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[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Artillery and sea units (PR#1476)

[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Artillery and sea units (PR#1476)

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: dspeyer@xxxxxxxxxxx, raahul_da_man@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Artillery and sea units (PR#1476)
From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 07:39:51 -0700
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

scripsit Richard Stallman:
>     There's nothing magical about alphabetic writing systems, even if they
>     do seem superior to those of us who use them.
> In practical terms, an alphabet is tremendously superior because it enables
> a large fraction of society to learn to read and write.

An alphabet certainly isn't particularly superior to a syllabary (like
Japanese kana), although a syllabary makes expression of foreign words
more difficult.  I have to say that I tend to agree with you that a
phonetic writing system (even if ossified like English) is superior to
ideograms, but I grew up thinking that way.  If I were a Han, I'm not
sure I would agree -- hence my reservation.

For Freeciv terms, `Alphabet' should be called `Writing', and `Writing'
should be called `Literature' or something similar -- the mechanics come
first, then the art.

>     For _sure_, good infantry (=Pikemen) shouldn't come from Feudalism.
> I don't think the pikemen did anything that a Greek phalanx couldn't
> do.  All disciplined infantry with some armor were able to hold off
> cavalry.  I think the main difference was that the Swiss pikemen
> expected to fight mainly cavalry, because the surrounding feudal
> society mainly used cavalry.  The ancient phalanx or legion most often
> had to fight infantry, because the prevalence of good infantry made
> heavy cavalry less useful.

> So I think it makes no sense to have in Freeciv a pikemen unit which
> is different from or better than a phalanx unit.

Very well put.  Thinking about it now, there are a myriad variations on
infantry equipment, organization, and fighting style, and Freeciv ought
to be able to express them all at a certain level of abstraction.

Infantry technology didn't really change all that much from Alexander
until musketry.  What the game needs to represent is:

1) disorganized mobs of armed men ( = Warriors)
2) "real" infantry, whether phalanges, legions, pikemen

and maybe a third, "warrior élite" infantry like Samurai.  These could
come from a feudal type of govenment lacking good horsemen.

Freeciv has no way of representing troop quality (e.g., the combat
effectiveness difference between Germans and Russians in the world
wars), so absent that there just aren't a lot of distinctions to make.

Oh, we should keep Archers, too, BTW -- they're clearly a different

Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

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