View Full Version : Ancient Tactics, Units, and other Discussions.

29-07-05, 16:37
It came to me that many people should like history http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . I mean most of us here do play Tomb Raider right? :D LOL! (I hope it's not just for the gun shootings LOL!)

A discussion with another forum member gave me the idea of putting up this thread http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . I am facinatated with Ancient Civilizations, especially their ballte tactics http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

To start off, let me post a bit about my namesake, the Cataphract LOL!

The cataphract was a type of heavy cavalryman used throughout the Middle
East and adjoining regions from late antiquity up through the High Middle
Ages. The term is Greek, with a basic meaning of "covered" or "protected",
and a specific military meaning of "armored". Nations deploying cataphracts
at some time in their history included the Armenians, Byzantines, Parthians,
Pergamenes, Romans, Sarmatians, Sassanids, and others.

Cataphracts were the heavy assault force of most nations that used them,
acting as shock troops supported by light or heavy infantry and foot or
mounted archers. Supporting archery was deemed particularly important for
the proper deployment of cataphracts. The Parthian army that defeated the
Romans at Carrhae in 53 BCE operated primarily as a combined arms team of
cataphracts and horse archers against the Roman heavy infantry.

A cataphract charge was generally more disciplined and less impetuous than
the charges of the knights of Western Europe, but very effective due to the
discipline and the large numbers of troops deployed.

Equipment and Tactics

Equipment and tactics varied, but cataphracts generally wore heavy armor of
mail, horn, or thick quilted cloth, carried a shield, sat an armored horse,
and charged with lances in a tight knee-to-knee formation. Most armies'
cataphracts would be equipped with an additional side-arm such as a sword or
mace, for use in the melee that followed the charge. Some wore armor that
was primarily frontal rather than providing equal protection all around, and
sometimes likewise for the horse armor. In some armies cataphracts were not
equipped with shields, particularly if they had heavy body armor.

Many cataphract types were equipped with bows in addition to their lances
and heavy armor, to allow them to engage the enemy from afar before
charging. Cataphract archery was sometimes used tactically in disciplined
formations where half the cataphracts stood facing the enemy as an armored
fence while the other half looped through the line to shoot and then back
behind it to reload, increasing their safety against return fire from the
enemy. Cataphracts without bows are sometimes referred to simply as lancers.

Some later cataphaphract types were also equipped with heavy darts to be
hurled at the enemy lines during a charge, to disorder the defensive
formation immediately before the impact of the lances. With or without
darts, a cataphract charge would usually be "shot in" by foot or horse
archers to either side, or by additional cataphracts who would charge in
turn after having shot in the first assault. Some armies formalized this
tactic by deploying separate types of cataphract, a very heavily armored
bowless lancer for the primary charge and more conventional lance-and-bow
cataphracts for supporting units.

Related Types

The Romans used cataphracts only late in their history, and even then
primarily in the East. In addition to ordinary cataphract types they
sometimes fielded a very heavy type called a clibanarius (pl. clibanarii),
named after an iron oven due to their enclosed metal armor. They also formed
one exotic experimental unit of scythed chariots with cataphract lancers
mounted on the chariot's horses.

Nations in the Middle East occasionally fielded cataphracts mounted on
camels rather than on horses, with obvious benefits for use in arid regions.

29-07-05, 16:42
I must admit the name did sound familiar - mostly from my brief forays into Medieval: Total War :D . This is really cool info, even though I'm more of a myths and legends type (it figures, since I'm slap bang in the middle of Robin Hood territory http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/whistle.gif ). Do you have a favourite time period or country?

29-07-05, 16:49
LOL! Now you should also know that Partians indtroduced these disaplined Infantry crushers first http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . Oh did Rome had a prblem with these guys LOL! It was after this little meeting that Rome adapted them for their own cavalry http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif (Usually Roman Cataphracts were mostly auxiliries; outside commisioned troops http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif )

My favorite period would be the Islam al Saissidian Dynasty http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . It was during this time, that Islam and the Eastren culture truly florished http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . After that however, infighting made it a whole lot worst :(

29-07-05, 16:59
I confess I have a weakness for gothic buildings - esp' really old cathedrals of the middle ages :D . I went down to Salisbury a few years ago ( http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif ), Lincoln cathedral with school AGES ago (COOL!) and recently went to a concert in Southwell minster (WOW!). I love opposites - so I can drool over the Renaissance (hope the spelling is right) and the middle ages, yet be captivated by really ancient stuff in Egypt and the Far East.

Tomb Raider 5194
29-07-05, 17:44
I love history and thats one of the things that I love about the TR games some archealogy + action + adventure = Tomb Raider.

29-07-05, 19:12
Originally posted by Greenkey2:
I confess I have a weakness for gothic buildings - esp' really old cathedrals of the middle ages :D . I went down to Salisbury a few years ago ( http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif ), Lincoln cathedral with school AGES ago (COOL!) and recently went to a concert in Southwell minster (WOW!). I love opposites - so I can drool over the Renaissance (hope the spelling is right) and the middle ages, yet be captivated by really ancient stuff in Egypt and the Far East. Good to know that you have good interest in anciet archetecture http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . European wise, my favorite has to be the Baroque style http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif . Very formal and elegant.

Now everyone is welcome to post some interesting fact about history that they would like to share with the community http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

29-07-05, 23:04
Just for those who are interested http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif ...


30-07-05, 03:05
I don't know much about these things... http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/whistle.gif

06-08-05, 02:07
This may interest the females of the forum a lot :D .

The Order of the Glorious St. Mary was a European knightly order founded in 1223 composed entirely of female knights. It was suppressed in the 16th century. Records show at least one of the Knights Templar was a female. The (overrated) Teutonic Order also admitted females.

Lets also not for the 15th century Czech Hussites, who used women a lot in their military.

There are several Medieval and Renaisance fight-manuals that say strength matters little when using a sword.

So good Maidens, if a guy has the nerve to say females have no skill in battle, tell em to go be a pesent and farm your lands LOL!

06-08-05, 08:27
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif Historical issues[especially from ancient periods] are very good issues!
Unfortunately i am not so good in english yet to right something of by own! :(
I get the last dicovery magazine published in greece,and they have the presentation of the BATTLE OF MARATHON,by using the engine of "rome:total war:"!a superb result! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif

thanks for the site anyway catapharact!

[ 06. August 2005, 09:28: Message edited by: nikos ]

06-08-05, 18:46
Marathon was a superb battle, but to really see the might and power of the indicidual state of Sparta, you have to notice the battle of Thermopyle. Only 300 Spartans kept a Persian army of over 6000 people at bay. The Persians couldn't win over them in hand to hand, so the Persians used their special archer force known as the immortals to mow them down. The scriptures on the twin peaks still speak of the Spartan bravery http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

You are welcome Nikos http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

06-08-05, 19:51
I am glad you know about our ancient history catapharact! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif
Well i have some corrections about thermopyles.
Thermopyles was a very small[40meters],passage less than 100 miles to athens wherE the rest of spartans and other greeks prepared to fight in the sea[salamina],the persians!
there are 300 spartan defenting this passage,plus 700 thespies,they guarded a secret passage on the back of the spartan!
the 300 defeat the "immortals"[not archers but very heavy armed troops,the personal guard of the persian king Xerxes!
The reason that spartan and thespies loose the battle is that, one prince of thespies betrayed theire compatriots for taking the kingdom for his self!he tell to the persians about the secret passage behind spartans,they cought by surprise the thespies they guarded that passage and they surround spartans they prefere to continue the fight until all died!
the name of the traitor was EFIALTES,and from that day this name became synonymous to the word nightmare!
Ofcource he never became a king because,greeks defeat finally the persians in salamina,and then they killed the traitor!
The persian army was much bigger than 6000,the original numbers varies depents on the historicals,but it was about a few houndreds thousands[not ofcource over a million as herodotus wrote]!
you can figure out the size of the persian army, by telling you, that in Marathon the persian army was 60000,and the next time persian attack to greece they get almost every man they can took from all the empire!

The scripture of the memorial statue you can see even today in the area is this:
"oh,foreigner,go tell the spartans,that we are lying here,obeying to his words"

some others famous words spartans use to reply to persian demands is these!
The persian messenger said to the spartan king LEONIDAS!
"You have to surender we have so many archers,they can cover the scy with theire arrows!"
So and old fighter replyed:
"Thats nice,we will fight under the shadow!!!"

06-08-05, 19:59
All in all very welll compised an written Nikos http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

Yes I do know all about the trechery of Efialtes, and the Spartan Prince. I also know that the Persian Infantry had a hard time getting past the more nible Hoplites.

I also know that Athens paid a terrible price :( . The Persians inflicted major damage to the city, ransaking and looting it :( . The irony is, Alexander the Great did exatly the same to Peripolis once he conqured it :( .

06-08-05, 20:21
:( kings!you know!he burn also a greek city, thieves,as a punisment,and an example to others cities,not to rebel against him!also he did the same hing to tyros of phoenix[great ancient city where libanon is now,and greece always have good relationships!
all are the same!alexander was great[for me],only as a general,and the king who put all greek cities-states in a union!
in his days we became a nation!with our real name HELLAS!greece is the name that romeans gave us,after the conquered us!

[ 06. August 2005, 21:27: Message edited by: nikos ]

06-08-05, 21:19
I know :( . You guys call yourselves Hellenes http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif , dervied from the ancient tribes of Epirus, and the area known as Nea Polis or as today is known as Napoli http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif .

I have been to Napoli and it's breathtaking.

07-08-05, 18:41
You meaN NAPOLI,the city in south italy?
Well yes its a ancient city builded by ancient hellines! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif