Re: Phalanxes, Cavalry

From: Nick Brooke <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 12:29:50 -0500

Back to Lee and the phalanx quibbles:

> Actually, if you are comparing the Templars to a RW phalanx, the
> phalanx had a less rigid formation than the hoplites (at least
> when moving) and used different types of formations...

Shit, I'd better go and hand back my degree. It's clearly not possible for a two-handed-pike-using phalanx of traditionalists to be less mobile than a one-handed-spear-using, professional and innovative hoplite force. Bugger.

> The phalanx used the spear two-handed while the classic hoplite
> normally did not.

The Sun Dome Templars teach "two-handed spear with shield" skill; I'd suggest we spare the Lunar Hoplites this rulesy abomination.

> The phalanx used 16 men-deep ranks as well, which is different
> from the SC Templar formation.

Well, that *really* shoots down the analogy, doesn't it?? (Realworld  phalangites aren't noted for their dodging ability either). As the Templars are organised by files of sixteen, it shouldn't be *too* hard to make this change in your Glorantha, if you must.

Lee, we're after a flavour here, not a fucking dissertation. If you're going to say "They can't be a Macedonian Phalanx because they weren't invented by Philip of Macedon, and MOB hasn't read enough Greek sources to know otherwise," please spare us. What I'd like to know is, does the "Fox and Hedgehog" thing work for you, as a comparison between the 'flexible' Lunar hoplites (who are, before you point it out, professional soldiers and not a civic militia) and the 'rigid' Sun Dome Templars (who have a better defensive formation per early sources)? *Not* whether Greeks (or Macedonians) wore as much arm-armour as the illo on page 37 of Sun County may (or may not) show.

> SC give the impression that the people who came from Dragon Pass
> were horsemen - though they could very well have had a mixture of
> horsemen and infantry (text is not that clear).

IMO, it gives the impression that they *included* horsemen, not that they *were* horsemen. The original Sun Dome Templars would have had infantry *and* cavalry (we see traces of this in the Yelmalio cult's attitudes towards horses, and the mention of their "well-trained light cavalry" in River of Cradles p.11).

The RoC account says that Sun County had stopped raising horses when everything was peaceful, and thus had no cavalry of their own when Pavis fell. I think there's probably a connection to two other horse-related events on the Plaines. The first would be the rise of the Zebra Tribe, other allies of the city of Pavis who are also (per NG counter stats) damn' good cavalry: with allies like these, why raise your own cavalry? And the second would be in the 900's, when the Animal Nomads returned from the Wastes to reclaim Prax back from the Pure Horse People.

Thereafter, raising horses on the Plaines became foolish and unsustainable (like carrying around a "Please Hate Me" sign): it would have turned the Sun Dome Temple into a war-zone cum slaughterhouse, faced with resurgent horse-hating Praxian "nationalism". (The Pure Horse Peoples were in decline from Jaldon's return in the 920's until their final defeat at Alavan Argary in 1250 ST). Besides, with the OK'd-by-Eiritha Zebra Tribe helping you out, who needs horses anyway? Until, that is, Pavis falls to the trolls, the Zebras discover their own concerns, and Sun County is left in a cavalry-free lurch throughout the Solitude of Testing...

'zat work for you?


End of The Glorantha Digest V5 #289

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