Scandinavia and the World
Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9828712:


I know gun-fu 22 2, 4:32pm

@tomyironmane The amount of training and discipline required is completely different though, and the degree to which means, genetics and physical exercise are decisive in any confrontation. There are reasons feudal infantry consisted largely of spears and pikes: Yes, they were more useful than swords against mounted foes, but 1) it is much easier and cheaper to replace the end of a scythe and make it a polearm than to forge an entire sword, 2) the former was thus not only more available to the average peasant on short notice but more PRACTICAL for use in peacetime and 3) that was MOST of the time, so the only people with enough leisure time to develop military proficiency with military weapons--to be true professional soldiers rather than occasional civilian levees--were the nobility not obligated to work from before dawn until after dusk just feeding their families.

It remains true that an experienced shooter has a big advantage over an inexperienced one--but not the completely insurmountable one experienced swordsmen or lancers had over inexperienced ones. No one learned nor learns the basic techniques to care for and effectively use a sword or lance in weeks, which is another reason peasant levees fashioned their plowshares into polearms: Those weapons required a very similar skill set rather than a completely different one that could only be adequately developed through YEARS of extensive training and practice they lacked. The hunting parallel applies there too: Hunting has been common in very culture since prehistory, but the only thing ever hunted with a sword is PEOPLE, so if you need to turn a lot of hunters into a lot of soldiers in a hurry, do not give them blades, have them direct their experience with hunting spears and bows toward people.