Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 80 81 [82]

Author Topic: Armchair General General - /AGG  (Read 64674 times)

Culise

  • Bay Watcher
  • General Nuisance
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1215 on: September 29, 2018, 10:21:55 am »

The Varangian Club
Although they did have chariot hooligans
True, it's rather a horse apiece.  Soccer hooligans may have started a war, but the Blues and Greens burned half of Constantinople and almost brought down an emperor
And yes, I do know that the core of both was serious economic problems, in the former due to the expulsion of refugees/immigrants and the latter due to serious taxation problems.
Logged

Parsely

  • Bay Watcher
  • She/her, they/them
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1216 on: September 29, 2018, 12:37:35 pm »

I don't think peasants would be any less sensitive to violence than your typical modern manual laborer. Even today, even with modern people who we have the most accessible, objective, and precise information on, regardless of if they are combat experienced, unpredictable things happen when people start killing each other at close range. Regardless of the individual or time period, when people start dying everyone thinks about running.

Relevant video. Eventually he talks about levying.

Peasants are most likely to win because of their obligations according to the feudal system. They are obliged to be levied, which means they will be prepared for this exact kind of fight. They will have trained in a formation and practiced with the weapons they're going to use in this battle, spears. Modern people have never fought in formation or trained with spears unless they're HEMA practitioners, which is unlikely.

smjjames

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1217 on: September 29, 2018, 12:46:11 pm »

I suppose it depends on what period in the feudal system we're talking about. Historically, it effectively ended by the 16th century when professional armies became common, but it lingered in places well into the 19th century. So, again, it's dependent entirely on when and where you're getting said peasants/serfs from.

Then again, the first professional or standing armies in Europe were from the Ottomans in the 14th century, which is late in the medieval era. In that same article, Britain didn't start having professional armies until well into the 17th century.

And of course, depending on the modern country (since some have mandatory military service), you can very well have modern people with military service. Though it'd be nothing like the melee that said levies would be trained for.

I suppose we're also completely ignoring any cultural (not neccesarily religious, 25 French and 25 English peasants might not get along too well, especially if they're from periods where the two countries were at each others throats, which is most of the middle ages to be honest) conflicts and linguistic barriers here? It'd complicate the scenario to hell if we did.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 01:04:30 pm by smjjames »
Logged

WealthyRadish

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1218 on: September 29, 2018, 01:45:32 pm »

I refuse to waste brain-time thinking about this scenario, but there are a few misleading things here. In the medieval era in Europe (let's say it ends at the end of the 14th century) a vanishingly small portion of a random sample of peasants would have any military experience. It was in the early modern period that army sizes as a portion of population became significant and war became more common than peace (and even then, the exceptional states that achieved a high portion of population under arms wouldn't have ever peaked much above 4%). Little wars were fought often in the medieval era, but they generally involved smaller armies active for short periods of time, and not a whole lot of combat (just skirmishes and sieges mostly). In the early modern period, army sizes grew incredibly (in greater proportion than the increase in population) and wars in general became much deadlier.

"Standing armies" also didn't really exist in significant numbers until the 18th century. Before then they were generally very small contingents that the larger states kept around, meant mostly to just "stiffen" the main body of forces by preserving some level of training (and not much at that). Incidentally, the best way to think about armies in the early modern period (in Europe) is to imagine what you would get if militaries today were privatized by psychotic neoliberals; they weren't "professionals" and they weren't "levies", they were for the most part privately contracted regiments owned by a captain or aristocrat who paid for all expenses themselves with the expectation of regular payment from the government, with varying intentions of profit (you can imagine the sorts of things this led to).

Civil society also became more violent in the early modern period than it was in the middle ages, and the two get conflated in popular imagination. Some causes: the reformation brought with it tremendous civil strife, and popular superstitious activity like the burning of witches only became significant in the early modern period; famines brought on by a changing climate, increased taxation/rents, and the extension of the market economy led to riots; the creation for more or less the first time of a permanent underclass of homeless vagrants and the explosion in crime due to more extensive and permanent poverty in general; an increasingly draconian and violent reaction from governments to that increase in crime, and the need to preserve the hierarchical order; and a general erosion of the reciprocal social fabric that existing under feudalism.

The romantic notion of a burly hard peasant hardened by hard labor done hardly is also misleading. Long hours of manual labor doesn't translate into being super buff; if you look at most modern peasants still using unmechanized methods about as primitive, they're usually scrawny. The vast majority of a random sample of peasants would have indeed eaten less and of less variety than we do today, with little meat; generally the only peasants who ate well were the ones who were not crushed under massive rents, which were the more isolated ones that made up a smaller portion of population. Incidentally, the people who would have military experience in most periods would have also been the people who were poorest and most unfit, as in areas where there was some sort of a quota system for recruitment or even a levy, it was the people most disadvantaged in society who the rest would shift that burden onto.
Logged

Loud Whispers

  • Bay Watcher
  • They said we have to aim higher, so we dug deeper.
    • View Profile
    • I APPLAUD YOU SIRRAH
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1219 on: September 29, 2018, 02:06:50 pm »

Incidentally, the best way to think about armies in the early modern period (in Europe) is to imagine what you would get if militaries today were privatized by psychotic neoliberals; they weren't "professionals" and they weren't "levies", they were for the most part privately contracted regiments owned by a captain or aristocrat who paid for all expenses themselves with the expectation of regular payment from the government, with varying intentions of profit (you can imagine the sorts of things this led to).
Nervous laughter

smjjames

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1220 on: September 29, 2018, 02:09:12 pm »

Incidentally, the best way to think about armies in the early modern period (in Europe) is to imagine what you would get if militaries today were privatized by psychotic neoliberals; they weren't "professionals" and they weren't "levies", they were for the most part privately contracted regiments owned by a captain or aristocrat who paid for all expenses themselves with the expectation of regular payment from the government, with varying intentions of profit (you can imagine the sorts of things this led to).
Nervous laughter

So, in so many words, mercenaries.
Logged

Loud Whispers

  • Bay Watcher
  • They said we have to aim higher, so we dug deeper.
    • View Profile
    • I APPLAUD YOU SIRRAH
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1221 on: September 29, 2018, 02:10:48 pm »

Worse: Private security consultants

smjjames

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1222 on: September 29, 2018, 02:25:43 pm »

Isn't that just the modern euphenism for mercenary?
Logged

WealthyRadish

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1223 on: September 29, 2018, 02:27:23 pm »

I'd say mercenaries were worse. The military contractors expected their government to be constantly in arrears and missing payments, and their primary function from the perspective of the state was really to absorb debts during wartime that could be repaid later. The contractors were also usually subjects of the government and were recruiting other subjects, and so had some stake in the peacetime resolution of the conflict, while mercenaries were foreigners filling out what were often very narrow terms of a contract. The contractors scammed the shit out of the governments and their soldiers and pillaged with the best of them, but could go without being paid. If mercenaries didn't get paid, they were liable to force a battle or sack a town for the plunder, or just leave.
Logged

smjjames

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1224 on: September 29, 2018, 02:37:56 pm »

True, the earlier mercenaries mainly filled a vacuum before modern armies since there really wasn't a permanent professional standing army that the government could fall back on and use to kick their asses if they misbehaved.

Now, they're almost entirely held accountable by the government (unless said government is corrupt and is using the mercs for shady stuff, or we're talking about ones not involved with the government) when you're talking about military contractors. And these days, if they try to pillage, they ABSOLUTELY WILL get their asses kicked.
Logged

Loud Whispers

  • Bay Watcher
  • They said we have to aim higher, so we dug deeper.
    • View Profile
    • I APPLAUD YOU SIRRAH
Re: Armchair General General - /AGG
« Reply #1225 on: September 29, 2018, 02:39:08 pm »

« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 02:43:02 pm by Loud Whispers »
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 80 81 [82]