Series / Conquest
Whether it's ancient combat or modern sports, winning is what it's all about...but how do you win? This man has learned the hard way. Now, he's ready to show you!
A show once on the History Channel
is an edutainment show about weapons, cultures, and tactics hosted by Peter Woodward and a rotating team. The typical formula of each episode involves an introduction to the topic at hand, an exploration of the topic's details, and a final team challenge, contest, or staged exhibition.
After its run, the History Channel
sort of disavowed all knowledge of its existence for a time, though episodes have begun re-airing on History Channel International and are being hosted on Youtube.
Conquest provides examples of:
- Artistic License - Martial Arts and Tactics: Peter Woodward correctly points out that a lot of the Hollywood stuff is completely useless in a real fight. A few of them sneak into some of the rehearsed routines and final staged fights anyway, for the very reason they were used in the first place: a combination of safety and flash.
- Bald of Awesome: Peter always rocks the chrome dome.
- The Berserker: Woodward argues that this tactic gives axes their edge. When confronted by a dubious team member, Woodward suggests a sparring session and reminds the man that he cannot pull back on his attacks after he's swung. He then launches into a screaming flurry that left the teammember fleeing in panic. Woodward concludes, ""Pure 100% aggression, without any thought of self-defense, is very unusual...and absolutely terrifying."
- Butt Monkey: In some of the earlier episodes, Peter Woodward just couldn't seem to avoid getting clobbered.
- Catch Phrase: In the earlier episodes, Peter Woodward thought a lot of weapons were either magnificent or very nasty.
- Flynning: Discussed and demonstrated in "Swords of the Musketeers" with Peter Woodward then challenging the team to come up with routines that don't simply feature two people exchanging blade strikes.
- Groin Attack: A fairly common weapon in Peter Woodward's arsenal.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Episodes have been quite hard to come by, and the History Channel seemed to have more or less "forgotten" the series before re-airing episodes on their International channel.
- Large Ham: Peter Woodward's intensity and energetic treatment of the topics sets him apart from a lot of other hosts.
- Screaming Warrior: As the Axman, Pirate, and Weird Weapons episodes aptly indicate, Peter Woodward seems to enjoy attacking while bellowing at the top of his lungs.
- Theme Park Version: They usually get the basics of the topic right, but whether due to lack of budget or time (or both), miss on several details and have to reuse props, even if they're not historically accurate.
- Weapon of Choice: Almost all broad categories of weapons were covered:
- An Axe to Grind, in the obvious episode.
- Blade on a Stick, peppered across different episodes (Weird Weapons dealt with most of the polearms, Medieval Tournament mentioned the poleaxe, and spears appear here and there)
- Carry a Big Stick, whenever clubs are appropriate.
- Cool Sword, whether short, long, ancient bronze, medieval steel, rapier, or stealthy.
- Drop the Hammer, among the Weird Weapons.
- Epic Flail, also among the Weird Weapons.
- The Gunslinger, in the Early Firearms, Pirate, and Urban Ops episodes.
- Knife Nut, given an episode along with daggers.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me, the most prominent of which being the scuta of the Roman legionnaries.