Re: Consequence when breaking the caste taboo's in rokari society

From: Grimmund <grimmund_at_W7UUHAlcDf7BrOHPIALqDBLgsrav7EjDmuVWM3qRbt0GgPMyP2ZFdGhnOJZrAOnbDaL>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 20:28:48 -0600

Well met!

On Jan 8, 2008 6:58 AM, <> wrote:

> There won't be many peasants in any grain producing area who don't
> have a lot of experience of using a grain flail.

As a grain flail, certainly. As a weapon, not so much. Again, it would tend to depend on what other restrictions and opportunities are in place. If the peasants hunt, for example, a grain flail would not typically be the first choice.

> It also has the
> advantage of doing a fair bit of damage to an armoured man.

Maybe, depending on the size of the grain flail.

> The pitchfork is not that different from a spear. The head is less
> suitable but equally less likely to attract unwanted attention.

This seems to be getting into several different situations:

  1. What would rebellious peasants have initially for weapons? a) planned-whatever 'real" weapons they could steal or make b) unplanned- whatever is handy, including farm tools.
  2. What would loyal peasant levies be armed with? spears, because they are cheap and easy to make.
  3. Assuming peasants are allowed to be armed with something that is obviously a weapon, but not swords, what would it be? hunting spears, axes, weaponized farm tools. Low disposable income means few peasants would buy weapons that could not also be used as tools. If they regularly fight, then whatever they could plunder from the dead.
  4. If peasants are not allowed obvious weapons, what would they weaponize? Staves, slings, grain flails, chains, work axes, etc.

> Both that and the spear have the problem of needing group training to
> be much use.

Not so much. Basic spear training takes about two hours, for one individual with a knowledgeable teacher. Mastering the basics is really, really simple. And if you can't carry spears in public, you can do the same thing with two spear-sized sticks.

Moving troops in formation, and getting them to stand their ground and fight, is a much more time consuming process. *That* requires you get the troops together and get them to move around together, etc.

>If the users can't put up a wall of sharp points the
> enemy will get in close and chop them up.

This is the main disadvantage of a spear. (It's also why boar spears and bear spears have a little cross-bar below the the sharp bit...)

Once your opponent is past the pointy bit, its not nearly so useful. On the bright side, if you can keep backing up, you can keep the other guy at your range. You can also shorten your grip. If you're not in a formation, you can also try to smack your opponent with the haft. If you are in a formation, anybody who gets past YOUR spear is the responsibility of the guys behind you. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't...

Back to the original post for a second:

>In our own world peasants were not allowed to carry swords because
>the rebellions the peasants have caused through the history.

That depends on the peasants.

Late-medieval Japanese peasants were not allowed swords because swords were restricted to the samurai class; wealthy non-samurai merchants were ALSO not allowed swords. (We get to make the rules, because we have the weapons, neener neener neener...)

Russian peasants were not allowed 'weapons' because if they were treated poorly and tended to revolt (at least on a local level) when they felt particularly insulted about something.

In pre-conquest England and viking Scandinavia, all free men were entitled to go armed. Given that it was a rough neighborhood, most of them did, apparently, most of the time. Slaves were generally allowed only knives, unless they were doing something that required them to be armed. But these people also hunted, relatively small kingdoms that were often at war, and had to rely on themselves for self-defense against bears, wolves, boars, bandits, outlaws, and feuding or greedy neighbors.



"A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need
the advice."  -Bill Cosby


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