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Favorite medieval war tactic?

Discussion of topics concerning life in the middle ages around the world, including architecture, history, and warfare.

Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:37 pm

I kind of like the "Come on men, nobody lives forever!" and charge the enemy tactic. I know it's not the most efficient, or the best, but it sure looks cool, and is very gallant.
Last edited by Sir Zeppelin on Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby quaraga » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:27 am

I have three scratch that, five favorites
#1 the flaming pig
when the romans were faced with a formation they would slather a pig in tar and light it on fire then send it into the enemy ranks thusly splitting the formation. then the cavalry would go finish them off
#2 this is my own personal undefeatable exept by siege eapons shield wall.
first two rows cavalry for obvious reasons(mainly pincers and to herd the enemy into my shield wall)
then one row shield wall soldiers w/ two shields and one pike ea.(the second can be lifted in case of a volley of arrows)
then one row glavemen in event of a combo infantry/archer attack the pike can be handed back to the glaveman
behind that two rows archers interspersed with unarmed shield wall soldiers in case of a volley of arrows(note that bows may be replaced with crank action c-bows)
then behind them, rear facing glavemen and shield wall soldiers w/pikes
ten flanking the formation is any offensive infantry and one row of halberdeers

it's easier to explain with a diagram
#3 I have noidea what this one is called
the persian imortals used bows and spears so that they could rain arrows down on shield walls and while the shields of the shield wall were up to avoid arrows the spear wielding immortals would charge in and stab the enemy.

#4 surround them with swords halberds and spears then shoot holes in them with bows.

#5distract the enemy with a big army then when they attack surround them w/ archers and kill dem allz!
I have a problem with geurilla (hit and run) tactics, you have to know the lay of the land, it would be an inefective invasion tactic (for the most part) and if you had only just conquered an area and someone attacked you, you would be much less able to pull it off.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby TheFlarbar » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:18 pm

I've heard of using trebuchets to fling manure, carcasses, and human heads into the interior of a besieged castle. It was a grisly combination of psychological warfare and biological warfare. :twisted:
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby SPACE MARINE » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:30 pm

I'd want to form a wall of shield bearing spearmen on all sides as an outer ring, the next ring would have pikemen, sticking their pikes between the spearmen, as the ring in side the ring of pikes, archers would shoot their arrows out, that's just on a open field though...
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Shadowviking » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:46 pm

I'd like to have a small group of well armoued soldiers with big shields form a ring, in the centre of which would be a diplomat to arrange a treaty of peace with the other side.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Throndor » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:22 am

I think that a solid wall of Spartan-like Hoplites that couldn't be penetrated without massive losses and effort about halfway up the hill, followed by their own reinforcements, and then crossbowmen, longbowmen on top, and at the very center top of it all, the mounted machine guns. Oh yes. :twisted:
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:45 am

Favorite medieval war tactic? Operation: Lethal Duck!

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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby sidewinderl » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:28 am

Envelopment/Pincer movement made famous by Hannibal at the battle of Cannae (not exactly medieval, but whatever), which was one of (if not the) greatest military manuevers and victories in history. Pretty much everything he did was brilliant, but Cannae is the one that stands out the most.

Basically the Romans were tired of getting stomped, so they decided they'd win with sheer numbers. Completely outnumbered, Hannibal formed a line that fell back as the Romans advanced until the two ends met and closed the circle. They completely slaughtered the Roman army in one of the bloodiest battles in history. What's worse is that there were a lot of high ranking Romans and senators in that army.

The -classic and still great- game Lords of the Realm 2 (which is now considered abandonware and can probably be found easily on-line) illustrates the tactic very well. The AI has much better control over their units than you. When you do an infantry rush, you're pretty much limited to sending a big glob of troops all at once. This can be really frustrating, since it allows the AI to envelop your army instead of the other way around, and causes you to lose a lot more soldiers than you otherwise would (or cause you to lose entirely), because it takes away your numbers advantage...your front line is fighting one on one with all your other guys doing nothing.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby J_MAN » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:32 am

I prefer to out flank my opponents with my calvary. First I engage their infantry with mine then I move my calvary around to the back and charge my enemies from behind. Mwahahahaha!!
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby J_MAN » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:35 am

Frank_Lloyd_Knight wrote:Favorite medieval war tactic? Operation: Lethal Duck!

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I should try this on Medieval 2: Total War. :)
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Medieval Guy » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:49 am

Albatross_Viking wrote:Yes, sending burning oil down on he enemy from the battlements is a brutal, but very useful tactic.

A_V

That tactic was actually very rare. Murder holes in the gatehouse were employed, though. These were between the two potculli so that the enemy could be trapped and have missiles raining down on their heads as they tried to get in the castle.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Left4bricks » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:59 pm

My prefered one is frontal cavalry charge. Not the most finest, but for sure very brutal and scary if the enemy troop is light infantry or archers who forgot to run away. But the hit and run tactic is particularly deadly if well used in a perfect geographical situation (just think about Carrhae, where Parthians utterly vanquished the legions of Crassus with this tactic).
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby Stormy Arthur » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:08 pm

quaraga wrote:#1 the flaming pig
when the romans were faced with a formation they would slather a pig in tar and light it on fire then send it into the enemy ranks thusly splitting the formation. then the cavalry would go finish them off


Invented by the Cisalpine Celts against the Romans. Well except the Celts used Bulls, and sent them charging into the sleeping Roman camps.

My favorite would have to be the Hussite Tabor (war-wagons)
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby PsychoPixie » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:43 pm

The way a highly trained officer or knights horse could move! OMG. some of the maneuvers they taught war horses were amazing.
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Re: Favorite medieval war tactic?

Postby richardanthonyc » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:24 pm

Shadowviking wrote:I'd like to have a small group of well armored soldiers with big shields form a ring, in the center of which would be a diplomat to arrange a treaty of peace with the other side.


Simple way to defeat them is slingers :) No armour and deadly from distance, they couldn't be caught by your heavily armored men and would gradually wear them down! During the Pelopennesian war many a force of elite Hoplites fell victim to this tactic when they didn't have their own slingers/archers to help them
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