Enculturation of Combat

From: darvall <madamx_at_ns2.mikka.net.au>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 11:50:33 +1100

Donald Oddy
> that chunk of the Lunar army that isn't as well trained, equipped or led.

This is a nice dimension to the conflict & can be played from either side. You'll make a Lunar of me yet.

>>Fighting is a skill they will need in Adult life.
>Indeed, one of many and I don't believe it gets a great share of time.
>To compare, the Yeoman bowmen of England practiced each Sunday after
>church. Less than a full day a week to get a good standard of skill
>in one weapon.

In a society with a lower level of threat & hence lower need for weapons & ability with same ie. the incentives were lower. IIRC The incentives for Yeomen were imposed from above; my arguement is that the O/i incentives are imposed by lifestyle & environment.

>The other six days were needed for farming even though medieval farming
>>was more productive than Orlanthi farming is likely to be.

Not going here as its already been done to death.

>>Even in the RW & within the last century & in a peaceful, stable western
>>culture all rural kids could expect to learn to shoot before their 10th
>But they were taught to shoot, not handed a gun and bullets and told
>to go shoot some rabbits.

They were taught how to load it, which end the bullet came from, & where the safety catch was then they were handed some bullets & let loose. This is my experience & that of most of the kids I grew up with. I can't see why the O/i, who require spear skill far more than we required rifle skill, should do any differently. In addition we had equal if not greater demands on our time, ie formal schooling (9hrs including travel) as well as farm work & came out quite competent users of the rifle, certainly more competent than our city peers. An O/i youth being exposed to his weapons all day every day could be expected to be far more competent than we & far more competent than his Pelorian peer who has no exposure at all. Thus his one day a week (should the O/i bother with such a thing) can be spent learning Fyrdwork on a scale larger than the group comprised of his steadmates.

>I'm just comparing it with the farmers I've known. Even with modern
>methods and crop yields there isn't much spare time and labour
>intensive near subsistence farming will allow even less.

I recall a recent mention of the number of saints holidays in the Medieval calendar. Looks like the peasants had a remarkable amount of free time, certainly an amount I envy (providing I don't have to spend it in church). O/i aren't servicing massive & growing debt while trying to provide an income. Yes they're on the edge but its because they spend so much more time doing things other than farming; like fighting.

>Same applies for women, housework is a full time job not a few hours a
>>day.Certainly a warlike culture will, out of necessity, find some time

Its not a matter of finding time. Even for the English yeoman archery was an add on to his life. For the O/i combat is an integral part of life, sanctioned & promoted by their religion.

>but it won't be anywhere near that spent by a professional soldier.

No it won't; but what time is spent may well be more relevent than that of the soldier. Certainly elites will get more weapon training but the common ranker is more likely to get drill, more drill, latrine digging, muck shoveling, a variety of details to take up the admin slack for the elites. His *individual * weapon skills are of only minor concern above his sub-unit level. Its his ability to work as part of the greater body which concerns his commanders. This is unlikely to produce the Warrior Hero we are ostensibly debating (mind you I'm finding it facinating).

>Well heros are supposed to be exceptional, with an average of 20 to 30
>people per stead that gives about 1% heros which seems reasonable.

That's not my reading of either HW or Martin Laurie's commentries. The society produces heros on a scale that requires the almost undivided attention of a society significantly larger (200K O/i vs 8m Empire), & far better organised & generaled, to be conquered. The moment that attention wavers, as it does in 1625, Sartar breaks free. I await developments after 1638 with bated breath. What is the dominion of the Harshax?

>If such a scenario existed then the police would be trained to handle
>it, probably brutally. I expect there is a Lunar police force in Pavis
>and Sartar towns doing just that when Orlanthi brawlers get out of hand.
>It may have been recruited from the back streets of Glamour rather
>than the surounding farms but it will still exist.

Under the Lunars probably, but an O/i 'police force' must perforce be constituted of local clansmen & so as likely to take sides & enter the fight as break it up. Thus for most of O/i history bickering at the Pub would constitute weapons practice.

>From quiet homes & first beginnings

Out to the undicovered ends
Theres nothing worth the wear of winning But laughter & the love of friends.
Hilare Belloc

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