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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I also remember seeing a documentary of an Allied exercise with an Australian submarine playing OPFOR against an American fleet. The Australians snuck up on one of the USN ships, scored a 'kill' with a torpedo and got away scot free. They celebrated by playing Men at Work's Down Under over the radio.
    This reminds me of that time in 2006, when, during an exercise, a Chinese sub snuck in the middle of a carrier battle group, and surfaced in torpedo range of the Kitty Hawk.

    The Chinese were not part of the exercise, however.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I also remember seeing a documentary of an Allied exercise with an Australian submarine playing OPFOR against an American fleet. The Australians snuck up on one of the USN ships, scored a 'kill' with a torpedo and got away scot free. They celebrated by playing Men at Work's Down Under over the radio.

    In short, Navy traditions are weird and bubbleheads are even weirder.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
    Alrighty! here's some of the stuff that I think i've sorted out when it comes to ~16th century english:
    Good list, thanks!

    - "curiassiers" were cavalry who wore 3/4ths armor, not just a curiass
    *Cuirass and cuirassier, if we're doing spelling anyway. Although I'll happily believe that both forms and more occured at the time, because the 16th century generally didn't bother with formalized spelling. I'm not sure about English, but 16th century Dutch is often held as harder to read than earlier medieval versions. Must be that in the middle ages most writing was done by professional scribes and monks, while these days someone like a sea captain can write.

    - As the musket and caliver became the more common infantry weapons the different spellings of "arquebusier"/"harquebusier" came to refer specifically to a type of light cavalry who carried a wheellock or flint-striking arquebus that could be used from horseback. It should be noted that this cavalry would usually be differentiated from "dragoons", who initially were not true cavalry but mounted infantry.
    A fusil is another slightly later word for a lighter musket. I don't know why the new term was needed/what differentiates them.



    As for the captain thing: funny, I always thought the navy standardized to "skipper" precisely to avoid this. I learn something every day.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-10-09 at 02:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    That's the one.

    Edit: I just watched it again and there's a really funny bit I missed - they played the song over the ship's speaker not the radio, so the USN DD ASW guys could pick it up on their hydrophones.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2020-10-09 at 01:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    A fusil is another slightly later word for a lighter musket. I don't know why the new term was needed/what differentiates them.
    In English, I've seen the term fusil defined as a "smoothbore rifle" -- which is, obviously, an oxymoron. But it does convey an idea: something built like a civilian rifle, but smoothbore (i.e. a light musket). In other languages the term fusil basically replaced musket. But then it became the term for the standard infantryman's weapon; the French Lebel bolt action rifle was officially, Fusil Modčle 1886, and an assault rifle is a Fusil d'Assaut.

    This sometimes leads to bad translations, with fusils being called rifles, although in context they should be muskets.

    EDIT -- Originally, fusil referred to a flintlock, and fusiliers were simply those armed with one (when the matchlock was still common). They usually had a specialist function at that time. Later when flintlocks were common, the terminology shifted.
    Last edited by fusilier; 2020-10-10 at 02:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    .
    Nice, we have an expert in the house.

    Well, yeah, me too, but I meant a fusilier expert.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-10-10 at 05:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Good list, thanks!


    *Cuirass and cuirassier, if we're doing spelling anyway. Although I'll happily believe that both forms and more occured at the time, because the 16th century generally didn't bother with formalized spelling. I'm not sure about English, but 16th century Dutch is often held as harder to read than earlier medieval versions. Must be that in the middle ages most writing was done by professional scribes and monks, while these days someone like a sea captain can write.


    A fusil is another slightly later word for a lighter musket. I don't know why the new term was needed/what differentiates them.



    As for the captain thing: funny, I always thought the navy standardized to "skipper" precisely to avoid this. I learn something every day.
    The cuirassier thing is probably just me being bad at spelling.

    Yeah, the fusil I think was originally a french word for "flintlock" that later sort of turned into its own weapon. Aside from fusils being assigned to guard artillery and ammunition wagons since that was considered a bit safer than having lit matches around gunpowder, the main perceived advantages of the flintlock early on tended to be it's usefulness in ambushes, sneaking around, night operations, etc. so it generally made sense for the lighter, more agile sorts of long guns to become flintlocks first while the slightly heavier, "standard battle-line" weapons continued to stick with a much simpler, more reliable matchlock mechanism. You can find some examples of this in the english colonies in america which generally developed a very high demand for more flexible guns with flintlock mechanisms. One list of arms for 100 men setting sail for plymouth around 1630 for instance called for "80 bastard muskets with snaphaunces and without rests", and just "10 full muskets with matchlocks and rests", in addition to another 10 assorted fowling pieces.

    Fowling pieces and other privately purchased hunting weapons also tended to more often be flintlocks so that animals wouldn't be frightened off by the sight and smell of a burning match.

    Over the course of the 1600s muskets generally became lighter where they no longer needed the rest. Additionally, the reliability of flintlocks seems to have been improving to where many soldiers and captains were preferring to switch out matchlocks for flintlocks in general. Eventually the matchlock largely disappeared and it seems the english continued calling their standard infantry weapon the "musket" while the French instead kept calling their flintlocks "fusils".

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Ok, so I've been playing a bunch of Warhammer Total War and watchigng some lovely videos about Pike and Shot warfare, and my mind has, of course, wandered off to mixing the two.

    Now, I don't know muhc about the Spanish Tercos other than it's layout and basic composition, so I'm rather curious what the thread thinks their eficacy against the Vampire Counts or Beastmen would be? I would assume they'd be pretty good, cuz Pikes are great against masses of infantry and guns are great against, well, pretty much everything but I'm curious if there's some sort of flaw I'm missing.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I think that fusil is a loanword that entered French from Italian (fucile) around the time the weapon was introduced, and substituted the older French term for the fire striker, foisil. As a time reference, I see that foisil is still used in a dictionary from 1678.

    Fucile ultimately has the same origin as foisil, from a derivative of FOCUS = fire (maybe a form like FOCILIS; Italian also used to have focile, same meaning as fucile).

    Erudite Latin developed its own word for the rifle, fugillus, which I don't think is the word from which foisil and focile are derived, and may have been built after them on the basis of Spanish fuego.

    I've found an interesting explanation for musket. Many guns, like falconets, take their names from birds of prey. The It. moschetto, Fr. mouchet, was the sparrowhawk, so one of the smallest of the birds of prey. In Italian, smeriglio was the name of both a gun and the merlin.

    In German the males of the sparrowhawk are called Sprinz, which could have been the origin for the springald's name (if it isn't just a relative of "spring", which I deem more likely). The springald itself has changed meaning within a military context, as it initially was a siege engine used to throw stones, and later became a gun.

    Since nothing is ever simple, the springald and large ballistae threw ammo also known as moschette or moschetti in Italian.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Ok, so I've been playing a bunch of Warhammer Total War and watchigng some lovely videos about Pike and Shot warfare, and my mind has, of course, wandered off to mixing the two.

    Now, I don't know muhc about the Spanish Tercos other than it's layout and basic composition, so I'm rather curious what the thread thinks their eficacy against the Vampire Counts or Beastmen would be? I would assume they'd be pretty good, cuz Pikes are great against masses of infantry and guns are great against, well, pretty much everything but I'm curious if there's some sort of flaw I'm missing.
    I'm mostly unfamiliar with Warhammer, but I'm still going to try and answer this one.

    Pike and shot at its core is an anti-cavalry tactic. That's the biggest real world reason for doing it. Cavalry use hit and run tactics. Pikes deal massive damage on first contact, something you don't want to hit and run against. And while horses are big enough to eat some damage, pikes deal bonus damage based on the enemy's speed, and they are pretty good against large creatures in general as well. Pikes would be a brilliant defense against something like dinosaurs. The shot component is added because pikemen are slower than cavalry. A pure pike square can still be targeted by hit and run tactics, just use pistols or carbines (another word for shorter muskets, /crosstopic). Due to how much easier it is to raise large numbers of infantry though and how much closer you can pack those guys together, an infantry formation including a large number of pikes can still carry more firepower then a cavalry formation. And that advantage grows because the infantry can use full size muskets. And that's a good thing for the infantry, because their advantage shrinks because the cavalry can afford better armor, both money and weight wise. So charging is suicide, and attacking from a distance is still a bad idea, as long as the formation maintains cohesion. The fact that pikes are so horribly effective is also probably the main reason that over the time these tactics are used the percentage of pikemen used steadily goes down, to 1/3 or even as low as 1/4 of the formation using pikes by the time plug bayonets turn the landscape upside down. As long as there are enough pikes they're not going to charge, and as long as they're not charging you want maximum firepower.

    Now, just because at its core this is an anti-cavalry tactic that doesn't mean it's bad versus infantry. Pikes still do that massive damage upon first contact. Small loose formations can be easily kept out with a forest of pikes pointing at them and large ordered formations basically skewer themselves. Of course if those orderly formations are using pikes you're skewering yourself as well. Formations of just ranged attackers do well against a pike and shot formation, be they skirmishers on foot, dragoons dismounting into action or artillery pounding the formation from afar. But all those formations share a key vulnerability to your own supporting cavalry, which need something to do now that they can't charge the main opponent formations anyway. So skirmishers and dragoons and such usually can't stick around to actually deliver a killing blow. (The pike and shot formations often also have a group of halberdiers on board. They mostly do stuff like protecting the officers and plugging holes in the formation, but they could conceivably run out at skirmishers if they feel invulnerable and get too close.) Which means that in the end the "game" of pike and shot tactics usually ends up being around using skirmishers, dragoons, artillery, maybe some cavalry maneuvering and your own pike and shot blocks firing to destabilize and demoralize the enemy pike and shot formations, and then sending your own pike and shot blocks in for the "push of pike". If you didn't do a good enough job and the enemy maintains cohesion it's going to be a massacre on both sides, but if you did do a good enough job you only lose your first few rows or something in the initial contact, upon which they break into a panic and hundreds of men start breaking formation and making themselves easy targets to be picked off by pursuers of pretty much any kind.

    Now, on to the fantasy armies. The vampire lords apparently have no ranged capabilities, that's a good start. They depend upon hordes of zombies and skeletons controlled by magic, that's great too, because there is no way these units are individually controlled very well, so they're big dumb infantry formations with I'm assuming not a lot of pikes of their own, which are going to squash very nicely. They are also easy pickings for the supporting cavalry, the skirmishers, the artillery and basically any other unit. Seriously, who uses zombies? The problem comes in the shape of their special units. They have ghosts that are almost immune to physical damage, flying dragons and magic users. They apparently officially have no ranged units, which really makes me question how their magic and their dragons work. If they do have some short ranged ranged stuff they might still do pretty well. And they can probably choose to sacrifice a dragon by just crashing it into a formation, disrupting it to the point of an easy rout. They can also try to outmaneuver the pike blocks, luring them out, then bypassing them and going straight for the objective/artillery. They will still have to deal with the supporting cavalry, which is no joke and will have to be dealt with quickly to prevent the infantry from catching up, but it's better than jumping onto those pikes. So a smart vampire warlord could still do pretty well with their main forces being pretty much out of the fight. But if we assume the pike and shot guys are from the same universe, they ain't afraid of no ghost and their commanders have some familiarity with vampire tactics I give the general advantage to the pike and shot guys, because their infantry demolished the opposing infantry for being dumb blocks of HP. The lack of ranged options on the vampire side really hurts them as well, as it often leaves them with no options but charging pikes, getting shot or running away.

    The beastmen seem to be like a biological mixture of infantry and cavalry, bigger, stronger and faster than regular men, with their special units being even bigger, stronger and faster. Did I notice pikes have a bonus against faster enemies and do at the very least just fine against large ones? They also seem to use primarily melee weapons, so the closest real world comparison really is mounted lancers, which almost entirely disappeared from the battlefield during the pike and shot days, because they are so completely hard countered by the basic pike and shot formation. Although to be fair, because beastmen are bipedal and don't have to control any horses they pack together a lot closer than regular Earth cavalry, which could help them a bit here. They are also apparently cleverer than their enemies are willing to admit, but they're going to have to be pretty clever to survive this match up. I'm probably missing several things, but the main essence of this faction mostly just gets slaughtered by pike and shot squares. Although as long as there is room to outmaneuver them they could still do well against all the side units.

    So yeah, I think I agree with the premise of your post, pike and shot tactics would do great against these armies.

    If you want to get more of a feel for pike and shot tactics, I can recommend grabbing the turn based tactics PC game Pike and Shot from Byzantine Games/The Lordz Game Studio/Slitherine next time you see it for a price you like in a Steam sale or on a bundle site. I've seen it come up a few times. It's fun to play around with a bit to get a sense of the warfare of the period.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-10-11 at 07:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Now, on to the fantasy armies. The vampire lords apparently have no ranged capabilities, that's a good start. They depend upon hordes of zombies and skeletons controlled by magic, that's great too, because there is no way these units are individually controlled very well, so they're big dumb infantry formations with I'm assuming not a lot of pikes of their own, which are going to squash very nicely. They are also easy pickings for the supporting cavalry, the skirmishers, the artillery and basically any other unit. Seriously, who uses zombies? The problem comes in the shape of their special units. They have ghosts that are almost immune to physical damage, flying dragons and magic users. They apparently officially have no ranged units, which really makes me question how their magic and their dragons work. If they do have some short ranged ranged stuff they might still do pretty well. And they can probably choose to sacrifice a dragon by just crashing it into a formation, disrupting it to the point of an easy rout. They can also try to outmaneuver the pike blocks, luring them out, then bypassing them and going straight for the objective/artillery. They will still have to deal with the supporting cavalry, which is no joke and will have to be dealt with quickly to prevent the infantry from catching up, but it's better than jumping onto those pikes. So a smart vampire warlord could still do pretty well with their main forces being pretty much out of the fight. But if we assume the pike and shot guys are from the same universe, they ain't afraid of no ghost and their commanders have some familiarity with vampire tactics I give the general advantage to the pike and shot guys, because their infantry demolished the opposing infantry for being dumb blocks of HP. The lack of ranged options on the vampire side really hurts them as well, as it often leaves them with no options but charging pikes, getting shot or running away.
    They use Zombies because they are cheap on magical energy which means you can bring a truly moronic amount of them to a fight. Skeletons are better, though still worse than live fighters, you just get more of them again.

    As for ranged, it's pretty much Terrogheists (giant murder bat wyvern things that scream so loud they kill things. SO pretty short range, maybe 15 yards?), Banshees (the do the same thing as Terrogheists just on a smaller scale) and whatever the mage in question can hurl around and in Warhammer.... that's a lot. Now, and in universe Empire of Man Pike and Shot army would have Battle Wizards so they can fight back at least, but the magic advantage would go to Vamps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    The beastmen seem to be like a biological mixture of infantry and cavalry, bigger, stronger and faster than regular men, with their special units being even bigger, stronger and faster. Did I notice pikes have a bonus against faster enemies and do at the very least just fine against large ones? They also seem to use primarily melee weapons, so the closest real world comparison really is mounted lancers, which almost entirely disappeared from the battlefield during the pike and shot days, because they are so completely hard countered by the basic pike and shot formation. Although to be fair, because beastmen are bipedal and don't have to control any horses they pack together a lot closer than regular Earth cavalry, which could help them a bit here. They are also apparently cleverer than their enemies are willing to admit, but they're going to have to be pretty clever to survive this match up. I'm probably missing several things, but the main essence of this faction mostly just gets slaughtered by pike and shot squares. Although as long as there is room to outmaneuver them they could still do well against all the side units.
    Beastmen's only ranged units are Cygors (who have a magical eye laser and throw rocks), Ungor Archers, Centigors (centaurs with javelins and stuff) and Mages again. So, my original thought process of Pike and Shot wrecking Beastmen was correct. Thank you.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I will point out that Beastmen generally prefer to fight in terrain that suits them and against enemies that aren't properly prepared, and due to a lack of infrastructure to defend are hard to force into a fight. They also use a lot of psychological warfare. Various monsters who along with the rank and file beastmen will happily start eating the living and dead soldiers of any unit they defeat right there on the battlefield, trophies made of rotting corpses, their own rampant mutation, nighttime attacks, the destruction of civilian infrastructure. It's a pretty demoralizing experience.

    Vampires have similar strengths. They don't tire, they aren't particularly impaired by darkness or dangerous terrain, if a necromancer or vampire is ready with then the undead can more or less endlessly stand back up and any defeated enemies can be brought back to fight for them.

    Both also have creatures that can fly in their ranks, bats, harpies, dragons, jabberslythes. Jabberslythes are theoretically the worst, looking at one can drive most people to immediate insanity.

    In a 'normal' battle they'd both be relatively easy for late medieval tactics to beat, but neither are normal opponents.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    While still reading Hess before rebutting (for a man who claims rifling didn’t change anything, he has significant numbers of statements like attacks in columns were no longer practical by the civil war with the reduction in firepower, and talking about the self same falling apart at the first volley 100 yards away...but I digress), pikes and magic stuff!

    When it comes to pikes, the psychological factors are substantial in both directions. When a block of pike charges (hard to do) if you’re on the other side there’s a significant “that is a impenetrable wall of spearheads racing towards me; if I’m near the front of this formation, I’m going to die without even a chance to fight” that causes a great deal of the shock effect before the first pike head hits anything, followed by the actual shock of several ranks of pike heads being driven home with the force of charging men. Attacking pikes, or being the on the end of a “walk forward slowly and then stop to poke, maybe walk forward a little more, then finally engage in a push of pike” offense, requires being willing to try to break through a forest of spearheads.

    And then deal with the halberds etc once you’re through. Basically, the shock effect of being charged or of having to close was often enough to break or deter formations. The physical damage was high, but the morale effect was massive - the renaissance equivalent of running right at the stream of tracers.

    The flip side is that pike formations were also very vulnerable to morale failures. Well disciplined and in tight formation, they may be the ultimate shock weapon on the field, but disordered the impenetrable hedge of pike heads becomes penetrable after all as gaps open up, pikes get tangled, men lose the space inside their formation needed to operate their weapons, etc.

    While people didn’t actually get in close with pikes too often, when they did it became what was known as “bad war”. If you can imagine shield wall style fighting in a tight press, only without shields to protect you, you have the idea. This is not for the faint of heart.

    ————

    So, what’s that mean for vampires? Well, send in the undead. Unlike mortal men, they won’t ball at the fact that their front ranks are going to be savaged by the leading edge of pikes. Arguably if you can get a zombie to simply grab a pike and keep it in his body and then fall to the ground, you’ll break up the formation pretty quick. The “men” behind them just close in to bad war. Hurrah. Allow the face to face, high ferocity, low skill killing begin. And that’s assuming you didn’t use any number of other items to break up the formation to begin with.

    As for beastmen, well, one of the human answers to breaking pikes was to get a bunch of brave, big, bloody minded men with great weapons and have them chop their way in. I feel like this would be something you could find quite a lot of in beastmen land.

    Now, this being said, war hammer isn’t noted for its realism to begin with. So saying “yeah, you could break a pike square” is not the same as saying “see, the devs grounded their decisions in solid military thought”

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Pikemen were generally heavily armored, and would usually carry a sword for close in defense. Even if a zombie or skeleton did manage to break through the forest of pikes (far from easy, as that deadly sharp point is connected to a stout shaft of wood 18 feet long, a massive barrier in itself), they'd still find the pikemen to be tough to crack. This ignores that a slow-moving and dense horde is pretty much the dream of shot units, who would inflict massive damage as the horde closed - even if a bullet can't kill because MAGIC, you aren't going to be fighting too well when your limbs are shattered.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    This ignores that a slow-moving and dense horde is pretty much the dream of shot units, who would inflict massive damage as the horde closed - even if a bullet can't kill because MAGIC, you aren't going to be fighting too well when your limbs are shattered.
    Amusingly enough, zombies in WHF are so bad at fighting anyway that when they get damaged or killed the necromancers just crudely patch them back into something resembling useful and throw them into the next fight. Broken spines are fixed straight with planks, severed hands replaced with spiked fence railings, teeth and fingertips with iron nails or broken glass.

    A zombie loses to basically anything one on one, but they are almost infinitely reusable and make a good way to keep an enemy infantry group engaged.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Thanks everyone for pointing out some of the weirdness that come come out of these interactions. I really needed some more minds because of how odd WHFB can be. Like, I actually completely forgot about Jabberslythes and those do change things.

    And by change I mean you shoot them with a Hellstorm Rocket battery and hope that works.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I think that fusil is a loanword that entered French from Italian (fucile) around the time the weapon was introduced, and substituted the older French term for the fire striker, foisil. As a time reference, I see that foisil is still used in a dictionary from 1678.

    Fucile ultimately has the same origin as foisil, from a derivative of FOCUS = fire (maybe a form like FOCILIS; Italian also used to have focile, same meaning as fucile).

    Erudite Latin developed its own word for the rifle, fugillus, which I don't think is the word from which foisil and focile are derived, and may have been built after them on the basis of Spanish fuego.

    I've found an interesting explanation for musket. Many guns, like falconets, take their names from birds of prey. The It. moschetto, Fr. mouchet, was the sparrowhawk, so one of the smallest of the birds of prey. In Italian, smeriglio was the name of both a gun and the merlin.

    In German the males of the sparrowhawk are called Sprinz, which could have been the origin for the springald's name (if it isn't just a relative of "spring", which I deem more likely). The springald itself has changed meaning within a military context, as it initially was a siege engine used to throw stones, and later became a gun.

    Since nothing is ever simple, the springald and large ballistae threw ammo also known as moschette or moschetti in Italian.
    I have heard that moschetto originally referred to a kind of light, long barreled cannon (like a falconet or robinet), later the term was applied to the more familiar heavy personal firearm. But by the end of the 19th century, the M1891 Carcano Moschetto was a light, short barreled carbine. (The long Carcano was called a fucile). :-)
    Last edited by fusilier; 2020-10-13 at 01:00 AM. Reason: fixing typo

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    And thus the age-old lesson: language is a living, fluid, and fickle thing. It does as it wants. A word is rarely exactly what you think it is, it's merely close enough to work as a shared reference for a group of people.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    An extension of the pike and shot vs undead/beastmen question:

    Assuming the shot in question is matchlocks, they fire one to two rounds a minute with a realistic range of 75-100 yards. Crossing one hundred yards in a minute doesn’t require even a particularly brisk walk.

    In a world of men, the problem becomes one of convincing men to go forward into the hedge of pikes - which lets the shot conduct all sorts of evolutions under the safety of the pikes.

    In our theoretical world of mindless zombies without fear, the horde isn’t a dream for the shot armed troops - it’s a nightmare where they get one or two shots off and then the pikes are being dragged down by selfless sacrifices and the face to face killing begins.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    An extension of the pike and shot vs undead/beastmen question:

    Assuming the shot in question is matchlocks, they fire one to two rounds a minute with a realistic range of 75-100 yards. Crossing one hundred yards in a minute doesn’t require even a particularly brisk walk.

    In a world of men, the problem becomes one of convincing men to go forward into the hedge of pikes - which lets the shot conduct all sorts of evolutions under the safety of the pikes.

    In our theoretical world of mindless zombies without fear, the horde isn’t a dream for the shot armed troops - it’s a nightmare where they get one or two shots off and then the pikes are being dragged down by selfless sacrifices and the face to face killing begins.
    They appear to be flintlocks from what I can see, which gets us about 3 shots instead of two.

    And, interestingly, the Empire uses a lot of Halberdiers and handgunners as is, they just use them as separate groups instead of mixing them as a Tercios
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    On the Warhammer issue. Years ago there were Warhammer Historical Battles books released.

    The ECW (Pike and Shot) is very good, and I used it extensively, running a Scots Covenanter army.

    I can’t tell you how much I despise WFB, however once you strip away the special rules, half of which contradict each other, the basic game engine runs surprisingly well.

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    Why do shotguns continue to exist in modern military arsenals? What advantages do they possess, or what situations are they better suited for, then the current generation of assault rifle?

    The reason I ask is because of the existence of the M26-MASS , which seems like a very ineffective shotgun.

    Thanks for your input!

    Edit: Regarding the Pike/Shot vs Zombies question, I'd give the advantage to the zombies. Pikes tend not to dismember their targets, only destroy their organs and inflict enough pain/blood loss to incapacitate their opponents. As zombies have no blood, feel no pain, and don't care if their kidney is impaled on the end of a pike, I think they'd give the pikemen a very bad time indeed.
    Last edited by NRSASD; 2020-10-14 at 12:30 PM.

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    There are two uses for a shotgun that I can think of: if you are on point and have to shoot someone from up close, and if you need to break a doorlock. People with more knowledge will probably tell you more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Why do shotguns continue to exist in modern military arsenals? What advantages do they possess, or what situations are they better suited for, then the current generation of assault rifle?

    The reason I ask is because of the existence of the M26-MASS , which seems like a very ineffective shotgun.

    Thanks for your input!
    From what I've read:

    Military police are issued shotguns for the same reasons civilian police are.

    Marines are issued shotguns for shipboard and dockside security use because buckshot is less likely to penetrate walls than rifle rounds. These shotguns are often "marinized" versions using corrosion-resistant materials.

    Engineers are issued shotguns both for added defensive firepower and for the ability to fire special munitions.

    More generally, the ability to fire slugs, buckshot, flares, lockbreaking rounds, mini-grenades, "less than lethal" rounds, etc, etc makes them very useful.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Why do shotguns continue to exist in modern military arsenals? What advantages do they possess, or what situations are they better suited for, then the current generation of assault rifle?
    Well, as others have said, it can fire more versatile rounds, an buckshot is safer at CQB range in that it's less likely to penetrate the far wall of the room and endanger friendlies.

    It has its place. In general the assault rifle will be a better choice, but having a few shotguns available to a platoon isn't a terrible idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    The reason I ask is because of the existence of the M26-MASS , which seems like a very ineffective shotgun.
    It's probably a worse shotgun than what it's replacing. But it's an underbarrel accessory weapon, so you still have your M 4 ready after you breach the door with the shotgun, rather than having one guy in the fire team with a shotgun and thus one less assault rifle ready to go.

    It's an interesting concept. Not sure how useful it is, but I can see the thinking behind it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Edit: Regarding the Pike/Shot vs Zombies question, I'd give the advantage to the zombies. Pikes tend not to dismember their targets, only destroy their organs and inflict enough pain/blood loss to incapacitate their opponents. As zombies have no blood, feel no pain, and don't care if their kidney is impaled on the end of a pike, I think they'd give the pikemen a very bad time indeed.
    I have to agree with you. Musket balls and pikes probably won't be as deadly to zombies, since making holes in bodies won't stop zombies (depending on the source material for your zombies, not sure how WH thinks of zombies) I would think you'd need to dismember them of burn them or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    It's probably a worse shotgun than what it's replacing. But it's an underbarrel accessory weapon, so you still have your M 4 ready after you breach the door with the shotgun, rather than having one guy in the fire team with a shotgun and thus one less assault rifle ready to go.

    It's an interesting concept. Not sure how useful it is, but I can see the thinking behind it.
    Pretty sure it's for blowing open doors so they don't waste C4

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    I have to agree with you. Musket balls and pikes probably won't be as deadly to zombies, since making holes in bodies won't stop zombies (depending on the source material for your zombies, not sure how WH thinks of zombies) I would think you'd need to dismember them of burn them or something.
    In WH they're animated entirely by magic so ripping off ones head will probably drop it, but that's more because you've interrupted the flow of magic and less because it lost its head, so just inflicting bucket loads of damage will work.

    The issue is that the Necro just brings them back up with a dose of more magic which means taking them out is top priority.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Why do shotguns continue to exist in modern military arsenals? What advantages do they possess, or what situations are they better suited for, then the current generation of assault rifle?
    Specialist slugs have already been mentioned. As for why not just have a dedicated shotgun guy, if you are in narrow places, you may not have room enough for two people, and if the shotgun guy has loaded specialist rounds, he will not be as useful as he could be.

    Another reason is stopping power - there is a ton of BS when it comes to it, and terms like hydrostatic shock are bandied about a lot, but the short of it is this. If you have something like an AK or an AR, with intermediate cartridges, odds are you need to hit someone multiple times to take them down quick. Sure, one good hit will kill them eventually, maybe even in a few seconds, and being hit just once is usually enough for them to retreat.

    But. That is only the case when you are engaging over a sizeable distance - once you are inside a building, those three seconds they get before they die are enough for them to pull the trigger on you, and at those distances, odds are good they will hit you. Shotguns not only make larger wounds, or more of them, they have more mass behind their projectile. That means it moves slower, and is therefore terrible at armor penetration, but it also means it will physically jostle you more.

    So, a shotgun is more likely to inflict immediately debilitating wound and if it doesn't, it's more likely to throw off aim of whoever it hit. Thing is, that is a tradeoff that's usually not really worth the loss of AP capability and rate of fire. But, if you have a specialized team that will only really fight indoors (some SpecOps operations, police) or a team that needs those specialized shotgun rounds anyway, you may as well give them a shotgun.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    The reason I ask is because of the existence of the M26-MASS , which seems like a very ineffective shotgun.
    There is a logistical reason for wanting everyone to have the same general weapon - if you have a shotgun guy, he needs standard buckshot or slugs for his shotgun, if you have everyone with underbarrel shotties, you only need a few of those specialist rounds. And once you have that underbarrel shotgun, it sure would be logistically neat if all you needed to do to turn it into a shotgun (fro those specialized teams) is add a stock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    I have to agree with you. Musket balls and pikes probably won't be as deadly to zombies, since making holes in bodies won't stop zombies (depending on the source material for your zombies, not sure how WH thinks of zombies) I would think you'd need to dismember them of burn them or something.
    I think you are misunderestimating just how much damage a soft lead .75 cal. ball does.

    The reason why amputation was so prominent in treating battlefield wounds in the musket era is that if a musket ball hit a large bone, such as a femur, it completely shattered about 3 inches of bone. Limbs got amputated not because they were broken, but because there was nothing left to re-attach the pieces together. Gut shots were famously deadly in that era too because of the massive tissue damage and spread of infection.

    It’s not like a modern small caliber high velocity copper jacketed round poking nice neat holes in someone. The ball deformed and transferred all of its kinetic energy across a relatively wide area.

    In WFB terms the zombie or skeleton is rendered non functional because it no longer has a functioning sword arm, or it’s vertebral column suddenly has 3 inches missing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    I think you are misunderestimating just how much damage a soft lead .75 cal. ball does.

    The reason why amputation was so prominent in treating battlefield wounds in the musket era is that if a musket ball hit a large bone, such as a femur, it completely shattered about 3 inches of bone. Limbs got amputated not because they were broken, but because there was nothing left to re-attach the pieces together. Gut shots were famously deadly in that era too because of the massive tissue damage and spread of infection.

    It’s not like a modern small caliber high velocity copper jacketed round poking nice neat holes in someone. The ball deformed and transferred all of its kinetic energy across a relatively wide area.

    In WFB terms the zombie or skeleton is rendered non functional because it no longer has a functioning sword arm, or it’s vertebral column suddenly has 3 inches missing
    I'm in no way underestimating a musket ball.

    I'm just saying that blowing an inch wide hole out of the chest or abdomen of a redcoat advancing up Bunker Hill will stop him cold, and it won't bother a zombie or skeleton. To disable a skeleton or zombie or whatever, to mechanically damage the body to where it can't walk or fight, you have to hit bone, and you have to hit bone pretty dead center to shatter it to where it won't work, and it has to be a bone that matters for moving and fighting, not a rib or sternum or scapula or something like that. So, just a bit less effective on a zombie than a flesh and blood human who cares about his aorta being blown out his back.

    You can find photos of plenty of dead Civil War soldiers with all their limbs attached.
    Last edited by Mike_G; 2020-10-14 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Re: Shotguns.

    This one of those area where the theory and the practice are somewhat divergent. For a sort of combination of all the reasons listed, the average US infantry company keeps some shotguns in its arms room. And they tend to be very mechanically easy to use ones, so the training premium is pretty low.

    Buuuuttt....

    Their infrequent use creates a circular effect where they are harder to use for anything but niche roles.

    The system is not set up to pump shotgun shells forward in the manner of 5.56 and 7.62, and "specialty" shells are unlikely to be available in most common circumstances. Every guy with a shotgun is not running around with a slug, buck, less-than-lethal and the like in a shell gourmets choice to pull from his large selection. He likely has a small belt/harness on his kit with a handful of buckshot quick to hand. Some, but not firefight sustaining quantities of the stuff.

    And if he should happen to have a specialty use - less-than-lethal let's say - even in normal counter-insurgency he won't have many, they might be in his assault pack or gun truck, or they may be sitting back in the company trains for "when we need them". Which may be bureaucracy, and may just be sensible not wanting to add another pound of ammunition you'll only use once in a blue moon to the 60 pounds of minimum fighting load already being carried. And who knows when more of this rare ammunition will work it's way forward. Maybe the deliberate riot response units in the Balkans will have those rubber rounds in abumdance, but not a random patrol in Kandahar.

    Then the gun itself is obnoxious. It's not as if the man carrying it only has a shotgun - his primary weapon is still his rifle. So the gun is either in a truck, or on an extra sling, or if the go-to-war-money has been particularly bountiful in a special shotgun back sheath. (This, incidentally, is the reasoning behind the under-attachment theory). You can imagine that carrying the damn thing around is extra weight and one more awkward bundle - and almost never in a position where the shooter isn't just going to use his rifle unless it's deliberate. Between "in my hands and one thumb switch away from shooting" versus "let go of rifle, draw shotgun, probably load shotgun (loaded shotguns bouncing and jangling in random directions off a moving soldier, the ground, etc are maybe not a great idea for him or his mates), then use shotgun" you can imagine which one wins.

    So then we get to breaching. The shotgun is in a really fine niche here. You are basically blasting a pattern so that the lock no longer is held tightly by the door. Which implies that the door itself is of lighter construction. A great many doors can be breached quicker and easier by non-shotgun methods, such as "testing if they are open", "breaking a window and reaching through", "just lift it off it's hinges" and of course "get the big guy to do it." Those that can't in many cases are not susceptible to a shotgun breach to begin with - and sometimes metal lockplates send a bunch of bits of buck flying back out and around the courtyard in ways that make everyone cringe. The line between "kick" and "we need to hit this with real breaching tools or demo (or the ever popular find/make a different entrance)" doesn't hold a lot of shotgun space, no matter how cool it seems.

    And then we get to CQB. The theory of this is "shotgun, close range, brilliant." But....first, there's that whole part about still having a rifle. And that most people are trained (at least summarily) in shooting said rifle for CQB, while they almost certainly aren't beyond point-pull for the shotgun. And since good CQB involves your own side flowing through the building/trench/whatever with a decent tempo rather than getting bogged down in a firefight (you'll lose), there's a decent chance that there are friendlies in the area you're aiming. If you are aiming three feet off their nose, they are going to be way happier if it is with a rifle you trained with rather than a shotgun you haven't. And since in a military context anyone standing up in said room/trench/etc. is probably getting shot four to eight times as each man tracks his weapon through his sector and fires twice on the way...the stopping power of an individual small cartridge becomes less of an issue. Plus, ammo. When attacking a trench, lots of bullets get sent down the trench just to make sure no one decides to pop around the corner or even consider using that bend - then the frag goes over, and the you move down the next bend. Repeat. You almost certainly aren't carrying enough shotgun ammo to do that, nor is the magazine size large enough for a sustained advance.

    So - shotgun theory, hot. Shotgun execution - less practical than video games and individual theory would think.

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