Re: Training the Fyrd

From: Michael Hitchens <>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 10:58:03 +1100 (EST)

On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, The Glorantha Digest wrote:

> Yes, but farmers who have some training in using the spears and
> shields. I agree that weaponthanes don't assemble them into lecture rooms,
> and explain the finer points of sticking the sharp bit in the enemy, and
> nor do they assemble for three hours of marching and drilling twice a
> week. However, they do get some one-on-one tution in a fairly haphazard
> manner. "Here, can you show me that trick you used in the last cattle
> raid?" "Sure, let me know next time your wife makes that stew of hers and
> I'll drop round."
> Most training comes from two sources - the sort of competitions the
> Orlanthi like - which includes wrestling, fights with mock weapons,
> throwing things at a target, etc. - and cattle raids. Both provide lots of
> opportunity to fight with little chance of serious injury.

That's just the point - the fyrd doesn't train. It's individual members might, to greater or lesser degrees, but they don't train as a unit. And cattle raids don't give any experience in such things - they're too disorganised. Which means one on one they miught be quite good. But put them up against an organised fighting force and they're in trouble.

I've always thought that Kallyr's initial victory was not a million miles from the loss of three Roman legions to the Germans during the reign of Augustus. And if you look at the details of that you find:

        the Romans were unprepared, in terrain totally unsuited to formed unit tactics

        they were strung out, trying to move their baggage through a muddy forest

	they were surprised and never had a chance to form anyway
	Most of the combats appear to have been one on one or small groups
So if the 1300 Lunars were strung out in a forest then I'm not surprised they were massacred. Same scenario. Had the fight been between formed units on an open field of battle, the outcome may have been very different.

        The Anglo-Saxon fyrd (I'm assuming the same term means some relationship) was poorly disciplined - look at what at Hastings. It also had a bad time with desertion. Not from fear per se, but worry about what was happening at home (If I'm here who's guarding my fields?)


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