Azula vs. Galen Marek

After two days of prep time who will prevail in a fight to the death between the Dark Knight and the God of War?

Batman vs. Kratos

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Emperor Manuel Commenus vs. King John III Sobieski : Battle and results

 Since an accelerated math course is draining a lot of my time away from this project, I figured that it was only fair to give you, my viewers, a sneak peak of the fight to come.
Characters (bolded are historical figures) :

Byzantine Kataphraktoi:
*Standard equipment = Kontarion lance, Spathion, Paremerion, 2-3 Bardoukion (2 if axe is included) , kite shield, dagger

Emperor Manuel Commenus (1118-1180): standard equipment

Paulos:  Toxton, tzikourion
Basil :  Marzobarboulon 
Constantine : Standard, two Kontarion, tzikourion
Stephanos :   Toxton, sling
Leo : sling
Alexandros :  toxton, Marzobarboulon 
Philippos : Toxton, Sling, 
Demetrios : Tzikourion
Romanos :   Marzobarboulon

Monday, May 23, 2011

Byzantine Kataphraktoi: vs. Polish Hussars :Edges

(I must apologize for the lack of depth behind some of these. I have been extraordinarily busy). 

Long Range: Hunnic composite bow (toxton), sling  vs. Bandolet Wheelock carbine, Luk 

  Before I give an edge let me talk about how each weapon and how it is going to be used, since some questions have been asked in regards to a couple of them. 

  Lets start with the sling. In my Cataphract Bio I may have accidentely implied that the sling was used on horseback. This is false. I have yet to find a single instance of a Byzantine slinging from horseback. It was just given as a backup to archers. In the scenario  I see two ways that it can come into play. The first opportunity for the sling to be used is at the beginning of the fight when the two teams are about a couple of hundred meters away from each other.  Here they could dismount to hurl lead  at the hussars, who would have to retreat out of the slings range or rush into the battle . Presumably once the hussars got in a certain range the Byzantine would get back on their horses and switch to bows. The second circumstance is if an archer gets dismounted in battle and has either run out of arrows/broken bow. Now he has a backup weapon to switch to.  I am going to split up the damage review into two parts: man and horse.  For the man I really can't see it doing much. The  armor of the Hussar is too thick in too many places for the lead bullets to do much. Sure he may suffer some bruising and at worst, a fractured bone, but I cannot see the sling doing much damage in the places where the hussar is armored. Of course if the bullet got a lucky (or extremely accurate) shot to the uncovered portions of the neck , face and eyes then yes that Hussar is going down, but that is pretty much a given. The horse on the other hand.....

      Hussars did not wear much in the way of horse armor, preferring speed over protection. As a result a lead bullet to basically any part of the horse is going to be completely devastating. A horse isn't going to be able to run at all with a broken leg or a fractured chest which would take the mount away from the hussars, putting him at a disadvantage. This is assuming he survives of course cause if you break a horse's leg while he's in full gallop then his rider is going to be sent flying forward when the horse collapses, possibly breaking his neck. In conclusion the sling won't be the greatest weapon in this fight but it certainly has potential to help the Byzantine greatly. 

 Now onto the Hunnic Composite Bow: As I noted in the Byzantine bio, Byzantine Cataphracts were expert archers and will be bringing a high degree of skill to this match-up. They worked in combo with the lancers to ensure maximum devastation to the enemy formation(remember the point of heavy calvary were to break up these lines). I can see their armor piercing arrows making it through the weaker points of Hussar armor but their real advantage here will be shooting out the Hussar's horse. The best of the Byzantine's ranged weapons.

   The Tartar bow is the Polish Hussar's first and most common of the long range weapons. It has roughly the same range as the Hunnic bow,has a high draw,  can be used from horseback and is quite accurate in the hands of an expert. Unfortunately the Hussars were noted for their deficiency in the field of archery,  and while good Polish archers did exist in that time frame they are the exception rather then the rule.  Further adding on the Hussars problems in this category is their lack penetrative arrows, which means that only a divinely guided shot  is going to kill anything. The Byzantine's horse is protected by steel or ox-hide Lamellar, which was quite resistant to arrows. Thus this weapon may actually be the weakest in the fight. 

 The Wheelock carbine is where the Hussar shines in this match up. While it has many problems such as;  it is  prone to misfiring (especially in bad weather), takes a long time to reload , has a small range when compared to the weapons in the rest of this category  and is practically a one shot weapon, it is the only ranged weapon here that can tackle the big issue: armor. While I am not completely sold on it penetrating the many layers that make up the Byzantine's chest armor , it can penetrate just about anywhere else including the  Byzantine's horse's armor . It can be accurately used from horseback and pulled from the saddle fairly  quickly. The bandolet  is  the best weapon of this range. 

 Overall it is really hard to give an edge in this category, as the Luk(bow) is going to have relatively little effect on the outcome of this matchup while the Bandolet will have a high effect.  The Sling's contribution will be slightly greater then the Luk's while the Hunnic bow will be in the high-middle range  For all of its faults, I think that the Bandolet is powerful enough to give the Hussars a very  slight edge in this category. 

Edge Polish Hussars

Monday, May 16, 2011

Warrior Bio: Polish Winged Hussars


 This section of the Polish Winged Hussar covers the arms and armor used by these Legendary Cavalrymen  from 1620-1683.

Long Range: Bandolet carbine, Luk (bow) 
Wheelock Bandolet 

  The Bandolet Carbine got its name from the the leather shoulder belt from which it was slung.  Based on my research this carbine was most likely Wheelock, as  Flintlock designs did not replace the Wheelock one until a little before the turn of the century (in the carbine category at least) . The Wheelock had an advantage over the earlier matchlock in that it was always ready to fire, and could now be fired with only one hand. This was essential for a mounted Cavalryman, who need the other hand to maneuver the horse. Still, like all early gunpowder it had as many disadvantages as advantages. The lock or pyrite that caused it to fire could easily fail, making misfires a common occurrence on the battlefield, particularly if the weather conditions were poor. In addition the lock had to be treated with the utmost care, lest it break completely. A Hussar could still use the butt to try to  bludgeon his foe to death though if it was broken completely or he found himself in a emergency situation. The procedure for reloading was very time consuming, so it may have only been used once per battle. The Range was 150-200 meter , although the accurate range would be more like 50 meters. As for its penetrative power it will certainly be one of the best here, but a quote from a Hussar site leads me to suspect that it will not be as overwhelming as some people would portray it as "the best period armor protected against harquebus fire, especially if at long range or if the blow was glancing."

Bandolet with Flintlock 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Byzantine Kataphraktoi: Warrior Bio


 First up are the ancient world's greatest chock calvary, the Byzantine Kataphraktoi. The Kataphraktoi featured below are hail from the middle to high Byzantine empire, or from roughly 700 a.d -1204 a.d. Emphasis will be placed on the Kommenian era Cataphracts.

Before starting I want to give credit to all the wonderful sources, pictures and YouTube videos below.

Long Range: Hunnic composite bow (toxton), sling 
The Hunnic composite bow

     While their earlier Roman forefathers did not consider the bow to be a weapon any true warrior should use, the Byzantines thought otherwise. The Byzantines learned from Attila's reign of terror across Europe, learned that the Hunnic bow  was as a weapon to be embraced. Just a century later Byzantine archers were deciding battles in Belisarus's reconquest of Italy and a treatise of military strategy was written which focused only on the bow.  This so called "Anonymous Treatise of Byzantine strategy", written by a retired combat engineer, would define Byzantine archery for the next three centuries. Subsequent emperors would demand that their soldiers train with the bow, and this resulted in the Byzantines having a higher amount of skill then  alot of their neighbors.
Byzantine relief

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Byzantine Kataphraktoi vs. Polish Winged Hussar: Warrior Introduction and grading system

      My next match up will feature two  of the most famous heavily armored calvary units to have ever existed. Both of these warriors have storied histories, and both were considered the elites of their respective countries.
First up are the Byzantine Kataphraktoi, Byzantium's heaviest hitter.

Byzantine Kataphraktoi

The Byzantine Cataphract (English spelling)  were the shock troopers of the Byzantine army.  The word Kataphraktos(plural Kataphraktoi) is Greek for "fully enclosed" and refers to the heavy calvary regimen  that were already making themselves known to the world even in Hellenistic times, giving them a storied history of nearly 2000 years.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dante Alighieri vs. Alex Mercer : Battle and results

         Dante's head was pounding with such intensity that even his mightiest hangover couldn't compare with. Groggily he opened his eyes, yawning as he did so and quickly surveyed the land around him. There were various clothes scattered haphazardly on the ground, mixed in with books, food and rather morbidly, blood. A torch of some kind was hanging loosely from the wall, its light flickering. Oddly Dante could not detect any flames emanating from it, but it still produced light.  A cabinet lay on its side in front of the broken down door that was apparently the entrance to this place; apparently its inhabitant had attempted to lock someone out of the room, and failed. The blood-stained bed opposite to the door revealed his/her ultimate fate. “Strange" Dante said to himself, "there is no body" . Usually when there is this much blood there would be a body to go with it but not in this instance. The blood trail led from the bed to the door and out past it. While Dante knew that it wasn't usually the best idea to follow a foreboding trail such as this one, in this case he didn't really have a choice. After all the only way out was through that door. He began to cautiously approach it, only to trip over something and hit the floor with a loud crash. Expecting to see a detached limb or even a head he was surprised to see it was neither; unbelievably it was a halberd, shield with arming sword, and yes evens his Scythe that he had pried from Death. Even more astonishingly those former two weapons belonged to him! Both of them had his initials carved into them and he could even remember each of their use. The Scythe had been destroyed by Lucifer himself; how it ended up next to him confused the hell out of Dante.
Speaking of hell...