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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: Richard Stallman <rms@xxxxxxx>
Cc: raahul_da_man@xxxxxxxxx, dspeyer@xxxxxxxxxxx, freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Artillery and sea units (PR#1476)
From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 22:28:34 -0700
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

scripsit Richard Stallman:
> I wonder if it would be possible to model the social factors
> that make disciplined infantry possible.  It may be difficult
> to figure out with confidence what those factors are.
I'm sure it's not impossible.  

I was about to start giving conditions where strong infantry may evolve
(professional army or citizen militia of freemen, for example), but it
occurs to me that the converse is easier -- to describe where you don't
get good infantry.

For the purpose of this discussion, "good infantry" means "good line
troops capable of fighting cavalry in the open" -- you could have
excellent light troops ("Indian-style" fighters) but they are a
different category of unit.

You don't have good infantry when the troops can't maintain formation.
It's really that simple.  

Given disorganized cavalry and disorganized infantry in open terrain,
the infantry are in trouble.  Given good-quality cavalry and
good-quality infantry, the infantry can hold their own in open terrain.
This is the source of standard musket-era tactics of using artillery
bombardment and infantry assault to disorder the enemy and then
unleashing the cavalry.

The feudal era in Europe is, BTW, a special case in that the majority of
the population was unfree, and the chivalric classes depended on the
horse to show their status ( `chivalric' actually means, roughly, `of

In short, a feudal or tribal structure should make good infantry
impossible, but otherwise it should be the norm, except where the
terrain (the steppes, for example) makes infantry useless due to reduced

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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