Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jon Hunter

Sun Domers back up weapon

Recommended Posts

OK the primary weapons of the Sundome are the Pike/Sarissa and shields large/medium (dependent on your preference on continuity/historical accuracy ).

But what is the backup or holdout weapon for up close and dirty work?  I've always assumed shortsword, but in the current setting would be Kopis be better suited?

I would be interested in other peoples opinions.

The options I have are;

1) Always Kopis

2) Always Shortsword

3) Depends on the location of the temple, Kopis within the Empire, Shortsword within Orlanthi lands, but dependent upon unit choice.

4) Soldiers individual preference

 I like option 3, other peoples opinions?

Edited by Jon Hunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hastatus (the source of the "son of Yelm" connection for Yelmalio) fetishizes the spear, so I wonder whether something similar to an assegai might be used - basically a gladius-like short sword with a wooden haft at least again the length of the blade, acting as a sword when you grip it short and as a short spear when taking a longer grip. The kopis (which seems to have made its way into the hands of the Ghurkas) appears to use a more mobile style and doesn't look too effective in a phalanx shield wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JonL said:

Paging @M Helsdon.

In the real world, the secondary weapon of choice for a hoplite or phalangite was a matter of choice - in details of both armour and arms, there was no regimented requirement for exact equipment, and so other than the primary weapon and basic equipment (we know that Macedonian soldiers could be issued hefty fines if they lacked important kit such as torso armour and shields) it's down to individual choice. There's also debate whether a phalanx spear could be reversed to use the sauroter (sharp spear-butt) as a replacement spearhead - possible in a hoplite phalanx, probably less so for a sarissa.

So, a hoplite or phalangite is going to carry a short sword or a long dagger. Historically, the Greek hoplite would carry either a straight-bladed xiphos or the curved-bladed kopis. The kopis may seem surprising, but it came in a variety of sizes and weights, and some could be used for thrusting but were primarily a chopping weapon.

In Glorantha, it's going to be a mixture of personal preference and temple location. In Glorantha, the kopis was introduced to the Pelorians by the Pentan horsemen and is now the defining weapon of the Lunar Empire. It's likely that the Sun Dome temples near Pent or closely associated with the Lunars are more likely to use it.

Edited by M Helsdon
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a real distrust of Yelmalians using short swords as a backup, as he mythically uses spears, he has never beaten up a storm god so wouldn't have taken swords from them. I'd prefer something like the Zulu stabbing spear (iklwa), as it is better mythically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I have a real distrust of Yelmalians using short swords as a backup, as he mythically uses spears, he has never beaten up a storm god so wouldn't have taken swords from them. I'd prefer something like the Zulu stabbing spear (iklwa), as it is better mythically.

But really difficult to carry wearing hoplite panoply. Whilst hoplites at one point, in terrestrial history, seem to have carried two spears, one for throwing, one for thrusting, it isn't practical for a phalangite because they use a different shield and a much heavier two-handed spear.

Unless a phalanx was in rout, it would be possible for a hoplite/phalangite to take the spear of a rank behind them. In a hoplite phalanx only the first rank or two can actively stab and jab with their spears; in a phalangite phalanx, the sarissa of the first five ranks were engaged. If a spear breaks, it's likely that the fighter could take over one from the rank behind them - another benefit of formation depth. A secondary weapon like a sword really only becomes useful when your formation is in real trouble.

Yelmalio is one of those complex gods who is sometimes Orlanth's foe, sometimes his ally, sometimes his friend, so absolutes are unlikely to stop someone using a practical weapon.

Sun Domers with swords...

71MSK2PFxYL (2).jpg

Edited by M Helsdon
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Bah, you and your proof! Thanks for the reminder.

'Secondary weapons' from left to right: short sword on the right hip; axe on the left hip; (long) sword suspended from a baldric and a long dagger on the right hip.

I'm guessing that MOB gave a very specific outline to the artist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

I'm guessing that MOB gave a very specific outline to the artist.

You mean he didn't say "draw some Greeks and slap some runes on them" ?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jon Hunter said:

You mean he didn't say "draw some Greeks and slap some runes on them" ?

There's some 'Greek' style armour in that picture, but some that definitely isn't Greek.... ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2018 at 6:32 AM, Jon Hunter said:

You mean he didn't say "draw some Greeks and slap some runes on them" ?

It was a long, long time ago that I did the art direction for that cover. But I do remember stuffing a large envelope* with about 30 or more pages of photocopies and sketches and detailed commentary for the composition to send to Roger Raupp.

*yes, kids, this was in the days before email. I think after the initial snail mail we then sent preliminary sketches and notes back and forth by fax - remember those?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, MOB said:

yes, kids, this was in the days before email. 

Email? What's that? I only use instant messenger :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MOB said:

*yes, kids, this was in the days before email. I think after the initial snail mail we then sent preliminary sketches and notes back and forth by fax - remember those?

Fax? What's that, grandad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just generally going to agree with Martin here. The secondary weapon of a hoplite/phalangite is specifically for situations in which their spear is not practical, when enemies have broken through the wall of spears and shields. It’s a weapon to be used in combat situations resembling a rugby scrum. 

Shorter spears might see some use - but not in formation (other than a single throwing spear). Hoplites, and especially phalangites, might want some variation because troops might be assigned to roles other than combat vanguard (eg garrison of conquered territory) and might want a weapon more practical than a sarissa for those roles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, davecake said:

Shorter spears might see some use - but not in formation (other than a single throwing spear). Hoplites, and especially phalangites, might want some variation because troops might be assigned to roles other than combat vanguard (eg garrison of conquered territory) and might want a weapon more practical than a sarissa for those roles. 

Another situation to consider, is that phalangites certainly, and probably hoplites weren't restricted in all situations to their primary weapon. For example, when climbing a ladder in an active siege, a spear isn't practical.

 

Secondary and substitute weapons

The weapons of heavy infantry are often unwieldy for many actions, such as forced marches, climbing scaling ladders, fighting aboard ship, or operating in difficult terrain.

In many circumstances, troops leave their primary weapon with the baggage train and resort to using their secondary weapon, or take up a substitute weapon, such as replacing a long spear or pike with a shorter spear or a javelin.

 

There are historical accounts of a phalanx routing, but not everyone throwing away their shields and spears. In the Athenian rout at the Battle of Delium, Socrates and his friends retreated in good order, keeping their weapons and shields. The enemy left them alone - there was easier prey.

Edited by M Helsdon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody needs a knife. Everybody. Maybe not a shortsword, but a knife, of whatever shape, is an absolutely necessary tool. If these Yelmalions in question ever go into the field, every single one of them will have a knife, and some, perhaps many of them, will think "Hey, if I got a bit larger one of these, it would be handy for stabbing trollkin in close quarters, as well as for whittling kindling and cutting straps."

I suppose a Kopis might do, but I also recall that during the American Revolutionary times, it was commonplace for officers and soldiers to very, very quickly swap their regulation swords for tomahawks after their first time in the field. Easier to carry, less likely to snag in brush, more practical use.

As someone who has hauled a 9 foot spear through woods while wearing armor, I'll tell you it's a pain. TWO of them would be super annoying, even if one was shorter. And strapping a spear onto your back is an even bigger pain. Yes, of course there aren't woods in Prax and phalanxes never enter woods out of choice, but my points remain even when there's no brush.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to remember that Yelmalio is the god of hoplites that forbids a good portion of his most devout worshipers to wear bits of hoplite armor where they would be required. Practicality isn't that much of an option.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Different Games said:

Everybody needs a knife.

In Ancient warfare, a dagger was carried, not only as a weapon of last resort but also as a tool and eating utensil. It was, in effect, the Ancient multitool.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/18/2018 at 9:19 PM, soltakss said:

I have a real distrust of Yelmalians using short swords as a backup, as he mythically uses spears, he has never beaten up a storm god so wouldn't have taken swords from them. I'd prefer something like the Zulu stabbing spear (iklwa), as it is better mythically.

Use no sword of any kind.... so a scimitar should do it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Templars who stormed the Cradle used short swords. I'd assume that it's the most common side weapon, and most of the Templars who have been blessed by the sword geas would use daggers. There could of course be a few who have strong Earth Rune and would use a small axe. And like was said, everyone would carry a knife or a dagger as tool. The kopis might have been getting more common from the Lunar influence, and sickle was a cultural weapon in the 3rd ed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, High King of Balazar said:

Use no sword of any kind.... so a scimitar should do it

Hmmm, I wonder who the High King of Balazar is, Andrew ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 7/18/2018 at 3:19 PM, soltakss said:

I have a real distrust of Yelmalians using short swords as a backup, as he mythically uses spears, he has never beaten up a storm god so wouldn't have taken swords from them. I'd prefer something like the Zulu stabbing spear (iklwa), as it is better mythically.

It's also not bad tactically. If the Sun Domers are fighting in some sort of Glorantha Phalanx formation, an iklwa would be an excellent weapon for in close fighting. Plus it would be a 1H spear, which would help for training and skill purposes (for Yelmalions).. Something along the lines of: 

Spear, One Handed: Iklwa      STR: --, DEX:--, Damage: 1D6+1 (imp), HP: 15 (same as a short spear?), Cost: 15, ENC: 1, Length: 0.6m, SR: 3

 

In the front rank dropped thier pikes and draw Iklwas they could probably destroy an opposing Phalanx.

Edited by Atgxtg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

 

It's also not bad tactically. If the Sun Domers are fighting in some sort of Glorantha Phalanx formation, an iklwa would be an excellent weapon for in close fighting. Plus it would be a 1H spear, which would help for training and skill purposes (for Yelmalions).

An iklwa tends to have a two-foot long shaft, in addition to the foot-long blade, and so whilst ideal as a thrusting spear in a phalanx if the primary spear/pike is broken/lost, it's not going to be an easy item for a Yelmalion phalangite to carry and deploy in the press of a pike phalanx. They'd either have to carry it suspended on their back, so not easy to access, or from a belt, and then it becomes a trip hazard, much like a sword (which isn't a short sword or dagger). Historically, hoplites and phalangites seem to have carried either a small kopis or xiphos, as a practical secondary.

The xiphos was a leaf-shaped short sword, and so, in Gloranthan terms, a common Orlanthi design, which most Yelmalions in Prax and Dragon Pass will be familiar with.

>  the front rank dropped thier pikes and draw Iklwas they could probably destroy an opposing Phalanx.

If they were opposing another phalanx armed with pikes they'd not close with the enemy; if the opposing phalanx were armed with one-handed long spears, they might have an advantage, but then again, with a reduced reach, probably not.

Edited by M Helsdon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

An iklwa tends to have a two-foot long shaft, in addition to the foot-long blade, and so whilst ideal as a thrusting spear in a phalanx if the primary spear/pike is broken/lost, it's not going to be an easy item for a Yelmalion phalangite to carry and deploy in the press of a pike phalanx. They'd either have to carry it suspended on their back, so not easy to access, or from a belt, and then it becomes a trip hazard, much like a sword (which isn't a short sword or dagger). Historically, hoplites and phalangites seem to have carried either a small kopis or xiphos, as a practical secondary.

I think staped to the thight (point down) could work. It could even be shorter than the Zulu weapon. Functionally they want is the equivalent of a thrusting dagger or shortsword. The advantage of it being a spear is for training purposes and familiarity bonuses. 

Quote

The xiphos was a leaf-shaped short sword,

I know. It's essentially a small gladius. Come to think of it, one of the PCs in my Pendragon campaign got a hold of one. 

Quote

 

and so, in Gloranthan terms, a common Orlanthi design, which most Yelmalions in Prax and Dragon Pass will be familiar with.

I didn't realize Orlannti were familiar with such blades. 

Edited by Atgxtg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I think staped to the thight (point down) could work. It could even be shorter than the Zulu weapon. Functionally they want is the equivalent of a thrusting dagger or shortsword. The advantage of it being a spear is for training purposes and familiarity bonuses. 

If shortened, it becomes a short sword with a long hilt... I suspect that training with a longer spear won't easily give you familiarity with a cut-down spear with a foot-long blade - weight, balance etc. will be very different.

15 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I didn't realize Orlannti were familiar with such blades. 

Most Orlanthi (at least Sartarite/Heortlander) swords are leaf-shaped (very similar I'm told to Urnfield/La Tène/Halstatt swords, to which the xiphos is probably related). Western swords tend to be more straight (similar to Warring States Chinese swords, I'm told).

Edited by M Helsdon
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...