:
>At first, the Swiss interspersed halberds &firearms in their columns,
but these were later on dispensed with. It
>was realized that the halberds actually _weakened_ the columns,
thoughapparently a few halberds were kept in the center >of the square evenuntil the end of Swiss supremacy.

Lee R. Insley
>It is my understanding that the halberds *corrected* the problem that
the phalanx had over certain types of infantry and >cavalry.

        According to all my sources the pike was a later development. One book even implies that the Swiss started out with a halberd-only formation in the early days.

>Because of the long pikes, the phalanx had a problem when
infantry/cavalry with short swords or close melee type weapons >(i.e. the legion) would close to melee range.

        But there was no other infantry like that until the Spanish came up with their sword-and-buckler men. And _they_ lasted less than a century, since they proved vulnerable to cavalry, whereas the pike continued in effectiveness until the invention of the bayonet.

>My distinction here was *heavy* cavalry being the mounted knight with
heavy armor, armored horse, and tactically using a >close cavalry formation with an attack head-on into the front of infantry using a long lance/spear

        The bison, high llama, and sables all include lancers. The amount of armor they have on their steeds varies, but is as much as many historical lancers had. In general they are less heavily-armored than a medieval knight, but I still contend that they qualify as "heavy" cavalry. They certainly attack in close formation, esp. the bison riders.

>Genghis Khan's Mongols were militarily more sophisticated than any
Gloranthan army has ever been.

Pasu P.
> Thats quite hard to believe, given the Kingdom of War's enthusiasm.
And Alkothi are quite professional in that, too.

        Gloranthans make up for their lack of military professionalism with magic. All things being equal, and with no magic permitted by either side, the best pre-gunpowder Earth armies would almost certainly trounce the best Gloranthan armies. Pf course, this would be an unfair fight, because the Gloranthan armies have all trained with the assumption that magic will be used. Also in general there is less military history passed down than on Earth. The Dutch military genius Maurice specifically emulated 1000-year-old Roman techniques to gain success in warfare. What advanced Gloranthan societies have any real connections to what was happening in the year 650 S.T.? None, in essence - -- the cultural devastation of the Age of Empires and the destructions at the end of the Second Age mean that modern Gloranthans really know very little about their predecessors, and generally have inherited less ancient lore than we have on Earth. Before that, the horrible wars at the end of the First Age wiped out most records. Then after 1200 S.T. we have the many hindrances on communication and history such as the Closing, the Syndic's Ban, the Silent Prophet, the Renunciators, etc. etc.,

        The magic disasters of Glorantha have kept the peoples superstitious, isolated, and backwards. Look at what impressive things happen whenever Gloranthans are able to cooperate:

  1. The First-Age Theyalans. Different cultures cooperated and built up possibly the most glorious and influential society ever to have existed since Yelm's Golden Empire.
  2. The Holy Country. The Pharaoh dispelled the dark ignorance of the Only Old One, and once the six kingdoms cooperated they were pretty impressive.
  3. The Lunar Empire has been steadily combining the wisdom and lore of their conquered lands with their own peculiar outlook and look where it's got them!
  4. At least part of the reason for the Kingdom of War's prowess is that they have achieved a synthesis of war gods.
  5. Kralorela is currently fairly mighty -- probably because it has been able to exist as a single cooperative polity for almost 5 centuries. Also the anti-communication effects of the Third Age have largely operated to isolate Kralorela, as opposed to dividing it up (as happened in Fronela & the East Isles).

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