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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahh, got it. Thanks guys.
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 5:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing that strikes me about the Flax, is how incredibly dead anyone attacking a late republican formation with it would be...

I'm no expert on roman army development, but at this time the Hasta would still be standard issue to legionaries? If so, anyone stepping into flax striking range would also be in the spear range of about five legionaries.

Even if the legionaries are not equipped with spears, he only has one attack before being impaled on the gladius of a advancing legionarie.

Maybe it had a fierce reputation because a lot of people "came THIS close to beeing killed" by one. ... Worried

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,316

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, in the Republic it seems that spears were carried only by the triarii, who generally only went into action if the hastati and principes had been driven back. You actually get more reach by chucking a pilum at short range! My guess is that men armed with the falx were not the majority, and were covered by regular spear-and-shield men. Once the Romans were engaged, the falx men could advance past the shieldmen and go to it.

From what we saw in the tests of Steve Peffley's falx on a reconstructed shield, those things are dangerous even if you block them! Yes, the shield will often do its job, getting the crap chopped out of it to preserve its owner, but the point of the falx might still lay your arm or leg wide open. Hence the apparent need for just a little more metal between the falx and the legionary. I also think that an experienced legionary would try to close with a falx man and stick a scutum in his face and a gladius in his guts before he could get a good swing in. But you'd still want those greaves and an armguard for that.

Valete,

Matthew
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's not just a question of making the legionary duck and cover; You have to dodge his buddies as well.

In a spear fight, the lines can stay relatively passive, with low casualty rates, as each side looks for courage or an opening to close. Failing this, you retreat.

From my experience with spears, shields and short weapons, the only reson to discard the single handed spear as standard equipment, is to force the soldiers to attack; A Roman legion has to advance in order to do any damage against a spear wielding enemy.
When facing opponents used to fight battles of slow attrition or " 'til someone chickens out" at spear-point length, this close, offensive, in your face style would be devastating.

And swinging at a advancing legion with a short two handed weapon would seem like a very good way to die...

Now, the Dalmatians lost, after all...


I am partial to my own excellent maxime:
"All Exotic Weapons suck. Otherwise, they wouldn't be Exotic Weapons, would they?" Laughing Out Loud

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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Posts: 3,230

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was under the impression that the Dacian campaign was conducted almost entirely by auxilliaries. The legions rarely engaged in battle. Of course that is bad propoganda so one might expect a greater involvement of legionaries on Trajan's column.
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Jack Cordial




Location: Virginia
Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Apr, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shield I currently use, (and of which I am hoping to post pics in the "Show Us Your Shields" thread soon) is a Germanic/Celtic style hexagonal shield with hemispheric boss and a 1 cm thick plywood core. I built it myself, trying to use traditional materials where I could, but for durability's sake, I did use Gorilla Glue and acrylic latex paint. It's a decent sized, 36"x24" shield, but only weighs 7 pounds. I didn't chamfer the edges like some of the historical examples, and I dont think that some of the shields from antiquity were covered with heavyweight, 8 oz canvas, either, and the steel boss I have on there would be heavier than an iron boss of same dimensions, so I can't say for certain that my shield is 100% on the mark for weight accuracy, but I also dont think I can be that far off. It would seem that groups like the Germans and Celts would favour a lighter, more maneuverable shield for their preferred style of raiding warfare, rather than the toe to toe, full out, balls to the wall style of Roman fighting, so in that light, a lighter shield makes sense. And I'm a big guy (6', 260 lbs) so a 7 pound shield isn't going to weigh me down much. [/i]
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