1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54

    Implications for military development

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Aldarion, Feb 10, 2020.

    Does this work, and how would military based on this premise look like? I imagine that it might even be an all-mounted force, but OTOH if wagons are used then portion of army may well be on foot.
    -----------------------------------------
    Current Vetronian military system is a result of two major experiences: Fomorian Wars and Ghuzz invasion. Both of them, but especially Fomorian invasion, have helped shape national identity – while tribal (ethnic) identity and loyalties are still significant, people strongly identify with the Empire as such. Invasions thus strongly promoted loyalty to the crown and to one's own ethnic group at the expense of loyalty to local leaders and large magnates.

    Fomorians are a species of humanoid amphibians. They are hostile and monstruous beings who come from under the sea. In period from 1200 to 1450 AUC they had ruled major parts of Vetronia, and minor invasions and conquests continued until 1920 AUC. They had conquered almost entire Vetronia around 1300 AUC, but after paired defeats in the Battle of Black Tooth and Siege of Vetronia, their control gradually slipped.

    Because of Fomorian amphibious ability, no place in the Empire was safe from their attacks – seas and rivers provided them with essentially unlimited military reach. As a result, mobility became paramount. Military became heavily mounted and also adapted wagon-fort tactics from eastern nomads. As Fomorians had managed to conquer most of the Empire for a time – imposing tribute of two-thirds of children, grain and cattle – resistance had been forced to adapt mobile hit-and-run tactics. As land was recovered, first legions and then individual soldiers were given lands with which to support themselves, freeing up standing military for offensive warfare.
     
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    You know that "Formorian" is a real word from Celtic myth, right?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  3. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    I am aware, that is where I found them. Not sure whether to use them as-is or maybe combine them with few other mythis and a made-up name, but that is not really important right now.
     
  4. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    143
    If mobility was important, you may want to look at things other than horses. Horses are big, expensive and require more training to use well, especially in wartime. The low rankers likely would be on foot, though if not, they might be on ponies/donkeys/mules. These are smaller, so require less food, and would be significantly easier to handle than a war horse. They could use these to ride to near where they are fighting, dismount and hobble the animals, and then march the rest of the way.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Aldarion like this.
  5. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    Thanks.

    One question is whether to utilize wagons or not. Wagons would improve fighting ability of an army - it would always have a safe camp to retreat to, or defend from (Hussite wagon-fort tactics, essentially) and they could be used to protect flanks of the infantry from cavalry charge - but they would also limit the marching speed of an army. Now, such a camp could serve as a base of operations for more mobile mounted elements, but in that case they could maybe just build Roman-type fortified camp.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  6. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    143
    I would think wagons could be very useful- if the men can trade off who is on foot, who is in wagons, it can increase their overall speed, and allow them to be better rested once they reach their destination. Where it becomes tricky is terrain: Forests or mountains where there are limited paths a wagon can get through(leading to higher chances of attacks/ambushes when forces are bottlenecked)
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  7. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    Unlikely. Wagons are actually the slowest-moving portion of the army, and animals need rest as well. So however you cut it, wagons will slow down the army, even over good terrain. What they do allow however is avoiding losing time on digging out camp pallisade, as you can simply surround the camp with wagons.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    14,208
    Likes Received:
    16,547
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    wagon forts were not invulnerable - especially as you have a choice of taking the animals that pull them inside the circle - in which case they will panic when fire arrows start landing, or you leave them outside and risk having them killed or stolen rending your wagons imobile
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    OTOH, an amphibious species which is primarily marine may not have a well developed military use of fire.

    In terms of mobility, is the question about mobility at a tactical level in battle, or at a strategic level in terms of movement of troops?

    Surely the answer to an enemy that can attack you easily from a body of water is - stay the hell away from them except when looking for a confrontation.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    14,208
    Likes Received:
    16,547
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    true but horses and oxen will also be panicked by a rain of other projectiles

    and yes if you enemy is aquatic build your forts on hill tops
     
  11. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    And don't fill your moats with water!
     
  12. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    Well, any pre-modern army is going to have a large number of animals so you have that problem however you cut it. Question is basically whether to have animals transport supplies themselves (which will allow for faster march rate) or pull wagons which can then be used to make a fort (which will allow for wagon tactics and perhaps extend time army can spend in the field).

    Strategic. I imagine that wagons in battle would be quite useful, especially if cavalry goes traipsing off - with wagons, you still have something protecting infantry's flanks even with cavalry gone.
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    14,208
    Likes Received:
    16,547
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    or you do it like the romans and march carrying your supplies - pacify, set up forts and then bring up supplies to fill the forts using guarded convoys before you assault forward again... that way when your infantry forms a square they don't have to worry about having beasts of burden inside the square.

    Its essentially the same doctrine as modern infantry tactics except these days the resuply comes by helicopter
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  14. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    How practical would that be on defense, though? Romans were on the offense and could largely dictate tempo of operations; but in this case, especially given the importance and pervarsiveness of waterways, it seems the enemy would dictate tempo. OTOH, army without wagons would be much faster and thus much more useful as a reaction force.

    Regarding camp, it seems Byzantines actually did both; as in, they made a wagon fort, and then built classical-Roman pallisade around it:
    https://books.google.hr/books?id=VgcqDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT63&lpg=PT63&dq=byzantine+camp+wagons&source=bl&ots=CZx7oEQqxw&sig=ACfU3U3Sf_ivd_sNiTgpA4T8Gdy65KWwIQ&hl=hr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-98HG3crnAhXK-ioKHVmDCPEQ6AEwCnoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=byzantine%20camp%20wagons&f=false

    This does imply they would build only pallisade, without wagons, when necessary.

    Now the question is whether Hussite-like wagon tactics would be enough of advantage to have them along for major battles anyway.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  15. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    If you are on the defence, you don't need a large quantity of supply, since you are in friendly territory.

    If you're talking about resupplying an army on the defensive in enemy territory, mobility is not an issue because your supply train should not be engaging in pitch battle. If it is, then your supply routes are compromised and you're screwed anyway.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  16. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    14,208
    Likes Received:
    16,547
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    unless you are something like the ten thousand where you are basically attacking to the rear - that was a self contained force with no resupply
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  17. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    Right. But their supply situation was forced by the circumstances they found themselves in rather than be pre-planned. They probably would't have chosen to put themselves in that situation.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  18. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    So basically what I got from everything is:

    Army with wagons:
    1) greater operational endurance
    2) greater tactical flexibility

    Army without wagons:
    1) faster at march - especially if fully mounted
    2) less supplies required

    Also, what would be disadvantages and advantages of a wagon fort compared to normal Byzantine-style encampment (that is, ditch-and-pallisade)? Basically, why did Hussites start using wagon forts instead of more traditional camp defences? (And I think Hungarians used it earlier, as well, and then re-adopted wagon fort after Hussite wars).
     
    Oscar Leigh and OB1 like this.
  19. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    In another thread we pointed out that horses are not necessarily faster than men walking, especially if burdened.

    And it's not that fewer supplies are *required*, it's that they can carry less. Therefore the endurance of the army is limited as is its ability to resupply others.

    As for wagon forts?

    Faster to set up and break down. If you suddenly see a Zulu horde on the horizon, the best thing you can do is laager your wagons.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Aldarion like this.
  20. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    That is another question. I have found indications in both directions, but generally it seems that mounted force can achieve greater march rate. For example, when Basil II had to quickly respond to Fatamid siege of Aleppo, he mounted his whole force on mules and rushed them east. He started from Constantinople with 40 000 men and 80 000 mules, and arrived at Aleppo 16 days later with 17 000 men. Normally, march would have taken 60 days. Haldon estimates that unaccompanied cavalry can achieve march rates of 64 - 80 km per day; here, Basil achieved 75 km per day. I have also seen it mentioned that English forces of Hundred Years' War were typically mounted, even if they fought on foot; presumably also for reasons of mobility.

    I imagined that less supplies would be required to cover any given distance because wagons would limit marching speed.

    Thanks. That would be a significant advantage.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  21. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    This seems to be your signature! :supercheeky::superlaugh:
     
    Aldarion likes this.
  22. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Not an expert never played it but this brings to mind D&D and therefore an Idea,

    why don't you list all the pros and cons.. score them and use them to see who will win? I might use this where I am unsure of who should win in a certain scenario.
     
  23. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    You can cover longer distances with either men or horses. A Roman legionary could march 35km in five hours. Toyotomi Hideyoshi managed 40km. If you force your men or horses to march longer, it comes at a cost.

    A horse walks at about 4mph. It will to stop to rest, feed and drink. You cannot get it to go faster for a prolonged period of time - the faster you push it, the more likely it is to injure itself, or overheat and die, especially if there are no roads.

    A small group of riders will travel faster than a large group.

    You also have to consider whether the horses are bred for endurance or speed. Horses meant to be used in battle will be the latter, horses for transport the former.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Aldarion like this.
  24. Aldarion

    Aldarion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    54
    So basically men and horses can cover about equal distance. I have looked up details, and apparently cavalry would outdistance infantry for first 3 days, from 4th day both reach camp together and from 7th day infantry outdistances cavalry.

    But this brings up another series of questions. How did Mongols achieve mobility they did? I have found estimates of their movement rates clocking in at 60 to 100 km per day if memory serves me. Byzantine tagmata were also cavalry, though that could have been a question of prestige.

    Also, is there any information on how quickly could Hussite tabor armies move? More slowly than armies without wagons on the march, but then again you'd save time on making and breaking the camp defences, and wagons could carry artillery for use in field in addition to supplies...
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  25. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    545
    Location:
    The Land of Whimsy
    Each Mongol soldier kept several horses, allowing them to switch mounts whenever the horse they were riding began to tire. In a nomadic society based on horses this was possible, but consider the difficulty of such a system in a more sedentary society.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Aldarion like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice