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The Medival European Knight vs a Japanese Samurai

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Redwolf View Post
    Where is the fight?

    The European knight can just bulldoze the Samurai into the ground all right. In the unlikely case that the Samurai is not dead after the horse clash the heavier armor will prove to be a serious problem for the light Samurai sword.

    It is like asking whether heavy cavalry is better than mountain troops - depends on the surrounding. And resupply.
    To address the first point: ah, no. The samurai is not like some practice dummy that you just "bulldoze". There is a thing they learned which is called feint, duck, counter-slash. AND AGAIN, if they are both horse mounted, the European knight charging ahead impetuously, which was common, without waiting for "suppressive" fire from longbows or crossbow mercs is dead if he pursues the horse-mounted archers of the East. if he waits for the range of his suppressive fire horse mounted armies will flank and feint charge his archers to try to draw the knights out. and sooner or later they will succeed and knights are still dead meat. They had arrows specifically for bringing down chain-mailed horses with the emphasis on speed and weight on impact with lead filled, tempered steel-hard exterior arrowheads which will pierce the horses' armor, killing their horses in a "rain" of arrow fire, hence bringing the knight down - after that he is just about as good as dead. Once the horses are brought down the samurai will close with a yari to either try to pierce and kill the knight by stabbing at the armor or if that is ineffective, he will dismount, quickly strike the sword from the knight and again, slit his throat upon taking off the knight's helmet. The only defence would have been plate armored horses, which as far as i know is impractical, but that would have been like a retro-tank or something. Anyway, about horse archers against cataphracts or armored horse Western knights - its what my country of origin, the Bulgarians, (I am a Bulgarian-American) did against a Western European crusade that came through our lands. Because my tribe, the Volga-Bulgars, and hence the Danube_bulgars descended from the Huns, the horse and bow way of war was tried and true AND devistatingly effective. The Bulgars did the same things to Byzantine cataphracts and Western European knights (who by the way were not very chivalrous as legend would have it but went through Bulgaria during one of the last of the Crusades - can't remember if it's 5th or 6th, gotta check that out - pillaging, raping, and murdering defenseless people on their way to Constantinople even though our king offered them peace and safe passage, so our king finally ambushed the knights of Western europe with horse archers and infantry armed with falx-rhompaya like weapons - it's a scythe like, or naginata style long curved blade on a pole - and massacred them taking thousands of knightly heads and impaling them on stakes, an eye for an eye kind of deal). The reason that Western knights are overrated is simple - check out who has been writing most of the so-called "canonical, scholarly" historical texts on the Medieval Ages. British, French, Germans - of course they will say that their knights were the finest! Very little is known by the so-called British and the rest of the western European "scholars" of Eastern Europe, particularly Bulgaria. Not to mention the undermentioning of the supreme power of Mongolian Empire which by far eclipses and overshadows anything that Western Europe had done prior to the discovery of gunpowder for the uses of arquebuses, and also China's and India's distinguished military histories. That's because most Western Europeans I have met, or their historians that I have read are arrogant, and conceited and also ignorant and in their ignorance they happen to believe that only their history is distinguished or note-worthy. And that's BS.

    I agree with the second part of your response though. Yes, you are completely right there that context is important and therefore terrain, climate, and other physical conditions must be taken into account in principle as stated in Sun Tzu' The Art of War.


    • #17
      Here's the link

      Here's the link about how Bulgaria defeats the Latin Empire and destroys the heavy cavalry knights of the western europeans. And to top it off captures the emperor Baldwin I and executes him.


      • #18
        You never heard of the word paragraph. You provided no proof of cavalry archers been better then knights, just a bunch of battles where the side with knights or knight like forces lost which could be credited to many different factors. The Bulgarian victory was a victory because it was an ambush, in a head to head battle the Bulgarian infantry and light cavalry would of been crushed by the knights.

        You don't even know anything about knights. They are no where near as heavy or as slow as believed by the masses. They had an effective martial art system in both armoured and unarmoured, mounted and dismounted combat with lances, swords, axes and maces. They started training at a very young age and they were so effective that rulers saw them worthy enough to be paid in land.

        The Mongols were a great fighting force(and despite what you think are not underrated by Western European historians) but if you think all their victories came from their choice of using bows on horses then you are sadly mistaken, oh and by the way the Mongols also had their fair share of heavy cavalry.

        Does anyone else notice it strange that someone with such a bias anti-knight view failed to mention the Swiss or English-Welsh victories against knights, oh that's right I forgot you are a Western European hating bigot. To finish I will point out that in Samurai history cavalry archery is only a minority form of combat, the Samurai(who unlike the knights or Mongols really are overrated) were as much in love with melee as the knights and even knocked back guns at one point.

        Now to those with intelligence here is a good view on the subject


        • #19
          The Western European-Hating Bigot Responds

          I might be a bigot but you are an ignoramus to call me a bigot without knowing my life's history. I did not just grow up in one place and I don't believe that the sun rotates around that place like MOST Western Europeans or Americans or Canadians who would in respect to human history; and I'm writing this as a Bulgarian-Canadian-American, a triple citizen who was also a police explorer in high school and an honest patriot - in Mark Twain’s sense not in the flag-waving, loudmouth, belligerent sense - and whose best friend is a U.S. Marine who is in Afghanistan now. My point is, you don't know me or my history to comment on my ostensible Eastern-European “bigotry”; and, by the way, in most respects I am less bigoted than many of the so-called patriots here in America and many of the Western Europeans who I have had the "distinct pleasure" of visiting while touring cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, to name a few…

          While vacationing in Bulgaria most of the Western Europeans whether they be British, Spanish, Italian, German, French, or Belgian would - and I've seen this with my own eyes every time I would go to visit my grandparents in the ‘old’ country - have this dumbfounded expression on their faces when someone tells them that the Bulgarian kingdom was established in 681 AD and we had an alphabet and a good deal of national literacy two centuries later WHILE the rest of Western Europe in its present form was nowhere to be found except in the form of tribal kingdoms and fiefdoms which were not EVEN named what they are named now.

          Why always this dumfounded expression with MOST Westerners? Because of bias and simple ignorance that is NOT HELPED by Western scholars who would argue something as asinine as that the Western European knight was the dominant military unit prior to trained harquebusier regiments. It was not! Even the latter, better armored and better equipped knights were defeated by Saladin, the Bulgarians, the Mongols, etc. Also, at the same time that Bulgaria already had an EMPIRE and Constantinople was paying tribute to the Bulgarian Czars out of fear of our horse-archers, the Angles and the Saxons were still trying to ESTABLISH themselves somewhere and were seen as another “barbarian tribe” by Byzantine scholars.
          AND yes, maybe I have become sometimes irrationally impassioned LIKE a "bigot" MIGHT due to my experiences with MOST (a word you should have noticed me use before, especially for someone who poses to be educated about the Middle Ages and PRESUMES to lecture me on "paragraphs" even though I have a Master's in American and British Literature and a college double major in History and English and am currently doing my dissertation for a Ph.D. in Literature on Oscar Wilde -ah, I was supposed to be a Western European hater/bigot right? – and, at the same time, am working FULL-TIME as a manager/executive in a small company in Chicago) Western-Europeans' texts on the so-called Medieval Ages, and yes most of them that I have come across are arrogant and ignorant but to be fair so are many Eastern Europeans’. Yes, but I am human and I get passionate when history is misrepresented or represented one-sidedly. Maybe you are like Commander Data or Spock, inhumanly “logical”, and you think that you are better than me and you think that your knowledge and your views on history are more accurate. Fine, let’s debate then, because I don’t know about you but debating is fun for me. But what I am doing is called ‘arguing’ and there is nothing wrong with that even if it is ‘flavored’ with some colorful, and healthy one may add, criticism of Western historians.
          Why is my criticism colorful? Because most Western European scholars, particularly the ones that I read in our history books in American high-schools (and I have been as an immigrant to FOUR different high schools and THREE different colleges in the States; so I have had my share of "different" Western history books) are very partial and very defensive, like you, to their view of history. There is a MINORITY of Western European scholars who are beginning to “discover” and “acknowledge” the rest of the world as if the rest of the world needed Westerners in order to be “discovered” or “acknowledged” – it’s like saying the Native Americans needed Columbus in order to be “discovered”. As Napoleon remarked, history is interpreted by those who happen to be victorious or in power. AND yes, I will reassert again that very little is known by Western European scholars of Eastern Europe, the Bulgars and the Mongols, a lot of the canon is based on Byzantine writings, which by no means offer us a comprehensive picture, let alone, an objective one.

          I will reassert again, that the vaunted Western European knight is overrated and just because it is so dogmatically defended by most Western military scholars and some sentimentally-attached fans, in some instances, as the early “tank on the battlefield”, capable of “unstoppable charges” is SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Knights fought not to charge but to draw out the finest heavy cavalry of the enemy and defeat them with their lances. That is why most Western European armies of the heavy knights era were in ratios such as, 200-1,200 knights, 10,000-30,000 moderately trained consripts (archers, crossbow mercs, peasant pikemen, macemen, etc.) But the knight would have easily been defeated by a bow-armed samurai who was not only impetuous but extremely cunning as well. And the Western European knight was in fact defeated by the Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan not ONLY in an "AMBUSH" but also on a plain - supposedly ideal ground for knights - checkered with manhole traps - because once the knight exhausts himself in an initial fruitless charge or fell off of his horse, he was EASY to kill, and it was also quite easy to take him down with an even RELATIVELY organized infantry force armed with rhompaya-styled weapons as the Slavs/Bulgars/Thracian ethnicities armed their peasant class with. NOT TO MENTION, the horse-archer, which was the model of bushido and the preferred way of war of the samurai, the so-called “way of the horse and bow”. Horses, Bows and Yaris were the preferred weapons of the samurai, the katana was a last resort or duel sort of thing.

          Bulgarians not only defeated and were not “crushed” by the Western European crusaders but they humiliated them in battle during the 4th Crusade; and what Western scholars will not tell you is that Tsar Kaloyan did not let Baldwin I die “in a dungeon” or “captivity” but rather cut of the Emperor’s head and made a chalice out of it. Bulgarians also defeated the overrated Byzantine cataphracts as well.

          I don't know anything about knights? Let’s see, they have ONLY been one of my FAVORITE reading topics since I was nine years old. I ONLY own like every movie since El Cid (1961) that has ever had anything to do with knights, including games like Medieval and Medieval II Total War. But unlike an uncompromising dogmatist, or an ethnocentric Westerner, because I am a Westerner now, I try to be honest and reasonable in saying that yes, the knights can be defeated and were defeated many times by non-knights. The Mongols’ horse-archers defeated them in the 13th century as far as Germany, Bohemia, Poland and Hungary and quite easily too, if I may add. Ogedei Khan's death saved Western Europe from complete annihilation and massive enslavements, not the knight. Knights were also easily beaten by Ottoman Mamluks and Turkic horse-archers riding Arabian ponies in the 14th and 15th centuries. In fact, after taking over my country of origin – and I am by no means a fan of the Ottoman Turkic Empire – and Serbia and Greece the only thing that stopped the Ottomans was the European winter not the European knights. My argument is still that the Japanese samurai would have defeated the European knight, one on one, or in group action. If you want to debate this claim of mine, then fine, do it.


          • #20
            Mongol Heavy Cavalry

            Yes, I know that the Mongols had heavy cavalry. Actually, it was usually 1/3 of their overall force. Well armored by Eastern standards and equipped with lances and sabre-like Eastern swords, but this was not the attacking force, the honor of which was relegated to Mongol horse-archers. I also understand that European knights had prestige and lands given as a result of their fighting ability; however, their martial arts were not as developed or emphasized, I should say, as much as their Eastern counterparts. Actually, a STANDING, professional army was not in standing in Europe until after the Medieval Ages, whereas in China, Korea and Japan, the warrior classes lived and were paid for war. Europe had a STANDING, professional army in the Romans but not during the Middle Ages. Only after, in the twilight of the Renaissaince standing, professional armies emerged. Knights were like mercs for the feudal lords except they were NOT called mercs (mercenaries) because there is supposedly no honor and prestige in being a merc. So they had lands and the wealthier the less you had to partake in actuall physical combat. Squires could be armed as well, including the peasant on your land. It was ridiculous sometimes what kind of an armed escort a knight would have "riding" into battle. Actually, if a battle could be decided by anybody other than the knights - the king would not send them into the action. That is because a single merc crossbowman or peasant pikeman could "take out" the knight as easily as another knight. So it would be a waste of his own "managers" of his fiefs, or his noblemen. About the weight, actually there is a lot of confusion about this and my professor of Western civ in college once said, erroneously, that full plate armor of the Western knight after the 14th century could be no more than 15 pounds! When we checked out this "fact", the anecdotes and figures were far from 15 pounds. So, it actually depends on the combination of arms and armor. But one interesting show where this guy duplicated the steel arms and armor of the knights and samples weighed at museums confirmed/demonstrated that full steel-plate body armor with wool padding underneath, and chain mail between the "soft spots", or even underneath as a separate suit could hit well over 130 pounds!! Many historians now still claim 40-50 pounds! That's only on partial plate over leather padding with no body cloth padding suit and no chain mail underneath. Which needless to say, this is the exagerrated claim not vice versa. Broadswords and bastard swords were heavy too, not to mention spiked clubs and maces, and the actual horse which was armored too!


            • #21
              If you would be so kind could you please show me your sources of information. You should really stop with the Mongol talk as you are preaching to the converted. I fully agree that the Mongols could of beaten the Western Europeans and their knights, the Samurais doing the same is what I have a problem with. I recommend you take a look around here as they know quite a lot about swords and armour. I also find it odd that a person who is such a crusader(pardon the irony) against the evils of things overrated is so merciful when it comes to the Samurais who(along with most things Japanese) are the testament of overrated.

              Now as to my bigot comment I still stand by it, claiming that the majority of the population in Western Europe are arrogant and ignorant is not something to be taken lightly.


              • #22

                Okay, and I still stand by my claim that most Western Europeans are arrogant and ignorant and the fact is, if you have ever observed their behavior (or perhaps your own) while they are in Bulgaria or in any "developing" country (because I have observed Westerners not only in Bulgaria but in Mexico too, and how they look at and treat the people working at the resorts there), this is too comically and sadly apparent. And I'm not talking about a small cross-section of businessmen and upper-middle class professionals vacationing in countries like Bulgaria and Mexico; I am talking about when I WAS VACATIONING IN THEIR WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES - their attitude towards "others" was punctuated with the elevated nose and "where are you from again" gesture. This is the majority; again, there is, of course, a minority that has a different attitude and different level of intelligence. This "majority", however, is NOT limited to Western Europe but also is present in Canada and America - the populations of which, ironically (I am fond of this word as well), are indirectly descended from Western Europe. I have only met a minority of "Westerners" that has behaved open-mindedly and cosmopolitan towards Easterners or anybody not from "The West". If this "extreme" view makes me a "bigot", then I embrace "bigotry" wholeheartedly, but I still maintain that you are an ignoramus.

                About the samurai - the Hollywood samurai, like the Hollywood Western European knight, is exaggerated to an extent, you are right about that. I'm not going to nitpick anymore details such as body to armor weight ratios, because we are going digress into an absurd line of reasoning in our debate. I am just going to use the anecdotal (because that's all we can use in a scenario as hypothetical as this one) evidence of historical engagements between Bulgar, Turkic, Mongol units and Western heavy cavalry knights. My next post will be on that topic. At the present, I have some business to attend to so I must apologize for not being able to conclude my vein of thought here.

                P.S. Also, I did not understand that you are the "choir" - but I am happy that someone admires the Mongols as dearly as I.
                Last edited by biliev1; 18 Jan 07, 17:26.


                • #23
                  Who would win?

                  Depends on the circumstances. On horseback the medieval knight of any era would stand an advantage owing to the lance cavalry charge. The samurai would get skewered. But on foot, well it would still depend. The Japanese possessed inferior armor but superior swords. However the razor sharp katana is not as impressive as Hollywood portrays it. It would cut an unarmored man in half, no doubts there. But razor sharp metal still has a hard time cutting through metal. Samurai swords are very light and really don't have the heft neccessary for metal armor penetration. On the other hand the medieval knight, with all that armor on, will tire faster than the samurai so if the samurai can stay alive long enough for the knight to tire he can get him.

                  The problem here is two different but effective philosophies of sword combat. The Japanese focused on speed and skill, while the knight relied on armor and cavalry shock impact. Basically in a cavalry fight the samurai loses but in light hand to hand combat the knight loses. The key for success of either combatant would be, as in boxing, the ability to get their adversary to fight their fight; the ability of one to play their strengths and minimize their weaknesses over the other.
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                  • #24
                    Well I now have a far better idea of where your coming from, those people I think do not get their arrogance from any such believed historic superiority, it is more likely based on the current situation and they just think that it was always so, even if they saw their history in your eyes they would still have the same arrogance as the realities of the today would remain just as strong in their minds.

                    I find it quite disgusting that such people look down on other countries and their people like that(unless it's based on a country's evilness). How about I withdraw my bigot comments, apologize and we call it a truce(unless you would prefer to debate), and maybe if I didn't offend you so much and you have some free time you can educate me on this historical information(though PM) so I can better understand. By the way I hope you only admire the Mongols based purely on their war waging capability and nothing else?
                    Last edited by Galfirdus; 19 Jan 07, 04:00.


                    • #25
                      Thank you for the kind gesture


                      I never wanted to "fight" (debate, sure!) anybody, including you - so I kindly agree to a truce, and withdraw my comment about you being an ignoramus, which I think I wrote more in jest than malice!

                      I think what I have labeled as "arrogance and ignorance" can also be found in me, in us, and in non-Western nations. Perhaps statistically, not that there has ever been any such study done, non-Westerners are SOMEWHAT more "warm" and "hospitable" and "cosmopolitan", maybe because of the "worse" conditions in their lives, than some Westerners - and this, of course, is also open to debate and counter-argument - but, generally speaking, the 'hoi polloi' (the masses) will always be ignorant; whether we are talking about the U.S. or England or Bulgaria or Nigeria or India or Japan. And like I said, to be perfectly honest, I also think I AM IGNORANT TOO to an extent as is the rest of the intelligentsia. I think one never achieves a full LACK of "arrogance and ignorance"; perhaps this acknowledgment is what made Socrates the "wisest man in Athens", to quote the oracle – specifically, his self-deprecating manner in which he points out his own "limitations".

                      I think, in defense of the knight, as you and many other people have pointed out, including Pirateship1982, the heavy cavalry of Western Europe was admittedly quite potent. However, this is where it gets interesting, how much of an impact did the castles that Bela IV built have against the Mongols in 1285? In open combat the heavy cavalry was exhausted against the Mongols in the Battle of Muhi, 1241 AD. But some forty-four years later, the Mongols are repulsed by the same Angevin knights of Hungary of Ladisluas IV (but interestingly enough he not only took advantage of the castles but also used the Cumans, a nomadic peoples living in Hungary at the time, who fought in the Scythian-Hunnish-Bulgar-Mongolian tradition of the horse archers)... How? The only thing that had changed was the strong defensive network of castles that Bela built after the hard lessons he learned from the Mongols in 1241 and the Cuman mercs. That is my theory, but you guys feel free to debate it. The point of this example is to show, that the way of the "horse and bow" of the samurai could defeat the Western European knights on horseback, a conclusion that Pirateship1982 debates. But what is so hard to believe about that? Because if you see that the Mongols and Japanese were NOT THAT different in respect to their horse archer fighting style, again "early samurai" of the 10-13th centuries, those samurai exactly adjacent, in terms of timetable, to the heavy cavalry knights, were the samurai whose code of war was, "kyuba no michi", or "the way of the horse and bow". Why couldn't they have defeated the knights using this warfare style? I think they could have.

                      The question then becomes could have the sengoku jidai period samurai defeated the same knights when "kyuba no michi" changed to "bushido", the so-called "way of the warrior", and the horse and bow was no longer the predominant fighting style for 15-16th century samurai?

                      p.s. I checked out that arma website, Galfirdus – it’s pretty cool and informative actually. I think I’ve seen it before though. Definitely a lot of good stuff on Western martial arts, including the “trained” use of longswords, broadswords and sabers. It would definitely lend credibility to the idea that a fully trained knight would be a match for a fully trained samurai, although, in my view I argued for a favorable outcome for the samurai – but I cannot prove this, as far as empirically proving something goes. Then again there were individually superb fighters on both sides of the world; sometimes it’s just a question of skill level, maturity and intelligence then. I don’t know if you have seen, Jet Li in Fearless, and I realize that there are exaggerations aplenty in that movie, but there is this one interesting thing his character Huo Yuan Jia says in that movie to the samurai guy – I forget his name – which is along the lines that one fighting style and its weapons are not necessarily better than another’s but that fighters have different skill levels and that is what really sets them apart.


                      • #26
                        Now on the issue of Mongols vs. Europeans

                        In this debate I would have to ask are we dealing with Mongol horsemen vs. European knights or Monglians vs. Europeans in general.

                        When it comes to knight vs. horsemen engagements terrain is everything. On the open steppe the Mongolian is in clear advantage. Fighting light with archery fire he can harrass his opponent and exhaust the heavier knight's horses. However Mongolian tactics depend on open terrain for maximum mobility. In the dense forests and mountainous regions such as in the Holy Roman Empire they lose that advantage. If forced to fight at close range it becomes the knight's fight, who posesses better armor and equal if not better swordsmanship (both Samurai and Knight of the middle ages placed strong emphasis on swordsmanship training but the Mongols focused more intently on archery warfare, with swords serving as secondary weapons).

                        Now as for Mongolians and Europeans in general, Mongolians were ill equipped for dense terrain and were not effective at siege warfare - lacking the ability to craft siege engines for assault and the provisional resources neccessary for a prolonged siege. This is why when they encountered the Holy Roman Empire their invasion slowed and finally stopped. The knight couldn't beat the Mongol on the open field, but the Mongol couldn't beat the castle anywhere.
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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
                          If forced to fight at close range it becomes the knight's fight, who posesses better armor and equal if not better swordsmanship (both Samurai and Knight of the middle ages placed strong emphasis on swordsmanship training but the Mongols focused more intently on archery warfare, with swords serving as secondary weapons).
                          Pirateship the sword was secondary to the knights and the samurai as it was to hell just about every military unit in history(before total gun warfare). Until guns come along spears(pikes, lances, javelins) and bows(long, short, cross) were the most important weapons in warfare.


                          • #28
                            Mongol Siege Equipment

                            Actually Pirateship I beg to differ in respect to Mongolian siege equipment - it was well developed in fact. The Mongols were not the Parthians - a.k.a. the best cavalry but lack of siege engineering. The Mongols had adapted from the Chinese and others the art of siege warfare. They were quite adept at it actually. Their assault infantry was perhaps not as well armored and "hard-hitting" as the Western European heavy swordsman or pikeman might have been but nonetheless Mongol infantry proved itself successfull countless times. Really, Mongol weakness came down to the lack of stable political and social infrastructure since their society depended so much on one or two "strong" characters with no dynastic, republican or feudal provisions or institutional structures in place, like the Romans or Egyptians or Persians had. The Mongol Empire was perhaps the most brilliant but definitely due to its lack of the said above one of the shortest-lived empires.

                            I never would assume that the samurai as cunning and resourceful as they were would succumb to the knight simply because their swords will not penetrate the thickest European armor. Remember that there are many other ways to defeat armor, such as, exhausting its wearer or hitting him in a weak spot - but again it would come down to individual skill and at the leadership level - the general himself.


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by biliev1 View Post
                              The Mongol Empire was perhaps the most brilliant but definitely due to its lack of the said above one of the shortest-lived empires.
                              Which in my opinion is a good thing, you wouldn't want an empire that kills that many people to be around to long though from what I read Islam softened it up a bit(but no where near enough to justify it's survival). Islam I believe also had a hand in weakening it, the more Islamic Mongol leader got pissed off with the more secular one for sacking some Muslim city. My memory is a bit lax so maybe you can shred some light on it

                              I never would assume that the samurai as cunning and resourceful as they were would succumb to the knight simply because their swords will not penetrate the thickest European armor. Remember that there are many other ways to defeat armor, such as, exhausting its wearer or hitting him in a weak spot - but again it would come down to individual skill and at the leadership level - the general himself.
                              The samurai could attack a joint but the knight him self would be able to fight more aggrieve as he has more area to hit, it's only logical to think the one with the simpler goal would win. The exhausting method would not work, while the samurai is fighting in a manner to achieve such a goal the knight would have the far easier goal of just killing the samurai, the knight need only get lucky once while the exhausting timer is going down and the samurai is down, sword fighting is more offensive then it is defensive, the ARMA says a swordsmen who does nothing but defend will lose. Unless the samurai has a strong skill advantage he is toast. While your cavalry archer idea is very strong(far to much for me to come up with any counter) your idea in melee just doesn't ride. By the way I don't consider this against our little truce as long we both remain civil .


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
                                Pirateship the sword was secondary to the knights and the samurai as it was to hell just about every military unit in history(before total gun warfare). Until guns come along spears(pikes, lances, javelins) and bows(long, short, cross) were the most important weapons in warfare.
                                I beg to differ. knights and samurai both trained to fight on horseback and on foot. The sword was their secondary weapon on horseback but not on foot. On foot both favored the sword and both trained extensively with it. This is why I feel the samurai are at a disadvantage in mounted combat. Their spear tactics would not triumph against a lance cavalry charge and their archery effectiveness would be limited (I do not believe they had the heavy weight armor piercing arrowheads the British coupled with the longbow. They used broad arrowheads designed for tearing flesh, these would glance off armor.).

                                But as for Mongol engagements, while the knight and samurai were as comfortable on the ground as they were in the saddle - though knights favored horseback - but the Mongols fought exclusively on horseback and their warrior training focused on bowmanship. Swordsmanship was taught, but not as the major discipline as in Europe and Japan.
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